7/9 Confronting the Flame

JWaldman Aug 7th, 2019 317 Never
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  1. Flames.
  3. The world lit ablaze from a mass of flames.
  5. Dancing along this isle as even from a distance the group could see a massive billowing flame hardly contained from the dense forests. The cries and roars of something within this isle sending shockwaves across these beaches of which the group had only just docked upon.
  7. The small inhabitants of this isle laying dead and with burn marks a plenty littered across their form. Daemons, both small and large unable to stand against whatever loomed within.
  9. Whispers...
  11. Those which spoke of great wings.
  13. Others which spoke of a burning maw.
  15. Some even claiming they had witnessed runes floating across the skies, the act of runewriters who sought to witness this isle burn.
  17. Nevertheless, they had only forwards to move.
  19. Closer and closer towards that great inferno which beckoned all closer.
  21.  Finally, a chance to stretch their wings.
  23. The voidling came to a halt amidst the sands of the shoreline, glassy crystalline eyes scanning the carnage wrought. Leathery wings slowly folded back, the dust they'd kicked up soon settling. It didn't pay much mind to the smoke.
  25. So many corpses, burnt to a crisp. Flesh the thing could've recycled, instead put to waste. No matter.. A glance was spared back toward its companions, to gauge just what they thought.
  27. Then, intent on taking the initiative, the thing started looking for a path. The path of least resistance, as far as there might be one amidst the wildfire. Anything which might lead deeper into the heart of the fire. Toward those runic writings.
  29. But a few words were spoken over its shoulder.
  31. "Don't know.. what's here. Be ready.
  33. .. For anything.."
  34. (Mertaisyl)
  35. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  37. Ser Artaghh would hover along beside the party as they found themselves within this isle of living fire, a grimace held upon the knight's fate tightly as he felt the heat in the air, the subtle pangs of his old burns when coming into contact once more with the flames. The bald swordsman hated fire, had his body ruined by it. He'd nearly been killed by it, and watched his now late niece die because of it.
  39. Nothing good ever came of it.
  41. Allowing the black drake to lead on as the knight hovered in the air with his minor manipulation of novice gravity magic, the mithril paladin would dredge his great, black blade from the leather rungs upon his backplate before gripping the handle tightly in his burn scarred, bandaged hands. He was too old and cynical to believe anywhere was safe. Not the plaza of Dawn, the muddy riverbanks.
  43. And not this island on fire.
  44. (Artaghh)
  45. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  47.  A surprise mission would surprise the smith, but regardless, he would follow the dragonling and the commander. An icy gaze would observe the hellish landscape that had amassed, magical flames always did seem more sinister than your ordinary pyre. Still, he would light his pipe with a quick flourish of a rune.
  49. Not long after the landscape had been surveyed, did the blonde haired knight draw his blade. Partly for comfort, partly for readiness.
  51. Then, the void dragon would start to wander forward. Hjarbard would forge forward himself, sole eye kept to the darkness, piercing past the light of the dancing fire and shadows for the hint of something awry. The area around him grew colder as he staved off the heat from the burning wreckage.
  52. (Hjarbard)
  53. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  55.  Spirits, of all the things the Chieftain expected to be doing today this was towards the bottom of that list. Of course he had agreed to assist Mert during one of his visits to Dawn, but spirits, he didn't think the dragon was actually going to call upon him.
  57. Oh well, he was here now, he might as well uphold his word.
  59. Green hues shifted towards the party members, right his father was here so that was... A thing. Whether or not it was a good thing was up for some debate, but Artaghh was strong, so his assistance would be greatly appreciated. His hues then shifted towards the final member of their party, a blonde man he'd yet to meet.
  61. Well here's hoping he won't be hostile.
  63. Saba's gaze then shifted from the group towards the corpses. Spirits, what a waste of life. Sighing a bit, Ezmara's chieftain would make his way over to Mertaisyl's side, offering his friend a nod.
  65. "Lead theway, Mert, and I'll follow."
  66. (Saba)
  67. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  69. {NARRATION} There would be no turning back.
  71. One feeling above all else would be that sweltering heat which no human could normally withstand.
  73. Smoke clung to the lungs of each involved as ash and soot rained from the skies above. Burning against the flesh of the humans involved as it landed gently upon any exposed skin left upon their bodies, the dragon luckily able to shrug some off.
  75. The word miserable could come to mind.
  77. Eventually the sounds of snapping and cracking could be felt against the air. Watching as trees in the distance had begun to topple over one another, begun to slam into these grounds and obstruct the path of those involved.
  79. Branches and massive looming trees, even threatening to come down upon this group before they had naught but a second to even gather themselves against these flames.
  81. Quick reactions and a plan would be needed if they sought to continue forwards, if they sought to push closer towards that raging inferno which shot higher into the skies.
  82. [18:32] It didn't breathe. Being undead had a bare few advantages, but that was certainly one of them. Then, it likely wouldn't have mattered, what with it being a dragon and all. If it could actually breathe fire..
  84. But, setting itself on fire was close enough. It was used to close proximity with flame, and used its own control over the element to ward a portion away. Leaving a wake of somewhat more bearable air behind it where it traveled.
  86. A crackling over the roar of flame brought the beast to look up. Crystalline eyes focused in on those trees which toppled over, slamming into the ground in their general direction. Before them, perhaps even over them. Fire hadn't burnt the things to ash yet.
  88. So cerulean light gathered across its form. Like a drifting mist, for but a moment, until the beast started to condense that vibrant light. It forced the mana to coalesce, pooling together into a single, slowly-building sphere. Or, well, half-sphere.
  90. Just before impact?
  92. The thing met such with an impact of its own. Darting up to meet what would've fallen, to scatter at least a portion of what might've struck into splinters to either side in a single, concussive blast. Hopefully the others could manage themselves- That had only really been meant to clear enough to be manageable for itself.
  93. (Mertaisyl)
  94. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  96.  Ser Artaghh would hack ashen tar from his rot scarred lungs as he covered his mouth with his green woolen cloak, the old knight's injured lungs having difficulty breathing even in the best of conditions. Here, in the ash thick, smoky air of the burning forest? He could barely breathe at all. As the smoldering embers fell upon his burn scarred flesh, the swordsman counted his few blessings that he could barely feel the fresh heat over the ever present pain of his old burns.
  98. Glancing at the path forwards with his remaining eye, squinted and watery as it was in the fiery environs that surrounded the party, the knight gauged that if they didn't keep pressing forward, they were going to get crushed, suffocated by flaming tinder. And yet, the path ahead was already beginning to collapse, trees losing their stability in the presence of the hungry flames. The commander would cover his mouth entirely in his cloak before taking a deep breathe, using this brief time to think before nodding steadily at the task ahead.
  100. It was time to process some wood.
  102. Reslinging his blade over his shoulder before swiftly cracking his knuckles, Ser Artaghh would begin to release an unrelenting barrage of kinetic energy from his palms as he paced forward steadily with iron resolve, shimmering translucently as he called upon his reserves as a master mystic and energy magi to do his best at maintaining a clear path for the party to persevere the only way he knew how, the way he knew best.
  104. Blowing it the fuck up.
  105. (Artaghh)
  106. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  108. [18:36] The Chieftain winced as he continued to follow behind Mert. Spirits it was hot here. You think being a seasoned fire mage would have prepared him for such heat, but nope, it didn't. Well, that's not to say that it didn't at least provide him with a bit of resilience to it, but not that much. He'd never experienced such intense heat before.
  110. Wiping some of his sweat from his brow, Ezmara's chieftain began to hear snapping and cracking. Green hues would scan the surrounding area in search of the noise, a search that wouldn't last that long. After a few moments of glancing around, his spots the result of the noises.Some trees had fallen down, and are now blocking their way forward.
  112. Joy.
  114. He'd give a quick glance back at his party. "Right, so I'm gonna fire a big old beam of energy magic at that mess? Cool? Cool." He'd give the groupa thumbs up, before returning his attention back towards the obstacles that currently blocked his path. Time to do what he does best!
  116. Without wasting another second, cyan mana begins to leak from Saba's body, as he slowly opens his moth up. The mana began to form up around his mouth, as a small orb of cyan energy begins to form. With a quick grunt, he'd tap into his mana circuits convergence points. The results of that kicked in immediately as the orb of cyan energy began to expand more, and more until!
  118. He released the beam!
  120. A brilliant ray of cyan light was sent spiraling from his mouth, tearing through the ground as it made it's way towards the debris, until eventually crashing into it, and hopefully, destroying it.
  122. Mouth beams are cool.
  123. (Saba)
  124. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  126. [18:37] Well, luckily, fire and smoke were two of the things that Hjarbard could most easily deal with. Have stared at the controlled flames of a forge for so long, the flickering flames didn't put much fear in the man. No, he'd have to see what made it before he'd potentially feel any of that emotion.
  128. The trees cracking and falling down upon them, however, was a different matter all together. Darting a bit forward, compared to the group, the one eyed smith would land upon the ground. Part of him knew that Artaghh and Mert were two capable, Bringing one fist up, he would snarl for a moment. Gathering his mana into his bicep before bringing his balled hand forward for a ferocious punch, aimed towards the ground. A terrific smash.
  130. Upon the collision with the ground, a sudden maelstrom would pick up, centered around the smith in a blast extending outwards and upwards as the trees would start to come crashing down upon the group. He didn't have the skill to back it up, he would admit that. But he had the raw power to throw himself at something one hundred percent and not give a single fuck. He'd do one of two things, blow the trees away, or completely obliterate them in a mixture of snow, ice, wind, and raw, explosive, mana lined strength.
  131. (Hjarbard)
  132. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  134. [18:45] {NARRATION} Crack!
  136. Raising his fists the barrage of blows from Artaghh would come slamming against these flaming trees. Splinters sent in each direction as he pushed through these flaming pieces of wood much like they were the swuismarine in Dawn. Suffice to say, branches and even whole trees being knocked to the side.
  138. Saba being one to take distance into account for things as a beam collided with these fallen logs and knocked them aside before they could even so much as land. Splinters crashing in each direction as Daemon's which had managed to survive these flames, those which watched from the sidelines were squashed instantly in the name for progress.
  140. Then came Hjarbard, with a blast of Maelstrom dousing these trees and making it all that much easier for the group to proceed forwards. Those flames, if only for a few moments being extinguished, all so the group could exactingly look upon Mertaisyl.
  142. They were not a smart dargun.
  144. The shield of mana around them being quickly broken as those flaming pieces of wood came crashing down upon the head of the dragon. The sound of bones cracking as they were brought to the ground and forced under this flaming piece of wood proving none too pleasant. Burning and searing into their scales, though such injuries would be only temporary for this small drake. (Temporary injury, 15 days.)
  146. The path, for the time being had been cleared. Leaving just enough time to help Mertaisyl out from under the partially cracked log.
  147.  Hjarbard asks, "Artaghh, 'elp me gravity lift this tree up, yarh?"
  148.  Artaghh says, "Yeah, sure sure."
  149.  Turning to Mert he would sigh and choose to walk forward rather than float. He'd rather stay lower to the ground, for the time being. Pointing his palms towards the tree, Hjarbard would work together with the commander to lift the tree off Mert. Though, he was sure the dragon would use his own strength to lift or just obliterate the tree. Mert always did have a temper.
  151. Lifting his blade to his shoulder, he would nod to the gentlemen. . . Including the man whom he thought was Gehennan. But, as long as he wasn't attacking them, Hjarbard didn't really mind. For the first time, he acknowledged the man. Was a pretty nice energy blast after all.
  153. "Shall we keep 'n forward th'n?" He would ask, adding the smoke from his pipe to the blackened flames of destruction. "Don' wannae 'ave tae deal wi' tha' again."
  154. (Hjarbard)
  155. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  157.  The knight would take a brief moment to blow his hands off as he caught his breath, smiling in contentment that even if he was an old cripple, he could still punch like his youth. Cracking his back and doing a brief stretch, the knight would unsling his blade once more before marching forth towards fiery adventure.
  159. Ser Artaghh would aid noble Hjarabard in the unloggening of the dragon as he barked out in entertained laughter, smashing the tree aside with his efforts before pacing forth with renewed determination, one eye scanning the path ahead as he prepared for the worst. That was the best part usually.
  160. (Artaghh)
  161. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  163. [ Saba exhales, as he the cyan energy that had been building up around him began to fade away, as he begins to quickly make his way through the now destroyed debris. Thankfully the blonde man had done something to cool down the area, well for at least a moment.
  165. However! His gaze did shift from the debris for a moment, and onto poor Mertaisyl who seemed to be stuck under a tree? How the hell did that happen? In hindsight he probably should have just fired a beam from his hands, and not his mouth, that way his view wouldn't be obscured by his own attack.
  167. How tragic.
  169. Though upon hearing Hjarbard and Artaghh speak with each other, Saba would continue to press on, giving the two of them a thumbs up, to really motivate them to lift that tree. They didn't ask for his aid, so clearly they didn't need it. After all, they both seemed rather strong.
  171. He'd pause once he got to the other side, to wait for the rest of his companions, opting to wait until everyone was on the other side, before progressing forward.
  173. "Aye, probably for the best to keep going forward, if we wait, odds are more trees will just fall down. Which is less than ideal." He'd say once the rest of the group had joined him.
  175. Once more he'd offer them a manly thumbs up, before continuing to press forward.
  176. (Saba)
  177. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  178.  It.. wasn't a shield.. But that didn't seem to matter.
  180. An attempt had been made. The intent, was an explosive burst, waiting for impact to go off. Instead it sort of.. fizzled out. It was broken before the blast could properly take, and rather than concussive force it.. Well the thing figured it'd have to practice that. Later. When there wasn't a burning tree on top of them.
  182. The thing didn't make a noise, in response. It hardly ever howled in pain- Undeath and its perks, yet again, causing sensation to be somewhat numb. But It did struggle beneath the weight. Bones crackled as it tried, and failed, to free itself.
  184. The thing was not amused.
  186. Another vibrant glimmer of cerulean started to build before it found the weight being lessened. It halted, then adjusted itself, allowing its piece-meal bones to realign and altering its positioning beneath the log. After a moment, the thing pushed along with the next effort made.
  188. As the wooden prison finally releasaed its captive, the voidling turned on the offending piece of wood. Leathery wings shook out to either side, before refolding again behind itself. And in a minor fit of anger- It tried again.
  190. This time all at once. Cerulean mana formed between its teeth, and in a mighty, singular blast the thing sought to turn the thing to splinters. Hjarbard was right. The thing did have something of a temper.
  192. .. Whether the log was blasted apart or simply left marred by cerulean energy, the thing turned its back. And, heeding the words of the others, it pressed onward. Something like that- It certainly got the things 'feathers' ruffled.
  194. "Should've brought.. lax.."
  195. (Mertaisyl)
  196. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  197. {NARRATION} Closer...
  199. Closer...
  201. Closer...
  203. The sounds of blackened grass burnt beneath their boots crunching with every step only fueled that desire to push forwards. Trees still struggling to stand as the sounds of something scurrying could be heard amidst those crackling of flames.
  205. Smoke which clung to the lungs of those which still found themselves forced to push forwards suddenly broken by a new beast. Exploding from these forests and covered in flames, a daemon with a crooked grin settled it's gaze upon Artaghh.
  207. The man hardly had a second to react.
  209. His pipe being plucked from his mouth, stolen all as the small flaming creature dashed ahead of this group.
  211. Stopping...
  213. Just before leaving their sightline.
  215. Almost as if making them give chase.
  216.  {Item} You drop Pipe.
  217.  Ser Artaghh wheezed from his rot scarred lungs as the smoke grew denser and denser, chewing upon the tip of his trusty pipe and its minty smoking fodder. It had kept the awful taste of Dawn's air off his tongue for decades, and it was hardly like his lungs could get any more fucked up than they already were.
  219. Unless magi cancer existed. That could be problematic.
  221. And in a moment it was gone. The old man had reveled too deep in his moment of pride, and it had blinded him to his surroundings. His half missing teeth would begin to grit in anger, a vein popping upon his burn scarred forehead as the knight appeared to shake with silent fury as he glanced back and forth across the nearby treeline with failed sight.
  223. Igniting forth with a rich, dense blue shroud of pulsating mana, the old man's musculature would increase in mass and density as his right hand clenched into an idly shaking fist of ultra violence. Shimmering translucently, the swordsman would pursue the daemon without fear.
  224. (Artaghh)
  225. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  226.  Nyeshk boots trampled through the charred grass as Saba continued to press forwards. Green hues darted from side to side, glancing at the trees that surrounded them, carefully watching them, incase one of them decided to suddenly fall over. A couple of them looked about ready to fall over, but as of right now... They still had some time to get past said trees, so odds are they'd be fine.
  228. Or at least that's what he thought.
  230. Saba's green eyes widen as almost out of nowhere, and by that I mean from the side of the forest he was currently not glancing at! Came a Daemon, and spirits that thing was fast. Before anyone had a moment to react, the beast had already struck, stealing Artaghh's glorious pipe. Almost as soon as he had arrived, he was gone.
  232. What an ass hole!
  234. Flames began to pick up around the blacksmith, as he gripped his halberd. The beast was goading them to chase after them, which was fine. Saba had come here expecting a fight, and at last he was going to be getting one. A grin began to spread across his face, as his entire body erupted with flames.
  236. The whole area was already on fire, he might as well join, right?
  238. Without missing a beat, Ezmara's chieftain drew his halberd, as he chased after the daemon.
  239. (Saba)
  240. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  241.  So, through the fire and the flames, they carried on.
  243. It was calm for what felt like approximately ten seconds before a beast would lurch forward with extreme volume towards the group. The smith had only time to blink his one eye in surprise before it scurried past him, the dragon, the Gehennan, and finally Artaghh.
  245. Watching the thing soon nearly dip, than finally leave their site, he would turn his single eyed gaze towards his companions. They all seemed fine. . . But, Artaghh's pipe was-.
  247. Hjarbard would take a very thankful drag from his own pipe, luckily hanging from his mouth.
  249. And, there goes Artaghh.
  251. Hjarbard would curse under his breath. Great. He would surge forward after the man, allowing his legs to leave the ground and let his gravity magic propel him. The wind would assist, the young boy becoming a wind guided projectile four feet above the ground after the Commander.
  252. (Hjarbard)
  253. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  254.  It was damn near immediate. The voidling creature snapped its attention toward the sound- But already the thing was there, and gone again. Just at the edge of their visibility among the smoke and flames. The thing bared jagged teeth.
  256. But really- Did they need to bother with a pipe? The thing didn't particularly care, it was just an object. Surely Artaghh could get another when they got back to Dawn. Glassy eyes turned on the bald-headed man, to see just how he reacted.
  258. Oh. That was a whole new level of rage.
  260. .. Right then.
  262. Daemon hunting on wildfire isle. How bad could it be?
  264. Mertaisyl hissed, a low rumble within its chest. At least, perhaps, the daemon might be heading toward the source of these damnable flames. Or something like that. They were here to explore, so it wasn't that much of a side-track.
  266. The voidling made its pace along behind Artaghh, not bothering to stretch their wings but for in moments when the trees were far enough apart. Only then, they were used for little bursts of speed. The rest of the time, the beast solely ran.
  268. And as it ran? Yet more energy condensed near the thing. Flickers of blue turned to a condensed sphere, then elongated- And, in hoped of tripping the thing up, the voidling flung that forward. Like a slap-bracelet, should it impact the daemon, it'd wrap around the thing's form and hinder its movement to some degree.
  269. (Mertaisyl)
  270. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  271.  {NARRATION} Hop...
  273. Skip...
  275. Bounce...
  277. The creature had made it not but a few feet as along this path a sudden rush of energy had come sent in the direction of this small daemon. Intent on fleeing deeper and deeper into this forest, those goals broken as it had come crashing into the ground.
  279. Stones radiating a sense of brilliance spilling from this creature as it fell, scattered along the ground as still the pipe of Artaghh was clutched close.
  281. Never letting it drop..
  283. Placing the edge of such right into it's maw, eventually the monster would raise...
  285. Far more irritated than before!
  287. Claws extending outwards and flames burning around this daemon...
  289. It charged back towards the group.
  291. They had completely stopped whatever fun it had in mind.
  292. [19:30] Ser Artaghh would stand his ground as the daemon charged forth with his pipe in tow, pointing his black greatsword forth at its person as he gripped the handle of the nyeshk blade with both hands tightly. The knight would bow his head respectfully towards the daemon challenger to his pipe's custody before preparing to engage in a burning forest's fine afternoon of good, manly fun.
  293. (Artaghh)
  294. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  295.  Seems like one of the energy magi had the right idea there. Hjarbard wasn't sure which one had the bright idea, but one of them did! The hunt was going to be brought to a close much earlier than the daemon had intended, that's for sure.
  297. As they finally closed the gap between them and the beast, the Cold-Steel Knight would analyze the creature as quickly as he could. Weak points, potential strengths, armor he should watch out for, how it was going to strike. . . A million and one possibilities would run through the crafter's head at the same time.
  299. Then, he would wrap a rope around the hilt of his blade and up his arm. The wind would wrap it with precision and speed. Time to fight, finally.
  300. (Hjarbard)
  301. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  302. It slowed to a trot when it saw the energy strike it down. At a rather more languid pace it caught up most of the way, in time to see how it turned. How flames gathered further around the beast. The voidling cocked its head.
  304. And behind the others, it sat. It remained silent, as it drew in a breath. In the few moments the voidling had before the daemon met with them, its breath spilled across its own form. Verdant plague coiled over its own scales, clinging to it like a shroud of mist.
  306. With a flick of its tail, the whole lot caught alight.
  308. Tainted, pitch-dark fires flared, burning off the fuel its own plague created. A shroud of flame which engulfed its entire form- Which made the thing wince, as it irritated the burns it had accrued.
  310. But that did not change the voidling's course.
  312. Leathery wings stretched out behind it. Raised, pointed near directly upwards, with the membrane out to either side. As it sat, damn near entirely still. Taunting the creature with a lackadaisical nonchalance in its presence. Without words the drake conveyed a simple message.
  314. It wasn't scared of such a beast.
  316. Cerulean energy gathered amidst the smoke and flame which clung to Mertaisyl's form. Another breath gathered within its lungs. It readied itself to strike back, hard, when the beast made it to them. Go time.
  317. (Mertaisyl)
  318. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  319.  "Huh..."
  321. The Chieftain halts his movements for a moment to press his right palm to his forehead. Spirits, why didn't he think to try and use his energy magic to slow the beast down? A sigh escapes from his lips, as he slowly shakes his head. Right, he'd remember to do that for next time.
  323. Of course he had only ceased his movements for a moment, before getting back into the chase, not that he had to run all that far mind you. Seeing as the daemon was now surrounded in flames, and rushing at the group.
  325. He'd grip his halberd tighter, as he swung the blade at the beast, of course the monster was too far for the blade to actually hit, but that wasn't the goal of the attack.
  327. From the halberd came a rather large wave of flames, intent on crashing down onto the rather angry beast.
  328. (Saba)
  329. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  331. {Item} You picked up Pipe. Dropped by Ifrit Demon. .
  332. {NARRATION} Crash!
  334. Flames would scorch these grounds as trees collapsed all around the battlefield. The small daemon bouncing and running deeper into these woods with every explosive blast of flames that had come swelling from it's being.
  336. All with a pipe stuck in it's mouth.
  338. Artaghh as well as Hjarbard being the luckiest of the two. Those explosive flames knocking both back as their body was scorched in a matter of seconds. Even still, those wounds proved nothing more than a superficial means to keep them back. Covered in both soot and ash as Saba and Mertaisyl continued forwards.
  340. Saba had been met with this demons full strength. Just as her charged in a sudden explosion of those very same flames burst from around this small creature. One which had made it's home upon this isle continually enveloped in such flames. Knocked back, sent flying through these flaming forests though it was not without it's hazards. Those flames having wrapped around his legs, searing the flesh and leaving a permanent disfigurement. (Perm nerf, -5 vit.)
  342. Almost with confidence, believing he had won..!
  344. The daemon stood tall, proud without a care in the world.
  346. Leaving just enough time for a flying dragon to rush in, to crash down and finish this overconfident beast.
  347. [19:48] Hipster says, "ready"
  348. [19:59] Ser Artaghh would glance at the ash that had completely soaked his person with a bark of mirthful, jolly laughter as his one eye hung on a precious item that had been flung through the air by the arrival of a goddamned dragon. The flames of the daemon had been intense, and only fortune had kept his pace far enough back to not be inflicted by their marring bite. With a stretched out hand and a brief lunge, the knight would catch his familiar pipe with a swift gesture, replacing it in his mouth without even a thought of residue or daemon spittle.
  350. He was getting too old for this shit.
  352. Yet, packing a fresh bowl of minty herbs, the paladin would breathe deep once more into the familiar, earth smoke of his favored smoke fodder, the swordsman could say with certainty that something about this whole series of adventurous events had made it special, no longer just a memento of lost times. It felt like smoking for the first time.
  353. (Artaghh)
  354. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  356.  'Twas quite the battle, facing the flaming daemon. But, the flames of this beast couldn't match another foe that the smith has fought. A certain half-angel who stole his eye. He still had to completely eradicate the Shimasu family for that.
  358. For the most part, Hjarbard would stay out of the flames of all of the combatants. His single eye keeping all of them within his gaze at all times. Just because he only had one, didn't mean that the analytical nature of the craftsman hadn't been stifled.
  360. Rushing in over the fields of blazing glory, he would strike at the ifreet, using his own cold to dampen the heat around the battlefield and around the daemon itself. It'd creak into his joints and the battlefield would continue to be littered in the bright blue crystalline structures of his magic, blue with the presence of the smith's mana.
  362. But, his rust truly was showing. He was blind sighted by a particularly strong and egregious wave of heat and carnage, though his bracers would shine as the runes upon them activated, raising a shield of ice that was splintered. . . But, blocked most of the damage before the shockwave flung the smith away and upon the ground.
  364. Hjarbard would spin to his feet, ready for more combat, only to watch the infernal dragon put an end to the enemy, for good.
  366. He would sigh and walk over to Artaghh, loading a bowl of his own. Hjarbard would clasp the warrior on the shoulder, a wide grin on his face as he gave a thumbs up.
  368. "Be'er, boss?"
  369. (Hjarbard)
  370. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  372. [20:07] Saba did his best to duck and weave around the creature's attacks, doing his best to avoid being caught on fire. Which seemed to be working! Well at least for now!
  374. One by one his companions began to drop, first Artaghh, and then Hjarbard, and yet there the creature stood, still alive, but not without it's own injuries. The beast was getting weaker and weaker, he could feel it, he just needed to land one final attack, and the damn thing would be done for.
  376. Tapping the bottom of his halberd to the ground, Saba began to conjure up, more and more flames. His golden holy flames, began to mix with the flames the demon was spreading.
  378. The chieftain saw his chance! An orb of cyan light began to build up in his hands as he rushed at the beast. He was seconds away from unleashing the blast, when he realized how fucked he was. The little shit had suckered him in, making him think he had a chance to end it all, ONLY for the beast to unleash a massive explosion offlames, sending Ezmara's chieftain spiraling back.
  380. He crashed into tree after tree, as the flames continued to envelope him, until he eventually crashed into the ground.
  382. "Spirits... Ow, I think I'm fine."
  384. As soon as those words had left his lips, a sharp pain shot through his body. OKAY, OW! Yea, he defiantly wasn't fine. Green hues darted across his body looking for the cause of the pain. It didn't take him long to find it. Oh boy, his leg was charred.
  386. Saba planted the base of his halberd into the ground, as he slowly but surely began to get back to his feet. Walking wasn't going to be the easiest thing, and seeing as he could fly like the rest of his group, he was going to be the slowest... Which sucks.
  388. A pained sigh escapes from his lips, as he begins to limp back towards the group, using his halberd as a walking stick to aid the crippled chieftain.
  390. He'd arrive back after the creature was already slain by Mert. "Damn, I didn't even get to see the little shit die." He'd give a quick shake of his head, as he waited. Seeing as he had no idea where they were going, waiting was his best option.
  391. (Saba)
  392. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  393. Trees fell in their wake. A battle of magi never did end without some form of destruction to the landscape. Mertaisyl was especially cautious to avoid those falling branches. They'd learned their lesson well enough.
  395. Crystalline eyes remained focused on the fast moving daemon, despite the chaos. In the voidling's wake it left trails of blackened flame. Through the smoke it danced, hiding and lashing out when the time seemed most opportune. But the others did most of the work.
  397. Fighting fire with fire wasn't exactly perfect after all.
  399. And besides, it didn't quite feel such a necessity to end the thing's life. It was particularly apathetic to Artaghh's loss of pipe. In its eyes this was an obstacle. Usually it was easier to walk around those. Or just fly over them.
  401. But oh, down went the bald man. And Hjarbard, too. A particularly nasty blast of heat against the duo- The downside to having to get in close, flames were hot to the touch. The voidling followed their path with one eye, to be sure they didn't end up dead.
  403. Still alive? Still moving? Good. No need to go and bother with them yet. The undead continued its 'dance' through the flaming underbrush, taking what shockwaves rolled across the field and turning it back against the daemon. At least, partially.
  405. Deep breaths expelled foul fumes into the fires. Darkening the field, forcing what did not glow with radiance to grow dull. Stealing away this small portion of the forest for its own. Letting the fields of fire and Saba do most of the last bit of heavy lifting-
  407. Oh. Where'd Saba gone?
  409. In all its efforts to encircle the daemon with darker flames, it hadn't quite paid close attention. Now the thing stood tall and proud, though visibly battered. What a bother.
  411. If things were going to get done..
  413. Mertaisyl lifted those leathery wings. The membrane between each bone straineda bit as they stretched. One beat, two, another few and a mighty lungful of breath heaved up a roaring wave of flame. The initial impact, to catch the thing off-guard and bring it to the ground while the voidling took to the sky.
  415. Cerulean light started to coalesce again. A drifting haze, so common for the voidling to manifest. Its shadow fell across the creature upon the ground, as that first wave rolled past.
  417. The haze started to coalesce. To condense, in a similar fashion as before- Yet closer this time, to its flesh. An extension of its form created from pure mana, most akin to the maw of the beast. The undead tilted its wings forward. It dove, sweeping across the short distance to finally impact the creature as it was starting to stand again.
  419. And cerulean mana, and the voidling's own jaws, clamped down over the thing's neck and shoulders. Claws dug into its chest, as it pulled. As it shook its head back and forth as a wolf would with its prey. It tore the thing's head clean off, in the process.
  421. The pipe went flying with the head. Good thing Artaghh was a good catch. Thing might've gotten lost in the flames.
  423. When at last the body stopped squirming, the voidling picked itself free. Its head lowered over the body, eyes narrowed. A low rumble in its chest. That such a thing required so much effort to defeat irked the drake.
  425. But now it was dead. And to the victor go the spoils.
  426. (Mertaisyl)
  427. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  428.  {NARRATION} Blood.
  430. Spilled upon these grounds as the small creature was being shredded and burned by those flames which had once engulfed it's form. Dead within the grasp of a dragon as the monster was given but a chance to enjoy it's feast.
  432. ... Yet, such was short lived as a brilliant gem shined in the distance.
  434. The center of this isle which threw roars and flames in each direction surrounded by a mass of runes. Flames spilling and slamming against these runes which confined whatever this stone hanging amidst the air was meant to represent.
  436. The group had found what they came form.
  438. Now, it was simply a matter of breaking what this monster trapped within was already struggling to destroy.
  439. [20:32] Well that was.. something. The voidling trotted along, swiftly approaching the source of the roaring flame. Or, just plain roars, it would seem. Crystalline eyes narrowed toward the floating runework. It reminded the thing of Tenko.
  441. Damnable crunchy fox..
  443. But the fires which spilled against it, evidently not enough to break the barrier, kept the thing from just trying to brute-force the thing immediately. A glance was spared to the others. Maybe they should've brought the fox. That.. Might have worked?
  445. The thing sat down, at the edge of the barrier. It stared up at the glyphs, the fires surrounding, trying to get a gauge on just what the thing was. First by examination, and second-
  447. It couldn't hurt to do a little bit of poking right?
  449. Faint, thin wisps of its own mana shifted forth. An extension of self, as an attempt to sense just what the purpose of the current spell was. Just by looking it wasn't going to be capable of understanding what the runes did. So hopefully by feeling, it might manage some sort of comparison at the least.
  451. Really, it was at a loss otherwise.
  453. Brute force was the only other answer it had.
  455. Hopefully one of them had a plan.
  456. (Mertaisyl)
  457. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  459. [20:33] Ser Artaghh would glance at the floating flame gem with his remaining eye as he gazed in wonder at its fiery luminescence. So this was the source of a burning island, a jewel? That an object of beauty had damned this place into a living hellscape was an impressive thing. Yet, the knight halted his hand as he gazed at the runes that surrounded and lined the jewel in a mass of uncertain purpose.
  461. The knight would sweat; he was terrible with puzzles and he felt an innate desire to punch the jewel with all his might to see what would happen. It was a vigorous urge that almost completely overtook him as he glanced at its brilliance. Yet, as his eye scanned the binding runes, he would slowly take a puff from his corn cob pipe in observation. Perhaps there was a better way.
  463. "We could try breakin' it, though we're like'ta blow ourselves'ta shite. Still, it migh' be funny. O'er option is seein' wha' happens when these runes ain' aroun' no more, an' bein' prepared for it."
  465. (Artaghh)
  466. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  468.  Well, the beast was dead, so that's a good thing. Now what?
  470. Green hues darted from Artaghh, to Hjarbard, and then to Mertaisyl. They probably knew where to go, so following them was his best bet. He continued to use his Halberd to assist him with walking, as he limped behind the group.
  472. Saba tilted his head to the side, as they arrived at the center of the island, his eyes resting on the runes that seemed to be repelling the flames. Spirits, he should have spent more time studying runes with Declan, he has no idea what the hell to do here.
  474. Then again... He could always just fire some more energy at the things, and hope for the best. Surely that'd work right... Right? Probably not, but it's the only idea he has, so he might as well try it. Well either that, or ask the group if they have any ideas.
  476. Hm... Which option should he go with... How about both? "Right, so I'm gonna fire a rather large blast of energy magic at the runes, and bank on it breaking the runes... Or whatever." The chieftain shrugged before continuing. "Unless of course you lot have a better idea."
  478. The only thing Saba could think of was just brute forcing the runes, and hoping for the best. Which... Probably wouldn't work.
  480. Let's hope the others have a better plan.
  481. (Saba)
  482. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  484. [20:34] {NARRATION} Mertaisyl's prodding was gentle, all as those runes violently fought back against this floating stone.
  486. Whatever the stone was, the runes were meant to seal and bind it in place. For how long? That much couldn't be gained from simple proddings.
  487. [20:34] Angels, demons, didn't really matter it seemed. Nothing would stop anyone who would stand in the way of the warriors Hjarbard chose to stand alongside. Made him grin, that mere mortals. . . And an undead dragonling. . . Could still tilt the balance of the world once in a while.
  489. Blade hovering at his side as he looked up at the strange hunk of fire, runes, and some kind of stone, the smith would grunt and analyze what he could about the stone. . . Before shrugging and letting the gravity sheath his blade for him.
  491. "A'ight th'n."
  493. Looking at Mert's hesitation, then the rest of the group, the smith would shrug.
  495. "I prolly can't really read anythin' from 'ere, 'n not get close 'nough to it wi'out gettin' scorched, bu'. . . Yeh. Jus disrupt tha runes, destroy tha spell."
  497. He would sigh and squint closer at the mini sun. What the hell were the runes fo- oh apparently sealing.
  498. (Hjarbard)
  499. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  501. Saba asks, "So besides blasting the runes, how the hell would you disrupt em?"
  502. Artaghh says, "Alrigh', each'a us take a corner to disrupt."
  503. Hjarbard asks, ". . . Wi'out injurin yerself?"
  504. Artaghh says, "North, south, east, west."
  505. Saba asks, "I guess I'll take the east?"
  506. Artaghh says, "And let's blas' the runes'ta fuckin' smithreens."
  507. Hjarbard says, "I'll take North."
  508. Artaghh says, "South fer me."
  509. Artaghh says, "West works too."
  510.  Seems the plan was set.
  512. Walking around to the northern side, keeping his eye on it at all times. If a flare tried to hit him, he would dodge out of the way. But his bracers would glow once more. He needed to be the first.
  514. Ice would form up his hands, the smith grunting as he felt the cold embrace the hot and agitated skin of his. Though he was nearly constantly swathed in the chill air of the north whenever possible, these magical flames were simply too fierce to have no effect.
  516. He would pull what little moisture that was left in the air, pooling it in a snakey tendril over his ice gauntlets. The tip of said water spike would glow as it was infused with his mana, as if he were about to start scribing runes himself. Taking a deep breath, he would allow the cold blizzard cloaking his body to strengthen, the only protection from the heat he'll have aside from the ice over his forearms.
  518. Then, he would launch himself at the fiery boulder. Once again, he was resulting to brute strength to take care of his problems, but at least he knew what to do with runes. His flight through the air would be brought to a halt at the precipice of the stone, the scribesmith slamming the spikes into two of the runes carved within the miniature sun.
  520. At the moment of impact, the water from his arms would whip out from both sides, a blast of wind aiding in their already magic fueled flick. The ice would crystalize, carried by the wind to create a razor wire of ice to curl around and slice upon the other runs on the northern end of the carving. Wispy tendrils would extend from the icy pike and blade that the smith had created.
  522. All of it. He would pour his energy into the structure as if he was creating runes, attempting the opposite. To unweave and destroy the mana that had binded it together before the others would attempt the same.
  524. Perhaps he could weaken the structure, making their strikes stronger.
  525. (Hjarbard)
  526. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  527.  Ser Artaghh would take a firm pace back across the westward trail of binding runes that held the flame crystal in chains. Knowing the knight's luck, there was an explosion demon just waiting to kick the shit out of him inside of it, but on his honor as a knight he was compelled to adventure to the fullest. Gritting his teeth as he gathered his energy, he would force it steadily into his right arm's musculature as it bulged out three, then four times in size, reddened, burn scarred flesh spiderwebbed with veins from the mass of energy infused muscle.
  529. Taking a deep breath from the exertion of the gathered force, the knight would shut his eyes as he focused upon the ash that coated him, the sediment burnt to mulch that formed a thin, but present earthen shell around him. Gathering mana within the motes, the ash would slowly stream up his body and off his armor as it gathered with growing density around Ser Artaghh's enhanced muscle. As it gathered, it grew denser and denser as the elder mystic weaved gravity and earth magic into a compact, hard as stone shell of ash around his chosen bludgeon.
  531. Gritting his teeth with strain as he raised his obsidian arm with a giant's flaunt, cracks of glimmering mana would begin to spread about the shell as the knight gathered more kinetic energy than even his overloaded muscles could contain in a black shell of hardened stone, explosive force gathered and condensed through careful application until even it could not sustain anymore.
  533. With a great and sudden heave, Ser Artaghh would smash his experimental implement of brute strength down towards the runic bindings, his hardened shell of stone slammed with immense weight against the binds of the crystal as the earthen shell exploded forth with fragmentary force. It might be punching something with extra steps, but the peasant was never a creative.
  534. (Artaghh)
  535. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  536.  Sparks of cyan energy began to pick up around Saba, as he quickly extended his right hand up into the air, as he began to amass said cyan energy into a single orb above his hand! One for both of his hands. Once more he'd tap into his mana circuit's convergence points, syphoning as much mana as he could from them. The sparks of cyan energy continued to pile into the orbs.
  538. More, he needed to cram as much energy as he could into it.
  540. Once there, he'd begin to weave his holy magic into the sphere of cyan energy. Shifting it's color, as it goes from a brilliant cyan, to a radiant golden color.
  542. He'd remain silent as he concentrated on making this orb as strong as he could, and for a bit of flair, he lowers the fingers on his hand, until only his index finger is raised. All while the golden orb continued to amass in size and power.
  544. It was probably ready now, right?
  546. Only one way to find out really, slowly but surely, helowered his finger until it pointed at the corner of the runes. As his finger lowered, the orb of golden energy was sent flying towards it's target, until it eventually crashed into it!
  548. Well even if it didn't work, it probably looked cool, and looking cool was clearly the only thing that mattered here.... Probably. Here's hoping it looked cool, and worked, that'd be very ideal.
  549. (Saba)
  550. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  551.  If everyone else is jumping off a cliff..
  553. They didn't really have a master runescribe, to undo what was done. The stone must've been something of power to need such enchantments around it. The source of the fire. What they'd come here to find. Sealed away like that, the thing certainly couldn't use it.
  555. So lacking another option, the thing drew a deep breath. Within its lungs it gathered plague. Outside, the thing started to coil cerulean mana over the runework. A link of some minor form, by which it sought to draw power out of the runes.
  557. Not simply brute force, but like.. Unplugging something from a wall socket. Or taking the batteries out of a remote controlled device. A simple process by which it attempted to drain power.
  559. And immediately reuse said power, of course.
  561. Its breath released against the edge of the runework. A gaseous cloud took up their portion of the area, coalesced against the barrier. And into that 'fuel' it sent its flame, seeking to catch it alight in a singular burst. A shockwave to break what was weakened.
  563. With the lot of them working at all sides, perhaps it would be enough. One could only hope.
  564. (Mertaisyl)
  565. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  566.  {NARRATION} Screams.
  568. The sounds of those runic symbols cried out as the assault from the outside had begun to take place. Flames smashing and flying free as both the stone and runes shook with overwhelming power. Whatever safety this isle once had rendered null and void as the ground below erupted in flames.
  570. Reducing stone to nothing more than molten rock that now burned with a new level of intensity.
  572. Fauna and plants reduced to ash as a wave of fire scorched this earth with a single claw reaching from the depths of that small stone.
  574. Slowly, gradually this beast tearing itself from the confines of that prison as those eyes consumed by flames looked upon these humans.
  576. "... Hun...ger..."
  578. Would be all they could get from this monster they had come looking for. This demon which created havoc and destruction for this isle unlike any other now aiming to strike at this group which had given it freedom.
  580. To enjoy it's first feast, it's first meal since being granted that release it had craved.
  583.  Ser Artaghh realized he should have bet money that it was going to be an even bigger, sassier, and hungrier demon. He regrets this, but doesn't allow it to get him down as he heaved with exertion and hacked ashen tar from his rot scarred lungs. Gripping the handle of his greatsword tight with both burn scarred, bandaged palms, the bald swordsman would point the tip of the blade at the monster with a flash of his roguish, missing toothed smile.
  585. He was tired, sure, a bit sweaty in all this heat. But fights like this are what had made his life worth living, and the heat of passion that burned within him as he ignited forth once more in a brilliant blue shroud of shimmer mana reinvigorated the bald swordsman's reserves as veins bulged across his bulked out muscles. It was time to tango it seemed, and with the progenitor of this island's fiery hellscape no less.
  587. This demon was about to get landscaped.
  588. (Artaghh)
  589. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  590.  Seems Hjarbard was correct in making sure that he was protected against the heat. Pulling the spikes from the prison just in time, he would bring his arms up to block the explosion that would reveal a demon that totally wasn't the Old Iron King.
  592. Thing was hungry, was it? That's fine. The soldiers would give the bastard something to chew on.
  594. Letting the ice fall from his hands, the hunks of magical energy would land with a solid thunk amongst the flames that consumed the plains. The tired smith would draw his blade. Those runes were something else, and attempting to unravel them while breaking them took its stress on the young smith, but. . .
  596. He would steady the winds surrounding his armored form, raising his blade and pointing it at the beast, before he would hover up, away from the ground and charge.
  598. (Hjarbard)
  599. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  600. Oh hey it worked!
  602. A smile spread across his face, as he began to limp towards where the runes used to be. Well, until he started to hear the screaming. He'd stop flat in his tracks, as his eyes darted around in search of what was making that horrific sound.
  604. Little did he know it was just the runes screaming.
  606. Y'know considering the demon they fought earlier, Saba really should have expected another one to come out from behind the runes. Yet here he was, with a rather surprised look on his face. This one seemed to be much stronger than the other one, and oh boy, he looked hungry.
  608. The chieftain would grunt, as he gripped onto his halberd a bit tighter, as his flames continued to burn brightly around him. If the beast was trying to eat them, he was going to do everything in his power to make it difficult for the big bastard.
  609. (Saba)
  610. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  611.  Ah yes. Good. Exactly as planned.
  613. . . .
  615. Fuck.
  617. Smoke rose from molten stone. A haze of heat caused the air to distort, the wavering lines making it hard to see if smoke and ash weren't bad enough. Deafening screams clawed through the dragon's eardrums like nails against a chalkboard.
  619. The demon rose from its prison, engulfed in flame. The others gathered themselves and readied for battle, as the voidling stared toward the beast. Crystalline eyes fell half lidded. Thin nostrils flared, trailing puffs of verdant plague.
  621. How in the Hel was it supposed to use this?
  623. Someone else had done it, caught the thing amidst the runes. That stone had been something to do with it. Maybe there was a way, but the voidling didn't quite know. The best it could do? Beat the bastard down until it was damn near broken.
  625. If it wanted to make a meal of the party, the least the voidling could do was make it difficult. And if the thing did manage to beat them, it would be one Hel of a bad day afterwards.
  627. For now. It was time to fight fire with fire.
  628. (Mertaisyl)
  629. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  631. [21:47] {NARRATION} The Battlefield had been reduced to smoldering ruins.
  633. Blackened flames scorching these grounds as each had struck back against this monstrous demonic beast.
  635. Blades all clashing against the hides of this monster as blows and strikes against all those present had knocked them back, one by one being pushed aside by this overwhelming assault of flames.
  637. With every explosive blow knocking them back, dousing their bodies in heat and ash still the group continued to rush forwards. Much like banging your head against a wall, until eventually the wall cracked wide open.
  639. Artaghh would suffer the worst of these blows. With a hand reaching out and grasping upon his features, burns quickly enveloping the palm of this monsters hand. The sear against his flesh light, only halted the moment another blow had caused this beast to stumble back and release the aging warlord. (Temp, 12 days.)
  641. Howls and scalding flesh would do nothing to deter this group, with the young drake once more rushing forwards to deliver that final blow unto this monstrosity that had tormented this isle off of Dawn.
  643. With that familar crystal, once floating high in the skies falling upon these grounds below.
  645. Dropping, with a light clink as this beast fell...
  647. The isle, being put at ease upon this day.
  648. ** Hipster has inflicted an injury upon Artaghh. ("Seared Face", "Artaghh would suffer the worst of these blows. With a hand reaching out and grasping upon his features, burns quickly enveloping the palm of this monsters hand. The sear against his flesh light, only halted the moment another blow had caused this beast to stumble back and release the aging warlord. (Temp, 12 days.)", "Temporary", "
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