| The Forgotten Lands is a Historical Event
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Meeting Together Edit
Northeastern Koldenwelt, 31 NA. In a city named Uskolia, an independent territory owned by a Deiwos family, a number of adventurers were invited to talk about the Forgotten Lands, a place which intrigued many. The person who invited them, a Néva named Riad, waited in a bar of a somewhat insalubrious nature. Riad was reading a book on the mythos of the ancient world, stories revolving around the Orichalcum Elves and Colossi. As Riad turned a page, he noticed an ink print sketch of a ginormous demonic figure, with intricate designs. The book labelled him simply as 'The Adversary'.
Before he read more, he noticed someone and shut the book. Walking into the bar was a human who stood jut above two metres tall. His face was obscured by a thick, worn brown-green hood. He sat at the counter and slumped over it, he had heard rumours of a journey up north. Slung over the back of the human's shoulder was a greatsword strapped to a leather sheathe that allowed for him to slip it out at the side. A black vulture flew outside of the bar and then landed on the window. It had bright green eyes which watched the others on the room. Riad went over to The Collector but also noticed the tall human there as well. He sat between them, ordering three drinks. He put his book on the counter, and took a long sip before stopping.
A blue-furred Lagosi with a rather intricately designed wooden arm walked into the room, carrying a katana on his side and a rather noticeable sword of a curious nature upon his back, like it was a massive dagger. The Lagosi tripped and stumbled onto the floor. The vulture laughed at the Lagosi's fall. Riad turned around, turned back, and then sharply turning back, realising he was one of the team. He got off his stool and offered the Lagosi his hand. The human, Marcos, looked to his side a little. Finally, seemingly out of nowhere. a small, lithe draconic figure wearing a monocle flew into the room, landing on the floor. His clothes were simple, suited for adventures, but at the same time were made of rare materials which signified his status as a noble.
Lekren-Lax - Greetings, sir, and well met.
Riad - Need some assistance, there?
The Lagosi looked up and blinked before holding out the hand not made of wood. Marcos grabbed the tankard he was given and drank it down.
Hachi - I-It would be appreciated.
Riad pulled Hachi up to his feet, looking curiously at the dagger on his back.
Riad - I see that almost all of us are here. Well, if you please, come this way.
Riad walked through the bar, to a back room which was empty, and sat down in the main chair. Marcos lifted himself from the seat, one woman at the bar stepped back seeing him as he walked though into the back room.
Lekren-Lax - May I join the discussion?
Lekren flew in. Hachi followed Riad, an innocent smile on his face. The vulture jumped off the window and was enveloped into a blue energy, morphing into a tall, beaked humanoid. Riad waited for the rest of the party to sit down. The Sea Witch walked up to Riad's location and sat down, but in the air.
Lekren sat on one of the smaller chairs, looking at his employer with interest. Marcos leaned agaisnt a wall and folded his arms. He pulled down his hood to reveal a combed mass of strawberry-blonde hair and deep chestnut eyes. The Collector looked his employer impatient. Hachi didn't reply and looked towards Riad, he had enough of talking to the Collector. He didn't trust strangers much. Or rather, wasn't very confident around them.
Marcos - I hope you don't mind if I stand.
Riad - Hm. Well stand if you must.
Riad stood up, and went over to a cupboard. From it, he pulled a large scroll, almost as large as himself. He dragged it to the table, laid it on there, and unfolded it. It came to reveal a vastly detailed map of Koldenwelt.
Riad - Koldenwelt. I suppose you're all wondering why you're here. My name is Riad, and you are all a group of adventurers looking for different things from this. But I haven't told you where we will go just yet.
Lekren - Hm-hm.
Marcos - An impressive map.
Hachi - Koldenwelt? What's that?
Riad looked confused at Hachi.
Riad - ...The world?
Hachi - ...It's called Koldenwelt? Riad - ...Yes?
Sea Witch - Great. You invited a child who doesn't even know the name of the world he lives in.
Archavior - <<how could you not know this child?>>
Hachi - I was never taught in school!
Riad - The place we are going to is a place that has long since been...forgotten by memory. Quite an apt name really.
Archavior - <<did your parents never tell you that name?>>
The Sea Witch leaned forward, still floating. Riad reached his fingers over the map, until it rested on a secluded point in the far northeast of the world. The name was simply 'Forgotten Lands'.
Lekren - Ah, the Forgotten Lands. I've heard of it. Many a traveler have tried to explore it... none returned.
Hachi - The Forgotten Lands? Never heard of it.
The Sea Witch smiled. Riad sighed and his posture lowered as Hachi said what he did.
Riad - ...Yes. The Forgotten Lands. Anyone familiar with the legends surrounding that place?
Sea Witch - I've heard of some.
Hachi - Unicorns? Pegasi? ...Horses? Are they there?
Marcos - Weren't there once dragons living up there? Sea Witch - Legends say the greatest of dragons once called that place his home.
Archavior - <<It would please me greatly to see the legacy of my kind's ancestors!>>
Hachi - Hah, everybody knows that Archavior is the stro-- Uhh, I mean, t-that sounds interesting.
Marcos - Archa-what?
Hachi - N-Nobody.
Sea Witch - Dragons are always interesting beings...unless it's Kimorgos. He's no fun.
Riad - Ah. So you know that this was a kingdom of dragons at one point. Nalúnt Earth-Scorcher was the name. And the main city in the Forgotten Lands is called 'Polis-Nalúnt', or Nalúnt's City. And then you know the whole deal with The Adversary destroying the place, I assume.
Lekren - Indeed we are.
Sea Witch - I might tell you more later if I feel like it.
The Sea Witch shuddered at the mention of the Adversary.
Sea Witch - The Adversary is said to be linked to...the crystal monsters...
Riad - ...Nothing. You can tell me later. Anyway, the journey is around 200 miles north, and from there, we turn northeast for 400 miles until we reach Nalúnt's City.
Sea Witch - Any idea of what lives in there now?
Riad - I'm afraid I do not know. The Forgotten Lands have been left bare for 200,000 years. Perhaps little longer.
Hachi - 600 miles travel? Hah, easy peasy! So, where are the horses? The carriages?
Riad - Oh, how silly of me. I do believe we're missing a member.
Riad counted the number of people.
Riad - Definitely missing one.
Hachi - Hey, I'm just wondering if he can afford the horses to take us here.
Marcos - *muttering under his breath* A stunted dragon, a beastman and a hag. I'm better off making the journey on my own...
Riad - Horses? Well...for the first 125 miles or so Horses are optional. It does get cold...then mountainous...then even colder...
Hachi's jaw dropped.
Lekren - My brother is a respected member of the Zeppelin Guild. He could help us with transport.
Hachi - I-I have to walk...over 500 miles...
Riad - Not to mention, the winds are severely biting.
Sea Witch - Pfff. Flying machines.
Marcos - My horse is hardy.
Hachi - Hey, who is the guest we're missing?
Whilst the group were talking, Hachi began to notice another presence in the room. Hachi tilted his head and then his ears perked.
Riad - I hope he doesn't keep us waiting. Money doesn't do it for him.
Marcos - I prefer travelling alone.
The figure was sat behind the group, well wrapped in clothes, legs folded and was smoking a pipe of sorts. Hachi turned slowly and coughed as the smoke entered into his nose.
Sea Witch - There is a reason no one goes to the Forgotten Lands by themselves.
Riad turned, and noticed the figure behind them. He was avian by nature and his wings obscured a majority of his features.
Marcos - I happen to travel faster on my own.
Lekren-Lax - She is true. One does not simply go to the Forgotten Lands.
The Sea Witch looked at the figure and groaned.
Riad - Hm. I guess our last guest was here before us all. Sea Witch - Oh great, it's "him". Hachi - ...Kinmoe Runs Raid Rivers.
As the avian figure stood up, it almost leveled Marcos in height. It turned around, and walked to the group.
Lekren-Lax - ...who's that?
Marcos turned to the figure and had a slight smile on his face.
Kinmorunddraver - Bold attempt to pronounce my name, Hachi but it's pronounced 'Kinmorunddraver'. Sea Witch - Someone who thinks he owns Koldewelt. Bhhrg.
Hachi stared at the figure for just a moment, before running forward and wrapping his arms around Kinmorunddraver's leg.
Marcos - I've heard stories of you. I imagined you'd be taller.
Kinmorunddraver - A lot of people tend to think I am tall. Size tends not to matter.
Archavior - <<Look at that Deiwos whoring over a relic as though he has phallic dreams of it!>>
Lekren - I definitely agree. Size does not matter!
Lekren-Lax flew higher in the air.
Riad - ...Back to the task at hand...I guess. The Forgotten Lands. Around a 600 mile journey...it should take us around 20 days to reach the city's gates...and I don't think horses might be suitable for the cold weather. There are some Dzep at the gates of the town which I had to buy.
Kinmorunddraver - Well, let's put it this way. I wouldn't trade the Eye for this sword.
Hachi - Kinmo loves his sword very much, it's best not to touch it.
Sea Witch - I need no steed.
Riad - Will you need a pack mule though?
Marcos - It will be a shame to leave my stallion here.
Hachi - Don't worry, Mrs. Bird, I can carry your stuff for you!
Kinmorunddraver - I surely hope you didn't buy one with me in mind, Néva.
Riad - ...None of you need steeds? Hm. I guess i'll have to persuade the stable owner for my 400 coins back.
Hachi - I need a steed!
Kinmorunddraver - Hachi, you walked more than 600 miles when you were with me. What makes this so different?
Hachi - W-Well...it's a luxury you know, Kinmo?
Kinmorunddraver - I thought I taught you that luxuries were weaknesses.
Marcos - Now, when will we leave? I don't enjoy staying in one place for too long. It... gets dangerous.
Sea Witch - You might need something to survive your way there. Me?
The Sea Witch teleported around the room.
Sea Witch - I need nothing.
Kinmorunddraver - Save your tricks for later, 'Sea Witch'.
Riad - In that case, take the horses to carry provisions. We will set out at first light tomorrow morning. Tonight would be an idea to enjoy yourself or get provisions, weapons or whatnot before you say goodbye to civilisation for three weeks.
Kinmorunddraver - When you put it like that, it seems almost depressing.
Hachi - Enjoy myself? Oh boy! Anybody have any soothing cream?
Marcos - Perhaps I could do with a rest in a more comfortable bed...
Riad - Very well. I will see you all here in the morning. We'll leave with or without you, so please be here soon.
Riad rolled up the map, walked out and got the book before going upstairs to sleep.
Sea Witch - I expect you all to die on me. Except mister invincible over there. So I see you all tomorrow, I suppose.
Archavior - <<Can't you cut out that Deiwos' tongue?>>
Marcos - Hrmph, I have survived much you know.
The Sea Witch turned into a rat and entered a hole in the wall. Kinmorunddraver turned to leave the room, before putting his hand on Marcos' shoulder.
Kinmorunddraver - I'd be careful of that Lasogi over there. More so of the dagger.
Kinmorunddraver then turned away and walked out.
Marcos - *muttering* Name me something good borne from dragons...
Hachi - Eggs! Dragon eggs! I heard they're tasty!
Kinmorunddraver left the bar, walked through the town to stand upon an overlook a couple of hundred metres from the town's gate.
Lekran - They aren't tasty, you Lagrosi ruffian!
Hachi - *whispering* Hey Arch, did you ever lay dragon eggs?
Marcos - Well I kind-of agree with the Lagosi. Also scales, good for shields.
Lekron - Hmph. We're living, breathing beings like you. If we are cut, shall we not bleed?
Leaving Civilisation Edit
Night before the Storm Edit
Kinmorunddraver was stood on the edge of a hill, staring through an open space directly southeast. Riad however, was fast asleep still in the inn. As he stared out, Marcos slowly approached, wearing his hood over his head as he looked at Kimno from a distance. Kinmo felt Marcos' presence, but did nothing to greet or to distance himself from him. Marcos wasn't sure about approaching. He wasn't sure if Kimno was in morning or if he wanted to be alone. With a great sigh, he moved closer.
Kinmorunddraver - You have questions?
Marcos - Well I...
Kinmorunddraver - Do not be afraid to ask.
Whilst he was saying this, Kinmorunddraver was still looking fiercely southeast.
Marcos - What is it that drives you to wander? Why not find a place to call home?
Kinmorunddraver - The place I once called 'home' was destroyed by Ateronash Mordrakis. Since then, being the only one of your kind draws nothing but bad attention.
Marcos - I'm sorry to hear...have you ever thought about settling down somewhere remote?
Kinmorunddraver - Remote? The only place remote in this world is the Forgotten Lands. And what is your story? Judging by your armour and skin you are from the North.
Marcos - I come from a town called Redhelm. Open expanses, hardy people, bitter winters... I loved it there.
From the way he talked, It was as though Marcos held some bad memory of Redhelm. he pulled his hood down and spoke in a more miserable tone.
Marcos - Something...happened. I don't like to talk about it; bad memories, y'know? One winter like this I felt like I had no home to go back to. Some...powerful people want me dead. I can't go back because if I do they'll come and they'll kill everyone. Same goes for anywwehre I stay really.
Kinmorunddraver - Then I could ask the same questions you asked me. The reason why I came on this expedition is that there are powers stirring in both the North and South. And I am concerned as to what.
Kinmorunddraver kept staring south.
Marcos - So it seems we both share something in common.
Kinmorunddraver - To some degree, it seems.
Marcos- Do you have any idea what may be stirring?
Kinmorunddraver paused for a few moments.
Kinmorunddraver - ...How familiar are you with southern legends?
Marcos - I know one or two stories.
Kinmorunddraver - Well, the Néva spoke of a being called 'The Adversary'. Know anything about him? Indeed. They are stirring again. Moving northwest. But that does not fully concern me for the time being. They are a hundred days from us.
Marcos - I know many who can be considered an adversary.
Kinmorunddraver - Hm...what about the name 'Terror of the South'?
Marcos - Vaguely. I remember hearing rumours of that name being used to describe some deity or other.
Kinmorunddraver - He goes by another name. However it has become ill-fated on all tongues of Deiwos, Kelodhros and beasts. And yes, Laknaggr is another name. I have a feeling that soon, Laknaggr, Ateronash Mordrakis, The Adversary or whatever you so wish to call it, will rise from its abyss.
Marcos - I don't like the sound of that.
Kinmorunddraver - No being on this earth should. Fortunately, we are heading north. Further away from the Shiarchon and further away from such evils. Or so it should seem.
Kinmorunddraver walked away from the group, heading further south.
Red Sun Edit
Morning. Riad woke from the inn, and Kinmorunddraver did not return from wherever he went. Hachi yawned as he he was laying across a table, curled into a ball.
Riad - Hm. Hardly the place to sleep. Why didn't you take a bed?
Marcos was at the inn's bar with a tankard in his hand. The Sea Witch was walking around impatiently, on the ceiling.
Hachi - Hmm...? There were beds?
Marcos - That's what inns have.
Hachi - Oh...can we stay another night?
Kinmorunddraver opened the door, and sat down next to Marcos.
Sea Witch - No, we must leave! I'm growing tired of waiting.
Marcos looked over to Kinmorunddraver with a smile. Hachi looked to Kinmorunddraver and hopped off the table.
Kinmorunddraver - Even if you wanted to stay another night we couldn't. I travelled to Ar-Klith, and I have found that the Shiarchon militia are advancing north.
Marcos - Then we must make haste.
Sea Witch - Them? Ugh. It would be funnier if we could lure them into the ocean so the Great Water Beast could devour them all.
Kinmorunddraver - Pfft. Good luck with that.
Hachi - The who-wat now?
Kinmorunddraver - Shiarchon. Elves. Not good news.
Riad - Indeed. We will have to eat along the way. Judging by the the road, we should be near the Forgotten Land's entrance by nightfall.
Hachi - Oh, dirty stinking Elveses?
Riad hurled an obsidian-cut dagger next to Hachi's paws.
Riad - I'm an elf, Lagosi.
Hachi jumped up and clung to the ceiling, shivering.
Kinmorunddraver - Get down from there.
Hachi let out a whine and dropped onto the floor. On his head.
Monet - And I know a thing or two about "demons".
Sea Witch - I've had my dealings with demons. A certain one owns me a village.
Riad pulled his dagger out of the table.
Riad - We must move now. If the World-Walker is correct then they might already have a few days' lead from Abyssus.
Marcos put his tankard down and nodded.
Riad opened the door and held it. Kinmorunddraver walked out.
Riad - Like I said, if we move now, we should be near the Forgotten Lands by nightfall.
Hachi followed Kinmorunddraver shortly after, taking his Draonoggr dagger and katana with him. Marcos followed and headed towards the stables. He travelled to say his goodbyes to a powerfully-built stallion waiting i nthe stables. He patted it on the throat affectionately.
Kinmorunddraver - That is an impressively built horse. Northern?
Marcos - I like to keep mobile. He was one of the last things I took with me from Redhelm. He's fast, stronger than most horses and being born and bred in Redshire he is used to the cold.
Kinmorunddraver - Pay the keeper here well enough and rest assured nothing shall fail such value.
Lekren - Wish I had that servant of mine with me. Unfortunately, he died.
Lekren looked at Marcos, surprised.
Lekren - I never understood that custom of your race. Why do you have to use horses?
Sea Witch - Deiwos are an unfortunate kind who lack mobility and have to rely on other animals.
Riad took a Dzep, which carried numerous kinds of provisions from the Néva culture.
Hachi - Because walking is a pain in my ass.
Riad got another Dzep, which headed over to Hachi. The Dzep were very large horses; Kinmo's head was at its shoulder. Hachi looked at the Dzep and fell onto his rear in shock.
Hachi - W-What...what is that?
Riad - The Snow Horses as the western culture call them are large in order to cope with the temperatures of the north. They're not as fast as say, normal horses, but they are not used for such purposes.
Kinmorunddraver - They remind me of horses from my own land.
Hachi - What about you, Mrs. Bird? How will you be travelling?
The Sea Witch, in a blink of an eye, teleported in front of Hachi.
Sea Witch - Like this.
Hachi squeaked out and curled into a ball.
Riad - Névari myths say that the Dzep were once centaurs who were turned into horses by Storm Drakes.
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. Shame Storm Drakes no longer exist.
Lekren - Centaurs? Like the Caonima from the Caelunar Ridge?
Marcos - Like I said, Little good comes from any dragon.
Kinmorunddraver - Indeed. I haven't been there enough to gather any of their acquaintance.
Lekren - Blast you, Deiwos!
Lekren shouted, making the air around him ignite. The Sea Witch looked at Lekren with a raised eyebow.
Riad - Other Névari myths say that all dragons came from the World Dragon 'Kelodhros'. It isn't unfeasible.
Marcos - Mention that to the mosnters that used to plague my homeland, snake!
Hachi - Hah, that's dumb. It's more likely that the dragons evolved from normal lizards with magical assistance.
Sea Witch - Next you're gonna say we all evolved from microbes.
Hachi - A mic-what?
Lekren - Hah, madam! The Lord Protector's greatest men of science are currently studying that nonsensical theory.
Kinmorunddraver - Well it is of common knowledge that all phoenixes came from Ecnisṇmrótijosawis.
Riad - Come. We must leave before townspeople wake up.
Riad headed out with his Dzep, whilst Kinmorunddraver followed.
Kinmorunddraver - You better mount that Dzep, Lagosi. The Néva here is not wasting money.
Hachi hopped onto another Dzep and smiled as it began walking.
Marcos gave a final pat to his horse and went back inside for a few minutes, coming back out he mounted one of the Dzep Riad had provided.
Riad headed to the left, and headed north.
Hachi - My little pony, my little pony~!
Kinmorunddraver - If you're going to sing, at least sing it in the Old Tongue.
Riad - Is the Old Tongue even spoken nowadays?
Lekren - Hah! I know that song back from my time in the Caelunar Ridge. The Centaurs of the Caonima Khanate are indeed masterful songwriters.
Hachi - Ahem...Mei parvos equus, mei parvos equus~!
Kinmorunddraver - The only beings whose language could pass for it are the Shiarchon. I myself, and any being on this land who were alive during the Adamantine Age. And apparently the Lagosi.
Hachi - I heard you talk in Old Tongue and figured to work it out myself.
Kinmorunddraver coughed slightly and went quiet.
Kinmorunddraver - Next you will all be speaking the Primordial Tongue. Then I will be impressed.
Hachi - Kinmo, what does "sexualis phantasia" mean? I heard you say it in your sleep sometimes.
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. Now I know for a fact you make it up. For one, I don't sleep.
Sea Witch - That is pointless. It only makes you look old.
Kinmorunddraver - Well, I am old. Perhaps I should at least accept that.
Marcos - Sleeping can be a disadvantage at times. I learned of an elven technique months ago that keeps me alert while I rest.
Hachi - Kame Isles...? Oh right, home! No, I got kicked out. They were way too serious.
Riad - How old is 'old'? I myself am a century old.
Hachi - Kinmo's old and he still has less wrinkles than Mrs. Bird!
Sea Witch - Want me to sneeze on you again?
Riad - Who speaks the Primordial Tongue nowadays?
Kinmorunddraver - Only the most educated can speak a few words. Other than that, the Old Colossi can.
Hachi - The Colossuses?
Marcos - The colossi are real?
Sea Witch - The Great Water Beast is certainly real.
Kinmorunddraver - Of course they are. Of the Old Colossi, the Fire Colossus and Flora Colossus are the only ones still awake.
Lekren - I studied it in the Grand University of Arkenholdt when I was at the age of ten. Unfortunately, I remember little to nothing. Alchemy is my calling, not elder tongues of yore.
Riad - Awake?
Kinmorunddraver - There are three others who sleep under the earth. The Adversary is one of them.
Archavior - <<The Young Prince of Fire and Fury. Yes he is real!>>
Hachi - The who what now, Arch?
Archavior - <<The child of the Queen of The Earth, what you may call the Earth Colossus.>>
Kinmorunddraver - One of the sleeping Colossi, the Shadow Colossus, was once Nalúnt Earth Scorcher.
Riad - You said 'Old' Colossi. What are the new ones?
Kinmorunddraver - I'm...not so certain. Perhaps Hachi knows of one.
Lekren - Arddraigr the Fiery, of course.
Lekren whispered in Undertongue.
Hachi - Huh, me? Well, there's the Earth Colossus...that's all I know.
Kimorunddraver - So Korddraggren spawned a child? Interesting.
Riad - I know of one Colossus who roams the far north of the world. Northern tongue calls him Kartansimal. He's apparently friendly, but reclusive.
As they travelled into a more open space, they could see a vast plain that moved upwards. In the horizon, they could see huge mountains which appeared dark. They were the entrance to the Forgotten Lands.
Riad - Well, there's the entrance. We should be there by the end of the day.
Marcos - Kimorunddraver does the Lagosi have an imaginary friend?
Kimorunddraver - It's in his head, but not necessarily imaginary.
Hachi - Hey! Arch is not an imaginary friend!
Marcos - So where is he?
Hachi - He's my sword, silly!
Kimorunddraver - Perhaps Hachi is better off answering that question.
Riad - A possessed sword? Isn't that dangerous?
Marcos looked at Hachi with confusion.
Marcos - ...your sword.
Kimorunddraver - Not necessarily. The name suggests that the soul in the sword is from the western reaches of the world.
Hachi - Yep! Archavior was once a big, strong dragon person! But now he's a dagger and I use him as a sword.
Marcos blinked with shock.
Hachi - You're just jealous because you don't have a talking sword!
Shock Tactics Edit
Riad stopped in the road, with Kimorunddraver stopping also. He looked across the plain, and saw it was empty.
Riad - Huh. Empty.
Hachi also stopped and looked over to the plain.
Kimorunddraver - It isn't usually this empty.
Hachi - Looks boring. Needs a party.
Sea Witch - Shut your childish trap.
Hachi - Go put on some more anti-aging cream.
The group heard a distant roar. It didn't seem familiar to Riad, but Kinmorunddraver knew the roar.
Hachi - Huh? A dragon?
Riad - No dragon sounds like that.
Marcos - Then what.
Lekren - An Abyssus demon, perhaps? It is within the realm of possibility.
Kinmorunddraver looked around the plains, and noticed a plume of smoke rising in the distance.
Kinmorunddraver - Over there.
Riad went over to the plume of smoke, with Kinmo following. As they got closer, they noticed it was a nearby hold that went up in flames.
Marcos - Damnit...
Riad - What could have done that?
Kinmorunddraver - Not quite sure. We should take a look.
As Kinmorunddraver examined the city walls, he noticed details that made him seem uneasy.
Kinmorunddraver - Perhaps you should go along and i'll wait with Hachi here.
The Sea Witch turned into a vulture and flew above the city.
Hachi - Huh? Why me?
Kinmorunddraver - From what I can see from here you don't want to go in there, Hachi. You're not...quite there yet.
Hachi - Hey what are you sayin? I'm a big boy now!
Kinmorunddraver - Trust me.
As the Sea Witch flew over, she saw that the castle's main structure was destroyed, with resulting buildings even more destroyed.
Marcos - I used to believe that...until Orlembrook. Some things you simply can't be ready for.
Hachi folded his arms and pouted, turning away.
Riad - Marcos, Lekren, come with me. Kinmo, stay with Hachi.
Kinmorunddraver - Understood.
Riad went with Marcos and Lekren closer to the hold's walls. As they got closer, they noticed that from the castle's gates hung charred corpses of what seemed to be the ruling family there. To their left and right, pikes were set up with charred corpses skewed on them.
Sea Witch - Let's hope it's just some big angry animal.
Marcos gave a doubtful look to the Sea Witch.
Sea Witch - Fresh meat. Could take some home for Squarks.
Riad - Whatever invaded this place definitely didn't want anything to survive. That's probably why the plains are empty.
Sea Witch - What are you staring at, human?
Lekren - Siarkon...
Riad - I seriously doubt there's anything alive in there if whatever invaded this place was that thorough...Shiarchon? Are you sure?
Marcos - The population were slaughtered and placed on pikes. This is the work of no animal.
Sea Witch - I have only noticed the pikes. And Shiarchon? It's possible.
Riad looked at Lekren with disdain, and turned away from the hold, returning to Kinmorunddraver and Hachi.
Riad - The entire population was slaughtered. It was invaded, and the Klaxxa and Sea Witch say it's Shiarchon that invaded the place.
Hachi - S-Slaughtered? Everybody?
Kinmorunddraver - What would Shiarchon be doing three thousand miles north of Abyssus?
Sea Witch - It certainly weren't the crystal demons, otherwise the city would have been turned into crystal.
Riad - Yes, slaughtered. I suggest we move on before something comes.
Sea Witch - Perhaps they are claiming territory.
As Riad turned around to move on, he noticed something in the distance.
Hachi - Hmm, what do you see Riad?
As he looked closer, he noticed there were riders coming their way. And there were a lot of them.
Lekren - Only the Siarkon are that brutal. Them and the kob- well, a man of science like me knows that they are nothing but myths, so... nevermind.
Riad - Get off the horses. Now.
Hachi - Huh? Why can't we stay on them?
Riad - Just get off them!
The Sea Witch landed on a tree from a distance, watching.
Hachi sighed and slumped off the Dzep. Riad shot off the horse, and signalled the team to get behind a certain boulder nearby. Marcos climed off his horse after giving it a pat on the shoulder and headed for cover. Hachi grunted and grumpily walked towards the cover, not realizing that his dagger was still attached to the Dzep he had left. Kinmo took cover behind the boulder as well. As the team waited, the ground began to shake as the riders got closer. They were indeed Shiarchon - 50 Legatus, and 1 Praetor. All of them were mounted on Cataphractus horses.
Archavior - <<you're going to leave me to those elves!!>>
Hachi perked his ears upon hearing Archavior's voice and squeaked.
Hachi - ...Oh shit!
Riad - Hachi. Do. Not. Move.
Hachi - I need to get my dagger!
Lekren - Double-drat!
The Sea Witch made vulture sounds, for any observes she was just a mundane bird.
Hachi turned back and ran for the Dzep, with the dagger in his sight. If he was quick, he could grab it and get back behind cover. The party of Shiarchon stopped right next to the abandoned Dzep. The Praetor went on, circling the horses, and examining what was on them. He noticed the dagger on Hachi's, and turned back to the Legatus. The Dzep became very uneasy and one of them began to cower.
Riad - Kinmo, what do we do?
Hachi - Shit...I can't let them have Archavior.
Kinmorunddraver - Hope for the best.
The Praetor spoke to one of the Legatus, with his steed turned away from the Dzep. Hachi took the moment of opportunity and ran for the Dzep. The dagger glinted in the sunlight. The Sea Witch noticed Hachi and made loud squawking sounds to distract the Shiarchon. As most of the Legatus turned to find out where the squak came from, the Legatus speaking to the Praetor noticed Hachi and roared at him.
Marcos - Damn that boy and his knife!
Hachi grabbed Archavior just as he was seen and froze in terror. The Shiarchon, the Cataphractus and the entire group could see some liquid pour down Hachi's legs as he froze.
The Sea Witch cringed at the scene. The Legatus began to laugh mockingly, but the Praetor did nothing. Instead, he moved closer to Hachi with his steed, and looked down with him with his faceless helmet. As he spoke, his voice was deep and distorted.
Praetor - And what is a Lagosi doing this far north of his home?
Hachi - I-I...umm...I-I'm...p-part of the L-Legion, y-you know...from the K-Kame Island s-settlement. I-I was t-transferred here...
Praetor - Hmph. There are no members of the Legion under your race. Speak truthfully or I shall cut you in half where you stand.
The Praetor drew his greatsword.
Hachi - I was taking a walk! I-I was taking a walk...I-I was lost, you see.
Lekren - Blast... - Lekren whispered quietly - I will not consort with these diabolical aberrations of natural law...
The Praetor lowered his blade.
Praetor - Lost? How does one wander this far from home?
Marcos - Is he seriously trying to bluff his way past them?
Hachi - I-I was o-on a fishing t-trip, then t-there was a storm...and n-now I'm trying to f-find the nearest river settlement.
Praetor - Hmph. Well, you are going the wrong way. There are no rivers in these parts.
Lekren - <<Mindless varlet...>>
Hachi - I-Is there not? S-Silly me, I knew I s-should've t-taken a spare map.
The Praetor looked at Hachi for a few moments before a Legatus came up next to the Praetor, speaking to him. The Praetor looked in the boulder's direction for a few moments, and then looked at Hachi again. From his Cataphractus, he threw to Hachi a metal-sheet scroll. Hachi took the scroll and landed on his rear, looking up towards the Praetor with an expression of awe and surprise.
Praetor - Find your way out of these parts. You should not be and are not welcome here.
The Praetor's steed turned away, with the Legatus following him. The Praetor kept looking at Hachi until he looked away. The Shiarchon then rode towards the east. Hachi let out a sigh of relief and smiled, standing up and brushing himself off.
Hachi - Phew, for a moment there-- Why do I feel wet?
As the Shiarchon went out of view, Riad and Kinmorunddraver walked towards Hachi.
Sea Witch - You're as disgusting as a mud-covered Smeever, rabbit-thing.
Kinmorunddraver - That was rather impressive.
Hachi - Hehe, it's not the first time. Never did it with a Shiarchon, though.
Riad - And a Praetor nonetheless. Praetors haven't been seen in these parts for almost 7,000 years.
Hachi - How would you feel if I said this is the first time it worked?
Riad looked astonished at Hachi.
Kinmorunddraver - What concerns me is that there was a Praetor and 50 Legatus. That rings alarm bells, telling me there's a Shiarchon militia nearby.
Riad - How big?
Kinmorunddraver - 50 Legatus? At least 500,000 Shiarchon.
Hachi - Teehee, now, does anybody carry any cleaning gear and spare clothes?
Riad threw Hachi a pack.
Riad - Change when we get to the entrance.
Sea Witch - I could clean you with my magic. But I don't really like you.
Kinmorunddraver went over to Hachi and offered his hand - he wanted the metal scroll. Hachi gave Kinmorunddraver the scroll happily and hugged his leg. Kinmorunddraver looked uneasy at Hachi and started wriggling his leg.
Kinmorunddraver - Clean yourself first!
Lekren - Blast. Is there a way to evade them?
Riad - The Praetor was heading west. So we have already evaded them. Where they're camped? I don't know, but it's not anywhere we're going.
Kinmorunddraver put the scroll on his back, where more scrolls of different sizes also laid.
Riad - Also, what were those horses they were on?
Kinmorunddraver - Cataphractus. Especially bred in Abyssus to have such size so Shiarchon can ride them.
Marcos - Big elves big horses I guess.
Sea Witch - I've seen some things born on Abyssus. Let's just say I never returned.
Kinmorunddraver - Just as well. Abyssus isn't a place for anyone.
Riad - Let's keep moving north. Further out of the Shiarchon's way. We're nearly there anyway.
Sea Witch - They have these huge...ogre-like servants...with three eyes that spit fire. They're like huge walking muscle walls.
Hachi - They sound...disturbing.
Lekren - Disgusting.
To the Entrance Edit
The team kept moving north. The team was oddly quiet after their encounter with the Shiarchon. Some hours later, about an hour before nightfall, Kinmorunddraver took out the metal scroll and started reading it. Riad went towards Kinmorunddraver and looked curious. The Sea Witch kept flying above the ground, scouting the area.
Riad - What's on that metal scroll?
Kinmorunddraver - It's a map. A map of Northeastern Koldenwelt. The glyph here on the map represents the Shiarchon's camp. You were right; they're off in the west. They seem to have based themselves on the north face of the Stormlands.
Riad - I suppose a century of scouting does that to you. So why did the Praetor give Hachi a scroll?
Hachi - I said I was looking for a river route to get back home.
Kinmorunddraver - Because he believed Hachi's story.
Riad - You and I both know the Praetor didn't fall for that story.
Marcos - either the Lagosi was as good as he says or the Praetor had some ulterior motive.
Sea Witch - A trap? Maybe we'll meet him again then. I do wonder how Shiarchon meat tastes like.
Lekren - Blah!
Kinmorunddraver - I think the map was meant for us rather than Hachi. We'd better be on our guard once we enter Nalúnt's City.
The Sea Witch sneezed salty water again. She began to fall into the ground and reverted back to her regular form. Hachi looked down and sighed sadly.
Kinmorunddraver - I wouldn't be disappointed in myself if I were you, Hachi. You survived an encounter with one of the highest ranking Shiarchon before the Patriarch himself.
Sea Witch - When are we getting on the next body of water...
Hachi - Ehh, it's not that, Kinmo...I...just wish the story I told was true rather than the...actual consequences of why I'm here.
Marcos - Out here in the east water can be a rare sight.
As the team kept talking, the entrance to the Forgotten Lands became clear. It was a valley between two mountains which went above the clouds. At the valley's opening, what seemed to be a broken arch structure marked its passage. The arch stretched around 2 kilometres at the base and was around 4 kilometres high. It was clearly dragon-made.
Sea Witch - I'm getting dehydrated. Me being dehydrated means I cannot use my magic...
Hachi - Dragons, they overcompensate for a lot, no offense Arch.
Lekren - Hm. Perhaps my potions could help you, madam?
Lekren offered the Sea Witch a vial of bubbly liquid. The Sea Witch took the vial and drank from it, feeling a little better.
Sea Witch - Hmm. Thank you, Klaxxa.
Lekren - I'm a gentleman, after all.
Riad - It's not that they overcompensated. Nalúnt Earth-Scorcher was the largest dragon to have lived in the North.
Archavior - <<Overcompensation is proportional to one's size you know.>>
Lekren - Bah! Size means nothing.
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. I almost forgot how big the dragon was. His wings almost brushed the sides of the arch.
Sea Witch - I could get as big as that arch if I was near the sea.
Riad - Where are we going to camp?
Kinmorunddraver - You're probably not going to like what i'm going to say.
Riad - Keep going...v Kinmorunddraver - On the arch stump.
Sea Witch - I don't see what's so bad about that.
Hachi - Why there?
Kinmorunddraver - Well, the north is notorious for predators at night. The problem with that is that we have to abandon the Dzep, and climb the arch stump. Sea Witch - I'm sure mister "doesn't sleep at night" wouldn't mind taking care of the predators.
Riad got off his Dzep, took his provisions from the back of it and slung them on his back.
Kinmorunddraver - You're lucky there's only one flying predator this far north.
Riad - I don't wanna know what it is really.
Kinmorunddraver - You lived this far north, you should know.
Riad went quiet.
Hachi - I bet the Sea Witch gets eaten first.
Sea Witch - You mean I eat you for dinner.
Kinmorunddraver - Enough.
Kinmorunddraver grabbed Hachi, and in one leap, they landed on the arch's stump.
Hachi - Wheee!
Kinmorunddraver then returned as fast as he left.
Kinmorunddraver - Who's next?
Marcos - Hrmph, Riad and I happen to be the only ones who can't fly.
The Sea Witch teleported herself to the stump.
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. I suppose that'll be you next.
Kinmorunddraver grabbed Marcos, finding it a bit more difficult, but managed to leap to the arch stump again. Riad, realizing that Kinmorunddraver wasn't returning for him, climbed the arch stump. Lekren flew up with him.
Marcos - Thanks.
Riad reached the top, with little effort.
Riad - I suppose you took into account that Néva can climb very well?
Kinmorunddraver - Of course.
Riad - Well, it's time to get a fire going. This close to the Forgotten lands and you might die of the cold overnight.
Sea Witch - Get me wood and I can make fire.
Kinmorunddraver - I thought you could make objects.
Hachi - Don't worry, I got this! Archavior, use fire breath!
Archavior - <<AHEM. DAGGER!>>
Sea Witch - Fine! Put all the work on the old lady.
The Sea Witch launched a bolt on the ground which caused a campfire to appear. She then sneezed salty water on Kinmorunddraver's general direction. The sea water evaporated before it hit Kinmorunddraver.
Marcos - You complain but in honesty did you prepare for all this?
Hachi - Next time we get to a Smeever center, they'll cure you of your paralysis, Arch!
Sea Witch - Hah. Chances are that the Smeevers would steal your dagger and eat it.
Archavior - Keep that up and I may consider eating you once I am with a body.
Hachi squeaked and placed Archavior down.
Hachi - I-I'll let you rest for a bit.
Archavior - If I was my old size i'd swallow you whole...
Kinmorunddraver sat down next to the fire in a meditative position and moved his hands. The fire began to rise as he did it. Lekren looked at the fire. The Sea Witch moved away from the group and morphed into a bat, staying in an upside down position.
Lekren - A rather crude way of harnessing the Source, I must say.
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. So how far are we going into the Forgotten Lands tomorrow?
Riad - Far enough for us to call it a day.
Marcos found a clear space and brushed the floor, sitting cross-legged and straightening his back.
Hachi - All the way to Amarillo!
Riad set up a device to cook food.
Lekren - Hm, hm... Looks exquisite. I have never tasted Neva cuisine...
Riad - We're all going to have to eat in order to keep our energies up. Except for the Sea Witch of course.
Sea Witch - What? You letting me starve now? Hmpf.
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. I haven't eaten in a fair while.
Hachi - How about you eat *my* meat, Witch.
The Sea Witch pointed her hand at Hachi, which was surrounded in blood red electricity.
Sea Witch - You want me to turn you inside out, you little pest?
Into the LandsEdit
The next morning. The team eventually got to sleep, save for Kinmorunddraver, who instead shielded his form with his wings. They noticed that the winds were sharper, colder, and louder. Hachi slowly woke up on top of the Sea Witch's back, resting his head on top of hers, yawning. Kinmorunddraver's wings opened, which they were stiff and slightly covered in frost. The Sea Witch sneezed salty water again, but remained asleep.
Lekren - Brrrr...
Kinmorunddraver - Hmph. Well that was colder than I expected.
Sea Witch - Mmhmhm...shut it I'm having my beauty sleep...mhmhm.
Riad, however, was already awake, looking over the arch stump, downwards. Hachi rubbed his hand over the Sea Witch's face, half-asleep himself. Marcos, used to the cold, slept lying on his back, using his thick cloak to keep warm.
Hachi - Mmmm...y-yeah...w-work it...
Kinmorunddraver appeared to be disgusted by the scene, but looked over to Riad, who was looking outwards. Lekren, being a Klaxxa, remained slightly agitated, twitching while half-asleep.
Kinmorunddraver - What's the problem?
Riad - See for yourself.
Lekren - Ah? What? Drat! Must have made a sleep concoction...
The Sea Witch shivered from the cold wind, grabbing Hachi and putting him on her back, as if he was a coat. Hachi smiled and wrapped his hands comfortably around her, his fur keeping her warm while yawning. As Kinmorunddraver looked down, he noticed that they were completely surrounded by Névari, and not from Riad's family.
Kinmorunddraver - Up you lot. We've got company.
Sea Witch - Five more minutes...or hours.
Marcos' eyes thrusted open and he sat up. As if awake the entire time. Kinmorunddraver sent a bolt of Source at the Sea Witch's side, to get her and Hachi awake. The Sea Witch shouted and threw herself up. Hachi was thrown back and his eyes shot wide open.
Marcos - What's the problem?
Riad - Well, let's put it this way. It's not Shiarchon, but it's bad enough.
Sea Witch - You're so rude, you.
Hachi - Ngh, w-what was that for?!
Kinmorunddraver - Focus. We're surrounded by Névari.
Sea Witch - So what?
Marcos stood up and grabbed the handle of his zwielhander, unclipping it and holding it by his side. The Névari numbered around 300 in size, and were equipped with Obsidian spears and knives.
Hachi - P-Please tell me t-they're all women.
Riad - The bad thing is that they're from an enemy clan.
Lekren - Ah?
Marcos - That might be a little too many for me to handle...
Lekren drank a carmine-coloured potion and drew his pistol. Hachi grabbed ahold of Archavior and his katana.
Lekren - Nothing my potions couldn't handle...
Sea Witch - Hmpf. If we were near the sea I could kill them all really quick...
Marcos - Will you ever shut up about "if's"?
Sea Witch - If you ask nicely.
Marcos scowled at the Sea Witch. Kinmorunddraver unsheathed his blade. The Névari all looked astounded at the sword, but then looked vicious again.
Kinmorunddraver - What do you suggest we do?
Riad - Not quite sure. Killing them is a bad move. Their clan's territory numbers more than 300 warriors.
Marcos - If we are forced to fight, I suggest targeting their commanders.
Lekren - More than 300?... Seems that tonight we shall dine in Hell, gentlemen.
Hachi - That's such a lame quote, Lekren.
Lekren - Lame? What kind of language is that?
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. So we cannot kill them, and we're surrounded. Hmph. I haven't been in a situation like this since I was surrounded by Orichalcum Elves.
Sea Witch - Knock them aside and run off.
Hachi - Hmm, let's give them the element of surprise!
Hachi began to pull down his trousers. All of a sudden, a distant roar could be heard from the north. The Névari all looked, panicked, and ran off.
Archavior - What in the Fallen Queen's name are you doing!!
Sea Witch - Lagosi you're so dir-what was that?
Riad - Shiarchon again?
Marcos - Too beastial...
Riad - Dragons?
Marcos - Out here? Let's hope not.
Kinmorunddraver - Not quite sure.
Hachi - Ooh boy! Arch, you can talk to them!
Archavior - That was a dragon's roar yes. It sounded familiar though...
Lekren coughed fire. Kinmorunddraver felt uneasy from what Archavior said. But considering he was the only one aside from Hachi who could hear him, he did not let on anything.
Kinmorunddraver - Let's go. Sitting around on this stump isn't going to get us anywhere.
Marcos - I like that plan.
Kinmorunddraver teleported himself down along with Hachi and Marcos, whilst Riad climbed down quickly.
Hachi - Whee!
Kinmorunddraver - You said that they weren't from your family. What does that mean exactly?
Riad - Us Névari are nomadic. That's just a different set of Névari.
Marcos - A rival clan. If this is their territory we may have problems.
As Riad looked into the entrance, he noticed that the mountains were partially destroyed, making the path far more narrow than it originally was. The Sea Witch morphed into a vulture and flew above them as they moved on. Kinmorunddraver walked in, followed by Riad, and Hachi followed closely behind Kinmorunddraver. Marcos sheathed his zwielhander and walked with his hand grasped firmly onto his arming sword.
Dragons of OldEdit
As they went in, they noticed that the destroyed mountains were not destroyed by nature. As Riad looked up, he saw what seemed to be a claw mark through the mountain side.
Lekren - Bloody hell...
Sea Witch - Woah.
Riad - What did that?
Kinmorunddraver - Who do you think?
Marcos - Riad you claimed this land was the domain of dragons. How big could they get?
Riad - Not that big.
Sea Witch - The Earth-Scorcher did that?
Riad - Nalúnt Earth Scorcher was said to have been around a kilometre long. Whatever did that was bigger than a kilometre.
Marcos - Is...is that even possible?
Sea Witch - Well damnit. Not even the Great Water Beast is that large.
Riad - So what did that anyway?
Kinmorunddraver - You know the stories.
Hachi - Arch..f-friend of yours?
Archavior - If a Draonoggr did that, it pales in age to any of the Domain's High Archons would pale in comparison to its age...
Sea Witch - Vectrom would probably know, that guy knows everything. I've not seen him in a while, though.
Kinmorunddraver - I think you know well enough as to what did that, Witch.
Sea Witch - I do not. If I did I would boast about it.
The Sea Witch let out a squalk.
Kinmorunddraver - If I remember correctly, the mountain stood well above the clouds before it was torn down.
Riad - I think he's talking about The Adversary.
Sea Witch - And I know little about him, so there ya have it.
Hachi - Was this d-done overnight?
Riad - Judging by the stories, that was done in seconds.
Archavior - Draonoggr grow with age. If that was from one of my kind, it's age must have been...incomprehenseable.
Kinmorunddraver said nothing to Riad's response, and kept going on. The passage began to widen slightly, and the skies became darker as if it were becoming night again. It also began to get very cold. The Sea Witch used her magic to create a scarf around her neck, while Lekren drank another of his potion. Kinmorunddraver kept on walking, seemingly unhindered by the cold.
Lekren - Why must it be so cold in these lands? By Arddraigr the almighty...
Riad tightened his clothing, and Marcos clutched his cloak tightly, pulling it over himself. Hachi squeaked and cuddled next to Kinmorunddraver.
Hachi - C-Cold...
Riad - Simple answer? Dark magic. When Ca--- I mean, the Adversary destroyed the place, he did a vast manner of atrocities to the place.
Sea Witch - Well he really lacked a sense of decoration.
Kinmorunddraver looked sharply at Riad when he almost said 'Caligaduro'.
Marcos - Winters in Redhelm were often bitter. But nothing like this.
Kinmorunddraver - And it's only going to get colder.
As they kept on walking, they came across a set of bones. It was half embedded in snow, and it was very large. It was a Storm Drake.
Marcos - By the heavens above...
Sea Witch - By the size, those are dragon bones.
Hachi - Arch, can you identify this guy's bones?
Archavior - Hmm. I'd say they belonged to a drake; a supposed precursor to my kind.
Hachi - Hey! Arch is a dragon and you guys know him!
Marcos - Don't remind me Lagosi!
Riad - Storm Drakes. These were the largest dragons on ancient Koldenwelt. I suppose this is landmark of sorts. I doubt there are much more here.
Sea Witch - Dragons are becoming a rarity these days. Last dragon I met shouted a lot and kept trying to cleave me with a sword.
Kinmorunddraver - Sounds like you came across Kimorgos.
Sea Witch - Yes. Not the most pleasant day. He's so annoying.
Riad - Kimorgos?
Kinmorunddraver - Don't worry. That's another conversation.
Lekren observed the skeleton with fascination.
Lekren - Dragons... By the Earth Prince, these creations of nature are indeed magnificent...
Hachi - I wouldn't say magnificent, but more ugly and scaly.
Sea Witch - Let's just say Kimorgos is a small dragon with an ego the size of a mountain. He's also a zombie.
Kinmorunddraver - At least you didn't come across Anysú or Ambhíqolosemos. Then again, I can't imagine how you would come across either of them.
Archavior - The Sea Witch forgets there is an entire empire of dragons in the Everwinter Highlands.
Lekren - Blast!
Sea Witch - Anysú?...Never heard of.
Kinmorunddraver - I'll talk to you on that one later.
Hachi - Hey Mrs. Bird, Arch said you dunno about the whole empire of dragons in the Everwinter Highlands. Not so much of a rarity after all, huh.
Lekren - Empire of dragons? Which one?
Hachi - The Draoneggs. At least, that's how I think they're called.
Archavior - Drae-oh-noggr you half-wit!
Sea Witch - Tell your imaginary friend I've never been that far up west.
Lekren - Draonoggr, you mean! Bah! I've seen their craft. So... simplistic. It lacks a certain flair of technology.
Archavior - "Simplistic?" Pah. This very dagger is an example of my peoples' skill at metal and gemwork.
Lekren - I admit, their metalwork is impressive, but true craft needs to be more... refined. Creation is, indeed, a science.
Riad walked on. As they kept on walking, it became colder and colder. Eventually, even Riad, a Snow-Elf began to slow down. Kinmorunddraver still seemed unfazed by the cold, but noticed the team were suffering from it.
Sea Witch - I have travelled a lot but I have not visited the west much. Also the cold is getting on my nerves.
Riad - It's getting c-cold. You got anything to stop it being so cold?
Kinmorunddraver - I have a few tricks up my sleeve.
The Sea Witch landed and morphed into her usual form, but with several scarves. Hachi ran over and hugged the Sea Witch, shivering greatly.
Hachi - C-Cold...
Sea Witch - Hmpf...normally I don't like people touching me, but you make a good scarf.
Marcos looked over to Hachi and groaned slightly. Kimorunddraver outspread his wings, and then in a single gust, blew a reddish wind towards the group. The group began to feel unhindered by the cold again. Hachi smiled and cuddled the Sea Witch more, humming quietly.
Sea Witch - About time you stopped being greedy.
Marcos - You wouldn't survive long in Redshire during wintertime.
Kinmorunddraver - Hmph. That was a trick Ecnisṇmrótijosawis taught me.
Riad - Well, that definitely cured the frostbite. Let's hope it doesn't get colder.
The Sea Witch did not know the meaning of the word and just kept walking. Kinmorunddraver looked at Riad sternly. Marcos sighed and wandered close to Hachi, unclipping a canteen from his belt and holding it out to hachi. Hachi looked towards it and sniffed it,
Riad - You're kidding.
Marcos - It's a dwarven beverage. Should put some fire in your stomach.
Kinmorunddraver - The Forgotten Lands is the coldest place on Koldenwelt.
Riad - Colder than the Polar Lands?
Kinmorunddraver - What did I just say?
Sea Witch - Aren't the Forgotten Lands in the Polar Lands anyway?
Kinmorunddraver - Technically yes. It's just a lot colder.
Sea Witch - You guys and me should go on a trip to Infernos Mons so we can all feel a contrast.
Kinmorunddraver - Maybe if we get out of this one.
Monet - A trip into Abyssus are you insane?
Hachi proceeded to climb on the Sea Witch's back. His fur provided a sense of warmth.
Sea Witch - I said Infernos Mons. That's on Sprak Island. I wouldn't put a foot on Abyssus after I've seen what they can do to Smeevers.
Monet - Pardon me for not having the entire map of Koldenwelt in my head.
Lekren - Infernos Mons? Oh, madam, I have heard of this magnificent wonder of nature while on my journey to the Sprak Island... the savages that inhabit that land are vile indeed.
As they kept going in, it became colder again - the effects of Kinmorunddraver's magic was beginning to wane slightly. They came to a wide open area, and in the distance, they noticed bears of some kind.
Sea Witch - You mean the Caxildiz? They're not so bad once you get to know them...and look, fur coats.
Riad - Snow Bears? In this temperature?
Lekren - Indeed, madam! The Caxildiz!
Hachi - Hmm? W-What are...B-BEARS?!
Marcos smiled, almost showing his fanged teeth. As the bears woke up, their eyes were a luminous blue. Riad's face went from surprise to fear.
Marcos - If they can survive otu here their furs would make excellent coats.
Sea Witch - Hmm, not the usual eye colour for a bear.
Riad - That's because they're not bears.
Sea Witch - What are they then?
Lekren - Shapeshifters, perhaps?
Hachi - M-Maybe they're f-furry prostitutes?
Lekren - I do not find it plausible that these animals are ladies of the night, young man.
The 'bear' stood up, and from a distance, it seemed taller than Kinmorunddraver. As it walked forward, its skin was in fact scaly, and covered in huge spikes, even if it was ursine in appearance. It was then accompanied by more of the same.
Sea Witch - Reptilian...what beast is this?
Riad - Furzántha. Think of them as...giant frost monsters.
Sea Witch - Fight or run?
Riad - I think we can take them.
Hachi - ...A-Are these frost monsters p-prostitutes?
Lekren - Highly unlikely.
Sea Witch - One good thing about this blizzard is that snow is water. I am not as weakened now.
The Furzántha ran towards the team, the three of them trying to separate the group. Riad jumped out of the way whilst Kinmorunddraver flew over them. Marcos slipped out a javelin and tossed it at one of the Furzantha. It stumbled, and its skin was slightly torn, but was not impaled. It then charged towards Marcos with its spikes aimed towards it. The Sea Witch floated above one of the Furzántha and launched magical blasts at it.
Hachi drew Archavior and his katana and rushed towards one, spinning around in a deadly circle. Marcos drew his zweihander and swung it in a horizontal motion at the charging Furzantha. The blasts from the Sea Witch stumbled the Furzántha, but not flooring it - it then charged towards her. Lekren threw a vial of green, toxic liquid at the Furzantha, which started to gurgle and flash as it flew.
The Sea Witch flew high to evade the charge and then launched a solid blast at the creature's head. The one which Hachi was running around charged out of the circle.
Hachi - I gun getcha!
Sea Witch - Heheheheheh, I still say we should skin them.
The Furzántha was then blinded, and couldn't see what was going on. Hachi leaped into the air and span himself in a horizontal circle, slamming down on the one he was targeting. The one that Marcos engaged clenched his teeth on the sword, but cut at its mouth.
Lekren - Hah! Taste this, savage beast!
Lekren shot the bear fiend that was fighting Marcos in the head. Hachi leaped into the air and span himself in a horizontal circle, slamming down on the one he was targeting. The one Lekren shot stumbled again, finding it difficult to move. Marcos swung his foot to kick th creature in the stomach, with strength beyond what most humans could do.
The Furzántha roared, and let go of the sword. The Sea Witch launched magical blasts at blinded Furzántha to floor it. Pulling the sword bac, Marcos swung downward in a furious flurry. The Furzántha went rigid and dropped to the ground dead. The one that the Sea Witch threw blasts at stumbled to the floor, still blinded. Marcos turned to another and lifted his sword. He ran between two Furzantha and swung his sword in arcing slices between them.
Sea Witch - Tough beast, eh?
The one Hachi went at fell to the ground, but got back up again. The Sea Witch got several venomous barbs out of her sleeves, floated up to the Furzántha and began to slash at it. The Sea Witch's Furzántha was killed, whilst the other was injured severely. During the entire time, Riad was attempting to catch the attention of each one, whilst Kinmorunddraver decided to do nothing.
Hachi - Come at me! Arch, perform the Spinning Hidden Dragon Jutsu!
Lekren - Hm, perhaps Draonoggr daggers are indeed worthy of being compared to our craft.
Hachi - That's gay, Lekren.
Hachi then threw Archavior at the creature. Archavior flew at one, its ruby-sharp edge could rival any steel blade. Lekren watched the blade while shotting the rest of the Furzantha. The blade pierced the flesh of the Furzántha, and it screeched out. It hit the ground hard, bleeding out. The Sea Witch flew to the Furzántha and stomped on its head. The Furzántha's head cracked open, with a blackish blood spilling out. All three of them were floored. As Kinmorunddraver looked around, more of them appeared, but did nothing.
Hachi - Hey, you're stealing my kill!
Sea Witch - Oh, excuse me, perhaps next time I should just let one eat you.
Hachi - I was about to kill it, hag!
Sea Witch - Ungrateful little brat.
Hachi - Get aborted.
Riad looked around as well. There were at least 20 of the monsters. Marcos pulled his blade out of one of the Furzantha and brushed hs blade in the snow to clean it of blood. Riad punched Hachi in the shoulder.
Riad - Quiet!
On his face, Marcos appeared gleeful. As if something in the battle had given him a strange rush. He was smiling, his teeth showing and his veins pulsing grey.
Kinmorunddraver - We're surrounded
As they saw the Furzántha around them, they could see all of their luminous eyes in the blizzard.
Sea Witch - I'll just let them kill the brat. And I was almost starting to enjoy his company.
Marcos - More targets to kill? Gooooood....
Lekren - Bah! Come, savages!
Alpha Ice BearsEdit
Among them, stood out an even larger Furzántha. It walked forward and looked over the ridge where the group were.
Lekren - Or maybe not...
Hachi - ...A-Actually, you can have them, M-Mrs. Bird
The creature stood probably twice Marcos' height; its legs were longer and its spikes were greater.
Sea Witch - Hm. Must be the pack leader.
Lekren - Hm...
Marcos - I would certainly enjoy a coat made from that creature's hide...
Riad looked at it.
Riad - It's a Furazántha. Alpha-Furzántha.
Lekren flew to all members of the team and passed small flasks of glowing amethyst elixir to them.
Marcos - And that's a problem?
Riad - I wouldn't be saying it was if it wasn't.
Hachi - Ah we can take it!
Sea Witch - What's this flask for?
Lekren - I've been working on these beauteous concoctions recently. They enhance one's strength and endurance, ladies and gentlemen, and I assure you: you will (almost) certainly not die from drinking it!
Marcos - Riad, I have taken on larger beasts with even less than what I have now.
The Furazántha roared, creating a gust of wind out of the blizzard and shaking the mountains.
As Kinmorunddraver's magic began to wear off, the team started to feel cold again. The Sea Witch drank the elixir then stared at the Furazántha. Hachi also drank his elixer and laxed his shoulders. Marcos nodded and drank the elixir. After finishing it he threw it to the ground.
Marcos - I've survived worse.
The Furazántha clawed the rocks, where ice laid over where it rain its nails.
Riad - Uhhh....what's that?
Kinmorunddraver - Yeah. I'm saving my one for later.
Sea Witch - Come on, you giant thing...
The Sea Witch charged magic on her palms and started to float. Riad grabbed his spear, and ran off to the left, where there were no Furzántha. Marcos began to quietly chuckle as he readied his zweihander. He walked over to the javelin he had impaled in one Furzantha and yanked it out. With a teady aim he tossed it with tremendosu force at the alpha.
The Furazántha charged at Kinmorunddraver, clawing at his chest. Kinmorunddraver fell to the ground, with his skin turning white from ice. Lekren recharged his pistol and flew on one of the rocks, perching above it and taking the right position. The Sea Witch launched a blast at the Furazántha which appeared as a large electric bolt. The javelin simply bounced off the Furazántha's hide, where it turned to Marcos.
Hachi spun round and round in a dangerous circle, making himself look like a miniature tornado where he was swinging Archavior and his katana. With a disturbing smile, marcos charged at the Furzantha to plunge his sword into it. Kinmorunddraver stood back up, but visibly hurt. The Furazántha didn't seem to be harmed from any of the strikes from the team.
Kinmorunddraver - That's why you lot should follow Riad's direction. Hachi - ...Not gonna argue.
Hachi then ran. Lekren attempted to pierce the alpha beast's hide with his pistold, but it didn't seem to do any good.
Marcos - And miss the oppertunity for more blood?
Lekren - Blast! This barbaric beast is much more resilent that I thought.
Sea Witch - No point if blood cannot be spilled.
Kinmorunddraver - The only blood that's going to get spilt is yours if you don't high-tail it.
The Sea Witch floated off into Riad's direction. Marcos grunted and nodded.
Marcos - What of you?
Kinmorunddraver - This!
inmorunddraver then ran in the same direction as Riad, who was quite far ahead of the team. Marcos looked to the group and,shrugging, he ran after them, sliding his sword abck into its sheath. As they kept running, Kinmorunddraver's magic began to wane more. It got incredibly cold, and the whole Furzántha pack was behind them.
Sea Witch - Do your trick again, it's getting cold!
Riad - We can't keep running, we won't have the energy left!
Marcos - Then we outsmart them.
Kinmorunddraver tried to do the trick, but it did not work. The Furazántha was ahead of its pack, and beginning to charge quickly at the group.
Kinmorunddraver - Look for a cave or something!
Sea Witch - There better be a cave somewhere then because the thing is fast.
Marcos - Dragon, do you have anything to slow the creature down?
Riad noticed a narrow slit of rock to his left, and quickly jolted into it. Kinmorunddraver followed.
Kinmorunddraver - In here!
The Sea Witch teleported in a flash to the slit. Marcos and Lekren bolted for the slit in the rock. Hachi followed quickly, leaping on Marcos' back. The Furazántha began to gain on those who were still outside; they could feel the ground shake from the pack. Marcos slipped between the crack and took a firm grasp of the rock.
The Furazántha got to the slit in the rock, but it was far too big to get in. It reached its head in, roaring at the group. The Sea Witch sneezed salty water at the Furanzántha's face. The Furanzántha retracted, and when it did, Kinmorunddraver closed the space between the rocks.
Sea Witch - Well that was not fun at all.
Riad - You're telling me. You all wanted to fight it.
Marcos - I lost control. Alright? It happens sometimes.
Kinmorunddraver - We might as well set up camp here whilst I work out where we're going.
Whilst they were talking, they could feel the Furanzántha's claws hit the rock, and hear its roar.
Sea Witch - Shut up, you!
The Furanzántha stopped clawing at the rock, and no more sound could be heard.
Riad - ....Phew.
Hachi - Hah, dum whatever the hell it is.
Hachi proceeded to sit down and let out a sigh.
Hachi - Hey, M-Mrs. Bird...I-I didn't mean what I said earlier, a-about calling you a hag. I-I was...caught up in the fight.
Lekren - Indeed. Calling a madam like that a hag does not befit a man of honour; besides... wait, how old are you, lady?
The Sea Witch glared at Hachi, then turned back. Kinmorunddraver sent a pulse of flame at the ground, starting up a fire.
Marcos - It's times like this I prefer travelling alone...
Sea Witch - Trying to trust others always gets me in trouble...and I am 3,000 or so. Can't remember.
Marcos folded his arms and leaned agaisnt the rock. Sighing.
Kinmorunddraver - We might as well rest until we are fully recharged. It's going to get colder the further in we go into the Forgotten Lands.
Riad - And how much further in do we have to go?
Marcos - I trust my horse. One of the things I enjoy about him as a companion is that he understands me.
Kinmorunddraver - About 350 miles. And 3,000? Hmph. Wish I was that age.
Riad - 350 miles? But...we've been travelling for two days.
Kinmorunddraver - It will take us another eight to get into the centre. The temperature and the winds will slow us down.
Sea Witch - Marveous.
Hachi let out a sad sigh and curled up in a ball. Marcos sat by the fire next to hachi. After getting comfortable he pulled out his knife, tthe blade made of solid iron while the handle was made of antler. Kinmorunddraver sat down, and removed his trenchcoat and provisions, putting them in a pile and sitting up against the fire.
The Sea Witch layed down on the ground with a frown on her face. Marcos played, with the knife, twisting it between his fingers. He then gently brushed the edge along his palm. The pressure was not enough to noticeably mark the leather of his glove.
Riad - And what are we going to encounter further in?
Kinmorunddraver - With luck, more Furanzántha. With bad luck, some miraculously alive Storm Drake. With really bad luck? The Adversary.
Riad - So you're being optimistic?
Kinmorunddraver - It's a wasteland of ice. There's not gonna be much aside from ice-bear-monsters.
Hachi - We could have at least stole some fur or hide...
Marcos unclipped his elk-fur cloak and handed it to Hachi. Looking at him with an expression of pity. Hachi looked at the fur cloak for a moment and smiled. After a moment, he approached the Sea Witch and threw it over her torso before walking back over to his spot. The Sea Witch raised an eyebrow for a second before letting out a faint smile.
Lekren - Can I please have the coat too?
Riad - That would have been a bad idea. Furzántha skin is extremely cold. Your fingers would have gone numb if you touched it with your skin. Which reminds me, you all better check your weapons for damage.
Kinmorunddraver took out his blade, and propped it against the cave wall. Riad looked at Kinmorunddraver as if Hachi was incredibly stupid.
Kinmorunddraver - Lagosi thing.
Marcos - It was a nice gesture Hachi but I meant the cloak for you. I can tell you are not entirely used to the cold.
Hachi - It's fine...I have fur anyway. Mrs. Bird doesn't. Besides, I've been through worse than this.
Kinmorunddraver - I suspect by the end of this that you will take back that statement.
The next morning. The previous night, the team were quiet and most of them slept around the fire Kinmorunddraver started, and were told stories by Riad of his time in the Névari clans as well as some from Kinmorunddraver himself. However, their morning started off with a rude awakening.
Riad jolted awake at the sound of a massive eastern-sounding horn. Marcos jolted awake and narrowed his eyes. Hachi was covered in frost as he was curled into a ball, his nose twitched as he heard the horn. The Sea Witch opened one of her eyes and looked around.
Riad - What-whaaat?
Kinmorunddraver was already awake, but was still startled at the sound of the horn.
Marcos - That horn is not good!
Sea Witch - Problem this early in the morning?
Lekren - My ear holes! By the Earth Queen...
Kinmorunddraver - Something's up. Let me take a look.
Hachi shook himself of frost and sat up, still twitching.
Hachi - That was some fart.
Kinmorunddraver opened up a small crack of earth in the cave wall to reveal the outside. He peered through the wall, to see massive armored beings walk through the pass, among other things. It was a group of Shiarchon and Loron Corruptus marching through the Forgotten Lands.
Kinmorunddraver - Not good. The Shiarchon are here.
Sea Witch - Oh, great.
Hachi - At this early?
Kinmournddraver kept looking through.
Sea Witch - Whoever organized this trip chose a really bad time to do it.
Kinmorunddraver - Legatus, Praetors...and wait...what?
Marcos - THose titles escape me.
Among the Loron, Shiarchon and Cataphractus was an even taller Shiarchon mounted on an even larger Cataphractus, seemingly an undead one. The Shiarchon was clad in heavy black armor.
Riad - What do you see out there?
Kinmorunddraver - Well, let's put it this way. We've got some company.
Sea Witch - What's the issue? Well, other than the Shiarchon being ou there.
Riad - More Praetors?
Kinmorunddraver - Worse. The Imperator is there.
Hachi - A what now?
Sea Witch - ...The Patriach is here?!
Lekren - Impossible!
Marcos - Fuck.
Lekren - Absolutely unacceptable! We must escape this place as soon as possible!
Riad - What do we do then?
Kinmorunddraver - Wait for him to pass. We don't have much of a chance against them.
Hachi - Ah I reckon we could take em.
Sea Witch - I've studied dark magic for years, and trust me when I say, we have no chance against the Patriarch.
Archavior - Certainly if you want to becoem a purse!
Kinmorunddraver grabbed Hachi and made him look through the crack in the wall. Hachi's jaw dropped and he squeaked out. The Patriarch was clouded in a dark aura, his cloak fell down to the side of his horse. In his left hand was a sword of sorts, that emitted dark energies that made the Sea Witch and Kinmorunddraver feel somewhat weak. The Sea Witch shook her head and cringed.
Kinmorunddraver - Wait for him to pass.
Sea Witch - His mere presence disrupts all magic.
Archavior - And here I thought the High Archons wielded great power.
The Patriarch looked around the pass, and continued on without saying a word, taking the hundreds of Shiarchon and Loron with him.
Riad - We can't go that way now. The Shiarchon have taken it.
Behind the Patriarch was also a much larger Loron than the others, who wore what appeared to be a crown and swung an immense makeshift hammer around, causing tremors as it hit the ground.
Marcos - So what now?
Kinmorunddraver - We'll have to go back the way we came and go in another direction. There could be more than just a couple hundred Shiarchon here.
Hachi - But that would mean more walking! And we don't have time!
Kinmorunddraver - I'd much rather have less time than deal with Patriarch Kalarah, Hachi.
Sea Witch - Between the Patriarch and more bears, i'd take the bears.
Marcos - If the Patriarch is out here, then the Legion's business out here is gravely serious.
Hachi - Oh yeah? You won't be saying that when the Patriarch has the Adversary on his side.
Kinmorunddraver waited a few minutes, and opened the wall again. He looked to the left - no more Shiarchon - to the right, the path back up to the entrance. Kinmorunddraver then turned around, and blew another gust of magic at the team.
Lekren - Perfect! A path of least resistance...
Kinmorunddraver - It's gotten even colder. We better move quicker.
Sea Witch - Damn this place.
Riad moved out to the right, back up the path they came down the night before. The Sea Witch morphed into a vulture again and followed. As they all moved back up the path, they came across the Furzántha horde - except, they were all dead, including the Furazántha.
Hachi - ...Well.
Sea Witch - Serves the bastard thing right.
Marcos - The Legion msut have done this.
Riad looked at one of the Furzántha's corpses. The entire area was covered in blackish blood. As he looked further, the Furzántha corpses all had blackened wounds on them.
Hachi - If they're all dead...then how close did the Legion come to finding us?
Sea Witch - A rock's distance away.
Riad - Darkstone wounds. The Shiarchon slaughtered them.
Hachi - This...makes me a little hungry.
Sea Witch - I'm not sure if these are edible, even more after being wounded by Darkstone.
Kinmorunddraver looked around the area, and saw a pass that mirrored the one they went through.
Kinmorunddraver - That's our way in again. Not quite sure what to expect that way.
Sea Witch - Hmm. At least we didn't have to go all the way back.
Marcos - Good fortune I say.
Riad - More Furzántha probably.
Hachi - Ohh, fun.
Sea Witch - Better than Shiarchon, at least.
Kinmorunddraver - Furzántha, Akvarút...could be anything. It still goes towards the city.
Hachi - Akwat?
Kinmorunddraver - You'll know them when you see them.
The team proceeded to go through the second pass. The pass was guided by huge cliff faces that almost obscured the clouds. They got to the point where it seemed like an eternal night in the Forgotten Lands, and the winds became harsh and the temperature even colder. Kinmorunddraver still was not fazed by the cold, but he found it harder to move.
Marcos - We are indeed in the far north of the world...
Riad - How much further till we get there?
Kinmorunddraver - 300 miles or so.
Riad - Agh.
Hachi - Ngh, you're joking, right?
Kinmorunddraver - Does it look like I joke?
Sea Witch - That's something we can all agree on.
Hachi - Ngh...I wish I could fly.
Lekren - Flying in this cold is not actually that good.
Riad - It's not even this cold further north. Agh, dark magic is strong here.
As they got further in, they came to a sharp cliff face. The winds cleared, and a vast plain could be seen, although the city could not be seen just yet. In the view, massive footprints could be seen as well as many bones of Storm Drakes, but something else was more interesting. There was a hovering island right in the middle of it.
Lekren - Is that island...floating?
Kinmorunddraver - Definitely seems so. It's not of Forgotten Lands origin.
Hachi - Huh. Did we eat any funny mushrooms?
Sea Witch - I did.
Marcos - It is very bizarre...
Archavior - Hmm. I may or may not have seen something like that before.
The island had a massive sphere of heat around it, where the cold began to evaporate like steam.
Lekren - Shall we take a closer look? I can fly over there.
Kinmorunddraver - Not now. I'd rather get closer before we do.
Lekren - Something about this is all very familiar...I cannot put my finger on it yet, though.
Riad - How do we get to the city from here?
Kinmorunddraver - Simple. Cross the plain.
Marcos - Seems easy enough.
Riad - I dunno, that plain seems pretty damn cold.
Kinmorunddraver - This coming from a Néva?
Sea Witch - Let's not waste time. It's cold everywhere.
As the group talked, they could hear a loud, rumbling noise that didn't seem so far far away. It was familiar, but it was different judging by the other noises along with it; roaring.
Riad - Oh what now?
Sea Witch - ...Don't tell me we've been followed.
Kinmorunddraver - No. But something else is here.
Kinmorunddraver stood up on the edge of the cliff face, seeing what was going on. Marcos gripped his zeihander's handle tightly, expectinh the worse. Marcos could feel something stir deep inside of him, it was very familiar. Across the plain, hordes of monsters ran alongside one another; Pathosses, Cides and several other races that seemed rather mutated and disfigured. The whole group could feel the energies emanating from each and every soldier within the horde.
Sea Witch - What...are those things?
Kinmorunddraver - Mutants. Of some kind. Hm.
Marcos - Zazanite Cultists....
Lekren - The Zazanite Cult is here too? Preposterous!
Kinmorunddraver - Zazanite Cultists? Hm. I haven't heard the name 'Zazane' for a while.
Marcos bared his teeth in anger and inhaled. If one looked closely, they could see many of the monsters carrying corpses of recognizeable races within their jaws; Elves, humans and the like. Behind them, Kelzharhi pulled large cages filled with naked, beaten and scarred prisoners who all shouted and exclaimed in familiar and strange languages.
Sea Witch - How disgusting.
Lekren - Agreed, madam.
Hachi - W-What...w-what's the Zazanite Cult?
Kinmorunddraver - Think Shiarchon - northern edition.
Marcos - A vile filthy abomination of nature!
Riad - Well we can't cross the plains now.
Marcos - *mutters* Even out here the monsters carry their victims within their jaws as though smacking on the move. Kinmorunddraver - Too right we can't. Shiarchon to the left, and Cult to the right.
Marcos - We should slaughter them all here!
Hachi - I-I'm not so sure, M-Marcos...t-that's an awfully large force.
Marcos - Then we need some way to even the odds.
Kinmorunddraver - I suspect the Shiarchon and Cult will make good work of each other. I'd rather avoid that time-bomb.
Kinmorunddraver also noticed several bruised Furzántha being whipped and pulled along by Pathosses and other strong monsters within the Cult. These Furzántha also seemed to be suffering the mutations of the other cultists.
Marcos - Perhaps you're right. We cannot exactly release their prisoners out here...
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. Just as well. The further in they will all go and the more likely they'll freeze on the spot. The cold will do more damage than we could.
Lekren - Where shall we go then?
Kinmorunddraver - Our best bet is on and through the island.
Hachi - Didn't you say we shouldn't go there just yet?
Sea Witch - At least it doesn't seem that cold in there.
Riad - And how do we get there? No one could climb that.
Kinmorunddraver - The plan just changed, Hachi. It looks like I might have to put some of my powers to work, then.
Archavior - Those islands, it was as though whoever used them intended to keep ground-dwellers off them.
Hachi - Ooh, I love it when Kinmorunddraver says that!
Riad - How long will it take to get there?
Love to DeathEdit
Suddenly, a soothing melody was heard by the entire group. It sounded calming and beautiful, sung by a yong female voice across the woods. Hachi's ears perked and he smiled, standing on his tip toes. Kinmorunddraver turned to hear the voice, and grasped his blade in his hand.
Riad - ...Nevermind...what's that voice?
Marcos kept a firm grip on his sword. Hachi got on all fours and began to hop towards the source of the voice, his ears perked and his nose twitching. Something about the melody sounded attractive, warming...a sillhoette was seen on the woods, dancing its way to the group's direction.
Marcos - Who is singing out here?
Kinmorunddraver - I'm not sure. But get Hachi before he gets too far ahead. If the voice doesn't kill him the cold will.
Hachi - We should go say hello~!
Riad followed Hachi, agreeing with that statement.
Kinmorunddraver - Dammit.
Hachi and Riad could see the melody coming from a a beautiful elven female, who wore a blue dress and had large red eyes. Her skin appeared soft and snow-white. Upon noticing them, she extended her hand. Marcos paced up, following them. Riad swooned over the elven female, and Hachi leaned forward and extended a hand as if he was a dog, although he was nervous as he did and hesitated a little.
??? - Fear not, little one...
Kinmorunddraver caught up with them, but did not make his presence obvious to the elf. Lekren and the Sea Witch also followed, and they also began swooning over the elf.
Lekren - Something about this is...highly captivating...
Sea Witch - I feel weird...
Marcos paced over the ridge and prepared his javelin. His eyes were struck by the elf. Hachi placed his hand within hers and squeaked as if he was surprised, his face turning red with blush. One could also see his tail wagging abnormally fast. Riad got very jealous over Hachi being able to hold her hand, and got out his Obsidian Knife.
Riad - She's mine, dammit!
??? - Aw, boys, please, don't fight over me...
Hachi raised his eyebrows and looked towards Riad. Growling, he grabbed Archavior.
Archavior - Are you an idiot?
Marcos - Who are you...
The elf turned to Marcos and had a shocked expression.
??? - Oh my, what a big and strong man...
Marcos - I...No. I am....spoken for...
Riad - Why would she go with you, you kid? She's an elf and you're a beast!
Hachi - Says the cowardly Snow Elf whose scared of the cold!
The elf danced around the three of them, singing. Her voice was almost hypnotic. Riad lunged his knife towards Hachi and swung it at him. Hachi slammed Archavior down on Riad's knife in a shockingly fast movement and delivered a kick at Riad's side. Riad was thrown aside, but landed on his feet. He grabbed his spear and threw it at Hachi.
Marcos shook his head. Something was wrong but he didn't know what, instead he jogged for the elf while the other two fought, mesmerised by her.
Lekren - She's a Deiwos...dear heaven, why did I think of this?...but it sounds so right anyway...
Sea Witch - She's quite a looker...
Hachi grabbed aholde of his katana and drew it out, knocking the spear away. Riad could see a red energy escaping from Hachi's artificial arm. Kinmorunddraver looked at the group, noticing that they were completely enthralled by her looks.
Kinmorunddraver - Soldalatel above.
Riad grabbed his knife again and hurled it at Hachi's foot. Hachi yelped out as the knife embedded itself in his paw. His arm bursted with the red energy as Hachi launched himself from the spot and drove his knee into Riad's torso, growling as if he was an animal. Riad was blasted across the pass and hit a wall hard. The ice sheet on the wall collapsed, burying Riad in the snow. While Riad and Hachi fought, the elf walked up to Marcos and passed her hand through his face.
Hachi - You might want to apologize before I give your tongue as a gift!
Riad's voice could be heard, but it was muffled.
Marcos - Madam I...I don't know what to say...
??? - You don't have to say anything. I can see it in your eyes...
Marcos - All my time walking. I'm afraid people may get hurt for...my curse.
??? - Curse? I see no curse. All I see is a strong, handsome man who seems quite lonely at the moment.
The elf put herself against Marcos' chest.
Marcos - No...No I'm hideous.
??? - Aw, don't say that. You are not hideous at all...
Marcos blushed and wrapped his arms around the Elf.
Marcos - You think so?
??? - Of course I do...not often I see men like you.
Kinmorunddraver appeared in a bolt of flame, with his blade gleaning white. The elf turned to him with eyes widened.
Marcos - Kimno don't you dare hurt her!
Kinmorunddraver - She's not what you think she is.
??? - Who is this bad man? I'm scared!
Marcos hugged the elf close to him. Meanwhile, Riad tried to get out of the snow. Hachi kicked him down again and threw his Obsidian knife into his palm, not noticing what was going on behind him. Riad let out a feral scream as his knife impaled his hand.
Marcos - It's been three years since I have been able to make close-contact with anyone. Do you know how hard it is for me!
Kinmorunddraver - This is not the right person, Marcos. She's pitting us against each other.
Lekren - Perhaps I shouldn't...no, Deiwos don't like that. Or perhaps I couldn't...no, that's ridiculous!
Sea Witch - I'm not sure what to think anymore...
??? - Marcos? That's quite a name...Don't let him take me, Marcos! Please!
Marcos - I lost my Elanaa to this curse! I lost her because I did not stand and protect her! Don't want to lose another!
Kinmorunddraver - You know you don't want to do this. Don't do it.
Marcos - Then stay away!
Kinmorunddraver readied his blade.
Kinmorunddraver - I don't want to do this either. But I'm going to lose you if you don't realise it.
Marcos - I don't want to remain alone forever!
Hachi turned back from Riad and observed what was going on. In moments, Hachi was in the air and was crashing down towards Kinmorunddraver with his blades ready.
Hachi - WIIIIIIEEEEEEE--
Kinmorunddraver in a flash, quicker than any of them could register, landed a fist to Hachi's chin. Hachi was stopped in moments and was thrown back into a tree, knocking him out. While they talked, the elf reached to Marcos' neck and opened her mouth, revealing her enormous canine teeth. Marcos instinctively sensed something and pushed her back a little, and the elf hid her teeth as Marcos did it. Riad pulled the knife out of his hand, and got out of the snow.
Kinmorunddraver - Hmph. Halfwit.
Marcos - I'm sorry I...Is this too fast?
??? - What? No, of course not.
Marcos - You're sure...
??? - Yes...but there is nothing we can do while this...monster stands in our way!
Kinmorunddraver - You're the monster, 'elf'.
Marcos - Kimno do you know what it is like to stay in once place? No matter what village or hut I stay in those cultists find me. They slaughter everyone!
Sea Witch - Perhaps I could start using a form like hers...
Lekren - There is only one, madam! And that's her...
Kinmorunddraver - And she's going to help you? She's trying to kill you!
Marcos - I distance myself so no one gets hurt!
Kinmorunddraver - So distance yourself from her before you both get hurt!
??? - Why does he want to hurt me so much...
Marcos - I know she can be different!
Kinmorunddraver closed his eyes.
Kinmorunddraver - Tell you what. You fight me. Whoever wins has her.
Marcos - What? You're serious?
??? - Oh my...
Kinmorunddraver - Serious. I'll make it fair. No weapon from me.
Fight for her HeartEdit
Kinmorunddraver put his blade to his left, embedding it in the snow. Marcos looked at the elf.
Marcos - I promise, once I beat him, we can be together.
??? - Be careful...
Kinmorunddraver stood there solidly, with no emotion whatsoever. Marcos pushed her aside and looked at Kimno. Riad composed himself and looked at the two.
Marcos - You will fight unarmed.
Kinmorunddraver - Unarmed. No weapons.
Marcos - Got it.
Marcos unstrapped his zewihander and sword belt and tossed them in the snow. He drew his knife and let it drop vertically, sticking out of the snow.
Kinmorunddraver - I didn't say you had to fight unarmed.
Marcos - I am still a man of honour.
The elf let out a grin, as if she had succeeded something. Marcos cricked his neck, loosened his shoulders and stood in a close-combat stance. Lekren prepared his pistol.
Lekren - Unarmed? The matters of honour are to be resolved with more refined weaponry. What do you prefer: shortswords? Pistols?
Sea Witch - This is not your fight, you.
Kinmorunddraver stood still, without movement or breath. Marcos paced up and thrusted his fist to punch kimno in the gut. Kinmorunddraver was hit, but there was no apparent reaction. Lekren stared at the duelists, shaking his head, as if he was trying to wake up. Marcos blinked and swung his leg to trip Kimno up.
Lekren - Think rationally, Lekren-Lax...
Sea Witch - I want her to teach me how I can make my hair look that good.
Kinmorunddraver's leg did not move at all, but his neck moved to see him.
Kinmorunddraver - Come on. You're from the North and all you can do is that?
Marcos - I'm only warming up.
Lekren - Must concentrate. Must concentrate. Must concentrate.
Kinmorunddraver - I sure hope so. Your girl's looking a bit bored.
Marcos then let loose a flurry, punching Kimno once in the stomach and twice in the ribs. Kinmorunddraver moved his finger to Marcos' chest, hurling him across the pass. Kinmorunddraver stood aside from Marcos' charge. Lekren stared at the elf-like creature, then turned away immediately.
Kinmorunddraver - You'll have to try harder than that.
??? - Don't give up, Marcos!
Lekren - No, I shan't succumb to such... fabulousness...
Marcos flew backwards and into the snow. Groaning from the impact but quickly standing back up. Riad looked that the two fighting.
Riad - Kinmo is going to kill him if this keeps up...someone go stop them!
Sea Witch - I wonder where I can get a dress like that...
After standing up, Marcos ran to tackle Kimno. Grey veins pressed against his skin as he bared his fang-like teeth. Marcos flew into the snow and scrabbled up. Grunting abd becoming agitated. He thrusted a punch into Kimno's beak with enhanced strength. Kinmorunddraver's head retracted from the punch, but still seemed unhurt from the punch. Marcos repeated punching him several more times.
Kinmorunddraver - Seriously, now. You're beginning to worry me.
Kinmorunddraver put his palm on Marcos' chest, and pushed him away from his space slowly. Marcos stagagred back. He regained his composure after blinking and thusted his elbow into Kimno's beak.
Kinmorunddraver - I think your girl's wanting me now.
Marcos - Shut it! She desires my protection from you!
Kinmorunddraver - Then hit me properly then.
The elf only watched the fight with her arms crossed. With a roar, marcos sent an enhanced punch straight into Kimno's stomach. Hachi slowly woke up and stood, grabbing his blades while disorientated, although he shortly dropped them afterwards. Kinmorunddraver slightly moved back from the punch.
Hachi - Remind me never to sleep in trees again...Huh?
Marcos - She wants me! Not you!
Kinmorunddraver - Prove it then!
Marcos coninued punching. Grunting as he did so and becoming more irritated with Kimno's attitude.
Kinmorunddraver - You're not proving it! Stop trying to hurt me and hurt me!
Lekren - She wants m- no! A true gentleman shall resist such temptations...
Marcos roared again and swung his arm to smack Kimno in the side of the head Before it could hit Kinmorunddraver, he teleported out of the way and clasped the elf's neck with his hand, lifting her off the ground.
Kinmorunddraver - What are you doing here, 'elf'?!
Marcos - No!
Marcos ran to grab Kimno from behind. Kinmo turned slightly and tapped his finger on Marcos' head. Marcos was knocked back into the snow, he staggered back, tripping up and falling over. Lekren closed his eyes and turned at the elf.
??? - Agh! Get your hands off me!
Lekren - I shall resist.
Hachi still examined the scene in confusion and sat down. The alchemist slowly drew his shaking hand to his pistol, and then aimed it at the elf.
Hachi - So...Kinmo and the monkey guy are fighting and there's a pretty woman involved. Sounds like something from one of my Japanese anim-- Oh wait, that doesn't work in this Universe.
Kinmorunddraver - Not until you tell me what you're doing here.
??? - ...Heheheheh. Kinmorunddraver World-Walker. I thought I had you. Seems like I was wrong.
Marcos groaned in the snow, holding his head as he watched the engagement. Hachi proceeded to look at his foot and began licking the blood from where he got stabbed.
Kinmorunddraver - know who you are, Succubus. Why are you following us?
The elf had a smile on her face. To her it had all been playing. She opened her mouth, revealing her vampire teeth, and let out a beastial roar, breakign the hypnosis on the group. Marcos shook his head and looked up. Smiling slightly.
??? - First of all, it's lady Hamoins Dalverat to you.
Lekren - I'm sorry, madam.
Lekren pressed the trigger. The shot hit Hamoins, causing her to flinch. There was a hole on her body, but she did nothing but turn to Lekren.
Hamoins - That's not very polite.
Kinmorunddraver - Count von Dalverat's wife? Well.
Hamoins - Those Shiarchon and Zazanite Cultists out here are making so much noise, my dear Count has ordered me to take a look. And then I found you all, alone and defenseless...
Kinmorunddraver - You know better than to trifle with me, vampire. Leave before I change my mind on sparing you.
Kinmorunddraver dropped Hamoins on the snow. She laughed and wings formed out of her back. She blew a kiss to Kinmo and then jumped off the cliff.
Kinmorunddraver - Hmph. Vampires.
Hachi approached Kinmo, scratching his head in confusion.
Riad - ...That was a Vampire?
Lekren - I was suspicious! I knew it!
Sea Witch - ...Gah! I got tempted by a succubus! Again!...I mean, damn it!
Hachi - Hey uh...big guy, what just happened? I seemed to have fell asleep.
Kinmorunddraver - Truthfully speaking? You tried to kill me and I knocked you out.
Marcos pulled himself out of the snow with a small smile on his face. Hachi tilted his head and looked away in shame.
Hachi - S-Sorry.
Sea Witch - I've had my dealings with the Count in the past. Never again...
Kinmorunddraver went over to Marcos.
Kinmorunddraver - Hope you see now why I did that.
Marcos - Don't worry about it. Urgh. To be truthful, I didn't expect to beat you.
Kinmorunddraver - You had a fair try at it though.
Kinmorunddraver laid his hand on Marcos' head, healing the bruises. He then went over to Riad, grabbing his hand and healing it.
Riad - Ugh. Next time, throw my knife next to my hand rather than at it.
Marcos - You think I could actually have a chance?
Kinmorunddraver - I didn't say you could. But I admire the fact you tried.
Hachi approached Riad and looked at his hand.
Hachi - Damn, what happened to you?
Riad - You threw my knife at my hand.
Hachi - Don't be silly, why would I do that?
Kinmorunddraver knelt down to Hachi's wounded foot, and healed it. Marcos collected his things and re-equipped them.
Hachi - Hmm? K-Kinmo, you don't h-have to.
Marcos - Truth-be-told...what that Succubus did was nice.
Sea Witch - Unless you like the idea of becoming a thrall to a vampire lord, you wouldn't enjoy what she would do next.
Kinmorunddraver - I hate vampires almost much as I hate demons. And the Count? A demonic vampire. Grrr.
Riad - Well...we better make our way to the island then. After that, another...100 miles?
Kinmorunddraver - Sounds about right. Let's move.
Marcos - Well...when I walk into a village I start thinknig how many of the people I see will die if I stay. It's been three years since I felt the warmth of another being. Well...one that could talk at least.
Kinmorunddraver - Trust me. If you're able to live three hundred thousand years then the feeling goes away eventually.
Riad - Three hundred thousand years?
Sea Witch - ...What?
Kinmorunddraver - ...Just an number I plucked out at random.
Sea Witch - Humpf.
Marcos - If I do live that long.
Into the Floating IslandEdit
Through the CultEdit
Kinmorunddraver looked on over the cliff face, to where the floating island was. The Zazanite Cult armies were well into the plains, and now was impossible to cross without being seen.
Hachi - Look at all those monster guys.
Marcos - Makes me wish I could have some of Redhelm's knights with me.
Lekren - From what I understand, we are beset on all sides by Zazanite followers, Shiarchon and Nightshade vampires. It seems that the matters are truly dire then.
Kinmorunddraver - We'll have to take another route...around the mountains and over to that mountain over there, where we can get to the island easier.
Sea Witch - There always needs to be something in the way.
Lekren - Indeed, madam. Trouble seems to follow us.
Riad - I'm skeptical for going through the mountains. It's gonna be even colder, stupidly hard terrain to traverse.
Kinmorunddraver - It's your only bet.
Marcos - So either we go through the cold and unyielding mountains, or try and cross the planes full of cesspool-bred mutants.
Kinmorunddraver - Or we go back the way we came and we deal with Shiarchon.
Lekren - I choose the former. Zazanians disturb me.
Hachi - Well, I say drawing straws is a good idea.
Sea Witch - To the mountains.
Riad - Go through the Cult, get turned into thralls, go through the Shiarchon, get turned into scenery.
Kinmorunddraver - Indeed.
Kinmorunddraver looked upwards, over the cliff wall that stretched into the mountains.
Marcos - Thralls or food. Take your pick. Those cages they had with them? No better than food wagons.
Hachi - Ooh yum! I am a bit hungry.
Sea Witch - Are you a cannibal?
Hachi - Huh? B-But you said food.
Sea Witch - ...Not that I mind it...I've eaten elves before.
Marcos - I've done it before. You get used to the idea.
Lekren - Brrr... the very concept is disgusting.
Marcos - When there's nothing but Deiwos corpses to eat. You tend to forget how disgusting the idea is.
Kinmorunddraver - How far up would you say that cliff is?
Riad - Seven hundred, maybe eight hundred feet.
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. I could make an easier opening, but that might alert the Cult.
Riad - Do it anyway. You can deal with the Cult.
Sea Witch - If only we could make a distraction.
Kinmorunddraver - Hm.
Hachi - Hey Marcos, what creature would you say is the strongest from that group?
Marcos kneeleddown and peered to the group, examining each of the monsters in the army closely.
Kinmorunddraver - I have a few tricks up my sleeve. You might want to stay close to me if that's the case.
Lekren - Distract them, you say? My alchemical concoctions can do that...
Riad - If you can distract three hundred of them, i'll be surprised. That, and if you have a throw of...two...three...three thousand feet, then good show.
Marcos - Hm....The Pathosses - those centaur creatures - are both brutes and commanders. Among the Zaznites, strength correlates to authority. But I don't like the look of those dragons either.
Sea Witch - Centaurs...grr.
Amongst the army were Cides, Pathosses, Kelzyarlo, Kelzharhi, Yhanth'lei and rather intimidating looking Draonoggr - Draothusharnoggr.
Hachi - Arch, look! It's Drayeggnogs!
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. Well then. Hold on to your weapons then.
Lekren - Indeed. But you do underestimate my creations. If I could contanimate, say, their food or water sou- Draonoggr? In the Cult?
Lekren stared at the Zazanite host, horrified. He couldn't believe his own eyes.
Lekren - How the mightiest have fallen...
Archavior - They look like Draonoggr but...corrupted.
Kinmorunddraver - Well...are you going to hold your weapons or not?
Riad - What are you going to do?
Marcos - Contaminating food sources might be an issue; Cultists take no preference in how alive or dead their food is.
Kinmorunddraver - Distract them, of course.
Hachi held onto Archavior and his katana closely. The Sea Witch got up the poisonous barbs around her clothing. Kinmorunddraver turned to the side, looking at the wall again, seemingly doing nothing. All of a sudden, the weather down in the plains became extremely turbulent, with storms and bolts of lightning hitting the ground frantically. In the storm, a bolt of lightning struck the wall, ripping it open and making a path upwards.
The Sea Witch looked at it with almost awe. Riad looked at the storm with his jaw dropped. Hachi had his eyes wide and fainted into Marcos. Marcos caught Hachi as he fell over. He himself had dropped his jaw in surprise.
Riad - ...Remind me not to get you angry. Ever.
Sea Witch - ...You gotta teach me how to do that.
Marcos - I've never seen such formidable magic outside the Empire's colleges of magic.
Lekren - How did you d-
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. Perhaps. Nalúnt himself taught me that when I was here.
Sea Witch - You met the Earth-Scorcher personally?
Kinmorunddraver - Yes. Not a part of history I tell everyone.
Archacior - By the Fallen Queen!
Riad - You should tell us more.
Kinmorunddraver - When we get to the top.
Sea Witch - Well, let's hurry up then.
Marcos - Keep low and don't let them see you. I'll keep an eye on them - jsut because we are out of sight does nto mean they cannot detect us.
The group made their way up the staircase the storm provided. The ice from the top of the mountains fell through, making it snow heavily in the path. When they got to the top, they were far above the clouds. This far north, they could see the night sky.
Riad - Right...we're at the top. Tell us the story then.
Kinmorunddraver - You're sure?
Sea Witch - Tell it while we keep going.
Marcos - Is it pleasant or not?
Kinmorunddraver - It's not that, it's just fairly long.
Riad - We've got a while before we get to the island.
Sea Witch - Like I said, tell it while we keep going.
Lekren - I pride myself on stories. I'd like to hear a few.
Kinmorunddraver reflected for a second, before turning back forward.
Kinmorunddraver - Very well. The story began with me finding myself on the western shores of Koldenwelt. At the time I was there, The Adversary was in power over a vast majority of the world. I traveled to Koldenwelt after The Adversary laid waste to my home.
Sea Witch - Are you saying you are not from Koldenwelt?
Hachi - Whoa, beyond this world?
Kinmorunddraver - I'm from a place as far west from the western shores as the Great Eastern Mountains are from the Everwinter Highlands. People say it takes 100 days to walk east to west. From the west to where I am from, it takes 100 days further.
Archavior - It's possible. There are myths that islands like the one above the basin were raised from a continent far from Koldenwelt. Brought over by the Draothumnoggr. Koldenwelt itself is not the only region on this planet.
Kinmorunddraver - No man alive dares to sail 7 days from the Western Shore, at least no man sane enough.
Hachi - I met a man who could, once. Or at least said he could.
Kinmorunddraver turned to Hachi.
Kinmorunddraver - Was his name Pelagrios Sea-Cutter by any chance?
Hachi - Yeah, that was it! Galapagos Sea-Turtle!
Kinmorunddraver - He and I have another story. Not one from the same time as this one.
Riad - How long ago did you come to Koldenwelt?
Kinmorunddraver - I'll put it this way. This was long before Nalúnt Earth Scorcher came to this earth.
Sea Witch - Sea-Cutter, Earth-Scorcher, World-Walker...I should get a title like that for myself...Ocean-Beauty.
Hachi - I'd agree with that Mrs. Bird...Uhh, I-I mean...ummm...
Hachi hid behind Marcos.
Lekren - There have been countless Klaxxa explorers who sent their zeppelins to the west. None have returned.
Kinmorunddraver - The magic from The Adversary is not completely gone from the west. There are no existing traces or maps of the west.
Riad - Before Nalúnt? That's...at least 250,000 years ago.
Marcos - Quite an advanced age.
Kinmorunddraver - Don't make me feel old.
Sea Witch - Vectrom claims to know of that time.
Kinmorunddraver - Vectrom? Hm. That's a name from the past.
Sea Witch - He is still active, but I've not seen him in some years. Him and I are not the best of friends. He says I "abuse the power of the seas". Bah.
Marcos - From your attitude I can see why .magic is not to be used lightly.
The Sea Witch stick her tongue out to Marcos.
Kinmorunddraver - Anyway, back to the story. I was on the western shores of Koldenwelt. Before any ancient or modern empire in history. At this time, The Adversary clouded over the lands, the sun was lower in the sky and the moons were much closer. Only the Fire Colossus, Vectrom and myself still remember that time well enough. At this time, beings of myth, gods and Colossi were the only things present on this land.
Sea Witch - Colossi? I take you mean the giants such as the Great Water Beast and the Great Desert Snake.
Archavior - The Fallen Queen. Yes.
Kinmorunddraver - Indeed. The Great Water Beast was among the many who walked this land. The Fallen Queen. The Adversary as well. I suppose then, beings whose name were lost to history only existed. The first Kelodhros lived all over Koldenwelt, with the Storm Drakes in the North. The Storm Drakes were the largest of the dragons. There were also Fire Drakes, Earth Drakes...Water Drakes...Hm. I forget the rest of them. Frost Drakes came after the Storm Drakes were destroyed.
Lekren - Earth Drakes. The progenitors of my kind. All hail Korddraiggen.
Kinmorunddraver - There were also Phoenixes of the same elements. All species followed an elemental paradigm at that time.
Riad - Legends say you are a phoenix.
Hachi - Was she pretty?
Marcos - I'm guessing you follow that same logic.
Sea Witch - He looks nothing like a Phoenix. By that logic, I'm a Phoenix because I have a beak and feathers.
Marcos - I have an education you demented hag!
The Sea Witch cackled.
Kinmorunddraver - If the legends say I am a phoenix, I am a Storm Phoenix. The progenitors of the phoenix kind were Fire Phoenixes, the Fire Colossus being the mother of all. The Storm Colossus was a being who could control all manners of weather on Koldenwelt, Nalúnt being the last one. It was some time before I eventually traveled to this northern land, and eventually was received into Nalúnt's society. As by this time, I was considered old even by the ancient world, Nalúnt endowed me with the ability of his own kind.
Riad - So you can control the weather?
Kinmorunddraver - There are only two beings on this world who can control the weather. Myself, and the Patriarch.
Hachi - Rainy days ahead, then.
Kinmorunddraver - That is, to the degree that Nalúnt showed me. The Patriarch however was endowed with the Adversary's magic, which...quite obviously sends everything into a fire storm.
Marcos - A few mages of the Empire can summon brief rainstorms. But it takes a lot of magic if you want anything other tha na two-minute shower over a field.
Riad - So you could technically give us good weather here right?
Kinmorunddraver - Dark magic spreads through this place. It would be bad to. I was given the power to control a certain degree of the weather. It was one of the many powers I was given by the Old Colossi before their demise at the hands of the Adversary. Nalúnt included. I was present at the destruction of the Storm Drakes.
The team payed attention, interested on the story.
Riad - You were there when it happened?
Marcos - So...do you embody the power of the Old Colossi?
Kinmorunddraver - The Old Colossi had powers which kept powers as great and greater than the Source in balance. I merely learnt a few of their tricks. My race is naturally endowed with powers which modern men might consider godly. Which is why the Adversary destroyed it.
Sea Witch - Hm. Perhaps we are not so different then.
Hachi - My people are very good Source users because it helped us evolve. We are practically Source-based lifeforms...kinda. Well, our ancestors evolved alongside it.
Kinmorunddraver - Hmmm. You would do well to learn more.
Hachi - What about those Zazanite people?
Kinmorunddraver - There are many who link to the Adversary. His history goes deeper than even I know.
As they talked, several winged shadows were cast over the land. Looking up the group may have seen some bat-winged humannoids fly over and towards the island, led by an even larger creature - a Draonoggr. The party was flanked by hippogriffs with figures riding on them. Kinmorunddraver unsheathed his weapon, Riad doing also. Marcos looked up and crouched low. Hachi drew Archavior and growled.
Lekren - Is that a Draonoggr?
Marcos - Dragons, hippogriffs...looks like we have more guests in these lands.
The flying group appeared to take no interest in the team and flew on towards the island. Kinmorunddraver then put away his blade.
Sea Witch - Last thing we need is dragons in our way.
Lekren - Fear not, madam. We Klaxxa are allies of the Draonoggr.
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. Dragonsworn. I should have known earlier.
Riad - ...Dragon-what?
Marcos - Known earlier? What are you talking about.
Lekren - Still, it is weird to find Draonoggr so far away from the Everwinter Highlands.
Kinmorunddraver - I was wondering why the island looked so familiar. It's a Draonoggr-constructed island.
Hachi - Friends of yours, Arch?
Archavior - Very strange. But if one of my kind is leading a group of sworn. Their leader has a very keen interest in that island.
Marcos - I've heard rumours of "Dragonsworn". Simply put they are persons who, for one reason or another, pledged loyalty to a dragon.
Sea Witch - Too many surprises in too little timespan.
Archavior - I wonder what these Sworn want with the island.
Kinmo spoke to Archavior telepathically.
Kinmorunddraver - <<Familiar with the Draothumnoggr?>>
Archavior - I have some knowledge. Although by my time they had retreated mostly into seclusion in their sky-islands.
Kinmorunddraver - <<Hm. I believe that's a Draothumnoggr sky-island.>>
Archavior - If you plan on visiting it, pray to the Fallen Queen of the Earth it's inhabitants are absent and their golems are dead. Draothumnoggr lloathe ground-dwellers in their cities.
Kinmorunddraver - <<Hm. Very well.>> We'd better take caution once we enter the island.
Riad - How close are we?
Kinmorunddraver - Ten minutes.
Sea Witch - Finally.
Race to the Sky-IslandEdit
As they were speaking, they felt slow tremors in the ground.
Riad - Uh...is anyone else feeling that shake or is it just me?
Lekren - This cannot be good.
Marcos - We'd better move.
As the snows began to disperse slightly, they could see a towering figure walk towards them, seemingly made of ice.
Marcos - ...What is that?
Kinmorunddraver - I forgot about these things.
Sea Witch - It's ugly, for one.
Hachi - What are you on about? It looks cute!
As it walked closer, they noticed it was at least ten times Marcos' height.
Riad - ...Holy.
Marcos - And that thing...is big.
Kinmorunddraver - Make your way to the cliff edge. I'll hold it off.
Marcos - Any ideas how the rest of us are getting onto that island?
Riad nodded and sprinted downhill. The Sea Witch and lekren followed. Hachi followed on all fours and Marcos joined them and ran. As they kept running, they could hear the muffled echoed roar of the golem, causing an Avalanche behind them.
Riad - ...Move! Move move move move move move move move move move move move move move move move move move!
Sea Witch - Well, see you all later.
The Sea Witch morphed into a vulture and flew off the avalanche's way.
Marcos - HEY!
Lekren - That is most rude, madam! But yes, it is a good idea...
Hachi - Ngh! Keep moving!
Lekren also flew, but did not distance himself from the rest of the group. Hachi proceeded to jump on Riad's back.
Hachi - GIDDY UP, GIDDY UP!
Riad lost his footing and tumbled down the hill, swearing in Névari as he did. They could hear Kinmorunddraver's sword swinging through the Avalanche, and as it stopped, the Avalanche became even more intense with an icy explosion in the midst of it.
Lekren - I'd like to insist you to stop making it worse!
As Riad eventually regained his footing, he saw Kinmorunddraver run out the Avalanche.
Kinmorunddraver - Not good!
Marcos - What do you think i'm doing!
As they kept running, they saw the bottom of the mountain's hill, perhaps ten or eleven kilometres away. Behind them, emerged even more of the ice giants.
Kinmorunddraver - Like I said, not good.
Marcos - Gah, if only we could go up.
Kinmorunddraver - I have a plan.
Riad - Well do it quick!
Kinmorunddraver, whilst running, stopped in his tracks. He turned around, looking at the avalanche. He swung his blade over his head and hitting the ground, split the avalanche in two, sending it down the sides.
Riad - Good plan! ...What about the ice giants?!
Lekren - How did...
Hachi - Teehee, what ice giants?
Riad - Those Ice Giants!
Riad turned around and pointed at least fifty of them. The ice giants were still running at them, starting up another avalanche.
Kinmorunddraver - Oh come on.
As they reached the bottom of the cliff, they noticed the island was an immense jump, more than the team could survive. Kinmorunddraver sent slashes at the Ice Giants, taking some of them off the side, and dispersing the avalanche.
Kinmorunddraver - I got a plan, but you won't like it.
Marcos - If it involves throwing the non-flyers over the gap I can handle it. I've suffered worse injuries.
Kinmorunddraver - Worse.
Hachi - How worse?
Kinmorunddraver - This much worse.
The Collector - Yes, what?
Kinmorunddraver gave Marcos his blade.
Kinmorunddraver - When I say so, slash at the ground.
Marcos modded and gripped the handle tighly.Kinmorunddraver stopped in his tracks, and raised out his arms. In the distance, they could see, with some strain, the island move towards the cliffside.
Lekren - How did-...how are you...
Marcos peered over and grinned eecstatically.
Kinmorunddraver - Now.
Hachi - Nu!
Marcos nodded and swung the bade downwards. As he did, the ground sliced along the path Marcos made with it. With that, the cliff face broke off from the mountain, separating them from the giants and the avalanche - although, they were about to fall thousands of feet.
Lekren - Oh dear...
Kinmorunddraver grabbed Hachi and pulled him under his arm, as if he was holding a bag.
Marcos - Well, we're safe from the Ice Giants.
Kinmorunddraver then jumped off the cliff face towards the island, landing with an almighty crack on the ground. Marcos ran for the edge of the cliff, still holding Kimno's sword. He kept patient as the cliff face dreopped.
Hachi - Whee!
Kinmorunddraver - Now how to get the rest of them...Where's that Sea-Witch?
Lekren - I'd be more worried about the land-walkers right now.
Marcos - Kimnorunddraver!
Kinmorunddraver saw Marcos, and shot up to grab him in mid fall. He then pulled back down to the island with an even heavier crack.
Marcos - Thanks. I think you're better off carrying it...
Marcos handed Kimno's sword back to him. At the island, the Sea Witch-vulture sat on a rock, watching the entire incident.
Sea Witch - Well, that was quite a show.
Hachi - I was WORRIED!
Hachi leaped forward and landed on the Sea Witch, hugging her. The Sea Witch squalked and pecked Hachi's head to get him away. Kinmorunddraver grabbed his blade and put it on his back. The rest of the cliff face fell around the side of the island and made an immense crash. However, he then saw the Sea Witch, pulling his blade out and pointing it at her.
It appeared they had landed in the edge of a city. However, there were no signs of Drothumnoggr about. The streets were worn and it was as though no one had lived here for millennia. The buildings were made of whitewashed stone with gold patterning. Broke npottery scattered the streets. The buildings of the city were massive with doorways averaging at least three times marcos' height.
Sea Witch - Interesting place. And put that sword down.
Kinmorunddraver stared at the Sea Witch, before putting away his blade again.
Kinmorunddraver - Don't give me a reason to think you're a liability, witch.
Sea Witch - I'm not risking my life for a bunch of strangers. I am no good samaritan.
Hachi - Hey Arch, does this remind you of hime?
Archavior - Sort-of. Draothumnoggr had a higher opinion of themselves, this city shows it.
Kinmorunddraver - ...Well. Here we are.
As the island shook from the cliff's impact. There was a low rumble from underneath their feet.
Lekren - This is like the legends I've one heard of, of cities above the skies, inhabited by dragons...
Riad landed heavy on the ground, seemingly taking the full fall.
Riad - One wonders how I survived that...
Hachi - Oh. He's still alive.
Kinmorunddraver - Hm...well. Here we are. Let's get through this and then through to the city.
Worshippers of DragonsEdit
Golems and SwornEdit
Marcos looked about the enormous abandoned isle with some apprehension. While the city was largely intact, it was clear that it had not seen life for millenia. From what they could see, there were stone entities with a rough physique to Kinmorunddraver. Made from stone and sporting large gens in bronze sockets. The creatures were made of stone and stood slumping as if dead.
Riad - Hm. I dunno if i've ever seen anything like this before.
Hachi - I wonder if anybody still lives here.
Sea Witch - Doesn't seem like it.
Lekren - Hm... curious.
It was clear the buildings were designed for inhabitants far larger than anyone in the group. There was a warm-air current flowing through the empty streets. Kinmorunddraver let out a breath before stretching his wings.
Kinmorunddraver - I suppose we should get through this quick.
Marcos - I hope so. This place gives me chills.
Sea Witch - Reminds me a bit of home.
Kinmorunddaver - I suppose we should let Hachi lead the way. Or the dagger at least.
Hachi - Good point! Archavior, ee-neh-chuk!
Sea Witch - And they say i'm the crazy one.
Kinmorunddraver - Trust me. You're sane for the most part.
Standing dormant beside the streets were statues wearing belts and bracers. Their eyes set with gemstones. The statues stood vigil, silent. Set in the centre of their belts were large round gemstones. Lekren stretched his wings and flew, looking at the statues with great interest.
Archavior - Those statues...Keep your distance.
Hachi - Huh? Why?
Lekren - Beauteous. Beauteous.
Riad - Hm. Those statues look...detailed.
Archavior - I have my suspicions they may be golems but...nothing i've seen before.
Kinmorunddraver - Yeah. Stay away from them.
Hachi - Okay guys! Archy says that the statues might be gold gems!
Kinmorunddraver - Hmph. Just keep walking.
At the end of the road were a group of hooded figures led by a taller more liardlike figure. It barked orders in a tongue Archavior and Kimno recognised and the hooded servants obeyed without question.
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. Not good.
Hachi - Hmph, they seem to be here too.
Sea Witch - What's this all about?
The taller figure turned it's head to look at the group and snarled. It pulled out a collection of throwing knives and threw them at the group.
Lekren - What foul alchemy is this?
Hachi - Dragonsworn!
Commander - [Do not let the interlopers interrupt our work!]
Hachi leaped out of the way and hid behind a building. Kinmorunddraver unsheathed his sword.> Marcos roled to the side ot dodge a knife. He pulled out the javelin from his back and threw it at one of the dragonsworn underlings, piercing it in the chest. The Sea Witch channeled magic power on her hands. Lekren flew in the air near-immediately; however, one of the knives managed to hit his wing and the Klaxxa fell on teh ground.
Lekren - Draonoggr...
The Witch then fired blasts at the dragonsworn underlings. Kinmorunddraver lunged his fist at one of the knives, sending it off course.
Commander - [Mountain Lord Korvrovsh's work cannot be interrupted! Eliminate them!]
Two underlings were hit by the sea-witch's blasts, however oen of them appeared to take it beter than the other, who was thrown to the ground. Lekren stood up from the ground proudly and pointed at the Dragonsworn. Hachi growled and charged forward, swinging Archavior around to knock blades off course.
Archavior - Let's pray to the Fallen Queen none of these dragonsworn bear any...oh.
Kinmrounddraver swung his blade, sending out a wave of frost. The commander sprinted away from the fight, throwing more knives at the group before dissapearing inbetween the city streets.
Hachi - Yeah you'd better run!
The Sea Witch created a shield around the group to protect them from the knives. One underling was caught in the frost wave and thrown upwards, his body freezing over and hitting the ground. Riad hurled his spear at one of the Dragonsworn.
Lekren - Halt, dragonsworn! Our races are allies! We have no intentions to fight you!
Hachi - We have every intention! Hyaaaaah!
One of the sworn, armed with a bow on a balcony, was hit by Riad's spear. Lekren flapped his wings in order to make himself appear more magnificent.
Sea Witch - Bhahaha! These creatures are incompetent!
Marcos slashed at the leg of a lieutenent, a heavy clang indicated he was wearing armour. He kicked the sworn up and pressed his knee against the chest, meanwhile Archavior's edge sliced the last dragonsworn in half.
Marcos - What are your kind doing here!
Hachi - Bwahahah! Me and Archy have killed hundreds of these guys!
Riad climbed the perch, and hoisted his spear out of his enemy.
Liutenent - Like i'd tell you Deiwos filth!
Kinmorunddraver appeared in front of the Lieutenant. Marcos slammed his fist into the lieutenant's neck.
Lekren - I am your kin, Dragonsworn! I command you to listen!
Marcos - Tell us or the phoenix here might do something nasty to you.
Lieutenent - I...*cough* take no orders from you,... Klaxxa.
Sea Witch - Can we eat him once this is over?
Kinmorunddraver - Then perhaps you will take orders from me. What are you doing here?
Lieutenant - I only take orders of the commander and his majesty Korvrovsh.
Lekren - Hmph..
Hachi - Korv-who?
Lekren took his pistol and pointed it at the Dragonsworn Lieutenant.
Sea Witch - You better talk, or I will turn you into a plant!
Liutenent - Go on Klaxxa, shoot me! you'll learn nothing!
Kinmorunddraver pressed his hand against the Dragonsworn's chest, pressing it only slightly but crushing his chest. The liutenent screamed as pressure was applied. Kinmo might have noticed that, while visibly resembling an elf, he posessed vertically-slit pupils and fang-like teeth.
Kinmorunddraver - Strange. You call them Deiwos-filth when clearly you were a Deiwos at some point.
Hachi - He's a dragon's bum-licker!
Kinmorunddraver turned to Hachi slowly, narrowing his eyes. The Sea Witch chuckled.
Lieutenant - So waht if I was. Korvrovsh gave me a new purpose in life. he liberated me from the shit-rolling scum i used to be surrounded with!
Kinmorunddraver - And your task?
Kinmorunddraver clenched his hand slightly, digging his talons in.
Sea Witch - It's a shame I've not mastered body possession...yet.
Lieutenant - AARGH...P-protect his majesty!
Kinmorunddraver - Hm.
Kinmorunddraver let go, but put his finger on his head, covering him in ice.
Hachi - Can I smash him?
Lekren - I demand to speak to your majesty then.
Marcos looked at the hand with surprise. The lieutenent was wearing Draonoggr-forged mail, several links of which had been partially snapped by Kimno's talons.
Kinmorunddraver - Do that and i'll freeze your nuts off.
Lieutenent - He...he...he's not accepting...visitors!
Sea Witch - So we are not cooking him? Beh.
Hachi looked at the frozen Dragonsworn before placing a tongue on the ice to have a taste. It proceeded to get stuck. Kinmorunddraver took his finger off, melting the ice.
Archavior - The conditioning has already begun it seems.
Kinmorunddraver - I don't like the sound of them having to protect someone.
Lieutenent - Go on. Kill me. Korvrovsh will devour you all for your insolece.
Kinmorunddraver - I doubt it.
Kinmorunddraver placed his finger on the Lieutenant's head again, sending him into a sleep, The liutenentwant limp, his jaw hung loose as he was sent into a deep sleep. Hachi managed to free his tongue from the ice and shook his head frantically.
Kinmorunddraver - Let's get out of here before something bad happens.
Hachi - What is that? Dry ice?
Archavior - If a mountain lord is here then whatever is on this island could considerably affect the balance of power.
Marcos - I can see why you wanted to smash him, Hachi.
Lekren - Indeed. Draonoggr mountain lords are known for their insatiable hunger of power.
Hachi - You know, Archy used to be a Mountain Lord until he was slapped like a bitch.
Archavior - I was "assassinated". You make it sound like I let this happen!
Lekren - Hah! A fate befitting the hubristic.
Kinmorunddraver - Let's just hope he doesn't regain a body and slap you like one.
Sea Witch - So we're in th home of some big dragon lord guy?
Riad - Definitely seems so.
Marcos - Nice place. it makes Redhelm Castle look like a shack on a hill.
Sea Witch - Cool. Dark elves, vampires, mutants and now dragons. What next? Undead?
Hachi - Boy, I hope so!
Kinmorunddraver - How you survived with me for so long...
Lekren - Brrrr. I have heard of the Outworld revenant warrriors... I'd much rather prefer to forget about them.
As they talked, the gems in the eyes and belts of the statues began to glow.
Riad - Uh, guys.
The Sea Witch charged energy on her hands as she turned to the statues.
The statues began mobing their fingers before they strertched themselves upright. A low grinding as the rock that made up their bodies shifted constantly. Each one slowly turned towards the group.
Hachi - Whoa cool! A welcome party!
Marcos - Ohhhhh shiiiiittt.
Sea Witch - Golems!
Lekren looked at the statues, impressed greatly.
Kinmorunddraver - I did say keep away from them.
Lekren - Golems. The pinnacle of sorcerous and alchemical art our alchemists have never achieved...
The golems began to lumber towards the group. They moved sluggishly as though they had not moved for a very long time.
Sea Witch - Uuurk! I hate golems! Expecially ones with crystals!
Hachi - Hey Archy! Try speaking to them!
Archavior - I'm not sure if they'll recognise me.
The Sea Witch threw several bolts of energy at the golems and walked back to keep her distance. Lekren threw a vial of alchemical acid at the golems. The blasts fractured the golems' bodies but they kept moving. Some had their arms blown off at the shoulders while another had it's torso blown to pieces - but both kept moving. Hachi ran forward and swung Archavior in a destructive circle, aiming for the legs.
Marcos - Maybe a tactical retreat is in order?
Sea Witch - Retreat to where, though?
Kinmorunddraver - Heck, I just took out half a mountain. I'm not up for this.
Marcos - Preferebly out of their sight.
Sea Witch - Fine. Lead the way then, because the only other way I know is down.
Hachi sliced two golems in the legs, while both were legless, they crawled towards hachi. Marcos looked around, he looked up and saw that i nthe centre of the island, flanked by huge crystals was a worn tower.
Archavior - Hachi try cutting their bracers and belts.
Hachi nodded and lifted Archavior before slamming him down on one of the golem's bracers. As Archavior's blade broke the bonds, the arm of the golem went numb.
Hachi - Hey guys! Aim for the gems!
Riad threw his spear at the Golem's belt. As Hachi was relieved, mroe golems plodded out from side-streets. The Sea Witch fired more blasts but aiming at the gems.
Sea Witch - Ngh, reminds me too much of Lympharians.
Lekren fired at the golem's eye crystal. The golem that was hit by Riad's spear shattered. The golems that were shot in the eyes had their heads shattered but otherwise kept moving.
Hachi - Zombie statues...neat.
Sea Witch - I was kinda right.
Archavior - Perhaps retreating is the best option.
Riad picked up his spear.
Riad - And where do we go exactly?
Marcos - I feel like decapitating a mountain lord, don't know abotu you lot.
As Archavior spoke, a golem with gauntlets plodded into view. Raising its arms it fired balls of fire from its palms.
Hachi - Flame golem! Look out!
Sea Witch - Ngh golems with elemental powers!
Lekren - Fire... An idea has appeared in my mind.
Lekren turned to the rest of the group.
Kinmorunddraver - Fight fire with fire, it seems.
Kinmorunddraver pointed his blade at the Fire Golem and sent out a channel of fire at it. The golem reeled fro mthe blast and fell over, but more fire golems plodded into view.
Lekren - Shall we retreat, I could use a more vaporous concoction of mine which, combined with the golems' fire magic, would create a cloud of gaseous acid that would make them decay. Is that a good idea?
Marcos - I have no idea what you just said but if it'll get rid of the golems feel free.
Lekren - Bah! It is the tongue of science...
Marcos - I have an education you know. It jut so happens that education never touched on vapours or concoctions.
Hachi - Hey Archavior, I got an idea... What if I use this Mountain Lord to give you a body?
Archavior - Oh I would love that idea!
Riad - Just do it dammit!
Lekren took a small, spherical orb of glass in his hand and tossed it amidst the golems.
Lekren - I recommend you to run away now, lest you will share the fate of these constructions.
Marcos - Now that I can understand lekren.
Hachi nodded to Lekren and ran as far and as fast as he could. Riad sprinted away whilst Kinmorunddraver walked away slowly. The Sea Witch into a small winged dragon-like creature and flew off.
Archavior - I overheard this mountain lord may be in the bowels of this island. We need to find an underground passage.
Sea Witch - Dragon-themed island, dragon-themed morphs.
As the team fled, the orb shattered, making acid green liquid leak from it, making the ground hiss. From the heat of the fires, the liquid started vapourising, slowly eating away golem rock. As they ran, marcos noticed a tunnel entrance near to a road and he beckoned for everyoen to follow him.
Lekren - Bah! Now, those lithic ignorami shall suffer.
Hachi - I'm on it!
Falston Korvrovsh's SchemeEdit
Riad ran towards Marcos and Kinmorunddraver walked that way. The Sea Witch flew inside the tunnel. As they entered the tunnel, the group could feel a hot wind blowing outwards, a low gust permeated the tunnel.
Sea Witch - Ngh, it's too hot in here.
Marcos - This could explain why the island is so warm.
Hachi - It feels nice and hot!
Riad - Hm. At least we're not outside the bubble.
Lekren - Ah! The climate reminds me of my home...
Lekren stretched his wings and a smile appeared on his draconic face.
Lekren - Wonderful.
As they moved through the tunnel, not only did the gust seem more noticeable, the tunnel also felt more humid.
Marcos - This air jut went from pleasant to dank.
Lekren - It is foul indeed.
Riad - Grrr. Néva aren't used to such heat.
Sea Witch - Well my powers are returning. So speak for yourself.
Hachi - Feels like the insides of a dragonsworn's underwear.
Sea Witch - You've been inside their underwear?
Lekren - Blast you, Lagosi varlet! Your speech makes my ears bleed.
Hachi - It was more like my hand slipped, honest!
Near the end of the tunnel hey could hear baritone chanting as well as very loud and heavy breathing.
Marcos - Shh. Does anyone hear that?
Kinmorunddraver - Sounds like a ritual.
Hachi - Sounds like a party!
Riad - Kinmo, how did the Lagosi survive being with you now?
Kinmorunddraver - Not quite sure.
At the mouth of the tunnel they could see a light. On the other side of a grate was a very, very large cave. Lit by torches and glowing crystals. In the centre however was a Draonoggr large enough to rival some of the smaller colossi. The Draonoggr that stood in front of it chanting looked miniature in comparison. Kinmorunddraver slowly grasped his blade.
Riad - Damn, that's big.
The Sea Witch's eyes widened. The titanic Draonoggr was sleeping, it's eyes tightly shut and it soon became apparent the hot air they had been feeling was from the Draonoggr breathing through it's nostrils.
Marcos - Ohkayy...What exactly have we stumbled upon?
Lekren - By the Prince of Earth... Perhaps we could reason with him?
Hachi - Hey Archy...were you e-ever this big?
Archavior - This...this creature...Even the High Archon would be an insect in comparison.
Sea Witch - I've not seen something this big since the Great Water Beast...
As the chanter continued, it looked as though the titan was beginning to stir.
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. It is pretty large.
Hachi - So Arch...h-how exactly d-do I t-transfer you i-into that?
Archavior - This isnt' the mountain lord. I presume the chanter is the mountain lord.
Lekren - What is it?...A True Dragon?
Marcos - Okay so what do we do? Wait here for the zealot to finish preaching and wake up a titanic dragon or do we actualyl do something?
Sea Witch - Wouldn't an attack awaken the thing too?
Archavior - The beast appears to be in the middle of a hybernation cycle. If we're lucky, it will never know.
Hachi - Well, let's not let time "drag on".
Sea Witch - Heck, I don't think even my Finger of Death would work on that thing.
Kinmorunddraver - Hmmmmm...Not sure.
As Korvrovsh was preaching, the commander ran into the chamber and he stopped. The commander began talking to Korvrovsh who grew irritated at his servant.
Hachi - That guy does look quite familiar!
Archavior - He's the same guy who got away from us back on the surface stupid.
Hachi - I didn't see you helping us, Arch!
Korvrovsh - My followers it appears we have guests!
Hachi - Now look what you've done!
Sea Witch - And here we go.
Kinmorunddraver - Wait. Perhaps I can talk them down.
Marcos - Parley with those dragons? Are you insane?
Lekren - I will pretend I didn't hear this.
Kinmrounddraver - I've dealt with worse.
Korvrovsh beckoned for a large stout dragon-like creature, very vaguely remeniscent of a dwarf but with a draconic head, legs, tail and wings.
Hachi - Oh what in the name of the Lagosi clans is that thing?
Korvrovsh - Khartor. I want you and your men to find these invadors. And bring me their skulls!
Khartor - Yes lord Korvrovsh.
Marcos - I agree with the Lagosi. That thing is an abomination.
Sea Witch - I've seen some ugly things, and that is a contestant for ugliest.
Kinmrounddraver went down to the Draonoggr cultists, seemingly unafraid of them. Khartor gathered his troops but was stopped by Kimno's presence. Korvrovsh's size easily indicated he was at least five hundred years old.
Commander - This is one of the interlopers, your majesty.
Riad - Alright, we may have just lost Kinmo.
Sea Witch - Nah, he can take care of himself.
Korvrovsh turned around and peered down at Kinmounddraver and looked at him dissapointedly.
Kinmorunddraver - So, you are Korvrovsh.
Korvrovsh - That's "Falston" (lord) Korvrovsh. And waht are you doing in this sacred isle?
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. Travelling further north to Nalúnt's City.
Korvrovsh - And you decided to simply "wander" onto an isle of the Draothumnoggr? And standi n the presence of an Ancient One?
Hm. You're not familiar with me?
Sea Witch - Draothumbwhat now?
Riad - Oh god, here comes the ego boost.
Hachi - I dunt like it when Kinmo does that.
Sea Witch - Oh, wait until you meet Kimorgos.
Korvrovsh - You remind me of a certain phoenix of legend. The rumours of your power are impressive, but are they any comparison to the elder who sleeps here?
Korvrovsh rested on all fours, thumping the ground and bringing himself inches from Kinmo's face.
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. I can make myself larger if it's too much trouble for you to lie on the ground.
Lekren - May we solve this problem peacefully, sir?
Lekren came forth and bowed.
Lekren - May we?
Korvrovsh - This is Tharavto, An ancient Draothumnoggr fifteen. thousand. years. of age.
Sea Witch - That thing predates the vampires.
Kinmorunddraver - Fifteen thousand? Hm. Quite old I guess.
Riad - Hm. I'd get your weapons ready.
Lekren - As a Kelodhros, I know and show great respect for the Ancient Ones. I also believe that being such a potent being, he is also a being of great mercy, and will spare such lowly beings as ourselves.
Kinmorunddraver turned to Lekren.
Kinmorunddraver - If you want to help I suggest you keep quiet.
Lekren - Our people and the Draonoggr are kin. They might listen to me being such a potent lord.
Lekren turned back to Korvrosh.
Korvrovsh - Me, perhaps; in fact he may thank me for waking him from his slumber. You, phoenix I am not so sure, you Klaxxa he might not care less, the other ground dwellers you have brought...they would make a good snack.
Lekren turned to the group.
Lekren - Well...
Marcos - You see this is why I hate dragons.
Sea Witch - Pfff! For your information, I'm the one who eats people around here.
Kinmorunddraver - Perhaps I should introduce myself then. I am Kinmorunddraver World-Walker.
Riad - And there we go.
Korvrovsh - Well then, Kinmorunddraver, perhaps he might spare you after all. But creatures of his age require a lot of nourishment.
Kinmorunddraver - How much do you want to gamble on this Kelodhros eating you before he eats me?
Lekren - ...One might desire to run at great speeds like a female of young age now.
Lekren flew in the air, trying to escape.
Korvrovsh - Do NOT mistake him for some beast that would engulf whatever he pleases. The Draothumnoggr predate the domain, They predate much of the modern world. he would not eat me because I would have returned him to this world from decades of slumber.
Sea Witch - We're never gonna get to the city if we keep running away!
Korvrovsh - When he awakes, he will be grateful I have released him fro mhis prison of hibernation. With him as an ally cities shall be devoured in his mighty maw, all shall fear us once again! And none of you will get in my way.
Hachi - Ugh, at this rate you'll never get a new body, Archy.
Sea Witch - Oh, so you're one of those "world conqueror" types.
Kinmorunddraver looked at Korvrovsh with a straight face.
Kinmorunddraver - The Adversary was much larger than your lord and yet we managed to imprison him.
Korvrovsh laughed and stood up, pacing back towards his podium.
Archavior - Hachi why not go down there and plunge me into is back?
Awakening of a TitanEdit
Hachi ran forward, rushing past Kinmorunddraver with Archavior in his two hands. Kinmorunddraver looked at Hachi and placed his face into his palm.
Hachi - This sword is the sword that will pierce the heav--I mean, back of dragons!
Lekren - Hah! I do understand what he is planning now...
Korvrovsh turned around as Hachi jumped onto his back. As Hachi landed he trashed about trying to throw Hachi off him.
Sea Witch - This is hilarious, really.
Hachi - Ngh! This isn't going as I expected!
Korvrovsh - Get off my back you disgusting litte rodent!
Hachi gripped onto Korvrovsh's wings in an effort to stay on before gripping onto his horns. Kinmorunddraver grabbed his sword.
Kinmorunddraver - Shame. I really hoped this would go peacefully.
Hachi - Don't attack him!
Lekren - Draonoggr, truly inventive beings, you are.
Lekren smiled as Hachi kept fighting Korvrosh. Hachi struggled to grab Archavior's hilt as the Mountain Lord thrashed around. Realising waht was happening, Korvrovsh began to chant again, his words echoing as they had reached him just before his incantion was complete.
Archavior - Do it! Do it now!
Sea Witch - Ngh, let me attack already, I wanna show you the grandest transmorphication of all!
Lekren - Transmorphication? The word eludes me.
Hachi lifted Archavior and attempted to plunge him into the Mountain Lord's back, grounding him and knocking him onto the floor.
Hachi - There!
Glyphs surrounding the ancient Draothumnoggr began to glow.
Archavior - ...Why am I still in this accursed dagger?
Hachi - Huh? It didn't work?
Archavior - Of course it didn't!
Kinmorunddraver - Be prepared everyone.
Hachi - Uhh...w-well what else do I need to do?!
Korvrovsh fell to the ground, blood pouring from the wound and his mouth. Kinmorunddraver's sword began to glow white.
Lekren - Hmph. Our science is more potent stronger than their sorcery, it seems...
Archavior - Wait...I remember hearing muttering when I was stabbed. I cannot remember it however.
Hachi - Noo! What do you mean you can't remember?!
Archavior - It may have been little more than a whisper!
The ancient's lips twitched as its slow regular breating stopped abruptly.
Sea Witch - Uh-oh.
Hachi began to panic before examining the blade. He noticed there were several symbols on the hilt that appeared to have been carved or etched in, yet they looked a little degraded and eroded. Kinmorunddraver grasped his sword in both hands. The Sea Witch surrounded herself in purple electricity. The ancient moved slightly and the glow of the light crystals began to dim.
Hachi - Shit shit shit! Archy, I can see some words or something on your hilt but I dunno what they say!
Archavior - Hachiman those could be the binding words. If you don't hurry up this body you are offering will be a corpse. I do not want to posess a corpse!
Lekren - Can I have a look?
Lekren came closer to the hilt.
Hachi - Lekren! Get over here and read this!
Lekren - I know Draconic languages.
Lekren took a closer look at the hilt, smiling as he began whispering in Draonoggr language.
Sea Witch - Whatever you are all babbling about, do it quick. The huge thing moved a few seconds ago.
Lekren - I have a strong Klaxxa accent, but I can still pronounce this. Kara... long... zmiy...
The ancient began to stir more, it began breathing normally and it's eyes flickered open. The Sea Witch swore in Old Tongue and completely engulfed herself in magic.
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. Seems its up to me and the Witch.
Lekren - In this knife I bind thee. Soul from body, may my victims be torn. Trapped in steel for eternity... That's it. I have always found Drokkoril somewhat crude-sounding. It's like the whole language is composed of roars.
Korvrovsh - Wha--
In a flash, the wound burned with a blue fire. Korvrovsh felt numb as the blade shimmered with magical energies. Light blasted from Korvrovsh's mouth and eyes before collapsing to the floor. Hachi drew the blade out of Korvrovsh's back and set it onto the ground before looking towards the ancient dragon in front of them.
Hachi - Oh...it's awake.
Lekren - By the Fallen Queen and the Prince of the Earth...
There were two room shaking thumps as the titan lifted itself up onto its front hands. It let out a yawn that shook the room
Hachi - Archy...are you there? We could really use your help right now...like putting this bastard back to sleep!
Lekren bowed down in submission, preparing to die. Kinmorunddraver uttered something in his native tongue, before he stretched out his wings. The magic around the Sea Witch exploded and she turned herself into a dragon of around 15 meters of height.
Sea Witch - The grandest transmorphication, the dragon form!...This better be quick, I cannot keep this form for long.
The titan sarched it's back, the force of it colliding with the ceiling above caused it to cave in but the titan itself was largely uanffected.
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. Maybe I'll change into something later.
Lekren - You offend my entire kin by that form of yours. Brrrgh.
Hachi shook the Mountain Lord's body roughly and looked up at the ancient.
Kinmorunddraver - So we have to kill an ancient dragon. It's a little unfortunate, really.
Hachi - Archy...!
Dragon Witch - The dragon form is always the cheapest! But it is by far the most fun to use in battle!
Korvrovsh's body grunted and flickered its eyes open.
Archavior - La--Lagosi?
Hachi - Yes! Yeah it's me Arch! It worked!
Lekren - Pleased to meet you... kin.
Lekren - Source save the Queen.
Archavior - S-so...I'm not a dagger anymore?
Hachi - Well, you don't look like a dagger.
The titan looked down at the group and snorted. Blowing everyone with hot air and moisture.
Hachi - ...That is just...GROSS!
Archavior - Wait...the Ancient!
Dragon Witch - Don't sneeze at a lady, you blockheaded brute!
Lekren - Ladies and gentlemen, to ensure our continuing survival, I suggest running away in a most cowardly manner.
Kinmorunddraver - Ugh. None of you would have survived in the Adamantine Age.
Marcos - Well at least we can tell this thing did.
Archavior lifted himself up, still weak from the knife injury.
Hachi - Yeah, I think we should, like, you know...run.
Dragon Witch - Wait, there was a soul inside your dagger? How did I not notice that?
Hachi - What, you thought I was talking to myself the whole time?
Dragon Witch - Well yes.
The ancient began speaking in the Old Tongue, which only Kinmorunddraver and the Sea Witch could understand.
Ancient - [Which of you woke me from my slumber?]
Marcos - Everyone...I think the dragon can talk...
Hachi - Kinmo, what's it saying?
Kinmorunddraver - It's asking who woke him.
Hachi - Ask him what happens to the person who did.
Archavior - Well, technically the person responsible is now trapped in a dagger.
Kinmorunddraver - [And why is it of your concern who woke you?]
Ancient - [I wish to reward whoever woke me. It has been a long time since I last woke up.]
Kinmorunddraver - [And what is the reward?]
Hachi - Umm...Archavior did it! He awoke you from your slumber! Yep! He's the good guy!
Ancient - [My services. And the arsenal I posessed before I outgrew it.]
Dragon Witch - Seems nice enough. Let's just say all of us did it in a combined effort!
Kinmorunddraver - I'm afraid it doesn't work like that.
Dragon Witch - Feh.
Hachi - *whispers* Let's not tell him about the dagger, Arch.
Kinmronddraver picked up the dagger that was now Korvrovsh.
Kinmorunddraver - [He who woke you up is now sealed within this dagger.]
Dragon Witch - Aaaugh! Why did you do that? We could have profited out of it!
Kinmorunddraver - I don't lie to ancients.
Ancient - [A trapped soul? They could not have conducted the ritual in that state so why are they a dagger now?]
Hachi - Well, feck.
Kinmorunddraver - [I trapped him within it.]
The ancient lowered itself and narrowed its eyes, staring into kinmo's eyes.
Ancient - [Why?]
Kinmorunddraver - [...He threatened to kill us.]
Ancient - [I see...]
Kinmorunddraver - [And I assure you, attempting to kill me will result badly.]
Riad - I think we're going to die.
Hachi - Sometimes, honesty is a bitch.
Ancient - [Then he was a fool, Kinmorunddraver World-Walker. I will forgive this transaction but...why did he threaten you? Did you oppose my reawakening?]
Kinmorunddraver - I actually lied there just to save yourselves.
Dragon Witch - I noticed.
Kinmorunddraver - [There are moments in time where things come into place.]
Ancient - [The creature now posessing his body is the most suited to recieving my gift but...Does he deserve it?]
Kinmorunddraver - [He is without a weapon.]
Hachi - Man I wish I knew what these guys were saying. To me it just sounds like gibberish roaring and coughing.
Ancient - [Under the circumstances given I shall be generous. To you Kinmorunddraver, I offer myservices when you need them.]
Dragon Witch - I can understand the conversation and it's pretty boring so far. Minus what he just said. Giant dragons on our side are always a plus.
Kinmorunddraver nodded to the Ancient.
Hachi - Teehee, all's a good day today!
The ancient lowered itself to Kinmorunddraver and clenched its palm. it reacehd out and rested the back of its hand on the floor, unveiling his palm to reveal a horn. Kinmorunddraver took it and examined it. The Witch's body shined and she reverted back to her normal form.
Sea Witch - Aw.
Hachi looked up to Archavior and smiled, climbing onto his head.
Hachi - How you holding up?
Archavior - It... feels a little strange having limbs again.
Ancient - [Blow through the horn Kinmorunddraver World-Walker and I will come]
Kinmorunddraver - [It will be of use.]
The ancient moved to Archavior and, muttering in an ancient tongue, manifested a waraxe and a set of enchanted armour.
Ancient - [Treat the armour well, Rock-kin. Treat it as though the world would die with upon its neglect.]
Kinmorunddraver then looked at the blade in his hand that contained Korvrovsh. He walked a distance to the right, and pointed out the blade. From it, he released Kovrovsh's ghostly visage. Kovrovsh's ghost materialised in front of Kinmo and he stepped back. Kinmorunddraver then returned the dagger to Hachi. Hachi took the dagger and smiled, swinging it around.
Sea Witch - Well, this all went a lot better than expected.
Ancient - [is this the one who woke me, World-Walker?]
Kinmorunddraver - [It is complicated. His body, but not the one who woke you in effect.]
Lekren kept watching.
Kovrovsh - You will pay! I could have built an empire, surpassed the High Archon!
Lekren - Such is the fate of the hubristic.
Kinmorunddraver - I can return you back to the sword if you so wish.
Kovrovsh - And spend eternity in the presence of the rodent? I'd rather face oblivion.
Sea Witch - [He wanted to use you as a weapon, ancient.]
Ancient - [Then he shall get a reward for his plans!]
The ancient gathered a ball of magic in his hands and slammed his claw down on Kovrovsh's ghost. There was a shimmer of energy and the ancient looked satisfied as he lifted his ahnd ot reveal the ghost was completely gone.
Lekren - My upbringing forbids me to laugh at this being's death, but still, I shall. Ahahaha!
Ancient - [That is his reward.]
Kinmorunddraver - [Fair reward.]
The ancient reared up and made a larger hole in the roof of the cave and flew upwards out of it.
Sea Witch - Huh. Nice guy, after all.
Kinmorunddraver - I must say, it was surprising.
Archavior - I would say he was merciful. He seemed to know Kinmorunddraver.
Sea Witch - Well...now. I guess welcome to the team, dragon guy.
Kinmorunddraver - It's not that he knew me. He knew the name.
Hachi - Teehee, everything went well today! Archy has a body, I have a quiet sword and we have a new ally!
Hachi ran up to Archavior and climbed onto his head again, smiling.
Marcos - I suppose it beats the alternative of trying to kill it.
Kinmorunddraver - Indeed. Come. We must leave.
Marcos - My concernn ow is what we have unleashed upon Koldenwelt.
Kinmorunddraver - Rest assured. It's not Dragons that you should be worried about.
Archavior reached down and picked up the armour the ancient had given him. It was made of a fine steel, studded with luminous gems and as he put it on, it magically wrapped itself aroun dhis body.
Archavior - To be bestowed the armour of ancient Draothumnoggr...I feel honoured.
Hachi - Whoa Archy, you look badass!
Kinmorunddraver - Be glad I have coercion on my side.
Lekren - Indeed. The Ancient Ones are certainly beings of grand powers.
Archavior - Thank you Kinmo for doing that. And thank you Hachi. I should be grateful you did what you did.
Kinmorunddraver nodded and walked his way out of the chamber. The rest of the group followed right after, to go on on their adventure.
The Underground CityEdit
Having left the Sky Island, the party continued marching through the Forgotten lands. As they went further north, the landscape became more desolate and cold. The adventurers, weary from the encounter with the ancient dragon, dragged on, tired. Kinmorunddraver sighed heavily as there was no distinguishing night from day, nor cold from warm.
Lekren - By the Queen, the climate's truly freezing...
Marcos - Redshire winters may be cold at times, but this is cold enough to flash-freeze a bear.
Hachi - W-Well...i-it's perfect weather for a cuddle.
Sea Witch - Pff.
Hachi - Hey Archy, how you holding up? I know it's a little sudden...
Archavior - It feels strange having limbs again.
Kinmorunddraver - I guess it's time for a change of clothes.
Riad - Change of clothes? It's so cold my breath is solidifying.
Lekren kept drinking his potions in order to preserve his freezing body. Hachi huddled next to the Sea Witch and acted like a scarf again. She remained indifferent but had a very faint smile on her face. Archavior appeared to be walking oddly, he was unfamiliar with walking due to his trapped state. Kinmorunddraver covered himself in his wings, and when his wings unfolded, they dissolved. Kinmorunddraver took on the appearance of a tall muscular Deiwos clothed in black, with his hood completely obscuring his face and a cloak.
Sea Witch - No more beak? Now you're even uglier.
Marcos - Interesting transformation.
Riad - He doesn't even have a face. Wait...no face? You're the legendary Faceless?
Kinmorunddraver - I'm probably many legendary things.
Sea Witch - Next time you see he'll claim he's the Adversary.
Kinmorunddraver - Now that's just sick minded humour.
Lekren - Curious. However, I dare to inquire how can these transfigurations of yours save us from the cold.
Kinmorunddraver - Like this.
From Kinmorunddraver's faceless hood, a red gust of wind came to warm everyone again. Lekren took yet another flask of vitality potion and gulped it at once.
Lekren - Impressive...
Kinmorunddraver - I take on many disguises as simply being Kinmorunddraver World-Walker is too much every now and again.
Hachi - Teehee, it feels warm!
Hachi hugged the Sea Witch tighter, perhaps a little too tight.
Sea Witch - You're choking me!
Hachi - I wuv it when its warmses!
Riad - So...wait, what? Is Kinmorunddraver a disguise then?
Kinmorunddraver - It's as much of a disguise as the Faceless is. I'm as much of a phoenix as I am a phantasm.
Riad stood confused.
Lekren - All of your incarnations will freeze if we don't find a refuge...
Archavior - Such riddles.
Kinmorunddraver - Well, do you see a cave anywhere?
Lekren-Lax stared into the sky. The sun above him appeared to be unmoving, eternal, even though the party had been travelling for a while.
Lekren - It's neither night nor day in here. By the gods...
Kinmorunddraver - To avoid confusion, call me Faceless for now.
Hachi - Okay Kinmo!
Lekren - Wait! Stop talking! I heard something.
Riad grunted. Lekren turned to a mountain ridge which laid on the right from him.
Lekren - Voices! I heard voices!
Riad - The cold's making him nuts.
Lekren pointed at the ridge. 'Faceless' looked to the ridge, and walked in that direction with Riad following curiously.
Hachi - Is it the Cult? The shark-eons?
Lekren - They were coming from there, from the mountains. Where are voices, there are people, and where are people, there is warmness...
Sea Witch - Huh. Might as well check it out.
Hachi - Warmth? Y-You mean a-as in bar m-maids?
Faceless held his blade, which was now just a pitch black longsword rather than its gleaning silver greatsword appearance. Too tired to stretched his wings, Lekren walked instead, leaving a trail of footsteps in the snow.
Faceless - I doubt there are bar maids a thousand miles north of civilisation.
Hachi - Oh yeah? How would you know, Faceless?
Archavior - I suppose I can always have a look.
Faceless - Have you seen civilization aside from Ice Bears and Dragons for the past five hundred?
Marcos - How exactly would a city support itself out here?
Hachi - Simple! Ice equals water, water supports life!
Sea Witch - So thirsty...
Faceless - Ice equals a painful and frostbitten death as well. If it weren't for the fact I was keeping you all alive you would have all frozen an hour into the Forgotten Lands.
Sea Witch - You want a prize?
Faceless - Some gratitude would be nice if we get out of here alive.
Archavior spread his wings and launched himself upwards. He soared towards the maountains, the armour he was wearing provinding some warmth fro mthe cold.
Lekren - The answer is simple, Deiwos. Forgotten Lands might be cold on the surface, but underground... fiery volcanic depths may lay.
Hachi - Are there bar maids down there?
Riad - Would you be quiet about bar maids?
Marcos - And would you be able to hear voices that deep underground?
As they were speaking, shrill shrieks could be heard in the air. Faceless drew his blade.
Hachi - See? Bar maids!
Sea Witch - Shiarchon bar maids, by the sound of those shrieks.
Faceless - That is a poor excuse for a bar maid.
Over the ridge, they could see multitudes of lizard like creatures scurry towards them. Archavior kept high, seeing the creatures he flew back towards the group. The Sea Witch prepared her poisonous barbs. Archavior then landed with a thud next to the group.
Riad - What the...what are they?
Hachi - Not bar maids!
Faceless - Akvarút hordes.
Sea Witch - Damn, those are ugly.
As they got closer, Riad noticed there were perhaps 100 or 200 of them. Marcos drew his greatsword from his back and positioned himself defensively.
Hachi - Huh, lizards out this far?
Riad - Uh...Faceless, you wouldn't happen to have some trick for these guys?
Faceless - Not really, no.
Sea Witch - Too many uglies.
The horde reached the team and engaged them. Hachi used his Draonoggr dagger and katana to engage the horde, spinning in circles. Archavior swung his greataxe to cleave though the lines, using his size to an advantage. Faceless unsheathed his blade, and passed through the Akvarút like a ghost. Riad used his knife, but was at a significant disadvantage.
Riad - Hey! Some help here!?
Hachi - Try backstabbing them!
Riad tore at the Akvarút's back with his knife, killing it. The Sea Witch charged herself in magic and unleashed a blast around her to damage the Akvarút.
Hachi - See, like an assassin! Or a spy!
Archavior used a mix of greataxe cleaves and stomping to keep the lizards at bay. A wicked smile on his face as he was clearly enjoying himself. As the Akvarút lessened in number, they began to become more vicious and started leaping at the group. The Sea Witch cut through them with her barbs, all while blasting more energy around herself.Hachi continued to spin in a deadly circle. Marcos swung his greatsword in sweeping arcs to cut down any leaping Akvarút. Franticalyl defending himself as he was swarmed. From Faceless' hood, dark fog and shadows spurred out; the Akvarút in the fog all started to disintegrate.
Hachi - Archy! Marcos is down!
Archavior looked over to marcos and leaped over, crushing three Akvarút under hsi feet. The Akvarút, noticing Faceless' powers and that they were being whittled down, shrieked and retreated.
Marcos - ...Thanks Arch.
Riad - Is that dark source powers you're using?
Faceless - You knew what I was full capable of, Néva. The main weaknesses of Akvarút - fire and dark source.
Hachi - Teehee, Marcos fell over.
Sea Witch - Huh. That was pretty easy.
Marcos looked at the witch with a muderous glare.
Marcos - Yes. This fight was pretty easy when you have immense control over the Source!
Hachi - I didn't even use Source this time.
Hachi stared at Marcos blankly.
Marcos - Not you Hachi. The Witch.
Sea Witch - What? You want me to just let the things kill me? I have the tools to fight, I will use these tools!
Marcos planted his sword in the ground.
Marcos - I can see why you prefer being alone, Hag.
Sea Witch - Hmpf.
Marcos - Because the rest of us are insignigicant mortals that you couldn't care lesss about because someone like YOU can kill armies with a finger.
Faceless - Gr. Let's get to the cave before the full swarm comes.
Hachi - Don't pick on the witch!
Hachi kicked Marcos in his shin. He flinched, there was a clang as hachi kicked his shinplate.
Hachi - Ouch!
Sea Witch - I am no immortal...I live alone so I don't develop bonds...I don't want to hold anymore dear...I don't want to lose anyone else...
Faceless threw his blade in the ground, creating a ring of black energy. As he spoke, his voice echoed.
Faceless - Enough!
Hachi - Kinmo--I mean Faceless is right. We should get going...before something bad happens.
Lekren - Agreed.
Faceless - You all cooperate, before I grow tired of you all bickering.
Marcos - Where I came from, gloating can get you killed.
Marcos pulled his sword out of the ground and set it on his back. The Sea Witch turned herself into a small pigeon and rested on the top of Hachi's head. Hachi smiled and marched onwards with a cheery smile, despite the cold.
Marcos - *mutters* Magi...
Riad - I wouldn't piss off Faceless. Even as Kinmorunddraver, he can grow tired of people's existence.
Marcos - The witch's arrogence is beginning to grate on me Riad.
Riad walked towards the cave entrance where Lekren heard the sounds, choosing not to get involved. Lekren led the party further into the ridge. As they moved on, they noticed that the temperature started to rise, becoming almost bearable. Almost.
Lekren - Am I becoming deranged or is it becoming hotter?
Hachi - It feels like there's a spa nearby!
Lekren - There might be a volcano nearby. A friend of mine, professor Kerlen-Nax, was involved in study of these wonders of nature and how can they wreak change on the lands in their direct proximity.
Riad - For your safety, don't show it. I don't want to be turned into ash by a temporary ally.
Faceless - It is probable. In the times when Nalúnt was alive, the Forgotten Lands was ripe with volcanoes.
Sea Witch - One of the reasons I never explored Infernos Mons. The cave mazes have lava everywhere.
Faceless - Couldn't you just turn yourself into a dragon?
Sea Witch - My dragon form is water-based, not fire-based. I'm a sea witch, not a flaming witch. Fire is one of my weaknesses.
Hachi - Vol-whats
Sea Witch - Giant cones full of lava that spit lava everywhere every once in a while.
Hachi - Lava?
The Sea Witch gestured with her pigeon wings, mimicking a cone.
Sea Witch - Think really hot dirt.
Marcos - Melted dirt.
Hachi - H-How hot do I need to think?
Sea Witch - Hot as in, you get close, you die.
Hachi - Well, that's enough learning for me today!
Marcos - Hachi have you ever visited a blacksmith's?
Hachi - Course I have! ...I think.
Marcos - You know those really hot ovens they have in blacksmiths?
Marcos - Think even hotter than that.
Hachi - T-That sounds...t-too hot.
Riad - Well. Let's just hope nothing lives down here.
Lekren - The legends say that the Young Prince of Fire and Fury rests underneath a volcano.
Hachi - That's really morale-boosting Lekren. Seriously.
Lekren - These are just legends.
Sea Witch - Well, if there's the Great Water Beast, a Great Earth Beast sounds completely feasible.
Hachi - Look at you all talking about myths and beasts of legend. Surely there would be more if they really existed.
Sea Witch - The Water Beast is real. I've seen it, a lot of Caxildiz have seen it. I remember one time when it chased a Shiarchon Warship all the way to the mainland.
Archavior - Perhaps they are rare for the same reason the Ancient is rare; such massive beasts must need to eat a lot.
Faceless - Depends on what you mean by 'eat'.
As the party moved on, they noticed strange, elaborate structures, made of rough, carved rock.
Lekren - What is this...? Looks like a cromlech... but how?
Hachi - Crom-what?
Riad - Cromwhat?
Sea Witch - Cromwhat?
Lekren - A rock structure. We have many in Ar-Klith... but in the Forgotten Lands? How?
Lekren took a closer look at the cromlech.
Marcos - What is an Ar-Klith rock structure doing here?
Lekren - Quite young, I'd say. Ours are much more ancient... but both structures is indeed of similar architecture and look...
Hachi - What the hell is an Ar-Klith?
Archavior - An Empire in the eastern plains. Home to the Klaxxa.
Faceless - Either way, i'd keep your weapons close-held.
??? - Wiðerwinnan! Destroy them!
Marcos - Speak of devils!
Hachi - Wio-what?
Faceless grabbed his blade, Riad posing his spear. Suddenly, several crossbow bolts pierced the air with a demonic-sounding howl.
Hachi - Ngh! Arrows!
The Sea Witch formed a shield in front of the group to deflect the bolts. Faceless' cloak shrouded himself and Hachi, as the bolts shattered upon it. Marcos ducked and pulled out his javelin. He tossed it itn the direction of the source of a crossbow bolt.
??? - Scinncræftiga!
The wandering knight's javelin simply vanished in the wind: the mysterious assailants were gone.
Sea Witch - Cowards!
Faceless - As I suspected. We aren't alone down here.
Marcos - Great. Where am I supposed to get a replacement out here?
Hachi - Who was that?
Lekren - ...Impossible. These are mere legends.
Marcos - This land has a habit of making legends a reality.
Sea Witch - What is a legend?
Faceless - Kinmorunddraver World Walker is a mere legend.
Sea Witch - I'm not talking about you and you know it.
Lekren - In the ancient times, Ar-Klith was ruled by another race, of great intelligence and malevolence. The Endebyrdnes, they were called, or the Ordnung...
Lekren began pacing around, nervous.
Hachi - The who what now? Start speaking sense and not gibberish!
Faceless - There were many races of great intelligence and malevolence. You will have to be more specific.
Marcos - Who are the Ordnung?
Lekren - A race of great evil and magical power - they built the cromlechs I was talking about. They were defeated by our kind, thought extinct for many a century. But there are rumours, legends, myths... call them the way you like - that some of their kind survived the downfall of their empire by escaping in the volcanic depths of Koldenwelt... But there is no way this can be true. I am a man of science, I can't believe in such myths...
Faceless looked unimpressed at Lekren's statement.
Marcos - So there is a city down here?
Lekren - ...Might be.
Riad - So many evil and magical races. It almost makes The Adversary sound unimportant.
Faceless - There were many splinter groups that came from the Adversary's defeat. Take it in your stride as they're all equally unimportant.
Hachi - Even the shark-eons?
Faceless - Shiarchon aside. There are only five, maybe six beings in existence people should truly fear.
Marcos - Only six?
Lekren - May I inquire: which ones? I have been a called a man of great curiosity many times.
Faceless lifted his head up and began speaking.
Faceless - Hm. The Lich Lord, the Patriarch...a being named the Crux, Count Dalverat...
Sea Witch - That's four.
Faceless - The Adversary...and there are other beings in fact. More than six.
Marcos - I know of this "Crux". The others...I don't know.
Hachi - Crux?
Marcos - The Crux is the idol for these Zazanite cultists. And I wish he was a fairy-tale.
Hachi - Gee, we never had anything like this back at Kame.
Marcos - If it's any comfort Hachi. I never knew of this Crux guy until his fanatics laid waste to Redshire.
Faceless - I have said too much already. One could consider that Kinmorunddraver World Walker is another.
Riad - You speak as if you're not Kinmorunddraver.
Sea Witch - I heard tales of an ancient evil trapped at the bottom of the oceans. Vectrom claimed staring into it would turn one insane instantly.
The Sea Witch thought for a second, and then remembered something.
Sea Witch - Actually...Ordnung? I'm familiar with that name. When I visited Castle Nightshade, there was a little man who claimed to be an Ordnung. An extremely creepy little man, too. Everytime he smiled, I felt a chill on my spine.
Lekren - The Ordnung were described as large beings among my kin...
Sea Witch - Well the one I met was about as big as you.
Lekren - Hm. Maybe...
Faceless - Ordnung, Orichalcum Elves, Echdrarothrayu...either way. Let's keep moving.
Lava and more LavaEdit
The group continued walking, finding new cromlechs along the way, until they found themselves before a huge gate, its architecture being the same as that of the rock structures.
Marcos - If that's not a city or castle wall I don't know waht it is.
Hachi - Lets go inside!
Faceless - It wasn't here when Nalúnt was here.
Lekren - It might be a ruin. Either way, we can stay in it for a time being.
Riad - Are you mad?
Lekren - We will freeze otherwise!
Faceless - Grr. Very well.
The moment the party entered the gates, they felt a sudden temperature change: it wasn't freezing cold, it wasn't cold at all. It was hot in there, so hot that sweat poured of everyone's heads like if they were weary peasants.
Archavior - Hm. This heat reminds me of Orocathrheim.
Faceless - Hm. Somewhat welcome a change.
Lekren - I fully agree.
Marcos - OKay perhaps this is a little too hot.
Hachi - Ngh...i-it's hot in here and my f-fur is making me sweat.
The party slowly descended over a rocky stair, which appeared to span many meters, almost as if it was infinite. Lekren observed the surroudings with great curiousity.
Faceless - This was not here when I last came.
Riad - Phew. We should be careful though.
Sea Witch - I just want to get out of this heat.
Lekren - I swear to the gods, the Royal Society will grant me lordhood for this discovery!
Hachi - What about the rest of us?
Lekren - You aren't Klaxxa.
Archavior - And they say my species is arrogent.
Lekren - Well, they aren't subjects of the Empire.
Faceless - I'm beginning to get bored. We should move quicker.
Lekren - Well...
Lekren-Lax pointed at the end of the stair: it was a huge stone wall.
Lekren - Looks like we're trapped... or maybe not. Search for any strange-looking rocks! This wall might be a part of a grand, peculiar mechanism of some sort.
Marcos approached the wall and began brushing his hand across it, feeling for anything. Faceless put his hand to the wall, in order to 'see' the stone's workings. Hachi sat with the Sea Witch and watched the others. Faceless curled his fingers on the wall in an attempt to see deeper.
Lekren - Anything of interest, sir?
Faceless - There is a button that opens this door.
He turned his head to where the button was.
Lekren - One would need strength to activate it, though.
Sea Witch - Hm...You are not bad, Lagosi. Sorry for threatening you earlier.
Hachi - Huh? W-Where did that c-come from?
Hachi blushed and blinked in confusion.
Sea Witch - We're too far up north...he will not find me here...yes, all is well. Sorry for everything. You're a nice kid.
Marcos nodded and walked over to Lekren's location. He felt for the button and ,after a few short breaths he pushed against the rock button, grunting as he forced it inwards. The wall started to shake and disappeared, going underground.
Lekren - Excellent! Excellent! Delightfully excellent!
Sea Witch - I need one of these for my cave.
Riad - See? Not everything has to be solved with magic.
Faceless - Like the Witch said. I have tools. I will use them.
As the wall was gone, the party saw a huge lava river before them.
Hachi - Cannon ball!
Lekren - Confound these lava rivers!
Marcos - Remind me are these creatures lava-proof?
Faceless - And how do you suppose we cross that then? Sticks?
Lekren - Some say they are-
Hachi ran towards the lava river but was stopped by the Sea Witch. Lekren flew over the river.
Sea Witch - I said, you get close, you die!
Lekren - That's how- oh, wait. My apologies.
Hachi - Oh? Y-You mean that's lava?
Sea Witch - Yes. That.
Riad grabbed his spear, and vaulted over the river.
Lekren - Hm. Think, Lekren-Lax, think...
The Sea Witch floated over the river, keeping her distance. Faceless pointed at her.
Faceless - See? Magic solves problems.
Archavior - Verll well who needs a lift?
Hachi - Well considering I don't have wings, a lift might be useful for me.
The Sea Witch sneezed salty water at Faceless' general direction.
Sea Witch - Ngh, not again.
Lekren - Hm...
Sea Witch - Never thought I'd say this but I'd rather go back to the cold.
Lekren turned to the Sea Witch and Riad.
Lekren - Let's search for any long rocks. Riad - Yeah. I'm a Néva. Snow-Elf. Not a Fire-Elf.
Archavior tossed Marcos and Hachi onto his back and flew over the lava.
Lekren - Hah. Sometimes the easiest approach is the best one.
Faceless - I'm still on this side. I'm just trying to see if you can come up with a non magical solution.
Lekren - ...Fine!
Archavior set the group down and looked over to the entrance of the cavern. Lekren started flying around, searching for any large rocks, until he found one embedded in one of the walls.
Sea Witch - You could have just used the Draonoggr like everyone else.
Hachi - Heehee, Kinmo doesn't need Archy.
Faceless - Oh no.
As Faceless leant back, a shadowy perch appeared under him as he sat on it.
Faceless - Take your time.
Sea Witch - Wants to get to the city fast but wastes time with childish games.
Lekren - There it is! Now, can anyone put it over the lava river?
Riad - Come on, Kinmo. You're wasting time.
Hachi - Gaaaah, I'm startin to regret this triiiiiip!
Hachi slumped onto the floor. The Sea Witch used her powers to make the rock levitate and put it on the lava river. Faceless got up, and walked over the river. The Sea Witch shook her hand at Faceless.
Lekren - Here! Where claw and magic fail, my bright mind prevails!
Facless - Good up until the point you used telekinesis. Doesn't count.
Sea Witch - As old as an ancient but with the mentality of a kid.
Lekren - Good! Now, we have to-
Faceless - If I behaved as my experience dictates me i'd be no better than the Adversary. Trust me, it's not something you let go of.
Hachi - Hmm, I wonder if you are capable of turning into a woman, Kinmo, if you're capable of changing your shape entirely.
Suddenly, the ground beneath the party began quaking and the ceiling started to shake, rocks falling on the floor.
Sea Witch - Uh-oh.
Lekren - Drat and double drat! Run away!...Look! A corridor! Follow me!
Lekren flew into one of the archs as the rocks fell behind him, subjecting the party to deadly lava. Marcos sprinted towards the corridor Lekren indicated and Archavior followed behind. Faceless, the Sea Witch and Riad sprinted through the corridors at full pace. As the party entered the tunnel, the lava followed them.
Lekren - Faster!
Archavior - I may be a Keldhoros but I am not fireproof!
Riad - Kinmo, why aren't you freezing the lava?!
Faceless - Simply put it, I don't want to.
Lekren - By the gods, this ancient has a mind of a youngling!
The fiery waves of magma pursued the running adventurers, burning their backs with sheer heat. As they ran, the lights around them went dim, and the tunnel was now illuminated only by the burning lava. Lekren breathed heavily as he continued flying.
Raid - Well it would be of help!
Marcos - Well that's comforting!
Sea Witch - See, this is why I never visited Infernos Mons!
Faceless turned around, and struck the lava with a bolt, slowing it down but not stopping it.
Lekren - Good...
Hachi - Isn't this exciting?!
Riad - No! It's downright terrifying you lunatic!
Sea Witch - It would be if it was water and not lava.
Hachi - Haha! This is part of the adventure! Have you guys never been on a perilous journey before?
Marcos - Trust me I have. My danger usally involve deranged cultists or outlaws though.
Sea Witch - Mine usually involves living statues. But that's a talk for another day.
Hachi - I spent my time getting chased by dragons and their bum-lickers.
Faceless - I'd rather not talk about what I usually have to face.
Lekren - Stop talking and stop the fire already!
Faceless gave an empty but severe expression to Hachi. The party slowly slowed down, taking a short break, and entered a large hall, apparently of Ordnung origins. Faceless turned around, and from the void in his hood, came a black smoke, where the lava hardened. Riad panted heavily. Lekren looked at the corridor that the team had left behind and smiled as a spark of hope appeared in his heart.
Lekren - Can anyone block the tunnel? Perhaps one of you mages could conjure something...
The Sea Witch used her magic to materialize a large boulder in front of the tunnel.
Lekren - Good! Now, let's have a moment of rest. All this running made me weary...
Sea Witch - I'm nearly powerless, I need water now!
Lekren tossed a potion to the Sea Witch.
Lekren - Do alchemical potions count?
Hachi - How many potions do you have there, Lekren?
Lekren - A lot.
Sea Witch - Anything liquid!
The Sea Witch drank the potion as if her life depended on it. Faceless leant on the side of the cave wall.
Sea Witch - ...Thank you, Klaxxa. This was helpful.
Faceless - I surely hope you know where you're going. Whilst we are at it, I may as well put a face to the name.
Faceless waved his hand over his face, and from a blackish smoke, a grim, intimidating metallic mask was woven over the void. The walls around Lekren-Lax started to move slowly, spikes, holes and crossbows appearing out of them... the last of which started to fire at the adventurers. The Sea Witch shielded the group with her magic.
Sea Witch - Again with the crossbows? Would you stop?
Lekren - What's now? Arrows? ARROWS? By the gods, why can't we have a moment of rest!
Marcos - Well I presumed this was a castle and I guess I was right.
Faceless pulled out his cloak again, protecting him from the crossbow bolts. The party ran once more, trying to evade the rain of crossbow bolts; but as they did, the ground around them began to shake. One by one, the tiles that composed the floor fell, revealing yet another lava lake.
Sea Witch - Oh come the hell on!
Lekren - Dungeons equals trouble. I should keep it in mind.
Hachi clenched his artificial arm and slammed it against the ground. Not only did it leave a fist mark in the floor, but the rate of collapse began to slow as if the time around them had been slowed by a few seconds.
Hachi - I can't be doing with this!
Lekren - ...how did you do that, child?
Archavior - I really feel driven to slap you Klaxxa.
Hachi - It doesn't matter!
Faceless looked somewhat surprised at Hachi's power, whilst Riad was intent on escaping the the danger. Hachi continued to run with the group as the collapse was not stopped completely, only slowed. Lekren leaped in the air, trying not to get into the lava, and attempted to grab Hachi.
Lekren - You will repay me one day, child.
Hachi - I repaid you just now with precious seconds to spare!
Faceless - Got any other tricks?
Archavior flew over the pit with marcos clutched in his hand. Faceless sprouted dark, seemingly demonic looking wings, and grabbed Riad, flying over the pit.
Sea Witch - That look doesn't suit you.
Faceless - Does it really matter right now?
Archavior - Klaxxa have you ever wondered if you've LED us into all these traps?
Lekren flew with Hachi clenched in his claws, and then fell on the floor, unable to hold Hachi's weight. Quickly recovering, Lekren soared in the air once again.
Faceless - Just because I might be the original idea for the Angel of Death doesn't make me one.
Lekren - There's another corridor right there!.. time to run away from lava once more.
Hachi - When I started this trip I didn't know what lava was! Now it's everywhere!
Riad - Yeah, any chance we can speed this up!?
Lekren flew into the central corridor, panting heavily as he descended. Faceless flew into it also, but without expression.
Riad - You know you're really scary looking like that?
Sea Witch - I've seen scarier.
Faceless - I have appeared worse.
Riad - Well...don't show it.
Hachi grunted as he fell onto the floor and laxed his artificial shoulder. Faceless put down Riad, and his wings dissolved into nothingness. Archavior set Marcos down and panted on all fours. Glaring at Lekren.
Lekren - Yes! Time to run away once agai-
Suddenly, a wall appeared between the burning hall and the tunnel, for no apparent reason.
Lekren - ...Uh?
Hachi approached Lekren and pushed him to the floor, grunting angrily.
Hachi - You're such an idiot!
Archavior - Lekren...Give me five reasons not to swallow you whole.
Lekren - Erm... well... eh...
Hachi - Don't EVER make me do what I did again! Ever!
Hachi walked away from Lekren, rubbing his artificial arm and looking away from the group. The Sea Witch tried to reach her hand to Hachi but hesitated.
Faceless - As unorthodox as that is, we are still alive.
??? - So these are the heroes you talked about, slave? Pathetic.
Faceless - It seems we are not alone.
Duke Elegast's DuelEdit
The lights went up, illuminating the new hall the adventurers themselves in. They were in a circle, surrounded by stone spikes which very looks indicated the malevolence of their makers. Above the arena stood thousands of small, wolflike humanoids with black unblinking eyes, clad in metallic armour and clenching longswords in their clawed hands.
Lekren - Ordnung...
Hachi - ...Why should we be scared of them?
Sea Witch - I was right! The little guy at Castle Nightshade looked like one of those!
Faceless stood up tall, but keeping his hood low, only the mouth of his mask visible. At the pinnacle of the hall stood a huge throne, adorned with gold and gemstones; at this throne sat a large, snarling Ordnung, who was apparently a royal of some sort.
Marcos - Lekren do you realise where you've pulled us?
Lekren - I do. I do...
Marcos - You have led us into an ARENA you snake-skinned halfwit!
Riad stood up, but did not unsheathe his weapon. Marcos marched up to Lekren and bared his long razor-sharp teeth. He grabbed Lekren by the collar and lifted him up to his level.
Elegast - Welcome to the Deeps, lowlifes. I see a Deiwos, a beastman, an... usurper, and... - Elegast looked at the Faceless - whoever you are. My name is Duke Elegast, and I rule over these lands - under the King's consent, of course.
Elegast laughed. Archavior pulled out his greataxe and growled.
Hachi - I'm a Lagosi, you dog!
Elegast - We have heard of your... adventures in the Forgotten Lands. I must say, I am impressed... - Elegast's friendly, almost fraternal face turned into a grimace of contempt - But not enough. I am here to put you to a little test for you to be... preapred.
Sea Witch - Now wait a second, pal. Who do you think you are?
Faceless said nothing.
Elegast - A member of the master race, whelp... and a noble among it.
Sea Witch - Hmpf. You obviously don't know who I am.
Riad - Hmph. What are you doing?!
Archavior pointed his axe at Elegast.
Archavior - Call yourself a master race, I dare you not to be crushed under my foot!
Elegast - Let's skip the formalities and just begin your trial. Behold!
Elegast clenched his fist and dark magic surrounded it, making the entire room shake. Rocks that composed the arena's spikes began to move, springing into life, and shifted, slowly, into a new form. A massive rocky golem.
Elegast - I dare you not to be crushed under his.
The golem stomped his stony feet and sent a shockwave which threw the smaller members of the adventure party in the air. The Sea Witch floated and fired blasts of magic at the golem.> Hachi was thrown into the air, although he quickly landed and grabbed both his Draonoggr dagger and his katana.
Elegast - Let's enjoy the show.
Lekren - Confound this Ordnung, confound him...
As Faceless was thrown into the air, he disappeared as if he melted. Lekren-Lax, tossed in the air, flew and threw a potion at the golem, making a small portion of his body melt away the golem, weakened by the Sea Witch's magic. Riad came back down in a controlled manner, and hurled his spear at the golem.
Elegast - Hm. Maybe you aren't so weak as I thought.
Hachi ran forward and cut away at the golem's body with his Draonoggr dagger, wielding it with much ferocity as it cut away at its stone flesh. Elegast added a couple of stones to his golem's body, effectively regenerating his wounds. Marcos was thrown into the air and hit the floor. Archavior flew upwards and attempted to strike at the golem with his enchanted waraxe.
Riad - I. Hate. Golems.
Elegast - So the chalenge has to be harder.
The Sea Witch launched more blasts at the golem. Riad hurled the spear it it again. Angered, Elegast made the golem take Riad and throw him at the rest of the adventurers. Archavior caught Riad in mid-flight and flew at the golem oncem ore.
Riad - Gah!...Where's Kinmo?
Lekren - ...ran away. Uugh.
Riad - Let's just hope he has a good reason!
Marcos stumbled up as Archavior hacked at the golem's shoulder. Riad grabbed his spear, and swung it at the Golem's knees. The golem only became stronger as he was wounded, and fought with increased fervor. As Lekren saw it mauling against his assailants, an idea appeared in his mind. He knew what to do.
Lekren - Madam!
Lekren turned to the Sea Witch.
Witch - What?
Lekren - Could you attempt to take over the stone creature's mind? The Ordnung leader appears to be controlling it...
Elegast - You're smarter than I thought...
A twisted smile appeared on Elegast's muzzle. The Sea Witch used her energies to invade the golem's mind in an attempt to take control of it. Riad once again swung his spear at the Golem's knees. The golem's movement started to become slower. On his throne, Elegast's smile turned into a frown.
Elegast - My-my...
Sea Witch - Heheheheheh.
Riad - Make it quick, I don't think I can keep swinging this!
The golem's body started to shake,and his head began to rotate swiftly, turning from the Sea Witch to Elegast and vice versa.
Lekren - Carry on, madam! You can do that!
The Sea Witch intensified her power and grunted. The golem twitched, its eyes chaning from carmine to ocean blue, and then turned to its creator, intending to crush him.
Lekren - Excellent!
Elegast - Yes. Excellent. Sea Witch - Kill!
Elegast took his staff and created a storm of sorcery that turned the golem into a pile of rocks once more, and then walked to the heroes... with a smile?
Elegast - Congratulations! Your trial is complete.
Lekren - What?
Riad - Now i'm confused.
Sea Witch - Grrr, I grow tired of trickery!
Elegast - Even the master race needs allies against the Burning Shadow. You shall aid us, and we shall aid you.
Marcos - Burning shadow?
Elegast - The Shiarchon. Your... heroism and power have proven to be quite useful. Especiall the phoenix's.
Sea Witch - If this is another trick I'll gore you.
Riad - Where is he anyway?
Elegast - So, here's a deal. We'll give you a night of rest and then send you back to the surface with rations and provision, and you'll help us in sweeping the Shiarchon from the Forgotten Lands. Deal?
Sea Witch - If you speak the truth then yeah, suppose so.
Riad - Hmph.
Elegast - Excellent. Warriors, send them to their rooms. And show hospitality.
Marcos - I wil lstay vigilant. I don't like this.
Elegast looked as the Ordnung soldiers led the adventurers to their new rooms, clasping his hands.
Elegast - You'll be useful for the time being.
The City's EntranceEdit
The Curse CallsEdit
As the group left the Ordnud city behind and made their way out the caves, they found it was day outside, and still freezing. However, the skies had a shade of dark blue, and a beating sound could be heard in the horizon.
Hachi - The sky looks pretty.
Faceless - You only just noticed? The sky has been like this for weeks.
Lekren - A most disturbing noise... where does it come from?
Marcos - WIngs possibly?
Archavior - Or a drum-beat.
Riad put his hand to the floor.
Riad - Something heavy...and percussive. Drums, definitely drums.
Hachi - I never really noticed or valued the sky until I almost lost my life in a cave, no thanks to that short dragon bastard.
Sea Witch - It's nothing...nothing...
Lekren - Indeed, the noise might come from beating wings.
Faceless - I think we'll be on our way quick then.
As the Sea Witch took another step, the beating sound became louder. It was one that her, and Faceless, could recognize.
Faceless - Agh. I just realised what's coming our way
Hachi - The Cult? Shark-eons?
Sea Witch - ...No. Not here. Not this far!
Marcos - What's coming?
Faceless drew his sword, which morphed into a greater size.
Faceless - Trouble.
Lekren - Who else would dare to come that far north, madam? This is a matter of great curiosity to me.
Riad poised himself, spear behind his back and knife in hand. A dark bolt spread through the sky, giving it a cracked appearence. An echoing voice could be heard. Hachi drew his swords and growled.
??? - The curse calls.
Hachi - The sky's falling!
Lekren - Foul portents...
Marcos wrapped his hand tightly around the handle of his greatsword and bared his teeth in a snarl. The sun, at the time visible, was blocked by a shadow, and out of it, an eye appeared. A beam of dark blue magic fell into the group's front, and the Sea Witch began to panic. Lekren took his pistol with a shaking hand and aimed it at the beam.
Sea Witch - How did you find me here?! Why do you stalk me?!
??? - Those bounded with the cursed will perish.
Marcos - Then come and test me!
Lekren - I have heard of these creatures... the Frontlanders told me. Foul portents, baleful wings, the blood sun that rises, the path of destruction.
Outside of the beam, a large, draconid-like being with blank blue eyes materialized. it skin appeared to be made of crystal, and it carried a large staff surrounded by dark magic.
??? - Alvinian Varaikar, the abyss calls your name.
Marcos - There are crystal dragons now!?
Sea Witch - It's not a dragon. It's Praenuntius...
Lekren - The Mad King's Spawn... that's how humans called them...
Faceless walked in front of the group.
Faceless - You would do well not to pursue us further, Harbinger.
Lekren - A true gentleman fears no abomination of natural law! Face me, varlet!
Harbinger - World-Walker, the abyss calls your name.
Marcos - As brave as you are...it doesn't look like it wants to talk.
Faceless muttered to the group.
Faceless - I forgot he was lacking in mental capacity.
Riad - Well what are you waiting for? Kill it!
Sea Witch - Leave them alone! They have nothing to do with me!
Harbinger - You have Furor's Eye. You are cursed to live without bounds. The ones you have bounded with will now succumb and join the abyss.
Faceless - See? Brains of a Smeever.
Marcos - Witch, what artifact is he talking about?
Sea Witch - It's a scar, not an artifact...you see, this is not the first time he has appeared to me...
Marcos - Witch...suddenly I sympathise with you.
Harbinger pointed his staff to Hachi.
Harbinger - This bounded one will be the first.
[Hachi tilted his head at the whole scene and his nose twitched curiously, somehow getting a feeling of dread shake down his spine.
Hachi - ...And who is the bounded one?
Harbinger swung his staff and fired a blast of dark magic at Hachi's direction. He squeaked loudly and leaped back, backflipping and landing on his head.
Hachi - Hey! That was rude!
Archavior rushed in the way of the beam and raised the head of his axe to block the shot. Opening his wings in doing so. Lekren rolled and attempted to fire at the Harbinger's wings.
Lekren - Taste this, barbaric aberration!
Archavior was hit and blown back slighty, the hit area being engulfed in a crystal-like material. Lekren's bullets ricochetted off Harbinger's wings.
Lekren - By the Fallen Queen...
Harbinger - Furor Abyssi calls your names.
Faceless - It's been calling my name for too long, you mindless...whatever you are.
Hachi got up and gripped his swords tightly before running forward, growling as he ran.
Hachi - I'll get ya! It'll serve you right for tryin to hit me!
Archavior - You will pay for defiling a relic of the ancients!
Harbinger summoned a shield around him, and let out an echoing roar.
Sea Witch - Don't make physical contact, or you'll be turned into stone!
Lekren perched on one of the rocks and took a small vial from his backpack. Hachi stopped in his tracks, balancing on his toe carefully.
Hachi - Ngh! Why'd you say that NOW?!
Lekren - Hopefully, if I apply this solution...
Harbinger pointed his finger at the group and fired several blasts of magic at them. Marcos leaped out of the blasts while Archavior flew into the air. Riad leaped from the blasts, while Faceless dodged them as if he shifted across the place. Hachi leaped out of the way of the dark magic blasts, although he was not as athletic as the others through the snow.
The Sea Witch shielded herself to block the blast, and then fired her own attack, which hit Harbinger's shield, causing it to become illuminated. Lekren drenched a handful of bullets in the alchemical solution and then loaded them into the pistol, firing several times in succession. The bullets burned with orange flame as they flew in the air. Lekren's bullets were capable of penetrating the shield and hit Harbinger, destroying parts of his stone-like body. However, he remained floating, and completely emotionless.
Hachi - Way to go! Man, wish I had a gun!
Lekren - And lo, dark crystal falls before Klaxxa genius!
Hachi held his ground and glared at Harbinger. Riad threw his obsidian spear, which passed through the shield and hit Harbinger's chest, causing him to stagger.
Harbinger - Its gaze is restless. It calls your names.
Hachi - Your mother calls my name!
Faceless - ...It probably does.
Marcos smirked and pulled out his javelin. WIth a firm grip he threw it with great force towards Harbinger's neck. Harbinger noticed the javelin and defended himself by blocking it with his staff. The javelin landed on the ground, slighty covered in crystals. Lekren kept firing at the Harbinger until he ran out of bullets and then took the orange vial again. A smile appeared on his face.
Marcos - Sometimes I wonder why I don't have more than one.
Hachi - Now you know why I carry none. I started with 15 of those things.
Faceless sent a dark bolt of magic at Harbinger, clearing the ground of snow and ice. The Sea Witch tried to approach Harbinger, but he pointed at her and she was surrounded by a pitch-white orb. The group could not see her but could hear her screaming looudly. Faceless' bolt caused some of Harbinger's wounds to be cured.
Faceless - Ugh. Right, should have remembered that.
Hachi looked towards the white orb and his face dropped.
Hachi - Mrs. Bird!
Marcos - You used dark magic didn't you?
Lekren - Kordraiggen, save us all...
The Sea Witch reappeared, but fell on the ground unconscious. Harbinger flew to Marcos' direction in an attempt to ram his staff at him. Faceless crouched, and from his back, gleaning white and blue wings appeared. The robes burnt away in a white flame as he returned to his phoenix appearance.
Hachi approached the Sea Witch and examined her, before attempting to drag her away from the battle. To Hachi's surprise, she was somehow lighter than he thought.
Hachi - Huh.
Marcos lifted his greatsword from his back and tried to block the head of the staff with it. Lekren continued watching the battle from afar while continuing to fire. The block caused Harbinger to fly back. he then turned to Kinmo and fired his dark magic at him. In return, Kinmorunddraver grabbed the dark magic in his other hand, in which it dispersed.
Marcos - Okay he hit me but I appear fine.
Kinmorunddraver threw bolts of white magic at Harbinger. The white magic caused Harbinger's shield to explode like glass, knocking the Lympharian into a nearby tree, which crystalized.
Hachi - Aww, look at those guys...I wish I could fight with magic like that.
Kinmorunddraver - You have magic.
Hachi - Ahem! *whispers* I'm not supposed to use it...
Riad - Whoa. I almost forgot what you actually look like.
Marcos smirked. Lifting his sword he charged at Harbinger and leaped into the air, intending to stab harbinger in the chest. Harbinger was stabbed and let out a monotone pained groan. His wound shined in dark blue and Marcos' sword was slowly crystalized.
Lekren - Who needs magic when you are a man of science?
Lekren took a vial that he used to empower his bullets, which was now half-empty. A smile appeared on his face as he took a match from his pocket, but it soon vanished as it refused to light. Hachi laid the Sea Witch at the edge of the battlefield, beside the cave where it was a little warmer. He then turned back towards the battle and stood up, grabbing his swords and running. Marcos drive the sword deeper, his eyes glassing over as he succumbed to rage. Harbinger lifted one of his hands and charged dark energy on his claws, preparing to strike at Marcos.
Harbinger - You will gaze.
Lekren - Blast! Gentlemen, does anyone in this company possess fire magic of any sort?
Kinmorunddraver - I might be of assistance.
Lekren - Light this match, please.
Hachi - Chop chop chop chop!
Marcos saw the lefting hand and titlted his sword as he lifted the blade out to dodge the energy in harbinger's claws. Kinmorunddraver touched the match with the tip of his claw, and it was set alight. Hachi ran at Harbinger, preparing to leap.
Lekren - Splendid!
Harbinger aimed his hand at Hachi and fired the dark magic at him.
Hachi - Nope nope nope nope!
Hachi proceeded to stop his preparation to leap and ran back. Lekren put the match inside the vial, making it burn with bright orange flame, and then flung it towards the Lympharian.
Lekren - Appliance of superheated alchemical solution will surely provide splendid results.
Hachi - Will you start making sense?!
Riad - Vial goes boom.
Harbinger was hit and let out another pained groan. The vial's contents plus Marcos' sword caused him to crumble into a pile of rocks. The skies slowly turned back to normal, but Harbinger's voice was still heard. "The curse will call again". The crystalized weapons of the group slowly turned back to normal. Hachi looked down and he sighed.
Kinmorunddraver - Hopefully, he won't come back.
Lekren - In a man of low class's words, yes.
Riad - Hey. Careful with your social hierarchy, Klaxxa.
Ogres and VampiresEdit
The Sea Witch slowly woke up and got back on her feet, holding her head. Hachi looked towards the Witch and pounced on her like a dog would, knocking her on her back as he smiled.
Sea Witch - Urk...now you know why I'm not a very social person.
Hachi - You're awake!
Lekren - Indeed I do, madam.
Marcos walked over to the Sea Witch and helped her stand up.
Marcos - You're not the only one being hunted by forces beyond your understanding.
Sea Witch - Whenever I make...a friend...it comes. I've killed it countless times, yet it never dies.
Kinmorunddraver - I know how that goes.
Lekren - A most distressing story.
Marcos - I abandoned my wife, my childre nand my friends to save them from Zazanite Cultists. I do not even know if they are alive...
??? - WATS ALL DAT NOISE I SWER IF ITS ANUTHA ICE BEAR IM GONNA SMASH SUMONE
Hachi stayed on top of the Witch, as if he just ignored her words and was just happy to see she was alive. Kinmo recognized the voice.
Hachi - You're awake! You're awake!
Kinmo - You have got to be kidding me.
Lekren - What kind of barbarian is using this foul tongue?!
Several tress fell over as a huge Loron Corruptus wearing a crown and a huge hammer appeared. It sniffed around and then looked at the group.
??? - OI
Hachi lifted his head up curiously and looked around to see the Loron Corruptus.
Hachi - *quietly* What the fuck...
Lekren - ...disgusting.
Sea Witch - Crap. It's the dragon-ogre warchief...
Archavior landed with a ground-shaking thud with the resto f the group.
??? - YOO FINK YOO CAN SHAKE DA GROUND BETTA DAN WARCHEEF KEBRA'OSOS? YOR STOOPID CUS YOO CANT
Kebra'Osos smashed the ground with his hammer, causing a ground-shaking thud as well.
Archavior - I am not some barbarian with an ego issue!
Hachi - Ngh, loud!
Kinmorunddraver - And here we go.
Riad stumbled from the termor.
Riad - Right. How do you kill a Loron?!
Kebra'Osos - EY YOR DAT PHOENIX DOOD. KIMNOWATEVA. MAN DA IMPERATA HATES YOO
Kinmorunddraver - Send him my regards.
Kebra'Osos - NO IM GUN GIVE YOO TO HIM AS A PREZZIE. AN IM GUN EET EVERYUN ELSE HEER CUS I BEEN SENDIN TO SCOUT AN SCOUTIN MAKES ME HUNGRY
Marcos - Lorons have emperors...
Lekren - Imperator?...
Kinmorunddraver - He's talking about the Patriarch.
Marcos - So he's a sellsword?
Kinmorunddraver - ...Sort of.
Lekren - He might as well serve Laknaggr the Dreaded. I care not.
Riad hurtled his spear at Kebra'Osos, almost stumbling from how hard he threw it. Lekren drew his pistol. Riad's spear penetrated Kebra'Osos' leg, but he didn't seem to notice it. He roared and flames came out of his nostrils.
Kebra'Osos - DAI
Riad - Bad move. Bad BAD move.
Kebra'Osos lifted his hammer to attack, but before he could, a familiar figure appeared in front of his face.
Hamoins - Hey, big boy. Wanna play a game?
Kebra'Osos - WAT
Hachi - ...I am severely confused.
Kinmo - You're not the only one.
Lekren - It's her again...
Hamoins slapped Kebra'Osos, causing him to stagger back. He roared in anger and decided to attack her instead of the group.
Kebra'Osos - I HATE VAMPIYAS FUK SAKE
Hamoins - Try and get me, Shiarchon bootlick!
Lekren - Did the lady of the night help us?
Riad - Let's just assume yes for now.
Hachi - Huh.
Hamoins and Kebra'Osos both disappeared on the woods until both could not be heard anymore. As they left, a shadowy figure appeared in front of the group, holding what appeared to be a scythe.
??? - We don't want the Loron warchief bothering our friends, do we?
Riad - Oh great. I just lost my spear.
Hachi sat down, his head tilted. Marcos readied his greatsword and pointed it towards the creature.
Lekren - ...What is this creation?
Hachi - It feels like school all over again, except with strange enemies rather than harsh whip beatings.
??? - Put your weapon down, human. I do not mean harm.
Marcos - Prove your intentions to us. Then I will.
Kinmorunddraver kept his sword in his hands, but lowered it. Lekren put his pistol down.
??? - Ah, if it's not Kinmorunddraver. I have not seen you in a while.
Kinmorunddraver - Hmph. Last time you saw me you tried to kill me.
The figure laughed and revealed its face to the group. It was skeletal. Hachi shrieked out and hid behind the Sea Witch.
??? - I have warded the Loron out of your path. That's how I mean no harm.
Marcos - How do I know you did not remove it simply to end our lives personally?
??? - My master wishes for your success. The Shiarchon Patriarch's presence means something of huge importance is happening deep in these lands. And you have proven to be skilled enough to solve this problem.
Kinmorunddraver stood up straight, and looked deeply contemplative.
Lekren - You desire to use us, don't you?
??? - Call it what you want. I call it enchanging favours.
Hachi - I-If we're getting used...c-could it be at least the p-pretty demon woman w-who is using us?
??? - No.
Hachi looked down, sad from the creature's answer. Marcos lowered his blade. But still gripped it. The being pointed its scythe forward.
??? - The entrance to the city lays ahead. It should be rather obvious when you encounter it. Now if you excuse me, I must be on my way. We will meet again, in your deathbeds.
The dark being disappeared. Hachi stood behind the Sea Witch, trembling and shivering.
Hachi - P-Please...p-please t-tell me t-that w-we're done h-here.
Lekren - I felt like I gazed in the eyes of death itself.
Sea Witch - Because that was death...or at least, Count Dalverat's pet death.
Kinmorunddraver - Still rather unsavory.
Marcos - Somehow I did not feel afraid of the fact he was a reaper.
Sea Witch - He's pretty polite for a grim reaper, yeah. Back at Castle Nightshade he was polite to me, too...I think. Hard to remember.
Hachi - H-How do you know so much, M-Mrs. Bird?
Sea Witch - I travel a lot.
Kinmorunddraver - We must press on. Things are beginning to pick up.
Kinmorunddraver and the rest of the team moved on quickly to the the entrance of Nalúnt's city. It was encased in extremely tall mountain walls carved, over five kilometres, with a massive opening, destroyed many many years ago. The air was so thin and dangerous now, that Kinmorunddraver's magic was the only thing keeping them from dying instantly.
Sea Witch - Big.
Hachi - I-I don't feel comfortable.
Lekren - Most impressive.
The skies over the city was pitch black, clouds obscuring the stars. Unknowingly to the team, something was watching them.
Archavior - There is great darkness here.
Marcos - Fitting the king of dragons would make his home in such an isolated place.
Lekren - Indeed. I have to admit, the Stormdrakes have always intrigued me...
Kinmorunddraver - I surely hope my questions don't find its answers.
Kebra'Osos could be seen in a distance, though he could not see the group. He was visibly full of scratch and bite marks, and Riad's spear was now on his forehead instead of his knee.
Kebra'Osos - I NEED A FUKIN SHAMAN
Riad - Oh gods, not again.
Kebra'Osos entered the opening on the wall...and moments later, he ran out of it, screaming in terror. As Kebra'Osos ran, heavy beating sounds on the ground could be heard.
Marcos - If that's not an omen I do nto know what isn't.
Sea Witch - Big ogre dragon running away, and then beating sounds. Ngh, please not again.
Hachi - ...You know what I like? Living. I really enjoy living. I like living and enjoying my time alive as I'm living.
And then an icy growl.
Marcos - This is getting tedious.
Sea Witch - At least it's not Harbinger.
Riad - ...Oh dear. Kinmo, you know earlier when you said there was a top predator of the north?
Kinmo - ...Yes?
Through the opening, came in a dragon. A huge Frost Drake. Its eyes shone black, and it was a much darker shine than white.
Lekren - Drat and double drat!
Archavior - Not good.
Hachi - Archy, your friends are really starting to piss me off!
The Frost Drake's eyes crawled over the team with a black trail. Kinmorunddraver readied his blade and lowered his stance as the Frost Drake raised its neck. Marcos bared his teeth and tok a low stance, ready to swing his greatsword.
Sea Witch - I've never fought a dragon before...
Riad - Not just any sort of Frost Drake. This one is corrupted.
Hachi - Does that make it any less dangerous?
Marcos - Let me at it! I'll sever its neck and coat its wings in its own blood!
The Frost Drake let out a jet of frost from its mouth. Kinmorunddraver's blade met the frost and parted it, but the team could feel the painfully cold stream even from a distance.
Sea Witch - How do you kill this thing?!
Riad - This thing is the top predator of the north! How am I supposed to know?!
Hachi - Well, you do live here.
Archavior - Kinmorunddraver perhaps now is a good time to use the horn?
The Frost Drake span its tail around, knocking Kinmorunddraver off his feet. He steadied himself and broke his fall. Kinmorunddraver grabbed the horn from his waist, but the Frost Drake came down with a swoop of its claw, knocking the horn out of Kinmorunddraver's hand and into the snow.
Sea Witch - Shit. After it!
Marcos dashed for the Frost Drake from behind while it was occupied with Kinmorunddraver. With a strong kick of his legs he launched himself to stab his sword into the Forst Drake's rear leg. The Frost Drake stumbled to its knees as the sword pierced its leg. Icy blue blood with a black tint gushed from the wound. Meanwhile, the Sea Witch ran after the horn.
Archavior planted his hand into the floor and pushed himself forward, axe in hand he charge to strike the beast. Marcos meanwhile twisted the sword to sever the leg. Hachi growled and ran forward towards the Frost Drake's head, dashing through the snow on all fours. The Frost Drake flew into the air with the sword still implanted in its leg. Kinmorunddraver clasped his sword as he sent flurries of flame at the Frost Drake.
The Sea Witch approached the horn and tried to grab it. However, before he could, Kebra'Osos returned and grabbed it himself.
Kebra'Osos - IM BAK LOSAS
Marcos hold the grip of his sword tightly and used it to climb the Drake. Kinmorunddraver growled at Kebra'Osos as he pointed his flame-shrouded blade at his head.
Kebra'Osos - IF YA DUNT WANT ME TA BREAK DIS FINGY YOR GONNA POOT DAT SWORD DOWN
Kinmorunddraver - Mali electione verborum. [Bad choice of words.]
Kinmorunddraver sent a blast of flame from his sword directly at Kebra'Osos. Meanwhile, the Frost Drake was squirming in the sky as it was dealing with Marcos. Kebra'Osos retaliated by kicking the Sea Witch into the flames' direction.
Sea Witch - Shit!
Kinmorunddraver's eyes widened as the flames transformed into water. The Sea Witch fell into the ground, all wet, while Kebra'Osos laughed while still holding the horn. Marcos held onto the Drake tightly. Archavior had opened his wings and had flown up to support Marcos as he tried to plunge his sword into the Frost Drake's spine.
Kebra'Osos - DRAKES GONNA EET YAS
The Frost Drake began to soar higher into the sky as it began to get much colder
Kebra'Osos - OI DRAKE WHER YOO GOIN GET BAK HEER AN EET DESE LOSAS
Kinmorunddraver stepped up right in front of Kebra'Osos, looking at him with a fairly neutral expression. Kebra'Osos jumped back, spitting fire at Kinmorunddraver. Marcos' teeth began to chatter, he became drowsy as hypothermia set in. He looked ot his right to see Archavior flying.
Archavior - Deiwos jump on my back. Now!
Marcos - A-and co-con-c-c-ede the a-a-id of a Kel-keldhoros...ne-ne-ver!
Riad vaulted into the air behind Kebra'Osos and tried to remove the spear that was still jammed in his head. Upon taking notice, Kebra'Osos began shaking his head.
Kebra'Osos - GET OFFA ME YA POINTY EARED LOSA
Riad held on to the spear, being shook with it. Kinmorunddraver gathered a bolt of lightning in his hand and aimed it at Kebra'Osos.
Archavior - Do. it. Jump!
Marcos - I...wil..s-slay th-this cre-eat-t-ture f-first!
Kebra'Osos lifted his hammer and tried to hit Riad, only to hit his own head.
Kebra'Osos - NGH
Riad finally pulled the spear out of Kebra'Osos' head, and whacked him in the legs with it. Kebra'Osos let go of the horn, which fell on the snow. Archavior growled and flew closer, he positioned himself to fly behind the Frost Drake and pushed himself closer to Marcos who was crouching with his sword in the beast's back. He drifted towards unconsiousness, finding it difficult ot breathe.
Archavior flew above him and grabbed Marcos by the shoulders with his forearms, pulling the Deiwos fro mthe beast's back and tearing the sword out in the process. With Marcos free, Archavior glew back towards the ground. The Frost Drake roared, and turned around, facing Archavior.
Kebra'Osos - STOOPID DRAKE GET IN HEER. yor propa scary BUT GET IN HEER
Kinmorunddraver hurled the bolt of lightning at Kebra'Osos' torso.
Kebra'Osos - NUUUUUU
Kebra'Osos was hit and blasted away into the city entrance. Archavior's eyes widened as he looked back, he tucked his wings in an attempt to gather spped to escape the drake.
Archavior - Someone BLOW THE HORN!
Hachi - Ngh!
Kinmorunddraver grabbed the horn in the snow, and sounded it as loud as he could. Hachi covered his ears desperately; it sounded much louder than it was to him for he was more receptive to sensory information such as sight and hearing.
Kebra'Osos - IF I HAD NOT BEEN HURT BY DAT SUCCUBUS ID HAV EETEN YOO ALL
Another distant roar followed the horn, after a few minutes, when the Drake was about to grab Archavior a titanic sky Draonoggr slammed into the Drake, clamping its neck between the enormous jaws. Upon sighting the Draonoggr, Kebra'Osos let out a high-pitched scream and ran off, disappearing in the city entrance. The Drake's flight was disrupted as it became prey to the Ancient. It tried to breathe its icy flames at the dragon. The Sea Witch watched the battle in awe.
Sea Witch - Dragon vs dragon!
The Draonoggr saw the writihing head and launched a fist into its lower jaw. The jaw unhinged from the skull as the breath became haywire. Positioning itself, the ancient dug its talons into the Drake's stomach, its eyes flaring and hands glowing as the Dranoggr attempted some fire magic while having the Drake's nack in his mouth
The Drake crashed into the side of the mountain wall, and tumbled down it in a violent manner. Archavior flew down ot the group with Marcos in his arms and set him down gently in the snow. The Draonoggr gave a friendly look at Kimno before flying off towards the horizon.
Riad - That dragon...just tore through the Drake like paper.
Sea Witch - That was like if cool fought awesome.
Riad - Except 'cool' was 'freezing' and 'awesome' was 'huge'.
Sea Witch - Yes, it just gets better!
Marcos was unconscious as he was lain flat on the snow, frost lightly dusted his face and clothing, his face was paler than usual. Kinmorunddraver put the horn back on to his pack and shook his feathers.
Sea Witch - Hmm. Fangman is not looking so good.
Archavior - He was insistent on slaying the Drake himself. The fool was insane enough to turn down my support.
Sea Witch - Courageous? Yes. Stupid? Also yes.
Kinmorunddraver went over to Marcos, as he laid on the ground, short of breath.
Kinmorunddraver - Deiwos. You're all insane.
Archavior - He still lives, but his body is becoming colder. A side-effect of the cold air the Drake flew though.
Kinmorunddraver laid his hand on Marcos' chest as an orange light glowed under it. As Marcos warmed up, he took a deep breath, swelling his chest befor ehis eyes fluttered open, kicking away some of the frost. The exhale gave way to a cough as he pulled himself to sit up.
Kinmorunddraver - Hm. Sometimes I think I carry too much weight on this team.
Riad - We're not the ones with magic.
Marcos - I am fine, thank you for asking.
Marcos rolled his eyes as he rested his hands against the snow behind him.
Sea Witch - Drake gone, ogre gone, our path to the city is clear.
Kinmorunddraver - Indeed it is.
Marcos - ...did we slay it?
Kinmorunddraver - Considering it is not moving, I assume so.
Sea of LimbsEdit
The team, with a short walk passed through the icy wall. As the mist cleared, the entire plane was flat, save for the apparent appearance of a sea. The Sea Witch put her hands together and grinned.
Sea Witch - Liquid water!
Riad - ...That's not water.
Sea Witch - Eh? What is it then?
As the team observed closer, the sea was in fact a tumult of arms, legs and heads. It was a sea of frozen corpses that completely covered the ground. Deiwos, Kelodhros, even Shiarchon.
Sea Witch - ...Oh.
Marcos - What...is this place?
Kinmorunddraver - Nalúnt's City.
Riad - Was there a sea of frozen corpses here when you were here last?
Kinmorunddraver - No. There were no Deiwos or Kelodhros back then.
Marcos - I hate to dissapoint you Kimno but that's a graveyard, not a city.
Sea Witch - I was gonna say it's Shiarchon doing but there are dead Shiarchon in there.
Marcos took several steps forward and looked around to inspect the Deiwos corpses for any familiarity.
Kinmorunddraver - It's the cold. If it were not for magic keeping us warm, we would all be like that right now.
Riad - Hm. I've been further north than this and it's never been that cold.
Sea Witch - Which way from here?
On the other side, there was a huge mountainous structure. Carved in the very walls that contained the city, were huge tunnel entrances that must have spanned miles underground.
Kinmorunddraver - That way. That over there was once the original halls of the Storm Drakes.
Marcos - Storm drakes or gods?
Kinmorunddraver - Dragons, gods, Colossi, legends. Whatever you so wish to call them. The entire interior was charred black when The Adversary attacked.
Sea Witch - Let's hope there are no more Drakes in our way.
Archavior - And here I always percieved Orocathrheim to be one of the grandest cities in the world...
Sea Witch - I've never been on one of your Drao cities. I heard you guys got good metals. But I'd not cross a desert to get there. I hate the heat.
Archavior - Drakorumnoggr metalcrafts are some of the finest creations outside the forges of elves and ancients. Orocathrheil is illumnated from magma pits deep below the city.
Sea Witch - Magma. Ngh.
Archavior - No torches, no ash and no everlasting supply of heat, light and furnace material. I rather like the warmth.
Kinmorunddraver - Nalúnt's City once used to be lit. Around the walls used to be white flames that illuminated the entire landscape, and went far into the underground halls.
Riad - How were they white?
Kinmorunddraver - I don't quite recall. I believed the dragons used to arcanise granules and then set them on fire. Many years went by and they were never extinguished. There used to be a great spire that went into the clouds. The Adversary took the tower down and destroyed the city's entrance.
Sea Witch - Were you here when that happened?
Kinmorunddraver lifted his feathers on his neck to reveal grotesque, black scars.
Kinmorunddraver - I was the only survivor apart from Nalúnt. But what was left of him died soon after.
Kinmorunddraver walked down into the main plains. Perhaps twenty kilometres from end to end, and the walls could be seen on either side. The city entrance to the front of them, and a sea of frozen bodies between them.
Sea Witch - Still makes me wonder what made that sea of corpses.
Riad - Kinmorunddraver just said. It's the cold. His magic is keeping us warm and alive.
Sea Witch - Eh. I don't think the cold got all these people here.
Archavior - The Frost Drake perhaps?
Kinmorunddraver - Now that I recall, it was not this cold once. Dark magic is my assumption.
Hachi cuddled closely to the Sea Witch, shivering a little as he appeared scared and spooked by the appearance of the sea of preserved carcasses. He had never seen such a sight before. The Sea Witch put her cape around Hachi, covering them both. As they entered the graveyard, Kinmorunddraver caught the sight of a frozen Shiarchon Excubitor.
Kinmorunddraver - An Excubitor. An Abyssus gatekeeper.
Sea Witch - Is it dead?
Kinmorunddraver looked closely.
Kinmorunddraver - It's been dead for about 12,000 years.
Sea Witch - Oh, good.
Archavior - What is a gatekeeper doing out here?
Kinmorunddraver - It must have perished during Patriarch Kalarah's first expedition to the north. It worries me that Patriarch Kalarah managed to get this far forward.
Riad - Wait, how old is Patriarch Kalarah?
Hachi - Who is Patriarch Kalarah?
Sea Witch - Shiarchon leader guy.
Kinmorunddraver - Not sure. My guess is around 13,000. If my assumptions are correct, Patriarch Kalarah's father was an Orichalcum Elf Imperator named Matthais Castus Laurentius Julianus.
Hachi - Teehee, silly name.
Sea Witch - Name too long, already forgot.
Marcos - I smell magic involved in his lifespan.
Kinmorunddraver - It was actually to do with their race in general. Orichalcum Elves were immortal. An older Imperator named Hieronimus Castus reigned for nearly 4,000 years.
Riad - Did you know any of the Orichalcum Imperators in person?
Kinmorunddraver - I knew one. If you know your history, then you will know the name 'Imperator Leolinus Castus Gualcherius Eustachius'.
Kinmorunddraver walked further on. He noticed that there was a great deal of Shiarchon forces that were frozen. It seemed that a majority of Kalarah's army was here over twelve thousand years ago.
Sea Witch - Well, at least we know Shiarchon are not a fan of the cold.
Kinmorunddraver - Imperator Leolinus Castus Gualcherius Eustachius was the Imperator who lead a conquest across the entire south of Koldenwelt. The Orichalcum Elves reached their span, and there was a unification of all Deiwos under their rule. I imagine most Deiwos alive today have ancestors who lived under the rule of the Orichalcum Elves.
Marcos - I've never seen so many dead in one place...are you sure this is merely one expedition?
Kinmorunddraver - Indeed. Patriarch Kalarah set out with one million Shiarchon warriors. Approximately four hundred thousand returned.
Hachi - He must be overcompensating for something!
Riad - They say that the location of the burial grounds of the Orichalcum Imperators is unknown to every living person on Koldenwelt. Is that true?
Kinmorunddraver - The location is somewhat known, but getting there is almost impossible. It lies within the plateaus of the Southern Mountains.
Sea Witch - Let's hope Count Dalverat or any other necromancer don't find it then.
Kinmorunddraver - That, and Ecnisṇmrótijosawis nests there.
Sea Witch - What now?
Kinmorunddraver - Soldalatel, as you call her.
Sea Witch - Oh. The Great Fire Beast.
Hachi - Solda-who?
Sea Witch - Think of a phoenix, but really, really big.
Hachi - Oh! Ametsairagi!
Kinmorunddraver appeared surprised at Hachi.
Kinmorunddraver - One of the very few beings alive who has fought The Adversary. And that's her name in the Lagosi language?
Hachi - Yep, she's the incarnation of the sun! She's said to be the most beautiful of creatures that live in the light.
Sea Witch - Ngh. Fire equals nu-huh for me. The only time I've seen the Great Fire Beast was when she fought the Great Water Beast many years ago.
Marcos - I've never heard of such a creature.
Kinmorunddraver - I find it difficult to make eye contact with her. She used to be known as the Colossus of Light many thousands of years ago.
Sea Witch - Well, you missed the show that day. Big fire bird fighting a big fish monster.
Hachi - For Lagosi, Ametsairagi's kinda like a creator. She created all the predators and prey, but she gifted our primitive animal ancestors with gifts to survive them.
Archavior - The Fallen Queen of the Earth only in the sky?
Lekren - I have. A phoenix of flame... poets of my civilisation concieved florid poesy to describe its most splendorous radiance.
Lekren stared at the group silently.
Lekren - I have a collection of New Tongue thesauri in my manor in Arkenholdt, yes.
Kinmorunddraver - Often Soldalatel represented the day whilst Nalúnt represented night. It was like that for tens of thousands of years.
Lekren - Ah, mythology! My older brother studied this field of science... most rigorously. Not nearly as intriguing as alchemy in my opinion, though. Less mental faculty required.
Marcos - Until Nalúnt was slain by the Adversary?
Kinmorunddraver - Not slain. Converted.
Marcos went pale and looked at Kimno in shock.
Marcos - Converted as in...now working for the Adversary?
Kinmorunddraver - Indeed. The necessity to survive coupled with the grief for the loss of his entire race, Nalúnt became Ambhíqolosemos. His name is Primordial Tongue for 'The First Servant'.
Marcos - Fuck me.
Hachi - Sounds pretty sore to me.
Lekren - Drat and double drat! Now the myths are concise... must tell that to my brother.
Kinmorunddraver - Come. We must move on before our presence here goes noticed.
The Dark OneEdit
Into the DepthsEdit
The team, trudging through the multitude of frozen bodies, ancient and relatively recent, eventually came to the very entrance of Nalúnt's City. The city's entrance was marked with a ornate, colossal facade hewn out of the mountain. Three hallways plunged deep underground, all of which were perhaps two or three hundred feet wide.
Lekren - Ah. Most interesting.
Sea Witch - Big.
Marcos curled his lip as he walked, keeping a tight grip on the handle of the sword strapped to his waist. The entrance's facade, however, was not a bright white as Kinmorunddraver remembered. It was black; ominously so. As if a great plague swept the colour from it.
Sea Witch - Big and ugly.
Marcos - I do not plan in spending more time in a place like this...
Riad - Well...at least we are finally here. Weeks of travelling in temperatures cold enough to freeze a normal Deiwos, through passages and meeting dragons, vampires and stupid ogre things. We are here.
Marcos - Surely it is better than that damnable cult.
Hachi - Question now is, was it worth it? Sea Witch - I'd say so.
Riad - Definitely. No one has actually gotten to this point alive in...how long? Two hundred thousand years?
Kinmorunddraver - Close to. Although I fear the Shiarchon, and the Cult have already beaten us to it.
From the deep staircases of the halls, a perturbing feeling breathed from it. Not a heat or a chill, more of a surrounding disturbance.
Sea Witch - This is very unconfortable. Riad - Whatever's down there, I already don't like it.
From Kinmorunddraver's hand, he snapped his fingers, and a bright plume of flame flashed alight.
Kinmorunddraver - Now, only one way to go. Down.
Riad - Do you remember what it's like down there?
Sea Witch - Hopefully more confortable.
Kinmorunddraver - Halls. Columns. Vast labyrinths to connect the outside world from the inside world. Although, I believe most of the city is now sunken. Or frozen underneath.
Marcos - I do not like ice.
Hachi - Neither do I! Cold!
Riad - There's ice everywhere here. How come you only told us now?
Marcos - I could tolerate it before but it keeps going. Winters in redhelm may have been cold, but at least the chance of warmth existed. Well...it did until recently.
Kinmorunddraver took a deep breath, before walking in with his hand on his sword, and his other holding a flame. The Sea Witch followed, chanelling magic on her hands. Riad followed, closely behind Kinmorunddraver. He held his spear in his left hand whilst his dagger in the right.
Sea Witch - After this is over, you could all come to my lair and we could all have a warm Smeever soup.
Hachi - Smeever! Smeeeeeever!
Kinmorunddraver - Be sure to clean up first. I know your habits.
Marcos - A nice offer but I do not like staying in one place for too long.
Sea Witch - That's a shame. I've not had a group dinner in a while.
The team took to the stairs. Some minutes passed before the first obstacle came. It was a skeleton of a Storm Drake. And there were more. The graveyard only continued down underground. Marcos stepped back and held his arming sword tightly, baring his fanged teeth in disgust. The Sea Witch appeared apprehensive at the sight of the skeletons.
Riad - What happened here?
Hachi - ...Are they dead?
Sea Witch - I sure hope so.
Marcos - No salvation beneath the ice it seems...
Kinmorunddraver - Following the attack from the Adversary, there was more than just him alone. Chimera attacked. They drove out the drakes and slaughtered them when they tried to escape.
Sea Witch - ...Chimera?
Hachi - Chimneys?
Marcos - A scary monster conjured to frighten naughty children.
Kinmorunddraver - You would think so. But the scar I bear on my neck would disprove you.
Sea Witch - What is that even?
Kinmorunddraver - Servants of the Adversary. His creations. Multitudes of abberations.
Sea Witch - Well, as long as there's none of them in here, I'm okay.
Marcos - I've had plenty of experience with monsters I care not to remember, Must you bring it up?
Kinmorunddraver - They were all cast back to where they came from.
Sea Witch - Good, good.
The team continued further down. It became apparent that this staircase was immense. They passed numerous skeletons of Storm Drakes, as they were all frozen in positions of distress, fear and despair. The ceiling became wider and wider as they were nearing the bottom.
Hachi - ...Where do they come from?
Sea Witch - They all look like they were scared to death.
Marcos - I...could not tell myself.
Kinmorunddraver - Where do they come from? A dark place. Simply put it, not from here.
Riad - Have you been there?
Kinmorunddraver - It is the one place I wish not to go to. If things like the Adversary and the Chimera come from there, what else is there?
Sea Witch - Makes sense.
Marcos paced up to Kinmorunddraver and kept at a parallel position from him, clutching his sword tightly as he looked around with a sense of caution and curiosity. The team eventually met the bottom of the hall. It was vast to say the least; dragons that spanned hundreds of feet long could fly freely within this space; columns fell into the darkness as if they pierced the clouds. The size of the hall made the Sea Witch more apprehensive than she already was. Marcos looked up, bewildered by the sheer scale of the hall, he became almost paralysed with shock as he looked around, chilled both by the scale and the apparent silence.
Hachi - ... I-I need new u-undergarments.
Archavior looked around, feeling slightly chilled at the sight, he had been unnerved already by all of the dragon skeletons that had littered the path they came into
Archavior - Such lack of life....
Kinmorunddraver's hand cupped as the flame left his hand. It exploded, and light filled the hall. It spanned all the way to the very end, where an enormous arch separated the hall from another room.
Sea Witch - Too big.
Marcos - I hate. Dragons...
Voices could be heard. Not that of anything supernatural, but that of mortals. Or a close approximate.
Sea Witch - We got company.
Reunion of EvilEdit
The voices came from the room to the other side of the wall. Nothing could be made out from that distance. Marcos and Archavior gripped their weapons and both glared down the hallway. Archavior planted himself firmly on three limbs.
Riad - We should move closer. Could be important.
Hachi - Damn, they sound angry.
Marcos - Shiarchon perhaps?
Hachi grabbed ahold of his katana and held it closely. The team, traversing the hall for some minutes, eventually reached the arch. After some observation, Kinmorunddraver's speculation was correct; the Shiarchon, and the Zazanite Cult were already there. Two figures could be seen there among the numerous forces of seemingly hundreds; the Patriarch, and a blue, indeterminate figure with an aura of madness surrounding it. The oddity that stood before Kalarah was by itself, supported by none from the legions that followed its tracks. The entity continuously rippled like disturbed water, yet the aura that surrounded it burned the minds of those who gazed upon it like fire.
Sea Witch - Eeh...we're in deep problem.
Hachi - I thought I smelled something... anusy.
Marcos - Gah..Damnit...not now, not here!
Marcos held his head and gritted his teeth, shaking his head as if feeling something unpleasant. The Patriarch was speaking to the figure; he held a sword in his left hand, that appeared like a fragmented shard of glass. Encompassing it, was an incredibly dark aura. Between the two, stood a shard of glass that was seated in the middle of the room, under a pale, reddened light. The team could also see Kebra'Osos and Harbinger, both standing closer to the Patriarch than the rest of the Shiarchon force. Harbinger glared at the blue entity with narrowed eyes, while Kebra'Osos kept growling at it.
Sea Witch - What are these things? I've never felt so much dark power before.
Hachi - My only guess is; not good.
Riad looked at the shard of glass, before he finally realised what it was.
Riad - I wasn't expecting...that to be in here. This is beyond bad.
Sea Witch - You know what that is?
Riad - It's a fragment. Of an artifact. A dark one. The dark one.
Marcos - "Dark one"?
The Patriarch's words began to make sense to the team;
Patriarch Kalarah - You would be wise to step aside, creature of darkness. Did you believe that the One Lord would allow his vessel of power to be stained with your maddened hands?
Riad - The vessel of the Adversary's power.
??? - If not my hands, then my jaws. If not my jaws, then my tendrils.
Marcos lay himself against a wall, holding his head, constantly shaking it.
Marcos - Crap, crap, shit, get out get out!
Sea Witch - Urk...it's ugly meets ugly.
Patriarch Kalarah - I see through you, deceptor [deceiver]. You would deliver this onto your master, and he would not be able to unlock its true potential. One shard of seven thousand, seven hundred and seventy seven.
??? - As diverse as you and your legions of awkward flowers that refuse to wilt. But as you, odd flower, shall one day lose your petals, the fragments that herald the Womb's birth shall be consumed.
Sea Witch - I hate people who speak in riddles.
Next to Kalarah, was his steed. An abominable, two headed dragon with a lack of flesh, or a live soul.
Marcos - No...no...please stop...
Hachi - I wonder what they're saying... Whatever it is... it's giving me a headache...
Patriarch Kalarah - There are many...odd flowers in this world. You, like water, shall be consumed. The One Lord demands the return of his vessel, and I will deliver. Lest you stand in His way.
Marcos lay slumped against the wall, holding his head and shaking it madly as though he had lost all sense of composure. The Sea Witch shook her head as she tried to look at the mysterious blue being. She then turned to Marcos and widened her eyes.
Marcos - He watches, he stirs, he waits, he won't stop, he waits! He sees me! He sees us all!
Sea Witch - What's happening to him?
Before Patriarch Kalarah could continue, his head turned slowly as he heard voices from behind the wall.
Sea Witch - Crap.
??? - Not only shall I stand upon the path of your One-of-Many Lord, I shall erect walls. Bricks gathered from his punished allies, cemented by their blood.
Kebra'Osos - YOR ONE CHEEKY WANKA MATE IMMA SLAP YOO UP
Harbinger - You will not intervene.
Patriarch Kalarah's hand raised to silence the discussion.
Patriarch Kalarah - Those who linger behind walls, shall have walls fall on top of them.
The entity turned its head the same direction as Kalarah had, glaring towards the wall where they had heard the team's voices.
Marcos - No escape no, no hiding, no fleeing, he sees me, every moment of every day...
Hachi - H-Hey, c-calm down!
Sea Witch - Shut up they're hearing you!
The walls began to crack, and the space that shielded them broke away, revealing the entire group. Marcos fell on his back as the wall gave way, stil lholding his heaf, bearing his teeth at their fullest.
Sea Witch - ...Well.
Kebra'Osos - YOO LOT AGEN
Riad was rigid; the fear overcame him, and he only moved to face the Patriarch in the most awkward manner conceivable. Hachi shrieked and hid behind Archavior in fear, grabbing ahold of the Sea Witch as he did. Patriarch Kalarah held his blade in his hand, curling his fist slightly. Archavior lifted himself up andh eld his axe tightly, growling as he glared at the group
Archavior - Idiotic Deiwos...
Patriarch Kalarah looked at the group with apprehension, as if there was nothing particularly intimidating about them.
??? - It appears His maddening vice has already clamped their fragile minds, for their sanity must be void if they dare venture this far to prolong His spawning.
Harbinger - You should have learned by now, trying to escape the abyss only brings you closer to it.
Kebra'Osos - IM STILL MAD AT YOO PEEPZ IMMA EET YOO ALL
Riad - Well. May the Night-Father preserve our souls.
Marcos - The voices...a thousand voices...make them stop!
Patriarch Kalarah walked towards the group. Towering over all of them, except Archavior, he looked at them. His eyes were bright; bright enough to cause excruciating pain if looked at directly.
Hachi - ...I-If you d-don't m-mind me s-saying... y-you have b-beautiful e-eyes.
The Sea Witch shielded her face as the Patriarch approached the team, cowering. Archavior stapped back and held his axe tightly in his hand. Marcos, still clitching his head, had his face away from the Patriarch Kinmorunddraver stood up, looking at the Patriarch in the eyes. His eyes were squirming, but he looked nonetheless.
Patriarch Kalarah - World-Walker. You have brought more to their doom, I see? Do you not know when to fade when your existence is nothing but pain?
Kinmorunddraver said nothing, but he held the hilt of his blade with a firm grasp.
Sea Witch - Nnngh. I'm starting to regret what I said earlier.
Hachi - I-I think C-Chimeras w-would have been a b-better choice.
Patriarch Kalarah - How the One Lord would be pleased if I were to deliver your soul to him.
Patriarch Kalarah swung his blade. The trail from the sword tore the fabrics of magic apart; a black stream followed by crimson red trails. An immense gravitas followed the sword, almost so for the team be dragged along with it. The Sea Witch held on her hat and grunted at the swing. Marcos suddenly bared his teeth, not in pain but angerm before pushing himself up fro mthe floor. He turned to Kalarah, his pupils small and his features pulled back as he drew his sword ot block the Patriarch's attack.
Kinmorunddraver - Marcos, no!
??? - Crawl back to your mud.
The sword came hammering down upon Marcos' own. As it hit, a red flash struck, followed by an ear-piercing ring, as if a dark voice hissed. The bizarre, indistinguishable entity glared, the ethereal lights that were its eyes beaming into Marcos' own, throwing him off-track and pounding into the nearest wall as he could feel his mind beginning to collapse upon itself. Marcos screamed as he felt his mind searing, his sword had been shattered. He screamed and bagan savagely snarling, trying to shake out the lights. Kinmorunddraver was blown back from the collision of the blades, and hit the ground. The Sea Witch was thrown back and fell on her head into the ground.
Kebra'Osos - HURHURHUR YOR NO MATCH FER DA IMPERATA
The ring from the swords clashing kept on lingering; the sound became deeper and deeper as it travelled, before it met with the shard in the room. A red light pulsed through it before it went into darkness. Marcos roared in defiance at the bizarre entity. Becoming more beastial in nature before trying to push himself forward.
Marcos - No...No more pain...will kill. Will eviscerate!
Sea Witch - You keep your trap shut, you caused enough trouble already.
Marcos struggled towards the entity regardless. Roaring and snarling as the energies eroded his mind, driving him deeper into savagery Patriarch Kalarah moved forward to Kinmorunddraver. Another swing of his sword, before it met with Kinmorunddraver's own. An even brighter flash, and an even louder ring. Kinmorunddraver lost grip of his sword as he was flung aside from the clash. Marcos was thrown back once more, his vision fragmented and shattered as the entity's psychotic light etched chaos upon his mind as it burned through his eyeballs.
Sea Witch - Well, I guess this is it. It's been a pleasure meeting you lot.
Hachi hugged the Sea Witch closely, tight and not wanting to let go.
Marcos - Stop! Make...it stop!
Kalarah moved in again. He drove his sword towards Kinmorunddraver with great force. He only stopped the sword with his magic, narrowly avoiding his torso.
Kebra'Osos - YEH NOT SO SMUG NAO EH?
Riad turned to Kebra'Osos, before hurling his spear at his head. Kebra'Osos was hit, the spear getting stuck on his forehead. He turned to Riad and growled.
Kebra'Osos - GETTIN REEL TIRED OF DIS SPEAR NAO
The entity turned its attention towards the fragment that marked the center of the hall. Taking a weightless step towards it, the entity's rippling tendrils began to make a move to conceal it. Harbinger aimed his staff at the entity, charging it in magic.
Harbinger - You will not take it.
Archavior looked towards Marcos who collapsed into a panting, perhaps animalistic wreck and then looked at the entity as he walked towards the shard. Kinmorunddraver pushed the sword away. The sword hit the ground with a violent force, letting out another pulse of energy. Kinmorunddraver and Riad were hurled further away again, as a ring sounded through the room and through the shard for a third time.
Archavior - Someone aid the Deiwos!
Archavior took heavy footsteps towards the entity, bransihing his axe as it glimmered. The Sea Witch approached Marcos but looked apprehensive as she had no idea how to calm him down. Before the entity could come into contact with the shard, ripples of energy began to emit from it. A red tinge bled over the shard as it appeared to be...awake.
Kebra'Osos - WAT GOIN ON HEER
??? - It breathes.
Marcos lay on the floor holding his head, muttering incomprehenseably but now in panic, his eyes sealed shut ahd his teeth bared as always as he tried desperately to shut out the horror The Sea Witch shook her hands as she alternating in looking at Marcos and looking at the shard.
A blistering shockwave exploded from the shard, ripping up the ground, sending everyone hurtling through the air. The Patriarch landed on one knee, before rising up. Riad and Kinmorunddraver struggled to rise from the ground. Harbinger was thrown away but stopped in midair, while Kebra'Osos was launched and crashed into a wall. The Sea Witch was floored and thrown a good distance away. Kalarah's steed brushed across the surface, before rising back to its feet. It roared a strained groan, and took to the rafters of the wall. It was afraid.
The entity, rather than falling, found itself pushed away like a statue - as liquidous and chaotic as water, but as solid and heavy as a statue. It stayed away from where the ground had sustained damage, however, for even it became apprehensive as to what it faced. Marcos was thown against thewall and let out a pained scream while Archavior was thrown backwards, impacting against a pillar and almost breaking it due ot his sheer mass.
Harbinger - Rise.
Kebra'Osos - ok im pretty creeped out nao
A few moments of silence, before a roar, or what seemed like a roar, filled the entire ruin of Nalúnt's city. Dust, dark magic and flame shrouded the shard as, slowly, a body manifested itself.
Harbinger - Behold. Him.
Sea Witch - K-k-kinmorunddraver...what is that...
Kinmorunddraver's face was somewhat still - taking no heed to the Sea Witch, he viciously hurled bolts of essence at the shade.
Archavior - You...will not cause another devestation!
Kebra'Osos - wat da HELL is DAT
The body manifested itself, into something almost draconic in appearance. It seemed like an ever transforming mass of dust and shadows, as it took on the appearance of the Adversary itself.
Harbinger - Caligaduro Provectus.
The Patriarch stood in amazement as the manifestation stood perhaps three or four times as tall as him. He then knelt down, with the sword in front. Kebra'Osos knelt as he saw the Patriarch doing it, while Harbinger had his hands in the air, flying around the wraith as if he was praising it.
Riad - Oh, this isn't good. Someone...do something!
This colossal shadow, with a skeletal body, blackened and visceral. From the centre of its body, a faint red glow shone through it. It seemed silent, until there were repeated sounds. Like drums. One. Two. Three. Four. One-Two. It was irregular, but rhythmic. The Sea Witch watched the wraith in terror, stepping away from it. Archavior stepped back, holding his axe firmly in his hands and snarling.
Archavior - And so call the drums of war...
Kinmorunddraver stepped far back, with his sword in hand. Riad was shaking visibly, but he held his spear nonetheless, ready to strike. Hachi crawled back and held his katana shakily, shivering as he watched the shadow ascend. The ethereal entity that had previously attempted to lay its tendrils upon the shard sat upon the sidelines, its maddened eyes of painful white shimmering as it observed. The Patriarch turned around, and faced the team.
Patriarch Kalarah - Behold. The One Lord stands.
Archavior - By the Fallen Queen...
Kebra'Osos - dats da one lord? hes in propa bad shape if ya ask me
The aspect of the Adversary remained silent as its shadowed head observed all life there. As it breathed, the light that Kinmorunddraver had let in began to die out.
Sea Witch - Fiend...evil...
Riad - What do we do? We can't face that!
Hachi - W-Wanna know what w-we do? ...W-We run. V-Very, very f-far away!
Harbinger - You cannot, and you will not. Surrender and feed Provectus.
Marcos layed on the floor, half-maddened by the ethereal's stare. He breathed rapidly and in panic, his eyes darting about. The wraith began to speak. As it did, it ran through the very fibre of everyone's being like a fiery wind.
Aspect of Caligaduro - Devorandum. [Devour.]
Sea Witch - So many things I wanted to do but never had the chance.
Archavior - No...Oblivion cannot be here. Centuries trapped in an accursed blade only to die here at the roof of the world. Someone do something!
Hachi - ...E-Eeep...
The wraith then turned to the Patriarch. The Patriarch looked at the wraith in return, before his posture lowered. The wraith swung its hand across the Patriarch, sending him across the hall in a black cloud. Kebra'Osos widened his eyes, startled by the wraith's actions, while Harbinger appeared indifferent. The ethereal entity that had conflicted with the Patriarch bellowed with laughter for a brief moment, watching as the Shiarchon was thrown by its supposed master. Archavior's gaze darted following the Patriarch, his brow altered in confusion as to what just happened.
Sea Witch - Why did it attack the Patriarch?
Archavior - I have no idea.
Hachi - H-Hey, a-are you okay over t-there?!
Kebra'Osos - OI GOD MAN WAT YOO DOIN
Aspect of Caligaduro - Devorabunt omnia. [Devour all.]
Kebra'Osos - oh...rite dats a problem
Archavior - What's he saying?
Sea Witch - I think it wants to kill everyone in here. Even its allies.
The wraith rose its stature as it stood up fully - perhaps three or four times the height of Archavior, a red flame surged through its body as its arms raised. Hachi ran towards the Patriarch in order to assist him, as if he had just simply forgotten who exactly it was who had threatened death upon him and his allies as well as released the specter that stood before them.
Sea Witch - Hachi, don't help the giant evil elf emperor!
Hachi - B-But he's hurt!
Archavior - That's...big...bigger than I am...
Harbinger - This is not even the master's true form.
Kebra'Osos - oh man dis is bad...
The Patriarch writhed in pain on the floor, but verging on unconsciousness. The wraith, however, let out an anguished roar; the sound channelled through the hallowed halls of Nalúnt's city, and the pillars that upheld the room shook and fragmented.
Sea Witch - What do we do?!
Archavior - Perhaps it is best if we leave this chamber.
Kinmorunddraver - We fight him. It's the only logical decision.
Sea Witch - You want to fight the Adversary up front?!
The ethereal entity at the far side of the room approached, its tentacles of eldritch energy extending outward as if in preparation for conflict. Its eyes of burning white glared in the colossus' direction. Hachi tugged and pulled at the Patriarch's armour in an effort to shake him awake. Upon contact with the Patriarch's armour, an excruciating burning sensation passed through Hachi's paws.
??? - Vat commotion zis is. Zis will not do at all.
Hachi - ECH! Ouch... W-Wait, w-whose voice w-was that?
Suddenly, a swarm of bats entered the hall and flew over the team until they all merged into the floor. Out of them, a humanoid bat-like figure appeared. Archavior turned and growled towards the bat-like figure, who upon closer inspection, was revealed to be none other than Count Varelos von Dalverat himself.
Count Dalverat - I appear to be late to ze party. Or you did not wait for me. Eizher way, naughzy.
Archavior - It will take no preference.
Kinmorunddraver - Perhaps you should take note of the fact that there is a giant wraith standing here.
Count Dalverat - It is a pleasure meeting you again too, phoenix.
Sea Witch - Oh no, why must every dark lord in the world be here at the same place?!
Archavior - Be lucky the High Archon is not here.
Count Dalverat - Dark lord? Zat is most impolite. I did not send my lovely Hamoins and my dear friend Mortium to help you and then be called "dark lord".
The wraith kept on looking at the adversaries, surveying their frames.
Aspect of Caligaduro - Servos. Lamia. Mortalibus. Impedimenta. Aequalis ante vacuum. [Servants. Vampires. Mortals. Equal before the void.]
Marcos - Help us...?
Count Dalverat - Ja.
The figure dissipated. Shadowy, and fiery wisps exploded throughout the room, and flew viciously among and around the beings there, attacking them. Suddenly, the Lovecraftian being that obscured itself launched a horde of energetic, twitching tentacles around itself, obliterating wisps as they came into contact with its rippling "flesh".
Count Dalverat unleashed blasts of magic at the wisps, while forming what looked like a darkened shield around the team. Kinmorunddraver deflected the wisps with his blade, whilst Riad marked Kinmorunddraver, and doing the same. Through the wisps, incessant mantras and voices from the wraith resounded. Marcos swung the sword that was unshattered in his ordeal in order to deflect the wisps, while Archavior's axe ignited with blue flame as he swung it.
Count Dalverat - I'm here to keep buried vhat must be kept buried. Ze Adversary will not leave zis chamber.
Aspect of Caligaduro - Exortas. Unus multorum. Nos coniungeret. Et mundus erit vester diuidantur. [Arisen. One of many. We shall combine. And your world shall split apart.]
Count Dalverat - Leave my vorld to you? Vhere would my children live?
??? - Chaos Womb consumes all.
Marcos - Your "Hamoins" tried to seduce me and drain me of life!
Count Dalverat - Eheheh. Hamois is so plucky. And you, Zazane thing, stay in your corner like ze good mad blob of evil you are.
Kinmorunddraver, from his sword, shot out a bolt of blinding light. The shadows screamed out; the pillars once again cracked, before it disappeared up into the darkness of the ceiling.
Kinmorunddraver - The shard. In its chest. We need to strike it down.
Sea Witch - Aim at the shard. Got it.
The voice was heard from the ceiling;
Aspect of Caligaduro - Lux consumentur. [The light shall be consumed.]
Harbinger - You will not intervene.
Harbinger launched blasts of dark magic at the team, which were blocked by Dalverat's shield. The light from the halls, and Kinmorunddraver's sword travelled up to the ceiling, as if it were water travelling through the air. In the vacuum, no shape of the wraith could be seen. Marcos stumbled up, his eyes bloodshot and pupils still constricted from his ordeal.
Riad - I can't see anything!
The beast glared towards Dalverat, its sanity-wrenching eyes widened with a piercing, vicious contempt. As the light was destroyed and shattered around them, the monstrous entity threw its tentacles upwards, crashing into the framework of the ceiling. Harbinger attacked the beast by charging at it with his spear. Kebra'Osos, meanwhile, shivered and held on his head. As the ceiling fell, a figure could be conceived. Upon the shape of a great dragon, much like that of a Storm Drake, the wraith hovered in the air.
Sea Witch - It's above us!
Aspect of Caligaduro - Remanent fundata. [Remain grounded.]
Marcos - I...HATE. DRAGONS!
Marcos grabbed the javelin from his back and glared at the shadowy dragon above him. Hachi continued to attempt to awake the Patriarch, now forcing himself to slap the dominating, yet weakened, figure with as much power as he could muster. From its maw, an immense, red flame shot out. Kinmorunddraver conjured a shield, as it was eaten away by the flames. Marcos delivered beyond-human strength as he threw the javelin at the wraith's chest, targeting the shard buried within. Dalverat and the Sea Witch both launched their magic at the dragon in an attempt to hit the shard.
Sea Witch - Hachi, help kill the dragon monster!
Hachi - Eek... I-I'll be right b-back, s-stay put!
Another piercing scream from the shard let out. It fell from the sky, but before it landed heavy on the ground, the shadows around it reformed. It took on the appearance of a colossal Deiwos, as if its skin were removed and its bare flesh seemed almost alive.
Count Dalverat - Return to ze pit you crawled out of!
Hachi turned and looked towards the titanic being, his eyes widened and cold sweat dripping down his fur. He clenched his wooden fist and sighed heavily before drawing his katana and his greatsword once more. Archavior readied his axe and charged, his feet imprinting the floor as he let out a fierce roar, swinging the burning axe to cut at the titan's legs.
Aspect of Caligaduro - In colossaeas ceciderunt, a gratia. Apertum et vacuum recipit vos faucibus. [The Colossi fell from grace. And the void welcomes you with open jaws.]
Kebra'Osos - HALP
The Sea Witch charged her magic and in an explosion, she took her chubby-looking dragon form and breathed a blast of water at the Aspect. Hachi looked towards the cowering Kebra'Osos and ran to him, although he didn't aim to hurt him. Instead, he stood at the giant's feet, looking up at him. The figure of the wraith moved backwards, before launching his leg at Archavior.
Count Dalverat - Zat is a most silly looking metamorphosis, it has a giant hat on!
Sea Witch - Less talk, more helping!
Hachi - Throw me at it!
Kebra'Osos - eh?
Hachi - If you throw me at it, it won't be able to attack me. I can get it from behind!
Kebra'Osos - eh. mite as well
Archavior was kicked acros the room, the foot's mpact created a tuning-fork hum as it impacted his armour, throwing him across the hall. Kebra'Osos grabbed Hachi by his ears and threw it at the wraith's back. Hachi prepared his weapons as he flew through the air, gripping them as if he was ready to carve and pierce into the titan's flesh rather than deliver any swings or slashes.
Aspect of Caligaduro - Yakshrapala credit ac in carcerem. Ille omnipraesens est in sæcula. [Yakshrapala believes that he shall forever remain imprisoned. He forever is omnipresent.]
The wraith turned to see Hachi flying through the air. It raised its arm, ready to catch him.
Hachi - ...Shit.
Count Dalverat put his hands up and exploded, turning into a swarm of bats which flew over to the wraith's face and begam swarming it. The wraith covered his head with his hands, trying to deter the bats as it stumbled about. Hachi's opportunity arose and he saw the shard - while originally intending to strike behind the colossal monster, he had been blessed with a far more prosperous opportunity.
Riad - Do it! Quick!
Count Dalverat - I vill drink your blood dry! If you have any, I'm not quite sure.
Hachi - Cowabunga!
Gripping his katana and greatsword tightly, Hachi screamed and prepared to be slammed into the shard along with his weapons. Their blades pierced into the material of the shard, shattering its appearance and making it appear more fragmented and cracked than before. The aspect roared. The shard lost its power, and almost as quickly as it formed, the shadows around the shard, forming the wraith's body, let out an angered shockwave, in colours of black and red.
Harbinger - No...
Count Dalverat covered himself with his cape and was blown back slighty, with the Sea Witch taking cover behind him. > Kinmorunddraver felt the shockwave pass through his feathers. It was chilling as it was burning. Marcos struggled to keep facing forward as the shockwave hit, blowinghim back while Archavior managed to weather the blast, sliding across the floor
Riad - Is...is it over?
Kebra'Osos - ...oh is it ded? wow fanks
Harbinger - You have made a terrible mistake.
Hachi was thrown through the air once more, at a height that would have surely led to his demise if he was not to be caught. The ethereal entity pointed various tendrils towards Harbinger and laughed a mind-rendering guffaw. Harbinger stared at the entity, indifferent for its mind powers. Archavior saw Hachi flying and spread his wings, sprinting and flying into the airin order to catch him. The entity was gone, its form laid like sand in the middle of the hall. However, dreading, the beat of the drums was not gone.
Count Dalverat - ...Ze sound is stil going.
Kebra'Osos - oh cmon
In the distance, nearer the entrance of the city, deep, morbid roars were heard.
Sea Witch - ...What's this now?
As Hachi was caught, Archavior landed at the other end of the room with a quaking thud. As the dragon folded his archaic, powerful wings, the Lagosi child rushed from his arms and approached the Patriarch once more, this time clenching his fist and slamming it against the helmet of the man.
Hachi - Wake up!
Archavior - Hachiman stop. Remember last time.
Marcos stood up from his impact and limped towards the group, breathing heavily from exhaustion. The Sea Witch facepalmed at Hachi. The Patriarch jolted back into consciousness. He stood up, and, as he did, the darkstone helmet that guarded his face fell from it. A few seconds passed, before flame, both red and yellow, encompassed his charred skull. His face resembled that of a powerfully built Deiwos skeleton, with small shreds of burnt flesh remaining around his jaw. His teeth were sharp and canine-like.
Sea Witch - I was told Shiarchon were ugly and boy, were they right about it.
Archavior - So this is the price they paid for their deperation.
Hachi looked towards the Patriarch and shrieked, jumping backwards and cowering behind the Sea Witch with a shaky, unbalanced stance. As he breathed, reddened sigil marks appeared on the thin layers of skin that remained on his head, before passing down through his armour.
Count Dalverat - Vat an unpleasant sight.
Marcos - Disgusting.
Hachi - Umm...w-we s-saved you, y-you know...
Behind them, what sounded like heavy footsteps marched slowly towards the group. Accompanied by an occasional shamble.
Sea Witch - ...I don't want to turn around.
Count Dalverat - It certainly can't be zis bad.
Count Dalverat turned around to look at the source of the sound, and his eyes widened. Through the arch, what seemed like skeletons were marching slowly towards them. Storm Drake skeletons.
Count Dalverat - ...Oh. Have any of you ever fought dracoliches?
Marcos - ...What?
Marcos snarled and tensed his muscles. The Patriarch's sword dematerialized, as he looked on at the group.
Patriarch Kalarah - Your existence ends here. The void awaits.
Sea Witch - Oh, screw you!
Hachi - Hey I s-saved you! Not e-even a t-thanks!
Riad - Night-Father. Preserve us.
The Storm Drakes slowly moved in on the group, as a black flame frothed on their jaws.
Count Dalverat - With ze shard gone, zere is no point fighting. Ve must leave zis place.
Riad - And how exactly?!
Count Dalverat - I could fly off. You, on ze other hand, I'm not sure.
Sea Witch - So much for help!
Count Dalverat - Don't be ungrateful.
The Patriarch let out a small, malevolent laugh.
Marcos - Oh shut up, freak.
As the fire rose in their mouthes, there was a gust of wind that rushed though the chamber. With a rush of air something titanic flew in and over thr group, four colossal, scaly legs planted themselves around the group of heroes, above t he thick, plated belly of a titanic Draeonoggr. The Patriarch growled.
Sea Witch - Hey it's our buddy, the giant dragon guy!
Count Dalverat - ...By my fangs, look at ze size of zat!
Harbinger - Do not let them escape. Destroy them. Destroy them now.
The beast looked to the dracoliches and inhaled before roaring, with enough volume and energy to shake the room, directed at the undead storm drakes. The Drakes all shuddered backwards, falling apart slowly, and struggling to remain together.
Riad - Well this is convenient.
Count Dalverat - You have such a magestic creature with you? Hamoins and Mortium must have missed zis.
Hachi - I-I h-hope Hamoins m-misses my d-di--
Count Dalverat - Naughzy!
Sea Witch - Woo! Go team!
The Ancient reared his head and launched a blast of fire to englulf the drakes. The Patriarch guarded his face from the flames, but not much more. After burning the corpses the Ancient turned to look down at the Patriarch, his brow lowered into a scowl.
Ancient - Places exist where only gods and titans may tread, little one.
The Patriarch's unshielded his face. He looked at the Ancient, and from his own jaws, flame swarmed like a horde. The ancient paid little attention to the bursts of flame.
Patriarch Kalarah - Being of the ancient world. You should have been squashed along with your brethren.
Hachi watched from the sidelines, an upset and confused look on his face. The enigmatic creature that once disturbed the reality of the room before the ascension of the wraith had disappeared by this point; it had phased itself from existence, shifting to another plane where it could not possibly have been followed.
Riad - I'm up for riding the dragon out of here. Seems like the only way out.
Sea Witch - Ride it? Oh boy, I'm in!
Archavior - If he does not mind.
Riad - I don't think he has much of a choice!
Ancient - I will perform this one act of kindness, young ones. But remember, my freedom does not grant you my servitude.
Harbinger - You are not allowed to leave.
Hachi growled and drew his swords once more, glaring at Harbinger viciously. The Lympharian charged his staff with dark magic and glared at the team. Kinmorunddraver threw a bolt of lightning at Harbinger from his blade, swinging it vertically, though he evaded the attacks and charged at the team. The Sea Witch, however, tired of him, delivered a punch at Harbinger's head while still on her dragon form. Harbinger's head exploded from the impact and his body was flung across the hall.
Riad - Well. Don't mess with a multi-thousand year old avian witch.
Sea Witch - That was for trapping me in a crazy dimension earlier, you douchebag!
Hachi - Damn, that was impressive, miss!
Kinmorunddraver - We should leave. Now.
Riad climbed the scale of the Ancient, seating himself upon his enormous spine. Marcos stumbled up and shook his head at the Ancient that stood above him. Archavior paced towards the Ancient and picked Marcos up in his arms. Hachi walked alongside the Sea Witch as they approached the Ancient, placing his swords away as he walked with a misplaced step rather than a stance of triumph as he perhaps should have. The Ancient spread its wings and arched himself upwards, revealing his coolossal wingspan. The Patriarch, doing nothing, simply looked up at the massive dragon.
Count Dalverat - Oh, I vill get to ride a titanic dragon! It vas a good idea to come here personally.
Archavior - Some day I hope I can perform such a move to the newt that cursed me with confinement. If he has not been eaten.
Ancient - Everyone climb onto me.
Kinmorunddraver sent out a flash from his sword, and then jumped upon the Ancient's back. The Sea Witch morphed back into her regular form and floated into the Ancient's back, followed by Count Dalverat who walked up to it. Hachi followed, climbing up the Ancient's aged scales swiftly before sitting upon the colossal entity's spine with the others. The ancient hoisted itself into the air and thrusted itself out of the room, its beating wings sending pulsing rushes of air through the halls. Kebra'Osos walked up to behind the Patriarch and watched the entire scene in confusion.
Kebra'Osos - erm...boss? wes jus lettin dem go like dat?
The Patriarch turned his head to Kebra'Osos' side, and, with the remaining shreds of flesh on his face, let a corpse-like smile ring across his face.
Patriarch Kalarah - Of course. Let's send them a farewell gift whilst they have their opportunity to escape.
Kebra'Osos - hoh. alrite
The Patriarch walked through the halls, following the path of the Ancient. The ancient flew though the halls, picking up spped and wind rushing in front of everyones faces as they approcached the surface
Riad - This is an experience I will not be forgetting. That's for sure.
Hachi - Whee!
Marcos - I have my reservations against dragons but I have to say this is rather exiting!
Sea Witch - I've never flew on a dragon before. This is going to my diary.
Count Dalverat - Very interesting, indeed, I should get me a dragon too perhaps.
As the Ancient passed out of the entrance, the team could see the vast plains of frozen bodies beneath them. The plains of Nalúnt's City was walled in by incredibly tall mountains, with sharp and steep faces.
Sea Witch - It's gonna feel good to be out of this frozen wasteland at last.
Archavior - How I miss the the halls of Orocathrheim.
Riad - Careful what you're calling a frozen wasteland. Néva live next to the Forgotten Lands.
Sea Witch - But this place IS a frozen wasteland. You can't deny that.
Marcos - I...I apologise for what happened earlier.
Sea Witch - Eh, it's okay.
Count Dalverat - You fell under ze influence of zat Zazane being. It is to be expected from a mere man.
Sea Witch - I still say we should explore Infernos Mons together.
Marcos - It's more than that I *sigh* It's why I prefer solitude.
Hachi - Nobody should be forced to be lonely.
Marcos - I...I used to have someone.
Kinmorunddraver's face appeared solemn, as if Hachi's words were somewhat hard-hitting. From the entrance of the halls, Kebra'Osos and Patriarch Kalarah could be seen at its entrance, looking at the escaping team. Riad turned around, and vaguely saw the Patriarch and Kebra'Osos' figures at the entrance.
Riad - ...Everyone? We have company down there.
Count Dalverat - Ze Patriarch is a stubborn one, isn't he?
Hachi - Can't believe I tried helping him when he was down. Ungrateful.
Sea Witch - And what's he gonna do from down there? Wave us goodbye?
Ancient - I feel great power within him.
Patriarch Kalarah's arms raised. Following that, a roar. A roar so loud that the ice upon the mountains began to shudder. The ground beneath cracked as shadowy fissures rose up, and in an immense wall of shadow, equally immense boulders of rock and ice floated within it. The wall spanned from one side to the other of the plain. The ancient's eyes widened and he pushed himself to a higher elevation to escape the fissures.
Sea Witch - What the hell?!
Riad - Oh. Dear. Lord.
Count Dalverat - Vell, zis I did not expect.
Kebra'Osos - YOR GONNA GET FISSURED
Hachi - Eeep!
Hachi clinged to the Sea Witch in an act of desperation and fear. The Patriarch's hands flicked forward, and pushed the wall towards them. It travelled at a terrifying speed, with the tip of the wall dissolving the clouds.
Sea Witch - Fly faster, dragon guy!
Kebra'Osos - da enemies go SQUISH
The ancient flew upwards, gathering Source to protect itself and those on its body.The wall began to catch up on them; the team could feel shards of ice scratch past their skin as the shadows began to darken their view. The Sea Witch hugged Hachi tighly, almost choking him in the process, while Count Dalverat held on his head.
Ancient - The Deiwos' power is formidable!
Thin blueish tints of vapour rose from the Ancient's scales as the shadows closed in. As the wall neared, a faint, earthly voice could be heard through the winds that it mustered.
Patriarch Kalarah - Death is inevitable. Your souls delivered onto the One Lord.
Sea Witch - Oh, go get eaten by the Great Water Beast!
Within the shades of the wall, a red figure appeared. Made of flame, it was an avatar of the Patriarch. He stood almost as tall as the wall itself.
Marcos - Shadows, shadows everywhere!
Patriarch Kalarah - Become one with nothing.
Sea Witch - A miracle better happen right now!
Kinmorunddraver turned around. Swinging his blade, incisions of light travelled at the avatar. The ancient gathered Source within its jaws ebfore blasting a jet of Source-imbuded flame at the wall of shadows. The shadow began to stutter slightly, as from the ice, a spiral of shards appeared poised to strike the team.
Riad - How are we not dead yet?
Hachi - Don't question!
The Ancient looked about, sweeping the flame before stopping. The shards spat out at the team in a vicious barrage; Kinmorunddraver deflected some with his blade. The Sea Witch attacked the shards with magic blasts, while Count Dalverat did the same. Hachi leaped forward and swung his blades, slicing and slashing as shards pierced his fur. The Ancient roared as the shards dug into its scales, the roars enough to cause shockwaves. Archavior did his best to deflact the shards while Marcos tried enduring the shards
Kebra'Osos - ya get stabbed LIKE YA KEPT DOIN TO MA HED. DUNT FEEL SO GUD DOES IT?
Riad - Am I sorry however? No.
Ancient - Weak...Must...Need....Gragh.
Sea Witch - Our big guy is in trouble.
Archavior - Draonoggr of his size require immense levels of susteinence, they also have tendencies to sleep for months of not years.
Patriarch Kalarah - Return to the dust from whence you formed.
Count Dalverat - So impolite.
Hachi growled and placed his wooden arm against the scales of the titan. As he did, markings shined brightly throughout the material of his prosphetic limb and travelled downwards into his palm - the Ancient still felt his strength weaken, yet the rate at which it did began to decrease, slowing the process of damage infliction.
Hachi - Crap, I hate how you people make me do this! Get us out of here. Now!
Patriarch Kalarah - Fall.
The ancient goraned before flying away in an attempt to find an opening, reaching great speeds in doing so. The team eventually left the city, going through the vast valleys that marked the Forgotten Lands all over. The wall crashed into the mountains, but what remained of it still travelled through. What was the passage to Nalúnt's City was torn to pieces as the wall slammed through.
Ancient - History destroyed. Such evil does not deserve to warp the earth
Hachi - Perhaps... Perhaps it is better letting it get destroyed.
Lekren - How wonderful...
Sea Witch - Ngh.
Hachi - Nobody should ever come back here. T-This place... it's cursed.
From the wall itself, a sharp, shadowy maw formed like a whirlpool. From it, spat out boulders and shards of ice.
Lekren - By the Prince...
Count Dalverat - Vhat a pest you are, Kalarah.
The ancient saw the boulders and banked in an attempt to dodge them, the change in wind direction could be felt by everyone as his enormous beating wings shifted his form. The Sea Witch held tighly on both the Ancient, Hachi and on her hat. One boulder crashed into the side of the mountain, as a huge avalanche was set. Hachi squeaked and began to look more worried, growing tired from his efforts to keep the Ancient mobile with his strange Source-based powers.
Riad - How long is this going to go on for?!
Sea Witch - Should've let that Wraith destroy the Patriarch.
Hachi - I-I would've d-done if I knew t-this was g-gonna happen!
The ancient groaned as it felt Hachi's energies pour through its veins. He kept flying as fast as he could to escape the wall fo shadow. Kinmrounddraver chanted in an ancient language, unintelligible even by Lekren's own education. From the sword, a white light, charged with lightning emerged. Both the Sea Witch and Dalverat looked at Kinmrounddraver in curiosity. Marcos held tightly to the Ancient, looking to see the light that was summoned. A stream of light shot at the wall, severing parts of the wall off. The wall tumbled down, whilst the base still rumbled towards them. The ancient groaned and thrusted his wings to launch himself forward to send him through the hole while it was still open.
Lekren - Hm-hm...
Sea Witch - ...Why did you not do that sooner?
Kinmorunddraver - I have my reasons.
Sea Witch - Well do it again, you didn't take down everything!
Patriarch Kalarah - A bold attempt. But futile.
The wall slowly rebuilt itself, as trails of shadow grew thicker and wider. In the distance, the walled-in mountains at the entrance of the Forgotten Lands could be seen.
Riad - We can't let this wall get past the entrance, it could destroy everything!
Marcos - Surely the Patriarch can't be powerful enough for this sort of magic to extend -that- far...can he?
Count Dalverat - He can. I expect Kinmorunddraver to not be greedy and do somezhing about it.
Kinmorunddraver listened. In his hand, he held something, as his hand grasped it tightly.
Hachi - I dunno, you're talking about Kin-Moe-Run-Turtle-Dragger here.
Riad - You're not very good with names, are you?
Hachi - My tongue can't handle it!
Kinmorunddraver - I have one plan. But it is rather...extreme.
Sea Witch - And what's that?
Kinmorunddraver - Just...hold on to everything in your possession.
Riad - This cannot end well.
Marcos nodded and wrapped his coat around his body while Archavior kept a firm hold of his axe. The Sea Witch once again gripped on her hand. Count Dalverat looked at the scene with a raised eyebow. Hachi squeaked and took a firm grip of his swords as well as the Sea Witch. Riad held on to his spear before holding on to the Ancient. Kinmorunddraver held out his left hand. The object in his hand was obscured in vision, but a red and black aura surrounded it. The atmosphere of the world began to blur, as mountains around them distorted in virulent energies.
Riad - What...what is that?
Marcos looked startled at the sight and hugged the Ancient more tightly, who himself appeared slightly uncomfortable with his new surroundings. Hachi hugged the Sea Witch as tight as Marcos did the Ancient, turning his face away and burying it into her feathers. Following a turbulent, distinguishably abhorrent roar, a shockwave emitted from the object in Kinmorunddraver's hand. The wall, the mountains surrounding it, and all environment in sight was razed to little more than rocks. The blast sent tons of rock thousands of feet into the air.
Sea Witch - What the hell?!
Marcos - Never outside the Empire's Academies of Magic have I seen such power...
Archavior was startled at the use of the earth-shattering magic. Riad looked at the environment around him. It was reduced to a wasteland. As the dust and tumult of rocks cleared, the team found that the wall was no longer chasing them, as the shadow slowly died away in the distance. The Sea Witch sighed loudly, while Count Dalverat watched with his arms crossed. Lekren grabbed a small notepad and a quill and began writing frantically. Kinmorunddraver laid back as the arm in which he held the object in took on a charred, fleshy appearance, devoid of feathers. Marcos looked up and around to see the changed environment. he let out a sigh of relief.
Sea Witch - Thank the heavens it's over...
Lekren - And then all laws of providence were broken and then once more rewoven like dessicated fabric...
Hachi - I-Is it over?
Riad - I bet the world hasn't seen anything like that for thousands of years.
Leaving the LandsEdit
The Ancient began to descend, looking for a place where it was safe to land. He was weakened by the stress of the incident, his immense body was desperate for sustenance. The entrance to the Forgotten Lands was completely covered in dust, mist and smoke. But it was flat, and safe for walking upon. The ancient landed with a quaking thud. He lowered himself to lie on his belly while his tail slumped to rest on the ground, possibly allowing for a way to climb off him. Marcos and Archavior stepped odwn, with Archavior jumping up with his wings and Marcos sliding off the thicker portion of the Ancient's tail. The Sea Witch leaped out of the Ancient's back, while Count Dalverat levitated into the ground. Hachi leaped off from the Ancient, slamming into the ground on his face.
Sea Witch - Hah.
Riad slid from the Ancient's back, shivering and quaking as he hit the ground with his knees.
Riad - I regret organizing this.
Count Dalverat - Vat a ride, vat an adventure. Indeed, we have von zis day, lady and gentlemen.
Archavior - Had you not, elf, there is no telling the devestation that could have been wrought.
Riad - I...suppose so. I think I will be going down to the south after this. Spend some time on the coast.
Kinmorunddraver - One must ask why you are here. The last time we met it was my blood you were after.
Count Dalverat - Zat is fair. I vill explain in detail.
Count Dalverat coughed.
Count Dalverat - Zis is not ze first time Kalarah has ventured in zese lands. I suspected he vas looking for something ze first time and vhen I learned he vas returning, I imagined he had found what he vanted. Vhatever it vas, I knew I could not allow him to get away vith it. I am a heavy oppositor of the Adversary, you know.
Kinmorunddraver kept the object in his hand as he was speaking.
Count Dalverat - And vhen I learned you of all people vas venturing into ze Forgotten Lands, I decided to keep my presence hidden and help you indirectly. And it vas a success.
Sea Witch - ...Right. Maybe you're not that much of a dark lord.
Count Dalverat - Please, miss bird. I work in vhatever side benefits me ze most.
Marcos - I cannot argue with that logic.
Hachi - H-Hey! P-Perhaps you'd benefit over h-having one of your b-brides c-come try to "assassinate" me again?
Count Dalverat - Nein.
Hachi - Crap.
Count Dalverat - ...Actually, talk to me vhen you're 18. Zen ve may make business.
Lekren - ...Hmph. Well, it's not as I am unfamiliar with the ladies of the night either...
Marcos - I never got the full chance but...Perhaps I should clarify my connection with the Zazanite Cult.
Kinmorunddraver - Go on.
Marcos rolled up one of his sleeves and removed a gauntlet, revealing dark blotches of skin across his arm. Kinmorunddraver looked with intrigue.
Marcos - Ever wondered why a human posesses the fangs of a dog?
Sea Witch - I though you were some kind of beastman.
Riad - It would not occur to me. Being a dark elf.
Hachi - I thought it was natural. But you do smell.
Marcos - That smell is more the result of years of travelling. A few years ago I almost became one of the cult's foot-soldiers. I was defeated in battle, dragged from my charge and forced to spend several days in one of their cities.
Sea Witch - So you're half-corrupted?
Hachi - Damn! That sounds... awesome!
Marcos - Indeed. I had to resort to eating the flesh of both men and elf in order to survive. Any threat i eaither had to run or kill it.
Lekren - A most interesting alchemical transmutation. I could concoct an antidote... or perhaps study your body further... Hm.
Marcos - Since that day...I saw him. Lingering whispers in my mind, challenging my psyche.
Riad - Who?
Marcos - I...I don't know its name but from my investigations I believe it is the being the cultists revere as a patron. Sometimes he would invade my dreams, a thousand voices, all saying different things, none of them making any sense.
Count Dalverat - Ze Crux...
Marcos - The connection has other effects. I can more easily detect nearby cultists, but they can also find out where I am. It's why I do not spend too long in one palce.
Sea Witch - Huh. Like me and Harbinger.
Riad - That would explain a lot.
As Marcos spoke ill of the abominable creatures that had changed him, his mind began to ache and shriek once more. The fragments of his mind screamed out inside his head, his blood began to boil. It was almost as if there was a presence here, a presence similar, or maybe even identical, to that of the ethereal entity which they had bore witness to within those ancient halls that housed monsters. Feeling this, Marcos bared his teeth and collapsed, breathing frantically. He collpased to his knees and held his head, his fingers clawing at the kin of his brow
Sea Witch - Uh-oh.
Hachi - W-What's wrong?
Marcos - I-It s-speakes...grahgh-- A th-thousand v-voices...All...all crying.
??? - Writhing in unison.
Marcos - Get out get out!
As the group's attention was placed upon Marcos, they had not anticipated its appearance once more, yet it was different this time; the ethereal monster that wrecked insanity upon them had taken a different shape, assuming a different form not dissimilar from Marcos himself. His orifices shone with the sun's wrath, his flesh was blotched and writhing as he made his approach. An imitation, a hideous reflection. It approached from behind, a casual step in its walk. Count Dalverat looked at the entity with narrowed eyes. Kinmorunddraver readied his blade.
Marcos - My blood screams...Stop, the screaming...stop the screaming!
??? - So, you survived. But only at the cost of history. How unfair that it is bothersome insects who destroy testaments that have withstood time long before their conception.
Count Dalverat - Leave, bootlick. You have no idea vhat real madness is.
Marcos looked to the entity with bloodshot eyes.
Marcos - I'll kill you...I'll kill you for what your filth did!
The entity's face looked towards Marcos. As the latter glared upon his mutated visage, the entity stepped forward with a smirk that spread from cheek to cheek. Marcos slowly lifted himself up and gripped his arming sword tightly. With a roar at the top of his voice he charged forward to plunge the sword into the entity's stomach. The entity raised a finger, the sword's edge slamming against it and going no further. No blood trickled, no wounds were inflicted, only Marcos' mind shattered further as he found himself in range of the enfuriating aura of the enigma.
??? - You'll kill me? You, a wilting flower, seeks to inflict death, a concept I happen to be free of?
Marcos staggered back, his lip quaking in the face of the entity. Archavior looked sharply towards the light Lekren grabbed a vial of poison out of his backpack.
Lekren - But are you free from the concept of oxidisation, varlet?
Marcos - If...If I am to die... I'LL TAKE YOU WITH ME!
Lekren threw the glass at the entity. The glass object imploded before it could even touch the rippling skin of the creature. Far off in the distance, a screech was heard. It sounded like an eagle, only louder. Count Dalverat turned to the direction of the screech and appeared much more intimidated than from the mysterious entity. Kinmorunddraver turned sharply.
Riad - Night-Father above, what now?
From the sky, a blinding golden-white light descended from the clouds. Count Dalverat screamed and shielded his face with one of his arms. Hachi blocked his eyes and ducked to the ground in fear. Riad turned away from the light as his eyes were marred by the brightness.
Count Dalverat - Not ze light! Not ze fiery light!
The entity's eyes directed upwards. His smirk lowered, a hateful scowl forming across his lips as his eyes of scourging white maintained focus on the opposing element. He stepped back as his form began to misshapen, physical aspects becoming lost. He appeared ever more contorted and twisted until the visage of Marcos was no more, instead assuming that shapeless form they had first witnessed. The Sea Witch looked at the light in awe, while Count Dalverat screamed again and his form changed into that of a swarm of bats which flew away, disappearing.
As the figure darted towards the earth, it became larger and larger. First appearing the size of a man, and then the size of a house, and then the size of many. Marcos turned to the light and squinted, his tainted eyes blinded by the light caused him to hunch and he turned away, sheilding himself.
Sea Witch - It's...it's...the Great Fire Beast!
Hachi - ...Ametsairagi...
The light clashed into the ground - in a flash brighter than that of the sun, a figure formed from it. It was a colossal phoenix, with fire and light trickling through every feature of its being. Soldalatel, the Fire Colossus. Lekren started writing in his notepad once again. Soldalatel turned to face the distorted, maddened figure that plagued their travels.
??? - The ever-burning rose, whose petals are of ash, whose bones stem of stars.
Marcos - Burn and crawl back to your master in the shadows!
Soldalatel - Eimi [Go], mass of nothing. You are not welcome above the surface.
??? - So imprison me within chains and subject me to abyssal abandon as you did your nemesis.
Soldalatel's immense size rose upon two legs, and with her wings, she generated an unnatural heat. Light shone through the feathers and fire built up on the ground as she was prepared to blast it at the creature. The maddened entity showed not fear nor amusement but indifference to the face of the colossal phoenix. It, unlike the others who were far more in-touch with immediate reality, was not intimidated nor threatened by the beast's presence.
??? - You are ridiculous. Affection for worms that dig themselves into pits of mud, any creature would have sense to devour them.
Soldalatel - Aidhō bhānús geulom! [Burn!]
Soldalatel's wings flared open, as the heat spread forward like a swarm upon victims. Kinmorunddraver conjured a shield around the team to protect them, as the flame seared the shield as if it were skin.
Riad - Too hot! Too hot!
Lekren - Before me stood two wonders of nature; one a dark entity, composed of what seemed to be the purest - and the most contaminated - of all incarnations of the Source, the other a magical avian creatures who radiated fire and light, not unlike the Phoenixes of which Deiwos often speak. And then, they fought. Clashed and turned upon each other like two unstoppable tides, representations of opposing physical and moral concepts, and then - Lekren saw his notepad getting charred and looked up at Soldalatel - Thrice-cursed bird!
Hachi - Hot!
The entity's form evaporated into a crazed, dancing smoke. The heat incinerated its formlessness, blasting away theoretical atom after atom, hypothetical cell after cell of the monstrous oddity. However, not even it was exempt from the wrath of Koldenwelt's solar mother as it began to fade itself from immediate existence.
??? - The Chaos Womb gestates ever more, far more than the spawn of which you gave rise to.
Soldalatel lowered her stance as the cloud dissipated. She gazed on for a few moments at the voice, before turning to the team. The Sea Witch appeared both impressed and terrified as Soldalatel turned to them. Marcos slumped on his hands and knees, almost weeping.
Soldalatel - Dus mṇtis kōmos. Dhoubnom mē léudheros skelos. [Corrupted. Koldenwelt is not free of plagues.]
Marcos - I only want my nightmare to end...
Hachi - Ametsairagi-kanta!
Lekren - Now... sir... madam? It matters not. Can you please explain me the nature of that Source-born abberation? As a man of science, I must know everything.
Lekren turned to Soldalatel with another notepad in his hand.
Soldalatel - Weqtis. [Thing.] A fragment of a greater, dormant Dhwosos [Demon.]
Riad - What language is that?
Lekren - Primordial, my uneducated friend. One of the Elder Tongues.
Soldalatel - Pṛkskā egō cemjō ana pṛkskō. Mēqos swērús. Dhoubnom stiprós apo skelos. [I come to ask questions. An important moment. The world is saved from evil.]
Sea Witch - Would be easier if she spoke in something I can understand.
Archavior - The ancients may speak whatever language they wish.
Lekren - Indeed...
Hachi - Do not disrespect Ametsairagi-kanta!
Soldalatel - Mánnusos bhām∂n juwōn. [The speech of man is young.] But if you so wish. You found something within the depths of Nalúnt's City. Something that I put there fifteen thousand years prior to now.
Sea Witch - I take she means that shard thing.
Lekren - ...Yes.
Kinmorunddraver's hand kept a grasp. Soldalatel looked at Kinmorunddraver's hand, which was corrupted by magic.
Soldalatel - Echdrárothrayún Kinmorúnddravúron. What is that you have in your hand?
Marcos - Kimno...did you use the shard's power to save us?
Sea Witch - ...Should've guessed it.
Kinmorunddraver reluctantly raised his hand. He, indeed had the shard in his hand.
Sea Witch - Heh! You tried to run off with the thing!
Soldalatel - Tū skijō ei Bhl∂gsmādhwosos galnos skelos. Qori? [You know that Caligaduro's power is evil. Why?]
Kinmorunddraver - Because in my possession, it is far safer from that of the modern world.
Riad - And safer from the Patriarch. Imagine if Kalarah had that in his possession.
Sea Witch - I still wanna know what the heck is that.
Hachi - Should've destroyed it!
Soldalatel - What Kinmorunddraver possesses in his hand is one of the seven thousand seven hundred and seventy seven shards of the Dark Sword. A blade hewn from the very chest of Caligaduro himself.
Sea Witch - Yick! She said the name!...Well it's a Colossus so I guess she CAN say the name.
Soldalatel - I do not fear him. Whilst he sleeps, we can remain awake.
Lekren - And if he awakes?
Marcos - We die.
Soldalatel - Tom-ke ṇsme swopnos. [Then we sleep.]
The Sea Witch pondered.
Sea Witch - I didn't know the Adversary had a blade. Hachi's right, this should be destroyed.
Soldalatel - The blade is an ancient artefact of which passed through mortal hands as a vessel of his own power. Those who wielded it, empowered him. The Patriarch himself has two of the shards as his blade.
Archavior - That explains how he was able to exert so much power.
Sea Witch - No wonder the Patriarch was crazy about it.
Hachi - Why isn't somebody going around destroying these things? They're just waiting to be found! Somebody has to stop Cal-- the Adversary from waking up!
Lekren - Shall I provide the oxidising reagent then? We can destroy it.
Soldalatel - You cannot simply...destroy the artefact. For millennia we believed that we could destroy the Adversary. We were wrong. Any extension follows the same example.
Sea Witch - Gah...
Lekren - Curses.
Soldalatel - All of the shards were placed in the deep reaches of the world. Four have been discovered. Two with the Patriarch, one here, and one lies with another Deiwos. Until their destinies collide, the world is safer from this evil. Riad - So...what do we do? Keep it?
Sea Witch - Throw it at the sea!
Archavior - Perhaps we hand it to the Colossus. She hid it before.
Hachi - I'd trust Ametsairagi-kanta with hiding it so it is never found again.
Soldalatel - I cannot. Through me, Caligaduro Provectus could invoke a power strong enough to scour the earth in one day. Through that, he can see us. He is listening to us, but the shard sleeps.
Hachi - Oh...
Soldalatel leant into the shard.
Sea Witch - Feed it to the Great Water Beast!
Kinmorunddraver - And have him swallow it and then turn into a subterranean servant of the Adversary?
Archavior - Would that not have a similar effect on the beast?
Sea Witch - Oh...right, bad idea.
Marcos - So what are we supposed to do with it if simply holding it risks corruption?
Marcos gruned and shook his head.
Marcos - I was up for this expedition because I hoped I would escape the Cult, instead I get lured straight to them and almost have my mind shattered into a million peices. I did not sign up to go toying with artifacts far beyond my understanding.
Riad - Simple. Hide it again.
Sea Witch - And where do you suggest we hide it?
Hachi - Perhaps the Ancient could eat it?
Sea Witch - I'd rather not turn the dragon guy into a servant of the Adversary.
The ancient layed on the barren ground, resting, his eyes were flickering as he gradually drifted into a state of half-wakefulness.
Soldalatel - Where to hide it? The world beyond what you know is only the wise option, but the distance from the world makes it...dangerous.
Sea Witch - "The world beyond"?
Soldalatel - Indeed. Lands beyond this one. Scattered among and beyond seas charted and uncharted.
Lekren - Hm-hm...
Hachi - Throw it into the Sun!
Sea Witch - Both sound too far away for my capacity.
Riad - Would it be safer there than here though?
Marcos - How are we sure the Adversary does not have agents within these other worlds? Soldalatel - Do you know what lies beyond this world? Than neither would they.
Lekren - One of the vaults in Arkenholdt, perhaps?
Soldalatel looked at Lekren.
Soldalatel - I can only say that it should be forgotten, Kelodhros. Arkenholdt is only a chamber for prying eyes and hands to wish it destroyed.
Lekren - Bah. An archaeological wonder like that should not be hidden...
Marcos - We can't destroy it, we can't hide it, we can't safeguard it, how was this infernal blade shattered in the first place?
Kinmorunddraver - Taking it far from this land is our only real chance. Only the Sea Giants would know of where it would lie.
Sea Witch - So we hand it to Vectrom?
Soldalatel - I do not intend to hand it to anyone. Vectrom will know where it is, but damned if he takes it for his own.
Sea Witch - Eh. He sounds more like the guy who'd point and scream at it in fear.
Hachi - ...Throw it into the ocean! Nobody lives down there!
Riad - Are you being stupid intentionally?
Hachi - Well, who can live in the ocean? You can't breathe!
Sea Witch - Mermaids can.
Riad - Remind Lekren to drag you in to Ar-Klith once we're finished.
Lekren - ...Except for the cannibal tribes of Zazane, the serpentine Thalassocrats and the Adversary's underdogs. Young child, have you failed your basic education?
Hachi - Well... Gah, what lands are beyond what we know? How do we know we haven't found all these lands?
Marcos - I have never met anyone ignorant enough to not know that fish live in water.
Lekren - Malediction, half-devil and half-child! Your ignorance has reached proportions greater than the iron spires of Arkenholdt!
Soldalatel - Nē m∂gis [Enough]!
Sea Witch - So many fancy words.
Hachi sat on the floor and looked at the ground with an ashamed look on his face. Soldalatel's enormous wing shadowed over Kinmorunddraver's hand, as the shard passed out of his grasp. The feathers on his hand began to reform as the corruption drained from his body. The ancient stirred lightly, as Hachi slumped on the floor, he moved one of his claws to rest near by, resting a cosssal finger by Hachiman's side.
Ancient - [An empty vessel...shall one day be filled.]
Soldalatel - I shall take this shard to the far north. Away from prying eyes and the living.
Sea Witch - I'm content with it staying the hell away from me forever.
Lekren - ...If it must be done, then so shall it be. I will not object.
Riad - ...Just how far north?
Marcos - As north as the world can get.
Soldalatel - Indeed.
Soldalatel slowly walked away from the group as she looked around the recently destroyed landscape. Marcos watched Soldatel walk away while Archavior patrolled around the ancient, resting his hand on the titan's body and brushinging his hand along its scales.
Soldalatel - The world was once completely drained of its vitality. It took many years before life was re-birthed. But it shall be.
Soldalatel took off, leaving behind a warm trail of wind as fire escaped her body like a trail of ribbons. The Sea Witch jumped in place and waved herself with her hands as the heat hit her.
Archavior - The ancient is weak, he must dine or else he will starve...
Sea Witch - What do giant dragons eat? Bizargar better not be on their menu.
Lekren - Lagosi.
Hachi - H-Hey! Not f-funny!
Kinmorunddraver walked over to the Ancient.
Archavior - The issue I see is not the type of food, but the quantity.
Sea Witch - I'm not being no giant dragon's babysitter, that's for sure. He's big enough to go hunting for himself.
Hachi - How much does he need to eat?
Archavior - At this size, a Deiwos village will suit him for a few weeks of activity.
Marcos's jaw dropped at the quantity and stepped a few paces back.
Marcos - That...that is abominable!
Sea Witch - Hoh boy, if you think that, just you want until you go to Sprak Island. Kinmorunddraver - I can sustain his body temporarily. Past a day, he will have to fend for himself. Marcos - Consuming the flesh of intelligent beings is one thing, but an entire village's worth!?
Ancient - [Can feast, then, will rest.]
Archavior - You really do not know how the Orocathi Domain works do you, Human. Marcos - Let him die. He's ancient, its time he passed on, let his bones feed the crows and the soil.
Sea Witch - Wow. Not cool. The guy risked himself to save us twice.
Archavior snarled and charged, grabbing Marcos as he passed and lifted the corrupted Human high into the air, holding his axe ready in the other hand. The Sea Witch was surprised and took a step back. Hachi ran up and grabbed ahold of Archavior's wrist, keeping him from striking Marcos with the weapon.
Hachi - Enough! Nobody's dying today!
Archavior - I have had enough with this human! He has spouted nothing but insults and prejudice ever since you first brought me into that filthy tavern!
Sea Witch - Woah woah, no harsh decisions.
Archavior - And now he insults an ancient, treating him like a tool, meat, there is a reason ancients like him do not question devouring humans, you all live in the mud you roll yourselves in every day!
Hachi - He's not worth it, Archy! He's not even human, not after what the Cult did to him, let him go!
Riad - Now wait just a minute.
Marcos gasped and struggled to break free of Archavior's iron grip, holding his head up with his hands around Archavior's fingers, slowly suffocating.
Kinmorunddraver - Enough. Release him.
Hachi - Arch! I didn't release you from the sword just so you could butcher our allies!
Lekren - I... shall take a neutral stance. Let the Prince judge the righteousness of your deeds.
Archavior turned to Kimno and growled furiously. He jerked his fingers apart, letting Marcos fall on the ashen ground with a clatter from his armour, before walking away Archavior gave him a firm kick to the stomach, winding him. Marcos lay on the floor, coughing and gasping. Hachi approached Marcos and knelt down near him, assisting him to his feet while trying to clear up any blood that had been coughed up from Archavior's kick. Marcos stood up with Hachiman's aid, he looked at Hachi with a thankful look in his eyes as Archavior looked to the ground.
Kinmorunddraver - This being is from the ancient world. From a similar time to me.
Sea Witch - Oh well...I suppose we better part ways now before we start eating each other.
Hachi - Do you have any ideas, Kin-Mole?
Kinmorunddraver's pressed his hand upon the Ancient's flesh. Under his hand a light blue light hummed. The ancient stirred slightly as he felt something pass though, he twtitched, at one moment his tail raised up and slammed against the ground, cracking it.
Riad - ...What just happened there?
Sea Witch - Magic, of course.
Hachi - That's a little intimidating.
The Ancient slowly raised himself after some time and adjusted himself. he then turned to Kimno with a grateful look.
Ancient - [I thank you phoenix, you have offered me life after all I have done for your companions.]
Kinmorunddraver - [The world runs short of beings from the old world. We are few and therefore must remain.]
Ancient - [The young ones are right however. I must either hibernate, or feast on large numbers of their kin.]
Riad - I can't understand a word they're saying.
Sea Witch - At this point I stopped caring, really.
Hachi - You don't need to, you just know they're admitting their love for one another.
Marcos - That is...I...I cannot comment.
Kinmorunddraver - [Do what you must. The world is not of my concern as evil is dormant.]
Ancient - [As you wish, phoenix. In gratitude, I shall make an attempt to spare the settlements your companions were born into.]
Kinmorunddraver paused slightly before briefly nodding.
Ancient - [Keep the horn, Phoenix. I will come should you need me.]
Kinmorunddraver held the horn next to his waist. The ancient bowed and spread his wings, with a push that pressed a torrent of air down on everyone, he launched himself into the air and flew off into the horizon, letting out an echoing roar as he was of a certain distance. The Sea Witch put one of her hands above her eyes as she watched the Ancient fly away. Hachi watched as the Ancient flew, sitting on the ground with a smile as the colossus' roar echoed throughout the sky. Kinmorunddraver turned to the team with a neutral expression, looking at each one of them individually.
Marcos - I...am lost on what jsut happened.
Kinmorunddraver - The Ancient shall proceed to live according to nature's will. Isiris will have its way with him as it commands.
Sea Witch - Iri-who now?
Kinmrounddraver - The world. The course of everything that transpires. An infinite possibility of destiny.
Hachi - Koldenwelt is the body, Isiris is the spirit.
Marcos - So we save him and he does what he pleases *mutters* Typical Keldhoros...
Archavior - Watch your tongue Deiwos.
Sea Witch - So...who wants to explore Infernos Mons next?
Hachi - Ooh, ooh! Me, me!
Kinmorunddraver let out a small smile.
Sea Witch - I heard there's a massive treasure at the depths. I'm sure there's enough for all of us.
Marcos - After this journey, I feel content to return to my travels and the open road alongside Bellerophon.
Sea Witch - That's a no then. Shame.
Kinmorunddraver - Perhaps I will. But first, I have business to attend to. I must speak with Kartansimal, and then Yakshrapala. Isirirs is almost...stirring as if it were drifting into a nightmare.
Archavior - Hrmm, treasure or handle some affairs in Orocathrheim...I could do with restoring my hoard.
Hachi - Why restore it when you can gain a new hoard?
Sea Witch - Yep!
Riad - I fancy travelling south. It would be nice to see the old kingdoms again.
Archavior - *shrugs* After my imprisonment, the two words are interchangeable.
Sea Witch - Well, the only kingdom at Sprak is the Caxildiz. And I wouldn't really call them a kingdom. More like hillbillies.
Riad - I was speaking of the Ancient Golden Elves.
Archavior - I recall such kingdoms are little more than ruins these days.
Sea Witch - Oh. Never seen one. Anyway, if any of you do travel south, search for the giant cave in the shape of a skull. That's my home.
Kinmorunddraver - Then there is no time like the present. I will take my leave. Urgent matters need addressing.
Hachi - See you later, Cat-Mule-Rain-Driver!
Kinmorunddraver's wings eclipsed his body, and in a blinding white light, shot into the sky as if it were a comet, travelling south.
Sea Witch - ...He gotta teach me how to do that.
Hachi - ...Wait, why do you live in a giant skull? ...Actually, that's awesome!
Sea Witch - I actually found it that way. It was abandoned.
Riad - No time like the present indeed. Well...might as well start travelling south now. A good thirty day walk might drown out all of the death and destruction.
Marcos - Right....perhaps I should ask someone for a way back to the tavern other than walking.
Hachi - Pfft, you're on your own human.
Marcos - You are too kind. It just so happens I have one of the finest horses in Redshire waiting for my return.
Sea Witch - I'll see you lot later. My crow must be starving!
Hachi - Cya later, miss bird!
The Sea Witch teleported away in a flash of light.
Riad - Well. I suppose I'm travelling by myself then. Whole lot a good camaraderie is in the north.
Archavior - I suppose I can give you two a lift...
Hachi - Heh, I'll go wherever the wind takes me.
Riad - Very well. If you can take me close to Orocathrheim then I can take my own way south. I have friends in the south. Well...not exactly friends. Acquaintances.
Lekren - And what can I say? The discoveries I have made on this misbegotten edge of the world will surely bring me fame among the men of science and culture like myself. I am grateful.
Archavior - I can make two detours so long as I get a nice fat sow at some point.
Lekren flew to Marcos.
Lekren - In fact, I am honoured. We should meet again.
Marcos - Even after all the things I said in your presence?
Lekren - Alas, my relationships with humankind have always been... cold. But you have proven usef- I mean, respectable.
Lekren looked at his notebook again. Marcos gave a leering look to Lekren before unconfortably nodding.
Lekren - The Great Chronicles of the Forgotten Lands.
Riad - One of them will probably be interested in coming along. Treasure does interest him.
Hachi - ...Wait, you're not talking about who I think you're talking about, right?
Riad - Who's that?
Hachi approached Riad and drew him down so he could whisper into his ear.
Hachi - ...The Sea-Cutter.
Riad - You know him as well? Madman gets around.
Hachi - Yeah, such as in your pockets.
Riad - Then you should come to the south then.
Hachi - Well, if it's not a problem, of course...
Archavior - So...who is in need of a lift other than Riad.
Lekren - Not me, brother! Safe travels, all of you.
Hachi - Same to you, midget dragon guy!
Lekren flew into the sky, vanishing somewhere in the south.
Marcos - I suppose I can buy you a head. Fine.
Archavior nodded and kneeled down to allow Riad and Marcos onto his back. Riad jumped on to Archavior's back in one bound. Hachi hopped onto Archavior's back alongside, sitting between Riad and Marcos with a gleeful smile.
Riad - I don't know whether Pelagrios will be in the south though. The Thalassocracy has been chasing him for a while.
Hachi - The Thala-who?
Riad - Not quite sure either. He just says he gets chased by them a lot.
Archavior sparead his wings and rested on all four limbs. He bade a bounding run, gaining the lift he needed before soaring into the air. The adventure was over.