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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Yankee
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Yankee God of Typos

Member Seen 11 hrs ago


Word Count: 2650 (+3 exp)(+12 collabs)
Level: 9 - Total EXP: 87/90
Location: Edge of the Blue - Kanzuki Estate

At some point during the day's activities, the Ace Cadet had disappeared from the beach. It was no mystery case or nefarious plot - the hunter had just decided to look around a little more. The first part of their day off spent playing, exploring, and flirting had been amazing, but the Cadet wasn't quite ready to cool down. So after separating from Nadia, the first stop had been right back to their gracious host's beachside buffet to douse the fluttery feeling in his stomach. Then he'd struck out in the opposite direction of the resort, seeing what the other side of the beach had to offer.

For a while there wasn't anything interesting. He wandered down the stretch of sand, poking through beach grass and surf. Any material he thought about gathering, like calcite or bits of bones, were much too small to be useful in anything. His solo exploration was beginning to look like just a long walk on the beach. It gave him time to think about things he hadn't really had much time to ponder before, like what would happen after. Way after, when everything was put back to normal in the worlds. Would he even remember everyone he fought together with? If he did, would they ever be able to see each other again? ...not really vacation topics, he thought to himself. The Ace Cadet decided that he didn't want to think about any of those things just then, so he focused on the feeling of the slight breeze and the sun overhead instead.

Slowly the shore began to curve, and the smooth sand gradually became coarse with bits of shells mixed in. Just when the Cadet considered turning back around, something a little further ahead caught his eye. It looked like a row of large shells, aligned like a fence where the beach curved. It was a poor barrier, so the hunter figured it was some kind of property marker considering that someone must have arranged them like that. Finally, there was something! Well I've come this far, might as well check it out!

As the Cadet got closer he saw that there were several more shells, extending the makeshift fence quite a ways. There was a gap in the partition more than big enough for a person to move through, and on the other side of the shells was a little patch of beach. A patch completely infested with crabs.

Little crabs, suspicious crabs, and hermits in the large, medium, and small varieties. It made sense given they were at the ocean and all, but the Cadet hadn't seen quite so many all in one place. He wondered if this was where Karin had sourced some of the buffet's seafood from. There was something else on the beach too, something big. Without hesitation he strode further in, watching the smaller crabs scuttle away from his steps. The larger ones didn't seem aggressive, but they also stood their ground and foamed at the mouth if he got too close. As he walked, it quickly became apparent just what the "something big" was.

There, on the far side of the area resting just out of reach of the tide, was a huge crustacean that rivaled the carapaceons of the Cadet's own world. It was an unappealing green color, with large eyes that seemed to notice the Cadet right away. It stretched out a massive claw towards him, and the hunter tensed in preparation for an escape. He'd left all of his equipment back at the Kanzuki Estate after all. However the big crab didn't move from it's spot. Maybe that shell was too heavy for it? Actually the Cadet didn't see any of the creature's legs, only it's forelimbs. It waved saids claw back and forth before giving up with a huff. Then it opened it's very un-crablike mouth and let out a few guttural words.

"Hey. This Nipper's beach."

The Cadet blinked, not expecting to hear speech from the giant crab. It talked! ...wait, why am I surprised about that? Lots of animals talk here. When the hunter didn't immediately answer 'Nipper' narrowed his eyes, but the Cadet held his palms up to dissuade the crab from trying anything.

"Private property I guess?" he asked. Was he about to let himself be kicked out of the area by this guy?

"Yeah. Nipper's sand, Nipper's trees, Nipper's mini-nippers. No one find nothing on Nipper's beach without Nipper's help."

Oh, that didn't sound like he was being shooed away. In fact it almost seemed the opposite. The Ace Cadet glanced around again, because as far as he could see the only thing that was actually here was a motherload of future shellfish dinners. "What do people even come looking for here, buried treasure or something?" he joked.

"Yep."

"Heheh... wait, really? I was just Kirin around, but there's actually treasure here..!?"

"Yep." Nipped looked smug as he answered, proudly drawing himself up as tall as he could while bound to the shell. "But no one know where it is. Only Nipper can help find."

It looked like things were taking a promising turn! Glad that the walk hadn't been a waste, a smile found it's way to the Cadet's face and he asked, "And you help anyone find it?" To which Nipper looked down at him and bluntly replied, "Not for free."

Right... of course not, the Cadet thought. He scratched the back of his head. "I'm kinda all out of zenny right now." And I'm definitely not asking Ms. Peach for money to give to a carapaceon. "But there's a pretty sea-weet spread of food a little ways back, I could bring some to you if you're hungry...?"

Nipper harrumphed. "Bring food. Also bring offering!" He waved the Cadet off with one claw, leaving the hunter at a loss. An offering of what? What the heck would a crab like? He turned back anyway, retracing his route.

When he got back, he noticed that the group was a bit different. He vaguely remembered Geralt and his... wife? arriving shortly before he'd left. He should really introduce himself, but they were relaxing so maybe later. At the buffet was a trio of girls he did not recognize at all, but though rowdy no one else seemed to mind them, so the Cadet let them be - and thought again about introductions. Lastly, he noticed that Ms. Fortune was not where he'd last seen her. She and a couple of other Seekers were nowhere to be found. Another outing perhaps. The Cadet swallowed his disappointment about missing another adventure and made his way over to where he'd left his belongings. This treasure better be worth it!

He slung his bag over his back, figuring he could hopefully find something in it to give to Nipper. He had no clue what the big creature would like, but he did know what he was unwilling to part with. That only left a few options. Once the buffet was free he visited it for the third time that day, wrapping some food to go and shoving it in his pack. He took another skewer for himself, munching on it as he waved to the other Seekers before heading right back to crab beach.

Somehow there were even more crabs loitering around than before. Nipper was right where the Ace Cadet had left him, and so he wasted no time jogging over and presenting the food. Nipper plucked everything out of the hunter's hands and shoveled it into his mouth and the smaller crustaceans rushed beneath him to pick up any dropped morsels. The whole affair took only moments, and then Nipper held out his claw again.

"Okay, what else you have."

"Well..." The Cadet shuffled through his bag. He always had a mental count of what he had on him, but that was back in his own world. Running around with so many unfamiliar items threw off his record. Currently he had his coatings and other vials of useful potions and such, the alchemy barrel in it's miniaturized state, a bunch of materials he wanted to try getting some use out of... There was only one thing that he was really willing to part with, and he pulled it out almost sheepishly.

Nipper stared at the hat, and then made a gurgling noise. It was an uncomfortable sound, but it seemed to be... laughter?

"Look like dumb Snacker," Nipper said in between gurgling giggles. "That funny. Me take."

The Cadet was surprised that had worked, but hey - never look a gift Kirin in the mouth. He handed the knit hat over and Nipper placed it on one of his eye stalks. He broke into another fit of strange laughter. At least he was in a good mood.

"Uh, glad you like it! So, how do we find the treasure?"

"That easy. Me point, you dig, we find."

That easy huh? The Cadet placed his hands on his hips and surveyed the beach. His new friend watched curiously as the hunter spotted something in the shallow water and went to retrieve it. He returned quickly with a decently sized shell in hand to use as a makeshift shovel. "Okay. Let's get started!"

Nipper raised his claw and extended it as far as it would go to his right, dropping the tip down into the sand and tapping a few times. Obediently the Cadet started to dig. And dig. The whole got a few feet deep with no treasure to be found. Small crustaceans jumped in to relish the cooler sand, digging themselves little hovels while the Cadet worked. After a little while the Cadet poked his head out of the hole. "There's nothing here."

"Hmph... Nipper remember that it actually over here." He pointed to another spot about two meters away, so the Cadet made another hole. Again, he found nothing.

"Uh, Nipper...?"

"Hold on, Nipper think." He snapped his claws open and closed a couple of times. "Okay, it actually here."

This scene continued for a long time, until the monster hunter had dug about dozen holes and still had nothing to show for it - besides providing a cozy spot for the various crabs in the area. The thought that this could all be some kind of trick did cross the Cadet's mind. Potential prey not willing to get too close to those claws, so they tire him out by having him dig for treasure, then when he's exhausted the little crabs move in for a feast... but he tried to be optimistic. Maybe Nipper was just forgetful. Hopefully he hadn't forgotten if there was actually anything buried in the area or not. The more he thought about it, the heavier his limbs became. Who knew how many holes he'd dug by now, and there was still no sign of anything! The Cadet crawled out of his current hole and fell back onto caboose, his arms resting over his knees and his head hanging between them. He was panting to catch his breath, the sun combined with the labor finally catching up to him. In fact he was starting to resemble a crab himself, with his skin sporting the tell tale signs of sunburn. Hopefully Blazermate could take care of that, as his own potions wouldn't be able to. Healing the burn wasn't at the forefront of the Cadet's mind though. He snapped his head up and looked at Nipper with suspicion.

"Have you been feeding me a load of Bulldrome this whole time? There's no treasure here, is there?"

"Nipper not liar!" The crustacean replied indignantly. "Just keep digging where Nipper say. Treasure... is... definitely there."

"You just hesitated! Plus I've been digging for like two hours!"

Clunk. The noise came from the hole the Cadet had just dug. The red head looked down to find that a few of the smaller crabs had jumped in and tried digging deeper into the cool sand, only to be blocked by something buried a bit deeper. He looked up a Nipper, only a little irritated to see that the giant crab looked completely shocked at this development. To Nipper's credit, he recovered pretty quickly. "See? Nipper told you! Hurry and pull it up!"

The Cadet obliged, pushing himself back into the hole and unearthing a bonafide treasure chest.

The unexpected success brought some of the Cadet's strength back, and with a celebratory whoop he hauled the chest out of the pit. Getting by lock that had been weathered by sand for who knew how long was as simple as just ripping the chest open. The interior wasn't filled to the brim with jewels and gold coins like the Cadet had hoped it would be - in fact there was plenty of room inside the chest, with only a few assorted items inside. No, that wasn't exactly right... though hard to spot at first glance, the spoils were sitting atop a shallow bed of pearls.

The largest item inside was a shell with black mesh covering it's opening. When the Cadet picked it up, music started to play. It was a charming find. The other items were smaller: including two pieces of shell jewelry (though one of them seemed too small to be a necklace and too big to be a bracelet, for humans anyway) and a decorated cowry.

"Nipper right all along. Show Nipper what inside, me take finder fee."

The Cadet rolled his eyes, barely stopping himself from telling Nipper that actually he'd barely helped at all. Still, it was the crustacean's beach and all. The hunter tipped the chest toward Nipper so that he could see into it better.

"Ooooh, this one." He dipped his claw into the chest gingerly. When he withdrew it, the last item inside - a silver crown - hung from the tip. It was human-sized and looked a little ridiculous perched on top of one of Nipper's eye stalks opposite the sharq hat, but the crab seemed quite pleased with it all the same.

"Good job human. You leave Nipper's beach now."

The Cadet balked. "Now you're kicking me out, after working me to the Radobone?"

"You got treasure, what else you want from Nipper?"

Can't argue with that. The Cadet returned all the items to their place in the chest, save the music player. He carried that under one arm and the chest under the other. "It only took forever, but we did find it - so, thanks!"

"...bring more stuff to Nipper next time and find more."

"You are such a liar!"
So it was that the Ace Cadet eventually made it back to the Kanzuki Estate's beach, sore and sunburned, but with a small amount of valuables. He had no clue if any of the items did anything besides look pretty, but even then they could be sold and help fund the Seekers. Besides ingredients for crafting, at the very least the Cadet could buy himself a couple of outfits and not have to rely on the charity of others to do it. He wasn't too prideful to accept that kind of generosity, but it'd get pretty embarrassing quickly.

The Cadet deposited the chest on the beach, intending to let anyone who wanted to have at it. He put the speaker nearby, from which a tune began to play. It drowned out the soft music of the nearby resort, unintentionally lending a soundtrack to the fight that had broken out. And Sakura was back! The Cadet all but abandoned his finds to get closer to the action.

"Whoa, what's going on?" he asked the onlookers. Obviously it wasn't something serious, or else he would have expected Geralt and Bowser to jump in and help. An exhibition match maybe? Sakura was a fighter back in her own world wasn't she? Though a little lost, there was only one thing to reasonably do in this situation. Cheer! "Go Sakura!"
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Archmage MC
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Archmage MC

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Level 10 Blazermate - (81/100) - 1 stored level up
Level 1 Susie - (3/10)
Limsa
Words: Less than 750


Blazermate liked this 'Rubick' character, as he called himself. He had a bit of a stage presence to him, which was always enjoyable. Susie meanwhile couldn't figure out just what this guy was or why this 'Blazermate' would just go up and speak to him. That thought would soon be sated though as Rubick mentioned the Seekers, which Blazermate nodded to. "Thats right! I heard from the people around that you were looking for us? Any reason? I know we're a bit famous at the moment, but it can't be just that right?" Susie gave a polite bow to Rubick, but let Blazermate speak since she seemed to be doing that for her and there wasn't anything Susie disliked about that.

After Rubick confirmed that and eased Blazermate's suspicion, Blazermate clapped her hands together, a metal 'CLANG' coming from them. "Right! So, I'll take you to where we're gathering, if your going to help us. Can't hurt to have more people!" Blazermate then looked to Susie who shrugged, and Blazermate guided both the grand magus and the pink CEO to where the rest of the party should be on the south beach. Boy were they both going to get quite a shock when they saw Bowser and his family! Those three were at least easier to see than Sakura, Link, or Nadia... Blazermate had no idea where the latter had gone after they split up.

==============================================================



Level 8 Sectonia (holding 2 level up) - (70/80)
Location: Fight Aftermath
Word Count: under 750


Sectonia could only laugh as the large creature, trapped as it was and at the mercy of her and her minions. Seeing as it was so injured, the combined attacks of everyone had the creature let loose its final roar before it perished, letting loose its cleansing wave and turning into a spirit. But then came the point that they had all discussed, something that no one was really willing to do, absorbing the spirit of this creature. What was surprising was that, in the end, no one would be absorbing it with the joker kid, now free, decided to do some wonky card thing and... absorbed the spirit that way? Strange. Sectonia made note of that, but she also made note that they might have to fight this thing again at some point...

It was around here, with everyone calming down and the adrenaline of the fight starting to ebb away that it was noticeably hot, extremely so for those who still had their winter gear on. Poppi swapped on her cooling core, which a few of the group started to gather around seeing the temperature was getting to them. Sectiona helped with the heat issue herself by summoning her ice antillions, 4 in total. Sectonia grabbed and used one herself as a fan, while the other three moved about cooling whoever was nearby at the queen's orders.

Seeing as the cyborg ninja, whom had taken a bit to catch up with the group, was no under the spell of Galeem, Midna decided to introduce herself and explained what this world was to the no longer galeem'd Raiden. Sectonia had already introduced herself prior to Raiden, so she waited for Midna to finish what she was talking about before saying. "Another powerful minion for the group. Its a shame that boss spirit was so... ugly. Perhaps next time we find some spirits there should be rewards for all for such a battle." So far all of the 'boss' spirits she had seen had been fairly lackluster when it came to beauty or power, especially this one. Sure it took quite a beating, but that was probably more to do with its size than anything.

Seeing as Midna referred to their other team, Sectonia added. "They appear to be doing fine, otherwise that blue robed mage of theirs would have called me. Although what they are dealing with I could only guess." She turned to Raiden, adressing the cyborg ninja, although her words were meant for everyone at large. "Seeing how... messy that battle was, once we get back to town everyone will need to get cleaned up. And beautified, but that was a given." She said, giving a soft laugh.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Majoras End
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Majoras End Oyasumi~

Member Seen 0-12 hrs ago


Level: 2
Experience: 13/20
Currently In: Frozen Highlands, Snowy Forest
Word Count: 613 (+1 Exp)
Albedo @Lugubrious, Linkle @Gentlemanvaultboy, ??? @XoXKieroBombXoX

In the end, there wasn't much to go off of if Frisk wanted to better their magical prowess. They did keep some things mentioned in mind, but all they could do is trust Tatiana's advice and have faith. Linkle grabbed her sled, and once the youth took their seat again, the trio set of once more. Their trek returned to the silence of the woods. Though it was natural for Frisk to be a bit quiet. They were simply taking in their surrounding in a steady train of thought. Though such silence was broken when the Skullgirl expressed her concerns.

"Hm?" Frisk head lifted up to look at her as Linkle asked. It took them a moment to realize what she was refering to. Or rather, something cross their mind. Their face contorted in dread. "I forgot you're technically undead!" They exclamed, shaking their head. "Whatever, even if he was suspecting something, we left before he can act on it. I'm not sure if I could convince him to spare you..." Or anyone else in that group, in fact. Frisk frowned. They really needed to get stronger.

But something else was bothering the older girl. She started to appear anxious, as if she expected someone, something was following them. The child's frown turned concerned. "Is everything alright...?" They softly asked her. But Linkle shrugged the feeling off, asking if either they or Albedo could talk about something. Anything. Well, if it makes her feel less scared.

"Back home, my home, humans and monsters used to live together above ground. So you weren't completely wrong with that. But at one point, a war broke out between the two races. Humans won, and monsters were banished underground. Only the power of seven human souls could break the barrier that separated them from the outside world." They told a story. "But that was a long time ago. Back before I was born. But I wasn't the first to fall underground. Just the first to survive through abnormal means." Frisk shrugged. They continued on, telling tales about their time there. What they've seen and experienced. What they learned, and about the rest of their friends. However long it took for Linkle to calm down.

Though it might take a bit to explain how Mettaton worked.

Eventually the forest dissapeared behind them, revealing a river squeezed in between a gulch. Weird snow piles began to pop up too. Weird enough that Albedo started taking some down. To scare away attackers? Whatever it was, tensions rose until something finally showed it's face. And it was-!

A snowman.

Cubeman? Squareman?

Frisk tilted their head in confusion. They knew a snowman, but never saw one shaped like this. Oh, there was more of 'em. Albedo didn't buy into the underwhelming surprise. And once he cut down the decoy, THEN the real enemies charged forward. Once the kid's soul answered the call to battle, they quickly took to the evasive. Dodge roll here, slide there, any of the smaller snowmen that tried to approach them they'd kick away with some remorse, though that's only if they're lucky to slip by the other two.

"Got it!" Once Linkle called out that they could borrow something from the sled, Frisk made their way back over and quickly looked for anything of use. A snowball whizzed over their head, reminding them to duck. And once something caught their eye, they immediately grabbed it. A gun...sword? Gunsword. Well, they couldn't say they weren't experience in weapons. This'll have to do! They knocked a few snowballs out of the way with the face of the blade, and fired a few test shots at their adversaries as coverfire.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by XoXKieroBombXoX
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XoXKieroBombXoX Entering my Redemption Arc

Member Seen 19 days ago



Level 1-


|||||||||| (5/10)
Word Count: 1315
+3EXP
Frozen Highlands - Snowy Forest

Malaise Counter:
////////// (1/10)








Slinking across the shadows of the snowy woods was where the Prisoner was sure he was the safest from the sights of the company of three, however, he couldn't help but have a gut wrenching feeling that they had assumed he were following them. Realistically, he was never a body of stealth, as his entire gimmick was crawling inside of headless corpses to deal with his immobility as a mass of flesh-crawling disease. Surely, he had to have stepped on a branch or two, or dashed slightly just out of the shadows, making him visible... However, none of that seemed right. One of them knows he's there, The Prisoner doesn't know how, but the small, Elven looking girl looked as if she knew about him before the other two did.

Dashing from tree to tree, The Prisoner tried to keep his wits about him regardless if his "spy mission" was foiled or not as he continued to leap to the best of his abilities through the wild brush. Hey! This was actually kinda fun! Without the constant imminent threat of forcing to revive, The Prisoner was actually able to enjoy himself as he leaped peacefully through the decaying tree of cold. Snow was... pretty nice! Watching as the snowflakes fell peacefully between the pines, The Prisoner had nearly forgotten he was following a small gang of three from their flank. As the elven lady spoke to his amidst the clearing to her companions, the Prisoner's worst fears were realized. Somehow, he knew that she knew that he was there. Was it intuition? Mostly. But her glanced behind and around her were key enough to clue in his guess.

Suddenly, to the Prisoner's luck, another unfortunate event took place. As he was getting into the mojo of swinging through and about trees and bushes, there became a very obvious lack of trees in the near future. Not noticing this, The Prisoner slipped a few steps out before quickly tucking his tail between his legs and hiding between a tree and a bush, which provided his rotting body just enough coverage to peak around and scope the new surroundings.

For one thing, the clearing had opened up much wider into an entire section for the crew to explore, snow padding across still as far as the eye can see. Picking at his pockets and dangling accessories, he pulled out his bow and kept an arrow knocked just for good measure. There were icy rivers as well, sure to turn The Prisoner into an undead popsicle if he slipped downward. He watched the waves of the hill change up and down as snow layered each and every new spectacle the Prisoner saw. He was about ready to pop from excitement purely from just the new scenery. He shook his thoughts from his empty head as he considered the next step of exploring the snowy landscape. That was until, he realized he had completely lost the crew of three from eye sight.

Now having lost his impromptu guide, he cusped his hands together, temporarily setting the bow and arrow to his side to form a pair of fake binoculars so that he could search for them. It seems in his gallivanting in the snow, he had ended up a few paces away from where they were. They had only been a decent few meters away, as the funnel that the pathway they good opened up to had diverged the tree path The Prisoner had taken. He watched as they set a sled down and began talking about the oddly shaped square snowmen who had seemed to make themselves comfortable in the area, along with many other snowy fiends, along with the larger snowman who looked crooked as all get out.

It seemed, despite his attempts at keeping a close perimeter checked, one of the smaller snowmen donning an icy crown had discovered where he had been hiding. Hearing the noise of approaching snow shuffling The Prisoner quickly grabbed the bow and arrow, quickly bringing the weapon to the middle of the small creatures eyes. Ready to release, The Prisoner kept a dead stance and "stoic" expression as it suddenly stood dead in its tracks, seemingly quaking in fear. In it's defense, the Prisoner was nearly double it's height, and also threatened it's very livelihood, so he naturally felt bad. Relaxing his aim, he took one hand off the bow and arrow to pat the creature on it's sort-of shoulder. "Sorry little fella. Didn't mean to 'shpook' ya." He said purposefully making the spook sound silly, as if attempting to comfort the little snowman.

Letting down his guard for this seemingly innocent creature was a poor idea, because as soon as he stood to watch over the three again, the small snowman rammed right into him, definitely freezing part of his already frozen, undead leg. Feeling the pain of sudden frost-inflicted damage, and as a result, the Prisoner became upset, quickly loosing his cool. "Oh! You slippery little..." He'd provide a swift kick directly to the main segment of the snowman, shoving him back a few feet. "Bitch!" He growled in unison with the attack. He then quickly pulled his bow's string back, arrow in formation to pierce the poor creature directly between the eyes as he had originally intended to hit.

Sighing in frustration, the Prisoner realized the issue with this serious of attacks. First, he had kicked the small snowman back far enough for the small group to see. Second the thud of the impact the snowman made was loud enough any skilled hunter could hear it. Third: The whistling sound of his air flying through the air is surely a familiar sound to these travelers. Surely, he had been found out now, not to mention his foul tongue which scolded the snowman was certainly in earshot.

They definitely knew they were being followed.

The three had found themselves in a fire-match with the snowball slinging snowmen being the primary threats. As they battled their way out of the icy threats, The Prisoner couldn't help but feel an odd sense of guilt. While they were out there dealing with monsters, he was too busy twiddling his thumbs thinking of ways to mask up the obvious sounds of a stalker.

Then it came to him. An idea to both temporarily mask himself and provide cover fire for the crew. Taking his Balanced blade out from the sheath adorned on his back, he used it to barbarically climb up a tree without any actual tools. Masterfully balancing himself atop the cold branches, he took aim with his bow and arrows, sniping out some of he slowly encroaching enemies as both the elven lady and blonde, robed boy clearly took interest in the big bad of the area. Apparently the child had a gun as well. Hm. He didn't like that. He didn't know why, but some part of his brain told him that kids and guns do not mix well together.

As they fired the gun, he took it upon himself to talk to them. "Hey, uh, kid. Up here, weird guy with the misty head and rotting corpse. Yep." Said an ethereal voice shrouded by the branches of trees, still sniping enemies with his bow as he acknowledged Frisk, watching them through his peripherals. "Do you know how to use that thing? Cuz if not, I'd advise against it, m'kay? Thing doesn't look very lightweight." He said, masking the idea of not liking a kid with a gun. "I mean, hey, don't let the random stranger in the tree tell you what to do, just giving you some advise." He shrugged.

He'd continue his long distance work, trying to knock out enemies one by one, hoping he could, at the very least, establish some friendly barriers between the two. It wasn't much, but hey, cover fire is cover fire.



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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

Member Seen 4 hrs ago


The Koopa Troop

wordcount: 902 (2+)
Bowser: Level 10 EXP: //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (221/100)
Bowser Jr: Level 9 EXP: ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (194/90)
Kamek: Level 10 EXP: ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////(121/100)
Location: Limsa Lominscuttle Town - Kanzuki Beach
Feat: Rika


When Kamek and Rika returned they found the beginnings of a fight brewing on the beach.

They also found Bowser, jr and jr’s new friend Lana besides a pretty intricate sandy tableau that had been made before the sandcastle building had been interrupted by their schoolgirl friend's incessant need to throwdown had interrupted it. As it turned out that both the kids had a knack for sandcastle building, Lana from having spent many a day at the beach on her tropical island home, while the jr was mostly applying the level building chops he’d learned from his dad in miniature (alongside getting a few pointers from the king as well).

In the end Bowser jr had erected a dread-fortresses of sand, one covered in spikes, traps and koopa troop iconography. The only thing it really lacked when compared to the real thing was lava moats, and he had been banned from trying to fill ditches with ever-burning fire the moment he had mentioned the idea.

Lana meanwhile had made a remarkably intricate depiction of her home island of Akala. Said island was presently depicted as being under assault from armies of crude sand koopas coming from the castle opposite it. They were squaring up against much more impressive sand pokemon sculptures Lana had made to protect her lands.

The mock battle had come to an abrupt end when Sakura had arrived and challenged their host Karin to a real battle, only to instead wind up fighting her bodyguard Birdie instead in a riveting battle of brawn vs blitz fighting techniques.

As the two streetfighters squared up, the two ladies plopped themselves down alongside the group, Rika introducing herself to Lana an marvaling about the kid’s sandcastle craftsmanship, while Kamek attempted to inform Bowser of their new discovery.

”Wonderful news sire, I, or rather we, have discovered a new way to control the fusion process, the ah, Snaktivator!” she announced rather proudly as she presented the king with the funny little device she had gotten from Floofty a few minutes ago.

”Oh ok cool, what’s that do?” the king replied, not really paying attention, before loudly hollering ”GO SAKURA! PUNCH HIS FACE OFF!” at the skirmishing street-fighter.

”Ah well it... It lets you make it so only a specific part of a person is affected by the spirit” she explained. Then waited for a moment, and recognized that her king was much too distracted by the ongoing fight to take interest in this ”Perhaps a demonstration would be of help? One moment, I shall acquire a spirit from some hostile creature. Hmmm. Ah there will do”

She whirled her wand and suddenly vanished, which when it sank in with the rest of the group what she was doing and where she might have gone, caused a moment of alarm and concern. Fortunately that ended a second later when she reappeared and said ”On second thought, perhaps going off into danger on my own is not the best idea… oh wait. We already have some saved. Silly me. One moment” before vanishing again.

She reappeared a few more moments later with a jar holding an assortment of spirits that had been gathered up during their last little trip through the weald and then left in their room at peach’s castle to be used later.

”Oh hey. I forgot you got those… anything good in there?” Jr asked, peering at the jar’s contents.

”Well I got this little number” Kamek replied, picking up the green aquatic lizard known as a tonberry from the little collection, but added that ”Unfortunately I intended to use this one to acquire some of my old proportions back, so it is not suitable for the current demonstration”

She set that aside and then tipped the rest out onto the beach to give them all a look.

”Is this a penguin? Jr asked, picking up the spirit of what did indeed look like a penguin until you noticed the eldrich differences. ”Why did you keep this one around?” he asked mockingly.

”You would be surprised, that thing was leaping all over the place ripping things apart with its beak. I’m rather glad it got overwhelmed before we had to deal with it” Kamek replied, before she picking up the spirit of a Land Dreugh and suggesting ”Here sire, maybe this one will suit you?”

The king peered at it and grimaced and replied ”That ugly thing? Urgh, no thanks. I’m already messed up as it is Kamek”

”Ah, but that is the genius of this device. With it we can control the transformation. Limit it to just a small area” Kamek explained, before adding ”I think” quietly.

”Huh. Neat” Jr said (to which the others nodded in agreement) now looking at the device with interest, before looking over at where his newest pokemon was bathing in the sun and saying ”Dazzle, come over here, I wanna try something”

With that, the science/demonstration began, with the Land_Dreugh being absorbed into Bowser and then the Snaktivator on his right shoulder, the Dire Penguin being used on Popplio and then the device being used more extensively on his arms/flippers and finally Kamek just used the Tonberry on herself without the device (all of these where chest/power absorption).

That round of experimentation left only a set of Ocean Crawlers, a zombie dolphin and a spare Dire penguin or two for any further experiments in targeted mutations. Or just crushing.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Zoey Boey
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Zoey Boey LIVE FROM TIMBER HEARTH

Member Seen 8 hrs ago


Sakura Level 7: 67/70
Karin Level 2: 1/20
Location: Kanzuki Beach
Word Count: 1500~
Points Gained: 3
New EXP Balance--- Sakura Level 7: 70/70 Level UP!
Karin Level 2: 4/20
Level UP!


The next round had begun, and Sakura was taking on Birdie once again. The two of them were impressive in equal but separate ways. Sakura was no slouch when it came to physical strength, able to hit and carry far about her weight class would suggest, as all street fighters can. But Birdie could throw his weight around and overpower just about anyone if he timed it right. And that chain gave him the reach advantage. But despite his longer limbs and greater height, in many cases it seemed like they were just about equal in range. Sakura was a master of step kicks and spin kicks, and they were faster than Birdie’s heavier limbs. But it couldn’t be said that Birdie had no tricks up his figurative sleeves. At some point, much to Karin’s delight, a banana peel ended up underneath Sakura’s heel and she slipped, arms flailing.

And while he hit harder than her, she had more damage output. He brought his massive arms down on her but she sidestepped, and powerfully roundhouse kicked his whiffing arms in his elbows, knocking them so far to the side he almost had his back to her. She dove in and drove into his stomach with her knee, knocking him clean off his feet. Before he could even hit the ground, she struck him again with her uppercut, easily launching his massive figure even high into the air.

“Wanker!” He swore.

”Wha-” Sakura stopped, baffled. ”What did you just call me?”

Birdie rose to his feet, getting out a comb to straighten up his finely maintained blonde mohawk. “You’re messin’ up my hair!”

"Unsportsmanlike, Sakura. Minus points." Karin said, and Ishizaki wrote something down, barely suppressing a laugh.

”What! His hair’s fine!” Sakura protested. ”It looks the same!” She crossed her arms again, pouting, but also smiling a little at the same time. Like she just got the joke.

”Yeah. Yeah, okay. Ha ha. Real funny. Why do you have to give me such a hard time, Karin?”

"Because, you’ve lost my respect. I suggest you take this endeavor more seriously, Sakura. You’re fighting for our friendship, after all." Karin said with the casual nature of a coiled snake.

Sakura tensed up and clenched her fists. A ray of sunlight passed over her eyes like the reflection of a blade being drawn from its sheath as she refocused on her current opponent, Birdie. To be honest, she had completely forgotten about her initial objective to free Karin from Galeem’s curse. She might as well be back on Earth- and her focus was all the better for it. Nothing in the world existed except winning these fights.

Birdie froze up under Sakura’s glare, his hair mid combing. “Oi. Oi oi oi. Now why’d you have to go and say somethin’ like THAT, Kanzuki?”

"Because a Kanzuki is always honest!"

“Didja have to be that honest?!”

”Look at me, Birdie-san!” Sakura said, and he did. ”I’m your opponent. Don’t hesitate, and don’t hold back. I have to know I’m strong enough.”

“...Okay, girlie. Don’t power up on me too hard here, I’m just-”

”Come on! I’d do it if I were you!” Sakura slammed her fist into her palm.

“Fine! Here we go then!” Birdie reached into his interminable back pocket and produced a whole chili pepper. He downed the whole thing in one bite. With a gleeful cackle, flames spouted out of his mouth.

Sakura, though had the advantage of being cheered on by basically everyone on the beach except Karin. She gave a brief nod and a smile back to the newly arrived Cadet, before refocusing on the action.

Birdie unfurled part of the chain around his arm with renewed vigor and power, and began swinging it with wild technique towards Sakura. She ducked under one swipe and cartwheeled backward over another.

“Not bad!” Birdie brought it around again. It scraped off of Sakura’s raised fore arm with mighty impact. He brought it back around and wrapped it around her ankle, yanking her towards him feet first. ”Oops!”

He stomped on her chest, and was she put into the sand before bouncing out with a yellow flash of energy. As he raised his leg again, she met his foot with both of hers, pushing on the bottom of his shoes until he was clear in the air. He back flipped mid air and landed easily on his feet. Demonstrating impressive agility for his size and build, just as she demonstrated impressive strength for her size and build.

As she popped up to her feet, a little breathless, she rushed forward only to slip and fall on a beer can that had rolled its way towards her. It, somehow, had rolled under the shallow water itself, making it nearly invisible to Sakura.

Sakura growled out a laugh, and Birdie came storming towards her again, whipping out her chain towards her prone form. She rolled to the side of a vertical slash. With a whipping of his hands, the chain sliced through the surf to get at her, but Sakura, only her hands and toes touching the beach, pushed herself up into the air for a fraction of the second so the chain went underneath her. Landing smoothly on the beach she popped herself back onto her feet as she is so prone to do.

Before the next chain attack could even begin, Sakura jumped fifteen feet into the air, front flipping towards Birdie. He swung nonetheless, catching nothing but the space she was just in. Wham, wham, wham, wham! Sakura executed her powerful combo as she had practiced tens of thousands of times before.

The fight was an entirely bloodless affair. Of course, some of the attacks were winceworthy in their power and precision. They were trying to hurt each other of course, but there would be no injuries here. Both fighters would be just fine by the end of this bout.

After a resounding combo, Birdie lumbered to his feet and swung again at Sakura, but before he knew it she was over his shoulders and stomping on the back of his head. Both fighters became separated by distance again from the pushback of the strike.

Both fighters paused, turning to face each other. Birdie rubbed the back of his head, and Sakura bounced from antsy foot to foot. At that moment Sakura knew something that Birdie didn’t: she was about to win.

Blue fire burst from her hands and she followed in its wake. Birdie swung his chain and knocked the fireball aside. He brought it around for another swing and she ducked cleanly underneath it, still advancing. He rolled another surprisingly tough beer can towards her feet through the water itself. But Sakura planted her foot in the ground and soccer ball kicked it to donk soundly in his forehead. She span and launched a precision fireball right into his knee, causing him to drop into a kneel. Grinning, she dove towards him, hopped up onto his raised knee. They made brief eye contact. ”This oughta finish you!”

Balancing on his knee cap, Sakura exploded into a spinning blue razor blade, one foot extended outward. Birdie’s bearded chin snapped backwards again and again and again. ”UOOOOOOH! BUH-BYE!” In a split second she shot her leg upward, her foot moving well past her head and hanging over her shoulder as she back flipped and landed on her feet.

Birdie soared through the air. “Oh, bugger off!” He said, before face planting in the surf. Sakura laughed loudly and pumped her fists up and down repeatedly, before just jumping joyously in the air a few times.

”Did you see that?!” She shouted to her friends on the beach. She glanced over at Birdie. ”Better luck next time, Birdie. You’re pretty good! Maybe you should-” Birdied waved off any further suggestions, still laying down. Sakura shrugged.

Karin clapped her hands."Sakura wins! Congratulations." Sakura bowed.

"You lose, Birdie.” Karin said.

Birdie, face down on the beach, grumbled. “Yeah, I noticed.”

The idea of giving Birdie a Friend Heart slipped Sakura’s mind. She had too much momentum to stop now. She barely had the energy to acknowledge people on the beach, though she did notice Rika, Junior had joined the party again. Karin’s golden-red eyes were laser focused on Sakura. "I suppose you’ll be wanting that rematch after I trounced you and you disgraced yourself."

Sakura swallowed dryly, walking up onto the beach itself. ”Yep.”

"You have my permission to lose this fight. But not to disappoint me." Karin said, the implication clear. Sakura breached the trust of the fight. Repeating such an infraction would be unacceptable. Sakura nodded solemnly.

Sakura glanced around to her friends on the beach. ”Just leave this to me guys. No matter what happens. Okay?” Hopefully they got the message. Sakura wanted to win. She had to beat Karin fair and square. Galeem’s influence or not.

Karin narrowed her eyes, looking Sakura over. "First to two rounds. Ishizaki-san, you shall be the referee.”

Ishizaki punched his palm. “Yattaze! You got it, little lady! Best of two rounds! On my mark! You ready?”

Sakura slapped the sides of her head. Karin brushed her coils of blonde hair over her shoulder. Birdie buggered off to find something to eat.

“Steady..!”

Sakura clenched her fists and put her best foot forward. Karin flattened out her palms, pointed one arm forward, one arm backwards, and kept her elbows close to her body.

“Go for it, man!”

And they did! Sakura was going to wrap this up in time for lunch! She wanted to catch up with her friends again, too.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Zoey Boey
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Zoey Boey LIVE FROM TIMBER HEARTH

Member Seen 8 hrs ago


Level 5: 43/50
Word Count: 419
Location: Sandswept Sky
Points Gained: 1+30
NEW EXP balance--- Level 6: 23/60


Jesse slammed the massive fire flash into the creature, her attack just one of many among the Seekers. In order to escape the searing heat and fall damage, she zipped to the side at the last moment using Evade, canceling out any damage she might have taken.

It was increasingly clear that despite everything, the day was won. Sitting on the ground, Jesse watched as the calculations were made in regards to absorbing the boss’s spirit. Gee, thanks for the help, Ramlethal. Whatever, guess she wasn’t getting paid to actually do the giant monster fighting. Fortunately, Joker had a trump card, as it were. That seemed to be the best possible scenario.

Jesse put a hand to her head and realized she was burning up. “Shit. I need a drink. A cold one.” She stood up and took off her winter jacket and a couple of her other layers until she was just in a tank top, her jacket tied around her waist. Her frugal nature demanded she shrink her winter jacket and tuck it away with the rest of her supplies in her pouch. With her jacket taken off one could see the holster for the Tool Gun, the odd pistol Jesse has taken a liking to almost as much as her Service Weapon. Almost. Well, not almost. But it was still a cool weapon.

“Thanks, Poppi.” Jesse said, stretching her arms. “Shit. That was somethin’ else, alright.” She shook her head, that short little sentence the summation of her experience.

“We’ll just have to win it for ‘em.” She said, thinking about those that she had seen dead, or seen die, along the way. She sighed. “Fuck.”

With that, Jesse got to walking. Polaris shimmered, indicating her path forward.

Midna gave Raiden the low down. Good to have him on board. Gotta admit, I’m not really in the mood for talking right now. Maybe later I could get to know them some more. Like that time at the restaurant. What do you think?

Good idea, right?

I had fun then. I should take some more time off before we move on. Rest is a weapon, that’s what they say.

…Shoulda brought sun screen. You can keep the sun off me, right? After all this crazy stuff, I’d hate to die of cancer instead of being torn apart by a giant monster or a gap in reality as God intended.


A non-committal shimmer of light in her mind’s eye.

Well. That’s reassuring. Jesse thought wryly. Good old Polaris. Jesse’s guiding light.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Lugubrious
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Lugubrious Makes the big edits

Member Seen 7 hrs ago

Tora, Poppi, and Big Band

Location: Sandswept Sky
Level 9 Tora (216/90) Level 9 Poppi (216/90) Level 7 Big Band (44/70)
Midna’s @DracoLunaris, Sectonia’s @Archmage MC, Primrose and Therion’s @Yankee, Jesse’s @Zoey Boey, Raz’s @TruthHurts22, Raiden’s @XoXKieroBombXoX, the Phantom Thieves, Braum, the Scout, Peacock, Mao, Tharja, Ciella
Word Count: 1548


As weary and sore as the Seekers were, nobody planned on plumbing the depths of Hollow Heights, so they had no choice but to drag themselves up off the girders and onto terra firma once more. Part of it had bent downward but not collapsed, so after all the sand slid off into the void the team could just hike on up to the desert surface above, so long as they watched their step. The knowledge that at least part of the Sandswept Sky lay suspended on a metal floor atop untold fathoms of pitch-black space was a little disconcerting, but as long as they got away from the edge they could focus on the bigger problems at hand: the interminable vastness and untenable, searing heat of the desert itself.

Before anyone could set off anywhere they needed to cool off, at least enough to ward off heatstroke and stymie the sticky sweat that flowed so freely that it stung the eyes and made dehydration a legitimate -and dangerous- possibility. Poppi and Sectonia worked together to alleviate the heat with their elemental power. While the artificial blade channeled ether through her Ice Core to spray her Masterpon and then her allies down with frosty mist, the insect queen -as ever- deferred the work, this time to her Ice Antlions. Fox lent a hand too as best he could, calling upon Goemon to manifest chunks of ice, and Ciella certainly spared no effort cooling herself down by inundating herself in her own frigid water. Even after wriggling out of his overalls and tasting sweet relief in the nude, Tora continued to cling to his companion’s leg the whole time. “Need...cold,” he muttered over and over, his eyes shut and his mouth open as he panted. “Need…cold…meh…”

“You’re welcome!” Poppi told Jesse, smiling cheerfully. “That was certainly outrageous battle, and absurd experience, overall. All way up mountain, all way down, then all across desert. Truth be told, things turn out way better than Poppi projections indicate. So Poppi happy as clam!”

“Tora happier after ten-hour nap,” her Masterpon moaned.

Big Band let out a long, slow breath. “I’m just about played out, myself. We could all use a good, long break after all that hullabaloo. Hell, they oughta make a picture outta what we went through today. If we don’t get filthy stinkin’ rich off the movie rights, there ain’t no justice left in the world, after all.”

“Say, now there’s an idea!” his young charge grinned. “Peacock and the gang on the silver screen at last! I’d buy that for a dollar!”

Aside from the temperature problem, there was the matter of the team’s health. Nobody had escaped unscathed, with injuries ranging from bruises, sprains, and minor breaks from being thrown around on the train, to burns, shrapnel, and ruptures from Akrid attacks. After the shockwave of the armory car exploding, few people were still breathing or hearing quite right, either. Sectonia’s passive healing wasn’t going to cut it, so Mona set up triage. “If you’re hurting bad, right this way!” the little guy called. “I’ve got plenty of spirit left, so I’ll get you fixed up, lickety-split!”

“I can help!” Panther volunteered, already in the middle of tending to Skull’s bloodied arm.

The various Seekers worked their magic, endeavoring to undo all the damage inflicted by Red Eye and red-hot sun alike throughout the course of the long and hectic boss battle. Still, despite their efforts, none of their attempts to help got through to Tharja, who remained dead silent and blank-faced despite the incredible misery that clotted inside her. As the others did what they could, Midna took the opportunity to explain about the World of Light, mostly for Raiden’s sake. Her explanation ended in a mission statement, and while it was true that their campaign had a long way to go, four bosses out of thirteen was nothing to sneeze at. Nothing eased the pain of one’s trials and tribulations quite like victory, after all. Once sufficiently cooled off and patched up, some of the heroes started to walk, with Jesse leading the way. Tora and Poppi just sort of followed along, but it didn’t take long for the Nopon to think twice about the journey he was embarking on. “Hang on, meh. Where we going?”

Poppi glanced at Jesse. “She heading toward Al Mamoon,” she postulated based on the FBC director’s direction and purposeful stride.”

Tora squinted, trying to peer through the heatwaves that distorted the desert air. “That way? Tora not see anything, meh.”

“Well, it pretty far,” Poppi allowed.

“And you people okay with just walking there. Ugh.” Tora plopped down in Big Band’s shade, sitting on the ground. He had yet to put his overalls back on, so the hot sand burned his rear a little. “That crazy, meh. We sure there not better way? Maybe we could signal train!”

“Not unless there’s more tracks nearby,” Band observed. “That monster tore up the rails behind us the whole way.”

Skull patted Mona’s head, his expression hopeful. “Oh hey, maybe you could drive us there?” The little thief, however, looked profoundly unhappy about the suggestion after considering the distance, effort, and group size involved.

Having already changed back into civilian attire to prevent his black Phantom Thief outfit soaking up the sun, Joker thought about what to do. With Fox still at Tostarena to help out its citizens, he tried to put himself in the expedition leader’s shoes, thinking back to all the means of transportation the group used to cross the vast, sandy waste. He remembered Vah Naboris, the mechanical camel that ferried his team across the first third, but that immense wall of ruins had proved impassable for it. Some of the others could fly, but not enough of them to carry the rest, provided they even had the stamina for it. Joker furrowed his brow and cast his mind farther back, all the way to Alcamoth. The team had a whole city of allies out there, just waiting to lend a hand, but Vandham and the others back there didn’t even have a way to reach the Seekers, let alone the means to reach them. Or…did they?

Joker suddenly recalled Fox stepping away from the group for a moment to make contact with home base, offering status reports and requesting mercenary missions. To do so he’d summoned a cute little critter in a puff of smoke. But how? The boy didn’t remember any sort of phone, whistle, or other item. Fox had just…called out its name. Could it really be that easy?

“Moogle!” he said suddenly, drawing a couple glances.

Without a moment’s delay one such critter poofed into existence next to him, all done up in a thinning combover and a spotted red tie. “Yessir!” the moogle greeted him. “What can I do ya for, boss?”

“Oh!” Tora slapped a hand to his head. “After everything, Tora forget about that!” He glanced at Poppi, one eyebrow raised. “Wait, but what about you? Shouldn’t Poppi have perfect recall?”

The artificial blade shrugged. “Poppi thought it group leader responsibility and not pin memory data, so it slip away.”

Joker crossed his arms, his focus on the moogle. “We’ve taken down the Sandswept Sky boss, but we’re stranded in the middle of the desert, a very long way from the nearest city. While we’re okay for now, we’re pretty exhausted. Is there anything you guys can do to help? Some kind of emergency evac, perhaps?”

“Uh, maybe!” The moogle seemed optimistic. “Heard it through the grapevine we got a ship last night. Could be fixed up and ready to fly by now. Gimme a sec.” He poofed away, and a few moments passed by in relative silence, the wind blowing softly across the sand. Joker removed his glasses and wiped his brow with the back of his hand, then brushed his hair back to unstick the strands from his forehead. Band turned his back to the sun so that at least his face was in the shade, and Peacock flipped through a comic book she’d pulled from nowhere. After a minute or so the moogle returned, waving his little nubs in excitement. “Good news, pal!” he exclaimed. “I got word the ship can take off as soon as possible, and head on out to pick ya up! Here!” He tossed a device at Joker, which the teen snatched from the air. It was round, with a flashing light and not much else. “This’ll help ‘em find you. The only thing is, the ship isn’t at one hundred percent just yet, so they might end up stoppin’ over at wherever’s closest, just to make sure everything’s good to go.”

“No problem,” Joker breathed, relieved that he wouldn’t need to hotfoot it all the way back to Al Mamoon after all. By the looks of them, just about everyone else shared his elation. As the moogle disappeared again he turned to face the others. “Guess we’ll just make ourselves comfortable ‘til help arrives, then?”

The team’s mechanic had already rolled onto his back in the shade cast by Big Band, his limbs splayed across the sand. “Way ahead of you! That what Tora does best!”

Ms Fortune

Location: Deep Blue Seaside - Limsa Lominscuttle Town
Level 9 Nadia (7/90)
Word Count: 3777


“Sorry, emergency!” Nadia blurted out by way of explanation as she vaulted over the front counter to enter the Mizzenmast Inn, earning not just a shocked expression from the unsuspecting receptionist, but also a handful of curious looks from the customers of the Drowning Wench nearby. Ignoring them completely, the feral raced down the inn’s main hall, past room after room until she skidded to a stop in front of her own. Closed. No sign of a break-in. She tried the knob, her face contorted into a pre-emptive wince, only to find that it was locked, after all. The sour sense of unease in her guts wouldn’t let her leave it at that, however. Without the key, I couldn’t have locked it. So why is it?.

Behind her, the sound of footsteps got her attention. She turned to see the receptionist approaching her, his expression one of professional concern. “Ye were in a right hurry there, lass. Anythin’ amiss?” he asked, his hands clasped behind his back.

“I, uh…” Nadia made a show of patting down her shorts. “I fur-got somethin’ in my room, only to realize, uh, well, I fur-got my key in there too, heheh.”

The man gave a sympathetic nod. “Happens all the time. Just leave it to me, lass. I’ll ‘ave it open in a jiffy, or my name ain’t Ezekiel Keys.” From a pocket he produced a metal ring laden with jingling keys.

“Oh! Thanks!” Nadia flashed him a grateful smile and cleared the way. As he combed over his keyring for the correct one, something occurred to the feral, and she leaned against the nearby wall with her arms crossed. “Ya know, I’m glad you’re such a trustin’ guy. Woulda figured you’d be a li’l more reluctant to help, what with the possibility of thieves and such.”

Mr. Keys humored her with a smile. “Not exactly, lass. I just remember ye from the registry, is all.” He turned the latch and swung wide the door, then held out a hand to usher her inside. “Enjoy.”

“You’re the best!” As Mr. Keys peeled away, Nadia went inside and immediately began to scan her room for any evidence of a disturbance. At a glance, the difference between the room as she left it earlier and how it looked now was like night and day, but not in the sense that it had been ransacked. Instead, it was the picture of clean and tidy. The blankets she left in a state of incredible disarray from a night of frenzied tossing and turning were nowhere to be seen, and their spotless replacements lay as flat and serene across the bed as a sheet of fresh snow, so pristine that Nadia had to suppress the urge to throw herself down on them all over again. She also found none of her old garments or beer cans in the trash can, thankfully. A cleaner must have come in and fixed everything up earlier that afternoon, she figured. But not everything was as it should be. Sure enough, on her desk was the futuristic container she’d been given last night on that nightmarish beach, and when she popped it open, there wasn’t a coin to be found.

She’d been robbed.

“Aaaaagh!” Nadia groaned. “Dammit, I’m so stupid!” She went rigid, her hands clapped to her head in despair, then abruptly fell to pieces. As fantastic -and melancholy- as the circumstances had been in which she’d received that bounty, it hadn’t been a dream, and losing it was no joke. Especially when it came as the parting gift of her beloved Fishbone Gang, the found family she’d once lost on a night of dire consequence, and witnessed again one last time at the seam between this world and the next. Nadia wanted to bang her head against the wall; how could she let this happen to such a personal treasure!?

After a moment spent moaning in a pile on the floor, Nadia sighed and began to pull herself together. Once back on one piece, she plopped down with her back against the foot of the bed, her head in her hands. Slowly she massaged her temples with her palms, as if to churn her brain back into working order. “Okay, okay. This isn’t the end of the world,” she thought aloud, her eyes squeezed shut and brows furrowed. “I can fix this. Think, dummy. You’re a thief, this should be easy. Just gotta get in his head…”

Nadia rocked onto her feet, sprang up, grabbed the case, and hightailed it back down the hallway. A moment later she turned up in front of the receptionist. “‘Scure me, Mr. Keys?”

“Hm? Oh.” While the man looked at her with mild concern, the fact that he stayed up here rather than pursuing her meant that he recognized her as a legitimate customer of the inn, which hopefully meant he knew all of them. “Hello again, lass. Everythin’ alright?”

With a wry smile and a helpless shrug, Nadia leaned on the desk. “Well, y’know, could be better. Turns out, I’ve been burgled!”

The receptionist’s brows rose a touch. Though pretty well-composed, he did make sure not to hide his genuine worry. “Cripes, ‘ow terrible. Should I send word to the Maelstrom, then?”

“Uh, not yet, nah,” Nadia shook her head. “I just wanna ask a couple questions, if ya don’t mind.”

Impressed by what he took to be his guest’s commitment to solve the problem on her own, the fellow placed his clasped hands on his counter. “Well. Fire away then.”

“Ya mentioned a registry earlier. You keep an eye on everyone goin’ in and out, right?” Nadia queried. When she received a nod, she continued. “Did you see anyone suspicious? Or carryin’ this case, maybe?”

She showed the Mr. Keys the container. His gaze lingered on it a moment, then on Nadia, as if to ask if she was sure she didn’t see anything wrong with her question. “...No,” he replied after a couple seconds. “Can’t say I did. Nobody goes in or out, ‘cept payin’ customers, an’ Mizzenmast staff. All of ‘em get written down in my li’l book ‘ere, too.”

“Mm, must’ve used his own bag then,” Nadia mused before clearing her throat. “Ahem! That reminds me. My room got cleaned up since I left. Maybe the thief is a staff member?”

Mr. Keys’ eyes narrowed. “Very unlikely, lass. Not only are the maids vetted, but we got safeguards in place. Gotta make sure customer security’s our priority. None of the maids mentioned an unlocked room this afternoon, either.”

Nadia blinked twice, thinking. “Huh. So the culprit either came in before, or picked and then re-locked it after…maybe I could check your notebook?” It took her only a short time to peruse the handful of entries logged between the time she’d left and the time she’d returned. Most people, it seemed, spent this part of the day out and about. It helped that a number of the Mizzenmast guests right now were fellow Seekers, although not all of them. She couldn’t glean much from the names and times of the four entries that remained, other than the second one being the cleaning woman, courtesy of Mr. Keys. That meant two possible suspects–unless the robber didn’t come in the inn’s front door. It was possible that the thief was a guest here too, with a room elsewhere in the inn and maybe a fake name, but was it likely? If the shoe was on the other foot, Nadia certainly wouldn’t have. No matter how good your act, every witness and every record was a liability; a skilled thief got in and out without ever being seen by anyone, or leaving any trace to suggest that he or she was ever there at all.

Finally, the gears were beginning to turn. She thanked Mr. Keys and jogged back to her room, where her focus immediately gravitated toward the window. What happened was no grand heist, but a spur-of-the-moment act committed by someone on the hunt for an easy mark. There were other windows the culprit could have used to enter, but what mattered was the one used to leave. Only a stupid or greedy thief would have stuck around after lucking into such a bounty. Nadia approached the window that she remembered leaving open earlier, and peeked her head out. No balcony of any kind, and no nearby fire escapes or other such easy method of escape. Narrowing her eyes, she ran her finger along the windowsill, and found a mark in the wood on the side of the room. While small, it was deep, and a quick examination determined that the board seemed to be pried up a short distance. A grappling hook, supporting the weight of a man, Nadia reasoned. She leaned out the window and squinted downward. And his ill-gotten loot!

Her window looked out over the Aftcastle, the largest public courtyard to be found to be found on the Upper Decks, so named due to the nautical convention of being behind the Mizzenmast. It sported a smattering of people around its wide-open space, most on official business as far as Nadia could tell. From the Aftcastle, sturdy bridges extended to the Missing Member pub, the Blacksmiths’ Guild, the Hyaline hub tower, and most notably, Maelstrom command. With what amounted to Limsa’s police station right there, she seriously doubted that a small-time thief had the guts to just walk across the plaza. Nadia’s eyes glossed over the largely uninteresting courtyard to land on the real problem: the wharftown. A direct descent from here led not to the marble-white towers and suspension bridges of the Upper Decks, but to the shanties that occupied the five or so stories of vertical space between the Lower Decks and the water’s surface, crowded like thickets and bushes around the ‘trees’ of this maritime forest. The feral slowly exhaled, mulling over her options. If that’s where her thief went, he was as good as gone. For that amount of money, though? “Doesn’t hurt to try.”

Nadia threw herself out the window, performed a somersault in midair, shot past the seastacks, and bounced off an awning like a trampoline to land with a roll on the top layer of the shanties. She stood, moved to the side to let a burly workman by, and took a look around. A second look at the canvas she landed on confirmed that it was, in fact, a sail, and that large sections of this upper layer seemed to be using sails to provide shade from the sun. As her search continued she spotted many sets of wooden stairs that led either up to the Lower Decks or down to interior levels of the shanties, as well as crates, cranes, and cargo operations of all kinds. It looked like the top layer served to load and unload shipments, stockpile material, and so forth. In short, it was everything one would expect from a wharf–and with nowhere to hide, not where Nadia’s quarry would be found.

A set of nearby stairs brought her below, where for the first time the cat burglar laid eyes on the shanties’ true ecosystem. The remaining four layers were a conglomerate of multi-leveled piers integrated with the pirate ships, frigates, galleons, and sloops that had gone out of use long ago, salvaged for lumber or lashed to the docks wholesale and converted into the shantytown’s buildings. Their hulls were the shantytown’s walls, their holds the apartments, their decks the floors, and their cabins the houses, although Nadia could see plenty of more conventional shacks, too. The smells of fresh fish, lamp oil, pine tar caulk, and medicinal remedies hit her all at once. Beneath her feet she could feel the whole place rock steadily with the ebb and flow of the tide. In an odd way it reminded her of the violated fishing village up north, bolted together from the doomed ships that wrecked upon the beaches of Carcass Isle. This was where the refugees of the war with the Abyssals and castaways from all over, without the money to get by in Limsa’ Lominscutte Town’s sunlit decks, found themselves: holed up in a labyrinth of barnacle-crusted wood and gutted vessels going nowhere, getting by however they could in the lamplight. It didn’t look that bad, but it was quite the change of pace from the Limsa that Nadia knew. She could feel the eyes on her, leering, suspicious, hungry. The bottom line was that if the Azure Navy and Maelstrom kept the town above picture-perfect, then this was where the displaced pirates and scoundrels surely dwelled, including the thief who’d made off with her precious hoard.

The only problem was actually finding him. Nadia glanced over at the stairs. If her target was eager to disappear, he most likely came this way. Someone must have seen him. At a measured pace she made her way over to a dingy stall nearby, where a stocky carver seemed to be working at some wood. “Hey,” Nadia greeted her. “Oh, I get it, you must be a c-arr-penter. Well, I don’t wanna holdja up, but any chance ya seen a someone run through here lately with a grapplin’ hook and a bag?”

In reply she got only a surly, squinted stare. Nadia got the feeling that she was being sized up, and that this tough-looking lady wasn’t impressed. Her patience ran out fast, and with it her friendly smile wavered. After a few seconds the trader crossed her arms. “...Maybe,” she growled, her voice grievously hoarse. “What’s it worth to ya?”

Of course. This hoodlum wasn’t going to divulge anything without something on Nadia’s part to sweeten the deal. Unfortunately, the feral was fresh out of cash, and every second that passed was another that let the thief get farther away. Her annoyance was already starting to boil over, so she slapped her palms down on the table. “Look, I don’t have time for this. If ya know somethin’, cough it up, matey!”

The carver suddenly lunged, grabbing Nadia by her baggy tank top and pulling her forward onto the counter with her shirt twisted up in a knot. All of a sudden her face was in the feral’s, so close that she could smell the stink of the pirate’s breath. “Maybe those funny ears o’ yers don’t work so good,” she snarled. “‘Round here, we ain’t fond o’ outsiders struttin’ in, actin’ like they own the place. Ya think I’m some kinda rat!? So I’m askin’...what it’s worth to ya. Is it worth dyin’ for?”

After getting over her initial surprise, Nadia bared her teeth. She didn’t appreciate being put through the wringer like this on her day off. If this person felt like being an asshole, fine. “Let’s find out.” She opened her neck scar and released a spray of blood into the carver’s eyes. As she reeled back Nadia delivered a headbutt to the woman’s nose, then grabbed her head and slammed it down into the counter. The next second she flipped into the air, her leg held high, and before Rita could recover Nadia brought down an axe kick that smashed the jerk through the table and laid her out flat on the deck.

As she sputtered, Nadia crouched beside her. Next door, the drunken bone peddler looked on with alarm, but made no move to stop the newcomer. With a flash Nadia hardened her nails into claws. As much as she wanted to try intimidation, Galeem’s influence wasn’t about to let Rita go quietly. As if on cue Rita let out a bellow, rising from the ground with her whittling knife in hand. The feral spun out of the way and delivered a revolving slash to Rita’s head that cut her eyepatch to ribbons and left clawmarks from temple to jaw. “Wagh!” she yellowed, but rather than falter as Nadia expected, Rita shoulder-barged her. As she got knocked back, the pirate followed up with a slice of surgical precision, only for her blade to slide harmlessly through the scar tissue of Nadia’s neck.

“What!?” Rita snapped, not sure what just happened. Her enemy, meanwhile, realized that this must be no ordinary hoodlum. When she found her footing, Nadia went low, then kicked high, going for the throat with Nail Clipper. It left Rita gurgling, and the feral wasted no time comboing into High Brow to launch her into the roof. The carver landed in a heap, all the fight knocked out of her and her knife lost.

This time Nadia put her foot on Rita’s elbow before crouching down. “Ya asked for it,” she sighed. “Now, where’s that thief, huh? What, cat got your tongue? Nyahah, not yet I don’t. Course, we need that if you’re gonna spill the beans. I betcha you ‘wood’ not be happy if I broke your carvin’ arm, though…”

Not conscious enough to resist, Rita grit her teeth. “...I know ‘em. He’ll’ve gone to…Sturmbreacher.”

“Sturmbreacher,” Nadia repeated. “There, that wasn’t so hard, was it? You pirates ‘arr’ gonna hafta work on your people skills.” She patted Rita on the back. “Smell ya later!”

A dozen minutes and a couple floors later, the cat burglar found just what she was looking for: an old galleon with the name she wanted to see emblazoned on the hull in faded paint. It floated listlessly on the water with one side torn open, replaced by a facade with swinging doors and shuttered windows. She stepped inside and discovered that it was a bar, and one rank with disreputable grog and body odor, to boot. Though not jam-packed by any means, it harbored a handful of crooked-looking customers, including a scoundrel, arapscallion, and a ne’er-do-well. Behind the bar stood a huge man with a purple cape, but Nadia was more interested in the fellow sitting in front of him, with his back to her. The white-haired man sported a grappling hook on the end of a rope wound around his shoulder, and on the bar lay an aquamarine bag that glittered with gold. Everyone but him turned to look at Nadia as she entered, bemused and angered by the stranger that clearly didn’t belong.

“We-he-hell, who do we got here?” one of the brigands drawled as the three goons looked over from their table. The bearded man leaned back in his chair. “A pretty li’l miqo’te gal, out all on ‘er own? Now ain’t that just the sorriest thing I ever did see!”

“Heheh,” the girl giggled, obviously drunk and not on the same page. “Yeah, look what the *hic* cat dragged in.”

A noise prompted Nadia to look over her shoulder. From the shadows out of view, a pirate gecko had moved to block the way out, his arms crossed. He looked tough, with a lot of meat on his bones and a big bandage on his nose from a recent scrap. “Well, guess it’s up to us to keep ‘er company!” the first brigand continued. “En’t that just lovely! Well, what’re ye waitin’ for, then! ‘Ere, kitty-kitty!”

Nadia smirked at him. “You just keep on drinkin’, booze-for-brains, ‘cause I pack a hell of a lot more punch than whatever that crap is you’re chokin’ down, and I’ll leave you a whole lot groggier, too!” Although she kept a straight face, on the inside she was beside herself with excitement. Hell yeah! That was a GREAT LINE! Let’s keep it up! She cleared her throat. “I’m here for him.” Grinning, she pointed at the man who had yet to face her. “You! Yeah, you with the haircut! Gimme back my money…uh, dumbass!”

The big guy behind the counter let out a deep, bass chuckle. “Geheh. So it was yers, huh? My boy was just tellin’ me he swiped it offa someone who left both ‘er window and ‘er door wide open. And you’re tellin’ me he’s the dumbass? Gahahaha!”

As everyone started hooting and hollering Nadia couldn’t help but turn a little red, even if she did manage to keep up her sassy grin. She stepped forward. “Oh yeah? W-well, uh. Just you wait, tons of fun. I'll deal with you ne-!”

“SHUT UP!” The man suddenly bellowed. In an instant the entire bar went quiet. “You’ve got some nerve comin’ to pick a fight with me, the pirate lord Barth! I’ll hack you into pieces with my axe!”

“Barf?” Nadia almost doubled over with laughter. “That short for Barf-olomew, or Barf-ood? Either way, some big blowhard like you couldn’t hack it as a deckhand, let alone a pirate lord!”

“You MANGY, FLEA-BITTEN BITCH! RAAAAGH!” Barth roared. He bent behind the counter to dig for something, probably an axe, if his threat was anything to go by. The thief at the bar, however, found his voice first.

“Come now, boss,” he said, his voice calm. “Don’t fall for her petty insults. She’s just upset that she lost a few coins. It’s only natural, after all.” He turned around to reveal the biggest shit-eating grin Nadia had ever seen in her entire life, which was saying something given how often she looked in a mirror. “A fool and her money are easily parted.”

Barth rose up and slammed a giant, double-headed axe down on the bar. “A fool and ‘er life, too!”

“Not this fool.” For just a moment, Nadia was deathly serious. Then, in classic fashion, she broke out into a cheerful giggle. Six enemies, all with weapons, at least half of them thoroughly inebriated. Even with that handicap, this would be suicide as a straight fight. Luckily, she didn’t plan on fighting fair, and as a small sidenote, she couldn’t die. To think this is how I’m spending my vacation. she thought. I coulda been chillin’ on the beach with the others, sippin’ margaritas, but no. She jumped into her fighting stance, bouncing back and forth on her heels. “Come and get me then, ya rabid sea dogs! I’ll show ya I’m not kitten around!”

Cerberus

Location: Deep Blue Seaside, Kanzuki Beach Estate
Koopa Troop’s @DracoLunaris, Blazermate’s @Archmage MC, Geralt’s @MULTI_MEDIA_MAN, Ace Cadet’s @Yankee, Sakura and Karin's @Zoey Boey, Link’s @Gentlemanvaultboy, Rubick’s @Scarifar


The fight kicked off in spectacular fashion, and the bright-eyed Triple Demon soaked it up like a sponge. After all the sensory deprivation they’d been through, this beach bash of Karin’s had turned out to be quite the banquet, a veritable smorgasbord for the senses. Not knowing either Sakura or Birdie, they pretty much just wanted to see blood, so they shouted out their encouragement whenever anyone got a hit. When the first round came to an end they almost looked disappointed, but that didn’t stop Cerberus from clapping to show their appreciation, at least with the triplets that weren’t buried up to their necks in the sand.

In the brief interlude a few more unfamiliar faces made an appearance, and predictably Cerberus’ short attention span got the better of them. Ace provoked little more than a glance, but they looked over in perfect unison as two female robots showed up alongside an illustrious sorcerer, whose stylish robe, noxious green glow, and mystical manner struck them as the very embodiment of villainous finery. “Ooh, you look cool!” they chorused. “Are you from hell too? What kind of magic can you use? Can you show us? Please, please, please!” To Blazermate and Susie they paid no mind, assuming that the robots belonged to the mage in their midst.

Before Rubick could either rebuff or oblige the curious hellhound, however, the newly-returned Junior and Kamek started a lightshow of their own. Eager to demonstrate the remarkable artifact they’d lucked into, they leveraged the leftover spirits retrieved from the bowels of Carcass Isle in the wee hours of the morning, putting the monster’s remains to good -or perhaps questionable- use. They started by smushing a freaky penguin spirit into Junior’s poor suspecting Popplio, then moved on to try outfitting Bowser himself with new crustacean armaments. Cerberus’ eyes went wide with wonder as the multicolored light radiated outward from the subjects’ bodies, bright enough to distract the nearby street fighters as they attempted to go about their business.







After oohing and aahing over the transformations, despite a complete and utter lack of understanding of what was going on, Cerberus’ attention naturally drifted back towards the street fighters’ bout. With Rubick all but forgotten they launched into another round of shouts, laughs, cheers, and occasionally jeers, just barking out all their thoughts and suggestions no matter how dumb or impractical they might be. In other words: they acted just as tournament watchers should. The banana peel incident in particular had the three rolling. It wasn’t long after that some sharp words amped up the tension levels, and the action swelled. Cerberus fell silent for the first time, watching at rapt attention as the two went back and forth, trading aluminum cans and spirit fireballs along with incredible kicks and punches. All too soon the spectacle was over. Courtesy of Sakura’s splendid coup-de-grace, Birdie sailed away to splat face-first in the sand. Rather than wallow in the knowledge that he went 0-2 he figured out something more productive to do with his time, and promptly hit the bricks.

The Triple Demon, meanwhile, was impressed, even if there hadn’t been any bloodshed or broken bones. These people were tough! Tough enough for Cerberus to play with, maybe? Even if the two above ground managed to dig their sister out in time, though, it looked like a bout of their own wasn’t in the cards. They realized both that Sakura would be facing off against Karin next, and that it was a grudge match, too. “Ooh, drama!” Cerberus exclaimed as Ishizaki stepped up to referee. “Go on, kick her ass!” they exhorted neither of the gals in particular.

The Chalk Prince, the Fallen Child, the Prisoner, and the Skullgirl

Location: Frozen Highlands - Dragonspine Foothills
Linkle’s @Gentlemanvaultboy, Frisk’s @Majoras End, Prisoner’s @XoXKieroBombXoX


As Albedo pulled his swordblade free the halves of the Sir Slush melted away. Handily done, if the alchemist could say so himself, but with a flurry of snowballs on the way he couldn’t afford to dawdle. He plunged his hand into a pouch and withdrew a fistful of the Dust of Azoth, which he proceeded to ram straight through the snow and into the cold earth below. “A new beginning!” he called, and from dead soil fresh life sprang forth. A fir tree sprang into being, a deep-green coniferous wall of defense bristling with needles to mitigate the impact of the enemy’s projectiles.

Albedo narrowed his eyes as he peered through the boughs, coldly considering the situation. With his observational skills he’d robbed the enemy of not just their element of surprise, but their best chance at an advantageous position. If he and his allies could hold the line, they could take control of the battle and exterminate the enemy without the situation ever devolving into chaos. If it were just him, the long range of the snowmen would pose an issue, potentially pinning him down behind cover until they could surround him, but as his crossbow-wielding ally quickly demonstrated, he needed not worry at all.

Linkle summoned a sniper with a giant bowgun almost as big as the Skullgirl herself, and a moment later Imani blasted a hole straight through the frosty ringleader’s middle. In that charge shot’s wake flew a barrage of crossbow bolts, faster and deadlier than anything the snowmen were packing. In a matter of moments Linkle turned the tables on the would-be ambushers, forcing those with sufficient intelligence to take cover themselves, while their mindless brethren got skewered and blown up by the bushel. The barrage of snowballs against Albedo’s fur tree came to an abrupt end as his assailants shifted focus to the much bigger problem, and like clockwork the alchemist sprang from cover. He raced across the snow with surprising speed and darted into the snowmen’s foxhole from the left side, where his blade slid through snowmen like butter.

He wasn’t the only one who got busy in light of the Skullgirl’s initiative. Frisk procured a dangerous-looking firearm from Linkle’s sled, a bladed black rifle that would be big in the hands of a burly veteran, let alone a noodle-armed child. Despite the splendid veneer, the gun was still the Alternator underneath, a mess of scrap metal and alpine wood cobbled together in the withering cold and scarcity of the icebound world Reisum. When Frisk pulled the trigger it spat out nine frost rounds a second with bone-jarring recoil, and being fully automatic, the recoil quickly mounted to the point where it tore from the kid’s numb fingers. It fell into the snow with a hiss, where it continued to steam for a moment. Meanwhile, the ice shots did almost nothing to the snowmen they did manage to hit, only really serving to make them mad.

Luckily, the snowmen had other issues. The trio’s mysterious pursuer had revealed himself at last -intentionally, at least- and straightaway joined their offensive against their chilly adversaries as a gesture of good faith. With the Prisoner well-situated in his vantage point to pick off any troublesome snowmen that slipped through Linkle’s assault, and Albedo wreaking havoc in the wings, victory seemed all but assured.

As the alchemist lopped the head off one last Sir Slush, he spotted the big snowman from earlier. With no internal organs to pierce, he’d survived Imani’s charge shot despite the gaping hole it left behind, and merely jammed more snow into the gap to fix himself up. Then he lumbered forward, both arms clad in giant masses of snow and ice like shields to block Linkle and the Prisoner’s shots. Like a juggernaut he weathered the storm, stomping closer and closer until he got into range. Then he roared and smashed his wintry shields down, one after another. Each shook the earth, creating a wintry wave that rumbled toward Linkle, Frisk, and the Prisoner, threatening to knock them down and batter them bloody. “Gahahah!” Bad Mr. Frosty guffawed. “Not so tough now, are ya? C’mon, gimme your best shot!”

Albedo obliged, leaping from the sidelines to sink his blade into Frosty’s back. The snowman grunted, but did not relinquish his ugly grin. “Hah! That it?” He gritted his teeth as he raised both giant arms overhead. As he inhaled he burned through his entire cigar in a single mighty puff, and his eyes blazed with fury. “Have…one more! GRAH!”

He brought his arms down in a giant ground point. For a second it seemed no stronger than the other two, but then the whole area began to quake. Albedo turned and looked up at Dragonspine, looming above the icy river and layer-cake hills. His eyes widened as he spotted a great mass of stone and snow hurtling down the slope. “Avalanche!” He went to leap off the snowman and flee in the direction of the gulch’s walls, but to his surprise he couldn’t tug free. When he glanced down he found both his sword and the arm that held it frozen solid, stuck where he pierced Frosty’s body.

“Not so fast, bub!” the snowman smirked. “You can hang out here as long as ya like. It’s ‘snow’ trouble! Gahaha!” Albedo clenched his jaw and pulled, but he couldn’t get free. All too soon, the avalanche thundered down the valley, swallowing up everything in its path in an unstoppable tide of ice and snow.

It took a few moments for the powder to settle. Then Bad Mr. Frosty exploded from the mess, none the worse for wear despite Albedo’s Cinnabar Spindle still lodged in his body, with no sign of its owner. “One down, three to go!” the villain hollered, looking around. “Who’s next?”
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Archmage MC
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Archmage MC

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Level 8 Sectonia (holding 2 level up) - (71/80)
Location: Fight Aftermath
Word Count: under 750


Seeing as everyone was hurt to various degrees after the fight and the hot sun and expanse of the desert lay before the group, discussions occurred about how they were going to get back to civilization. Sectonia could teleport herself out of this infernal desert, but only herself, not her minions so that wouldn't do. Eventually though one of the group came up with the idea to speak to those pig creatures, moogles they were called. They could teleport in and out without any issues, and using them to relay information back to 'base' was quite a good idea that Sectonia would need to take for her own later on. And this lead to the planned motion of getting back, an airship that was a little way out that could pick them all up. It'd be much better than flying through this sandpit, that was for sure.

"Well, if a ship is coming instead of needing to fly out of here, I suppose making a campsite would be best." Sectonia said. She wasn't much one for camping or anything of the sort, but she could at least make it eligent if they were to be waiting here for a little while. With her antillions and Poppi keeping everyone cool, and Midna having stored food and water, they could stay a little while here. Worse comes to worse they could use those crystals to teleport over to that town they saw at the foot of the mountain.

Waving her hands much like she did when summoning something, Sectonia summoned a few crystal platforms to give shade and cover everyone from the sun. While they weren't fully opaque and some light streamed through, it was heavily dispersed and made the area cooler, if a bit rainbow colored thanks to the crystals Sectonia had to summon to give everyone a fair amount of room to move about in. "I wont have my minions 'rough it' like some common rabble. Everything must be beautiful." Seeing how Tora seemed to be suffering and getting whatever shade he could, this would probably make him very happy. In fact, a great deal of the group were very, very bad at dealing with the sun it seemed.

With a makeshift campsite being made under a canopy of giant floating gems, Sectonia did what she could to relax. Looking over to Raiden, she said. "So, care to introduce yourself to the others?"
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by MULTI_MEDIA_MAN
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MULTI_MEDIA_MAN

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Geralt of Rivia

Limsa Lominscuttle- Kanzuki Beach

Lvl 9 (76/90) -> Lvl 9 (77/90)

Word Count: 597 words




Geralt watched the fight between Sakura and Birdie carefully. The Street Fighter was quick, skillful, and agile, that much he had already known. Watching her practically dance around the rotund bodyguard wielding a mechanical implement as a weapon, however, emphasized the difference between their fighting styles all the more. Where Geralt tended to fight with brutal efficiency overlayed with a touch of demoralizing finesse, Sakura's movements were sometimes grand and over-the-top, and sometimes so amazingly efficient that he wondered whether the fighting style she learned wasn't half-spectacle and half-combat. Even if it was, she had shown so far that she knew when each was necessary, as the grand spectacle attacks were like haymakers in that, while risky for opening you up to counters, they helped add immense amounts of energy and power behind the blows they dealt.

When she finished the battle with a comedically overtuned kick, Sakura bounced and cheered like a little kid, even showing off her win to her allies and friends like one would show off a particularly good shot on a target. He gave her a good few claps with a small smile, while Yennefer was more polite and reserved about it, not as pleased with the casual brutality. "For what it's worth, I'm fairly certain that they have some...passive sort of energy that cushions their blows. Birdie and Sakura ought to be much more brutalized from those hits, yet I don't see or smell much blood at all on them. He might have a bit of a bloody lip, at worst. It's not quite like the fights I got up to to make coin while we were hunting for Ciri and preparing to fight the Wild Hunt."

Yennefer, perhaps predictably, rolled her eyes. "Mmm, and might I ask exactly where that coin is now?"

"Spent most of it to prepare to fight Eredin. Lost some of it between arriving here and meeting the others, it's...a bit fuzzy, to be honest. Think that's from Galeem." Yennefer nodded, seemingly satisfied enough with the reasoning, even if he knew she wasn't a fan of his 'gallivanting while I'm trying to find our daughter'.

Witchers needed coin, what could he say?

The strange device that Kamek tried on Bowser, however, caught his eye.

"So, looks like it works." He stated to the newly-transformed witch. "Overheard you mentioning it. That could be downright vital to optimizing what the hell comes out of those Spirits. Good job finding it." As usual, any praise was careful, concise, and correct. No over-stating the effort, no wasting time with flowery bullshit.

"But I think I'm done with fusing for a while, personally. Still not entirely sure what that...thing...did to me. I've...been more irritable, I think. I don't know if that's from the Maw, it, or both, but it's there. And I feel...something extra in me. Like a...humming. It's hard to describe, but there's a power in me I don't remember having before any of this." Looking out over the ocean, Geralt felt a slight sense of calm. Likely the Harbor Water Demon's doing. "It's like the Breaching Bastion she gave me. I know it's there, even if I don't fully understand it yet."
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

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The Koopa Troop

wordcount: 913 (2+)
Bowser: Level 10 EXP: //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (223/100)
Bowser Jr: Level 9 EXP: ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (196/90)
Kamek: Level 10 EXP: ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////(123/100)
Location: Limsa Lominscuttle Town - Kanzuki Beach
Feat: Rika


”Why thank you Geralt,” the now much less human Kamek (a state of being she was quite happy with) replied to the witcher’s praise for finding the device, before adding ”But I can’t take all the credit, Rika was the one who lead me to the general area. One which had living food that turned parts of people into themselves when eaten. One can only wonder what they gain from having such an ability”

She paused there, leaving space for thought about what trickery might lie beneath the bugsnack’s cutesy exterior, before she went on ”And of course Miss Floofty, for inventing it” as if that had pause had never happened.

She listened quietly as Geralt spoke about the power he felt lurking within him, just beneath the surface.

”Oh yes, the changes can be quite… insidious in their depths, the personality ones most of all” she said, probably not helping matters in terms of the level of worry about the changes, before adding more optimistically that ”I can only praise your self reflective abilities that you have noticed what has occurred on your own”

”Ah you’re both over-complicating things. Look. see. Weird new limb goes zap” Bowser, who was most certainly not a master of self reflection, insisted as he showed off his new lopsided limb, by flicking it forwards and delivering a shock to the ground, sending a little burst of sand out from the impact point.

Dazzle meanwhile was finding their new limbs quite annoying, being lingering, feather covers flippers even less suited for land walking in the way his old sea-lion limbs had been, and he was not opposed to letting his new trainer know via seal-clown sounds.

”Yeah I know they are kinda inconvenient. But at least it's more like just a jacket instead of going full penguin. Plus you should have a new power of. Um. flapping about?” Jr retorted, floundering a bit at the last hurdle.

Dazzle gave Jr an eye roll, everyone knew piplups flew like iron bars, but gave it a go regardless, inflating one of his water balloons and using it as a trampoline to launch himself. And then splashed down pretty far out into the water, much to his and everyone else's surprise. Just not quite as surprised as various gunship pilots had (very briefly) been when faced with a deadly bird strike by a flock of genetically enhanced penguins.

No for the troop that level of surprise came when Dazzle sped through the waves and launched himself back out of the water like a rocket.

”...uh, see?” Jr managed as the awe wore off, before saying more loudly ”See! Seal missile! Told you it was worth it” which Dazzle had to somewhat agree, even if it was still annoying to be on land.

"It's to see that everyone's enjoying themselves...in their own ways," observed Peach, having given the brawling streetfighters a wide berth as she made her way to where the Koopa Troop looked on. She couldn't keep her eyes off Bowser as she approached, although not in a good way. "Have you been fusing again!?"

”You know it princess. Look. Weird zappy arm. Pretty cool huh?” Bowser said, gesturing to his new asymmetrical addition, and deflating a fair bit when a brief look of disgust flashed over her royal features.

"Well...at least you're not like that all over, I suppose?" she allowed, trying to see the bright side. Then she took a deep breath and spoke her mind. "I have to say though, doesn't it all seem a bit much? All those spirits have made a mess out of you. I can barely even recognize what you've become."

”Well I mean. Yeah. Sure. But I’m stronger, so what does it matter what I look like!” the koopa bit back with a growl ”I’m doing everything that I can to make sure we win this, what’s so bad about that, huh?”

Kamek tried to mediate between the two by pointing out ”Well at least with this we can spread out the changes now. Keep them separate and avoid any more, ah, dramatic transformations”

“Or just shove it all into the same shoulder?” Rika suggested from where she had been getting a crash course in sandcastle building from Lana. The fast learner had already added her own little neutral fort onto the battlefield and she was very proud of the misshapen mass even as she tinkered away at improving it.

”Yes… or that…” Kamek said, furrowing her brow while glancing between the messily morphed Bowser and the spirit extracting Peach. The princess’ face looked just as contemplative before both she and Kamek snapped their fingers at the same time with a shared “Ah ha!”

A few moments later, and Bowser was (briefly) his old self again thanks to Peach pulling out all of his spirits, and then Bowser reabsorbed them all while Kamek helped the Snaktivator to his shell, focusing all of the changes in the place where all the useful mutations had occurred anyway.



Peach's eyebrows rose as a smile dawned on her face. "Oh, well then. There's the Bowser we know and...well, the Bowser we know."

”Yeah! The king is back” Bowser announced loudly while flexing his back to normal arms, enjoying having his proportions back rather than being all gangly due to the human touch.

Then he paused mid flex and somewhat bashfully scratched his lavender hair before saying ”And, uh, sorry about arguing with you before. This is waaay better. So, uh, thanks?” to the princess.

”Well, almost back” Kamek said ruefully as Jr ran up to give his far more normal looking dad a hug.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Yankee
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Yankee God of Typos

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____________________________________________________
Level: 7 - Total EXP: 77/70 ------ Level: 2 - Total EXP: 80/20
𝙱𝙿 ●●●● ---------------------------- 𝙱𝙿 ●●●●
Word Count: 1228 (+2 exp, +30 battle reward)
Location: Sandswept Sky

It was a spectacular finale, and one that the Octopath Travelers had a bird's eye view of. The Seekers rained down any attacks that they could, desperate to slay Galeem's guardian and finally put an end to their grueling journey. Red Eye was lit up, a combination of magic and martial prowess destroying the beast once and for all. As it's body began to dissolve, Primrose beckoned anyone still airborne over to her. With wind so strong that one had to almost swim through it to get down, she didn't blame anyone for being too fatigued to try. She was feeling pretty worn out herself, and so once everyone that joined her was ready she summoned Hippowdon and the heavy Pokémon dragged them the rest of the way down to earth. There was an energy that radiated outward from the fallen Red Eye, one that the dancer noticed had purged the sunset glow of Galeem from the few that were still beholden to it's influence. Sore, but relieved, the Seekers convened around the guardian's spirit.

Therion was leaning against one of the metal pillars, the high of surviving against all odds quickly wearing off and leaving him hot and miserable. There was sand in his hair and clothes, and a conversation brewing that he didn't understand. Having only recently freed from Galeem and then immediately tossed into a massive boss battle, he was ignorant of quite a few things. But his preferred method of gathering information was simply listening in, as the topic turned to spirits Therion simply stood by and absorbed what everyone was saying - all the while Primrose was learning some new things herself. She'd gotten a crash course in the ways of this new world at the Alcamoth and learned a lot during the course of their journey through the desert, but the information that Tora (and subsequently Ram) provided about the 'boss' spirits came as a surprise.

Only sixty seconds to fuse, or they would have to do it all over again?! Primrose couldn't even imagine the kind of havoc that fusing with that spirit would wreak on the recipient's body. Luckily they were all spared that fate when Joker took matters into his own hands. With that power of his, he seemed to succeed in binding Red Eye to his will - even summoning it in a (relatively) miniaturized form after the fact. All is well that ends well I suppose, Primrose thought to herself.

Now came the daunting task of making their way back to civilization. With Big Band's words, both Primrose and Therion looked up towards the top of the cliff. Neither could fly, although Primrose's scarf would help her scale the rocky wall without using much of her energy. She glanced at her friend, giving him an apologetic look when she caught her eye. Therion could tell it wasn't genuine at all as she turned away and kicked off the ground, floating upwards.

The white haired thief grumbled but started the trek up. There wasn't much else he could do, considering he sure as hell wasn't going to stay down in that pit. During the climb, Midna took the chance to explain things about the world to Raiden. It was a conversation Therion not just wanted, but needed to hear, and so he focused more on that than actually climbing. Some things they talked about had been shouted at him briefly, some he'd gleaned during the misadventure, and some things he was learning for the first time. Ugh. He looked up at the sky where a bright ball of light rivaling the sun hovered in the distance. This is making my skin crawl.

Back on the sand above, the Seekers grouped together around Poppi, Goemon and the antillions. Primrose caught the tail end of Sectonia's words and nodded in agreement. "I wouldn't mind another trip to that spa in the sky... whenever we make it back," she said. She gazed out over the desert. Without transportation it would be a long, long walk. She took her mind off of what would be a miserable march back by taking the Phantom Thieves up on their offer of healing. Once she was patched up, she returned the favor and offered the aid of Warmth. After the healing session she pulled the hood of her cloak up to protect her head from the sun.

Unfortunately now it was time to get going. Primrose would have thought she'd be used to desert expeditions by now, but it was still unpleasant. She hesitated to follow those Seekers that had started walking already, and it was a good thing as Joker once again solved their dilemma. That kids was smart, Primrose could see why Panther and the others had such respect for him. With transportation arranged, they could just sit tight and wait.

For most of the whole time, Therion had hung back. He'd taken some of Midna's provisions out of necessity earlier, but his own healing he'd taken care of by downing the potions he'd nicked from the temple on the mountain. He'd soaked in all of the information he could, and he was finally starting to put the pieces together in a way that made logical sense - even if overall it was unbelievable. Just what kind of operation had he lucked into here, with their own base and ships and soldiers? He would have thought them to be some kind of law enforcement, if their goal didn't seem to be upending the status quo. Once Sectonia erected her makeshift shade, the thief took the opportunity to get out of the sun. It was at that point that he spoke up to the group at large.

"So you're all part of some... magic militia, trying to kill the thing that trapped everyone in this world?" It sounded so strange that it just had to be fact, but still Therion furrowed his brow as he said it aloud. He thought back to what Midna had said a couple minutes ago, about the various reasons to join the fight. Did he want to go back to his own world? Of course, the familiar was good, even if he didn't have anything in particular he would be missing besides a certain traveling group. And though he wasn't the type to go on revenge quests, he really, really didn't take kindly to being brainwashed and effectively imprisoned, even if the cage was an entire planet. Almost unconsciously he rubbed at the skin of his wrist where the iron bangle sat heavy and tight. "Guess you really will need all the manpower you can get," he said, echoing his words from Split Mountain's peak, though his tone was lighter this time.

Therion flopped onto his back in the shade with his hands crossed behind his head. He could feel eyes on him, probably belonging to Primrose. She must have been wondering if he would take up the cause or if they would go their separate ways. Now that Therion was no longer gleaming the dancer was alright with him striking out on his own, after establishing some way to keep in contact of course. However, Therion had already made up his mind. He happened to look over at Tora, who was laid out on the sand in a similar way.

"...do we get paid for this or what?"
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by TruthHurts22
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TruthHurts22

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RANK 4
3/40 EXP

Sandswept Sky - BOSS FIGHT

If Raz had any further questions on the plan this conductor... bird.. guy had, they caught in his throat. Over the clattering of the train's engine on full blast, the whipping desert wind passing them by, and general chaos the fight with the monster was kicking up, a voice rang out, barely enough to be heard all the way up here: 'Time to tip the scales!' The sky darkened and the sound of thunder pealed over the Railway Gun.

That sorta stuff isn't something you ignore. Raz stepped to the engine room's doorway and poked his head out just in time to witness Robin's final smash, and the big-huge dragon that he apparently summoned.

"WHOA!" Raz had to stop himself from rushing straight out. "Hey, you two, check out what's happening!" One of the two was already at his side, and the other one was busy keeping the train going, so it wasn't really worth saying but, hey, something super cool was happening, alright? It didn't last long. As quick as it seemed to come, the dragon dissipated into nothingness, and Robin soon went with it in a brilliant beam of light.

Raz lingered on the moment, leaning out of the train's engine room and staring towards the back. Eventually he asked Therion, "Do you know what happened to him? Is he like, gone, or gone?" He might have to ask someone like Tora or Big Band that, since Therion was only recently, uh, freed? Un-glowy'd? Whatever the word for it he didn't know any more than Raz probably did.

He was so distracted by Robin's sacrifice that it took driving over Hollow Heights for Raz to realize they were getting close to it. "Oh, hey, what's the--" Raz began, though it was quickly forgotten once the tracks fell out under the train. In a last ditch effort he booked it towards the front, hoping to clear the last bit to safe ground...! But then the powerful winds up and yanked him right out of the air, high, high above anything.

"AHHHH I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOIIIING!" Raz didn't have a lot of fancy tools to spike the Red Eye for good on the way down. He wasn't the only one, sure, but he felt particularly at risk of splatting compared to the rest. Raz tried to angle his fall towards Braum, figuring that hanging onto the big guy with the big shield was probably a safe move. He didn't have much to contribute on the way down, but it seemed like everyone else had it covered.

And then, with one final strike from (most of) the group, the Champion as slain. As the rest discussed what to do next and explained the spirit's properties, Raz just sat and caught his breath. His energy was fading fast by now, after all he'd done that day. It was mostly a mental fatigue, but if you were in his line of work you'd understand that can matter all the same. "Nice one, team," he offered with a soft chuckle. Nobody wanted to stick around there for long, so the group hoisted themselves back up onto stable ground.

"I haven't earned my Cryokinesis badge yet," Raz said, "so I can't do anything to help with the heat. Between that and all this..." he looked down at himself, still covered in the monster's blood, and even a bit of flesh stuck to his shoe. "I'm definitely going to need a shower. And a fresh pair of pants."

Word Count: 586
Boss Defeated!
Boosted EXP Gain: +34
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Scarifar
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Scarifar Presto~!

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Location: Deep Blue Seaside - Kanzuki Beach Estate
Level: 1
Experience: 3/10
Word Count: <750


When Rubick arrived, he was greeted with the sight of a crowd. Everything from large reptile people to human and elven warriors were present, and even a little 3-headed dog came up to him. Rubick chuckled, enjoying the attention, and was about to ramble about the importance of him being a Grand Magus when little Cerberus ran off to the next new interesting thing happening. Rubick put his arms at his hips and scoffed, offended that he was no longer the center of attention. This mood only lasted for a moment, when the current events also attracted his curiosity.

Walking over to the commotion, Rubick watched the fight with only a slight interest. It was a fistfight; it wasn't exactly Rubick's main interest. He could view any of those at any time. Instead, the business with the Koopa troop was far more interesting to him. Whatever they were attaching to their bodies, it made them glow as these new attachments seemed to fuse with their body. Now THIS was more to Rubick's tastes. Something new and unknown happening right before his eyes. From the few observations Rubick could make, it seemed that what they were attaching was of a different reality from where these folk were from, and yet these parts were somehow compatible with their bodies, or they could make them compatible. Either way, it was simply fascinating. Walking up to the Koopa troop, Rubick began to question them, "Well well well, I've never seen anything quite like this before. What in this world did you do, and how exactly did you do that?"
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

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wordcount: 510 (+1)
Midna: level 8 EXP: //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////(34/80)
Location: Sandswept Sky - Train
Warp Charges: 3


Had Minda been in a position to hear Primrose’s comment about wanting to go back to the spa after this, she would have wholeheartedly agreed. After being frozen on the mountain and now scorched by the desert, she knew her body would thank her for seeking out the pleasantly warm waters of one of the warm bubbling pools up there in the sky.

As it was, it was still thankful for the recuperation it got via the thieves’ healers, getting her half closed wounds properly sealed up by the masked furball. Unfortunately while he could help those who where hurt, the kitty wasn't going to be driving them out of this situation in his van form anytime soon, what with how big the party had grown since they last used that little trick.

Fortunately, after a bit of moogle mail, it turned out that folks back in the south had been busy, busy enough to get their hands on an airship of all things, which was getting sent out to fetch them.

”Thank the Goddesses, let’s find or dig some shelter then and wait out the-” she began to suggest before Sectonia summoned up some of her massive floating crystals to act as a source of shade.

”or that, that works too” she admitted, before getting to work settling herself settled in, which involved summoning her wolfos, and then using its laid down form as a backrest as she sat herself down as comfortably as she could on the sandy ground.

”So yeah, where were we? Right, Galeem and all that” she said once they were settled in, reopening the conversation/exposition that had been interrupted by the change of pace.

”More or less. Well the guy running things back at base prefers calling us mercenaries, and given that a lot of the people in it where big name heroes back home I think it fits a bit better, but use whatever sudo-military designation you want,” Midna replied to Therion describing them as a magical militia before nodding at his off hand agreement to join up ”We sure could, lot of world to cover after all, and a lot of weird stuff out there that needs different kinds of skills to handle”

She had to give a little laugh at his asking about being paid ”Yeah mercenary would definitely fit you better at least” she teased, before actually answering the question by saying that ”Not directly no, but if you want money, there's a princess Peach who’s sort of funding stuff, so if you want gold, you can probably talk her into it…” and then frowning for a moment before realizing that that would probably have been a wise thing to do before they set out. How much better might things have gone if they had been loaded down with the good stuff from Al Mamoon’s markets rather than just what they could scrape together funds for themselves, she wondered.

Would it have saved lives?

Another regret for the pile.

”Maybe we should all do that.” she said thoughtfully, before joking that ”It’d at least mean Raz could buy some replacement pants without having to worry about pocket change” to try and lift her own spirits that she’d just mentally brought down.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Archmage MC
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Archmage MC

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Level 10 Blazermate - (82/100) - 1 stored level up
Level 1 Susie - (4/10)
Limsa
Words: Less than 750


Apparently Blazermate had missed some excitement with some weird 3 headed dog as when her and Susie arrived, said dog named after the dog of the underworld was making its way off to look at the next interesting thing, having just watched a fight involving Sakura and Birdie which seemed to be some kind of sparring match. "Wow, so a lot went on here at the beach huh?" Blazermate said. Susie looked around, hoping to see others with a high tech level like Blazermate, but much to her annoyance, none of these people were as technologically advanced as Blazermate. Heck, most looked positively savage! But at least one of them, while some kind of amalgamation of organic parts, looked strong, so maybe this wasn't a total waste of her time.

Waving hi to everyone, Blazermate, alongside Rusie and Rubick saw Peach and Kamek do something new to Bowser, combining all of his weird mismatched parts together so that he looked a lot like his old self, but with some slight differences and still all the spiritual power he had acrued. Rubick was confused, asking how this was done, while Blazermate was amazed and had an idea and Susie was just amazed. Moving over to the koopa troop and Peach, Blazermate asked. "Hey can you do that to me too? I like most of my parts, but this sun princess kimono thing is annoying. It gets in the way all the time if I don't like, fly everywhere, and sometimes you want to walk ya know?" Blazermate asked, explaining her reasoning. Undergoing the same thing Bowser did, Blazermate coming out of it then introduced her new 'friend' Susie and Rubick.

"Oh right, the two people I brought with me. This green magic looking guy is Rubick. He calls himself some big title so hes a big shot where he comes from probably, he looks cool either way! He was looking to join up with us to fight things, so yeah." Blazermate said, having forgotten Rubicks preferred title, although if Rubick looked into how Blazermate's tone, she was trying to let him display his showmenship more than anything.

Then pointing to Susie, who was looking at Bowser with a glint in her eyes, hands clasped together in front of her. "And this is Susie. She is kind of in the same boat, but she... Wait why were you following me again?"

This snapped Susie out of her thoughts, and thinking fast, Susie said. "Well, I've been meaning to get out of this town for awhile but I was waiting for some strong people to come by before I did. I'm glad I waited, because it looks like the story of the Seekers being strong wasn't a lie." While she said this, she eyed Bowser in particular, giving him a cutesy wink especially since he looked much, much better and... modable than before.

"So yeah... I don't know what the two of them do, but they wanna help so I don't see why not? Its not like its the first time we've picked up strangers before." Blazermate said. With introductions out of the way, Susie floating around to respectfully inspect everyone, Blazermate then asked. "So I've had my time out on the town, whats everyone up to and want to do?"
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Zoey Boey
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Zoey Boey LIVE FROM TIMBER HEARTH

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Sakura Level 7: 70/70
Karin Level 2: 4/20
Location: Kanzuki Beach
Word Count: 1500~
Points Gained: 3
New EXP Balance--- Sakura Level 8: 3/80 Level up pending
Karin Level 2: 7/20
Level pending


Sakura had hidden the Arashio spirit in the lock box. She saw no reason to make Bella or Arashio’s friends feel worse by confronting them with each other. At least not when the war was undoubtedly still fresh on everyone’s minds. Right? Maybe. No reason to push it so fast, anyway.

But if Sakura was going to get her mind and heart sorted out, she’d need to say everything she’d have to say to the people who needed to hear it. To that end, she tracked down her friend Bella.

She found the Water Princess back at Alcamoth, sitting at a bench in the park not far at all from Juniors warp graffiti and surrounded by her seaplanes like pigeons. Bella wore a fresh set of clothes she gleaned from the city, a sporty sort found commonly in the armory for the Mii Fighters who made up a portion of the city’s fighters. While her fusion with Chicago and a splash of color in her wardrobe did a lot to make the Seaplane Tender look less like an Abyssal, there was no disguising the massive leviathan tail that trailed behind her, currently curled up like a snoozing serpent next to her bench. With that part of her an insurmountable telltale sign of her origin, she could not allow herself to go to Limsa, in broad daylight or otherwise, where the scars of the long struggle against her warmongering kind still hurt so keenly.

It was a bit of a walk, but Sakura once again concluded that teleporting was awesome. Alcamoth was just as impressive as ever. Sakura took a moment to hop through the warp portal a couple times before wondering if there were any negative consequences for doing so and stopping. Then with a bit of a skip in her step, Sakura approached Bella from behind. This would also be the first Bella would see the original Sakura and not her Ship girl self. School uniform and everything.

”Bella-san!” She called out, raising a hand in greeting and jogging over. ”Bella-san, it’s me, Sakura! Do you recognize me?” She put her hands against her head and flapped her fingers like they were cat ears.

The Abyssal brightened up visibly at her arrival after turning toward the familiar voice. “Of course! Cat or no cat, it is still you, mon cherie.”

Sakura laughed and rotated around the front to sit down on the bench. ”Well, that’s good. This is what I looked like back on my homeworld. This whole fusion thing sure is weird, huh? You look great by the way, I love all the glowey parts!” She said poking at one of Bella’s orangey-yellowey bracelets.

“You like it?” The knowledge seemed to set Bella’s heart at ease. “It is a little stifling. I am more used to loose and flowy. But if I look great, then I’m happy.” Picking up on Sakura’s implication, she crossed her legs and continued. “So, this is ze true you. Not very different, alzough, you do seem more formidable. All zose punches and kicks make a lot more sense!” she laughed lightly.

Sakura nodded. It really was a cool outfit. That sci-fi stuff was a look she was considering herself, just because she liked outfits that had glowey parts. ”Yup, this is me, all right.” She flexes her arm, proud to have her muscles back. ”I’m a street fighter. The only guns I like to use are the ones my mama gave me.” Sakura jabbed the air a few times, though they were not very scary punches considering she was sitting down on a bench.

”Shotokan karate!” Sakura exclaimed. She was lively before but she was even more so now. ”It’s basically the coolest thing ever. I should show you some of my moves some time! Though I don’t know how to fight with a giant tail.” She leaned back and looked the thing over.

”Hey. It has teeth, right? Is it rude to ask if you can eat with it?”

Looking mildly amused, Bella shook her head. “Oh, not at all. But yes, it can, zough it is not my first choice. While it may look like a machine, it is a part of me under zat armor, just as much as my arm, or my leg.” She sighed as her gaze rested on the leviathan. “Considering all the others, I am quite lucky to be able to function as a person. Most Abyssals are mindless, violent things, for whom merely living is tantamount to torture. And yet even us Princesses could not think for ourselves. A sad state of affairs, no wonder New Southern took it so hard.” She realized that she was rambling a bit and scratched at her neck nervously. Small talk wasn’t the Seaplane Tender’s forte. “Oh, excuse me, what a morbid subject. The group, and you in particular have showed me such kindness. I’m sure I must sound like a broken record by now, but I truly am grateful.”

”Mm. Mhm.” Sakura said, grimacing good-naturedly. ”I guess the lesson here is you need more life experiences to talk about.” Chuckling, she swung her legs up and down off the ground.

”Speaking of New Southern. I guess I- I guess I just wanted to say that- I’m proud of you. And when we first met, I was a little naive. I thought that the Friend Heart was some kind of magic power that could make anyone my friend. And with you I thought I was proven right. But I just got lucky. Because um, well, my other Friend Heart attempts on enemies didn’t go so well. So I gave you the Friend Heart but you and Rika both…you both chose how to be. Y’know? I really didn’t have anything to do with it. It’s all you.” She hooks her arm under Bella’s in a side hug and smiles up at her. ”If that makes any sense.”

As much as Bella might try to keep her composure, it was hard to disguise the unadulterated joy that suffused her. “If you say so,” she conceded, returning the street fighter’s hug. While she had yet to understand a great deal about interpersonal relationships, especially in the World of Light, she couldn’t help but feel as if Sakura was downplaying her part in all this. The bottom line was that Bella owed her new lease on life to this girl, but if Sakura wanted the Seaplane Tender to feel as if she should be proud of herself, the last thing she wanted to do was disappoint her savior.

“I haven’t seen much of ze ozers,” she told Sakura. “But ze people here are nice. Zey see my tail, of course, but nobody seems to think twice about it. If I ask for directions, or food, or something to wear, zey generally lend a hand.” Bella looked around the indoor park of Alcamoth’s grand atrium, taking in all the green grass, vibrant flowers, and trim hedges as if for the first time all over again. “Is zis how it is everywhere?”

Sakura grinned, glancing around. She had a reminiscent look about her. ”It could be, if we all work hard enough. It sure is nice, huh?” She took a moment to appreciate how nice a community was. Hard to feel homesick when you’re made to feel at home, right?

”Thanks for sticking by us that whole time. It was…really rough. But we looked out for each other, right? What will you do, now that the war is over?”

“You are welcome.” Bella pursed her lips and looked at the ground, as if she’d been thinking about that very same question but had yet to come up with an answer. “I am not sure. Well, that is, I know what I would like to do. I would like to learn how to live like a normal person, and zen to do zat. Fighting is all I ever knew, and I want to do anything else. But I do not know how, or where. Not in Limsa, certainly.” She sighed through her nose, her expression solemn. “My crimes are too great, and zough facing ze consequences would be ze right thing to do…I do not want to face execution, or to rot in prison until I die. Nor do I want to get off on some…technicality or anozer, and live with all zeir justified hate, pretending nothing is wrong.” With her hands clasped in her lap Bella turned to look back at Sakura. “So I want to go elsewhere, far away from zose wartorn shores. But I don’t know where to go, and I do not think I can do it alone.” She said it not as request, but as a resolution, and hoped that sentiment got across. Even so, however, a part of her gazed at Sakura imploringly, hoping that it would be her that she went away with, to start a life anew.

Sakura listened, found herself nodding along. Whatever the law said, Sakura felt that Bella deserved a second chance. But at the end, she found herself unable to meet Bella’s gaze, feeling like she got what Bella intended. Rubbing the back of her head, Sakura looked at the ground.

”Well… I… personally- I-” Her shoulders sank. ”I can’t leave this fight unfinished. There’s still so much I have to do. I have people to find.” She said. ”After everything I’ve been through, I can’t just walk away.” Sakura didn’t want to hurt her friend's feelings but she also couldn’t be untrue to herself. Galeem needed to be stopped.

If she felt disappointed at all, Bella hid it well. “Of course, of course. I wish you ze very best as you persevere onward. You have many more people to save, and I will do what I can with ze life you have given me.” She bowed her head in respect.

”Geez, okay, honorable samurai! It doesn’t have to be goodbye forever or anything!” Sakura protested. ”I’ll come visit you! I’m sure we could figure something out. I’ll be coming back to Alcamoth every couple of days, at least!”

”Like right now I gotta go back to Limsa and kick the crap outta one of my best friends, Karin. Remember that stupidly elegant lady that made me eat dirt a couple days ago? Well it’s payback time. I wish you could be there to see it, but maybe Karin and I can come here and tell you how it went ourselves, huh?” Sakura concluded earnestly.

“Good luck!” Bella said, remembering the stupidly elegant lady well. “Zis time, she won’t know what hit her.”

Sakura wrapped her arms around Bella in a goodbye hug. ”See you later, Miss Bella!” And then she turned and ran back to Limsa.




It wasn’t long after that that she retrieved the Spirit that had protected her along the way. Without it, things would have been much harder for Sakura on her journey. To be honest, she couldn’t imagine herself keeping up with the others without it. Once she reached the naval headquarters, she left it with the guards at the front entrance.

”This is Arashio's spirit. Please tell the other members of her squad that she saved lives even after she was lost. Um. Thank you.” She bowed and made her way off to face Karin. That was all she could do. Ultimately it was a borrowed power, and she had no business interfering any more than that. That felt like the most respectful call.




And face Karin she did. Sakura felt like this rematch had been a long time coming, even though it had only been two days. Finally she felt like she understood what it took to be a hero. And now that she understood that, she could stop being a hero, and just be Karin’s friend. And being Karin’s friend meant wiping that smug look right off her face. And also, blocking this Ressen Ha. Oops. Karin sailed right over Sakura’s fireball and drove her palms into her face and chest. Slicing through the air Karin formed into a ball and hovered at Sakura’s head height for a moment, before Karin grabbed her head and slammed her knees into it, driving Sakura into the ground.

Growling with appreciation, Sakura rolled to the side to avoid a crushing stomp attack, and before Karin could push her assault she warded her off by firing a fireball into the ground, causing Karin to almost lose her footing.

”Here we go!” She glanced over at the others, some of them watching her fight on the beach. Sakura winced apologetically, a bead of sweat running down the side of her face.”Sorry for all the fighting! I promise I'm almost done!”

"You are no such thing!" Karin shouted, rejecting that idea out right and charging in only to get fireballed in the face.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by XoXKieroBombXoX
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XoXKieroBombXoX Entering my Redemption Arc

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Level 4-

|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| (19/40)
Word Count: 521
+1 EXP
Sandswept Sky - Middle of Nowhere






Raiden strolled along side the group at a modest pace, keeping up with their steps while also saving his stamina from being further exhausted. It started to seem like they were beginning to trek an endless hike through the deathly desert, their only source of cool being a blast of momentary cool air. Keeping his composure, Raiden heard the voice of the small impish woman. "Raiden. Good to put a name to your face." He said nodding as she explained the world they now found themselves in.

He turned his attention to the ball of light he had previously assumed was simply the sun, but now looking at it, noticed many issues with this belief. "That explains all the little sombrero folk back at town..." He said, now clearly able to think for himself. "Is this guy really this strong that he was able to influence my free will? Hah, and I thought America was good at doing that." He joked to himself as he strode.

"So we have nine of... things... like that left in the world? God, I think I'll be due a cold, stiff drink after all that." He took a minute of silence to consider his options. Should he join this ragtag team of heroes? Or should he return to town to further search for purpose now that he knows the nature of the world? "Consider me included. I will be the blade that fights for justice in this world." He placed a hand on his chest as he spoke.

...

The pack travelled for a while in the same direction towards what Raiden had believed was the general direction of civilization before the small engineer called for a "Moogle", which had explained that they could be rescued, but it could take an indefinite amount of time. Sighing quietly, the cyborg knew he was in for the long haul. All he could do was wait with the crew and try his best to help out.

Sectonia, the queenly bee Raiden had met earlier had mentioned the creation of a temporary campsite. "I ain't got much for building, food, or supplies, but if anyone needs to charge anything I can spare some electricity." He offered to the crew before watching as Sectonia created large magnificent structures of crystals to serve as a temporary home base. She than suggested to him that introductions were finally in order.

"Right. My name is Raiden. I was a government mercenary, but that road's been past me for a better year or two now." He gently took off, folded, and sat his poncho down onto the sand, placing his sombrero on top. "I'm already acquainted with the Queen Sectonia, as you saw from the assistance she lent me in our combination attack, however many of you are unfamiliar faces to me." He planted himself neatly next to his Mexican attire as he adjusted the bandage covering his eye to be better snug in place.

"I wish to join your ranks. No human, monster, or cyborg should have to be a puppet. I've felt this feeling before, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone else."



Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Lugubrious
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Lugubrious Makes the big edits

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Tora, Poppi, and Big Band

Location: Sandswept Sky
Level 9 Tora (219/90) Level 9 Poppi (219/90) Level 7 Big Band (47/70)
Midna’s @DracoLunaris, Sectonia’s @Archmage MC, Primrose and Therion’s @Yankee, Jesse’s @Zoey Boey, Raz’s @TruthHurts22, Raiden’s @XoXKieroBombXoX, the Phantom Thieves, Braum, the Scout, Peacock, Tharja, Ciella
Word Count: 1690


Despite Tora’s proclamation, there would be no such thing as getting comfortable out on the scorching desert sands under the ruthless glare of the sun, especially after an irate Big Band rolled his eyes and moved to deprive the incorrigible Nopon of his shade. With the sun well into its descent its rays weren’t as intense as they would be at noon, but the Sandswept Sky had made the most of an entire day to soak up its warmth and create a layer of sweltering residual heat, so there was no relief in sight. Tora quickly found out that Poppi had no intention of exhausting her entire ether supply in a bid to keep her Masterpon cool, and that he would receive no such preferential treatment from the team’s other purveyors of cold either, so as far as he was concerned things were looking grim.

Fortune was still smiling on Tora and his merry band, however, and Sectonia’s bottomless bag of tricks saved the day once again. She conjured a handful of huge crystals overhead, covering a wide area in shade. What light filtered through the magical gemstone lattice turned all the colors of the rainbow, while the heat got absorbed by the crystal above. The desert’s residual heat still smoldered around them, but with the sun effectively blocked it was a lot better. Poppi, the Ice Antlions, and Goemon had less heat to contend with as well, so their efforts to beat the heat went a lot farther. In its shelter the victorious heroes could actually take a load off and wind down from their unforgettable experience.

From the looks of it, Therion planned to stick with the Seekers, after all. While he didn’t really know the man yet, or what he could do to help out other than press buttons, Tora was glad to have him. In the two days he, Poppi, and the others had been traipsing across the Sandswept Sky, the position of stoic, pragmatic rogue had gone unfulfilled, courtesy of the Courier’s sudden, inexplicable departure. Of course, they had the Phantom Thieves, but their brand of rebellious and stylish didn’t quite fit the bill. With the gunslinger still nowhere to be seen after all this time, not even showing up at the eleventh hour to save the day during the biggest boss fight of Tora’s life, the Nopon couldn’t help but think he was gone for good. So Therion was welcome, and the rotund engineer resolved to do better by this man than the last.

The thief inquired about payment, a subject near and dear to Tora’s heart. He had a lot to say on the subject, so much so that by the time he’d inhaled enough to fill his lungs, Midna cut in front of him. She mentioned Princess Peach as a potential source of remuneration, after which Tora launched into speech. “Tora sure hope so, meh! We out here risking life and limb, burning alive, freezing solid, flying around, fighting big bugs and small bugs and bomby bugs and all sorts of horrible rubbish. Tora should be rolling in cash!” He flopped back down on his back, only to get nudged in his side by Poppi. “Uh, friends too, meh.”

Poppi nodded slowly. Given everything that happened, even an Artificial Blade feeling weary wasn’t out of the question. “Back in Alrest, our group get money by completing quests, slaying monsters, salvaging, and selling collectibles. But here, we not really have time for anything but main mission.” After seating herself by Tora, she crossed her arms atop her knees. “Back in Al Mamoon, we only had time for one quest, and other than that, best we got was loot from mountain catacombs.”

“Mm-hm. Couldn’t buy much.” Tora looked sad. “Meh-meh. Usually, we very thorough. Scrape every corner for goody-goodies. But this team not have time for picking places clean, and it job of tank to be up in front, meh.” He sighed. “Once Tora get paid, first thing to do is eat own weight in Tasty Sausage!”

His companion shook her head with a wry smile. “If Masterpon overstuff himself, all that food could go to waste, and then Masterpon right back at square one.” She tilted her head a little and looked at Therion. “That remind Poppi, though. One silver lining is that in both places we save so far, everyone so grateful that they give us food and shelter for free. Maybe Validar in Al Mamoon do same.”

Until now Band had been sitting nearby, content to listen to the others talk while he fanned himself with his hat, but now he broke his silence. “Hmph,” he grunted, his brows skeptical. “Somethin’ tells me Validar ain’t gonna be as accommodatin’. You mighta saved those other places, but the big grub wasn’t goin’ anywhere up on that mountain. Way he likely sees it, we were just cleanin’ up the mess we made. Man’s too deliberate, if you get what I’m sayin’.”

He glanced at Ciella, but the rabbit-eared archer just shrugged. “Don’t kid yourselves. For unleashing such a threat upon the Eastern Desert and endangering Al Mamoon, I’m sure he would hold you personally responsible.”

“Figures.” Band huffed. “No wonder you didn’t shoot out any of the statues up there.” He raised an eyebrow at her. “What’re you still ‘round for now the job’s done, anyhow? You ain’t plannin’ to tag along, are ya?”

Ciella snorted in indignation and looked away. “Just catching my breath before I fly back. My mission is far from over.”

“Ughhhhh,” the Nopon moaned. “Tora just want out of sandyland, meh. It feel like we here forever.”

And yet, we’ve seen so little, Band mused. This went double for him, seeing as he only joined forces with the Seekers in Al Mamoon, roughly two thirds across the Sandswept Sky from the point that the team evidently departed. This region seemed stupidly vast, ostensibly barren and inhospitable, but who knew how many more hidden temples, ancient ruins, and unfathomable secrets lay scattered across it? Just Split Mountain on its own had been like a realm unto itself, from the alpine wilderness and frosty heights above, to frozen caverns and accursed catacombs below. Just who was that giant, entombed in the ice? That big bear who slumbered in with his snout in autumnal redwood forest and his rump in winter wonderland? He remembered seeing lights in the windows of that convent, nestled as it was in the inhospitable Graveyard of the Peaks. Maybe the treasure troves Tora dreamed of did lie undisturbed in the Inner-Mountain’s dark recesses even now, their gems and baubles never to see the light of day. For Band, however, the prospect of inordinate wealth didn’t ruffle his feathers. Just the chance to do real, tangible good for the people of the world was more than he was used to, and that was what he wanted the most.

The detective evaluated the group. Able to take a break at long last, the airborne mages Midna and Sectonia could set themselves down at last, and do little more than converse as they saw fit. Now that Therion was with the group officially, he and Primrose could reconnect properly. The Phantom Thieves sat off to the side in their own little group, talking among themselves. Even with the desert heat, Skull and Panther in particular didn’t seem to mind sitting very close together indeed. Only Joker really kept quiet, though he did scratch at Mona’s ears just like a cat’s. Braum had planted his shield in the sand at an angle and reclined on its cold-enchanted surface with his arms behind his head, dozing away. When Raz mentioned a shower, Poppi offered to switch to her Water Core and douse him, which promised to leave him both clean and cool in the desert breeze. Now that he’d given his name and formally pledged his blade to the cause, Raiden received both a literal and figurative warm welcome from the others, even the Scout. When he got the chance, Band made sure to introduce himself in return. “I’m all there of the most real,” he said in customary fashion. “Big Band. You got yourself some sharp notes there, son. I’m sure we’ll play together just fine.”

“Poppi is Poppi!” the Artificial Blade told Raiden.

“Am Tora!” her Nopon creator added without sitting up.

That left just a couple others. Like Joker, Jesse remained taciturn, although not in a hostile way. Maybe she just wasn’t used to a group this big, or more likely, how strange its members were. For Band’s part, working for the Anti-Skullgirl Labs did a lot to desensitize him to colorful characters. Mao and Fox weren’t around, but with how aloof they’d been, Band wondered how soon he’d see them again. That just left Tharja, who the others had left alone with her grief–everyone except Peacock, at least. The crazy little redhead and her zany gang of minions seemed to have surrounded the dark mage with their hijinx, either trying to lift her mood or just distract her from her misery. To their credit, Tharja looked gloomy and annoyed, but not miserable, so maybe it was working. Band closed his eyes. As much as it hurt to lose Robin, he was grateful that nobody else had died over the course of the Seekers’ journey. Even Sora and Yoshitsune, gravely wounded by the Wendigo underground, were going to be okay, and Laharl didn’t seem like the type to go off and die in a blizzard. That almost everyone made it was a miracle, considering what they’d been through, and it was one for which Big Band was profoundly grateful.

“Ey, pops!”

Band opened his eyes to see Peacock standing in front of him, her mechanical arms crossed. “I told Miss Diaphanous over there you could belt out a mean tune, and wouldn’tcha know it, she wants an earful. I’ve gotten more than enough earfuls from you ovah the ears, but howsaboutcha play ‘er a li’l somethin’-somethin’, eh?”

The detective smiled as he rose to his feet, shaking the sand off. “I’d be happy to.”

Ms Fortune

Location: Deep Blue Seaside - Limsa Lominscuttle Town
Level 9 Nadia (12/90)
Word Count: 4518


“You’re DOG FOOD!” Flush with anger and scowling ferociously, the so-called Pirate Lord Barth clenched his teeth and began to hoist himself up over the bar.

In his single-minded fury to get at Nadia and rip her limb from limb he nearly sent the burglar’s gold-laden bag to the floor, which the indignant thief narrowly managed to yank out of the way in time. “Watch it!” he snapped as he stumbled out of his chair, his efforts to play it cool ruined. With a curled lip the man resigned himself to an ungainly barfight, which he started with a bang by kicking his barstool out of the way.

Nearby, all three of the hooligans rose from their booze-soaked table at about the same time, either eager to fight or just to follow along. The bearded cat-caller owned a hatchet slung across his back, but rather than wield it alongside Barth he just cracked his knuckles, ready to brawl.

Though the five made for an intimidating sight, especially with Barth just about to charge Nadia down like a raging bull, the feral had a more immediate problem to worry about: the oversized gecko between her and the swinging saloon doors. Her eyebrows furrowed. She’d pretended to forget about the guy whilst trading barbs with the boss, but she bet her bottom dollar he meant to grapple her from behind and hold her like firewood for Barth to hack apart. Sure enough, the creak of aged planks behind her made her cat ears twitch; there was no time to lose.

She spread her arms suddenly, unleashing a voluminous splash of blue blood that coalesced into three feline doppelgangers. Her copycats surged forward like a tidal wave, catching her foes off guard just enough that they couldn’t react in time. Barth’s wild swing cleaved straight through the first one, but it wasn’t enough to stop her, and all three mimics pounced on him in a triple tackle that knocked him right off his feet and smashed him through his lackeys’ table. All of them went down in a tremendous crash that caught the slack-jawed trio mid-rise, and in one big burst of wood chips and lifeblood the crew went down with their captain. Only the thief escaped the destruction, but with the mess in his way he had to go around.

Unfortunately, Nadia couldn’t afford to relish the havoc caused by her copycats. Right after dispatching them she’d twisted halfway around, grabbing her wrist with her other hand, then in a blast of blood launched her elbow right into the pirate Techo’s snout, aiming for the bandage. “Gyahh!” he grunted, his headlock foiled and his hands instinctively clapped on his nose. With a snarl he pulled his right back for a haymaker hook punch, but Nadia was faster. She moved in with a double claw slice, left then right, then a back-leg round that flowed smoothly into a turn kick. Her foot planted in the Techo’s belly, prompting a gasp, and with a grin on her face Nadia raised her arms for a big X-Scrape Claws to finish him off.

Her opponent had other plans. Recovering faster than she thought, he lunged forward and latched onto her forearms with his big, clammy hands, stopping her cold. He then leaned back, using his tail as a support so that he could pick up one big, muscular leg and kick her right in the ribcage. Instead, Nadia detached her arms at the biceps and headbutted the Techo right in the schnozz. “GYAHH!” He released Nadia’s arms as he stumbled backward, his hands on his poor nose again.

The feral rolled after him, sticking her arms back on as she tumbled, and flipped over to launch a point-blank Fibber Upper, propelled to new heights by her internal purr-essure. “Hasta l’away-go!” Her legs’ explosive full extension blew the Techo through the saloon doors, across the boardwalk, and into the murky seawater below.

A booming laugh reached Nadia’s ears, and in the middle of her extension she looked up to see Barth almost upon her. Though roughed-up from her doubles’ stunt earlier, he’d broken free from the mayhem and thundered across the bar toward Nadia, his axe held overhead with the murderous intent of an executioner. Her eyes went wide, and she snapped together again like a rubber band, yanking her upper half out from under him to rejoin her legs in midair. Barth’s axe came down on nothing, splitting apart several planks of the Sturmbreacher’s wooden floor but missing his target completely. “Huh!?”

“Nice try, Pirate Lard!” The big oaf rubbernecked upward, his face twisted by the transformation of gleeful assurance into angry confusion. He found Nadia clinging to the wall above the door where the momentum of her snap-back carried her, a gleeful smirk stretched ear to ear. Much to the feral’s delight, it looked like he had yet to understand her true ability, having only just come to terms with her copycats. “What, cat got your tongue?” As he lifted up his axe, Nadia kicked off the wall in a blood jet, somersaulted in midair, and landed on Barth’s face with a double stomp that bent him backward and carried him into the floor. He swung at her even still, but she was already gone, having rolled forward and sprung to her feet.

As Barth fought to get back up, frothing with both swears and spittle the whole time, Nadia got a look at how his mooks were doing. After they decked the head honcho, her copycats tried to pin her opposition down as long as they could in order to buy the original time. One lay in a puddle on the floor thanks to Barth, leaking down into the grooves between the planks, but the others managed to keep the bearded catcaller and the boozy lass down. Only the masked guy was on his feet, but his attempts to get the girl free had gotten him slapped around by her captor’s fishtail. “Ouchie!” he yelped, his palm on his stinging cheek.

“Cooooooole!” his little friend blubbered, face-down and too sloshed to do anything but struggle weakly beneath the weight of Nadia’s copycat. “I’m stuuuuuuck!”

“‘Old on, Ducky!” With his other hand the dude reached down to his pouch, from which he produced a sea-blue sphere, a little like the balls that Nadia remembered Junior tossing around. “R-roight then!” he stammered, breathing deep to center himself. “Up an’ at ‘em, Pudgy!”

He tossed the ball, and in a burst of light a big seal manifested. Nadia’s eyebrows rose. Oh no, it’s cute!. At her trainer’s behest the Sealeo shot the copycat holding the scoundrel girl down with Ice Beam, freezing it solid. “That’s it, Pudgy!” the bandit cheered. “Let’s get it off Ducky, quick now!” Together he and his Pokemon started kicking, shoving, and otherwise beating the frozen clone to get it off. It was actually kind of sweet in a way, but Nadia had already paid the pair’s antics too much attention. The bearded catcaller had fared better against his assailant. After taking a series of punishing slugs and knees his copycat had lost too much mass to sustain herself and plopped down, allowing the brigand to get back up. Now he shuffled toward her in stance, his fists raised like a boxer, and the white-haired thief strolled after him. Behind her, Barth was nearly back up, too. Nadia moved in.

She and the brigand closed the distance in a second. Knowing that she had only a couple seconds to deal with the thug before his friend joined in the fun, Nadia went low beneath his right cross. As she ducked she moved past him, slapped him in the face with her fishtail, and elbowed him in the spine. He turned with a full-force backhand, poised to knock her block off with one massive hammerfist, but Nadia popped her head up and out of the way. He followed through with a mighty hook to the feral’s ribs, and it hurt like hell, but it wasn’t enough to stop her. “Head’s up!” She caught her head and slammed it into the brigand’s like a rock. A loud BONK rang out as both staggered, but with his temple struck versus Nadia’s parietal, the catcaller had it a lot worse.

Before she could fully recover, the thief made his move. He threw his grappling hook and ensnared Nadia’s leg, which he yanked out from under her using both hands. She went down hard enough to knock the wind from her lungs. As he dragged her across the floor Nadia passed the leftovers of a copycat, which she strained to reach out for and absorb. The clever thief slung his rope over a hook hanging from the ceiling, coiled the line, then used his body weight to hoist Nadia into the air, where she dangled by one leg. Just as she got her breath back she received a sharp kick to the back of her head, hard enough to prompt a grimace and screw her eyes shut. “Oww!” When she opened one she got an upside-down look at both the brigand and Barth storming her way, axes in hand. The boss shoved his lackey aside, however, and closed in as he wound up a timber-felling chop.

“Oh, crumbs.” She detached her leg at the thigh and dropped to the ground just as Barth swung. His mighty overswing left him off balance, and as Nadia came down hardened her ears to stick in the floor. From there she rotated at the neck to pull off a Wheel of Fortune to cut into barth’s belly with tail and talon alike. “Spin cycle!” She ended with a flourish, holding herself up by her hands with her stump aimed behind her as a thruster and her other leg extended. “Off your feet!”

The sweep to Barth’s knee dropped him to the floor for a third time, where he landed hard with a garbled howl. As he fell Nadia rose, a new mimic leg growing to replace that limb that was still tied up. Unfortunately, the brigand cut short her cool pose as he surged in. He planted his foot hard enough to shake the floorboards, but instead of coming down, his axe went low. “Agh, kitty litter!” Nadia cursed when the blow opened her up, bloodying her good leg. I hate blocking! I hate blocking! The brigand swung upward, replacing the axe on his back as he kicked her. He continued the combo with a burst of body blow and ended with an uppercut. After that he reached back and pulled out his axe for a massive overhead chop, but in the clarity that accompanied her numbness, Nadia got an inkling that his finisher couldn’t be true. She let out a burst of blood and backdashed out of harm’s way to land on top of the bar. Determined to not give her a moment to breathe, the thief sliced at her calves with a dagger, but Nadia cartwheeled out of the way along the countertop. “Nuh uh!” Her hand closed around the neck of a beer bottle, and the next second it hurled the brigand’s way. To the feral’s chagrin it missed, but there were plenty more where those came from.

“Drinks on me!” As the two men chased after her she absolutely pelted them with bottles. They pushed through, shielding their eyes from shattered glass and fiery grog, until Nadia switched things up by hurling her own hardened fishtail like a big battle-axe of her own. The sharp-eyed thief ducked, but the brigand took it to the chest and bowled over backward to land on and crash through a stool. “Nyahaha, can’t hold your liquor!” Soaked in alcohol and spiked by splinters, he attempted to rise, but Barth stepped on his chest as he made a beeline for his nemesis.

At some point the thief had retrieved his grappling hook. Now it whirled around in his grasp, primed for another expert throw, but to Barth it was just in the way. “MOVE!” He elbowed the thief into the bar and stomped past, only for his underling to spring toward him and jam his dagger right into the ringleader’s gut. “GRAGH!” Barth howled, his rancor changing targets in an instant. “WHAT THE HELL!?”

The sunset light of Galeem burned like coal in the thief’s eyes. “Don’t you ever touch me, you cretin! You hear me!?”

As the two began their own fight Nadia crouched down on the bar, using the chance to take a deep breath. “So much for our honorable thief duel later,” she murmured. Still, if not exactly what she planned, she’d avoided hitting her fellow burglar on purpose, so this worked out well enough. Her break came to an abrupt end when an Ice Beam blasted her back off the bar and froze her to the shelves behind. “Oof!” she gasped, her eyes on Ducky and Cole as they approached. The girl swayed drunkenly, but she held a table leg almost as big as she was like a greatclub, and Cole wielded twin chair legs as he stood by Pudgy the Sealeo. Nadia smiled. “Ice to meetcha.”

“Loikewise!” Cole chucked his table legs like throwing knives. Nadia rolled her head from one side to the other to avoid them, then shot it in a spurt of blood. The sight of the head flying toward him, mouth wide open and fangs exposed, shocked Cole so badly he couldn’t move. “Wot the!? Gaaaagh!”

“Omnomnomnom!” Nadia’s head darted around his body, biting again and again.

“Oogh, ow, eek!” Cole squealed. “Ducky, you gotta help me! Ducky!”

The girl shambled toward him, lifting up her table leg. “...I got it. Hold…still!”

Her friend’s eyes went wide. “W-wait, no!”

BONK!

As Cole fell like a sack of bricks, Ducky bent over him. “Did…did I get it? Hic!”

“Oof, right on the noggin!” Nadia’s head remarked cheerfully, very much not gotten. Frightened, Ducky lifted her impromptu bludgeon for another swing, but Nadia’s head rolled back. From her neck flew a spray of blue blood, right into Ducky’s eyes. The girl yelped and fell backward thanks to her oversized weapon, which left just one problem.

“Ee!” Pudgy grumbled as she flopped toward Nadia’s head, trying to squash it. With a yowl the feral flipped her head upside down, and using her ears like tiny legs she took off running. The bizarre chase went on for a couple moments, beneath tables and chairs, as Nadia worked her body free from the ice. Finally she broke out, the crash loud enough to get Pudgy’s attention. “Ee?” Barely had the Pokemon looked over, however, then the body landed on her flabby back and bounced off her like an exercise ball. “Oh!” she grunted, turning back to see Nadia’s head and body reunited once more. The feral dashed in, but when Pudgy scrunched up to block, she got thrown instead. Nadia wrapped the Sealeo up in a yarn ball of muscle fiber, spinning her around and around.

A few feet away, Cole and Ducky both sat up, ready to vent their frustrations. Before they could start arguing, their eyes settled on the giant ball of blue tissue rolling straight toward them, and in comedic fashion they grabbed onto one another while screaming. Nadia’s ball rolled them over and exploded through the bar, where it unwound to leave the catgirl back in one piece and the odd pair in a dazed heap with their Sealeo.

“And that seals the deal, whew!” Nadia sighed, stretching before she pulled out and flicked away a wood chip. She spotted the thief’s bag on the counter, full of her stolen gold, and scooped it up to wear over her shoulder. Only then did she become aware of labored breathing and turn to see Barth, supporting himself on the bar with one hand while the other staunched a stab wound in his midsection. Behind him a body lay in two halves on the floor, half-dissolved into ash in a pool of blood. Nadia’s eyes narrowed. “You’re a real vicious sonuva bitch, huh, Barf?”

The so-called Pirate Lord chuckled darkly, his bloody teeth bared in a gruesome grin. Nearby the bearded brigand pulled himself up too. Nadia circled toward the door, unsteady on her mimic leg. Can’t leave my real leg behind she realized. Or my tail, for that matter. She scanned the floor but found no sign, even when she gave a mental signal for it to kick a little.

“Lookin’ for this, ya freak?”

Nadia locked onto Barth to find him holding her twitching leg on the counter. With one giant mitt he held it down, and with the other he held up his bloody axe. “You…”

“I figured it out,” he growled. “All yer bits are still alive, wherever they might be.” The man lifted his axeblade. “Which means ye can still feel THIS!”

Fear curdled in Nadia’s stomach. He was going to chop her, just like Dahlia did, and she was too far away to do a thing about it. “Dammit!” In an instant her blood pressure maxed out, and she remembered her idea from earlier. Now’s as good a time as any.

“DIE!” In a blast of blood she launched her arm, connected by cords of muscle fiber. Her punch hurtled across the room like a miniature rocket, missed Barth’s ugly mug, and shattered a bottle on the shelf behind him. Nadia grit her teeth, despair threatening to well up inside her as she dreaded the all-too-familiar agony soon to come. Of course she wasn’t going to hit the first time she tried this; why didn’t she practice earlier!?

But wait. The combination of her vehement outburst, plus the unexpected projectile, had given Barth pause. He thought her long-range punch was going to hit him, and when it missed, the big lout couldn’t help but look over his shoulder to see what it hit. Now’s still my chance! Nadia seized the shattered glass, ignoring how it pierced her, and snapped back on her arm. In an instant her limb retracted, pulling along with it a fistfill of glass that sliced through Barth’s face as it went. A wordless scream erupted from him along with the blood, and his hands went to his face.

Nadia grimaced as she retracted her arm, pulling her leg through and reabsorbing her last copycat puddle as she did. No matter how bad a man Barth might be, the grisly wound turned her stomach, and his cries of agony chilled her spine. Regret gnawed at her insides as she searched for justification. There was no time, she thought. It was my only choice. He probably deserves it. But it didn’t make her feel any better, and seeing the look on the faces of Barth’s crew made it worse. With her ears flattened in horror and her mind racing, Nadia didn’t hear the creak of footsteps behind her. Not until the knife pierced her back.

“Huuuuh…” she gasped, eyes wide as shock and pain filled her body. Her vision lost focus, and her head lost forward as shadow crept across her face. “Hagh…hagh…”

Behind her, Red Band Rita bared her teeth in an ugly, crooked smile. “‘Ow’s it feel? ‘Matey’…” Her hand came to rest on Nadia’s shoulder, sliding up toward the neck. “Me carvin’ knife. Special made for works of art, but it cuts up mouthy li’l wenches just as nice, heheh.”

Up toward the bar, Barth took his hands off his face. He was still bleeding from a half-dozen scars and breathing heavily, but for all his wailing he seemed strangely composed. “Rita,” he rumbled, pulling out a cloth to wipe his head with. “What’re ye doin’ here?”

“Just settlin’ a score,” the pirate woman told him. Taking in the state of the Sturmbreacher, she narrowed her eye. “Don’t tell me this scrawny whelp did all this?”

Barth spat out a wad of blood. “She’s got powers,” he growled. “Copies ‘erself, and splits ‘erself apart.”

Rita smirked. “Hm. Maybe ‘er soul will fetch us a good price, eh?” She shook Nadia roughly by the knife in her back. “Once the bitch ‘urries up an’ dies.”

“Heheheh…”

Rita blinked. “...What?”

“Heeheehee,” Nadia giggled, fighting through the pain. “Man…that hurt…” Her head rotated around to stare Rita square in her flabbergasted eye. Her hands softly closed around the pirate’s. “Well,” she whispered, her left eye ablaze with blue light. “Maybe a whittle bit…”

Rita reeled back in shock. “What the-!”

A beam of radiant azure water burst out from Nadia’s eye, blowing first through her eyepatch, then through her would-be killer. It blazed through the Sturmbreacher’s saloon doors, along the piers, and above dark waters. Rita screamed, but the sound was drowned out in the torrent, and a moment later she was gone. Only her forearm remained, which Nadia dropped to melt away on the floor as her head spun back around. Behind her, the late afternoon light silhouetted a very angry cat, her left eye still aglow with oceanic power.

“H-huh!?” Barth backed into the bar, aghast. His crew members shrank away behind the furniture. “Stop! Please! W-what are you!? Y-you lot, get ‘er!”

But nobody did. Nadia took a long, slow deep breath and dropped her new bag to the ground. “I’m…” Her eyes lingered on the gold that glittered within, the cause of all this trouble. The reason why people thought it was okay to murder her in cold blood, Galeem’s influence or not. It was stolen treasure that brought on the wrath of the Medici Mafia too, that led to the deaths of her family, and almost to hers. People like this, like Barth and Rita, or Lorenzo and Dahlia, so consumed by greed that any tragedy was excusable…how much blood was on their hands? How could they ever be forgiven? In their world, only two options existed: kill, or be killed. Nadia’s eyes opened.

“I’m…still alive.”




The sky was beginning to turn pink and orange, and the sun’s slow but steady slide brought it closer and closer to the horizon that lay across told depths of water. All along the ocean waves, but especially across the gorgeous shallows of Heaven’s Edge, the water glinted with reflected luster. It was a dazzling sight, and all the more wonderful that it came as the send-off for a perfect afternoon of enjoyment and relaxation. Whether spent stuffing oneself at the buffet, luxuriating in tropical drinks, engaging in various competitions, exploring the beautiful surroundings, building sand castles, chatting together, or just dozing the hours away on a beach chair in the sun’s immaculate radiance, a good time was had by all. Even the fighters between the street fighters, or between Cerberus and Link, did little to spoil the experience. Moreover, while originally meant to be a time for peace and privacy for the weary Seekers, the time spent at the Kanzuki Beachfront Estate ended up introducing them to a couple promising new faces. Cerberus, Rubick, Susie, and of course the illustrious Karin herself found themselves welcome among the heroes who’d made the Deep Blue Seaside a safer place.

While the matches between Sakura and Karin had yet to conclude, they ultimately occupied only a small fraction of the beach, a sense of tranquility reigned. Everyone got a chance to sit back and breathe easy, recounting the afternoon’s events with Peach and Hat Kid now that the two had arrived from Alcamoth. As the Seekers talked over a fresh round of smoothies and virgin pina coladas from the bar, they got a chance to see something interesting on the water: an incredibly huge vessel of red metal cruising along the water, suspended beneath a a live, balloon-like sea creature of even greater side. It sailed at a leisurely pace for Limsa Lominscuttle Town, bound for its main harbor to make port. Here and there the more astute of them could catch some chatter from passers-by, and glean a sense of the general excitement that the Argentum Trade Guild had come to do business in Limsa once more. At least, when the combatants weren’t calling their attacks, that is.

Not long after the merchant mega-ship passed, the Seekers spotted one last familiar face headed their way. Nadia Fortune strolled toward them across the sand, a little more tired and less exuberant than usual, but visibly none the worse for wear. Her white tank had been replaced by a deep blue tee knotted at her diaphragm, and over her shoulder was slung a teal-colored bag, the contents of which clinked softly with every step. “Heya,” she smiled softly, waving as she approached. “Miss me?”

“Hello yourself.” Peach returned the smile. “I was just wondering where you were, actually. Everything okay?”

Hatty’s eyes lit up at the sight of Nadia, and she ran over with open arms. “Hi!”

The feral knelt down to give the kid a hug. “Hi, Hatty! You feeling alright?” When the girl nodded, Nadia took off her hat to pat her head. “I’m so glad.” She rose back up to her full height and glanced at Peach. “I’m feline fine, yeah. Always nice to be missed, y’know? Plus, check this out. I’m filthy rich!”

While it wasn’t much compared to the Mushroom Kingdom treasury, Peach gave an impressed nod anyway. “Looks like you’re one lucky cat.”

“Mhm, yeah. So, what’re you all up to?”

Peach shrugged. “Nothing much. We were just starting to discuss where to go for dinner once the girls finish their little tussle, since it’s getting to be that time. Now that you’re back, I think everyone’s here, too.”

“Oh!” Nadia crossed her arms. She glanced at Rubick for a moment, but despite his arcane appearance took him to be just another new friend. “That reminds me. I heard of a place called Rum for Ale. It’s food from Cuba, wherever that is. Really flavorful, or so it’s said. My treat!”

“That sounds nice. And you’re really too kind.” Peach looked around at the rest of the group. “Any thoughts? Other ideas?”

“Whatever’s good with us!” Cerberus chorused, sharply-dressed in their newly cleaned and dried suits. Nadia couldn’t help but smile when looking their way. They’re like dog girls, how cute! she thought.

Of course, they didn’t compare to Ace. She moseyed over next to him to give his shoulder a squeeze. “Hey dude. Lookin’ a little red there.” As she took in the gathered Seekers and guests, she found herself more grateful than ever for good company. For a little while at least she’d had quite enough of going it alone.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by XoXKieroBombXoX
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XoXKieroBombXoX Entering my Redemption Arc

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Level 1 Prisoner - (9/10)
Malaise Counter:
////////// (0/10)

Level 2 Frisk - (17/20)
Word Count: 2371
+4 EXP
Frozen Highlands - Forest Clearing





The Prisoner watched as many of the foes lead by the bigger snowman were being mowed down one by one by blade and arrow alike. He continued to snipe the frosty bad guys from the comfort of the trees as the elven lady and the blonde-haired mystery guy continued the front-line attack. The blonde man he had yet to introduce himself to seemingly held some strength in powers as he summoned plant-life by his own will simply by spreading some sort of dust across the land, then quickly plunging his blade into the chest of the bad snowman. Their attack, with the impromptu assistance of The Prisoner was seemingly going well.

It was then that the other forces held an attack of their own, summoning a wave of snow from atop the mountains to slow the group down. The avalanche threatened to shake the Prisoner out of his hiding spot amongst the bush of the trees as he held on tightly to the unstable branches. His grip loosened, quickly knocking him face first into the snow, feet away from the child who held onto the gun The Prisoner had previously warned about, grunting as he landed directly into the snow. He took a minute to pull himself out of the deep white blanket and pull himself on top.

...Or atleast, the kid was holding the gun.

Maybe the child was unaware of just how much recoil was on the seemingly innocuous rifle. Or perhaps they simply chose to ignore the headless guy's warning. Either way the result was all the same. With a startled yelp, Frisk was forcefully parted from the Alternator. ...Maybe they should just stick to smaller firearms? Once the initial shock passed they kicked a bit of snow at the rifle in frustration. "Useless scrap of metal!!"

At least their friends were having no trouble carrying this fight, including the new guy that they assumed was the one following them.

Cause as it turns out, they'll definitely need the help.

The remaining bad-snowguy remained on the offense, forcing Frisk to evade it's initial waves. They saw the alchemist go in for a fatal stab, all for nothing. Except an avalance of course. The youth visibly tensed up, not sure what to do before it hit them. As much as they wanted to rush over and help free Albedo from the snow baddie's grip, they didn't have enough time. So instead, just as the headless guy fell from his spot in the trees, Frisk hurried over and shielded the both of them from whatever threatened to reach the two.

The Prisoner had managed to pull himself out from the covering of snow as Frisk provided some defense, which gave him ample time to get back up on his feet. If The Prisoner had a face, he'd give the kid who probably saved him from being completely buried in snow a gentle grin, so rather instead he nodded his head and gave them a thumbs up. "Thanks kiddo, guess I owe ya one!" He said in his ghost-like voice.

Frisk in turn grinned back at their new ally. "Thanks for the cover fire." They told him.

The politeness from the small child was enough to convince the Prisoner they were an ally worth fighting alongside. He'd turn towards the gun that the child had lost from the recoil and pick it up to inspect it's craftsmanship for a moment. He'd eye it down for a moment before looking back at the kid. "Mind if I borrow this?" He asked them as he looked down the scope for a moment.

Frisk nodded. It was probably more useful in someone else's hands anyways. They attempted to push the snow that blocked their vision away with both a free hand and their barrier.

The Prisoner examined the field after the snowman's attack to his new teammates, the one blonde alchemist now seemingly trampled by the force of the snow. Seems he'd be out of the fight unless he could pull himself up. The Prisoner aimed the gun directly at the head of the boss snowman, ripping bullets through his frosted skull as he quickly found out the gun shot bursts of flames at the snowman. Perfect.

If he could get closer to the leader snowman, this fight could be over within seconds, reducing the guy to nothing but a puddle by the end. He held on to the gun underneath his arm as he switched to his shield, following in lead with Frisk. "If we can get the snow out of the way, I can get close enough to melt him with this gun, and you can dig your friend out. I'm just out of range to hit him and this thing could do some nasty damage." He looked over for confirmation for his plan of attack.

It took a bit longer for the child to realize what had happened, and dread kicked in quick. Bad Frosty's taunting fell upon deaf ears. Friends were in danger. The headless guy fortunately had a plan, there was just one problem...

Frisk quickly shook their head with a frown. "I can only move so much with this thing up! But I think..." They trailed off, closed eyes turning to the sword that pierced through their adversary. They did have an idea, but brushed it aside with a shake of their head. If they had a hard time with a stupid rifle, trying to fight with an actual sword could also prove difficult. Their shield remained held up to defend them both from incoming attacks.

But the sight of a frying pan on his headless person did catch Frisk's attention. Now that's something they could use! "Think I can borrow that pan of yours?" They asked him. "I can distract him!" And they really need a proper weapon. Good grief.

The Prisoner seemed surprised at the kid's request. They wanted to borrow his frying pan? His trusty frying pan? "Hm, you mean this?" He'd pull the pan off of his hip where it carefully was strapped to his side with a makeshift holster. The pan was dirty and dented inward as well as along the sides. He'd twirl it in his hands before dramatically hugging it goodbye. "Take good care of it." He pointed at Frisk as he began clearing more snow.

Even if their fingers were still numb, Frisk held on tightly to the borrowed weapon. It was worn, but not burnt like the last frying pan they once wielded. Hopefully fighting will be easier with something they're more familiar with. Once they saw an opening, their soul turned back to it's default trait, allowing them to break away in a sprint.

"Kinda cheap using minions to do your job for ya, isn't it?!" Frisk taunted the Bad Frosty to make it attack them instead. They'd remain evasive for now, but if the headless guy was being attacked instead, they'll rush in to strike.

The Prisoner continued to clear a path in the snow, approaching closer and closer as he bashed away more and more of the blanket. They were surprised with the speed of the child as they rushed head first into battle, but the more time they bought for him, the better. He'd get closer and closer as Frisk continued to taunt and toy with the big boss.

Once he got into optimal range, he'd raise the gun up once more so that the fire effect of the weapon would be in closer range of the snowman. "Outta the way kid!!" He shouted as he mounted his shield back on to his back.

"Right!!"

Soon as their ally called out, the child dodge-rolled out of way before they got hit with friendly fire.

The Prisoner let the bullets rip the minute Frisk dodged out of the way, as balls of fire flung in the same direction. He'd aim all of his fire on the big bad boss as he chuckled maniacly to himself. "You ain't burying me in no snow!" He'd cease his fire after a decent few shots, preserving the ammunition that was left in it as he kicked at the snowman's chest, putting the gun to his side, switching to his Balanced Blade.

Once they were certain the big boss won't try and hurt them during it, Frisk hurried over to where they assumed Albedo ended up in and frantically tried to dig him out first.

"Albedo?! Albedo, can you hear me?!" The child called out to him. "Please if you can hear me, grab my hand! I'll pull you out!!"

Just don't be dead. Please. They thought.

Frisk dug and dug until the snow drenched their gloves and numbed their fingers. There simply was too much snow, and without any sign suggesting where the alchemist might be, it was difficult to prevent despair from setting in. Any of the seconds passing by, after all, might be the one in which suffocation or hypothermia might finally claim Albedo's life. Not too long after all hope seemed lost, however, the fallen child's hand came to a stop on a frosted flap of familiar material--the alchemist's coat.

Frisk gasped. The growing despair they felt turned into the ever familiar determination. Cold, damp and numbed hands picked up the pace, digging the snow away from the coat before attempting to pull it out, even using the borrowed frying pan like a shovel at one point. And hopefully, it's owner will be pulled out with it.

The Prisoner held his green sword with great zeal as he sliced and chopped away at the snowman, trying to evade his melting blows all the while. "Not so hot now, aren't you?" He said in between swings. "How's it going back there kid?" He shouted behind his shoulder to the kid who disappeared for their own goals.

"I think I found him!!" They shouted back.

"Your friend?" He asked for a moment to look back and see that Frisk was pulling Albedo's coat out of the snow. "On the way." He shouted back before hitting the snowman with a second mighty kick.

He'd take a jump backwards before running back to the area where Frisk had dug out a portion of the alchemist. He'd examine the situation for a minute before grabbing onto the hanging portion of the man's jacket. "We can get him the rest of the way out if we pull at the same time." He nodded to Frisk before mounting his feet into the ground. "One... Two..." He braced himself. "Three!" He began pulling immediately on the count of three. Frisk would follow suit in unison, quietly hoping Linkle was okay too.

They pulled the rest of Albedo's weight out of the snow quickly as The Prisoner tumbled backward. Before anything bad could happen to the crew again, he scooped Albedo into one of his arms as he did the same to Frisk. He'd dash the two away, slightly slugged by the weight of a man and a child as he carried them back to the clearing near the beginning of the forest. He'd set Albedo down on the cold ground and Frisk on their feet.

"Thanks again." They said to him, once they were set back down. For now, they shrugged off their coat, and draped it over the Alchemist. Hopefully it'll warm him up, at least a little. Speaking of, they cupped their hands over their mouth to try and warm them up themselves. "I'm Frisk." The youth decided to go ahead and introduce themself.

The Prisoner seemed slightly confused with himself. Did he have a name??? Surely he did if he lived at one point, but he surely didn't remember it. He scratched his chin for a moment. "Well, I don't exactly know my own name as crazy as that sounds..." He thought for a moment. Had he really never thought about what his own name was? Well, guess he could always make one up on the fly.

"Call me Prisoner. Best I can do for myself, unfortunately. It's a pleasure to meet you, Frisk." He extended his hand for a casual handshake for the child, the skin on his fingers clearly rotting. "Err, maybe don't shake my hand." He added.

The fallen child only rose their brows in response. "You're undead too!"

...Which concidering the lack of a head, makes sense now. They tilted their head to the Alchemist. "This is Albedo," Then looked back to see if Linkle was still around. "Aaand Linkle will hopefully pop up at some point. She's something called a Skullgirl. We were on our way to this city pass that mountain over there." Frisk pointed to Dragonspine.

"I guess. Usually I'm a big old disgusting ball of disease." He told Frisk. "I just live in whoever's body doesn't have a head on it. Sorta like free living." He joked.

He looked up at the tower atop the mountain, which scaled in size to any small dungeon he was forced to crawl through. New opportunities arose. He nodded in thought as his eyes scouted the mountain from afar. This surely could be more entertaining. "Well, if you guys need a plus one, I'd be more than happy. I've been stuck in those ruins back there for a while now." He stated.

Frisk smiled, twirling the worn frying pan in their hand before handing it back to him. "After this? It'd be good to have you on board with us, Prisoner."

"Know what kid, why don't you hang on to that pan. Doubt a kid like you has a whole lotta protection." He'd gently push the pan back into their hands before giving them a thumbs up.




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