Logs:We, the Bear-Reaved

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We, the Bear-Reaved


Characters: Odette, Hawthorne
Date: 2020-07-27
Summary: Some kind of big bad hedge bear beast battles a ballerina and a tree guy.
Disclaimers: Violence and injury described in low-moderate detail.

ThornBear.jpg

There's movement along the trod, hobs moving as if stirred up by something, mostly benign but the weird frog goblin in the stocking cap, Gustavo, did knock on the door to the Hollow to let Hawthorne know that the sharp foggy one had been seen, and something was happening. So, jacket pulled on and a few supplies, Hawthorne rushes out the door and begins orienteering his way through the hedge, trying to find what could be nobody else, uncertain as to what is going on, but cautious nonetheless.

Odette had been gone over an hour. Something was happening. The ballerina frequently did not travel far and was back quickly as she doesn't trust the hedge. There are massive paw prints just off the trod and a few foot prints of Odette's, one with a little more pressure before her footprints are gone after the larger creature. The only tracts that Hawthorne has to go on are the massive bear like paw prints.

Hawthorne uncorks a small ampule of black fluid, drinking it and re-corking it as the ashes and leaves explode out around him in a violent whirl once he recognizes the tracks and the way they're going. He grasps several of the leaves from the overhanging eaves and weaves them into a long-hafted spear. He crouches and gets a sense of things. She came toward the Hollow, then diverted, with whatever creature this was. His eyes burn brighter as he traces a pattern in the floor of the clearing and the brambles part, creating a new way through as he orients the direction slightly askew, knowing that following a visible trail is useless in a place where space is bent so readily, instead seeking the destination, using the trail as a thread. He dives into the hedge at a faster clip.

The foot prints start getting closer and closer together, the creature was slowing down. Just a few feet a head though there is a small break in the trees. Some got knocked down. The beast went through there and just on the other side there is snow. Something scuffled there. There is a lot of blood splattered around the clearing. Though there is an exit on the other side which is clear something large went through. There is a blood trail and now the large paws have something beside them. Looks like it's dragging something.

Hawthorne's eyebrows come together and the blood is given an eye, and the shift in the tracks. His nostrils flare and with them his mantle starts to intensify, the dual natures of summer creating a heatwave through the clearing and a withering of vines and leaves as a cold wind rushes in all around. A simple, "... God damn it..." is muttered and his eyes scan the clearing and he follows the tracks, gaining ground and giving a high leap up onto one of the high branches amongst the landscape to gain a vantage point.

As the tracks continue, pieces of flesh are along the trail. It's like flesh is falling off what's it's dragging. Pieces here and there stuck into branches and on little rocks. There is no sign of Odette. The trail though goes into a cave which seems to go down. There is no light in there, just darkness but if one gets closer, there is crunching sounds and heavy breathing down in the cave.

Hawthorne comes to a halt, listening, and more than that, asking, as the leaves move about, and he listens to what they tell him as he inspects some of the shreds, and they tell him a bit of a different story. He takes a deep breath, and as his mantle causes the leaves of the overhanging hedgetree to start to wither and fall, he reaches up, snatching one from the air, and becomes a torrent of burning red leaves, lightly ablaze at the edges, mixed with the swirling embers and ash as he swoops up, makes a loop, and enters the cavern.

Inside the cavern, it's hot. It goes down and down and down until it opens up to the larger cave opening. The creature has it's back to the opening and it's massive. It's eating away at something which is hard to make out since it's mangled. The thing it's eating is dead at least. It's most definitely not Odette. Odette though is clearly here. She's behind a stalagmite but she looks injured. Very injured. Her eyes connect with Hawthorne and there is almost an imperceptible shake of her head. No.

As the leaves coalesce into the vague form of Hawthorne, enough that Odette can recognize him a little bit at least, he assesses Odette's state quickly. The shape of his head shakes and then jerks backward out of the cave, apparently making ready to create a distraction.

The creature is eating so they have a moment. Odette pushes herself up slowly and shakes her head. She points to the bear with a bloodied hand and then brings that finger across her throat. She disappears a moment before appearing on the other side with her own blood on her face like war paint. "To save our home." She states simply which causes the bear to look at her. "You are not welcome. Leave or die." She states to the bear who stares at her.

Hawthorne has just a moment to let out a rustle of exasperation and when Odette decides to pick that fight without a moment to regroup, the mass of leaves flies upward in a wide, easily seen arc toward the ceiling of the cave and reforms into Hawthorne, not the least bit amused looking, and holding his spear, and, no longer flying, takes the plunge. He's not taking risks, and after all. How does one hunt a bear in winter? Go into its cave. With spears.

The woman stumbles a little closer and pulls out her brand new sword. She moves quickly and slashes at the leg of the bear. "Leave or die." She hisses at the creature. Her body starting to emit more and more thick fog. Her dark eyes locked on the bear. The bear has already had a taste of her that is evident on her shoulder and leg. The other creature saved her by being available.

Hawthorne bounds downward off of the ceiling with a push, the point of his leaf-spear angled down toward the hedgebeast's back, right behind its neck. He's not taking chances with the injured odette and his jacket flaps behind him as the leaves that are part of him ruffle and the burning coals of his eyes flare brightly as that ember-burning surges through him and down the length of the spear as it collides with devastating effect and the whirlwind around him lashes the creature as well, the point driven deep before he vaults back and to the side, blade angled in with a warding push.

Odette strikes as the creature rolls to the side from Hawthorne's strike. There is a deep anger in her eyes as she hits it again. "Leave or die!" The creature started off in pieces and now it's looking a little more worse for wear. There is a giant push from the ground and while the creature is stunned the ground pushes the attackers back away from the bear, protecting it.

Hawthorne takes a step back, bracing against the ground pushing them away and he makes a warding sign with his hand and plants the butt of his spear into the ground after the bulwark erects itself, and he reaches into his jacket, drawing out a spread of three cards from a deck in the inside pocket, lifting them, reading them, and then anticipating the way in which the Hedge's will shall move, and moves it counter, finding just the spot to focus, creating a gap in that barrier just where the bear can't see, and spins the threads of the place around Odette's rapier like guiding strings on a marionette but infinitely gentler and more subtle. It's not that he's pushing it, it's that he's -seen- where it goes.

The bear slowly turns and looks at Odette. She quickly glances to what Hawthorne does to her sword and when she lifts her eyes again, the bear is on her. Her shoulder is the first casualty. There is a loud crunching before she's tossed and the bear rushes after her. Two sets of claws dig deeply into her body trying to dig through her, cutting her up like silk ribbons. She scream in anger as her sword rolls away from her towards Hawthorne and he gets one last look at those black eyes, before there is a maw biting her head. The bear intents to end this creature.

As the beast tears into Odette, Hawthorne's eyes widen, the glow of the embers set deep in there and his body errupts into cracks and breaks in the charcoal edges that make up his mien, red light of the fire underneath that fuels those faint embers in the dark spilling out and his form shifting as he whirls and the embers and leaves whip violently against the beast and he makes a pivot, rage in his features and he jumps high enough that he has to flip to catch the ceiling with his boots, assisted by glamour, and propels himself downward with a shattering crash into the side of the thing, bypassing its defensive bulwark and sinking the spear of leaves into it and twisting with a savage crunch of the matter of the thing's being just behind its skull, severing its ability to bite down on Odette, and bellows out a fierce roar into the cavern and the hedge beyond of challenge before he takes a breath, then another, trying to get his berserk rage under control, eyes and hair wild and sticking his spear into the thing to hold for him.

There is a sickening crunch as the creature dies. It's easily rolled off Odette and then the damage can be seen. Bone can be seen on her shoulder, back and neck. Her back is just a bloody mess of torn muscles and broken ribs. Her neck bone which is exposed is crushed and her shoulder looks like someone took most of a bite out of it and left it attached but hanging off. Her hand is limp but clearly reaching for her sword and her eyes are closed. She is breathing which is a bonus.

Hawthorne's rage has subsided, but the adrenaline is still pumping, and he kicks the thing to the side, reaching down carefully, knowing he can't leave her like this to get help, nor can he move her. He closes his eyes and sinks to one knee, reaching into the bear's maw and with a crunch of his residual strength, tears free three teeth, covered in blood and ichor, and casts them as bones to read them, and in doing so gleans some knowledge of it and when his eyes dawn with knowledge, he then forces his will outward, knowing the potential in the tree nearest to the cavern with its roots dropping through the ceiling and with a suffusion of glamour he forces it to burrow down through the rock with a narrow branch and bloom, a pod swelling and growing until it splits open, revealing to them a single goblin fruit, force grown by will: Amaranthine. He works fast, producing bandages from his pocket, with gauze, attempting to stanch the bleeding as best he can first, before he takes the goblin fruit, his eyes wide as it is setting in and he speaks in a low voice into which he attempts to force stony calm.. "Ode.. Ode can you hear me?"

The ballerina is laying on the ground for a few moments as he works. Though she finally does slowly open her eyes and grumbles a little. "I have dirt in my eye..." She offers quietly to him. "Don't move me... Right now I feel nothing which I think might be a good thing right now." She blinks her one good eye and looks around. "Did it hurt you?" Her voice sounds tired as she tries her best to spit towards the bear but she just drools it out of her mouth. There is a quiet reassignment in her as she tries to look at Hawthorne from her prone position on the ground.

Hawthorne's eyes are on her and there is a mix of sternness against the panic, and a little adgitation at the way she insists on carrying on like that despite what just happened. A low voice and he says "That was too reckless. We could have regrouped and handled it in a far simpler fashion. You could have been killed for nothing." The notion of the killed seems more upsetting to him than the 'for nothing' which he assumes will be more to her tastes. "I'm fine, it never touched me. Here," he says, once she seems at least able to speak, definitely not moving her, and he pulls one of the knives from the brace beneath his jacket and starts to carve the goblin fruit. It smells quite lovely and alien, of cinnamon and hope. "Eat this. We can't stay here." He does place a hand against her forehead though and strokes her hair back, the tension in his eyes remaining, but starting to dare hope she'll pull through.

Odette takes a small breath. "Ash...My leg was already mangled and my arm. If I tried to limp out of the cave we would have been seen and you could have been hurt." Her voice takes on a serious tone. "With the situation as it was... I needed to save you." Her voice breaks a little and she offers a small grin. "It would not have been for nothing." Her fog is slowly stopping coming off her and she is just a pale woman covered in wounds and blood on the ground. She eats a little of the fruit and grins a little. "That tastes nice." Her eyes close as he strokes her hair. "We will be okay. It's dead and as I was dragged here... I am almost positive that it's killed everything around here."

Hawthorne makes a grunt that could be acquiescence or just annoyance. He does glance toward the cave entrance though, and says "I shifted the hedge enough that things will be curious, but we may have some time if nothing is nearby. Though near and far are.. Mutable." He then looks down at her and her grin and he just shakes his head a little with a soft, exasperated sigh, and he closes his eyes to weave the entrance to the cave more or less shut for the moment, to give them a safe, if kind of gross, place for her to rest. He feeds her the rest of the fruit and continues to stroke her hair to soothe her. "You know that -I'M- not the one you're supposed to be scaring."

Odette makes a small grumping sound. "We will be fine. I'm getting up. It's just taking a moment." After she's done getting the rest of the fruit, the deep wounds in her back start to heal. Though the wound on her neck is not healing well. She does sigh a little as feels him petting over her hair. "You didn't need to follow me and I'm sorry I scared you. I'm sure... I think I will be okay." She would move to comfort him but she can't feel anything still. A tear falls down her cheek. "Ash, stop weaving. That's a beacon. Let's just rest and then we will go home."

"Little ones don't draw attention as much," he says but then acquiesces and shifts a little bit to sit next to her rather than kneel, once she's eaten the healing fruit, and he then leans down and his hair brushes over her as he places a small kiss on her forehead and he says "I feel like following you was a good idea," a faint hint of a smile on his lips and he settles in more comfortably, the stray leaves all starting to pile in around them bit by bit. "Once you can move we are going to get you checked out though. I think one of the other Autumns is a surgeon."

Odette offers a small humph when he kisses her forehead. "I was going to sneak out after it fell asleep." She offers a hint to her plan. "You showed up and I knew... I had to protect you." She offers quietly. "Go home. I will meet you there." She grins a little happy with herself. "See I'm already getting up. Just a few more minutes and I'll be on my feet." She says dazily as her eyes flutter closed.

Hawthorne countergrumps a little and says "Oh hush," but his hand remains on her head, thumb making a small circle against her temple. "Any minute," he agrees and lets her sleep, confident enough that she's not going to bleed out at least while she rests. "You're such a butt."