(2018-04-06) Hounds of Hades
Hounds of Hades
Summary: Idyllic camping is interrupted by the appearance of mythical monsters.
Date: IC Date (2018-04-06)
Related: Day One, Woodland Frolicking
NPCs: Hakate, hellhounds, striges
Scene Runner: Who ran this scene, NA if no-one or mutual

A day has passed since the gathering of forest nymphs, and it would appear that the world has regressed to its natural, drab flow. Whatever warning issued by the nymphs has yet to come to pass, and it appears to be the last thing on Loukanos's mind at the moment. In fact, he looks completely unworried sprawled over a large stone with his lyre on his bare belly (how can he stand the temperature!). He plucks idly, perhaps hoping it will attract his earth companions again.

Besa comes back frowning empty handed. He was gone longer than he thought he would be, and his promises of dinner unfulfilled. Maybe the visit with the Dryads distracted him more than he realized. If feels like it's been some time since anyone played with his hair like that (Rain doesn't count, she's his sister!). His thoughts drifted to what was, what could have been, and the couple of rabbits he saw his arrows did not fly true. And then on top of it. he found a patch of what he thinks might have been edibles plants, but…he's not certain. And while he doesn't think he could kill Louk by giving him something bad, he'd rather not chance it. Maybe he'll try drawing later. Or playing drums with Louk again. A shiver when he seems the other shirtless, he may have to cast a warmth rune just for himself! "I have failed at supper, Loukanos. I am sorry. Perhaps next time you go camping you should pick someone who is not having trouble remembering how to do things." He sighs, moving to set the precious bow and arrows down against a tree, hopefully not an occupied one!

Oh, the godling is not just shirtless. He's also wearing a pair of brown cotton shorts. He laughs airly when Besa returns, "The only other person I would go with is Ashton, and as much as I am fond of him, he is not a survivalist," Loukanos has the feeling that he would have to hold his hand the whole way through, and while that certainly is not a bad thing, Besa at least is capable of taking care of himself. "Did you see anything of note?"

Besa smirks softly, "Yes…I suppose Theodore and Ronan are not the camping type either." He feels bad though, so he moves to tend to the fire pit, start it up before it gets too dark. "How are you feeling? Rested?" His crouched next to it arranging the wood before looking over his shoulder at Louk, "I can cast a warmth rune if you'd like as well." Maybe he just wants to be half naked? Maybe the Dryads inspired him? "I can go out again in a. Bit, before the light is all gone to see if I can find anything else…" AS for anything interesting, he shakes his head, "No. Nothing seems out of place." Except his non hitting arrows that he had to retrieve in the ground.

"I don't know either of them well enough to say," Loukanos admits, but he has ideas. Theodore? Probably not. Ronan? Too hard to tell. He likes the cold, so he might be well-suited for early spring camping. "A rune won't be necessary." The godling calls out from by his spot near the stream that runs through the clearing. "I will be fine. Thanks for the offer, though." A string is plucked. "I feel slightly better…the weather is not such a problem anymore." He nods. "That is good to hear. I wonder what the nymphs were worried about."

Besa was just making an assumption. "Are you not cold?" There's a small hint of worry, Louk's behaving….oddly. He's slightly better? Besa's head tilts and he studies the teen, "Did the Dryads offer you Ambosia?" Or is it Nymphs? He turns back starting the fire, "I do not know. I saw no signs of predators." But then again, maybe he missed it, he's not been as sharp as he used to be. A soft sigh and he pokes the fire before standing, "I can get the food ready." Granola and jerky again. Sigh.

"They are one and the same, Besa," Loukanos chuckles. "The dryads are simply a type of nymph. The Anthousai were here too." He considers. "I believe Trevor may be related to their kind." Shaking his head, he continues, sparkling eyes regarding Besa. "They did not, but I feel it. Perhaps that is enough. I am not cold." He smiles. Lazy Louk is lazy. Besa preparing the food is helpful.

Besa frowns slightly, but then nods, "Very well." He thought one was water based? But maybe he's just still off from meeting them. He could see that about Trevor, "We will need to tell him when we return what we saw this trip." He smiles, glancing over again at Louk, "That is wonderful. I am glad you feel better." He's at the tent, pulling out the backpack with the food.

"I do not know if he would understand. I tried to inform him earlier, and it did not seem like the weight of that truth fazed him one bit," Loukanos shrugs. "Not that it should. The nymphs are minor goddesses. A mortal born of them can be destined for greatness." He frowns, thinking of a certain boy born of evil. "Not always, though." More strings are plucked, and a flock of white doves lands around Louk, enticed by his music.

Besa nods, pulling out the food, "He has the information and will process it when he is ready." Sometimes that's all anyone can offer. He smirks, thinking that Trevor may be destined for greatness. When he stops hugging everyone. "I have some appl-" He stops, the appearance of white doves is…not expected. "They are not…native to here, are they Loukanous?"

"It might be better that way. I have learned people tend to freak out when they realize they are not who they think they are," Loukanos catches Besa's smirk and smiles faintly. "Oh." Glancing at the doves that suddenly surround him. "Perhaps not. All-white doves are rare…" But so are nymphs! "Maybe we just have that effect on wildlife."

Besa agrees. To be honest Besa's still kinda freaked out to know he's not what he thought he was. That's just been kinda…duped. But that's for more heavy conversation. He studies the birds, and then looks around to make sure nothing else odd is around (Or the mysterious 'him'). "I have apples, I can bake them, if that sounds good?" Rain did pack him tinfoil. And she insisted he take a bag of marshmallows, although he's nit sure why.

"If only we had pecans and cinnamon to go with it," Loukanos licks his lips and begins to play for the birds. In reality, they don't seem terribly interested in the music. A pair of them watches Besa as he studies them, beady eyes trained on the Egyptian. "Baked apples sound delightful."

Besa moves back into the back, he has a few different spices in zip lock bags. He imagines Rain radied the kitchen. "I….have cinnamon sugar?" Tin foil is pulled out and he makes himself busy quartering the apples and deseeding them. "It will be nice to have something warm in our bellies, yes?" A glance up, first at Louk and his half-naked lounge, and then to the doves which are hopefully not a sign of anything bad. "Do you think they would like some?" He can bake a third apple.

<FS3> Besa rolls Alertness: Good Success.

When Besa looks away, faint growling can be heard from the darker forest and blood red eyes are peering into the clearing. Loukanos closes his eyes and continues strumming lazily. When Besa looks at him, those doves aren't doves anymore. Where they once were stands a cluster of owls with glossy obsidian plumage, bigger than owls have any right to be. Their golden eyes are all trained on Loukanos, and they spread their black wings and crimson claws.

Well, crap. "Loukanos!" The apples are dropped and his hand goes again to his thigh. The sword is not drawn because these could be heralds to another god, but…Yeah. This is not anything that's comfortable. He slowly stands, eyes on the owls.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Louk=physical-2 Vs Strix=5
< Louk: Success Strix: Great Success
< Net Result: Strix wins - Solid Victory

In Besa's moment of hesitation, the birds strike, digging their talons into Loukanos's pale flesh. If they are agents of the divine, their task appears malevolent. Oozing from where their claws latch into his arms is murky copper blood, and the godling (if he can even be called that at this point) clenches his teeth and thrashes around, trying to free himself of their baleful clutch.

No, definitely not nice birds. Besa rushes forward, tracing the rune on his leg that summons his Khophesh. It seems to leap from his leg to his right hand. He yells in Coptic, although everyone that can understand words knows. "OFF OF HIM FOWLS!" Yeah, he probably needs to work on his yells. "LOUKANOS!" He'll try to knock the birds away from the bleeding Promethean.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Besa=Physical Vs Strix=5
< Besa: Success Strix: Failure
< Net Result: Besa wins - Marginal Victory

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Louk=physical-2 Vs Strix=5
< Louk: Success Strix: Great Success
< Net Result: Strix wins - Solid Victory

A trio of the striges is disturbed enough by Besa batting them away with his blade that they release Loukanos's arm and turn their attention towards the Egyptian, swarming him and flapping their big black wings around him. Meanwhile, the rest of the pack are raking their gold talons across Louk's chest, spilling more of his blood as their onslaught continues. The golden-haired boy hisses, eyes blazing with fire, and smashes his fist against an owl, but that only seems to anger it further.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Besa=physical Vs Strix=5
< Besa: Good Success Strix: Great Success
< Net Result: Strix wins - Marginal Victory

Besa tries to get closer to Louk, but the birds are making it difficult. "Louk! Are these family?!?" He's not got time to try to remember, especially as one of the distracts him long enough for another to flap up and claw at his cheek, potent blood welling up from the scratch.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Louk=physical-2 Vs Strix=5
< Louk: Success Strix: Failure
< Net Result: Louk wins - Marginal Victory

It would seem the striges have a vampiric fascination with blood. In the case of both of the boy's cases, they do not seek to kill swiftly by pinpointing vital locations. No, they seek to bleed. "Gods, no!" Loukanos calls out and attempts to say more through gritted teeth, but a strix brings its talons directly on his face. Luckily for his pretty face, he manages to grasp its leg before the owl can claw out his eyes.

That's all the confirmation he needs. He himself growls, the birds scratching through his jacket more as he manages to batt away one of them. His attacks shift after that, the khophesh turns in his hand enough to start cutting. "Why are they attacking?" Besides the obvious. He's really tired of everything wanting his blood!

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Loukanos=mystic-2 Vs Strix=5
< Loukanos: Great Success Strix: Good Success
< Net Result: Loukanos wins - Marginal Victory

"Your guess is as good as mine," But Loukanos's voice can only just be heard over the vile cries of a strix being slashed by the bone khopesh. He speaks again, but when he does, it is in an ancient tongue, and the leg in his hand turns to fragile stone. The owl crashes into the rock, screeching as his leg shatters into pieces. Vehement hatred in those blood-red eyes, the wound only spurs it on. Resorting to the use of its large golden beak, the creature continues to rip apart Louk's flesh.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Besa=physical Vs Strix=5
< Besa: Success Strix: Good Success
< Net Result: Strix wins - Marginal Victory

Something about the screams of the birds, their talons, it is reminiscent of Hell and fighting Demons. But Besa's used to fighting larger foes and it shows in his defense. He slashes at one, which lives his side open. His jacket is about shredded, blood seeping from the new gashes he's just received.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Loukanos=mystic-2 Vs Strix=5
< Loukanos: Good Success Strix: Success
< Net Result: Loukanos wins - Solid Victory

The owls definitely count as 'larger foes'. They are about half of Besa's size. Loukanos throws his hand into the air, and thick moss green vines sprout from the now fertile Earth, completely entangling the strix that pecked him and the others surround him. Meanwhile, the striges claw at Besa's flesh, coating their claws with his blood. The same blood that revives people from near death. The implications are clear, and they do not seem to be getting any weaker.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Besa=physical Vs Strix=5
< Besa: Failure Strix: Good Success
< Net Result: Strix wins - Solid Victory

Besa cries out, while one gets knocked away, two strike at the same time. He's had this problem before, his blood's curse working against him. He's out of practice. Or his luck is out. Something is out, beside his bleeding. He looks pale as he cries out for his camp mate, "Louk!" The birds are on him, he can't get the leverage he needs for the sword to be of any use.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Loukanos=mystic+48 Vs Strix=5
< Loukanos: Great Success Strix: Good Success
< Net Result: Loukanos wins - Solid Victory

Answering Besa's call are several more sprouting vines that seize and then squeeze the life out of the striges swarming him. It is partially successful, the obsidian owls squirm and screech, giving the boys a much-needed reprieve. Loukanos scrambles off the rock onto his feet and glances over at the crimson eyes peering menacingly at them from the forest. He's bleeding profusely and his breathing rate is panicked. Night has taken over the clearing, and whatever is in those forests unnerve the godling greatly.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Besa=Physical Vs Strix=5
< Besa: Good Success Strix: Good Success
< Net Result: DRAW

Besa is free! Mostly! He stumbles in Louk's direction, trying to get close enough to help each other. He uses the Khopesh, to give some space between him and the birds before he sees the eyes. They're reminiscent of that's he's dealt with in the past, luckily his sword, if he can strike true, is blessed to do more damage to demons. If that is what that is. "Louk, what do we do?" He's assuming this is something connected to Louk, not himself. He thinks. He winces, free left hand raising to press into his side, his heart hammering painfully in his chest.

"I…I don't know…" Loukanos gets out barely above a whisper, shoulders heaving as he pants. From the shrouded trees, an even larger pack of growling hounds, almost as tall as the boys but lanky as if underfed, gain on the pair, reptilian-like teeth bared in a predatory fashion. "Hellhounds." So this is family. Technically. What do they want with him, though? He lets out an uncharacteristically weak whimper and falls to his knees, hands clasped in front of him as he begins a hurried prayer.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Besa=physical+50 Vs Hellhouns=7
< Besa: Amazing Success Hellhouns: Good Success
< Net Result: Besa wins - Crushing Victory

HellHounds? HELLHOUNDS?!? Suddenly the scene shifts in Besa's mind. They're no longer in the forest. He's no longer with Louk. He has the other Besas, the Us, to protect, and these Hellhounds are Alraxmargoth'ha's children come for revenge. Revenge he will not allow to happen again. He growls, no words come, and then he leaps in front of Louk (Other Besas) to attack the beasts directly in front of them. Bleeding and near heart attack, he ignores the pain for now, it's retribution he seeks. The Khopesh brings his namesake down hard, surprisingly hard, threw the neck of one, and then spins and takes out two others. It's fast for not having cast a rune, fury filled. Maybe luck-filled. The prayer is heard, but it's not registering, prayers aren't answered in Hell.

The whimpers and hisses of the slain dogs spark hope in Loukanos, and shadowed eyes glance up only to see Besa…not that Besa isn't doing a phenomenal job. Just not who Loukanos was praying for. The striges have taken advantage of his moment of weakness and tore apart the vines that held them at bay. Cawing, they take flight and head towards the teen.

Only to explode in a burst of feathers and fire. He blinks. Maybe Mom is helping?

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Besa=physical Vs Hellhounds=7
< Besa: Good Success Hellhounds: Good Success
< Net Result: Besa wins - Marginal Victory

Besa's lost in the fight, he barely side steps those nasty snapping jaws, the khopesh slices the beast. Not enough to pu tit down, but it bleeds. He's lost (or is it focused?) enough that he doesn't notice the exploding birds. Which might be a good thing, exploding birds can be distracting.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Hecate's Hounds=7 Vs Hellhounds=7
< Hecate's hounds: Good Success Hellhounds: Failure
< Net Result: Hecate's hounds wins - Solid Victory

A shadow shifts from beside Loukanos, and from it an imposing figure steps out from it, shrouded in mist. Loukanos gasps, his washed-out features brightening with joy. "Mother."

The appearance of two black hounds sucks all the joy from his face entirely. Wrong goddess. The creatures join Besa in his fight, quicker than a shadow and silent in their movements. With their assistance, the battle ends shortly with the corpses of the starved hounds scattered over the clearing. The mist clears then, and the same pale goddess that Louk inadvertently summoned steps out. In the daytime, she looked uncomfortable and pained. Here, she looks nothing short of resplendent. "Are you alright?"

Loukanos hangs his head. He's still bleeding copper-colored blood. Everywhere. "Yes."

Besa's not so lost that he doesn't feel others fighting with him. He manages to slice a few more of the hellhounds, but he's slowing, losing blood. Is it getting colder? And then it's over, as quickly as it stared and he's standing in the battle field trying to not topple over. His weapon is heavy, but he can't seem to drop it, the best he can do is lower it to rest the tip against the ground as he turns to look at Louk and…. A goddess. If he wasn't in so much pain, he'd be able to try to figure out who and what she was, how or if he should even approach. But all he sees is that copper blood and knows that Louk is hurt and his own blood is being wasted. He starts to stumble over to Louk, saying nothing.

Too cold. Loukanos feels it and shivers, wrapping his arms around himself. "You shouldn't have come. I asked for her." No response and the golden-haired boy fills the silence with another question. "Why were they after me?"

The goddess Hekate frowns and summons a torch that warms the night air and fends the biting chill. "Servants of Hades. You have the mark of spring. They mistook you for Persephone and followed your scent. When they learned they were mistaken…" Her words trail. "I would not be late. Not again."

Loukanos scowls. "I am not her," He begins, his voice unusually bitter and spiteful. "So they sought to shred me to pieces." He chuckles, but there's no humor. "Sounds familiar." A long pause as the goddess says nothing. "I won't save her."

<FS3> Besa rolls Blood Healing: Failure.

Well, Besa was going to try to heal Louk, but then his heart starts to beat funny. He stops where he is, not near enough to touch Louk and raises a hand to his chest, "L-Louk…" He doesn't sound so good. He takes another step, but the tip of his sword stays where it is in the ground, throwing him off balance enough to stumble to the ground. Any blood healing he could have done seems to have been used up by the birds, ironically.

"What of spring, child?"

"You said it yourself. I have its mark. I will bring it to the world, myself. She's not even with him, Hekate. She's off doing gods know what," Loukanos shakes his head, firm in his decision. "Demeter can abandon the world if she would like. But I won't." His sapphire eyes drift towards a pained Besa, but his head is being pulled back.

The pale woman suddenly has an elaborate chalice overflowing with golden nectar and brings it to Louk's lips. "Drink," She commands softly. And he takes the cup into his hands and drains it completely like someone who has wandered a desert drinking cold water for the first time in days. "Do not forget me." And without another word, she turns and walks back into the shadows, dark hounds trailing behind her.

Mystified by her haunting departure, Loukanos shakes his head and rushes to Besa's side. "W-What's wrong?"

Besa's left arm is twitching, like he's trying to move it and can't. No words escape his mouth, but his right hand is on his chest. What's left of his coat and shirt are soaked in blood, so it's hard to tell what injury is bothering him. Dark eyes are on Louk, there's pain, but strangely no fear in them. Maybe he'll stay dead this time. Besa's forgotten Louk can heal.

Loukanos clutches Besa's arm and closes his eyes. It has been a while, but he is starting to feel some of his former power return to him. He can do this. He is a god. This is what he mumbles to himself as he draws from within. A wave of divine energy, touched with the same healing properties as his ambrosia, rushes through the Egyptian.

To have pain removed is sometimes as much a shock as it is to have it. Louk's magic rushes through Besa's body, looking for the most damaging thing, which is his heart. It leaves the minor cuts and bruising for time to heal, instead, it mends the hole back to its original size, barely noticeable. The ancient teen's body relaxes as the pain ebbs away, he's able to mumble, "Loukanos…" Before his eyes slide closed. Which leaves poor Louk sitting with an unconscious Promethian in the middle of a clearing with dead hellhounds and a trashed campsite.

(feel free to tag the log with character names of those involved!)

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