Crossing The Rubeh Con Gaval S Symphony Of Shadows

Gaval watches the trio head into the hillside through the strange opening and is torn. Part of him demands he goes with them. The other part listens to the whispered mutterings of the older famle voice in his head. the one he assumes is his instructor from a past he can't remember.
'Boy.. you know better. Should your misson need it then a diversion is what must happen. Even to sacrificing yourself. The mission is all.' , the voice natters at him. The remembered words triggered by the actions about him and repeating like a matra until he grunts to himself from his spot near the jungles edge and slinks off to make a diversion. They aren't looking inwards if the 'foe' is outside the gate.

The humidity of this strange jungle, sopping as most of it is, finds some relief in how the sun is making its descent. It's a little funny how the trio skulks up ahead, fully visible from Gaval's vantage, despite how they hunch and tiptoe about. Their attempts at stealth are about as skilled as ants crawling up a mound of mashed potatoes. They certainly managed to luck out in getting to higher ground. The circumference of the hill has more movement. Natural clefts and extrusions of rock create a barrier between groups of the natives of this twisted shadow. Some are even calmly walking from other parts of the jungle that are still dry. Far off to the left is a female dragging the prone form of another. It will take some time before they reach the alcoves in the hill. Being only one, she's the uncomfortable burden of hauling what looks like dead weight, which is larger than herself.

The setting sun is a multi-fold blessing. The cooler tempature is much welcome as are the long shadows and the coming of the dark. It's /his/ time and he welcomes it by calling out to the shadows that lay about him, awakening his magic and his blood.
The female is observed in detail as he creeps slowly towards her. His curriousity getting the better of him.
He pulls the shadows about his form, masking himself and creeps slowly shadow to shadow towards the female. This is perhaps the diversion he was looking for. He checks the position of the ship and the hill, ensuring what he starts won't lay in the exit path the others may need.

Approaching the laborious efforts means a slight detour, following the crescent of the tree-line and pulling one away from the best direct route to the Dipsy Daisy. The unknown female, skin as dark ebony as Ruby's, does not notice, head bowed and occasionally tilting her head, gritted teeth betraying how hard is her task. Closer, more of her differences are apparent: The glint of metal from the tips of her fingers. The upper half of her head a continuous piece of shaped metal. Between her breasts is a tattoo that has cogs within cogs. They look a little like a lamprey's open mouth, rimmed with small circumferences of teeth. It's a detail within a suggestion within a hidden symbol. Most would not catch the detail. Hands hooked under the bodies underarms, something rather glaringly wrong about this is the fact that her burden is not of the same pigmentation. He's tanned dark from life on the sea, hardened by the elements, but definitely not from around these parts. He seems very water-logged, his loose trousers sinched at the waist with a nautical knot and he has the musculature to someone used to working in the rigging. His lanky shipwreck hair plasters his face. The trail of water follows the duo like a snail's trail, winding back into the jungle where a hint of splintered wood and canvas is peeking above the waterline.

Gaval takes another moment to study the drowned sailor, glancing back at the wreckage briefly. He restrains a sigh that might give his presence away and moves forward towards the female. She is his target now. His prey. His needed distraction.
His shadow draped form is nothing but a humaniod-like blob as he comes cloer to her from behind. A moment's more focus and the serated kriss blade is in his hand and readied as he stalks the last few feet and then lunges with the blade.
He knows how sharp the sword is. How keen it's edge but does not take the killing blow. His blade aims for just under the ribs and to the side of the spine. Painful in the extreme but not a direct killing blow. He barely feels the blade slide in, but once it's there he stills, leaving it in the female's back.

The female makes it a few more feet before she's back into your range. There's audible exertion in how she pants and strains, the effort involved is quite noticeable. She stiffens and there's a painful mewl in her throat. She wasn't expecting the sudden perforation. "Ooooch-!…" There's a pregnant pause while her limbs spasm, though she does drop the body after a moment and starts choking and moaning. The pain is so paralyzing and sudden that two of her fingernails have /popped/ off. Or rather, the tips of her fingers, metallic, have come off. One has zip-whined down the soggy path, trailing a line, the other hangs limply on a similar coil of the springy stuff. The dropped by flops limply to the ground, dribbling water from its mouth. From the wound in her back, blood seeps from around the wound smelling that familiar coppery tang.

The shadow-wrapped man is surprised by her ability not to scream..yet he realizes it may be her inability to scream. Still standing still as possible he calls again to the shadows around them. Streching his abilities as far out as they can go and the shadows respond.
Movement surrounds the pair as the dark patches deepen their darkness and come to life. Long sun-cast shades of the two and the trees, brush and rocks about them seems to slide and murge, tangle and twist into shapes of near animals and people. Another small urge from the blade holding man and the shadows start to mutter and then quickly rise to a cacophonous wailing of the damned in hell. And then even above this Gaval's mutated and demonic sounding voice is added. "Run you stupid girl!"

Gaval's target, actually tries to leap forward at the nightmare command. Her arms swing up and she makes to lean away from the inky shapes that are summoned. Her mouth opens and closes. "Mine…he was mine!" Her pain increases with her terror and unwise moving of her stabbed body. The shapes of suggested animals confuse her and only add to the panic. She shrieks, full of dread, certain of hell come home. Her voice carries, sinking into the jungle, but careening off the water and rock. It's soon answered by a questioning voice from farther off. A note of worry that is echoed by others.

Diversion started he moves away from the fleeing female at a brisk walk, moving the large patch of shifting shadows with him. He spares some of his attention on the wounded form until he's sure the woman is indeed fleeing for her friends and family. Once she's out of sight he increases to volume of the 'wailing damned about him and coninues to move away ffrom the other's escape route.
The elder woman in his head snaps at him. 'Fool! You kill what you wound! The bait served it's purpose. Now another foe stands at your back!' a long string of profanities follows in his mind but he ignores it and continues to move on, focused on the mission.

The woman runs and staggers, hand to her back to rejoin her kin, dragging the odd looking thread and beating a retreat towards the hill. She cries out when she has the strength, though fueled by self-preservation and adrenaline. "Ussssizo! U-Develi! Los Kanon!" Her back and one leg is now slick with her life blood, nearing a crest and finding the inline just forces more blood from her body.
Most of the silhouettes that appear are coming from the top of the hill, where those strange holes sometimes make a necklace about the rise. A few others are stepping forth from the jungle singly or in pairs. A hint of movement suggests some with a degree of stealth actually keeping to available concealment, their partners giving them away by speaking back to nothing but a waving frond or darkened underbrush. A rousing cry shouts out from the largest of the groups. There's something like glee in it. An anticipation.

Under the shadows of concealment Gaval's face begins to loose all sign of emotion. The hunt has begun and he is the intended prey. Something about the feeling is familiar. A odd sense of coming home settles over him as he quiets the shadows he's raised and moves on for harder ground where his tracks will be less noticed. Now is the time for stealth. For every bit of trickery he can manage. For if he fails he will most likely die and possibly his companions as well.
At random he makes shadows move of their own accord at the edges of his ability and alternates with a shadow nearby. The sun continues to sink, ever his friend until the masking night comes. He slips once more from shadow to shadow throwing wide his attention in all his senses unsure which one may save him.

Someone takes the bait nearby. There's skill in the ambush, though a flaw in their execution. One of your shadows creating a patch upon a healthy looking tree is subjected to a trio of whistling strikes. The lines glint in the dying light and the hard reports of hooks sinking into bark are a rapid tattoo /thok-thok-thok/. A figure drops from the canopy towards where the lines have struck, not originating from where the ambush was initially launched. In her hand is a kukri, held in a reverse grip. She lands but holds her strike, upon landing finding not prey, but an echo. "Eish!"

Gava is sealed away inside his head with his teacher. He watches the ambush happen and notes the symbols on that finely forged Kukri in utter silence, judging the space between himself and the woman.
The explitive that comes from the woman's mouth is new..but most likely can't be anything but a curse. Inwardly he smiles and causes the shadow she struck to repeat her own word in a echoy demonic voice followed by laughter. He continues with the random shadow movements and waits a moment or three more. Then the shaows everywhere erupt as he moves from his spot and towards the ambusher, dark blade in hand for a rapid strike.

The femme is clearly frustrated by the error in judgement, her knife only coming a hair's width from shaving the tree. Her head whips around, blank eyes scanning the area and her shoulders coming up in a hunch. Like some panther, she moves, feeling exposed. When the blob of shadow curses right back, she snarls and does indeed carve a fine section out of the poor tree. Within the bark, sap does not run. There aren't even any age-rings or natural grains within the wood. Like carving a slab of butter. She's still mid-turn when Gaval comes in with his wicked blade, the bend blade rising up.
Her fellow ambusher cries a warning, some paces away, darting out from behind a tree and holding up a similiar knife. She'll need a few more seconds before she can hurl it. The shadow madness making concentrating on one target a challenge.

He grabs the first ambusher, the tree attacker, about her neck and spins her to face her friend. The blade sinks into her back in roughly the same spot as the first woman he wounded, thrusting out of her front and dripping heavy yet wispy smoke towards the ground as the shadows try to boil away from the blades edges.
The shadows continue to dance and then howl, moving in odd directions and doing things they shouldn't. He shoves the woman off his blade and towards her fellow ambusher and joins the shadows in their random movement away and to another hding spot.

The sudden appearance of the blade protruding from her companion's torso has the recently hidden woman sucking in air through her teeth and curling her lips in a snarl. The stabbed femme drops her knife and tries to clutch at the strange thing running her through. A ruddy blood bubble rumbles up from her throat and pops with her cry of agony. She whimpers as she's pushed away, crumpling towards the ground just as the knife from the other woman is thrown. It whoops like a boomerang in a deadly arc that sweeps low to the ground and rises up into a physics-bewildering parabola, slicing up crotch-level through a shadow. It prepares to return at its apex while the woman kneels by her comrade. "Fiend! He's here! He's here! Sisters!"

The kukri's strange travel against nature's forces has Gaval's attention even as he moves to a new location. Note to self.. no standing still around those. There's even a small wince from him as the flying blade cuts through where his balls might have been had he stood still.
He ducks and weaves, intertwining with the shadows he's moving to throw off any tracking eyes as his own eyes flick toward the sun guessing how much time left before it sets completely. He silences his howling horde of shades as he sinks into his new hiding spot, starting the decoy shadow dance yet gain. Time.. he's buying time for the others, nothing more he keeps reminding himself.
A distracting thought of Toni pops into his thoughts, wondering where she is.. is she safe.. will she miss him if he dies? The elder woman's voice returns with a vengance. 'FOOL! Idiot! How many times must I tell you to pay attention!? Stay focused! ALWAYS!' It's enough to put his senses back out on his surroundings where they belong. Waiting for his next chance to strike.

The rotating knife comes back to an upraised hand in a cheeky display of very-wrong physics (tm). He holds it before her, trying to guard herself while she crouches over her companion who bleeds out. If she had eyes to widen, they'd be saucers right now. "In-ganonooo! He's here! He's a devil!" Her hands massages her partner's shoulder and she rasps for her to stay strong or Zhog will take her soul. She slashes at the threads that lead from her two fingers, wincing as she does so and is left to ponder the nature of light and shadow.
Autumn's whispery voice drifts past the woman's ear and she flinches, catching nothing of the message but feeling like yet another spirit has decided to personally haunt her. It trails invisibly after Gaval, winding around the decoys and distractions to deliver a curt, yet calm message: "Bring the ship close…be ready to run. With…or…without us. Protect the crew…try and get us out but nothing…foolish."

The wind finds Gaval and he startles in his hiding spot, unprepared for the whispery voice of Autumn in his ear. And yet after the startlement his lips curl into a smile. "Alittle bit too late for lack of foolishness, Autumn." He mutters in a whisper, forgeting himself for a moment. And without stopping to check his surroundings he breaks from his hiding spot and starts moving for the Dipsy. Belatedly he remembers to bring the shadows back into moving play, distracting and concealing him and his movement.

The groups start whistling and calling to one another, attempting to coordinate their movement to create a cordon. It's incomplete though converging from the sounds coming from behind Gaval. This is not the same route from the ship, but it /is/ heading towards the spot that used to be, when it was above sea-level. The jungle is thicker here and is a jumble of creepers and roots. The ground descends towards the submerged foliage. In your path is a set of two snares, black cords artfully hidden in the undergrowth. It's along a used path that winds between the trees and skirts yet another shipwreck. The once proud mast tilts at an odd angle, some faded penant hanging limp. Trees are thrust up through the bottom of the deep keel and mimic masts as they push up through the decking. There's at least one figure upon the true mast, up in the crows nest and peering towards the hill. For someone so bottom-heavy junk in the truck, she's got some very muscled shoulders and arms. She's armed with a spear with a lobster-like claw of metal at the tip.

He moves slower once he notes the tripwires, moving the shadows about him so he's no longer at it's center but closer to one edge of his circle of control. He studies the tripwire and then carefully steps over them and then off the path, following along side it at his slower pace..
He tries to keep watch at that figure above him ass well as the trees and time allows, feeling an itch between his shoulder blades as he expects the spear to lodge there at any moment. There is no choice but to head toward the ship. The spearwoman must be delt with if he's going to be able to slip by and towards the water. And time is running out.

There's a rather unexpected arrival of an arm pulling itself from under the bottom of a collapsed sail. It could be mistaken for an animal, if this place was populated well with such. It's a pale arm and it claws at pool of water that it's half submerged within. A head emerges and a patched eye soggy pirate takes as quiet a breath as possible while trying to leaving his hidey hole. He's a tad malnourished. It's all the movement that the mast-dwelling sentry needs. Her head darts to the sound and her spear raises. Seeing that the starving fellow is unaware of her, she takes her time to line up her shot and see how dangerous he may be. She's like some sort of fisher-bird, the way she can balance as gracefully as she does, her movements practiced and fluid.
There's definite sounds of pursuit from where Gaval came from. Someone shouts, "Hounds! Hounds!" There's a whistle and another guttural call from a source even 'closer'. It's in the trees and stalking. They're not taking the path. Further back are the shrieks and calls that are meant to drive the prey to a more opportune place. Gaval's efforts have hindered being able to pinpoint this.

Gaval thinks about his choices for half a moment, wieghing choices and costs. Then the shadows erupt in sound and movement like snakes reaching for the sky ,screaching. Gavals' own voice bellows from shadows everywhere as he moves towards the ship. "Above you man! Run for the water and the ship there!" He tries to shroud the man, unsure if he can reach that far as he moves away from the movement in the trees.

A sharp intake of breath from behind and to the left of Gaval, something camouflaged surprised by the sudden movement and myriads of sounds and movement. From a grilled mouth comes a whistle and knives are brought up in preparation to thrust or throw.
The fellow making his inopportune break, hearing another male's voice, heeds it with the instinct of one that has been prey too long. In a flash he's throwing himself back parallel to the boat and splashes through the water. He darts around the hull to keep as much of it between himself and the strange people that call this place home. His Thari is a gobbledigook of fearful prayers to sea goddesses as he tries to escape. The woman in the mast flashes her very white teeth and crouches. Her spear remains at the ready and she moves to the left and right, snake-like, trying to gauge the shadows serpents.

He holds backa curse as the sound of the whistle rises behind him. He doesn't look back but charges forward, juking back and forth to throw off his attacker amongst his shadows and the near dark of the fading twilight.
He leaps up, catching hold of the wrecked ships deck edge and pulls up, rolling into a crouch on the tilted surface.

A crooked knife whirls from behind and buries itself a hand's width from Gaval's hand before he's completely on deck. It drives into the wood and splinters wood. A whistling sound and smaller projectiles tangle themselves around the wrecked railing in a spasmotic tangle. "It's a man. It's definitely a man!" "If I tag him, he's mine, not yours, Ylond!" "Sisters share!" The two of them are covered in a type of camoflage that seems 'alive', shifting and trying to mimic the forest.
From up above, the generously bottom-heavy woman spies Gaval on deck and leans out, hanging on by a free hand and arched foot, like a gymnast. Her voice is deeper and rich. "Shadow man…Take my love or my spear. You'll be cherished!" she gnashes that last word and hefts her spear to throw.

His hand trail back and yanks the blade from the edge of the ship with his free hand. He grunts at the force needed to pull it free and tucks it away as he dashes for the mast. His shadow-warped demon's voice sounding from everywhere and nowhere. "I am flattered but will pass, oh woman on high." And with a broad slash of his dark blade he slices cleanly through the high side of the large wooden spar. He keeps moving, not waiting to see if or when it falls, scrambling for the opposite side of the ship and down.

The twins pursuers are quick and almost up the side of the ship when the mast is made rather less able to stand upright. They scamper lightly towards the wheelhouse to avoid getting struck by the spar. The woman atop it looses her footing and has to leap to avoid coming down with it. She's pushing off and launching her spear in the next movement, unbalanced but needing both hands for the nearest tree to avoid breaking her neck. The spear is a blur, thrown on instinct towards Gaval's movement. Her blood is up and she's feeling a thrill, being forced to work 'hard' for this.

There is a pounding of blood and adrenaline as he all but dives over the edge in a twisting motion designed to dodge attacks .Yet the movement does not account for the fall of the mast or the shot from above. The wickedly tipped spear slices across Gaval's back in a blurred line, cutting through the shadows and his skin. The sliced line burns with a firey intensity and he chokes back a cry of pain, not wanting to give the woman reward for her throw. He climb-falls down the side of the ship and leaves off all pretenses of true stealth as he runs for the water and ship. Time has just run out. He's bleeding like a stuck pig and was nearly a dead man. The shadows continue to weave and scream as he travels, left arm stiff against his side to help ward off the pain.

The ship that Gaval just symbolically decapitated suffers from the thick wooden mast crashing into it. It's a riot of splinter wood and creaking timbers. The whole frame shudders, swallowing one of his sneaky hunters when things fold in upon themselves. The death knell was long in coming. The release of structural integrity is almost a mercy. The pursuit is delayed as survivors attempt to get their bearings and the cordon of chasers are drawn to yet more chaotic noises. Ahead, the thin and emaciated sailor has a head start and he's already splashing into the water that's ankle-deep. A fearful look behind him only spurs him onwards. He's absolutely terrified.

Gaval is so greatful the water is so near. His shadowy cloak shudders and then falls away to reviel the neaer white-faced man underneath, jaw set in a grim line. The shadows around him fall away as well as the Alhambran's feet touch the water, leaving on his shadowy blade clutched in a hand. He motions to the sailor to keep going, pointing towards the ship floating of shore aways. Then still dripping blood he splashes farther and farther into the water, stiffling a scream as teh salt water caresses his fresh wound.

The shipwrecked fella shouts, "Sweet Guh..Goddess!" His mouth flaps open and closed as he gasps for breath. Her crawls over a felled tree and wriggles through a series of tangly roots that seem to pull and grasp at his pasty flesh, making bright pink welts. His front crawl is a wonderous thing to behold. Pulling his arms and kicking his legs with the strength of someone with hell nipping at their heels. The Dipsy-Daisy is not that far off, leaning into some currents and eddies to reach as close as they can without removing the bottom of their hull. Two capable men can only do so much. Rickerson at the wheel and Pete shouting out depth soundings which all punctuate with 'Shallow!'

There's a hoot and the sound of a tree being bent in a creaking bow. Someone is expediently using their perch to be lowered to the jungle floor. Enamoured and tingling, there's no stealth in her approach, hips and legs a flurry of movement as she pursues her prize. If anyone was peeking behind, they'd see the crows nest woman trying to close the distance. She surely can't make her eyes gleam, but there's something in the way her mouth is a reflection of a certain graven image that hints at a vitality in the solid depiction of her eyes.

The swim is a painful afair to watch. Gavalhas learned how to swim somewhere seeing as he's not drowning but it's a pittiful example of the swimming strain as his wound makes it hard to use his arms.
Somehow he notices the form on her perch and he cries out. "Ware behind us!" Taking a great breath he dives under the water and kicks with all his might, trying to avoid an arrow in his already wounded back.

The woman is joined by her hunting sister, the camo-tattoo that writhes over her skin having difficulty in mimicky water rather than foliage. "Two. There are two. A devil…and a dumpling." The enthusiastic woman punches her smaller stealthier sister in the arm and gestures to the water as the quarry makes their escape. "Throw! Wound him. Make him /bleed/ shadows." The other shakes her head after raising her arm. "Too far, sister. Too far. He has ~my~ knife." Behind them, a mob of others is not long in joining them. The two crouch under their nethers are almost in the water and they paw at the ground until the tips of their fingers are wet with spilled blood. "Oh sweet Zhog…he bleeds true. Knife! Blood knife…Wed knife! Someone!?"
The strange sound that preceeded the lowering of the island erupts from deeper within the landmass. Like some massive latch being tipped. A mechanism of strange complexities put back into motion.

Gaval rises from the depths after holding his breath as long as possible, a audible gaspas he breaks the waters surface. He coughs and sputters, tring to ignore the spots in front of his eyes and calling out to the ship. "Ahoy." He croaks out the first time. Then shouts out the two sailors names. "AHOY! For the love of the gods, man toss us a rope and get the boat ready!"

Pete nearly drops his sounding tool into the frond-waving sea. He cups his hands and answers back with a hoarse "Ah-hoy!" Next he's scrabbling for a long boak hook. He travels down the side of the rail, tossing the twisted length of rope ladder over the midsection of the hull and hurrying to tie off another thick hemp rope…one handed. He knows his knots. "Goddess in Garters! I can see some on the bank…" For a moment he's stunned and peering at the minimally clad inhabitants. The poor shipwrecked fellow claws his way to the end of a knoted length, takes a breath and then weakly paddles to the ladder for a better chance at getting up the side.

Seeing as he's as close as he's going to get, Rickerson bellows a few curses and starts to monkey himself up to start to free rigging. "We're going? We're going! Making sail! What was that blasted noise?!"

Gaval is breathing heavy, tired. The spots won't leave his eyes and he calsl out agian. "Ware bowshots! Try to keep in cover! They hunger for the flesh of men!" Which isn't quite a full lie. He groans and makes it to the rope and pauses there, trying to regain his strength. An unwise move and his ineer teaches berates him. 'Idiot! Idiot!! Always move when your wounded! No stopping until safe and able to treat your injury!' Another groan eascapes his lips and he starts pulling himself toward the ladder.

Rickerson heeds the warning, being a sensible sort of sailor, trying to keep the mast between himself and the eerily series of arrows that follow soon after. Barbed nasty things with strange slippery fletchings knock on the side of the hull and twitch the front sail of the craft.
Pete ducks when one makes his collar dance and get the addition of a make-shift hanger from shoulder to shoulder of his fabric. For a wonder, he manages to keep his bladder under control and leans over to try to assist Gaval towards the ladder as well. "Can you make it? You're almost there. You're almost aboard!" He eyes the stranger anxiously who slowly but surely climbs the rope ladder. He's not a five-pointed monstrosity so he can wait.

He's tired and still bleeding. The arrows are a bloody nusence and he's about out of patience. If he was at top shape he'd be angry at this point. As it is it's a struggle to release the shadow blade in his hand and focus his will. But the shadows answer his call and he does his bets to shroud the side of the ship from the bow-women ashore. Then, following after teh shipwrecked sailor he starts the aduous climb up the ladder, sucking in a breath as he's foced to use his arms and back to pull his heavy body up the rungs.

With the soggy sailor up over the side and feeling the lovely sensation of flat boards under his back. Pete is hauling at the rope ladder to make the distance shrink for Gaval. He's not at all comfortable by the strange blackness that benefits the ship. Just more motivation to get Gaval aboard. He still hasn't removed the arrow threaded behind his shoulders, making his shirt look like an avant garde fashion choice. "Almost home. Good as home. Up we come. Dry." His perspiration drips downwards, nearly pelting Gaval's already drenched body.

Gaval's hand reaches the deck and fumbles. A weak groan and he pulls himself up and over, onto the deck. He pants, laying on his stomach. "They'll need us .. to be… close to the shore.. They'ell be coming.. from where that strange.. hill is." He lays there, back slit open and heavign for breath. The thought of moving alittle more is painful. What is it about water that seems to suck the energy out of one..

Pete back the heck out of the way to let him breathe. He hunches as more projectiles stitch the side of the hull, though fewer come without an adequate target. Wild firing doesn't seem to be the modus operandi for those that call this place home. Rickerson works at unfurling the sails to make best speed, forcing Pete to abandon both Gaval and the stranger to see to the wheel. "I hope the witch they brought can make them fly. Hard about! We'll try and catch some of this blasted wind."

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