The Razing Begins(open)
Crimson drew both of her daggers as she followed closely behind Bloodbane's trail of destruction. Any of the few survivors that got in her way were promptly dispatched as she made her way towards the town cottages.
After making sure no beast was following after her, she rushed into an alley, and scaled her way onto the rooftops using a leaning stock pile of barrels and crates.
She took out a throwing knife and the vial of botulinum toxin, and used two drops of it to coat the knife. She smiled as the blade dimly reflected in her eyes. "Hehehe, dis is more den enough ta bring down de largest o' beasts! Not even de 'Great Overlord Bloodbane'd' survive so much as a graze from dis blade…"
She crawled over the rooftop, eagerly observing the homicidal behemoth as he passed by. She pushed up to a crouching position and calculated her target, her heart pounding with excitement. She had an escape route behind her that would lead her into the trees, but precautions for failure seemed unnecessary to her.
She proudly stood up in plain view of the loyalists as she focused on Bloodbane's neck, slowly raising the poisoned knife over her shoulder. She wanted everyone to see her in her moment of triumph. "Yer era is comin' ta an end, Sir Bloody! All shall fear de name, Overlord Crimson!" she shouted as she finally swung her arm forward and released the blade.
KayLee smiled. The shot was stright and true. The only thing she didn't account for was his hand and leather. The smile was gone within seconds as Bloodbane looked stright at her.
The squirrel-maid bit her lip as she watched Blood direct one of his loyalists to her. She hooked her pouch back around her waist, leaving the empty quiver and bow. Watching the pine martin, she climed up one side of the tree then decended on the other.
Going to jump from a lower branch, her foot was caught with the lasso. She let out a scream as she now hung up-side down, by one foot. "…Let me down!" She yelled as the pine martin tied off the other end of the lasso to a higher branch then decended to the ground.
She begin to twist her body, using her acrobatic skills to turn herself right-side up, swinging and holding on to the rope.
"Yer era is coming ta an end, Bloodbane! All shall fear the name, Overlord Crimson!"
That was the wild cat's only mistake. Bloodbane grabbed a passing rat and used him as a shield. He looked at the squirrel, then back to Crimson. "The rest of you, get the squirrel and any hiding residents. I have a cat to skin. Archer! Follow me."
The ferret followed the angst filled titan. Blood held his ax with both hands, spinning it, like one would a twig between there fingers. Half of his hand felt numb. What toxin the squirrel did hit with only did a little. It didn't faze him in the slightest.
The meat shield rat fell limp and screamed out in extreme pain before falling silent. Crimson gasped as Bloodbane made eye contact with her. It seems she only succeeded in humiliating herself and making herself a priority target.
"The rest of you, get the squirrel and any hiding residents. I have a cat to skin. Archer! Follow me."
She pulled out her daggers, quickly raising one to deflect the first arrow the ferret released at her. She took a breath of relief, but it was only a matter of time before even her cat reflexes would fail her. That ferret was known to be their best marksman.
She turned tail and hopped off the rooftop, dashing off into the trees. The archer might be able to catch up with her, but she assumed she would at least be able to outrun Bloodbane.
She stopped to see a pine marten jump down from a tree. A squirrel was dangling with her foot paws caught up in a lasso. She seemed to be trying to get herself back up to untie herself free. Must be the squirrel they were after, but that was little of her concern.
She mischievously grinned to herself. Ha, here was one of Bloody's precious loyalists! There was little time, as she could hear rustling in the underbrush from multiple beasts headed in their direction.
She charged and lunged at his back with both daggers. "Crimson's got a li'l present fer ya!"
The pine martin caught wind of her approach and swirled a full one 180, jumping back from her before she could strike. "Oi! Ya got a death wish, kitty?" he growled as he drew a scimitar, his back turned on KayLee.
KayLee smiled to herself. She had no idea who the feline was, but she had distracted the pine martin. Hopefully she would be able to get down before others arrived.
She had heard the yelling and Bloodbane ordering his troop. She watched a moment as he took off after the feline while others took off in different directions to look for other beasts that may be hiding, and a few approaching her general direction. Even if she could get in the tree high enough for them to just pass by was good enough for her at the moment.
Using her upper-body, she climbed the rope up to where the pine martin and tied it off. Sitting on the branch she untied herself, preparing her final blow dart. "Hey! Here's a lesson for ya! Don't hang an acrobatic in the air!" She called to the pine martin then took aim and fired the dart at him.
She waited in the tree, as more of Blood's troops came over, chasing after the feline…she had hoped.
If worst came to worst, she could plead her case to Bloodbane, and entertain him. But she needed to get away and warn the others that are hiding underground to get out and get away from the town before they are found. She doubted anyone still above ground would sill be free, or alive.
The martin was out cold in a few seconds, but five more creatures replaced him. There was well over half a score at the tree and near the cat. Five armed with hail bergs blocked off Crimsons exit and four was climbing the tree to apprehend Kaylee. "If you surrender now you worthless feline whelp, I'll give you a chance to fight for your life in the pit!" Blood shouted.
The pit was a place where betrayers fought to the death for there lives, few have ever made it to victory. "Refuse and I'll have beaten and thrown to the pikes!"
Crimson placed her paws on her hips and stuck out her tongue at the fallen pine martin. "Ha! Dead wish my tail! Err, oh…?"
She was amazed at just how quickly the vermin managed to surround them. She twirled about as she searched frantically for a way out.
"If you surrender now you worthless feline whelp, I'll give you a chance to fight for your life in the pit!" Blood shouted.
"Argh! De pit? No way!" She continued turning about until she was nearly dizzy.
She muttered a few curses under her breath, retracting her claws and clasping her head in dazed frustration. "Bloody rats… Ah! Dis is yer fault, tree 'opper! Now get us out o' dis mess!" she growled childishly.
"Refuse and I'll have beaten and thrown to the pikes!"
She waited where she stood until her dizziness went away. She narrowed her eyes at Bloodbane's as she walked up to him. She grabbed at his collar in utter resentment and looked closely at him.
"Aye, yoo n' yer fancy powers o' persuasion, Sir Bloody. I tell ya, yer face is absolutely 'ideous, and yer bread is even more 'orrendous. 'Ave I ever told ya 'ow much I despise ya? Pah, fine! Go a'ead, drow me in de stupid pit! See if I care!"
She released him and growled as she furiously scratched at her head fur. "Grrr! Can I at least use de tree beast as a meat shield?"
KayLee bit her lip as she watched the beasts climb the tree after her, one on each side. The only way she could go was…up, and so she climbed higher in the tree but stopped when the tree would not go any higher. She looked down to find them still after her. Now she was trapped.
The squirrel-maid looked around for another exit, then smiled a little finding a branch just big enough. Instead of jumping up onto the branch, she held onto it, swinging her body, below it. "Ok...I've jumped from higher..." She told herself. With a deep breath she jumped into the air from the tree, doing flips and turns in the air as if she was performing in the circus. Landing on her feet, she quickly went into a roll so that the impact didn't break or sprain her legs.
"The pit wasn't a choice for me, therefore, I can not go with you." She said to Crimson. Getting up, she stumbled back as she was caught with a second lasso, this time around her neck. She knew she won't be able to out-fight nor out-run them so she didn't resist.
Once the four beasts got back to the ground her, hands were tied behind her back with the other end of the lasso, and then was dragged over to where Crimson and Bloodbane were standing to be presented to him.
"..H...Hi.." She said as she now stood in front of them as one of Blood's loyalist took her bags and started to go through them, making sure she was unarmed. "..Hey...those are mine!"
Blood only glared at Crimson. He knew the insults meant fear. The wolverine looked down at Kaylee. "Not any more it isn't. You will be locked away until i think of a way of dealing with you."
With his massive hand, Blood grasped the treacherous cat by the neck and brought her up to his face. "You will know fear kitten. Your going to wish I killed you." He threw her to the ground and had her shackeled. As they left, the entirety of civilians that resided in Noonvale were chained together and marching back to the fortress.
The injured of the siege was hauled onto stretchers and carried back.
It was hours until they stopped and rested. They made camp in a clearing to the side of the path. The captives lay together in ropes and Kaylee and Crimson were chained at the heel to a pole. Blood resided in a large tent.
"The pit wasn't a choice for me, therefore, I can not go with you."
"W-what!? Ya can't just leave me 'ere!" Crimson cried in dismay.
She laughed obnoxiously as the squirrel was caught by the lasso before she could run. "Ha! Ya thought ya could get away. 'Ow amusing!"
With his massive hand, Blood grasped the treacherous cat by the neck and brought her up to his face. "You will know fear kitten. Your going to wish I killed you."
"Eek!" she yelped as she was caught by the neck. She struggled helplessly in his grasp as she gasped for air.
She looked up at Bloodbane and smiled weakly. "Heh, can't we negotiate dis just a wee bit?" she managed to force out.
She coughed and hacked as she was thrown back to the ground. She let out a surprised squeak as she found herself put in shackles. They forced her to relinquish her armor, which was hiding numerous throwing knives and her stash of poison. Beneath, she was wearing a black shirt and trousers. She grumbled angrily to herself as they were forced to walk.
When they stopped to camp, she and Kaylee were chained to a pole. She stood and raised her paw at the nearest passing vermin. "'Ey foxy! De cat needs 'er chompin'! I could really fancy a nice smoked fish right about now. 'Ey wait, don't leave! Don't ignore de great Crimson's whilst she's talkin' ta ya!"
She nearly tripped as she reached the extent of the chain, and watched helplessly as the vermin left her alone. She sat unhappily against the pole with her arms crossed.
When boredom took over, she made a few sad attempts at biting through the shackles, then looked back at KayLee and gestured to the chains and pole.
"Heh, isn't dis ex'ilaratin'?" she asked sarcastically. She threw down the chain and scowled as she sat back again.
"I 'ad de chance, I tell ya. I coulda 'ad it all! I was dis close ta killin' Sir Bloody, and becomin' de new overlord. Now look at me! Chained wid a bloody tree 'opper, waiting fer de pits! Ugh! No army, no overlord, no nud'n! I tell ya, dis is de bloody pits fer me! I dink I'm gonna cry…" she finished childishly in a miserable growl.
Kaylee rolled her eyes at Bloodbane, watching the beast finishing looking through her belongings. “And I assume you didn’t find anything dangerous.” She said to the loyalist then turned to see Blood holding Crimson by the neck and the two spoke a few words to each other before Blood released Crimson.
“If it wasn’t for you, cat, I wouldn’t be in this position” The squirrel-maid hissed at the feline as she too was shackled. She looked in horror as Blood’s army gathered the civilians up and began to march to somewhere she did not know.
“Finally!” She said with a sigh as they stopped to make camp to rest up. She looked around as she was chained to a pole along with Crimson. She wondered why she wasn’t with the other civilians. It wasn’t like she betrayed him like Crimson did. All that would have happened was that Blood would have woken up, refreshed after a nap, if the dart hit him right. She hadn’t done anything else to him to be considered so special like the traitor she was chained with.
With a sigh, Kaylee sat down. “…If only I were a contortionist…” She said giving up on trying to slip her foot out of the chain. In truth, she had only known one contortionist during her life in the circus.
“They aren’t going to listen to you. You’re in the same boat as the rest of us. A prisoner.” She said with a laugh, watching Crimson try to bite through the chain, then looked over at the large tent Blood was in as she listened to the feline’s rant. “You were that close, yet you fail. Why not just leave, and start your own hoard of idiots. There’s a reason why he’s the leader and your not.” She said and began to tap on the pole, like she would with the drum on her tambourine, and to make it louder, she took her chain and tapped it against the pole. “Think you can do this?” She asked, turning to Crimson. “If the two of us call a truce I can get us extra time that we may not have. All I need you to do is make…some type of music with what we have.”
“You were that close, yet you fail. Why not just leave, and start your own hoard of idiots. There’s a reason why he’s the leader and your not.”
Crimson scratched her chin for a moment. "Ya know, ya 'ave a point der. Ha, I don't need Bloody's stupid army. I could completely make me own rag tag o' villains, and beat 'is ugly butt!" She punched the air and let up a wide grin, which didn't last very long. "Ah, 'oo am I kiddin'…" she muttered as she was about to slouch back against the pole.
“Think you can do this?” She asked, turning to Crimson. “If the two of us call a truce I can get us extra time that we may not have. All I need you to do is make…some type of music with what we have.”
Crimson quickly pulled away from the pole. She gave KayLee a perplexed stare. "Ya crazy in de 'ead, tree 'opper? And just 'ow do ya fancy music is gonna save us?"
She shook her head as if it was the stupidest in the world, but went ahead and picked up her chain. She started rhythmically chiming it back and forth in beat with her tapping. "Ah fine, let's make us some noise!"
“Because, my feline friend. If Bloodbane finds us entertaining, then there’s a chance we can survive longer if we keep him entertained.” Kaylee said watching her new ally join into the noise making, which would no doubt draw in attention.
In the end, however, she didn’t need Crimson and Blood could do what he wanted to her, but for now, she needed Crimson to make music while she danced. Without her tambourine and her coin skirt, she wouldn’t be able to do both at the same time.
“That’s it…Keep going” She said to Crimson as those nearby stopped to see what the two were up to. Getting up, Kaylee started to dance to the rhythm that Crimson was making with the chain and post, gathering a small audience.
The crowd of vermin looked on with delight. The two did what was often rarely done in camp, not that Blood disapproved of music most of the warrior's didn't have a sense of rhythm in them. One rat, an easily entertained one at that started to clap a beat, the rest followed the example.
"I like de bushy tailed one!" A stoat blurted out, followed by shouts and something like grunts of approval. The small crowed turned into a sizable one fairly quick. Back in Blood's tent, the ruler was getting rest.
"Hm, I'll let them have their time. Perhaps I'll give them a different fate… yes..." The wolverine drifted into slumber as the crowed enjoyed their little show.
"Pfft, I'm de one makin' de noise," Crimson muttered jealously under her breath. "Aldough dis is a little fun…"
She blushed furiously as she realized the tip of her tail was tapping with the beat. "Ugh, dis is just stupid..." she growled in quiet anger.
"Yer plan's actually workin' quite well, dancin' tree 'opper. Ha, least yer good fer somedin'. Ya dink de big guy's gone ta sleep yet? We can save de rest o' da show fer anoder day," she whispered.
Kaylee looked to Crimson as the crowd grew bigger. She smiled at the comment from the stoat. She looked up at him, giving him a wink before going back to concentrating on her dance and making sure she didn't trip over the chain.
She nodded to the cat, "You're right…If he wasn't sleeping or something, he would have been here by now. We'll wait till he's around." She whispered back, looking around. "...Do something that we can end with.”
"What?" she whispered harshly. "Err… 'Ow's dis!?"
She rattled the chain back and forth as she sped up the tapping metronome to indicate suspense. After building up, she stopped rattling the chain and gave the pole a few segmented clicks. The rest was up to the tree hopper.
KayLee smiled. "Yes, just like that…" She said as she danced along to the 'music' that Crimson was making. As the music sped up, so did her dancing then when Crimson slowled down, KayLee brough her dancing slower and slower until she stopped.
She smiled and did a little bow to the crowd, before taking her seat next to the feline. "...Next time we'll have to make sure Blood is here to see it." She said with a light sigh, leaning her head on the pole, leaving the crowd to break up on its own.
"Ugh, ya mean we 'ave ta do dis again? I've been dimished ta a lowly entertainer. Dis is de worst day o' my life!" Crimson grumbled to herself as she watched them disperse on their own. She threw the chain down and stretched herself.
"Ahhh, I feel like takin' a catnap, least until Bloody gets us goin' again. Unless ya got anyding better ta do, like gettin' us out o' dese chains…"
The crowd disbanded and much of the routinely actions began once again. Blood emerged in his nightly garb, though he wasn't any less intimidating. He walked with a slow clap toward the two. "How amusing. How very, amusing. It's so rare to see life flow in one of my camps."
Blood looked at Crimson with a cruel grin. "I've changed my mind, you won't go to the pits. I might make you be a little dancer for the hoard instead!" The wolverine made a low chuckle. "But you squirrel, I still don't know what I want with you. You seem too interesting to just be killed or thrown into slavery, but time will tell soon enough."
His large figure entered his tent and he once again began to lumber off into his slumber.