The young lady Jezebel Cousland stood there gazing into the mabari pen as the young puppies tousled with each other. They looked like little more than balls of fur with stubby legs and teeth. One stopped and looked at her just as something caught her eye; she looked away and spied the promising young knight-to-be pushing a wheelbarrow loaded with training equipment from the fight pit to the shed. She grinned back at the roughhousing puppies and then skipped over to the boy.

She caught up to the lad, and with a voice that naturally dripped seduction she said, “Afternoon Ser Gilmore,” as she pulled a wooden dagger from the pile.

He scowled at her, “I’m hardly a knight yet milady,” they’d had a long history and he eyed her suspiciously as he tried to maneuver the barrow clear of her, but she managed to grab a wooden sword as well, “please put them back, I’ve already been training for hours and…”

He didn’t get to finish, as she kicked the barrow over full of giggles and lightning in her eyes. He sighed heavily as he righted the barrow and moved to pick up the tools. No sooner had he grabbed a shield that she leapt over the barrow and slashed at him with the sword. He absently deflected the blow and staggered back as he quickly fastened the shield into place; he’d just spent the morning in practice, and the tool felt like lead, but obviously she didn’t care, and neither would his instructor. He fell into the guard stance, weaponless but not witless; she seemed to dream up ways to torment her secret-lover at the worst times. She fell into her own guard, keeping him separated from the rest of the scattered training equipment.

They faced off. He slowly circled, picking through the tools while keeping his eyes on her. She feinted, he shucked; then he feinted, she swung the sword and quickly followed with a dagger jab, before falling back to the pile. She had a gorgeous smile that cut warm and fuzzy barbs at him, which made him chuckle as he tried to maneuver himself to get a sword from the mess. Then she launched a vicious attack at him, only to dance lightly away in her delicate slippers when he moved to counterattack with the shield.

She struck an exaggerated pose, both enticing and mocking. He knowingly took the bait, relying on his strength and shield skill, he moved in. Rushing with the shield forward, he barely managed to fend off the relentless staccato as he dove over the mess of fake weapons, rolling away with a sword in hand. He sighed with relief, and fell into a full guard.

She was standing there unguarded pointing her dagger at him, “you cheated.”

Taken aback, his guard loosened as he tried to work out what she was talking about, “WHAT???” Then something slammed into the back of his knee, and he crumpled to the ground. He tried to roll over and regain his feet but threw his arms up just in time to catch a toothy slobbery menace snarling at him. His back slammed into the ground again of his own accord, “by the maker,” he blurted in utter shock as he realized he was now wrestling with fifty pounds of juvenile wardog, “git it off me, git it off me”, he started to panic as the head jerked against his grasp, making the puppy face draconian in appearance.

Gilmore saw someone step up, and began to hope, until he heard the shadow lilting joyously, “get’m get’m,” as the evil doll ruthlessly poked at his ribs with her sword.

“I GIVE, I GIVE!!!” he screamed, with wild eyes.

Suddenly the monster yelped as weight was ripped off his chest, “Maker’s breathe lad, are you alright?”

Gilmore gasped in relief, and looked over at his hero. The burly and heavily scarred kennel master was straddling the pup – could the beast really be called a pup – with the choker synched up just enough to allow labored breathing. He nodded as he staggered to his feet, “I think so, but Andraste’s knickers, what happened,” he blurted with a forced chuckle.

“Our little friend here crashed the fence, boy; yer lucky I was nearby, the miss here was wasn’t helping matters by winding him up...”

“GOOD SER!!!” Gilmore barked indignantly and nodded towards Jezebel, who was looking off into the sky with the air of complete innocence, giggles barely contained, and the wooden weapons held behind her in a lame attempt to hide her crime.

“My apologies milady,” the kennel master began, “I didn’t realize…”

She couldn’t hold it any longer; she snorted her laughter at the total absurdity of the situation. Then she dropped the weapons and ran away, still trying to contain her amusement.

The two men were left looking at each other, befuddled at the whole turn of events. Then the mabari pup drew their attention with his whining and huffing as he tried to follow the escaping lady. The kennel master let out a loud barking string of expletives as he realized he’d just lost a pure bred wardog to a pampered girl of nobility. Shadizar666 (Ruck Rules) 06:14, March 8, 2013 (UTC)

Gilmore looked up, a grimace on his pretty face; the battle howl of the Lady’s beast carried on the air. He looked to his instructor, who reluctantly nodded his assent. It’d become an unscheduled routine, he’d become that monster’s training dummy, but the turn of events had helped to change his standing among the other squires; what had only been rumored was now a fact, he was on the fast track to knighthood. He bowed to his sparring partner and hopped the fence; thankfully this time, he didn’t have to scramble to get armored up; then he prepared himself for the coming fight.

A door in the distance slammed open, there was a shriek and a crash; he pitied the poor kitchen staffer who was just taken by surprise. More crashes as the monster gently brushed past delicate shelving. He tried to mentally plot his foe’s course, but the location echoed horribly. Standing in the middle of the soldier’s common area, his head turned constantly as he tried to zero in on the route the now full grown mabari, Lady Jezebel had affectionately named Teddy Bear, was taking.

He fell into a full guard as the noise got closer; his head snapped over as he caught sight of the beast skidding around a corner, regain traction and come barreling at him with a full head of stream, tongue and slobber flopping around ridiculously. He braced for impact.

One last quick look around assured him of total surprise, so he focused on the monster just as it slammed it’s full two hundred pounds into the him. Gilmore staggered back a few paces, but managed to hold his vertical. He swung a counterattack, but the dog was gone. He swung around just in time to see a cavern of teeth leaping at him, and lifted his shield in reflex; there was a yelp, and he tried to capitalize, but the dog danced away.

Glimore tried to assess the situation, but just then the beast let out a string of menacing barks from the very depths of hell it seemed. He dropped his shield protectively; then intuitively he snapped his sword straight behind him. There was a squeal as something clattered at his sword; then a thump on the dirt and a leathered body rolled away.

Lady Jezebel danced to her feet before Gilmore could counter; and she quickly fell into her two bladed mocking guard. Her eyes nearly entranced him, but he instinctively jabbed his shield at the massive head, then swung his sword wildly at the woman again, missing both. He tried to hold his guard, but the beast creeped aggressively away from it’s mistress. He shot a quick look at the Lady, but the dog snarled and feinted.

Silence filled the area, as the combatants gauged each other. The soft tock of the Jezebel’s tongue was explosive in the still air; the resultant growl with rending intent sent all three into a tizzy of blows. The wardog’s carefully mastered breeding was proof in the manner it manipulated the fight to his mistress’ advantage, almost as though he read her mind and acted accordingly; not that the Lady wasn’t without her own merits, as she rolled and danced around the slobbering meat wall. The dog would lead, and she would strike; then she would lead, and the dog would strike. The two of them were wearing the squire down; but it soon became obvious that the effort was taxing on the slight woman too, the antics were exhausting her.

Just then she muttered, “bear”, and danced away from the mix up. She paced a bit while the mabari took over the fight. After wiping sweat from her brow, stretched a yawn out and took in her surroundings, then grinned playfully as she scampered up a stack of barrels.

Gilmore got a lucky strike in which disoriented the brute; capitalizing, he slammed his shield into the boulder posing as a head. As the monster collapsed on his backside, stunned, Gilmore noticed a shadow out of place; instinctively he raised the shield overhead and turned as he took the sudden weight and threw her aside.

She landed haphazardly sprawled across the ground. Then her lungs began to work with a ragged gasp and she shrieked, “TEDDY BEAR!!!” as she tucked into a prone cover.

Gilmore almost had her dead to rights when the monster slammed into his back. He stumbled forward and tripped over the woman; after managing to catch himself, he spun to face a still dazed mabari. Just as he slapped the beast’s neck, he heard the kennel master’s voice bellow, “TAG” and it finally collapsed. But the fight wasn’t over, Teddy Bear was still standing when Jezebel did a rolling leap over him, aiming her sword for an over shield stab; he lifted the shield just in time, barely noticed the dagger uppercut and leaned back.

Already hyper-extended, she kicked her still raised leg and spun in a last ditch attempt at victory. Her absurd overexposure in the move would give her mentor an apoplectic seizure, but her wild backhand slice was rewarded with a solid THUNK of sword on mailed chest.

Gilmore staggered back a few paces confused, “what the hell was that???” he blurted, his weapons spread in defeat.

Jezebel’s bosom heaved sweaty exhaustion, she managed to lift her sword long enough to point at him and gasp, “A win,” and then she staggered over to him and planted a tired kiss on him and whispered in his ear, “congratulations, Ser Gilmore, knight of Highever.”

With a wink she strode off, “You did good Teddy Bear, let’s go see the master, hm?” The beast staggered to his feet and shuffled after her to get his head patched up [1]. Shadizar666 (Ruck Rules) 23:48, March 10, 2013 (UTC)

The top of the tower was finally at hand, the party took a quick look around to find the signal fire, when a monstrosity stood up and bellowed it’s battle cry at them.

Jezebel unconsciously took a step back, “Maker’s breathe, what is THAT???” She knocked an arrow, and the stretch of the bow string launched her mabari at the giant with selfless abandon.

It was a grizzly fight. Alistair and Teddy Bear were taking a beating; and the mage didn’t seem to have an effect on the monster.

She grabbed a handful of dirt and ran forward. Teddy Bear drew the beast’s attention, and she threw the dirt at it’s face. As it pawed at it’s eyes she ran away again. Shocked at her own boldness she stood there dazed, “ok, now what.”

Heavy stomps brought her attention back to the fight. She spun around knocking an arrow as the monster let out a death cry. It fell as Teddy Bear was chewing on a massive groin, gouts of black blood washed over him as he continued to rip and tear at the creature that had the nerve to attack his mistress.

She gasped a sigh of relief and loosed the arrow for good measure, “Andraste’s knickers, tell me it’s dead.” She muttered as she drew another arrow just in case.

Alistair shuffled forward and kicked the head the size of a whole mabari, “I think so, oh Maker, I hope so.”

“Well then,” she took a deep breath and secured her bow, “we have a signal to light.” Shadizar666 (Ruck Rules) 23:48, March 10, 2013 (UTC)