• Solo • [Slags Deep - The Beneath] Little Fish in a Sea of Sharks

From Tried's Mouth to the mysterious Tower, the waters around Scalvoris and the island itself hold a vast array of secrets, just ripe for discovery. Here are landmarks and small villages of note.

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Wed May 16, 2018 4:56 am

68 Ashan 718

Time heals all wounds. Everything could be waited out. Those were the types of words one used to comfort oneself in times of peril and despair, but the Rusalka was no liar; not even to herself. There was no adjusting to The Beneath. There was just existence. Survival. It had been three trials since she'd been dropped into this death trap. The winding dark tunnels were little more than some sort of sick labyrinth, and the only other prisoners lurking around the bend were those that wished to kill her. The threat posed by her peers were by far the worst she faced. That danger was only increased tenfold by her ambrosia withdrawals.

Maxine had been suffering the absence of the drug for some time already, the effects of her unfed addiction most prominent in her actions leading up to her arrest. She'd since been given no reprieve. It felt like a tiny person in her head had been wantonly swinging a hammer against the inside of her skull. Everyday the pounding got worse, and at present, it had evolved into a migraine that made even opening her eyes to the darkness unpleasant. Her ability to continue to escape sleep was waning. Insomnia would soon ebb to her total collapse. The very notion she'd be forced to return to her nightmares only added to the anxiety that seized her in a choke hold. Thoughts raced, and no matter the direction they ran off to, they always circled back to that deep state of paranoia; the same that had convinced her murdering cultist suspects had been the only solution wherein she could protect herself. At the very least, down in The Beneath of Slags Deep, she felt the slight relief in knowing that her paranoia was indeed valid. Ironically, that alone felt like the single tether Max had to her own sanity.

The Rusalka paused in her careful exploration of a pitch black hall to brace her forearm against the nearby wall. There was nothing in her stomach, and yet the organ upheaved its watery contents anyways upon the rocky floor. The sound of the unpleasant process echoed throughout the chamber. Vomiting: another fun trial-to-trial experience that came in the wake of her inability to procure more of the drug her body and mind lusted for. The symptom was as much a nuisance as it was a bane to her survival. She knew she could make it more trials without finding food. The same couldn't be said for water, and each time she retched, her body became more dehydrated. She needed to find something to drink...and soon.

Yeah. I'll add it to the fucking list right next to the ten million gold nels I'm apparently supposed to mine out my ass.

She straightened up and ran her obnoxiously trembly hands down her face. In the distance she could hear the sound of slow-dripping water. Then again she could always hear it. Its location proved time and again to be impossible to find. Nevertheless, her thirst willed her onward in her search for resources to sustain her. The chore took her further and further into this new home she'd surrendered to. Away from the light of The Run and closer to the distant noises of trapped, tortured beings that shared her world. The only thing keeping her overwhelming, knee-knocking fear at bay was the haze that had settled over her agitated mind. Perhaps if it weren't for that haze she would've detected trouble before it had been too late. Max's next careless step sent her knocking straight into a shadow she didn't notice until she'd rebounded from it. Jostled, her head swirled with pain and her clammy hands fought the urge to swing at the unknown. She stumbled back, narrowed eyes trying to see through the dark.

"Hey, asshole!" Max responded more so out of habit and irritation than conscious thought. "Watch where the fuck you're--" She was cut off by a massive roar erupting in time with the great balls of fire that wrapped around a pair of hands before her. Her eyes widened and her hands dipped down to clutch at her waist. They clutched around no sword hilt but instead the scratchy wool of the prison issued robe. Dread filled her.

The defier before her appeared to be no newcomer to Slags Deep. His grey hair was a long, unkempt mess atop his head. His scraggly, thick beard puffed out from a deeply scarred face, hanging miserably down to his collarbone. His robe hung off his scrawny frame in a way that suggested he was a more filled-out man at the time of his conviction. That, or he'd taken it off the body of a much larger foe. Either way he didn't appear to be in good spirit. At all. He stared her down with his one good eye before be cocked a fist back. Now this was something the tavern brawler could see coming.

Maxine dove out of the way of the flame-laced punch before his knuckles singed her face. A small plume of gravel shot up upon her landing, and she turned her head in time to watch the earth yield to protect the defier's hands as his punch followed through toward the wall. Her foot shot out in an attempt to strike the side of the man's unprotected knee. She should've seen the failure coming. A rush of wind off-set her kick, sending the ball of her foot into it rather than the full force of her heel. He cried out but he was a man tempered by a world far more unforgiving than the one above them. Any minor injury she'd managed to inflict was banished from the forefront of his mind. There only existed the fresh meat in his way. Now that she'd the audacity to wound him in return for his attempt to burn her for her first transgression, she would have to die.

Move, move, move!

The Rusalka scampered sideways and back up to her feet. The space she once occupied on the floor slammed upward as though gravity had reversed itself, the stone floor shooting itself to the rocky ceiling like a pillar. Her heart hammered in her chest. The last time she'd killed a defier of this caliber had been beneath Scalvoris Town. Water Mask had been a force to reckon with, and though she'd decisively beaten him, she'd had a proper weapon to do it. This time she wasn't so lucky. There was no Lavana here to pull a dagger from a chest wound to arm her at the right time. All she had now were her hands. She turned and started her sprint, skidding around the nearest corner at the same time the stone pillar shattered apart at the defier's will. The mage stepped through the rubble and took off after her. Fire surrounded one of his fists to provide light while he chased her. Light and shadow caught her figure as his arms pumped at his sides. The run didn't last long.

"Chrien, you luckless whore!" the Rusalka hissed as her feet came sliding to a halt. One of her toes stopped just over the edge of the straight drop she'd come to, dirt hissing as it spilled over the sides. Her hopeful eyes searched the abyss but all she could make out was darkness. "Fine. You want me?" Maxine turned bitterly and took a few steps away from the drop off behind her. The defier rooted himself firmly in place. The only way past him toward safety would be through him. "Come and fucking get me!"

The defier rushed her with a grunt and hurled his flaming fist. She stopped off-center, the hair on her forearm vanquished as it moved to parry safely at his arm. Her next strike soared in as a sharp cross toward the side of his head. The pesky wind guardian re-emerged to save the mage from the brunt of her power yet again. Her knuckles merely glanced off his cheek, and with the help of a powerful gust of air, the defier sent an elbow into her middle that sent her down upon the earth. He wasted no time falling upon her. One of his hands wrapped around her throat while the other raised, wind from no where beginning to whip and swirl as it built in his palm. Memories of Wind Mask bursting the lungs of the Earth Element turncoats in the warehouse rushed toward the forefront of her mind. She grit her teeth and hurled a defiant straight toward his eyes. Distracted by the punch coming directly for his face, the mage didn't even notice her other hand outstretching along the ground. His guardian was equally fooled when it worked to thwart her deception rather than the rock she swung into the side of the man's skull.

The man collapsed sidelong off her, and the swift kick Max sent into his face ensured she had a few trills to find her feet again. He clutched his bloodied temple in agony, and though his head had to have hurt about as bad as hers did, her ingenuity was inadequate. He abandoned air in favor of earth and fire. From the ground he raised a hand to gesture toward the stone above her head. Flame burst along its edge. The massive roof over her head moaned and buckled. The distant echo of raised voices suggested that more powerful enemies were on their way. Max's panicked gaze looked from the threat above to the safety of the darkness beyond the mage. Blood drained from her face.

I'll never make it!

The roof gave way in a fiery collapse. Tremors filled the entirety of the tunnel, no doubt destabilizing other areas effected by the earth's shift. She didn't think. She didn't hesitate. Against every rational bone in her body (well, the few that existed) she ran and dropped into a slide along the ground...right down into the pit.

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Wed May 23, 2018 8:23 pm


Awarded Points

These points can/cannot be spent in magic

Awarded Knowledge

Acrobatics: Diving Away From a Strike
Acrobatics: Sliding Down a Hole
Deception: Distracting a Defier's Guardian with a Feint
Detection: Looking for an Escape
Endurance: Fighting Through Withdrawals
Resistance: Withdrawals Worsen Over Time

Awarded Extras

Loot & Losses Injuries
None None
Renown Devotion
None None


Wow this was really dark. I loved your portrayal of drug withdrawal - I could feel Max's suffering, so that was very well done. However can I suggest in the future that you note in the review request a warning about drug use/withdrawal. There are some people for whom such a thing might be best avoided. Thanks :)

If you have any questions, comments or criticism about your review, feel free to send me a PM and we can discuss it.
Thank ye.
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