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Gale Galoneth, Queen of Dea al Mon is desperate. 11 of her 12 daughters have fallen ill to the mysterious Waste. While the Brood of the True Born try to conquer her Territory she has opened its borders to call for aid.
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Author Topic: It's Dangerous To Go Alone  (Read 315 times)

Description: attn: Sparrow, Verdant

Offline Vengeance Elessar

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It's Dangerous To Go Alone
« on: Nov 10, 17, 03:04:00 PM »
Vengeance stepped from the shower, wrapped the towel around her trim form, and made her way back to her quarters to finish with her morning routine. It had been some days since her incident with Vanguard and the healing was complete -- Vengeance was cleared for duty once again and eagerly sought the first patrol. But as she did every morning before either sparring or going on patrol, she took fifteen minutes to meditate in her quarters.

After spreading the towel on the hard floor, Vengeance tucked her hair back, crossed her legs as she sat, and rested her hands lightly on her knees. She aligned her spine straight, imagining it a tree reaching resolutely towards the sky, before closing her eyes to begin. The air in her quarters cooled her damp skin, reminding her of the cool autumn breezes that tickled the gaps in her armor when she was outside. Drawn by that slow stirring of air, Vengeance descended slowly to depths of her Green, imagining the forest limned in that same verdant hue.

The silence around her became the stillness of that mental forest. There came no thoughts, no words. Vengeance walked softly, her bare feet buried in the loamy earth, delicate fronds caressing her thighs as she passed. That was all she ever did during these meditations -- walk the land that she fought so hard to save. Its beauty, even imagined, reminded her of her charge, her duty, why she had chosen her name, why she carried her blades. She did not imagine animals or other sentient inhabitants of the woodlands -- just forest with its endless Green.

Her fingers brushed the roughened bark of trees as she walked. Her hair flirted with the breeze that flowed over her bare shoulders and down her back. She walked until she felt completely at peace and then she paused, slowly turning to take in the forest around her. Her forest. Her land. One day, her fight would end and she would return to this. She would become the very forest she had died to protect.

Vengeance opened her eyes, knowing, without a doubt, her purpose.

With limber grace, Vengeance rose from her position and went to retrieve her clothes. With deliberate slowness, she armored herself -- pants, jerkin, weapon belt, armguards, boots -- and finally fastened her blood red and tattered cloak to her shoulderguards. Since this was patrol and not battle, Vengeance did not smear on her fearsome style of warpaint. She felt a bit naked without it still.

She saddled a horse -- a gray gelding -- and went out to meet her patrol partner for that day. It would feel good to be back at work and, as Vengeance prepared to set out, she felt her senses sharpening, extending. She had just led her horse out beyond the stables when she stopped, seeing her cousin Tempest nearing, with an unexpected companion at her side.

Offline Tempest Elessar

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Re: It's Dangerous To Go Alone
« Reply #1 on: Nov 10, 17, 03:15:51 PM »
“She will most likely attempt to push herself,” Tempest informed Sparrow as they walked towards the stable area that morning. The night before, Tempest had contacted the Healer about taking a patrol with Vengeance in the morning, aware that the two of them were known to each other but unaware of the depths of that knowledge. Mainly, Tempest wanted a Healer with Vengeance in case her wounds were aggravated. Given that Vengeance had a penchant for ignoring her body’s pleas for rest, Tempest had been shocked that her cousin had actually rested most of the last three days. Sparrow had checked in on Vengeance from time to time then so Tempest assumed that the Healer had said something to convince Vengeance to rest, rather than incite her into challenging Vanguard so foolishly again so soon.

Whatever had happened, Tempest wanted Sparrow with Vengeance this morning as an added precaution. Vengeance would easily endanger herself but she would not endanger another so easily. And Sparrow was a reliable Healer as well as an adept fighter. If anything happened, Tempest trusted that they would be able to escape to safety.

“I do not expect for you to be able to stop her, though you are welcome to try,” Tempest said to Sparrow. “I mainly just want someone with Healing abilities to keep an eye on her since it is her first day out in a few days.” As they turned the corner, they came into view of Vengeance, who was leading a gray gelding out of the stables. The Green witch stopped, watching them come near. Tempest was glad to see that there was no bloodlust shining out of her cousin’s eyes that morning -- she was calm, focused. That was a good sign.

“You will take the northern trails,” Tempest told them both. She nodded her head towards Sparrow. “Lady Caraslin will be your partner today. If you see anything unusual, do not engage. Report it back immediately.” The forests had been quiet lately but Tempest was uneasy with that quiet. Perhaps later she would commune with the land and see if she could suss out the source of her unease.

That would have to wait until she had given her squadron their orders for the day. “Any questions?” she asked of the two women. Vengeance shook her head. After Sparrow replied, Tempest nodded her head and said, “Good hunting to you. Speak to me after you return.” And she left them to decide the remaining details of their patrol.

Offline Sparrow Caraslin

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Re: It's Dangerous To Go Alone
« Reply #2 on: Nov 10, 17, 04:45:17 PM »
Her lips twitched as she saw Vengeance coming on a horse.  Vengeance had been a fairly well tempered patient.. Oddly enough.  She would have bet that Vengeance would fight harder against a Healer's edict.  Then again it had been Sparrow checking in on her.. And they both knew Sparrow was capable of fighting Vengeance when she was uninjured.

"No questions Matron."  She ran her hand over the quiver.. Her goose feathered arrows making her smile in a more violent fashion.  If she was lucky she would be able to use arrows like this against that Male...

She forced her thoughts back to the current moment.  Her eyes locked upon that of her partner again.  They were to be astride horses this time.  It would be harder to sneak up on Brood with the beasts.. It would also be easier to get away if necessary.

"I shall fetch my mount Lady Elessar.  Wont take but a moment."  She dropped into the stable and got a good set of reins on her favored gelding.  A darker boy with spirit in his step.  She didnt bother with a saddle.  No need to slow him for a patrol.

"No complaints this morning?"  She gave Vengeance that slow grin.  "Stiff muscles or creaky bones?  Good.  Let us get started."  With any luck Verdant would keep the Brood away.  Vengeance wouldnt be in danger and.. And she would have more time to figure out what the hell she was going to do.

Because she still had no idea how to handle it.  On one hand Verdant had killed her Shieldmaid.. But she had also kept the little village safe from Brood and not harmed anyone else.

It felt like a deal with a dragon.. And she wasnt sure how to do better.  Reporting her was necessary.  But.. She was a Queen.

Could she do that?

Offline Verdant Ólerydor

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Re: It's Dangerous To Go Alone
« Reply #3 on: Nov 11, 17, 05:39:22 PM »
Verdant watched them. The small party as they mounted their awkward beasts. The jangling of metal sharp enough that her fangs were bared in displeasure. Eyes narrowed at these women so close to her Sparrow. These women who slowed and stilled the healer's innate grace. They pushed her into a mold of awkward obedience and stilted ceremonial form.

Verdant skulked, a small little blond monster hidden by the curve of a branch. Her slender form and ragged clothing melded into the forest until she was that. Verdant; the perfect living of lush green. The sight shield wrapped around her. A snug blending of craft and knowledge. The shadows and shifting of branches utilized to cloak her movements. Bare feet and claw-tipped fingers allowed her to move silently through the canopy. The forest ever hers.

It sang to her and vibrated beneath the fall of those hooves. She could feel her trees shifting and stretching for the sunlight. Their slow, patient, waiting to turn to a neutral sort of fondness as she fed them just a little of her strength. Just enough that the branches shifted to make her roadway easier.

This new female was not one she had observed her little bird with. A puzzle for the Queen to puzzle out. Was this female a friend or was she living meat? There was nothing in between. All things could be food if they served no purpose outside of that. Red jewels meant that very little could rebuff her advances of making them a meal; more so the animals of the forest.

For now, she would study and see. If this female offered Sparrow threat then Verdant would have her meal of living meat. The bargain between them struck and honored.

Offline Vengeance Elessar

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Re: It's Dangerous To Go Alone
« Reply #4 on: Dec 04, 17, 10:42:33 AM »
As they mounted their horses, Sparrow asked, "No complaints this morning?"  She gave Vengeance that slow grin that usually sent the other woman into a prowling state of mind.  "Stiff muscles or creaky bones?  Good.  Let us get started." And she urged her horse forward. Vengeance followed behind.

They went on for a bit in silence, Sparrow in the fore and Vengeance protecting the rear, before Vengeance paused her mount for a moment, her eyes scanning the forest. There was a stillness to the forest that came with the nearness of a predator. Vengeance knew that she and Sparrow were predators but there was something else to this silence. It waited. It...watched.

Nothing happened. No sound, no attack. The stillness persisted. An itch developed in the back of Vengeance’s brain but she did not scratch it by giving in to paranoia. Not yet.

She urged her horse forward again. “It has been too quiet lately,” she remarked to Sparrow, deciding to give voice to her frustrations lately. Bedridden with healing, Vengeance had not been able to practice her weapon skills those days, and now, patrols were equally uneventful.

Where had the Brood gone? What were they doing, now that they had one of the Galoneth daughters?

Vengeance’s lip curled. She wanted to find out and, once she had discovered their surely nefarious purpose, she ached to put her blades through the Brood Queen that orchestrated this war.

“Where have they gone?” she mused aloud. “They cannot be afraid of us.” Though she did think of Vanguard and his malicious sword. Was that enough? No, it did not seem...likely. The Brood were not cowed so easily.

The itching feeling of something watching remained.

Vengeance looked out into the forest again, as though the source of that nag would reveal itself. “What are they planning?” she wondered quietly.

Offline Sparrow Caraslin

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Re: It's Dangerous To Go Alone
« Reply #5 on: Dec 04, 17, 04:36:07 PM »
where have they gone echoed in her ears.  She knew what had spooked them off, if spook was the right word for what Verdant would do to other Brood who came near her.  She blinked a few times, letting her eyes rest on Vengeance as she seemed to catch on to the sense that they were... not alone.

Sparrow had noticed quickly when Verdant was around.  She was positive the Queen was here too, just because of the sensation on her neck.  She had almost thought that Vengeance wouldn't pick up on it.  She had hoped that Vengeance wouldn't pick up on it.

Verdant had made good on her word.  She had not allowed other Brood near Sparrow's little section of forest, and her family, so long as they remained in that territory, would be safe.  It didn't mean she was comfortable.  Far from it.

She'd considered telling Vengeance, she truly had. But prudence kept her mouth shut.  Vengeance would likely challenge Verdant here.. and Verdant would answer it.  She didn't want to be responsible for Vengeance's death.

"Perhaps they are simply watching, studying."  It wasn't a lie.  It was, in fact, as close to the truth as it could be.  "I sometimes wonder..."  She turned her eyes to the west, wondering if Verdant was lounging in the tree limbs.  "I wonder what remains of who they were in the ones that can look more like us.  Do they remember their families, and their loves?  Or are they just..."

She kept it quiet at that.  It was a dangerous line of thought.  If there was anything in the Brood that could still love, she would feel more merciful against those that came against her.  A moment of compassion might be the very thing that killed her, someday.  She shook herself.  "Never mind.  It doesn't matter, really.  If we come across them, then they have to die."

A warning for herself, and for the ears she was certain were listening.  "If you see a dark haired male... with feathers on his head?  Be wary.  He's... fast."  More than fast.  What had kept her alive in that fight was her own ability to stay high in the trees, and to move quickly herself.  Had she been any lighter she likely would have died.

She wasn't too proud to admit it.

Offline Verdant Ólerydor

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Re: It's Dangerous To Go Alone
« Reply #6 on: Dec 18, 17, 10:52:12 PM »
Verdant moved through the canopy. Her slow glide through the trees a creeping sort of movement. Body stretched into a leonine form as she crawled forward on all fours. Awkward as if her shoulders and spine were shaped wrong and yet oddly graceful. Almost a true blending of the serpentine and feline as she allowed the subtle shifting of branch and bough to guide her. Ears listened even as she gave a low chuffing growl. The other female was too close to her Sparrow. Too close by far and it raised her territorial hackles until a snarl rested upon her lips. The faintest glinting of fang before the woman rose up enough against the spirit to remind of the patience needed in a prolonged hunt.

Their conversation was noted; filed away into the back of her mind even as her senses reached out. The connection with the forest deep as she used each bit of it to tell her of those moving through. The faint thrum of insects, the chorus of birds, and scurrying of rodents all were heralds of passages. The clumsy beasts that bore her Sparrow-hawk and the offending female stole away their ability to use this song. Hide and burdened down the Healer's lithe dance through the forest. Her Bird was part of the wood; a creature of nature that was caged behind the flimsy bars of civilization that the Dea al Mon crouched as their defining form from the Brood. Their eyes obscured from the truth of what nature intended for them.

Sparrow's next question caused Verdant to pause. Was her Bird opening her eyes? Seeing that the Brood were not monsters, well not fully at least. Could her healer survive such questions rattling around her mind? Would knowing that they did think, remember, and even love in their own way, would that cause her resolve to fracture at a crucial moment? Pleasure of her Sparrow-hawk thinking and questioning made her also fear. They all thought even her feral and lost brothers had some thoughts and emotions remaining to them. Could her healer afford to see them as people who had a right to live?

The next words pleased Verdant. Her Bird was a hunter. She would fly true and strike. All the better victory when she came to them of her will. A better offering to lay at Brood mother's feet. A sapphire gift with all the passions and intelligence of one who had come, not from madness, but willing subjugation. Sparrow would yield; be it by her will or necessity of the Waste. Eventually her Healer would come to her hand and she would be an indulgent mistress for it.

Later she would relay Sparrow's words to Spite. Let him know his strength and speed had impressed the formidable Healer. It would stroke and soothe his ego even as she stroked and fueled his passions. The melding of bodies, his and hers, Ash's and hers, or Paladin's and hers; they all danced and worked together for a moment giving her respite from the constant urge for violence and the hunt. A focus other than the chase and pounce. The cat was obsessive while the Queen was introspective; a war of self that constantly waged in the solitude of her silent guard.

The game of follow was too easy. Too passive. A game that Verdant wished to ante up for her need and drive to constantly challenge her little Sparrow-Hawk. A wizened apple, stolen from a squirrel's cache, found itself dropped nearly onto Sparrow's lap. A small thing, the little crab apple, all wrinkled and wizened from age, but a gift. Later Verdant would make up a better gift for her pet; something bright colored to match her companion's markings. A warning that Verdant did not like to share what was hers.


Offline Vengeance Elessar

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Re: It's Dangerous To Go Alone
« Reply #7 on: Jan 03, 18, 03:43:09 PM »
"Perhaps they are simply watching, studying,"  her Healer-lover-partner said. Vengeance inwardly agreed with this statement. That is what it felt like, like they were being watched as a society. That the Brood were waiting for some distant cue to begin the next round of battles.

Vengeance, of course, did not like waiting.

"I sometimes wonder..."  Sparrow said softly.  "I wonder what remains of who they were in the ones that can look more like us.  Do they remember their families, and their loves?  Or are they just..."

“Monsters,” Vengeance finished for her, her voice just as soft but far more damning. “They have forsaken us, Sparrow, forsaken themselves. If they remember anything at all of their families, they choose not to honor those bonds.” They were damned, quite simply.

After a moment, Sparrow said,  "Never mind.  It doesn't matter, really.  If we come across them, then they have to die."

“They will not hesitate in showing us the same violence,” Vengeance assured her. “We are the monsters to them. Truce is unacceptable.” There could never be a truce, Vengeance felt, so long as both factions lived. One had to conquer the other entirely eventually. Vengeance intended for it to be the Dea al Mon and would believe that until she died, fighting.

Sparrow then warned her, "If you see a dark haired male... with feathers on his head?  Be wary.  He's... fast."

Vengeance turned her head to look at her, her expression darkly quizzical. “Fast? How?” By the Darkness, could the Brood now sprout wings and fly? Her gaze becoming piercing, she added, “You have fought one? Recently?” A hunger for battle sang in her blood, as sharp and as heady as wine. Her horse stepped closer a few paces at Vengeance’s involuntary nudge. “When? Where?” she whispered fiercely.

That’s when, from the trees above, a tiny little crab apple dropped almost neatly into Sparrow’s lap.

Vengeance looked at the apple for the longest time and then up at the tree that had most likely spawned it, her eyes narrowing warily. Did they have company? Or as it truly just the fumbling claws of a critter that had dropped the apple?

She called one of her short swords to hand just in case but said nothing, her eyes continuing to scan the trees.

Offline Sparrow Caraslin

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Re: It's Dangerous To Go Alone
« Reply #8 on: Jan 04, 18, 08:40:40 PM »
"Fought him... survived him."  She said it quietly, rolling the small apple between her fingers.  Part of her was tempted to throw it into the trees.  She would not.  Instead, she simply looked around.. and then slid off the horse.  With a soft sound, she motioned for Vengeance to keep an eye out.  Carefully, she looked for.. there.  A spot with good light. 

She strode closer, then knelt near it and pulled out a small knife.  Even more carefully, she peeled into the flesh of the apple, digging out the seed before then digging out a small hole.  The seed went in, she covered it, and poured a bit of her water.  Then she took the flesh of the apple and fed the horse before climbing back on.

"It was a little while back.. shortly after the attack on Black Castle.  I went strolling through the Southern Woods, needed to clear my head."  She clenched her jaw, remembering that day.  "I spotted him, from a distance.  I was so.. angry.  So I let an arrow fly.  Hit him in the shoulder.. and then I realized he was a damned Warlord Prince.  Worse, he still had his Jewels."  She frowned, glancing at Vengeance.  "He's quick.  Right on part with us, if not a little faster.  It was my height in the trees that let me avoid the worst of it, if I'm honest.  I could have taken him."

She shook her head.  "He had reinforcements.  So I retreated.  Unfortunately, my Shieldmaid was pissed I had been out alone.  She berated me, ripped me a new ass... and then she died that night.  Was torn to pieces and decorated my house."  She glanced at Vengeance.  "You might have heard about it.  I was kept in town for a while after that, but no one ever caught the scent of the monster that did it."

No one but her.  And by that point - well... she still didn't know what to do about Verdant.  If she let anyone know about the Brood Queen stalking her, they might just walk into their deaths.  Verdant had given her an odd little peace agreement, and she was going tomake use of it.  She would train, and practice.. and eventually, when the Brood broke her promise... she'd dig deep and find a way to kill her.

Never mind the idea twisted her guts.

"We should keep moving.  Stationary targets are easier to ambush."

Offline Vengeance Elessar

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Re: It's Dangerous To Go Alone
« Reply #9 on: Jan 18, 18, 12:57:45 PM »
It was Sparrow’s nonchalant handling of the apple falling that reigned Vengeance back in. If her partner was unperturbed, then Vengeance would not jump at shadows either, though she was not entirely convinced yet that they were safe. As Sparrow went to bury the little apple, in the hopes that it would one day become a tree, Vengeance listened to her speak about her encounter with the feathered Brood, her gaze critically thoughtful.

And as she listened to the retelling of the Shieldmaiden who had unexpectedly and very violently lost her life, Vengeance concluded with, “Retribution. For your escape,” though she did not know then that she was incorrect. In her mind, with his original prey out of reach, the feathered Brood went for the next target he could acquire, which had been the more vulnerable Shieldmaiden. But the fact that the witch had died in Sparrow’s abode troubled Vengeance and she could not piece together why. It would be something for her to review later, if the subject came up again.

"We should keep moving.  Stationary targets are easier to ambush,” Sparrow pointed out after she finished burying the apple seed. Vengeance nodded her agreement and they moved on.

At midday, they halted near a stream so that they could water the horses and eat a small meal of travel rations. Vengeance’s eyes continued to scan the forest around them absently but she sensed and saw nothing. “What do you think they have planned, now that they have a daughter of Queen Galoneth?” she asked Sparrow, though the chances of the Healer knowing any new information about this theory were slim as well. The obvious reason for their sudden retreat had to with the fact that the Brood had attained a prize of some sort -- now the Dea al Mon had to figure out what they planned to do with that prize.

It all went back to that feeling of waiting, and Vengeance fingered the hilt of one of her short swords restlessly. She wished something would happen, some enemy would appear, because waiting for the next battle was aggravating beyond words.

Offline Verdant Ólerydor

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Re: It's Dangerous To Go Alone
« Reply #10 on: Feb 12, 18, 10:22:27 PM »
Verdant listened. Their voices were not intended for silence; they rode horses that announced their presence to any Brood or predator within a two mile distance. Enough noise that if there were others not warned away by the mercurial queen and the Brood's own efforts in a different part of the territory the two shield-maidens would have more to worry about than her Spite. She drank in the words they shared. The Queen in her analyzing them to carry back to Wraith and the Brood Mother later. The way they sat on their horses. The delightful way the mounts would scream before craft turned them into finely pulverized bits of gore, the beautiful scent of fear. That was in her mind. An imaginary delight even as her promise to little Sparrow was remembered. So long as this woman did not threaten her bird, did not touch her bird, she could live.

The words carried. Retribution. Oh, the painted one had a good idea even if the end result was off mark. Retribution for yelling at her bird. Of making her feel those delicious smelling emotions that came from prey meat and not the fierce warrior whose blood was filled with living. A Healer whose Blood was brimming and bubbling. Would she adore living meat as much as Verdant did? The taste of flesh that sang with life and power as blood called to blood; would that too rest like warmed butter upon the Sparrow's tongue? Questions for later even as the painted one continued to mull. Question that they took the youngest daughter of the wicked Dea al Mon queen.

What mother locked her daughters up to die? To wither away from the waste as well as their people? Only the Brood understood the pain of such. The fear and hopelessness that came as the Waste stole what sense of self and sanity you had. Until all that mattered was the hunger and anger that festered within. More importantly had they forgotten her Hope was also a daughter of that family? A brave daughter who had found a true mother?

The outrage earned a chuffing cough. The rattling noise of those notorious cats who perched on high limbs. Creatures who were rarely kindred and always predator. A noise that could be considered a territory warning even as much as a simple forest note. For a moment the tree beneath her sported the faintest inkling of frost before evaporating away. Her body once more moving through bough; burying herself away in branch and foliage to better protect her cover.

These things Sparrow could understand, could know and be told, if she would but listen. Something the feline knew instinctively that the Healer was not ready for. Even as Verdant knew in time it would come down to either Brood or Dea al Mon; there could never be peace or accord between the two kin species. No so long as one spoke with the spirits and the forest; those who bowed to the Mother. Not so long as Deal al Mon Queen ruled and saw only monsters and held her ruthless edge to exterminate and twist nature to her people's bidding.

Offline Sparrow Caraslin

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Re: It's Dangerous To Go Alone
« Reply #11 on: Feb 13, 18, 09:15:03 AM »
Verdant was listening.  She knew it, as surely as she knew the beat of her own heart.  It was disarming, knowing that a Queen was so focused on you.  Brood or not.. Verdant was a Queen.  That... was disarming too.  If the Brood were truly just monsters, shouldn't that scent of Queen have faded?

Shouldn't she be... less

The confusion that caused made her brow furrow.

"Retribution... perhaps you are right.  I did injure him."  Never mind that it was the Brood Queen who had killed the Shieldmaid... she'd admitted as much.  And even if she hadn't, Verdant was the one leaving presents for her all the damned time.  The artful display of the body?  THAT had been a 'present' too.  Like the Queen was painting a picture of how she would protect and avenge what she saw as hers.

That thought was somewhat chilling, actually.  If Verdant was feeling that possessive, how safe would Vengeance be?  Verdant outranked the both of them.. she was at least twice as strong as Sparrow, and even working together Vengeance and Sparrow would be hard pressed to defend themselves against a Red.. let alone the Queen who bore it.

Verdant wouldn't fight in the open, most likely.  It would be an ambush... and Vengeance couldn't sense the Queen.  Sparrow... sensed something about the Queen's presence.  But it didn't mean she would be able to sense if the Queen decided to end them.  It didn't mean they'd be safe.

Her head turned, regarding Vengeance as she asked her question.  Her brow went up, and then she looked forward again.  Quiet, for a long while, as she pondered the question herself.

"It's just a theory."  She said it quietly, whispering it more than anything else.  "But... perhaps they see those with the waste as family, and see those of us who imprison them as monsters.  Perhaps, in becoming Brood, they feel that they have only one choice - to live or to die."  She reached up, brushing some hair back from her face.  "And perhaps... perhaps they are right.  It is the nature of all creatures to live, Vengeance.  They all feel a drive to fight for their next breath.  Perhaps the point is no more complicated than that they wished to rescue someone that our own people were condemning to die, when they could help?  Or maybe they simply knew that a daughter of the Queen might hold some key bit of knowledge or power."  She shrugged.

"I can't do more than guess, really.  But I imagine... if I knew of someone imprisoned by the Brood, I would want to go rescue them.  Especially if I knew them, or cared for them.  Perhaps the Lady was known by one of their number, and perhaps... perhaps they were unwilling to let her die in a cage.  For all we know, however they become Brood might very well have killed her."

A soft sound of resigned amusement touched her lips.  "In this, I think, I am more Healer than killer.  I can't help but think there has to be some sort of higher reasoning behind it.  They aren't all mindless monsters.. they can't be, or the attack on the Castle wouldn't have been so effective.  If they can reason to the point that they can plan so well.. then they must have emotions, and if they must have emotions, they must have instincts that function similarly to all other living beings.  I may love killing them, Vengeance... but I feel their deaths when I do."

Offline Vengeance Elessar

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Re: It's Dangerous To Go Alone
« Reply #12 on: Apr 02, 18, 02:28:27 PM »
Vengeance listened to Sparrow puzzle out her thoughts and feelings about the Brood and their intentions with the piercing focus of a hawk spying a mouse to eat. Though her face was impassive, masked, there was a critical light to her eyes that suggested a hardened heart, that she vehemently disagreed with Sparrow’s line of thinking and was looking for a way to craft a trap with her words.

Even after Sparrow let out that sigh of resigned amusement, the piercing look remained for too long of a moment. The logic behind Sparrow’s words made sense, coming from a Brood’s twisted point of view, but the fact that Sparrow had spent time thinking about this sat ill with Vengeance. That combined with the fact that she had recently had skirmishes with the Brood in very odd, almost...arranged circumstances.

A niggling thought inched its way into Vengeance’s mind: was Sparrow being hunted for more than just death by the Brood?

Vengeance looked over to where Sparrow had buried the fallen apple. Thought about the chuffing sound of a cat nearby. The unnerving silence of the forest around them. The absence of the Brood, the feeling of waiting… And yes, how effective the attack on the Black Castle had been.

Paranoia, perhaps, but one did not become paranoid without what seemed like logical reasons. Cautiously, Vengeance urged her mount forward again. Were the Brood plotting an ambush nearby?

Thinking back to Sparrow’s encountered with the feathered Brood, Vengeance, “When you fought the bird one, did he speak? Did he say anything?” Nearly all of her interactions with the Brood were without words -- and she preferred it that way. It was easier to think of them as mindless monsters, controlled by an Ebon Gray monster, rather than thinking and feeling Blood, even a shadow of their former selves.

But, in Vengeance’s mind, if the feathered Brood -- or any of them -- had spoken with Sparrow during her encounters with them recently, then that could explain Sparrow’s softened heart more than just her Healer Caste.

There was one thing that Vengeance could just not wrap her mind around just yet. Vengeance had lost family to the Brood, as had Sparrow. But if her family had become Brood or succumb to the Waste, would it not be kinder to end their lives quickly, rather than foster a sense that they could return to their former selves? It fell along the lines of a rabid animal -- just because it had moments of clarity, of calm, that did not mean the animal would never lash out at the hand that cared for it. The Brood and their Waste, like rabies, were a disease in which death was the only option.

Offline Sparrow Caraslin

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Re: It's Dangerous To Go Alone
« Reply #13 on: Apr 02, 18, 05:07:50 PM »
Did he speak?  Did he say anything?

She rolled her eyes to the side, watching Vengeance with that same lifted eyebrow she always had at an odd statement, or action.  Odd actions were something Vengeance performed on a regular basis.  Asking whether the Brood had spoken?  Definitely odd.  For Vengeance.

"Yes, he spoke.  But we didn't really have so much a conversation as..."  She considered it.  "He was very upset that I had put an arrow into him, dislocated his jaw, and taken a few slices out of him."  She shrugged.

"Frankly, I'd rather pluck every feather out of his skull and kick his corpse through a few walls.. but it didn't happen."  She grimaced.  Even now, she'd still like to kill that feathered monster.  She'd still like to see him dead.  He had seemed.. monstrous.

And the Queen?

Well.. she was a damned Queen. Corrupt monster or not... She winced, pulling her thoughts away from that direction.  Verdant would have to die someday.  But she was fairly certain at the moment that it would never be her blade that did it.  Not because her blade was not sharp.. but because she wasn't sure she could kill a Queen.

Any Queen.. and maybe especially that one.

And that bothered her.  A hell of a lot.  "I worry.  What if.."  She swallowed, Ash's face so clear in her thoughts that it was as if all these years hadn't happened.  As if she'd seen him just yesterday.  What if her family hadn't died?  What if Ash, or her mother, or her father..  She shuddered.  What if they were like that feathered asshole?  What if.. what if they could speak?   "It doesn't matter.  Whether they can speak or not."

Would she be able to kill them?  Or would they kill her while she stared, stunned, and unable to let her arrow fly?  What if they lived, and Verdant found out about them?  The damned cat would rub them in her face, she just knew it.

So she clenched her jaw, burying her childish desire to know beneath the oath and duty she currently bore.

"what I want.. is for the cure to the Waste to be discovered.  No matter how much we fight the Brood.. it won't matter if eventually all of us fall to that plague."

Offline Vengeance Elessar

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Re: It's Dangerous To Go Alone
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 18, 11:50:30 AM »
When Sparrow said that the conversation had basically been curses and threats due to blooding and bruising, Vengeance’s smile turned into one of feral approval. Then, yes, like Sparrow said, it didn’t matter if they could speak or not. So long as they didn’t start developing lengthy philosophical conversations with the Dea al Mon about the pros and cons of being Brood… Them not speaking like civilized creatures went a long way in assuring Vengeance that they were not tampering with Sparrow or others, trying to...convert them or sway them to their hideous cause.

"What I want…” Sparrow said, “is for the cure to the Waste to be discovered.  No matter how much we fight the Brood.. It won't matter if eventually all of us fall to that plague." The tone of her voice was bothered.

Vengeance paused for a moment and then slid from her horse, striding slowly to Sparrow’s side. Her fingers captured the Healer’s chin gently but firmly as she looked into her eyes. “It is something we all wish for,” she agreed. Though many, even Vengeance herself at times, would wonder what the Dea al Mon would be without its vicious conflict, Vengeance’s warrior heart longed for a day when she could lay her weapons down and know that there was peace within their lands.

The Queens and the Priestesses would discover a cure, Vengeance believed. Until then, they would have to continue fighting.

Vengeance leaned forward to kiss Sparrow gently. Feral and fierce, there was also a tender side to her, much like a lioness who was fearless yet nuzzled her cubs knowing they were fragile. Vengeance the fighter had no gentleness to spare. Vengeance the lover was passionate in many forms -- having her for a lover meant that there would be times of sharp, almost painful pleasure and times of savored love. “We will live to see that day,” Vengeance murmured against Sparrow’s mouth.