14 Red Twilight Worldwalkers chapter 14
Eclipse: Phase 2
Today is the Festival of Moonlessnight, A holy day amongst the Wolves of Skoll. Today there is equality, there are no princess and no prisoners, everyone walks tall and proud. Today the Wolves and the Huma stand shoulder to should. Today games are played, friendships are forged, today no one is hungry. Today there is only one taboo that will not be forgiven and that is to not observe the Festival. Today you eat hardy and make marry or you sulk alone.
In the mist of the festival one patrol of runners returns from there gathering late. A tribunal waits to great them. At the lead walks a young girl, not yet fourteen sessions old, she is adorned with sanctifying marks on her fur of deep red which stands out wonderfully from her glowing silver fur. There is grunting and laughing at her approach as the crowds make way for her and her team, shouts and whistles come from both wolf and there pet Huma, some wolves even snap there jaws at the girl's tail in a less then subtle catcall.
the eldest and most respected of the Skoll stand at an altar, he is more than 30 seasons old, an almost unheard of age. "Ammi!" he barks greeting the approaching wolf girl "today you stand before me accused of a great many things!" the old one exclaims "your brothers tell me you have liberated 15 yearlings from rival clans!" hoots and hollers come from behind "you have run the head of 30 hunts! You have toppled 5 Iceloins! And you have definded this fairground from 2 outland attacks! And you have done all this before your fourth birthday and without a mate by your side!? This is a disgusting list of accusations! How do you plead?"
the young wolf stands with her head high and her breast pushed out a model of a wolf "Guilty on all charges!" she sternly declares.
"you deny nothing?" the old one ask
"Nothing at all!" Ammi retorts.
"then may the Wolf-Mother have mercy on your soul! For today the choir of Hel sings songs for you and your fellow runners! Let the festivities go on! " howls fill the air in a orchestra of cheers, the wolf princess is welcomed home by all and food is thrown at her and her party in greetings. Huma grunt and bellow, wolves howl, joy jubilantly jump on this joyous day of jest. "There has not been a more woolfy wolf then you Ammi since Gideon the Skoll lead our hunts."
One Huma calls out to the gathering, one that every wolf knows, the largest and strongest Huma there has ever been Gideon! Wrapped tightly in the fur's of his dead enemies, the Helios shield on his back, the Eclipser axe on his belt, his hear worn long and his sent formidable in the air, even though not born with a wolfs body he walks amongst wolves with pride. "Don't talk as if I'm dead!" A dozen wolves pile onto Gideon licking at him. The giant bellows in laughter.
Gideon was born with the shape of a Huma, even though his mother was a wolf. The Huma are a race that developed parallel with the wolves as a 'slave race' in the early years Huma gathered outside wolf camps and servived by stealing food from them, but it turned out that the Huma were somewhat useful, being natural skittish they called out alarms protecting (mostly accidently) the wolves form other predators. At some point wolves even found that the Huma could be domesticated, trained to run with wolves and take care of puppies.
As the relationship between the two races grew the Huma proved themselves even more valuable then though. Having no claws or fur to protect themselves the Huma learned to make tools to make themselves more wolf like, and so created armor and hunting equipment like; shields, bows, swords, and axes. Armor turned out to be so valuable in this world that wolves from time to time will even allow themselves to be clothed by their Huma. In the end the Huma wanting to be wolves accommodated wolves acting more like Huma. If only the Huma had the complex communication skill of wolves (and if they repercuced more than once every other year), they would be a force worth fearing. One other advantage of the Huma as pets is that they are a slow growing and long lived animal often being given for generation to generation.
Ammi jumps at Gideon push serval other wolves out of the way she sits on Gideon's chest pushing him down "you made it home this year. Where do you keep going for months at a time?"
The giant explains "Hunting large pray." He rubs Ammi's muzzle with one hand and cradles her tail with his other "what about you? Having tons of puppies, I assume."
Ammi kisses her family pet "Not yet, still killing my way up the food chain. You know the drill; hunt a lot, fight a lot, have others fight over you, what to see if they are wolf enough to fight you after that."
Gideon hugs his puppy rolling around on the ground with her "Don't fight to much you will scare everyone away."
"only if they are too weak to be worthy of my attention." Gideon lets Ammi pin him as it is not his place to claim dominance over the family that protected him as a youth. "come on, eat before all the best meat is gone then we will go play some games."
Charlie and his party arrive late in the day, but sill in plenty of time to enjoy the events. Amongst the attractions there is: a game where Huma pick up a block of wood three feet tall and three feet around and throw it in the air to see who can get it frailest, another where two Huma brace their wrist agents one another then try to push each other over, one where two wolves stand on their hind legs front paws on each-other's shoulders then try to roll the other onto their back, there is also a version of the same game where a wolf starts on their back with another standing over them and they must escape in the time it take the wolves watching to sing a battle song.
For those that want to gamble for a higher price there is a circle where Huma and wolf girls are offering challenges to men, for those that exceed the expectations of the judges the girls are giving away licks or offering to let the boys peek under their tails. Men that fail on the other hand are forced to wrestle with someone before they get to play again. Seldom does a looser come back after 2 or 3 tries.
If games and gambling isn't what interest one food is in abundances, and a gladiatorial gantlet has been set up for people to watch. There seem to also be several auctions running where weapons and armor are up for grabs as well as young huma and puppies are up for trade, and lastly there is a ring of song smiths sharing stories of romance and good hunts.
Hetatsubatchi's moth falls open "this is the most magical thing I have ever seen."
Keyor leans into Milli and point over to the game where girls are showing off their hind quarters and licking boys that win their games "breeding looks to be slightly less controlled then I was originally lead to believe."
Tatsu sniffs the air then looks to Keyor "the blood here is incredibly stale. Over half these wolves are cousins, and those that aren't directly related to each-other are 3 generations displaced at the most."
Milli thinks about that "how the hell does that happen?"
Cinder smiles knowingly "expertly tracked genealogy."
Loki walks forth his human disguise melting away to reveal the wolf underneath. A scarecrow looking wolf with long silver fur with a red orange spot on his head and strip on his tail. "you lot have fun for a moment, I'm going to see if I can sniff out Gideon" as if to confuse Hetatsbatchi specifically as Loki walks away he flicks his tail making his feminine parts to be momentarily visible.
Tatsu shakes his head and whispers to himself "I hate changelings."
Milli having picked up on the action also whispers back "that might not be changeling magic, Loki might actually have both parts."
Tatsu points off to one side, "I'm going to go see what is going on over there." Hetatsubatchi vanishes into the crowed of men and dogs.
The rest of the part starts fanning out, Charlie explaining "If we get lost we all look out of place enough that it shouldn't be hard to track each other down."
Jacob finds the circle of story tellers to take in the local lore Keyor fallowing him, Cinder hangs back at the fringes of the festival 'people watching'. Milli tacks to the tree throwing game, her spring shaped muscle structure allowing her no small advantage. Charlie get punked into wrestling, Charlie with his comparatively small frame is hardly a far fight verse the Viking like Huma. After watching Charlie's embarrassing defeat the Jazzmen comes to Charlie's aid, to spite truly being only discreetly more muscle Jazzmen decisively overpowers all comers.
Hetatsubatchi walks the crowed coming to a wolf displaying a pile of swords, knives and axes. Tatsu looks over the pile "what is all of this?"
The middle-aged girl explains "trophies. My siblings and I just liberated a den."
Hetatsubatchi grunts "By liberated do you mean conquered?"
"If that is the way you want to describe it. I'm in a barging mood if you want one." The wolf standing before Hetatsubatchi expresses.
"I'm afraid I have little of value." Hetatsubatchi looks down at a set of four silver bladed knives.
The girl looks Tatsu up and down sizing up the white wolf "you look like a healthy one. Let's make a bet. Can you fight?" The vender nods her head over to one of the wolves in the gambling ring "Tailless over there, he is my eldest brother his name is Haiti, he has been over there for an hour showboating and sniffing tail. Roll him on his back and those knives you where eyeing are yours."
Tatsu nods. "I can do that." Tatsu walks over to the ring, the smell of the wolves around him making him momentarily swoon intoxicated, he thinks to himself as he fights to get his balances back 'that smell, there is something in these peoples blood.'
Tatsu fights his way through the crowed to come noise to noise with Haiti interrupting a conversation underway "… Next Haiti I want you to bite this in half…" Haiti doesn't get to see what is pushed forward as Tatsu blocks his way.
"Sorry bloke, I need to cut in." Tatsu bears his fangs "a little girl just asked me to teach you respect." Haiti giggles clearly in an altered state of mind, Tatsu looks over to the girl that was offering the next chalange "has this one been eating mushrooms or licking frogs or something?"
one of the girls' nods "I had him eat five Zamtites."
"what is that?" Tatsu ask
"it is sort of like a bouldertoad but smaller." Someone in the crowed yells out.
"I see…" Tatsu starts to say but is cut off when a paw strikes him across the noise. Tatsu turns his attention back on Haiti. "dirty pull, I like it." Tatsu jumps at Haiti with in open mow. The two men snarl and growl pushing at each other in a traditional power struggle. But this is just to force a since of complacency, Tatsu is hardly traditional, often mocking traditions and utilizing them only for his own benefit.
Tatsu lowers his head offering Haiti advantage as he back steps. Haiti takes the bate, he opens his jaws and twist his head ready to pick up Hetatsubatchi by the scruff. Tatsu jumps in a half circle then kicks off the ground like a rhino smashing his skull into the lower jaw of Haiti. Haiti yelps and falls onto his side, his focus shattered as are serval of his teeth.
Haiti struggles to try to stand up, Haiti is discombobulated, his ears ringing form the strange strike, his vision faded to gray and red. Tatsu has won, he knows it already, Haiti will likely never heal from such a bone braking strike. Tatsu slaps Haiti with one paw forcing Haiti back on his side, Tatsu then places a paw on Haiti's chest looking down at him "do you yield?"
Haiti nods. Tatsu looks around the crowed. There is cheering and barking at the display, "summon your clerics or bone saws this man needs one." Tatsu is showered with attentions no less then six wolves running up to him and feeling him up in congratulations. Lost in the moment he stands still excepting the attention. Here courage, enginuity and fighting prowes are grately revered and reworded. All the love and respect that had been Haiti's given to Tatsu for beating him in a fight.
After a long while of being celebrated Tatsu manages to slip back to the vender he had been speaking to. Having never been more loved and respected Tatsu approaches staggeringly happy. The vender Smiles at Tatsu, she rubs her head under his and walks around him brushing her side against his chest. "Fantastic work stranger. The knives are yours. See anything else you like?"
Tatsu points "I also like those swords with the hook shaped counterweight."
The vender looks somewhat discouraged "wasn't quite what I thought you where going to say… but yeah, If you like those, you can have them too. After the festival I will have no real need for them anyway."
"what were you thinking about?" Tatsu looks down at the vender.
Lances and Keyor find a place to sit in the circle of story tellers just in time for the next speaker to stand "In the age before your mothers 1000 times all that Is, is as was. The endless ice that you see today they to sow. But every year has it's event that belongs to it and to no other." The elderly wolf begins a story
"in that year 1000 and 1 winters ago the sky cracked and from that crack fell a mighty snake with 2 bodies, one body that is that of a women and one body that is that of a man. The mighty snake looked onto the snow and the first thing that the snake saw was wolves running across the snow, and the snake with one voice delared that the wolf is the most beloved beast to walk on all fours. And so the snake took the shape of a wolf, by day the snake took the shape of a man then at night the shape of a women, and the snake ran with the wolves, eat like the wolves and invited many wolves into its body."
"when the blood of the snake and the blood of the dog became one blood the snake gave birth to three wolves, 'the grate old ones' Skoll, the mother who eats the moon, Haiti brother who eats the sun, and Fenrir who eats all. After the birth of the sacred family the grate snake left our world returning to the hole in the sky. For many hunts the sacred three lead the wolves till one day the three came to fight and so Savarguard was broken, the wolves broke onto pack and the land was divided by the shifting ice."
"With the braking of the land came new wolves Haiti called his children Asgaurd and they traveled south, they grow large claws and learned to climb rocks, and Skoll traveled north and called her children Savergaurd and Fenrir traveled down and he called his children Midthum."
"but be aware all that hear my voice, the battles are long but one day this will end and the three grate old ones will come back together and when they do it will be a day to behold! This is the day! This is the time! Keep your noises turned to the wind! keep your ears sharp! Keep your eyes on the skyline! For here at the festival of Moonlessday we will see the new tomarow born! We will see the new sun rise!" The crowed goes wild, yelping, barking, howling, jumping at and over each other like puppies even the old and sick. Everyone has heard this speech once before but still everyone loves it.
Lances raise one hand wanting to speak to the elderwolf, the elder wolf addresses Lances "you are a strange looking Huma."
Lances looks over to one of the other beast called 'Huma' then looks to Keyor the two of them engadging in a hushed rushed diloige
"does he think I look like that?" Lances starts
"from his point of view you do."
"that is a chimpanzee dressed in a cheep skirt!"
"I bet if you asked she would take the skirt off."
"that's not the point! What is this 'Planet of the Apes'?"
"Im not from your planet, I don't get that reference." Keyor yells whispering.
The elderwolf calls over again "Did you want to speak Huma?... can you speak?"
Lances pulls away from Keyor joining in on the talk "yes please, I am a traviler and I do not know your stories so well. So I would like you to help me understand them more clearly."
"if it is wisdom you thrust for then drink deeply." The elderwolf ordains.
Lances take off his glasses and bits one of the arms of them as he speaks "you said that grate snake had 2 bodies. Why would that not make the grate snake 2 snakes?"
The elderwolf replies "has ever a puppy been born with two minds in one body?" Lances shrugs unknowing "and should this come to be then could not also two puppies share a one mind as they share one body?"
Lances whispers "twins?"
"two bodies, one soul." The elderwolf explains
Loki walks the crowds, he knows exsactly where Gideon is, he can't be missed in this company. But there is no need to be in a rush at the moment, everything is now right where he needs it to be, all that is left to do is wait. But still, he should go say 'hello'. Maybe, maybe he can get things running just slightly soother if he were to, call some attention to himself and his company.
Loki can't help but think about how much simpler everything would have gone if he could have arrived 2 days earlier and not needed to concern himself with Gideon's presences. Bit wouldn't you know it moments before he had planned to interduce himself Hetatsubatchi, Belmond got involved, now he needs to accommodate the other Worldwalkers as he executes the next phase of his plans. Not a crippling set back, after all Hetatsubatchi ended up at the festival regardless, that is a touch of serendipity if he has ever seen it. But this is costing him time, time that he would rather be spending elsewhere.
Al Loki is lost in his plotting it turns out he doesn't need to approach Gideon as Gideon approaches him. Having sniffed out Redcap well telling a tale about a 'good hunt' Gideon drops what he is doing to track down the wolf sorcerer "Redcap!" Gideon demands as his hand finds the Eclipse axe on his hip "is it at last time to finish the duel we started so many moons ago?!"
"not today, today is a day of festivities, not feuds." Loki explains "unless you want to take this to the challenger's ring?"
Ammi runs over seeing the two "mother is right." Ammi addresses Gideon pointing out Redcap "today swords are for play, not for fighting."
Gideon takes his hand off the Eclipse "it disturbs me to think that Redcap is your mother." Gideon rubs one hand through his hair "that tells me all sorts of aful things about the debauchery that you wolves partake in when I am not around."
Loki smiles "if you are not enjoying your depravity you're not doing it right." Loki's tail wags drawing no small amount of attention. Today's festival graced by three hero's, such a event has not taken place since before many in attendances where born. The hero of the hunt, the hero of the chase and the hero of the games all standing side by side.
Loki points out, "But since you are in such a hurry maybe we can play some team sports, I have 5 or so friends with me, if you can find one or two also we can set up something fun."
The skill and speed atwitch the union of wolf and Huma moves is staggering, a new circle of games is set in a matter of minutes, A brick braking game, an ax throwing game, a boxing ring, a soup drinking competition and a mess of egger onlookers are abound even before Loki has sniffed out his champions.
Charlie, David, Milli and Hetatsubatchi are gathered and brought to the new event a crowed of girls still hanging of Tatsu in admiration, Tatsu drunk with desire. Loki playing along kisses and licks at a dozen of the girls to get their attention. "If you can afford us a short time girls I need this wolf too." Protesting the wolves walk off to join the onlookers.
Charlie and Milli both press Loki for information, Loki explains "a few simple games nothing more. Win these events, win respect. It was Gideon's idea."
Ammi stands at the center of the arena as the sitting judge, Ammi calls out the first round "Brick braking! Milli Malagaurd will be facing off against the Huma Guyus." The huma Guyus steps out, he is almost as tall as Gideon towering over most at a startling 6'7, his armor is tanned leather with teeth lining the shoulders and arms, he has long whipping tail and short fangs, his head tips back in a bellow.
Ammi waves a par of wolves over to lay a brick three feet wide two feet long and a foot thick in front of Guyus, Guyus picks up a hammer and holds it over head, he drops his weight on to the brick and shatters it to peace's. Guyus throws his hands up and cheers, many around start shouting his name.
Milli's ears lower as she nods her head. "that is a neat trick."
Milli is waved forward "Milli, you must tie to keep playing. 1 swing, 1 brick." Ammi explains.
Milli looks at Charlie, she leans over him sticking her noise in his ear "I don't know how to do this."
Charlie thinks, he has seen this done before. He struggles for a second to remember who he so do this in the past. Thin is hits him Mohamed Quin, 1999 Diamond National martial arts show. Quin had told him how the trick works way back then, Charlie's eyes light up as he yells to Ammi "Milli will brake 10 in one swing!"
Milli gasp in confusion "Ten! I don't know if I can do one!"
Charlie looks to Milli one hand finds her shoulder comfortingly "you could do 100 if I help you." Charlie offers to help the wolves move the bricks into place, he produces from his backpack a fist full on nails and sets two nails on each corner of the stack separating the blocks by only an eighth of an inch. this is on test of strangh this is a showboat, a dramatic science experiments at its worst.
With the tower of bricks erected Charlie pulls a rope of marking chock from his belt pouch, he messures the stack from three angles then snaps the string drawing lines on the top block.
Ammi calls out "this is somewhat piacular."
Charlie looks at the judge "Can Milli use that axe over there?" he points at a discarded woodsmen's axe left behind by one of the huma that had been cutting blocks for the wood tossing game.
Gideon throws his hands up historically "Axes are for wood, not stone!"
Charlie knows they have this game in the bag, "then call it a handicap." Charlie waves Milli over "stand up to your full hight, drop the head of the axe here as you drop to a crouched stance." He points out where the lines on the block converge. The judges talk it over for a moment then nod letting Milli take her turn.
Milli understands what Charlie has just done, he has turned a game of force into a trick of math. So long as she can land a hit the hard part is already done. Her size and shape giving her a window of oppertonity, not that she will need it.
Milli lifts the axe, she streaches out her body showing her hulking form as the glints in the light of the early evening hours. The axe strikes the stone sparking as it cuts cleanly through the rocks then deep into the ground underfoot. There is silence of disbelief as Ammi walks over to look at the stones making sure Milli has done what it seems she has done.
Ammi calls out "Guyus must brake ten plus one blocks in one swing to continue!"
Guyus stands petrafide as he thinks about the task at hand. Ten plus one can't be done, no one he know has ever attempted more than three blocks at once. Never the less, the blocks are set, this time without Charlies help.
Guyus takes his turn, he tries, but he fails. No man could hope to punch through so many rocks without science on their side. brute force and training might get one far in life, but it is the clever that tend to live the longest. "point goes to Redcap!" Ammi announces. "three more points to win the day."
Charlie looks to Loki "how many events are there?"
"five" Redcap explains
Milli counts on one hand "4/1 w/l that's an 80% win rate, not a lot of wiggle room."
Redcap smirks "there is a reason I am called the hero of the games around here."
Ammi calls out "axe throwing, the Huma Nadi will be facing Charlie Belmond, first to miss loses." The huma this time is a smaller monkey girl, just over 5 feet, she is dressed in a maternity gown and is clearly deep into pregnancy. She picks up an axe in each hand and one with her tail as she steps up to the starting line, 8 bullseyes are set up against tree stumps twenty feet away.
Charlie picks up one of the axes with a grunt, he tries flipping it between his hands checking its balance, he shakes his head "no, this thing is awful." He drops the axe and pulls out the knife he keeps tied to his leg. "can I throw this instead?"
Ammi offers an off-putting sneer "A full size axe too heavy for you?"
Charlie nods "I sorta' a girly man." He chuckles at himself.
This game is more about consistency then accuracy, there is no center to the bullseye only the shield itself that must be hit. Nadi shows off amazing skill as she throws her first axe splitting the shield. She looks to Charlie repeating his words "girly man"
Charlie has thrown a fair share of knives in his life, as a kid it was a fun game to play wall walking in the woods, as a teenager he practice this skill at the miday, won himself a few nice hats that way. But hunting with throwing knives? Thought never came to mind, and that is clearly what Nadi has done.
Charlie throws knife after knife, and Nadi matches him each time, between them they end up throwing fifty times each. The game running long enough that touches are set up around the shields to make them easier to see. But it turns out that one that throws knives for fun can't match the skill of someone that throws axes for their lives. Charlie overthrows, missing the mark. Nadi never misses a throw.
Ammi calls out "Point goes to Gideon. Next Hetatsubatchi-Una will take the rite of 100 paws!"
Loki calls out "No! Ten Paw. 100 isn't a game, it's a public execution."
Ammi looks to her mother with a knowing grin "Yes that is right! The Rite of Ten Paws!"
Gideon explains the rolls as Tatsu steps into the boxing ring. "I chose 10 wolves, they will run at you, grapple with you and try to push you out of the ring, all you need to do is push them out first."
Gideon pulls ten wolves from the audience to participate, he chooses as diversely as he can, male, female, small, large, young old. "I forgot one more thing" Gideon steps into the ring and takes a length of leather from his belt "you don't get to use your teeth." He ties Tatsu's mouth shut. Hetatsubatchi can't stand having his mouth held shut, he snorts breathing heavy, his eyes light up with anger, he tries to growl.
The wolves encircle Tatsu, at first charging one at a time. Tatsu is fast, Tatsu can stay out of their way. But dodgeing will never end this game, how is someone meant to do this? No matter how many there are, ten or one hundred without teeth are equally as threatening. Tatsu calls on his magic, his two swords and four daggers, he also spots two shields still sitting out from the last game, the swords, knives and shields form a set of wings floating off his back.
The other competitor take notice, only Redcap knows trickery like this, the wolves start charging-in in waves three at a time. Tatsu is angry, fueled by wraith he side hops and one of his shields punches out meeting the wolf in the lead stopping the assault, one sword and two knives lunch out to attack the next two. Wolves start backing away, Tatsu's power is strange, unpredictable. The enchanted weapons form a dervish slashing and smashing as the move.
Attacking Hetatsubatchi quickly becomes a secondary idea as the hunting blades par off and chase the wolves like in invisible eight-armed monster. Tatsu now understands what the dragon had been telling him. It is requiring almost no energy at all to manipulate the phantom weapons. With the wall of artiliry as a distraction Tatsu sneaks around the ring, he slaps and head butts one wolf, tail whips and back kicks another and by then the wolves are so confused that the start actively running away from the hellhound wizard.]
Tatsu lights the muzzle ablaze with his thoughts then announces "I win again."
Loki howls to lead a cheer. "good show!"
Gideon climbs into the ring "Im next!" he pulls his axe and shield.
Jazzman whistle "Tatsu, tag me in buddy." Tatsu backs away as David jumps into the ring.
Gideon squints as he looks over David Jazzmen's features "I feel no blood running in your veins. What world are you from?"
"you feel no blood because I have no heart. An Angel stooled it when I was a little boy."
Gideon speaks hushed with his apponint "you mean that literally?"
Jazzman drapes the demon sword over one shoulder as he drops back bladed "yep, punched right through my shoulder blades and walked away with the only part of me that was human."
"with no hart, can you still feel?" Gideon taps his shield and axe together as he lowers his body into attacking pasture.
"sure, anger, grief, regret, wraith. Don't need a hart to feel those things."
"but no room for honor and love? You have my sympathy." Gideon steps in to swing down the Eclipse and raise the Helios to cover his side, Gideon has been forged in the fire of war, few have more experience in the Viking combative arts. Gideon knows if Jazzmen is smart he will attempt to step in and attack after moving past the axe, but that will put him in striking range for the shield. That will be a fatal mistake.
Jazzman almost in a board tone of voice replies "Save it for someone more deserving them me." Jazzmen doesn't sidestep past the axe swing, he moves into it. Jazzman pushes up with the Demon Sword locking their two blades together.
Gideon the Skoll is a giant, his strength is titanic, only a grate foul would clash weapons with him, but still the man called Devil stands his ground. Gideon goes to punish Jazzman crossing the Helios shield across his body and brining it out for a wicked back fist. Jazzmen twist his body and reeves the handle on the demon sword spraying its explosive gas.
The Demon sword meats the Helios shield and the two warriors are lunched away from each other. Jazzman and Gideon both land on one knee then lurch up ready to reengage, David gripping his sword in both hands in Emperor fighting stance, Gideon drags his axe along the ground and holds his shield forward in Low Nord stance.
But both men lose their grips on their weapons before they can clash again. Jazzman falls to his knees and places his hands on the back of his head wracked with pain. Gideon falls on to one knee stuggling to try to stay upright "Recap! What is…" Gideon looks around, what is happing to him is far from isolated, in mass wolves and huma alike are fainting no less than 3/7th having killed over before he even looked around.
Redcap looks side to side then back to his cousin "it looks like time has run out."
Gideon demands "what have you done!"
"If every you thought you had an advantage over me, solely it is because you could not see all the cards that were in play." Loki turns his eyes to the rising moon "I cannot hope for you to understand what I have done. Ask me in four or so years and I will try to explain everything."
Gideon's eyes flicker with blood filling his vision "you have poisoned me?"
"Yes, but not just you. Every male over three. The poison I gave you is refined from Midian spikes, cute little monster if you can get under their quills. As for the girls between two and well too old, I need a sedative that had a base of angel blood, mixed with troglodyte oil. Everyone else I used a much simpler deathcap toxin on. But don't think that any of this was easy. For the young men I used Midian spikes because I needed to lower your…" Gidoen and all the men outside of Redcap and Hetatsubatchi collapse.
Redcap looks around "maybe I should have started me evil speech sooner?" he huffs disappointed "I didn't even get to what the three poisons I used did."
Hetatsubatchi looks around. All the huma are out, only wolf girls seem to still be standing, but they are acting in a strangely savage way, no longer talking but yelping and whining in a way that only rut cases. Tatsu walks around starting to peace this story together "that was what I was smelling earlier. You laced all the food here with a drug that paralyzes people…"
Loki interrupts "only the men are paralyzed, will be for about two days. All but you anyway. The wimon I placed into an elevated heat state."
"why not me?" Tatsu ask
"oh, I did. But for you I used a different blend. You aren't going to be able to form memories for the next few days… maybe a weak. I didn't want to do this this way but I simply couldn't afford another setback."
Everything fades to white…
… the party awakes to the smell of cooking fish and fresh squeezed lemon. Jazzman, Milli, Charlie and Lances step out of their tents to find they are walking over the ice ocean. Loki dressed in a gown that looks like tropical feathers is pocking at a fire Cinder sitting with him. Loki calls out to the group "I was just thinking. I really don't need the mirror all that badly. Why don't I just give you the location of the Three-headed Goddess now?"
"Really?" Charlie whisper to himself.
Loki walks away a short ways "Last I heard the Three-headed Goddess was making camp on the planet Zion in the Cathall realm. I think some of you may know the place." Loki cast a portal spell so summon a mystical door.
Jazzman nods "right realm wrong planet." He explains.
Loki looks down at Tatsu "It's a nice place really, populated by a race called the Xenia Angels. They are largly bird like with arms, lags, and wings, long tails, sandy colored sort of. Strange as it is, I think Zion was the first world I had been to where there wasn't really clearly defined males and females. They are devided instead into egg makers and egg carriers, both have internal reproductive parts and 'till recently not even they could tell which one they were. On their planet planeshifting technology does exist but any time one leave their homeworld they seem to become egg carriers…"
Tatsu looks up at Redcap "what makes you think I want to know any of this?"
Charlie looks to Loki as he is packing up the gear "are you fallowing us Loki?"
"Heaven, no. I have work elsewhere that requires my attention."