08.16.3013: To Catch a Hostile
Summary: The Peakes with the help of House Arboren and Orelle attempt to capture some Hostiles in the Spinous Mountains.
Date: 16 August 2013
Related: Tea for Five
Aidan Antaeus Brienne Declan Llacheu Tomas Viannea Peake Hostiles 

Mountain Pass — The Spine, Imperius
High up in the mountains, the air gets thin and the views get spectacular. The forested plains stretch out below like the Gods' own carpet, and a narrow track winds its way along the shoulder of the mountain toward the entrance to Khar-Mordune. These gates are heavy, hewn from solid stone and inlaid with electrofilaments mimicking arcane runes. That track may not really be necessary for moving masses of people or materiel down into Khar-Mordune, but it is there for those who prefer to take the long way around. One side of the path falls away precipitously to a narrow canyon far below, while the other rises sharply up the face of the mountain. The path winds behind a waterfall just out of sight of the gates, and then down toward the forest far below.
16 August 3013

It is near twilight — the shadows long and fading into the oncoming darkness. Up in the Spinous Mountains, where the trees aren't so tall and the canopies not so high, the Peakes have assembled to catch themselves a Hostile. All day the trap has been assembled — three holes have been dug, slender spikes covered in a thin layer of numbing poison has been set deep in the pits, and then they have been strategically disguised with netting, dirt, and foliage. They have been well hidden almost to the point that it is safer for the Arborenin to stay in their trees in case they accidentally fall into their own ambush.
Young Lady Yolanda Peake sits near her younger brother, her scout armor colored the browns and greens necessary for proper cover. She has been up in the tree that overlooks their well-disguised pit traps for almost two hours now, waiting for their bait to arrive. She is quiet, but that is a general trait of the heir to Khar-Mordune. Just as she thinks her legs are about to fall asleep and never wake up, her helmet crackles with a soft whispering voice. "Lure incoming, northwest, on target, 100 meters, stand by," announces one of the scouts who has been up in his own wooded fortress waiting to see signs of Sir Brienne and her Orelle wards. Yolanda straightens in her post, glancing toward Aidan and then nodding as she replies, "Understood. Do not engage until trap has been sprung…"
And from those one-hundred meters and closing are the three lures. They have been on foot, racing through the forests on a pre-designated path toward the traps. Behind them, closing in fast are twelve Hostiles — perhaps a bit more than expected. Four Scouts, six Soldiers, and three monstrosities that are being nicknamed Elites. They are coming in, and coming in fast.

Tomas, go gain some combat experience at Khar-Mordune they say. Tomas, it'll be good for you as an officer, especially when it comes time to lead the boarding party onboard a ramship, they reasoned. But no where in their instructions did the Orelle Lieutenant read that he would be playing the part as bait, orders that caused him to wince when he heard it. But duty was duty, and he was not one to shy away from duty.
So when his little 'patrol' finally did encounter some Hostiles, Tomas hesitated for a moment when the enemy group was rather large, much larger than he had thought it would be. So after firing off a crossbolt at the invaders for good measure, more to gain their attention than to kill anything, the Orelle Lieutenant turns and begins to beat a hasty retreat with his two comrades, "C'mon, we're almost there." His voice crackles through the comm to the other two, "Would defeat the purpose if they actually /caught/ us." And the prospects of what happens after being caught by twelve Hostiles are rather grim.

Viannea is standing to the side of where one of the pits has been set up, mostly concealed by a tree that she takes up a casual lean upon. She's listening to the reports and is very attentive otherwise, a contradiction to the near-slouch she has made with against the trunk. Dressed in Defender Armor and with sword in hand, Yolanda's little sister is waiting for the go so she can move into action.

With the pit set and the 'bait' sent ahead, Declan takes a place at the ambush point, perched in a low tree. He looks like a mottled green blob himself, well-disguised amidst its foliage with the trademark Arboren hood and cloak giving his body a less distinct profile and the material of the garb programmed into an imitation of the patterns of the leaves of the local trees. Beneath the hood, his armored mask is down, and the displays within relay information while the radio relays the Peake heir's instructions. Slowly, he brings his weapon up - he's brought a crossbow to add some initial 'punch' to the ambush - and into firing position. "Watch IFF and confirm your targets before firing."

Aidan nods back to Yolanda and pulls an arrow from his quiver though not yet drawing his bow. "Let's hope they don't run right into the pits." he murmurs. They took pains to mark them subtly enough that only those who know what to look for have a chance of spotting them but even then, they could be missed. Peake is good at this. Too good perhaps?

Working with an unknown Orelle and Antaeus, Brienne wears her armor just in case she gets in a skirmish before being able to get away. Once they spot the Hostiles, she looks between the others and nods.. time to get their attention and run like mad people. And so it is done. Once they capture the attention of more than the few they had intended on, Brie is running with the others, jumping over limbs, quite adept at running through the forest. The armor is all that slows her down some so that the Orelle named Tomas is ahead of her. Hearing his voice in the comm just grates on her for some reason. "You think?" The words are muttered in response on the comm.

Hells, who knew that this little mission would be so damn exhilirating. Hauling ass along with Tomas and Brienne, the soft whistliing in the air of Hostile wrist launcher ribbons flying past his head. Weaving in and out of trees in order to obscure their line of fire, Antaeus can hear the ribbons hit the trees behind him. Shit. Shit shit shit. If one of those damn things hits him, that's going to make for a fine end to this little shindig.

His flight seems to be going well until an unseen root trips him up and he goes crashing to the ground with a loud crash and an 'oomph'. Fuck you tree, he thinks, trying to get up as quickly as possible in order to catch up with Tomas and Brienne. As he pushes back up, he catches the sight of a pair of launcher ribbons imbedded into the tree at the exact position his head would've been had he not fallen. Thank you tree, he thinks, taking off once again. Pushing himself as much as possible in order to keep ahead of the nasties behind him.

Llacheu is up in the trees and has been working hard all day to assist with digging and setting up the pit traps, scouting, and whatever else he'd been told or volunteered to do. Tired from that work, he's been resting up the last hour or so to wait. He's been very quiet for the most part, obviously a seasoned woodsman and typical of those who serve as archers to House Arboren. The bowman scout has passed the time sipping occationally from his small canteen and at the last, when the word is given that the lures are drawing in, Llac moves to shift position.
The man's muscles have stiffened up from waiting. Damp moss proves treacherous and Sergeant Llacheu's foot slips. A quick grab and he manages not to drop his bow nor fall from the tree, but it's close. Scout armour bumps against the tree bark and it takes him a second or two to steady himself. A breath is indrawn sharply, a quick look around. Then more carefully he readies his bow, watchful.

"How amusing it would be for an Orelle to be killed because he fell on a spike," Yolanda says in her soft, smooth and eeriely serene voice toward her brother. Though he would know there is a smile laced in there. She draws up her own bow for good measure, drawing the string and knocked arrow back to her cheek, her head slightly tilted. She is already tracking movement through her helmet AI, and Brienne, Tomas and Antaeus ignite like little flashes of green light in her view. "Lures spotted," she confirms. Then red dots start to populate, and she grimaces. "Steady…"
Behind the Lures, the Hostile continue their pursuit. They are closing in fast, easily about four minutes from the pits.

"You'd have a lot of explaining to do." Aidan replies, not looking at Yolanda but studying the trap they've prepared. It's too late to do anything about it if there's a problem but he can't help but worry. "Glad it wouldn't be me." Pause. "Vi might be upset depending on which it is."

Aye, steady boyo. Llacheu silently berates himself. There will be time enough when all hell breaks loose for him to warm up stiffened muscles. For the time being, the archer stays still, bow ready and arrow laid. Grey eyes watch intently as he listens to what little comes over his coms. Not a word from him, alert to what is about to unfold, eyes drawn to the fella that falls but gets back up before the Hostiles over run him.

Yet another Hostile launcher ribbon goes flying past his head. "Bollocks." Antaeus murmurs to himself, immediately juking to his left to put yet another tree in between him and the incoming Hostiles. Thunk. Thunk. Two more ribbons seem to hit the tree he just used for cover. Where was this luck during the fight on Primus? Not luck, he realizes. These damn trees are very useful for this type of operation. His opinion of the woods increases until he feels himself step into a slightly squishy sensation. "Gods. Damn. It." He curses, knowing exactly what he just stepped on. Bugger this to hell, he still pushes on, and takes a path that allows him to skirt the traps, narrowly missing them. Hopefully the Hostiles won't be as alert.

The mass of Hostiles are fast approaching the pits, moving languidly as a hive mind across dirt and moss. They don't seem to notice whatever fancy footwork saves their pursuits from the nasty pits ahead, but two of the three traps are sprung as massive weight moves across the thin veils. Abruptly, four Scouts and a Soldier all plummet into the pits. Two of the Scouts and that sole Soldier immediately are impaled by the spikes. One takes a rather gruesome fall with a sharpened steel barb coming out the other side of its throat, while the other two twitch and spasm as their last instincts try to thug themselves loose. The other two Scouts appear to have fallen into the pit, but avoided the spikes in some fashion. Already they are attempting to scramble up the wall of the pit.
The other seven Hostiles that managed to avoid the fate turn immediately toward Brienne, Tomas, and Antaeus. It's on.

"Now!" Yolanda orders across comms as the traps are sprung. She immediately narrows her bow on one of the two massive elites that have managed to avoid their fate. She is steady as she remains on her perch.

When there is a sound of someone stumbling, Tomas looks back over his shoulder and sees Antaeus going down. The worst possibility came to mind, that the other Orelle took a bolt to the back but when he gets right back up, there is a quick sigh of relief from the Naval Lieutenant. Turning his gaze ahead, he continues to jump over the foliage, pretty sure that he was still on the pre-planned path. The simple combat armor AI is also helping guide him, and soon enough they reach the trap area, Tomas able to pick out the signs and manages to avoid it without falling into the trap that was definitely not meant for him.
When there is a loud crash, Tomas spares a glance back and manages a quick, silent cheer that at least some of the Hostiles have fell for the trap. With the order to engage also called out by the knight in charge, the Orelle Lieutenant goes to find some cover behind one of the tree trunks while pulling out his hand crossbow from his hip holster. Activating it, it unfolds quickly and the first bolt is loaded.

With the Hostiles flinging those ribbons of steel at them, Brie has to alternately duck and run, skitter to the side, weave the other way and avoid the missiles. Looking straight ahead, not back, she manages to go around the trap, leaving it to one of the Hostiles behind her. Turning back now, she draws her blade and faces the nearest one that's not in the pits, squaring off, preparing to go on the offensive and attack now that there are reinforcements.

And there they go! One, two, three, four, five down and at least three of them aren't coming back up. For the moment that helps the odds right off, thank you very much! Llacheu draws his bow back, taking aim to draw a bead on one of the Hostiles, one with a crossbow. The Arboren scout holds his shot, holds it, waits for the order to begin firing. Unaware that his position is not as well under cover as he originally set up to be, he nonetheless has a good clear view between branches. Llac tracks the incoming target and releases his arrow when Lady Yolanda gives the word and not a breath sooner!

A bark of laughter sounds from the tree Vi just comes around, finding how severa enemy units have the misfortune of falling in, how they flail and twitch humorous. Yes, it's dark of her but she can't help it. "That's fucking awesome," she giggles at the same time she prepares to clash with one of them.

With Tomas and Brienne both turning and facing the Hostiles, Antaeus knows it's time to engage the enemy. Taking a deep breath, he does an about face, although he's still not happy about stepping in something rotten. Catching sight of one with a sword, he draws his own sword and prepares to advance, though utilizing his defender armor to get in a more defensive posture with a shield. He's no knight after all, simply another Naval Lieutenant like Tomas.

Declan holds on first sight of the enemies, and waits until they move fully into the designated kill zone before firing. Of course, the intervening time is spent drawing a tight aim on his target, following it's computer-outlined form and the range-finding reticles that move across his vision, carefully lining up all the aiming elements until he's at last ready to take his shot. The fate of the hostiles in the pits is hardly his concern for the moment - dead, alive, paralyzed or free, he prioritizes the active threats on the field above their subterranean friends. And then, finally, a release of breath and a low magnetic THUMP as he pulls the trigger and sends a projectile flying.

As the trap is sprung, Aidan watches the Hostiles fall, making mental notes on how to improve things next time. Better spacing on the spikes for one. Wider pits. Using their usual tactics against Hostiles is going to need adjustments. Fitting arrow to string, he draws and takes aim on one of the Elites.

Yolanda looses her arrow, the faint whistle signaling her place in the trees while the arrow slams into the elite Hostile's leg. It staggers a bit, but turns sharply to look toward Yolanda, its cybernetic eyes flashing as it appears to be tracing the trajectory. Yolanda curses something and starts to move through the trees, maintaining her lofty position as she sets up another shot.

Aidan grunts as his arrow breaks against the Hostile's helmet. As it turns toward Yolanda, he adjusts his aim slightly and looses another arrow.

Antaeus almost idly watches the launcher ribbon fly past his visor, a smirk creasing his lips as the bastards miss yet again. Taking a step forward, Antaeus suddenly lunges towards the Hostile wielding a sword, hoping to catch it off guard. Alas, the Hostile is quick to defend his blow. Cursing, he moves to the side to ready his next attack. Unfortunately, from his new vantage point he sees Tomas take one to the chest. The poor bastard.

Viannea grins sadistically upon seeing the first target of hers falling, it making her happy. One less hostile for Brigham to study but hell. He already has two toys down in the pits. How many more does he need? Another target is picked out by her armor's AI, that being where her focus rests next.

After the first bolt was loaded, Tomas moves slightly out of cover from the tree he was standing behind and begins to take aim at one of the larger Hostiles. However, it seems like the large Hostile also has its eyes on him and before the Orelle Lieutenant could react, a ribbon of steel is already sent flying at him. It slams right into his chest, penetrating past the armor plating he was wearing. So on moment, he had the large invader in his sights, the next moment, he appears to be staring up at the trees, on the ground.

Llacheu's shot hits his target with the crisp sound of metal striking metal - though it's only a light wound at best to the Hostile. The Arboren Sergeant isn't phased. Llac's focused, shifting to ease his legs and slip around the tree trunk to take aim from the other side as his target continues to move below. Simular sounds of weapons firing, metal striking armour, heavy bodies crashing through foliage is all happening at once. This bowman tries for a headshot this time, intent to drop his target if he can.

The unlucky Hostile that Brie confronts first earns a fierce look from beneath helm before she swings her blade across its chest, downing the Hostile with a single swing so that when it tries to swing back as it falls, the Arboren easily avoids the bludgeon. The Hostile falls to the ground, but Brienne doesn't stay around, she's already moving for the next one.

The unlucky Hostile that Brie confronts first earns a fierce look from beneath helm before she swings her blade across its chest, downing the Hostile with a single swing so that when it tries to swing back as it falls, the Arboren easily avoids the bludgeon. The Hostile falls to the ground, but Brienne doesn't stay around, she's already moving for the next one. When she notices that Orelle is down, she growls to herself and stomps over to him in an attempt to assist him in getting back to his feet and into the action.

The Hostiles who managed to avoid the pit traps bound after their prey, two of them falling immediately to strikes from ambush or suddenly-turning prey. One of the Elites crouches a bit, searching for a target as its bolt-thrower recharges. The other Elite leaps around the corner of one of the pits, ignoring the arrows feathering it to leap at the ambusher who dropped one of its soldiers, halberd sweeping out over its head. The soldiers sweep up toward the remaining prey, while one of the Scouts draws its double-edged axe from its back and stalks toward Tomas, its intent to finish off the downed Havenite clear in its stride.

Declan's shot proves true, thunking into the back of his target's armor as it approaches Viannea in melee. It may be a little rattling to have arrows fly at you while you're stabbing some Hostile, but the combined fire proves effective. Immediately, the young Lord discards his heavier crossbow for his usual lighter bow and again begins tracking the field, looking for other targets. He spots a suspiciously cybernetic hand on the top cusp of one of the pits. Hmmmm. It's a small target, sure, but it seems worth a shot.

<COMBAT> Hostile11 passes.
<COMBAT> Llacheu attacks Hostile31 with Bow - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Viannea attacks Hostile12 with Sword - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile31 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Declan attacks Hostile10 with Bow - Moderate wound to Abdomen.
<COMBAT> Brienne attempts to rally Tomas and SUCCEEDS. Tomas is back in the fight!
<COMBAT> Antaeus attacks Hostile20 with Sword - Light wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Aidan attacks Hostile30 with Bow - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Yolanda attacks Hostile30 with Bow - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Tomas passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile30 attacks Viannea with Polearm - Moderate wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile21 attacks Brienne with Spear but Brienne DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Antaeus with Sword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile12 passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile10 passes.

<COMBAT> Hostile30 has been KO'd!

Aidan grins fiercely as his arrow smacks into the Hostile's chest right next to Yolanda's. And down it goes. Only to stand up again. Well, that can be fixed. "Good job, people." he comms. "Those engaged directly with them, try to maneuver them toward the third pit. /Don't/ fall in yourself if you do but it's a tool there to be used." Drawing another arrow, he takes aim on the rema

Sadly, Declan's quick snap shot at the climbing hostile isn't quick enough, and the creature manages to pull itself up far enough over the lip before he fires. Actually, maybe this is somewhat fortunate - as it does provide a larger target, possibly turning his failed attempt at hand-sniping into a solid hit to the hostile's center mass. Though he grunts at the mix of good and ill fortune, the young lord immediately draws another arrow and begins taking aim, although he can see one of the emerging hostiles taking aim on him and drops back into cover after he fires.

A yelp of pain is given from the youngest of the Ladies Peake when the polearm finds its way through the protective plating there, it hurting enough to distract her from the vibration that runs up her arm when her sword glances off of her own target's armor. "That hurts," she hisses before changing targets, now trying to hurt the bastard who just spilled some of her blood. Vi. Is. Not. Happy.

It's a rather whirling series of sword blows that ends up leaving Antaeus with a light chest wound and the Hostile with a light wound to his arm. While it's better than nothing, Antaeus would far prefer having the Hostile take all the blows. A battle of attrition is not really something he wants to engage in. Making sure to watch his step, he continues to circle around the Hostile, preparing for his next attack.

Llacheu lets loose his second arrow and TWANG! It soundly strikes on target, the shaft hitting and bouncing off of the Hostile's armoured head. Maiden's lovely tits! He bears his teeth behind his own helmet and mutters something to himself without sharing it over the coms. There's more changing of position, keeping himself behind what cover he might and also taking another shot at the head of his original focus. There is a quick glance to keep tabs on what is going on with the others in so far as Llacheu can see them, then he's releasing his next arrow!

Trying to avoid an attack whole rousing an Orelle is not the simplest of jobs. Finally, Brie just ruthlessly shakes his shoulder, muttering something about incompetence.. As the spear of the Hostile pokes at her, she spins, lifting her sword to go once more on the offensive and swing the blade at the intruder.

Yolanda tracks the Hostiles as they begin to confuse themselves with Havenites down below. She watches as one falls, only to get back up again, and her jaw flexes. She knocks back another arrow, this time focusing her shot on the other Elite as it finishes recharging its own crossbow.

It was actually quite peaceful, lying on his back on the ground, though everything seems slightly duller and more distance for Tomas. Until he is violently shaken by the Arboren Knight. Then he comes back to full alertness, with a dose of pain in his chest, "Aaaagh!" The Orelle growls out but he's back and sitting up, back into the fight. First order of business though is to make sure that he is still somewhat functional which means moving behind that tree again, taking full cover this time to assess himself, letting Brienne return to the fight.

More arrows feather the melee Elite's body, sticking out of its chest, and a sword glances off its gorget, the haft of the polearm coming up to rob the blow of a great deal of its strength. The arrows, however, are enough to drive it to its knees, only for the armored bulk to push itself back to its feet. The Lady Knight's rage seems to have no more effect on it than her sword, for it hefts its polearm, advancing to meet Viannea. One of the Hostile Scouts in the pit pulls itself out, spotting the archer that feathered its fellow, and raising its launcher to aim at Declan. The Scout with its axe out hesitates a moment as its prey rises to its feet, then steps forward to attack. The spear-armed Soldier continues its assault on Brienne, while the Elite with the crossbow raises its weapon, aiming at Yolanda in her perch, letting out a little burst of screeching, hissing Hostile-speak.

However, it appears that regrouping by himself was not an option because as he moves behind the tree, he sees one of the Hostiles advancing on him, "Oh shit…" He mutters inside his helm and the only thing he could do is raise his hand crossbow, firing off a quick shot. It was more of a shot to try to keep the invader back, but it did nothing except go wide and high. For his troubles, the Orelle gets smacked on the head by the axe, causing him to drop the crossbow. Staggering back a few feet, Tomas now has no option but to fight on, for his life as he pulls free his blade with his right hand and his left activating his light shield. "Come at me." He grows out at the Hostile.

<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Antaeus with Sword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile21 with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Yolanda attacks Hostile31 with Bow - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Llacheu attacks Hostile31 with Bow - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> Hostile31 attacks Yolanda with Crossbow - Light wound to Abdomen.
<COMBAT> Hostile31's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Hostile30 attacks Viannea with Polearm and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile21 attacks Brienne with Spear - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile10 passes.
<COMBAT> Antaeus attacks Hostile20 with Sword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Aidan attacks Hostile30 with Bow - Moderate wound to Head.
<COMBAT> Viannea attacks Hostile30 with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Tomas attacks Hostile12 with Hand Crossbow but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tomas's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Hostile12 attacks Tomas with Bludgeon - Moderate wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile11 attacks Declan with Launcher but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile11's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Declan attacks Hostile10 with Bow - Critical wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

However, it appears that regrouping by himself was not an option because as he moves behind the tree, he sees one of the Hostiles advancing on him, "Oh shit…" He mutters inside his helm and the only thing he could do is raise his hand crossbow, firing off a quick shot. It was more of a shot to try to keep the invader back, but it did nothing except go wide and high. For his troubles, the Orelle gets smacked on the head by the axe, causing him to drop the crossbow. Staggering back a few feet, Tomas now has no option but to fight on, for his life as he pulls free his blade with his right hand and his left activating his light shield. "Come at me." He grows out at the Hostile.

Clash of armor and weapons sound as Viannea and the Hostile attack almost at the exact same time, the one missing while the other's attack is absorbed by its protective gear. Hissing, she tries to maneuver it towards the third pit even as she swings once more, hoping to get the thing impaled upon one of the poles if she can't kill it outright.

Yolanda reels as a crossbow bolt cuts through the air and clips her side. It cuts through the armor, drawing blood across her brown and green armor. She snarls before she shakes off the pain that courses through her, and she reaches to prepare another bow. "Ground forces, utilize the terrain, knock them back!" Into the pit, obviously.

Declan's next shot is solid, penetrating the chest armor of his target even as he ducks back down behind a tree branch, absorbing the return fire from his target's friend. But, seeing that it's still moving, Declan just keeps fire, adjusting his aim slightly based on feedback from the prior shots and fed through to his view screen. With one wounded and one reloading, he ventures to rise from his cover for a clearer shot, as well.

Back in the fight now, Brie swings her blade at the Hostile attempting to impale her with its spear, swinging too wide so that she only strikes the metal outside of the enemy while taking a stab from the spear on her chest, the armor she wears blocks the strength behind the attack.

Right between the eyes! And it still doesn't go down making Aidan frown and curse. "Careful Vi." Though it looks like the Hostile can barely hit the trunk of a tree. Still, it can get lucky.

It would appear that Antaeus and the Hostile he faces are about to engage in something of a dance of death. He might have asked his sister for lessons in dancing in a more formal setting, but this… this he can do. Giving a small grunt of pain as he feels the Hostile's blade slice across his chest, he is able to stem these feelings quickly as he watches his own blade score a hit. "Take that, you bastard."

Annndddd… his arrow is a near miss! Damnit! (stupid dice) Llacheu swears, starting to loose his cool focus and get annoyed, "Bastard!" He gives up on trying for a head shot, usually good at those things, and backs off down the thick branch to try and keep some distance. Things are heating up a bit. He looks around to get his bearings again on what is going on before he sets up for his next shot.

The Elite clashing with Viannea does not seem inclined to be maneuvered around by a smaller Havenite. It stands its ground, even moving to push her back in turn with heavy blows from the polearm despite the arrow that comes whipping back into it. The Hostile Scout still trying to get out of the pit gets an arrow right to the chest, knocking it straight back into the pit. The Hostile fencing with Antaeus takes the hit to its chest and keeps coming, although a trickle of blood starts to run down its chest. The Elite with the crossbow looses its bolt, a shot whistling past its helmet and another clanging off its breastplate, and then it straightens up, looking down into one of the pits alongside it, then turning its helmet toward the ambushers in a look that speaks very highly of a glare. The Scout menacing Tomas continues forward, sweeping its axe in wide arcs as it advances on Tomas.

<COMBAT> Hostile31 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Yolanda attacks Hostile31 with Bow but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tomas attacks Hostile12 with Sword but Hostile12 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Llacheu attacks Hostile31 with Bow but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile30 attacks Viannea with Polearm - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile12 attacks Tomas with Bludgeon - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Declan attacks Hostile11 with Bow - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Aidan attacks Hostile30 with Bow - Serious wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Viannea attacks Hostile30 with Sword but Hostile30 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile21 attacks Brienne with Spear - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Antaeus with Sword but Antaeus DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile11 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile21 with Sword but Hostile21 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Antaeus attacks Hostile20 with Sword - Light wound to Left Hand (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Tomas has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Viannea has been KO'd!

"Viannea!" Aidan shouts as his younger sister takes a bad wound. The arrow that sticks in the Hostile's chest does little to mollify him and as his sister recovers her wits, he readies to add another arrow to the growing collection.

It appears that Tomas has learned one thing so far, he's much more suited for space warfare on a ramship than he is running around in the trees fighting the Hostiles on foot. Give him a Hostile Transport to shoot at and he'll do great, here on the ground not so much and it is showing. The next exchange of blows also goes poorly for the Orelle Lieutenant as his swing with his blade is evaded and the counterstrike smacks him right in the chest, knocking him back and onto the ground again.

Yolanda's arrow goes wide as she fires at the Elite. It buries itself into the tree behind it, and draws a bloodied curse from her lips. She presses her hand against the wound at her side, apparently not as accustomed as one might expect to pain.

Declan counts a quick blessing when his first target stumbles and falls back, and immediately pivots to loose an arrow on it's partner in crime, getting another light hit in through the armor. It's then that his HUD starts warning him of new hostiles entering the field of battle, while other lights flash in alarm at the fallen members of the Ambush. "Lady Yolanda?" he inquires across the communications channel. It is, after all, her operation. He hunkers down again in anticipation of returned fire from his own 'friend,' as well.

There's the sinister hiss of sword passing through armor when the Hostile breaches it's protective barrier, the blade then sinking in several inches into her chest. Viannea blinks, stunned, but she somehow manages to stay on her feet, a sign of her stubbornness… er, willpower. Gritting her teeth, she tries to swing although with how weak she's getting she might not be able to put any power into her attack.

Of for Gods sakes! Llacheu's arrow misses /again/ and he's disgusted with himself. Very tempting to toss his bow and draw his sword to get on with it. Geeze. Bad luck. The archer's baritone cusses a stream of profanities that aren't like him either, though he says them mostly under his breath. Now he's pissed. Llac's looksee shows him that some of their team is getting hurt. Llacheu shifts around, taking another look quickly. That's when he sees Viannea take a hard hit and stagger! "Shit!" That's his new target, drawing his compound bow until fletching traces his ear.

Well damned if the Orelle didn't try sleeping on the job again. When he goes down, Brienne sees him out of her peripheral and sighs, barely avoiding the spear from the Hostile. "Mind holding on a minute there, metalhead?" Giving a feinted jab to try and by time, she moves back over to the Orelle, glad to be able to knock him around a little again.

It is a thing of beauty. The Hostile lashes out with his sword, Antaeus spins away and in a move designed to try and harm the hand holding the blade. A slight wound is delivered, but more importantly, Antaeus comes out unscathed. If there were a camera on hand to record what just happened, it might be something he could sit and watch over and over and over again. Alas, his reverie is interrupted by Aidan shouting out Vi's name. He catches her slumping to the ground with a rather rough brute closing in on her with a wicked looking polearm. "Looks like I need to kill you quick." He mutters to the Hostile in front of him, taking a more aggressive stance.

The Elite with the crossbow shakes its head, stepping carefully away from the edge of the pit and raising its crossbow again as two more arrows fly past it. The Hostile with the polearm takes another arrow to the chest, giving a somewhat mechanical groan, but since it blasted Viennea back, it continues its assault, reversing its grip on hits halberd and aiming to thrust at her with the spike on the head of the polearm. Tomas' opponent continues its advance, clashing aside the sword with the haft of its axe and closing hard, swinging down with a heavy blow of its axe. Declan knocks another Scout into the pit. Antaeus' foe misses its thrust, getting a glancing blow on its left gauntlet, spinning as it tries to advance. It speaks in a flat voice that sounds vaguely female, "Your attempt will be a failure, weak one."
Behind the ambush, there are glimmers in the forest, a pair of Soldiers and a pair of nearly-invisible Scouts slipping through the trees behind the archers.

<COMBAT> Hostile24 passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile21 attacks Brienne with Spear but Brienne DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile15 passes.
<COMBAT> Viannea attacks Hostile30 with Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile31 attacks Yolanda with Crossbow - Serious wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile31's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Hostile23 passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile14 passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile12 tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Declan attacks Hostile11 with Bow - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brienne attempts to rally Tomas and SUCCEEDS. Tomas is back in the fight!
<COMBAT> Yolanda attacks Hostile31 with Bow - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Tomas passes.
<COMBAT> Llacheu attacks Hostile30 with Bow - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile30 tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Antaeus with Sword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile11 attacks Declan with Launcher but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile11's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Antaeus attacks Hostile20 with Sword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Aidan attacks Hostile30 with Bow - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Hostile11 has been KO'd!

"Nice grouping." Aidan mutters as he places another arrow in the chest of the Hostile. Understandably, he does not sound happy since it's still on its feet despite doing a great impression of a quiver. "Yolanda, take cover." he tells his other sister, thus proving he's keeping track of all his family. All of the battle really since he's already decided to never ask an Orelle to a battle again. They'll break a nail.

Declan continues his game of cat and mouse at range, skirmishing with the remaining of the scouts. It seems to be going his way, as one of the metallic ribbons again strikes ineffectually against the heavy tree branch he ducks behind for cover. Then the young Lord pops back up to return fire, and strikes his attacker again in the chest, this time dropping it. It's a small victory. Scanning the rest of the field, he notices the mob around one of the elites, and then Antaeus under assault, and turns his fire in that direction, hoping to relieve his would be brother in law, although he keeps his profile low as the hostile reinforcements move into range.

And that is a mistake right there. Being called weak bolsters Viannea, putting more fire in her belly. So much so that the next miss doesn't even seem to faze her. "Those of House Peake are not week," she growls before shoving forward, seeking to repay the asshole for his earlier 'kindness'. Hopefully she'll be able to spill its blood onto the ground like it did hers.

While kneeling down beside Tomas, Brienne ducks just in time to avoid the spear from the Hostile, and it succeeds in making her quicker about rousing the Orelle. "Wake up, bones." The words almost an accusation. "Get on your feet." Once more, she shakes his shoulder, a little more gentle maybe, this time… but she's still rough in her attempt to get him back to the fight.

Yolanda intakes a sharp breath as the second crossbow bolt slams into her belly, this time impaling her just above her navel. She grasps at it, staggering a bit in the tree. She almost looks as she is about to fall, but she manages to keep upright. She looks pained, perhaps more than to be expected. She nods at her brother's words, but she then shakes her head. "One more," she says through bloodied teeth as she pulls another arrow.

Antaeus curses as the Hostile wounds him in the chest for the third time in their little dance of death. At least it isn't the face… or the head rather. Or the other part of his body that needs to remain undamaged for all time. Chicks may dig scars on the arms, legs and torso… but not the goods. Definitely not the goods. He does smile when his own counterattack wounds the Hostile far more than his previous blows. He's not going to let up now.

This time Llacheu's arrow hits, though not as soundly as he might like. Others are also attacking the badly wounded Hostile that's threatening Viannea, so the Arboren archer scans to seek others who are in bad shape - Tomas is down again. Though he doesn't know that man, Llac can see Brienne trying to look out for him so Llacheu lifts his bow to lend his aid there, if he might. Only he catches sight of movement past them in the woods, "FRESH HOSTILES INCOMING!" He shouts over his coms and adds direction he spotted movement. It's all he has time to do before Sgt Llacheu Acanthus is trying to nail the one menacing downed Tomas.

Once more Tomas is shaken to alertness though he is definitely feeling it, pain, soreness, exhaustion, all of the above. He's definitely not in good shape but not exactly dire either, not yet at least. He's accumulated a good amount of wounds though, wounds he has never received before. However, once back on his feet, the Orelle knows his duty and that is to take down the Hostiles. It takes a moment though for Tomas to gather himself but once he's back on his feet, he engages the Hostile that has been cutting him and his armor up.

The big Hostile fighting Viannea hesitates a moment as another series of arrows thud into its breastplate, resettling its grip on its halberd and snapping off the arrows sticking out of it. The Hostile fighting with Antaeus again exchanges blows, and again comes off the worse, but still manages to get a blow in. The soldier using Tomas as a yo-yo decides that enough is enough and actually turns its back on him, moving over to the edge of the nearest pit, leaning down and stretching out a hand toward one of those down below among the spikes. The Elite with the crossbow gestures to that Scout, directing it while it studies its prey up in the tree.
The second group that Llacheu has so ably spotted approaches the ambushers, lining up shots at the Havenites in the trees.

<COMBAT> Hostile31 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Yolanda attacks Hostile31 with Bow - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Viannea attacks Hostile30 with Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tomas attacks Hostile12 with Sword but Hostile12 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile21 attacks Brienne with Spear - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Antaeus with Sword - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile15 attacks Llacheu with Launcher - Serious wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile15's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Declan attacks Hostile20 with Bow - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Llacheu attacks Hostile12 with Bow - Light wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Hostile30 attacks Viannea with Polearm - Critical wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile24 attacks Yolanda with Crossbow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile24's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Hostile23 attacks Declan with Crossbow but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile23's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Hostile14 attacks Aidan with Launcher - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile14's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Hostile12 passes.
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile21 with Sword - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Antaeus attacks Hostile20 with Sword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Aidan attacks Hostile12 with Bow but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hostile20 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Viannea has been KO'd!

"So much for your simple ambush," comes Vi's voice over the coms, that directed to Aidan. Not that he ever said it'd be simple but she has to say something. The tone is angry but only slightly and definitely not directed at her brother. The tip of her tongue is swiped over the front of her teeth, Vi tasting blood when she does. Shit. That is not good." Gritting her teeth, she calls out, "Yolanda, are you holding out okay there," unaware as to her status. Not that she'll be aware of it if someone answers her as she's stunned by another blow, this one adding to the gravity of her situation. This time she doesn't stay on her feet, the woman instead sinking to her knees yet somehow managing to keep conscious. A feeble attempt at a swipe at the damn thing's leg is made, more to try and distract instead of hurt.

"My vision," Yolanda gasps across the comms as she continues to hold onto her bloodied belly. She doesn't appear to be holding onto her bow very well, but she turns away a bit to try to find some cover behind the tree.

As a Hostile leans over the pit to help another out, Aidan suddenly switches targets but his aim is interrupted by a bolt hitting him in the chest. "Damn it." They've spotted him. And as Vi staggers again, he obviously should have kept attacking the one attacking her. He deserves her anger for that miscall. But since his camouflage is now less than effective, he calls up his aura and forms a shield on his arm. Time to get some help here and he gestures toward the tree nearest Viannea which uses a branch to club at the enemy.

Taking the slight cut to the abdomen, Antaeus presses his attack and deals another slight cut to his target. A cheer is about to burst from his lips… then he notices the arrow sticking out of it. Damn it. Okay, now that the Hostile is down, he charges over to the hostile attacking Viannea, sword raised up in a formal salute of challenge before engaging the Hostile.

Intent on getting the Hostile, Brienne does keep a bare minimum of a lookout on the rest of the team and as she sees one get hit and fall, she prepares to assist until they get back up on their own power. With relief, she moves towards the same Hostile she's been attacking, grazing it lightly while still managing to avoid the sharp spear. Without hesitation, she swings her sword for another attack on the enemy.

Aha! He hits the Hostile that was whacking on thier downed man but now it's leaning over a pit. Tomas seems somehow to be back on his feet and that's good, with /more/ incoming. Llacheu passes a glance towards the new threat as the fresh enemy moves to close in and engage. His arrows are dwindling but he has some left. The Arboren scout reaches for another and is slammed by a launcher's steel ribbon. It penatrates into his abdominal muscles, slicing through his armour like butter. The shock of it takes his breath, staggering him. For the instant it's all he can do not to fall to the ground below! A hand out steadies him, his arrow not lost thankfully. Llac sucks a breath and makes himself try and draw it back - will the pain be too much or can he keep fighting? Aye, nothing wrong with his arms and shoulders yet.

"Don't let it get to its friends," Declan murmurs across the comms, and again draws aim. Although he takes a moment deciding between targets, the large, heavily damaged elite has several attacking it, so he focuses on making sure none of them escape the pits. That's the point, right?

The arrow-flecked Elite is driven half a step back by the swipe at its legs, not looking much better than the Havenite it is facing. Still, it is swinging on with its polearm, even as another Havenite comes sweeping toward it. The Hostile trying to reach down into the pit cannot quite reach the still-moving Hostile in the pit, and so it sets aside its axe and lays down, trying to reach further in despite the arrow that strikes it. Brienne's opponent continues trying to spear the woman, and continues to fail miserably, managing to scratch her armor but not a great deal more.
The Hostile flanking force fires off their ribbons of steel and bolts, looking between themselves as their assault seems to be in triumph, waiting as their weapons recharge.

A swing and a miss, Tomas is definitely sluggish with his wounds and damaged armor, so instead of going for another swing, the Orelle decides to just plant a boot into the Hostile's midsection while it is lying down trying to help its friends in the pit.

<COMBAT> Viannea attacks Hostile30 with Sword - ARMOR on Right Foot stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile23 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Hostile21 attacks Brienne with Spear but Brienne DODGES!
<COMBAT> Yolanda passes.
<COMBAT> Llacheu attacks Hostile12 with Bow - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile31 attacks Yolanda with Crossbow but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile31's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Hostile24 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Hostile15 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Hostile12 passes.
<COMBAT> Declan attacks Hostile12 with Bow - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile21 with Sword - Critical wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Aidan attacks Hostile30 with Psychometry - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Tomas attacks Hostile12 with Sword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile30 attacks Viannea with Polearm - Light wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Hostile14 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Antaeus attacks Hostile30 with Sword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

YES! He nailed that son of a whore's shat! Llacheu would be cheered if he wasn't hurting so much. He sucks for breath, one hand covering his gut for a second as he tries to pinpoint who shot at him. He turns his head and looks carefully, his back to the trunk of the tree he's up in to brace himself. Ah, there you are, aiming up at me. The Arboren woodsman brings his bow around to choose his new target, bleeding but still up himself and intent to do as much damage as he can, "Not going to overwhelm us, you grease pigs!"

Another blow is taken although this one is minor compared to the others, comically small when sized up to the two holes she has in her chest and te one in her neck. "I'm falling back," she announces while watching the one she was fighting topple into the pit. She didn't cause that to happen as she missed but it's good enough for her. Hefting herself onto her feet, Vi starts to make her way back to the protective covering of the trees, yelling at the same time. While her voice can be heard by all of them on their side via the comms she can also be heard from beneath her helmet, her yelling loud enough to do so. "That's bullshit! BULLSHIT! What the hell was that…" And the curse-filled ranting continues on. Hopefully no one present has 'delicate sensibilities' otherwise they'll be offended for all of her colorful language, some of which sounds like it's invented on the spot.

As the Hostile finally falls, into the pit which is as good a way of getting rid of it as any, Aidan turns his attention on the one attacking him. The aura surrounding his hand continues to glow as he directs a different tree in its attack. Branches reach down to bludgeon the Hostile, the side to side motion trying to knock it as well into whatever pit is nearest.

Once again, Brie manages to dodge the spear, ducking down just quick enough to rise again at the same time she shoves her sword into the Hostile, impaling it almost to the hilt. Twisting the blade while it's in, she growls before yanking it back out and shoving the Hostile with her boot. Moving to the next, she glances around briefly, making sure everyone was still up on their feet before swinging her blade again.

Yolanda has managed to avoid incoming hits from the Hostile as she braces her body against the tree. She looks down at the wound on her belly, and she sucks in a breath as she notices her blood has started to foam. Nope, that's not normal.

The Hostile on the edge of the pit is knocked off balance by two arrows and a sword, it pauses there a moment, and then it falls into the pit with a hiss and crackle in Hostile-ese. Brienne's opponent is finally knocked backwards as well, stepping back onto the surface of the third trap and sending it tumbling into the pit. Viannea's long-term opponent hops sideways, aiming to circle around her — only to find that the ground is not where it thinks it is. It too tumbles into the third pit, crashing to the ground beneath.
With the original force almost entirely in the pits, the remaining Elite begins to retreat slowly, stepping carefully backward around the pits. The flanking force does its best to draw attention, lining up additional shots.

Declan fires again, and while his aim remains true, this one just bounces off the target's armor. Fortunately, several others seem to get the job done, and it falls backward and at least out of view? Which is all that he can really ask for. It's then that the young lord refocuses his attention on the incoming fire from the small squad of reinforcements. There's enough of them that he not dare present a full silhouette to fire upon, and so he again hunkers into a defensive position against the foliage, only peeking forward to fire when the opportunity seems ripe.

Viannea isn't the only one withdrawing from the battle, because with the Hostile that has just been dispatched between the crossbolt and his own booted kick into the pit, Tomas begins move away from the engagement, at least out of the way enough so he can once more assess himself and try to survey the situation. Being in the thick of things is definitely not his forte.

Antaeus is quite satisfied as blade deals a rather damaging blow to the Hostile's chest. He watches it fall into the pit for a moment before redirecting his attention towards Vi. Seeing her trudge off to a place of relative safety, he nods and then gazes around the battlefield to see what other targets are available. Spotting one of the crossbow-wielding Hostiles, a feeling comes over him. A feeling that he wants to avenge himself upon those crossbow wielding fiends. He remembers well being shot in the chest on Primus. He charges.

<COMBAT> Hostile31 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Hostile24 attacks Yolanda with Crossbow - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile24's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Brienne tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Llacheu attacks Hostile15 with Bow - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile15 attacks Llacheu with Launcher - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile15's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Hostile14 attacks Aidan with Launcher - Moderate wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile14's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Declan attacks Hostile23 with Bow - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Antaeus attacks Hostile24 with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Aidan attacks Hostile14 with Psychometry - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Yolanda passes.
<COMBAT> Viannea passes.
<COMBAT> Tomas passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile23 attacks Declan with Crossbow but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile23's weapon clicks empty.

<COMBAT> Yolanda has been KO'd!

Yolanda is looking at her hand full of foaming blood when another crossbow bolt comes, from her perspective, out of nowhere. It slams through her chest, cutting from her right shoulder blade at an angle through the left of her ribcage. She breathes in sharply, sending blood right into her lungs. She slumps in the tree, and topples, her body falling like dead weight into the ground.

Viannea gets to safety just in time to see her sister get hit, causing her to scream. There's nothing pretty about that sound. It's raw, it's anger-fuled and it is so harsh that it causes her to cough up a bit of blood. As she rushes to Yolanda's side her helmet is removed, pulling back into the armor itself, exposing blood that's flowing down the corner of her mouth. "Noooo…. Yolnanda!"

"Remember! We are supposed to bring at least one of these things back alive!" You know, assuming they don't totally get their butts routed or killed off, first. Details. Llacheu takes a hit in the neck as another launcher ribbon zings up to strike him! Luckily, thank the Father, it hits at enough of an angle to be deflected and skitter away to coil harmlessly in the foliage below. Llac's arrow finds it's target almost simutaneously, striking deeply into the Hostile's chest. Yes! That's more like it. Maybe it took getting hurt himself to sharpen his focus and banish his fatigue. The Arboren scout reaches back to grab another arrow, intent.

"Yolanda!" Damn it! Who the hell didn't see the second group of Hostiles before choosing to lead the first into the trap? They'd have had this if not for them. Aidan swings an arm, the tree branch moving in tandem to try to strike the Hostile, as he rushes toward his older sister.

Declan mutters a low curse as another arrow thuds ineffectually into armor - but as before, his hide-and-seek skills seem top notch and he manages to keep down and out of the hostile's returned fire. Of course, once they start reloading, he pops back up and gets a clearer view, drawing a slow, steady aim. "Make sure the Young Lady Peake is attended," he barks over the comm once she falls. "Melee, pressure those reinforcements. Can I get status information for the hostiles in the pits? Are any still active?"

His charge left him slightly winded, and so his subsequent attack is no where near his mark. Cursing, Antaeus presses the attack once again now that the Hostile has to reload. He's more than happy to provide Declan with some pressure to help get these Hostiles out of the fight so the wounded can be attended to.

Despite her intentions of attacking another Hostile, the ribbon catches Brie's attention and she watches helplessly as it hits Yolanda. Unable to stop it, all she can do is watch as if in slow motion the damage. She takes a deep breath to call out but stops as Vi says the exact words she was going to say. Pressing her lips together, she runs towards her, avoiding the pits. By no means is she a medic. Unable to respond to Aidan and his silently asked question, to which she would reply that it was she who had led them, she does cease her rush towards her since there are still Hostiles rushing towards him. "Someone help her that knows medicine!" The command is issued through the comms.

The Elite with the crossbow continues to retreat, looking around for a target of opportunity as it ducks back into the trees. The other Hostiles continue their retreat as well, having struck and sprung the Elite free.

<COMBAT> Yolanda passes.
<COMBAT> Viannea passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile31 passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile15 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Hostile14 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Declan attacks Hostile23 with Bow - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Tomas passes.
<COMBAT> Llacheu attacks Hostile15 with Bow but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile24 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Hostile23 finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile15 with Sword - Critical wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Antaeus attacks Hostile24 with Sword - ARMOR on Left Arm stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Aidan attacks Hostile14 with Psychometry - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Hostile15 has been KO'd!

"We need to stop at least one of them from getting away or our mission's failed." Aye, his Lords, ladies and knights will not care to be reminded by a mere common born Sergeant. Llacheu raises his bow a little higher as the Hostiles are falling back, aware he's got maybe one more shot before they'll get out of range and have to be tracked on foot, if they are able. Llac fires off his shot and through the foliage, it looks like maybe he misses but it's hard to say. Hard indeed, for the one he was aiming at falls. They aren't out of range just yet so he shoulders his bow and starts down out of his tree to hit the ground, boots first. Time to close in, pick which one is wounded most he might reach.

"Do not pursue any retreating hostiles away from the group." Once more Declan's voice comes over the communication channels. "Continue attacking while you maintain a firing solution, and secure the pit area and our injured comrades. Form a perimeter there." He still seems to be in the line of fire, so indeed, he follows his own orders and returns fire, although once more from a defensive position.

Aidan drops to his knees when he gets to his sister and takes a moment to assess the damage. Conclusion: way, way, way beyond anything he can do except try to stop the bleeding.

Cursing, Antaeus shakes his head bitterly as his attack misses while the bastard seems to reload and line up to take a shot at him. Alright, so he wants to shoot at him, Antaeus can respond to that. Getting into a more defensive posture, he proceeds to move closer, striking out with his sword.

Viannea finds a tree to lean her back against, needing the support to keep herself upright. "I don't… I can't…" Coughing, she reaches up to wipe the red from her lips, trying to hide her own wounds from Aidan so he won't be made to worry further. "Get her out of here, Aidan. She won't make it if she stays here any longer." An evac while still under fire is dangerous and she knows it but they need to get Yolanda out of here otherwise the Peakes will be down by one.

Brie had no intention on chasing anyone away from the site, she hears her brother and continues going for the nearest Hostile to her, hearing the talking but unable to assist anyone there in helping either Yolanda or Vi or anyone else who has been hurt

Even as one of the Hostile flanking force falls, the others hesitate a moment in their retreat, firing off once more as they pull back. Likewise, the Elite with the crossbow focuses on the Knight who has demolished two of its Soldiers, aiming a last bolt at her.

Yolanda is spasming on the ground, sputtering foam and blood as her body starts to go into shock. The wounds that were struck by the elite's crossbow bolt continue to bubble and foam, specks of strange green liquid mixed with her blood. Her eyes are wide, pupils heavily dilated, as she stares up beyond the canopy.

In the third pit, most of the Hostiles have met their fate on barbs, but a single Soldier is trying to find its footing, but the critical wound to its chest is slowing its progress. It slumps back against the wall of the trap, grasping at its gaping wound while its helmet gazes around as the barbed Hostiles spasm and jerk, trying to free themselves while worsening their wounds.

Without his ranged weapon in hand and the wounds he took, Tomas remains by one of the trees as the battle continues, still bleeding from the wounds he had taken. For now, he is focusing more on staying conscious than getting back into the fray.

<COMBAT> Tomas passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile24 attacks Antaeus with Crossbow - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile24's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Yolanda passes.
<COMBAT> Viannea passes.
<COMBAT> Llacheu passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile31 attacks Brienne with Crossbow - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile31's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Hostile14 attacks Aidan with Launcher - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile14's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Declan attacks Hostile23 with Bow - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile24 with Sword but Hostile24 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile23 attacks Declan with Crossbow - Light wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> Hostile23's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Antaeus attacks Hostile24 with Sword and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Aidan treats Yolanda:
< Chest (Serious): unsuccessful
< Yolanda is back in the fight.

<COMBAT> Aidan has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Antaeus has been KO'd!

His intent is clear that Llacheu meant to go after them, track them as he's able and take one of the Hostiles down if he could and subdue it. At some risk to himself. He's not heavily armoured like some. Declan's order checks the archer even as Llac starts, drawing his bow from his shoulder and another arrow from his quiver. "Aye, m'lord." The Sergeant's armour is damaged at his gut, seeping blood of his own. Not, as far as he knows, frothing or any strange foamy color though he hasn't paid it a great deal of attention. Been no time. Llacheu goes where he was bid to, falling back to the pits and where their own wounded lay. He nocks another arrow, ready to fire if he has any targets left in range.

Yolanda takes in a shallow, ragged breath. For a heartbeat, her eyes focus on Aidan. "Did we get it?" She wheezes, totally focused on the mission at hand while she grasps at her brother. "Did we get it?" Blood bubbles at her lips as she speaks.

Antaeus tries his best to dodge the incoming crossbow bolt, but sadly it still causes him a grazing wound. Whether it's the pain of yet another injury, or just the cumulative blood loss of five wounds during this little skirmish… who knows (well, maybe Ariana, or Ancelina, or Elodie, or any medical professional…). Antaeus slips into a daze, falling to his knees with a grunt, and then down to his hands, and then onto the ground. Taking several quick breaths, he fortifies his resolve and slowly stands back up, ready to continue the fight if needed, but for now standing in a defensive posture.

The bolt to the chest on top of the one to his head on top of worrying about Yolanda just sends him toppling over blinking as he tries to make sense of what's happening. Shaking his head to clear it, he moves back to Yolanda's side and takes her hand in one of his. "Yes, more than one probably." Hopefully. Keying in the Peake frequency, he says "Get doctors out here now! Yolanda's hurt bad and needs immediate care." So do many of the rest of them for that matter. "Don't talk." he tells his sister. "Help is coming."

Finally, Declan's hide-and-seek luck runs its course and he's struck in the hand as he tries to duck back behind cover, just failing to get that one important part of him back quickly enough. Again, the hostiles are reloading, and again he dares emerge to fire more boldly, aiming for the same target as before, perhaps even at the same place as before, where his last arrow (or last several?) are lodged among breaks in the creature's armored chestplate. "Antaeus, do you have a ranged weapon? Get behind some cover." Perhaps an un-needed bit of advice as he lays down fire, a bit of an offense-as-defense measure for the rest of the team.

With every intention of striking down the Hostile nearest her, Brie makes the near fatal mistake of not remembering the one with the ribbon bolts like the one that shot Yolanda. From some distance, it comes flying in, penetrating her armor and sinking into her chest, causing her to stumble several steps backwards. A gauntlet covered hand reaches up and she groans with the pain inflicted.. with no intention of staying down though, she rises.. attempting to lift her sword, finding herself very hindered by the damage done so she can only get one hand around it good enough, trying two hands creates pressure in her chest. Determinedly, she takes a few steps, advancing forward while attempting to continue the attack.

The Hostiles loose their final volley, and then duck and dodge away, twisting away from their attackers and running into the woods, trying to slip between the trees to avoid sight.

Now that the elder knight from the Peakes is all but incapacitated, Viannea takes charge while Aidan attends to their sister. "If we have any that are alive fall back," she commands, the helmet sliding back up over her head so she can speak into the small device that sends her order to everyone. "We got one greviously injured…" And there's herself but she doesn't say anything about being injured as well, "and we need to get the fuck out of here." Despite the pain and the grogginess that is starting to take hold she manages to get a sharpness to her voice. "Anyone not too injured put up a defensive line so we can cover the evac."

The orders are given, the defensive line forming up. Well, Llacheu's still on his feet, if wounded. Few if any of them are unscathed this time. He raises his bow and lines up a shot, hard to see the retreating Hostiles now through the thick foliage. The Sergeant holds his shot, tracking one he catches glimpses of and then, when he hopes most he might yet strike a hit, he let's fly! As yet, he's not aware of who's down, who's hurt the most, or how many of their own are still on their feet.

With the Hostiles retreating from the area and the sounds of battle dying down, Tomas finally climbs back up to his feet but rather slowly, using the tree he was leaning against for support. The Orelle sees some of the others still taking potshots at the retreating invaders so he goes to look at the other wounded, ready to fall in with them.

Yolanda continues to try to breathe through her nose and mouth but she continues to choke on her own air and blood. She grips for Aidan's hand, squeezing hard on his fingers as she struggles through the pain. Her eyes look beyond him once more, gaze locked on the twilight heavens above.

When she notices the remaining Hostiles running away, it's just not in Brie to give chase. Stabbing her blade into the ground, she takes a knee, resting there a moment, just trying to catch her breath, faced towards Yolanda. Flipping up her visor, she takes as deep a breath as she can and yells. "Turn her on her fucking side so she'll stop choking idiot!"

In the pit, the Hostile paces amongst the dying or dead of its own. It turns its helmet up to the distant ledge above, and it calls out through its helmet vocorder, "Release me!"

Viannea looks at her sister and immediately chokes back a sob. She's not a doctor - that was left to Brigham, the kid genius of House Peake, to become - but even then she can tell it's bad. Rising to her feet, she turns and looks away, now facing the pit where the yelling comes from. Death is not coming swiftly for it just like it isn't coming swiftly for her sister and she can only hope that if the captured Hostile does die that it'll suffer.

<COMBAT> Llacheu attacks Hostile23 with Bow - Light wound to Right Leg (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Declan attacks Hostile23 with Bow but MISSES!

Yolanda starts to breathe easier, but she still looks absolutely terrible. She continues to grip on Aidan's hand tightly as they wait for th evac team.

Down in the pit, the Hostile continues to pace in an endless back and forth like a caged cat. It will eventually be neutralized and taken back to Peake, where it awaits its fate… whatever that might be.

Llacheu releases one last arrow and it flies off through the trees, arcing. It's very difficult to tell if he hit anything, though it sounds like it. Could have struck a tree or the ground for all he can tell but maybe, just maybe it was armour. No telling. Exhausted, he lowers his bow. There is yet much work to do. Llac raises his visor and takes in a ragged breath, "All right, keep my ass moving." A littany to himself. He's heard the evac team called in so he wipes his brow and turns to see what he might do for his fellow wounded. First aid training might come in handy to at least slow bleeding, others first, then his own.

It's been a rough day. The prowling noises of the trapped Hostile is a welcome sound, the sound of victory, though a small, costly one.

Viannea returns to her sister's and brother's side, kneeling down heavily. Leaning over, she hugs Yolanda and starts to cry, uncaring as to if that might make her appear weak in the eyes of the others. She just lets it out, clinging to her as if both of their lives depend on it.

Declan would really have liked to finish that last one off, but it is not to be; the hostiles scatter into the woods, and true to his earlier statement, the Arboren heir is in no mood to chase them. In fact, looking back on their battered troop, the hostile departure might be a blessing. "We'll return to Khar-Mordune immediately with the seriously wounded, while reinforcements join the remainder of the force here to properly secure and transport the hostile back to it's new home."

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