05.19.3014: The Horses Are Coming, So You Better Run
Summary: Cyrielle finds herself behind a Hostile encampment. She calls on Nitrim, who arrives with backup.
Date: Jan 8 2014
Related: None.
Anabethe Canis Cyrielle Johana Klaudea Nitrim 

Plains, The Vale
Included in log.
May 19 3014

It's been a few days since Cyrielle took her sabbatical into the wilds of The Vale. She's no stranger to survival environments, but times change. This isn't the deep of The Spine where even Hostiles rare go, for lack of Havenite kind. This is The Vale, where caravans roam and the plains make a better place than not.

Her ritual complete, she's begun the trek back to civilization proper. She's run low on certain needs and her leg is sore. Unfortunately, the way out is not so clear cut as it was before. There's an encampment of a small group; likely plotting out new locations to hide from the ramped-up encounters from Valen forces. She's just on the edge of range and unable to run- her leg won't allow it.

So a call has gone out on the Infosphere, sent with sparse satellite signal. Two receive the missive: Canis Ligonier and Nitrim Khournas. Through the night, she waits out of distance and as the morning dawn breaks… she waits. Either help will come or the enemy will move on- she hopes.

'Held down. Can't run. At least four Hostiles. Hope this reaches one of you. Coords attached.'

Receiving the message as it arrives, Nitrim rises from his bedroom chair and growls at the words that he reads. In all the promises to stay in Khourni umbrella lands, the young drake has had no intention of interrupting Cyrielle's sabbatical, nor facing her just yet, but the lots have been drawn. Stalking towards his stand for his armor, he opens up a line to send an urgent message to some of his inner circle. Quickly tapping an explanation to the House of Khournas itself as to where he's going, his words are clear over the line to his friends.

"Hey…it's Nitrim. I'm sending you guys some coordinates. I just got an SOS from Cyrielle Hollolas in the Vale. She's got Cantosans after her and I don't know if anyone else got it. I'm going to be running from the WayGate, if -any- of you are out there, let me know if you're coming. I don't know what kind of clock we're on…"

Rushing into his armor, Nitrim soon rushes past the gates of the Blackspyre in the direction of the WayGates, the relayed rendez-vous point for the rescue squad.

The young knight was sitting in Honor's Keep when he received the message on his tablet he'd kept it with him the whole time. It was with a quick look that he saw it before gearing himself up his armor and horse readied. Canis didn't have time to gather any of his house this time. The word would likely spread in the small place that one of the lords of the house came riding hard for the waygate his armor worn and weapons readied before he disappears.

Apparently part of the inner circle, Ana had received the message from Nitrim. What was important to him was important to her, so she'd got the nurse/nanny to care for her son and had donned her armor. Her first trip out again after her sabbatical, the armor felt extra heavy, the sword at her side almost unfamiliar. She was damned rusty despite her reconditioning since the baby was born. Meeting at the waygate, she's in her reddish black tinted armor, and she looks lethal, prepared to do battle.

Anabethe is not letting Nitrim go anywhere on his own. It's entirely possible that she's paying off the servants to let her know if he starts doing anything unusually strange. So when one of the servants interrupted her spar with Klaudea to let her know that he was on his way to the Waygate and a quick look at her comm gave her a reason why, she powered up her armor and dragged the squire after her. "One of these days," she notes as she approaches, "People are going to stop wandering out into the Vale alone."

Klaudea's been wearing a wrist band to alert her to messages on her tablet, and so she is slightly relieved when the Heir is interrupted, and she can read the message for herself. She quickly taps in a message, and hurries to her bunk to grab armor and be ready to go when Anabethe brings her along. "Or anywhere alone," she adds quietly, her eyes going over the Knight's armor out of habit to make sure she doesn't see anything amiss. "I sent a message to Sir Thalo with the coordinates, if he gets them he'll know where we are."

The ranging gear that Cyrielle wears — a tech-weave that simulates the surrounding landscape — has helped her in the spot she's found. A small hillock that provides shelter from the surrounding elements. She's had no signal out again, but the message appears to have sent. So she waits, tucking away her gear just in case. If she has to fight her way out… it'll be best done with her Awakened abilities. She's an archer by way of hunting, not combat.

With an ear out to the surrounding area, she hears little beyond nature itself. It's not too far from a smaller Waygate- especially for those on horseback. The encampment is a temporary one. Nothing that could incriminate or put the Cantosans at risk if they are ambushed. Just the necessary supplies for a forward group's approach. Likely for the small town nearby. A town, mind, that seems only mildly surprised at those who come through the 'gate, but they won't get in their way. There's been enough sorties as of late that they figure there must be a reason.

Linking up with the others from the Khourni lands, Nitrim dials in the WayGate closest to the coordinates. His domed, expressionless mask turns to them as they approach. Despite the tension of the moment and the flurry of typing with his fingers, he looks tired and worse for wear. "Not quite the call I was expecting, but she's in trouble…" Nitrim breathes, utilizing his AI to set up a communications channel for them. When the WayGate shifts, he turns to mount his horse to ride through it. "I don't know if she got a call off to the Arboren or not, or if she was just calling me. Thank you for coming." A pause. "Bethe, you're the best of us, how do you want to run this?"

Once she's arrived with the others, Ana looks with concern to Nitrim, hesitating before saying anything. "It'll be fine, she'll be fine, we'll make sure of it." Atop her black destrier with the fire red mane, Wildfire, she sits straight and tall in the saddle. Looking to Bethe when she is addressed, she offers her a smile. "Good to see you again, Bethe, it's been too long." A smile to Klaudea. "Hey." She's ready to head out at the command.

Canis has ridden between the two points the distance isn't long with the waygates having sent a return post just in case it goes through about his approach. He is riding hard now, the young man is wearing armor in the colors of his house, and he slows as he spots the group nearing the waygate he plods on he catches perhaps the last few words "Got a message." he will say returning the nod easily in greeting and one to the others though perhaps proper introductions can wait.

"On my own two feet," Anabethe grumbles to Nitrim, settling a bit awkwardly on her mount. The horse is the best-trained animal available, a flashy chestnut that completely understands its job is to keep from losing its rider, but that doesn't mean Bethe likes having to ride it. She takes a breath as she settles in at the Waygate, looking around the group. "Depends on how the Hostiles are laid out. If Cyrielle's uninjured, she can take a flank, ranged. Let her know when we're in range. I'd like you to focus on the same. Klaudea, Canis, Johana, we're going to keep a tight formation. No rushing in ahead, no fancy footwork. We stick together, we take them down quick. Don't give them a chance to double up on any of us. You need to hand yours over, call it out. You're called, you go. We have enough people to double up, let someone know you're hitting the target with them. Don't get in each others' way. Everyone clear?"

"Understood. On it." Nitrim replies quickly, the flame of his serpentine aura flaring to life as he rides.

Cyrielle senses: Nitrim sends a reach out to Cyrielle, trying to find her through the connection they've had before with their minds. Cyrielle? We're coming. Tell us what we need to know. Numbers?

Nitrim senses: Cyrielle responds with a flood of relief initially. Nitrim. Oh thank Six, it got through. Four… no, five. One looks different than the others.

Cyrielle senses: Nitrim emits back to Cyrielle a similar relief, though a razor-line of focus. Are you injured and are they dug in?

The squire is obviously not used to horses, but has been taught the basics, which side to mount hold the reins, feet go in stirrups, etc. Her helmet is on, but her visor retracted while they meet up at the waygate. She gives a nod to Nitrim without the usual smile she usually gives him, though. The other two also receive nods, but she's not exchanging verbal greetings in the seriousness of the situation; no extra words. She's quiet as she listens to the instructions, adjusting the volume on the comm inside her helmet. At the end, she nods once. "Yes, Sir," she replies to the final question. Her hand goes to the cradle at her back that holsters her polearm with it's collapsed handle to make sure it's secure and won't fall out while riding. "Ready."

Nitrim senses: Cyrielle isn't projecting any pain. Weariness, yes. I'm fine. I saw them before they saw me. Hunter. I'm behind their camp. Nothing fancy. Last I looked out, they were alert and… well, that's all I could tell. What's your ETA?

With the call that comes from Nitrim once they're within range, Cyrielle finds herself relieved. The woman puts in an earpiece that acts as her own communications. Armor? She has her own ways. And as she replies, letting her aura settle over her — lightning edging around her much as the vines did previously — as it forms into ephemeral armor. Burnt leaf-like plates shift into place over her body as she tucks her belongings away deeper into the hillock. The woman starts to shift around, trying to catch view of those Hostiles which await… whether they know it or not.

Johana glances towards Nitrim, an almost imperceptible nod offered, but no words are given to him. Her hands hold the rein loosely, though as Anabethe addresses them, she does reply vocally. "Tight formation, Yes Sir." The words are spoken into the comm. Glancing over at Klaudea, she lifts an armored shoulder in an almost casual shrug. "Understood." Adding to the rest of the orders issued.

Nodding to Sir Canis, Nitrim rides at the center of the pack, checking his sword as they go. "I've found her out there, she's alive and unharmed, they haven't seen her yet." Nitrim glances over to Anabethe as he patches his AI to bring Cyrielle into their communications network. "Four and one that looks different from the others. Elite maybe? Priest? I couldn't say. It's going to be a fight." His pointed fingers wrap around the reins of his black, shaggy horse as it rides. "We're about twenty minutes from her position at this rate. She'll be able to flank them when we come in from her position."

The young knight listens to the plan nodding "Yes Sir." he understands the plan well enough he reaches out to pat his horse once more before giving one last look over himself and his gear everything seem in order AI is trained for friendlies and to keep track in case any of them might need help or anything. Canis is ready after his checks and having a plan, he will move his horse over to position with the others so they don't get drifted apart. He will look up to see the nod and return it

"All right," Anabethe nods to Nitrim's report. "Unless anyone here is particularly good with a horse, we're going to dismount and tether these things about five minutes out," she says, grimacing. "I don't want people getting hurt falling off their mounts because we wanted to make up a couple minutes of time. Four Hostiles shouldn't be too bad for this group. We'll have two ranged, four on the ground. Klaudea, I need you to focus on one of the similar ones," she adds to the squire. "Don't mess with whatever one looks different. When we close, if they don't run, we'll make a box, all right?" she says, looking to the rest of the group. "Backs to each other, so they can't flank us."

Listening silently once more, Klaudea can't help showing relief at the order for dismounting when they are in closer. "Similar one, yes sir," she replies, acknowledging the order heard and will be obeyed. Her fingers flex on the reins, and she her horse shakes his head as the tension on the reins pulls too hard at the bit. "Sorry boy," she says quietly, relaxing a bit as she follows along.

As the rescue party approaches, they will see the simple encampment. It's just outside the beginning of a wooded area. They're sheltered on a few sides, but it gives them a broad view of the plains heading towards the small town in the distance. There are, indeed, four soldiers present. One is apparently a lookout because he notices those approaching and loads up a crossbow. This brings the attention of the others and from the shades of the trees is the fifth mentioned. A priest; moving along on physical legs, it bears those servo arms that all seem to have. A collection of four tentacle-like appendages arching from its back. As it passes the tree, a branch is broken away and falls behind.

Further in the trees, Cyrielle is mentally preparing herself. She's slid out enough into the surrounding flora to get a good look at the encampment. She can't quite see the others approach, but she can hear them over the comm. She knows they must be near based on the Cantosan movement. With a whisper and a press of a point on her palm, she replies: "They see you. I should be able to move in from behind without problem." A pause, before she adds for them all: "Thank you." What she won't add is that she's unsure how long her leg will hold up if it becomes dicey.

"Fuck, that's a priest." Nitrim growls out over the comms, grateful that he is on foot now and doesn't have to calm a horse amid the fighting. Drawing his sword as they're recognized and the battle is about to start, his aura screams to life in the form of a flaming serpent spinning around his body. His helmet glances from side-to-side, taking stock of everybody present before he lifts his arm, drawing a bead on the Cantosan with the string launcher. "Thank us when you're back at Beacon, Cyrielle. Everyone stay alive and everyone goes home." With that, he unleashes a wash of fire towards his target.

"I'm good with a horse, but it's your call, Bethe. I'll go with what everyone else goes with." Ana states quietly, though not being directly addressed she speaks in general as well. When the general consensus proves to be on foot, she easily dismounts when they get near enough, ready to close in all together and watch each other's backs.

Canis dismounts without question Valen knight or not he prefers fighting on foot. He will remove his polearm from his back and hold it in hand as the com breaks that they are spotted he's ready for attack it's a good thing as a bolt fired at him he is able to move and such that it cant pierce his armor. He wont forget the plan however and moves in with the others to attack as a solid group instead of individually. He's in range and so the attack begins.

"Good, they're going to need an ambassador to the land of the dead," Anabethe says with a grim smile at Nitrim's grousing, steeling herself for combat. "Form a line," she calls to the others over the comm. "When they hit the line, fall into the square. Slow and steady, we've got this under control. Nitrim, keep that priest busy!"

Relieved to dismount, Klaudea nevertheless gives the horse a pat of appreciation for getting her there. She gives a slight groan at the mention of the priest, her stomach remembering the feel of the sonic blasts from the pulses they carry. Reaching back, she pulls out her fauchard, the handle clicking into place as the visor on her helmet slides into place. She takes a position just to the right of Anabethe as they start walking. "It looks like I'll have the one with the sword, Sir," she notes as they close with the Hostiles.

"I'll take him from the other side," Cyrielle murmurs into the comm. She can be seen there, in the trees, though she glimmers somewhat in and out of view. It's her Awakened armor that makes her most visible. Gone are the leaf-like green plates of the training exercises. Those leaves are now blackened and edges of electricity surround her. In her hands, that same electricity begins to crackle as she prepares to flank.

The Hostile with the crossbow falls back even as the other soldiers move forward; all bearing swords, though two have far larger than the other. They're all wearing the heavy, muscular-styled armor. The Priest looks fairly healthy and hale, compared to some. Few cybernetic enhancements to his legs; most seem to be in the torso and above. From that mask to the tentacles that bear their static and ready to arc out.

Stepping back behind the line provided by Anabethe and the other foot-soldiers, Nitrim's arm wreaths in fire in preparation to throw a gout in the direction of the priest. "Well then allow me to play the role of the Crone." He muses, stalking behind the line. The cowl whips back over the domed helmet of his combat armor with the swing of his hand, sending the fire overhead in a high arc.

Already unhorsed, Ana moves in with the others, staying as a group, prepared to have the others' back as ordered. Her sword is drawn and she swings it at the Hostile coming towards her.

The young knight's first strike is a success and he is even able to shake off another blow to his armor though he should likely stop being hit. Canis will continue to press hoping to have one less to deal with so he can move to support another of the fighters without taking an enemy along with him.

The internally-damaging high-frequency pulse of the Cantosan priest blasts in towards Nitrim, and while it doesn't harm him, nor does it pass his armor, the all-familiar taste of narrowly avoided pain that comes with the weapon is an old friend to Nitrim indeed. Worse yet, it hit the same spot he was once injured by the same weapon. "Oh you son of a bitch." Nitrim growls under his breath. This priest couldn't have been the same at Obsidia, but they seem to love him all of the same. Seeing that the priest is yet to be harmed, Nitrim curls his arms in and suddenly thrusts them forward, sending a line of exploding earth as a wave of telekinetic force flings at the priest.

The thin Havenite line meets the Hostile line, and as it does, Anabethe lets the main force of the Hostile attack flow past her, stepping back into one corner of the box. She doesn't land a blow, but neither does her opponent, and the Khourni heir seems confident still, willing to take her time with this.

Intent on her Hostile, Johana swings her blade, cutting into the armor on the outside of it. She makes a point to look around at the others making sure they are undamaged. "Everyone fine?" The words are into her comm. "If anyone needs assistance, speak up."

With the closing of the lines, Klaudea's first jab towards the enemy tests him, draws his attention so that she can pull it with her when she steps back to take her place in the box, her back to the others. Once she's found her part in the formation, she brings the polearm around to slash with the curved blade at the end of the staff.

And from the woods arcs lightning, but the angle is off and the way the Priest moves lets it slam into a tree next to the Cantosan. Then the woman that threw the lightning appears fully, synth-leathers still shifting to adapt to her surroundings. A needless thing when she's armored as she is. Cyrielle looks tired, but in a different way than the drugs and depression had caused. This is the weariness of someone who has been travelling and living off of the land. A sharp eye may notice she's favoring her right leg somewhat.

The soldiers move in on their targets, swords swinging. None land their hits, but two of them receive them in turn. There's no answers to any of the Havenite's words, the Cantosans keeping their usual silence in favor of letting the ring of blades and armor do the speaking. The one with the crossbow notices the woman coming from the woods and turns to level the weapon at her- leaving him open for an attack.

"Hold steady," Anabethe says over the comm to the rest of the party, satisfaction in her voice. Ducking out of the way of her first opponent, she keeps her back to the other Havenites as she uses the reach of her pole arm to strike out at the Hostile looking to give Cyrielle trouble. "Hey, over here!" she says over the speaker, scoring a line of sparks and blood down the back of its armor to draw its attention.

"Hey, no chest wounds, have to feed the kid." Ana mutters into the comm, just trying to make light of getting hit. She manages to get hit but not strike back in return. Drawing her blade back, she takes a more aggressive stance.

Canis strikes out at the hostile again, but this time the other dodges. The young knight isn't dismayed though as he steps back in for another strike. His AI registers hits to a few of the other havenites "Pass'em on if you need, call for help." he will say though unless someone will call for aid he'll give it or attack the same hostile.

The damned priest simply will…not…die. The roil of dirt crushes past the Cantosan priest, connecting with the plating on the priest's face, but nothing seems to damage. All of it leaves Nitrim feeling disappointed for the second that passes before the chest plating of his combat armor saves him from another shot. Stepping into the center of the box, allowing the others to keep the Cantosans off of his back, Nitrim calls out over the loudspeaker as his priest turns towards Cyrielle's location. "Don't you look away from me you ugly son of a bitch." Nitrim growls, gathering up his aura and lashing it out once more to the priest in a wave of fire.

The blade slices through, and Klaudea continues her swing. Hands shifting rapidly, she brings the spike up, aiming towards the head, pressing the advantage for a strike, and receiving a glancing blow to her arm as she does. Her comms are silent as she concentrates, responding to the command to hold steady by keeping her place in the box while she fights.

The Cantosan with the crossbow is trying to back away from the attacking Havenites. Especially the melee ones. He has to reload, afterall. Anabethe, however, is left open to deal with him as the others try to close in. The alert from the crossbow wielder lets the Priest know they're being attacked from behind… if the lightning that had just coursed past him wasn't indication enough. The tentacles that arch out of the servos and cybernetics he wears redirect, trying to aim through the trees.

"Use it," Cyrielle hisses through the comm towards Nitrim. "I'm more mobile now. I should be able to avoid him. Get his back. Giant target for ya." Her hands are things surrounded by lightning; moreso than the Awakened armor she moves with. The ranging leathers cover her leg, but she's hyper aware of it. Even moreso seeing these things human-but-not and their extreme enhancements.

"I said over here," Anabethe growls at the Hostile with the crossbow, and this time the blade end of her pole arm slices across its neck, hooking something to turn it back toward her and sending a spray of blood. "Don't chase after them!" she adds over the comm as the others start to get more aggressive. "Let them come to us." She steps to the side to make room for Nitrim in the center of the formation, then closes ranks around him again. "Making progress on that priest?"

Still holding her own, Johana swings her blade and the Hostile dodges, but she also spins just in time to miss a blade to her head. Determined, she takes a step back to make sure it comes nearer to her, so she can follow orders while still attacking. She's rusty. It had been so long since she'd been in battle.

The blast of flame connects with the side of the priest's head, washing over the more rare of the Cantosans present a shower of ashes. It's a glancing blow, but it's a step in the right direction. "I'm hitting him, but they're always thick and hardy, sister." Nitrim barks back to his sister, turning to press his back to Anabethe's as he reels his fire back in. Stepping back up, he extends both of his arm, sending the flame once more in a tall, screaming arc of flame.

Maintaining her position, Klaudea's grunt can be heard when the Hostile knocks her strike aimed at his head up and away, denting the armor on the back of her hand to push painfully against the bones, but not slicing all the way through. The injured hand follows the haft up, while the left hand tightens and pulls it back down, directing another jab with the pointed hook.

Canis dodges again, but his swing goes wide as well. The knight's focus on the hostile in front of him though logging a few more hits to his side his eyes scan the battle at hand the squire taking another hit gets his focus he will step just to the side "Right here!" he'll call and will change his attack now.

While Cyrielle is, at times, quick… the Priest is quicker and her lightning arcs into the dirt, sending it spraying and briefly obscuring view. This because of the pulse that hits her arm. She manages to bite back the cry of pain that threatens to surface, wincing and drawing the arm in as the other lashes out, trying to hit the Priest. "Nitrim, why didn't you ever warn me what an easy target you are?" It's a tease, meant to distract.

The crossbow-wielding Hostile is in trouble and he knows it, so the freshly loaded weapon is brought around as he does, indeed, turn to face Anabethe. He's bleeding badly and struggling, but like the rest of them: won't go down without a fight. The one with his lighter sword, bearing in on Klaudea, continues to try to close the distance. To get around the larger, longer-reaching weapon she has. The field is barren of any life; long since chased away by the sounds of combat. A good plan, indeed, to leave the horses a safe distance behind.

"Easy fucking target…I've seen enough of these things and they haven't brought me down yet." Nitrim growls over the line as a wash of flame crushes against the priest's head. Skin and metallic cording chars over, sending ashes scattering all around its head. Rather than reel the flaming serpent in back to him, which is truly only a manifestation of the fire he creates, Nitrim draws the serpent away from the head and then cutting back in towards the priest, keeping the attack. "I'm getting some response from this fucking thing, Bethe," Nitrim comments over the calm, turning to stand back-to-back with Johana. "Everyone okay?"

"Whoa there, call your targets!" Anabethe barks as Canis steps over to Klaudea. She doesn't have time to say more than that, though, as the Hostile across from her raises his crossbow. One sweep of her pole arm turns the butt toward the crossbow bolt flying her way, swiping it away from her so that it zips past the square of Havenites, while the blade cuts across the Hostile's chest on the return spin, marking another scar across its armor. "Tell someone if you're joining them!" A Hostile falls, and she consults her AI. "Whoever just freed up, go after that priest."

Canis perhaps forgets to call his switch in the midst of battle after seeing the other take another blow, but his strike at least is true, and he lands a blow on the hostile which seems to have gotten his attention luckily he's able to also side step the other hostiles blow. He is concentrated though over the com "Yes sir, apologies." it's too both as he realizes he'd stepped over without speaking but for no task at hand another strike.

"Hurt my mother fu.." Johana catches herself, "I hurt my hand, but my Hostile is down, moving in to the one on the Valen." Or whatever his name is. She's not exactly sure who Canis is. "I'm still good to go though." Back to back with Nitrim, she comments. "Be careful, those are a bitch I hear."

The Hostile in front of Klaudea steps to the side of her jab, and she grits her teeth, refusing to become frustrated. Letting her weapon drop down, she resets herself as the new knight joins her, altering her stance to let him and shift slightly to fill the hole he left. "Fine, my lord," she finally speaks into the coms as her blade sweeps upward, starting at the ground and going for an vertical slice this time.

"She's hurt," Cyrielle says as she tries to slide closer to a tree to avoid the servo arms the Priest has aimed at her. She doesn't know Johana- just that she's been hit hard. "Closing with the Priest might be a bad ide-" and this time she can't cancel the comm or hold back. Hit in the same place, she's hurt. "Damn smart bastard," she hisses in the wake of the initial yelp of pain. Same arm. She's still moving well, just favoring the limb. Her return attack with the lightning that arcs from her fingers strikes true, however. Staying close to the trees isn't helping her, so she starts to circle more towards the open; hoping to keep the Priest distracted so that Nitrim can land another hit.

The Hostile on Johana does land a solid hit with his greatsword, but the Ibrahm heir does more than he deserves in return and his armor goes dark as he crumples. The one with the crossbow is back-pedalling as he works to reload, but Anabethe will be faster than not for him. As Canis closes in on the swifter one with his sword, he turns to meet the approaching Ligonier, trying to catch the Valen Knight between himself and the other sword-bearing Cantosan.

"Ligonier," Anabethe barks as the Hostile stumbles back from her strike. Not wanting to abandon formation, she doesn't pursue it yet, giving it the chance to reload. "Disengage here, head for the priest. Cyrielle, Nitrim, try not to hit our knight. Hold firm, people, we've got this."

With the swing of her blade going wide, Klaudea pulls herself back in balance and grits her teeth. She stares down the Cantosan, letting it come to her and ready to shift once more to fill in the formation when she hears Anabethe's command.

Ana had taken a swing but the armor of the Hostile had stopped her blade before she could do any real damage. She hates missing, but she's not so discouraged, it had been awhile since she had fought. Ten months to be exact. Hearing the name over the comm, she mentally corrects herself and repeats it into the comm. "Ligonier, right. Apologies. I'm Johana Ibrahm." Fine time for introductions, but whatever works. "When this is over, I'll buy rounds for everyone at the Public House."

"I think he's about to go down…." Nitrim calls out to the others, scoring another solid hit to the Cantosan priest that scatters ashes and flakes of fire around its head. "Sir Canis, I'll focus the attacks towards his back, try to stay in front of him. Cyrielle? Coordinate?" Sticking with his sister's orders, the dark-metal armored gauntlet that encases Nitrim's fingers flex out towards the priest, and the serpent of flame twists to attack once more. "Ana? Talk to me, how bad is it?"

It's another dent to his armor and a dodge but this throws off his strike and Canis misses as well though the command given "Yes Sir." it's only a second glance towards the other though he's been given an order. He will move into range of the priest "I will do my best, we've got them on the ropes." he will raise his weapon though hearing the other voice "M'lady." she will get before his swing falls.

This time, Cyrielle has her Awakened armor focused around her hand and the string (if one thinks of it in basic, less-creep terms) fizzles away against the shielding. Her movements to become free of the trees are met with another miss in her hit on the Priest, but there's a pleased expression when Nitrim lands a solid hit. "Move in from the side to start, Canis," she offers, clearing the trees fully. "I'll try to keep him focused forward so you can cut in." So far, it's seemed to work.

The Cantosan with the crossbow continues to try to get out of range, lifting the weapon to level at Anabethe once again. As Canis breaks away, the Hostile he had moved to assist with turns to close with Klaudea again, pressing the attack. The other, however, seems intent on following the Ligonier, trying to flank him as he moves into range with the Priest.

Canis will only get the singe swipe at the larger target as he's hit by a blast "Good shot." He will say though he notices the enemy follows him "Persistent." He will say though turns to face the attack and takes another blow to the armor. He will move to exchange another attack a bit stronger this time.

The Hostile bowman fires again, and Anabethe isn't quite quick enough to bat the bolt out of the air this time. It scores light against her elbow where the armor flexes, earning a sound that could be as much frustration as anything else when she misses her own strike. "Cyrielle, Nitrim, fire at will," she orders over the comm as the priest goes down. "Everyone else, just keep your target engaged."

Her wounded hand is seriously messing with her ability to fight and connect and Ana is now finally getting frustrated. She doesn't give up though. Hearing the demand from Nitrim, she murmurs into the comm. "Easy now, Nitrim.. I'm fine. It hurts, I don't know how badly till I get the armor off, but I'm still able to fight so I'm fine. Just concentrate on you." Drawing back her blade she tries to hold it tighter with her less wounded hand as she swings.

Turning with a long, angry tail of flame, Nitrim brings his fist down in a hand motion towards the priest's head, and the arch of serpent-shaped fire lashes out in response. Finding its way through the armor, finally, he air around the priest's head crackles and begins to burn. The priest sends into convulsions trying to put the fire out before its body slumps to the dirt, twitching. "Priest is down!" Nitrim calls out to the group with no lack of satisfaction. Jerking up his fist, the flame leaves the priest and dissipates, and the Khourni lordling turns to wave his hand towards Klaudea's attacker, blasting at it with a wave of force. "Copy that, sister, just hang in there, Ana. Cyri? How're you doing up there, I can't see shit from down here."

As she hears of another going down, and the other chatter on the comm, Klaudea ducks her opponent's swing, then comes up and forward, stepping inside its guard to add power to her jab.

There's relief in Cyrielle's mien when the priest finally drops and the glance she shoots Nitrim is one of appreciation— and pride. The woman closes more of the distance, right arm still tucked in against her body. She's not used to combat like the others: Lazarus Island was her first, beyond training exercises. The pain is an angry thing that serves to distract her. "I'm fine," she hisses into the comm in response to Nitrim's request. "Canis, I'm going to try to flank the bastard on you."

It's a more scattered thing now. More a cleanup process than anything else- the Priest was the biggest concern. Two bearing swords remain and the one with the crossbow is, again, having to work on moving out of range of Anabethe's polearm. It's no easy business and his timeline is narrowing.

One's luck does run out in the combat dance, but this one's not to bad he's struck in the leg a gash no doubt will need fixed up but he's still standing and there for still fighting. Canis will make another sweep on the hostile a bit more anger behind his swing still as he wants to bring them down.

Now that they're in cleanup mode, Anabethe gives herself a little more space, taking a single step out of the line to give herself more room to maneuver. "You really ought to have run," she informs the Hostile, scoring another line through its chest plate. The Hostile's armor is starting to look a little shredded now, like a drake's been at it. Sparks flicker now and then as machinery is interrupted.

Klaudea feels and hears the thunk on her chest, but it fails to penetrate, or even dent the armor. She doesn't step back this time, letting pulling her fauchard back only enough to swing down from the head in a tight arc, shifting her balance slightly to follow through, trying to slice deeply into the wounded Hostile's side.

Unable to get any force behind her swing due to her injury, Ana keeps hitting the armor though doing no damage. Pausing just a moment, she takes a deep breath, focuses herself and prepares to swing again. Tightening both hands on her blade, she does swing, stepping into it.

Soldiers. Cyrielle knows how to handle them. Up close and personal. The woman's difficulties with her leg are all the more obvious as she closes the distance at not a run, but a slight jog with a limp. No wonder she couldn't evade the encampment. But when she extends her left hand to grab the soldier tailing Canis? Lightning arcs around the midsection of the Cantosan's armor.

The one Bethe has been dealing with might be worried that she's on the offensive now, but it doesn't show. Perhaps his buddies have heard. It's difficult to tell. Instead, he levels the crossbow again to try to get a shot off before she moves away. Nitrim is now known, for certain, as dangerous and with Klaudea and Johana struggling as they are, the one with the lighter sword turns for the Khourni lordling- swinging.

The wave of telekinetic force from Nitrim's fingers connects with the chest-plating of the Cantosan soldier, denting it, but not breaching it. Planting his feet in the dirt, Nitrim turns to face the taller, broader soldier and maneuvers around Anabethe's back to force the villain to choose between his body…or Klaudea's. "I'm with Klaudea by the box, staying in this location." Nitrim reports to the group as the wave of telekinetic force crackles to life, erupting in a slithering ball of flame towards his foe. He switches the external speakers on, calling out to it. "I hope today's a good day to die for you…I really do."

Canis finally lands a good blow to the hostile who had been chasing him this whole battle. "Bad move." he calls over to it as it turns to attack his friend this does not do well for the Valen knight as he will try and distract him back towards his way by stabbing him which usually is a good way of going about this task.

Anabethe steps forward, slicing downward at the Hostile's arm. She scores a hit, knocking its aim off and escaping another crossbow bolt. If nothing else, she's very good at escaping arrows, apparently. "Klaudea, let's see if we can hamstring this fucker," she says with a grimace, pressing the attack. "Stubborn fuck."

Once again, the chest armor of the Cantosan stops Nitrim's Psychometric attack, and in a blinding flash of motion - and a slower attempt to parry from the Khourni - the Cantosan's sword stabs in through Nitrim's chest armor. A pain-laden grunt sounds over the comms, a different tone from Sir Canis'; no doubt the source. "Fuck!" Nitrim spits, quickly reading the movement as Klaudea moves in to assist. Turning to assist Anabethe as well, he finds a flanking point and keeps his strikes distanced enough to avoid hitting his sister. Tactic means everything.

It's always a mistake to count out the little ones. Klaudea's sweep and the pivot on her feet shove the blade through metal and wires and flesh, dropping the Cantosan to the ground. The only problem is, she can't get her polearm out again. "He's down, Sir," she informs the knight, then gives a nod, "yes sir." Leaving her polearm in the downed Cantosasn for now, she turns and draws her sword, adding her swing to the others.

Just too hurt to do any damage, Ana pauses for a breath, giving her hand a slight rest, hoping if she does then it'll do her some good. After a few breaths, she draws back her blade, pushing through the pain of her hand, intent on doing some damage.

Sparks fly from Cyrielle's Awakened armor as the greatsword lands upon the projected plates. She grunts slightly as it pushes her back a few steps- enough that when she reaches out with lightning again, it only crackles at the edges of his armor. The red eyes of the Cantosan do seem to intensify and he closes in, blood and other — from the servos — pouring from the arm damaged by Canis.

The crossbow wielder has missed- again. He's flagging and struggling, his steps carrying him back and closer to Nitrim. So he changes tactics, grabbing a sword from one of those fallen earlier and tossing the crossbow aside. With three on him, he's cornered, but it seems to be driving him stronger. For the moment.

Anabethe stays back slightly, giving the others a chance to get a square shot at the Hostile. Her pole sweeps low, cracking hard against a knee joint. That one would sting later…if she had any intention of there being a later for the Hostile.

Hostiles litter the small field now- save two. And those two are bleeding enough to paint the golden grasses red. The smell of fried flesh and servos fills the air from Nitrim's fire and Cyrielle's lightning. It's a small battle, but it's a battle all told. When Cyrielle closes the distance again, it's too risky a maneuver. Yes, she's able to hold the Cantosan in place, lightning coursing along his arm as she keeps him in place for Canis… but the sword that hits her chest is too much and when the lightning fades and her hand releases… she crumples down.

Now the box seems to be reforming, almost in reverse, on the Hostile that Anabethe's been fighting. Klaudea's swing goes into the midsection, cutting through armor and leaving another tatter of metal to hang from its body.

After being stabbed in the chest so brutally, it feels good to thrust the end of a sword into the Cantosan's chest. Piercing through the armor and past the ribs, Nitrim's sword comes back with a tip coated in blood. "Fucking bastard just. won't. DIE." Stepping back out of kicking distance, Nitrim glances to see Cyrielle falling to the earth. "Fuck. Bethe. Cyrie's down, keep them off of me!" Rushing, Nitrim skids to a stop in the dirt and reaches for his emergency kit, the lifesaving measure that most soldiers keep on them for in the event that they are harmed and wandering medics can use their personal medkit for aid. Working at a flurry with the first-aid he knows, he gets to work. "Cyri? Stake the fuck awake, Cyrielle…"

Canis the distraction both works and doesn't he doesn't get the hostile to attack him in stead but in the process as the other strikes his friend his polearm is given added force and the weapon passes clean through to the other side. The hostile topples over clearly dead he looks over though to see the other crumple "Need a medic, Cyrielle's hurt." he will call into the com "I'll cover with the hostile if you need." the other noble comes to help "I've got your back." he'll say moving over to make sure the hostile cant come close.

Finally! Ana connects with her blade, but it's pretty much a moot point as several others do the same, she gives a quick thumbs up with her good hand before going after the final one with the others.

Cyrielle bleeds. Especially on Nitrim. She's just a bit flimsier than the rest of them. Her Awakened armor does flicker and fade out, leaving her just in the ranging leathers; lightly padded, but certainly not armor. They'll need to be repaired for the rend across her chest and the shredded material at her right arm.

Breaking out the trauma patches from the first aid kit, Nitrim's expressionless mask is an orb of serenity, though beneath the helm a certain creep of fear crosses over into him. "It's a lot of fucking blood; she's unconscious." Nitrim calls out to the other, pressing the trauma patch to her chest wound to try to stop the bleeding. Pressing down with both hands, his head whips around to the others. "Someone get the horses! We're going to have to get her to the next outpost down and report this."

Anabethe takes stock of the group, checking injuries and health statuses on her AI. "I'll go get the horses," she says, once she determines everyone else isn't really in a position to be guiding horses. "Patch yourselves up, I'll be back in a couple minutes." Despite her prolonged dance with the crossbow-wielding Hostile, the Khourni heir is in pretty good shape, just a slight cut in the left elbow of her armor. It probably hasn't even started to sting yet.

Johana just stands nearby Nitrim, there's not much she can do. "I've got a little medical training. Would you like any help? Or we can leave it to the professionals, if you think that's best." Ana sheaths her blade and begins working on checking her own injury.

Hearing Nitrim's words as she works to pull the polearm out of the Hostile, Klaudea's first instinct is to head for the horses. However, Sir Anabethe takes charge of that, and so she finishes retrieving her weapons, then goes over to kneel with Nitrim. "She'll be fine, my lord," she says quietly, one hand laying lightly on one of the arms that presses the bandage in place, offering the assurance of her presence. Her visor slides open as she looks down to Lady Cyrielle. "You'll be fine, my Lady, we're here, now."

"I…I think I've got her stabilized, but she's still out, I don't think I can wake her up." Nitrim ties the bandage down to Cyrielle's chest and looks up to Johana with gauntlets covered in the Hollolas girl's blood. Shaking his hand to the side, sending splatter across the leaves, Nitrim rises and motions to Johana's hands. "Are you gonna be okay to help? I think we just need to race her back as fast as we can, get her to a surgeon."

There's a groan from the prone woman- she's not dead. Not yet. She's just not used to pain. It's a failing, perhaps. The sword cutting into her chest overloaded her senses and like a fail switch, her mind cut out rather than make her deal with the sudden, intense pain. Cyrielle gasps air in as the pain does flood in and that only brings more- the groan perhaps the first sign of her coming to. Her eyes, slowly squinting against the sun that now rises in the sky being the second.

"Of course I'm going to be okay to help," Ana tells him as she moves to assist in helping him to move the girl. "We'll get her on my horse, or yours, or Anyone's, I don't care, but let's get her back. Now."

Anabethe returns with a string of horses, passing them out to each person. "Let's get everyone set up. Anyone needs a hand up, let me know," she adds, looking around with withdrawing her helm to flash a grin at all of them. "Well done, everyone. Well done."

As the horses are brought in, Nitrim is mid-carry of Cyrielle when she comes to, and a sickly sound comes out over their communications line. Sick with relief, Nitrim breathes out the words before he can catch them. "Oh thank the fucking Six, Cyri? Cyri, can you hear me?! F-Fuck…okay. Right. My horse, I'm hurt less." Nitrim quickly moves into his saddle to facilitate the exchange. Breathing heavily as Cyrielle is aided up into his saddle with him, he wraps an arm around her. "I'm gonna race back and report this." He barks to the others, and with a kick of spurs to the horse, the shaggy, black horse races off with thundering hooves.

Cyrielle senses: Nitrim a veritable outpouring of relief washes mentally towards Cyrielle, the emotions that come with adrenaline and lifesaving effort. Oh gods, don't you DARE fucking fall back asleep…I've got you, okay? Just…try to stay awake. Please. Not like this.

Nitrim senses: Cyrielle has to rely on the link on Nitrim's side; not capable of summoning her own at the moment. Pain is the initial response, but there's a wash of love and appreciation as well. I won't- is everyone okay? If anyone else is … Fear. Uncertainty. That someone may have fallen, for her. I'm so sorry.

Nitrim whispers: Forget about it, Cyrielle. You called. I came. It's nothing now. All that matters is that you get through this. Nitrim returns to her, drawing back the emotion of fear and replacing it with grim resolve. You're gonna be just fine. We all made it.

Nitrim senses: Cyrielle is relieved to hear the others are fine. And even more that he came. For her. They weren't there when I went out… The Hostiles. I know you wanted to wait… To see each other. She's burrowing against him on the ride. Savoring this; even if they are bleeding and sweaty and in pain. Thank you.

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