Author Topic: Daniel's Athro Challenge pt 2 (Warning very long!)  (Read 631 times)

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Offline Daniel

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Daniel's Athro Challenge pt 2 (Warning very long!)
« on: February 16, 2009, 04:31:39 AM »

Daniel paced before the fire, “The next part of the challenge was the hardest for me. I know that what was done was what had to be done but still I wonder if there could have been another way…”

He sighed. “A better storyteller would probably not say this and allow the challenges to grow harder until the final one. For the drama if for nothing else. But I am no Galliard and I tell you that this still haunts me. The scars of the others are fading but I keep returning to this second path.”

“After Madness, the Turtle led us to Change. I am certain you have heard the story, rhya, of how I came to hold the Seeker and what it means.” He held aloft his ever present rainstick. “The second path took us to that Gate and the turtle spoke a prophecy. I do not recall the exact wording now but the main of it was that Pangea was being corrupted and that three would enter. And that one of the three would fall to a beast. The second would kill the beast and the third would cleanse the land with their heart’s blood.”

 “Five of us started on this journey but I decided that Makisha and Spirit of Stone would stay behind. Pangea is no place for a cliath let alone a kinfolk.”

 “I opened the gate and we stepped through. But it did not lead to the place that it should have and instead we found ourselves in a village. And in that village was one of the Fallen.”
 
“It should not have been. Tribe has no meaning for us there. It disappears from our minds like sense before a waishu. But there it stood and with every step we could feel the taint flowing from it and into the land. It was exhorting the people of this village to rape and pillage a second settlement. And they were listening and shouting and falling under the sway of the Fallen’s words.”

“And then the Dancer saw us and ordered them to kill us. We were reluctant to slay the villagers and managed to defeat most of them without death leading them off into traps that they could not escape from. Hoping that we might talk sense back into them later.”

“But after the villagers came our battle with the Fallen itself. You have seen Garou that stand in height above others of our kind? This one stood twice again above the largest that I had ever seen. But we did not falter. Weapons drawn we faced our foe. We were canny. We were smart. We felt our rage and loosed our wolves.”

 “And there came a time when that was not enough....”
 
*     *     *     *     * 

Daniel wiped the blood from his face with a backward swipe of one hand. The effort to do even that was almost too much for his exhausted muscles. The three of them crouched behind a large outcropping of stone, voices the barest of whispers as they hid from their pursuer.

“That was my last arrow.” Miakoda dropped her bow and quiver now only so much extra weight.

“I thought for sure the poisoned stakes would slow him down.” Daniel shook his head in disbelief. “The mud pit, poison, a giant beetle.”

“It was a good plan, Daniel. It worked just as you said it would. Except for the him falling down dead part.” Seeks slowly stretched himself out trying to relax muscles gone tense. The Ahroun oddly seemed to have refound his sense of humour. He held his right arm tight against his chest. The wound had stopped bleeding but bone and glistening sinew shone through the deep rent.

Daniel was no doctor but it looked like the limb was being held on by little more than the surrounding skin and a few tenuous strands of muscle. “Yeah that was probably the most important part though, I think.”

 “He’s very fast with that sword.”

Miakoda risked a glance over the rockface, “It isn’t that we aren’t hurting him. He’s just healing so fast. And speaking of healing… I’m afraid that I’m out.” She spread her hands apologetically. “No spirit brew left.”

Seeks nodded stoically wincing only slightly as he maneuvered to find a more comfortable position.

The primordial jungle shook with the sound of approaching footfalls.

“It has to be that amulet.” Miakoda flopped down beside them. “It’s like nothing I’ve seen before. It glows… but almost like… the opposite of a glow. Not darkness mind you. Just a non-glow.” She shook her head aware that she wasn’t making sense.

 “I’ll get the amulet…” started Daniel. “You ram his sword down his throat.”

The sound of laughter floated on the wind. The crashing in the jungle drew closer.

“Won’t work Peace Chief. And you know it. You’re not fast enough. And I can’t wield his sword with a broken paw. Would you make me a liar to a Legend?”

Daniel’s frown deepened. “I’m distraction then. You’re on high.” He pointed to a tree. Seeks nodded, shifted to Hispo and leapt up into the foliage hiding among the leaves.

“Come out. Come out Gaian slugs.”

“Don’t move.” Daniel told Miakoda. And stepped out into the open.

*     *     *     *     *

“I played the mother partridge leading the predator away from her nest. I did not have to feign much of a limp. It was all I could do to stay ahead of him. He was enjoying stalking me. Chasing me. Making me flee. And when he came under the spot where Seeks was hiding the Ahroun dropped upon him with hardly a sound. The Fallen didn’t know that he was under attack until Seeks’ claws were down his back and his teeth were at his throat.”

“Despite his injuries, I have never seen Seeks move faster."

"And yet, it was not enough.”

*     *     *     *     *

Seeks leapt back with a snarl. The sword tip cut past his nose missing cleaving his skull by a breath. He leapt in, savaged his opponents left calf trying to hamstring him. He felt the flesh part beneath his teeth. The snap of sinew. He leapt away, landed poorly and could not contain the yelp of pain as he landed on his right front paw. Bone grated on bone. That should buy him a few seconds to rest but no… the Fallen was already starting to rise off his one knee. The flesh knitted as he watched. If only it would stop laughing. He dodged the sword. Was hammered hard in the ribs by a kick that sent him sprawling. He rose painfully to his paws. Tried to shake the cobwebs from his head. There had to be some way… and then he saw it….

Seeks had only one chance left. The Fallen was just too fast. Too strong. Strong enough maybe if he was willing… and he was. He slid under a high cut. Now the vertical slash up. A disemboweling blow that he would have to dodge. That he was expected to dodge. Except he didn’t. The sword tore through him like liquid fire. Hot. Wet. The Fallen could not stop his swing. 

Seeks felt his jaws clamp hard around the amulet’s chain. The links part around breaking teeth as the force of the blow propelled him upward. Irresistibly upward.

And then he was airborn flung off the blade. He would have howled victoryexcept that he couldn’t find his breath. And his mouth seemed to be filled with the taste of metal. He was flying again. He had always liked to fly. The sky seemed so close… "Sorry love..."

Daniel howled and threw himself at the Dancer. The shift to Crinos was instinctual and instantaneous. He was half surprised to find that he wasn’t in frenzy. The Fallen was turning following Seeks’ ascent. The Ahroun twisted bonelessly in the air. With a heaving wrench Daniel grabbed the sword. He wasn’t strong enough to tear it from the Dancer’s grasp. Instead he used the force of the swing to bury the blade deep into the creature’s own shoulder.

The Fallen howled.

Daniel fed his rage. Twisting the blade. Using his weight to force it deeper. Carving through ribs. Even so wounded the Dancer was able to backhand him away. He leapt back at his foe. Slashed with knives. Forgot his knives and buried his teeth in the Fallen’s throat. It fell to its knees a look of utter disbelief on its face. “I was promised…”It gurgled. It fell forward and did not rise.

*     *     *     *     *

"And thus were the promises of the Wyrm proven false."

“There was no sense of victory in this fight. Miakoda rose from the rocks and made her way to her former packmate. Whatever she said to him I did not hear it. They were words for the dead, to the dead and I will not include them in this tale. I hope you do not find such omission sufficient reason to refuse this challenge.”

Daniel stared hard at Aetopa for a moment but dropped his gaze before it became a serious challenge. He continued, his voice a little softer. “There was a third part to the prophecy. And what happened next robbed us of even a semblance of victory.”

“The blood from the Fallen pumped from its body in great quantities. It spread in a growing pool and everywhere it touched the smell of corruption rose. The death of the wyrm’s minion had not stopped the threat to Pangea.”

“Miakoda slashed her palms with her knife and bled into the pool but this only seemed to speed the spread of the puddle. The prophecy had said that the heart’s blood was what was required. She handed me her knife. Stared into my eyes and nodded.”

“And I carved out my packmate’s heart.”

“Where her blood fell, the land was reborn. The puddle of her blood soon overtook the spread of the corruption and consumed it within.”

“I returned to the Gate, stepped through and awoke in the glade. Seeks and Miakoda were alive though near death. Their wounds grave but manageable. I looked to Turtle who said that I had learnt that Change is defeated by Inevitability.”

“I asked if it had been a dream and the turtle replied that it was a shade of things to come.”

“I have come to believe in my heart that the warrior that we faced is out there somewhere. That it is his purpose to try and corrupt Pangea and we should make ourselves ready for that attempt so that the sacrifice that was made there does not need to be repeated.”
 
And then Daniel fell silent for a time remembering.

End of Part Two
Elder Wendigo Philodox Homid
Pure Breed x4 Diplomatic x4, Persuasive x4