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Snippet #2702158

located in Vinlund, a part of Wilde Jagd, one of the many universes on RPG.

Vinlund

A wild, often snowy province some way north of The Core.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Red Beast
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Esk River - Vinlund - 8 Years Previous

Red was dying.

She was almost certain of that.

Whilst the cold of the river was enough that she could feel little to nothing anymore, the stripe of crimson that swirled out along the current in front of her was enough to show her she was hurt badly.

It was only the fallen tree she found herself entangled in that was keeping her above the water. She couldn't summon the strength to haul the rest of her human body, from the chest downward, out of the freezing stream. The Fragment rested her chin on her forearm, exhaling a shaky breath in a shower of mist.

Flakes of snow rested on the slicked wood around her.

She was trapped. She was hurt. Even her inner heat would only last so long.

The hounds.

This was their fault.

Her nails dug into the side of the trunk in an effort to pull herself up, renewed in some way by the twist of hatred somewhere deep in her gut.

The hounds.

The people who had been determined to lock her away in some forsaken hellhole forever for no other reason than EXISTING. People arrogant enough to feel that they had that kind of authority, that kind of power.
They'd deserved to suffer for what they did.
She was right to do it.

Not that it mattered now.
Now it was over.

A chill settled in the pit of her stomach as the thought crossed her mind.

She had spent so long shut away from everything, stewing in rage and hatred.
And upon finally, finally achieving freedom... she had wasted it all.

Never once lived out a day that wasn't dominated by a burning desire for retribution, vindication and vengeance.

With some difficulty, Red craned her neck upwards, staring at the grey sky.

If she could try again...what would she do?
What could she do?

A Fragment could never just...live their life.
Eventually what you were would always catch up with you.

With that thought, Red rested her head against the tree, and awaited the inevitable.





Vindolanda - Vinlund - Present Day

The deer hadn't been dead too long, though it had clearly not died too well. Its body was still steaming in the chill of the early morning as its hide was cut open. The neck was torn and head wrenched back, back legs twisted out as quite unnatural angles as if something huge had thrown its full weight upon it.

Not a great surprise to the person attempting to skin the animal.

The woman appeared somewhere in her thirties, squarish face framed by a mane of thick, ginger hair.
She was looking a little underdressed for the weather, lacking a coat or even long sleeves to keep the cold out.

It didn't appear to be bothering her however. The woman seemed more concerned with the fallen animal...
..and carefully slicing the scorched patches of fur and flesh from its body so as to make its death appear a mite less horribly unnatural.

All in a day's work for eight years as a Fragment in hiding. Red had gotten surprisingly good at keeping secrets.
Almost to the point that she didn't feel bitter about her mutilated body being thrown into a river like piece of refuse.

Almost.

Red gazed up at the peak to the south, Mount Koan, clouds swirling round the grey peaks.

Somewhere beyond there lay The Core, and the Hounds.

Red's features tightened momentarily, something glimmering fiercely behind her eyes. A small stripe of red slipped down her cheek from the corner of her eye.

"Mum!"

Her gaze snapped back immediately, and a hand reached up in a single deft movement to wipe the blood from her face.
Red angled her body round to look over the body of the stag and to the other end of the clearing, where a figure stood in the gap between the trees, shuffling from foot to foot.

A boy of about seven years old, wrapped in a winter coat a size or two too large for him. His hair was ginger and bloomed out in waves from under a colourful woollen hat.

Red approached the boy, towering over him at her full height.
"You aren't supposed to come out here."

The boy shuffled around more acutely, broken-off tree branch grasped in his hands.
"But..there's... I can see smoke...down in the valley. A fire."

Red frowned, before placing a hand on the child's shoulder.
"You did good telling me. Can you show me where?"

The young man nodded vigorously, a movement that caused the tassels on the hat to bound around wildly. He then turned and began to walk through the forest towards the river.

Red, the slayer of men, took one brief glance back at the shadow of the mountain, before following her son into the trees.