Meditations of the Resolute
Junta Kuhr staggers into the infirmary with the help of a guard, getting helped to a table as best he can be, and calls out weakly, "Anyone here?"
Vamps Cheeky wakes again and after drying off her eyes, picks up her sack of healing supplies, and heads downstairs. Seeing the tarnsman relying on a guard to stand up she speaks softly, "Junta, what has happened?"
Junta gasps in pain, his features ashen. "Ribs... broken. Leg... wounded," he gasps finally.
Flame (MistyBlue Brandi) pants as she runs through the streets of the city. Her eyes widen as she sees the flames billowing from the ships. Tugging softly on her lip, she carries on her way to the physicians where her Master waits for her. Panting, her hands lightly pressed to her knees as she catches her breath, she comes to a stop before her Master. She skids to a halt and falls to her knees besides him, "Tal My Master, Tal Mistress," her voice a little raised as she says, "The boats ... on fire, does anyone know?" shaking herself from the stupor.
Junta looks up from the examination table he's on and waves lazily to his slave, as yet unable to speak.
Vamps Cheeky motions to the guard to help Junta to a pallet in the corner, like most people in the town the physicians had been busy packing, calling to the girl, "Unfortunately, we know." Unslinging the pack from her shoulders, glad she had remembered to keep a stock of salves packed. She pulls out two different jars, one jar smells strongly of spice and has an orangish tone to it, the other more golden. Pulling a suture kit free of another part of the bag, she opens it and rummages around until she finds a highly curved needle. From the blood on Junta's thigh, she suspects the cut to be deep, though she is still unable to see it clearly. She carefully peels back the blood-soaked length of his kilt to leave that leg bare, the leather wet to the touch though heavy feeling. Carefully widening the cut on the cloth with the sharp edge of a scalpel, she gets her first glimpse of the wound below. Biting on her lower lip as she pulls out a small bowl, Vamps pours some treated water into it and dipping in a rep cloth, uses it to gently dab the drying blood from the injury so she can see the extent of the damage.
Flame squeaks as she realizes he cannot speak. Tugging on her lower lip, she moves closer to him. A light whimper falls from her lips as she reaches her hand up lightly caressing his thigh then turning to look at the Mistress. She speaks softly, "What happened Mistress?" then flicks her gaze back to him as pushes her body closer still.
Junta just lays back, takes a deep breath, and lets the physician do her work, his eyes occasionally flitting to her as well as to his slave hovering in the background.
Vamps Cheeky speaks quickly to the girl, "Looks like he got a nasty gash to his thigh and from the swelling a broken leg." Her eyes sweep up his body as he takes a deeper breath. She can hear the pain in that tone and suspects chest injuries as well though she'll have to examine them later. Her priority is stopping the bleeding. She pulls a length of gut thread from the suture kit, threads the hooked needle, and lightly dabs over the wound again. It appears to have torn a minor muscle though the main ones are intact, the femoral safely tucked away around the inner curve of his leg. Her almost dainty gloved fingertips work the needle in through the opened flesh, hooking the point under one of the damaged ends of the muscle tissue, pulling the thread into the muscle and reaching across to connect it to the opposite side. The Gorean body never failed to mystify her at its healing though she still reaches over with one hand and dabs the orange paste onto a corner of a rep cloth to apply. She is careful not to pull the stitch too tightly, she doesn't want to tear the muscle any further than it already has been, using a loop stitching so that she isn't knotting off each stitch, giving the muscle more room to flex as it heals. She hooks the nearby portion of muscle and in deft precision begins her second stitch, dabbing the stinging spice paste against the injury gently to help with the bleeding, as its name suggests there was a bit of stinging associated with the paste though it is quite effective at helping the blood clot. Setting that cloth aside as she resumes the stitches, the fingers of her gloves a mixture of red, green and orange, she puts a third stitch in the muscle before finally tying off the thread, snipping the excess away with a tiny scissor from the suture kit. She reknots the end quickly so she can begin to close a bit of the inner skin layers, the next layer up stitched more like she would on the outside of his body, smaller stitches closer together and each separate.
Junta feels the sharp prick of the needle as it knits his flesh back together, but given how much other pain he's in at the moment he just winces and bears it. His eyes occasionally glaze over as the pain gets intense at times, but he grits his teeth when this happens, holding himself as still as possible to allow the physician to continue to do her work.
Flame's tongue works lightly over her lower lip at her words. Her gaze flickers back to his face, lifting a little higher so she can see over the table. Her hands lightly brush against his arm. Her gaze flickers back and forth from his face to hers as she works to knit together his wounds, wincing every so often as she watches her work.
Vamps Cheeky sets the hooked needle aside after his inner layer of skin is connected again, changing to a straight needle and silk thread for the external stitching. She takes a deep breath while she threads the needle as adrenaline makes her hands wish to rush. She forcibly calms herself down and applies another thin layer of the stinging spice paste before beginning to stitch the outer lips of the gash together. The wound is so jagged it takes a series of small stitches, not always in a straight line, to reknit the flesh. Applying an antibiotic salve with a mild numbing agent mixed in over the top of the stitches, she reaches for a bandage. Her used supplies resting on the suture kit, she unwinds the bandage and twines it gently about his leg, trying to minimize how much he had to move. She uses the small size of her hands to advantage as she works the wrap around his thigh, tearing the end of the bandage a few inches so she can tuck one end under the previous layer of wrappings and then knot it.
Junta lays back, lifting his leg only a little as she bandages it, wincing from the pain still, but somehow already more comfortable then he was with his open thigh wound from before.
Vamps Cheeky rinses off her fingertips in the bowl of water and digs around in her sack again until she emerges with what looks like three small metal rods. She felt the fracture as she was stitching but had not wanted to realign it until the supporting muscles were in place; now that the stitches are in, she gently lines one rod up with the inside of his thigh, applying gradually increasing amounts of pressure just below the break to shift the bone back into position. From the ease of its movement, she knew the break had been a clean one, fortunate, as they needed every able-bodied man these days. Loosely twining a second bandage around the first and holding the small metal piece in line, she carefully reaches over and starts to add the second, working it partially in the front and partially on the outer edge of his leg to help keep the bone from shifting. The third gradually works more toward the back of his leg so that the three together formed a sort of tripod so the bone had way to slide.
Junta gasps out, "'Get word to Gennah."
Vamps Cheeky tightens the bandage just a bit more to keep the splints in place and knots off the end of that as she had the first, scooting on her knees until she was a bit closer to his head, still speaking softly, "I'm going to have to either cut or gently remove your shirt Junta, are you able to sit with assistance?" Her hands slide to his shoulders to help before her head turns toward the guard always stationed outside the university, "Send word to the Lady Gennah that her Companion is injured and will need her assistance." She watches the guard nod and turn off in search of the lady, her focus shifting back to her patient.
Junta nods, winces, and grasping hold of a handhold on the wall, pulls himself up slowly, wincing along the way.
Vamps Cheeky takes most of his upper body weight against her shoulder until he can steady yourself, gently unfastening the buckles on the straps across his chest and peeling the leather from his torso. She lays it aside before her still slightly bloodied fingers begin untying the leather laces which keep his shirt in place, allowing enough slack where she could pull it off over her head. Her fingers work the cloth up so it won't rub against his skin before helping pull it up over his shoulders, threading each arm out one at a time.
Junta slowly, along with the lady, works his shirt off, then sighs in relief as he puts his arms back down.
Vamps Cheeky finally pulls the cloth over his head, setting it aside as she had the straps and keeps him upright as it is easier to examine the rib cage that way. Her fingertips ever so gently feel along the surface of his skin, finding the first break along the third rib she uses the gentle press of her fingers against the cartilage between the ribs to move it back into alignment. She apologizes quietly, "Sorry I know it hurts. I can give you a dose of painkiller later though you'll likely want help walking home... it's rather strong."
Junta nods, groaning somewhat at the pain. 'Don't ... worry about painkiller', he says at last. 'I ... would rather not have it.'
Vamps Cheeky bites her tongue to keep from offering again; she isn't fond of the stuff herself, particularly the stronger ones. Her fingers continue their exploration of his chest in gentle caresses until she finds the second break, just below and slightly to the side of the first, the fourth rib down. Using light pressure on the skin between his ribs to shift it back into place, only after her hands had explored every other portion of his chest and back to check for additional breaks is she ready to bind his chest.
Junta winces and groans again at the pain, but otherwise bears it stoically. He raises his arms when the time comes for him to be bound again.
Vamps Cheeky reaches back into the sack and draws out a larger bandage, not only was it wider than the ones she used on his leg but the cloth was thicker as well, designed to bind torso injuries. Carefully pressing her hand to his side on the opposite end of the breaks, she begins winding the cloth around his torso, having to occasionally lean against his back as her arms slid around his chest to pull the layers snugly to his skin. She fastens this thicker bandage using a scalpel to cut the edge of the cloth before she tears it far enough in to knot, pulling the layers snugly and speaking softly to him, "Are you still able to breathe normally? This may hamper heavier breathing for a bit but we don't want the ribs shifting again."
Junta breathes deeply, winces a little bit but not badly, then nods to her. "It seems fine," he says in response finally.
Vamps Cheeky ties off the knot now that he has tested the tension, lightly patting his shoulder. With salves on his thigh injury, splints at the broken leg, and a tight bandage on his chest she hopes he has enough sense to rest so his body can heal. "I have to say the typical suggested rest time for broken bones is a week but I suspect you won't get to be off it for that long, try to be easy on that leg, at least for the first day or so though, if you use it too regularly you might make the fracture worse or pull the stitching."
Junta listens carefully to the physician's instructions, nodding along the way, "Would I be able to go home?"
Vamps Cheeky nods quietly and glances toward the returning guard at the door who assures her he delivered the message. "You will need help walking home I suspect. We may yet have crutches upstairs but they might put more strain on your ribs. You'd remain more sound if you had a guard escort you home."
Junta nods, smiles, says, "Thank you, lady' before leaving some coin at the infirmary reception to cover his treatment, and heads off with the help of a guard.
Vamps Cheeky sighs watching him go. She hopes he will be able to get enough rest for his injuries to mend properly though if her gut instincts the last few days were correct, he'd likely be fighting soon. She hopes for his sake and his companion's that he manages to heal quickly, "Perhaps it would be a good time to pray to Priest-Kings."
Anaya, Dagger, and Vamps
Vamps Cheeky steps to the edge of the university steps and gazes around. She couldn't really tell the mood of the city this early in the day, but it appears as though all had been quiet for once during the night. Hoping that the worst was over, despite the knot still tight in her stomach, her gaze sweeps across the rooftops as though suspecting attackers would try some means other than by sea. She adjusts the pack on her shoulders and set out toward the wharf to see if the fires had been brought under control yet.
Vamps gazes out over the wharf, the scent of burning tar and wood still thick on the air. She quietly whispers a prayer that those who'd lost their life in defense of the bay will be able to find rest. she turns back and heads toward the university again. On her way, she glances at a strange man as he wanders through town. With the attacks lately, her guard is on high and she is instantly suspicious of him.
Her piercing gaze quickly scans the man from head to toe. If he was armed he hid it well, but she doubts the guards at the gate had asked him to remove his boots. Continuing toward the university, she decided to have a word with the guard stationed at the doors. She has the feeling she is being followed even as she leaves the man behind. She pauses beside a gate guard, careful not to turn her head to signal to the man. She whispers to the guard to keep his eyes on that one.
Vamps returns to the uppermost rooms of the university to check on the amputee patient. He seems awake and in slightly better spirits though she could tell he is still wracked with pain. Extracting a small serving cup and the bottle of purplish infusion, she measures out the correct dose and helps him to drink it before examining his injury. The skin seems to have closed about the injury. Digging in her sack for a suture kit she carefully snips the stitches away, applies a fresh layer of antibiotic salve to the stump of his arm, and digs out a bandage. She winds it carefully around the stump to keep the ointment in place then packs up her supplies. She explains to him that his injury might still pain him but that over time he shouldn't feel the pain any more. She goes into a brief description of phantom limbs and how people sometimes feel pain from the missing limb and suggests a few things he can do to help minimize that pain before officially releasing him from care.
Vamps Cheeky watches the man exit the room and climb down the stairs. He manages quite well and she hopes that he wouldn't be too severely affected by the loss of his lower arm. The upper arm could still hold a shield if the straps were adjusted properly and it hadn't been his sword-arm so he likely could still fight if it came to that. She sighs softly at the senseless injuries she'd been treating over the last few days, so many cuts, stabs and burns... shaking her head to clear her negative thoughts she heads back downstairs to tend to the remaining few duties in the clinic.
Vamps Cheeky shivers lightly as night falls again. She hates the night time now and she used to live by it. She straps her sack to her shoulders again and heads out into the city looking for any people who might need tending, winding her way through the quiet city streets with only minimal sound from her skirts and slippered feet. She comes upon a few women during her rounds and squints into the darkness for recognition, blinking the smoke out of her eyes, "Tal Ladies."
Vamps Cheeky finds the women unnaturally quiet, though they were residents. Perhaps they'd simply fallen asleep leaning against the walls of the path. Moving past them, she checks if the innkeeper had any injured patrons, as she knew any of the sailors might have sought refuge there after the loss of their ships. She chuckles softly to find that the ladies are not the only quiet ones, the innkeeper having fallen asleep behind his desk. Oh well, she can check in with him later. The night is still young.
Vamps Cheeky continues toward the fishermen's pier to get news of the sea, hoping there weren't any other ships sighted nearby as it would be nice to be able to keep her patient list empty. Pausing at the edge of the dock, she calls out to the fishermen as they ready their boats for the morning run, feeling a good bit relieved when their returning calls confirmed that since the passages had been closed there hadn't been much sign of ships nearby. She wishes the fishermen a good day's catch and turns back into the city streets to see one of the women she passed earlier, "Tal Lady." Her words are polite though she is a bit curious about why the woman had followed her along the path.
Sliding Dagger says, "Tal, I'm sorry we were looking so shocked at the burning ships, we hadn't realized you were talkign to us 'til you passed by. My friend Anaya the baker also sends her apologies. I'm Lady Sliding Dagger, I've been here a few months. I woke up to see all the flames outside my house, so I'm a bit shaken."
Vamps Cheeky chuckles quietly, "Quite alright, a lot of people have spent their time staring at the destruction. I know I shed my tears over the loss a few days back." She nods her head in regard to Anaya's message and the Lady's name, "I'm Fitna, one of the physicians here, nice to meet you Lady Sliding."
Sliding Dagger replies, "Yes I thought you must be a physician. I was the funeral of the head physician the other day. Well I hope the worst is over now."
Vamps Cheeky sighs, "Sadly I was unable to attend, I was tied up in other matters at the time," not bothering to mention exactly what those other matters had been. "We all hope the worst is over though my instinct as a healer tells me the sea attacks were but the beginning. Unlike most of this city, I've lived through wars before, an invading force rarely only has one means of attack."
Sliding Dagger says, "That's a very troubling thought. Anaya, this is Fitna the physician, do you know each other?"
Vamps Cheeky turns her head watching the fishermen's boats as they move out to the shoals, "Whether the worst is over or not, it cannot hurt to be prepared. I have what supplies I need on my back. It wouldn't be a bad idea to be ready to move at a moment's notice yourselves should we have more unwelcome visitors." She nods to Anaya as she speaks softly, "Aye we met the other day."
Anaya Rhapsody rushes after the Lady, wiping her eyes since the smoke had gotten into them making then sting. Then she had to stop along the way to check to see if all her orders at the Cafe were being followed. Continuing on her way, she finds the ladies on the fishermen's docks. "Oh is it safe here so close to the sea? Oh yes we have met indeed." She looks to the Lady knowing she knew her secret now. "I also am having a ton of food made up and taken to the castle... meat pies, bread, tons of pastries. Our people are going to need such things. One never knows."
Vamps Cheeky finds herself answering Anaya logically instead of sentimentally, "Aye, food is always welcome in any difficult time, especially when the luxury of cooking a meal may be unattainable. From what I've heard from the fishermen who just left, there haven't been any sightings of ships since the passages were closed, so attack by sea is unlikely, it's the land I'm worried about now."
Sliding Dagger looks out into the dark waters wondering what the night conceals and then hearing Fitna's remark of danger from the land turns and looks back at the dakrness behind the city. Her stomach seems to leap about inside her. "I think perhaps I should... go and arrange some belongings, that can be easily carried. In case... I will be back soon." Frowning and uneasy, Sliding hurries back through the dark.
Anaya Rhapsody blinks at the Lady's words, "Oh no the farmers and such outside the gates! It will not be safe for them at all. I pray someone has warned them." She looks more scared than one would think, knowing all the people she had gotten to know over the year. "Aye Lady, well wishes and be careful... please..."
Sliding Dagger says, "Oh yes, the people outside that would be terrible!"
Vamps Cheeky nods, "Aye, it never hurts to be prepared, especially as all of the attacks so far have come in the dead of night." She watches the lady slip off to pack a few of her possessions and turns her head slightly to look back out over the water. She responds to Anaya's concerns quietly, "Most of those who live outside the gates now are those who know the land and can easily retreat into the woods, the trappers and hunters, even Efferus knows how to slip into the woods unnoticed. With most of the farms ruined in the floods, there isn't enough new growth of crops for them to risk remaining behind, I suspect most have already left, Efferus was saying he planned to leave last night." Her eyes remain fixed on the dark waters, scanning the fishing boats and a few smaller craft, picking out some of her patients here and there in the crafts, none of them looking to be any worse for wear since they'd been released from the university.
Anaya Rhapsody smiles while watching the Lady look over the men, making sure they were well enough to go back to work. "I only pray that the attack they think is coming will turn out to be nothing." It was wishful thinking but it was better than thinking of the horrors to come.
Vamps Cheeky nods her head and tears her gaze from her former patients to return to the lady near her. "With you being pregnant, it may be wise to stay close to one of the guards for the next few days. I know they'll be tending the gates but I wouldn't like to see you come in as a patient, particularly when you're carrying a child of a friend of mine." Her voice is soft, concerned, though not in a tone meant to cause any worry, "otherwise keep your slaves close by, or any assistants you may have from the bakery. The more people you can surround yourself with in case of an attack the better off your chances of being able to carry your child full term. If you're feeling stressed I can give you some herb packets for teas, I know I've almost lived off the stuff for the last few years, keeps me from worrying too much."
Anaya Rhapsody sighs softly, "I have to go out and let Efferus know or least his slaves, have them hurry the packing or leave it and get into the city. Knowing Efferus a little now, it is not going be easy to get him to leave his home. I dont know if anyone else out there has been told." She then looks out to the ships, wondering who dared to attack their city. "and some of that tea would be nice. Missy gave me some for my first child. I would indeed welcome it very much, thank you."
Vamps Cheeky nods and swings her pack around to her stomach, digging in one of the outer pouches before pulling out a few small rep bags tied off with twine. She sniffs at them to make sure they were the correct herbs before passing them across to the lady. "They're safe to use during pregnancy, actually recommended for it. As far as Efferus goes, he spoke to me of going north again, returning to his native Torvaldsland. I do not know if you wish to remain with him or not, but he will not be returning to the city. After they arrested him he lost any motivation to help the city or its inhabitants."
Anaya Rhapsody watches her dig around in her bag, then reaches out for the tea bags. She places them in her own bag of such things and smiles, "Thank you once more and on other occassions when I have needed them." She nods, "Oh yes, he was telling his slaves to pack. One was rather happy to be returning to the north. Yes, for now I will be going with him. I would not keep a child from its father and I can understand his reasons. That Magistrate is crazy, least I think so. He wanted Efferus killed all because he wouldn't sell him some creature."
Vamps Cheeky grumbles softly, "Why Efferus wouldn't wish to be rid of that troublesome slut is beyond me, but I do hope you pack warm clothing for the north, even full robes of concealment are little protection against the snow and ice there. You may need to get used to wearing dresses made of furs, though I am glad to hear you shall not be left alone. At least Efferus is doing his part though I suspect he's still a bit frustrated that he hadn't taken a bit more care.
Junta just lays back, murmurs something, and falls asleep.
Flame (MistyBlue Brandi) laughs softly as he just zonks away. She grins slightly as she whispers to her Mistress, "We didn't have to do much convincing after all Mistress." She leans up a little, one hand stroking up and down his arm slowly softly.
Gennah smiles softly as she kisses his forehead, "Rest well love," as she stretches. "I think I shall go finish those last few letters."
Flame nods as she listens to her speak, "Aye Mistress," then turns her attention to her Master again.
Sabriel Hand walks up to the residence amidst the continuing controlled chaos all along the dock area, though at least here there is some mild respite between the lower market area and main harbor. He knocks firmly on the door, "Junta!" he calls out.
Junta looks to his slave. "Open the door for the Administrator," he says to her from his pallet.
Dracaena Donat sinks on her knees behind her Owner as he knocks loudly on the door, peeking around his leg, curious who will open the door of the house of the tarnsman.
Flame lifts her gaze to the door as she hears the heavy banging, licking her lips as she hears the voices from behind her then looks to her Master resting, his voice low. She nods with a soft, "Aye Master," and hops to her feet quickly moving to the door curling her fingers around the handle. She gives it a tug before pulling it open, peeks outside at the people waiting, then pulls it open wider, "Tal Master, kajira."
Sabriel Hand steps inside. He walks up, looking the man over a moment, "I had just heard you were back. That you had been out patrolling." He notes the man's wounds, bandages, "The Physicians said you had some urgent news."
Junta looks up, "Come in, come in," he says. He appears a little rested, but still has bandages around his ribs and his thigh.
Flame moves back to her Owner's side as he rests against his pallet. Her gaze flicks from the girls to the man, licking her lips at the mention of urgent news her ears prickle slightly keen for gossip. She tugs on her lower lip as she gazes at her Master again.
Junta swallows and nods. "Please feel free to sit if you wish. I'll keep it brief, but feel free to question me to any degree you wish."
Dracaena Donat follows her Master inside, positioning herself on her knees once again. "Tal Master, Tal Flame," she greets, then she looks with raised eyebrows at Junta the Tarnsman, noticing that he is injured.
Junta swallows again, then looks at the Administrator with a somewhat haunted expression. "There are, or were, kurii near the city," he explains. "I spotted a small group of them, about three strong."
Sabriel Hand remains standing, though he's not slept the last couple days, he seems full of energy. He listens as the man begins to speak, taking a moment to register the information, "Kur?"
Junta rummages about, and finds a piece of parchment that seems quite badly burnt. He shows it to the Administrator. It has not very much on it, being mostly charred, but, somewhere on it, in smudged but legible writing, is the word 'Salernum'.
Dracaena Donat her eyes widen, her hands move restless on her thighs, fingers toy with the fabric of her silks when she hears this news about the Kur. She had a encounter with them in the past and it was a violent one, nervously she bites on her lowerlip.
Sabriel Hand takes the scrap and frowns, tucking into his belt, "This..." he pauses, "You engaged with them? Are you well enough?"
Junta says, "I got this from a bag near their campfire after I ... dealt with them." He grimaces at this, as if remembering something quite traumatic.
Tara Pearl glances wearily around, staying close to the door while she listens to the words spoken between them, in response she starts to twitch with her fingers once more and leans a bit to the side in a possible attempt to take a peek at the parchment, as if.
Sabriel Hand asks, "Is the Ubar of the Night back at the cot?"
Flame's brow furrows slightly at the mention of kurii not real sure what they are she listens intently hoping to hear and understand more. Her eyes widen as she sees the badly burnt piece of paper and tugs again on her lower lip as she listens carefully.
"It took everything I had... to survive," Junta says almost as if to the air. "Ubar of the Night is dead. At least he didn't become kur food, unlike those poor Northern bastards." He laughs a bit at this, but it's a laugh without humour.
Flame lets out a soft gasp at the mention of his tarn being dead. She blinks back tears though she was not such a fan of the huge creatures, they scared her silly, she knew her owner was very fond of the beast. Her gaze flickers to his face trying to say with her eyes how sorry she was for the loss.
Sabriel Hand's brow furrows even more deeply at this news, "I'm sorry." He says simply. There is no emotion in the words. He knows what the man must be feeling, a Tarnsman and his tarn are bonded in ways that few can truly understand. Though since his mad race across Gor on Thar, he had learned to fly a tarn, he knew he would never attain the bond with such a creature, indeed, he did not own one himself. He would never have the skill of such a man as this. "I am pleased to hear that small piece of good news. Were there signs of more?"
Junta replies, "They moved through their surroundings without much of a need for stealth. I would surmise by that that they are not alone. They did not at any point seem like they needed to hide themselves away. Others like them, or perhaps their minions, are possibly about. It would be prudent to assume so, given how bold they were."
Sabriel Hand says, "This... explains the attacks on the harbor. By Priest-Kings... what if we gave them precisely what they wanted by sealing the Straits... what if they planned this. His eyes go wide, an unusual expression for a man always so stoic and unreadable, but these are unusual times. "... they've laid their trap well."
Junta says, "Still... I only managed to dispatch them, and at great cost, by attacking at night with the element of surprise on my hands. I barely made it back. I recall, even one of them, faced in an open fight, counts for as many as eight of our trained men. Yhey don't need to be many to be dangerous."
Sabriel Hand says, "I faced one of these creatures once when I was only nineteen. On my first solo merchant mission to the North at the start of winter. I was shipwrecked in a storm and stayed the long Torvaldsland winter at the village of Danneskjold. Before the winter was over, the Jarl's favorite bosk had been killed by a diseased ice beast. I was allowed along on the hunting party. It struck in the depths of the cold night, dispatched them all... easily. We could do naught but watch as the Jarl fought the beast all the long day, finally finishing it. If that was only one that was diseased and weak..."
Flame feels a deep shudder rise through her body at the thought of how powerful they must be. Gulping down more air, she looks between each individual though her lips remain shut no words coming through. She is slightly terrified of these creatures getting inside the walls.
Junta looks questioningly at the Administrator speaking of traps. "Is there anything we of the Scarlet need to prepare for, beyond the current threat?"
Sabriel Hand replies, "I think there is little to be done but marshall every last man. The garrison here is some 300 strong, archers, tarnsmen, warriors. We will defend the city to our last man." He pauses a moment and then says, also very uncharacteristically for him, since he holds little belief in Priest-Kings, though he understands his Companion's strong faith and is supportive of it, "Perhaps it would be a good time to pray to Priest-Kings."
Junta closes his eyes a moment, swallowing hard to suppress deep emotion. He opens them again and looks directly to the Administrator, then nods slowly and solemnly. "We will defend the city to the last man if needs be."
Sabriel Hand nods and lays a hand down on the tarnsman's shoulder a moment, "Be ready. I must go prepare." and turns to go, "May the wind guide you, Tarnsman."
Junta says, "I wish you well, Administrator."
Flame's eyes flicker from her Master to the Admin of the city, gulping slightly as she presses closer to her Owners pallet, her fear of these creatures now two fold. Her tongue darts lightly over her lower lip to try to wet them and then lifts her faze as she watches the man and his slaves leave. "Well wishes Master, kajirae," her voice soft and slightly shaky.
Tara Pearl swallows thickly, her heart was pounding wildly in her chest. She moves closer, then backward again, eyes lingering aimlessly around the room. The news kicked in roughly depite all the rumors she had already heard. Once more she moves closer and once at his heel she stares up at him with her face pale, then switches her gaze between the both of them, somehow trying to find for any signs of a possible wrong conclusion, of course without success. Speechless... plainly put.
Sabriel Hand turns and sweeps out of the room, clearly expecting the girls will follow.
Tara Pearl rises to her feet without turning back and rushes after him.
Dracaena Donat picks a curl between her fingertips and twists and turns it, a stone forms in her stomach. She felt the tension that fell as blanket over Salernum, a worried glance appears in her eyes, then she rises and stands behind her Owner, ready to follow him, as close as possible because of the danger that seemed to be everywhere, murmurs a farewell to the tarnsman and his slave and walks outside the door.
Flame's eyes drop down to her Master as he rests against his pallet. Her hair falls slightly forward over her shoulders, her gaze locking with his as she speaks, "Are you all right my Master? Can I get you anything? A drink? Food?"
Junta sits up, "Go find a guardsman and tell him that I have orders for him to bring me two more of his cohorts."
Flame nods softly, rising to her feet, carefully tugging her brief camisk from the corner of the room over her body, and licking her lips. She ties it shut and whispers softly, "Aye Master, i will go fetch someone."
Junta settles into a camp chair, and quickly starts directing orders for the defence of the castle, looking over maps, plans and orders.
Flame carefully follows the guardsmen as they pull along her Master on the stretcher licking her lips as they help him onto the chair by the fire. She moves closer once they move back, her body lightly shifting against the wood. Her hair high up and casading down her back, she watches her Owner through her lowered lashes, the heat of the fire bathing her skin. A slight grin touches her lips as she listens to him command everybody to their duties.
Junta looks up, rises slowly, then salutes, "Tal, First Sword," he says, wincing in pain.
Tyboldt Emor walks out of his house to see his most trusted man rise and wince from apparent wounds. "Tal brother, it's good to see you back. Please sit. You look like you could use it."
Flame's eyes flicker up as she hears the footsteps approaching them, blinking slightly at the sudden appearance. She smiles lightly, whispering a soft, "Tal Master," before turning her attention to her Owner.
Tyboldt Emor looks at his brother for a moment, not wanting to make a big deal of things, but still. "No doubt the physicians charged you for repairing your wounds. We will pay that out of the scarlet coffers," not really having any confort to offer past that.
Junta chuckles. "No, the physician that treated me seemed upset about something and appeared to forget. But ... I am back and I bring grave tidings. The Administrator already knows, he visited me at home. We have kurii in the area. Perhaps quite a few of them. Enough anyway that the small group I found didn't feel a need to be stealthy in their foragings."
Tyboldt Emor gives a short nod. This had been the week for grave tidings, but he somehow felt that anything his very level-headed brother would bring, would be far worse. "Please ... as much as I don't want to know, I obviously do."
Flame shudders again at the thought of what her Master will say about these creatures, the bad tidings... She licks her lips as she gazes from the man before them before turning back to look at her owner, "Master, may I ask... what are Kurii?"
Junta says, "I .... barely made it back," he swallows, "also... my tarn is dead."
Tyboldt Emor says, "Kurii ... that figures. I have gotten the idea as of late that someone has a spy here. The events didn't add up to anything less."
Junta reaches for the seat arm behind him. "May I sit?" he asks.
Tyboldt Emor nods slowly with a solemn look on his face at the loss of a tarn, knowing how great a loss that is for a tarnsman, "You expect an attack then? Yes, please do. I will join you."
Junta nods. "They were bold. That leads me to believe they were an advance party of some sort, not just some isolated troop."
Tyboldt Emor says, "If they aren't being stealthy, they must want us to come out and fight."
Junta nods, "Perhaps, First Sword, or maybe they have sufficient numbers that they don't feel the need to hide the fact that they are coming for us.''
Tyboldt Emor slowly pulls his sword out of its sheath, and a small sharpening stone out of the pocket on the outside. He applies a little oil and starts to run the stone across the edge of the blade. "It's been too peaceful here anyway," said with obvious sarcasm. "So much money here ... too good to be true. Since I have lived here, I always expected it."
Junta observes the sharpening, and inclines his head in acknowledgement. "It is in times like these that one knows what it is to live the codes."
Tyboldt Emor hears the mention of the codes and gives an acknowledging nod. "Biggest reason I accepted this position. If I know I was going to die some day, I at least wanted to go down with men that would win or lose the right way. Can't say I always trusted the men in front of me. Some seemed motivated by money. I guess you can expect that in a merchant city."
Junta says, "True, that."
Tyboldt Emor says, "You have now fought Kurii ... any words of wisdom brother?"
Junta grins. "Have an army behind you. Seriously though... my equalisers were as follows: I pinched some of our Gorean fire to use as ordnance. I scouted their position and picked my time to attack, and I caught them off-guard."
Tyboldt Emor can't help but laugh at that. "We are the army brother." then takes a look at the slave for a moment and gives her a smile. "If you master allows it lass, there is a blue bottle on the table inside the door. Fetch a few glasses of that, if you would be so kind."
Junta says, "If they are coming for us, then we only have one of those advantages. I needed all three just to stay alive. So... we deal with them as best we can. Do as he says flame."
Flame's eyes flicker up as she feels his gaze on her face. Seeing him smile, she smiles back sweetly with her lips puckered slightly before she hops to her feet, "Aye Masters." Her hips wriggle with each step she takes as she moves into the man's compartments.
Tyboldt Emor finds a particular nick and the blade and works at that slowly and carefully. "Something they taught in the army ... not in the codes exactly, but it has always had meaning. 'You fight until you win, or go down. If you win, all the glory. If you go down, you really won't care past that.'"
Flame hums lightly as she slips inside the brightly lit room though the smell of stale air surrounds her a little. Wrinkling her nose, she leans down to clasp the bottle he indicated for her to collect and then taking the cups as well that rest beside it. Giving them a quick once over with her eyes making sure they are clean and no chips or cracks, sheturns on her heels. She carries both cups in one hand and the bottle in the other, making her way first to the owner of the bottle. She falls gracefully to her knees, her ass wriggling against her ankles.
Junta stretches his back muscles cautiously as he listens, nodding. He moves his neck from side to side, feeling the bones and cartilage there click with satisfying sounds. "When they come, we'll be ready. Whatever happens, we'll take a few of them with us."
Tyboldt Emor looks down at the girl, and gives her his usual crooked smile. This talk must be frightening her, but she didn't show it ... and there was admiration in that. Quickly he takes one of the glasses and motions for her to attend her owner, "This wine ... it has no match brother. It warms you but leaves your senses sharp still. Might be the best day for it."
Junta grins. "Excellent. Let's drink to ... to brotherhood."
Flame carefully presses the bottle between her thighs and opens it, giggling softly as the man takes the cup from her hand, her hair shaking around her shoulders. She lifts the bottle quickly and tops the cup up before turning on her heels, bottle in hand, to move to her Master's feet.
Tyboldt Emor stares into the glass as the slave serves his brother in arms. "Brotherhood, and living and dying at the side of those you respect."
Flame's eyes flicker up to meet her Owner's, a slightly cheeky smile teasing her lips. She places the cup between her parted thighs then squeezes them tight around the item to hold it steady. She quickly pours the wine into his cup, placing the bottle down beside her and lifts the cup from between her thighs parting them wide again for his pleasure. A fluttering of her lashes as the cup trails teasingly along her curves lifting to her soft pouty lips. She presses a soft but teasing kiss to the edge. Pulling back, she lifts it over her head speaking softly, "Master your wine, i hope it eases some of your aches away."
Junta takes the wine from his slave and sips it nonchalantly, then raises an eyebrow to the First Sword at the taste. "Fine indeed," he says as he takes another sip. He ruffles his slave's hair briefly. "Serve him some more if he wishes or put it back."
Flame grins teasingly, a slight purr falling from her lips as she feels his hand in her hair. "Aye Master," turning, she looks at the other man, "More Master?"
Tyboldt Emor watches the look on his brother's face at the taste of the wine. He had gotten this from the Administrator, and really didn't know such drink existed. "No, this will be all for me ... I just sip it for the taste. I'm too old to be getting drunk."
Flame nods softly then hops to her feet to place the wine back into his room, smiling over her shoulders as she speaks, "Yes, Master."
Junta raises his glass to his superior officer, then drinks again, slowly, savouring the taste.
Tyboldt Emor watches as she goes, "Bet you a copper she licks the cork."
Flame peeks her head out the door at his words, giggling softly she shakes her head making her way back outside a slight cheeky grin on her lips. "No Master, i'm not such a big fan of wines." She blushes softly, "Makes me silly." She moves back to her Master's side and falls to her knees.
Tyboldt Emor decides to change the subject for a moment ... this was probably scaring the girl and there was no need to have frightened women around. There would be enough of that when and if the time came. "Best slave I ever watched ... little slip of a girl really ... 'bout as big as a man's leg. She would break bread and make crumbs on the goround, then fall prone to beg forgiveness for wasting ... all the while she was scooping up the bread crumbs with her mouth. Have to admire that expedience."
Junta chuckles at that. "Indeed," he says. "Quite clever of her."
Tyboldt Emor says, "Tried to buy that slave, but she vanished. Ran away I guess. Probably a panther now."
Flame feels her lips twitch at his tale, nodding at her Owner's comment before speaking softly, "Waste not want not maybe Master." She grins slightly as she winks too her Owner a soft giggle falling from her lips.
Junta rolls his eyes. "Panther girls," is all he says in response, although his expression well conveys what he thinks of them.
Tyboldt Emor gives a laugh as he seems to have finished off the nick to his satisfaction and uses a small cloth to wipe the blade. "There ... now at least I have something good and sharp is the time comes."
Flame hmms a little at the tone of her Master's voice though never having come across panther girls before she has heard tales from other slaves about them.
Junta points back to his spear and shield. "I'll be ready too."
Tyboldt Emor says, "Of that brother, I'm very sure."
Flame's eyes move to the weapons both men are carrying, gulping slightly at the thought of a battle. A slight shudder rolls down her spine as she lifts her eyes ot the sky as if in prayer.
Sabriel Hand pauses at the Larl Head Fountain and cups his hands down into the cold water. This water, the lifeblood of the city, the reason the University was founded here, the pure spring water that flows through the caverns under the Castle and provides water in time of siege should such a state befall the city. He takes handful after handful, splashing it on his face, letting it soak through the clothing he has on now, pooling at his feet. Old Madine was usually here with her gossip, but not this morning. Her story of the history of the city, how this well was once poisoned and as if by magic was sweet and pure once more when tested. This, he lets flow over him and the turns toward Home.
Tara Pearl clenches her fingers into the palms of her hands and inhales a few times deeply, her eyes raking and scanning around highly alerted around the larl plaza. She moves closer toward him and brushes her cheek against his upper arm, turning her focus to him, she then spoke lightly, "This... is..." but shushes again while he splashes some water into his face and steps back, turning around to head up the steps, silenced up once again.
Dracaena Donat observes her Master, how he stands there before the fountain, splashing the cold water into his face, he keeps on going on, there seems no ending. She bows her head, a deep frown in her forehead, when he finally turns to walk away from the life giving water spring, she lifts her head, waiting for him to go.
Tara Pearl stops into her tracks and plucks the small vial from her thigh. She leans over the edge of the fountain and fills it up with the fresh water. She watches how it flows into the vial and lifts it out, pressing the cork back onto it and ties it back to her thigh, her hands lightly shaking but she straightens up and heads up the steps once more, following the small drops of water he left behind on the ground leading to home. She steps inside and let out a soft sigh, sinking down to her knees and glances up at him.
Sabriel Hand heads home, water dripping on the hardwood floors, leaving a trail behind him as he heads up to the kitchen and then to the private rooms upstairs.
Tara Pearl doesn't even pay any attention to the water on the floor and with buckling knees she follows him up the stairs, until he moves for the second floor. She sucks on her bottom lip and rocks from her left to her right foot and back. She steps upon the first step, the second- then moves back and rests her back against the kitchen.
Sabriel Hand comes back downstairs naked and proceeds down to the first floor carrying a large rectangular wooden box under his arm. He sets it down on the mantle, the slight warmth from the small fire drying him off some. He pries open the top of the box and tosses it down on the cushions and withdraws a red tunic and draws it on over his head. He brushes his hand over the embroidered emblem of the city on the chest. It is... a strange feeling, a grim expression on his face as he pulls out a warrior's skirt next and buckles it securely around his waist, fingers playing over the strands of thick well crafted leather.
Tara Pearl exchanges a glance with sana, confusion written all over. Her eyes roam over him, but unlike usual this time her eyes quickly head toward the box. She fled downstairs right after him and watches from a distance how he works himself in... red. Her head starts to spin and within moments she then rushes toward him and clings her arms around his legs, pretty much determined not to let go.
Dracaena Donat climbs the stairs and walks to the kitchen, filling a bucket with water and let a old rag drown into the fluid, then she carries the vessel downstairs and sets it on the ground, kneels down next to it. She glances up when she sees her Master coming down naked with a object under his arm. She stands up and moves closer to him, a inquiring look in her dark eyes. The inquiring look changes into a deep worried glance as she sees that he is dressing himself in the scarlet color, the warrior color. Startled, she lifts her hand to her mouth, her eyes wide, murmuring softly, "Please be careful, my Master!"
Sabriel Hand shoves the girl roughly away as he draws out the belt next and sets it about his waist, making sure it is tight and adding necessary accoutrements to it, a collar or two, binding fiber, rope, pouches with ointments and other essential items. Today. He forces himself to remember all those things tucked away in his mind left to grow thick with dust and forgotten. The battle in the cold and dark with the diseased Kur and the Jarl. He pulls a leather bracer from the box burned with the symbol of Salernum and ties it about his wrist and then the other of the pair.
Sabriel Hand draws a masterfully crafted pugio dagger set from the box, setting one at either side of his waist and straps them on, one to each leg. He remembers the dark days of Schendi, the terror-filled flight through the deepest jungles fearing at any moment the natives hunting him would end his life. These memories haunted his dreams for many years. The fear of it consuming him. Today, he armors himself in that deepest of emotions, drawing on it to fortify him as no physical armor can. Today, fear is his closest ally and friend.
Tara Pearl stumbles backward and rolls upon her side, but swiftly returns to her position. Wildy she stares upon his equipment and all the things he collects. Her arm extends and she reaches out for some binding fibers. She sucked some more breath into her lungs, while her expression slowly turns cold and the veins inside her start to jolt with that long gone feeling. Her eyes grow wide when the dagger set came into vision and her focus was completely set there. A glance up at him, to the daggers, back up.
Dracaena Donat is scared as looks at the man. He was going into the battlefield with the rest of the red caste. She starts to tremble all over her body. What would happen if he is killed or injured badly? All kinds of thoughts flash through her mind. She knew she couldn't stop him. She sinks on her knees and takes a few deep breaths, trying to calm herself, her hands ball into fists.
Sabriel Hand draws out sandals next from the unique uniformed set of the Salernum Scarlet Caste, one of the sets having been provided for him as a gift at the time the order was completed. He never thought he would see a day that it had to be worn. He was a Merchant, by Priest-Kings. Days of hard training in the shared yard of Glorious Ar with Eve's Warrior Father come to mind, but there is no smile on his face now. He begins to strap the sandals to his feet, recalling the heat of the collar of steel he can feel physically now the way it heated in the blistering unforgiving sun of the barren wastelands of sand that make up the Tahari. The thick leather boots they were forced to wear on the March to Klima.
Sabriel Hand had survived that March, spent years in the salt mines, become a Slave of the Salt, become a Murderer of Slaves. His darkest hours, his darkest days. He pulls those deepest and most powerful of memories forward now. Though he had over the years become less afflicted with the power of those nightmare times in his life, today... today... he draws them forward, embraces them. He withdraws the ornate cloak from the box last and wraps it around him like a shroud and affixes the gold clasps to it.
Tara Pearl gasps, the silence was unbearable but she kept staring at him and those daggers until they went out of sight when the cloak covered them all up. A light shake of her head followed and she then proudly lifted her chin, her lips part and the first words wich made sense- to her at least- came out " Y-you're all set it seems, my Master. " the lightest smile was offered and she moved to the side.
Dracaena Donat averts her eyes to the ground when he turns around, fully clothed in the red of the warrior caste, the expression on her face frightened and with deep worry. Her eyes start to moisten. Quickly she lifts her hands and wipes away the upcoming tears, but she wanted to be strong, sighs deeply and glances up at her Owner, composing herself, straightening her back and pulls her shoulders backward, showing eagerly that she could handle this situation.
Sabriel Hand takes the last item from the box, one of the swords of Salernum and buckles it about his waist. The last of the uniform complete, he rests his hand a moment on the hilt of it feel as though it becomes a part of him now, indeed, it is an extension of his being today. The nigh berserker combat rage he felt fighting against impossible odds in the dark of night in the countryside of Glorious Ar after a days long flight from the Tahari on the indomitable sand kaiila Thar who died at his side that night so that his beloved Livia might escape into the wilderness not to be seen again for years and years until the day in Port Kar so unexpectedly. Now... she was gone with their newborn daughter Lyra, taken away in the dead of night by tarnsman to safety. Would he see her again? Would he die this day and never see his daughter grow into a young woman? Whatever Fate had in store this day, one thing was certain. Today, expressed in his choice of attire, in events forced upon him, his every motion was that of a warrior, his expression hard, his cold blue eyes set in grim determination. Today, this man was no Merchant. Today, he drew on all of his life and wrapped himself in it oblivious to anything else. Today, His City needed him to be more. And he was. Today. He was an Ubar and would lead His beloved City of Salernum to War.
Tara Pearl keeps studying him, watching him closely - if the realisation hasn't kicked in yet, it surely was more than evident when she notes his cold stare. For a moment she freezes up, but with his actions, she herself was being fed with what she once was. She rises to her feet and walks toward the hearth and lowered the flames and blows out the candles.
Victor and Torrid
Torrid Streeter smiles broadly, "Tal my Master. I have much to tell you." Quickly she relays to Him everything Grondar told her.
Victor Klavinham listens idly, stroking his chin, "We knew that would happen...that urt's ass of a man really achieved to blame me for that felony."
"Master... Grondar asked if I was traveling so I took off the backpack."
Victor Klavinham nods, "I understand. Did Sabriel already request your service? He was terribly eager to make sure we won't take longer than an hour to make away with our preparations."
"No my Master, but wait please." Her hand reaches out and gently coils about His wrists. "This sounds a bit dangerous and serious, we must make plans for the inevitable."
Victor Klavinham nods briefly once more, her touch always had a soothing effect on him, either that or it was contagiously arousing. "Sabriel's satchel, it's five gold in total, I want you to take needle and thread and sew it into the insides of your camisk, your boots, any and all places - little stashes of a couple of coins, should anything unforeseen happen, I want you to meet me in Caffa should anything go wrong. Ask in the small port's tavern for a man named... Ol' Santiago. He will take good care of you, until I arrive as well."
There was no time now for long speeches of love, promise and how much He means to her He would know all this.. This was no longer Torrid the slave speaking. She had a job to do, she needed to rely upon her wits and quick thinking. Grief played no part in this now. There would be time for that later. "All right Master, I also feel safe in Minus, I know many there. If I can get to Turmus I will. The coins have already been sewn in my camisk, I have two in my bun." She smiles sadly, "You know I always had a stash here if things went bad between us. That stash is still hidden, robes and all." Her arms wrapped about Him hugging Him tightly.
Victor Klavinham raises a brow when she talks about a secret stash she would have hidden from him. Anger rose in his guts but he'd not let the hurt pride of that come into their way - nothing lied farther than childing her, separating in wrath. "Go, mine. Do your best."
Junta and Tyboldt
Tyboldt Emor spots the Administrator out of the corner of his eye and rises. "Tal Administrator."
Junta stands up as well, slowly. "Tal again, Administrator."
Flame hears the strong footsteps coming their way... her head turning slightly as she notices the man in all red squinting lightly trying too see who he is before her Master and the other man answer for her she smiles and speaks softly, "Tal Master."
Sabriel Hand approaches silently, his demeanor much changed since he last saw the Tarnsman. His eyes, his very posture and movements alien to those that knew the stoic Merchant. This man has blood and war in his eyes. This, today, in this war thrust upon them all, is an Ubar, drawing on all his past memories, the fight with the ice beast, the terror filled flight in the jungles of Schendi, the March to Klima, becoming a Slave of the Salt and Murderer of Slaves, the days long ride and berserker rage upon him to give His Livia time to escape, not to be seen for years. All these things mingle in his eyes, this is an Ubar, armored within and without, an Ubar whose best and closest friend today is Fear.
Tyboldt Emor can't help but notice the change in dress, and surely everyone can sense the change in demeanor. "I hear we are likely to have visitors," said in an almost casual tone, taught over many years ... always show the opposite of what you are feeling. "We were just finding that last nick on the edge and talking tactics."
Sabriel Hand says, "Tal First Sword, Tarnsman. Gather the men. Archers to the walls. Messengers will be assembled at the Customs House by the City Gates to aid the town criers in assuring all citizens should stay in their homes and keep the streets clear. I want some of the squads of guardsmen stationed through the Plazas to keep order and as back up in case things go badly. We'll meet them outside the gates when they show their Priest-Kings-be-damned hides and if necessary fall back to the gates and defend there and the walls."
Tyboldt Emor gives a short nod, taking in the orders. "We have had then up and ready for a bit now ... I'll meet with the watch commanders and give them their orders."
Junta watches the exchange between the Admini... Ubar and the First Sword, keeping his silence as his superiors speak.
Sabriel Hand simply says, "Aye" leaving the military preparations and orders for the 300 strong garrison in the hands of the First Sword and lead Tarnsman, turning back to head toward the city.
Flame and Star
Tara Pearl watches between them, and nervously rises to her feet, a low whisper being heard, "Good luck, Masters."
Flame looks up as she sees another man approaching, nodding softly at him with a slight smile to her lips, "Tal Master."
Junta looks to the arriving man. "Tal, Magistrate."
Flame grins as she sees a slave she recognizes smiling across at her she winks as she speaks softly, "Tal Star."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar wakes from his nap, having choosen the castle to sleep in this time. He walks up to the group, "Tal Warriors."
Stardust Arnahan falls on the tiles breathless, her shoulders shaking with sobs, absently rubbing her bruised wrists. It takes a long moment before she raises her head some, her face stained with tears and her sea grey eyes roaming around her, watching the people without recognising them at first, until she hears her name and everything seems to slowly make sense.
Daniella kneels and reverently kisses Junta's foot.
Flame's eyes widen as she hears the sobs coming from Star across the area... her eyes narrow slightly as she slips just a little closer... blinking slightly as she whispers, "What is wrong?"
"T... the Slaver..." she mutters, "He left the city and... and..." her lips are swollen and dry, moving without sound. She sucks a deep ragged breath and then went on, "He tied my wrists and didn't take me with him." A new wave of tears springs from her eyes, "He said I was not pleasing enough..." her voice trails off as her chin dips, two big salty tears splashing on her thighs.
Flame gasps and then blinks back her own tears as she can hear the girls sorrow feeling it bounce into her own body. Moving closer still she curls her arms around the girls shoulders hugging her softly as she pats her back uttering soft words of comfort into her ear.
Stardust Arnahan chews on her lips as she whispers, "He said I wasn't worth the coins he'd pay to carry me with him." Her back curls as she feels the girl's soft hand, her own hands trembling and covering her face. "What is going to happen now?" she mutters, not raising her head at the comforting words that are whispered in her ear.
Flame makes little noises in the back of her throat like she is trying to calm a baby down. Her fingers gently stroke in a calming sensation down her back. She feels the soft tap tap of tears as they hit her neck. Her voice a little husky with emotion as she speaks softly, "I'm so so sorry Star," tugging on her lower lip as she glances back to the warriors gathered over the other side of the castle yard then her gaze flickers back to her she speaks, "I'm not sure but we shall think of something i am sure Star."
Stardust Arnahan's head tips slightly and her fingers curl into small fists that cover her mouth, her teeth gnaw on them nervously. "I heard the noises coming from the harbour, I wasn't allowed to go there the previous days... so I thought to run up here... what is happening?" Her eyes wide with fear search the girl's azure orbs, trying to find the answers.
Flame pulls back a little from Star offering a slight smile she speaks softly, "Come on let's go sit by the fire." She tugs lightly on her lower lip at her question, her gaze flickers back to the men behind them. "I'm not sure on the full details but from what has been said so far, they expect a attack from creatures called the kurii." Her brow furrows, "What are the kurii?" all the while she pulls the girl along with her.
Stardust Arnahan rises slowly and shuffles behind the girl, curling beside her near the fire, a tiny yelp of fear emerging from her throat once she hears the name of the beasts. Her sea grey eyes grow to the size of small saucers. She knew what those beasts were and well from her times at the desert, even at the thought of them she felt all her hair standing to one end.
Flame's eyes narrow a little at the yelp Star makes, now even more curious she tugs on her lower lip.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar looks very much scared and in shock when the girl mentions the kurii. He has only ever heard of them but knows this is very bad. Suddenly the words of the Iron Worker make sense... something from the north... not men... he takes off at a good jog toward the exit of the castle.
Vamps Cheeky chuckles quietly, not bothering to explain her encounters with the creatures, though the comment about 11 children did make her grin beneath the veils, "I'd best be getting to the university again, with a new day dawning I'm sure there will be new patients who weren't careful enough during the night. You are welcome to visit though it may be a quiet day." Her eyes flick over Anaya's shoulder to the girl in the background.
Tara Pearl wanders up with her face pale as never before and glances between both women. She parts her lips, then closes them again. Her arms are moving in every possible direction, then stop with her panicked state and sucks in a deep breath of air, "T-trouble" she only manages to blurt out.
Anaya Rhapsody is about to say, "Thank you," and would follow only to hear someone behind her. Turning, she sees Tara and frowns, "What trouble girl... spit it out."
Vamps Cheeky's eyebrows immediately shoot up as the girl mentions trouble, "Where?" her simple question thick with dread, stepping forward to lay a hand against Anaya's shoulder.
Tara Pearl's arms swing back upward and she starts to point behind her, then shakes her head and her bottom lip quivers. She is still pretty much in shock and she blurts out, "Kur."
Anaya Rhapsody blinks and looks to Fitna, "Did she say Kur??" Anaya had never seen such before. She gasps, "Efferus and the others, they need to be warned!"
Vamps Cheeky swallows sharply. She'd faced a Kur before... along with half a dozen men... the Kur had died but she'd spent most of the next day patching the men up. "Where girl?" her tone a bit more harsh, she needed to get to them before there were any fatalities. She turns her head quickly to whisper to Anaya, "Do not attempt to join in this. Kur are exceptionally strong. I wouldn't want you at risk. Do try to pack quickly though, it may not be long," suspecting now where Junta may have gotten his injuries.
Tara Pearl listens and avoids the gaze of both of them. She swallows thickly and tries her hardest to stick to her senses and toughen up, she could do it, she could. Then a bunch of words follow when she splutters and stammers over her words. "They will be here soon! M-master turned into an Ubar, in complete scarlet attire." She blinks a few times and continues, "Master Junta has been attacked, he barely made it back alive... this..." she pauses, "will not... end. Well."
Anaya Rhapsody frowns at the lady. She had been up most of the night, her and tilly, packing just what they would need and anything of importance... papers and things of her parents she had been given when she left them... and all her books she would not go without them. They were needed to teach Erick and any other children she might have. "Oh don't worry, lady, I would not endanger myself or the child but will I allow innocent people to die while I hide... I will help where needed." She blinks, "Where and when was Junta attacked?"
Vamps Cheeky nods, "I treated Junta yesterday. Where are the men gathering?" glad she packed her supplies well, with the bottles surrounded by bandages she could run. She tries to ignore the tightening knot in her gut. She makes a brief apology to Anaya and hikes up her skirts to her knees so she could move more quickly, just waiting for the girl to tell her where the men were.
Tara Pearl flees to the side to give the women the space they might need. She stammers once more, but suddenly the calmness overwhelms her once more, "Gates... castle."
Vamps Cheeky takes off at a dead run for the gates, the sack bouncing on her back, cursing under her breath as she runs that Dren hadn't allowed her to bring her arsenal of weaponry with her when she'd returned to the city. She could have used it today. She arrives a bit out of breath at the castle, not worrying about staying outside until she was greeted today, and hurries over to the gathering of men, letting her skirts fall back to their normal position as she takes a few quick gasps of air before speaking to the men already stationed, "Any sign thus far?" Having treated Junta's injuries the day before, she is fully aware of how badly the men could be injured.
Hawk and Phiona
Phiona Mercy steps forward slowly, glancing to the left and then the right as she approaches the man. Biting her lower lip a moment behind her veils, before approaching him carefully, she says, "Sir? Sir? Tal Sir."
Hawk tilts his head to the side, his dark blue orbs cast over the pair in front of him inclining his head, "Tal Sir, Lady, I trust you are both well enough considering..." he states darkly as his hands rest upon his waist.
The smell arrived before he did... if you had to pick which was dirtier... him or his clothes it would be impossible to say, "DAMN IT... Who is the whore of a son of a flea ridden verr herder who did this??" Karnage Looming asks, reaching up and absent mindedly scratching his armpit.
"... Sir – I --" she blinks, glancing over her shoulder to the scruffy looking bosk-herder that had apparently, been following her, before redirecting her gaze to the man before her. She steps aside when the man behind her begins barking questions, glancing back and forth between the two, although drifting closer to the armed man.
Karnage Looming barks, "Watch yerself woman... I ain't bit ya yet... an iffin I do... ya jest mite like it!"
Hawk eyes the loud man, folding his arms as his cold gaze drifts over him he speaks in a merciless tone, "Lower your tone sir. I think the citizens are stressed enough without you adding to it. To answer your question, I know not. I just entered the city recently before the docks were sealed off." He turns then back toward the lady, "Were you wishing to speak with me Lady?"
VolmarrGoth Vollmar walks up to the usual crowd at the harbor, ducking in between people... people everywhere since all the fleet was burned by the pirates... just helplessly watching the smoldering ruined fleet of ships.
"Sir -- I am a wealthy woman. I became trapped in the city when the ships were sunk in the harbor." Her words sound somewhat rehearsed, as if she had told this a couple times recently. "You appeared well-armed -- and I pray well trained, sir -- I have several gold disks -- and a promise of more -- I am desperately seeking a protector." The woman's eyes close as she speaks, opening them at length, although not looking directly back up at him for several moments until she finishes speaking... piercing green eyes raising to look back up at him. The amount of money the woman, apparently of high caste was offering? Nearly ridiculous... unless one's life was in danger.
Karnage Looming makes a hocking sound and spits on the ground, "Aint a mamby pamby high caste folk I would give a cold pile of bosk dung fer... nope... don't know one.. .never met one."
Hawk continues to stare at the man shaking his head slightly at the man's rough use of the Gorean language thinking the closing of the gates must have brought him into the safety of the walls, no doubt on a regular day he wouldn't have ever had to stand in such an enclosed space near him the smell quite overpowering. He raises a gloved hand to his nose a moment before speaking to the lady, "Perhaps we could move to the Inn here Lady and you may speak more on your... proposition..." He offers a glance over his shoulder a moment offering a nod to the two men before looking back.
Phiona Mercy nods her head immediately as she indicates the inn nearby with her cane, and proceeds immediately. Something of note? The woman was wearing flat boots -- while the hem of her skirt nearly brushes the ground; it was obvious by the way she walks that she is not wearing a woman's heels, or traditional slippers... by the sound of her walking -- survival in mind... practicality. She moves directly into the inn.
Hawk turns and follows the woman into the Inn glancing back briefly to the two men standing nearby before continuing on in silence his footfalls quiet due to the leather soles. He walks over to a free table. He doesn't wait for her to sit first and simply lowers himself down onto a cushion flicking his cloak back as he does so as not to sit on it. He raises his hand to his helmet then slides it up off his head laying it reverently at his side as he waits for the lady to begin. No doubt she would state her offer quickly enough.
"I am from the city of Ar. I am a woman of the Scribes and come from a politically important House. What I want from you is to deliver me, alive, safe, free, and in as good a condition as you can manage, to Ar. I came to the city for... something childish." She pauses, "Well that is not uncommon for me. My timing could not have been worse. The ships were sunk in the harbor. If you deliver me to Ar, Ar Station, or anywhere else, I swear to you I will put twenty double weight gold disks into your hands."
Hawk nods slowly as he listens to her explanation, motioning to a seat. "Feel free to join me. I understand your urgency but I assure you, presently there is no way to leave the city. You will be forced to remain until a way opens up. I know of such a way, but it is inaccessible to me. What I can offer are my services in protecting your person until we can safely leave the city but in order for me to do so, twenty gold coins of double weight... that is an entire fortune. How can I be assured you have such a sum?" He hears the city bells being rung to call all citizens to a meeting. He purses his lips in concentration as he stands, "Come first... I want to hear what the city's leaders have to say." He stands up, picks up his helmet, tucks it under his arm, and heads to the plaza.
Vamps Cheeky sees only Junta resting as she'd suggested to him and a slave girl, suspecting the men must have moved to the gates while she was on her way here. She turns and heads back toward the gates at a brisk walk, trying to save her breath this time. She glances around looking for the guards before spying them lined up on the gate's wall. "Any signs of attack thus far?" she calls out.
Vamps Cheeky had suspected with the way Tara had been trembling and white-faced that there might be Kurii already out in the fields, though it seems the guard is still waiting for any sightings. She calls up to the men, "I shall be at the university, shout for me if needed." She heads back down, already planning to add a few larger jars of salve and a good deal more bandaging to her sack.
Vamps Cheeky ducks into her clinic, swinging the pack from her shoulders alongside the supply cabinets. The bandaging sheltering the bottles as she sets them on the floor, knowing full well the damage Kur caused on men, she pulls out a series of slim metal rods for splints, tucking them in the side of her pouch before straightening up and digging for a larger jar of honeyed salve. With the extent of injury she was expecting to be treating, everything helped. She packs a number of smaller jars containing stinging spices and antibiotic ointments in every nook and cranny of her pouch she could manage, protecting them in layers of bandaging and rep cloths, barely managing to close the drawstring on the top of her sack before hefting it back to her shoulders with a slight groan. Okay no more running for her.
It was that crazy thought that made star leave the castle and run back to the Slaver's house with the thought he'd finally feel pity for her and come back to take her. How would he know where to find her if not in the house where he left her leashed. Surprised by the crowd gathered in front of the clinic, she shuffles toward the gates, pushing some people to get closer to the Administrator as he seemed he was about to make an announcement.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar walks up to the large crowd of people gathered in the square outside the university.
Vamps Cheeky heard scuffling outside so came out to the steps of the university to listen for the announcements, though she suspected it would only confirm what she'd learned from Junta and Tara.
Word begins to spread through the city. The arches are on the walls, warriors in the fields, engaging over 90 Kurii heading toward the city as down at the harbor, further battle cries pierce the morning air. The remainder of the attacking fleet have amassed and are engaging the Wharfies and others engaged in cleaning up the fires from only an hour before.
Sabriel Hand steps over to the gates. Today there is no sense of a Merchant about him. Today this man is death incarnate, steadfast and sure, fear his closest friend. Today... he is an unwilling Ubar as war is thrust upon them.
"Messengers to me! Help the criers! Move through the streets and make sure all are safe within their homes! Guardsmen take up your squad posts in the plazas! Go! The Kur are upon us!"
Sabriel turns to the warriors, men, and citizenry assembled. "Stand tall men! Seal the gates behind us! To War!" He strides out of the gates, runs, drawing his blade, crying out, "Salernum!!"
Roenan Seriman, leader of the Kurii invasion force growls with an inhuman voice that carries across the fields and across the city streets to the waters of Thassa lapping at Salernum's wharves, "KILL THE HUMANS AND TAKE THE CITY FOR THE GLORY OF THE NAMELESS ONE!!!!!!!!"