Look What The Wolf Dragged In

The ruins of the ancient fort Marn along the city's western quadrant, including the Shanty Town market.
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Wulf
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Re: Look What The Wolf Dragged In

Post by Wulf » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:06 pm

He could feel the ugly air. The tension, the possibility of violence. There hadn't been any work for the men of the area for weeks. They were growing desperate. Were they desperate enough to attack one of the few people who were willing to travel into the wilderness to get food that helped them and their families? Maybe. Especially when that person had two unknowns with him, one who was visibly wounded. They wouldn't get much from Wulf, maybe his food or his bow, but then they would be hungrier at nights. His companions though... the woman did not look like she held much for them to deal with her. She was a woman though. And he had heard the things they that Men did to women they attacked. The man had too much they would want. Armour, weapons, a cocky look to his face. Enough to piss the downtrodden off. Enough to make them want his things.

Without a word or sign, he looked to their sides. With luck, they could get through. Without it, they'd have to take a side alley and run fast. Illae wasn't up to that, for sure.

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Valyr
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Re: Look What The Wolf Dragged In

Post by Valyr » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:00 am

Drifel had been following the odd group since just before they entered the city. Not that he was particularly stealthy- the dwarf just knew how to recognize the trails people left through cities as surely as he could a doe’s through the forest. So he had been hanging back, well out of sight, trying to judge their character along the way.

Having noted two frustrated pickpockets receiving mockery from their fellows, he had to admit they were making a pretty good impression. Neither thief had lost a hand, and if that wasn’t a sure sign of mercy in this day and age, then what was?

“Damn legs. You used to at least be able to keep up with the talls.” He muttered, picking up his pace.

Raising a hand to his aging face to tug his silvered beard, the dwarf grumbled his way down the road, watching for the small gaps in people, sent walking briskly away from the fear armed strangers inherently inspired. Following those holes in the crowd, he made reasonable time.

Rounding the rotted corner of a building, he saw the backs of his three targets as they strode over the gravel and cobblestone. He stood and watched for a moment, peering suspiciously after them, seeing the big elf- no, half-elf, judging by the ears, help the smaller female retain her balance. Pride, he supposed, was the reason she wasn’t being carried.

As for the human, well, Drifel had no idea. He had weapons and wasn’t using them, but the dwarf supposed he could have been threatening the other two. He looked much more military than either of his “fellows” and was certainly the one Drifel would bet on should it come to that. Stupid grin on his face though. Youthful idealism, maybe, or just smug confidence leftover from having scared a malnourished pickpocket. That would at least explain why he wore his money pouch so obviously... right next to his ale flask. The dwarf promised himself a drink when he was through with this moronic spout of heroism.

Shaking his head, he swung around into the street. He started to think about his approach, then shrugged halfheartedly and loaded his crossbow with an ancient, practiced precision. Thinking had never really been his strong suite, so the dwarf instead chose to see how the ragtag bunch responded to a random stranger. He marched up behind them and fell into line, shouldering his heavy weapon and whistling to the tune of a popular (and very lewd) tavern song.

“Hope you don’t mind dwarves. I’ll be escorting you for now. The white knight in me, you understand.” Suddenly realizing how outmatched he might rapidly become, the dwarf sincerely hoped they did.

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Vane Ulmar
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Re: Look What The Wolf Dragged In

Post by Vane Ulmar » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:55 pm

Vane heard the dwarf humming a tune and the grin instantly disappeared off the mercenary's face, as he looked backwards, startled. At first, seeing nothing directly behind him, Vane still continued walking forward, while looking backwards, not noticing a small bump on the road, which he instantly tripped on. The mercenary flailed, nearly kicking the dwarf in the face and rushed back on his feet, with a loud puff as he did so. His clumsy move attracted quite a bit of attention, and stopped the small group. As soon as they came to a halt and Vane balanced himself again he turned around and finally saw the dwarf, standing behind them. "Oh..." - Vane said with something between a smirk and a nervous laugh, slightly embarrassed about his near-fall - "Hey, shorty. State your business."

After the question, Vane remembered the tavern song, one which he heard quite often, which in turn sparked his memories of a good, comfortable inn. His craving for a bit of ale grew bigger after such thought, and he grabbed his ale flask and took a big sip, after which he angrily mumbled because of the ale about to end. His stumbling fall and the obvious disappointment in alcohol shortage really made Vane seem like a bad fighter and a dizzy drunk.

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Valyr
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Re: Look What The Wolf Dragged In

Post by Valyr » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:10 am

Drifel’s opinion of the human swordsman changed rapidly from mistrust to sympathy as he clambered for his flask. The dwarf chuckled. “Alright, alright. Just here to help you along... wherever you’re going. The elf looks like she’s about to pass out.” He nodded his head the direction of the barely lucid woman. “I’m assuming you’re not heading for the hospital, so anything I can do to help is all I guess I’m here to do. I take it you aren’t threatening the two, eh tall?” He said, returning the height-based insult.

“Course, I’m pretty much sticking around no matter what you say.” The dwarf continued his forwards motion, his experienced feet automatically adjusting the pace to keep up with his companion’s larger strides. He shifted his crossbow around his arms. “I’ll tell you what tall, I can see you’re as thirsty as I am. When this nonsense is over and we are all quite finished playing hero, why don’t we go and grab a few drinks? Then we can play pass-out-on-the-floor-after-doing-something-we’ll-regret instead.” He chuckled at his own joke.

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Vane Ulmar
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Re: Look What The Wolf Dragged In

Post by Vane Ulmar » Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:01 am

Vane didn't expect such a response from the dwarf, and smiled, annoyed but also thrilled by his witty response. He saw a bit of himself in the dwarf, and his half-drunken self came up with another "brilliant" idea, like the one he got last time he got drunk at a bar. The guard wasn't too pleased with Vane's bright plan to start throwing food at people while wishing them "Bon Appetit, slobs!" back then.

Before speaking back to the dwarf, Vane covered his mouth with his hand, the flask still in it, and a loud but short and subtle burp escaped out of his mouth. After that pleasant sound Vane shook the now empty flask and dropped it on the floor, still smiling and looking at the dwarf. Finally, his comeback at the short man was ready to go: "If I wanted to threaten the two of them they'd both be dead in the gutters by now. And..." - Vane's sentence was rudely interrupted by a small hiccup, after which he continued - "...why must we finish playing already?... The fun's just starting, shorty." Then Vane knelt down and, putting his hand down on the dwarf's head, brushed his hair, as a dad would while praising his kid. Then the mercenary smiled again, stood up, and his expression instantly changed from smiling to grim, and menacing, his left hand gripping the hilt of the sword sheathed by his left hip. "I haven't had me a fight in quite some time. Want a challenge, shorty?"

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Valyr
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Re: Look What The Wolf Dragged In

Post by Valyr » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:32 pm

“If you wanted to threaten them” the dwarf replied, growing annoyed by the obvious arrogance in the soldier’s voice, “it would be awfully stupid of you to kill them.”

And then came the challenge. Drifel sighed, a long exhale of breath that indicated he’d seen this all before. He lifted his stout arm over his head to shove the human’s hand off, and then responded “boy, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but we’re in melee range and you’re the one with swords. What kind of shortsighted fool do you take me for?” He shook his head “and for that matter, if I got lucky and shot you you’d be bleeding, and then what use would we be to these elves?”

The dwarf shook his head. Honestly, he was half tempted to throw a punch right between the legs of this human and leave him collapsed on the street behind. He probably would have tried it if that would not have deprived this little team of a fighter to block while the archers shot anyone ugly looking full of pointy sticks.

But of course, he had just been a bit insulting. Perhaps this swaggering warrior was about to strike. Drifel walked near to the wall while his words set in. If he did strike, the dwarf planned to deflect with the grip of his crossbow and redirect that force into the rotten wood of the nearby building. Ideally, that would trap the sword and buy him some precious seconds to cripple. He’d have to worry about the offhand weapon, but the dwarf assumed that he would lead with his good arm. The plan thus complete, the dwarf shifted his walk ever so slightly so that he would have greater leverage with which to pull aside the inevitable overhand blow. There was one of the many advantages to being a dwarf: it forced your enemies to use that same overhead chop, every single time.

The dwarf smiled. Start anything, boy, and you’re in for one nightmare of a struggle.

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Vane Ulmar
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Re: Look What The Wolf Dragged In

Post by Vane Ulmar » Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:44 pm

Vane looked at the dwarf after his long response, and burst into hoarse laughter for a minute before finally calming down. As soon as the last chuckle escaped his mouth, his face turned serious and he addressed the dwarf - "Look here, shorty..." Before he could finish he felt something tug at his money pouch. The mercenary knew exactly what was going on and quickly stretched out his elbow backwards. The steel plate on his elbow smashed the nose of the pickpocket behind him, blood spurted out his nostrils, and the thief dropped on the floor, trying to stop the bleeding with his hands. Vane turned around, determined to end the thief, but then noticed that they attracted all the attention. There was a circle of people around him and the dwarf, all of them eyeing the group somewhat greedily. Some of them had small knives out, some looked as if they were ready to pounce.

Vane knew exactly what that meant. He reached for his knife, put his finger in the ring pommel, and drew it, spinning it around a bunch before finally securing it in his hands with the blade pointing down. The elf woman was in no shape to fight, the elf was busy helping her, so Vane had to take this battle. He smiled. He hasn't had a good fight in quite some time. But even for him there were too many, so he started talking to the dwarf, without turning his head - "If you fight as good as you joke, we're dead meat."

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Wulf
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Re: Look What The Wolf Dragged In

Post by Wulf » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:06 pm

Stupid frething humans. Wulf cursed in his head, looking for a way out. This wasn't his problem, they weren't his clan, weren't his blood. And a dwarf. He bared his teeth at him, cutting back as he snarled. He hated dwarves. Frething thieves and sneakfoots, all the little bastards were. His fingers itched to grab an arrow. To clear a way and leave these wastes behind. But he couldn't, because the bastards had surrounded them. That frething human. Too much metal on his Changers damned body, and the wolves, the cruel wolves with human brains and metal teeth, were hunting for the metal meat they could sell. Couldn't blame them. Could only watch your child starve for so long before you were done with it.

He wasn't fighting. Not for these idiots. They could clear a space all they wanted, and he would disappear. He could hide in city shadows as good as those in the forest. And he was not going to be involved in human killing. Not in this city. He could smell the violence. Unwashed bodies, the iron tang of old blood on blades, melted sheeps fat that had been used to keep some blades well taken care of.

No. He wasn't dying for a frething human, a bastard dwarf, or the lass. Even if she was half-elven like him. That still didn't make her right.

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Valyr
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Re: Look What The Wolf Dragged In

Post by Valyr » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:01 am

Drifel turned an eye to the hoard of beggars and cut-throats. “These are some determined pickpockets. Three in a few minutes? Hide your damn pouch already, tall.”

He whipped out his crossbow, setting the frame on a nearby crate for cover and stability. Muggers. Of course. Just when he thought the scum of the city couldn’t get any more stupid. Still, the dwarf thought, if they charge we’re finished.

The dwarf had lived through worse. It was remarkable, really, how little people cared about you once they had your valuables. “Tell you what, lads.” He announced, narrowing his eyes and swiveling the crossbow to point at a dangerous looking big fellow. “Were you to jump across this road like that idiot chicken from the tavern jokes, I’d shoot one of you with this crossbow. You’d lie there bleeding on the road while my companion here cuts down another two of you. Then my crossbow’s reloaded, and another one of you bastards is clutching his gut on the floor like he’s had some bad ale. It goes so on and so forth, until the first half of you are dead. So I ask you this.” He paused for drama. “Which of you sons a bitches want to be the in the first half?”

There was a moment of silence, until a shadowy form unattached itself from the throng of the crowd, sparking murmers. Drifel’s crossbow swerved to meet the approaching figure, a strange looking thug, slim and lithe, yet battle-scarred. The way the others moved out of his way implied some amount of leadership. “Dwarf.” He said, accent thick. One hand went to adjust a colorful but faded set of rags over his right eye, presumably lost in a scrap long ago. “We ‘aint leavin’ without somethin’. This es ah proper muggin’, after all.”

“So polite.” The dwarf returned sarcastically, “I’ll tell you what, why don’t I make you a deal?” He pulled out his coin pouch. “I’ve got a stable living. Not pretty, but stable. I’m guessing my friend here does as well, good swords always do.” He let his words linger over the good in “good swords.” Eye Patch here seemed astute for a rat, and Drifel wanted to capitalize on that. “I can…” He thought about his words for a moment. He had about to say “I can spare some coin for charity” but muggers always held the most peculiar sense of pride about such things. He switched his tone. “…no.” He pulled out his coin pouch and tossed it to the crate. “Tell me, Patch. How much are the lives of your boys worth to you? They are this much to me.”

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Vane Ulmar
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Re: Look What The Wolf Dragged In

Post by Vane Ulmar » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:18 am

The dwarf seemed to know his thing in battles, and had a way with words. Vane smiled at that. "Maybe there's a point in having a pint with him after all" - a thought lingered in his head. But now all the mercenary wanted is a taste of a good fight. His eyes focused on the ragged mugger that stepped out of the circle around the two "companions". Vane's mind raced instinctively, planning ahead on his actions. His eyes dashed from one mugger to another, before finally setting down on the eye patched fellow. Vane kneeled down his both hands touching the ground at just the fingertips. His muscles tensed up, he knelt there, with one knee on the ground, another in the air, with his foot keeping his balance. As soon as the dwarf finished his little speech Vane dashed up on his legs, his left hand grabbed a small throwing knife out of the sheath strapped to his lower leg on the way up. The mercenary yelled out - "To hell with that, dwarf!" - and swiftly thrust his hand, throwing the small knife straight in front of him, piercing the eye patched mugger's skull and throwing him dead on the ground.

Before the shock filled air wore off, Vane's hand darted for the 2 sword hilts, pulling the blades out of the scabbards almost instantaneously. The sword that was on Vane's back took longer to draw, but by the time it was finally free his other sword was already out. The mercenary spun around, making room around him with the sharp blades, before finally stopping, extending both swords in opposite directions, his arms fully stretched apart. He spun around, pointing the sword tips from one part of the circle of muggers surrounding them to another, all the while smiling. "So... who's next?" - finally said the mercenary with an arrogant smile on his face. He could see that the lowlifes were determined he couldn't take them all on. However, he was certain he could.

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Wulf
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Re: Look What The Wolf Dragged In

Post by Wulf » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:45 pm

Wulf watched as this all happened. He didn't care about these people enough for this. Even the woman was trying to get to stand and do something, and he decided he was done with it. Wulf drew his dagger, skirting behind a stall and looking for an alley. One of the attackers turned, expecting the slender half-elf to be easy meat for an attack. Wulf threw the dagger, grunting as it buried itself in the gutter trash's throat. Let the stupid human bleed.

He disappeared into the darkness of the alley, using the poorly mortared bricks as hand and toe holds as he climbed his way up a building. He looked back, knowing that he could rain arrows down and save the other two if need be, but he just honestly didn't care. He shrugged, getting his bearings and running the rooftops to get away and to get home.

Let the stupid humans bleed.

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Valyr
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Re: Look What The Wolf Dragged In

Post by Valyr » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:16 am

Drifel watched the mute knife-ear climb the wall behind him. “Good idea, kiddo.” He muttered under his breath. Were it not for the fact that he was as stumpy as any in his species, he’d have been doing the same thing.

He sighed as he watched the other half elf glance nervously up after her companion. Wounded as she was, it was plain she was measuring her chances. She glanced at the dwarf. He shrugged, and turned his full attention to the bandits in front of him. Moments later, he heard her struggling up the boxes, following her kin over the rooftops. He doubted she would catch up to him. He knew what a man’s eyes looked like when he was determined to desert.

The dwarf sighed, shouldering the crossbow. He was about to pull the trigger when he stopped. By Theogios, that was a person on the other end! He’d gone almost two decades now without killing anybody. Two decades of honest living, raising his boy, Kitan, to believe that killing was wrong. How could he go home and face his son if he fired?

The din of battle increased. There was a holler and yelp, pain, with a spot of red dancing above the crowd. He looked to the side. There was a way out, with all attention on the swardsman. It was obvious and easy.

He turned back. A man was counting on him in there. A violent, drunken man, true. But he was in no place to judge on those accounts. Of course, he was surrounded by other violent, drunken men. Ones who had at least been willing to settle things peacefully. Ones that were so desperate for coin they risked their lives to obtain it.

He grimaced. Instincts reached up through his mind, begging him to pull the trigger, screaming at him that the pack was in danger, and the pack transcended all. It had been hammered into his skull it had been his survival for centuries, through guard and mercenary professions alike.

He stood there, teeth bared, frozen in time. He couldn’t fire. Changers damn him, he couldn’t fire.

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Vane Ulmar
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Re: Look What The Wolf Dragged In

Post by Vane Ulmar » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:04 am

The mute elf and the half-elf woman darted for the alleys, and one of them slowly started climbing the side of a building. "Coward" - Vane hissed to himself, but not mad as he knew the woman was in no condition to fight. Just as the elves made their escape Vane noticed that the dwarf aimed his crossbow, his finger gripping the trigger. But no shot was fired. The dwarf just stood there, aiming his crossbow at the crowd of bandits. Eventually, once the shock filled air wore off, one of them had a surge of energy as he ran towards the dwarf with a small knife in his hands. Vane, with both his swords extended, keeping the bandits away, easily drew the blades closer to himself as he spun around and slashed the running bandit's throat right before he came close to the dwarf. The mercenary's right hand lowered close to the ground as the iron blade stopped touching the bandit's neck, a small red fountain spurting in the air. Just as the lifeless body hit the ground, blood sill flowing out the wound, Vane raised his swords, and extended his arms again, making the bandits slowly back away but to then regain formation. "If you're not gutsy enough for it, leave the killing to me and cover those two's escape!" - yelled Vane at the dwarf, reading his emotions.

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Valyr
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Re: Look What The Wolf Dragged In

Post by Valyr » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:29 am

Drifel stared back at the soldier. It was but moments, yet it seemed the look between them passed for ages. In that moment, Drifel thought.

“Ah screw you.” He said simply. The crossbow sang. The bolt thudded into the flesh of a mugger behind Vane. The cutpurse staggered to the ground, clutching his gut and screaming.

Drifel didn’t waste any more time. His hands became a blur and a new bolt appeared in his crossbow. A second shot went off, flying past Vane. Someone tumbled downwards. The dwarf was no marksman, but few operated at the capacity for battle with a blade in their gut.

Drifel felt sorry for the poor sods. Gut wounds could take several pain filled weeks to kill a man, and the dwarf knew the streets of the old fort were not merciful to the weak. “You think it takes courage to kill a man?” His arms whirred and a new bolt was in place. The intonation of his voice increased, turning louder gradually until he was shouting. “This ‘aint courage, boy. This is the pinnacle of cowardice.”

The crossbow lowered. It did not fire. The mechanical snap of the cord would sound no more. The dwarf’s voice dropped to a whisper. “I’d say I hope I killed enough for you to make it out alive, but let it never be said I was a liar.” The dwarf walked down the street backwards, crossbow waved in the direction of anyone who looked to be coming after him. Not even the most opportunistic was willing to chance charging the dwarf down a street clear of obstruction.

He voice dropped to a whisper. No one could hear the muttering which escaped the dwarf’s lips. “May both us cowards get what we deserve some day.”

The world was better off without people like Vane and he.

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