The scene: A shadow of the Grove of the Unicorn, in flames.
Dalt lifts the corpse of Julian over his head as the flames consume the grove. His laughter is rough and without soft edges, and he hurls Julian into a firey grave.
Dalt draws his two swords -- still coloured with the gore of the grove's fallen guardian -- and waits.
There is the sound of horse's hooves quickly approaching. Then come to a halt nearby, and seconds later, Bleys comes bursting into the grove.
Dalt turns to face the redhaired man. Soot has made his complexion even darker, and his teeth show in a nasty grin.
Dalt clanks his swords together over his head.
Bleys. His hair hovers about his head like a flame; in one light it might seem red, but in another it appears orange. His beard, slightly darker in color, covers his slight chin, but not his flashing smile. His eyes sparkle and dance, never revealing what lurks behind their blue depths. His hands appear strong, but somehow you know they are not rough - a surgeon's hands.
His clothes are worn and stained in a manner that proves that when red cloth becomes dirty, it turns into a muddy-clay shade. The cloak, fortunately, was dark-coloured to begin with, so far as you can tell.
On his hands are a pair of heavy brown leather gauntlets, reinforced with metal bands of steel.
Hanging from a chain baldric, and sheathed in a golden scabbard, is Angaurel.
Thick. This man is thick, from his neck to his fingers, every part of him blunt meat. His skin's shade is somewhere between shadow and tan, and his eyes are the dull, deep grey of a dead rat's. His head is shaved bald and holds a slight gleam in the ambient light. A short sword hangs on either side of his hips, and several pair of daggers are placed about his person, no effort made to conceal the cutlery. His outfit has the appearance of black snakeskin.
Bleys blinks in the smoke, and stares at his brother's appaling pyre. "Julian!" he cries, still somewhat breathless from his run.
Dalt walks forward, bold and sure. "Welcome to the world I make for you."
You say "I did this. All of this."
You say "I sold your precious home to the worms."
Bleys' gaze flicks back to you. "You bastard," he says, drawing his blade.
Dalt snorts. "First and always."
Dalt holds his blades before him, ready to meet any attack.
You say "Let me end your suffering."
Dalt spits, "Brother."
Bleys does not hesitate now, and steps forward, his blade a blur in motion.
Dalt beats at Angaurel with his foreward blade, the second coming in for a low cut.
Dalt catches Angaurel at an odd angle, stopping the blade before it bites into his shoulder; the force of the swing pushes Bleys' weapon away from him, nevertheless -- but his offhand blade fails to take purchase.
Bleys is pushed back a step by the force of Dalt's block, and he brings Angaurel up in a defensive guard as he regains his purchase.
Dalt hisses through clenched teeth: he's all beast, and he advances, beating at Bleys' guard, trying for a cut here or there when opportunity shows.
Delwin walks out of a dense group of trees.
Despite his obvious disorientation, Bleys is still barely able to avoid Dalt's attacks. He backs up toward's Julian's burning body.
Delwin glances around, quickly assessing the situation such as he can see.
Dalt does not, at first, note Delwin's arrival. He's clearly intent on backing Bleys into the fire.
Bleys takes a few more steps backwards, but then seems to sense the heat behind him. He attempts to turn the focus of the battle back against Dalt, but at that moment, something seems to distract him.
Delwin makes a decision, and extends one hand forward, his silver ring shining brightly.
> From afar, to Dalt, Delwin, and Ethan, Bleys laughs, "That has to be one of the worst timed trump contact's ever. Dalt, I imagine you get a free shot."
Dalt siezes the advantage as Bleys is distracted. He swings his swords, prepared to cut Bleys down -- and the edges stop short on an invisible wall between him and Bleys.
Dalt snarls, and looks around for the source.
Delwin smiles rakishly, but probably doesn't fool anyone into thinking he's relaxed.
Dalt levels his blade at Delwin as he backs away from Bleys. "You."
You say "You stay out of this."
Bleys brings Angaurel up to block Dalt's blow, but ...too slowly. He looks in surprise as Dalt's blows fall on some form of shield.
Delwin says "You know better. Or I thought you might, anyway."
Bleys says "Delwin?"
Delwin glances at the pyre, then back to Dalt.
Delwin says "Time to go, Bleys."
Dalt drops one sword, presumably going for a dagger.
Pattern Lens has arrived.
Delwin's eyes flick to Dalt, and he moves his hand. "Don't even think it."
Bleys frowns, "What are you talking about? I'm going to kill this murdering bastard for what he's done!"
Delwin says "No, you're leaving now."
Pattern Lens lingers invisibly in the trees, if anyone has a way of noticing.
Delwin says "Let Dalt burn Shadows of us in effigy all he likes."
Dalt's hand slows as he considers his action; there's a pause, and then he lets his hand rest.
Dalt continues a retreat. His dark expression offers more curses than his mouth ever could.
Bleys raises one hand to his head, fighting his disorientation. "Shadows? There've been so many shadows lately. I can't think straight."
Delwin says "Doubtless. So come with me, since I can think perfectly straight."
Dalt levels his sword at Delwin once more. "It's not over." He then disappears into the flaming background.
Delwin yells after Dalt, "I'm starting to think you're not worth the grief you cause the court!"
Bleys reaches one hand to push back the sleeve on his arm. The arm is a battlefield of puncture marks.
Bleys sheathes Angaurel with an unsteady hand. "That bastard.." he says, looking up after Dalt, expression darkening.
Delwin walks over to Bleys. "I'll fix you up. Come with me."
Pattern Lens drifts over to Bleys.
Delwin squints, and his ring resumes glowing. "Whoever's got that bloody lens up, best move it away."
Bleys laughs once, hoarsely, "I've been had, and good," he says, as he takes a step towards Delwin.
Pattern Lens darts back away from Bleys.
Delwin puts his right hand on Bleys's tracked arm, and the white glow of his ring flows over the punctures.
Delwin says "Let me know when your head feels clearer. This is just a quick fix until we can get you cleared out. Dalt can be dealt with later."
Ethan has arrived.
Bleys says dryly, "You sure this is working? Now I'm hallucinating my son."
Ethan blips in, a few steps away from Delwin and Bleys.
Delwin says "Your son, hmm? Pleased to meet you, lad, but don't expect me to watch your back. There's Dalts in them there woods."
Ethan nods to Delwin,"I saw. Don't worry about my back."
Delwin holds up fingers in front of Bleys's face. "Steady images? You still look dilated."
Ethan steps over to Bleys.
Ethan says "What's he hopped up on?"
Ethan gazes curiously to his father, his head tilted to the side.
Bleys narrows his eyes to look at Delwin's fingers. "I hope you're not expecting me to shift shadow," he comments.
Delwin says "Hmmm. A hotshot of hallucinogens. Lysergic acid diethylamide, phencyclidine hydrochloride, all sorts of chemical goo."
Delwin says "You're a regular junior chemistry set, Bleys."
Ethan says "Fun."
Delwin says "No Shadow shifting. I'll drive."
Ethan says "I'd offer assistance, but it seems you have things under control."
Ethan looks to Delwin, smiling faintly.
Delwin says "Always, nephew, always."
Ethan says "Yeah, right."
Delwin says "Besides, picking your father up and dusting him off is somewhat of a habit of mine."
Ethan grins, then looks back to his father.
Ethan says "Tell me about it."
Bleys mouths the word silently first, then says it, "Thanks, Delwin."
Delwin says "You're welcome, of course. Where shall I take you?"
Delwin says "I'm afraid I can't have you traipsing around my current residence. You understand."
Ethan stands there, looking somewhat awkward.
Ethan says "I'll just..."
Ethan gestures with a thumb back over his shoulder.
Bleys says "My place would be good, I suppose."
Delwin tches at Ethan. "You can take care of the blighter when I have to leave him, which should be shortly."
Ethan says "Cool then."
Delwin concentrates, trying to remember Bleys's room.
Ethan smiles a bit, gazing to Delwin.
Ethan says "Want I should ... I know the way quite well."
Delwin says "No, no need."
Bleys sits up in his bed suddenly, "Wait a minute."
Bleys looks around, "Unless I'm really still out of it, this is Amber."
Delwin says "This is, indeed, Amber."
Delwin says "Please don't overreact. I'd be rather put out if guards came in. Literally, I suspect."
Ethan says,"In that case..." He walks over and leans against the doorframe.
Bleys drops back on his bed with a groan. "That's great, Delwin, just great," he says, "Did you happen to know I'm persona non grata here just now?"
Delwin shrugs, and grins. "Who isn't?"
Ethan says "No kiddin."
Delwin waves a finger. "But the key, Bleys, the KEY is that Dalt won't come here."
Delwin says "Well, to start trouble, anyway."
Ethan crosses his arms, then tilts his head, so as to lend an ear to the door.
Delwin says "It seemed like a good idea when I did it, anyway."
Bleys says "Yes, but _Deirdre_ is here."
Bleys says "Sometimes."
Bleys says "I hope she's in Parys, homicidal..."
Delwin says "Deirdre, Deirdre...I doubt she'd _kill_ you, Bleys."
Ethan looks to Delwin,"I can think of several places Dalt wouldn't go. This is not hig up on the list of safe ones though."
Sara walks into the room from the hallway, shutting the door behind her.
Sara stops just short of entering the door and bows to both Bleys. "Sir."
Delwin says "Doesn't anyone knock in this bloody castle?"
Ethan raises an arm, resting it on the otherside of the doorframe, preventing Sara from entering.
Ethan says "Apparantly not."
Bleys looks up from the bed again. "Oh, no."
Delwin looks rather pointedly at Sara. "Can we help you in some way?"
Ethan studies Sara, his eyes narrowing.
Sara nods to Bleys. "I guess you're busy. I'll be outside."
Sara walks out into the hallway.
Ethan smiles faintly, and promptly shuts the door.
Delwin says "I'll just bet she will."
Delwin says "Bleys, is that adrenaline doing anything for you yet?"
Bleys laughs, and covers his face with his pillow.
Ethan thumps the door with his fist, should anyone be listening to it too closely. at the Hallway.
Bleys says in a muffled tone, "The tension is surely good for me."
Delwin says "Helps you know you're alive."
Ethan looks into midair, grumbling something about 'timing.'
Ethan's eyes unfocus, his hand clenching the doorknob firmly, keeping it shut.
Bleys says "Do either of you know how long it's been since he had me?"
Ethan murmurs into midair, his eyes narrowing.
Bleys says "The last clear thing I remember, before.."
Delwin says "I don't know. You hadn't exactly kept in touch before then."
Bleys says "Before Dalt was leaving Ethan's place, actually."
Bleys says "Or at least it was the same day."
Ethan smirks into midair, apparently amused with his contact.
Delwin says "Let's focus on the present, shall we? I can probably distract Sara briefly if you need some time to get clear."
Bleys says "I..."
Bleys concludes, "am starving."
Delwin says "I can't say I recommend the Worlds End Bar just now."
Delwin says "If you must, understand that I'm not making a fulltime job out of watching your back until you recover fully."
Ethan blinks away the contact, then looks over to Bleys and Delwin.
Delwin says "I suspect strongly I need to get to work preparing for Dalt's attempts at a little petty revenge at my expense."
Ethan says "I got safe place stocked with all manners of good eats."
Bleys says "Very generous of you."
Ethan shrugs, as much as he is able, as he still holds the door shut.
Ethan says "Or Rebma. Moire won't be around."
Bleys sits up and puts one hand to his head, pushing his hair back, "I should probably leave now," he notes.
Bleys shakes his head, "No, not Rebma."
Delwin says "Very observant."
Ethan says "I figured."
Ethan says "My place then?"
Ethan releases the doorknob, raking a hand through his hair, brushing it back.
<And here our intrepid logger left.>