The night was drawing near and the deadly cold slowly crept into the land, the life taking claws of the frozen tundra gripping into the land. Though still ever strong life continued to survive even up in the frozen north, life was stubborn in that way. As it seemed a man was still walking this inhospitable tundra, feet deep in the snow as he walked. Even as galing winds pushed trees he seemed to be a pillar unaffected by the harsh weather that surrounded him, continuing to press forward. His steps crunching down into the snow as his hand gripped into his bow keeping it close and to the ready. Golden eyes glowed in the low light of the twilight, as mists of air came out of the man in bellowing bursts. The expert hunter moved trough the trees as if one with the forest itself, slowly moving through the thick blankets of white before pressing against a tree.
Golden lights shone in the twilight looking forward, as he moved he bow forward, his fingers touching the string with an arrow. The basic looking bow seeming to give the large man a bit of strain as he pulled the string, as if he was pulled back on the bow. His breath slowed to a stop, as his eyes did not blink or move from what he was looking towards. The tips of his fingers were still like hooks on the string, only shaking slightly from his heart beats. though in between the beats the fingers loosed. A crack of air is heard as the string and arrow broke free, a louder crack could be heard from where the arrow landed, as if it was impaled into a massive tree.
Walking forward the man moved to where his arrow landed, his bow being crossed over his shoulder slowly. Grabbing hold of the arrow, it was imbedded into a tree with a rabbit impaled on it not moving not even bleeding from the entry of the arrow. He took the arrow out of the tree as he kept it in the prey, slowly hooking it into his belt to walk again in the forest...
A hill of snow came into view as he walked towards it, slowly making his way over the mound. Once over the peak he could see the inside of his camp, a tent was set up along with a few other thing scattered about. A fire still going as he moved to sit near it, taking his knife out as he relaxed next to the life giving flame. He slowly began to prepare the meal as he slid his knife under the skin of the animal, expertly slicing the membrane of skin just over the muscle and fat. Before pulling his knife through the sternum and down the belly, gutting the animal before placing it on the fire. He watched as it cooked, using his knife to turn it over slowly as he relaxed looking over his surroundings for a moment. He had tamed what most would call an impossible land to tame, a place so inhospitable that the creatures are just as tough. Even the rabbits here were larger then those of other regions. Yet he still felt like he could learn more, always searching for a way to better himself. His bowmen ship Unarmed... His hunting capability he worked on each one constantly to an obsession. Soon the meal was done as he opened his mouth revealing large fangs ready to go into the flesh of the now succulent meal. The lack of spice was apparent though he did not care as he was used to the bland food, even the city folk around the north were used to limited spices. Though once he was finished with the meal he made his way to his tent to rest... Laying his head for the last time in his frozen home.
He slept with his animal companions as he always did, his tent was magicly touched by something able to keep it's temperature regulated. He was one to wake up early most of the time, as he stretched in his tent. Moving himself over Ylfa and around Ari he slowly moved to the entrance of his tent. His head the first thing to come out as he blinks a few times looking around. A sea of yellow seemed to meet his eyes as he slowly got confused his mind racing for a moment before he looked to his left and right. "Where is that hyena spirt from last time?" He seems to relate the situation to something that had happened before as he looked to the distance the sun was well over the horizon as if it had never set. He began to gather some of his things and was ready for whatever the strange golden spirit had waiting for him this time. He was stronger then he was then and it seemed he was not separated from his family this time.
The sun was high and unmoving in this season. Shadows were at their smallest during the Season of the Sun, shade and water were scarce, especially in these sands south of Oasis. As Wald looked around, all he'd see would be dunes upon dunes of sand in every direction. And their size, and distance, should be evident, for some of these dunes stood far taller than some of the mountains that Wald would have seen in the world he'd left.
Both Ylfa and Nex would experience sensations that they'd never experienced before. Ylfa would find himself cut off entirely from the being that had given him to Wald, seemingly removed entirely from the greatest pack known to his previous world. It was all gone, all that remained was Wald and the others here. Nex, on the other hand, would find that they were shut out of the Dreamscapes they once knew. They could feel a barrier, one that felt similar to that previous world of theirs, but for the moment, it seemed shut to them.
The winds began to pick up, and with it, a distant chittering noise. On these winds, the smell of old blood, urine, and feces, much of which is distinctly human, though others mixed in as well. Then, over the crest of one of the massive dunes came a flying insectoid. It stayed high in the air, and soon after, dozens more followed after it. Then hundreds came, then thousands, tens of thousands, flying northeast of Wald's position. They were clearly some sort of bipedal, insectoid, and many of them were carrying weapons. Many of these weapons were crude, damaged, poorly cared for.
A tendril broke off from the massive swarm, a hundred or so in total, clearly breaking away, heading downward and in Wald's direction. And among this small contingent, one of these was wearing shiny, well kept metallic armor, and was keeping its distance. At their distance, they were about ninety seconds from closing in on Wald's position. And all the while, the chittering grew louder in the air, becoming deafening.
Golden brown eyes looked on at the swarm, the hunter had to make a choice quickly though thankfully just a tendril of the mass of insectoids could be seen. They reminded him of the large insects of his frozen home, they were dangerous without weapons of their own but with them there is no real telling how they will use their numbers. There was limited options for getting out of her without making some sort of sacrifice, making his choice in a moment. Used to needing to make the best choice for his and his family's survival, as he began his plan almost as soon as he gripped his bow in his gauntleted hand. "Ylfa get those two out of here, I will stay here with Ari to keep them at bay." As he said this he pulled the pegs of his tent out, wrapping what little he had up and tossing it onto the donkey's saddle. As his orders were played out quickly, he himself turning to the swarm again Ari stepping with him in his armor.
"Master, I will return once I find these two shelter." The voice in his head was effeminate in tone and slightly warry of something, Wald could feel it as well his teeth did not itch like they used to before a fight with prey. Though he had no time to do anything but ensure survival of he and those who counted on him. His bow being drawn back before he quickly started picking targets, aiming for those who had the thickest armor first. As the bow cracked and the arrows popped in the air. It was as if he was firing a heavy cross bow in an almost rapid fire, back in his old home the arrows would sink nearly four inches into wood though he felt stranger here. Something was off...
Ylfa was already gone out in the opposite direction of the swarm, as he himself kept Ari with him both of them have trained together long hours. It was strange teaching a tiger combat but that was just what he did, though with the enemy able to fly the large feline's own flight would not be a massive advantage. Although he did have one thing...
"Nex, I need you to guide my shots make sure they do not try to sneak up on me!" He spoke to his other companion who was hidden to nearly everyone aside from him. The fairy that was saved from the prison that was Wald's mind what felt like only a month ago. He himself feeling a cut off from the realm he had gained access to, perhaps a side effect from the transportation to wherever the golden being took him. Just were was the door this time though...
"Wald what is going on where are we I... Ok I can do that no problamo just be careful! This isn't like those scores of undead you fought off many moons ago!" Nex flew up in the realm just outside of that of the mortals, moving up to give a proper view of the battle field that was about to go down. information was important when it came to trying to win something, he knew this... If he had more time he would of placed all sorts of traps in the sand for the creatures, though he slowly made note of what he could as he fired away.
The distance ran out as Ari let out a roar towards the creatures trying to give some intimidation into them, before moving in closer and swiping with his massive claws. Armored wings fanning out hard in a ten meter span in order to knock as many away from the tiger as he could. Seeing this gave Wald a pit in his stomach as he had been on the other side of that move a few times now, he wondered if the sand was as soft as the snow when it came to the impact back down. Though he ran out of space for his own bow as well having to move in with his own melee. Getting low to the ground, he gripped into the sand before lunging forward to help Ari out in their fight, he himself making a plumb of sand go directly at the swarming creatures.
The arrows that Wald fired off soared true, striking several of the insectoid beings in their torsos. The powerful shots carved deep holes through the being, the arrow continuing onward out the back, as the insectoid began falling to the sands, dead before they hit the ground. But the tendril did not slow or show any sign of extra caution, they continued to dive on toward Wald's location.
The intimidating roar by Ari did nothing to stop these beings, who were now splitting off into two contingents. The first going after Ylfa and Ari's group, the other staying on course for Wald.
Nex, having inadvertently entering the Spirit Realm, would see far more than Wald could've. In the distance, she'd see a great, moving, glowing light, rapidly moving in on a flank from Wald's side. A closer look would show that there were a great many glowing spirits charging forward in a great herding stampede, large pig like beasts, all with glowing warriors to match. Except for one there at the front, a woman, wielding a recurve bow, was riding on the back of a large, living version of the same glowing beasts.
Nex could still see the insectoids closing in, simultaneous with this stampede, but it wouldn't be immediately obvious that Nex was looking at both the Mortal Realm and the Spirit Realm simultaneously.
Just as the two tendrils of invading insectoids reached Wald and his companions, deafening the air around them with the high pitched chittering, a great, rushing roar filled the air, like that of a waterfall. A tear in the realm of mortals formed, air whooshing heavily, as the stampede charged through it, exiting the Spirit Realm. The woman at the front let loose a shrill, undulating scream, and the spirit beasts and their riders lifted off the ground, still running to meet the insect swarm in battle.
The spirits slashed and stabbed and crushed the insects, who fought back, tearing at the ephemera in kind. However, the woman on the large boar seemed to be ground bound, aimed her arrow at the armor wearing insectoid, who was a full sixty seconds of fast flight away, watching. An impossible shot.
She loosed it, and it flew straight, far straighter than an arrow should. And if Wald saw it, he would see that it was picking up speed as it went. Several of the insectoids flew into the path of the arrow to block it, but the spinning force of it ripped their bodies into shreds and it flew onward, unfazed.
The armor wearing insectoid raised a hand, and a wall of fire formed between him and the arrow. As the arrow passed through it, it disappeared entirely. The woman snarled loudly, already charging in the direction of the leading insect.
The fight was strange as the hunter began to engage at the insectoids though he knew things would not go well if he made a wrong step. The numbers were obviously on the other side. As they reached the small group He began to fight the insectoids hand to hand as well as he could, grabbing hold and using one of the bugmen as a shield against some of the other's strikes. Eventually tossing it aside as he started his way through them, the exoskeletons having weak points in their joints, as he easily started to disarm the creatures where he could. "There are creatures coming!" The hunt's mind rang with a warning of some sort, as he watched over Ari's large paws striking into the smaller figures around him. The large wolf bouncing about the battle field using Ari as a leverage point as the wings flung her into the air, tackling into a pair of insectoids herself.
Wald looked around for a moment golden eyes could not see just what was happening until... A tactic he had used before spirit animals surged out into the mortal realm. He was put on the back foot unknown if these were allies or enemies as it did not matter to much right now. The enemy of my enemy is my friend after all... He could see the woman at the head of the pack of animals, already trying to figure out a way to take her down if it was needed. Though for now it looked like only one enemy was a threat to him right now. He could use this to depart, though the likely hood of success did not seem as high as it should be.
There was a gap now between the insectoids and the group from the large distraction. He did see the way the bow was used, the arrow did strange maneuvers in the air almost like it was being guided some how. He wondered if it was an enchantment to the bow or something else, in either case it gave him time to fire a powerful shot of his own. Falling to his own back he turned himself into a siege weapon for a moment, bow hooked on his feet as he used both hands to aim. He saw the arrow stop in mid hair from the fire, as he shot his own arrows. One after another towards the armored insectoid, each arrow with the force of a small ballista as he used his full body to pull the bow. Only able to get a few off before getting winded. Having to put the bow away as his hands bleed from the string against it. Clearly his body was not used to doing this action with the bow an emergency measure as it was clear what the target of the hunt should be.
Standing up panting as blood drips to the sands below him, the scent of the iron filling the air around him as he licked his fingers himself. He had to take a breath but he looked for one of the boars that were particularly close, using his gauntlets to grab hold, hopefully the smell of fresh blood being a good distraction for his family to be safer.
The remainder of the battle went quick, the spiritual warriors making quick work of the small contingent of insects. Once they were clearly defeated and being finished off, the one in the armor watching from above flared bright as flames coated it and it disappeared from existence. The woman on the boar roared loudly in the direction it had been in, before strapping her bow to her back.
She let loose a shrill whistle, one that would ripple right through the core of all that could hear it, and the spiritual warriors phased back out of the mortal realm and returned to the spirit realm where they could recuperate. The main contingent of the insects were so far off in the distance that they presented no immediate threat, a barely invisible cloud over the crest of a dune.
The spiritual boar that Wald had attempted to grab ahold of and mount was gone in an instant, leaving him to fall to the sands. The woman rode over on her own, larger mount, staring down at him, and in a deep, booming voice, barked at him harshly. "#*(%@&%@#%**(^%#$&(@&#%(@."
A loud huff followed by an exasperated sigh. She pat the side of her beast's flank, and it snorted deeply. The woman blinked, and suddenly there appeared to be sands swarming around her and the boar, almost as a second skin. The pair dove down through the sand effortless as walking, and they disappeared below the sands.
And Wald and crew were now alone in the desert, in this new world, under a sun that would not set, let alone move for many days. From his position, it was simply miles and miles of sand and sun. So the question would be, what would come next?
Falling into the sand after the spirit fully faded there was a brief moment as he stood up and shook the sand out. Unlike the snow he was used to it didn't just melt away. Though when the boars started to vanish things started to calm a bit, until he heard a voice from the woman. He simply blinked at the woman unknowing just what was being said. Though before he could try and give a response the woman was gone. He slowly knitted his lip and looked to the direction of where she pointed. Finding no reason not to at least head in that direction, it was his best chance at finding something other then sand and dead insects.
He motioned to the others of his pack to follow as he set forth on a journey, still trying to figure out just what the hell happened and where he was sent to...