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Welcome to HyperionEdit
New Team of HuntersEdit
The sun shone in the skies of the Tropical Lands of Koldenwelt at another day of 32 New Age's summer. Waves hit the shores as a boat carrying multiple individuals docked into the small port of Olimarius Hub, the one and only city of the Mikmik fairies located next to the sea. In this ship, tourists, merchants and hunters all talked among themselves about what they planned to do in this elusive and mysterious place, hidden away from civilization yet so full of interesting things to be explored. This was Hyperion Island, located several kilometers north from other more known islands such as Sprak or Khrokar, yet still a vivid place full of life and magic few were familiar with.
Amongst the convention of hunters and poachers that sought trophies, experience, and personal accomplishment, one garnered many looks from a great number of eyes from all around; the wild elven mistress - the Aithrena known by formality as the Outcast Huntress - had appeared upon the isle of Hyperion, bow and arrows in hand alongside her hunting blades. As one would have come to expect from such a figure, she had come with the intention in hand of seeking only the finest and most challenging of prey native to these far-off lands. Landing a near distance from the port was a surprising sight: a Red Wyvern, one of the violent brethren of the Fire Drakes of the east. Such creatures were not common to this region, but by the saddle n its back, it was obviously domesticated. And climbing down from it was an elf of Erylian origin, her long brown hair flowing with the wind as she took a look around the village, a stoic look on her face as she did. By her stance and uniform, it was clear she was from the military.
The sight of the colossal wyvern had caught the eagle eyes of the Aithrenan elf, and while a curiosity within her bosom was invoked at the mere thought of a person coming to ride such a graceful and elegant harbinger of ferocity, she had not convinced herself to act upon it so soon. Instead, she merely waltzed through the crowds of hunters, to catch a more detailed glimpse at the spectacle that had unfolded before her. Olimarius Hub was a beacon of activity, with men, elves and beasts alike all interacting with the natives: the blue-skinned mikmik fairies, who displayed a very welcoming attitude toward all of them, with an almost child-like glee. Commerce was also clearly a thing here as several stores of miscellaneous items could see seen everywhere, as well as more specialized buildings such as smiths. The Erylia Elf saw herself welcomed by the fairies as her wyvern growled at them, only for the small creatures to retaliate by gushing water at its face from their apparently invisible mouths, causing the dragon to yell out in surprise and the fire elf to shake her fist at the fairies as they ran away giggling.
While the Erylian and her pet became acquainted with the natives of the isle of Hyperion, the Outcast Huntress stepped closer, glancing towards the wyvern and watching both it and its owner with a thorough analysis. Soon enough, shoving aside a beastman hunter as she strolled through the crowds, the Aithrenan concluded her approach by stepping at the Erylian's side, arms at her sides, with her head tilted upon its side, displaying an expression of interest in both the wyvern and its rider - her eyes were drawn especially to the rider's uniform.
- Khadya - That is a big wyvern.
The fire elf's gaze turned to Khadya with a raised eyebrow as she cleaned her uniform, while the wyvern behind her narrowed its eyes as it glared at the Aithrena Elf, a low growl coming out of it.
- Filonan - I recommend not getting too close, lest he decide to make you his snack.
- Khadya - My experience with wildlife tells me that despite his domestic status, he retains the fierce nature of all wyverns. But he is a fine spectacle nonetheless, utterly commendable. ... Does he carry a name?
- Filonan - Does it really matter to you? You're most certainly not the Mikmik chieftain, and he's the one I'm here for.
- Khadya - Well is that not a coincidence? I was also on my way to pursue the Mikmik chieftain until I caught a glimpse of your... pet.
- Filonan - Shouldn't you be on your way to find him then?
- Khadya - I could ask the same, I do not see why anyone interested in the cheiftain would waste their time around these parts when there is hunting to be done. ... I would ask if we could go attend together, but your hospitality is clearly as lacking as my patience today.
A mildly annoyed groan came out of Filonan as she turned around, taking a step toward her dragon in order to reach for her weapon, which was being held in a belt around its back: her valued spear, the same used by the warriors of the Sovereignty of Dryada's Wyvernrider Legion. The wyvern barred its teeth to Khadya as it glared at her. Khadya huffed with irritation as she turned and brushed various strands of hair out of her face and over her shoulder, walking away from the Erylian and her wyvern mount although not before glancing towards the weapon that Filonan wielded; the manner in which it was structured, the materials it was constructed from, the method which Filonan used to wield it. She could tell that behind the uniform was an experienced veteran of conflict.
And it irked her to think; what was a veteran doing here when one could be spending their time elsewhere lest they be a thrill seeker much like the Outcast Huntress herself? In a close distance away was the largest building in the village, the chieftain's hut, and next to it appeared to be some sort of board with several pieces of paper, each holding what appeared to be a request in it. Taking care of the board were a pair of cheerful Mikmik girls, while next to the entrance of the large hut was an older looking Mikmik, who looked around lazily as he sat down on a chair, his eyes nearly invisible beneath his hat. Standing beside the board, eyes looking over the sheets of paper that were pinned unto it and attempting to read each request and offer that happened to be accompanied with a picture. was a figure of considerable size; a beastwoman - an Oevrumine, specifically - with a halberd grasped loosely within her left palm, her hair braided and armour worn. She had placed a hand upon her chin, rubbing it as she appeared in thought.
- Saranhreia - Huh. I can't read.
Striding past the Oevrumine with little concern, Khadya strolled barefoot across the trail that led towards the large hut occupied by the chieftain, her irritation from the prior meeting with the inhospitable Erylian having calmed itself by the time she walked passed the board. Making an approach for the hut, Khadya eyed the Mikmik that adorned headwear and sat outside of the entrance of the hut, and she called towards him with an inquisitive tone.
- Khadya - Can I speak to the chieftain?
The Mikmik tip his hat up in order to reveal his eyes, and as he eyed Khadya, he spoke.
- Mikmik - That'd be me. Who are you, girl?
- Khadya - The Outcast Huntress, Khadya. The Grotesque. You heard of me?
- Mikmik - Grotesque? My my, I wouldn't call you that, that's for certain... And indeed, I've heard of the Outcast Huntress more than once. Apparently an admirable, well, huntress.
- Khadya - Some say admirable, others say intimidating. Depends on the one you happen to be asking, but thank you. Would you be so kind as to inform as per the rules established for hunters upon this isle and where I may find... worthy prey?
- Mikmik - You plan on hunting? All by your lone self? I'm afraid you shouldn't do that.
- Khadya - And why would that be?
- Mikmik - The island is becoming... slightly dangerous. Dangerous enough for us to consider not letting people go out there alone.
- Filonan - That is the reason I'm here.
Filonan walked up to the Mikmik chieftain, bumping into Khadya as she forced herself into view, carrying her spear on her back.
- Filonan - My superiors have detected a source of dark power emanating in this location and I've been sent to investigate and eliminate it, depending of its nature.
- Khadya - And here I was, standing and wondering as to why a veteran of the Sovereignty would be here to simply hunt animals and garner trophies. I knew that one dressed and fitted as a soldier was no real hunter.
- Mikmik - Well, aren't you an eager one! You want to hunt too, hm?
- Filonan - ...What? I'm here on official business.
- Mikmik - Don't be shy, young girl. I am Chieftain Louihar and I'm more than eager to let you be Khadya's partner!
- Filonan - ...W-what!?
- Khadya - ... Whoa, hey now. I have little to do with the Erylian, we did not even arrive upon the isle by the same means. Plus I much prefer to work alone.
- Louihar - Ain't that too bad.
- Khadya - ... Well this is simply perfect.
- Louihar - You might not know, but I'm a fairy. A tough fairy full of magic! And you know one thing I can do with this here leaf antenna on my head? Detect good synergies, good potential partnerships. To survive Hyperion Island, one must master not just hunting skills, but also cooperation and companionship. Miss brownie, I'll be more than eager to have a chat with you about the dark presence, after you prove yourself to me by participating in hunts.
- Filonan - But... but... agh. You're lucky my superiors told me to comply to your culture.
- Khadya - And this is why I live without superiors, I think you shall find. And considering that I have much more experience traversing the wilderness than you - presumably - I guess that I can be considered your superior, hm?
- Filonan - Go get dressed before addressing me like that.
- Khadya - Tone down your bitch-o-meter and I might allow you to leave the wilderness without having lost more than a single finger or toe.
- Louihar - Boy, that attitude'll make you amazing meals for the Poison Drakes!
- Khadya - ... The fat fairy thing is right, to survive traversing the wilderness and stalking prey, you must understand three things; yourself, your target, and your allies. And standing around doing little more than arguing shan't really be considered a step in the right direction.
- Filonan - ...Right, right. You're correct.
- Louihar - I'll let you know I'm not fat, I'm big boned! Regardless, two is still not enough. We'll need a third person if you want to survive out there... Oh! I know!
Louihar grabbed his cane and pointed it at the board, and most especially, Saranhreia.
- Louihar - You! Minotaur! You'll hunt with these two elves!
The Oevrumine woman's ears perked as Louihar called towards her, and she brought herself to turn away from the board to glance at the Mikmik chieftain and the elven duo standing ahead of him. Looking over the two elves briefly and swiftly without much consideration as per their equipment the might Saranhreia tilted her head, looking on in confusion.
- Saranhreia - What's this about elves?
- Louihar - You. Hunt with them. Team of three.
- Saranhreia - ... Cannot see why not.
- Khadya - By the gods please no.
- Filonan - O-Oevrumine?
- Louihar - Perfect! Now be friends, the three of you, or you're not gonna last a single hour out there! Now, allow me to explain how we Mikmik operate.
Getting down from his chair, Louihar walked over to the board Saranheia was failing to read from, pointing his cane at it.
- Louihar - This is the request board, where the island inhabitants report about possible hunts or events. We Mikmik grow from the flesh of monsters' tails, and your goal is to bring us monsters so we may carve their tails and create more Mikmik seeds, and of course, food for us and yourself. If you do this, we'll be glad to give you rewards which may involve precious metals or whatever else you may be into, and if you get us carves from particularly powerful beasts, we might even be able to craft great weapons from them.
- Saranhreia - ... Holy shit a talking salamander.
- Khadya - So you wish for us to go and carve trophies from our foes in order to bring them back so that rewards can fall into place? A worthy incentive if I have ever came across one. ... I am still wondering as to what you saw in the Oevrumine, however.
- Saranhreia - Hm? Another Oevrumine, where? ... Oh.
- Louihar - Yup! Now, let's see a good way to getr you started. Hmmm...
Reading through the letters on the board, Louihar eventually reached a hand and took one of them, before his face showed satisfaction.
- Louihar - Ah, yes. The perfect beginners' hunt. The Great Raptouros.
- Saranhreia - What's so great about it?
- Louihar - The Great Raptouros, the golden lord of Hyperion's raptors! The alpha male of the Raptouros race! Small, nimble and not very strong, but their numbers can make any unprepared hunter beg for mercy. Raptouros hunt in packs, initiates! And you will get past these packs and bring me the corpse of their alpha male!
- Saranhreia - I'm worried about how enthusiastic this guy is about killing those things. ... Can't say I blame him though.
- Khadya - Packs, hm? A definite challenge, to be sure, but nothing that the three of us should not be able to handle. As long as you all allow me to remain in charge, that is.
- Saranhreia - Who are you again?
- Filonan - Well, as we've been forced to work together, I suppose the least I should do is present myself. I am Filonan Aerember, and my wyvern is Daggis.
- Louihar - No wyvern allowed in the hunts. That's literally cheating.
- Filonan - Oh, come on!
- Saranhreia - Hehehe, who needs a wyvern when you have an Oevrumine?
- Khadya - Rather, who needs stealth when you have an Oevrumine? Ugh. Well, I am Khadya the Grotesque, the Outcast Huntress of the Western Forests, and--
- Saranhreia - Saranhreia. They call me the Nomad Juggernaut. ... Well, they call me a lot of things really. Not many of them are nice things.
- Louihar - Well then. Filonan, Khadya and Saranhreia. Each of you will receive a map to the island's regions which'll include your target's location. Now, chop-chop! Those tails won't get themselves!
Khadya nodded, eyeing her two new comrades with a degree of discomfort as she drew her bow and arrow; it took much of her willpower simply to not pull the string and launch the arrowhead into her own face as she gave the Oevrumine sentinel a second glance, watching as she took a brief moment to enjoy the pictures on the requests documents nailed to the board. Saranhreia looked down at the two elven women, smiling in their direction and exposing her sharp, intimidating canines as she did so, attempting - and failing - to appear hospitable.
- Khadya - Kill me.
- Saranhreia - Cheer up, it'll be fun. Besides, I do not get to travel with people often, and by the looks of it neither do you two, K-Kh-Kh.... K-Kh... White and Brown.
- Filonan - This is gonna be a long mission.
The Golden RaptorEdit
Light engulfed Khadya, Filonan and Saranheia as soon as they had prepared themselves, and the female trio suddenly found themselves in the middle of a forest, with no Mikmik or civilization for that matter in sight. It appeared they had been teleported to closer to their target, likely because locating one animal in the middle of Hyperion would be too difficult. Filonan had the island's map on her hands as well as some sort of book detailing the wildlife, and by what the map said, the trio were north of Olimarius Hub in the region of Theohelm, the tropical haven of Hyperion Island. The sun shined brightly above the trees as the sound of animal life dominated the women's ears.
- Saranhreia - This sun brings out the worst of my sweat problem.
- Khadya - Ngh, usually I am not one to complain about forests, but to leave us stranded in the middle of nowhere with no means to get back? Throw me a bone, people.
- Filonan - ...I assume they're going to bring us back when we're done... or at least, I hope so.
- Saranhreia - The longer we're out here, the more stuff we can kill and bring back, right?
- Khadya - Unless something kills us first.
- Saranhreia - Ah, come on, it can't be that bad. If it was really that dangerous, there'd be corpses and bones and all that stuff everywhere. ... Oh right, animals eat that sorta stuff.
- Filonan - Let's just find this Great Raptouros and kill it so we can hopefully get send back to anywhere-but-here.
- Khadya - Agreed. It is a mere animal, it cannot be so hard.
- Filonan - ...Well, I'm a trained solder, not an animal poacher. I'm not trained to seek and find animals in a forest.
- Khadya - Well, luckily for you, I am. A hunter that is, not a poacher. Poachers are loud and noisy and clumsy, true hunters are fluid and silent; the fundamentals of hunting includes being quiet, watching your surroundings, always being prepar--
- Saranhreia - Huargh! Come on out, you little bastards! Big ol' Sara's gonna carve ya!
As the girls spoke among themselves, the sound of movement was heard around the bushes as swift, relatively small-sized, yellow silhouettes ran through them. As Filonan was alerted by their noise, she immediately gripped on her spear. Khadya drew her bow, preparing an arrow as her ears perked in response to the rustling of the bushes and leaves, while Saranhreia grasped her halberd tightly and wore an intimidating smile, glancing towards the bushes and trees as she tapped the length of her weapon with her fingertips in a basic rhythm.
- Khadya - Glad to see everyone's alert.
- Filonan - You go ahead.
Khadya nodded as she lifted her arms and squinted one of her eyes in order to assist in her accuracy; soon enough, after several minutes of quiet waiting aside from the heavy breaths of their Oevrumine accomplice, Khadya unleashed the arrow drawn upon her bow, launching it into the bushes. The two girls beside Khadya could barely register the path of the arrow, travelling faster than most other projectiles the two have seen launched. A pained yelp was heard as a yellow-coloured reptile jumped out of the bushes, Khadya's arrows having hit its leg as it began limping away. Its golden scales showed it was most certainly a Raptouros, but it was far too small to be the one they were looking for.
The Raptouros found itself incapable of escaping Khadya as she made her way to it, and the deeper she went into the woods, she could hear the sound of water as well as the sound of more creatures not too far ahead of the direction she was charging. Khadya stooped low as the sound of more fauna caused her to become cautious and aware, diving through the woods to land atop of the injured Raptouros and attempt to finish it swiftly and painlessly. With Khadya out of sight, Saranhreia groaned before turning to Filonan, glancing her up and down.
- Saranhreia - You going to go after her?
- Filonan - Sigh... Yeah, yeah.
The Raptouros snapped and bit the air as it tried to get Khadya out of its back while Filonan walked over to them, holding on her spear as she did. Khadya brought her hunting knife to the throat of the Raptouros while she kept her head up, glancing in all directions for any sight of its pack members and, perhaps, the alpha that happened to be leading them - the Great Raptouros, even. Saranhreia followed shortly behind Filonan, cutting down flora with her halberd that she could not traverse through due to her size and mass. The raptor creature swiftly died beneath Khadya, letting out a final groan before its body went limp. Looking closely ahead, Khadya could see several more Raptouros all laying on the ground, resting next to a small water current while the corpse of a green pig-like animal was visible and half-eaten. And laying on top of a large rock, above the others was a considerably larger Raptouros, almost as tall as Saranhreia, snoring as it slept. The Great Raptouros.
- Khadya - Look at that, an animal so large and majestic... And it appears to be resting. If I am quiet, I can end it swiftly here, and bring back the prize...
- Filonan - You see anything?
- Saranhreia - Oh shit, look at that!
- Khadya - Ssssh! Yes, that is indeed the Great Raptouros I believe we are looking for - asleep, so be quiet and don't wake it up!
- Filonan - Ngh, what do you suggest then?
- Khadya - I'll sneak up on it and slit its throat, it won't make a noise and it'll die quickly.
- Saranhreia - ... That means you get all the glory. What about us?
- Khadya - Are either of you experienced hunters?
- Filonan - She has a point. I'm not here for hunting anyway, I got dragged into it.
- Khadya - See? Exactly.
- Saranhreia - Grr, you elves...
With that, Khadya began to sneak, her lithe and sleek form traversing through the forest debris seamlessly even if her pale, white form did stand out at least somewhat, although this was quickly amended as dirt and mud camouflaged her skin, allowing her to blend into the forest itself without much difficulty. She made an approach for the Great Raptouros, sliding her hunting knives out of their sheaths as she snuck upon the mighty creature. Khadya could see several of the Raptouros in the area were awake, looking around and twiching their feathered ears as she snuck upon them though none of them appeared to have noticed her presence yet. The Great Raptouros kept snoring as it ignored all noise around it, his tail slowly swinging left and right.
Khadya wore an eager smile upon her face as she got closer and closer, stepping through the foliage with calm and elegant grace, appearing to not be bothered with the dirt and grime that coated her form - it embraced her and assisted her. As she travelled, Saranhreia rested upon the ground, grabbing a pouch from her belt and opening it - a pouch that would have been considered a sack by human and elven standards. Within it, morsals and chunks of fresh meat, which she began to chow down on to bide the time. Filonan eyed Saranhreia as she ate, and on her mind, the Erylia Elf was slightly worried for having to work with her. The Khalmartia always spoke ill of the Oevrumine, and this was the first time she was ever in the presence of one.
- Saranhreia - What you lookin' at, elfy? ... You want some? It's good.
- Filonan - N-no, thanks.
- Saranhreia - ... So what are you here for then, if you're not a hunter?
- Filonan - Official business. My superiors have detected a dark presence in this place. As in, dark evil presence.
- Saranhreia - ... And you think that dark presence is a raptor?
- Filonan - Obviously not. I'm just here because Louihar won't speak to me until I "prove myself". Ugh. Doesn't he understand his island may be in grave danger?
- Saranhreia - His funeral, although I must say... They have some great food over here. It'd be a shame for it all to go to waste, that's why I'm gonna be eating it more before this place gets doomed if that's what you're saying. ... You sure you don't want some?
- Filonan - ...Uh... Sure, I'll have one.
As Filonan reached a hand for Saranheia's lunch, something flew right between the two girls: Khadya, thrown like a ragdoll with surprising force, and behind her, an angered, saurian roar. Khadya was struck against a tree, causing her to slide down its trunk onto the ground with her clothing torn and armour splintered, groaning and wincing all the while as the entirety of her body ached. The sack that Saranhreia had been eating from had been knocked from her hand and dashed across the ground, the chunks and morsals flung across the area, causing the Oevrumine woman to stand to attention and glance towards the source of the noise with flared nostrils and narrowed eyes. Filonan's eyes widened as she turned to the same direction as Saranheia, and both of them took the sight of the large Great Raptouros, growling and stomping the ground in fury as Khadya's hunting knife was stuck on its throat.
It was completely unfazed by it.
- Saranhreia - You just ruined my lunch.
- Filonan - Watch out!
The Great Raptouros roared as it charged at Filonan and Saranhreia's direction, loud thuds being heard as it stomped the ground with each step. Grasping her halberd, Saranhreia charged for the Great Raptouros, while Khadya clasped her side and winced in agony, mumbling in elven while taking deep, prolonged breaths in order to calm and sooth herself and perhaps reduce the pain. Saranhreia dashed like a mad bull, unafraid of the creature - no matter how strong it might have perhaps been - and Khadya could only bear witness as the hunting knife dangled from the beast's neck as if to mock her.
- Khadya - Should've stabbed somewhere else, I think...
The Great Raptouros leaped at Saranhreia as it sent its tooth-filled maw at her direction, while Filonan approached Khadya and prepared her spear in front of the fallen Aithrena. Lesser Raptouros were attracted by the sound of battle, and they became interested in the sight of a wounded prey. The Oevrumine swung her halberd in the Great Raptouros' direction, although instead of striking the creature the weapon struck upon a nearby tree, and as consequence for her inaccuracy Saranhreia suffered as the beast's maw wrapped itself around her muscular arm, causing her to groan in dissatisfaction. Khadya grasped ahold of her bow and arrow and raised it while placing one knee upon the ground, panting as she aimed at the smaller brethren of the creature that had attacked her.
The alpha male raised his head, bringing Saranhreia up with it before throwing the Oevrumine warrior down, with the giant raptor then raising his foot and preparing to stomp on her stomach. Filonan's spear ignited with fire as she provoked the smaller Raptouros, causing them to back off from Khadya. Thinking upon her feet even though she had now been knocked off of them, Saranhreia took note of the knife dangling from the creature's throat and raised her hand to grasp it; she was attempting to finish the job that Khadya had somehow managed to fail to accomplish. If the knife had penetrated the creature's underside flesh, it could do so again. Khadya groaned as she twisted her body and unleashed an arrow at the Great Raptouros, aiming for its general facial area, making use of the opportunity Filonan had provided.
- Saranhreia - Okay, I can confirm this; do NOT charge everything here.
- Khadya - You only realize that now?!
- Saranhreia - I was caught up in the moment. ... In other news, fuck this hurts!
The Great Raptouros backed off as the arrow penetrated its head, dazing it and causing it to back away from Saranhreia. One of his lesser companions leaped at Filonan's direction, only for the fire elf to thrust her spear it, blasting it away in a flurry of flames. Lifting herself to her feet, Saranhreia glanced over her arm as she reached for the halberd that had become lodged in a nearby tree, and looked towards the Great Raptouros with a smile; it appeared, despite the injury she had sustained, that she happened to be enjoying herself in the midst of the chaos.
- Saranhreia - And I thought everything here was gonna be a pushover. For once I'm glad to be proven wrong.
- Filonan - Attack while it's dazed!
- Saranhreia - Do it yourself!
- Filonan - Can't you see I'm busy?
- Saranhreia - ... Oh right.
Saranhreia yelled as she rushed the Great Raptouros, swinging her Qliphothic halberd over her shoulder as she aimed towards the saurian creature, directing her attack at the monstrous animal's head and neck where the Aithrena elf's hunting knife had failed. Khadya, as much as she'd have enjoyed watching the Oevrumine slam herself and her colossal weapon towards the creature, was occupied with shooting arrows at the younger and smaller raptors, infusing her arrows with dark magic so as to increase the potency of her shots. A pained screech came out of the Great Raptouros as the halberd penetrated its throat, causing the mighty beast to be knocked to the side and into the ground, causing a loud thud as it did. Khadya's knife was thrown into the ground as the giant raptor agonized, and the sight of it caused most of the lesser Raptouros to back off and start fleeing. They were disorganized without their alpha male.
Raising her halberd from the creature's neck, Saranhreia raised its edge over her head and brought it down upon the creature once more in an effort to decapitate its head from its shoulders and end its ravenous mischief once and for all. Khadya, seeing the more standard Raptouros flee, rushed from her position to grasp her hunting knife, still clutching her side as she did as blood trickled down her side and unto her thigh.
A groan came out of the Great Raptouros as, while not decapitated, the halberd went deep enough to break the bones of its neck, and the beast finally limped as it died. Filonan walked over to Khadya and offered a hand to help her stand up.
- Khadya - ... I made myself look like an idiot.
- Filonan - Don't say that. It takes guts to try and stealth kill a beast that big.
- Khadya - Thank you for defending me while I was down... Filonan, was it?
- Filonan - Yes. And don't worry about it. We Wyvernriders always do what we can to save each other's lives when in danger.
- Khadya - ... You're different from others I've travelled with, I must say. Most others would leave behind somebody that had managed to get themselves injured; in the wilderness, such fools would be considered a liability. Including myself...
- Filonan - Well, uh... Thank, I guess.
At this moment, several creatures sprouted out of the ground and hopped eagerly around the dead Great Raptouros: several blue Mikmik, all with content expressions on their faces.
- Mikmik - Food! Food! Food!
- Saranhreia - ... What.
- Mikmik - Congratulations! You've survived your first day! Report your victory to the chieftain and don't be shy to ask for food and a bed for the night!
- Saranhreia - ... Talk about instant service, eh? How are are supposed to make our way back though if we dunno where we're going?
- Mikmik - Same way you arrived. We send you there!
- Filonan - Do you have any medicine for this woman? She was injured.
- Mikmik - What do you take us for? Of course we have!
- Saranhreia - It'd better be tasty. Everyone knows that the tastier the medicine, the better it works. At least, I think that's how it works, right?
- Khadya - You're not making this any better, you know...
At the following day, Khadya, Filonan and Saranhreia found themselves sent once again to the center of Theohelm in order to look for their next target. Louihar had tasked them to hunt a Routrith, a distinct reptilian with a distinct big head who had apparently attacked a group of Mikmik not too long ago. The girl trio found themselves in a rather large extension of grasslands, hidden by large rocks which served as cover as they could hear loud thumping noises coming from behind their protective natural barrier. Saranhreia struggled to crouch and adjust to a hiding place, practically itching to rend herself from the rocks and engage in the thrill of battle once more as she impatiently awaited a moment to scout and attack their assigned target, grasping her halberd in both hands and groaning constantly under her breath, much to the annoyance of the Outcast Huntress, who adjusted to their surroundings far more swiftly than either the Oevrumine or Erylian elf, keeping a firm, keen eye out for any sign of the Routrith beyond simply noise. Filonan's eyes widened as she gripped on her spear, having been taken by surprise by the sudden teleportation and turning her eyes to the other two.
- Filonan - Seriously, just throwing us out like this, without any warning? I thought fairies were supposed to be good-natured and gentle!
- Khadya - You have not met with many fairies, have you?
- Filonan - Not really, no.
- Saranhreia - I don't even know what a bloody Row... R-Roar... Whatever it's called is.
- Filonan - All Louihar said was "big headed, yawns a lot, can't miss it".
- Saranhreia - Yeah well, if we don't come across it soon I'm going to be the one with a big head that yawns a lot. And why do we have to hide around anyway? It can't be that threatening.
- Filonan - Why don't you stick your head over the rock and see what's causing all these thuds?
- Saranhreia - Alright then, it's better than squatting behind a rock and hiding all day.
With those words, Saranhreia stepped out from her cover and glanced into the distance, keeping her halberd firmly at her side - secure - and instigating a stance with the implication of combat, while Khadya, once more camouflaged with dirt and flora, crawled across the canopy to garner a better observation of their prey and the source of both the noise and the vibrations they all felt throughout the ground. The two of them could see the noise was coming from a very large, round-headed lizard creature, its large bulging eyes in a frown as he chased over a rabbit, leaping and chomping down on it and swallowing it whole. The creature's maw was easily big enough to fit Saranhreia inside it, and as it ate the rabbit, it stood up again and stomped on the ground beneath it, letting out what Louihar had described as a yawn: it was a lot more of a roar than any yawn any of the girls had ever heard.
Saranhreia kept her halberd close to her chest and she backed up by several feet, growling quietly as she watched the beast stomp in place after having served itself its lunch for the hour, while Khadya licked her upper lip as she drew her bow and glared towards the eyes that bulged out of the humongous creature's colossal skull, retaining her stance until the time was ready, watching the animal with unchallenged patience and accuracy. Saranhreia, meanwhile, clasped her halberd tighter within her palms.
- Saranhreia - I think this one is for you, Brown.
- Filonan - I thought we were supposed to be a team here.
- Saranhreia - Oh, we are a team. I killed the last one. It's your turn now.
- Filonan - That's not how a team works.
- Saranhreia - I don't think you've been part of many teams.
- Filonan - I lead an entire military arm. Yes, I've been in many teams.
- Saranhreia - ... Even more reason why it's your turn this time.
The arguing between the two women caused the Routrith's ears to twitch as it turned its eyes to the rock's direction, another roar coming out of it as it repeatedly slammed its tail into the ground, as if challenging what was the source of the noise.
- Saranhreia - I think it wants you.
Filonan let out a groan as she leaped out of cover, her spear in hand as the Routrith growled at her direction. The beast immediately charged at the elf's direction, who threw herself to the side in order to evade its bite, taking the opportunity to fire a flare of fire magic at the beast's side. Khadya growled as she raised her bow higher and unleashed the arrow she had prepared upon its path of destruction, having taken the opportunity to release her attack when the Routrith had exhausted its first charge, aiming for one of its bulbous eyesballs. Saranhreia leaped forward, intentionally bringing herself into view of the giant creature's sight as she stood in front of the group of large rocks that the group had been using as cover; she waved her halberd and her arms in order to grasp its attention, while simultaneously preparing to leap at the last moment of its next charge should it attempt to instigate one.
- Khadya - Would you two stop arguing?!
- Filonan - She started it! Aaah!
Filonan was thrown away as the Routrith yelled out in pain, Khadya's arrow sticking out of its eye and making the creature react by whipping its tail repeatedly around itself in a circle.
- Saranhreia - Don't attack until it exhausts itself out!
The Routrith stomped in anger as it jumped at Khadya's direction, opening its gigantic maw to reveal its many sharp teeth as it descended at the elf's direction. Saranhreia groaned as she moved from her position and leaped into the air, aiming for the side of the beast with her forehead and horns after having slammed her halberd into the ground so that she may instigate a grapple with the armless fiend. In the moment that the beast's maw was mere moments away from her, Khadya allowed her body to flip backwards, making use of the evasive measure to draw another arrow and aim into the creature's exposed jaws, although it would not be long until she found herself hitting the ground prematurely and her shot directing itself off-course.
- Khadya - Fuck!
The Routrith groaned loudly as it found itself headbutted and grabbed by Saranhreia, causing the creature to snap and thrash in place as it tried to get the Oevrumine out of it. Filonan took the opportunity and engulfed her spear in flames, proceeding to delivering stabs at the beast's back while doing her best to evade its tail.
- Saranhreia - Try cutting it off so it won't thrash so much!
- Filonan - Graah!
Filonan aimed her spear sidewards in order to give it some cutting power before launching it at the Routrith's tail, and the beast let out a deafening scream as the appendage was severed, causing a gushy of blood to come out of both the Routrith and it. The tail itself kept thrashing around for several more moments before it finally went limp. Saranhreia struggled to maintain her grapple of the beast and soon found herself incapable of sustaining it much longer, causing her to attempt to throw the beast away from herself and the two elven women, grunting as she exerted strength that she had not been required to use for some time in order to even move the heavy beast upon its feet. Khadya back-rolled onto her bare feet and once more took cover behind a large rock, cursing in elven beneath her breath as she prepared another arrow.
As the beast was thrown away, it stomped down in order to maintain its balance before initiating a charge at Saranhreia's direction, faster than Filonan could hit it with her spear once again. It would be long until the Oevrumine found herself slammed and subsequently pinned to the rock behind her, staring into the fierce and intimidating - yet exaggerated and somehow slightly amusing - eyes of her beastly assailant, while her hands were placed upon the sides of the creature's face in an attempt to push the beast away, her strength colliding with that of the wounded and infuriated Routrith, leaving her exposed and vulnerable.
- 'Saranhreia - Something about this situation makes me seriously regret my decisions. In other words, SOME DAMN HELP WOULD BE NICE!
Filonan leaped into the beast as she struck its eye with her fire-infused spear, causing an eruption of flames which caused the monster to scream out and back away, its eyeball exploded into a shower of gore which covered Saranhreia with eye matter. The beast struggled to remain standing as Filonan struck it many more times across its face, until it finally let out a final groan and fell, giving one last struggle before going limp, lifeless.
Saranhreia groaned as she shoved the heavy corpse away from her, knocking it onto its side with a thud before intaking a prolonged breath, regaining her composure. She looked towards Filonan with a rather warm, yet intimidating and toothy smile as she proceeded to punch her shoulder in a friendly manner, although due to the differences in mass and physical capacity, the otherwise friendly and nonhostile gesture had almost launched Filonan from her feet. Khadya soon came out of cover, glancing over the scene as she laid upon her side to rest for a few moments.
- Saranhreia - Haha, Brown did good! You know I think I need to get me one of those fire spear things, maybe with a big chopper or slasher on the end of it though.
- Filonan - Agh!... Hmpf. The fire is coming from me, not the spear. I'm a pyromancer.
- Saranhreia - Oh, you're one of those sorts are you? Heh, for a pyromancer, you're not very spry or lively, quite... dull, in fact. I thought you elves were supposed to be, well... what's the word? Ah yes. Whor-- I mean, excitable.
- Filonan - That's a stereotype. Not every Erylian is a moving party. I'm a military commander and I'm expected to have the attitude of one.
- Khadya - Yes, but you are not a military commander out here, within the freedom of the wilderness, are you? So, one may not maintain such an attitude if she so pleases.
- Filonan - I barely know you.
- Saranhreia - We should change that as soon as possible!
Before Filonan could reply, multiple Mikmik spouted out of the soil and danced around the dead Routrith, much like the Great Raptouros the day before. One of them walked over to the girls, a cheerful expression on its face.
- Mikmik - You cut the tail off for us! Cutting the tail while it's alive gives more lifeforce! You done good!
- Saranhreia - ... Are you saying I did something right?
- Mikmik - Yep! Also, you can get a good view of Laidar from here!
- Khadya - Laidar?
The Mikmik pointed at a distance, and Filonan's eyes widened as she looked at the direction. She was too busy with the Routrith to notice the utterly gigantic tree in a distance, larger than the mountains in its proximity and surrounded by a dense forest. The revelation of the immense scale of the tree only occurred to Saranhreia as she went to retrieve her halberd from the spot that she had stuck it, and she proceeded it to drop it once again, having not seen anything as colossal or inspiring as the gargantuan piece of flora that presided in the distance, her mouth hanging agape. Khadya tilted her head and sat down with her legs folded as she looked towards the horizon and admired the perhaps terrifying size of the aforementioned "Laidar", having not witnessed a tree anywhere near as large despite having been an elf of the trees. A single eyeball slowly opened on the tree in a distance as well as a large mouth, which seamed to let out a vagarous yawn powerful enough to cause a slightly tremor at the girls' location. Swarms of birds flew away, covering the sky as leaves fell out of the giant tree's top.
- Saranhreia - ... AAAAAAHHHHHHH!
- Khadya - I-It's... I-It's a creature?!
- Mikmik - It is no mere creature. It is Laidar, the Island Tree! The heart of all Hyperion!
- Khadya - ... How... A-Awe-inspiring...
- Saranhreia - N-No way, this must be a trick. There is n-nothing that can grow t-that big, aside f-from... the C-Colossi of legend...
- Filonan - T-the only being this big I've ever s-seen was a d-dragon... And i-it was not as big as this...
- Khadya - T-The heart of t-this land... I-It's... I-It's a... It's a...
- Saranhreia - ... A god.
- Mikmik - Yep! The god of all Mikmik-kind!
- Saranhreia - ... And here I was thinking that we were alone out here. With... that, it's impossible to be alone... anywhere...
Drake of FlamesEdit
A day after defeating the Routrith, the girl trio was sent for their next hunt, involving a creature the natives of the continent were in fact familiar with: an Ember Drake. These crocodile dragons are diminutive cousins of the vastly grander Fire Drakes of the east, and apparently they were spread enough to exist in Hyperion Island as well. Once the girls were teleported by the Mikmik, they found themselves in a completely different environment than previously. The skies were dark and covered in dark brown clouds as a volcanic ash could be smelled, the weather being almost as hot as a desert as little plat life could be seen. Lakes of genuine lava were visible, coming down from an immense volcano as Filonan checked her map: they were at the northwest of the island, in the region known only as Blagun.
- Khadya - Ngh... This is far from my comfort zone, I must admit.
- Saranhreia - Ah! The ash-filled air, the rivers of magma, the toxic gas clouds! It's almost like I am back at Qliphoth!
- Filonan - Ugh, this place is a wreck. Erylianus has a volcano but it's not this active.
- Saranhreia - I recommend you two keep to the low ground in that case. The toxic gases from the volcano all flow upward and it tends to get harder to breath... At least, that's what I hear happens to your kind. And humans.
At a distance, a being could be seen next to a river of lava which flowed through the landscape. A very tall, rocky creature with two asymmetrical eyes and disproportionally-placed arms, who remained unmoving and unblinking despite the hot wind blowing against it. It appeared to be some sort of golem. Saranhreia screeched as she laid her eyes upon the bizarre, seemingly unnatural creature and shifted herself to move behind Filonan, despite the fact that the Oevrumine warrior was both larger and wider than the elven rider. Khadya's face contorted into an expression of disgust as she examined the asymmetrical fallacies of the beast; those asymmetrical faces of men were enough to unnerve the elves, this fiend - ignorant to the hostile nature of the land it resided in - was enough to have brought the stomachs of younger elves to the ground at their feet.
- Saranhreia - Get it away! Get it away! GET IT AWAY!
- Filonan - Shut up, you might provoke it!
- Saranhreia - W-What is t-that thing supposed to... s-supposed to be?
- Khadya - I am willing to claim that it is some sort of... golem, mayhaps. Its features, however, they are... Ugh, that thing is ugly.
- Filonan - What are you two? Chickens? It's hardly scary.
- Saranhreia - Then you are a braver woman than I, Brown.
Filonan's palm hit her face as the trio then heard a roar coming from a distance, until something made itself visible to them: an Ember Drake flapped its wings as it landed on top of the golem creature, who continued unmoving and ignorant to the world around it. Saranhreia grasped her halberd tightly with both of her hands as she glanced upon the Ember Drake, its size diminutive in comparison to those creatures they had hunted in the days prior, while Khadya clasped ahold of her bow and raised it to eye-level with an arrow prepared, aiming for the Ember Drake although she could not make out any glaring vulnerabilities from first glance at the beast.
- Saranhreia - Reminds me a little of those Venom Drake miscreants back in Qliphoth.
- Filonan - I've never actually had to fight an Ember Drake before, but the teachers at Dragonsthrone always say they're powerful for their size. Sometimes as powerful as Red Wyverns.
- Khadya - Did they tell you if they have any weaknesses beyond their size?
- Filonan - Well, other than water, disabling its wings is a good start. When it sees us, expect it to fly a lot.
- Saranhreia - Great, flying things. I was not built for taking out things that fly, you know.
The Ember Drake leaped down from the golem, ignorant to the trio's presence as it approached the lava river and began chomping down on it, feeding itself from the extremely hot soil. Khadya kept her bow raised and she let loose of the arrow she had drawn, allowing it to rush through the air like a dart with impressive speed, almost escaping Saranhreia and Filonan's senses as it rushed through the molten environment. Saranhreia raised her halberd and made a move, jogging forward towards the golem with her eyes set upon the drake that had perched atop of its "head" - an amalgamation of its body and face.
The Drake's eyes widened as he heard Saranhreia approached, and a pained growl came out of it as the elf's arrow penetrated its left wing. The dragon stepped back as it fired a stream of fireballs at Saranhreia's direction at surprisingly fast pace, while the golem merely watched, its eyes following the battle. Saranhreia came to an immediate halt as the fireballs danced at her feet and flew past her head and limbs, with several having struck upon the black armour that served to protect her torso and waist, leaving parts of it scorched and marked with burn damage. Khadya fired once more, traversing the landscape in order to attempt to ascend to higher ground so that she may fire upon their enemy from above, although she found much of the rock that served as ground was heated to the point it nipped and snapped at her soles and ankles.
The Drake flapped its wings as it charged at the Oevrumine's direction, its claws raised in order to rend her before it was stopped by Filonan, who charged into the fray and stabbed the small dragon's side with her spear, causing it to launch itself to the side. Saranhreia rushed to swing her halberd, missing the Drake as it evaded her attack in response to Filonan's own while Khadya had to make do with striking from a considerable distance on uneven ground, launching arrow after arrow at the creature only to have its swift and erratic movements naturally dodge her assault; she growled in frustration, not desiring to stand close to the fiend while Saranhreia could barely keep up with its speed.
- Saranhreia - Well it doesn't look like it'll be going anywhere soon with that arrow stuck in its wing, by the looks of things!
- Filonan - They're fragile! Just some more blows and it's done for!
- Khadya - Oevrumine, break its back! I cannot reach it from this distance!
- Saranhreia - Then that means you need to get closer!
Filonan groaned as she gave chase to the wounded dragon, her nature as an Erylian allowed her to shrug off the heat of both the fire and the environment as she swung her spear at the Drake, causing it to dodge in a way it backed off at Khadya's direction, its back facing the elf. Khadya growled as she withdrew her bow and took a moment to draw both her hunting blades, both orcish and elven, clasping them with elegance and grace in her two hands before making a dash for the Drake; she did not wish to risk more of her arrows at the hand of the Drake's speed and agility, she needed to take it out with her own swift action to prevent this hunt from dragging onward. Saranhreia kept back, snarling in an attempt to distract the Ember Drake so that the Outcast Huntress may deal with it - a stab to the back or so would be all it takes.
It took only mere moments before the edges of the knives were plunged into the shoulder blades of the Ember Drake with Khadya having rushed stealthily and deceptively upon the path to the rear of the dragonlike creature. Within seconds, the blades were dragged down the beast's back, slicing into the bases of its wings, before being drawn out of its flesh near the level of its hips and thighs. The dragon let out a pained roar as it tried to shake Khadya off, but the wounds were too deep for it to remain standing. Struggling, the Ember Drake fell limp into the ground, bleeding heavily, its scales slowly going dull in colouration from its fire vanishing. Khadya panted as she withdrew her knives and watched life drain away from the beast; as irritating as it was for her to fight, it was an elegant and majestic creature nonetheless, and as such as leaned down to kneel over the creature and grant it a swift, painless end with a knick to its throat to ensure its brief yet agonizing suffering would cease. Saranhreia watched, lowering her halberd with a huff while she eyed the golem creature with an uneasy stance.
As the Ember Drake's life came to an end, Mikmik sprouted out of the soil as usual, but they immediately began yelling in high-pitched voices due to the heat. One of them ran over to the golem and wrapped his arms around one of its own arms, causing the golem's eyes to shift into the Mikmik's direction.
- Saranhreia - ... What is it doing?
- Filonan - Watch you, little one!
- Mikmik - For what? The Migehew? Don't worry, it's friendly!
- Khadya - ... Migehew?
- Saranhreia - That thing? Friendly? T-This is a joke, right?
- Mikmik - Migehew! The golems of Blagun! The ever-watching guardians of the volcanic hell! They've been in this island before us Mikmik, you see, but ever since we arrived, they've been quite gentle to our presence!
- Khadya - Hm, so it appears that the Migehew are not only friendly, but intelligent. How... curious.
- Saranhreia - Just because they're friendly does not make me feel any easier around them or any less disturbed by how freaky they look. I mean, look at it, it looks like somebody with one hand and a hook was trying to make a clay soldier.
- Filonan - Hah. I knew there was no reason to fear.
A t this moment, an extremely loud tremor was felt as eyeballs suddenly erupted in part of the volcano, and rising from the soil was a titanic being, a draconic monster who towered over the landscale, its wings being shaped like small volcanos themselves. It let out deafening roar as its wings blasted spheres of lava into the skies, and the Mikmik all began to panic.
- Mikmik - Now THAT. That's an Akraksor. THAT's not friendly. Run away!
Another day, another hunt for the female trio as they found themselves at the vast grasslands of Vespasian, east of Theohelm. Their assignment for this day was a female member of the Keasmins, a race of birds whose males are pink, diminutive creatures and the females are larger, red-feathered and extremely aggressive. As they arrived to the location, they immediately felt a pleasant breeze pass through them as they took sight of many herbivores grazing around, ignoring their presences.
- Saranhreia - This place stinks. It's too quiet, too calm. Pretty boring, if I do say so myself.
- Khadya - I suggest you keep your complaints to yourself, Oevrumine, for we elves tend to appreciate the calmer and more collected aspects of nature and whatever it may have to offer us. Is that not right, Filonan?
- Filonan - That is true. Regarding our target, Louihar said the easiest way of attracting a female Keasmin is to threaten a male one. So we just need to find a male bird and we'll get to the female.
- Khadya - Aww, that is rather sweet, actually. Makes me feel almost guilty for hunting them. Almost.
- Saranhreia - Hmph, we come here with blades and spears and that blue frog fairy thing expects us to kill birds for him? Who does that guy think we are?
- Filonan - We're doing this because we want to. If you have complaints, complain to him when we get back. Even though I imagine he's just go ignore you altogether.
- Saranhreia - Hmph, and what about that dark, evil presence you were talking about some days back?
- Filonan - We already talked about this. We won't let me discuss it until I 'prove myself'... Wait, look over there!
Filonan pointed out to a lone group of trees in a distance, and under them, the girls could see a nest filled with eggs and multiple pink-coloured birds nesting next to them. By their small size and colouration, these were certainly Keasmins. Khadya grinned and sunk to the floor, her skin meshing with the grass and mud beneath their feet as she seemingly vanished from sight, leaving Saranhreia to wander in confusion as to where the elven huntress could have gone. In almost no time at all, the Outcast Huntress appeared once more, faintly and discretely with a bow raised to her eye, an arrow prepared upon its thread; she aimed, from some meters away, at the pink Keasmins with an indifferent look upon her face, her grin having since wandered elsewhere. Filonan kept her position as she allowed Khadya to ambush the creatures by herself, and the pink birds remained ignorant to her presence, not noticing her at all.
It would not be long until once more Khadya let her arrow loose, this time upon the birds that had been ignorant of her existence and the readied state of her weapon, and aimed for one of the larger Keasmin males rather than those that were more meager by comparison; she wanted to be noticed, it would appear. The bird chipped in pain as it immediately fell dead, causing the other Keasmin around it to panic and start run in circles, chipping loudly as if calling out for something. Her attention was more than obtained.
- Khadya - Bingo.
The chipping of the smaller birds was soon deafened by a loud screech coming from the top of the tree as a large, muscular bird flew down. Its face locked in a frenzied glare, its red feathers gleamed as it readied its immense claws. The bird was not big enough to rival Saranhreia in height, but it easily dwarfed both Khadya and Filonan in size. And this newly arrived female Keasmin immediately aimed its claws at the Outcast Huntress as it descended. Khadya swung herself backward, her spine bending in an inhumanly flexible manner as her hands pressed against the ground and her legs raising from the floor and into the air, throwing herself backward in order to avoid the dreaded talons of the angered bird-beast as it made its debut to the elves and Oevrumine. Saranhreia smiled lightly as she admired the size of the creature and raised her halberd into her hands, taking several steps ahead of Filonan.
Filonan watched Khadya's movements as the female Keasmin immediately went after her, launching its feet at her direction in order to kick the elven huntress and rake her with its talons, but its frenzied anger combined with the Aithrena's flexibility allowed her to evade all of the bird monster's attacks. Saranhreia initiated a charge towards the Keasmin, grinning widely and wildly as she raised her halberd above her head while Khadya continued to evade, circle, and roll around the creature with elven agility and grace, although she and the Keasmin both knew that this would not last for much longer and that, sooner or later, Khadya would make that one mistake to break the cycle of evasion; she told herself she had to distract the creature's talons long enough for her Oevrumine companion to deal the killing blow.
- Filonan - ...What the hell is that?!
Before Saranhreia could deal the finishing blow to the Keasmin, all of them could feel the tremor caused by the the birds' tree being tore apart as an immense creature landed directly on top of it, leaving a dark, vile trail in the air behind him. Filonan was thrown off her feet while many of the male Keasmin and their eggs were crushed under the new arrival, and the female Keasmin found itself floored altogether.
Turning its pitch-red eye at the three huntresses was a massive wyvern, easily over twice the size of Filonan's mount, with rough-looking brown scales and massive horns upon its head. A pair of fingers were present at each of its large wings, and its tail bashed itself against the group, possessing a total of three tips. A bulbous-looking, viscous organ was present in the creature's chest, thumping almost as if it was a heart. Khadya was launched onto her side by the sudden descent of the demonic-looking creature, rolling through the grass like a whelp while Saranhreia had almost stumbled, not reduced to the ground like the others but evidently halted in her charge as the force almost threw her halberd from her hand; she cancelled her attack to observe the beast, its swift appearance and the sudden application of its hideously destructive tendency unnerving Saranhreia as she struggled to come to grasps with what had just unfolded before her very eyes.
- Saranhreia - ... That's not a Keasmin.
The dragon turned its eye to the floored female Keasmin and sent its maw at it, the three women managing to take a glance at its several rows of unnatural-looking teeth, and the beast proceeded to devour the red-feathered bird in a single bite. Filonan took a step back and gripped tightly on her spear, unsure of what to do at this situation. She did not have her wyvern to protect her at this time.
- Khadya - W-What... What the fuck?!
- Saranhreia - Filonan! This that dark presence thing you were on about? Because, well, it certainly looks like it to me!
- Filonan - T-this thing... it reeks in darkness!
The wyvern turned at the three women and unleashed a deafening roar at their direction, strong enough to blow Filonan off her feet and knock her a good distance away while showering Khadya and Saranhreia, but mostly the latter, with the blood of the now-devoured Keasmin. Saranhreia growled as she stepped back, quite clearly - at least to herself - becoming the center of the immense monstrosity's attention based purely upon the amount of blood that now coated her armour and fur. While rather unnerved the beast's sudden intrusion upon these lands, she failed to comprehend the dark magics that shrouded its dreaded aura as per her lack of magic-aligned talent, and as such she was significantly less perturbed by its capabilities than the elven women - although she was perturbed nonetheless. As she prepared herself for battle, bashing her chest with a single fist in a rhythm of three beats, Khadya unleashed another arrow from her bow, aiming for the organ attached to the beast's chest.
The arrows penetrated the organ, causing the wyvern to snap and launch itself at Saranhreia in reaction, headbutting the Oevrumine woman with enough strength to send him flying out of the ground. A black, almost tar-like blood faintly came out of the wounds created by the arrows. Saranhreia's armour almost buckled under the pressure generated by the beast's physical capacity and she slammed into a nearby tree, dislodging its trunk from its roots upon impact. Khadya's eyes narrowed upon glancing sight of the tar that leaked from the wound she had managed to afflict upon the wyvern, its unnatural aesthetic and the dark magical energies that radiated from it disturbing her own natural affinity for the dark arts; this was, by all accounts, a creature of evil.
The dragon roared again as it bashed its 'hands' into the ground, but before it could act again, flashes of light blinded both it and the huntresses as Mikmik fairies began appearing, levitating around the dragon and unleashing gushes of water magic at its head in order to distract it. Multiple other Mikmik, including Chieftain Louihar, also appeared and ran over to the women, taking hold of them with worried expressions.
- Louihar - Thank Laidar you're alright! We need to get out of here!
- Mikmik - Chief! We can't distract the Petroatragal for much longer!
- Saranhreia - ... Let me at him! Let me at him!
- Khadya - Thank Laidar indeed, we must leave as soon as possible. We cannot stay and attempt to fight this thing, Oevrumine, it is far too much of a risk, both to ourselves and the Mikmik here.
Louihar and his Mikmik used their powers, and in another flash of light, the fairies and the Mikmik vanished from sight, leaving the mysterious dragon roaring in annoyance. Khadya, Filonan and Saranhreia found themselves back at Olimarius Hub, the Erylia elf losing her balance and falling down from the sudden teleportation while Louihar went back to his chair and sat down, holding on his head.
- Louihar - Well... I guess I can't escape it now. I own you some answers.
- Saranhreia - Too damn right you do, you little bug! Unless I am severely mistaken - which I should say would not be the first time - that was no Keasmin!
- Louihar - Brownie... You came to this island looking for an evil presence. That was it.
- Khadya - If I may interrupt, you called that thing a... what was it? A... Petroatrogal?
- Louihar - Yes. Petroatragal. That's Mikmik for "Devourer Blade". We don't know where it came from, but it appeared a few weeks ago... We thought it was merely one of Laidar's new designs yet we could just tell, that thing is not natural.
- Saranhreia - Heh, that thing could eat your wyvern for lunch, Brown.
- Filonan - Grr. Louihar, why didn't you tell us of this sooner?
- Louihar - Because imagine if every hunter found out about it. No one would hunt for us anymore. And we depend on your hunting to survive. Without hunters, we will starve and no more Mikmik will be born.
- Khadya - Urgh, a society that scrounges off the good will and leisure of others. How... Ugh.
- Saranhreia - Grr, well then, bug, let's just keep this a secret between us. I may not speak for the group here, but that... thing was pretty damn big and pretty damn strong. So far, everything we've faced has been small fry. So, I say we stick around and kick this thing's ass whenever it decides to show its ugly face again and get a real challenge out of this place!
Louihar looked down at the floor, an expression of loathing on his face.
- Louihar - You have all the right in the world to judge us, elf. But what matters is that we are children of Father Laidar, as are all living things in this island. And unless the Petroatragal is dealt with, our Island Tree may be in danger... I beg of you. All three of you. Help us kill that monster.
- Khadya - ... Filonan, what do you think?
- Filonan - ...As questionable as these fairies' ways are, they are not inherently malevolent. The people who hunt for them do it because they want to, and so the fairies are not to blame for their actions. I can also see these creatures genuinely care for this island's well-being, despite their obvious greedy tendencies... I was sent to this island to vanquish the evil presence, and if the Petroatragal is this presence, then I will not leave this island until it's dead.
- Khadya - In that regard, I suppose that I must assume the stance that--
- Saranhreia - Whoohoo! Looks like we're staying! Saranhreia wins! Brown wins! Louihar wins! Petroatragal wins!
- Louihar - Good, good! Now, you'll need to study the creature before fighting it. Get to know its weakspots. Show it you're a threat! And to do that, guess what you'll have to do!
- Saranhreia - ... Train really, really hard?
- Khadya - ... Change our diet and get better weapons?
- Louihar - But most importantly, hunt more monsters to attract it!
- Khadya - Bollocks.
- Saranhreia - I see what you did there... And I like it!
- Filonan - Of course. Why would I expect any else.
- Louihar - You should get to rest. Tomorrow, you'll get to the bigger and meaner hunts!
- Saranhreia - I haven't had this much fun since that time I swung this one lizard guy I used to travel with around like a lasso. Dunno if he found it quite as fun though. Dunno if you guys are as slinky either. Ah well. ... Could always try it for myself.
Beasts of HyperionEdit
The girl trio of Khadya, Filonan and Saranhreia found themselves teleported to the wilderness as their next hunt began, in the hope that it would attract the presence of the dreaded Petroatragal. The area they appeared in had the forests of Theohelm at a distance, but the air appeared slightly cold as several, rugged-looking boulders dominated the landscape. From Filonan's map, it appeared they were at the outskirts of the cavernous region of Diodoros, and they were informed their target this time was an insectoid known as Masio, which Louihar had described as being "the licker".
Khadya prepared her bow and kept her eyes to the skies, observing the clouds for any indication of the appearance of the rancid and vile abomination that was the Petroatragal alongside their designated target, while Saranhreia grunted at the refreshingly cold atmosphere of their locale, having grown to be used to more polluted or warm environment and as such discomforted her to some degree. She also found herself having to shield her eyes as the rays of the sun beamed onto the three of them without hindrance.
- Khadya - Ah, is it not refreshing? The scenery, the air, it all feels so... empowering.
- Saranhreia - Urgh, my eyes.
- Filonan - It's getting a little cold here. It was tropical until a few minutes ago and then suddenly, arid cold wind. Not mentioning the volcanic wasteland we went through to get that Ember Drake. This island is weird.
- Saranhreia - Keep in mind this place has a tree for a god.
- Filonan - Yeah, that too.
- Khadya - Now, I am rather concerned as per what the Chieftain was referring to when he deemed this Masio creature as 'the licker'. ... Really rather concerned.
- Filonan - At this point, I'm not sure what to think anymore.
In a distance, mischievous laugher could be heard as a small group of creatures walked through the rugged terrain. Humanoid in appearance, they looked like small, purple-skinned imps with large black eyes and several horns. These were Imptreus, a race of seemingly non-intelligent fey who lived at these last inhabited regions. The creatures did not seem to notice the girls and merely walked to the direction of Diodoros.
- Saranhreia - ... What are those naked kids doing all the way out here?
- Filonan - Naked kids?... Oh. The hell are those?
- Khadya - No idea, but I have a feeling those are not children.
- Saranhreia - They look kinda cute.
As the imps proceeded forward, the girls could watch as the soil suddenly erupted, and out of it, a large insect appeared and launched itself up, its jawless maw wrapping around one of the Imptrei. A blue fur covered most of the creature's body, and as it stomped into the ground, its large tail slapped the other imps in the vicinity, knocking them away and causing them to panic. A pair of very thick antennae flanked its head, and the Impreus locked on its mouth screeched as it was crushed by its teeth. The most particular feature in this creature, though, was its hands: they were tentacles, and appeared to drip some kind of liquid. Khadya raised her bow at first sight of the creature, yet the spectacle of watching it assault and devour one of the wild fay within the clasps of its jaws caused her to hesitate from firing, alongside its sudden and utterly unexpected appearance. Saranhreia growled as she jumped where she stood for a moment before grasping her halberd and readying herself into a defensive stance, snarling as the creature consumed its meal. It was Khadya rather than Saranhreia, however, who noticed the saliva-like substance dribble from the creature's tendrils.
- Khadya - Over there!
- Filonan - ...Oh Gods, it's disgusting!
- Saranhreia - Looks like one of those fly trap plant things...
The Imptrei vanished from sight in black poofs of smoke as the one locked in the Masio's jaw found its head cracking and exploding open inside the creature's maw, it proceeding to swallow the rest of its prey and licking its own teeth in order to savour it. Khadya growled as she unleashed the arrow prepared upon her bow while the creature found itself distracted with its meal, aiming for one of the antennae upon its head while Saranhreia moved herself to flank the beast, attempting to scale the rocks in order to both move herself above it and try finding an appropriate means to get behind the beast thus out of its reach.
- Saranhreia - I think it doesn't need to be said that you shouldn't let that thing touch you.
The Masio let out a yelp as the arrow collided against its antenna, but it did not penetrate or sever it, the arrow instead ricocheting almost as if Khadya had fired at solid rock. The creature turned its head to the two elves, being ignorant to Saranhreia's presence as it initiated a charge at them. Its four wings beat, causing dust to be thrown behind it as it screeched at them. Khadya swung herself to the side while once again firing at the beast, perplexed by how the arrow she had fired prior simply bounced off of the antenna of the voracious creature, although to cope with such an interesting and curious development she took to instead firing upon its torso, largely near its chest where its more vital organs may have been.
The arrows stuck on the insect's chest but did little to stop its charge. Filonan's eyes widened as she rolled to her side in order to avoid a swipe from the enraged Masio, the creature sliding through the ground as he missed her. The Erylian proceeded to thrust her spear at its back, piercing through one of its wings and causing it to lash out with a tail slap which knocked the elf into the ground. Making use of the opportunity, Khadya took advantage of the creature as it reeled from its charge and threw herself upon its hide, grasping unto the two antennae at the rear of the beast's head and pulling on them. Saranhreia raised her arm and halberd in an effort to launch it at the Masio, yet the effects of the sunlight beaming onto her caused her to hesitate and, eventually, cease her attempt to launch her weapon; she was unfocused as the sunlight caused her eyesight to become distorted with supposedly blinding light. The Masio screeched out as it began thrashing in place, swinging Khadya about as she held on its antennae. Its tentacled hands swung around, throwing gushes of liquid around the creature much to the disgust of Filonan.
- Saranhreia - What's going on down there?!
- Filonan - It's making me sick...
- Khadya - Stay away from it, it's in a frenzy!
Pulling upon the Masio's antennae once more, the Outcast Huntress attempted to forcefully drive the creature away from Filonan and towards the group of rocks and boulders that Saranhreia had managed to bring herself to scale and ascend. The Oevrumine woman could only faintly make out the Masio as it thrashed and frenzied and could not make out Filonan as the glare of the sun made it difficult for her to see, although she kept her halberd raised to her chest in both hands - ready for combat - nonetheless.
- Saranhreia - Drive the damned thing over here!
The Masio screeched out as it stomped its way into the boulders' direction, Khadya's pulling of its antennae causing it to become completely disoriented. It would not take long until the creature smashed into one of the boulders, causing it to screech out louder. While attempting to drive the edge of her halberd into the beast's nape, Saranhreia fell, unbalanced by the sudden impact against the rocks and the effects of the sunlight upon her eyeballs, and fell instead at the creature's side upon her back, her halberd out of reach as it slid across the earth, while Khadya fell to the side as well as she could no longer hold on after the sudden impact she had managed to perform with the Masio. The insect, disoriented, fell to the side, still thrashing in place. Filonan growled as she charged at the fallen creature, stabbing across its body with her spear while infusing it with fire.
Saranhreia struggled for her halberd after standing to her feet and stumbling for some moments, before turning to face the downed Masio and driving her halberd at its torso, wielding it in two hands to further the power and strength that she struck her enemy with. Khadya also stumbled to her feet, evidently disorientated and dizzy from her riding of the Masio upon its back, holding her head as she fought to stand in place. The Masio screeched out in pain for a final time before finally going limp, wet puddles of liquid oozing out from its hands as it died, its torso carved, stabbed, pierced and roasted by the girls. Filonan passed a hand on her hand as she let out a relieved sigh, while Mikmik fairies soon started appearing to harvest the corpse.
- Filonan - Well. Certainly a bigger challenge than the others.
As Filonan rubbed the sweat from her head, Khadya made an attempt to approach her, although in turn soon found herself knocked off her feet by her own imbalance and falling atop of the Erylian elf in a swift action that took only a moment to occur, yet the experience felt like several minutes to herself. Saranhreia covered her eyes with her hand once more as she brought the halberd out of the beast, groaning as she slumped against the nearest boulder she could find. Filonan's eyes widened as she looked at Khadya in surprise, her spear being knocked out of her hand and falling into the ground.
- Filonan - W-what are you doing?!
- Khadya - I... D-Did we win? I feel... urgh, d-dizzy...
- Filonan - Yeah, yeah, it's dead now.... N-now g-get off of me please!
- Khadya - ... C-Can I not stay here?
- Filonan - N-no! Ngh!
Filonan struggled under Khadya as the Aithrena could see her cheeks darkening, the Erylian growing embarrassed by the situation. Khadya smiled softly as she lowered her head and rested upon Filonan's shoulder, her arms grasping for Filonan's sides firmly while her ears twitched, her own cheeks coming to darken alongside. The force of the impact and its subsequent backlash must have caused the Aithrenan to have become... disorientated, in some manner of the word, while the Oevrumine Saranhreia paid little to no attention.
- Khadya - I think I-I'm going... t-to sleep off this f-feeling...
- Filonan - S-stop! Get off of me!
- Khadya - Mmm, n-night-night, Filonan... W-Wake me up when w-we're back at camp...
- Filonan - Ngh... Saranhreia! Help!
- Saranhreia - Can't you see I'm busy not doing anything?
- Filonan - Ugh... I miss Dragonsthrone...
Talons of VenomEdit
The huntresses were back at the region of Theohelm as they sneaked through marshes in order to find their next target. The girls were tasked to kill a creature some were already familiar with in the main continent, especially the Oevrumine, for it was a creature native of the region of Qliphoth. It was a Venom Drake, one of the degenerate cousins of the vile Poison Drakes of the minotaurs' homeland. According to the Mikmik, it appeared that Hyperion Island actually held the largest population of Poison and Venom Drakes on all Koldenwelt after Qliphoth itself. Saranhreia waded through the marshes with her halberd held tightly, an excited grin written across the width of his face as she travelled through water and mud in order to reach the creature they had been sent to find, while Khadya travelled at the side of her fellow elven companion Filonan, holding her bow in preparation as always.
- Saranhreia - Ah, I was wondering if we'd fight any of those venomous bastards! A real challenge!
- Filonan - I've never seen one of these creatures before. The Khalmartia say they're terrible.
- Saranhreia - Khalmartia? Pah, if they're right about something, it's that Venom Drakes are a hardy fight for any man that doesn't come from Qliphoth alright!
- Filonan - Well, at least we know who's gonna take it on... Let's hope that Petroatragal shows up this time.
- Khadya - What a bizarre thing to hope for.
- Filonan - I want to get this over with. This island is in danger.
- Saranhreia - She's got a point.
- Khadya - I am all for saving the island, I am just unsure as to whether we can really take it on or not.
The sky was completely obscured by the dense green leaves of the trees, and it was difficult to move quickly due to the mud in their feet. However, from beyond the bushes, the three girls could spot their target: a Venom Drake slept on top of a rock, snoring while a skeletal carcass was located not too far away from it. It seemed like the beast had just recently eaten and had now gone to sleep.
- Khadya - Bingo--
- Saranhreia - I can't let you go ahead and kill it while it's sleeping, elfy.
- Khadya - ... And why is that?
- Saranhreia - Well, then it would not be a challenge.
- Filonan - What? Why would it matter?
- Saranhreia - Are you hearing yourself? We get given this opportunity to do battle with a Venom Drake - one of the very prides of Qliphoth - and you want to kill it while it's sleeping?
- Filonan - We're on a hunt, not a gladiator arena. We're supposed to kill it the most efficient way possible.
- Saranhreia - ... But... But...
A growl was heard as one of the Drake's eyes opened, its ears twitching as it heard the girls arguing. The dragon, standing about as big as Saranhreia, stood on its legs as it growled at the women's direction. Khadya noticed the Drake standing to attention and reached for the nearest tree, climbing to ascend its trunk and move amongst its branches so that she may gain a higher vantage point over the creature. Saranhreia stepped back as the Venom Drake stood at its full height and scale and moved her halberd to her side, using it to effectively shield Filonan as she glared at the beast, smiling widely with all of her sharp, knifelike teeth.
The Venom Drake let out a roar as it reared back and then thrust its body forward, and a deep green, viscous sludge was blasted out of its mouth at Saranhreia's direction. The venom this vile creature had been named for. Saranhreia endured the sludge as it collided with her armor and body while she stepped forwards, towards the creature as it went on the offensive. Her Qliphothic armour could endure a majority of the potent effects of the venom and her Oevrumine physiology would be capable of routing out any negativity brought upon her by the substance, leaving her effectively immune to its toxicity although her mobility was nonetheless slowed somewhat by the nature of the sludge, leaving her sticky. She wrapped her hands around its horns as it arced forwards, effectively grappling the beast.
- Saranhreia - I gotcha!
- Filonan - Watch out!
The Venom Drake snapped at Saranhreia in retaliation, biting the Oevrumine's torso while its immense stinger launched itself against her, impacting against her armor. Being an Oevrumine, Saranhreia knew a Venom Drake's stinger was comparable to a ballista bolt in terms of sheer power. Saranhreia grunted loudly as the creature's stinger pounded her torso, the strength of the impact causing her more of a stir than its actual bite, which would have surely afflicted any other that came into contact with its saliva with a harsh dosage of toxic substance. In response, Saranhreia grasped the tail with her right palm, wrapping the length of the tail around her hand in order to clasp it more firmly and prevent it from instigating another launching attack, pulling on it while doing so in an attempt to dislodge it from the creature's rear.
The Venom Drake approached its body to Saranhreia's, giving her far less room to pull on its tail while throwing its talons at her torso to rake her. Filonan could do nothing to watch, for getting too close to these two at this moment would certainly be a death sentence to anyone. Saranhreia growled excitedly as the two beasts wrestled in the middle of the marshland, covered in sludge with talons scraping against armour and horns colliding with horns. Her eyes gleaming, the Oevrumine warrior howled in the face of the Venom Drake as she spun her body around in a semicircular motion, the talons of the beast cutting through the hide upon her shoulder while scratching against her armour, causing a horrendous noise and sparks to fly. In a defensive attack in order to provide space between the two of them, Saranhreia launched the entirety of the Venom Drake to her side with as much strength as she could muster, throwing it towards the trees - trees that Khadya happened to have taken temporary residence within.
The wyvern crashed into the tree with strength to make it shake, leaves falling down as the creature slid down. However, leaves were not the only thing shaken down from the tree. Upon the creature's hide, the Aithrena elf collapsed from the branches above, shaken from her position by the impact of the wyvern's body against the trunks of the trees. She landed atop it with a grunt, her bow falling into the mud at the creature's feet with only her hunting blades at her side to give her some armed defense. She had not been prepared for such a development to occur, while Saranhreia panted and huffed with a wide smile.
- Saranhreia - Now the party's getting started!
The dragon roared in a combination of pain, frustration and confusion as it opened its wings and blasted itself up, flying away with Khadya still on its back. Filonan's eyes widened as she tried to stab the creature before it could fly away with no avail, and the next time Khadya could see, she was now above the trees and into the direction of the skies.
- Saranhreia - ... Shit.
Khadya held on for her life as the creature rocketed into the sky, clasping both of her arms around one of its wings in sheer panic in response to the situation at hand; she was who knows how much distance away from the ground and she was only getting higher while the beast she involuntarily rode was both hostile and predatory, alongside extremely venomous. She struggled for breath as the air escaped her lungs due to the velocity the beast happened to have been flying at. The Venom Drake flew in circles and did flips through the air, roaring in anger as it tried to get Khadya out of its back. From the distance they were getting, Filonan and Saranhreia could no longer see Khadya from their current position.
Grasping ahold of one of her combat blades in a swift and extremely cautious effort, Khadya attempted to drive the edge of her blade into the base of the wyvern's left wing and tried cutting at the membrane that allowed it to remain balanced during flight, all the while screaming and shrieking as she held herself closer to its wing and glanced towards its tail to see if it happened to have prepared mayhaps a launch attack. Blood poured out of the wyvern's wing as Khadya's knife penetrated its scales, causing it to stumble in the air and lose balance. The creature struggled to remain aloft as it shook itself repeatedly trying to get the elf out of it, but thankfully to her, it appeared it could not fly and sting something on its back at the same time for its tail was swinging with the wind, like a flying dragon's tail is expected to.
Khadya continued to drive her knife into the beast's scales, although soon she stopped as she realized that the Venom Drake was making an imminent descent towards the ground and thought, within moments, of means to perhaps survive the coming impact with the ground; no avail. There was little, if any, means to which she could use to survive this encounter by herself, the creature falling at a terrifying speed and its mass incapable of protecting Khadya entirely - even if she could survive, she thought to herself, she would be nonetheless severely, perhaps mortally, injured. Khadya was thrown out of the Venom Drake as it finally lost control of its wings due to the injuries, the dragon making its way to crash down back into the trees while Khadya also descended herself. Not even being held by Filonan or Saranhreia would help the Aithrena at this point for the impact would kill her and quite possible them too. The only thing Khadya could do at this point was watch the monstrously large Laidar in a distance, the god tree of the Mikmik looking over the marsh with a lazy expression its single eye.
- Khadya - ... I-I... I didn't w-want to die this way... Not here, not now... A-And that... thing isn't even d-doing anything... to s-stop it... Oh g-gods...
Laidar let out a thunderous noise which shook the land and blurred Khadya's view, and moments after, she could hear a roaring, draconic sound near her. And then, an impact as her body hit a surface.
However, she was not hurt. She had not fallen through the trees. Khadya found herself having fallen on top of the back of a Red Wyvern. Filonan's Red Wyvern, Daggis. Wrapping her arms across the wyvern's back, Khadya clung tightly onto it after several moments of confusion, and she realized that she had yet to collide with the ground as wind continued to rush through her hair and brush against the soft skin of her curvacious form. A smile faintly forming upon her face between gasps of air and relief, Khadya placed her head against Daggis' shoulder, laughing and almost crying to herself as she was safe in the knowledge that she would no longer be at risk of death by dropping from the sky after falling from the back of a wyvern.
- Khadya - T-Thank you... D-Daggis... Hehe, y-you're such a sweetheart...
Daggis flew downards at the direction of the Venom Drake's crashing site, at the outskirts of the marsh and the trees, where Filonan and Saranhreia were already waiting for them. Filonan's eyes widened at the sight of her dragon and Khadya on top of it, as she was not the one who had called him here, nor she had any means to anyway.
- Filonan - Daggis! How did you get here?... How did you find us?
- Khadya - ... T-This is why we should kill things when they're SLEEPING!
- Saranhreia - Yeah, yeah, it wasn't me who made the mistake of hiding in the trees and falling on top of it. ... Where'd you get that wyvern from? That's not a Venom Drake.
- Filonan - That's my mount.
- Khadya - ... That big tree thing... Laidar, I think the Mikmik called him. He... He... Urgh, I'm h-having trouble just breathing... r-right now...
- Filonan - Daggis... How did you get here?
The wyvern looked at her mistress with a look of indifference before leaning down in order to let Khadya get down from its back. Mikmik fairies were already surrounding the Venom Drake's now broken corpse, cheerful as ever. Khadya smiled as she slid from the back of the wyvern and her toes were engulfed by the mud at their feet, before strolling forward and stroking Daggis' snout, placing a kiss upon his cheek in return for the favour. Khadya had decided quietly that she would rather stick to trees and forests than to the air and clouds, although she nonetheless pondered on the thought of Laidar, what she had seen and heard - felt - when her eyes glanced upon him in that one moment. Saranhreia scratched her head, dumbfounded at the events that unfolded before her, thus proceeding to cease attempting to make sense of the situation and instead admiring the strength of the wyvern that Filonan claimed to ride, and the amount of loyalty and domestication it displayed were also impressive factors that contributed towards his strong, masculine image.
Daggis was a big wyvern, even for one such as Saranhreia.
Gluttony and DestructionEdit
The three huntresses, Khadya, Filonan and Saranhreia made their way through the bushes of Theohelm as they were sent to kill their next target: Louihar had ordered the girls to hunt a Glutonius, a massive reptile who called this region home. By his name, Filonan already developed her own image of the creature in her head, and she gripped on her spear as she followed the other two women. Khadya had her bow drawn and caution placed within the steps of her bare feet, for she wished not to repeat the incidents that had occured prior that had come to result in injury. She thought that she could go at least one day without sustaining perhaps even minor damage to break the cycle, although her inner self was not entirely as optimistic in this regard. Saranhreia hummed to herself a rather discordant tune that was anything but rhythmic and, by elven standards, enjoyable in the slightest while her halberd was grasped care-free within the palm of her right hand.
- Khadya - Glutonius. I wonder who retained the pleasure of naming this creature.
- Filonan - It's probably some kind of super predator who eats everything in sight. Keep your eyes open.
- Khadya - Mayhaps.
- Saranhreia - Dunno what you two are so worried about. If it eats everything in sight, it's probably as fat as White's thighs.
- Khadya - H-Hey!
A sharp giggle came out of Filonan before all three of them could hear a noise in a distance, beyond a small grove and a few trees. The sound of loud belching.
- Saranhreia - ... Wasn't me. This time.
- Filonan - It's close.
- Khadya - It also smells. Ugh.
The bushes at the left of the huntresses rustled as another creature appeared, obviously not the sound of the belch and appearing to ignore their presence. An Anfeebius, relatively big creatures resembling horned and tailed frogs, sent its tongue out to capture insects who flew around its vicinity. The frog proceeded to move ahead of them while Filonan did nothing but watch. Khadya lowered her bow as she watched the rather tranquil creature, watching it 'graze' much like cattle would aside from its evidently more froglike tendencies. Saranhreia tilted her head in response to the appearance of the beast, lowering her halberd as she examined its method of eating and catching prey with an inherent curiosity. She followed behind it, as if drawn to it by the mere measure of its factor as an oddity to her, for she had not seen anything much like it prior to now.
- Saranhreia - I wonder what it tastes like... Perhaps I could lick its hide and find out.
Saranhreia eventually was met with the sight of an enormous clawed hand breaking trees down to grab the Anfeebius, who screeched in terror as it was lift off the ground. An immensely obese lizard brought the tailed frog over to its mouth and proceeded to swallow it whole, causing Filonan's eyes to widen as she took a step back.
The Glutonius was easily over three times taller than Saranhreia, and its stomach was easily big enough to fit dozens of Oevrumine inside. It was definitely the largest creature the Mikmik had sent the huntresses after so far. The beast looked around with massive, goggly eyes, and the creature could be confused to being one of the Smeevers of the continent if it was not for its massive size and bulk. Saranhreia leaped back, her hand clenching around her halberd as she saw the immense beast in all of its grotesque and disgusting glory, with a face that displayed a combination of shock, confusion, and utter amazement at how such a creature could exist. As she repositioned herself some meters away from the Glutonius, she prepared a stance to defend herself, although she knew little of how to estimate the strength of such a horrifically large beast. Khadya, meanwhile, made sure to steer clear of the path of the living stomach as she went to claim any form of effective cover - or rather, a means to hide herself from its line of sight.
- Saranhreia - What the fuck is that?!
- Filonan - Oh Gods. Why didn't they say it was this big?
- Khadya - Stay as far as you can away from it!
- Saranhreia - It looks ready to burst, like a balloon.
The fat creature's eyes shifted to Saranhreia as it let out a loud roar, launching one of its relatively chubby hands at her direction, certainly with the intention of giving her the same end as the Anfeebius. Saranhreia roared as she lunged towards the Glutonius' hand and arm with her halberd as it made its approach, while Khadya watched its movements from behind her cover - a relatively thick and large tree trunk - before allowing her bow to ascend and the arrow prepared upon it to fly forth to cut through the wind, aimed at the infamously large stomach that the beast happened to carry upon its torso in an effort to injure it or simply divert its immediate attention from the Oevrumine it sought to devour.
As the arrow was launched, it penetrated the massive creature's belly and caused it to let out a yell, causing it to stagger in place. Filonan took the opportunity and swung her spear, creating flames which were launched at the giant's head and torso in rapid succession. They could all watch as, despite its intimidating appearance, the creature did little to attack back. It yelled out and whined in pain at their attacks.
- Khadya - ... I almost feel bad for killing this... this thing. It is doing little else to prevent us from--
- Saranhreia - I don't! It tried to eat me, in my books that's enough to earn anyone a good scrap! Not my fault if they cannot handle it!
Taking her halberd and making use of the opportunity while the Glutonius found itself assaulted by the two elven women, Saranhreia rolled to its side in an attempt to flank it, the words of the Mikmik flowing through her mind within those moments; dismember the tail to earn better rewards and a greater sense of personal accomplishment was the culmination of the advice of the Mikmik. Driven by this advice, alongside her distaste for the beast for having torn away the Anfeebius that she had grown bizarrely tranced towards, she sent her halberd down near the base of the Glutonius' tail, while Khadya continued launching arrows, cursed with dark magic, at the beast's hide and stomach. A scream came out of the giant fat creature as its tail was severed from its body in one swing of Saranhreia's halberd, causing it to jump up into the air and immediately storm out, arrows sticking out of its body. The Glutonius ran away from them, tearing trees down in the process.
The thing was nothing more than a massive pushover.
Saranhreia grinned gleefully as she dashed after the colossal creature, her halberd clasped in both hands as she made a mad rush after the creature and swung her halberd in gigantic swirls to dismember any trees that happened to have got in her way. Khadya groaned, passing a glance towards Filonan as she also rushed forward, although she was more inclined to follow the Oevrumine barbarian rather than the gigantic, vulnerable animal that the three of them had effectively, perhaps, bullied.
- Saranhreia - Get back here, I'm gonna cut ya!
The trio chased the massive fat creature to outside the woods, it leaving a trail of blood behind it as it tried to escape its 'predators'. However, the three girls watched as the sun was sudden blot out as a massive creature, a wyvern, appeared out of the trees they were just under. The monster let out a deafening, demonic roar as it lunged at the Glutonius, its talons digging into the creature's head as it was hurled into the ground with enough force to cause the earth to shake, crushing its skull and killing it instantly.
The Petroatragal slowly turned its pitch-red gaze at the three women as it stood on top of the now dead Glutonius.
Saranhreia came to an immediate halt as her eyes met with those of the demonic wyvern, dirt and earth uplifted at her feet as she skidded into a sudden stop; she growled, her lower jaw hanging to become threateningly prominent in a bestial, animalistic manner. Khadya stopped short some distance behind Saranhreia, watching her glare and snarl towards the Petroatragal although also noticing the Oevrumine taking some steps back and entering a stance of readied evasion. Khadya crouched low to the ground with her bow aimed towards the wyvern, her arrows enshrouded with a dark, magical substance as she cursed them.
- Saranhreia - Well... Look who it is!
- Filonan - Get back! You're too close to it! We don't know its abilities yet!
- Saranhreia - One of us needs to find out how much it hurts!
- Khadya - You are either rather courageous or rather stupid. Nonetheless, evade it swiftly!
The Petroatragal's tail raised and then swung itself at the direction of the huntresses. Massive spikes appeared to be launched out of it at their direction, and Filonan's eyes widened as she threw herself to the side to evade one. They were no mere spikes, they were its scales. Khadya maintained her athleticism to evade another scale that had been launched in her direction, flinging herself to her right while barely evading one that had not been originally placed upon her path; in response, Khadya fired a trio of arrows from her bow, engulfed in dark magic, towards the Petroatragal. Saranhreia, with all of her Oevrumine ability, leaped over one of the spikes that had been sent at her and, while having dodged it successfully, sent her halberd forth to strike another scale from its aerial course, attempting to knock it out of the air as it headed for her.
The scale broke like a boulder, sending shards if it around the Oevrumine while Khadya's arrows hit the Petroatragal's back, failing to penetrate its hide as it slowly turned to them. The wyvern raised a foot and then kicked the Glutonius' corpse behind it, hurling the massive body of the dead lizard away as it walked at the girls' direction. Saranhreia smirked as she swiftly recovered from the destruction of the rather thick and dense spike and she kept her halberd close to her, waiting for the wyvern to approach near enough for her to make an attack against, perhaps, its head and facial features. Khadya prepared more arrows, igniting them with dark energy although she had paid attention as to how her previous shot had failed to make entry into its hide; she needed to analyze for potential vulnerabilities and weaknesses beyond its hide.
- Khadya - Any ideas, Filonan?
- Filonan - It's a dragon, attacking it head-on is futile. We need to find a weakness.
- Khadya - Eyes, mouth, perhaps somewhere upon its underbelly, wing membranes. That is all I can make out that would be clear signs of weakness and that Oevrumine will not be able to reach most of them.
- Filonan - We could potentially trip it over if we damaged its legs enough. Also... remember when we met it? You managed to hurt it by firing an arrow at that bulbous thing on its chest.
- Khadya - Yeah, I remember, thanks for reminding me. I'd almost forgotten. ... How long do you think Saranhreia can last as a distraction?
- Filonan - Considering it just crushed the Glutonius' head into paste... two blows max.
- Khadya - Then we had better act fast and hope she remembers to dodge. You go for one of its legs, I'll go for both the other and the, well, 'heart' I guess you could claim it to be.
The Petroatragal's scales raised as it let out a roar at the trio's direction, before the creature lift off the air and lunged at Saranhreia's direction, sending its immense talons at her direction. The monster appeared to almost slide in the air as it hurled its giant body at the Oevrumine. Saranhreia roared as, rather than throwing herself to the side, she launched her halberd forth upon the beast's approach, running forward while Khadya maintained a close eye on her movements and motion; two blows from the might of the Petroatragal was the estimate and, from what it appeared, Saranhreia was bound to be afflicted with one at this moment. To not waste the opportunity provided, she raised her bow and launched her arrows once more, shrouded in darkness while aiming for the beast's chest as it slid forward through the atmosphere of the locale like a blade.
The creature was faster than the arrows could hit its so-called 'heart', bouncing off its armored hide as the Petroatragal launched its talons at Saranhreia's direction. Filonan thrust her spear forward in order to launch flame blasts at the monster, but it appeared unfazed by her fire. Watching the talons swoop closer, Saranhreia modified her trajectory, launching herself at the cost of her balance to the side in an only partially directed roll to evade the wyvern's offense, her halberd continuing to be grasped close although she had sacrificed a chance for a ready attack against one of its vulnerabilities - its feet and legs - so that she may last longer. Khadya grunted as she raised her bow once more, although she hesitated, instead waiting for the beast to be done with its descent so that she may attain a more beneficial aim; she made an approach of her own, roaming closer somewhat to the encounter.
As the Petroatragal hit the ground, it immediately turned itself and sent its fang-filled maw at Saranhreia's direction. Realizing her fire did little to contribute to the battle, Filonan jumped out of cover and charged at the beast with her spear, delivering jabs at its legs which caused minor scratches, none enough to even draw blood from it. As the beast launched its head at the Oevrumine brute, Saranhreia reacted on a base instinct that had been present for just a mere moment; she launched her halberd from her hand at the direction of the Petroatragal's face while she braced herself for an impact that she realized would probably crack her armour and deal injury to herself, incapable of leaping back far enough to evade its jaws. Khadya reacted in a panicked state, once more aiming for the creature's chest while on the move, resulting in her arrows striking against the armoured skin and flesh of the gargantuan wyvern.
Filonan had to put her hands over her ears as the Petroatragal roared once again, and Saranhreia could make sense of the reason: her halberd had slashed the monster's left eye, apparently blinding it and reducing it to a pulp which gushed black tar-like blood. The dragon staggered back before it opened its immense wingspan and beat it, launching it out of the ground. Saranhreia was thrown back by the force generated by the flapping of the monster's terrifying wings and landed upon her head against the dirt, while Khadya was also launched from her feet and fell upon her back, her bow and prepared arrows landing some distance away from her. The halberd was knocked from where it landed by the wind, its edge slashing into the ground that happened to coincidentally reside beside Saranhreia's head, barely missing her horns as it was impaled into the earth. The Outcast Huntress watched the draconic beast, her and Saranhreia helpless as it made its ascent.
As it reached the skies, the demon dragon let out another roar, but no a bestial one like previously. Khadya and Filonan found their heads suddenly plagued by deafening whispers which made little to no sense, and they only ceased once the malign wyvern flew away from them.Tears formed on Filonan's eyes as she held on her head, but oddly, Saranhreia appeared to have not been affected by any whispers at all. Saranhreia raised herself from the earth, grasping ahold of her halberd and prying it from the ground to be at her side once more, examining its edge for a moment to observe the black tar that coated the blade, although she was quickly distracted with her attention garnered towards the two elven women; not only was Filonan crying, Khadya had her hands placed over her ears, her forehead pressed against the ground with her rear in the air and her knees and elbows touching the earth. Tilting her head, the Oevrumine approached the two of them, blinking several times.
- Saranhreia - Come on, girls, it wasn't that loud.
- Filonan - ...G-Gods help us... w-what is that thing...
- Khadya - That... i-is no dragon...
- Saranhreia - Whatever it is, it's big, it's dangerous, and by now I reckon it is very pissed off. And I think we all know that means it will be back for more. ... Why are you two crying?
- Filonan - D-did you not hear... t-the things coming out of it?!
- Saranhreia - What, you mean roars? Who didn't hear those, eh?
- Filonan - N-not the roars... the s-sentences... th-the whispers.
- Saranhreia - What? Whispers? Girl, that thing doesn't even have lips to whisper with. You must be imagining things. Must be an elf thing.
- Filonan - Khadya... D-did you also hear it?
- Khadya - Y-Yeah... Urgh, i-it was... It was h-horrible...
- Filonan - I c-could hear it t-talk about... about a feast... and a king...
- Khadya - You t-too, huh? ... N-Not good... T-This thing n-needs to die, a-and when I s-say that I m-mean as s-soon as possible...
- Filonan - I hope the Mikmik arrive soon... I-I need a rest...
- Saranhreia - We got the tail off and the Glut-whatever is dead, they should be here any second now. Also, I think I was wrong about what I said earlier, about your thighs, White. I feel like I should say sorry.
- Khadya - W-What...? ... Oh, r-right, right... T-Thank you, I g-gues--
- Saranhreia - As in, say sorry to the creature. It was nowhere near as fat as your thighs.
- Khadya - G-Gods... damnit...
Azure Knight of the PlainsEdit
Filonan, Khadya and Saranhreia found themselves at the region of Vespasean as another day passed. A vast, somewhat dry plain dominated the view as animals could be seen grazing a distance away from them. The Mikmik had teleported them to a very open area, nearly devoid of places for them to use as cover, causing Filonan to look around in apprehension. They had been tasked to hunt a Mintagon, one of the most ferocious races of wyverns who called Hyperion home. come with her halberd clutched tightly in hand, while Khadya felt unnerved by the lack of cover or places to use to maintain potential camouflage. They were informed of the reputation of the fierce Mintagon, making Khadya feel more insecure as per their surroundings, and thought it all too inconvenient for the Mikmik to have teleported them to an area that rendered her strategy not only useless but impossible. Saranhreia, however, faced little qualms with where they had been positioned.
- Saranhreia - You two look scared. Something wrong?
- Filonan - They sent us to fight a dragon and just tossed us in the open!
- Khadya - Yeah, I believe those fairies do not like us very much. That or they believe in our abilities too much.
- Filonan - Now Louihar says I can't bring Daggis because "it might scare the Petroatragal away". I'm willing to guess the former.
- Saranhreia - "Scare the Petroatragal away". Yeah, because Daggis, who's like what, half the size of the damned thing, is going to scare it.
At this moment, a roar was heard as a creature arrived to the plains. Stomping on the ground as it ran after an Arzes cow was a large reptile with vibrant blue scales and orange stripes, its immense fanged teeth visible as it huffed, its tongue dangling out of its mouth. The creature scared all other wildlife away as it chased its prey, and size-wise, its shoulder stood nearly two meters taller than Saranhreia while its body was easily over ten meters long from snout to tail. Its features were somewhat feline-like, and a large horn-like protrusion was present in its chin. It appeared to use its wings as forelegs as its membranes were visible from a distance, and a large spike was present at the very tip of its tail. The Mintagon was found.
Saranhreia observed the creature in awe of its striking appearance while Khadya crouched close to the ground with her bow held ahead of her, eyeing their prey - or potential predator - with extreme caution as they watched it undergo a standard process of its lifestyle; hunting anything that happened to have been smaller than it. Saranhreia looked on with excitement and was tempted to rush ahead to face the creature of her own accord without her elven compatriots, although she knew better than to rush into a fight headstrong with a lack of assistance. She turned to her colleagues.
- Saranhreia - Do you see that?!
- Filonan - Yeah... It looks furious.
- Saranhreia - What do you guys think we should do? I say we grab its attention and face it head-on! Three against one is good odds!
- Khadya - Or we allow it to capture its prey, wait until it starts to feast, and then take of off-guard. Three against one is good odds, but three against one plus the element of surprise is better.
- Filonan - Plus that thing looks like it counts as 10 people.
The Mintagon roared as it lunged forward, sending a clawed hand at the Arzes and hitting it across the side, causing the herbivore to scream out and be launched away with surprising force. The horse-cow creature immediately died as it hit the ground again, several meters away as the Mintagon approached it in order to feed. It had been ignored to the trio's presence so far. Khadya allowed herself to wait, readying her arrow in preparation for when it had entirely dedicated itself to the consumption of its prey, while Saranhreia, slowly, moved away from the group in order to assume an ambush stance; she kept herself low while cautious of both the Mintagon and the rest of her environment. Bringing the arrow back, Khadya soon let it escape from her bow and fly through the air, passing Saranhreia and driving itself towards the hide of the Mintagon wyvern while its head was down and busy with eating the Arzes.
Filonan positioned herself next to Saranhreia as the arrow penetrated the back of the Mintagon, hitting one of the several large yellow scales on its back. The dragon's ears twitched as it turned its head at the trio's direction, its teeth barred and bloodied, chunks of its prey's flesh stuck on them. Saranhreia rushed as it turned, grasping her halberd above her head before instigating a swipe in the Mintagon's direction, aiming primarily for its face with the edge of her weapon glimmering in the sunlight, which in turn shined into her eyes - Saranhreia became misguided in her approach towards the Mintagon although she had a grasp of where its general position and bodily components were, even if she began to misjudge the distance due to the light in her eye. Khadya fired another arrow at the beast's direction and, much like the Oevrumine, aimed for its general facial area, although she was more focused upon its neck. The Mintagon raised one leg as it began inhaling air loudly, before releasing a roar of such intensity Saranhreia and Filonan were both blown away, as if they had just been hit by a hurricane of force. Khadya's arrow stuck into the creature's neck, causing it to growl and turned its eyes at her, initiating an angered charge at her direction. Filonan rolled across the soil and grass like a ragdoll before finally coming to a halt, only being protected from bruises thanks to her armor.
- Filonan - H-holy shit!
- Saranhreia - What was... W-What was that?! White, get out of there!
Khadya aimed another arrow, this time allowing her dark Aithrena energies to curse its head, and launched it at the Mintagon before breaking into an attempt to evade the path of the beast's mighty charge, making use of her Aithrena agility and flexibility with a clear, worried expression written upon her face. Saranhreia instigated a charge of her own, and while she could not see the creature or the Aithrenan as clear as she would have preferred, she could identify a large, blue mass that she could only consider the Mintagon with little indication of Khadya's presence. She was aware, however, the beast was in motion. The Mintagon did not appear to be slowed down by the arrows, even though they were clearly drawing blood, as it lunged at Khadya's direction with its immense claws readied. However, due to her evasion, the wyvern ended up flying over her head, sliding across the ground as it turned itself back at her. It had missed its charge, but it had just started another one, running after the Aithrena in a frenzy.
Khadya raised her bow once more, her stance readied into an optimal position that would allow for an evasive maneuver, although the Mintagon was closing the distance faster than she had been anticipating. As she fired her bow, she soon found her body facing the brunt of what felt like a tree trunk; Saranhreia knocked the Aithrena elf to the side and entered the path of the Mintagon's charge in her place, having roughly seen Khadya's white shape as she got close, and had managed to bring her outside of the wyvern's hostility zone. In her disorientation, Saranhreia could not entirely judge the distance the Mintagon was, although she knew it was coming closer and made a wild attempt to swing her halberd.
- Khadya - Agh! C-Careful!
The halberd slashed through the scales of the enraged dragon's foreleg, but did nothing to stop it as it trampled Saranhreia beneath it. The beast ran several more meters before turning at them yet again to initiate a third charge, all while Filonan regained her composure and thrust her spear in order to fire blasts of pyromancy at the creature's side. It appeared to ignore pain altogether.
- Khadya - It refuses to stop! If the Oevrumine is not careful, she will be crushed under it entirely! ... Not that it would be an entirely negative thing, mind you, Filonan.
- Filonan - Don't say such things. She's a helpful person... bull. Bull person. Even if she's a bit bone-headed.
- Khadya - She lacks the ability to recognize that not all battles can be won with brute strength. Her capacity for power is large but her ego happens to be larger from what it appears.
- Filonan - We still need to help her before her, and you, get crushed into paste!
- Khadya - ... Filonan, I need you to do me a favour.
- Filonan - I suggest you dodge it first!
Khadya grunted as she watched the Mintagon's movements once more and made an evasive maneuver once more, although the thoughts of defeating the creature clouded her caution somewhat and she was almost struck by the colossal wyvern before having rushed at the direction of the Erylian Wyvernrider. Saranhreia recovered from the trampling she had sustained surprisingly quickly, albeit bruised, and made another mad dash towards the large blue mass that was the Mintagon, aiming to tackle it from the side as soon as it had stopped its own charge.
- Saranhreia - Nobody steps on Saranhreia and gets away with it!
Filonan ran over to Khadya while the Mintagon's charge finally ended, the dragon coming to a halt and sliding across the ground as it did. As Saranhreia came after it, it glared at her over its shoulder and swung its large tail at her direction, aiming to either crush her or gore her with the spike on its tip. The wet sound of the spike piercing into Saranhreia's side could be heard, having intercepted past her Qliphothic armour and stabbed into the flesh and the subsequent muscles that resided beneath such, agitating various internal organs in having done so. However, while she winced and groaned with the sudden affliction, Saranhreia was granted an opportunity and swung her halberd in the direction of the tail and the spike it ended with, aiming to dismember the segment with the edge of her weapon. Khadya, however, passed her carry filled with arrows into Filonan's arms while the Mintagon found itself distracted.
- Khadya - Do something with these!
Filonan stumbled in place before understand Khadya's request, and the Aithrena's carry was then enchanted by the Erylia's fire powers. The arrows appeared to slightly shine, and each of them became rather warm to the touch. A cracking noise was heard as the Mintagon's spike was broken by the halberd, causing the dragon to turn itself around and face Saranhreia before launching its claws at her. Receiving wounds just appeared to make it more determinated to kill them. Grasping ahold of three of the arrows - and taking a moment to feel the warmth that emanated from their material - Khadya allowed her dark magic to curse the arrows once more; instead of the material becoming enshrouded with a dark aura such as before, the material of the arrows became pitch black while retaining the glimmer Filonan had enchanted them with. Pulling back the string of her bow, Khadya launched the arrows, aiming for the beast's wing upon its left forelimb while Saranhreia threw herself out of the way of the gigantic claws.
- Saranhreia - It's pissed!
The Mintagon growled as its membrane was penetrated b y the arrows, harmful energies flowing through the creature's veins in the process yet it showed no sign of stopping. As it missed Saranhreia, the dragon launched its maw at her direction, aiming to bite and possibly tear her apart with its immense fanged teeth. Filonan took the opportunity to run to the creature's side, where she proceeded to stab its stomach with her spear. Khadya rushed, preparing another batch of arrows that she proceeded to aim towards the beast, surprised that even despite its mighty size and strength it had not yet began to tire from exhaustion; it was determined to erase the three of them from life. Rushing to a position where she could maintain an angle that would allow her a good view of the side of the beast's draconic face, she raised her bow and launched another trio of arrows, combined with the curse beset upon them by Khadya herself and the enchantment from Filonan. The Mintagon finally stumbled as it launched itself backwards, one of Khadya's arrows penetrating its eye and causing the beast to become dazed. Filonan took the opportunity to deliver a jab at the creature's leg, aiming for its joints and causing it to screech out as pain was slowly becoming apparent to it.
- Saranhreia - W-What... Grr, no fair! How come it backs off when you hit it?!
- Khadya - So... as I thought, the eyes were its only weaknesses. It ignored the pain and damage we dealt to it until we made that pain blatantly clear to it. With its focus broken, I imagine its resistance and ignorance has lessened... considerably.
- Filonan - Don't stop now! It's tiring!
Saranhreia backed away as she grasped ahold of the remnant of the Mintagon's spike protrusion lodged into her side, which was practically the only object keeping her from bleeding out profusely, and had quietly decided to refrain from fighting further with the wyvern as the combination of the light and the severity of her wound caused her disorientation to increase. Khadya, meanwhile, fired another trio of arrows in the beast's direction and smiled; the beast was being attacked from two sides, both of which exploited the magical arts against it. Filonan barred her teeth as she launched her spear, causing ti stab through the Mintagon's jaw as Khadya's arrows pierced through its hide. The dragon attempted to raise its wounded leg to attack the elves but found the pain of its wounds too noticeable at this point.
The Mintagon let out a blood-curled roar as it fell, causing a loud thud as it collided with the soil. Filonan panted heavily as she walked over to its head and removed the spear from it, watching as the creature's blood covered it. Khadya approached Filonan and wrapped an arm over her shoulder, smiling faintly as she bared her teeth in the excitement of having eliminated the beast, her pallid white skin coming into contact with the brown of Filonan's own. Saranhreia groaned as she walked, growling faintly as she glanced over the deceased Mintagon and made a heavy sigh, blood dripping from between her teeth as well as from the wound afflicted unto her side, which seemed to have already undergone its own peculiar state of automatic, regenerative repair.
- Khadya - We could not have done this without you, Filonan. ... Heh, that was both a rather courageous and smart front you placed up. You are certainly different to most Erylians... but you are a better huntswoman than most, mhm...
- Filonan - I did nothing out of the ordinary, really.
- Khadya - Oh, do not be like that. I take the time to appreciate all of my hunts, all of the game that I happen to win, all the prey that I successfully stalk... You should do the same. I want you... to do that...
- Filonan - ...Eh?
- Khadya - Oh, nothing, do not worry yourself. You have done enough already for today, hehe. Perhaps too much? ... Or perhaps, maybe not enough, mhm...
- Filonan - ...You're creeping me you, you know.
- Khadya - Want to talk about it in private when we get back to the village?
- Filonan - Talk about what? The hunt?
- Khadya - ... Sure, the hunt.
The Lamprey WyvernEdit
A harsh, cold wind blew across Khadya, Filonan and Saranhreia as they traversed the caves of Diodoros, their only source of sunlight being cracks on the cave's ceiling which only managed to illuminate the place so far. They had been teleported to this place in order to find the creature called Yakadiar by the Mikmik, who was described as a mix between a wyvern and a lamprey with a terribly loud voice and electric powers. According to Louihar himself, "if you thought the Masio was disgusting, boy do I have bad news for you!". Saranhreia trudged ahead of the group of women with a stride of confidence, although she remained somewhat discomforted from the wound she had received in her conflict with the Mintagon prior to the current day. Halberd grasped between her fingers and her eyes well-adjusted to the dark environment ahead of them, Saranhreia had been entrusted with the responsibility of discovering the presence of the aforementioned Yakadiar creature before it happened to discover them. Khadya, meanwhile, kept her ears peeled for any irregular sounds.
- Saranhreia - At last, the sun's not in my bloody eyes.
- Filonan - Ngh. Why si this place so cold? I gotta do something to fix that.
Channeling her fire magics, Khadya and Saranhreia could watch as Filonan's hair burst into flames, and an aura of heat emanated from the Erylian as she turned herself into what was essentially a living torch.
- Saranhreia - ... Quick, somebody put her out! She's on fire! Oh fuck, she's on fire! Here, lemme put it out!
- Filonan - Calm down. This is a thing all Erylia can do.
- Saranhreia - ... Doesn't it hurt?
- Filonan - Erylia elves are immune to all but the strongest fire attacks. All this does is heat my body up, which's something I'm in need of.
- Khadya - What a coincidence. I believe I too am in need of bodily warmth. How very generous of you, dear Filonan...
- Filonan - Hey. Respect my personal space.
- Khadya - But I am cold, Filonan...
At this moment, wheezing noises were heard as thumping noises echoed through the cave. Something appeared to be near, yet there was no sight of life anywhere in front or behind the huntresses. Khadya raised her bow while Saranhreia looked in all directions - aside from upwards - as she swung her halberd around almost recklessly, causing Khadya to have to throw herself back to avoid being dismembered by the strength of the Oevrumine that wielded the weapon. Her ears twitched as she heard the wheezing and attempted to determine the location based on where the sounds may have been coming from, although Saranhreia's panicked jolt caused the attempt to become disorientated.
- Khadya - Will you calm down?
- Saranhreia - I don't. Like. Wheezing. Things that wheeze are never good!
It would not take long until a shadow appeared in the cracks on the cave's ceiling, blocking the sun above the Oevrumine.
- Saranhreia - ... Who turned out the lights? Brown, was it you?
- Filonan - Oh Gods, what is that?!
Descending from the ceiling was a large-sized dragonoid, who had been sticking on the ceiling while they talked to it other. Its jawless maw, filled with several rows of fanged teeth, extended open as it fell down at Saranhreia's direction in order to swallow the minotaur whole. Saranhreia, her eyes having caught a swift glimpse of the mouth that sought to devour her flesh and bones, leaped backward in response to the mere sight of it and landed with two hooves against the ground as she came into contact with the ground after her initial bounce. The beast had managed to divide the group, with Khadya and Filonan on one side while Saranhreia remained upon the other, her back facing the depths of the cave system while those of Khadya and Filonan were facing the rough direction of the entrance.
- Saranhreia - What the fuck?!
- Khadya - ... By the spirits, it looks disgusting...
The huntresses could only make up where the creature started and where it ended thanks to the direction its strange, goo-like feet were facing. It had impacted with the ground as if it was made of rubber, though a closer look at its body revealed faint scales beneath a crust of slime, revealing it was indeed a reptile. A total of ten eyes were visible on its neck, all nothing but pitch brown in colour, and the creature salivated as it faced Saranhreia. Meanwhile, its tail possessed an orifice on its own, surrounded by a total of four large blade-like spikes. A large, spiked, toothed orifice not unlike the creature's mouth if it were not for its lack of a tongue. Khadya laid a hand upon the Erylian's shoulder as she held the other over her mouth in the circumstance of bringing up vomit at the mere glance of the secondary orifice that had somehow sprung forth from the rear end of the monstrous dragonoid, her face contorting into a cringe. The Oevrumine held her halberd in both hands and prepared a defensive stance, analyzing the beast; she was intimidated not only by its stature but by the bizarre and outright alien aesthetic of the otherworldly oddity.
- Saranhreia - Girls. I think we found the Yakadiar.
- Khadya - How fortunate... It's huge as well as... eugh, I can barely place the appropriate words into such an awful description. It is simply... grotesque.
- Filonan - It's fucked up!
The Yakadiar reared up and then extended its neck, unleashing a sonic scream. The entire cave began to shake from its sheer volume, pieces of the ceiling falling down and Filonan being forced to put her hands over her ears as she yelled out herself from pain. Khadya too placed her hands upon her ears, the sheer pitch of the scream causing pain to travel throughout her elven nerves and disrupt her sensitive hearing, disorientating her. Saranhreia, while pained by the volume and intensity of the screech, especially since it had been initially directed towards her direction, found herself conflicted in what to possibly do against the colossal cave-demon and backed away, her halberd raise to defend herself should the creature lash out at her. Her face contorted into an uncomfortable expression yet she stood somewhat prepared nonetheless, for it was all she could do in the face of this particular terror.
The Yakadiar stood roughly about the same height as the Oevrumine, but it was nonetheless several times her size in lenght. The creature began charging at Saranhreia, its wing membranes wiggling and its tail swinging left and right as the creature went for a bite. Saranhreia growled as she swung her halberd ahead of her in semicircular swings, from left to right and vice versa, in an attempt to ward the creature away from herself, her eyes focused on the utterly horrifying mouth and the many eyes that had come to stare at her. Khadya, meanwhile, gathered the composure to lift her bow and fire a shot at the tail of the beast, although she herself was not entirely confident in attempting to attract its attention and drawing it away from the Oevrumine barbarian.
A viscous, green-coloured blood gushed out of the Yakadiar's mouth as Saranhreia's halberd cut through it, and blood also poured out of the tail as Khadya's arrow penetrated its hide. The disgusting creature screeched in pain as it threw itself up, opening its wings and flying above the trio's heads as it then initiated at dive at the two elves' direction.
- Filonan - It's coming this way!
- Khadya - Move aside, see if the... slime, or whatever it may be, happens to be flammable with your spear if you can get close to it, Filonan!
Khadya rolled to her left while Saranhreia stayed some distance away from the beast, snarling in response to capturing sight of the creature's horrific tail-orifice. With a swift action of preparation with her bow, Khadya fired another arrow at the Yakadiar, aiming for one of its eyes, while Saranhreia made a charge at the tail, unsure of what to expect from the fiend's seemingly semi-sentient rear. The creature screeched again as one of its ten eyes was blinded, and Filonan moved herself to the side in order to evade its dive. The fire elf proceeded to also charge at the creature, her spear being engulfed in flames as she swung it at the Yakadiar's direction in order to hit it.
It appeared Khadya was not wrong, for the Yakadiar did not appear to appreciate having its scales scorched at all. The creature recoiled away from the fire elf almost immediately as her flames came in contact with it. Saranhreia swung her halberd in the direction of the beast's tail, her roar echoing throughout the cave as she made her powerful, strength-enfused swing as Khadya launched another arrow, enfusing it with dark magic although the shrieks and screams of the creature caused her ears to writhe and twitch in agonizing pain, irritated and aching beyond measure, causing her shots to become somewhat inaccurate within the darkness and amidst the echoing noises.
- Khadya - Somebody shut it up! It's making... m-my ears bleed!
The Yakadiar only screamed further as a large gash was left on its tail, and the creature retaliated by unleashed a wave of what looked like electricity around it. The very soil was destroyed as an electric discharged was a blasted out of the Yakadiar. Saranhreia was launched backwards by the potency of the current, thrown against her back as electricity travelled through her weapon to her armour to her flesh, jolting her nerves with a sudden and unrelenting volt of what felt like lightning. Khadya was taken back by the discharge of electrical energy and stood back, wishing not to get closer to the creature, whose slime-covered body have been subject to storing static energy in preparation for a melee assault on part of the huntresses.
- Khadya - I was not expecting that...
- Filonan - The Mikmik did say it was electric. But it looks wounded.
The Yakadiar panted and bled considerably, and it began limping away from the huntresses, jolts of lightning still sparking out of its slimy hide. Filonan thrust her spear in order to launch blasts of fire at it, causing the creature to groan out more in pain. Khadya proceeded to join Filonan in attempting to finish the creature and end the suffering that the three of them had managed to place it in, desiring for it to die as swiftly as she could have it so. Dark magic cursed her arrows as she aimed at the foul beast's hide, while Saranhreia struggled to stand, patches of fur cooked and charred from where she had been electrocuted and her armour blackened more so than it had been prior to the rather surprising and unconventional means of attack on the Yakadiar's part.
The combined attacks of the two elves eventually succeeded in ending the Yakadiar's struggle, the beast letting out a final squeal as it fell into the ground, lifeless. Its body twitched for several moments into all of its movement finally ceased completely.
- Khadya - ... I am going to kill Louihar for having us fight something like... that monstrosity.
- Filonan - Huff... Saranhreia, are you well?
- Saranhreia - ... I feel... how that damned thing looks like... Eugh...
- Filonan - Well, I hope the Mikmik arrive soon to get us out of here... Oww, my poor ears...
- Khadya - Eurgh, yes, mine as well... I have never heard anything screech like that before... Urgh, I need a massage whenever we happen to get back, a nice, prolonged massage across the ears... With gentle, warm hands...
- Filonan - Yeah, a massage would do nicely. Shame there's no Hikamera in this place, they're good with that kind of stuff.
- Khadya - Is that so? You know, I have been told that I am rather careful and dexterous with my own hands, perhaps I could sooth your ears and you sooth mine?
- Filonan - ...Eh. I guess.
- Khadya - You are such a sweetheart.
- Filonan - Don't try anything funny, though.
- Khadya - Oh please, what would you happen to take me for? I am not that kind of elf, dear Filonan... Or am I? Mhmh, do not worry, I shall be gentle.
- Filonan - The Mikmik better hurry up...
The huntresses were given three days to rest after defeating the Yakadiar in order to prepare for their "most important" challenge, according to the Mikmik. They were to hunt a Poison Drake, the great true dragons of venom, and if they survived this hunt, they would become officially recognized veterans of Hyperion Island and be proven as worthy in Louihar's eyes. The huntresses found themselves in the region of Theohelm once more, and much like when they began by hunting the Great Raptouros, they found themselves sneaking across a dense forest. An adult Poison Drake was said to be slumbering deep in these woods. Saranhreia was unusually quiet, crouched as the trio traversed throughout the forest lands, with her halberd tightened within her clasp and her breathing slowed to become rhythmic and sustaining to a pattern; she was balancing and calming herself. Khadya was somewhat unnerved by the attitude undergone by the large Oevrumine warrior, expecting her to have become ecstatic and excited in the face of such a challenge.
- Khadya - The Oevrumine has been... unexpectedly quiet.
- Filonan - Saranhreia? Are you okay?
- Saranhreia - Ssh.
- Filonan - Hm?
- Saranhreia - Have you ever faced a Poison Drake before? On foot?
- Filonan - Well, no.
- Saranhreia - Many Oevrumine warriors have. In parties. Few have survived to return home, even fewer returning successful. Two dozen or so within a century.
- Filonan - ...Yickes.
- Saranhreia - I will not deny, elves. I am scared. This will be... my first Poison Drake hunt.
- Filonan - This is the first for all of us. But don't worry. After all we've been through, I'm confident in our abilities.
- Khadya - This shall be an honourable kill for you, I must imagine.
- Saranhreia - And I'm hoping to survive it.
It would not take too long until they finally encountered the massive beast itself. The Poison Drake slept on top of a large boulder, its tail coiled around its body and its wings folded. The dragon was easily the largest creature they had encountered this far, the elves only being able to reach its knees, and a blackened purple smoke came out of its nostrils as it slept. Filonan looked at it with fascination as she had heard many things about the Poison Drakes from the Khalmaria, but had never seen one in flesh before. Saranhreia stretched an arm and her halberd to her side, in front of the two elven women to keep them from venturing further. Saranhreia's face was contorted into a wary, uneasy expression with her teeth bared and her breathing slowed almost to a halt, exhaling in a pattern, while her eyes were locked onto the Poison Drake's fierce, glorious entirety. She stepped forward lightly, moving slowly towards the beast while Khadya did the same, crawling across the ground as if she had the soul of some predator driving her body, her bow grasped in her hand.
- Saranhreia - Here it is...
- Filonan - Damn... Look at the size of that thing...
- Khadya - Much larger than any creature here we have managed to bring down. ... How exciting...
- Saranhreia - Where... do you believe we should attack?
- Filonan - Perhaps the head? Things are usually weak to blows to the head.
- Saranhreia - Good idea, I doubt its skull can resist the strength... of my halberd!
Driving herself forward, Saranhreia raised her halberd above her head and brought its edge down towards the forehead of the colossal Drake in a vertical-oriented manner, desiring to crack its magnificent crest and skull with the weight and strength thrown behind the weapon. Khadya followed by example, unleashing a hail of arrows - three arrows with each shot taken - unto the direction that the sleeping beast happened to sleep to assist in Saranhreia's execution of the toxic fiend. Filonan thrust her spear at the Drake's head, infused with fire power and hitting it alongside the Oevrumine and the Aithrena's attacks. The poison dragon's eyes widened open as it threw its head up, roaring out as its sight slowly adjusted itself and took sight of the three huntresses who had attacked it.
The immense wyvern appeared mostly unfazed by all of their attacks.
Saranhreia shielded the two elves with the mass of her body while maintaining her halberd close to her, observing its edge as it had cracked only somewhat in the aftermath of the attack against the true Drake of toxins and poisons. Khadya growled to herself, analyzing the situation ahead of her with severe caution; the Poison Drake resisted the combined offensive capacity of the huntresses' weaponry with its skull and crest, unfazed - if anything, enraged - by their assault upon its head and face. If such a creature could remain undamaged by the extent of their attacks, how were they expected to defeat the beast?
- Saranhreia - And just when I thought we could make this easy...
The Poison Drake began inhaling as its eyes shined in a bright purple colour, and after a few moments, a blast of power was launched out its mouth at the huntresses' direction. A poison breath, akin to a great purple flame combined with a terrible dark mist which tore apart the soil it traveled through, making its way to the female trio with terrifying speed.
- Khadya - Everyone, move!
Khadya rolled to the left side, barely having managed to evade the breath weapon as it was instigated in their immediate vicinity, while Saranhreia launched herself to her right, allowing Khadya to have been exposed unto the path of the breath blast prior to her own evasion maneuver. She launched another trio of arrows in the direction of the foul, monstrous creature as the scent of its breath filled her nostrils, although the substance itself had not managed to infest within her anatomy as far as she and the others were aware. She was still largely concerned with how it displayed its resistance against their attacks, however. Filonan initiated a dive and launched herself out of the way of the breath weapon, and the Poison Drake's attention turned to Khadya as the arrows penetrated its scales yet did little to make the creature react in any way. Growling, it put its head down and its horns forward, initiating a charge at the Aithrena elf's direction.
Firing another batch of arrows - this time infused with a dark, magical power - towards the Poison Drake, Khadya wished not to risk the beast changing its direction or focus with a standard evasion tactic, and instead made the definite risk that would prove perhaps fatal if her gamble would come to fail; she rushed towards the Poison Drake at the last moment of its charge and leaped from the ground, aiming to clamber onto its head or back so as to avoid its charge and allow herself the opportunity to attack from melee range. Saranhreia watched the beast dash at the pale elf with worry and wished to move close to protect Khadya, yet was unsure of whether she would survive the onslaught of the beast by herself.
Khadya collided against the thick crest of the Poison Drake, causing it to stop its charge and begin swing its head, thrashing and trying to get the elf out of it. Khadya found herself thrown from the creature's crest by its defensive efforts and landed ahead of it, in front of a group of thick, large trees while she withdrew her bow in exchange for the usage of both of her hands, crouched in her usual hunting position as she stared at the mighty beast with a bout of shock and immediate concern for her own life; she had failed her gambit and was now forced to look for yet another means to survive its affront, let alone kill it. The wyvern roared in agitation as it once again initiated a charge, aiming to gore Khadya with its horns.
- Filonan - Get out of there!
Khadya thought within the few moments she had to act and, after much consideration, instigated yet another gambit that could have cost her the right to life and living; she rushed ahead and lowered her body to such an elevation that, once the Drake had managed to nearly close the gap in distance, it could no longer see her while she had somehow miraculously managed to sneak underneath with a swift dash, moving between its two colossal feet while it charged - it was, according to the calculations she had summarized in her head, too late for the wyvern to change its course at this very moment.
The dragon's skull crashed into the trees behind Khadya, tearing them down and causing the Drake to recoil, dazed by the impact. It groaned in a combination of confusion and anger as it had missed Khadya completely. Drawing one of the hunting knives from her belt, the Aithrenan launched its blade at the angered and staggered Poison Drake's stomach before drawing her bow and following up her attack with a dark magic-infused arrow towards the creature's chest, attempting to distinguish weakness behind the near-invincible shield that was its draconic crest. Saranhreia approached Khadya, watching as she launched an attack of opportunity against the beast she had managed to lure into the trees.
- Saranhreia - What are you, suicidal?!
The arrows and knife penetrated the underside of the dragon, causing it to turn over to Khadya in visible fury. This attack had most certainly brought more of a reaction from it than any other so far. The Poison Drake swung its gigantic tail and sent the immense stinger on its tip at the Aithrena's direction, the venomous spike being about as thick as she was big. Saranhreia resorted to shoving Khadya away from the direction of the stinger and, while contemplating attacking it with her halberd, soon made the attempt to evade it herself, its size and the velocity it happened to travel indicating that trying to resist such an offensive maneuver would have been suicidal in itself, for it was large enough to effectively gore Saranhreia, the largest member of the huntresses. While she was displeased with being unable to land a blow, she came to the conclusion that attacking the beast's underside was a viable solution; they must get close to fight it.
Filonan used the opportunity and rushed at the dragon's side while it was busy using its tail, and began stabbing it across the leg with her spear, firing flares of flame at its wounds as she did so. The dragon growled in pain as it lift its foot and then tried to stomp down on the Erylya elf, only or her to back throw herself forward, getting right beneath the wyvern and proceeding to stab its belly. Filonan's hair burned in adrenaline and her expression. was locked into one of determination. Khadya assisted Filonan from a distance, launching another one of her hunting knives at the Poison Drake's vicinity, aiming for its underside, and following her attack with another bout from her bow, although this time she had launched three arrows, each cursed with dark energy. Saranhreia made use of her own surprising Oevrumine stamina and agility to keep the creature's tail distracted, preparing her halberd for blocking maneuvers rather than attacking ones, something she was rather unused to although she had little choice if she desired to survive the fight.
- Saranhreia - Kill it faster!
- Khadya - Be careful, Filonan; you may happen to be within its blind spot but its feet can still crush you!
The Poison Drake roared as it beat its wings, launching itself into the air and then falling back into the ground several meters away from the trio. It had done so to get distance from them, and they could see it inhaling once again in order to launch its poison breath. Filonan began thrusting her spear to launch flames at its head in hopes of staggering it and turned her head to Khadya.
- Filonan - Aim for the eyes!
- Khadya - Little need to tell me twice!
Aiming her bow and preparing herself once more, Khadya placed two arrows upon her bow and infused them with the darkness of her magical capacity, before allowing them to shoot forth through the wind towards the creature; she was indeed aiming for its eyes, perhaps the only significantly vulnerable component of its monstrously well-defended head. Saranhreia waited, shifting from her defensive stance to a tactically offensive position, awaiting the moment it could potentially become staggered and once more vulnerable to the huntresses' onslaught. Both eyes were hit, causing the dragon to screech and an explosion to occur on its mouth, likely due to failing to concentrate its breath weapon. The Poison Drake was thrown to the side and began thrashing in place as its stomach was left exposed.
Saranhreia charged, yet she was not aiming for the creature's stomach; she raised her halberd above her head once more and brought it down near the very base of the Poison Drake's long tail so as to attempt dismembering it so it would not cause further harm towards the team, aware that unlike the creature's head, it was undefended by any biological shielding. Khadya launched arrow after arrow at the creature's underside to try finishing it off, or at least dealing a significant amount of damage in the time she was capable of grasping between staggering the beast and it possibly standing to fight once more, although she could no longer infuse her arrows with the dark magic for her affinity required to rest.
- Khadya - Filonan! Aim for its heart and organs, finish it!
The dragon screamed as part of its tail was severed by Saranhreia's powerful strike, and Filonan yelled out as she charged at its chest, digging her spear deep into it. The Poison Drake began thrashing more frantically, tearing parts of the ground away and swinging its wings and tail stump wildly in order to fend the huntresses off. Its tooth-filled maw snapped and bit, trying to kill the trio of female attackers. Moving to the creature's back, Saranhreia pinned its wings with the might of the physical strength she could muster in an effort to cease the wild dragon's thrashing, although in turn pushing her to the full capacity of strength she possessed; even then, she could not immobilize the wings completely or for too long. She desired for her elven compatriots to finish the beast swiftly so that it could not attain the opportunity to regain its composure - if it could possibly do so at this point - and attack its underside while she made the vital try to allow her team the opening upon the Poison Drake they required. Khadya soon rushed forth and grasped ahold of her hunting blades from the Poison Drake's flesh and proceeded to cut and slash into its neck and chest, butchering at its muscles and skin.
- Saranhreia - Kill it! Kill it, kill it! I... I cannot hold it back for long! A quarter of a minute, at most!
Fire erupted out of Filonan's spear and blasted inside the Poison Drake, causing it to scream out as its movements began to slow down from the punishment delivered by the girls. Even then, it still thrashed for several more moments before it finally stopped, groaning for a final time before finally succumbing to its injuries.
Filonan took her spear out of the dragon's chest and panted loudly, losing her balance and falling down into the grass, the fire on her hair putting itself out due to exhaustion. Saranhreia let go of the creature's wings as its body became limp and devoid of any signs of life, if but a few twitches as a result of its nerves coming into inactivity. Khadya exhaled, wiping sweat away from her brow as she sat down beside Filonan, panting alongside as she observed the corpse of the Poison Drake with a wide smile across her face, licking her left upper canine as she admired the damage dealt to it alongside the burning wounds left by Filonan's own weaponry and equipment. The three girls were, as was to be expected, exhausted.
- Khadya - Now, t-that... That was exhilirating... and exciting... I... I cannot entirely believe w-we managed to accomplish this...
- Filonan - I... I've not fought like this... in years...
- Saranhreia - You know... I never imagined I'd be... one of the few to actually kill a Poison Drake... Eugh, I feel tired...
- Khadya - That was an... i-impressive display, both of you... I have not seen such fine hunting... in a long time... Whew, t-this... This is why I hunt...
- Filonan - Huff... Now that jerk Louihar has no choice but to accept us as "worthy".
- Khadya - Heh... As if there was ever a doubt about that... Filonan...
- Filonan - Hm?
- Khadya - ... I always found you worthy...
- Filonan - ...Oh. Thanks...?
- Khadya - Don't thank me... Just allow me... to show you how... worthy I believe you to be...
- Filonan - Uh. Okay, I guess?
- Khadya - You are clueless...
With that, Filonan could feel a cold hand place itself upon her cheek, and within moments she could feel the sensation of soft flesh - lips - softly placing itself upon her own. Khadya had leaned forward to embrace Filonan, incapable of witholding her desire for the brown elven maiden for much longer, having come to admire not only her physique but her spirit and skill; she retained the kiss for as long as she could, regardless of the Wyvernrider's reaction to such an occurence, while Saranhreia had not bothered to watch and instead sat against the mass that was the deceased Poison Drake, almost falling asleep. Filonan's eyes widened and she struggled under Khadya, letting out muffed yelps and squirming in an attempt to get the Aithrena off her or perhaps get Saranhreia's attention. Khadya soon pulled away, her hand remaining on Filonan's cheek, her fingertips caressing the soft skin of Filonan's face as she looked unto her, smiling somewhat - warmly - as she looked down at Filonan beneath her.
- Khadya - I could not... stop myself...
- Filonan - Y-You!... W-what's your problem?!
- Khadya - You are my problem, Filonan... You cannot see it, but I am not blind to what resides behind the skin; isolation and a longing for companionship, something to confide within beyond your mount... I don't like it.
- Filonan - ...Y-you're embarrassing me...
- Khadya - If you wish, I shall leave you alone... I do not like seeing someone with such skill and fervor wasting it and unable to revel in it, unknowing the art of how to appreciate one's self and achievements... Your body language and mentality indicates someone who is trapped in a cage when they long to fly. Free.
Filonan looked down to the ground, her cheeks covered in blush as she heard Khadya speak. It would take some moments until she final responded.
- Filonan - ...Just make sure Saranhreia isn't staring.
- Khadya - I believe she has fallen asleep, dear Filonan... And when an Oevrumine sleeps, no amount of sound or noise shall awake them from their slumber... Now, let me show you how much it means... to be free...
Heroes of HyperionEdit
The Hub Under AttackEdit
Filonan, Khadya and Saranhreia made their way back to Olimarius Hub, bringing with them the severed tail of the Poison Drake. This day had been an oddity for several hours had passed since the kill, and the Mikmik showed no sign of coming for them in order to bring the trio back to the village, forcing them to make their way there on foot. Filonan walked behind the two other women, a tired expression on her face as her hair appeared to be very messed up and her clothing appeared loose to some extent. Khadya's hair, too, had been messied and disorder while her clothes hung from her body somewhat loosely, a satisfied, content smile stretched across her elven features as the three women trekked back to the Hub to meet with the Chieftain Louihar. Saranhreia paid little attention to the state of the two elven females, as if ignorant to the events that had come to transpire prior to their undertaking of this particular journey to return to the Olimarius Hub without the magical aid of the native fey.
- Khadya - You know, as troublesome as this stroll may perhaps be... I am glad that we were not interrupted under any circumstance. Is that not right, dear Filonan?
- Filonan - I'm too tired to do anything if something hostile jumps at us at the moment... I need a nap.
- Khadya - Heh, I may have to join you.
- Saranhreia - I'm still confused why those little shits haven't turned up to get us back to the Hub. They can take the Poison Drake corpse back themselves.
- Filonan - You think something happened to them?
- Saranhreia - Perhaps, or perhaps not. We'll have to see when we get there.
- Khadya - Do not sound so optimistic, Oevrumine.
- Saranhreia - It's hard to hurt me, you know. Your sarcasm makes me want to die.
The trek to the Hub took them about two hours, but once they got there, they were welcomed by a rather worrying sight: the village was in flames, smoking rising into the air and the bodies of dead Mikmik visible in the streets. The roars of Filonan's wyvern could be heard as it apparently fought something in a distance. Saranhreia's eyes widened somewhat as she was met with the sight of devastation and carnage, unsure of what to do other than proceed to rush forward to wherever the noise of the wyvern may have been coming from, speaking without so much as a word. Khadya dashed ahead and examined some of the corpses left by the deceased Mikmik, attempting to analyze the causes of their deaths and the extent of the damage affronted to the Hub from whatever had attacked it, alongside scouting to see if any of the attackers remained in visible or audible range.
- Khadya - This isn't good!
Upon closer inspection, Khadya could tell the Mikmik had been killed by having their throats sliced open. Hissing noises could be heard, and Saranhreia was the first to spot their source: fish-men carrying jagged shortswords made of obsidian, their eyes empty and their expressions locked in scowls.
They were Merkan.
- Saranhreia - Guys... Guys! I don't think those are Mikmik!
- Filonan - W-what the hell!? Fish people?
- Khadya - These Mikmik's throats have been slit... Could those fishmen have done it?
The Merkan hissed at the female trio as they prepared to lunge atg them with their blades, but before they had the chance, they were blasted from the side by jets of water. Mikmik tribesmen appeared, led by Louihar himself, and they began throwing blasts of hydromancy at the Merkan to take them down. A roar was heard as Daggis also appeared in the scene, raining fireballs down at the fish people before they had the chance to retaliate. Saranhreia accompanied the Mikmik and the courageous wyvern into battle, swinging her halberd at the fishmen as they were assaulted in multiple directions, flanking them as Louihar and the tribesmen under his command approached from the front thus she had decided to instinctively strike from the rear. Khadya unleashed arrows into the Merkan, baffled by their sudden appearance and their horrendous aesthetic, alongside the stench that followed them.
Filonan had no time to help as the combined attacks of the others killed all the Merkan in the vicinity, and the Red Wyvern immediately went for his rider, putting his head against her body. Louihar took sweat out fo his forehead as he turned his attention to the huntresses.
- Louihar - Thank Laidar you're okay. We had no time to take you back here when these damned Merkan suddenly attacked us.
- Saranhreia - What in the name of Qliphoth is a Merkan?
- Khadya - The dead Mikmik, it appears as if their throats were cut... almost ritually. Ceremoniously. Or from behind, with stealth.
- Filonan - Merkan... I think I've heard that name once or twice. From diplomats who spoke to the Undine Sphere.
- Louihar - The Merkan are a race of fish men who live deep in the ocean. They periodically come to the surface to gather sacrifices for their pagan god. Blood sacrifices.
- Saranhreia - Blood sacrifices? A pagan god? Hmph, what a bunch of nutters.
- Khadya - And they just so happened to target Hyperion this time it appears. Not good, especially in regards to the Petroatragal still being on the loose.
- Louihar - For the Merkan to come here at all... They've never done this before. And the Petroatragal was seen not too long ago going north... Oh Laidar. Oh no.
- Khadya - What is it?
- Louihar - I bet they're to blame for the Petroatragal! It's a vanguard for their invasion!
- Saranhreia - Giant wyvern dragon thing... fish people. I don't quite see the connection, no offense.
At this moment, another creature appeared. Another Mikmik, but unlike Louihar and his people, this one had vibrant pink skin and appeared to lack arms. It spoke in a soft yet worried voice as it approached the chieftain.
- Pink Mikmik - I come from Mamuta Hub! The Petroatragal and the Merkan are attacking our village! We request the help of the blue Mikmik!
- Louihar - See? I knew it! They're on the same side!
- Saranhreia - Well that fed my words straight back into my snout.
- Khadya - This is not good within the slightest. The Mikmik cannot defend themselves, that is why they had requested us to help defend them in the first place. And we do not have the equipment to confront the Petroatragal.
- Pink Mikmik - Also... The Kimkim have returned. The Petroatragal seems to be leading them.
- Louihar - Oh no, anything but them.
- Saranhreia - A... Kimkim?
- Louihar - Horrible Mikmik... ghost things who can suck the life out of people!
- Khadya - That is indeed rather worrying. It appears the Petroatragal and the... Merkan are not refraining in the slightest.
- Louihar - This won't do. This won't do at all. If the Merkan want to sacrifice the island, then they're most certainly going after Laidar himself! We cannot allow them to do that!
- Filonan - Damn. This is rather worrysome indeed.
- Louihar - More than worrysome! If Laidar dies, all of Hyperion will die with him!
- Saranhreia - ... Sounds like our job just became a whole lot harder.
Louihar began clapping his hands to gather the attention of all the Mikmik in the village, who ran over to him and surrounded him and the huntresses.
- Louihar - All of you! It's time for crafting! These three require weapons to face the Merkan, the Kimkim and the Petroatragal! They have brought us materials, and we will give them means to combat these foes from these same materials! Now, huntresses, name me things you can use!
- Khadya - W-What? This is rather sudden, I am not sure what I must--
- Saranhreia - Claws! Strong claws, fit for pounding and cracking bones!
- Khadya - ... Dragonscale armour, from the Poison Drake. And a crossbow, with special arrowheads. This will be most helpful.
- Filonan - A pike. A pike infused with the venom of that Poison Drake.
- Louihar - So be it! Give us a few minutes and they'll be yours! Right, everyone?
The Mikmik all yelled out in a cheer as they ran off to their workshops, while Louihar himself walked off with the pink Mikmik. Filonan had a hand on Daggis' head as she turned her eyes to Khadya and Saranhreia once again.
- Filonan - Seems like there won't be time to rest now.
- Khadya - Rest is for the weary and the weak. And we, my fellows, are neither, as shown by your displays throughout this venture. ... Especially you Filonan, mhm.
- Saranhreia - Agreed! You fought that Poison Drake with the heart and bravery of an Oevrumine! Commendable!
- Filonan - And we're going to take that Petroatragal down before he causes anymore harm. And Daggis will be with us for now on, right boy?
Daggis let out a loud roar, opening his wings to show off the entirely of their span and bashing his tail against the ground. Saranhreia clapped wholeheartedly at the sight of Daggis' displaying his size and a mere shred of the majesty he happened to possess within his wyvern form, while Khadya smiled mischeviously, her eyes directed towards the athletic stature and tanned flesh that made Filonan's body what it was rather than the masculine and powerful draconic beast ahead of them, and just for a moment she thought that she could taste the elven soldier upon her lips - causing her to lick them slowly to savour the thought.
- Saranhreia - I call front seat!
- Filonan - Now hold on there. Try and mount him without my permission and he's gonna bite your arm off. Or your head. Trust me, I've seen it happen more than once.
- Khadya - He is certainly powerful. Large, dense, and overwhelming with such... destructive potential... A true example of a loyal mount if I had ever witnessed one. And not to mention the beast's rider...
- Saranhreia - Whether he hates me or not, he's gonna be useful against that Petroatragal thing when we manage to face it again, that's for sure.
- Filonan - ...Khadya, can you stop talking like that? Can't you see the situation is dire?
- Khadya - Hehe, fair enough a point, dear Filonan. We shall save these leisurely thoughts until after we have managed to ward away those... wretched Merkan. Mere, misguided animals, I shall proclaim them.
Khadya, Filonan and Saranhreia made their way to Mamuta Hub, led by the Pink-skinned Mikmik girl while followed by Louihar and a small force of his own Blue Mikmik. The Erylia elf was mounted on top of Daggis' back, allowing her to gain an height advantage over the rest of the small army as they went for the Pink Mikmik's rescue. She herself was surprised by the event, not just because of the sudden arrival of the Merkan but also became she was not aware there were non-blue Mikmik at all. It would take them about twenty minutes running to reach Mamuta Hub, and the Pink Mikmik's words were proven correct as they could see several Merkan invading the village, setting fire upon houses and menacing the population with their obsidian blades. Saranhreia's face contorted into a snarl with bared, jagged teeth as she observed the fishlike creatures terrorizing the smaller and far more vulnerable Mikmik, yet she had seen from their prior encounter that these fishmen were not entirely committed to what one would consider traditional forms of combat; they were ritualistic, akin to murderers rather than soldiers or warriors, thus attracted the unrelenting ire of the Oevrumine as she stepped ahead of the Blue Mikmik to satiate her bloodthirst. Khadya's eyes and ears analyzed the environment and setting, attempting to distinguish perhaps how many Merkan there were and how many injured Mikmik there happened to be - or if the Petroatragal could be witnessed.
- Saranhreia - Don't just sit around doing nothing!
There were at least two dozen Merkan in Khadya's line of sight alone, and as they realized the presence of the rescue team, they began letting out loud, angered hisses. Flames erupted out of Daggis' mouth as a fireball was launched at the Merkan, with Filonan letting out a battlecry as her hair erupted in flames itself, her new poison-infused Drake Pike in hand.
- Filonan - For the Sovereignty!
- Louihar - Begone from our islands, you damn pagans!
Saranhreia swung her halberd into the horde of Merkan, leaping into their formations to not only devastate them but also afflict damage to their morale and cause division amongst their squads, making them easier targets for the Mikmik reinforcements. When her halberd failed to strike Merkan dead, she would unleash the fury of her new weapon; the Azure Claws, which she used to strike deep into her opposition to shear and tear them apart. Khadya, meanwhile, attacked from a distance with her newly-fashioned crossbow, allowing for harder penetration into enemy armour, which allowed the effects of the Yakadiar-derived arrowheads to take effect within the innards of her enemies.
- Khadya - Now... This is what I would call a hunt!
- Merkan - Ssssshhh! Zhmagaralahtius fhtagan khamavagh!
The Merkan hit by Khadya's bolts were struck by jolts of electricity which caused them to become paralyzed on the spot, making them easy target for Saranhreia, the Mikmik and the others. Many of them screeched out in pain as they were set ablaze by Daggis, and the wyvern proceeded to come down crashing at the enemies, with his rider thrusting her pike at them in order to strike them down. Saranhreia roared as she was hissed and yelled at by the Merkan, responding in kind with the edge of her colossal halberd as she tore her way through the Merkan horde, while Khadya rushed to attend to any Mikmik that had managed to survive the onslaught brought by the fishmen, using her crossbow to ward away or dispose of any Merkan that sought to harm her; even if they had managed to reach her, they would face difficulty in penetrating the dragonscale armour that adorned her curvacious, lithe elven frame.
- Khadya - Filonan, Saranhreia! Have either of you caught sight of the Petroatragal?
- Saranhreia - Too busy making fish fingers here!
- Filonan - Not y- oh gods, what is that?!
Roaring loudly and charging into the fray was the Petroatragal. However, he appeared considerably different compared to the last time the girls had seen it. Its red eyes were swollen, as if they were being absorbed into its skull, and many more horns adorned its head. Four thick, curved spikes partially covered his pumping heart and his brown scales visibly separated themselves from his body, revealing a black and reddened scale layer under them. His wings appeared to have been turned into a fusion of forelimb and wings not unlike the Mintagon and Yakadiar, and most notably, a pair of short arms grew out of his chest.
- Saranhreia - ... What the fuck is 'that thing?!
- Khadya - Is that... the Petroatragal? ... It appears different than when we had last caught sight of it. Mutated. Or evolved, rather.
Daggis immediately roared at the sight of the changed Petroatragal, who responded by stomping its forelimbs into the ground and letting out a screech of its own which briefly deafened all Mikmik, Merkan and even Filonan and her wyvern. The monstrous dragon charged at the huntresses' direction with visible ferocity, clearly remembering them from their previous encounter. Swiftly regaining her composure in spite of the seemingly evolved, monstrous aberrant that opposed them, Khadya shifted herself to move into whatever available cover there was and allowed herself to unleash an electrifying bolt from her crossbow in the direction of the Petroatragal's shrunken eyes that had seemed to sink into the beast's skull - a sufficiently more challenging target but not an impossible one. Saranhreia growled as she batted away whatever Mikmik were around her to ensure they would not be found on the monster's path and braced herself for an evasive maneuver.
- Khadya - Say goodnight.
The bolt hit and penetrated the eye of the Petroatragal, however it did absolutely nothing to stop its charge. The monster roared as a blast of dark magic was launched forward, forcing Daggis to fly upwards to evade while many Mikmik threw themselves into the floor in order for the attack to go over their heads. Many fairies launched magic attacks on the beast's back, only for it to turn its head to them and crush them under its three tails.
- Khadya - W-What...?!
- Saranhreia - Minimal damage! ... But how? You got it straight in the eye!
Filonan charged forward, and Daggis sent its talons at the Petroatragal's head and back, causing the enemy dragon to roar out in reaction as it sent its forelimbs at the Red Wyvern in na attempt to claw or rend it apart. Filonan's pike dug into the beast's hide, causing leaks of bright purple poison to come out of its wounds, but none of the attacks appeared to do much against the beast as it kept attacking. The Mikmik focused in helping survivors out of the battle as they kept the Merkan at bay.
- Saranhreia - ... White! See if you can strike its heart again!
- Khadya - Heart? ... Ah, yes!
Crossbow in hand, Khadya aimed towards the chest of the colossal dragonlike aberration and fired multiple bolts at where she remembered its primary vulnerability to have been located, while Saranhreia - swallowing whatever it was that had kept her from approaching the creature up close - dashed ahead with halberd and claws in hand, snarling as she saw the beast distracted by the efforts made by Filonan and her wyvern mount Daggis; she was unsure as to why the creature appeared as it did and what had happened for it to undergo such an extreme transformation, although whatever it was she knew it was not benign under any circumstance. Most of Khadya's bolts found themselves blocked by the thick bony plates surrounding the Peotratragal's heart, and the demon-like beast swung its forelimbs at Daggis' direction, causing its scales to be launched at the wyvern like ballista shots. They could all watch Daggis let out a pained cry as one of the scales penetrated his chest, causing the dragon to stumble in the air and back away with Filonan gritting her teeth in anger, all of this giving Saranhreia the chance of attacking the monster while it was distracted.
Reeling her halberd back, the Oevrumine warrior-woman lashed out with her Qliphothic weapon, sending the edge of the polearm slashing through the air in a horizontal direction and colliding with the plates that surrounded the creature's heart and main - if exclusive - vulnerability in a strong effort to attempt destroying them so that her companions may be allowed greater offensive access to it. Saranhreia seethed as she launched the strike with both hands, placing her strength behind the swing, while Khadya reloaded her crossbow with another bolt in preparation for the result of the strike.
- Saranhreia - This thing's tough! ... I like tough!
One of the bone plates was destroyed and sent flying away as the Petroatragal turned its gaze at Saranhreia, clearly irritated by her actions. The monster sent its tooth-filled maw at the Oevrumine's direction, all three rows of jagged fangs thirsty for her blood as the three tails of the beast whipped themselves, launching scales at Khadya's direction. Khadya rolled to through dirt and debris in order to avoid the initial impact of the tails, although the tremors unleashed by their collision with the ground caused her to lose balance and crash against the ground, yet this did not stop her from attempting to fire another bolt at the now-exposed flesh that resided beneath the particular plate that Saranhreia managed to dislodge. The aforementioned Oevruming barbarian forced herself to throw herself backwards in order to avoid the blow, aware that not even she could avoid death should it grasp her within its jaws, yet she refused surrender and prepared for another attack once she had been given the opportunity.
- Khadya - Saranhreia, you are too close! I suggest relocating!
- Saranhreia - I'm the only one who can get rid of those damned plates! Don't get rid of the plates, we don't get rid of this... whatever it is!
The Petroatragal raised one forelimb to claw down at Khadya, only to be interrupted by Daggis and Filonan as blasts of fire hit the creature's back, causing them to disperse on impact and give Saranhreia the sensation fire was raining down on the enemy dragon. Daggis flew back to the Petroatragal and sent his large tail at the enemy, stinging the demonic monster and causing it to screech out in discomfort. Saranhreia made use of the opportunity once more, sending another powerful slash at the plates that guarded the creature's heart like a natural carapace, while Khadya fired at the fingers of the winged forelimb of the creature with her crossbow, moving herself back so that she would place considerable ranged between the two of them although at the cost of leaving Saranhreia to become more of a potential focus - not that the Oevrumine would have entirely minded. To finish her powerful side swipe, Saranhreia also sent her fist forward, digging her Azure Claws into the flesh of the Petroatragal.
The demon dragon stumbled backwards and growled out in pain as two more of its plates were destroyed, leaving the heart more or less exposed to damage. In a fit of range, the two underdeveloped arms on its chest began lashing out at Saranhreia with surprisingly sharp claws, not unlike the ones on its legs and forelimbs. Saranhreia growled in a pained expression as she felt her flesh penetrated and her cranium scratched by one of the clawed talons that resided at the end of its miniature arms, leaving blood dripping down the side of her face and head although she responded with yet another swing of her halberd, this time directed at the arms of the fiendish dragon so as to attempt dismembering at least one of them, while the heart was targeted from afar by Khadya and her crossbow; loading another Yakadiar bolt, Khadya sent it forth towards the beast's exposed vulnerability, alongside multiple other bolts that soon followed in quick succession.
- Saranhreia - Grraagh!
A deep cut was left on one of the arms, but was not severed as the Petroatragal let out a screech again, and all of them could watch as its body began jittering and trembling. It had been paralyzed by the combined efforts of Filonan's pike and Khadya's crossbows. Filonan yelled out another battlecry and she ordered Daggis to come down crashing on the Petroatragal, piercing her pike through the beast's back while Daggis dug his talons on his flesh, all while launching a breath of flames upon them.
- Filonan - It's dazed! Attack with all you got!
- Khadya - I shan't lose this game, not once more.
- Saranhreia - The bigger they are, the harder they fall! And I have a feeling this one's gonna fall hard!
Once more Khadya unleashed a hail of crossbow bolts at the beast's exposed organ, cold and quiet as she unleashed and reloaded in a swift, uninterrupted pattern until she had almost become absent of bolts to use, her eyes and aim almost-mechanically directed at the Petroatragal's heart and firing upon it without so much as a flinch. Saranhreia, meanwhile, reeled her halberd back once more for a mere moment before slashing its edge at a horizontal angle once more, aiming for the creature's arms once again so that she may claim a prize should their assault upon it faulter - she wanted to know she dealt it pain should it somehow survive. The combined attacks caused the Petroatragal to scream as he launched himself back, falling on his side and then rolling across the village, crushing several home sin the process. The wounded proto-arm attacked by Saranhreia fell by her hooves as it was severed, and as the monster stood up once again, it let out another roar at their direction.
Filonan screamed and put her hands on her ears as her mind was suddenly plagued by horrible, demonic chanting, and her wyvern began squirming and struggling to remain aloft as it too heard these terrible sounds. Khadya's ears lowered and she dropped to her side, covering her ears with her hands as she groaned and gasped for relent as those same voices clouded all other thought processes within her otherwise disciplined, elven mind, almost to the point she was contemplating her body may be induced into some form of seizure as she gradually lost control of her muscles. Saranhreia, meanwhile, remained unaffected as she charged the Petroatragal once more with her halberd reeled back, preparing for another power attack as she watched it roar, unaware of the suffering induced upon her companions - as if ignorant to the whispers.
- Saranhreia - You'd better run!
The great demon dragon turned around and beat its forelimbs, jumping into the air and proceeding to fly away from Mamuta Hub. The Merkan were all long dead by then, but the Mikmik appeared to be heavily affected by the whispers chanted by the Petroatragal as they remained affected by it even after Filonan, Khadya and Daggis found themselves free of them. Saranhreia groaned as she ceased her charge and came to an eventual halt, exhaling heavily as she turned back to look at the destruction caused by the combined, malignant efforts of both the Merkan and the Petroatragal; she was enraged by the devastation dealt to the Mamuta Hub, yet instead of yelling and shouting she quietly approached the tortured Mikmik and knelt beside them, raising them to sit up as she examined what was happening to them. Khadya, barely recovering from the psychologically-traumatizing ordeal once more, slowly struggled to her feet as she made an attempt to assist the nearby Mikmik.
- Saranhreia - ... You mentioned something about whispers... the last time we fought it. What's going on, White? Brown? What are you two hearing? ... What are they hearing? Because I can't hear it.
- Khadya - ... Terrible. It's... It's terrible.
- Filonan - Gods... It's demon tongue... it's speaking in demon tongue...
- Louihar - I-it's the tongue of t-their pagan god... Zhmagaralahtius, I think they call him.
- Saranhreia - ... I don't know a thing about gods or pagan worship or anything like that, but what I do know is that only cowards murder the undefended and uninvolved like this so... ritualistically. They're worse than barbarians, they're not even raiding. ... Just killing.
- Khadya - The Petroatragal escaped once more... Laidar is still at risk. My apologies, Cheiftain, we were unable to either subdue or destroy the fiend.
- Louihar - Please, don't apologize. You quite clearly deeply wounded it, and you also saved Mamuta Hub. if anything, I need to apologize for taking so long to put serious thought into all this.
Daggis landed, allowing Filonan to get down from the wyvern and touch the soil once again. At this moment, the Pink Mikmik raised from the ground and suddenly tackled the three girls, giggling loudly as they began cuddling the three of them, wrapping their tiny arms around them and beating their little bug wings excitedly.
- Pink Mikmik - Hee hee hee hee! Friends of Hyperion! Heroines of Mamuta Hub!
- Khadya - W-What? I... This feels rather pleasant, actually.
- Saranhreia - I, urr... t-thanks, I guess, you little... pink... flying... things. Hrmph, I suppose even if we didn't manage to kill that bastard we still somehow saved the place. Or, well, what's left of it at least.
- Filonan - Ngh! Stop!... Y-you're embarrassing me!
- Saranhreia - That didn't concern you that one night when you and White were wrestling with each other with your clothes off--
- Filonan - S-shut up!
Khadya smiled faintly as she embraced the hugging and cuddling granted unto her by the Mikmik while Saranhreia had her arms folded, struggling to savour the appreciation the team of girls happened to have been receiving at the time; something in regards to being incapable of killing the Petroatragal, especially in its bizarre, evolved state, bothered the Oevrumine alongside being incapable of preventing the deaths of many more Pink Mikmik. She could not find satisfaction in this encounter, for to her, it felt almost equal to failure.
Nonetheless, she savoured the following embarrassment that came from the otherwise disciplined and stoic brown Erylian elf as a result of the congratulations they were being gifted by the small, flying fey. Before they could have any chance to rest, though, another new Mikmik appeared to them. Its skin was gray in colouration and it appeared to wear a rock around its torso, giving it na armored look.
- Gray Mikmik - I come from Ameny Hub! We are under attack from the Kimkim! We request the aid of Olimarius and Mamuta!
- Louihar - Oh dangit all. Already?
- Khadya - It appears that the conflict is more widespread than we had first imagined...
- Saranhreia - ... What the fuck is a Kimkim?
- Louihar - Come on, I already explained that.
- Filonan - ...Can we take a ten minute break? At the very least? We just fought the Petroatragal here.
- Gray Mikmik - Miss booby elf, the Kimkim are not gonna wait for you to rest!
- Filonan - W-watch your mouth!
From Fairies To WraithsEdit
A chilling wind blew over the huntresses as they were teleported to the region of Diodoros once again, Louihar's growing Mikmik army right behind them as they arrived to the next village: Ameny Hub, the home of the Gray Mikmik. The rock-armored fairies lived at the depths of the region, yet sunlight still shone from cracks at the ceiling of the cavernous area, illuminating it. Filonan eyed the village in curiosity, because it appeared to be deserted save for several, large green leaves sprouting out of the ground. Saranhreia grunted, shielding her eyes from the light that shined through the cracks of the upper cavern, for she wished to not be rendered blind once more, while Khadya drew her bow and placed a knee to the earth at their feet; her eyes closed as she allowed her senses to amplify elsewhere, her ears perking and the flesh and nerves that touched the earth becoming more attuned to the activity that vibrated across the surface. She moaned lightly under her breath, exhaling softly.
- Saranhreia - Looks like everyone packed up and left.
- Louihar - They didn't leave, no. They're hidden underground.
- Filonan - These leaves... They look familiar.
- Louihar - Yup! Mikmik leaves. These are them, hiding in the ground.
- Saranhreia - Instead of getting up to fight and defend themselves? What, are they without weapons? ... Magic?
At this moment, a horrible moan was heard as a dense mist began engulfing the village, and Louihar and his Mikmik froze in fear with their eyes visibly wide. Filonan could feel goosebumps hit her while Daggis eyes around in confusion, and faint, Mikmik-shaped shades could be seen in the mist, slightly floating above the ground. Khadya winced and cringed as she felt the bizarre, seemingly supernatural force seep into the environment around them and she raised herself from the ground, allowing her eyes to open to look upon the ghastly shades. Saranhreia growled as she clasped her weapon and prepared to charge forth, while Khadya muttered in elven, extending an arm to restrain the Oevrumine warrior without actually having to touch her.
- Saranhreia - These Mikmik are playing games with us. I don't like playing games I don't win at. They piss me off.
- Khadya - Ssh, silence yourself, oaf. Louihar, are these shades the... Kimkim you spoke of?
- Louihar - Y-yes... you seen, us Mikmik don't follow the rules of death like you do. We are not reaped by Death like you. When we die, our bodies become dust and our spirits linger on. And if our spirits are disturbed... we return as Kimkim.
- Khadya - Is that so...? Hmph, an unfortunate occurence. But how may we attack and... 'kill' something that has no body? Something that is already beyond living?
- Louihar - Only magic can damage a Kimkim. Physical weapons will be useless against them.
- Saranhreia - Hah! Yeah, right, and breeding has increased throughout Qliphoth recently.
- Louihar - Oh, I'm sorry. How about you tell me how my dead people work then, smartass?
- Saranhreia - ... W-Well, I, err...
- Khadya - Louihar, would enchanting our weaponry allow us to deal damage to them?
- Louihar - The enchantment will damage them. Your weapon's physical form won't. Better than nothing I guess.
- Khadya - It shall allow me to damage them without having to get close. I dread to think what happens should one be embraced by them. I can imagine it being cold, and forceful...
From the mist, the Kimkim emerged and became visible. Their bodies were incorporeal and the trio could see through them, and their skin was a pale gray. Their eyes were locked in widened expressions, bulbous in appearance, while the leaf on their heads had been replaced by a dread, pointed wooden branch. The sight of the wraiths caused Filonan to become slightly uneasy while Daggis growled at them, his teeth barred. Khadya exhaled quietly; as an Aithrena she had a natural affinity for the dead, even if her upbringing may have been unconventional and featured heavily away from many Aithrenan, or other elven, settlements. She raised her crossbow and loaded an arrow, taking an opportune moment to feel the cold touch of dark magic slither through her veins as they came to pass over her weapon and ammunition. Saranhreia, meanwhile, took a step forward and growled, perturbed somewhat by the surreal and bizarre appearance of these miniature wraiths.
- Saranhreia - Well... What are we waiting for?
The Kimkim closest to them reached a hand at their direction, and the whole trio could watch as its fingers began extending and growing greatly in size, getting uncomfortably close. An echoing, ethereal hiss came out of the wraith as it glared at them with a furious look on its large eyes. Khadya grunted as she extended her crossbow and allowed the arrow loaded onto it - accursed with dark magic - to fire from its mechanisms, aiming for the head, specifically the face, of the Kimkim wraith, her eyes attempting to look away from the long, disturbingly thin fingers. Saranhreia, meanwhile, found herself bizarrely drawn to the appendages, as if placed under a trance. The enchanted bolts hit the head of the wraith, and while the bolts themselves passed through it, the dark essence on them remained struck on the ghost's head. Another hiss came out of it as it recoiled backwards, its translucent body vanishing in white dust. The noise attracted various other Kimkim who turned their eyes to them, and soon enough began to float at their direction.
- Khadya - ... I am not enjoying this.
- Filonan - I don't feel well...
- Saranhreia - Grr... They're all coming this way. What do we do? Who else here has magic?
- Filonan - Me and Daggis do. So do the Mikmik but they appear too intimidated to fight.
- Saranhreia - Hey, blue-balls! Get your men on it! You can't expect us to take all of them by ourselves, do you?!
- Louihar - There's a reason the Gray Mikmik preferred to hide! If I get touched by a Kimkim, I'll turn into one!
- Saranhreia - Here's a solution; don't let them touch you!
Daggis let out a roar and breathed a blast of fire at the Kimkim, incinerating a good portion of them but the ones not hit remained completely unfazed. Filonan engulfed her spear in fire as she began launching bolts of flame at them, and those hit by their fire attacks vanished into dust just like the first. Khadya allowed more bolts, each cursed, to fire from her crossbow while she made an attempt to maneuver herself to a flanking position, although as far as she could see there was no potential means of accurately determining how many more were present within the fog, even if she could have somehow evaded the mass of Kimkim ahead of them. Growling at being incapable of doing much else, Saranhreia threw her halberd into the earth and ran to the nearest wall, grunting loudly and yelling in her Oevrumine tongue.
The Oevrumine's noise caused multiple Kimkim to be attracted to her, and several of them began floating to her direction. Their fingers shapeshifting into serrated blades, and the ghosts began attacking Saranhreia with them. She could feel as if she was being hacked by scythes which bypassed her armor, though its Qliphoth properties allowed her to resist some damage. If she were unarmored, she would likely have been dismembered.
- Saranhreia - Guys...! They can do... well, things!
- Filonan - Shit!
Daggis roared as he charged at the ghosts' direction, eventually passing through their bodies and delivering a headbutt to a Mikmik hut, tearing it down and causing the wyvern to be buried in debris while whining out in pain. Filonan put a palm against her head as she fired her spear's magic at the Kimkim attacking Saranhreia, causing several of them to burn down into dust. Khadya groaned as she saw that while the attention of the Kimkim had now been diverted, allowing her to pick off more of the ghostly visages with ease without having to panic in regards to them getting too close, she was now concerned with the safety of her companions. ... Her friends. Raising a hand, she coalesced a hand-sized ball of blackness - dark magic gathered into a semisolidus form - before launching it in the direction of the Kimkim horde, following her attack with several more cursed bolts directed at the gathering of ghosts. Saranhreia, wincing as she felt blood drip from her fur, began to run further from the group, yelling louder so as to grasp the attention of the otherwordly entities and bring them further from the other girls, alongside the incapacitated wyvern.
- Khadya - Saranhreia, what are you doing?!
- Saranhreia - There's too many of them to take on all at once and those blue cowards are refusing to fight with us! If one of us didn't do something sooner, we would have been swarmed!
The Kimkim hissed as they gave chase to Saranhreia, slashing their arms or stretching their fingers like tentacles to get the Oevrumine. Meanwhile, one of the creatures managed to sneak behind Filonan and wrapped its fingers across her torso and neck, and the Erylia would begin screaming in pain as energy flowed from her to the Kimkim.
- Khadya - Grr... Louihar, do something!
Priming her crossbow, Khadya unleashed another bolt in the direction of the Kimkim, although she could not help but find some morbid curiosity in what was occuring ahead of her; what the Kimkim was doing to Filonan, how its long, writhing appendages wrapped themselves around her and bound her to where she was, leaving her immobile and vulnerable. How it desired her essence inside of itself, forcefully extracting them while keeping Filonan restrained. After firing her bolt, Khadya drew the two hunting blades at her sides and allowed dark magic to flow through them, before launching them into the Kimkim that surrounded her fellow elf.
The Kimkim hissed as it was defeated and crumbled into dust, causing Filonan to fall on the ground, breathing heavily on her knees. Louihar looked at the huntresses with apprehension as he let out a gulp, and him and his Mikmik charged forward, launching magic flares at the Kimkim. Daggis stormed out of the debris he had been buried in and immediately ran over to Filonan, covering the Erylia's body with his wings and roaring out in visible anger. Khadya allowed herself to clear a path for the charging Mikmik, shooting bolt after bolt, each enhanced with the dark magic that she had cursed her crossbow with, at their Kimkim enemies in order to clear some form of safe passage for their advance. Saranhreia, meanwhile, began to faulter and tire as the wounds she had come to sustain began to take some form of effect, and she knew she would not be able to run for much longer.
- Saranhreia - H-Hurry up! I can't hold them back forever!
Several Mikmik were cut down or devoured by the Kimkim, but Louihar let out a battlecry as they all fired their magics at the wraiths, causing them to be destroyed and the mist to slowly disappear. Many of them still remained, only to either be shot down by Khadya or be set ablaze by Daggis who attacked from a distance.
It would take several minutes until the mist finally ceased, and the Kimkim appeared to have been reduced to only a few stragglers. Khadya picked off those Kimkim that had been separated from their now-decimated horde, freely moving to approach Filonan and Daggis as she did while Saranhreia allowed herself to make a hasty maneuver, evading those straggled Kimkim that sought after her with some athletic capacity although it was, needless to say, somewhat painful for her to move with her slashed joints and musculature. She found herself covered in her own blood, yet it did not seem to bother her as much as something else that rested upon her mind.
- Saranhreia - N-Never... Never again! Ghosts, spirits... n-none of it! Never again!
- Khadya - My dears, are you both alright?
- Saranhreia - One; don't call me "dear". Two; what does it look like to you?
- Filonan - I... I feel so tired...
- Louihar - Return to the grave!... Wait. What's that smell?.... Ooooh nooooo! Everyone, hide! Now!
A terrible stench could suddenly be felt by all of them, including the huntresses, and they could watch the surviving Mikmik all bury themselves beneath the soil, with only their leaves sticking out. Loud footsteps could be heard as the Kimkin who had survived the battle appeared distressed. Something was coming, and it was terrible enough to make the undead afraid. Khadya rushed towards a group of rocks that had remained near the outskirts of the cavern while Saranhreia accompanied, kicking up dirt to hide her blood trail as she made for a rational and effective hiding spot; a separate group of rocks near the opposite edge of the cavern, making haste although with some evident difficulty, unstable in her step. Daggis carefully grabbed Filonan by the collar of her armor and took her with the rocks alongside the others.
- Khadya - What the...
Stomping into view of a massive, pitch white creature of somewhat humanoid shape. Its body appeared to be made of viscous goo and it was completely featureless. No eyes. No mouth. No nose or ears. A muffed roar came out of the entity, which caused the surviving Kimkim to appear to panic and flee the area, causing the mist to vanish completely.
- Khadya - ... What is that?
- Filonan - W-what is what... uh...
- Khadya - I do not believe... we should attack it...
The entity shifted its head around, as if looking for something, before marching on. It would take several minutes for the stench to stop and for the Mikmik to return to the surface, and many of them could be seen sighing in relief as the creature had left. Khadya emerged from her hiding spot, placing her crossbow back unto the carry-strap on her back and walked towards the Mikmik, perturbed as per what the creature that had just been witnessed exactly was. Saranhreia, meanwhile, rested against one of the cavern walls, slumped down and awaiting for her body to begin the regeneration process - indicated by her pained grunts and deep inhales, keeping herself away from others as the process played out. Filonan remained floored, a tired expression. on her face as Daggis circled his rider with a very adamant expression.
- Khadya - Louihar... What was that?
- Louihar - The Perterrent.
- Khadya - And... what is a... Perterrent?
- Louihar - Not a. THE Perterrent. There's only one, and thank Laidar for that.
- Khadya - ... Right. ... Are the Kimkim gone? I cannot see the mist anymore.
- Louihar - They are. All fear the Perterrent, even the dead... I lost a good portion of my tribe in this battle. But at least Filonan is alive.
- Khadya - My apologies, Chieftain. Your tribesmen were brave, if they had not sacrificed themselves then Filonan would have been lost, as would most probably the rest of us, perhaps not then... but whenever the Petroatragal decides to rear its ugly head again.
- Louihar - She had her energy drained. We should allow her to rest for a few hours, samewise for the minotaur. Afterwards, we should visit Vespasean and see if the Yellow Mikmik are in any danger.
- Khadya - Thank you, Chieftain. ... Let us hope that, if anything, they may find themselves safe.
After Filonan had recovered her strength, the huntresses and the Mikmik teleported themselves to the region of Vespasean in order to reach the village of the yellow-skinned Mikmik, Dushbug Hub. The first thing they came across upon arrival was the charred corpses of dead Merkan, and they could watch the yellow Mikmik finishing off what looked like a Merkan attack by launching powerful lightning bolts from their hands. Their large ears flopped as they attacked the invaders with little remorse. Khadya watched on in curiosity as the yellow Mikmik grilled the skin and innards of their aquatic opposition, their gross and wet bodies contracting the electrical currents unwittingly while the Aithrenan lowered her crossbow, certain that the yellow-skinned creatures were capable enough of defending themselves with the power they appeared to manifest from within themselves. Saranhreia was left in awe as she watched the Mikmik defend their village without either reinforcements or outside assistance of any kind; wholely independent.
- Khadya - They appear to wield stronger magic than their kin... And adorable ears as well.
- Saranhreia - Man, wish I could do that.
Once all the Merkan were dead, one of the yellow Mikmik noticed the "rescue party" and went over to them, nodding to Chieftain Louihar in acknowledgement.
- Louihar - Well, we came here to see if you wanted help. Seems like you don't.
- Yellow Mikmik - Silly fishes fly easily with some thunder!
- Khadya - Did you see any indication of a wyvern when the Merkan attacked your village? A black, bizarre creature that appeared to be wounded?
- Yellow Mikmik - Wyvern? Not really... But we did see a black dragon.
- Saranhreia - Whatever. What matters is that you saw it. That means it could be nearby, waiting for us to kick its ass again!
- Filonan - Are all the Merkan dead?
- Yellow Mikmik - Yup! All of them!
- Louihar - Well, that's good. Perhaps you can join us in aiding the other villages then. I'm taking these girls over here to see Laidar once I get all the tribes.
- Yellow Mikmik - Oh! Getting Laidar against the Merkan! Great!
- Khadya - You are rather optimistic. Perhaps too optimistic, considering how many lives are at stake. And how many have been taken already.
At this moment, something could be seen approaching in the horizon, rushing at the village's direction. As Filonan, Louihar and the Mikmik noticed it, they could not help but find it odd.
It was a wave made entirely of mud.
- Khadya - ... What?
- Saranhreia - Great, more magic I bet.
Khadya cautiously raised her crossbow, an eyebrow perked as she examined the wave of mud's imminent approach towards the village while loading another bolt into the mechanisms of her weapon. Saranhreia folded her arms, a snarl on her face as she watched the wave, unsure of what it meant or could mean; she found herself bothered by it nonetheless however, sheerly out of the absurdity of it at such an otherwise hostile time. As the wave approached, a single being could be seen 'surfing' on it, its head coming out of the watered Earth as he looked at the village: a dark-skinned Merkan, one eye covered in mud in a way that it looked like he was crying. At the sight of the entity, all the Mikmik began to visibly panic, and many of them, including Louihar, began running around in circles as if they had become completely disoriented. Saranhreia took a step back, unnerved by the sight of the mud that dripped from the glands of the dark Merkan's eye, while grabbing ahold of her weapon in preparation for any combat to ensue. Khadya, attempting to line her aim up with the trajectory and path of the Merkan, launched a bolt from her crossbow in an attempt to execute the creature, or at least incapacitate it in some form.
- Khadya - And who might that be...?
- Louihar - M-M-M-Mudpriest!!
The Merkan let out a loud, ethereal howl as what looked like a tendril of mud emerged from the wave and shielded him from the bolt, and the wave proceeded to collide against the village, tearing down multiple houses and engulfing multiple Mikmik. Filonan ordered Daggis to raise to the skies as the mysterious Merkan emerged from the mud, its single working eye glaring each one of them at the time. Khadya stepped back while Saranhreia stood ahead of her, although as she did she was almost entirely ignorant to the accursed enchantment Khadya had instigated upon the clawed gauntlet that the Mikmik had crafted for the Oevrumine. With an acknowledging nod, Saranhreia stepped forward once again, staring at the Mudpriest and finding herself still unnerved by the asymmetrical elements of its disgusting face, while Khadya once more loaded another bolt into her crossbow.
- Saranhreia - And what do you want?!
- Khadya - Be cautious, dear Saranhreia. We are unsure of the extent of his powers.
- Mudpriest - Ssssssshh! Khavaran kler makna trahgh!
- Filonan - Nothing so far.
- Mudpriest - Petroatragal... Sssssshhhhhccck! Vermaka vernan gralal, Filonan Aerember.
- Filonan - ...W-what?! Did that thing just say my name?!
- Saranhreia - ... Now that isn't creepy at all.
Unwilling to waste further time, Khadya growled as she raised her crossbow and fired another bolt at the direction of the Merkan while he appeared distracted with the elven wyvernrider, firing past Saranhreia in an effort to take the Mudpriest by some form of surprise while maintaining the advantage of possessing range. The Merkan leader hissed as he leaped out of the way of the bolt, mud engulfing his body as he seemed to swim in it, charging at the Aithrena's direction with his maw wide open, revealing his fanged and crocked teeth. Barely capable of reacting to the immense speed that the Mudpriest had quite suddenly attained, Khadya made a maneuver to evade the assault he had sprung upon her with his bizarre magic, although even her elven body was incapable of generating the agility required to dodge the attack; it was only by Saranhreia's intervention of moving her mass in the path of the attack did Khadya manage to get away with only minor injury, while Saranhreia allowed herself to take near the full force of it.
- Khadya - Urgh, look out, he's fast!
- Filonan - What is this thing doing? ...Mud magic? Is that even a thing?
The mud collided with Saranhreia's body with tremendous force, but the Mudpriest himself recoiled back as he hit his head against her armor. A hiss came out of the mud as it threw itself at the Oevrumine, hoping to cover her in it. The Oevrumine staggered as the Merkan collided with her, allowing mud to flow over her armoured, muscular form in that brief moment of vulnerability, while Khadya once more allowed her crossbow to fire upon the Mudpriest, enchanting her weapon with her dark magic to increase the potency of her bolts - if she managed to strike at her target, that is. The speed of the Mudpriest caused her to become unsure of where to fire, while Saranhreia made an attempt to endure the attack.
- Saranhreia - Grr! You're lucky I didn't have this armour cleaned recently, otherwise I would be so much angrier!
- Khadya - Get away from him!
- Saranhreia - Grr!
Daggis let out a fire breath at the Mudpriest's direction, causing the enemy to hiss out and retreat but inevitably hitting Saranhreia as well due to being too close. Using her pike, Filonan ordered the wyvern to dive down at the Merkan in an attempt to Pierce through him, but the vile creature managed to 'swim' through her attacks and then launch a blast of water from its mouth, hitting Daggis across his behind and causing the wyvern to screech out in pain. It appeared he was using a combination of water and earth magic to create this mud.
- Khadya - Careful, Filonan! ... This mud is not natural. It is his own... bizarre hybrid of magic. Potent, at that.
- Saranhreia - Grr... Now he's pissed me off!
Flexing the large, impressive musculature of her form, the mud that had engulfed Saranhreia cracked and soon fell from her armour and fur, assisted by her rabid, animalistic shaking in an effort to cleanse herself. Snarling loudly, the Oevrumine lashed out towards the Mudpriest and his mud, wildly utilizing a combination of semi-ranged attacks with her halberd and attempts to strike the Mudpriest up close with her clawed, cursed gauntlet, her own speed having come to increase as she began to lose awareness of her surroundings - including the Mikmik and their property.
The Mudpriest let out a howl as Saranhreia could feel his blood spilling over her arms, and as that happened, she could also feel a tremendous torrent of mud blast against her face as the Merkan retaliated. What looked like a curved, glowing, obsidian-made blade appeared in the Mudpriest's hand as he began delivering slashes against the Oevrumine's legs, aiming at her joints. Blinded by the mud that was launched point blank into her face, Saranhreia almost toppled as she felt the edge of the obsidian blade cut and slash through her flesh and tendons, penetrating through even the thick hide of the Oevrumine like a knife through butter. Grasping ahold of her halberd in two hands, Saranhreia swung herself into a semicircle, placing might and force behind her handling of the blade and attempting to either dismember the Mudpriest that had managed to flank her or ward him away from her vulnerable points; while her stamina and strength increased with her rage, she was becoming aimless.
A loud hiss was heard as the Mudpriest was hit across his side, causing him to be launched out of the mud and fall down into the ground a fair distance away. Filonan took the opportunity and ordered Daggis to fire a fireball at the Merkan, who only barely shielded himself by create a shield made of water around himself. Even then, the shield was shattered and the enemy was quite clearly burned by the attack.
- Mudpriest - Sssssssshhhh!!
- Saranhreia - Bastard! ... He cut my joints, I can't run otherwise I'm going to give way! Grr, give me a break!
- Khadya - Break given.
Raising her crossbow, Khadya unleashed several bolts in the direction of the Mudpriest, although instead of aiming for more vital components such as his head or torso as one would have expected, she was aiming for his limbs, attempting to incapacitate him in some form, either by depriving him of the somatic components of his spells or by penetrating through his feet to attempt to keep him connected to the ground, removing the curse from her crossbow in order to reduce her potency and maintain accuracy while Saranhreia took the opportunity to calm herself and make a try at healing.
The Mudpriest hissed out as one of his arms was penetrated by a bolt, causing the creature to fall down once again. Despite his high power, he seemed to be fragile to damage. His obsidian blade fell on the ground, and Filonan smirked as she prepared to order Daggis to finish the enemy off. But then the whispers roared through her head and Khadya's.
The weak kneel before the strength of the king. I thirst for your landmass and all of it will be by nourishment. All will become a paradise. A paradise of crystal!
Filonan screamed as her head was hit by a tremendous pain, and at the same time, Daggis roared out in confusion as he lost his balance completely, causing the wyvern to crash down into the mud, throwing Filonan away in the process.
- Khadya - N-Not... Not a-again!
Placing her hands to her ears, Khadya fell to her knees, screaming and coughing up phlegm and saliva as she resisted the relentless, painful whispers dashing through her mind like a rock scraping bone, her body riddled with aches all across as she dropped her crossbow alongside herself. Unaffected by the whispers yet only partially recovered, Saranhreia growled, halting her progress to attempt a rush towards the Mudpriest while he had been downed, fists clenched and halberd in hand, yet could only move slightly beyond casual walking pace for she did not wish to risk further injury to herself.
- Saranhreia - Damnit... Hurry up and kill the bastard! ... If there are whispers... the Petroatragal nears!
- Filonan - I-It's... c-coming from him!
Saranhreia was not wrong, though, as she could see a large shadow appear in the skies and fly down into the village, landing some distance behind the Mudpriest. The entity was engulfed in a black mist which made it impossible to tell what it was, though its body was most certainly draconic in shape. Standing in four legs and with massive horns, the creature began walking at the Merkan's direction, its wings folding and a pair of clawed hands being visible in them. As the wings were folded, the hands held on the shoulders of the forelegs, causing the draconic shade to appear to be wearing a massive cape. Saranhreia stopped in her tracks as the draconic daemon appeared before them, although she did not step back from where she was; she stood her ground, even while wounded, and improvised a battle stance as her muddied eyes glared towards the beast that had come - the beast that the three women had been hunting throughout their time upon the island. She breathed heavily, practically panting as she observed the colossal creature, and while she found herself intimidated and unnerved, she did not find herself cowering.
- Saranhreia - You've gotten bigger... Kids... grow up so fast these days, eh...
The shade's forelimbs reached forward and grabbed the Mudpriest before its wings opened again, beating and launching the dragon into the sky while releasing a powerful wind current. As the Mudpriest was taken away, the pain of the demonic whispers lowered until it finally ceased. Raising herself from the ground after slamming her fist against it, Khadya grasped ahold of her forehead and groaned as the aching pain faded away, wiping her mouth to clean it from the mess she had made during the beast's sudden appearance. Saranhreia panted, dropping her halberd as she slumped onto a single knee, her large exhales slow and prolonged as she savoured the moment to redeem herself.
- Saranhreia - We almost had him...
- Khadya - And once more we fell target to the whispers of that... thing! We were close, my dears, ever so close to freeing this isle from the Merkan and the grasp of the beast, yet once more it strikes at us with its accursed words! ... We cannot fight like that!
- Filonan - Ack... who was that guy?
- Louihar - The Mudpriest... The ruler of the Merkan! None of us can even get close of him! That guy has an aura of sheer evil around him, so thick our spells can't even touch him! And you managed to wound him!
- Saranhreia - That guy hits you... like a damned carriage... Luckily, he's better at giving it than he is taking it...
- Khadya - It was not enough to merely wound him, Chieftain. As long as the Mudpriest still breathes, this land is not safe and remains in peril. And the Petroatragal... it has changed once more.
- Louihar - This is why we gotta unite the Mikmik tribes. All of us uniting our magic should be able to shield you from the demon whispers. And ourselves. Ourserves too because those hurt a lot.
- Khadya - Tell me about it.
- Saranhreia - The Mudpriest... he bleeds... If he bleeds, we can kill him!
- Khadya - We also bleed, dear Saranhreia. That means he can kill us all the same.
- Saranhreia - Perhaps, but he only got away this time because that damned pet of his got in our way. Once the Mikmik manage to shield us-- I mean, you, from those whispers, he won't stand a chance!
- Louihar - Let's not get ahead of ourselves now. One thing at a time. Before anything else, you should rest while I help getting everyone together. We depart to the White Mikmik village in an hour.
- Filonan - How many of you are there in total?
- Louihar - Seven, actually. Blue, pink, gray, yellow, white, purple and red.
- Saranhreia - Great, three more of you guys to pay a visit to.
- Khadya - The Chieftain is correct. We must rest, yet we must make haste while doing so. Filonan.
- Filonan - Hm?
- Khadya - You will rest with me, so that I may tend to those... injuries of yours.
- Saranhreia - And what about me?
- Khadya - ... I am afraid I cannot help you recover faster than you are able to, dear Saranhreia.
- Saranhreia - Hmph, yeah. Figures.
Daggis gave Khadya a weirded look before turning his eyes to Filonan, causing the Erylia to blush.
- Filonan - D-don't demand of me like that.
- Khadya - Mhm, alright. I shan't. Now come along before I begin to grow impatient. There is much... tending and recuperating to be done.
White and PurpleEdit
After recovering from the battle against the dreaded Mudpriest, the trio of huntresses composed of Khadya, Filonan and Saranhreia, alongside the multi-coloured army of Mikmik led by Chieftain Louihar and the wyvern Daggis were teleported to farther away in the region of Vespasean in order to speak to the White Mikmik. As they arrived to the village, they were met with the view of the white-skinned Mikmik launching shockwaves of poison which caused Kimkim to shiver and vanish from sight. They had just defeated a wraith invasion , likely started by the Petroatragal, and the huntresses could watch as these Mikmik turned to their direction, with smaller body frames than the others and larger eyes, appearing to look like children in comparison to the colours.
Khadya's eyes glanced the diminutive creatures and felt a perhaps bizarre sense of familiarity in their surreal, alien appearance and their capacity for the manipulation of venomous toxins and poisonous spores; they reminded her of the Aithrena, with their eery white physiques. Saranhreia, meanwhile, kept her distance from the creatures and stepped behind Khadya and Filonan, grumbling to herself as she looked away from them, reluctant to meet their eyes.
- Saranhreia - K-Keep them away from me.
- Filonan - Aww, they look cute!
- Khadya - Indeed, I wonder what it must feel like to have one wrapped within your arms, pressed between the bosom during a warm cuddle.
- Saranhreia - Their eyes are bursting out of their damned skulls... How can they even walk with heads like that?!
- White Mikmik - That's not very nice, miss cow!
- Saranhreia - T-They speak as well...
- Khadya - Oh, cease cowering. You would face a demonic drake face to face yet you would quiver before a Mikmik?
Louihar walked over to the front of the huntresses and nodded his head to the White Mikmik, who all began creating a little line in front of them.
- Louihar - The Merkan are attacking! Disturbing the graves of the Kimkim and seeking to sacrifice us for their god! The Petroatragal is their doing too! Please lend us your forces so that we may fight them!
- White Mikmik - Huff! The Merkan would have the audacity of provoking our ancestors!
- Khadya - They would also have their beast formulate an attempt on Laidar as well, to sacrifice the entirety of this island to whatever deity it is they happen to worship.
- White Mikmik - They wouldn't dare! Of course we'll help!
- Louihar - Good! Now we just need the help of the Purples and the... ugh. Reds.
- Saranhreia - ... What is wrong with the Reds?
- Louihar - They're a bit of a bone-headed tribe. Hate outsiders, often attack them on sight.
- Khadya - ... Great.
- Louihar - It's good take some talk to make thems ee reason, but expect many spears aimed at your head when we get there.
- Saranhreia - Consider that we survived the Petroatragal a couple of times now. A few tinsy spears don't scare us! ... Well, don't scare me at least.
Birds could be seen in a distance as a gigantic mass began rising among a group of cliffs located a few dozen meters away from the village, attracting the attention of the Mikmik. A reptilian monster of massive size, its scales visibly changed colour to light green and blue as its six eyes opened and its face changed into one of agitation, as if something bothered it. Khadya stepped back and swiftly moved her hand to grasp her crossbow while Saranhreia stepped ahead of the group, twisting her halberd in circular motions as she locked her eyes onto the monstrous fiend, growling and snarling under her breath as she saw it arise.
- Saranhreia - Now what...? Another one of the Merkan's friends?
- Louihar - Yickes! That's the Acervus! I've not seen it in decades!
- White Mikmik - Keep your heads down. He doesn't seem interested in us.
At this moment, the huntresses could see more and more birds rise, and soon the sky was filled with them. In a distance, flocks of Venom Drakes, Poison Drakes and Mintagons could also be seen, all flying at the same direction. The Acervus appeared to acknowledge this, for it began walking in the same direction as they were flying, causing the ground to shake beneath him until he left the village's vicinity. Khadya watched in awe as she witnessed the mass migration of the native wildlife and her eyes widened somewhat, her mouth left partially agape as she saw the march of the beasts away from the village and the areas that surrounded it; she lowered her crossbow, blinking several times in utter silence while Saranhreia scratched her head, grumbling in Oevruminic as she too witnessed the incident unfold before them.
- Saranhreia - What's all that about?
- Louihar - They're going at Laidar's direction... I guess the animals can feel he's in danger.
- Filonan - By the Gods... I've never seen anything like this.
- Khadya - ... We must depart as soon as possible. There is little time to waste for the Petroatragal and the Mudpriets continue to breath. Let us make haste, my sisters.
After the White Mikmik had been assembled, the huntresses found themselves teleported to their next destination. They appeared to be at the outskirts of Blagun, for its volcanoes could be seen in a distance, with a great number of Ember Drakes visible in the skies. The huntresses found themselves facing large, purple-coloured Mikmik who were as big as a man and possessed visibly muscular, if not slightly chubby bodies. Saranhreia could barely control the urge to giggle and chuckle as she caught sight of the large purple Mikmik and held a hand over her mouth to muffle her amusement, while Khadya looked at the chubby fey with a sense of unknowing; unknowing for what to expect, rather, based upon the rather baffling appearance of this particular subspecies of Mikmik by comparison to the others. Filonan's face appeared as one of great amusement, as if she was being overcome with the desire of wrapping her arms around one of these fairies, and as Louihar nodded to them, they walked up to their direction.
- Purple Mikmik - Louihar of Olimarius! What brings you here? Who are these outsiders?
- Saranhreia - Thin people--
- Khadya - We are hunters, tasked by the Chieftain to hunt and slay the Petroatragal and destroy the Merkan that seek to harm the natives of Hyperion. ... Kehehe.
- Louihar - ...You're not laughing at the face of the strongest of the Mikmik, are you?
- Saranhreia - Hmhmhehe, yea--
- Khadya - No. ... Of course not.
The purple-coloured Mikmik let out a sight as he walked over to Saranhreia and put a hand at Saranhreia's leg. The fey proceeded to throw his hand forward, shoving the Oevrumine violently backwards in high velocity until she hit the nearest tree, with enough strength to cause it to become tilted. Saranhreia yelped as she collided with the tree and was taken by utter surprise by the shocking - terrifying - strength of the purple Mikmik leader, struggling to stand and compose herself through readjusting her stance as she was left unbalanced and visibly shaken by the experience. Khadya's chuckles and giggles ceased soon afterward in fear of facing similar treatment, her eyes locked onto the purple Mikmik in what one could interpret as a combination of fear and caution.
- Khadya - ... Oh.
- Filonan - Help.
- Purple Mikmik - Hah! Underestimating the little fat guy is never a good idea, misses. Anyway, go on.
- Louihar - I gotta ask you to not kill the huntresses I'm preparing to face the Petroatragal. He's going for Laidar and we need to unite the villages to overcome his powers.
- Purple Mikmik - So that's what causing the animals to become so agitated, huh...
- Khadya - Yes, it appears that the Petroatragal's transformation and its pursuit for Laidar, along with the presence of the Mudpriest, is causing the island to fear for its own safety. ... Strength likes yours would be appreciated in the coming battle with the Merkan.
- Purple Mikmik - Naturally! We'll be more than happy to lend you our powers!
- Khadya - Thank you, perhaps your strength can also be used to convince the red Mikmik to accompany us.
- Purple Mikmik - Those stubborn little somethings? Oh yes. It's time they get a reality check anyway.
- Louihar - Try not to squeeze them too hard or they might explode.
- Purple Mikmik - Now you're giving me ideas!
- Khadya - As amusing as that may happen to be, we will be requiring their assistance just as we do yours and the other Mikmik tribes of Hyperion. ... Just allow them a good smack if they step too far beyond the line.
A loud, echoing roar was heard among the flocks of creatures who flew over the tribe's heads, and they soon noticed a much more massive creature flying at Laidar's direction as well. An immense black dragon with clawed hands at the end of its wings, which were skinny and emaciated in appearance, and the beast could be confused for the Petroatragal if it was not for its size and the fact a thick, black sludge-like substance poured out of its skin, covering its scales and dripping across the landscale it flew over.
- Saranhreia - ... Has it transformed again?!
- Louihar - Is that...
- Purple Mikmik - Indeed. The Regnarazios.
- Louihar - I've never seen it before... It's terrifying.
- Khadya - ... Regnarazios?
- Saranhreia - Is that Mikmik speak for Petroatragal?
- Louihar - Dumb. Petroatragal is Mikmik speak for "Devourer Blade", I told you this weeks ago. The Regnarazios is a legendar monster who nearly destroyed the Gray Mikmik centuries ago.
- Khadya - Almost eradicated an entire species by itself? ... Power like that would do well against the Petroatragal. Do you believe we will see them fight?
- Louihar - We can only hope. Anyway, we need to get to Blagun now to talk to the Reds.
- Saranhreia - Oh, goody. Spear-to-the-face time.
Khadya, Filonan and Saranhreia, as well as Louihar and his Mikmik, teleported themselves to the hot volcanoes of Blagun in order to meet the Red Mikmik, famous for their xenophobia unlike every other Mikmik tribe on the island. They arrived to the final hub expecting spears aimed at their faces, but instead found the villagers all surrounding something, expressions of fear and worry dominating their faces. Khadya stopped in her steps as she and her companions reached the edge of the tribal village residence of red-skinned fae, her crossbow held to her side as her eyes glanced over the village and its residents. Saranhreia held her halberd loosely as she looked around in confusion, an expression of disappointment overcoming her face as she saw there were, unexpectedly, no spears to be aimed towards her face at all.
- Saranhreia - I feel like I've been lied to.
- Khadya - The Mikmik appear distracted.
- Red Mikmik - ...Huh? Outsiders?
- Louihar - Red Mikmik! We're not here to cause trouble! All we want is help against the invaders!
- Red Mikmik - Stay back! There's something in the village... Something evil!
- Saranhreia - ... Looks like we arrived just in time.
In the center was a massive, shadowed monster, one who the huntresses had already spotted. It was the same shade who rescued the Mudpriest from them, but this time, the Merkan leader was nowhere to be seen. Khadya stepped back and raised her crossbow while Saranhreia walked ahead, swinging her halberd in circular motions with both hands as she glanced the obscured, ghastly shape with her narrowed eyes beneath her lowered brow.
- Saranhreia - Cover your ears, just in case.
Daggis snarled and took a step back while Filonan put her hands on her ears, and the shade proceeded to throw its arms out, causing the dark mist which shielded it to dissipate. Scales flew across the air as the mysterious creature became fully visible, its head facing the three huntresses. Revealing itself from the fog of obscuration and darkness that once engulfed it was a beast evolved; deprived of sight due to an absence of eyes, not that it would have required them to detect all within its surroundings, and gifted with wing membranes that would have deceived one into believing they were segments of some great, ethereal cape. At the ends of its wings were a pair of clawed, wretched hands and sat upon its head was a crown of colossal horns, complimented by the presence of teeth that outsized even the largest and most legendary of swords. Within its chest pumped a bulbous, cancerous growth that found itself protected with a carapace-like formation of natural armour, while its tail pronged and divided into three separate appendages, each armed with natural weaponry.
And the most powerful member of the trio of angels that sought after it - the Oevrumine berserker - would have found herself face to face with the joint of its knees. It was the Petroatragral. Matured. Grown. Perfected. The great dark demon dragon began walking, causing the Mikmik to panic and give it room as it slowly began to circle the huntresses, almost calculating on its pace as its eyeless gaze never left them. Saranhreia clasped her halberd tighter, dashing the edge of its blade against the ground to produce sparks as if to challenge the might and ferocity of the apex predator before her, while Khadya found herself at Saranhreia's back, loading bolts into her crossbow with her own elven eyes meeting with the sightless leer of the demigodlike monstrosity. An absolute carnivore.
Daggis growled loudly as it glared at the demonic beast while Filonan had her poisoned pike in both hands, her teeth barred as she observed it. The Petroatragal eventually came to a halt and stomped its wing-claws into the ground before throwing himself upwards, spinning in the air until it reached a fair distance in the sky, opening its large wings to reveal the full extent of its cape-like membranes. The monster did not need to beat them to remain aloft, nor it needed to move from its place, remaining completely immobile in midair as it looked down at the huntresses with its eyeless visage, nothing but the Wind causing any movement on it. It looked down at them like a high king looking down at a group of peasants. The group stared in awe at the sight of the majestic, regal creature of darkness before them, their eyes met with the sight of the lord-beast's royal provocation; the angels had been invited to meet with the young yet powerful, striving ruler of the realm of Hyperion, opposed by all yet stopped by none; not even the wrath of Hyperion's god himself. Saranhreia snarled like an animal while Khadya could not help but bring herself to lower her crossbow as her eyes were captivated by the demon's display of power and appeal.
After several moments of silence, the Petroatragal initiated a dive at the huntresses' direction, forcing Filonan to throw herself to the side and Daggis to jump back in order to evade the enormous dragon. Khadya and Saranhreia rolled to the opposite side of one another - Saranhreia to her right, Khadya to her left - in order to evade the young king's attack, although they were sure to note lose sight of his descent and swiftly regained both their footing and composure in order to raise their weapons in preparation for their battle; Khadya cursed her crossbow with dark magic while Saranhreia clenched her fist, slamming the edge of her halberd against the ground with the other hand.
- Khadya - A hunt no more, but now a war. Either way, this affair shall end with the slaying of a up-start menace.
The Petroatragal hit the ground. sliding through the volcanic rock that composed this location with its claws creating dents in it. A feral roar came out of the creature, one which sounded like a combination of a ferocious dragon and a rabid demon, before it threw itself in the air once again. With a single beat of its wings, the great demon dragon left at high speed, disappearing in the skies. Khadya lowered her crossbow, left awestruck by the devilish display that had unfolded before her eyes, while Saranhreia growled, slamming her halberd into the earth in agitation of being unable to face the Petroatragal once again. The dark magic faded from her weapon and the Aithrenan turned to face the red Mikmik, approaching them with a sultry strut as she placed a hand upon her hip.
- Khadya - Is everyone alright?
- Red Mikmik - A few got blown away by that roar, but other than that, everyone seems safe.
- Khadya - Good, I am surprised that no one was hurt, let alone killed. ... Now that the Petroatragal is gone, I believe now is an appropriate time to discuss the matter at hand. Without spears directed towards our well-valued eyeballs.
- Louihar - Yes! Aid us in penetrating that damned dragon's defenses so that these three young ladies can wreck it sideways out of our island.!
- Red Mikmik - We Red Mikmik have had bad experiences with hunters before. Hunters who would kill the wildlife out of malice rather than hunting spirit. Hunters who would steal from us. Hunters who would desecrate or even destroy Migehews. Can we trust these three?
- Saranhreia - If you don't trust us, we'll just be heading on right out of here!
- Khadya - It appears as if you do not entirely understand what is at stake, Mimik. There may be hunters that kill your wildlife on a whim for malice and would cause harm towards your Migehews - hunters whom I condemn for their foolish antics -, yet if you do not trust us and aid your fellow Mikmik tribesmen in this cause, everything that resides upon this isle will die.
- Red Mikmik - Raising your voice does nothing but lower my opinion on you, humanoid. Can. I. Trust. You?
- Louihar - These three have saved every other Hub. It's because of them that all these Mikmik behind me are here. They even fought the Mudpriest himself and nearly killed him!
- Red Mikmik - ...The Mudpriest?
- Saranhreia - Yeah, the Mudpriest! Almost had my damned legs severed because of that asswipe, so you'd better be grateful he didn't show up here!
- Red Mikmik - ...Very well, Louihar. The Red Mikmik tribe will stand by your side, in Laidar's name.
- Louihar - In Laidar's name!
- Khadya - Thank you, red Mikmik. You are doing a service to your home by allowing us your aid. We will be sure to eliminate the Petroatragal and his Mudpriest master with your people at our backs. In Laidar's name.
Battle Atop a GodEdit
The huntresses followed the rainbow Mikmik horde as they teleported themselves once again: they now stood at Laidar's base, where they could see countless animals all looking up to the great tree, the skies filled with many creatures, some which the huntresses had never seen before. The sky above Laidar was stormy, dark bolts of lightning blasting down as the vibrant blue skies of daytime were slowly turned dark. Standing in front of the Mikmik and the huntresses were immense entes, all similar to the Laidar himself in appearance, who the Mikmik bowed to as they approached. These were known as the Laidarkin, the protectors of the great tree's roots. Khadya and Saranhreia walked besides the army of fae as they approached the base of Laidar, the two of them both surprised and struck with shock at the immensity of the giant, natural relic's size and mass; it towered beyond any capital spire that either of them had seen. Respectfully, Khadya placed herself upon one knee to pay her respect to the Laidarkin guardians, while Saranhreia simply gave them a swift nod, not too bothered by their status or power as she was more distracted by how the environment transitioned. Filonan bowed down at the great ents as they proceeded to nod back at all of them in response. The Mikmik proceeded to turn to the huntresses and harness magic on their hands.
- Louihar - The Petroatragal is here. On top of Laidar's branches. With our magic, you will no longer hear its whispers, nor will you fall down in case you misstep a branch. Are you ready?
- Filonan - I've come to this island to destroy the evil presence that plagued it. Today, that goal will be achieved.
- Khadya - We have all come for differing reasons with varying causes, yet as we stand here, all of it culminates in what we should presume to be our final confrontation with the monster that plagues the isle of Hyperion.
- Saranhreia - Er, I, umm... Today, we... Err... Ah, screw it, I'm no good with these sorta things. I came here for a challenge and to see if I could kick its arse, and I'll say that I am definitely not disappointed!
- Louihar - Get ready then! This might tickle a bit!
Every one of the Mikmik raised a hand and then fire a ray of bright, arcane magic at the trio alongside the wyvern Daggis. All of them could feel as if some sort of invisible barrier covered their bodies, with the effect being lessened on Saranhreia due to her natural magic resistance, but the sheer number of Mikmik casting the spell was still enough for her to feel it. The quartet could also feel themselves more resilient and even physically stronger to some extent. Clenching her fist to feel the extent of the power that rushed both other her flesh and through her veins, Khadya's lips parted into a grin as she felt herself become filled with strength, while Saranhreia flexed back her thick arms and unleashed a prolonged, bestial roar as she too felt the same energies rush over and through her, even if the sensation was lesser to that than what her elven companions were feeling.
- Khadya - And what... may this power be, perhaps...
- Louihar - A protective and enhancing spell, cast by every single one of us. This should allow you to take and deliver blows to the monster while being protected by the whispers. Don't get cocky though, since this protection is not flawless and enough blows will still get you killed.
- Saranhreia - Hah, you say that like we will give the damned thing a chance to strike at us! Trust me, the beast will not know what'll hit it when we get up there, and when it finally realizes, it'll be too late since we'd have already kicked its sorry ass!
Filonan mounted on Daggis' back, and then waved a hand at her two companions, beckoning them to approach.
- Filonan - Come on. We have to get up there.
- Khadya - Heh, who said you could give orders, hm?
- Filonan - Would you rather climb all the way there?
- Khadya - Oh, do not be so sour, dear Filonan. I would much rather ride upon this magnificent, elegant creature.
- Saranhreia - We're gonna ride the dragon up there! Oh shit! That's so fucking awesome you guys don't even know! This is like, a goddamned dream or something!
Khadya smiled to herself as she went to clamber upon the wyvern's back with grace and dexterity, taking little effort to mount Daggis as she approached behind Filonan and sat behind her, wrapping her arms around the Erylian's sides and waist in order to hold onto her during the flight, faintly giggling beneath her breath. Saranhreia, meanwhile, clumsily mounted herself onto Daggis after a few, albeit pitiful attempts and sat some distance away from Khadya from behind, taking the opportunity to admire her surroundings.
Daggis let out a loud roar, flapping its wings and going aloft while the Mikmik waved at them as they left. The red wyvern began ascending, allowing the huntresses to take a good look at the surroundings. Thousands of animals of all sizes and shapes were around Laidar, with some of the unique great beasts such as the Acervus and the Regnarazios being visible as well. As they ascended, they could see Laidar himself shivered and groaned in what sounded like pain and distress. Khadya's expression shifted into sorrow as she saw the deity of this bizarre yet fascinating land become agitated and flustered with agony, while as Saranhreia's eyes glanced the colossal nature god's displeasure she felt her heart becoming filled with the desire for battle and the urge to embrace the anger writhing within her.
- Khadya - The fate of this land... rests upon our shoulders from now on.
- Saranhreia - Heh, it's always been on our shoulders. I don't believe in stuff like destiny and prophecy, but... for some reason, I almost feel like this is meant to be. Khadya. Filonan.
- Khadya - ... You called us by our names?
- Saranhreia - Yours are worth remembering.
- Filonan - I'll be sure to remember yours. Let us do our best and survive this, and remember this victory as we grow old.
- Khadya - When we came together, I saw you both as simply partners to assist in my hunting regime, and I am aware that neither of you thought much of me either. As time went on however, I have come to see you as companions, allies-in-arms once we became aware of the threat the Petroatragal posed. And now...
- Saranhreia - And now? What about now?
- Khadya - ... Friends.
As they arrived to the top of the hundred meter tall tree, Daggis stomped down at its topmost leaves and let out a furious snarl as it allowed the trio to get out of its back. The Petroatragal was there, standing on its hind legs with his two wing-arms thrown out, each of them filled with dark energy as he sucked the life out of the tree. As the team arrived, however, its head turned over to them and the beast proceeded to dissipate its life-eating energy, also stomping down on Laidar's trees with all six of its limbs. Saranhreia raised her halberd as she stepped ahead of Daggis and her two elven allies, pointing its edge towards the Petroatragal as she snarled, a grin forming across her face as strength rushed through her blood, her breath becoming heavy as she became ever more excited for the battle to arrive. Khadya held her crossbow with two hands and stood beside Saranhreia, glaring at the beast-lord where its eyes would have otherwise been, and the expression on her face went from sorrow to one of strength and determination as she spoke;
- Khadya - Tonight, we are standing high and powerful to oppose the cause of you and your masters, to defend the reign of the archaic lord of this land with the weapons his people had given us and the skills we have grown and fostered ourselves. Behold, demon, for today you face no mere hunters; ... Today, you will be slain by the likes of angels!
The Petroatragal stomped the 'ground' once again as it responded with a furious roar, causing thunderbolts to rain down from the sky. Filonan braced herself as the giant demon dragon rushed at their direction in all sixes, its movements having come akin to a six-legged arthropod rather than a normal dragon, and its claws were clearly read to rend them to pieces. Raising her crossbow and lining it with her eyesight as she made the maneuver to evade the insectoid charge of their monstrous, demonic nemesis, Khadya unleashed several bolts from her crossbow to fire against the hide or membranes of the Petroatragal, while Saranhreia herself instead opted to instead leap into the air, making full usage of her Oevruminic physical capacity, and held her halberd over her head as she released a downward slash directed towards the beast's front area.
The bolts bounced off the monster's hide as it threw its head up to gore Saranhreia with its horns, while it also thrust a forelimb forward and blasted large, darkened scales at Khadya and Filonan's direction. The Erylia elf ordered Daggis to rise again, and the wyvern flew out of the way of the scales aimed at its direction. Landing out of the vicinity of the Petroatragal, Khadya stroked the side of her weapon with her right hand, causing dark, magical energy derived from the Source to flow into its material and curse the bolt loaded into prior to her instigating an attempt to strike it from behind, attacking its hide. Saranhreia's eyes widened as she saw the horns approach, each large enough to penetrate through the entirety of her torso, and in a manner of swift decision-making made an attempt to spare her life via initiating a horizontal slash with her halberd as one of the horns came close, emphasizing her strength with the enhancement magic that flowed through her body. Saranhreia found herself bouncing off the thick horn and be thrown out of the way of its charge. Daggis unleashed a barrage of fireballs at the monster, directly hitting it multiple times but failing to cause any sort of reaction as it fired its own barrage of dark magic blasts at the wyvern's direction, forcing it to fly away to not get hit.
- Filonan - It's a dark demon! Dark magic is not gonna harm it!
- Khadya - Do you see any vulnerabilities from the air?
- Filonan - The lack of eyes doesn't seem to bother it! We could attack the legs to trip it, or do the same as before and aim for the heart. Or both!
- Khadya - My bolts cannot penetrate its hide, but I am curious as to whether they could penetrate the joints upon its legs. Saranhreia, you should focus upon its heart, you can take more hits from the front than I can.
- Saranhreia - Didn't have to ask me twice! ... Wait, you didn't even ask me!
- Filonan - Try and cut its tails off if you can, that'll allow us to attack it from behind without retaliation!
The Petroatragal turned itself to face Saranhreia once again and lifted both of its wing arms, then sending them down together to stomp and crush her. Even with all of her protection, considering the sheer thickness of these limbs' muscles, such an attack could be fatal. Saranhreia growled in frustration as she threw herself backwards with a semicircular backflip, demonstrating surprising agile and dexterous activity for a deceptively brute mass of muscle, hide and armour in order to evade the crushing maneuver of the Petroatragal, while Khadya fired bolts from her crossbow - now devoid of the dark energy enchantment as per Filonan's advice - towards the joints and backside of the beast's left hindlimb, aiming for the softer flesh instead of the armour that was its thick, demonic scales.
The Aithrena could see her bolts penetrating the hide of its joints, but the monster showed no reaction as it sent one of its clawed wing-hands at Saranhreia to smack and shred her. Daggis dived into the demon's direction unleashing another flame breath, while Filonan used the opportunity to stab it with her pike, barely piercing through the scales of its back in order to poison it. Saranhreia dashed forward as the hand dived for her, maintaining her presence in the Petroatragal's personal space as she rolled forward, barely missing the shredding attack that the demigod beast sent for her. Swiftly recuperating, Saranhreia desired to test the density and efficiency of the carapaces that shielded the monster's cancerous tumor of a heart; she sent her halberd's edge at one of the shields with a strong swing. Khadya growled as she saw her bolts little to any damage and instead focused on the creature's tails, priming her crossbow and aiming at the head of each tail in order to capture and divide the beast's focus.
Saranhreia could see as one of the horns which protected its heart cracked on impact, but failed to outright destroy it. The Petroatragal looked over at Khadya's direction as it swung its tails at her, launching a barrage of scales at her direction as the monster then sent its tooth-filled maw at the Oevrumine's direction. It was attacking faster and more aggressively than ever. Saranhreia rolled to the side and threw herself back, unnerved by how thick the protrusions that defended the creature's heart happened to be, while Khadya struggled to evade the swift and fast movements of the Petroatragal's tri-tails, finding it difficult to combat the creature for her bolts did minimal damage to the fiendish dragonlike abomination.
- Khadya - It's unaffected by my bolts!
- Saranhreia - It's gonna take a while before I can get through that shielding stuff that defends its heart, so I hope you guys don't mind waiting!
Daggis roared at it dove at the Petroatragal again, stomping down on the creature with such force that it was buried on the leaves beneath it. The monster screeched and thrashed as it tried to get back up, but its head, back and tails were left unprotected in the process. Filonan delivered jabs at it while Daggis furiously raked its back with its talons.
- Khadya - Saranhreia! How about we switch sides?
- Saranhreia - Fine by me!
Soon, the Aithrena elf and the Oevrumine passed one another as Khadya loaded another bolt into her crossbow and moved ahead of the Petroatragal, aiming to somehow bypass the protrusions that defended the heart while Saranhreia made a mad dash towards the creature's tails, her halberd raised above her head before being brought down near the base of the appendage so as to solve three potential problems with one solution, as well as provide some wounding for Khadya to exploit while she would soon return to attempting to destroy the creature's chest shielding. A large gash was left on the monster's tail as it had fired the scales on the region Saranhreia had attacked and therefore was left unprotected. A black, tar-like blood was spilled out of its wounds. Meanwhile, Khadya could see not all of the organ was shielded, therefore allowing her to deliver solid shots at the monster which seemed to aggravate it further.
Grasping ahold of one of her hunting knives, Khadya threw it towards the organ before following up with another round of crossbow bolts aimed towards the gaps in the monster's defences while Saranhreia aimed to bring her halberd down unto the injury she had made upon the tail in an attempt to entirely dismember it while she had the opportunity, for she knew that the Petroatragal would not remain restrained for the entirety of their battle; she would not have wanted such to be that way for she found it unbefitting of such a powerful and terrifying entity. A scream came out of the Petroatragal as its immense tail was severed by Saranhreia's attacks, and the monster launched itself upwards, bleeding from its heart-like organ, as it chomped down on Daggis' neck and launched the wyvern at Khadya's direction, at the same time throwing Filonan high into the air until she fell on the ground, yelling out in pain as she rolled above the leaves. Khadya's eyes widened as she flung herself forward to evade the crushing mass that was sent in her direction, watching with guilt as Daggis collided with the uppergrowth of Laidar while Saranhreia rushed to defend the incapacitated Filonan, although she could feel some sense of satisfaction arise from within at the moment she had dismembered the serpentine tails from the entity they had once been thoroughly connected to.
- Saranhreia - Filonan, you alright?!
- Filonan - Ngh, agh... D-Daggis!
The Petroatragal charged a luminous sphere of dark energy at the wyvern's direction and proceeded to fire it. Daggis only barely managed to leap out of the way before the sphere exploded violently, knocking the the red dragon down into the ground again due to its area of effect. Khadya found herself floored in the process after being launched away by the effect of the attack, her face slamming into the ground before her body weakly came to a halt, causing cuts and bruises to appear across the Outcast Huntress' face and body as well as some of her dragonscale armour to dent and damage. Saranhreia snarled as she stood ahead of Filonan and made a dash towards the Petroatragal's torso once more, instead launching her halberd from her hand in a vertical manner so that it would spin through the air, leaving Saranhreia without a weapon aside from the Mintagon claws she had been equipped with.
What looked like a grin formed on the Petroatragal's face as one of its wing-limbs reached over to the flying halberd and grabbed it, before the demon dragon swung it at her direction. The monster was clearly sapient, even if it never spoke. Filonan's hair ignited in flames as an angered frown grew on her face, and the Erylia charged at the Petroatragal while yelling out a battlecry. She would not allow it to hurt her friends, especially Daggis. Saranhreia's eyes widened momentarily as she launched herself back, the edge of the halberd almost striking her although she had drastically misestimated the distance of her evasion maneuver, almost causing herself to fall from the edge of the arena they happened to battle upon. Khadya struggled to lift herself from the ground as her bruised body shook and trembled, aching across her flesh and muscles as she reached for her crossbow - a bolt had been loaded into it and yet to fire. Raising it with a shaky hand, Khadya launched a bolt near the creature's chest in an effort to perhaps grasp its attention while Filonan made her charge.
- Khadya - B-Be... careful, F-Filonan...
The bolt hit the monster across its tumour-like heart, and it let out a shriek as it began to spazz and jitter in place, groaning in a frustrated manner as Saranhreia's halberd fell out of its grasp. It had been paralyzed. Grasping ahold of her hunting knife and forcing herself up from the floor, Khadya shuffled with haste towards the demon dragon, groaning and wincing as she attempted to job due to the bruises across her body; soon enough, she climbed upon the right hindlimb of the beast and clambered up the creature's spine, digging her her knife into its sensitive, unprotected flesh in her scaling of its mass. Saranhreia gasped as she saw her halberd released from the beast's grasps and rushed to it to once more wield it as she rightfully should have.
- Khadya - Jab it, Filonan! Saranhreia!
Filonan delivered stabs to the Petroatragal's chest, one of her attacks causing its damaged armor spikes to fly off as the poison in her pike entered the creature's strange bodily systems. The creature could do little but shiver as it attempted to move. Khadya continued to stab into the creature's spine with her hunting knife, allowing its edge to penetrate into the soft skin beneath its dark, thick scales - which it had launched at the angels sometime prior, with many additional scales having been dislodged and raked away by the efforts of Filonan's wyvern. Slamming her knife into its fleshy hide, Khadya drew her crossbow and loaded bolts into it, firing them point-blank into the creature's back. Saranhreia, meanwhile, accompanied Filonan by swinging her halberd at the hard spikes that defended the growth that was the Petroatragal's heart in an effort to break them and make the organ free to access.
Finally recovered from the paralysis that plagued it, the Petroatragal swung its claws at both the elf and the Oevrumine in front of it, smacking Filonan several meters away as it began thrashing aggressively, trying to get Khadya out of its back. The crossbow launched itself from Khadya's hand as the Petroatragal shook itself, dropping some distance away from the beast, leading to the wood elf to reach for her hunting blade while digging her nails and fingertips into the exposed wounds of the beast in order to grasp onto it and evade falling, although she was unsure of how long she would be able to support herself. Lifting her arm, she continued to jab into the beast, while Saranhreia was knocked onto her back and incapable of assisting at the current moment. At this moment, a roar was heard as the wounded Daggis charged into the fray, delivering a tremendous headbutt to the Petroatragal's stomach which caused the demon monster to be thrown to its side, landing in a loud thud across the leaves of Laidar. It thrashed its legs in pain as it was dazed by the multiple attacks and the poison it had been subject to.
Khadya was launched from the beast's back as it was knocked onto its side and had been close to falling from the edge of the arena, although she managed to sustain her balance even while wounded and threw her hunting knife at the Petroatragal's ravaged back, burying it into the wounded, pulpy flesh. Saranhreia, grasping ahold of her halberd once more, stood back on her feet and approached Filonan, lending her a hand to help her to her feet.
- Saranhreia - Careful, you're only frail!
- Filonan - Give it no mercy! Attack with all you got!
The Petroatragal snarled in fury as its wing-claws were launched at Daggis' direction, clasping the wyvern's head. The demon dragon proceeded to squeeze the wyvern's skull on its grasp, causing him to screech out in agony as it launched fire out of its mouth in an attempt to free himself, with no success. Behind the Petroatragal, a dark mist manifested out of its tail stump as it appeared to heal it, with a small, pointed tail slowly growing out of it.
- Saranhreia - ... We must be quick!
- Khadya - One... last push? Sure...
Clasping ahold of her weapon in both hands, Saranhreia stood beside Filonan with her halberd pointed out ahead of her, ready to initiate a charge that would culminate into a powerful thrust, placing her strength behind her weapon. Khadya rushed ahead, picking up her crossbow in the process and standing behind both Filonan and Saranhreia while loading a bolt into her weapon and raising it to her eye level, allowing her to aim straight while she fought the aches and pain. It would take several moments before Khadya unleashed the bolt from her crossbow and Saranhreia charged. Filonan charged alongside the Oevrumine, her body set ablaze alongside her poisonous pike, and the Petroatragal responded my breathing a blast of dark fire at their direction. Or at least it tried to, until Daggis' stinger was launched at the monster's throat and caused it to recoil and change its breath weapon's direction, launching it upwards.
Its torso was exposed for one final attack.
The bolt flew through the air as a falcon would, aimed precisely for the growth upon the Petroatragal's chest while Khadya herself fell to a single knee, the pain and trauma coming to overwhelm her nerves to the point she could no longer bring herself to stand fully, exhausted and tired with blood spitting from her wounds, yet she never placed her eyes off the last assault of the angels which she had undoubtedly contributed towards; soon, the bolt struck simultaneously with the thrusting edge of Saranhreia's bloodsoaked halberd, having lost all sense of control for a mere moment so that she could emphasize all muscle memory and strength within her body - all the anger and rage that writhed within her - to this one, final moment behind her eldest and most permanent weapon. Filonan thrust her pike through the tumour which the Petroatragal called a heart, her teeth barred as she watched it penetrate the wound, unleashing a flurry of flames on the demon's insides, cast from her own fury as she sought to bring this abomination to its knees once and for all with the help of her companions.
An explosion of black tar blood soaked Filonan and Saranhreia as the Petroatragal's heart exploded violently, causing the demon to scream loudly enough to knock them both backwards. It let go of Daggis, who fell weakened into the ground himself, as it stumbled backwards, holding its clawed hands in front of its wounds with an expression of disbelief. The demon began screaming out as it stomped down and launched itself to the skies once again, though it showed clear difficulty doing so. A torrente of blood fell out of the massive gap left on its chest as it tried to fly away, only to lose energies in the way and initiate a fall from the skies. Daggis stumbled as it rushed at the trio and wrapped its tail around them, putting them on its back and throwing itself upwards in order to fly after the falling Petroatragal.
The huntresses could see the skies slowly opening as the demon fell from the skies, and could then watch as Laidar's single eye glared at the falling demon. It was furious. The plant god's arms raised as it then launched them at the Petroatragal, and the demon proceeded to be crushed under both of Laidar's gigantic vine-arms. Khadya panted as she watched the creature be reduced to nothing but tar-like blood between the arms of the gigantic god of the land, stunned at having witnessed the wrath of the demi-deity although satisfied that she had been able to witness the demise of the young rebel-lord that sought to not only conquer but destroy the life that inhabited these bizarre, obscure isles of hunting. Saranhreia watched with her face contorted into an open, awestruck smile, content watching the death of the beast that had plagued the realm of Laidar yet also beginning to notice the storm clouds that concealed the sun and sky beginning to open and part, giving way for the beams and rays of the incandescent, celestial body to be bestowed upon the land once more.
- Saranhreia - Is it over...?
- Khadya - I... I w-would like to think so... Yes... Yes, I believe... it's over...
- Filonan - ... Watch out!
At this moment, a violent explosion of dark magic erupted out of Laidar's vines, causing the god-like ent to recoil back and shout out in pain. Filonan, Khadya, Saranhreia and Daggis found themselves all blinded as the blast hit them. All went White, and then black.
Filonan groaned as she slowly opened her eyes, noticing she had been placed in some sort of comfortable object, most specifically a bed. She could see both her spear and her pike leaning on a nearby wall, and she looked at herself to see bandages covering her wounds. The faint smell of food could be felt coming from the entrance as she realized she was in a hut. Saranhreia laid down on a bed adjacent to her, while she noticed something bumping to her side on the same bed as her. It was Khadya. One of the arms of the wood elf were wrapped around Filonan's waist while another was draped over her side and torso, barely awake as she panted softly onto the dark flesh of the back of the fire elf, a faint smile placed upon her lips as she witnessed Filonan awake from her slumber. Saranhreia, meanwhile, snored heavily as she slept, her sheets knocked to the floor while her body was splayed across the bed messily; it was clear from her state that she was anything but a light sleeper.
- Khadya - Good morning.
- Filonan - Good morning... Where are we? What happened?
- Khadya - We are back at the Hub, I would assume... Resting in a bed, together, all by ourselves... We won, dear Filonan, we won...
- Filonan - Did we?... Thank the Gods... That was the hardest battle of my life, and I fought a Light Drake vampire once.
- Khadya - I enjoyed it... It was tough, a most exciting hunt, indeed... Yet, at last, it is finally over and these lands... they are saved... Mmhmheh, yes, it made me so very excited, especially when I saw it finished...
At this point, Chieftain Louihar entered the hut, a cheerful expression on his mouthless face.
- Louihar - Finally! You're awake!
- Khadya - Hmm? ... Ah, Chieftain...
- Louihar - That was gonna be a mean fall. Good thing the Pink Mikmik were around otherwise you'd all be paste right about now.
- Filonan - How is Daggis?
- Louihar - Outside, cheerful and eating a ton of meat slabs! Quite a friendly terrifying dragon thing once you get to know it.
- Khadya - How are the other Mikmik, Chieftain? ... What of Laidar?
- Louihar - All safe. Laidar is back to his usual lazy but vibrant look and that fills us all with happiness!
- Khadya - Very well... I can only assume that the wildlife has returned to normal and hunting will be able to resume upon the island soon, is that correct?
- Louihar - Correct.
- Filonan - Phew... I guess my mission is finally over then.
- Khadya - You are not planning on leaving so soon, are you, dear Filonan?
- Filonan - The Petroatragal is dead. What else is there to do?
- Khadya - You could always... remain here, upon this isle... with me... to continue hunting, if you so wished...
Khadya whispered into Filonan's ear as she spoke, a smirk crossing her lips before she had puckered them and allowed herself to kiss Filonan's cheek several times playfully, maneuvering her arms to wrap themselves with a slightly firm grip around the fire elf, giggling quietly although both Filonan and Louihar could hear her.
- Khadya - I came here to test myself, after all... and you have proven yourself oh so helpful...
A squeak came out of the Erylian warrior as her face was ignited in blush, and after a few moments, she spoke again.
- Filonan - I... I guess I could stay a bit more...
- Louihar - I like where this is going.
- Khadya - You can join if you so wish, Chieftain, mmhehe, if you are so confident as to come with us when we go to stalk our prey... Hehe, who knows, I wonder what hunting a Mikmik would be like...
- Louihar - Hunt? Oh no, I don't hunt. Why do you think you're here?
- Khadya - Hehe, aww, alright, so shall it be. ... Excuse me, Chieftain, but what of the Merkan? Have you or anyone else witnessed sight of the Mudpriest since the battle?
- Louihar - Nope. The Merkan all vanished from the island. If we're Lucky he got mauled by the animals after they went back to their territories.
- Khadya - We can only hope... Mmm, you have anything else to discuss with us, Chieftain? I am feeling tired and I am sure you would understand if I said I desired to attain some more of my... well, beauty sleep... I still ache, after all...
Louihar let out a chuckle as he understood the Aithrena, proceeding to turn back and leave the hut, covering the exit on his way out. Khadya smiled as she proceeded to wrap her arms tighter around Filonan, hugging and embracing her as she closed her eyes and tiredly moaned and breathed into the Erylian's ear, at which point she had come to disregard Saranhreia's loud, boisterous snoring and the sounds of the Mikmik beyond the hut, instead savouring the warmth of the bed and the Erylian pressed upon her front; it would take some minutes for either of them to realize that their armour and clothing had been set aside and placed into tidy stacks upon the floor, leaving only one conclusion as Khadya pulled the covers further over her and Filonan.
- Khadya - The Sovereignty of Dryada is going to reward you for this, are they not? Mmh, how about you... allow me to reward you for them... to save the time and the hassle... Besides, I believe I am in need of a reward, if I do say so myself...
- Filonan - ... Heavens, my superiors would kill me if they found out... But, they're not here, so...
Champions of HyperionEdit
The Savage and Cruel Devil JawEdit
Days following the destruction of the Petroatragal and the defeat of the Merkan, Khadya, Filonan and Saranhreia resumed their hunts. They had joined the ranks of the greatest hunters of Olimarius Hub, and as such, they would now be given challenges worthy of their skills. Louihar sent the three females after one of the most dreaded animals of Hyperion, the carnivorous behemoth known as the Satamaxillus. The huntresses by now had already heard many tales around the other hunters of these beasts' great power, and now they would look directly into the source of these tales to discover their veracity. The three women, each equipped with their own personal arsenal of weaponry and armour, prowled the forests of Hyperion in search of the bestial incarnate of violence; they were aware that the lives of many a hunter had been swiftly destroyed by the sheer, raw power possessed in the form of the Satamaxillus, yet they disallowed the thought from discouraging them - much, at least - and maintained their guard as they scouted the woods, their eyes and ears let loose to detect any trace of the titanic fiend.
- Saranhreia - You guys getting anything?
- Filonan - It can hide awfully well for something which's apparently larger than Daggis... Wait. I hear noises.
- Khadya - Keep yourselves low, my dears. We wish not to perturb the beast, wherever it may lay.
- Filonan - It sounds like growling. And chewing. Coming from our right.
- Saranhreia - Something's being eaten... by something!
Going to the right, after a dozen or so steps, Filonan put the vegetation out of her way as she looked at the source of the noise. In the middle of the forest stood the now-skeletal remains of a dead Poison Drake, likely a young one due to its size though it was nonetheless massive. Eating from its remains was a huge dinosaur monster with brown and black scales, massive horns and spikes growing out of its back and tail. The Devil Jaw itself, who chewed on a bone while snarling and growling as if it was still hungry. Saranhreia lowered herself as she watched the Satamaxillus stomp and prowl over the remains of its lunch, stripped of flesh, tendon, and other 'soft' materials that would have been considered nigh-impenetrable by the standards of the trio of huntresses. Khadya too lowered herself, near to the forest floor on all fours as she observed the Devil Jaw, analyzing both her and its surroundings alongside its physiology.
- Khadya - Those bones...
- Filonan - ...Yickes. It's enormous. How are we gonna fight this?
- Saranhreia - Carefully.
- Filonan - We're gonna need more than that.
- Saranhreia - Well, what did Louihar say back at the village before we left?
- Filonan - "It eats everything and everyone". "The stomach is a weak spot". "I'll leave your graves ready just in case".
- Khadya - The underbelly is a vulnerability, he so claims. Given the creature's size, it would not be immensely difficult to target its underside with our weaponry.
- Filonan - Right then. Someone should go and take the first shot.
- Saranhreia - ... Well, what are you waiting for?
- Filonan - Ugh. Fine.
Getting out of cover, Filonan slowly walked to the Satamaxillus' direction, attempting to not make any noise as she approached the monster from behind. However, the elf would cause noise as she stepped on a leaf, causing the great beast's eyes to dart back and its tail to be sent at the Erylian's direction at high speed. Filonan yelled as she jumped out of the way and the tail smashed against the soil, causing a powerful thud which caused leaves to fall from nearby trees. Aiming her crossbow from behind cover - a tree surrounded by undergrowth and foliage, Khadya unleashed bolts upon the Satamaxillus now that its attention had been diverted elsewhere, while Saranhreia made for a more direct approach as she ran at the beast, flanking it from the side as she made an effort to bring herself underneath its underside where it perhaps, ironically, could not reach her.
A monstrous, earth-shaking roar came out of the Devil Jaw as it turned its body to face the trio, ignoring the pain of the bolts now stuck on its stomach, and out of its mouth, red lightning began to blast out as a stream of dark energy was launched at their direction. Filonan's eyes widened as she held on her head and laid down on the ground so that the dark breath would pass over her head, and even then, she could feel an immense power emanating out of it. Rather than ducking to evade the ray of dark energy that was launched from between the jaws of the saurian tyrant, Khadya forced the muscles throughout her slim, athletic body to push herself into a swift roll to the side, rolling forward several times to clear herself of the vicinity of the beam, while the Oevrumine berserker dived for the Satamaxillus underside as it was focused in its attack.
- Khadya - ... W-What was that?!
- Filonan - T-that was dark magic! It breaths dark magic!
- Filonan - You joking? That breath was bigger than the Petroatragal's!
The Devil Jaw wasted no time as it threw its jaw against the soil, burring it, and then forced its head upwards. This resulted in a large mass of land being shoveled forward, at the two elves' direction. Khadya threw herself aside, incapable of drawing the bolts to load into her crossbow as she was forced to remain mobile and upon her feet, focusing her efforts on evading the attacks of the Devil Jaw although she found herself knocked off-balance by the sudden mass of thrown earth, while Saranhreia made use of the opportunity of the beast's attention being drawn towards the elven huntresses and raised her halberd, launching it forward to pierce into the Satamaxillus' underside.
Blood gushed out of the monster's stomach at Saranhreia, causing its eyes to dart down. The Oevrumine could see the giant beast raising itself as it prepared to descend, and crush, the enemy beneath it. Saranhreia withdrew her halberd and rolled to her side to escape the crushing vicinity of the beast's physiology, while Khadya took advantage of the beast's distraction and loaded bolts into her crossbow, aiming for the monstrous entity's face - specifically its eyes - as she allowed her weapon to initiate fire. The dinosaur's aggressive movement caused the bolts to miss its eyes, but they nonetheless penetrated its eyebrows and face. Its impact with the soil was Strong enough to cause it to shake and to blast dust away, and it immediately turned its head to Saranhreia as it prepared to give chase.
Filonan, meanwhile, took the opportunity to leap at the Devil Jaw's tail, wrapping her arms around it and grappling on it as tightly as she could. Her hair had burst into flames at this point, an adamant look on the Erylian's face. Khadya fired another few rounds at the dinosaur's underbelly, growling as she made a dash for another position within the foliage of the jungle, while Saranhreia stood her ground and growled at the Satamaxillus, her halberd spinning and twirling within her grasp as while she remained cautious of the immense creature's movements, she was sure to disallow it from smelling fear.
- Saranhreia - Come on, then!
The near-demonic monster growled as it put its head down and initiated a furious charge at Saranhreia's direction, the ground shaking beneath it as well as Filonan as its tail swung around. The Erylia Elf began to climb upon the giant monster, holding on its numerous back spikes as she slowly made her way to its back. Saranhreia began a charge of her own, her head placed downards as she dashed in the opposite direction of the monster with her halberd close at hand, utilizing her Oevruminic stamina in order to attempt outrunning the colossal beast, or at least remaining ahead of its carnivorous maw.
- Saranhreia - Tactical retreat!
Trees stood in the way of the massive behemoth, and were easily tore apart by its horns as it gave chase, roaring out in fury as it did. Filonan eventually arrived to the beast's back, and taking her spear, she began delivering jabs to it, hoping to hit its spine. Saranhreia continued to run through the foliage, Khadya having been left in the dust as she could only watch the chase initiate, and while she of course made the attempt to keep up it was unlikely that from such a range she could have produced any major affliction upon the beast's health. Filonan yelled out and engulfed her spear in flames, thrusting it through the back of the monster and causing it to scream in pain, losing its balance and falling into the ground. The Devil Jaw slid through the foliage after Saranhreia and only stopped after several seconds had passed, leaving a path of destruction behind it.
At that moment, Saranhreia turned, watching the Devil Jaw slide to a halt across the forest floor at which point she made a quick maneuver to dash at the fallen tyrant's head, leaping into the air. She raised her halberd over her head and brought its ruinous edge down onto the Satamaxillus' cranium as she came to land upon its skull in an attempt to deal major damage to it while it was down. Filonan kept stabbing as fast as she could as the great monster thrashed in the ground, trying to get back up but failing to due to the injuries it received. Blood poured out of its back, stomach and head now, the huntresses' efforts finally surpassing their prey's. Saranhreia whooped and cackled as she withdrew her halberd from the creature's head and slamming its edge into the earth at her feet, raising her arms and stretching them above her head while laughing amidst cheers to celebrate their victory over the tyrannical beast, stepping away from it as she almost collapsed to her feet.
The Devil Jaw growled and groaned as life ceased to exist in its body. Or at least, that was what the Oevrumine thought. With what remained of its energy, the dinosaur released another breath of dark lightning, directly hitting Saranhreia's entire body. The Oevrumine roared as she was launched from her feet, her fur bathed in dark magic as the creature released its final breaths, charring much of the fur and armour across her form while she was thrown backwards, sent through several trees and rocks as she was carried by the potency of the breath weapon; she would only be half-conscious by the time she was allowed to stop. Filonan got out of the now-fully-dead Devil Jaw and ran over to Saranhreia, reaching a hand over to her.
- Filonan - Can you walk?
- Saranhreia - ... T-Try... Try asking again... i-in five minutes...
- Filonan - Yickes... Khadya? You okay?
Khadya emerged from the jungle undergrowth, taking a moment or so to observe and admire the corpse of the ferocious jungle predator as she strolled past it, nodding to herself as she acknowledged the efforts that went into felling the abominable monster and the achievement that Filonan and Saranhreia had carved for themselves, only to have her eyes half-close as she was met with the sight of a near-cooked minotaur.
- Khadya - I am faring better than her, at least.
- Filonan - I'm not gonna lie... That was terrifying. It's no wonder the Mikmik fear these things.
- Saranhreia - ... T-They only w-want us... t-to hunt one, right?
- Filonan - Fortunately. Screw hunting another one of those.
- Khadya - I have a feeling that whatever the Chieftain desires us to hunt next shall make us believe that we wish we were hunting more of these damned... things.
- Filonan - ...Oh gods, you're right.
The Great Dragon of GravityEdit
The trio of huntresses had a task unlike any other so far in their time at Hyperion Island. Louihar told them of a great defensive line created by all Mikmik tribes, built upon a canyon and armed with great ballistae and harpoons made specifically to take down monsters such as Poison Drakes and even Devil Jaws, for the purpose of keeping such powerful and bloodthirsty beasts away from the central villages of the Mikmik fairies. However, several years ago, this defensive line fell with the arrival of one of the elder dragons of Hyperion, a powerful monster known as the Kevonata, who tore the settlement apart by using its great powers over magnetism and gravity and reduced it to a battered battlefield. The dragon now nested at this area, restricting the Mikmik of the most comfortable path possible for all tribes to meet with each other.
Khadya, Filonan and Saranhreia were to repel the Kevonata and retake the canyon.
A confident stride in their step, the women made their approach, relishing in their victories thus far; a foul, demonic demigod had fallen to the edges and tips of their weapons and one of the toughest, most potent beasts that stalked the lands found its life beneath the heels and soles of their feet. Saranhreia twirled and swung her halberd with a widened grin, recuperated from the experience with the Satamaxillus some days prior, while Khadya had her crossbow grasped and prepared in hand, an eye consistently kept to the sky. Filonan's ears twitched as they traversed the top of the canyon, being able to spot the destroyed barracks and weapons left behind by the Mikmik. Huge chunks of the floor were missing as if something had picked them up in order to throw them at the weapons. The skies were cloudy and the air felt dry with dust, this area being located roughly at the edges between Vespasean, Diodoros and Blagun.
- Khadya - Who would have thought that the Mikmik, of all denizens, would have found the time and opportunity to build armaments of their own to combat their predators.
- Filonan - Perhaps they weren't always a bunch of lazy bastards.
- Khadya - The weapons, from our perspective, certainly appear particularly viable and, knowing the nature of this peculiar realm, have perhaps seen considerable usage. Hmph, the Chieftain had claimed that whatever had committed such a deed here held the capacity to control... gravity.
- Filonan - I'm no expert in this kind of stuff but as far as the mages and scholars back at the Sovereignty say, that's apparently the thing keeping us from going all the way up to the sky. A dragon who can control something like that...
- Saranhreia - It tastes great if you have it with stuff like proper food, too, especially when it's hot and steaming! Yeah, what I wouldn't give for a slice of pork dosed with gravity...
- Khadya - ... I believe you refer to gravy, my dear.
A violent roar was heard as a shade was seen over the horizon, flying inside the canyon. Its scales a bright green and horns decorating its head, the Kevonata made itself visible as it emitted large, purple-coloured sparks which hit the canyon walls and ground beneath it, causing rocks to be randomly launched across the landscape. Its immense, leathery wingspan went from its forelimbs all the way to its tail, which was armed with four large spikes in case the dragon needed to slap an enemy with it. It appeared to be a little less than twenty meters long from head to tail, though it was still far bulkier-looking than a dragon like Daggis for example. Khadya raised her crossbow and aimed in the rough direction of the Kevonata to raise the attention of her companions, before being promptly knocked to the ground by Saranhreia as she had forced her elven colleagues to evade the rocks and debris that were flung by the gravitically-disrupting presence of the beast while enduring various pieces of debris striking her armour and hide.
- Saranhreia - There it is, coming our way! Looks like it was out hunting while we were making our way here!
- Filonan - Anyone has any plan of how we're gonna tackle that thing?
- Khadya - Some of the armaments should still work, even if they happen to be somewhat rusted and stiff. To allow us an easier fight, we should make attempts to damage the wings.
- Saranhreia - I still say we should have brought the damned wyvern!
- Filonan - You can take care of the armaments, Khadya. Since you're the ranged fighter of the team, you should have better aim and understanding of how to use these. Saranhreia and I can distract it from the ground below, as I'm sure firing at it won't work if it can see you.
Khadya - If this creature can manipulate the forces of gravity to its will, then I would advise caution, although I ask of you to create as potent a distraction as one can. I am merely hoping that such armaments have retained their ammunition.
- Filonan - Understood. You ready, Saranhreia?
- Saranhreia - Heh, no gravy dragon is gonna get the best of me! Come on, Fi, we've got this!
Filonan nodded and gripped on her poison-infused pike as her hair erupted in flames, the elf running over to a nearby ledge in order to slide down to ground level and attract the dragon's attention. It was quite obvious by now that the huge boulders scattered across the landscape were the creature's own doing. Khadya nodded as she made a dash towards one of the towers that held those ballistae and other heavy weaponry that had managed to survive within the nesting grounds of the Kevonata; those armaments that were intended to combat the larger and more potent beasts of the land. It was by luck that ammunition for one of the ballistae had remained untouched throughout the years. The minotaur berserker followed swift behind the fire elf warrior, clasping her halberd in both hands as she let out fierce, booming roars to grasp attention.
The Kevonata's attention was taken by the duo who ran at its direction, another loud roar coming out of it as powerful sparks were blasted out of its body at all directions. Boulders ranging from about as big as a fist to larger than Saranhreia began circling around the dragon, as if they were orbiting it. Khadya loaded one of the large, sharp bolts into the ballista mechanism, which was somewhat smaller than what would have been comfortable for the standard humanoid soldier due to it having been constructed for Mikmik usage; her eagle eyes allowed her swiftly maneuver the weapon to aim at the draconic entity, although she held her fire for she desired not to waste ammunition when the beast was circled by its blockade of rocks and boulders.
With another roar, some of the boulders were launched at high speed at the elf and minotaur beneath the Kevonata. Filonan barred her teeth as she jumped to her side in order to avoid the boulders, being startled by the sheer force of the impact they left on the ground. Saranhreia felt the force of those smaller pieces of debris impact against herself, causing her body to ache and bleed although she was swift enough to leap from the direction of the larger and much more significant rocks, watching as dirt and earth was upturned when they collided with the ground. Raising her arms, Saranhreia roared once more, urging the Kevonata to take further notice and drive the potential for it to notice Khadya away to a larger extent while the wood elf aimed and timed her shot for the appropriate moment.
- Saranhreia - Now the rest!
Its eyes shining a bright gold, the Kevonata unleashed a powerful roar as a stream of lightning rained down at the Oevrumine and the Erylia's direction, tearing the dirty, rocky ground beneath them apart. Filonan's eyes widened as she quickly ran to the opposite direction, not having expected the dragon to also have power over lightning. Saranhreia grumbled loudly as she threw herself aside, her agility and dexterity challenged by the bolts of lightning that rained upon them, with herself having been taken off-guard by the sudden burst of electrical might shot forth by the Kevonata - she could barely understand its reign over the realm of gravity, she found it difficult to comprehend how such a beast worked. Khadya, meanwhile, lined up her shot with the ballista she had acquired and allowed its mechanisms to fire the bolt she had loaded into it, aiming for the torso and wings of the draconic enigma.
The ballista bolt travelled through the air and stabbed through the left shoulder of the dragon, penetrating its scales and drawing blood as it screeched out in pain, ceasing its electric breath. The Kevonata stumbled in the air as the 'orbit' of the rocks around it became much less organized, though Khadya could see a large boulder launched at her direction as the dragon turned its eyes to the source of the attack it had received. Khadya maneuvered to grasp ahold of the remaining ballista bolts within her arms and, rather than loading another into the mechanisms of the weapon, she abandoned it in hopes of moving her position to another one that managed to retain its function. Due to the weight of the ammunition she carried, she was slowed somewhat although she largely maintained her athleticism, and brought herself down the tower through rolls and desparate leaps before using her keen eyes to locate another tower that found itself capable of meeting the range of the Kevonata. Saranhreia, meanwhile, watched with an aggravated feeling culminating withing her stomach.
- Saranhreia - Ngh, it's seen her! Now what do we do?!
- Filonan - We get its attention back!
Filonan channeled her magic, engulfing her pike with fire as she launched bolts of purple flames, imbued with the weapon's poison, at the Kevonata in order to regain its attention. While the attacks appeared to do little against the creature's scales, its head turned to the elf and Minotaur once again as more boulders were launched at their direction, their 'orbits' becoming regular once again as the surprise of the attack passed. Khadya made an effort to reach the nearest tower that had been armed with a functioning ballista and watched as the tower she had been utilizing prior was smashed and almost entirely destroyed by the debris the Kevonata had launched at her, the ballista that sat upon it wrecked and smashed. However, it would not be long until the wood elf managed to bring herself to another tower not so far away and ascended its steps to find yet another ballista; she loaded one of the bolts into it and prepared it to fire, while Saranhreia did little more than evade another group of rocks and boulders, unbalancing her for a moment, and roaring in a feral, bestial manner at the gravitic dragon.
Filonan screamed in pain as one of the boulders hit her from the side, throwing the fire elf a fair distance away. Her skin was covered in bruises as she rolled across the dirty ground of the battlefield, and the Kevonata's attention appeared to be entirely on her at this moment. Utilizing the moment the dragon's attention was entirely bought, Khadya gave herself a moment to allow the dark, ethereal energy her kind was affiliated with into the materials and mechanisms of the ballista and, subsequently, the bolt that had been loaded into it; with dark magic emanating from the piece of ammunition, Khadya fired the bolt at the Kevonata once more, aiming entirely for the wings it flew with so as to ground and perhaps injure the fiend, making it an easier challenge to combat.
As the magic-imbued bolt penetrated its wing membranes, the Kevonata roared out in pain and lost all of its balance, being hurled against the ground alongside the rocks that orbited it. The dark magic conflicted with its power over gravity somehow, leaving the creature dazed and thrashing on its side. Saranhreia took the opportunity to charge the injured fiend, although she was overwhelmed with an agitation in her shoulder as she did so; in her stupendous charge, one of the rocks that had orbited the Kevonata prior had been flung wildly after having lost its orbit, and collided with the shoulderbone of the Minotaur. She stumbled for a moment, time lost somewhat, yet she kept to her charge and held her halberd with a shaky grasp. The wood elf, however, loaded yet another bolt into the ballista and made it move to fire at the grounded beast, aiming for the bulky mass that was its torso.
- Khadya - I would suggest striking it while it happens to be down!
- Filonan - Well duh!
Filonan groaned as she got back up and rushed at the fallen creature, delivering jabs at its stomach and legs with her pike and hoping to poison it, though the dragon appeared to be resistant to such attacks. Despite the several ballista bolts now penetrating its flesh, the dragon appeared to be only slightly slowed down as it stumbled to get back on its feet, swinging its tail in an attempt to hit the Erylian elf who jumped out of the way to evade the attacks. Saranhreia wailed and yelled as she delivered attacks to the beast's side with the edge of her halberd, swinging vertically, horizontally, and diagonally as she made attempts to drive her blade into its tough hide. Khadya reached for another bolt, only to find that she had ran dry of them after her last assault while the Kevonata was downed, and instead reached for her crossbow; placing a much smaller bolt into its spring, she aimed from the tower like a sniper and fired, her eyes narrowed as she made an attempt to focus; it was rare for her to attempt to strike such dangerous, hostile beasts from such a distance.
Khadya's bolts found themselves swung out of their trajectory as the Kevonata beat its wings, throwing both Filonan and Saranhreia away with a wind current as the dragon took flight once again, its body turned to the tower where the wood elf was hiding. Its eyes shining again, the dragon launched a thunderous breath at the tower's base, causing it to rumble as a fire quickly began to take over the mostly-wooden construct. Khadya panicked somewhat as she found her sniping spot beginning to burn and crumble before her eyes and proceeded to withdraw her crossbow, looking around in desperation for another tower, in search of more ammunition to fire; it was only when she felt the flames nibbling at her bare, exposed soles, however, that she saw the one tower fitted with a much larger ballista than the others, and in its mechanisms was a gigantic spear: a harpoon, its tip serrated. A grin emerging upon her face, she leaped from the tower as it was engulfed in lightning and flames, and made a maddened dash for the harpoon ballista as thoughts and equations of trajectory flowed through her mind. Saranhreia, meanwhile, beat her chest and held her damaged shoulder, aching somewhat.
- Saranhreia - You're lucky I can fix that you damned, winged bastard! ... Why is Khadya not firing?
- Filonan - Maybe she ran out of ammo. Ugh... this is the worst kind of battle, because this dragon is actually intelligent by using its air advantage against us.
The Kevonata roared as it kept breathing bolts of lightning at the Aithrena's direction, missing and hitting the ground behind her as rocks levitated around the monster once again. Filonan used her own magic to fire at the beast, though at this point all of its focus was on Khadya. Soon, Khadya found herself at the steps that led to the harpoon ballista and ascended them, watching as the Kevonata's approach grew closer and closer and reaching out only somewhat beyond the range of her teammates; a perfect opportunity, she had thought, as she swiftly - and uneasily - placed her hands upon the handles of the weapon and struggled to maneuver it to point and aim at the draconic fiend. Soon, she took the risk and unleashed the gargantuan projectile from the springs of the ballista, a rope attached to its end: in those moments, all Khadya could do was hope and watch.
Due to the monster's attention being focused on her location, Khadya could watch the harpoon be swung aside by the gravitational powers of the Kevonata and fall away from it, hanging from the canyon's ledge. However, much to her luck, she could also see the massive spear slowly returning to the ballista through mechanisms involving the rope, dragging across the floor until it attached itself to the weapon again. It appeared this weapon was designed to keep hit targets locked in place, as they would be brought to the weapon if they attempted to escape.
- 'Filonan - ...Damn, that's one massive spear! But the thing deflected it... Saranhreia, you think you could throw my pike at the Kevonata? If you can throw it hard enough, you should be able to hit its stomach from here.
- Saranhreia - You what? ... Well, I suppose I can give it a try, but I should warn you now Fi, as an Oevrumine, I'm... I'm shortsighted.
- Filonan - ...Huh. Well, just stand directly beneath it and throw up. Can't miss it like that. But we gotta do it fast before it goes after Khadya again.
Saranhreia reached and grasped ahold of the pike, almost snapping it in two as she clasped it with an uneasy, strong grasp - she had been more used to handling her halberd - and dashed for the Kevonata, sprinting across the land as she exerted herself; she was fast for a creature of such size and mass, as if she were a charging bull, and soon enough she found the Kevonata's underside within her narrow sight, bathing herself in its wide shadow. Clasping ahold of the pike in a single hand, she brought herself to a struggling halt, dirt unearthed at her feet, and launched the weapon upwards. Khadya maneuvered the harpoon mechanism once more, struggling and panicking as she saw the beast's assaults of electricity and debris approaching swiftly, for she could feel tinges of what felt like burns across her pale, white flesh.
The pike travelled upwards and hit the dragon across its stomach, penetrating its scales and causing it to screech in pain once again, causing the electric attacks aimed at Khadya to cease as the creature turned its body to Saranhreia, letting out a raging roar as it began menacing the minotaur with boulders and electric currents. It was open for Khadya to attack at last. Khadya's mouth opened wide, baring her pointed canines as she let out a war howl while handling the harpoon ballista and having it fire once more towards the Kevonata now that it was not only closer but distracted, noticing the pike in its underside. Saranhreia, however, felt pain surge through her veins as lightning and boulders struck not only her but the ground at her feet, blasting her away from the site with such ferocious force that she rolled uncontrollably across the landscape almost like a ragdoll, steam emerging from her nearly cooked hide.
- Khadya' - You have made... your last mistake!
The massive harpoon hit the dragon across the side, destroying boulders on its way and causing the monster to roar out in agony as its weight and the rope's strength sent it crashed against the ground. The dragon thrashed in place before trying to take flight once again, reaching a point where it was then flung down again, crashing once more. The beast was bleeding heavily on where the harpoon hit it, as well as where the many ballista bolts were lodged on its side and wings. Bringing forth her crossbow now that she had ran out of heavy weaponry to utilize against the dragon, Khadya fired bolts - cursed with the touch of her dark magic - at the creature's damaged, bleeding hide, finding it easier to aim now that the creature was not only grounded but also closer to her position, allowing her to make easier shots at the beast. Saranhreia panted heavily as she was splayed across the battlefield, twitching somewhat while struggling to sit up, barely capable of speaking.
- Saranhreia - M-Moo... Moo...
Screeching out from the attacks it received, the Kevonata began limping away from Khadya, eventually throwing itself up again in an attempt to fly, using all of its energies until the rope could no longer take it and snapped, causing the harpoon to fall out of the dragon's body. Letting out pained roars, the Kevonata flew away from the canyon, eventually disappearing from sight completely. Khadya sank down against the ballista and sat upon the ground, panting heavily as she watched the Kevonata flee from the site, abandoning the "nest" it had once used to rest through the efforts of the team of huntresses. Her eyes slowly coming to close, Khadya perked a tired smile as she allowed herself to fall asleep against the side of the ballista, breathing softly while her ears drooped; she had become tired from the fighting.
As Filonan watched the Kevonata flee, she ran over to her Oevrumine companion and wrapped an arm around her back, looking at her eyes with worry.
- Filonan - Saranhreia? Can you hear me?
- Saranhreia - M-Moo... Ugh, I m-mean... y-yeah, stop s-shouting, damnit.
- Filonan - Heh. Can you walk?
- Saranhreia - D-Don't know...
- Filonan - Sigh. In that case I'll go get Khadya and then we can head back to the village. I just hope she can walk.
The Tyrant God of IceEdit
The region was Faris was consumed by a thunderous snowstorm, flurries of ice blown away by the strong wind of Hyperion Island's northmost regions. The reason Khadya, Filonna and Saranhreia had been sent to such a hostile place was because another one of Hyperion's feared elder dragons had made its move and needed to be stopped. A few days away from this location was the hub of the Gray Mikmik, and coming at their direction was one of the titanic ice dragons known as Talsagons, creatures which were among the largest and most powerful creatures who called the island home. If left to its own devices, the dragon would hit the hub in two more days and surely destroy all of it. The huntresses found themselves exploring an arctic cave with a great opening on its side, allowing them to see the snowstorm currently ongoing while they looked for the dragon in order to confront it. Filonan's body was ignited, her hair in flames, and even then she wore winter clothing given to her by the Mikmik, as a single Erylian would never be able to keep themselves heated in such a terrible weather. Her fellow huntresses, the towering minotaur Saranhreia and the elven stalker of the woods Khadya, were draped in thick furs carved from the more docile, herbivorous and hairy denizens of the island to withstand the biting cold, and even with this defense against the frost they could still feel the teeth of the cold nipping at their flesh. Saranhreia clasped her halberd tightly, her teeth chatting as she grumbled about the state of her numbed hand grasping against the frozen materials of her weapon, while Khadya walked close to Filonan for warmth, approaching just some steps behind her as her eyes were drawn not to the path ahead, but to the fire elf's direction almost subconsciously.
- Khadya - I am surprised that we have not yet bore witness to this "Talsagon" creature as of yet if it is supposed to be as large as the Chieftain claims it to be.
- Filonan - The Mikmik reported it was hidden in this cave. We should keep going deeper.
- Saranhreia - Any much deeper and our arses will probably freeze to death before we get there! How much longer do we have to walk? I can barely feel myself anymore!
- Filonan - I know it's cold. If you're having problems then you should keep close to me.
- Saranhreia - Hah, you're good, Fi. I know I'm complaining, maybe a bit too much, but it's gonna take more than this damned arctic wasteland to bring me down.
- Khadya - It is a shame that you cannot keep that damned mouth of yours shut when you're being so persistent.
At this moment, a screech, quite familiar to the huntresses, was heard as a shadow launched itself out of a nearby wall and lunged at their direction, flying across the air with its wings. It was one of the lamprey-like Yakadiar, its jawless maw wide open as it tried to take a bite out of the trio. Khadya ducked and rolled from the Yakadiar's position, utilizing her Aithrena agility and dexterity even while wearing thick, warming furs, while Saranhreia felt the jaws of the beast dig into the muscles and tendons of her arm, causing blood to spurt amidst her furs and a roar to escape her jaws, all the while knocked off her feet and loosely clasping the halberd as it had become frozen to the flesh of her hand. The Oevrumine could feel the creature's teeth digging into her flesh as an electric curtain came out of its body, shocking Saranhreia as the Yakadiar clasped into her with its viscous feet. Filonan was forced to back away as the mouthed tail of the wyvern snapped at her, and the two elves would quickly notice said tail breathing out blasts of thunder at their directions.
Khadya swiftly drew the crossbow she had kept with her throughout the trek and reached to load a bolt into its mechanisms, baring her teeth as she saw the predatory proficiency of the Yakadiar in full; this one had clearly been more experienced than the one they were once tasked with hunting before, she knew it. As she aimed, she was forced to roll once more and lose the advantage of her sniping proficiency to the rules of motion, being forced to move and unable to afford holding her breath to balance her shot. Saranhreia, however, twitched and spasmed beneath the Yakadiar as electricity jolted through her body, her grasp now lost around her halberd as it slid from her palm.
- Filonan - Get away from her!
Charging flames on her spear, Filonan thrust it forward and engulfed the Yakadiar in flames, causing the wyvern's tail to screech out and its normal mouth to let go of the minotaur. Moving backwards, the Yakadiar proceeded to leap out of Saranhreia and lunged at Filonan's direction, who only managed to throw herself out of the way as the tail was about to dig its teeth into her head. The lamprey monster slid across the snow while letting out an ear-piercing roar, causing the ground around it to rumble. Khadya held her ears as the roar met with them, her face contorting into a cringe with slight tears emerging from the glands of her eyes as the beast's ruckus toyed with her elven sensitivity, while Saranhreia slowly stood to her feet and reached for her halberd once more, recovering from the electric shock she had been subjected to while ignoring the blood that dripped from the wound of her arm, which gradually began to clot - a much faster process for minotaurs than others. Wielding her weapon in two hands, Saranhreia made a fury-driven charge at the lamprey fiend.
- Saranhreia - You got lucky once, you freak, but now your luck's just ran out!
The Yakadiar lunged at Saranhreia's direction, its hands open and prepared to face the minotaur, but before they could get close to each other, the ground erupted under the lamprey. From the depths of the snow, a gigantic dragon clenched its teeth into the Yakadiar, biting it in midair as it made its way out of underground. The dragon, by his head and shoulders alone, were quite clearly larger than anything the trio had ever fought. The Talsagon was found.
Saranhreia threw herself back, her mouth left agape as her eyes met the visage of the colossal Talsagon before her; she had once thought that the likes of the Petroatragal or the Devil Jaw were to be considered giant, yet she could only compare this creature's scale of immensity to those of the mythological Colossi of Koldenweltian legend. Khadya, clasping ahold of Filonan's shoulder, dashed backward to some distance away as she watched the erect, draconic figure arise from beneath the surface of the cave as if it had simply arose from a bed after awakening from its slumber.
- Filonan - ...Shit. It was under us all along.
- Khadya - It appears... that we have awoken it with our fight with the Yakadiar.
- Saranhreia - How are we supposed to kill that thing?! My halberd will just poke or tickle it or something... It's too big!
- Filonan - Remember our original plan? The Gray Mikmik left explosives outside of the cave. We need to lure this thing outside and set them off.
- Khadya - Aye, I remember now. Hopefully, from its awakening, it shall remain somewhat unfocused for some time and we should be able to both outrun it and distract it.
- Saranhreia - Heh, boy have I had too many mornings like that.
As it devoured the Yakadiar whole, the Talsagon's eyes shifted to the huntresses, and a loud growl came out of the dragon as it began making its way at their direction, seemingly swimming in the ice and snow. Its back, wings and tail all emerged from underground, revealing many icy spikes and all that its wings were rather small for its body, likely meaning it was not able to fly. Filonan was the first to run, igniting her spear in order to attract its attention so that the monster would follow them. Khadya was next, following Filonan swiftly while refusing to look back at the Talsagon, keeping her eyes set ahead of them in order to identify both the simultaneous entrance and exit to the cave, while Saranhreia was the last to dash away from the gargantuan monstrosity, having suffered a moment to admire its size and strength before returning herself to the reality of the situation and pushing her musculature into the stresses of prolonged sprinting.
As the trio ran, the Talsagon let out a roar which caused the entire cave to shake violently, leading to stalagtites to fall down from the ceiling. Filonan yelped as one nearly hit her, though she managed to evade it by jumping to the side. Saranhreia took some minutes to notice the jagged structure that had been lodged into the joints between her neck and shoulder, with misfortune having guided it to slip past her armour and strike one of her vulnerabilities, while Khadya fired her crossbow at those stalagtites that fell ahead of them in order to destroy them and shatter them into pieces that would prove no trouble for the group, although due to their rush and the numerical advantage of the present stalagtites she was aware that she could not strike every one as they fell.
As the exit to the cave came close, a terrible cold hit the cave as the Talsagon inhaled and then let out a huge breath of ice and snow at the trio's direction, large enough to potentially freeze Daggis into an ice cube if he were present. Filonan was the first to notice it coming and immediately jumped down into the ground to evade it, throwing Khadya down with her as she did so. Saranhreia watched as the two elves ahead of her embraced the floor and proceeded to follow their impression, making a mad sprint before leaping and intentionally falling to the floor, attempting to splay herself and make her large mass as flat as possible so as to avoid the oncoming blizzard that was spurned forth from the ruinous, frozen bowels of the beast that chased the huntresses in desparate, anger-driven pursuit.
- Saranhreia - Keep moving! We can't sit and lie around for too long!
Filonan held on Khadya as she got back up again and rushed to the exit of the cave, now only a few meters away until the trio finally got to the outside again. The snowstorm still raged on, the skies clouded with the sun nowhere to be seen and a very large cliff not too far away, exactly where the Mikmik's bombs had been placed. Their plan was to explode the cliff with the Talsagon in it, causing the dragon to be sent to the abyss. The gigantic monster still pursuit them, now erupting completely out of the snow and standing on all fours, and while its movements were sluggish, its sheer presence was enough to intimidate Filonan. Khadya turned to face the Talsagon in all of its colossal visage while Saranhreia continued to run, eventually turning herself around once she had realized they had managed to make it to the outside. She growled and bore her jagged teeth, both intimidated and impressed by the scale of the Talsagon, and spared a moment to look towards the explosives-ridden cliffside.
- Saranhreia - What now? We know we're supposed to blow this place to smithereens but how are we gonna do that without blowing ourselves up with it?!
- Filonan - Lure it to the cliff. The bombs were left there. I'm gonna go and check on them.
Filonan turned to the direction of the cliff and made a rush at it while the Talsagon glared at Khadya and Saranhreia, slowly coming their way. As the Erylian looked down on the hole, she could see a smaller hidden cliff below the one she was standing on where the bombs were located, allowing her to take a good look at them. Each was roughly as big as Saranhreia was tall and had the appearance of cracked rocks. However, a look of worry dominated Filonan's face as she turned to the others and shouted at them.
- Filonan - We have a problem!
- Saranhreia - Don't we always?!
- Khadya - What has happened, dear Filonan? Make haste, the beast approaches swiftly!
- Filonan - The bomb-rocks... They're frozen!
- Saranhreia - Well unfreeze them!
- Filonan - That's easier said than done. I can try but if I'm not careful, they'll explode on my face!
- Khadya - If they explode before the Talsagon reaches the cliff, our plan will have been foiled and we could all die. ... This is a severe problem, indeed.
- Filonan - ...Right. I'll stay here and defreeze the bombs as much as I can. I'll need the two of you to keep it distracted in the mean time.
- Saranhreia - Yeah alright, like that's gonna be too hard. It's already got its big, stupid eyes locked onto us.
Saranhreia growled as she entered a stance that would allow her to make swift, side-rolling maneuvers as necessary while Khadya loaded several more bolts into her crossbow and allowed them to fire at the Talsagon's direction, a grim look on her face as not only did she worry for her and the minotaur's safety and the integrity of their plan, but also for the life of their companion as she worked to ensure their success singlehandedly. Filonan carefully released fiery waves at the bomb-rocks to thaw them while the Talsagon walked at the other two's direction menacingly, growling and releasing heavy breaths which were visible in the air. Khadya's bolts appeared to bounce off its hide completely, though one of them appeared to hit its eye and cause it to stop and shake its head for a moment.
- Khadya - My bolts cannot penetrate its hide, and even those that scratch its eyes do little but pester it. It shall be hard to stall this fiend for much longer than we already have...
- Saranhreia - I don't wanna get close to it, I have a feeling my halberd will just bounce off of it rather than do any damage. Ngh... If only there was more than bloody three of us.
Khadya prepared another bolt as she held her breath and once more aimed for the creature's large eyeballs, which were, by Khadya's own standards, easier to strike than those of other, smaller creatures due to the Talsagon's scale; she had planned to use the beast's size against it, for it was a larger target with spots that could be struck with much more ease with the consequence of doing little effect if any. As the several bolts hit the dragon's eye, their paralyzing effect had its toll on it and the huntresses could see the Talsagon flinching backwards, roaring out and swinging its head in confusion. The paralyzing effect had temporarily blinded the creature, causing it to be sent into a rage, stomping down on the snow angrily as it had no idea what happened.
- Saranhreia - Hurry it up, Fi! It's not gonna stay distracted for long!
- Khadya - Even though the beast appears to have lost use of its sight, for now at least, it still poses a threat to us. Look, it has began to rage... I am certain a rampage will soon follow.
- Saranhreia - Think we can lure it to the cliff like that? ... It won't know it's walking to its doom!
- Filonan - Just a little more... Currently getting the defrozen water out of the bombs. You can start luring it here now!
- Saranhreia - Hey, ugly! Yeah, that's right, I'm talking to you, you fat, frozen lizard thing! Think you're tough, do you? Bet you can't even catch a fly like that!
Saranhreia chuckled as she turned and ran, leaving Khadya in the dust, although the elf, after some moments of confusion as per Saranhreia's sudden bout of insults at the beast, soon followed her minotaur companion, dissatisfied with the situation they had gotten themselves into and concerned for the safety of both herself and her friends - especially Filonan. The Talsagon obviously did not understand a word the Oevrumine had said, but it nonetheless initiated a charge at their direction as it slowly regained its vision, picking up speed and launching snow behind it as its claws caved into the snow. A monstrous roar was folowed by another breath of ice, which was launched in an horizontal manner at the duo as they ran for the cliff.
Khadya leaped towards the ground once more and grasped ahold of Saranhreia's hand, tugging on it to signify the almost unaware minotaur to bring herself to the floor with her - which she soon did, careful not to forsake the actions of her comrade as they waited for the beam of storming ice and snow to pass overhead so that they may stand once more and charge for the cliff in hopes of somehow outrunning the icy demon.
- Filonan - Right! The bombs are ready! Bring it here!
- Khadya - Saranhreia, I need you to move out of the beast's path.
- Saranhreia - Well, if you think you can handle it, be my guest!
At that, Saranhreia stood and ran, diverging from the path that the Talsagon had set itself upon while Khadya ran ahead, remaining in the path of the imminent Talsagon and heading for the cliff where the bombs had been positioned; she knew she was smaller than Saranhreia and also far more dexterous in terms of sprinting capacity, which would allow for a significant advantage in the events that would play out within the next few moments as she reached the cliff. As the duo approached the cliff, Filonan proceeded to jab one of the bomb-rocks with her spear, causing it to start sparking and letting loud clacking sounds. The Talsagon kept its charge until it realized the dead end it was going to, causing it to slide across the snow as it tried to turn around. Filonan emerged from where the bomb-rocks were hidden and began running the other way, waving at her two friends.
- Filonan - Get away! It's gonna blow!
At this point in time, Saranhreia was already making her escape from the cliffside, having diverged from the Talsagon's path some minutes prior and allowing her a headstart while Khadya made a desperate charge now that she and her Oevrumine friend had brought the beast here; she made an attempt to dash underneath the colossal fiend as it slid across the ice and snow, placing away her crossbow to free her hands to amplify motion, making use of her dexterity and awareness to perhaps predict spaces that she could utilize underneath the Talsagon to emerge behind it, although as she tried she found herself soon filled with worry and fear rather than courage and adrenaline as she had hoped.
The Talsagon turned itself as it prepared to restart its charge, but before it had the chance, the bomb-rocks exploded violently, reducing the cliff to rubble. The Talsagon, hit by the explosion, roared out in pain as it then found the ground beneath it crumbling under its weight. The huntresses could watch the great dragon roaring in distress as it tried to hold on the edge of the cliff, but failed to do so and finally pummeled down into the abyss below until it could no longer be heard. Khadya dropped to her knees at her friends' feet, panting with almost pained exhaustion as she had managed to escape both the explosions and the Talsagon's cold, icy wrath, struggling to even breath while Saranhreia nodded her head, impressed by the spectacle that had unfolded before her very eyes which had resulted in the demise of the colossal, icy monarch of the mountains.
- Saranhreia - That's gonna hurt.
- Filonan - Gods... That was the most dangerous thing I've ever done... Other than that one time with the giant manticore...
- Khadya - I-It's gone... Hopefully, i-it won't c-come back... F-Filonan... You were brave back there... Heh, I knew y-you could do it, of all of us...
- Filonan - Never again, though... You know what's even more aggravating? I remember Louihar saying a fall like this would not kill it. That thing is that strong.
- Saranhreia - Aahahaha! Yeah, he's probably right that the fall wouldn't kill it, but is that big dumb frosty lizard gonna try coming back after what we put it through? If it does, it's even dumber than it looks, ahah!
- Filonan - Saran... You're aware that thing is not intelligent, right? It's an animal, not a person.
- Saranhreia - Ah come on, Fi, you don't think I'm that stupid, do you? Hah, what, you think I'm one of those guys that think that things like dragons are actually smart? Hahaha, I'm not that thick.
- Filonan - ...Have you ever seen a Klaxxa?
- Saranhreia - Nope, but it sounds delicious. Dunno bout you guys, but I could go for this "Klaxxa" thing when we get back because I'm starving!
- Filonan - Yeah. Thought so.
The Demon Destined To End Us AllEdit
It was time for the huntresses' final hunt. No beast on Hyperion Island was as powerful, as terrible, as feared and dreaded than the ones they had been sent after this time, but it was an equivalent of a case of national security as far as the Mikmik were concerned. A new infant Akraksor had been discovered.
The Akraksor were the most powerful of Hyperion's elder dragons, a race of draconic colossi who inhabit the most hostile reaches of Blagun, where the volcanoes constantly erupt and blast dense smoke into the skies, leaving the areas in perpetual night. The Mikmik's mythology placed the Akraksor as their very own equivalent of the Adversary, destined to one day bring about the end of the world unless they were stopped. Of course, neither the Mikmik nor the huntresses were aware the Akraksor were in fact Fire Drake children of Venertimanoth, born of his flesh following his death hundreds of thousands of years in the past. The Mikmik tribes, upon discovering the birth of a new Akraksor at Blagun's depths, sent their heroines to deal with the so-called demon before he could cause any devastation. Their fear of the dragons was not completely misguided, for they were clearly extremely aggressive to outsiders and capable of destroying entire landscapes if left rampaging.
Filonan, Khadya and Saranhreia had been enchanted by the Blue Mikmik with water-based magic in order for them to not be scorched by the sheer heat of the location, for not even Filonan would be able to resist it. The only one who did not need a magic barrier was Daggis, Filonan's loyal Red Wyvern, who closely walked beside the huntresses as they passed through a canyon in order to reach their target. Migehew golems were scattered around the landscape, unmoving and always watching, appearing much like guardians. Khadya held her crossbow close to herself, having covered her pallid, white flesh with charcoal and rubble sometime before entering the hotter regions of Blagun in order to provide herself with some form of camouflage amidst the blackened, molten landscape. Saranhreia, unexpectedly, did not hold a smile upon her jaws; in its place, an unnerved expression, one of caution and wary which was influenced by the dreaded reputation of this Akraksor creature. She could feel her halberd steaming within her hands. Filonan had a serious expression on her face, unsure what to expect to a creature who was apparently even bigger and more powerful than the Talsagon they had previously encountered. As the canyon ended, the huntresses were given the sight of a massive plateau filled with lava lakes, great volcanoes in a distance emitting black fog into the skies and a gigantic creature curled inside one of said lakes. The Mikmik had deemed it an infant, yet it was easily much more massive than the Satamaxillus they had fought not too long ago.
Blasts of fire erupted from the ground as the creature's head rose from the lava, revealing a draconic visage protected by hardened magma. Its movements were slow and lazy as it uncurled its gigantic tail and rose its wings into its back. Instead of normal wings like other dragons had, the creature appeared to have massive plates which blew off balls of lava into the air, and indeed, whatever part of the creature's scales which was not covered in basalt had visible, glowing veins from the lava inside of its body. Great horns and spikes made of obsidian decorated is head and back, and its eyes appeared to be completely pitch-black. Khadya simply stared at the beast, astounded by the demonic majesty it beheld, and she could feel her courage begin to sink deeper into her heart as she glanced over the molten carapace of the fiendish titan, the hot winds blowing across her skin and bring her hair to wave into it. Saranhreia was taken back by the sight of the Akraksor before her, intimidated by the sheer intensity of its size and mass, and gulped in fear of what the three of them would have to face. For once, truly, the three huntresses could feel their veins pump what seemed to be the essence of fear itself into their hearts.
- Saranhreia - ... There it is...
- Filonan - I won't lie... I'm scared. Very scared.
- Khadya - Not even the Petroatragal seemed this potent... We have made a mistake.
- Filonan - If these are truly demons then we must stop it... But how? This thing is immense... and it looks armored like an adamantine golem.
- Saranhreia - ... Come on, guys! We haven't let stuff like this stop us before, r-right? ... N-Not even that thing c-can be immortal.
Whining sounds came out of Daggis as he took steps back, while a thick, rocky tongue licked the Akraksor's lips as he raised his forelegs, standing up in a bipedal position as he slowly began walking at the huntresses' direction. Khadya slowly raised her crossbow, quivering somewhat as she took aim towards her gargantuan target, and proceeded to press the trigger of her weapon to launch the bolt she had loaded into it; she had been aiming for one of the creature's eye sockets. Saranhreia, meanwhile, began to make her way down towards the improvised "arena" that the three of them and the Akraksor would be using to combat one another - to her, it appeared much less like a hunt from now on and more like a duel.
- Saranhreia - ... L-Let's... Let's get this over with.
- Filonan - Daggis, don't be afraid... Give us air support, please!
Filonan, attempting to grant the others morale, ignited her hair as she went alongside the Oevrumine, while the Daggis beat his wings in order to become aloft. Khadya's bolts broke harmlessly in contact with the Akraksor's eyelids, the creature himself appearing to not even notice them. Khadya resorted to passing her hand, coated with the essence of dark magic, over her crossbow as she loaded another bolt into its springs, maintaining a firm and unwavering eye upon the colossal beast even though her heart raced faster than she could bring herself to breath, leaving her aim somewhat unsteady - control of breathing was vital for sniping, the fundamental property that dictated a ranger's success. Saranhreia kept her distance from the creature, for she could feel her fur beginning to stand on end in contact with the sheer power of the Akraksor's mighty aura, yet she knew that, eventually, she would have to make her move.
Khadya unleashed another bolt, cursed with dark magic, while Saranhreia instigated a reckless charge. Once again, the elf ranger's bolts broke in contact with the dragon's basalt hide, not even her dark magic causing any reaction out of it. Filonan thrust her spear at the monster's feet, only for it to harmlessly bounce off due to its armored nature. The Akraksor himself was more focused on Daggis, who flew in circles over the monster's head and released fireballs at it, to no avail. Saranhreia launched her halberd towards one of the veiny, exposed parts of the Akraksor's flesh beneath its molten armour, allowing a battle cry to pass from between her jaws as she witnessed the attacks of her comrades merely bounce off its hide. Khadya stood, bothering not to place another bolt into the mechanisms of her crossbow as she merely watched the Akraksor make its dreaded approach, a worried frown passing over her face. The minotaur warrior found her halberd stuck between the Akraksor's armored plates, while the monster himself unleashed an enormous breath of fire at Daggis' direction, as wide enough to hit the wyvern ten times over though he managed to fly away from its path in time.
- Filonan - Not good. Not good in the slightest.
- Saranhreia - Shit! We can't even scratch this thing, let alone kill it. ... What're we gonna do now?! It's game over, man! Game over!
- Filonan - We need a plan, and we need one now!
- Khadya - ... We run.
- Filonan - You want to run? B-but we need to stop this thing!
- Khadya - I do not want to run. We need to run. Otherwise, we will die here; you, me, Saranhreia. Daggis.
- Filonan - Ngh... Fine. Retreat!
Khadya withdrew her crossbow and turned to flee, her mind reluctant to accept defeat in such a manner although she knew that with such resources they would be unable to even stand a chance against the gargantuan magma fiend, while Saranhreia remained where she was, struggling to remove the halberd from the Akraksor's fiery, superheated flesh. She groaned and panted, utilizing the extent of her strength to attempt to remove it from the beast's hide before she could be potentially burned to a crisp or crushed beneath its weight. The minotaur eventually managed to free her halberd while Filonan ran after Khadya, and in the air, Daggis flew over the Akraksor's head and attempted to penetrate its hide with his stinger though his efforts appeared to do little more than bother the giant lava dragon. Falling with her rear onto the ground for a moment, Saranhreia turned and ran, sprinting as swiftly as she could from the Akraksor's direction while taking some seconds to analyze the extent of the damage done to her iconic weapon - the edge had been blackened like char and damaged somewhat from the heat it had been exposed to, strong and concentrated enough to deform even Qliphothic steel. Grunting, the Oevrumine swore under her breath with each step she took, accompanying Filonan and Khadya in their retreat.
The Akraksor looked forward and released a ball of flame from its mouth at the huntresses' direction while Daggis continued trying to harm it somehow. Luckily for the trio, the ball went over their heads and fell at the entrance of the canyon they had arrived through instead. And as that happened, they could immediately see a Migehew get knocked back as it was hit, and the golem began letting out low-pitched squeaks as it clenched its fist in rage.
- Khadya - ... That Migehew, it survived the explosion.
- Saranhreia - What the-- How?! ... It looks like it's pretty pissed off about it, though!
Initiating a charge, the Migehew sprint through the trio, knocking Filonan off her feet as it ran over to the Akraksor, leaping into the air while holding its hands together over its head. Delivering a slam, the huntresses could hear the Akraksor let out an audible pained gasp as its chest plates were cracked by the Migehew's blow. Khadya and Saranhreia stopped in their tracks as they heard the grotesque sound of the Akraksor's molten carapace surrendering to the pressure and strength behind the Migehew's mighty fists and turned faster than they ran to watch the spectacle unfold before them, both of them with eyes widened although Khadya took a moment to approach Filonan and assist in raising her to her feet.
- Khadya - A-Are you alright...?
- Filonan - Yeah... Those things... they're not natural. Definitely not natural.
The Akraksor lift its foot and sent it down at the Migehew, crushing the destroying the golem instantly. As it did so, all the other Migehew who were resting over the canyon turned their unblinking glares at the dragon, clenching their fists as their eyes narrowed. In moments, an army of angry, squeaking Migehew stomped down from the canyon and charged at the Akraksor in unison, with enough strenght to drag the giant dragon backwards through the lava wasteland it was residing it.
- Saranhreia - H-Holy shit!
- Khadya - ... Now is our chance, we should make use of this opportune moment to retreat. As potent as the Migehew are, I doubt the Akraksor would find itself finished by them.
The Migehew swarmed the Akraksor, delivering mighty blows to its basalt armor, cracking and breaking it while others resorted to ripping it off altogether. The dragon retaliated by releasing great blasts of fire from its mouth and clawing the ground under it, crushing and breaking the Migehew nearly as fast as they were breaking it. Daggis flew over to the huntresses in order to follow them on their escape, seemingly not wanting to get involved in the creatures' fighting. Before long, only the sounds of the Akraksor's demonic roars and the ground at its feet being teared from its foundations were present rather than the sight of it, for the three huntresses had managed to escape the immediate danger zone provided by the colossal, infantile beast. After what felt like hours of sprinting and running from the scene, the girls eventually arrived at the bases of two long, tall cliffs with a natural passage, leading to the less volatile regions of Blagun, separating them. The ground at the girls' feet was bubbling with magma somewhat, an occasional spit of lava spewing forth from below.
- Filonan - Phew... Wait... I gotta take a breath... I knew the Mikmik said the Migehew were strong but wow. That first one just straight up punched it right in the heart.
- Saranhreia - Yeah, that doesn't mean I hate them any less. ... That just makes me scared of them even more, knowing that they could break all of my bones with a punch like that. Gotta say, I'm glad we're not the ones on their bad side.
- Filonan - Right, what's our next step then?
- Louihar - Ah! Huntresses!
On top of the cliffs which composed the canyon, the villagers of Olimarius Hub revealed themselves, alongside their chieftian Louihar. The Mikmik waved at the trio from where they were standing, while the roars of the Akraksor could be heard in the horizon. Khadya glanced upwards to see the mass of blue Mikmik standing atop the cliffs and raised an arm to wave in return, allowing them to know that they have acknowledged their presence, while Saranhreia's face lit up with a relieved smile in the knowledge that the huntresses were now no longer alone in their fight.
- Khadya - Chieftain, you have joined us?
- Louihar - Indeed. A most clever idea to use the Migehews against it! You are surely geniuses!
- Filonan - Yeah. Idea.
- Saranhreia - Erm, y-yeah... I mean, yeah! Yeah, that's right, in fact I think it was one of my best ideas yet, if I say so myself.
- Khadya - The Akraksor shall be making an approach to this location soon enough, Chieftain. While it is likely that the Migehew have caused some extent of damage to its carapace, we must all be ready still.
- Louihar - Don't worry, we're here to help. Part of its armor should've been broken off, so we'll use our water powers on it as soon as it comes down chasing you in a fit of rage. Just like it's doing right now!
An aggressive roar was heard as the Akraksor was seen giving chase to the trio in a distance, great part of its armored torso now being exposed while its wing-plates bumped into the edges of the cliff and destroyed it. Passing a hand over her crossbow once more as she drew it from its carry, allowing dark magic to flow through the springs and mechanisms, Khadya drew another bolt from a belt that stretched across her dragonscale armour and placed it into the weapon before taking a sniping shot at the exposed torso of the fiendish giant, her breath still somewhat unsteady although significantly slowed due to being accompanied with the reassurance of so many people at her side. While the bolt now dug into the dragon's scales, it did not stop its charge. Louihar clapped his hands together as the Blue Mikmik unleashed a torrent of water magic from their 'mouths' at the Akraksor as it passed by the cliffs, causing the dragon to scream out and stagger in place.
Khadya's lips parted into something that could be called a feint smile as she watched her bolt penetrate the Akraksor's exposed hide and loaded another into her crossbow, following up with another shot, and then another, and then another. Saranhreia watched as the hydromancy opposed the Akraksor's charge and proceeded to instigate her own charge, her halberd in hand as she made swings at the legs and feet of the volcanic abomination, taking a brief moment to examine the extent of the wounds caused by the assault of the Migehew. Filonan thrust her spear through the creature's now exposed legs, but after some moments of assault, the huntresses were forced to shield their ears as a monstrous roar came out of the dragon. From its wing-plates, balls of lava were fired into the sky like cannonballs, which then fell back into the canyon like artillery, killing off many Mikmik while throwing many others away. Khadya lost her aim as she brought herself to relocate from her position due to the descent of the fireballs onto the canyon, her eyes gazing up towards the sky which seemed now to rain with magma and smoke, all the while attempting to move and dash through her disorientation brought on by the sudden screech of the Akraksor. Staggered for a moment by the basalt incarnate's shriek, Saranhreia drew upon her strength to wield her halberd in two hands and bring a slash to the beast's ankle, her face contorted into a cringe as the sounds all around disrupted her senses.
- Saranhreia - Take cover!
Perturbed by the descent of basalt and molten rock, the earth at the feet of both the huntresses and the Akraksor began to quake, cracks and divisions appearing across the ground as molten lava seeped onto the surface from below. More and more fire and magma spewed forth from the dirt as it began to destroy itself; an eruption was occuring beneath them, bound to occur in mere moments from now, brought on by the artillery strike launched by the Akraksor in its resistance against the Mikmik and those that sought to hunt it. Filonan fell off from her feet while the Mikmik yelped out as they were swung about by the Earth trembling beneath them. The Akraksor himself ceased his artillery fire as it began inspecting the area, looking for the source of what was causing the quakes and cracks.
- Filonan - Bad! Very very very bad!
- Saranhreia - What the hell's going on?!
- Khadya - W-We need to retreat from here. This place... We are standing atop an eruption! If we do not move swiftly, we shall be caught up in it!
- Filonan - Shit! Mount on Daggis, now!
Filonan ran over to her wyvern and immediately leaped on its back, while Chieftain Louihar jumped out of the canyon and landed on Daggis' head crest, a fearful expression on his face. Saranhreia rushed away from the Akraksor's feet and dashed to mount atop of Daggis alongside the others, carrying her halberd with her as she clambered onto the wyvern's back while Khadya made a leap of faith from her disorientated position and clung onto the base of the wyvern's tail tightly, her crossbow in hand. However, before Daggis could take off or the Akraksor could move from where it happened to be standing, the earth at their feet began to swiftly raise as smoke and steam burst forth all around them.
Before long, the chunk of rock they had been standing upon had been cast into the air at unimaginable speeds, effectively flooring both Daggis and the colossal Akraksor with momentum. Filonan and Louihar screamed while Daggis and the Akraksor roared out in confusion, finding themselves incapable of movement. The wyvern and the ones mounted on it found themselves on top of the rock which was being flung into the sky, while the colossal enemy dragon was holding on it by using its claws and talons. It would not take long until the chunk was flung far from Hyperion and above the height of most of the mountains present upon Koldenwelt, although any view of the world beyond the mountains was obstructed by the immediate threat and urgent danger that the group were posed with. Khadya clung onto Daggis' tail tightly, turning her head back for a moment to view the presence of the Akraksor upon the rock alongside them.
- Khadya - W-What the...
- Saranhreia - It... It looks like w-we got thrown upwards!
- Filonan - Daggis, fly! Fly!
- Louihar - Your wyvern can't fly like this, Filonan. The force sending us upwards is too strong!
- Saranhreia - W-We need to get off this rock!
- Khadya - ... G-Girls... C-Chieftain... t-the Akraksor...
The Akraksor growled as it used its immense strength to climb the rock, slowly but surely making its way to their direction. Filonan let out a scared yelp as she began firing fire blasts at its claws in an attempt to slow it down, while Louihar did the same with jets of water. Khadya struggled to load her crossbow as she aimed towards the Akraksor's mighty claws, firing at the exposed joints in an effort to stall the beast to allow Daggis the time he would require to climb off the side of the rock and escape the turbulence that was sending them upward. Saranhreia, meanwhile, could merely watch as the group launched attacks at the magma fiend, incapable of doing anything to contribute due to a lack of ranged weaponry or magical potential upon her person.
The exposed claws of the Akraksor slightly cracked from the attacks, causing the creature to stop in place and whine out in pain. Daggis used all the strength he could muster to throw himself to the side of the giant chunk of rock, freeing himself and allowing the huntresses to see how far away they had been launched: they were above Theohelm, right next to the ocean shore, meaning they had beenb launched several kilometers away from their original position. As Daggis managed to escape the momentum that kept him pinned to the rock, the girls could also see as the chunk of stone, the Akraksor still atop of it, continued its ascent into the sky for what seemed like several minutes, soon penetrating through the clouds and out of the girls' sight. Filonan breathed heavily while Louihar seemed to have been knocked down altogether, and after some moments had passed, the huntress trio could see the chunk now falling from the sky, the Akraksor roaring out on top of it as both of them fell at the ocean's direction.
- Saranhreia - Haha... Ahahaha! Yeah, t-take... Take that, you little shit!
The chunk fell into the ocean, submerging both it and the Akraksor as well as launching a massive wave into the beach which was large enough to engulf the entirely of it for several moments. Daggis beat his wings as he slowly descended at the shore, and as he hit the ground, Filonan fell out of the wyvern into the sand, panting heavily. Khadya fell beside Filonan, landing atop of her as she panted, stricken by the sudden experience they had all just been subjected to although she was no doubt alive, albeit exhausted. Saranhreia calmly and quietly departed from Daggis' back, before swiftly landing onto her knees and proceeding to bury her face in the sand, almost passing unconscious as she stepped off of the wyvern.
- Khadya - ... I-Is it over...?
- Filonan - It... it should be... there's no way it survived that...
- Saranhreia - ... Ngh... I haven't h-hurt like this in a looong time... I-I could do with a rest, guys...
At this moment, though, a huge creature emerged from the seas, a fury-filled look on its face as it barred its fangs. It was the Akraksor, completely devoid of its basalt armor and with two of its wing-plates broken, as well as many of its obsidian spikes missing. It was still alive, although barely, for the ocean water appeared to have disabled its fire powers. Looking towards the ocean and hearing the pained, furious cries of the Akraksor, Saranhreia and Khadya's eyes widened in sheer terror as they watched the abomination approach the shore, steam and smoke emanating from its tortured body as it had been rapidly cooled. Reaching for her halberd, Saranhreia uneasily stood to attention while Khadya slowly moved to her feet, assisting Filonan alongside while looking towards the unconscious Chieftain.
- Khadya - C-Chieftain... Chieftain!
- Louihar - W-what? Just five more minutes, mom... Eh? Oh.
- Filonan - How did it survive a fall that big into the sea?!
- Saranhreia - ... Fuck it, that thing's immortal!
- Khadya - It appears heavily injured, but with the absence of reinforcements we cannot hope to kill it at this state. Our weapons and magic would not be enough.
- ??? - If it's reinforcements you want, it's reinforcements you'll receive!
Hordes of Mikmik of all colours suddenly appeared, running up to the huntresses with their own little weapons. Blue, Yellow, Red, Gray, Purple, White and Pink, all together and ready to fight. Louihar appeared visibly pleased by the scene, realizing this was possible thanks to the huntresses having defeated the Kevonata and therefore granted the Mikmik their island-wide shortcut back. Smiles were worn across the girls' faces as they saw the sudden rush of Mikmik of various colours appear from seemingly nowhere, and Khadya looked back towards the Akraksor as it made its slow, agonizing approach towards the land through the heavy water that weighed it down. Loading a bolt into her crossbow and allowing dark magic to curse it, Khadya raised her weapon and, with a steadied, calm breath, took shots at the heavily damaged basalt monstrosity from afar. Filonan let out a battlecry as she rushed at the Akraksor's direction, followed by the rainbow-coloured Mikmik army and Daggis, who took flight once again and breathed fire blasts at the great dragon. Using her spear, she stabbed the monster on its legs while the Mikmik clang into its body, scratching and stabbing its now fragile scales. Saranhreia smiled as she charged alongside the Mikmik soldiers and warriors, making great cleaves with her Qliphothic halberd against the exposed flesh of the Akraksor and utilizing her clawed gauntlet to punch into its joints and afflicting puncturing wounds, while Khadya lent her ranged support further with her crossbow, striking at the wounds present upon the disfigured, ruined creature that had once heralded the apocalypse of this bountiful island.
The Akraksor roared out in pain as it was damaged by the attacks, falling one forelimb into the ground as it bit and swept the Mikmik under it, killing many of them while also knocking Filonan away. The dragon's tail bashed against the ground, crushing fairies under it while its huge feet stomped down and reduced others to dust. It was weakened, but it was far from defenseless. Saranhreia, angered yet impressed by the persistence of the apocalyptic herald, began to mount and climb the creature as it was gradually succumbing to the wounds dealt to the wounds that had been dealt upon it, climbing it while puncturing through its scales with her gauntlet and delivering stabs into its flesh with the edge of her halberd. Khadya fired another load of bolts at the creature, aiming for particular vulnerabilities such as the eyes.
- Saranhreia - Come on, just a little more!
Daggis flew downwards and bit the Akraksor between its eyes, delivering stings to its mouth while Filonan kept stabbing its joints with her spear. The giant demon's roars turned into groans and whines, and after several minutes of nonstopping attack, it let out a final roar as it fell like a boulder into the sands, squirming slightly as it finally succumbed to its wounds. Saranhreia leaped from the Akraksor's damaged body and fell against the sands, panting tiredly as she planted her halberd beside her and rested her eyes for some moments. Khadya, watching the gargantuan menace finally meet its demise, approached Filonan while keeping her eyes locked onto the massive corpse of the fiery beast - their most difficult opponent since the assault launched by the Petroatragal and its Merkan masters. Stretching a hand behind Filonan's back and resting her hand on her hip, Khadya panted, smiling faintly as sweat dripped from her pores.
- Khadya - ... Now is it over?
- Filonan - If it isn't... I give up.
- Louihar - We can feel the lifeforce flowing! It's dead! They killed the Demon!
The Mikmik who survived the Akraksor's onslaught charged at the huntresses and floored all three of them, even Daggis, as they hugged and cuddled them in happiness. Filonan yelped as she was thrown into the ground while Daggis roared and whined in confusion, not understanding what exactly was going on. Khadya was taken off-guard by the sudden embrace of the Mikmik horde, although she was not necessarily displeased with the result as she took the opportunity to wrap her other arm around Filonan's torso and hug her alongside, while Saranhreia returned the affection the Mikmik gave her via picking them up in her strong arms and cuddling them, laughing and bellowing loudly as she did as if she was a dog having her belly rubbed. The huntresses, with the help of the people they had put their lives on the line to protect, had managed to once more stave off the end of this land, which, while merely some off-mainland island for many, was an entire world for others.
It was a pleasant, sunny day at Olimaruis Hub, not too hot or too cold as the Mikmik went on with their lives as usual. While great part of the tribe died in the battle against the Akraksor, they would be able to sprout new blue fairies in the following weeks thanks to the abundance of food the huntresses had granted them. Filonan was at the port, adorned in her Sovereignty armor which had now been improved and decorated by the scales of the dead Akraksor, preparing Daggis in order for them to fly back to Purity's Apogee. Khadya and Saranhreia stood with her, the wood elf having adorned herself too with scales from the deceased demon-god to further enhance and compliment her flexible dragonscale armour, while Saranhreia had enhanced her own weaponry and armour set with the remnants of the basalt armour that was once worn by the Akraksor to compensate for the amount of damage her own armour had taken throughout their adventure. Khadya stood closest to Filonan, smiling as she allowed her hair to flow freely while awaiting the next ship with Saranhreia. Louihar walked over to the trio alongside many Mikmik, taking his hat and holding it on his hands.
- Louihar - I don't think we'll ever be able to thank you for all you've done to us. You've not saved us once, but four times.
- Saranhreia - Don't mention it, Chief. I haven't had this much fun for a long while and coming here really opened my eyes to a lot of things. ... Like how much nasty crap lives here, holy shit.
- Khadya - I cannot imagine what would have happened if the three of us were not brought together here in time to face the Petroatragal or the Akraksor. Isiris must work in mysterious ways.
- Louihar - I wish you all a safe travel back home, and remember, you're always welcome to return.
- Filonan - Yeah, no thanks.
- Khadya - Thank you, Chieftain. I sincerely hope that you, your people and the other tribes prosper now that your destroyers have met their end. I may return one day far from now to seek those very thrills once more.
- Louihar - I'll be more than happy to receive you again.
Louihar put his hat back on and left back to his hut, followed by his helpers. Khadya smiled as she watched the Chieftain make his exit from the port and turned to Saranhreia and Khadya, sighing faintly as she met eyes with the girls. Suddenly, Khadya and Filonan found themselves pressed against the chest of the towering minotaur woman as she wrapped her arms around them and held them close to her bosom, smiling and chuckling as she embraced them in an affectionate hug.
- Saranhreia - Hahah! We've all got a bit of time for a group hug, don't we? Haha!
- Filonan - Heheh... urk! N-not so hard!
- Khadya - Nghk... We shall all meet once more, I do hope, after we have all parted from this land. It would be a shame... not to see either of you once again.
- Filonan - I'll be sure to remember you both. If you ever go to Erylianus, perhaps we can talk again.
Freeing herself from the minotaur's grasp, Khadya stepped forward and placed her hands upon Filonan's back, pressing her bosom against the fire elf's own as she embraced the warrior of the Sovereignty; leaning forward, Khadya's lips met with Filonan's own, eyes closed and breath warm as kissed the wyvern-mounting huntress firmly, a red tinge appearing upon her cheeks as she blushed only slightly. Filonan's eyes widened and Daggis stared at the two elves with a look of confusion.
- Filonan - Mmph!
Khadya remained with her hands pressing on Filonan's back for a full minute before parting from the kiss, a grin overcoming her features as the Aithrenan stepped back from the Erylian. Khadya's hands now remained at her sides, blush appearing more blatantly upon her cheeks while Saranhreia scratched her head at the spectacle.
- Khadya - Have yourself a good flight, my dear.
- Filonan - Y-you too. I-I mean... Be safe.
- Saranhreia - Heh, gaaay.
- Filonan - S-shut up. I like boys. Boys!
- Saranhreia - Yeah, yeah, that's what they all say! Hehehe... Don't go getting yourself hurt out there, Fi, Khaddy.
Filonan nodded to Saranhreia, blush visible on her face as she mounted on Daggis' back. The wyvern let out a loud roar as it threw itself up, taking flight and departing Hyperion Island, leaving the two other huntresses to themselves. Khadya sighed to herself before she and the minotaur exchanged glances and nodded to one another, looking out towards the sea to watch the wyvern depart from the island's borders until he and his rider were soon out of sight. Not long after Filonan's departure, Khadya could make out a boat upon the horizon, carrying tourists and hunters alike - this would be the first voyage of the new season now that the island had been spared of destruction, with new hunters and huntresses allowed to make their mark. This would be the boat that would take Khadya and Saranhreia back to the mainland to continue their adventures elsewhere.
From the perspective of those mainlanders, the three women had not saved the world, merely a tropical resort home to a convenient variety of fauna, flora, and life that found itself in-between. For the Mikmik, the trio of huntresses were to be, based on their feats, achievements, and dedication, angels of the hunting isle.