It hadn't taken long to fall into the easy rythm of the seasons in the fae realm. Spring had just begun when Catherine and Tyrus had arrived, with it's warm days and cool nights. Now midsummer was just around the corner and preparations for midsummer and solstice had begun. The farm was no exception, as there were still livestock and crops that would see them through the upcoming winter to tend to.
The nearby village was no different, as their own preparations were made for revelry. Merchants in their stalls lined the streets of the market, calling out their wares hoping to entice those passing by to stop and see.
Tyrus was thrilled to be here for a solstice festival. Especially one in which he only had to do private rites and not rites for an entire congregation. He had already done those at dawn and that meant a day enjoying a fae festival was just the thing. Light on the alcohol though. There was no avoiding it entirely, but he would drink it sparingly. The mage walked through the streets and took in the sights. It was good to have a day off.
The mage stuck near enough to Catherine, but he had met enough people to greet a few. He was pretty certain they viewed him as somewhere around the level of a pet. But hey, at least they acknowledged he existed.
Catherine meanwhile had said nothing about her own religious leanings when it came to the festival and it's surrounding rites. Throughout the entire time they had been there, while she had initially fought with Tyrus over some things, eventually she did choose work. After that, Catherine had worked harder than she ever had before, and said little to the other in the meantime.
A day off was welcome, but it still left the two together to wander the village in an uneasy truce.
Pausing at a merchant stall, Catherine took a moment to examine an item before asking the stall owner a bit more about it. The entirety of this conversation was conducted in fae, a language that it was quickly becoming obvious that she was more than just passingly fluent in.
Tyrus was dependent on translation charms for a good portion of things in this realm, but he could hold a simple conversation now. It didn't take long for the human to be sought out by the small handful of children there for the festival. Children were precious for their rarity. They also were all enchanted by the human mage and he was pretty certain the majority of that had to do with his nature as a human. He didn't mind playing with them though and he let the chattering children lead him by the hand to where they were playing.
The peace was not to last. He looked up, trying to spot Catherine, when he saw the armed riders. With an arabic oath, he gave a mental shout. 'Incoming Catherine. Unless you think those are friendlies.' He was loath to act first. It could be a fae tradition he didn't understand. It was better to reach out to his friend first. Or his student for now. He had a feeling friend was a stretch given how he had poked and prodded her thus far.
One of the advantages Catherine had in the fae realm was she blended in seamlessly. Tall and fair, with a natural inclination to move with a easy fluidity and grace common among fae. It hadn't taken long for Tyrus to loose her in the crowd because of this too.
"Fucking hell, those are Unseelie." Catherine swore, using a few more words that were not fit for public. 'Get everyone out of the market, now!' She said as she ran along the path through the market stalls. The attacks had become bolder and bolder in recent years, and it appeared that they had decided they could do the most damage during the solstice.
"Okay kids. Inside. Inside now." He ushered the children inside and into safety in a bakery, then cast a ward on the door to let him know if anyone will ill intent approached. He couldn't protect them perfectly, but he would help. It didn't take long for the adults to realize what was happening, though by that time the riders had already arrived. One with a torch set fire to the nearest building and he swore vividly. 'Please tell me there's back up.' At least they could still communicate this way.
Some of the men had joined the fight, Molly's family jumping in with weapons of solid magic. This was their town after all. He had no doubt they had done so before. Right now, he was concerned with the numbers.
'Back..up? Are you insane? These are border lands. It would take days.' And that was what the Unseelie had counted on, that backup would be limited to non-existent. It looked like the five riders were intent on razing the village, and claiming it for one of the closest Unseelie lords.
'There's only five.' He cast a second ward and raced towards the fight. Alex and Zander fell back taking position to protect the children and the bulk of the villagers holed up behind them. 'You and I can take five.' He so rarely got to cut loose. He'd have to be careful of the buildings, but other than that, it looked like noncombatants were seeking shelter entirely. Or running in the opposite direction he'd take that.
A twist of his hands and he pulled water out of the air to douse the building and the torches alike.
"Oi! Idiots, focus on me." If he had their attention, they'd be focused on him. And not on Catherine who he really hoped would take the opening he provided.
'For now.' Catherine knew that where the riders came from there were likely more. 'These may only be scouts.' At least that's what she hoped. She was not prepared at all for dealing with this sort of thing, and had struggled since her father's death with assuming his position. Many old line, and traditional fae didn't even begin to respect the idea of a female as their knight commander.
'Watch yourself... five can be a challenge.' At least she hoped it wasn't. They were currently in a world steeped in magic, tradition, and political upheaval. That alone would cause many to turn and run at the first sign of danger, but Catherine and Tyrus were compelled to run towards it as two powerful magic users.
While Tyrus distracted the riders, Catherine took a brief moment to center her thoughts as if she were about to take a dive into someone's mind, and quickly sent a blast of magic down range powerful enough to knock the riders from their horses.
With any luck the horses would run and the riders would be left in Seelie territory with no way to return.
They had focused on Tyrus and all but one had been knocked from their horses. Sans riders, four of the horses took off. The would have to be enough. The mage swore and focused on the one rider remained, sending out a blast of force. The fae rider blocked it with a shield that absorbed the spell and Tyrus' eyes narrowed.
Alright. They had some tools of magic at least. Given they were fae it wasn't surprising. The man hadn't had a chance to fight against anyone but the others on the farm. This would be a fun little exercise. 'Then we take care of any newcomers. There's four possible fighters. You and I are trained for this. It'll be fine.'
The four knocked down got back up and three of them took off towards Catherine. The rider and one of the downed unseelie came after Tyrus.
Despite Tyrus's assurances, Catherine wasn't entirely convinced or sure what he had meant when he said they'd trained for this. They had only been working at the magic for a scant few weeks, and even then she didn't exactly feel equipped for a fight. While Sir William had done his best to ensure she was capable, in some aspects he had still shielded her from the reality of what was going on at the border. When asked the response had always been that her assuming the role was a long way off, and neither had been able to predict what would happen.
'Fine for you maybe!' Catherine replied, trying to not have her attention divided. She already had three of the Unseelie hot on her heels, and angry. They hadn't expected to be met with any kind of resistance.
As the trio chased her through the market place, upending and destroying stalls, they did everything they could to keep her moving like a rabbit being chased by hounds. Thinking, she took hold of the magic again and murmered a quick incantation that turned the ground beneath one into quicksand. Catherine did however, remember that the goal wasn't to kill all of them. Instead she needed to have at least one left alive for questions; albeit in a very unorthodox fashion.
Last Edit: Aug 23, 2019 2:01:03 GMT by Circe: because words are hard
Tyrus didn't let the unseelie on him chase him anywhere. He held his ground and transfigured a nearby stone into a staff. This was going to be interesting. The staff promptly caught fire and he laughed as he brought it to bear, knocking the final rider off his horse and burning him as well. The one who had been on foot lunged for him and Tyrus knocked him back with the staff and chanted a spell releasing a bolt of electricity from one hand. That one was down for the count.
Of course, the rider still had the magic absorbing shield, but he had no doubt he could counter that as well. He was a battle mage after all. 'You're a warden and the daughter of the knight commander. You have the training for this and we will be fine. Don't hold back on them.' He had full confidence in her and her abilities.
'Are you daft, mage?! That is perhaps the worst idea you have had to date.. up there with what go us here.' Catherine replied tersely. He was keeping her attention divided, and even she knew that was dangerous enough on a normal day. Getting in fights where magic was heavily used wasn't something she had ever really had to try and survive. Fae tended towards enchanted objects and a limited selection of functional spells; few had the repetoire that Tyrus had, putting him at a distict advantage over the Unseelie scouts that preluded a larger raiding party.
Tyrus let a laugh burst forth as he ducked a hit from the rider and brought his staff up at just the right moment. The rider jerked with the blow and nearly fell off his horse. This one had a good seat then, and that move wasn't about to work. That was fine, he had other spells and techniques. This was so much more fun than training alone. He grinned as he dodged a blow from the rider, feeling it nick him. Oh the rider didn't actually want him bleeding.
Catherine found little about the situation amusing, especially as she dodged and traded blows with one of the remaining Unseelie with a sword she'd managed to snatch from another. She was clearly the more skilled one as she slowly worked them back into a corner of the market, pushing them hard up against the stone wall of a nearby building. "Maab's daughters don't send scouts ahead, they just raid. Who sent you?" Catherine asked the fae, still breathless from the skirmish and soaked with sweat from the heat. The borderlands with that faced the Unseelie were warm and dry in the summer with occasional rain, the perfect climate for growing much of either side's food stuffs. That was perhaps one of the reasons the region was so intensely contended over.