[Chapter 2] The Dead of Winter: Snow Stained Red

The story of magic in North America.
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[Chapter 2] The Dead of Winter: Snow Stained Red

Post by Straken » Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:56 pm

Lovell's shout came just in time, Keelin looking behind herself and beginning to run simultaneously- The Wendigo jumped, reaching its claws out to try and grab the young woman, whom made a small noise and dove to one side, just barely far enough for the vicious magical creature to miss its mark. Keelin rolled in the snow, trying to get away from the Wendigo but knowing she was also leaving herself fairly defenseless with the maneuver.

"Crap crap crap crap!" she yelled, frantic, before stalling her roll and trying to get up so that she was facing the beast. at least facing it, she could properly defend herself. The staff, normally hidden away in the guise of a small charm around her neck, had now expanded to its full size, and was brandished between the Druid and her foe.

"Melissa! Get out of here! Get to the truck and bring us our weapons!" Keelin shouted, trying to make herself as loud as possible to keep the Wendigo's attention while also getting Melissa to try and be useful. At the very least it would get her away from the Wendigo and to relative Safety.

"R-r-right!" Melissa called back, overcoming her terror of seeing the beast that had left her stranded here. Clumsily she turned and began to run back across the lake towards the truck. Stumbling occasionally on the ice, the teenage girl was determined to put distance between herself and whatever was going on.

Lovell was genuinely scared. Wendigos had been the boogeyman he had been raised with, and now with one standing not twenty feet away from him all of his childhood fears came rushing back. Gritting his teeth, the young wolfman tried to regain his composure before his fear got the better of him. Keelin had gotten away from the first attack and seemed on top of things, and even Melissa had enough sense to act; but the druid had magic, and until Melissa got back Lovell had nothing.

With a rough growl and a huff, Lovell steeled himself and forced himself to act. He would need to do what he could until Melissa returned with the weapons, because for as scared as he was of this beast he knew he was not going to abandon Keelin; he would need to keep an eye out for a stray branch he could grab. Making his legs move, Lovell began to circle away from the cabin and Keelin, ensuring that the wendigo wouldn't be able to get to both of them too quickly. With his teeth bared, and hair bristling, he found himself wishing for the first time that he would change.

The Wendigo was temporarily given pause, as its sneak attack had failed, and now its targets had split up, one running away and the other two causing its attention to be divided. It growled, a hollow, unearthly noise that made Keelin's hair stand up on the back of her neck and caused Siofra to tremble in fright beneath her robes.

Staff still brandished, the redhead slowly reached into the pouch full of rune stones hoping to find something that might be helpful, but looking at the creature before her, she knew all the small pebbles she carried could do was perhaps distract the beast for a moment or two, just enough to potentially give them an opening, either for escape or attack depending on circumstances.

Continuing his circle, Lovell was nearing a small group of trees where, with luck, he could grab a branch, and while it wouldn't amount for much it would still be better than using his bare hands to fight a demon. Now it was just a matter of not drawing too much attention, but not seeming so inconsequential that it just goes right for Keelin; that said, it could also end up considering the man at its back to be the biggest threat and rush him before he accomplished anything.

Step. Step. Step. Each move felt agonizingly slow, and each step made a painfully loud crunch as his boots broke the frozen crust of the snow. Just a few feet more. Finally, he was within reach, and he risked taking his eyes off of the wendigo long enough to find a branch. Luck was on his side it seemed, as a solid enough looking limb was half broken off from one of the trees, but that was as far as the luck went as he needed to grab the branch with both hands as he wrenched it off of the tree.

The Wendigo, for it's part, seemed to be ignoring Lovell. More than likely, it simply didn't see him as nearly as big a threat as the Druid brandishing a magical object right in front of it. The most it did was turn its head a little in order to keep an eye on the young werewolf, but the majority of its attention was still being paid to Keelin.

For now, the end of her staff was glowing, as she quietly recited the incantation for a warding spell to hopefully continue to keep the creature at bay. Regardless, it started to slowly step toward the Druid, its claws at the ready, the otherworldly growl still quite present. In fact, it seemed to hold some power of its own, as a sense of dread seemed to continue to grow upon the two standing on either side of the Wendigo.

Branch in hand, Lovell cast a couple a wary glances across the lake, and saw that Melissa had almost made it halfway across the frosty surface of the lake. Adrenaline had his nerves wired as he turned back towards the wendigo and tightened his grip on the tree branch. The monster seemed to be holding the same as they were, seeing what will happen, and Lovell figured it was too much to hope that it would stay this way up until he had an actual sword in hand.

Feeling through the pouch at her side, Keelin found what she was looking for. It wasn't an especially powerful rune, nor did it have any lasting effect, but, it worked quickly and decisively.

"Lovell, I need you to close your eyes for a second! Just trust me!" the druid yelled at her compatriot, pulling a stone from the pouch- the motion made the Wendigo begin to lunge forward toward its prey, but the stone was quickly thrown into the snow and seemed to explode with a bright, loud flash-bang, almost like a grenade used by SWAT teams to disorient criminals.

The Wendigo gave pause, recoiling and covering its skeletal face with a thin arm and its sharp claws, the lidless eyes temporarily blinded by the effects of Keelin's magic. "Now, Go for it!" Keelin called to Lovell, her ward finished, she cast it on both herself and the werewolf- the effect was as immediate as the flash rune, that sense of dread that had been coming down on the pair being immediately eased as the magical terror the Wendigo created was lifted from the two's minds.

Biting his lip, Lovell's initial thought was that closing his eyes would be the last thing he would want to do, but he could feel something in the back of his mind that was overriding his other thoughts. When he saw Keelin reach into her pouch, he closed his eyes and brought his arms up. Sure enough, not long after she gave him the signal to charge. The instinct kicked in again, and trusting in the druid, he rushed forward. Mid stride, the fear that had been fraying his nerves seemed to abate, now there was just the bestial drive to attack this obvious threat to him and his friend.

Lovell closed the distance with somewhat clumsy steps as his heavy leather boots broke into the snow covered ground. Once he was close to the beast he swung, putting as much of his strength behind it as he could, bringing the branch down on its head. Much to his dismay, the cold and the age of the branch had made it brittle, and while the strike was solid, the wood could not stand up to the force. Roaring loudly, Lovell both relished the solid strike, but also dreaded the position he was back in; once again, he had no weapon.

Before either Lovell or Keelin could react much, the Wendigo spun around- though it could not see yet, the sharp strike of the stick couple with Lovell's yell gave it a very good idea where the young man was. Thankfully, its claws were pointed the wrong way, or Lovell's stomach would have been torn to shreds, but still, the surprisingly hard wrist of the creature hit him squarely in the middle, sending him flying back at the tree he had just borrowed a branch from. Not once, but twice the wind was knocked out of the poor teenager, before he fell to the ground with a soft thud.

Keelin's eyes widened, and she began to run in a circular way, keeping an even distance from the creature, as it twisted back around to try and get its bearings on her again. She recited another incantation, this one an attack spell, trying to bide her time and focus her mana to execute the attack before it was too late.

Lovell struck the tree with a sickening crunch and an exasperated oof as his breath was forcefully knocked out of his chest. The young wolfman was on his knees, bracing himself against the ground with one arm, and gripping his chest with the other. Sharp gasps for air quickened, and then deepened into growls and snarls. His fear was gone, and his fight and flight instinct had settled on fight. Striking the ground, he looked back up, and to those observing he had changed slightly.

With the stress placed upon his body, and the supernatural situation he was in had given him at least one boon; some of his latent werewolf genealogy was kicking in to help keep him alive. His slight stubble had grown thicker along the edges of his jawline, along with the hair on his head, his ears extended a little ways and grown furry, his canine teeth had grown, and his nails became stronger. These were the early stages of the werewolf transformation, and he could feel the instincts holding more sway in his mind. Standing back up again, Lovell snarled and ripped another branch off as he moved to square off with the wendigo again.

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Re: [Chapter 2] The Dead of Winter: Snow Stained Red

Post by Kai » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:03 am

As she ran, Keelin began to notice a change coming over Lovell. It seemed almost familiar, as if she'd seen it before, but it wasn't anything she'd remembered experiencing. She stopped for a second, a little surprised but trying to keep focused on her spell.

The Wendigo stopped moving when Keelin did, its clawed hands moving up as if it rub its eyes for a moment, though with the changes coming over Lovell its attention was once again divided. Fearsome as it might be, with Keelin's ward preventing its magical terror ability, and two magical people distracting it, it became clear that the Wendigo was an ambush predator that mostly went for defenseless prey like deer or nonmags.

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Re: [Chapter 2] The Dead of Winter: Snow Stained Red

Post by Straken » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:38 pm

A fierce snarl grew on Lovell's face. New branch in hand, and firmly within the first stage of his werewolf transformation, the teen restarted his own circle of the wendigo. His was slower, and gradually began to draw him in closer to the beast. As he walked he let out several growls and punctuated roars that were beginning to sound more bestial than before.

"Come on you freak of nature, show me what you've got," Lovell said, his voice rumbling low. "I'm gonna snap off that skull and mount it as a trophy!"

Just be sure you focus on me, he thought as he locked his eyes. After a few more moments, Lovell dropped his shoulders and pushed off; beginning another rush towards the wendigo. Only this time it wasn't without a plan. If it swings, feint right; if it lunges, break left; if it disengages and goes for Keelin, take out its legs.

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