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Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard

"Heroes never die."

0 · 495 views · located in The Land Of Xetraylia

a character in “The Land Of Xetraylia”, as played by glmstr

Description

Sir Hodrick the Stalwart


Image


Name:
Hodrick Adalhard

Age:

40

Gender:
Male

Appearance:
Hodrick stands several inches above most people with a broad and muscular frame. Beneath his helmet is an often-ragged mop of dirty blonde hair, with tired green eyes. While his scarring is limited, there are several massive but healed wounds across his torso, likely from a monster due to their sizes.

Equipment:

His armor, a robust long sword and kite shield with a dragon emblazoned on the front, and a flintlock with several pouches of balls and gunpowder. Additionally, he carries a small cloth talisman with holy symbols embroidered into it.

Armor:
Finely crafted (and in a few places scarred) steel armor, stately in appearance and shines a brilliant silver when polished.

Powers/Magic:
While he claims he has no knowledge of magic, he is capable of harnessing some sort of power that doesn't originate from himself. He claims that he is simply praying to the gods, and they reward him with their blessing when he does.

Personality:
Both dogged in his pursuit of his duties and weary from his years of service, Hodrick more than anything wishes he could be at rest, whether that be by making peace with the monsters or eradicating them. He can also be quite superstitious, often attributing such omens to the wills of the gods he worships.

Skills/Strengths:
As a somewhat aged knight, he possesses physical fitness, skill with his weapons and armor, and several decades of experience. Most notably, however, he is almost famed for his mental and physical fortitude, the latter often bolstered by his 'miracles'.

Weakness:
His flintlock, while potent, is also somewhat unreliable due to both its imperfect accuracy and long reloading process. Additionally the armor makes him unable to move quite as quickly or quietly as other hunters, even though the movement impairment isn't particularly severe. His biggest weakness would be his adherence to a code of chivalry and honor, forbidding him from harming women and children or leaving comrades to die unless given no choice, and even then hesitantly.

Background:
Born to farmers outside Ironsguard, Hodrick became a squire to an apprentice knight as a boy. Once he reached adulthood, he became a soldier for one of the local lords, eventually earning knighthood for his exploits on the battlefield. Eventually he swore service to the throne so that instead of fighting for the petty squabbles of lesser nobles, now he would fight to settle such conflicts.

As he aged, he found his faith, and began praying to the gods for strength. Some called it inhuman, others witchcraft, and others still simply dismissed it as luck, his ability to turn the tides of battle became instrumental for his service, from mending the wounded on the battlefield to striking down his foes with righteous fervor. With wars becoming less and less common and beast attacks on the rise, the latter half of his career became more and more dedicated to stopping the monster scourge.

Now that a famous hunter is gathering a band to fight back, Hodrick is hoping to lend his services, partially as a gesture of approval by the crown.

So begins...

Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lidia, Born of Embers Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard
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#, as written by glmstr
While the distant chatters of an impish crow-child briefly drilled into her ears with its incessant tones, once out of earshot Lidia slowly returned to a somewhat more relaxed state, one which consisted of a tepid irritation at best. Her footsteps no longer singed the ground below her, and many of the embers clinging to her form temporarily ceased to glow.

Instead however, a faint glimmer of lantern wicks caught the corrupted knight's eye. A village, likely still populated. She knew what needed to be done.




On the outskirts of a humble farming community, a knight stood under a lamppost with several hastily organized militiamen speaking to him. His armor glinted under the flickering wick above as he listened to the locals' story. He previously caught word of some sort of monster abducting livestock and even sometimes people in the night, and he came to defeat this beast.

"Ser knight, I believe it's upon us," one man dressed in heavy linens clutching a pitchfork gestured towards one of the many farm plots, the baying of hounds and several other unrecognized sounds coming from that direction. Hodrick picked up his shield and followed the townsfolk to the commotion. Several beasts surrounded a flock of sheep, taking the forms of some sort of wolves. The aged knight drew his pistol and steadied it on his shield, quickly aiming in on one of them and pulling the trigger. As the ball hurtled through the air with a crack and embedded itself in the torso of one of the monsters, the others shifted their attention to Hodrick and company and began to charge.

"To arms, men!" the Stalwart holstered the flintlock and drew his gleaming longsword, and the militiamen lowered their pitchforks to brace against the wolves' assault. A handful impaled themselves upon the makeshift pikes, while others circled around the sides or came directly for the knight leading them. A bone-crushing shield bash deflected one leaping wolf harmlessly to the side while he hacked and stabbed at the others around him with his blade. Their fangs were not quite powerful enough to pierce his chain mail, only rendering themselves vulnerable for the kill. Once free, Adalhard turned his focus towards his allies, helping fend off the beasts that were trying to bite and tear at their exposed flesh.

With no time for respite, however, a deafening howl echoed from just past the treeline. From the tangled and thick undergrowth burst a final corrupted being, a canine easily larger than a stallion. Its originally gray and white fur mottled with an abyssal black, the color radiating from the creature's chest as if a hellish tentacled darkness clung to its flesh. Its eyes were open wide, pupils shriveled in a gaze of unnatural rage.

"Return to the village, protect the other citizens. I shall fell the beast," Hodrick dismissed the other militiamen and began to approach the monster, his companions nodding and fleeing as instructed. The canid's pace quickened to a thundering gallop directly towards the knight. Once the distance closed the beast leapt, its maw opening as it hurtled towards Hodrick. He ducked and rolled to the side to avoid the attack, staying knelt on one knee briefly to pick up his talisman and briefly pray.

Gods, grant me strength.

He stood up, the armor feeling almost weightless on his shoulders once the prayer concluded. Sir Hodrick the Stalwart clanged his sword against the front of his shield twice, a gesture of ultimate defiance as he charged into battle.




As the village came closer into view, Lidia sneered. A simple farming community, and several guards strolled along one of the roads, several of them limping slightly. Calling them guards felt insincere, they were little more than men with pitchforks, lumber axes and helmets. Resistance would be laughable. She drew her sword, the embers dotting her person reignited and her blade glowing once more of molten steel. The ground below her hissed and charred beneath her steps as she entered the village. A handful of retreating guards noticed her, breaking into a jog to stop her. In response she turned to the nearest home and simply pressed the point of her sword against it, the wood quickly smoldering and catching fire. The men began to shout and charge after the arsonist.

The revenant remained still, only turning to face the militiamen when they drew near. She tensed up slightly as the one in the front lowered his pitchfork, watching with a scowl as the prongs impacted against her cuirass and bent to the side uselessly. Her gauntlet-clad arm reached up and grabbed the pitchfork's handle, shattering the wood in her grip, tossing the weapon and wielder aside with ease. Another man stepped forward and tried to swing his axe down at Lidia, which she responded to with a single slash of her greatsword to slice him horizontally in twain. She turned to the prone man and stomped on him once, swiftly crushing his torso and ending his life.

Next came a shoulder check from the ashen knight into another guard, sending him careening into a nearby building while the attacker turned to the fourth and final townsman. He had begun to run for his life once his companion was halved, but the humanoid monster did not intend on letting him escape. She raised her blade with both hands with the tip pointed down, then drove it into the ground, creating a geyser of flame that burst under the running man and reduced him to little more than cinders.

Now that the resistance was gone, Lidia visited each house, lighting them all ablaze and cutting down anyone that tried to exit the buildings. One by one they all joined together in roaring and crackling, the screams of the buildings' occupants a twisted symphony to accompany the gruesome sight of vengeance.

Unceremoniously, Lidia turned and left the village behind. Her deed here was completed.




In the nearby field, Sir Hodrick and the beast remained locked in combat. Both were beginning to tire, but the corrupted wolf's fur began to mat with blood and it moved with a limp. It leapt towards the knight again, this time he was able to deflect the creature slightly to the side of him with a carefully timed shield bash, sending it tumbling from its own momentum into the ground.

He turned at the momentarily prone creature, it was his opportunity to strike. Hodrick broke into a sprint, panting heavily already from exertion, raising his sword and leaping into the beast. He drove his sword to the hilt into its skull as he fell upon it, brackish blood clinging to the steel as he delivered the death blow.

The beast was finally dead, struck down by his hand.

Adalhard stood up and removed his blade from the skull of the former monster, throwing most of the blood from it with a brief flicking motion before finally sheathing it. He turned back towards the village, his eyes widening and jaw dropping behind his visor as he saw the hamlet in flames. He scrambled towards the center of the community to find the guards he previously fought alongside, crumpled and slashed and strewn about the town square while the homes burned.

Then the screams came. The dying wails of dozens of men, women and children echoed around him, each one ceasing their cries when he approached their crumbling homes. Not a single soul remained. He collapsed to his knees, suddenly alone in a desolated village. These were people he was entrusted to protect and he failed all of them.

For the first time, Sir Hodrick Adalhard the Stalwart was defeated.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard
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#, as written by glmstr
Quiet contemplation, even for just a few minutes, gnawed at Hodrick's mind. The gods would be disappointed if he simply laid down his arms and surrendered. There was a reputation to uphold as an unextinguishable flame, an indomitable bastion against the dark. The people of Ironsguard needed to have somebody to look up to, to inspire them to take up arms against the monsters and say "No, we shall not die quietly." They needed that which was so hard to come by these days, that which must be guarded most closely.

They needed hope.

The knight left the destroyed village behind him, heading towards Ironsguard. The forests felt even colder and darker than before, making him suspect the spirits of the newly deceased clung to him, either in fear, anger or simply sorrow. Eventually they seemed to stop bothering him, but instead something new occupied his mind: at the great wall around the city, the signal flames had been lit, the city was under attack. While he clearly needed to conserve as much energy as possible, he picked up the pace as he made his way towards the front gates.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard
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#, as written by glmstr
After meeting with some of the gate guards (and receiving heavy discouragement to enter, which he promptly ignored), he made it into Ironsguard. The normally dark streets were illuminated, many torches and lanterns lit while the city was in this state of alert. Contrary to the chilling hands of ghosts that crept up his body in the forest, simply being in Ironsguard provided an unusual embrace of warmth.

Trekking further and further into the city, the endless winding and intersecting roads led him to his destination: the house of the hunting guild that caught the crown's attention. He approached silently, though his outfit had other intentions, it rustled and clattered gently against the pavement and itself, making his arrival no surprise to anybody nearby. Then again, he didn't want to be hidden, just the opposite in fact. He stepped towards the closed door to the guild hall, and rapped on it with his ironclad knuckles.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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Elyn sighed. The great steel-wrought suit she wore clanked heavily through the streets as she walked at a light jog to her destination. No sword was in hand, nor a shield in tow. Her only saving grace was the light cackling magic that sparked within her veins, each step driving forth and churning the power sleeping within. Adrenaline had already begun to pour into her system, as both the light's from the churches, and an old friend's word drove her on, and further towards the burning spires.

Had it not been only hours ago when she had settled upon retiring to bed? She dared to put her defenses aside, and rest, and within that single span of hours, lives were lost. More blood shed by the beasts that every single day, dared to daunt their skills, and aptitude for destruction, quenching their appetite for blood, while also driving away just a few more lives, to flee to the roads, seeking salvation, but find nothing. Now, even her own friend, Landon Worthal Bristow had come to her with grave news; The church, the sacred ground, the citadel, and her salvation, had been attacked. A beast as black as night and as quick as the wind had descended, and the screams heard that night had been horrific.

The dark was eating the light. Devouring it in large, gruesome bites. But it was finally time for the light to make a concieted effort to push back the encroaching darkness.

As Elyn picked her pace up, stretching the sleep and ache from her once relaxed body, she crossed over into a small plaza. The cobble steps glistened lightly with a sheen of blood, and a carcass of a beast lie off just past her vision. A figure, clad in armor not at all unlike her own walked brazenly to the door without hesitation. The man held an aged and experienced bravery that could only come from the heat of battle.

She slowed her pace to address him. "Prithee fair knight, may you aid me in defense of our most sacred of establishments? Our citadel is under siege from a beastly scourge, and if acted upon soon, we may yet slay him and save the lives of those left within."

Picking her pace back up, she resumed her hurried jog. "Please Sir Knight! Hurry!"



A truly pitiful display.

Val looked around the church. Bodies were strewn across pews, many dismembered in horrific ways that only made Val happier.

Though to be fair, they were only human... Then again, so am I.

Am I?

Looking down over his body, he saw that he was blanketed in a thick layer of black feathers, and blood that was both his own, and not his own. He felt so different than those that he killed, and took such joy from it. Did other humans have such a vicious nature, lurking just beneath their skin? Or were they truly what they seemed, young sheep standing alone in the night, just waiting for the slaughter?

While the questions alone were enough to keep him rooted there, he had come for other purposes. Fluttering over towards the window, he saw what he had been waiting for. The small trickle of survivors left and ran, each of them heading off to warn the others. Whether those others were the Hunters, or just more town's guardsmen, it was unclear. So, with the uncertainty of mind keeping him rooted there, Val decided to stay within the church's sprawling walls.

He wasn't alone yet. No, he could still hear the worried, panicked heartbeats beneath the smooth stone floors. A smile came to his twisted mind. He would have quite a lot to entertain him as he waited for the fun to arrive.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi Character Portrait: Baleful Moon Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Tutac Sarani Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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The half-dozen ward agents not at the guild circled the town in wobbling circles looking for ichorous blood -- stark trees creaking in darkness writ it so swaying against wind. Living crows with more intellect but less acuity flocked with them. A murder of crows agitated by the activity of fallen spied the sharp shiny walking toward the guild and caw attention to the milky-eyed Fallen. Shortly a crow with orange coral fungus along its back aimed to land on Hodrick's shoulder.

The man had no words writ upon it directly and did not look like a tainted animal. Did it have ichor inside? A latent remnant of corvid curiosity directed it to peer into the head holes with fungus-laden eyes to inspect exposed flesh behind it. Otherwise they largely made ragged 'HaAawwww' and stood in place, ever watchful.

Other milky eyes from the windowsills and roofs make similar agitated noises while eying the constable as the ever curious living crows look on.

~~~

Under Mahina's heel the bird felt like a sand pillow spilling yellow spore over her foot to pain to any exposed flesh. The harsh caw it made went end over end before the ward-agent shook itself off to tap the floor with its beak. The two crossing the floor on foot paid little notice unlike momentary angry caws at Mahina from the door of timid living crows. They just tapped the floor at the hunter's passing and hissed at Bellatroix.

~~~

Apan watched the slate quietly as mahina was removed from the slate. Hrm. Well the other lady was his most concern the wards in chase of the hunter would make a racket at the presence of hostile things. The crows seemed able to interact with their former brethren and had more intuition than the fungus brained ward agents. The boxes littered all over town likely would stay quiet until they reset in a few hours.

Though lost in thought he heard Tutac read off the message then stop. He looked over to her to reply and found her unmoving. That wasn't good. Then the corner of his eye occluded with a shape of pain stacked a house high. He didn't have much time to think and less to act. Apan's foot showered with yellow spore as he shot one leg backward that carried an impact of acrid rot with it. Apan was glad he'd gotten the crossbow out earlier he didn't need to dig for anything just grab after the strike leap for mahina hoping he had enough time before getting stabbed.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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Bellatroix watched as the elder hunter left, along with, albeit reluctantly an apprentice in tow. She could barely hold back the amusement his frustration offered her. She recognized something of a youthful eagerness in this hunter-to-be, but discipline as well. She could feel suspicion, but not aggression from the them. This hunter was not as contentious as his predecessor, a trait she found... amiable. This generation intrigues me more by the minute.

Her attention was then drawn to the crows hissing at her, as well as the yellow mess that remained of the one crushed underfoot by Mahina. A strange force possessed the creature, moved it, saw through it, felt through it. It reminded her some of her own essence occupying malleable flesh including its vicious interaction with regular flesh, albeit less intrinsic, and far less elegant she surmises. Quickly dismissed as the craft of beasts, most likely instead is the work of the hunter covered in yellow cloth. It mattered little as he was below with some... baser creature... and little did she expect of his sentries.

She followed shortly after the two, only to see, gleaming in the lamplight, the silvery glimmer of armor from two of different orders. She slipped silently away from the light to watch from the shadows. Safer to assume those of more pious orders to be less willing to listen to reason from one such as herself. She looked towards the source of the chaos located at the church. What madness wages war upon the church? A thought freezes in her mind, and she twitches, a primal hiss escapes from her lips. She had remembered how more than patrons of the faith are being housed there. Abandoning the posture of man she takes to all four and takes quietly to the rooftops in a bestial frenzied rush, in hopes to salvage at least a few young lives.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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#, as written by glmstr
Hodrick turned his head towards the figure addressing him. A truly odd manner of speech, one that belonged to either scholars, witches or royalty, and the third seemed unlikely. More pressing however was her statement that one of the many cathedrals was under attack.

"The church? How did they get past the walls?" He suspected something that could fly, but monsters were often cunning enough to not need them. The thought disgusted him, some creature smart enough yet capable enough to stoop as low as attacking a place of worship. He worshiped foreign gods, but all the same he recognized it as a place of prayer, not bloodshed.

It must be vindicated.

"Let's go," he abandoned the Hunter's Guild and followed the strange knight, matching her pace with relative ease.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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Rushing through the night, dashing across streets and alleyways, Elyn ran towards the small blaze of the pyre, only stopping when it loomed directly overhead. The large walls of the church held ancient scars, from battles older than the city itself. The signal fire now burned into a dull orange, embers and ashes falling down into the courtyard before the main doors. Following the steps, they came to push against the doors. Locked.

Whatever the beast was, it didn’t step across this threshold. Turning from the door, she shook her head at the few that had arrived alongside her. Scanning her surroundings she looked for any other entrances. The closest was atop the wall, but without finding some way to scale the steep stone slope, it was hopeless.

Elyn’s brow furrowed, and her eyes darted around, looking for any other possible solution. Finding nothing, she sighed, slowly and reservedly drawing her only weapon. Channeling a small amount of her power through the blade, she turned to face the door, as sparks of heat and flame danced off the sword.

“Gods forgive me.” She whispered.

She thrust the blade forwards, driving it through the wooden handle of the door, and melting past the lock. The sound of splintering wood, and sizzling iron screeched into the dark.

Pulling the blade back, it quickly cooled in the night air, as the door slowly pushed open. Sheathing her weapon, she pushed the door open, allowing entry to the others. Once inside herself, she let go of the door, it quickly slamming closed once more. Following the door’s path, she almost cried out in horror.

The corpse of an old priest lay mutilated against the door, blood no longer falling from his agape mouth. Calming herself, she felt the magic course through her system. Whatever they found here, she’d have to be ready.




Val smiled to himself. Actually, he smiled inwardly, letting his eyes do the smiling for now. No longer did black feathers cover his skin. No longer did the beautiful form of the raven take him. Now, he was left as he normally was, a child as small as the rest, wearing the dirty garb only children could stand to be in.

He was currently crouched beneath an overthrown pew in the main area. He heard the crack and hiss of someone breaching the main door, and he couldn’t help but let his smile show. But all too soon he heard the sounds of footsteps. The footsteps of brave heroes, looking to save and salvage the lives that he had spared.

Val knew many things about himself. He knew that he was very well removed from the current organization of humans that was called ‘society’, and he knew that perhaps even among other beasts, he was perhaps more brutal and vicious than most. But he also knew that even now, covered in wounds dealt by those that tried to stop him, and drenched in the blood of those that didn’t, he was completely and perfectly human.

And he knew he could use that to his advantage.

Humans were silly little creatures, relying far too often on the stories their eyes tell them, instead of plainly seeing the horror that sleeps right beneath their noses. And now, while the small remaining few hid in the basement, some crying for help, Val waited to be found. Everything was planned, and while little was unaccounted for, he could only hope his genius would take him through to the end.

So, even as he heard the small group of prey walk into the main gathering room, he kicked the corner of the pew, and watched as it fell atop him, quickly slamming into his small, childlike body in a dusty crash.

Even as the pain racked his system, he smiled inwardly, only letting the agony, pain, and emotional torment slip onto his face.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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As The Hunter along with his new recruit Mahina ran down the streets of Ironguard, they would soon see two figures gathered near the front entrance of the church prepared to break down the door it seemed. As he neared the group, the female figure cut though the lock of the door with a flaming sword. He was not sure who they were but four people who seemed skilled would be useful for taking out the monster that now resided in this once holy place.

Drawing his blade and pulling out one of his pistols, he carefully entered the church, the smell of blood and the grizzly sight of people dead was the first to meet him. The only thing he was hoping for at least was that some people were still alive. However almost like something heard his hope he spotted a child crouched beneath a shattered pew. At first she almost smiled however a chilling thought crossed his mind. Why leave the child alive? This monster was smart, it had managed to get in almost undetected and massacre the people inside the church so why would it leave one person alive? Was it for game? Or was it what he was thinking and that child could be...Nothing but a child that got crushed by the pew he was crouching under.

The Hunter watched this scene unfold, trick or not that child was just crushed and there was no use in saving someone whose ribs must be broken. "A sad sight, but lets go look for any other survivors. And be careful, this monster must still be around. Don't do anything reckless, we don't wanna be caught in a trap." He spoke as he slowly marched into the darkness, sword and pistol in hand and all senses on high alert.



Meanwhile in the arena, as the creature heard something aimed at it it quickly cut its attack short and quickly attached itself to the nearby wall and turned invisible. Unfortunately for the two hunters it appeared that their third ally had abandoned them and seemed to be hiding in a safe place. However there were now two problems, Bale left Tutac parylized and there were now two hunters to battle a class A. Of course as Apan leapt for Tutac he would notice a glint in some pile of rumble.

The Creature seemed to be preparing its next plan of attack, it went silent and began to slither a few yards away from them. Looking for a right moment to strike.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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#, as written by glmstr
Hodrick's head snapped towards the sudden noise as he entered, that of a pew falling down. He slowly approached the source of the noise, a collapsed pew, and inspected the child under it. Their foot was trapped under one of the corners in a particularly suspect way, which prompted him to drop to one knee to look closer. The child at least looked real to the naked eye, but something gnawed at his mind, a lurking doubt that felt more and more possible by the second.

Just to be sure, he refrained from moving the pew or pulling the 'child' from beneath it and instead took several steps away to take a knee again. He produced his talisman and clutched it in his hand, a low, thrumming, rhythmic chant escaped from his lips. Beneath his armor the knight's flesh slowly began to stitch its cuts together and mend wounds from the previous encounter. More notably, however, nearby monsters and animals would begin to discern a new quality. While the man himself never changed his tone, to those nonhuman ears it began to crescendo. Slowly at first, but after a few moments it picked up the pace, becoming louder at increasing rates, within a minute reaching almost deafening levels in and around the cathedral, and with every second the hellish bombardment of sound grew all the more maddening.

All the while, humans could only hear the pagan knight softly humming a prayer.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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Stopping her rush, Bellatroix reaches near her destination. She stands to her feet, eyes of green and violet witness a disaster that was once a safe haven for those mortal beings. This one was unfamiliar, it did not fit within the style of Rafar, too bold and reckless, or Lidia, not enough flames. As she scanned the situation, the presence of the knight, the hunter and his apprentice, the crusader. Something else approached. She looked out across the city, seeing that Rafar had started to move. Had he resolved himself? Was he lured by the presence of the hunter?

"Have the planets aligned themselves, I wonder," she mutters.

She slipped swiftly down the walls of the building in hopes to evacuate anything young. A wiff of something assaulted her nostrils, blood, and fresh death, the air is full of it, and from one end appealing, the other repulsed. The latter feeling wins. She glances over at a nun, face frozen in terror, who had, perhaps, crawled out before succumbing to her wounds based on her nails broken and dug into the ground.

"I pray your soul forgives this desecration, sister, but I need this more than you do now," she says softly as she slips out her tail, grabbing the corpse and dragging it towards her quietly into the dark with her and then melding into her. Bellatroix's body, briefly deforms, a horrific amalgamation of flesh, eyes, teeth, and hair, shifting about until assembling to resemble the fallen nun, hood and all. This was less for the hunter and apprentice, and more for those more pious soldiers, much less likely for them to question a lady of the faith, after all.

She crossed the threshold into the bloody hell that awaited her deep within the cathedral. She was stopped suddenly by a crescendo that assaults her ears. She held her head with one hand and looked about for its source. What an infernal sound! She sees where it is coming from, kneeling down in a strange prayer, that knight is doing it. Her facade of a body quivers, but she couldn't allow something so simple to overtake her, composing herself as something greater took her attention. Hearing was impaired, but scent was still strong, and through the blood and death she sensed living bodies below her.

"The basement," she cries out falling onto her knees, her tone convincingly distressed thanks to the agony brought upon her ears. As she touched the floor she finds a peculiar large black feather then lifted her head to see a child... what seems to be a child, trapped beneath a pew. She tilts her head slowly, analyzing this situation. She never sensed anything leave, and she ponders why her maternal senses were not overcoming her, and why the creature would spare one when it had been so thorough otherwise. The answer was clear, and had she been a hunter herself she would have this over already... but she is now, so so she simply watches and waits, it is all she can do unless provoked otherwise.

What do you intend to achieve in this subterfuge?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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#, as written by Sambea
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Mahina took the star pendant necklace that was around her neck and tied it to the middle of Shadow Moon before going in with The Hunter. The smell of iron filled her nostrils and she didn't have to see to know what happened. Just like The Hunter she saw the boy, who seemed to be suffering. A big stocky knight looking fellow came from no where and next to the boy. "Prayers won't work, only keeps the suffering suffering. She twirled Shadow Moon in her hand, about to end the boy's suffering when she heard screaming. Slipping into the shadows she went to find out where the scream was coming from, but stopped. "That wasn't a prayer..." She whispered before running to the scream. There a nun was, on her knees. "Sister..." She said nonchalantly.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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Val stared at the knights and Hunters, screaming with his eyes to let him out. He had planned this well, but he knew he was weak, fragile, and brittle in his current state. If he waited much longer, his bones would snap, and he would be completely crushed.

One of the knights standing before him stepped back, he must not have been listening to Val’s eyes. He took a stance on his knee, and began humming an odd tune. At first, the noise was simply unsettling. Then the pitch shifted, and grew louder, and louder. The slow, rhythmic prayer drummed into his ears, his very blood boiling.

He needed a ruse.

In his desperation, he reached out to the many birds around him. He called, and he awaited an answer.

And an answer did come, in the beautiful sounds of screaming.




Elyn was shaken. She was in a place so revered to her, yet it was in a state of chaos casted by a hate unknown to her. Worse yet, the attacker dared not to show himself. It was a dishonorable act, though Elyn hoped that anyone with even a shred of honor wouldn’t dare attack a place of worship. It was hard enough looking at the bodies, the numerous bodies, and recognizing them. Or worse yet, looking at a disfigured and mangled corpse and being completely unable to tell whose body lie before.

The knight she had pleaded to follow bent down and held up an arm. He didn’t want her nearing the child. Not yet. She could feel him calm, and he began mumbling series of ancient words she didn’t recognize. It wasn’t clear what he was doing, but the intended effect was. As a hand of the Healing Church, she had convened with those of other religions, and had seen them do similar things when confronted with fear, anger, or something as unnatural than this.

Then Elyn looked down at the child. He couldn’t possibly have been a sole survivor of an attack this vicious, especially if none of the armed city watchmen were able to resist the onslaught. Almost as if reacting to her thoughts, she heard a cry escape from several side corridors.

First it was a soft, babble of crying. Elyn would’ve sworn it was from the child before her if she hadn’t been looking at him struggle and wiggle beneath the heavy wooden slab. Then like a chorus, the crying broke out into desperate screams of pain and horror.

“There’s more children here!” She turned to face the corridor where the pained voices eminated from.

She raced past the bodies in her way and followed the voices down to a door stuck with rubble from a nearby statue.

She didn’t hesitate burning the door off.

She saw a room full of children, some dressed in the garb of apprentice clergy, others dressed in the rags similar to the boy trapped above.

There in the room, a swarm of ravens tore through the room, lashing out with talons and caw’ing like maniacs.

She yelled for the others as she held out her hand, feeling it drip with sparks.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Tutac Sarani Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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The Hunter listen as the knight began reciting some sort of prayer, the prayer was soothing however he felt that the tune held some sort of power behind it. Of course he would soon hear the guards outside screaming of another monster, what the hell was going on? This was probably a siege organised by the monsters. He picked the worse day to train the new recruits, but right now they had to work extra hard to eliminate the monster threat. "Everyone we need to work fast, there is another monster in the city. I can safely say this town is under siege, although it would appear that a small group of powerful monsters are responsible for this instead of a big group led by one."

As The Hunter searched around, he would hear Elyn call out that she found some children. Of course it was followed by an immediate call for help. He rushed over to where he heard her call out and saw a bunch of Ravens swarming the room. The monster had to be nearby, but that would mean when the new monster arrived there would be two monsters, both had to be class A at the very least he thought to himself before drawing his sword to help dispatch the flock of ravens. Of course his guard was still up in case the monster ambushed them or the new one charged inside.



Meanwhile in the arena, as Apan searched the rubble he would find some sort of device with gears and metal rods sticking out of it along with a note not surprisingly by The Hunter. "In case of emergencies, twist this device. This will produce a sound at a certain pitch to cause the creature to retreat. As if you have already found out, it uses sound. And since it uses sound as its strength it is also it's greatest weakness." And that was all the note said.

The monster heard as the slime slowly began moving outwards, and in response it would slowly moved backwards. It knew something was coming for it but it could not tell what it was or how dangerous it was. It was waiting just a bit longer, it knew the mans location and it knew it could finish him off. It's tail hit the ground twice waking up the muscles then with all its might leapt into the air directly where Apan was at. All Apan had to do was crank the device before the creature landed on him. No pressure was on him besides that his life was hanging on the device in his hands.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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#, as written by glmstr
The knight's unholy chant continued its feverish rise, even the dead writhing in their graves to hide from its piercing timbres. Hodrick looked down at the child below him from the corner of his eye, noting their sudden discomfort when he began his infernal tune. The nun also seemed to show distress, making Adalhard strongly suspicious of both. Yet, he refused to act harshly in the chance that he might be wrong. Instead, he would wait to see if either of them gave him better proof.

Mid-word, he fell quiet, the vocal assault on the beasts' minds cut short to leave an almost uncomfortable silence to fall on their ears.

Rising to his feet the knight replaced the talisman in one of his several pockets. He drew his sword with his free hand, but remained still, to be on guard and ready in case the one beneath the pew truly was of a more foul persuasion.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Rafar The Red Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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Ahh.. That aggravating sound had finally left Rafar alone. That screech was a immense bother but it seems it had really subsided. Rafar had found himself a comfortable place directly opposite to the church. One of the poor humans would only need to look outside the door to see his menacing silhouette. It seems that both Black Bella and the young one is inside the church... but the humans don't seem particularly distressed, So he assumed they were both in hiding. He thought for a moment to just simply charge inside, releasing his own screech. But his senses got the better of him. Perhaps his bestial comrades were planning something...

The ravens that was now swarming in trough the church door was quite amusing. They were probably the work of the young one, Rafar could not recall Black Bella holding this specific kind of power, atleast not to this extent. But the shepherd was inside. These lowly avians would barely be able to hurt anyone of them... Hmh This situation is so peculiar. The only reason for Rafar’s arrival was the fact that his kin had already arrived. Wich one of them was it that was planning? Black Bella have always had her own plans... But this kind of sudden raid on the humans was unlike her... Would it be the young one? and if that is the case.. Why? Rafar gently growled to himself. No use in thinking so hard about it.. Soon one of the humans would notice him, And If not, then they are truly unlucky. It was only a small, small time until the battle will truly start... And he duly enjoyed that fact.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Rafar The Red Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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Stop...

As her hearing returned, as the ringing stopped, anger soon replaced her pain. Bellatroix's pupils dilate, her body shakes, and her throat turns dry. Whatever creature it was was playing this game with the hunters be it creating a diversion or what, perhaps did not realize it too was forcing Bella's hand as well. She could not ignore it, their pitiable screams of terror, the mortal danger they are in. She dug her nails into the floor, something primordial, maternal, welling up inside of her. Rafar too was approaching, she could feel it, perhaps guided by a first for another go at the Hunter.

Damn this hell...

And the Hunter's trainee brought her focus upon her? She had already warned them that there were survivors below! The Hunter had made his way in, striking against the ravens, why was she not assisting? It didn't matter anymore, nothing did now, whatever comes her way will for this, there was only one thing she cared about. With this she takes off into a dash, pushing past Mahina, destination set on the children, right through the door. The next act to follow soon after was to swing her right arm and splatter a few of the psychotic corvids like flies against the wall then grab the nearest children and shove them out the door all in a hurry.

"Take them out of here and tend to them," she yells, not as a request but a demand. "All of them, and those that cannot walk for themselves shall be carried!"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Rafar The Red Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Tutac Sarani Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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#, as written by Sambea
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Her head turned at the sound of someone else screaming there were children. So many damn people screaming, if only they could shu- Her thought was interrupted by being shoved. Mahina looked and it was the nun running towards she guess was where the children where.

Taking a moment she gathered her thoughts before walking out, weapon ready, there was something outside one of the windows that caught her eye. Sneaking up to it her mouth dropped. The monster was a horror out of nightmares. She knew she couldn't take it on alone, but everyone was doing their thing. Either way she needed to let the others know. Carefully running out and down the stairs Mahina screamed, "A big red monster is coming! It looks like it is making its way here!"


Image


Tutac could only watch. Her eyes watched Apan before an extreme pain hit her. Her scream was bloodcurdling. Once her she could move her body, she curled up. It didn't take too long, but it made her exhausted. Slowly she dug in her bag and grabbed a handful of a powder and swallowed it.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Rafar The Red Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Tutac Sarani Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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Apan wondered if this was somehow the safer option it certainly seemed more like a final test. Perhaps the assassin cut and run into a grave if this stalker came from that direction. He'd liked a little more information about potential monsters before undertaking such a alien beast. As he turned the device on Apan raised his hand evaporating the nova of slime mold into the anesthetic he'd empowered it with against his enemies. Apan hoped this worked, that didn't need to hear anything for a few hours, and that the distraction pushed him away from the safety of the epicenter and he passed out that he'd wake up again.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Rafar The Red Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Tutac Sarani Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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As Apan activated the device, the device began to strike two internal gears together creating a high pitched noise. As the creature was about to crash into Apan, it let out a pained scream and instead of crashing and possibly killing him it instead lost control midair and crashed into one of the many destroyed structures desperately holding its head and thrashing around. As the device continued to chime, the creature finally gave up and began to desperately slither away back to where it had originally come from, the gate behind it shutting closed and trapping the beast back in its cage.




Back at the church, as The Hunter watched as the sister rushed to where the children were and basically turned the flock of crows into paste with just her arm, he was not sure whether she was just pretty strong or a monster in disguise but he was leaning to the monster side. With the civilians life a priority at the moment he was prepared to help escort them to saftey until Mahina called out that she saw a red monster. The Hunter reconized the description immediately. "Its back again...I'll deal with it, the rest of you evacuate the people and eliminate the remaining monsters!" With his order, he walked outside and armed himself with his sword. Today really was going to hell...

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Rafar The Red Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Tutac Sarani Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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Rafar was happy, More happy than he had been in years. He could smell the fear encasing the entire church, but in a moment, The one figure who withstood it all emerged. It excited him beyond reason. He clearly knew Rafar was waiting for him, For a short moment Rafar's blissful moment faltered with the realization he had not noticed the fact he had been spotted. But he quickly resumed his Happy mindset, But would his final confrontation with the Shepherd really be here? It felt easy, Too fast...

Rafar's Maw opened the moment The Hunter left the building his voice completely different from when he spoke with his kin, Now it was more.. "Broken". Hahaa! You appear! I thought you were going to attempt sending your sheep after me!? Why not give them a go? And let them face a true monster? Rafar violently leaned over the rooftop completely destroying the parts wich he touched with his claws Or are you going to try and kill me right here and now? Becuse I assure You, It will not be that easy... Yes, This was the hour of revenge, The otherwise calm and collected Rafar had completely lost himself. He suddenly raised his voice, Targeting the people inside the church, Making it into more of a screech than a broken sputter You "Hunters"! Your proud Shepherd Needs you! please, Make my day and come here to help him, Or are you to weak to even assist your only hope!? Rafar barely had control over his words, It had been way too long since he had faced anyone even remotely close to his level.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Rafar The Red Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Constable Elyn Collard
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Bellatroix felt it, Rafar was here and ready to settle the score with the Hunter. This was inevitable, unavoidable, the chains once binding this down were breaking, and merely seconds, minutes at best were left until this all goes to hell... again. She resolved herself, caring nothing that she revealed herself at this point, and extends her barbed tail out from her spine, and cuts open the back wall with little an effort, sending it to crumble open and begins to head out through it with all the children in tow, several of which frozen in shock from all the events that have transpired.

"There, there, my little ones... this nightmare will one day be but a distant memory," she says softly. "Mother Bellatroix will let nothing bad to befall you."