The Green Woman: Part the Fifth of the Battle for the Mountain

Dirt Road
This narrow, little used dirt road is fast being taken over by grass. It wanders off from the edge of town, travelling generally West, between young evergreens and ancient, gnarled, apple trees. Every now and then, broken bits of asphalt and gravel turn up underfoot, and occasional faint branchings of the path lead to collapsed houses and empty, yawning, cellar holes. However, wildflowers and young trees are fast eradicating these last lingering signs of settlement.
After about two miles, the winding road is blocked by a dense thicket of sumac. There is an opening on the left, flanked by piles of stones, and you see the rusted out remnant of an ironwork gate, lying discarded by the side of the road. (views here)
Obvious exits:
The Willows Back to Town

The dark-haired Sentinel's apparently on a sort of patrol, by the look of him; wandering in homid, Jack's attention is - for the moment - on the clouds. His rifle's unlimbered from his back, resting in his hands, and sporadically he breaks into a snatch of whistling (to be halted after disdainful complaints from the compass hanging by his belt). Rather than actively Looking for Evil, the man seems to be focussed on sorting out his thoughts.

An interested face peers out for a moment from a clump of overgrown rhododendrons. A prolonged rustling ensues.

Jack seems to completely miss the noise - he's jerked from his reverie, however, by a thin, aristocratic voice from the compass. "Ahem. Jack. /Pay attention/." The Garou blinks, and then straightens up, tilting his head and stopping to look around. The rhododendrons are helpfully served up as a good place to investigate by the ever-wary subconscious. Jack just watches them, for the moment, thoughtfully.

Someone giggles, apparently from behind the rhododendrons.

Jack tilts his head up, and calls out, "Oy! Who's that, there?" There's a faint smile forming, as the Sentinel starts towards the source of the giggling. "Bit far out for hide and seek, aren't we?"

"Far... out...." whispers a voice, almost singing the words. The voice comes from directly behind Jack.

Jack generally prides himself on being situationally aware... The voice brings him to an extra sort of alertness, as he looks quickly behind himself, frowning. "What the..."

The rhododenron bush giggles again.

Jack tilts his head, investigating the area behind himself a little more carefully - hackles rising subtly, as his mouth twists wryly. "Who is that?" he demands lightly of the rhododendron bush. Not as lightly as before, though. The man with the English accent and the guns could be growing annoyed in the near future.

A large bundle of oak leaves, weighted with last year's acorns, falls squarely on Jack's head. The giggling voice suddenly becomes stern, speaking from further up the road. "Have you no manners! Don't drop things on people!" Now the owner of the voice - apparently a young woman - is standing in full view. She makes a shooing motion with her hands towards something well over Jack's head. "Shoo! Get you gone!"

Green woman
This young woman is dressed in an outfit that makes her look like a refugee from a stray ballet company lost in the wilds of Maine. A close-fitting yellow garment like a leotard covers her torso, but leaves her graceful arms and throat bare. The skirt of the garment is made of strips of green silk which reach down to the ground and flutter in even the least amount of wind. She is even wearing neat brown silken shoes, to complete the impression.
However, no ballet dancer wears her long, pale brown hair in a tangled curtain that reaches to her knees, nor does she tangle long withes of young willow leaves in it. Ballet dancers are also usually a little less... prounounced in breast and hip. Her face is mostly hidden in her hair, but glimpses of fine features and bright dark eyes suggest that she is attractive.

Jack looked at you.
This young man is obviously a traveller, and most likely a rogue, of some sort, with the too-frequent calculating glances he sends around himself, and the easy, unconscious grace of his movements. Probably in his mid to early twenties, nature seems to have favoured him with height (6'3"), a decent build, and looks to match. Dust and grime sit on a sharp, well-tanned face, with relatively few lines. Short, thick black hair hangs over a faded, dirty red head-band.
A long-sleeved shirt that might once have been white (but would now settle quite happily for 'cream') covers his body, with the sleeves rolled up. A brown leather vest hangs open, over the shirt, with numerous pockets visible on both the inside and outside. His pants appear to be a very dark grey, and woven very tightly in some unidentifiable material, not unlike canvas. Heavy black leather boots bear all sorts of dark stains and dust - they've seen a lot of use, but also look strong enough to see quite a lot more.
The man carries what are obviously long, projectile weapons on his back - slung in leather cases with straps over his shoulders - and he has the look of someone ready to use them. A couple well-placed, faded knife-scars on his face lend a little weight to that assumption, and a little age to the man's obvious youth.

Jack surreptitiously flicks the safety back on his weapon, and just stands for a few moments, eyeing the Green Woman, and looking about him - up included. Blinking once, he remembers himself, and ducks down to scoop up the fallen leaves and nuts, hefting them in one hand, thoughtfully. Rather aware that these aren't the kids from the village.

After gazing at Jack curiously for a long moment - the wide-eyed, nearly astonished gaze that makes one feel like a three-legged duck - the woman puts her head on one side and fingers one of the willow branches woven through her hair thoughtfully. "And what are *you* doing, walking along with your head wrapped in clouds?" she asks, peering around the leaves in her hair.

Jack tilts his head a little, starting to smile. He touches two fingers to his forehead in a lazy salute to the woman, and steps a little closer. "I've been thinking and reflecting, ma'am. Although officially, I'm sniffing around for traces of corruption, with the aim of keeping it away from the town. You?"

The woman listens with an air of puzzlement, then shrugs with a slow smile. "I am looking for brave warriors," she says artlessly.

Jack grins lopsidedly, drawing closer. Enough to give the woman a more thorough inspection. "Really? Well... I happen to know where you can find a couple of those... What were you looking for these warriors /for/, exactly?"

The woman half turns away, swaying her hips gracefully so as to send the skirt swirling out. "We have need of help," she says over her shoulder. "The Children of Winter wish to stay, and will not let us in. And it is our mountain, after all." She looks at Jack languishingly from under long eyelashes.

The dark-haired young man gives the green woman a wink, and slings his weapon over his shoulder - slipping it into its leather case. "Well hey. I'm always ready to help a damsel in distress... and who may you be, anyway, miss?"

The question elicits another giggle from her. She tugs at her forelock, examining the willow leaves in it carefully before answering mischeivously, "You can call me Ivy, if you like." She adds, absently swaying back and forth on one tiny foot, "Will you really help us?"

Jack steps even closer, looking her up and down again and smiling thoughtfully. "Nice name. Ivy. I like it. My name's Jack. It's a pleasure to meet you..." He stretches his hand out, palm tilted slightly upwards, expecting hers. "And I'll surely help in any way I can, Ivy." His eyes flash with a similar mischief.

The so-called Ivy smiles a slow and dazzling smile, and reaches out her hand. However, instead of taking Jack's hand in hers, she merely trails the tips of her fingers across his palm, too quickly and too softly to catch. "Thank you," she says. Her teeth are lovey, even, white... and pointed?

Jack watches the brief contact with a slight narrowing of his eyes - though the smile remains. "Is there anything... else I can do for you in the meantime?" he murmurs, thoughtfully.

She laughs, tossing back her hair. Many laughs are called 'rippling,' but there is a decidedly watery sound to her laughter, a not unattractive, but also not human sound. She reaches out and brushes her slender fingers lightly across his cheek. "Ah, but doesn't the knight have to complete the brave quest before he is rewarded by the lady?"

The man gives a short laugh of his own, inclining his head in acknowledgement, but moving a casual step closer; seemingly to investigate the leaves entwined in her hair. "True... but I figured you may well have chosen many knights already, and I should just get in early to save on overcrowding, come celebration time. You know... bit of a preview." He smiles. "Besides. You might enjoy rewarding so much, you'll run out of things for me to do..."

So-called Ivy smiles in return, swaying gracefully towards Jack, and then a little away, teasingly. "Ah, brave knight, you must save your strength for the trials ahead. I would not wish to... weary you." Leaves blow across her face, tangled in her hair. "But I shall surely reward your eagerness afterward. Be comforted: the contest will happen very soon."

From afar, Jack laughs. And grumbles. :)
Long distance to Jack: Green woman giggles (a very different kind of giggle from her character). I think you'll be glad you waited.

Jack shakes his head a little in amusement, looking to the clouds again for a moment, then back to the woman calling herself 'Ivy'. "Perhaps... I do have plenty of stamina, so while your concerns are appreciated, there should be no need." He tilts his head, watching her with a measuring gaze.

The woman laughs again, a huskier laugh than before. "You'll need it all, if not for the contest, then afterwards."

Jack gives her a warm smile, resting his hands on his hips. "So what does this contest involve, anyway?"

She says enigmatically, "That will depend on you, I expect."

His expression begins to slide towards a mild confusion - though still amiable. "You can, perhaps, at least prepare me in some way?"

Running her fingers through her hair, she turns half away again, thoughtfully. "We agreed to the battle to decide who will have the mountain. You will fight on one side. But how you fight is up to you.

Jack lowers his head slightly, 'hmmm'ing. And stepping around her, as if near circling. "All good and well. And what shall you do with your time now? I'm sure there are things we can do that would be more relaxing than strenuous..."

The green woman turns her head to follow Jack's movement, watching him over a coquettishly raised shoulder. "I am desolated," she murmurs, "for I have things I must do before tonight. But after the battle, ah, *then*..." she watched him, her dark eyes glowing. "Then will be time enough. But for now I must go."

Jack takes a deep breath and sighs dramatically - a wry look settling on his face. "Pity. I really hate crowds," he notes, mildly, but reaches up to his shoulder to unlimber his rifle again. "Can't blame a guy for trying," he adds, with a quick grin.

The woman smiles her slow smile at Jack again. "No, I do not *blame* you, but am flattered. We must find a nice lonely place after the battle..." and she walks off into the woods. Although the woods here are very overgrown, she has no trouble at all, but sways her way as easily and as delicately as a Victorian lady down a street, or a willow branch waving in the wind.

Jack rests the rifle butt in the crook of his arm - the barrel over his shoulder - and tilts his head, watching the woman thoughtfully as she leaves. He whistles lowly to himself, and murmurs, "The things I'll do for a bit of skirt..." before turning and trying to remember how he was patrolling. The compass notes stuffily - after its long silence - "/Well/ then. It was nice knowing you." The Sentinel gives a short bark of laughter.

[The Green Woman then moves to the Diner for the Choosing of the Warriors.]