Closed Soaked Sandbagging

(This is a thread from Mizahar's fantasy role playing forum. Why don't you register today? This message is not shown when you are logged in. Come roleplay with us, it's fun!)

A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

Soaked Sandbagging

Postby Alric Lysane on December 18th, 2021, 10:32 am



20th Winter – Gated Community

It had started before first light, the splattering of the rains that had been long anticipated, and as if a ripple of soothing calm had blanketed the city it had felt as if some of the rising tension had been eroded in their coming. Sunberth was starting to feel like an accident waiting to happen, Alric had felt it for the last few days, growing and stirring in even the lowest corners he frequented. Everything was going wrong so far – fires, grain shortages were expected if not yet announced, Brats taking over the streets, and no rain. Winter hadn’t come, again, and mutters of Vanthat were once more upon people’s lips. It had almost become tradition at this point and even if the snows had come Alric felt sure, as he trudged through the downpour, that they would still curse the Vantha.

Probably will for years to come yet he thought to himself as he grabbed the next sandbag and hoisted it with a grunt onto his left shoulder before turning and making his way back towards the edge of riverbank they were barricading.

The rain had long since soaked him to his skin and he didn’t care at that point. What bothered him more was that now the river had started to rise, and they had been ‘volunteered’ to start preparing some sort of wall against the encroaching waters, the curses were once more upon their lips. He was working alongside those who wanted nothing more than to have a Vantha before than in that moment, there to do unspeakable things to. People like that were why Alric disliked weapons, magic and anything else that meant you couldn’t solve your problem with anything less than lethal force. Not that fists couldn’t be lethal but at least you suffered bruises or broken knuckles after.

With a grunt he heaved the bag off of his shoulder and let it fall into his arms, holding its weight before slapping it down atop the others at the edge of the wall under construction. Bending his elgs he settled it into place before stamping it down a few times for good measure. He leant backwards and took a few moments to stretch his back and arms. His legs would have to wait until later though they too burned and complained. They had been offered rewards for their extra service, though Ruby had only done so after others had started to, and she was a woman not to be outdone. Her Associates hadn’t been as pleased at that as they had been at the knowledge that workers were going about preventing their lovely Scarlet Sanctum from being flooded.

“Think I’m going to go for the gold, they say it’s decent…thirty maybe”

“Sure you don’t want any of those leather thong things those lads wear? Or you can’t pull it off?”

“Shaddup!” there came the retort amidst the laughter.

“Night with one of the lasses for me, can’t go wrong”

“I dunno, might end up with more’n you bargained for. Ever hear about what some of those richer types get up to? What ifs Ruby sets you up with one of those specialties”

There was further laughter as Alric returned to the cart, their latest source of sandbags, and grabbed another, hoisting it to the other shoulder this time. He had learned that lesson quickly, too many times on the same shoulder and the muscles tired too quick and hurt as you walked lop-sided. He grinned into the deluge at their words, they knew little of worlds beyond this one and their only care was where their next meal, miza or mating would come from. He could remember being like that, now he was not so sure. He mas a hunted man and he was starting to think he only had eyes for one, whether that ended well or not. He sighed as he squatted down, legs burning, to plop down another sandbag and stamp it into place.

Looking at their handiwork he was impressed if he were honest, they had managed to sandbag most of the river side of the Gated Community so far. It was only about hip high and four or five bracing bags deep but it might hold against rains for the next few days. If it went on longer then they were all in trouble. There was only a ten or fifteen metre gap left before they had been asked to fall back and start building sandbag walls around the Scarlet Sactum itself, the streets surrounding and its own street.


Last edited by Alric Lysane on January 3rd, 2022, 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Alric Lysane
Reluctant Nymkarta
 
Posts: 368
Words: 468949
Joined roleplay: October 29th, 2021, 5:41 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

Soaked Sandbagging

Postby Bronwen on January 2nd, 2022, 8:51 pm

Image

Bronwen's fingers trembled as they tightened around the smooth grip of her short bow, her long legs eating up distance as she slopped, splashed, and occasionally slid through the thick mud that was one backroad of the beautiful city she currently called home. Sunberth. Bron's lip curled at the reminder. Oh, how she missed the dark, damp corridors of Sylias.

At least it never rained inside the fortified city.

At a glance, dressed in a long, belted tunic and cotton, knee-high riding pants, her lengthy hair pulled tight and knotted this way and that atop her head. Her stride was purposeful, bow swinging with the sway of her arm, quarterstaff strapped to her back; Bron looked to be a woman on a mission. But, if one so deigned a closer, more scrutinizing glance, they may notice the colorless pallor of her face and the wild, furtive look in her grey-blue eyes. They might conclude that she was either high, wanted to be high, or very desperately wanted to come down from a recent, very bad experience. They would have been wrong on three counts.

Bronwen, in fact, was currently running away from a high that only a fortnight earlier she would have done most anything for. And had. Many times. Gods, now that she was sober, it felt like her drug of choice was readily available anywhere she went, thrown in her face like it was nothing but a candy stick. Where in Sunberth had these suppliers been this time last season? Hiding from her coinless, desperate, and begging arse, no doubt.

Sliding -quite literally- around a corner of a building, Bron backed out of sight and slumped against the jagged surface of the first come to structure separating her from Garrett, her very persuasive and conveniently generous ex-dealer of all things lets-get-Bron-high. The scrawny, red-headed, pockmarked son of a whore had been dogging Bronwen's every step since she left Brega's, and it had only taken Bron's slight hesitation and an embattled lick of her lips for him to pursue her. It had taken every bit of strength the girl could muster to turn her back and walk away from that small burlap bag Garrett had displayed to her. She didn't know if she had it in her to do again. Bron's body thrummed with a need she was determined not to fulfill.

Gaffawed laughter rang out, loud enough to be heard over the thunderous pattering of rain slamming against the muddy ground for Bronwen to hear. Glancing up, squinting as fat raindrops battered her face, she spotted several men stacking bags against the edge of the river, a dark-haired one standing slightly away from the others. Hiking an appreciative brow, Bron took a tick to watch the flex and pull of the man's muscular arms before something small and dark darted past her ankle.

Jerking back with a barely choked off and very unladylike squeal, Bron watched as a giant of a rat -shyke, but the thing was nearly the size of a cat- scuttled through the mud, following a path carved out by a passing cartwheel, heading straight for the back of the man she had just been..erm..watching.

The rodent was now too far away for her to knock it into next season with her staff, so Bron raised the one available weapon at her disposal with one hand as the other slid an arrow out from its nest at her back. Stepping backward until the slight overhang of the building's roof gave her some semblance of a shield from the rain, she knocked the arrow, widened her stance, and lifted the bow.

To her delight, the cat-sized rat paused, nosing at something in its path just a couple of arm's lengths behind its intended victim. Drawing back the bowstring, Bron aimed, pulled the string just slightly tighter, and loosed the arrow. Straightening, she watched, somewhat stunned, as the shaft completely missed its target and thunked home in the side of the sandbag the man had just laid down. Bron didn't take another breath until the man moved his hand away. Thankfully arrow free, but gods, it had been close. Too close.

Taking several forward, stumbling, sliding steps through the mud, Bron raised her hand, palm out in an I'm so sorry I almost killed you gesture.

"I'm so sorry!" she said, words jumbling together past her lips "A rat! There was this huge rat at your back!" That wild, desperate look drained back into her grey eyes as they darted around for the rat, but, of course, there was no rat, nor was there evidence of a rat. Just Bronwen. Holding the bow that had just launched an arrow at a stranger. A stranger that would most likely murder her now.

Backing away slowly, Bron hooked the bow around her shoulder, hand still raised toward the man, and mouthed the words "So sorry" before turning to flee...right into the waiting arms of none other than Garratt. The man did nothing to prevent her from rebounding off his skeletal frame, and she landed on her backside in the mud with a solid splat. Garrett loomed over her, thin lips spreading over yellow teeth in a sinister grin.

A small bag landed atop her now muddy thighs. She eyes it despondently, before her hand slid over it, hiding it from view, shoulders slumping.

"Well, shyke.."
User avatar
Bronwen
Making myself unforgetable
 
Posts: 64
Words: 59551
Joined roleplay: May 29th, 2014, 6:13 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

Soaked Sandbagging

Postby Alric Lysane on January 2nd, 2022, 9:50 pm



When the arrow came, slapping into the sandbag merely inches from his hands, sticking there and vibrating with the force of the impact, he was so shocked that he didn’t even move at first. He had felt the wind, he thought, flush across his face in its wake. He blinked a couple of times as his consciousness caught up and he pushed himself back, slipping and sliding with his feet jerkily, hopping slightly as he sought for balance, arms stretching out to gather some stability. As soon as he was sure he wasn’t about to fall upon his arse he went to pull his broadsword out, only getting it halfway as he turned, seeing not an attack but instead a waving woman.

“What in the…” was what he wanted to say but what came out was a croaking sound that caused the other men close enough to hear it to chuckle to themselves and Alric’s cheeks darkened red in the dingy light of the storm and he turned, pulled the arrow out of the sandbag and flicked it onto the edge of the cart.

She was approaching them now and through the downpour he could see she had some sort of staff upon her back and the offending bow that he scowled at briefly was being put across her shoulder where it could do no damage. He also noted how a man seemed to slip out of a side alley as if he had been waiting for her, at least he hadn’t been there before the woman and he was closing in on her fast. At least, as he watched her slip, slide and ultimately fall upon her backside there was a moment of time before he burst out laughing and shook his head, his anger dissipating at shared misfortune. He grabbed the arrow from the cart, picked up the sandbag from her lap with a grunt of effort and dropped the arrow into her lap in its place.

“Shyke indeed,” he said as he shouldered the sandbag, feeling his body begin to protest before he offered her his hand and pulled her up, “you know almost killing me isn’t a good way to offer to help. Brats are only dangerous in packs, though this flooding is driving them everywhere. You should try dealing with three of them” he said, a grim smile at the memory earlier in the season crossing his lips.

“You here to help too? No?” he asked the man who had arrived with the mystery woman, noticing how his eyes darted from side to side before backing away to watch them from under the cover of the building across the street, “friend of yours is he?” he asked her with a raised eyebrow.

His muscles started to complain so he took a few chimes to throw the sandbag into place, starting the foundation of the next section of bags to bridge the last gaps to the bridge before groaning and rolling his shoulders again, turning to eye the newcomer. He was going to ache for days, he knew, but there was something good about an honest day’s labour, like he could pretend for a while he was just a normal person. Looking her up and down he noted how she was taller than him, a rarity for a woman, and her build seemed to suggest a decent amount of use, muscled enough that he wouldn't want to get on the wrong end of her staff. She had a decent amount of curves in the right places, which might have been why she ws being followed in the storm he mused to himself, cowards always used cover for their abuses. Her skin was pale, though that might have been the cold and the rain he conceded to himself.

“They make them big where you’re from then? Tell you what, help us throw the last of these bags down and we can have a drink somewhere warm after and you can tell me who that friend of yours is, no?” he asked with a grin, suiting his words by grabbing a sandbag and hauling it into her arms.

“Lining them up along the last section of the riverbank between here and the bridge, as wide and high as we can. This cart is for here, the rest of them over that way,” he pointed towards the Scarlet Sanctum’s direction, “well we’ll get there if we haven’t drowned first by then eh?” he chuckled, grabbing another sandbag and forcing it onto his shoulder, sure he must be covered with sweat and for once thankful the rain was providing a free shower.

“Name’s Alric by the way, hopefully now you know me you won’t want to kill me, though I’m sure there are some who would say otherwise” he said, rain running off of his cheeks and chin as he gestured with his head and started the journey to lay down the next bags.


User avatar
Alric Lysane
Reluctant Nymkarta
 
Posts: 368
Words: 468949
Joined roleplay: October 29th, 2021, 5:41 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

Soaked Sandbagging

Postby Bronwen on January 9th, 2022, 6:36 pm

Image

Bron shot the stranger a filthy look as he rumbled with laughter just before a heavy sandbag slid from its precarious perch in the cart and landed with a thud in her lap. She let out an [I]oompth[/b] before wiggling her hand out from beneath the heavy thing and slid it into her pocket, hiding the small bag from sight.

Garrett cackled, rocking back on his heels. Evidently, the man saw her pocket the bag he'd tossed at her. Bron gifted him with one of her looks, too.

The heavyweight suddenly left her legs, and Bron returned her attention to the stranger, his hand outstretched, and she begrudgingly accepted, mud sucking and slopping at her rear end and the backs of her pants covered thighs as she straightened. Steady on her feet; she watched with a smirk as terror crossed Garrett's face when asked if he had come to help, then shook her head at the dealer as he backed away with a look on his face like he had been asked for his extra kidney.

"He's no friend of mine." she mumbled, turning back just as the man slapped down the sandbag he had been holding, unashamedly looking on as he stretched and rolled the muscles in his shoulders. Did he know how very alluring that groan had sounded? Probably not, because he had just caught her staring. It was his turn to do his own perusal of her muddied form, and Bron blushed, catching her lower lip between her teeth and looking away.

Gods, but she must be a sight covered from head to toe in mud, hair tangled and snarled with...oh, please let it be mud.

With an indignant huff, Bron scowled at the man.

"No, they do not make them big where I come from." she said, mocking his Sunberthian drawling accent as best she could, "My father is over six and a half feet tall. I take after him, and, I already told you, she grunted as a heavy sandbag was deposited in her arms,"that man is no friend of mine. In fact, she dropped the bag down beside the others, kicking into place, "he's a dust dealer and is, at the moment, quite vexed that his most loyal user, yours truly, has been blowing him off for the last half-season."

Bron paused from detangling the bow from her knotted hair, eyeing the stranger to see if he got her meaning, then yanked the bow, freeing strands of her hair from her scalp. Setting the bow off to the side of the wagon, she released her staff and laid it on the wagon, too. Weaponless and moving a bit lighter, she grabbed a bag and shuffled over, letting it fall from her arms into the gap.

"Nice to meet you, Alric." she said, turning back for another bag. "I'm Bronwen, and I will accept your invitation for a drink with a promise of no attempted murder." Bron grinned, but it slid off her face as she side-eyed where Garrett had been standing, and the three men that had now joined him. Ignoring their glares, she continued working, growing more and more breathless and sweaty with each bag.

Well, who knew laboring oneself could negate the itch for a dusting.

Bron chuckled at herself and hefted another sandbag, grunting as her foot disappeared into a mudhole.

"Though, before we go for that drink", lifting her foot, she attempted to shake off the thick mud but only succeeded in sending a thick glob through the air. It splatted against Alric's chest and Bron grimaced. "Maybe a quick bath at Brega's first?" she smiled, thoughts as dirty as the work she was doing. "Separate baths, of course, and my treat."
User avatar
Bronwen
Making myself unforgetable
 
Posts: 64
Words: 59551
Joined roleplay: May 29th, 2014, 6:13 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

Soaked Sandbagging

Postby Alric Lysane on January 9th, 2022, 7:34 pm



“Keeping it in the family, I know the feeling,” he said with a wry sense of amusement, heaving another bag from the cart onto his shoulder with a grunt of effort, bending burning legs slightly to absorb the weight before straightening himself, “keeping to the traditional stuff like height though, at least you look down upon your enemies as they run away. A pleasure Bronwen, I shall remember your words should you decide my purse is too attractive to leave in my keeping” he snorted, carrying the bag to the end of the wall.

It was almost finished now, their work had paid off, and though he kept eyeing the river as it swelled further in the rain, there was not a scrap of flooded area just yet beyond the barriers they had built. He couldn’t speak for the other locations, but he felt sure that if there were they’d have been recalled for frantic sandbagging by now. No, at least parts of the city had been protected and that was something amidst the tragedy that was Sunberth. He eyed the man who had followed Bronwen from the streets and noted that there were a few more with him now – he sighed and suspected something dark was coming soon.

“I've heard of it,” he said as he returned to the cart, watching her lift and move for a few moments before retrieving another bag slowly, his arms were beginning to burn no, though he felt sure that he’d gain a bit of strength after the aches had faded, “a few of the orphanage types, once they had the apron strings cut and…sent out into the city to survive used to meet me at the Pig's Foot. Haven't in a while actually. Huh, well I'd guess it's very profitable and very addictive, though I have no idea what it does” he continued smoothly, not questioning her upon why she had fallen to such a thing – too many did, and they all had reasons.

“You should be proud that you have the strength to resist him…it, at least, not many do I'd imagine”

It was all that could be said really, it was a sincere statement as he had no desire to find another body in the gutter somewhere, stripped bare by the needy and dead eyes staring into nothingness. He couldn’t say he knew how she felt, he had never even gone near the harder drugs, but he could understand whatever despair had driven her to it in the first place. As well as the stubbornness to curse the world and forge your own path. He was trying to do that himself, after a fashion. He had help, at least, and he appreciated every moment of it. Bronwen seemed to have people trying to drag her back into the darkness.

“You not friend has more friends,” he noted simply, not looking at her and listening to her tone of voice instead if she chose to respond, “I could tell them to leave if you like” it was posed as a statement but the question was evident underneath the observational tone.

He glanced at the gathered group across the street every so often as he heaved the sandbag into place, linking up the last section to the edge of the bridge with a grateful sigh. They weren’t quite there yet, they had to build the last few feet up to waist height but that would take a handful of chimes with all of them helping, even less with Bronwen assisting also. That was good as he was beginning to tire quite a bit. He turned just in time for her to manage to get mud on him and he sighed at his luck, gave her a pointed look and brushed it off himself as best he could. He wasn’t sure it was best to head to Brega’s given his current employment but he was also sure, looking at the group of men, that if Bronwen went herself then she’d probably be grabbed, forced some drugs and then further terrible things atop that. Dealers were known for taking their pleasures from their buyers often enough.

“I work at Ruby’s, going to Brega’s might get me some…interesting interrogation at some point,” he said, lips twisting as he remembered the last interrogation she had put him under, after the nudity part at least it had been quite nerve wracking, “but…I’ve never been one to let someone get jumped by bastards when I can help it. Very well…but separate baths indeed” he noted in a firm tone, he didn’t know her and he was street smart enough to know that those who were drug addicts – even past ones – were quite adept at slipping your things away from you by any means.

Truthfully, he wasn’t sure he’d even bathe, he was heading to the Outpost later and there would be grander facilities there. Then again, why say no to two baths with sore muscles? And he disliked rudeness and so wouldn’t refuse her offer. Besides which, at the very least he needed to scrub his face some and get the chill of the rain off, and it was barely halfway through the day as it was so there was plenty of time. Not that he expected his clothes would dry at all, they were far too drenched, and they’d just be walking back out into the rain again anyhow.

“Last few bags,” he noted to her as their group hauled them from the very back of the cart, “should be done soon. If you know the streets as well as I do then you know how to avoid those lurkers…still…if you don’t then I’ll get you to Brega’s without them being able to follow when we’re done. As for other days…well they’ll have to be faced at some point”


User avatar
Alric Lysane
Reluctant Nymkarta
 
Posts: 368
Words: 468949
Joined roleplay: October 29th, 2021, 5:41 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

Soaked Sandbagging

Postby Bronwen on January 11th, 2022, 7:08 pm

Image

Proud?

No, Bronwen had little pride in anything she did, and resisting the siren call of Dust constantly dogging at her heels wouldn't be necessary had she not given in to the drug in the first place. Weak was what she felt, not pride.

Bron remained silent, though, not offering anything further about her 'issues', simply shrugging her shoulders at Alric's statement. Truth be told, she wished she would learn to keep her mouth shut and not be so open about her drug use. Very few commiserated with Bron when they learned of her habit. Mostly, people would give her that look, a disdainful once over that made her feel dirty, used, and contagious, kind of like the one Alric had just given her. Bron didn't want pity, nor did she want or need help, she just wanted understanding, and if she couldn't get that, she just...well, she just needed to keep her mouth shut.

I'll learn, eventually. Bron thought, letting another heavy sandbag fall from her arms.

As she booted the bag in place, Alric spoke up, and Bron followed the man's gaze to Garrett and the newcomers.

"Yeah," she said, turning and stepping wide over a rather deep puddle, before dragging another bag from further back in the cart, "I noticed that, too, but I don't think they'll be a problem if I don't give them a reason to be. There's no need to get involved." she grinned "I'm a big girl."

Bron worked alongside Alric in silence a while, the pull-lift-drop repetition somehow soothing her. Alric broke the silence, finally giving her an answer to her earlier invitation. Maybe it was how he had said it, his tone sharp with finality, and Bron knew they shouldn't have, but his words...they had hurt, although he only reiterated her own. Did Alric think that she worked there when she had mentioned Brega's? Well, she did, but just not in the way that she suspected Alric thought she did.

And, oh gods, the drugs! He knew about her, and...did he think she wanted coin?

Pausing at the cart, Bron's face heated to the tips of her ears as she turned slightly to regard Alric, but the man was oblivious of her scrutiny.

"You know what?" Bron stammered, face igniting even hotter, "I do know the streets, and I think I'll be okay." she traded a sandbag for her staff and slung it around to her back, followed by her bow, only fumbling it twice before situating it securely over her shoulder. "Maybe I'll...maybe we can have that drink another day, yeah? I best get going, anyway."

Slipping, literally, around the edge of the cart, Bron paused. Shoulders square and chin held high, she turned back, storm blue eyes sparking.

"I have you know that I am a guard at Brega's not a...a..I have never...I didn't mean..." she huffed, grabbing at her bow as it threatened to slide off her arm. "The only coin I get is from working, not..I don't...as a guard, not a...thief or for..for pleasure!" Could her face get any hotter without her skin melting? "I've never even had sex, how could you think that?!" Bron's eyes flew wide. She hadn't meant to say that last part. "Oh, gods...I need to..." clearing her throat, all Bron could do was turn, start walking, and try her best not to run, with a "Nice to meet you, Alric." thrown over her shoulder.

Bronwen Druva wasn't cut out for Sunberth. Or meeting people. Or anything, really.

Turning a corner as soon as she was out of sight, Bron leaned heavily against the back of a building, breathing heavily. Where was she? Looking around, Bronwen realized she was just inside an alleyway. Bron had escaped Alric so fast she hadn't paid attention to the fact that she had fled in the opposite direction of Brega's.

Sighing, she moved to step out onto the street when two familiar figures blocked her way, one of which was, of course, Garrett. Bron went to step around the pair, but Garrett moved to block her.

[pb]"Why the rush, sweetheart?"[/b] he cooed, sinister smile revealing yellowed and missing teeth. "I thought we had a date for a party? My friend here will be disappointed if you leave now."

"Leave me alone, Garrett!" Bron growled.

The stranger with Garrett stepped forward, and Bron shoved the man with both hands to his chest as he advanced. Garrett shook his head, looking oddly fond of her actions.

"Now, is that any way to treat my friends?"

Friends? Petch, where was the other one?

Bron had just enough time for the thought to register before two large arms came around her chest from behind, pinning her arms to her side. The newcomer yanked her backward into a thick, hard chest. Bron squirmed and jerked, but the man's arms were like a vice. Garrett stepped toward her, his hand dipping into her pant's pocket. Withdrawing the small bag he had deposited into her lap from earlier, the man grinned, boney fingers working at its leather tie.

"Dont, Garrett." Bron pleaded "Please don't do this."

The dealer only grinned wider, nodding to the man holding Bron from behind. One of the man's arms loosened from around her chest and slunk upward to her face. Thick, collapsed fingers wrapped around Bron's nose and mouth just as Garrett's fist slammed into her stomach. Bronwen's eyes watered as burning lungs struggled to fill, but still, the man's fingers held firm until Bron's vision began to darken. Finally, after what felt like an age, the fingers loosened and moved away, and Bron sucked in a giant breath. Just as Garrett blew Dust into her face.

Bron hacked and coughed, trying her best not to breathe in the drug, but her lungs inflated through a mouth and nose full of the bitter powder. Bony fingers pressed inside her mouth, rubbing Dust and mud, and filth, and whatever else was staining the man's hand, into her gums. Bron gagged and spat as she dropped to her hands and knees. Someone knelt in front of her, grabbing a fistful of her hair, wrenching her face up.

"Now, you come find me when-"

The voice cut off as yelling filled the alleyway.

The hand released Bron's hair, but she was already spinning up, up, up as she continued to hack and cough into the mud. After a time, she managed to claw her way up the brick wall and stand, looking out toward the mouth of the alley, which now looked like a child's kaleidoscope, complete with dancing figures at the end. No, wait. Not dancing, fighting. Bron watched the moving figures until her knees threatened to give out, then just leaned heavily against her quarterstaff -when had she got that out- as Sunberth came in and out of focus around her.

Too much

She had been given too much

Bron knew this and knew that she needed help, but she had more important things to worry about. Like the man walking down the passageway toward her. He would try and give her more Dust. She didn't want more Dust. Petch, she hadn't wanted any of the shyke at all, but she hadn't been given a choice, had she? She had a choice this time, by the gods.

Through downcast, bleary eyes, body swaying dangerously, Bron watched as masculine legs came ever closer, closer, closer. A voice spoke slow and slurred words
that entered Brons ears like a muffled whump whump whump instead of intelligible speech. Bron thought, briefly, the comments might be directed at her, but dismissed the thought just as quickly. Instead, she focused on the dark-clad legs coming to a stop in front of her.

Gradually, she straightened, and the grip she had around the staff tightened and slid oh so slowly downward, toward the center, then further still until she very nearly was leaning sideways against it. Bron slung the staff out and around in one quick motion, catching the legs near the knees. A loud thump was her reward as the owner of the legs landed hard on his back. Closing the distance between her and her attacker, Bron's hands slid back to the quarterstaff's center, spinning it twice overhead. Using the staff's momentum, she let it drop to her side, tucking one end under her arm as the other end of the staff slammed home into the man's belly. The man's head popped up with what might have been a groan, and Bron's momentum spun the staff again, this time bringing its opposite end down onto his head with a mere glancing blow.

Bron was tiring now, and the world spun wildly.

Backing up, Bron brought her quarterstaff front and center, spinning it once, twice before taking a defensive stance, one side slightly raised higher than the other.

"Come on, then." she hissed.
User avatar
Bronwen
Making myself unforgetable
 
Posts: 64
Words: 59551
Joined roleplay: May 29th, 2014, 6:13 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

Soaked Sandbagging

Postby Alric Lysane on January 11th, 2022, 8:22 pm



What seemed like an amicable, if somewhat strange, series of social exchanges seemed to deteriorate quickly, quicker than he had experienced in some time in fact. He had outright disagreed with a damned Kelvic Okomo about things and had had less issues with the exchange. All he could do was watch Bronwen begin to gather her things, her words tumbling out of her before he could find a gap within which to tell her how unwise what she was clearly about to do was. His gaze darted to those sheltering across the street and he thought he saw one cackle and gesture to the rest as they disappeared behind the building.

It was only as she left, her parting words, that he realised what she had thought he had meant. She couldn’t have been further from the truth but that didn’t seem to matter, she had made her mind up. Even as the others laughed at him, no doubt thinking he had lost a score had had planed on getting, he tried to shout at her to stop but she didn’t listen. His nostrils flared as he breathed in deeply, frowning at how it was possible he was misunderstood so deeply when he had merely been being talkative. He ran through the conversation in his head twice, connected the dots and groaned into his hands.

“There there lad, there’ll be another little stray for you to petch come the day’s end you know”

“Davrik, it is Davrik right? Shut the shyke up” he muttered, peripheral vision sensing the group’s movement and watching as Bronwen’s dealer started making his way the way she had headed – the opposite direction to Brega’s he realised now he had a moment to think. His conscience wrestled with him for a few moments, telling him to go help her even as his sense of self-preservation screamed at him not to. Who was she to him but someone whom had almost killed him and then considered him insulting? His fingers gripped the corners of a sandbag and curled tightly at the inner war, the exchange growing ever more fractious withing before he threw the damned thing at the closest man.

“Gods…damn my eyes!” he hissed as he threads on his weapons to his harness and began the trudge towards where Bronwen had gone, to jeers from those still at the sandbag cart.

The rain obscured his vision, but it wasn’t too difficult to follow her, or them as it turned out, as he spied the back of a couple of the four lingering back and trudging the same as he was. As he followed, surprised the dolts never looked back to see if they were followed, he came upon a scene that was as twisted as it was wrong. Bronwen, bound by another’s arms, being forced to do…whatever it was they were forcing her to do. He might have believed in absolute freedom…but there were some lines he knew should not be crossed. But he didn’t say a word, though he wanted to.

Instead he crouched and with his free hand pulled the dagger from his boot, keeping low and upon the balls of his feet as he went, trying to keep the standing figures between him and the tri that was Bron and the two involved in the exchange so as not to be seen. His mind thought frantically as he calculated and knew there was no way out of this without a fight beyond leaving Bronwen to her fate – and that wasn’t right. So instead he settled for quick neutralization, driving the dagger into the back of one henchman after sneaking close enough, before slipping past at a dead run to run his broadsword through a second, the man clasping his stomach as he fell to his knees.

Pulling his broadsword doubt it was unexpected from there, Garret running for it and the man holding Bronwen following suit. That had been a surprise, usually thugs wanted to fight for the whole team but perhaps, he reasoned, they were hired help or unimportant to the grand scheme. Either way he sheathed his sword, grabbed his dagger and did the same, and approached Bronwen slowly. She seemed a bit out of it, which was to be expected, and she opted for words first.

“Bronwen, look I didn’t mean things the way you thought I said them. And I know you can handle yourself but that doesn’t mean that you can’t ask for help if you need. Believe me, I know that from first hand exp-“

Then his legs were taken out by her staff, his calf numbed from the blow that he didn’t expect. The second he did though, his arms already across his body from the fall crossed themselves and pushed out to meet the blow, trying to slow it a little but still feeling as if he would need more arms afterwards. The hit to the head he shifted sideways and scooped to the side, rolling several feet, covering himself with rainwater and mud, before he was sure he was safe. He pushed himself up, limbs aching and complaining as he scowled at her. After all he had just helped her.

“What in the petch is your problem? he shouted at her, rubbing his arms thoroughly to try to ease the numbness.

Not that he had much time as she sifted her grip, brandished her staff at him and he questioned why he was there for the second time. She went in for another sweep and he jumped over and backwards. She seemed possessed, sluggish perhaps in her form as she seemed to sway in ways he didn’t associate with fighting technique. Had they given her something? Had they drugged her up when she had been absent from his vision?

“Shyke” he muttered as he ducked under another head height blow.

He didn’t want to hurt her, he had come to help her, and so he would dodge her attacks but he wasn’t sure there was a way out of this without actually fighting her.



User avatar
Alric Lysane
Reluctant Nymkarta
 
Posts: 368
Words: 468949
Joined roleplay: October 29th, 2021, 5:41 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

Soaked Sandbagging

Postby Bronwen on January 12th, 2022, 5:22 pm

Image

The slum dust forced into Bronwen's bloodstream had begun its journey through her body, dulling nerve endings, capsizing emotional reasoning, blunting judgment, all while wreaking havoc on Bron's body.

The first bite of pulsing pain from the drug burning its way through her senses abated as the dust reacquainted itself with her system. Below her numbed flesh, muscles stretched and spasmed, lending her drug-addled perception the illusion of strength. Bron's vision lost sharpness, melding into a black-stained, clouded focus from peripheral to indistinguishable center.

Bronwen's body quaked and jerked as she stood her ground, staff raised, mind offering no discernable recognition for the foe standing before her. For Bron, there were no friends, no one left to aid her, no one left willing to do anything but harm, hurt, and take, take, take.

"My. Problem. Is" Bron growled, emitting each word with an edge as sharp as a well-honed blade " I. Said. No."

Bron lept forward, thrusting out with the left side of her staff at the man's shoulder, the right side following with a deep uppercut at his head. Falling back, intentional or not, Bron let the staff slide through her fingers until they had nearly reached the tip, tightened her grip, let her body mass drop low before building momentum with a complete body turn. Halfway through the turn, Bron wielded the quarterstaff like a broom handle, thrusting outward with all the upper body strength she could muster.

White light burst before Bron's eyes. The stranger managed to land a blow that should have knocked the girl on her arse, but Bron straightened, stumbling backward until her back came in contact with a wall. Scrubbing her thumb across her bottom lip, she growled low and feral as it came away bloody.

Bron charged, what little control her drugged brain maintained snapping. The quarterstaff flew left, right, then left again in a flurry of attacks that Bron wasn't even sure had landed, much less were correctly aimed.

Pain, red hot, and burning erupted across the top of Bron's head, just ticks before a hard blow to her middle knocked the air from her lungs and sent her stumbling past her foe, close enough for him to take her legs out from under her. Bron landed on her back, chest heaving, as trembling fingers sought out the burn above her eye where something had split her skin.

Rolling to her side, she managed to get to her hands and knees then used her staff to pull herself upright. Bron smiled. A wicked, evil spreading of her lips that had to have made her visage resemble something manic and feral. Lifting the quarterstaff center mass, head to toe, she positioned her hands until her fingers were nearly touching, then she pulled.

The schlicking sound the wood emitted as it slid over metal was unmistakable as it filled the alleyway.

Tossing the shorter end of the staff away, Bron raised the longer end, revealing the honed, metal edges of a serrated blade, its tip catching Syna's dimming light and sparking the instant before Bron charged forward.
User avatar
Bronwen
Making myself unforgetable
 
Posts: 64
Words: 59551
Joined roleplay: May 29th, 2014, 6:13 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

Soaked Sandbagging

Postby Alric Lysane on January 13th, 2022, 1:13 pm



“Oh…Shyke” he just managed to get out as the staff came around and it was all he could do to stop getting hit again.

He was thankful for Moritz’s introduction to the art of acrobatics, as well as his own training, as it was likely the only thing that kept him alive. He ducked, side-stepped, jumped back and terribly danced about as he avoided being struck – often only by a hair’s breadth and feeling the rush of wind with its passing upon his skin. She wasn’t herself, that much was clear from the maddened look upon her face, twisted into a snarl that didn’t do justice to features.

“Bronwen! Stop!” he shouted at her, hoping to garner some realisation but failing.

He didn’t really want to hurt her, he had followed her to stop her getting hurt, but as he kept dodging he saw little option open to him other than to either get her staff away from her, or physically put an end to her rage. He kept backing away, leaning and ducking under her assaults until he saw an opportunity. When she brought a low sweep around for his legs he jumped over it and inside her guard, trying for one solid blow to end their ‘fight’ and connecting a good cross punch to her jaw. She staggered back and he thought it would be over, but as she pushed her herself back up, he groaned.

“Oh come one, some luck please” he moaned, watching the whirls of her staff carefully, licking his lips and frantically calculating timings.

After another portion of time simply dodging and trying not to get hit he saw another opening, stepping into her strike and getting to the middle point of her staff, where it hurt less, forearm cushioning the momenums, and then grabbing the damned thing just long enough to get an elbow to her forehead and a knee into her stomach. He tried to keep hold of the staff, but she wrenched it from his grip as she staggered back and down to her knees. He didn’t smile, though he was pleased he had slowed her down, but he did keep his distance for now – a wise decision given she gave him a dark look, made an animalistic sound and started to get back up.

“Bronwen, I don’t want to hurt you, come on it’s the damned Dust doing this to you! I didn’t give it to you,” he said, trying for placating gestures to see if the hits had managed to straighten her brain some, “Alric…remember?....she doesn’t remember” he finished, rolling out of the way of a reckless charge and leaving her wrong-footed momentarily as he came back to his feet, soaked and covered with grime.

He kept his gaze very carefully upon the blade that was revealed and thought it very poor form indeed that he had to deal with getting potentially stabbed now, as well as potentially clubbed. There would be no grabbing that, he knew, which meant he would have to get properly inside her guard and would likely only have one more chance to finish this before he’d end up impaled. If he got it wrong then he’d be dead anyway. He sighed, ducked under a rough slash and then jumped back from a sweep. In fact, all sweeping attacks and slashes he darted away from, avoiding and waiting for an impatient thrust that would force her guard closer to him.

The singular chance came a few moments later, a thrust at his head that he slipped as if slipping a jab punch, stepping inside and closer to her as his hands grabbed at the staff, holding tight even as she tugged back and dragged him closer to her with the momentum. From there he let one hand free, grabbed her jerkin and all but threw her over his planted leg, to hit the ground hard at his feet, whereupon he wrenched her staff away and bodily weighed her down for a knockout blow, or two. Sighing and slumping forwards atop her for a few moments, he caught his breath before groaning and pushing himself up to grab her staff pieces and slide them together.

“I should leave you here, really,” he frowned at her, pointing the end of her staff at her accusingly, “but…I’ve never been wise and you’re lucky, I don’t like seeing unnecessary bodies or abused people with no choice. So, this once, I’ll do something about it” he sighed to himself, taking a while to get her slung across his shoulder – she was heavier than her athletic frame suggested, which he supposed was muscle mass lingering despite her drug abuse.

He had nowhere to take her except his shack given that he doubted Brega would be happy to see her slumped over his shoulder, or learn about her drug use and why she was that way. He couldn’t take her to Ruby’s either, much for the same reasons and the fact that Ruby wouldn’t really believe they had just met that day – and he needed his work. Looking at the sky he thought he had a good few Bells before his planned trip to the Outpost despite the dark clouds helping to obscure that fact.

“And I suppose you won’t want the embarrassment of being hauled to a tavern like a sack of wheat either, though I’m not sure I should care right now” he asked, to himself mostly.

He sighed and began the trudge to his little shack, eventually getting the door open and slumping her into the cot that he called a bed but was really just somewhere to rest his eyes between other things. No, he had a simple life and he suspected even Brega’s had better accommodations than he had. Still, he took the time to get the fire going, to begin leaking warmth into the cold and damp. He peered at Bronwen for a while, wondering what she would be like when she awoke and decided that he didn’t really want another fight on his hands. To that end he cut a few sections of rope from that which he had purchased earlier in the season, and made sure her wrists were secured to stop any potential future abuse of his person – he’d cut her loose when he was certain of her mindset and at that point he cared more about his survival than her comfort.

All of that done he lit his pipe, sat in his chair, and puffed away as he stared into the flickering light. Waiting for her to awaken, her staff resting agaisnt his shoulder where it could not be used against him again. It was a pretty enough weapon given it had tried to kill him and he suspected she'd be thankful she hadn't lost it - assuming she was in her right mind of course.

"Well...let's hope you don't regret this Alric, eh?" he said to himself, into the flames.




User avatar
Alric Lysane
Reluctant Nymkarta
 
Posts: 368
Words: 468949
Joined roleplay: October 29th, 2021, 5:41 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

Soaked Sandbagging

Postby Bronwen on January 13th, 2022, 7:37 pm

Image

Images of a man flitted across Bronwen's subdued awareness. Short flashes of flexing muscle, brown curls haphazardly secured in a loose tail at the base of his neck. The man smiles. Alric, that's his name. There are other men there, too. Garrett and one other. No, two other men are in an alleyway with Bronwen, but she never gets a good look at one of them because he's standing behind her. Garrett takes something from Bronwen's pocket, then she's choking, the bitter taste of dust on her tongue. Alric is standing in front of her, hands raised as if to ward off an attack. He's frowning, then ducks as Bron's quarterstaff nearly takes his head off.

Then...nothing.

The first thing to surface the dark abyss is Bronwen's hearing. To one side, there's the crackling and spitting of a fire. Nearby, she hears the rustle of fabric and the creaking of wood, like someone is shifting their weight in a chair. Everything falls quiet, save for the hissing of the fire.

Next to board on the awareness boat is the pain. Pain everywhere, but worse in her head. Bron groaned and whimpered as her entire battered body came alive with flashes of pain on every inch of her tall frame, but the throbbing agony behind her eyes was growing more exceptional and sharp the more she came awake. Moaning again, she lifted a hand to examine her face but something...

Bron's eyes flew open.

Where was she?

She was lying down; that much was clear if the crisscrossed wooden slats, and the occasional glimpse of sunlight, were anything to go by.

A flash of movement and creak of wood off to the side of her bed...no, not her bed, grabbed her attention, and before she could think better of it, Bron's head turned in the general direction, and she immediately regretted ever being born.

Pain burned a fiery line between her ears, and Bron let out something between a moan and a squeal at its intensity. Her stomach gave a sudden lurch of protest, and a wave of bile washed up her throat and into her mouth, burning her tongue. Cheeks bulging, Bron did the only thing she could and rolled off the side of the bed and hit the floorboards with a hard thump. Belly crawling as much as her bound hands would allow, she aimed herself for the only thing her bleary eyes had focused on; a wooden barrel sitting on the floor. Bron hiked herself up and over its rim and promptly lost everything she had eaten for a fortnight in that barrel.

When she was fairly certain there was nothing left to offer from her aching belly, Bron slumped back to the floor, resting her chin on the cool wood beneath her. After a while, she managed to peel open an eye, blinked, blinked again, then finally focussed on...

"Alric." she moaned

The memory of the day's adventures tried and failed to return to her addled mind, but another wave of nausea surged through her gut, and Bron threw herself at the bucket again, managing somehow to find another couple of days worth of meals to expel. Done for the second time, she hoped, Bron shuttered and rolled to her back, head lolling just enough to meet Alric's stern glare.

"I took it, didn't I" Bron whined, voice slurred. She was trying so hard not to cry at her own failure. "I took the dust? Oh, gods, Alric" she gagged, burped, then cleared her throat "I am so sorry."

Groaning, Bron succeeded in rolling to her side, pausing to frown down at her still bound wrists when she went to scrub at her mouth. Deciding she didn't want to know why her hands had been tied, Bron awkwardly scooched and shuffled until she was swaying back and forth on her knees, lifted her tied wrists, and proffered them in Alric's guessed vicinity.

"Just untie me, okay?" Bron wobbled and fell forward, catching herself with her hands before situating herself back upright "Just untie me..." she paused again, thinking "and help me stand up, and I'll go, okay? I'll leave, and you'll never ever have to see me again, okay?"

Bron's face screwed up as the loose hold she had on her emotions began to cave beneath the heavy weight of culpability, embarrassment, and the despair of her own incompetence and failure.

"I'll leave" she sobbed "I'm so sorry, Alric. Just...please...untie me, okay?"
User avatar
Bronwen
Making myself unforgetable
 
Posts: 64
Words: 59551
Joined roleplay: May 29th, 2014, 6:13 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests