Blood and Wine - RPLOG
The area behind the Pallisades leading to the Canyon is filled with a few small pack animals, and a large Husky being. The being dressed in a varying amount of thick fur coats, with a thick broadsword strapped to his hip. The pack mules appear to be mainly laden with large kegs and barrels of what one assumes to be some of the finest Sweetwater liquor for the stout Thera'dorian defenders.
The wind itself was rather chilly indeed this day, blowing snow over the pallisades to give a gentle misting of the fluffy white weather... Leaving one's visibility sorely reduced to half of what they'd have on a normal and clear day, leaving much of the canyon out of their sight for the moment.
Cassidy rather liked the wind, all in all. And the snow was always beautiful, and it did wonders for covering her approach as she masked and hooded fennec drops from the sky, landed aside the pack mules to be escorted with the soft crunch of snow under her boots. "Hello, hello. I heard some help was requested. I am here to fulfill." She takes a moment to adjust her thick capelet before looking around the canyon.
Selena makes her way through the bitter mountain cold, smiling a little at the sight of snow. But, she's got a job to do - and so she does. Approaching the caravans, she takes a brief moment to peer ahead for a few moments before she stretches out and yawns - the cold air partially warmed by her strange elemental. "So you're the being we're meant to be meeting up with?" She greets, rubbing her cheek a little. "I'll tell you what, you could've chose a better day!" Cassidy's arrival is met with a smile. "And here I was beginning to think nobody else was coming."
Johnny tredges upward towards northward keep, his weapons in hand in case he meets any of these dense manebacks or tainted ice creatures. When he reaches the merchant, ignoring everyone else present for a moment, he says "I heard you might have some valueable goods, let's talk business." Clearly he doens't know what the others are here for, although he glances sideways to inspect Selena and Cassidy.
Jera approaches the group with slow steps, his cloak offering him NOTHING against the cold with the holes purposefully cut in it, though that doesn't stop him from huddling up with his shortbow held in two hands and his cloak draped around him. He waves to familiar faces before approaching the caravan. "Always nice to have someone watching the back, hmm?" He smiles, chittering a little.
The Husky flicks an ear for a moment as his right hand tightens around the hilt of his sword when the other's approach, though it does loosen as they speak and he smiles for a moment before turning. "I am afraid I do not know what you mean my Lady, this weather is as lovely as usual for this canyon indeed... Though, let us be thankfull a majority of the shadows are gone from it." He gives a slight nod and adjusts his armaments before looking them all over, raising an eyebrow at Johnny. "Business? Business is simple my friend, aid me in seeing my holds of liquor through the canyon, and to the Thera'dorian fortifications, and be payed well for the hazards. The creatures around here can get rather desperate for food on occassion... But where are my manners? My name is Baldora, merchant of fine liquor."
Cassidy gives a warm, but unseen, smile to Selena. "Hello there. I am glad that someone I know is coming along for the trip. I'm not usually fond of traveling with strangers, but I'm put more at ease with you around, yes. But yes, it is nice to meet you, Baldora. I'm well and ready to handle the hazards."
Selena chuckles. "Well, I suppose it's just me then. The snow isn't doing anyone any favors, is it?" She replies with a slight chuckle - ensuring her elemental stays well away from the carts but close enough to warm her. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Baldora. I'm Selena." She replies, the wolfess peering back down the pass again. "I don't suppose doing something about the snow would help, though? It tends not to help the speed of travel."
Johnny says "I'll be using that reward to secure provisions for Shanty Town, so let's get this over with. What do you need protection from huh?" he asks as he streches and looks around. "The maneback probably don't want your liquor, what else is the're?" he asks as he looks over the group once more. Hopefully this goes well, he'd hate to have his credit deminished by deserting a failed mission.
"You're probably wrong. Everyone in the world can appreciate liquor, even the gops." Jera grins, and then eyes the large containers that he'll be guarding, noting down any name in case he needed a new contact to smuggle from. "Seems like an easy enough job. We should move off as soon as we can. Else the later it gets the harder to see ahead, and the more beasts come."
Arriving late to the scene in the haze of snowfall, with the sound of brigandine and plate mail making contact, and hefting a rather large and dangerous looking spear over his left shoulder is a badger dark knight. It's difficult to tell who it is until he steps up and raises his visor, glancing around at the other beings. "Sorry. Bit late, I think... heard something about beast slaying?" he asks, and gives a smile to Selena in particular. "Good to see you again."
Baldora smirks gently to Johnny as he pats his own chest, and that of the nearest pack mule. "They don't, but they'd love to feast on myself of my mules... And if they kill a mule, then that's liquor lost. If they kill me? Well that's payment lost for you all I'm afraid." He gives a short nod to Cedric, before walking slowly to the front mule to grab it's reigns and walk a few feet forward. "No need to worry about the snow miss, it shouldn't impede the beasts too much. They make the journey rather well to be honest, and so our main issue is just making sure -we- don't freeze. To that extent, there's a merchant Alcove most use, that's close to the bridge. We should find some temporary shelter there before finishing the last quarter of the journey." The Husky awaiting the freeswords to follow after him, as he gives a slow walking pace at first.
Cassidy turns to follow after the husky, propping her arm up on the pommel of her sword. "Well, I'll do everything I can to make sure you make it through. I'd rather not see any lives lost here, today." She's quietly thankful for the warmth of the elemental, but she's determined to let nothing show from behind her mask.
Selena nods. "And I suppose we're being paid per cart that's safe?" She suggests, peering off into the distance. "...I really don't like the lack of visibility, but I suppose that can't be helped for now." She comments, moving forwards with the other beings present. "Wait, Jera - are you implying you've actually given a gop liquor?" She queries - and Cedric is given a fond smile. "I suppose the snow really had been making it hard to see each other."
Johnny snickers. "Ya I guess you got me there." he says to Jera before following the others, moving closer to Selenas elemental to keep warm."
"No, but liquor occurs naturally in the wilds too. Rotten fruit and the like. Gops eat anything anyway!" Jera laughs, continuing to rub his hands together. "Mmh, if you don't mind one more thing to watch, I can focus on making the winds a little calmer...see if I can't clear a bit of the snow ahead."
Cedric follows the others through the snow, crunching the accumulated whiteness under his bootstep as he remains alert and ready for anything. "Sounds like a good idea, yeah." the badger chuckles to Jera.
Baldora shakes his head as he begins to lead the group into the snowy pass, his pack mules huffing and trudging along faithfully behind him as he speaks loudly. "I'd leave the winds be myself, it provides us with cover and keeps are scent blowing away from them. Not to mention some of the weaker and more desperate ones will stay hidden from the wind for fear of their lives!"
The route led by the husky was indeed well traveled, and save for an old run down hut with a few snowy graves outside of it, and the occassional maneback that walked upon the group, to only turn and flee. The creatures appearing to not wish to engage in a fight with the group this time, and the snows aid n keeping them covered. So long as the group doesn't fall behind too much they soon make it to a small Alcove lit by a lantern in the side of the Canyon walls, sporting a small cart parked inside of it... Along side a felled merchant, torn and tattered from the wild beastsfeeding upon him. Though a large amount of jugs and chests are still intact in the cart. "Well, that's unfortunate..." Baldora says, before turning his gaze to his escorts. "That is why I do not like traveling without company."
Cassidy grimaces a little and nods. "Yes, I can see why. When I come up here alone, I like not having cargo to slow me down. Think there is anything we could salvage and carry on the rest of the way with us? If he was a trader, someone wanted those goods, so we should probably see about getting them there, shouldn't we?"
Selena nods back to the husky, looking up to the air for a moment, then looking to the looted cart and fallen mechant, looking somwhere between sorrow and caution. Though given her past actions it's a little difficult to tell. "... Now may be a bad time to mention, but there's something odd about this snow." She finally says, looking over to the rest of the group and shivering a little. "I can't quite put my finger on it, though... Either way, for now we should probably focus on them." She notes, peering at the creatures with a slightly sickened look.
Johnny looks the cart over and shakes his head. "Only if you want their wares. We don't need to deal with them otherwise. It's a shame to leave their chests and goods alone, although I betcha they won't spoil up here, but it's just more to deal with if ya ask me." He still brings out his weapons in case they come for live meat, but that seems unlikely with easy food already around.
"I think we should chase away the beasts if we can. No merchant is insane enough to travel here without at least a few good escorts. We......might get a lead on what's ahead if we can examine the bodies." Jera draws his bowstring during the pause, though holding the shot while he waits for Baldora to decide. After all, she's hired the escort. "There's enough there too to pay our keep, if you'd like."
Cedric steps into the cave, hesitant to take his eyes off the feeding beasts to even look at the cart for a moment. Keeping his voice lowered and not looking away from the beasts still, he gets his spear readied in front of him just in case. "There's not too many of them to deal with. We could leave them be or dispatch them, it doesn't seem to make much difference to me." he says indifferently. "Just need everyone in agreement as to what we're doing."
The manebacks didn't seem to mind the Freeswords, content to chew at the body before the snorting of one of the mules causes them to freeze. Instead of attempting to combat them though, the first one makes a dash for the exit by itself as the second drags the small folks' body with it as well in it's mad dash for safety!
Baldora shakes his head as he waves his hand and looks over the group. Not attempting to bar the creatures as they made their attempt at escape with the body. "It's unfortunate, but it is nature. Many young ones try this route without escorts, and soon end up feeding the manebacks... There isn't enough food here for them to pass by easy prey." The husky giving a gentle nod at the cart however before speaking slowly. "You can have whatever you desire from the wares though, we cannot ensure it reaches it's destination after all..."
Cassidy folds her arms under her capelet and approaches the cart, humming. "Well. It couldn't hurt to see if there was anything important here..." She slowly reaches out to check in the chests to see just what the merchant was carrying that he would do so alone.
Selena shakes her head a little as the being is dragged off into the pass, plainly clenching her teeth as she watches. "... It's a shame to see, though." She replies quietly, standing firmly in the snow - though she doesn't attempt to loot the remains of the merchant's cart or persue the manebacks. "It's probably not a good idea to stay still for too long though. If the manebacks organize themselves then we'll be in trouble too."
Johnny stays by Selenas elemental and watches. "If you need help ask but I'll just hang back and watch our surroundings for now." He says with a shake of his head. "We should get moving soon however, this is a bad place to be if they live inside."
"Yeah, we should move ahead." Jera invades the fallen trader's wares and pockets a large jug of spiced wine before scooting back to the group and clearing his throat. "Before what got them gets us too." He presents his unconvincing case to Baldora, popping the jug's seal and then smelling to check. "Mmh. Spiced wine. Helps keep people warm?" He sips, and chuckles.
And offers it around, once he is done.
"Unfortunate..." Cedric says, as he watches the manebacks make off with the small folk's body, shaking his head. He finally turns to take a look at the cart. With his clouded silvery plate armor keeping his warmth in, he appears rather indifferent to the cold. He doesn't make any movements to loot the wares until he watches the fox take a judg of wine, and with a shrug, he searches for another bottle to uncork it and take a drink. "Might as well... anyway, if we're done here, I'd agree; we should get moving." he says, after a sip of his plundered beverage, glancing to Selena. "You mentioned something odd about the snow before... how so? I haven't seen enough of it to know when it's odd..."
Baldora shrugs gently and moves to the cart, grabbing the extra boxes to sling onto his mules quickly as he speaks. "The Alcove is a merchant haven. I've spent many nights here myself... The only issue comes from a lone wanderer, like the poor lad we just saw. If the manebacks feel they have easy prey, they strike. But if you desire so, very well we can move onto the bridge quickly then... It'll be a little slow for the mules to cross it, but we're almost to our destination anyways."
Cassidy's curiousity is well rewarded as she finds a almost expertly crafted hand crossbow inside of a wooden box lined with velvet cushioning. The bolts do appear poisoned, and meant to help give that extra advantage!
Cedric's rummaging turns up a master crafted zweihander, perfect for massacring his foes while bearing a Snowmark emblem upon the blade! Surely lucky finds between him and Cassidy, that help to explain -why- this merchant appeared to be traveling alone.
After reaching for one of the bottles of wine still left on the cart, Cedric notices a familiar mark upon a weapon nearby, taking it by the scabbard and eyeing it appraisingly. It's a little bit too heavy for him to wield effectively right now, he notes to himself quietly as he pulls it slightly from it's holder to examine it before strapping the greatsword to his armor at his back. "I... might have some use for this, sometime..." he says, before moving back to the group.
:also spits out the wine because it's gross and he missed the page!
Jera's eyes widen as he spits several times into the floor, feeling one of his muscles clench the wrong way...and then feeling a dark presence and then spits again for good measure. He tosses the jug he's holding away before taking a small dose of his dulling potion meant for simple venoms, looking at Selena with a growl. "It's poisoned. And I felt a Old One's presence just then. He pats at his side and pulls out the half-staff he was given.
Selena nods, looking back to Baldora. "You're a more experienced mechant than I am. You probably know if your mules can handle the rest of the trip without much rest..." she begins, before flicking an ear back slightly. "No, wait. Something's wrong here. I can feel it." She mutters, looking back over to Jera - "I'm going to check the bridge before we cross. I have a bad feeling about this." She comments with a nod. "I doubt the wine was poisoned when the merchany bought it. Cedric, Cassidy, stay sharp. You as well, though I don't think I've got your name." She says to the rat before moving forwards cautiously.
Cassidy grins, eyes lighting up behind her mask as she finds the small crossbow. "Oh, lovely..." She takes it gingerly and fastens it around her right forearm, nodding slowly. "Old Ones? Well, that doesn't sound good, certainly." She turns her eyes up and glances around for a minute, before moving after Selena. "I'll get your back."
Johnny eyes the weaponry and says "If the remainder are weaponry such as that I will purchase them for Shanty Town at the end of our trip." He follows along with Selena, saying "My name is Johnny, and we've met, in the marketplace, when I still had my gang." in a rather flat depressing tone. He does however nod to Selena, unsure what they sense but willing to wait for the risk to be exposed.
Baldora frowns heavily at the mention of the poison, drawing his broadsword from his hip as the Husky puffs out his chest and growls lowly. "If there are old ones, then we don't wait. If the bridge is taken or down, we die here anyways.. No matter the magic or strength you all have, this canyon has places for them along it's ledges to kill us from above... Our safest bet is to get to the Thera'dorians for safety right now... All we have to do is cross a bridge, then it is just a turn in the corner to get to them." The Husky grabbing the lead mule as he makes his way near to the entrance, letting the others go first as well.
Once they set foot outside though, the winds pick up and a blizzard swarms around them to make their vision even shorter. Barelly allowing them to see five arms length infront of them, as the air chills some almost in warning... Though, if they push on, they are unasailed as they'd shortly come to a large crevis in the ground with a rope bridge leading across it. The crevice is mercifully free from the blizzard winds, and appears to be roughly twenty feet deep, with a steep rise to the right leading into it, and another appearing to go leading out onto the other side, though with the snow it is hard to tell.. To try and cross through the chasim would indeed be time consuming, and difficult to traverse, while leaving them more exposed from above... While at the same time, the bridge was wide open and vulnerable as well, but could probably get them across with greater ease.
Cassidy tugs her capelet more firmly around her upper body as she stares out across the bridge. "If you think the bridge would be best... I'll take your word for it! You know the area better than I." She takes a breath and moves on, starting onto the bridge. "Let's hope it doesn't break on us or something. I'd rather not take a fall."
Selena looks back to the Husky, shivering a little more as the cold intensifies. "All right." She shouts, the heavy snowfall forcing the woman to raise her voice to be heard. "I can try to melt some of the blizzard but I probably won't be able to do so for long! If the bridge is taken out while we're on it then we're all in a lot of trouble though, And the chasm is subject to an avalanche! What do you think?"
As for Baldora, though - "That's a problem too, but crossing that also risks your wares and our lives!"
Johnny looks to the bridge and the chasm, unsure what to vouch for. "Hmm. We'll likely lose cargo on the chasm, the bridge is safer in that regard but more open. And, could result in a full loss, I don' know, I say some is better than none."
"I wish Angus were here. Or Mazurek." Jera growls as he looks at the buffeting blizzard ahead, pulling his cloak up closer around him. "I can probably take a dragon form if it's needed and fly ahead. But it will take a while for me to get ready, and I won't be able to see what's ahead. Not even sure if I can hold out long against the blizzard but it's an option. He watches, readying his arrows but not drawing.
Cedric glance between the chasm and bridge, unsure which would be the better option, really. There was a lot to consider... still, he's unsure so he just sets foot on the bridge at Baldora's recommendation. "The bridge should be suitable... assuming it doesn't fall, anyway." he says.
"They repair the bridge often, it will hold in weather such as this, be it magic or not! Myself and the other close range fighters can cross it, while the ranged stay back with the cargo... If we pass safely, you shall follow. If not, then wait for us to make it to the chasim slopes before coming down. it's not deep enough to kill us, and the snow should be thick enough to cushion our fall if it does break." The Husky letting the mules sit passive as he goes to follow after Cedric onto the wooden bridge. Turning some to look at Selena as he keeps his voice raised. "Keep yourself strong, don't waste that energy frivilously! If we can't see them, they shouldn't be able to see us too well... Pluss, we need focus directed if they show themselves!" The husky giving a slight shake of his head to Jera. "We don't have such time, we have to keep moving or the damned cold will do us in first! If any of you do not wish to continue on, feel free to turn back now and flee... I'll not hold it against you."
Cassidy was still moving along the bridge, having gotten an early start. It's a good thing the rest had decided to take the same path, else she would have felt rather foolish indeed. To avoid getting too far ahead, she does slow her pace a little, leaning over to take a peek over the side of the bridge, looking into the chasm below.
Selena nods back to the Husky. "I'll defer to you, but I have a bed feeling about leaving ourselves in this blizzard! And we still don't know which old one is active in this region - I don't think splitting up would be such a good idea!" She calls. "The other reason I suggest counteracting some of the blizzard is to help warm the area a little and keep us warmer, but I'l leave that to my elemental!" She replies, gesturing to the being-esque thing.
Johnny frowns but nods. "I guess that makes sense. Let's get going then, no need to sand around like this." he says as he looks to Cedric. "I guess you'll be coming witht me then." he says and starts off to the bridge, weapons ready as he tredges forward, ready to deal with ice on the bridge if it comes too. "I don't like this idea really. But, if you're all dead set on it we'll take tha bridge."
Jera follows with the group at the back, with his bowstring drawn. He's following instructions to stay back behind the front line, trying to keep a lookout for anything that he might be able to preemptively shoot, though it's hard to see anything with the blizzard billowing. He stops a few pack mules just in case the front group falls...not wanting to lose cargo this way.
Cedric keeps his spear and shield out in front at the ready as he takes the lead on the bridge, looking around to try to see anything but of course, the blizzard makes that nearly impossible. "It'll be fine." the badger says, hefting his towering silvery greatshield. "I'm pretty sturdy even if I don't look the part. Just stay behind the shield if we run into trouble." he says, confidently, still walking but pausing in his speech for just a moment before adding. "Unless it's magic, then you should either run like hell or not let it hit you." he nods.
The group makes good progress down the bridge, the sturdy wood holding strongly as they move with enough room to stand two abrest along it's width. Leaving some room to move and work without hurting the fellow next to you, or delaying everything, but still restricting your movements. Though, as they finally make it close to the half way point, the Blizzard cutting out suddenly then, as a three eyed deer stood in their path, gazing down at Cedric and Cassidy!
The ranged hanging back with the mules are not spared a moment of rest as well, as the moment the blizzard stops a being pushes himself up from the canyon walls! Clad in heavy plate, painted white with white cloth wrapped around it, the figure vaguelly resembled a Jackle, and seemed to weild a sword made of a... Femur? He barely gives any notice as he charges at the two!
Cassidy pauses in her tracks, staring at the deer. She rubs her head for a moment, slowly turning around to look at her companions. "I..." She scowls for a moment, behind her mask, looking towards Johnny. He wanted them to go into the chasm and risk losing cargo... Probably some kind of thief, hoping to make out with the lost goods later! Slowly dropping into a ready stance, she starts to draw her black and purple sword.
Selena curses quietly as the blizzard suddenly halts, the woman immediately directing her elemental forwards to the dedicants and having it unleash a smoke bomb on the pair of old one dedicants, though it's clear she hesitates a little in taking further actions - apparently her conscience getting the better of her for a few moments as she mutters something to herself, then releasing a blast of fire magic at the olg'ish dedicant, while the 'jackal' is met with a shocked expression. "We need to get the swordsman off of the bridge! If we can get them into the chasm they'll have a hard time getting out, unable to die or not! Come on, we don't have far to go!" She encourages, though it's plain to see she's not comfortable with the situation.
Johnny sees Cassidy stop and grumbles. "Hey we're in a hurry, whats the hold up?" he says as he sees her draw her blade, peering around quickly, there is a strange beast obstructing the path? He moves to clamber over the two heavy armored road blocks and when on the other side pulls his pistol and aims for its chest, Hopefully it just runs off."
Jera is startled by the appearance of the Pyrrha dedicant, his built in Old One radar going haywire at such close proximity. He growls, shifting into a kneeling position and using his thumb at the edge of his bow, pretending that he's holding the needle and using his arrow to thread it. "Come on, all that practice with Left and Right..." He takes his time to aim at where the chinks normally would be in heavy armor, looking for a suitable time to shoot. Then adjusting to deal with the wind in the area. And then he looses an arrow, singing through the air.
The badger makes the mistake of glancing up at the deer, getting a strange feeling for a moment which he attempts to shrug off just as the jackal begins his charge. He goes to raise the dangeously thin-bladed spear with hooked blades at either side of it but... finds his left arm rather heavy. He starts a futile attempt to pull the spear forward at the ready with his left arm as though he's doing some sort of mime act but he can't bring himself to actually lift the weapon with his own willpower. Between his struggle with the strange inability to raise his weapon and the oncoming attacker, he doesn't give much notice of Cassidy's blade being drawn. He does let out an annoyed grumble as the rat climbs all over him but at the moment, is too distracted by his unmoving spear to say anything. Finally, he gives up in frustration and just drops the spear at his feet and mumbles to himself with his palm outstretched towards the jackal as he attempts some dark math to at darken the being's vision just in case Jera's arrow doesn't bring him down, balling his hand into an angry fist as he finishes the spell.
The Fire Elemental's smokebomb works to cloud the figure's form as flames catch along his figure, causing Cedric's spell to fail as the line of sight between the deer and the other three was interupted... THough, as Selena's fire elemental charged at it, a sudden round being of water bursts from the smoke to collide with the flaming construct. The water elemental and fire elemental both killing each other in a show of steam!
The Jackle is not one to give up easily himself it seems, as Jera's arrow lodges itself into his side... Though it eerily almost pierces completely through without stopping him! The Jackle pulling it out to toss to the side easily, his figure still completely covered by his armor though one versed int heir ways could only assume what he had done already.
Soon though, he sets back upon Selena, the femur blade cutting through her defenses to leave a deep gash upon the outer portion of her left thigh, as he cackles hollowly from behind his helmet.
Cassidy makes no move to stop the larger being from climbing over her, instead letting him come to her front. When he's there, she decides to put her new weapon to use. She could always pass it off as a misfire, perhaps, if it went wrong. Bringing her arm up to check that it was loaded properly with its poison bolts. Of course, her target gets a change at the last minute to the one that had injured Selena. Her mind lapsed into confusion, but she knew one thing: She had to stop him. So, using her airmath assisted leap that she was so fond of using, she tries to outright tackle the plated being over the edge of the bridge, using all of her bodyweight to do so, even if it meant going over herself.
Selena watches as the other magician counteracts her elemental - leaving her open for the cut on her leg, promting her to let out a loud yelp - and obviously very thankful that it hadn't hit anything too vital as she lands back on the bridge - though the presence of the olg'ish dedicant and Cassidy's lunge prompt her to focus on what she deems more appropriate for the time being - putting the cold snow around the Olg'ish Dedicant to good use in the form of a small 'avalanche' behind the being, all the while praying that the Pyrrha dedicant doesn't manage to pull a coup de grace on her. At least, the rapidly moving fox might help her with that.
Johnny groans at the going ons, the situation was kind of hectic. He moves closer to the smoke until he can see any signs of a figure before he fires, not wanting to let the snow blockade go to waste. Where was the merchant in all this, some fighter they are.
Jera watches Cedric's motions with eagle eyes. Calculating his next move. He grumbles, taking out /THE/ arrow from his quiver, activating the air math on it. He stands close to the edge of the bridge, lining up his angle correctly before strafing slowly along the side, and then he looses /THE/ arrow and hopes the resultant blast of air from his shot is enough to push the bastard over.
Well, his spell might've failed, but at least now Cedric feels like he's able to grab his spear again, and so he does! Leaning down quickly to recover his weapon he wastes no time rushing for the jackal and... although unable to raise it very high with some of the Olg'ish compulsion lingering, he should still be able to attempt a low gutting stab at the jackal!
Cedric's strike is true as the end sinks into the side of the Deer, whom is quick to conjure scythes of wind that are then whipped down the bridge! The first hitting Cedric square in the chest to send him flying back to land on the wood, as the second would smack into Johnny to throw off his previous aim and cause the Rat to stumble some.
Cassidy's valiant charge is rather effective, as it causes the armored creature to stumble back to the edge of the rope... Though it does cost her rather painfully, as he pulls a dagger from his hip, and sticks it into her side. Jera's arrow sails close to the Jackle, pulling Selena from the bridge and causing the heavy armored creature to finally fall down. Unfortunately for cassidy though, she's pulled down -with- the Jackal as the two fall and crash into the snow below.
Baldora is still stuck on the bridge himself, the Husky kneeling with his sword infront of him as he covers his eyes with his hands... Muttering a creators prayer, as he tries to stay out of the way still.
Cassidy gives a yelp as she feels the dagger pierce her side, but she does not relent, using the jackal to help break her fall into the snow. Scrambling from atop the plated figure, she pulls the dagger from her side with a growl and flips it around in her grip, dropping into a ready stance should he get back up. She didn't know just how bad that wound was, nor how long she could remain on her feet, but she intended to make the best of it.
Selena shakes her head as Baldora continues to do nothing himself - "Well, what're you waiting for!?" She yells down to the husky. "Move!" She calls out, holding a hand over the gash in her leg and glancing back to Cedric and Johnny - figuring that they have the situation up top sorted, peering down at the pair of beings in the snow and flinging snow from the hole Cassidy had left on landing to bury the jackal as much as possible while she backpedals towards the olg'ish dedicant and the rest of the group. "Cassidy, put something through his chest! Just make sure he has to use Pyrrha's power to not die!"
Johnny shoots the deer and is pushed about a bit by wind, stumbling before he grows a little aggravated. He moves to cross the bridge, passing the husky with a "Get yere head in the shuffle." He stows his pistol and pulls out his knife, ready to annihilate his foe when he meets them. "Hold them still." he says as his soul gem whispers to him the sweet tune of vital inards.
Jera watches the havoc that his shot cost, kneeling down and feeling exhaustion catch up. Peering over the edge...
Cedric is thrown back onto the bridge by the deer's scythes of wind hitting him square in the chest and actually managing to slice into his flesh and weaken the straps holding his breastplate onto his body. Standing up, his body armor falls off the edges of the bridge leaving him in an arming doublet with only the arm and leg armor still intact. He rushes forward at the deer again, activating some dark math as he makes another attempt to help Johnny finish off the deer once and for all!
Selena's efforts aid Cassidy well, as the armored Jackle's helmet soon is broken in enough to reveal the pure bone beneath as he's burried... Granted, the burial is slowl, and halfway there, but it's more than enough to slow him down from swinnging at Cassidy right now, and given the way he was holding the femur sword, he was ready to fight until the end.
The Deer is rather mutilated by the blurr of the Rat's attack, his body finally falling still as all three of his eyes appear rather dull and on the verge of being lifeless before he's struck by Cedric, causing his body to fall into the snow below.
With the threats along the bridge cleared, Baldora rises and grabs his mules, charging them along to the safety of the shore as he calls out to the freeswords. "Quick then! Let's get out of here before more show up!" The Husky's eyes wide and his breaths panting.
Cassidy staggers a little, clutching at her side where she had been stabbed, using her other hand to wield the weapon as she steps in with a lunge to try to return the knife to sender, hoping to plunge it through the breastplate. She hoped that would put the foe down, because she could swear it was getting warmer, and that was never a good sign in a place like this.
Selena calls down to Cassidy; "Just be careful! If he dies soon, then see if there's a missive or letter; if not then just leave him there - try to bury him in snow!" Though she doesn't stop moving until she's at the olg'ish dedicant and the others. "You're all alright, right?" she asks the group more than a little worriedly, looking down at the cultist and shaking her head. "... I still want to know why." she sighs, performing last rites for the being despite the fact they'd just tried to kill them before briefly frisking the being for anything that might hold clues, looking back over to the others. "I should clear the pass when we're done here. It wouldn't do to leave this mess."
Johnny stares at the body, his bow coming out before he stows it, Selena in harms way wasn't worth the risk, she could verify the dead. He lets his thoughts trickle to a calm as he eyes the merchant. Lot of help they were. "We can't leave we have someone stuck down in the snow." he says, although if he can be heard is another story. "Ya alrigh' down there?" he says as he gains a bit of rest, looking to see how Jera is as well. What a mess, if another group showed up they'd be done.
"Yeah, I'll be alright with a bit of rest..." Jera's echo swirls the wind around him whenever he uses air magic, and he's been inviting the cold all around him. He's shivering a little, starting to head closer to the group again, quite wanting this to end soon.
Cedric looks somewhat disappointed as he pulls his spear away. He wasn't able to drain the deer very much with that strike. At the very least, it's enough to keep going. He glances over the edge at the others and the deer's body before going to join the others and regroup. "Could someone pick up the greatsword I dropped down there?" he calls into the pit on his way.
The deer is indeed rather dead, allowing Selena to discover a half burnt and bloodied book on his person... It would be hard to make any sense of it, but it was indeed better than nothing. Baldora is quick as well to grab rope and throw it down the side, peering down at the skeleton Jackal with a grimace as he shouts. "Climb up the rope then! I don't think he's dying anytime soon, and we're -almost- there!"
Cassidy does indeed return it back to sender, though it's a hollow thud as she encounters no resistance after the plate. The half buried jackle screaming in her face as it swings the femur sword at her!
Cassidy knows she can't win this fight as is, and the clock was ticking. When the rope was tossed down, she covers her retreat with a small bit of wind magic. Just simple enough to kick up the fresher snow into the place she had just been, her figure blurring a few paces away as she works her tricks. She doesn't linger, though, quickly making for the rope and trying to climb it to safety on the bridge. Someting made more difficult in her injured state.
Selena shakes her head, somehow managing to 'gently stab' the deceased with Kendrac's baton as a final gesture - though when already dead one wonders if it even does anything. after a quick look at the book, Selena stows it in her bag -not willing to risk tearing the bloodied paper just yet, or further damage the burned sections. Though she ascends the slope quickly through the aid of her own magic, looking back at the jackal pitifully - but there's nothing she can really do about them in their state. One might even swear she mouths a 'sorry' to the enraged jackal, almost as though she'd prefer to stay - at least, until they come to their senses.
Back at the top, the wolfess looks back to Baldora severely. "Somehow I don't think those cultists attacked us for nothing. Is wine really your only shipment? Even they have ways of getting food out here and this is the first time I've seen a pair of cultists resort to banditry - much less that angry. And the poisoned wine back there, I still doubt the merchant was responsible for that."
Johnny grumbles and stares at the skeleton, before he shakes his head and moves to cross the bridge, bow in hand. "Yes she has a point, what exactly are you trying ta pull here?" he asks as he readies an arrow, staring at the husky. "C'mon we don't have all day, and this is a bad place for you to lie to us, just come clean and I'll probably be fine with continuing, they might not be."
Cedric nods in agreement as he approaches Baldora while following behind Johnny, "Right. Seems like a pretty big coincidence. I, too, doubt cultists would just attack us without some sort of reason... even if they are, y'know, insane cultists." he says, folding his arms across his chest as he taps one arm with his fingers impatiently.
Baldora draws his sword and readies it as Johnny aims an arrow at him, giving a low growl as the husky narrows his eyes. "I did -nothing-, if you want you may check my mules for yourself! I only came up here to deliver my shipment to the Theradorian fort. They're due to have a large ceremony soon, and wanted some foreign drinks! If you think I had -anything- to do with that dead trader, the wine, or even those two freaks you're wrong!"
Meanwhile, the Jackal is still working to free himself from the snow. Going as far as to pull the knife from his breastplate before letting out another hollow howl.
Cassidy hauls herself onto the bridge at least, gasping before she staggers to her feet and goes to stand between the husky and the others, reaching out to steady herself on whatever she can. "He's r-right. There's no need to jump to conclusions." She wasn't entirely sure, but he HAD just helped save her with that rope, and she wasn't about to let that go unthanked. "We don't need this right now. I think he's innocent. And... A medic would be really, really great right now," she jokes with a wheezing laugh. She casts a glance back down towards a jackal for a moment, frowning and thankful that he didn't have a bow or something.
Selena steps between the rat and husky, a limp readily aparrent - after all, the wolfess's leg did get sliced, Selena flinching a little. "Calm down, you two." she grumbles quietly. "Look, I want to know because this seems extremely unusual. What large event? Who's going to be there? Why do these beings care at all? This expedition has raised more questions than answers. When we're somewhere safer I'll have a look at the book I found on the deer's corpse but for now I don't want to risk damaging it any more." She sighs.
The rat eyes the husky and then nods, turning to release the arrow upon the skeleton, attempting to clip them. Probably didn't hurt but might impede them or hur their bones a little. "Good enough for me, I don't really care as long as you weren't responsible for trying to kill us and I get enough pay to buy weapons for shanty town from you. Calm yourself I wasn't going to shoot him even if he was lying, his carts are more important." he says as he eyes the skeleton thing and looks to Selena's leg. "We should hurry."
Cedric says, "Fine." Cedric says, nodding and calming himself down. "Right, yes. We shouldn't linger here in the cold, and we have injuries to tend to." he says, patting at his slashed flesh through his torn arming doublet with a sharp inhale through his teeth and a wince. He's sure he'll be fine, but still... he'd really like to get some herbal salve on these lacerations just in case. He looks to Selena noticing her limp and offers his arm to the wolfess. "Here, allow me. I'm relatively unscathed." he says, then a glance to the husky. "You. Help her walk. She's injured." he says to Baldora, motioning to Cassidy."
Jera is more interested in the goods on the pack mules at this point, taking a good inventory of what he would pillage first on the off chance the others do get suspicious at Baldora. He heads for the wine section first, popping the bottle and taking a sniff.
Baldora straightens himself slowly, before shaking his head to Selena. "I was told nothing of the party, or who was attending. You guess is as good as my own when it comes to this, as this expedition wasn't even meant to -answer- anything besides how much I'd be paying for security." The husky moving a mule close to Cassidy as he tries to assist her onto it. "But enough, they have medics at the fort, lets just go." The husky snarls as Jera pops a bottle open, pulling a book from within his jacket to flat handedly smack the fox upside the head with. "ARE YOU DAFT?! Don't open my wine you damn fool! That bottle alone was worth half of your escort!" His hands quick to snatch it back and recork it before he grumbles and goes to lead the group to the front of the keep.
The arrow certainly doesn't silence the jackal though, but thankfully he falls out of earshop when they finally make it to the front of the fort. Thera'dorian guards rushing out to aid Selena and Cassidy.
Cassidy smiles softly as the guards come out, giving a nod to Selena before collapsing onto one of them. Such a tiny lady, always succumbing to blood loss related issues, it seems. "I'll be fine, really. Just tend to her and stuff. Make sure she's fine, too," she murmurs softly before letting it overtake her entirely. She figures she'll be in safe hands.
Selena rubs her forehead and starts to trudge through the snow, a hand remaining on her thigh to hold the wound closed and peering back at the husky for a moment. "Well... Let's get this stuff delivered. For an escort, this has been far more eventful than it should've been. I'm sure you can agree, Baldora." she sighs, looking over the guards. "If you have bandages and some rubbing alcohol I'd appreciate that."
Johnny looks pleased to have reached the destination, getting ready to assist Baldora with their delivery to quicken his upcoming sale. "It was... alr'ght taking this task with you all, no hard feel'ins if I hurt or bothered yah." he says as he does so, to no one in paticular.
Jera didn't get any time to check for poisons at all, looking rather sheepish. "I've got a few dulling potions on hand too, those might work as antiseptic." He offers to Selena.
"Ah... yeah, sorry..." Cedric nods, suddenly feeling a embarassed about the encounter. "Sorry I couldn't do much to help. That deer did something to my head, somehow." he shakes his head, shivering at the thought of it. He did not like the feeling of someone messing with his head like that. "I might just have to dedicate some spare time into hunting down those particular cultists. The ones with those mind powers..." he says, mostly to himself before approaching the Thera'dor guards and removing his doublet to get some medicine on his cuts. He just hopes that none of these people knows who he is...
Baldora grumbles lowly, waiting until a Grey Fox with a Marshals insignia, and a surprisingly familiar fur pattern consisting of celtic knotwork, shows up to take him in the back for a bit. The guards binding the wounds and cleaning them, while unloading the mules of booze. The Husky returning a moments later with pay for everyone, before throwing a small box from the earlier carriage to each of them. "Consider it extra. I shall be here for awhile myself, so you're on your own returning."
Selena blinks, raising an eyebrow as she's passed some robes by the husky, watching over Cassidy as she's 'patched up', aparrently not too fussed about her own wound - though she flinches a little at the sting of disinfectant against her leg, taking the battered, burnt and bloodied book from her bag and carefully separating the pages, using a little water magic to dry out the blood.
Johnny collects a pretty neat looking sword, looking it over and tanking the husky before he eyes his haul and considers what to do for shanty towns weaponry with his cut. He'd teach em himself if he needed, they could enforce soon enouugh, no outsiders needed. Yeah, this was a good plan.
Jera looks at the immaculate bow, testing it with both hands. Not the most wieldy, but a fine reward nonetheless. "Thank you."
Cedric gets himself all treated and bandaged up before putting his arming doublet back on and stretching his limbs with a yawn. He sits himself down somewhere, looking to the others nearby. "I suggest a bit of a rest before we head back." he says, his eyelids already drooping. Of course, it should be obvious since they'd still need to wait for Cassidy anyhow. They couldn't just leave her here to walk back on her own.
The guards are soon to close the gates as the Freeswords are shown their way to a hot meal, bath, and bed should they want one. The patrols doubling, as soon the sounds of a party from the restricted section fill the night air, and somehow they knew they did good this day... Even if this day may very well be a terrible foreshadowing for the future.