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ZONE - Imperial ship at sea ((Chasing Shadows - Chapter I))


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#61 Burger Warrior

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 06:07 PM

Caiden gave a small laugh, leaning back in the bed again and watching her. "A 'giant' sea monster wouldn't notice you slap it, Perky. But it might slap you, probably either into the ocean or into a stomach you don't want to be in."

 

Percula pouted. “But magiiiic…” She mumbled.

 

After a moment, he added, "But if you want fresh air, go ahead. I was hoping to get some shut-eye. If you need anything, wake me."

 

The pixie instantly cheered back up at that, hopping off of him and - after glancing up and down the corridor - she grew to her elven height. Folding her wings downward against her back, Percula gently took the Venator’s blue cloak. “I will. Sweet dreams.” Percula said with a sweet, perfectly innocent smile as she wrapped herself in the obviously too-large cloak. A small, disappointed frown touched her features, but regardless she began to trudge off down the corridor.

 

At least it didn’t reach the floor on him, she thought, glancing back to watch the cloth trail an inch or two along the floor behind her. At least, whenever she paused. While in motion, it managed to look alright: that, and the silver brooch keeping it together was on top of her clothing. Percula had to double-check that, and considered going back to check if Caiden had any spare gloves. ...Nah, I’ll be fiiiiine…

 

With that thought in mind, Perky emerged on the deck of the ship to see another ship in the distance, and everyone looking worried about it. Blinking at the other watercraft, the pixie quietly approached the side of the ship closest it to get a better look, idly. Let’s see what this is all about. She thought, keeping an ear out on the conversation around her… and wondering if anyone would notice the newly-arrived ‘elf’ in a Venator’s uniform.

 

-----

 

Rosette frowned. She thought her ideas were pretty good, but apparently Kye-

 

Her thought process was interrupted as a large hand suddenly came at her and, before the pixie could even yelp, squashed her a little as the young Saffron was caught in a fist. Naturally, Rosette squirmed, but fortunately the fist didn’t close tighter and over time the pixie relaxed. It sounded like she was being held by Neitha while she and Kye spoke to the new woman the first woman was seemingly protecting her from.

 

...Lot’s of women.

 

Talking about relationships, it sounded like. In front of some demon-kin who clearly didn’t have any. Rosette frowned, deciding not to try escaping Neitha’s grip - yet - and instead tried to do… well, something to make Kye feel better. Though typically anything soul-related relied on touch...


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#62 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 08:31 AM

Charon turned as he heard someone approaching, and was surprised to see an Elf in a Venator's cloak.

 

He was surprised: he had seen the two Elven Venators at the Mansion earlier, but they had not accompanied them. This Elf was female, very pretty, and hopefully would be better company than those two had been.

 

The Weeping Mage moved towards the newcomer, with his best attempt at a friendly smile on his face, and said "Hello, might I be the first to make your acquaintance? My name is...Carlon Shev."

 

---

 

"Yes, yes I am...um, why do you ask?"

 

Katrina breathed a silent sigh of relief: the southern woman did not seem to care too much about the awkward question.

 

"Well," the Archer said "I've seen you with him a lot, and you two seem the happiest when you're together, so...I was curious."

 

She then noticed Kye looking decidedly uncomfortable, and then asked "Hey, are you alright?"



#63 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 09:30 AM

From where she was, Rosette couldn't really do anything to help Kye. If she reached out with her magic, she could sense an incredible amount of worry, some conflict, and no small amount of depression and frustration in Kye's soul, and she got the distinct impression he was also feeling very trapped in general. She could not, however, try soothing him from where she was.

 

Kye was busy trying to ignore the conversation, until Katrina addressed him again. "Hey, are you alright?"

 

He lifted his tired eyes to nod at her a little vaguely, giving a dismissive wave. "Yeah - I'm fine," he said, but that was it.


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#64 Sareth

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 10:16 AM

"Well, I've seen you with him a lot, and you two seem the happiest when you're together, so...I was curious."

 

Neitha simply shrugged in reply, not really sure what to say to that. 

 

"So, what brought you on this mission?" she asked, for lack of anything better, crossing her arms across her chest as if to get more comfortable —which, quite conveniently hid her hand that held the pixie behind her opposite bicep; shifting the hand down towards her hip a touch, she loosed her grip some to allow the pixie to climb out —only a few inches away from her belt-pouch, which the pixie could hide in if she so chose.

 

"Hey, are you alright?"

 

"Yeah - I'm fine."

 

Her eyes flitted over to Kye for a moment as he replied, feeling a brief bit of concern; he certainly didn't seem fine, and it wasn't just the tiredness —she'd caught his sigh a few moments before, something was definitely bothering him... had been bothering him almost ever since they'd left Veritshire... She'd have to try and figure out what it was, but, given the presence of company, and the current situation, this was hardly the time for such a conversation.

 

Which thought reminded her of the presence of the other vessel, causing her to turn and glance at it again. "Uh, is it just me, or is that other ship a lot closer now?" she asked the others. She focused her gaze on the incoming ship, trying to determine anything about it that she could....

 

***

 

Sarael started to get slight feelings of trepidation as the other ship drew closer and closer.

 

"She's holding course."

 

"She's also... speeding up. How could that be? It may be time to wake the crew."

 

"Should I go wake Caiden? Or the Captain?" she asked the others on deck, though her question was mostly directed at Stevan —him being her superior officer.


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

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#65 Balder

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 11:43 AM

Rutger followed the members of his order back on deck where to their increasing concern the ship kept coarse straight towards them.

"She's holding course," Stevan said with a frown.

"She's also... speeding up. How could that be?" Big Rob said, fear inching into his voice, though he tried to conceal it. As they watched, the ship seemed to grow larger now at a steady rate as it continued to draw nearer now - rapidly. "It may be time to wake the crew," he added, gripping the ship's wheel a bit tighter.

 

"Should I go wake Caiden? Or the Captain?" Sarael asked the others on deck, though her question was mostly directed at Stevan —him being her superior officer.

 

Not that that would ever stop Rutger from interjecting. "You go wake the Captain," he decided for her. "I'll go wake the crew, I'm going to be useless up here anyways if it comes to hostilities. I might as well get out of the way and make myself useful while I'm at it." With that he turned to once again make his way down to the hold. Before descending from the main deck though he was greeted to the sight of Charlon Shev speaking to a elf woman he'd never seen before, wearing a Venator coat that was much to big for her. He was absolutely certain that he'd not seen her board the ship in port and though it was possible she boarded before they did. Perhaps she was some sort of careless stowaway. 

 

He'd ask the captain about her later, for now he continued his way down deck where he found a ship bell((assuming there is one)) and stated ringing it to wake the crew. "Ship headed straight towards us! Get to your ship positions!" He called in lack of better knowledge of what to call.


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#66 Lord_Capulet

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 01:39 PM

As the strange ship drew closer at a concerning pace, it became more apparent to Marcus that action was needed.  "Should I go wake Caiden? Or the Captain?," the troublesome lady Templar from earlier asked, unsure, though Marcus expected little else.  Rutger quickly made himself useful by attempting to wake the crew, so Marcus approached the two remaining Templars, commenting succinctly, “Looks like he’s handling it.”

 

Rushing past them, toward the front of the ship, he called in passing, “I’ll need some help here, getting us ready for battle.  Which of you wants to learn to fire a ballista?”  Smirking a bit as he turned away and continued sprinting toward the forecastle, he thought to himself, I bet that’s a trick they don’t teach to young squires.  Time you learned how Inquisitors face fear, little miss Templar: with superior weaponry!

 

Upon reaching the mighty weapon, the veteran Inquisitor placed his halberd on the deck, where no one would trip on it.  He’d need to check on it and make sure the ship’s rocking would not send it sliding off the deck, but the seas were calm...for now.  Next, he grabbed a bolt from the nearby cache, and began to load it into the ballista.  He hoped at least one of the Templars had followed him, winding the mechanism would be much slower if he was forced to do so alone.  He hoped they would not even need to fire the weapon, but if this mysterious vessel was somehow tied to the doom of the others, he had no intention of taking chances.

 

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#67 Sareth

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 01:50 PM

"You go wake the Captain, I'll go wake the crew, I'm going to be useless up here anyways if it comes to hostilities. I might as well get out of the way and make myself useful while I'm at it."

 

"Er, right..." Sarael replied simply to the scribe —Rutger, was it?— as the man ran below and started raising a ruckus.

 

Looks like he’s handling it... I’ll need some help here, getting us ready for battle. Which of you wants to learn to fire a ballista?”

 

"Right..." she replied again, torn for a moment between going to wake the Captain or following the Inquisitor. After a moment, she turned and headed after the Inquisitor —figuring that with all the noise Rutger was making, the Captain would probably be up in short order anyways.

 

She watched as he loaded one of the weapon's giant arrows onto the ballista, and then started pulling on a crank at the back; seeing an opportunity to be helpful, she promptly grabbed the other end of the crank, and put her full prodigious strength into turning it —resulting in a pace which might be difficult for the Inquisitor to keep up with... not that she realized that.


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

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#68 Burger Warrior

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 02:29 PM

Percula was almost too lost in thought watching the ship approach to hear someone coming up beside her.

 

Almost.

 

As the Weeping Mage moved towards her, Saffron glanced up. She blinked, a little surprised by the expression on his face. It sure looked like he was trying to smile, he just… didn’t seem used to it. And not in a Caiden way, either. Percula shifted slightly, pulling her cloak a little closer as she tried not to focus on the man’s lips too much. That would just be awkward, if he even noticed.

 

"Hello, might I be the first to make your acquaintance? My name is...Carlon Shev."

 

Definitely not suspicious at all. Nope.

 

The pix- ah, elf leaned back against the railing of the ship. “‘Carlon’, huh? You can call me Perky.” She grinned, offering him a delicate hand for shaking. “Nice to meetcha.”

That done, she glanced back out to sea. “So, how ‘bout that ship out there?” Percula asked, subtly trying to divert his attention from her. It was… still weird, actually being noticed by people that were usually giant compared to her and not getting freaked out about.

 

Saffron wasn’t sure if she liked it or not.

 

-----

 

Rosette let out a tiny sigh of relief when, after being moved around a little, she was released by Neitha. The pixie patted one of her fingers in silent thanks before taking a quick look around. She was by the woman’s belt, and well out of Katrina’s line of sight. It couldn’t be that hard, sneaking over to Kye.

 

Sure, Neitha would probably be upset if the pixie was caught in the act, but the demon-kin really needed the help. Taking a deep breath, the young Saffron slipped down to the floor of the crow’s nest, scurrying over to Kye so she could soothe his soul a little, if nothing else.


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#69 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 11:55 AM

Which thought reminded her of the presence of the other vessel, causing her to turn and glance at it again. "Uh, is it just me, or is that other ship a lot closer now?" she asked the others.

 

When Neitha looked out at the ship, however, she couldn't make out much about it... Other than the fact that she definitely saw something underneath it. It could have been a trick of the light, but from here, she could distinctly discern the water was an even darker hue beneath the ship than anywhere else in the ocean.

 

Kye seemed to notice it as well, as he squinted and tried to focus his tired eyes. "It is," he said, "and I dunno much about ships, but something looks fishy to me..."

 

Meanwhile, Rosette managed to sneak over to Kye - but this time, Katrina noticed something moving in the shadows. She couldn't make out exactly what it was, but she definitely saw something move down there. The pixie reached Kye and tried to soothe him, but she found it remarkably impossible, even for her. Worse, he started to panic again.

 

Kye, surprisingly, paused a moment - perhaps only because he felt Rosette's touch on his soul - before blurting, "I'm gonna - get out of this super high precarious death-wish perch now."

 

With that, he discreetly scooped up Rosette and deposited her carefully into his one belt pouch before he started climbing down the rigging, not waiting a second for anyone.

 

---

 

Stevan moved off to wake the Captain on his own, despite Rutger kicking up a fuss, ringing the ship's bell below decks and calling out for everyone to be alert.

"Ship headed straight towards us! Get to your ship positions!"

 

That seemed to work well enough, as in less than a second, Rutger found himself in a small stampede of crewmen, up and ready at a moment's notice. They rushed past him without a word or a glance, piling out onto the main deck and leaving Rutger there alone.

 

At least, he thought he was alone. It seemed at least one man was not answering the call... barring various individuals not on the ship's crew, who had gone remarkably comatose, though nothing could be done for them at the moment unless they snapped out of it on their own.

 

Rutger noticed the muscular Venator from the manor, Caiden, gripping the wall of the cabin as he stood by his own bedside, over his gear, his back turned to the hatch. He stood slightly hunched, his free hand clutching at his torso as he gasped for breath and clearly tried to get some kind of pain or panic under control... or else just very bad seasickness. Rutger had no way to be sure.

 

---

 

Everyone - or most everyone, and certainly all of the ship's crew - now appeared on the main deck, thanks to Rutger's wake-up call. Stevan and Captain Ritter emerged from her cabin, and everyone stopped to stare at the strange vessel.

 

But Jane wasted no time. "Everyone man your stations and arm yourselves!" she ordered as she ascended to the quarterdeck to take the wheel from Big Rob. "Prepare to be boarded!"

 

To herself, she muttered, "At least, I hope that'll be the worst to happen..."

 

The main deck became a hubbub of sailors drawing their weapons, checking the rigging, moving all loose crates and barrels into the forecastle or below decks, and joining Marcus and Sarael at the ballista to aid if needed. All the while, the ship drew ever closer, cutting through the deep black sea. Its wake shimmered in the moonlight, vast and violent, and as it drew nearer...

 

Everyone noticed the sails were billowing in the wrong direction. The ship wasn't using the wind to sail. Tattered as they were, they still could have caught a breeze, but something was moving the ship on its own - and moving it so fast that its sails looked like they were catching a wind inside-out.

 

"By Neptune," Jane murmured at the sight.

 

And then the ship disappeared.

 

All at once, and with a great crash, some unknown force sucked the ship straight underwater with an ominous creak and a gut-wrenching crash, shattering the ship and sending splinters and debris flying. What wasn't destroyed in the mighty tug was sent straight underwater and was lost.

 

But the glow remained. Under the disturbed ocean now less than a league from the ship, the terrible orange glow moved beneath the waves at an incredible speed... It was coming straight for them.

 

It emerged all at once, displacing the water around the ship so violently it was a wonder the entire vessel didn't collapse on its side - and perhaps the reason it did not was the great tendrils that erupted from the ocean to wrap around the ship. And from the sea to the Lady Amalia's left side, a massive shape arose from the water: a massive, hideous, horrific face with a gaping maw lined with teeth so huge and jagged they seemed impractical, like some kind of gargantuan anglerfish. Overhead, on the end of a long antenna, hung a burning ball emitting an eerie orange light, casting the entire ship and the water around it in its nightmarish glow.

 

Its beady, glassy, reflective eyes seemed to stare down at them, looking almost soulless, as sailors so frequently claimed of all fish - but they shone with hunger. The monster's night-black skin was so slick it shimmered in the dim night almost like the surface of water, reflecting the pale moonlight back at them but distorting it over its various bony ridges... and squirming tentacles.

 

If this creature was not demonic - which, indeed, even those with knowledge of demons and their ilk were lost to recall a creature of this description in their studies - then it certainly looked like it could be, but the depths of the ocean were sometimes said to spawn monsters that could compare even to the kin of the Underworld... or perhaps they were one and the same, but this horror was yet unknown.

 

Whatever the case, there was no time to be contemplating its nature. The monster's tentacles thrashed through the darkness, whipping outward and coiling around various parts of the ship - and one lashed out to snatch up a crewman. The man screamed as it wrapped around his ankle, dragging him off his feet and lifting him high up into the air - before holding him over its great maw and dropping him. The crewman's red shirt looked like a banner fluttering in the night as he plummeted into the monster's mouth. It did not actually bother using its jutting teeth to try to chew him.

 

The reason they found only one body amidst the wreckage of the previous ship suddenly became sickeningly apparent.

 

---

 

From where he stood on the main deck. Kye stared up at the monstrosity. His face went pale, his eyes went wide, and for a second, he completely froze.

 

"I knew something looked fishy," he murmured to himself so fast it was some odd combination of a growl and a whimper, before he turned on his heel and charged straight for the forecastle. Ignoring everything around him, he rammed his shoulder into the door, throwing it open and stopping inside. Slamming it shut, he shoved the heaviest crate in reach in front of it and then fell flat on his rear in the floor, chest heaving and sweat running down his face...

 

((Burgs: see PMs))

 

---

 

BOSS

120/120 HP

 

The monstrosity now held the ship aloft in its tentacles, lifting it from the water. Two larger tentacles, about the thickness of mid-sized tree trunks, were now firmly wrapped around the middle of the ship, one on either side of the main deck. The tentacles currently barred any access to or from the Captain's quarters and the forecastle.

 

Other, slightly smaller tentacles whipped through the air, grabbing at sailors and swatting at anyone who attempted to near the larger tentacles gripping the ship. These tendrils were somewhat slimmer, about the thickness of a man's thigh.

 

As for the rest of the beast, its maw - though enormous and gaping and full of spear-sized teeth - was, thankfully, not large enough to envelop the entire ship. Perhaps this was its reason for plucking its food off the vessel one by one.

 

While the crew ran this way and that in panic or else trying to fulfill their duties, Captain Ritter shouted from the quarterdeck, somehow managing to make herself heard even over the cacophony: "Fire the ballista at that damn thing!" she roared. "And someone start cutting these tentacles - if it doesn't let us go, it'll tear the Amalia in two!"

 

Stevan drew his blade and gripped it with both hands, charging for the tentacle blocking access to the Captain's cabin, as he was currently on the quarterdeck and could reach it easily - he even had a slight height advantage over it, as he stood on the stairs up to the quarterdeck. Steeling himself, the Templar began to hack at the tendril as if chopping a tree, greenish-yellow, slimy blood spurting out with each strike... but even with his great strength, it was clear it would take some time - and he could use some help, though he did not call out for it.

 

The monster did not seem at all disturbed by the ballista's presence as of yet, nor did it pay much heed to Stevan's attacks, as it remained focused on acquiring itself some food...

 

Percula had barely a moment to think about the horror she stared in the face before she felt something wrap tight around her left ankle. One of the slimmer tentacles gripped her and began to lift her into the air, upside-down, no doubt with the intention of turning her into a meal.

 

Another tentacle lashed out for Neitha, snaking around her midsection and yanking her up into the air. She still had one arm free, but the monster swiftly carried her toward its gaping maw.

 

It seemed the monster would not be satisfied until it had gorged itself on every living thing on the ship - and, afterward, the Lady Amalia would either become its next tattered lure, or simply another floating pile of debris lost at sea.

 

 

((For this boss fight, I'll be trying to narrate the dice rolls more, so that you guys know what's going on. As an example, I've worked up various dice rolls and status effects for what happened in this post. This will continue to be the case for the boss fight, although I don't plan to show details every dice roll out of such important combat.))

 

Spoiler

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#70 Sareth

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 01:01 PM

"I'm gonna - get out of this super high precarious death-wish perch now."

 

Neitha continued to stare at the approaching ship for another moment. She had a really bad feeling about that shadow beneath it...

 

"Right, I second the motion" she muttered, before following Kye over the edge of the basket and heading down for the deck as fast as she could climb. She made it not a moment too soon, as some monstrous... thing burst forth from the water, snatching up and devouring one of the crew.

 

"I knew something looked fishy."

 

She turned to reply to Kye's comment —to try and reassure him, though lacking in any kind of confidence herself given what was facing them— only to see the demon-kin vanishing into the forecastle at a dead run.

 

"Gods damn it Kye!" she exclaimed reflexively, only to realize her mistake in looking away from the monster a moment too late, as a flash of motion made itself known in her peripheral vision; she tried to dodge it, but something wet and rubbery wrapped itself about her waist and yanked her into the air... and then in the direction of the thing's mouth...

 

"MARCUS!" she screamed in panic for an instant, before the more practical part of her mind took over; with her free arm, she quickly drew her yatagan, and proceeded to hack at the tentacle holding her with the furious strength and speed of fear. 

 

***

 

For a moment, Sarael was paralyzed with fear at the thing revealed itself, snatching one of the crew to his death in an instant. "Not again..." she whimpered, feeling the icy tendrils of panic clawing at her heart once more. It was all her fault... she'd argued for this path... and it was turning out just like last time!

 

'No!' came the defiant thought in her mind. This wasn't like last time —this thing, whatever in Hel it was— was flesh and blood; it could be hurt, it could be killed. She could make sure it wasn't like last time —but only if she moved!

 

She believed the thought, threw her trust into it... she had to.

 

"... And someone start cutting these tentacles - if it doesn't let us go, it'll tear the Amalia in two!"

 

The Captain's cry cast off the last vestiges of her paralysis. Up over her right shoulder went her hand, drawing forth her gleaming deepsilver zweihänder. "Astra, guide my hand" she breathed in prayer, gripping her weapon tightly with both hands.

 

An ear-splitting, incomprehensible, warcry then burst from her lips, and she charged forwards, raising her blade high over her head before bringing it down with every ounce of strength she could muster in a thunderous chop upon the tentacle by the forecastle.


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

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#71 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 05:46 PM

‘Carlon’, huh? You can call me Perky. Nice to meetcha. So, how ‘bout that ship out there?

 

"Well," the Weeping Mage said as he turned towards the ship "I'm not sure-."

 

And that's when the ship disappeared.

 

Or, at least the illusion of the Ship disappeared, and in its place was a gigantic sea creature. The very appearance of the creature brought to mind stories of primordial gods and monsters like the Skolopendra and Keto.

 

If he was with anyone else, he would have used his curse to fight the creature, but, since he was with other people, Charon readied his mortal weapons.

 

As Perky was snatched off of the deck, Charon quickly produced his dagger, and slashed at the tentacle, hoping to distract it.

 

---

 

"So, what brought you on this mission?"

 

"It's because of him," Katrina said as he pulled out the picture of the Weeping Mage and showing it to Neithia "he's someone I used to know when I was a child: Charon Velos. Apparently, he can use some sort of magic and, according to Durante Blackburn, one of the Inquisitors from earlier, he's a member of the Umbra Coven. The only reason I'm here is because I'm hoping that I would find him. I miss him so much..."

 

She would have said more, but she was distracted by two things:

 

One, Kye grabbed something small and moving before leaving.

 

And Two, a Tentacle grabbed Neitha and yanked her out of the Crow's nest. 

 

Katrina quickly drew her bow and fired two arrows: one was at the tentacle holding Neitha, and the second at the eyes of the enormous creature that had suddenly appeared next to the ship.

 

She also prepared herself to grab the Southern Woman if necessary. 



#72 Lord_Capulet

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 08:19 PM

The lady templar’s aid turned out to be both timely and valuable, as her well-built arms grasped and turned the winch as quickly as she seemed to grasp the concept.  Perhaps he had misjudged the young knight.  As Capulet struggled to keep pace with her, he grunted, “I hope there’s no ill-will after our disagreement earlier.  If we’re about to fight together, we should at least know each other’s names.”  After the sliding trough that held the bolt locked into place with a satisfying, mechanical clunk, he offered his hand to her, across the wooden stock of the weapon.  “Marcus Capulet, Inquisitor.  I’d like to apologize for doubting and arguing with you.”  

 

Marcus knew there would be little time for introductions or apologies.  When some of the crew had rushed up to join them, and Marcus directed one to load fresh bolts from the stockpile and another to help Sarael with the winch.  “Like the parts of the machine itself, each of us does something different, but no less important.  Together, we shall stand against whatever’s on that ship.”

 

-----

 

The mysterious, glowing ship drew up so quickly that its sails were billowing backwards.  Even Marcus’ untrained eye knew something besides the wind was spurring it on.  Then, he saw the ship be destroyed, only to discover the exact source of its movement...and began to really, really wish he hadn’t seen it.  The threat was not on the ship, but UNDER it.  A sea-monster unlike anything he had read about or even seen in his nightmares rose from the surface, with tentacles flailing, a gaping maw, and some kind of orb giving the unnatural light Stevan had noticed.

 

A beast that fishes for men, with a ship for a lure.  That’s new,” the veteran Inquisitor quipped dryly, before taking aim.  One of the crew was soon snatched up and devoured by the beast, and by the time Captain Ritter was shouting out commands, Marcus had already guessed an angle and accounted for how the waves...and now the beast...were moving the ship beneath him.  He aimed for one of its eyes, hoping that even if he was slightly off-target, the remainder of its face would not be as well-protected as the rest of its scaly body undoubtedly was.  Before the captain finished, he squeezed the trigger, and let fly the steel-tipped bolt.  Without even watching to see the results, he barked out to his fellows, “Quick, load another!  A beast like that will need more than one hit to get the point across, I’ll wager.”

 

While Sarael rushed away to take care of the nearest tentacle gripping the ship and the sailors went through the process of reloading, Marcus shouted encouragement as he realigned his aim.  “That’s the way, keep it together, everyone!”

 

Then, he heard Neitha cry out his name, snapping his head in her direction only to find, to his horror, that the creature had lifted her into the air.  The former pit-fighter was valiantly hacking at her bonds with a free hand, but she was well out of reach, even if Marcus were to come to her with his halberd.  He would need another solution.

Hold on, Neitha!”  He shouted as he urgently helped the sailors man the winch on the ballista.  “I’ll give the beast something else to chew on!”  With luck, the shot he had already loosed and Neitha’s own efforts would cause the creature to drop her, or at least lower her to where he could reach.  Looking at one of the other sailors, he uttered gravely and rapidly, “You might need to take over for me soon.”


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#73 Burger Warrior

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 09:23 PM

"Well," Carlon said as he turned towards the ship. "I'm not sure-."

 

Both he and Percula stared as the other ship was pulled underwater, and shortly replaced by an enormous sea creature. Saffron’s eyes slowly widened and she managed a step back. W-what the… what in the…? The size of the thing was insane, as was its menacing appearance and the way it not only casually batted their ship aside with its mere emergence, but it held them relatively steady in its tentacled grip with ease.

 

And it casually swallowed one of the sailors whole. Percula successfully reminded herself this was nothing like what she and Caiden did.

 

But as she did so, she felt something slimy but freakishly strong wrap around her ankle. A rather squeaky yelp escaped her lips as the pixie was pulled into the air… upside down. Saffron’s eyes widened as Caiden’s cloak fell down, unveiling her iridescent wings. However, her focus was on the silver brooch falling towards her neck. Percula made a ‘meep’ sound as she grabbed at the edge of the cloak, keeping the silver brooch suspended with a sigh of relief. That is, until she realized she was being moved toward the monster’s huge maw.

 

Maybe now wasn’t the time to celebrate small victories.

 

Flailing for a moment in panic, Saffron belatedly remembered she could teleport. Closing her eyes and struggling to focus on the deck of the ship as her target, not the gullet of the monster, Percula murmured under her breath as she attempted to escape the thing’s grip.

 

Then she could kick its scales right back into the sea.


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#74 Balder

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 02:20 PM

It took but seconds for the sailors to leap out of their beds and rush up deck, not giving Rutger as much as a glance as they did. Soon enough Rutger were the only lucid person left beneath the hold.

 

Or that's what he initially thought. Rutger noticed the muscular Venator from the manor, Caiden, gripping the wall of the cabin as he stood by his own bedside, over his gear, his back turned to the hatch. He stood slightly hunched, his free hand clutching at his torso as he gasped for breath and clearly tried to get some kind of pain or panic under control... or else just very bad seasickness. Rutger had no way to be sure.

 

Besides asking that is. "Sir, are you alright?" The scribe started to make his way over, pausing for a moment to chastise himself underneath his breath; "No of course he's not alright, look at him damn it."

 

"Is there anything I can do-" he made to ask as he made it to the Venators side but that was as far as he got before being thrown to the wall with the sudden lurching of the ship. "What in the world was that!?" For a moment as he regained his bearings Rutger considered going back up to find out what just happened. It was a brief thought, quickly dismissed by the conclusion that whatever it was those already up could probably handle it and if not he probably couldn't help anyway. So he would help a man who possibly could in his stead.

 

"Sir, speak to me, is there anything I can do for you? What ails you?" The scribe asked and placed a hand on the muscular mans shoulder. With a slight pull he attempted to encourage the man to turn so that he could get a better look at him.


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#75 Klaykid

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 02:53 PM

"Astra give us strength."

 

It was massive, terrifying, and absolutely incredible. In a world where vampires, werewolves, and beastfolk exist, there still were things that brought Sef to absolute awe. And this leviathan, tearing apart their ship and consuming sailors, was a sight that could only bring astonishment that the world was capable of harboring such creatures. Soon Sef regained her composure and her training kicked in. Catching Stevan hacking away at a tentacle wrapped around the captain's quarters, Sef ran through the deck jumping over tentacles and fallen boards of wood and joined the captain at removing the beast's grip.


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#76 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 02:44 PM

Charon charged for the tentacle lifting up Percula - just in time to see her blue Venator cloak fall upside-down and reveal something shimmering on her back. It looked odd, but he had hardly a second to look at it before he swung for the tentacle itself - and missed horribly, since it was already moving off, and his dagger had almost no reach.

 

And then Percula disappeared.

 

Her unorthodox method of escaping the tendril worked remarkably well, as she disappeared from its grasp, and it coiled inward around itself in apparent confusion. In the blink of an eye later, Percula reappeared on the main deck of the ship, albeit in a bit of a heap of her cloak. Still, at least that meant her wings weren't still on obvious display, right? She just had to untangle herself...

 

At least, she thought that was the only issue - until everything got better. Or maybe worse.

 

---

 

Everything happened at once.

 

Kye burst from the forecastle, with what looked to be an elf-sized pixie following him. While that was certainly odd, Kye himself seemed normal - until he looked up and saw Neitha.

 

Neitha was in the air, still held aloft by the tentacle. Lashing out at it, she managed to cut through it in one amazing, clean slice - only that left Katrina with nothing to hit, as the severed tentacle retracted with incredible speed, disappearing into the water. Her arrow flew wide and became lost in the sprays of sea mist.

 

But the moment the tentacle was severed, that left Neitha to fall toward a very unsavory location - straight into the churning sea near the ship. At least it was not the monster's maw...

 

Meanwhile, on the main deck, Kye suddenly underwent a dramatic change. His human guise dropped in less than a second, revealing his demonic form - but before his wings were even out, he was already charging straight for the side of the ship. Kicking off from the deck and giving himself an extra boost with his left gauntlet on the ship's rail, he spread his huge wings and took to the air.

 

Before Neitha could plummet all the way past the ship and into the water, he felt something grab her, and before she knew it, she was in a demon's arms. Kye wheeled away from the monster's face, narrowly avoiding a tentacle that lashed out at him like a whip.

 

Back on the ship, Sarael rushed to attack the large tentacle gripping the ship near the forecastle, while Stevan and Sef began to chop away at the one wrapped near the quarterdeck. The combined efforts of the two impressively large Templars toward the rear of the ship worked much faster than one alone, even with Sarael's might - which left the whole ship in an odd situation...

 

As the tentacle near the quarterdeck was severed, with greenish blood spewing all over Stevan and Sef, both ends of the tendril fell back into the sea - but the other tentacle continued to hold on, and it held the ship out of the water.

 

The entire ship began to tilt, like someone setting a ship in a bottle upright, its prow toward the sky. But this lasted hardly a second - and, thankfully, not long enough for anyone on the ship to lose their grip... except for the two utterly silent individuals named Javed and Dominica, who quite abruptly fell into the sea. Only the gods would determine if they managed to survive that.

 

Almost the instant only one tentacle held on, a ballista bolt pierced the monster's left eye, courtesy of Marcus. It let out a deafening roar that seemed to shake the whole earth, and its enormous tentacle - already badly injured by Sarael's efforts - slid from around the ship, freeing it...

 

And leaving it to fall straight back into the ocean. "Everyone hold on to something!" Captain Ritter shouted.

 

Collectively, the entire crew felt like they left their internal organs somewhere overhead as the ship plummeted into the water. It landed with a great splash and a loud creak, some wood splintering and flying in various directions - hopefully not enough to cause serious problems... or, at least, not any serious problems that could not be solved before the monster was driven off.

 

But as the Lady Amalia finally rested in the ocean once more, the monster only seemed more determined to attack. Although it did not seem to have any more larger tentacles to grab the ship, it had almost countless smaller ones that now began to wrap around the entire vessel. Three coiled around the main mast, one around the bottom, one at the middle, and one at the crow's nest, making it creak as the giant beast tried to snap it off like a stick. Two more attacked the sailors around the ballista, leaving Marcus to duck as one man went flying off the deck and another was lifted up into the air.

 

Still another wrapped around the ship's wheel, and one smacked at Captain Ritter, who rolled out of the way. Yet another one wrapped around the ballista itself, trying to pull the whole thing out of its place on the vessel. The four free tentacles on its left side flailed around quite ineffectively, given the bolt sticking out of its left eye - but they were still dangerous.

 

The remaining three tentacles began to attack the nearest targets. One went after Sef - but it was quickly warded off by Stevan, who chopped through it with a clean slice. Another lashed out at Katrina, wrapping around her waist and lifting her into the air, preparing to drop her into the monster's maw. The third struck at Sarael like a whip, but its attack bounced ineffectively off her armor, though it did knock her off-balance for a second or two.

 

BOSS

83/120 HP

14/16 small tentacles remaining

 

---

 

Neitha got a grand view of the whole event, watching the Lady Amalia crash back into the water with an enormous splash... and then seeing the monster move toward it again as if in frustration, a seemingly endless supply of smaller tentacles now reaching out for the vessel. Kye swallowed so loud she heard it as they neared the ship again, and she could feel his heart pounding in his chest.

 

"Okay..." he breathed, watching the chaos, "where-- where should I land?"

 

---

 

"Sir, are you alright?"

 

Caiden didn't turn to look at him - he focused entirely on something else, but he made a vague grunt in his throat.

 

"Is there anything I can do-" he made to ask as he made it to the Venators side but that was as far as he got before being thrown to the wall with the sudden lurching of the ship. "What in the world was that!?"

 

He didn't respond.

 

"Sir, speak to me, is there anything I can do for you? What ails you?" The scribe asked and placed a hand on the muscular mans shoulder. With a slight pull he attempted to encourage the man to turn so that he could get a better look at him.

 

Finally, after that prompting, Caiden turned to face him. Nothing seemed visibly wrong with him, though his face was slightly contorted in pain, and one hand kept clutching at his left side. Rutger saw no bloodstains on his armor there, however, so he did not appear wounded, unless it was an old injury of some sort.

 

"I'll be fine," Caiden said stonily, though his tone betrayed a good deal of agony. "I appreciate the concern..."

 

The entire ship tilted.

 

It did not just tilt - it began to yaw completely backward, the prow pointing straight up to the sky. It should not have been possible.

 

Caiden managed to grab onto the wall of the ship to anchor himself, but Rutger scrambled to do the same, and he failed - only for Caiden's free hand to shoot out and grab his arm.

 

He saw a barrel roll past him at incredible speed and then smash into a far wall, sending supplies flying this way and that, and the entire lower decks began to echo with the panicked neighs and cries of horses in their stalls. Rutger was just lucky Caiden had grabbed him instead of letting his head smash open like that barrel.

 

It only lasted a few seconds before - arguably - things got even worse.

 

Now the entire ship seemed to fall. Rutger felt like his stomach had been left somewhere overhead as the ship suddenly crashed back into the water, knocking them both off their feet and leaving their heads spinning. But they were still alive - and, by some miracle, uninjured, except for a few minor bumps and bruises.

 

Then they heard the roar of the monster outside.

 

Caiden immediately sat up. Rutger could still read some pain written across his face, but he stood and steeled himself to power through it.

 

"I'm going above deck," Caiden said, drawing his broadsword. "Are you coming?"

 

 

Spoiler

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#77 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 03:15 PM

Charon swore as his blade went wide, though whether or not it was due to his ineffectiveness with the dagger, or through his amazement  at spotting something glimmering underneath Perky's cloak.

 

He had seen something like it before: could it be...?

 

Then, the ship titled, sending several crew members tumbling over the side.

 

Once everything had returned to normal, Charon ran to start hacking at the Tentacle that had wrapped itself around the Balista.

 

At such close range, he couldn't miss, could he?

 

---

 

Katrina swore as her arrow went wide. 

 

How could she miss? Her aim was usually true...!

 

Fortunately, Neitha had managed to cut herself free from the Tentacle, but now found herself plummeting towards the sea. Katrina watched in horror, expecting to see her comrade swallowed by the waves or by the beast.

 

But then something grabbed her out of the air.

 

It was Kye!

 

Katrina blinked: in the short period of time between leaving the crow's nest and the monster's attack, Kye had grow wings and...a tail?!

 

However, she did not have long to dwell on this, as a tentacle lashed around her waist and dragged her from the crow's nest, preparing to drop her into the creature's jaws.

 

Fortunately, her hands were free, so without further ado, Katrina wrestled one of her hunting knives from it's sheath and stabbed it into the tentacle.

 

It was only after she had stabbed it that she realized that she would most likely fall to her doom.

 

She hoped that Kye would catch her too...

 

 



#78 Balder

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 03:35 PM

Finally, after being physically prompted, Caiden turned to face him. Nothing seemed visibly wrong with him, though his face was slightly contorted in pain, and one hand kept clutching at his left side. Rutger saw no bloodstains on his armor there, however, so he did not appear wounded, unless it was an old injury of some sort.

"I'll be fine," Caiden said stonily, though his tone betrayed a good deal of agony. "I appreciate the concern..."

Rutger was about to interject something about how he clearly was in pain but then entire ship tilted.

It did not just tilt - it began to yaw completely backward, the prow pointing straight up to the sky. It should not have been possible.

 

Rutger scrambled to grab hold of something, anything, but he was to late and began falling - only for Caiden's free hand to shoot out and grab his arm.

He saw a barrel roll past him at incredible speed and then smash into a far wall, sending supplies flying this way and that, and the entire lower decks began to echo with the panicked neighs and cries of horses in their stalls. Gulping, Rutger imagined that barrel being him and it was no pleasant image.

It only lasted a few seconds before - arguably - things got even worse.

Now the entire ship seemed to fall. Rutger felt like his stomach had been left somewhere overhead as the ship suddenly crashed back into the water, knocking them both off their feet and leaving their heads spinning. But they were still alive - and, by some miracle, uninjured, except for a few minor bumps and bruises.

 

Gasping for breath the scribe attempted to say his thanks. "I- *gasp*, Thank you. I-", he paused, taking deep breath to collect himself. "I owe you." 

Then they heard the roar of the monster outside.

Caiden immediately sat up. Rutger could still read some pain written across his face, but he stood and steeled himself to power through it. The scribe would have usually said something about it, protested even. But these were not usual conditions.

"I'm going above deck," Caiden said, drawing his broadsword. "Are you coming?"

 

Rutger hesitated for a moment, before rising to his feet. "I'm not sure of how much use I'll be. I have no weapons, and no training to use any. I'll go up but..." a heavy sigh escaped him and it was clear to the Venator the man in that moment felt useless. "I'll try my best, perhaps I can drag any injured beneath the deck and attempt to treat them. Though I doubt I'll even manage that. Either way, you lead the way."


Edited by Balder, 31 July 2016 - 03:38 PM.

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#79 Sareth

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 04:14 PM

Neitha's relief and satisfaction at managing to slice clean through the monstrosity's tentacle was exceptionally short-lived, as she suddenly realized that she was no longer over the deck of the ship, and instead was on a path to land in the water directly in front of the creature.

 

"Oh, F—!" she began to say, before suddenly she found herself being held in a pair of arms and no longer falling but, rather, flying

 

"—inally!" she finished a moment later, turning to cast a glance at her rescuer —it was Kye. "My hero" she said, half sarcastically, but also with some genuine warmth —she was still a bit miffed at his cowardly retreat before, though she supposed this went a long way towards making up for it.

 

Meanwhile, a look below indicated the ship was more-or-less holding its own... if rather bumpily —she had to admit to herself that she wasn't at all disappointed to have missed out on that ride. If it weren't for her somewhat precarious position, she might have given Marcus a cheer when he shot the damned squid... fish... thing in the eye.

 

"Okay... where-- where should I land?"

 

Her decision took but an instant. "Forecastle deck!" she declared, gesturing at it in case Kye somehow didn't know what that was, noting that the monster appeared to be going after the ballista —undoubtedly their best weapon against the thing, which, it seemed, was far from brainless; she... didn't like that.

 

Besides, that was where Marcus was... 

 

"We need to take out that tentacle going after the ballista" she added a moment later, to Kye. She wondered if she could get a swing at it on the way down....

 

***

 

Sarael managed to keep her grip as the ship tilted and then plummeted precipitously —if rather uncomfortably, though something resembling a grim grin flitted across her features for an instant as the monster lost its hold of the ship.

 

As the ship bucked, for a moment she caught a glimpse of a... —winged man?— who seemed to be carrying another person in their arms. It was a strange and possibly shocking sight to be sure, but, her mind, in the interest of survival, brushed it aside for the moment; there were far more pressing things to worry about...

 

For the fight was far from over, as the creature seemed to have plenty of tentacles —if rather smaller ones— left to grip their vessel again. While deep down there was of course some concern within her, the fact that she —everyone, really— could fight back, and seemed to be doing so successfully, left her, for the fist time in a while, feeling light inside: unafraid. And not just unafraid —her blood was up, and she was determined to see this monster sent back to the bottom of the sea if she could...

 

So, when she saw three tentacles wrapping themselves around the mast and trying, apparently, to snap it clean off the ship, she didn't hesitate. Though having been knocked off balance momentarily by a swipe from a tentacle, she charged forwards, aiming a vicious slash with her zweihänder at the lowermost tentacle grabbing the mast.


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

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#80 Lord_Capulet

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Posted 01 August 2016 - 11:05 AM

Marcus barely had time to lead the nearby sailors in a defiant cheer upon seeing the results of his shot.  Neitha and Kye’s distant forms grew somewhat closer, and then suddenly flew right back upward as the ship plummeted downward when the beast was forced to let its prize go.  The Inquisitor slammed his visor down with one hand as he reached for the base of the ballista with the other, finding a satisfactory hold before coiling his arms around it, clinging for dear life.

 

When the ship slammed back onto the surface, Marcus’ armor and teeth rattled despite his attempts to brace himself.  Well, at least we survived the sudden stop at the end of that fall, he thought to himself, but there was no time to celebrate even that small victory.  The monster’s smaller tentacles renewed its assault, sending one sailor into the sea and lifting another into the air.  Charlon, the naive mercenary from earlier, charged with a dagger at another wrapped around the ballista itself.  

 

As Marcus staggered to his feet, he saw his halberd where it had come to rest after bouncing from the sudden impact, blessedly closer to his current position.  As he snatched up the polearm, he rushed to within reach of the slimy appendage.  After coming to a stop where he would not accidentally strike Charlon, or worse, the ballista they both sought to defend, he “choked up” on the haft like it was an excessively long lumber axe to lend his strike more strength, and swung the axe blade at the tentacle with all of his might.  He had no idea how much punishment these smaller ones could take, but reasoned that too much force would be better than not enough in this case.  If he damaged the deck, he’d just have to help the crew fix it after the battle.  One problem at a time.  

 

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