Sargarath's Wrath: The Final Battle
Nov. 11, 2019, 9 p.m.
Outside Arx - The Twainfort - Mother's Marsh
Comments and Log
60 inflicted and Mihaly is harmed for moderate damage.
100 inflicted and Ian is harmed for serious damage.
100 inflicted and Thesarin is harmed for moderate damage.
As they continue past the body, Mirella pauses, crouching down to look the corpse over. Her hands move along the torso and she swiftly divests the corpse of a dagger, a ring and a pendant, before rejoining the others. As they round the next turn, a familiar voice in the distance can be heard: "I said PUT. ME. DOWN," There is no chance that is not Mia. There is an angry shout that follows, and the sound of swift running, and there, framed in the hallway, is Mia Riven. Her mouth is crusted in blood, she's sweating, but she's there.
Leaning against the wall more than standing on his own two feet, Ian is not a good ambassador for the rescue squad right now. He's covered in mud and soot to the point where it's really only the cane that gives away who he is. The only non-mud and soot covered part of him is Mia's diamondplate sword, tucked into his belt.
It's a grisly sight. Amund can be a fan of grisly sights, he might even appreciate them in a visceral way. But right now, his eyes are alert, because he has part of an arrow sticking out of his fireweave tunic's shoulder, and the alaricite in his hands just feels that much heavier. Glancing at the others, the Sword of the Telmarch makes his way to the Marquessa, stance defensive when he looks out the hallway.
Mihaly was following after Mirella, who clearly knows where to step to avoid hitting anything that might trigger something rather nasty. It's only when he sees Mia at the end of hall, he blinks, clearing his eyes to make sure that's actually here. "Mia!" he calls to her, moving forward at a faster clip to meet up with his niece, at the same time at the ready in case whatever she was running away from intends on following after her.
Thesarin breaks into a run at the sound. His injured leg complains, but he's not a man unused to pain--and for anyone who's seen the Prodigal Marquis' lumbering stride in Arx, it's likey to be rather a shock how much speed the big man can put on when he's of a mind. He still has his alaricite blade in his right hand, and his left draws one of the small axes strapped to his shoulder, holding it up blade-first as he moves.
As they get closer and closer to wherever the crocodile cultists spirited Mia off to, Lora lags more and more behind, kind of ushering better-armored people up ahead of her. Maybe so she doesn't get run over when they go to see how the Marquessa is. She's still looking for traps, alternately looking ahead, where they're going, and behind, in the direction from whence they've come, pale now despite the heat.
Ian doesn't run towards Mia, and not just because it's questionable how well he can walk at this point, much less run. His attention is fixed on what's likely to be on her heels. He shifts his grip on his cane, preparing to draw the alaricite sword from within it.
"There's six of them or so," Mia hisses out between thick, heaving breaths. She must look half-wild, her normally neat braid gone all awry, sweat clinging to her skin from the fetid heat of the place, drying blood smeared all over her lips and chin. "Their weapons are poisoned. And whatever it is they're doing down there, it's with the intention of raising up that godsforsaken thing." She doesn't pause as she speaks, sprinting up the stairs towards them. "Run. RUN. And set the whole shard-spawned place on fire behind you."
Mirella learned her lesson from the last time she got her hands on a suspicious dagger. She quickly pulls a thick rag out of one of the pouches on her belt, wrapping it around the blade and grip of the weapon and tucking it into one of the belt-loops. The ring and the pendant are pocketed in much the same way, stored in the pouch where the rag came from. While the others advance, she remains behind the rest of the party and scans the room for traps, much as Lora does -- although in this case, she's a little further back, and her expression is grave indeed.
Running not that far behind Mia, is a large bull of a man. He's not as fast as Thesarin, and he isn't quick to come to a stop, which means that he's a very good target for Thesarin's thrown axe as he comes around the bend. His eyes are angry, teeth bared and he is utterly fixated on Mia, hands extended to grab at her. Well. Until the axe hits him in the shoulder, sinking deep and sending his balance off, making him jerk backwards and to the left.
"How many of you are still capable of fighting?" Amund inquires, with his alaricite hand-and-a-half in hand, after Mia's briefing. "I'm going to kill them all," this, likely in response to Mia's urge to run. "As for fire... Prince Tyrus, I might want some of your resources on hand. Can you apply it to the alaricite?" Seems like Thesarin has got the bullish man well in hand, so he turns from that threat to face whatever comes next.
Amund checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 9 lower.
Mirella checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.
Lora checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 20 higher.
Ian checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.
Tyrus checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 17 higher.
Mia checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher. Mia rolled a critical!
Thesarin checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 3 lower.
Mihaly checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 7 lower.
Among those not rushing ahead is Tyrus, the prince instead standing his ground when Mia appears. When she keeps on running, and offers that particular advice, the Thraxian doesn't hesitate too long. he has his canister of Thraxian fire after all, doesn't he? And so he opens it, and when Amund asks, Tyrus nods. "Yes, but be careful with it. Use a torch to light it when you need, unless you enjoy running with a sword on fire." Still, he applies the specialized oil onto the sword, before starting to use the rest on their surroundings, even as more cultists run their way. "Go!"
There is a rumble that rolls through the passage, shaking the stone underfoot. The rock walls are damp with condensed moisture from the humid and fetid air. The shaking does not last long, no more than five or ten seconds. The man with the axe buried in his shoulder looks around and curses.
The man with the axe buried in his shoulder should really have been keeping his eye on the charging prodigal. Thesarin rushes with his shoulder, and the blade held back, point-first, aiming below the ribcage.
Not quite pushing away from the wall, Ian advances, drawing his sword as he does so. "I'm with you," he says to Amund in the same flat voice he's been known to use, in happier times, to order drinks. His electric blue eyes are focused, serene. Ready. "But we may be buying them time. I don't know what's coming."
"You all heard her. Start moving. "Mihaly calls back toward the gropu, before taking sight of the beard of a man get an axe in his shoulder "Get her out of here." He's coming along, but a little more slowly, as if taking up a role of rear guard for the group, keeping his sword trained on the other end of the hallway. But ther other prodigal emerging after Mia changes that a little bit, causing him to take action. Thesarin won't be alone in his attack against the bear of a man, the old knight taking a running jump at him, sword pointed at his chest.
The rumble draws Lora's gaze. Upwards, as tends to be the case, as though she's examining the ceiling of the passage for signs that it might be collapsing. On her shoulder, the little wren who's been there through most of thus puffs up a little. "I'm afraid going back might not be an option, now. And we've come all this way..." She comes forward a bit. "Marquessa, would you like some holy water to wash those wounds out? I do not know if it will counteract the poison, but it is, at very least, clean."
Thesarin checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 33 higher.
Mihaly checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 45 higher.
"Moving? Back? We don't move back. We end the threat. It ends /now/." Amund states with a resolute set upon his jaw, letting Thesarin finish off the bullish man with a completely dispassionate stare. "End that bastard's life, Marquis! He should never have tried to kidnap the Marquessa. Now we make him and his entire people pay." Grabbing a torch off the hands of whoever has one, the rumbling only makes him readjust his stance to brace for the bigger threat.
The tremor doesn't knock Mirella off her nimble feet, but it *does* seem to put her even further on her guard. With her cowl covering her face over mouth and nose, she widens her eyes as that humid heat seems to slide behind the others who stand nearby. She turns to look behind to where her back faced before, frowning down at the water that's pooling under her feet. It's almost as though she suspects an ambush. On high alert now, she turns once more, looking from side to side up and down, ready to rush away if needed if she spies anything unusual. Hands hover over daggers at her hip; one steel, one diamondplate. The other one, which has the design of the dagger found in the shark? She doesn't dare touch that.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + dodge(1) at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.
She nods the once, sharply. "....Though most of it isn't my blood," Mia replies, grimly. "They took my sword, so I ripped one of them open with my teeth." She says this so very matter-of-factly, as if there isn't anything at all unusual about the fact that she apparently tore out a man's flesh with the force of her bite. Meltdowns, it seems, are something best reserved for later. Whatever else it was she was about to say is swallowed down thickly at the tremor that moves through the wall, the floors, the Marquessa bracing herself to keep her balance on the stairs.
Ian spares a quick glance for Lora. "Shit," he says. Then he looks to Tyrus. "If there's no way out but forward, fire's too dangerous. Stop." A look at Amund includes him in this command.
Turning her head to look steadily, warily, at Mia, Mirella murmurs, "...did you feel hungry, Marquessa? Hungry down to your bones, and furious?" It's not a joke, not a quip made lightly. There's an utter seriousness in the dark-haired Lycene's eyes. She casts a look down at the dagger before looking up again to regard Mia with a suspicious gaze.
Leave it to a pair of old warshorses to show the kids how it's done. Mihaly goes high, while Thesarin goes low and it seems to have the likely sought effect. For Mihaly's part, he just about impales the large man on his diamondplate falchion, withdrawing it covered in a wet spray of blood. "Come on. We've bought time for the moment." wincing from the fact that he leapt at someone with an ankle that had been bitten not too long ago. "We need to move back before more come. Let's burn this place down and be done with it."
Thesarin slams into Mia's pursuer alongside Mihaly, and doing the work of putting the metal where the other fucker wishes it wouldn't go. The man's still screaming when Thesarin grabs the side of the other man's face, and slams his head onto the wall until the noises stop. He turns back toward the others, breathing heavily. "...Mia. You hurt?"
"This isn't about shavs, my Lord. It is about a corrupted, monstrous being. Simply killing every shav or setting fire to this place won't solve the main problem. It may worsen it or postpone the inevitable outcome. I am in my enemy's lair, already. I will fight my enemy." Amund is perhaps aware of the home advantage that the so-called Mother may have here.
"Either way we go, whether we live or die, this place is burning." But Tyrus, at least, stops pouring oil all over the place. He's saving most of it for the Mother, after all. "Yet wherever we go, forward or backward, we must decide /now/." And with the tremors and everything else... Yet there is the breeze ahead, cooler air where back there is only greater heat. "We go forward." And that's that. The Thraxian is unlikely to change his mind, as he even begins to move forward.
"What? No. I felt rather decidedly like I didn't want to be eaten by a monstrous crocodile, and was going to rip that brute's guts out with my bare hands before becoming that thing's dinner." She stares at Mirella for what would seem like a very long time, as if the woman had suddenly sprouted a second head from her shoulders and it was talking to her rather than the original. But really, it can't have been more than a second or two. "We don't have time for this! We're *all* going to be eaten if we don't move!"
"Now is not the time for bravado. We burn this place down and cut down whatever crawls out that happens to be on fire." Mihaly remarks, shaking blood off his sword with a casual jerk of his wrist. "There is no reason to walk into a lair when we can dictate the battlefield in our favor. Burn it down, kill what's left, including whatever they call the Mother."
Ian advances enough that he's not standing in a bunch of flammable liquid, but no more. He's keeping an eye on the people who are getting ready to run, like he's waiting for something.
The same open flask of water Lora's been carrying about and threatening cultists with is passed off to Mia, should she in fact like it. "The only way out is through. I'm rather certain that the passage behind us was sealed by whatever that was. If we hurry perhaps we can interrupt them before they finish whatever they were doing. If we're unlucky, at very least maybe we can catch the Mother while she is still groggy from awakening." She does begin to move, generally, in that direction.
Mirella's gaze is impassive and unflinching under the weight of Mia's incredulous stare. She says nothing, nodding once now that she's determined that the Marquessa hasn't been infected by some kind of unnatural afflication due to the cultist's use of poison. Then she turns from the other woman without much concern for any injuries inflicted upon her person, not any concern for her emotional wellbeing. Instead she frowns up and down the chamber, vaguely distracted by all the talk of fire. "I feel like we're being watched."
The man on the floor is dying, the wounds inflicted by Thesarin and Mihaly are clearly fatal. Blood dribbles out of his mouth, and even as he is clearly passing from this world, he laughs, hearing them speak. "She is not waking..." The words are thick, slow, but filled with a mocking sort of amusement. "She is awake... She is..."
"Feel the cold at your backs, My Lords? It's gone. We can no longer go back, either the remaining cultists closed the way or /it/ has. The only way to go is forward." He considers the group, its indecisiveness at the choice before them... and so Tyrus takes their choice away. "Forward, or burn." And with that, the torch is thrown into the Thraxian fire... and everyone best move forward lest they wish to learn firsthand why the Mourning Isles favour that weapon when fighting on sea.
Thesarin cuts off the gasping cultist by driving his other throwing axe into what's left of the man's face. He looks toward Mia, with slow, controled movements. He's covered in blood--some of it his--and almost vibrating with tension; when he speaks, it's in a low, throaty growl. "...can we make it up the stairs 'fore it's on us?" He looks toward Amund and Tyrus, and then back toward Mirella. And then Tyrus tosses his torch, and with a curse, the Prodigal is on the move--but he's making sure Mia's moving ahead of him.
The look Ian gives Tyrus as the fire springs to life behind him is... tired. Still using the wall to stay on his feet, he nevertheless looks to Amund, and then forward. "Alright. Let's do this."
"The shaking." Mihaly finally puts two and two together. "Stars and garters, damnit. Fine, we die or we burn." He's about to move forward when he sees Tyrus toss that torch. He wants to yell at the prince, but refrains from it. "Today is a good day to die, I suppose." And then he too is off to meet whatever fate will befall them all down the hallway.
"I like you, though that was reckless." Amund states to Tyrus, leveling a stare at the Thraxian lord before stepping forward. "If it looks like those crocodiles, I suggest we trap its limbs and then go for the throat. Either lop off each leg or do something to bind it in place."
The path downward is different than Mia remembers. And it was not all that long ago that she was there. The level of the hallway evens out, and up ahead is a shadowed archway that leads out into a massive, massive cave. This cave is far, far too large to be under the town. The floor of the cave turns sandy, and an underground lake starts a good thirty meters from the archway. The water is dark, silky looking, and instead of being pitch black, light shimmers from a forest of glowing blue mushrooms, some of which appear to be the size of a house. There are faint ripples that make the lake water flutter against the sandy shore. A wooden pier stretches out into the water, at the end of which is a bell.
To the left, remnants of a very old looking campsite. Tattered tents, wood stump stools, various equipment has all been left to moulder.
There's a quick splash of holy water against the cut -- barely a nick, really, just large enough to have made a small slit in her leathers and a scratch in her skin -- to get whatever might be left of the poison off of her skin. Another against her mouth, though it does little more than smear the blood into a runny mess. Mia seals it up again quickly, tossing the flask back to Lora with a sharp nod of thanks. And then she's pushing forward with the others, stopping only long enough to jerk Thesarin's axes out of the corpse as they pass it on their way down, down, down.
Ian is hesitant to advance into the cave, away from the wall he's been using to stay on his feet, and onto sand. "Marquessa, your sword," he says to Mia, instead, drawing the sword free from where he had it tucked into his belt.
Thesarin slows to a stop as they reach the cave, still favoring his injured leg as he goes. He pauses to look around in puzzlement, taking in the scene. But he turns to look over at Mia, giving another of his low grunts, before looking at the rest. "...keep back from the shore. Ain't let it take us down."
Fire behind them, water ahead. Maybe not the water that Lora was anticipating finding here, nor the remnants of the camp, nor the pier, nor even the bell, which she looks at longest of all. She takes a few steps in the direction of the campsite, scanning the contents with interest that is far more visual than physical, apparently reluctant to touch much of anything at all.
"Now's a good time to start a common fire, and to start splashing the water with holy water." Amund suggests, looking over the bell. "Belay that, about the fire. What is that bell?" The tattered remains of a campsite is definitely interesting, and he might make his way there, so long as others do.
"Just be happy I didn't start this whole thing by setting fire to our boat. You'd be surprised by how many of our legends starts by someone setting fire to their ship." the prince tells Amund. Surprised or terribly depressed. One of those. And so Tyrus moves forward, still holding onto the canister and its precious and oh so lethal liquid fire. He too looks at the water first of all, before glancing to the rest of their surroundings. "Away from the shore sounds like a good idea." he remarks. Still, might as well see what happens when someone throws holy water at the dark, silky water. What could go wrong?
It takes Mihaly a good moment to realize that where they've ended up somewhat defies a couple rules that allows common sense to function. It's bigger on the inside? A glance at the massive mushrooms. "Did we get smaller or did the room get bigger?" he asks of no one in particular. He stays away from the edge of the lake, clearly waiting for whatever it is that going to leap out do it's thing. "You said there were six more here." he states to Mia. "Is this the same room you ran from?"
Lora checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 6 higher.
Ian still offering the sword to Mia, Ian says to Amund in the tired tone of someone who doesn't really expect to be heard: "Don't ring the bell. We might have time to patch ourselves up."
Mirella frowns darkly when the matter of fire and it's lovely purging qualities are brought up again, then with a shake of her head she mumbles from beneath her cowl. "Let's hope we're not being led like lambs to the slaughter, then. Shepherded like livestock." With that she walks the path that will lead away from prompt immolation, quietly mumbling under her breath a poem the rest of the group might have heard. "Never see it coming, surprise. Steals the life inside your eyes. Hunger, hungry, never done. She comes to eat all but the sun...." Giant mushrooms, though -- that shuts the Lycene right up. Her eyes widen at that as she turns stares around with undisguised intrigue in her gaze. She follows the rest, steering away from the water's edge as advised despite her distraction. "Remarkable vegetation..."
"I do very distinctly recalling you tell me that no true Thraxian would ever set his boat on fire," Lora calls back, tone exquisitely dry, far more than the subterranean cavern really calls for. She keeps that bottle of water in hand, her sole weapon against the dark, but curiosity seems to've gotten the better of her. "Wherever we were, I do not think we are there, anymore. But the Mother is. She'll likely be along shortly."
As Lora approaches the ancient campsite, a mild breeze blows, rippling the tattered tents and setting the cooking pot hung over a long, long dead firepit. The sound creaks eerily. There are bones found in faded clothes in two of the tents, the cause of death unclear. There are journals stashed in various places, though as Lora is looking around, there is a rustle from within the third tent. "H-H-Hello?"
Mia closes one gloved hand around her sword, grip firm, grateful to have it returned to her -- as Thesarin must be, to see his axes back in his posession, rather than left with that man to rot. "It most certainly isn't the same room," she whispers, keeping her voice low in response to not only their surroundings, but the sound of a voice.
"Yes. Typically the ones in the legends can rely on finding a far better ship halfway along. We can't." replies the Prince easily, tone light despite the situation they find themselves in. He glances Lora's way after throwing holy water at the dark water seems to do very little, and suddenly focuses when a voice is heard from the third tent. "Well... this is new." he murmurs to himself. He glances back to Amund and indicates the tent, should the Sword wishes to either investigate, or stab it. The gesture makes that last part unclear.
Thesarin turns toward the sound at the tent. He doesn't make a friendly image at the best of times; less when dressed in steel and furs, and the blood and muck he's splattered with isn't likely to help in that regard. "Who's there?"
"If we're in someplace completely different..." Mihaly starts, considering, turning back to the way they came. Not to go down it, but at least look down it, to see if the fire is still back there. It should be, last they left it. But if they're somewhere else now, that may no longer be the case.
The water in the lake probably isn't great for cleaning off, and Ian's not going to go over there to check either way. But he's got water with him, and after drinking some of that, he uses a cupped handful to scrub the worst of the dirt off of his face. He seems intent on using this pause for breath, for as long as it lasts, to try to prepare for the fight to come.
The figure phases through theclosed flap of the tent, a pale greenish shape, translucent in form. The features are all very hazy, human definitely, see through and glowing, yes. And yet the figure's body language is humble, timid. "Hello?"
Mirella blinks a few times, the greenish shape drawing her eyes like a magnet. Moving carefully towards the figure, she quietly asks, "Who are you?" Her eyes turn to the journals littered around, "Nedar Nedare?"
Investigate the tent Amund does, looking in, after forcing a flap open by resting the blade of his sword against it. "Who are you?" Mirroring the question by his Lycene friend, apparently.
Translucent, glowing, greenish forms might be high on the list of things Lora has no intention of getting close to, and when this one emerges from the tent she takes as many steps backwards, as if some invisible barrier might exist between them. Fortunately Mirella is there with the question, maybe the important one, though as it's asked she frowns a bit. From that safe distance she has another glance around, and then nods a little. "Be wary," she murmurs. "Whatever this is has been caught by the waters of a great, corrupted thing for over a hundred and fifty years."
Thesarin turns to look toward Mirella, looking toward her, and then back to the greenish shape. "...you got a notion what's going on?"
"Nadar... Nadar Nedere, I know that name. He was our guide. His words called to us across the years and bid us come to rescue the world from the blight that dwells here. Oh... we tried. We came and we fought and we explored... and we came to this place. And then..." The ghost shakes its head. "Here is where our paths ended."
"If what we're seeing is even what's really there." Tyrus murmurs, but loud enough for the others to hear in the surrounding silence. "If this isn't what the Marquessa ran away from..." He looks away from the translucent, glowing form, though it is it that the prince addresses. "What ended your path?" he asks the unfortunate soul that, apparently, preceded them by a hundred and a half years.
Ian scans the sand, looking towards the camp, and then letting his gaze sweep down the shore. "If I had to take a guess, I'd say it was a giant crocodile," he says to Tyrus in a dry voice as he stumbles into the camp area. He lets himself sink onto the ground.
The apparition turns its hazy face towards Tyrus. "Time. Time. We saw the water, we did not trust it. But we could not find a way out. In the center of the lake, when the moon rises, you can see the wallow. We had to get out there. We had a protector, Ser Temsin. She swore she would find a route. But she never came back. No. We started running low on food. First Harker went to ring the bell. He would not say what he saw. That night he died as he slept. Two more weeks, and Yeleni could not take it. She went, rang the bell. That night she died."
Turning away from his looking from where they came, Mihaly blinks, not expecting to see a somewhat see through person standing at the campsite. Unsure how to proceed, he moves closer to the rest of the group, observing. "Oh. Wonderful." he sighs. "If this isn't real, it's a very convincing fake." A toe kicks at the sand lightly. "So starvation or mysterious bell-related death. Lovely choices."
"Or the wallow." Thesarin looks over toward the others, finally focusing on Mia. "...uncertain death, at least."
It's with wary interest that Lora flips through some of the journals. Molding, wet, damp. She pays half attention to the phantasm, though that wanes as something in the pages catches her attention. "...if this is to be believed," she says, carefully, "the writer theorized that if the bell is hit with a specific striker, it will summon the boat that goes to the center of the lake."
"There's always the water and whatever's in it," Ian suggests to Mihaly, helpfully. "helpfully". He doesn't seem worried about having to spring into action, because he's loosening the laces of his boot to see if he can better reinforce his mangled leg.
"Or the water," Mia says grimly, nodding in reply to Thesarin. She does not sound particularly pleased at any of their options. Then again, does she ever sound pleased?
"We are inside the shardhaven." Amund considers Lora's words, then, thoughtful. "A specific striker? Is there a description of it?"
Mirella is still listening to the conversation that's going on, but she wanders over to Ian where he's slumped on the floor. Nodding to his leg, she pulls a long length of robust bandage from one of the pouches on her belt, then nods to that. "Not much," she quietly murmurs. "Better than nothing, though."
"LIES!" The ghost turns an acid green, then flashes red and yellow, "What are you reading!? Where did you get that?! Give it here! I did not say you could look at MY things! This is all MINE!"
"First rule of seafaring: Don't get into the water." Tyrus instead walks over to where Lora stands along with the journals. "A precise strike?" he echoes to Amund's question. He goes to stand behind the young woman and reads over her shoulder. He's tall. He can get away with it. Well, at least until the ghost turns into... "Just kill it already." he says in Amund's direction. Cold words, colder gaze.
"You....do realize the irony of that statement, right?" Mihaly states to Amund dryly, watching the ghost get a touch angry. And for all of his levity, he does move his sword a bit more on the defensive. Just in case.
"Thanks." Ian takes the bandage, and then asks of Mirella: "Can you get me that..." He's probably about to ask for a stick nearby, but the ghost is now changing colors and yelling. "It means a person," he suggests. "Probably Countess Riven based on how eager they were to get her here."
"The dead thing says everyone who struck it died." Thesarin turns toward the screaming ghost, and with a frown, he shuffles a half-step back. "...she ain't calling it down on 'probably'."
This might be exactly why Lora's been holding that flask of water open this whole time. The ghost's flash of angry colors prompts her to look up, and then to flick a measure of the contents at it. "I would advise you to keep your distance," she informs it, coolly. To the others, she adds, "I've no idea when this was written, or how mad the theory is. It says that Harker and Padric ate the mushrooms and began acting strangely. And that the striker might be a tuning fork. It might fit, musically."
Mia checked intellect + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 18 higher.
Tyrus checked intellect + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 21 higher.
Having passed the bandage, small measure that it might be, Mirella turns with an arch of the eyebrow to that spooky ghost who seems incandescent (and iridescent) with rage. That done, she moves out of the way just a touch to let everyone to do their thing without interruption, folding her arms and giving Thesarin a belated shrug in reply to his earlier question. She's not sure what's happening exactly, not at this point.
"Nevermind that." Tyrus tells Amund after a moment more observing the ghost. "It's only a memory." And from that point on, the ghost is entirely ignored by the prince. "It sounds like something right up your alley, Marquessa." he remarks to Lora. "Would you be able to tell if it so fits?"
Mia briefly steps back from the flickering ghost -- one step, two, three, keeping her dark, wary eyes on it. They narrow, then move on to the rest of their surroundings. Spying Ian and his roll of bandages, along with the blood clinging to him, to the others, she says simply, "Hold still." Whether it's because she's a landed Marquessa or a mother to a shambling horde of small children is difficult to say, but either way, the tone of her voice strongly suggests she's used to being minded. "That," she nods towards the apparition, "is not danger to us. At least for now. What does the journal say about fork? Specifically, I mean."
Ian scoots closer to where the piece of wood he spotted was, and slides his foot out of his boot. There is clearly something very wrong with his leg that far predates it being chewed on; his leg is thin, almost shriveled, his foot more so, and he holds his ankle at a slightly strange angle. He feels up his lower leg, trying to work out the best place to lash on the makeshift splint. He's still not showing any signs of pain. But then there's Mia, swooping and knowing what she's doing. He surrenders the bandages to her.
"A musical fork? Do you suppose it's here, or elsewhere?" Amund wonders, nodding to Tyrus' belayed orders of refraining from slashing some apparition down. He doesn't question why or not.
Thesarin finally settles down onto the ground, and pulls up his skirts to show the tattooed skin on his thigh. It's punctured fairly badly, and has been oozing blood since the fight at the enterance. He gives a grunt, and looks toward Amund. "...ain't much use if it ain't here, if there's nowhere else we can go."
Ian adjusts the splint Mia placed and tightens the bandages in a way that ought to be agony on a fractured leg. Then he starts putting his boot back on again, lacing it tighter than normal.
"A tuning fork. Two pronged, blunt. There's a sketch, but I doubt there are very many here, if it is in fact here at all," Lora explains, once she's maybe certain that the ghost isn't going to do anything more than give an angry light show. "It might be in Padric's tent. If you can figure out which one is Padric's tent. It's just a theory, suggesting that the bell will respond to that singular item. What's the worst that can happen, it summons a crocodile instead of a boat?" That's a joke, right?
Mirella checked perception + investigation at difficulty 5, rolling 51 higher.
Mirella checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 41 higher.
"Or the one of us that rings it happens to drop dead." Mihaly remarks to Mirella. For the time being, he stands off to the side, as if waiting for something to leap out at them. "And while this is all well and good, we came here to end the threat. Escaping is great, but we'll have left this thing to start the cycle all over again."
It's at this point that Mirella has a timely brainstorm. Lifting the pendant and ring she collected earlier (both still clutched at the base in the piece of thick cloth she stored them in) she holds them up and makes a small cough to draw attention. The pendant, upon inspection, is shaped like a metallic v, but it looks unfinished, like it needs to fit with something. "Ah, I found this earlier on." She carefully waves a hand over the dagger on her belt, also covered in cloth. "Maybe this pendant...?"
Tyrus checked perception + riddles at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.
Mihaly checked perception + riddles at difficulty 15, rolling 2 higher.
"Get home breathing, first. Then worry about the monster..." Thesarin is quiet as Mia stitches up and bandages his thigh. He looks at his wife, giving a low grunt at the back of his throat, and saying something quietly to her.
Thesarin mutters, "Are you alright?"
Whoever approaches Mirella for the items will have them passed over EVER so carefully, because curses suck. She nods lightly, seemingly happy to be rid of the burden.
Now that does seem to get Mihaly attention. "Where did you find all of these things?" he asks, looking them over curiously, tracing with a finger, as if trying to help visualize what it might look like constructed. "Seems like it's a missing a piece to it, though. A handle, maybe." A beat. "Did you find anything else beyond just these two things?"
Mia looks up from her work, her hands now smeared in near as much blood as her face had been. Her eyes narrow at the pendant clutched in a rag, but she's already busying her hands with stitching skin closed as quickly as she can. It's not a pretty sight, either leg she tends to, and may very well add to their scars -- but it'll hold, and can always been restitched later. There's a low murmur offered in reply to whatever it was her husband had said.
Tyrus too considers the items Mirella found, careful not to touch anything. Mihaly can do all the touching. But then... "The dagger." he says, motioning to the one the young woman found. "It's part of it."
With the efforts of Tyrus and Mihaly, they are now in possession of the tuning fork key. The ghost is screaming, his blurry features melting in waves of lurid pinks and reds and yellows, "Nononononono! You'll never get out of here! You have to die here! You will die here and keep me company!"
"So we have our fork..." Amund glances at the bell, then at Mirella's items. "We might as well sound it and see what comes of it." Alaricite is swung at the ghost, without another word.
Thesarin rises to his feet, giving a slow nod to Mia as he does. He makes a face as he puts weight on the bad leg, but he's standing. "Piss off, ghost." He looks toward the others, giving a short nod, and a grunt toward Amund. "That volunteering?"
"No. I'll do it. Someone has to risk the entire affair and if someone here has to die, well, I'm the oldest here, so it might as well be me, eh?" Mihaly says to Thearin, holding the tuning fork once it's been constructed. "Besides, someone has to do it anyways if we plan on getting out of here."
Ian looks up at the screaming ghost, and looks like he's going to say something. Then Amund is... attacking her? He rubs his forehead.
The matter more or less settled, Lora gathers up the remainder of the journals and tucks them carefully into her bag, alongside the bottles and flasks she's packed along. The screeching ghost draws her gaze afterward and she frowns at it again, but this expression is peculiar and sad.
Mihaly checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.
She's too late -- a second too late, with her eyes focused on the last of her work. It's taken too long for what's been said to process, and Mihaly already has the tuning fork in hand by the time Mia cries out, "Uncle, no!"
Taking the tuning fork in hand, Mihaly walks forward onto the pier and out over the lake. And it almost looks like for a moment that he's going to topple over into the water. Like something heavy was pressing down on the old knight. A hand reaches out to steady himself on a post that the pier is constructed out of. He sweats, visibly, as if the immediate air around him just jumped up by fifty degrees. Stopping at the bell, he looks at it a long, hard moment. His hand shakes, and he bares his teeth, trying to control whatever it is that's forcing him away from the bell. "Whatever you are, you will not keep us here." he gasps out. The fork almost drops from his hand, but the sound of Mia crying out gets him to shake his head, as if he were trying to clear his eyes. It makes him look back at Mia, and he smiles at her. "It'll be alright." Then he rings the bell with the fork, causing a gong of bell to echo out across the lake.
As the bell rings, Ian braces himself on his cane and starts to struggle to his feet. It's a process, especially right now.
The lapping water at the shore of the lake starts rippling higher as the tolling of the bell reverberates through the thick muggy air. Like a wash of cool wind splitting the fetid humidity, a trio of boats come into view, sailing towards the pier. At the helm of each is a long reptilian figure draped in black robes. Each have no eyes, their long maws have been stitched such, and in their hands, for these are bipedal reptile men, they hold poles which they use to steer the boats. Each glide up to the peer. There appears to be room enough for everyone here.
Lora checked composure at difficulty 30, rolling 3 lower.
"Unusual." Amund admits, studying the eyeless reptilian like figures. "I'll take the boat you are on," he tells Tyrus, nodding once to the Thraxian prince.
Thesarin shifts his grip on his blades, watching the crocodile-men on their boat coming closer. He narrows his eyes at the sight of them, watching the boatmen for signs of hostility. He frowns and looks toward Mia, with a low rumble. "...I'd ask you stay, but ain't rely on this coming twice. So stick close, Marquessa. And be ready."
Ian raises his eyebrows as the boatmen (?) come into view. "Well that's new." Before he struggles to the boat, however, he stops and looks back at the ghost with a look of faint consternation on his face. (We're really doing this? We're talking to a see-through woman? For fuck's sake...) "Look, there's no reason for you to be trapped here. I'm no good at this stuff, but I think that's not how things are supposed to be. Come with us. Maybe we get you out too."
... and this was going so well. Lora was fine with the giant, tainted crocodiles. And their cultists. And the narrow passage, and the traps, and digging through the rotting remnants of the old explorer's camp and sprinkling the angry ghost. Fine. But now that the reality of this sinks in, that these boats and their awful ferrymen appear, she seems to have entirely lost her nerve. She edges away from the water, from the pier, from the whole lot of it as if suddenly having realized just how absolutely bad this whole idea is, and has gone paper white in the process.
It almost looks like Mihaly passes out, because he slouches to one knee, appearing absolutely drained by striking the bell. There's point of time where he just to stay where he is and breath, until he slowly starts to rise to his feet on shaky legs. Looking a little rough, but not dead at least. So there's that. Which is nice.
"Ladies and gentlemen, it seems our rides have arrived." Tyrus remarks with a note of dryness in his voice. To Amund, the prince nods before heading to one of the ships. He doesn't hesitate, just gets up on one of them without hesitating over which. The ghost? He doesn't care, it is ignored and left to rot. The Thraxian has other things on his mind than a memory. "Better not tarry too long, we don't know how long these boats will remain." he notes to the others.
Mirella checked composure at difficulty 30, rolling 17 lower.
Mia's breath catches in her throat, though whether its at the sight of Mihaly's near-collapse or the arriving boatmen is difficult to say. So much for staying close. She rushes towards the old knight, one hand clapsing tightly around his forearm. There's not a chance in seven hells she's leaving him behind, and with what little strength she may have in her slender frame, helps heave him back up onto his feet. "Into the boat with Thesarin." It's not a request.
The ghost looks at Ian and screams, floating towards him, the sound full of anguish and rage and crazed hate. The closer it gets, the louder the sound, the mouth opening wider and wider and wider until it seems to almost swallow itself in a wash of red and bile-yellow hues, bursting in a completely non-corporeal shower of... ghost goo? There is not so much as a gust of wind or drop of anything in the wake of this explosion. Though there is sudden noise coming from within the tent it originally emerged from.
In the wake of the silence of that screaming, a new sound can be heard. Thud-thud, thud-thud, thud-thud. It almost sounds like the ticking of the clocktower. But more organic.
Mirella isn't naturally blessed with an overabundance of empathy, but even she can tell that Lora's spooked. Thing is? Mirella's even more spooked than that. She's already paper white, so she can't get any paler, but she's shaking very faintly in a way that seems completely at odds with her earlier composure. Screaming ghost, ticks of a clock... it's nervewracking. She gravitates towards Lora very subtly, either on flat land or into boat, her slow steps taking her there as if she might be weak at the knees. Perhaps fear loves company? Whatever the case, she shares a wide-eyed look with the lady as if to say, 'This is insane, right?'
Tyrus checked command + leadership at difficulty 15, rolling 54 higher.
There was something almost casual in the way Ian addressed the ghost, his thickly accented voice level and unaffected, and it's fair to see he was definitely not expecting this response. He takes an uncertain step back in the sand and instinctively raises his cane to an angle while tugging his scarf back over the lower half of his face with one hand. Then... nothing, and he's left standing there, confused and (thank the gods) un-slimed.
Ian checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 16 higher.
Mihaly has enough wherewithall to drag himself into the boat with Mia's help. Once in said boat, he more or less sinks down the deck, trying to find some kind of way to recover. Even if it means just sitting there and breathing. But hey, breathing is good, let's keep doing that.
It seems Tyrus notices the hesitation where Mirella and Lora are both concerned, and the Thraxian narrows his eyes. "Both of you, in the boat. Right. Now." Tyrus doesn't yell at them. Yet his voice is loud enough to be heard and cut through even the haze of the horrifying boats and the other terrors that might await on the water.
In the wake of Tyrus' yelling, Ian lays a hand on Mirella's shoulder, addressing her and Lora with that same easy serenity that he's shown for most of the adventure. "I've done stuff like this before. When it starts getting weird like this, it seems like it's best to play along. We're playing by someone else's rules right now."
Amund doesn't need to say what he's about to do twice. Without hesitation, he boards the boat, nodding to Tyrus.
Don't look at them. Don't look at them. Clearly, that's the key to keepsing some semblance of composure in the face of, well... whatever those men -- those things -- are. With Mihaly settled in the boat, Mia grips one hand tightly around the hilt of her sword and hefts herself up into it with a quiet 'oof'. Where her kin goes, she goes, and she keeps close to her fellow Riven.
Thesarin moves to sit in a boat with Mia and Mihaly, eying the boatmen... reptiles... warily. But he's not going to attack before they do. "...Mihaly." He's quiet a moment, looking back toward the tents, and the strange clicking noises. "...if I ain't see through. When she's of age, tell Vahari what I was. All of it."
Once the first boat is full, with Mihaly, Mia and Thesarin, the ferryman on their boat pushes his pole against the floor of the lake and the boat begins to glide towards the center of the lake. There's a shadowed shape out there, an island rising from the water.
Fine. Everyone onto the boat. It's still a very long moment before Lora reacts though, maybe helped along by Mirella, maybe, oddly. There's a frown in the other woman's direction, very faint, very pensive, but in the end she draws a breath and closes her eyes for a second and then - of all the things - begins humming to herself. Under her breath. Perhaps some people have even heard the melody before. More likely they're not ever going to forget it, but there are worse things.
Then the boat with Amund and Tyrus poles off next, following in the wake of the first boat. The water is opaque, ripples mirroring any who look down into it. Despite not being able to see past the surface, there is no doubt that *things* lurk unseen below. There is an occasional knock and shudder as something connects.
Ian urges Mirella and Lora towards one of the boats. His voice is too flat to be soothing, but his genuine calm might make up for that. "That's the price of doing stuff like this, going into these places. You don't get to dictate the rules. I usually don't know what they are.
"The only rule is 'Stay alive.'" Amund murmurs, glancing over to Tyrus after the man essentially rallies people around him to board the boat, after all.
Once Ian, Mirella and Lora have climbed into their boat, the third and final boat begins its journey to the center of the lake. The light out here is cold and dim, the luminous mushrooms offering a faint illumination that reflects off the surface of the water to create an overall glow.
The island grows closer, and as they near, they can all see figures moving around the center of the island. Torches cast a warmer yellow glow, though given the sight that greets them, that is, perhaps a bad thing.
In the circle of light, there are bodies, dozens of them, all young children, between the ages of ten and thirteen. They have been split open, chests cracked open and turned into incubators for the eggs that are nested within them. Beyond the semicircle of torches are thick shadows. The moving figures are more of the eyeless, mute lizardmen, tending to this horrific nursery.
"Thank you," Mirella says as she nods to Ian, some of the tension sagging from her shoulders at the reassuring gesture, and then she frowns back at Lora in a manner as if to say, 'Right, we can do this.' Her eyes are full of hesitation, but the fact that Ian seems to be reacting calmly, and that Lora's own nerves are steadying... maybe? "ell, that helps. She gets into the boat when it's time for them to be off, sitting with her arms folded around her stomach as she rocks back and forth ever-so-slightly to Lora's hummed melody.
Face sheen with sweat, Mihaly is still trying to catch himself. "If it's the same to you, Thesarin, you can tell her yourself. But." he sniffs, clearing his nose. Then giving a small sigh. "If it'll make you feel better. Aye. I'll tell her if that ever happens. But I figure that'll be your job, not mine. I already helped raise one, only fitting you get that...." he trails off, seeing what's on that island. "Fuck."
Tyrus checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 15 higher.
The sight on the island has Mirella's eyes widening in glassy shock, though!
Ian takes an active interest in the ferrymen; he watches the way they move, the way they react to things around them. He gauges their center of balance and how it shifts as they pole the boats. But none of this looks like idle curiosity. As the island comes into view, he swears under his breath. He doesn't, however, lose track of the ferryman of his boat. He was probably sizing up the best way to kill him if it came to that, and he hasn't forgotten the potential danger.
Thesarin frowns at the sight of the mangled corpses, of the children. He doesn't blanch or look ill, though; maybe there's not much that can be done to a human body to draw comment from the Prodigal. He takes his large war-axe from the loop at his belt, so he's ready to step onto the shore with a weapon in each hand.
Lora's solution to the boat ride is to close her eyes and hum the song. It's only going to annoy the people that she's riding with. Poor Ian. When the ride stops and she opens her eyes to see what's yonder on the island, proper? It doesn't help, perhaps. At very least she ends up quiet. Quieter. And goes to fish out another vial of water.
Gods and seraphs both. She shouldn't look. She knows she shouldn't, really, but she can't help it. There's so many of them, and so very young, and the same age as her own children. As Larelle -- whose face Mia searches for among them, her brows wrinkled together and her lips pinched tightly shut until they turn white from the pressure of whatever sound it is she's holding back.
"Perhaps. Yet I would not have some of us lost due to a lack of effort on our part." Tyrus answers Amund as their boat sets sail, and they see... Somehow, somehow the prince's composure holds. Somehow, the sight of the nursery, of all these young children torn open, does not have him howl or scream. Oh but his eyes... They are an inferno of rage bound by the icy grip of purpose. His hands slowly tighten upon the canister of Thraxian Fire, even as he stares at the eggs and the corpses that contain then. "Enough." He opens it and hands it to Amund. "Destroy them all. We came here to finish it. Let it be finished in flame." His voice, until then, was even, calm... But when he speaks next... "Let them burn." It's a growl, one that bears such hatred as to make even the liquid fire seem cool by comparison.
Ian doesn't seem put off by the singing in his boat; if anything, he seems to feel that it's... normal? It catches him off guard when Tyrus starts talking about burning things. He's learned better than to object at this point, but he shifts in the boat, putting himself between the ferryman and Mirella and Lora and shifts his grip on his cane, preparing to draw the sword from within it.
"You've got it." Amund has seen enough. He takes the canister in hand, touches it to the torch and gets ready to sling it out into the island. This is not his bailiwick; his bailiwick is hitting things with swords, axes, short spears and scythes. But he'll try.
"Monstrosities need to be put down through light, flame and steel." That's about all that he says before he flings it ...
Amund checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.
By this point, Mirella's just staring at her knees, wide-eyed and unblinking. Her brain has fizzled out, it's fair to say -- she sits as still as one can, ashen of complexion, arms folded around her waist in a self-comforting hug. She doesn't even object to the idea of just *burning* this whole place down, no matter the cost. Mirella's here, but nobody is home, and it's likely to remain that way until they're all back to safety. if, indeed, they ever get there.
Mia checked composure at difficulty 30, rolling 13 lower.
The first bottle flips through the air, glinting with blue highlights from the luminous mushroom lights before it hits the ground, shattering, spreading that oil everywhere. A spark from the torches seems to zero in on the puddle, and the conflagration is on. The fire starts immediately, blooming outward in arcs of destructive heat and light.
There is a hideous, horrenduously loud roar as something moves within the shadows behind the torches. The boats jostle back and forth as the weight of the creature on the island sends shockwaves through the water.
One foot. Blunt and clawed, ancient. Massive. The second. Each the width of an old growth tree. The beast is purple, black and olive green and it gives another shriek as it pulls itself free of some tendril construct through which it was attached to the island. It rips itself free and moves forward, charging through the fire, honing in on the source of the fire. Tyrus. It's totally charging Tyrus.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(5) + brawl(7) at difficulty 20, rolling 53 higher.
Tyrus checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.
"Keep your heads down," Ian says to Lora and Mirella as his sword slides free from his cane. "It's going to be alright."
Mihaly, for one, sickening moment, thought that they had finished what they had come to do. He watches the bottle of Thrax fire soar and then crash onto the island. And he's content to let it burn. That is, until he hears the shriek, making him sit upright. "Damnit." he grunts, pulling himself up. "I don't think we're finished yet, lad." he states to Thesarin.
Mia checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 4 lower.
Lora checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 9 higher.
Thesarin checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 3 higher.
Mirella checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 11 higher.
Mihaly checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 21 higher. Mihaly rolled a critical!
Ian checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 15 higher.
There is grim satisfaction writ upon Tyrus' face when the eggs burn, a smile that fades when the roar is heard. The prince turns to face its source, only to see the giant monster, the Mother of the burning spawns. The jostling of the boats doesn't help keeping his balance, yet he manages, catching hold of a railing to steady himself. It unfortunately puts him at the rather bad position of being near the edge, even as the massive beast charges... right at him.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(5) at difficulty 10, rolling 18 higher.
Amund checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 20 higher.
What happens next is not something that could or should be possible. But the beast is so large, its maw opens impossibly wide as it lunges towards the boat with Tyrus and Amund. Tyrus and the ferryman simply disappear into the maw as it snaps shut around them. Amund is able to roll out of the boat (which is also destroyed by the snap of that mouth) and splashes into the water.
As the massive croc pulls back, the boat is in splinters, a single robed leg from the ferryman and half its pole is bobbing in the water, along with a scrap of Tyrus' cloak.
"...fuck me." Thesarin watches the monster swallow the boat whole, the splash of water and the awful noise. He looks at Mihaly, and then to Mia, standing up on the boat. "...the fuck you kill a thing like that?"
Something, *something* which Mia has spotted among the children has had a profound effect on the Marquessa. As though the sight of this perverse nursery weren't enough, that one single face.... hers pales to match nearly the same color of the corpses. There's a flash of something like raw fury in her eyes. Blind fury, really, clouding both her vision and her sense. Springing to her feet at the sound of the roar, her hands fly to her back, fumbling for bow and arrow. How, exactly, someone kills a thing like that doesn't seem to be of much concern. Regardless of the answer, she's going to try.
Ian checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 64 higher.
Mihaly checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 20 higher.
Thesarin checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 42 higher.
Mia wields Heron's Shadow, the steadfast diamondplate archer's bow.
"My advice? Stab it in the head until it dies." Mihaly utters, drawing out Duty. "To be perfectly honest, there are worse ways to go. But this thing needs to die. It cannot leave this place. So either it dies, or we do. One or the other. I can only hope the gods are watching on us." And he's about to move forward, when he pauses. "There. We need to attack there. Bypass it's armor. We strike there. Now. We may even be able to free Tyrus if he's not dead yet." And Mihaly leaps forward, blade in hand, driving right for the exposed area on the creature.
Mihaly checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 20, rolling 14 higher.
As Mihaly jumps onto the island and rushes towards the segments of exposed flesh and purple goo, Sargarath screams, the scent of burning flesh mingled with a foul brimstone odor. Several of the child incubators have been stepped on, the eggs cracking under the demon's feet. As Mihaly's sword rends the flesh, the croc thrashes, trying to stomp on the small creature hurting her.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(5) + brawl(7) at difficulty 50, rolling 12 higher.
34 inflicted and Mihaly is unharmed.
"Shit," Ian says as the creature swallows his longtime friend whole. He sheathes his sword and, without any other comment, lunges out of the boat, scrambling, stumbling on the sand. But he doesn't draw his sword again. Instead, he beelines for a hole already existing in the stomach that he must have noticed and plunges his whole arm in there. "PRINCE TYRUS! TAKE MY HAND!"
Mirella checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 17 higher.
Mirella had perhaps calmed somewhat when Ian had told her it was going to be alright... but there's no way one can ignore the gut-wrenching spectacle of a giant crocodilian monster lunging through the water. Her eyes glint with shock as water churns and fire burns, but within a few panicked moments she lifts her voice in a horrified shout. "Amund!" Hands gripping white-knuckled over the edge of the boat, searching out the Telmarch Sword as he vanishes under the surface, she stand and fumbles for the diamondplate stiletto on her belt. Slim of blade, razor-sharp of tip, it's ideally suited to piercing a small target. Thankfully that is one big old eye there, or else she might miss, given her wild whip of her arm as she half-stands to get a better shot. Whatever the case, the eye *bursts* under the piercing tip of the blade. The monster screams. And oh shit. Now she might be its target. Good thing she has another dagger...
Lora checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 10, rolling 8 lower.
2 inflicted and Mihaly is harmed for minor damage.
Thesarin checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 20, rolling 37 higher.
Thesarin is out of the boat, lunging through the water with an blood-redsteel axe in one hand, an alaracite sword in the other, hacking away at the creature's injured underbelly. He's shouting something in his shav language, a sort of chant, repetative and rhythmic, almost musical, as he hacks and slices through bloody, burning viscera.
Thesarin says in Crownlands shav, "FUCKING! DIE! FUCKING! DIE! FUCKING! DIE!"
Mia checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 10, rolling 42 higher.
No, there's no way to ignore this. Lora too watches for a couple of moments in absolute horror; she's gone past white and is now almost grey, maybe even slightly greenish, but sitting in the boat doing nothing is clearly a bad idea. As an aside to Mirella she murmurs, "Can you swim?" Timely questions. As she asks, she fishes out another of the bottles from inside the bag, breaks the seal, opens the lid, and lobs it at the monstrous, enormous, dare we say huge mother of all corrupted crocodilians. Glass sparkles sapphire in the luminescence of the mushrooms, ruby in the merry dancing flames. Beads of water spray in a glittering arc as it tumbles end over end through the air... and slams soundly into the back of Mihaly's head. Lora winces and ducks further down into the boat again. "Sorry!"
Mia checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 10, rolling 27 higher.
Amund checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 20, rolling 38 higher.
Standing in such a small boat is not a wise decision, but really, anything resembling forethought, or sense, or really even choice seems to have flown entirely out of Mia's head. Precariously balanced as she is, water splashes against the sides of their small vessel, waves shaking it to and fro, her eyes are focused only on that hideous, hideous creature. And in that moment, with her lips curled back and her bloodied teeth bared in animalistic anger, well -- she's hardly a more soothing sight. One arrow is nocked, loosed. A second follows in swift succession. With the first burying itself just above the eye of this twisted shadow of a "Mother", the second bites deep into its neck. There's a thick spray of putrescent fluid, green and black ichor spilling from its scales.
After splashing into the water, Amund notices a few things - the first is that the impact has made him a little dizzy. The second is a nosebleed; not because something important got damaged, but the strength of the blow left him reeling.
He glances at his alaricite moonlight, coated in Thraxian fire; as he surges forward, he leans towards a flame to make sure the fire spreads across the blade as he runs towards Sargarath, rolling under its tail at an opportune moment, only to leap upwards and cleave into it.
Three-fourths of the tail are severed in a splash of fetid blood as fire catches, the flame hissing and sizzling against the tissue as the Northman is bathed in the blood of his enemy.
at his alaricite longsword, Moonlight
Mihaly checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 20, rolling 22 higher.
The leg from Sargarath smashes into Mihaly sending him reeling back, like getting smacked with a leg as thick as a large tree trunk. The old Sword already winded, but the armor absorbs the blow. He spits at the ground, surrounded by fire and bile. A little slice of hell, just for them. "Here, you overgrown gecko!" Light glints off of Duty's blade, covered dark ichor already. "Come get your throat cut!" And if that sounded cool, it's lessened a bit by the fact that a container bounces off his helmet(he's wearing a helmet, okay). "What the?" He looks down to find a bottle of water. But then he remembers, holy water. Quickly, he grabs it up and opens the top to it, dousing the blade in holy water and chucking what's left into the monster's open wound. With a now impromptu blessed sword, he slashes forward, griping his sword in a two-handed style, putting more power and weight into the blow. The tip of Duty scream in a tight upward arc, the lash of diamondplate causing abyssal flesh to sizzle and sear like bacon.
Something is happening to the beast. Its throat bulges and flexes, and bloody froth begins seeping out between its jaws. The arrows sting, the dagger in its eye renders it half blind, Ian is playing doctor with it's guts and all these people are STABBING IT. And there's FIRE. This is not a good day. The beast is growing increasingly enraged, the combination of attacks starting to wear it down. It starts to buck and jerk, shaking its head, throat working as if it is choking on something. As Amund's attack nearly dismembers its tail the beast begins to roll, crushing bodies and eggs, spattering goo and ichor everywhere. It thrashes wildly striking out at multiple targets.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + brawl(4) at difficulty 30, rolling 10 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + brawl(4) at difficulty 30, rolling 7 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + brawl(4) at difficulty 30, rolling 24 higher.
Mirella checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 34 higher.
Mihaly checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 36 higher.
Amund checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.
15 inflicted and Mirella is unharmed.
10 inflicted and Mihaly is unharmed.
20 inflicted and Amund is unharmed.
Ian gets a pair of round copper and stained glass lens goggles from Oiled leather bag.
Just as he cleaves another wound against the beast it starts to roll, causing a limb to thrash wildly and randomly outward in his direction. Jumping out of the way, it still manages to clip Mihaly just enough to get him to stumble, backpeddaling. No, nothing broken. Not yet anyways.
As the beast's limb comes thrashing down on him, Amund has too slow reflexes to contend it with speed alone; the limb smacks into his side, and he's flung a very short distance aside, the fireweave seeming to have lessened the impact of it. As he rises to his feet, he picks Moonlight back up carefully, bending forward to charge at it once again.
Ian checked strength + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 36 higher.
"PRINCE TYRUS!" While Ian yells, displaying, if we're being honest, some pretty impressive lung capacity, he one-handedly fumbles from his gear a pair... are those... goggles? Those are goggles. Those are ye olde medieval gogglys. The lenses are stained glass, tinted blue, rather dark. He won't be able to see much, but where he's going, he doesn't expect to be able to see. He puts them on, pulls his scarf over his nose and mouth, takes a deep breath, and plunges his whole head in there.
There has been no sign of the prince throughout the battle since the beast has devoured him. Only a piece of his cloak torn off, floating in the water. Yet after blood begins to seep from its jaws, after the others struck at it again and again, something peculiar happens. A knife can be seen cutting through the flesh of the throat, opening up a hole just large enough for an arm.... and then it disappears again.
Deposited in the water, in the shallows, Mirella fortunately is more or less out of the direct of the giant beast -- that doesn't mean that she doesn't get a good hit from the rolling beast as it turns its attention to her. By some stroke of luck, however, the small Lycene managing somehow to brace her booted feet against the side of the monstrous crocodile. The impact is a blessing and a curse; while it pushes her away from the creature of fang and fury, it also sends her flying through the air only to land with a tremendous thump on solid ground. Rolling like a log against the hard surface, she lands on her front. Lucky, then, that her cowl, bracers and chest armour shield her from the abrasions she might have otherwise earned.
Thesarin checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 20, rolling 10 higher.
Thesarin follows the monster as it rolls, continuing to hack away at its wounded underbelly with both weapons. Nothing fancy, nothing clever, just skill and power and raw aggression.
It's an awful frothing mess, and when the crocodile lashes out and thrashes, Lora ducks even further down into the boat. She, thus, misses the same flailing maneuver that knocks Mirella out, and peers over the side at the churning water and the Lycene woman, slightly aghast. Or maybe it is the mess that the corrupted reptile has become, all blood and fire and fury. Either way, she elects to stay down.
Mia checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 10, rolling 55 higher.
Mia checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 10, rolling 48 higher.
Amund checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 4 higher.
For someone normally so tightly controlled, the unraveling that comes with a righteous fury suits her well -- almost too well, really. Skin that had paled at the sight of her slaughtered kin has flushed with the force of her anger, bringing a bright red heat to Mia's face. The chaos around her has little effect. She has one aim and one aim only, and that's to see Sargarath crash down to her unholy island, dead. With a snarl, she draws once more, her arrow arcing through the grimly lit darkness to sink between the crocodile's eyes. Another follows it swiftly, not an inch, or even half an inch, to the side. The second arrowhead digs into the blue and white fletching of its predecessor, driving the shot into the creature's skull, burying deep into the devil's brain.
The knife appears again, cutting an even larger hole from the beast's throat. Again. And again. Till with a roaring effort Tyrus cuts his way through, the melted flesh proving to be no barrier against the knife's steel and... is that an hairpin? Either way, much like every centimeter of the prince, it is covered in gore, with even the shadowmeld's black being various hues of red. He stops and looks at the others, then the Mother behind him. It's hard to read his face, though the black eyes... "That thing owes me a cloak. I'm flaying it." he says with a voice far too calm.
There is an immediate shift in the tenor of this place as the great Sargarath falls into her death throes, the second arrow piercing her brain and ending those thrashing motions. The lake begins to bubble as if boiling, the crocodiles within the depths start floating belly up to the surface. The island begins to move, the fire cleansing the eggs and their children incubators, even as a song begins to be heard, sung by the dead children. It is haunting, and beautiful, even as the world around them begins to crumble. The two remaining boats (the ferrymen are dead) can be rowed back to the shore. It is a bit of a trial, trying to outrun the collapsing shardhaven around them, but with teamwork, everyone can make it out, bursting through the doorway leading into that house Mirella found. The ground is shaking, rumbling and bucking under them as they run to the boat they left there, what feels like weeks ago.
As they look around, the dark vegetation seems to be disintegrating into fine, purple ash, being carried away by a cold, refreshing wind. This place looks much more dead than it was previously, but it is the death of winter, the lack of corruption. Come springtime, life will come back to this place. New, healthy life.
For now? They have all survived.
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