3/1 - The Death Throes of the Swuisarme King

JWaldman Mar 3rd, 2019 132 Never
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  1. A far off trip, to the corners of Agartha.
  3. What they expected to meet here... it wasn't present at all. Instead, an emptyness in which nothing lives and nothing thrives. An observation cast upon the horizon ahead of them reveals a shoreline, with the mist above the seas as they exit the wilderness. Though, the longer they peer upon the said mist, the more they realize - just something isn't right about it...
  5. And yet, there's a man. A single person sat upon a rock.
  7. An elderly, no doubt. With the cane in his hand, and a boat laid upon the shore, he gave an eye to the group. A cough followed, wheezy and sickly; one could tell that he could hardly be capable of operating the boat next to him... probably. Or at least, it looks that way. Then, he speaks.
  9. "Whaddya after?"
  10.  Ser Artaghh would puff idly on his corn cob pipe as he gazed into the depths of the oddly haunting mist, glancing keenly with his remaining eye only to discern absolutely nothing from it. Gauging that this was the ideal man to speak to regarding bringing down the fell beast once and for all, the bald knight would slap his cuirass with jolly fervor before exclaiming. "Simple brother, we're huntin' the Swuisarme King."
  11. (Artaghh)
  12. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  14.  Allende had taken charge of rowing the group to shore, once they'd disembarked the chartered vessel. It had been a hearty enough voyage, one filled with shanties, educating the less versed on the lives of deckhands, rigging, and maintenance.
  16. He moored the boat they'd beached on, brow knitting some at the sight of the elderly man. Allende mused on where the reports had delivered them, to the grim whispers that'd reached him.
  18. "The Swuisarme King."
  19. (Allende)
  20. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  21.  Though at home she held the rank.. Traveling she was content to let the others take the lead as they wished... She was here to kill a giant fish monster and to take in the sights..
  23. Her emotions now ever so faded.... very few things she felt anymore.. Even the sights of new places didn't cause her joy.. but it didn't make her sad either... Such a strange feeling to not truly feel at all for the most part...
  25. She ponders on this as she lets the others speak.. her ears perked for signs of trouble...
  26. (Jessi Ann)
  27. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  28.  Following after the merry band of melee heroes, Chroma would ease as he put his arms behind his head. He was a bit relaxed, he supposed, though he'd never really thought much on this particular set of events.
  30. He'd killed many, many Suisarmes but to take on one beyond all others? A Suisarme King or Queen sounded a bit intrigued to finally hear it from Artaghh's mouth.
  32. Crossing his arms as they came up on the older gentleman, he'd allow the bald wonder of Dawn to elucidate as he steeled himself for what was to come. A slight wind would dance about his cape as it upkept, and he'd attempt to pay attention in the midst of things.
  34. "What he said..."
  35. (Chroma Zanders)
  36. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  38.  {NARRATION} The man pondered at the words spoken by them.
  40. Sagely, he nods. Although his eyes seem to travel elsewhere, akin in a ponder, he glances over to the mist, one that only becomes... a lot more obvious in its pattern to the group; sickly, deathly blue shrouds the surface of the ocean. The air feels heavy even on the shore, and you could swear that your lungs were stinging. Maybe that's why the elderly man coughs?
  42. "Aye, aye. The King..."
  44. He pauses. Apparently, it's a known subject to him; taking a deep inhale, he dusts off the knees and stands up, almost as if by habit. He peers towards the boat, assuming that's what they came here for.
  46. "He's on the island. It isn't far from here, going to take a bit of rowing there. I'm a ferryman, you see... and for just ten coins, I can take you there."
  48. He awaits.
  49. [18:09] Ser Artaghh actually didn't have 10 coins to spare, he had no coins at all. He'd arrived on this island with empty pockets, determined gumption, and vengeance in his remaining eye for all fish kind. Nodding steadily, he'd allow the others to speak on the matter with a steady nod of his head. The time for the bald knight's revenge had finally arrived.
  50. (Artaghh)
  51. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  53.  The half-blood knit his brow some. A hand rose to rub at his chest, trying to clear his throat of a lump that wouldn't come up. His eyes wandered halfway over his shoulder, towards the sea.
  55. And his eyes turned back to the ferryman, hand reaching back to a coinpurse.
  57. "On the island...? The King lives in a cove?"
  59. One by one, he counted out a neat stack of coins, bound in string and offering them forward.
  60. (Allende)
  61. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  63. The Nagual would turn her now orange gaze to the mist... How odd... Luckily after previous.. experiences.. she was more prepared for things of this sort... She smiles thinking of the mask tied to her pack.
  65. Still keeping some attention on the conversation at hand she thinks...
  69. Before entering any mists... she would put the mask on..
  72. (Jessi Ann)
  73. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  75.  Nodding at that, Chroma would take out his coins, readily. He actually had a good amount on him for once, and could stand to pay his own weight if he had to. Walking forwards he'd hand it over to the elder, and then glance over at his boat feeling like he honestly didn't see them so much around Agartha, oddly.
  77. Not wanting to waste any real time, before making some regal sushi, he'd make the movements with a sleight to them, a quick look to the bald and ever incandescent dome of Artaghh's and he'd realize he was poor as a bag of bills.
  79. Letting out a chuckle, he'd fork over 20, for himself and the other Knight, and then listen in on any extra information given on the King.
  81. "Wait..each or, in total?" was is only inquiry, truly.
  82. (Chroma Zanders)
  83. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  84.  Sagely old ferrymen, prepared to row them across the deep-- Was that normal? Scarlet orbs narrowed with mild distrust, before cautiously nodding. "Well.. interestin' to place fer' a large fish." Inside a dank, dark cove.
  86. Coughing adjusting the metallic mask attached to his hauberk.
  88. "Ignorin' the fact I don't need to actually breathe, I got enough money if needed.."
  89. (Vedran Ivanovich)
  90. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  91. Jessi Ann asks, "What if it's not entirely a fish?"
  92. Chroma Zanders asks, "...Like..a Sirenian?"
  93. Jessi nods
  94. (Jessi Ann)
  95. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  97.  Allende says, "I wouldn't be surprised. With what rumors've reached us? That thing has succored upon all things, and it's hunger is why we're here."
  98. Artaghh says, "Aye, it's hunt ends today."
  99.  {NARRATION} Casually, the elderly man takes the coins from Allende. He counts them studiously, almost as if trying to ensure that nothing went wrong with the sum... as unlikely as it may be. A simple nod is offered- not at anyone in particular, but as a part of acceptance of the money.
  101. "Aye. On the island, in the cove. An' total is enough."
  103. He walks over to the boat. With surprising strength, especially for what seems to be a frail old man, he pushes the boat towards the waters. Half of it enters the surface of the water, and he nods to the group.
  105. "Get on, then."
  107. And yet, the closer they get, the more bizarre this mist seems to be... it lingers in the air, like the invisible ghosts trying to penetrate their lungs with its foulness. As much as it's unpleasant however, the elderly man doesn't seem to mind it, except an occasional cough.
  108. [18:15] Her eyes never leaving the mists she puts the mask on.
  110. She didn't trust this at all... She was prepared to take to the skies should anything happen...
  113. (Jessi Ann)
  114. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  116.  Ser Artaghh would follow the old man dutifully, gripping upon his blade's hilt as he puffed steadily forth with his corn cob pipe. The mist seemed to swallow any of the usual minty smoke that emanated from his favored appendage, and even his tar coated lungs ached a bit at the foulness of the fell mist that seemed to coat the land.
  118. Stepping on to the boat with careful clanks of his silvery sabaton onto the boat, the one eyed knight would grit his teeth and steel his wits, his hatred aiding in focusing him on the task at hand. The Swuisarme king would die this night.
  119. (Artaghh)
  120. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  121. "Well.. I think everyone 'as yer accent, Artaghh!" Truly, it was infectious.. following the frail older man without a notable hint of hesitation; content with the simple face..
  123. He didn't need to breathe.
  125. Letting out a low, raspy chuckle as the lingering fog failed to deter him, wondering however.. would think Boat hold them all? A majority of the swordsmen were large in stature! Stepping unto it with heavy footfall..
  126. (Vedran Ivanovich)
  127. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  129.  Lacking a sense of smell, Chroma was wholesomely confused as to the miasma about him. It's thick viscosity and opaque quality was a foreboding, and ominous accommodation to this journey indeed.
  131. The Knight would let out a few haggard clears of his throat to no avail, now pulling up some fabric, and covering his mouth so he could finally exert a bit less effort to reinvigorate his lungs.
  133. The coupling of this setting, and the eerie void of knowledge surrounding this aquatic monarch drew an uneasy feeling. He'd grip the side of the boat and stay steeled, awaiting their imminent arrival.
  135. "It's like we're going through solid tar out here.."
  136. (Chroma Zanders)
  137. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  139.  Allende watched the old man shuffle the boat to water, unmoored from the bay. He adjusted the collar of his greatcoat, looking out towards the sea.
  141. "Ill wind..."
  143. He fished the crooked billiard pipe from within a breast, thumbing the bowl. Before long, he took several clicking puffs, to substitute what fell air there was. Musing on the notion of the Swuisarme King, Allende sighs out a breath, working to fix a lantern to the boat's head. He takes the duty of manning the fore.
  145. "To be this wild... It must be lonely, I think. Singular creature that it is, it is peerless- Such solitude, more in as deceitful a realm as the sea. No natural creature born of this world can truly love solitude- Any that would must be a beast, or a god. Is this from the King?"
  146. (Allende)
  147. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  149. {NARRATION} The elderly man pushed off from the shore. With the people manning the boat- assuming they do not stay behind, of course- they set sail. Much like the ferryman is supposed to, he operates the paddles - and despite how frail he looks, his arms surely had enough strength to transport this many people at once... it's almost surprising how such is possible.
  151. Still, the mist did not dissipate as they sailed, nor it became any clearer; it was only becoming thicker, almost impossible to see anything beyond your arm's length. There's no guarantee that they were heading the right direction at all, and the ferryman didn't really speak - letting the group sort themselves out.
  153. Eventually, however, there's a question.
  155. "Ye' folks wanna kill the King, yeah? Why?"
  157. Cough, cough. Despite the thick mist in the air, he seemed to be breathing fine. The eyes of the ferryman were looking over at the group as he spoke, awaiting.
  158. [18:25] Allende said nothing, for once. He nursed his billiard, eyes shutting as he listened past the lap of water, the hiss of the tide.
  160. Land would grow far, soon. When his eyes parted, it would be to look over the side, scan what little the lantern at the fore would reveal. Shadows in the water were ever his concern.
  161. (Allende)
  162. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  164.  Ser Artaghh would puff solemnly at his pipe as he shut his remaining eye, finding it pointless with the great expanse of nothingness that was the simply wrong mist. Whatever happened next, he knew that with certainty two lives would be avenged this day. The knight would have his fill of blood. "It owes me two lives, friend. Siegmeyer Engel, an' me older brother."
  165. (Artaghh)
  166. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  168.  Artaghh says, "I'll settle on one of its."
  169.  Still remaining silent... she thought surely the other four could keep the old man entertained... she didn't trust any of this for a moment..
  171. Her eyes constantly watching the waters... Hearing muffled some by the mask... but likely she could still hear on par if not better than the others of the group..
  173. Save maybe Vedran… she wasn't sure about their hearing compared to humans..
  175. She would nod simply at Artaghhs response... She was just tired of picking up wounded children from Swuisarme attacks.
  176. (Jessi Ann)
  177. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  179.  Pondering for a moment, a hand was brought to Chroma's chin as he hopped up and went to lay a foot on the side of the boat. Standing up now, and leaning a bit on the side, he'd close his eyes since it was no real use to see anyways."Hmn….."
  181. He'd not necessarily had a reason to destroy the King, other than the fact he'd been terrorized in youth by his subjects, beaten down, battered and annoyed by them to no real end.
  183. "I'm just tired of him and his men storming Dawn...countless brownshirts, kids, being beaten into submission and dragged off to sea...his time's up...that's all there is to it." he'd cooly add to the conversation, content with that as his reasons for tagging along.
  184. (Chroma Zanders)
  185. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  186. Elderly ferryman or not - they could row with ease despite the hefty knights and swordsmen in his own company, Vedran was baffled by it! But focus was lost as the mire-like fog grew thicker, the Cainite's luminous sights barely broke through..
  188. "Mm.. I'm 'ere to help a friend." It wasn't the most justifiable reason; the Vampire held little stake with the King's death... choosing to focus on the ocean.
  190. Hearing each crash of the waves-- It was almost peaceful.
  192. "So! How many people come 'round here?" Directed at the ferryman, they likely weren't the only visitors and the frail man didn't seem perplexed by their desires.
  193. (Vedran Ivanovich)
  194. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  196. Allende says, "Surely, there's challenge in it, much as men scale any mountain for standing tall, they fell giants the very same."
  197. Chroma Zanders says, "One way to look at it.."
  199.  {NARRATION} "I see. Good luck with that."
  201. No other comment was offered. Instead, the ferryman focused on what he was supposed to do - to transport them to the island. Or at least, it's how it looked like... even if they tried to gaze beyond the veil of the mist, nothing was apparent. Still, he turns his attention to Vedran, and acknowledging his question with a nod, he speaks.
  203. "Not many. 'Tis place abandoned. Mostly."
  205. The rowing continued. Silent waters beneath them were all that accompanied the travellers.
  207. ...
  209. ...
  211. ...
  213. It's taking a while. Even now, with the mist encroaching from all sides, it was getting terribly dull. Nothing was happening, save for the air feeling heavy; it was becoming slightly darker, but it's hard to tell, whether the time of the day was passing or it was the trick of the light. It becomes hard to keep the track of time, even while one tries to, for some reason... for how long they've been here?
  215. "Ye folks should rest. 'Tis ain't short journey. Might get tired, and that's not a state to fight King with."
  217. He made sense. The air felt heavy, and it was getting darker. With quietness all around them, and the mist that doesn't let you see past anything... what's the point of remaining awake? They deserved some rest before their finale. They deserved to be prepared for it.
  219. "Sleep. It ain't coming soon."
  220. [18:38] For the first time the Nagual speaks voice slightly muffled through the mask..
  222. "If we sleep. We should do it in shifts.
  224. Only made sense after all...
  227. (Jessi Ann)
  228. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  230.  Allende leans onto the fore, acutely aware of the mist as it pinched a vice around them. He was too uneasy for rest, now, but exposure enough might make him accustomed. His mind briefly wanders to the memory of Nethrain at Dawn, and black gales, tar rains.
  232. "Shifts."
  233. (Allende)
  234. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  236. Allende says, "I'll take the first."
  238.  "Mostly?" How ominous-- What was out here? Besides the King and a Ferryman.
  240. Soundless as they passed further and further into the perilous mists, it felt like hours passed! Maybe it was the heaviness of the air, but it wasn't long before they had to 'rest'..
  242. "I don't need sleep-- I can take any shift." Another blessing of Vampiric immortality, the only danger he faced? Extraordinary boredom! Even if they didn't take shifts..
  244. Vedran's eyes stayed wide open, watching and waiting for time to pass.
  245. (Vedran Ivanovich)
  246. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  248.  Ser Artaghh would remain diligently focused on his vendetta, his years of training perfection his energy magic to its present level of proficiency giving him vast reserves of strength and endurance beyond what most men could achieve. "If ye' desire'ta rest, ye' can. Vedran an' I can watch."
  249. (Artaghh)
  250. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  252. Caution.
  254. Unsure of taking a rest before this journey, or how long it actually would take, Chroma silently resigned to keep himself in a state of meditation over full blown sleep. He did not know these waters, let alone the one they'd trusted their lives in sailing them down an unknown stream.
  256. Hearing the chatter of his group deciding to sleep in shifts, he'd concede a bit, but elect to stay up for now, alongside Allende. He'd rested well with his fiancé the day prior and was moreso invested in keeping himself alive.
  258. "Shifts it is, then..? And yeah, let Ved take em. But I'll be up for a while."
  259. (Chroma Zanders)
  260. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  262.  {NARRATION} The ferryman didn't say anything about it. As the group agreed to make shifts, remaining awake one after another, even those with the toughest willpower found themselves being lulled to sleep... for the likes of Vedran, it didn't matter in being a Vampire either. Whether magic was involved, or even something else, clearly unnatural force was in play. Perhaps, they would try to awaken one another when their shift would come, but it becomes all too futile.
  264. Heavy... arms, legs, everything is so heavy...
  266. The mist was getting to them, slowly and surely. With nothing to protect them from the mist creeping in their body, they were falling asleep one after another. Attempts to do anything about ferryman, or at least ask him, were seemingly futile. He would not respond at all, constantly rowing... which all made a greater effect on the lulling, causing the stillness and silence of the waters to reinforce the idea of sleeping.
  268. So exhausted... so tired...
  270. In the end, no matter who was the last, all of them were weakened enough to fall prey to the mist. The ferryman continued rowing, not daring to do anything about them whatsoever. Instead, a single whisper.
  272. "Hush... sleep..."
  273. [18:48] Laying there for a few moments she would begin to feel tired like normal when she was trying to sleep... but then she could feel it... the unnatural tiredness invading her body lulling her to sleep her limbs heavy...
  275. She knew things would likely be bad when she awoke... but she would deal with that then...
  276. (Jessi Ann)
  277. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  279. [18:49] Ser Artaghh would blink steadily, his eyes slowly growing heavier as he sat beside Vedran on watch, his head growing foggy as he began to breathe more hoarsely, chewing with like, growing gaze and apprehension at the sense of unnatural weariness that took him over. Finally, his remaining eye flicked shut, as with a light tumble his rock solid head would slam down into Vedran's leg before tumbling to the floor of the boat, the knight entirely unconscious.
  280. (Artaghh)
  281. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  283. Over time, despite his inhibitions and want to stay alert throughout the journey, Chroma would find a yawn escaping him oddly. ". . . .What...the....hel--?"
  285. Perhaps it was the boredom of the travel? Or the fog feeling like deep wool being pulled over his eyes as he found them becoming heavier.
  287. He'd initially try to fight it off by slapping himself on the side of the face, but the repeated taps would slow, and his consciousness faltered as he found himself laying in the side of the boat as sleep invaded his actions with little to no consent.
  289. Rest.
  290. (Chroma Zanders)
  291. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  293.  Funny.
  295. How quickly most of them were heap responsibility upon him, all lulling to sleep.. one after another; Truthfully? That would've been an ill-calculated move. Letting their guards with the Child of Cain lingering, if he wanted..?
  297. They could've been picked off, one by one.. rendered into bloodless husk.
  299. Alas! Vedran wasn't that much of an opportunist; not with them.. It didn't help how weak he felt.
  301. Like he'd not fed for days, wearily peering down at Artaghh's bowling ball of a cranium-- Having slammed down on his foot. "Get yer' shiny do.." He would've hissed something.. if the vampire didn't drop unconscious then and there.
  303. Sound asleep.
  304. (Vedran Ivanovich)
  305. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  306.  What a foreign sensation, the sloth slithering into him, vigor siphoned from his bones. It's as sense drains away that Allende idly thinks it was as if he were being invaded.
  308. There's a dulled panic that sets in, then. It would've been sharp, he might've risen with a start, yet instead it struck as hammer to a bolt of cloth. The realization thudded through him, and he struggled to a stand, to focus upon something.
  310. The rusting squeak of the lantern, the waves, the inertia. Something. Soon, oblivion, as Allende virtually melts against the hull, crashing over onto the resting Chroma. He groans something, but without enough will to form words.
  311. (Allende)
  312. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  314.  {NARRATION} Nothing but silence.
  316. In the end, the darkness veiled their eyes, and everything was hard to remember past that point. At least, it didn't feel like eternity, to sleep in such drugged sensation... if anything, it felt like a brief moment, like a sudden blackout that rendered them all unconscious- even if in fact, it took time doing so- and nothing could be recalled at how it happened.
  318. Still...
  320. Slowly, they awaken. The people in robes surround each and every one of them, and they're tied by loose ropes to relatively wide sticks, in a very tribal style, and carried by two people for each. They do not have anything on them, save for the rags they wear to cover their unmentionables, but beyond that...
  322. They have nothing.
  324. "...O mighty one, bring yerself to us! For we offer thine blood to feast!"
  326. Drums, chants, people in lines. A familiar robe is leading them, one that perhaps could be recalled transporting them just a moment ago... for how long they were unconscious even?
  328. But something had to be done, fast. The two people that carried each of them weren't aware of their awakening just yet - the ropes looked fairly loose for a magi to handle. Maybe there's a chance.
  329. [19:05] When she awoke and felt the ropes about her her mind immediately went into overdrive... she didn't feel the familiar weight of clothing or armor either... seems she was barely covered by some rags....
  331. The Nagual roars a sound like rolling thunder... Likely not the wisest option.. but nonetheless.. Holy mana explodes from her likely harming their captors as she yanks on the ropes... even though she wasn't a warrior her strength was still enough to break simple ropes..
  333. As she broke free the Nagual would become coated in golden lightning... a sight to behold even almost nude... A body hard from years of fighting her metal arm gleaming from the lightning...
  336. (Jessi Ann)
  337. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  339.  Ser Artaghh would blink awake as the heavy fog over his head barely lifted, glancing around as the thump of the tribal music pulsated painfully within his ears. The knight had a feeling something was going to go wrong, but he figured the express trip to the thing he wanted to kill one way or another. At the least, they would get their ten coins back.
  341. Igniting forth in a brilliant shroud of fiery man, Artaghh would flex his muscles with vigor, attempting to break the ropes through sheer, mana infused musculature and manly shonen might.
  342. (Artaghh)
  345.  Awakening...a groggy, confused existence of spinning and the sudden invasion of consciousness would snap Chroma back awake. He was being carried off by these odd individuals, not having any real time to process though, or to reason a single spark of action would flash and pervade his mind, an urgent seething building within.
  347. He was pissed.
  349. Immediately Chroma would let loose a growl, as he imbued his well toned form with Energy magic, enhancing and furthering his might as he tried to break free and glare down upon his captors as his eyes glowed a vibrant cobalt.
  351. If his attempt went through, then he'd continue along--
  353. Clenching his fists, his face would wretch into a malevolent scowl as he took a step forwards and shook the ground in his fury. He didn't yet act, but it was felt that perhaps he was just as feral as their ritual, given the circumstances of his jail-break.
  354. (Chroma Zanders)
  355. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  357. Darkness.
  359. Slumber for the vampire? Rare! That moment of solace should've been a bad sign.. Didn't he nap for a few weeks? Disorientated and confused, his eyes slowly peeled themselves open-- They weren't on the boat? Sanguine-hued orbs darted around.
  361. Flanked by robed worshippers and tied a pole? Another sensation hit him.. It was ODDLY drafty! Feeling the cold air.. the vampire suppressed a sigh-- Before a low growl rang out.
  363. Attracting the attention of the duo carrying him; It wasn't long before he'd start to violently writhe-- could simple ropes hold a vampire? Answering the question as a subtle crimson glow overtook them..
  365. Fury erupted.
  367. Snapping the binding ropes with relative ease, leaving the robed man face-to-face with a snarling semi-nude vampire..
  369. Oh-- his merry band of half-naked warriors..
  371. And Jessi.
  372. (Vedran Ivanovich)
  373. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  375.  It felt like barely a moment. But at some indeterminate point, the inertia of a swaying rowboat was replaced with something else. Gravity.
  377. When Allende cracked his eyes open, he breathed out the grog, the primal bass of a forgotten people's drums pounding in his ears. It stirred something primeval in him, and he found the prospects of keeping imprisoned dismal.
  379. So dismal, in fact, that it had sent a morbid surge of adrenaline into him. His eyes widened, and a survivor's instinct brought his flame to life. Allende flexed his arms forward, a thick coat of flame erupting to envelope the man- Before peeling away in long plumes, revealing an obsidian shroud. He was sulfurous, temperament volcanic, rage billowing through the cracks as he seemingly carbonized.
  381. His expression was morbidly hidden behind a sheath of glassy black rock. Giving himself over to instinct, he trailed molten rock with his passage.
  382. (Allende)
  383. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  385. {NARRATION} The moment they broke out of their restraints, the scared cultists dropped the idea of holding them altogether and ran away- only the most formidable ones stayed, sticking themselves to the Lead Cultist - which, perhaps to no surprise at this point, was the ferryman himself.
  387. He wasn't amused at all... a glare was given to how all of them broke out, and while the bags with their equipment were stashed just next to the pedestal, which was supposed to become their sacrifical place, is very much impossible to reach as they stand guard before it.
  389. "Ye fools!"
  391. "Should've kept yer eyes closed! It wouldn't hurt that way! But if ya want to do it the hard way, then bring it!"
  393. A gesture at the formidable cultists that stayed nearby- a whistle, and the Lead Cultist exclaimed.
  395. "Get 'em!"
  397.  {NARRATION} The Lead Cultist and assisting cast turned out to be formidable magi. While the group that arrived on this island was capable of more, certainly, they've been pushed to their limits... and even if they fought without their equipment, certain moments of the fight had only shown that they were inches away from getting a severe injury, due to lack of armor - a slipped blade, a misfired spell, and it ended otherwise.
  399. A guttural scream. The Cultist did not wish to surrender all of his work, but alas- with each slide and dice against his body, with each comrade of his fallen, there was little of him being left; whittled away, weakened, until there's nothing for him to fight with.
  403. A final strike, a combination of efforts from them all. Weaponry or not, they had managed to defeat him with only a single thing they had that moment - their own strength. Still, what seems to be curious is the bloodied parchment on his body... an instruction of sort? They were chanting the name of the King, weren't they?
  405. An amulet. It hums with potent strength, singing a muse to their ears. It's hard to make out what it is just yet, but perhaps further investigation would reveal that. Their gear rests next to the sacrificial-pedestal-to-be, next to whatever belongings other cultists had, if they bothered to check.
  407. And carnage that happened.
  409.  Ser Artaghh would fall to his knees in exhaustion as he spit a glob of blood from his reddened teeth, his body aching, cut, and dripping with cursory bruises and cuts from the close, vigorous melee of the fell cult. It had been a close battle at times, their foul magic was as overwhelmingly powerful as the knight could have expected at such a mysterious, far reach of Agartha.
  411. A peasant first and a knight second, the bald swordsman would begin to walk about and pick through the cultist's belongings for anything of value, leaving the mystical powerful amulet and his own gear even for the potential of financial gain. Artaghh was quite poor.
  412. (Artaghh)
  413. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  415.  Allende had gathered himself from the ground, heaving out breaths of sulfur as the magma shroud constricted him. It retracted part-way, the man forcing himself to a stand- Scorched and battered, sections of the obsidian armor carved in hunks away. He rids himself of it, stumbling up to a stand, before glancing around at the carnage.
  417. He was awake again, blood from pummeling blows stained his teeth, and his skin was patterned irregularly in blossoming petals of soot. Ever adventurous, he started forward to investigate the parchment and amulet. Fishing a stick from somewhere on the ground, he'd move to lace it up by the chain on it's end, studying it and the parchment.
  419. He'd retrieve his equipment, after.
  420. (Allende)
  421. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  423.  Wiping some blood from his mouth, and spitting the rest. Chroma would let out a spiteful groan.
  425. He'd see the amulet that was left by the man, but assume another of his party would handle it, he was much more concerned with re-applying his gear, and getting some armor than dealing with any of the matter.
  427. Snapping on his cuirass and greaves he'd feel like the group had narrowly dodged an arrow there, content that none of them were dinged up too bad. Strapping his big assed sword to his back, and then walking over he'd place a hand on his chin, joining Allende in the investigation.
  429. "God....everything here smells like goddamned fish...." he'd let out, in a wrathful grunt.
  430. (Chroma Zanders)
  431. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  433. Formidable they were, deceived by the 'ferryman' that spirited them away; here the group was! Half-naked and surrounded by a roving band of cultists.. But all wasn't lost - They had a vampire with them.
  435. Vedran vanished in a thin air; rematerializing next to the closest Cultist-- Burying his own sharpened canines into their windpipe.. ripping it out with ease, before moving to the next..
  437. Leaving behind a trail of gore and carnage.. It wasn't long before the coast was clear, and he quickly deprived the party of the view.
  439. Looking tank-like as ever within his suit of plate1
  441. "What a welcoming party.."
  442. (Vedran Ivanovich)
  443. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  445.  {NARRATION} Upon inspection of the Lead Cultist, the bloody parchment reads.
  447. "Place the amulet on pedestal."
  448. "Soak it in blood and ask the king to appear."
  449. "He will come."
  451. The amulet, however, was buzzing with an odd sensation- much like it was reaching out, trying to subtly touch the minds of those that were listening to it. It wasn't controlling it, per se... but one could quite literally head the whisper in the back of their mind, edging them to something greater, something different than they currently are. Perhaps, even help them with acquiring something else?
  453. The rest of the cultists were in possessions of fine metals; crude, but efficient and expensive. No doubt they were going to use that for sacrifice to the King, but alas--
  455. -- it seems they've gotten here first.
  457.  Allende raises a hand to fruitlessly push back the hairs that'd strayed from his ponytail, magma withdrawn from his arms enough to not alight anything he touched. Reading the instructions aloud as he pivoted a step around the corpse, he looked to the assembled party,
  459. "'Place the amulet on the pedestal, soak it in blood and ask the king to appear... He will come.'"
  461. With a cluck of his tongue, he discards the parchment, looking back the way of the altar for all of a second. He flicked his chin up at the party, brow quirking. The magma had receded from his face, as far as his collar.
  463. "It's a ritual, then. Are you all alright? Uninjured?"
  464. (Allende)
  465. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  467.  Ser Artaghh would sift through the pockets of the interlopers for their missing ten coins, being a man never to forget a debt that was owed no matter how small the sum. Pocketing the various sacrificial bundles of Nyeshk, the peasant would only smile once he found the small bundle of clanking crowns, which he would then stuff away dutifully in his undergarments before reacquiring his armor and arms and rejoining the gathering around the amulet of eldritch intensity. "So, wha' does it say? Anythin' abou' tha' shiny piece there? Coul' pawn tha' fer a fine nickle'ta Sors no doub'."
  468. (Artaghh)
  469. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  471. Artaghh says, "Huh."
  472.  Allende says, "What a disgusting feeling... Like schools of fish, manifold fins whipping a current."
  473.  Artaghh says, "Well, tha's simple then."
  474.  Artaghh says, "Put it on'ta altar."
  476.  As the others mugged the cultists bodies she re-equipped her gear opting for her hood in lieu of the mask..
  478. She idly waits for the others to do what must be done... Her magic never dismissing.
  480. She would slay this fish.
  482. If she got some reward for it... that'd be nice, but if not. A menace gone is one less to worry about.
  483. (Jessi Ann)
  484. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  486.  Squinting over the inscription, Chroma would give a hiss of air, almost scoffing over how ridiculous it was that these people had done all of this for a fish. He'd take a blade and saunter over to the Lead Cultist, eyes glaring down upon him as he lifted the blade.
  488. "I'm fine...but we don't need this guy alive for anything...right?" He'd look back to the group as the edge of his sword glinted.
  490. Should they say he was in the clear, he'd cleave open the man's chest and harvest his heart, letting out a few prayers to Azrael as he did so, and allowing his Energy to evolve in this action, flooding the heart with enough power to keep it still beating.
  492. "Oh--and you're all invited to my the way."
  493. (Chroma Zanders)
  494. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  496.  Jessi Ann asks, "Wedding?"
  497.  Chroma Zanders says, "Mhm."
  498.  Jessi Ann says, "And what a strange time to mention it..."
  499. Jessi Ann says, "Congrats."
  500.  Chroma Zanders says, "I needed a heart. But, yeah."
  501. Chroma plops the beating cadaver-piece into his satchel, with a wipe of his brow
  502. (Chroma Zanders)
  503. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  505. Jessi Ann says, "Yeah... That was a problem for Fran and Alastor.."
  506. Jessi Ann says, "Until I got one.."
  507.  Chroma Zanders says, "I promised her I'd take care of it..."
  508.  Chroma Zanders says, "Now I just have to survive."
  509.  Allende sidled the amulet down the stick into his palm, studying the coral ruby. For several seconds, his gaze is entrapped in the fathomless crimson. Turning it in his hands, the man sighs out gently, adjusting it between his fingers to hold up to the light.
  511. "Like the weeds floating up on a red tide... I wouldn't hold this, were I anyone else- It seems as if it talks. Nothing coherent, but... Ah. That's wonderful, Chroma."
  513. He shakes off the notion, looking around. Opting for the most poetic corpse- The Lead Cultist -Allende reaches down to grip him by the scruff of his neck, and haul him to the alter.
  515. "I only have one hand- If you've any questions on battling the King, now's the time to ask them. If not, who wants to help me bleed the amulet?"
  517. Allende's eyes alight grey with mana. Ever a talented visionary caster, he takes a moment to study the mana floes of the item, and the associated alter.
  518. (Allende)
  519. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  521. Chroma Zanders says, "Think it's a bit late..."
  522.  Chroma would take out some vicera, from the chest cavity of the man he'd just relieved of their chest muscle---
  524. Squeezing a bit of it over the amulet in order to engage the mechanism of summoning the Suisarme King, he'd be a bit cautious however, as if his cultist packed that much of a punch, then there was really no telling how powerful whatever this thing turned out to be, would submit.
  526. Keeping his Nyeshk sword by his side, he'd look about and await the series of events, wondering just what they'd gotten themselves into, a chill filling his bones, boiled over by the burgeoning want to slaughter something else.
  528. "Let's go...."
  529. (Chroma Zanders)
  530. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  532.  Allende calls out as the amulet is bloodied, looking warily around the altar clearing,
  535. (Allende)
  536. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  538.  {NARRATION} A roaring storm.
  540. The skies blacken, the thunder splits the sky. When the blood is spilled and the name is spoken, reality itself seems to warp, awakening something that perhaps was never meant to be awakened- from the horizon of the shore, a gigantic figure comes into existence, with raging red in the eye and warped colors of skin and hairs alike.
  542. The mutant. The monster. The Swuisarme King.
  544. ...But it is not the welcome he expected. It is not the people that were meant to summon him. A screeching shriek pierces the air and their ears alike- enough to strike fear and terror in the hearts of thousand bravest men. No, perhaps they've gotten themselves involved in something that was much bigger than they initially thought. Whatever it is, there's no point running - it would definitely catch to them.
  546. The only option is to stand and fight.
  548. Thud. Thud. Thud. With the clear, quick steps, he rushes at the group. A yell pierces the air, a promise of carnage.
  550. "If you believe in any gods."
  551. "Start praying."
  552. "Now."
  553. [20:15] She eyes the storm that brews... Obviously.. this... THING doesn't know who controls the storms here...
  555. Suddenly lightning erupts from the Nagual seeming to flicker from golden to black for a few moments every so often..
  557. The Nagual roars.. the sound seemingly two roars in one.. her own.. and the spirit now full merged with her.. the sound seeming to disturb the air around her the presence of a volatile storm felt by all...
  559. Seemingly existing in stark contrast to her holy mana that was radiating from her as well...
  561. Her blade floats from it sheath to her hand becoming engulfed in her lightning upon contact...
  563. She wondered how many could say..? This wasn't the scariest thing she had fought...
  565. Were she able to feel fear anymore that is...
  566. (Jessi Ann)
  567. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  569.  Ser Artaghh was scared. For all his fearless bravado, careless haphazardry, and manly fervor, what his one eye stared down was not meant for human eyes to gaze upon. As reality warped seamlessly and a great sense of wrongness filled the air, the bald knight felt like a peasant child once more, quaking in his boots up in a tree as a bear walked underneath. The swordsman had the odd feeling that they were all just tadpoles in a small, isolated pond, and had just found there ways into the ocean depths.
  571. But that didn't matter. Siegmeyer had been sacrificed to this beast, and friends didn't let friends go unavenged. Artaghh would not let the man's death be in vain, and if it could stand before him and threaten him, it could be killed! Well, unless it couldn't, Artaghh actually knew a lot of people like that in Dawn. The knight had a dread feeling in his gut that this was bigger than a quest for vengeance, that they stared down a true monster. Gripping the handle of his silvery mithril longsword, Ser Artaghh would ignite with the fiery glimmer of mana, his muscles bulging forth once more. Pointing the tip of the blade towards the king of the sea, the one eyed swordsman would exclaim boldly "Ye'll get'a hear plenty abou' gods where we're sendin' ye', you sonova bitch! You killed Siegmeyer Engel, an' I WILL HAVE MY REVENGE!"
  572. (Artaghh)
  573. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  575.  Shaking away any meddlesome distractions; it wasn't very long before the skies blackened.. "Well-- First fight without any clothes on, and now this!" Sass interrupted by roaring thunder, reality slowly twisted around the group..
  577. Reminding the vampire of his fatherland-- Dark, Dreary, Filled with dangers!
  579. Except, they were supposed to be the danger.. not the prey; It wasn't till the fabled Swuisarme King busted forth from the tide, sending a chill throughout the Cainite's bones..
  581. Or maybe it was the Nagual's sudden roar.
  583. … This was the King? Cain's child didn't anticipate such unfettered ferocity from the beast, it's wrath pouring off in waves - with raging red eyes similar to Vedran's own.
  585. A force to be reckoned with! The heavily armored Cainite rose into the air.. how would it feel to drink from this beast?! This King of the ocean?! Whether or not the group was entirely prepared for the tremendous task, Vedran was ready for slaughter..
  587. Let it be the monstrous fish, and not them.
  589. Fangs were bared, and his arcanium blade pulsated deep crimson.
  590. (Vedran Ivanovich)
  591. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  593. It was truly mythical.
  595. A storm basked them in an odd, and unforgiving light, as reality, time, and the very island seemed to bow at the might of the Swuisarme King. His control, and scope was far beyond even the Nerthardins they'd faced. The sheer reverence emanating would cause the Knight of the Red Star to know true danger against such a being.
  597. His magic swirled about him, embers clinging to a shape in the plains, but as they were? As his understanding served him now, just as he saw against Gabriel, it wasn't enough.
  599. "He's....a big one...everyone. Let's show him how seriously Dawn takes fishing."
  601. Clenching his blade tightly as he found himself entering his Formorian stance, he would not have any real time to bask in what he was viewing so he'd simply have to settle for living through this event.
  603. In the windows, those unsavory orbs that he could only imagine as eyes--he'd see the will and ravenous hatred that each Swuisarme displayed while terrorizing an maiming his country.
  605. More than anything he needed to move past this, he and his group would need teamwork, faith in Azrael, and sheer luck would be needed in order to take this victory, his aura exploding further beyond it's usual state, and his muscles tensing in unison.
  607. He needed MORE, an output beyond what his body would allow, but his endless spirit roared and howled for his potential to be met in full.
  609. He'd utilize all of his being, each training session, every pulse of power he felt coursing through is being in order to work past his synthetic mana circuits, for now,in this brief battle, surpassing the might of not only his usual power, but also any point he'd ever been.
  611. Chroma would give all or nothing, it was time to get even. "Let him have it.."
  612. (Chroma Zanders)
  613. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  615. Jessi Ann says, "Glory to Azrael.."
  616. Chroma Zanders says, "For Azrael...for Morgan, for mother-fucking Lunk, Sieg, Batt and Katt, too...."
  619.  Blood in the water.
  621. Allende is taken back to Dawn. Rolling black skies, bilious rains of tar, and coal shores. The Nethradin abomination that'd coalesced from the death throes of several others. The overpowering bass of the creature's roar had resounded in his bones, vibrated up through his body and out.
  623. But he steadied himself. The magma undulated over his flesh, hardened into a volcanic slurry, smoldering veins cladding him in conviction. Retreating to the side of his companions, he embedded the Mind's Waters at the back of his crag-ridden shroud. The decorated Izhuran blade he favored was drawn steadily from the tortoise-patterned scabbard, it's mythril attaining an otherworldly, explosive quality- It dripped magma at the ends, seemed to nearly fuse into his arm.
  627. The world buckled around him, but Allende had given himself to the temporary madness that bolsters any man indark hours, the last-ditch instinct of those men against impossible odds. Ancient fears of a boy at the feet of titans- Magi and monsters -bubble like pustules to the surface of his memory, but they are discarded.
  629. But had anyone listened closely, Allende recited a mantra, "Fear kills the mind," at a breathless pace.
  630. (Allende)
  631. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  633.  Chroma Zanders says, "I went down like thrice, I think."
  635. ** King has inflicted an injury upon Artaghh. ("Poisoned Lungs", "Artaghh was poisoned by many venoms that Swuisarme King was capable of producing- as result, his respiratory system is damaged, and while it may be repaired, it would certainly leave lasting mark.", "Permanent", "Severity: MODERATE (-20 Vit)") **
  636.  {NARRATION} The Swuisarme King fought with ferocity of a demon, with desperation of a cornered animal, and with the might of a titan.
  638. It would seem that unlike the Cultists that were seeking to summon this monster, it was much more of a challenge to the magi involved; each breath of toxin emitted by the Swuisarme King was almost lethal, if they weren't magi to live through it, and each clawing felt like the hottest blade piercing their body and trying to rip it apart.
  640. Particularly, Artaghh and Allende got the worst out of it - with one of the waves of toxin, they were washed over by it, poisoned beyond the repair. Their lungs rotting and decaying from within, there's no doubt that they would need a replacement... and if they weren't this sturdy, they would otherwise die instead. Chroma, on the other hand, managed to get the attention of the King, even if for a moment - but that moment was enough to claw him badly against the chest and send him sprawling. And yet...
  642. Yet it wasn't enough for the King to win.
  644. A strike after strike, a spell after spell, and slowly but surely he was being torn apart by the team. The magic of the sacrifice that held him together was whittled away, and the flesh upon his body was melting, much like it could no longer exist; instead, it came about to reveal the bone beneath, immensely sturdy... and with his fall, that's about all that's been left.
  646. A pile of bones. But was it wise to pass it up? For a mutant like this, surely one could make something out of these bones. Light as feather, and yet tough as Arcanium, there's no doubt that a skilled blacksmith would find a lot of use to it - and susceptibility to magic only makes the runework with it all more attractive.
  648. A treasure in skilled hands.
  649. [21:04] Ser Artaghh would collapse to his knees, vomiting blood across the ground with only his mithril blade planted in the ground holding him up from collapse, coughing repeatedly as the aching, burning rot drove him to a further series of bloody hacking and grunting. The knight was incapable of judging that the battle had been one of the most haunting he had ever entertained. Sputtering blood from his lips as he glanced hazily forward, unsure whether they'd won or he'd died in such a present state.
  650. (Artaghh)
  651. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  653.  Chroma, with might, and grit coursing throughout his form, would manage to take the shot to the chest, narrowly avoiding a permanent injury, through his bulking up and speed under the influence of his raw element.
  655. Taking a colossal swing, after the efforts of his teamn, and he chipping away at the regal fortitude of the beast, the Knight would manage a coup de grace on the behemoth, slashing him in his throat and repaying the wound he received.
  657. As the smoke cleared, the man would be buried within the bones of the King, perhaps finding something as he dug his way out, but curiously picking up anything of note, for sure.
  659. "The bigger they fucking ARE!!!" he'd yell out in the fray of all of this, as his blood soaked hand would emerge from the pile of bony merch.
  660. (Chroma Zanders)
  661. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  663.  They assailed the aquatic seeming extra-planar fish mutant that inflicted the Swuisarme upon there shores. The Nagual would call her lightning striking it all over a storm of golden.. and sometimes black.. lightning striking it...
  665. Though it did strike her to the ground a few times she managed to avoid serious injury.. for once.. a shield of light cushioning the blows... or her gravity magic catching her before she hit the ground...
  667. She flew in and out of the beasts reach using her powers to bless the ground it tread upon... and to summon storm clouds throwing forth golden lightning around its head... She was literally battering the thing from all sides...
  669. The others striking it with their blades and spells.. she did all she could to weaken it with her magic...
  671. After seeing her friends injured she should have been enraged... but.. that part of her was gone now... She was more slightly annoyed that the thing could focus on her now....
  673. She saw Chromamoving in.. and saw the opportunity they needed to finish this... as it was focused on all of them she struck it full in the face with lightning.. blinding it if only for a moment.. as others would do similar tricks.. weakening it... or distracting it further...
  675. Chromas blade would open a red smile across its throat... well maybe not red.. but the equivalent...
  677. The Nagual would roar their victory a challenge to other foes who dare stand in their way..
  679. They had bested the thing... now to deal with injuries... How bothersome..
  682. (Jessi Ann)
  683. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  685. The Swuisarme King was every bit fearsome as it appeared, surging forward with all the strength and might expected of it.. but it paled in comparison to combined force of the quintet; Particularly, Vedran was shrouded by the might of a blizzard..
  687. Tremendous pillars of ice jutted from the ground, impaling the beast like harpoons! While the vampire himself flew around the beast, slicing larges chunks of flesh away with ease.. managing to stand sturdier then all the rest.
  689. He didn't falter.
  691. Attacking with unfettered ferocity as fishy muscle and bone was exposed with every swift strike, patches of ice littered it's scales; shattering while it writhed and moved around-- It wasn't very long until the beast was finally felled!
  693. Remaining atop as it collided with the ground, causing the earth to quake with it's might; the Cainite had to ask himself.. Why did this beast exist? Why did it thrive?
  695. That didn't matter in the end, sliding down one of the bones.. the fearsome blizzard started to finally subside, as Vedran looked upon the spoils of their efforts.
  697. A fine blade could've been forged from this..
  698. (Vedran Ivanovich)
  699. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  701. Allende had been bested, but not put down. Perhaps not the strongest of all the companions, he proves the testament to his resilience regardless: He is dropped once, twice, again, unrestrained brutality unleashed against him. Poison, power, the freezing brine, gale winds as keen as razors buffeting him- And each time, Allende stands again, unwilling to concede. With an unbridled passion and unyielding pride, he litters the field with volcanic geysers, refusing to be laid quietly in to the earth, steam roiling from the veins of magma woven about him.
  703. For a few short seconds, he could nearly picture himself the vindicated colossus, standing infallible by the end.
  705. But for once in his life, he'd had a tactic turned on him, instead. Trapped in his coating of magma, it had turned more into a tomb as he was swamped by the noxious miasma that washed over him. The green tide invaded his lungs, withered them- By the end of the battle, the flames roiling off him sputtered andflickered, the obsidian sheath stained a verdant green, growths of some sludge-like lichen clinging to him.
  707. He staggered, wheezing, blade planted into the ground. Though his knees buckle under him again, hands desperately gripped at the kashira of the Izhuran blade, he remains standing- Petrified, algal blooms decorating him as some macabre garden.
  709. Victory, but at cost. A lurid haze encroaches at his vision like cigar burns, and for several seconds, it leaves him. Darkness. Stars. Purgatory, again, as his body fought back the Swuisarme King's unworldly toxins, as conviction wrestled with it. He stands, unmoving.
  710. (Allende)
  711. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  713. Chroma Zanders says, "Someone...needs to help these two, stat!--"
  714.  Ser Artaghh would lean hoarsely against the lamp post, his skin pale and eyes yellow. Hoarsely coughing into his cloak, he'd look down hazily at the droplets of blood that remained afterwards, gritting his teeth as he used his sword for support walking across the ground. The deed had been done, but perhaps some stones weren't meant to be unturned.
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