Cold. Cold cold cold. He had heard of Oscillus but only in vague mentions; he had never been, never even come close. Most people didn't.
Now he knew why.
Shuddering, Quio stumbled his way out of the gate, arms wrapped tight around Jack in his jacket to keep them both warm. The little dog was shivering, shivering terribly, and he realized he was too. "S-S-Shyke,"
he said, bare fingers contracting into fists. First Ne'haer, now this. Reliving all of his --ahem-- warmest memories. His mother's murder. And afterwards he had lived alone out in the cold. It had been a terrible winter.
This was worse.
The portal was guarded by two of the immortals, the two he thought of as the warriors, and he struggled past them. The woman was speaking; something about choosing a position. For him the healing tents were right out; he had absolutely no skill. Guarding or fighting it would be.
Still, he wandered towards the tents, plucking his rucksack out from under the shield that was slung over his back and then leaning down, encouraging Jack to lay on the bag as a buffer from the elements, setting it nearby one of the low-burning camp fires. "S-Stay,"
he told her, and she huffed out a visible fog of breath into the icy air, but didn't move. He hoped her ears and nose and paws wouldn't freeze. He hoped his wouldn't either.
The sound of distant battle had him twitching, and he quickly collected what information he could about the others he cared for: Lei'lira, Faith, Tristan. Making sure they had made it through the portal. Seeing which areas they were going to help in.
Then he set his face, unsheathed both dagger and sword, the sword in his dominant right hand, and jogged off, puffing out cold breaths, heading towards the fray.
It was a numbing sight, despite how numb from cold he already felt. For a long few trills, but what felt longer still, Quio hovered on the edge of the battle, trying to make sense of it all, trying to find his place in it.
There was just so much.
Giants. There were giants. Eight feet tall, grey-skinned, dressed in ice armor and wielding ice magic.
Shadowbeasts. An intruding thought-- What if he was possessed again
? He reminded himself that he couldn't let fear stop him. Like the immortal had said.
And warrior-women. Cruel and beautiful. Flashy hair colors. Skilled in combat; perhaps more so than the giants. Fast. Light. Deadly.
The shadowbeasts and warrior-women seemed to be fighting together. He thought the giants were on his side.
And then there was no more time for staring. Ahead. Someone in trouble.
Quio steeled himself and rushed forward to help. Fumbling with cold hands.
The dagger he used to slash through a shadowbeast, easy, before slipping the weapon back to his belt. As he moved, he tugged the shield off his back, and hooked it over his arm.
Then gave a proper sprint forward, and promptly battered into one of a pair of warrior-women who were double-teaming a female ice giant.
The warrior he'd bashed into knocked back and lost her footing, surprised. She stumbled. Just for a moment.
Quick as the swing of an ax. Another ice giant had seen her fall. She was on the ground for perhaps a trill; dead a trill after that.
In the meantime the warrior's partner had turned towards Quio to attack.
He turned and she was already there; he barely got the shield up in place to deflect her blows. She thundered into him, knocking him back in turn, and then suddenly she was
gone-- run through from behind by the female giant's sword. Between the ribs. The warrior fell to the ground, choking.
But there was no sense of victory or relief. Or regret. No time for that. Already there were shadowbeasts nearby, forming out of the mist.
Together, Quio and the giants made quick work of them. That at least he could do.
For some reason, but it didn't make any sense-- the shadowbeasts didn't seem to see him.