Avaliana trailed through the beaches and jungles near the Abundant Wilds of Ember Isle, in search of prime game for meat. Covered in brush and bruises alike after a spat with a Defiant turned ugly, the rogue was looking for some much needed venting. The warrior stole coins she'd gotten from a recent sale of goods, and the ordeal stressed her to no end. She climbed up a steep ridge overlooking several herds of razorbeast and island gators.
"Excellent. We will be eating well tonight, Bones," she whispered to her loyal wolf companion. "You handle distracting the larger one and I'll pick the others off."
A series of hand signals translates her words into instruction the armored wolf was trained to understand. The clever beast stalked through the tall grasses, its body low to avoid detection up until the very last moment. Leaping out, Bones sunk his fangs into the side of the alpha male and hung on for dear life. The huge animal squealed in pain, calling the rest of the pack to come to its aid...and within range of Avaliana's sharpened arrows. She did not try to take all of them at once, instead utilizing precise shots to kill one or two of them at a time. Seven total were dead in mere moments, and the alpha male was bleeding heavily thanks to Bones' repeated bites.
"Move boy!" Avaliana yelled just as she launched a barbed arrow at the alpha male's heart. Bones got out of the way immediately, his tail just missing the ill-fated arrow that would land them dinner, and likely breakfast for the following morning. He stood near a large boulder, barking and howling happily with the knowledge he'd done well for his mistress.
Avaliana was no butcher, but she was skilled enough with a blade to get the good cuts of meat out of each razorbeast while Bones stood guard. "If we preserve some of these I bet they will sell well around the fort and Farclan Hall. Finnegan was telling me how much the Farclan dwarves can't stand the mess their cook makes for them."
Night started to fall just as Avalian wrapped the last cut of meat in spices and palm leaves for the journey. A low growling behind her alerted the High Elf. Bones smelled danger. Without a second thought, Avaliana pulled an arrow from her quiver, turned around, and fired in the direction Bones was pointing. The arrow vanished into a series of bushes but Avaliana heard no sound of pain that would indicate she struck her target.
â€œCome on out, Defiant! I don't need a wolf to smell all that gunpowder and machine oil you got on you.â€
The Bahmi chuckled, stepping out from his hiding place with the arrow in hand. Clenching his fist, the arrow he grasped was easily snapped in two. â€œI was hoping to lie in wait until you packed all that lovely meat for me, but I suppose a good cleansing would have done me some good, yes?â€
He wandered down to the beach, still chuckling as he spoke. â€œI'm not fond of a bath however. You see, it's been most difficult to get your blood out of the underarmor.â€
Bones growled. He remembered the scent of this Bahmi. The wolf saw the pair fighting and rushed to help, but the warrior Bahmi's battle axe swung him into a large tree. When the wolf awoke, his master was dead. She always returned, but it was a matter of personal pride that Bones be able to defend his mistress. â€œStay here...â€ Avaliana whispered to Bones, another arrow at the ready. â€œI am ready for him this time.â€
Bones barked loudly as more shuffles in the bushes were heard. The sly Defiant was not alone. Three more stepped out of the shadows as the Bahmi let out a bold laugh. â€œAhh, surely you didn't think Iâ€™d try to carry all that meat on my own, did you foolish Guardian?â€
Avaliana sighed, putting her arrow back and holstering her bow. â€œCowards can't catch their own meal?â€ She knelt down beside Bones. â€œStay here...until they are closer,â€ she whispered again to the wolf.
â€œNice to see you know your place, Guardian.â€ said one of the rogue Defiants, a Kelari no less. â€œNot that it'll stop us from killing you, but it is a good memory to have. These are our jungles. You have no business being here nor taking what's not yours.â€
â€œThe Farclan seem to like these jungles. And as I recall, they stayed put after the Kelari up and fled their precious cities. Iâ€™d say you forfeited 'possession' of the jungles long ago.â€ Avaliana smirked while tossing a bit of dirt around.
â€œHow dare you!â€ The Kelari screamed, charging at her and Bones with fiery blades in hand. The others followed behind yelling battle cries. Yet Avaliana stayed knelt low to the ground seemingly ready for her demise.
Bones suddenly launched himself forward. The Defiants halted, bracing for a fight with the beast, only to see it jump right over them. â€œGood boy!â€ Avaliana yelled, tossing several charges out at the distracted Eth mage in the center of the tight group. She jumped backward and quickly detonated the bombs. The machine born lit up in a blast of gunpowder, flash bombs, and shrapnel. Metal pieces torn most of the cloth armor to shreds and left nasty gashes in leather. The initial attack wounded the mage, but the two rogues and warrior now charged at her in fury. The High Elf continued to laugh as the fools ran right over the mines she planted in the dirt. The Bahmi flew back into the rocks as the Eth rogue and bleeding mage were killed instantly by a second set of detonated charges. Glorious flashes of fire enveloped them as Avaliana laughed. The Kelari kept at her, ignorant of the fact Bones was still behind him.
â€œDinnertime!â€ Avaliana yelled. Just as the Kelari reached her and raised his arm to strike, the limb was lost. Torn off by a pair of very strong jaws. Excited at a chance to redeem past mistakes, Bones propelled himself back into the air as soon as he had landed and dug his fangs into the Kelari's neck. Unable to hold the weight of the wolf, the Kelari fell screaming in agony as Bones torn apart vital blood vessels and tissue. The beast was unrelenting until the sounds stopped leaving the Kelari's lips.
Avaliana turned now to the armored Bahmi. She'd tossed several new charges unto him but had yet to detonate them. â€œYour friends made a warm fire and a great meal for my pet. I must give you my thanks, machine born.â€
She knew the armor was too much for her arrows and Bones' teeth but that didn't mean she couldn't break it down first. The Bahmi made no move of his own, instead pulling Avaliana towards him suddenly. The pull caught her off guard a mere moment before Avaliana launched a powerful bomb. The blast dented his plating heavily along with stunning him. It was enough time for the High Elf to gain distance. She hurled a grenade at the ground just as the warrior came around, the dirt becoming like vespid goo.
â€œWhat trickery is this?!â€ the Bahmi cursed, struggling to make any real progress towards his target. Avaliana relished in her time, laying out more traps the Bahmi would unfortunately run into thanks to his initial momentum. Traps snapped through his thick ankles. Mines blew him backward. Loaded bombs made holes of his fine armor. By the time the Bahmi warrior reached Avaliana's feet, most of his body was exposed and bleeding heavily. Avaliana kicked the damaged helmet off his head so she could see how bruised his face was.
â€œTrickery? Surely you didn't think you'd get the pleasure of killing me again, machine born. But don't worry. I will see to it your body gets the cleansing it deserves...in the bowels of my pet.â€
Bones was covered in blood from muzzle to chest, and his growl only grew louder as he drew closer to the enemy. â€œMake sure to chew your food properly, Bones. We wouldn't want this to end quickly now would we?â€
The Bahmi could not run. He'd lost his feet, his friends, his armor â€“ but he'd gained a horrifying new view of the Guardians. â€œYou blood-thirsty demon! It was just herbs!â€ Avaliana said nothing at first before walking over and ripped a small satchel from the Bahmi's waist. â€œI take nothing more than what belongs to me, machine born. Something Defiants do not comprehend.â€ She held up the bag and repeated, â€œ...what belongs to ME. My herbs. My kills. My meat. Remember that while you are being eaten alive...â€