Tywyll screams when the arrow slams through her left arm but then she is whirling. The black 'sword' is held aloft. There's no weight there to pull on her arm, just a razor made entirely of the absence of light, and whatever resides within it. The nearest man has three feet of shadow shoved directly underneath his ribs and as he collapses into his own blood Tywyll is howling. Moving her arm hurts. Walking hurts. Narrowly avoiding an arrow through the neck /hurts/.
"If you can do anything about the arrows that would be wonderful," she ssnaps at the top of her lungs above the din, screaming for her wind dragon in the hopes that they can offer some assistance. Finally she reaches up and snaps off the head of the arrow and pulls it from her arm. One man decides this is a good time to rush her. She snarls as she lunges and bears him bodily into the rampart. A spike shoots up at the same time, leaving the fellow impaled through the chest cavity. Did she hit the heart? Does it matter?
Tywyll is quickly embroiled in foes. Whether she kills them all or they eventually overwhelm her this can't be good. The shadow spikes are fewer and more erratic. This is the first time she's been seen to fight in open sunlight…
Agravaine has definitely been showing his hand in this battle, and he leaves behind a fair amount of chaos as he rides his fae critter up the wall, jumping on the shadows like they were footholds. His control over this beast is so fluid, that he rides like they were one mind. Upon reaching the top, he has to make a choice between hauling the dazed guy who tried to choke him out, or the wounded bard who may yet have a few spells in him. HMmmm. SUCH A HARD SARCASTIC CHOICE. Plus. Taliesin is way lighter. Agramax rides over to him and reaches down his arm. "Taliesin! Hold to me!" And with the strength befitting a knight of the realm…and perhaps a little mental nudge, he tries to get him behind him on the mount, then surveys the road ahead of him here, to the endgame, and what allies yet remain.
Oh gods — there are few pains on this green earth like a broken rib. The pieces feel to grind in his chest and Taliesin makes hollow sounds of agony as he makes his way up to sitting back against the wall. Each breath hurts and he needs to fight to keep from inhaling deeper. There's the risk of going light-headed, but then again, he's already got blurred vision for the adrenaline tamping down the worst of his body's reactions.
Someone's yelling at him. The dragon? No, the Knight — Agravaine. Grimacing, the Pencerdd looks up at the outstretched hand. "Demon ram…? Really? ACK." That was an aborted laugh.
It takes some effort, definitely some hauling of said 'lighter' bundle of Bardd to get him astride behind the Knight.
Any shift of the beast beneath him twinges. "If this thing jounces me, I will vomit on you," he warns Agravaine in that same empty, wind-knocked tone. Where's his dragon…? Blearily, with teeth visibly gritted, he mentally projects to the river-drake,
Albion, keep watch over us. I think he will attempt to return to the fray.
ROLL: Wanda +rolls 1d20 for a result of: 20
Below… Lady Daphne's struggles render her weak as she pulls away from the sticky substance coating her. Once or twice she falls to her knee. Flashing steel shows her knife among the dark fey nearest her struggling to overwhelm the knight, closing in a knot. They scent weakness and they strike. Motley forces encircle the Prince of Night and his fallen foe. The druid himself raises no defense against the terrible blade swinging down. Flames burst along its edges, shining red on the Green Knight's chest, staining blood on hungry soil.
Above… Overhead Pretanikai spirals over the battlefield, accosted by flights of arrows and the odd bolt. Other unmounted wyrms sweep through the smoke and rain, Albion lashing in primal rage at anything trying to pin it down. Requests go unanswered from the bard. A swamp is forming in front of the cracked fourth unit and wall. Orcas crackles with lightning, polarizing any metal, chasing after the incorporeal air dragon in a shrieking rampage. The Summer Knight lies impaled on splintered blades of faceted darkness. The thorn wyrm awoken by the Green Knight storms through the remnants of the first unit, throwing itself relentlessly against the walls until broken to pieces. Spikes litter the ground, a hazard to anyone in armour or cloth robes.
In the courtyard… Shields hold and pulse against even umbral strikes. The shadows melt off the armour when they previously penetrated. A spear hurled at the demonic ram goes straight through it between bard and knights' legs. Casters chant behind hallucinary walls that bend gravity and invite madness to stare too long, though Agravaine will only see his own likeness crowned…
Maximus lets out a distressed and tin-y howl when his mount is speared through. He does manage to tumble free of the dying creature, with a clinking and clanging that sounds like someone tripped in a WilliamSonomas. When he rights himself, he yells, "Guards!" Then staggers for a second, "Fortunato!" Not the right time, the right place, or the right minions. He leans on his sword, and seems to remember again that he was carrying another person, that he's not king, and that he doesn't have minions. Steel eyes look for Taliesin to make sure he's not dead after that. "Bard! That's what I meant…"
Tywyll seems to be in trouble. This is perhaps owing to the fact that the next time she thrusts her sword into one of her foes it disappears up to the hilt. She's incredibly swift when all she can do is focus on dodging, weapons all around her as she's being borne back toward the wall. The small shadow clad Spy Mistress is bleeding from innumerable smaller wounds, only reflexes and desperation keeping her alive. She can, at least, block even if her weapons are useless. But as the gaps between the soldiers surrounding her are filled out and the space behind her grows smaller…
Tywyll dashes for the wall, a sword slashing across her back as she goes. Trailing a spotted trail of crimson she dives into a shadow created by the wall itself, disappearing completely from view. Cloaked in darkness one might be forgiven for thinking she teleported away. Sorceresses do that from time to time. At this point it is a matter of holding her breath and waiting while her foes decide what they will do with this situation. And make herself as small as possible.
With the collapse of the demon-ram beneath him to sudden mortal spearing, the Bardd is sent toppling back to the courtyard's stoned floor. AGONY. Agravaine calls, but he has no breath to respond. It's all mental now.
Taliesin forces himself to sit up, whey-faced as he is, and swallows hard. Where is that damn river-dragon?!
The next call (nix that, it's totally a brutally-steely command) is bolstered with the Mystical zap of the power of the Sorcerer Supreme.
Albion, we require your presence NOW — HERE — PLEASE!!! The courtyard! Defend us! Grabbing onto a handful of bloody wool to brace himself, he makes his way onto one knee and attempts to get to his feet. "Agravaine, where is Tywyll? The Green Knight, Summers?!" He shouts as loudly as he can muster without breaking his voice to pain. "The shard is — is in the battlefield!"
Guards. What guards are there? The spellcasters behind their illusions and archers turning their weapons upon those who prowl too near. Feathers stud cobblestone and bodies, the fallen outlines of blood and shadows. The rain falls harder and passes away in a gale wind, wild and unpredictable. Agravaine is thrown about if he tries too stand too tall, even as his mind reaches out to find others below and encounters forces too wild where the dragons likely are.
The dark champion below holds up his flaming sword and gives a mocking salute from the battlefield. At his feet, the bloodied Green Knight does not rise. Launching into action, the starry void trails around him as he vanishes from the space he stood with a fell crack of imploding space.
Albion sinks down into the soil for a quagmire and thrashes around, white-water rapids forming a mile from the wall and tailing back. Fey who can go airborne and the undead give no fucks, tearing into the form that was Sir Daphne, if there was anything to be seen. A crackling horror of many eyes and lurid skin throws its weight into the sinuous thorn-wyrm and tears it asunder, throwing a burst of thorns as far as the courtyard. Those spines are up to nine inches long, a mighty prick to impale the flesh.
Pretanikai shrieks and dives, slick orbs and shining midnight, trekking through scorches that burst along its side. While the water-wheel wyrm springs up, and up, narrowing to a river, the greater of them slams down lustrous claws into stone and swings its tail around, knocking at least Taliesin airborne. More than long enough to catch Tywyll and Agravaine's bodies over the edge of the wall, it springs up with a fierce snap of great viridian wings to chase down the fallen knights and capture them in claw or maw.
Nyx is snagged in the teeth of a dragon, the black haired girl suddenly finding herself morre or less hidden in the shadows of its mouth. She pulls them around herself like a cloak , shielding against the possibility of accidental nicks and bites, and bleeds… Into a dragon's mouth. Because that is really what Pret wanted to have happen at the moment. There's a sharp yelp from the tiny blonde and she calls out, "I think we were, um…Rescued… Ha…"
Maximus is snapped up in claws and only just manages to keep his sword and shield with him in a death grip on the precious items. GOD DAMMIT though…his feather. It is not just bent, but totally chopped off, just a little blue stub sticking out from his helm. "rescued…but the day is lost. The green knight has fallen…the black knight /gone/, and with him, likely, those shards." Agravaine complains in a somewhat Max-y way, the two of them sharing that talent at being pathetic, when the situation is dire.
Hey, it works!
Wait — it works, but it works in a different manner than expected.
With arm wrapped tightly against his side, Taliesin sees the arrival of the dragon as well as the swing of that tail. "Oh, seven HELL-OOOFFF!"
Airbourne he flies and out go the lights. No one stays conscious with a direct impact to the torso like that, even if this was playing nicely by the dragon's standards. Wrapped up in talons and scaled digits, he's a dead-weight Master Bardd with nothing intelligent, snarky, or helpful to add to the situation. Alas, Agravaine's whingings fall on deaf ears.
Staggering to his feet, the Green Knight emerges from the makeshift infirmary tent, his bandages hidden by the rent armour he wears ('rent' as in rather badly torn, not 'for hire' as in: 'armour to let. used once. minor mortal chest wound otherwise in good condition. please call * *).
His green-ed, bearded face looks upward to see the Bardd go flying like a stone with arms and legs, only to be caught by the green dragon, and he mutters a sigh of relief.
He dislikes the Bardd, but one should never hope for the comic relief to die off in the climactic episode. Ser Bercilak (AKA Bredbeddle, AKA, the Green Knight) makes his way to the others, leaning upon his battleaxe.
"I live… barely," says he in a strained growl. "The Woods heal me… I need water."
A claw mirror-bright as hematite locks around Agravaine, another around the bardd. With Tywyll in its mouth, Pretanikai will not be biting anyone or speaking soon. The narrow form of its ragged wings thins further as it tucks them close to its sinuous body and shoots across the battlefield through a few remaining functional trebuchets on the far eastern flank of the castle hillside. Lightning still storms up there as Orcas goes quite mad and the aerial dragon responds with destabilizing pressure zones that send everyone scattering. Sudden spirals even when firmly clasped in great teeth are not fun, but the wyrm swings around to avoid being slammed into by Albion doing his demented water dance.
Its shadow melts across the undead and the fey and the one lone cow mooing in abject annoyance that it cannot reach its cud. The cow stamps its feet. The dragon sends a cloud of dust past, rearing back on its back legs to drop the Spymistress and Agravaine to the ground. "This be why the lady dispatched you to remain above," it hisses irritably, then twists its head around to point behind to the nearest broken unit. It utters a sound that's no sound at all. The ground shudders in swampy thrall, and immediately several siege engines, one tentacled giraffe-like elk, and a heavy troll sink into the quagmire.
Tywyll hits the grass and tumbles helplessly through, leaving behind a fairly impressive crimson streak of blood. SH's slightly dazed as she watches PRetanikai fly away and so the girl does not answer him, instead blinking profusely. She's lost her mask. Withotu itTywyll looks rather young and almost alarmingly human. No longer the dark Spymistress of the Queen's Court she is just a teenager, bleeding slowly into the grass and creating a pool of muck beneath herself as she does. Tywyll is not likely to be useful for much any time soon, even if the wounds are closing faster than one might expect. She blearily waves a the cow. "Hey you. Cow. You might want to leavebefore someone makes hamburgers out of you against a castle wall. Shoo."
Maximus is…mostly in tact still, despite all the odds against that. Though, they are no better FOR it, that he lives. He tries to help Tywyll get herself in a nice lean against a dead body, while he answers the Green Knight, "We have lost the Black Knight…we have…honestly…lost this battle, unless you have some power to turn back time that I am unaware of. It is good to see that you live, though." He looks up to the dragon, then, "Thank you…for extracting us. Can you see hope, here, where I cannot?"
Ser Daphne swings her blade around, holding her shield to block the attacks of the undead surrounding her on the ground. Carving a grisly path through the undead, she fights her way towards the castle walls as she mutters, "I don't want to do this unless I'm desperate… but I think it's getting that way!"
ROLL: Wanda +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 97
An irate dragon causing earthquakes does a fine job of making at least some of the smarter figures away. Its lashing tail bristles with spines and it hums a low, angry note that ripples through stomachs, and settles into marrow. The thin river of Albion smashes into the walls and over the courtyard, doing an impressively shimmy that involves water sloshing over the broken cliffside. Orcas and Breiz are still wild on the wind, and rain or howling winds strafe them unexpectedly. The sense of the shards, at least, is still dulled and muffled, meaning they are nearby.
Pretanikai bends its head down to look at Agravaine. It sniffs, talons yet wrapped around the unconscious bard. "I cannot die. My kind are the wind and time and space. We are and always are. Always hope. The Prince of Night would not go far." The cow moos again, shuffling past a broken chariot. Another of the demonic rams prances around, trying to find a way to headbutt the Green Knight. Or anyone, really.
Within the grip of the dragon, the insensible Master Bardd is of no comedic use whatsoever…other than perhaps a puppet. Tie ropes to his wrist and make him dance? What a horrifying image, let's not do that.
Voices vaguely reach through the darkness, garbled, echoes upon ephemeral whisper-screams and then, a soft feminine voice: Not yet. Channeling the steady, thrumming power of the earth itself is the dragon Pretanikai and bone shards knit even as there's the sensation of someone wrapping a strong hand around his wrist and YANKING him back.
With a hoarse gasp, Taliesin comes back to himself and struggles for a second in sheer panic. It's a fleeting moment and after panting madly, he realizes where he's at. He takes in the scene before him: bloodied comrades left and right, himself still held far above the ground with arms trapped against his sides.
"This is a mess," he mutters, attempting to come up with a plan even as he categorizes the madness. Yep. A mess.
Bercilak shakes his head to Ser Agravaine wearily. "Alas, my magic is all that heals me for the moment — else I would call upon the wrath of Nature herself to deal with these… cretins. I…" and he struggles to breathe.
"Where… shall we go? I can call upon thorns to cover our escape if need be… alas for my dragon…"
Ser Daphne sees the seemingly endless hordes of the undead, and frowns, "This… is going to be nasty, unless." She pauses, then steps back, stabbing her blade into the ground so she can unhook the helm at her side. Seeing that there's no friendly people anywhere nearby, she places the helm on her head, eyes flashing green…
From the top of the helm dance a wreath of spectral serpents, as Daphne's visage changes, eyes glowing yellow as she seems to take on a serpentine appearance… though hopefully no one is really looking aside from the enemy, as they immediately start to stiffen, their flesh turning to stone as their living (or undying) gazes fix upon the lady knight.
Tywyll had been about to pass out when a ram came stampeding over the little rut in the ground she's made for herself. The girl blinks and then flattens against the ground as the creature goes crashing over her. She takes a dee pbreath and then slowly sits up to survey her surroundings."Wonder whe's in such a…. hurry." Tywyll comes ther feet slowly, swaying slightly as she does. her clothes are sticky with blood and her mask is gone. She feels her face to cofnirm thisfact and then rimaces faintly. "Well. I could be dead…" Looking around Nyx bends down slowly to pick up a discarded mace from the grass. Not too many swords about. She hefts it once or twice with her right hand and grimaces. "So heavy. Well. I guess it needs to be…" Tywyll is so woozy she has yet to really take stock fo her surroundings. Luckily enough. Otherwise she might realize what she has is not a mace but a cow prod.
Ser Daphne's frightful visage petrifies all the enemy minions, leaving quite possibly the largest garden ornament army in history in her wake. After she sees that few things on the battlefield are moving, she removes her helm quickly, her appearance returning to normal as she hooks the helm on her belt… retrieving her sword once more as she says to herself, "Well… that seems to have evened the odds quite a bit." As an afterthought, she tips over the statue of one of the dark elf wizards, smirking a bit.
The knight known as Agravaine tries to rally himself. There's so few of them left in decent condition…they need a plan that doesn't involve fighting. They need some dishonor…sneaky…bullshitting. That's what they need. He draws in a deep breath, "So…there is a lot of chaos, and…I can…look, I don't tell people because no one likes the idea of it, but I can control minds that I am near to. If we take these bloodied clothes of the enemy, and that ram…" He holds up his hand and the ram stops running around, looking at him calmly. "then we may be able to get to the castle where the Black Knight may still be hiding. What do you think? I can…likely…help us get through any checkpoints, if there are any, in this madness."
The Pencerdd might have been unnaturally quiet for the last few minutes, letting the others muse or rally or fight as they will. Now…now there's a cold glint in those eyes and a steely formality about him.
"My heartful thanks, Pretanikai — if you would put me down." Whether placed politely or dropped by the dragon, it matters not. He dusts off his tunic and rolls both shoulders as well as neck. "Anyone in need of healing, touch Pretanikai." A scarred finger points to the creature responsible for rescuing three of them. Whole, hale, and hardy, Taliesin rolls up his sleeves as he raises his voice, projecting in stentorian Barddic force. "It's time we turned the tides, my friends! These feckless abominations are nothing to our powers combined! Rally! Rally for the Bright Lady and all She holds dear!" The air cyclones up around him and blows out, scented of petrichor and tasting of static. "I need you all behind me. I've got a fight to pick."
With that, he turns on his booted heel and makes his way boldly towards the last place he saw the Black Knight. As he strides around and over hewn bodies, one can see scintillating auroral light gathering around his hands.
"Black Knight! Prince of Night! I, Pencerdd Taliesin, Conduit of the Bright Lady, call you out! Coward! Thief in the darkness, come out! Have you no spine?!" Kicking aside a dented helm, he adds, with an undercurrent of laughter, "And mind you, your mother brings the Dark Dimension in the wake of her bulk." He halts, fists at his sides…and waits.
Yep. He just called the Knight's mom fat.
Availing himself of some much needed healing, Ser Bercilak goes to the dragon. He stands there, hunched over and grimacing at first… only to slowly rise to his full height. The green-bearded man closes his eyes.
Hearing the challenge to the Black Knight, he turns and strides up to stand beside the Bardd. "That… was verily a most peculiar insult. And this 'Dark Dimension'? Dost thou speak of the space between the unfortunate knight's ears? Vast, empty and echoing with the voices of has-been politicians in their pedestrian dotage?"
One horde after another splits and splinters. Those not turned to stone seek the safety of the western walls, where the siege engines are vaguely intact. The shrieks of the aqueous dragon and splash of spellfire does not make a beautiful scene overhead on a castle rocked by barren power. Figures go to stone under a knight's horrid glare. Blood drips from the Green Knight's wounds, too slow to be proper, the horrid stab in his chest a terror to witness.
Pretanikai swishes its tail, left to right to left to right. Any in the range of that are at risk of being hurled back several dozen feet. It lowers its head to stare eye to eye with Agravaine, the fringe of its crest glittering an unearthly green. "Finally one speaks sense. I will forget you wished to nail my kind's skull to your chair." It blows out a breath over the stirred masses, and then rouses itself, wings arching high over them with a hard flutter. Whatever holes were left by passage of many arrows, bolts of flame, and arcane matter have since mended, and the obsidian-green wyrm leaps upwards. Several hard flaps will, in course of time, blow the poor cow over.
Not so much Agravaine, however, who may find himself accidentally floating on his back and flailing around.
And it may be said the pull of that threat, spoken in ringing notes by the bard, goes without answer.
Until the Green Knight's shadow points an accusing finger across the ground at the knights of Caerleon and the outline of a blade points at them.
Who doth bring the Dark Dimension by gravitas of his capacious arse? Sir Bredbeddle.