|Inferno Rises is a Historical Event
"Inferno Rises" is considered a historical event or a completed fiction within the SporeWiki Fiction Universe. You must ask its original creator if you wish to add any additional stories.
“Yes, indeed. The greatest treasures await for you...in Akriarion.”
- - ???
Following the incident at the Forgotten Lands, the Sea Witch had invited the rest of the group to explore Sprak Island's mysterious volcano, known as Infernos Mons. Rumoured to have marvelous treasures deep inside its cavernous mazes, the team had found themselves a new adventure. However, little did the team know, Infernos Mons held more than they imagined...
- 1 Participants
- 2 Part 1: To Sprak Island
- 3 Part 2: To Infernos Mons
- 4 Part 3: Akriarion Island
- 5 Aftermath
Part 1: To Sprak Island
The Skull Cave
A few weeks had passed since the incident at the Forgotten Lands and, following the Sea Witch's instructions, some of the members of the team who explored the north had now travelled to the Great Cliffs of the Tropical Lands. At the top of the highest cliff, a large cave in the same of a Deiwos skull was visible, though there was a clear path taking up, probably made by the Sea Witch herself or whoever lived in the region before her.
Climbing up the cliff was Riadmanath, a Névari from the far North of Koldenwelt. He reached the top of the cliff, wiping away the sweat from under his bone-crafted mask.
- Riad - Night Father above. If I knew the south was so hot...
Strapped with ropes to Riadmanath's back was a mammal creature curled into a ball formation, snoring quietly and breathing lightly as the Névari ascended the cliff. Hachi, the Lagosi exile. At the entrance of the cave, a three-eyed crow was visible standing on a rock.
- Crow - Bhrak! Elf. Blue skin. Alone. Friend of Witch?
- Riad - Well. Not alone. And yes.
- Hachi - Zzz...
- Crow - Witch expected more. Where are others?
Riad undid the ropes on his back as lunged forward. Hachi dropped to the ground, causing his eyes to open as he awoke from his deep-seated sleep. He stood up on all fours with his hair standing upon his back, shivering.
- Hachi - Who's there?!
- Riad - Relax. We're at the cave.
- Crow - Bhrak! Lagosi! Blue! Lagosi not blue! Why you blue?
- Hachi - ...You can't just ask somebody why they're blue!
As she heard them arrive, the Sea Witch appeared out of the cave's entrance with a smile on her face.
- Sea Witch - Oh great! You two!
- Hachi - Miss Bird!
- Riad - Good to see you, sorceress.
- Crow - Sarcasm?
- Sea Witch - What? No. They're my friends.
- Crow - You have no friends.
- Sea Witch - Ouch.
- Hachi - Is he always like that?
- Sea Witch - Squarks? Yes, more or less.
Squarks let out a loud "Bhrak!" sound at Hachi's general direction.
- Sea Witch - So did the dragons, the human and Kinmorunddraver chicken out?
- Hachi - Appears so, unfortunately. Frankly, I'm glad that the stinky human isn't here.
- Riad - The human?
- Sea Witch - Marcos Whatshisface.
- Riad - Right. Right.
A ghostly echo resounded from the walls of the cave.
- ??? - Him? What a shame. He was quite a looker.
- Sea Witch - Eh?
- ??? - If converted...
- Sea Witch - Get out of my house! I thought I got rid of all ghosts already.
The echo vanished. Hachi drew his katana and greatsword, raising an eyebrow at the sound of the ethereal echo.
- Hachi - A ghost?!
- ??? - Ghosts? No. Ghosts aren't fun at all.
- Sea Witch - You guys would not believe the amount of ghosts this place had when I moved in. Considering the shape of the place, I imagine this used to be some kind of shrine for evil sacrifices or whatever.
- Hachi - ...And you're okay with that?
- Sea Witch - After I got rid of all the skeletons, the place became really comfy. Anyway, come in.
Hachi put away his swords and followed the Sea Witch inside, looking somewhat unnerved and uncomfortable due to both the echoes that they could hear and the supposed history of this "home". The Sea Witch led Riad and Hachi inside her cave. The interior was warmed by a large campfire located on its center where a large cauldron was also visible. Skulls of various animals decorated the place, put together in various shelves. At the back of the cave, there was an opening which they could see the outside, most specifically a view of the cliff's north.
- Riad - It reminds me of the settlements that my family live in.
- Hachi - The houses of the Lagosi'min are a little more...people-friendly.
- Sea Witch - I've been living alone in here for a few decades. The place being people-friendly isn't my main concern.
Through the opening on the wall, Riad and Hachi could see a distant forest covered in a thick, white fog.
- Hachi - Hey, what's that?
- Riad - Well. I was not expecting that.
- Sea Witch - That's the Fog Forest. You don't go there. Ever.
- Hachi - Do you come from there?
- Sea Witch - No, my original home was closer to the Eastern Plains. That forest is the lair of the Dark Caxildiz. All expeditions I've seen who entered that forest have never returned.
- Hachi - Huh... Nice knowing you live so close to it.
- Sea Witch - It's not that bad. Nothing happens to you unless you actually enter it. Well, sometimes the Lost shows up, but he knows I'm not really afraid of him.
- Riad - Who?
- Sea Witch - The Lost is a creepy Dark Caxildiz who likes to stalk people. He watches you in the dark with a shining eye and a grin filled with very sharp teeth. And if you try to approach him, he vanishes.
- Riad - Well. I wouldn't want that on my doorstep.
- Sea Witch - Oh yeah, it scared the hell out of me at first. But now I got used to it and he rarely shows up at all.
- Hachi - Sounds like a trickster spirit. They do stuff like that.
The three-eyed crow jumped into the cauldron and began eating the soup inside it. The Sea Witch ran up to the cauldron and swat the crow away.
- Sea Witch - Stupid bird, this is for the guests! You two should eat now, we'll leave to Sprak Island tomorrow during the morning.
Riad sat down on a rocky stump. Adjusting himself to be comfortable, he sat and looked at the cauldron.
- Riad - ...What's in that?
- Sea Witch - Smeever soup. It's tasty!
- Riad - ...Alright.
- Sea Witch - So, during the morning we'll walk to the nearby Merovar settlement at the shore and take a ship to Sprak Island. The Merovar constantly sail to Sprak and thanks to my "reputation", I'm sure they'll let us in for free. The settlement isn't too far from here. It's like, what, a 20 minutes walk.
- Riad - And the ship to Sprak Island? How long will that take?
- Sea Witch - A few hours. We should arrive during the afternoon.
- Hachi - Merovar? You mean the Gyoshaaqik'min?
- Sea Witch - If by that you mean the lizard men from the desert, yes.
Hachi also sat down, although closer to the cauldron, and watched as it steamed and boiled, bubbling. Ignorant to it, Hachi's tail attracted a few sparks that flew from the fire that kettled the cauldron, his tail catching fire.
- Squarks - Bhrak! Burning bunny!
- Hachi - Huh? What burning bunny?
- Squarks - You!
Hachi raised an eyebrow and he looked to his sides until he saw the fire upon his tail. Taking a few seconds to react to what was going on, Hachi leaped into the air and rolled against the floor when he landed to put it out. The Sea Witch facepalmed at the scene, while Squarks let out a squalking laugh and Riad looked rather discontented at the scene.
- Riad - I sure hope this is the last of our troubles.
- Sea Witch - If we don't come across Karps and anything dangeorus inside the volcano, yes.
Witch in Training
The next day, the Sea Witch, Riad and Hachi walked through the road taking to the direction of the Merovar settlement. It was a hot day, though clouds could be seen on the horizon in the direction of the sea. The Sea Witch looked at them and grunted.
- Sea Witch - Ugh. Looks like we might catch a storm.
- Hachi - Brr, I hate rain!
- ??? - Give me everything you got!
- ??? - Get a way from me, you pig!
- Hachi - Hmm, what's that?
As they walked on, the trio could see in a distance what looked like a bandit menacing a young woman with long black hair and purple robes. The bandit waved a large knife in front of the woman as she tried to step away from him.
- Hachi - Oh no...
- Sea Witch - The hell's going on over there?
- Riad - I don't know but I don't like it.
The Sea Witch ran up to closer to the bandit, who turned his attention to her and prepared his knife.
- Sea Witch - Leave that woman alone!
- Bandit - Shit, I thought this place was deserted.
Hachi stood at a distance, looking at the ground with a somewhat irritated expression on his face while he leaned against the closest tree. He grumbled in foreign words with a grumpy tone in his voice, most likely using explicit language. The bandit attempted to knife the Sea Witch with his knife, but she threw herself back to evade his attacks and then launched a blast of magic at him, which sent him flying into the ground. The woman watched the Witch with widened eyes.
- Bandit - Damn sourcerer scum!
- Sea Witch - Pfff. Humans. Always so scared of a little magic trick.
- Riad - Get out of here, thief.
- Hachi - Humans are stinky.
- Riad - Well you don't exactly smell like a basket of daffodils.
The bandit got back on his feet and tried to run away. The woman, however, grunted and put her hand foward. A black flame formed on it and out of her palm, a blast of dark magic was launched and hit the bandit, causing him to scream and fall into the ground, lifeless. Riad jumped at the blast, while the Sea Witch turned to the woman with a startled expression.
- Riad - Whoa. Dark magic.
Riad took out his spear and assumed a battle stance. The woman looked at the Witch and Riad and immediately put her hands up. Inside her head, she thought to herself.
- ??? - N-no, don't worry! I'm not evil! [Oh Gods, I made a bad first impression again. Please don't attack me, I was just passing by!]
On a rocky outcrop behind them, a tall blue figure sat down, smoking a pipe and reading a book. His wings were rested around him as well as his tail. Hachi approached and kept his hand on the handle of his blade tightly, growling aggressively as he exchanged a glance with the woman, snarling in an animalistic manner. The woman turned to Hachi and facepalmed.
- Hachi - What do you think you're doing?!
- ??? - Oh, what do YOU want?
- Hachi - What do I want?! What are YOU doing HERE?!
- ??? - I'm going to the city to train my magic, but I got ambushed by that bandit! What are YOU doing here?
- Hachi - I'm on a quest, an adventure! You're probably here because you're following me and you're jealous!
- ??? - Why would I waste my time following a kid who can't even put his pants on properly yet?
- Hachi - Says you who can't go five seconds without lighting her hair on fire!
- Sea Witch - Oh for the love of the Great Beasts, what's going on here?
- Riad - Well they know each other. Kiss and make up.
- ??? - Ewwww! I'd rather kiss a Shiarchon than "him"! [Makes you wonder what Shiarchon kissing feels like...wait, no.]
- Hachi - Oh, well I hope no Shiarchon wants to kiss you!
Hachi put away his blade and crossed his arms, grumbling in his native tongue while he looked the other way with an agitated expression.
- ??? - Hmpf. Because of you, little idiot, I couldn't even thank the nice woman for saving me. Thank you so much.
- Sea Witch - Hey, it's nothing. Who are you exactly? You look like a half-elf to me.
- Riad - Half-elf? There's a lot running around these days.
- ??? - My name is Clothovera Moirai. I'm a witch. Or rather, I'm training to be a witch. [I shouldn't have said that. I should've claimed I was just a girl walking around. I keep forgetting witches are hated. Now they're gonna run after me with lances and blades!...]
- Sea Witch - Witch, eh? I find that very amusing. Ever heard of the Sea Witch?
- Clothovera - ...Oh, of course! I'd love to meet her.
- Sea Witch - You're talking to her right now.
Clothovera put her hand on her mouth with an astonished expression on her face.
- Clothovera - Y-Y-You're THE S-S-Sea Witch? [Oh Gods oh Gods oh Gods I can't believe it it's the legendary Sea Witch herself I'm talking to her!]
- Sea Witch - Yes. The one and only!
- Clothovera - I-I-I'm your biggest f-fan!
- Hachi - Yeah, and I happen to be good friends with her.
A small, white-coloured cat creature then materialized close to Clothovera. It looked at the team with an air of arrogance.
- Nyakik - The only friends you have are your own hands.
- Hachi - ...Oh by the spirits, why, just WHY did you have to bring THAT?!
- Sea Witch - Ooooh. A magic familiar?
- Clothovera - Yes. And she isn't a "that". Her name is Nyakik.
- Nyakik - Be pleased to meet me.
- Hachi - I'd rather be pleased to get trodden by a giant.
- Nyakik - I'm sure you're into that kind of thing.
- 'Hachi - HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW?!
Clothovera turned back to the Sea Witch, while Nyakik let out a pompous laugh at Hachi's direction.
- Clothovera - The ugly rabbit said you were on an adventure?
- Sea Witch - Yes. We're going to Sprak Island to explore its volcano.
- Clothovera - ...You think I could go with you? I...erm...don't really have anywhere to go right now. [Oh no. Was I too direct? She must think I'm some loser who offers herself to anyone! I definetely made a bad impression! Idiot! Idiot!]
- Sea Witch - The team's kinda small right now, and you got magic. Riad? Hachi? What do you think?
- Hachi - No. This is all kinds of wrong.
- Riad - Well. I am no magician.
- Sea Witch - It's settled then. She's coming with us.
Clothovera put her hands together and let out a happy cackle, the Sea Witch raising an eyebow at the sight but being more amused than really weirded out. As she finished cackling, Clothovera stuck her tongue out at Hachi's direction.
- Hachi - I hope you lose that tongue.
The party marched on. Little did they realise, though, that from behind a wall, a female human clad in dark clothings stared at the scene, her facial expression concealed by her ashen black leather cowl. Unseen and unheard, she watched the group with interest.
- ??? - An unsanctioned mage... and a Lagosi. What do they have to do in common?
Clothovera talked about herself to the group as they walked on, and after about 20 more minutes, they finally arrived to the settlement itself. Merovar walked around carrying supplies and goods for trading while the ships were visible in a distance.
- Clothovera - ...And that's how I survived this long. [I hope I didn't bore the Sea Witch, I bet her life is a million times more interesting than mine anyway. Why would she want to hear me talking about boring human crap...]
- Sea Witch - You and me aren't so different. Also guys, we're here.
- Nyakik - This place looks and smells like Loron butt.
- Hachi - ...I won't disagree there.
Near a building, on a porch sat Kinmorunddraver, doing the same thing as before. Whilst it was apparent it was him, the team did not recognize him, at least at a first glance. Hachi looked around, holding his nose as he walked. The Sea Witch led the team toward the ships, and as she passed through Kinmorunddraver, she looked at his direction.
- Sea Witch - ...This place has some ugly people.
Kinmorunddraver looked at the Sea Witch without moving his head, and grunted. Riad looked at Kinmorunddraver. He looked sort of confused, then moved on.
- Sea Witch - Anyway, the ships are right ahead. I just gotta talk to one of the guards and we'll be on our way to Sprak Island.
- Hachi - Could just stow-away.
- Riad - He looks like Kinmorunddraver. Any avian-species around these parts I've never heard of?
- Sea Witch - I'm the only bird woman I've ever seen around these parts.
- Riad - Odd then.
The Witch walked up to a Merovar who was ordering one of the ships to be supplied with goods. As she grabbed his attention, he turned at her direction with an annoyed expression. By his clothing, the team could identify him as being the captain of the ship.
- Captain - Oh look. It's the "Sea Witch" again, wanting to leech off our ships.
- Sea Witch - And you know what I can do to this place if you don't let me and my companions in.
Riad chuckled slightly.
- Riad - I'm not one for intimidation but it has its advantages.
- Captain - How could I forget that day? Entire barrels of gold into the ocean. You vile woman.
- Sea Witch - Less talk, more sailing, shall we?
- Captain - Bah. Fine. You can board the ship now if you want. We'll be leaving once we finish stocking the goods.
- Riad - Thank you.
- Nyakik - I dislike you the least of this group, beaked one.
- Hachi - Tough words for a pussy.
- Nyakik - A pussy who can cut you like the flacid slice of meat you are.
iad walked on to the ship, and looked out into the seas. The Sea Witch walked on as well, followed by Clothovera and Nyakik. Hachi followed suite, looking out to the waves. A smile passed over his face and his earlier irritated attitude had changed to something more akin to nostalgic happiness.
- Riad - I haven't done sea travel much. Néva like to keep their feet on the ground.
- Hachi - I love sea-faring!
- Sea Witch - A shame we're getting a storm. Sea-faring is often very relaxing.
Clothovera opened a rather large book and began reading it, peaking at the team occasionally from it. Kinmorunddraver then followed them, passing the captain of the ship without a trace. He then propped himself up on the wall, reading the book. The team could see fishing boats close to them, and in some of them, they could see large, shark-like creatures with tentacles who had been caught.
- Riad - Now what is that?
- Sea Witch - You've never seen a Khrokar before?
- Riad - Hardly been this far south.
- Hachi - I've seen way too many.
- Sea Witch - Well, take an octopus, a shark, mash them together and give it arms. That's a Khrokar.
- Hachi - The Saamekuk are vicious bastards, they're infamous around the Kame Isles. They're capable of appearing in the rivers and punching through frozen water.
- Riad - The last time I was this far south was with a pirate named Pelagrios Sea-Cutter. I remember we had about twenty ships on us. The only reason we survived was because of a freak tidal wave.
- Clothovera - It looks much like how my book describes the legendary Tangilaruka.
From above, a Deiwos crashed on to the deck, face first. The Sea Witch and Clothovera turned their heads at the Deiwos.
- Sea Witch - This day's getting weirder every minute.
- Pelagrios - Urgh. That's the last time I try and steal a ship from climbing the mast. Oh great.
Pelagrios turned around, pretending to talk to the group. As he turned around, he recognized Hachi and Riad.
- Hachi - ...You!
- Pelagrios - Not sure if convenient or about to get beaten up.
- Sea Witch - Oh cool, another half-elf. Friend of yours?
- Clothovera - I've never seen this man before. [And I wish I could unsee because frankly, ew. even I'm not THAT desperate.]
Riad whispered aggressively;
- Riad - What in the name of the void are you doing?!
- Pelagrios - ...Commandeering this ship.
- Riad - Well tough. You can't commandeer this one.
- Pelagrios - Well why not?
- Riad - Because we're going somewhere.
- Pelagrios - ...So?
- Riad - Just shut up and don't turn around.
- Sea Witch - Who's this guy?
- Riad - Sea Witch, dark elf witch whose name I unfortunately cannot remember, this is the pirate I was talking about. Pelagrios Sea-Cutter.
- Sea Witch - Hah. Sea-Cutter. All I see so far is Floor-Hitter.
- Hachi - It's the Sea-Cutter! The Sea-Cutter! Ooooh! Isn't he just so... he smells of fish. Badly.
- Pelagrios - Hi, and...oh hello there.
Pelagrios looked rather adamant at Clothovera.
- Pelagrios - Hello there, beautiful.
- Clothovera - No. [WHY oh Gods WHY must the first man to hit on me since "that time" is sume scurvy-infested pirate?! Am I that ugly to only get attention from the most pathetic of the rabble?]
- Hachi - Ew, and blind as well, apparently.
- Pelagrios - Riad, your new friends are mean. And good looking. Well some of them.
- Nyakik - This man smells like this place.
- Pelagrios - You think? I just lost my ship and washed up on shore with a bottle of rum hanging out of my mouth.
- Hachi - Surprised it wasn't with a woman.
- Sea Witch - Hmmm. How useful is this "Sea-Cutter" man?
- Riad - You'd be surprised. He has an incredible bout of luck. And bad luck. But more good luck.
- Sea Witch - Is that so? Perhaps we can take him with us then.
- Pelagrios - Yeah. The only woman in those parts would be a Shiarchon woman. That's the last time I go on a drunken whim and tell Legatus Julianus that his mother was a Smeever.
- Hachi - Smooth. ...Shiarchon have women?
- Pelagrios - Aye. Surprisingly attractive. If you can get over the fact that they're seven and a half feet tall.
- Pelagrios - ...And have dark magic strong enough to turn you into charcoal.
- Clothovera - Like me. So watch your mouth. [And go take a bath, by the ancestors, you stink like a pile of rotten Smeevers! I swear, if he gets any of his greasy fingers on my hair I'm gonna kick his nuts so hard he'll spit them off his mouth!]
- Hachi - Funny, because you're skilled enough to turn yourself into charcoal.
- Pelagrios - More skill than you have.
Clothovera grunted and stepped on Hachi's foot. Kinmorunddraver laughed from a distance.
- Hachi - Ack! Ech! ECH!
- ??? - Sh-sh-shiarchon...
A voice echoed from inside the ship, coming from a large pile of crates near the mast.
- Captain - The hell's going on over there? Who's that talking?
- Pelagrios - Uh...no one...? Everything's alright over here!
The Merovar captain narrowed his eyes and opened a large create next to him. The captain stared into the crate, looking in disbelief as the ship's unlikely stowaway walked out of away with an uneven gait. It was... a human girl? Young, no more than 17 years old, she was covered in rags and coated in grease - a street rat, perhaps? - but was neverthless quite attractive, her long red hair illustrious though unkempt. Looking around, her eyes covered by a blindfold, she appeared to be confused, breathing heavily.
- Captain - Eh?
- ??? - W-w-what? Don't kill me, please!
The girl raised her hands.
- Pelagrios - Aw. She looks too young for me.
- Nyakik - She looks and smells like trash.
- Riad - Well that isn't particularly courteous, is it, Night-Spawn?
- Nyakik - Why should I be courteous to a trash girl?
- Riad - Well...you have your point. Perhaps you should let her do the impressions first.
- Hachi - Because she's a trash girl! A very... lovely looking trash girl!
- ??? - I'll explain everything! My name is, is... - the girl coughed as she spoke - Felï. I... I had no idea this ship was going to sail, I...
The girl fell to her knees.
- Captain - What do you think ships do? And what in Almonohuim's name were you doing in that barrel?
- ??? - I just tried to find some shelter for the night! Please, don't leave me! I... I've got nowhere to go! I have no home, no parents, no... nothing...
A perverted smile sneaked itself across Hachi's face.
- Hachi - Lucky fish.
- Captain - Hmpf. I can't stop the preparations now, we're about to sail. I'm taking you to Sprak Island but don't expect me to take you back here.
- Riad - That's surprisingly charitable of a ferryman.
- Fali - Hey... what if I could stay with you? I know a lot of... stuff. I could cook for you~!
- Sea Witch - Cook, eh?
- Riad - The more the merrier I suppose.
- Captain - I'll be keeping my eyes on you, though. Don't try anything funny or I'll throw you to the sharks.
- Pelagrios - Yes, sir. Ma'am. Ma'am?
- Captain - Sir, you moron.
- Pelagrios - Right.
- Riad - I never really set sail around the south. In the north where most of the water is frozen, you only use ships to cross small paths.
- Pelagrios - Well what's the point in building ships then?
- Riad - It's not exactly the warmest water in the world.
- Hachi - Where I'm from, we use kayaks to cross rivers and such. Sometimes armoured depending on whether it's Khrokar season.
The bridges to the ship were lifted and a large bell was sounded.
- Captain - To your posts! We're departing!
Water Colossus' Feast
The team's ship, alongside 11 other Merovar ships, sailed out of the main continent on their way to Sprak Island. Two hours had passed since they had departed and there was nothing but water around them. The skies became darker and darker as the storm approached.
- Riad - Well. It's certainly more welcoming than the Forgotten Lands.
- Sea Witch - Lovely sight, isn't it? Water as far as the eyes can see!
- Pelagrios - You went up to the Forgotten Lands and never told me?
- Clothovera - You went to the Forgotten Lands? You're kidding.
- Hachi - Yeah! We rode a dragon, fought some shadows, rode a dragon!
Hachi then glared towards Clothovera with narrowed eyes and increased the tone in his voice
- Hachi - Rode a dragon!
- Clothovera - You couldn't ride a horse, imagine a dragon! [More like, you would let the horde ride you, you little shit.]
- Riad - Well. That is the laconic story. Long story shorter, some mini-demon god came alive and tried to kill us.
- Pelagrios - Sounds like every weekend to me.
- Feli - I have never seen a dragon in my life. Tell me... how did they taste like?
- Riad - We didn't eat it. That and the other dragons we met were sort of wraiths.
- Sea Witch - We stood face-to-face with Patriarch Kalarah. And Count Dalverat.
- Clothovera - Oh my...how did you survive?
- Sea Witch - A lot of luck, really.
Kinmorunddraver rustled his feathers as he continued reading his book. Hachi was sat by Feli with keen interest, a happy look on his face as he did so. His tail wagged excitedly while it seemed he wasn't able to take his eyes off her, his attempts at being subtle failing rather distinctly.
- Hachi - ...I would eat it.
- Pelagrios - ...Eat what?
- Nyakik - His own words once the trash girl slaps him across the ship.
- Feli - Don't remind me of food. I haven't been eating for a few days now...
Feli looked at the team with puppy eyes, begging them wordlessly. Kinmorunddraver walked over to the group. Not recognizing him, Pelagrios and Riad looked at him rather confused.
- Hachi - ...Well, I may have something you might like to eat.
- Riad - Hachi.
- Feli - Ah? Where is it?
- Nyakik - He wants to have intercourse with you. Slap him away.
- Clothovera - Filthy boy hasn't changed a bit... [Why is the Sea Witch even travelling with him? He's nothing but a little piece of shit who can't take care of himself and only brings you problems! I should throw him into the sea! yes! No one would miss him! I'd make them all a favour, and maybe then they'd think better of me! Ehehehe!]
- Kinmorunddraver - I heard your conversation from over there. You are a team of explorers?
- Sea Witch - You could say that.
- Riad - ...Do I know you?
- Kinmorunddraver - Probably. I have met a few Néva before.
At this moment, the storm began and rain started pouring down on the ships. The Sea Witch layed down, relaxing and opening her mouth so rain would fall on it. Nyakik hissed and hid next to a wall once water got in contact with her fur.
- Riad - Urgh. Rain. I much prefer snow.
- Pelagrios - Yeah, you frostbitten snow--- I mean, northerner.
- Riad - Were you about to say snowman?
- Pelagrios - Uhhh...no.
Hachi's ears drooped as rain poured, getting his fur wet with a displeased expression across his face. He grunted and grumbled in his own tongue. Feli looked at the sky and opened her mouth.
- Feli - Ah. Water.
- Kinmorunddraver - I can't say that I am a fan of bad weather.
- Pelagrios - Heh. Hat.
- Riad - Seriously, I have seen you around somewhere.
- Merovar Crewmember 1 - Storm's getting rough. You sure all the cargo is safe?
- Merovar Crewmember 2 - Of course. We'll be arriving inan hour or so.
- Hachi - Taquq aaridaka'nuk paaraq... taapaluq pirate neryykuk frostman kaga posterior.
- Sea Witch - Eh?
- Kinmorunddraver - You probably have. Coming from as far north as you do, and myself being an explorer then you have probably seen me along some major roads.
The storm got worse at every minute, the rain intensified as the skies turned dark almost as if it was night. Thunderbolts were heard as most of the Merovar crew took shelter.
- Hachi - Eeep!
- Riad - Okay. I wish Kinmorunddraver was here right now to make this all better.
- Sea Witch - Why? I love rain.
- Pelagrios - Please. Don't mention his name.
- Hachi - Somebody hold me!
- Clothovera - Who is that?
- Kinmorunddraver - Kinmorunddraver World-Walker? He's a wanderer. An old one.
- Feli - No! Not again! Not this-
- Sea Witch - Not what again?
Feli started running aimlessly seeking shelter, almost like a cat.
- Sea Witch - And they say I'm weird.
- Riad - That doesn't sound good.
Kinmorunddraver looked out to the sea as his eyes narrowed.
- Riad - Yeah. Kinmorunddraver. He's a little...what's the word...
- Pelagrios - Homicidal? Cruel?
- Hachi - Sexy? UMM, I-I MEAN... Awesome?
- Riad - ...Outlandish.
- Sea Witch - Arrogant.
Kinmorunddraver's brow raised.
- Sea Witch - He's always so full of himself. "Oh look at me, I'm super old and i'm also a phoenix I can kill everyone ever blah blah blah."
Kinmorunddraver looked intensely at the Sea Witch.
- Sea Witch - If I wanted to hear self-centered people talk about themselves, I'd just go to Abyssus.
Kinmorunddraver's eyes glowed golden as he looked at the Sea Witch.
- Clothovera - Doesn't sound like a good person.
- Sea Witch - Well, he did save us from Kalarah and he's kinda the reason we're still alive but sheesh, I don't like arrogant people.
Kinmorunddraver placed his talons between the bridge of his beak as his eyes closed.
- Kinmorunddraver - You really do not see it, do you?
- Clothovera - See what, mister?
Kinmorunddraver spread his wings out, as it became apparent that it actually was Kinmorunddraver standing right there. The Sea Witch's face change dinto an emotionless expression.
- Hachi - ...Well. That killed my boner.
- Sea Witch - ...Oh.
- Pelagrios - You!
- Clothovera - Woah! [Oh man, look at those MUSCLES!]
Pelagrios drew his sword and jumped at him. In mid leap, Kinmorunddraver grabbed him by the throat. Clothovera was startled and fell backwards from where she was sitting.
- Riad - What the? Pelagrios what are you doing?
- Sea Witch - The drunk guy is pretty courageous, I'll give him that.
- Pelagrios - This murderous psycho killed my entire family!
- Kinmorunddraver - Your family were nothing but a bunch of marauders who used you as they pillaged and killed other families.
- Hachi - Whoa whoa, time out!
Kinmorunddraver let Pelagrios down, before Pelagrios lunged at Kinmorunddraver again. With a flick of his fingers, Kinmorunddraver's talon came into contact with Pelagrios' blade, shattering it and sending Pelagrios crashing to the ground.
- Captain - What the hell are you lot doing over there?
- Kinmorunddraver - For your safety, stay out of it.
Pelagrios remained on the ground as he looked up at Kinmorunddraver in anger and in fear.
- ??? - AGHHHHRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!
- Feli - Ah!
- Kinmorunddraver - I feared this was going to happen.
- Captain - What was...oh no.
Kinmorunddraver lifted Pelagrios off the ground and on his feet.
- Riad - What was that? Sea monster?
- Kinmorunddraver - Worse.
- Pelagrios - Knew I should've waited for the next ship.
Out of the water, immense tentacles appeared close to one of the Merovar's ships. They slowly began to wrap themselves around it. The ship broke with the strength of the tentacles until it was taken down completely.
- Clothovera - W-w-w-what's going on?!
- Pelagrios - Colossus.
- Hachi - ...Osaamekuk!
After a few moments of silence, another ship was attacked. This time, the shape of a titanic Khrokar jumped below the ship and chomped on it, destroying it completely.
- Captain - Damnit, not again!
- Sea Witch - It's the Great Water Beast!
- Hachi - Big Khrokar! Very, very big Khrokar!
- Kinmorunddraver - Tangilaruka. I always preferred its predecessor.
- Riad - Well...how in the name of The Adversary's Void are we meant to get through this one?
- Captain - Man up the cannons! We've lost too many fleets to this abomination already!
Feli simply sat screaming, trying to hide herself from from the incoming horror. Tangilaruka emerged out of the water and let out a roar strong enough to knock the team and the ships' crew back. Riad tumbled backwards, before standing back up.
- Clothovera - I thought this mission was about exploring a volcano, not dying to the largest monster of the seas! [Oh Gods, so many tentacles!]
- Riad - Well...I'm not throwing my spear in this!
Hachi fell on top of Clothovera as the team was thrown back, throwing them both across the length of the deck. Clothovera shook in annoyance and threw Hachi out of her. The Sea Witch visibly shook at the sight of Tangilaruka, not knowing what to do. The Merovar ships fired their cannons at Tangilaruka. As the shots hit it, the colossus growled in anger and sent her fist into one of the ships, destroing it.
- Pelagrios - ...Can't you just magic this thing away, phoenix?
- Kinmorunddraver - And have the Colossi angered at me? Are you dim?
- Sea Witch - I prefered when I was a long distance away from it, watching it eat Shiarchon ships.
Tangilaruka turned its attention to the team's ship and began swimming at its direction.
- Kinmorunddraver - I have one idea. But don't get in my way.
- Hachi - This is gonna be good.
Kinmorunddraver unsheathed his blade, and pointed it out at the sky. Even in the darkness of the storm it appeared gleaning white. The Sea Witch and Clothovera looked up to the light, while Tangilaruka ignored it completely and stood close to the ship.
- Pelagrios - Right, good idea --
From Kinmorunddraver's blade, an infernal jet pierced the sky in colours of red and orange. Feli stood up and opened her mouth in awe as the light shone over her.
- Pelagrios - Show off!
Tangilaruka emerged from the water again, covering the team's view of the sea. Her tentacles slowly began clanging into the ship.
- Riad - It's not working!
- Sea Witch - He better not be trying to scare it away with some lights.
From the jet, what appeared to be an apparition of a colossal bird, breathed in flame, appeared. Tangilaruka turned her attention to the sky and upon taking sight of the apparition, she let out an angered roar.
- Pelagrios - Okay. That's really just showing off.
- Feli - ...What is that? An angel?
He directed his blade to the left as the illusion flew accordingly. Tangilaruka let go of the ship and immediately began chasing the illusion.
- Hachi - Reminds me of a baby wolf with a candle.
- Sea Witch - Something tells me the Great Water Beats has the brains of a Smeever.
Kinmorunddraver swung his sword, and the illusion chased away from the scene. Tangilaruka kept chasing the illusion until she disappeared from sight completely. Feli whispered a silent prayer to herself. Kinmorunddraver put away his blade as he whipped away the last trails of flame from the blade.
- Feli - Thank the Five-Faced One.
- lothovera - W-w-we're saved!
- Hachi - Phew...
- Kinmorunddraver - You all better have some considerable magic powers. I will not be doing this every time you fall into calamity.
- Hachi - We won't need to use magic powers. Or if we do, I'm not using them. Nu-uh. Leave that to the dirty witch girl.
Nyakik hugged one of Kinmorunddraver's legs. Kinmorunddraver looked down at Nyakik, and his eyes widened.
- Nyakik - This man has my approval now.
- Kinmorunddraver - You possess one of Kaúvra's Stones?
- Pelagrios - Zoning out...now.
- Clothovera - Kaúvra's Stones?...Oh, you mean an Aether Emerald? Yeah, I have one. [Oh, I'm gonna show him it, and maybe he'll let me touch those muscles of his! Yeeees!]
Clothovera showed off a bracelent on her right hand with a large emerald gemstone in it.
- Kinmorunddraver - I have not seen one of these for millennia. Not since my own time.
- Riad - ...Uh...Aether Emerald?
- Feli - Gems. Gems are beautiful. There was a boy who bought me one, and then he...
A tear of pain rolled down Feli's eye. Hachi looked to Feli and approached her, wrapping his arm around her shoulder.
- Clothovera - I found this on the corpse of a dead Lympharian.
- Kinmorunddraver - These were originally artefacts entrusted to my own kind. Created by Kaúvra.
- Riad - ...Kaúvra? The Night-Father?
- Kinmorunddraver - Indeed. Aethereus. His artifacts...and his creations...were well imbued with darkness. The night. Powers to bring down wrath upon those who opposed.
The captain of the Merovar ship approached Kinmorunddraver, bowing to him.
- Captain - I don't know who you are or how you did that, but...thank you, stranger. You've saved us all.
- Kinmorunddraver - Rather odd to not know of me. Rather welcoming as well.
- Captain - Is there anything me and my crew can do to repay you?
- Kinmorunddraver - Only one thing. Do not tell anyone that you have seen me.
- Feli - Of... of course not, mister angel.
- Captain - Very well. But I insist you need a reward. And I know what to do. Men! Prepare this team a feast!
- Sea Witch - Oh cool, free food.
- Pelagrios - I hate the guy but he has his perks.
Part 2: To Infernos Mons
Arrival at Sprak
With their bellies full of the finest food the Merovar could prepare, the team left the ship once it arrived at Sprak Island. The Sea Witch then led them into the direction of Infernos Mons, which could be seen in a far distance. They all followed a road which went through a forest, where wildlife was visible everywhere.
- Pelagrios - Ah...Sprak Island. Beautiful scenery...not so beautiful locals.
- Clothovera - Locals?
- Pelagrios - Yeah. Big fish things. Ugly. Ugly ugly ugly.
- Hachi - I think they look okay.
- Riad - I really ought to travel the south more if it weren't for the forever looming Shiarchon threat.
Out of a bush, a Smeever appeared and looked at the team with its goggly eyes.
- Pelagrios - Oh yeah. These things as well. UGLY.
- Feli - What is that? It's... cute.
- Hachi - That's... kawaii.
- Clothovera - It's a Smeever. They're literally everywhere!
Feli approached the smeever, sat and stroked its leathery skin gently. Kinmorunddraver kept a firm grasp on his blade. The Smeever let itself be pet for a few moments before biting one of Feli's fingers.
- Feli - Ouch!
- Riad - Certainly comical. If not slightly annoying.
- ??? - Kee-hoh!
A Caxildiz suddenly fell from one of the trees and landed into the Smeever, trapping it in a net. Both Clothovera and Nyakik stepped back with disgusted expressions at the sight of the Caxildiz.
- Pelagrios - Oh yeah. And the locals. See? Ugly.
- Riad - Well. You weren't wrong.
- Pelagrios - Have I been wrong before?
- Riad - Yes.
The Caxildiz put his net with the Smeever struggling inside it on his back and then turned to the team.
- Caxildiz - ...Oh. Hello. Visitors?
- Pelagrios - Not this time round. Hell no.
- Hachi - Explorers.
- Caxildiz - Ah. Right. Well, you can keep going ahead to get to the village. Shouldn't take more than a few minutes.
- Pelagrios - Oh no. No no no no no no no no.
- Riad - What's the harm in that?
- Pelagrios - I don't need to explain.
- Caxildiz - I gotta go now. Gotta cook this thing while it's still struggling. It's tastier that way. And don't forget to bow to Lord Karps once he hails you.
The Caxildiz jumped high into the air, disappearing in the forest.
- Pelagrios - We're going to die.
- Sea Witch - Nah, we're not even at the volcano yet.
- Hachi - I like them. I really like them. Funky.
- Riad - I'm not quite sure what just happened. And Night-Father above is it hot.
After a few more minutes of walk, the team finally arrived at the main Caxildiz village. Before them was a large plaza where several Caxildiz stood on stands selling goods and food. Likewise, Merovar were also present dealing with the locals. Far ahead, an old-looking Caxildiz with a more impressive clothing watched as the team entered the village.
- Sea Witch - Well, welcome to the Caxildiz's main village. Forgot its name now.
- Clothovera - Woah, this place is very active... [I hope none of these ugly bastards even come close to me, or I might as well puke all of my lunch on it. Sweet Gods, you made our world full of ugly-ass things.]
- Nyakik - It smells more than the Merovar settlement did.
- Riad - Reminds me of home. Only...much warmer.
- Feli - ...There's a lot of water there. That's... good.
The older Caxildiz approached the ground, glaring at the Sea Witch.
- ??? - Sea Witch. I thought Lord Karps made clear that you were not to return following the incident at Mileron Village. Do you have any idea how long it took us to repair everything?
- Sea Witch - Good to see you again, Grumbgor.
- Sea Witch - Team, meet Chieftain Grumbgor. He's the leader of the Caxildiz.
- Grumbgor - And you bring outsiders! Lord Karps is gonna be furious!
- Kinmorunddraver - Is he always like this?
- Hachi - Believe me, I wouldn't be here if I hadn't been kicked out of the Kame Isles.
- Sea Witch - With me? Yes. I've been here before and caused some trouble, but he won't get over it.
- Grumbgor - People died, beaked woman!
- Riad - Oh I don't like this.
At this moment, loud footsteps were heard as something large approached. The Caxildiz immediately bowed, while the Merovar on the village stood motionless.
- ??? - I sense men and woman who do not have permission to be here.
- Grumbgor - Now you're gonna get it.
- Feli - Who is this?
- Grumbgor - Bow before the Great God, Deiwos! Here comes Lord Karps!
Kinmorunddraver took out his blade, but planted it in front of him. He remained emotionless, whilst Pelagrios and Riad were uneasy. Grumbgor bowed as well and on a distance, a large entity with fish-like traits approached. On his head was an ornament shaped almost like a crown, and with each step he took, the ground shook a little.
- Sea Witch - Ho boy, I was hoping we'd avoid him.
- Karps - Who are you and why are you here?
- Kinmorunddraver - I was hoping you would remember me, Késesdrevensathal [Guardian Sea Giant].
- Hachi - Wow, he's... *whispers to Pelagrios* Imagine all the fish fingers!
- Pelagrios - And the tartar sauce. I'm hungry now.
Karps walked up to the team and stomped the ground below him, causing the team with the exception of Kinmorunddraver to be launched upwards. Riad and Pelagrios landed on their back, and slowly got back up. Hachi landed on his face and stayed that way for several moments, while Clothovera fell on her head, and the Sea Witch on her back.
- Pelagrios - Manners of a drunken beer wench.
- Karps - ...Do my eyes deceive me? I look down to see an entity shaped like a dead race. What kind of shapeshifting is this?
- Kinmorunddraver - No deception, Karps. Do you not remember Kinmorunddraver World-Walker?
- Karps - I do. The last phoenix...Are you saying you are him? I do not believe it.
- Grumbgor - Heretics and fools, master Karps! You should stomp on them.
Nyakik hissed at Grumbgor's direction. However, the Caxildiz hissed himself, showing off his piranha-like teeth. Nyakik shouted and hid behind Clothovera.
- Kinmorunddraver - Well. It has been over a hundred thousand years.
- Karps - Prove me you really are Kinmorunddraver or I will crush you under my grasp.
- Pelagrios - Oh god please don't.
- Kinmorunddraver - Ask me of something and I shall do it.
- Karps - Do something only a phoenix could. Display your power.
Kinmorunddraver's body began to glow. As the light expanded, and then dimming, Kinmorunddraver took on the identical appearance of Karps. Grumbgor threw himself back, falling on his own head. Karps crossed his arms and nodded.
- Pelagrios - Either he turned into a fish giant or I've drunk too much.
- Riad - Both.
- Karps - ...You really are him. I believed you had not survived the war against Caligaduro Provectus.
Kinmorunddraver's body returned to normal in a similar fashion.
- Kinmorunddraver - Not many did.
- Karps - Seeing an ally of the old war is good. However, one issue remains.
Karps swoop down and grabbed the Sea Witch, squeezing her on his grasp.
- Sea Witch - Gaah!
- Karps - You are not allowed on my island, you feathered fiend!
Hachi drew his blade and growled, charging up to Karps.
- Riad - Uh-oh.
- Hachi - Let her go, she's done nothing to you! ...Now, anyway.
- Clothovera - [Please kick him away, please kick him away, please kick him away!]
- Sea Witch - Come on, that was months ago, do you really have to-gaaah!
- Karps - I'm doing everyone a favour by doing this. Now die!
- Kinmorunddraver - There must be way in which this situation can be rectified without her death.
- Karps - She has caused destruction my island in the past. Without any provocation! I will not allow her to escape me again!
- Sea Witch - T-that was because y-you kept calling me "f-filthy outsider"!
- Kinmorunddraver - Forgive me, Karps. But I will not allow you to kill her.
- Karps - Why would you protect her? She is a threat to everyone!
Seeing danger incoming, Feli hid behind the trees almost by instinct, hiding herself among the trees. Hachi growled and slammed his greatsword into Karp's foot, between the space of his toe and clawed nail, digging into the flesh between them.
- Hachi - Let her go. I won't ask again.
Karps felt no pain from Hachi's attacks. With his other hand, Karps grabbed Hachi and began squeezing him as well.
- Karps - You dare try to order ME around, mortal?
Kinmorunddraver sighed heavily, and with a swing of his sword, a blue light glowed - stopping the course of time around them. With another swing, Hachi and the Sea Witch dematerialized out of Karps' hands and right next to Kinmorunddraver. He then swung his blade again, and time began to flow once more as the light dimmed. Karps gasped as he saw his hands empty. He looked at Kinmorunddraver with confusion.
- Pelagrios - Is it me...or did everything just taste blue for a second?
- Karps - ...Why do you protect these reckless children?
- Kinmorunddraver - It is easy to define them as enemies, but under the course of nature, we are all entities forever drifting against a tangent that are those from the outside.
Karps grunted as he crossed his arms again.
- Karps - You insolents are lucky to have Kinmorunddraver with you.
- Sea Witch - I can't breath properly!
- Grumbgor - You deserved much worse!
- Pelagrios - Still. I taste blue.
- Riad - You know, I taste blue as well actually.
- Kinmorunddraver - I might as well tell you as to why we have come this way. We are on course to Infernos Mons.
- Karps - For what reason? Entrance to Infernos Mons is restricted.
- Kinmorunddraver - Their reason is to recover lost riches. Mine is somewhat more...pertinent.
- Pelagrios - Pertinent? Sea Witch was right. You are arrogant.
Karps looked down on the team and let out a laugh.
- Karps - Sure. You can go in.
- Grumbgor - Lord Karps, surely you are kidding.
- Karps - Why must I punish them for their behavior when Infernos Mons can?
Kinmorunddraver's brow raised.
- Clothovera - I don't get it. [Is he saying we're getting punished or..."punished"? Oh my...he's too big, that'd be bad for me! But I bet Hachi would enjoy it. Hah!]
- Karps - I'm saying you will all die. Except for Kinmorunddraver as he can take care of himself.
- Kinmorunddraver - And if we all survive the ordeal, I will make sure to tell Mirkésesdrevensathal that Avarkésesdrevensathal said hello.
Karps grunted, turned away and left. Grumbgor groaned and looked at the team.
- Grumbgor - Bah...fine. I will take you to Infernos Mons' entrance. Follow me.
Kinmorunddraver sighed, nodded and followed Grumbgor. Clothovera and Nyakik followed as well, while the Sea Witch did while holding on her own throat. Feli emerged from her cover.
- Riad - Kinmo, who were those beings you were talking about?
- Kinmorunddraver - Friends.
- Feli - Infernos Mons? What is it?
- Pelagrios - Infernos Mons? Volcano. Big one.
- Sea Witch - It's the reason we're here, girl. Pay attention.
- Pelagrios - Wait what? We're going to Infernos Mons? Right. Phoenix, fashion me a sword otherwise I can't defend myself.
- Kinmorunddraver - You can vomit your way out.
- Pelagrios - Right. Fashion me some rum then.
- Clothovera - Ewww.
- Kinmorunddraver - I might have advanced Source capabilities, and in that case, materializing rum is a serious misuse of my powers.
- Riad - This is going to be a long trip.
Burn It Down
Grumbgor led the team through another road, where they would pass through another village to get to the volcano. As they arrived, however, something unexpected was happening.
- Feli - So we're going to a volcano then? One Merovar told me about them. Rocks pouring death and fire...
- Feli - Like the one the Inquisitors set. They burned the orphanage I was kept it when I was a child. Men in black, they just... came and burned it. I still do not know why did they do-
The heroes' eyes widened as they froze in disbelief. In front of them stood not a village but a writhing crucible of flame; buildings set on fire, vacant and charred, its inhabitants burned without mercy. Who could do this?
- Riad - And I thought it was hot already.
- Pelagrios - Totally wasn't my fault. No really.
- Grumbgor - My village!
- Feli - It was... was... like there! The Inquisitors, they are here! They came for us!
Feli covered her head.
- Kinmorunddraver - Explain?
- Feli - They come by total surprise. They spread fear. Nobody expects them. They are here.
- Hachi - Inquisitors? Nasty people.
- Sea Witch - Hey, you've seen me here all the time with you, it wasn't my fault this time.
- Pelagrios - Inquisitors? Who?
- Hachi - You're a human and you have no idea who Inquisitors are?
- Sea Witch - They're like your kind, except with extra fascism.
- Feli - Nobody... nobody... nobody...
A dark human sillhouette emerged from the fire, enveloped in darkness.
- ??? - Nobody expects the Imperial Inquisition.
- Pelagrios - Eurgh.
- Grumbgor - Reveal yourself, you murderous swine!
In a moment, the sillhouette emerged from the flame, taking the form of a human. Dark of skin, carrying an Inquisitor hat on her head and dressed in a black, leather trenchcoat which concealed a set of dark steel armour underneath, she gazed at the heroes with eyes full of hatred, clenching a torch in one hand and a blade in another. Both the Sea Witch and Clothovera charged magic on their hands, while Nyakik let out a hiss.
- Hachi - Hot stuff.
- ??? - I am Javina Desertsun, Inquisitor of the Empire of Man, Subject of the Grand Monarch, Servant of the Five-Faced One, bane of those who threaten humanity.
- Clothovera - [This woman looks like an absolute bitch.]
- Grumbgor - Who do you think you are to attack my people, Deiwos filth?
Javina pointed her blade at Grumbgor's throat. Hachi drew his blades and glared towards Javina, growling like an animal.
- Javina - Those... beasts were no longer your people, Caxildiz, or would have ceased to be soon enough. You should thank me that I decided to save you nonhumans and not just let the changelings overrun this miserable island.
- Grumbgor - Changelings? What are you even talking about?
- Javina - These... beastmen. Twisting humans and nohumans like a plague. They're here. She is here.
- Pelagrios - I hate you Empire of Man types.
- Clothovera - We agree on something for once.
- Hachi - "She"?
Javina went silent.
- Javina - She...
Javina took a deep breath.
- Javina - Hate.
- Clothovera - [Yep. Bitch.]
Feli shivered in fear.
- Grumbgor - I have no reason to believe you. As far as I know, you humans take glee in destruction.
- Clothovera - Hey, don't generalize.
- Javina - Serani is her name. Hate. Let me tell you how much I have come to hate her since I began to live...
Javina breathed again and then turned to Grumbgor again.
- Javina - No reason to believe ME?!
Javina pointed at the burning Caxildiz settlement.
- Javina - Should I show you WHAT happened to your people?
- Grumbgor - Yes! You obviously should, because all I see is unjustified genocide of my people!
- Sea Witch - Ho boy, Karps is not gonna be okay this.
- Hachi - I'd like to see the look on his face.
- Pelagrios - ...Uh I probably wouldn't like to see the look on his face.
Kinmorunddraver remained quiet as he folded his arms. Javina led Grumbgor to the village, showing the corpses lying on the blackened ground. They were... not Caxildiz. Twisted, warped into disfigured, animalistic shapes, they resembled demons more than the creatures they once were. Javina took one of the corpses and showed it to the Caxildiz chieftain.
- Grumbgor - What in the Great God's name...
- Javina - She is here.
- Hachi - What are those...?
- Javina - Changeling corruption.
- Clothovera - Ew.
- Hachi - "Corruption"?
- Sea Witch - Is this Serani a Lympharian or what? This looks a lot like Lympharian conversion.
- Javina - She is worse. MUCH worse... Nothing but desire to slaughter and corrupt and pervert with a body...
A twinge of fear appeared on Javina's face.
- Hachi - ...Perversion, eh?
- Clothovera - [Of course you go for the perversion. I swear, this quest is gonna make me insane.]
- Sea Witch - Yeah, no. There's nothing worse than Lympharian conversion.
- Riad - Being turned into a Shiarchon?
- Sea Witch - I didn't know the Shiarchon converted other races too.
- Javina - ...Tell me, nonhumans. Is there anything of use, any magical artifact on this misbegotten island? Anything she could bend to her well?
- Pelagrios - Considering I am human I won't tell you squat.
- Sea Witch - Closest thing you have is Karps and I'd imagine he can take care of himself.
- Kinmorunndraver - Judging by yourself, Javina Desertsun, what I would have to say would bear the world no good if I did tell you.
Javina turned to Kinmorunndraver.
- Javina - You will tell me.
- Nyakik - Do not order us around, soft-skin.
- Hachi - Stinky human.
- Pelagrios - Oi.
- Javina - It is for our common good that you tell me.
- Kinmorunddraver - What shall you do, Kratadethnamvara [earth-spawn], if I do not?
- Javina - What shall she do?
- Nyakik - Your talking mannerism annoys me greatly.
- Kinmorunddraver - If you think that Serani, The Nekomata, this... 'Fallen Changeling' intimidates me, then you are sorely mistaken, human.
- Javina - Oh, I assure you, she is more devious than you think. She started wars with words alone.
At this moment, loud footsteps were heard in quick succession. Karps could be seen in a distance, running into the village's direction, causing the ground to shake with each step.
- Karps - What happened here?!
- Sea Witch - It wasn't me this time! It was this fas-...this human!
- Hachi - Yeah, the stinky humans!
- Clothovera - Hey! [Go wash your underwear before you talk about me!]
- Pelagrios - I'm telling you it's the rum!
Javina put her sword into the ground.
- Javina - Here is a deal. You help me in finding Serani on this island and I will aid you.
Javina looked at Pelagrios
- Pelagrios - Not attracted to Inquisitors. Sorry.
- Riad - You just learned of their existence.
- Pelagrios - ...Bad first impression?
- Javina - You're not my type anyway... anyway. Make no mistake. I'm a human, but I am ready to fight against a common foe. An Inquisitor's word is unbreakable.
Javina kneeled and muttered a short prayer. As Karps arrived, his eyes shined and from his hands, a blue light appeared. With his magic, storm clouds began forming above the village and after a few moments, rain began falling and putting down the fire.
- Pelagrios - ...Yeah okay. Fine. That's if the small bird woman and the giant bird guy say yes.
- Sea Witch - I'm not planning to share my loot with you.
- Hachi - Eugh, more humans. No offense, Pelagrios. All of the possible offences, Clotho.
Clothovera stepped on Hachi's foot again.
- Javina - You will thank me later.
- Kinmorunddraver - Very well. But if I see you attempting to kill any of us, then I will throw you into the Void.
- Karps - This all better have a very good explanation.
- Grumbgor - A heretic and a fool, Lord. You should squi-
- Sea Witch - Don't start.
Entering Infernos Mons
Grumbgor led the team all the way through a small forest until they arrived into the entrance of Infernos Mons. The single cave entrance was visible, with steam coming out of it. Some nearby animals were scared away by the team's arrival, revealing skeletons littered at the entrance.
- Grumbgor - Here we are. The entrance to the volcanic caves.
- Javina - Lovely. And firey. Exactly how I like it.
- Riad - I am going to melt.
- Pelagrios - In that case I will carry you around in a bottle then.
- Riad - So long as you don't drink me I will not object to that.
- Sea Witch - Our quest for gold and riches begins!...And finding the human's girlfriend if she's down there.
- Clothovera - Any of you have cold magic? Otherwise, we really WILL melt down there. [Or wose, my hair could get messed up!]
- Riad - Wish I did. I probably should have stayed in the Névari tribal lands if I knew this was going to happen.
- Grumbgor - Oh yes. You will. Pure lava flows down there. It's the reason no one has travelled more than a few minutes inside this hell.
- Sea Witch - I can keep us hydrated. I'm the Sea Witch, after all. I'd not come here unprepared.
- Javina - You... how you...
Javina pointed her torch at the Sea Witch.
- Sea Witch - What you gonna do with that? Poke me?
- Javina - ...Fair point.
- Hachi - Teehee, poking.
- Grumbgor - Well, have fun getting your rears scorched by Fire Smeevers. I'm out.
Javina put her torch away. Grumbgor chuckled, turned away and left.
- Pelagrios - Still a strange kid.
- Riad - Yes.
- Sea Witch - Now everyone, stay close.
Hachi stepped towards the Sea Witch and walked closely to her. The Sea Witch charged her magic until some kind of magical bubble materialized around her. The bubble was transparent and the heat coming out of the cave was considerably dimished. The Sea Witch led the way, with the rest of the team following her. The cave at first didn't appear any different from any regular cave found across Koldenwelt, though skeletons of previous travellers, most of them Caxildiz, were clearly visible as they ventured deeper into the shadows.
- Pelagrios - Sucks to be them.
- Feli - ...Who are these?
- Javina - Doesn't matter.
- Sea Witch - Dead Caxildiz. Probably tried to enter the place unprotected and burned to death.
- Feli - Unprotected...
- Clothovera - Oh! Oh! Maybe I can talk to them!
- Hachi - Hah, yeah, sure. I'm sure you and the bags of bones will have interesting conversations.
- Javina - They're dead. And those who talk to the dead do not end well.
Javina showed Clothovera her torch, but then moved it away.
- Kinmorunddraver - If you can resurrect the dead then your powers are rather impressive.
- Clothovera - Not ressurect. But I can talk to their spirits if their deaths are recent...well, I'm practicing necromancy too but right now it's probably not a good place for that.
- Kinmorunddraver - I see little immorality in necromancy.
- Hachi - That's just all kinds of wrong. Sicko.
- Javina - I'll see to th- hm... actually, no. Do as you please.
Javina whispered something to herself.
- Javina - She wouldn't have liked that. Hah.
- Hachi - The dead should stay dead, if the spirits want to talk they will. You should never ask them for conversation, just respect them.
- Clothovera - [Alright Clothovera...time to show off how cool you are. Get the Sea Witch impressed. Don't screw this up.]
Clothovera walked up to the skeletons chanelled magic on her palms. She begun humming in a strange tongue as her hair began moving on its own and her eyes shined in purple.
- Javina - Witchcraft...
- Sea Witch - Isn't it the best?
Javina raised her torch as the word "Carlini" escaped her lips, igniting the flame on it. After a few moments, however, Clothovera's face was hit by a small explosion, covering her face in charcoal and sending her hair upwards completely. Hachi fell to the floor laughing, unable to hold back his amusement. Feli just jumped away.
- Clothovera - Agh!
- Nyakik - You embarass me in front of the big bird man, Clothovera.
- Clothovera - Awww... [NOOOOOO!]
- Javina - Hm... - Javina put down her torch - Magic is just way too dangerous...
Kinmrounddraver grabbed Javina's arm as she put down her torch.
- Kinmorunddraver - Do you think that is funny, human?
- Javina - It is not. I am fully aware of the danger the Source proves to a person.
- Sea Witch - Hey, don't feel bad, girl. I had my own backfires back when I was a novice.
- Clothovera - I-I'm so embarassed... [That's it. I'm done. I'm gonna be known as the loser who explodes her own face while trying to talk to bones! My life is over! Just kill me now.]
Javina looked at Clothovera.
- Javina - I merely want others to understand that.
- Sea Witch - Well, we're not gonna achieve anything by staying here. Let's keep moving.
- Hachi - Agreed, don't want to end up smelling like bone meal like Clotho does.
Kinmorunddraver let go of Javina's arm with a neutral facial expression before going over to Clothovera.
- Kinmorunddraver - A simple tip to help you. Relax before you cast magic.
- Clothovera - I-I'll try. [T-this man...he's making me feel things I don't usually feel around men...]
- Javina - In case it gets out of control, I'll... get things sorted.
After several minutes of walk, the team found a new illuminated chamber ahead. As they entered it, they found themselves at the entrance of a large volcanic cave. Magma rivers flowed around them, with waterfalls of fire visible from cracks on the walls.
- Sea Witch - I've never seen anything quite like this.
- Hachi - I wouldn't stand too close to the lava. You explode. Like, just the heat from the magma can boil your blood and melt your flesh at the same time, dehydrate you almost instantly.
- Pelagrios - Not exactly Riad's favourite holiday destination.
- Riad - Just don't lose concentration. Please.
Extremely crude huts made of rocks could be seen around the cave. Fire Smeevers came out of them, looking at the team's direction with goggly eyes. A twinge of fear appeared on Javina's face.
- Pelagrios - Ugly. Ug-ly.
- Javina - ...Hm. Fire.
- Hachi - Huh, we never had Smeevers at the Kame Isles. I think the Kamehebi took them when they moved out.
One of the Fire Smeevers pointed at the team's direction with a femur bone.
- Fire Smeever - Git off our home y'all!
Javina readied her blade.
- Javina - Nothing a human cannot endure.
Hachi placed a hand on Javina's and lowered her blade.
- Hachi - We marched onto their home.
- Fire Smeever - If ye ain' leavin' den we're eetin'!
- Sea Witch - Just let us pass and we won't disturb you.
The Fire Smeever threw the femur bone at the Sea Witch, hitting her at her forehead and causing her to stumble back. All the Fire Smeevers on the chamber pointed and laughed.
- Javina - I've seen worse.
- Pelagrios - Still. Ugly.
- Hachi - Hmph. Funny. You've had your laughs now let us through.
- Fire Smeever - Naw!
Javina started walking through the volcanic rivers, jumping from rock to rock. The Fire Smeevers all laughed and began breathing fireballs at the team's direction.
- Hachi - Dangit.
One of the fireballs hit Clothovera's hair, causing it to catch on fire and making her scream. Hachi drew his swords and began to run, attempting not to strike any of the Smeever people and instead following Javina's direction. He took a moment to look back, and laughed towards Clothovera.
- Hachi - Try not to kill them, this is their home! They're acting out of self-defense and fear!
- Javina - They're animals.
- Fire Smeever - Tasty roasted meat for tonight!
Javina punched one of the Smeevers in a specific place thus blocking its magic, then finished him with a scimitar blow. Kinmorunddraver stepped forward as spread his wings out, making himself appear bigger. He started hissing at them. The dead Smeever fell over, while the others backed off at Kinmorunddraver.
- Hachi - You didn't have to kill it, human scum!
- Fire Smeever - Yickes, big!
- Javina - Run away... beasts.
Javina turned to Hachi.
- Javina - Scum? And who are you? A Lagosi. That's it.
- Fire Smeever - Big...big turkey!
Kinmorunddraver let out a screech, similar to that of a call of an eagle, but prolonged, and far louder. The Fire Smeevers panicked and fled the chamber. The Sea Witch approached the scene, looking around the Smeever camp while Clothovera still tried to put out the fire on her hair.
- Javina - That was a wise move, Phoenix. Fear and surprise are chief weapons of a true inquisitor.
- Kinmorunddraver - They are simple minded. Simple tricks are sufficient.
- Hachi - Except you decapitated that Smeever when it couldn't hurt you.
- Sea Witch - Smeevers are idiotic, brutish gremlins. You shouldn't go easy on them, ever.
- Javina - Next time when one is going to eat your brains, I'll do nothing, Lagosi.
- Hachi - Hmph. Sorry that I don't entertain the idea of infiltrating somebody else's home and killing its residence. Human. Even the half-breed outcast is more well-mannered than you, incestous... purebreed.
- Sea Witch - Enough discussion.
Ruins of a Past Era
The team kept moving deeper into the volcanic caves, going through magma rivers, pits and evading more Fire Smeever settlements on their way. An hour had passed and they had travelled very deep inside Infernos Mons. At this point, however, they could notice the walls were becoming different. They had symbols on them.
- Javina - Now this is interesting...
- Sea Witch - Is this a building wall? But how?
- Pelagrios - Well. Someone's setting up shop here. Dunno why.
- Javina - Ancient civilisations. Those who have paved way to us.
- Javina - And by us I mean humanity.
- Hachi - I'm sure they'll be insulted by you and your people, human. Not you, Clotho. Well, maybe you. Wiiiitch.
- Sea Witch - Eh?
- Hachi - Oh right, you're also Witch. ...My head hurts.
- Javina - We have raised a civilisation to rival the older races in but a few centuries, Lagosi, whereas you have been living in huts for millenia. Show respect.
Kinmorunddraver was the only one who could recognize the design of the wall and the symbols. They were Sea Giant hieroglyphs.
- Kinmorunddraver - Strange. These are Késesdrevensathaltvandirsigái. ...My tongue for the glyphs that the Sea Giants used.
- Hachi - Sea Giants? As in Karps?
- Kinmorunddraver - Yes.
Kinmorunddraver looked away sheepishly.
- Clothovera - Why would they leave this here? This place is like, the bane of any marine being. [And hopefully also Hachi's bane if I'm lucky enough. Push him into the lava when no one is looking and blame a Smeever. Genius!]
- Kinmorunddraver - Why indeed.
- Javina - Land shifts, hybrid.
- Hachi - Tectonic shifts, who knows. Maybe it's a practical joke.
The glyphs on the wall read: "Through the halls, we keep our gravest mistake. What lies in here is not to leave." Kinmorunddraver examined the glyphs. He knew what laid in the depths of the volcano, but chose to move on after examining them.
- Sea Witch - Ancient ruins mean we're getting closer to the loot! Let's keep going!
- Hachi - Sound logic.
- Riad - If you're going to be a cynic, Pelagrios will share some of his rum with you.
- Pelagrios - Says who?
- Riad - Says the Néva.
- Hachi - Worst case scenario is that we all crash, die and burn horrible, slow and painful deaths anyway so I don't see why we shouldn't get moving.
Moving on, the team found themselves forced to cross a stone bridge to get past a magma river. The bridge appeared to be made of the same material as the walls with the glyphs. Out of the magma, small antennae could briefly be seen. The Sea Witch moved ahead, being oblivious to the antennae on the magma, followed by Clothovera and Nyakik. Pelagrios started singing sea shanties in an elvish tongue, whilst Riad held on to him in case he slurred off the edge.
- Riad - The things I do for half-elven folk is amazing.
- Javina - Why would one procreate with... them? It's downright filthy!
Javina remained serious. Hachi stepped closed to Clothovera, feeling somewhat intimidated by the magma beneath them and held onto her skirt.
- Clothovera - G-g-get your hands out of there! [DON'T YOU EVEN DARE!]
- Hachi - I-I'm just holding on! I-In case I fall o-off!
A loud hissing sound was heard.
- Javina - Hmph.
- Sea Witch - Who did that? Was it one of you?
- Hachi - It's Clotho trying to whistle!
- Clothovera - Shut up! Before I throw you down there!
- Kinmorunddraver - Keep moving.
Kinmorunddraver tightened the grip on his blade. A form erupted out of the magma and lunged itself upwards, revealing itself to the team. It was an immense Fogolarth, the top predator of Infernos Mons. The lava snake turned to the team's direction and let out a roar.
- Javina - Are you going to pity that thing too, Lagosi?
- Hachi - It's an animal, so no. I'm going to hunt it. And kill it. And ride it.
- Pelagrios - Camasei alv pernat hár shalesi [The snake rises from the sea...] Wait. That's real! Shit!
The Fogolarth threw itself downwards to chomp on the Sea Witch and Clothovera, who only barely managed to escape. Javina grabbed a pistol from her belt and fired. Hachi unsheathed his blades and slashed at the Fogolarth's face as it attempted to bite the two witches, getting close to it.
- Pelagrios - Uh, hello? Sword? Please?
The Fogolarth growled angrily at Hachi and launched a fire breath directly at him. Hachi slammed his prosphetic arm down, with the flames that the Fogolarth launched becoming chronologically suspended in the air. Taking advantage, Hachi ran through the frozen flames and attempted to slash the serpent once more. The Sea Witch contributed with her own water magic, causing the Fogolarth to roar in pain from the attacks. Wounded, it retreated back into the magma.
Hachi grunted and allowed the fires to assume their speed once again, disintegrating into the air quickly. He sighed as he rubbed the wrist of his prosphetic arm with an irritated expression.
- Hachi - Hate having to do that.
- Sea Witch - It's gone. Run to the other side!
The Sea Witch sprinted to the direction of the other side of the bridge, followed by Clothovera who had to put her dress up to run. Hachi also ran, picking Clothovera up as he did so that she wouldn't become dragged down by her robes. Javina ran in the vanguard, keeping to herself.
- Hachi - Too slow! We need to get moving!
Riad looked at Pelagrios, who looked at him back vacantly. Riad rolled his eyes back before picking up Pelagrios, throwing him to the other side of the bridge before running to the end as well. Kinmorunddraver leapt to the end in one bound. Before they could cross, though, the Fogolarth re-emerged from the magma, leaping up and digging its teeth on one of Clothovera's legs. She screamed in pain as the lava monster lifted her up.
- Nyakik - No!
- Clothovera - [Oh Gods no the pain I don't want to die!]
Kinmorunddraver turned, and pointed his blade at the Fogolarth's head. He sent out small blasts of lightning at the serpent in hopes of deterring it. Hurting the Fogolarth caused it to clench its teeth harder into Clothovera. Nyakik growled and was then engulfed in a bright light which Kinmorunddraver recognize.
- Javina - ...What is this?!
- Sea Witch - So much power!
- Hachi - Whatever you're doing, do it quick!
Out of the light emerged Nyakik, her form changed into an Aether State. Her ears opened to reveal long tentacles with glaring eyes on their tips. She looked at the Fogolarth in anger. Feli looked at the cat with interest.
- Nyakik - Get your teeth off her, you thing!
- Feli - I wished I could do that. Protecting myself is so hard... I'm not you.
Feli looked at Javina. Nyakik's eyes shined and with a swoop of her paw, the Fogolarth's mouth was opened. Clothovera was slowly levitated back into the bridge while the Fogolarth struggled, trying to close its mouth. Nyakik then swoop the air in front of her, throwing the Fogolarth away like a ragdoll.
- Javina - I'm starting to like you.
Hachi grabbed ahold of Clothovera as she was transported back to the bridge by the invisible forces. He laid her on the ground and began to tend to her leg, opening a small bag of herbs and remedies he carried with him for most of his journeys.
- Hachi - Stay still, this is going to sting.
- Nyakik - No one...harms my companion.
- Sea Witch - Yeesh...what happened? Hey Kinmo, you know what was that?
- Kinmorunddraver - A Kaúvratelparamnvara. An Aether Emerald.
- Clothovera - [...Why is he helping me?]
From the bag, Hachi pulled out a glass container. Opening it, he held it downwards, pouring alcohol over Clothovera's injuries. Clothovera cringed and shouted in pain, while Nyakik held herself on her, to protect her from anymore harm. Tearing away a large strip of his trousers, Hachi proceeded to wrap it around Clothovera's leg, applying pressure to it in order to cease the bleeding and prevent further infection. He appeared to know what he was doing, applying various herbal fluids to the make-shift bandage as he wrapped it round.
- Hachi - We should stop and rest.
- Clothovera - [What are you doing...why are you healing me? You're trying to make me look weak to the others! You little shit, I'll choke you!]
Kinmorunddraver crouched down and looked sincerely at Nyakik.
- Kinmorunddraver - It has been almost three hundred thousand millennia since I have seen one of these. They were originally in possession of my own kind.
Kinmorunddraver reached to his collar and pulled out a necklace he wore around his neck, bearing another Aether Emerald, engraved in the middle.
- Nyakik - The same gem from Clothovera's bracelent, I see.
- Hachi - Aether Emeralds. Came across a guy who supposedly had one once. A big turtle guy, Kamehebi of some sorts.
- Sea Witch - Kamewhat now? Anyway, yes, let's take a rest for now.
Hachi looked to Clothovera with a concerned expression, sitting beside her as he continued to examine and tend to her leg, beginning to apply several magic-infused ice cubes to her burn damages. Clothovera looked at Hachi with a pained expression, though she appeared glad for what he was doing. Riad looked amazed at the Aether Emerald. These artefacts were sacred to his culture.
- Hachi - Don't expect me to kiss it better.
- Clothovera - [Screw you...]
- Kinmorunddraver' - They were originally used to keep the phoenixes in a permanent state of physicality. Without them, we phoenixes are different.
- Nyakik - Different? How so?
- Kinmorunddraver - Perhaps I could demonstrate.
Kinmorunddraver wrapped his hands around the necklace, taking it off his neck. As he did, his body gradually turned black, a glossy state, as his teal blue feathers then turned to black flames surrounding his body. His eyes then turned into simple, purple/blue lights marking a blackened head, with shadows trailing off the tips of his horns.
- Sea Witch - Woah!...You looked better before.
- Hachi - I dunno, I'm kinda indifferent. Looks more... badass.
Kinmorunddraver then put his necklace back on, and his body eventually regrew feathers and his appearance returned to normality. Nyakik's form released an aura and then returned back to her regular state.
- Nyakik - ...Battling tires me. Clothovera, once you're better, broom my back.
- Clothovera - You little scamp.
- Kinmorunddraver - In a sense, we Kaúvradrovma were breathed into existence like that. An aspect of darkness.
- 'Hachi - Funny how you're enlightening us.
- Riad - So, your light counterparts. They had emeralds like that?
- Kinmorunddraver - Yes, but not emeralds.
- Pelagrios - Wait wait...so you're a Dark Source entity then?
- Kinmorunddraver - Correct.
- Javina - ...Five Faced One guard me.
- Hachi - There is no "light" and "dark" Source - just mere aspects of a single energy.
- Javina - There is darkness, Lagosi, and it is strong. Give in, and it seduces you then plays with you like if you were a mere toy.
- Hachi - Wouldn't mind that at all... We should get moving. Don't want to wait around too long, the snake might come back.
Hachi placed his arms beneath Clothovera and lifted her up, carrying her as they prepared to set off once more. Clothovera blushed slighty and quickly hid her face from view, as the Sea Witch and Nyakik moved on as well.
- Kinmorunddraver - Darkness of the Source is not evil. The darkness that the Adversary brought to the universe however...
- Hachi - Sssh... Of all times, now you bring IT up!
Kinmorunddraver turned sharply to Hachi and leaned in.
- Kinmorunddraver - I'd be careful with your words. Words have more than once cast misfortune on mortals.
- Javina - There are also dark powers from other worlds. Rumours are, the undead and the twisted ones come from other planes.
- Kinmorunddraver - That is the real darkness of the world. Forget what you hear of the 'dark source' powers of this world. Those from the outside bring imbalance to harmony.
- Pelagrios - Bah. Screw the Source. Need rum. Quick.
The Hateful Guardian
Moving on, the caves around the team had been completely replaced by Sea Giant ruins, filled with glyphs as far as they could see. Even with the Sea Witch's bubble shield, they could all feel the heat intensifying. And as they ventured deeper, growling and roaring were heard. From under Riad's bone mask, sweat dripped. Hachi continued carrying Clothovera as they walked, beginning to become tired as shown through his sighs and panting, joined with the heat.
- Hachi - Somebody's hungry.
- Sea Witch - I can almost taste the gold!
- Riad - Hot. Hot. Hot. Hot. Hot. Hot.
Javina remained silent, although it was evident that beneath her mask of stoicism she too was unnerved by the heat, sweating and panting. Feli kept near Javina, staring at her. A small group of Igniblattas flew over the team, their wings shining the cave almost as if they were stars. In a distance, they could all see an enormous, decorated door. Pelagrios screamed as he covered his head.
- Hachi - I can't take much more of this.
- Clothovera - You can put me down. I think I can walk now.
Hachi nodded and set Clothovera down, ensuring that she was standing as he did. He took the opportunity to gasp several breaths.
- Hachi - You're heavy, I'll admit. You need to lose some weight.
- Clothovera - [I'm not that heavy! Are you calling me fat, you little shit? I swear to whatever god you worship, I'll turn you into a pair of shoes!]
Riad took off his bone mask. The team could see the face of the Néva, which was sharp and his face set almost like stone.
- Riad - The next time we go somewhere, I'm choosing it. Too hot.
As the team approached the door, they could see what looked like guardian golems around it, though they had been destroyed, likely by the wildlife. At the top of the door, "Treasury" was written in Sea Giant glyphs.
- Kinmorunddraver - Well. This is it.
- Hachi - At long last!
- Sea Witch - Let's not wait any longer! Open this door!
- Javina - I have a bad feeling about this...
The Sea Witch ran up to the door and began pushing it open. Kinmorunddraver walked up to the door. Placing two fingers on it, the door flung open. The team could see an immense shrine-like treasury, with immense magma waterfalls and Sea Giant ruins as far as they could see. However, unlike what the Sea WItch imagined, there was not a single treasure chest in sight. In the center of the shrine, stood a being which looked much like Karps, except his skin was bright red...and it emitted a darkened aura.
- Pelagrios - Well. That isn't good.
- Hachi - Oh quelak.
- Clothovera - W-who is that?
The being growled angrily at the team's direction. Its eyes were blank black and filled with hatred. Kinmorunddraver's eyes narrowed as he looked at the entity.
- Sea Witch - A beast stands in our way and keeps us from our loot! And we shall slay it!
- Javina - For once I do agree with you, Theriocephalus.
- Nyakik - So much power...this is no mere beast.
- Hachi - I say now would be a reasonable time to turn around and get out of here.
- Sea Witch - Without our reward? Never! We will fight and we will win!
- Pelagrios - Quite clearly not drunk enough today.
The beast let out a roar which shook the entire cave and charged at the team's direction. The Sea Witch launched her magic at the beast, who endured her attacks and kept charging to their direction. Meanwhile Clothovera frantically read her book, looking for a hex to cast on it. Pelagrios started screaming as nothing was happening, whilst Riad was shaking him in order to calm him down.
Hachi growled and drew his blades, although he shook where he stood as he had no method of ranged combat. Kinmorunddraver on the other hand, sent bolts of energy into the ceiling of the cave, hoping to bring down rocks on the nemesis. Javina fired at the massive beast while approaching him with her scimitar at hand. Kinmorunddraver cast a shield over the team, before launching it at the beast. The beast stumbled back before glaring at Kinmorunddraver and launching his fist at him. He stepped to the side and pushed the incoming fist to the other way.
- Hachi - I can't hope to fight this thing, too big!
- Beast - Ssshhhhvm...mhhhh!
- Clothovera - Hexus Debilitas!
A yellow blast of magic came out of Clothovera's fingers and hit the beast, causing it to slow down, as if it was being paralyzed.
- Javina - What sorcery was that?
- Clothovera - Paralysis hex.
- Javina - Metamorphic magic... - Javina's voice turned into whispering - Carlini studied it.
Hachi snarled as he ran forward and leaped unto the beast before slamming his blades into its flesh, hoping to cause some significant injury. Despite being paralyzed, the beast launched its immense hammer-like tail at Hachi's direction. Hachi gasped before raising his wooden arm - the hammer crashed against his limb, pounding him into the ground although his arm remained sturdy.
- Sea Witch - Taste my Finger of Death, monster!
The Sea Witch charged blood-red electricity on her finger and then fired directly at the beast, causing it to roar in pain and hold on his head. The Sea Witch was surprised to see it had not died by the attack. Kinmorunddraver looked at the beast.
- Beast - Grrrhhh...Hhhp mhhh...
- Kinmorunddraver - Harkin?
- Harkin - Grrroooh! Hhhhp!
- Clothovera - Call me crazy but...I think it's asking for help.
- Kinmorunddraver - He is.
- Hachi - ...Help it? If it wanted help, why'd it charge at us?
Harkin roared again and tried to strike at Kinmorunddraver again. Kinmorunddraver blocked the fist and pinned his arm to the ground. He then crouched down as he looked at Harkin, running his fingers over his head to see what was causing him to be corrupted. Inside Harkin's mind, Kinmorunddraver could see the sillhouette of a skeletal Sea Giant smirking at him. Kinmorunddraver's eyes narrowed as he stood back up.
- Sea Witch - What do you we do? Who is this guy even?
- Kinmorunddraver - This is Harkin. Vectrom and Karps' brother. Except not himself. He is being possessed by something down here.
- Javina - Possessed?
- Sea Witch - Karps has a second brother? That's new now.
- Clothovera - If he's possessed, we gotta help him. [Maybe he'll let me poke his tail when we do, eheheh...]
Kinmorunddraver knew exactly what was possessing him, but did not let that knowledge slip out. Javina raised her hand.
- Javina - I am trained to deal with dark spirits. Shall I proceed with the rite of exorcism?
- Hachi - Oh I know about human exorcisms. I've seen the bodies being burned.
- Kinmorunddraver - Exorcism will not work in this case.
- Clothovera - It doesn't hurt to try.
Kinmorunddraver let out a deep sigh before walking on further into the ruins. The Sea Witch created shackles out of thin air and trapped Harkin against the ground to keep him restrained.
- Pelagrios - Uhhh...where are you going?
- Kinmorunddraver - Going to help Harkin, of course.
- Hachi - Hehe, wonder if that'll ever happen to me one day. Chained to the ground, helpless.
- Nyakik - And having your head cut off.
- Javina - Shall you become a liability, the Inquisition will make your dream come true. Anyway, stay away. Exorcism is hardly a trivial thing.
Kinmorunddraver could eventually see a black treasure chest in a distance, flanked bt two magma waterfalls. Javina walked to the body of the giant and looked at his massive body. Harkin tried to reach and bite Javina, but couldn't.
- Kinmorunddraver - Well. There is our answer.
- Hachi - What's that?
- Sea Witch - Oh good, there IS some treasure down here.
- Kinmorunddraver - Not exactly treasure.
Kinmorunddraver walked onwards, with slight hesitation in every step.
- Javina - Hm. The heartmind is here.
- Hachi - Now that's worrying.
Harkin let out a fire breath in anger, nearly hitting Javina. She placed her hand on Harkin's chest, watching white, blinding energy surround her; rather than coming from her, it appeared to have come from the Guardian Giant's own warped being. Harkin thrased around as he felt the energy affecting him. The darkened aura around him slowly dimished.
- Sea Witch - I'm not sure what you're doing but it seems to be working.
Hachi sat down and wiped his head, panting still from exhaustion and heat. Clothovera sat down some distance away, holding on her leg while Nyakik layed down on her stomach as she watched Javina's exorcism.
- Javina - ... Nunquam draco sit mihi dux...
- Hachi - It's way too hot here...
- Javina - Exorcizamus te, omnis immunde spiritus, omni satanica potestas, omnis incursio infernalis adversarii, omnis legio, omnis congregatio et secta diabolica...
Harkin breathed heavily. His pupils slow returned to normal and the darkened aura was close to vanishing completely. Kinmorunddraver eventually reached the chest. He let out a deep breath before opening it.
- ??? - Yes! Yes yes yes! I'm free!
- Javina - Free?
Out of the chest, an axe made of magma appeared and began levitating across the room.
- Hachi - Huh? Flying axes... Clotho's head is pretty than mine! Take hers!
- Clothovera - S-shut up!
- Javina - A weapon?
- ??? - Heads? I don't want your heads! How silly! I want to thank you for saving me of that...prison!
Kinmorunddraver grabbed a hold of his hilt. Harkin had returned to his senses and looked around in confusion.
- Harkin - ...Why am I chained?
- Javina - There was a... weapon spirit inside you. We have banished it.
Harkin looked to his left to see the magma axe levitating around. His eyes widened.
- Harkin - No! The Exacutus Vulcanus!
- Hachi - The Exa-what now? Oh! And welcome back to sanity! Hope you had a nice trip.
- Harkin - Free me this instant! That axe is not supposed to leave its treasure chest!
- Exacutus - Beat it, pal!
- Javina - I do not object.
- Hachi - ...You guys sure we should take this thing? I mean... if it possessed the fish guy surely it can possess any of us.
- Exacutus - Possessed? Boy, I'm an axe! My job is hacking people, not "possessing" them!
The Sea Witch dematerialized the shackles holding Harkin into the ground. The Sea Giant got up and held on his neck before sighting Kinmorunddraver.
- Harkin - Kinmorunddraver? What are you doing here? Are you not supposed to be travelling?
- Kinmorunddraver - Plans have changed.
- Harkin - I am surprised to see you so soon, considering it is only been days since Provectus was imprisoned.
- Sea Witch - Wait, what?
- Hachi - Sssh! Don't say that name!
- Kinmorunddraver - I'm afraid it's been a more than a few days, Mirkésesdrevensathal.
- Harkin - I do not get it.
- Kinmorunddraver - It seems that you don't remember then. It has been longer than a few days. Closer to fifteen thousand years.
- Harkin - ...Are you serious?
- Kinmorunddraver - Have I ever not been?
- Harkin - I...I have no memory of this...last thing I remember was the Colossi parting ways following the imprisonment, and then I travelled down here to guard the treasury...
- Sea Witch - Sheesh. We got ourselves in a big mess, it seems.
- Kinmorunddraver - Then it seems the Vulcanus is what caused you to lose your memory. As well as transform into a thrall.
Javina bowed in what seemed to be respect, or a facsimile thereof.
- Javina - Enduring fifteen millenia of madness and still retain your sanity is admirable, even for a being of your... - Javina pronounced the last word with a certain duality - stature.
- Exacutus - Why you blaming me? I've been locked in that cursed box since the gods wore diapers!
- Hachi - ...My head hurts, how many immortals are there roaming about?
- Kinmorunddraver - Not many as there used to be.
- Exacutus - Well, I take you all are done speaking about useless crap, cause we gotta move on!
- Harkin - You are not leaving this place!
- Exacutus - Bite my shiny metal handle!
The Exacutus Vulcanus floated over to Hachi and forced itself into his grasp.
- Exacutus - You there! You look like you could use an axe!
- Javina - ...Curses.
- Kinmorunddraver - Hachi. Don't say a word.
- Exacutus - Tell old man Harkin over there to go suck on his mom's nipple and let's go where the REAL TREASURES are! Akriarion Island!
- Hachi - Umm...
- Sea Witch - Akri-what now?
- Exacutus - My home, Akriarion Island, is full of treasures! And my brother weapon is in there too! You guys need to take me there! You'll be filthy rich for sure and I'm sure my brother weapon will love to be wielded by you!
- Clothovera - [Wielded...by me...with a big, shiny handle...]
Kinmorunddraver went over to Hachi and took the axe out of his hand. Hachi snatched the axe from Kinmorunddraver and held it close to him. Kinmorunddraver frowned at Hachi.
- Hachi - Hey, I'm the guy to go to for talking weapons! I'm carrying this!
- Harkin - Hmmm...this is, in fact, an opportunity...
- Kinmorunddraver - If you get possessed it's your fault.
- Hachi - Hmph! Possessed, you wish! Only thing that can possess me is, well... titties.
- Kinmorunddraver - You infuriate me at times, Lagosi.
Hachi stuck his tongue out at Kinmorunddraver cheekily. Kinmorunddraver grabbed the tongue between his finger and thumb.
- Kinmorunddraver - Don't do that.
- Harkin - The Vulcanus was created on Akriarion Island. I imagine its fires can also be used to destroy it.
- Sea Witch - So we're allowed to take the axe away?
- Harkin - As long as you promise me you will destroy it.
- Javina - Enough, weapon. It is time for me to silence your voice... forever.
Javina approached Exacutus with her scimitar, intending to break it. Hachi nodded and pulled back, rubbing his tongue. When he saw Javina approach, he gripped Exacutus tightly and prepared to strike her.
- Hachi - Stay back, you damn dirty human!
- Exacutus - Pff. What's that made of? Wood? Are you trying to make me laugh? Becuase you're damn good at it!
- Javina - Sohet iron. More than enough to end you.
- Exacutus - Go ahead then! Don't cry when you fail!
- Hachi - "Sohet"? What's a Sohet?
- Riad - Ancient desert species.
- Pelagrios - Give the axe some rum.
Javina attempted to smash the axe, but the weapon remained unflinching. The Exacutus Vulcanus let out a cheeky laugher.
- Exacutus - You done yet? Can we move on to Akriarion now?
- Kinmorunddraver - We might as well. Any funny tricks and we'll see how you will like it when I throw you to the Void.
- Harkin - Allow me to take you out of here, as gratitude for freeing me of my possession. It's the least I can do.
- Sea Witch - Hey, you Sea Giants aren't so bad.
- Clothovera - I-i-it was a pleasure, mister.
- Hachi - Hey, Clotho! Stop playing with your pussy, get up and let's go!
Clothovera slapped Hachi across the face.
- Hachi - H-Hey! Ow...
- Riad - Is this place hot?
- Javina - ...Reprobate wench... and yet I like something in her. What is it?
A Poisonous Visitor
Harkin's hands shined in magic and the team was blinded by a light. A few moments later, they found themselves at the very top of Infernos Mons' cauldron. The team, despite being outside, could still feel like something was blocking the sun above them.
- Sea Witch - It's strangely dark toda-...oh.
- Exacutus - What's this now?
- Sea Witch - Guys...look up.
- Hachi - W-Why...
Kinmorunddraver looked upwards. Resting above the team was an immense, purple-coloured bird. It looked down on the team with a smirk.
- Pelagrios - What.
- Hachi - ...When I said I liked big chicks, that's not what I meant.
- Clothovera - It's...huge!
- Xitannoth - Well, well, well. So this is the big magic power I've felt.
- Javina - What is that... thing?
- Kinmorunddraver - Xitannoth. Get out of here before I make you.
- Xitannoth - "Thing"? That's not how you treat the Colossus of Poison, you little woman. And get out? What for? I didn't even do anything.
- Kinmorunddraver - We are on a quest. Hindering us is only going to be bad for you.
- Xitannoth - Pfff. You're always in a bad mood, birdie. I'm just here checking what was this huge magic pulse I've felt a while ago. Seriously, you lot freed something really powerful.
- Exacutus - That'd be me, alright!
- 'Hachi - Yeah, and I got it in my hands! So choose your next words wisely.
- Xitannoth - You realize I'm a hundred times larger than you, right?
Kinmorunddraver looked at Hachi.
- Exacutus - You're a big bird! That means you can fly a lot! How about you take us to Akriarion and we share some of the treasure with you?
- Xitannoth - Woah woah, talking stick. Did you say "treasure"?
- Exacutus - See? You're big and can listen well to people! I like that in a person!
Kinmorunddraver put his palm to his face.
- Hachi - Well... I wouldn't mind a ride.
- Xitannoth - Akriarion, eh? The isle with the fire monsters everywhere? Yeah, I've been there once. Pretty nasty place.
- Exacutus - Imagine it! So much loot for your nest! If you have one, I'm assuming you do.
- Riad - Fire monsters. Night-Father preserve me.
- Javina - My kind of place.
- Xitannoth - Oh yes. Fire elementals, fire breathing spiders, perhaps a fire drake or two. It's Fire: the Island.
- Hachi - ...Fire women?
- Xitannoth - Should exist, yes.
- Hachi - Hot! Right, let's go! Sooner the better!
- Xitannoth - Very well, talking stick. I'll take you there, for the treasure.
- Exacutus - Yes, indeed. The greatest treasures await for you...in Akriarion.
- Kinmorunddraver - Let's make this interesting, while we are at it then. I will race you there.
- Hachi - ...What.
Xitannoth let out a loud, squalking laugher.
- Xitannoth - Oh man, that was a great joke.
- Kinmorunddraver - Afraid you will lose? I would be.
- Xitannoth - Lose? To a two legged midget like you? As if! You all, hop on my back. We're leaving!
Part 3: Akriarion Island
After an hour of flight, Xitannoth and the team could see Akriarion Island in a distance. The skies around the island were engulfed in a dense, red volcanic fog, and the land below was scarred and completely devoid of plant life, save for dead forests. It appeared almost as if the team had never left Infernos Mons at all.
- Pelagrios - Are we in Abyssus again?
- Riad - Again?
- Pelagrios - Uh.
- Exacutus - This is my home! Akriarion! Isn't it the darndest?
- Hachi - Looks... kinda appealing, I guess.
- Sea Witch - It looks like a wasteland, that's what.
- Exacutus - Because it is a wasteland! You're too kind.
Xitannoth landed close to the shore, causing a loud thud as he did. In a distance, an enormous volcano could be seen, with a darkened tower embbed to its side. On a rocky outcrop to their right, Kinmorunddraver sat down in a relaxed manner, with a somewhat smug look on his face.
- Javina - Harsh like the sandstorms of Outer Alhassal.
- Xitannoth - This is as far as I will take you. I'm not getting close to that volcano.
- Exacutus - That's a damn shame! The tower is where we're going!
- Hachi - So we're gonna have to walk?
- Exacutus - More like sneak.
- Clothovera - W-what do you mean?
- Exacutus - I mentioned fire beasts! I'm pretty sure I did, anyway, ehehe. Anyway, you sneak or you die.
- Hachi - Great, because I absolutely love sneaking. Ugh.
- Sea Witch - Could be worse. Could be Shiarchon.
- Javina - As you wish. The element of surprise is paramount to an Inquisitor, after all. Along with fear. And ruthless efficiency. And almost fan-
Javina closer her mouth.
- Javina - Pardon me.
- Pelagrios - Sneak? Crap.
- Xitannoth - I will be waiting here for my share of the treasure. For your own health, don't try to deceive me.
- Exacutus - Alright then! You there! Boy with the wood arm! Point me forward and I'll point the way!
Hachi nodded and pointed Exacutus forward with a curious expression, tilting his head as he did so. The fire axe then pointed itself into the direction of the tower, and signalled to the team to go into that direction. Kinmorunddraver leapt off the edge of the side, and landed next to the team, before walking on with them.
- Kinmorunddraver - Told you I would beat him.
- Pelagrios - Less talk and more rum.
- Hachi - No drink-sneaking.
- Pelagrios - No sneak-whatever-you-do-with-that-oversized--
Before he could finish his sentence, Riad slapped the back of his head.
- Riad - Careful where you're going with that.
Xitannoth grunted at the team's general direction as they walked away. The rugged terrain allowed them to use the dead trees and boulders as cover as they moved on. After some minutes of walk, they could spot several humanoid creatures made of lava wandering around.
- Hachi - Damn, they look hot!
- Clothovera - They look like you minus the ugly.
- Pelagrios - Aw.
- Exacutus - Vulcanus Soldiers! Man, they lost weight since 120,000 years! You all should keep silent, or they'll murder you messingly.
- Pelagrios - Right. Quiet.
As the team moved around the Vulcanus Soldiers, they found a dragon's skeleton right on their path. Shackles could be seen on the dragon's feet, neck and wings.
- Riad - Odd.
- Sea Witch - Damn, that's a big skeleton...this better not be Kimorgos.
- Kinmorunddraver - I doubt Kimorgos would travel this far south without us knowing.
- Hachi - Ki-who?
- Kinmorunddraver - I'll tell you later.
- Javina - Are you referring to the Zmey of the Serenity Woods?
- Sea Witch - Zmey? What's that supposed to be?
- Javina - That's how Saphronians and Lesha Orcs call dragons.
- Kinmorunddraver - Ostiskélodhros. But focus. You heard what the Exacutus spoke of.
At this moment, a huge sillhoette was briefly seen in the sky, before disappearing into the volcanic fog again. The Vulcanus Soldiers became agitated and immediately moved out. As the team walked on, a heat wave hit the team. The Sea Witch and Clothovera both agonized for a moment, while the Exacutus Vulcanus began glowing more intensily. Riad stumbled as he panted heavily. Hachi squeaked as he felt the heat strike his fur. He cringed and let out a deep breath.
- Riad - Too hot! Too hot!
- Clothovera - [This is not the kind of hot I want to feel!]
- Exacutus - So close! I can almost taste home!
- Javina - None of you would've survived in the Sea of Sand.
Javina appeared content with the heat, unflinching despite the ever-growing contempt of the merciless elements that ravaged the other members of the team. The team's noise attracted a group of Vulcanus Soldiers, who snarled and growled at their direction.
- Sea Witch - We got company.
Hachi drew his blades and snarled towards the Vulcanus Soldiers, although he appeared visibly discomforted from the heat. Clothovera frantically opened her book while sweating considerably. Nyakik let out a hiss at the Soldiers, who appeared ignorant. They all growled and charged at the team's direction, flailing their long arms. Javina turned to the fiery elementals, drawing her ebon scimitar from the scabbard on her belt and raising her left hand in order to perform the rites of Cessation.
- Feli - What are... these creatures?
- Exacutus - Lava beasts! Made by a pretty swell guy! I like him and I'm sure so will you.
One of the Soldiers ran up to Hachi and tried to hit him with one of his hands. The blind red-haired girl attempted to hide behind Javina, staring from times to times at the invading lava beast army.
- Feli - What are these? What are these?
Using his Draonoggr dagger, which in truth was the size of a standard deiwos greatsword, Hachi maneuvered around the magma creature and slammed downwards, dismembering the creature of one of its limbs. The attacked Soldier fell over, roaring in pain. Meanwhile, two more Soldiers began approaching and menacing Riad and Pelagrios. Kinmorunddraver's palm illuminated with bolts of lightning as he engaged the team. Riad held his spear in hand whilst Pelagrios frantically picked up a charred branch from the ground. The Sea Witch threw a magical bolt into one of the Soldiers, causing it to explode. However, another Soldier ran up to her and clawed her face, causing her to shout in pain and back away.
- Sea Witch - It burns!
Riad hurled the spear directly at a Soldier's head, whilst Pelagrios in whim slammed the soldier with the branch. Javina thrusted one of the invading fire elementals with her scimitar, watching a spray of orange, lava-like liquid spout from its warped body. Strangely enough, the sword itself remained cold. Hachi looked towards the Soldier that had attacked the Witch and ran forward, aiming his sword to take out the creature's legs from beneath it so as to incapacitate it.
- Feli - Thank you... Inquisitor.
- ??? - DELIVER. AXE.
A monstrous roar was hard from the sky as an humongous creatures emerged from the volcanic fog. It appeared dragon-like in appearence, but had three, hydra-like heads. The Sea Witch turned to the dragon and her jaw dropped, while Clothovera screamed in fear. Kinmorunddraver walked in front of the group as his wings flung wide open.
- Hachi - ...W-What is that?
- Exacutus - That wasn't here last time I've been here!
- Javina - Hmph.
- Kinmorunddraver - Brace yourselves.
The three-headed dragon landed, causing a short earthquake which caused the Vulcanus Soldiers to panic. From its three mouths, it began launching blasts of dark magic which tore the island apart. Hachi braced himself and gripped Exacutus tightly.
- Javina - In the name of the...
- Clothovera - I-i-i-its...the devourer of dragons!
- Javina - Demon.
- Clothovera - M-my book details him...Atrocius, the devourer of dragons...and yes, it refers to him as a demon.
- Exacutus - Well, what you waiting for? Get rid of that guy!
- Sea Witch - You really expect us to fight THAT?!
- Kinmorunddraver - Avkhámalasǣtrattankh! [Chimera!] Here!
Atrocius turned into the team's direction and began walking up to them, causing loud thuds with each step.
- Clothovera - D-don't call him here! [Why must all handsome guys also be complete idiots?]
- Hachi - W-What are you doing?!
- Sea Witch - Now that's not good.
Atrocius charged three beams on his mouths directly above the team. However, before he could fire and kill them, a large shadow suddenly appeared and tackled the demonic dragon away. It was Xitannoth.
- Xitannoth - You!
- Hachi - Great, maybe they can kill each other off!
- Xitannoth - We got unfinished business!
- Atrocius - DEVOUR. COLOSSUS.
- Sea Witch - Quickly, while he's distracted! To the tower!
- Hachi - Right, gotcha! Come on, let's go!
Kinmorunddraver sent out a blast of energy to deter Atrocius before turning away towards the tower. The Sea Witch ran as well, followed by Clothovera and Nyakik who ran on all four. Hachi ran behind them, screaming as he did. Xitannoth and Atrocius delivered blows to each other, destroying the landscape and crushing Vulcanus Soldiers below them. However, Atrocius managed to land a blast on the Poison Colossus which made him fall over. The team looked up to see Xitannoth falling into their direction.
- Sea Witch - Shit!
- Clothovera - I got it! H-h-hexus Celeritas!
The team suddenly felt a huge boost of speed, making them run extremely fast.
- Hachi - ...Chronomagic.
Hachi snarled angrily.
- Pelagrios - It's like that time I was running from the Shiarchon...except I was running down a mountain!
- Exacutus - I don't know what drug this is but I want more!
- Hachi - It's no drug!
- Javina - Sacred Pheonas...
Javina looked at Clothovera.
- Javina - Now if only our warriors had these hexes... you're a credit to your race, half-elf.
- Clothovera - W-well, I didn't expect a compliment...I mean, all I did was cast a hex to make our legs work faster and-
- Sea Witch - Less talk more running!
With Clothovera's speed enhancing hex, the team managed to outrun Xitannoth before he fell on them. The enraged colossus quickly got up and attacked Atrocius again, and with the spell still in effect, the team would quickly reach the top of the tower...
- Exacutus - Eheheheheh...just like I planned...
The Pyromancer Lives
After running all the way up the volcano, the team stopped close to the entrance of the omninous tower. Intense energy could be felt coming out of it, and the Exacutus Vulcanus was growing more and more active. However, all that running had exhausted the team. The Sea Witch and Clothovera could barely stand up as their legs were just too tired.
- Javina - ...Diabolicial edifice!
- Sea Witch - I can't feel my legs anymore.
- Hachi - We still have legs?
Javina's amber eyes opened wide as she saw the architecture of the hellish tower. Hachi held the Exacutus tiredly, panting as he collapsed against the floor. Riad was using his spear as a walking stick. The stamina was not an issue for him, but the heat was nothing but destructive for him. Pelagrios on the other hand, was holding Riad's ankle as he moaned incessantly as he was dragged along.
- Clothovera - I need water. And a bath. I'm all sweaty.
- Sea Witch - Next time you hex us like that, warn us first, girl.
- Hachi - Don't ever... hex me.. again... Stupid.
- Nyakik - Carry me. I demand you. Carry me. Now.
Javina looked at Clothovera for a second, then turned away near-immediately.
- Javina - Sssweaty... - Javina shook - Salvum me fac, Pheonas, a tentatione...
- Exacutus - C'mon guys! Get up and running! We gotta proceed!
- Hachi - Easy... for you to say!
- Pelagrios - Mmmmmhn. You got a hex for...uh...rum?
- Riad - How about a hex to GET OFF OF ME AND WALK YOURSELF?!
- Pelagrios - I want rum. Not a miracle.
Over the distance, the team could see the entrance of the tower. There was a Fire Drake sleeping next to the doors.
- Pelagrios - Dragon.
- Sea Witch - Shit. Not now.
- Hachi - Aww crap.
- Javina - A dragon?
- Exacutus - C'mon, you can do it! Kill it! Or sneak past it! Multiple endings! I believe in you!
Kinmorunddraver walked up to the dragon, pressing his two fingers between the eyes of the beast, sending it into a deep sleep. The dragon shook its head slighty and snored.
- Kinmorunddraver - I really do not like doing that to the ancients of this world. Feels like I am nursing the world.
- Hachi - Much better option than killing it.
The Sea Witch catched her breath and slowly walked over to the door's direction, followed by Clothovera who held her head as she walked. The doors to the tower were large enough for large beings such as the Fire Drake to enter it without any issue.
- Exacutus - You! Strong bird! Be a peach and open these doors!
Kinmorunddraver's eyes rolled back before he walked up to the doors. He placed his hands on each door before pushing them open. The team was immediately hit by a wave of volcanic heat. The tower was built directly into the volcano.
- Hachi - C-Close the doors!
- Exacutus - What you saying? Get in there!
- Sea Witch - Hold on, I got this.
Kinmorunddraver looked at him as his feathers appeared somewhat broader than usual. The Sea Witch chanelled her magic and created another bubble shield around the team. However, they could see her hair had all gone upwards from the heat.
- Hachi - Teehee, you look funny like that.
- Sea Witch - Eh?
- Clothovera - [If only I could take off these robes...]
- Exacutus - Okay guys! You ready for the greatest treasures? Then get moving!
- Javina - Hmph. If that is needed...
Kinmorunddraver looked apprehensive. He drew his blade as he went on forwards. The team entered the tower and moved on. Their way was made entirely of a huge staircase. The top was not visible save for a bright red light. On their right, they could see the insides of the Akriarion volcano, showing lakes of magma and dark-looking structures built into the walls.
- Clothovera - This place...i-it's like an evil temple...
- Hachi - Temple to who?
- Sea Witch - Whoever made this place clearly wasn't a very nice person.
- Exacutus - Almost there...almost there...this is gonna be the best!
Pelagrios stood up as most of his clothing was covered in dust, ash and was tattered.
- Pelagrios - You all owe me a bath.
- Sea Witch - Bah, I just remembered we gotta share our treasure with that Xitannoth. I wish we could leave this place without him.
- Hachi - Kinmo could just kill him.
- Sea Witch - You don't just kill a Colossus, Hachi.
- Feli - Why are there so many stairs? Who'd have the strength to walk that long without collapsing? Certainly not me...
Javina looked at Feli and grabbed her.
- Javina - Go with me.
- Exacutus - This is it! This is the treasure! I'm home!
The team arrived to the top of the staircase. It appeared as a large chamber where, at the very back, they could see a throne. Sitting on it was a dark, reddened skeleton wearing an evil-looking armor. On his hand, the skeleton held a staff which emitted an intense light.
- Pelagrios - Well at least it isn't...uh. Whatever his name is.
- Sea Witch - Kalarah?
- Pelagrios - Nah. His friend.
- Javina - ...A demon? We have been working with a demon.
Javina set her torch and whispered Carlini's name.
- Hachi - You're... going to set a scorched skeleton... on fire.
- Riad - I don't like this.
- Clothovera - I don't get it...there's nothing here but a dead guy. No treasure anywhere.
- Exacutus - Eheheheh! You don't get it, do you? I'm the treasure!
The Exacutus Vulcanus launched itself out of Hachi's grasp and began floating into the skeleton's direction.
- Exacutus - I'm home, papa!
- Hachi - ...Stop it!
A blast of dark magic was launched from the Exacutus Vulcanus directly into the skeleton. After a few moments, flaming eyeballs appeared on the skeleton, who slowly lifted itself out of its throne. The team could see its body was shaped much like a Sea Giant's.
- Kinmorunddraver - Kovontornnóst. [Idiots.]
- Hachi - Well this is bad.
- ??? - ...My soul.
- Exacutus - They fell for it! Fell for it like the dumb mortals they are, eh?
- ??? - Indeed. Idiotic enough to trust a weapon imprisoned away.
- Hachi - Damnit!
- Javina - Curse you all. Have at it then, demon! I have banished worse creatures!
Javina raised her scimitar. The skeletal Sea Giant took the Exacutus on his grasp and began walking into the team's direction, with a grin on his skeletal face.
- ??? - I am Xacutus, the greatest pyromancer of all Koldenwelt. Bow before my mighty fire!
- Sea Witch - Shit...Kinmo? You know this guy?
- Kinmorunddraver - Unfortunately, yes.
- Hachi - Fight fire with... pocket sand!
Hachi reached into the pocket of his trouser leg and threw a small amount of worthless dust and sand towards the skeletal titan. Xacutus looked at the dust and let out a crazed cackle.
- Xacutus - I have been awakened after 120,000 years of being locked in a vegetative state. I am...NOT...in a good mood for it.
- Javina - Now, purging THAT thing in holy fire is going to be harder.
Xacutus raised the Exacutus Vulcanus over his head. Within fractions of a second, an immense fireball formed above him.
- Xacutus - Your use has ended. DIE!
- Exacutus - Have some fire, guys!
- Hachi - Kinmo, do something!
Xacutus swung the Vulcanus and the fireball was launched into the team's direction at high speed. The Sea Witch screeched and threw herself away from it. Javina backed at a high pace but neverthless kept looking at the fireball. Hachi did not even attempt to slow the ball of fire. Instead he threw himself back, knocking over Clothovera as he did. Kinmorunddraver stepped up, and stabbed the fireball with his blade. Pelagrios screamed and dived out of the way as Riad did the same albeit more gracefully.
The fireball exploded directly on Kinmorunddraver. Xacutus laughed maniacly as he watched the team trying to escape.
- Xacutus - Yes! Burn! Turn into ash!
Kinmorunddraver beat his wings as the flames around him died. His eyes were firmly narrowed on Xacutus.
- Kinmorunddraver - That hurt.
- Xacutus - I'm sad it didn't kill!
- Exacutus - They're all stupid. You should burn them up a little more.
- Sea Witch - Grrr. I don't care how tired I am...I refuse to be doublecrossed like this!
From Kinmorunddraver's left hand, a bolt of lightning formed as he threw it in the direction of Xacutus like a javelin. Xacutus swung the staff on his other hand, forming a flaming shield in front of him which blocked the bolt. He then swung the Exacutus Vulcanus and sent a blade-shaped blast of fire at Kinmorunddraver's direction. Kinmorunddraver leapt to the side in a somersault as the blade flew past him. He then pondered to himself to think on how to defeat this enemy, before coming to a conclusion.
- Kinmorunddraver - You there. Girl.
- Clothovera - Huh? M-me?
Kinmorunddraver bounded over to Clothovera, before grabbing his necklace and taking it off, handing it over to her.
- Kinmorunddraver - Lose it and you will quite possibly regret it.
- Clothovera - O-ok, mister.
- Xacutus - I cannot be beaten when I have both the Exacutus Vulcanus and the Bacullum Mille Solles with me, beaked freak. Now stand still so I can make a turkey out of you!
- Hachi - What the fuck is a turkey?!
- Pelagrios - Good food. I like his tastes...sort of.
- Exacutus - Like turkey! Delicious stuff. Shame you can't taste it since we're gonna kill you, hehehe. No harsh feelings.
As he turned to face Xacutus again, Kinmorunddraver's feathers and body melted away as it became pitch black with only two nocturne azure eyes fixed upon Xacutus. Xacutus cackled while glaring at Kinmorunddraver, showing no sight of fear of him. The Sea Witch charged magic on her hands, while Clothovera began looking for hexes on her book.
- Sea Witch - I'm not gonna just stay behind and watch. I'm helping.
Kinmorunddraver taunted Xacutus, curling his finger. As he raised his blade, it turned into a pitch black stream of energy alongside his body. Xacutus laughed and begun sending more fire blasts at Kinmorunddraver's direction. The fireballs went straight through his body as Kinmorunddraver sidestepped, strafing Xacutus. Hachi snarled and slammed his wooden arm against the floor. All across the landscape, time began to slow; streams of fire slowed to a halt, magma stopped where it flowed. Only Hachi, his allies and their enemies still motioned.
- Hachi - Should make it harder for him to summon fire now!
- Clothovera - Hexus Debilitas!
Clothovera launched a bolt of dark magic at Xacutus in an attempt to paralyze him. However, the bolt hit the skeletal Sea Giant and had no effect.
- Clothovera - He...he's immune to my dark magic.
- Javina - Curses!
Javina raised her hand as a small bubble of white light appeared around it, protecting the team from harm. Kinmorunddraver spoke an incantation from his own tongue before swinging his blade towards Xacutus; a stream of energy as black as the void itself arced from the blade like vicious lightning bolts.
- Xacutus - Woah nelly!
Xacutus was hit by the stream and was launched back, falling into his feet. He looked at the team and then let out a huge fire breath at their direction.
- Pelagrios - Oh dear.
- Sea Witch - I got it!
The Sea Witch created a water shield in front of the team, blocking the fire. Meanwhile, Nyakik slowly approached Xacutus from behind without him noticing.
- Xacutus - You lot are lasting an awful long time against me. That pleases me! I was getting bored!
- Exacutus - We still gonna fry you up though.
- Nyakik - I say you won't and therefore you won't!
Nyakik then leaped into Xacutus' head and dug her claws on where Xacutus' eyes should be, causing him to panic where he stood.
- Xacutus - Aaagh! It's furry and it's clawing my sockets!
- Hachi - What's wrong with furry?!
- Pelagrios - I need to lay off the tequila.
- Sea Witch - ...The staff! Steal his staff while he's distracted!
Kinmorunddraver pounded his fist into the ground, causing a tremor before lunging forwards and taking the staff from Xacutus' grasp.
- Xacutus - No!
Xacutus grabbed Nyakik and threw her at Kinmorunddraver at high speed. In Kinmorunddraver's grasp, the immense fire magic lit up Kinmorunddraver's ethereal skin with a hellish orange. He saw the quickly oncoming Nyakik and caught her in mid air before leaping backwards. Xacutus let out an angered roar which shook the volcano.
- Xacutus - Get your filthy hands...OFF MY STAFF!
Kinmorunddraver looked at Xacutus before pointing the staff at the beast. Infuriated, Xacutus hit the floor with the Exacutus Vulcanus. The team could feel the entire volcano began shaking violently. It was about to erupt.
- Riad - ...What was that?
- Xacutus - I'll turn your burned skulls into ornaments for my throne!
- Sea Witch - ...Shit. The volcano.
- Hachi - Get out!
- Clothovera - I suggest we leave! Now!
Hachi kept his wooden arm against the floor. His magic, of which it was still as of yet unknown, slowed the progress of the eruption although Xacutus' own magic began to counteract his. Hachi struggled to keep the process slowed, allowing others the time necessary to escape. Kinmorunddraver sent out a blast from the staff at Xacutus before turning away. He dived over to Clothovera and snatched the necklace out of her grasp as his body returned back to normal. The Sea Witch and Clothovera both began running down the staircase to the exit. Behind the team, Xacutus chased them while firing more fire blasts at them.
- Xacutus - You will not escape me!
- Exacutus - C'mon guys! I thought we had something special!
- Hachi - ...Damn this! You'd better be on your way out!
- Nyakik - Trash rabbit, get out of there!
- Kinmorunddraver - I have an idea. You will not like it however.
- Sea Witch - We never like your ideas.
- Kinmorunddraver - Tough.
Kinmorunddraver turned around as he cupped his hands around his mouth, screeching at the structure in an attempt to raze it to the ground. Hachi stood and began to ran, the flow of time beginning to return to normality - the process of eruption beginning to quicken. Hachi ran, although he was the last team member to try and reach the exit, followed closely by Xacutus. The staircase began crumbling from the screech while Xacutus had blocked his face with one of his hands. Boulders fell and then crushed him under them.
- Hachi - I have burns on my burns!
Outside, the Fire Drake still snored. The volcano began erupting, and there was no apparent way down for the team.
- Sea Witch - Great. How do we go down now?
- Kinmornddraver - Why go down?
- Sea Witch - You want to go up and take a lava bath?
- Kinmorunddraver - Right. I forgot you weren't fireproof.
- Clothovera - [I don't want to die here! There's so many "things" I've not done yet!]
- Hachi - If that isn't obvious enough!
- Javina - This cannot be... I cannot die while SHE still draws breath!
- Kinmorunddraver - There is another solution. You really will not like it.
- Sea Witch - ...Might as well. What is it?
In front of the team, Kinmorunddraver cast open a portal. The portal was black in colour and small streaks of blue and purple appeared.
- Hachi - No.
- Clothovera - W-what is that?
- Kinmrounddraver - Thankfully that's not the Void. I like you all too much for that.
Behind the team, Xacutus began tearing down the boulders that had fallen on him. The Sea Witch looked behind her and her eyes widened.
- Sea Witch - Fine, I don't care! Just as long as we're safe!
- Riad - No time for discussion, I'm going in.
- Hachi - Ech, this day just keeps getting worse!
Riad jumped through the portal. Pelagrios looked at the portal for a few seconds before tripping and falling in after him. The Sea Witch leaped into the portal, followed by Clothovera who hesitantly entered. Nyakik hissed at Xacutus' direction one more time before going inside as well. Hachi held onto his nose, holding his breath, and ran through the portal. Javina leaped into the portal, followed by the scared Feli.
- Feli - Why can't I just have a little rest...
Realm of Night
The team exited the portal as they all landed in the midst of a vast landscape. They were all situated on a ruin, an open plaza with marble floors. Around them, luminous trees marked the landscape which was drowned in night. Clothovera looked around in awe, as well as Nyakik. The Sea Witch held on her head as she looked, confused. Kinmorunddraver was the last to exit the portal as he walked on forward in front of the team. He let out a deep breath, as it was noticeably colder than the volcano.
- Clothovera - What is this place?
- Hachi - Reminds me of home...
- Kinmorunddraver - Do you wonder where I rest? Well, here we are. Noctis Caelum. The isles of the Kaúvradrovma. Aethereus' plane of existence.
- Hachi - ...Where?
Riad looked in awe as, to him, this was the Névari's equivalent of heaven.
- Sea Witch - At least we're safe from that pyromancer...who was that guy anyway?
- Kinmorunddraver - His name is Xacutus. He was originally a Sea Giant, before the paths of fire magic. Creating those two weapons, the magic riddled and ravaged his mind. And his body.
- Hachi - Pretty ironic, a Sea Giant getting corrupted by fire.
Kinmorunddraver still held the staff in his hand as he looked at it.
- Clothovera - But we stole his staff...what are we gonna do with it?
- Kinmorunddraver - If am correct, this is the Baculum Mille Soles. 'The Staff of a Thousand Suns'. As to what to do with it...
- Sea Witch - We should keep this hidden somewhere only we know.
- Pelagrios - Turn it into an ornament?
- Hachi - Leave it here.
Kinmorunddraver looked at Hachi.
- Hachi - Nobody else comes here, this is where it should stay. It's safest here.
- Javina - Break it.
- Kinmorunddraver - Destroying this artefact would require more than just me snapping it in two.
- Nyakik - The perverted child has a point. Perhaps it's better if the staff is kept in this realm.
- Clothovera - [But I didn't say any-oh, okay, I get it.]
Kinmorunddraver looked behind the team, as behind them stood an immense marble fortress, with two towers reaching into the clouds. It was situated on the cliff side, across a vast lake.
- Kinmorunddraver - The fortress of Telehdrasúnt will be a good place to hide it.
- Sea Witch - Hmpf. What a failure this mission was. Not only were we fooled by that axe, we awakened this Sea Giant and got no treasure at all.
- Kinmorunddraver - Then next time you would be more cautious than to talk to a possessed weapon. The last time I saw someone do that, he became the wielder of the Gladiitenebris.
- Clothovera - H-hey, it wasn't all that bad...I mean...I got to know you guys...
Hachi grunted and walked away from Clothovera, hiding an expression on his face.
- Sea Witch - Girl, if there's one thing I learned in this quest is that you suck at magic, and I refuse to see you sucking any further. You're coming with me to Skull Cave.
- Clothovera - Y-you mean...you'll be my teacher?
- Sea Witch - Precisely.
- Kinmorunddraver - I will let you all rest in this realm for now. I will take you back to the sea port once you have all recuperated.
Clothovera covered her face with her book and let out loud groans, though those were of extreme happiness rather than anything else. Kinmorunddraver walked along a marble-cut path on course to Telehdrasúnt with the staff in hand.
- Javina - Hmph.
- Pelagrios - Is there rum?
- Riad - What would rum be doing in the realm of the Night-Father?
- Pelagrios - Same reason why I stole a massive rum cart in Abyssus.
Feli looked around, searching for fruit-bearing trees or other edible things. Hachi walked away from the group, a look of disdain on his face as he did. He mumbled and grunted to himself repeatedly, although there was something he heard that the group could hear;
- Hachi - ...Always have to ruin everything.
- Kinmorunddraver - Come. You do not want to get lost.
- Feli - Any food there? I haven't eaten in a while...
The Sea Witch followed Kinmorunddraver, with Clothovera walking behind her. She looked at Hachi's direction and appeared apprehensive.
- Kinmorunddraver - You are in luck. When Kaúvradrovmaésesdra was abandoned, I took up residence in Telehdrasúnt.
- Pelagrios - That entire fortress to yourself?
- Nyakik - A powerful man needs a powerful looking residence.
- Javina - Hey.
Feli looked at the Inquisitor.
- Javina - Whatever... caused our order to burn your home, accept this - Javina gave Feli an apple - as a form of condolence.
- Feli - So...
- Javina - Yes, yes, you can follow me. Inquisitors need acolytes.
- Kinmorunddraver - Originally, Telehdrasúnt was to guard this area. But when The Adversary attacked, he attacked here first. Telehdrasúnt is the only thing that remained intact.
- Sea Witch - Not even the Colossi's realms are safe, huh...
- Kinmorunddraver - There is a common misconception. Aúr and Kaúvra are Simulacra. Aúr represents day, and Kaúvra represents...represented night.
Kinmorunddraver sighed before continuing.
- Clothovera - Simulacra?
- Kinmorunddraver - Simulacra. Twelve entities who exist in this plane of existence. They are gods of sorts, yet not all of them are united.
- Sea Witch - That's a new term.
- Clothovera - My book has no mention of this.
- Kinmorunddraver - The cosmologies of the Simulacra were vague even in my time. They are not absolute, and the entities have changed over the years. The only four that I can recall are Aúr, Kaúvra, Mortium...and the Adversary.
- Nyakik - I wish to become a Simulacra, Clothovera. Make it so.
Kinmorunddraver looked puzzled before continuing.
- Kinmorunddraver - Oh. Vargash, and another entity known as the Crux. As you can see, these entities are more malicious than benevolent.
- Sea Witch - Vargash...that's the name of the master of the Lympharians...
- Kinmorunddraver - Indeed. Vargash exists as an extension of the Adversary. A maddened hand attached to an arm.
- Sea Witch - I hope to onde day heal this scar Harbinger has inflicted on me. But as far as I have learned, I need Vargash's own blood for it...not the easiest task.
The team kept on walking until they eventually reached the entrance to Telehdrasúnt. The entrance was an enormous staircase leading up on top of the mountains, covered by huge, intricate arches.
- Sea Witch - Ack. I'm traumatized of long staircases now.
- Kinmorunddraver - Are you that tired?
- Sea Witch - We're fought a super powerful pyromancer just after running up a volcano. Of course I'm tired.
Hachi stayed close to the back of the group, visibly uninterested in Kinmorunddraver's tales as he walked upon the steps. He had black bags under his eyes which appeared dry while his wooden arm appeared limp.
- Hachi - Too much magic today.
- Nyakik - With eye bags like these, you look like Clothovera.
Kinmorunddraver looked at the team. He then walked up the staircase before a portal revealing the innards of Telehdrasúnt appeared in front of them.
- Kinmorunddraver - Av kaúvram ví seseótravalo kadém tentnammvarói. [Gods above, mortals are getting slower.]
- Sea Witch - What was that?
- Kinmorunddraver - Nothing.
- Hachi - Place is large... where are we going?
- Riad - That big fortress. Weren't you listening?
- Hachi - ...Right.
Kinmorunddraver stepped through the portal, followed by Riad and then Pelagrios, who walked up the stairs on all fours. The Sea Witch stepped through as well, followed by Clothovera. Nyakik jumped on Pelagrios' back to ride her way up. Hachi followed suite, tired and walking with something of a limp. Kinmorunddraver raised his palm as the fortress then lit up in an eerie, azure light. The innards of the fortress were incredibly intricate, marked with multitudes of glyphs from Kinmorunddraver's language.
- Kinmorunddraver - Find where you want to sleep. I suggest you do not follow me as I take this into the vaults.
- Clothovera - Is there any room where I can...take a bath?
- Kinmorunddraver - In the tower. Over there.
- Clothovera - Thank you. [Gods I feel rancid.]
Kinmorunddraver walked off with the staff into a long hall way. The lights behind him dimmed and then died.
After the team had slept and Kinmorunddraver had locked the Baculum Mille Solles away, the phoenix sent them back to the same Merovar settlement they had originally met. The Sea Witch, Clothovera and Nyakik all returned to Skull Cave, where Clothovera would finally train with an expert wizard for the first time in her life. Meanwhile, Pelagrios and Riad both travelled to the Southwest. Pelagrios planned to commander another ship and find his crew.
Hachi travelled to the Southwestern shores, to try and find a way back to hos original home, the Kame Isles. Meanwhile, as she had not encountered Serani on the adventure, Javina Desertsun resumed her search elsewhere, now followed by her new acolyte, Feli. However, Feli began hearing voices in her head, telling her to do something to Javina, but then stopping stating that it will "wait for now".
And at Akriarion Island, the Volcanus Soldiers all over the island prepared themselves. Their time had fonally come. Xacutus sat on his throne, with the Exacutus Vulcanus on his hand. Despite his loss, he didn't appear bothered.
- Exacutus - We failed! And they kidnapped my brother! Not cool.
- Xacutus - Not as much of a failure as it's an opening to many possibilities. With you back to my grasp, my soul is complete. My powers have returned. My life is restored!
Xacutus walked outside, looking down on the island to see all of his servants awaiting for orders.
- Xacutus - I live again! Vulcanus Horde, you are back to activity! You will burn the world into ashes like I made you to! The mortals unleashed us and for that, they will be rewarded with DEATH!
A great evil had returned to Koldenwelt.