Logs:Big Hedge Hunting - The Ulvwer
|Big Hedge Hunting - The Ulvwer|
|Dramatis Personae|| |
Finding your way into the Hedge offers its usual obstacles, not great for those familiar with the lingo and experiance, but never the less grating. Luckily the settlement they seek is near a Trod, rumour being the hobs make some manner of deal with the Gentry who pass by to be left undisturbed, but in these lands. Who doesn't? And this is where our party find themselves, the Trod itself is an actual road, laid with what appears to be giant scales, each about the size of a man laid side by side, a dull green colour under the dirt and weeds laid upon them. At each side large unnatural trees rise, joining together over the road like a sealing where they greet, creating a tunnel.
Owen is in comfortable clothes, which for him means jungle boots, well worn, BDU pants stuffed in to avoid having crawlies get in. Longsleeved BDU blouse and a battle belt from which hangs pouches and scabbards. He has a rucksack on his back and a Pro-Tec style helmet on with Oakley sunglasses covering his eyes, ballistic rated. Gloves cover his hands. His right leg has an H&K 10mm pistol in a drop holster; the left has a blowout rig and a scabbard for two composite rated escrima fighting sticks. His chest is adorned with various pouches, including a pouch where EMT style shears can be seen, and an upside down survival knife.
He taped on blood types before going on everyone but Ephraim and before they headed out he went over the local area much like a mission in the sandbox. "The local settlement is quiet, they're fine. For the most part they are harmless. Dangers include stranglethorns, big ol' vines that will try to grab and strangle you and hang you up in the trees. Beast wise watch out for a tunnel badger - big badger, covered in spikes, they like to hang in caves around the area. The Ulvwer is unknown to the intel the Wardens have but the Hobs have their own language, so once we see it I may know it."
But in the field now, he's quiet, moving step to step and keeping his head on a swivel.
As they approach the tree seems to quite clearly serve as a 'wanted' board, settled here where two Trods meet. They cover all manner of things, the post its seems to largely be nonesense to the uninitiated, a best guess could be messages left behind by Gobling Merchants who frequent these roads to eachother. The tanned hides seems more savage, symbols written on them in a language unknown to the Lost who gather here, but all are adorned with a 'sigil' of a great horned ram.
The one of note is worn parchment, and looks to have been written on a typewriter? It recounts a reward for the head of 'The Dreaded Ulvwer' in the form of goods and services by the locals, one intrested in such work or coming to claim the reward shall seek out 'Hraz' in the tavern of 'the village'.
Ephraim nodded "Alright to this Hraz." He said waiting to see when the other three wanted to start heading out. He still looked relaxed as he spoke and waited. He did look around some as he waited however seems he was taking in the look of the place.
"Sure thing," says Owen with a nod, as he looks over Kyrie's shoulder to read the posting. He tugs on his gloves, making sure they are tight enough and takes a hit from the Camelback line snaking over his shoulder and Ranger-tied into place on a shoulder strap.
Owen, being the one familiar with this village leads the way. Heading off along the beaten path rather than the 'scale' one. It isn't too long of a journey, perhaps half an hour to trott along. Eventually the signs of 'civilization' can be hinted at ahead. The path slowly changles to stone cobbles, and even the smoke or a chimney, and then as they round a corner there it is. A gathering of twenty or so houses, made from all manner of strange things. The most noteable feature being their height, clearly made for creatures much smaller with the roofs reaching perhaps the chin of a normal man.
The building that stands out is centered in the middle on a small hill, much larger by comparison it is still small. And any above six feet will need to hunch over to pass through the simple wooden door, around the hobs, the so called Rumpnissar seem to live, each about three feet in height with flat ugly faces and pink skin.
For Denali, is is no big deal to pass through the wooden door of what surely must be the tavern. The largest place? In a natural gathering spot? The woman will speak softly to Winslow once they're near, requesting he stay near enough that she can at least get her gear before he departs, if he so decides. Then the mer will duck inside- provided the door is open. Except, at her not even five-and-a-half foot height... there's not much ducking required. She'll be able to pass right on through without even a bow of the head.
Kyrie follows Owen, and though her shield is on her left arm, she leaves the sword sheathed for now. Just going to chat, after all. Her gaze flicks over the houses, then hobs, then looks to Owen briefly before speaking up. "We're here to see Hraz, to speak to him about the bounty on the Ulvwer," she says, looking around for anyone who might step up.
Ephraim has to duck in low to get into the door. WHen he does he finds a wall to lean on away from the hobs so he does not bother them. He put his maul on the floor to rest as he waited for Hraz to step up and explain things.
Owen has to duck WAY low to get in and wiggle with his rucksack to get past. He'll wave now and then to a Hob or two but otherwise he just tries to remain quiet, letting the otherse do the talking for now, like Ephraim stepping to one side.
There's a look around the tavern as Denali makes her way in with the other three. The woman skirts around a table, casting a look over those occupying the place. There is a look to the cloaked figure, certainly, but when Hraz speaks she looks to the man. "We have not," she admits, glancing towards Kyrie as she moves to approach the counter. So strange, being at a bartop that makes her feel tall. It's not something the woman is used to.
"Ah," 'Nali continues, looking once more to the valkyrie. The more confident mouthpiece. "We wanted details on the beast. We wish to slay it."
Kyrie glances back at Denali, then to Hraz, inclining her head to the former. "Like she said. All we know is that you want its head. We need to know what it looks like, which direction it is...and what makes it dreaded." Her Tolltaker is peeking through, now, because that last bit seems highly important to the valkyrie. "Has it killed or just frightened your people?"
Ephraim relaxes himself more as the other two start to talk to Hraz letting them get answers out of the hob. He did nod in agreement that they had come to slay the beast and was looking at Hraz waiting for answers to Kyrie's quesitons.
"If any of your folk are hurt, let us know, I may be able to help," adds Owen, but otherwise he's quiet.
There's a clear sense of dissapointment from Hraz, slouching back and large eyes lowered "I see." the goblin settles back sitting on the raised chair oncemore. "Others have come, saying the same. They never return." a slight shake of his head. "It has taken three of us, and a dozen of our herd." grave words indeed. "It is large!" coming from a three foot tall hob, who even knows what that means. "With claws like daggers and fangs like spears!" the voice almost grows shrill.
There's a sligh frown from Denali and she shoves hands into pockets of jacket. The woman scuffs a toe, glancing over her shoulder towards Owen and Ephraim. The woman flinches at the shrill tone the hob's voice takes on and she leans in a bit, trying to keep her voice low. Soothing. "I think we may have better luck. We want to try. Where can we find it? This beast with claws like daggers and fangs like spears."
At the claws like daggers and fangs like spears, Ephraim shows up the claws on his hands which were like daggers themselves with a savage grin which showed his fangs off as well. Though he says nothing else as he wanted the hob to get on where the creature was.
Kyrie grins at Hraz. "The others weren't us," is all she says, nodding slightly at Denali's question, and arching a brow as she waits for the hob to answer.
"They weren't us, my man," agrees Owen, "We have some scary folks with us. We'll take care of this problem and it won't bug you again, just tell the nice lady where you last saw it and what you can tell us."
"It drags them out east." Hraz announces "We tried to track it once, but it went up the trees." the hob looks between the party, admiteddly well armed and large, well compared to him anyway. "It comes only at night, shies from daylight. We have lit torches to keep it at bay." he nods once "But fires die out."
Hraz looks at Owen, eyeing the sticks with a raised brow "The sticks will glow? - What sort of magic is this?" the hob seems sceptical but attentive. "We .." he pauses "I will ask them to do so." he nods once "I cannot promise they will, also we need to have hobs our to care for the herd."
"It is a magic of our kind," Denali offers, almost soothingly. The woman, however, leaves Hraz to Owen. For the moment, at least. "Alright," she tells Kyrie and Ephraim, with small nods. The mer is already angling, by a measure, towards the door. "So we head east and between the three of us, at least, we should be able to pick up its trail."
"Why don't I stay behind and help them get secure. You guys need me, you can shout or send your guy?" he tells Denali. "I can help Hraz here get his people all organized and buttoned down, get some glowsticks out if it gets to be night before you guys get back - and help defend them." Owen adds.
"Yeah. And as for killing it? I think we can handle it," Kyrie says, eyeing the two rather large men, then grinning impishly. "And this is just another bounty, which puts it right up my alley, even if it is a little...unique." She nods to Owen then. "And you let us know if you need any help here. Don't be stupid, okay?"
Ephraim grins again "Do not plan on doing anything stupid." He said relaxed even though he keeps hearing that the beast was dangerous.
Hraz seems to accept this offer, and follows Owen out the door leaving our brave heroes behind.
As they head east out of the village they spot the 'herd' strange creatures about the size of their keepers, a strange hybrid of reptillian and flora, thin and spiked with small wings on their backs and razor teeth which limp around on too large feet. Out east there's a large patch of high grass, before the wall of trees making the barrier into the forest, torches are settled here and there, currently unlit.
Kyrie helps track the beast, though, as promised, she's not the greatest tracker in the world. Especially since she's distracted by keeping an eye out for the creature. And the shield totally messes with finding clues. Honest. But she does do her best to help.
Once they hit the trees, Denali slows and hops down from Winslow again. This time, she gathers up her gear from the sea dragon and bids he stay at a distance - to go retrieve Owen if they meet this beast. Or try to, at least. He may be a hedge beast with some intelligence, but one can never expect too much, truly. There's a glance to the unlit torches as she checks her bow: "Do we want to light those, or leave them so that we can maybe lure this thing out?"
The trail leads to the trees and... potentially up. It's what the hob said, afterall. Denali pauses at the base of a tree, studying the claw marks there. Her teeth flash briefly as she chews, faintly, at her lower lip. "Kinda reminds me of a briarwolf," she notes with a glance to Kyrie. "What do you think? Thoughts on... luring it down? I don't see us fighting in the trees." At least she doesn't plan to. The mer, however, does pull an arrow from her quiver and set it to the bow. Just in case.
Kyrie cocks her head and doesn't look all that daunted by the appearance of the beast, just reaches for the hilt of her sword. "Go ahead and shoot it. That'll lure it down easily enough," she says, grinning as she draws her weapon.
Ephraim looked at the trees "I could grow larger and roar out at it. Might cause it to come. Or make a bunch of noise?" He offered to the others. As he readied his maul.
As they approach the treeline, trails of dried blood where something has been dragged across the ground becomes evident, coppery and atleast a few days old it ends at the treeline, but as it was suggested if they look up it seems to continue. Claw marks in the barch, leading high up up. Then further forward it seems to have leapt from tree to tree, still carrying the bleeding remains, deeper into the woods.
There's a growl from somewhere in the trees, as they have now left the treeline behind and are further into the forest. A large shape leaping from tree to tree, sniffing in the air here where the branches creep together to form a sealing, allowing little light to pierce through.
Just after the creature attacks Ephraim, Kyrie leaps into the fray, more metaphorically than literally. "Hey, fuckface!" she yells, no doubt to draw attention away from Ephraim even as she's slashing at it with her sword, the blade cutting into the beast.
Ephraim lets out a roar as he drops his maul. The roar was a mix of pain and rage "You think you can best me with claws? Think again!"
And then the creature appears! In all its glory! The siren falls back a few steps, raising the bow and drawing it back. It takes Denali a moment and she grimaces as the Ulwver sets upon Ephraim. But once there's an opening, she exhales slowly, tracks that opening, and then lets fire. As soon as the arrow is loosened, she reaches to the quiver at her hip to draw another.
The beast howls, a haunting sound as cold steel tears into it flesh, long ungangly arms sweeping across madly at the Changeling accousting it. But its rage remains on Ephraim, tearing off chunks of flesh, sinking teeth into the Ogre's shoulder even as claws sink into its chest. An arrow in its leg is also shrugged off, lost in a maddening bloodrage.
Denali's shooting it, Ephraim is making a very nice punching bag, but Kyrie? Well, she has to do like a valkyrie do. She yells, the sort of sound meant to still the blood in the veins and terrify the enemy. Well, it may not be terrified, but it certainly is affected when Kyrie swings that sword at it, a flash of steel reflecting what light there is. And that blade sinks into the creature's neck, /through/ the flesh, and out the other side, sending the head flying (and probably splattering blood as well) before it hits the ground. Well, Hraz said that he wanted the creature's head, right? Tolltakers DO deliver. Exactly.
There's a whimper as the head goes rolling on the ground, it twitches unnaturally, the furred body as it seems to almost shrink. Flesh warping and bones snapping as it transforms.. smaller.. smaller.. smaller.. before a three foot hobgoblin lies there, a bit shorter now without the head which for whatever reason remains that of a savage beast, blood pooling from it. But the body is naked, small, ugly and familiar.
Ephraim grunts in pain before speaking up "I need lots of food after this." Though he turned to look at the body as it changed raising an eyebrow which looked odd on his face "Why does the body look familiar?" HE said to the other two.
The second arrow nocked and ready... is soon lowered to the ground. The string released as the beast is slain. Denali looks a touch pale. The woman is a Magi. She yearns and trains to understand the Hedge... But she is not a being of combat. Not as the Summers. The woman does not put the arrow away, no. She simply moves nearer to the form as it changes and crouches by it. Both hands upon bow as she leans in, squinting at the body there. "One of their kind. Changed by the Thorns, perhaps," she muses, starting to reach out. Thinking better of it, she retracts her hand. "Some sort of... I don't know. Hedge lycanthropy, perhaps?" Straightening, she glances towards Kyrie: "It is your trophy to deliver." To Ephraim, then, a nod to the path. "Let's find Owen so that he can patch you up."
Ephraim walks along not really complaining to much about his wounds but he does groan in pain as he stood there. He was waiting though seems he was going to go get that food he was talking about but waited to see if the others had anything they wanted to say to him.