RP:Removing the Band of Orc Raiders
Rowen was distressed to find a band of Orc Raiders had taken up residency around the Shrine to Daedria in the outskirts of the Sage. She brought the issue to Ranok to assist her in removing them, and the man assembled a small team and a plan to deal with the orcs in the most straightforward manner possible.
Outskirts of Sage
Your journey through Sage Forest ends and begins here as the thickening wildwood prevents any further travel north. A cool breeze rolls down from the mountains to the west, carrying with it just a hint of rainfall and maybe something else you can't quite fathom. The overhang of leaves rustles gently, quivering in anticipation as the wind wafts by on its course for the tiny town hidden somewhere below. You can follow it either south or east.
Ranok stands at the appointed meeting spot, a little ways away from the orc encampment. He carries no light on him at all to give away his position, but the location is far enough away that detection isn't really a problem. Habit gets the man at the best of times, it seems. He's clad in the same head to toe armor that he is normally, save that his helmet hangs on his hip as well. Ranok sits on a rock, awaiting the others, using the time for some last minute adjustments to the crossbows be brought along, just in case. A tweak here or there, but it's more or less busy work. As trained as he is, he still succumbs to the pre-fight jitters. Or, perhaps he is eager. He hides it well. As for the rest of him, the array of weaponry is somewhat gone. The stave is propped up on a rock, for easy grabbing, the sword lying on the ground, smelling of metal and fresh oil, the whip hangs still at his waist, and Mirabelle, that strange contraption, is lying next to the sword, smelling of the same as the sword. Ranok has wrapped rags around bits of his armor to break up his silhouette, in the event that he's spotted. The crossbow clicks in his hands, he continues to make busy, and he waits.
Brina moved silently through the brush, being sure to stay upwind of where the orcs were stationed. Sure they were far off but Bri was no orc expert and she didn't want to risk a scare because of her ignorance. Ranok is again, not sighted, but smelled and once his scent is in her nose she finds her way easily to him. She says nothing simply get's his attention, so he know's it's her and not someone sneaking up, and begins to get ready for the impending battle. Brina wasn't wearing her normal clothes but instead donned small cloth shorts and a tight fitting tank top. The result made her look as though she were either a hoochie or going to work out. Perhaps both. In her hand she carried a large broadsword and on her back was a pack filled with things she may need after, new clothes, more minor weapons, water cause if the orcs don't get you dehydration might!
Angelo allows the shadows to carry him around the edge of the encampment, eyes searching for the others, he almost bumps right into Ranok and Brina - he reaches for his weapons, but calms upon realizing who they are. He slowly edges himself closer to them, the usual white mask now pure black thanks to the illusory magicks, combined with the hood causing him to look much like the 'Grim' that Ranok had mentioned not long ago. He sits near them, practically on all fours, waiting for the signal to move…and begin.
Rowen the small brown rat creeps forward stealthily. Her nodding Myrall doll, which is wearing a camouflage dress, borrowed from one of the orphan's dolls at the Venturil children's home, especially for the occasion is hung low by her side on a leather strap across her shoulders, so at first glance she hopes to appear to be an ordinary rat, no threat to the orc camp. She approaches Ranok, tapping his boot gently with her forepaw to be sure he has noticed her arrival, then awaiting his signal to move closer and attempt to take out the sentries with her sleeping darts as they had planned, cleaning her whiskers nervously as she waits.
Ranok sets down the crossbow in his hands. He then stands, a strangely silent movement. More rags had been stuffed where the joints met, to further muffle the clanking his armor would make. The man speaks in a low voice, "Alright. Hall but vun iz here. Und here he komes now." Some rustling announces the arrival of a human, dressed in merc leathers and carrying a broadsword similar to Brina's, "Dis iz Frank, und he vill be our hired muscle for de evenink. Now." He kneels, pulling out the map one last time and laying it out. The most up-to-date information that he has on the camp is marked out, "Most uf de orcs are pretty loopy from de pig dey ate. Hy von' relay de shenanigans dat got dat done, but suffice to say, de task vas komplete. Now, Rowen, hyu vill moff up und tranq de tree sentries. Here, here, und here." He points where on the map, "Try to hit each vun in a different place. If dey hall schtart rubbink der necks, dey might be suspicious. Onlikely, tough, dey're pretty schtupeed. But, regardless, try. Leg, neck, und arm are goot places. Vunce hyu get back, schtay out uf de vay as best hyu kan. Hy don' mean to sideline hyu, but hyu're a liddle schmall to be takink orcs head on, und dat tranq takes time to get vorkink." Then, he looks at Brina, his eyes glinting in the light as his head shifts, somewhat like a cat's, "Vunce de sentries are schleepink, hyu vill set into de kamp und set it ablaze. Henny tent hyu kan find. Hy'm very sure dere are no prisoners dere, as Hy hefn' seen hennyddink but orcs in dere, so henny tent hyu kan reach before de time iz up." No prisoners, but there would be remains, human, elf and all sorts of creatures in between. Ranok pulls a bundle from beside the rock he had been sitting on. Inside were the tools needed for Brina to accomplish her task. A torch doused in a very combustable solution, a flintbox that only has to be cranked that looks very well made. A sun is emblazoned on the side, marking it as Ranok's work. "Ven as mhenny tents as hyu kan safely set alight are blazink, vidddrav towards us. Hyu're de fastest uf us, so hyu'll be leadink dem into de ambush. Make sure hyu're seen fleeink de kamp by at least vun uf de orcs. He'll lead de rest into de ambush." Then, to Angelo, "Hyu vill be at de ambush site vith myself und Frank. However, ven de bulk uf de orcs gets to dis point, or Hy signal like dis," Ranok purses his lips and whistles a two toned signal. Not very musical, but it got the job done. "hyu vill release a magical flare. Blind 'em vith de light. Und den hyu fill 'em vith midnight. After de airburst, hyu kan do dat shedow dancer tink. Make it like dere's more uf us den dey know. After dat, lay into dem vith svord und blade. Brina, hyu kan go feral if hyu vant to do it, but orcs are tough bastards. Hy don' know how a volf's teeth vill do de job kompared to a svord." Frank he skips, as well as himself. Both would be at the ambush, armed with crossbows to pick off the orcs as they came. He leans back on his haunches, "Remember. Like Hy saeed. Orcs are tough, tough bastards. A bolt to de neck hain't deadly to dem. Und der skulls are tick. Dere's gunna be a lot uf deflectink bolts as Hy und Frank are schootink, und Angelo if he kan schoot too." His hands rest on his thighs, "Rowen hes asked dat ve take as mhenny aliff as possible. However, dese guys are too dangerous to hallow henny leevay. If der veapon hain't on de ground und der hends in de air, drop dem. No qvestions. Hennyone vo surrenders schould be knocked upside de head silly und den left for de klean up." Not that the man had much faith in getting many prisoners. The three sentries would likely be the only ones taken alive. Orcs aren't reknowned for their politeness and cowardice. Ranok looks at those assembled each in turn, "Now, henny qvestions?"
Rowen examines the map carefully and nods to show her understanding. The rat then creeps slowly towards the foul smelling encampment. On catching sight of the first sentry, the tiny priestess lifts up her weapon a gift from Myrall herself. She carefully takes aim, then pulls back the dwarf queen's head. The spring loaded mechanism sends a sleeping dart which hits the first orc in the calf, he slaps at what he thinks is a mosquito. She then takes aim at the second sentry but is less successful missing first once then a second time, since he is partially obscured by bushes. She emits a quiet frustrated sigh and moves on to her third target. This time she has better luck, catching the last sentry in the neck, she inches forward some more, hoping to get a shot at the one she missed before he notices his comrades falling unconscious and raises the alarm.
Brina growls low under her breath, her eyes blazing as brightly as the lit torch she now carried in her hand. Was it awful that she was antsy? Was it terrible that all she wanted to do was run into the camp and rip the throats out of the populace? Not that she'd ever been a big fan of orcs but she hadn't hated them either and lord knows this wasn't her fight. "See ya on the other side" she winks and runs into the camp with all the speed of an olympic track star. Sure they were now on guard, the orcs, but it didn't stop her from weaving her way in through the front, taking advantage of chaos that was the start of battle. The warrior woman leapt over the fallen bodies of humans, elves and the like as easily as though they were fallen logs. Battle hardened apparently. The thatched roofs of the camp caught fire easily and it was no hard task to start a good deal, more then half, aflame before the crowd turned against her. Stupid, yes, slow, defiantly, but Ranok was right orcs are hard creatures and once they are on to you it meant maiming and probable death for most. But she wasn't most. Since most eyes were on her now, the blazing fires of the now enflamed camp tinting her skin orange, she began her exit. Like Nero at Rome Bri decided a song would be best and sang a beautiful ballad at the top of her lungs. With any luck they'd follow her out, she was now relying totally on her speed and agility, and right into the trap Ranok had lain.
Angelo winces with the realization that Step One had gone awry, and that the orcs now knew what was going on far faster than anticipated. However, there was no need to panic - only to prepare. He shrouded himself in bits of shadow that bobbed and weaved around him to give him a 'hazy' look, before raising his hands and waiting for the time to unleash - he could feel Erebus; he could feel -everything-....it was all coming back to him, now. He murmurs something to himself, waiting for Ranoks signal to begin the illusory assault - Brina's song only threw him deeper into the Erebus state of mind.
Ranok isn't really surprised. He can't recall a single time where everything went perfectly to plan. The sentries were only now slumping to the ground and the rest of the orcs buzzing and boiling out like angry bees. The man shoulders his crossbow, as does Frank. Two twangs, and two orcs bellow in rage at the bolts flying home to their flesh. Ranok reloads by wrenching the string back by sheer strength, while Frank cranks his much more slowly. Ranok fires off another bolt and is in the middle of reloading as Frank finally gets his shot off. In the turmoil, it was impossible to see where the bolts where coming from, and all that could be known was that there was blood in the air, flames eating everything, and smoke and haze float through the middle of pain. One orc falls, a bolt through his eye. One marksman or the other got the lucky shot. The rest are only wounded, a shot in the leg here, an arm hanging uselessly there. Then they draw in to where they can be most affected by the flash. Dispensing with signals, now that stealth was pretty much dancing merrily among the flames, Ranok simply bellows, "Angelo, now!" The man hopes the rest of them have the sense to shield his eyes, as he does, waiting for the coming flash of brilliant light.
Brina does indeed close her eyes, assuming that Angelo followed orders and did his thing. As the rain of arrows pelted down from above Brina threw the torch with surprising ferocity at some orc's feet. It took a minute to catch but catch it did. What followed was the thing's hasty attempt to put himself out. The clearing was, needless to say, lit up with the light of the burning camp. Spurred on by bloodlust Brina grabs hold of her broadsword and begins hacking and shredding any bit of flesh she can get ahold of. Hair flying and eyes bright she sticks her sword into one orcs chest. For a moment he looked surprised, she was a girl after all, but soon his eyes went blank as he toppled over dead. She was nothing if not a methodical killer, though vicious to a fault, her face speckled with blood. Though she did not become wolf her teeth had turned to the fangs of one and she was using this to her advantage. This creature was no longer Brina but some awful doppelganger.
Rowen obeys Ranok's instructions to stay out of the way by levitating herself high up into the branchs of a tree, some distance from the flames consuming the tents of the orc encampment. The dancing flames and the shadows they cast seem rather eery in the darkness, almost as if there were demons cavorting about the camp. From the relative safety of the treetops she attempts to fire darts at the orcs which are chasing after Brina, the rat priestess marvels at the lycan's bravery. Rowen hums along with her song, all thoughts of trying to spare the lives of the 'poor' orcs forgotten, for the time being, as she is caught up in the excitement of the battle. So busy trying to put more orcs to sleep with her darts is she that she forgets the need to cover her eyes when Ranok yells "Angelo, now!" The flash leaves the poor rat temporalily blinded. She crouches still low down to her branch in the treetops, cursing her stupidity, hoping her sight will return soon, her face grimaces at the smell of burning tents mingled with the stench of burnt orc flesh. The odd animalistic yell, makes her shudder unaware of whether they are warcries or screams of pain from the injured orcs.
Angelo remains silent as he lifts his hands to the sky and focuses all his effort on two seperate illusions; first, a burst of light brightens the clearing to near blinding levels, as shadows begin to rise from the ground and approach the orcs with a variety of makeshift weapons - they have no real form or substance, and several dissipate upon being hit by an orc...but they don't stop coming. An endless onslaught of illusory minions, coupled with the flare, send a few reeling for cover, -any- cover - all the while, Angelo continued to speak to himself, low and quiet.
Ranok mutters a curse as Brina goes berserk. It wasn't safe for anyone, save, perhaps, himself. But that is to be dealt with later. Crossbow gets dropped, sword drawn, and into the melee Ranok wades, swinging his sword like a machine dedicated only to killing. Frank follows, with considerably less flair but just about as much ruthlessness. Ranok is able to go toe to toe with the orcs, his size cutting an unmistakable figure through the flickering flames, smoke, and battle haze. This makes him a target, however. He is the Leader, the biggest of the group attacking. And as such, he draws the rest of the orcs who aren't engaged to test their mettle against what they think to be the toughest of the group. Sword flicking out, disabling where he can, a mailed fist smashing some orc's face in, Ranok is being surrounded.
Brina had her bare foot and bloodied foot on the head of some fallen orc or other. There was blood on across her lips, painting them a startling amber hue, and her sword hung limply in her opposing hand. The focus had shifted and she turned her head to see why. Ranok was being surrounded. A hitch caught in Bri's throat but that was perhaps the last of her human side that was allowed to interfere. As soon as the small gasp left her throat she began to shift. Not into a wolf, no Ranok was right when he said that the animal form would probably be more harm than good, but defiantly into something decidedly inhuman. She moves through the vast swarm of orcs and begins to pick them off one by one. Adrenaline must have kicked in for it seemed that she had the energy of a hyperactive toddler, if that toddler happened to be a bloodthirsty killer, and though they may not go down as easily as (say) humans would she does manage to make a dent. Hopefully, she'd have made it easier for Ranok to take them out.
Angelo shifts his focus as Ranok begins to slowly become surrounded, the flare brightening; the shadow army grows in number, as illusory flames begin to lick the feet of the orcs assembled. Angelo drops to one knee from the stress of holding all this, the proverbial Atlas holding up an illusory world. He still continues to mindlessely chant all the while, enjoying the thrill of all this.
Ranok would probably have a thing or two to say to both Brina and Angelo, had he the chance to stop and think. One succumbing to blood lust, the other holding an illusion that has served it's purpose. But for now, there is only the fight before him. The world fades to Ranok, breaking into chunks that are labeled Important and Not Important. Everything that wasn't an orc was stuck under the latter. Ranok, of course, wasn't outwardly worried. Inwardly, he knew things were a tad grim. The first rule of fighting multiple enemies was to not let yourself get surrounded. So, he goes to the second. Keep as many enemies off balance as he can. The orc that just received the lovely gift of fist-to-the-face, as given by Ranok, howls as his already mashed nose gushes blood. This was too much for the poor creature, who's now scorched, blinded, bloodied, and angry. The injured thing begins swinging wildly with his club, whalloping the two other orcs neayby him and creating a scuffle that would ultimately see the offending orc dead by his comrades later down the road. This creates a lovely opening of space for Ranok to use to step forward, lean dodge an incoming swing, eblow smash the overreached orc, and then follow up with a downward crush with his sword pommel. Thick skulled as the orc was, it wouldn't stay out of the fight long, but that created another opening and space for the man to half step, absorb another blow with his armored sleeve, and counter. And that was how he would handle the orcs tightening around him. Pommel smashes, step ins with follow ups to tender or vulnerable areas with fist, knee, and once, head, and counter slashes with his sword when he got a chance. He was doing fine, but the bad news was that the damage he was dealing wasn't deadly. Slashes bleed, more or less, and are not deadly. An orc holding in his intestines while he attacks may be dead walking, but could still very much harm Ranok. Once or twice Ranok would get a lucky opening, stabbing an orc through the collarbone with his knife and nicking the heart, and the other by getting in a throat cut with a counter, but the numbers lie against him until Brina crashes into their rear. The way he moved was almost like a dance, an elaborate series of steps where he lured, parried, and spilled some blood. It would be lovely to watch, if anyone observing was really in a mind for sight seeing and not fighting.
Brina threw herself into the battle with every fiber she had in her being. With her heart beating so fast it may very well jump from her chest and lay twitching on the bodies of the fallen, she let herself become lost within herself. This was not a time for Brina. Just as Angelo had Erebus so had she her animal side, though different in many ways sometimes it was simply easier to succumb. Brina the human could not do this. She wouldn't be able to kill as expertly as she was doing now, would not be able to extinguish life so easily. Or at least, that's what she told herself. It may be a tad amusing, to the onlookers (not that there were any) that the large man moved with such grace and the woman didn't seem to posses a single elegant bone in her body. At least, not when fighting. She moved like liquid metal, marble come to life, all things that seem cumbersome but essentially get the job done. Her eyes are the only thing that dance, glowing and almost yellow in the back drop of the flames, completely animal now. Crashing and slashing, kicking and scratching she made a hot mess of any that tried to attack her Ranok. Any injury acquired during the battle would not be noticed until after the chaos had died down. Temper fueled her. Orcs were going down left and right. In several cases she ripped out the throats, just in case. Double tap if you will.
Angelo allows the flare to decrease in intensity; he remained on one knee while the illusory fires died. But with the death of these two illusions came the life of more and more shadows; dozens of them. For each one obliterated by an orc's strike, another rose to took its place, roaring in anger; every single shadow a piece of Erebus inside him. He noticed now that the orc numbers were beginning to die down, his hands beginning to twitch out of fatigue. All while Erebus cheered him on the inside, roaring victoriously for every orc that felt by Brina or Ranoks hand.
Ranok fights more fiercely as the orcs lessen. The fatal strikes come more often, and he's even gotten the chance to recover his knife from the collar of the orc he'd killed. With Brina fighting like a dervish, and Frank holding up ok, combined with the careful planning that went into the attack, soon only the bodies of the fallen and those of the band that joined Ranok are left standing. The danger has not passed, however. The man carefully watches Brina. He's prepared to take measures to make sure she comes out of blood lust, if she doesn't on her own.
Brina was breathing heavily, her body seeming to vibrate with the energy that had just passed through her like a hurricane. She was like a woman possessed. Her eyes, still dazzlingly bright pass down among the fallen. Was she looking for Ranok? Surely she was not so stupid to think that he had gone down. But look she did. Where was Angelo? When no faces pop out at her from the mass of dead something in her seems to calm. "Safe" she mutters, her breathing still frantic yet shallow and finally her eyes move up the form which was Ranok. Dimmer and dimmer goes the animal in her eyes, when she spots Angelo too it seems to be completely gone. If one of them had been hurt? Now that, that would have been awful. As it were, the danger seemed mostly gone. Still, she had to get out from around the bodies (for she had developed a strong urge to begin eating them, or cutting heads off as prizes) and so she gingerly steps to the edge of the clearing. To say that she was fragile was an understatement. She'd collapse to the ground in a heap of shaking limbs and begin to look herself over for wounds. It wasn't that she didn't care about the other two, because she most certainly did, but she knew that the site of their blood may stir up the wolf again and she simply couldn't risk it.
Angelo rises on shaky legs, still maintaining the shadowy army though they no longer had any orcs to prey on. Once he sees the aftermath, however, he lets the illusion go, dropping back onto his knees again, laughing weakly. "H-h-hah...take that...damn orcs.
Ranok strolls through the blood, gore, and bodies. Frank looks sour. It looks like body clean up is left to him. The man is being paid, after all, so it may be hard to feel sorry for the chap. Towards Brina he goes, his face splattered with blood that isn't his, his armor carrying scours of bright lines from blows it had taken but not been pierced by. That was why he wore it, of course. He kneels next to the woman, gently laying down his bloodied sword on the ground, "Brina, are hyu alright? No vounds?" He hasn't taken the time to even look himself over for wounds hidden by the battle rush. Then again, maybe he was just that confident in himself. If Brina was not too injured to move, he would bid her up, to leave the area. If she couldn't stand, he'd carry her. Regardless, the man would not leave until the she-wolf has, signaling Angelo to get the hell out of Dodge as well.
Brina was helped up. She had a few scraps and a particularly nasty looking cut on the outside of her thigh, but other than that she was fine. "Yeah, I'm okay" right? Yeah, of course, totally fine, just slaughtered a whole bunch or orcs for no other reason then I was told to do so. But she didn't really feel bad about it, even though she knew she should. Her eyes find him, her calm tranquil eyes, and fly up and down his form apparently looking for the more obvious wounds. "Are you alright? Let's go somewhere so I can check ya out" there was concern in her voice but it was nice to know she had a handle on herself well enough to offer help. When weight was put on her cut leg, it sent a bit of pain to the spot, but it wasn't so bad that she couldn't walk. In any case, she may lean on him a little for support and follow him wherever he deemed fitting to recuperate.
Ranok snorts, "Already itchink to get hendsy, Brina? Hyu do know how to make a man's heart race." When he sees how her weight is shifted towards her good leg, he frowns, "Took a blow to you leg? Ve'll look at it later." He'd support her whether she wanted it or not, to prevent the injury on her leg from growing worse. And that is how he will lead her out of the clearing, arm around her back and one on her shoulder, sword picked up and wiped on a bit of cloth, then sheathed to be cleaned properly later.
Brina rolls her eyes and scrunches her nose up in a 'oy' sort of expression. But she didn't retort, simply filed that away from later ponderings. With each step she took a bit of her humanity seeped back in and by the time they got to their destination, she'd be fully aware. So, taking comfort in Ranok's strength, she sidles off with him.