[CC] Meeth: PA - The Shear Rebellion
Rotating Duty #9
In some ways, it was easy to locate where the rest of the bandits were holed up, they made enough noise to wake the dead; their laughter and coarse language echoing through the ruined castle. Meeth's footfalls were silent as she treaded through the snow-covered stones, the floors above had long since fallen inwards, leaving this part exposed to the brutal elements; likely why the fallen dragon had been chained there. Her hand clenched on the sword she held. Nyx had shifted back into the shadows that clung to the still-standing walls, Eira flew in front of her, his shadow covering Toad as she led the way deeper in; Descent carefully treaded behind Meeth, he had no wish to give away their location with his clumsiness.
Toad barely glanced back at the party following her, her focus instead on scouting the immediate area in front and around them; her heart aching from what she knew had happened to the dragon, and the weight of his death that would cling to the rider. The moon shone down for a moment as it peered through the snow clouds above; its faint light catching the edge of silver coins scattered here and there. She ignored them, there would be plenty of time later to gather them up. She drew to a halt as she slipped into the hallway, her wings fluttering as she scanned the area, the darkness broken by old sconces that flickered as the wind whistled through the stones. Toad looked up as Eira fluttered past, his large ears twitching as he drifted down the corridor; Meeth and Descent halting behind her as well.
Eira could feel his wing muscles beginning to ache once more, the medicine that Toad had given him likely wearing off by now; but, he could continue for a bit longer. His ears locked onto the sounds as he neared to two closest sconces, a large imposing door between them; he landed nearby, peering through a tiny slit of damaged wood to peer inside. Fires lit the area, shadowy bodies weaving their way between the fires and what looked to be chests. He raised a wing to wave at the others, keeping an eye as they approached. "So it seems it will be a frontal strike." Nyx whispered from the shadows next to Meeth. "The fires are masking how many there are." Descent added, his tone as soft as Nyx's and apologetic. "We would need a distraction anyway." Meeth responded, the shadows moved as Nyx slipped under the door.; her control over her magics' continuing to grow.
Toad slipped up onto Descent's back, taking hold of the companion, knowing he would need his star pearl to 'see', and, she had a feeling she would just get in the way; Eira she knew was likely to head high up, and relay information that way. In the brief time she'd been with Meeth, Toad had learned the woman was fully aware of her dragon's strengths and weaknesses and deployed them accordingly.... well... Nyx seemed to operate on her own to a point. She gripped his back spikes as he moved to the centre of the door, readying himself for whatever was about to happen; Toad twitched her antennae, a faint purple glow around her, she may not be as skilled in combat as the others, but she did have access to her magic, both jungle.... and storm. Eira fluttered up and out of the way, his plumes flared slightly as they waited for Nyx.
Had Nyx been any younger, or less controlled, she may have deviated from the plan of 'distraction' to outright attack; clenching her jaws she continued to slip deeper into the room, clinging to the shadows on the outskirts cast by the numerous fires. As she did she relayed the numbers and positions of the bandits; as well as noting a much smaller group around whom she assumed to be the leader... these, unlike the others, seemed to be of a more skilled stock. Still, there were fewer here than there had been back when they'd taken the fort, and she was itching to take vengeance for drake who'd been tortured. She brushed against a large chest full of gems and coins, and decorated weapons; grinning in the shadows she shoved it.
Meeth remained tense, the sword in her hand the forged one as opposed to her soul weapon; that she would only use if need be. A large crash, yells and shouts sounded the arrival of Nyx's distraction, along with the dragonesses roar of anger. Descent didn't hesitate to barrel into the doors and charged forward, his powerful frame knocking over a group of 3 as ice shards spun out from Toad as she wove storm magic and struck at the others. Eira flew upwards, clinging to the shadows as he noted everyone and passed the information on to Meeth. The rider slipped in, leaving the bandits closer to the door for Descent to handle, they were slightly inebriated, as seen by the empty bottles scattered around. Her focus was on Nyx and the leader's group, the dark dragon lashing out with her talon as the rest surrounded her. Her halo spinning, gleaming in the fire-lit room; because unlike the others, they moved with knowledge and focus, their wits full about them, these were no ordinary bandits.
Toad leapt onto one man's head as he raised a crossbow, aiming upwards, directly at the young hybrid above them, pulling on her storm magic once more, she pulled his 'luck' (and used it herself) jumping back to Descent as the string shattered, the recoil slicing his face open, immediately the male swung out with his tail, several falling backwards into the fire. Truth be told, Toad rarely used the luck aspect of her magic, it was too fickle... but exceptions could be made. Eira dipped his wings in acknowledgement, before swooping to distract another bandit, giving Descent enough time to lash out.
Meeth took out one of the leader's group, purely due to surprise, they'd been that focused on Nyx that hadn't seen the woman amidst the battle, but that element was now gone, as the leader, a bear of a woman bared her teeth, sidestepping Meeth's lunge and bringing down the large axe. Meeth's cloak flew out as she flared her wings, leaping to one side, her gaze catching on a hint of red scale mail, her blood heating as she realised it had once belonged to the dragon who was now at rest. The rest of that group circled Nyx as the battle continued.
A thin ray of silver light shone through the windows above some time later, the snow clouds had vanished for the night as the moon stood witness to bandits fate. None breathed now. The leader, her guard and the rest, all motionless as they paid for the torture of the dragon. Toad was doing her best to avoid all the bodies, ignoring them to the best of her abilities as she nosed around the treasures and goods piled in the room; and she wasn't alone, Eira was with her, helping take inventory of everything, gold, silver, weapons, furs.... even food and drink, though more than likely those had been consumed by the bandits. "How much did they need?" Toad commented, leaving the chest she had been investigating to nose around the room some more, there was stuff... everywhere..... even the shabby remnants of a throne, all in all, it was a hoard in and among itself.... and yet, she doubted it was part of the dragon's collection.
Meeth shook her head. "I think it went beyond what they needed and was what they could get. Even more so if you take into account things that aren't silver or coins." She responded, nudging a stunning rapier to one side. Part of her wondered what the rebellion would do with all the 'treasure', but the larger part was still thinking on the bound dragon and his needless death. "Toad?" She asked catching the smaller dragons attention. "Can you take a message back to the rebellion for me? Eira doesn't know the way, and we'll need to remain here, just in case and stragglers come back." She asked, bending low as Toad approached. "And this if you can? it seems to have some information with regards to the militia." Toad nodded, a paw held out. "Of course... maybe I can come back and we can see what that mimic was guarding?" She responded, gently touching Meeth's gloved one in a handshake. "Be careful Eira." She called out, darting back out of the door, and vanishing into the snow terrain beyond, the moon the only light for a few more hours at least.
Descent and Eira both shouted their goodbyes, before returning to 'taking' inventory on the vast items they'd found, and if a few of the shinies vanished into the darkness well... there was more than enough to go around. Nyx meanwhile, slipped out of the once grand throne room, following the faint trail they others had left, and slipping into the room with the eggs, several furs in her grasp that she gently laid around the shells, before coiling around them. Unknown to Meeth, the male had told her where his hoard was, or his ghost had.... but it had only a few gems to disguise the fact that his true treasure had been his own eggs, those who were waiting still on their riders. Only after this current business with the rebellion was over, would she inform Meeth.
Meeth shifted her focus to the room, aware that Nyx had slipped away, whether to look for more treasure or her own reasons the woman didn't pry. Eira and Descent seemed happy sorting what was around into piles, which would make it easier to count at the end; Meeth though wandered back over to still form of the leader, the sword stuck in the scaled mail, but it was the small necklace that had caught her eye during the battle, elegant, stunning.... and marked with what Meeth now understood to be the ancient Shear Kingdom's insignia. It was a treasure of sorts, but one Meeth wished to return to its rightful place, or at least, to its custodians. Necklace secure, she returned to the task of organising and counting the vast array of treasures. "Do you think there's more elsewhere?" Eira asked, after all they'd only looked at a small part of the ruined castle.