Bloodstained Daydreams: On the Road Again

OOC: This event takes place before/after search on the Path to Redwall. Exact timeline placement to be determined.

IC:

Sunrise came. Clear and distinct like the ring of a church bell, always on time, always distinguishable no matter what surrounded it. Those first rays crept along the treetops like yellow snakes, reaching golden fingers seeking a place, or perhaps…a beast. But Rillgruf took no notice of it as he wiped his blade, a torn piece of tan cloth now soaked in a red substance as those yellow eyes glanced about the now calm clearing.

Four bodies lie broken, destroyed; their lives stolen away by the rat’s paw. He let the crimson stained cloth fall to the floor, and slid the trusty piece of steel back into his sash, sighing deeply. Those tensing moments of battle faded away, leaving a horrid emptiness within, allowing him once again to realize his predicament.

He felt no better than when he had pursued the vermin, he felt just as lost, just as sorrowful. It only seemed to help as a momentary fix, a bandage which always seemed to break away once the fighting stopped. It made no difference now...his task was done, and it was time for him to leave.

Strange though...that he only found four. By the amount of tracks he was sure there should have been seven... But it made no matter, he had retrieved that necklace and the bag of lapis, knowing full well it was what his employers wanted returned.

He faced a day’s march east, now, and so immediately set his sight to the trail. He stopped a couple miles away to refill his flask at the river’s side, for a moment, crouched near the mud. He sighed again, letting the cool water wash the blood from his paws, staring at his muddled reflection as though it were not him, but some other beast. It was strange, and it would always be.

He was lost to thought a moment as he knelt there, just seeming to...stare, into nothingness. Even as the wind blew and the branches of the upper canopy rattled, he paid it no mind. He was too wrapped up in a daydream...

Bodies, blood, choking fog...it was always the same. The roars of his allies murmured about him, and the shrieks of the innocent were so shrill and sharp...piercing and deafening. It caused him to lose that moment of reality, his alertness for the moment, gone in that moment of recollection. One small heartbeat of a moment which left him...susceptible.

Sylvester watched the rat intensely from the safety of his hiding place behind some nearby shrubs. He was but a few meters from the fearsome beast, by the looks of him he was one tough rat. But for a vermin like he…. to be lost so intensely lost in thought? He wasn’t even stripping the dead bodies around him of their possessions… what kind of rat was he?

He appeared to be traveling alone…. rare indeed for his kind, and by the looks and smell of the hefty fellow… he was sea-rat. Sylvester could pick out his kind anywhere… but what was he doing this far inland, and alone… and deep in thought no less.

Sylvester contemplated his options warily, he could wait until this potential threat left the scene and then strip the bodies of their possessions… but he couldn’t be sure that this rat wouldn’t beat him to it. He could, of course, show himself and try to smooth talk his way into some of the loot… or just make a dash for it.

Sylvester wasn’t even afraid if it were to come to a physical confrontation merely wary and cautious about rushing into such a situation. Either way he’d rather use his words to sneak out of the tight spot. But he got a feeling the somber and contemplative rat who was hulking over four bloody corpses wasn’t about to banter jovially with him.

He sighed, no doubt alerting his opponent to his position, and got up slowly out of the bushes making no attempt to disguise his movement. He might as well get it over with…. It was always better to know about beasts then to leave them alone to wander the wilderness, for chances were that their paths would cross again in this small woodland realm… and he couldn’t risk it being a compromising situation. Judging by the gory scene in front of him he didn’t want to be caught unawares by this brutish fellow.

Sylvester walked towards the rat in question, his hands held outwards to show he was unarmed.

“Don’t mind me there big fella, I’m just passing through…. my my what a big haul you’ve got there?”

Sylvester leaned up against a tree near the rat, acting nonchalant… the brim of his felt hat shading his expression, hiding his emotions from view.

“So what was it… a vendetta? A mindless bloodfest? Or perhaps…. a mission?”

Rillgruf snapped back to himself swiftly when he heard the voice sound, at first startled, standing swiftly to regard the newcomer. The scent and sight of weasel put him on the defensive, and the calm voice didn’t seem to comfort him any. He’d seen many vermin…brutes, bullies, assassins and sweet talkers...Rillgruf didn’t take chances; even though he had moments go, letting himself become wrapped up in an age old memory.

His features were emotionless, solid like stone, aged and yet still full of some sort of torturous life. He merely blinked, and shouldered his pack once more, the cutlass glinting with purpose at his side.
“A mission...of sorts.” Rillgruf replied slowly, that deep war-torn voice sluggish and contemplative. “I’ve already collected what I need, there is no haul, not for this’n. Let the crows have th’rest, no worry o’ mine.” Rillgruf shrugged, slipping the water flask back into his pack, putting on an air of indifference and lacking perception. If the weasel had plans...Rillgruf wanted to know how they involved him. “If ye’re passin’ through, then so am I. I got no more business ‘ere.”

Interesting indeed… it would seem that the Rat had no intention of taking the spoils of his kills, nor even of waylaying Sylvester himself. The weasel grinned, it was his lucky day….not only would he able to strip the loot off the carcasses but he wouldn’t even have to fight the Rat for it!

The Rat’s voice was deep and gruff, it spoke of hard years and long battles. His eyes…. his eyes spoke of bloody times and a dark past. “No haul? They’ve still got their clothes on em’ now…. but why don’t you let me take those of their, and your hands. They are quite useless to you however…. I’m sure I could find something…”

Sylvester’s eyes twinkled with anticipation, his hand reaching towards his dagger…if he had to fight for the scraps he would, he hadn’t eaten in nearly a day and he needed something to sell at the very least.

“Me… I’ve been just ‘passing through’ for the last five years, I’m headed wherever fortune takes me mate. But if that’s a mission you’ve come from….. perhaps you can hook me up with your employers? I have a few… talents… one might say.”

The rat frowned, sensing a needy scavenger. The beast might be worth his weight in skill, but Rillgruf wasn’t interested in that. Nor was he interested in the spoils of his kills, but…judgment time was at hand. Whether this weasel was vermin or not, he’d arbitrate for himself. He spotted the beast’s hand going for his dagger, and that alone put Rillgruf in a defensive mode, becoming more alert to each movement, no matter how minute.

“And wot if I said I did mind, eh, mate?” Rillgruf swiftly turned to his Corsair slang and put on an air of aggression, grinning wickedly as he had done many years ago, his claws tapping against the onyx hilt of his cutlass, “Wot if I decided I wasn’t feelin’ so friendly, eh? I killed ‘em, I didn’t see you ‘op in an’ offer a beast a paw. I think I’ll be keepin’ these littl’ bits for meself.” That grin became more devious, showing off a nice set of ground out fangs, yellowed from years of seaweed grog and motley fare. It seemed...Rillgruf wasn’t joking as those fighting muscles tensed, awaiting a lunge or some sort of sudden attack, even if it wound up being a thrown weapon. Madness sparkled somewhere in those harvest moon colored eyes, and the more stressful the situation became...Rillgruf was sure to at least forget for a little while.

Sylvester’s smile widened and he chuckled quietly to himself. The Rat’s voice had become coarse, full of sea-rat slang. He knew the time, brutish and strong… but not altogether to swift or smart. Sylvester’s smaller frame paled in comparison to the rat although he stood but a hair taller, he had the speed…

His voice was calm but cold as steel, “All of a sudden you be wanting those scraps now? Sylvester licked the length of his long dagger, he had not moved from his position… lounging against the tree. The rat was in-between him and his loot.

“I wouldn’t want to further damage that mug o’ yours… so you’d best be stepping aside, we both know that you didn’t want those in the first place. And I woulda lent you a paw, kind sir, had you had I not just arrived.”

Rillgruf snorted with distaste and laughed roughly,
“If ye think ye can best me, do it then. I ain’t afeared o’ no grassdog, never was. If ye wish to cross blades wid Torbane o’ the Moonblades, make yer mark, cully, and let yer blades do the talkin’ for ye.” Rillgruf figured he’d test the weasel, offering a somewhat clumsy charge towards the nimbler beast. He’d act as inept and slow as Sylvester wanted to think he was, testing the weasel’s strength for the time being. What Rillgruf wanted to know…was to what extent this beast would go. He wanted the spoils, aye, fair enough. But what would’ve happened had it been a mouse or squirrel who’d been here and not Rillgruf? Would he have slain them without remorse? That was the thought which was quickly formulating in the ex-Corsair’s head...and besides; while he fought, the memories didn’t bother him so much.

Rillgruf would attempt to knock Sylvester to the ground with a blow from his cutlass’ hilt, if he missed (which he was assuming, he could guess the weasel’s speed would be enough to evade the slow charge) then he would turn to face him. Whatever counter Sylvester would offer, would give him a good idea of just how strong he actually was. Unless he too played the ‘act weaker then ye are’ card.

-ooc-Nice thread guys! I like it. I might join in after your confrontation if you don't mind.

OOC: I wouldn't, as long as Wolfe doesn't. 😛

Sylvester saw the hefty rat began to charge and although he was not very fast, he was fearsome. Sylvester cocked his head, even this bulky sea-rat should’ve been able to perform a much faster charge.

The weasel shrugged, whatever his reasons, he’d regret not coming at him with full force. The spirited weasel kicked up some dirt with his right paw, straight at the rat’s face. Sylvester rolled quickly to the side, dodging the slow charge of his opponent, He got up quickly and made a mad dash towards the corpses, his eyes glinting… the loot would be his.

As he was running he turned around with lightning speed, sending one of his throwing daggers towards the rat…. making sure not to hit him, just to show him that he was capable. The knife flew towards the tree trunk where he had previously been standing, burying itself in the bark up to the hilt.

OOC: No I dont mind much as long as you can post regularly and try to mirror :). And yeah… sorry for the short and uninspired post, school's distractions do that to me.

OOC: No problem, Wolfe. 😛

IC:

Rillgruf gritted his teeth as the sand was kicked towards him, vermin instinct clenched his eyes closed just in time to save them from becoming entirely useless for that much needed moment of retaliation. Turning swiftly, he might’ve reached out for the thrown dagger, but the sand had hindered him enough he needed to swipe at his eyes. With a growl, and ignoring the thrown blade, he made a rush for Sylvester, this time with putting a bit more speed and gall behind it. If successful, he hoped to bull the unfortunate weasel over using his shoulder, and if he side-stepped…well, he’d try and catch him with a sideways swing of his cutlass. Though he’d keep the force behind it minimal, it would be astonishingly swift and accurate. He didn’t want to kill the beast, just injure him...

But even so, it seemed the weasel had little want to truly do battle. He had made a go for the bodies, which meant he was more concerned with looting than fighting. But even if, there were still so many situations that could bode badly for an innocent beast. What if they had been allies of woodlanders seeking to give them a proper burial? Would this weasel have slain them for his purposes? Or commit grave robbery after the fact?

Either of which wouldn’t sit well with Rillgruf, but at least if he was only a thief, it meant he was partially harmless.

-ooc- I know what Wolfe means. Spanish…... 😠

Sylvester sighed, the rat had come back… it appeared his attack had failed to even temporarily blind the brute. The fear some rat ran even faster towards him, appearing to want to bowl him over with sheer force.

Sylvester’s smile never faded but he began to worry about facing off with such a strong and bull-headed opponent, would he have to run away? He really didn’t want to spill any blood if he didn’t have two but after two days without food or water he was getting a little desperate for something he could at least trade for provisions.

He turned to face his opponent, knife in hand, his eyes feral and his smile dissipated into a devilish grin

“If you wish to truly face, me…. then let us settles this, blood, fur and all… right now.”

“Well said.” Rillgruf roared with a sickly grin, tossing his cutlass aside, letting the device bury itself into the earth nearby. If it was a fight this weasel wanted, it was a fight he was going to get. Rillgruf didn’t care, not anymore, he’d tear him apart with claws and paws. But really…maybe it was a mental move on his part. He didn’t want to truly harm him, and he could easier subdue him without the blade. Better chance he wouldn’t seriously injure him. And besides...years on the deck of a Corsair ship made him not only a skilled brawler, but a worthy wrestler as well.

His charge continued unhindered, and his claws spread apart to try and grab the wily weasel. If he could...he would take the vermin to the earth in a heap of fur, claws and blades. But his defensive never dropped, he had those steel bracers for a reason...

If he could, Rillgruf would attempt to disable Sylvester’s dagger-paw by grabbing it swiftly, then issuing a hefty right punch to the creature’s cheek bone.

If it connected, of course... It all depended heavily on how fast that weasel could move.

Sylvester smiled, so it seemed that this rat was really one of those bestial lunatics after all? Aw well…. at least that was out of the way. Already standing by the carcasses as his opponent charged he had a sly plan. He wouldn'tve spurred on such a large and destructive beast had he been lacking at least a few possible courses of action, although he had half expected at least a few seconds of angry banter before the fight continued.

Aw well... he thought to himself, you couldn't have all the luck. With that he sheathed his dagger, picked up one of the corpses and with all his strength hurled it towards the charging rat. He panted, it had taken a lot out of him. Knowing that he had a second or two to spare now he quickly ripped the shirts off the vermin, and the earings out of one of their ears. And with that he bolted for some shrubbery, hoping his opponent wouldn't have the chance to see where he had gone. Not giving it a chance he drew two throwing dagger as he sat silently in the bushes..... he wouldn't feel any remorse for killing this bloody minded cur, although... had it been a more innocent beast he would never have even considered the idea.

He was a thief, not a murderer... and a petty thief at that. But he knew how to take care of himself, and he sure wasn't gonna feel bad for gutting some stinking rat.

Rillgruf saw Sylvester’s reaction, and knew what was happening. He used what momentum he had to bull the corpse away, taking the brunt of the weight upon his shoulder. He stood a moment, fists clenched as he watched the dust settle where the weasel had run to, and his nostrils already had the stinking vermin’s scent. If he wanted to track him…he easily could have, but as that lust for battle faded away, he had no such will to do so.

He hadn’t killed, not at least that Rillgruf had seen. He was a mercenary...not a vigilante. With a slow sigh, catching his exerted breath rather swiftly, he collected his cutlass and wiped it free of dirt. With one last thought he dumped the bodies into the river and watched them sail away on the current, disappearing swiftly from view. Once again Rillgruf looked to those tracks, wondering, thinking, debating...

Should he follow them? Or should he let be what was? Was it worth letting him live? Or would Rillgruf regret it later to discover a trail of death in the weasel’s wake?

OOC: Kinda' leaving an opening, I think someone wanted to jump in? lol

OOC: Would you like for me to wait before I reply then?

OOC: It's up to you. 😛 I'll wait though, even if you post. 'Til tomorrow. If no one posts after that, then I'll just pick up my posting again. ^^

EDIT: But if you wanna' keep going, no worries, Wolfe. I'll keep postin' if you do. lol

-ooc- Good luck on tomorrow. bows at waist

Sylvester’s jaw hung open in amazement as he realized that his opponent was not even going to make an attempt at pursuit. What kind of a rat would off lost in contemplation…. get angry and charge, bloodlust in his eyes, only to let his quarry go without even a simple pursuit?

What was with this guy, curiosity was a thorn in Sylvester’s paw and he could not pluck it out. The agile weasel had gotten away with two brass earrings and a torn shirt, by all means an amazingly good haul for not having to do any of the work himself. But… something was missing, he just didn’t feel like he could rightly leave this scene.

He looked once more at the sentient rat as he wiped off his blade. Something was up with that beast, there was something more to him then bloodlust and more to his actions of killing those vermin then betrayal or anger. But Sylvester, despite his gnawing curiosity, couldn’t lay a paw on the answer to his question.

But would it be wise to once more announce his position? Would the rat not charge at him once more… but then again he seemed calmer now, and hadn’t even given though to pursuit. Sylvester sighed… he really did need a job, he hadn’t been employed for a long time and this guy was obviously getting his ‘missions’ from somewhere

He stepped out of the bushes noisily, as he had done mere minutes before upon their initial meeting.

“Look rat, if you had the heart to kill me for no reason… I think you would’ve pursued me and so I’m not gonna try and continue this fight nor question your motives but…. I would really like to see those employers of yours.”

Sylvester sheathed his dagger as a sign of peace although he kept a paw behind his back with a throwing dagger between each finger, ever ready for the possibility of violence. If worse came to worse… well then, he’d have even more loot now wouldn’t he… and It was quite justifiable in self defense.

The weasel smiled and tipped his hat waiting for the rats response, he really didn’t want this to once more disintegrate into a meaningless brawl, he had had enough of that for one day.

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