Hidden 6 mos ago Post by DruSM157
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Ferris Wood
Deep Forest. 21st Sun of Ondine
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“Wait, where are you-” Balder called to Avaddon before the muscular monk was off, speeding through the trees like some madman. Well, he did seem the maddest of all the recruits.

”Should...he go off all alone?” Edgar asked. He looked around to the others in the group, worried about Avaddon’s well being. After all, didn’t the job say there were twenty minoboros out there?

“What’s done is done. The trail is gone, and with this mist rising there’s little tracking to be done now. I fear that our new job is to simply survive.” Balder turned to look where they’d been marching from, but behind Artemisia the path was completely gone. Only thick foliage remained behind them. “Great,” Baldur muttered. He’d heard of this phenomenon happening in forests further in the badlands, where the miasma was thickest. The forest was coming alive it seemed. “There’s only one way forward.”

”I know this phenomenon! In heavy places with lots of vegetation and a high concentration of aldite, when exposed to thick miasma, the forest acts like a fly trap, luring wanderers into the deepest parts where the...most powerful monsters wait.” Edgar’s voice trailed off as he realized what he was talking about. Oh no.

“Come on. We need to catch up with the monk before he gets killed.” Balder began hacking at several vines, opening a path deeper into the brush to follow after him.

As Avaddon leapt from branch to branch, he would feel a sharp chill on the back of his neck. Something was watching him. Below the mist was becoming even thicker. The light was beginning to wane as the foilage overhead became extremely thick, creating a false night around him, and he could see rustling shadows below. A lot of shadows. The forest was coming alive…

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Hidden 6 mos ago 6 mos ago Post by Inkarnate
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Ferris Wood | Winding Paths


“Most powerful monsters, huh?” Mitra uttered, as she peered through her side of the woods. “Geeze, this day can't get any weirder.”

Mitra twirled her spear in her hands as she thought about Edgar and the proctor’s words.

Miasma. Aldite. She thought back to some of her assignments as a dragoon by the people in charge of the Empire, it checked it out, though she had never been in a forest filled with miasma before. If the forest was acting as a trap, she had to make sure she listened very carefully to the forest and to her party members. When Avaddon leaped into the fray she had shouted out, but he had decided to not even think. It was like when Blaike had suggested advance scouts go forward. With Balder stating the group had to go find him to make sure he didn’t get killed she felt elated that her instincts had been correct. Had Luna or someone else been sent out to scout ahead, they would’ve surely been caught off-guard. Scary stuff.

“Ianthe, can you cover the right flank? Since the weirdo monk decided to jump into the forest? I think, if we’re going to chase after him we should cover our weak spots.” It was almost a dragoon-like instinct, to command like she did, but Mitra tried her best to frame it as a request rather than a order. She had been good for this long pretending to be on her best behavior and masking her personality's impulses.

But if they were going into the brush, she knew that the right side of the group needed to be covered.

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Hidden 6 mos ago 6 mos ago Post by Mcmolly
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Ianthe

And there went the monk.

Ianthe heard the concern in Edgar’s words, she felt the same. Though Avaddon had been a rather loud and seemingly excitable man, she doubted he meant to face a nesting of miniboros all by his lonesome. Still, intentions often held little weight to what could actually happen, and if he wasn’t careful—or perhaps even if he was—he may find himself in a dire situation without aid. She hoped not, not just for his sake, but for the group’s as well.

Balder seemed to be holding together well, which was a relief. She’d seen plenty of leaderly-types among the bandit troupes, and plenty of them were quick to crack when faced with a real threat. Of course, she didn’t want to compare the Hunters Guild to them, but in the back of her mind, the part that denied the existence of true altruism, she couldn’t help it. She felt like a mercenary.

The dragoon pulled her back, and it was nice to hear another voice of reason among the group. Ianthe shifted to the right flank, casting quick, occasional glances back at Luna, Artemisia and Blaike. She kept her focus mainly upon the fog, but pushed from her mind its more mystical qualities. Balder was right, forward was the only way. Everything had an end, and this forest—this fog—was no exception.

Unfortunately, neither were any of them.
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Hidden 6 mos ago Post by Lugubrious
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Artemisia


Just when Artemisia assumed that the group would be working cohesively to make the best of this terrible situation, that oaf Avaddon took it in his head to enact Blaike's suggestion all on his lonesome. Even worse, he suggested that out of everyone present, herself and Luna were incapable and needed to be protected by the other four. The black mage scowled at him as he made sure to give Luna some reassurance before leaping away into the trees. “Stay safe,” she called, her voice not even a little genuine. She might have just as well said 'drop dead.'

A moment later Edgar asked if Avaddon really took the best and most reasonable course of action, which would have earned a comment construable as sarcastic if Artemisia didn't just then realize she forgot about him earlier when getting miffed. Balder spoke up on her behalf, though, and shortly thereafter confirmed her observation: there would no retracing steps today. Edgar started rattling off an explanation of what was going on, but the anomaly he mentioned turned out more interesting than Artemisia assumed it would be. She took the dreadful fog to be an omen, reacting to powerful fiends lurking within the murky woodlands, but what Edgar said made it seem as though the forest itself sought to bring about the intruders' demise. ”How repugnant,” she muttered.

The group forged on, tensions rising once again. With the path gone and their lifeline severed, the aspiring monster hunters faced severe peril. Unlike in a normal forest, they couldn't just keep going and trust in the trees to eventually give with. This forest had a heart, twisted and black, hellbent on leading any intruders to oblivion. The gnarled wood and heavy air conspired against them to lead them around in circles; even if fiends did not take them, hunger and thirst eventually would. Artemisia's group had already been snared in the spiders' web, and soon the vibrations would lead the predator to its prey.

Artemisia held out hope that she could escape by boosting above the treetops, and she really wanted to, but she couldn't afford to coward out in any situation short of catastrophe—when there was no hope of survival if she stuck with the group. What if things didn't turn out as bad as they seemed, after all? She would be the one who abandoned them. If they started getting picked off, she reasoned, then she would run. But who could say that her strategy was foolproof? Maybe the fog extended above the treetops too. Maybe things were worse up there than down here, where at least there were places to hide. Artemisia breathed deep, keeping herself steady. She kept her hands up, ready to swirl up a storm as she scanned the trees.
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Hidden 6 mos ago Post by Hero
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She wished she could say Ianthe's comment would calm her down, but Luna wasn't so lucky. The back of her head wouldn't stop hurting and she couldn't quite shake the feeling--and that wasn't even taking the miasma into account! Supposedly it had ill effects on people the longer they lingered, but she wasn't keen on testing that theory. She practically hugged her bow at this point, her eyes darting around as she let out a slight whine at Edgar's words. If she wasn't panicking before, she certainly was now!

Her free hand rested on her collarbone as she considered something. If the absolute worst was to come, she supposed she could use it. But even with all her jumping and feeling like something was going to leap out of the forest and ambush them, she had to quietly admit that there was a tiny part of her that actually wanted to go deeper into the forest. Perhaps it was the 'flytrap' phenomenon Edgar described, but she had to admit there was almost a pull to it.

Not that she would voice that thought, because even she recognized how insane it sounded.

Taking in a deep breath, she shook her head quickly, as if trying to dispel the pain at the back of her head, and she looked back at the now gone path. Holding in a whimper, she reached into her bag, pulling out a clear-colored gem. Slotting it in the empty spot next to the wind aldite, she watched its glow before looking around again. Her fingers gently strummed the harp, both gems glowing brightly in response. Playing a four note melody, a soft wind expelled from Luna as she quietly sang, "For we who choose to defend." The party would feel a calming sense of ease, their defenses fortified.

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Hidden 6 mos ago Post by DruSM157
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Ferris Wood
Deep Forest. 21st Sun of Ondine
Background Music

He'd never actually had a spell cast on him before. It wasn't like he'd ever been in a situation that needed spells; apart from fighting off some small dire rats and marmots back home, he'd never been a warrior. That didn't mean he didn't know how to fight, however. Part of his time spent tinkering had been creating strange machines to better help people.

When the machines didn't explode, of course.

"Wow!" Edgar explained. "It's like I can feel a force hardening my flesh! That's incredible! Does this spell come from the power of your voice? Or your harp? Or the aldite?" Edgar had spent his time working and engineering the flow of magic an a natural energy, but seeing it be harnessed by someone with the gift was exciting.

Of course it would be Edgar being so chipper after comparing the group to flies being sucked into a flytrap.
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Hidden 6 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Savo
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Blaike Fremont

Location:: Ferris Woods, ???
Date:: 21st Sun of Ondine
Interactions:: Artemisia, Avaddon, Balder, Edgar, Ianthe, Luna, and Mitra

Never realized that the definition of scouting ahead equated to negligently running, but that could of fooled him. He could only roll his eyes at the Dragoons remarks, thought he did ponder on if the miasma was clouding her judgement just a teeny bit. Regardless, he didn't forget his suggestion when he pivoted around to witness the lass undergoing what appeared to be a mental breakdown in the forest, which was possibly not the best of times, though Blaikes mind did wander for a bit to the possibility of her being poisoned, well, possibly.

The Red Mages free hand began to glow a soft white light as he reached out towards the priestess, only for the knight to comfort the girl instead. Easing his shoulders, he turned to glance at the ground, analyzing the thick purple mist that was gathering at their feet. Clenching his hand in a fist and dispelling the soft glow, he instead opted to crouch down and dip a finger into the mist. "So that's happening then, huh?"

Standing back up, he raised an eyebrow at the monks new suggestion to have one of them head forward instead of two people, which was just plain idiotic. Going in with two was to ensure both people could watch each others backs while getting a feel for the situation, while flying solo would of gotten anyone else killed in this situation.

But regardless, Blaike was one of the few who shouted out as well when the monk decided to charge foolhardily into the forest in place of just, you know, gathering information about the surroundings? Depending on the thickness of the mist and the way the forest reacted would of given him a better idea of what was to come, you know, observations.

With a sigh, Blaike peered at Edgar as he gave a brief explanation to the uninformed before peering at foliage. Malum Terrae was what they dubbed this phenomenon, or at the very least, it was a blanket term; depending on the environment, the vegetation potentially wasn't just the only thing that could be affected.

Pushing that thought aside, the Red Mage regained his senses as he began assessing the miasma levels, but based on what he could discern, they weren't in the thick of it just yet, however they were close. Giving his sword a light twirl, he watched as the knight obeyed Mitra's command. Yup, same old Mitra alright; hadn't really changed much aside from the unexpected appearance.

"Actually it comes from primarily the harp. If I can recall correctly, the voice of the person itself has no power. When combined with an instrument, in this case the bow, it acts as a medium to empower the voice to give it those magical properties. When combined with the emotions behind the voice, it can empower or debilitate enemies," Blaike spoke up, interjecting to answer the question in the priestess stead as he began to slowly retreat to the back of the group. "Anyways, I'll cover our rear for now in case we're ambushed from behind; not exactly the most elegant spot, but it at least keeps these two ladies out of the melee."
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Hidden 6 mos ago Post by DruSM157
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Ferris Wood
Heart of the Forest. 21st Sun of Ondine
Background Music

As the group moved forward into the brush, the sound of rustling brush echoed around the entire group. Shadows of various sizes seemed to be dashing around the party. Shapes of wolves, of plant monsters, of birds and of creatures with a more humanoid shape seemed to be moving away from the party. They were running from something.

The reverberating echo of a loud roar shocked the area of the group. It was coming towards them.

***


From Avaddon's perch, he could see the forest moving. But what he didn't anticipate was the large tendril wrapping around the tree he stood on. The sudden yank the tendril gave the tree caused the wood to buckle and snap, sending the monk down towards the forest floor, and only a few yards from the group. However, he was blocked off due to rushing shadows of monsters.

"Avaddon!" Edgar called to the burly monk. "Something is-" Edgar was unable to finish his shout as the large gaping maw of a beast emerged from the shadows, engulfing various creatures indiscriminately into its maw.



A malboro.

Various tendrils whipped around the earth, aiming to slam into Ianthe, Mitra and Baldur. The guildsman brought his buckler up to defend, but was quickly thrown aside. Slime and drool poured from the beast's mouth.

It was hungry.
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Hidden 6 mos ago Post by Lugubrious
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Artemisia


It didn't take long for the mounting suspense to spill over. Movement overtook the underbrush in all direction, causing Artemisia's muscles to tense in anticipation of action, but the creatures hastening through the shadows and shrubs wanted nothing to do with her or her ilk. They moved wildly, and in a singular direction. Away. And judging by the sound, the black mage wouldn't need to do much waiting to find out from what.

”It would appear we're in for something spectacular,” she more or less snarled. One hand went behind her back to retrieve a small black rod from its loop just above her waste, and with a flick of her wrist she extended the telescoping device into a sturdy-looking wand. There came a loud crash and the creak of protesting wood from the direction Avaddon went, disconcertingly close. Artemisia took the warning and let her magic flow. Around her the heavy air of the deep wood stirred to life for the first time in an eon, forming a rushing eddy around her. The black mage lifted off her feet to float a short distance off the ground, and as Edgar called out, she held her wand at the ready.

A moment later a hulking mass burst from the darkness, its hideous jaws clamping shut on the last few unfortunate beasts desperately trying to escape. It snapped them up in a spray of viscera, granting a horrifying sneak preview of the humans' potential fates. The sight shocked Artemisia, just for a moment, but the Malboro did not wait. Sensing more prey it charged toward the party's front line, lashing out with thick, heavy tendrils. Artemisia hoped that Ianthe and Balder could take it, but she couldn't spare the time to look. Instead she waved her wand, crying out, “Salvo!” A flurry of miniature aeros formed, condensed into bullets of air magic, and they sprayed out to riddle the Malboro across its lips. Counting on the others to keep her safe as she continued to cast, Artemisia launched another barrage with a backswing. “Salvo!” Hopefully striking the beast where its flesh was thinnest would cause some pain, perhaps even knocking out some of those nasty teeth. Though full of adrenaline the black mage fought to keep her head, holding close her other cards now that she'd played her first. If an opportunity came to do some real damage, she needed to take it. If this team brought anything less than their A-game, this monster would be their end.
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Hidden 6 mos ago Post by Hero
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Edgar's enthusiasm was charming, his questions and eagerness to learn how the music worked did earn him a tiny smile on her end. It had been something of an impulse purchase, but at least it was interesting. Although now that he asked, Luna wondered if she would be able to explain it the same way the blacksmith did. That wasn't to say she had no idea what was in her hands, but explaining specifics and details wouldn't come easy.

The chance to explain was snatched before she had a chance to respond, but she supposed it was a more eloquent and simple explanation than her stuttering self could come up with. Her head was starting to hurt, the novelty of the distraction passing as she nearly jumped at the sight of the shadows. Looking around frantically, she tried not to panic, though the roar sent every calm thought into a frenzy as she squeaked out a tiny squeal of terror.

That squeal turned into an outright scream as that thing revealed itself to the party. What in the world was that?! It was huge, it was hideous, and by the looks of the corpses it gobbled up, it was hungering for them. Luna had no idea how she was still standing, feeling particularly unwell as she took a step back. The feeling amplified as Baldur was carelessly tossed aside, and as Artemisia sent out some sort of spell reminiscent of Aero, Luna moved to raise her bow. Or she would have had her arms not been shaking as much as a brittle leaf on a windy day.

"Wh-what do we do?!" Luna managed to ask.

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Unfortunately, Avaddon's scouting venture proved a little less than useful as it seemed their prey were fleeing from something else entirely: Their mother. As the large Malboro tore down his perch and sent him tumbling to the ground, the large man did his best to absorb the impact as he crouched into the fall, rolling to a slight halt someway from the group. Luckily, it's attention was more focus on the others than himself, so he was afforded the time to catch his breath and pick himself back up.

As Avaddon rose to his feet, cracking his neck and shoulders, he sized up the beast before him. It was a rather large one, that was to be certain, but the lack of care it showed towards it's young meant they likely didn't have to worry about it receiving any reinforcements. As it focused on the party's frontline, Avaddon took a moment to circle round its backside as the others held it's attention. Once he was free of possibly getting hit, the monk took a crouching stance, hands before him in a clawed motion as he focused. A single step forth, then another, and soon he was surging forward in a pouncing strike at the creature from behind. As Artemisa pummeled the beast from the front, he sought to dig into its flesh from behind. Through the mass of coiling tendrils and eyes, he latched on, launched a quick barrage of strikes, and then moved elsewhere to begin the process anew, doing his best to divert the monster's attention and perhaps find a weak spot where he could do some real damage.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Mcmolly
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Ianthe

Okay! Ianthe thought, frantic. Needed!

As the writhing, green hulk brought its limbs to bear against the party, Ianthe pulled her sword from its scabbard—and plunged it into the ground behind her. She kept an iron grip on the hilt, bracing herself with the very ground as leverage, and brought up her shield. Perhaps she’d underestimated the shoddy metal, or her own wherewithal, or the intangible yet undeniable effects of Luna’s music, but when that vegetable tendril came down upon her, it found her unyielding.

The impact shook her to the bone and took a chunk of wind from her lungs, but she weathered it. When the worst of the strike was behind her, she yanked her sword free and whirled the edge around to carve herself a path forward.

Baldur was thrown aside, the dragoon—well, Ianthe kept an eye out for her. Behind her, Artemisia had made weapons of the air itself, and behind the monster, Avaddon had begun an assault of his own, simpler in practice but no less effective in execution. A sword—at least, her sword—would be wasted if she used it trying to carve the Malboro apart for glory. She knew her place in this fight, and it wasn’t to wring the sap out of the wretched thing, it was to keep the others safe while they did.

“You fight!” she called back to Luna, but she could only spare a moment’s glance back to the anxious bard before instinct screamed at her to keep her eyes on the giant turnip that was trying to kill them all.

Ianthe weaved forward, shield ahead, trying to keep the thing’s attention narrowed. Big beast, it was, but a beast nonetheless. Vicious, dangerous, but single-minded. Easily distracted.

She hoped.
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Blaike Fremont

Location:: Ferris Woods, ???
Date:: 21st Sun of Ondine
Interactions:: Artemisia, Avaddon, Balder, Edgar, Ianthe, Luna, and Mitra

Showtime!

Blaike tightly gripped his blade as his eyes shifted towards the imposing carnivorous vegetable that was slithering towards the group as it devoured everything in its path. For all its flailing with its tendrils, they seemed to strike true at the frontliners, slapping Baldur to the side like a rag doll. The Red Mage merely sighed at how easily the proctor had been knocked over as he dug in his heels and opened his free hand which was swirling with embers, spinning and weaving like tiny sprites.

While he did note that Artemisia going for the teeth was a decent idea, that wouldn't stop the creature from swallowing them whole and making it a slow, painful death due to the specialized digestive juices the creature has. If it seeped into the skin, it would cause a slow bit of muscle atrophy in a certain area all while paralyzing the victim before slowly causing their internal functions to slowly break down if not cured by the proper priest or mage.

Basically, you were digested from the inside out; popular poison of torturers and poisoners if he could recall correctly. Made him shudder briefly as he analyzed the creature. For all the vine whipping, he didn't seem all too worried about the two ladies up front; Mitra would more than likely evade it with little difficulty and it seemed like Ianthe was taking the blows quite well.

Despite this all, some of them seemed to be fairing... poorer than others.

"Luna, you see those cylindrical-looking tendrils with holes in them," he coolly spoke as he thrust his hand out, sending out a ball of fire that quickly split into three smaller bolts as they flew towards those yellow openings.

"Shoot at those! They're where the eyes are located," with that said he began preparing another barrage of fire to assault the creature with, only for his ears to catch some chittering. Despite the cacophony of the creature slamming its tendrils and roaring, he still picked up on the little things. Blaike could swear that there was something getting ready to come from behind, with the bits of shifting coming from the bush not helping as he couldn't tell if that was a result of the ground shaking from the beast slamming or something else.

Either way he would feign ignorance for now as he arched his arm back, readying to burn the Malboro's eyes to a crisp.
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Ferris Wood | Heart of the Forest


As the creature’s tendrils whipped at Mitra she pushed all of her energy into her feet, flinging herself into the air before landing a few feet forward on a high-arching tree branch above only a few seconds later.

A malboro was the worst case scenario, so the blonde-haired dragoon didn’t feel caught off guard when her eyes caught the glimpse of its form. Baldur had not been as lucky as his body was thrown aside, leaving a bulk of the group defenseless from the malboro’s attacks. From her position in the air she had caught the sight of Ianthe holding her shield out and surprisingly holding out from the strike. Her shield was no buckler and Mitra was thankful she had come prepared even if it was hastily done. She made sure to keep her eyes on the malboro, though she did worry about the scenario of being overtaken by a group of miniboros. The thought caused a heavy breath to leave her as she spun her spear around, the spearhead facing to her rear as she reminded herself that if that happened she had to be prepared to double back.

Mitra just hoped Ianthe could handle any surprises should any arise.

She shifted her weight into her knees, spring off the tree and slashing the malboro as she fell to the ground, the aldite gems crackling her weapon as it did so. As her feet hit the forest floor, she jumped back, fearing a counterattack after the slashing lunge.

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Ferris Wood
Deep Forest. 21st Sun of Ondine
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Edgar was busy kneeling, battling with the mechanical device he had unstowed from his bag. "C'mon...c'mon..." he muttered, extending a piece out. Another piece loudly clicked, and finally, he hefted the machine up. He cranked a piece, loading multiple crossbow bolts into a chamber, and then dropping of his grenades into the firing chamber.

He aimed the device as best as he could, then pulled the crank back, sending a flurry of bolts into the mouth of the Malboro. The explosion erupted in the creature's mouth, and smoke billowed out, alongside something else: black crystals.

***


The Malboro was being hit hard on all sides. Artemisia's salvos broke more pieces of black crystals from the mouth, and the other shots pierced several of the tentacles, and Avaddon's strikes tore off one of the tentacles. Another thick tentacle moved to curl around Ianthe, aiming to wrap her up.

Blaike's fireballs burned into the flesh of the beast, and Mitra's slash cut into the thick flesh of the beast, following up with an explosion that tore more flesh off.

All of the attacks connecting caused the huge monster to reel backward, as it began making a loud, disgusting burble. Purple gas began billowing out from the mouth of the beast, as it was preparing to hit the group with a huge attack. It suddenly belched, and a huge, noxious gas poured out, aiming to engulf the entire party.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Lugubrious
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Artemisia


Swiftly the aspiring adventurers joined the battle, only for Baldur to go down straightaway. ”Oh, hell,” Artemisia moaned, with not so much as a trace of decorum. With their great leader down both Avaddon and Ianthe began vying for the monster's attention without delay, but given their different positions neither managed to command the thing's full attention and leave a real opening. Still, Blaike worked with that as best he could, and urged Luna to join him as he pointed out the Malboro's weak spot. Artemisia took a moment to confirm the special tendrils, given the fitful half-light filtering through the canopy here, and then switched targets. While the archer's shots might have more penetrating power, they would come less frequently and be more likely to miss. Given her mental state, poor Luna couldn't be relief upon to lay the pain on that the ambushed party needed to flip the battle's momentum.

The black mage lifted her arm up, prepared to cast. Her ability to float gave her quite the positional advantage, and from it she planned to send an air slash straight across the eye-stalks that Blaike's flames so helpfully highlighted. However, she saw something else: a meaty tendril reaching for Ianthe. Mitra could dodge something like that, but in her heavy gear and with her status as a defender, Ianthe would almost certainly be taking that. If a Malboro was half what it was cracked up to be, though, that wouldn't pan out well. Armor laughed off cuts and most punctures, but it could be crushed, especially by such overbearing floral fury. Then there were those black shards basically screaming 'dark magic', but she couldn't focus on those now. Artemisia clicked her tongue, changed directions, and sliced through the air with her hand. ”Razor!”

An edge of wind magic sped toward the tentacle, aimed perpendicular to its length. Though she didn't think for a moment her Razor would cut all the way through, Artemisia hoped to make it think twice, or else weaken the limb enough to make its grip weak or its girth vulnerable. A moment later, the combined efforts of the team staggered the monster, which honestly left the black mage impressed. ”More laudable than I imagined,” she praised, feeling more at ease. The Malboro then tensed up to release a rolling wave of noxious gas, but Artemisia didn't so much as flinch—and not just because her loftiness left her beyond its reach. ”I'll handle the fumigation. Aero!” She sent forth spell after spell to burst against the ground and drive the foul gas away from the main group. Those attacking from vastly different angles shouldn't be in direct peril, but they would need to keep on their toes.
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Blaike Fremont

Location:: Ferris Woods, ???
Date:: 21st Sun of Ondine
Interactions:: Artemisia, Avaddon, Balder, Edgar, Ianthe, Luna, and Mitra

As soon as he confirmed nothing was going to attempt a back attack, he thrust his arm out towards the Malboro, launching more fire towards each of its eyes the best he could. Regardless, it wasn't hard for him to deduce that this fight was going rather swimmingly, though he did feel a little bad for not consoling the disconcerted priestess, who continued to stand there, petrified.

Where was a Gold Needle when they needed it?

While Blaike was thankful that there was some minor assistance from the enchanting black mage, he felt a bit of light tingling creeping up his back. He had a bad feeling as he kept his focus on the creature, only to watch as crossbow bolts flew at the creatures mouth, causing a decent explosion that blended together with Mitra's.

Following that assault, Blaike noticed a couple of things as his hand began to glow a burning orange for a moment. For starters, those crystals that fractured off the creature caught his attention and gave him a strange sensation of being off and familiarity. He could collect samples for studying in the labs later, but for now he had to focus on the big picture at hand. Speaking of which, he noted that Artemisia had swapped targets, instead aiming her Aero's at the thick tendril that was aiming to snare the rustic lass.

"Hmph, a paltry showing for the beast," he muttered with a smirk as he clasped his hands shut, snuffing out the flame before opening his hands to reveal... apparently nothing to the untrained eye. Guess it was his turn to assist the enchanting mage and the knight as he squinted at the place the former had struck, took aim, and let loose the Aero towards it. Hopefully that would be enough to deepen the tentacles would enough to sever it from Ianthe.

Or weaken it to the point where she could slice it off with no worries. Either or worked.

"Save the venerations for after we've reduced this monster to cinders," he barked out as his hand began to glow a fiery red once more before pausing and glancing over to the panicked priestess. "Luna, how are you holding uh-oh..."

Congratulated the group a bit too soon there Artemisia as the monster belched and expelled noxious gas. Great, it used Bad Breath and the party was all clumped together. He figured it would of been a better idea to move to the side, but the other mage in the party decided it would be a better plan to hold back the gas instead of moving back.

Would of been a decent plan if it wasn't for the wall it created, but regardless, they could work around this. "Considering the intelligence those Minibros displayed from earlier, Abaddon, Ianthe, Mitra, keep your distance; the mother Malboro might attempt to drag you into the gas. However, the gas should dissipate in a minute or so."

Wait a sec', their proctor was knocked out and could easily be pulled into the fumes if they weren't careful. Sighing and shaking his head, Blaike began to form an Aero in his hand, but didn't cast it, instead keeping watch on any tendrils that may slither up and grapple one of them. If he saw one going for one of his companions, he would send his Aero towards it.

Despite this all, he still had that same itching feeling in the back of his head - that some Minibros may attempt to ambush them all from behind. It was the perfect time to do so and weighed a bit on his mind when it came to his next move.
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Inkarnate
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Ferris Wood | Heart of the Forest


“Yeah, no.” Mitra uttered as she jumped back, grabbing a handful of her scarf and wrapping it around her face.

It wasn’t a surprise that a malboro of this size and strength was seeping with poisonous gas, but despite dealing with noxious fumes before she wasn’t sure what the best move here was. If the gas was so potent it entered on skin contact it was game over. If it was only lethal if ingested she could hold her breath and contain herself long enough to manage. She wondered about the group behind her—the mage girl and the “I’ve never actually been in combat before” harp-girl. She hoped they had some kind of spell to deal with the gas.

The earth under Mitra’s feet cracked as she jumped back, deep into the trees above the group.

She really should’ve packed wind in her spear instead of fire and lightning. But she was fast, even if the group couldn’t outmaneuver the gas she could. She just didn’t like the thought of that. Dentrisica Era Banecroft was no coward.

It was at that moment she heard one of her party members shout out ‘Aero’. Her grip on her scarf loosened and she sighed in relief. From below she heard... her least favorite person muttering something as if she was back-to-back with him. She shook her head as she twirled her spear as she watched the creature from her current distance. They could, in theory, keep wearing it down with their current battlefield awareness but she needed to make sure every angle was looked at quickly before acting on her impulses. Impulses got dumb people killed. At the moment, she just needed to keep her eye on the Malboro.

When she saw an opening and the gas was dispersed she would go in again.

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It all came so easily to the rest of the group; Luna had to admit she was absolutely amazed at the leap into action. There was no fear or hesitation for anyone else, their movements practiced and calls of judgement coming immediately. They must have all been much more experienced than she; that was the only thing she considered, but at the sight of the breath, she froze again. What in the world--was it trying to kill them?! What a marvel thought, of course it was, she didn't know why that came to mind.

An Aero cleared a majority of the musty breath, and Luna realized it came from Artemisia. She needed to stop standing around and help, too!

"Okay, okay, breathe..." Luna muttered to herself, aiming at one of the malboro's exposed spots. She could feel her arms shaking, but she willed herself steady. Bracing herself, she couldn't help but squeeze her eyes shut as she released the arrow.

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Avaddon did not stop in his savaging attacks as the creature reared in pain from the combined assault, continuing to move along the beast's body as he noted the strange dark protrusions with some concern. However as he heard the rumbling gurgle of the beast's breath forming within the gullet, the monk knew he needed to act fast. Picking up speed as he clawed his way up the creature, he soon made it to the top of the beast, heaving himself up with a flip to land on its head with a feral grin. As the scales along his shoulders once more rattled, he gathered his inner power into him with a low breath. Taking a firm stance, he dug low, resisting the movements of the creatures writhing as best he could.

After this brief silence, the monk would let out a bellowing scream as his fingers curled into a fist and slammed down into the creature's head.Hard. And so would every blow that comes after the first, a successive exclamation to accentuate the force of every fire-infused blow into the creature's upper half would have all of Avaddon's strength put into it. His goal was to either disorient or otherwise disable its ability to effectively deal with the others by focusing it's attention on the one up above. If it continued to ignore him, it would be at the beast's own peril.
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