In the Wake of Giants


The Eager Rper
Janine snarled as she rode out of the city's walls and into the grassy field. How dare the old man tell her to leave! Why did she have to leave? These idiot men started it.

Dark heifer.

The nerve. If only she wasn't stopped, she would've given that little snack a taste of what she was really made of.

Janine blinked at herself when she heard herself say that word. Snack? What, she was inclined to eat humans now? Worry bled through her head as she rode into the forest, uncaring of what or who was in the territory with her.

The stallion snorted with exertion as his legs thundered under him, running as hard as he could with constant speed. Janine wasn't caring about how fast she was going; she just wanted to get far away from the city to do what she wanted.

Once she saw herself to be in a slightly darker area of the forest, Janine slowed her horse down and sniffed the air. It smelled thickly of the forest, of moss and fresh water somewhere in the distance. She even smelled deer in the air. Her stomach ached with such an intensity that Janine nearly doubled over in pain. Her other half was nearly to that point where it would say 'fuck it' to anyone around her and attack anything that moved. The stallion underneath her neighed with nervousness, snapping Janine out of her head for a moment. Even as she rode under a tree with sturdy and thick branches, Janine's fangs were already poking out of her mouth. She had to hurry up.

With a huff, the young woman tied the reigns to the branch, and made sure it was tight, to prevent escape. She jumped off her horse and sniffed the air some more; her nose caught something that she thought she knew about, but the scents of the forest were surprisingly thick - it was comforting and frustrating at the same time. It would be hard to detect prey.

Nonetheless, Janine went behind a large bush and closed her eyes to begin her transformation. It was somewhat quicker than normal, perhaps because her other half was more than willing to do so. A hissing roar came out the half-demon's mouth, fangs exposing themselves to the world before they were hidden again. Her tongue flicked out of her mouth as she reared on her hind legs, trying to decipher the many scents that came to her.

And one kept piercing the heady scents of the forest.

Focused eyes switched from normal vision to another sort that she had yet to describe. But she had something telling her that it was to detect prey. And she needed to have something to kill.

There was no other way to say it.

Stalking through the forest, Janine silently searched for prey that she wanted. Birds were too small - not to mention that they flew. Rats won't satiate her anymore - not unless she was given a large amount to feed on.

The best bet would be for her to consume larger prey. Besides, they were more fun to play with. Her head shifted to her side when her horse neighed in the distance. Something spooking it? The serpentine creature made a closed mouth snarl as she leaped into the trees, concealing herself from anybody on the ground.


the Hugger Troll
They waited for most of the crowd to clear around them as they headed out of the city, following Janine's and her horse's scent trail. It was fresh and familiar and he was not concerned about having too much difficult in locating her once she had stopped. His mind was thick with thoughts, worries and other matters as they reached the city gates. Chestnut broke into a gallop, enjoying the air as it rushed past them. He had known something would have happened sooner or later.

Anger was not an easy thing to hide.

Raban was all too aware of demonic anger. Chestnut was a fiery example and he often could feel her heat rise to painful extremes when she was angered by something or someone. Usually her anger was directed towards the one who had trapped her in the first place but it didn't take much to anger her. Even he was capable on the odd occasion. He bore the heat willingly for he knew what she was and he would not deny that part of her. Just in the same way Janine could no go denying what she was. If you lived in a place full of mortal beings, you had to keep a check on your control. He just wasn't sure what it was that was causing this sudden problem of the lack of it.

Janine had never struck him as a reckless person to it had to be something far more than that for her to be like this. He sighed heavily as they neared the forest's edge and slowed to a trot. Forest floor were often thick with various kinds of obstacles and neither beast or man wished to break a limb over any of them. Talking Janine round was something he suspected to be uneasy and difficult task. He knew she had more strength than he did even if he did face her as a wolf. Chestnut would need to talk to her too and he was not looking forward to that experience no matter how much he respected her.

It was not long before Chestnut entered the forest's heart and pricked her ears when they both heard a horse. Raban scented the air and frowned. The beast was nervous. Horses were flight animals and the sounds it was making hinted at it wanting to run. They soon joined it and he nodded, it was Janine's mount but there was no sign of the Knight herself. Chestnut half turned and stamped a hoof. The stallion whinnied again, tossing his head and pulling on the reins.

Raban dismounted with a heavy thud of his boots and approached the male horse. "Easy fella... Easy. It's just me," and yet he knew even though he looked human, animals could still smell the stink of a predator with him. Horses especially had that sixth sense. "Easy..." he gently laid a hand on the grey neck and frowned. The horse looked, felt and smelt afraid but he was not going to release the poor animal. Janine would eventually return for him.

He looked around him, even moving a little way through the trees but still there was no sign of Janine. With a snort, he returned to the waiting equines and sat on an upward turned exposed tree root gnarly from the exposure. He would wait for her return knowing she could give him an earful. She had once and he disliked the experience intensely but he would face one again if it meant getting her to see to reason. He was not planning to use his form to track her down or fight her. Not unless he really had to. It was not a fight he could win. Janine already proven her ability to keep control of him when he had no control or conscious mind in his dark curse.

Listening to the sounds in the trees was unnerving. He could not see much in the canopy or much through the trees themselves. He heard every sound but telling what direction was difficult, it was bouncing of tree trunks. He could smell varying scents, some old and some new but there were many and it made for a confusing read that would take him hours to decipher. No, he was better off waiting for her to retrieve her horse once she was done doing whatever she had disappeared into the forest for.

Chestnut snickered lightly as she listened to her little wolf hum an old tune to himself. It was that of a lullaby and she gave a horse like smile. It was not the first time she had heard it. He was nervous and the humming betrayed that feeling in him as he used it frequently for comfort.

"Use me as a last resort, little wolf. I know you do not like it,"
"Thank you, dear friend. I just hope she's willing to talk and not take my head."
"I'd like to see her try,"


The Eager Rper
Unblinking eyes focused on the ground, searching and anticipating for any kind of movement. The neighing stallion would cause a problem, but she was in no position to calm him. Ever since this inner hunger came around, her horse had grown more and more wary of her. And yet, somehow, prey still came around despite the panicking horse. First came a small squirrel, which darted around trees like it was playing a game. After it left, a rabbit came into view. Janine's tongue flicked out of her mouth at the sight of the animal cautiously watching it's surroundings - Maybe a small bite wouldn't hurt. It was much bigger than a squirrel, that's for sure. She positioned herself as she gauged the distance and height between her and the rabbit. She knew she had to be silent the entire time, or risk it running away. Nerves bunched up and tensed for the attack, Janine never strayed focus.

Wait for it.... Wait for it.

And then... The sounds of someone approaching her direction scared the animal off. It hopped away out of her killing range, disappearing into the bushes.

Anger surged through Janine again. That was her only prey so far! Who disturbed her hunt?!
Eyes glowed in the shadows of the tree branches as a rider and their horse came into view. At first she didn't recognize them, the darkness shrouding any of the features that would make them recognizable. This angered her even more. Her tail flicked back and forth as the human got off their horse and approached hers. Humph. What are they doing out here anyway?

No matter. They'd learn a lesson in stepping where they're not suppose to be step. Strong legs carried Janine across a small distance between two trees, watching the human carefully as he walked around. With each step he took, she took two quiet ones. When he stopped and sat down, Janine stopped and crouched down. Unsuspecting of anything, but sensing his wariness, Janine landed on the ground With a quiet thud. She slowly stalked the man with a flicking tongue, going through a plan in her head should anything go wrong. Different scenarios went through her head, but she kept steadfast on the main one in her head.

This line of thinking was the only hint that she wasn't too far gone in her demonic ways. When was close enough, her tail rattled softly behind the man before she wrapped her tail around his leg. With a snarl, she tugged back with her body to drag him across the ground, pulling him several feet before she let go of him.

Within seconds, Janine was on top of the man, claws hooked into the knight's chain-mail armor to have a firm grip on him. She hiss-roared at the man, showing her fangs as venom-laced saliva dripped around his head. She arched her neck back as if she was going to attack him, but then she paused. Her head lowered down to the man's head, tongue flicked out against the man's hair, then she physically sniffed the scents rising from him. Her pupils widened out from their sharply thin slits, and she unhooked her claws from the man's armor.

"Raban? What are you doing here?" Janine asked.
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the Hugger Troll
Raban preferred grassland to forests and jungles. The multitude of scents within the enclosed space was tugging at his urge to chase something. There were deer here, two varieties. There was also badgers, foxes amongst other things and yet he was not the one chasing his prey this time. He didn't have the time. He did not know when Kiegal wanted them both back by but this was not likely to going to be a short stay. He leaned forwards, forearms resting upon his knees for a moment as he sat in thought.

Waiting was not something Chestnut liked doing. She was all for the chase, the thrill of a hunt but this was boring and dull. Not even grazing improved her mood and her tail flicked over her flanks with clear irritation. Add to the fact that the male horse was still shifting with fear and nervousness. She snorted and bared her teeth at the other horse before turning round, her rump facing Raban.

Raban stared at the ground losing himself further and further into deep thought as he waited in the darkened scenery around him. He did not know if her mother had spoken with her after their talk with each other in the gardens. He had no idea what had been said if they had. Given her path of late, he didn't imagine that having gone too well but they were both worried. Kiegal's words sunk into mind and he reached to rub one side of his face becoming quite oblivious to what was going on around him.

It would not make any difference in that he had been ordered to follow her. If she was anything like himself, she would be keeping a nose out for potential stalkers. It had been his mentor's advice to him all those years past; always watch the watchers. A fancy way of keeping track perhaps but it wasn't out of reason. Most predators disliked being followed and he appreciated it would be no different now. Besides, they needed to talk, not push each other away from shared burdens.

Raban sighed, it was a difficult situation and with a glance at Chestnut knew it may have to be a talk between demon to demon. It didn't matter they were demons of differing origins. It had to help somehow. Chestnut gave an answering snort but she said nothing in return. There was nothing but silence for a long time before something made Raban lift his head and frown before crying out in alarm, the world around him suddenly shifted with no further warning than the sound he had heard in the darkness. Something had gotten his leg, pulling him with a strength he knew no creature of the forest to have.

Chestnut turned and raised her head in the space of mere moments, her large frame half rearing and she peered towards where Raban was. Or rather, no longer was. She gave a loud whinny which Raban heard but he made message to her to remain where she was. His heart hammered not only with alarm but with apprehension and excitement. He grimaced as he felt weight upon his chest. He pushed back the familiar fleeting feeling of the wolf inside as he stared upwards at Janine's demon frame. She didn't seem to have recognised him as she bared her teeth. Droplets spattered about his hearing in the leaf litter. There it was, the arched neck poised to strike at her prey. It was not a feeling he was ordinarily accustomed to.

He kept his eyes open however. He did not fear death no matter how it came to try and claim him. A drop spattered on his face and he winced as it burned through the skin. Raban knew to keep still, to let her smell and process what or who he was, or in the hope that she would before submitting him to a harsh fate. He felt her grip loosen and yet he still did not make attempt to shy away from her, peering back at her eyes when she finally gave voice.

"Why do you think? Kiegal had me follow you," he returned, there was no aggression or malice to his voice as he spoke. He didn't wish to intentionally rile her though he figured it would come. "I don't think he realises why, but he knows something's wrong, Janine. You don't want him learning the truth," he breathed, trying to ignore the sound of his blood rushing past his ears as his heart pumped it round his system.


The Eager Rper
Janine panted as Raban spoke his reasoning for being in the forest. Kiegal told him to? Her tail slammed on the ground as she backed away, and hissed softly to herself.

"Damnit. Is it that obvious? It's much too hard to contain myself at this point," Janine said as she sat down. Her head turned to the side, eyes watching the distance for any sort of movement.

"I even shouted at my mother. She..." Janine paused before she sighed with a shake of her head. "She was gone last night. And I got worried." Her snake eyes then focused onto Raban. "She went to you."

Her tail rattled as she stood on her paws to approach him slowly.

"Apparently she talked to you last night. What about, I don't know, but I'll take a guess it was me. She got on me about my little... incident."

At this point, Janine's anger spiked again. "Why'd you tell her? I never wanted her to know! If I did, I would've said so that same night!" Janine snarled as she slammed her tail on the ground. Her head lowered down to the knight's level, brown eyes somehow glowering at the man before her.


the Hugger Troll
Chestnut walked towards them even as Janine slammed her tail to the ground. Raban felt it as the other seed to give him some room. Raban doubted she would be happy about this conversation at all. He didn't particularly enjoy needing to do it but he knew she was going through something and he didn't see why she had to shoulder that by herself. She had a mother who understood her and a friend in him and in Chestnut to some extent. The fire demon still called her a meat sack at times, not that Raban repeated that.

Raban sat up and glanced as Chestnut wordless lay behind him. He knew she was wanting to be here for this as well. He had no doubt that should Janine turn hostile on him to the extent where his life was threatened, she'd have no qualms about protecting him from her. Their bond was just that much longer. Raban was hoping it would not come to that.

He nodded as he leant against Chestnut's round belly as he looked at Janine. He didn't make any attempt to rise or don anything else but let her have the ground. It had been obvious for the last few days with how her moods had been. Facing her wrath when she was trying to stop himself from hurting others was one thing but experiencing with all his faculties in place was something else.

He remained silent, letting her fume and vent knowing that was more of an aid at times than any words of council. She ventured close again and Chestnut watched her, steam gently rising from her black frame as she regarded Janine with large doleful eyes that held no equine thought about them.

Chestnut huffed air through her large nostrils as Janine slammed her tail again and Raban cocked his head slightly at her as she spoke, "Yes, she found me. Yes, we spoke about you. She's worried about you as any mother would be about their child."

He kept her gaze, his eyes momentarily turning the dark black of the wolf before they reverted back, "You said you were worried for your mother. Do you not think she has equal right to worry about you, Janine?"

He regarded her for a long moment before he eventually shifted to standing on his knees, "I understand you're angry at me. I understand if you wish me to pay for that. However, I won't apologise for it. I'd do it again in a heartbeat and you wish to know why?"

"A mother wolf will defend her pups even if it means her life. The whole pack will protect those pups even it means their lives. You have a mother who might not understand what you're feeling or what you may be going through but she loves you and she wants to help you, fight for you even if it kills her. I would like to think I am your friend as I consider you to be for me. You've been there for me as I intend to be here for you even if it kills me"

His face was resolute and he did not cower but she could strike him and he would not stop her from doing so. She could tear his throat out but he would not stop her from doing so. He doubted she would try to kill him but they both knew what it would take to kill him permanently.

"Foolish little wolf... why open yourself?"

"You have a mother wolf and a wolf as part of your pack, Janine. She deserves to know what's going on on. Otherwise, how can she help you? She's your blood. Don't shut her out like the rest."

He sighed and dropped his gaze, "You're lucky to have her in your life. I envy it," Raban's expression turned rueful and sad, hurt in his eyes before it left his face once he looked back to her.


The Eager Rper
Raban's responses made Janine think a little, forcing some of her rage-induced fog out of the way. Of course she believed her mother worried for her - as a mother, she had the right to. But... She also knew that her mother would try and take action to actively help, like she had always done over the years. And he called her his friend? She didn't know he would've considered her to be one already. The thought made her shy away a little. At some point it sounded as if he was challenging her to attack him; not a direct challenge though. Perhaps him voicing his faith in her?

The serpentine demon hissed loudly and approached the knight, despite Chestnut's presence. She lifted a paw and grazed a sharp claw from behind his ear to the tip of his chin. Something tempted her to press into him, but she couldn't do that to him. He had put his trust in her, despite this show of possible betryal, and she didn't want to be that person. Her tongue flicked out as she pulled her claw away, taking care to not hurt him, and sighed as she backed away.

"I..... Don't want to kill you. Or even hurt you. I don't want to hurt anyone. It's just.... Don't you understand? If I'm a target, then she'll be one as well. That's how an enemy like this works. The sneaky ones always go after those you love," Janine snarled.
"She has no skills, no training. If my mom gets involved, she'll look for ways to help me. And then they'll watch her while I'm away. That's when they take her, and drag her away to some dungeon or through the forest from right under my nose!" Janine shouted. She roared and slashed her claws at a nearby tree, bark flying into the air before hitting the ground.

"I.... can't risk anybody being hurt. I love my mom - she's my only family besides Venus. If I lose her, then-"

The young demon suddenly stopped herself as she shook her head as she lifted a paw to rub the top of her head. A headache? She didn't know that serpents could have them. Was her anger far too spiked for her body to handle?

Then her stomach clenched with an even more intense pain than earlier. She dropped to the ground and hissed in pain, her body arched in an attempt to ease the tightness in her gut.

"Mmmmph..... can't keep doing this. Wasting time.... I have to eat something," Janine said as she slowly got to her paws. They shook as she walked, as if she hadn't eaten in weeks. She then turned her head to the sudden sounds of squeaking in the bush behind the tree. A hiss came out of her mouth as she stalked the bush, the only things showing being her hind legs and her tail. Then, multiple squeaks sounded out, right as multiple branches of the bush were ripped out from the ground. Large rats scurried out from behind the tree, and Janine roared as she snatched them up one by one. One that was slapped to the tree with considerable force, stunning it to stillness as it laid on the ground. Another one ran towards Raban, but before it got close, her jaws had snapped shut on its tail before shaking it around like a dog. When she threw it down, it flailed around while the venom that flowed inside it did its job. Starting from the tail, flesh began to burn away, and it was mere seconds before the rat stopped moving completely. The third one was simply pinned down by Janine, but once she stuck a claw in its back, she stopped what she was doing as she realized that she had done this in front of Raban and Chestnut.

Embarrassment flowed in hot waves, and she tucked her tail under her body as she drew her head in.

"Oh no. This isn't how I wanted this to go down..... I never wanted you to see me like this," Janine said as she put a paw over her eyes.


the Hugger Troll
Raban watched her for a long moment as she seemed to react to what he told her. How well his words were received, he couldn't rightly tell but he told only the truth. Truth was not something that was always easily swallowed. Gods knew he had been forced that same concoction himself in years past. She was not an easy person to read which made it challenging but he wasn't going to give up on her. Not even if she begged him to.

Chestnut watched her but knew the dangerous game her little wolf was playing. Trust. It was a very slight thing. He only had to make one wrong move and she could gut him. Raban could feel his heart beating from inside his chest but he did not move. He dared not. Even when he felt her claw against skin. He could feel Chestnut's anger from behind him and in his head but he had patience and it seemed to have been the right choice when she backed away again and spoke.

He remained on his knees as he listened and watched the bark fly. Fear. Anger. Rage.

Chestnut raises her head as she watched the demon in front of them. She heard the tirade from her but she did not care for it. Not as Raban did. Raban was human just as he was wolf. He knew and understood those fears. She did not. But she could recognise the pain, the hunger and thirst. Her horse teeth were not made for it but she had not been above eating a rat or two if she could catch it.

Raban noted she was in pain cutting off what he wanted to say to her. He did understand where she was coming from. He had felt that once too. However, you ended up hurting people regardless and likely as not ended up hurting them far more deeply. He blinked as a rat scurried towards him realising too late its attempt was to no avail. He didn't even realise he was staring. This was not a side of demons he had seen before. He found himself at a loss till a voice stirred from inside his mind as Chestnut walked towards Janine and then looked at him.

"She needs food, little wolf. Find her a stag. Now."
it was rare for him to be so commanded and he looked at her before he nodded. "Quickest way you can, little wolf... but let her know I will keep her company. Let her know that demon to demon, she is not alone and should not fear."

Raban rose to his feet and swallowed before he approached Janine, "You've seen me at me darkest too, Janine. Don't deny what you are. I can deny what I am. We hunt, we chase, we thirst... Stay here. Stay with Chestnut. She.... She wants to speak with you when I get back... but she's going to stay, keep you company."

"You still have my trust, Janine. I pray I have yours," he said before he removed his armour, one bit after the other before he pulled his tunic free from himself. It was not long before the wold appeared. He shook himself, glossy black fur flicking before he disappeared into the brush.

Chestnut watched him go for a moment before she walked closer to the other. She let her own heat rise knowing the other would feel it too. she nosed about the other's shoulder and stood by her as she waited for the wolf's return. He was gone almost an hour before leaves betrayed his return. The werewolf entered where they were stood, carrying a stag around his shoulders. The stag was large and Chestnut could see that is was what was known as a Royal Stag for the sixteen and more points to its antlers. She nodded as he came closer, muscle shifting as he moved the stag and put it before Janine before he moved to his armour pile.


The Eager Rper
Janine lifted her paw from her face when she heard movement. Chestnut had gotten closer to her, and Raban had stood on his feet, looking at Chestnut. How embarassing to have these two see her like this. Eating like this was not how humans normally ate - it would surely alarm others if they saw her eating rodents while they were still alive. But her impulses and instincts drove her to do it - her other half was basically starving for a more primal idea of dinner.

She looked down as the rat under her paws squealed and squirmed in pain, but ignored it once Raban walked over to her. She tilted her head when he said to not deny what she was, and that he didn't either. They both had the same instincts and impulses, and it was part of them.

That may be so, but it just.... Never easily sat well with her.

Her head tilted when Raban told her Chestnut was to stay with her. She wanted to stay? With her? Serpentine eyes glanced over to the strong horse, and felt something flutter within her. Why was she doing this? For Raban's sake? And where was he going?

Her weight shifted as she stood up, stuttering as she tried to say something, but didn't know what to say. Then the knight took off his armor, changed into his wolf form, and ran off. Janine's mind was so confused, it distracted her from any anger that would possibly be there. Such a short amount of time with Raban, and he's already putting his life in her hands. When she was a child, she was lucky to still talk to the same person without them being wary or mean towards her. And why was Chestnut being so nice?

The wind blew a cooler breeze in these darker parts, so her body subconsciously shivered as it passed through her fur. She soon stopped when she felt a sift nudge and growing heat, and naturally gravitated towards it. Being a serpent, she always went to a nearby heat source. She slowly inched closer towards Chestnut, stopping to finally bend her head down to eat the rat pierced by her claw. She ate it whole, then went towards the one beside the tree, then the one that she threw from Raban. As she went back to Chestnut, the young half-demon hoped that whatever Raban was getting was big enough for her.

After a while, Raban came back, and Janine lifted her head as she saw the wolf bring back a huge buck. Her tail rattled softly, betraying her excitement as she slowly inches away from Chestnut and towards the buck presented to her. The buck was pretty, she would admit that, but she wasn't going to be admiring it for long. She wanted to keep her manners, but her hunger was quick to resurface. She hurried up before her manners were tossed out the window.

"Th-thank you Raban.... Chestnut," the serpent said before she hovered over the stag's body. Her claws racked the flesh of the kill, blood spilling as she shredded the meat. She then ate the strips she made; at first she was eating slowly, but as the full strength of her hunger showed, she really threw etiquette over the cliff and gorged like the starved animal she was.

It was a short while before Janine was finished. A good portion of the stag was consumed, and Janine even overstuffed herself a little just to be on the safe side. When she was done, the majority of her snout was bloody, as was her paw. She backed away from the deer and steadily lowered herself down to the ground before laying on her side.

A hiss of deep satisfaction left her snout before she looked over to the knight and horse. "I'm..... thankful for the stag. Really," Janine said softly. She felt herself getting to her normal, awkward self already.


the Hugger Troll
The wait for Raban was almost more than the demon could stand. She was not used to dealing with company of others. Even her own kind were often kept at a wide berth. She preferred her solitude and the free feeling it brought her. Now she was trapped and she had to negotiate and compromise. Chestnut kept her heat going, steam rising from a broad back disrupted at a length by her saddle and blanket.

She glanced as Janine inched forward as she knew she would. Despite their differences, Chestnut had soon realised that they shared many similarities. They were both hunters, keen predators. They liked heat. Chestnut was practically made from it and would look far more splendid in her true form instead of this horse she was trapped within. Janine might not be a full demon but it was enough to make Chestnut rather less frosty towards her than she would be to others.

The forest stirred and Raban emerged and she smiled with relief. Chestnut always worried when they were not in other's presence. He was her Little Wolf and no one else's. No one could know their bond and understand it. She peered at Janine and snorted, perhaps except for one other.

Raban watched her as he laid his kill to the ground before her and sat back next to his armour pile, licking over his nose. It had been a fine kill on his part. He had jumped the stag barely before it had caught his scent and he knew there was plenty of meat on it to satisfy a whole wolf pack. His head nodded, lowering a little as she thanked him. He had to wait a little while before he could change back and he was hesitant to do so but the voice in his head soon put right to that.

His tail wagged as he smiled, watching her throw etiquette to the wind. There was little of that in the animal world and he saw no reason for her to stand on ceremony. If hunger was part of the problem, it was something that was easily solved. It was the rest that was the difficult play. Wolf and demon waited with patience as the other ate. Raban scented the air, finding it a lot easier in his current state, and was satisfied that no one was eavesdropping or bearing witness as far as he could detect.

He lifted his head before he moved towards what remained of the carcass. There was little left and that was a good thing, she would not be too hungry again too son. The wolf pulled at the carcass before he finished the rest. He did not believe in wasting meat and he did not want other predators of the forest approaching in the hopes of a free meal. Like the wolf he was, his manner of eating was quick and needy. Wolves ate quickly as a way to prevent other predators that were potentially bigger than themselves such as bears from stealing their hard work of a kill. The stag was soon nought but bones and sinew. Raban licked his muzzle as he stood, pulling the carcass some way free from where they all were. Undoubtedly, the scavengers would come and finish the rest, returning the bones to the same cycle of life that had taken place for aeons.

Raban returned and with a huffed snort from Chestnut he began the process of changing back to his human state. It seemed that every time he and Janine were in this forest, he had been naked at the time. It was an unfortunate part of his transformations. Clothes did not change with him. He wormed back into his tunic and looked back at Janine offering a smile as he wiped his mouth clean.

"You are welcome though I am sorry I robbed you of the chase," he replied now that he could talk.

"Janine... I know it's not an easy thing to swallow. I know... I went through it too when the wolf came out for the first few times. The moment you learn that you're something that humanity fears and despises... your fear rises. It makes you fear everything. You fear yourself for what you might do. You what others might do to you or your family if they learn your secret." he scratched behind his ear, his voice low but concise with feeling.

"I guess I was a little more fortunate in that my mother died when she did and that my father is not someone I could care about. He abandoned us when I was eight. I am not saying you should not fear for your mother but at the same time... keeping her in the dark hurts her just as much if not more. I do not know her as well as you do. She's your blood and not mine but I think she's a lot stronger than most would think. We can teach her how to defend herself but I would recommend you keep her in the loop with what's going on. Same for me... we're both Knights with a duty to uphold the law and protect the innocent. That includes protecting them from ourselves."

He glanced at Chestnut who nodded from her place next to Janine and he moved closer before resuming his sitting position on his knees. This time it was for a different reason than a display for trust. "If you still wish to keep her in the dark, it's your choice, your decision. I can't and won't force you."

"But I want you to realise you have friends in us two and by my oath, I won't let harm come to you, Venus or your mother. I cannot speak for Chestnut... but she wishes to do so herself." For the first time, he appeared wary and nervous, almost skittish as Chestnut huffed gently with soft encouragement. He hated doing this but he knew Chestnut was a sentient being in her own right and that her inability to talk openly was inhibited. This was one way she could so within the limitations of her trapped state and despite his hate for the process, he could not deny her.

"If Chestnut collapses... don't be alarmed, you'll soon realise why..." he told Janine not wishing to scare her with what was about to pass. He took a deep breath before he nodded. Chestnut's head lowered, ears pricked and the heat that was radiating from her was reaching a scorching point. Her eyes turned from the soft brown to a whitish pink that was soon matched in Raban's own eyes. His spine straightened and his frame went stiff. After a couple of minutes he fell forwards, hands stopping his chest and face from face-planting the ground. The shire too, as Raban had forewarned, collapsed as legs seemed to inexplicably fail her.

The man sat up again but the usual warmth and silent manner that Raban usually effected in his expressions was no longer there. Instead, there was an impatience and fiery outlook to him. Equally the horse's heat had vanished from her and was now radiating from Raban. If Janine looked at the horse's face, the doleful eyes would look and feel more akin to a wolf.

The man was looking at his hands, flexing fingers and bending arms before he stood, sighing a little, "Fire and brimstone... how do you meat sacks handle these little bodies..." he muttered before he looked at Janine and smiled. "It's the only chance I get sometimes... but he doesn't like it. My Little Wolf. You okay in there, Little Wolf?"

The horse next to Janine answered with a huff of air as it seemed to struggle with four legs that didn't want to respond. Chestnut looked at her usual trapped self and struggled to keep the thought of 'how pathetic' from her mind before she peered back at Janine through Raban's eyes. She paused before she sat cross legged, the leaf litter around her wilting as Raban continued to try and deal with how a equine body worked. He was in it so rarely he never remembered how.


The Eager Rper
Janine watched as Raban ate the rest of the carcass. She had hoped he would take advantage and eat the rest - she couldn't fathom the idea of not having a portion of your own kill. But even then, she could see Raban offering a while kill to another and decline having any out of kindness. She felt her chest tighten at the thought of his various acts of kindness towards her. She was fortunate to have met someone like him.

When he turned back into a human she focused on him instead of simply riding out her fullness, eyes looking up towards him as he spoke. His words made sense. She supposed she feared more than she realized. As a child, one would only understand so much - the adults worried for you then. But as an adult now, Janine had a lot more knowledge about herself and her place in the world she lives in. Fear would be a constant threat, and vigilance is a must.

She looked up at Raban's eyes when he said that his mother died while his father left him. They looked sad and wistful. A part of Janine was angry at his old man; to leave their child willingly was disgusting to her. Her father disappeared, so she knew the feeling of missing a parent that you loved.

Then he kneeled down in front of her again. Her neck lifted off the ground as she slowly shifted her body to lay upright instead of her side. What was he doing now? What was going to happen? Then, the strange and alarming process began. Steam rose from Chestnut, and then,m she collapsed. Everything, especially Raban's reactions worried her, despite his early warning. She had never seen anything like this happen before, and she got on her feet as she softly hissed in wariness. She sensed a shift between them, and it puzzled her. Instead of steam rising from the horse, it rose off of Raban. His eyes held a different expression in his face, and the horse next to her looked more dazed. Not to mention more wolf-like. Did that mean...? That was Raban? She stood up, wariness set aside as curiosity settled in. She moved around like a feline would, tongue flicking out as she took in the change before her. So the horse was Raban... that meant that Raban was really...

"Chestnut?" Janine asked as she brought her head a little closer to Raban's body. His scent was gone, replaced with something else. It smelled smoky, and fiery in origin. She also caught hints of other scents that she couldn't properly describe.

"Amazing. I've never seen or heard of anything like this before. I must admit, when Raban said that you wanted to talk, I assumed the communication would be what it normally was: you talking to him and him translating it. Most interesting. Can all demons do this?" Janine asked with a tilted head.


the Hugger Troll
Chestnut smiled with Raban's mouth as she regarded Janine through his eyes. She could see Raban trying to gain the use of the four thick legs and failing at it. She snorted before she looked back to Janine when the woman looked between them, processing what had just occurred. Another plus side to Janine that she did like was that she was a quick learner. Chestnut disliked slow thinkers.

"Who else? A wolf makes for a poor horse,"

Chestnut rolled shoulders that weren't her, felt muscle and sinew not her own. She was far more used to using bodies, far better than the one whose body she was occupying. He was still trying to get off the floor snorting with an irritation. She looked back to Janine and chuckled.

"It's still a trapped state, Janine. His body is not my own in the same way that horse is not my own. Used to belong to farmer far from Amastad. I imagine he missed it quite terribly," she replied, "Raban doesn't like the experience of a horse's mind... to put a predator into a prey's mind? It's a horrid thing. Raban saved my life when he found me. Then he learned what I was... never knew a man could draw his sword quite as fast as he did that day. He doesn't like the process... it's more painful for him than me... but he does it when I ask nicely,"

Chestnut sighed before she moved to help Raban and then looked back at the question, "Hm, I fear it's more to do with the curse that binds me to a body at all times than of a demon's ability. However, demons come in all flavours, Janine so there could be a demon out there with that ability. Help me with him?"

Raban was still attempting to roll himself so that the powerful legs were beneath him but he looked as he was nothing more than a frozen goat. His now equine head raised and snorted, blowing air filled with frustration. It was not as easy for him when they did this and he would have to learn quickly. It was not a process that could be done twice in a day and he was fortunate Chestnut was quite the little actress. Him not so much.

"One day you'll get it, Little Wolf,"
"Yes well... four legs is unnerving."

Chestnut moved and shifted his legs before moving to the back that was once hers moments before. "Raban is not used to a quadrupedal form of locomotion. Yes, the wolf has four as well but he is a werewolf and they are still beasts who prefer two legs when not in the chase." Raban huffed before he was finally able to sit up, a large head raised. "And his pride does not help him with it either," she breathed looking at him. Raban snorted and folded the upper lip over itself.

"Ha! You see? And yet he mastered that. Meat sacks, such a curious species to date," Chestnut muttered, reaching to redress the hair between the ears of the equine outlook. They would have to help him stand, of that she had no doubts but it could wait as she sat next to him, leaning against a broad neck.

"He's not wrong you know. You know what you are. A demon. Like me. Well... not quite like me. I come from fire and brimstone where humans fear to tread. But all demons know fire in their hearts. It is their anger, their hate and the joy of it. Oh yes! The joy of it. Humans are nothing compared to us and yet you and I are bound by them. You, your mother, and I to him. We protect them at all cost, to hellfire with the rest."

She peered at her with a hard edge to the features she was wearing now, "Protecting them also means protecting yourself. You can't save your mother from anything till you can save yourself. No one will do it for you, fellow demon of mine. You're very lucky. I envy only one other and he's with us now. To change at will, to be who you were born to be. It's a rare thing and worth protecting. He hates being the horse... but he knows what I am and he knows how much it pains me when he can change at will, how much you can change at will. Oh look at me, I'm waffling munching, but then... I'm a demon of fire, hell and brimstone. We like to talk,"


The Eager Rper
It was intriguing, seeing Chestnut in a body that she had known to be someone else. Poor Raban, struggling to understand and work with a body that he no idea on how to control. His brain must be denying his commands, considering he's in a new body.

Janine stood up to help Chestnut and Raban, using her size to assist the werewolf-now-horse to a better position. She listened to Chestnut as she spoke about Raban and what he was used to when locomotion was involved, and she nodded with understanding. It made sense if you're used to moving one way and end up being forced to move in another way entirely. She wish it was the same for her, but she was used to being a quadraped more quicker because she used both forms often.

Her chuckle came out as a hiss when Raban did that funny lip thing that horses did. It was always amusing when they did that. Her head then quirked to the side when a peculiar word came out.

'Meatsacks? What a strange word,' Janine thought with a hiss.

Her thoughts froze when she saw Chestnut's face change. For some reason, she pricked to attention, her tail flicking with anticipation. She talked about being able to be who one was supposed to be, and how she wasn't. Protecting those she cared for required for her to protect herself. As she thought about it, it made sense. How was she to defend herself if she was hiding all the time? That would just let the enemy get close when she could've been actively fighting back. She never thought about it like that.

Janine nodded her head as she listened to her fellow demon. Perhaps she was denying what she was inside. She acknowledged it, but embracing it was harder to do, especially when she knew that she would be shunned and even killed for allowing her true self to be shown to humanity.

And yet, she must be able to embrace what she was born in this world as. She scoffed softly - easier said than done. But Chestnut was not wrong. She looked down at her paws. Maybe she wasn't supposed to be like everyone else? If that was the case, then she'd be pure human, right? Questions muddled her head, having her release a troubled hiss.

"What you say makes sense. But it's hard for me to just do it. From what I see, humans have a desire to belong somewhere, or else, risk being shunned for being different. And I know that I don't belong anywhere, thanks to my heritage. Maybe if humans weren't so hostile towards demons, I'd not care so much. But the way things are, survival focuses all on you. In a world of so many people around you, so many potential allies, but to you, all there are is just enemy after enemy. It's maddening to think that you can only trust yourself to survive in a big world," Janine said as she sat upright.

"Tell me Chestnut. Do you think that when you get your original form back, you'd fit in with your fellow demons? Before your curse, you were one way, all this time has passed; some of your point of view has shifted a little, surely," Janine asked with a serious tilt of her head. Her eyes shifted back and forth between Raban and Chestnut and she loosened her body a little, giving a small chuckle. "Of course, I could be asking a stupid question, and it's possible that nothing would have changed, and that you're the same Chestnut before your curse and journey with Raban. Silly me if so," Janine said with a tail flick.


the Hugger Troll
Raban snorted and huffed before he was sitting up and then wrapped his now equine head around over what was normally his shoulders and chest. A hand stroked down his face. Something that calmed the horse more than it would Raban but it certainly helped. He knew he would have to get up and learn how to use the legs all over again at some point soon but he was quite happy for the moment to rest and listen hoping Janine would take in every word.

Chestnut let her process. Something that years before she would never have bothered with but her time with Raban had temptered her, taught her the measure and worth of patience and timing. When to press and when to hang back.

She listened as Janine spoke, continuing to stroke Raban's equine face knowing the effect it would have. His mouth champed at the bit and she smiled with faint amusement. He hated it just as much as she did. It was a necessary chain.

Chestnut smiled, "I doubt it. I'm touched. Tainted with the stink of the lowborn, they'll say. It's fine though... I don't want to go back. I just want to be free. As all should. Before this, I believe all should serve the fire curtain. Had Raban found that first time free from my trappings, he would have faced the trial of fire and I would have... what's the human expression? Batted an eyelid?"

She smiled with Raban's mouth at her, "If I had, I would have missed out on a friend with more honour than those I used to think my friend. He's my friend now. A human wolf. A half breed. A mongrel. Do I care for humans as a whole? No... Humanity is set to destroy itself without the need of demons, dargonkin or those of nightmares to aid them. Except for few exceptions... most are like a dog pack. Unlike a wolf pack, it's dog eat dog, fight or submit. I have no love for them. Any who hurt my friends... I will not think twice about killing them for it."

"Raban however... He is a softer heart. He is half human... knows how they think, how they behave, and why. He knows mercy where I don't. He will fight for those that would have him kill if they learned his secret. Your Sir Kiegal knows him well but he'd think nothing twice of ramming a silver steak through his heart. Lesser men would not think twice about flaying him again and again till they got bored."

Raban huffed and flipped his lip again. Chestnut looked at him and snickered, "Don't pout. You know they would. You're both alike. Do you realise that, Janine? He might be a werewolf... an odd one at that. You might be a halfbreed... an odd one at that. But you both fight to save the lives of the innocent meat sacks that live in Amastad and to save the lives of those that would turn on you the minute they grasped the truth,"

"I don't have the same code he follows. Alone... I would let the strong live, the weak die."

"That's what makes you different. Not the fact you're a demon, or that werewolf venom runs through Raban's bloodline. You fight for those who can't always save themselves. Including your mother. Your horse. As Raban does for me, I suppose. And for you."

"Now... How would you like to help a two-leg walk as a four-leg?" she quipped gaining another huff from Raban as she stood.


The Eager Rper
"Being free is a pleasing concept," Janine said with a thoughtful nod of her head. Chestnut's words were taken to heart. Maybe she was right. She may not be fully human, but she wasn't someone who harmed people for no reason. She had feelings and thoughts like humans, and she strove to protect others that needed it most. And she did it despite what they would do to them.

And it was selfless. The thought helped her feel better. And she had to make sure she wouldn't let her fears blind her of her duties, lest they make her as thoughtless as a wild beast. She didn't like how she had been feeling and reacting recently.

Goodness. To think this was coming from a demon's words. How funny was life?

Janine looked to Chestnut as she asked her to help Raban stand. With a nod, the serpentine demon padded up close to his side and used her large size to support him.

"Hehe. This feels like we're helping an overgrown colt get on his feet," Janine said with a hearty laugh.


the Hugger Troll
"We all deserve to be free. Course, others won't make that choice an easy one," Chestnut breathed as she stood, nodding lightly. "There's always going to be someone who wants to either kill you, harm you, control and enslave you. There's a question of whether you are resigned to be prey or determined to be the predator. I do not think for a moment of hellfire Janine that you are prey,"

She threw the woman a feral smile which might have looked rather odd on Raban's rugged and weather beaten features. She meant her words and knew Janine would take them to heart either now or later when she had time to go through the conversation in the midst of a wild gender bend.

Raban looked at them as they turned, he was not looking forward to this and a part in him felt ashamed he had not gained enough practice in it to look less pathetic than he knew he looked.

"Front legs first, Little Wolf, then the hinds," Chestnut told him with blunt encouragement as she helped him up. They could only support his 2000 pounds of weight if he did most of the leg work himself. Shire horses were heavy creatures that few could argue with in battle. Ears twitching, he rose in the manner he was told to. It took him a few tries before he eventually stood.

"In some ways he is, we don't do this very often," Chestnut nodded as she went round, shifting his legs so that he looked like he was standing on ice. "He's also dealing with the mind of the horse, which doesn't help that much either really. There we are, Little Wolf."

"If you can, stay to his side," Chestnut smiled again at Janine before she patted the left front leg. Raban lowered his head or tried to before Chestnut raised it.

"Don't think about it. Trust the horse. It knows how. Better than I do most days," Chestnut snapped, "Left front, then right hind, right front, left hind, and repeat in motion. Go slow"

Raban snorted, flipping his lip again but it looked halfhearted as he seemed to debate trying to walk or not. Even the horse nearby was throwing a curious gaze. Raban shook his head and tried walking. He knew it looked ungainly. Chestnut had a longer time to apply finesse to the gait and made it look so easy but he kept on trying. The wolf and the shire were both creatures of high stamina and endurance, both quite stubborn in what they were after.

"Okay... Okay... Think I have it now... Again," Raban breathed heavily in Chestnut's mind and the demon smiled happily at him.
"Get there eventually, Little Wolf. You'll be you again soon,"
"Cannot wait,"
"Well, you're going to have to."

As with all things, there were always cons to be had as she patted his neck and peered back at Janine as Raban stood.

"I'll be in Raban's body for a while yet... I know there's someone who knows what you are. From demon to another, I'm up for a little sport," she said, nodding, "Though, you should probably go see your mother. Again, Raban's suggestion there... If anyone knows the history of your Demon self better than anyone... it's going to be her. There's only few ways a half-breed can be made, so she knew what she was signing up for, little demon,"

Raban snickered knowing that if Chestnut had given a nickname of a sort to you then it was the highest form of endearment that you were ever likely to get in regards of friendship. He turned his head, the broad neck arching as he reached out to Janine, butting his now large velvety mouth into her serpentine face with no fear or qualms. None of the three could deny what they were and they would be less of themselves if they weren't.


The Eager Rper
"I try not to kill anybody... But at the same time, I don't really see myself as very forgiving if anyone directly threatened those that I'm close to.... I guess I can be happy in a sense that the list has grown a little," Janine said with a soft hiss.

The compliment Chestnut gave Janine of her not being prey was picked up with unexpected pride. She couldn't help but to flick her tail happily at her words, and it made her want to work to keep it that way. Her smile made Janine hiss softly, but it was the closest thing to smiling she could get.

She happily assisted Raban as he practiced walking, walking as much in the similar gait as him so it wouldn't confuse him. While the whole experience was strange to say the least, the initial shock might come later on once the moment is over.... or maybe it wouldn't shock her too much,and Janine would be just fine. She'd see later.

"Almost like a dance. Front leg, back leg, front leg, back leg; left, right, right, left. You got it Raban," Janine encouraged.

When Chestnut spoke about talking to her mom about her heritage, she nodded her head. She wanted to talk to her mom about it in better detail, but she didn't like how solemn the atmosphere got whenever they talked about her papa.

"I'll do it. It's just hard to talk about my papa without being sad is all. More for her sake than mine. Besides, if Sir Kiegal sees me without you two close behind, he'll figure something to be up. I don't want to cause anymore suspicion," Janine said before she barely caught the little nickname given to her. She was going to question it when Raban put his horse lips in her face. Her tongue flicked his chin as she nuzzled Raban, her head swimming with joy as she reveled in the moment. Is this what it was like to have friends? Talking and sharing personal experiences and wisdoms? Laughing and joking and fun banter? She liked it if it was. She honestly never thought she would make any friends after she became a teenager.

Unfortunately, Janine's happiness would be cut short when she suddenly smelled something in the forest. Her pupils slowly shifted from their already thinnish shape to an even thinner slit, her tail rattling as she slowly moved from beside Raban.

Something was out there. She couldn't figure it out, but there were multiple enemies. She moved out a few feet in front of the recently switched Chestnut and Raban, and stood on her hind legs like a rabbit would. Multiple instincts swarmed her head: run and hide, stay and fight, threaten and deter, warn her comrades.

One of her large hare legs thumped the soil rapidly, her head constantly swiveling as she kept a lookout for the enemy.

And then, eight glowing green eyes pierced the shadows of the forest. Four large black wolves slowly appeared out of the bushes, snarling and snapping their jaws at Janine. She assumed the defensive pose, ready to defend her friends, though unaware that these specific wolves were particularly strange.

One leaped for her, and she easily clubbed it with her tail. It yelped before it hit a tree, shaking its body before rushing out after her again. Another went for her paws, but the serpentine demon reared up and sized it up. The wolves backed up a little, but they eventually kept going forward.


the Hugger Troll
"As Raban might say... forgiving people is not the same as mercy," Chestnut replied peering at Raban of whom nodded lightly as he stood next to them. He was still contending with the horse's mind as he stood there, ears facing every noise when it sounded from somewhere close by. He was growing nervous. It never did too well to spend too long inside the darkness of the forest. Especially not with that dragon around. He shifted his weight and stumbled slightly before he caught himself. Getting used to four legs that couldn't shift to a two legged stance threw him off.

Learning to walk again made him feel like a child but he persisted knowing that he couldn't leave this body for a while yet and Chestnut's words had truth to them. Who better to help a demon than another demon. They might not be the same kind but they held a closer kindred than he did with either of them. He was a creature of nightmare and shadow. What did feel nice though was having bigger lungs and he felt a little warmer as he walked around in circles till he got the hang of it.

Raban hoped she would. It was rare anyone could have a mother that knew you were a demon and still love you regardless. It was a rare gift. She was lucky and he couldn't deny he wasn't envious. He wasn't sure what life he would have left if Cadfael hadn't helped him when he did but he knew it would have been much shorter.
He blinked slightly as she nuzzled back but he appreciated it. It meant she was coming round to what he and Chestnut were trying to get through to her.

Something wasn't right. The horse in which he inhabited was alarmed by something and he could feel the nervous tension rise from the stallion nearby. He raised his head, ears pricked and found it quite typical something had to attack them now of all times. He couldn't change in this form. Chestnut couldn't either. For some reason she wasn't able to. Neither of them were sure why.

"Get the chainmail back on Chestnut,"

Chestnut nodded and wormed the mail back on, leaving the rest of the armour on the ground as she picked up the sword, drawing it from its scabbard.

"Trust the horse, Raban. Hooves hurt"

Raban snorted, not liking this an inch knowing Chestnut was not the swordsman he was and he was not going to be as good at fighting in this form either. Janine was the only one who had the highest chance of keeping them all alive. He pawed the ground almost without realising, drawing lines through the leaf litter. It was then they showed themselves and he snorted.

Four wolves but their eyes were strange and he knew these were not normal but also creatures from the dark depths of nightmares. Black wolves also served as bad omens in some belief systems. Right now, it didn't really mattered. They were the prey and sure enough the wolves launched their attack. He shifted, the horse nervous but it was also a warhorse and it did not flee.

Chestnut held the sword ready relying on the information Raban was feeding her mind with how she should stand, her position and how to use the weapon she wielded. Raban didn't have to worry too much about her being able to defend against wolves, she was better at the swaps so she would find it easier. Chestnut growled in Raban's voice, her heat to a scorching point as she did not have to fear people seeing as she defended as best as she was able.

Raban looked at them as they charged forth again and the horse reacted before he did, the large bulk rearing upwards as forelegs struck out. It let forth a shrill neigh that the other horse picked up upon. This was not what Raban had banked on.


The Eager Rper
Janine went down on the ground with a vicious roar; common sense told her to find the leader and dispose of it - when the leader of a wolf pack goes down, the rest of the pack have the instinct to flee. She knew how to fight multiple enemies; she'd often use small wolf packs as practice runs in this form when she wanted a challenge.

But this... Was a little bit different.

Her eyes scanned the ones of the wolves, but she couldn't find anything in them but the faint milkiness of cloudy eyes. Were they blinded? Did it have anything to do with this mystifying green coloration? She was certain that this wasn't normal, and that something was up.


Janine backed up when a wolf's jaws snapped a bit too close to her head. She hissed and backed away from the advancing pack. With a snort, Janine looked back and began to suggest that they make their leave - but was reminded that she still had a horse to deal with. It would take too long to shift into a human to ride him, not to mention that it would be unwise to do so at a time like this. On top of that, Raban was still a horse. Was he even practiced enough to run full speed? Most likely not. She couldn't take the risk.

She had to scare them away. A wolf made a leap at her, but Janine was quicker and slashed at the shoulder of the wolf. It yelped as it landed on the ground, blood spilling on the ground, but otherwise, it just kept going, no fear or pain in its demeanor at all.

Janine huffed as the wolf ran after her again. Shouldn't the wolf have been crying out in pain a little more than that? No time for questions though. Another wolf tried to go for her back legs, but her quick swings managed to hit her target.


Another loud yelp as the wolf landed on the ground with a hard thud. It struggled a little, revealing that Janine had smashed the bone of the wolf's leg. It limped as it went after Janine, teeth bared as if it wasn't currently on three good legs. This now had Janine in a puzzled state. What the hell was this? Wouldn't it be wise for the beast to back down? One injured with a slashed shoulder, another with a broken leg.... Why weren't they backing away? Normal wolves would've at least shown caution if they weren't going to back down.

While Janine was preoccupied with the four wolves attacking her front, she couldn't even sense that a fifth black wolf with those strange eyes had snuck its way into the fray. The wolf ignored Chestnut and Raban completely even as it passed them, focusing its energy on Janine, just like all the other wolves.

The wolf that Janine was unaware of stalked in the bushes and waited for the right moment to strike. Janine made a lunge and swatted at a wolf with her paw. The beast yelped as it tumbled to the ground, and the large serpentine creature leaped on it to roar in its face. Surely that would scare it off. But strangely, she still saw no fear, and the wolf instead snapped viciously at her saliva flying from its fangs. While Janine was occupied, she exposed her hind legs. The wolf saw its chance; it ran with jaws agape until it snapped their fangs around the sensitive nerves in her heel. A pained roar thundered out of the demon's mouth as she instinctively flexed her limb, and her leg buckled as the wolf tugged on her. With a heavy thud, the large demon falls to her side, with the wolf still viciously attacking her leg.

The other wolves saw their chance to attack all at once, and each wolf took a limb; Janine took the opportunity to attack the wolves that dared get too close to her head, but just when she reared her head to strike, the final wolf clamped hard on the back of her scaled head, pulling back and shaking her around like she was small prey.

Janine roared even louder in pain as every wolf fastened their sharp fangs into her furred legs and pulled, and she was growing dizzy from the sheer force of the shaking from the wolf just behind her head. Her tail thrashed relentlessly, but failed to deliver a blow. Janine was steadily growing furious and angry, but with herself pinned down, she couldn't help but to struggle in standing up.
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the Hugger Troll
Raban stared at the wolves as they approached, his nostrils flaring as he landed his bulk. This was not a good situation to find themselves all in. He was aware just how much of a liability he was now. Chestnut not so much but even she was not as good with the sword as he was. She also had no access to the werewolf venom that ran through Raban's veins. He pawed the ground, unsure of what he should do. He could run but that was not in his instinct and he wasn't sure he could in the same way Chestnut could.

"They certainly chose their moment, Little Wolf!"
"You're telling me!"
"Trust the horse. Horses can still kill, hooves are rather deadly,"

He watched and snorted. Something wasn't right! These weren't normal beasts of the pack. The eyes were all wrong but he wasn't sure what they were. Creatures of the dark abyss or pets sent on an errand. The latter option of what these things were troubled him. How long had they been hiding in the shadows, watching all that had just occurred. If they were but the eyes for something or someone else... their secrets were out and known. The difference was what were the orders of the one who had sent them. Were they to kill them, one of them and then send their information back or was the one who sent them watching as it happened. It brought forth an old fear of being discovered.

Raban watched as Janine tried to defend him and Chestnut as the wolves continued their assault. She injured them left and right and they carried on as if they had only been nipped by her. Raban shifted as another emerged, walking past him as if he had not even been there. What was up with these creatures!? It made no sense, least to him. It was clear he was not the one in danger nor Chestnut as he realised they were being being ignored. There were after one thing alone. The one thing Raban counted a friend amongst very few.

She was pinned down even as Chestnut moved to strike one. He could hear the wolf's reaction but it still seem unconcerned as it helped the others pin her down. It angered him, had he been able to change, he would be able to assert his dominance. Little wolves, how dare they!? His frame moved and half reared as he was caught between anger and insecurity of what he now was. Chestnut's words mirrored in his mind and he let himself do so wanting to help his friend.

The Shire reared, letting out an angered whinny before he landed and moved towards the writhing mass of demon and wolf. He turned, his head peering behind him as he tried to remember how to do what he was thinking of. It seemed the horse realised it before he could figure it out and snickered before it threw its weight forwards and then bucked with its hind hooves, sending two wolves away from Janine and smashing into the trees behind. This still didn't seem to deter them but he hoped it give her a chance.

He turned again and the horse answered for him as if finally accepting the wolf in its mind. For a wolf to trust a horse meant the horse had to trust the wolf and the man whose heart was no mean thing. The Shire bit on the one trying to bite the back of Janine's neck, trying to pull it away from her with her two thousand pound weight. Raban might not be able to run just yet but he wasn't about to abandon his friend to these black beasts. Chestnut too tried to help free Janine, carving into the wolves with Raban's sword whilst trying to not hurt Janine in the process.