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Hidden 4 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by The Otter
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Fionn MacKerracher



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Fionn turned away, looking back in the direction of the others as Serenity scoffed at his question. Less out of any immediate interest and more so that she wouldn't have the opportunity to see the frown that played across his face at her response; where he'd been hoping for personal wishes, he received family commentary instead. As easily as she did engage in conversation at times, it seemed like tossing a coin would be a better way to predict whether he'd receive obligation and formality or genuine personality than the bend of any conversation itself.

It seemed just as likely she might switch within the same breath, as well, if her last comment at him was any indication.

"Perhaps he's pretentious enough to have an entire court," he muttered to himself as Lein and Cecilia jumped to either side of Serenity and voiced their plans for the battle—before giving a small chuckle at both the thought and the unmistakable sound of Serenity's armour as she stepped away from the pair's grasp. If Jeremiah had seen fit to grant all his lieutenants titles in mockery of royalty like his own, then some among their order would at least have fuel for their jokes for the next month or so.

Though he doubted any of the Bandit King's knights would be honourable enough to continue to stand in his defence once their defeat was made obvious.

All such thoughts were pushed away as their advance was halted by Fanilly's cry, Fionn hastily making his way to the front of the group just behind Serenity. Gerard's observation merited a grunt of agreement, while Tyaethe's momentary instruction got a fast nod. "Was already planning on it," he replied as he took a position opposite Gerard, his blade held low to the side. Between himself and his two fellows, the Captain was well protected from any immediate assault by bandits who lay waiting in the shadows.

In the moments waiting for the trap to be sprung, possibilities raced through his mind. The bait was obvious, as easily ignored as it was recognized. Were these brigands as successful as was said, then there was no chance they would have been relying on it. Undoubtedly, they knew the terrain better than did the knights, either taking a preeminently tactical position from which to attack, moving to encircle the knights as soon as they passed beyond the relative safety of the road, or, lastly, moving to surround specifically if the bait was taken.

Straining to hear any such movements, he hoped that Fanilly would retreat as suggested; if the Captain could be safeguarded between Serenity and Renar or Fleuri, then that would free up himself and Gerard to cut a path through their ensnarement and allow the others to quickly reposition and take on the offensive. A far more survivable counter to their current predicament than having to attempt to defend on all sides.

"Gerard, on me!" he barked at the younger man, knowing that his fellow former mercenary would know when to comply with the suggestion.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Psyker Landshark
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Renar Hagen


Renar let the byplay between Dame Serenity, Sir Fionn, and the archers pass over him without comment, not seeing any particular need to interject in that conversation. Besides, it seemed the Knight-Captain was finally doling out orders. A standard encirclement tactic, as was expected, considering her last move. Still, there were prisoners to save, he supposed. No time to come up with something more inspired or unique.

As the knights advanced, Renar noticed the obstacle ahead almost immediately, and just as quickly recognized that it was an obvious trap. What he somehow failed to recognize, however, was that their captain would suddenly decided to run forward and leave herself vulnerable to it. For a moment, he was more disappointed in himself for not realizing that this would be Fanilly's exact move than he was in her actually falling for this trick. Of course an inexperienced, impulsive sixteen year old would take the bait immediately out of a misguided sense of compassion.

"Oh, dear." Renar sighed, twirling his poleaxe down into a ready position as he stalked forward, following after Serenity, Gerard, and Fionn. He kept his gaze towards the trees as he reached his compatriots, taking his weapon up into both hands as he took up a defensive stance next to Serenity.

"Knight-Captain, with all due respect, we're about to be surrounded any moment now." Renar chided gently. "Us four will provide cover and clear a path for you to bring that man back to be questioned. Dame Serenity, it seems our comrades plan to do the clearing. Shall we ensure the captain isn't sniped by a stray arrow?" He didn't have a shield like Serenity did, but his cloak would at least provide some measure of deflection so long as he could see where the bandits would be firing from.
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Aeolian
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Aeolian Proud Fujoshi

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Hope's Theme
Hope's English Voice
Hope's Japanese Voice
🌹 "This light is a ray of hope." 🌹

🌹 Time: Morning 🌹 Location: Inside a dark forest 🌹 Interaction: Griggs the One-Eyed Knight (NPC), Yasha (Special NPC) 🌹


Hope's eyes traced the movement of his angelic spirit Yahoel as the being hovered over the knights like a feathery star and shimmered under the moonlight, its eyes trained across the tree line for any signs of bandits and other mongrels who wish them harm. Before Hope had a chance to call on this angel for a report, someone shoved him in the back, causing him to stagger. It was a thick knight, seemingly missing an eye. Hope recognized him, one of his harrassers of no notable notoriety.

"You fool. You don't do anything until the Knight-Captain commands it. With this spectacle of magic you put on..." he said, motioning toward the angel in the sky with a look of disdain, "...you might as well have exposed us to the enemy. You pretty little mages don't belong in the Rose Knights anyways."

Hope looked at the man, startled. "I'm sorry. This is my first..."

"I don't give a damn if this is your first masquerade, princess, you wait until you're given the command to act."

Stunned, and ashamed at the reprimanding, Hope remained silent, looking away with a clenched jaw, uncharacteristically hardening his delicate features. The one-eyed man stepped closer and shoved him again, in the chest this time. "You got that beauty queen?". A heavy silence fell between them, only angering the knight further. Hope flinched as the man moved in to shove him again. But before he had a chance, someone grabbed his wrist. When the shove never came, Hope's eyes raised slowly and landed on a tall slim figure. Another knight, a man with features like snow; white hair framing a pale face under his helmet and piercing silver eyes.

"That's enough Griggs." the silver-haired knight said. Hope looked at him, perplexed. He'd never seen him in Candaeln before.

"Piss off, Yasha. He don't need your protection." Griggs barked, jerking his wrist loose from Yasha's firm grip. "I'm not..." Yasha responded, voice cold like ice, "...but your causing a bigger spectacle than the angel. Move up the line before you sully yourself."

"You..." Griggs growled, and the two men glared at each other for a brief moment. Eventually, Griggs relented, shoving past Hope and Yasha. The latter turned to the Hope and they shared an unusual gaze, though, despite his prior actions, Yasha's look toward him wasn't very friendly. "Your charms won't save you out here. Try not to get killed." And with that, the silver-haired Yasha moved past him as well.

Hope stood absolutely motionless, stunned by the interaction that just transpired. Eventually, he was shaken from his perplexed countenance when the Knight-Captain, Fanilly, began preparations. Hope admired her resilience and will to command an entire army. Despite her age, she took up the mantle and it was truly awe-inspiring. Hope nodded when she mentioned the support that his winged-spirit Yahoel would provide to Dame Cecilia's mission. And as they finally entered the dark forest, Hope's angel kept to the canopies, illuminating the darkness in a way that the moonlight just couldn't reach.

When they came to the shocking scene with the abandoned broken caravan and the bleeding person on the ground, Hope's spirit immediately flew back to him, knowingly. It expanded it's wings in a way that partially surrounded Hope's lithe frame. It took a battle stance, as did he. Hope looked at the scene, his stomach dropping. He only wished that Fanilly had been more careful before running to the body so haphazardly. But, once others took position around her, he felt a bit more relief. Still, enemies loomed in the darkness, waiting to pounce. Yahoel had seen something, which is why it flew back to protect him so quickly.

"My lord, danger lies within the shadows." Yahoel said.

Hope nodded. "I understand. Remain on guard. We must provide support to our comrades where we can." He stepped closer to the angel, leaning into its protection and familiar aura. Hope understood that his role was not on the front lines. Charging in with silver and brawn was not why he had been invited to join the Rose Knights. With his defensive magic, he could save a lot of lives tonight. He steeled himself, ready to protect his compatriots from any vagabond that tried to strike them.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Crimson Paladin
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Fleuri Jodeau


Fleuri heard the captain's orders to split and encircle. This told Fleuri two things- first, Fanilly believed they were close to the bandits, second, she had received some instruction in battlefield tactics. Still, they've have to wait and see how well she could command in the heat of battle. During the war, Fleuri had once been told that even a brilliantly laid battle plan could falter once combat actually began. This would be a pretty big deal for her, because as far as he knew it'd be her first time actually leading a battle, and how they performed during this battle would reflect on how the nobility of Thaln would judge her worthiness to be the captain of the Iron Roses, and her ability to hold onto the position.

Not being one for defensive fighting, Fleuri took up a position at the front of the knights' left flank. His two-handed sword and Reonite mindset favoring aggressive combat would suit him here much more than the center with the captain. It would be difficult to outmaneuver these bandits in the woods, but he figured Fanilly's goal was to catch them when they were all in their base. Thus once the base was found, it'd be imperative to move quickly to prevent them from being able to flee or regroup outside of the encirclement.

As they advanced, the knights spotted something in the middle of the road. Fleuri didn't get a good look because of the trees and brush in the way, but he saw an overturned cart. His first assumption was that this was a bandit trap for travelers and caravans- an overturned cart would force them to come to a halt and maneuver around it, and when they did, the bandits struck. The captain rushed ahead of her center group towards it, seemingly oblivious to the danger. Ordinarily, a group as heavily armed as the Iron Roses wouldn't be in any danger- any intelligent bandit would simply withdraw and opt not to spring the trap. However, they weren't dealing with ordinary brigands- they were up against fanatics and war veterans that might have ample tactical experience.

As several of the knights in the center followed Fanilly, Fleuri glanced around the woods surrounding him, looking for any signs of movement that might suggest an ambush or counter-encirclement. There wasn't much he could do for the captain at this point, the knights at the center would need to keep her safe. It'd truly be a tragedy if she were to perish in her very first battle, so soon after having been appointed to the position.
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Saiyan
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Saiyan

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Lucas was not so full of anticipation that he couldn't enjoy the interplay between his comrades. The cocky back'n'forths, wagers placed, colourful displays of magic and harsh reprimands. Such a vibrant cast of personalities reminded him of his family. It was nice. Just as Lucas was reflecting on this, Alodia fell off her horse with a cry, turning her spell of dopiness into a sweet flip and landing on her feet. The young man's smirk turned into a full grin.

Yeah, it was nice indeed.

Then came more orders from the captain and that grin disappeared. "...Once you have returned, we shall advance and split into three groups to encircle the camp. Archers and magi will remain behind and offer support to those in front," she continued, "Do not loose arrow or spell wildly into the encampment. They have prisoners, and we cannot injure any innocents who may be out in the open."

While Lucas tried to burn the captain's words into his mind, his feet followed the knight next to him, Fleuri, to the front of the left flank. He had no idea the pros and cons of this position, only that there was plenty of space in front of him... space that would likely be taken up by people trying to kill him. With a clear view ahead as they advanced, Lucas' eyes darted around at every swaying branch, rustling bush and moving shadow. The exposure made him second-guess the protective capability of his armour. Sure it looked cool. But a well-placed arrow would mean his end. And then there was his skills. Gerard had told him not try and copy the older knight's aggressive fighting style. That he should find a style that better played to his strengths. But Lucas hadn't listened. In the few months he'd spent training with a sword in his hand, he'd done nothing but practice what he saw Gerard doing. He was determined to be like the older knight. And he was naïve enough to think he could come even close to catching up on a swordsman who'd been forged in five years of battlefield fire. But here at the front of the line - the darkness ahead promising malice - he was starting to wonder if any of his time on the yard would help.

Follow orders. Don't die.

Those two seemingly simple objectives were maybe a little more complicated than they sounded.

When the overturned cart came into view, Lucas realised that not all reminders of his past life would good ones. Fanilly called for aid and Lucas craned about to get sight of the situation. Lucas' circus troupe had been forced to stop on the roads in Velt for similar looking sight. Old man Biff had told them not to stop - not even slow down - but they couldn't just leave an dying man in the road. And then the slavers sprung. From the tree line, seemingly up out of the ground, they'd surrounded the troupe and killed everyone who resisted being taken away in chains. And now here he was again. On the edge of a bandit camp, seeing the same sight.

Everyone knew it too. Everyone except the captain, it seemed. What kind of a captain was this? Sure she was young, but so was Serenity, and Serenity was already on point with the scenario before them. As disturbing as it might've been, it was merely a thought running way in the back of Lucas' mind. The more pressing concern right now, was that a fight was about to break out at any time.

Knuckles of his sword-hand white, he fell into a fighting stance, his head on a swivel as he waited for the trap to spring.
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by VitaVitaAR
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Several of her knights had already surrounded her, among them Dame Serenity and Sir Gerard. Fanilly knew that it was the only natural to assume this was an ambush. Even if she had thought of her concern for the injured man above everything else, it did not take long for the obvious to come to her.

But what was she to do?

She couldn't leave the injured man there to bleed. She couldn't. Even having realized the nature of the situation, the girl simply couldn't see a situation in which she didn't rush to his aid.

First, the man's condition had to be assessed. She couldn't let him die. She had to do everything that she could to save him. Fanilly was no healer, but she was at least capable of discerning if he was conscious enough.

Indeed, as she came close, the injured man's eyes flick open, and his shallow breathing became heavier. His eyes traveled over the Iron Rose on Fanilly's breast, then to her face.

"The... the Iron Roses..." he murmured weakly, trembling as his body quaked from the effort of moving.

"Stay still," insisted Fanilly, steadying the man gently with her left hand, her write still gripping the hilt of her sword. She wasn't strong enough to pull him back on her own without worsening his injury. And as Knight-Captain, she simply couldn't leave her position. She had to stay at the front and command her knights, especially when she had rushed into an ambush.

"I cannot carry him back, Dame Serenity, Sir Renar, but we have to ensure his safety."

Another of her knights approached, a man whose form was clad entirely in plate. She recognized his dragon-like helm. Sir Rickert Heiger, one of the knights who had greeted her on her first full day as Knight-Captain. She did not know him well, but he seemed to be a fine knight.

"Thank you, Sir Rickert," she said, quickly, as he carefully took the man to his feet, "Now, we mu-"

Dark shapes fell from above. It only took a moment to identify what they were.

Men. Clad in leather and steel, brandishing swords and spears and axes.

But that wasn't all. From behind trees, on both sides of the Knights, came clusters of armed men.

Their numbers were difficult to discern, and one of the first men to drop was already lunging forward, swinging his shortsword directly for her!

These were the bandits...!

Steel clashed on steel, as Fanilly caught the edge of the man's sword on her blade and twisted her body, diverting him away from other herself and Sir Rickert and the injured man. Using his own momentum against him, she twisted her body, guiding him wholly past her.

Her heart was hammering. Her mind was racing. And yet, she had to command. She had to lead, she had to seize this moment, as the other ambushers found themselves caught up in the knights who had come to defend her, and the man who had attacked her was forced to catch himself and turn.

Fanilly had to take this instant to issue a command.

It wasn't just the threat posed by the bandits in the immediate sense.

If any were able to return and directly warn the camp...

"Iron Roses, to arms!" she cried, "Do not let any of them flee!"

@Raineh Daze@Rune_Alchemist@Psyker Landshark@Pyromania99@HereComesTheSnow@Saiyan@The Otter@Crimson Paladin@ERode@Psychic Loser@Richard Horthy@Aeolian
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by ERode
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There was some irony. Just a little bit.

That the knights of a formerly-Mayonite order, rushing up to the defense of their precious, naive knight-captain, all wielded nothing but bladed weapons. Amongst the five squared up upon the cart, there was but a single shield to be shared between them all.

Serenity let out a bark of a laugh. Bemusement at Fanilly’s words. Rushing ahead, but unable to offer anything but an order for someone else to deal with it. Pathetic, but dwelling on such things in the midst of an ‘ambush’ was meaningless. She could already hear it now, the swaying, the cracking, of the branches overhead. It had been an easy presumption to make. With all the Iron Rose Knights helmed up, their vision would be hampered, their ability to see above them, in particular, rendered non-existent.

“Ha….”

In her youth, she had played a game with the older children of the House. They would pelt her with fruits, vegetables, and she would strike them away with her practice sword. Silly fun. Martial diversions.

The bandits were slower than that. Larger than that. More predictable than that. Falling with the tragic weight of overripe fruits, unable to even engineer for themselves an arc, a spin, a twist.

Serenity drew her sword, deepened her breaths, and swung with honed instinct.

One bandit dropped to the ground and collapsed, his half-severed leg giving out from under him. Another blinked numbly at the fingers he was suddenly missing, before a third flick of the Arcedeen scion’s wrist sliced open the side of his throat and ended his miscreant existence before he could let out a cry.

There was already good reason not to jump in battle. There was even greater reason not to drop down if you couldn’t guarantee your landing.

And if she could do this with one hand, surely her compatriots could do better with their single-handed devotion to violence and bloodshed?

“Don’t forget, Gerard,” Serenity chimed, her shield hoisted up as she delivered a merciful blow on the one-legged bandit. “True elegance is found only with pinkies out.”
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Psychic Loser
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Morianne


Morianne, like most of the knights, had called the ambush before it even began. She had been on the receiving end of similar traps many times before in her travels. However, it was too late to turn back now. Without any horses, the knights were left no chance for a speedy retreat.

Morianne braced herself, her lute firmly in hand as the bandits lunged from the shadows. Before the troubadour even realized herself, several bandits were already upon her. Their weapons glittered in the low light.

One bandit lunged forward. Their hammer swung in a crescent arc overhead. Morianne dived, rolling to the left of the bandit.

Once Morianne got back on her feet, another strike came from out of the corner of her eye, this time a sword. The Troubadour panicked, this time striking a cord on her lute to counter. A trio of spectral swords shot forth from her instrument and shattered against her sword-wielding pursuer, causing him to stagger backwards, dropping their blade. It wasn't the proper way to cast her sword spell, but it helped her to create some distance between her and the bandits.

Morianne gritted her teeth. She couldn't possibly keep this dodging game up. If she wanted to help the other knights, she'd need some kind of cover to do proper casting.

"Come on you dumbasses!" Morianne called to the knights around her. "Help me teach these bastards a lesson." It wasn't exactly the kind of language befitting of a chivalrous knight, but her message was clear: She needed a shield. "It's showtime!"

Soon enough, two knights came forth. They gave the troubadour a knowing nod and turned their back to her. Their shields were held up at the ready to defend from any incoming attacks.

Let's cause a little chaos. the troubadour thought as she began to strum away at her cords. She felt the mana flow from within herself into the lute, its notes growing louder and louder as she played.

From the depths below
A beast draws near
You'll make it grow
Since it feeds on fear

You'll draw your blades
You'll try to do right
But soon you'll know
The meaning of fright

Maddened drunkards
Turn and run
It already has you

Mental Oblivion


As Morianne continued to play, she watched as her spell sowed discord and took hold on the bandits. Many held fast to their senses, but she already saw signs of unease in the crowd of foes. All she had to do was keep this up and perhaps the tide of battle would quickly turn in favor of the knights.

Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Psyker Landshark
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Renar Hagen


If it were anyone else, Renar would have already given a smart comment or two about the foolishness of rushing ahead and then staying dug in, all for one old wretch already bleeding out. Unfortunately, the one who committed to this nonsense was his commander, so he bit his tongue and swung his head up, hearing the rustling of leaves and branches breaking. Up in the trees, then. Someone clearly thought too highly of their own planning, if this was the best the bandits had.

The problem with falling down onto one's foe was that one only had a single vector of attack. In other words, they were predictable. As the bandits began to fall, Renar looked straight up, determining which one was aimed for himself. A particularly large one, clutching some oversized cleaver of a sword. With a casual, almost lazy cadence, Renar simply sidestepped out of the shadow that was quickly descending towards him. The bandit crashed to the ground, his telegraphed strike completely missing, and the hammer head of Renar's poleaxe came swinging for his skull, smashing the man's brains in.

Renar huffed quietly in disgust at how easy the kill was, already twirling his weapon around into a ready stance as two more bandits charged him at once. They weren't in sync, and the one on the left outpaced his compatriot, hoping to score a blow on this knight. He was only clutching a hand axe. Another easy kill. Renar slid into a short serpent guard and simply lunged forward with the spear point of his weapon, completely outranging the bandit and plunging the tip into his belly.

The bandit on the left fell and Renar yanked his poleaxe out, leaving him to writhe on the ground as he screamed in agony from his belly wound. Even as the knight turned to face the one on the right, he already knew that the bandit was getting closer than was optimal, and he didn't quite have the time to shift his grip for another attack. That was fine.

Instead, Renar caught the bandit's blade at an angle with the haft of his poleaxe and twisted, yanking the crude sword out of the man's grip. Before the bandit could recover, the knight jammed the spiked butt end of his weapon into his foe's throat.

With the immediate threat to his life taken care of, Renar took a moment to raise a sabaton and stomp down onto the windpipe of the bandit that had already been dying of a belly wound, granting him the mercy of a quicker death. His cloak whirled around him as he turned, facing yet more bandits.

"Elegance?" Renar scoffed in response to Serenity as he swung for a brigand's legs, hooking his ankle with the axe head and tripping him, which sent him crashing to the dirt before the spear tip plunged into his chest. "We're in the midst of battle, not a tea party. Though at this rate, the latter would be more exciting than this fodder."
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by HereComesTheSnow
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Gerard Segremors


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"Roger."

The word was clipped and tight, mirroring the erstwhile mercenary's movements as a half-step back and quarter pivot brought him in line with Sir Fionn, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the elder swordsman. Both their blades gleamed a dull crimson, catching the last light from the evening sun as they formed a unified front behind the Knight-Captain, each lethal inch a waiting fang to fall upon the ambush both felt coming. In spite of the deep, slow breaths Gerard took— those that kept the body from winding too tight and slowing itself— on the inside, his instincts had begun to burn red-hot.

He stepped aside and briefly lowered his blade at the approach of a man in full plate, one Sir Rickert— and behind, Gerard heard the sounds of shifting weight and steel as he hoisted the wounded driver, the rustle of leaves flanking it.

Wait.

And then, beneath the sound of the breathless Knight-Captain's thanks—

The creak of rebounding wood. The shift of leather and cloth. It could even have been a hitched breath high above— or perhaps he imagined such, giving a voice to the whole moment.

Gerard had climbed many a tree in his day. He knew what it sounded like. Of course— nobody looks up. That was their game.

Take Vor. They can't defend midair!

The young man whirled and brought his sword with him as the shake of the branches foretold the weight they'd suddenly lost; and following the twin golden suns beneath his furrowed brow, that first crimson fang tasted blood. Three directly ahead, all carrying weapons of crudely dangerous make, seeing his lighter armoring as a weak link. Not wrong, maybe.

The one directly in front of him, axe overhead, watched helplessly as the knight's eyes locked with his frame mid-turn. His pivot extended down through the bodyline, lead foot stepping into their line of attack— and with all the rotational force the chain of legs, hips, and trunk could provide, his Unterhau tore through the bandit's exposed stomach as though a butcher's knife. Left of him, another bandit made impact upon the earth, catching himself on his feet with a breath, just a pace away. He had a spear in his white-knuckled grip— a miracle he hadn't skewered anyone on the way down.

Before he could get the chance to, Gerard was upon him.

Heedless of the blood and viscera that had fallen onto his brow, the knight stepped forward at an angle, choking the space between him and his foe even as their panicked jabbing at his torso bit through some of the cloth beneath his cuirass. Blade floating at head height, Gerard whipped it around again in a biting crescent that passed through his foe's throat— Zwerchau. Two down. The third charging behind—

His left hand grabbed the limp form of the previously slain man by his lapels as he gargled his last breath. The knight gave ground, stepping out and away with his rear leg in a hasty pivot to face him— and with a rough growl, Gerard threw the corpse into the third. He watched as the larger man's frame bowled this one over, seeing a shortsword at his feet and eyes wide with horror. With the atrocities they'd committed under Jeremiah's name, Gerard knew better than to believe his blood-soaked figure the cause— no, he heard the lute now.

The troubadour's song of disquiet had taken hold of him. Explained why he'd stopped in his tracks, before he could properly threaten the knight with that blade. Gerard stalked forward, brow hard and unforgiving of their savagery—

“Don’t forget, Gerard,” Dame Serenity chimed from somewhere behind him, jesting words punctuated by the sound of her blade passing through flesh. “True elegance is found only with pinkies out.”

Insane. Your pinkies were something like half your grip strength. Really?

He scooped up the spear at his feet with that same left hand, little more than an old haft of wood with a jagged end of metal attached at the tip. It was tinged with a dull brown... dried blood. He could see the same discoloration on the shortsword. Wanton killers, serving a wanton killer's liege.

"Got it."

He rammed the spear through the stricken man's windpipe, pinky extended as he did so. A quiet mercy to give him a quick end to his torment, yeah, but he certainly hadn't felt any elegance there. Maybe a cooling of the blood, but none of the pageantry the word evoked in his eye. Hell of a different perspective she had, but he couldn't deny that the Scion of House Arcedeen would be the expert here...

At the sound of more bandits rushing to meet the forward arm their group had created, he cut the thought away. Worry about it when things finished. Moving quickly, he rejoined Sir Fionn, reinforcing a front through which the Knight-Captain and Sir Rickert could escape, and rejoin the main retinue. Blade flashing as he batted away a stolen billhook, he found himself agreeing with Sir Renar more than ever—

"A tea party'd be new, at least— Never been to one of 'em. Probably scarier."

He thrust into a clavicle, kicking the bandit's exsanguinating form free. Somehow, the casual banter his fellows were roping him into was keeping his head clearer than normal... might have been something to it after all. He'd never really played into the idea of battlefield jokes beforehand, despite how many of his former coworkers indulged. He glanced to Sir Fionn, in the midst of breaking some unfortunate arm, and remembered how this had all come about.

"Sir Rickert! You gotta get moving! We'll clear you to the main!"
Hidden 4 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by The Otter
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Fionn MacKerracher



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Undoubtely, there were bandits in the forest about them—but even Fionn hadn't accounted for the tree above them, thinking that even the bandits wouldn't be unwise enough to rely on such a tenuous momentary advantage. Against the untrained, certainly, dropping from above could prove useful, but such a tactic was better reserved for one dropping other objects upon those below, not trusting in their control of their fall, the necessarily-tight formation of their opponents, or any other of a number of variables required to make the strategy work.

Muscles taut like coiled springs in anticipation, when the branches creaked above and the first shape hit his peripheral vision falling from the tree he twisted aside on one foot as Gerard broke off, his blade already in motion. One man landed between the two of them as they split, though instead of crouching to absorb the shock, his knees buckled and he fell to the ground in a heap.

The blood that dripped immediately down upon the ambusher's twitching corpse made it clear why; bringing his sword up and around sharply into the window guard, Fionn's false edge had smashed into the man's skull as he landed hard enough to cleave through it nearly down to the brow. He stepped forward, straightening his torso as he shifted into the long guard with a thrust into another's throat as they tried to turn back towards the Captain, sending them toppling as well into the bodies that were already beginning to clutter the field.

No time to reposition; as he'd withdrawn his blade from the thrust, a third quickly stepped in at him, swinging a crudely-made kriegsmesser straight downward with both hands. He parried the strike so close he could nearly smell the bandit's breath, before wrapping his arm over their forearms, stepping past them and turning as he did so; the lower half of his hilt sliding over their blade added immediate leverage, and before the bandit knew what a poor choice they'd made their weapon was sent flying off towards a pair of their compatriots as they were thrown to the ground.

And as Fionn straightened back fully upright, a contemptuous swipe with the tip of his blade silenced the shocked cry that the bandit had just started to make.

"We can't expect much elegance in their dance," he added in to the light-hearted conversation the others were having in the midst of the bloodshed. "Hard to tidy up our own when the partners are so—" He cut off suddenly as Gerard stepped in near him, another bandit mustering the confidence to rush him again with their axe. At least it was a proper war axe, though this young man's technique was anything but befitting the weapon; even worse than the previous, he had already led with his fist, not with his weapon.

Fionn's arm shot out, forearm against the bandit's wrist, halting their strike. Before they could withdraw he wrapped it over their elbow, pulling his fist into his own chest. The ligaments in the elbow snapped instantly as the bones were forced out of their proper place, the bandit's axe falling uselessly to the ground as they cried out in pain. "Terrible form," Fionn quickly growled, before a swift punch forward slammed his crossguard into their forehead and sent them limp to the forest floor with another loud crack, this time of shattering bone.

The rest of the bandits were either engaged with the other knights as they fanned out to surround this advance ambushing party, or holding back warily from the party in the center, their fallen comrades and Morianne's song countering their resolve to throw themselves into the slaughter for the moment—and with every moment they waited, the rest of the force was cutting off their few remaining routes of escape, just as was intended for their main camp.

"As soon as he says 'aye,' we charge them on foot," he told Gerard, as soon as he'd finished admonishing Rickert into movement. "Renar and Serenity can guard the others, we'll part the waters for them!"
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Rune_Alchemist
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"Hahah, alright want to bet? How about we up the stakes a bit? I'm sure Shael would love to talk to you." Cecilia gave Lein a rough slap on the back in response as Serenity, cool as ever, moved out of their grasp."One arrow each to-"She was about to raise the takes, but it seemed Fanilly was finally issuing them some orders. Scouting was definitely in her repertoire thanks to Shael and the overall orders were nothing fancy and fairly standard fare for orders. Fine by her, she wasn't particularly eager to carry out some difficult special orders and was perfectly fine just doing the bare minimum.

Which, is why, she was quite despondent to see the crashed cart and injured man in need of medical aid.

Cecillia grabbed her bow, an arrow swiftly knocked as the others vocalized their concerns.

Any mercenary worth their salt would easily recognize such a trap. That only left them to figure out where they'd be coming from. Behind? No, she hadn't seen anything and her eyes were far from terrible. Ahead? It was quite an uneven path so perhaps, but then it'd make a poor ambush. It seemed her and Serenity had quickly come to the same conclusion. The trees were the most likely avenue for ambush. And it seemed, they would be proven correct. Not only from above, but from the sides of the road and deep in the forest too, more shadows of men made themselves known.

Perhaps another archer might have side stepped or avoided the one falling on them.

Cecil, though, had other plans that Shael wasn't going to like.

Clang

"OW. CECIL!?"

The bandits blade met Shaeal's bow, striking against it as the archer smirked at her assailant.

"Do I look like a SHIELD?! if there's a SINGLE dent or nick I'm going to THROW you off the nearest cliff!"

"Love you too~"

The bandit, understandably confused by this sudden confession in the middle of combat, would suddenly find Cecil's boot slamming right into his gut. He stumbled backwards from the force of the kick as she'd spin on her heels. In a swift motion the bowstring was pulled, the whistle of wind as the arrow sailed through the air giving a bandit that had been coming up behind her a new forehead decoration as he'd immediately slump to the ground.

"I dunno about you guys, but tea parties aren't anything special!" Cecillia shouted in response to her comrades levity, a third rogue getting far too close for comfort and far too close to use Shaeal as a defensive instrument as the heavy axe struck downwards, a moment of bewilderment as it hit nothing but air as Cecil maneuvered herself behind him, three arrows quickly knocked in succession, the twang of a bowstring as three arrows perforated the bandits chest cleanly puncturing his heart and other vitals.

"Maybe if Serenity or Shanil invited me to a private one, though!" A swift heel turn and another arrow would meet the forehead of the bandit she had kicked, sending him to the ground mere seconds after he had managed to recover. "How are you faring, Captain Fanilly?!" She'd shout, perhaps just a bit concerned for the well being of their inexperienced captain.

Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Saiyan
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The whole time, Lucas hadn't once looked up. He'd not considered the possibility of an aerial ambush. On the training yard, he'd been shouted at more than once for jumping too much (or jumping at all,) often trying to incorporate his acrobatic prowess into both attack and defence. Being in the air made your movements and finishing positions predictable. There was no place for it in the fundamentals of swordplay. So when the first wave of bandits landed from above, suffice to say the young knight was surprised.

Perhaps, momentary surprise was all the ambushers had managed to achieve though, as their advantage was quickly destroyed by the veteran warriors around the captain.

Lucas stepped towards the centre - thinking to sprint in and help - but his attention was immediately drawn to his left where, from the cover of the trees, more bandits came rushing out, shouting as they charged. The sudden cacophony of battle surpassed even the loud and rapid pulse of his own heartbeat in his ears, and Lucas was carried away with emotion.

"AAAHHH!!!"

And with that, he was away, breaking battle lines and charging out of the Iron Rose left flank like a maniac. Tunnel-vision and single-mindedness. He had to kill them before they killed him. No more than ten paces and he made contact in the form of a battleaxe-wielding brute who brought his massive weapon around and high to come crashing down on the knight. Lucas threw his sword up to block, cross-blade high, angling his blade to guide the axe-head away from himself rather than take on the full power power of the blow. As steel scraped down steel with a Ring, Lucas spun off his front foot, and just like that he was past his first opponent.

Leaving an enemy behind was certainly not the best idea, but beyond the brute came more bandits and Lucas' attention was drawn further into the fray. One stupid fool lunged into his attack, but he was clearly not within lunging distance. Lucas' first lessons in fighting were on the importance of understanding distance. None of the details came to Lucas in this moment, but instinctively, his lessons manifested themselves as he back-stepped to the right, and countered with his own thrust. When the tip of his sword pierced the throat of the bandit and he flicked his wrist to deliver his first fatality, time seemed to slow down. Even in his battlefield rage, the utter horror of a frontrow view of an ugly death all but froze him in stasis, eyes wide as the realisation dawned on him - this was what fighting truly was. It wasn't a beautiful dance - like when he watched his superiors spar on the yard. It wasn't met with applause - like when winner and loser shook hands in a tourney.

It was awful. It was disgusting.

The moment seemed to last much longer than it did. In actual fact, the bandit - clutching his throat and gurgling his last breaths - had barely hit the floor before Lucas' shivering body was forced to turn and meet a screaming attack from another foe. Ducking the hand axe aiming for his head, he stepped forward, allowing the enemy to skewer himself on Lucas' sword and they both fell to the ground. Stuck under the dying man, eye to eye, Lucas winced when the bandit choked and coughed blood in his face.

Charging footfalls thundered past him and the din of battle remained constant above it all. Lucas hauled the body off him with all his strength, then rolled over onto his knees and got to his feet. The first tug failed to free his sword from the corpse... "Damn it!" ...and he caught the attention of another bandit. Second tug; almost free... "Come on!" ...the bandit swung his sword. Third tug; freedom!

Ching!

Off balance with poor grip, Lucas was sent tumbling into the dirt, losing his sword in the process. But he'd somehow managed to block the blow and save his own life. But now the bandit was stood over him, a maniacal smile on his face as he raised his sword for the killing blow.......
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Aeolian
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Hope's Battle Theme
Hope's English Voice
Hope's Japanese Voice
🌹 "Thank you mother, for this magic I can use to protect others." 🌹

🌹 Time: Morning 🌹 Location: Inside a dark forest 🌹 Interaction: Yasha (Special NPC) 🌹


It didn't take long for the bandits to reveal themselves. Whether they understood their rouse was uncovered or grew bored of waiting for bloodshed, Hope knew that he had to steel himself for their approach. Thankfully, they were not the fastest as far as he could tell, as they dropped down from the canopy shadows and played peekaboo from behind the brush. Hope's angelic spirit, Yahoel, instinctively drew closer to him. Despite their slowness, they were obviously brutish and strong, with their swords and clubs. Yahoel looked toward the canopy, as though something was amiss.

Within the moment, a cascade of bandits rained down upon them. Nearby knights warded off the bandits with their fine swordplay. Hope, placed his hands forward, said a quick incantation and erected an iridescent sparkling barrier, protecting the knights near him and blocking some of their falling hammer attacks. The onslaught was relentless and Hope could feel each one as they pounded against his magic. Hope winced, "Yahoel, dispatch them at once."

The angel nodded, understanding the command without further explanation. Shimmering like a beacon of light, the angel soared into the sky and disappeared into the canopies. One by one, bandits fell from the trees, their bodies ravaged with piercing feathers and their skin seared by magical holy light. For now, it seemed that Yahoel could take care of the bandits in the trees, so Hope turned his attention to the bandits on the ground.

Hope grasped at his rapier on his waist, feeling the steel on his palms. And in an elegant motion, he unsheathed it and pointed the tip of his weapon towards the oncoming bandits.

One of the bandits trained his eyes on Hope lasciviously, licking his lips.

"A pretty knight like you doesn't belong out here on the battlefield. After this is all said and done, let me take you to bed. I'll get it real nice for you."

Hope shook his head, "No." he said, a tone of utter cold resistance in his voice. The bandit hmphed, "Too bad, to waste a beauty like you." Naturally, Hope was unmoved by the so-called flattery and flirtatious behavior of the bandit. It was gross and it only made Hope grow more resilient in fighting them off. The bandits, 3 of them, brandished their swords and then leaped toward him. Hope had no plans of letting them get anywhere near him. Brandishing his own rapier, he held it like a wand and then said a quick incantation. Just before the bandits could fall onto him with their blades, they found themselves suspended in mid-air, encased in iridescent sparkling bubbles of pure magic. The air seeped from the bubbles and the bandits gasped for air until they died from asphyxiation. When the bubbles popped, their lifeless bodies fell to the ground.

Of course, more bandits came after him, stepping on the blue bodies of their deceased comrades without a sympathetic care in the world. It was a relief though, that Hope had learned to use his barrier magic in offensive ways, creating suffocating bubbles and then this...

Swishing and flourishing his rapier around like a wand, small iridescent bubbles of magic formed. He propelled them forward, the force of the magical blasts knocking the bandits senseless. He did this for a while, keeping his distance while taking out one bandit after another with magical bubbles, stopping them before they had a chance to get too close and overpower him. But it was still dark and with Yahoel still dispatching of the bandits in the canopies, he didn't notice the bandit wielding a giant mallet sneak up behind him. The man hit Hope in the side, sending him flying into a nearby tree. Hope wheezed, the impact of the hit from the mallet and tree knocking the wind out of him. As the bandit approached, the moonlight revealed a face that was haggard and animalistic, wild like a caveman.

As the mallet came down, Hope raised his hands, erecting an iridescent bubble of magic around himself, blocking the impact. The bandit stopped for a moment, as though he'd never seen such a magic before. And then, breaking from his moment of curiosity, began wailing on the magic barrier, trying to break it. Hope could feel the pressure of the assault as the force of the impact rippled across his barrier. He knew well enough, that with enough force, a magical barrier could be broken. If that initial hit against him was any indicator, this bandit might break through. Hope winced, feeling his barrier weakening with each attack from the bandit's mallet, "I can't...hold him off for long...Yaho..." Hope murmured softly.

Before its name even completely left Hope's lips, the angel soared from the tree canopy like a bullet and in a flourish of its wings, sent a barrage of feathers at the mallet-wielding bandit. Hope's barrier fell, and shortly after, so did the bandit, with a loud thump as he hit the floor, his bodied riddled with feathers like a pincushion. The angel helped Hope up from the ground and they shared an affirming gaze.

"Thank you, Yahoel."

And together, they continued launching magical feathers and bubbles at any bandit that wished them harm.

Nearby, Yasha was watching Hope, all the while slicing through the bandits with a sword made of ice. He danced around the bandits as if they were nothing, in fact, almost looking bored and uninterested. At one moment, he laid his hands on one of the bandits and froze them solid like an ice sculpture until they shattered. It was amazing, but Hope didn't notice. Yasha continued his icy display, his dance of death. But at every chance he got, his gaze fell on Hope, intrigued.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Raineh Daze
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When the first bandits dropped out of the trees, Tyaethe's surprise amount to a confused blink. After all, the bandits being above them and not just flanking been abundantly obvious... well, she had to commend them for staying still and being missed by the majority, but it was obvious to her. What was more surprising was, of course, that they had thought to drop down rather than pelting them from above with whatever heavy or pointy objects they could manage. They were bandits, splitting the Iron Roses up into as many single combats as they could manage was outright detrimental to their survival chances!

As was, of course, dropping uncontrolled out of the trees. When in free fall, there was nothing you could do to avoid, for instance, the lengthy sword positioned to skewer you on your own momentum, except hope that it was insufficiently braced by the spindly arms holding it. Unfortunately for Tyaethe's target, the spindly arms might as well have been anchored metal rods, barely dropping as the body ran to a halt on her blade.

This ambushing party was... pathetic. Improperly armoured, skill that was little more than flailing, and utterly unable to time their ambush properly, having let the Iron Roses form a defensive position around the captain. Not only was their leader not here, she doubted any of the other veterans had been spared for this suicidal attempt. A scouting party that got delusions of grandeur?

The vampire's sword swung once, slicing deeper into the body before casting it off into some stunned-looking bandits, setting them up for the other knights, and she slipped back through the ranks with practised ease. If it was going to be like this... they didn't need to use everything at their disposal. That is to say, the diminutive vampire reached up with a free hand to tap Alodia's shoulder.

"While we're in the forest, could you please avoid any fire spells?" It was a small concern; the summer so far hadn't been unseasonably hot or dry... but it was still summer, and Thaln was a warm country. The last thing they needed to risk was an overenthusiastic mage starting a forest fire while they were bandit hunting.

@Rin
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by PigeonOfAstora
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Lein



Location: Roadside, Bandit Camp Approach
Interactions: Hope @Aeolian
Mentions: Fionn @The Otter, Gerard @HereComesTheSnow, Renar @Psyker Landshark



A small creak, a sharp draw of an anticipatory breath and the smell of leather soaked with nervous sweat. They had given away too many signs. As the bandit leapt from his hiding place, his crude blade raised and roaring, Lein had already raised his arrow at the incoming foe with a mockingly apologetic smirk that said, "That's rough, buddy." With a sharp fwip the arrow punched through the bandit's mouth and through the base of his skull, splattering blood and fluid across the tree that used to conceal him. The victim clawed at his tongue, teeth biting blood, too late to cry out in surprise.

Lein sidestepped the gurgling man as the brush came to life with motion and steel, two more men wearing patchwork leather and vengeful grimaces attempting to rush the archer that had seemingly waded too far into the treeline. The first lunged towards him with short-sword, thrusting their blade in anticipation that Lein would attempt a dodge backwards; instead the pint-sized Hundi ducked forwards under the sword, pivoting under the arm and slamming his weight into his foe. The bandit let out a startled yelp as the slam knocked him right into the incoming blow of the second bandit's axe. Lein took no time in taking advantage of their momentary shock at the friendly assault: one backstep, two flying arrows, two more crumbling down to the dust.

With his immediate surroundings fended off, he scanned the path that had similarly turned into a brawl. Brawl was inaccurate, actually. It was a pathetic show of skulduggery. They had the element of surprise, the Knight-Captain so graciously taking their horridly constructed bait, and yet between Fionn and Renar tossing the bandits around and Gerard "elegantly" tossing the bandits around, it seemed as if the Knights were the ones who had taken the first strike. The vanguard was quickly surrounding themselves with more dead bodies than live ones, a solid wall of flashing blades and uncoiling muscle that stood between the injured man and their assailants.

"Oh, tea parties are far scarier. If you eat crumpets the wrong way you get yelled at for being unsophisticated. Least here you just point the sharp end the other way." He quipped as he rushed past Gerard, shooting down a bandit flanking them with an arrow placed neatly between their brow. The bandits were inexperienced at fighting against plate and had makeshift weapons that they seemed to swing with untrained abandon. Were they even part of this Bandit King's crowd? A crook worth half his coin would know when to mess with a superior force and when to dip. The bigger problem was if any of these ones decided to pull out and ring the alarm (Then again, if the sound of the battle wasn't going to stir people up, Mori's unusually musical enchantments were sure to raise hell), or if they somehow nicked the more vulnerable magi of the Knights.

Speaking of, Lein thought as he spied Sir Hope struggle against an ambush and a certain icy knight sneaking glances towards Hope, looks like someone's distracted. Lein leapt next to Hope with an exaggerated overcorrection of his momentum, as if to mimic a bow and conveniently hiding a playful glint in his eye. His voice held an air of knightly-ness as he addressed the mage. "Sir Hope! It seems your beauty knows no bounds, on and off the battle," - Lein loosed another arrow against an incoming fighter, deftly shifting so that he would block the line of sight between Yasha and Hope - "friend or foe! Allow me to be your trusty guard against those who would sully it."
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Crimson Paladin
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Fleuri Jodeau


The overturned cart was indeed a trap. As soon as the captain got close, several ambushers leapt down from a tree, and others emerged from their hiding spots all around the knights. They were either overconfident or stupid, Fleuri surmised. They had the advantage of concealment yet chose to emerge and fight up close. Such a shock tactic might work well on unsuspecting travelers or unprepared soldiers, but the Iron Roses would not be so easily shaken. Against a strong, resolute, and prepared opponent, such a tactic would just make them easier to kill.

Fleuri readied his weapon, taking a moment to gauge his opponents that were closing in on his position. He wanted to take the brief moment before they closed the distance to gauge their armor, weapons, and anything else of note so that he'd be able to better combat them. Unfortunately, Sir Lucas had other ideas than waiting for the bandits to come to them, and dashed towards them.

"Lucas, wait, no!" Fleuri shouted, exasperated at the junior knight's reckless zeal. Such aggression devoid of any iota of forethought was something he was familiar with, and even guilty of back when he was a squire. All the more reason that he needed to do what his mentor once did for him, all those years ago- get in there and help.

Fleuri attempted to run after Lucas, but a burly man with a battleaxe stood before him, blocking the way. The junior knight had, in his impulsiveness, brushed a foe aside without incapacitating him, and was already at risk of getting surrounded, so it looked like Fleuri would have to deal with the axeman. Fleuri came to a halt and stepped back just as the bandit swung his axe, narrowly missing the knight. Before he could ready another swing, the knight thrust his greatsword, skewering the bandit right through the heart.

I do not have time for this, he thought to himself as he drove the sword deeper into the man's chest. Once the man crumpled to the ground, Fleuri pulled his sword out and resumed his pursuit of the younger knight, who had gotten himself into trouble. Lucas had lost his balance and fallen to the ground, and a bandit was standing over him, readying a blow.

"For Reon! For the Roses!" Fleuri shouted as he charged. The bandit had just enough time to look in Fleuri's direction before being cleanly beheaded by the knight's greatsword. The man's head went flying through the air, and the body fell down, lifeless. Lucas appeared to be unharmed, and hopefully wiser for the experience.

"I trust you'll be more careful in the future, Sir Lucas," Fleuri remarked as he glanced around looking for any other bandits that might be nearby. "Are you wounded?"

@Saiyan
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Pyromania99
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Pyromania99 Double-edged Austerity

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Shanil was fairly sure she had bumped into someone who had once been a mercenary but she wasn't really sure. The elf had taken only a limited amount of time to learn the names and histories of her fellow knights. The few she had learned were those at the command level and that annoyance Cecilia. Her hand went to the hilt of her sword as she prepared for anything. Especially when their leader ran off to inspect what might as well be a dead man.

Of course, it would be expected for a bunch of men to jump out of the trees for such obvious bait. It didn't even take their commander saying, "To Arms!" for Shanil to rush forward. Her magically enhanced strength pushing her forward as she freed her greatsword from the confines of it's specially created sheath that she could free by magic. "Release." Her first word in quite some time was spoken followed by an audible click. The woman swung the blade free of it's prison and brought it to rest on her shoulder.

As she charged forward towards the first of her targets. A bandit wielding an axe and shield. As she was about in full melee with him, a three more bandits had dropped from the trees around her. It wasn't a problem of course. It saved her the trouble of going to them. She gripped her sword with both hands and swung it at the shielded bandit. He was not fully prepared to be blown off his feet by a elven woman perhaps as he was knocked back some feet and landed on his ass disorientated. She let the weapons momentum follow through as she spun on her heel towards the next enemy and released the weapon with her dominant hand, merely holding on with her right. Her non-dominant hand rotated its hold on the swords grip and pulled it closer to her so she could make another two handed hold to bring the blade down on her next opponent's head. Whether it be hubris or something else, he failed to move and attempted a block with his weapon but it was not enough and was crushed under the blade.

The elven knight then turned to the other two that had been in shock of what they had just witnessed. These two absolutely knew that there would be no blocking and that they would rather try to dodge. Shanil took a swing at one who took a big jump back to escape the slash and the other moved in to attack from her side by bringing an axe down on her head. Shanil caught this attack coming from the corner of her eye. She reacted quicker than the man might have thought she could and brought her weapon up to block the blow. The first bandit with the shield started to regain his bearings so Shanil gave a small sigh. "Tendrils of shadow, rise from the earth, bind my enemies."

A small chant but it had more than enough of an effect. The two bandits next to her would feel that they couldn't move their feet from where they stood. A small hint of fear was noticeable in their eyes. It was easy enough to end the two with one slash of her sword. There was only one more left. Shanil roughly kicked him flat on his back and hefted her sword up high pointing down at his chest. Before baring it down.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Richard Horthy
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Katerina spotted something out in the middle of the road -- a man, his blood nearly bursting as he barely limped to his side weakly. She looked over him, the old fellow barely seeming to keep it together, blood bursting from his stomach, and a crimson, enfeebled hand which had long been coloured white was now awash in his own ichor. From how he struggled, it seemed like he possessed just enough strength to maintain what was left of his consciousness -- and even that would wither to nothing soon.

Her accomplices on the other hand, a bit more acute to their surroundings than Katerina made haste to the treelines around them. One -- the blonde, Serenity, she knew -- barked orders, calling for cover and formation. And before the good Captain could reach out to call forth her proclamations, soon was the tide of battle crashing down before her.

Well, first things first, Katerina would need to perform the chief of her duties -- there far too much foliage here for any serious offense, and without knowing the position of any more hostages nor assailants, Katerina dismissed any notion of serious offense. A stray lightning bolt could very well set a tree on fire even if it strayed ever slightly from its target -- a fire spell, the entire canopy ablaze in seconds. Softly whispering a few words, she knelt down before the injured old man, looking up for a moment, and sensing her assailants in danger, turned her head back down -- first unto him, then unto her belt pouch.

She summoned a card from her deck, Katerina snapping it out from the purple mist from which it came. It hovers gently over her extended palm, swirling in its magic mist.

The Queen of Graves glided majestically above her hand. Her cold stare piously lords over her band of knights, for the domain of life and death is her sovereign. Katerina nods. A small smile she exchanges with the Queen.

"Aye, we're in luck."

Katerina, floating the card above, murmured, falling into a deep, whispered enchantment. Energy rushed around her, a dismal wind blowing in her presence as it nearly blasted those around her like a gale tore down a sapling. She posed her fingertips front and skyward, and with a fierce posturing, cast upwards. An aetheric essence flowed upwards, like water gushing from a rupturing old dam, as blasts of flowing magic conjoined with rock-solid vapours swirled around her, they soon flowed off to her allies, coating them in its protective magical veil. Feelings of strength soon surge as the ward envelops around her comrades, wary sinew springing to life and gashes staunched over to life-affirming flesh.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Rin
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Alodia

Admittedly, Alodia was a little slow to react to the ambush. Not merely because she was standing at the back, although that probably contributed a little. Really, she was just not used to the idea of someone "playing dead"; after all, doing such a thing in the forest would just lead to you getting snatched up and eaten whilst you waited for whoever you were trying to fool to pass by.

Still, when the call to attack was issued she swiftly raised her demon skull-topped staff, and was about to begin an invocation to the fire spirit when the tiny, somewhat grouchy senior member of the knights requested that she avoid fire spells. Really? She could totally control her magic enough to not accidentally burn down the surrounding area, but if she insisted...

"Hmph... Let's go with this instead then..."

"Lord of the Thunder, Father of Storms, bring forth thy power! THUNDERSTRIKE!"

As she yelled out her incantation, the sockets of the demon's skull began to glow blue, before suddenly discharging bolts of lightning at a group of unfortunate bandits; their twitching, smoking bodies lay helplessly as she rushed past them.
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