Light's Reach (Forest District)
The first township established by House Mikin outside of the old city (now known as the Shadow District), Light's Reach was founded by Fahral Mikin atop a mound of grassy earth called Eastwatch Hill some six hundred and fifty years ago, as the mortar still dried on the uppermost battlements of the Aegis surrounding the Imperial realm.
The buildings are of quarried gray Nillu stone, their walls kept clean of crawling vines that might otherwise encroach and give them a greater sense of antiquity. Wooden shutters angle out from many open windows when weather permits.
The township derives its name rather literally from the fact that it has become a beacon in the heart of the Forest District: Four high stone towers rise at the four corners of Light's Reach, with great lanterns kept blazing throughout the night, to stave off the evils of the Shadow. Fahral Mikin was rather obsessed with the defeat of darkness, particularly after the death of his youngest son, Allal. That son fought in the first Wildling War in service to Emperor Talus Kahar I, and died in the bloody betrayal at the Valley of Blades, where Zahir treachery let the Wildlings overwhelm the Bladesmen.
The town center includes the Warm Shining Tavern, a Church of True Light temple, Light's Reach Mercantile, and the local constabulary. Shadowcull Keep, the legendary home of Surector Gell Mikin - direct descendant of Fahral Mikin - looms on a hill to the northeast. Other Mikin nobility hold keeps along the road the proceeds away from town. Most notable among these keeps are West Bluff and East Bluff - the torch tower guardians and practically mirror images of each other in design.
About ten workers, vassals in tunics, jackets and trousers, drag a wagon into the crossroads from the direction of East Bluff Keep. Their course takes them, gradually, toward the looming black marble statue of Zolde Zahir being trampled by Orell Mikin's horse.
From Jumper's saddle, Katrin is riding into town on Jumper, frowning slightly, her eyes slightly narrowed. She doesn't seem to be looking around too much at the moment.
The wagon workers finally come to a stop at the base of the statue of Zolde Zahir being trampled by Orell Mikin's horse. Once the wagon is stopped, the workers begin collecting tools from the back of the wagon.
Two pristine white horse pulling a large carriage pulls into town behind the wagon. Once the carriage comes to a stop in the square the driver jumps down and opens the door for his Master. The door stays open for a moment as the Master gathers his things perhaps.
"Muglen, y'know the way to the relocation spot?" asks the lead worker of one of his subordinates as they begin to assemble around the black marble statue of Zolde Zahir. The younger worker, Muglen, nods, patting his trousers pocket: "Aye, Gammel. Roight here." The lead, Gammel, smiles grimly. He hefts a crowbar and eyes the statue. "'is'll be tricky."
From Umbrus's saddle, A faint rumble of hoofbeats comes from the east, soft glows of light mottled by the dust driven up from the horses leading their way. A large mass of riders come galloping closer. Armor glints in the swinging lights and cloaks snap in the icy winds.
Fionnlagh and his men thunder just ahead of Rowena and her guards. Empty handed from the quest, they are returning after a day of riding.
Dradin trudges in from the south, glancing around briefly. He takes care to stay out of the way of the workers. He rubs his hands together to keep himself warm.
Alath Kahar draws in at a gentle pace, on foot, apparently deep in conversation with what seems to be some local civil servant. His cane occasionaly thuds to the ground, and his guards follow at a respectable five paces, decked in the colours of House Kahar and Aegisport.
Tomassa Zahir emerges from the stables after checking on her horse, left hand resting lightly on the pommel of her iron longsword. She strolls out into the township and her coppery gaze settles upon the men who move the statue. One eyebrow quirks upward.
"Tricky nothin'," growls one of the other workers, a toothless older man with a hammer in hand. "Ask me, it'd be simple. One, two, three, o'er she goes - the Shadow take movin' this accursed thing." Other workers nod agreement, but Gammel sighs and shakes his head: "We got orders. The Duke wants it moved; we move it."
From Umbrus's saddle, "What's going on?" Rowena calls ahead to Fionnlagh, unable to see past the horsemen ahead of her. "I see lights around the statue. Is it coming down?" Giving Umbrus a more urgent thump from the reins, she slowly inches ahead of a guard or two. Zareef curls inside the saddlebag, frightened by the thumping and rattling.
From Jumper's saddle, Katrin twists around to see Row and Fionnlagh moving down the road behind her. She shifts slightly in the saddle, brining the horse to the side. She waits patiently for them to approach, chewing on her lip quietly. She appears to be slightly shaken about something, most likely the sight of Rowena.
The white, 'gold-ringed' digets of a nobleman plant themselves on the handle as the master of the large wagon begins his exit of the carriage. When the nobleman, Baron Adaer Vozhd-Kahar, finally plants both feet on the ground, three of his guards plop out of the carriage aswell. Adaer then turns to regaurd the statue and dismally gawks at it. The guards idly stand about as they look around. Upon their chest is a large patch with the Vozhdya Emblem on it.
From Firelight's saddle, Fionnlagh hand signals the two forester's who accompany him, and both pull up short, splitting to either side of the road as they take up covering positions just in case of any measure of trouble. A white wolf over three feet at the shoulder sticks close to Rowena's side as Fionnlagh taps Firelight's flanks, moving towards the lights. "I don't know, Duchess....but I'll see if I can find out."
The chill Whistlewind breeze makes it feel even colder than it truly is, causing the workers to tremble and shiver a bit in their jackets as they move cautiously around the sculpture. Gammel points occasionally as he gives instructions. "It's built in four parts. We prize 'em apart, ease 'em off, load 'em on the wagon." The other workers nod in understanding.
Dradin sits down against the wall of the tavern, watching the goings-on silently.
Alath Kahar breaks off from his conversation... droll as far as his expression tells, and his attention is drawn by the many other nobles assembling. Following their eyes, he sees the cluster of workmen around the statue, and as the self-important man at his side continually waffles on, he watches with curiosity.
Tomassa Zahir's attention is drawn to the carriage and the men that alight from it. Very slowly, her mouth curves into a smirk as she looks Adaer over for the first time since she left him at the track. The smirk gradually becomes a grin as she looks away from him.
From Umbrus's saddle, "Faster." Rowena murmurs to Umbrus and the small swarm of horses spill out into Light's Reach. The guards disperse, save for one or two that follow the healer as the wolf continues to flank her. They slow to a trot, approaching the workers and statue directly behind Fionnlagh. She shakes back her hood for better vision and ignores the hungry rumbling in her gut.
Gammel motions for Muglen to ascend the statue. He hands the young man a crowbar. Another worker takes a length of rope and starts climbing the opposite side of the statue to meet up with Muglen at the top of the horse. The second worker loops the rope around the horse's head. Muglen begins to poke at a seam in the marble with the crowbar.
A deep-seeded hateful frown forms on Adaer's face as he glances back at the Lioness's glare. He shakes his head and turns his chin back to the statue, although his frown and eyes follow more reluctantly and slowly.
From Jumper's saddle, Katrin is about to call out to Fionnlagh, but instead she catches sight of Adaer, and her breath seems to get stuck in her throat. She curses softly to herself as she wobbles in the saddle, and is forced to dismount, gripping the horse's mane in order to remain standing.
From Firelight's saddle, Fionnlagh slows as he nears the statue, studying the men before centering his attention on Gammel. He clears his throat slightly, pushing back his own hood to reveal an iron helmet and steel and mail about his throat, the motion also revealing the ring of a Commander of Duke Mikin's Order of the Flame in the glint of the lights. It's an amiable voice that calls towards Gammel. "Light shine on you, gentlemen. The Duchess Mikin would like to know what is in progress here."
Keeping half an eye on the work on the statue, Tomassa begins to move closer to Adaer at an unhurried pace. She schools her grin into a polite smile as she nears the man and his little entourage. "Baron Kahar!" the Contessa calls out. "Tis good to see you well and hale!"
Firelight stamps its feet somewhat impatiently as it's drawn to a halt, eyeing the stables. The large white rock wolf slips from Rowena's side as her entourage nears Katrin's position, trotting over to position itself beside the pregnant vassal as she dismounts, and nudging her hand lightly.
Gammel glances up at Fionnlagh, scratching the back of his head and narrowing his eyes. He glances toward the men working on the statue, then returns his attention to Fionnlagh. "Why, it's pretty clear we're holdin' a gala." He huffs, then goes back to yelling up at Muglen: "Carefully!"
From Umbrus's saddle, Rowena watches the wolf's path and her breath also evades her for a brief moment. Fortunately, she's swift to recover and hurries the rest of the way to Fionnlagh's side. Still atop the horse, she cannot find proper words, it seems, but rather gapes at the work in progress.
"They're tearing it down.." She murmurs, unable to keep the smile from her face, yet fear holds bright in her eyes. "I wonder what such events this shall bring from the Zahir..." A sudden chirrup from the saddleag reminds her that Zareef is still stuck inside. With gentle hands, she reaches inside and pulls forth the mongoose.
Dradin rubs his hands on his face, his teeth chattering slightly, still against the tavern facade. He pulls his arms into his shirt sleeves, pulling himself into a ball.
Deeming it all she deserves Adaer turns his head to Tomassa and politely nods. Politely considering.. "Good evening your Ladyship. I wish I could say the same about you." Adaer then tosses his gaze back to the statue.
Katrin smiles a little bit, lowering her hand to pet the wolf, looking reassured by it's presence. "Hello, my friend," she murmurs. "Have you come to protect me from the big bad Kahar noble?" she asks, before taking a hold of Jumper's reins, starting to lead him down the road, looking back to see if the wolf will follow.
Alath Kahar rolls his eyes at the incessant man, who seems now a little irate at the lack of attention, and dismisses him by raising one hand. He remains a way back, and surveys the eclectic collection of people.
Adaer's snub does nothing other than make Tomassa stifle a laugh. Mockingly bowing to the man, she eases away a few steps and then returns her attention to the moving of the statue. The woman clasps her hands behind her back and quietly grins.
Fionnlagh slips off his horse once Rowena joins him, lifting his hands to offer her a help down politely, casting a wry glance at Gammel. "The gentleman yonder informs me they are clearly have a gala. I must confess I did not bring my finest party clothes." A grin twitches at his lips, before he looks to watch the work again. "Let us hope it will put him in his place without causing bloodshed, my lady."
Muglen nods down at Gammel, and lightly presses the crowbar into the seam at the base of the horse's neck. As he does so, however, a loud humming noise precedes a ghostly blue glow emanating from within the statue. The ground rumbles thunderingly, spooking horses. "The Light Keep us..." Gammel gasps, stepping back from the Zolde Zahir statue - but not far enough. With a strange popping sound, the sculpture explodes into myriad shards. Deadly black marble missiles impale Muglen's throat and chest, Gammel's forehead and the vital organs of the other workers. Whistling through the chill night, the wreckage of the shattered statue is hurtled in all directions.
The white wolf does indeed follow Katrin, its loping stride keeping it close by her with ease.
Alath Kahar is struck full in the chest, face, and arms by black marble shrapnel, falling backwards with the impact, his cane clattering to the ground. His face a picture of agony, only a slightly strangled shout escapes his lips as he falls. Once down, he lies limply. The fat clerk at his side screams as he's hit, shielding his face and turning in one motion, as he too loses his balance. The front row of his guards crumple as well, and the other three rush to their duke's side.
A sudden SHNK! whistles through the air as a marble shard strikes Dradin in the shoulder. Dradin cries out in pain, though he looks stunned at the piece of black stone embedded in him, the area around which is beginning to ooze. He sucks in a breath as he struggles to get up, grimacing when he tries to move his arm.
From Umbrus's saddle, Head bowed with a smile to Fionnlagh and prepared to instead turn her horse 'round, Rowena is blind to the initial events, but the sound of shattering rock and popping flesh jerks her face upwards with a yelp. Umbrus is hit, square in the shoulder and muzzle, and he reels backwards. Zareef goes sailing, fortunately a very small target. He hits the ground with a squeak and scurries out of sight. Rowena's cry is cut short by a piece that grazes her temples and another thudding straight into her breast after passing through her mount's ear. Her last vision is the spray of blood and brain from the workers before both horse and rider topple over sideways. The taste of copper fills her mouth, something hot searing down her face after the impact with frozen ground was over. Umbrus whinnies and snorts, twitching his head violently in pain and kicking out with his bloodied legs. Rowena tries to suck in a breath, but her entire body feels numb with shock, her lungs being squeezed by the terror and pain. She would thank her layers of clothing later, for the marble only pierced her skin, not having enough power to strike into her rib. The image of a mournful sky overhead opens like a giant maw as her eyesight returns.
Hell loose, the horses attacked to the immobile carriage owned by Adaer scream and kick as Shrapnel flys toward them. They are wounded but not badly compared to others. Adaer's guards jump atop the nobleman restricting the impact of the marble but a small piece lodges itself in his forearm. The guards atop Adaer pull him behind the carriage right after it topples over. The spooking of horses on top of the explosion sends it onto it's side. The driver of the carriage trampled and killed instantly.
Firelight screams as chunks of shrapnel pummel its body, a large sharp chunk slashing open the horse's side leaving streaks of blood down the shire's ribs. The horse goes down, and Fionnlagh doesn't fare any better, rib bones breaking as a large chunk crashes into his side. He never gets the chance to cry out. As close as he is, he's likely spared a fatal blow only by the iron of his helmet, which comes out severely dented. The black velvet cloak is torn away by flying shards to reveal the chain links of his armor beneath, the forester going down as his pierced leg gives way beneath him. Still, consdering he's nearly as close as the workers, he can thank his armor that he's come out with only heavy wounds...when he's in a condition to think of such thanks. The two foresters who previously guarded him fare better, though hardly unscathed, as they peeled off much sooner than he to cover the area. Both are pelted with shards, but neither seriously.
Even though Katrin was farther away from everyone else, and had her horse to help protect her, luck does not seem to be on her side today. A few pieces of the marble lodge themselves in her side, making the young woman cry out in obvious pain, losing her grip on the reins. A long gash appears on Jumper's flank, almost magically, and the horse bolts off a few feet, before stopping, waiting to see what became of his mistress. Katrin is on the ground, holding her side, her cape flung out behind her, blood already staining her dress.
The white wolf's pure coat is streaked with red at the cheek as a chunk glances across its face, but it's fortunate at least to be not as high a target as the people and horses are, a yelp responding to its wound. As Katrin goes down, Snowshadow moves to nudge her with its muzzle, sniffing at the scent of blood, and throws back its head to howl its distress loudly.
Equine screams of fear sound from the stables as the blast frightens the beasts within it. Tomassa Zahir instinctively ducks and brings her gauntletted hands up to shield her face as shards whizz past her. There are metallic clinks and pings as bits of rock bounce off her steel and chainmail, but... the Contessa emerges from the ordeal unharmed. She straightens as soon as it is safe, brushing loose bits of rock from the front of her chainmail shirt as she looks over the carnage. "Priorities, priorities," she hisses as she quickly begins to move toward the fallen. She spies Alath and Adaer and then the forester, but the grimace upon her face only deepens. "Duchess!" she cries as she bolts toward Rowena. "What do I do?" When in doubt, seek the healer.
Alath Kahar rolls a little, his face embedded with and scarred by marble, his clothes blood soaked and torn, his injured guards looking upon him. It seems he's not quite aware of what's going on, merely moaning, unable to shift position to any great deal. The aide at his side fared a little better, but, being the type of man he is, squeals in pain nonetheless. It seems the tax collector isn't up to much at this point, and certainly has no chance of standing.
From Umbrus's saddle, The screams of agony and surprise tug Rowena back into a more conscious state relatively quickly. With a gurgling whimper, she coughs sharply forth a shard of tooth and the offending blood which tried to creep into her throat. "How.." She gasps, bewildered at the sudden change of events. Umbrus responds with another scream of pain, his hooves flailing in attempts to right hiself. Blood pumps steadily from his shoulder and ear. It is during the horse's movement that Rowena realizes she isn't pinned. She could move! Tomassa's cry jerks her face around to stare at the Contessa with widened eyes. Her trembling hands move to pass over the shard which is embedded in her bodice, a tear escaping down her cheek to streak the blood further. "The kit." She whispers and rolls off the horse and onto her belly. Miraculously, the saddlebag it was in is reachable. She digs inside to grasp it. "Find the worst off...stay with them so I can find you. Get anyone able to assist in binding wounds immediately."
Dradin leans himself against the tavern wall, grabbing the shard with his opposite hand and giving it a pull, which doesn't do much but make him scream again. The blood oozes a bit more from his shoulder as he begins to walk, slowly, to find someone who can help.
A few tears trickle down Katrin's face from the pain, but she lifts one hand, which is streaked with blood, to try and calm the wolf down. "Snowshadow, hush," the young woman whispers, trying to struggle into a different position, but fails, merely causing herself more pain. She gives another cry, letting the wolf's presense sooth her, somewhat.
The explosion was close enough to rattle Adaer's head atleast. As his hearing returns he lies on the ground for a moment and signals his guards to look about. The guards jump up from their wounded master and stand about and one yells a few swear words and another in confusion yells, "What just happened!?" Adaer then sits up to look around and see the carnage and grim remains of those around him. He whispers to himself, "Light save us all.."
Fionnlagh is fortunate not to be trapped under Firelight, who is doing some flailing of its own and lets out another shrill screaming whinny, blood streaking its side from a long and dangerous gash. The two foresters who were watching the sides of the road spur their horses to gallop in close, splitting up. The older one moves towards where Rowena lies, while the younger heads for Katrin, slipping off his horse to come to her side. "Lie still, Miss Ebonwood, lie still." Fionnlagh, meanwhile, groans and clenches his teeth, doubling over as he hisses through his teeth. "Rowena...aah...are....are you....hurt?" His now impossibly shaped helmet finally pops off as he drops his head back against the ground, then yelps as he tries to find a direction he can roll up without hurting either ribs or shard-pierced leg.
Tomassa Zahir immediately turns after hearing Rowena's instructions. Her authoritative voice lifts to bark, "If you can stand, DO IT! We're going to need help with those more gravely wounded!" She's already moving toward the pile of bodies by the carriage, but as she runs, she calls back to Rowena, "Injured vassal with a babe in her belly by the wolf! There's a downed Kahar over -here-," is yelled, pointing toward Alath and his entourage. "And I don't know about the Baron. Where's that sturdy forester? GET UP, YOU LAZY MISCREANTS! Help the wounded!" she bellows as she nears Adaer's carriage.
Rowena doesn't remove the marble from her own chest yet, fearing that doing so would bleed her dry. She instead unclips her cloak from her shoulders and tucks it under her arm. Future Bandages. After removing the kit from the bag, she crawls to Umbrus's head, eyes too full of tears to see the look of fear in his blue eyes. "I'm sorry.." She whispers. "I shall return for you, just..." Rubbing her palms over his once white muzzle with care, She can see the red glistening upon a black hide. Her hands and knees bring her to his side again so she can remove the saddle, making it easier for him to rise...if he would.
"There." She whispers, then gets shakily to her feet. Like a blind woman, she stumbles past guards and their innards, her kit and cloak grasped in white-knuckled grip. She stops at Fionnlagh, however, hearing Tomassa's directions. "I'm fine." She lies and bends on one knee to assess his injuries. "Do not move." She instructs. "I can't heal bones so swiftly, but...I will return to you as well." With a sudden surge of adrenaline, she rips a piece of the cloak, then reaches to tie it tightly around his leg wound in efforts to staunch the blood flow. "Lie still." She orders and then stands again to find Tomassa. She draws closer to Alath and Katrin.
Elseve exits a passing carriage at some prompting of the driver. The plump woman's blue eyes widen, aghast, at the scene and she mumbles a barely-audible, scolding: "Light*holder*, not Light's *Reach*. Unthoughtful wretch to flee such a scene!" The plain-clothed woman bustles forward, her rounded jaw set with determination. She's here now. "I'm uninjured," Elseve calls, in a louder tone, and walks in the direction she heard someone mention 'Kahar'. "Tell me how to assit, m'lady."
Dradin pulls at the shard again, with the same effect as last time. "Light's mercy, woman! I'm up!" He yells at whoever's ordering people around. He mutters to himself, trying to pull people up with his good arm.
Katrin lets out a cry as she hears Tomassa, her hands moving immeadiately down to her abdomen. In the moments of chaos, she forgot about her baby! She looks up at the man looming over her, before breaking down into sobs of pain, and fear, even though the movement from the crying causes more pain. She lifts her eyes to look around for the wolf.
The older forester slides from his horse as he nears Rowena, moving to her side as the horse is allowed to go where it will....which turns out to be the stables once it's riderless. Hay, oats, and no blood. That's a good thing. The older forester joins Tomassa's quest, moving among the wounded to find those who are well enough to stand and help out. "Blasted Zahirs, light burn them to cinders. Shadow-touched treacherous snakes. Come on, you'll heal, up and go get bedsheets to save the horses. You, go to the temple and bring the healers and Light bless us with a shadowscourge. You, ride to East Bluff and tell the Duke."
Alath Kahar is still in agony on the floor. He lifts tentative arms to his chest, and feels the slab protruding. Dry lips, wetted only by the blood from his face, croak, "By the... Light..." before his arms slump once again to the ground. His guards seem dumbfounded, but jump to action as they hear the voice of authority. One heads off, though slowly, as he too is injured, in Tomassa's direction, whilst the other tries to stem assist Alath. A third returns to his fallen comrades, and begins removing their armour. Much better off than the duke, they're lifted to lean against a wall.
Snowshadow whines, and moves to press up against Katrin, curling the warmth of its body into place behind her, and laying its muzzle against her shoulder...which drips blood from its cheek onto her dress. But hopefully it's comforting.
The Baron, Adaer Kahar, crawls over next to the carriage and vomits profusely as a guard runs after him to aide him. After wiping himself off Adaer stands with the help of his guard. He looks over to Tomassa with a sick look upon his face. He then looks at the wounded and instructs his guards to run over to Rowena to offer help. As the guards do so Adaer limps over to Alath and once at his side he kneels down and shakes his head, "My assistance I give.."
Dradin tries to pull up a hapless bystander by the underarm with his non-wounded arm. After a couple of heaves, Dradin puffs, grimacing in pain. "Eh... I'll get back to you." He shuffles off to find a lighter person to assist.
A carriage pulls up beyond the crossroads, where the gathered crowd has created a human wall against further passage. The man driving the vehicle stands, eager to inspect the scene, and fails to notice when his passenger exits. "Ai!" Ellion screams the throng of people blocking the road, forcing his way in by squeezing through gaps, his thin body serving a useful purpose for the first time. Soon enough, he reaches the source of chaos and stares, searching for familiar faces... and finding too many.
Tomassa Zahir gives Adaer a sharp nod when she sees him rise and notes that he's not as badly injured as others. She then moves on to look over other bystanders, giving Dradin a grim grin in thanks for his efforts to help as she passes. "Duchess, there are many wounded, but the worse seems to be Alath Kahar!" she yells, pointing toward the fallen Kahar and the large form of Adaer that leans over him. Narrow eyes of coppery brown note that a forester is aiding Katrin, so Tomassa moves closer to the healer. In a lowered voice, she grimly says, "If there are any who have no hope, tell me and I shall spare them their pain."
Rowena's head is reeling, and her toe catches on a piece of the marble. She lurches forward, landing her hands on something soft. When she sees what broke her fall, she stares into a fist-size crater in a man's skull. A cry shudders from her lips and she struggles to get to her feet again. Backing away from the corpse, she spies Katrin and the wolf, not too far away. There is blood, but she can't find any shards protruding from the woman from this distance. She would have to wait. The commoner healer emerges from her cottage as well and begins to mill about.
"Leave me." She instructs Varal and Katrin again, though weaker this time. A spasm of pain clenches her entire body as the marble shifts in her breast. She spies Tomassa wrestling with Fionnlagh over the horse and something comes over her. With a twist, she shoves against Varal and yanks again from Katrin's grasp. She finally catches sight of Adaer's approach as well. No. They were all trying to stop her. A growl forms in her throat and she struggles more to get past to Alath or the forester.
Katrin looses her grip on Rowena's arm quite easily, glancing at Varal for a moment, before trying to catch her once again, gasping in pain because of her wound in her side. She is forced to stop, pressing her free hand against the wound, looking at the wolf, "Snowshadow, /you/ try and stop her," she suggests to the animal. She doesn't take the time to notice Adaer, too intent on trying to not be so doubled over in pain.
"Here!" Tomassa replies to Aldwulf in relief. "Here, sir!" She's crouching at Fionnlagh's side now that he's doubled up in pain. "Shadow's teeth!" she spits. "All of this for a damned horse." One hand leaves the forester's arm to return to pressing the violet velvet against the bleeding equine.
Varal quickly sidesteps Rowena's shove, a frown spreading across his face. "I have some clothing in my saddlebags from Mistress Weaver, Y'Grace. A waste, but they will make bandages in a pinch. Let me assist you as best I can," he says, seeing no need to fight with Rowena and that he's better served staying at her side.
Zareef runs back to the stables where Umbrus has been stamping and quivering, the smell of Firelight's blood causing him more unease than his own pain.
Halting in his place Adaer ohs to Ellion and turns with him toward Alath. He then shoots back to Rowena, "There are other wounded people! Alath has passed out!" Adaer then instructs Ellion to follow him to the wood.
Ellion nods several times and follows after Adaer, pointing at the wood.
Fionnlagh lays against Firelight weakly, the weight of his head pressing to staunch some of the blood flow, though the liquid seeps through the violet cloth to coat his cheek and ear, and mat his hair. There's a clear impact section in the chainmail on one side where it's been crushed into the fabric beneath....and possibly into flesh, though that's hard to tell without some means to remove the armor. His left thigh is bandaged with shreds of Rowena's cloak, blood coating the chainmail leggings there but only dried blood, none fresh.
Aldwulf Mikin does not change his pace as he heeds the call, but his long strides still bring him next to Fionnlagh in a moment. He kneels down on one knee, surveying the wounds, "Darkness damned..." he mutters again, sliding the healer's pouch off his shoulder and opening it on the ground, his cloak pooling around him, soaking up blood and other, less identifiable, substances.
"Not a worry, fine sir. Not a worry," Elseve responds to the thanks from the wounded man, vaugely wadding up the torn cloth and then stuffing it overtop the gash in his shoulder to staunch the bleeding. If she had some skill at this, she might have tied the cloth in place, but this at least should work better than fingers. "Some reason had that light-forsaken carriage set me here, and that reason enough is good for me." She sighs with a heave of her chest and a frown on her plump face. "You poor dears, and I don't know what else to do!"
"Use them on the wounded. Him." Rowena points to Adaer. "His arm." With that, she blocks out the other faces from her mind and stumbles back to Alath. Dropping a little further away than intended, she scoots towards the taz assassor's body and places a hand over the old bandage. It had soaked through, but wasn't as severe. Her other palm moves to his lips. He is breathing. But he is cold. "A fire!" She cries to no one in particular. She snags the arm of a passerby and pulls them close. "Hold the bandage taught." She orders, then climbs to her feet once more.
Much slower than before, she shuffles towards Fionnlagh, keeping her promise to return. Her lips have paled drastically, once glossy hair now matted and crusty. Her strong face has shattered into one of an imploring child as her eyes lift to the sky. Three steps from the forester's feet, she hits the ground a final time. Her satchel spills open, offering remaining supplies to the other healer. With a rasping sigh, she rolls onto her back and lets her lashes seal shut her eyes from the gore around her. Her right hand creeps upward upon her breast to seize what she can of the slippery shard. To pull or not to pull.
Dradin nods, holding the cloth on his wound, the blood on his hand staining the fabric further.
Seeing Rowena go down again, Katrin moves toward the royal quickly, ignoring the pain in her body, brushing right past Varal and Adaer, not really caring if she brushed past Gell Mikin at the moment. She has her cape tucked under one arm and moves forward to use it as a pillow, "My Lady, lie still, please. We'll get you a healer quickly," she says softly, before glaring at Varal, almost in a challenge, "Find a healer, unless you want your Dutchess to die!"
Adaer teams with Ellion to build the fire as he issues orders to him. Whether Ellion listens or not determines how fast the fire is built.
Varal grabs a pair of stockings from his saddlebag, and a short sword, nodding towards Rowena and moving towards Adaer. "A moment, M'Lord. Just hold still." Using the sword, he cuts the stocking into a rough bandage and starts tying it around the Kahar's arm. offering Adaer an encouraging smile. As he works, he turns to look at Rowena to see her collapse. His eyes appear to nearly widen to the size of saucers, and he springs towards the Duchess, sliding to her side. "Y'Grace!" he exhales more loudly than necessary, certainly worried sick at this point. She's the healer, he only breaks stuff. He glares bloody murder at Katrin, not wanting to be ordered to do the obvious, but he nods in ascent and moves off to look for someone, anyone.
Ellion listens, throwing only perhaps or two questions every so often. When the fire is finally ignited, he giggles in delight, nodding at Adaer. "No more cold, no, I do say so myself, ayuh," he states, watching the dancing flames. "What now? What now?"
Tomassa Zahir gently moves Fionnlagh's head away from the blood of the horse, but then she takes over to trying to tend the animal. There is a resigned look upon her face as if she'll at least save this animal to try to keep some of the -good- of her family's name. A deep anger continues to glitter in her coppery orbs as she mulls over what Fionnlagh has told her about the appearance of the statue.
Elseve stands next to Dradin, lost for direction again now that she's helped the man all she can manage. The woman's hands flutter in front of her, and then clasp together to try to appear calm. "Oh, oh, I wish I knew more to help. Here, we really should go inside. Someone said the tavern was warm, and there'd be drinks. Food and drinks always help when you're feeling poorly."
Aldwulf Mikin checks the bandages on Fionnlagh, "All that can be done, has been done." he says, grimly, simply pressing on another layer of bandages on top of those already there, "It is in the hands of the light, now."
Adaer Kahar allows the wound to be wrapped and contiues to frown through Varal's smile. Adaer shakes his head in a sigh as he spots Rowena hit the ground. He calmly yells back to Ellion, "Fetch that extra wood and we'll build another fire over near Rowena. Faster this time. Hustle!" Adaer scrambles to grab half the wood then to rush toward Rowena.
Dradin glances around at the commotion. "Indeed. I suppose we could wait to be yelled at by som'of these noble folks..."
Fionnlagh grimaces as he hears Rowena hitting the ground near him, and raises a hand to point towards her as slightly glassy eyes look at Aldwulf. "The Duchess....save the Duchess man."
Rowena murmurs something incoherent, curling partially onto her stomach, almost as though she fights with the urge to yank. Her skull throbs from head wounds, and that's where she focuses her attention. She'd done her duty. She could go now. Peace...
The touch of Zareef's curious nose nudges at her forehead, but she moves only a hand to place over the furry head for consolation. Then, when it seems the duchess would move no more, she takes a breath and mumbles, about ten feet from Aldwulf. "Take him to the Twins...set his bones. You will find my writings on my desk. The necessary...things." She trails off again and finally finds her grip on the marble shard. She pulls it free, releasing a fresh trickle of blood onto the ground and shoves the rock as far away from her body as she could possibly reach.
Ellion picks the wood that remains, which isn't a lot, even before Adaer takes half of it. He follows the nobleman and reaches Rowena, following his cue and dropping the material wherever the Kahar drops his. "Ai! The Duchess, the Duchess!" he screams.
Snowshadow snaps at the elder forester, who actually growls at the wolf, meeting its eyes as he tries to rub a salve from one of the pouches at his side on the wound. He may not be a healer, but he knows the right herbs for stopping blood. The wolf whines and jerks its head, but the forester seems quite capable of keeping it in line, releasing it only once he's certain of the treatment. Once free, the wolf bounds with a ground-eating stride across to lay itself up against Rowena's side, keeping her warm with its body. Firelight begins to look easier, or perhaps just more still....it's hard to tell at this stage.
Tomassa Zahir nods in agreement with Fionnlagh, pointing toward Rowena as she turns her eyes back to the fallen forester. Shaking her head very slowly, Tomassa does what she can to make him comfortable while keeping one hand upon her now bloodied cape. "Rest," she says to try to comfort the man. "If this one dies, you can have my own mount until such time as you find another you prefer. And, when you've done -that-, I'll pay for the new one."
Return to Season 2 (2004)