02.17.3014: Pocketful of Sunshine
Summary: Knights, Ladies, and other volunteers search for the missing Ellinor and Nikomachos.
Date: 24 November, 2013
Related: Pocketful of Tension
Anabethe Erik Jor Canis Sammel Kassandra Elodie Morrigan Solon Brienne Kieran Ellinor Nikomachos 

The Forlorn Swamps, The Vale
In poses
17 February, 3014

It is hard to imagine any other place on the whole of Imperius being colder than the frozen wetlands of the Northern Vale. The sun may be out, but it is masked behind a thick blanket of cold, bleak clouds. Snow falls in soft, steady whispers of white, accumulating over the frozen stretches of once open water. The trees are black, naked and covered in thick icicles that hang down like lethal daggers from bowed branches. In this harsh place there is only one major settlement, and that is the White Tower — the solitary haven of Awakened sorcerers. It is from there that the search parties for the pair of Knights began.

This particular group contains mostly family and friends of the missing, which is perhaps why they seek so desperately for the pair. They had started out on horseback, but as the snows start to fell and the grounds became more precarious, horses had to be left behind. Finding the location where Nikomachos Sauveur had last checked in was easy enough, but from there, it required tracking to find this particular area.

It is almost peaceful when they step into the clearing between the thick cypress trees and sandbars. Peaceful save for the dead horse lying in the middle of the ice. It had been black when it was alive, but now has taken in a sooty grey in death. Its body has suffered, though it is the broken neck that signifies how it died. The snows have not started to fully gather all that much here, which only further highlights the great streaks of blood across the ice. Bodies had been dragged off here, the ghosts of bootprints still vaguely visible in the snow.

Anabethe has been grim and determined, in the wake of news of her sister's death. Like her father, she's focused now on the things she can do, and with a vast reservoir of rage at the Hostiles, she's set out to try to save those she still can. She's quiet, even when she occasionally needs to catch her step on the slick ice.

Luckily, the level of technology for armor these days include sealed environments and temperature control, which means Erik doesn't have to swath himself in extra fabric over his protective gear. Once he had found out that his brother and sister-in-law had gone missing, the Valen now turned Ibrahm immediately set out to help with the search for the pair. There is no mirth coming from the youngest Valen, his facial expression etched in full seriousness. There was on complaints when it was time to dismount, Erik fully focused on the business at hand as he uses his hunting abilities to help with the tracking. When it leads to the dead horse though, the Ibrahm Knight takes in a sharp breath, "That's Erinye."

Exactly what it is that dragged the despurred Jor Aeldan out here is anyone's guess, though the smart money would be on doing someone a huge favor. Speaking of favors, he called in one or two for the purposes of being properly geared, so the net result is that he's not forced to show up in his skinsuit, but in something a little bit more defensive. Obviously, he's expecting an attack, and due to that and the weather, has kept the visor on his light armor, and his mouth, clamped shut. Fifteen years time didn't improve his riding skill any, to the point it's a relief to be off the infernal steed. He says nothing to Erik's pronouncement, only looks in that direction before returning to the business of keeping his eyes open for potential signs of ambush. One can never be too certain.

Canis rides with the others until it's not possible. He will dismount and is ready to carry on, on foot from here he's wearing his armor and his normal weapons on his back and hip. The young knight tries to get his barrings as he does all this though he follows along looking for any signs which will give a clue finally spotting the horse he knows this doesn't bode well but it's nothing conclusive yet. He'll continue looking around for anything else to further the parties search.

Also far more serious than he usually is, Sammel has been a bit more quiet than normal too. Looking around as they reaches the place with the dead horse, Sammel nods as he hears Erik's words. "It is…" Going quiet again, before he moves a little closer to the remains of the horse now, pausing at the blood across the ice. Looking back to the others, especially to Elodie and Morrigan, then around again. "Blood…" he points out, probably stating the obvious.

Kassandra is not in the front of the group, having the tracking ability of a dead slug. She walks silently beside Solon, eyes bent upon the ground to watch her footing as she steps carefully over the ice. When Erik points out that the dead horse belongs to her brother, she inhales sharply and draws to a dead stop. The display inside her helmet zooms in on Erinye briefly before she turns her head the consider the details of the surrounding scene. "I don't see any other bodies here. Solon?"

Usually her guard is a step behind and to the right of Elodie. However, that's been switched since they left the horses and started tracking from the point where Sir Niko last reported in. Her dark hair is tucked out of sight, it's been awhile since she's donned her search and rescue armor, which still has the Niveus crest on the helmet. The deep blue skin suit that shows through the seams of the silver and white protector armor is close to Cindravale colors, at least. Along with her bow she has a pack on her back, some extra medical supplies and water. An extra accoutrement is an axe that hangs next to her quiver of arrows at her waist. One hand holds a grappling hook attached to a line that hooks to the underarmor harness at her waist. Perhaps it isn't as deep a fall through the ice here as it could be on Niveus, but old habits die hard.

moving ahead of Elodie is Morrigan. the dusky skinned bodyguard dressed in his armor at the moment, Helmet off, he carries a backpack over one shoulder, presumably to carry his helmet and other necessities. Black Cloak wrapped about him and secured with a stylizd wolf's head brooch, Hood up over his head, he moves forward as Sammel mentions blood. kneelign beside the horse, he looks around, searching for tracks.

<FS3> Morrigan rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Sammel rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Jor rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Erik rolls Alertness: Great Success.
<FS3> Solon rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Elodie rolls Alertness: Great Success.
<FS3> Canis rolls Alertness: Great Success.
<FS3> Brienne rolls Alertness: Great Success.
<FS3> Kieran rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Kassandra rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Anabethe rolls Alertness: Good Success.

Solon follows those who can track in his temperature-controlled armor. He's never given much thought about learning how to track, or what use he could put such a skill to. This situation has proven to him that his knowledge about such things may need to be broadened, but only after Niko and Ellinor have been found. As Erik announces the find, he steps forward to take a look himself. "You are right, that is Erinye." Glancing around the clearing, he takes it all in before turning to the rest of the group. "Let us see what we can discover from this, I also want eyes out for potential threats. There may be hostiles in the area, and our actions may attract notice. I would prefer to know if they are coming than be surprised." Glancing over to Kassie, Solon says, "There does not appear to be any other bodies, but we can do a small perimeter search . We should do so, actually. First, let us see what we can learn about the horse."

Elodie pauses when she hears Sammel, opening her visor to nod to him as she comes up a little closer, careful not to step on the blood tracks.

Dressed in armor, all warm inside the workings of the AI she'd learned a few commands to, Brienne remains mostly silent for the trip as she trods through the area. Used to snow and precarious surfaces she manages on foot very well. Beneath her helm she wears a grim expression, her voice holding worry as they come to the horse. She heads over with the others.

Fully decked out in Aggressor Armor, Kieran stands next to Brie. His visor up and constantly scanning the distance, looking for any sudden movements. Why anyone would be scouting out in this frozen wasteland is anybody's guess. He walks behinds the Arboren Knight. "Who's horse was Erinye's?" He asks the group politely.

Speaking just loud enough to be heard, Morrigan speaks up. "Might we be allowed to find tracks and mark trails before a perimeter is set up and they're lost under the fresh bootprints, lord?"

After confirming his suspicions that the horse is indeed Erinye, Erik begins looking at the immediate surroundings near where the fallen animal was found. His gaze is focused as he looks over the snowy area and his eyes soon locate something that is also very familiar. The youngest Valen begins moving in that direction, his steps having a sense of purpose without any hesitation, perhaps uncaring of the danger. Once he reaches where the lance is embedded in the snow, he begins to push and dig the snow away, trying to uncover more.

"Niky's. My brother's horse," Kassandra explains to Kieran, turning away from the bloody display and scanning their surroundings slowly. She moves farther away from the group, oriented eastward, and leans forward a bit as her visor display zooms in upon a few marks on the ice. "Hoofprints," she calls out, gesturing with an arm to signal the direction in which the tracks are headed.

"Only one dead horse," Anabethe calls from the rear, staying at the edge of the clearing, nodding toward Kassandra's call. "Might be Ellinor managed to break with him when they lost the one."

As she backs away from the blood trail to let the trackers look at it, something shining catches her eye, and she moves towards it. It happens to be the same thing catching Erik's eyes. Kneeling down next to him, she begins to dig with him, tugging at the color changing ribbons. "Definitely Sir Niko's," she says quietly to Erik, and over her private comm to Sammel.

Hearing the call of hoofprints, Morrigan stand quietly. Moving on tiptoe towards the trail Kasandra points out, he starts casting for more sign.

"Any blood?" Jor's bass suddenly calls out the question, and it's to the Khournas Young Lady that he's talking to, if his head facing Anabethe's direction isn't enough indication. He's still largely focused on keeping his eyes open for unexpected guests.

Sammel pauses for a few moments as he looks around, and notices Erik going off, and Elodie moving in the same direction, and then Sammel moves to help them dig away the snow. "Most ceretainly Niko's, yes." Spoken quietly over that private comm now.

One of the knights moving forward as something catches his eye. Canis watches as some approach the item it's clear what it is but it's not until he hears over the com the significance "A struggle maybe." he begins to look over the various signs moving cautiously to see if a direction can be found so they can press on when the others are ready to do so.

Morrigan's comment elicits a nod from Solon. "Good idea, go ahead and do that." To Kieran, Solon says, "The horse belonged to Nikomachos." He stands back and lets the others get to work uncovering whatever they can find. After Kassie announces that she has found footprints, Solon nods at Anabethe. "Indeed, that is a possibility." So far, it appears that the assembled searchers are making quick work out of investigating the scene, this idea giving hope to Solon that the results of their search will be positive. "Has anyone found anything that might indicate who or what attacked them here?"

The snows continue to fall at an easy, lazy pace, almost to defy the seriousness of this small battleground. As more and more individuals start to notice the hoofprints heading off to the east, it is also easy to see the scuffle of prints that indicate pursuers.

"Have we checked the wounds on the horse?" Kieran asks, looking the horse over briefly. "That would probably give some indication to what happened. Though, my money is on Hostiles." He says, almost coldly.

"And bootprints, Mister Wolf," Kassandra offers to Morrigan as he heads her way. She straightens, frowning inside her helmet and studying the shots of the scene on her display. "I can't tell if they're male or female, but I think they're going in the same direction." Turning back, the young Valen woman watches as the others search through the snow, and her breath catches in her throat as she spots the flash of color that is Nikomachos' lance. Solon's question goes unanswered, because while she can hazard a guess, she has not yet uncovered evidence. Instead, she turns back and begins to slowly follow the prints eastward without straying too far from the group. "The trail is heading out this way, Solon," she directs over the comm.

Anabethe bites her tongue behind the visor of her helmet at Solon's question. "These days, my money's on Hostiles," she manages to say blandly after a moment. "No drake sign, for what it's worth." She stays along the perimeter of the clearing, starting carefully toward where the prints lead away.

"Niko's," Brienne confirms, giving Kassandra a look after lifting her visor. When the Valen moves on, she nods to Kieran, "We can follow with Sir Kassandra." Walking off towards where she had indicated there being hoofprints.

Nodding quietly to Kassandra, Morrigan Lays face down on the trail, turning his head to look along the path, he closes one eye as he falls completely motionless.

Nodding to Anabethe, Solon agrees. "Indeed, I cannot imagine anyone else being responsible." Stepping over to Kassandra, he glances down to take in the various prints in the snow and in what direction they are heading. "Given that the snows show no sign of letting up, we should follow these new tracks before they are covered up and make tracking more difficult. Those of us who are not actively tracking need to keep an eye out, we do not want to be surprised by any unwelcomed guests."

<FS3> Morrigan rolls Hunting: Success.

Erik continues to work on the buried lance and slowly pulls it free from the snow, once it's free, he begins to look the weapon over. Upon studying the weapon, he can see that the tip has blood on it and the ribbons are also bloodied, "Looks like Niko put up a fight, he manage to hit something though not hard enough to have it imbedded fully it seems." The youngest Valen shares on his comm.

Canis continues looking around for anything which will give a better idea of what happened, but he'll move forward staying with the others it's not do for anyone to be separated in this mess. The young knight decides that he'll pause as not to disturb anything just using his senses. He'll have his AI adjust for the light and any type of landmark's he can set.

Leaving the brothers with the lance, to give them a moment or two, Elodie gives Sammel a pat on the shoulder and walks back to the horse. The sadness can be seen as she looks at the beautiful animal, and walks around it. She squats down next to its head, looking at the twisted neck. "It looks like whatever they were fighting used weapons, not claws or teeth. Sir Niko probably fought until Erinye went down." She wrinkles her brow. "So sad for such a valiant beast to be felled by a slip on ice."

Raising an arm quietly, Morrigan sweeps it along the trail slowly. Squinting one eye he brings the arm to bear slowly until he's pointing at a small cluster of trees nearby. Pushing to his feet slowly, The bodyguard nods quietly to Kassandra. "They went towards those trees near as I can tell. makes sense."

Looking over at the lance as Erik speaks, Sammel nods a bit now, although he pauses to look at Elodie, offering a brief smile at the pat on his shoulder. Hearing the mention of the horse being felled by a slip on the ice, he sighs. "So, they fought whatever it was that attacked them, and then Erinye slipped, which caused Niko to be unable to imbed the lance in the enemy, as he was thrown off the horse, or something?" Turning to look around once more now, he lets out a bit of a sigh, before he loks in Solon's direction again, nodding a bit now.

Kassandra watches Morrigan, thankful that her visor hides her expression from view. While the man is belly-down in the snow, slowly being covered in a fine dusting of white powder and peering at the trail, the Valen knight is slowly shuffling alongside the fairly clear sets of prints. When Morrigan gestures toward the trees, Kassie half-turns to follow with her eyes. "Yes, I can see that," she says wryly, lifting a hand to gesture to Brienne and Kieran as they draw near. "Mister Wolf says they lead into the trees."

<FS3> Brienne rolls Hunting: Good Success.

"Then why is everyone fucking around here, still?" No, Jor isn't in a patient mood about this, but he has his reasons. "I'll take point." Which is to say, he'll start heading off in the direction that is being slated as the way to go, when it concerns following the MIA Sauveur couple. "And for Gods' sakes don't make any loud noises."

There's snow. There's ice. There's tracks. Anabethe trudges forward with dogged determination, silent once more.

When directed to the trees, Brienne realizes that's her element and takes a few steps that direction, so she studies the tracks herself, checking for anything around them or if the horse had been favoring one leg over any others due to any injuries. She moves closer towards the trees, following the trail now.

<FS3> Kassandra rolls Hunting: Good Success.
<FS3> Solon rolls Hunting: Failure.
<FS3> Canis rolls Hunting: Success.
<FS3> Kieran rolls Hunting: Success.
<FS3> Sammel rolls Hunting: Good Success.
<FS3> Erik rolls Hunting: Success.
<FS3> Anabethe rolls Hunting: Good Success.

Having realized that her husband abd her guard are better at tracking than she is, Elodie follows the two men's lead, keeping her eyes up and watching for threats as they follow the signs of the Saveur's passing.

Through the frozen wastes of the wetlands, they walk. There have been a couple close calls with the ice as it creaks and cracks beneath heavy boots, though no one has fallen in. Yet. The tracks have come and go, forcing them to look for other signals of where Ellinor's horse had fled. They come to another sandbar and beyond that another series of trees that dot a flat length of frozen water.

It looks empty, until a figure appears stepping out of the trees in pale-colored armor and a heavy hooded cloak. Perhaps a member of another search party. They do seem to be moving with some determination toward a cluster of enormous boulders — old and aged rocks that were moved by glaciers eons ago that have collapsed around each other. They haven't seemed to notice the incoming Havenites, and it appears others may be following its lead based on the noises in the trees from whence they came.

Looking at Sammel and Elodie as they hear the sounds in the trees, Morrigan begins to unfasten his cloak as he speaks. "Shall I go take a closer look My lord? my Lady?"

"Do we know if anyone lives up here?" Kieran asks Kassandra, eyes glued to pale figure in the distance. He lightly feels the hilt on his two-handed sword, half expecting an ambush at any moment.

Anabethe switches to a comm channel as she spies the other group. "Solon, you get word of any other search parties going out?" she asks, staying still where she is. Red and gold armor isn't exactly…inconspicuous.

Kassandra follows beside Brienne, silent as the group moves across the ice. Only a couple times does she slip, but she manages to keep herself upright the entire time. Her eyes scan the panoramic display as her boots touch down on the frozen sandbar, and she pauses as something flickers in movement. "No record of it," she answers Kieran, stopping quickly.

Stopping as they spy the other figure, Elodie doesn't answer Morrigan right away. She looks from Morrigan, then to Solon, obviously deferring answer to the Cindravale Heir.

As he sees the figure appearing, Sammel frowns a little, before he pauses as he hears Morrigan's words. "Question is, is it the tres that's the clue here, or where they are heading?" A brief pause, before he adds, "Do we have people that's stealthy enough to have a look around those places, Solon? Maybe letting them check it out could be a wise move?" Spoken rather quietly now.

Solon motions for everyone to lay low and take cover as the sounds in the trees become audible to him. Gesturing to the figure in the armor and cloak, he goes to comms and says, "Comms only from here on out, and take cover. I do not think we have been seen just yet. As far as I know, no other search parties have been organized, so it could be that there is a party out there we do not know about, or it could be those who attacked Niko and Ellie. We have several options here, but I think that a small party could move around them and reach those boulders to see what the situation is. If Niko and Ellie are there, they may need defenders should these people be the ones that attacked them."

Seeing the figure, Brienne stops short, looking back at Kieran and Kassandra. Her own blade is drawn and she holds it in both hands. "Would you like me to go check it out?" Speaking solely into the com, cause that's something she knows how to work. Ready to move forward to see what was happening, but not going to do so on her own foolishly without the leader approving.

Canis trudges through the landscape with the others it's lucky nobodies fallen in yet though the close calls has him on edge so when he spots the movement his hand is drawn to his back where his weapon rests more than to rush to offer them help. He responds over com "Yes sir." he begins to mark friendlies and unknowns on his HUD easier to keep track of and better now than when or if things go south. He also moves at a slower pace trying to stay a bit lower if possible.

<FS3> Jor rolls Alertness: Success.

Helmet in place, Morrigan speaks into his coms unit. "I used to be a skirmisher Lord. I believe I can make it." Settling into a snowbank, Morrigan pulls snow over himself. blnding in with the surroundings.

Anabethe crouches down carefully into something resembling cover, because no one in their right mind expects the Khourni heir to take part in a stealth operation.

<FS3> Brienne rolls Stealth-2: Good Success.
<FS3> Jor rolls Stealth-0: Success.
<FS3> Solon rolls Stealth-2: Success.
<FS3> Anabethe rolls Stealth-2: Success.
<FS3> Kieran rolls Stealth-2: Failure.
<FS3> Canis rolls Stealth-2: Failure.
<FS3> Sammel rolls Stealth-2: Success.
<FS3> Elodie rolls Stealth-1: Good Success.
<FS3> Kassandra rolls Stealth-2: Success.
<FS3> Erik rolls Stealth-2: Good Success.
<FS3> Morrigan rolls Stealth-1: Good Success.

Kassandra takes her silent cue from Anabethe and does the same, hunkering down as best she can in her white and gold armor. She is not stealthy by any means, and would never assume herself to be. "So we'll just sit back and here and pile up snowballs."

Jor, like Kassandra and Anabethe, isn't going to bother trying to be sneaky. Especially considering that a good portion of his career, such as it was, involving being leather-lunged and telling public disturbances to BREAK IT UP NOW, with auditory amplificiation devices. He'll leave the infiltration to better suited people.

The cloaked and armored figure continues to head in the direction of the bounders with strong, confident steps. Within the short span it takes for the search party to quickly converse about their options, the rest of the unknown group emerges from the trees. The Hostiles move in a cohesive group toward the boulders — soldiers and elites all piling in after that robed and cloaked figure. An acrobatic figure doned completely in pale grey plates of armor drops down out of the trees. The Scout with its vibrant blue eyes scans the surroundings. Then its eyes fall on Kieran. Then it lifts its hand, and starts to wave. It starts to smile. And within moments, it vanishes completely from sight. The marching Hostiles stop, and as a cohensive unit, turn around.

Uh oh…

<COMBAT> Kassandra attacks Hostile31 with Bludgeon - ARMOR on Left Hand stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile25 attacks Elodie with Crossbow - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile25's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Solon attacks Hostile31 with Greatsword - Light wound to Right Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jor attacks Hostile23 with Sword but Hostile23 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile40 attacks Kassandra with HFP - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile31 attacks Solon with Great Bludgeon - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Hostile21 attacks Morrigan with Spear - Moderate wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Canis with Bludgeon - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Erik passes.
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile20 with Polearm but Hostile20 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Anabethe attacks Hostile22 with Polearm but Hostile22 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Sammel attacks Hostile30 with Polearm but Hostile30 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Morrigan attacks Hostile24 with Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Kieran attacks Hostile24 with Greatsword - Serious wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile30 attacks Sammel with Polearm but Sammel DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile26 attacks Brienne with Bludgeon - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile24 attacks Kieran with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile23 attacks Jor with Greatsword but Jor DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile22 attacks Anabethe with Polearm - ARMOR on Left Arm stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile12 attacks Erik with Launcher - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile12's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Hostile11 attacks Erik with Launcher - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile11's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Hostile10 attacks Erik with Launcher but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile10's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Elodie attacks Hostile25 with Bow but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile26 with Greatsword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Elodie has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Hostile24 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Elodie spends a luck point to keep fighting!

<FS3> Solon rolls Finesse+Finesse: Good Success.
<FS3> Canis rolls Finesse+Finesse: Good Success.
<FS3> Kassandra rolls Finesse+finesse: Success.
<FS3> Elodie rolls Finesse+finesse: Good Success.
<FS3> Morrigan rolls Finesse+finesse: Great Success.

"If we're using snowballs, might as well pack some rocks in them," Anabethe starts to smirk at Kassandra when the Hostile Scout catches sight of their group. "Dammit," she mutters. "Or we could stick with the sharp stuff." Abandoning even the pretense of stealth, she comes up to one knee and pushes off, pressing a button to extend the shaft of her pole arm in one smooth motion as she charges a Hostile. She pushes away its strike with one forearm, letting her armor take the damage, but the Hostile slips away from her counterstrike in turn. "I swear these fuckers are watching my combat tapes," she mutters under her breath.

Wincing as he gets a Spear through his arm, Morrigan winces, nearly dropping his sword, he switches hands and Pivots on the ice, aiming at his new attacker.

Solon nods to Kassie, "Come cousin, let us show these Hostiles who the masters of the Vale are," before moving in on the Hostile with the rather large weapon. Moving in, he slashes at the Hostile with a quick slash with his greatsword, only spotting too late that the Hostile is swinging at him and not another with his large weapon. Grunting in pain as it connects with his chest, his only solace is in knowing that he scored a glancing hit in return. Granted, he didn't give as good as he got, but at least he did -something-.

On the other hand, this is Jor's first little sortie with the tin cans of Cantos. He must have the advantage of no combat tapes of him existing whatsoever, but on the other hand, it's that lack of experience fighting them that leads to the Hostile with the overly extended weapon and he to… dance. They might as well be, with how they both avoid each other's blows. He'd chosen this one for the sole reason of tying one foe up while everyone tended to matters.

Sammel moves forward as the two forces start to clash, using his normal opening move of trying to spear the Hostile with the head spike now. Frowning a bit as he doesn't mamange to hit it, he's able to get out of the way, it seems.

It's lucky that Sammel is in front of Elodie, since she's taken up a stance behind everyone with her bow. That way he can't see the bolt from the scout she was targetting as it slams into her side underneath her arm, knocking her breath out of her and causing her to collapse and lose her arrow. As it is, he and Morrigan can probably hear the whoosh of air through the audio channel she's kept open to them, and the wheezing as she tries to get her breath back. "I'm fine," she manages to grit out between clenched teeth, and to prove it, she bites hard on the inside of her lip to draw another arrow and fire it off.

Canis looks as stealth seems to quickly become a moot point. He reaches out his weapon brought to hand and extending to length. He swings and the hostile misses but he's not as lucky taking a bash to the chest which stuns him a moment but he is still up holding his balance he strikes again.

With her greatsword in both hands, Brienne swings it at her bludgeon wielding Hostile, feeling the weight of the weapon crash down on her armor, she steps a few paces back, bracing herself as she prepares to swing again.

"Very sharp and pointy rocks," Kassandra answers Anabethe, laughing quietly at the thought. The sound fades away quickly as the trap is sprung and the bait disappears, and the Valen - much like everyone else around her - switches from hunting to fighting mode. She draws her axe with her left hand, and glowing blue of her shield springs to life on her right forearm. The battle engages quickly, her first swing is deflected by armor, and, accompanied by a telltale shrieky chirp, is hit by an eerie tingling that quickly evolves into something more painful. "Prieeeest," she groans into the comm, doubling over at the waist as her abdominals spasm painfully.

With their attempt to hide from the incoming patrol group failing, Erik rises up for battle with the others as he pulls his bastard sword free. He rushes forward towards the Hostiles as the two groups charge but instead of finding one of the abominations to fight, he lowers his shoulders and seems to be pushing through the line. With the Hostiles occupied by the other Havenite warriors, the youngest Valen continues the charge to those firing on his comrades, two of the three slivers that were aimed at him hitting but his armor protects him well. Then he's on them and the Ibrahm Knight goes to work.

Kieran /knew/ he was the reason that they got caught the moment he stepped on that twig. "By the knight…" He mutters under his breath. It's official, forests hate him. "Charge!" He shouts when all hope of surprise is lost, heading straight for the sword wielding hostile. His greatsword raised over his head. When he reaches his intended target he dodges the hostiles swing, bringing his greatsword over his head and /into/ the hostile's skull. Taking a second to survey the battlefield, he heads towards Brie and engages the hostile there.

The Hostiles come after the Havenites as readily as the Havenites attack the Hostiles, the cloaked Priest and one Soldier with a crossbow-like weapon holding back as the rest sweep past and into the Hostiles. The Priest shrugs its shoulders in a strange motion, a mechanical arm casting aside the cloak to rise up over its right shoulder and blast a screeching pulse of high-frequency sound at Kassandra. The crossbow-armed Soldier watches an arrow fly past it, then raises its weapon to trigger off a bolt into its attacker, immediately settling in to reload its weapon.

The Scout that waved at Kieran fades into visibility once more as Erik blasts through the cluster of combatants, two others stepping from beneath the trees and appearing as they lower launcher-bearing arms and fire off the ribbons of bladed steel at the approaching Valen. One immediately draws the wicked, double-bladed axe from its back and steps forward, while the other two shift backward, looking to circle around the melee.

Within the fracas, several Hostiles manage hits on their opponents, while several others take them — one gets a heavy blade to the head and crumples like a marionette with its strings cut. Blood stains the trampled white snow, and the odd creaking, squealing, clattering of Hostile-tongue rises into the chill air.

<COMBAT> Kieran attacks Hostile26 with Greatsword - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Jor attacks Hostile23 with Sword but Hostile23 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile30 attacks Sammel with Polearm - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile20 with Polearm - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Solon attacks Hostile31 with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Sammel attacks Hostile30 with Polearm - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Kassandra attacks Hostile31 with Bludgeon - Light wound to Left Leg (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile40 attacks Kieran with HFP - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile31 attacks Solon with Great Bludgeon and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile26 attacks Brienne with Bludgeon but Brienne DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile25 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Hostile22 attacks Anabethe with Polearm but Anabethe DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Canis with Bludgeon - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile12 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Hostile11 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Hostile11 with Greatsword - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile26 with Greatsword - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Morrigan attacks Hostile21 with Sword - Moderate wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile23 attacks Jor with Greatsword but Jor DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile21 attacks Morrigan with Spear - ARMOR on Right Arm stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile10 attacks Erik with Bludgeon - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Elodie attacks Hostile25 with Bow but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Anabethe attacks Hostile22 with Polearm - Moderate wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).

Feeling the Hostile's spear skitter across the armor on his Right arm this time, Morrigan growls swinging his blade and attempting to remove the thing's head, he smiles to himself as the blade bites home, but presses his attack.

And still Jor and his overcompensating Hostile dancing partner continue the steps. They both swing, they both miss, and they both seem to have this unspoken agreement that they'll /accomplish nothing/ while their respective allies bleed. Maybe it's fate trying to send him a sign, maybe not, but either way, what does he have to lose? "We don't have to do this." Yes, he's /talking/ to his opponent in the middle of all this, busting out cliche quotes that imply wanting surrender.

Shaking off the last give & take, Solon times his next attack with Kassandra. They both seem to score solid hits against the Hostile. The Hostile seems to respond with an attack against Solon, but he is able to duck out of the way. Preparing for the next strike, he asks her, "Ready to put this one down, Kassie?"

Anabethe twists on the ice, and for a Khourni, she seems to be handling the uncertain ground surprisingly well. The Hostile's weapon shoots over her shoulder, and in return she slices through the armor at its throat, using the brief pause as a chance to take in the battlefield. "Kieran, Brienne. Kassie, Solon. You're doubled up and we've got a priest shooting free. Let's get someone open to take him out."

Kieran slices to the side, hoping to net his next kill. Be it superior armor from the hostiles, or nerves from being in battle, Kieran's attack connects, but there's not enough force behind it to really do any damage. He grunts in frustration, when he notices that Brie's attack doesn't seem to penetrate the armor either. "I'm on it!" Kieran says to Anabethe. disengaging the hostile and making a break for the hostile prist.

Canis has more success this time and strikes his foe. He moves to defend and this time his armor stops the blow. It seems it's going to be a contest afterall. He steps back in taking another jab at his foe hopign he can down this one and help the others with better odds.

There was a brief pause as he heard the wooshing and wheezing through that com channel, but as he hears Elodie's words about being fine, Sammel moves for the Hostile again. Getting a hit glancing off the armor on his chest, his own attack bounces off in a similar way. So he moves in once more now, trying to take care of this enemy.

Despite getting into the line of Scouts, Erik is only able to fight them one at a time and as he takes aim with his blade at one of the Hostiles that was reloading his weapon, he gets hit from behind. This throws his aim off, only able to apply a glancing blow and the Valen quickly turns around to face the offender. With a grim look under his helmet, he goes for a quick decapitation cut.

Watching the Hostile, attempting to guess the direction he is going to swing from, Brienne manages to duck just in time to avoid the bludgeon to her head. She lifts her blade and slashes, towards the hostile in an attempt to cut it down. Taking a moment to check those around her, ensuring herself they are not badly harmed.

Kassandra straightens, grunting as her sore muscles stretch, and re-engages her Hostile partner. She swaps places with Solon, working alongside him to search for their target's weak spots. "I'm here to chew gum and kick ass, Solon, and I'm all outta gum." Her axe connects, albeit lightly, with her target to punctuate her super cool line.

Well, maybe not so fine. It's hard to draw a bow when your ribs might be cracked. Elodie lowers her bow, knowing even as she fires that it's going to miss, and looks around to take a quick role call of the heads that are still standing. Seeing none down, she takes a breath and draws her bow again.

The fury of the Havenites drives the Hostiles back a step after the initial impact, but they rally quickly around the twin bulwarks of the Elites at the front lines. The one facing Solon and Kassandra whirls a heavy, two-handed mourning star over its head and roars wordlessly at the Valen cousins, refusing to be driven back for all that they manage to strike home on its armor and drive bright red blood from beneath the metal sheathing. The other Elite is more wary, continuing to polearm-fence with Sammel, looking to get in a solid blow rather than something glancing.

The Scout with the axe manages to strike Erik, although the blow glances off his breastplate, trying to maneuver between the Valen and the other two Scouts. The Priest leaves Kassandra to the Elite, shifting the pulse generator at the end of its mechanical arm over toward Kieran as the Valta carves his way through the Hostile forces.

The Hostile that Jor is attempting to jaw with tilts its head slightly to one side, "You may always set your weapon down and kneel. Your death will be swift."

<COMBAT> Hostile26 attacks Brienne with Bludgeon - Serious wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Hostile40 attacks Kieran with HFP - ARMOR on Right Arm stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile10 attacks Erik with Bludgeon but Erik DODGES!
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Hostile10 with Greatsword but Hostile10 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile26 with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Solon attacks Hostile31 with Greatsword but Hostile31 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Sammel attacks Hostile30 with Polearm but Hostile30 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Morrigan attacks Hostile21 with Sword but Hostile21 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile31 attacks Solon with Great Bludgeon - Moderate wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Hostile30 attacks Sammel with Polearm - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile22 attacks Anabethe with Polearm - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile12 attacks Erik with Launcher - Serious wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> Hostile12's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile20 with Polearm - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Kieran passes.
<COMBAT> Kassandra attacks Hostile31 with Bludgeon but Hostile31 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Jor attacks Hostile23 with Sword but Hostile23 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile25 attacks Kassandra with Crossbow - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile25's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Hostile23 attacks Jor with Greatsword - Serious wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> Hostile21 attacks Morrigan with Spear - Critical wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Canis with Bludgeon - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile11 attacks Erik with Launcher but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile11's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Elodie takes careful aim at Hostile25.
<COMBAT> Anabethe attacks Hostile22 with Polearm - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Hostile22 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Jor has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Morrigan has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Solon has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Morrigan spends a luck point to keep fighting!
<COMBAT> Jor spends a luck point to keep fighting!
<COMBAT> Solon spends a luck point to keep fighting!

<FS3> Kassandra rolls Finesse+Finesse: Good Success.
<FS3> Erik rolls Finesse+Finesse: Failure.
<FS3> Solon rolls Finesse+Finesse: Good Success.
<FS3> Brienne rolls Finesse+Finesse: Good Success.
<FS3> Jor rolls Finesse+Finesse: Good Success.
<FS3> Morrigan rolls Finesse+finesse: Great Success.

That's going to leave a mark, having that weapon slam down onto his hand that hard. A loud sound of… something… erupts from where the dance finally ends and Jor takes a vicious slice to the left side. He staggers, but thankfully does not slip on the ice. "Funny," he growls back at his opponent. "I wouldn't have killed you if /you/ had done so."

and once more Morrigan gets Skewered by a Hostile. Body going Slack for a moment, Sammel and Elodie hear a soft groan followed by a moment of static before Morrigan's head comes up once more and the sword is swinging once more.

Anabethe and her partner take another spin on the ice, pole arms scraping across each others armor. "Thanks, Kieran," Anabethe says over the comm, ignoring the brief line of fire across her chest. Her attention is back on the Hostile across her the stave of her weapon then, prepared and wary.

When Kassandra brings her axe around, it is a split second too late. A bolt lodges in her chestplate, the force of which sends her sliding backward on the ice. That combined with a well-timed twist backward from her target Hostile, she failes to strike. Instead, one armored hand reaches up to grasp the bolt shaft as she steadies herself on the ice. This time she brings up her shield in front, choosing a more defensive posture.

And then that enemy polearm pierces through his armor, thankfully nothing more than a lighter hit, though. "Nice one," Sammel mutters as he brings up his poleaxe again, nodding to the Hostile. "So, who are you, anyway?" he asks. Not having any idea if it can understand him, but maybe it can confuse it a little as he tries smacking the axe head of his weapon into it.

Solon's next attack on the Hostile isn't timed quite right and he pays for it by both missing it, and then taking another solid hit, this time on his hand. For some reason, the pain of that plus the previous chest wound causes him to black out for a moment. Waking up on the ground, he quickly gets up and adopts a defensive stance as he prepares for whatever may be coming next.

The second blast from the Hostile Priest lands on Kieran's armor, which seems to be holding up so far. He takes a more defensive stance as he charges the Priest. "Your blood will wet my blade, Priest!" He shouts when he gets close enough, his blade again over his head, ready to strike.

Canis tries to strike, but misses again it doesnt seem to be his day, and is struck again though not as badly as the first a wince and cry of pain as he's hit but he's still standing and so not out yet. He still is able to make another attack to the other.

Pushing pain to the back of her mind, and everything else around her, Elodie steadies her breath and lets the arrow fly before she looks around to take stock of her companions. She sees Morrigan lift his head and gives a shake to her head. "Wolf, I /just/ patched that up. I swear, you're as bad as Sammel."

As the Hostiles are distracted by the search and rescue party, there is new movement around the boulders. First comes a woman leading a horse from between the cracks, and she pauses long enough to swing herself into the saddle. She looks behind her as if to make sure of something before she lightly heels the horse forward. Ellinor looks worse for wear with her armor heavily scratched, and dented in places. Her helmet is completely missing, a saddle blanket turned into a makeshift cowl around her head to stave off the cold. Her armor can at least still support her hardlight shield, which she has up and ready with her sword out. Despite his injuries, Merrymaker charges toward the crossbow-wielding Hostile.

It should have occurred to Erik that fighting outnumbered is not a good idea, something he has done in the past before but he is either too stubborn to care or just doesn't know how to learn that lesson. The decapitation swing on the Hostile goes awry when one of the Hostiles takes aim and nails the Valen with a ribbon of steel. The downside of the Aggressive Armor is that it does not have armored gauntlets, so that leaves Erik with gloves and it does not protect as the ribbon digs in deep. This also throws his aim off, including his balance on the ice as looses footing and falls.

The Hostile that Brienne is engaging in combat manages to get a swing in that hits her right hand so hard she almost drops her sword. With only willpower, she lifts it and swings it at the Hostile, making contact, nicking away at the outer armor. She doesn't allow herself time to pause and assess her wound, forcing herself to keep fighting.

The Elite facing Sammel, still unhurt, responds in a flat, low female tone, "The one who will be your death, Inner Worlder." She continues sparring with the point of the halberd, fencing and feinting to try to get a clear shot in on the Havenite. The other Elite's roar turns into a booming laugh as he momentarily knocks one of its foes aside, and the enormous spiked ball at the end of its weapon goes whirling about once more, sword and axe blows alike glancing off its armor without even vaguely catching hold as it bobs and weaves.

When Jor bleeds but does not fall, and then responds, his opponent advances, shaking its head, "Then you are more of a fool than most." Anabethe's foe finds a soft spot in the ice, one leg collapsing down into frigid water and trapping it in place long enough for the Heir to strike home and put it out of action. Brienne's foe trades blows, staggering back under the impact but bearing up and returning to the fight. Morrigan's attacker strikes home and then advances, trying to follow up on its good fortune or superior skill, raising its spear once more. Canis' opponent is comes out of their latest exchange slightly the better, but only slightly, circling warily.

The Priest does not respond immediately to Kieran, settling back to await the Valta's charge and lining up another blast of its pulse generator. The axe-wielding Scout may have missed Erik, but one of its fellows gets a clear shot in, and when the Valen slips, the Scout steps forward, raising up its weapon — only to be distracted from finishing off the Havenite by the sudden advance of Nikomachos in his fiery armor from behind Ellinor. Niko's battlecry is nonexistent, and blood stains his battered and mangled armor in numerous places, but as he advances behind his own hard-light shield, he slams the hilt of his sword into an undamaged part of his chest armor, the impact setting off the holoprojector on his left shoulder, a single flaming wing rising over the Valen. The other projector seems to be broken, malfunctioning, or both.

<COMBAT> Nikomachos attacks Hostile10 with Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Morrigan attacks Hostile21 with Sword but Hostile21 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Kassandra attacks Hostile31 with Bludgeon but Hostile31 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Sammel attacks Hostile30 with Polearm but Hostile30 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile40 attacks Kieran with HFP - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile26 attacks Brienne with Bludgeon and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile23 attacks Jor with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Hostile12 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Hostile10 attacks Erik with Bludgeon - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Hostile25 with Sword - ARMOR on Left Hand stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile20 with Polearm but Hostile20 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Anabethe attacks Hostile21 with Polearm - Serious wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Solon attacks Hostile31 with Greatsword but Hostile31 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Kieran attacks Hostile40 with Greatsword - Critical wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Jor attacks Hostile23 with Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile31 attacks Kassandra with Great Bludgeon and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile30 attacks Sammel with Polearm - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile25 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Hostile21 attacks Morrigan with Spear - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Canis with Bludgeon - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile11 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Erik passes.
<COMBAT> Elodie attacks Hostile25 with Bow - Light wound to Head.
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile26 with Greatsword - Serious wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> Hostile21 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Jor has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Sammel has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Sammel spends a luck point to keep fighting!
<COMBAT> Jor spends a luck point to keep fighting!

<FS3> Jor rolls Finesse+finesse: Success.
<FS3> Sammel rolls Finesse+Finesse: Failure.
<FS3> Morrigan rolls Finesse+finesse: Good Success.

And once more Morrigan's swing goes wild. Apparently aiming for the wrong hostile of the pair he's seeing. the Spear bites into his chestand Morrigan just grabs it. Hopefully giving Anabethe a chance to get the killing blow.,,He nods to the knight and takes a step back from the fighting, the now released spear dragging on the ground.

With her first foe down, Anabethe scans the field for allies in need of assistance. Finding Morrigan half down, she strides toward the Hostile attacking him, a grim smile behind her visor as she thrusts her weapon right into its back, twisting as she pulls it back down to let the Hostile fall. "Take cover if you need it," she nods to Morrigan, then turns her eye to the next target.

Erik was scrambling to bring up his blade to block the downward swing by the Hostile, only to see the distraction which probably saved his life as the blow goes from a finishing one to one that glances off the gorget. Glancing briefly to the side, the youngest Valen is surprised to see who has shown up, "Niko!" He exclaims in his helm, an open channel apparently, and after getting to a knee, he redoubles his effort, especially when the Hostile turns on his brother. This time he tries to skewer the Scout with his bastard sword, a strong thrust.

Solon's next attack at his target misses, but this isn't unexpected. Taking up the more defensive posture after receiving that last blow is leading him to be a bit more cautious for the moment. Out of the corner of his eye, he spots Kassie miss with her attack as well, but thankfully the Hostile has missed her. Shifting into a more aggressive stance, Solon hopes that he and Kassie can put this one on the ground now, so they both can aide others.

The young knight does better this time and worse as he doesn strike his foe hard enough to bring him down. Canis's still fighting though and so another chance to bring him down. He takes another jab at him hoping he can stick him this time.

"Yeah. A /fucking/ fool." If he didn't have his head protected, Jor would no doubt be spitting, but whether saliva or blood will have to be a matter for wagers. "But not a murderer." He leaves it at that, those grated words, given behind more labored breath - he /hurts/, damnit - at this point playing for time. With his injuries and his opponent unharmed, not to mention barely keeping his footing on the ice this time, there's no option but to settle for mitigating the damage further.

The fighting conditions leave a lot to be desired but so far, Brienne manages to remain standing and even get a good, solid hit on her Hostile this time. As the bludgeon is swung at her, she ducks just in time, but has no intention of letting up. Her Hostile was good and wounded now, much like Brie herself, so the Arboren gets a more fierce look as she swings towards her foe.

Dropping her bow for the moment, Elodie unslings her medical pack from her back. She's about to pick up her bow and advance when she sees the Hostile connect with Sammel

Kassandra and her target attempt to exchange blows, but the Hostile slides a little on the ice. His swing goes wide while his well-timed wobble puts him out of the Valen's reach. With an annoyed grunt, Kassie lines up for another attack.

And there's that hit to the chest again, sending Sammel stumbling backwards. Which, combined with the icy surface, sends him down on his back rather hard. Blinking a few times to try clearing his head while doing whatever he can to try sliding out of the range of his attacker, he finally looks around blinking as he sees Niko. Unable to hold back a chuckle, as he lets out a breath, before he starts the process of getting to his feet again now. Although he's slow to do so.

A third blast from the Pulse Generator connects with Kieran's armor, but the Valta Young Lord seems unshaken as he closes the distance between him and the Priest. He slices down with his greatsword, aiming at the Priest's neck. He shouts, "Who wants a piece of the champ?" He calls out, challenging the other scouts to focus on him instead of the other wounded companions.

Ellinor can feel the pain through her body — aches and wounds unseen under the plates of her draconic armor. She swipes her sword at the Hostile bearing the crossbow, but it cuts through nothing but air. She sags a bit in her saddle, pulling Merrymaker around as she lines up another strikes against the Hostile.

Dropping her bow for the moment, Elodie unslings her medical pack from her back. She's about to pick up her bow and advance when she sees the Hostile connect with Sammel's chest. She forgets the bow and starts forward, her wide eyes hidden by the reflective visor of her helmet. The chuckle brings a sigh of relief from her, but she still goes forward to help push him to his feet before she slips away to find Morrigan. "Hang on, Wolf, and watch my back." She kneels to get a better a look at his wound, 'glueing' the wound closed. Reaching down, she picks up a chunk of ice broken by the feet stomping around and fastens it over the wound to slow the blow flow in general around his stomach.

Nikomachos does not respond verbally to his brothers calling his name, for once fighting in pained, slightly-awkward silence. His sword-thrust is parried neatly by the axe-wielding Scout, and he turns slowly to put himself alongside his youngest brother, his back to the rest of the melee as they face off against the Scouts. He stays carefully behind his shield, apparently more interested in staying alive at the moment than putting the enemy down.

"Killing an enemy in combat is not murder, Inner Worlder. Is it here? Do your… knights… stand trial for doing their jobs?" Jor's foe seems content to continue hitting the lightly-armored Havenite and talking the whole while. The others in the melee continue trading blows with the Havenites, although the Hostile numbers continue to fall, now outnumbered by the Havenites, although definitely still fighting fit.

A two-handed spiked flail may be the perfect weapon for facing two opponents, but it is not the perfect weapon to use on an icy surface, as the Elite facing Solon and Kassandra shows by whiffing his attack and skittering on the ice a moment before he retains his balance. Sammel's opponent drives him back, her movements careful and controlled with the heavy polearm on ice. She raises up the axe-head, intent on finishing the Valen off while he's down, but has to turn and retreat before Anabethe's assault, unable to deliver the coup-de-grace.

The Priest takes a heavy blow from the Valta, but although it is driven back, it does not fall, instead turning slowly to line up a neat enfilade shot by one of the Scouts as it states in a flat, mechanical voice, "I have heard that premature celebration is a problem with Havenites. It appears to be true."

<COMBAT> Sammel passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile25 attacks Ellinor with Crossbow - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile25's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Hostile10 with Greatsword - Light wound to Right Leg (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Hostile25 with Sword but Hostile25 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Solon attacks Hostile31 with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jor attacks Hostile23 with Sword - ARMOR on Right Leg stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile31 attacks Kassandra with Great Bludgeon - Serious wound to Left Leg (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile30 attacks Anabethe with Polearm but Anabethe DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile23 attacks Jor with Greatsword but Jor DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Canis with Bludgeon - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile12 attacks Kieran with Launcher - ARMOR on Right Arm stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile12's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Hostile10 attacks Nikomachos with Bludgeon - Light wound to Left Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Nikomachos attacks Hostile10 with Sword but Hostile10 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Morrigan passes.
<COMBAT> Kieran attacks Hostile40 with Greatsword - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Kassandra attacks Hostile31 with Bludgeon - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Hostile40 attacks Kieran with HFP - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile26 attacks Brienne with Bludgeon but Brienne DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile11 attacks Erik with Bludgeon - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Elodie treats Morrigan:
< Abdomen (Critical): successful
< Chest (Moderate): successful
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile20 with Polearm but Hostile20 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile26 with Greatsword but Hostile26 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Anabethe attacks Hostile30 with Polearm - Light wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Canis has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Nikomachos has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Nikomachos spends a luck point to keep fighting!
<COMBAT> Canis spends a luck point to keep fighting!

<FS3> Kassandra rolls Finesse+Finesse: Success.

The ribbon of steel that is embedded in Erik's hand is visibly affecting his ability to fight right now, his left hand more or less useless but he keeps the two-handed form. This time his blade, instead of impaling the scout, cuts into the invader's leg but only slightly. With a growl of frustration, the youngest Valen presses the attack, striking relentlessly now.

Nodding to Elodie, Morrigan sits up, letting out a quick, almost feminine "YIII" as she presses the ice to his wounded stomach. Standing quickly, he steps back into the fray

Anabethe doesn't seem to have the time or inclination to carry on conversations with the Hostiles. Not right now. She gives her pole arm a spin, Hostile blood spattering the snow over her shoulder, then steps into combat with her newest opponent. The butt end of her weapon serves to bat away its strike, before the sharp head slices along the Hostile's arm, leaving a line of damage behind it.

Jor's own ability to fight is clearly being impaired, given that he's taken two blows, to one hand, and the opposing arm, and so far managed nothing more than … it's not even a flesh wound. He doesn't engage in discourse anymore; his attention is all on not being cut in two.

"As it appears that we have found both Nikomachos and Ellinor," Solon begins over comms, "it would be prudent of us to begin a fighting withdrawl. The Hostiles seem to have us at an advantage right now, and our objective is complete. Those who are the most wounded should go ahead and detach themselves now and the rest of us can buy some time for Niko and Ellie to withdraw." This being said, Solon makes his attack upon the hostile in front of him in time with Kassie, scoring another solid hit on the damned thing.

Much like Bethe, Brienne doesn't engage in any conversations with the enemy. Never had she cared what they had to say, preferring to allow her blade to do her talking for her. Hearing the comm chatter, she doesn't input to it, but she does hear the others talking. She's in her zone now, concentrating on dispatching the enemy and evading the return fire of the bludgeon.

"Is this really the best you can do?" Keiran asks the Priest taking yet /another/ blast from his weapon, as well as a bolt from one of the scouts. Both fail to penetrate his armor. He attacks the priest again, aimign for the neck. The attack connects, but stops at the armor.

Fighting himself and the ice to get back to his feet, Sammel sees how Anabethe managed to get the Hostile that was about to send him to wherever dead people go, and moves a bit slower in that direction, bringing in the poleaxe spike-first in the direction of the Hostile's abdomen. "Thanks…" he offers to the Khournas, voice sounding a little pained as he does.

The young knight seems to be outmatched or it's just the cold and his wounds slowing him. Canis misses his attack and pays for it with another jab to the chest. He chokes out as it's hard to breath a second but with a growl he finds his feet to keep on fighting "Agreed, My Lord will buy time." he jabs at the hostile once more.

Now that Morrigan has been treated, and most others are too close into combat to treat, Elodie backs up, retracing her steps to look for her bow.

There is too much going on. Ellinor whips around her head as she hears the squeal of the HFP, and the distraction causes her to miss her target entirely. She cannot seem to gain mental hold on anything going on and pulls Merrymaker around to align for another strike. She knows how to swing her sword and that's all she does.

Nikomachos is slow in getting his shield back in toward his body as the Hostile axe comes whipping around, and takes another wound to an already-bloodied left hand, hissing in pain. His steps falter, and he drops to one knee a moment, visibly steeling himself. The Valen forces himself up again, swinging out with his sword and trying to fend off the Scout. He makes no response to the comm message, fighting in most-unusual silence.

The big Elite with the spiked flail smashes home a hit on Kassandra, and begins to laugh again — only for that laughter to cut off with a pained growl as he takes two blows to the chest, staggering even his prodigious frame. The polearm-bearing Elite seems quite content to spar with Anabethe in silence, looking down at the trickle of blood coming from her arm and cocking her head to one side. She nods once, admitting a point, and then steps forward to resume the attack on the Khourni heir.

The melee is dying down somewhat now as Hostiles fall and Havenites are bloodied, with just the Hostile in a grudge match with Brienne, and the Hostiles hacking at Canis and Jor.

The Priest shakes its head again, knocked aside and spinning away from Kieran to put the Havenite between it and the oncoming Scout. "Ready again already? At least you have endurance." The other Scouts continue to spar with Erik and Nikomachos, while the crossbow-Hostile glances a bolt off Ellinor and then draws a sword to defend itself against the mounted knight.

For a moment Kassie doesn't hear the call given by Solon, as her ears are filled with the roaring of rushing blood. The blow to her leg causes her to stagger backward, but the rush of luck that has kept her on her feet thus far continues to hold. She scurries forward, limping heavily, and somehow manages to crack through the armor on the Hostile's chest. "Give me one more go, Solon, and then I'll grab Elli and Niky if nobody else has."

<COMBAT> Solon attacks Hostile31 with Greatsword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Nikomachos passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile25 attacks Ellinor with Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile10 attacks Nikomachos with Bludgeon - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Hostile10 with Greatsword - Serious wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile20 with Polearm and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Morrigan passes.
<COMBAT> Kieran attacks Hostile40 with Greatsword - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile40 attacks Kieran with HFP but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile23 attacks Jor with Greatsword - Critical wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Canis with Bludgeon but Canis DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile11 attacks Erik with Bludgeon - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Elodie passes.
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile26 with Greatsword - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Sammel attacks Hostile30 with Polearm - Light wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Kassandra attacks Hostile31 with Bludgeon but Hostile31 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Jor attacks Hostile23 with Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile31 attacks Kassandra with Great Bludgeon but Kassandra DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile30 attacks Anabethe with Polearm but Anabethe DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile26 attacks Brienne with Bludgeon but Brienne DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile12 attacks Kieran with Bludgeon - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Hostile25 with Sword - ARMOR on Left Hand stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Anabethe attacks Hostile30 with Polearm - Serious wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> Hostile10 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Hostile26 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Hostile30 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Jor has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Nikomachos has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Nikomachos spends a luck point to keep fighting!

<FS3> Nikomachos rolls Finesse+finesse: Good Success.
<FS3> Erik rolls Finesse+Finesse: Success.

"Got your back," Anabethe says to Sammel. As Solon gives the order for a fighting retreat, she takes note of the state of the field. "Kieran, less talk, more work. Anyone withdrawing, find someone to hand off your attacker to. Tag out. Anyone ranged, I want cover fire. Everyone, sound off. Name, whether you're holding or retreating. Don't be a hero if you're hurt. Anabethe, holding." Not just holding, though. Despite the fact that she's giving orders, she sidesteps the Hostile's attack, and this time her pole arm takes her opponent square in the chest from the front, ripping free of armor, flesh, and bone alike. "Let's move it, people."
Solon pages Nikomachos and Ellinor: How far are Niko and Ellie from the rest of the Havenites?

Pushing himself hard, Morrigan moves towards the Scout that has doubled up on Kieran. the front of his armor Painted Red with blood that has leaked from the holes in it and frozen to the outer shell. He Lets out a Yell at the last second as he swings his falcata styled blade at the scout

This time, Erik was able to channel his rage on the Hostile that was attacking his brother, removing the offending hand which causes the invader to fall from shock. But not before Niko took another blow, "Brother! Can you stand, see to your wife and retreat behind our lines." It seems like the youngest Valen is actually choosing to give the orders to the eldest this time, his tone in full seriousness. Then Erik is on the move, instead of clashing with the Scout that has been pounding on him, he makes a feint before going to engage the Hostile that is going after Ellinor, charging forth on foot.

Canis is harassing the hostile infront of him while allowing the more injured than himself to get to safety. The round goes better this time and at least he's holding this hostile still which is his job at the moment "Canis, holding get the others to safety." the knight calls over the com before he continues the dance.

"I would really like to go home now!" Ellinor snarls as she draws Merrymaker around in the destrier dance as she continues to swing her sword quite ineptly against the Hostile. The cowl has fallen away from her mouth, revealing frostbitten lips and her bloodied nose. She turns toward Erik as he comes charging into view.

Despite the conditions and her wound, Brie finally manages to get a really solid hit in against the Hostile. She avoids getting hit again and takes just a second to take stock of the situation. Seeing one near her attacking Canis, she moves towards it, blade already lifted, pushing on, favoring one hand due to her injury. She tries to provide cover for the more injured to be able to retreat.

Finding her bow, Elodie stands up again as she hears Anabethe. Toggling her public com she replies, "Lady Elodie, ranged on the Hostile attacking Sir Niko." She takes a breath as she fits an arrow in string and then raises it to aim.

Kieran chases the Priest, ignoring the hostile scout who has come to help for now. Another blast and sword strike lands on him, his armor still holding up. His own attack on the Hostile Priest lands on the armor, but yet /again/ it does no damage. "Surrender and we will spare your life." He says, raising his sword for another attack.

Either the Hostile he's combatting is in considerably better physical condition, or Jor is just out of it completely (and/or old). Whatever the reason, his movement backwards is just a hair too slow, and the scream of pain makes it clear just what happened. He staggers, his largely uninjured left arm coming up to his torso, but the proverbial ghost has been given up, and down he goes.

Solon raises his visor and shouts, "Ellinor, are you able to get Nikomachos out of there? Tie him up and drag him off the field if he refuses to go, if he takes any more hits like that he will not be any good to anyone." Slamming his visor back down, Solon makes his attack upon the Hostile, scoring only a light wound against the thing. "Kassie, if you are wounded, you should disengage, I will cover you."

Finding her bow, Elodie stands up again as she hears Anabethe. Toggling her public com she replies, "Lady Elodie, ranged on the Host- scratch that. Man down, I'm going to try and get him out." Tucking her bow under her arm, she slides across the ice and goes down on a knee next to Jor. "Come on… on your feet. No time for laying around."

Wow, his own attack managed to hit the Hostile's finger? Sammel pauses again as he hears the words being said. Looking around, he spots Niko and Erik, and see Erik moving for one of the other Hostiles. "I'll see if I can get Niko back to safety…" he says, starting to move over in the direction of his older brother as fast as he can. He's taken a wound or two himself, but that's his brother, and he's not letting the hostiles take him, not when he's gotten this far. "Unless Ellinor can get him out, that is…" he adds, still moving forward.

Perhaps it's rage and bloodthirstiness, or perhaps Kassie just doesn't want to retreat just yet. But she's also losing her steam, and the pain in her leg is starting to invade that heavy fog of battle. She bites back argument when Solon tells her to disengage, because in truth he is right - she's to the point of being of no real use. "I'm out, Solon. I'm going drag them out kicking and screaming if I have to." And so Kassie slips back, letting Solon cover her retreat while she looks around for her brother and his wife. "Elli! Niky! We're leaving."

Nikomachos gets another hit — this time to the chest — and staggers back as his one wing flares to holographic life again. At Erik's words, he steps forward again, nodding his head slowly. He doesn't respond verbally, but he waves his blade at Ellinor to try to get her attention, then points backwards and starts to retreat himself, staying behind his shield as best as he can as he does.

The Hostiles don't seem too interested in chasing after the Havenites at this point, although they aren't retreating themselves. One Elite falls to Anabethe's polearm, but the other holds point, bellowing out in that mechanical language to the others. The Priest shakes its head at Kieran, "Run, little Abandoner. Run and know you would be dead if you didn't."

<COMBAT> Kieran attacks Hostile40 with Greatsword - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile25 attacks Erik with Sword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Solon attacks Hostile31 with Greatsword - Light wound to Abdomen.
<COMBAT> Hostile31 attacks Solon with Great Bludgeon - Moderate wound to Right Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Sammel passes.
<COMBAT> Nikomachos passes.
<COMBAT> Morrigan attacks Hostile12 with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Kassandra passes.
<COMBAT> Jor passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile40 attacks Kieran with HFP - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Canis with Bludgeon - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Hostile25 with Greatsword - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Elodie attempts to rally Jor and FAILS
<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Hostile25 with Sword - Moderate wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile20 with Polearm - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile20 with Greatsword but Hostile20 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile23 attacks Anabethe with Greatsword but Anabethe DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile12 attacks Kieran with Bludgeon but Kieran DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile11 attacks Erik with Bludgeon - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Anabethe attacks Hostile23 with Polearm but Hostile23 DODGES!

<COMBAT> Erik has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Hostile25 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Erik spends a luck point to keep fighting!

"Thank the Gods," Ellinor replies as she attempts one last desperate slash of her sword against the Hostile. She hits, and the success almost makes her laugh in delirium. Then she before she pulls Merrymaker around toward where she hears Kassie's voice. She quickly looks around for her husband even as she draws the destrier forward. "Husband, we're leaving now!"

Denting the Scouts Armor. Morrigan doesn't stop moving as he calls to Kieran. "I believe we are leaving Sir!" Backing off once more, trying to guard himself as he begins his retreat back to Sammel/Elodie.

It seems like the youngest Valen is in a rage of fury, bent on slaughtering the Hostiles who had, to his assumption, almost killed his brother and sister-in-law. The vicious clash earns him yet another blow to the chest, his chest plate dented, the body behind it no doubt bruised and bleeding. The counter-blow by Erik was even worse though as his blade slices through the Scout's armor and downs the invader. The wound causes the Ibrahm Knight to fall to a knee, but he rises and attacks once more, mind lost to the thought of retreating.

"I didn't hear anyone sounding off!" Anabethe barks into the comm, sidestepping her Hostile's blade and jabbing just past its head. "Erik, get your ass out of the field before I tell Ana you can't take orders. Kieran, watch your back and start getting out of there before your luck runs out. I've got one, Canis and Brienne have one, Solon's got the last. If you are not currently engaged, GET OFF THE FIELD."

There's no movement from the man laying on the ground, and Elodie yanks out her kit to check for a pulse. "Got a man down, Sir Anabethe," she calls in the comms. "Can't leave him behind. Need a hand carrying him."

Brie only goes one round with the one on Canis before she realizes two were on Kieran and no one was on the second one. She switches position to try and assist him, listening to the comm, but not inputting anything into the orders. She's just here to fight and get Ellinor and Niko to safety.

Canis cant take his eyes from his target but his HUD sounds friendly approach the marker of who it is gets a smile from within his helm, and they both attack the hostile seems to be absorbing there weapons today but at least nobody else is hurt. "Canis still Holding, can hold him if you need to assist with the wounded." he calls out though he's in motion attacking again.

The relief as he sees his older brother and his sister-in-law starting to get out of there only lasts until Sammel spots Erik still fighting. "Erik! Come on, let's go! Don't let me and Kassie have one brother recovered, only to lose another! Don't you have a future child that needs to have his or her father around?" It's shouted into the comms, before he hears Elodie's words. "I'm coming, Elodie…" And he turns over in his wife's direction now, moving as fast as he still can.

Solon positions himself so that the Hostile has to attack him rather than Kassie, and although his attack hits, he takes a solid crack against his sword arm, nearly dropping his his weapon as he reels back a step or two to buy a small amount of time. Over coms he asks, "Are those who are worst off out of the fighting yet?"

Kassandra slips on the ice, stumbling and catching herself with her right hand and her knees. The strike sends a jolt of pain down her leg, and she grits her teeth against it, channeling it into a scream across her comm. "KASSIE OUT!" There, maybe that'll come through. Heaving herself to her feet, she cuts sideways across the ice and approaches Nikomachos, converging on him from the direction opposite of Ellinor. "We're going as fast as we can, Solon."

Kieran tries a different approach, stepping to the side and taking a swing at the Priest's stomach. It penetrates, but somehow the priest is still standing. "I can beat them…" Kieran says in the comm to Anabethe. The heat and rage of battle clouding his judgment for the moment.

Nikomachos sheathes his sword painfully as he retreats, giving Ellinor a wave as she calls out. And then he reaches up to unseal his helm from his damaged gorget, prying it free and locking it to the back of his armor. His breath mists in the frigid air, and he calls out, "Someone called in a contact report, right?" His voice is tight, in clear pain, for all that his head appears to be the only part of him that isn't wounded. "Because we should — " And then Erik falls to a knee, and he changes what he was going to say, shouting out, "Erik!" His right hand reaches for his sword, but it fails to clasp around it. "No one dies for us, Gods damn it!" Each word, each unusual curse from his lips steams the air. "Retreat together!"

<COMBAT> Nikomachos passes.
<COMBAT> Jor passes.
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Hostile40 with Greatsword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Elodie attempts to rally Jor and SUCCEEDS. Jor is back in the fight!
<COMBAT> Solon attacks Hostile31 with Greatsword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Morrigan passes.
<COMBAT> Kieran attacks Hostile40 with Greatsword - Serious wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Hostile40 attacks Kieran with HFP but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile31 attacks Solon with Great Bludgeon - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile23 attacks Anabethe with Greatsword but Anabethe DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Canis with Bludgeon and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile20 with Polearm - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile12 with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Anabethe attacks Hostile23 with Polearm - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Sammel passes.
<COMBAT> Kassandra passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile12 attacks Kieran with Bludgeon but Kieran DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile11 attacks Erik with Bludgeon - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Ellinor passes.

<COMBAT> Hostile20 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Hostile40 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Solon has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Solon spends a luck point to keep fighting!

<FS3> Solon rolls Finesse+Finesse: Failure.

Retreating back as far as Elodie and Jor, he Reaches down to help Elodie get the man to his feet, Watching their backs, he keeps his sword ready as he begins to retreat with Elodie "We have to GO my lady."

"Not quite," Anabethe answers Solon. "Just a little longer and they should be clear. Kieran! That was an order to retreat! Get out NOW!" This time, she's on the comm and on audio, ducking beneath a Hostile sword and dragging her pole arm across its chest plate. As the Valen heir goes down, she takes a wide step to the side, abandoning her current opponent in favor of facing the Elite. "Back off," she snarls, forgetting to turn off the audio.

Jor is all too happy to get off his arse to get out of here. Given that he's both battered and bitchy, it should come as no surprise he's a little bit bitter about his performance - all those months spent trying to get back into shape might as well have been spent sitting on his arse, with how this day went. So, naturally, he expresses this all in one word: "Fuck," as he tries to keep his intact legs moving. With help, of course.

Giving a relieved sigh, Elodie sits back and lets Morrigan haul Jor to his feet, getting to hers putting an arrow in string. "Yes, Mr. Wolf, we do. We're on our feet and moving Sir Anabethe. Get on out, Sammel, we're going." Even as she speaks, and is backing up, she has her ranged weapon ready to fire to cover someone's back if need be.

Intent on getting the Hostiles out of commission while the others are able to make an escape, Brienne attempts to keep a look out so they don't get surrounded by another wave of them while trying to get rid of the ones they already had. Hearing Bethe over the comms speaking to Kieran, the man she happens to be fighting beside at the moment, she looks over, speaking into her comm for the first time in awhile. "Kieran, you should fall back, I've got you covered."

Canis finnaly lands a blow on his enemy and it's enough to bring him down, which gets a cheer from the young man. He hears there is still people fighting. He'll spot them and rush over to help one group being Brie and Kieran's before he'll go to the others if they still need to buy time.

"Excellent work." Kieran says to Erik as the Priest finally falls. He surveys the battlefield, turning around to finally address the hostile scout that has been tapping at his armor. He looks at Brie briefly. "I'll cover your retreat. I'm not injured."

Solon begins to follow his own advice, preparing to disengage from his enemy, he ends up overextending himself on his thrust, and the result is a rather vicious bash to his chest. He can hear, or it seems like he can hear them the feeling is so intense, several ribs crack. Gasping as he struggles through a wave of agony, he can taste blood in his mouth. Not good. Falling back another step or two, he loses his balance and slips onto the ice, crashing down, but thankfully not going through. Scrambling for purchase, he slides himself back a foot or two as he spots Bethe coming in to cover him. "Thanks." He gasps to her, as he struggles to his feet.

As the Priest falls, Erik glares down at the slain corpse, though he finally pulls out of that rage where his only thought was to slay all of the Hostiles in the area. The opposing numbers certainly have thinned but it appears that the others are pulling back. Glancing towards a knight that he doesn't recognize, the youngest Valen can only incline his head in agreement to Kieran and begins pulling back.

"NO, Niky," Kassie growls, catching his arm as he spins about and is half-ready to draw his weapon. "If I let you go back in, then everyone will go, and it will be like herding fucking cats. Erik, let's go! Solon, now is not the time to go skating. I've got—Kassie, Jor, Elodie, Niky, Sammy, Morrigan, Ellinor, Erik OUT." Nudging Nikomachos, the limping Valen staggers backward, continuing to separate from the fray while counting out the heads of those who follow.

"You were actually ordered to though, Kieran," Brienne says almost smugly, continuing to engage the Hostile while having a conversation with him. "Besides, you're an heir," she smirks beneath her helm. As Canis joins, she briefly glances over. "You okay, Canis?"

As he sees Erik snapping out of the rage, Sammel lets out a deep breath now. "Coming…" he replies to Elodie, moving over to help the others. Not until he's heard Kassie's words to Solon, and seen the man sliding and falling. "Need to practice that stuff, Solon." Because he stayed on his feet at all times himself, right? "Let's all go. If needed, we can send in a larger force to clear these away…" he points out, as he moves back to more safe locations with the others.

Ellinor is turning her horse around as Nikomachos even threatens to go back in. "Niko!" She then glances toward Kassandra, exhaustion reflecting in her pale green eyes. She pushes Merrymaker forward harder as she draws away from where she has been hiding with her husband for the last few days.

Nikomachos continues to fall back with those who have actually retreated as Erik hauls himself up to his feet, starting forward again as Solon falls, only to falter a touch, stepping over to rest a hand on Kassandra's shoulder, "You're right, you're right." Looking to those actually retreating, he puts in, "Someone please call in a contact report."

Even if the Havenites don't quite seem ready to retreat, the Hostiles begin to, the Elite with the ball-and-chain calling out in his mechanical language.

Anabethe holds her position as the Hostiles start to retreat, calling out toward the forward group. "Let's move, people. Kieran, Brienne…" There's a pause as she waits for her AI to identify the other. "Canis. Move it out." She doesn't look back at Solon, still keeping an eye on the Hostiles. "Can you stand, or you need a hand?" she asks the other heir.

Canis looks between the pair taking a few jabs with his polarm to decrease the pressure on them. "We should fall back My Lord." he agrees his head turning to the other knight "Bit hard to breath, broken ribs." he does sound rather out of breath "Are you okay Brie? Wanted to help more." he adds ruefully.

As the Hostiles leave, their priest down, Elodie relaxes the arrow she has in string, but doesn't quite put it away. She doesn't stop moving, though, and keeps up with retreating Havenites.

As the Hostiles also retreat, Brienne sheathes her blade and only then does she look to determine the extent of the damage to her hand. Flipping her visor up, she looks down at her hand. Bad. She'd figured that. Playing it off, she teases, "Nothing that a little hospital visit won't cure." She doesn't even attempt to remove the mangled mass of gauntlet from her hand, but she turns back towards the others, retreating towards the main group. "Is everyone okay?" Concerned, she looks towards Niko and Ellinor, then Kass and Solon, Erik and Sammel, then on down the line. Seeing everyone at least mobile, for the most part, she continues on, tired now.

Kieran glowers at the slain Priest, the adrenaline of battle not warn off. "We can chase them…" He says in the comm, considering chasing after them himself. Brie and Anabethe's voices though the comm bring him back to his senses some. "Cowards!" He shouts at the retreating hostiles. "We'll retreat together. I'll bring up the rear. Canis first.

moving with Elodie and Jor, Offering his shoulder for the good it will do the Knight, Orrin passes his Cloak to the Frostbitten Ellinor when she's close enough. having removed it before the battle the thing is actually clean.

"Phylon, the rescue party has made contact with the targets. I repeat, we have made contact. Hostiles in the area. Some casualties, but no deaths. Requiring rendezvous with emergency medical team. We are in retreat. Kassandra out." Once she switches her comms back to local-only, the knight reaches up to remove her helmet. "Those who are whole or mostly whole, take up the rear. Solon? Where is Solon?" She pushes back sweaty hair, tucking it behind her ear, and her breath mists visibly in the frigid air. She casts Brienne a pained smile, but a smile nonetheless. "I think we'll live. Are you okay?"

Solon manages to get to his feet and glance over at Bethe, shaking his head. "No, but we should be moving on. Thanks for having my back." He glances around to make sure everyone else is withdrawing currently, satisfied that the Hostiles are retreating, he begins to make his way over to the rest of the party, bent slightly, favoring his side.

Canis nods to the heir as he speaks though he'll look to the wounded aboren knight frowning though she cant see it from inside of his helm. He still holds his polearm up walking and still standing but in some amount of pain adrenaline keeps him going at the moment. "At least we found them, makes it worth it."

Merrymaker walks with an obvious limp now that the adrenaline has faded. He strides not far from Nikomachos, and as if in a state of mourning, drops his head heavily over the man's shoulder to rest cheek to cheek with the Knight. Ellinor sways in her saddle, though she has enough sense to try to readjust her saddle blanket cowl up around her face to guard off the chill that already damages her lips and nose. "Bethe…" She says, voice nasally due to what can only be a terrible cold. "I fucking hate this place." She glances over to her friend. "Lets never have a Drake get together out here. Ever."

As Morrigan hands his cloak over, Elodie takes it and hands it up to the woman on her horse. "You need this, Sir Ellinor. At least until we are far enough away for me to do something better."

Anabethe waits long enough for the forward party to rejoin them, then moves slowly and steadily backward to those who've already retreated. "All present and accounted for," she says into the comm once they're all together, smirking slightly at Ellinor. "Right, well, it wasn't on the list, but I'll make sure it stays off."

Nikomachos watches the rest of the group come straggling up to meet the walking wounded, offering up a weary, pained smile, "All this trouble… for little ol' me? Oh, right, for Ellie." His hand tightens on Kassandra's shoulder a moment as he closes down his hard light shield, as close to a hug as either of them is really in any shape to share, and then he reaches up to pat Merrymaker's neck gently, looking up to Ellinor, "No one likes it here, my dear. That's why no one lives here." He doesn't limp so much as vaguely slouch along in the falling snow, his legs apparently unwounded, but everything between his head and his waist seeming to be bleeding. "Thank you all for stopping by. Wish the welcome could have been warmer." His wounded steps take him over toward Erik and Sammel next, now that he's sure his wife is alright and his sister has been thanked.

As Kieran also retreats, there's a warm smile given to him from the Arboren. "At least they were found alive." Brienne says quietly in return to Canis. The Valen were her family, the lot of them. As far as she was concerned anyway. Catching the smile from Kassandra, she offers a nod. "I've lived through worse." Flashing her a grin. One of the healthier ones, with only a hand wound, she remains where directed, but Solon gets her attention and she strides to him, offering her arm as a steady crutch, should he need the assistance. "Let's get you home." Green eyes survey the others again, assuring herself everyone was mobile for now. Lips twitch at the words from Ellinor, but she truly is relieved that they seem to be fine.

"Thanks," Ellinor says to Elodie, and the statement does seem honest and genuine. She takes the cloak, drawing it around her as she buries herself into it and the saddle blanket. There will be lots of warmth and sleep heading this Knight's way. But she does glance slightly aside toward the frozen wastes as if promising she's not going to let the Hostiles run amok in the wetlands. No one lives here… time to light the place on fire.

Nikomachos might be slouching, but if his legs are whole, then he's still put together enough for Kassie. She slips her arm around his waist not so much to prop him up but to keep herself upright and limping along. She favors her left leg by transferring the entirety to her right and doing a sort of hop-shuffle through the snow. "Yeah, brother, it was for Ellinor's sake we all came out here. You're a decent second-place prize, though," she jests, her voice hoarse from strain and mounting fatigue. "I hope we reach the medics, soon. I think that bastard did something to my knee."

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