Log:Where There's Smoke

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Where There's Smoke

Do you think it's alive? Can we keep it?


Olivia Utridge, Lolly, Widget, Raymond Rhodes, Charlene Walker as ST

5 December, 2018

Bring your metal skivvies and healy fruits, cause it could get rough!


The Hedge

Raymond had put out word here and there that he'd need some help in the Hedge. The kind of help that includes the threat of danger, and one greater than simply walking the trods. The journey isn't to be a long one as the Fairest droned on about the typical dangers of the Hedge along with typical preparedness. Healing fruits with mundane medicine, whater protections you have, and not being a glory-seeker. For now he's quiet during the onset of the trip unless spoken too. The horned man's adorned in iron-looking armor with a few dents and scratches despite the relative newness of the armor, and on his shoulder he rests that overlarge blade that looks like he might be compensating for something.

Lolly, unlike Raymond, is not wearing fancy armour or carrying an overcompensating sword. She has on the stiff clothes Charlie loaned her, uncomfortable though they are, and over that, she has a simple backpack like any kid would bring to school. It smells like the fruits she occasionally darts over to harvest, and clinks occasionally from containers within it. She does have hiking boots instead of her usual low kitten heels, at least, and jeans. Since their fearless leader isn't talking, neither is she.

Widget, for her part, hasn't /stopped/ talking. Unless she's asked to stop, there's a torrent of them, mostly based around the who and why of the whole thing. Other than that, she's content to haul her gear about. A flak vest, spraypainted with orange text reading 'DUN SHOOT HAV SNAKS on the front, a label saying 'WIJ' on the back, and 'BILT 2 BILD' on the shoulder. Being around for Vietnam seemed to have had an effect on her customization. Other than that it's gear, in a grubby old duffle bag or slug across her back. Snacks and drinks, trap components, a shotgun, thorn daggers, some type of bomb, a /goddamn flamethrower/, a few bits of twine, etc. She's...she's so excited to be here.

Olivia doesn't have much (or anything) in the way of healing fruit or medicine, but she has some protection in the form of the crystalline ice armor that appears around herself. She has been taught SOME of what she ought to know, and she was told in no uncertain terms that she should ALWAYS do this in the Hedge. Always. So the little ice dragon trudges along, sharp icy claws forming at her fingertips, no overcompensating sword necessary. While Widget might chatter on, Olivia is quiet and attentive, listening and absorbing everything she's told. Because she isn't entirely sure what good she can do, but she'll try!

It's off the beaten path for certain. Hob whispers told him of a place where he can find what he seeks. Off the path and into the kind of twisted dark forest that is told of in classic faerie tales. The trees are massive and gnarled, the shadows thick enough to conceal anything within them. In the distance, a briar wolf or similar canid howls and there's a chorus of yips and replies that answer it. The hob might've known where to find something of the living but it didn't say -what- would be found in this place.

"Try to keep your head on a swivel, and watch each other's backs." Raymond turns his gaze about, unaware of the howling at first. Instead his attention is given to a rather peculiar hedge fruits that look a bit like like yellow potatos that hang from a tree. He shakes his head, and then starts pushing on ahead. Clearly the howling was off in the distance and there's no immediate dangers to be found.

Lolly gulps when she hears the howling, creamy green skin paling a smidge in immediate fear. She scoots a bit closer to the middle of the group. "Um. Did you hear that? Like... I dunno what it was, but it was weird." Such a clear description! She should be a scout for sure.

"And do you think we c-..." Widget cocks her head, falling quiet. She glances at Lolly, nodding. "Like...rabbits? Like..um..." Widget tries to replicate the sound, making a sort of low churring coo. It's...really not all that close to what she heard, but it gets the point across. "...That. Yes."

Olivia listens to the sounds around them, head tilting just a touch as she lets her eyes skim around the area. She squints a little bit at the sound, pausing briefly before hissing quietly. "Hey shh. Shut up," she says, holding up one hand as she tries to get a clearer idea of what she's hearing. "There's something else besides the wolves. I'm not sure what. Maybe a bird? It doesn't sound happy."

The sound of the canines grows closer bit by bit, and that other sound seems to be growing weary and more distressed - Ray able to pick it out now that it has been pointed out to him.

"So we have wierd, rabbit, and bird." This gives Raymond pause as the gears start moving. "Okay. That's a lot to take in. So let's check this out, but nothing too crazy." The Changeling's Wyrd and mantle perverts the landscape around them, seemingly desiccating what surrounding wildlife still survived into the dinner. "It might mean we can get pieces or whatever from the things if we get there after the melee. Maybe."

Lolly nibbles on her lower lip, but doesn't add anything else, only glancing around the small group with a wary eye for anything, you know, big hairy and likely to chew her face off. Or any other aspect of her anatomy. Sam the Bartender is enough peg leg for her, promise.

Well, she can't hear the little sound, but the much scarier one seems to be getting a lot louder. Or...closer? Both? Almost like it's all....around....them.

Widget sidles closer to the group, prepping and white-knuckling the nozzle of her flamethower. She didn't like that sound. She had a /lot/ of memories of that type of sound. Good doggies?

Olivia shrugs lightly. She heard what she heard, but she has no idea what she heard. It was a sound, and that's the best she can offer. The dragonling bounces slightly on her feet, not really able to pick out anything else. "Just tell me what I need to do, hm? I'd like to get home in one piece. I have a few people that would kick my ass if it was in more than one piece."

Raymond swears under his breath, and grunts. He adjusts his sword to set it on the other shoulder. "Plan's simple. It sounds like briarwolves." He doesn't sound too sure of that, but it doesn't look like he's going to call for a retreat. "Lily, you try to stay in the middle. If nothing else just because Charlene'd have my hide if you got seriously hurt. Heal who you can, and fuck up whatever else somehow breaks our ranks." Then to the dragonling and her current icy exterior. "Try to cover left flank, and don't let a thing get to Lily," his last said with a motion in the Spring's direction. Lastly he turns to the shortest member of the cadre with the deadliest weapon. "I'm gonna wager that if you brought that thing you're either good with it or really, really dangerous. So try to guard the right and do /not/ set any of us on fire. Okay? Okay."

Raymond turns back towards the direction of the howling. "We can, and we will make it out of this safe." Relatively. "And alive." Also relative! "We drop the briarwolves, see what in God's name they were doing, and we watch each other's backs. I don't care how much they try to scare you, or how much they howl. Don't run, and you'll be fine." Mostly. And then he's off, stomping towards the howling with a bit of barking of his own, "If you don't mind the tin can I got something juicier for you here, you mutts."

Squeaking at the sounds around them, Lolly shivers, grabs her backpack straps and gives Raymond a nervous nod. "I-I don't have a weapon." Just in case, she glances down at the ground. Maybe she can pull an inept version of a Hobbit and find a rock to throw.

Ray gives instructions while there is still time to do so.

Moments tick by. the wolves closer, that cooing becoming frantic.

There's a rustling in the bushes and ragged looking bird with a ten foot wingspan and tattered looking dull wings bursts through.

The pack of wolves are there in a flash, grabbing different parts of the once-grand and now broken looking avian.

As the Briarwolves come bursting out of the brushes, Olivia jumps a bit. The dragonling blinks a couple times, but doesn't hesitate much beyond that moment of composing herself. She hisses softly through her teeth and lunges as the nearest creature, icy claws piercing into flesh.

The wolf yelps when the icy claws tear through hide and dig in deep, staining the claws crimson. That wolf whirls on Liv, retaliating with sharp claws that score the icy armor. The lead wolf lungss, meanwhile, bringing the pathetic looking bird of prey down and finishing it with an awful wrenching tear of teeth through flesh.

Wolves? Monster wolves! Widget likes dogs. When they're /nice/. Not the feral violent rabid mongrels she dealt with for most of her life. These were similar to those, with that added bit of Hedge-weirdness. Plus they were hurting her friend! And that bird, she guessed. She's reallt scared! Or she would be. Amazing what a flamethrower can do for confidence. Burn! Buuuurn! Cackling madly, Widget unleashes a gout of digusting-smelling fire, greasy smoke billowing at the ragged edges of the flames. Luckily it just hits the target, but it does get /very/ close to Olivia. The bird is...crispy. Poor bird.

Caught in the fire, the wolf /screams/, throwing itself down and rolling - the stonk of burning hair and flesh filling the air while the gremlin laughs. Another of the wolves turns and launches at Widget, sinking teeth deep into armor and still managing to punch through to her hip with a hard shake of it's head. The bird? What's left of it is burning. A sad little heap of smouldering feathers and blood.

Looking between Olivia and Widget, Lolly swallows hard, hands shaking, and claps her hands over her ears so she can concentrate, eyes squinched shut. A moment later, Widget feels a rush of Springy warmth sweep through her body, soothing the pain of the wolf's attack and healing the tears in the flesh. Can't do anything about the gap in the armour, but the body's whole!

Raymond is loud, as much to draw the attention of the briarwolves as well to make sure he's clearly heard in the melee. "Keep at it, and keep at 'em," he shouts loud enough that anything several meters out probably heard. He turns his attentions to the briarwolf attacking the dragon, heat and fire welling up in his eyes.

Olivia looks down as the wolf tries to take a chunk out of her, succeeding only in chipping the icy armor that envelopes her. She snarls quietly in response, baring too-sharp teeth at the creature. Lashing out in response, her claws slash down and into the briarwolf, a sideways glance given to the fire that flickers in her direction. "Other WAY, Widget!"

The slit wolf tries to retaliate, but finds no purchase on tue icy exterior of the dragon hatchling. The other is desperately flailing amd writhing, slowly snuffing the flames and stinking up the place.

Ow! Ow! Ack! The sudden bitings and very un-badass yowl herald the flame swinging towards Olivia. Poor ice dragon. At least it gets her attacker and not...y'know...her. Just searing horrible choking-smoke flames super close is all. Could be worse! "Thanks-geddoffme-Lolly!" A little high and strained, but still a friendly voice. She /is/ being attacked.

Afraid of the fire, the wolf on Widget tries to get through armor, scarring it up but not getting at the skin under it.

Lolly focuses again, and this time it's Olivia who feels the sweeping warmth of Spring, leaving her nice and refreshed.

There's rage and then there's just pent up anger waiting to be let on something. Anything. That anything turns out to be a briar wolf as Ray focuses in on it. The fire building up in his eyes is quickly released in a torrent of searing flame. "You will stop /now/!"

Fur is lit up and flesh seared by that summery heat. More of that burning stench fills the air. That sad heap of burning feathers and flesh? It curls, coiling into itself as more heat, more fire is brought into play, the flame thrower's heat having an effect. The ball becomes slightly oblong - wider at the base, and smoke weaves itself into a dusky, ash-mud type of shell.

The briar wolves are down, and the remaining one is in retreat. He surveys the battlefield, looking over those woundeded and finally catches the fleeing briarwolf. Nope. He yanks the dagger at his waist, and then throws chucks it at the hedge beast. "Anyone hurt? Lily?" he asks with a turn to her. "Can you check on the bird?"

The last wolf is running, and Olivia turns in place, hissing softly through sharp teeth as she makes sure there are no immediate threats still coming at them. The dragonling hops away from the fire, putting a fair amount of distance between it and herself. The bonus to being framed in ice? The blood tends to freeze. Which does give her claws a rather unpleasant appearance. "I'm fine."

Choking on the reek of burning fur and flesh, Lolly slings her backpack around in front of herself and rummages through it for a particular jar, stuffed full of what looks like perfectly ordinary mint leaves. The scent of peppermint is strong when she undoes the lid, and remains strong, since she dunks a folded handkerchief into the infusion, squeezes it to wring out most of the pale greenish liquid, then closes the jar. Better to breathe through soggy peppermint than to upchuck all over the Hedge.

"I-I'm fine," she stammers, when Raymond calls her name, though when he asks her to check out the bird, she balks for a moment, staring at it, and the bodies around it. Swallowing behind the folded cloth, she visibly grabs her courage with both metaphorical hands and edges forward, wary, ready to skedaddle at the slightest hint that the ash-mud-shell thing isn't just a nice safe harmless egg.

Huff puff. "REALLY?!" Widget shouts extremely close to Olivia, covered in soot and smiling like a complete psychopath. The roaring of fire and adrenaline seems to have busted her volume control. Her pilot light is still hissing, dribbling little gobbets of burning jelly-fuel as it winds down. "FINE TOO!" Something in one of the wolves heats and pops, letting up a yellow-grey stream of boiled offal, like a really gross drinking fountain. At least it doesn't hit anyone. "ANYONE HUNGRY?"

If touched, the ashen 'shell' is hot and smells faintly of sulphur and that hot thing smell, like overly hot metal woth a hint of ozone. It simply rests, hot.and grey and seemingly lifeless.

Olivia winces slightly as Widget yells, growling softly at the gremlin. "Inside voice," she mutters, keeping away from burning flesh and weird egg. Nothing good in the Hedge. Seriously. "Can I go home now? Did you get what you came for?" A sideways look is cast to Raymond; this is his show, apparently.

When nothing happens with the egg-rock-thing, Lolly tentatively gives it a nudge with the toe of one of her boots, still wary. When nothing happens -then-, she equally tentatively uses the wet cloth to try touching it. When all she feels is hot-tea heat, she frowns to herself, glances somewhat guiltily at Raymond, then slings her backpack around and grabs another couple of folded handkerchiefs to use as improvised potholders, hefting the egg up in her arms and holding it out where Raymond can see it. "Do you think it's alive? Can we keep it?"