it was just after dark, the nearby streets nearly vacant. After what happened the previous night, none could be blamed. It was a warm night, the light breeze blew over his shirtless chest and back. It was just the leggings tonight.. and a fresh set of bracers to replace those recently lost.
The stench hit him when still a block away, and he was upwind.
As he neared where the bodies, or rather what was left of them was found the scents were nearly overwhelming. Three of the watch it was said were attacked here, and a fourth body was found as well. Breathing slowly, his mouth slightly open, he crouched low and moved across the ground still darkened from all the spilt blood. A cacophony of smells washed over him and he nearly gagged at the stench.
The reek of death was all over, and not from the bodies torn asunder left behind. It was the kind of smell left by the undead.
Slowly he moved about as he breathed steadily, drawing in the occasional deeper breath. His eyes were nearly closed, letting the smells guide him about the patch of ground as he picked out one scent after another. Most were mentally tossed aside. Too weak to have been here at the time, the various un-deads were all so similar there was no way to know where one left off and another began. And three... the watch. As he moved out from the center of it all he found from which direction they had come, and then from nearly the opposite way the fourth... along with a fifth.
This fifth one tickled the back of his mind. There was something familiar about it... but he could not place it. Yet.
Circling about some more, this was the one to focus on, to find again. To follow.
Then the shout. "Demon!" His ears twitched as he glanced up, the dim moon-light no doubt shining in those feline eyes of his. "It's a demon! back to git more of us!"
His gaze had fallen on a pair of silhouettes coming out of a tavern just up the block. He nearly paused to look over his shoulder at the shouts of the one when he realized they were drunk, and they were speaking of him. The sound of steel being drawn reached him as a handful of other bodies spilled from the lit archway of the tavern door.
This must be a joke, flashed through his mind, with all the creatures about here and as long as I have ... that thought remained unfinished as the small mob started closing in on him amid a number of grumbles and shouts. "Leave me be.." he said coolly, sternly, even as the fur along his shoulders started to bristle. "I am just.." Another thought unfinished as one of them shouted over the others. ".. enough of your kind! If the Watch won't do something we will!"
He started stepping back, slowly, as they came up on him. "I am no threat to you.. I am just.. "
"Demon lies! Get 'im!" came another shout and he just had time to step to the side as a sword cut through the air where he had just been. Not drunk enough, but not sober either they group started trying to circle and his own naivet? in thinking he could talk his way out of this gave them the opening to hinder his just walking away at this point.
"Fine..." he snarled out... "if that be how it isssss ..." A pivot on one foot and the other his kicked out behind him. His ears fell nearly flat to his head, his tail curling close to his body, he fought the urge to let the claws out as the one behind him was kicked in the chest. He didn't need to look to find his mark, and he immediately brought the same foot to the front of him with a snap kick that nearly knocked another back. A twist to the right as a sword was swung high, then a drop to a knee as one from the other side closed in as well.
The right arm flung out, a back-handed smash to the side of a knee and that one was down. Push off with the left foot to roll after the one he just grounded, coming up in a crouch he was able to bring that left arm back up in time to bat away an incoming blade. The leather bracers lined with the steel spikes took the brunt, but as he was coming back to his feet at the same time the tip of the blade skidded off the leather and grazed across the back of his fore-arm drawing a line nearly to the elbow. The fresh, copper tainted scent filled his nostrils as he gained his feet he put his weight to the left foot and turned as he brought that right knee up and into the side of the ribs of the one that had cut him. The drunks mid-section had been left wide open from the deflected strike and he could hear ribs giving way even as the leg straighted connecting his foot with jaw of the next in line.
It was an effective, but slow and clumsy move that left his back wide open... and sure enough by the time the right foot was back on the ground another blade was swung at him from behind. He turned to face the movement, the wrong thing to do as the blade connected with his arm just below the shoulder. Or maybe it saved him, if he hadn't been moving to stand upright again that blade could have bitten his neck instead of just his arm.
He snaked his left arm up and around that of his attacker, the blade now pinned against his back as he lifted and took a step back, causing the other to be pulled to his tip-toes and led along like a dog by a lead. He brought his right forearm up and slammed it across the bridge of his 'attackers' nose. Hearing another crack he released his grip on the arm and the body slumped to the ground clutching at his face.
Those not laid out in pain had scattered, and with a snarl mixed of disgust, anger and irritation he turned and made his way back to the Dragon.
((this posting is related to the events in Murderous Monday