The Dead South

The arid, desert-like areas include Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas. The country of Mexico is also part of The Mesas.
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Hellfire Abe
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Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:20 pm

Musafir snorts his displeasure behind Abe as the Ifrit sights his carbine down the road. The plume of dust is easy to spot even without the benefit of the scope although the glass does magnify what is creating it. A stagecoach is making its way through a small mountainous pass. It was about a quarter mile out and unaware of the ambush that was about to set upon it. Waiting just past the edge of the rock line a group of bandits is doing their best to stay hidden.

The group was mostly composed of humans although their leader was a hulking brute of an orc who had to ride a draft horse because anything else would be crushed under his weight. They were known as the Greenskin Gang and their leader, known as Gargoth Greenskin, had a fairly hefty bounty on his head. Orcs were tough but not particularly smart, Gargoth being as close as an orc gets too smart by being cunning, so it hadn't been hard to figure out where to set up and wait once he knew the Orc's preferred hunting ground.

Dallas was only ten miles east of where there were now and this pass was, without doubt, the best place for an ambush. So Abe had settled in a few hours ago once he confirmed there'd be a stagecoach coming this way and like clockwork, the bandits showed up. If the Ifrit was a kinder soul he might have tried to take out the bandits before their robbery began but that would put him in not insignificant risk. So instead he would perform a counter-ambush. Snipping the bandits from afar while they dealt with the stagecoach guards.

The stagecoach pulls out of the pass and the bandits let it get past them before spurring out. The sound of gunshots can be heard even as far away as Abe is and he watches as the guards begin to drop. Almost half falling off their horses before they can rally anything like a resistance. Setting his scope just ahead of one of the human bandits Abe pulls the trigger. A second later the man jerks and falls to the ground although Abe doesn't see, he is already working the lever and lining up his next shot, expertly leading each target as the bandits drop almost as fast as the guards.
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Ravana Belladonna Deamonne
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Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:33 pm

Ravana had allowed herself to be convinced by others to take the stagecoach to Dallas rather than slip away from the last town on her own. Overall it had not been a bad journey, despite being hot and dusty. And these cursed shoes and petticoats! Blending in was not something she always enjoyed doing for days at a time. She longed for the freedom that her shadowed hooves gave her, for the wind flowing over her without clothing to interfere with the feeling. Even more so, the constant company of the small group travelling with the coach had grated on her. They were irritated and frustrated and one was downright terrified of everything. Only the terror did she like. And she hated herself for basking in the warmth of it.

They were not far from Dallas, and the area was ripe for trouble, so the coachman had whipped the horses into a run, hoping to blow through it so fast that nothing could happen to them. But such was not their luck today. As they came out of the pass, the sounds of gunfire began. Her heart rose into her throat, and the other woman travelling with them squealed in terror. One man demanded the coach to go faster, and the other cowered, almost slipping off of the seat as guards fell around them.

She leaned forward slightly, peering out the window and grimacing as she caught sight of Greenskin, his monstrous horse slower than most of the others but still pursuing after them at an angle that would lead them to meet eventually. Her curiosity, however, was her down fall as a few of the bandits made it through what was left of the guards. One rode right up by the window, and in the nature of going after what wealth others had, his hand reached out to snag the silver charm of her necklace.

Ravana yelped as the clasp broke on the back of her neck, and her necklace slipped away. But aside from reaching desperately to try and reach the man, there was little she could do to go after it with the coach going as fast as it was, jostling them all around. It was about then that the bandits seemed to realize that over half their own comrades had fallen to expert shots from...somewhere. Those more cowardly, like the one with her necklace, were already turning their mounts to flee.

Fury filled her. She would haunt his dreams for months until he died. There was almost nothing in this world she felt attached to. But the necklace wasn't simply of this world. It was the one thing she'd managed to keep of home, aside from a simple dagger that was hidden up on her leg. It was perhaps the one thing that the nightmare would actually go after a man for taking.
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Hellfire Abe
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Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:02 pm

The bandits begin to break as they realize that they were getting sniped. He wasn't really worried about them firing back at him. They were using pistols which was really the only thing you could use on horseback, at least, without a lot of practice. There small six irons had no hope of hitting him at range and they didn't even know where the shots were coming from. He watches as they break away and he tries to tag their leader, but Gargoth was showing his cunning.

He managed to get his boys to cluster around him, laying flat against his horse to provide as small a target as possible. Despite towering over them, his men remained seated upright so they provided a screen. Two more die before Abe has to reload and by the time he is finished they are well out of range. Well, that was a pain in the ass now he had to track them.

Coming to his feet he slides the carbine into the rifle holster on Musafir's saddle. A moment later he is up on the American Thoroughbred's back riding in the direction of the fleeing bandits and the approaching stagecoach. His intent was to ignore the latter in favor of chasing the former to finish them off.
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Ravana Belladonna Deamonne
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Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:43 am

The coach was slowing slightly, the horses already beginning to tire from their long run. The paranoid man let out a whimper and a refreshing wash of fear slid over Ravana's mind, even as the angry desperation of the man and the now relief stained fear of the woman slid over her as well. But such wasn't what she needed. The bandits were fleeing. There had been gunshots that had been felling them even as they took out the few guards the coach had. Perhaps by luck none of the bandits had decided to jump onto the coach and steal any of the luggage.

The young woman stared out the window as the coachmen pulled the horses into a slow trot. They'd been attacked once, it was less likely they'd be attacked again. At first, she had begun to resign herself to ride to Dallas and then come back out when night fell. But then she caught sight of the man on a horse racing at an angle down a hill and after the bandits. There was already somebody after them. Abruptly, she moved, much to the shock of the passengers with her, and opened up the coach. Unfortunately, her light blue dress would not remain clean with this.

Nimbly, Ravana leaped out of the coach, landing hard and jogging a few steps to keep herself from falling. She waved desperately at the rider, trying to flag him down, but she couldn't even tell if he saw her. And perhaps he didn't care. The coach was sliding to a stop as the driver realized she was no longer in it, but she was already rushing to one of the horses that hadn't run too far off the path. It looked rough, most likely one of the bandits horses, but at least the beast was hardy. She cursed her shoes, and her skirts as she kicked them out of the way, grabbing the horses reins and soothing it for only a few moments before she tugged her skirts out of the way and hauled herself awkwardly up onto the beast. Even traveling clothing wasn't practical for so many things.

Without hesitation, she kicked the horse into a run, angling for an interception with Abe and pulling the scarf off of her head, waving it at the other rider to flag him down. Black hair tumbled free of it's pins as the horse ran until it streamed behind her with the wind.
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Hellfire Abe
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Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:59 am

Once upon a time, Musafir would have been considered a courser. Swift and strong it was the perfect horse for a knight to ride when he was not on his battle mount. This particular term had fallen out of favor in recent years, partly because the habit of training horses for combat was becoming less and less common. However, Abe was found of it and he considered the American thoroughbred to be as fine a war horse as any he'd ridden.

The black horse races down the hill with astounding speed. The stolen mounts of the bandits could hardly hope to outpace Musafir and it was only a matter of time before he caught up. Or it would be if he gave Musafir his head. Abe didn't want to close the distance too quickly though since that might lead to the bandits taking notice of him. Instead, he keeps an even pace that will allow him to track the bandits without getting close enough for them to fire upon him.

The goal being to bait a few into turning to fight him, further dividing their numbers for him to pick off. They could not run from him, not in anyway that he couldn't track. He was Ifrit, the heat that was their lifeblood betrayed them.

There is a flash of movement to one side and he spots a person emerge from the stagecoach. A young woman who tries to flag him down. She is ignored as she was doubtless only going to ask silly questions and then try and convince him to accompany the stagecoach to Dallas. Humans always did such things when they thought their lives were in danger and they saw a potential protector.

The sound of hoofbeats from behind is a surprise and he turns his head. He'd put some distance between himself and the stagecoach but now the young woman was chasing after him. She'd grabbed one of the bandit's mounts and was trying to intercept. That was rather interesting but he didn't plan to make things easy on her. He spurs Musafir on, the burst of speed sending him past her before she can try and shout out to him.
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Ravana Belladonna Deamonne
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Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:59 am

Ravana glowered over her horse's shoulder as she watched the man spur his horse into a burst of speed to pass her by. How rude! It wouldn't have taken more than a moment for him to pause and see what she needed. And perhaps, to him, what she wanted wouldn't be anything he wanted. But he was obviously was going after the bandits. The woman grunted and kicked her horse into a full gallop, wishing she was wearing proper riding gear. Even the riding habit common to women would be better than the plain gown she was in.

Undoubtedly, if he really wanted, he could pull away from her entirely, ignore her and leave her behind. His horse was beautiful, and obviously bred for it's long legs and running. But she urged the tough horse she was on just a little faster, drawing even with Abe on his thoroughbred, though the poor beasts shorter legs were moving half again as fast to keep up. The wind tumbled past her, turning her from lady to wild young woman in appearance. Because of the saddle, she sat astride, which looked odd with the dress she wore, though its full skirts kept it from hiking too far up her legs.

Her voice called out sharply. "Hey!" The scarf fluttered from her hand, forgotten. What need was there for a flag when she was this close? "They took my necklace! I want to help get it back!" She wasn't quite sure what else to say with that, but her expression spoke of determination and stubbornness. She would follow him. From a distance if necessary.
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Hellfire Abe
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Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:21 pm

The young woman seems to be determined to stay with him, pushing her horse to a near gallop to come even with Musafir's steady trot. Abe's eyes flick to her and his expression is more amused than annoyed. Indeed, the Ifrit wore what could best be described as a shit-eating grin, the kind that could easily inflame a prideful young person to annoyance and anger.

"Help?"

His voice drawls out low and smokey. While he had an obvious accent the way his mouth formed each word was with that distinct cowboy drawl. The clash of speaking style versus color was rather jarring in its own little way.

"How do you propose to do that little miss? You don't seem to be armed."

Indeed, in her skirt, Ravana looked more like a helpless damsel than a useful companion. Sure her hair had been blown wildly but to Abe it made her look less wild and more disheveled. Also, her utter lack of weapons was going to make her more a burden than a help... or would if he was the type inclined to risk himself to save another. He was not a cruel person but he certainly wasn't going to save someone from their own stupidity. She'd gotten his attention with her stubbornness but if she tried to stay with him she'd be on her own when the fighting started.
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Ravana Belladonna Deamonne
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Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:37 am

He looked amused, like he was laughing at the thought of her being remotely helpful in such a situation. His voice was charming, drawling out in a manner that on most days, she would like. But now it was merely infuriating. She wanted her necklace back, and the darker side of her wanted the men who dared to take it to melt into the ground out of pure terror. His question seemed ridiculous to her. Perhaps she didn't appear to have a weapon, but even a man such as him could use a pretty girl like her as a distraction to help with an ambush.

Her glare upon him came with a radiating fury, her emotions bleeding through to emanate from her like a slowly building wave. The mount under her whinnied a protest as she snapped back. "I have what I need. Unless you can shoot as accurately from horseback, you'll have to track some of them anyway. I'm a good distraction, once you find their camp." Ravana stared at Abe, glancing forward to ensure the horse didn't stumble through ground she didn't expect.
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Hellfire Abe
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Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:20 pm

Well wasn't she a feisty one? Abe could tell by her gaze that she was quite angry at him. Apparently, the young woman thought of herself as capable and didn't take kindly to being questioned. Which simply amused the Ifrit. A better man than he might have made more of an effort out of concern for her safety but since he honestly didn't care if she got herself killed he simply shrugs his shoulders magnanimously.

"I'll actually have to track all of them now."

He says as he points at the vanishing cloud of dust. She likely hadn't noticed that he'd slowly decreased his pace to save her horse. After all, it had to go at an all-out gallop to keep pace with Musafir. Because of the gradual slow down the bandits had managed to retreat though he could see a few of them circling back to deal with him and Ravana.

"Well, it looks like you are going to have your chance in just a moment, little lady."

He says as he folds his arms. She should be able to see the three men that Gargoth had sent to deal with pursuers approaching fast. It would be a matter of moments before they had their pistols drawn and started firing upon them. Looking over he gives her an amused grin as if to say, you asked for this.
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