Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    On The Hunt For Huney

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    Mortis
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    On The Hunt For Huney

    Post by Mortis on Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:17 pm

    Time: Afternoon
    Date: April 6th, 0007

    Despite how early it was into spring, the forest was alive with sound. Birds fluttered and twittered among each other as they flew over the treetops and down between the branches. Every so often a large dark shape would pass overhead, whether it was a hawk or a crow could not be discerned, but it agitated the flock nonetheless. A swarm of tiny wings and loud peeping would immediately sweep after it like a sentient cloud before returning to the cover of the sea of barren branches and prickly pine limbs.

    The swarm of chattering beaks and glistening dark eyes began to argue and raise their shrill voices anew, but their focus was not on the sky above, but down beneath the branches. A pale, dense mist rolled between the sturdy trunks of the trees and spread its wispy fingers down through the budding undergrowth. Beads of moisture that had collected upon the beginnings of fresh green leaf buds turned to icy crystals at the strange formation’s passing caress, and left a trail of frosty lattice in its wake that wove over the rotting leaves and draped over the fresh shoots of new ferns in a frigid, deathly grip.

    The birds shrieked and hopped from branch to branch as they watched this unnatural intruder, a few deigned the event too strange and flew away into the depths of the forest. But their yelling grew even louder as they heard a rhythmic drumming coming from within the strange, freezing fog bank. A heavy thunder that rolled and grew steadily nearer, until a horrifying snout pierced through the veil, wearing a rictus grin that stretched across it unsettlingly and was followed by the rest of the rotting beast and its rider as iron-shod hooves connected with the fresh, thawed earth. The mist flung itself aside as it hastily emerged, then- as if suddenly having a change of heart- curled around to reach and snake its pale tendrils after the animal’s retreating flanks, chasing its after-wind but always failing to catch up.

    The mist dissipated as the duo loped away, as did the high pitched chattering once the birds had been left behind. Within moments there was nothing but the sound of the wind whispering through the limbs above, and the sound of Samhain’s hooves clapping upon the ground.

    Mortis eased his horse down from her lope to walk over the wet leaves and moist earth with a thought, turning to retrieve his shotgun from its holster at the mare’s side in the same motion. The metal of its twin barrels gleamed in the low light, just as dangerous as they were well kept. He had been certain to ensure that the weapon was loaded before he left. The weapon was held across his lap as he gripped the reins in his other hand, his skeletal head on a swivel as he scanned their surroundings from atop his perch. When one was happily seated upon the back of beast such as Samhain, which easy held the undead superfiend eight feet from the ground, there was barely a detail that went unnoticed. He could see the new shoots of ferns and grass that peeked out from under the dense leaf litter, he could discern the scurrying chipmunks and squirrels as they ventured from their burrows to find the nuts they had stored away the prior fall.

    And there was little that could not see him either. Further back the undead noticed a few heads among a passing herd of deer turn in his direction, and swiveled their wide, plate-sized ears towards the strange creature of bones and shrouded in black as it lumbered through their woods. The bucks licked their shiny black noses apprehensively and bobbed their heads, trying to puzzle out where one decaying body ended and the other began. A few does silently ushered their fawns away from the front of the herd with a telling motion, and back behind their mothers. Their audience watched with wide, dark eyes; and Samhain could not help but flick an ear in their direction as well, nearly questioning whether or not they could chase the group while they searched for bees. The quiet stare-down between deer and horse ended the moment Mortis and Samhain passed behind a grouping of conifers that grew too close together, and tangled themselves into knot of jagged bark and spiny brush.

    The horse flicked her tail and rusted a barren sapling as she passed, her ear turning from where it had been pointed towards the deer to her Master.

    How far are we going to find the hives?

    Mortis shifted in his seat, a low hiss slithering from his throat. ”I have detected a grouping thisss way of them, a hive that hasss grown active with the thaw. They are healthy and will do well for my purpossesss.”

    He quietly eased his horse between the trees, following a path that only he knew. Their simple thoughts stood out to him, numerous and single-minded.

    Find water.
    Find flowers.
    Serve the queen.
    Protect the hive.
    Mind the larvae.

    Yes, the world was not only physically abuzz with activity this time of year, but also mentally. Busy, busy, busy; busy as a bee, even. A whole hive of them was unmistakeable in their like-minded thoughts, droning to the point of deafening if one had the talent to focus on them. Whole intriguing it all was, that a single bee, a single insect, could control them all through chemicals alone. Pheromones would be the precise term, but at its core, the entire hive was kept in line chemically.

    Thus, it did not take long for Mortis to lead his steed to the first leg of their search, and stepped through a patch of budding shrubbery to behold a rather portly looking hive in the upper branches of an old crab apple tree. Although, it looked nothing like hives were usually portrayed. There was no outer covering, or a bee-sized hole in the side of a spiraling golden outer shell. Mortis tipped the brim of his hat back as he brought his mare to the side of the tree, and observed what looked to be a hive turned inside-out. Five wide rows of combs hung down from a single sturdy branch that they were molded around, though it was difficult to discern from the massive swarm that had gathered tightly upon them. Every so often a worker would zip to and from the mass, bringing back what it could find and how it came to find it in the first place to the rest.

    It certainly looked daunting enough, as there had to be thousands of bees accumulated upon those combs, which likely were laden with the fruits of the prior summer’s labor. But, it was simplified immensely, when one separated the mass into two categories: the queen, and her buzzing subjects.

    ”Ssstay sssteady, Sssamhain.” He rasped to the undead steed.

    His feet slipped out of the stirrups and Mortis pulled himself up to stand in Samhain’s saddle, keeping his posture hunched to refrain from bumping into the tree’s gnarled limbs. Holstering the shotgun against his hip, he looked at and gauged the distance between him and the swollen mass of bees. They were easily within arm’s reach, with Samhain’s help to boost him an extra eight feet from the ground. His torso swiveled with a series of sickening pops and cracks, until the undead’s upper half was twisted around behind him to face the two wooden boxes that were situated upon the mare’s back. He pulled off one of their lids and set it top of the box next to it, revealing a fine, deep chamber that would abide the hive perfectly until he brought them home.

    Or at least, so he figured, from eye-balling the nest in comparison to the wooden box.

    Another sharp pop and a snap later, and Mortis had rotated himself back around to a more natural looking posture. His clawed hands reached up and gently parted the barren limbs to make way as he stood to his full height upon his horse’s back. The swarm buzzed a little more agitatedly at his presence growing nearer, and then settled.

    All it took was a mental command to their queen in order to settle the rest of the swarm. What was left was to take care not to accidently crush any of the drones. The branch the queen had decided to affix her hive to was quite sturdy, a strong, thick limb; healthy and old. It would take time to adequately saw it off, perhaps the hive would need to be subdued until it could be done - who knew how long that would take- but thankfully that would not be the case for this undead superfiend.

    Gnarled, rotted hands gripped at the limb that stretched to either side of the hive, curling his yellowed talons into the bark. There was a crunching, crumbling sound as the wood began to rot away in his grip, until there was a soft ripping noise as the portion of the limb that had stretched out away from the hive fell away to crash on the forest floor. The part that was still connected to the trunk turned a nasty, rotten black as the wood decayed away. Slivers of rotten wood flaked and fell away in a rain of chunky confetti, and the limb was effortlessly pulled off the trunk of the crab apple with a soft tearing noise. Within Mortis’ hands there were two short, thick handles on either side of the hive for him to grip. Despite the commotion, the bees seemed perfectly calm, not a flurry of angry buzzing or swarming to be seen within the five amber rows of wax and honey. A few drones crawled over his fingers to fly off in search of more water for the hive.

    Below, Samhain had her head turned to watch over her shoulder as her master fiddled around with the branches. Although she could not rightfully smell the honey in the hive or discern what exactly honey was to begin with, something about it made her wiggle her lips and contemplate the satisfying crunch she could hear should they come across a hive that was just her height.

    Mortis glanced down at the horse from where he was standing upon the saddle’s black leather. "Sssammy, there will be no eating the beesss.” He was quick to bite that little curiosity in the bud before it could blossom into anything too destructive.

    But if they came across a family of wasps on the other hand... He chuckled quietly to himself at the thought. Samhain could not rightfully be harmed by an angry swarm of hornets, but she could bring plenty of harm to them.

    Now, came the delicate part. Mortis took a moment to look over his prize, mindful to keep the Queen calm while he examined the teeming mass of honeybees. He could barely discern whether there was a hive at all under those thousands of huddled bodies, save from their combined thoughts alone. His skull turned to look down at Samahin’s saddle as he eased himself to squat down upon the horse’s back, before twisting his spine around to gently deposit the hive into the wooden container he had open. He kept the queen and her subjects settled as he adjusted the hive to sit in the box, and then retrieved the lid to set over to the top of it, sliding it down to shut firmly with a muted thud. Within, he could hear a brief chorus of disturbed humming before it faded and settled again.

    ”One hive down, Sssammy.” He happily reported to his horse.

    His torso swiveled around with another pop and a snap, and Mortis let himself drop back down to sit in the saddle again.

    Where is the next one?

    Mortis hissed and slipped his clawed feet back into the stirrups, scanning the forest for a moment before pointing ahead, towards a clearing that could barely be seen through a dense cluster of reedy bushes.

    ”There, I sssenssse another hive that can sssuit our purpossess.” He hissed, and guided the horse on.

    The shotgun that had been holstered in his belt was pulled out as the mare walked onward, keeping her pace steady to avoid disturbing the recently acquired hive. But where she failed, Mortis was able to quell the insects’ agitation, and guided their queen to settle her subjects to a more manageable train of thought. Going dormant sounded especially tempting, he thought, perhaps her highness would be of the same disposition.
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    Re: On The Hunt For Huney

    Post by Universal NPC on Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:18 pm

    The visitors to this wood did little to hide their passing. Large hoofprints sank deep into the crushed leaf litter, and stinking decay filled them like a puddle of foul water. With the coming of spring and its rainy, thawing season, more than just the ground ridded itself of winter’s freezing chill. Bushes riddled with the tiny green sprouts of flower buds rustled and were abruptly shoved aside, and the ground gave way to being rent and torn under large, thick claws.

    Steam plumed from its wet, large nose, twitching and sniffing the ground. Scents were keener during the rainy days, they lingered on the air and in the ground far longer. This denizen of the woods came to pause upon one such scent, pressing its nose against the fresh imprint left from a spiked horseshoe. It snuffed deeply and curled its lip as it lifted its nose to the air huffing and puffing before taking slow, but steady pursuit. It could smell a stink of decay, but it could also smell something else. Something sweet, something waxy.

    Something that made its mouth water and brought a sugary, tasty memory to the beast’s mind.

    A trail of drool dripped from its loose lips to dribble thickly upon the moist earth, joining its clawed footprints that easily covered the strange footprints that pushed deep into the forest floor.




    If You Go Down To The Woods Today...

    Flip a coin, if HIT Mortis’ bee hive draws something out of the forest.
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    Re: On The Hunt For Huney

    Post by System on Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:18 pm

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    Re: On The Hunt For Huney

    Post by Mortis on Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:39 pm

    Samhain’s ear flicked back as they kept riding, and Mortis could not help but tilt his head to glance behind them in turn. The woods were expected to be fairly active this time of year, as the world began to warm again and life started to trickle back into the trees and the air. Empty sockets scanned the woods behind them, but saw nothing out of the usual. His senses however, considered that there might be something on the hunt further back where they had been pulling a bee hive down from the old crab apple tree.

    Even so, as long as it did not get too close to them, Mortis was fine to leave it be.

    Turning his gaze back to the woods with a dull series of pops from his neck, the undead eased his horse’s concerns and urged them onward. The next hive was not too far away from them now. Samhain shouldered aside another skeletal lattice of barren bushes, which rattled and hissed in protest. Beyond it the undead guided Samhain through the trees, coming around a pair of oaks that had twisted together until they grew and swallowed each other at the base, and spread away from each other as the trunk grew lopsidedly upward and split in two. The mare’s heavy hooves stepped through a small patch of low-growing white flowers, and crushed through the budding new growth of forest ferns.

    Overhead, and couple of young squirrels chattered and leaped from branch to branch as they scurried about, chasing one another in between watching the two strange intruders to the deep woods. Samhain’s ear cocked itself in their direction now and again as she walked, her tail flicking from side to side as she contemplated hopping up and pulling them down from a low hanging branch; snuffing that incessant squeaking and scrambling around for good.

    ”Easssy, Sssammy.” Mortis soothed, and sent a psychic pat upon the mare’s neck, fond and affectionate. ”Later on we can chassse the sssquirrelsss.”

    Preferably after they had gotten the bees home and safely transfered into their new hives.

    The mare seemed pleased with the offer nonetheless, as she nodded her head and puffed through her flared, mummified nostrils. Her ear and the stub that remained of the other swiveled forward, happily following her master’s instruction with little distraction. Weaving between the trees and stepping through the bushes, the horse was inevitably lead into a clearing, small and yet far from barren.

    Already spring flowers were beginning to sprout and bloom, encouraged by the humid weather and recent warming period that the woods were going through. Vibrant reds and yellows blended together on the grassy ground with blues and purples, snaking their way up through the weeping remains of what looked to be some form of long grass. The undead superfiend leaned over in his saddle to take a look at the rainbow of wildflowers as they passed, idly pondering whether or not to take a moment to pick a small bunch for Woolie to enjoy when they returned home. They seemed to be the type that were not especially toxic to those of the ovine disposition. A few bees hopped from bloom to bloom, taking their first sips of nectar of the season.

    Mortis gave a thoughtful hiss and straightened in his seat, tuning himself in to the tiny yellow and black insect’s thoughts. They were simple enough, focused entirely upon getting food for their queen, but it was not them that the superfiend was looking for, as he let his seeking thoughts jump from bee to bee, until he found a few that were flying out of the clearing.

    Their thoughts gave a direct path back to their hive, and it happened to be the one they were looking for. It was not too far away, much to Mortis’ and the bee’s fortune.

    He put that thought of gathering flowers away for later, as the low humming that steadily grew louder above them heralded that they had finally come to find their next beehive. A tall, expansive oak had been claimed for their home. It’s branches spread up and over the canopy, nearly resting itself upon the smaller trees that were behind it like broad snaking arms. Like the previous one, this hive sat out on the branches, arranged in broad, honey-laden slabs. Just like the previous one as well, they were all covered with bees. Thousands of drones that huddled close together and shielded their queen from the elements. The undead’s head tilted thoughtfully to the side as he regarded it from where he was seated on Samhain’s back, his foretalon and thumb rubbing cupping his bony chin thoughtfully.

    Promising as it was, the retired Dark Judge saw one issue with the entire picture.

    This tree was a lot taller than the crab apple Mortis had taken the last hive out of. He figured it to be twice as tall, even, and thrice as bristly with its budding branches that tangled within one another and layered in a way that resembled a very gnarled web when he looked at it from below. The queen, in all of her insectoid, short-lived wisdom, decided to place her subjects safely in the upper branches of the oak tree, where the limbs were dense enough to hold the weight of their very successful hive, but high enough to stay out of reach of any encroaching, honey-hungry fiends.

    The type of creatures that would happily pull them down from their lofty fortress. Creatures like Mortis- though no one would have expected such an event to come to pass.

    ”Ssss...” This would be tricky.

    Granted, he could just rot part of the trunk and command Samhain to kick the behemoth over, but in the process he likely would disrupt the whole hive and send them into a panicked, angry swarm. But, there were plenty of other ways to pluck a few thousand bees from a tree.

    Samhain meanwhile, had tilted her head to look back at her master, following his thoughts as he puzzled out the massive tree in recline. Empty sockets followed the branches up, and noticed a little something about them. There were a number of thick branches that snaked up like rungs on a ladder, weighty enough to likely bear him without issue- not there was much of him to bear in the first place. By now Mortis figured a good third of his weight came from his overcoats.

    ”Sssamhain, you sssee that branch up there?’ He nodded in the direction of a thick limb that jaggedly snaked this way and that before spreading into smaller branches and twigs.

    The horse’s rictus grin twitched and thinned into something more contemplative, before her single ear pricked in the direction that her master had indicated.

    Yes, master.

    The undead was already slipping out of the stirrups and lifting himself up to crouch on top of the mare's back. ”Get me asss clossse asss you can to it.” He rasped, and took a firm grip of what sparse mane remained at the base of her neck.

    Samhain stepped forward to the tree, her ear and a half flicking this way and that as she contemplated the thick trunk and the aforementioned limb she was tasked with boosting her master towards. Then, with a low grunt, she popped her front half off the ground and soundly clapped her front hooves against the oak’s sturdy trunk. The limbs rustled and hissed, and the mare shook her head as she was met with a brief rain of dead twigs. With her spiked shoes digging into the bark, the horse’s body was leaning against it with her shoulders offered as a step towards a limb that now was not so out of reach.

    ”My thanksss,” Mortis praised, and tucked his shotgun back into his belt before climbing up the mare’s back.

    Gnarled talons gripped the thick limb and pulled himself up as he pushed off from the horse’s sloping shoulders, and in the same motion he quickly whipped a spidery arm out to snatch another limb above him to balance himself. He glanced down at his steed, and noticed a mass of twigs had gathered in her eye socket from the prior volley. It was dense enough that one would almost expect a pair of birds to attempt to come to roost. Whether or not it bothered her could not be discerned, as despite the mass, she was focused attentively upon Mortis.

    His sheep skull tipped in a small nod, and one hand came to hold his hat upon his bleached bones as he ascended up through the limbs. The tangled masses that hampered his climb were rotted off of the trunk and tossed down to the ground below. Samhain’s head tilted at some points to watch as limb after limb crashed down from the upper branches into a small pile next to her, snagging as if trying to claw themselves out of their descent. The ones that were still intact made a small effort of pulling at the edges of his coat, before snapping as they were bent cruelly upwards from this intruder’s brisk movements.

    The undead’s spidery limbs snatched and grabbed their way up through the oak, until he was face to swarm with the hive. Much like the last hive he had stolen away, he sought out the queen and settled her- settling the rest of the hive in the process.

    He sidled himself a little closer to the hive, stepping onto a branch that stuck out a little lower than the hive, but perfectly next to it. Another bout of twigs rained down with the action, dead kindling that failed to be dislodged by the weather. His tail whipped from beneath his overcoat to lash itself around the trunk that leaned back the further up the tree reached. He gripped the hive ‘s branch, his hands flanking the mass of bees and wax, before getting to work on removing it from the tree. With a soft crumbling sound or wood rotting beneath his fingertips, the long length of tree branch fell away, the bottom of it disgustingly soft and blackened from the undead’s rotting touch. Then, with another soft crumple, he severed the branch from the trunk of the tree without disturbing the queen or her subjects.

    His skull swiveled as he considered his position, and quickly realized that perhaps getting up to the hive was not exactly the tricky part after all. With both of his hands full, getting down from the lofty upper branches of the tree became a challenging puzzle in itself.

    And to make matters worse, he could see a sharp wind racing over the top of the trees and towards where he was carefully balanced. The crown of reaching, gnarled limbs that made up the horizon swayed and hissed in angry whispers that quickly approached with every passing second.

    Sssss!” Mortis’ feelings on the matter were echoed by the bees in his grip, which suddenly started up a chorus of disturbed buzzing.

    Below, Samhain evidently had picked up on her master’s plight, as her ear and a half swiveled in his direction and she gave a worried neigh up to him.

    ”Yesss, yesss, I am well aware!” Mortis hastily replied, ”I am coming down, be ready to catch me!”

    Oh, and down he did come.

    The moment he hopped down from the upper branch to the lower one, the wind had hastened its path across the tops of the trees and caught his coat, tugging it- and him- off course. Clawed feet slipped on the bark and tore a deep gouge in its rough skin and the superfiend hissed in distress as he toppled down a good ten feet. Limbs snapped against his host, the weaker ones cracking in half as he fell through them, and the sturdier ones serving to swat him this way and that; forward, back, one limb knocked him upside down just in time for another to uppercut him rightside up again. Another clothes-lined him into a tumble that sent him crashing through three more branches. It was all he could do to simply keep the hive tucked close enough to not shatter on the way down.

    Below, Samhain followed his descent, her ear and a stub pinned as her head closely tracked every snap, crunch, and crash her master made on the way down the giant oak. Her hooves had already ripped themselves off the trunk of the tree, and now danced on the grass as she tried her best to align herself to catch her ambitious master upon her saddle. She stomped to the left, then shimmied to the right, and then with a dull thud, she heard Mortis make contact.

    Sprawled out on her back, belly first, was Mortis. She glanced back to see him, his host stuck through with nearly every twig he could have possibly caught on the way down. But, he held something aloft in his grip; a teeming mass of buzzing things, slung along a short section of oak. Amazingly, throughout the fall Mortis managed to keep the hive intact- albeit shaken.

    Samhain’s nostrils flared with a dull huff, mainly concerned with her master’s well being regardless of whether he had gotten his prize. He looked more like a porcupine with all the sharp bits of wood sticking out of him than a terrifying undead superfiend. But there was something missing. Where had his hat gone? The mare glanced up and saw what looked to be the undead’s wide-brimmed stetson hanging delicately off the gnarled finger of a low hanging branch. Lumbering over to the trunk of the tree, she lifted a strong back leg and knocked the oak with a stiff kick that shook it from root to canopy. The limb shivered, and the hat dislodged itself in the process, floating down for the mare to snatch out of the air with her teeth. Unable to reach her master where his head was resting just above her tail, she settled for reaching her long snout around to rest his hat upon Mortis’ shattered arse instead.

    Two hives down.

    Mortis mirrored his horse’s sentiments with a mumbled response, although what exactly he said could not be discerned. She waited as he peeled himself off her emaciated back , and slowly went about putting the hive in the other box. The lid was pulled aside with one hand, and the hive was eased down into the box with the other. The sound of the wooden lid being pressed down securely over the top was a victorious sound, and Motis reached back with a series of overly loud snaps and pops to reclaim his hat.

    ”My thanksss, Sssamhain. Good horsse.” He rasped, and pulled himself up fully to turn around and sit back in the saddle.

    Will you be fine?

    Mortis witnessed as Samhain’s long face turned to look sidelong at him with the eye socket that was filled with odd twigs. With a low hiss he leaned forward and picked them out, brushing off the side of the mare’s face softly before giving a mental pat on the side of her neck.

    ”No worssse for wear than ussual, mon dessstrier, but I appreciate the concern.” He rasped in reply, ”It isss nothing a ssoak in deadfluidsss cannot fix.”

    Along with a long session of plucking out stray bits of wood. Already his talons had sought out a few jagged bits of tree branch and yanked them out, flicking them aside to the grassy ground below. Into the grass, and the flowers.

    Ah, yes, the flowers. He tilted his head to the side, plucking another twig out from between his ribs to flick away. There was still some time to get flowers for Woolie, it would take but a few minutes and she would appreciate the gift-especially an edible one. Samhain however had other ideas, as she already was taking a few steps to turn and leave the miniature meadow.

    ”Woah, Sssammy. We can ssspare a few momentsss.” He eased, bringing the monstrous undead horse to a stop. ”I am going to get ssome flowersss for Woolie, you wait there for a moment, relax.”

    There was no harm in taking a moment to rest off the tumble he had endured.

    Samhain’s ear flicked back slightly and she gave a small puff, not entirely sold on the idea, but Mortis was already sliding out of the saddle to go pick the wildflowers. Her tail flicked, glancing back at her buzzing cargo that was strapped firmly to her flanks, before looking out at her master who had found a plentiful bunch of flowers and already stooped down to pluck a colorful bouquet.

    You have a strange way of deciding when it is appropriate to rest, Master.

    The mare’s opinion was met with a small chuckle, Mortis’ tail wagging lightly from side to side beneath his overcoat. Already an arrangement of reds, bles, and yellows were accumulating in his decayed grip.
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    Re: On The Hunt For Huney

    Post by Universal NPC on Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:40 pm

    The smell carried far into the woods, a sweet smell that made one salivate a trail that winded between the trees and through the underbrush. Steam puffed from parted toothy jaws, and budding bushes tugged at dense fur as it passed by like witches’ fingers. It followed the scent through the woods, stopping every so often to lift its nose to the air and take deep, heady snuffs of its quarry.

    Sticky sweetness filled its nose, inciting an image and a promise of a golden, sap-like feast. It huffed in wanting, and its belly rumbled and grumbled at the memorized smell and flavor that made its mouth water.

    It passed the two trees that were tangled at the trunk and split into a two-tined fork, and muscled its way through the dense prickly bushes with ease. A patch of pale clover was raked into oblivion with a heavy, clawed paw. Its pace was hastening, encouraged onward by that tantalizing scent, that golden ambrosia to come. From how thick the smell was, it had to be just ahead, it thought. It made no effort to hide itself, as it crashed through the woods loudly and shook the new ferns and dense shrubbery into a rapidly swaying dance.




    If You Go Down To The Woods Today...

    Flip 2 coins, if one HITS, something is drawn out of the woods by Mortis’ bees.
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    Re: On The Hunt For Huney

    Post by System on Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:40 pm

    The member 'Universal NPC' has done the following action : Dice Rolls


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    Re: On The Hunt For Huney

    Post by Mortis on Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:38 pm

    Samhain’s ear flicked in the direction of the trees, something catching her attention further back. Bushes rustled and branches swayed, but it did not sound like a breeze that managed to swoop down from the upper stories of the trees. It sounded like footsteps, big ones. Her large hooves stepped with loud, dull thudding, turning to face it with her head held aloft and alert.

    There is something there, Master.

    Mortis glanced up from the wildflowers he was plucking from the clearing, his back still prickly with twigs and sticks from his earlier fall. Empty sockets flicked towards the horse, before resuming his collecting. A nice red flower was pulled from the fresh grass to join the small bouquet that was growing in his rotten talons.

    ”How do you mean? We are in the middle of the woodsss, there isss alwaysss bound to be sssomething lurking in here. Deer, sssquirrelsss, bearsss, turkeysss...” He rasped, but was abruptly cut off by the horse as she stomped an iron-shod hoof.

    This sounds bigger, feels bigger. It is unlike any bear or deer I have ever encountered, Master.

    ”Eh?” Mortis looked up from his collecting to see his steed step towards the edge of the clearing, her head held high and alert, ears pricked forward. Her legs carried high with each step to the point where it almost looked like she was prancing as she turned and paced along the edge of the line of trees that encircled this little opening in the woods.

    Further back, he could see what she was seeing, bushes rustling, ferns crunching beneath pacing feet and leaves shuffling about on the forest floor. Mortis stood, pushing his two layers of overcoats aside to place the flowers in a pouch upon his utility belt. In the same motion he pulled the shotgun that was nestled between his hip and his belt forth and pointed it readily towards the trees. The undead’s joints crackled and popped as he straightened to his full height. Though he would have liked to think that it would have simply passed on, Mortis found that the sound was still approaching, and the rustling among the underbrush did the same. And it was approaching far more swiftly than he appreciated this far into the wilds.

    ”Sssss...” Mortis swiftly approached the side of his horse, who craned and bowed her head towards the trees, huffing and snorting.

    He stepped a foot into the stirrup, one clawed hand upon the mare’s side, and swung himself up into the saddle with a hop.

    ”Can we jump into the ether?” He rasped to the mare, both of his sockets, and the twin barrels of his shotgun, pointed towards the rustling brush.

    Samhain’s ear and a stub swiveled this way and that, actively hinting at where the mare was seeking a way out of their current predicament without having to come across the large life signature that she was tracking. Immediately she puffed and stomped a front hoof, her ragged ear and its stub pinning against her head as she gave her diagnosis.

    There is not enough room in the clearing, and the trees are too densely packed.

    Though he had not realized it coming in, the further they ventured into the woods, it became less open and more confined, where there was little in the ways of paths that were large enough to accommodate a horse of Samhain’s particular size. Snaking trails cut between the trees and were stepped into the fresh grass and new ferns by passing herds of deer, but they were too sharp in their winding curves for the horse to follow at speed. Mortis’ ambition, had essentially, trapped them both with only one way into the clearing and one way out.

    ”We will sssee what we can do with thisss beassstie then, mon dessstrier. You know what to do.” He hissed to the horse as he adjusted in his seat for whatever jumped out of the woods.

    The mare chomped at the bit and gave a toss of her head. Her sparse mane whipped over an eye socket like a mass of dark cobwebs.

    Gladly.
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    Re: On The Hunt For Huney

    Post by Universal NPC on Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:41 pm

    The two intruders to the spring wood would fine the underbrush rustle and wave further, rapidly darting this way and that. But compared to the reading they got, the movement was of something decidedly far smaller. The ferns rustled as it darted this way and that, until a small, fuzzy brown shape hopped out of the underbrush. Large brown eyes stared up at the strange, foul smelling entity as it took pause; long ears flicking this way and that. It was none other than a spring rabbit, young and small.

    But that was not what had thrown the horse into high alert. Further back in the trees something else stirred. Saplings were shoved aside to sway violently as if struck by a harsh wind, the leaf litter and fallen limbs of seasons past snapped and cracked like shrill thunder that hastily grew closer. Its pace sounded like the drumming of Samhain’s hooves in its deep thundering, but the low rough panting sounded nothing like a horse, neither did the patches of bright red fur that burned through the trees resemble anything remotely equine. Dense armor plating scuffed the sturdy trunks of the tightly packed trees, ripping away the bark and shredding the supple wood beneath into jagged pale thorny slivers. In the low light, two red eyes glowed from beneath a heavy brow, and its nose twitched with a low, guttural huff.

    That sweet scent was just ahead, and it was forcing the beast into a frenzy of thick drool that dripped from its long tongue, which lolled out of the side of its toothy maw. It snuffed deeply again, and its lumbering pace turned into a full charge, the ground shaking beneath its clawed feet as it shoved aside twiggy saplings and crushed the brush in its rampage. The rabbit that had been sitting curiously prior had already bolted for the other side of the clearing, darting this and that in a serpentine pattern.

    The beast burst from the treeline not a moment after, thick trails of drool whipping from its maw to splatter over itself and its diminutive quarry with a dull, but deafening roar. In the light its form was made clear. It was both bear and not bear, as its front limbs were covered in heavy, scaled plating that pushed itself into cruel spikes down its forelimbs, and a similar chitin-like armor that ran over its forehead and down its back. The horse and the rider reeked of rotting flesh that made its lip curl as it stood upright with another growl- reeling from the stench. The beast dwarfed both horse and rider with a stature that was double their height and thrice their combined weight. How a monster of an animal managed to find its way into the woods would remain an unsolved mystery as it considered the strange sight before it.

    This was not a hive full of honey, though it could detect a whiff of the golden ambrosia somewhere upon them both. Agitated and now confused, it swung a large, plated paw at them, its claws easily more than three quarters of a man’s height- and fashioned to a weighty forelimb that was as thick as a tree trunk.







    Redhelm Arzuros

    HP: 1500/1500

    Action: Claw Swipe; 1c/3d
    Target: Samhain (rolls 1-2), Mortis (rolls 3-4)




    Boss Music:



    Last edited by Universal NPC on Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: On The Hunt For Huney

    Post by System on Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:41 pm

    The member 'Universal NPC' has done the following action : Dice Rolls


    #1 'Coin Flip' :


    --------------------------------

    #2 'Attack/Heal (56-60)' : 53, 4, 21

    --------------------------------

    #3 'Coin Flip' :


    --------------------------------

    #4 'Attack/Heal (56-60)' : 47, 18, 12
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    Mortis
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    Re: On The Hunt For Huney

    Post by Mortis on Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:45 pm

    The grip upon his shotgun tightened, and empty sockets stared intently into the dancing underbrush. Something was indeed coming, something large, something formidable, something fluffy.

    The ferns swayed aside as a little forest hare leaped into the open, its eyes large and glassy as it looked down the barrel of his shotgun, and they looked back at it.

    For a moment, a brief, fleeting moment, the undead’s composure softened slightly at the thing and he wondered to himself if maybe he had misread the movement within the trees. It was a sentiment that was just as equally short lived, as the hare suddenly darted away as the deafening sound of a thundering gait echoed through the trees once again. He could sense its life signature through the woods, glowing brightly with vitality that outshone the small rabbit that had leaped out before them. It was fleeing from this monstrosity, but the beast’s thoughts were not upon the tiny, brown furred morsel.

    ”Sssss!” Mortis bristled in his seat, the many twigs that still littered his person rustling  to the point of falling out of where they pierced his host.

    This thing smelled the beehive they were collecting, it was after the honey. The thought of his hard work being ripped out of his claws by some basic, overgrown animal set his temper alight. What was this? Some bear that wandered out of his cave? He would not have expected anything less during the Spring. The beast was monstrous, far too large to be an average bear, and the sharp spines that stuck out from his limbs denoted something far more exotic than a simple grizzly or black bear. Red eyes glowed through the low light within the depths of the woods, charging towards them, and when it crashed through into the clearing, Mortis could not help but agree with Samhain’s earlier input.

    This was far, far different than anything they had ever come across. It stood upon its hind paws the moment it detected the stink of rotting flesh, easily towering over his horse at what he considered to be possibly six meters in height. Mortis just as quickly shoved aside the thought to run as he pointed the shotgun’s barrel towards its ascending chest.

    Mortis squeezed both triggers with a rotted talon, and hot lead erupted from the mouths of both barrels in a spat of fire and smoke.

    In the same motion, the undead superfiend was struck down from his horse with a swipe of the bear’s massive paw. The weight of the bear’s limb threatened to knock apart an already battered host, and easily swiped him aside like he was but a mere twig. His emaciated host tumbled with harsh thuds and sharps pops against the clearing, kicking up clods of fresh earth and uprooting the new grasses and wildflowers, until his bouncing abuse knocked the undead upon his feet again to skid across the damp clearing.

    As he collected himself, the undead’s body nearly seemed to rebuild itself, as ribs popped back into place and he rolled his shoulder back into its socket with a loud crunch. He already was plucking out two new slugs to slide into the shotgun as he cracked it open and knocked the spent, smoking shells down onto grass.

    ”Keep it occupied Sssamhain, do not let that menace ssteal our beesss!” He bellowed across the clearing.




    Mortis

    DP: 65/27 -38
    HP: 650/650
    AP: 120/114 -6

    Power: None
    Weapon:Ashleen Personal Security (firearm) 1c/2d per shot, 3ap per use
    Trinket: None
    Cooldown---
    Target: Redhelm Arzuros

    Action: Shooting the bear in the chest before being knocked off his horse.
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    Re: On The Hunt For Huney

    Post by System on Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:45 pm

    The member 'Mortis' has done the following action : Dice Rolls


    #1 'Coin Flip' :


    --------------------------------

    #2 'Attack/Heal (56-60)' : 32, 22, 26, 26
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    Re: On The Hunt For Huney

    Post by Universal NPC on Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:49 pm

    Samhain’s lip twitched, her ear and a half pricked forward and alert towards the rustling treeline. Though she was not so interested in the rabbit as her master, the moment the hare hopped into the clearing, her intact ear briefly flicked in its direction. Just as quickly, it turned back to the forest.

    Much like her master, she could discern that it was interested in the honey from the bees that they were collecting. It wanted the source of that thick, sweet scent that filled its wet shiny nose. Her nostrils flared as she saw the trees sway and the heard the underbrush crunch beneath the monstrous bear’s paws. The mare’s lips curled back and her teeth clapped together like two large slabs of wood being slammed together. She could hear her Master’s thoughts regarding the animal as it lumbered towards them; the irritation that this thing would want to steal their hives, the hives that her master had worked hard to attain and that would have otherwise been far more difficult to attain without her help.

    Red eyes glared at the both of them, and her empty eye sockets stared back, refusing to falter even as it stepped out of the trees and slammed a heavy, armored forepaw on the ground. On all fours it rivaled Samhain’s height, but when it huffed and growled and pushed itself off the ground, standing up on its hind legs, it towered over her like an armored monolith of claws and teeth.

    It happened swiftly.

    The discharge of Mortis’ shotgun was still ringing in the air when she heard the bear’s paw collide with his body, its size belying its speed. The horse dashed to the side with a whinny, her single intact ear pinned to her neck. She abruptly turned her head towards her master, who had recently gotten back to his feet from his brutal dismount.

    Keep the bear occupied, he said, do not let it get the bees, he said.

    Oh how easy that was to say, and yet so difficult to execute. Especially while Mortis was on the ground and vulnerable.

    But master, what about you? I cannot sit by while this beast throws you around the woods!

    As much as she was loyal to the undead superfiend, there were certain commands she could not uphold while there was such an imminent and imposing danger literally looming over their heads. The bees would have to wait, and hang on while she helped her master handle this monstrous creature.

    She turned abruptly, her spiked hooves kicking up fist-fulls of black earth and chunks of fresh grassy ground. In the blink of an eye the mare had squared her shoulders and lunged forward, ramming her shoulder into the armored bear’s gut to knock it over. Her neck snaked to the side in the same motion, sinking large, flat teeth into the animal’s hide to pull it down.




    Samhain

    HP: 650/650
    Action: Maul; 2c/6d
    Target: Redhelm Arzuros
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    Re: On The Hunt For Huney

    Post by System on Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:49 pm

    The member 'Universal NPC' has done the following action : Dice Rolls


    #1 'Coin Flip' :


    --------------------------------

    #2 'Attack/Heal (56-60)' : 4, 42, 40, 5, 21, 53
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    Re: On The Hunt For Huney

    Post by Universal NPC on Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:34 pm

    There was a sharp bang of gunfire, and the tree branches behind the towering red-eyed bear erupted into a spray of wood chips. The massive creature grunted and shook its head at the ringing that erupted in its ears, its pupils contracting alongside a pained howl. There was no sound of the forest, there were no whistling winds or chirping birds, as the world was drowned out in a deafening din of bells in its skull.

    The yelling of the creature that looked like some sort of mangled deer carcass sounded distant, muffled like the Arzuros had submerged his head in a river.

    In its confusion the massive armored bear roared, its long tongue swinging limply over its massive fangs and spraying slimy drool in a thick rain. It hobbled on its feet for a brief moment, and completely failed to notice the beast that came charging towards its side. There was a loud huff as the undead horse punched her shoulder into its soft belly and the pinch of large, hard teeth sent pain stinging up its hide. Yet, even as it toppled to the ground, the deviant creature was bruised more by the landing than by any effort on the undead horse’s part.

    The forest quaked as the massive bear fell on its side, howling and gnashing its teeth at the strange animal that carried a strange reek that mingled decaying flesh with honey to create an overly sickly odor like a bloated carcass that spent the day rotting in the sun. It’s nostrils flared and the bear’s lip curled in disgust, and swatted a massive thorny paw towards the offending creature as it attempted to roll itself back onto its feet. The air quaked again with a roar, but its ruby red eyes were locked upon the horse only.







    Redhelm Arzuros

    HP: 1500/1414 -86

    Action: Claw Swipe; 1c/3d
    Target: Samhain (rolls 1-2)




    Boss Music:

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    Re: On The Hunt For Huney

    Post by System on Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:34 pm

    The member 'Universal NPC' has done the following action : Dice Rolls


    #1 'Coin Flip' :


    --------------------------------

    #2 'Attack/Heal (56-60)' : 38, 49, 39

      Current date/time is Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:20 am