Dragon

Land of Karchan

Chapter One Part I


DATE: 10/18/2020.
PLACE: The Beaches/Waters off the Isle of Coldridge.

Katyin travels hurriedly from the western end of the beach, her hands over her mouth in seeming horror as she shakes her head. She looks battered and bruised, even a little bloody, and as she strolls nearer to the group waking on the sands near the dock, she can be heard muttering, "There shouldn't be more. Why are there more?" Her dark hair is grungy with blood and dirt, and her fingers boast the same. "None of you should be here," she says finally, looking around. "You're all in danger. This is all wrong." The more peoples' attention she gets, the more distraught she seems to become, eventually looking nervously over her shoulder. Her hands beckon everyone closer. "You're in danger here," she says again, her clothing a bloody, tattered mess. "There's monsters everywhere. Actual monsters, and undead, and...the frostblooms. You can't even trust the flowers here," she whispers, keeping her voice low. "They're cold to the touch but they will take your skin right off." At this point she seems inconsolable, her tears leaving dirty pathways on her face as she reveals her shoulder. There are patches of skin missing from it in petal-shaped patterns. The wounds are angry and raised.

"People show up here on Coldridge, then they die. I've lost count of how long I've been here. Everyone that showed up with me is dead now except Carlie. There's a cabin that seems to be safe in the forest nearby, but that is a short term fix when there are so few resources. Please help me. If you help me, I will help you." She pauses long enough to wet her bottom lip, then leans in to address the group further. "To the far south of the island is a manor that is very large on the outside. I think that getting into that manor will help us escape, but there's a problem..." Her voice trails off, and a loud noise causes her to turn around quickly, staring at the forest with wide, frightened eyes. The rise and fall of her chest is like a spooked bird's, rapid and in time with the pounding of her heart. When nothing arrives, she turns back to the group cautiously. "We need the key to the manor, and the guy from the group I was working with dropped it into the sea when one of the undead dragged him into the water. They're so fast. Before we can do anything, we have to get that key. It's imperative to the mission." She wipes her eyes, leaving sooty smears like angel wings across her cheeks. "The undead live in the water though. They're more active at night, but going into the water is the only way to retrieve the key." Katyin swallows hard, still nervously looking over her shoulder once in awhile, obviously fearful of whatever could be inhabiting the woods.

"I'm Katyin. Please help me. We'll never get out of here unless we explore the manor. My...friends were so sure that all the answers were there. I can't do this alone though. I'm weak due to little food here, and my reflexes aren't the best. Say you'll help me. The sooner you agree, the sooner we can leave this place behind." Her plight is simple, but has an oddly rousing effect. Her tone is gentle and soft, but she looks like she's been through absolute hell for an undetermined amount of time. Whether you are suspicious, or whether you are trusting, it seems like Katyin knows the most about the island. She's laid it out neatly, from undead in the waters, to monsters in the forest, and even the frostblooms that dot the island. She's a source of knowledge in unfamiliar territory, so if nothing else, her intel can be utilized.

Katyin's gaze constantly wanders, searching for threats. Any noise is regarded with fear, and as she waits for the group to answer her, she looks so...weary. The pyromancer sways a little where she stands, falling silent completely as she awaits everyone's reply.

Carlie seems to hover close to Katyin quietly without ever speaking a word, but when her name is mentioned by the pyromancer, she gives a brief wave and a weak, forced smile. She looks to be very young, and as if sensing how people are perceiving her, she says in a soft voice, "I'm Carlie. I'm fourteen. I've been here about as long as Katyin, I suppose. I attached to her group when they found me in the forest. We're all that's left of that group," the girl says sadly, looking away with large, sad eyes. She's wearing a knee-length brown dress in tatters, covered in blood and grime just like Katyin. Her legs looked to be sliced up, like she's been cut up by razor blades there. Streaks of dried blood trail down her legs, some wounds still oozing blood. They've pooled in her formerly white socks, making them stiff and brown. "There's some supplies to the east of here, in the field. Guy lost his knapsack there." The latter part is mentioned to Katyin. "I tried to get them for us, but there's something in the wheat that cut up my legs pretty bad. We're going to need them as things progress. I bet Guy had some waybread in there. I'm so hungry..." Her fragile voice trails off and Katyin speaks again.

Katyin sighs some, swaying on her feet. "We'll get the supplies. Maybe someone in the group can retrieve them. I've run out of steam until I can eat something." The pyromancer laughs a touch bitterly before addressing the group. "I hope we can all get out of here. There's strength in numbers. Let's go get that key."

RavenClaw awakens slowly, a soft snort escaping his damp nose. Hackles rise along his mottled gray/brown coat as the dawning realization hits that this is not at all where he dozed off. Hearing unfamiliar voices calling out, he lets out a low grunt, pushing off the ground with heavy forepaws and rising to all fours. The lupine form of Raven pauses to shake sand from his shaggy winter coat, heavy, dirt-crusted paws scratching at the beach surface as he turns to survey the area. Seems he isn't alone in waking up stranded here. Recognizing few of the other forms but unwilling to leave them, the wolf inhales deeply and lets out a sharp bark, before turning his intense blue eyes on the pair of strangers that woke him.

Naledi hated bar tending. It was somehow worse than when she was dancing on the stage at the burlesque club. Perhaps, if she had started behind the bar it wouldn't be so bad, but most of the patrons were regulars, and most knew Naledi from her dancing. She never particularly liked the attention that she received on the stage, but there was no doubt that the tips were much better than what she got for pouring vintage wines and craft beers and stirring dirty martinis. Tonight was insufferable though, it had been one entitled customer after the other, sending back drinks that were mere dregs in the ice, saying the elf had prepared them incorrectly and they wanted another. Of course the owner was of the belief that "the customer is always right" so after berating Naledi in front of snickering guests, she was told to go home early. She had quite literally stomped out of the club and down the road until she practically vaulted over the side of her boat and slammed the door shut. Much like a petulant child, she beelined straight for her bedroom where she face-planted on the bed. She should have taken a bath, perhaps prepared herself some dinner. But the words of a particularly nasty dancer (the owner's new girlfriend), a not-so-subtle whisper to her friend commenting that Naledi had put on a few pounds, kept her rooted on the spot. If she could just fall asleep she would feel better in the morning. It was surprising how quickly slumber found her. The sound of waves was not an unfamiliar noise to the elf who spent half her time living on a houseboat. But something didn't feel right. There are others near her, that she could tell and slowly, the elf's eyes flutter open and she pushes herself up from the...sand? She looks around at the others briefly before looking down at her person--still wearing her bartending outfit of shorts and and button-up vest. If the elements were harsh here, she was in trouble. But where was she? Once more she looks at the others and one person in particular catches her eye. "Emmie!" she yells and scrambles to her friend's side. "Are you alright? How did you get here? I was just sleeping on my boat and..." The rest of her words are cut short by the arrival of two strangers. Naledi recoils initially, but her big heart tips her to being more sympathetic towards the injured party. Her lips press into a thin line as the women explain about what this island is, what they've been through, and their request for help. Blue eyes dart to each of the other people who arrived on this island with her. Was she actually here? Maybe she was having a bad dream. Discretely she pinches her arm hard, but her bare feet remain planted in the sand. Maybe she was going crazy? That was possible. These women, tortured, injured, and clearly worn down, were asking for help. Absolutely not...right? They didn't know them! If this island was full of monsters and other horrible things who was to say that they weren't a part of that, meant to lure this group deeper into some other unimaginable nightmare. But then again...Naledi knew monsters. She was technically married to one. She was friends with them. Lived amongst them. "I think we should help them," the elf suddenly says, loud enough to carry over the rest of the group, and then winces at her own gall.

Olwen's eyelids flutter a few times, finally opening up as the tiny woman grumbles her distaste. She groans a few times and rolls from belly to back, wiping sand from her face and hair. "Th'fe** did I do las' nigh'?" She wonders aloud, fully clothed in leather armor complete with gauntlets and boots. She apparently fell asleep clothed, though a light belch reveals the strong scent of spirits on her breath. The pint-sized woman pushes up on her hands, getting her torso up from the ground at least. "Wha' in th'name'a Karn is goin' on here?" The half-gnome finally gets on her feet, teetering like a newborn fawn for a few steps. Katyin and Carlie are looked at as the former explains their perilous lot on the island. She blinks a few times, wiping more grit from her hair in agitation. A sudden realization hits her mind, eyes widening. "Tha' da** fe**in' Pumpkin! She tricked me! Tha' Karnda**ed Harlot!" Olwen kicks the sand in frustration, "Migh'y fine vacation ye sent me on, Lanterna! I'mma fixin' ta get me some Pumpkin pie when I get back, ya b****!!!" Clearly not worried about monsters at the moment, the tiny firecracker is lost in her anger over Lanterna's trickery. However, she calms eventually and peers at the tiny form of Carlie, feeling a connection with the teen - what an itty bitty girl she is, those eyes are so mesmerizing. "So we're dead?" is asked of Katyin. "Great! I done drank meself to death! One too many whiskey shots, eh!" Reflexively the mercenary reaches up for her sword, grasping at air, a look of disdain crossing her visage. "An no weapons!? Me'damn sword is gone...She's one'f a kin'!" This woman is not a happy camper. "So wha' we gon' draw straws t'see who's goin' fer a dip?" Raven is glanced at, "An' we get a cute puppy! Dibs on the pup, eh?" The Gnome part of her can hardly resist speaking her mind, as she wanders closer to Raven and holds out a gloved hand for him. "Name's Olwen." Is said to group as a whole, "I look small, but don' ya judge me by my size. I'm mean when crossed...an I been crossed."

Thaeloc groans as he wipes the sand off of his face and mumbles something 'not safe for work' in Dwarvish. Standing up he feels suddenly much lighter than he is used to ever feeling in his life. No feeling any of his numerous swords or his shield. HE does thank Bytor that he had not taken the family sword seeing that every thing is gone weapon wise. The human is dressed in well made Armor and in the colors of the Degn of the Fryd of Ammerville. Seeing and hearing the young girls cries and speaking about monsters and undead those two words spark the warriors interest. Looking at the others he does over hear the Elf dressed like a Bar Maid say we need to help and her heart to aid gives her a point in the Degns book. Moving closer to the girl Thaeloc gets down to one knee to be at her level. "Child I am here to aid can you describe what type of monsters these are are what they look like? And do you know where my swords have gone child? That is very important so that I will be able to defeat these fiends."

Emmie had been getting ready for a party, it was Carl's 40th birthday and most of the residents of Lliwgar were going. She had it on good authority that it was cool to be late and for once in her life, she was going to be cool. So most of the afternoon was spent putting her costume together and to be frank...she had nailed it. She knew it. Still the party wasn't to start for an hour and if she was to be late, it wouldn't be for another couple of hours she would leave. Of course the best way to spend the time would be with a good book and a too comfy furry blanket. So there she settled, read a few dozen pages before she became all too comfortable in the arm chair and her eyelids closed. When she did awake it wasn't to the alarm clock she thought she had set but to a beach that certainly did not belong to any of the romance novels she read. Now here she was, Karn knows how many hours after, blinking slowly and pushing her glasses up her nose as she sits there in, a yellow and black stripey t-shirt, a headband that she had glued pipe cleaners and pom poms to, a neon yellow tulle tutu, now crumpled wings to her back and black tights. Unfortunately she had no shoes that quite matched so she settled on her trusty lime green loafers with frog faces. Had she slept walked again? Who knows? As her name is called and she focuses on that direction, relief washes over her as recognises this one, pushing her sandy arse up into a stand, frowning at Carlie and Katyin as she whispers far too loudly to Naledi "I thought the party was animal kindgom theme not zombie victim. Did I not get the memo Naledi? They have done super good with the decor, it is very spooky." It dawns on her then that as this is the party....she had forgotten the birthday boy's gift. A guilty gulp of dread at her faux pas but some of Carlie's words filter through into her mind, particularly, 'supplies', 'bread' and 'hungry' and the fact they needed someone to gather them. Suddenly she bursts forward to the two strangers shouting "I volunteer!" as loudly and desperately as if she were offering to take her sibling's place in some death competition. Then brushing her tutu down and abruptly halting next to Thaeloc, glancing at him and then stepping in front of him, she tries to be more composed "I will help go get us the snacks." After all she needs to make up for being terrible party guest who has forgotten the gift somehow.

Cecile awakens at once, reacting to the approach of unknown individuals coupled with the emotional distress that leaves her briefly terrified, much like the two teenagers. Scrambling to her feet while putting up the mental wall, there's a glance toward the others present, while the important details are heeded. While Emmie is recognised, there's no attempt made to greet the artist yet, and instead she waits for the others to speak first. Once that's happened, the only reply from the pirate is, "Cecile, and yeah. I'll help, because it's the right thing to do. I'm going to get that key for you all too, since I don't need to breathe. Does anyone have objections?" Having said this, another glance around is made while the emotional states of those gathered are read, and she waits for any objections to the declarative reply.

Katyin motions to the east when Naledi seems to side with her, and with heavy footsteps, she attempts to lead the group that direction, hoping they'll all follow. However, when Olwen begins her tirade about a pumpkin, Katyin runs up to her and holds her hands out in front of her, waving them slightly in a shushing motions. "Please. Not so loud. The monsters will hear you. Please. Please calm down, Olwen." Her eyes are pleading with the gnome. She even tries to take her hand and lead her east if Olwen will allow it, pressing a finger to her lips as a reminder to not be so loud. When the group presumably arrives on the part of the beach with the key, the waters are dark and the breeze is chilly. Katyin presses on, staring at the foamy edge of the tide at the numerous mermaid scales she sees there. She's about to point when Carlie pipes in, sticking close to Katyin as the weary pyromancer sits down in the sand, rubbing her eyes.

Carlie pauses from her walking with Thaeloc kneels in front of her, narrowing her eyes at being called a child. She was fourteen. She was not a child. At least, not in her eyes. "Everyone that winds up here shows up with the clothes on their backs and nothing else. I don't know where anything goes or the why of it either. It's just as much of a mystery to me as it is to you." She hurries to catch up to Katyin, then motions to the mermaid scales. There are about seven. "We might be searching for awhile. Mermaid scales will allow us to breathe underwater until they are removed. They will also help us move faster in the water than we would normally. I'm not very big, so I don't think I'll be of much use, and Katyin is exhausted as is. What I'm saying is...I don't think we can follow you in, but the key is definitely in there. I'll go if I have to, but let Katyin rest." A body rolls up on the beach then, bloated and rotted, wearing nothing but pants and a ripped sweater. It appears to be male. Both Katyin and Carlie see it, but they don't look surprised, leading one to wonder how many horrors they've seen here to be so jaded.

Katyin shakes her head to Carlie, but squeezes her hand. "No. You can stay on the beach, but I have to go in. My fire can illuminate the waters a little, maybe even cast enough of a glow that the key will glint. I'm not going to tell them to all go in the water while I sit on the beach. That's not fair, and if the positions were switched, I wouldn't trust someone who suggested that. I'm going in. You'll just have to sit tight until we come out, hopefully with the key. Okay, Carlie?" Cecile's comment from earlier causes her to look thoughtful, but she shakes her head. "All of us need to go in. We don't know how many undead are in the water here. I don't doubt your abilities at all, but I believe in strength in numbers. Please understand."

Carlie frowns, then looks around at the dead guy suspiciously with her deep-set eyes. "I don't like it, but I get it. I'll stay here on the beach and I'll come for all of you if trouble makes it out of the forest and onto the beach. A warning. I'll point up or something to indicate the beach has a monster or plural, something. Be careful though, okay?" She looks at Katyin with a deeper frown. "Especially you. I've gotten so attached to you since we first met. I don't want to lose you due to your own stubbornness."

Katyin forces a smile. "I've made it so far. Things will be fine."

Carlie leans in to whisper to Katyin, though those with good hearing might still be able to hear her. "That one. The white-haired woman. She's going to get us killed with her loud mouth."

Katyin covers Carlie's mouth with her hand and shakes her head. "Stop that."

RavenClaw had hesitated a moment at Olwen's chipper greeting, turning his gaze to the smallish woman after a long period of staring at Katyin and the child hiding behind her. His ears flick as he eyes the woman curiously. Not a small wolf in his own right, Raven could very nearly stare the Olwen in the eyes, but his gaze eventually lowers to her outstretched hand and, with a low chuff resembling a laugh from deep in his chest, the wolf dips his head to sniff her glove, pushing his snout against her palm briefly in greeting. Stepping back, he turns in time as Katyin gestures for the group to follow her eastward along the beach. With a low woof at the group, he trots after the pyromancer, passing the strange lady in the bee dress and her apparent companion as he follows the two survivors. As they reach their next resting point, Raven looks to the mermaid scales Carlie points out, but the splashing of the sudden corpse arriving on the beach distracts him. The mottled wolf growls as his lanky stride carries him over to the body. An investigative moment of sniffing around the corpse however seems to reassure him that this must not be one of the threats Katyin and Carlie have been warning about, especially given their apparent jaded reaction to its arrival. Rather, an idea seems to spring to mind, and the shaggy lupine starts tugging on the clothes of the body. To anyone else unfamiliar with the wolf among them, this is undoubtedly not a pleasant sight, but if able Raven will disrobe the poor victim, dragging his clothes up the beach to dry before nudging the body back into the surf. Why he wants the clothing is for the moment anyone's guess.

Naledi is unfazed by Emmie's attire. She has been friends with the woman long enough that her more eccentric outfits are seen as more of a creative expression. And she knew that the artist was especially fond of animal themed costumes. However, a look of confusion washes over her expression when the woman starts talking about a party. She's not quick enough to intervene before Emmie is off shouting and volunteering. "Em...don't..." she gets out but Emmie is already taking her place in front of Thaeloc. Olwen's outburst is understandable and her lamentations about Lanterna are met with an empathetic nod. That damned pumpkin had cursed her the past two years! And this most recent one hadn't even made an appearance yet. Maybe this had something to do with it? Everyone else seems to be in agreement that they will help the pair so at least her initial outburst is not out of place. Cecile's offer to head into the water since she doesn't need to breathe is met with a tilt of her head, but the elf doesn't object. Instead, she follows Katyin when she beckons. "I'm Naledi, by the way," she says to know one in particular. If they had to work together they might as well get to know one another's names at the very least. As they walk along the surf towards the mermaid scales, Naledi considers them a moment before the bloated corpse that surfaces causes her to recoil. The wolf's antics make the whole thing so much worse so that the elf has to turn her back on them, her already pale complexion losing what little color it had left as she swallows down the bile that burns the back of her throat. "Is it safe for you to stay out here by yourself?" she inquires of Carlie after taking a few deep breaths.

Olwen is beyond excited when the wolf snuffles her hand and even rubs against her palm, eliciting a squeal of joy at the new friendship she has made. "Ya got a name, pup? I'll thin' of somethin'...nothin' cliche like Rover or Fluffy." She rubs her chin, more sand falling off. "Maybe I'll jus' call ya Atlas, can ya sniff us outta this place, hm?" The half-Gnome wrinkles her nose at Thaeloc calling Carlie a child, rolling her eyes. "She looks like she'd drin' ya under'tha table, Paladin-boy. I've won agains' my share'a lunkheads like ya." Katyin's requests for her silence draws a sigh from the mercenary, "Alrigh' c'mon then." Though Carlie receives a nasty look when they are at the water's edge. "I can hear ya..." Her eyes wander, wondering who she can trust to stick with on this quest - she wasn't too keen on these girls just yet. For now, she opts to stick with Ravenclaw and moves in beside him, poking the corpse with the tip of one boot.

Thaeloc chuckles when he is told he could be drunk under the table, He is fairly confident of his ability to drink from his many nights with the Dwarfs in the mountains. "If we get out of her I wouldn't mind a challenge at the table to see if she could." Looking around at the others there he gives a brief bow. "I am Thaeloc of Drel, Son of Metal_Sabre, Erol of The Degn of the Fryd, Paladin of Bytor Lord of Valor." Turnign to the two that look to have been here the longest. "Have you seen or have any weapons here?"

Emmie was volunteering to get snacks and certainly not to dive into deep dark waters for some key finding game. Swimming was not her forte...many things in life were not her forte truth be told but swimming was most definitely one of the many that was not a skill. "All of us?" she echoes to everyone and no one in particular. She follows the crowd though up the beach and also watches with alarm as the wolf removes the clothes from the corpse and blinks, not once, not twice but thrice. Lips purse and she shoots Naledi a questioning look and then to Cecile, beckoning them a little closer to her as she asks "Have I missed the bar? They have gone all out but I think some balloons would have made it cheerier and we definitely should have had a prosecco or a cocktail on arrival and they should have said if we needed to bring swimsuits. I am not gonna get in there if the dog has a thing for wet clothing." But it isnt just the wolf that seems to like nudist corpses that becomes the problem as Thaeloc seems to want to challenge a teen girl to a drinking competition, she shakes her head this all too much, even for her. So as if this were a class room instead of some strange killer isle, she calls out "Ma'am, Miss? I am in the wrong place. I shouldn't be here. Where is the exit?"

Cecile follows the group, keeping her amusement about Olwen's outburst and concern about Emmie internal for the time being. As the intended destination is reached, another look to RavenClaw occurs, a quiet question of why there was a wolf present asked in how she looks. Deciding to worry about it later, the corpse is the most important thing at present, nose wrinkling at the potent scent given off, while again Carlie and Katyin are listened to. Once her offer is rebuffed, there's a nod of acknowledgement, for the pirate understands the importance of teamwork above just wanting to ensure as few people were in danger as possible. As before, there is nothing offered just yet, so that those speaking could be listened to and a course of action decided that had the most chance of success. In doing so, there's an amused grin resulting from Olwen's comments, while giving no hint that she too had heard the verbal critique. When she does speak, it's to Emmie first, by saying, "Nope. We're all here for a reason, so all we can do is figure out why and tear anyone who tries to harm us to shreds." A grin at the thought of that follows, and then, "If there were weapons here, those two would have them, ya dingus," is added along with, "She has a point. Who's gonna make sure she's kept safe?" regarding Naledi's observation.

Katyin looks super interested in what RavenClaw is doing, watching the wolf with curiosity written across her bruise-mottled features. The wolf wasn't eating it, and it wasn't attacking him, but he was...disrobing it? Katyin's head tilts a hair to the side as it dawns on her that RavenClaw might be a werewolf. Clothes from a dead body was resourceful, she figures, before turning her attention to the rest of the group again. Emmie is regarded with a long stare, mostly because Katyin is trying to figure out her attire, and Olwen's reactions to anything RavenClaw does makes her smile very faintly. She longed for that kind of vibrancy again. The pyromancer eventually pushes herself to her feet, traveling closer to the water and reaching to get a mermaid scale. The one she picks up glimmers in her palm, an olive color that is deep but reflective. "If you need a scale to breathe underwater, there are some over here. Take one and we can try to get this key." She's talking to the group, but her eyes never leave the breaker waves, as if she expects something to pop out of nowhere and grab her.

Carlie listens as Naledi introduces herself, wearing a half-smile. "I'll be okay. I'm tired and I'm hungry, but I'm still pretty fast. I have a few things working in my favor, but thank you for the concern, Miss Naledi." Katyin shushing her earns the pyromancer a the beginnings of a glare, but it is when Olwen says she can hear her that the teenager straightens her spine and clears her throat, opting to tuck herself at Katyin's side like a shadow to keep away from the gnome. Whoops. Carlie stares at Thaeloc as he gives his long-winded introduction. Even with all of those titles, he wasn't familiar to her. Instead, she forces a weak smile and shakes her head. "There's a cabin in the woods that we've been staying in. It's like it is invisible to the monsters or something. We haven't had a chance to search through everything there though. After we get the key, and maybe the supplies in the wheat field that I was unable to retrieve, we can head that direction. Maybe you'll find something there that can be of use to us." Her attention returns to Katyin then, and she holds her hand. "Are you sure you have to go in?"

Katyin nods to Carlie, but Emmie's words snag her attention. "You didn't listen to a thing I've said," she says through a frown. "Maybe you were dressed up to go to a party or something, but when you last fell asleep, you wound up here. There are monsters everywhere. The flowers are so cold they leave burns. The ocean is full of the undead. We have to go in and get a key to the southern manor, and it is unfortunately out there in the sea." She points. "This isn't fake blood, ma'am. I've been here...I don't even know how long, and I'm suffering. If we don't work together to get that key and try to find the way out of here, then we're all going to die. There is no exit that I know of, but I never made it into the manor either." After her speech, Katyin takes the scale and presses it to her cheek. It seals itself against the curve of her right cheek and clings to the skin there. Looking at the others and hoping they'll follow suit, Katyin makes her way into the water.

The waters are cold, the kind that cuts people to the bone. With the mermaid scale attached, it isn't as bad as it would be normally, but it is still enough to numb the mind and slow the body. All around, there are undead individuals bound by chains, floating upward but still too captured by their bonds to do much more than thrash. Their eyes are illuminated, casting a glow through the otherwise murky waters that will likely prove helpful in finding the key.

As the group searches the waters, a couple of loud SNAPS echo through the water, and an undead female settles her gaze on the group, lighting them up. She glides through the water with an unnatural ease, long claws that are razor sharp seeming to grow from nowhere. The second snap comes from the other side of the group, this one a tall, burly undead man who looks like he can rip someone apart in a single go. Both of the undead individuals are perfectly whole without rot, though it seems as though they may be more akin to brainwashed, feral vampires without actually needing to drink blood, and definitely not as durable. They have one goal in mind: destroy. They begin circling inward while other undead continue struggling against their shackles. The pair of undead glide through the water effortlessly...and quickly.

The undead woman glides through the water with surprising speed considering how long the cold must have frozen up her bones. Her eyes glow as she makes her way toward the group in a slithering motion that is surprisingly effective. Her claws gleam even in the dim light, and she reaches forward to grab the first person that she can...which just so happens to be Naledi. The being reveals rows of fangs behind a sickly smile, seeking to sink those claws of hers into Naledi's sides. If she is successful, she will attach to her back and attempt to rend some flesh from her shoulder with those many rows of fangs in a quest to sate her hunger.

Cecile hesitates for a moment when the pair of undead approach, because of just how overwhelming their bloodlust is. This lack of action is quickly altered and toward Naledi she then swims, trying to stop the intended attack. Failing, and thankful that the salt was diluting the blood, the vampire's course is altered to take advantage of the distraction, and now the zombie's back is the target. Unless she were thwarted, her arms would ensnare her target, ensuring that one of the others could dispatch one half of the threat.

Naledi does not like this. She does not like this at all. A bloated corpse washed ashore was bad enough but this, bobbing undead bodies, this was nightmare fuel. The elf barely has time to orient her bearings when the undead woman with a smile that makes Steve's seem angelic, rushes in her direction. Naledi's initial reaction is to flee, but in her panicked state she can't quite muster the arm strength to propel herself out of the undead's grasp, even with the aid of the mermaid scale. The elf feels the long nails pierce her sides and she attempts to wriggle out of her grasp. However, it's not enough and Naledi feels those long, piercing teeth sink into her shoulder. She's not sure if her scream is audible underwater but the searing pain is immediate and the already murky water becomes even more clouded by the blood that pools out of her wound. Acting on instinct, Naledi draws her elbow back and aims a hard, strong jab in the sternum area of the creature at her back.

The undead male follows not far behind his companion, though he diverts his path from Naledi to a smaller, perhaps meatier target: Olwen. He also slithers through the water with terrifying ease, a crooked smile exposing unnatural, crooked fangs. His arm raises and he elongates his claws, gliding in toward Olwen's side with every intention of grabbing her shoulders and breaking whatever bones he can. Assuming he gets anywhere, he'll attempt to make a meal of her.

Thaeloc battle mindset sets in when the dangers start to come out of the deeper water towards his new party mates. Spying that the first and closest one has been taken care of by two of the others and one making a B-line to another, Thaeloc starts to swim in a line that will hopefully intercept the male undead before it can get to Olwen. Swimming with his hand out in front of himself balled into a fist fast towards the undead to strike it in the face.

RavenClaw is last to arrive underwater, a combination of fussing over what to do with his scavenged attire and the awkwardness of the two females that remained on the beach. Evidently he came to a decision though, as the lean silhouette of a shirtless, elf-eared male shoots down into the depths like a dagger, having taken a running dive into the surf. Seeing Thaeloc's suckerpunch on the larger of the two undead, Raven hopes to capitalize on the action before the male undead can recover and attempts to grapple the undead's left arm and use his momentum to twist twist and snap it at the shoulder, hopefully disabling it and freeing it up for Olwen or Thaeloc to take down.

Olwen scratches at the place on her neck where the scale remains, feeling it slowly embedding into her skin in exchange for the ability to breathe underwater. She huffs the water and pushes dead bodies aside, being no stranger to corpses. Although, swimming corpses with claws and fangs, that was a bit of a new thing. Naledi is the first victim, but she gets her revenge quickly thanks to Cecile's quick tactics. She turns in time to see an undead rushing her, yet it is intercepted by Thaeloc, earning the Paladin a smirk as she is able to dodge and swim a good distance - maybe the warrior knew what he was doing. RavenClaw's entrance leaves Olwen bewildered and staring. She recognized the trousers as those from the corpse. Was this her wolf? My goodness what a looker. Head in the game, Olwen! The half-gnome had picked a pebble up off of the beach, procured from her pocket. She rolls the stone around between her fingers, flicking it with ease in a motion that allows it to propel through the water toward the undead male's mouth. A motion is made toward Ravenclaw to swim out of the way. If it indeed makes it, said pebble will detonate explosively in his jaws.

Katyin uses her fire to cast a glow in the water, though it makes a lot of steam. It doesn't bother her, but while everyone else is presumably fighting, she's scouring the rocks and rifts and corals at the bottom on her search for the key. Anything that shines, she investigates, but she's not able to to find it just yet. She tries her best to stay out of the reach of the undead and their chains, but it isn't easy as she makes her way further down where they are all locked into closer spaces. Her eyes burn in the salt water and the sand, but she hasn't given up hope. She just has to keep searching until she's able to find that key, and her search has yet to pay off.

Chapter One, Part II