"Swear on me life, 'ai aven't seen 'em!" Wendel said with shaky hands raised defensively.
Rhys snorted and spat a wad of red-tinged snot on the melted remains of the outer wall to the side of Wendel's head. "Oh? 'Cause them's a mighty fine pair o' britches you didn't have yes'sertrial," he sneered contemptuously.
For a moment, Wendel simply stared. "Ai 'aven't got yer britches, ai promise, ai dunno wha's 'appened to 'em, ai mean, ai go' plenny o' 'em anyways..."
Rhys' lips curled sharply, and for a moment, Wendel swore Rhys made a growling sound like a feral beast, earning a frightened whimper. He shouldn't have said that, he most definitely shouldn't have said that... but instead of the expected beating, nothing. When he found the courage to open his eyes again, Rhys looked almost confused. "Wassat you?"
Wendel blinked. "Ai thought 'twas you." There it was again. Like the grating of stone against stone, a deep and powerful note that made his hackles rise. Almost in unison, their eyes turned towards the source... just in time to catch a brief glimpse of it. Squat, round, with four stubby three-toed legs and no eyes. The only real noticeable feature about it was its skin, that looked almost like rocky plates broken up by molten red rivers of magma... and the giant, cavernous mouth, filled with glowing red fangs. One glimpse was all they got before it tore through them, turning their screams to drowning gargles before they could even open their mouths.
By the time Captain River found the remains of his two missing men, the beasts had rendered them unrecognizable; just two charred lumps, curled up in the dirt with a five-foot wide halo of scorched earth to mark their remains. It would seem that the troubles of the Last Knights of Storm's Edge had only just begun.
Well folks, Storm's Edge is under attack yet again, and this time, if you don't do it, the fate of Rharne is at risk. Yes, I'm being completely serious.
Storm's Edge, the one and only fort that separates the Stormwastes from the rest of civilized Rharne, has been crippled. Currently, due to the recent attacks, the distractions of the War, and the current absence of any significant Warden presence, the Flameborn threat has been allowed to grow more and more powerful, and Storm's Edge has taken some serious beating as a result. This event begins at 50% integrity. If at any point it is allowed to fall to 0%, then Storm's Edge will fall beyond repair or rebuild, the event will end, and Flameborn will invade the Stormlands, causing massive and unmitigated damage to Rharne.
However, here's what you can do to help! I've set a list of objectives to be self-modded below. For each objective not completed before the next update, that integrity meter is going to fall. If at least one person completes the objective, then congratulations, you don't lose any integrity... and if three people complete an objective (this can be within the same thread, within three different threads, whichever way you want), you'll gain integrity! Yes, if even more people decide to complete one objective after that, you will gain increased integrity, but you will also gain diminishing returns, so don't think you can all focus on one and I won't see it.
Also... more is coming. A lot more. And if you want to find clues about what might be on the way next, you're going to have to complete some secret objectives while completing the missions below. No, I'm not telling you what they are... and yes, I have scattered some red herrings in these clues as well, so you're gonna have to really use your head if you want to be in with a chance of figuring out what's planned for you next, and preparing for it.
If you want to check off one of these objectives, please use the template to link the thread so I can monitor progress and distribute clues. Remember - you can complete each task multiple times, or with multiple people, and it will still count, so don't be afraid to jump straight in.
Also, I'm aware that threads have already been started - and for those, congrats, you've earned a head start, and a single possibly-but-probably-not clue. You'll know it when you see it. Have fun!
PREVIOUS OBJECTIVE 1:
The fortress wall has been destroyed in previous attacks and is now crumbling in some areas and completely collapsed in others.
- Lookout from the towers.
Prevent more monsters from ambushing by keeping a lookout from the watchtowers and relaying details of the landscape to command.
- Extinguish the flames.
Fires keep sprouting all over Storm's Edge and are preventing workers from working.
- Barricade the gates.
Create a blockade to stop anything else breaking through the gates.
- Heal the soldiers.
Lots of wounded men and women all over need their burns and cuts dealt with so they can keep fighting! Some are also traumatised by what they've seen and need calming.
- Save the library.
The library is currently on fire and holds a lot of important information! The librarian is also missing...
- Save the armoury.
The armoury is collapsing and all the weapons and tools inside are at risk of being damaged or lost.
- Calm the cavalry.
All the horses and Storm Rocs are flustered and edgy, they can't be allowed to bolt.
- Call for reinforcements.
Whether it's recruiting in the towns, returning to Rharne for more Lightning Knights, or recruiting other players to the cause.
- Courier for supplies.
Food, water, medicine, they're all important and the stocks in Storm's Edge are running dangerously low.
- Support the soldiers.
Fight alongside them or provide aid and relief, just do something to keep them from falling!
- Assist the command.
Leadership is hard in times of low morale. Rally the troops, and help the Knights do the same?
- Clear the barracks.
There's lots of rubble and debris stopping everyone from getting a good night's sleep. Rest is important too, you know!
- Repel the beasts.
Get rid of the beasts!
- Kill the beastmother.
Something's controlling the beasts - hunt it down and kill it, maybe they'll stop attacking?
Congratulations! As of the first update, the new integrity of Storm's Edge has been upgraded to 75%. The damaged wall has been repaired. You have successfully called for reinforcements, and because your call was overwhelmingly successful, the Order of the Adunih has also sent healers. Supplies have been gathered. The library was saved and (almost) all of its books remain intact. The flames have been extinguished and will not be causing further damage.
However, the gate was not barricaded, and the cavalry beasts were not calmed.
PREVIOUS OBJECTIVE 2:
Now that you've repaired the wall, stop beasts from climbing over it or trying to break it down again!
- Scout the Stormlands.
Now without cavalry, someone needs to scout the Stormlands to watch out for incoming threats.
- Kill the Breacher Beast.
A huge siege beast has broken through the gate, and seems focused on destroying any buildings it finds, opening holes for more beasts. Stop it before it breaks anything else! High Danger. (Refer to the Lightning Knights Mission Danger Rankings)
A horde of ravaging creatures has invaded the forecourt, through the open gate. They're attacking everyone in sight. Medium Danger. (Refer to the Lightning Knights Mission Danger Rankings)
A giant monster has invaded the courtyard, through the open gate. It's attacking everyone in sigh. High Danger (Refer to the Lightning Knights Mission Danger Rankings)
Spooked and unchained, the Lightning Knight horses have escaped the stables. Find them and bring them back!
- Hunt the wild Storm Rocs.
Spooked and free, the Justiciar's Storm Rocs have flown from their nest. Find them and bring them back!
- Find the Lieutenant’s Zephyrus.
In the chaos of the stable, the Liuetenant's own Zephyrus has gone missing. Find it and bring it back!
- Research the beasts.
Use the library resources and whatever other information you can find to work out what might have made these beasts, and how to defeat them!
- Courier for supplies.
With the invasion spreading and the cavalry lost, couriering just became much more dangerous.
- Assist reinforcements.
The reinforcements have arrived - fight alongside them to repel the creatures.
- Seal up the holes.
Holes are beginning to appear on the walls and in the barracks where the creatures are trying to break through - stop them!
- Restore the armoury.
Find the tools for the blacksmith and clean up the armoury - even help the smith if you can!
- Protect the well.
The source of all water for Storm's Edge needs protecting!
- Repair the storeroom.
If you don't repair the storeroom, where are you going to put all those hard-earned supplies?
- Support the healers.
Help the Order of the Adunih repair the bodies and minds of fallen soldiers, and protect them from the beasts while they carry out their duties.
- Beat the cold.
The freeze of the Cold Cycle is almost as deadly as the monsters at the doors. Do whatever you can to beat the freeze, and help others do the same.
Congratulations all around! As of the second update, the new integrity of Storm's Edge has been upgraded to 130%. Storm's Edge has now been fully restored to its former glory, and additional reinforcements have been added in the form of surplus troops and modifications to the fortifications. As a result, Storm's Edge is now able to repel all attacks for the remainder of the season, and the enemy has decided to hold back their three incoming invasions while they gather more forces. Something is coming. Something big. But you have struck a blow that has made the enemy change its regard for you. For now.
The remaining challenges are those that will help retain your current level of integrity, provide further bonuses during the fight to come, or help you uncover more about the creatures that you will be expected to fight during the first invasion. As these challenges will sustain for the rest of the cycle, they will be marked as complete once five people have completed the challenge, or they have been completed on five occasions.
- Find and kill the Inferno Worms
These creatures are approximately five feet long and one foot thick and so hot to the touch that they can burrow straight through rock and leave a molten hole in its place. They attack by shooting jets of flame from a distance and burrowing underneath prey to unleash a sneak-attack, but when caught in close-range combat can use their hardened skin and the spike at their head to impale opponents. Their body is covered in molten rock, granting resistance to slashing weapons such as swords, but can be stabbed between the plates of rock-like armour.
Considered the younger offspring, or revised prototypes, of the Breacher Beast, these creatures continue to wander the Stormwastes causing danger wherever they go. They are approximately 5ft in height and are heavily-armoured siege-monsters designed to break through barriers and shield-walls. These creatures normally travel in small herds of pairs or trios, and appear to be scouting, or exploring ruins and caves, potentially looking for vulnerabilities to bypass Storm's Edge. They travel at high speeds and are incredibly agile, able to jump off walls to attack from unpredictable angles. High Danger. (Refer to the Lightning Knights Mission Danger Rankings)
Forecourt Beasts from the previous invasion have been spotted floating over the walls of Storm's Edge, spitting fire from above on the guards and attempting to spill chaos over the inner sanctum. They can either be shot down by arrows or thrown projectiles, or can be caught in chain nets and brought down to be killed. Some have been known to erupt upon death in a burst of flame and molten rock. Veteran soldiers now consider them only a pest, but they can still cause considerable damage to the inexperienced, with third-degree burns and severe damage to wooden structures. Medium Danger. (Refer to the Lightning Knights Mission Danger Rankings)
Appearing through the Stormwastes and encroaching into the Stormlands, it is rarely safe to go out alone anymore after the infestation of beasts was routed from Storm's Edge during the initial invasions, but has since spread through the surrounding territories. These creatures stand at approximately 3ft tall and now always attack in packs of at least three, specialise in attacking in low-light conditions, appear to hold the ability to sense heat, and use wolf-like pack tactics to ambush lone travellers and poorly-protected supply routes. Their claws and teeth are searing hot and apply burns to unprotected skin. High Danger. (Refer to the Lightning Knights Mission Danger Rankings)
Monsters made from pure jets of floating flame have begun sprouting wherever there is flame, both outside and within the walls of Storm's Edge. They appear in fireplaces, on cooking stoves and even on matchsticks, as small as a thumb or as large as a human head. Believed to be corrupted spirits, they attack any living things nearby with piercing screams that sound like high-pitched roaring flames, resulting in bleeding eyes and ears, severe headaches, burns to the skin and one case of spontaneous human combustion. As beings of pure flame, physical attacks have been shown to hold no effect on them. If left to roam free, they can last anywhere up to three full breaks before naturally expiring.
High Danger. (Refer to the Lightning Knights Mission Danger Rankings)
Rare creatures. Sentient flame elementals. Small, under 2ft in height. Highly aggressive and both faster and stronger than the average human. Capable of regenerating anything up to moderate wounds in heat, and anything up to serious wounds when bathing in flames (including those that it is capable of creating itself). If it totally/is totally engulfed in flames, it can perform a short teleport to another flame within 500ft, including out of eyesight. Can summon and manipulate flames and heat in anything it holds and within 10ft of its body. Is also capable of controlling and ordering Heathounds, Fire Worms, Breachers and Firespitters, through a language called Tongue of Flame, classed "hard" and "rare" in Linguistics.
Skills: Master Acrobatics. Master Unarmed Combat. Expert Thrown Weapons. Expert Tactics. Expert Endurance. Competent Strength. Competent Climbing.Extreme Danger. (Refer to the Lightning Knights Mission Danger Rankings)
The Stormwastes are still filled with strange creatures, flame monsters, and all manner of enemies of Rharne looking to push for an advantage in these dangerous times. Be prepared for anything and make sure that none of them have chance to make it out into the Stormlands.
- Train with the Knights.
In order to prepare everyone for the battles to come, training sessions are being held for all knights. Volunteers are encouraged to engage in them as well, to prepare them for if they need to take up a sword themselves, or to better train the more inexperienced of their ranks.
- Cure the disease.
A disease is spreading slowly through Storm's Edge, which has already been named Flamefever - it causes high temperatures, dehydration, headaches and weakness in limbs. Water from the Lake of Lovalus has been shown to be an effective remedy, however various other methods are currently being used to treat and assist in the recovery of the afflicted. Choose which you will assist.
- Cook some food.
Supplies are now plentiful but the ingredients still need to be prepared properly. Cook a meal for the knights and the volunteers, or help the cooks!
- Continue researching the monsters.
Gennadiya was found performing autopsies on the monsters to discover more about their biology, in the hopes of discovering their origins or weaknesses. Assist her - whether it is by providing her with more bodies, or assisting in autopsies, or providing live specimens through capture.
- Close the rift.
After a minor confrontation between the Lieutenant and Kasoria, friction is developing between the volunteers and the Lightning Knights over the boundaries of how much authority and freedom is being granted to new volunteers. Help bridge the divide in any way you can, through talking or spending time with skeptical Lightning Knights.
- Assist the Wardens.
Vivian's use of the powers of the Wardens of Lake Lovalus has led to a growing interest in her abilities and their potential. Leadership is quietly pulling aside individuals and requesting that they assist Wardens in their duties, and learn more about their powers if possible.
Pray with the Thunder Priestesses.
The Thunder Priestesses have begun walking through the ranks of volunteers, offering quiet prayers to Ilaren and spreading their teachings to improve morale. They are willing to let any interested volunteer or Knight accompany them in their duties, both within and outside Storm's Edge, offering comfort to those that need it and support to fighters during battles with their powers.
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