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Hurricane SL

Date: 05-08-11
Poster: Davin Byrne
Post # 1


Red sky at night - sailor's delight. Red sky at morn - sailor take warn. It was an old tried and true adage. Those words filtered through Davin's thoughts as he stood on the watch walk of the lighthouse. The scene before him was no less breathtaking each time no matter how many times he stood here. It was an every changing painting in colors even if the ocean was constant in its waves.  Water dashed against rock and cliff below spraying itself in a might roar. Sometimes with such force sometimes like a crooning mother with her babe in arms. The red melted away as the sun came up more and the ocean itself didn't seem to be any more rough than usual with all the rains. Today, seemed to promise sunshine and warmth. He saw to the fire then was down to collect his gear. The crab pail and pouch along with another that carried a lunch. Enough to share with another if he got so lucky that a friend happened by to share some of the day with. An hour later found him upon the sands of the less rough area to dig up some clams and capture some crabs. Loose fitting shirt had the front partially open and the sleeves rolled up. Even the pants were cut off so he need not worry about them getting wet from the bottom up. Shoes were a slip on style that could be slipped off just as easily for he liked the feel of the wet sand under his feet. Toes digging in as if rooting himself to the earth he was part of.

Davin was about to have company as Nia's little skiff was making its way toward the beach. She had been busy getting nets and sails repaired for the summer fishing season. They did fish during the winter though not as much but it seemed that winter was harder on their equipment. No soft and smooth hands for this lass! She spotted Davin on the beach and ran the skiff up onto the shore, climbing out and tugging it up onto the sand. "Ahoy, Davin!" Giving out a shout, since she was a short distance away. The skiff was tied off to some rocks before she was making her way toward him. With the warmer weather, she was wearing a light short sleeved shirt and cut off pants. She rarely wore shoes in the summer, even during rain, unless she was heading to town or visiting. Her hair was pulled back into a messy braid, one that looked as if she'd have to redo it soon. A smattering of freckles was just starting to appear across her nose from the spring sun.

He almost had the crab on the run when he heard that Ahoy and tumbled instead for the dip in the sand that caught his foot and sent him sprawling forward. He wasn't hurt other than his pride and started laughing until he realized the top on the crab pail came off and they were starting to get away. He scrambled up chasing them, getting them all except maybe one or two. Hard to tell. "Hey Nia!" came on the run, or more darting about until he was done. He stopped then as blue eyes lifted taking in the sight. One that had a smile reflecting the view that was so pleasing to see. "You look like you've been running about today." Being it wasn't really windy. Just a nice breeze off the ocean that held warmth for a change. That clean scent that washed over you as surely the wave would that forever came to shore and out again.

She came to a stop when he took a tumble, not letting a laugh out until she saw he was fine. Still too far to help him catch the escapees, she continued foward, grinning. "Aye, I have been. Started early in my escape. Otherwise I'd be working on nets and sails again." She looked around as if searching for spies then said, "I needed a break from it, you see, and they've plenty of help." She'd be told about it once she got back home, but her ma wouldn't really be angry. She'd just say it was that selkie blood everyone talked about that made Nia restless. All in good humor of course. "Besides, after all the rain, it was good to get out." She never wore perfume because of that scent that came from the ocean. "Catching your supper?" Reaching forward, she brushed some of the sand from his shirt, green eyes holding a sparkle.

"Aye, part of the feast. I've some lobster traps out." Something new for him as he watched her approach then wipe the sand from his shirt. "You saw that," slightly clearing his throat but the glint in blue eyes was dancing. Something that complimented the curling edges of his mouth and a dimple to follow, one to each cheek before they were gone. "Freckles," teasing her as he could see the smattering this close. She was very fetching in a natural wild way and he was noticing. He caught himself after a moment, "maybe you'll join me for the seafood feast I plan." The scallops, in a water tight pouch, didn't get jostled for the fall. Perhaps he had naturally favored that side. The light hearted disappeared when he noticed her look out to sea as if she might find something there. Especially after the last incident when he saw her. "It seems that there is cause to keep an eye out for any suspicious ships or dinghies, small boats even. The things we found were not from anyone here and it seems reports were received by some having caught sight of suspicious characters. We are not to apprehend if we see any but note where they are and what they are doing if we can. I can tell you for you were with me but not something to spread to too many as it might cause a greater problem." Which he was sure she would understand.

Nia looked back as soon as he had started talking again. She nodded as she listened, her expression serious. "I'll tell my da since he'll need be aware." Her father was protective of their little village, "but he'll be discreet and send word to the crown, if there's even activity that far down the coast." One never knew after all. The smile returned though, and she laughed. "And you're the only one besides mother that's allowed to call me Freckles." He was a handsome young man, and she had noticed that when they first met. The thought caused her to drop her eyes briefly, then look up at him through her lashes. "And yes, I saw but I'll not tell. And I never turn down a feast."

"Aye or where we end up along the shore." He had all he needed to start a fire and cook such a meal, wooden plates, and so on all stashed away in the backpack. "If you had not come along, I would have made my way down to the village to steal you away for the rest of the day. Bribe your father if needed." Actually he got along very well with her father, her family and the others of the village. "Since you are here, I thought we could head up to the point and see if we see or find anything." A bit of a possible adventure tucked in with a good meal later. "If you don't mind helping me bring up the traps first." Indicating the red buoy markers not far out from where they were. "I set three, hoping to get two."

"If you couldn't bribe him, I would have sneaked away." She decided with a nod and grin. "That sounds like a good idea. I'm very good at sneaking if we need to." Always up for a bit of adventure, even if nothing came of it. She looked out at where the buoy danced on the waves and nodded again, only this time she was being serious. "I can help you with those. And if you caught a third, we'll set the smallest one free." The skiff would be fine where it was, the rope long enough to allow it some drift should the late tide come in higher. She was glad she ventured out today and even more so now that she had found Davin on the beach.

Which only has his smile grow that she would sneak away. Would she sneak away for any occasion or because it was him? Hmm. Where did that thought come from? Dashed away as he started to take off the pack to set aside along with the rest he was carrying. "I must admit, since they got back to me today when the guards came by, I was hoping to be the one that brings it all to light, spying or however I could help." Which had him pause as he'd started for the water, turning to face her again. "Do you have to be back by a specific time?"

She watched him a moment, wondering at his thoughts then chuckled. "I can't blame you. It would be a grand adventure, not to mention a great service to the crown." She shook her head to his last question, smiling as she did. "My parents know I could be delayed. I didn't bring the pigeon today but  I left a note telling mother I was coming to visit. She'll not mind if I'm late." Or even if she didn't return until the next day. Nia's mother not only liked Davin but trusted him.

"Then they know you are with me and if need be, who to come after." Waggling his brows as he started walking backwards. "I'm sure you swim under water as surely you swim upon it. My little freckle face dolphin." Which certainly presented an amusing notion. In the next moment he was around and running through the wake. The sandy plate ran out a good distance before dropping off into the ocean in a deeper depth. This is where he had placed the traps. They would find two in one, one in a second and none in the last one which seemed to have been damaged by something.

"Aye, they do." She tried to say it in a serious voice but couldn't, especially when he called her a freckle face dolphin. "Little? I'm not little at all." And that was the only thing she protested before she was running after him. And yes, the water did seem to be her element as she swam with him to check the lobster pots. Once they retrieved, she was heading for the shore. That damaged pot had her a wee bit worried. It could mean something as common as a hungry seal or something dangerous.

He collected the traps as well and would repair the one. It wasn't like you could just pick them up at the local store. Well he could at the Hollow Woods Inn and Mercantile. Where he had gotten these but he had studied the construction and would start making his own. Once they were out of the water with their catch he examined the one that had been damaged. "Looks like a shark decided he wanted what had been trapped." It was rare they saw a shark this close to shore but the ocean held a lot of predatory surprises and one should always be wary of the dangers within. From live creatures to nature's quirks. He gathered the lobsters into that sealed water sack he carried. It just fitted the three with the scallops inside too. "I think I'm done catching anything more as we have enough." More than enough but they would have all the time they wanted to enjoy their meal later. A good appetite worked up after the hours ahead of exploring. "I think we should report there is a possible shark about to be on the watch for." Giving that credit enough, better forewarned than sorry and hopefully nothing came of it.

"We're lucky he didn't attack all three traps," she said as she looked over his shoulder. They'd not have any at all if he had. "And you're right. It's always good to report such, even if it turns out to be something else. Best not to take a chance." The fishermen would be better off knowing of it and possibly it could be killed. "Can I help with anything?" Wouldn't be right for him to carry it all when she was capable.


Date: 05-13-11
Poster: Davin Byrne
Post # 2

( Lighthouse Cont.)

"Aye," rubbing a hand against his jaw in consideration as he looked out over the expanse of ocean. Hard to tell where sky and water met at times but it was always breathtaking. Not a cloud in the sky but that could change without notice, or much notice at times. Sky had been red at the break of dawn, a fierce shade of it. So his mind wandered for a moment as he got that niggle at the back of his mind. He would report it later when they got back and the guards came about. "The tide is out and best we make haste to the point to see what caves are open to exploration or at least passages that are not there otherwise. Smile was lopsided as he started walking backwards while he spoke the last in a way she could keep up with him; turning when she was by his side as they headed in the direction of the point.

She watched him a moment and glanced back over the ocean. She knew those in the village would keep an eye on the skies and wouldn't worry much but that had been one reason why she had left the pigeon behind, though his cage was made in such a way that if the seas got rough, it would break. Still, she couldn't pass up an opportunity to see Davin though she wondered on that at times. "Good idea. It's been a while since I've gone exploring caves." It did
seem that the older one got, responsibilities took more time. She laughed as he walked backward, catching up easily. "So, how have you been since last we met? Have many more visitors? And I don't mean the sneaky kind."

His laugh was low and contagious as he gave her a sidelong glance while they walked, "not anything exciting at all since I last saw you. Thank you for cat sitting as it was very late when I got back." She had fallen asleep on his couch so he put a blanket on her then sought his bed. She'd never know that he stood over her a moment just watching her sleep, odd thing to do but he didn't think on the action. Just had. Next morning he saw to breakfast for them both then they were on their separate ways. He stopped to pick up a conch shell that was in perfect condition then offered it over to her. "How have your days been spent?"

She accepted the shell with a warm smile, and when they stopped again, she'd tuck it away in one of the bags. Maybe after one was emptied. And she laughed with him, oddly relieved no other pretty lasses had been about "Not much more than I said, getting ready for summer's fishing season, helping to repair nets, and sails and even Da's ship. And helping Mum plant her garden. It's not big but it give us extras." She laughed softly, "and listening to my sisters complaining how rough it all makes their hands. I told them to marry rich men and then they wouldn't have to work. But they agreed, they'd be bored likely. We celebrated Beltane with a maypole and feast and that was all. I didn't even have a chance to come see if you wanted to join us on that day." She made a pouting face but it only lasted a second. "I kept getting shanghaied into helping with one thing after another."

"There is something about letting the earth run through your fingers naturally. No gloves but become a part when you plant." Getting it under your nails being inevitable then but worth it. "Aye, they could do that, marry rich men but some sacrifices come with a price. Hopefully they will be lucky." Which had him pause to turn her way, "what of you? Do you want a rich man too?" Half grin but then the wind whipped up sending sand dusting up in swirls around them before it was gone. It felt good but near had him jump it was so sudden.

"I like watching the plants grow." She laughed as the sand devil appeared then faded. "No. To be honest, I'll let my heart decide that. Whether he's a rich man, or poor, fisherman or farmer. What about you? Do you want to marry a lass who wants to be pampered and spoiled, or one who will work beside you?" That wind had pulled the rest of her braid free and she just caught the rawhide strip in time. Instead of braiding it, she pulled it back into a ponytail. Easier to deal with for now.

Relating back to a previous comment he had skipped over previously. "I didn't get an invite to the Beltane.." slanting her a reprimanding look but the tease was there too in his eyes. "Had I been asked, I would have come to it." The laugh came easily as he reached out to quickly run his fingers like a comb through her disentangled braid now in a pony tail. "Seems the wind wishes to have you let your hair free so it can play with it." Or he could as he just did but caught himself as he continued the conversation as well started up walking further along the coast to the Point. "It takes dedication to watch plants grow."

"I know, which is why I was upset you didn't get invited. " She smiled at him and nodded. "But it's too long if we're going to be walking and climbing." She watched him a moment as they started to walk again, then looked forward.

Wondering if she sat all day watching them grow. Such presented an amusing visual as he slanted another glance her way. "I wish to marry a lass that I fall in love with and she is as much in love with me so that it will last a lifetime." Which said a lot right there without him needing to state particulars. "Although I may pamper her as she might pamper me. Something I think if you love someone you'd do little extra things not because you have to. She would also work beside me as I would work beside her." That's how he saw it as they approached rougher beach and a hand coming to her elbow in aid as they had to step over and even climb over rocks.

It wouldn't do to trip. "My youngest cousin sat and watched the seeds for a full day before he decided they weren't going to pop up like magic." He was only five and everything fascinated him. "That sounds like you've put at lot of thought into it, Davin, and that you'll have a good life together. Will you stay in the lighthouse?" She smiled at him and didn't pull away even though she was used to the roughness of the coast. It was a nice gesture and she appreciated it.

Which had him laugh outright, "aye, that is what I was seeing when you said about watching the plants grow." So he admitted to the visual in his mind's eye. The rock they had to step on to get to the next part, gave way as an arm went around her fast and he jumping to solid ground with her tight up against him for a moment. The pail clanked with the crabs in it for the jostling. There was a brief dip of his chin as he looked down upon her, time stopping for a moment before it fled and he stepped back properly again. "I would work that out but I see no reason not to bring my wife into my life completely. Hopefully she will love the sea and love the view from the lighthouse where I would probably make love to her on a stormy night that has the air filled with an electrical charge..." realizing he might have said too much as he pressed his lips together a moment and changed the subject, pointing out an area that could be seen from where they stood now. "We need to get between that narrow pass between the large stones over there." Which were probably twenty feet high from the ground.

She laughed then let out a small squeak of surprise as the rock gave way. Nia barely noticed the clank of the pail as her eyes met his and widened slightly. When he stepped away, she smiled, almost shyly, but then nodded. Until he spoke of making love. Nia had seen many things in her life, but her cheeks turned a slight pink against the tan. "I think a lass would be either very foolish or blind not to love the view." She looked toward where he was pointing and grinned. "I don't think that'll be a problem." She hopped over a small puddle and looked over her shoulder. Yes, she was going to wait for him.

He was right behind her then right ahead of her by the time they reached the split as he called it. He went through first, contorting his body to fit as it was narrow but neither of them had any extra weight on them. It would probably be easier for her with his help but he also wanted to make sure it wasn't too slippery for the rocks were coated with moss and slime from the bottom of the sea that would get trapped in here when the tide came in. "There are a few places like this..." so she was prepared but once through the Split, it opened up again. A little further up there was some sand. The view of the ocean was mostly blocked off by rock, it was like a private beach secured off from the world.

She watched as he wiggled through then followed, taking hold of his hand when offered. "Good thing enclosed places don't bother me, aye?" She gave him an impish smile before tugging her blouse and britches into place. The slime and moss was why she went barefoot most of the time, at least for the rocks along the shore. "This is wonderful." She decided after studying the area ahead for a moment then she looked at him again. "Does the tide come in this far?" Loose strands curled around her face and by the time they took a break, she'd likely be needing to pull it all back again. Like it had a mind of it's own.

"Or getting too up close and personal?" Smile etched just enough that might hint to his thoughts behind the comment. Fingers were still entwined with hers after she got through, "Troy hasn't convinced you to be his girl yet, or Travis?" He knew there were a couple in the village their age or a couple years older that had their eyes on her. He wasn't sure if she realized it but it was pretty obvious with the two of them and in competition no less. Something he had avoided and just watched to see how it progressed. Did she run to any that showed an interest first like many females did or did she wait before rushing into that area. Too many rushed. Dipping glance had that hinted smile grow some. "I could help you with those." But he had her hand in his that she could not swat him with that one in the least! "Aye, the tide will have most of this underwater and the rush through the tight rocks will have it dangerous to be in." Like entering a whirlpool. He finally let go of her hand so he could brush those loose strands from her face.

Travis? Troy? She laughed and shook her head. "No, that doesn't either and also no." She was well aware of their competition and wasn't at all interested in being the prize. "Most of the lads in the village are like brothers, whether they realize it or not." It was just one of those things. She made a puffing noise as she blew some of the strands away. "That would be appreciated and then I guess we should keep moving." Or risk getting into trouble. She smiled up at him as he brushed the strands away. "I hate when they tickle my nose."

"I think some of those brothers would like more than being looked upon as such." Her answer at least told him she didn't see them as anything else. Which had him pause with a thought, "do you look upon me like them, a brother?" Brows lifted somewhat but he knew they could not dally in this area so was ushering her with him up from the slippery rocks towards the sandy shore. Obviously that area was up high enough not to be like the area that wasn't. There were treasures to be found, as he slipped some but caught his balance only to uncover a gold Spanish coin. "A find," which he swooped a hand down to claim and on their way again. He offered it over. "Something for you this time." And there would probably be more.

She blinked and looked at him but didn't answer as they were moving away from the rocks. She put out a hand to stop him then grinned. It had been an instinctive move, because he likely would have still fallen had he not caught himself. "Thank you." She smiled then stepped closed and lifted her hands, putting them around his face, and urging him to bend down. Then she kissed him, in a way that definitely wouldn't be sisterly. With that as her answer, when the kiss was through, she moved away, laughing as she ran toward the sandy area, steps as light as a nymph's.

Holymolygunzoli! His brain stopped as he found her lips meeting his. Something he had thought about. Something he had dreamed about. Something he was working his way up in finding out about if there was any chance she had an attraction for him. He had an attraction to her. Because the kiss was no sisterly gesture, he wrapped her up into his arms as she would feel the power of his kiss, the power of his attraction and this other kind of power that seemed to emit from him when emotions were stirred. Boy were they stirred. If one were looking about them they would see this streaking around them in fast light swirls. He would have kissed her deeper, would have explored it more but she moved away leaving him feel barren a moment like a part was missing. She might see the molten look to his eyes that devoured still even depraved of her in his arms. "I wanted to ask you out officially then. Be my girl." Oh yeah, he was staking his claim now that he was on safe grounding that she'd accept. Davin was a somewhat cautious man but not always. Just certain things, with certain ones. He was next in a run after her, much as one could over slippery rock that was becoming less so.

She stopped once she was beyond the stony area, and her feet touched the sand. Turning, she watched him as he approached, waiting until he was close until she answered. She had lit a fire in his eyes and he had done the same to her. "Officially, aye. I'll be your girl, Davin." A dimple showed as she smiled, her head tipping up. "I was wondering if you were ever going to ask." She had been hoping, dreaming that he would.


Date: 05-28-11
Poster: Davin Byrne
Post # 3

( Lighthouse Cont.)

Soon as she agreed, he had her up into his arms again. Feet off the ground, laughter in his eyes. She just made him the happiest man alive. Once setting her back to her feet, lips were upon hers to seal the pact between them. She was his girl, he was her man. Such sweet surrender as it became a give and take, emotions soaring the more he kiss, the more elated. Finally, needing a breath as a comment sunk in and he give her that look, "how long?" How long had she noticed him like that? How long had he noticed her? It probably took him a little longer for he was a bit daft in that area. Not now however. Not that he noticed any other lass but was suppose to look upon her like a sister? No longer and it hadn't been so really.

She squealed, hugging him tightly and then ... he kissed her! She couldn't think, didn't want to, just wanted to join the sweet feel of his mouth against hers. When they finally parted, she kept her arms around his neck, looking into his eyes. "Probably the second time we met, though I noticed how handsome you were the first time." Not cute. She would use cute around her girlfriends but he was definitely handsome.

Which had his smile grow a mile, if it could get any bigger than it was as he held her, looking into her eyes in a new way. A way he now had a right. Ever alert to danger, he knew where they were and so needed to keep them moving or they could get caught in the tide that would be coming in. They were on a time schedule. "C'mon, tonight you can stay with me at the lighthouse and we can talk of many things." Things that a couple would talk about ... if they talked. Probably some and then explore kissing. Kissing and more kissing and whatever came with all that kissing. Niamh was going to be kissed like she never had been before, like he had never kissed one before. New wonders for them both as he was ushering her across the short sandy shore to where more rocks jutted and spaces between they could maneuver. Not quite as small as the other but this shore had a cave up from it. An ominous looking one that spoke of depth and size.

"We may have to take the long way around." She was reluctant to leave his arms but he was right. They needed to keep moving. "All right." Talking and kissing. A perfect night. She was agile and moved quickly, keeping up with him as they climbed, crawled and wiggled. She spotted the cave and looked at him with a smile. She liked exploring caves and now it would be even more fun.

He picked up a good sturdy stick that could be used as a weapon if needed. The sand was choppy looking and a bit hard, studded with whole and broken pieces of shells. There was something, he couldn't quite put his finger on that had him stall at the opening. His voice lowered too as one becoming cautious. "I don't think we'll need any lanterns yet for our eyes should adjust." The first part of the cave was fairly large and had three corridors leading away. One was small and ended there. The other two were far more complicated. "Take your pick?" Except he heard something from the corridor to their left and quickly snaked his arm around her waist ushering her with him into the second corridor, backing them up against the stone just inside and where they would not be seen. A finger pressed to her lips but even straining she would only hear the sea outside, further out from the enclosed area where it crashed against rock in a steady continual sound much as the waves themselves.

Nia carried a fishing knife with her most of the time and she had it today. She didn't draw it just yet but kept her hand on it. She nodded agreement to the comment about lanterns then grinned when he told her to take her pick. But then they were moving into the second tunnel. She stayed completely still, nearly holding her breath as she waited.

She might begin to wonder if such had been a move to get her pressed up against the wall with his body covering hers. It was a protective move. However, still, as she held her breath he was taking in her scent with his nose in against her hair. Almost had him forget there for a few moments why he brought her in. He was about to say something but the breath only swept warm against her hair as a sound that was not the waves was finally heard as well footsteps. "Eh, yea Piny, we bae wait'in long." Rugged voice of one that was short, quite bald and tattooed from head to toe as he talked to the more lumbering oaf near him. "Crew sh'bae 'ere soon," but the lumbering oaf was sniffing the air much like a wolf. He didn't seem to be paying any attention to the little one called, "Shots, I bae smell'in female." Which only had Shots get short with Piny as he started for the other cave. "Don't yea bae go'in t'ere. Yea kin 'ow yea 'ate snakes." Which by the way stated one could surmise that Piny and encountered a snake in the chamber Davin and Nia were in.

She might but she certainly wouldn't mind it. She was certain, however that it was something else that had Davin being so cautious, whether a sound or instinct. When it seemed he was about to speak, she started to look up but then she heard the footsteps too. Her eyes went wide when she heard voices. She could barely see the two men but when one mentioned smelling a female, she held her breath again, as if that would help. Snakes of the slithering kind didn't frighten her too much though she didn't go out of her way to find them.

There wasn't much they could do at the moment although a number of scenarios flashed through Davin's thoughts in what to do or react. Life had thought him already that usually none of that which you came up with happened. Something completely unexpected so it was wiser to expect the unexpected and be fast on your feet in thinking. Flash decisions most of the time. Right now it was keeping her pressed between him and the wall, keeping her protected if either or both of them came into the room, they would not see her, probably not see him right away unless they carried a lantern. All they could do was listen. "I want a woman," Piny piped up which only agitated the other more. "Look, I dae tae bout yea kin w'at 'appen last time? Yea poun'd 'er tae deat'. Alt'oug s'e bae lov'in till s'e died." Piny was making guttural sounds as if recalling the act rather than the death. Until they both went silent. Davin stiffened but soon enough they knew why. Other voices, deeper and male were coming into the outer cave dragging crates by the scraping sound. It was hard to tell what most was said for a few spoke at the same time, the accent heavy and a lot of jabbing at each other. Shouts, sometimes a fist swung.

Oh, she didn't like this at all! She buried her face against Davin's chest, her face hot when she heard the grunting noises. And this way too, she could keep from giggling if she got that nervous. She hated what the man said about the lass too. Horrid men they were. When everything became quiet, she lifted her head and looked up at Davin, her eyes wide. They didn't dare move and all they could do was hope the men wouldn't come into their part of the caves. She was also trying to figure out where the men had come from, what direction. At least they knew the caves stayed dried if these men were storing things here.

Time seem to move on forever as they listened to arguments and somewhere in there the name Doom was said. Davin strained to hear more as it had something to do with slaves and contraband shipments. There was also the mention of Ornery Joe's Map that led to some Spanish treasure that was thought lost at sea. Their language was as foul as the stench that was starting to permeate into the area they were in. It was that strong. There was a holler up from outside beyond that the tide was coming in and for them to hurry. A few of the men dragged the crates down the other cave corridor while a few were coming in from the front with water splashing about their ankles.

Doom was a name too well known to those who lived beside the ocean. She closed her eyes as she listened, and tried to ignore the smell. Her nose was actually twitching from the smell. Ugh. The language didn't bother her as much as the stench. She wondered if they were going to be trapped in here with the men until the tide went out again. It would be nearly impossible to find a back way out with them there though it was possible most were afraid of snakes.

Language only got worse as they tried to beat the tide coming in. The tide was rough too as the sky had darkened in a very threatening way. A hurricane was on its way and the air held that scent to it. Davin waited until he could not hear the men for certain they carried weapons they knew how to use. A stick would not be any match nor would her dagger nor his for he carried one too. More an eating knife and to get the crab shells detached. He eased up from her as he spoke low. "The tide will fill these chambers," and being it was already starting to lap around their ankles, "we can't go out the front unless you want to be smashed against rocks." Which she could see the ocean becoming angry as it had risen above many of the rocks they had moved around and through earlier. "We need to see if we can get out through this cave." It was a chance and maybe enough time if there was no way out, they would have to take the one the pirates took. It was obvious there were pirates on Heathfield's shores.

"The weather's turning bad." She whispered when she spoke, then looked toward the front of the cave. "No, that would mean our deaths sure." She stood on tiptoe and brushed a kiss over his lips. They didn't have time for much more than that. "Lead on, Davin. I'll follow." She smiled up at him, sure they'd be fine. "I'm sure those sea dogs won't stick around."

The kiss may have been swift out of necessity but it gave him more courage than what he'd been feeling. He had to save her, what a sad remorse hymn they would make if they drowned before they could really be together. A Romeo and Juliet of the sea. Her hand was captured in his larger, and probably rougher, one as he was quick to follow the cave corridor. Making swift decisions to go right or left until he paused deep within, water up to their knees. Did he go back or did he go ahead? There was a slight whoosh of air coming from ahead and so that determined his decision. Where there was air there was a way out. "Say a prayer!" as he was ushering her with him again in that direction. Water was rising faster too as it was now thigh deep before he found the way out. The prayer may have been answered but with a bit of complication. It was a tunnel that led upwards. About their body width. The rocky walls jagged enough they could work their way up and through, or so he was really hoping. "Think you can manage that? Wiggle worm?" Teasing her in spite of the situation.

The water would have been higher on her since she was shorter but she didn't complain or fuss. Nia was well aware what could happen and she wasn't going to distract Davin if she could help it. She offered a quick smile when he said about a prayer and glanced over her shoulder. There was no real rush of water, just a steady rising so far. Her eyes narrowed as she looked upward, studying the way out. "I think so." She gave him an impish smile. "Aye, I'm a slippery little devil."

Strong hands were at her waist in a more urgent way in lifting her up so that she could start working her way. She would have had a hard time reaching it otherwise. Luckily he was that much taller than she. "Don't look back, just keep going, I will be right behind you." Although they were such famous last words of many in a story told, said of one that never made it. Except Davin was right after her and they would need to move quickly as the water would fill even this tunnel a good distance. It was probably a half mile up with only the light seen briefly before the storm clouds darkened the sky far earlier than it should.

She was up and around, wiggling through narrow spots and loosening stones and dirt if they needed to be moved so David could move through. He was broader of shoulder then she was. She was quick, and more than half way up. "Be careful at this spot. I've not loosened any of the stones for fear of hitting you but you'll need to move them so you can get through, Davin." She would not allow herself to consider anything but that they would both escape. No tragedy here.

It was hard to see let alone debris coming down on his face even though she tried not to. It was unavoidable. A few times he needed to wipe over his eyes with the back of his hand and try not to look up too often. Time seemed to stand still yet as they worked they way up. A slight slip here and there were luckily caught and a time a hand was up to boost her bottom to get her past a certain challenge the tunnel offered. She got ahead eventually which made it a little easier until he got to that spot she fitted through easier than he would. It was then the lightening streaked offering light and he was able to loosen the right stones, "thank you for whomever is watching over us this night.." mumbled under his breath and certainly gracious as he was then able to continue. As water rose below them, water started pouring from above and down into the tunnel. They needed to hurry or be washed back down. One nasty storm was becoming quicker than the rise of the tide into the cave below.

"Almost to the top, Davin." Drenched before she reached the top, she looked like a drowned rat. She wasn't cold yet but they both would be by the time they reached shelter. Once she was through the top, she laid on her stomach and watched Davin's progress. When he reached the top, she put her hand out in offer for the bags. Or he could take it if he wanted.


Date: 06-06-11
Poster: Davin Byrne
Post # 4

The rains came faster, heavier. The lightning streaked the sky more than not as the wind whipped up taking branches and trees down alike even without the lightning striking but that too downed a tree not far from them sending the shockwave over the ground. Mud started pouring over the rocks while a slippery brown coated hand grabbed hers as he spitted out muddy water. He did a belly flop on the ground to keep from slipping back down. Half crawling to a more secure holding. "We need to get back to the lighthouse." Get her out of the hurricane that this storm was proving to become. He also needed to alert the troops, although he was pretty certain they would be alerted and in turn alert the hospital. He needed to get back to patrol as best they could in case any ships were tossed against the cliffs.

Nia pulled for all she was worth and once he was up and away from the hole, she scrambled back so she didn't slide back down. "Aye, the light will be needed." She wondered for only a brief moment about her skiff but it could be replaced in time. She ducked as a branch flew dangerously close over their heads and looked at Davin. Hair and clothing was plastered to skin but she was too scared to feel the cold. It had been a long time since a hurricane had hit Heathfield and she could only hope this one wouldn't be as bad. She reached for his hand as thunder cracked. "Hurry, Davin." The report on the pirates could wait too!

He had not been around for any previous hurricane but he knew of their ferocity and destruction. There were times when the wind pushed them forward, pulling their hair near straight up then plastering it back down, whipping it this way and that. He did his best in protecting her form the worse of it as a arm went around her back tucking her in against his side as they made their way, hopefully towards the lighthouse. It was hard to tell. He was half yelling over the roar of the storm, thunder and lighting as well the wind howling. "I THINK WE ARE GROUND LEVEL..." the rest drowned out by another clap of thunder. Their progress was slow yet steady as they went through a bit of forest high above the sea. That too could be heard angry against the sides of the cliffs.

"AYE, WE ARE!" She heard part at least and the sound of the sea made her certain he was right. She slipped one arm around him as well so they wouldn't be separated. Ahead of them a tree was bending and it finally cracked, crashing into another. She swiped a hand across her eyes to try to clear the rain then let out a yelp when another branch flew by. The lighthouse had withstood other storms. Hopefully it would this one.

"WHAT DID YOU SAY..." immediately pulling her aside as a tree crashed down no more than five feet in front of them. The quick action kept them from being hit with the branches, let alone the trunk. He mostly heard the aye and the rest drowned in with the wind. He kept her tucked against him too. With the rain whipping it was hard to see so the motion of getting them out of the way was instinctive than seeing the danger coming. Probably couldn't see it if it were a sunny day but one would at least have heard the crack of the trunk being separated from the roots. That could not be heard, however, over the wind and thunder. The flash of lightning only showed silvery outlines ahead, seeing that which was a foot near them. What became important was getting her to safety. Finally they were on the gravel road that led to the lighthouse. Long minutes later they were at the door to the cottage attached. The light from the lighthouse shone brightly IF one could see it, or the ocean would have its way this night. He barely got the door open to find the five guards were inside waiting for him. They were soaked and doing their best to dry off. One had made a fire and another had tea on. They all looked towards the door as it flew open in unison. The worried expressions giving way to see that they were safe.

It was nearly useless to try to talk, especially after that tree nearly fell on them. She shook her head as she managed to move in a way to help rather than hinder, occasionally gasping as the wind took her breath away. When bare feet finally felt the gravel beneath, she felt some relief but now they were more exposed to the wind. Each step became a fight until finally, they were at the door. She cringed as the door banged open but was as relieved to see the guards as they were to see Davin and herself. Once the door was closed, her teeth began to chatter. She was starting to feel the cold.

Xavier headed this small group of guards as he grabbed a coverlet from the back of the couch and over to wrap up Niamh. Another grabbed from the back of a chair was offered to Davin. He too felt chilled to the bone as Xavier spoke up. "I sent Jacob and Ethan to the castle to warn them when the hurricane set in and await orders." As well hoping backup. "It is good to see you both back safely," they had not expected to see Niamh in particular. "We made some tea, nice and hot and some soup," as Elijah, one of the older guards, knew how to cook and used what he could from Davin's stores. "I hope they alert the hospital to be on the ready," Davin spoke in return for it was certain that there would be need. "We can hope that the cliffs block some of the ferocity." All the while he was ushering Niamh in front of the fire that had been tended.

"Th-th-thank y-y-you." She would have giggled at the way she spoke had circumstances not be so serious or frightening. She accepted a mug of the tea gratefully and wrapped her hands around it to warm them first. Though she didn't say it, she hoped the hospital wouldn't suffer any damage. "I think it's going to be as bad as the one a few years back." The winds had been as bad if she remembered right. She sipped the tea carefully and sighed then looked for the cat. "Where's the Prince?" That was her nickname for the imperial feline. He likely was hiding under Davin's bed but she was still worried about him. There'd be a lot of folks to worry about too but her mind could only deal with a few things until she warmed up!

He had a cup of the tea when it was offered to help warm up his insides. "There is plenty of food in the pantry..." his statement cut off as Elijah came out with a platter. Hot soup and bread along with bowls as they could all help themselves. Once more the door opened as Jacob and Ethan returned. They had good news that a troop was being sent to scout the shore, staying in small groups of three but if it proved too dangerous, they might have to camp out at the lighthouse or the warehouse situated half way from the height they were at and the shore. Three were going to attempt going down, at least get the warehouse open. Davin listened as they spoke, "I will go with you once I change." Then to Niamh, "my mother has some things here, clothes and footwear, see if anything fits." Get her out of her wet clothing too. He set his cup aside as he had finished it and made a motion to the spare bedroom, which she had used upon a few occasions or the couch.

The soup was welcome and she was happy to stay quiet while she helped herself. Listening to the men, she frowned slightly but looked at Davin when he spoke. "I can help too." The offer made though she knew it was likely the men would rather she stayed at the lighthouse. "All right, I'll check." She hoped there were pants and shirts rather than gowns but then again, this wasn't really an area for gowns was it? Unless one planned to stay on the grassy area around the lighthouse. She had sat on the floor in front of the fire to eat and stood, carrying her bowl into the kitchen first.

Davin was practically at her side and once she went to get some dry clothes on, he too headed for his room to do the same. When he came back out he found only Xavier there. "Aye lad, I know you want to help but it would be better you stay here with the lass," glancing towards the direction of the guest room and back, "keep the kettle on, the soup warm, possibly beds in the loft and the fires fed." Davin wanted to protest as Xavier pulled up the hood on the slicker he wore but he knew he was right. Xavier's men had gotten the horses ready and waited on their captain. "Aye, I will do that," in a resigned sort of way but they would not be keeping him from searching the shores once the hurricane was spent.

"Be careful, Captain." She came out in time to hear Xavier and went over to Davin's side. She was wearing a peasant blouse, and pants both of which that fit fairly well and not too snug and had found a pair of low boots. Her hair was wrapped in a towel she had found too. "We can cook up the seafood we have, make a good stew." She said softly as Xavier headed out into the storm. She wasn't afraid now. "Do you think we can see anything from the lighthouse?" Probably not but it was a thought.

Before he had gotten changed, he left the pail of crabs and lobster on the kitchen table along with the water sealed pouch containing the scallops. Those he dumped out into a basin of water in the sink. "The loft has been set up for at least fifteen to twenty people. I am told the warehouse is also setup although I've never been in it." It was called a warehouse for the shape of the building but it was more an emergency structure in case of a shipwreck. In fact, it was used for exactly that reason a good decade ago as well the lighthouse. Speaking to Xavier before he parted. "If you find anyone, bring them here and if too many then use that building." At least here there was food and warmth and the two of them to help as needed. "A seafood stew would be perfect." The other had been a ham and vegetable as he had a large haunch of salted ham hanging in the pantry. He finally smile upon Niamh as Xavier nodded and headed out. Their work would probably take them all night. They would be removing trees from the roads as well helping anyone they came across needing help. Their time would be kept to this area and the shore if accessible.

They could add things as needed and Nia set to work, efficiently and quickly. It helped to keep the worry about her village at bay if she kept busy. The Prince finally came out of his hiding place when he smelled the food though the large cat started with each rumble of thunder. Though she didn't think she would sleep, that would probably happen later. It would take time for the eye to pass and then the rest of the storm. But the fact that Davin was near helped greatly and she kept glancing at him, smiling when he caught her.

"Shall we take a bowl of this up with us to the tower?" He would make sure the fire burned bright and see what they could from that height. He was helping her as he'd learn to cook being on his own and his mother insisted on training him so he didn't starve or in the least eat poorly. A chuckle came noticing the cat dart from one hiding place to another as none felt safe for the old orange tabby. He also caught those passing glances, causing him to smile in spite of the situation. Obviously he was doing the same.

"Aye, we can do that." She smiled brightly at him and placed a bit of broth in the tabby's bowl so he could have it once it cooled off and he calmed down. She glanced at the windows as they rattled, noticing the guard had closed the storm shutters. "I hope the villagers are all right. And the folks on the island." Oh, she'd be worrying about different ones. "And the zoo." And the castle, and the other villages along the coast.

"Aye, all we can do is hope and pray they are all right." The worry laced the tone for he knew it would be a large miracle if no one got hurt. "There will be a lot of clean up, damage to repair." They already saw some of that. While the stew cooked, he went and got them slickers as well light wool sweaters to wear beneath. They were old ones of his, nothing fancy and would be rather large on her but better she not catch a chill. He also rolled up a really thick carpet piece for them to sit on than the floor of the lighthouse tower. "There is a covered pot we can carry the soup in." Certainly a lot left for anyone that came. He was still hungry and hoped to at least get in the picnic they had planned, albeit changed in circumstances. The would know if anyone got back to the lighthouse as well.

"All right and it'll stay warm." She set to dealing with the now cooked crabs, cracking shells and legs and removing the meat then chopping it up to add to the stew. Finally, she checked his supply of potcheen as that would certainly be needed. They could have some as well, though not too much. They would both need clear heads. "Likely ships as well." Some would have been caught at sea though she was certain the fishermen would have headed for shore and shelter, being able to read the signs. She checked the stew and nodded. It was ready and they could have their picnic, though it would be in the middle of a storm.

Once they were ready it would be a quick dash from the front door, leaving it unlocked in case the guards came back, to the door of the lighthouse which was always left unlocked. Rain poured down over the edge of the hood as he kept his head bent. The wind howled that one had a hard time holding onto their thoughts, drowning even them out. He had the bottle of potcheen in his slicer pocket, one arm around her as she carried the pot of stew. He also had a hold of the thick carpet piece under his free arm. Once to the door he was quick to give it a shoulder nudge with the turn of the knob and in they went. It would take them a few more minutes to reach the top going up the spiraling staircase that hugged along the wall.

The stew and a small basket over her arm with bowls and spoons and glasses for the potcheen. She was grateful for his hold and gasped as they reached the safety of the lighthouse. She had been in storms before but not like this. And she'd admit she hoped there wouldn't be another for a long, long time. She gave Davin a quick grin though then started up the stairs. No running up them today. The wind made the building shudder a little but it was withstanding the storm just fine. As it should be.

The lighthouse would stand against any storm for its structure but they could still feel the power of nature raging outside its walls. Once to the top, he took the moment to spread out the carpet and set the bottle of potcheen. There were things kept up here as he took out a thick blanket for extra comfort. "Make yourself comfortable as I see to the fire." which he stepped closer to steal a kiss before he was over to see to that duty. The fire was burning fine but tonight there would be extra wood to have the light even brighter.

Her smile was sweet and perhaps a touch dreamy as he kissed her then moved away. She sat on the carpet and watched him then set to putting the stew in the bowls so it could cool some. Lightning flashed across the sky, lighting up the grounds around them. It was fireworks just for them, with the crashing of waves for extra sound.

He was back over to take up a seat next to her. "I'm starved.." it had been a long day already for them and it probably wasn't over. He had no qualms about taking up the bowl she prepared... hot or not, some bread and started dunking. He was too hungry to wait. Unlike some males, he was not a loud eater for he had been taught to eat with his mouth closed.

"Me too." Nia was not a dainty eater, nor was she a noisy one either. She enjoyed food and luckily, burned it off with all her hard work. Sitting tailor fashion, she started on the stew, carefully blowing each spoonful until it got cool enough on its own. "I wonder how much damage this is causing along the shore." She couldn't help worrying about her home.

"I didn't get a chance to tell the guards about the pirates.." but then they were in a crisis already. "I will soon as I get the chance." He knew it was important to try and tell them tonight if possible. His thoughts were there when something caught his eye when the lightning shot across the sky helping to light up all below too. "Holy.." he shot up, the empty bowl tumbling aside as he rushed over to the window, not daring to step outside and be swept off the circling walkway by the wind. "Look!" not really believing his eyes as he even took out the spyglass he carried to make sure. "A ship has crashed down by the point." His hands were shaking as he knew he had to get word down to the guards to head down to that area, most likely they would not go that far.

"You can when they come back." She assured then jumped, startled when he jumped up. Placing her own bowl aside, she was up quickly beside him, watching for the lightning to reveal the ship again. "It's breaking up." She said in a hushed voice, her heart pounding. "Those poor sailors." Reaching out, she touched Davin's arm. "I'll go with you to find the guards." And she started for the stairs right then. They could clean up later.

"Aye," was all he needed to say as he shortened the spyglass down and joined her. They were barely outside when with one guard coming up to check on them. They almost ran into the poor fellow as his head was bent to the storm as were they huddled and hurrying in the rain. It was Jacob, which he was full of apologies when their shoulders bumped, stopping them all. "Xavier wanted to know how dangerous it was down towards the point, further than we usually go." Davin was nodding his head as he spoke. "Very. But there is a need, a ship has crashed down that way against the rocks and we came across some pirates down a bit further earlier today, around the other side of the point but that can wait." More it would have to wait until the Hurricane was over.

She wasn't sure how they would sound an alarm in this storm but if necessary, they could go on as needed. "It's breaking up and I'm afraid we're going to find few survivors." She added, knowing all too well what a dangerous mistress the sea was. As if to confirm her words, there was a loud crash of thunder. She actually grabbed hold of Davin's arm, she was so surprised.

He tucked her in at his side as Jacob spoke up, "I will hurry back down," without taking undue chances for the weather so he made it back down alive. "Best get prepared, we'll bring any survivors up here that are not so badly off, worse will go to the warehouse below as Elijah was set to that task. From there we'll get a wagon to bring ones to the hospital. We'll do our best." Reassuring them as they all had a part to play and all needed equally. Jacob was actually relieved not to have to send the young couple into this storm. "Got any of that stew for me to take down along with a wineskin of tea?" If they added a few loaves of bread, that would be helpful too. At least there would be warm nourishment if needed.

"Aye, we made a big pot of it and the tea won't take but a few minute." She was grateful for something to do as she turned and started for the cottage door, almost dragging Davin along with her. Like most in her village, she had some emergency training too and could help with minor injuries. Inside she'd set to work, needing to keep busy rather than think about what was happening.

They got Jacob squared away and back out into the storm as Davin set to helping Niamh prepare for the worse. Blankets were brought out, bandages and such things as might be needed. Anything she suggested he got if he had it. "I think we are as ready as we can be and I'm sure glad you are with me tonight," drawing her close as he'd kiss her like she'd never been kissed before. They had the moment and he seized it.

"I'm glad too." She smiled, eyes closing as their lips touched. The kiss warmed her inside as much a fire would out. She slipped her arms around him and when the kiss came to a reluctant end, she leaned her head against his shoulder. "I'm worried for my family but being here with you helps." It would be a long night indeed, one with little sleep but at least they could work side by side and perhaps even save a life or two.

He stretched that moment for as long as he could, holding her in his arms as one hand stroked her hair, "they will be alright. We will check on them first chance we get once the storm lets up and we're no longer needed. He drew in a deep breath to ease it out. "It's going to be a long night and I pray that there are not too many injured badly or even injured," but the last was wishful thinking after seeing the wreck.

She nodded, doing her best to not think the worse on her family and friends. It wouldn't be long before they'd be busy but for that moment, they had time to relax, and to prepare together.


Date: 06-07-11
Poster: Matoskah
Post # 5

Kwa'yo Island

It was one of those beautiful days that he wished could be preserved in time. The sun shone brightly, hotly, over the lands as the island held a breeze off the ocean that made it bearable. The kind of day you soaked in the pools, drank plenty and lazed around after the necessary chores. Chores that were done in the cooler mornings so one could relax when it got that kind of hot. Mat was restless nonetheless as he soaked in one of the hidden pools. Hidden amongst flowering foliage, trees, boulders and ground. Too hot for the usual annoying insects even. Still, it is too perfect his mind kept nagging. Figuring it was the situations of both Patwin and Kuwan that nagged, he was up out of his leisure to head to the only large mountain the island had. To the very top he went, half naked and eventually naked as he embraced the sky from this point. It was his way of respecting, surrendering to the greater powers that were felt all around him. He breathed them in with the rising of his arms and there was something in the air that made him go on the alert. Perfection this day would come with a cost. That's when he saw it, the approaching darkness that was coming so swiftly he barely had time to don the loin cloth and run as fast as he could down the mountainside towards their village.

There had been a reason that Yas had not gone to the city to work. He couldn't explain beyond the fact that he just felt he should remain on the island. Maybe it was the heaviness in the air or the fact he didn't feel ready to return to the mainland. In reality, he wouldn't try to explain. Instead he set to repairing canoes that had been damaged over the winter, replacing the bark carefully and making sure to spread any place where the bark overlaid with sap to waterproof. He talked to some of the youngsters as he worked, showing them what he was doing. Kali had left the village a short time before to check on some traps that had been placed in the water for fish and he had spoken to her before she left. He swiped at a persistent fly then looked up at the sky. From where he was, all he could see was blue and a few scattered clouds.

Delsey had not expected to see Kali when he looked up from the hemp he twisted tight into a string, and he watched her with the traps while his fingers worked in an unconscious effort to create the string that would attach to the bows. If he felt anything at all beside pleasure in spying on his sister's chores, he didn't let on, except for an occasional deep breath of preparation and the flicker of dark gaze to the sky that stretched out over the big water. A candle was lit and danced in the rising breeze where it sat on a nearby rock. Delsey dipped his finger tips into the melted wax and smeared it along the string, watching his work, watching his sister, watching the sky. All so casually. The candle's flame blew out and that's where his gaze rested for a while longer. A nod of acceptance, then he gathered his things, walking toward his sister and her chores.
"Kali..." But his words ceased as he looked up and saw Mat racing down the side of the mountain. "We should head back to the village. Leave the rest for later." The wind had picked up, the trees swaying with the movement of air.

Mat had never ran so fast that he could hardly get out the words for the need of his lungs wanting to bring in air. "Storm is coming. Angry one," which he got quizzical looks being the sun was shining and hardly a cloud in the sky. He pointed to the southeast and if one look closely they would see the darkness growing at an alarming rate. The breeze had picked up some as one front pushed at another but it was nothing compared to the wind and rain that was coming their way. "Great storm as years ago." So they had a reference of one that had taken lives and destroyed almost everything they had. "Go to the caves." There were some not believing as always it would be and there were some not present who were out doing this or that. He was quick into his and Yas wigwam to see if he was around and to grab some personal things he stuffed into a bag. His actions spoke more than his words as some of the others started to worry and do as he did.

Yas was on the coastal side of the island but he could feel the change in the air and quickly put the canoes onto the shore, upside down. They might survive though he didn't know yet of the severity of the storm that was about to crash down upon them. He sent the youngsters scrambling back for the village and followed, just in time to see the preparations begun. That was when he looked toward the waters. He headed for the tent wigwam first, to see what he could gather and found Mat there.

Kali smiled when she saw Delsey but kept working. She noticed the wind picking up but it wasn't until her brother came to her that she stopped. There wouldn't be much time but she still went to the wigwam after checking on their parents and gathered what she could. It didn't take long before she was back out, helping their mother toward the caves. She looked around for Delsey and the twins as they hurried away from the village.

With their parents safely in the custody of Kali, Delsey moved through the village helping others gather and collect. He didn't have a lot, just his pipe, and that was always with him and then those few clothes that he had purchased since arriving. As the people hurried on toward the caves, Delsey looked back to the darkening sky. His hair whipped and tangled in the growing wind so that even grabbing it in his fist didn't keep thick strands from being jerked free again. He shot a glance back to the people as they filed into the protection and safety of the deep caves. The animals were shepherded in as well, skittish and nervous with the change in atmosphere and energy. It was then, as he looked at his people, at the animals, that he sucked in a strangled gasp of concern. The Others! "Matoskah! Yaskitchi!" Delsey offered one last look to the dark sky, large drops starting to pellet the earth, then threw the bundle of clothing under his arm to the ground and took off in a run toward the path that would lead away from safety and to the Others.

Mat gave a quick smile to his brother but his brow was marred with more than worry. "A great storm comes. Fast." He was already moving back out of the wigwam. "The huts will not hold against this one. The caves are our best recourse." A number of the younger braves wanted to help so a few were sent to get anyone long the shores or put out the word to anyone knowing the where about of others. The wind was already picking up in spite of the sun still shining like there was not a care in the world. The angle had it so but now the darkening horizon was noticed by all. As the minutes ticked away, it seemed to grow faster and faster. In the beginning one might think they had time but there was the deception of a few hours. The had more like thirty minutes left at best. As the sky grew dark, it finally shut out the sun, the last rays causing a surreal scene having the tops of the palm trees, near bent over in half, light up as if on fire.. so was the cast of anything the rays hit. The rains came heavy to start where one could slip for how fast it layered the earth. Most were being herded as well live stock and what they could gather. The necessity finally dawned on even the most stubborn. All were moving towards the cave. Mat more like the shepherd behind making sure they kept moving and assisting where necessary. It was then he noticed Delsey on the run. "You go the wrong way brother!"

"I see and agree." The caves spoken of faced the coastal side of the island, out of the winds. He glanced back at the village, frowning and noticed a pup left behind. Moving back to scoop it up, he looked at the sky again, and shook his head. So little time. He joined his brother just as Delsey was seen running toward them.

Kali began to see that everyone was settled in the cave, comforting where she could but when she heard Delsey, she nearly started after him. A hand on her arm stopped her and she smiled at her mother, patting her hand. Then she continued as she had been though she kept glancing toward the mouth of the cave. Several of the braves stood there, watching for any stragglers who might need help.

"The Others!" He shouted into the wind, his words slamming back at him with the force of the angry air. He couldn't wait to see if he was heard, he slipped through the growing layer of water on the ground that fell harder, faster than the earth could absorb it. With the gale against him, he struggled to press forward, grabbing hold of a tree when needed to keep from losing ground.

He understood, although Mat had been set on saving all in their village, he had forgotten about the Others. May the Spirits forgive him. One look to Yas as he ushered a young brave in his position and then took after Delsey. He would need help in this matter. Uncertain how those creatures would react to them for starters. He was also pleading with the Spirits to keep all safe but dread surrounded him no matter.

They didn't think Yas would remain behind, did they? The pup was handed over to the brave and then he too was running after his brothers. Trees were swaying, some bending dangerously and branches had begun to take to the air. He could barely see for the wind and rain and was uncertain if they were even going in the right direction, but he pressed on, ducking when he heard a crack behind him. He began to fear they'd be swept away in the wind but they could not stop, not now. A deer ran in front of him, eyes wide with panic and he whispered a prayer for the animals on the island. Many would be gone when the storm passed but hopefully many more would survive.

With an arm to shield his way and his sight, Delsey peered through the rain that streamed down his face and plastered his hair to his jaw and brow. Sheets of it poured down on them as they made their way as quickly as they could to the manor. The door was open, the windows as well, and the rain streamed in with the invitation. The braves did the same, Delsey skidding in along with the stream of water that battered them from behind. There were no creatures to be seen. He swiped his hand over his face and gave it a snap to shake off the water. "Where are they?"

There were a few times he started slipping as the ground became a sheen of water, whether it was dirt turning to mud or the grass becoming slick. A large branch blew by them, at first he blinked stopping dead in his tracks as it whizzed by. Next second he continued going with his brothers as they all looked out for the other. The outside grounds were void of the Others too as going inside the manor was their reasonable choice. He worried on how they could get them all herded into a cave, communicating with them might not be as easy as with their People. The three of them looked like drowned rats. "Do you think they found shelter?" They had been on this island a long time and may have known when such a storm as this would hit, what it would do and where they could go.

The rain fell hard enough to sting bare skin and as they reached the manor, hail fell from the sky, loudly clattering against wood and metal. Outside the windows, branches whipped by and it was growing darker. Yas could not remember hearing such a fearsome noise. "They must have, or else they're somewhere in this house." He looked upward after brushing his hair back. "I don't know if the roof is going to hold." He thought of their father's house and looked at his brothers. "Maybe there's a wine cellar?" And as he asked, a shutter was ripped from one of the windows.

Delsey cringed and practically ducked at the sound of the shutter being torn from the house, slamming against a pillar as it sailed through the air. He wasn't sure they should go below ground level, with the chance of rising water, but anything had to be better than standing here, waiting for the raging wind to yank them out or up or wherever! "Let's find the way down then!" He had his arm bent and over his head as a portion of ceiling crumbled and fell down to the floor. "Fast!"

"The ground is high enough here." Maybe more instinct that it was than knowing for a fact through scientific means. Glass was starting to shatter, more shutters ripped off as well the door went sailing away and that was by far a more heavier structure. Wind was starting to tear though the manor like a hut made of straw. He was on his way dashing through rooms to find any door that would lead them down under. A few doors thrown open that only led to another room or even a large closet. It was from the kitchen area that he found what they were looking for. Pots and pans scattered about the room as another went sailing by... Mat cursed under his breath as he ducked, even ploughed into Delsey or it would have made contact with the back of his head. Instead it hit the wall and fell straight down from there.

They had to stick together, as hard as it was and he brought up the rear, cringing as another window shattered close by. He could feel the sting of the shattered glass but ignored it and kept his arm up to protect his face. And it seemed finally they had found the way down! "Move, move!" He wasn't sure either could hear him but he shouted it out anyway.

Delsey heard Yas and he thought that shout to move was meant as a move out of the way, but he couldn't, just as he was about to step aside, Mat was crashing into him. The sound that followed was enough to keep him from losing his concentration. Squaaaaaaaaack! A sweep of arm had Mat shoved to the side and there it was, large wing span flapping against the wind that now circled the room from the broken windows. The human head sporting that long beak on a heron-type body jerked to the side to indicate that they follow. Objects sailed in a dangerous collision course all around the room. Did they have a choice? Delsey bolted forward, the birdman spinning to take to the staircase that wound below ground. At least one Brave hot on its feathered tail.

Mat scrambled to his feet as Del pushed him aside.. although he was already rolling there and up. The bird creature had him blink for at first he thought it was one of the forest spirits coming to aid them. Regardless, the flying objects blended with near blinding wind and rain at this time left it no question to follow the bird. Birdman. At least it wasn't a chicken this time. The three were like one, pushed forward and downwards, the door bolted behind them in an attempt to keep it attached to its hinges.

That sound could be heard over the noise of the storm and that in itself was impressive. Yas didn't have a moment to consider what it was. It was offering them a way down and out of the wind. He was down after his brothers, not stopping as the door closed behind them. There were torches to light the way and as soon as the door closed, the sound died to a low, constant roar. Now they needed to hope the house didn't fall down on top of them, causing the floors to buckle.

Back at the cave, Kali watched anxiously as the last stragglers came in. She moved closer to the mouth, worry on her face as she tried to peer out through the sheets of rain. A few smaller animals came in, their fear of humans not as great as that of the storm but still there was no sign of her brother or the twins. "They're still out in this," She told Milap as the Elder approached. "Trust in their skills, Kali, as always. The Tsvsgino have survived much worse." He told her, including her brother with the nickname. They watched as the braves piled sand and rocks in the mouth of the cave to keep the water and growing wind out. Just as she was about to speak, a great tree fell in front of the cave, forming an even more effective wall. "It seems the Spirits have given a sign, Grandfather." She smiled, using the title as a sign of respect. "They will be well, as will we."

Thankfully, none of that occurred to Delsey! What could occur to him once they entered into the underground room, packed full of interesting species? He paused only a moment when his eyes adjusted and he began to see who/what shared the safety of this haven with them. The birdman bobbed his way with those long spindly legs through the mass of creatures, leaving a path for the braves to follow. Delsey did, he followed, meeting the eyes of each as he passed them, offering them a nod of greeting, of thanks for the shelter. The crashing above was muffled but still heard and several of the creatures had paws or hands or the combination of both pressed to their ears to block out the sound.


Date: 06-08-11
Poster: Yaskitchi
Post # 6

Kwa'yo Island 2

Discovery came, as being so enclosed for the storm raging outside, that had Mat restless and pacing as he wandered through the clutter of strange half humans. They were a few generations old so not the originals and some had merged into a new species all its own. This could be seen. Most could talk but it seemed they also had their own language. Some of tones, some of hand motion and body language. One species seemed to communicate the most by eye contact. He could only suspect they conversed mentally not in words but thoughts. There was crashing above them that him crouch at times and many of the species reacted near the same. Some of the younger and some of the older, whimpered, cowered and hid as much as they could. It was a threatening feeling with no escape nor being able to see your enemy face to face. That's when he noticed a door behind a stack of boxes. Boxes that were now being removed and placed out of the way so he could get at it.

Patience had become a large part of Yas' nature of late and he would show it now. He couldn't speak his thanks but like Delsey made eye contact or nodded. Those who cowered in fear were studied but not in a manner that would seem hostile. He hoped he could convey assurance with just a look since he didn't want to make any move that might frighten them more. He took a moment to study the ceiling and found no damage so far. A glance in Mat's direction had a brow lifting and then he was making his way over to his twin.

Delsey hummed softly to himself, but the sound of the rhythmic, unspoken melody seemed to soothe some of the older creatures that had lived through previous storms before. In groups they began to gather around the three, curious about the newcomers and what they were doing. Delsey watched as Mat cleared a way to another door, he couldn't get through the gathering to help, so continued to hum a song of their ancestry and watched.

He noticed the looks his way with such curiosity it inspired him to state his reasoning even if they might think him mad with no proof. "I feel the door we came through is now block with debris and we would be trap..." words were already out when he realized it might put some in fear or try the bolted door. He shook his head as if answering all their thoughts. "It is always good to have two ways out.." leaving it at that with a glance spared between his brother and Delsey before he proceeded to open the door. Unfortunately it was not going to open so readily than having found it.

Mat had caught his mistake but not before some heard it and Yas grimaced. One let out a wail but was shushed by others. "Is it metal?" He was closer than Delsey but didn't want to push through the few that stood between himself and Mat. A glance over his shoulder had him checking on Delsey and smiling slightly. He had found a way to sooth some and that helped greatly. One of the Others moved out of Yas' way, allowing him to join Mat and to try to help open the door.

"Wait, don't open it yet..." Delsey offered over, his voice just as soothing as his tune had been. He wasn't sure they could be understood, and he didn't want his tone of voice to raise an alarm that would send the Others into a panic. If that door did lead outside, the storm might suck Mat, or any of those near out. For now, it was best left closed. For now, they were safe where they were.

Except Mat had a good idea of where they were underground and where there could possibly be any outlet. He shook his head as Delsey came closer. His tone kept mild and low. "It is another room," but there was more as he leaned in to place his ear against the door. Not that he really needed to do that for his insight but it looked good and he knew it would be more convincing. "There is a tunnel from the room."

"Is it possible to open it then?" He frowned slightly as he looked from Delsey to Mat. "How can you be so certain?" True, there didn't seem to be any sounds of wind beyond it but the door was likely thick. The winds above sounded as if they were picking up. Definitely not good. A crash could also be heard. The roof? "We may not have a choice." He too, kept his voice calm, and as soothing as possible. They didn't want to cause a panic without speaking a word that could be understood.

What could Delsey do? They all had to wait to see if the door could be opened and hopefully Mat's ear had told him true! The crash above had several of the Others whimpering, cowering, bumping into one another in the beginnings of a nervous shuffle. If Mat thought this would lead them to safer quarters, they needed to move. Already there were thunks above their heads where large portions of the house were caving in to the force of the storm outside.

There was also dirt to dislodge for the force of something that had fallen above. Probably not as bad as their imaginations would have it and not being able to see. Still far better they were beneath the ground than above. He took out his knife and started prying between door and lock to loose what probably had rusted over the years or just not being used. Finally it gave way and he carefully eased it open, the door inched into the room beyond. They were greeted with dust and stale air. This was a room that might have a vague remembrance to some of the older Species or Others. It was one of the laboratories. Broken bottles on the ground, dust covered tables of thick wood and beyond there was a tunnel that led downward.

Yas turned to try to calm the Others, shhhing and holding up his hands. It was nearly impossible but he felt bad that they were in such a state. "We'll need torches." He said, looking around and finding wood that would suit. There were rags to use to wrap around them but they'd probably burn quickly. Once he had a few prepared, he stepped just inside the door and used flint and steel to start a small fire, one that could be put out quickly if the Others were afraid of fire. The air was thick with dust, and he sneezed once, but luckily the fire stayed lit. Torches were offered to his brothers. "Try to get them to come in without panicking." If that was possible.

There was a wave of motion forward, they wouldn't have to try hard. The younger ones were eager to be out of this area and into what may be safer. In doing so, they set up a chain reaction of bodies in motion. Forward! Delsey reached over the shoulder of one of the creatures in front of him and took the offered torch. If they lived through this, they would have tales to tell their children for generations.

Luckily the room they entered, although littered as if there had been a battle, was three times larger than the one they had been in. The one they had been in seemed more of a antechamber to this one. Probably a guard or two posted by the locked door. Obviously the locks had been long unused for they were a few on the inner side of the door that were not in place. While the others move in and giving more room to settle them, Mat was more interested in the tunnel and headed there.

As they moved inside, the sounds from above diminished some. It seemed the ceiling above was thicker than that of the other room. He watched Mat a moment then moved around the room to light any torches that still might be on the walls. Glass crunched beneath moccasins and he glanced back, hoping no one cut their feet. The torches sputtered and smoked but gave enough light to keep anyone afraid of the dark from becoming more afraid. He glanced at Delsey and shrugged slightly. It was the best he could do. He then turned to see if Mat had gone into the tunnel or was just checking the entrance.

The birdman collected a broom and had wrapped the tips of his wings around the handle, starting to sweep the glass into a pile. All any of them could do was the best they could do and at the moment, that was very little. "Watch your steps." He spoke to the gathering, and though they may not understand, they seemed to do just that. Perhaps they could! They just couldn't communicate back.

Mat had disappeared into the tunnel to see where it would go, it grew narrower then opened up again by the time he reached a natural underground cavern. One with fresh water that seeped up through the rock that had a few splits in it, forming a small pond. He crouched down to dip his fingers it then brought it up to sniff. Once it passed the sniff test, he touched the tip of his tongue to the moisture. It was safe. He cupped his hands and took a real drink. Although there was plenty of water raining down from the sky, it was not the kind to quench one's thirst. Now it was sated. He followed the tunnel further that he discovered led out to a cove along the shore. The storm still rage but he felt it was near finishing. Still, the sea would be dangerous for a while being so stirred up. There was another chamber leading off from where he halted to listen, although he didn't follow it, instinct told him it would lead above ground. The air coming down in gusts from even the distance held the scent of foliage. He was around heading back to tell his brothers of his discovery.

He gave Delsey a quick grin, pleased that it seemed they were understood after all. When he saw Mat was gone, he moved to the cave entrance and waited. The torch in his hand sputtered but didn't go out. There was air moving through the tunnel though not swift or in amounts large enough to clear out the dustier air of the room. If Mat didn't return soon, he'd be moving into the tunnel himself. The Others set to cleaning up, making places where they could rest and wait out the storm, careful of the broken glass.

Delsey turned to the side, inching his way past the Others to Yas. Just as he got there, Mat was returning. Delsey offered over an uplift of chin in question to the returning Shaman.

He was quick to his brothers, maneuvering around the others with a slight nod here and there. The three were watched, some out of curiosity and some out of suspicion. He noted the wary looks, the kind that could become dangerous as their situation changed and certain alpha males decided to claim their territory again. Once to the two, he told of his findings and that certain males were becoming restless, the latter in their native tongue.

Fresh water and a cavern with a tunnel that led out. "That would seem to be the best way for us to go then." He took note of the males but ignored them for now instead choosing to speak to the bird man who had originally led them to shelter. "There's a cavern below, with fresh water, and a way out once the storm has passed." He didn't wait to see if any followed by motioned for Mat to lead the way. They didn't have time for foolishness now. The males could try to retake their positions later.

While Yas and Mat spoke, Delsey dipped his head, feeling out the energies that swirled through the room. When Yas addressed the Birdman, Delsey glanced there. "Guide yours below, follow these men." Delsey would stay behind to make sure they all followed.

That would be a task in and of itself especially amongst the males. The females were noticing them and probably what got their territorial instincts up. It was not a case of the three noticing the females but some of them looked more human than whatever they had been blended with. Mat made sure not to take notice and led the others down to where he'd been. Most gravitated to the pond of water to quench their thirst. He moved towards the tunnel, putting distance between himself and those with that look in their eyes.

Yas had learned to ignore looks when he had been on the docks. No eye contact, no touching. He stopped at the entrance to the cave, watching as each came through. A glance was sent in Mat's direction though he was certain when the storm ended, his twin would say so. Then again, the three of them could move closer to the exit if necessary. He would remain where he was until Delsey joined them, knowing all were below. Hopefully the storm wouldn't last so long that they all became hungry. That in itself could cause fighting among them. He smiled at a young male who came to stand beside him, peering into the tunnel with open curiosity. This one would be an explorer, one who might come to visit in time.

When the last one hopped through the door, Delsey turned and closed the entrance behind him, sealing out the noise of the storm even further. There was hissing, and growling and grunts and snorts, a communication of sorts that none of the Indians understood. They were at the disadvantage. What was said between the three could be understood, what was said about the three...could not.

Whether they realized it or not with all that went on, a few hours had passed by this time. Mat was listening to the wind that came in through the tunnel. He felt one of the females starting to draw near and so he moved away, further into the tunnel which had her back off. Luckily she was scared enough not to follow into the unknown. It prevented misunderstandings. He was back a few minutes later, "it is over but there is great damage. You will need to be careful. It still rains." But it was normal rain at this point and might continue throughout the night.

He could only imagine the damage to the manor house. It might be something that would need the attention of the crown but first things first. They needed to see how their own people fared and what remained of the camp. The crops too, but they were in a somewhat sheltered valley on the island so he could hope all was well. He looked at the Birdman. "If you have need of our help, you only need send word." A promise made and one that would be kept. He looked at his brothers before sticking the torch into the ground. Some of the Others had built a fire. They would have to seek out food soon but there was likely plenty strewn about. He started for the tunnel, letting instinct guide him through the darkness and out. And what he saw took his breath away. Trees were gone, rocks moved, and the water was still very rough. There was even the ruins of a small skiff resting against a rock.

Delsey snuffed out his torch, moving for the last time through the crowd to depart. He offered a nod, a smile, there really wasn't anything else to say after Yas' promise. He offered the Birdman a pat on the shoulder and continued on until he was outside. His gaze swept over the damage, and his thoughts flew on mighty wings to his family, both of blood and of clan, hiding away in that cave.

They would have need of their help as well from the Crown. The manor still stood for the foundation was strong. Part of the roof was gone. Almost all the windows, doors and furniture blown around. One inner wall had collapsed in against the door they had gone through and blocked it. Had Mat not found another way out of the underground rooms, they would have been trapped there. He gave a respectful bow of his head to the Birdman, who seemed to be the leader of these Species although each race seemed to have one that led too, they all respected the Birdman. One glance was spared his brothers and not the woman trying to get closer again. He was swiftly moving into the tunnel and away as it led upwards. The Birdman could take his people through once he felt they were ready. "Make haste," like he needed to say that to Yas and Delsey as he was as quick as a buck leaping over fallen branches and even trees. The rain didn't bother him any, nor did he slip even when vaulting over a larger tree trunk in his straight and narrow path towards the cave where their People still huddled.

He shook his head to clear it when he heard Mat and without a word, started after him. Running wasn't a problem for any of them, it was the changes in the landscape though again, instinct came into play. His mind was taking note of the changes, and of things he would need to remember later but all that matter was the People. As they neared the cave, they could see the large fir that had fallen before the mouth. "Father! Kali! Kirma!" He called out and was relieved to hear an answer. Some of the braves were already working at moving the tree. Yas looked around and found a smaller tree that could be used as a lever once the branches were removed and a log to use as a fulcrum. It would take all three of them to lift and the braves to push to move it at all.

Kali had been busy calming everyone she could and they had even managed to gather a bit of food from some of the women who had thought to bring it. She was still worrying about Delsey and the twins but wouldn't allow anyone to see how afraid she was. When she heard Yas, she laughed and hugged her mother. "We're fine!" Others answered as well, and soon they were preparing to leave the cave though it might serve as their home until the camp was seen to.

We're fine. That's all Delsey had to hear. He breathed a sigh of relief and set his back to helping move that tree. The rain made it difficult and a couple of times the pseudo lever slipped from its nesting spot and they had to start all over again. But with determination came success. And these were a determined people, if nothing else.

Mat was also let out a breath in relief. Perhaps in unison with his brothers before he was helping them with the smaller tree leverage. All three finally managed to get that huge tree moved enough the others could get out. It seemed none were missing and none hurt although shook up. It was probably the worse storm they had ever seen and it would be woven into tales around the campfire for decades to come.


Date: 06-12-11
Poster: Lahoneee
Post # 7

Heathfield Castle

The day had started as many days did during summer in Heathfield. The sun rose to those who protected Heathfield going about their duties or training on the field, the royals going about their duties, the people waking to their daily routines. Children were helping their parents or planning a day of fishing, summer and other pursuits and all was as it should be. Bannon had completed his morning of training had done some training on the Gauntlet, and had been speaking to some of the city guard who were posted at the gates. It was the reason he was one of the first to see five guards in a mad rush toward those same gates. He was also first to greet them and quickly ushered them toward the castle. First to find the King and Queen with the news, then the young knight would do whatever he was ordered to do to prepare.

It was a gorgeous, albeit humid, morning that found the Queen of the lands first in the solarium with all the high windows open so the birds could fly freely between the indoors and outdoors. She knew Karl would be a few more hours training with the men, including the four horsemen. Where Karl went, they went. A secretive smile couldn't be help for a thought, or more a plan, as she ventured next to the gardens along with the royal gardeners to go over the choice of rose bushes that would bloom throughout the summer as well as other plants and where best suited. Some new ideas introduced for the platform still erected in the back they had held summer affairs upon that included dancing. She would measure the time to arrive where she could watch a bare chested and sweaty Karl from the ramparts. Admire him from afar along with a lady in waiting who was admiring a few of the horsemen. Honeee had only eyes for one and such thoughts that might make an afternoon delight once Karl was back to their chambers to change. He would find his wife waiting for him or so the plan. Murphy liked to play with plans or was it Fickle Fate, perhaps the two were in cohoots for what was coming their way. Presently she was back in the castle with the head cook as he approached with the menus for the week. It was a routine and little had to be ever changed he was that proficient.

Only two of the Four were on the field with the Black Griffon, watching the younger knights still at their training. The other two, Dana and Lazare had traveled as far as the McCullen Vineyards when they both seemed to react at the same time, jerking their horses around and looking back in the direction they had just traveled from. They looked at each other, and without another word, they heeled their horses into a hard pace back toward Heathfield. Wind and Water, the two elements that were angriest at present. And they both felt the surge of it through their systems as if they were themselves bringing that tempest into play. Flattened to the necks of their mounts, the horse's attempted to give the pace that was demanded of them. Huffing, panting, grunting as they sped in a return to the castle, man and animal. They charged the field, sending men scrambling to get out of their way and then running after them to see what the hurry was. Dana didn't even slow his horse, but slid off it in a full run when he came up next to Karl, Trevor and Vincent. Those three had started back to the castle to clean up but heard the shouts, the thunder of hooves, and had turned back to look. Lazare's horse, mouth slathered with foam from the merciless drive, cut the air with its front hooves when its rider jerked it to a halt next to the King and his comrades. "What?" Karl looked between both men, then toward the castle. Whatever it was would prove dire enough to deter Carno and de Vimeure from their trip to Luneberg, and that would need Honeee's attention as well. "Breathe another time...out with it." Vincent growled, watching as both of his comrades bent over to gasp for their breath to speak. And ... the dark clouds started to roll in. Which had nothing to do with any of them on the field!

It was to the Queen that Bannon and the five men were sent, searching her out until they found her with the head cook. All six went down on one knee, Bannon speaking out apologetically. "Your Majesty, forgive the intrusion but these men come from the coast where the Lighthouse is. There is a storm, unlike any Heathfield has seen for many years, coming inland. They were barely ahead of it." He looked up at the Queen, awaiting her orders, keeping his own fear at bay.

Many bowed to her as the Cook gave a few quick nods with the suggestions made. Not so much because she was Queen and could have it any way she wanted, it was because he agreed. He startled when the men came rushing in but quickly bowed and excused himself so Honeee could see to the urgency. Instincts were put on the alert, something had been not quite right on such a perfect day and this occurrence only confirmed it as well Sir Bannon's words. She looked over the six as she gestured with her hand for them to rise while speaking. "Have you contacted my husband?" Sure she could have said the King but stating it such was more the rightful claim and she liked saying it! The castle was already staring to buzz as she ordered the six Guards to warn everyone, then a few others to close and shutter all the windows in the castle. Word to spread to make preparations for a hurricane.

Carno shot Vincent a look that all but said, shut up, which caused the Dragon to narrow his gaze, but he said no more. "There's a bad storm coming, My Liege...even now." Lazare managed to gasp out, standing fully erect as he finished. "Aye, we both felt it, at the same time." Dana chimed in, shifting his gaze from the King beyond his shoulder to where the storm clouds were rolling in. Thunder joined in with their comments. Karl didn't need more said, to have these two change direction to return at such a breathless pace, said enough. "You!" He started running toward the castle, pointing at several of the knights in the process. "Send out word to prepare for the storm. No disputes. Everyone takes cover!" Vincent crossed over to his comrades and slipped an arm under each, helping to support them as they all started for the castle. "Stable the horses and secure the tack! Everyone out of the stables!" Karl continued to shout, men darting off in every direction. Just as he reached the door of the castle, he turned to the Four. "By God, if you're able to help..." "Yes." Dana nodded to the Black Griffon. "We will do as we're able, My Liege." Lazare added, looking to Dana with a head dip of agreement. Karl stood a moment more, looking them over, then continued inside, this time not so much a run as long, purposeful strides in search of his wife. "I'll be but a few." Vincent slapped a hand to Trevor's back, offered a look to each of his brothers in arms, then was gone within to seek out his own family, and prepare them.

"Not yet, Your Majesty." He said as he stood adding, "But I believe I saw Sir Dana and Lazare riding toward the training grounds as we came into the castle." He nodded at the order then headed out for the commons. Though people were scattering and preparing for a storm, they needed to be warned to seek better shelter then doorways. He spoke to any city guard that he found and soon they had spread out through the city and down to the docks. He headed for the Thistle to tell Alex and Hazel himself, only to find they were already shuttering windows along with the maids and Matthew. As he ran outside, he spotted a little girl holding a puppy and crying. Instead of trying to find her parents, he scooped her up, and rode back to the castle. She could take shelter there and they'd find her after. He turned her over to a maid before running back to the barracks to see where he should go next.

First it was the winds that came along with the waves crashing against the cliffs. The spray high enough to reach the tops staining against stone walls. By this time most were being alerted in a pyramid effect. Honeee lifted her skirts just enough to allow her to move faster, run, to find her husband. She entered the great hall just as he entered the other end. It didn't stop her rush to him as she released the material gathered in her hands. "Can you feel it? The energy? This is not just a mere storm but something far greater yet still of nature." There had been such a Blizzard once but there had been more than the ferocity of nature behind that one. "We must prepare the great halls," being there were a few of them, "set up for emergencies and the People of simple dwellings." Knowing they might be torn from their foundations. "Even the hospital and Orphanage are at risk."

Karl caught Honeee up in the sweep of an arm, pulling her closer to him. He couldn't feel the energy as she could, only knew from experience a need for preparation, a reason for alarm. "Have the nannies bring the children down. Is Rina here? Tykir? See that they're gathered together to ease your mind, Honeee. We'll prepare for the worst and pray for far less." Although from what he could gather from the state of his two men, the worst was what they would get unless the Four of them could manage to waylay a good part of it. "Andrew will surely join in...the people will need to hunker down. This too shall pass." He took a moment to press a kiss, hard and demanding, to her lips. Doubt, concern, promise, hope, all mingling and tangling in his mind, and expressed in that kiss...with his devotion to family and country...and the deepest of loves for the woman in his arms. He broke away, motioning to a maid to join Honeee as he started back outside to join his men.

By the time he started for the barracks, he realized people were starting to come through the gates. The wind was picking up and it was becoming a struggle for many. He was over to help those he could and in the process, was asked by a couple about their young daughter. It was with a great sense of relief he sent them inside to the youngster he had left. He wouldn't know until after if that had been the right child. He looked toward the castle, then out toward the city. There were plenty to help inside but out there? Decision made, he did return to the barracks, only to seek out his friends. They could go help in the city, as long as no one stopped them.

Her arms slid naturally about his waist in a way the staff, guards, and others about have seen the King and Queen thus. Nothing overly in public yet not so restraint that anyone questioned the love the two held for each other. "Rina was in the solarium, Carlton and Lydia in the playroom." Which they had been brought in after a day out in the sun so they got some relief and not burn. "Tykir went to see a lass that works at the Hollow Woods mercantile." Concern touched upon ocean blue eyes with the last. Tykir seemed to be getting into a few situations of late. Testing Fate? She was not sure but seemed more to his gender too. Rina got into enough as well but not quite as much as Tykir. Although she hesitated on that thought then wiped it out with the kiss to go any further. Mind sear, and he was met with such promises, determination, that would leave his lips to tingle until they met up later. The love poured then drawn away as duty needed their attention immediately. "I will see you shortly," for time would speed by with all that needed to be done in a rush. She would see to the staff as she turned to do just that.

It was at that moment that Andrew appeared only to touch a hand to his mother's shoulder. Piercing blue eyes upon the King's back as he went to see to his men. "The four are called to this task, one of nature's call that will have its day. Although the day does not need to go as bad as it could." Drawing the glance back from the retreating form to his mother. "I will do what I am allowed to ensure that." With a slight nod he disappeared from the spot in a way none would have noticed him appearing nor leaving. He had his wife to see, his children made safe then the walk along the astral planes to lessen the severity over the lands. One that would enhance the Four's work in this matter.

As Vincent moved away as well Lazare and Dana, so did Trevor. He had a son to see to and decided if enough time, he would be brought here. He had another duty as each knew their part and so once outside the castle wall, leading his horse there, he crouched down to set his hand upon the earth sending a tremor of warning to all that held root to tighten their hold and not be uprooted. Once done a if a wave sped over grass and weed alike, he mounted up and into a gallop for he would be needed back here once he saw to his son. For now, it would be Dana and Lazare, though the power of the two were reinforced by the strength of the whole. The initial wind that whipped and tore at castle, landscape and straggler was met with a gusting push in return. Bringing the force of it higher, off of the ground, pushing up, up, up so that only the treetops jerked from side to side, leaves and higher branches breaking free and flying into the air. An offensive current curved over the land from thoroughfare to hospital, directing the majority of the wind upward and over, leaving what made it through to push with frustration against the men that threatened its course and any that had not sought shelter. Karl rushed out, caught by a blast of wind, and shot a look around for his men. Seeing Lazare already engaged, and Dana's intent to begin, he took off in a dash toward the gates to make sure anyone on the road could make it in before they closed them tight against the squall headed their way.

Honeee would soon have help in the form of her daughter by marriage. Once Andrew had spoken to her, and they had seen their children to safety with their young aunt and uncle, Noir sought out the Queen to give her aid where needed. "Henna is at the orphanage," she told the Queen so she would know the whereabouts of her daughter. Then she and the Lady Knights of the Order of Athena set to settling those who were coming in and seeing to their comfort.

"Then word has been sent to her." She knew her daughter would bring the children here if necessary and if she had time. She set off with Noirin to see to others and aid where they could. Also answer a lot of questions that would come pouring in.

By the time the King reached the gates, the small group of young men were also there. They each saluted the King with fist to chest, leaving Bannon to be their spokesman. "Permission to go out and aid any who need it in the city, Sire." What Bannon really wanted to do was go look for Tykir but he had no idea where the Dark Prince was. Had the King not been there, they would have gone right out. The city guard had found many at the docks preparing to move to higher ground as the waves had begun to splash over docks and seawalls, a warning of the bad weather to come.

As Honeee and Noirin appeared in the great hall to help direct others, Peter showed up with his men. "Your majesty," bowing his head for his own position yet respectful. "I and my men will ride out to the orphanage and be of service there." He was well aware Henna would be dealing with a number of children in keeping them safe and although the building was solid, one never knew how it would hold up under the wrath of Nature. He also had seen Karl, stopped to greet his comrade and friend in a quick and sure manner before entering the castle and offering his service where it would be most useful.

Trevor was back with his young son which he secured away into the castle with the other royal children before steps had him by his King's side in no time at all to continue to do what he could. "Go!" Karl jerked off a nod to Bannon, his gaze moving from the lads over to the expanse of grounds beyond. The rain had come, beating down on anyone outside, even with de Vimeure's force against it. Karl could only imagine the pounding Heathfield would have taken without that aide because the blasts of deluge hitting him nearly sent him to his knees. "Close these gates!" He shouted up to the guards braced against the storm. "Send anyone else to the North gates!" The walls would help to protect any travelers and then they could enter with less of the pounding to him. The greeting with Peter had been brief, both knowing what was needed of them, but Karl was relieved to see his friend, and knew Innis would be safe enough or Peter wouldn't be here. Neither of his men looked at Karl as he strode past, both deep in concentration and the direction of their energies. Karl said nothing to them, but stood near in the rain and was soon joined by Trevor and Vincent.


Date: 06-12-11
Poster: Lahoneee 
Post # 8

The group went out at a run, breaking up into two groups. There were elderly in the city who couldn't or wouldn't leave their homes, those who were struggling against wind and rain, children who had somehow managed to become separated from their families. This would be a night of hard work for the lads and their training would not protect them from what they might see. The wind and rain made it hard to navigate through the streets but there were places they could shelter to catch their breath and move on. Bannon took a turn to move closer to the docks, watching briefly as the few ships there were battered by the wind and waves. But only for a moment. He saw a young couple struggling for shelter, the woman very pregnant and went immediately to their aid. All the while, he was praying the young woman wasn't in labor!

Trevor helped in closing the gates for the sweep of wind would have liked to tear them from their hinges. They got those through that had made it there and the rest would be directed to the north gates. Lightning streaked across the sky brightening everything below for those few seconds. Crooked fingers lashed out before the clash of thunder that followed was deafening. It was hard to tell which was worse for rains that drove in sheets soaking all in its path.

"Please, hurry, Godspeed Peter as well your men," sparing them a smile that was meant for it eased her mind that such men would be there in the aid of her daughter and the orphans. She kept a silent vigil in watching for the sight of her husband, to see him safely behind the walls once all was done that he could.

Peter turned upon his men, "Gabriel, I want you to go to the Quinn manor where your wife is and keep them safe as you can. Calhoun and Aiden, I wish you to remain here and help as you can." Knowing well their wives were here too. "Lancely, Cole, come with me." Quick with his orders as he headed out with two of his men to the orphanage. Three of them there should be plenty in aiding the princess.

Karl had just glanced up to the closing gates, and through the sliver of space left, he saw the older couple struggling through the storm. "Hold!" He shouted, the age of the two would make it too difficult to fight the gale to the back gate. By the time he made the gates, there was but a body's width left open and he wedged his way through sideways, being soaked to the skin helped, and hurried down to the pair. The man had gone down to a knee, practically dragging the woman with him as Karl skidded to a halt close by. "Can you walk, Man, if I get you to your feet? Or will you need assistance?"

"I have him." de Beauvais was there, taking the man by an elbow and hooking the elder's arm over Vincent's strong, supportive shoulder. "There's warmth within and a drying fire..." The Dragon added, rain water coursing down his face so that his words spewed out in splatters. "Pardon, Ma'am." But Karl scooped her up in his arms, using his body to shield her the best he could until they could get inside. Dana blinked past the rain, his own blast of energy taking the brunt of the storm. Lightening flashed, coursing a path from sky to ground near his feet and he cursed. He cursed Vincent, but then saw the man otherwise occupied, so with a grit of teeth he prepared for the possible repercussions of his actions. One didn't come up against nature and expect to walk away unscathed. Especially not in a storm such as this. "Blow the flippin' rain away from my face, Lazare!" Dana growled. "Cease the water from slapping me in mine!" Lazare snapped back, but both men were smiling as they set their best defenses to the horrific storm.

Thankfully, the two were able to take shelter in the Thistle since the woman could go no further. Somehow he knew that Alex and Hazel would refuse to leave there. He refused the offer of a drink and headed back out just as lightning struck nearby. One of the venerable oaks had taken a hit and fell, still on fire. It fell on a shed and set it to burning though the heavy rain would help to put it out. Still, an alarm needed to be given and once a few of the city guard took over, Bannon was off again. He had become separated from the others. That had been too close though, so it was time to proceed with a touch more caution. By then, it seemed most had found shelter and he started back toward the castle, fighting the winds and debris. He scooped up a pup that came running toward him, then another and when he heard what could only be the destruction of a nearby building instinctively protected the two animals with his body as destruction rained down.

Rina had been helping where she could but became concern on her brother which nagged at her. Once she got a moment she went outside to help, yes, more sneaking than not. She would not leave the castle grounds which included all within the outer walls. She swooshed down next to Bannon as he made his way against wind and rain. The span of her wings sent a spray but then kept the worse from one that had become friend. "Bannon, do you know where Tykir is.. went..?" Correcting herself and he could tell the concern laced in her voice.

Trevor held the gate that wished to be ripped from his hands, keeping enough space so King and the elderly couple could make their way back in with the help of Vincent. Once they were through he pulled it closed as the guards stationed there bolted all. If such along with the castle walls could not stand up against this storm, then god help them all. Not completely thwarted, this was one hellova'n attack nature-wise. But for the most part, the King's men were holding their own as best they could, steering the force of both rain and wind upward and out, until it lost the majority of its fury. It still was taking one heck of a bite out of land and life further out where  their protection could not extend though. A good part of their efforts would be post storm...and they all knew it. Karl brought the old woman in, allowing her to stand on her own only after her husband was brought up beside her. "There's a fire built within to dry off, and the Queen ... be sure to tell her I said hello." Karl smiled to the woman, reassuring her with that expression, then provided a jerk of head and both he and Vincent headed back out. Karl realized the old woman would be ecstatic to be able to speak with the Queen, but he couldn't even enjoy the thought of it. Not right now.

When the grand rooms became full, guards stationed to keep everything orderly, they opened up the grand ball room. Next would be the storage rooms below as the upper floors of the castle were evacuated. Honeee mingled through making sure everyone got settled for the duration. Luckily Hurricanes only lasted an hour or so but certainly in that time devastation could claim lives and land. Not directly over the castle though, and further out, toward the commons and toward the orphanage, the major damage could be contained.

Only Rina would dare the winds of a hurricane! He heard her but instead of answering, he shoved the puppies into her arms and tugged her down in an attempt to protect her. Where an old abandoned building, slated for tearing down, would be a lovely lot where the children could play once it was cleared. To his surprise and yes, joy!, a rafter was caught on the building across and they were both untouched, with the remains of the building enclosing them in.  He just shook his head as he looked at Rina. "You have the most uncanny luck. Tykir went riding or something with Molly. I'm sure they're both safe." He wasn't sure but tried to sound like it. "We need to get out of here and back to the castle." They'd be worrying as soon as they realized Rina wasn't where she should be. He grinned quickly at her. "He has the same luck you do, you know." Meaning Tykir.

There was a shrill noise in response to having two puppies shoved in he arms then lowered to the ground. White wings still spread in protecting them both. "Bannon," managed to be squeaked out as the temple feathers fluttered in a typical annoyance gesture. Something he may have come to recognize or not. "I wish you knew in particular, we could go after them." Right. She had the same tendency for trouble her brother had. Once the building settled she was up with a frown to mar her expression. "We need to get out of here." Turning in place to see if there was a way out.

Honeee set to talking to the various citizens in helping to reassure and calm them. Most were worried about losing everything and were assured there too that once the storm was over and the damage accounted for, they would all be helped out in the days to come if any rebuilding was needed. Most would be helping each other. She was delighted to receive the message from the elderly woman who teased her on how handsome and gallant her husband is to come to their rescue, but she proceeded to state not more handsome than Roger, her husband and how he once was strong like that. Honeee settled them in a comfortable area and saw that they had some food and drink. There were a few little children who came curiously about the two and she left them at that point to see to the others and how Noir was coming along.

Trevor was helping with debris being blown around, small branches that been strewn before he made his way to the outer castle wall that stood up against the full force of the storm. Here he placed his hands to keep it even stronger for some stones had loosen and fallen away to crash against the cliffs and ocean below. Dana had met the Eye of the storm, gaze to gaze, and watched as it passed over them in its swirling, mad fury. "Did you see that, Lazare?" He shouted to the man standing right next to him. Had to, in order to be heard past the return of wind. "It was the eye, Carno!" Lazare grunted at first, still fighting off the savage threat of vicious current. "I suppose you're going to tell me she winked at you!" He called back, the strain evident in his voice. With the eye over, another pounding of rain began, with a deep breath, Dana set back to his task, but not before he managed to get out..."Had to be me, she sure as hell wouldn't waste that wink on you!"

Oh, he knew she had been annoyed but surely she wasn't now. He bit back a chuckle then shook his head. "I know what he's doing at times, but he doesn't tell me every little thing, Rina." He studied the rubble around them then pointed to where one of the pups had disappeared. It returned, barking. "Clever lass already." He said as he got down on hands and knees. "We can make this a little larger and crawl out. Just slowly. I'm not sure how stable this is." That said, he started to work on enlarging the hole. During that time the eye passed over and it all started again. He paid little attention to the wind however. Right now, his only concern was Rina and her safety.

Hands were on her hips with a roll of her eyes in spite of their dire situation. "Right. I thought men talked about their dates and he has been on two. Got in trouble with the first one." Too innocent to know how that sounded either. "Wait," shooting a glance upwards even with the rain and wind in her face. "There is an opening," next Bannon would find her arms around his chest from behind as she started to lift upwards with the strength of her wings.

Vincent passed close by the two in full combat with Mother. "It was me." Came that low murmur of amusement, rumbling past the thundering and whining of air currents. Another jagged streak of electric shot down toward the men, but this time it was met mid descent and with sparks shooting out in a colorful display, it was stopped in mid air above the castle's ramparts. "Actually," as Vincent approached, "she was letting them know I was holding up the wall." He finished, then continued on to help Trevor in any way possible. Karl smiled to himself hearing the comments then started away, sloshing through the layer of water standing on the ground, to begin the assessment of damage within the walls.  Which came with a low chuckle. The fury of the storm finally subsided as it eased into rain. Trevor pushed up from the wall, his one hand as solid as the stone it was braced against. It gradually turned back. "Looks like we will be needed in the hours to come. I can hope that Lazare and Dana have not worn themselves out trying to shout over the wind." Obviously he'd heard them even for the distance away. Moreso for the closeness of the four. There were branches and fallen tress but not near what it could have been had it not been for the four. He rolled up the sleeves finally of the obvious expensive pristine shirt with one glance given Vincent as he headed to join their counterparts. Unless Karl had specific orders he would begin where he stood and work his way through. The Four knew what was needed from here, Karl left them to their own devices.

"He was only on one. He was just going on the second." He was hiding his grin, until she lifted him. "Rina, wait! I was nearly through and you shouldn't be flying in this wind! Especially with my added weight." If she got hurt because of him, he'd never forgive himself. "And secondly, we can't leave the pups behind in this." Aye, good excuse, Bannon. He would have been laughing if things weren't so serious however. "You sure you can fit through with both of us?" Only half giving up. Not only was the Princess a magnet for trouble, but she was stubborn once her mind was made up.

Well, she was partially up and the pups could be seen below scooting through a hole she and Bannon would never fit through. "I think they are use to surviving on their own, probably better than we." Oooo.. he was getting heavy for stopping as he rebelled. "Stop your whining Bannon or I'll tell Tykir you got goofy once off your feet." She had to start up again and move or surely they would both drop. She got them up on top of the Thistle porch roof. "I think you can manage getting down from here?" At least the wind calmed down to manageable as well the rain.

"I'm not whining." He grumbled then grinned when she landed, brushing his hair from his eyes. "Yes, I can get down. Thank you, Princess." He looked around for a moment, shaking his head. "Can you imagine the damage if it weren't for the efforts of those back at the castle." And with that he was climbing down. "Are you coming, or ignoring me and flying back?" And he waited for her answer. As he did, the two pups found him again. He already had names for them and this storm had given him an idea. He'd see them trained for search and rescue.

"Yes, they are very good at what they do." Answering his question from below as she already flew down in a second's time. Hands were on her hips but laughter in her eyes. "I'll have to think of which I am doing... ignoring you or not. We will go back but if we are only getting in the way, let's go find Tykir and make sure he is well."

He looked at Rina and smiled. "You're really worried, aren't you? I'll have to get permission. Under the circumstances and with all that's going on, I may be needed here, Rina." He set off at a run back for the castle, dodging branches and then making for the North gates. There were still some who were just arriving and would be more as the storm moved further inland. Hopefully the Prince and Molly would be among them.

She didn't want to admit it, not something tangible as she gave Bannon that look. "Aren't you?" He was suppose to be Tykir's best friend along with Rory and Charles.. but she was in a run after him with the help of her wings then to taunt him by getting ahead and walking backwards, wings moving slightly spread that she could take off or lift up and back easily.

"Of course I am." He finally showed it in his expression "And I'm sure everyone else will be as well." There would be no reason to think they couldn't search but first Bannon wanted to report to the King, and tell him of the damage he had seen. Food would be nice too!

She finally gave way with a nod for she knew it would be better if she went with a knight, a friend, in search of her brother. She turned to match his steps as they headed to see the King.


Date: 06-13-11
Poster: Henna Suex
Post # 9


Henna was bustling about the Orphanage, having received word of the hurricane that would soon come to Heathfield. The skies had gone from a bright blue to dark and threatening in a short time and she had was glad today was the day young Esther was with her family which was where she should be at this time. She had sent the elderly woman who helped, home as well, keeping Mary Beth with her. Though the children were happy with all those who helped, Henna felt Mary Beth would be the most useful. Trying to keep the children from being too frightened, Henna had them take pillows and blankets from their beds and head for the basement. It had been redone not long ago, made into a play area for those days when the children couldn't go outside. The groundskeeper was seeing to the animals outside while the handyman was closing all the shutters. He was concerned about parts of the roof which were soon to be replaced but had only mentioned his concerns to Henna. All these things were going through Henna's thoughts as she had Mary Beth take the children down to the basement. Henna was in the kitchen, gathering snacks and other necessities, trying to ignore the ever rising winds outside.

Although the Orphanage was not far from the commons and castle, it was enough of a distance away to take time for the wind and rain that beat down on the three headed there. It was hard moving forward and there were ones to help along the way before they ever arrived at the doors of the Orphanage. Peter gave the old brass knocker a few sounding thumps and hoped that someone was within that could hear it over the wind and rain, thunder as well each time the lightning split the air lighting up everything around in a eerie sort of way for those few seconds.

Lancely stayed by his king's side along with his comrade. Although he could not say he knew Cole as well as the two from his homelands, he was working on building a friendship. They were soaked to the bone as a hand smoothed over his face in a swipe to clear it of the heavy moisture. "Ever see a storm like this in your homelands?" He had gone with Aiden a few years back to help him and Gabriel resolve the situation of a vanished kingdom.

Cole had his head bent against the weather, looking up toward the door from beneath his brows. He shifted, jerking his collar up closer to his ears, but it did little good. A shake of head started his answer to Lancely. "Can't say as I have...not like this." With the next crash of thunder, he slanted a look up to the side toward the sky. He could feel the electricity, like some bristled brush scrubbed against his skin, all over his body. He moved from foot to foot, his arms crossed around his midsection, his head lowered...and a mutter of some unintelligible words except to himself for this wet delay.

She wasn't expecting visitors but the knock at the door had her pausing in her trek to the basement door. She had to place the items she was carrying down on the table beside the door before opening it. Eyes widened in surprised but she smiled. "This is a surprise and a welcome one if you've come to help. Come in quickly before things get worse." Stepping aside, she motioned them in, not worrying a bit about the water dripping from all three. "I have the children in the basement, and Mary Beth is trying to start a fire." Before she could say more two of the lads came thundering out of the basement door, running as if banshees were on their tails. They immediately began to argue and that quickly became a wrestling match "No, I ain't!" "Yes, you are!" Henna started over to try to separate them.

"It's a good reason to be here but I would have preferred it a social call, if you take such social calls.." but it didn't really come out as a question for he didn't remain standing there in the rain and wind. He was stepping within to allow Lancely and Cole to get in out of the weather as well. He didn't bother stripping off the slicker he wore for he may well need it. "I will need an escort around to secure all windows closed," which in turn he would be certain that no little youngster was hiding under some bed and missed presently in the rush. It was easy enough with that many children in attendance.

"Worse than my oh 'gawdlet," which had him chuckle in spite of the severity of the situation. Next he was quickly following Peter within. "Princess," sparkle in moss green eyes with a respectful dip of his head. "Anything in particular you need?" Stepping aside to leave plenty of room for Cole to move within too.

Cole eased past the King and Lancely, striding over to the two boys that Henna attempted to pull apart. "Ma'am." He offered his formal greeting to the princess and with that said, gripped both boys by the scruff of their necks, his hands gripping tight to their shirts and jerked them apart. "Rapscallions." He growled, practically lifting both from their feet. As they balanced on their toes before the princess, swaying slightly with the support of the king's man hold, Cole nodded to Heathfield's royal princess. "Where to? Out into the storm?"

Henna put her hand to her mouth briefly, then lowered it and looked sternly at the two boys. "I would say yes but they both have siblings who would be very upset. Back to the basement but I want each of you across the room from one another and if I see even a face made, I'll let Sir Cole do just that. " By then an older lad had come to the top of the stairs. "Ah, Davey. Will you please escort King Peter around the Orphanage to check the windows?" She turned to Peter and gave the man a dimpled smile. "Davey is apprentice to Kyle Frasier and will be leaving us soon." She was quite proud of the youth. She looked at Lancely and motioned for him to take the items from the table. "If you can take those downstairs to Mary Beth, I'd appreciate it very much. I'm going to collect more." As she brushed past Peter, she smiled again. "Thank you so much, Peter. I had sent my other helpers home and the two who help on the grounds are dealing with our animals and trying to keep them from harm. I was nearly at my wit's end."

The intensity of burnt sienna eyes touched upon each lad. There was a very commanding presence about the King of Inns that was easily picked up. Although it was amusing to see them dangle from Cole's hands. His voice coming from behind Henna's left shoulder as she stood facing the lads "Some day you two will become the best of friends, if one doesn't kill the other in the process." His expression easing only a touch but still hard to read as Henna brushed passed him and turned the task of showing him the upstairs to one of the lads. If disappointed, it would never show. "As I can help, Princess," giving a slight bow of his head before he was moving with Davey up the stairs.

Lancely had that lopsided grin watching the scene but was quick to pick up the packages and head down the steps where Davey had been. "Congratulations," given in passing the lad and soon he was downstairs setting the items were this Mary Beth indicated. He had heard that Henna was going to get more, so headed back upstairs to help her out. Be the pack mule she might need. Besides, being around that many kids, ones in diapers and such, got him nervous. Something he'd not admit to!

He still held the boys, even though they twitched to be released, and once the King and Henna were engaged in conversation, he leaned close to them. "You do as she says, by your God, or your fate will be far worse than soaking in a storm or having to be best of friends in the future. You can believe that." His voice was barely more than a low growl, but both boy's eyes shot open wide and they looked at each other. Probably, at that moment, becoming the best of pals. Cole released them with a little shove, sending them running toward the stairs and the sound of their descent was more like a stampede than just the hurried steps of two lads. Cole brushed his hands off on the sides of his wet pants, as if removing the feel of the kids from his palms. Now...what else could he do to assist the princess?

She filled Lancely's arms up, then her own and when she saw Sir Cole standing there, those items in her arms were handed off to him. "I think that's the last of it. If the two of you can help Mary Beth settle the children, I'm going to run into my office and grab some papers." Yes, she was sending the two men down into the pit of children! And off she went, at a near run to the office.

Mary Beth was of normal height, all of five feet and four inches. She felt short, like a munchkin amongst most in these lands where they grew them tall. Taller still when she once caught sight of a McAndrews. Brown hair was streaked in gold, eyes were of a sky blue and a splatter of freckles across her nose indicated her Irish heritage. She had not expected the handsome knight that came down, she knew of him as she knew Peter was a king of allied lands. Knew of his knights in these lands but had never gotten that close. She was taken by surprise and a bit flustered so his quick exit came with a relief. She was still trying to get the fire going and the interruption only stalled that process more. With a drawing breath she set back to the task as some of the younger children huddled around her. Huddle meant hanging onto her skirt and even her leg beneath. She didn't mind, it meant they were safe while she saw to this task.

Settle...the...children? Cole looked down to the objects in his arms, then over to Lancely. Settle the ... children? He was murmuring under his breath again as he followed his comrade down the stairs that delivered them to the basement where a horde of little people swarmed. Not his most sought after setting by any means. With a scan of the room, Cole found where Lancely had placed the items brought down the first time and he added his burden to the stash. He didn't look for the two boys, but those two had seen him and were in a huddle with their friends and sharing whispered words. Ah, yes, the two groups had been united with just a verbal threat. Good that, because Cole rarely joked and whether he was serious or not above, thankfully, the lads would never need to find out. At least not tonight. The little bedbugs were teaming with activity, a grimace pulling at the lips of the King's man. Watching the woman struggle to start that fire, with so many leech like slugs attached to her leg, he started over. "Take your critters and step aside, Lass. I'll see to that fire." Maybe, like most unwanted creatures, a fire would send them scampering to the shadows.

Lancely probably had the same look on his face that was met by Cole's. Comical probably if anyone saw the exchange. With his arms loaded up he headed down to place the items on the benches with the others. He took his time, as the children were not in this particular area and with Cole heading over to help the lass, he didn't need to. Not because of the lass, certainly not for she was even fetching. It was that which crowded around her that had this knight keep his distance. Kids had a way of growing on you and getting under your skin.

Like a bad rash ... or even a skin fungus.

Peter knew that the west wing was not going to survive this storm well but most of the structure was solid enough it should. With all the windows secured and about to leave one room only to notice a shadow of movement under one of the beds, he was over to lift the bed, tipping it away to find a young lad of about three hiding under it. "You will come with me." Davy was over to see to the bed as Peter scooped up the lad under one arm and started out. Davy lowered the bed back in place and was soon on the king's heels. Hearing noise coming from another room had him averting his steps there. It turned out to be Henna's office as she was gathering papers. "I found one that was missing?" If they had counted heads, if they could count heads accurately with a few moving about.

Scratch, scratch, scratch, went the match head never to light and the strip it was struck against becoming worn. "Oh bother!" but that was quickly followed by a little scream as Jason bit her leg. Little rugrat wasn't getting enough attention. "Jason!" As the matches went flying, scattering over the floor boards and her hand in a swat at the air, instead of the child. Except it made contact as she turned, hitting yet another knight square in the chest. Luckily he was tall enough that was where she hit. Eyes went wide and her mouth into an O.. the pain from the small bite forgotten.

"Jonah!" She shook her head and gave Peter a brilliant smile. "He was with us when we first started downstairs. Davey, can you take him downstairs?" The older lad reached for the tot and Henna put the remainder of the papers into a chest. She started when thunder shook the house and nearly bumped into Peter. "I think we better go down too. What's happening back at the castle? Is everyone all right?" Likely Karl had put the Four Horsemen to work and Andrew was there so she was sure things wouldn't be a bad as they could be.

When the woman swung around, Cole tilted back slightly, catching her hand by the wrist as it smacked against his chest. "Do me a favor and I'll do one for you in return. Take your ankle nippers to the other side of the room and I'll tend to this fire." He gave that wrist a light squeeze then released it, stepping around her and the puddle of poopaddlers she was wading in. He squatted before the logs, took up one of the spilled matches and struck it against the stone of the hearth. A longer kindling straw was lit and poked into the depths to light the dry wood. He remained there, his attention on the soon-to-be fire, and trying to block out the ruckus of ... children.

That just struck her ire. "I will not." Not take orders from him even if he saw to the fire. Arms crossed defiantly under her bosom as she didn't move from were she was. Little George let go of her leg, becoming interested in this man Mary Beth had swatted. When he squatted, he was fast in climbing up on his back and little arms tightly around his neck. Not that the child realized he had a choking grip. Mary Beth tried hard not to laugh as arms loosened from their fold and it came out in a throaty sound instead. The others had gone over to where toys were being taken out to play with.


Date: 06-13-11
Poster: Henna Suex
Post # 10

Lancely, on the other hand, was very amused watching the scene play out. Poor Cole, he seemed to attract situations with women ...well... that were not complementary to his standing with them. He kept moving to keep his distance from the little ones, he would say so he didn't step on one or trip as his excuse. He'd rather have a huge brawny giant charging at him down the list than the multitude of munchkins surrounding him.

He handed the child over to Davey "I suggest more than a head count be taken once we are downstairs." Being such could have one overlooked. He then indicated the chest of papers, "would you like me to carry those down where they will be kept safe?" Before she could answer, his arm was around her shoulders drawing her in with her reaction to the thunder. "It is a bit louder would you say?" The arm easing as he'd take up the chest and lug it down, best they got moving. "The four are kept on their toes in dealing with the storm." Although she might notice the storm didn't seem to rattle Peter at all. "These storms don't last but an hour once they get to roar, we can send a runner to make sure." Which he knew would ease her mind for her family was there.

Davey left and Henna was blushing as Peter put his arm around her. "Yes, of course, a head count is a good idea." She was a bit flustered but could blame it on the storms. "You're used to them then?" He did live on an island after all was said and done. Downstairs Lancely was gaining a parade of small ones who thought he was so much more fun then the toys though one had found a drum and was pounding out a beat that almost sounding like it was for marching. While Cole was getting strangled, a tiny girl with big brown eyes and brown curls was standing beside him, fingers in her mouth as she stared at him much like a curious kitten. That would be the scene that Henna and Peter came down to and the princess paused at the bottom of the steps just to take it in. Upstairs the Orphanage was rattled again by thunder.

Small arms held tight to his throat, and when the fire blazed, Cole just stood up, the boy dangling down his back like a poorly tailored cape. He met the gaze of that little girl, held it a moment, then turned, the boy's legs swinging out and swaying as Cole crossed the room toward the supplies. For as long as George held on, he'd be hanging, and the King's man just went about the business of sorting through the items they had brought below. He looked over to the princess and his King when the entered, a twitch pulled just below his eye, then he returned to his work.

One of the larger, older, trees was torn up by its roots enough to have it crashing down in against the building, the swing still swinging from the branch that speared through a window, making the area far larger than it had been. Part of the roof crumbled away letting in the rain. Rain that was coming down in sheets at this point. There wasn't much anyone could do until the storm ran its course. This Peter knew as he answered her question. "Aye, I've been through many such storms. On land, on sea and some on battle fields." The last being of a different kind but still as devastating. He had noticed the blush but said nothing to draw attention to it. Not here. Not now. Perhaps another time if allowed he might. Right now it was getting her downstairs along with Davey and the child before any walls came crashing down.

Lancely felt like the piped piper as he was gradually gaining a little group. "Is there a lake here?" Like he could lead them to it and they would all jump in and drown. That was what happened to the rats. Of course he was kidding for even with his preferred avoidance, he didn't wish any of them harm. So he kept avoiding as best he could.

Little George screamed when the man got up and left him dangling. Arms squeezed tighter around the man's neck if he could hear after that scream in his ear. Another lad was yelling, Ride him Georgie! As if it were all play. Although he wasn't the one dangling that far up from the floor without support. Mary Beth came to the rescue, "you brute!" Like it was all his fault as she tried pulling the child off the man as he moved. Poor Georgie became the tug-of-war as he wasn't letting go, fearing to even with Mary Beth trying to grab hold that he could. So he was kind of stretched between the two, all three or four feet of the three year old.

She had nodded seriously with Peter's answer. Much like her step-father, he had seen so much, both good and bad. Now as they stood at the bottom of the steps, she just kind of stared, shook her head, and was over to gather the ones following Lancely first. "All right, children, set up your blankets and pillows and sit so you can have a snack." She clapped her hands twice, to show she meant business and off they went. Even the ones watching Georgie, Cole and Mary Beth. "Georgie, stop strangling Sir Cole and let go, or you'll miss the snack." Hopefully that would put an end to it. Henna didn't really use baby talk once they reached a certain age and had found they seemed to respond better if she didn't. She heard a bang and frowned, looking upward. "That sounded as if the front door blew off its hinges." Henna kept her voice low so the children wouldn't be scared. The doors were usually sturdy, the winds less then they could have been, but there still would be some damage.

Cole had been called worse, for doing ... far worse. So the woman's outrage was easily dismissed. But the choking tug against his throat was not! He had just reached up to pluck at the smaller fingers when the princess ordered his release. George whimpered, he really couldn't let go, not with Mary Beth at his ankles! Cole took hold of the boy's hand, and as he did, he dipped his head and spun, leaving the boy now stretched between woman and man but free of his previous hold. "Leave him go, Woman, and he can go enjoy his snack."

There was a twitch at the corners of Peter's lips. A sure sign if noticed, he was amused at what he saw as they entered the area the children were along with his knights. "Interesting." Certainly. The crash had a hand touch upon Henna's back, "no matter the damage it can be fixed, the children and yourself are safe." Meaning all, though he had not met this Mary Beth as he watched that scene a moment longer. His words barely out as of the benches was picked up by the winds and hurled through one of the lower first floor windows. Had any been there, they would have gotten hurt or killed for the spray of shattering glass then the bench going into pieces as it crashed against the opposite wall sending splinters of wood and metal around. Peter instinctively glanced up but was soon stepping out of the way as Henna took over. Better one use to dealing with this multitude of children.

This almost reminded him of a few chases, chased by women where he maneuvered just so that he never got caught. Just when he thought he might, he was saved by the Princess calling back her horde. He moved to stand by his king at the ready and tried not to laugh at Cole's predicament.

Mary Beth stilled most that wanted to come flying off her tongue and Cole would probably see that as she stepped closer that she could slide her arms up the child and get a good hold from around his middle. Eyes would be that close and full of fury in them. Not a word but it also made the freckles stand out more prominent. One of those quick things as the king was present and these were his knights. Quick but leaving that imprinted impression like a Kodak moment could on film, this on the mind instead. Hopefully Cole let go of the child once she had him without her demanding as he had. She would take him over to the other group that he might have his snack. Mary Beth obviously didn't like to be ordered around and far too willing to do the opposite then.

Henna would have definitely been more amused except for all the noise coming from above. Luckily the children were distracted by the promise of a snack and the return of Georgie. The older children would see to passing it out. Henna was over to Mary Beth and placed a hand on her arm. "King Peter and his knights have come to give aid as needed, Mary Beth." Lowering her voice she added, "and are not use to children." A couple of the teenage girls were glancing at the three men, whispering and giggling, and Henna shooed them off to help with the younger ones. "You're welcome to help yourselves, gentlemen." She looked up again and hoped the kitchen would be good shape when all was said and done!

The lad was definitely released. He was just as willing to let go of the human skintag as Mary Beth was probably willing to move away from him. He read almost every single thought in her mind, she hid nothing from him, it was all right there in her eyes. And he wasn't the slightest bit affected by them. Once free of his growth, he looked to Peter. "By your leave, My Liege, I can go up and start assessing damage." Yes, in mid storm! He'd rather face the wrath of the hurricane than remain down here.

She had this victorious look about her as she turned away from the man that would wear a child like a cape. The look ease as Henna made an explanation and only said under her breath, "that explains it." IT more in reference to one particular knight. From there she busied herself with the children for certainly she didn't wish to cross tongues as swords with the man who came to help. She got that much without being spoken from Henna.

Lancely was over by Cole at this point as his words came low with a twitch of his lips, "I think she likes you." Amusement dancing in his eyes as he was quite pleased to be on the side opposite the horde.

"Perhaps if they sing," it would cover up the other noises coming from above. There were points of thunder that shook the whole building. He would help best he could even if none of his expertise landed in the field of nanny. Peter gave a nod, not just to Cole's request but how both were uncomfortable down here. "Aye, both of you may. Just watch your heads up there."

"Be careful, Sir Knights." She added to Peter's warning then smiled at Peter. "They'll settle for a bit. Perhaps though, Mary Beth can sing for them, and us." She looked at the young woman and smiled. She was quite fond of the lass, and didn't mind at all that she could have a bit of temper when it came to anyone messing with the children. Henna had picked each one who helped her carefully and never had to reprimand. They all knew what was expected. "Oh!" She called to the two knights before they were through the door. "I don't want you to go out in this but can you look toward the caretaker's cottage. The couple in there are elderly but they were heading to the basement." She was certain the stables would withstand the wind, being against the side that wasn't getting so much.

Cole shot a look at Lancely. "She likes me strung and quartered." He added in a rumble of growl and started up the steps. He paused, looking back down to Henna. "Yes, Ma'am. And we'll see to their safety."

Of course she did, did Cole expect different with his record? He was getting a name for himself. Lancely tried really hard not to laugh but it was amusing. He'd put his life on the line for his comrade too. "I'd say it is important to see if we can reach the cottage and make sure the couple is safe," especially being elderly. Giving his nod as well to the princess before they headed out. Luckily by this time they would find the worse of the storm was over and the cottage nearly leveled but the couple safe beneath just needing a few hands to get the rubble out of the way so they could get out.

Mary Beth closed her eyes as she began to sing while little Georgie nestled in her lap eating his snack. Her voice was sweet like the nightingale's, far different than the fury seen in her eyes by one just moments ago.

"If you need help, let me know or any of the guards. I'm sure thay will be patrolling soon as the weather allows." He probably would not stay much longer in safety while there was so much to be done. Once he made sure that Henna and the children were completely out of harm's way. His knights might find him soon on their heels.

The handyman had helped the folks with their most important possessions so a few things had survived. He came out of the stables and around the building, taking note of any damage. That west wing would need some fixing up but they could move the children into the other wing since there weren't a lot of them. Hopefully they'd not gain more. Henna listened to Mary Beth a moment before she looked up at Peter. "I will and I want to thank you and your men for coming to offer your help. I can't tell you how much it means." She glanced at the children, some of whom were falling asleep. "Will you tell my mother that I'm fine and as soon as I can, I'll come to see them?" He probably would have even without her asking.

"Of course," a touch of his hand rested upon her shoulder a moment. "I will stop back here on the morrow." Knowing she was safe and had all these little ones to look after, he needed to be out helping the others, working alongside his knights. "You sing beautifully," addressed to the lass he had yet to learn her name. Perhaps another time as he could not dally any longer. A nod of his head before he was around and heading out in the wake of his knights. He knew where he'd find them and another set of hands would have the work go quicker in unblocking the elder could trapped in their basement.


Date: 06-14-11
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 11


Out on the seas Segan stood at the bow of his ship, one hand wrapped around a rope that ran up to the foremast. Blue eyes were distant with the sea air in his face and filling his lungs. There had been decisions made that left him numb in a way but knew they were for the best. Still, it would affect a man. The day had been sunny without a cloud in the sky when Atkins came from the crow's nest with lowered words. That brought Segan's mind back with a blink, "aye?" though the lad had already said something he has missed for being distracted. So Atkins repeated himself respectfully, voice still lowered, "Cap'n, t'ere bae somet'ing ye need tae see," holding out the spyglass still as he added, "from t'e nest." Segan took the spyglass with a lingering look before he was climbing up the ropes to the nest. Lo and behold as he took a look, there as the most ominous darken sky he'd ever seen along the horizon's far distance. He watched for a moment realizing that not only was it coming their way but at a fast pace. One he knew he'd be paying the devil to outrun. He was down from the nest shouting orders as he went. "Man the masts, put her full tilt to Heathfield." Which had the helmsman turning her about as they were going to make a few extra stops, not now however. Change of plans. His crew secured all on deck and most things brought down into the hull. They were all warned to hold onto the ropes and if it got bad enough to tie them around their waists. The wind whipped up first bringing the sea to swell gradually into mountains of water. The sky darkened as the worse storm the Anaconda had ever seen would be its last this day. The wind ripped through the sails that were being drawn down as the race to outrun the devil was lost.

Mary Quinn stood on the front porch, her apron hem in hand, wringing the edge of it as if she could get water from the dry fabric. The rain beyond the cover of roof could have provided that moisture, but the older woman remained under the shelter, just staring out to the road. Perhaps, by sheer determination alone, by the fact she deemed it necessary, she would see her boy come riding in, even through this storm. Lightening jagged through the sky and she braced for the thunder, which came shortly after. A summer storm, that was all, surely. Somehow, though, she had this feeling, an ache of concern, in the pit of her stomach. A squeezing, tight knot of trepidation, and she didn't like the feel of it anymore than she didn't like that all her chicks weren't in the nest.

Perhaps she saw him, perhaps not, being she was staring out upon the road. Gabriel had been sent and with a rush of wings landed just a few feet from the steps where she stood. Soaked. Eyes were the bright blue as if charged from the lightning that snaked down to the earth from above, lighting the sky up in bursts of bluish light. The thunder continued to roar and what had been a gorgeous day was becoming dark as night with the wind and rain pounding. "There is a hurricane hitting the shoreline from the Lighthouse down to the castle," words were rushed with the urgency. "We need to secure all the windows and doors." He was up the steps in bound as he spoke. This probably didn't help her worry as it was presenting a confirmation on the severity of the storm hitting their shores.

Eion had been outside with Melantha seeing to the horses when the rain began to fall in sheets. There were a few of them out there, including the stable boys and it hadn't taken long. Some of the animals had headed for the stable on their own. They had gone in through the back door so as to not drip everywhere, then Eion went to change and to see to his wife and son. He had been at the castle for a time to train but had permission to leave early to help see to some of the foals. Jax was too young still to care much about storms and Daireann was sitting on the floor with the boy. After a few words, he made his way down to find Herself and nearly was plowed over by Gabriel. "Wha... where's the fire?"

"Holy Christ!" Mary gasped when Gabriel set down right in front of her, a hand immediately letting go of her apron to press to her chest. He had scared the bloody devil out of her! His words, did not instill peace in the void left by the devil's departure... "Hurricane?" She shot a look back out to the road. "Oh, my boy." She whispered, snatching the length of skirts aside and bounding in after Gabriel. "Eion!" She practically cried out, right on Gabriel's heels, and seeing her grandson beyond the man's arm. "Segan....and there's a hurricane!" She sucked in a deep breath, her chin lifting. "Help Gabriel to set all the shutters. Concessa! Conor! Where is everyone?" And off Mary went, hiking up her skirts though, oh no, she didn't run, but she was bustling as fast as she could bustle, in search of all this mother hen's peeps.

Wings had disappeared as he was passing Mary to get within. Eion was the first as a strong hand came to steady his brother in law, more, comrade and friend. "A hurricane is coming, pounding all along the shore and who knows how far it will reach inland with its fury. We can hope the terrain will calm some of it but best shutter the windows and secure all that can blow away outside. Where is Melantha?" Of course a quick look was given in search of his wife. "Is Conor here?" Hoping as the man came quite often or Mary would have his head on a platter. It also meant another good set of hands to do all that needed to be done quickly.

Segan had taken over the steering as the ocean washed over the deck. Some of the men could not hold onto the soaked ropes after a while and went sliding only to catch a rail before being sent to Davy. A bolt of lightning hit the crow's nest sending it to splinter and the piece shot down like an arrow upon its mark and that was where the steering wheel connected to the shaft. It sent the wheel and Segan into the water much like a sea gull in flight as a swelling wave tossed the ship like a toy boat against a crop of rocks that seemed to appear from nowhere. The hull was destroyed with that sickening sound of splintering wood as even the thunder could not cover up the sound of a ship going down. They had arrived in Heathfield but not quite how they had planned. Fate, working with nature, had other plans.

"Melantha is upstairs, changing. We were out in the storm seeing to the horses." He looked at Mary, not hiding his concern. They all knew Segan was on his way home. "He'll be all right, Gran." He tried to reassure her but it wasn't easy, not when he was worried himself. As Concessa and Daireann came to see what was happening, he quickly sent them to see some of the windows and shutters. Jax was handed over to Mary while he started up the stairs to get those. Melantha had come to the top of the stairs by then and was ready to help where needed.

That was the perfect thing to do, for now the woman could fret with the baby and not get under everyone's feet. She took the boy to the side, talking to him about how one day he'd be a great man, knowing of the horse, strong and brave like his father.

Conor came skidding into the corridor, soaked and dripping wet, the soles of his boots squeaking as he attempted to stop short. "Jesus, did you see the sky out there?" He had missed the whole of the conversation that had taken place, but was here now! "I wouldn't want to be out in this longer than I had to be."

Obviously, he hadn't heard a word of it. Mary Quinn shot a look over to him. "Aye? Well, your brother is! Best you be praying for him, Conor Quinn, cause you'll be out in it soon enough going to find out that he is well." Because, Eion had said he would be, and Mary was clinging to that.

Even without wings, Gabriel could take flight as he ran up the steps, passing Eion to get to his wife. Concern marred his face as bright blue eyes turned to the deepest brown in a second flat. A hand splayed over her stomach like a shield as he didn't even think twice what that motion of hand would give away. "You are all right? Are all the horses secured and the barns?" Coming up close that he had to dip his chin as his free arm went around her just as protectively. "It might be a good idea to get into the basement." Gabriel had seen first hand the fury of this hurricane and that was becoming evident he didn't look upon it as just another storm.

There was an urgent pounding on the front door.

Which caused Mary to jump. "Get that!"

Eion hadn't made it up the steps when the knock to the door came. Gabriel and Mel were at the top of the steps anyway, so he turned back down and went to the door. No one else was moving. Concessa and Daireann came from closing the downstairs windows, and the two young maids had finished the upstairs and now joined the family to see what was happening. The wind near blew the door off its hinges and the lad standing outside, came sliding inside. Eion pushed the door shut then looked at the lad. Had he come to tell him that he and Gabriel were being called to the castle?

It was the Squire Toby, wide eyed and soaked to the bone. He was shivering too that had nothing to do with being cold. "They sent me, sent me to let you know that ashipcrashedagainsttherocks," came rolling out in a rush as he let out the draw of air he'd taken in. "It was the Anaconda and said you'd be wanting to know." Toby obviously had no idea of the connection. He was just doing what he was told. "It's real bad down along the shore." Adding that much.

A whimper, soft as a sigh, sounded from the woman with the child and she retreated to another room but not without calling out. "There better not be a single male in this house when we come out! Except you, Sweet Jax, you'll be protecting us, now won't you." Mary cooed from within that other room, but her voice shook no matter how she attempted to still it.

Conor shot a look to Eion, then his sisters and sister-in-law and he started toward the door.

Gabriel had escorted Mel down the steps and into the foyer where the lad stood. He was recognized immediately. "Toby, can you tell us where the crash took place?" That would help them immensely in getting there faster.

"Aye, Sir," remembering to stand on protocol for a change as he looked between the two knights he served. "Down near the Lighthouse it was said." Not being sure of the sounds coming from the other room he inched backwards towards the door, willing and ready to be on his way back with them.

Gabriel looked to Mel, then the door leading to the room where Mary had retreated with Jax. Nothing said, didn't need to be for it was all in body language. He grabbed his slicker and ushered Toby out of manor as they would start slow enough that Eion and Conor would quickly catch up.

Segan had been lucky. Far luckier than some of his crew and less lucky in a sense than some of the others too. The wheel was near as big as him and was made in a way to keep afloat. It served to save his life as his head hit something when thrown. One good wave had tossed the body up onto a sandy spot past a few boulders of rock. A spot not usually accessed even by the sea but had this stormy eve. It was way past the area known as the Point. Rammy, his first mate, had seen him fly out into the sea, wheel and all, ended up landing on the shore where most of the shipwreck pieces were. About a quarter of the crew survived. There were dead bodies along with unconscious ones and some half dazed walking around like Rammy waiting to be found. There was a story behind his name. A man balding and emulating a small giant of a man. Tattoos everywhere. When the guards came in spite of the storm that still rage, near an hour later, Rammy insisted, as he gained his focus, to stay and help look for any of the men. There were some still caught out at sea, others were mangled against the cropping of rocks. The guards first took any living, carrying many of those, to the hospital in teams as the ferocity of the storm mellowed down to a pouring rain.


Date: 06-14-11
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 12

He was over to hug Daireann and each of his sisters. "Get her down into the basement along with the maids. I'll send the lads in the stable into the house. We'll be back as soon as we can. With Segan." He wouldn't let himself think anything other than they would find Segan alive. He grabbed his oilskin cloak, and headed for the stable first, sending the lads into the manor house. Then he started after the others. What they would find along the shore would chill him but he would never stop searching just like his brothers hadn't stopped searching for him.

Since Conor had never disrobed from trying to outrun the storm, he didn't need to do anything but follow.

It was Brian MacMillan, head of the royal guards that was leading this project. He noticed the group of three approaching as he hefted up an unconscious man over his shoulder and approached. "Have you come to help?"

Gabriel gave a nod to the man, recognizing him but he had pretty much approached Eion and Conor as he started down the shore in search. Helping a guard get this man or that one up before he continued on his way. Checking both dead and alive for his brother in law.

Eion recognized Brian as well, glad to see he was here as well. "Brian, this is my brother, Conor. Conor, Brian MacMillan. Our brother, Segan, is captain of the ship that was destroyed. We're hoping to find him." He saw the bodies, the wreckage but ignored that cold feeling in his gut. "And to offer our help, of course. Where are you taking the living? We'll check there as soon as we can."

Conor scanned the shoreline, his stomach pitching as if he were aboard a ship, and he was standing on solid ground. "MotherofGod." He whispered to himself, seeing the carnage and knowing his brother had been a part of it... somewhere. The knight's approach yanked him from his thoughts and he nodded a greeting to him. "We're ..." He flicked a look Eion's way, then started further down the rocky shore, snatching the high collar of his coat up to block the rain. "...going to find him." He finished, but he was already moving away, bending over to move a broken board of ship from his path.

Brian understood as the one brother started away. He knew Eion and Gabriel more than Conor or Segan. But he knew of him, knew him on sight. He turned back to Eion with concern for he had not known it was their brother's ship in particular until now. He was almost shouting against the rain and wind that had not quite subsided yet. "The first mate is down there," indicating the man that stood out from the guards like a sore thumb, not only his size but his whole demeanor spoke of sailor as well he wore no slicker against the storm. "Rammy or Rams, we found him walking dazed amongst both living and dead. We've taken many up to the hospital that we could. The others," meaning those that didn't survive, "we will get to as soon as we can." They were obviously prepared to work as many hours as it took. "If you're needing someone who knows the shoreline," as obvious it was a long rocky stretch with some areas impassable by one who didn't know their way around, "Davin up in the Lighthouse will know. He's the one who saw the ship wreck and got help immediately, otherwise I think many of these men would have died before morning."

Eion watched as Conor started away then turned back to Brian. The wind made it hard to hear as he lowered his head slightly but he nodded and thanked the man with a hand to his shoulder. He called out Conor's name uncertain the younger Quinn would hear him then he started for the First Mate. As he stepped up beside Rammy, he placed a hand to his shoulder and shouted. "I'm Eion Quinn, Segan's brother." He had met the man before but MacMillan had said he had been dazed and Eion couldn't be sure if he was still in that state.

Conor glanced back to Eion from around his arm, but continued on, fumbling with a hand pressed to any boulder that could prevent his falling, as he weaved a way along the rocky cliff side. His heart pounded in his chest, matching the angry slam of saltwater against the seaside landscape. The rain and the spray of waves crashing against the rock had managed to seep into his bones even though his coat had kept him dry. It was dread, though, that caused him to fight back a shiver as he carefully placed his steps...and searched.

Rams was no longer dazed, worse, the reality of the situation haunted blue eyes that turned on Eion. "I'm sorry, never saw a storm like t'at in all me years." He was probably nearing sixty although hard to tell with his weathered looks for being out at sea since a wee lad. "I was t'rown across t'e deck hold'in onto t'e rope t'at snapped from me 'ands. T'e last second 'ad me grab'in onto t'e rail as t'e lig'tin struck Segan was fly'in backwards wit' t'e w'eel t'at snapp'd," here he got choked up as that visual was imprinted on his brain seeing it all again. He worried a look over his shoulder. "Pugs is dead, so be Jinkins, Smoky, Ratlin and many ot'ers." The last more mumbling as he ran a hand over weathered features. "I've not seen 'im amongst t'e dead." Like the sea had not even given over his captain's body.

"'ey Worm," Curt indicated the body on the sands that hadn't been there before. The two had been grumbling about being send out to get the stores; if they were still there where they covered them up. They had run for their lives to take cover from the storm. At first they got lost because of so much debris and came to an impasse for the fallen rocks that now blocked the regular route. Worm squinted a look through the rain and dared to draw closer to inspect the body. He nudged it with his boot then stood back. When nothing happened he stepped closer and nudged it again a bit harder. "Look's like a poor c'ap t'e sea coug'ed up." Curt watched his buddy before laughing, "you're act'in like a scar'd wee lass." Which had Worm give him a warning look. Had it been anyone else he probably would have tried cutting his throat. That was the quick and easy answer to comments that struck a chord. He was afraid of ghosts, spirits and dead bodies as they all kind of went together. In the meantime Curt crouched down and checked for a pulse. He found a faint one ... the man wasn't dead. Yet. "Looks tae bae some capt'in din yea t'ink? Mig't bae wort' somet'in tae t'e Boss." Which they didn't know the man's name other than the Boss. "Maybe make up fir not find'in the whiskey and rum." He was hoping for it seemed they would not be able to access that area. Worm knew how the Boss would react when they came back empty handed. Worm nodded in that same hope, they would not be coming back empty handed. He went to grab him from under the shoulder but then got a better idea. "He mig't like t'is w'eel tae." So he grabbed one of the sturdy spokes that made it up to drag as Curt took the opposite side and together they headed back.

He nodded as Rammy spoke, then placed a hand to the man's shoulder. "Some lived, Rammy. We'll count that a blessing." He looked toward the sea, squinting as the rain hit his face. "Where did the ship go down exactly? And don't give up. Segan is still alive." He spoke with an assurance that belied his fear. And if he had to cover every inch of the coast and even challenge the sea itself, he wasn't going home without his brother. "I'm going to do some searching. You should see the medic and then see how the men that survived are doing." He knew the man would probably insist on remaining but he looked as if he were ready to collapsed. Once his question was answered, he started after Conor.

"Found someone!" Conor shouted, scrambling, stumbling, gripping, slipping his way to the body covered in seaweed, sea foam and broken wood. The fragments of ship were tossed aside, revealing the man beneath and Conor dropped to a knee to roll the man...but it wasn't Segan. But he was alive! The fellow groaned with the movement and Conor gently eased him back to his chest. Two of the guards had hurried over in about the same manner as Conor, the uneven rock surrounding the man didn't make it easy to make haste. "Help is coming." He informed the man, then stood, raising a hand to shield his face from the rain and scanned the area. A knot had formed in his throat, making it difficult to breathe or to swallow. Where the hell was Segan?

Gabriel had a way of showing up out of nowhere. Wings sending a spray of water as he landed. Eyes were a bright blue even in the darkening twilight settling in. "There are more bodies strewn down further along the coast but none of them are alive nor are they Segan. I went as far as I could, flew as far over the area that becomes more rock than sand. Large rocks and boulders." His jaw tense just delivering that news to Conor then shouted up so Eion could hear. "The ship is the Anaconda," as he pointed out to the sea where in the rain if they looked in the direction he pointed, they might be able to make out the silhouette of a shade darker grey than the surroundings. The Hull was half hanging at an upward angle against one of the larger rocks that jutted out of the ocean.

Rams nodded, too choked up to say anything. None of his crew members had ever seen the hardened man like this before. Or so they had thought he was hardened. He heard the man with the wings, that fact not really sinking in yet. "Aye," nodding in the same direction the one had pointed out then added, not remembering he already had? "T'ey took some up tae t'e 'ospital." He had no idea who or how many.

Though the wind was not as strong as before, Eion wanted to warn Gabriel about flying but he didn't say anything. He knew what he was capable of and didn't need Eion lecturing him. He made his way to brother and brother-in-law after hearing Gabriel's shout. "Captain MacMillan suggested we get the assistance of our cousin, Davin. I had nearly forgotten he's the lighthouse keeper. He'll know the coast." He glanced up at the lighthouse, his expression thoughtful. "He might not want to leave the light tonight but if he knows the currents, he might have some idea where we should search. I'm not sure Rammy could point out where Segan went overboard, especially if they weren't near those rocks." He looked at Conor and smiled slightly. "Shall the three of us go, or do the two of you want to keep searching?"

"I think I'll go up to the hospital. The man says he doesn't know who was sent up, one of them could have been Segan." An angry swat cleared the water from his face, only to be replaced with more. "You two can go speak with Davin and whichever of us gets news first, will find the other."

Conor would find the hospital pretty much deserted with a couple guards stationed to keep any wanderers out of the building. The front windows were gone and a tree had hit the roof, sending a lot of the terra cotta tiles smashing down to the ground below. The wall was damaged but repairable as well the roof.

Gabriel nodded as he gave one parting comment, "I hope it is you that has the luck." For then Segan was alive and safe already. Who knew what they would find along the shore if Davin knew some secret byways that would not be obvious.

"All right." He clapped a hand to Conor's shoulder, meeting his eyes. "We'll likely be traveling along the coast. I'll leave a note at the lighthouse if so." He watched as Conor headed off again, only this time in the direction of the hospital. "I hope he does too." He looked at Gabriel from under bangs that were plastered to his forehead. The rain could continue long after the main storm was gone. He hoped not and hoped the waves would become less rough soon. No one would be able to approach the ship until the next day but there was no doubt Segan wasn't there. He turned and headed for the cliff and for the steps that led up, leaving his horse with those of the guard. It would be fine until his return.


Date: 06-19-11
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 13

Quinns (Part Two)

Conor attempted to shake off the majority of water from his person before entering, but with the continued rain, there could be no helping the water he trailed into the hospital. He barely had the opportunity to look up when a guard approached, letting him know that with the damage to the hospital, the knights' hall at the castle had been cleared and temporarily transformed to house the ill and injured. With a nod of thanks, the Quinn man turned on a heel and strode right back out into the rain ... again. Pressing against the weather, he kept his head bowed, but even that didn't keep the destruction to these lands from his view.

Gabriel watched as Conor disappeared into the rain before turning back to Eion. Just a shared look before he started up the path that would take them to the lighthouse. A knock on the door wasn't needed but it was done out of curtsey and having a pretty lass open the door took him by surprise, yet in a way not as he looked beyond to notice a number of injured being treated within. "If Davin is available, can we speak with him?"

The rain made the trip up the path more treacherous then usual but they were driven and soon to the top. He glanced over his shoulder as Gabriel spoke to the lass then looked back. He hadn't expected to see injured there but tried to see if Segan happened to be one of them.

Nia had been busy seeing to the wounded brought to the lighthouse when the knock sounded. These were the ones whose injuries weren't as severe, though there were far fewer then she had hoped. She opened the door to find two men, both of whom she recognized to be knights. "Please, come in out of the rain." She stepped back then called out to Davin. "Davin, someone to see you."

Conor glanced up every now and then to check his location. With the hospital closed, he needed to find Eion and Gabriel to let them know he would be heading to the castle. He rode on, at last catching sight of the lighthouse thanks to the beacon of light it sent out. He still had a good ways to go, scanning his surroundings for any possible way to cut some time off of his trek. From here ... to there ... Conor mapped out a means to his end. He could clamber down the rocks over there, and then take the ledge along the cliff, rather than following the road that meandered this way and that toward the lighthouse. Conor tied his reins around a tree limb and carefully started his downward/sideways climb along cliff side.

Davin heard Niamh at the door and recognized the two immediately; he was over just as quick. "What can I do for you?" Eyeing mostly his cousin as worry started to mar his brow.

As Eion looked beyond to see if Segan was there by some small miracle, he responded first. "We were hoping Segan was here but I see that he is not. We were hoping for a guide to get past the Point for his ship went down out from that area. So far he has not been found along the beach but there are areas beyond that.." which he was probably starting to repeat himself. "I see you are needed here so if you could tell us..."

"I didn't realize the ship we saw go down was Segan's." Which had him between a rock and a hard place for he should not leave the task given him, let along abandon Niamh to take care of them all. Plus, more could be brought in. "I've an extra copy of a map I'm making to detail the whole coast." Which some of it was fairly easy to do but the Point was proving very difficult. He was quick over to his desk across the way to get out the map to bring back to them. "You should know," with a glance over the ones in the room that had 'ears', he lowered his voice, "we came across some pirates or privateers, so be careful.." holding the map out for either one to take. "Let me know if you find him. If not, I can help tomorrow at daybreak."

"Davin." He nodded at the younger man then let Gabriel speak. A smile was offered to the lass before his attention was back to Davin. "Thank you for your help, Davin. We'll let you know." One way or another. He was frowning at the rest of the information. Another problem to be dealt with but at another time. After accepting the map from Davin, he clapped a hand to his cousin's shoulder and stepped out into the storm once again with Gabriel.

While they talked to Davin, Nia listened and headed for the kitchen. Most of the men there had been tended to and were trying to sleep though most wanted to go look for their crew mates. She returned with a bundle. "It's bread and cheese. And here's a waterskin. Not much, but it'll keep you from going hungry." She smiled at both before moving away to see to one of the men who had sat up suddenly.

In his haste to reach the lighthouse, Conor hadn't taken into consideration that the storm may have loosed the earth, softened rock from foundation, and that steps that would normally be sound and true, might now apply too much pressure to a weakened base. One step, just one, and the rock slipped from the cliff and the man, slid down along with it. A mud and rock slide followed in his wake, even as his fingers grappled but failed in finding a solid hold. He rode the current of mud and rock and water and roots, covered in the filth, but grateful for the landing which had not taken his life. Lifting a hand to block out the rain, he looked up to where the lighthouse perched. To save fifteen, twenty, thirty minutes at the most, he had just added God only knew. A good many curse words followed and he started across the sand in the direction of that light.

Gabriel thanked Davin as well, giving a nod to the lass before he was back out into the steady rain with Eion. The two would head back down to the shore, helping the guards along the way and doing their best to follow the map. It would be precarious if not impossible at points during the day so they were not going to have much luck and certainly quite frustrated as the hours wore on. Neither would be giving up and flying was difficult to impossible during such heavy rain.


Date: 06-20-11
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 14

Quinns (Part Three)

It was probably the curse words that were picked up as Josh nudged Frank, who was known as Dog. They were on guard no matter the heavier rain. They obviously had an intruder as he motioned with his hand for Frank to circle around to the left side as he went to the right. A dagger was pressed between his teeth and his rapier drawn. Fate would determine if they just slit his throat (either one of them) or allowed him to live and bring to the Boss.

Dog had been grumbling under his breath about the rain and wind. It had been worse last night but they hadn't been on guard then. Still, if the man didn't grumble, the others might think there was something wrong. He quieted as soon as he heard the curse words and nodded at Josh, heading in the other direction, his weapons drawn. The rain would not only help hide them but the one they were after.

Had Conor known he was being stalked, he would have suggested they just slit his throat, because he wouldn't be going anywhere besides that lighthouse with any form of civility. Or maybe he would have suggested that just to be out of his misery, plastered with mud, the likes of that running down out of his hair into his eyes, streaming down his face and then joining the mud coating his clothes. He kept his head bent against the rain except on those rare occasions he looked up to see he was still going toward the lighthouse and not wandering off course. He had wasted enough time already.

They had the advantage of surprise over the one they stalked as well there being two of them out in such weather. Josh managed to come up from behind and used the hilt of his rapier to the back of Conor's head. Probably not enough force to kill him or even knock him unconscious but certainly enough, considering he slipped coming up behind the man, to lend him dazed.

Dog would let Josh do most of the work while he checked around to see if there were others. They knew about the wrecked ship, had seen some bodies, and from the condition of this one, he was from the ship. He was up beside Josh to add any help needed to subdue the man and then decide what to do with him.

The blunt force of the blow that struck him from behind, sent him staggering forward and in the process, the Irish brawler in him came around swinging. But damn if the wet sand and the stars on this starless night didn't work against him. He blinked as he slid, the fist that had started around, smacking into the water which stood on the shore. He brought his head up to squint at the man who had initiated the blow and while he attempted to bring him in focus past he rain, and mud and pitching earth thanks to that blow, he struggled to stand. "You bloody bast..." He dove toward him, unable to fully make anything clear other than the fact that Conor sure as hell didn't want to catch another blow unawares. He caught the man around the midsection, driving a blow against the man's ribs just before he slammed a hard shoulder to the man's middle.

If it wasn't serious business, it would probably be comical for as Conor went down, his swinging foot lashed out hitting into Josh's. Now he was slipping and trying to regain his balance just as Conor got up and dove into him catching him around the midsection with a blow to his ribs and his shoulder into his middle sending him down with a hold on the man. His rapier went up to press in against the man's neck, sharp enough to draw blood. He sure as hell hoped Dog pulled the man off of him a this point! "One more move and it'll be yeah last. Get him Dog!" Calling out the last as the checkmate wouldn't endure much longer in this position. The pain dulled his thoughts but he held in there with survival instincts.

Dog was slipping and sliding too though not quite as badly as the other two. Once both were down and Josh seemed to have the advantage, he was over with his cutlass drawn. Reaching down, he grabbed Conor by his shirt. "Move yer blade, so ye donnae slice his throa' yet." Once that was done, he placed his own blade against Conor. "Check 'im for weapons, and ye... on yer knees until yer told ta move. Or ye'll be joining yer mates in th' afterlife."

Joining his ... ? But for now, Conor did as he was told, and with the rain pouring down, he sent a quickie of a prayer that he wouldn't slip while he rolled off of the one man to kneel before the other. "I'm not armed." He could save them the effort, he had left the majority of his weapons on his horse, not thinking he would need them to just scale the side of the cliff to the lighthouse. Okay! So he wasn't Eion! He wasn't Segan! He wasn't a warrior. And he wasn't letting on that he had his dagger sheathed to the inside of his boot alongside his ankle. Maybe they would take him at his word, and maybe, they wanted out of this rain as much as he did. "I don't have anything on me that would be worth your time." Damn, but that entire statement tasted like ... mud!

Did he really think they would believe him? Josh searched him thoroughly with an extra squeeze to the joints of his crotch. "W'at were yea? Cabin lad? Aye, Dog, he's not muc' o' any weapon." Which he added his insults with implications. Josh didn't have too much upstairs, a penny short a nickel. He was up and steady on his feet. "Guid t'ing t'ey built t'at cage. The Boss will bae around taemorrow to decide yea fate." On a last minute thought he was back to tear the boots off the man. "'e nae be a cabin lad after all," as he held up the knife then slid it into his belt. "Let's get em back," yanking at his shoulder in a very rough way to get him to his feet. He had some pain to deliver for his side and gut yet.

"Ship wreck... man's lucky ta be alive." Dog rumbled then watched as Josh removed the man's boots. "Don' be keepin' those. Ya know how th' others get about keepin' stuff." Yeah, every man for himself but some might object. "Get movin', boy-o. Time ta get ou' of the rain." Oh, he was anxious enough to get into where it was dry. Wasn't thinking about the fact that Conor had no injuries and was just muddy, not ragged. He motioned with his cutlass. Follow and don' be gettin' stupid. Ya might survive." And off he started, further away from the lighthouse.

Conor listened to it all without saying a word. In fact, his lips thinned and tightened when he was stripped of his boots and his dagger was confiscated. His grandmother had given him that dagger when he turned sixteen. He'd ... be getting that back eventually. He studied the two men past the rain which caused his lids to flutter to keep the water and mud out of his eyes. With a grunt, he allowed the man handling, for now, and trudged along in his socked feet with the duo. Only once he looked toward the lighthouse where Eion was and grit his teeth. Dammitalltohell.

The light from the lighthouse could be seen even through all this rain and distance. They were a ways from it at this point. "Didn't seem tae 'elp yea s'ip," thinking he was reading the man's thoughts. Then he remembered he wasn't suppose to talk with captives. Near cost him his life last time but then there were a lot of things that near cost him his life and he was still alive. Oh, he had scars too to prove many of them. So Dog was in front and he behind, poking the man with his own knife if he lagged at all. It wasn't long before they came upon one of the caves and he too was glad to get in out of the rain. Conor was thrown in the makeshift cage, yet strongly made for in that they knew what they were doing. Being shove roughly would probably send him in sprawled near the body that had a cover throw over it.

Dog locked the door and watched the man a moment before he was moving off to find the Boss' man in charge. "We found 'nother, this one alive." He motioned toward the cave as two others headed out to take over guard duty. "He be in better shape t'an th' first." He rubbed his hands together to warm them and headed for the fire to dry off. The cave was large enough for the men and the crates they had placed in here.

He remained unmoving near that covered body, listening to the men speak and only rolled to look toward the voices when he heard the chink of lock dropping into place. The interior of the cave this deep within was lit rather well, and with his head lowered, but his gaze searching, he scanned his surroundings until his gaze returned to rest on that covered form. There was no stench from the body, so if the man was dead, it hadn't been for long.

Conor might notice there were quite a few here although not all here in the cave. There seemed to be other caverns that snaked off from the original. A few men, different ones came through carrying crates or boxes. One team had a mining cart pushed on wheels that was driven from outside to one of the cave rooms. Those would be out of light's path except those that went them and carried a lantern. In spite of the storm, or due to it ending, seemed the lot were back to work. There was fear in their voices when The Boss was mentioned but more with the added that Doom might come to oversee him but then most felt that would not happen for where they were. None knew the details other than the head man seemed to avoid the place directly. There were precious minerals in those carts if one got a chance to look. Silver was one of the ores, iron and mithril as well some gold. Probably an hour went by before a low moan could be heard under the blanket covered man but there was still no movement.

Once Dog warmed up a bit, he was over to get food and a mug of ale. These were carried over and placed through the bars on the ground. Not a word spoken. If Conor decided to trust it, he'd find the stew was good, meat and vegetables in a thick gravy. The ale was another matter, barely drinkable. Dog glanced at the covered man, then left, disappearing into the depths of another cave, likely to catch some sleep.

Conor heard the moan, but before he could act on that sound, Dog was slipping in the food. Conor didn't move closer, just watched the man until he left. He then scooted over to the bowl, brought it up, sniffed it, then with his other hand did the same with the ale. He turned his face away with a grimace after smelling that tankard and placed it back to the rock floor of the cave. He inched backwards, all the way back and tipped the bowl to chew down a couple of swallows, then leaned over to gently ease away the blanket from the man's face. He almost dropped the bowl he held. He shot a look out to the others, then reached out alongside him to set that bowl down. He couldn't be sure, with all the bruising, swelling and cuts, but as his gaze dipped, there on the ground rested the totem which hung from the strand around the man's neck. "Holy Christ, Segan." Conor breathed in relief, in fear, in many emotions that washed through him when he first realized. He snapped another look out to the men then back to his brother as he eased the blanket off further. The odd hump of shoulder didn't leave any cause to wonder that the man's shoulder was dislocated. But for how long now? The swelling in that joint would have already been well underway, making the shifting of ball into socket all the more difficult, and all the more painful. Conor scooted closer.

Segan was not conscious and that was probably a blessing. Although if Conor set the shoulder then it would probably jar him awake too. That also might be a good idea at this point for his wounds could have him slip away if left in that state. One of those precarious health issues between life and death. There was no more sound from the man at this point. There seemed to be loud words from a distance as if an argument arose on whether to keep the half dead one being the Boss had sent word he would not be arriving for another day or two to give them a chance to catch up, be on the schedule that didn't include a hurricane.

Arguments had a tendency to draw those not involved whether to watch or become involved, depending who was arguing. The few men who weren't working, wandered off to see what was going on. They were confident there would be no escape from the cage and therefore there was no reason to keep watch. Even the few that remained working pretty much ignored the two men.

As the distraction began, Conor inched his way closer to the body on the floor, slipping the cover back even more. He surveyed the obvious damage as he shot a look back through the bars to the commotion. There could be no knowing how long Segan had been injured, or what had happened during the shipwreck or what had been offered by the thugs. Watching beyond their cage, Conor used his hands to feel the dislocated shoulder. "Dammit, Segan." He growled, ever mindful of just how interested the others were in the argument and how much time he might have or might lack ... considering. "This is not going to be fun." For either of them. Slowly he pushed Segan fully to his back, the groan of semi-conscious pain muffled by several voices now raised in dispute. A look to Segan. A glance through the bars. Trying to maneuver without being noticed. Watching the actions beyond their small confines. With the palm of his own hand he curled Segan's fingers into a fist and lifted his forearm. A quick look toward the area of angry shouts. Conor shifted, slowly, looked beyond, then rotated Segan's arm away from his body, fist in his hand. "Sonofafuck'nbitch, Brother, here we go." Conor sent a silent prayer that the tissue beneath that dislocation hadn't been damaged too much, or that the swelling which had surely taken place wouldn't prevent the notching of ball back into socket. He grimaced, set his jaw ...

Actually the pirates hadn't beaten him up but the dragging from the shore a distance away on the wheel of his ship had been just enough to dislocate his shoulder. The lump on the back of his head came from when he was thrown from his ship before it had hit the rocks that took it down and most of his men with it. Perhaps it was a blessing that the Sea Mistress didn't want him yet. Where he had been standing was destroyed along with the men that had been even near where Segan had stood, were dead. Josh had won the argument to have the one near dead finished off and gotten rid of. He was spooked as it were with the man half dead or dead. He wanted the issue cut and dry, cut the man's throat and decide his fate right there. They had been loud, shouting and even a few fist fights broke out that had nothing to do with the issue they were debating. Segan had groaned in pain when moved to his back and luckily when his brother set his shoulder the pain had him shout out. Not really a word but more a heart throbbing sound of pain. It came just before all the shouting was done and Josh along with Dog started to the cage to dispose of the half dead one. Confusion filled eyes turned on the man near him, glossed over in pain that took a few moments. "Conor?" Recognition setting in as he tried to move but found he was unable, the one half of his body was throbbing still. He had no idea where he was or what had happened but he recognized his brother.

Dog didn't quite understand the reasoning behind the decision. Man wasn't dead yet and what if the Boss didn't like it. He also was getting tired of being bossed around like some half witted cabin boy. As they approached the cage, he saw the one was awake and trying to sit up. An arm when out to stop Josh and he pointed, using his knife. "Man ain't dead." He stepped close to the cage and looked through, studying him. "Not a good idea when th' Boss ain't seen him yet." His eyes narrowed though and he looked at Conor. "Ye be from' th' same ship, th' one that ol' Davy claimed?"

"Must be in hell, Brother. 'Cause we both know I'm not bound for the likes of those pearly gates." His gaze shot up from Segan to the two men, Mutt and Mongrel, as they returned. Now there was a question for the ages! Conor took a moment to answer. Finally that answer came in a nod. Not a lie, actually. The man wasn't dead. Nod. Not a good idea when the boss ain't seen him yet. Nod. Ye be from the same ship? Okay, so not a full all out falsehood. He had been, at one time from that ship, the one that ol'Davy claimed. Just not this night. "Think he can have some water?" He jerked his head over toward Segan, not taking his eyes off of those two.

"Then we are both in hell, for I'm not bound for Heaven either," words muffled out just before the arrival of the two. Clarity was setting in as the glossy eye look was easing away. This was not to say he wasn't still in pain. More like a dull ache, worse than a bad tooth but he'd suffered such before. Segan was quick to pipe in, "aye, mercenaries, we took o'er t'e s'ip 'fore t'e hurricane hit. S'ip was loaded wit' goods now a t'e bottom o' t'e sea," Segan knew that if they thought there were on the bad side of the coin too, their chances of surviving were a lot greater. He was also smart enough to use their real first names so they responded rightly, "I bae Segan and he bae Con'r." The accent was heavy and purposely so.


Date: 06-20-11
Poster: Segan Quinn 
Post # 15

It was at that moment in talking to the two that Curt, one of the original ones that had found Segan and dragged him here along with Worm, came up quickly and unceremoniously slit Josh's throat, shoving the dead body aside as it still jerked. "Now, bae t'at a lesson tae yea all t'at no decision bae made wit'out me say so." A crowd of pirates had gathered around by this time as Curt turned directly on Dog, "get rid o' t'e body an best bae careful w'o yea c'um wit' next time."

"Boss didn' put ye in charge." He growled, but still obeyed, taking the remains out and into the rain. There he had two others help him bury the body, after emptying Josh's pockets and helping himself to Conor's knife. Josh wouldn't be needing any of his possessions anymore. As he returned, he wondered if Curt would be challenging the Boss. Maybe it would save him the trouble of killing Curt himself. He didn't bother talking to any of the others, just saw to the water for Segan.

Conor kept his mouth...shut...and let Segan do all the talking. Instead, he just eyed the goings on, the push and shove and slitting for say-so rights. It didn't seem that any of them had any real power, not in the main scheme of things, not yet anyway. The youngest Quinn moved away from his injured brother's side only when the Dogman returned with a tin cup of water. He accepted it through the bars and offered a dip of head in thanks, then lowered back with a sniff inside first, before handing it over to his brother. The mud was now caked to his clothing, his hair and his skin, falling off in crumbling chunks on the rock of the cave floor.

"Yea challenge mae Dog t'at t'e Boss left mae 'n c'arge?" Which Dog knew he had a few big men to support his claim that came around to stand by their friend. Including Worm. His look narrowed on Dog before making his statement which was in opposite of the now dead Josh. "Bot' scoundrels are tae remain alive, the Boss could have use fir t'em. Give 'em descent food and drink." Which he expected his declaration to be followed, "but t'ey are tae remain prisoners." Which he eyed the two, Segan certainly looked what he claimed more than the other but a good pirate usually had a side kick. Worm lingered as his friend left to see to other matters and looked them both over. Cuts, bruises, mud and so on as he took his leave, leaving Dog to see to Curt's orders. He came back about ten minutes later and pushed a change of clothes for each through the bars, just a shirt and pair of pants that seemed clean enough. They would probably fit close to their size as that is what he took the moment to gauge. A look then passed over Dog before he turned on a heel and left.

Worm was pretty much ignored until he walked away and Dog watched him a moment. "Here be yer boots back since yer goin' ta live after all." He had food for Segan now since he had given Conor stew earlier. "Best t' drink the water, aye?" He wasn't being overly friendly, just a warning about the ale since the mug was still sitting there. "Guess I be gettin' to be yer tender til the Boss gets here." He still didn't believe Curt was in charge but Dog didn't have the backing Curt had. He moved away again, giving the two men as much privacy as was possible being locked in as they were.

Conor helped Segan to discard the old and don the new, being careful of that shoulder. He didn't need to tell his brother to try not to use that arm, that was a given. Once Segan was seen to and had started to eat, Conor peeled out of his mud crusted clothing and into the somewhat cleaner version. The cage was small, making it hard to move around, but all was accomplished. He pulled back on his boots, eyeing Dog's back, and wondering if the man had salvaged his dagger from the dead man. Just wondering... considering he was going to get that back.

Which he was grateful for because it was a task that would take a lot pain and effort.. struggling for some time. He watched Dog, not trusting him overly but here too he was grateful for the water and food. At least he was dry even if there was a musty smell to the clothes, as if they had been stored in the hull of a ship for some time. Probably leftovers from dead sailors that were usable. He eyed Dog's back which then shifted to Conor as he ate. Ate like one needing nourishment. Too bad Conor didn't have the long arm of the law.. literally and nab Dog, get the knife, use the tip on the lock and the two get the hell out of here. Except, Segan wasn't really sure where -here- was. Words came low as he watched to see any movement on Dog's part that he might be listening. So far he was probably far enough away. "W'ere exactly are we?"

Oh, Dog had the knife. Tucked right into his belt. He finished his own meal then shifted slightly to watch not only the prisoners but the entire cave. It wasn't long however, before he was up and walking away. It was his shift for sleeping and he intended to do so. Hadn't been told to actually guard and he wasn't going to.

"I feck'n told you, Segan..." Conor growled back, cutting a smile to his brother although he wasn't amused. "Hell..." But then Dog was up and walking away. He gave a nod in the general direction of the lighthouse, but said nothing about it since some of the men had wandered nearer. Once Dog was a good ways away, he shifted closer to his brother. "Eion and Gabriel are at the lighthouse, we were looking for you once we heard about the fate of your ... boat." Yes, he just used boat ... on purpose ... regarding Segan's ship. "And look, here you were the whole time, just hanging out...waiting to be found." Those last words were low again, since men were moving about, and Conor's gaze had shifted to look out to mark their locations. "Damn bloody pirates..."

Which almost had a laugh from Segan but the sound came muffled as he drank some of the water. Ale smelled like one of the pirates, or more, had pissed in it for kicks. They probably had the good stuff. "Which direction would you say that is in?" Meaning the lighthouse as he eased on his boots. They were not ordinary boots but ones specially made. The task was painful but fingers worked the top seam open and he slid out a knife with a flat handle, why it would not be detected in showing any bulge. He slipped it over to his brother knowing he would be best with it considering his one side was not very usable presently. There was also a buckle that he twisted off, wasn't really mere decoration or useful as the metal piece when pressed split open to serve as a slicing tool. It could easily slit a man's throat as surely as a knife. It was now hidden away in the palm of his hand. There was a slight frown, "can't say I've a boat or a ship right now but there is descent cargo worth money at the bottom of the sea where it sank." Acting as if the two were having an ordinary conversation as he finished pulling on his boots. That was if anyone was noticing.

What the...they took Conor's basic, everyday boots and left those fancy boy boots of Segan's? These pirates were fools. Not that it didn't work to their advantage though. Conor eased the dagger from his brother, keeping his gaze on the whereabouts of those outside and prepared himself for whatever might come. It wasn't like he and Segan hadn't taken on a good many men before in a brawl. But those times, both of them had at least started at full strength capacity, not one of them practically maimed. "Well, Brother-mine, it looks like it is you and me again..." This time his smile was genuine as he looked to Segan then back out again. "I want that Dog, though ... he has something of mine I'm needing back."

There was obviously no rhyme nor reason to their actions and the true Boss not around, only an acting one that was being challenged. Luckily that would keep the one's attention at all times. More so than any prisoners. "Aye," came Segan's low reply as he glanced to where Dog had retreated. They were in luck for it was in the direction they needed to go. First things first as he tried standing and near went down as he got up. Except he wasn't going to give up and tried it a second and third time, finally succeeding. A little unsteady but he was up. "Think that lock will give?" Standing closer to his brother and looking like he was taking a piss outside bars at the side of the cage.

Dog was sound asleep by this time. A few of the men were talking nearby but they didn't remain for long and another shift took place at mining. It was hard to say where anyone was at this point other then being spread out. Curt and his friends were in another part of the cave.

"I think it's worth a check-see." Conor turned and with a nonchalant look around, tucked that knife blade this way and that inside the lock. Just an everyday standing at the bars, looking around. No reason to wonder what the hell the prisoner was doing, right? Twist of wrist, poke-prod of dagger and then, to Conor's surprise, the soft chink of release had the weight of lock in his hand. Conor's lips twitched to a semi-smile. He hadn't really thought that would work! He took two steps back, right beside Segan. "What the hell?" He chuckled past the severity of their situation. "The damn thing opened right easy as spreading a whore's legs." The back wall was rock and earth and Conor, seeing the opportunity, couldn't help himself. He went back to that dirt and while Segan struggled forward, he left a little farewell comment behind. 'Goo hlfreann leat-Quinn' Whether they made it out alive or not, there was always that. Go to hell-Quinn. "Are you ready to do this thing, Segan?" He wiped off Segan's blade and came up alongside him by the still closed door of their cage. Think they could slip out without any commotion at all? Quinns?

"Some times you get lucky," as he really took a pee and was fastening up his pants for if they were of fierce pirates, they might notice a fake situation. One of the pirates had looked in on them and made note that Dog was not there and was back to talk to Curt. Another fight was breaking out, perhaps it was the delayed arrival of the Boss and not liking to be bossed around by Curt and his cutthroats. Whatever the reason, now was the time for them to act. Seize the moment. "I will keep up." In case his brother was wondering. "Now or never," which he eyed the area the others were through in another section. One with goods. He slipped out the door leaving his old clothes in a pile with a blanket over it as if he was asleep. It might fool them the few seconds or minutes they needed. Into another small cave that led out to the open shore. It was dark at this point and he'd keep a low profile. Instead of talking he motioned with his hand the direction Dog had taken to sleep for the night. Probably some hidy hole thinking one might slit his throat in the night. Probably right.

Couple places were used for sleep. Snoring came from several. They'd have to make a guess which was his!

Just follow the smell of a wet Dog.

Conor walked those few paces backwards, covering Segan's back as the man led the way. Thing about Dog? He had a heavy right foot and when he walked, the last of his step dragged just enough to leave a mark. A faint scuff, but a mark never-the-less. The sand which had blown in with the storm left just enough coverage to show that step. With a nod to Segan, Conor slipped off. In a couple of minutes, he was back out, rubbing his knuckles but sure as shit, his dagger had been returned to his boot. He didn't tease Segan for not having gotten farther than what he had by the time Conor joined him. Teasing would come after they were out of this place and safely away.

Actually he had covered his brother's back but yes, he was slow, far slower than usual but he was getting past the pain, having it numb in his mind and his mind overpowering his body to do as it would normally. Not quite but he was making progress. Soon as he saw his brother he started out into the open beyond the caves and found a path that would have them least noticed. It brought them through rough terrain of jutting rocks and boulders as big as a house. This would help them hide easier once they made it to that section. They could hear the fight that had broken out and no shouts yet that the prisoners had escaped. Unfortunately their escape was cut off by the tide that had come in as they managed to another cave (one Davin and Niah had found). "We're going to have to swim down and out to get out of here.." which he started into the water. There was no turning back for just the attempt to escape would have them dead on sight, no questions asked.

Yes, they were fighting again and this time Dog would be out of it. Even if he had waken up from the blow delivered by Conor, he would have stayed where he was. Let Curt explain the loss of the prisoners, whether by escape or drowning. What did he care?

The dangerous terrain took a lot of concentration, and the dangers that lurked behind them demanded the same. Conor tried to keep an eye on Segan's progress, since the man wasn't at his best right now, and then watch his own climbing, clambering, struggling pace over the boulders. While they attempted to make good their escape, all Conor could think about was Herself, and the huff she would be in if Conor didn't manage to get the both of them across this rocky divide and back safely.

He was easing down and then his feet went out from under him as he was not that stable yet. It caused a big splash but luckily there were none to hear that aside themselves. He was starting to feel the ordeal his body had gone through, first being thrown from his ship during the hurricane, spit out on shore atop the wheel of the Anaconda then dragged to the pirate's hidden site, dislocating his shoulder added to all the cuts and bruises. Down and under he went, at least it was somewhat of a balm for the buoyancy the water offered as he made his way through one cave opening then the next before he was out where he could surface and suck in a needed breath as he broke the surface. He looked around quick to make sure Conor had made it through was well.

Up popped his brother right behind him, bolting forward to take Segan under his arm and wrapping that arm around Conor's shoulder as the support was provided. He blinked past the salt water, giving his head a shake and using his free hand to swipe away the wetness from his face.

Eion had left the lighthouse and gone down to the beach while Gabriel took to flight in the lessening rain. Though it was rougher by the rocks, he made his way there and watched as the water came up and covered them, right up to the cliffs. How were they going to find Segan in this? And how could he face Herself if they didn't. He backpedaled as two men suddenly popped up from the rough surf, reaching for his sword, blinked and let out a shout. "Segan!" And... "Conor?!" Splashing into the water, he nearly fell as he came to his brothers', in case they needed aid. "How in the name of the angels did you find him, Conor?"

"Eion?" He'd not admit he needed the help but certainly was grateful to Conor for the assistance. A fine day in hell when they dragged this sea captain's ass from the salty waters. It was going to get worse when he found out just how many of his men died, let alone the loss of his ship. To him his crew was more important. Conor would feel the heavier weight of his brother in support. One could only go beyond the normal measures before it all caught up. It was catching up but he kept conscious even if his head started to feel dull, in a way of putting it.

Conor motioned with his head for Eion to take Segan's other side. Segan might be his brother...but he WAS heavy...and getting heavier as the man began to lose stamina. "I uhm..." Conor started, looking over to Segan, then up toward the lighthouse. Holy Mother, they still had to get him up there. "I ... I was brought to him, actually. Careful of that shoulder, Eion, it has only recently been reset." The pain from the dislocation would be gone, but with the time elapsed from injury to correction, the shoulder would be hurting for other reasons.

The soldiers had been carrying the wounded during their search. They'd get help if needed. "You can tell me about it once we get him to safety." It would take time but by the next day Segan would be back in the manor, under the watchful eye of his family and Mary Quinn herself. Proving once again that the Family Quinn were survivors.


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