Blood Stone

JP between Omni, Jaxx, Lucian, Bandorchu, Winteroak

Timestamp: Sentinel island day 4

“A mhic an damnaidh!”
Alexis cursed, already moving to where they came from.

“You gotta be kidding me! Nicolaus, stay with Hunter. Both of you, give us a sign when something goes down here. Tarmen, Voah, help me find him!”

After laying on the ground, Hunter did his best to focus on his breathing to lower blood pressure. This way he could remain calm and slow down the bleeding. At this point his mind was clouded by many emotions such as pain, confusion, fatigue, dizziness and doubt. He was questioned his past training which demanded no friendships as well as the behavior of the others who saved him with nothing to gain. On top of that they went to rescue Till the sailor who disappeared on them. He could see the scholarly doctor named Nicolas from the corner of his eye and began to wonder how life got so complicated.

Getting Hunter back was one thing, he had been there when he got hit and knew where he was. With the vanishing of Till, Tarmen felt no real reason to try and find the sailor other than wanting a quick death from the natives.

“Hold on, wait! Given what just happened to Hunter, the last thing we need is to start runnin’ around everywhere. Who knows how many traps there are; maybe someone found a bit of blood that shouldn’t be there. We can’t just go chargin’ into the trees whenever someone wanders off.”

He looked to Alexis.

“I know you got your code, but this place is hostile and we know piss all about it,” Tarmen pointed to the injured assassin as if it proved his point, "If the sailor is gone, then I wish he meets Zin on good terms, but there is no sense puttin’ our necks on the line when everyone here is lookin’ for the perfect time to kill us.”

As much as Voah agreed with Tarmen, she wanted to find Till. She was ready to follow Alexis into the jungle to look for one of her lucky stars.

She spoke quietly, “I think it very unlikely for him to have wandered off alone and gotten lost. The poor man has been nervously hovering near me since we arrived on this island. I fear that if he is not nearby taking a moment to relieve himself… that he has either been taken captive or killed silently right under our very noses. May I suggest we compromise? Retrace our steps along our path? Not far mind you… just search locally for him. Perhaps keep some space between us… never enough to lose sight of one another. I have spoken my mind on the matter but, Alexis, you are in charge. I will go along with your decision.” It was strange. One minute the sailor was there, the next, he was gone.

Alexis took a deep breath.

“You are right. I shall at least make sure my code kills only myself. You are in charge, Tarmen. See the mission through if I don’t return.”

She then smiled at Voah.

“Thank you, Voah. I shall do just that. I… have to at least try. Please stay here. I don’t want to risk you for my foolishness.”

She drew her sword and cautiously went to silently retrace their steps at least a bit, her movement giving away that she was actually quite capable of stealth herself.

Voah kept her eye on Alexis as she stepped back into the jungle. She did not mean for the woman to do this alone, especially after her words of conviction on the ship.

Alexis jumped back into the jungle searching for any signs of the missing sailor. Wind whistled through the trees and Alexis had a feeling that something was watching them. Nothing was near however that she could tell. She thought she could hear a voice calling from a distance. Not long after, Alexis noticed some of the stone carvings they saw earlier covered with splatters of blood. It appeared to lead towards the south of her position.

"Tarmen, she's going out of sight. Shall I follow closely behind her?" Voah waited just a moment for a response.

Tarmen gave the Arbiter a frustrated sigh, “Better hurry before she gets herself killed.”

Alexis followed the trail of blood the best she could. It became apparent it was not Hunter's. The blood was fresh. Although not used to jungle environments, she had good tracking skills and not long after she came across a small clearing, no more than 5 footsteps across. In the middle of the clearing stood a large black rock. She observed it from hiding.

Despite her orders, Voah headed behind Alexis, swiftly at first to close the distance between them, then slowly and quietly always maintaining eyesight.

The soldier however quickly realized she was being followed and allowed Voah to catch up to her. Now was not the time to be obstinate about orders and rules.
As the Arbiter joined Alexis near the edge of the small clearing she could clearly sense the wisps of magik in the air at the base of her skull and in her teeth. Foul magik.

This screamed ‘trap’ so loud that Alexis could almost physically hear it. But in the end, she needed to know. She took some time to reach out with all of her senses so she at least did not march into it completely blind.

She signaled to the Arbiter to keep hidden, hoping that at least she might get out when things inevitably went south.

Voah nodded, waiting for Alexis to make a move. Witch's Bane seemed to hum from beneath its sheath so she slid it out and stood waiting vigilantly.

Taking a deep breath, Alexis started to cautiously approach the stone. A few steps into the clearing she could tell why the stone appeared to be dark. She smelled it even before she saw it. The inside of the stone looked like it was carved out, leaving a hollow at its centre. Looking down she Alexis could now tell it was full of blood. Dark brown blood.

Voah could sense from the soldier's body language that what she saw was not good and a lump began to form in her throat.

“By the five…” Alexis whispered as she stepped back from the accursed sight.

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