Chapter Two Part III
On the journey to the Manor, a few monsters roam about, but they mostly mind their own business. It's odd given everything that Katyin and Carlie have said in the past, as these monsters seem content enough to leave the group alone.
With the Manor in sight, Katyin and Carlie speed up, but it is in that moment that everything goes wrong. A massive monster that looks like he weighs at least three times as much as the largest party member with just as much muscle. Then Naledi starts to act very strange, her eyes large and vacant. Under her breath, she hums a little tune...and it seems to be the one from the Church.
All sounds of life in the forest suddenly stop, an eerie quiet filling the space. Birds burst from their hiding places in a panic, and the rest of the local wildlife follow, running past everyone as quick as they can travel. A large shadowy mass is visible in the distance, and without any warning, it rushes into the area with a mighty roar!
Katyin looks horrified when Norlisk comes out of nowhere, and she scrambles back a few paces while putting her arm in front of Carlie protectively. The beast is close enough that the pyromancer can smell its breath, and it makes her eyes water as she tries to hold back the urge to vomit the only real food she's had in days. She tries a few times to start up her fire, but nothing happens but a few plumes of errant smoke. Eventually she manages to summon a fireball, and she throws it at Norlisk's face. He hisses and charges the source of the heat, and before Katyin can draw back her arm, Norlisk closes his mouth around just about the elbow and rips her forearm clean off. The sound she makes is unholy and full of pain, and Carlie is close enough that she becomes spattered with the blood gushing from Katyin's severed arm. The pyromancer goes down while continuing to scream, unable to keep her voice down. Instantly, her face becomes ashen, and she looks like she might go into shock if unattended, sweat pouring down her face as she curls up on the forest floor.
Carlie screams when Katyin does, watching Norlisk rip the pyromancer's arm off just above the elbow. The blood is met with terrified screams, and Carlie does her best to drag Katyin away from the beast eating the part of her that he just took. She's clueless on how to help her friend, and she looks around desperately before putting her hand over Katyin's mouth. "Shh. It's going to be okay. I'll try to do something. I don't know what. Give me your belt." Carlie starts removing Katyin's belt to use as a tourniquet. She looks over at the group as Katyin starts to shake a little, blood covering the leaves and tamped earth in a crimson swath.
Olwen listens to everyone's theories on the key, on a plan of action, on anything they are discussing. She sighs, eyes landing on Thaeloc when he attempts to take over the entire strategy. "Nay offense, Tin can. But who keeled an' made ya leader, eh? I'll nay be takin' orders from ye. Ye may be bigger'n me, but yer titles mean nothin' here. Ye can take 'em and shove 'em up yer arse." The half-gnome gives a wrinkle of her nose, placing her knitting needles within her belt and safely away. She was missing the grand weight of the sword which is usually settled against her back. Perhaps it was the heat that made her so irritable, or maybe it just made her moreso. Still, she knew she needed to get out. When Katyin and Carlie move to investigate the singing, the petite woman follows hastily. "Ain' ye nay heard o'sirens? Could be that, eh? Ye want yer flesh torn from yer bones?" Olwen was stuck following, it seems. She might seem like a pain in the ass, yet there was still a softer side hidden way beneath her thick exterior. The interior of the church causes Olwen to plug her ears and hunker down near Katyin, on the ready in case things get hairy. The ghost dodges them...then they all disappear? Olwen is relieved for that part, yet things didn't seem completely okay. A sideways glance is offered Naledi and her whistling, causing the fine hairs on Olwen's neck to stand on end. After rushing to the manor, she falls to her knees momentarily and fishes a bottle out of her pocket, looking the contents over with a smirk. "Hey, Tin can. Yer nay the boss here. But I'm sure yer good at fightin', eh? Ready to get this started?" A nod is tilted toward the monster. "Wish I had me sword." The petite woman shrugs and downs the bottle, feeling herself become a little more stable. "Gear yerselves up."
Cecile stands, stretching and almost falling over, while the others finalise plans on where to go, leading a quite vulgar swear being uttered under her breath. Looking up to the ceiling, she quips, "Guess it doesn't matter if it's super dreary or not," and without hesitating, takes the blue potion Naledi had given her before. Downing it without a second thought, there's the anticipation of a bitter taste, only to be surprised as it was pleasant. Even better, it ensured that the deficit of energy from blood lost was negated, bringing the vampire back to her prime. Reaching then for the crossbow and bolts, Cecile makes sure the damaged undershirt is used as a bandolier proper, looping the weapon around while holding onto the ammo. Once the building begins heating up, out she goes once the others abandon it as well, following the group until the church is reached. Into there she then goes, a faint smile forming at the irony, at least until a specter appears. "Well, this ought to be fun," is all that's said, while the crossbow is retrieved, loaded with a bolt, and then aimed all while keeping herself between it and those who were vulnerable. When it then vanishes, there's only momentary relief, and away she goes again. Moving to the manor, Cecile makes sure to watch the forest dwellers, keeping her crossbow loaded, though her finger is off the trigger until it's necessary to fix that. Once at the hopefully last spot on this island tour, she then looks to the building proper, questioning what's to come now.. until the melody is heard again, and then the flurry of movement is noticed. As the gargantuan being approaches, all she has time to say is, "Oh, joy. This is gonna be great," equal parts sarcasm and genuine elation, while the ranged weapon is readied anew.
RavenClaw has been on constant guard since the moment they decided to flee the cabin. The timing is too convenient, for their haven to be disrupted right after arriving, and by scorching heat of all things. His eyes are on the back of the pyromancer's head as she and Carlie lead the party to the church to investigate the source of the singing. Olwen's own cursing at everything more than fills the void of conversation as they run, so he's silent as they arrive. He had seen the building in the distance when they first arrived at the cabin, and was reluctant to step inside. The ghosts seem to confirm his fears, but just as he prepares to figure out if it's possible to fight a ghost barehanded, the lot of them vanish and the song goes silent. Relieved for a moment, he's caught off guard again as their guides hurry them toward the manor. The route is suspiciously quiet given Katyin's constant warnings about roaming monsters. As if on cue, activity appears both in front and behind as they approach the manor. In front is the worst thing Raven has ever had the displeasure of seeing, which he's only briefly distracted from by the return of that accursed song from behind. He turns away from the Norlisk for just a moment, dismayed to see Naledi is the source of the song this time. "Bloody hell, now what? Did you swallow a ghost?" He's torn from staring at Naledi by Katyin's scream, and turns back to see her fall to the ground, sans an arm. "Feckin' hell!" He raises his voice for the first time since their arrival. He crouches, springing forward and over Katyin and Carlie to land between them and the abomination. He glances over his shoulder, barking orders at Carlie. "Drag her outta the way however you can and stop that bleeding." He jabs a finger to point at Naledi, digging his other hand into a pocket to slide the brass knuckles onto his fingers. "Naledi's singin' dirges; someone see if you can shush her before we all get roasted or something. I'm gonna find out if this big brute's head is as punchable as it looks."
Naledi releases a heavy sigh. While the promise of the cabin being a safe haven is tempting, she understands all too well that they can't stay here forever. As if to prove them all wrong the sudden singing voices begin to filter into the cabin and the room becomes unbearably hot. The small hairs on the elf's arm stand on end as she fans her face and ultimately is forced to follow the others towards the other building. Naledi never liked churches--she has a complicated relationship with higher powers and churches always made her feel anxious. As they climb the steps and walk inside the sanctuary, the doors snap shut and solidify the elf's desire to never set foot in a church again. Surprisingly, the spirits don't seem to faze her all that much, but the singing is becoming unbearable. Her hands clamp over her ears and she winces as the tune reaches a pitch that's physically painful. Just as Naledi thinks her head might explode with the sound, the music stops and with it, the ghosts dissipate as well. Slowly, she removes her hands from her ears and straightens. She wants to ask what that is about but she has trouble forming the words. Either way, she is eager to leave this place and follows everyone out of the sanctuary and back into the monster-teemed woods. With the cabin now unable to be occupied, the next best option is the manor. "Might as well," she mumbles to herself as they walk. As Naledi follows the group, she seems to fidget a lot, cracking her knuckles, and weaving her fingers together. She doesn't seem to notice it though, nor does she realize that her pupils have become dilated and a cold sweat breaks out over her skin. Her behavior becomes even stranger when they reach their destination as she barely reacts to the appearance of the Norlisk nor when it proceeds to rip Katyin's arm off. Instead, her eyes darken, the blue hue all but disappearing, widening to discs as she begins to hum a familiar tune.
Emmie had a moment whilst stood in the church that she doubted reality. Was this a side effect of no medication? Was she perhaps in a dream or a coma and this was all just a concoction of what was in her head? A wince at the sounds, eyes clenched closed as she tries to wake up, become conscious, find herself in her bed at home or even a hospital bed with some attractive medical staff that ripped their shirts off and...the church door is open and her attention snaps back up to the unfortunately real world. She is quiet, uncharacteristically frowning on the walk they have, staring at the path in front and not to the occasional monsters that roam, trying to figure out if there was a way to find out of this was real or not. The roar stops that train of thought too and as all the would be heroes perk up and go on alert, she holds up her hands, trying to get any of their attention "Wait, maybe we just talk to the monster to find out..." And Katyn's arm is torn from her. "...F*** that." is all she adds to it. There is no mighty knitting needles of terror at her disposal, nor fists of doom and not even an ounce of combat knowledge inside the woman who is the proud owner of a broken bottle. There is no leap to the monster, no attempt to defend or attack but there is one thing she can do, perhaps, maybe and she reaches out for Naledi to tug her back, urge with a "Shhh." then a "Please stop.", and then "Naledi that isn't a nice song." A shrug of her shoulder's come as she verges back onto the thoughts of this is not real so she can probably get away with what she is to do next, lifting a hand and bringing it swinging down to try to sharply slap the elf's cheek.
Thaeloc gave his two cents into the matter and quickly the Gnome mouths off about him trying to be the leader. "Listen, Olwen I am not trying to be the leader but if we don't have a plan and everyone tries to do their own thing then we will be in a worst place then when we all woke up." As the group gathers what few belongings they have and head towards the church to investigate the singing, Thaeloc stays in rear guard to make sure nothing is going to come up from behind and take the party by surprise, even though in the back of his mind he doesn't think checking out weird singing from an old run down church isn't a good idea he isn't going to abandon anyone. Once they enter and the ghost swoop towards them he stands his ground till it vanishes and the doors open back up allowing them to keep moving on towards the manor. Once again taking on the part of rear guard as they go up the path. As silence is broken by the scattering of the birds the Degn readies the crossbow he had found in the cabin, not a preferred weapon but it is better then a spear made from a rock and stick. When the creatures jumps put a part of him is excited to see something to could be a challenge. That is quickly a pass though as one member of the party has her arm ripped right off. His mind quickly looking and figuring out who needs what, what is the threat level now all be compounded on as Naledi starts to hum the song that was being sang in church not too long ago. As Ravenclaw calls out someone try to shut her up Thaeloc turns to do just that if it needs to be, which it seems it might need to be.
Norlisk roars as he chews Katyin's severed arm, sucking it down with disgusting grunts and the smacking of it's gigantic maw as it eats. Blood drips down its chin in little crimson rivules, and though it can't see, it makes a sort of inhalation with its mouth that is clearly also its sense of smell. Though the bloodied path is tempting, there's something out there that has its attention, and it rushes toward Cecile with surprising speed that belies it's size, looking to backhand her as far as he can with one large, clawed hand. Emmie is smelled next, and the beast reaches for her. If he manages to get hold of her, he'll lift her up and attempt to sink his teeth into her shoulder for a dangerous bite that will likely take a chunk from her person.
Katyin continues to scream until Carlie puts her hand over her mouth, removing her belt and using it as a tourniquet. The pyromancer watches with wide eyes as Carlie struggles to apply enough pressure to the tourniquet to stop the blood flow. She shudders, feeling hot and cold at the same time, and the color completely drains from her face as she starts to go into shock. In a fleeting moment of lucidity, she says to Carlie, "I come from Frosthaven. My family owns the general store. Tell them I fought, and tell them that I tried to come home to them." She shakes a little, Carlie finally managing to get the tourniquet tight enough. "Make sure Loraeus knows I loved him. You have to promise me, Carlie." Her last words are whispers, and it is the last thing she says before fully succumbing to the shock of the situation.
Carlie struggles with the tourniquet for awhile, crying tears of fear and frustration. She keeps Katyin out of the sight of new monsters, but when Katyin starts giving her a to-do list for off the island, Carlie shakes her head and sobs. "No. You're going to tell them yourself. You're not going to die. You can't die on me now. You're all I have left." Carlie sees Naledi wearing the pack and furrows her brow in thought. The girl finds a particularly sharp rock and manages to leave a crude hole in the leather of the belt, and she uses that to fasten the make-shift tourniquet in place. She props Katyin against a tree behind some bushes before attempting to reach into Naledi's knapsack to grab whatever potion she can get her hands on.
RavenClaw is nearly bowled over as the enormous something or other rushes past him to assault Cecile. He spins on his heel, digging his bare feet into the dirt and giving the Norlisk chase. Brass knuckles gripped tightly in his fist, he crouches, then attempts to leap onto the creature's back as it bites into Emmie, aiming to land a spiked punch clean into whatever fleshy mass constitutes the creature's head. "You've had enough to eat already, you walking ball of flesh. Come play with the cute doggy instead." He has literally no idea if the creature even has ears.
Naledi, as everyone knew her, seemed to get further and further away from the vessel of her body as her singing becomes even more clear, her voice rising despite Emmie's pleas for her to stop. The elf's skin was clammy to the touch and much paler than normal. When the would-be artist lifts her hand and swings it down against Naledi's cheek, she takes the hit, her face turning slightly with the impact. But when she turns back to see Emmie bitten by the monster, there is no sign of compassion or any attempt to help. Instead, a sick smile is plastered on her face and it only encourages her summoning further. If Carlie is brave enough to breech Naledi's personal space, she would find herself able to slip her hand into the loosened knapsack to grab and run away with a blue-hued potion. The elf, or rather who used to be, completes a verse of the song and the energy of the area shifts further, the woman having summoned some nefarious spirits. Unfortunately for Cecile, she is the closest and thus, would have to deal with the apparitions.
The spirits that Naledi has conjured come in a trio of summoned ghosts. They are malevolent. They desire nothing more than to hurt whoever is unlucky enough to be touched by them. The first one's clawed fingers seem to contort until it's hands are much larger, and it slashes in a wide, upward arc at Thaeloc's face. The second one follows suit, but travels to Emmie quickly, hoping to sink its claws into her stomach like four little daggers. The final one rushes RavenClaw, attempting to grab his head so that the floating specter can attempt to rip his throat out with his teeth.
Cecile takes aim with the crossbow, intending to fire the first bolt right into Norlisk's quite prominent maw while counting on the monstrosity to be slow enough to allow it. This plan is dashed thanks to the sudden injury inflicted upon Katyin, and then the spectral allies conjured forth by Naledi. Stunned by this development, there's a moment of hesitation as the elven woman is aimed at instead, with a plan to fire, only to have her dominant arm slashed by the ghost that's targeted her. The result of this is first the crossbow being dropped reflexively, then a very meaty arm making contact her her before it can be reclaimed. Once this transpires, away she's sent flying, the only thing that's comprehended is pain.. so much of it.. to the point Cecile passes out for a short time, coming to only as she slams against a branch then hits the ground. Gasping and trying to vocalise the agony felt, the vampiric pirate struggles to stand while her body heals, managing to do so only when the damage to her back is mended. Very angry now, there's no hesitation and up the tree the woman climbs, leaping from branch to branch so the fight could be returned to. Careful to move behind Norlisk, once the scene has been reached again, there's a moment taken to tense muscles, before her target's back is leapt toward. During this prep, Cecile only says, "My crossbow, let's light this thing's world up!" almost shouting it in the hopes that Olwen would figure out the plan. A second later, and then she jumps, intent on embedding her nails into Norlich's hide and scaling him for prime biting locations, with the added benefit of being a distraction for the others fighting.
Emmie was completely and utterly focused on Naledi, assuming that those who had knowledge and expertise on monsters and ghouls would deal with the inconvenience of the creature. A frown came upon her face as Naledi does not react the way she thought she would, lips part to say something but that is the moment teeth sink into her shoulder, ripping through flesh and chipping through bone. It is a scream that comes out, as loud as her lungs could possibly manage and dripping in pain and unbridled fear as she is hoisted up in the air. It would also be at that moment that any thoughts about this 'adventure' being but a dream were vanquished. The wet sound of her flesh tearing as gravity works against the maw of the beast, her body hitting the ground in a harsh and sudden hit and the world became blurry through the pain and her spectacles having bounced upon the ground. A sudden hurl of her stomach contents on the floor then occurs, unaware of the spirit that rushes towards her and nearly causes more damage. Is this death? Is this the end? Will she not get to do all the things she wanted in life? With her one working arm she pushes herself to her knees, that all she can manage right now and between sobs of pain, mumbles "Wanker." as she grabs her broken bottle to try to bring it smashing down onto the boot that had feasted upon her shoulder.
Olwen wrinkles her nose at all the carnage happening around her. Thankfully Atlas is trying to handle the monster, as is Cecile. Emmie has been torn away from Naledi, who appears to be the ringleader of all the apparitions. There's a choice to be made here, attack the monster full on, or attack Naledi. Cecile's calls garner her attention, causing the petite warrior to whip her head to the bolts left by her ally. She sprints that way and picks them up, charging the metal ammunition with explosive capabilities. A nod is made to Cecile, though her position on the monster seems problematic. "Ally-oop! Carefully now, lass!" is said, running alongside the monster in a wide berth, she makes a light toss to Cecile where she is on the monster's back. With a tumble-roll, she gains more ground away from slashing claws and biting maws. Naledi was next...the petite woman takes up a large tree branch, does her best to creep behind the elf and attempts to crack it over her noggin - maybe she can knock her unconscious.
Thaeloc had the found crossbow up and aimed at the snarling feasting beast when the three spirits were summoned, drawing his eyes away just in time to feel the cold icy fingers of the specter cut into his face. A creepy smile slowly etches across his scarred face. "Finally something that wants to have some fun." Licking the blood that had run down to his lips the warrior slowly backs away from the ghost and takes aim at Naldei not having too many open shots and not trusting to hit a small target Thaeloc aims for the midsection. After he fires, the Degn focuses back on the ghost that has slashed his face and looks to be ready to make another strike at him.
Katyin feels like her body is floating, only she's cold and everything is dark. Her eyes are open, but she has tunnel vision, and though she feels the squeeze of her belt around her arm, she's no longer really able to register the words. Her eyes close and she feels herself floating down into a pit of nothingness as she passes out.
Carlie continues to try and get into Naledi's knapsack, and when she does, she manages to procure a potion. Everything else at this moment is ignored as she rushes back to Katyin and pats her face repeatedly. "Katyin. Wake up. Katyin. Snap out of it." She continues to pat her face until she realizes it is useless and she hauls off and slaps her.
Katyin's eyes snap open, but she is confused, and before she can get a handle on what is happening, Carlie is pouring a potion down her throat and she has no choice but to drink it. At first there is no reaction, but then her arm slowly begins to heal and seal up until it is nearly healed. She will never have the rest of her arm back, but she is alive, and she looks grateful in the moment. "I don't think I can fight now. I feel sick."
Carlie eases Katyin into a hug, closing her eyes tight and inhaling deeply. "I'm going to kill that thing. It almost killed you. I'm not okay with that. You were trying to protect me."
Katyin shakes her head. "No. Stay here with me. I don't want to be alone. If you want to be helpful, give someone without a weapon your walking stick. Or someone who only found something unhelpful. Okay? Do that for me. That will help us more than you trying to seek revenge for me."
Carlie nods and thinks about who got what back at the cabin. Both Emmie and Olwen got the short end of the stick, but Olwen is feisty and a fighter type, so Carlie runs up to her and hands her the thick walking stick she's been carrying since she found it. It looks pretty big in comparison to both Carlie and Olwen, and it's solid, possibly even petrified wood. It's hefty, but Carlie doesn't stick around. "Kill that thing," she says before returning to Katyin's side in a hurry.
Emmie , as the group had probably deduced by now, was as useful as a chocolate teapot. There was more chance of the finding a tin of striped paint than there was of her doing any or much damage to the monster but lo and behold, she had at the very least chipped it's toe nail...claw, whatever. Yet there she was upon the floor, part of her shoulder no longer with her, glasses having fallen off and everything a blur. She thought she would have been dead by now with the excruciating pain but still she writhes and screams on the floor like a banshee worm, unable to see anything but blurs. Who is the monster? Who is one of the gang? Everything is just a hazy blur. Life is a risk though so again with her clearly not very effective broken bottle she starts to jab at shapes that she believes to be feet, maybe Norlisk, maybe Naledi, maybe Ravenclaw if he is close enough or maybe just Karn damn rocks.
‘’’(Thaeloc’s fight with spirit Norlisk was written ahead of time by Thaeloc’s player and Zaria’s player. Zaria is posting as him in this battle with the player’s permission.)’’’
Zaria || Thaeloc's eyes glass over as the spirit nearest him cackles and crows with glee. The Degn's skin blanches to a sickly white tinged with blue. The blademaster's hands rise, still clutching spear and crossbow between fingertips, to press the backs of his palms to his ears. His brow furrows and his eyes close for several seconds before a slur of unintelligible syllables spill from his mouth. They are not so much spoken and drooled out. In a flash, the titled male flips the spear in his hand, pulls his arm back at the shoulder, and violently chucks the makeshift weapon at.....nothing. Curiously, it stops just before Norlisk, suspended in mid-air at eye-level. The spear vibrates and quivers in the air as if it has, indeed, struck something.
Cecile keeps her mind focused first and foremost on the task at hand, clinging still to Norlisk while assailing the beast. Careful not to let herself get into a bloodlust state, the vampire tears through the tough hide with teeth and nails both, careful not to ingest any blood while the others fight both him and Naledi both. As only one arm could be devoted to this task, there's thusly a cessation of activity with Olwen's warning to catch. In an instant, Cecile then draws her legs forward, planting them against the behemoth while digging her fingers into the wound already inflicted. This ensures she's able to stretch out, managing to grab half of the ammo tossed her way. No time is wasted with one of the bolts being shoved toward the vulnerable injury, the pirate's plan now to vacate the perilous spot and reclaim the crossbow proper for a bit of target practice. Whether Norlisk catches wise and swats her away easily again, before either can happen is yet to be seen though, though she definitely hopes for that not to be so.
RavenClaw continues to cling to the back of the Norlisk, the spikes of his brass knuckles plunged into the creature's...head? following his last strike. He's lucky this bronco hasn't started to buck just yet, and can spare the briefest of moments to check everyone else. To his dismay Naledi seems left to her own devices with Emmie flailing at the Norlisk from the front. Thaeloc...who knows what he's fighting, but he's out of this one for the time being. Cecile suddenly springing away from the beast brings Raven's attention back, in time to see an explosively charged bolt buried in the abomination's hide. "Sh*--" Raven shields his face with his free hand; he has neither time to evacuate nor the desire to lose the advantage from clinging to the Norlisk's back. He's able to hold on, but barely, and a low growl starts to rumble from behind the arm blocking his face. Gray fur begins to sprout violently along his arm, the sleeve stretching and straining against new bulk. "Everyone step back," the werewolf utters, as his body contorts and expands into his real namesake for the first time since they've arrived. His shirt stretches against the strain, barely holding itself; it'll probably be baggy as heck if it survives this transformation. The brass knuckles dig into his enlarged claws, the wolfman not even taking the chance to try removing them and ignoring the creaking discomfort on his clawed hand. With a snarl, Raven bares his newly formed fangs and lunges his head at the Norlisk's fleshy hide, aiming for the closest thing the creature has to a neck and trying to burying his canine teeth into the monster, while his claws dig into for continued purchase to try and keep the Norlisk from finally bucking him off.
Norlisk revels in the bite he took of Emmie, deciding he wants another. He ceases when he realizes there are actual threats nearby. With RavenClaw's leap onto his head, he takes on a different scent. It's one that is oddly familiar to the monster and he sniffs with his mouth until the werewolf is punching him in his head. The beast cannot snarl, but he can bellow, so he does loudly in a deep bass noise that makes the air around everyone seem to vibrate. It isn't long before a second person is on the beast's back, and Norlisk's hand comes up as he attempts to grab RavenClaw off of his head and toss him with added force toward the ground in front of him, failing miserably. Emmie's epic vodka bottle to the claw causes the beast to bellow again, and he begins stomping at her wildly, just as blind as she is but looking to damage whatever it is that has attacked him. His talon snaps off on the big toe, wickedly sharp and curved with serrated edges. The behemoth begins thrashing wildly at the space in front of him, as well as any noise he hears. With Cecile abandoning his back, he begins stomping repeatedly at the space in front of him where Emmie presumably is still stabbing at everything. RavenClaw's scent is taken into account and Norlisk takes to all fours, shaking like a wet dog in another attempt to dislodge the werewolf. if he succeeds, he'll do his best to follow the other beast's scent and chomp at his upper arm in an endeavor to take another party member's arm.
Olwen watches Cecile's bolt bury itself into Norlisk's hide, then explode. She pumps her fist in a small victory, "Yes!" However, the monster isn't down yet...he's pretty pissed from Emmie's stabbing and Atlas' chomping. The petite warrior gasps in horror at the bite to Raven's arm, thent he stomp to Emmie. Her teammates were clearly getting creamed. Carlie's gift of the walking stick filled Olwen with renewed vigor, "I'll not let ye down," is said, glancing between the monster and Naledi. The latter was conjuring malicious spirits, though the former was stomping and chomping. Another choice. Thankfully Cecile is still near the monster, while Olwen is closer to Naledi. Thaeloc is doing...whatever the hell that is. Her choice is clear. Olwen clutches the walking stick firmly in her hands, sneaks closer to Naledi with a wide berth, then aims the thicker end of the stick with a quick swing toward Naledi's head. Hopefully the woman won't dodge with her fantastic ability again. She's possessed, so knocking out the vessel will stop the spirits, maybe? Olwen is no priestess or spiritualist - but she does have a mean swing.
‘’’(Naledi is written by Zaria here with player permission due to her absence the day of the event.)’’’
Zaria || Naledi is in the prime of her...life? Well, at least while possessed she is. Gone is the self-doubt, the second-guessing, and the constant deprecating attitude. There is only the grief and ire of the occupying spirit that fills her mind. The spirit-surrendered superjock has managed to dodge attacks left and right, and the newest assault attempt by Olwen is no exception. Unfortunately, this also means that Naledi's attention is drawn to the half-gnome in the most violent of manners. Like a street hood on too much caffeine, Naledi krumps at Olwen. Hands balled into tight fists, the coryphee pokes and jabs at her cudgel-wielding opponent with short, vicious punches aimed at the tiny terror's head and face.
The spirits are not yet done with the group it seems. Since they've missed Emmie, two of them pair up to go after her, making slashing motions at the woman's chest and back at the same time with surprising ease.
The third spirit focuses its attention on the much larger RavenClaw, slinking in closer and attempting to grab his arm. It will then attempt to snap the shoulder out of socket or outright break the arm it thinks is dominant. It will start twisting the limb and punching it at the elbow to hopefully force it back until over-extended in an endeavor to hear the tell-tale ‘’pop’’ of a dislocation.
A fourth spirit is conjured forth, and it glides through the air on a path to Olwen. This one is different from the others. It has a demonic aura and the horns to go along with it, it's eyes like pools of spilled ink. It's mouth opens and exposes spindly black fangs, and he moves to sink his wickedly curved claws into Olwen's shoulders and a bite her directly on the face.
Katyin shudders as she lies behind the bushes, feeling cold from blood loss, though the potion has amazingly healed her arm to a stump. She moves it a few times, looking forlorn, but there isn't much she can do about it now. Her arm was eaten. There's no getting it back, so she begins the journey to standing. Her legs are shaking as she attempts to hobble out of the bushes completely.
Carlie tries to hold Katyin back, but when the pyromancer makes it obvious she's not out of the fight yet, all Carlie can do is stand by and try to shadow her in case things get bad again. Her large eyes are even wider with fear, and since she's seen what Norlisk is capable of, she does her best to try and get Katyin back into hiding, only to fail miserably. "Katyin, please. Come back. You've suffered enough."
Katyin doesn't want to be seen by Norlisk, but Naledi looks like an easier target, so she summons up a fireball and tosses it at the Elf's leg from the back. Though her aim is usually perfect, this time, it's just a touch off. It could likely still hit, but Katyin is swaying where she stands, barely able to expend the energy it takes to just exist in one place. To make matters worse, Norlisk smells the conjured fire and seems to be sniffing toward Katyin again, lured by the scent of fire and what was attached to it earlier.
Zaria || Thaeloc's next move is to roll...er...backwards? The Degn crouches, tucks his legs into his chest, and pushes off backwards in a smooth series of motions. His frame tumbles heels over head just once, enough to put a few yards of distance between himself and Norlisk before he pops back up onto his feet. Like a boxer in a ring, he dances from foot to foot, all while mumbling incoherently. His face is still a dreamy daze of nothingness. The crossbow is torqued at his hip, a twist of palm and fingers corralling the awkwardly large weapon and firing it at the same instant. The bolt sails wide, lodging in the trunk of a tree several yards away.
Emmie has not stopped screaming this whole time, it just intensifies to a louder and higher pitch as Norlisk slams his foot down upon her leg and it is met with a sickening crunch. Though she had not attempted to stand, now it would be likely impossible. Belly down upon the floor, clutching her bottle of vodka that she wished had some liquid contents in it, her back becomes the next victim of the spirits, clawing down her back and surprise surprise, another scream though that one dampens a bit as her own vocal chords can't continue with her sounds. She is going to die, she swears it, she thought she had a few years left with the tumor inside but no, this is how it ends. Only capable of ...rolling in her movement, she does just that, the second spirit evaded in that movement but again she is none the wiser. Her bottle tumbles out of her hand in that move and she is without a weapon bar herself. Her hands reach out for a peachy vague shape which just so happens to be Naledi's leg and she desperately attempts to grab it and bring her very normal human teeth down on the flesh.
RavenClaw seems to have trouble finding purchase for his fangs on the large mass that makes up the back of Norlisk's supposed head, and his teeth do little more than graze it. As such he hasn't enough of a grip when the beast does begin writhing and shaking, and with an irritated bark of dismay he's thrown off to the ground. Raven quickly rolls to try and right himself but somehow isn't swift enough, and the hungry Norlisk attempts to claim another arm. The werewolf grits his teeth, barely suppressing a sharp yelp in pain as his arm is enveloped up to the elbow.The beast's razer maw tears the sleeve off Raven's shirt and digs in; if not for the added protection from his thick fur and increased mass the wolfman might have lost his arm outright in the same manner as Katyin. As it is he's currently struggling to not have it ripped off by the power struggle between him and the Norlisk's maw. As he fights the pull on one arm, one of Naledi's summoned ghosts suddenly tries to latch onto his other arm to try and break it. Feeling the physical twisting on his arm, Raven retaliates by attempting to slam his arm against the ground, which either dislodges the ghost outright or--in the hopes that it's corporeal while trying to grab him--he can finally deal some damage back to one of these awful spirits. Dislodging his arm from the ghost regardless of the outcome, Raven quickly digs into his pocket to grab the one blue potion he'd managed to save until now. Biting the cork off, he downs the potion quickly even while fighting the Norlisk with his other arm. Still in pain but feeling his wounds knit themselves back together somewhat, the werewolf digs around with the clawed hand stuck in Norlisk's mouth, searching for purchase. Should he succeed in finding the beast's tongue, Raven will grab the slimy organ with all the strength he can muster, digging his claws in and attempting to rip it straight through the monster's own toothy jaws as he pulls his arm free.
Zaria || Naledi's face breaks into a malicious grin as she socks Olwen. The grin fades in increments once Emmie is attached to her leg, however. The possessed show girl is surprised enough to look down at the sprawled, crawled form of Emmie at her feet. The hand that had previously been punching Olwen now shoots downward to grab Emmie by the neck, should the blinded accountant not move out of the way in time. The other hand, splays and seeks to rake its fingernails across Olwen's face on the way to a new, cantilevered posture downward.
Olwen squints at Naledi when the walking stick sails right over her head, wondering just how this woman, or whatever it is now is able to evade each hit. Perhaps the demonic entity within here has the ability to see what will happen next. Or maybe there really are spirit eyes in the back of her head. All of the carnage around her is disconcerting, yet the small woman manages to keep her sights on Naledi...who just aimed a dizzying punch for her jawline, a sickening crack is heard, along with blood spewing and even a tooth spit out. Oh she's pissed off now! A spirit flies toward her face, causing the half-gnome to growl with red spewing from her mouth like a bloodthirsty beast. "Git away ye feckin' ugly arse!" In a last ditch attempt to save Emmie, she tries to tackle Naledi to the ground. Damage has already been done, yet the warrior can still save her teammates. Between trying to punch her in the face and throat, the little woman is also grappling for Naledi's knapsack full of items in an attempt to find purchase on some potions.
Norlisk feels his foot crash down on Emmie and he roars, bending as if to pick her up. He is momentarily distracted however, when Raven attacks him. His bite finds purchase on the werewolf's arm, but his grip isn't good enough to rip it free like it was with Katyin due to RavenClaw's new fur coming in. Still, he slashes his monstrous claws with surprising precision at RavenClaw's body, each claw sharp enough to bloody someone easily should they take the hit. There is a moment where the beast is torn, however. Does he take out RavenClaw or does he return to Emmie? Emmie felt like an easier target, but RavenClaw basically tried to ride him, and as far as Norlisk is concerned, that is the greater crime. It was demeaning. He returns his focus toward RavenClaw, the beast's breath smelling of blood and rotten meat as it keeps trying to chew down RavenClaw's arm. When RavenClaw drinks the potion, the smell has the beast curious, but suddenly he is losing his tongue and it sends him into a frenzy. He thrashes violently, but the damage to his mouth is somehow very intense and damaging. The creature takes to all fours and roars angrily, hacking up blood and even some bones. Raven will find that when he pulled out Norlisk's tongue, ‘’part of his guts followed’’. He's still alive and capable of dealing damage, but for the first time this entire encounter, he is afraid.
Cecile isn't relieved even for a moment, not when the explosive goes off as intended, nor when she's got the crossbow in hand once more. Finding herself close to Norlisk's feet, while there is the impulse to get her weapon back, stopping the behemoth is a bigger concern. Rather than trying to scale her target, thanks to RavenClaw having things well in hand apparently, it's his legs that are focused on. Gathering up the three bolts that had fallen before, the pirate now strives to embed each of them into the beast's ankles, where the flesh was hopefully thinnest. For better or worse, when that was done, off she then runs, the goal now to cross the expanse to where Naledi still stands, spurred on by Emmie's screams of pain and the pain given off by everyone. For a moment her eyes close, and once open again, there's little more than anger and a desire for blood seen, as now she sprints toward the possessed woman full tilt. Relying on the present distractions of harming both Emmie and Olwen, Cecile lashes out with her right arm, aiming for a leg so that the mortal woman could be lifted up and then slammed down hard enough to cause unconsciousness. Whether that succeeded though truly did depend on if the ghosts were paying attention.
With Emmie now down and out, the first two spirits look for new targets to terrorize. The first two lock eyes on Cecile and glide through the air in a pretty, wispy display of spiritual energies. Though pretty, they are lethal though, and while one slashes at Cecile's hamstrings, the other tries to bite into her neck and feast on her blood like some kind of ghostly vampire. It's intentions were originally to drain Cecile, but the more it gets to drink, the more solid and lively and real it will become, causing a whole new slew of problems for the group.
Spirit Three continues to try and damage RavenClaw, but while it is corporeal, RavenClaw manages to hit it just right and it dissipates with a powerful shriek.
Spirit Four keeps after Olwen, claws as long as they can actually grow them. The ghost hisses and darts toward Olwen with those claws situated palm up, fingers extended. If not dodged, those claws will lodge themselves in Olwen's stomach and twist.
Katyin staggers back a few steps, watching Norlisk go down with a hint of satisfaction on her face. He'd be eating no more arms, and that's all she could really ask for at the moment. Then she sees that Naledi is still commanding the spirits in the area and it makes her feel weary and useless. Still, the pyromancer summons up the largest fireball she can manage and she throws it directly at Naledi's back. Her sense of balance is a little off, but given her position, it's likely a clear shot unless she teeters at the last second.
Carlie sticks close to Katyin, feeling pretty useless herself. She no longer has the walking stick found back at the cabin. She didn't even get to use it! With this in mind, Carlie decides to stick close by until she sees something in the corner of her eye. Norlisk dropped a talon earlier, and it's huge and looks sharp. Without care for her person, Carlie bolts from her position beside Katyin to steal the claw, and when she returns, she tries to hook it into Naledi's hip and pull downward. The girl's hand bleeds from the serrated edges, but she hopes that her swing will strike true.
After all of the damage taken, Norlisk's bloodied dead body shrinks and contorts until a very broken man lies there. It appears as though something had turned him into a monster at some point, but he was once a very normal person. His body slowly erodes to ashes, soon carried away on the wind.
Katyin stares as Norlisk shrinks and contorts, looking absolutely horrified when he takes the shape of an ordinary man. She tries to cover Carlie's eyes with her only remaining hand, but a quick brush of Carlie's hand removes it. "What is going on here?" She asks, her voice dull and weak. "Was he human? Or rather, was he a person at some point? Did we just kill a person?" Her voice rises and falls in volume as she tries to piece together what just occurred. She wets her dry, flaky bottom lip with an almost drier tongue, wishing she had some water to quench her thirst.
Carlie, on the other hand, seems to pick up on Katyin's cues and offers her the canteen she took back at the cabin, thankful when Katyin drinks some. She accepts the canteen back when Katyin is done, watching as the body turns to ashes and disappears. "I think we just killed a person. At least, maybe that thing used to be a person." Carlie's bottom lip trembles and she hugs Katyin tightly, seeming to forget about the missing arm for the moment as well as the spirits all around them.
Katyin winces due to the tenderness where her arm once was. She's healed as best she could so that her arm is properly amputated and healed solidly. It looks fine, but it still hurts. "Carlie, we had to...and we're not done yet. We need to get Naledi unconscious or these spirits are going to take us out. We need to knock her out, not physically harm her if at all possible." Katyin extends her hand to take the claw from Carlie, and Carlie hands it to her without a second thought. "Nothing else that can seriously damage her. Please."
Carlie nods while frowning. "I'm sorry. I didn't think about it. I just thought with everyone else attacking her, it would be okay..."
Katyin frowns and pulls Carlie away. "Well it's not. Stay over here with me and let the others deal with her, okay?"
Zaria || Thaeloc's clothing spontaneously begins to smoke. Tiny sprigs of white curl up from his arms, legs and torso. The sight is followed by the unsettling smell of something cooking. No, not cooking. Burning. The Degn howls in pain and leaps backwards, though to no avail. He jumps back at irregular intervals a few more times, coming dangerously close at the end of battering himself against a tree trunk. The crossbow is once again twirled in his hand, and new grip emerges. This time, the unloaded weapon is facing toward him and gripped much like one would a baseball bat. A swing is taken, one that the swordsman leans bodily into. A grunt of strength punctuates the swing, and the crossbow's butt meets something with a vengeance. Whatever that "something" is remains unseen, though the contact of wooden handgrip upon it is audible.
Olwen manages to get her hand on a bottle in the knapsack, all while struggling with Naledi and punching her. She draws out a blue potion and pockets it quickly, saving it for those who will need it - likely Emmie. However, Naledi is soon swept out from under her by Cecile, rolling the half-Gnome in time to see the slam that the Vampire dishes out. Getting to her feet, Olwen watches the monster turn into a man and then ash. If the woman has remorse, she isn't sharing it with the group at this time. There is a job to be done and those spirits to be dealt with. Luckily, she avoids another spiritual attack and heaves a sigh. Picking up the walking stick, another swing is made toward the back of Naledi's head in an effort to knock her out fully.
Zaria || Naledi is trapped, pulled down by the weight and momentum as her teammates pile atop her. The spirited woman howls and screeches, grabbing and clawing at whatever she can to dislodge the holds upon her and get back up. Olwen's most recent blow to the back of her head sees dark red, almost black, oozing from the back of her skull. An irate growl and a flash of teeth display the downed dancer's displeasure. The teeth! Yes, the teeth are the thing. Flipping over onto her stomach, Naledi's hand sweeps outward to grab the person her eyes fall upon first - Cecile. If she manages to grab the vampire, the possessed woman will then sink her teeth into the nearest part of Cecile.
Cecile becomes aware of the murderous intent toward her mid clubbing Naledi toward the ground, and so it's the spirits her attention is turned toward now. This alertness ensures she's able to contort herself, body twisting diagonally to narrowly avoid being slashed and bitten into by the spectres. No remorse at her part in killing Norlisk is displayed either, even when revealed to be human, before turning to ash. With others advancing upon the prone dancer, she's briefly put out of mind as Emmie becomes the woman's object of focus now. This delay in focus ensures the perfect target, and would be the case usually, but for the sound of her previous target stirring and attempting to catch her off guard. Turning to face Naledi, there's a savage grin and now Cecile's left arm is swung, the fist aimed to strike at her would-be attacker, meaning to hit hard enough to leave the world spinning for the individual, before she passes out from the blow. Even if it missed, it would still be enough for the others to take advantage of that window of distraction, so she wasn't that concerned about failure.
RavenClaw rolls slowly to his feet, what remains of the Norlisk falling from his loosened grip to splatter on the ground, and presumably turn to ash as the main body does the same. Any remorse the werewolf might have for the man the creature once was isn't visible on his lupine face, as he turns to pick up the two now spent bottles from the potions he had been forced into spending. Pocketing the bottles, he passes by Thaeloc, giving the degn a wide berth. The man is clearly locked in battle with something, but the werewolf can't even so much as smell whatever it is and isn't confident he can provide any aid. He turns his attention to Naledi, still possessed, and Emmie's seemingly unconcious--but thankfully alive--body nearby. Moving to take advantage of the fact that Naledi hasn't directly paid him any attention since this fight started, and is currently swiping at Cecile and Olwen from the ground, the lanky werewolf drops in the moment Cecile's swing fails to connect, and goes to slip an arm under Naledi's chin, tackling her back into the ground and grappling her in a sleeper hold, using his sizable wolfish frame to pin her down on the ground. "Please go back to sleep," He grumbles. "Y've done enough damage today."
The two spirits working together are dissatisfied with their last attempts to harm Cecile, so they move toward her again and attempt to bash her head against the nearest tree. It is a collective effort, and they seem to giggle softly as they do it, almost like they are playing a game with Cecile instead of trying to hurt her.
The fourth spirit isn't done with Olwen either, and it tries to twist its wispy, incorporeal form around her, only to try and dig her eyes out with its claws.
Cecile becomes aware of the ghosts coming back for round two, while in the middle of trying to hit Naledi. As her target was close to the ground, and assisted by the spectres, it ensures the strike goes wide over the dancer's head. The delay in reaction also results in her being grabbed and struck. Enraged even further by this and the swiftly healing wound, the cook reaches out, meaning to grab the one she'd been able to avoid and use it to thoroughly beat Naledi into unconsciousness. The viability of this depended on whether the would-be club became incorporeal just to spite her, however, and time would tell if things were successful.
Katyin watches as Naledi is defeated, looking nervous and definitely fretting, but she knew it was the best possible thing in the moment. She brings Carlie over to the group slowly, looking at both Emmie and Naledi with a frown. She spies Emmie's spectacles on the ground and marvels at how they didn't manage to get broken at all, and she kneels to retrieve them, hooking them into the collar of her shirt for safekeeping. "I guess we head inside now. We can hunker down in the first room we find with a door. We can rest then, for the night, and start scouring the place in the morning. While I think that Emmie should get a potion, I don't think Naledi should get one for now. She's clearly still possessed. Giving her a potion will just...it will just renew the spirit possessing her. Maybe we'll find a way to purge that while we're in there." Katyin looks at the two fallen party members and frowns.
Carlie frowns too. "How are we going to get them both in the manor? What if the manor is full of monsters and ghosts? What else could be waiting in there for us?" She steps back, shaking her head. "I don't want to go in. We've been on the verge of death this entire time. What if...what if whatever controls this place ‘’wants’’ to go in there?"
Katyin listens to Carlie's concerns, but she hugs her close. "We have to, Carlie. We have to go in there. There might be supplies, food, or even a way to help remove the spirit in Naledi." She smooths Carlie's hair away from her face and forces a sad smile. "It may tell us how to get off of the island too. I say it's worth a shot. We've come this far, battered, but not defeated. We have to try." Katyin thinks on the matter of how to get Emmie and Naledi into the manor, then looks at Thaeloc and RavenClaw. "We have two men here that can lift them. And we don't know if Cecile and Olwen have any kind of super strength. We can't assume things, Carlie." She steps forward then. "Atlas," because her head is funny and she can't remember to call him Raven at the moment. "You still have the key, right? Open up the door for us. Everyone can decide who is carrying our unconscious into the manor. I think we should go straight in and enter the first room with a door that we see. We can hole up then and rest for the night. You and Olwen should get some sleep though. Maybe let others stay up and keep watch." She pauses, then tries to smile, weak as it may be. "Does that sound okay to everyone?"
Carlie whispers : The dead will be awake soon…
Olwen suppresses the urge to kick Naledi when she finally loses consciousness, since she'd given them so much hell from the beginning of this battle. "Yeh thin' he can carry anythin'?" is said as she motions to Thaeloc, "He's been battlin' the air fer the las' bit." The half gnome heaves a sigh, taking the canteen she'd procured and sipping at the water, then offering it up for anyone else who is thirsty. "Tha' manor looks more invitin' than out here. I say we go ahead an' open 'er up." A nod is given to Atlas, "Yer say so, I s'pose, Atlas." Walking stick clutched, she walks over and kneels near Emmie, tsk sounds made. "I can try an help carry one of 'em. Then we can sort out the potions fer 'em in her bag, eh?"
Cecile calms down only now that there is no more threat, with the visible exhaustion of her cumulative injuries and the healing ability being pushed to its limits showing at last. Even so, it's kept controlled and at bay until resting was possible, as Emmmie's prone form is approached soon after Olwen. Speaking to the half-gnome, she says, "Is it alright if I carry her? I just need to make sure she's safe and the weight isn't a problem for me." When this is said, there's the added question of, "Are you alright?" to both the explosive expert and the others gathered. If that request was denied, then she'd just nod and help with Naledi instead, just to ensure it was less of a burden for the others.
RavenClaw sighs, his energy drained as the adrenaline works its way out of his system. His forms shifts back, fur dropping off as he stands until the regular human form of Raven appears again, his shirt and trousers stretched to the edge but hanging on. Gingerly he removes the brass knuckles from his fingers, revealing the deep gouges they'd left in his skin from the transformation. He clenches his fist a couple times, wincing a little but no worse for wear than anyone else present. "I'll carry Naledi," he says after a moment, kneeling to pick the unconcious woman up. "If she starts to wake up again I should be able to restrain her." He turns his gaze to Katyin, frowning but lacking the energy to argue. "I guess we don't have a choice. Hopefully whatever's inside will leave us alone for at least a few hours. And you're in no shape to lead us anywhere else at this point. Hopefully Thaeloc snaps out of whatever he's doing. None of us are in any shape to carry ‘’him’’."
RavenClaw wields a hefty, textured, stone key with his right hand.
RavenClaw turns the key in the lock of Coldridge Manor and the door groans as it opens. Try as any might, it refuses to close again.
Katyin shakes her head to Cecile. "I don't mind if you carry her. You seem to have been keeping an eye on her most of the time here, from what I gather. Did the two of you know each other prior to getting here?" Katyin cannot remember, so she's forced to ask instead.
Carlie ventures closer to Katyin, clinging to her almost possessively. "We could go back to the cabin. At least we know what is there."
Katyin glances down at Carlie and rubs her shoulder. "We almost got cooked there, and the church next door caused poor Naledi to become possessed. And we'd have to trek miles back through the forest to even get there. Honey, I know you're scared, but we've come too far at this point to give up now. Not going into the manor would be us giving up. We've lost allies here. I've lost half a limb. I have to get off of this island. There's no way around it. Just hang on for a little while longer, okay? You've been so brave." With that said, Katyin heads into the manor, letting Carlie decide for herself if she wants to follow. When Carlie doesn't immediately come with her, she adds, "You said it yourself. It's nighttime. The dead are walking and have left the waters. We don't have a choice if we break it down to that."
Carlie frowns, and after major hesitation, she follows Katyin into the manor after RavenClaw opens it.
With RavenClaw carrying the unconscious, injured Naledi, that leaves Emmie to the others to carry. Thaeloc travels into the manor, but only after everyone else has gone in, preferring to take up the rear for no surprises. Cecile presumably carries Emmie, and Olwen is likely a few paces after RavenClaw. Once inside, Katyin lights up her remaining hand to light the candles on the walls, eventually finding a door. She opens it, leading the group inside what appears to be a dimly lit library. She is quick to sit in a nearby chair, incredibly woozy and feeling faint.
Once inside, Carlie closes the door and asks for help moving a sofa in front of it, just in case the lock doesn't work. Katyin helps despite being weary from blood loss, and soon everyone is barred inside for the night.