- Redcliffe Castle: Throne Room.
Isador wasn't the only one having issues with their bloodlust.
As soon as the doors burst open and the Darkspawn charged into the room, Valmyria was already moving, adrenaline once again racing through her system as she was one of the first of the defenders to collide into the new threat. She slashed and hacked her way into the growing horde.
She no longer fought with the grace and elegance of a elven warrior, but fought with all the rage and brutality of a archdemon. But for each of the monsters she slew for each drop of blood split, her own or theirs, she lost just a little bit more of herself to the frenzy. Val was completely unaware of the changes occurring to her. Her eyes had lost their brilliant blue and turned a deep incarnadine-red. Her once perfectly straight and white teeth were now fanged. It just felt so great, but other things were holding her back, and slowly she used her twisted willpower to hack away at the bonds of magic around her.
The Warden slammed her blade through a charging Hurlock and turned around just in time to catch the sword of another. She slammed the sword down, causing the darkspawn to stumble forward right into her now empty talons. She lashed out with brutality and tore the throat right out of it. Val removed the her sword from the other Hurlock and moved forward eager to find her next kill.
He found her though and Val just barely moved in time to avoid the large axe slicing through the air. Val quickly spun around and parried the axe away again and got a good look at her opponent. A Hurlock Alpha
. this creature was one of the strongest of the Hurlock variants. They were often the veterans of several conflicts, well skilled, heavily armed, and far more intelligent than its farmyard brethren.
She parried again and then struck back, but the Hurlock Leader easily countered her blows and added his own. She yelled in anger and frustration as the axe bit a little into her leg. The Alpha was moving as fast as she could. Every swing it could match and deliver more. The sword, axe, talons, all of them moved together with incredible speed and accuracy. Parrying, striking, fenting. The two warriors clashed and fought like the terrible gods of old, both grunting and yelling with every hit delivered and received.
The Leader spun the axe and brought it curving up inside of her defenses. Once again, the Warden was hard pressed to block the attack, but in doing so, the Oathkeeper was knocked out of her hand. The sword sailed across the room with such a force that it stuck into the wood near Zha'Gren. Out of options, she leaped forward shoved the axe out of the way, and slammed her armored fist into the helmet.
The Hurlock stumbled back, but the Warden was on him before he could get oriented. Val gripped him by the shoulder and landed a few well placed blows against the chest plate even a kick, denting the savage armor, and then delivered a final blow to the creature in the helmet again, knocking it backwards into the ground. the axe fell to the ground by her feet. Instead of doing the logical thing and picking it up, she kicked it to the side and advanced on her fallen foe.
Victory was within her grasp as she rushed forward to end the creature's life, only to have it kick her feet out from beneath her and drop her onto the bloodied floor with a painful yelp.
Before Valmyria could recover, the Leader was on her again. The hurlock grabbed the elf woman be the throat and hoisted her into the air. The darkspawn delivered its own series of punches to her unprotected stomach as it slammed her into a wall. Val clawed desperately at the hand choking her to get it to release her, coughing and chocking on her own blood with every blow, but failed to get it to let go. Soon, the elf stopped moving and went limp in the beast's hands. Satisfied with the results and deciding to go for effect, the Darkspawn heaved Val high into the air and brought her down on one of the oak tables, breaking the table in half.
The darkspawn pulled out a wicked looking knife moved to the fallen ranger. He knelt down and reached out for her head. He would make an example of her to them all, by severing the head of the savage woman. He was however rewarded with a kick to the abdomen instead, causing him to stumble backwards and giving Valmyria enough time to leap forward and tackle him into the stone floor.
The two struggled on the floor for dominance; punching, kneeing, Valmyria even attempted to bit him before she ended on top, pinning him to the floor. Val had one of its arms pinned under her boot and fought to shove her talons through its chest. The Hurlock had its free hand gripped tightly around the gauntlet and worked to force it back, but the leverage was on the elven woman's side and the talons slowly inched there way closer and closer to the Hurlock. "Come on,"
she hissed, though it no longer sounded quite like her, but as if it had been warped. "Let's put a smile on that face..."
The Darksapwn suddenly released its grip and pulled the gauntlet to the side. The talons dug into the stone floor, and before a recovery could be made, he slammed his own armored fist into the elf's temple as hard as it could manage. The blow sent Val off the darksapwn and he quickly reversed the roles, pinning Val underneath him. His foot forced the wicked looking gauntlet to the floor and the arm out at an extended position to keep her from getting any leverage. His other knee was placed between her other arm and side, preventing it from being able to reach any further than the leg. His hands though squeezed around her throat.
The Warden thrashed around violently trying with all her might to get free. but nothing worked, he was just too well placed. "Come on... smile"
it hissed at her. Slowly the pressure began to build and her world began to fade into darkness. Her hand fell limp to the floor...
ARL DRAIL HAILSTROM
The Arl fought alongside his men to combat the horrors. Unlike his other noblemen, he wasn't content to leave his fate with others while hiding behind women and children. How the hell did these darkspawn get here?
he wondered as he cut a Genlock down. The entire day had been full of questions. First, it was going to be a "normal" day full of boring arguments of troop placement, passionate speeches of the oppression of elves, the normal politics of this day in age. But things had taken a turn for the interesting once they were attacked. The attackers, he was told by his aids, noblemen, and even the Silver Order Captain Moria, were from his brother, Teryn Cousland.
But that made no sense. Why would his brother attack an ally? To gain this woman that was right now fighting as if she was posed by demons? Why not talk to him and request it? Sure, he and the Teryn had their disagreements, and the pompous ass was egotistical and power hungry. But not stupid enough to do this. So many things weren't adding up and he wanted answers.
But that luxury wasn't coming today, and might not if they failed to get out of here. the castle was lost, that was obvious to him by this point. but he couldn't leave his people to be slaughtered by these monsters.
He watched with shock as the Warden Commander went down, and rushed over the sea of attackers as fast as he could, but the going was slow and dangerous as he weaved between his own men fighting for their lives, and those in the room unable to defend themselves. The darkspawn were being pushed out of the room quickly due to their valor.
The Arl reached her and shoved his sword between the shoulders of the Darksapwn kneeling over her. It struggled for a few seconds longer before collapsing on top of her. He quickly pushed the body off of Valmyria and was horrified by the damage done. Blood ran freely from a gash in the side of her head and from the mouth. A bruise was already starting to form around her throat. He quickly yanked off a glove and felt for a pulse by her neck.
He found one, faint, but it was there. He quickly examined the rest of her. She was even more torn up from before, nasty set of cuts, fresh from combat. She looked different now, not scary like during the fight, and the black gauntlet on her right hand was missing. She looked... peaceful, almost like she was sleeping.. except for the blood, bruises, and dirt. Then she just looked dead.
A shadow suddenly came over him, and he wheeled about in defense, only to find his Guard Captain.
"Bring me some cuffs, we aren't taking any chances with her," he said with a sigh of relief. He knew she needed help, but there was no telling if she was going to "change" again. And he had questions. His Captain returned a moment later with set of heavy cuffs that bound around the arms instead of the wrists. He knelt down and started to cuff the Warden as Drail worked to patch what he could of her up. His mage was completely exhausted from the attack, and healers were already working on others, so he did what he could for her.
The Arl grabbed what remained of her once deep blue cloak and wrapped it around her. The Captain knelt over to pick her up, but the Arl brushed him away. "She'll be in my care, go attend to the others and make sure we can move out as soon as possible," he ordered. the Captain nodded and moved away to start issuing orders and commands.
The Arl picked her up carefully as to not disturb the bandages and wounds. She'd taken a hell of a beating and it was going to be a while before she woke up. Most likely longer to heal, but she was surprisingly light. He looked at her face with a furrowed brow. He was surprised at how young she was, how small she seemed. When he first saw her, she seemed so much older so much different than this figure he held in his arms.
He adjusted her head so it would be more supportive, and walked back towards the wounded as the last of the darkspawn were mopped up.
Now all they needed, as to know that the way was clear...