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Thread: The Siege of Welch Run - 11/19 afternoon, De Angelis Castle - Hepburns and Dawns [open]

  1. #1
    House Hepburn Grant Hepburn's Avatar  
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    The Siege of Welch Run - 11/19 afternoon, De Angelis Castle - Hepburns and Dawns [open]

    Grant had split the royal forces at the base of Colmar Hill, and they had traveled in three separate parties towards the holdings of Lord Dastan. Seamus had taken the hobelars down the road leading directly to the main gates. His return was going to be expected by the residents regardless of what they thought might have happened in the capital. Dastan had no reason to assume that as Queen Vivienne's Shield, his brother would not return to his normal duties. The escort of two dozen men might seem odd, but even at that there was nothing to say that they weren't just fellow citizens who had attended the coronation. At least not from a distance.

    Despite a warning from the Knight of Autumn before they departed, Grant had sent Larson and Gavin together to circle behind the city with the Queen's Men, with orders to flank the De Angelis forces should they ride out to meet Seamus in armed conflict. He gave his cousin strict orders for patience, as he anticipated that there would likely be a small set of riders who went out to greet the Shield and see if Aloise had returned with him, and he didn't want the Knights of Dawn to spring their trap before the majority of Dastan's defenses had presented themselves. If Seamus' reports were accurate, there would be almost four score of soldiers defending the keep, and the more they hunkered down, the longer this would take.

    This of course, left Grant and Bosleigh as the lone members of the third group, who were now traveling on foot through the low brush on the southeast end of the castle grounds. They had tied their horses off further down the creek bed where there had still been some water trickling through it. The little stream had dried out at the point they had come to now, and Bosleigh frowned at the mud and clay starting to dry on his boots. "I thought you promised Remington that you weren't going to get us killed?"

    A slightly painful smile crossed Grant's chapped lips, sore from the wind on the open plains and the long ride from the capital. "I promised Rubianne that I wouldn't get myself killed," he corrected his brother as he turned to a part of the trail where the ravine was slightly deeper and he could afford to straighten his back and stretch without being spotted from the road. "I'm not sure your safety was a priority in her eyes."

    The younger man frowned and shook his head. "Yeah well, don't forget, you still have to answer to Delaney and Satrina if I don't come back," he said, though neither of the two men were overly concerned. If everything about this plan somehow managed to go horribly wrong, they were both pretty certain that Leigh would still find a way to survive and get back to his old life of drinking and whoring. There was no sense in trying to fight destiny on that level.

    "I didn't think you wanted to go back," Grant said as he started pushing along the small tree line once more, his brother trailing closely behind him. "Thought for sure the arrangement with Lord Ripley was the reason you had volunteered for this suicide mission." There was a hand on his shoulder, and Grant stopped to look back at a quizzical expression on his brother's face. "Didn't mother tell you? The reason Beet was with her? Oh man, I thought you knew. Congratulations, stud." The Lord of Maple Glade started again, but Leigh was apparently too shocked to move. After and handful of steps, Grant looked back again. "Oh, yeah, if you could get me a list of which girlfriends you want to invite to the wedding, I need to try and keep the guest list under five hundred."


    @Gavin Hepburn @Larson Caldoran

  2. #2
    House Hepburn Seamus Hepburn's Avatar  

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    The Riders of the Reach were arrayed neatly on the field, two dozen well-controlled beasts staring in the direction of the castle gates. Seamus was not particularly in a rush, and the delay was particularly useful in buying time for the other forces to get into position. The Shield of Welch Run might have just led his men right up to the stables, if not for the fact that the patrol party of the city had spotted them and dashed like the wind back to their master. Hepburn had no particular desire to pursue, and in fact was hoping for a relatively bloodless encounter here. Despite the actions taken against him by Dastan De Angelis a couple weeks prior, Seamus had worked hard to convince himself that his mission here was justice and not revenge, either for himself or Aloise.

    Seamus had been about to signal his man with the horn to announce their presence, but was stopped when Tilbury touched his arm and motioned to the score of men gathering in front of the keep. The lone rider at the head of the pikemen appeared to sneer at the knight who was dressed in his red and white cloak, and Seamus rolled his eyes at the sight of Ethan. He had his horse pacing along the line of soldiers, but no matter which way the beast wheeled, the boy never took his eyes off of his adversary. "Are we waiting for them to come to us," Tilbury asked with genuine curiosity, not even twitching the lance in his right hand.

    "They won't," Seamus assured him. He could hear the girl again. That crazy blond haired menace that stalked the halls of Welch Run. "When he falls, the men at the gates will come out to get him. Hold your line, and don't give them battle unless they move past his position," the knight commanded, knowing that nobody would without Dastan's orders. Ethan was a hothead, but nobody really respected him. He had done little to earn it, and that was part of why he was such a ornery little kitten.

    Spurring his charger forward a few paces, Seamus smiled when the boy did the same. The shake of his head was almost imperceptible, and his disbelief at Ethan's action surprised him a little bit. Brash though he was, the Shield had still anticipated that he was only there as a show of force while Dastan made preparations inside the building. In fact, everything he saw on the field gave him the impression that there would be no avoiding a conflict. Despite all of Grant's efforts, it would appear that Danush or someone else had tipped off the Lord of Welch Run, and nobody appeared ready to leave willingly.

    "Where is Aloise," the young man yelled across the gap of turf between them. "She is mine by right, and you have taken her for yourself. I demand that you return her at once," he screamed, though it was clear that she was not with the men. Seamus made a show of looking behind himself and checking, but sure enough the youngest surviving daughter of House Peregrine was nowhere to be found.

    When the knight spun back in his saddle to face the boy, he could feel his fingers tightening on the pommel of the broad sword in its scabbard, his half lance still strapped to the flank of his steed. Raising his eyebrows at the demand, Seamus merely shrugged. "No," he said simply, and smiled when Ethan looked somewhat confused by the simplicity of his answer. "Aloise has been given refuge by Houses Shellten and Hepburn, and has been returned to her rightful rank as Lady Peregrine. As the baseborn son of a peasant usurper, you will learn to address her by her proper title, or you will suffer the penalties associated with such a lack of decorum." Hepburn was just needling the boy now, and he had seen enough of Ethan to know how that was accomplished. He pushed his horse even closer. "What did you think, bastard boy? That you could parlay your father's betrayal into something for yourself? That you could mistreat Lady Peregrine the way that your father did to your mother? Is that what you learned? That women were beneath you?" Seamus laughed aloud and shook his head. "You, Ethan, are the scum on the bottom of Aloise's shoe. And she can't even be bothered to scrape you off, because you aren't worth the effort."

    Ethan was seething now, and he could see one of the pikemen look at him nervously. If the guardsman had a suggestion, he never got to voice it, as the De Angelis bastard drew his longsword and kicked his heels into his horse's flanks, screaming curses as he charged directly for the Hepburn knight.

  3. #3
    House Caldoran Larson Caldoran's Avatar  

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    It was a long ride, quiet on his part, he listened to the conversations around him. The men were exchanging stories, jokes, bawdy tales, and some of conquests worthy of boasting. He kept his cloak wrapped around him, to keep himself warm, and periodically rechecked to make sure he brought all the weapons he meant to bring.

    When he wasn't listening to those around him, laughing with their jokes, he was enjoying the ride. Though they were riding toward a battle, it'd been so long since he was able to enjoy a ride on a horse that he didn't have to be completely alert for. He didn't have to watch out for his surroundings, he didn't have to make sure anyone stayed safe. He could just ride. For what it was, it was nice. The steady sounds of the tack jingling with the horse's movement and his hooves below him was enough to lull him into a false sense of comfort. He mustn't forget why they were there.

    Larson and Gavin were given orders to ride around the back of the city and attack the DeAngelis forces from a second front. The Queen's men behind them, the pair rode side-by-side in silence. Keeping quiet had never been the Caldoran's style so, as always, he had to speak up. He didn't lift his voice much above a whisper, firstly because the men behind them didn't need to hear the conversation, second because their show of force was to be a surprise.

    "Listen, Gavin, I'm sorry alright?" He never really looked over to his fellow Knight, just a quick glance. "Are we square?" He didn't offer any extra explanation than he'd given the Hepburn Knight during their original argument. He was hoping they could shake hands and leave it all behind them.

    @Gavin Hepburn

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    House Hepburn Grant Hepburn's Avatar  
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    "Suicide mission," Bosleigh was caught somewhere between a scoff and a mumble as he found a retort for his brother. "You know, if you don't come back from this excursion, I'd technically be head of House Hepburn, and Satrina would never allow me to marry so low," he said with a tone that made it clear he had this all figured out. "You sure you want to be walking in front of me," he asked his brother.

    Grant gave the threat no credence at all, knowing his brother too well for all of that. "So low?" There was almost a tinge of annoyance in his voice, but it quickly faded. "The old coot is smarter than you give her credit for," Grant assured him, pausing to crawl up the bank of the ravine and get a better look at the castle. "She harbors no delusions that you would be fit to marry up in my absence, dear brother. And a union with House Ripley would secure Maple Glade and the Reach for generations. You would be stuck with Beet regardless," the lord said, and Leigh realized it was probably true. "But if you would rather not, then I will be happy to find a reason why the pairing is inadequate." Grant made it sound very much like he would be doing Bosleigh a favor by dissolving a contract that never existed, but he was content to allow his brother to think that he would be in his debt for it.

    Leigh waited impatiently in the bed of the ravine, fingers toying with the pommel of his longsword. "Let's get ourselves safely back to Hebron before you go planning my life, alright? It could be over in a few hours anyway." And if that were the case, he'd almost be disappointed that Beet wasn't here at the moment. "You see anything?"

    Grant allowed his eyes to cross to the field and nodded slowly. "Seamus was right. There's a small force in line by the gates. Looks like Ethan De Angelis and a small posse with him." It was remarkable how the youngest Hepburn had anticipated that so accurately. It was almost as though he had been tipped off by someone. "If he's right about anything else, the entrance to the cellars will only be a few hundred yards along the stream."

    Taking an angle as Leigh marched up the bed of the ravine which was getting muddier as they went, Grant met him at the point where they would turn toward the castle. "Still clear," he told the other man.

    "Good," Leigh answered. "Let's get in there before that kid does something stupid." If Seamus were right about that too, then the battle was about to commence, and he and Grant would need to be inside already in order to take full advantage of the diversion.


    @Seamus Hepburn @Gavin Hepburn
    Last edited by Amy; 11-14-2017 at 07:47 PM.

  5. #5
    House Hepburn Gavin Hepburn's Avatar  

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    The last time Sir Gavin had travelled this road, he had ridden behind a royal carriage. Her carriage. It had been warm and he had been able to feel his fingers then, though the afternoon sun was beginning to soak through the tough leather and reflective metal that was secured on top.

    He had volunteered for this. Practically begged to go. The distraction, above all, was needed. And after his poor performance at the joust, Gavin was thankful for the chance at redemption. He would never admit that he his nerves were up in arms, that the next few hours would provide likely the most combat he’d seen yet. But it wasn’t his skills, or lack there of, that he was doubting. It was always the enemy.

    They had not stayed long at Colmar Hill before the forces were split. Gavin and Larson were assigned the Queen’s forces, a fair size for the attack ahead. He’d gotten to know the group during the ride, listening quietly to their stories and banter. A few faces he’d recognized, though it was Larson’s assignment that gave Gavin the most pause.

    It shouldn’t surprise him that this was how the plans played out. And he almost said as much as the two of them rode before the rest of their force but held his tongue, when he should have addressed the main issue. They had to work together now, or risk the edge of a sword if their petty argument caused issues. Besides, the bruise was almost gone.

    "Listen, Gavin, I'm sorry alright? Are we square?” The words had come a moment after Gavin took a breath to offer his own and honestly surprised him. But the lack of further detail or explanation was not lost on Gavin, and he wasn’t going to press it. Now wasn’t the time, and it was none of his business.

    ”Yeah. We’re square,” Gavin replied as he shifted in his saddle while clearing his throat. ”I’m sorry too, for what it’s worth.” The Hepburn knight fiddled with the reins for a moment. ”What are you thoughts on this?” He waved his hand to signal their location, far enough from the castle to remain unseen by watchtower guards, but still annoyingly open in the plains of Tuneric. Gavin wasn’t going to open their personal can of worms, so he elaborated with his own impression, ”I don’t remember being impressed by De Angelis’ garrison.”

    @Larson Caldoran

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    House Hepburn Seamus Hepburn's Avatar  

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    Seamus was out of the saddle in a beat, his foot clearing the stirrup in a single movement. The broad sword was out of the sheath and he swatted the flanks of the charger with the flat of the blade. The beast scampered back to their line in a moment, and Tilbury gathered up the reigns. The remainder of the hobelars there looked nervous, and a few had issues keeping their mounts under control as the larger steed rejoined them.

    Ethan was only a score of yards away, and Seamus inhaled with a controlled breath as he lifted the hand crossbow from his hip. He wasn't a fan of this tactic, but he was under strict orders from Grant to take no chances. The bolt sprung from the wood and string, and as the charging horse had closed to within a dozen paces, it suddenly reared back, dumping Ethan to the side as it rolled the opposite direction with blood pouring from its head. The knight tossed aside the ranged weapon and hefted his blade as the boy rolled and frantically found his feet. His steed would live, and was likely more spooked than anything.

    The boy had his longsword overhead with two hands and was nearly blind with rage. Seamus didn't even raise the bastard sword to block, but parried with almost no effort and allowed the younger man to run by him. The knight had no desire to see Ethan yield, but he offered him the option as was required by the code. "Lay down your weapon, De Angelis, and submit to the judgment of your sovereign, Queen Vivienne," he instructed the boy, who clearly had no intention of heading the order.

    Ethan stopped his momentum and huffed as he turned slowly now, confident that Seamus was not going to cut him down while his back was turned and before he had given him an answer. "I will yield when your head is on a pike above the gates of Welch Run," he hiss, stepping forward and swinging at Seamus with a cross cut of his longsword. Steel rang on steel as the heavier blade turned the attack away. The Shield had allowed all the leeway he was obligated to, and Ethan had to jump back to avoid the counterattack.

    "Last chance," Seamus warned the boy as he stepped in to close the gap. But the younger man was having none of it. He had never seen Seamus in battle. Had paid no attention to the larger man's training when he had been stationed in Peregrine Castle. He simply wagered his life on his anger and energy. And it was a gamble he would lose.

    Hepburn cut upward into the coming blade of the longsword and pirouetted as Ethan went by. The length of the Shield's customary blade wouldn't allow the youth to clear his backswing, and field was filled with the screams of De Angelis as the steel sliced through the backs of his knees. He rolled away, but was helpless to regain his feet, and Seamus was over him with a leveled sword at his throat. "Yield," he ordered again. "Go to Hebron and beg Aloise for mercy," he instructed the younger man.

    Ethan was hissing through his teeth, trying to stifle the painful cries that hid behind them. "I'll ask for nothing," he said with a sniffle, and Seamus could here the molars grinding in his jaws. "She'll die screaming my name," the boy threatened as he snatched the dagger from his belt. "Go to hell, Hepburn," he said, as he lunged for Seamus desperately.

    The knight dropped his sword and caught Ethan's wrist in his left hand, as his mailed right fist crashed into the boy's cheek. Bones in his face crumbled, and Hepburn watched the blood drain away as the boy's eye rolled disturbingly from the shattered socket. His body shuddered once and then went still, blood coming from his nostrils, mouth, and ear.

  7. #7
    House Caldoran Larson Caldoran's Avatar  

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    Larson simply grunted his response to Gavin's apology. It was done, they were even, and that's all that was to be said about the matter. It was not the knight's habit to dwell on things. Once it was done he would never give it a second thought. He hated not burying issues, he found that it left a sore feeling in his belly that he could never quite shake until the matter was dead and done.

    The afternoon had been moving on, the air was getting colder, the sun was moving it's way through the sky as it did, and time was waiting for no man who set foot upon the battlefield. Gavin asked him his opinion and he paused to survey the area before he gave it. "I'd be foolish if I said a man with a sword didn't give me cause to hesitate." He knew they were close and gave the men orders to hold before he jumped down from his horse to get a closer look. "Though, I remember the same as you, I wasn't much impressed by their numbers." He gave the Hepburn man a nod as he moved toward the treeline.

    From his position he could see the back gates to Welch Run, they were guarded by only four men, the rest seemed to be pulled off to join the primary show of force. They were an armed force, to be sure, heavy artillery was something they did possess. Larson figured if a small team of his men could circle around to take control of the gate, then they could meet Seamus in the middle and make quick work of this slaughter.

    It was as he took a step to turn around, he heard shouts from the field below. There was a small echo, maybe steel upon steel? Whatever it was, it wasn't a full scale battle, but Larson and Gavin had their orders. He moved back toward the men and gave the signal to move forward to the bottom of the hill. Mounting up quickly he shared the info with the men as quickly as he could before they made their attack.

    "I only see four men at the gate, I'm sure there are more but I cannot lay eyes on them. We must move quickly and quietly to take charge of that exit. No mercy. No hostages. Let's get this done."

    @Gavin Hepburn

  8. #8
    House Hepburn Grant Hepburn's Avatar  
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    When the two of them erupted out of the cellar and into the hall, swords drawn and ready to do battle with whoever happened to be guarding the cellar, Grant was surprised that there was nothing resembling a soldier or servant anywhere to be found. Turning, he looked at Bosleigh incredulously. "It's like they don't even know we're here," he told the younger man, still somewhat confused at how that could be possible with all the fuss that was being made at the front gates.

    Leigh was about to comment at how that was fortuitous when a thin blond woman with her face buried in a book came around the corner, strolling casually in their direction. He stole a moment to look for a place to hide, but realized he would never get the cellar door back open in time. So instead, he stared at his brother helplessly, recognizing the total lack of a plan on his face as well.

    "They know you are here," the woman whispered playfully, but didn't bother to look up from her book. Grant was speechless, as the mystery girl waltzed past them without the slightest look of concern on her face, despite the fact that the building was under siege and had been infiltrated. "Your scabbard is stuck in your boot," she added to Bosleigh, though her eyes never managed to flick away from the pages. And without further fanfare, she turned another corner and was out of sight.

    Neither of the Hepburn boys did anything to stop her, but once she was gone Bosleigh looked at Grant again. "What the fuck was that about," he asked and took a step in the older knight's direction, nearly tripping over the caught metal sheath that was hooked on the buckle of his knee-length boot. Stopping, he kicked his foot wildly, making an unnecessary amount of racket that caused Grant to want to stab him in the eye. "Fucking, piece of shit, fucking scabbard," he volunteered with an added comment or two about crazy women being the death of him.

    Rather than admonish him for his lack of discretion, Grant took a second to recall what Aloise had told him about her relatives and determined that the woman who had crossed their path was neither Delphia nor Veronica. And so he continued on toward the center of the castle, hoping that whatever happened upon them next was much more obviously an enemy combatant. He would rather be engaged in mortal combat than have to worry about anyone else spooking him with their crazy cryptic ramblings.

    Waiving his brother past him down the hallway, Grant covered the cellar door to make sure they wouldn't be surprised from behind. Leigh, always a little more paranoid than his older sibling, took his time getting to the end of the hall and peeking around the corner. He waived Grant forward, marking the intersection as safe. But as he looked back, he realized that he wasn't the one who had needed to take extra precaution.

    "Grant! Behind..."

    The Lord of Maple Glade could feel the air behind him moving as one of Dastan's guards drew his blade from his side. Grant bent his knee and twisted, but he knew he was very shortly going to be a bloody mess. There just wasn't enough time to avoid the blow. All he could hope was that he could get the majority of his vital arteries and organs out of the way, so that Bosleigh could close the distance back to him before the man could strike again. But then, the man was to his own surprise, spared the blade as his shoulder and temple crashed against the wall of the corridor.

    When he blinked the stars out of his eyes, all he could see was the slight, dark haired girl who had shoved him out of the way, now standing in the spot where he had been. And the gleaming steel of a madman's blade, already poised to strike.


    @Delphia Peregrine

  9. #9
    House Peregrine Delphia Peregrine's Avatar  
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    She had been cleaning the kitchen until the shouting outside the window had caught her attention. It wasn't difficult to notice, the aggression, the lack of men patrolling in and out of the halls and through the kitchens to steal bread. Delphia had been noting how quiet it was but she didn't really let it bother her. In fact, she enjoyed the quiet. It gave her time to worry about her sister. It's impossible for her to write to you, all you can do is hope she's doing well and that you'll see her again soon. It was the mantra she'd been practicing for some time now, ever since she received the note.

    Delphia was bent over the cutting board, wiping down the table where she'd cut her potatoes when the voices traveled through her window. She paused, frozen, trying to make out the words. It was then that Veronica came ripping around the corner and gripped her arm with both hands. "Del! Now is the time!" It wasn't something she put together quickly and her cousin stamped her foot in disgust. "We need to grab as much as we can and get out of here. They've come to save us!"

    The Peregrine girl furrowed her brow but crossed the room to peek out the window. She could see a bit of the gate from her vantage point and could see the scene as it unfolded. Veronica was right, and though she wasn't really worried about her dresses, there was a necklace she needed to get her hands on. Her mother's necklace. She threw down the cloth and hiked up her skirts. "Let's go."

    The pair of them ran up three flights of servants stairs and didn't see even one soul. Every thing was empty, everyone had run. Veronica was in the door before Delphia had the chance to survey the area but it didn't seem to matter, no one was around. The room was off the beaten path, it was where Dastan had stored everything they'd taken from the family. Her father's weapons were just thrown on the floor in the corner, dresses were pouring out of boxes and sacks. Her eyes were scanning the room for her mother's jewelry armoire and after just a moment, she found it. It had been knocked on it's side, the legs were broken, and gold and pearls had poured out everywhere. Rifling through the mess, once she'd rushed over and crouched down, she was able to lay her fingers on it quite quickly. A ruby that dangled from a string of pearls. The setting was gold and a bit dirty, but it was just as she remembered it.

    "Veronica, let's go. We need to get out of here and we can come back when it's safe." She grabbed her cousin, who of course struggled against her, and yanked as hard as she could. "I'm leaving without you." The best way out, that she could think of at the time, was the cellar doors. Delphia doubled back and clutched the necklace against her chest as she ran down the stairs. She could hear her cousin behind her but there was no way she was going to be slowing down for her. If she wanted to make it out alive, she'd drop the three dresses she was carrying.

    The flat of her shoe hit the bottom stair and she launched herself toward the cellar. She planned on sneaking out the back and running for the hills. She didn't even care where she ended up, there was no plan only to escape and stay alive. She pushed open the door, skidding to a stop on the stone floor, and Veronica bumped into her. Her eyes fell upon two men who were surrounded by guards of house DeAngelis.

    Were these men meant to save them? There wasn't time, the guards had advanced on the pair and disarmed one of them. The guard drew back to cut the man down and Delphia knew she had to act. She rushed in, there was no time for anything fancy, and body checked the man out of the way. He crashed into the wall and Del winced internally but stood firm between him and the guard.

    "Well, this makes our job easier." Spat the guard. Another man had come up from the side, gripping Veronica tightly by the arm and threw her at Del. By then her cousin had dropped the dresses she was carrying but she was sure her pockets were full of jewelry at the least. She caught Veronica and she could feel her cousin's nails dig into her flesh. She was trembling, they both were, but Delphia was not going to let them get to her. The guard who had captured Veronica drew his blade and approached the girls. The man who she originally interpreted as a threat was now standing, idle and grinning. He still had his stolen sword but seemed entertained by what he was watching. "We'd just been sent to kill ye." Spat the guard who was advancing on the pair.

    Delphia and Veronica were in sync with each other, backing away from the guard who looked quite excited to hurt them, but what happened next was a complete blur to the Peregrine girl. The guard drew back, and Del shouted, but Veronica had other plans. Taking her in both hands, Veronica moved Del to stand before her at the last second.

    Searing pain, and she stood frozen with both hands out to the side. The guard, with a grunt, ripped the sword out of Delphia's body and it was as if she were floating above herself looking down. Veronica screamed and tried to run but the idle guard grabbed her by the hair and quickly slit her throat. The scene unfolded before her eyes but she couldn't say she actually saw it, her cousin hitting the floor and gripping her own throat. She could hear Veronica's noises, a gurgle one might call it. Rasping breaths were coming from the pair, and laughter came from the guards. Del's free hand gripped her belly as blood ran down her leg, she could feel that along with the fire that burned inside her stomach.

    She allowed herself to lean against the wall and slowly slide down and sit on the floor. She was still gripping her mother's necklace.



    @Grant Hepburn
    Last edited by Delphia Peregrine; 01-22-2018 at 12:28 PM.

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