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9/25 An Appointment with Vengeance

JWaldman Sep 26th, 2019 (edited) 98 Never
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  1. Dario, breaking his promise to keep out of the way, stretches a hand out in front of Mosa. He watches Garrick unleash his extreme rage on a tree trunk in silence- Glancing back to the water mage momentarily.
  2. (Dario)
  3. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  4.  
  5.  This was totally all Garrick.
  6. (Dario)
  7. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  8.  Mosa found herself stopped, by Dario! Opening her eyes - she saw a face that was barely recognized - familiar, but not quite enough to be recalled...
  9.  
  10. Who was this man - that seemed to put Dario so on edge? The anger was noted - but...
  11.  
  12. They were only trees - there's nothing wrong with that.
  13.  
  14. ...The girl coddled a growing migraine at the thoughts of joining in on the slaughter of bark.
  15. (Mosa)
  16. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  17.  Garrick would prowl away from the tree he'd been charring and shredding at the swamp's coast side with as his molten eyes set upon Dario and Mosa with glowing heat. Rising from the boggy waters, the green fluid that dripped off of his black plate would boil and steam into mist around him as each burning step of his sabatons across the moist earth of the northern swamps would leave a blackened footstep of burnt grass and ash.
  18.  
  19. First, his eyes fell upon Mosa with boiling rage. His teeth grit with audible clacks and sparks of flame as he moved his cracked scaled palm to the backplate of his cuirass where his black great sword lay upon burn marred leather rungs, dredging it forth before clasping it tight with both of his clawed hands before pointing the tip towards the occultist with a growl of condensed rage.
  20.  
  21. When he at last spoke her name, it dripped with venom and muted violence.
  22.  
  23. "...Mosa. You've been quite...talkative recently, haven't you? We've missed you upon the mountain dearly, I think it's about time we took a visit there, had a chat. You have an appointment after all...timeliness is next to godliness. Come willingly...or don't. I can work with either."
  24.  
  25. The drake would point his black blade then to Dario with a snarl, clacking his jagged rows of teeth together as his molten amber motes glimmered with fiery annoyance.
  26.  
  27. "...Don't get in the way sidekick. I see you've walked off your injuries from last time, give me a reason and I'll make sure you don't have such luck again. I'm quite benevolent like that....a real giver."
  28.  
  29. (Garrick)
  30. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  31.  "Funny. I was just aboutta tell you the same thing, Garrick."
  32.  
  33. The hand that had warded in front of Mosa clenches into a fist, embers rising in columns from the gaps of the heavy gauntlet, veins of soot rising with the tide of fire, drawing Dario into a volcanic embrace. When his flesh is stained with a darkening sheath of glass and pumice, magma floes draw close, draped like sashes over his form.
  34.  
  35. The air had filled with enough foreboding. Drawing his leading foot ahead to comfortably draw his fists up, Dario has unconsciously eased into traditional Fomorian: As it was originally taught, without weapons.
  36.  
  37. How many months had it been, since he'd seen Garrick? How many years? He reckoned somewhere past three, now. How much farther had that pushed any hope of redemption? Dario steps into Garrick's line of sight, enough to partially obscure Mosa.
  38.  
  39. "You n' I both know I'm not standin' aside, so quit playin' at that game- I don't know what they did'a you, Garrick, but you need to snap outta whatevah fever's taken hold'a you...! Mosa ain't goin' anywhere near that mountain again, neither!"
  40. (Dario)
  41. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  42. There was a moment - just a second as the black armored knight rose from the bog. A moment where she didn't recognize - or refused to see the truth of it.
  43.  
  44. The devil had come to take the traitor's due.
  45.  
  46. Mosa knew this from the moment her name was spoken - her eyes flashing purple through the mana fog that surrounded her - obscuring her form - yet such would not be enough to hide from the dues owed.
  47.  
  48. Would she - then go willingly, to march to what she imagined would be death - or worse?
  49.  
  50. Or, would Mosa stand up? Four years - four years without using her magic in many ways at all had left the occultist with little control over the cloying madness; she knew this.
  51.  
  52. So - the water around her remained. Only a faint dread intermingled with the fog. To go further would be to lose herself for cerrtain.
  53.  
  54. "...Garrick."
  55.  
  56. Yes - it was time to face the truth. There would be no running away - or being pulled away. Betrayal required a pennace be extracted. This thought always existed within her mind.
  57.  
  58. Mosa stared down the man of hatred - with acceptance. The girl removed a staff from a clip upon her back - swinging it out infront of her before taking a step forward.
  59.  
  60. "No matter what: I must never return to that mountain. Not because of death; betrayal is best paid with that toll, but so my sanity remains - that. That mountain will sooner be my tomb then a place I lose myself, again. I refuse to come along willingly, Garrick."
  61.  
  62. It was betrayal - there would be no sugarcoating it from the girl. Even as the bogs began to rain - as the plagued wood's dirt turned to mud in the deluge of summoned water, there was a certain acceptance to what would happen - Mosa knew this day would come.
  63.  
  64. Within that misty swamp - right on the edge of the dreadwoods - Mosa's fate would be decided.
  65.  
  66. "Dario - Please. Don't let yourself get hurt over me." Adejected plea - she'd put herself infront of Dario - placing herself infront of the man whomst had helped her so many times before.
  67.  
  68. "Thank you, Dario - For everything."
  69. (Mosa)
  70. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  71.  Dario exclaims, "If you think I'm just gonna let somebody come down and nab you back to the mountain, you've got anotha thing comin'...!"
  72.  
  73.  
  74.  "Ohohohohohoho, such defiance. Truly quite heroic, and yet you stand in the way of progress. Good. I was worried you'd turn yellow and bend over like the rest of the cattle in this city. I was hoping I'd get to sharpen my claws on this little errand."
  75.  
  76. The fire drakan would pace forward steadily as his glowing eyes flicked between Dario and Mosa, his jagged teeth spread now into a malevolent grin as he took a deep, long breathe of the swampy air. Removing one of his cracked scaled palms from his blade's handle, his claws would trace over the black pearl that sat in the center of the amulet that was lain over the emerald reika of the handprint upon his chest.
  77.  
  78. The visions of an Agartha engulfed by a sea of flames, of an endless ashlands that expanded as far as the eye could see; it filled the drake with energy and fury alike as veins bulged against his forehead in preparation. Roaring once more with rage, the fire drakan would stomp his black sabaton against the swampy ground as molten fissures spread out in a spiderweb of cracks across the grass expanse where the trio stood, boiling heat dripping from their confines as the drake swordsman assumed a single minded focus upon Mosa.
  79.  
  80. She was first.
  81.  
  82. "You will return to the mountain, and your sanity? Well, well, no promises. I'll deal with you first then whisperer, then the hero. Plenty of violence to go around."
  83.  
  84. There was no more delay. With a lunge propelled by a jet of flame, the drake began to engage.
  85. (Garrick)
  86. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  87. With burning furious flames, the battle commenced! Even as she charged in - Dario's words hung back at her like an anchor.
  88.  
  89. "I know you'd do that but-!!"
  90.  
  91. The frantic pace with which she'd call upon all the mana available to her would drown out anything she'd have to say to Dario - a shame.
  92.  
  93. A torrent would wash over the burning swamp - mixing in with the downpour.
  94.  
  95. "I won't! I will not return...!"
  96.  
  97. Fresh wounds opened on her arms as she began to use blood magic - magic which Mosa hadn't used in years. Magic that did her more harm than good in the heat of battle. Her stamina depleated with each passing second - yet even still she held back the cursed blackened mana that threatened to consume her sanity.
  98.  
  99. The battle was on in earnest, now.
  100. (Mosa)
  101. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  102.  
  103.  In that swamp - within that bog laid three former compatriots. Mosa stood, at the sea's tide - at the edge of the burning magma spewed by Garrick's sheer rage, his hate.
  104.  
  105. She stood in peace - the fate she faced, she faced ready. Blood dripped from her face- her arms, everywhere there were cuts, from both Garrick's blade and her own magic: A magic of self harm - born from the hate for herself that festered within for the occult that flowed through her circuit.
  106.  
  107. For the weak-willed betrayer that she was.
  108.  
  109. That she still is.
  110.  
  111. "--No more...!" That changed - that had to change. As blood battered magmatic blade and hellfire, as water battered Garrick. She swore it - no matter the outcome. This would not turn out the same.
  112.  
  113. Mosa would be the one in control - not her insanity. She refused to accept any fate other than this. Even as the girl's stamina laid upon the soaked, cragged ground in pools of vitae, Mosa swore it.
  114.  
  115. There would be no return.
  116.  
  117. "Garrick...!!! I refuse it! I won't lose myself - And I refuse to be dragged back without a fight!" Mosa would ssend the burning, hatred fueled man skidding to the edge of the swamp with a hydrojet of water.
  118.  
  119. "You'll have to drag me back as a corpse, Garrick!!! Betrayer I may be, but coward I am not...!"
  120.  
  121. The ocean within was calm - the circuit within; stable. The girl's eyes were as blue as the day she met Dario. Again, Mosa approached the drakan, dead set to finish this - A fight for her freedom - within that burning, molten bog.
  122. (Mosa)
  123. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  124.  Garrick would lunge forth with a cockiness that befit a dragon, a sense of prideful, fiery arrogance that had oft followed his molten passage since the day he'd embraced the flames of hatred and stepped fully away from Ryujin. It was this blind determination and self-confidence that had kept him going through the darkest times that had befallen him, a burning ember within that was a steadfast reminder of his strength even when he failed.
  125.  
  126. An ember that had blinded him in facing the water magi.
  127.  
  128. Clashing blades against the occultist, each fiery lunge was met with a liquid answer that steamed and lapped at his life force in equal tow. For each vicious blow that the drake laid down upon Mosa, an answer returned that would set him down with violence against the moist ground of the swamps. The occultist was not going to leave without a fight, and the drake was aware with sudden certainty of just how much of a fight that was.
  129.  
  130. Blasted back in a tumble of heavy limbs by a great cannon of condensed liquid, the drake swordsman would tumble across the ground in a steaming bundle as he gnashed his teeth together with anger, mist rising from his super heated, suddenly cooled form as he planted his black blade into the ground with a furious thrust. Stopping his movement and holding the drake in place, a growl of illegible fury would leave the magma manifester's jagged teeth as he forced himself to a standing position once more.
  131.  
  132. Pointing his water logged blade towards Mosa as steam rose from it, the drake's molten eyes would hang upon the umbretarn occultist with fiery determination and a new sense of respect for her abilities. He would not, and could not underestimate her any longer.
  133.  
  134. It was time to stop playing around.
  135. (Garrick)
  136. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  137.  Fear had settled in Dario's heart. Fear for Mosa- For the life she would live, if she lost, and he failed to save her. Doubt, when she had pushed ahead of him.
  138.  
  139. But he watched her battle. Watched a once bookish, shy girl unravel her fury- Tame it beneath focus and courage, rising to the occasion. In between the sulfurous heat and jets of water, Dario saw Mosa, the rising tide, as she truly was- A survivor, fighter battling on all fronts for her own freedom, warrior in her personal war. He watched blood spill into pools amid the marsh, watched her struggle dearly for the prize of this pain:
  140.  
  141. Her mind, her right to live as she deemed.
  142.  
  143. For once, Dario witnessed what a battle waged in the name of one's own convictions, waged at all costs for something priceless- He witnessed the price of freedom, the unambiguous brutality of what survival meant in this world. It humbled him- Shamed him, that he had doubted Mosa and rushed to see her as someone to be protected, someone that needed assistance. Someone to be a hero for.
  144.  
  145. No. She was as powerful- Perhaps even more so -than him, to have staggered Garrick's advance. To have quelled the flames of his hatred- Mosa, who humbled dragons. Gritting his teeth at the comparative impotence of his ideals, Dario feels a heat bubbling in his chest, a fire suffusing his lungs, building into a shout, a call to her-
  146.  
  147. "MOSA, YOU CAN DO IT! I KNOW YOU CAN- BUT YOU KNOW, TOO! KEEP FIGHTIN', YOU'VE GOT IT IN YOU TO WIN!"
  148. (Dario)
  149. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  150.  Mosa exclaims, "Gaaaarick!!!!"
  151.  
  152.  The water appeared not to have cooled Garrick down as the implication of the steam might have implied. No, it appeared that the molten heat that bubbled within the drake's bosom was only inflamed by his misstep. Galvanized by his failure in the beginning of his bout against Mosa. Not demoralized, not displeased, the drake's fury only boiled over as he proceeded to engage once more with the occultic water magi blow to blow.
  153.  
  154. The drake adapted to the woman's tactics, gauging with clarity which movements had failed him so clearly the first leg of their bout. Weaving around blasts of compressed water, the drake would smash his blade against the woman's frame before sliding back in a trail of molten lava, daring them to follow and making the pursuit a two sided effort that allowed him plenty of opportunity to wear her down.
  155.  
  156. Moving with swiftness, the drake would lay down a series of chipping slashes against the woman's form before at last leaping back from the barrage, catching his own breath with a jagged smile as he observed his handiwork before clutching the handle of his great sword tightly once more. The drakan was contented, his burning flame sated by the drips of blood he spattered across the swamplands for the moment.
  157.  
  158. The black pearl of his amulet of rage bumped repeatedly against the handprint of reika as it surged with strength, adrenaline and battlelust pulsing through the fire drakan's veins as the sound of snapping bone and twisting flesh would emanate from the swordsman's form.
  159.  
  160. Bony wings dripping with blood, skinless and seemingly coated with rising, crimson steam would sprout forth from his spine, the drake's eyes glowing hot amber motes as he stared with singular focus upon Mosa.
  161.  
  162. "Ooooh, it feels good to stretch. Still got some fight left in you Mosa? Let me fix that."
  163.  
  164. (Garrick)
  165. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  166.  It didn't take much - adaption was a difficult thing to handle. So the inexperienced battle magi would discover as she was sent flying, through the air - through the sheer magmatic heat...standing upon cragged, lava pluming field the magi infront of Garrick looked to be exhausted.
  167.  
  168. Internally - she was done - through. Her blood, near empty. Stamina, depleated. Anemia returned...Aye, the girl crumpled forward.
  169.  
  170. It was fine. She did her best.
  171. You tried. Just return to the mountain - face your retribution.
  172. After all - those people already have everything they need from-
  173.  
  174. An errant thought came to mind - one that disgusted the magus to her very core. Mosa caught herself - her kneels near buckling but still she stood - bent over but up. The magus would not return to the disgusting, entitled way she was before.
  175.  
  176. It wasn't over yet - her eyes glowed deep blue. She didn't have blood in her body? She was exhausted? Her limbs were battered and damaged?
  177.  
  178. So what? Her circuit - a pause in that hellscape would allow Mosa to evaulate her reserves of mana. All fine. If her body didn't have what it needed - then...
  179.  
  180. "I'll. Just. Make. MORE!" A realization in the heat of this hated - magic was a vehicle to realize her desires. Use the water in the air? In the bog? The blood in her veins? Ridiculous! In front of her, clouds of blood. More than any human has right to have and an ocean's torrent. All clashing against the sheer heat - threatening to roll over Garrick.
  181.  
  182. Above all of it, watched Mosa. Floating in the air - the girl was ready to face whatever fate had in store. Each spell from then on was imparted with drops of the insanity she wished to rid herself of.
  183.  
  184. Hellheim or Avalon.
  185. Let's rock.
  186. (Mosa)
  187. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  188.  Garrick would spread a jagged toothed grin with a bark of laughter as he slapped the black scales of his cuirass with his cracked palms, molten fluid leaking from his form as he barked out in excited vigor. The drake had underestimated Mosa at first; had looked down upon the traitor as an effortless road block to be swatted aside and claimed in vengeance. And yet the occultist had offered him a worthy upset, beaten back the drake in the first rung of their clash and taught him an important lesson.
  189.  
  190. No matter his pride, a dragon could not underestimate any foe. The most unlikely souls could be dragon slayers.
  191.  
  192. As the clash of occultic water and molten flames steamed across the swamp, the swampy foilage was scorched and laid in ruin by the great force and collision of their blows and forms. Each brutal clash rended and scorched one end of the boggy length, another consumed by the roaring tides manifested by Mosa as the magi met their might against each other with glorious crescendo.
  193.  
  194. Yet, the drake had adapted, learned from his mistakes. Where the great waves of condensed water pressure buffeted towards him again, he slid aside in a trail of burning lava. When the javelins of razor current came for him, his scales were hardened as black diamonds. Dancing about the umbretarn magi with heaving breathes, the drake would finally bridge the distance between the two before swinging his blade forth towards them without touching them.
  195.  
  196. Allowing the wave of kinetic force to leave his blade and smash against the occultist's ribs with rib cracking force, knocking them aside and ending the bout with one final gesture.
  197.  
  198. Offering the downed Mosa a two clawed salute, the drake's molten eyes would turn to Dario as his jagged rows of teeth spread into a malevolent grin, cracking his neck and back briefly before his claw would run across the black pearl that sat upon his chest.
  199.  
  200. Though his former sidekick was before him, he saw onlythe flame.
  201.  
  202. "And then...there were two. What a joyous errand, what a wonderful time. Now, Dario, get out of my way before I walk through you. Did you forget the last lesson I taught you?"
  203.  
  204. (Garrick)
  205. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  206. The crash of Mosa would be a resounding one - battered and injured on the steaming swampgrounds. Yet - her spirit still laid unbroken. Even if her body barely moved- it still made one final act of futile resistance despite reeling from the shockwave of a powerful galeforce.
  207.  
  208. That resistance, would be her right arm - bloody, bruised and marked with the tattoo of the pact she made with Galrogg. Its right hand would grasp onto the left ankle of garrick, condensing water forming upon the blackened, molten greaves. The sheer furious heat burned and steamed with the remaining water and mana in her - but still she made this weak resistance.
  209.  
  210. "It's. Not...over- yet..." And - that grip weakened - Mosa was finished, passed out.
  211.  
  212. The body broke, before the spirit did. A sign - of things to come?
  213. (Mosa)
  214. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  215.  "If you think for one second I'm movin' outta the way without a fight..."
  216.  
  217. Dario had winced when Mosa crashed into the earth in a brackish soup of blood and water. The image was fresh in his mind, every inch of ground she had gained and conceded, every blow she had sustained- Every wound and indignity. The soot that stained his flesh had hardened into a layer of volcanic pumice, then blackened into obsidian- Dario almost seemed a man frozen in dark ice, with how the blocky chunks of rock and glass enveloped up from his arms, cast glimmering reflections of the marsh around them, strange shadows dancing over the surface.
  218.  
  219. The common blood of Greenhills, of eons of humble men turned architects of their fate- It roared in Dario's ears for vindication. The blood of common men turned dragonslayers, kingmakers, of whoresons and bastards with the gall to reach higher- And something else, farther back.
  220.  
  221. Something in it called the world to his flesh. It whispered to Dario, past the dark wail of the Dreadwoods, scythed past the roar of mortal fury in his heart, "I am the earth, I will make you strong,"
  222.  
  223. Steady. Inexorable. Where Dario might've buckled in fear against Garrick before, there was calm, a fury that hummed like lightning in his mana circuits. Asymmetrical plates shift on his face, shuffling forward with a metallic screech to mask his mouth, the magma floes erupting along the crevices of his shell when his voice adopted a volcanic reverb,
  224.  
  225. "...Then you're fartha gone than I thought...! I'm not lettin' Mosa's fight go to waste- I'm not lettin' you steal all those years...! Get ready, cause it's about time to TIP THE SCALES!"
  226.  
  227. An explosive retort to Garrick erupts from behind Dario, long jets of magma and sheer kinetic force propelling him towards the Drakan- Bolder, stronger than he was three years ago, with renewed cause.
  228. (Dario)
  229. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  230.  "...Always the hero, aren't you? Giving me a tooth ache with all this sugary sweetness. Should I be proud of you as your former mentor? I am that far gone Dario, but I'm pleasantly surprised you choose to stand and fight. Fill your hands Greenhill."
  231.  
  232. The fire drakan would cackle with excitement and battelust as he slammed his black blade against the ground, tremors of molten heat and spiderwebbed fissures trailing across the swampy expanse as the drake's molten amber motes held fast upon his former sidekick. After gutting him at the volcano, Garrick had presumed the last thing on the youth's mind would be to face him again in battle.
  233.  
  234. Yet, swordsmen were strange creatures, ungoverned by sense. The drake couldn't held but smirk at being proven wrong.
  235.  
  236. And so the display began, a brutal clash of blades and kinetic shockwaves as the drake and Dario met their might against each other with a song of swords and crackling flame. The younger magma magi would strike forth against the drake only to be ruthlessly parried, countered, and slammed as the battle went on.
  237.  
  238. Awaiting the lunge of the Greenhill almost as if by prediction, the drake would swing his great sword forth towards them as wave of sheer kinetic force and gusting wind would slam into his former sidekick, knocking them off their feet and sliding them across the battlefield as the fire drakan made an idle tsking sound with a light click of his teeth, molten eyes held steadily upon the other magma magi with amusement and fury alike.
  239.  
  240. "Your passion is there, but you're weakened by such pitiful emotions as love, the desire to protect. Such is the way only to stoke a homely hearth, a dullard's flame. The true strength of fire is a hatred that burns you inside and out, for emotions that scorch the brightest consume all that surrounds them. You must learn to hate, Dario, and perhaps you'll manage to defeat me."
  241. (Garrick)
  242. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  243. Nothing but his fists. There was no blade in Dario's hand this time, no hero's weapon. Here in the Dreadwoods, against Garrick, the drakan was answered with Old Fomorian. Blows from his greatsword guided down with the thickest segments of the Nyeshk plate, heat billowing from every crevice-
  244.  
  245. And yet Dario still found himself Garrick's junior. The moment he soared backwards, winded in the brush, something broke. Somewhere deep within the younger man's psyche, a latch came undone, a spark to a flame- Doubt, fury, the unyielding desire to honor the fight Mosa had put up before him-
  246.  
  247. Ambition. It boiled within the molten shell, pressure rising enough that long tongues of steam erupted between the magma floes with volcanic pressure, sprayed pyroclastic floes across the marsh. He could not yield to Garrick the satisfaction of hating him- But he could leverage the desire to out-do and defeat him, honor the memory of the name that came before this image.
  248.  
  249. "You talk too much, Garrick...! Watch closely- I'll show you what a 'dullard's flame' can do...!"
  250. (Dario)
  251. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  252.  "That's it! I can tell! The burning bile upon your tongue, the fervent desire to put me in my place. Use that ember....seize it. The flames of hatred await you Dario, they will not allow you to fail if you simply take up their mantle in full."
  253.  
  254. The fire drakan would cackle with malevolent glee as they duo exchanged ringing blows. Sparks spread across the battlefield as the moist swampland was rended asunder by the brutal strength of the two magma magi. Molten lava erupted from the bog as steam and smoke rose, blackened wood and burning leaves trailing about the battlefield as the two swordsman connected over and over again.
  255.  
  256. Yet, for all of Dario's heroic determination and vigor, for his genuine desire to save Mosa from the drake's grasp, he was still but a human standing against a dragon. Garrick spent his days upon the mountain sharpening his fangs through relentless melee combat, pushing his limits against the great phenoms of the modern island with black blade and molten flame alone.
  257.  
  258. The expanse of bony wings would ignite with flame as the battle progressed, the black pearl of the amulet of rage glistening in the burning heat as the drake's eyes focused upon the battle with determination to seize his vengeance. Dario may wish to protect the girl, but she had sold Garrick out.
  259.  
  260. He would not let anyone stand in his way.
  261.  
  262. As the wings of flame spread out with a gust of searing hot air, the drake would see his opportunity to end the fight as Dario propelled himself forward with a sliding dash of flame, a familiar talent he'd made use of constant times in his practice as a fiery swordsman. The drake would meet the attack head on with one of his own, drawing his greatsword back before delivering a brutal slash to Dario's torso as the two met, a kinetic shockwave spreading out in a gust of hot wind as the fire drakan paced steadily forward past Dario, slowly laying his great sword upon the burn scarred rungs of his back plate and moving to grab Mosa by the scruff of her neck.
  263.  
  264. The battle was done.
  265. (Garrick)
  266. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  267.  Three years of progress was cut down to nothing in a blow. Three years reverted; For all he had studied of magic, all the strength and passion he had mustered in the moment, it amounted to another sound defeat- When he fell, Dario could hardly tell if he was falling to the marsh, or if he
  268.  
  269. Dario had met the hard edge of Garrick's blade behind little more than his hands, struck down upon it with his gauntlet in the collision- Hard enough that it bit into the impenetrable Nyeshk, momentum carrying it back into his chest, and further back still. Hard enough that thought escaped Dario. Hard enough that when Dario lay on the ground, hours later, his obsidian shell would prove little more than dust, resting on a bed of pumice from magma floes cooling against groundwater.
  270.  
  271. In the scarce moments before the cigarette burns fraying at the edge of his vision overtake him, Dario finds no satisfaction here- A different battlefield, yet with no ground gained. It is all Dariocan do to keep breathing, discarded in the brush.
  272. (Dario)
  273. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  274.  
  275.  Garrick would glance over the fallen Dario for a time as he crossed his emerald, cracked scaled arms over the black plate of his cuirass with an idle hum. Mosa was to be dragged along, his quarry for the day's hunt taken in the heat of glorious vengeance. Yet, the drake had not seen it fit to maim or slay the collapsed Greenhill, the thought of him facing him once more with the hatred of his stolen companion boiling in his heart bringing the fire drakan much amusement and excitement.
  276.  
  277. He'd prove far more amusing alive.
  278.  
  279. Dragging Mosa away as his burning wings flapped steadily behind him, the drake crossed off yet another thing from the list of that which stood in his way with an idle puff of his ragged cigarette and a steady flick of his claw against the black pearl that adorned the amulet of fury. The fire had guided him to that which he had most desired, reforged him in the glorious crucible of hatred.
  280.  
  281. A smile that did not reach his burning eyes spread across his face as he returned north. This was only the beginning.
  282. (Garrick)
  283.  
  284. Amulet Of Fury [PENDANT]
  285. "An Amulet owned by the Dragon-Researcher Vahzlok. Said to be a cursed artifact from the deeps, it can send its wearer into intense rages, along with granting visions that others would call insane. To Vahzlok’s benefit, his vision-projects would always work. The Amulet itself is worth a small fortune. Intricate golden chains hold tightly to a pitch black pearl. The Amulet’s centerpiece radiates an intense dark magic, which itself is offset by a ruby which emboldens the wearer."
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