(120-10-02) The Death of Bristles
Details for The Death of Bristles
Summary: In Part 2 of the saga the men and Eiris come face to face with the vicious monster boar, Bristles.
Date: Turn of Vakarnis (10-02-120)
Location:
Previous Log
Characters
ormund-hightowereiris-hunt

Eventually, she finds her way to the cot, unable to deny the call of the siren of sleep and she slumbers…and greatly so. So much so that she very nearly oversleeps. Internal clocks or something like that wakes her and the Flowers rouses, reluctantly given her current accommodations. The fire has died down to just bare embers and the morning's chill is readily apparent. SHe is quick to pull on the hand me down mended boots and tie them fast before she is stepping out into the grey of an oncoming dawn. She slips back in and gets her bow and quiver slung about her frame before stepping back out. Her braid has frayed, come apart and wisps of ginger hair fall about her face. Her breath mists as she lets the chill wake her, let herself adjust and her senses adapt.

Maybe it was the sounds from outside the tent that roused her. There is a lot of whispered orders going around and the horses aren't where they should be. The other men are clambering onto their horses and in a bit of panic, because Ormund is standing, spear held as best as it can be in one hand while the other hand grips onto the reins of Dawn and Petyr. Ormund has put himself between the horses and the massive grizzled old boar with a broken tusk and a left limp that is availing himself of the grain that was in the horse's feed bags.

"Back. Back." He commands the boar and the horses both as he leans back into them to urge them to back away from the boar now that they can since he's unhitched them. The boar is so non-pulsed by the presence of the Lord and horses that it just continues to destroy the feed bags.

"Baaack." So far things have not devolved into absolute chaos, but there is that sense of walking on a razor's edge in bare feet, it's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt. But Ormund takes control of the situation and gets the pair of horses away from the boar enough that when his men come galloping in to help a few stabs of their spears and the boar squeals and speeds towards that bit of wood they spent the evening preparing for just this purpose. "I owe you some dragons!" Ormund calls as he thrusts Petyr's reins into Eiris' hands and then rolls to a smooth mount up of Dawn. "Heyah!" He spurs the pale mare and together they lunge after the others and the boar they are all hollering at and trying to provoke it enough to draw it to the sweet spot where Ormund can get the kill.

The game is already afoot and poor Eiris looks abashed as she notes the boar. Though she had been right about many details, the young Flowers hesitates, worry write across her brows as she looks to Lord Hightower and how he puts himself in harm's way. "My lord," she begins, but it's too soft to matter and she is soon grasping the reins of her gelding, her eyes wide as she watches the scene unfold. "Care! Take care!" She calls noting how the boar is reacting. It would not do to have anyone let alone Ormund become hurt on her watch. This, in fact, may be the reason that her father has kept her from leading. Her inexperience with guiding others.

She lets out a sound and is quickly up into the saddle which has loosened overnight and she grips purely by her knees as she urges Petyr forward with a quick jab of her heels. She brings herself up towards the others, knowing what they are about.

The Flowers girl comes about, finding a place for herself amongst the fray and out of instinct she turns the gelding sideways and pulls her bow from her back. She strung it during the night and now its ready, an arrow quickly nocked as she readies herself and draws, trying to ease her breathing. Care. Take care. She's ready to help end the large beast should things not go as planned.

The boar is tail against the frosty stone of the cliff it's already tried to flee and speared itself on one of the traps and it has a broken branch oozing from its ribs, pink froth at its mouth tells tales of a punctured lung. But one lung down is not stopping this monster, the gods saw fit to give it two! It's using the other one in panting furious chuffs as it scampers one way and then the other.

Ormund has just gotten into the small glade surrounded by traps when the shouts and calls of his men grow and a solid thrust of the spear finds a warm and bloody home in the boar's throat, but even that is not enough and the creature actually impales himself more to try to seek revenge on the lord. With its shrieking cries, the men cheer and come in for the kill. The boar shifts and with it shifts the lord and he is now in the middle of the cliffs and boar. There isn't enough control and leverage from where he is that he is forced to dismount. It is then that the yells and calls of his men begin to grow quieter.

No, not quieter, drowned out by a thunderous sound. Dawn's hinds are slapped and she goes running towards Eiris. "Run!" He commands the man with one hand pressed against the stone, he can feel the vibrations of what's to come. But the warning is too late and a curtain of heavy white is blinding as it thunders down on top of them. The sound deafening, the white glinting in the morning sun, blinding. It is a terrible full minute, the longest minute, and there's silence but there's still a blizzardy mist around them.

Thankfully she was at a range that she and Petyr were not struck by the falling snow and ice that was clinging to the top of the cliff. It also seems that the extremely poor placement of the Lordship against the cliff actually saved his life as it is only his voice that begins to call all of his men's names, again and again, never to be answered. He is pinned and covered to the chest in snow, but he has certainly fared better than his men and Bristles who are all crushed beneath the avalanche.

The beast will lose this day, Eiris sees it and lowers her bow slowly, holding the arrow's fletching between her fingers and against the string. Even as the Lord dismounts she sits up in the saddle tries to take note until suddenly there is a cry from Ormund. Petyr shies beneath her and in a quick moments gets further away, but spills his rider to the ground, dragging her a foot or two before her boo manages to lead the stirrup. She's covered in a dusting but otherwise unharmed save for the bruising her hip and shoulder will find. She's lucky not to have fallen upon her head. Its still enough to hav knocked the wind out of her.

She finally gasps for breath, heaving it in and the voice, crying out names is noted but there are no cries back. Wrong, its gone wrong.

Pushing herself up, she takes another deep breath her lungs searing still. She leaves her bow in the snow behind her and is quickly tossing her quiver aside as she pushes through the drifts and piles to get towards the lord. She glances about, searching for the others and there is maybe a hand here or a boot there but so few. She trudges, pressing her way forward and she hesitates when she thinks she feels the presence of someone beneath her boot. A boot she soon loses to the cold drifts.

"My lord!" she calls and finds herself, though lightest of the group still easily sinking. "Can you move?!" She calls to him, glancing back over her shoulder. "Wait.," she says and turns back around, careful to approach Petyr she pulls from that satchel a heft of rope that she ties around his pommel and then leads him over. "Stay here boy." He won't go much further anyway.

"My lord, I am going to get you out," she says and gritting her teeth, down one boot and toes already freezing, she quickly pulls herself back through her paces but is still a little too far. She will attempt to toss that rope his way.

Ormund rather gracelessly flails when he hears the rope land near-by. "I can't see. I can't see anything but white!" Snow Blind. It should pass, but it does little to help him be able to grab the rope. While he's fumbling around trying to find the rope he discovers a hand and then very soon after he finds the rope. "Hold on. We'll get you out!" He shouts down at the snow and he wraps and ties the rope as best he can around the unmoving hand. "Pull Eiris, PULL!" Those men, his men, even in his state come first. He is in a state of shock on top of the blindness, so he doesn't quite realize just how beyond help they are.

The rope finally moves but his exclamation that they are about to get someone out hash er confused but she doesn't question him. Instead she turns her head and quickly moves back, her foot starting to burn with the a chill. Hurrying across bits of ice and snow drifts she nearly slips but grabs hold of the bridle upon Petyr. "Slow boy, slow," she says and begins to walk him forward. No reason to rip limbs off.

As they ease forward, she looks back, ready to slow the process once the lord is pulled free. She soon sees that it is not the lord and its a mangled body of one of the men. As he slips free from beneath the heavy pile and hits the shallower portions she hurries forward after stopping her gelding only to find the grisly open eyes of the man caught in the last throes of his life. She's hesitant, but her hands slowly reach down to untie the rope - cold as they are. "The Old Gods rest your soul," she whispers to him reaching down to carefully close his eyes. To say the body has shaken her is to put it lightly but she whistles and Petyr gives slack as she hurries forward again. "My lord? You must bring yourself with this time, be sure you are free of anything that has caught you. We will go slow and call out should things go wrong."

The rope is tossed once more to him and she waits.

Ormund is more chivalrous than stubborn, but his mile-wide chivalrous streak does in this instance make him quite stubborn. "The men first. I'm just cold. Get the rest of the men out first. Hurry, please!" He starts to dig around in the snow, unconsciously favoring his right hand for some reason. But he's too busy digging in the snow blindly to really comprehend just how cold and in shock he is. "I think I found some—- It's the boar." He sounds so frustrated. "I can't see." He should have located the men and saved them all by now in his mind and it's frustrating him greatly. "Throw the rope and drag it out, maybe it's in the way." Like a lid, he hopes that the removal of the boar will reveal his men laying in wait for rescue just beyond.

"My Lord," Eiris voice becomes like the stone in her cold and shaken state, "I think them to be dead…I have not heard any of them. I hear you. Please…let me pull you out then Petyr and I will set to the task of removing them." Even as she can feel her voice give at the idea of the task.

"Please, my lord. You feel cold now but you will be worse in mere moments and then the bite will set in. The death of the skin. For your children, my lord. Please," she begs of him, "Take the rope..ignore the boar. It is dead," it is not going to go anywhere. She hesitates, hoping her pleading will help, hoping that he will listen to her.

It is the mention of his children that penetrates his shock addled focus on rescuing the dead. Her words are slicing, but they save his life. "I— I can't move my left arm. I can't see it, the snow is high on my chest." There are sounds of him sweeping away more snow, this time it's the snow surrounding him. Then suddenly comes the sound of absolute pain being clenched behind tight jaws and chattering teeth. "I'm going to need help…" He is not a man to ask for this sort of help easily. So he at least trusts her that much. "I have…" His words trail off.

Her foot is starting to tingle and burn more, rising up her ankle and she bites her lip, trying to ignore that pins and needles feeling. When he confirms the worst, she swallows and nods, "A moment, I will be back." Once more she crosses over the snow, yanks the satchel from Petyr free and slings it over her shoulder and across her body.

THen she is there, climbing, sinking a little as the snow begins to bite through her trousers as well, her hands white as they shake. Finally he comes into view, her red head appearing at the top of the mound as she sinks up to her waist. She looks then at him, her breath misting as she heaves them. Her face looks pale and its by sheer determination. "Tell me, what has happened?" She looks the, trying to determine his arm as her hands begin to dig and push the snow in huge swathes - ducking her hands into the wool of her dress to offer her some coverage.

Ormund is rather deeply impaled at his left shoulder, thankfully high above lung and heart and only in the meat. The weapon, an icicle. It is melting, which is the reason why the shock is fading, for now. His blood is starting to flow, no longer sealed up by the receding weapon. "Slice… open… boar." He is fighting to keep consciousness and gesturing with his right hand. "Fat..in…" Weakly he points towards his wound. "Seal."

She sees it, the bright splash of red amongst the white. Swallowing, her shaking hands begin to dig and then stop. From her satchel, she pulls strips of linen, made just for these moments. She grimaces as she draws closer to him, that red braid slipping forward like a beacon in his direction as she presses a wad of cloth to the wound and begins to use other pieces to wrap. The actions are hard given that her hands are so cold but she tries. Hazel eyes flit to his face, made green in the white snow and open air. She finally manages to tie several ends off and tighten around his wound.

Only then will she look for the boar. Only then will she dig with her nearly numb hands for the creature. "Keep talking to me, my lord…I think its gone, I can pull you out now. Please, stay with me."

There is a moment when he's drifting off but his head bonks the cliff and that and her talking to him gets him blinking awake again. "I'm here. Are you alright? You weren't injured were you?" He presses his thumb and fingers of his right hand at his eyes trying to get them to clear up. "Can you see?" Again he's not one to give up hope for the life of his men. "Can you see anything from them?"

She's trying to find the boar, digging hard and fast as she must move back from the edge. "I am well, is merely the cold that pulls at me. But.." his next question leaves her bereft and forces her to move faster. "Little to nothing," she admits and puts more effort into her movements that keep her warm and her blood flowing. "A boot…a hand…there is no movement, my lord. Just keep talking to me," she says and finally she finds the bristles of the boar. From there she digs further, and from her belt she pulls her small dagger and begins to slit the belly open. Blood begins to pour free and she digs, knowing how to dress a wild animal she finds the hot steaming fat and pulls and carves. The sleeve of her dress starts to stain as the heat suddenly rises. She comes away with a hand full and begins to cleanse it in the snow.

Only then does she return to him and carefully peel back the wadded linen to spread the fat and press it firm to the wound. She sets the linen back to place and ties it tight, sheathing her blade and reaching out to touch his face. Her fingers are like ice. "My lord..the tope now. Once you are near a fire I will return to check on the others," she says.

She extends the rope around his back, her hair brushing his face as it comes around beneath his other arm and then she works a square knot into place. "Grasp it..with your good hand, tuck your injured one in tight so we don't jostle it. My lord…I will call when we are going to start. " Her breath mists, her hair shifting about her face as she starts to wiggle back. The cold is beginning to eat along all her limbs, sapping her strength from her.

She disappears from sight and a minute later she calls out. "BRACE!" And with that she leads Petyr really slowly and listens, glancing back with worry in her expression.

"Make certain… that my wishes… to have them honored… families…provided for…is made. Clear." He does not know her very well, but from what little he has gathered she is someone that he can trust to go after this possible last wish with ferocity. "My children, tell Martyn, that. I …" He nods off and then there's icy fingers on his cheeks and he snaps back into where he left off. "am sorry." But then he decides for himself to tell his son how sorry he is for the distance between them.

By force of will he musters up the strength to kick and roll and squirm and climb and cling to the rope. As he is dragged along the ice though, another ribbon of red streaks the snow of his right leg. One of the arrows that was shot into the boar managed to work it's way out of the beast and summersault into his leg in the tumbling avalanche. But it's just a shallow wound and it stops bleeding by the time he's been dragged back to camp.

Eiris does everything she can to get him back with out aggravating anything but she's not so strong that a full muscled knight and lord is an easy task. By the time they get back and she drags him with soft grunts and gasps to rest beside the very low coals of his pavilion she looks utterly spent. Wood is sought, gathered the night before as she properly banks the fire and brings it back to life with some coaxing. As the warmth spreads she lets out a breath and her fingers spike with pain at the sudden temperature difference. Part of her wants to just lay there, to bask in the warmth but she pushes herself to her side and then towards him. She can not get him up into the cot at the moment so she makes herself satisfied with pulling him near the fire and laying him upon his back.

The men are dead, Eiris knows this and so for the moment, their cold bodies will remain untouched. She instead tends to him, setting his leg to rights with another bandage and a poultice she had left behind int he tent which needs to be warmed to apply.

Once thatis well, she covers him up, bundling him as she seeks out the other tends and confiscates the furs or woolen blankets. Trembling, her foot, sodden and like a piece of ice is set towards the fire as his shoulder is fully surveyed and taken care of.

Once she can be certain of his breathing, she will seek out alcohol for him to help dull the pain and to clean the wounds if need be. Then she begins to find the rudimentary food stocks. Gathering everything into the tent with them she puts a water skin near him and manages to find oversized boots and pulls herself into them. She winces and then goes out, first to find his horse.

By the time she comes back to check, the horse has been regained, another two bodies have been laid to rest near each other and the poor is field dressed. She looks exhausted but washes her hands in the snow. Its too dark to make any other progress so she checks him for fever and infection before laying down opposite him.

The lord does perhaps not look so noble as he rather immediately curls around the fire like he was a house cat. When she returns he is sweaty and starkers and had climbed out of the blankets to lay in the warmth of the fire. When he heard the whinnie of Dawn being brought into camp he began to struggle to get up. a small throw towel messily wrapped around him and held with his bad hand, locked up into place as he stumbles for the door. "Is she… is she alright." He is almost more desperate for the horse to have survived then the men. It's not true, but it would be the final straw to his morale if she was hurt.

Turning when he comes out Eiris nods her head and moves towards him. "She is better off than anyone else my Lord. She was merely spooked but she's calm now. You must not be out…please go lay down." She moves to him and reaches out to touch his arms and try to turn him around. Carefully she redirects him, ushering him back in the tent. "I have her in hand. She will be fed, brushed and blanketed for the night." It's with this she hopes to urge him to rest before heading back out only to return later and rest. Next day will be more body removal and searching for mugwort to help with any infection.

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