The pack is quiet for a moment before Ehrvik looks over his shoulder at the woman, Tahlisha. "Do you remember Ajaoh mentioning anything about new recruits?" he asks, giving her glances but never quite taking his eyes off of you.
Tahlisah moves forward, far more gracefully than someone should be able to in the snow, coming to a stop next to Ehrvik. "She never mentioned anything to me," she purrs, sizing a few of you up slowly, her eyes lingering on hips and chests. "But we have lost a few since we got here. I'm sure she wouldn't mind if we bolstered our numbers with some of the prettier ones."
Ehrvik looks back to you fully, his smile fully gone, replaced with a discerning frown. "That doesn't exactly sound like her. If she's out and hasn't contacted us, she meant for us to find them," he says, as it becomes clear they are no longer talking to you but about you. "Perhaps she's offering them as a meal for our work well done."
"They seem to have had a disagreement about that very subject earlier, dear," Tahlisa coos.
"S'fine, I'm sure we could all use a little workout. Besides dear, you know I like it when they fight back," he adds, the smile returning, only this time looking far more predatory. He makes a gesture towards the dark woods behind the pack. "It's not fun if it isn't sporting. We'll give you a headstart."
Willow laughs wildly and then stares into Ehrvik's cold eyes, her own full of heat, "Judging by your clothes, you most likely couldn't catch a cold, what makes you think you can catch me. I'll make you a wager, if you can't catch me by the morning, you let me friends go. If you do catch me, then we'll play any silly game you like and I'll happily offer up my neck for the tramp vamp here. Or are you scared of a little sport batman??"
At their questions Samm just shrugged and held his tongue. Thorn was a better speaker than him and he'd likely just put his foot in it. "Mind you, judging by what some of us have been up to lately I hardly think I could cause more of a fuss..." he thought idly. He did however make a note of untying his net from around his waist and grabbing his trident, just in case he might need them for whatever reason. He made sure to keep eye contact with the apparent interim leader as he shook the knots loose, not as a threat of course, these lot were far to arrogant to take anything like that seriously (and he had to admit to himself, they might be good enough as well), but just to let them know he was happy for things to go down either way.
He let out a sigh as the vampire pack discussed their fate. Of course they were going to try and eat them. why had he even considered there might be another outcome. And apparently they were as arrogant as he had suspected. Once again he wondered why he was freezing his balls off on some godforsaken isle full of dead things that all wanted to kill him instead of sat behind the bar of a nice tavern back home, arm round the waist of a nice serving girl, keeping himself in business. Well, running certainly wasn't going to happen. There was clearly going to be a fight and he had no intention of being tired out from a wee jog before hand.
But before he could cross eyes with Kadal and step forward to make a wall with the big man Willow piped up again. His jaw tightened at her suggestion. "Another one of her damn fool ideas that has her running off on her own where we can't protect her if anything goes bad." He mentally crossed his fingers that they were reject her offer as 'too easy' or the like.
At Willow's barb, Tahlisha growls, low and guttural, baring her fangs and lowering her posture into one ready to spring, her finger nails growing into claws. Ehrvik smiles and reaches over and strokes her hair. "Calm yourself, my dear," he says sotfly, looking over to Willow. "I like this one. She's arrogant and cocky, even in the face of imminent death. We'll take your deal: you have a full minute head start and if you evade us until dawn, we let you and your friends go. Otherwise..." and he lets the through trail off.
He makes another sweeping gesture towards the woods. "I will begin my count when you are no longer visible to the light of the fire. Good luck." Without a moment's hesitation, Willow lowers her head and dashes into the woods, light and fast upon the cold, dry snow, running in a straight line into the darkness. Ehrvik stands and waits, watching as she disappears into the gloom, then continues to wait, well beyond a minute.
After several have passed, he turns back to you, standing in the mouth of the cave, the fire crackling and hissing in the chill of the early night. His smile returns again, his fangs noticeably elongated. "We'll hunt her later. First, we kill them."
Running to the point of exhaustion, Willow stops and listens, her keen ears picking up...nothing. Surely they couldn't be that quiet while hunting? The hairs on the back of her neck stood. No, something was wrong. They were not chasing. Without hesitation, Willow turned and ran back as fast as her legs could carry her, her lungs burning as she gulped in the cold night air.
Tahlisha's eyes glow with silver-white light as she stands there and each of you feels an almost incapacitating pain in your mind, like a white-hot blade being driven into the base of your skull. As you try to cope with the disorientation, your vision blurred, tears streaming from your eyes, you barely notice as Ehrvik dashes in, fast, faster than any human, and grabs the sailor around the neck and lifting him with one hand. Before any of you can respond, the pair are engulfed in a pillar of flame, disappearing.
In the darkness of the forest, roughly thirty-five feet away, you can see another pillar of flame burst forth from the ground and can just make out Samm and his vampire assailant. Still holding Samm, Ehrvik slashes him across his chest, leaving four deep, bleeding gouges, before casually throwing him against a tree, the wound in his chest filling with a cold burn as black lines run through his veins. From her vantage point, Willow can make out the vampire's form perfectly.
Blinking a moment with the Psychic attack, Thorn quickly shakes it off and laughs, " That wasn't the right answer, the right answer could have resulted in much fun for both of us, although this does give me a good opportunity to try something I thought of earlier. Thanks for that, " Laughing with the last statement, Thorn focuses the starlight causing it to rain down just behind Tahlisha and any around her. Before moving out of the cave, making sure to get some distance from the vampires. Finding himself annoyed at the lack of respect from the vampires, Thorn lets the chaos around him consume him momentarily, summoning a scllenting orb that descends upon Tahlisha, freezing her to the spot momentarily.
A great column of fire appears to Willow's right, she turns to see the vampire leader strike at Samm, the huntress' bow appears in her hand and two arrows are fired at the
Minor Action Effect: You can designate the nearest enemy to you that you can see as your quarry. Once per round, when you hit your quarry with an attack, the attack deals extra damage based on your level. If you can make multiple attacks in a round, you decide which attack to apply the extra damage to after all the attacks are rolled. If you have dealt Hunter's Quarry damage since the start of your turn, you cannot deal it again until the start of your next turn.
The hunter's quarry effect remains active until the end of the encounter, until the quarry is defeated, or until you designate a different target as your quarry. You can designate one enemy as your quarry at a time. Hunter's Quarry Extra Damage, 1st-10th - +1d6
Twin Strike Fey Strike Kukri +1: +7 vs AC, 1d6+1 damage, Kukri: +6 vs AC, 1d6+0 damage
+1d6 to damage per round - Hunter's Quarry
At-Will (Ranger 1) - Martial, Weapon If the first attack doesn't kill it, the second one might.
Standard Action - Melee or Ranged Requirements: You must be wielding two melee weapons or a ranged weapon. Target: One or two creatures Melee Attack: +7 / +6 vs. Armor Class (Str +3, + Prof. + 2, + 1/2 Level + 1, + Fey Weapon +1) / (Str +3, + Prof. + 2, + 1/2 Level + 1) (melee; main weapon and off-hand weapon) Ranged Attack: +5 vs. Armor Class (Dex +2, + Prof. +2, 1/2 Level +1) (ranged:, two attacks) Hit: 1[W] damage per attack. Melee Damage: 1[W] 1d6+1 / 1d6 per hit Ranged Damage: 1[W] 1d10 per hit
+1d6 to damage per round - Hunter's Quarry
As the burning, arcane stars manifest and streak toward Tahlisha and Kaiyurn, both vampires smoothly dive and roll away, although Tahlisha only narrowly avoids Thorn's follow-up attack, the orb shattering near her, ice encasing her lower legs and slowly starting to freeze up her abdomen. She turns to the chaos mage and hisses, her fangs fully elongated, her eyes burning a glowing red.
Kaiyurn's dodge is better timed as he deftly leaps over the fire and lands amidst the rest of the party, coming out of the roll at a stand, his katana drawn. As each of you begin to react, he begins a deadly dance, slashing, striking, dodging, tumbling and flipping away from all of your efforts, his blade lashing out like a snake. Ashara, Kadal and Travok suffer many small, deep and precise slices, leaving each of you bleeding heavily from a score of wounds.
Corvana staggers further back into the cave as the assault begins and seems to escape unscathed until Kaiyurn finds himself diving out of the way of Kadal's trident, landing near the witch. As he turns, you can just make out the tears streaming down her face in the flickering campfire. Her eyes dart from his to yours pleadingly, her body frozen in inaction. There is a flash of motion, the light reflecting off the blade as it moves inhumanly fast and Kaiyurn turns back to the rest of you, a spray of fresh blood across his face, a wicked grin. Behind him, Corvana is cast in shadows but you can make out her body tumbling backwards onto the cave floor.
As each arrow snaps against Ehrvik's skin, the angry, red runes upon his skin flare, small gouts of flame erupting from his flesh. He turns his attention away from Samm to look at Willow, his eyes glowing to match the runes, bright and red. "I will address you shortly; first, I want you to watch your friends die," he says, his voice neutral, almost bored.
Kadal moves up to the leader, "Its obvious you can kill us at your whim, but will that help find out what the whitecloaks are doing? We know why you are here, and we want the baron defeated or at least stopped. If you spare our lives we can help. If you kill us, you've accomplished very little"
Samm coughed violently as he was slammed into the tree, the journey through space leaving him completely disorientated against the vampires claws. He doubled over as his chest was ripped open and began choking violently, a familiar metallic taste entering his mouth. "Well this ain't a great start" he thought to himself. Pulling his head up he managed to glance around the battlefield, if it could be called that, enough to see Willow's arrows bounce off the vampires skin without trouble, and the others dodge aside from Thorn's explosions. "At least that damn fool girl was smart enough to notice she wasn't being chased. Mind you, she might have done better to keep running."
He coughed some more and winced, spitting out a large gob of bright red sputum. He'd been in enough battles to know when they were outclassed, and this was definitely one. Usually the best course of action was to throw down your weapons and hope you hadn't crossed any of the guys across you recently. Unfortunately this wasn't a regular fight. Neither side was out for gold of goods, neither were interested in minimizing casualties and risk. Or at least one side wasn't, and it was the important side. Ehrvik had made that clear. There was a slim chance that surrendering would rob them of their sport, but he doubted they'd be upset enough to not just kill them for a snack anyway.
As various plans flashed through his mind he watched the one vampire who deigned to wield a weapon flash through his allies ranks. He face slowly grew whiter as he tracked the vampires path, his subconscious tracking and predicting the foe's movements from years of experience even as he tried to formulate a larger plan. He knew what would happen even as the sword felw across the young witches neck, releasing a torrent of blood. "Head wounds always look worse than they are," he told himself, but he couldn't shake the cold stone that had settled in his belly. He knew what would happen if she didn't get pressure on that wound sharpish, and even then it would need a skilled surgeon, and she'd always have a second smile. She was still just a kid. He'd brought a kid out here, and now he'd let her get killed. "God damn it Samm" he berated himself, "sure she was pushy, but you ain't kidding no-one if you say you couldn't have made her stay at home, 'specially not yourself."
He forced the thoughts as far back as he could, focusing on the sharp pains stabbing across his ribs to focus his attention back to the battle. He still had 5 other people to look after, and he knew he couldn't take this amount of punishment for much longer. "Think for Beelzebub's sake! Can't fight, can't run what the hell else is there?"
He heard Kadal's deep voice boom out across the field, trying to negotiate some surrender. It was worth a shot he guessed, although he didn't hold out much hope. Given how quickly the vampires had apparently dispatched them he couldn't think of much they could do that the Loyalists couldn't do themselves. "Perhaps act as a distraction, or bait," he thought wryly, "still I guess thats better than cold and dead in the ground right now."
His mind flicked back to Willow. She was the only one who was quick enough and knew woods well enough to get away. Perhaps Ajaoh was still hanging around. After all, she did want to meet up with her pack, and if she hadn't left them any more signs she probably hadn't gone too far. He summoned what little strength he had remaining, and yelled. "Willow!" Air bubbled through his chest, leaving a frothy pink mess. "Willow, you listen to me. I'm probably only going to be able to say this once. These guys are way out of our league, and I ain't ashamed to admit it. You got to know when you're beat. Don't you give them the satisfaction of sticking around to watch us torn apart." He doubled over again, more blood dripping from his lower lip. "Ajoah must be near still if she didn't leave another trail for her pack. She wants to meet them. If you can find her, perhaps she can bargain for our lives. I'll do what I can to keep this one distracted whilst you go, but you need to go now. Corvana doesn't have much time left.""Although I hate to consider her price..." he added mentally.
He turned to face the Vampire in front of him, eyes the glowing red runes with distaste. He spared one last glance to the shifter, still watching. "Now!" he ordered. Supporting himself with his trident, he swung the net loosely around Ehrvik's leg, but the vampires attack had ripped free the muscles of his chest, and the net just trailed along the floor. Still, Ehrvik turned to face him once more, whether through surprise that he was still alive or something else, and still supporting himself with his trident, Samm chuckled. "Come on then, is that all you've got, fancy boy?"
Ashara is shocked, losing any split second she may have had for reaction, when the Vampire attacks. She has no time to dodge, let alone parry, or strike back as the creature rips through the group dealing devastation at will. Her eyes follow the Vampire as he strike at her friends and companions. ****ing Willow. I'll kill her.
Ashara has only a split second to contemplate her plans, before the Vampire is turning to her. As the fist blade sinks into her flesh, the breath is stolen from her body. The steel feels cold as it slices cleanly through delicate flesh. Her vision darkens as her blood runs warm down her body. She can feel herself losing control of her muscles as they are torn, sliced, and denied blood. She feels bone break as the blade slices through to her ribs, the shocking pain of a punctured lung leaves her desperately wanting to cry out, but she is unable.
After what seems an eternity, but is only seconds, her turn under the Vampire's onslaught is over. As he spins away, her legs give out under her and Ashara sinks to her knees. Her mouth hangs open as she struggles for breath. Unable to look away from the spectacle she watches with a sinking heart as the Vampire's blade flashes under Corvana's chin, ripping open the girl's throat. Watching the girl tumble over reminds Ashara of her other companions, and out of habit her eyes seek Samm.
She finds him, bloody, but mercifully still standing. She can see him talking, but all she can hear is her own heartbeat, the sound of her lungs straining. She sees Samm turn from Willow and watches his expression turn to one of taunting and in her gut she knows what he's doing. Self sacrifice. Giving himself to help the shifter. Anger flares in her chest, hot and painful. Goddamn him, and screw the shifter. She thinks to herself, her hand turning to a fist. Not this time big brother, this time it's my turn.
Summoning all her remaining strength Ashara crawls over to Corvana's still frame, pulling the young witches head into her lap and trying to put pressure on her wounds. She is mostly ineffectual, lacking strength in her hands as she loses much of her own blood. Finally, in desperation, she turns to the thing she has always done best: Lying.
"Hey, Vampire." She calls out to Ehrvik. "I wouldn't kill that one if I were you. He's got information you want. We know what you want, and he can give it to you. You need him. Alive." Unable to say anything more as her lungs protest and her voice fails her, Ashara simply sits in the dark of the cave. Still the only sound she can hear is her heart beat, she's not even sure the Vampire could hear her. All she can do is pray.