• Closed • Arrival

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Quiet
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Arrival

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2nd Trial of Ymiden, Arc 718


Signing
"Signing while speaking"
"Speaking"

The taste of sea and salt water was splattered upon the rocks of stony shores, where a pair of lungs, thrown by the unforgiving push and pull of wild tides, struggled to regain themselves.

The ocean washed itself on his feet, cleaning itself on his soles, silently screaming its repeated wailing, crashing cries as it lapped against the jagged Quacia shores.

He wasn't unconscious. A gift from above he wasn't, else he might've met his end.

He had used the last of his strength to crawl up the shoreline, removing himself from the tanned waves. His body faced inland, his fist lightly grasping his quarterstaff, his forearms lightly splintered from the crashing of his raft. Through flittered eyes and foggy, unfocused vision, he could see the sky.

Overcast, and gray.

The lack of noise was the first thing to shock him. No seagulls.

New Haven always had seagulls.

But there was nothing here. No life, no noise, just the rocks beneath his torso.

Quiet rolled over, his thrown heels splashing in the water. He stared up at the featureless sky.

He did it.

He reached the old land.

Slowly, with effort apparent, he prodded himself up, utilizing his quarterstaff to do so. His feet felt alien on the rocks, and they longed for the sand shores of New Haven.

Quiet leaned on his staff, feeling the wind at the back of his neck urge him forwards.

Slow step by laboring slow step, he moved forwards up the shore, leaving the waves behind him, his quarterstaff behaving as his third, supporting leg as he moved his way forward.

Unsure, trepidatious, and hoping he would not be dead upon arrival.
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The very instant that Quiet had arrived upon the mainland, taking his first few steps into the grassy knolls that made up such a vast portion of the Quacian wilderness, an entity took notice of his presence. There was a sudden and chilling change in the atmosphere, the further one went inland, and what had been merely standard footfalls quickly found themselves interrupted by flickering apparitions of movement in the grass itself, the individual pieces of plant twisting themselves around so as to direct their tips towards the young man’s feet, gently pressing against them wherever possible of their own accord.

Yet, these grassy straws were, at most, a mildly inconvenient oddity. There was no sudden lashing forth in some faint attempt at cutting at the man, nor did the grass knit itself together into some measure of barrier to impede his progress. Instead, it merely served as a particularly mobile welcoming mat for his introduction to the mainland, shifting with each and every step.

Elsewhere, hidden within a minor copse of vegetation, smaller bushes and the impression of what would eventually become a mighty oak were it not condemned to a fiery end, a being opened its eyes anew. It had only been completed for a short while, and yet, the stinging of flesh that had accompanied its transformation had already begun to fade into little more than a distant memory, the creeping tendrils of Creep which had latched it in place releasing their newly birthed abomination into the world.

The being’s mind was… fuzzy, its thoughts indistinct, and difficult to perceive in a proper manner, as though it had only just aroused itself from a rather hazy sleep, and was now stumbling through the mental processes necessary to start its mind in a more appropriate fashion. Glimpses of what it had been flooded into its mind even as newly stretched sinew and flesh began to accommodate themselves to their newly distinct form of movement. It could recall the taste of garbage, the organic trash that the beings that had once owned it had thrown to it, the imperceptible differences between what was edible and inedible flaring into its still present snout.

It no longer felt hunger, it noted, stumbling forward on uneasy legs, its eyes briefly looking down upon its own form, taking note of the bulging of its stomach, the outward tumor of meat which hung loosely from its abdomen. It had made contact with the Thing That Knew of All Things, and it had accepted its offer, and though its mind still roiled with the beauty of truth away from the thoughts of its animalistic confines, it struggled to understand all that had taken place. The transformation was difficult to perceive in any true remembrance, but it knew that its intestines had been ripped free from its form, and replaced by the fibrous vine-growth, and that those few organs which still pulsated required little in the way of maintenance now that they had been exposed.

There was a sudden and imperceptible shift in its behavior, understanding as it became acutely aware of the presence of a being strolling through the nearby knoll. Its hand clenched briefly, taking notice of the exceptionally rusty axe which had been placed within its palm. The world communed to it anew, sharing whispers and thoughts and emotions and feelings and knowledge, glorious knowledge with it, of things that would break the psyche of lesser entities were they not all connected together so brilliantly, and it knew that the axe had once been used to hack at the roots of its family, and now it would be repurposed to hack at the roots of the mortal race.

The Ferahom had no need for stealth, nor any knowledge of such tactically-minded aspects. Its mind was focused, hazy and yet filled with brilliance, an acute understanding of the natural world that would never be held by those beings that did not accept the truth of the Creep. The pig-like being burst free from the foliage, its strangely mortal eyes locking immediately onto the presence of the traveler. Its body had been contorted into a strange and human-like shape, and it moved bipedal like a man, though it was clearly not. It still held the features of swine, the jowl and the teeth, but its eyes glowed with a strangely fanatic knowing, and its feet had stretched to impossible degrees, the flesh extended by interspersing flicks of vine, bandaging together finger-bits that would otherwise be unable to properly hold the axe.

For all of the gory outlook of the beast, it stumbled surprisingly little, nor did it seem to lose focus upon the man, and though its intestines had once been ripped through its stomach, and were now replaced by a tumor of foliage jutting from its gut, it smelled of a strangely sweet aroma, like freshly plucked honey, a sticky sap covering its ‘organs’. It made no grunts or swinish sounds as it approached, and it never faltered, and the axe in its hand readied to spill the blood of man.




word count: 861
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Signing
"Signing while speaking"
"Speaking"

Quiet's ankles, lightly caressed by the grass which accommodated him so, lightly tickled with the tips of the scratchy vegetation. Quiet, placing one foot in front of the other, was regaining his vigor. It hadn't yet hit him, the weight of his victory. But it had begun to register. He had reached land.

But something was preventing Quiet from feeling completely at ease in this new land.

It wasn't the soles of his feet aching against the new terrain, nor was it the chill in the Southern air.

It was that grass at his ankles, moving and shifting, dragging across his skin.

Quiet felt the wind. He knew where it was.

It wasn't at his feet.

It was then, gripping his quarterstaff close, that he saw the figure approach the borders of his vision.

Quickly, he shifted himself to face the creature, assuming the defensive stance he had taken countless times before, on an island a long while away.

Quiet hadn't anticipated finding life here. He anticipated finding smoldering remains. He anticipated the still-burning corpse of a death prolonged. He expected the ground to be laid so deep with ash that embers would suffocate before they burned.

He had yet to see if he was correct.

The creature was so far from Quiet's field of discernible vision that he was unsure of its appearance. He was unsure of its origin. It could have been a collection of dried leaves, blowing in the wind.

However, if a stranger from an unknown land washed up on the shores of New Haven, Quiet would absolutely attempt to eliminate it as a threat.

He expected the same from the inhabitants of this land.

But he would put up a fight.
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While the creature had not bothered to move any faster than a gentle march up until it had drawn within roughly six yards of the man, the apparent proximity of the unmoving mortal was enough to drive it into something of a furious fervor, and it promptly catapulted itself forward for the remaining distance, its strange and stitch-work legs carrying its swinish form forward. Even as it drew ever nearer, it would not bother with any sound of irritation, nor any hint of threat or terror. It was simply not the way of Ferahoms to make such noises.

The Ferahom, once it had drawn close enough - within the distance that person might hold a casual conversation, or some other measure of discussion - would promptly swing the rusty blade within its palm towards the offending intruder. The being was vicious and absolute in the movement, uncaring as to its own defense or protection so much as for the annihilation of its opponent. Though it was evident at such close proximity that the being had been twisted and had conformed to the tendrils of Creep, it held a surprising strength to it, causing the very air to whistle as it lashed out at the man.

Meanwhile, the grass itself began to stir into a frenzy of frantic momentum, twisting to and fro, perhaps somewhat uncomfortable to feel, but otherwise not causing any notable issues. Yet, there was little doubt that it was being affected somehow or another by the battle occurring just overhead. Was it simply hungry for spilled blood, or was it carrying out a more nefarious and informative role? It was impossible for the foreigner to discern the mental state or reasoning of a plant, and beyond that, he clearly had more important issues at hand.

Should the foreigner be able to dodge around its first blow, the beast would persist in its savage fashion, fully intent on pummeling the man with the axe, or else with its own meaty hand. Its jowls spread open, spraying saliva, tusks glistening in the new lubricant as it went about its violent activities. In such close proximity, it be ever more evident that the weapon in its hand was exceptionally rusted, perhaps some ancient antique from a bygone era when such activities as lumbering were more common.



word count: 392
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Signing
"Signing while speaking"
"Speaking"

Time was not of any measurable essence.

The grass which knotted and grabbed at Quiet's feet would have to go widely unnoticed.

Quiet was in no mood to die as soon as he arrived.

The beast charged quickly, its features only now becoming apparent to him. An alien sort of creation, unfamiliar flesh writhing, formed into shapes unlike those of any man Quiet had ever seen. Pink, sickly pink, as if tanned by a black sun. Elongated in the foot and the nose, as demented and broken as Quiet had never hoped for it to be, as demented and broken as the world around him. Silent, unwelcoming, gray and hopeless.

Its limbs stitched together in haste and desperation.

An imperfect creation, an attempt made in earnest at something solid. It was an imitation - one made without the proper instruction or education necessary to build something closer to form.

The blade it held was as foreign to Quiet as the beast itself. Curved to a point. The wind rushed against the tool, breaking on its edge, warning him of its potential.

The moment Quiet had seen the tool, he immediately had visions of that tool embedded in flesh flash behind his eyes.

As it approached, Quiet decided mercy would not be something he would show.

If that meant landing on these shores, abandoning the title of ambassador, then so be it.

If that meant landing on these shores with malicious intent, so be it.

If that meant Quiet would need to become an invader of this new land rather than a guest, that is what he would become.

He immediately sidestepped to his left, the wind guiding his feet as he did so, allowing the beast to swing its weapon where Quiet had stood.

Quiet, identifying the slight hook in the under part of the axe's blade, a slight gap between its handle and the sharp end, had an idea.

As the beast struck, Quiet slid the tip of his quarterstaff into the gap, hooking the axe. He slid a wider length through, pushing the tip, now, against the back of the beast's neck, forcing its axe arm to extend. Quiet then forced the tip of his staff to the ground, creating an acute angle. He turned his body, placing a foot on the outside of the creature's elbow, and forcing his foot to the ground.

He pulled his staff from the ground, lifting it, as an executioner would their weapon, and releasing it, with a two-handed strike, on the creature's skull.

He pulled his weapon, jumping back, entering a defensive stance once more, certain that the job had been completed, but never too careful.
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If there had ever been any sign that the strange and abominable substance which had stretched across the landscape was capable of displaying some level of intelligence, perhaps it was the mere presence of the Ferahom. Stitched together from parts and pieces of once autonomous creatures, the vine-like growth had wrapped about their forms, contorting and twisting and re-shaping solid flesh and meat into something beyond its normal confines, creating its own image of what a perfect humanoid warrior ought to be appear like in the stead of such pitiable and weak mortals.

The creature swung with a surprisingly might, lashing out at the foreign invader only to fail in making contact with its blade. There was no stutter of confusion as may have been found in a more standard mortal opponent, however, and the monstrosity recovered in excellent time. That did not, of course, prevent Quiet from managing to lodge his own weapon within the lip of the axe, twisting it about his form, and managing to ground the swine-like abomination. For all of its strength and power, it was certainly not as dexterous as the human, and in mere moments, Quiet had slammed his quarterstaff against its skull, met with the sickly crunch of bone and the squelch of brain matter as shards of skull fragmented into the soft organ beneath.

The mortal leapt away from the grounded beast, and his intuitions were correct in that regard, for though a blow to the skull such as the one delivered would easily have exterminated a being not constructed of such dread genesis, the Ferahom was a more durable entity. It did not feel the pain which would have ripped through it, nor did it acknowledge its own injury beyond a flickering thought. It merely lashed out once more, hurtling the axe towards the man with vigor, hoping to catch him off guard with the sudden throw, and, in a moment it was upon its own feet again, blood leaking off of its head in droves.

The sweet smell intensified too, as it was revealed that at least a portion of the thing’s brain had been overlaid with the plant-growth. Without need for a weapon, nor regard for any pain nor injury inflicted upon it, the Ferahom silently broke free from its self-imposed wait, rushing forward with the intent to slam directly into the man, to tackle him to the ground and batter him to death with its bare and meaty fists if necessary.




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Quiet
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Signing
"Signing while speaking"
"Speaking"

The hatchet was easy enough to avoid, or so Quiet would initially believe. If he had expected the attack, however, it may have been simpler. As it stood currently, Quiet fully believed the creature to have been subdued.

He was incorrect, of course.

So when that stumbling mass of vaguely flesh-colored patchwork rose once more to take out its aggression on the young foreigner, he was, by and large, caught unaware. He made himself ready for the potential of furthered retaliation, but he by no means expected it. And when that hatchet flew, he did his best to parry it. He moved the southernmost tip of his staff to meet the blade of the axe, attempting to push it to the side. His attempt was lazy, however. Rushed, as a result of his complacency, his expectations of victory over the beast.

The hatchet slid across the polished wood of Quiet’s staff, grazing his calf as it did so, scraping his flesh and leaving a slight, open wound under his robes. He winced more at the surprise than at the pain, recognizing that the stinging on his calf was a momentary discomfort compared to the tribulations the rest of the wildlife in Quacia would no doubt have prepared for him.

He grit his teeth, keeping his focus and reeling back into striking position, silently noting where the axe had skittered down towards the stony beach behind him.

This land had already shown its lack of humanity to quiet - insinuating that the people of his island nation were completely correct in fleeing from the monstrosities that plague this land, or the catastrophe which may have caused it. He was less surprised than he should have been when the creature, smelling of honeyed desperation and undiluted violence, threw itself onto failing ankles and clamored towards Quiet, noiseless and determined.

In panic, Quiet swung his staff, full force with a two-fisted grip, towards the knees of the attacking entity, hoping for connection.
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The snapping of a bone was something that was as much felt in the grip of the hand as it was heard by the ears. Truthfully, most of the noises which disseminated outwards from any humanoid body were similar, easier to feel the internal vibrations than to listen to the sounds as they were disrupted and dispelled by a mixture of liquid and flesh. Quiet, whether or not he was martially inclined or not, or whether he was altogether familiar with the noise would immediately recognize that he had caused rather severe damage to the creature with his two-handed blow.

Immediately, the knees of the beast had crackled with a noise like the crunching of gravel, and the creature had stumbled forward weakly before collapsing. It did not utter any noise of pain nor irritation, but there was clearly a measure of exhaustion surrounding it if its hurried breaths were any indication. Its unnatural eyes still gazed with resolve, and though it had been flung rather harshly to the ground, it did not necessarily prevent it from combat. That being said, the creature had to forcibly lift itself off of the ground with one arm and swing with the other, a mixture of awkward and difficult movements that altogether made it far easier to dodge in its future assaults.

As the beast crawled forward, further opportunities to dispatch it back to the nether realm from whence it had crawled would appear. It left its head open for blows every time that it moved, though that seemed to have done somewhat little to dissuade it the last time. Quiet would perhaps now take acute notice of the fact that the creature was seemingly numbed to the concept of pain, either naturally, or as a result of the strange and alien plant growth that covered its form.

For all of the difficulty the beast now possessed in its assault, it was a relatively tough monstrosity, a Ferahom, one of the shock soldiers of the Creep which empowered it, unwilling to lose a fight to a mere mortal, or ever to surrender that which it had gained through its floral master. The creature lashed out once more, showing a degree of intelligence in that it aimed near the feet of the man, apparently attempting to strike where he would have difficulty in defending himself, and it showed little regard for its own self-preservation in the face of potential death, focusing instead of assailing that which was before it.

All the while, the grass underfoot lapped at the spilled nectar of the creature.




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