Nar 35, 229: The Baron and The Cat

The Baron and The Cat
Summary: A Cat of Unusual Size attacks Baron Huntingdon's herd of horses. Lady Nerissa and her retainers are passing through and lend a hand in bringing down the cat
OOC Date: 08/06/2014
Related: None
Brennart Nerissa 
Sutherland countryside, North March with a river, a bridge, a field and a small group of trees.
35 Nar, 229E

The afternoon sun sends bright, slanting rays across the pasturelands where the herds that make Sutherland famous graze, the lazy meanderings of the horses following the lure of the next sweet blade of grass. As the sun has passed it's mid mark, these meanderings have been bringing them down towards the water for their usual late drink to slake their thirst at the end of the hot day. Maybe even to bath, feel the cool water soothe the sting from pesky flies and cool their flanks.

Nearby, a steward has called his liege, Baron Huntingdon to inspect a bridge where the mortar has been falling from the rocks that make up the wide railing, and decide on the urgency, or lack thereof, to repair the way across the river on one of the major roads leading from the south towards Stormvale. A road that lady, flanked by two Sky Forest Rangers, and accompanied by a porter leading a pack horse have chosen to ride at a rapid pace towards Mobrin's seat of power. As yet, they are not close enough to be identified, but even from their distance, the intent to cross the bridge on their way north is obvious.

Brennart glancing up from where he's inspecting the mortar and whatnots he looks over at the group riding towards the bridge at speed. He motions over towards one of his men at arms or the steward, "See why they're riding at such a rapid pace even from this distance it looks like there's at least one Lady in the group…" He looks back at the mortar, "And have the builders check all the bridges this doesn't look good but I'm not well versed on construction but I'd say they need to be fixed quickly."

It may be the sun, as it can sometimes play tricks with color, or it may be that the lady, also dressed in the garb of a Ranger with a bow at her back, truly has burning copper hair, braided and twisted at the nape of her neck. Even as they are closing with the riders sent to meet them, the stallion of the herd suddenly lifts his head, letting out a high-pitched whinny of warning.

Brennart glances at the riders some more before he starts to walk towards them himself but with the whinny of warning from the stallion his hand drops to the hilt of his sword as his gaze starts roaming looking for the danger to the horses…

The sharp sound of the whinny carries well, and even from their distance, the riders are on instant alert. The Lady and two Rangers nock arrows in their strings, and spread out slightly as they continue their ride forward more slowly.

The horses in the field have raised their heads, and begin to mill closer as the stallion scents the wind. A moment later, he gives another sharp command, and his alpha mares begin to circle around, driving the herd away from a clump of trees along the riverbank. They are none too soon, as a tawny beast drops snarling from the leaves, claws raking down the back haunches of a mare as she drives a couple of yearlings away. As the younger horses bolt in terror, the mare, older, and perhaps a bit wiser, plunges into the water. The beast prowls the edge, snarling… but doesn't follow. The mare scented feline, and instinct told her it wouldn't follow. Deprived of it's choice of prey, the dire cougar spins, almost as large as the equines it hunts, and streaks after the fleeing herd.

<FS3> Nerissa rolls Archery: Good Success.
<FS3> Brennart rolls Archery: Good Success.
<FS3> Brennart rolls Horsemanship: Good Success.

Brennart whistles for his horse… You know how those well trained warhorses are. As he starts running towards his horse that's galloping towards him he mounts while the horse is still on the move which isn't always the best idea but he wheels it around drawing his sword as he kicks his horse to begin his charge towards the dire cougar.

As the Baron gets ready to charge some of the men at arms follow suit either on foot or going after their own horses one who was smart enough to bring his bow along snaps off a quick shot at the cougar and smirks as the arrow streaks towards the dire beast knowng that he doesn't have to get close to its claws.

An arrow fletched with Horizon colors buries into the cougar as well, two others whistling in the grass, drawing a snarl from the beast as it tries to close with one of the foals running alongside it's mother. The desperate mare kicks out as the stallion lets out a maddening scream and charges to the beast that dares to threaten his herd. The three from Sky Forest are closer, now, though the porter hangs back with his extra charge.

<FS3> Nerissa rolls Archery: Good Success.
<FS3> Brennart rolls Horsemanship: Great Success.
<FS3> Brennart rolls Blades: Great Success.

Brennart leans over the horse as he charges past the cougar slashing along it's length as he goes thundering past he wheels his horse around getting ready for another charge.

The men at arms seem to have been trained the same way the Baron has wheeling around same direction that Brenn did with the exception of the men on foot who try to distract the cougar allowing the others to get wide open attacks from the sides and back.

As the Baron thunders in with his horse and slices through the fur and into muscle, the dire cougar is suddenly no longer interested in an equine dinner. The stallion acts as rearguard to be sure while his herd continues to thunder away, but as long as the threat is no longer to his charges, the stallion will not enter the fray. One more arrow finds the cougar's side before the men at arms close around, and the Sky Forest folk put up their bows. The lady doesn't hang back at all, joining her men as they come around to cut off the dire hunter's escape.

<FS3> Brennart rolls Horsemanship: Great Success.
<FS3> Brennart rolls Blades: Success.
<FS3> Nerissa rolls Horsemanship: Failure.

Brennart wheels back around and charges back through slashing at the dire beast once again but instead of wheeling back around for another charge he slides off the horse and pulls his shield off the saddle horse grabbing onto it as he goes to charge at the cougar on foot now because it's just not as much fun without more danger…

The Baron dropping to the ground draws the snarling attention of the wounded beast, now that he's lower to the ground. In it's crouched position, the feral eyes are on a level with Brennart's, and a paw reaches out to meet the blade, and there's another hiss of rage as it prepares to pounce.

In the meantime, the Sky Forest horses are drawing closer, and one of them trips on a fallen log in the grass. Although the horse rights itself, the rider was caught unprepared, and ends up tucking to catch herself in a roll as she hurtles to the ground. "Lady Nerissa!" one of the Rangers calls out in alarm, while from the woman comes a very unladylike oath when she regains her feet, discarding the broken bow. There's the sound of steel being drawn, and she steps off to the side with a short sword and hunting knife in her hands.

<FS3> Brennart rolls Defense: Amazing Success.
<FS3> Brennart rolls Blades: Great Success.

Brennart uses his shield to maintain a nice little barrier between the claws and the Baron as Brenn closes in the distance batting away at the cougar's strikes as he gets close enough to thrust his sword towards the cougar's body looking to get through the dire beast's defenses.

<FS3> Nerissa rolls Blades: Good Success.
<FS3> Nerissa rolls Defense: Good Success.

Facing a cat as large as a horse on foot is not Nerissa's idea of a good plan, but being on foot to begin with wasn't part of the plan. However, she's here now, fanning out with Brennart's men at arms.

The oversized cat senses the noose tightening around it as the Sky Rangers join in, and makes an attempt to bowl through his tormentor, to make a break and run for a place to lick its wounds. The charge sends it into the thrusting blade, and it lets out an unholy bellow of rage and pain when the steel bites deeply into its neck. Staggering to the side, away from the Baron, it wobbles towards the lady. Nerissa steps back as it comes, her short blade flicking out more to keep it at bay as she nicks at its ear than to actually attack it. She continues stepping back from its path as it collapses, it's lifeblood rapidly pooling on the soil from the blow of Brennart's sword.

Brennart watches as the cougar falls over draining it's lifeblood onto the soil. The knight flicks his blade getting a majority of the blood off of his sword before he pulls out a cloth to wipe off the rest to keep his sword from rusting and sticking in it's scabbard which it's returned to, glancing over towards Nerissa he offers her a bow of his head, "Lady Nerissa thank you and your ranger's timely assistance."

Inspecting her blade first, Nerissa wipes what little blood there is on a clean spot on the cougar, then the rest with a cloth handed over by one of the Rangers. "We are glad to be of assistance, Honorable Lord Baron Huntingdon," she answers, the automatic civil reply coming easily from her. "Is your mare all right?" In the commotion, she hasn't forgotten the horse who limps out of the water, her hindquarters badly scored. "She is a valiant steed, hopefully you will not lose her."

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