OOC: I hope you don't mind me posting another topic 'cause Sarah isn't posting on The Ruins and The Phantom right now.
BIC: In a woodland clearing, a sparrow paused in the act of pulling a worm from the ground. It felt as if it was being watched. Nervously, it bent down and tugged the worm from the ground and prepared to take off. It never did.
At that moment, a yellow form exploded out of the undergrowth and within seconds had seized its throat and tore it out.
Slave dropped the corpse (complete with worm dangling from the beak) and looked around. A faint rustling sounded and a sleek black form slithered from behind a tree.
"Little master!" she trilled. "I've caught a sparrow for you!"
Nagiro was what you could call a spoiled brat. There was the mouse Slave, who spoiled him, and his mother, who spoiled him, and his father, who didn't spoil him but was kept from toughening his son out by his mate, who was considerably larger than him.
Little Master wasn't exactly the "gimme" type, but he did like to have things done his way.
Nagiro nudged the bird and touched noses with Slave. "Thank you, Ssslave my sister. Here, you have the wings."
As Slave and her friend settled down to dine, the mouse questioned him on what he had been doing that day. The answer was usual. Kill, nap, kill, slither, nap, slither, kill.
Slave felt an uncomfortable prickling on the back of her neck. She dropped the bone she had been gnawing and stood up. A growl rumbled deep in her throat and her blue eyes narrowed.
They were being watched.
(( Perhaps I might join in on this one? If you'd rather I didn't, then just let me know and I'll bow out. ^__^ ))
Muramin al-Wyuli scowled as she watched her prey devoured. Mentally, she cursed herself for allowing the thrill of the hunt get the better of her; it distracted her from noticing the other creatures in the area. She took a moment to thank the spirits watching over her from the Dark Forest for staying her paw, in light of the adder that slid into view. Snakes here not so uncommon in her region of the world, and she was more than happy to lose a meal instead of her life.
The wildcat relaxed the bowstring, arrow still nocked to slay the bird that had been, at one point, her prey. There was no point in wasting either the fletching or the arrowhead on the pair below. No, instead, she decided she would watch them and wait for the snake to do what snakes do with rodents.
However, Muramin noticed that it did not strike or swallow. This intrigued her to no small degree. Tail twitching behind her idly, she decided to stay in her tree and keep an eye on these two. It could prove interesting, she determined.
Of course, she should have expected to eventually give some preternatural clue to her presence. She was, after all, a huntress stalking a beast of prey. Claws dug into tree bark as the wildcat strove to remain concealed within the branches of the tree, green eyes poking out between a y-split in the main trunk. Both of her ears swiveled, actively listening for the sounds of a third group, be they above or below.
OOC: Sure, you can join!
BIC: Slave's eyes darted to and fro, but saw nothing.
"Little master, you should go." She said.
Slave flattened her ears and narrowed her eyes.
Her tail, strong enough to leave some nasty bruises on whoever attempted to provoke her, was lashing.
Her hair stood on end, and her icy blue eyes were intense. Her claws dug into the ground and she bared her teeth
Her muscles were tensed for battle.
"Whoever's out there, come out!" She rasped.
Muramin's eyes followed the serpent until it slithered from sight. She made a mental note to not assume that the thing had left quite yet, and that the trees were, at present, the only safe place to remain. Still, the wildcat knew that not always were things as they seemed; she would have wagered one of her nine lives on the fact the snake was merely out of sight.
And, still, she had to admire the mousemaid for her spunk. It took intestinal fortitude to stand out, in the open, to a potentially hostile beast that was unseen.
Muramin, however, could not allow the challenge to go unanswered. Drawing back on the bowstring again, and with feline grace, she moved from behind the trunk to the firm bough on which she had perched prior to losing her meal. "Those are tough words from one in your position, little mouse," she said icily, tail moving behind her slightly to keep the balance she needed. "I was hunting that sparrow, and hunger is not something easily forgotten." The wildcat's eyes momentarily scanned the ground below her. "Perhaps… Perhaps a little reptile meat is in order for a substitute, hm?"
A chuckle emitted from somewhere close by. "And here I thought for a moment that you had ssstopped loving me." A new voice replied in a hissing, reptilian accent. "Do you really want to cancccel our relationssship that sssoon, sssugarfur? After all we had only jussst began to get to know each other. I'm up here, by the way." The voice continued.
The voice belonged to another reptile, an iguana male of green scales, slim and sleek body build and a head decorated with a crest of spines. The iguana was dressed in little more than a loincloth and was only lightly armored with a set of shoulder plates, gauntlets and upper leg armor. His outfit left little to imagine and proved once again that reptiles, whose genitals were generally hidden away beneath protective scales, saw little need in clothing. The iguana bore the name Sareth Yisec Yusuf Khain or Sareth for short.
He rested rather comfortably on a few branches above his fresh wildcat partner, his digitgrade legs crossed on each other and his long tail hanging lazily down the branches. With his clawed hands and trustfully longsword resting on his chest and stomach, he glanced down briefly towards the wildcat female, his short time partner, a soft smile on his scaly face. "Bet you didn't exxxpect me up here, didn't you, sssugarfur?" He asked her in a hissing, yet gentle and slightly bemused voice.
"What in the world?' Slave exclaimed, then, composing herself, said to the wildcat, "I am not a lttle mouse. I've fought and killed wolverines, badgers, and kitty-cats like you. And if you touch my masters, I swear by the great goddess Enssa that I will rip your throat out and drink the blood. And whoever else's out there, take heed of my words."
Meanwhile, Nagiro was slithering as fast as he could to the place where his parents were sunning themselves.
"Moooom! Daaaad! I think Ssslave's in trouble!" He hissed.
"No time for wordsss! Lead usss to her!" Yelped his mother Narga as she and her husband followed their son into the forest.
Muramin turned slightly to bring her gaze to the iguana, and frowned. The last thing she needed was to have another distraction in an area she could not keep track of so well. The wildcat swallowed a growl forming in her throat regarding the lizard. "I thought I asked you kindly not to call me that," she said, obvious impatience flowing through her voice. "Now, I'm telling you not to. Besides, you're not the only scaled one here. And, I'd wager, the adders of here aren't too far off in taste from back home."
She considered jumping down. She knew there was an adder hidden somewhere below. Further, she knew that the little mouse would no doubt set upon her at the first chance. The mouse itself did not bother her; it was the distraction the mouse would create. Yet, she felt as though the tree were too crowded, now, with the lizard likewise amongst its branches.
Deciding quickly, she pulled the arrow from the string and returned it to the quiver she wore. The bow, easily as long as she was tall, fell to the ground at the base of said tree. Meanwhile, the wildcat leapt from the tree, allowing gravity to pull her down. She tucked, landed, and rolled with a sound of sliding metal to stand upright again. Each paw held a curved blade, well shined and sharp-looking. "I am Muramin al-Wyuli, and I fear no beast. Come, little mouse. Come, little adder. Learn through experience the sights and sounds of the Dark Forest."
Sareth laughed, not sure what amused him more. His partners reply or the mouses brash statement. He rolled to the side slightly, his eyes never leaving the wildcat. "Quite a ssshame." He nearly purred to her. "That name really doesss sssuite sssuch an attractive lady." He flicks his tongue briefly, taking in the scents around him. Then air still tasted of adder and he knew that they were somewhere nearby. The thought exited him and made his tail twitch.
He climbed down a few branches until he took Muramin's spot where he positioned himself into a predator like crouch, holding onto the branch with all four limbs while his tail swings lazily beneath him. His sheathed longsword rested well on his back, patiently waiting to be used. Most snakes inhabiting the warm lands of his home were quite reasonable and sociable creatures that grew alongside his own kind. He was not so sure however about the snakes in these north lands.
He was still a stranger here, that much was obvious and he hasn't been around long. Nor did he intend to stick around here for so long. What little he has seen from these strange lands that was called Mossflower was far away from civilisation and what few inhabitants he had met so far he quickly proclaimed as uncivilised and barbaric. Even his feline companion, with her fiery temper and amazon like behaviour. Interestingly enough, Sareth found this to be very appealing and he still couldn't manage to stop himself from constantly trying to flirt with her whenever he got the chance. He silently wondered if she was just as wild in bed as she was in combat. Something he intended to find out sooner or later, if he managed to play his cards right.
Of course in order to do so he would have to see for her survival and kept on flicking his tongue, tasting the air for any approaching adder. "The air ssstill tassstesss clean." He informed her. "But they might be here sssoon if your guesss isss correct." He glanced down at her, looking into her eyes with a smile on his face. "When they are here, let me ssspeak to them firssst, yesss? Maybe we can sssettle thisss without any unecccesssary bloodssshed."
Slave looked at the wildcat and laughed cruelly, but said nothing.
A moment later, several huge forms erupted out of the bushes.
Narg was the first to see Slave sitting and looking amused; and the wildcat with a sword in each paw, and he went berserk.
The adder really couldn't stand the thought of his dear Slave being harmed in any way.
He shot across the clearing and stopped in front of Slave, his tail thrashing.
"Harm my Ssslave, and there'll be blood to pay!" He spat, his eyes full of fury.
Narga reached Slave second, and wound her body around the mouse, protecting her from danger. Nagiro, not wanting to be left out, stood beside his father, looking brave.
Sareth flicked his tongue briefly. "Looksss like here…" He didn't need to finish his sentence as the adders had already arrived on the clearing. He remained where he was, watching how the reacted and nodded silently. "Well, they didn't attack immediately." He pointed out, loud enough for not only his partner but also for the snakes to hear. "Ssso we might actually come to a more... Ssshall we sssay... Peacccefull sssolution?" He dropped down from the branch, landing on all fours like a predator. He wasted no time into getting up and taking two steps towards the snakes. "After all, we are both reptilian... Both cold blooded..." He began, addressing the larger of the two males facing him.
Muramin hissed and sprung back as the adders burst from the brush. She counted herself lucky as she stood ready to meet tooth with steel; they had not struck as they most assuredly could have. She made a note not to underestimate their speed again. Choosing not to yet relax herself, the wildcat decided to let her lizard companion ply his words. She was not of the mood to fight three poison-fanged beasts.
"Oh?" Said Narg, his face a mask of fury.
"You threatened our Ssslave. We will not forgive that easssily…lizard." His tongue flicked out.
Narga was having a hard time controlling Slave The mouse's blood was up. She wanted to kill.
Nagiro glanced at his father. "Um, maybe we should go. Slave's not happy."
Narg ignored him. His gaze had traveled to the wildcat and he fixed his eyes on hers, trying to hypnotize her.
Raised his hands as a sign of non-hostility. "Oh pleassse, that wasss jussst an unfortunate misssunderssstanding." He replied, glancing back towards the wildcat and silently asking her to agree. He then turned to the taller male. "I am sssure that sssuch a petty matter can be quickly overssseen. How about a trade inssstead of a fight?" He continued with a smile on his face that he was sure could charm out the gold coins from a greedy bear. "I have sssome food with me, meat, that I would like to bargain for an equally amount of your famousss adder poissson… I am running low on that."
Narg had a tantrum. Simple as that.
"WE HAVE ENOUGH MEAT! HOW DARE YOU ASSSSK US FOR OUR POISSSSON? YOU THINK WE ARE TAME, SSSSIMPLE-MINDED SSSNAKES? HOW DARE, HOW DARE YOU…!"
He drew himself up, took a breath, then turned to his family.
"Narga, Nagiro, Slave, let's go" he said in a tight voice. ''We have better things to do than talk with disgraces to the reptile race."
And with his nose in the air, he departed. Nagiro followed, then Narga(who had finally managed to calm Slave down).
Slave, however, paused.
She adored her Masters, but still, she would have no objecions to sinking her fangs into the wildcat and lizard's throats.
She flicked her tail, glared, and stomped away.
As Narg hurried through the forest, his mate told him, "You know, that lizard wasss a rather well-mannered gentleman. We could have gotten dinner easssily by just forfieting a few dropsss of venom."
Narg gave his mate a sharp look and hissed, "Narga dear, forget the thought. We addersss are fine hunters, and our venom isss as precious as gold. Three timesss as precioussss."
Sareth appeared hurt for a moment, but decided to let it drop. He had meant no disrespect at all to the great snake that left through the bushes. He however thought otherwise. Quite an unfortunate misunderstanding, but there was nothing he could do now. He simply shrugged and turned towards his partner. "Ssso much for the deal I guesss…" He mumbled, taking a bottle in his hand and eyeing the clear liquid within. Pure snake poision and one of his last bottles. He sighed heavily. "Sssorry my dear, but right now I need a sssip..." He said, unscrewing the cork and taking the bottle to his lips, drowning about 1/4 of the bottles content. He sighed, then corked the bottle again and put it back into his backpack. "Quite a ssshame though..." He added. "I wasss kind of looking forward into getting drunk tonight." He continued, reffering to the poision. It was not much of a secret that snake poision, while lethal for any mammal or avian, had quite the narcotic effect on fellow reptiles similar to alcohol. He shrugged none the less and shouldered his backpack again.
Muramin al-Wyuli frowned, trying to keep further displays of her displeasure buried. She had been looking for an interesting little skirmish. Still, something told her to keep on her toes; the wildcat doubted it would be the last she would encounter of that most unusual trio of dangerous beasts and their wild pet.
"Quite the haughty one," she said to fill the silence. Quietly, Muramin returned her blades to their resting places, having determined that she would not need them right away. She stepped over to the base of the tree where her bow had fallen and picked up not-so-forgotten weapon. "I doubt we will meet them in such a manner again," she commented, dryly adding, "and I hope they won't stick around to be a pain in the asp."
Slave turned off the path, leaving her Masters. She felt like being alone.
Pausing by a meadow, the mouse breathed in the air and closed her eyes…
to be struck by a slingstone seconds later.
Slave slumped to the ground, unconcious.
"Is it her? Is it her?"
A weasel dashed out, took one look and roared,''Yes, it is! We got that crazy mouse who killed Scumtail!"
A huge ferret in the bushes growled, "Take her back to camp. so the boss can kill her. He isn't happy 'bout his brother being killed by a common mouse."
Unfortunately, the leader of the gang was absent, so the other members locked her in a wooden cage and awaited their leaders' return.
A little later, Nagiro had noticed his friend's absence.
"I'm going to look for her" He announced, and slithered into the bushes. His parents, not wanting to leave their only son alone while a wildcat was loose in the woods, followed.
"Oh, no! Issss sshe alive?"
The snake family, concealed in some bushes, watched the wooden cage in the vermin camp with dismay.
"No." Narg told his son. "She'sss alive, just unconcious."
Nagiro began to cry. Big fat tears tumbled from his green eyes onto the ground.
"Ssshut up!" his father spat. "If we're going to get Slave out of this pickle, we need help."
"Oh no" Said Narga, looking at her mate. "You don't mean..."
Later, three (Nagiro had insisted on staying in the bushes, to "keep an eye on Slave") adders slithered into the forest.
The male spoke to no one in particular.
"Ssss...Um, lizard, wildcat, please...we need your help."
Narga had hated the idea, but Narg, who had still hated it equally, pointed out that they needed help quick, regardless of who they asked."Face it" he had told Narga. "It's better than asking a common, poor-bred stoat or mangy fox."
Muramin al-Wyuli was, once more, up in a tree. However, she had chosen to lie in wait for other suitable prey. It bothered her not that the serpents were back on the ground, save that they were bothering her again. Still, she concluded that it was better than trying to sneak up on her and bite.
"So, then," she start, a slight smile perking across her expressin, tail lazily curling behind her. "Let me see if I understand you correctly." She paused a moment, enjoying the irony. "Your precious-ssss little pet is caught, and you want our help," she summarized, lightly mocking the serpents. It took little deliberation to decide. "As you asked so politely, I shall see what I can do."
The feline rolled out of the tree and let gravity pull her down, landing on all fours. Standing upright, she warily took a few steps towards the serpents. Of course, she was not stupid enough to step into striking range; it was a snake's nature to bite. Still, she wanted to show an amount of trust; the wildcat knew that she was dealing with dangerous beasts.
"Show me the way, if you would, and tell me what you know of these captors, that we will be more able to defeat them."
Sareth stirred slightly and opened an eye warily as he watched the snakes approach. He still clearly remembered the older male's reaction to him not long ago and it didn't need much intellect to figure that the snake's situation was dire for him. Sareth raised his eye-ridge slightly as the weird mouse was mentioned, but choose to remain silent. Being a mercenary, he could tell when an opportunity for business presented itself and this was no different.
Unlike his partner however, he choose to rather climb down instead of jumping. He wanted to take his time and see how Mura, as he nicked her silently, was doing and truth to be told, he was very impressed at how well socialised she could be. He figured that she could be quite a civilised being if she wanted to. The fiery amazon just never wanted to. The realisation of this brought a small smile on his scaly lips which quickly vanished as he stopped beside his partner with a professional cool expression on his face.
"You know our price." He reminded the larger male snake. This time however his voice was not as friendly towards the snake and he let the male well known that Sareth was still a little upset about what he considered to be a rude and unprovoked reaction.
Narrg hissed at Sareth. "We know. If it wassn't the fact that our dear Ssslave is captured I would eat you here and now." He paused and flicked his tongue. "Or isss that ssssupposed to be then and there?"
"Ssshut up!" Hissed Narga. "Then, turning to the wildcat, she said, "We don't know much about the vermin, actually. All we do know isss that they're a bandit-nomad bunch, and that our Ssslave killed one of them for dinner lasssst evening. I ssssupposed they got all worked up about it, and they captured Ssslave. Enssa knowsss why they're keeping her alive." She added, "We'll pay you anything if you help usss free her."
Narg whipped around and glared at Sareth. "Four drops of venom!" He hissed. "Deal?"