Monday, August 27, 2012

Lock Pick or Locks Pin

Old Imperial Hunting Lodge, 10th Byol, YT331

As soon as they had rounded the tower and found the heavy studded postern, Hamec had pulled out the beastman's keys but none fitted the lock. Father Nicolai called for hairpins. His tone was peremptory but they only had seconds to get through the locked door. The priest still had good eyesight and a steady hand but he had never done anything like this. He had seen the little earth-kin that had travelled with them do it quickly enough. The girl Helena seemed slightly flustered or perhaps irritated as she pulled a couple of pins from her golden tresses. His skills in opening locks had to be better than his understanding of this waif from Byzantion. The horn had sounded a few minutes ago and soon whatever guards or hounds they called forth would find them. Nicolai knew that there was only time for a brief prayer and one attempt at what he had seen Brimstone do. When the lock clicked open, Gorran's eyes immediately raised heavenward but Nicloai rushed everyone into the tower and barred the door. Within seconds they all heard the sniffing of animals beyond the portal and the howls of creatures whose scenting had been balked.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

First Fall to Decide the Contest

Old Imperial Hunting Lodge, Karbath Mtns,  8th Byol, YT331

What was the strange dog-headed man doing there? Hunting for live game? Spying for his master? If so, it had been kept secret from at least some of the others in the Old Imperial Hunting Lodge. Perhaps to meet someone? If so, who or what did he plan to meet? An agent of Imbirtljan or Boldizsár or Dacian or another on the list associated with this place. Another like himself; star-crossed lovers as in the ancient tales?

Certainly not to welcome Áktor as he clambered up at the top of the scarp. Unless he recogised in the Rhodian an opponent who also took pleasure from narodno rvanje.

Áktor had only time for an impression of a fanged muzzle and hairly limbs clothed in a short braided jacket and breeches. Then his wrestlers training took over. Behind his opponent he glimpsed the topmost roofs of a large building but what he mostly saw was that the flat rock on which they competed was far too small and bounded by cliffs in front and behind him. It seemed that this bout could easily have a swift and deadly end. The creature had already secured a hold. Steady.. keep low.. watch carefully for any shift of the beast's stance. They were evenly matched in weight. It's technique was practiced but not the forms used back in the legions. Some form of folk wrestling? A couple of attempts to pin him had been countered before he managed to move onto the offence. His old comrades would have disapproved of a belt-hold but now was not the time for style. Now was the time to duck beneath it's attempt at a stranglehold, sweep at it's leg and throw it over his shoulder down into the chasm. It's howls of rage were punctuated by a sickening thud and silenced forever by another.