Land of Karchan

Coldridge 2022 - The Din of Chaos 4

As Nerene approaches the headstone and speaks to it, a coiling mist spirals around the stone and takes the form of a woman. She's a barbarian sort, which looks out of sorts given how other villagers look, and she stands as a figure of solid muscle and an expression that is sour but curious. When the spirit realizes she is dead and has been summoned, she accepts this quirk of fate and fastens herself to Nerene's side. Nerene wouldn't be able to hear her speak, but she would feel the spirit's presence becoming one of service. The spirit is willing to fight in whatever ways Nerene deems fit. She billows in wisps of mist and fog, but her aura is one of fierce loyalty, the promise of battle whetting her appetite for annihilation.

Xaria watches quietly, before motioning back to the west. "We passed the guardians to get here, but to get past them, we'll have to take them down. They're supposedly really strong. I imagine they must be in order to be guardians of a would-be god. Let's go."

Marceline is still in canine form, yet somehow she manages to frown with disapproval at the entire scene. She nips at Mera until the girl is positioned where her mother wants her, on her flank as far away from the guardians as possible. The little girl doesn?t seem to have reached the stage of arguing yet, or else she is intimidated enough to keep quiet.

Cahya watches the warrior spirit appear, awe on his expression and curiosity for her story. The Anthro doesn't speak, however, opting to remain silent and listen for anything at all around him. His ears twitch, tail flicking about and nose to the air. He glances to the little one, remaining close to her and Marceline as a sign he will aid in her protection.

Thaeloc keeps his eyes on the two Guardians almost licking his chops ready for a good fight. Checking his armor one last time making sure everything is perfect.

Nerene starts in surprise, only to recover once the ghost's unspoken plea is felt. There's a nod to both the spirit and Xaria then, her mood upbeat still, as the Haunt is followed. On the way there, the banshee only says, "I ask only that you protect the mother and her child, from whatever is to come next," in a request not command. Nothing else needs to be said either, for actions would speak far louder than any boasts or other displays or braggartry. Even so, there is a certain hyperness that's only mostly contained, for the thought of killing Cohas, thus sending a message and proving herself yet again were exhilarating.

Xaria slowly guides the group to the west, where the space looks curiously empty save for two very large statues on either side of a gate that has been chained closed. A large padlock resides directly in the middle, clearly the only way in from the look of the giant, unscalable walls flanked by two massive stone statues, one more feminine than the other. The space seems devoid of sound except the howling of the wind and the rattling of mostly barren branches. The haunt looks around, unsure what to do next, but then she hears a scraping noise, perking visibly as the dog in her tries to pinpoint where the noise is coming from. Rather suddenly, the two stone statues step away from the wall, their faces becoming more lively and the scraping of stone pinpointed as one raises her granite sword toward the group. Her mouth moves awkwardly as she speaks, "No one passes this point without permission from my brother and I..." Tynexi speaks, eyes wide and gleaming with obsidian gems. "My sister and I guard our Lord Cohas with our very existence. No one enters his personal space without first defeating us. Pledge yourselves to him now with a sacrifice or be struck down..." Tynari says, his masculine booming with unnatural reach. Xaria covers her ears and audibly whimpers, and when no one is offered as sacrifice, Tynari lifts his axe and prepares to descend on the gathered.

Cahya's ears perk at the scraping of stone and the booming voices, a hiss as his delicate hearing is insulted by boisterous tones. He steps in front of Marceline and the young one out of a sense of duty to the mother and her hauntling. The others have shown they are capable of battle, Marceline as well, though she has her paws quite full with protecting. When Tynari lifts his ax, the cat makes a nimble attempt to jump upon the blade or pole of it, then pulls the chronobow from his back. With the arrow nock in place, he pulls back and aims a blow for the statue's face - able to slow the arrows advance, he hope this will be a sure shot.

Marceline snarls at the stone giants, and her ears pin back against her head. Her lips curl open enough to reveal every one of her pearly teeth, and the fur stands up along her back from her head all the way down to her tail, which looks like a Fuller brush. Her butt taps Mera to the side, pushing her out of the way of an attack as she circles and goes for the small dog strategy: bite the ankles.

Marceline's gonna have a sore mouth in the morning.

As the group prepares for battle, Tynari (Guardian 2) raises his axe, but not directly overhead. He slants his approach, hoping to his as many people as possible with the first stroke of his weapon. Directly in his path seems to be Thaeloc, Marceline, and Mera. The axe is large and heavy, but he lifts it with ease, and despite not bearing a metal edge, it's still perfectly sharpened somehow, whether by an expert stonesmith or just magical tinkering. The cuts might be very deep, but the blunt force trauma that could be induced by taking the hit would certainly be a perilous experience for the body. As Cahya manages to run up the length of his arm, he roars while attempting to mow the gathered down, whether Cahya is still on his arm or not... Xaria tries to keep out of the way, falling back to stay out of range as she attempts to ignite her powers. Their unpredictability while here on Coldridge has left her yearning for her full power, but she has to settle for whatever spark or flare she manages to summon, if anything at all. Tynari's swing causes her to hold her breath, knowing she is out of reach but still not wanting her party harmed. The magic in her hands ignites and she tries to warm it up like kindling to a fire, and she prepares to steady that magic until it is needed. Tynexi (Guardian 1) watches Cahya land on her brother, but is more interested in the group he left behind. Swinging her sword at her sibling might do more harm than good, so she focuses on those gathered, with special focus on Nerene and Xaria. Her stone sword is leveled at the group and she cuts it through the air in downward, horizontal arc meant to chop into the haunt and the dark angel mercilessly...

Yamminuel is petrified.

Thaeloc ducks under the wild swing of the axe laughing to himself as the other one cuts herself with her sword. holding the broken bottle he rushes forward to get inside the swing of the axe and stabs with the bottle at the stone wrist holding the axe.

Nerene readies her sceptre once Tynexi and Tynari come to life and address the group, their threat met with a momentary glance toward Thaeloc at the mention of a sacrifice. Grinning mockingly in the case he noticed, she then gets serious and retorts with, "Gonna enjoy turning you to rubble," while circling around to ensure a pincer formation is employed. As Marceline and Mera are being guarded by their spectral bodyguard, the Paladin is able to focus on her foes instead. Thanks to the bear from before, the fire magic limits had been learned, thus she rushes forward, noting the sword being swung her way. Reacting quickly, Nerene leans back, narrowly avoiding the blade. Recovering in an instant, she then swings the sceptre and wills the fire into a fascimile of her loyal nightmare. Toward Thaeloc she then goes, intending to have the self-contained inferno rear up and trample Tynari, to hopefully leave him prone upon the ground thereafter.

Xaria dives when necessary, the magic in her hands temporarily dissolved, and she tries to stay out of the way again for the time being. She watches everything unfold with dread cold in her stomach, especially concerned for those up close and personal with the guardians. For now she watches, waiting to see when and if anyone will need to be healed in the near future.

Nerene displays no glee at having knocked down the axe-wielding statue for there was still Tynaxi to deal with and she wanted to wound both, as much as stone beings could be at least. In keeping with that goal, it's toward the female sibling she goes, the imitation of her beloved Bitra following and stampeding ahead. Reaching a suitable speed, the infernal equine lowers its head, intending on slamming full on into her target from the side. As for Nerene herself, she stays back a few feet from Tynaxi proper, her will kept on maintaining the construct until the defeat of one or both of the guardians... or she's attacked again and has to defend herself.

Tynari is furious when his attack fails to land on any of the nonbelievers beneath him, and it shows in the way the lines of his face deepen and scrape audibly to even allow the expression. Grit falls from his eyebrows to dust the ground below, and he tightens his grip on his axe, stepping forward and taking aim at Thaeloc specifically this time - a single target for his ire. A warm up to hopefully annihilating the entire group. The cut to his wrist causing his ire to rise in dangerous volume, but setting him on fire and knocking him down? That's Nerene's fault, and he bellows his fury. Figuring it would take him too long to heft himself back up on his feet to attack, he proceeds to roll toward the group in an endeavor to put out the flames and crush everyone beneath his stone body. What he's been reduced to wounds his pride, but he would use his new position to his advantage no matter the cost.

Tynexi realizes that her twin is having more difficulties than she is, but the embarrassment of temporarily fumbling her sword and being made a fool perhaps hurts worse than the scar it brings about. Petting the horse without thought wounds her deeply, and she screams in dismay at the damage wrought as she falls over. Her brother catching on fire is of equal embarrassment, and she begins swiping her flaming sword back and forth in an attempt to strike the entirety of the group on a murderous rampage. Following her intended strikes, she will rise, a chant passing her lips that extinguishes the flames along her now smoking, stone body. Man, woman, child, it doesn't matter who she wounds, as they have proven they will be a threat to Lord Cohas, and she cannot fathom failing in her sworn duty to protect him.

Cahya counts his blessings when Nerene uses those flames, aimed for the statue he is currently hitching a ride on - thank goodness they didn't singe his fur this time! And then there is the business of knocking him down. Well, cats always land on their feet, right? With the arrow still nocked and having to make this a running target practice, the arrow is let loose toward Tynari's face with a slow down and accuracy that will hopefully do damage. The cat is very thankful for his long tail and whiskers to be able to keep such balance.

Marceline yelps as all of the chaos breaks out, and she searches around for Mera. Upon spotting her, she herds the girl closer to Haunt Zoe, hoping that will help protect the now ten year old child, with a little help from the spirit. It seems her mindset about accepting help has changed with her form, or perhaps with her daughter?s more advanced age. Once she is able to, she looks for an opening before heading back into he fray, targeting the giant who has gotten back up. The small dog game seemed to work before, so gives another swipe at the ankles. This time, she lunges with her claws in an attempt to scrape them.

Thaeloc sees the flaming horse right before it crashed into the statue setting it ablaze. He did notice that is looked like his faithful friend and mount, that thought leads into another wondering if Thunder is missing him whole here or if time is the same here and back in Kuri. Those thoughts almost get the better of him as the rolling log of a flaming statue comes his way, Able to leap over it with ease and avoiding being crushed and or set on fire. As it comes to a stop after putting its self out Thaeloc is right there to sink the sharp shards of glass from the trusty Vodka bottle of death into the left eye of the statue, before it is able to get back up.

Thaeloc taking the initiative to attack quickly having stabbed into one eye and figures since it worked so well on the bear before he attempts to fully blind the Guardian before it can even get back to its feet and start to attack. So he delivers a quick one two stabby stabby attack. First the one eye then followed up by attempting to sink the bottle into the other.

Cahya places the bow upon his back again, settling the string neatly between his furry pectorals. With the statue adequately blinded by Thaeloc and even more angry, the cat further sinks his back claws into the stone and holds on for another wild ride. Though while he is here, he'd may as well add to the attacking. Unsheathing his claws, Cahya's bum wiggles, he pounces and aims a scratch for Tynari's chest.

Marceline howls in frustration when her claws prove ineffective. She is fully committed now and snaps in rapid succession at the giant she is currently attacking. Her flurry crescendos when she rears up and takes a flying leap to bite down on the monster?s stone butt.

Tynari feels himself hit a spirit and nothing else, filling him with a venomous need for revenge. He's been humiliated, and those fighting against him and his sister haven't felt nearly enough pain for their efforts. As he rolls, the fire along his mossy places is extinguished, and as he begins to rise, Cahya's arrow manages to hit him directly between the eyes. It discombobulates him, leaving a deep rivet in his stone, and it is during this disorientation that Thaeloc puts out his eye. The obsidian pupil shatters and blinds him, and he smacks his hand toward Thaeloc to knock him off of his chest and hopefully into something painfully solid and unmoving. He rises then, reclaiming his axe and using his one good eye to study those gathered. Nearly everyone here has wounded him in some way, but his face is not so easily forgotten. Thaeloc putting out his other eye fuels his fire, and he swings his axe toward the place he last saw Cahya, following up with a downward swings toward the place he last saw Thaeloc, absolutely murderous and positively tireless in his pursuit of their demises. After all this, avoiding death for so long, Marceline's attack brings the guardian down, and with a final cry to his sister, his body explodes into pebbles, grit, and cemetery dust.

Nerene feels a bit of satisfaction in having hurt both Tynaxi and Tyrani in quick succession, and even better, helping ensure they were angry. She could work with rage, for it led to mistakes even more than arrogance, even if right now was the time to be on guard. Forced to leap so she avoided the latter rolling toward her, Nerene then has to dodge back and forth, lest she's stabbed. Add to that the spirit being directed to guard Mera, and the fire steed ceases to be lest her attention be split in a perilous manner. No attempt to conjure another manifestation is made, with the slingshot and teeth that had been acquired earlier readied instead, with Tynaxi the banshee's target as her brother is being assailed by Cahya, Marceline, and Thaeloc. Instead of announcing the attack, the Paladin unleashes the dental projectiles right at her target's eyes in the hope of causing temporary pain and ensure further insult is inflicted upon the guardian.

Xaria watches the chaos with a frown, but is thankful that the group seems to be mostly avoiding damage. It renders her powers useless at the moment, but that means she can hold them in reserve until they are needed next. Still, her gaze lingers on everyone eventually, making sure there are truly no wounds to tend to. When Tynari explodes, the sheer force of it sends her airborne, and she lands in a disheveled heap close to the nearest tree, thankful she didn't hit it. With her sights set on the last guardian remaining, she pushes herself up, and prepares for battle. She runs swiftly toward the statue and lifts a pebble from the ground, cocking her arm back and loosing it toward Tynexi's eyes. Whether she hits or not, she's moving, hoping to avoid comeuppance.

Tynexi shivers at the cooling sensation of her spell, and realizing that her brother is struggling and now blind, she intends to get involved. Her grip on her sword is tightened and just as it looks like she is about to swing it down toward Thaeloc, she adjusts her grip so that the flattened side casts a shadow over him, intending to flatten him with that side of the blade as she smacks it downward, hoping to cover more ground. From the looks of things, Xaria and Burnside might be within smacking distance as well, as that shadow has a long reach due to the extreme length of the blade itself.

Xaria is struck and the pain is immense. It takes her a moment to shake off the agony and the confusion that goes along with being struck in such a manner. She drags herself to her feet with nearby tree limbs and walks off, disoriented. She only manages to escape because Tynexi is now missing an eye, the guardian appearing absolutely furious. Xaria eventually gets her bearings and reaches for another piece of the fallen Tynari, and she lets her arm swing forward in an attempt to get the other eye and save the group from being actively hunted by something that can actually see them. Whether she hits or not, she's still moving, and she eventually comes to be behind Cahya, where she teeters a little on her feet, still lit up with pain.

Cahya is flung from the force of Tynari's explosion, a little yelp of surprise escaping the cat. He brings out his claws and slides to a graceful stop, left in a crouching position with a hissing snarl on his visage. Xaria's close proximity is noted, as well as a head count of everyone else. While they were all using pieces of Tynari to attack his sister, the cat picks up a sizeable chunk and aims for Tynexi's sword wielding hand, hoping to do some damage the appendage.

Thaeloc seeing the huge shadow growing above him and tries to roll out of the way before it could hit him. He is just about out of the way when he feels the hard stone catching him on the side sending him rolling a few more times till his momentum is stopped by the pile of rubble that was Tynari's body. Getting back onto his feet groaning in same pain from the blow he took. Swiftly moving back into the fray of combat. keeping low out of the range of the others rock throwing the Thane goes for the ankle of the last Guardian.

With both of her eyes out, Tynexi whimpers, but she doesn't let it slow her down. She's much larger, and since swinging the sword would be too much, instead she sheathes it and begins stomping at anything that happens to be in the way. Unfortunately, that's pretty much different members of the group at different times due to close proximity. Even after Thaeloc's attack, she's relentless and does not tire, and she's screaming in a discordant way the entire time she is stomping. The gates behind her seem to glow with a distant fire, and the realization that her brother is truly gone ensures that she continues to try and murder everyone here.

Marceline is also thrown by the explosion, and she rolls to her feet covered in dust, muting her midnight fur to a weird kind of gray. She could almost be a statue dog. Naturally, her only concern is to find Mera, which she manages to do just as the giant is stomping around. Narrowly missing being smashed, she pushes the little girl to the side and immediately begins to lick the dust off the child?s face. Weird that she feels that is the most critical bit to see to just now. Once she is satisfied, she jumps back into the fray again and takes a running leap to snap her jaws around any part of the giant she can get to.

Tynexi falls to her knees, the tears moving from her eyes like magma. They light up and burn in trails as Marceline ends her, and the last thing she says in a painfully harmonizing wail, is to beg for forgiveness from Lord Cohas, and that she is sorry she was not strong enough to protect the entrance to his chambers. Her body explodes into rubble save for her sword, which slowly morphs into a giant stone key that cannot be lifted by one person alone. It seems that the group will have to work together to fit the key into the giant padlock and turn it in order to proceed. Dust flies in the air, billowing from the fallen guardians along with the magmal tears left behind by Tynexi, and the lock itself lights up with an ethereal glow in a dazzling golden hue, the chains quivering as they take on the same glow.

Nerene isn't the least bit disappointed about the first barrage failing, for it was a way to get rid of the previous trophy more than anything. Noticing Xaria and Cahya's actions, there's a determined nod from the Paladin and she's sprinting toward the rubble which had been Tyrani, only to trip and fall on the stone once Tynexi lets loose with the ground shaking. Recovering from the temporary shock it caused, there's a plan to attack using a chunk of Tyrani, at least until Tynexi falls to a combination of attacks from those closer to her. Since There was nothing to be done, first comes the legging repair, a hand held over the garments to mend them, and then a limp over to the group once she's helped herself to some of the shattered Guardian. The sceptre, relinquished during the slingshot attack, is then regained so the group could be approached. After that, the gate is looked toward while the Dark Angel gets ready to assist in unlocking it and ensuring they were one step closer to killing Cohas.

Xaria shields her eyes from the billowing dust, only looking on once it seems it has mostly settled. Blinking through the lingering grit, she watches as the stone sword lights up with an unearthly glow, and she looks at the chains and the nearby lock. It doesn't take long for her to put the pieces together, and she moves toward the stone sword, attempting to pick it up, but finding it is too much for one person to do alone. "All of us need to pick up the sword and insert it into the lock. I think it is the key. Come help me." Then, if people crowd around, she'll do her best to help everyone lift the sword so they can test her theory.

Nerene moves her wings ever so slightly to ensure the lingering tenderness was gone now, whereupon she smiles and heeds the request made by Xaria. Toward the key and lock the Paladin then goes, the weapon being wielded laid aside until the task was done. Thereafter, hands are laid upon the stone weapon, preparations to raise it taken once everyone else has followed suit and the cue to lift is given.

Marceline huffs as she and Mera come closer to the other Haunt. Rather than do anything useful, like changing back into a biped with opposable thumbs, she shoves her nose under one part of the sword so she can hoist her section of it up on her back. Mera helps with this, although she does have her hands full with a wolfskin bag full of all the bottles and stuff that the pair has acquired while on Coldridge, so it's about as helpful as one would expect a child to be.

Cahya scritches behind his ears, the healing places where fire scorched him itching up a storm - some skin and bits of fur flake off with the effort of his claws, though the cat looses a contented purr afterward. With Xaria's request to lift the key, he ambles over to where the others are and slides large toe beans beneath the stone structure and prepares to lift.

Thaeloc grabs onto a free part of the stone sword helping to lift it to the lock.

Burnside follows suit and helps the others lift, always amicable and willing to aid others, especially in this confusing realm.

Nerene puffs out her chest and does a very unflattering imitation of Thaeloc, going on about honor and goodness, etc. As the group lifts the giant stone key and fits it into the lock, it lifts out of their grasp and turns. The lock audibly groans and screeches, falling open as the key turns to a blinding light that ebbs and flows to nothingness, and the chains fall away, showing the path further in. Soon there would be no going back.

Xaria watches until the light is too bright to gaze upon it, the key disappearing entirely. With the path to the south now open, she takes in a deep breath to calm her nerves and looks at everyone. "We're getting closer. We head south and follow the path. Hopefully we aren't accosted before we get to Cohas, but that is a chance we have to take." She doesn't wait afterward. Instead, she travels south and makes a turn toward the west, disappearing into the fog there.

Nerene made sure to grab her sceptre the moment the lock is open and the group is able to journey to the south. No time wasted, she follows Xaria while keeping alert for the faintest sign of danger, lest ambushes like with the bear occur again. Once at the destination, there's a curious look at the arch which looms before her, coupled with eagerness at whatever is there waiting, for it would be dispatched with the same focus that every other threat had been given.

Marceline grunts as she follows along, with Mera glued to her side. Her tail swishes back and forth, although it seems unlikely she is actually happy.

Cahya's mouth falls agape when the stone sword lifts and fits into the lock, the bright light causing him to squint and shield his face with one paw. With a breath taken in to steady himself for what's to come, the anthro takes a step forward and prepares to follow the party. He of course sticks close to Mera and Marceline, ready to throw down for the small pup.

Thaeloc is a bit sadden that he had to leave such a nice wall hanger behind but none the less he does following the rest of the group into the thick fog beyond the gate. Taking up rear gaurd encase anything tries to sneak up from behind and ambush the party.

Burnside lumbers after the others into the dense fog, his rusty joints protesting loudly in the mist. He very likely bumps his empty head on something along the way.

As the party travels, eventually a glowing arch blocks their path. It's mostly open, but a nefarious glow shimmers that direction, flickering like fire. The mud underfoot becomes tacky suddenly, then downright sticky, and soon it is nearly impossible for the group to move at all. A shadow with a menacing grin forms against the backdrop of the glowing arch, making it's lumpy, misshapen body more solid in appearance. The grin across its chest opens up into a full smile packed with numerous rows of teeth as it speaks. "Oh no. Busy travelers. And you're wearing the dust of my Lord's beloved guardians. He'll be so incredibly displeased..." The creature's body expands to fully guard the arch behind it, causing it's impossibly wide mouth to stretch even further. "I always knew I would be the last bastion of safety for him. So here I am, willing to die for his cause. I'm everything a summon should be. Fear not. I will do my best to make your deaths quick and painless. It's the least I can do for those who have come so far." The Major Spirit of Chaos allows his body to ripple, and as he opens his mouth, fangs from the very back of it's throat shoot out toward the gathered party. These fangs will cause slumber plus damage as the spirit seeks to make good on it's promise of a painless death for those opposing him.

Nerene only wonders what's gonna be in store, and part of her hopes it'll be a winged creature that results in an aerial battle all to get the blood pumping even more. With the Major Spirit of Chaos, there's a feigned look of boredom while the spiel is delivered, its words countered with, "The last three foes we fought said the same thing, and now they're all dust in the wind, or literal wind, and you'll find you're exactly the same soon enough." As the last word is said, she's swinging the sceptre just as the fangs are spat out toward the party. This results in a flame that grows and forms into a serpent which rushes forward. Its intent is to burn the teeth before they can even get to her. Just in case though, she's moving even while doing that, for over-confidence wasn't smart, when dealing with unknown threats and abilities. Hopefully that would be enough to avoid whatever nefarious plan had been unleashed, but time would tell.

Cahya walks along in the mud, lifting his paws with more effort as they go along. The tacky mud sticks between his furry toes, causing the Anthro to mewl in distaste. Claws unsheathe and he lifts upon his tip toes, hoping this will help him walk better. When the spirit appears and gives the usual villain spiel, the cat crouches into a fighting stance and sticks close to Mera. When teeth head toward him, the kitty sinks toward the mud and shields the child. Ears set back and tail flicking, he hisses and growls deep in his throat. The cat gets a sudden idea and takes the formerly empty bottle from the belt pocket, curious that if it can contain binding magic, if it can be unleashed on an enemy. Uncorking the bottle, he tests a theory.

Xaria feels mired in place by the mud and muck, and though she's struggling, she does make an attempt to dive out of the way. Specifically, she tries to hide behind Burnside, as she assumes that him being made of metal will keep him from being hit with a status effect meant for her. "Sorry," she says as she makes this move, managing to get free of some mud surprisingly quick. "I feel like an asshole. I'm so sorry for using you as a shield..." Her voice trails off after that, and she turns to watch the battle from what she views as a safe place, for now.

Marceline lets out an audible groan of frustration when the Major Chaos spirit emerges. Her level of patience is as low as her anxiety is high at this point, and all she wants to do is get her child off this blasted island. Mired nearly to a standstill in the muck, she lurches to the side to shield Mera from the flying fangs. The little girl tumbles into the mud and, still clutching her bag, crawls through the mire to get behind Burnside, too. She apparently is smart enough to watch Haunt Zoe and copy her. Meanwhile, hopefully having taken minimal damage or avoided the flying teeth altogether, the black dog slogs forward to whip her tail at the base of the creature, hoping to unsteady or topple it.

Thaeloc is a bit sadden that he had to leave such a nice wall hanger behind but none the less he does following the rest of the group into the thick fog beyond the gate. Taking up rear guard encase anything tries to sneak up from behind and ambush the party.

Burnside knows there is no chance for him to 'dodge' much of anything, he simply puts a open palm over his eyes as would a 'see no evil' monkey in order to protect his glass sensors from the incoming rain of sharp fangs. Burnside stands still with his eyes still covered, but the math cruncher still grinds loudly from deep inside his chest. He suddenly flings the boomerang with his other hand in a wide arch! Burnside catches his returning boomerang in hand and fluidly pivots in a perfect 360 circle around his waist! His arm swooshes over the heads of any near him as he releases the wooden weapon again like a giant metal slingshot. He then points with his off hand in an unnaturally straight line at the spirit, "Stop resisting! You are under arrest! Sanction Code 417 dictates that a spirit or spirits in direct violation of -error- "

Thaeloc after trying to pull himself out of the tacky mud and having to reach back and pull his false leg from the mud in time to miss the tooth and turn around and attack the major spirt. After his successful hit the first go he moves even closer to the spirt hoping his close distance keep the mother and child safer as he stabs him again with the bottle of doom.

The Major Spirit of Chaos takes the hit from Nerene with a fury that radiates from him like heat. Burnside's boomerang has more bite and the spirit audibly hisses as it is forced to retreat backwards a few paces. Each attack with the boomerang has the spirit seething, doing more damage than it can comfortably handle each time. His mouth drips with long strings of drool that sizzle in the mud when it reaches it, chest heaving as it powers up its next attack. The tail whip from Marceline pains it, and it quivers like liquid, eventually releasing a cloud of shimmering gold. Contact with the skin will cause a gnawing effect, ripping at the skin, in addition to a nauseating effect that would topple even the most iron of stomachs. It's intended to sicken the party first, while literally eating their skin away into deep wounds second. Given the speed at the party is wounding it, the creature is no longer willing to play nice...

Xaria is hit by the Major Spirit of Chaos' fangs, and it puts her to sleep as intended. She lands behind Burnside at his feet, caked in mud and oblivious to her surroundings. There's a peaceful look on her face that suggests the spirit took special care to make the slumbering pleasant. Alas, the slumbering cannot fully keep her, as the surrounding din of battle is quick to stir her. Sleepy and injured, she crawls behind the nearest tree, her vision hazy and her head full of sleep, blinking repeatedly in an endeavor to stay awake and guard herself from danger.

Nerene breathes a sigh of relief about managing to burn away the fangs and avoid whatever nasty surprises they possessed, only for the mud to pose a different threat entirely. Annoyed about being stuck, the Dark Angel relies on her wings, counting on the barrage to allow her to get free. Managing to do that while Burnside is unleashing a boomerang barrage, it's to Xaria that she goes first, the second healing potion given to the Haunt. Noticing the Spirit preparing to exhale again, wisdom kicks in and Nerene's wings are drawn in, while she joins her temporary charge in hiding from danger. Only after it's passed and Xaria is safe does she then take to the air proper, moving to be an obvious target and thus distract while her fire snake circles around. This time, it seeks to wrap around the Major Spirit and fuse into an ouroboros. If this succeeds, it'll then spin faster and faster, intent on causing both regular burn damage and splash injuries. All the while, Nerene does look on, a mocking grin adorning her lips at the mere idea of inflicting pain to the guardian.

Marceline may not have taken any damage from the spirit's noxious cloud, but the smell is atrocious. She hikes up her leg and pees, hoping to spray the spirit with a liquid that will ignite any lingering fumes and damage the enemy.

Cahya is having quite a time with the sticky mud, lifting his legs and trying to remain on balance while liberating himself from the muck. He manages to not be hit by the flesh rending vapor, somehow. The cat counts his blessings as they come, thinking only of finishing these tasks at hand and finding the book peddler after all is said and done. Eyes flick to where Mera is, finding her tucked safely behind the shield of Burnside. Nerene is managing to do quite a number on the spirit, as well as the others in the party. He pulls the Chronobow free from where it rests, nocking an arrow and loosing it toward the spirit. With the ability to slow and aim, he hopes to hit the pesky thing.

As Nerene continues to thrash the spirit, the noises he releases are ear piercing and discombobulating. His arms stretch wide and command the earlier spell to whip up in a torrent of glittering, golden energies, hoping to use what is left of that spell to his advantage. His arms and fingers make the surrounding flora quiver, and soon many vines and branches are swatting at the gathering like tools used to kill flies. It continues screaming as it does this, realizing it might be out of time and trying to do everything possible to slow the group down. "Cohas! Cohas, my lord! They are arriving!" As the spirit wrestles with the remainder of its power, it fully intends to give its all in slowing down and wounding the party before they have a chance to advance. The spirit realizes he is in a losing battle, but he fully intends to wear the party down as much as possible to make them easy prey for the being he's devoted his existence to.

Thaeloc tries cover his face from the whipping vines and limbs. He is unsuccessful as a few make it pass his defense causeing him to bleed from both cheeks. The searing pain from the cuts awakens his senses and drive him to battle. Tightening hus grip on the neck of the broken bottle the glass creaking in his grip lunges at the major choas spirt looking to jam the sharp blade like edges into the midsection of the spirit.

Cahya frowns when his arrow doesn't hit the mark, though he has had a lot of luck with dodging the spirits blows - hopefully that luck can hold up in an attack. He pulls the nail file from one belt pocket, slipping the bow back over his shoulders and settling the string against his chest. The cat runs forward as well as he is able, crouches and does a jump toward the spirit. Nail file at the ready and the claws of one paw as back up, he does a slash and swipe toward Major spirit with intent to connect.

Nerene keeps herself in place, enjoying as the snake succeeds in inflicting damage and bringing forth sounds of pain that cause delight. Amusement at the noise, coupled with having to track what's now being done by the Chaotic Spirit means she's slower to react to the plants and other vegetation that have gone on the offensive. While there is a valiant effort to evade everything, ordering the spirit to guard Mera means a couple lucky vines loop around her ankles while a particularly dense branch strikes the Paladin's torso. Left breathless and stunned by the force of this, Nerene is reeled in while she recovers and saves the serpent from being lost. First things first, and the fiery creation regains its previous form, to rush forward and burn the plant restraints, preventing a very nasty crash landing. the Paladin's composure is shaken though, and it's with a trembling hand that the conjuration is sent back at her attacker head on. There's no fancy trick, just a desire to burn through and finish this fight. Carefully, she does make sure Cahya would be left unharmed though, since there was a bigger battle coming.

Marceline yelps as she is injured by the moving vines and bright lights, and this redirects her attention away from the fight and toward finding her child. She drags herself through the mud until she reaches Mera, who has miraculously been protected - again. This dog is about two more steps from having a heart attack with all of this, and she takes time to make a detailed inspection of her child.

Burnside seems unaware that he is stuck in the muck, he hasn't tried to step one time this entire conflict. HE does however boom an alarm loudly, "A citizen has been neutralized! Projecting defense matrix at location - error - " Burnside's neck spits a small white plume of smoke and nothing happens. "Citizen Xaria is down behind that sapling!" He rotates his long straightened arm in a wide half circle to point at the tree, which very likely isn't a 'sapling' at all.

Burnside is unsure how else to help since so many of his systems seem offline (more than usual even.) A lone bolt pops from his shoulder and it flies out into the mud.

The Major Spirit of Chaos shrieks in pain, nearing the end of it's existence. The holes ripping into it's shadowy body show through, and he tries his best to form a barrier of vines and branches and roots in front of the archway that will lead the party toward his master. He's unable to complete it, however, leaving a circle of space big enough for even the largest of the party to squeeze through. Finally, as his body tears greater and great, he splits at the giant mouth in his torso and shoots out every last fang from his insides in a last ditch effort to wound the party. Immediately following this attack, he finishes breaking in half and disperses in shadowy tendrils on the wind, his demise met.

Thaeloc is breathing hard a half smile on his face after landing his attack. As the spirit starts to split and break in half ducks down to his knees to avoid the flying teeth sent out as a last ditch effort to hurt him and the rest of the group. Wiping some of the blood from his face he can feel a warm sensation over come his body as the bleeding scratches heal and stop bleeding. Turning to look at Xaria giving her a nod of appreciation for the healing.

Xaria continues to feel wobbly, but seeing the group so embattled causes her to slowly come out of her sleepy stupor. When the spirit is felled and all of the fangs gone, she makes her way out to the gathering. "We need to heal up before moving forward," she says, stating the obvious. She rubs her hands together, teetering on her feet and seeming to struggle with staying upright. "I'll do what I can, but I can't promise that it will be enough." A powerful glow suddenly erupts from her hands, and she casts her healing magic over the head of every member of the party with intentions to heal everyone to the best of her current ability. She looks at Nerene for a second and smiles vaguely. "You should have kept your potion, but thank you for it. I feel like I was so close to dying. I've never, in all of my years, felt so weak all at once. I owe you." It's not easy for a haunt to say to someone aligning themselves with evil, but Xaria knows that Nerene's potion saved her, so she feels indebted nonetheless. With her magic winding down around those she's been fighting with, the blue glow of it would feel cooling in a good way, and she promptly sits down and waits to see if it even works. Looks can be deceiving.

Nerene doesn't even have the mental energy to gloat, save saying, "For the glory of Obsidian, Tyvarliek, and Gvaudoin," as the Chaos Spirit continues breaking apart. There's a tired smile to Xaria, as she responds "You never leave an ally if they're in danger. Doing that would make me no better than Tin Can over there," before noticing the split-second warning. Spinning so her chest is hit instead, the Paladin stumbles, only to regain her composure and welcome the healing energies from the Haunt. As for the fire, it's been extinguished, all the better to ensure preparation for Cohas proper can begin, her sceptre firmly in hand all the while.

Cahya is relieved to see the spirit fade, letting out the breath he'd been holding for so long. "You are a fierce warrior, Angel. And you have much honor." When Xaria heals him, he does a stretch that straightens his tail and leaves him shuddering from the feel of being cool. "Thank you, Haunt Zoe." Burnside twitches as a few of his dents pop back out. "Thank you citizen, this act of kindness will be added to my report." His eyes flicker quickly like a broken clock.

Xaria smiles, though she has broken a sweat from the intensity of her endeavors. She feels spent, but knows that the road ahead is likely their last chance to leave the island alive. She sits for a moment to compose herself, trembling as the weariness ebbs and flows, surrounded by mostly silence say for the fray in the distance that they created. It's still raging on, and she's quietly thankful for that, since it remains the perfect distraction. The group needs to kill Cohas, and as Xaria looks west and sees all of the fire, she knows that time has come. Xaria rises then, aching and weary, pointing to the west. "He's that way. This is the end of the journey where we defeat him or perish. Either way, it's been an honor fighting alongside all of you. Bless." Xaria turns to face the western direction, waits for the party to say anything, and only once they've chimed in will she begin to walk that direction with the smallest hobbling, determination driving her forward.

Cahya licks his paw, getting out a spot of dirt with his rough tongue. There are also scrapes and cuts he is attending to while the moment is right, no enemies in sight as of yet. He straightens his clothes and counts the items at his disposal, including sharp claws, which the cat unsheaths as if to ensure their presence. Xaria is afforded a nod if his head, ears flicking a bit then settling. "It has been an honor fighting alongside you as well. All of you, really. You have my gratitude for your aid and concern." He glances to the little one, showing a toothy smile. "And it has been a blessing watching you grow, small one. Your safety is our biggest concern in battle, yet you remain brave in the face of danger. Perhaps you will be a strong fighter one day as well." The anthro straightens up, flexing his feet and toes to prepare for the coming battle.

Nerene uses the latest lull in combat to test her wounded leg, a wince from the bruising and scrapes following as she gently prods at it. With Xaria's speech, the steady ache is pushed down anew while the Haunt's words are listened to. With a cursory step to ensure that her fatigue and injury won't hinder her in the battle to come, the Paladin replies with, "We've come this far, and failure is not an option," while hiding the tiredness in her voice. After this half-bravado, half-self-confidence inspired answer, she's moving at last to give Cahya the previously promised head scratches if the anthro hasn't already begun walking west. Whether this was a success or not, it's in the direction of Cohas she now goes, eager to see this finished to get home, enjoy a hot bath, and heal the damage done. Cahya absolutely took those scratches. :3

Marceline actually rolls her eyes, perhaps not quite buying the gratitude and sentimentality of everyone?s state of mind. She actually snorts, but she is saved from having to speak by her continuing to stay in dog form. Meanwhile, Mera clings to her mother by wrapping one hand deep into the fur on her back and looks at the other grown ups. ?Mommy?s not usually rude,? she explains, as if knowing her mother for all of? however long they?ve been in the island would make her an expert. Then she gets a sudden case of the shyness again and blushes at Cahya before checking to make sure she still has her own equipment - bottle of mist, horse shoe, jug of spirit water. These are all still thrown together in that scrap of wolf hide that was repurposed for a bag.

As the group progresses, a raised altar resides to the west, a fiery pit spitting fire and magma, illuminating not only it's depths, but the surrounding stone walls. As a result, the area is bathed in a warm but menacing glow that makes the entire space too warm for comfort. Sweat forms in an instant, and a sulfuric smell floats along the air currents, mingling with the surprising scent of anise and pomegranate. Then something on the sacrificial altar moves, rolling onto it's side to gaze thoughtfully at the gathered. "I've sent multiple people to gather you and put an end to you or bring you for sacrifice," he says calmly, lounging once more on the altar as he studies the daisy in his grip. "Welcome," he adds, sitting up and slowly lowering his feet toward the ground while remaining seated. He's a spirit of some sort, likely demonic at a glance, and he's handsome in a slightly effeminate way, with long dark hair, voided black eyes, and two small horns. His mouth is set in a full, curved smile that eventually shows fangs peeking out, and he's clad in a simple crimson robe that flows with the slightest breeze. He looks slight of build, in both height and weight, a feather on the wind to most, but there's an odd commanding presence to him. Not intimidating in looks, but definitely carrying a menacing presence wherever he goes. It becomes obvious how he could easily woo people to his cause. It's palpable, but he's not hurried. If anything, he now looks curious, his voice vibrating and harmonizing in an affectionate tone. "I want to offer all of you a chance to reconsider your mission. What if I said that I could let all of you go? All you have to do is agree not to come back," He says calmly, plucking petals from his flower one after another: they love me, they love me not. "I mean, you could stay and we could fight, but I'm nearly ascended. It hardly seems fair, don't you think? You've all fought so admirably already. Why should you suffer more, or possibly die? Surely I cannot be worth all of that trouble, right? It seems foolish to proceed when I have the means to set you free." Cohas sweeps his hands forward and casts a portal, and it's edges spark as it swirls. Inside looks like the place each adventurer loves most, but different to each. "Go ahead. I insist. Go home and recover from your wounds." Though tempting, the portal itself means an instant sacrifice, lending power to Cohas. It is a ruse, but a perfectly crafted one, and given the fact that he sounds so reasonable, it might be easier for some to believe his words. "You've come so far, and for what? No one has ever come so far before. I want to reward your tenacity." The portal swirls and grows wider, and Cohas beckons the group forward, hoping to lure them into his trap. He's quiet from where he stands, looking lovely and eerie in stark contrast as he awaits each individual decision.

Nerene does her best not to stagger from the rush of heat that's got her sweating already, even with the light clothing being worn. No time is given to focus on that though, as she looks toward Cohas while he greets the group as a whole. Nothing is spoken by her in reply right off, as the offer is made concerning being allowed to simply retreat and allow the malevolent spirit to finish speaking. After that, there's a glance to the east, the deal seemingly being considered, before Nerene's focus snaps sharply back to the would-be god. A wild grin is on her lips while a laugh makes itself heard, before the mirth abruptly fades and she responds, "Counter offer. We all murder you and I plant your head in the cemetery to keep a promise. Obsidian's Paladins do not walk away from challenges. Besides... you're afraid of us getting this far, that's why you bargain," as her wings stretch out to their full length. Nary a moment later, it's to the air Nerene goes, using the warm air to gain height in seconds, whereupon the staff is swung for the last time, this time conjuring a fiery fascimile of the banshee, sans wings and with a replica of her twin pernachs. Once fully formed, the duo then swoop down from opposite sites of the altar, her sceptre bought up like a club, swung at Cohas' right arm. The doppleganger meanwhile is aiming for his legs, to diminish the spirit's combat efficiency before the pair retreat to opposite sides again. Success though, that would all depend on just how prepared he was for this.

Marceline takes a moment to take in the scene around them, and she is fairly surprised to see that Cohas is a more or less corporeal creature. Upon hearing his offer, little Mera immediately moves toward the portal, looking back at her mother because she knows her mother wants to go ?home.? She isn?t sure where that is, because she?s never been there. But she forward progress is stopped when Marceline grabs her clothing in her teeth with a warning growl. This tips the child off that something is wrong, and she falls back to hiding behind the massive dog that is her mother. She also giggles at Nerene?s reply to the spirit, but that quickly does in her throat when the winged woman attacks.

Xaria looks through the portal and a hopefulness enters her eyes. There it was, the haunt castle, specifically the library where she spends so much of her time. It's one of her few safe spaces, and for a moment, she considers accepting Cohas' offer, but then she remembers who he is and what he stands for. She realizes all at once that the portal is likely a ruse and she remains glued in place. "No, thank you," she says, remaining in line with the others, studying her surroundings and other members of her party as they begin to attack.

Cahya loosed a purr of satisfaction when Nerene gave those promised scratches, leaning down to allow her to do so - considering his towering height. She had dislodged some of the healed yet dry skin, testament to the burns he had acquired during battle. As well, some of the singed hairs come free, leaving patches of bald where the fur would need to regrow. "Thank you, Angel. You have done me a great service." He shows a fanged smile to the Dark Angel, then had moved west into the fiery area where Cohas resides. The altar smells wonderful, though the heat hits him like a ton of bricks, causing a light panting. Ears settle back on the cats head, tail flicking in agitation at Cohas' words. Though the portal is lovely, boasting pleasant rays of sunshine and many butterflies to chase, he feels that something is off. The Anthro purrs momentarily, cut short by a low growl. "No thank you, spirit. Though it is lovely, I sense you are filled with lies." Pause. "Besides, I must finish this mission and prove my worth to the Book Peddler." That said, Cahya loads and steadies his Chronobow, aiming directly at Cohas' pretty face. There are about three charges left.

Cohas is able to move with an unnatural swiftness, fully dodging Nerene's intended strike. Cahya's words are heard, but Cohas has entered battle mode, so words are useless to him at the moment. He smiles as he moves, speaking to Nerene. "I fear nothing. I was made for battle. You will see." As he glides from the sacrificial altar, his hands light up with fire that erupts from his palms and expands as he opens his arms to the gathered. The flames shoot out toward the party in individual streaks meant to set them ablaze, or at least wound them just enough to slow them down. His horns grow higher and curve, and he sweeps a blazing arm toward Nerene, wherever she is, as the dark angel is not forgotten.

Coldridge 2022 - The Din of Chaos 4 - The Din of Chaos - V

Last modified on September 4, 2023, 21:54:33