• Mature • Siege of Storm's Edge: Roaring Flames, Smoking Steel (Open)

Objective: Kill the Courtyard Beast

17th of Cylus 720

Beyond the city of Rharne lies the Stormlands, which is home to a number of farms, forests, fields, Lake Lovalus, and the River Zynyx. This subforum also includes the Stormwastes to the south.

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Kasoria
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Siege of Storm's Edge: Roaring Flames, Smoking Steel (Open)

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17th trial, Cylus, 720
Storm's Edge
Midnight




There was a sound like the end of the world, and screaming followed it. That was the first thing the man they all called Karim heard when he was wrenched out of sleep.

He had his sword in hand before his senses were fully about him and the room swam into focus. One foot already out of bed, muscles bunches, decades of killing instincts and street savvy translating to a paranoia that went well beyond his conscious mind. He breathed in and his ears started to work... and all he could do was curse creatively for a few seconds.

Something vast and belligerent slammed into the stones of Storm's Edge, and Kasoria saw dust drift down from the ceiling. That wasn't a good sign. Now was the sheer, abject pandemonium going on outside. He could hear an army's worth of running feet, a choir of shrieking voices, and what sounded like the clash and scrape of weapons underneath that. The Raggedy Man of Etzos swung himself out of bed and got to his feet. He was fully clothed, of course. The attack was imminent, and while he might have had time to sleep, that didn't mean he needed to indulge in such luxuries as "bathing" or "undressing".

Good thing you didn't.

Kasoria stepped out into the hall and strode down it quickly. Refusing to sprint or run. Taking the time to listen, piece together what he could. There was a babble of voices in every throat, but he could hear conversation, jabbering, screams, wails.

"-they came over the walls and took 'em, jus' took 'em like plucking apples-"

"-saw 'em bite a fucking horse in half, I swear, an' they don't die-"

"-sword back in shape, squire, and meet me at the Forecourt, that's what that damned thing is-"

Forecourt, then.

"Mister Karim?!"

He didn't stop, nor turn. If whoever it was wanted to speak, they could catch up. Apparently they did, and Kasoria flicked a generous glance over to see one of the kids from the training he'd led. Not bad with a sword, but better with a spear. Like most of them.

"S-Sir, they're attacking-"

"Yeah, I fuckin' guessed that part. Why aincha wiv' the others?"

"I... I mean, they sent me-"

"Sent you fer what?!"

He stopped and whirled. The boy paled but swallowed. All the hell-spawned creatures out there, and the straw-haired youth looked more frightened of him than any abomination out there in the flaming darkness. Eventually the kid found his voice, rthough.

"They... They sent me to find you... sir. To lead us."

Another deep, trembling rumble shook the stone corridor. It wasn't like Rhakros. That had been a cause he cared about, with people he... yes, he'd mourned them, in his way. But Highmark Kasoria had been there for extermination and justice, not coin. He wouldn't be dying in Storm's Fucking Edge, not for the redhead cunt or the lying cunt or any of the other idiots who'd planted their feet here in front of an army. A rap on a wall, a trip through the Emea, and he was gone. He might even feel bad about it, but nothing compared to had bad he'd feel if he died spewing up blood, knowing he'd never see his son again, and all for a purse of coin he'd never likely see.

Fuck these people. They aren't yours. They're just...

"... take me to 'em."

Stupid old man.

The courtyard wasn't so much in chaos, as it had been transported to some mad heathen's idea of hell. Creatures that defied nature and description were clambering over the walls, through fresh holes in them, eating and slashing and hacking and roaring and spewing flames and teeth and darkness itself, it seemed. Defenders were running around and meeting them however, wherever they could. Now, that reminded him of Rhakros. Courage in the face of the monstrous. Ordinary humans, men and women without magic or the touch of Morties, but fighting against... Fates, he didn't even know what.

Kasoria looked where the Boy gestured and saw his class, spears held tight in their hands. Trying to keep as tight a line as they could, bristling line of spears held up against...

"Fuck me runnin'."

He didn't have the fords for what was in front of them. The word "cat" popped into his head after seeing it move, the sinewy way its muscles seemed to wriggle and writhe... but nothing about it seemed natural, or even living. It simply existed, flaming and screaming with a maw that burned and dripped oil and claws that melted the ground even as they scraped against the dirt. Whatever skin had covered it was long sloughed off and burned to ash; now there was only bone and blackened muscle burned onto it, scorching, blazing organs inside the cage of ribs.

And before it, his students held their ground. Terrified and pissing themselves and praying to gods Kasoria would spit on. They held fast.

"Run," he whispered as he started to run across the courtyard. "Fuck're you doin' trying to fight-"

The way it moved... so much like a cat. Almost lazily. Contemptuously, but with a deftness that one was born with. A paw swiped out, leaving blazing tails in the sky like it was tearing the night itself to shreds... and took a woman's head off like it was grabbing a grape. She barely had time to scream, and his students, his brave and stupid students, they roared and lunged forward as one-

-jabbing their spears at the monster and it exploded with fury-

"NO!"

He remembered watching the alley cats back home. How quickly their taut, tense bodies could become whirlwinds of violence. This thing had been hurt, now. Pierced and wounded. Not badly, just enough to annoy it, teach it these insects could hurt it... and that was the most maddening of all. It barreled into the spear line, slashing this way and that, setting aflame what it didn't dice into chunks. Kasoria roared at he saw men he'd helped, women he'd scolded, boys he'd trained, become burning, staggering candles or just... piles of offal.

Still they did not run. Even as they wept and gnashed their teeth, their hands did not abandon their weapons. But the monster was not finished with them and with one final swing of its paw-

CRACK

The Fire-Tiger screeched indignantly as its black claws gouged against a shimmering shield conjured into life in front of what was left of the volunteers. For a moment, they could see the confusion, even on such alien features, made up of bone and armor and fire. Then it seemed to follow the flow of the ether, the song of the Spark... and saw Kasoria standing there, with an ax in one hand, a sword in the other... the latter of which was raised and pointed at the Abrogative spell.

PTOOF!

The Raggedy Man spat to one side and inhaled sharply. The Fire-Tiger growled lowly as it saw more waves of blue-white ether ripple out from the insect with the metal hands. Come out of him like water from a fountain and cover him like armor. The sword lowered for a moment and the shield vanished a moment later. He couldn't strain himself too much, not when he needed all the magic he had for this... thing.

"Want youse t'leave this t'me!" He shouted out, never taking his eyes from the holes in its skull the Fire-Tiger seemed to have for eyes. "Go off, find somethin' youse can handle!"

"Sir, we can't-"

"That's a fuckin' order, boy! An' I ain't got time to-OI?!"

The monster started to look back to the volunteers, and Kasoria moved sharply to draw its eye back to him. Back where it belonged. He raised the weapons again, body crouched... one predator to another. Unmistakably. Or so he hoped the monster would see it. He growled out "Go!" one more time, and once his students had scuttled away, off to fight some other clutch of still-burning monsters... he charged.

The Fire-Tiger snarled and pounced. Vast, feline body covering the distance not just with speed but accuracy, but size was size and the smaller creature was always the more maneuverable-

-Kasoria spinning to one side just as they almost connected, gladius slashing out as he went to grind and spark against the claws that would have pinned him and impaled him all in the same movement-

-ax coming up and under at the same time, spinning movement following through until-

SHUNK

The Fire-Tiger landed badly. Which one would, if a broad-headed war ax had cleaved a hefty chunk out of your leg... especially when that leg was mostly bone and flame. The monstrous creature wobbled on its wounded leg and turned slowly to see-

-Kasoria already coming in again, face stone and eyes naught but black pools in his head. No thoughts of home, no faces or voices to get in his way. This moment, this breath, this arena... this was the core of what he did. He had to become one with it, or some tiny thing he missed would come along and cut his fucking head off. The Fire-Tiger roared and flames spewed from its mouth into the sky and it swung straight down-

-human dodging, sidestepping, nimble despite the lines on his face-

-then slashing straight at the side towards him-

-Kasoria facing the blade and sending a pulse of ether into the air before him, gritting his teeth-

CRACK

Again the Fire-Tiger howled as its blow was stopped by what it thought was thin air, until he saw that patch of air burn blue and white for an instant. Kasoria still staggered, though. The sheer, unholy physics of the creature was unbelievable. His Spark was already taking a battering and he was draining it trill by trill, keeping the layers of replicative armor over him alive.

Stop complaining, old man.

So he didn't waste an opening, or a chance. He seized its confusion and surged forwards, hacking up with his ax at the paw that had been stopped in mid-air as it withdrew, cleaving deep into it, getting close enough to-

WHOOOSHHHH

"FUCK!"

-slash across the Fire-Tiger's throat and a gout of flame exploded out from the wound. Fast and close enough to explode all over that armor of his, and knocked him back a good ten feet, single course word trailing after him as he went. His turn to land badly. When he shook off the stars he looked up and saw the Fire-Tiger coughing and shaking its head. Still "bleeding" fire from the wound... but not down. Not out. And very angry.

Kasoria spat again, and got to his feet. His Spark groaned as he pushed out more ether, repairing the gaps in his replicative armor. Not deep enough to stop his hair from singing, nor his face becoming burned. But good enough. He crossed the ax and gladius in front of him for a moment, then wrenched them apart-

-casting sparks into the air with the gesture, and glaring at the monster.

"Come 'ead, you ugly cunt-"

Then he was screaming and it was screaming and charging and all the trials of Storm's Edge stopped existing save for that single, hateful battle.
Last edited by Kasoria on Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1945
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Vega
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Re: Siege of Storm's Edge: Roaring Flames, Smoking Steel (Open)

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Never order at the drive-through.........
It had become apparent to anyone who was paying attention, that Vega didn't actually sleep.

She sometimes dozed off for a twenty bits at a timeEndurance capstone: Vega has become so used to living and working without sleep that she now manages on the absolute bare minimum. Usually, in day-to-day living she sleeps for maybe four hours a night but in times of pressure or when under stress she can "power nap" - a 20 minute snooze counts as a night's sleep for her - and she can maintain this during pressure. However, when that pressure wears off (be it a ten-day-long siege or a month-long battle) - Vega will then "crash" and will need to sleep for 12 hours a night for half as long as she's just survived on power-naps (so 5 nights and 15 in the examples)., but she didn't actually sleep at all. It was one of the reasons that she seemed to be everywhere at once, perhaps. Because the other thing that was apparent - whether one was paying attention or not - was that she also almost never stopped working. She stopped to eat and sometimes the quiet man in the hat, the one who could make a feast out of almost nothing, sat with her and they talked together. Her husband, Arlo, knew that she sometimes needed to be forced to actually stop moving. But mostly, most of the time, Vega worked.

This particular evening, she'd been in the courtyard, dancing. Now, to many people that might not seem to be work, but the newly-initiated Thunder Priestess was marked by Daia and so, when one of the kids here had pointed to an old vegetable patch which had been withered and left to rot, Vega had given him a grin. "Wanna see somethin' wicked?" she asked and he nodded. Vega was the Mortalborn of children and, for all that he was a tall and gangly lad for his age, he was still a child, too. She knew that he was afraid, confused, and needed hope.

And so, Vega danced The Favored has the ability to generate more Lifeforce than they need while dancing. Passively, this keeps the Favored young and vigorous, staving off the effects of aging. However, when used in the presence of decay, decrepit, or anything past the prime of its life (as this only applies to living things), this ability will turn back the biological clock, returning them to their peak, and never younger. This is strictly physical, and does not affect the mind, memories, etc. For simple things such as plants and small animals, this affect kicks in over the span of a few minutes. As the dance continued, as she moved and laughed with him - for of course, they danced together - the root vegetables in the ground were once again fresh. "How did you do that?" The lad asked and Vega's lopsided grin told him that she wasn't about to say more than this. "It's a kind of magic," she said.

"I reckon, we gather 'em up an' you take them to the kitchens. Everythin' helps, and you'll be a hero," she said. "Give them to Arlo, he's the one with the hat. Tell him that you danced with a red-head an' they grew. He'll know." Of course he would, she knew, and so the two of them started to pull up the vegetables from the still-soggy earth.

And that's what they were doing when it happened.

Suddenly, there was a creature there and Vega cursed that the gates hadn't been fixed yet. The people here were not knights - they were patrolling, they were doing their duties. The people - those very few people - who were here they were civilian volunteers and, Vega knew, half of them were likely to die. Without hesitation, as she saw the enormous tiger-looking thing, she drew her sword and stepped forward. "Go an' get help," she said to the boy. "Get someone in command," she gave him a slight shove and he nodded and ran.

There were flame-beasts everywhere and Vega moved, slicing one of the flame creatures in half as she did; her strength and sword skill were such that now that she knew where to hit the frogernickels, as she called them, she sliced through one, then another as she made her way to the flame-tiger. "Come on then, you lovely lookin' tigernickel," she muttered and she saw that the creature had leaped and engaged with Giggles, as she called Karim. She rolled her eyes just briefly as she realised that the kid had brought him. "Famula's wet farts, I meant get someone from the Lightning Knights, lad!" Vega yelled as she sidestepped one of the frog-like creatures and brought her sword around in a graceful arc to slice it.

And, the tigernickel Vega's name for the Courtyard Beast turned and sniffed and pounced at her, suddenly and completely focused. "In yer face!" she yelled as it seemed to bloody well heal itself withing seconds. Giggles had hurt it, she'd seen him do so as he fought it and, suddenly, the young woman realised, they were going for her. That was fine, she knew what she had to do. She stepped, then leaped over one of the creatures, somersaulting in the air and landing with her back to a wall. She couldn't fight them on all sides, but so long as she could see them coming, she knew that she was fine.

Vega was already strong, but in that moment, her strength Capstone: In moments of pressure or concern - Vega's nature kicks in and she becomes impassioned. This adds to her strength, effectively doubling it for the duration of her panic or fury. However, during this time she is very focused on the task she is doing / whatever is causing her to feel that way. Her ability to focus on anything else is lost to her, and effectively she works tirelessly until the situation is resolved. If this lasts for more than one hour in any 24-hour period, when the second hour wears off, Vega will get exhausted and need to rest for at least 12 hours. Effectively, Vega's strength is now 500/250 doubled. She stood and she focused on killing every single creature that attacked her. As the tigernickel pounced at her, Vega dropped slightly and used her now-way-beyond-normal strength to bury her sword in it, aiming to slice off it's head, at the neck. Her movements were so fast, they seemed slow in comparison, but her sword was just ... there. It looked graceful and almost serene. Of course - any one who thought she was serene was probably put quickly to rights by her "Yeeehaw!"

OOC NoteThe plot notes for my Tier 2 tracker says "- Kill the Courtyard Beast / Breacher Beast (0/1)
These are high-danger creatures and there are multiples of them, so don't worry if someone has already killed them. The Courtyard Beast seems to possess an innate ability that allows it to sense combat ability, and immediately hones in on Vega should she appear nearby." Hence why I've got it - and its buddies - going all for her

word count: 1232
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Vega's skin has a reflective metallic sheen with a red glow. Her eyes still swirl biqaj colours, but one colour is always bright red which glows like fire. She has a bright red glow in her chest, situated directly under the mark of a heart (Daia mark) in the middle of a glowing silver dragon on her chest (Xiur). She's unnaturally warm to the touch
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Re: Siege of Storm's Edge: Roaring Flames, Smoking Steel (Open)

As the beast crashed through the gate, sending splinters in every direction, and men and women fleeing for their lives, it was as if a filter had been cast through the crowds of the Storm's Edge courtyard. Those of weaker constitution and cowardly spirit turned heel and ran for their lives, often shouting and screaming, swept away in crowds and guided by nothing but the primal instincts of prey. If not for the stronger-willed that turned to face the creature, many would have been plucked from the crowds like choice ripe berries at the heat of harvest season. The Lightning Knights stood as proud as they could muster, armed with assortments of large square shields, short metal spears, swords, axes, and one even had the gall to wear a huge-looking lance in a single hand, that wouldn't have looked out of place sat upon a prize tournament stallion, etched with backwards-facing barbs clearly designed for ripping large creatures asunder with a single piercing charge.

The fact that the wielder also wore the shining silver badge of the Lightning Knight Guardians, and the triple-pin of a Lieutenant, seemed an afterthought compared to the behemoth of a customised weapon he carried, poised in one hand, for there could be no better badge of status than this, combined with the ease of which he carried it, and the expertise with which he aimed it at the Courtyard Beast, laid over the top of a horizontal tower shield, as if the thing were ready to split open at any moment and unleash a hail of bolts. "RALLY!"

The men held fast even as the giant monster swept through them. Most of them. Their training had done what it could, but the galvanizing moment would be now, poised before a hideous death-beast with the terrified screams of helpless, unarmed civilians at their backs. Those who turned and fled were not worth wasting more energy on. Those that stood would make fine material. But, as his eyes swept the field to monitor the progress of the teams, he found a third kind standing in the middle of the open ground, transfixed as a stray man struggled to keep the thing's attention. Of all the affronts, the nameless, rankless squatter tried to order the knights into a retreat so that he could take the thing himself and save them the bother, and for a moment they turned, looking about to do exactly that - but falling under the eyes of their commander, and realising the startling horror of turning their backs in a time of dire crisis, they turned about face, and the youngest braced himself mightily.

As Kasoria's attempt to rebuff the troops succeeded in terrifying them, but failed to subjugate them, they became trapped to the spot, rooted between two immovable stones of authority, and with a single swipe of its hideous whip-like tail, they fell in heaps, mangled, their quivering shields barely rooted enough to hold the force at bay. Some dead. Some alive, but wishing they weren't. The boy, nowhere to be found, and his survival unclear among the heap of fresh bodies left in its wake. In the brief snatch of focus before the Lieutenant turned his attention back to the beast, Kasoria might have caught the soldier staring at him with a face no redder than the blood-caked floor, and twice as grisly. He'd be paying dearly for that.

The creature snarled and hissed at both Kasoria and Vega as they launched attacks with swords and axes alike, its attention focused upon Vega but the collateral damage of its massive blows shaking the ground and swiping the air in large, sweeping blows clearly aimed to maximise its damage and sever as many of the soldiers as possible, be they fighters or flee-ers. While the blows did seem to stun, slice and bleed the creature, however, it did not weaken as a conventional mammal of its size would. Instead it thrashed even more violently, spitting and snarling strange sizzling blood at them both, as if ever-more-furious that they would ever dare to land a blow on it, until - a sword plunged into the side of its neck with a particularly well-thrown thrust, sinking almost to the hilt.

The muscles around the blade bunched, drawing more blood but anchoring it deep in the spot, and the creature spun wildly, wrenching Vega to and fro like a child's doll, or worse still, tossing her free and loose from her weapon.

It was almost as if the Courtyard Beast could feel Vega's massive increase of strength, and the grumble it gave was practically envious. It would not be outdone by an inferior copy of a kindred spirit, and with renewed vigor and a sudden, explosive increase in speed and strength, it launched forth into a vicious combination of blows, aimed square for Vega, but easily within reach to tear both of the two asunder. The rallied Knights, even their faithful Lieutenant, so many dandelions blowing in the wind as it ripped up the ground beneath it in its fervor to extinguish them both.

They had angered the beast immensely.
 ! Message from: Squirrel
This is a one-time modbomb, and slight intervention. Partially to make things more interesting. Partially because unfortunately, Kasoria, while your Intimidation is unrivalled, your leadership is still lacking - so unfortunately the Lightning Knights are not going to be heeding your orders. You've earned the ire of the command for the attempt, and I'll leave you to decide the fates of what's left of your students...
word count: 943
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Re: Siege of Storm's Edge: Roaring Flames, Smoking Steel (Open)

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Fuck me, it brung the fucking brats with it.

Kasoria didn't know if they were offspring or siblings or flaming fucking turds that had come to life through devilish magic, but they looked too alike to the Big One to not be of her ilk. They were prowling through the gaps in the walls along with every other monstrosity that night, yet their purpose was singular. Namely, they followed in the wake of the Big One. Where it left vast swathes of destruction, they seemed to focus on individuals. Like scavengers behind a vaster predator but Kasoria was not fooled by size. It was relative, after all, and he knew that better than anyone. They were still larger than any dog and capable of ripping a man to pieces... oh, and they were also on fucking fire.

Which wasn't to say the situation was not hopeless. The scattering of second that Kasoria gained after Vega's attack and the beast's deranged-with-pain counter were more than he needed. His mind was already feeding him snapshots of the situation. Every face, every monster, every angle and surface and direction and counter and-

They're focusing on her.

That wouldn't last long, though, and Kasoria didn't waste a moment wondering how long. A cluster of the smaller fuckers were shucking and skittering around the big one, currently roaring like a dying leviathan with a blade buried in its throat... with the redhead attached, apparently. Kasoria shook his head at the sheer melons it took to do that, even if it did mean the moron was probably going to die. If not from claws, then fire. Still. Hardly his problem. Just as long as she kept them busy, kept them fighting, kept them-

Looking the other way, for at least long enough for him to start running-

-weapons rising, and clearly they weren't entirely stupid, because the ones at the back were already turning their flaming heads to-

SHUNK

The nearest one took a swinging ax to the top of the skull and this was not the torso-sized cranium of the Big One that Vega was tangling with. Married to Kasoria's strengthExpert-level, it was enough to cleave down to the wood, through whatever sufficed as a brain for the monster. Kasoria had no clue what powered these things, but he'd found that as a general rule, if you buried a big, sharp chunk of steel into the head of something... that usually killed it. At least for a while. And as he wrenched it clear-

-sending flaming blood spewing everywhere, parrying a swipe from one at his left with the gladius in his other hand-

SHUK

-turning the swipe into a riposte under the thing's chin and into its throat at the same time-

-he saw the first creature slump straight down with a sigh that sounded somewhere between human and a fire being suddenly extinguished. The second monster gurgled what looked like flaming oil before it collapsed, still twitching, still moving, and Kasoria-

THUNK

-was never one for leaving a vanquished opponent in any position to come back and haunt him, so gave it a hefty whack with the ax as well. Once both skulls were made into canoes, then he was satisfied, but-

"Oh, fuck."

The rest of the pack turned to him with half-a-dozen pairs of raging eyes. More than flame, more than madness or animal hunger, there was hatred in them now. A fury that simply was not found in dumb creatures. Kasoria swallowed as they started to move as one towards him, having divined almost as a mind-linked unit that while the redhead was an issue, the Big One would handle it. This small human, though... he would be problematic, and could not be allowed to interfere.

"Forward! Forward, damn you!"

Kasoria turned for just a split second, and saw the fucking Knights come to his rescue. Some of them, anyway. A riot of colors and shields and armors and weapons were jogging towards him, covering the distance between the keep and the fire-tigers. The smaller monsters mewled and roared back at yet more potential challengers, but the ones in the foreground hadn't forgotten about Kasoria and as he started to back up they lunged-

-and the Etzori slammed both weapons together in front of him, using that as the signal to-

CRACK

"Blessed Light-"

"Eyes front, man!"

The Lieutenant knew Abrogation when he saw it, and was hardly surprised to learn the jumped-up little sellsword had some of it in him. His kind usually did, to be deployed in some sneaky, honor-less fashion. But he wasn't in the frame nor circumstance to complain at the moment. Instead he took advantage of the moment the bearded mage gave them as a dome of ether exploded out from him, wider than a door, and the springing fire-monsters went crashing into it-

-Backlash infused into the Barrier sending the physics of their attack right back into claws and legs-

-shattering the former, bruising and breaking some of the latter-

-and they went sprawling back into the pack, roaring and screeching-

-just before the Lieutenant led his detachment bellowing into them, joining the battle properly and skewering one of the wounded beasts right away with his massive lance.
Last edited by Kasoria on Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 898
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Vega
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Re: Siege of Storm's Edge: Roaring Flames, Smoking Steel (Open)

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Owwie! I got an owwwie!! ........

Vega and Giggles launched attacks and, just for a moment, this damn thing seemed to be hurt. Her blade sunk into it and she felt it start to move, to shake, to write and try and toss her around like a rag doll. Vega growled in pain as she felt it start and she knew, in her heart of hearts, that it was going to get a whole lot worse before it got any better. She grit her teeth together and she lowered herself down, dropping her center of gravity to the floor so that she was more difficult to move. Then, she dug in her heels and she made sure that she didn't move. "Yer a right ugly pug you are. I bet yer mother... AHHHHH ... thought you was the bit what comes out... ooooow!.... after!" And so it went that, as she got herself to the point that she had her center of balance where she wanted it and there was just - only - screaming pain all over her body. But she was not letting go of that damn sword.

There were others around, there were things, but then, Giggles decided that he was going to run off. Vega would have screamed at him if she had the spare energy to waste, but she didn't, instead she focused on the muscles in her shoulders and arms which were coming close to tearing, and the burning in her legs as she fought to keep herself on the ground. "Right, Eva, yer on yer own against it. Let's do it, love." Frankly, Vega had come to the conclusion that the rest of the world was more use cooked than walking many arcs ago and so far 'how much are they paying me' wasn't disappointing her in terms of her expectations. She wasn't aware of the knights arriving, or of anything else.

Because Vega had a plan.

It wasn't a sensible plan, it wasn't a careful plan. It certainly wasn't a plan which was either filled with self-preservation or care. But she also knew that the time for those things was long since gone. No. What she needed was a crazy, absolutely crazy plan.

Thankfully, she had it.

The thing had a mouth full of flame. Vega was immune to fireMB Ability: Fire-forged: When Vega looses her temper, she becomes immune to fire. She is able to walk on hot coals, or through flames, and whilst doing the latter would burn through her clothes, she would be untouched. As her skill in meditation increases (I've chosen this one, cos she's currently rubbish at it - she has a high Discipline), she'll be able to turn this ability on and off. At Expert, she'll start to gain some control, but not until she has mastered Meditation will she have complete control over this. When she does, it will last for 1 break maximum and, after she's used it she will be shaky and emotional. Small sparks of fire - like embers flying from a fire - will spark from her now and then for the break following using this power. She's lost her temper here, thanks to Kas wandering off and she knew by the sparks flying from her. So, she held on to the sword and she prayed to Xiur for hope and courage and all the things that she needed.

And she waited. She timed it. Until the very moment that the creature's mouth was exactly coming towards her. And then, Vega let go of her sword with one hand, desperately holding on with the other. She couldn't maintain that for long, she knew. But she wouldn't need to.

Because she - or it - would be dead.

With the hand which had just let go, Vega moved and, in her hand was a sword of pure star lightThe Favored is able to create weapons out of solid light. The Favored can only generate one melee weapon at a time. To produce a weapon, the Favored must be in an area of substantial illumination (ie. Outside during the day, in a well-lit room, or at night during a full moon).. It was that which she drove deep into the eye of the creature, from the opposite side of the slice through its neck. The flames from its mouth poured over her and every muscle in her body screamed.

And, so did she. As the sword of lightlight sabre - come on! plunged into the creature and Vega now held it, skewered on two blades - as its fire poured over her and her terror hit levels which she could not describe. As she saw the flames, as she had seen them on the trial they burned her alive - as she felt them in the moment before her eyeballs melted, Vega pulled both blades towards each other in an X motion. Her aim? To slice the thing into four pieces.
word count: 836
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Vega's skin has a reflective metallic sheen with a red glow. Her eyes still swirl biqaj colours, but one colour is always bright red which glows like fire. She has a bright red glow in her chest, situated directly under the mark of a heart (Daia mark) in the middle of a glowing silver dragon on her chest (Xiur). She's unnaturally warm to the touch
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Re: Siege of Storm's Edge: Roaring Flames, Smoking Steel (Open)

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Please hold, your call is important to us.
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Re: Siege of Storm's Edge: Roaring Flames, Smoking Steel (Open)



The Courtyard Beast focused upon Vega, and indeed it didn't have too much of a choice, with her sword still sticking out of its neck, and more importantly, its wielder still hanging on for dear life while it snarled and thrashed as if its life depended upon it. Smaller creatures, its younger siblings or perhaps even offspring, funneled through the fresh wound in the fortress defenses that it had created, and this was what Kasoria focused on while Vega was busy snarling and finding her footing in the side of the raging monster. Kasoria was a swift combatant, slicing through multiple enemies with a single clean blow to each that cleaved them almost in two, but by the time he'd almost finished and found himself on the verge of casting a powerful spell to protect himself and assist in the work of the Knights, Vega manifested a second sword of pure white light, holding it above herself, poised and ready for the perfect moment.

The force of a powerful Backlash-infused wall was not missed easily, especially since it dispatched many of its fellows in a single thrust, briefly filling the air with the sounds of screeches and the snapping of bones and muscles, before an eerie silence emptied the air of all sound but the laboured snarls of the Courtyard Beast. It was that moment that tipped it over the edge, and it twisted its head to snap for Vega's face and deal the fatal blow. Instead, it lurched straight into position for her blade to come crashing straight into its beady eyeball, blinding it - and then tore it apart into four ragged, hanging pieces, showing perfect cross-sections of the insides of its mouth, handfuls of teeth falling from its bloodied mouth as the pieces hung grotesquely from its neck-stump.

Kasoria would barely have made it to the steps, should he have attempted it yet, before the thing collapsed, and nearly buried Vega with it as it bunched forwards and splattered limply across the cobblestones, soaking them with its steaming blood.
 ! Message from: Squirrel
This is done for the sake of clarity in the actions of the two players. If there's anything else intended past this point, you can continue as normal.
word count: 378
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Kasoria
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Re: Siege of Storm's Edge: Roaring Flames, Smoking Steel (Open)

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Fuck me, cunt actually actually pulled it off.

Kasoria knew that was likely unfair, but he also knew he didn't much care, either. As long as she served a purpose and he survived, she could be as impressive or as cowardly as the situation demanded. Instead, he focused on the task ahead of him: namely, the surviving horde of smaller, equally-murderous flaming fire-tigers. The charge of the Knights had sent them sprawling, finishing off those crippled by the Backlash and wounded others. But they were still sprawling through the gap in the wall, and even as he watched from the foot of the stairs on the wall, the Lieutenant took a bad gash to the shoulder, another that almost took his arm off.

Big sod still held to his lance, though. But if he fell, if a couple more fell...

Gaps in the ranks. They're not stupid enough to ignore that. Little sods will flood through and that'll be that.

Kasoria spat and sheathed his ax, keeping the gladius to hand. He likely wouldn't need both, and keep one hand filled always made him feel better. Besides, he preferred to have one hand free when he did what followed next. He closed his eyes and called his Spark forth again. It hissed and snapped at him, rattling his guts and stabbing at his muscles from inside. But it was his, his alone, and it came when bid. He raised his arms and any watching would see the chain tattoos across them writhing like tormented snakes, glowing with silver and black. Kasoria poured what left of his Spark remained out into the air above the clutch of slavering, scorching monsters, and with a savage, jerking motion-

-brought his gladius stabbing down into the ground before him and-

-there was a comical, demented, absurd yelping as a dozen or so fire-tigers suddenly felt the air above and around them turn to stone. Beady, burning eyes turned to Kasoria, instinctively knowing he was the cause... but the air was so thick, so dense, it seemed like they were chained to the very ground. Kasoria started to feel the effects of such strain immediately. His knuckles whitened within a moment. His teeth ground and his veins popped out like straw snakes crawling under his skin. But if Strangle could work for a man, it could work for a monster, so it could work for a clutch of them.

Rhakros had proven that to himReferencing an expanded use of Strangle here, where he pinned down a beast of comparable size.. It was all a matter of scale, of relativity. But the pain in his chest, spreading out into his limbs, told him that for all that academic bollocks, it was still an act not without consequences.

He'd bought the Knights their moment to end this, but only if they acted-

"ONWARD!"

It would have been the Lieutenant. Not one to miss a trick, that one. Even with an arm hanging slack and his silver armor splattered with blood and scorch marks, he still led the charge into the stunned, trapped pack of monsters. Kasoria felt a hammer slam into his chest and he swayed on his knees, just as he saw the huge Knight impale one creature and crush another's head under an armored boot. The rest of them were right behind him, stabbing and slashing and firing and gutting and relishing in the chance to mete out some well-deserved revenge.

It was a slaughter, more than a battle. Kasoria didn't much care. It was a victory, that was what mattered. Only when the last fire-tiger was dead did he let the Strange spell fade away. Then he spent a few precious trills doing his best not to puke all over his boots, and finally stood up. The breach, for now, was clear. But there were bodies and parts of bodies strewn all around, and even he could see there were too many humans amidst the wreckage.

He didn't want to care. He didn't want to feel anything but exhaustion, because that at least was all his own. And he didn't right until he saw one of those bodies at his feet... and met the eyes that would stare and stare but see no longer.

Kasoria knelt down, even though just doing that made him grunt. Then he reached down, and closed the Boy's eyes.
word count: 746
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Vega
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Re: Siege of Storm's Edge: Roaring Flames, Smoking Steel (Open)

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One down ........

The creature and Vega screamed in unison, her from pain and effort and it from the process of dying. Every bit of her was crying in pain and she stumbled as it more or less landed on her, but she got out of the way, mostly, though she felt it scraping down her leg and she cried out. Covered in blood, her own and its, Vega's pain levels were such that all she wanted to do was to scream and then fall to the floor, sobbing. No one but Arlo knew, of course, just how much fire terrified her. She had been burned alive, cursed by Faldrun, and her body shattered; she'd been taken over and possessed by some weird fire-demon thing and she'd been force-initiated into defiance which, when it didn't work, killed her. These things terrified her.

So, rather than give in to that, rather than to allow them one trill of the satisfaction of having beaten her, Vega hoisted her sword - and the sword of pure starlight, and she began to cut her way through as many of the smaller creatures as she could. Pushing past the pain which bombarded her, she funneled all of her anger, her fear, her pain, into fighting. Slicing, dropped and cutting, she seemed to almost dance around the place, yet everywhere she went, she killed. She took no pleasure in it and, when it was done and she stood looking around at the carnage, she saw the dead and her lips curled into a snarl.

There were a hundred things she wanted to say, a thousand, but Vega said nothing.

Instead, she walked over to the commander, the man who was in charge. The man that the boy should have gone to get and who would have .. there was no point stressing it now, she walked up to the Lieutenant and said, softly. "Yer gonna need volunteers to get that breach in the wall fixed. I'll help." She had a look on her face which was, unusually for her, difficult to read. "I'm not good at helpin' out the injured, I'm all thumbs. But I'll get on with that, with yer permission?" He looked at her and frowned, then nodded. "You need to get checked out and then rest," he said and Vega shook her head.

Walking over to the corpse of the creature, she bent down and picked up it's teeth. "I'll get this dissected for the researchers. An' then I'll get on the breaches." Lifting her eyes to the Lieutenant, she spoke sincerely. "Rest is the last thing I need." He nodded his understanding and then, Vega turned with the full intention of helping with moving the dead, skinning and dissecting the corpses for research and turned her attention to the wall. She didn't speak again, but embers sparked out from her, like she was smouldering.

And then she saw him.

The boy who had been dancing, not fifteen bits ago. Dancing here with her and laughing. Dancing and laughing and breathing. Living. "Noooo!" Vega let out a strangled cry and she ran, as though one of the beasts was chasing her. She landed on the ground next to where Kasoria was closing the boy's eyes and she literally put all her strength into shoving the smaller man off him. She was close to feral as she did, and she scooped up the boy in her arms.

His body was bloody, broken and shattered, but Vega held him gently, like her was her own, and her voice lifted as she began to sing Lulay lulay, my tiny child
Too soon you'll know the world so wild
Yes all too soon you will be grown
And I'll bide here alone, alone.

The rushing bellows you shall ride
And the light of Xiur's Star will be your guide
But yet awhile, I'll have you stay
Lulay my tiny child, lulay.

For you shall run in meadows green
And sport with otters all in the stream
And you shall chase the dapple deer
And swim with salmon in the waters clear.

To pluck the small birds from the sky
On the tail of the South wind, you shall fly
And take the high hills for your home
My blood your blood, my bone your bone.

The moon must sleep beyond the tree
So weep sweet son of Moseke
The sun must rise before we cross
To dry your tears and share your loss.

The darkest hour of the starless night
Must bow to the power of the Eastern light
That heals the earth and makes us whole
My heart your heart, my soul your soul.

And when at last your course is run
Joy to your mother, her perfect son
Beneath the sky you'll stand alone
My flesh your flesh, my bone your bone.

Yes you shall stand on the coal-black sands
To cross o'er the waters of the Western lands
But now I have you at my breast
Lulay my sweet one, gently rest.


The sound began quietly, but then as she sang the people in the courtyard watched. Vega sang, and sang, and as she did the cuts and bruises on the boy started to fade and his bones knit back together once more. Her voice shook, but it rose as she repeated the song and she turned to look at Kasoria, who she had shoved away. Blood trickled from her eye, her nose, her ear, silver as she was biqaj, and her face was pale and drawn in pain. But in her arms, the boy healed.

And then, after they'd been there for some timeLullabye:
When she sings, Vega is able to heal children. This might be from a wound, or a disease but she must be singing and it must be a child (15 or under). The more complex the illness / issue, the longer she has to do this - a child who has died in the last ten minutes can be brought back but it must be no more than 10 minutes ago. Simple things such as a single cut will take five minutes of singing - whereas more complicated issues can involve up to an hour or more. The cost of this is that Vega takes on the pain the child was in and will have the physical sensation of the symptoms (although not the disease / cuts themselves) whenever she uses this ability. It will cause the physical pain the child was in and Vega will bleed from her nose, ears and / or eyes. If the child was dead, Vega will not die, but she will experience the death itself, and all the pain it caused.
, with the boy obviously healing as she - to any who recognised pain - took more and more. Eventually, the boy in her arms drew a breath and opened his eyes in shock, and Vega held on to him and sobbed.
word count: 1172
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Vega's skin has a reflective metallic sheen with a red glow. Her eyes still swirl biqaj colours, but one colour is always bright red which glows like fire. She has a bright red glow in her chest, situated directly under the mark of a heart (Daia mark) in the middle of a glowing silver dragon on her chest (Xiur). She's unnaturally warm to the touch
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Re: Siege of Storm's Edge: Roaring Flames, Smoking Steel (Open)

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Vega


Points: 15
Knowledges: Leadership x2, Tactics x2, Singing x2, Dancing x2
Renown: 15

For saving a child's life and showing unwavering bravery and hope, Vega has been awarded her next Nalos ability.

Cloud Armour: The Blessed is covered in a cloudy blanket that cushions or misdirects melee strokes and ranged missiles so they afflict only light wounds. A very skilled fighter or marksman can accomplish higher levels of damage against this armor. In game terms, this armor reduces the attacker's pertinent skill by one tier, so that the Blessed's counter skill is more effective.

Kasoria


Points: 15
Knowledges: Leadership x2, Tactics x2, Blades: Gladius x4
Renown: 15
Additionally, the Knights have caught Kasoria impersonating a Knight. His reputation with the Knights has decreased slightly in a way that will be unveiled in the trials to come.

Additional Notes:

I've awarded the Knowledges I thought best appropriate given the material, but if you'd like them changed, let me know and I'll allocate accordingly!
word count: 169
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