One of the female hyenas turned to Sharp with fear in her eyes. "It's those dreadful Nightscars!" she cried hysterically, "that big white lion is killing our chief!" Obviously, remaining calm and clear headed was not on her agenda.
Zikomo glanced at the newcomer with anger. This was going all too well at the moment. He didn't need somebeast coming to save Duka. The dark hyena pushed his way through the crowd to get at Sharp. He gave a few beasts nasty clouts with his spear butt, earning him their angry glares. "There is no need for alarm," Zikomo hissed, "it is a honorable duel between chieftains, don't interrupt." After Duka was dead, Dera was the only one left in Zikomo's way. He doubted she would challenge him for the position of chief.
(I hope you don't mind me killing a close friend of Eraon, a cousin or something)
Bic: Dester just smiled as he saw a younger cheetah, a warrior, but inexperienced. "Kill the small one, near the tree. " He mumbled to Jultar. The fox smiled and in a quick move, shot an arrow at the young warrior. The poor lad didn't even move, unaware of the missile flying toward him.
It pierced his eye and went out the back of his skull, pinning him to the tree behind. They all laughed like it was the funniest thing, Decca, however, frowned and shook his head at the action the rat just made.
"That poor lad. He wasn't doin' a thing and it cost him. If you have hot heads here, make sure for them to steer clear of Dester." The shaman said almost choked up. "There's going to be blood shed, and it will be of innocence more than the worthy."
As soon as Eraon saw Jultar move he went into action. He released his arrow at the fox and jumped to the side. He expecting a missile coming in his direction. Then he noticed with seething anger what Jultar had done. The young cheetah had been his friend for years. "You'll pay for that, murderer," he hissed quietly to himsefl, "you'll pay in blood."
Datva was enjoying himself as he hadn't for years. The lion loved a good fight. Datva moved to the side in a clockwise circling motion, avoiding Duka's first strike. Then he turned aside the second with the tip of his blade. "How does it feel to be outmatched Duka?" he laughed, "you should have stayed in your holes and lived." Then he charged at Duka with a shoulder ram. Hopefully this would knock the hyena's shield out of the way. Then he slash downward in a wide arc at his enemy's head.
Sharp scowled at Zikomo "I wasn't implying that I want to interfere…" Sharp's head jerked over as he saw Jultar slay one of the cheetah's which annoyed the Imperial as the situtation seemed to deteriorate "What are you trying to do start a triple crossfire?"
Dera gasped in surprise when Jultar killed the mostly innocent cheetah. She didn't trust the Nightscars any further than she could throw them, but the violence still seemed uncalled for. Upon hearing Decca's comment Zikomo just smiled. "There will be more than you know old fox," he hissed.
"Please, do not kill them unless they attack you," Dera said to Dester in worried tone, "we don't want the whole lot of them on our backs, if you know what I mean."
Zikomo turned back to Sharp with a flustered expression. "Listen meerkat, I'm not trying to do anything," he growled, "I'm just letting it happen. I don't care who dies as long as I'm still standing."
"Outmatched?" Duka smirked, "I hardly think so you big white buffoon!" He instantly rethought this as the large beast came at him again. The shoulder ram sent him sprawling backwards under the lion's weight. He was two low for the sword swing that followed to reach his head, but it gave him nasty cut on his inner left leg. He quickly rolled out of the way and stood up. Duka noticed that he couldn't face Datva head on. He would have to use speed. He began circling Datva at a fast pace, keeping his eyes on the white lion. Then the hyena took a step forward and stabbed at Datva's flank.
Dester took on a strange gentleman like tone with Dera. "Oh but my fair maiden, I do as I wish. When your a creature like me, killing is easier than walking. I've chose my targets, and I intend to keep them. " He patted her shoulder like a friend would. "I'm gonna take some exotic items while I'm here, your not going to stop me!" Dester smiled and laughed. This murdering vermin was going to plague the Savannah, starting with the felines.
(I don't mean to be annoying Danker, but Eraon shot his arrow at Jultar.)
Datva lost his balance slightly as his strike missed its intended target. He tipped forward but manage to catch himself. He growled in rage as Duka began speeding around him. "What do you think your doing?" he asked, "running a race?" He snarled at swung his blade at Duka again, but missed because of the hyena's movement. "Curse you," Datva roared as Duka's spear grazed his flank.
The lion backed off a little, holding his sword in a defensive position. Eraon abandoned his position an ran to Datva. "Sir, the rat killed one of our warriors," he said, "even though they have no argument with us."
"So Duka, you have brought murderous foreigners to our land?" Datva growled, "this is a lot more than a duel now, this is war." The cats gathered, two of them taking the dead body of their companion. "We'll come back for you Thunderstripe boneheads!" Datva shouted, "we'll bring the Bloodclaws, the Deathwinds, and all the others! Then we'll put you down for good!" The Nightscars disappeared over the hills and headed home.
Sharp had a grim look on his face as he listened to Datva while blatently ignoring Zikomo "Ehh… so about how many is that Dera, cause from the way he's talking it sounds like he's bring back the entire ugly tree with him."
Dester's tone was respectful, but Dera was still somewhat disgusted by his view. She detested unnecessary killing. She looked on in surprise at Datva and his big cats retreating. All around her hyenas began cheering and shouting.
"Look at them all running away!" one shouted, "they're cowards!"
"Bye bye pussycats!" another laughed. Dera couldn't help but smile herself. They had actually won! Then Datva roared out his grim final. The yelling and laughter died down. All was quite for a while. Duka turned away from the retreating cats and headed back toward the rocks.
Dera turned to sharp sadly. "It's a lot of beasts, more than a thousand. There are probably more tribes he could call on too," she muttered, "we hardly have enough to face them." A strange grin spread across Zikomo's face. With a paw he guided Dera into the cave. She followed him without question, to stunned to think.
When they had gone relatively far down the passages Zikomo stopped and turned to Dera. "Listen Dera, though it looks dark, there is still hope," Zikomo said.
"What do you mean?" Dera asked, "they'll kill us all!"
"No they won't, I have a plan," Zikomo paused, "if they want those pirates dead, we should kill them ourselves."
"Why? They are our friends!" Dera gasped in disbelief.
"No they aren't, what have they done for us?" Zikomo asked, "they disobey us on our grounds, they are rude and murderous, they are the ones who got us in this mess anyway!" As much as Dera hated to admit it, Zikomo was right.
"Allright… but not the shaman," Dera said sadly, "he means no harm."
"As you say madam," Zikomo said with a bow, "I'll get to work."
"But will killing them make them just as bad as them?" Dera muttered, "maybe we should just turn them over to the Nightscars."
"As long as they're gone," Zikomo growled as he walked away, "and you too."
"What did you say?" Dera asked.
"Nothing, I was just talking to my self," Zikomo said.
"What are we going to do sir?" a hyena asked Duka, "they're coming for us!"
"Our best bet is to fight them in the tunnels," Duka said, "in the narrow passages they'll have to fight us one on one." He was surrounded by medics wrapping his wounds and military leaders waiting for instruction. Zikomo emerged from the cave and began heading south towards where the Nightscars had gone. "Where are you going Zikomo?" Duka called after him.
"I'm going to patrol the boarder," Zikomo called back, "we can't have the Nightscars creeping up on us in the dark."
"Good luck!" Duka shouted. He looked at the nearby Sharp with interest. "Who are you?" he asked the meerkat, "what are you doing here?"
Ooc:I didn't forget.
Jultar was down with an arrow in his thigh. "Dester…I'm...I'm hit!" Hahn raced over, Dester behind. Hahn looked over the fox's injury.
"Don't werry Jult, I'll have you fixed in a jiffy!" He broke the shaft in half and pulled the two ends out. Firestorm grunted and yipped a little as his wounds were treated.
"Oh shut it!"
"Both of you shut it!" Dester yelled at them. "My antics have caused some trouble, so were gonna help them."
"Aw, can't we just leave 'em and go 'ome?" Hahn whined.
"No. I gotta clean my messes, not them."
Decca overheard the three talk. "Well he dose have a few silver linings. That much I'll give him, but he is still a beast to look out for. If war comes, he'll be a good asset. He's a militaristic genius." Decca walked over to where Duka was, a bag of herbs in his hands. "Let me help your wounds, I'm a good healer. That cut won't be much of a hassle for me." Decca had a worried look on his face. He didn't want to cause a war.
A small figure sat alone, a good distance away from where everything had taken place. It frightened her to see such hostility between living things. She had seen horrible things happen to her clan, her parents, and now that she was the only one left she had vowed to live a life of peace and to treat others with the kindness they deserved.
Violence does strange things to a creature; sometimes they become berserkers, mindless and blinded by their own range they become so evil they hate themselves. Sometimes they close theirselves up and just wither away, mad at the world and mad at themselves. Her father had trained her to use a sword before his death, and her mother had taught her her skill in healing. Both skills had improved some, though the sword-play she would rather not use.
And sometimes, they turn into Josalyn. Neither bent on revenge nor ready to just lay down and die. She might had taken a vow of peace, oh yes, but she wasn't opposed to dealing with bullies, speaking her mind, or trying to stop a fight when there was always another alternative. Violence did frighten her, but when she is feeling threatened, or if somebody she is trying to help is being threatened, the fighting spirit takes over and she is one leathal little creature. Some beasts, however, can not be reasoned with.
Josalyn was a young genet of about 10. She was still considered a child, but she was far from it. The tragedy she had witnessed had forced her to grow up WAY before her time, and most other creatures she came across thought she was just a small adult. Her fur is mostly dark grey in color, but in some places there are various patches of reddish gray fur. She has small brown spots on her body and stripes on her ringed tail, which is bushier than that of other genets. She has a black muzzle, with white around the eyes and mouth. She also has a dark dorsal stripe that runs from the base of the skull down to the tail. When she feels threatened, it raises defensively like a mane. Five rows of elongated spots or stripes run down either side of her neck. Her eyes are a beautiful chestnut brown, and they seem to always have an inquisitive sparkle in them. Her long hair is reddish brown, and she keeps it up in a ponytail.
Josalyn sighed lightly, rolling the sleeves of her too-big smock back up and tightening the belt on the equally too-big pants. For once, she thought it'd be nice to have somebody to talk to that wouldn't try to eat her.
Zikomo Darkfang made his way towards the Nightscar camp with single minded determination. His anger had grown long enough. He would be rid of those idiots, Duka and Dera, forever. The Thunderstripe tribe would be under his command as they always should have been. He was born to be chief.
Zikomo stopped in surprise as he almost ran in to Josalyn. He glanced down at the genet with a distrustful eye. "What are doing out here alone kid?" the black sheep of the Thunderstripes asked, "you better get back to your tribe." Though the words were those of a loving parent, Zikomo's tone revealed who he really was. An angry hyena with a bone to pick.
Dera came back to the light of the sunset after thinking over Zikomo's words. Could she trust Dester and the others, or would they lead her tribe to ruin? She watched them take care of the wounded Jultar sadly. No matter what Zikomo said, she couldn't betray them. Even if they hadn't been the spark that started the war the Nightscars would have found another reason to fight.
"Dera, could you come here a moment," Duka called, "Dester, if you're not to busy, I would like you as well. We have to come up with a plan to defeat tribes that outnumber us about four to one." Duka didn't know what to do. It was true he had planned on fighting them all. But, he didn't want to fight them all at once. Duka looked up at the stars just beginning to appear in the darkening sky. The shamans said they were great spirits, looking down upon the world. He didn't know if it was true, but he needed all the guidance he could get. "What should I do?" he asked them in his head, "how can I save my tribe?"
Josalyn studied him closely. Though she was scared of him, she couldn't help but feel that possibly this was beast that could be trusted.
"Well, I had to make camp somewhere, sir, it's night time you know." She shrugged and looked down at the ground, saddened by the thought of her tribe. Though she had managed to get over the initial fact that everyone she knew and loved was no longer there with her physically, it still caused her much grief. "I don't have a tribe to go back to sir, they're all dead." she said quietly.
Though Zikomo was angry beast he couldn't help but feel sorry for Josalyn. The genet wasn't even yet adolescent and she already had to fend for herself. Though he had business to take care of with Datva, he felt moved to help Josalyn first. "I am very sorry to hear that miss. But, if you need food and shelter you can stay at my tribe's camp," Zikomo said, " they are very welcome to strangers. Those big rocks over there are the entrance." He pointed with a black furred paw to the formation in the distance.
Zikomo drew his cloak about him further as the cold nighttime air began to set in. "I would love to show you there myself," he said, "but I'm on a little scouting mission. See you later." Feeling somewhat embarrassed, Zikomo continued on his way. He wasn't usually very nice to strangers. It was a weird feeling.
"Thank you, sir." she called after his retreating back, her nerves abating a bit. She shouldered a small pack that had been blending with the ground, bursting with food and various herbs. Though she was set for a couple of nights, she did not want to undermine the hospitality of the hyena. So, she did as he said, and trudged carefully towards the rocks, constantly having to pull her pants up and fix her too-big-shirt. It was a great nuisance, but she'd rather be running around in clothes that were too big than none at all.
"I'd be happy to ablige Duka. I'mm sorry for the strife I caused. When one preys on another with out cause, I get a tad bit mad."
"Yeah. A tad bit." Decca said, dressing the hyena's wounds. "You'll be fine with my dressings, I'll help Firestorm out with his." Decca left.
"Just so you know, I do NOT fight like most leaders. I go for….shock tactics. Finding the oppusition's worst fears and useing it is the best way to victory. Though, if that doesn't work, my special way works very well." The rat turned to Dera.
"Miss, I do apologise for my actions infront of you, but that is the way I am. If you have any other ideas, I'll listen quietly." His gental natior was only shown to maids, young ones, the weak, and the elderly. None other though.
OOC: Danker, no offense but who’s what in regards to your characters.. So far I understand it as three foxes and a rat.
BIC: Sharp stood straight up, his helm still latched to his belt as he faced Duka and replied to his question “I am Sharp of the seventeenth scout patrol assigned to Velanore’s Watch. I was sent here after reports came in of rising hostilities between the hyena tribes down this way… apparently it wasn’t entirely accurate but it’s relatively obvious that there’s a problem. Commander Mallard… my superior, sent me out of concern that some of the tribes might attack our installations up north. I would seek help from my fellow Imperials but we only have about one thousand troops on this entire continent and less than one hundred of them are within two weeks march of here and less than a score are within three days march of here…”
Sharp thought about the group of vermin he had seen and sighed slightly “No offense but you might want to keep an eye on those foxes you let into your tribe… and the rat as well.”
Datva and the rest of the Nightscars lounged about in the cool of the evening. The young cheetah had been put to rest without much ceremony. The Nightscars were rough and hardy. Delicate customs and tradition were not their way.
"How long till the others reach us?" Datva asked Eraon. The cheetah was standing on a tall hill, looking across the plain.
"Two to four days, depending on their distance," Eraon replied, "we'll have an army in no time."
"Good job Eraon, I'll make a fine warrior of you yet," Datva grinned. He took whetstone and began sharpening his blade. The high pitched screeching of stone against metal filling the area as he did so.
"Sir, there is a hyena approaching," Eraon called, "should I shoot him?" He fit an arrow to his bow in anticipation.
"No don't!" Datva yelled, sitting up in urgency, "capture him and bring him to me!" A score of his warriors, including Eraon, jumped to their feet and ran towards Zikomo at lighting speed.
"Stop right there!" Eraon shouted to the hyena, "or you will be shot down!" The cats formed a semi-circle around Zikomo with their weapons pointed at his head. Eraon brought his scarred face close to Zikomo's. "You will come with us Thunderstripe," he hissed, "Datva will take care of you."
Zikomo grinned when he heard the big cats running at him. "Right on time," he muttered to himself. He stood calmly as the Nightscars surrounded him with his paws at his side. He just smiled as Eraon shouted in his face. "Are you done yet?" he asked, "I want to talk to Datva, you are not useful to me at the moment." The hyena could hardly believe he was finally getting what he wanted. Soon, he would have revenge.
"I know you are the better warrior than I," Dera told Dester, "I understand your judgment, even if I am a bit squeamish." She blushed as she admitted this. It was probably best Dera was a shaman. She couldn't stand the sight of lots of blood.
"I will be glad to have you on my side Dester," Duka said, and then spoke to Sharp, "even though time is short, we need all the help we can get. I agree that if Datva had the chance he would attack you too. I admit I had second thoughts about Dester, but there is no time for questions of loyalty." Only if he had known what disloyalty was among his tribe.
"Did you send out any scouts?" Dera asked, looking off into the horizon.
"The only one out was Zikomo, why?" he followed her gaze to the still far off Josalyn.
"I'm pretty sure she is just a lone traveler," Dera said, "we'll have to see when she gets closer."
Josalyn continued to trudge on forward, unable to stop the little bubble of joy that was forming in her stomach; perhaps she had just made a new found friend in the hyena. Maybe she would even be able to soften him up a bit, and teach him to enjoy the life he had and not be full of anger and spite all the time.
She looked up from the ground and could make out the figures of others in the semi-darkness, light from campfires could be seen faintly, but not clearly just yet.