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Forums > Fantasy Roleplay Forum > Dragon hunting (closed)

  • updated OOC thread here

A new day, a new city, a new job.

Dawn is only just beginning to break over the horizon, and on this particular morning there aren't many people milling about the streets. Edith considers this a small miracle. Usually, the array of weapons she has strapped to her person would raise more than a few eyebrows. But today she is blissfully unencumbered by judgemental stares and questions as she treks down the main street.

Despite having only arrived at the lakeside city of Aermarsh the previous day, Edith has already found herself in the service of some wealthy nobles with a dragon problem. Her reputation as a hunter precedes her, she supposes. For no sooner than she had settled at an inn, a young page-boy had come to collect her on behalf of his lord. He offered her double the bounty for the dragon's head if it were done by nightfall the following night. She, only having eyes for the purse of coin he dangled before her, agreed without hesitation.

As Edith walks, the city gates gradually grow larger in her field of vision. The two guards posted at the gate house stand to attention as she passes, one of them pushing off the wall to approach her.

"Halt."

"Yes?" She asks curtly.

"You aware there's a curfew in place... err," He looks her up and down, fumbling for the right word. "Miss?"

"I am aware." Edith reaches into a small satchel at her waist, producing a slightly wrinkled piece of parchment stamped with the wax seal of the lord. She thrusts it into the hand of the guard.

"Oh," The guard says, looking slightly bewildered as he reads the letter. "On the lord's orders?"

"Yes."

"Beggin' your pardon." He replies as he hands the parchment back to her.

Edith stuffs it back into her satchel.

Past the gates, the city ends abruptly and gives way to a large expanse of farm land hedged by a looming forest. She walks for the better part of the morning, guided by the telltale signs of disturbed underbrush and broken fences, on the trail of the dragon.

Edith stops at the last broken fence on the edge of the farmland. A few stray cattle have taken advantage of the breach and wandered a short ways in search of food. The tracks go further still into the shade of the forest. She takes her crossbow from the holster at her back and loads it, thumbing the trigger warily. The forest isn't her domain; it's wild, unclaimed by man. It sets her nerves on edge.

As she enters the forest she has the uncanny sense that she isn't alone.

They had come from seemingly nowhere as they often did, this time in far fewer numbers but with what felt like higher levels of rank. The four greater demons awaited Avri as she had trekked through the forest, jumping down at her from the treetops in an attempt to finish her before the fight could even begin, but she could sense the presence of demons, and knew they were they before they had begun.

The attack turned to their dismay, Avri quickly countering the initial drop by turning rapidly and offering her own blade to the gut of the first one. It wasn't the first time these creatures had underestimated her, and in fact a lot of opponents she had encountered fell to the same misconception, after all, who expected an 8 year old to be ready for battle?

Three left standing and each approached quickly, one before the others all in opposing directions to surround the girl. Dashing at the nearest one, she swings a blade to deflect the creatures wild attack and ducks her face, rolling into the creature at an angle and allowing him to push her off to the side. As she completes the spin she swings at the creatures back, slicing it open with the tip of her blade, then dropping her sword and quickly releasing a dark purple bolt of energy at the creature.

It impaled his upper back, and he stumbles forward quite suddenly. He runs into the first of the final approaching two, mistakenly taking his blade into his gut. Avri can't help but to smile at the sight, and while she steadies herself for the approach of the singular demon, the other angrily shoves his former compadre to the ground in an angry howl at his failure and interruption.

((Made it kind of short and sweet rather than divulging myself in every little combat action as I've done in the past. Feel free to presume some things about the demons, all I have for them is that they'd prioritize Avri as their target outside of staying alive. As for your OOC chat, generally that is placed in the RP discussion forums, as the Looking for RP forums is centered around only the search of rps))

Edith freezes mid-step as the obvious sound of a fight reach her ears and swears quietly under her breath. Who in their right mind would be making such a raucous in dragon-infested woods? Although the origin was evidently not the direction the dragon had gone, it wouldn't be long before the beast heard and returned to bring its fiery wrath down upon everyone in the vicinity - or worse, hightail it out of there before she has the chance to collect its head. And then she could kiss her bounty goodbye.

It is with this thought in the forefront of her mind that Edith diverges from the trail of the dragon and steps towards the noise. She keeps her hands tight around the crossbow as she quietly picks her way over rocks and fallen branches. Every so often pausing to listen both to the fight and for the sounds of heavy dragon footfalls approaching. Until eventually, she comes to a slight break in the trees that affords her with a better view of the unfolding battle.

Two bodies lay prone on the ground in pools of their own blood, and though Edith is no stranger to bloodshed, even she has to stifle a small noise at the viciousness with which they were dispatched. Beyond the bodies, she sees what looks like a child facing off against another two of the creatures.

Without too much thought to her actions, she takes a knee and levels her crossbow with one of the creatures. Others may have described her as selfish, but it would take an utter monster to stand by and watch a child be killed. She has heart enough for this. Edith looses the bolt. It hits its mark with a dull thwack, spearing the creature through the neck. It falls to the ground in a crumpled heap with the others.

((Sorry it took a bit for me to reply, I didn't want to rush something while I was taking lunch at work. Thanks for letting me know about the OOC chat, too. I believe I've fixed that up now, though it's fairly bland - I'm not quite sure what to include in it. ūüėÖ))

Avri remains still, blades above her ready to recieve the incoming assailant. He ran quickly and almost angrily towards her while she confidently prepared for his expected arrival. The other had cast his companion to the ground, but hadn't made it any further.

Avri's eyes darted to him as she saw him flail the weapon out of his hands and reach desperately up and around towards his back side as if to pull an arrow from his back. Her smile faded instantly as he collapsed to the ground, realizing someone else was here, and those who assisted in killing the demonic predators who had attacked her in the past had not always bore her the best of intents either.

Her eyes fixated on the last one, much closer than she remembered now. The momentary distraction of his compadres demise seemed to have been greater than she initially imagined. He swung hard down across the body right at her, the weight of himself pushing the entire motion forward like a freight train by comparison to what Avri's little body had to offer.

Normally she favored counters, dodges, and misdirects in combat because of her small size and weaker strength compared to adults, but this time she could only throw her blades up in a haphazard attempt to block, holding both blades in opposite directions at an angle in the hopes to deflect some of what was coming.

It was of limited success, however. The the attack blasted into her block and sent her quickly stumbling backwards. The only silver lining was that the sword had slightly deflected downward and avoided cutting her wide open.

Before she could even completely recover, the attacker followed up by lifting his foot and kicking Avri directly in the chest, sending her onto her back a few feet away. She managed to keep her blades in hand, but she knew this was going to be trouble as the last demon moved forward, raising his sword above him intent on delivering the killing blow.

Seeing the girl struggling to fend off the blows raining down upon her, Edith throws her crossbow down. There's no sense in reloading it now, she'd never get the shot off in time. Instead, she draws a long craving knife from a sheath strapped to her calf.

She'd already entered the fray when she'd taken her first shot at the creatures assailing the kid. regardless of whether she further intervened or not, there would be more fighting to be had. Might as well end it sooner. She only hopes she doesn't come to regret this.

The creature doesn't notice her as she creeps silently toward it, too preoccupied with whaling on the girl.

Up close, Edith can see it's hideous. All ashen grey skin and horns jutting out from places horns ought not be. Wrapped in a light leather armour that covers most of its torso but leaves its limbs, where the horns are most prominent, uncovered. Edith has never seen anything of the like before. The limbs are wiry and too long for its frame, hands and feet ending in claw-like nails. A viscous black ooze that Edith assumes is blood dribbles from various cuts and welts on its exposed flesh.

She's glad it has its back to her so she doesn't have to see the monstrous, snarling face of it. This, whatever it is, is a far cry from a dragon.

The girl goes down, propelled by a kick to the chest and the creature raises its sword. Before it can deliver the killing blow, Edith lunges. Though not so adept at knife fighting, (her prey was usually dead by the time she took a blade to it) she manages to drive the knife into its side. With as much force as she can muster, she twists it viciously.

The creature howls as much in pain as it does in shock. The sword falls from its grip as it thrashes wildly. Edith, now with a hold on the shoulder of its leather armour, does her best to lean away from the flailing arms. But it catches her on the side of the face, nails raking over her flesh. Although she's momentarily blinded by a red smear of blood leaching across her vision, Edith draws arm back and brings her blade down again, and again, and again.

Eventually, she punctures something important. The creature lets out a sickening gurgle before falling limp in her grip. She tares her knife back, sending up a splash of black blood, and throws the body aside.

Edith looks down at the girl, breathing heavily and wiping the blood out of her eye. Remembering why she bothered to involve herself in the first place, she feels a sudden flush of anger and snaps at her. "What are you doing in the forest alone? Are you daft, girl?"

Despite the fact she had seen a previous demon fall to the attack of what she could guess was a third party interruption, Avri's face reflected clearly her surprise at the sudden attacker hanging desperately onto the flailing demons back. The attack was ruthless, and Avri watched the blade fly haphazardly out of the creatures hand, wildly reaching back in an effort to peel the assailant from his back.

The girl let her arms fall to the sides and watched calmly, long desensitized to the murder of demonic figures . Red blood, on the other hand, would have been a different story, but these heathens deserved every savage beating they got and more as far as she was concerned.

She released her blades leaving them lay on the ground a moment and pushed herself to a seated position, looking up to the woman with a straight face as she proceeded to suddenly....yell at Avri. Her brow quickly furrowed and she felt a similar sense of irritation, overshadowing the guilt hidden deep within of what felt like a punishment provided by an adult.

She turned over and pushed herself to a kneeling position, reaching down to retrieve her blades before standing upright and turning to face Edith in a non threatening manner. "Geez what are you so mad about? I had him right where I wanted him!" she replied with a slightly irritated voice and an expression to match. Looking Edith up and down a moment, she guaged her as not being a threat. That wasn't to say she was defenseless or inept by the girls analysis, she simply believed the woman had no intention of harming her.

She turned away and held her bladed up in the air away from Edith, and swung them downward to throw the fresh black blood off onto the ground. It wasn't the only place that had been saturated in the stuff, much of her skin and dress and even her satchel were coated in droplets of black, most of which were fresh. Some, however, if one looked closely, had stained there some time prior, and were now seemingly indistinguishable from the dirt, mud, and various other things making the child filthy. Despite this, she had seemed to keep her hair in relatively decent shape.

"I'm on my way to Air....mash,' the girl says, horribly disfiguring the name of what was most likely the town Edith had just departed from. She turns to her, having finished cleaning her blades off by wiping them in the grass, not 100% clean but she called it good enough for now. "I think that's what is called. They're s'posed to have a inn there I wanted to be at.

She sheathed her weapons hidden up the sleeves to her dress and stared up to the woman with multicolored eyes, one a deep purple as dark as the surrounding night sky, the other a brilliant golden color so bright it almost seemed to glow. Her expression fell to the innocent look of just a girl now, "What about you?"

Adrenaline beginning to wear off, Edith pats herself down to make sure there isn't a gaping wound anywhere that she failed to notice in the heat of the battle, then turns on her heel. She retrieves her discarded crossbow and from the body she'd taken through the neck, she rips the bolt out, banging it unceremoniously against a tree to knock off the little chunks of gore clinging to the serrations.

She stops short of the now standing girl, keenly aware of the fact that while she appeared to be less than half Edith's own age, she had somehow managed to claim the lives of two of the creatures. While Edith could overpower her if it was a contest of strength, as the other creature had, she didn't want to take her chances in a sword fight. She'd only managed to kill it with her knife due to sheer dumb luck.

"If you wanted it standing over you ready to deliver the killing blow," She says sardonically, "then you surely did have him right where you wanted him."

Afternoon sun filters through the foliage, bathing the scene in a warm yellow light. What was supposed to have been just a morning of walking has now evolved into an afternoon of fighting, and not fighting the beast that she planned. Edith watches the girl clean and sheath her blades for a moment before answering; "Aermarsh," with a slight thickening of her accent.

She meets the girls innocent expression. Now closer, Edith can see the oddity of her discoloured eyes, the dirt, grit and blood clinging to her. She wonders if the girl is travelling alone, to be in such a right state. Perhaps taking her frustrations out on a child wasn't the best course of action. She sighs heavily. "I was on my way to take care of some business for the lord of the city, but now..."

Edith glances around the mess they'd made in the clearing. "Give me a hand rolling the bodies down that embankment over there. I don't have time to waste giving them a burial, but if they stay here some poor fool will stumble upon them. And gossip tends to spread quickly around these parts."

Avri smiles wittingly at the mocking statement Edith makes, confident in the knowledge she did in fact have that demon right where she wanted him.

It wasn't until the suggestion of burying the bodies comes up that her expression changes, and drastically at that. Her brow drops and the sly smile drops to a disapproving frown. While she honestly didnt care what happened to the bodies, Edith did make a good point about the gossip. Furthermore, despite her often cocky attitude, she often did as adults instructed her to do....within reason of course. She wouldn't jump off a bridge because she was instructed to, but something deep within her felt as though obeying a seemingly more experienced and knowledgable adult would keep bad things from happening, and keep her out of trouble. Still, she tended to argue when she disagreed.

With a clearly irritated sigh and animated rise and fall of her shoulders and chest which clearly portrayed the, 'do I have to?' attitude, Avri began walking over to the first body to help Edith slide it off into the river where it would hopefully remain hidden.

"I dunno why you'd bury these things anyway," she claimed with defiance in her voice, staring down at the ugly creatures face with clear disgust and disdain. "They aren't people, they dont deserve t'be buried," she claims, winding her foot back and delivering a solid kick to the side of the demonic corpses head.

Reaching down she begins her instructed assistance, not able to contain voicing her proof that she was right about the original demon, "And he was right where I want him, he was gonna fall on my sword an miss me all together!" The matter of fact statement ends with a slight look over to Edith, accompanied by investigating eyes and a slight smirk.

Edith's mouth quirks into something of a wry smile and she makes a mild noise, a 'hmm' of air escaping her lips. She doesn't push the issue. She knows all too well the struggle of trying to prove yourself to the world, and judging by the abuse this girl was continuing to lay upon the now lifeless corpses, she certainly had something to prove.

leveraging one of the creatures up by the horns on its forearms, she tosses it over her shoulder like a sack of potatoes and walks it over to the steep embankment. It tumbles gracelessly down, disappearing into the lush foliage below.

"I used to ask my father the same thing when we went out on a hunt," Edith starts after a long silence, "Why does a dragon deserve to be buried? All they do is terrorise people and take their livestock. He would say to me; 'Edith, all things return to the earth when they die. We're just lending mother nature a helping hand.' Then after we'd scavenged what we could, we'd spend the afternoon digging a hole big enough to fit the remains." She pulls a pinched face at the memory - the burial was always her least favourite part. "It's just become habit now."

Edith approaches a second corpse, rolling it over and studying its face. It looks even uglier in death than it did in life. She collects its sword from where it lay discarded in the grass a few feet away. Crudely forged, but it could be useful to have a weapon with a bit more range than a knife. Edith tucks the blade into her belt and drags this body to the embankment by the foot.

"These creatures don't look strictly of this earth, though, do they?" Edith says meaningfully. Her expression hardens again and she lays a careful, albeit accusing, gaze on the girl.

Avri pushed at the defeated corpse before her. While the creature in particular she shoved at had been rather quick in particular for her to drop to the ground, moving the heavy dead weight of the thing even an inch was proving to be the real challenge, and she was certain this was not going to become a repeated activity of hers if she could help it.

"Dragons are diff'ernt. They're jus animals," Avri protested through some extreme grunts of effort to move the beast. Finally with a sigh of victory, she manages to flip the ugly thing from it's back into its front. She sits there on her knees a moment catching her breath and looking over to Edith who is making short work of the carcasses all on her own. "These things will kill you for no good reason, jus cuz it's fun!"

She returns to work, intent on making another flip of the carcass, then another, and another, until she eventually drops it into the same put Edith has already donated two of them towards.

"No, they're-" Avri stops when she catches the look Edith is sending her way, and the grunting stops as does her motion against the fell beast. She stares at Edith a long few moments, feeling the accusatory look she gives the child as a reason to remain cautious. The guilty look of one who was just caught with her hand in a cookie jar that doesnt even belong to her adorns her face, and her gaze drops quickly to the body in front of her.

"....They're demons," Avri shrugs, it's not like she wouldnt figure it out. In fact Avri assumed Edith would know. As many demons as she had seen and fought, she normally operated on the assumption everyone had had a least a few to several run ins with demonic figures in their lifetime.

Avri sits back on her feet now wrapped underneath her bottom, and stares back at Edith with a slight gap in her mouth, working to discern what the woman was thinking and that investigation showed clearly on the girls face.

After watching the girl struggle to shift one of the bodies, Edith takes the final demon, a firm grip on its wrists - it'll be quicker than waiting for her to roll it there - and drags it across the grass, leaving a trail of black. She sends it toppling over the edge with a firm kick.

"Demons," Edith echoes, meeting the girls searching eyes again. Her expression remains neutral, not giving anything away. She'd heard stories of them, but didn't expect that she'd see any in her lifetime.

That answered her what, but it didn't answer her why. Why would a horde of demons be that interested in a little girl? What, was she the daughter of someone wealthy? Had information she wasn't supposed to? Were they trying to stop her before she arrived somewhere?

It was hard to read the tone of the situation, especially since she'd arrived after the fight had already started. So what, exactly, had been going on before then she couldn't say.

Edith wipes the grime from her hands and rests them on her hips. She doesn't know why she's bothering to get caught up in another persons business, all she's doing is burning through the daylight she has left to find and kill that dragon. Still, she asks; "So what interest does a demon have in a little girl?"  

Avri stared back at Edith. It didn't seem likely that telling her the why would really make a big difference in things. Even if she was one of those crazed celestial followers she had encountered, doing combat with demons, or being hunted by them, didn't usually make her an enemy of someone....other than more demons of course. Most commonly it made her not popular at the worst, and while Avri enjoyed playing and human companionship as much as any other girl, she saw first hand what her mere presence sometimes did to people, or a couple of times entire towns. She didn't want that for anyone.

Standing up she watched as the body she struggled with disappeared, staring at Edith a few moments before responding.

"He says he'll kill me. His mad because I won't join him," she replies with a shrug, then looking down at her hands a moment and running her fingers around in the black blood on the side of one of her hands. She fidgets with it several more moments, playing around with making designs in her skin using her recent victims life force.

"But Ima kill him first, so he sends demons cuz maybe his scared," she says almost as if talking to herself. She glances up and tries to read Ediths face again, so far Avri couldn't exactly tell what she was thinking and that made her a little apprehensive.

"Ya know," she sighs out with increased decibels, dropping her hands suddenly and letting them slap on the front of her dress. "You never tell me why you is out here yet," she replies in an attempt to change the subject looking up to Edith. She takes a few more steps towards her and stops, staring curiously as she awaits an answer.

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