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ZONE - Swamp West of the Moor


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#21 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 05:14 PM

Malvolio stared at the Mannaquin-like figures, and then at the Willow-the-Wisp. If they investigated either one, they would most likely fall into the swamp and never be seen again, just like the two Inquisitors.

 

He swung his axe irritably and said "Well, at least we have the chance to pick our poisons. If given the choice, I'd choose neither."

 

---

 

It was all that Evan could do to stop from wetting his pants.

 

It was a choice of evils: did they want to fight three disappearing doll soldiers, or did they want to fight the ball of blue, floating light?

 

For the moment, the Inquisitor kept quiet. He would let the others decide. 



#22 Ratcatcher

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 06:17 PM

As the group of heroes traversed the path in the swamp, Lucy did everything she could to walk confidently, though it wasn't very convincing to herself. A minor issue was the smell; she had never been in air that was so pungent, and she wondered if she could possibly get sick from the aroma. The more serious issue was the eeriness of the swamp itself; in the Achean forests she grew up in, her ears were at peace with singing birds, chirping cicadas, and the occasional brushing of leaves from the wildlife. This swamp wasn't tuned well to such music, and instead echoed the sound of dreadful silence, which was very unsettling to the denizen of the darkest nether region of the Internet which shall not be named. Cannibalistic witches were enough evils for one marsh.

 

Lucy's fears were continuing to buoy to the surface, when he foot suddenly didn't come up as easily, and she couldn't pull it out herself. Apparently, she had stumbled off of the path into a patch of mud, and she lacked the strength to get out. "Um... S-somebody help? Mettius?" It was a pathetic inquiry, and a part of her hoped her uneasy voice would be overlooked. As somebody pulled her out, she firmly told herself that she couldn't get any more miserable.

 

It was at that point the party halted. Augustus looked around, and saw three figures in the fog. She couldn't point out or explain how, but their movements didn't seem normal. Before any details could be specified, they stopped, almost as though they were staring at the group. "Greetings!" Sebastian shouted, causing Lucy to gasp involuntarily. "We come in peace!" She let her deep breath out, and tried to calm down. The young Inquisitor watched as the three humanoid things sank into the ground in a serpentine manner, leaving her mouth gaping and without breath. It was definitely one of the more strange things she had seen-- maybe the most strange. Not frightening, just peculiar beyond comprehension.

 

When she looked around to see how the others were reacting, she noticed one of those Will-o-Wisps nearby, its light radiating in a compelling manner. She wasn't sure how a ball of burning blue could be so tempting to follow-- yet, she definitely felt a strong need to somehow go to it. It almost seemed friendly--

 

Blinking, Lucy looked away, trying to remember what Ben said. Don't follow that thing, she thought. It's a monster, and it's a bad one. It's like... a singing mermaid thing, but for the eyes. It was a lot harder to refuse to look than she thought it would be. Naturally, she wanted it to be in the corner of her eye to make sure it didn't sneak up on her, but even that probably wasn't safe. "M-maybe we should just move on," she said, looking at those leading the group, specifically Hadrian. "Unless you think we'd have the upper hand if we were to confront something?"


Edited by Ratcatcher, 16 March 2016 - 10:59 AM.


#23 Neyo Wargear

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 10:03 AM

After watching the humanoid figures disappear into the swamp, Cicero really had no idea what was happening. The will-o-wisp was hanging nearby, watching. The entire group had stopped at a crossroads, they had three choices. Follow the path near the will-o-wisp, go after the strange humanoids, or stay on the main path that was to lead to the corruption of the swamp.

Cicero thought over the choices quickly, "As much as I love adventure, I'd rather not chase strange things. If the witch is telling the truth and we can remove the corruption of this swamp, I'd rather we do that then go wonder in this foul place."

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#24 Burger Warrior

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 04:50 PM

Mettius had let his mind wander as the others dealt with the witch, though a knot of vague dread wound itself in his gut as he watched her tell her silent story. When she directed the other to the source of her misfortune - hers, not the Empire - and continued to evade mentioning the missing children, Tibur found his jaw tightening. Still, he followed the others out, hoping beyond all hope that-

 

"But before that, I think it's past time we got a straight answer from that witch about where the children are —or what she did with them." she said grimly.

 

"There's no time, and no point either," Hadrian sighed. "The presence in this swamp drove away or killed all the game in this swamp, it cut off her food supply and left that woman starving. She had no choice." he restated. "There's nothing we can do for those children now, nothing to be gained from going after the witch, and a lot to lose if you're foolish enough to attack her."

 

That was all Mettius needed to hear. Yes, members of their group were missing and there were shadowy figures starting to appear… but rather than dealing with the concrete threat that devoured innocent frelling children, everyone else in the party seemed perfectly happy to let her go. A mage. Who killed the innocent.

 

If it had been the villagers who actually upset her, it would have been different. If she had moved somewhere else, it would have been different. If she hadn’t been Gifted, maybe it would have been different. But Mettius knew where his priorities lay.

 

They owed nothing to a witch.

 

As the others prepared to march into the swamp, the dark-clad inquisitor quietly made his way back toward the witch’s hut.

 

-----

 

Irena simply remained at the back of the group, trying to get used to her new senses and make sure nothing crept up behind them… she had a sinking feeling that if something caught her, though, that would be the end of it.

 

-----

 

As the others moved on, Mettius slowly drew his sword and shield, staying still and quiet by the entrance to the witch’s house. If anyone else dared approach him, he would turn them away with his stern, silent, burning gaze.

 

Once he was alone, he planned to take on the witch. If he died, so be it.

 

If he lived, he wasn’t going to help those other cowards anymore. They were willing to bend their damned codes of honor to catch a ‘bigger fish’... and leave a true evil untouched. Mettius wanted nothing more to do with them, even if it meant turning his back on his order when he was finished.

 

Assuming, of course, he survived.


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#25 Sareth

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 11:34 AM

"There's no time, and no point either. The presence in this swamp drove away or killed all the game in this swamp, it cut off her food supply and left that woman starving. She had no choice. There's nothing we can do for those children now, nothing to be gained from going after the witch, and a lot to lose if you're foolish enough to attack her. Right now, we have far bigger concerns. Our comrades are in danger, and the evil corrupting this swamp is a far greater threat to all life in that town, and beyond if it's Letom's doing."

 

"You're right —for now" Kristina agreed reluctantly, keeping her expression blank by force of will despite the disgust she felt for the venator at that moment —for his casual dismissal of one of the most horrific crimes possible. Some monster hunter he was; just because the witch didn't have claws or fangs, or flee from the touch of silver, he didn't seem to care. Well, she had long ago learned that humans were just as capable of being monsters as anything else.

 

"But when this is over" she added a moment later "I will see her in irons... or I'll see her dead" she said darkly, before turning and following Stevan as he led them deeper into the swamp. 

 

As time passed, the swamp grew gloomier —and smellier— still, and utterly silent. Ben's muttered swearing drew her attention to a trio of strange figures that had appeared in the muck off to the left of the path. The figures' puppet-like motions bothered her subtly, it reminded her of the way shambling dead moved...

 

"Greetings! We come in peace!"

 

She turned to glare at Sebastian —who had called way too loudly for her liking— for an instant, and looked back just in time to see the figures vanish straight down into the swamp. "For some reason, I don't think they do" she muttered sarcastically.

 

Then, as if things hadn't gotten strange enough, another of those Gods-damned floating balls of fire appeared off to the right —a dry, if narrow, path seemed to lead right to it. For a moment, she was tempted to try and catch the thing, in revenge for her two missing comrades, but she discarded the idea almost at once; if the younger venator was right, the thing would simply lead them into a trap of some kind. Besides, how did one catch or kill a floating ball of fire?

 

"We should keep moving forwards. There's no need to go chasing these things, I suspect we'll see more of them before long" she said after a moment. "And some of them might just come to us..."  she muttered to herself.

 

***

 

"The presence in this swamp drove away or killed all the game in this swamp, it cut off her food supply and left that woman starving. She had no choice. There's nothing we can do for those children now..."

 

Sarael didn't even hear the rest of what Hadrian said. There it was, all her fears confirmed... At the blunt confirmation, all at once the unease and nausea that she had been struggling with overpowered her, and she staggered forwards a few steps and promptly threw up into the swamp. As she had missed dinner the night before, there wasn't much to throw up, and so she quickly found herself clutching her stomach as it painfully shook with dry heaves —as if trying to physically expel the knowledge that she knew she was stuck with forever.

 

When the others started to move out, heading deeper into the swamp, though utterly lost in her miserable thoughts, she, reacting out of habit, found herself standing up and listlessly following the rest of the group. 

 

How did they do it —the others? How did they just keep going after what they had just learned? Oh, right... the mission —the mission: stop Letom. Yes, that was why they were here... Even if they had failed to save the kids, they could still save others by finding him. They hadn't failed at that. She tried to let that thought fill her mind, let it push all others aside —focus on what could be done, not on what had already happened. She wasn't quite successful, but she did manage to regain at least a semblance of purposefulness to her movements.

 

Having finally cleared her thoughts at least somewhat, she at last regained a proper awareness of her surroundings, noticing that the swamp seemed a lot darker and quieter than before. And then, she, along with the others, noticed the strange figures out in the swamp.

 

"Greetings! We come in peace!"

 

In response to Sebastian's greeting, the trio of... people?... simply vanished downwards into the swamp.

 

"Maybe they're just shy?" she found herself suggesting aloud —though even she wasn't quite sure whether she was being honest or sarcastic.

 

And, on the other side of the path, was one of those blue balls —'willow wisps,' wasn't it?— that made people disappear. They could try and go after either the figures or the floating ball, or they could keep following the path to try and find Letom. Yes, Letom... the mission, focus on the mission.

 

"I-I think we should just keep going" she said softly.


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#26 Harry Monster Princess

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 03:17 PM

"You're right —for now" Kristina agreed reluctantly, her expression blank. "But when this is over" she added a moment later "I will see her in irons... or I'll see her dead" she said darkly, before turning and following Stevan as he led them deeper into the swamp. 
 
Hadrian sighed. He wasn't looking forward to having that argument with her later. And even that would be a molehill compared to getting the villagers to agree to his truce. But for now, the immediate greater good was at hand, and they moved on.
 
Hadrian immediately recognized the strange figures and their wicked swords from the witch's paintings, and immediately drew his bow, but they disappeared into the swamp muck upon the Templar shouting a hello.
 
"Greetings! We come in peace!"
 
Kristina turned to glare at Sebastian. "For some reason, I don't think they do" she muttered sarcastically.
 
"They don't," Hadrian confirmed, lowering his bow. "The man from the village suffered from a sword wound that had become infected. No one else around these parts wields blades like that."
 
Everyone was thoroughly spooked by the figures, and wished to proceed along the path. 

"We should keep moving forwards. There's no need to go chasing these things, I suspect we'll see more of them before long" Kristina said after a moment. 

 

"I'd rather attempt to destroy them now, while we're prepared," Hadrian mused. "I don't like the idea of them coming back for an ambush."

 

The Venator was tempted to loose an arrow into the spot where they had sunk, but they were probably already long gone.

 

Hadrian grunted. "Alright, we move on. But everyone move into a defensive formation. If those things get the drop on us, we'll all be sorry."

 

---------------------------

 

Everyone decided to move forward, and Mina had no objections. She just drew her shield and spear and kept them ready for if those hooded creatures reared their heads again.

 

"Um... S-somebody help? Mettius?" Mina turned and saw the young Channeler Lucy had accidentally wandered off the path and gotten herself stuck in the mud. Lady Tamaria reached out to her and to help.
 
"Careful, we don't know what lies in this muck, and those creatures could be anywhere. It's dangerous here" Mina cautioned her. She tried to keep her voice calm, but the fear of the place was getting to her. The Templar grabbed Lucy's forearms pulled hard, trying to get her unstuck and back onto dry land.

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#27 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 03:30 PM

The all but unanimous decision was to simply keep moving along the path. Just as everyone started to resume the trek, however, Lucy mis-stepped and one of her feet became trapped in the muck. Mina headed over when she asked for help, trying to tug her free - but her foot was stuck fast.

 

Just as Mina turned to alert the others of the predicament - though Stevan was already approaching to lend his aid - the muck suddenly moved. There was no mistaking it this time, no flashes in the corner of one's eye - the muck itself stirred.

 

A tendril suddenly formed in the deep green, thick swamp gunk. It swung forward and wrapped around Lucy's midsection with a terrifying grip, tugging on her and trying to draw her in. Stevan grabbed hold of her to lend Mina his strength, and Ben whirled, lifting his axe and bringing it down hard upon the strange tendril.

 

The limb was sliced in two and the latter half of it retracted, but the upper half sagged until it touched Lucy's body, coating her upper legs in the strange, moving gunk. Stevan gave a mighty tug and dragged Lucy's leg free at last, but they were already too late.

 

All around them, the muck started to move. It slowly - very slowly - began to cover the path all around them, slogging forward over the solid ground with what looked like a great effort...

 

"Run!" Yaroslava shouted just before they all began to move. Though the muck still clung to her armor, Lucy found she could move just fine, and she quickly joined the others in taking off as fast as their legs could carry them down their one clear path through the swamp. It was becoming ever narrower, each second the muck creeping closer toward the center...

 

The swamp seemed to come to life - but there was no life other than the muck. It moved sluggishly, but its entire mass started to stir like some endless beast covering the landscape that had been awoken from a long slumber. It dripped off the trees and left them bare, stripped of their bark and their now-dead, brown wood halfway eaten through. Tendrils rose up here and there, trying to grab them, but most of the warriors were too quick...

 

Except for Gauvain. As they ran, they heard a scream as a green tendril of slime wrapped itself around Gauvain's neck. It looked effortless as it pulled him off his feet and dragged him deep into the muck, caring nothing for the Templar's great size and bulky armor.

 

There was no time to help him. They kept running, the muck closing in. Some of it touched Irena's shoes as she ran, but Stevan reached back and pulled her closer, narrowly saving her from an awful fate.

 

The tendrils whipped and grabbed, but no one else was taken as the party followed their only path. It felt like they ran for hours, but in just a few minutes, they found themselves approaching the gaping mouth of a huge, dark cavern. No one stopped to second guess themselves as they entered into the shadows - they had no choice, and they certainly had no time.

 

The path ended, and everyone came to a halt, panting for breath. They stood on some great stone in what seemed to be the center of the cavern. In the light of the torches some of them - Kristina, Sarael, and Sebastian - still held, they could see the green slime covering the ground all around them. At the far end of the cavern, they could see what looked like a small opening... But in the dismal light of their torches, and given they were several feet away from it, with muck covering the path, they could see little of its nature.

 

The sludge around them crept inward, but it halted several feet away from the stone upon which they stood. It seemed to stir in agitation, but it came no closer. Glancing at their feet, the group would find strange runes covering the stone under them.

 

"We need to get outta here," Ben said quickly, turning in circles, axe in hand. "We can't do this alone - we need to alert the whole Templar Order and--"

 

The figures appeared.

 

They climbed up from the muck, their hands reaching out and grasping the stone, pulling themselves up from the sludge. Most of them held swords - there were five figures total. Three held swords, and of the other two, one grasped a void iron mace and the other held two void iron gladii. Their armor looked half digested, but their forms were only vaguely visible under the thick layer of green muck covering their bodies, turning them into faceless, armored human figures wielding weapons.

 

As everyone attempted to assume defensive positions, the sludge-figure with the void iron mace charged forward so fast that no one could react. It brought its weapon down upon Augustin Caesar's skull with enough force that he went reeling to the side, outside the rune circle, his head half caved in. His death was quick. Almost the instant he went down, the sludge formed is tendrils again, reaching out and wrapping around the corpse's limbs, starting to slowly drag it in.

 

All five muck-monsters began to close in, weapons at the ready. If they were to escape this cave, they would have to take these figures out first.


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#28 Neyo Wargear

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 05:23 PM

The swamp was alive. At least the muck. Cicero, like the others, ran for his life. He remembered something about this, but was too focused on self preservation. They ran and ran until they reached a cave, where runes and blood covered the ground, but before the group could rest, the strange humanoids returned. One struck so fast, no one could even react, it crushed the skull of Cicero's closest friend of the group, Ausgustin Caesar. They couldn't even retrieve his body before a tendril of the muck pulled him below.

 

With his mind racing, Cicero realized what they were facing. "I can't believe it, that something so foul could be within the Empire. This muck is the Creep, but it is green Creep. There are only two ways to fight this thing, bright light, but green Creep is not as deterred by it, the only true way to 'kill' it is lightning. I doubt we have lightning at our disposal, so we'll have to go with light."

 

Looking around, Cicero studied the runes upon the ground. The only things to be keeping the Creep back, looking further, there was old blood upon other symbols. "These runes are the only things keeping the Creep back, but based on the other symbols and bloodstains, a Demon was most certainly summoned in this exact spot." Cicero had his greatsword within his hands, ready to strike at the figures.


Omnius mille passus expeditio, omnis fossa bellum.

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#29 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 06:45 PM

Malvoilo cursed as the Manaquein figures from eariler returned, and, with little or no trouble, struck down one of the Inquisitors.

The Templar didn't even heasitate. With his Broadsword in one hand and his dirk in the other - his axe had been dropped somewhere outside of the cave - he charged the closet figure, cutting underhand with his dirk and swinging at the creature's neck.

---

Though he was frightened out of his wits, Evan was beginning to peice the puzzle together, or, at least, he hoped he was.

Letom must have created this Creep that Cicero had spoken of, and the Witch was afraid of. These faceless creatures, the Creep's minions, must have been the compainions of the crazy knight from the Insane assylum and the two Inquisitors from earlier: the swamp had assimilated them.

Evan, glad that he had a sheild unlike the dead Inquisitor, ran at the Creep's Minions, screaming his head off as he swung his sword at the closest creature.

#30 Harry Monster Princess

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 08:36 PM

Hadrian was at a loss. This monstrous muck was unlike anything he had ever heard of before, and he hadn't the slightest idea what would be effective against these humanoid slime puppets. He hesitated with his bow in the back, fearing his arrows would be useless, and that his chain would merely get stuck in the goop. Thankfully, Cicero the Ebonguard had some knowledge of the evil sludge.

 

"I can't believe it, that something so foul could be within the Empire. This muck is the Creep, but it is green Creep. There are only two ways to fight this thing, bright light, but green Creep is not as deterred by it, the only true way to 'kill' it is lightning. I doubt we have lightning at our disposal, so we'll have to go with light."

 

"No, I'm afraid we're a little short on lightning!" Hadrian barked. In this dire situation the fool was mincing words, but it wasn't all useless. If they needed more light to brighten everything up, he'd bring it.

 

Quickly, Hadrian tore a strip of cloth from the end of his cloak, and tied it tightly around an arrow, just behind its head. He rushed over to the Templar Sebastian.

 

"Hold still, lad," Hadrian growled as he held the end of the arrow in the flame of the torch. It smoldered and smoked, and after a few moments it was alight. Moving quickly, he notched the flaming arrow to his bow, took careful aim at the nearest dead and dry tree, and loosed it.

 

---------------

 

Mina was trembling. She had no idea what these monsters were, but she knew people were dying, and she had to take action.

 

Grabbing her spear with both hands, she ran at the muck man with the two gladii and crouched low, sweeping her spear in a wide arc to slice out what constituted for the slime's ankles, and send the puppet crashing to the ground.


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#31 Sareth

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 01:55 PM

Trapped. They were trapped, surrounded by an ocean of creep. Kristina's gaze flitted around the cavern, looking for an escape; a short ways away there was a small opening in the back of the cavern, but it was too dark for her to see what lay beyond, and the floor between there and the stone they were trapped on was likewise covered with the corrosive organism. And then there was the stone itself... her blood ran cold as she recognized it as a summoning site —for a demon.

 

"We need to get outta here. We can't do this alone - we need to alert the whole Templar Order and--"

 

The abrupt break in Ben's speech warned her, and she turned to face the threat, going for her sword. But it was too close, and too fast, and one of the humanoid sludge-figures stove in Caesar's head with a mace before any of them could do a damn thing. But that wasn't even the worst of it, for in the instant before the thing struck, she recognized the weapon it held in its hand —a void iron mace, identical to the one General du Edrimark had carried. Not humanoid, she realized with shock and disgust... human. Two of the figures were the remains of her comrades —possessed, or animated, or whatever-the-hell by the creep.

 

"No, I'm afraid we're a little short on lightning!"

 

'Maybe I should have shown more devotion to Zeus' she thought in grim humor, as Hadrian sarcastically replied to Cicero. But then there was no more time for thought —the sludge-puppets could, somehow, ignore the warding runes, they would have to deal with them, and fast, before they could get off this stone. If they could find a way off the stone...

 

Sword in her right hand, and torch still grasped in her left, she charged at the figure that had once been the Inquisitor-General —feinting with the torch, hoping to distract or drive the thing back momentarily given the creep's typical aversion to light, and then bringing her blade up and around to try and decapitate the monstrosity.

 

***

 

Alive... The swamp was alive! One moment they had been walking, the next the very ground itself had come to life and begun attack them, snatching Gauvain and dragging him into the muck with ease —for all his size. Sarael knew that image, his scream would haunt her forever. But there was no time to think, no time to reflect —only time to run. And run she did, her heart pounding in her ears like an angry bull, her stomach twisted tight with icy fear as they ran along the path, with no end to the unholy creature —if it could even be called such— in sight.

 

And then the path ended, and they were trapped. They hardly had time to breathe before a new threat —sludge-figures— emerged from the living muck and attacked, one of them slaying Caesar with a single blow and sending his body tumbling into the ooze.

 

"I can't believe it, that something so foul could be within the Empire. This muck is the Creep, but it is green Creep. There are only two ways to fight this thing, bright light, but green Creep is not as deterred by it, the only true way to 'kill' it is lightning. I doubt we have lightning at our disposal, so we'll have to go with light."

 

For a moment, she was frozen in place, staring at the spot where yet another comrade had vanished in only a matter of minutes, fear, shock, horror, and disgust all threatening to overwhelm her —only half-hearing what Cicero said as he described the thing they faced. But, then, the emotions faded, and a new one took their place, rising up within her like a flame. She had had one too many shocks, seen one too many terrible things in too short a time —she wasn't scared, or disturbed anymore... she was angry.

 

'I refuse to die like this!' she screamed in her own mind, dropping the torch she held and drawing her great zweihänder from her back, angling the blade across her body as she faced the sludge-puppets.

 

She undoubtedly would have gone charging into their midst in a heartbeat, but at that moment what Cicero had said finally sunk in. "Light..." she muttered softly to herself, in realization. And then she started praying, calling upon Astra for aid  —all the while keeping her eyes alert and focused on the monsters, her blade still held at the ready... if any of the figures came near her or any of the others, she'd cut the damn thing right in half!

 

These things hated light? Then she would show them the Light of Astra.


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#32 Ratcatcher

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 11:34 AM

Though Augustus tugged and pulled, her leg would not free from the muck. Mina even came over to help, but the suction that held her foot in place was really strong. Almost unnaturally so...

 

Just as Lucy's fears were only beginning to surface, she felt something twist around her leg and pull harder. She summoned what little strength she had to resist immediate demise, and Ben managed to save her using his axe. Still pulling, Lucy felt the slime practically crawl around her legs. As it finally let up, Stevan was able to yank her onto the path. She lay there exhausted, trying to gather her thoughts. She couldn't tell if her mind was going a million miles an hour or if it was completely blank; she only knew that her fear and disgust were barely masked by her confusion.

 

"RUN!" The youthful Channeler heard the cry from Yaroslava, and she wasted no time scurrying onto her legs and taking off. She stumbled slightly, readjusting the slight change of weight the muck on her legs carried, but was able to keep up with the group without issue. She looked around as she ran, seeing that what they were running from was actually the grime: it was moving. She only narrowly missed blundering into Gauvain as a tentacle of sorts yanked him of of the path and stole him from the party. Convoluted pillars of slime continued to threaten their lives, and only by ducking and dodging was Lucy lucky enough to survive-- though it fatigued her as the minutes dragged on. Just as Lucy's legs grew sore and threatened to quit, everyone entered into a dark cavern.

 

Climbing a rock to avoid the demonic tsunami chasing them, the group began to catch their breath. Lucy was on her hands and knees, not from any physical tiring (though there was plenty), but trying to wrap her mind around the past few minutes of events. As she came to grips with what was happening, she felt her arms tingling with familiarity. She saw the runes on the ground, recognizing them as wards. To her left, blood was spilled on the ground... a nearby obsidian stone, some flint... She stood up, recognizing the summoning site just before somebody announced it. She also realized that the "creep," as it was now known, was eating away at her armor. "Hey guys--"

 

Her thoughts were interrupted when she turned just in time to see Caeser's head get smashed by a faceless figure covered in muck. With rapid reflex, she whipped out her bow and nocked an arrow, pointing it at a faceless figure. Her fears subsided as her survival instinct finally kicked in. Something about holding the bow, perhaps. Cicero mentioned that they needed light... She watched as Kristina charged in and faced one of the creatures head-on. Pointedly turning her aim away from Kristina, she fired off a couple of arrows at the head of another creep monster.


Edited by Ratcatcher, 03 April 2016 - 11:06 AM.


#33 GhostlyCheese

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Posted 07 April 2016 - 09:59 PM

"RUN!"

Grey didn't need the woman to tell him, he'd already seen the swamp come alive before the others had. The drawback of having temporary nightvision was the fact you can see the spooky stuff when you would rather not. The swamp came alive and killed one of his comrades, although Grey's heightened senses gave him a head start, he wasn't free from the threat of the swamp. He watched as faceless creatures smashed-in the skull of Augustin, causing Grey to feel the need to add his own juices to the toxic mixture of the swamp.

As Cicero listed their options in destroying the threat, Grey cursed himself for his own skill in darkness. I'm hunting in their element now... Silver and steel won't save my life, here. If only I had something to create light! He was far out of his comfort zone, now. With his own weapons were ineffective at killing the Creep, he followed suit of Lucy, and made for a dead tree to get up and out of the muck. Grey's potion still gave him a clear image of the chaos around him, and as the creatures neared his companions, he made sure they did not reach them, utilizing his throwing knives. If he had chosen the spot correctly, Hadrian's plan to set a tree ablaze would not spread to his own perch.

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#34 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 10:20 AM

Cicero readied his greatsword, while Malvolio charged the mace-wielding figure and swung for its neck, attempting also to cut it underhanded with his dirk. He was rewarded when his blade connected with the creature's neck, knocking it off-balance, but not severing the head. He felt his blade hit bone somewhere underneath the slime, which made it incredibly difficult to take its head off, even in the half-digested, decayed state it was in.

 

The creature, however, didn't even seem disoriented by the blow, and it brought its mace up to strike - until Cicero saw his opening, lunging forward and delivering a low swing to the monster's midsection while Malvolio moved back. He didn't quite chop through the monster, either, but he did give it a good slice that knocked it off its feet.

 

Evan charged as well, swinging his sword at one, only for his blow to be blocked by one of the creature's own blades.

 

Hadrian attempted to light his arrow on fire, but unfortunately, it didn't work very well. Since it was only cloth with no other additives to keep it burning, the arrow wouldn't remain afire very well. Regardless, he attempted to fire it at a tree outside the cave. Unfortunately, given the size of the cave mouth and their distance from it, he had difficulty doing so. His arrow flew too short of hitting a tree, glancing off some rocks and landing within the Creep. The living substance didn't even seem to care about the brief flame that sputtered against its surface before quickly going out, and it seemed to engulf the arrow in an almost absent, lazy-looking gesture.

 

Kristina charged the figure that had once been the Inquisitor-General, feinting with the torch. The creature flinched at the light, but when she brought her blade around to decapitate it, her sword became stuck fast in what was left of the monster's neck. She managed to wrestle it free while the creature staggered back.

 

Lucy fired some arrows at the head of another creepling, hitting it straight on with enough force to send it crashing down onto its back. Grey, however, could find no dead trees within the cave to climb up onto as a perch.

 

Mina rushed the creepling with dual gladii, which Evan had already engaged, and she swung her spear to sweep its legs. The monster crashed to the ground, not expecting the move, and lay on its back - which gave both Mina and Evan a perfect opportunity to assault it with their weapons...

 

But before anyone could strike again, humans or creeplings, Sarael began to pray to Astra... and her prayers were answered.

 

When it began, it looked like the light of the rising sun slowly seeping into the cavern, but it grew in seconds. A light flashed, seemingly from nowhere, filling the entire cave. Every Templar present seemed to bask in its glow, even as brief as it was, and they felt their spirits uplifted. Any aches they felt seemed to fade away.

 

The light did not even seem to blind any of them... although Ben, for whatever reason, staggered and nearly collapsed, leaning against his two-handed axe. The creeplings, however, screeched and wailed, their unearthly screams echoing all around them as they retreated back toward the safety of the Creep.

 

And, over the path they once used to enter the cave, the Creep began to slip away. It slid back, receding slightly all around them, as if portions of it were retreating deeper into the earth to escape the blinding light... And it left them a path to escape.

 

They all quickly gathered their bearings and rushed down the path, charging at full speed. As they went, the Creep began to stir again, the light having now faded away...

 

But great bolts of lightning struck two trees just off their path, setting them ablaze. Directly ahead stood the hunched form of the troll witch, her eyes gleaming in the light of her own glowing magic, her hands emitting a pale blue-purple aura. She beckoned for them to come to her as she brightened the glow around her, turning and running down the path at alarming speed for so stooped and elderly a creature, even one her size.

 

As they ran, the Creep did not reach out for them again. Whenever it tried, the witch would fling her hand forward, and jets of light or even lightning would fly from her fingers. It wasn't enough to kill the strange creature, but it was enough to drive it off.

 

Onward they went, stopping for nothing. When they neared the witch's house, she turned to face them again, glanced over them each once... and then grabbed her cloak, sweeping it up over her in one swift motion - and disappearing into thin air.

 

The Creep was now gone. They had a clear path back to the Moor. Stevan stepped forward and looked back at all of them, saying simply, "There's no time to explain this to the villagers. The Creep is too large a threat. We need to take this back to Killedam and to our respective orders... I don't know how we'll kill this, or if we even can, but we can at least warn everyone that it's out here."

 

---

 

The return journey to Killedam was a rushed event. The group returned to their steeds and took off down the roads, giving the villagers of the Moor warning about the Creep and telling them more aid would arrive soon. When they at last arrived in Killedam once more, they went straight to the respective compounds of the Templars and the Inquisition and gave full reports.

 

Ultimately, the swamp west of the Moor was deemed uninhabitable. Reinforcements were sent to the Moor in an attempt to set up defenses against the Creep, but it seemed the creature - if that was truly what it was - had learned its lesson. So far, it had made no indication of leaving its already vast territory. Shortly after the Templars, Inquisitors, and Venatori escaped its clutches, the Creep was found to be grey and still, seemingly in a dormant state. No one dared to touch it.

 

As for Letom, word returned of his eventual capture. He had been hiding in an orcish fortress in the foothills of the Jagged Edge, having taken it over from a rogue tribe of Chaos races. With his defeat, the case was closed, and the members of the respective orders were sent on their way to return to their duties as normal.

 

 

((Sorry for the rushed conclusion. Damnatio Memoriae was meant to have a much longer and more robust story than this: I originally planned for us to travel to Pirgos and have a questline there, all of which was planned and ready to go, and then one final quest in the foothills of the Jagged Edge before the final boss fight and conclusion of the campaign. However, to be blunt, I've lost inspiration in this campaign. Time is precious to me, and I would rather spend the considerable amounts of time it would take to finish this campaign doing something else that's more fun for everyone. For more details, see this post.

 

I'm actually going to close this thread, because this zone is pretty much unusable again due to the presence of the Creep, and this campaign is concluded. Anyone who has survived is free to use their characters again - and you may just feel inclined to do so, depending on how things go with the Caiden campaign I'm planning, as I mentioned in the previously linked post. More details on that later.

 

Thanks to everyone who continued posting and didn't drop out. I apologize for not finishing this campaign properly, but at least there's some semblance of closure, so you know these characters of yours are available for use again in the future instead of being stuck in limbo. Let this be a lesson to me to not start a big campaign during a graduate semester. Hope to see you elsewhere in Errant!

 

If anyone desires some closing interactions, feel free to undertake them in the ZONE - Killedam thread, be they with each other or with NPCs.))


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