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A War Between Kin, Part 2: The Hounds of War

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A War Between Kin, Part 2: The Hounds of War

Postby Sage on Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:20 am

It had been terrifying to be a human while the Fae waged war in the open. Their conflict had first erupted in Xexoria, and shortly after, a nightmarish being controlling spectral hounds had swept through the forests of New Eden. Collectively, they were the The Hunt, and they destroyed anything that was not Unseelie without mercy.

Oakmen, Dryad, and other neutral Fae that could easily be turned against the Unseelie as the conflict drug on. Their final destination was an outpost of the Seelie, a band of Gnomes living in the mountains of New Eden who were crafting armor and weapons for Mab's soldiers. In the path of destruction, however, was a human village that spanned for a mile over the underground system of caverns.

The area was famously tied to the supernatural, constantly the prey of the massive Wolf-Kin, bastardized werewolves that had grown completely feral on the outskirts of civilization. While once under the protection of Sieg, due to it's proximity to his fortress, once the King moved to Toryn, there was nothing preventing the village from being overrun by the immense weres.

It was because of this void, this necessity for protectors, that the Kalmarden fugitives Nova Van Buren and Rinald Solaris had appeared. They kept the wolves at bay, and in return were welcomed by the humans, despite knowing the truth about them. It was in this capacity, as protectors of New Haven, that Rinald discovered the coming storm that was The Hunt.

He had been underground, and met the friendly entities known as Knockers, who led him to the Gnomish world beneath the ground. Despite the frigid climate of New Eden, the underground caverns were heated by hot springs and volcanic channels which flowed through and under the mountains ranges. He had used what advanced warning he had been given, and transferred it to the creatures there.

For the next three nights, they sped up production, placing sets of armor and weapons in the snow, in a ring around the village. It was his sincere hope that Seelie backup would arrive, and it was to his relief that some of the fleeing pixies from the south had stopped at his fortification, and agreed to defend against the advance. Forces of the supernatural began to gather in the area, gathering on either side of the massive ring.

It was Nova's scouting that revealed the time of The Hunt's arrival, predicting that they would attack on the night of the full moon. Rinald did not sleep the night before the attack. He knew he would need to be stronger if they were to succeed, and he discussed with Nova the idea of becoming a were. For Kraven, it had never been an option to choose sides as a monster, but Rinald was not so immune to the curse that gave the Clans of Kalmarden their strength.

It was with protest that Nova finally agreed. Rinald rallied the citizens, arming them with gnomish arms and armor, before going to the battlefront with Nova, hand in hand. It was expected that he would be savage, an uncontrollable force of nature on his first Full Moon. Already possessed of the ability to bend light in order to see in every direction, as well as the power to change his muscle mass at will, he would become the ultimate predator.

----12:39 PM
Afternoon before the arrival of The Hunt

" What do you mean, Alpha? " Rinald questioned his bride with a worried expression.

Nova's eyes were red, still grieving though he had yet to change. They embraced as she regained her composure, resilient as she was.

" Rinald, we are outside of Van Buren's domain now. When you change, you must focus your will, and you can create a new pack. The potential is there, the Wolf-Kin have no structure, but it is within their nature to seek a leader. "

Rinald nodded solemnly, and inhaled deeply as he began to disrobe, pulling off his armor and shirt. As a token of their gratitude, the gnomes had crafted him a special piece of armor, with stays that could be removed to allow for expansion. The chestplate was solid, but when his body exploded into his new form, it would disconnect, revealing pockets of chainmail that would span the spaces between the finely-crafted plates. He pulled the polished feyiron over his lithe form, and gave his beloved a last human kiss, before he offered his neck to her.

--7:35 PM Night of the Attack

The full moon hung low and unnaturally large in the sky over New Eden as Arawyn arrived on the scene. He stepped lightly across nearly impassable terrain, failing even, to leave footprints in the fresh snow. Pale skin stood out against his own dark armor, and ferociously crimson gaze. He embodied the immeasurable rage, and thirst for blood that Pendaran had cast out of himself to become immaculate.

All around him, pale hands of the Unseelie Host gripped ethereal chains, keeping his innumerable army of hounds at bay. They pawed and roared as they approached their meager resistance. Against normal odds, it was an impressive collection of well-armed humans, at all around them, shining balls of light floated from every direction into the hollowed innards of the empty sets of armor. Pixies gathered and materialized into humanoid forms channeling their wills into perfect symbiotic creatures that wielded the gnomish creations with grace.

" Ready yourselves. " Nova Van Buren, a monster herself, commanded the forces of Fae and human against the approaching Hunt. And hers were the last words spoken before Arawyn charged alone into battle, the rattling of chains echoing thousands of times behind him as his hounds were released into the fray. The Fae followed behind them, but were routed before they could catch up to their respective hounds by a singularly enormous werewolf.

Rinald Solaris stood nearly sixteen feet tall, his muscles stretched to their max as he exploded into the Unseelie flank. Claws the size of grown men ripped through countless bones before he became surrounded and bogged down by the sheer number of his adversaries. The battle went on for hours, with all signs pointing to the eradication of another entire battalion of Seelie, along with a village of humans, who for the first time fought against the Fae, rather than be trampled underfoot by them.

It was not until Nova was wounded, Rinald's still-intelligent eyes watch blood pour from her opened flesh that the battle turned. His howl shook the ground with it's force, creating a shockwave that staggered the nearby Unseelie, temporarily dampening their resolve. Nova would watch on, wounded, but surviving thanks to the ability she was uniquely gifted with, to heal.

The ear-splitting call of Rinald summoned forth a creeping wall of black from the deep forests. Several dozen Wolf-Kin appeared on the battlefield, jaws snapping and ears perked, confused but entranced by the sound they had heard. When they saw the bipedal Rinald fighting against the overwhelming horde, something triggered within each of the weres, as though they remembered some semblance of their humanity, if only for an instant. They stood, despite normally being on all fours, as a wolf, and threw themselves against the wall of translucent hounds, to great effect.

What humans would survive the conflict, would recall this moment as the most terrifying, and most hopeful of the entire siege.
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Re: A War Between Kin, Part 2: The Hounds of War

Postby Jen on Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:07 pm

It was a strange life that Nova had lead since her departure from her pack, from her Alpha. She had chosen to follow Rinald into his self-inflicted exile and she had never regretted her choice. When they reached New Eden it seemed as if they had found their calling, until all they had fought for was jeopardized by someone else’s war.

Rinald argued with her for hours over the logistics of turning him. He begged her to see reason, to do what was right for everyone around her. He reminded her time and again what would happen to the humans, what could happen to him, the invading force was just too large for a single werewolf to handle. Nova had finally given in to him as they lay down for the night, Rinald discussing tactics in her ear as his nerves started getting the better of him. He wouldn’t sleep, and Nova closed her eyes, hiding her tears from him by keeping her back pressed against his chest.

This curse that she was burdened with was something she didn’t relish. She remembered every single human being she had ever murdered when she had no control of her own skin. Rinald knew, had seen her rage against being restrained, and still he wanted this life that had been forced on her. It was a sobering moment for her to realize that her mate would do anything to save her life and those around him.
Nova knew his powers and knew that she would create one of the most formidable monsters on the field of battle.

The following day, Nova stood with her hand in Rinald’s as the villagers spoke to them. These people were not battle hardened warriors. They had so many difficulties routing their wolves that Rinald had taken pity on them. What these humans had, though, was resolve. They were not going to lie down and be annihilated, and Nova could respect that. She broke away from Rinald as he was speaking and walked to where one of the Gnomes was setting armor out – the final pieces. She knelt in the snow and murmured a few words to the Gnome who began nodding vigorously, noting her reddened eyes and quiet demeanor.

“Can it be done?”

“It can, Nova. We were wondering when you would ask us to make it.”

“I think we will both need it after this is over. It needs to be as big as you can make it and as close to indestructible as it can be.” The Gnome was looking at her with knowing eyes as he nodded.

“Consider it done, Nova. You are sacrificing to save our lives. You didn’t even have to stay and fight and neither did the humans, but you are and we will be in your debt as a result. Have the ones incapable of fighting been moved?”
“They have, early in the evening yesterday. They have been moved further toward this land’s leader, this Sieg. It hardly seems any safer for them nearer to him than us.” The Gnome snorted and nodded his head before sketching a quick salute, as he might to a peer, and disappearing back into the caves beneath the earth.

Rinald called Nova back to him and she took his offered hand. He moved aside with her and spoke about the tactics for the night ahead. Nova informed him what he might be capable of doing when he was turned, how this pack of wolves wouldn’t listen to her because they didn’t understand her and viewed her as more of a Beta instead of an Alpha. They spent some time discussing the ways that Rinald might tap into his abilities as an Alpha and demand the werewolves in the forest to help the cause. He knew how tumultuous it could be for him as an Alpha and he knew the difficulties Nova had encountered as a Beta to her creator. He had memorized all of the stories behind all of her scars and was impressed by Nova’s healing skills.

When they were alone and he offered his neck to her, Nova smiled and smoothed his hair back from his forehead. He knew so very little about her kind, who had sworn against turning by biting the neck because of vampires, and she could barely hold back her tears as she lifted his forearm. She kissed his skin before she pressed her mouth against his flesh and stared deep into his eyes. Her own icy blue eyes flashed deep bloody amber as she bit into his arm and held it until the blood began to flow. As she pulled back, his blood dripping down her chin and mixing with her tears, she sat in the snow in front of him.

“I’m sorry…” Nova heaved a sob and hovered her hands over his arm, not trusting herself to lick the blood off of his wound. She expended a little energy to start healing his wound so that it wouldn’t be an issue by nightfall.

As the night began to fall and the sounds of the Unseelie because more insistent and close, Nova stood near Rinald as he transformed for the first time. She was his creator and her presence would help guide him out of the madness that would engulf him on his first transformation. It wasn’t the creatures in the woods’ fault for their inhumane ways – they had no guidance and were incapable of noticing anyone willing to help.

Rinald cut an impressive werewolf when he was finished sprouting fur and claws. Nova was a blonde wolf as well as a blonde werewolf. Her natural hair color had followed her transformation across – which didn’t always happen with a turning. Nova had a lot more control over her turnings and so was capable of being human while Rinald was a wolf. She smiled to him and touched her forehead and her heart, kissing her fingertips before touching her mate’s forearm.

She allowed him to watch her turn, watch how she anticipated the breaking and cracking of the bones, the enlarging and elongating of muscles. It took her a lot less time to turn and so she stood next to him as a werewolf of half his size and stature, but no less imposing.

Let’s go. Let him sort out the pack mind on his own, Nova smiled as much as a wolf might be capable of. When Nova ran she could feel the world around her in hyper detail, she was aware of so much more than human senses could even understand. There were strange smells, familiar ones, and exotic things that caught her curiosity. She stamped down on her reflexes to run and took her position at the front of the line with a few of the pixies and humans.

When it began the bloodlust kicked in, but Nova was aware of the scent of blood – non human blood, a darker but richly sweet blood that drew her to the Unseelie like a demon wraith bent on their destruction. Her mate was no less vicious in his attacks, enormous and newly minted as he was. He was intelligent and aware and Nova made sure to keep part of her attention on him to keep him from cutting down everyone within reach. It was the job of a creator, her mentor had said.

At first she didn’t register the bite of nails along her thigh. It was of no consequence to her, or so she thought. She dispatched the creature that had clawed her with a vicious blow to the head, obliterating its skull in a spray of bone and blood and brain matter. When she went to move, the leg wouldn’t respond properly, forcing her down onto all fours to assess the damage. The sound of a hurt animal would register with Rinald, almost like the sound of a dog being kicked hard; as Nova went down to tend herself.

Rinald knew, and Nova recognized his roar the moment it erupted from his throat. She fought like a cornered animal as she dispatched three or four Unseelie with the swipe of her clawed hands across their delicate and thin throats. Their blood coated her fur in places, making her paws sticky with gore. She bent over her thigh, attempting to heal herself, as a few more Unseelie descended on her. They were knocked back, to her surprise, by a few of the wolves they had been fighting for the New Haven village. Their startling appearance only held Nova’s attention for a few heartbeats before she bent over and licked her wound clean, kicking the healing process into gear.

Nova managed to limp to the back of the line with the help of a few humans where she lay in the snow for a while to allow her body to knit itself. By the time she switched back to human form it would just be an angry red mark on her thigh and would eventually fade to a bruise. She lay in the snow, leaving a bloody body print as she tried to keep herself calm and send images to Rinald so he would know that she was fine and would survive.

Two of the newly acquired wolves took up a position near her with their backs to her and watching the fray. She snorted and sat up, wiping her paws off in the snow.

Bodyguards, really?” Nova asked Rinald with a little laugh filtering through the words. They were going to make certain that she didn’t rejoin the battle efforts until she was capable of holding her own. Nova took a moment to look around with her bloody amber eyes, seeing the Unseelie begin to rally around themselves and back away from the town. They wouldn’t be done, surely not. They would get more forces and attack the town again, unless it wasn’t that important to them.

Anyone supplying the other side was important, in Nova’s opinion at least.

As the Unseelie retreated for the night, noticing that it was near dawn, Nova got to her feet and favoring her injured leg sought out her mate. She looked at him and his freshly minted pack milling around. She gestured to him and took his paw, also coated in blood. She guided him to a nearby clearing filled with snow and vacant of blood, bodies, and Unseelie. Here they couldn’t be seen, and they wouldn’t be sought out.

Nova showed him how to return to his human form, though she was stiff and sore – not at all like what she normally would be like during the full moon. When she was through she lay in the snow naked, her body steaming and sweat laden – a large angry red mark running from her hip to her knee. Now it was his turn to change back, and she looked at him with her ice blue eyes and her blonde hair spattered with blood, her body caked in it – some of which might have been her own at some point.

“Your turn, love. It will be much easier for you.” Nova cooed softly, holding out her hand to him. He couldn’t hurt her the way he could hurt other humans, even though he was so much bigger than she was: four times her size, looming over her, Nova wasn’t afraid of him at all.

When he was through changing back, Nova would encourage him to lie next to her in the snow to cool off. Then she would spend time washing the blood off of him, attempting to hide the stiffness of her thigh from him, but they were connected in a new way now. He would know so much about her, be able to examine her, feel her in ways he never even realized were possible. Even now she was hyper aware of him, checking him for wounds, using her power to mend scratches and gouges that weren’t healed while he was in his form. She was comfortable with her nakedness in public, but she wasn’t sure that he would be.

“I can go get some clothes for us. The humans know my wolf form by now, they’ll give me clothes.” Nova spoke as she took his washed his hair clean of blood. It was a loving ritual she had done with no one before. She felt the need to be there with him, teach him and keep him safe – even from himself.
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Re: A War Between Kin, Part 2: The Hounds of War

Postby Sage on Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:40 pm

Rinald's mind buzzed as he was lead to the clearing, and attempted to revert his monstrous change. Struggling with the pain of his breaking bones, and the reshaping of his skin over fluctuating muscles, with open wounds stretching and ripping, the Alpha sent up howls of pain into the frigid morning air. While reverting would have normally been easy, he had difficulties separating his own powers from those of the Lycanthropy. The result left him shifting between a tall, but lithe werewolf, and a human of enormous size and muscle mass.

As his form flickered back and forth, he was able to get closer and closer to normal, until he finally collapsed in the snow, still swollen to larger than his normal thin self, but too exhausted and racked with pain to attempt to shrink, any further. He sat, coated in blood, and coated in claw marks, clutching his knees to his chest. Steam rose off his back as he rocked back and forth, thicker still from gaping wounds across his skin, stretched thin over his unnatural muscles. The gigantic armor was still intact, but barely covered his skin, as it was still let out, and compromised in places from the assault of the overwhelming number of spectral hounds.

He leaned forward, rolling onto his knees, and pulled the enormous plates and chain over his head, causing his hair to spill forward over his face as the armor crashed into the snow. He did not bother to cover his utter nakedness, and after laying down with Nova, he declined her offer to fetch them coverings. Disgusted as he was by the selfishness of it, he did not want her to leave him alone. Not because of any fear he felt in his weakened state, but because of the guilt he felt for the lives that had been lost under his leadership, and for the fear he would instill at the monster they had seen him become.

" Casualties...how many? "
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