Page 511: What is Dead Can Never Die
What is Dead Can Never Die
Summary: The final confrontation between those of the Cape and those of myth and legend.
Date: 16 December 2012
Related Logs: All Weeping Woman and Hunter logs
Darek Mortimer Perrin Daryl Nikolus Martyn Erik Alric Weeping Wild Imp Wolves 
Deep Forests, Border of Ashwood and Terrick Lands
December 16, 289

Twilight has come, casting the deep woods into even deeper shadows. There is no sympathy here, nor does the wild bent a knee to those called lord. The trees here are old, wizened things, and the underbrush grows so thick in places, the party must frequently adjust their path to avoid walls of bramble, bush, and fallen log. It is a good thing their horses were left a ways back, because only the most trained of steeds could navigate this terrain. There is an occasional sighting of a muskrat or riparian robin, but otherwise, life is still and unseen. Most feel as though eyes are constantly watching them, tracking their ever move as they find the stream and begin to follow it north.

The stream itself is only ten feet wide in most places, and it is easy to wade through as it rarely comes above the knee. Where the Imp's body had been found is where the party divides, some continuing up the stream, while the others break off into the woods curve around the camp and come from the North. Everyone's eyes have grown accustomed to the dim light, which makes the firelight ahead stand out stark in the shadows. The camp is no more than fifty feet off, and shadows are moving within it.

As they reach the point where they are to split up, Perrin looks at Alric and Martyn before he looks at the others. Never saying a word he just gives them a nod. A nod that wishes them all well. Then with a jerk of his head he begins to split away from the main group. heading back into the woods to circle around and drop down from the cliff into the camp and thus into the cave. Ever mindful of his tracking days he watches for the dried branches, the rustle of leaves. Some steps are long, some are short, it all depends on what's under foot. Doing everything he can to be as silent as possible. It may be slow but slow in this case is better than announcing their presence. Even a hand is kept on his sword and sheath to keep that from rattling or catching on a branch.

Shading his eyes from the night vision disrupting glow of the fire, Mortimer hunkers down behind a handily convenient piece of vegetation. Keeping his breathing slow and level he scans the surroundings as best he can, looking to try and discern how many figures are present and if they are human or wolf. His spear is still in hand, although it's lying horizontal beside him so as not to give away his position, or indeed, the fact that there are others present besides those in camp. For now though it's a question of learning as much as he can and waiting for the other party to be ready to make their move.

Offering a nod to the others, Martyn shares a grim smile with them as well, before he moves to follow after Perrin, also looking rather mindful about not doing anything to make unnecessary sounds or anything like that now. Glancing around rather carefully for the moment, it would seem.

Alric nods and does much the same as Martyn. Following along with Perrin. Being careful as he moves. Being the least experienced in was, even if he has a little, he moves in the steps of those in front of him. Looking around and making use trying to be alert. Sticking near to be ready when needed.

Darek unslings his bow as he approaches with the group, drawing an arrow and nocking it, although he keeps the short bow down at his side. The darkness shrouding the attackers — and their prey — has his hackles on edge, but he keeps quiet. As Mortimer pauses, Darek moves up to his side, touching the older man's shoulder a moment, then pointing to himself, and then off to their right. He waits long enough for an indication of assent, then begins to circle the campsite, away from the body of nobles, where he can get a good line of fire across the encampment.

With the rescue mission underway, Erik's demeanor has changed slightly, to what one may call a bit more professional. So instead of strutting around like a peacock, battlefield senses have taken over and he remains with the main group, taking care of his surroundings while keeping his senses alert. Though they are still a bit away from the cave to run into anything, ambushes are never out of the question. In his hand is his spear, usually held in both hands when fighting but for now, is secured with one. He wears a neutral expression, eyes sweeping through each of the men as they go about their own tasks, keeping a mental note of where they will be situated.

Nikolus is searching through the saddles bags hanging off the side of his horse which is secured to a nearby branch. "A pity this place will be bathed in blood. It is surprisingly peaceful." He shares to anyone or no one, mostly voicing a thought aloud as he removes his cane from the holster and puts it to use.

A number of trees have been felled to make space for the camp. Their fallen bodies have been turned into fireside seats, and the fire-pit glows with low-burning flames. There are four hooded Imps gathered around the fire, and one turns a roasting rabbit roasts on a spit in the middle of the fire. Two wolves lay just behind one of the logs, snoozing pleasantly in the warmth of the fire. It looks as though handfuls of fur have been ripped clear from their coat, revealing scale-like skin beneath. Occasionally, one of the Imps glances toward the cave seen through the sparse fall of the waterfall, but it is incredibly dark within that squat maw. There is no sign of the Weeping Woman nor the Hunter.

Daryl looks towards Alric, Martyn and Perrin, moving to follow down the cliff towards the cave, alert, wary and a fiery readiness burning behind his eyes.

Darek settles into a spot where he can see the burbling top of the waterfall as well as the camp beneath it, then settles in alongside the trunk of a tree, ducked low so that he can barely see the recumbent forms of the wolves, the lupine bodies with their glitters of steel sending a shiver through the squire's frame. Unable to tear his slightly too-wide eyes off them for a long moment, he eventually blinks hard and shifts his gaze upward, looking for movement in the darkness above the firelight curtain of the waterfall.

Mortimer has a score to settle with one of those wolves, although he'll not take offense if Darek can do it for him with his bow. Glancing sideways to Erik and Daryl he attempts to convey, using basic signs, that there are two wolves and two 'imps' unaccounted for and that they should be ware of attack from the trees from the latter.

Steadily yet cautiously Perrin moves onwards. The ground had started to slope upwards as they work their way over the top of the falls. Not till they reach the top where the banks of the stream meets the woods does the Haigh stop. Allowing his party to catch up. Once they are there he says in a voice barely above a whisper "One at a time into the stream. Once we are over the cave at the falls I will signal. When the arrow flies I will drop down and head to the cave, watch my back but follow me into the cave." Ensuring that the two understand Perrin remains crouched down so not to silhouette himself to the night sky, moves slowly and carefully into the stream. Once he is at the edge of the falls he motions for the next to follow.

Despite the differences between the Terrick Deputy and the Jast Knight, when it comes to the thick of things and difference between ensuring success or tasting bitter defeat, even death, Erik takes the silent messages seriously. Nodding his head at Mortimer, the young noble knight shows that he understood what was being said before his eyes return to the camps where there are some small bandits about and their tamed pets. At least, Erik continues to see them as nothing but bandits for the time being.

Martyn nods a bit as he hears Perrin's whisper. Offering a grim nod, as he moves out into the stream after the man, crouching down a bit in the process, as he waits for the moment to drop down now.

Alric nods and moves after Martyn. Waiting long enough for the moment and drops down when he is supposed to.

As those above the falls step into the stream, the flow of the waterfall is abruptly disrupted. It parts like a flimsy curtain in places to reveal huddling shadows within to dwarved cafe. They are small, terrified little shades, and one dirty face lifts to stare out revealing the guise of one of the Erenford boys — the young squire's brother.

<COMBAT> Darek attacks Wolf1 with Hunting Bow and MISSES!

Darek spots the disruption in the water spilling over the head-high cliff, blinks, and then his eyes widen, "Oh fuck a duck…" the words are whispered in shock and horror. Setting himself on one knee, he draws his already-nocked arrow as the freaks and monsters take notice of the disruption. He looses the arrow with a hiss that splits the otherwise-quiet night, only to have it bury itself in the ground before the wolf's muzzle, "Shit!" That's still quiet, but not as quiet as the shocked whisper from earlier.

There was a quizzical glance toward the change in the waterfall from almost all of the Imps, but it is the whistle and thud of the arrow that announces the arrival of the heroes. All four Imps are on their feet, and the wolfs are shaking themselves to their paws. From their hooded cloaks, the Imps pull short axs and clubs from their belts, and they turn their attention toward the emerging knights and lords.

Daryl follows after Martyn, waiting his turn to drop down after the group and look around as he observes new surroundings, readying his sword and peering around cautiously. A brow raises at the parting of the stream but he continues onwards, moving with his group as he sees the enemy acknowledge their presence.

And there's the signal. With the telltale hiss-thump of the arrow Mortimer is up and running towards the camp. Aiming for the closest wolf he shifts the grip on his spear in an attempt to drive the point down into it's body before it has time to fully come to it's feet. The men for the moment are ignored, although that'll likely change quick enough.

The signal wasn't given but Darek reacted correctly. Perrin doesn't hesitate as he first peers over the edge for a split second then drops the few feet. His sword comes out as he lands in a crouch, water falling about him in a spray of silver droplets. He has to step forward into the mouth of the cave just to better see. Sputtering a bit he looks about, his eyes falling to the children who gets a flash of a smile in hopes they will know or understand they are here to help.

Martyn drops down right after Perrin, his own sword out and ready now. Looking around for a split second, before he moves after Perrin into the cave now. Ready for whatever comes at the moment.

Like a well timed group it seems that they will start jumping down one after the other and landing ready to fight as the others initiate contact. Alric coming down along with them and is getting ready with his sword after he has landed. Eyes going to the children as well, to see if they are alright. Then he will turn to be able

Once the signal was given, Erik is also on his feet and running forward towards the bandit camp, right at Mortimer's side. Spear is now gripped with both hands as eyes immediately searches for the closest threats. It is one of the hooded dwarfs, an Imp that will meet a grizzly end at the tip of his pointy spear. At least that is how the Jast Knight pictures it, brimming with confidence, one may say overflowing.

<COMBAT> Wolf1 attacks Mortimer with Dirk - Moderate wound to Right Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Imp2 attacks Erik with Bludgeon but Erik DODGES!
<COMBAT> Imp1 attacks Nikolus with Bludgeon and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Nikolus attacks Wolf1 with Bludgeon and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Mortimer attacks Wolf1 with Spear - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Imp2 with Spear - Serious wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Darek attacks Wolf1 with Hunting Bow - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Imp2 has been KO'd!

Madness erupts in the camp as the warriors befall those creatures of myth. The wolf lunges for Mortimer, clashing teeth down on his right hand even as he takes a spear and arrow to the torso. It cries out in abrupt pain, releasing the deputy's hand to regroup with its brother. One Imp loses his head promptly while the others move swiftly to engage the others.

Beneath the falls, Perrin is met with an unexpected surprise… there are only three of the five children under the falls, and it is all three of the smallfolk boys. No Hafwen.

Wise enough to keep a buffer between he and the enemy Nikolus only swung at the wolf after Mortimer had pressed his attack. This granted the lucky chance of dodging the Imp's attempt to bludgeon him.

Darek's second shot comes into the fray a heartbeat before the charging men reach the wolf, striking the thing along the ribs but managing to glance off some of the scale woven into the beast's coat and be robbed of much of its force. He's been training lately, these days when he hasn't been out searching, and now his right hand flies up to draw another arrow from his quiver and lay it to bowstring, shifting his aim to the wolf that isn't in the swarm of attackers.

Mortimer isn't sure if this wolf is one of those he's traded blows with before, but nor right now does he particularly care. The bite hurts, but he's had worse and besides, he has enough adrenaline pumping through his system that it's gone from his mind as soon as the beast lets go. Drawing back half a step so he can lunge forward again he pays no heed to the waterfall, trusting the others to handle whatever they find.

The advance is made without hesitation but Erik's attack is made with more care, in fact it is delayed as he baits the smaller figure into striking out at him first. Reading the movements of the smaller opponent, the Jast Knight stops in his forward movement to cause the short ax to swing in front of him, missing completely. Immediately after, the counter attack is mounted and with both hands gripped on his spear, Erik delivers a simple but brutal forward thrust that punches through the Imp's face, quite a mess for the hood. Without waiting to see if the creature is dead or not, the young noble knight pulls his weapon back to dislodge it from the gooey mess and immediately searches for another target, another Imp.

A curse is let fly when Perrin sees that there is no Hafwen to be found there at the cave. Anger floods him and pent up aggression spills forth. "Where is Hafwen," he demands the boys. He turns to look at the other's that went to the top with him "No Hafwen, missing another child as well. Three boys here, Alric, watch them." His orders come swift and precise.

"Is this what you seek?" Snarls a voice from behind Erik and the others. There stands the Weeping Woman in all her terrible glory. That white gown is terribly pristine, her mass of dark hair thick and tangled with bramble; she holds by the back of her throat what could only be Hafwen by the torn noble girl's dress and petite frame, though a burlap sack obscures her head and face. She is whimpering, almost crying beneath the coarse fabric. "I'll give her to you… if you can get through me." And then she shoves the girl backwards, sending her sprawling onto the ground, curling up in fear. From nothingness, the woman pulls two short swords and brings them to bear. Something about her stance, the way she holds the blades… this woman knows what she is doing.

Alric nods and moves towards them. Trying to look around at any sign of Hafwen. Then there is the woman. Something smells fishy though as he looks to Perrin. "Where is the last child?" He asks, perhaps rhetorically, to those nearby. Glancing to Perrin to see what he thinks that he should do. Although for now he does as he is told. But he will follow Perrin's orders for now.

Daryl ushers the three boys towards him, determined countenance shifting about to make sure there is no one else in the cave as he motions for the kids to prepare their escape. Sword in hand, albeit lowered at the moment, he asks the youths, "Do you know where any of the others are?" His tone is calm, assuming the children have been through enough. He ventures a look towards the camp, glancing at Perrin, "She must be held there, no?" As the weeping woman shows herself, the Ashwood readies his sword, pointing it towards the weeping woman. "As you wish." A nod towards Perrin and he moves to engage the swords wielding woman with caution, but fire behind his eyes, a drive behind his movements.

Martyn pauses a bit at Perrin's words, grimacing a bit now. "The others, where…" he begins, trailing off as he hears the voice. "Sounds like a challenge there," he offers after a few moments of pause now. Leaning towards Perrin for a few moments, he offers a quiet nod to the man. "Focus…" he mutters, before he sees one of the wolves moving in his direction, and moves to encounter the animal now.

Before engaging himself on another little Imp, the new voice jolts Erik from his battle focus as eyes leave the smaller creature to the new source. The source apparently a woman who has seen better days and one that the Jast Knight would not ask to dance with, at least in more pleasant and intimate ways. Instead, this dance will most likely be to the death, with lethal arms. At first, Erik fears that it may involve Lady Hafwen being used as a shield, but when the girl is tossed aside, the confident and arrogant smirk returns to the young noble. "Gladly, foul bitch. Woman or not, I will cut you down."

However, Daryl is currently blocked off from the woman, and moves to strike an imp on his way towards her as he moves swiftly to engage combat.

<COMBAT> Wolf2 attacks Martyn with Dirk - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Wolf1 attacks Mortimer with Dirk - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Imp4 attacks Alric with Bludgeon and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Imp1 attacks Nikolus with Bludgeon and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Woman attacks Erik with Broadsword - Light wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Nikolus attacks Imp1 with Bludgeon - Serious wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Mortimer attacks Wolf1 with Spear - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Martyn attacks Wolf2 with Broadsword - Serious wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Imp3 attacks Perrin with Bludgeon - ARMOR on Right Arm stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Woman with Spear - Moderate wound to Right Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Darek attacks Wolf2 with Hunting Bow - Moderate wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Alric attacks Imp4 with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Right Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Wolf1 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Wolf2 has been KO'd!

The first exchange is a brief one, perhaps an introduction between the Weeping Lady and the Jast Knight though it appears the latter may have gotten the better of the pass. Eyes focused on his opponent, Erik sees the attack coming but the woman is fast, very fast, as his attempt at dodge was a shade late, resulting in a brief cut across his left cheek. One that stings but his handsome visage remains undamaged, the return strike is a purposeful one, aimed at the woman's right hand as it attempting to disarm her, striking true.

From the darkness behind Darek comes a whispering voice. "I told you we would meet again…" When he turns around, he finds himself face to face with the Hunter himself in that terrible skull mask. His dragon-horse is not too far off, and slung over it's saddle is the bundle of what must be the little maid based on her commoner threads and size. She is dead silent, and there is blood that stains her hair and scalp, the former which drapes like a mask over her face.

A growl erupts from Perrin as he sees the woman holding Hafwen "Hide behind a little girl. Well fine, I shall go through you!" And Perrin is about to move as the Imp that was unseen comes and attacks him. He tries to block the attack but misses though his armor did the job. The Imp continues on and Perrin moves towards where the woman was at. But there, a wolf is in his way. So the takes a swing at the beast, his aim for the head and never breaking stride. "Out of my way," he commands through clinched teeth.

Facing the incoming wolf, Martyn grimaces for a few moments now. Waiting for a few moments before it reaches him fully, he aims a slash for the animal's left side, striking it solidly. And only getting a minor wound to himself now as the animal is dealt with. "Remember, it seems they can die like anything else of flesh and blood," he calls out to the others, before he moves for that wolf going for Perrin now.

As the last of the visible wolves drops — slashed by swords and pierced by one of his arrows — Darek lets out a breath, rising up to his feet and reaches for another arrow from his quiver. The voice from behind him nearly causes him to jump out of his skin, clawing instead for the hilt of his sword as he draws the blade forth and spins around. Tossing aside his bow with his right hand, his eyes widen at the creature stalking toward him. It takes him a moment to find his voice, and then he manages, his usually-light tenor tight and low, "And I told you I'd find you again."

The Groves lord refocused his attention on one of the Imps, who failed to land his attack just moments ago. Demands and insults are shouted in the background, a woman's voice and something about a child. Not willing to spar his eyes the Imp once again swings and misses, allowing Nikolus to land a swift crack at it's neck.

Mortimer manages to strike a patch of unarmoured skin it seems as his spear slides into the wolf's abdomen. It looks like a sufficient blow to do for the beast, but not before it manages to haul itself within his guard and have a good maul. To save the time that would be required to release the weapon from the body he simply drops it and reaches for the sword on his hip. His first glance is towards the woman but since Erik seems to have that in hand for the moment he turns to finishing off the other threats, in this instance, an hooded man.

Alric is stuck as an imp moves to him. He is able to avoid the attack while landing one of his own, but it seems toe imp doesn't want to go down right away. Still having been pushing along from where he had been defending the three kids though trying to push towards the woman as well, but not as aggressively. Slow and steady it seems. Seeing as the others are rushing already.

Daryl continues further towards the weeping woman with intent, moving to slash at one of the imps on his way towards her, jaw clenching in anticipation.

The Weeping Woman lunges at the spear-wielding knight with a swift gesture that Nymeria herself would be envious of. She is grinning wildly toward the knight, showing the white of her teeth. "She is mine," the woman snarls before she prepares for another attack.

Wolves and Imps alike are leaping into the fray with almost suicidal fierceness. Already their bodies are starting to litter the ground, but they do not seem ready to yield.

Back in the woods, the Hunter flashes a smile from beneath the deer skull, and his scaled hands flex around the blade. "Do you fear me, boy?" He asks in his rough, earthy voice.

Alric is trying to be careful and push and let Daryl help him. As Alric slashes the imp is dodging and countering with a hit to Alric's chest that has him quite injured and stumbling back before trying to ready himself again. Clearly injured and gotten hit quite hard.

Mortimer mutters a curse under his breath as his blow strikes true but impacts on armour. Wishing he'd taken the time to get a bit more practice in with a full length blade rather than his usual dirk he moves to take another swing at the man infront of him, stepping in as he does so this time to try and get a bit more power behind the blow.

The wolf's attack staggers Perrin and a few faltering steps are taking backwards. His own blow had struck home. But there is more important targets and this wolf is stopping him from getting there. He lets out with a yell in frustration, his sword ready for another strike. "Get out of my way," he tells the wolf once again as he brings his sword to play. Again he aims for the head of the beast.

Ever vigilant on reaching the weeping woman and Lady Hafwen behind, Daryl slashes his sword across the upper chest of one of the imps, shifting his shoulder back as a different imp comes upon -him- in assault. He grunts as the bludgeoning weapon slams into his chest, but shakes it off, almost growling angrily as he continues to carve a path towards his goal, spinning and striking lower this time on the imp in front him as he progresses onward in the melee. He seems a man possessed, as if his very life depended on reaching the young Erenford girl. "Drive them back!", He encourages his allies, swiftly pushing forward, yet keeping an eye on the enemy movements.

As the wolf doesn't fall over this time, Martyn grimaces a bit more. "We'll bring him down quickly," he offers to Perrin, his sword going a bit lower than the other knight's attack now.

Darek steadies himself as he recovers from the shock of a big man with the deer skull mask appearing right behind him. Their blades clash and clatter against one another, the squire ducks to the other side of the tree trunk, away from his thrown-aside bow, and then he's advancing on the other, "Does it matter if I do? I'm still going to stop you." Battle is still raging behind him, in the clearing, but he cannot afford to think of that, or of those wolves that might still be out there in the shadows. There's just him, the man-beast before him, and the injured woman atop the equine creature beyond.

The next exchange between the Jast Knight and the Weeping Woman does not go well for the knight as Erik, perhaps in his over-confidence on fighting a woman and having struck as intended in the first series leaves himself open for a moment. A moment that he thought he had, one that he was proven wrong as hsi opponent moves quicker than any woman he has seen before, and certainly faster than most men he has faced. As he thrusts out with his spear to disable her leg, a hot flash of pain cuts through his chest as her blades dig in and through his studded leather armor. With a look of anger and frustration, teeth gritting together, Erik counters her words with his though his stance is a bit more defensive now. "And I will take what is yours."

<COMBAT> Wolf3 attacks Perrin with Dirk and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Imp3 attacks Daryl with Bludgeon and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Imp4 attacks Alric with Bludgeon and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Imp1 attacks Nikolus with Bludgeon - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Woman attacks Erik with Broadsword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Perrin attacks Wolf3 with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Nikolus attacks Imp1 with Bludgeon - Moderate wound to Right Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Mortimer attacks Imp3 with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Right Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Martyn attacks Wolf3 with Broadsword - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hunter attacks Darek with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Head.
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Woman with Spear - Critical wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Daryl attacks Imp4 with Broadsword - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Darek attacks Hunter with Broadsword but Hunter DODGES!
<COMBAT> Alric attacks Imp4 with Broadsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Erik has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Imp3 has been KO'd!

Alric keeps dodging and attacking and trying to keep the imp at bay. Seeing him getting help by Daryl, he calls out, "Attack it full on!" Keeping the imp's attention himself for now.

With the extra momentum Mortimer's next strike seems to cut true and the man who's attacking Daryl falls to his blade. He takes a quick moment to take a breath and change the grip on his sword before it start to get slick with the blood from his hand, then moves to the aid of the Groves Lord, hoping to blind side the man he's fighting.

Still attacking the wolf for now, Martyn looks over to Perrin for a few moments. "If you need to, I can take this…" he offers, before he moves for another attack now, very briefly looking around at the others, then back to the wolf now.

The attack was anticipated by Perrin and he easily step out of the way. His own sword strikes though and smashes into the chest. At the same times Martyn's does as well. He flashes a grin at his friend "Let us end this, shall we?" Victory is close and Perrin seems to smell it. He doesn't try to bypass the wolf, no, he wants the thing dead. So he goes on the attack once again, his blade swinging for the head once again.

The two keep going, Imp verses the crippled Groves. Nikolus takes a blow against the chest and in return clips his target's hand.

The flat side of the Hunter's sword slams against Darek's temple, though it isn't enough to send the boy sprawling. He recovers fast, turning in a precise and tight circle that sends his furs sprawling about his shoulders and revealing where wood and scales have been embedded into his skin, surrounded by heavy scar tissue. He brings his sword up against the boy once more, bowing his skull-ladden head. "So you say," he hisses.

The Weeping Woman is almost laughing with contralto glee. "Did you think this would be easy, Knight?" She snarls as she brings up her swords once more, Erik's blood staining the edge of the blade. "I am not like your women." And then she lungs forward with those twin blades aimed to slice away more of the Jast's flesh and armor.

The boys in the cave are clinging to each other, Mott being the eldest amongst them and therefore at the front. He watches with wide, fearful eyes. The fallen bundle behind the Weeping Woman once more whimpers.

Darek staggers back as the Hunter's sword catches him on the side of the head, cutting into his scalp and sending a wave of blood flowing down his neck and cheek. It also sends a wave of pain flashing through his skull, which gets even more of his attention. His own sweeping slash is easily batted aside, and the lean young man forces himself to stand tall. "So I say, and so the Seven will see me through." His eyes flicker aside, and he begins to retreat from the Hunter, curving aside to try to draw him into a tighter copse of trees with lower-hanging branches, where that horned skull will only become a detriment to the other man.

Now getting a clear viewpoint of the battle field, Daryl ducks under the next strike of the imp, watching Mortimer butcher the attacker and then turning to charge the imp before him with all his might, readying a driving thrust towards the creature as he fights to rid it out of the way. He spots Erik, his eyes lighting in alarm as he sees the Frey. "Move the -fuck- outta my way!" He demands as he hacks frenzily, though skillfully, at the imp before him.

The defensive move appears to be the correct one for Erik, for the most part, as the Weeping Woman is rather aggressive, the most aggressive woman he has encountered thus far, including whores. This one is quite a few levels more lethal as well but it may prove to be her undoing as Erik is able to almost parry the blow coming at him, the woman's blades biting through his slashed leathers and biting into his chest again though quite a bit more shallower this time. In return though, a rather brutal return blow is delivered into the Weeping Woman's chest though the force of attack drives the Knight back and down to a knee, almost stunning the man. Quickly collecting himself as adrenaline continues to flow through him, the Jast Knight offers the Weeping Woman a cruel smile, "No, you will be like my women. You /will/ submit." Then he advances on her, defense thrown to the side as he moves in for the killing blow.

<COMBAT> Wolf3 attacks Perrin with Dirk but Perrin DODGES!
<COMBAT> Imp4 attacks Alric with Bludgeon - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Imp1 attacks Nikolus with Bludgeon - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Woman attacks Erik with Broadsword - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Perrin attacks Wolf3 with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Nikolus attacks Imp1 with Bludgeon - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Mortimer attacks Imp1 with Broadsword - Light wound to Right Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Martyn attacks Wolf3 with Broadsword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hunter attacks Darek with Broadsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Woman with Spear - Light wound to Right Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Daryl attacks Imp4 with Broadsword - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Darek attacks Hunter with Broadsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Alric attacks Imp4 with Broadsword - Critical wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Imp1 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Imp4 has been KO'd!

Alric charges in and get hit in the chest, which opens the imp to be hit by Daryl. Which Alric is able to take advantage off as he strikes the imp straight into the chest and bringing him down. Bleeding and quite injured as he tries recover. Though soon enough more are rushing towards him. Turning to prepare himself.

"Go help Alric, I have this," Perrin tells Martyn just as the wolf lunges for another attack. Nearly caught unawares only a quick reaction saved him from the attack as he turns sideways and the wolf sails past. "Time to die, wolf," he says and stalks after the beast, his sword readied for another attack at the head of the foul creature.

From the woods of the east and west come the last of the Stranger's Minions and that terrible Wolf. They spring into sight, looking fierce and snarling. The wolf charges Nikolus, flashing it's teeth as it does, while the last two Imps fall upon Daryl and Alric with their axs slung high. The Hunter continues to trade blows with the young Squire in the woods while the Weeping Woman flicks a smirk at Erik. "I do not yield," she says in a mild, bored tone.

Mortimer gives Nikolus a brief nod as the deformed man between them goes down to their combined blows. Seeing that Martyna nd Perrin are dealing with the wounded wolf he almost turns to aid Erik but then the sound of the latest arrivals draws his attention back to the surrounding woods. Since he's nearest Nikolus it's a non-choice as to which he engages, waiting for the wolf to launch itself at the Groves before he swings his sword hard and fast towards it's neck.

Looking about to do as Perrin said, Martyn shakes his head a little. "We will take it down first," he offers a bit quietly, already in the process of attacking the wolf. "Ugly puppy!" he calls out to it, as he charges forward again now. "We'll help him, and also Ser Erik in no time."

Darek ducks under a low-hanging tree branch, then away from a sweep of the fur-clad, scale-skinned man's blade, thrusts back to buy himself some more time, and then, when the other man is going past the branch himself, the squire pushes forward onto the attack, "What's the matter? Not used to those who stand up to you? Too used to capturing scared children?"

As the combined effort of Alric and himself fell the imp before him, an opening arises, and he nods to Alric, "Good work." A frown appears as two more imps charge them, cutting off his way to Lady Hafwen and the woman beyond. With a rising yell in his throat, he counter-charges one of them, swinging his sword in a vertical motion towards the imp as he moves closer. "Erik! Bring her down!" Easier said than done, but hey, atleast he has a cheerleader.

This is all done by Daryl.

The coup-de-grace does not happen, at least not yet as Erik misses the woman's face but is still awarded a gracing blow to her right arm while the slash in return from his opponent glances off of his abdomen, doing no harm to the knight except maybe some damage to the leathers. Hearing the calls from his comrades, the Jast Knight can't help but grin with confidence as he advances on the Weeping Woman again, "Oh, but you will, woman. It is time you learn your place and submit. And I will enjoy it."

<COMBAT> Wolf4 attacks Nikolus with Dirk - Light wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Wolf3 attacks Perrin with Dirk and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Imp6 attacks Daryl with Bludgeon but Daryl DODGES!
<COMBAT> Imp5 attacks Alric with Bludgeon - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Woman attacks Erik with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Perrin attacks Wolf3 with Broadsword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Nikolus attacks Wolf4 with Bludgeon - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Mortimer attacks Wolf4 with Broadsword - Serious wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Martyn attacks Wolf3 with Broadsword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hunter attacks Darek with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Woman with Spear - Critical wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Daryl attacks Imp6 with Broadsword - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Darek attacks Hunter with Broadsword - Serious wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Alric attacks Imp5 with Broadsword but Imp5 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Alric has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Imp6 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Nikolus has been KO'd!

Alric keeps fighting against the imp but get hit and fall down. Feeling the injury starting to bring him down. But he is able to force himself up on his legs and continue the attack against the imp. Though seeming to be in need of help. As are perhaps both Erik and Nikolus as well. Although Alric can not move over. Keeping his stand as he defends the kids.

Mortimer isn't sure if his swing was out or if the wolf's leap was low, but the jolt up his arm as his blade hits skull and not flesh is almost enough to jar the weapon out of his slippery hand. Cursing as the beast hits Nikolus he shifts his hands so his left is beneath his right and swings in a bow aimed low, for the wolf's squishy parts.

The wolf won't die. Both blades struck and still it's on it's feet! Perrin looks about quickly. He says to Martyn "Kill that thing, I'm going to help Erik." That said he advances to the woman "How about facing me. No need to hide any longer. That's my niece you have and I want her back." He takes the high guard and faints one way only to bring his sword down aimed right for the woman's head.

Another vicious exchange between Erik and the Weeping Woman, resulting in more wounds on both sides. The Jast Knight is rewarded with another cut, this time across his middle which ellicits a growl of pain but the return blow is even more brutal as the spear punches through the woman's stomach in return. Instead of going for another attack with his spear, Erik launches himself at the woman, attempting to pin her down and ending it up close and personal.

Frowning as the Wolf seems to be unwilling to die, Martyn glances to Perrin again with a bit of a nod as he hears that. "Show her the error of her ways," he offers, before he moves to place himself between Perrin and the wolf now. "Now, you little ugly puppy, you die!" Readying the sword again now.

The Hunter dodges quickly around the tree, turning that ugly guise once more on Darek with a snarl. "They are only scared because they realize the world they are in!" The Hunter is swinging toward Darek once more, hoping to cause the squire to bleed once more.

The Woman laughs loudly in the face of the Jast Knight. "You cannot kill that which is already dead, boy," the woman hisses.

Darek curls up a bit, grunting, as the Hunter's sword strikes his ringmail jacket, clattering across black iron rings and slicing through the leather between. Despite the blood that trickles out through the slashed leather and the hitch it puts in the squire's advance, his own slash makes it through the fur-clad man's defenses and draws blood. Some mixture of triumph and relief flashes in Darek's dark eyes, and he continues his advance through the tighter confines of tree trunks and underbrush. "They're scared because you're a fucking giant in a cursed deer skull." Oddly enough, the banter seems to be settling the squire's nerves.

With increasing speed, Daryl ducks under the swing by the imp he charges, bashing his shoulder into the being before viciously slicing open its chest, blood spraying out, some onto him, and he kicks the figure down to the ground in its final moments. Still seeing Erik in battle with the woman, and still in that state of adrenaline induced fury, the Deputy moves to assist his sheriff as he charges towards the woman with sword drawn, ready to bring a strike down on her, hopefully with surprise on his side. "Die you fucking whore!" Its almost as if something else is driving him, beyond saving Lady Hafwen.

Finally imp has fallen with aid from Mortimer. Winded, Nikolus raises one hand to his chest in feeling for anything out of the ordinary. Nothing protruding though the pain was quite real. Just as he's ready to step back one of the wolves is leaping towards him, drawing him right back into the combat with a partner.

<COMBAT> Wolf3 attacks Perrin with Dirk and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wolf4 attacks Mortimer with Dirk - Moderate wound to Right Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Imp5 attacks Daryl with Bludgeon and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Woman attacks Erik with Broadsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Perrin attacks Woman with Broadsword - Critical wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Nikolus attacks Wolf4 with Bludgeon but Wolf4 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Mortimer attacks Wolf4 with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Martyn attacks Wolf3 with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hunter attacks Darek with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Erik subdues Woman!
<COMBAT> Daryl attacks Woman with Broadsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Darek attacks Hunter with Broadsword - Light wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Alric attacks Imp5 with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Imp5 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Wolf4 has been KO'd!

Perrin hardly notices the wolf that lashed out at him and missed. His fury directed at the woman. Then when his own blow strikes the head of the woman. "Kill it, they all die" He yells out to everyone. Again he readies his sword, again he aims for the head. Perhaps if she dies the imps or the wolves will loose their master. Didn't someone say it seemed as if she were guiding the wolves? Well be it as it might he goes for the killing blow of the woman.

Martyn grimaces a little bit as he watches the wolf still not wanting to go down. "Can't you just… die?" he growls, aiming for the head of the animal now.

Fueled by anger it seems as when the imp tries to attack Daryl, Alric jumps it. Slashing his sword towards it's head and it falls. He then looks for the closest target. Scanning the area. Spotting something but not quite sure what it is. Checking on the kids before he starts in the direction of the unknown he can see.

Mortimer isn't going to be writing any reports or missives any time soon it seems as yeah another of the wolves does it's level best to take a chunk out of his right hand. It seems the momentum he'd put into the swing was good enough though as the beast falls motionless off his blade. A quick glance does him a badly wounded wolf and a pile of nobles dealing with the woman.

It's then a thought strikes him, there hasn't been that tell-tale hiss-thump of archery for a while now. "Seven Hells!" he mutters forcefully before he's turning to glance up to where Darek was station. It takes a moment for his eyes to adjust to the change in light but then he spots the movement above and sets off at a run towards it.

There is a loud scream from the Woman as she is grounded by the Knight. She looks up into his gaze with those wild dark eyes, and they flash with hatred. She kicks and flails about with the Knight, attempting to free hersel from his grip.

In the woods, the Hunter continues to advance against the squire, though he is drawn back momentarily at the slap of the sword to his hand.

The tackle is a success and Erik now finds the Weeping Woman under him, his superior weight and muscles pinning the woman down onto the ground. Now this is of course not unfamiliar to the Jast Knight who grins down at the woman, though this smile instead of being warm and inviting, is wicked and grim. "Now, woman, you are mine! Enjoy this." Spear is tossed to the side so that his hands are free, one moving to keep at least one of her arms pinned down while the other moves for her open neck, wanting to wrap his hand around her throat and crush the life out of her.

Darek tries to force an advance against the other man now, trying to drive him back into one of the many tree trunks rising from the underbrush. He takes another slash across the torso, cutting between the rings sewn to his jack once more and drawing blood from his left shoulder and pectoral. A grimace of pain flashes across his youthful features, and then his teeth pull back into a bloody-faced snarl, "How's it feel to face someone who's better than you?" That last may not be strictly true, but the squire is holding his own, and his plain sword has tasted blood twice now. With his attention on the darkened surroundings and the man he's trying to kill, he's put the dragon-horse and its bloodied burden out of mind, but the thing theoretically still lurks somewhere in the darkness under the trees.

The weeping woman seems to be able to avoid Daryl's strike before she is subdued by Erik, and the Ashwood turns just in time to side step a strike from the imp coming from his back, and nodding with a smirk towards Alric, "Okay. That's two for you." Its the first time he's shown mirth this entire combat, and then he looks to the Fenster, "I'll get the Lady! Help the others." Daryl sees Erik putting the choke hold on the woman, and speedily races towards who he -thinks- is Lady Hafwen, exhaling out his mouth and inhaling through his nose as he begins to fatigue some, but it doesn't slow him. He's hell bent on reaching her, and when he'll does, he'll lower down, his emerald hues observing the child for injuries before moving to unfasten the bag about her head. "Hey, we're here to save you. It's okay. It's okay." He assures, his voice gentle, reassuring.

<COMBAT> Wolf3 attacks Erik with Dirk and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Woman attempts to escape but is no longer subdued!
<COMBAT> Perrin attacks Woman with Broadsword - Critical wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Nikolus tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Martyn attacks Wolf3 with Broadsword but Wolf3 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hunter attacks Darek with Broadsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Woman with Unarmed - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Darek attacks Hunter with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Woman has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Woman spends a luck point to keep fighting!

Before Erik can get his hand around the woman's neck to squeeze the life out of her, a flash of steel is caught in his peripheral vision as a blade comes flying in. "Fuck!" Comes the loud curse and the hand instead of going for the neck ends up a bit lower… to the Weeping Woman's chest. Would be kind of hot except she is not a beautiful and refined woman, but some crazy woods woman. Not to mention the earlier wounds that the Jast Knight had already rewarded her. A quick look of anger is flashed to who interrupted his fight but seeing that it is Perrin, Erik let's it go for the time being. However, being unarmed, he does the next best thing, trying to keep the woman down so Perrin can finish it again.

Blood spurts from the Woman's throat as Perrin's blade nearly strikes Erik's hands, but instead slice a chunk from her throat. She has freed herself from the knight, scrambling to her feet as she grips at her throat. She is down to one sword now, it hanging in her hand as she tries to stop the bleeding on her neck. She flashes a bloodied smile at the pair of knights. "Greenlanders…" And then she lunges forward, hoping to get one last strike in before her inevitable doom.

In the woods, the strike the squire lands on the Hunter's chest sends him reeling a moment. He looks up through the gaping holes in his deer skull mask. "I will see you dead and buried, boy," he snarls even as others begin to amass upon him.

Mortimer has to slow his charge a little as he makes good use of the adrenalin in his system to vault a fallen log and dodge round trees, but he's still going at a fair old clip when he reaches where Darek is fighting. Coming in from the squire's right he aims to give himself enough room for a decent swing, although the angles ar enot kind enough, nor indeed, his approach stealthy enough, the grant him any kind of surprise. Brute force it'll just have to be then. "I on your right," he calls to the lad, so as to let him know that the incoming is on his side, and then he's making a swing towards the Hunter's midriff.

It's by the hairs on his had that Perrin didn't cut Erik's hands off. "Get out of the way," he shouts to the man. Already his blade is poised for another attack. He can't strike the chest as Erik sits on her so he has only the head to aim for. He sees Erik pin her once more and again he brings his sword down for the killing blow "This is what happens to those that harm my family, woman. Now you shall taste my wrath."

Darek slips a thrust in as the Hunter has to deal with the tree to his back, ducking free from the man's counter. Mortimer's approach draws Darek's eyes flickering aside, and then he is rushing the skull-helmed man with a flurry of attacks, trying to draw his attention up high as the Deputy Sheriff comes in low. "You'll have to see on beyond the grave then, you deer-fucker."

Running after Mortimer, guessing he saw the same thing, Alric is hurrying. Running as fast as his legs can carry him. At the words from the Ashwoods, he grins. Though continues on his way through the woods follow Mortimer stil.
Long distance to Daryl: Hobgoblin will adjust your pose for the log so its your heading toward her, but doesn't get to her right away.

Daryl grits his teeth, eyes widening as he sees the woman -get up- after the throat slash. Unable to reach Hafwen yet, Daryl is no doubt the closest to the child, and he raises his sword to step forward and cleave the woman away, atleast trying to drive her back as he seeks to retrieve the child more than anything. "Back off, you dirty bitch." He's to the side of her, constantly trying to press the borders so he can put himself between the woman and Hafwen…Just not able to yet.

Grimacing even more as the wolf still doesn't fall, Martyn moves for it again, sighing a bit as he moves in to slash at the animal yet again. "Die, you bundle of fur!" he growls at it.

<COMBAT> Wolf3 attacks Erik with Dirk but Erik DODGES!
<COMBAT> Woman attacks Perrin with Broadsword but Perrin DODGES!
<COMBAT> Perrin attacks Woman with Broadsword - Serious wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Nikolus tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Mortimer attacks Hunter with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Martyn attacks Wolf3 with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Right Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hunter attacks Darek with Broadsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Erik subdues Woman!
<COMBAT> Daryl attacks Woman with Broadsword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Darek attacks Hunter with Broadsword - Serious wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Alric attacks Hunter with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Wolf3 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Woman has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Mortimer attacks Hunter with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hunter attacks Darek with Broadsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Darek attacks Hunter with Broadsword - Serious wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Alric attacks Hunter with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Hunter has been KO'd!

In the woods, even the Hunter does not fair well as strike after strike weakens his body, his armor, and ultimately his power. He falls to his knees before the squire, clutching at his abdomen as if holding in his guts. His skull mask slips off his head, falling onto the soft peat beneath him. An man with light, close-cropped hair, and stern light eyes staring up into the Ashwood squire. He starts to laugh, blood bubbling past at the noise. "There will be no grave," the unmasked Hunter says. "

With the rush through the woods it seems that the three are too much for the hunter as they hit him again and again. When he finally does go down, Alric stops a bit before looking around. Perhaps thinking of seeing after the kids to ensure that they are all okay. Moving ahead.

Blood continues to bubble and burble past the Weeping Woman's lips and throat, and even as she tries to swing that last sword at Perrin, the dirt catches her feet and she crumples. Her body lands just beside Hafwen, one arm falling across the fallen girl's body in a strangely protective gesture. She continues to bleed out, soaking the fertile earth beneath her and staining her white dress a glorious crimson. Her eyes stare at the bagged head of the child, mouth moving in words that will never be heard. With her, the last of her wolves falls as well, it's right leg being nearly severed from it's body with the last powerful blow of the Mallister.

In the woods, even the Hunter does not fair well as strike after strike weakens his body, his armor, and ultimately his power. He falls to his knees before the squire, clutching at his abdomen as if holding in his guts. His skull mask slips off his head, falling onto the soft peat beneath him. An man with light, close-cropped hair, and stern light eyes staring up into the Ashwood squire. He starts to laugh, blood bubbling past at the noise. "There will be no grave for me, boy," the Hunter says, grinning like a mad man. "What is dead can never die… but rises… again… harder… and stronger."

Darek's blade finds flesh and draws blood first at the Hunter's neck, and then again at his right wrist, the squire pushing forward hard and fast now that two others have joined in on the effort to down the man-beast in the deer-skull mask. The squire doesn't hesitate when the Hunter falls to his knees, stepping up and grasping for that pale hair to wrench the man's head to one side and open his neck up for his blade. Said bloodied length of steel rises, preparing to chop down to the downed man's throat. "Wanna fucking bet?" Unless anyone stops him, that deadly blade will fall…

Watching as the weeping woman is felled, Daryl nods to Perrin, wasting no time to move and secure the Lady Hafwen in his arms and lift her against him, sword sheathed one arm supports her while the other loosens the fastens around her head, cooing lightly. "It's okay, Hafwen…Everything's okay now. We're going to get you back to your family and mommy." His tone is soft, reassuring, knowing. "Everyone can't wait for you to come home." The Ashwood reaches for his canteen of water, offering it up as he looks towards Perrin with a nod, a soft smile. He had been waiting weeks and weeks for this.

The Ashwood's eyes move to observe Erik with respect. "Well fought, Sheriff."

The woman finally falls, Perrin turns quickly, looking for another target. But finds none. So he turns to his niece, his sword quickly put away as he approaches her slowly "Hafwen," he says gently. He watches Daryl with Hafwen and just waits. He knows. The smile broad on his face.

Beneath that wrap of burlap is not Lady Hafwen Erenford. Her hair is too dark, her eyes holding no similarity to Lady Ceinlys, nor her dead husband. She is perhaps even a year younger than Hafwen, but she sobs great terrible tears as she clings onto Daryl for her very life. Nothing but a little smallfolk girl. Sweet Inna has no care that it is a noble that holds her, nor a noble that he confuses her for. Kept in darkness and wrapped in death, all the child can do is pray that the nobleman speaks right… that they will take her back to her family once more.

As he sees the wolf fall, Martyn goes to his knees for a few moments as well, as he works on getting his blade free from the animal again. Pausing to look over at the others, ready to see what targets remain. When he sees there's none, he lets out a few deep breaths now. "It's done…" he offers, voice barely above a whisper, as he lowers his sword now.

As the Weeping Woman finally falls, Erik finally has time to catch his breath as battle adrenaline slowly leaves him. Each deep breath brings biting pain that hovers in the background, eyes searching the woods as sounds of fighting dies off. Moving slowly to the spear he threw to the side, the Jast Knight leans forward and almost goes down to a knee to retrieve the spear before using it more like a cane than a weapon. Nodding to Daryl, Erik returns the look of respect, "And you, Deputy." He then glances to the other knight that is checking on the noble captive, "How is the girl?" Only caring about one child in particular apparently, the young noble lady Hafwen.

It's when the bag is removed that Perrin staggers backwards "That's not…" his voice trails off and he begins looking. Then his voice calls out, pained and frantic "Hafwen!" He looks to Martyn "Find her, where is she?"

When the three of them prove too much for the Hunter, Mortimer takes a moment to sheath his sword and lean against the nearest tree for a few deep breaths. The man's last words are almost enough to make him push Darek aside and finish him himself, almost. Instead he turns and punches the tree, hard. Not perhaps the brightest of moves given the state of his hand but the pained cry that follows does serve to vent some of the anger and frustration. Then, still grimacing slightly he turns back to Darek, "you alright? We're still missing a child, we'll need to search."

Darek's blade falls, and the Hunter loses his head. Grimacing in pain, the squire bends down, pointing toward where the dragon-horse and its inert burden stand, "There's a child, on the creature's back." And he drives himself to walk in that direction, still holding the hunter's removed head in his left hand, his steps slow and unsteady, but determined, "The others? They're alright? Mott? Inna? The squire's brothers?"

It is Darek that heaves the actual Lady Hafwen Erenford from the saddle of the Hunter's would-be dragon-horse. The steed, which is nothing more than a horse clothed in scales, tail hairs shaved close to the stub, and multilated in places with scars, shivers uneasily as the boy approaches, but it bows it's head to nose against the squire's shoulder wearily.

At the cry from the Haigh, Darek looks up, "Fuck a cursed duck. On the creature! There…" And he gestures ahead of himself with bloodied sword to where the dragon-horse presumably still stands under the trees.

It is Darek that heaves the actual Lady Hafwen Erenford from the saddle of the Hunter's would-be dragon-horse. The girl's hair is matted with blood — her blood. A The steed, which is nothing more than a horse clothed in scales, tail hairs shaved close to the stub, and multilated in places with scars, shivers uneasily as the boy approaches, but it bows it's head to nose against the squire's shoulder wearily.

There's a brief pause as Martyn hears Perrin's call. "What?" A brief pause as he moves over to the Haigh's side, pausing for a few moments now. "It's not?" Starting to look around for a few moments now. "Maybe one of the boys back there knows where they took her?"

Alric nods to Darek's words, "The boys are alright. I protected them myself." He assure the squire. Moving after Darek towards the creature then. Nodding a bit. "I see." Staying silent though, to keep his strength

Perrin's call from the camp causes Mortimer to glance back that way in confusion a moment before Darek's words about the horse's burden register and he moves quickly towards the horse, cradling his hand against his chest as he does so. "We thought it was Hafwen down there," he explains to Darek, assuming the lad is keeping up, "seems not."

Daryl's face goes into full alert, his eyes searching, as if the answer were right before him. "The mount. Check the hunters mount." He looks to Inna, comforting the child as she clings tight, "It's okay, sweet girl. Your safe now. Everythings okay." A look to Perrin then and he searches about. Lady Hafwen hasn't been found yet. Their job wasn't done."

Darek slows as he approaches the horse with Mortimer at his side and Alric behind him. Driving his sword down into the loam, and dropping the bloody head alongside it, he raises both hands to approach the creature slowly, "Easy… easy whatever the fuck you are… easy…" And then he's stepping around, to try and lift off the young girl slung over its back, "It's going to be alright…"

As Darek heaves the actual Lady Hafwen Erenford from the saddle of the Hunter's would-be dragon-horse, she releases a small whimper. The girl's hair is matted with blood — her blood. A gaping wound splits open her scalp and runs down the length of her right cheek, bleeding into the maid girl's clothes that she wears. There is no doubt that it will scar. She is dazed, perhaps even confused as she clings onto the squire. The steed, which is nothing more than a horse clothed in scales, tail hairs shaved close to the stub, and mutilated in places with scars, shivers uneasily as the boy approaches, but it bows it's head to nose against the squire's shoulder wearily.

Again Perrin calls out Hafwen's name as he begins searching. He is still not aware where the others have gone to, up into the woods. So she has to be around here somewhere, right? Nearly running about, prodding dead imps and wolves he calls her name again "Hafwen!"

Alric is moving over with Darek. Seeing the blood as well. Guessing that Darek can better see how she is, "How is she?" He wonders. Hearing the call from Perrin, he will just look in that direction but not shout. In case it startles the horse. Looking back to squire and child.

With Darek taking the girl, Mortimer moves to collect the horse's reins in his left hand so the beast can be led down to the camp. At Perrin;s next call he answers back, raising his voice to carry, "We have her m'Lord, she's alive." How well he doesn't know, but he didn;t want to say nothing. "We'll bring her down." Hat doen he galnces to Alric and then to the Ironborn's head. "COuld you bring that m'Lord?" Darek's hands to appear to be full after all.

Martyn makes his way to follow Perrin now, looking around carefully as he prods at the dead creatures as well now. Hearing Mortimer's call, he lets out a bit of a breath, reaching out to attempt placing one hand on the Haigh knight's shoulder. "Did you hear? They've found her," he offers a bit quietly. "It's done." Looking towards the dead wolves now, a bit thoughtfully.

Alric nods and moves to gather the head. His sword put away as he takes the head. A chuckle then. "Now that I think about it, I did promise lady Muirenn a ironborn head some time ago." Grinning despite the state he is in.

The call from the woods startles Perrin as he is turning over another dead imp. "What? You found her?" And with that he takes off running. Branches be damned as they slap his face and leaves welts in their place. He only slows as he nears the beast and looks to the others "Where, where is she? Is she alright?" And then he sees Darek holding her and to him he goes and holds out his hands for her "Hafwen, oh Hafwen." Tears leave streaks down his dirty face.

At the announcement of Lady Hafwen being alive, Daryl visibly relaxes, a peace coming over his features as he lets out an exhale, smile rising softly. He again hoists Inna to his side, easily supporting her while he reaches to hold up his canteen oncemore and let Inna drink from it if she so chooses. He moves towards Darek, Mortimer and Alric, a warm smile offered towards Perrin as he finds his family.

Darek cradles the child against his chest, his knees going weak a moment as her little shoulder digs into his wounded shoulder, "Ow fuck…" Thankfully, that's just groaned, rather than actually spoken aloud, "And my sword, Milord?" That's a little stronger, and Darek begins walking slowly, painfully down what used to be his line of fire and into the fire lit camp, "She's hurt, Milord, but she's alive…" His hand at her shoulder strokes gently, smearing her common garb with more blood, but hopefully comforting the whimpers just a little. As Perrin reaches out, the squire stands awkwardly, letting the other man take the noble girl from his arms.

The horse gives another nervous shiver, but obeys the man who holds his reins. It follows after Mortimer with steady feet. Hafwen does not seem willing to speak to anyone as she clings to Darek fearfully. She looks up into her Uncle Perrin's face with large eyes that are completely void of tears. Her pupils are huge, filling the entire scope of her irises. Even while she recognizes Perrin, there is a great reluctance to be given over to him at first. Finally though, she is surrendered and in turn clings to the Haigh.

Emerging from the cave now are the three smallfolk boys. Mott is at the lead, holding onto the hands of the much smaller Erenford boys. He glances toward Inna as she is being comforted by the Ashwood, and he seems almost protective of the girl, almost daring to step forward to rescue her from the noble. But he halts, glancing instead toward Darek.

Mortimer with Darek giving Hafwen to Perrin as the nobles are reunited, Mortimer takes the opportunity to pass the regns over to the squire. "Do you mind," he says quietly, not wanting to disturb the small girl, "I should go check on Inna." Given the docility of the horse he doesn't wait for the lads reply before he's off back down to camp. THe nobles might hvae been looking for a week or two but he's been searching for that girl for a month or so now. Needless to say, he makes a b-line for Daryl.

Alric nods and does gather it. "We need to bring her back hurridly then." He offers and turns to start walking. Once the child is out of Darek's arms, he will offer the sword to the squire. "Nicely fought."

Perrin looks at Darek and smiles to the squire "Would you be my squire you would be knighted before the sun rose." He looks to the other men standing there as he cradles Hafwen in his arms. "Thank you all, I shall be in your debt." And with that he turns making his way out of the woods. His head bowed close to his niece. "Don't you worry, little one. I shall get you home and to mommy. I have you now, nothing can hurt you again."

As Perrin takes off again, Martyn makes his way quite a bit slower now, reaching the others in time to see the girl handed over to her uncle. Unable to hold back a smile as he watches the scene in front of him now. He doesn't say anything for the moment, letting out a bit of a breath as he watches, looking around after a few moments, to see the boys emerging from the cave. Offering the boys a quiet smile now. "It will be okay," he offers to them, quietly. "You're going home."

Darek bows his head at Perrin's words, clearing a suddenly congested throat before he can mumble, "Thank you, Milord." He takes the horse's reins from Mortimer, then collects his sword from Alric, nodding his thanks, "Milord," and then wiping it on his pants and sheathing it once more. He looks up to the horse through narrowed eyes, "You're not so scary up close, you know…" And then he's leading it toward the clearing, detouring to pick up his bow from where he tossed it aside. As he enters the clearing, he looks to Mott, offering the young boy a pained smile that still manages to drive a dimple into his cheek, "Hey there, lad. Your Ma's worried sick for you, but you seem to be doin' alright."

Not far from the Roost lawman, Daryl see's the intent, and moves to hand over the little girl, emerald hues locked on Mortimer. There's a slow nod be he releases the girl to him, "She is unharmed I believe." Physically, anyway. Then the Ashwood smiles a touch, moving to follow after Perrin at a casual stride, head tilted downwards…In thought perhaps. There's a single glance back towards Erik before he continues on.

The costumed horse huffs out a bit of breath at Darek at his words, bobbing his head a bit to toss that black mane about. He keeps close to the squire as he talks to Mott, and the boy looks exhausted. "Are you taking me home now?" He asks sternly up at the squire, looking quite exhausted in the darkenss of the night. He has not yet given up his hold on the Erenford brothers.

Perrin pauses a moment "We need to get back tot he camp. Treat our wounded and make sure the kids are fine." He looks about but it's clear he will not let go of Hafwen. "If you need help, you can lean on me. "

Mortimer nods once to Daryl as the other man notes his intent and mutters a quiet, "thank you m'Lord," as he takes the girl form him. Crouching down so he's on her level he gives her a quick glance over, although he's no healer so about all he can manage is all limbs present and correct. Reaching an arm round her shoulders he draws her close, and lowers his head so he can say quietly "Lets get you home shall we. It's over. Your mam has been worried about you."

Daryl continues onward, setting a hand on Perrin's shoulder as he catches up and steps further, his other hand absently rubbing at the leather armor on his chest, as if to comfort the skin below it. A smile and nod towards Perrin, and he asks quietly, "Have a moment to speak?"

Martyn moves after the other people for the moment, sword still out, as he works on getting it wiped clean for the moment. Taking a few moments to look around, his gaze stops on the dead bodies. Trying to remember something at the moment now. A brief pause, before he hurries after the others, with a bit of a shrug.

Darek nods at Mott's sober question, "One stop first, lad. Think you can walk on out? We've got a camp a little ways off where you can get some food and water." Wincing, he kneels down to look each of the three young boys in the eyes in turn, "The girls are going to get to ride. You all did real good. You've just gotta walk with us a bit."

"We have food, blankets for the kids back at the horses. Lets get them there where we can be rid of this place." Perrin tells those that are with in ear shot. He moves steadily away from the camp and the dead that are laying there. "We can send men up here and burn the bodies."

Mortimer takes a moment to shift his grip on Inna so he can lift the girl to carry her back to the camp. At Perrin's words he turns towards the man, seemingly a mirror image which a child cradles against him also. "Aye m'Lord, lets. And the heads, don't forget the heads. Although he's more than happy to make that the clean-up crew's problem as he turns to follow the others downstream once more.