Prisoner Exchange

Surrounding the Tholos-nested Gate of Lunatum is the great Hilltop Market. Circular and wide, it is a grand testament to order over nature, paved perfectly flat with flagstones arranged in a swirling, arabesque mosaic, depicting plants and entwined animals in colors of terracotta and cream, and inlaid with brass. Coupled with the blue-silver light from the gate temple, the market place seems to glow with a pleasant aura at all times of day.

This grand space is clearly the central nexus of Hilltop City, and all of Lunatum, the place from which all roads start and back in which all roads end. Four roads branch off, following the cardinal directions - Meiw Road to the West, Hafaw Avenue to the East. The comically named South Street confusedly points to the North, and North Street, likewise stretches to the South. Various shops and buildings rise up to form a low ring around the marketplace, though the most eye-catching of these is the elegant Lady Vain tavern to the northeast.

Normally there is quite a crowd of people at the Market place in Lunatum, but today the commoners have been cleared. Instead of carts and stands selling food and supplies, Anubian guards have been posted in an almost circular fashion around the gate, each one armed with shield and spear. It might appear as though a parade was arriving from the east, but anyone with a keen eye would spot the prisoners being escorted by several more guards. The prisoners are cuffed and shackled with iron chains being held by four guards to prevent escape. As unnecessary a thing as it might be, there is protocol that must be followed. Leading the group is a tall and muscular man flanked by two shifted wolves. Each wolf appears to be wearing a harness made up of long spikes and blades. One might see writing on the side of the leather harness that says: 'Please do not pet me. I am working.' Eian, being the useless little caretaker of the prisoners, trails behind the caravan of guards.

With a hiss Ichtaca hovers down towards the assembled crowd, licking the air and finding Eian, the devious mastermind of this plan. The snake stops in a downward pointing spiral, his head looking down at Eian and his prisoners with those glowing eyes of his. Those wings do not flap, remaining opened and still, casting a shadow down.

Even whilst in chains the Mamluke stands tall, his head up as if he were heading into a battle an idea not far off considering that his uniform was returned to him and he strides in first behind the first few guards in his regular garb. Leather armor and red shemagh which hasn't worn for weeks mark him as the wanted body guard who got captured, though he still feels incomplete without his blades, his falx, khopesh, chakram and bow all taken away from him and held at the back, probably with Eian. However, even in bonds he still has his duties to attend and he comes carrying Katherine in his arms bridal style, holding close to his chest for protection, black eyes peering from under his mask to look around and see any possibilities of escape, minor as they may be. Behind and shackled to him comes little Anglia who seems so out of place from this serious proceedings, the desert assassin casting a sideways glance to her every once in a while when he can afford it.

Katherine rests in the arms of her warrior slave, as much a hindrance to any plans of his to escape as the guards surrounding them. Halfway to the meeting place her weak body betrayed her and she was forced to allow her warrior to help her along. He was carrying her shortly there after. Now she watches the goings on from her place, help against his chest. Her other slave stands nearby, close to them so that they form a neat little trio.

Anglia just walks quietly, her body still sore. She seems to be a lot less heavily shackled, the guards obviously not finding her a threat. The girl's hair is draped over her shoulders to hide it, but it's obvious that her shoulders are covered in bite-marks and bruises. Her eyes keep peeking at Katherine, worrying about her Mistress. The girl looks very weak, but her eyes hold the strength that her body cannot. Even if that horrible incident made it hard for her to walk, she would hide it as much as she can. She gently places a warm hand on Katherine's forehead, trying to make her Mistress feel better with her magic.

As Night crowns the world, there is a..sound. Minu is endangered, moving so quickly the air in one's lungs can be ripped right out so to help her? Drakth has planted her in a 'kiss'. Exhaling oxygen into her lungs, while golden eyes are peering forward. Steam slides down his skin as vapor burns away. The sound grows closer, a vibration in the air that screams over them. Eyes look over his wife. Soon after, it happens again..his slaves are looked over. A dark blur that is near invisible in the Night, kicking straight upwards before his wings kick out and holds. Drakth's heavy form slams onto the rooftop of a store, Minu can now be seen. Bound in..hair? She will be paler. The Vampire Lord himself, is heaving. Growling as his wings cover them both. Making the small woman disappear between his legs where he sets her down, in the cloak of his wings. Without hesitation, his foot pushes a stone shingle from the rooftop at one of the guards. Baring his shark-like fangs.

The tiny elfling is long past resisting the winged vampire. She sags with in his grasp accepting the breath knowing struggling with him will gain her nothing. She glances out at the surroundings for that brief moment between the end of that "kiss" and his settling her at his feet. She is indeed paler, her long dark hair loose and tangled, marks of bites on her neck and chest as well as various bruises and scrapes. The elf cowers drawing herself into a tiny curled bundle as she is set on the cold roof tiles.

It would be a stretch of imagination to say that Eian is the mastermind of this plan, but he would gladly take the compliment if spoken out loud! The main strategist of this convoy is the tall and weathered man at the front, Mordecai. He's likely the third or fourth in command when it comes to rankings at the Temple of Anubis. Mordecai lifts his head as the group approaches the Gate then raises his hand, closing it in a fist, then opening it. "Hol'than-arn," he says. Immediately the guards take on a defensive stance with weapons at the ready. The two wolves at his side hunker down as if ready to spring at a moment's notice. Being were-canines, clearly posture is very important. Eian, in the far back, cocks his head sideways and looks a little befuddled. Obviously he doesn't understand the command, but continues to carry the luggage of the prisoners.

e our captives to you." The scroll is rolled back up and he looks at Drakth expectantly, then makes an upward waving motion of his hand, as if he wants the winged vampire to hurry it up.

Ichtaca's head turns to look at the arriving Drakth, glowing eyes staring down at Drakth's landing. Minu is here! And she's not looking so swell… The snake hisses, baring pointed fangs, as the soldiers beneath him ready, raising weapons and defenses. He leaves the Canines to do the negotiating - he's just here to see to the safe return of Minu. His form shift, his head moving to the top of the spiral, not leaving the vampire and his captive.

The Mamluke feels the presence of the Master and his eyes widen with expectation, he can hear quite clearly a large object crossing the sky even if he can't see it but doesn't look up, not wishing to betray the exact location of his owner. Once Drakth reveals himself a top of those buildings the desert warrior tenses slightly and relaxes, getting ready in case it turns to violence. "Take heart Mistress, the Master is here." The assassin attempts to wake Katherine up as she keeps slipping in and out of consciousness. He eyes Mordecai and the defensive stance the Anubis guard take, a phalanx, he notes good thing he's on the back where he can take out their leader…but only if he had his weapons and they are on the back! "Stay close to us Anglia." The assassin manages to say when the fairy girl starts to inspect the Mistress to see if she's alright. By himself he could have a fair chance of escape, but having the two women chained to him could prove problematic.

Blinking her eyes open at the feel of her husband's presence, Katherine eases her head to one side to look for him. Seeing little at first, then spying him and smiling. "About time…" she murmurs low enough that only Luke and Ang might here.

Anglia gasps softly as she sees the Master land on the roof. She nods softly when Mamluke instructs her to stay close. When she feels Katherine stir, she gently caresses her Mistresses head, pushing the hair aside for her Mistresses comfort. She smiles softly and speaks to Katherine, her voice soft enough to just be heard by Mamluke and Katherine. "Soon, Mistress… soon you shall be healthy again…" The girl seems relieved that everything will be over soon.

The state of his Wife, and Anglia send a shiver through his body. But not one of fear, lips turn up and bare four blade-like fangs to the Wolf. "I should rend her before your eyes, for touching my property." Without stopping, he opens his wings and displays Minu to them all. On the edge of the roof, and her hands bound by hair. "Do you wish to go back to Horus?" Golden eyes peer down at the Elf, and then move to those that are His. Growling deep in his chest, "Skycleaver.." The silver serrated broadsword on his hip is slowly drawn from its scabbard. Pointing the dip down towards Hell. Then, baleful eyes turn on The Mamluke. Slitted pupils glowing a hateful red in the night. No words are needed.

The little elfling shivers as she crouches there on the edge of the roof. The fingers of her bound hands curled over trying to clutch the tile so that she does not slip. With out the shield of those wings she can see everyone and everyone can see her. The tattered remnants of cloth barely protecting her modesty and her battered appearance making it clear the girl has been through a bit. She looks up at the Warlord and her golden eyes are huge . His question answered with a nod and a small "yes…"

Mordecai simply folds his arms over his chest and lofts a brow upwards. "Uh-huh…" he says, looking southward to where Eian is. His eyes scan over the prisoners, then his guards, then Ichtaca up above, then back to Drakth. When Minu is displayed he strokes his chin thoughtfully, eyes squinting as though trying to make out the elf-girl's features. "And how do we know that's her and not some random person you snatched up?" Mordecai asks.

At this point Eian begins to approach from behind the group, still carrying all the personal affects of the trio, making sure to keep a wide berth from Mamluke so he doesn't try anything funny, then stops just south of Mordecai's position. "That is her, Mister Mordecai, I can see and smell her from here!" he says in a hurried whisper. Mordecai gives Eian an irritated look then bops him on the head lightly, "Shh. Let the adults talk." Mordecai then looks toward the winged vampire and extends his hand outward, gesturing Drakth to come down from his position. "Alright, come on down here and give us the girl."

Finally seeming to notice Anglia's hand, Katherine frowns. In the most commanding tone she can muster she commands the girl, "Stop that." It does none of them any good for her butterfly to wear herself out. Though she greatly desires to ask just how it is that the girl came to be in such a state. From her position she can only just make out Minu, sighing at that state of the little shape changer.

From under his mask, the Mamluke grimaces feeling those red eyes scan first the Mistress and Anglia and then land on him. He knows that he messed up for allowing them all get captured, but there's only so much a human can do other than take on the entire Anubis temple by himself….though he would if ordered too being blindly loyal as he is. He averts his own gaze however, not making it look like he was challenging his Master and willing to take the blame, for such is the life of warrior slave, mamluke. Dark eyes stare at Eian as he ambles about and he stares hungrily at his weapons, fingers drumming on Katherine's body wanting to grasp the hilt of his blade to let these dogs taste Damascus steel, but so close and so far. Another grimace when Anglia tries to help and the Mistress chides her away, his eyes closing in slight despair…this isn't the time to be arguing.

The snake licks the air, and the hiss coming from him is indication that he does think this is Minu, especially as that hiss rises up when Drakth mentions rending the elfling. The snake keeps his gaze fixed on Drakth and Minu, ignoring the captives securely kept by the anubians. The drawing of the silver sword prompting only more baring of fangs from him. His glowing eyes narrow into small slits, casting small beams of light.

Skycleaver is held like an extension of his Self, and his red eyes turn back to Mordecai. "Return their property, and they shall go to Nox. Then, I will let her go." Without hesitation, he leans down, and growls into Minu's ear. Staring over his favored enemy: The Serpent. Blade held at next to Minu, and serrated silver standing taller than she is. Germanic tones lash out like a whip, standing again. "There is no negotiation. She is yours to take—when they are gone from my sight. What is your name, Wolf?" Red slitted pupils stare down at Mordecai, breathing the air through his nose and becoming more excited at the scent of His Own.

Anglia trembles slightly as she feels the Master's gaze run over her. She bows her head, making her hair cover her shoulders even more. She obediently pulls back her hand, sighing softly. "I..I'm sorry, M..Mistress.." She folds her hands, holding them in front of her in a fashion befitting of a maidservant. She looks around for a bit then before looking up at the Master. She peeks between Mordecai and the Master, hoping everything shall go smoothly.

Minu cringes as the winged vampire leans down and growls. Her eyes closing tight and a tiny little whimper spilling from her. She tries to make herself smaller and in the doing peeks out and looks up and spots the hissing winged serpent. The girl looks for a moment slightly hopeful when she hears she might soon be free of the warlord and all that entails.

The leader of the group lifts his chin upward in an exaggerated blink, then looks to the other guards around him. There's a little bit of snickering and chuckling going on behind the stoic faces, but Mordecai is simply shaking his head and smiling. "What is this? Do you think I was born yesterday? C'mon now, we're not going to arm the prisoners. But! What we can do is this. If you," he says, pointing with both fingers toward Drakth, "Fly down here…" And he makes a fluttering motion with his hands, "And place Minu on the ground, -then- we'll start talking about trading. It ain't a negotiation, just like you said, but it is a prisoner swap. C'mon, it's not like we're going to try and take -you- captive. You'd be too much of a burden on us, just like these three—" He pauses, looking over to Anglia, then back to Drakth, "These two." Anglia's excluded from the group it seems.

Mordecai turns over to Eian, muttering something in his ear, then gestures toward the portal. At this point the wolf answers the winged one's question. "The name's Joe. Just call me Joe."

Ichtaca lets out a deep his, lightning cackling in his jaws. Seems he's not too trusting of the Vampire demands. And why not? Why trust kidnappers to stick to their words? Joe / Mordecai's counter proposal does not seem to draw any ire of the serpent. The opposite, he seems to agree with the Anubian's words. Gotta buy him a beer when all this is over. His coils move and spiral around him impatiently, eager for this to end.

Eyes turn to Anglia, and he growls audibly. "Yes, she looks like rape." Then, the silver serrated blade and Minu are fisted. Drakth leaps from the rooftop, uncaring of the stones that uplift while his heavy form slams into the Earth. The girl is now held by the back of her neck. Sword at the ready, and his eyes dare. "Joe." He begins to walk forward, to get as close as he can. "You can unshackle my property, and wife now." Then, the serrated teeth of Skycleaver is held to Minu's throat. The sword's width almost greater than her neck.

The Mamluke exhales sharply as negotiations start to get complicated, neither side willing to back down and the Anubian's leader childish humor not helping the situation any, at this point making a run for it is starting to look mighty tempting, even if it means leaving his swords behind. The assassin also gives Mordecai a bored look as he excludes Anglia from them, more than likely in a 'hands off buddy' gesture. He would say something about how they will leave on their own accord but he doesn't wish to disturb the master's plans in anyway. A shiver runs through his spine, eyes widening as how the Master mentions Anglia's rape reminded him of what happened back at the temple. Now he's definitely killing someone before the night is over.

The elfling cries out as she roughly taken hold of again. The world drops out form under her as the winged one takes to the air. With her hands bound she can't even shift should he choose to drop her. The girl trembles and her hair whips about her face as those wings back beat then the pair settle to earth. The cold kiss of metal against her skin draws eyes to that dainty column and the marks already there.

Anglia nibbles her lower lip softly and wraps her arms around herself. She trembles softly, not from the memories of what happened, but for fear of what is about to happen. The tense atmosphere, all the negative feelings just pouring out of everyone makes it hard for the Fae to breathe. She hides that fact quite well though. She looks at Minu, feeling pity for the girl she never really met. She sends one of her butterflies, the smallest one, to flutter over to the girl without being noticed. The butterfly would land somewhere where Minu could see it, trying to cheer her up, even if it's just a little.

Eian begins to move away from the group as Dratkh approaches, giving him a wide berth to the point he actually has to weave behind a few guards. Point of interest; the guards begin to step toward Drakth as he approaches their leader, restricting the amount of free space he's given. Eian makes a hop into the portal, with all their belongings, and disappears from sight. Mordecai re-folds his arms as the two blade-dressed wolves step forward and begin to growl aloud. They might not seem very threatening, even with their armament, but they could probably slice up someone's legs with just a few pounces. Mordecai's jaw shifts back and forth while he gazes at the blade now fixed against Minu. "The pup is taking your 'properties' belongs to Nox. He'll return with a sample of dirt to verify he's been there. At that point, we'll let your 'property' go, but your wife stays put until you place Minu in my arms. Otherwise we'll let Snake-Eyes up there go crazy and we can all suffer horrible and miserable death. Some of us, anyway," he says, rolling his eyes. "But seriously, stop being such a hardass and do the trade. Ain't no shame or disgrace in doing it. We're at the market here for a reason. It's where we do business," he says.

The snake drifts down when the Warlord lands, touching down between them and the gate temple, right by the latter’s entrance, coils moving out of the way to allow Eian through. Wings opened not unlike a cobra's hood. His form looking ready to strike. But he waits still. Seems that things may be moving forward, and that perhaps the exchange can occur without a hitch. Ichtaca does look like he could go crazy and could unleash a shitstorm at a moment's notice. Everyone would die! Yay! No… wait… Dying bad.

The Mamluke tenses some more, leaving without the Mistress?? Absolutely unacceptable! Why would Drakth possibly want him and Anglia back without Katherine?? Whilst Anglia is busy cheering Minu on and Mordecai and Drakth talk 'business'. Surely there's a way to get out of here that can involve stealth, and the slave starts to look around, subtlety though as he is not one to lose his cool.

The Warlord folds his wings over his body, and leaves Minu upon the ground. There are no other words, but his blade is kept free. Walking forwards towards the little chain-gang, The Blodtwulf has eyes for his woman. Drawing serrated silver down his forearm and letting his horrid blood taint the Earth. The scent is stronger than it should be, putrid and sweet. To feed his Wife in silence.

Minu lifts her eyes as the tiny butterfly comes fluttering close to her. She looks around with wild eyes as she flees the tension in the air and she hears the great serpent. When the blade leaves her throat and the winged one steps away from her she crumples her bare knees hitting the ground. Its only a moment before she tries to wobbly push herself to her feet and seek some escape while the warlord is other wise focused else where.

About the time Minu is left on the ground, Eian emerges from the portal with considerably less baggage. With one fist clench he uses his other hand to gently tap Ichtaca to give him space to get out. "Um, excuse me, Ichy," he says. And once he's let out he's able to spot Minu on the ground. He does not rush over to her or do anything that might cause Mordecai to glare at him. When Drakth begins to head toward the prisoners, Mordecai swings his arm up in the air in a circle, using his other hand to emit a quick whistle. All the guards surrounding the prisoners and the marketplace quickly rush toward Mordecai, making sure to give the prisoners and winged one a bit of distance, and form a schiltron around Minu, Mordecai, and the approaching Eian. "Feel free to keep the chains and shackles and souvenirs," Mordecai says to Drakth, giving a little bob of his head.

With Minu dropped and Eian return, Ichtaca leaves Minu, closing his wings and approaching towards her, to move his great bulk between her and her captors. The slithering requiring him to push a few Anubians aside. Sorry, big load coming through!

There it is, freedom at last, or rather back to the shackles of Drakth's family, but relatively speaking it's a lot better than being in that dreaded Anubis temple. When the deal is done, the Mamluke moves forward immediately with Katherine in arms heading for Drakth and the source of blood hoping the Mistress awakens from the smell. He motions for Anglia to follow him to with his head.

The little elf had just rose to her feet and was looking to escape when the Anubians surround her. She blinks and frowns feeling captured once more. Out of the fry pan and into the fryer. She struggles with her bonds and makes a little hiss as she feels them to close after all she has been through. She leans her head down and tries to gather what ever power she has something she has learned since being away. She clears her throat and she tries to breath a word onto that hair binding her wrists. The tone and words sound distinctly ancient possibly Sumerian.

Anglia obediently follows Mamluke, but hesitates for a moment. She peeks at Minu and the crowd protecting her. She nibbles her lower lip nervously and peeks up at the Master, silently, without words, asking for permission for that what she lives to do.

The Warlord eyes his wife, as unconscious lips sip up his dark blood. Color begins to fill her almost instantly, but she needs to sleep. The Vampire then looks to Anglia, feeling her eyes. "Later." Then, he just growls. Taking the mother of his son to his arms, and staring at Mamluke. Before walking past them, and towards the portal. Not needing to look behind him.

Eian is getting buffeted around by the guards and snake moving past him. The poor coyote might be able to enter one side of the schiltron, but at that point he's just lost in the sea of legs, spears, and shields. It isn't the most comfortable place to be in! Several of the guards mumble and gripe about having the large serpent break formation in order to access Minu, but they do nothing to impede Ichtaca. Not like they really could, anyway! Mordecai keeps the guards in position as the four hostile people make their way to the portal. It seems he's going to uphold his end of the bargain about not chasing or trying to capture them. Fair is fair. Once the group is gone through the portal, the command to break formation is given, and Minu is left with a lot more breathing room, Ichtaca nearby, and Eian laying on his side from all the confusion and movement.

The Mamluke hands the Mistress to her rightful arms of her husband and he exhales completing his mission of returning her safely to him. The assassin looks up when Drakth stares at him so coldly, but this time he doesn't aver his gaze and looks straight at those burning coals of his as if to let him know that he accepts his judgment. Once he turns to the portal ordering Anglia to hold off on the healing he moves close to the fairy girl and looks down at her, she'll recognize that look he is giving her, he is smiling. "Let us go." He says and holds Anglia's hand to lead her back to the portal following their owners.

Ichtaca stops with his head near the little elf. That big crested head looks at her, glowing eyes fixed on her, his lips almost curved into a smile. The snake tries something he's not done in a long while, pushing a thought into the mind of the scared, bruised and battered little elf. The brave Anubian soldiers for now go ignored. Their help will be acknowledged later.

Anglia sighs softly as she isn't allowed to do what she wished to. She smiles weakly to her beloved as he grasps her hand and she follows him without resisting. She glances over her shoulder once, right before she goes through the portal and gives a small wave, to Eian, the kind guy she became friends with and to Minu, the girl she wanted to help, but was not yet allowed to. Then she turns back and steps through the portal with her beloved

Minu is for a moment lost to the feeling of being trapped again. She will not be contained ,she will not be held one more second . The guttural Sumerian issues from her lips breathed onto the hair binding her wrists "Flames" (for those of you who know Sumerian) The hairs burst into flames and though her skin is scorched too she reacts only by jerkin her wrists apart. The effort and energy it took for her to call the fire, her meager magic still unskilled drains the little elf and she sways, finally looking up and seeing Ichtaca her eyes roll back in her head and she crumples to the ground.

The snake's body shimmers and with a flash of light he turns back to his human form. He crouches down and lifts her in his arms, like a big elven baby. Kinda. He whispers to her "We'll be there soon." He looks up to the Anubians and adds "I'll take her to her temple. It's best she wakes in her own home." He explains to Mordecai. "Thanks for your help. You are a more… level-headed negotiator I would have been."

At this point the guards begin to disperse, heading back to the Temple now that the ordeal is over. Mordecai, Eian, Ichtaca, and Minu are all that remain. Some of the shop keepers and denizens appear from the tavern, looking around curiously to see all that has transpired. Mordecai gives Eian a little nudge with his foot, gesturing for the coyote to get up. "We did our part, pup. Now do yours and take care of her." He turns to Ichtaca, "No problem. Ammon would have thrown fireballs and ripped the place to town. Glad he sent me, even though it's a pain." The man eyes Minu, noticing that she's thoroughly passed out, then gives a little shrug. "Hope she fares for the better." And with that he leaves.

Eian, now on his feet and dusted off, releases the fistful of sand and dusts his palm off on his thigh. "Is she okay?" he asks. And then he's able to see the level of damage done to her and smell the nasty scent of burned hair. "Nnf… no, she isn't. But—" He hears the offer to take Minu up to her temple and tilts his head back and forth. "I think… I think that is a good idea. You are faster than I would be climbing the mountain. I will go get some things for her later… once she has recovered."

Minu is limp in Itchaca's arms. The poor little elfling a mess to be sure. Its clear the girl has been vampire chow and heavens knows what else. She makes a little incoherent whimper as Ichtaca speaks to her and then Eian’s voice filters through her troubled mind.

Ichtaca smiles at Eian. "If you want to be good to her, make sure she has a big, warm meal when she wakes up. Something easy to digest like soup. I doubt Drakth was too generous with food or water. Beside that… we have to give her time and see how well she is." He says sadly, looking down at the exhausted little Elf. "She'll need time to recover. Lots of it." He glances to Mordecai "A part of me wishes he had burned him down, but then again, your skills did get Minu back, and that's what counts." He says, before he begins setting north to the Horus temple. "Better not waste time."

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