Angelic Devotion Ch1
Posted 12 October 2010 - 11:30 PM
A terrible clash rang out, not far away, in the direction of the knights. It was almost a guarantee that they were on their way, so what could have caused the noise? "Ivan, Andra, do what you must. Izu, we had best investigate as quickly as possible - the more distance we can draw the rank and file away from their commander, the better chance we have at succeeding. Remember, we're aiming to frustrate, to goad them - not to defeat them. Victory need not be achieved through strength of arms." Although it would be nice to open a few cans of meat.
With that thought, he ran, gripping his knives tighter as he dodged through the brush. It became apparent what he had seen soon enough - the mercenary who had rested with them the previous night had ambushed the men. He could call it a stupid move, as he had likely known how many men there were, while Laterite had had no idea the strength in numbers he would be up against. It became apparent that he would need help - perhaps he could help them in their goal. He wouldn't turn down some aid that appeared to be less foreign, after all.
He leapt forward, leaping off a stump and onto the shoulders of one of the armored men - pouncing off knocked the soldier backwards, making for two men on the ground, and only a measly group of ten left ready for combat. They didn't seem expectant of the two newest arrivals, however, but that wouldn't last for long.
"If you wish to survive, I'd suggest getting off of him and coming with us!"
Posted 13 October 2010 - 12:01 AM
Ivan and Andra couldn't afford to get too close though, or else the soldiers would be able to see Rakka take off through the trees as they entered the forest. Not that this would be much of a problem for Laterite, who could handle himself with or without support. The others, he wasn't so sure about, but he wouldn't be losing any sleep if they went down, either. He ran a few yards to the left and fired another arrow, to give off the impression that there were multiple attackers still back in the trees.
Posted 13 October 2010 - 04:10 PM
Laterite: "If you wish to survive, I'd suggest getting off of him and coming with us!"
He grinned. The others had arrived. Bullet leaped backwards, making sure to use the dent in his opponent's armor as a springboard. He landed on his feet. A quick glance told him what he'd already expected. The man with the knives was standing near him, and there appeared to be several archers in the trees. He also noticed Beatrice leaning against a rock. He was beginning to remember why they had split up. She was always willing to sit back and let him do all the heavy lifting while she swooped in and took all the credit. And this strategy had worked fine, until Lil' Red happened to strike a little too true, a little too strongly. Bullet shook his head slightly. This wasn't the time to get lost in memory.
"Took your time, didn't you?" Bullet inquired of his companion. "I suppose your friends with the wyvern are off dealing with those missing papers of yours?" He was fully aware that the wyvern rider was probably hiding somewhere to ambush the knights. It made no sense not to. He lifted his broken sword off the ground. Almost useless, but almost was never a certainty. He took a more defensive stance this time. His best bet was to go for the neck or joints with the shattered blade then take a weapon from the corpse.
Edited by Camtech075, 13 October 2010 - 04:11 PM.
Posted 14 October 2010 - 01:11 AM
Beatrice was amused at the manner of which the four or so mercs fought the now ten troopers in tin cans. Arrows were being fired from the cover of trees, quickly and one after the other. Perhaps to make it seem like there were multiple attackers, but it was fairly obvious from the delay between shots that only one guy was firing. Bowmen were taught to fire in volleys and at the same time, to minimize the opposition's chance of evading, dodging, or blocking the attack. Still, Mr. Bowman was still a ways away-- if misinterpreted, the soldiers might go into full blown defensive.
Ironically, this favored the knights. They were best in formation, after all. If they thought they were being attacked from all sides, they would close up together, stack their shields together, and become one giant unit, with spears and sword points poking out. Like a turtle crossed with a porcupine. Of course, the nature of the formation changed with the situation. If they felt they needed to protect a target, they would ball up into a dome. Otherwise, they would form a concave or a straight line, depending on whether the terrain favored them.
Formation warfare was a formidable tactic, but it wasn't without its flaws, minimal as they were. Line or concave units could be flanked, concaves slightly less so. Dome formations had limited vision and were as slow as the turtles it resembled, not to mention lacking in offensive might. Of course, no army would be worth its weight if it hadn't anticipated the flaws in its tactics and adjusted accordingly. Beatrice just wanted what exactly that adjustment was. But most of all, Beatrice wondered how the four would take down the famed Granford defense. If their tactics were good enough, Beatrice might just steal then and use it for her own means.
Posted 15 October 2010 - 05:36 PM
"This is more upsetting to me than you Granford," said Shizunai, keeping his voice in a whisper.
"Ok then. You're going to tell me who the leader is and what he's doing and where he is. You'll even guide us if I tell you to. And no tricks. I can end your life in a flash. And if your friends have any sense, they won't attack."
OOC: Short post is short post.
Posted 15 October 2010 - 05:51 PM
A knight had stepped forwards, trying to impale him with a spear. Bullet ducked, catching the spear on his shoulder guard. He trusted his armor, and leaped onto his opponent for the second time. This time, though, he had a weapon. He stabbed at the neck joints, and got a lucky hit, killing his foe immediately. Bullet stepped back. He hefted the spear, ready for another charge, hopefully with a sturdier weapon. This should discourage any kind of defensive formation that might try to be started
Then he saw a soldier tense up. It seemed that the samurai had managed to get his blade under the man's chin. Amazing. Bullet raised his spear, leaning slightly forward in preparation for the attack.
Posted 15 October 2010 - 09:44 PM
"There's a reason the plan was to simply distract them, you know," he called to the men, ever increasing the distance between them. "But if you're so keen to die here, then don't allow me to stop you." Almost in response to the noble's words, utilizing the distraction from the advancing wall of steel and mettle, the knight held captive swung his gauntleted fist at Shizunai, a trio of sharp spikes at the ends of the fist meant to augment what could already be dangerous close-combat blows.
Posted 17 October 2010 - 07:33 PM
Ivan motioned to Laterite as the spy went running past him.
"Looks like there's not much else we can do here, fighting these men would be suicide. I'd forgotten how well-disciplined the Granford army is. All up to Andra getting a hold of the leader now, but I've seen nothing of him for the last few minutes. If he doesn't do his job soon, I vote we get going and call this little mission off," Ivan said.
Edited by CATS, 17 October 2010 - 07:34 PM.
Posted 17 October 2010 - 09:38 PM
The thought of that just sprung up an idea in Beatrice's head. She picked up her sword and strode on over to the knights, bursting into a rush as soon as she was close enough. She locked on to one of the knights near the end, the second to last soldier. She turned her blade and did a slashing blow, using the blunter, duller side to hammer away at the armor of her target. One solid strike hit, creating a loud, resonating sound throughout the area.
The knight, of course, could not counter. Countering meant turning around, and that meant losing formation and bumping into the man next to you. That was why Beatrice attacked the inner knight rather than the end. But even though the knight she attacked didn't counter, the one next to him did. The neighboring knight dropped his spear, drew his sidearm, and slashed violently at Beatrice. It missed entirely due to two reasons. One, it was completely reactive. A quick turn around and slash wasn't nearly enough to catch the lighter armored Beatrice. Second, he wasn't Beatrice's target. Since he wasn't the one being attacked, he didn't know where the blow came from. Touch a fire and you'll immediately know where the burn is. Tell the guy next to you that you have a burn, and he'll know what you're talking about, but won't know where the fire is.
Beatrice was beyond sword range now, or at least, the sidearm's range. The knight was reluctant to leave the formation, but took solace in the fact that Beatrice couldn't attack again without coming back into range again. The knight fell back in formation, this time having his back to the other knights, covering the back end. It was a pretty simple tactic, but it had the ability to shut down Beatrice's options once again. The knight picked up his dropped spear and pointed it at Beatrice.
Now this was a headscratcher. She was safe here, but the other two certainly were not, as the knights slowly began to close in on them. She didn't particularly care for their well-being, but it was in her best interests to help bail them out. She noted as the knights closed in closer and closer, there was less room to maneuver. Only straight thrusting strikes would be possible. Since they had a surround, it was a trivial point. But since one of them were facing the other way, she had an opportunity to get at least one of the men. One-on-one, she just might have a chance, if she could get the jump on the guy.
Beatrice ran straight on toward the knight. Just as she predicted, the knight could only attack in one direction. Beatrice dodged the point, then quickly jumped back and forth between the right and left of the spear attacks, forcing the knight to keep a more or less stationary stance. She got close enough that she was just about standing next to the man now, and she scurried up his armor. Beatrice brought her sword up and slashed at the neck. A loud clang was heard, followed by a jingle. Chainmail was there, and it was strong enough to stop her sword. The knight brought up his hand and attempted to swat away Beatrice like a bug, but she danced away on the man's shoulders, sword still jammed under the helmet. With dwindling options and time, Beatrice decided to take a chance. She pushed down as strong as she could on the sword, using it like a lever. It was just enough to break the leather straps holding the soldier's helmet down and thrust the helmet off of the knight.
"Hahaha! I got 'im! Foxy and Bully, get yourselves on outta there!" Beatrice turned to the two mercs in the middle and instructed them to get their hides out of there while she had one of the knights in check.
Just then, though, the knight decided just then to screw formation and to get rid of Beatrice. The knight grabbed Beatrice and threw her a distance away, like a ragdoll. She landed head first into hard ground, and immediately grabbed her head wound. Light spots were forming in her eyes and she was a bit dizzy. She stared at the knight who she had just de-helmeted. A fierce looking fellow with a raggedy beard, a worn eyepatch, and enough cuts on his face to make it look like he ran his face through a cheese grater on a daily basis.
She hoped Mr. Bowman or any of the other guys were paying attention. Way too much effort to pop open the cap of that tin can.
Edited by rn7, 17 October 2010 - 09:39 PM.
Posted 17 October 2010 - 10:25 PM
After searing the first wave of knights, Arias was a little worn out. He had a few cuts - mostly minor surface cuts, though the one on his left side was a bit deeper than the harmless surface wounds. He was going to have to make sure that one gets properly bandaged and treated - there was the potential for problems if that one was left to fester.
Of course, Arias was unaware of the wound, or the Crestian-allied mercenaries fighting 'alongside' him, or his mission, or really anything that didn't have to do with killing not-so-innocent Granfordian soldiers. Arias was certainly unrestrained - he had just turned no fewer than 4 soldiers into ash, and still he felt as though his bloodlust hadn't been satiated yet. He was in a rage over seeing Beatrice almost get killed. And that she put herself in that position by saving his life. Or, at the very least, part of one of his arms.
This wasn't the ordinary rage that one might think of when one thinks of 'rage'. This was the sort of rage that one experiences when the body simply gets angry beyond normal limits. The type of rage when a person gets so angry, that they stop being angry. So enraged and passionate, that said passion melts away down to an icy core of tranquil anger. And this was the state that Arias had entered. He walked calmly up into the remains of the general's quarters. It wasn't all burned down, and Arias felt like killing the leader of this not-so-merry band of thugs.
He walked into the office's remains to find a duel of sorts. The leader - or what appeared to be the leader - of the Granfordians was engaged in some sort of contest with one of the other mercenaries (Laterite).
Arias knew that there was no honor in interrupting a duel between opponents. The soldier's - general's guard, perhaps - that were standing there knew full well of this as well. They were content to watch, on the condition that they slaughter anyone who would interrupt the fight. Now, Arias was enraged, but not so brainless as to kill the leader and get into the sort of fight that he really didn't want involved in. He managed to avoid the sight of the eleven other soldiers, and chanted a very powerful fire spell - the type that only a handful - perhaps a hundred at most - people in the Academy's hierarchy had ever been able to master. Arias was well aware that this wasn't the sort of spell that you cast with disregard - it was dangerous. And nearly impossible to control. And potentially dangerous. And that his cover was going to be blown. And also it was dangerous. Even after mastering this level of magic, without perfect focus, Arias could wind up dead. Or seriously injured at the least.
Arias chanted. And an aura of pure flame lit up around him.
"Phoenix of Darkness, rise and engulf my enemies in Sacred Flame! Darkfire!"
It was over in an instant. 8 of the 11 soldiers were dead instantly. He could hear the agonizing screams of two of the others as they were quite literally begging for death. But Arias, even regarding his immense training, had not managed to fully control the spell. His left hand was burned rather badly, and his magical energy was dwindling - down to the point where he needed to greatly conserve his spellcasting capability - one, maybe two blasts of low level magic, and that was it. Worse still, the 11th soldier managed to partially avoid the attack. He was injured somewhat, that much is undeniable. But even so, the soldier was angry, and Arias sensed the bloodlust.
Knowing that he wasn't going to kill the soldier with weak spells, he did the only sensible thing that he could do. He picked up one of the swords that was formerly used by the dead soldiers - after all, they weren't going to need swords where they were going. 'I suppose that I'm about to get a crash-course in swordfighting,' Arias said as the relatively small mage grasped the sword with his right hand. 'Heh. Never thought that a mage would have to use one of these uncivilized weapons. Ah well, such is the world we live in. The task I signed up for.' The sudden burst of energy released from the Darkfire spell managed to revert Arias back to his normal personality.
'He's far stronger and more skilled, but I'm smarter. And faster, due to the lack of armor. As long as my wits are about me, I should be able to come up with the advantage. Start by dodging those attacks. No offensive fight at this point. Need to focus on staying alive.'
Posted 17 October 2010 - 11:32 PM
A plan formed in his head. It was risky and probably would get him killed, but Bullet only believed in certainties. Red and his old friends had all commented on his reckless gambles and ridiculous luck. He raised his spear, intending to use it to create an opening through which he could run. And then he noticed that Beatrice's sword was not on the ground where he had left it.
Lil' Red is left handed.
Bullet grinned. He raised the lance as if to throw, then tackled the man in front of him instead. Assuming that Beatrice hadn't just ditched them, she'd attack the one behind him. True to form, the knight turned to look. This time, Bullet didn't stay to wrestle. He leaped off the man, using his head as a springboard and ran as fast as he could. He looked back in time to see a mage incinerate 8 men and incapacitate 2 more. Bullet cursed. That man was more likely to kill himself with a sword than his opponent. Bullet hurled his spear at the man who had avoided the flame, then took a sword from a corpse before taking a fighting stance next to Arias.
"From what I can see, you're suited to spell casting than anything else. Leave the physical work to us mercenaries. I thank you for your help just now, but you must be weak from that burst of fire. I can finish off a single man.
Posted 18 October 2010 - 12:31 AM
When she got up next to him, Beatrice clasped him much like a zombie would, weighing him down. Beatrice straightened herself up a bit, then shook Arias around a bit, hoping to snap him out of his deranged rage.
"Hey, Arias, Arias, you crazy lightnin' tosser. You don't need to do all that for me, you know. Snap outta it, will ya?" As Beatrice attempted to get Arias back to the same plane of reality as everyone else was, she noticed her hands were getting bloody. It was Arias's blood, leaking out of the wounds on his body like a smashed tomato. "Ah, dang it, Arias, why'd you have ta go and be all stupid about this? Hold on, I'll get a tourniquet to stop that bleedin'!"
Beatrice searched around for any bandages or cloth, anything to put on Arias's wounds. Nothing was close by. A cloth brushed past Beatrice's arm stub, and she realized she was carrying some all along. Ripping off the rest of her right sleeve, she wrapped the cloth around Arias's wounds, sealing them up and preventing him from bleeding out.
"Stay still, will ya? People with your type of wounds have died, y'know! Relax though, Doc Beatrice is here. You alright, Arias? In pain?" Beatrice nervously wiped away the sweat on her forehead and offered Arias her canteen. Worse part was about to come-- infection. She'd seen too many people live through the worst wounds only to die later to sickness. She put her hand on Arias's forehead to check if he was already burning up, shaking her head as she did so.
Crazy, crazy bastard. Why'd you have to go on and do this?
Posted 18 October 2010 - 05:05 PM
Ivan's jaw dropped as a phoenix of fire, or something like that, incinerated most of the soldiers. What kind of mage was smart enough to learn such powerful magic, and also dumb enough to use it in a forest? Several trees near the spell's epicenter were now ablaze. Lightning probably would've had the same effect, though, and other options like water or wind might have been much less effective at instantly killing a ton of guys. Regardless of whether or not the spell had been used intelligently, Ivan wasn't complaining. It wouldn't be too long before the whole forest went up, but there was some time, time which he was now going to take full advantage of.
"Only one guy left, no problem. I'll take care of him, you can talk with one of the two poor fellows wishing they were dead, I'm sure they'll tell you where your stuff is if you offer to put 'em out in exchange," Ivan said to Laterite.
Leaving Laterite to his own devices, Ivan started to run, shouldering his bow and drawing his saber as he moved towards Bullet and the one remaining soldier. He made sure to give the small forest fire a wide berth, circling around so that he'd be coming at the soldier from the side opposite the small inferno. The guy naturally heard his footsteps and turned just in the nick of time. Ivan's slash was blocked, but the nearly-simultaneous chest kick was not blocked and the man stumbled back a few steps. Such a move wouldn't do any actual damage to that armor, but that wasn't the point; the kick had sent the soldier stumbling back towards the expanding flames. Ivan motioned at Bullet to cover the guy's right, while moving to cover the left side himself. The strategy was pretty simple, give the enemy soldier a lose-lose situation: Get roasted by the forest fire behind him, or charge at either Ivan or Bullet in an attempt to escape, a maneuver which would leave him fully exposed to the other one.
Sure enough, the knight quickly glanced behind him as he felt the back of his armor heating up, and visibly jumped when he realized that the flames were only about ten feet away from him. Knowing that it was now or never, the soldier charged at Ivan, coming in with a wide, two-handed swing that would force Ivan to get out of the way. It worked well enough, he forced Ivan to jump back......but Bullet now had a wide open view of the guy's backside.
Posted 18 October 2010 - 06:48 PM
For now, though, he had business with the captain. He had no idea where Andra was or if he had snatched him yet, but that wasn't going to stop him from looking. The fire was spreading slowly, the morning mists stopping it from completely roasting the trees and fortress nearby. He found his horse quickly, recovering his saber and the spooked animal - this was where he had met the knights, then, but there was no sign of the captain here. The fort would burn once again, it appeared, and the losses would likely be skewed towards the Granfs, this time.
Mounting the steed, he set out, looking for either the wyvern rider, the captain, or the healer - if he found more than one of them, perhaps this day could be salvaged.
Posted 18 October 2010 - 07:42 PM
Bullet was not surprised to see the man attack Ivan. Bullet was clearly better armed, with a broadsword from one of the soldier's fallen comrades instead of a saber. As Ivan dodged the man's desperate swing, Bullet took a powerful swing of his own at the guy's backside. This time, the tremendous blow worked as intended and left a wide gash in the man's armor, sending him crashing forwards. Bullet's own weapon was relatively unharmed, except for some easily fixable damage on the blade. The mercenary walked forward, his blade resting on his shoulder. He wasted no time in relieving the soldier of his weapons, making sure to keep the knight between him and the fire. Bullet decided against killing the man, as he was no threat in his current condition, burnt and wounded as he was. Better to let him wonder whether or not his god was really on his side. Bullet closed his eyes and sat down. Right about at this point, Septian would be yelling him for his recklessness, and he would be right. Bullet got up, and walked towards Ivan. No point in dwelling in memories all the time.
Posted 18 October 2010 - 08:44 PM
"......You two again? Should've figured it was you doing the exploding, Tolmaen. Guess this makes us even, though I'm sure you pulled out those fireworks on behalf of your girlfriend there, not us," Ivan said, nodding towards Beatrice's missing arm. "But whether you meant to or not, you did do us a big favor, so the least I can do is help you get away from your own fires."
Ivan extended a hand, offering to help the two injured people out of the forest. The mage in particular looked like he was doing very badly, he might not be able to get out with just a one-armed woman to support him. Ivan shouted for Andra and Laterite, wherever the hell they were, to meet him back at Talgusta, then set off towards the fort. Having already been exploded recently, pretty much everything flammable in the fort's remains would be gone, so they should be safe there while the nearby woods burned to the ground. Ivan wasn't sure what he would do next. Probably talk it over with his friends once they met up; he wasn't sure if he wanted to work for Crestia anymore. He didn't have much respect for either of the countries in this war, so he might as well be on the payroll of the one that would win.
Posted 19 October 2010 - 01:07 PM
While working on her creation, Beatrice attempted to make conversation, to ease her head a bit. While she adjusted the helmet of a head on a spit, she posed the pressing question that was swimming around in her thoughts to the nearest person.
"So why do you suppose Tolmaeus is all quaking their boots over the war, huh? Way I figure, the two bigwigs Granford and Crestia will bash each other out, and the winner's gonna come out a cripple at best. Not to mention they've got convenient bombs-in-a-bottle like Arias there. Ol' Tolly will paste whoever attacks it. It should be Tolmaeus we should be fightin', I figure."
In her mind, Beatrice wasn't going over how awe inspiring the gigantic fire technique Arias used was. Rather, she was trying to find a way to counter it. For her, it really was just about the fight.
She and her comrades had finished decorating the place. Fake makeshift tents were lifted in the center of the fort, with lit candles inside to imply that someone was inside. Granford soldiers were being hung everywhere. When the Granford scouts would come around to see this, they'd report to their commanders. Their commanders would get angry, they would get irrational. They'd go after the fort, wanting to preserve the honor of their dead comrades, humiliated by heinous act the Crestians had committed.
Only to walk into an intricate, complex trap. Every body in the area was rigged with a trigger of some kind, courtesy of the farmerboy Snare. Bear traps, rock falls, falling blades, swinging logs, pitfalls, crossbow traps, and everything else they could manage with the leftover materials. As soon as they left the place, the traps would arm, laying in waiting for the prey. With that done, Beatrice contemplated her next destination.
"Now where are you boys headed after? Best be going to the capital, I want my pay for all this crud, and I ain't feeling right naked," Beatrice commented, rubbing her arm stump. "Don't feel like heading in Granf lands if the Crests aren't gonna be good on their words and send an actual army with us. Most you guys are mercs, and last I heard, this is a war, not no business transaction."
Posted 19 October 2010 - 04:23 PM
While Red and Ivan talked, Bullet looked over the array of traps set up around the fort. He marveled over how they had managed to set up that much with only stray materials. However, he also could see at least two ways in, probably because he'd had to escape from more secure places than this. But it would do to snare the standard Granf. He turned back.
"So what are you guys gonna do? Did your friend find his papers? And finally, do you mind if I stick around?"
Edited by Camtech086, 19 October 2010 - 04:23 PM.
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