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Atop the Aegis


Brown and gray stone hauled from quarries throughout the realm of Fastheld was used to build the massive Aegis, which encircles the city-state. The path atop the wall, bordered by a crenellated balustrade on either side, is about seven hundred feet above ground level. Iron stanchions are spaced out at even intervals, providing posts upon which to hang lanterns that gutter when the wind gusts.

Through the parapet, one can see to the horizon of the outer realm - the unknown regions that are home to the wicked Shadow-touched Wildlings and Light knows what else; and within the perimeter of the wall, one can see the relatively cozy sprawl of the districts ruled by Emperor Talus Kahar.

The patrol path is about ten yards wide. It is rarely warm up here. More often than not, it is chill and windy. Guardians assigned slop duties can often be found at a side stove, brewing apple ale or shak tea for those who are given watch duty.

A stone stairwell leads down into the structure of the Aegis from here.


Lotan currently stands silent watch through the parapets of the Aegis, longbow drawn and loaded as he walks along the wall to stare down at the ground 700 feet below.

Seven-Patch climbs along the edge of the wall, his yellowed fangs glowing in the light of the four currently visible moons, two of them nearing fullness. His movements are sleek, lanky muscles rippling under his greenish, pebbly skin. He pulls himself up onto the top of the wall, and begins to slowly creeeeep over the crucial thirty feet to the other side.

Somehow, someway, that imposing Wildling's impressively stealthy tactics easily slip by the Guardian manning the wall, and he continues his careful patrol along the wall. He keeps his grip tight on his primed weapon, leather boots moving silently across the cold stone of the Aegis as the soldier breathes visible cold air from his thin lips.

Seven-Patch manages to slowly creep for about fifteen of the feet completely unnoticed. His beady eyes peer over in Lotan's direction, and somehow, the distraction breaks his concentration. Front claws that were before held back, clack on the stone of the floor. Hissing softly, he continues more quickly.

Now, with the wildling more readily apparent, Lotan's vision snaps quickly over to the sneaking figure. His eyes go wide as saucers, quickly blinking, as he stares at the creature. Unconsciously, he swings his bow quickly toward the creature, arrow set to release. He speaks no words, intent on hitting his mark as the arrow flies from the taught string.

Seven-Patch hisses more loudly as the arrow strikes towards him, his lanky, flexible body diving flat against the stone floor. The arrow flies perhaps a foot over his back, and the metal of the arrowhead clanks against the stone. No longer focused on his trip across the wall, the Wildling turns his attention to the archer, snarling as it charges towards him.

Lotan is quite certain he's not going to outrun that thing charging at him, so, reaching to pluck yet another arrow from his quiver, he quickly reloads to prime his longbow in an attempt to fire another shot, yelling out loud into the night, "To arms! To arms! Wildling on top the wall!"

As Blades begin to run towards Lotan's position, the Wildling also runs towards the man. Jumping almost two feet in the air, the arrow sails just under his ribbed chest, and through a flapping part of his loincloth. The Wildling raises a sharp-nailed claw to the man, swinging it towards the man's bow arm as he comes down from his jump; no motion wasted in his task.

"Frag!" yells the archer as his bracer is cut into, doing his best to hang on to his longbow as his only concern now seems to be to backpedal away from the Wildling along the patrol path, making certain his retreat doesn't take him into the wall.

Two bowmen have now gotten within range, and with the disengaging of Lotan, both fire at the Wildling.

An arrow sinks deep into the flesh of the Wildling's shoulder, bobbing up and down with the violence of the puncture. The creature bellows loudly in the moonlight, loping much more slowly towards Lotan, his brows low in his oblong head, his teeth gnashing in bloodlust.

Lotan falls quickly to a knee as the Wildling approaches, plucking an arrow from his quiver and switching his bowhand as to not be impeded too greatly by the wound. This time, he takes careful aim, having time to factor in his injury as he pulls back the bowstring. With a silent prayer uttered under his breath, the archer lets yet another oak arrow fly toward the beast persuing him.

A third archer manages to get within range, and all three of the Blades send another deadly hail of fire against the invading creature, the off-kilter twangs of their bowstrings creating a similar note to ring out in the crisp air.

Despite his injury, the Wildling isn't out of the fight by a long shot. Four arrows from various angles seek to destroy him, but a pained twisting of the torso, and a quick duck allows all four to slide by him without touching his flesh. Green blood seeps from his wound, shining like tiny wildstones as it drips from his body. He twists once more, his claw moving towards the forward knee.

Rather expertly, the archer manages to turn aside the claw with a swift movement of his hand. He jumps to his feet again, bow held tightly as he again backpedals across the patrol path of the Aegis. Deciding not to stand put, he keeps moving backwards as he tries to load yet another arrow into his bow, and fire.

Markus Kahar barks out another command as he runs with the reinforcements, drawing his sword with a metallic 'shink' as he calls out, "Attack the Shadowspawn! Guardsman, you fool! Why did you not sound the alarm immediately!" Markus takes a quick assessment of the situation, yelling out towards his men, "... draw your swords and attack the monster!"

The three bowmen already on the scene fire once more upon the beast, much more carefully now given the additional personnel moving within close quarters.

The Wildling continues to move upon Lotan, twisting to the side as he allows the arrow to fly past him. Two other arrows meet the same fate, as the agile beast manages to stay one step ahead of them. One of the arrows, however, ever-so-slightly grazes a rib, evoking a tiny line of green. The Wildling pounces with both claws, seeking to claw the man in the chest and attempt to knock his backpedaling body onto the floor.

Markus Kahar snarls from beneath his obsidian helmet, letting loose an Imperial warcry as he bumrushes the vile creature; shield in one hand, Shimmer in the other. With a mighty, heaving swing he brings the heavy blade up, over his shoulder and down on the creature's flesh - mustering all his power to rend flesh from bone.

The leather jerkin the assailed bowman possesses is grazed by the claws, though his cloak doesn't aide him as a good part of it is torn wide open. This causes the archer to backpedal faster, perhaps, glancing quickly behind to make sure he doesn't mistakenly take a saddened plunge. Plucking yet another arrow from his quiver, Lotan loads his longbow again, and releases the whistling missile of oak to find its mark.

The Wildling deftly dodges the Bowman's arrow, twisting aside once more as he continues his charge. However, this twisting lines him directly up with Shimmer's downward path. Steel meets flesh and bone as the blade plunges through where the creature's neck meets its shoulder and down a ways into its ribcage before stopping. It gurgles, gasps, and grabs at the air before falling flat onto the floor of the wall, gushing green blood in a large pool.

Markus Kahar hisses as his armor splatters shades of green; swearing black words into the darkness as the blade slices through the creature's flesh. Markus snorts, drawing up a ball of phlegm from the back of his throat before spitting it on the creature's corpse. As the 2nd Blademaster pants, trying to catch he breath, he stares at Lotan. "HURT... BOY! ARE YOU HURT? BLEEDING - CUT?"

Before Markus can approach, Lotan glares at the dead corpse of the Wildling. Just to make certain, you know, can't be sure with shadow-touched animals and all, Lotan fires another arrow into the back of the beast's elongated head. Looking a bit uneasily at Markus, he looks toward the clawed up bracer on his bowarm. "I'm...pretty sure...yes..." Lotan breathes heavily as he speaks, "Not...so bad." He then glares at the corpse again, then back to Markus. "Your Grace...I'm quite certain I will need treatment..."

Markus Kahar whistles shrilly, pulling off his helmet to reveal sweat-dampened hair sticking to his brow. He bellows out, "... HEALERS TO THE WALL!" Markus latches the helmet to his belt, pulling his sword from the creature's guts and wiping the blade on the edge of his tabard.

"Let's have a look here Captain... you handled thyself with honor and distinction. /Especially/ for a man not known for his bladefighting." While his voice hints at annoyance to this fact, his concern suggests that he worries more out of Lotan's safety than anything else. The 2nd Blademaster gestures him forward to have a look at his bloodied armed. "... well I'll be damned; he went right through it. Soldier - what are you doing with leather? Why have ye not anything of metal against thy flesh!?"

"Leather armor is standard for the archers of the Blades, Sir. And, may I add, I thank you greatly for your aide. If it weren't for you, I'd have surely perished, even though it would be an honorable death," Lotan breathes out, hunching over faintly as he stares toward the floor of the wall. "I am quite certain that I will be...out of commission, for the least," Lotan speaks again, gazing at his bracer and about managing to sling his bow back over his shoulder. "I hope this beast will be butchered, indeed. Make the teeth into something nice, I'd think." The hunter remains that as he gazes thoughtfully at the corpse, though appears a bit weak as he clutches his arm.

Markus Kahar snickers lightly, an admiring smile upon his face. Here's a boy who's been clawed, possibly poisoned and fended off a monster with his bare hands. Markus lifts the boy up straighter with a tug, slinging his arms around Lotan's torso as the healers towards him. "Indeed - indeed. Come, let's get you downstairs now, hm? Get you treated."

"Much thanks, Your Grace. I think my training in unarmed combat needs some...*wince*...improvement," Lotan mutters aloud as he follows Markus down toward the shelter, leaning a bit on him for support.


Return to Season 2 (2004)

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