Visionary Tales
If this is your first visit to the New VT, you'll need to create a new account. Visit the archive to view posts from Old VT.UPDATE!! 5/16/19: Archive site available at http://archive.visionary-tales.com

Hyena's Herald [M] &&Lukie

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Stace

  • Executive Producer
  • Director
  • Newbie
  • *****
    • Posts: 30
    • Karma: +4/-0
  • Help me.
    • View Profile
    • Vampire Fiction You Won't Hate
Quote from: Lukie
Lacquered nails tapped on the arm of his wooden chair, while the exquisite aroma of his steaming tea sat to the side. Fine tea was but one of the perks his position allotted him, but he had no mind for anything so trivial right now. Generations ago, it was said that buildings had touched the clouds, skyscrapers in an age of unrivaled civility. That time was gone, devoured by its own incivilities, and his beloved Yuden was experiencing much the same. Oh, no one had the knowledge to make any of the older technology, aside from a few things that had been painstakingly passed down, but these days war was waged with bows and horses, pikes and-- cannons.

Chal Camadrid pursed his lips, moving closer to the balcony. The time of the skyscrapers were gone, but his city had respectable towers tall enough for him to see the hole in Johanns beloved walls. Moving his hands before him, he looked down between them, searching for the offending cannon and finding it on a nearby hillock. He let loose a soft whistle, the cannon looked worse for wear, and using rare and expensive
gunpowder meant that the invading forces had committed tremendously to this assault already. His Anima fluttered anxiously around him, and he moved back from the window. A quick glance had been enough to give him all the information he needed to know. The soldiers numbered in the hundreds at least, and his city would fall. He didn’t know if they lacked the resources for a second shot, or if the one blast taking out a section of the stone walls was enough for them to strike into the city proper. The bedlam made him believe the latter was true.

As a magister, there was little he could do against such numbers, but Chal stripped out of his robes and into a simple overcoat and trousers. Corruption - and the inevitable dissension - had spread throughout Yuden like a poison, and whatever warlord this was might be of a mind to put the sword to any of Yuden’s magisters they encountered.
Chal could say with pride that he had only ever acted in the best interests of the people… but perhaps the dream of Yuden he nurtured in his heart was dead. He hurried out of his office as the sounds of fighting grew closer. The hall of governance was a labyrinthine assortment of stone rooms and halls with signage to mark the way. The windows let in the roar of battle from the outside, and shouting was picked up on the inside. The intruders would be swarming over every building soon enough, he needed to get out.

In the dungeons there was a way to get onto the grounds proper-- and more importantly, a way to get into the sewers which would allow him to escape out into the wilderness. He could feign being a simple commoner after the siege was over, and return, he hoped.

It was several turns later, as he worked his way down, that he came face to face with a cohort, bristling with the short swords common amongst the poor and murderous. While Chal was no warrior, he possessed Anima and they did not. The energy unfurled from him, translucent and tendrilled like a jelly fish, though the similarities ended there. Thick tendrils lashed out, bulling the six men against the wall with little effort. He ran past them.
It was quite possible he was the reason for this brazen attack. If not for him specifically, then for the relative prosperity his talents had brought Johanns. That prosperity was now being preyed upon. The deeper he went the more signs of battle - and sounds - grew more noticable. Bodies on carpeted stone with their capes of red, shattered pottery and echoes. Twice more he had to take down roving groups pillaging, their weapons no match for the malleable power of the Anima.

He finally made it past the roaring hearths of the foyer into the courtyard in front of the castle where the defense was coalescing. He wondered why they were out in the open and vulnerable to arrow fire, before he caught sight of Anne Caren Dimaggio, eyes closed and hands outstretched to the sky. Understanding came, and he sprinted out of the door and over by her side, relieving three of the nervous guardsmen who eagerly
joined the brawl at the mouth of the courtyard. The courtyard was a circular affair with one entrance, with battlements little more than walkways onlooking. If they managed to get any archers up there, the defense would be pinned down and Dimaggio’s ceremony would fail. Chal had originally planned on making his getaway, but the day could still be saved if they succeeded at their ploy.

He was an administrator, not a warrior, and his Anima talents had always aided him in that, allowing him to read multiple documents at once, and so he excelled at figuring out the blind spots. Being born with the Anima almost guaranteed that you would be thrust into greatness-- and it had made him great, but not a great warrior. Most Heralds were unparalleled fighters, as was evidenced by Allexia. Her Anima glowed around her like a second skin, a suit of armor-- and it also allowed her to wield the massive maul she preferred, the deadly swings crushing any invader so foolhardy as to rush her over the smashed bodies of their allies.

Once the Heralds had kept the peace, instruments of prosperity and order for the whole of Yuden. Now most of them ruled their tiny fiefdoms, squabbling over the scraps of Yuden’s not-yet-dead carcass. Or they were absorbed into increasingly larger territories, becoming the backbone of would-be successor states. No doubt that whatever warlord attempting to take Johanns for their own would be a Herald as well.
His part in this battle was minimal, staying by Dimaggio’s side and keeping an eye out for any arrows while Allexia held the line with support from the rallied guardsmen.

The first cool breeze in the late spring air had him hastily untangling the belt of a prone body, snatching the horn up without allowing himself to think of the blood now on his hands. He blew short repeated notes, the call anyone in the city would recognize, but not the invaders until it was too late. He hoped. It was the call inside.

No sooner had he finished the first set than an errant snowflake drifted by, melting in the relative heat. And then another snowflake joined it-- and then hail. Tiny stinging pebbles that bounced off the cobblestones. The guardsmen broke away first, retreating into the safety of the foyer. He blew the second set. Allexia took her maul and quickly sent it swinging into one side of the tunnel mouth, and then another, and with a groan it crumbled in on itself. It was a small amount of debris that would barely delay them, but Allexia was already jogging back.
The air was cold, now, and he retreated to the blazing warmth of the foyer with the others, moving them aside so he could see out of the window and into the courtyard. Dimaggio stood alone, arms outstretched, and the hail truly began to fall. Balls of ice the size of a fist striking the ground and shattering, pelting what was assuredly the whole of the town and the surrounding areas with ice and sleet. None of it touched her, and not so much as a sliver of ice grew around where she was standing, even as the windows frosted over.

The ploy had worked, the day was saved. Oh, but what a cost this would be. Shivering, he retreated to the less crowded space of his office. Luckily he had closed the balcony doors before leaving, but it was still bitterly cold. He put his robes on over the clothes and used his Anima to drag his study table over by the fire where it was warmer.

Somehow he had fallen asleep there, dark hair pooled around his shoulders where his forehead rested, only to be startled awake by a thump.  The assistant who had brought it was neither repentant about the sheaf of papers now sitting on his desk, nor did they waste time in informing him that he was effectively in charge of Johanns now. With the governor dead in the intrusion, that left the responsibility for every bit of this mess firmly in his lap.
Without the powers - or the north wind - sustaining it, the ice storm faded away, leaving gradually melting ice and slush for miles around. In his time, Chal had known Heralds who could tell when a person was lying, he had heard of unsurpassed healers, he had even witnessed a Hereld casting fire with no match, yet Dimaggio's power frightened him for its sheer destructive capabilities.  Reports weren’t in yet, of course, about the damages the cold snap had undoubtedly done to their crops and livestock. Of the reports he did have, it was largely of casualties. The invading force, unsheltered, had frozen to a man. He had no doubt that many of them would be found hiding in closets and cupboards in many of Johanns buildings. They weren’t a threat anymore, their bid spent, they would probably join the city.

tag: Lukie

To be quite fuckin' honest, Catrus "Boost" Laclei took offense to the fact that Chal Whathisnuts, new leader of Johanns and the free people or whatever they called themselves, hadn't bothered to send him a letter. Never mind that Boost and his tribe of tinkerers lived their lives in a nomadic fashion; ever since they'd heard of the fall of Harrington, they'd made it their mission to form an anti-bandit task force and patrol the fallen capital. Sure, they did a bit of looting themselves, but 'least they wasn't killin' no one for it—unless you count the bandits.

The people who knew about them called them the Hyenas, and Boost had also sorta liked that he'd earned the title Hyena's Herald on account'a he was a Herald, and he led the Hyenas... He thought it was poetic.

He mighta been a large part of what had earned the whole group their name as he was prone to a joyous cackle, and the rumor was that's how you knew they was comin': you heard the laughter just before the attack.

Considering they were scavengers, the name did suit 'em. Dasein Steingott had even said so when he'd had Boost over for cold tea. Cold tea was the favored drink of the nation, if one could get their paws on it. Boost slurped his down and was just about leavin' when Steingott got the letter from Johanns and shared it with him.

"Write this punk bitch a letter from me," Boost said, repeatedly rapping his finger on Steingott's heavy wooden desk. And so Steingott had his secretary scribble down Boost's dictation and send it:


Mr. Chal;
March an army to Harrington. I'll get you back your capital.

Love ya,
Catrus "Daddy Boost" Laclei, Hyena's Herald
P.S. Saddle the fuck up. You're gonna need a horse to keep up with me.

« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 07:32:51 PM by Stace »
Temporary signature.
Look how cool I am.
Oooh~


Offline Reconditea

  • Newbie
  • *
    • Posts: 4
    • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
He had forgone sending letters to barbarians for very specific reasons, not the least of which was that a looter in the capital city could not be trusted to do the right thing... or, necessarily, even read. Chal Camadrid knew well that information won more than wars-- it was power itself. Instead of throwing out the insouciant letter as soon as he opened it, the former magister took a step back from his emotional response and considered what he knew. Firstly the matter of Harrington, for however much it had fallen into decadence, it was the former political center of the entire country. If this Hyena had not reduced the glory of the city to rubble by now, the knowledge contained therein would prove invaluable.

And, Chal had to admit, holding that territory would go far in the eyes of the other warlords. He had sent his own letter to Steingott in the first place because he desperately needed allies, Johanns alone could not form the chain of unity alone. It needed other links. Either the man had been browbeaten by the Hyena's, or he trusted them, which was it? More importantly, how much would it cost Chal to find out? The letter seemed sincere enough, and there could be little to gain from treachery in this matter. Even if they had heard of the attack on Johanns, and even if they planned to take advantage of the weakness, there was no way they could credibly pose a threat to the city.

So, the letter had to be sincere, but what he was not about to do was march his army anywhere. As predicted, the invaders were integrating passably into the town, and the repairs of the city were coming along nicely. What he needed was food, winning had come at great cost, and he could ill afford to sit on his hands.

He accepted the invitation. Convincing the other Heralds - his only true equals in the city - to let him go alone proved harder, but in the end, he was quite capable of convincing them that protecting the city mattered more than protecting him. He would ride alone. He was fully aware that he could die messily on this course of action, or worse, he could become a prisoner.

Ever since the fall of Harringon, the gauntlet of war lay thrown, and Johanns would fall if he did not act. And so, he acted.

Fortunately the trip was not long, as Chal was only a passable horse rider, and ill suited for 'toughing it out' as it were. He carried enough food and water, and riding clothes, which he wore for the days of travel between the cities, only switching to his magister's finery when he reached the area that he anticipated encountering the barbarians.

He had made sure to bathe regularly in the streams he encountered, at least.


Offline Stace

  • Executive Producer
  • Director
  • Newbie
  • *****
    • Posts: 30
    • Karma: +4/-0
  • Help me.
    • View Profile
    • Vampire Fiction You Won't Hate

tag: Lukie

Boost stood with crossed arms while Steingott stood on the edge of the steps getting heated over something a page had said to him. Clearly the man barely had the wits to him to understand that arguing politics with a messenger boy wasn't worth a shit. The kid seemed to be trying to back away and kept opening his mouth to excuse himself, but Steingott kept on, shaking mildly in the hands, hunched slightly while his stiff, white beard swizzled in the air with his ramblin'.

Shaking his head, Boost took his leave without bothering either of the others, and found his way back outside—out in the sunshine where he belonged. Being inside made him feel... stifled. He had way too much energy to be cooped up inside.

He was expectin' a army. A whole, fuckin' army of Johannites. So Boost remained completely ignorant of Chal's identity when he saw him. Perhaps the colors or the jewelry or whatever it was that Chal wore should have signaled something to Boost about where this man was from or what his station was, but far as he could tell it was just some rich idiot on a horse.

"How's it goin'?" he greeted, walking up with a wave. He gathered up the rein to help Chal, offering him a hand and/or shoulder to hold when dismounting. "You... do not look like you belong on a horse at all." He smirked at him. He had a way of speaking too fast at all times, but he was plenty loud about it, so no one ever really asked him to repeat things. "Steingott's busy, but I'm sure if you can wait for that kid he's harassin' to hit puberty, you'll get a chance to talk to the old man when he's done."

Once the other man was off the horse, Boost greeted him again with a huge grin. He offered his hand for a firm, rapid shake. Afterward, Boost put his calloused fists on his hips and looked Chal over, rocking on his heels. "So. First time on a horse, huh?"

« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 12:24:33 AM by Stace »
Temporary signature.
Look how cool I am.
Oooh~


Offline Reconditea

  • Newbie
  • *
    • Posts: 4
    • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
The misunderstanding would have been comical if either of them had realized it in that moment-- but that was what made it such an easy mistake. He hesitated at first, but clearly this wild looking man was meant to greet him, and Chal had not expected anything better than that, necessarily. This stranger's demeanor made him torn internally, with a mixture of consternation and relief. "I confess I am no horsemen," Chal admitted, letting the man help him down to his feet. He could have done it himself, obviously, but formalities must be observed.

He smiled. The man's hands were rough and callused, as to be expected, but the contrast against his own soft hands was noted. Certainly, the only calluses Chal Camadrid could lay claim to were those of a scribe writing letters. Despite himself, he found himself being put at ease. "No-- however, I cannot say I am one to ride horses for any length of time."

Left to his own devices, Chal would never ride a horse when he could ride in a carriage, but that option was entirely inappropriate for his mission. "I am actually not seeking Steingott, immediately. I am here to represent Johann, at the behest of the Herald of the Hyena's." Giving his finery, openly stating his intentions couldn't land him in any more trouble than he was already in, being this far in uncontrolled territory. Uncontrolled territory to him, he mentally amended.

Chal was certain he had never seen a hyena in his life, but the name and tales were evocative enough. He performed a formal curtsy, the barest dip of his knees, spreading his arms and wide sleeves to his side at his hips. "One hopes it is not an inconvenience, to request the Herald's presence."


Offline Stace

  • Executive Producer
  • Director
  • Newbie
  • *****
    • Posts: 30
    • Karma: +4/-0
  • Help me.
    • View Profile
    • Vampire Fiction You Won't Hate

tag: Lukie

We-heh-hellll then! Boost grinned from ear ta' ear and puffed his chest out with pride. He wasn't a big man, but he behaved like he was one, lifting his chin just so he could look down at people, when really he was average height at best. The Herald of the Hyenas was tanned and just about always dusty or covered in grease. Or both. His light brown hair had a nice layer of sand in it right now.

"Don't get much more convenient than this, then: I'm Catrus Laclei, Hyena's Herald. Or just call me Boost" he said, charm and pride putting a bit of a song in his tone. He took a look around, wondering if perhaps a unit of men was anywhere around or somewhere in the distance to be seen. "So when's the rest of 'em gettin' here?" His gaze flickered up and down Chal again now that he knew who he was. Some prissy little dimplomat this feller was. If he weren't waitin' on serious business to get accomplished with the man, he'da been smirking at how wimpy the man looked. Not that Boost was stupid enough to underestimate someone based on their size, especially a Herald, but still he was surprised at Chal Camadrid's actual appearance. As it were, his disappointment in the lack of an army kept his amusement at bay, and instead of smirking, the corner of Boost's lips turned down in a disapproving frown, realizing that there was no way they were going to send their fancy Herald man to scout ahead.

No one else was coming.

"Goddammit, I told ya to bring your men! Where's they at? We're wastin' precious time." He tapped his wrist when he said it, though the concept of a watch was long lost to another time. Still, the wrist-tapping motion remained associated with impatience. Boost threw his hands up and slapped them back down on his worn-leather-clad thighs, watching Chal and waiting for him to give him ONE GOOD REASON he couldn't just bring an army.

Temporary signature.
Look how cool I am.
Oooh~


Offline Reconditea

  • Newbie
  • *
    • Posts: 4
    • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
A moment of surprise crossed his face, this was the Hyena's Herald? Chal Camadrid supposed he should have anticipated this. That he was here to meet this... this ruffian rankled. A deep breath, and he separated himself from his emotional response. Again.  "Catrus-- Boost." For however indelicate the other Herald might be, the situation required a certain delicacy on his part.

"They aren't coming," He acknowledged, sizing up the growing frown on the other man's face. "Extenuating circumstances prohibit moving my army here."

Chal Camadrid mused on the wisdom of continuing, but it couldn't land him in more hot water than Boost's disappointment already garnered him. "Nor would I march my army into the territory of a man I hadn't met, yet." He wasn't sure how he felt about Boost. The man was certainly uncouth, but seemed amicable enough. It was too soon to tell. He would need more information. "Shall we take our conversation to a more comfortable local?" If there was any place of comfort, here.


Offline Stace

  • Executive Producer
  • Director
  • Newbie
  • *****
    • Posts: 30
    • Karma: +4/-0
  • Help me.
    • View Profile
    • Vampire Fiction You Won't Hate

tag: Lukie

Well, that was fucked up. Boost breathed in and out through his nose with a little bit of frustration and a little bit of a shoulder shimmy. His lips puckered up while he sucked on his tongue and thought hard about how to be diplomatic with this feller.

"All right," he said. And then he turned away and took Chal's horse by the rein, leading it to a clean, empty stall in the nearby stable. He left Chal there without providing any instructions. But he was quick, and he returned shortly, dusting his hands together.

"Not sure how much more comfortable you need to be than out here in the sun, but if your pampered tush needs a cushion to sit on, I think we can find one in Steingott's castle here." Boost pointed loosely and briefly at the building in front of them. "Castle" was probably a generous term, but "mansion" or "estate" still may have served the purpose. It was a house that had managed to survive a long time and still stood strong. Steingott had been persistent in making sure that Boost understood that this home held ancient secrets while also neglecting to mention what any of them were. It had Boost's bullshit meter blaring alarms in his head, but it also had the Herald intrigued. Ancient secrets often meant ancient technology, and he'd been lucky enough to have witnessed some ancient artifacts at work with his own two eyes—and by his own power making them come to life.

Regardless of Chal's response, Boost took it upon himself to lead the way to the door. He was quick. At walking, at talking, at judging, and at throwing the door open. It bounced back and he had to push it open again to avoid being smacked in the face. But he didn't let the little fuck-up throw him off his confidence game. The estate was large and well cared for, and for some reason pineapples were part of the decor in most of the rooms, but still it looked nice, felt spacious, and was bogged down with lots of rope to keep people in the areas of the house meant for public view. Boost had to wonder if the areas beyond the ropes was really in need of protection from visitors, or if Steingott was just manufacturing intrigue with the intention of turning his home into a museum cash cow. It really really seemed like the latter.

Boost followed the ropes to a parlor he'd been allowed in previously. Steingott had said to make himself comfortable, within reason, which he took to mean, don't pass any of the ropes, so Boost felt plenty comfortable making himself at home.

The parlor housed a fireplace and a small table with two chairs. There was a bookcase with a few sparsely stocked books, and Boost got the impression it was more for show than for knowledge. This Steingott character was really a strange feller.

One window stretched from just a few feet above the floor to almost all the way to the ceiling, and it had sheer curtains that were pulled back and letting in a lot of yellow light from the hot, dusty outdoors. The stables could be seen from where they were.

"For your picky tush." Boost said, gesturing grandly to the nearest chair without stopping on his way to the farther one. He plopped down in it and looked at Chal. "Well come on and sit. Chair don't bite. I mean, I think it don't."

Temporary signature.
Look how cool I am.
Oooh~