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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by OwO
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Lv. 29
HP: 341/341 SP: 300/300 MP: 30/30
(300) + 10 + 10% (300) + 0 + 0% (30) + 0 + 0%
STR – 121 (100) + 5 + 15% | AGI – 55 (50) + 10% | END – 42 (40) + 5% | DEX – 40 (40) | LUC – 11 (11)


An explosion of noise. Did the thunder bring combat? In the wake of the boom, Mags almost had to reorient herself. If her strength and constitution were not where they were, she may have been more affected by it. She calmed herself. Was it time to fight? No... It couldn't be...

By god. He was dancing too. Screw loot, EXP, and everything else. Now was time to party!

She began to dance with even more effort than before. She did the trash compactor with such vigor that one would guess she was using SP. She performed it's a snaps with years of rhythm games behind each snap. The did the speeder with every drop of willpower she could. This was the dance of camaraderie. Mankind prevented WW3 with this dance. Well, maybe. Mags wouldn't put any money on it, but she bet that every diplomat did this dance whenever they entered foreign countries.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Yankee
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Yankee The Queen of Typos

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HP: 510/510 - MP: 500/500 - SP: 450/450
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To be fair, Ames probably should have expected that Mags' plan was walk up and start dancing. That was pretty on brand for her. It wasn't even the first time she'd employed that strategy. What was complete unexpected was the onis' response. What... huh? They liked it?? It was hard to tell just what the monsters thought, but they were definitely breaking out into dance themselves, right? Ames peered out from behind the tree after the shockwave of the onis stomped passed by. She squinted her eyes, taking in the scene. That blue one must be the leader, and... his moves were actually pretty good. Magpie wasn't so bad herself.

...uh, hold on, it looks like she's totally into it, Ames thought while staring a little longer. Was this seriously becoming a dance battle? And if so... Ames was joining in. And she wasn't going to lose.

Perhaps Ames' bloodlust eagerness gave her away before she even stepped out from her hiding spot. When she did reveal herself, she made sure it was a slow and deliberate action. It was a signal to the oni that 'hey, I'm not gonna ambush you, I'm with the other human.'

The redhead considered showing off her true power right then and there, but that's not how team competitions worked. While Mags had the floor, Ames would be more like a back-up dancer, a hype man, supporting the brawler. The bells tied to Ames' ankles chimed with even small movements and provided a rough metronome, given that there wasn't much noise in the area besides the wails of unfortunate souls and the slap of the oni's flesh as he undulated.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Psyker Landshark
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Psyker Landshark <<Yo, Buddy. You still alive?>>

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Amulak al Acturus (Stanislaw)
HP:900/900 MP:1054/1150 SP: 130/130





Oh. Oh, man. Some horrific-looking centipede horror monster? This was some Sekiro 3 tier bullshit. That particular sequel had been absolute garbage, but the industry hadn't been the same for a while after the horrific bombing of Cyberpunk 2077's release in 2022 after a ridiculous number of delays. Someone into more degenerate hentai than he was would probably find the sight of a disgusting centipede monster pulling a catgirl towards it with its tongue to be hot, but Stanislas was pretty sure no one in the party was that much of a freak. Probably.

Still, if it was fixated on Ari, so much the better for the actual heavy-hitters to remain somewhat unscathed while they piled as much damage onto it as possible. Poor Raime, just eating shit repeatedly for happening to be in between the centipede and Ari. Amulak took advantage of the monster's target fixation to conjure up another Mana Control boosted Spell Spear, this time, carefully aiming for the centipede's head while it was stretching its tongue out to pull Ari in.

With any luck, his conjured spear would lance straight through the centipede woman's skull. Shit in this game had logical weakpoints, right? With all of the other touches centered around realism in Cacophony Concord, it'd be ridiculous if the one thing this game didn't have was headshots increasing damage.

Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Shovel
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Klein

HP 350/350 SP 128/300 MP 0/0




With another swing and his cleaver half way from chopping off the tree branch, Klein couldn't help but to ask if he has over committed in this. His Sp was draining because of some reason he can't tell. Perhaps it is because of the sap that is spewing from the cut, or the flower petals touching his skin. Nevertheless, Klein wonders what would happen if his SP went to 0? Is he gonna be unable to move, reduce movement, or just outright dead? Still, with the branch closing in on him, Klein decided to hurry his pace.

One.holy shite .Two I'm gonna die here.

One.Aren't I?.Two

After a few swing to cut the majority of the branch down, Klein lowered his stance to the ground before attempting to uproot the tree. With the majority of its root out from the ground, it should be a much easier task. And of course he would chop the other roots that are still secured into the ground, he aren't dumb enough to rip a tree's roots with bare hand yet.

Hidden 3 mos ago Post by ERode
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Rather than wind, it was the warmth of sunshine that filled Lugh’s body, his feet becoming lighter, movements swifter until he caught up to the creature. Physical energy spiking, the warrior-priest found himself side to side with the centipede woman’s face. Up close, the size of her head was just as large as him, and his staff rang out brightly as he delivered consecutive blows to her jaw. One blow clanged against teeth, chips of white scattering against face, while the other one struck the cheek, deforming flesh.

Raime unleashed his flurry of strikes as well, the pain that wracked his body dissipating as his dagger bit into the tough flesh of the centipede woman’s tongue. It was much tougher that he had expected, like cutting into a freshly-butchered piece of meat using a dull knife, and black vapors escaped from the lacerations in lieu of blood. But the rhythm was there still, and a gurgling shriek sounded, the pain giving enough pause for Ari to gather herself.

Slow as she may have been in this fight of monsters and Immortalss, the cat girl was still incredibly dextrous by human measures. Her free hand hooked onto the ringed pommels of five of her throwing knives, whipping them out with haphazard speed into the monster’s maw. The blades spun through the air, two deflected by the oversized teeth but the remaining flying into that blender of teeth within the centipede woman.

It looked like the monster had to commit to the fight after all.

Raime read the twitching of the tongue and dove downwards right as the thick muscle swung overhead. His Wargtooth dagger sliced into the meat, a deeper cut made by utilizing the creature’s own attack against it, but on the other end of the tongue, Ari found herself being tossed into the air, flying right towards Amulak. She crashed into the mage right as his spell launched out, but the mage’s might was such that even a flying catgirl couldn’t knock him down. They both received only 13 damage, but the significance of that differed from one to the other.

Lugh, closest to the centipede woman, saw Amulak’s Spell Spear gather above, as well as the fumes bubbling within the monster’s maw too. Noxious fumes burst out from her mouth, blanketing the area in front and around her with a flesh-corroding poison. Bearing the brunt of the blast, the warrior could feel exposed portions of his skin being to peel away, 27 points of damage dealt even through his tremendous END and his armor. It was the cry of agony behind him though, that reminded Lugh that others were less well-armed than he. Raime was choking on his own saliva as his flesh felt like it was melting within the white mist. Even though Lugh had physically dispersed the stream of poison, the scout still found himself 53 points of health lower, and he was Poisoned as well, his lungs burning and heaving, but unable to push out the poison that he had breathed in.

Before the centipede could take advantage of either of their moments of weakness, however, the Spell Spear crashed down, scattered against her skull with force enough to drive her jaw into the ground. Her tongue snaked back into her mouth and her one hundred legs twitched in an attempt to bring her back up, but those bodily spasms were all that she could do as magical restrictions drove themselves like stakes into her nervous system.

She was Paralyzed. If they wanted to escape, now was the time to do so.
@Psyker Landshark@Cu Chulainn@Searat@GreenGoat

As Magpie continued her own dances, this time with Ames providing both music and backup moves, the blue oni’s grin intensified. Behind him, the red brothers stood up, sauntering forwards to hand over an iron club to their ringleader. Hefting it upwards, the blue oni began to slam the weapon against the ground, harmonizing with the bright chiming of Ames’s bells with the deep thud of the club. Having become the rhythm master, it was up to the red brothers to pick up the dancing slack, and they did so with violent bombast, popping, locking, contorting, bending, in a war dance.

Even without a common language between them, different races could still enjoy themselves with a simple beat and a willingness to get stupid.

Time passed, but within the mist of the Thunderstruck Grove, it was uncertain how much had passed. Sweat had built up on all of them by now, flesh slick and underclothes damp from their labor and recreation. Finally, the blue oni barked out, the red brothers stopping on a final pose that saw them in a wide squat, fingers splayed and arms parallel as they tilted their heads back to look down at Magpie and Ames from their noses.

Such an intimidating posture only lasted for a moment or two, before the three broke down into booming laughter. The blue oni reached out into the bowels of the dead bear and, with a crack and a tear, pulled out two ribs, glistening with raw meat and yellowed fat.

“Ku!” he called, pointing the ribs at the Immortals.
@Yankee@OwO

The Mountain Man’s grim task continued, his cleaver striking deeper and deeper into the tree even while the petals continued to fall. All around, the groaning and creaking of the roots continued to haunt him, taunt him, but the viscous sap and the growing gash in the tree warmed his heart somewhat. There was progress being made here, and as a Mountain Man, he was uniquely positioned to be very good at destroying nature. He continue to attack, and after great effort, began to heave himself against the tree, all the muscles in his body working to uproot this demon. A herculean task, perhaps, but Klein was a herculean man.

The wood groaned. The wood creaked. His SP continued to drop for no discernible reason, but he persevered still!

And with a final roar, he sent the tree crashing down, the trunk falling against the wall of woven roots, the wispy petals finally dispersing! Though it hadn’t brought him a level up, Klein had done it! He had brought down a monster within the Thunderstruck Groves all by himself, and only as a sub-level 20 Immortal at that!

He noticed, then, that his SP was still dropping.

His gaze slid towards the stump that remained.

There was a spine there. A human spine. Rendered into beautiful detail by his realistic perception and his consent towards gore. It was severed in half, as if by a cleaver, and looking down, he saw the rest of a human’s lower skeleton: pelvis, femurs, scraps of clothing, rusted remains of a weapon.

The rustling of phantom leaves sounded, and the roots that enclosed him continued to weave their cage.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by GreenGoat
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GreenGoat Harmless Flower Person

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Ari Reina Caladis(Theresa)



Thrown to the winds like a piece of cloth, she rammed into the mage with a not so soft bonk, shaving off almost all of her health. She was almost death, but the centipede woman was downed, thanks to her stronger companions.

Ari had half a mind to scarper again. This was a centipede after all, and no one in her area that had seen a centipede bore any love for it, alive anyways. But if her stronger companions had brought it down, even for a moment...

"Lew! Catch!" With a flick of her wrist, she drew and threw a kodachi at Lew, the chains on her other arm unfurling as she spun, before the weighted head zipped straight for the centipede's body.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Searat
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HP: 126/300 | MP: 315/315 | SP: 270/330



This feeling was far far far worse than the time he got a faceful of pepper spray back when he was in high school. It was still worth the 50 bucks.

Still, his flesh felt like it was on fire. Made evident by glancing at his limbs and witnessing the numerous boils that appeared when his vulnerable and unprotected flesh when he made contact with the poison mist. Even worse, he was having difficulty breathing. The mist likely doing what it did upon his skin but within his own lungs. Distancing himself from the monstrosity, his hands scrambled to his pouch for the herb he had familiarized to be his one true friend in the plant world. Gnashing the Pearl Clover into a paste, aiming to alleviate the mind-numbing pain and that chemical burns were under the umbrella term of 'burns'. In theory, it would reduce the severity of the blisters preventing him from taking a proper breath and releasing the noxious gas contained within his lungs.

He wasn't too sure about how he would treat his poisoned status, though.

"Fugginbish..." Raime rumbled out through the dulling pain. Words accompanied by a trail of blood and spit leaking out of his hyper salivating mouth. The scout sheathed his dagger of bone and pulled out his trusty light crossbow, sending several bolts aimed at the eyes of the centipede woman. Even if he missed his mark, the bolts would still embed themselves into her skull.

But for the sake of safety, Raime kept [Dive'N'Strike] on hand just in case he needed to move out of the way quickly.









Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Cu Chulainn
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HP 523/550 SP 262.5/350 MP 370/370


The sensation of his flesh being rend by this toxic gas, the instinctual fear of facing off against a giant and seemingly insurmountable foe, the rush of adrenaline that surges when one first takes damage. This feeling, this pain... this was why Lew fought, why Lew truly played this game. The mere notion of a man facing against a beast much larger, stronger, and crueler than he is a common inspiration for stories of the past, and it continues even now in contemporary times. It is a theme that Lew admired, although one shouldn't get too far into the scope of how much Lew admired such themes. The best thing that could be said is that if they were not so pressed to act quickly, Lew would raise his pain settings even higher than his measly 20%.

Even still, this fight might be one worthy enough to release such inhibitors altogether.

Instinctively, Lew caught the short sword without even turning or flinching, dropping his staff to equip the blade in his main hand. He clenched the blade in two hands as he took a short moment to look at the sword in his hand. For a while now, Lew has accustomed himself to learning the way of the staff to better suit his life as a priest. However, this did not mean his skills as a warrior stagnated. If anything, the path of the sword laid the foundation that lead him to his faith. In the end, Lew learned that he was not wholly limited to the cloth, and he should stop playing as such. After all, the Fair Lady encouraged one to follow their own path.

"I used to think that my faith would serve as my sword. Not wielded by hand, nor used to spill blood." Lew stated, holding the kodachi in a high stance as he prepared to attack. "But now, I'm not too sure. And besides..."

With a flash of movement granted from his sun-swept speed, Lew made a Double Strike, slashing at each side of the woman's jaw. And just as quickly with a mighty leap, Lew finished his combo with a Sundering Blow straight for the monster's forehead, aiming to prolong its inability to move, but also to cleave straight down the woman's face. To defile such a face wasn't at all something Lew was ashamed to do, either... he had seen better mugs, and her most beautiful features were her many legs. Something else he'd have to cleave through with the blade he had been bestowed. Such a sin against beauty itself is completely fine for Lew, however. After all...

"This isn't my sword!"

Whatever came from his flurry of blows, Lew had stayed within the woman's reach, unworried about the poisonous mist that would afflict him. He needed to serve as a selfless vanguard for his allies, after all, and his END would mean that he would be able to stomach such pain for much longer. If doing so would only make him more vulnerable against such damage, he had more than enough talismans. After having solo-grinded the riverlands, Lew was far accustomed to being torn apart before putting himself back together. Even then, however, Lew would not put his life on the forefront as his offhand hovered over his item pouch, keeping Raime in mind as he prepared to draw another talisman.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by OwO
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Lv. 29
HP: 341/341 SP: 300/300 MP: 30/30
(300) + 10 + 10% (300) + 0 + 0% (30) + 0 + 0%
STR – 121 (100) + 5 + 15% | AGI – 55 (50) + 10% | END – 42 (40) + 5% | DEX – 40 (40) | LUC – 11 (11)


Holy shit.

Dance really was the universal language. Magpie had originally intended to just dance for shits and giggles to start off a fight, but she managed to avoid one all together. In fact, the leader of the Oni seemed to be rewarding her for her efforts with a rib from the electrobear. It was actually pretty nice to see. Coming from traditional MMOs, Mags felt as though mobs were generally walking EXP containers. A macguffin for characters to murder to complete quests and get levels from. Sure, she technically committed a genocide against kappas a day or so earlier, but the kappas would attack her first. For the most part. Having a mob be diffused by a willingness to have fun was a breath of fresh air.

She took her rib from the oni and savoured it. Even if it would taste weirdly fishy or gross, it was a gift from the blue Oni. If it killed her or it inflicted negative status effects, she'd still eat it. Parasites be damned! She'd also keep the bone as a memento. Also an improvised weapon.

Unfortunately, she didn't really have much to give back as a gift. Ames might have. She'd keep the oni in mind in case she went for another grinding session. Maybe she'd get some good city booze to give them if she could encounter them again.

Man, Thunderstruck Grove was easy to deal with--only a moron would struggle going through this area, she thought to herself. Karma be damned, she was going to stick with this thought.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Yankee
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Yankee The Queen of Typos

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HP: 510/510 - MP: 500/500 - SP: 450/450
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Was there a spike of fear in Ames when the other two oni stood and handed off a club to their leader? Yes, definitely, but the warrior didn't let it trip up her dancing. In fact she put even more effort into her moves once the club came down onto the earth and beat out a rhythm. This was... so fun! A huge smile broke out onto Ames' face, and though she didn't shout out or anything (too focused on her footwork), internally she was even cheering the demon brothers on.

Eventually fatigue worn on both parties, and once the onis called it quits Ames let out a heavy sigh and swiftly removed the cloak she'd bought earlier, pulling on the neck of her clothes in a meager attempt to get some air flow.

"Phew," she breathed. Ames grinned at Mags and elbowed the girl. "Nice moves. Those guys were pretty awesome too, I was surprised!"

Suddenly a meaty bone was being shoved in her direction, and Ames took it without thinking. Once the blue oni backed off, seeming pleased, Ames looked down at what was in her hands. A rib from that bear... with raw meat on it. With the way her perception worked in the game, it actually looked pretty good. If she had the realism setting on, she'd surely be more disgusted by it.

"Ehm, thanks," she told the blue oni. Did this mean they were all friends now? Did the demons even have the mental capacity to feign friendship, then turn around and backstab them? Ames doubted it, they seemed the more straight forward types... Aw man, if we're friendly I'm gonna feel weird taking something for free. While Mags went to town eating the meat, Ames nibbled at it, thinking. A metaphorical lightbulb appeared over her head after a moment and she rummaged around her her item pouch, pulling the halberd from it.

"Is this okay?" he offered the weapon to the three oni, the handle side pointing towards them. It wasn't really an impressive weapon or anything, but it was a gift for a gift. Ames brought the meat back up to her mouth and was about to take a larger bite when she thought, I should probably ask someone if this is actually safe.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Psyker Landshark
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Amulak al Acturus (Stanislaw)
HP:887/900 MP:958/1150 SP: 130/130





Ow. Catgirl thrown straight into him. Well. Not really ow. More like a light impact. Scratch damage, if that. Though a quick check of the party's HP bars showed that the impact against him had damn near killed Ari outright, taking over half her health. Well, shit. She only had two HP.

Wait, she only had two HP.

That counted as minimal damage were he to deal the last two, right? He couldn't enable friendly fire in combat, but afterwards...well, maybe. The others would probably get pissed, even though at this rate, Ari would get herself killed no matter what. Though killing this centipede would almost definitely give her enough experience to level to a point where he couldn't pull this shit, so really, this entire train of thought was an exercise in futility.

On the bright side, now that the centipede was paralyzed, Lew and Raime looked like they were going to town on the motherfucker. Time to contribute. He'd burned nearly 200 MP by now, and while that wasn't even a fifth of his mana pool, that was still a lot for just one monster. Better to start easing up and save some juice for later.

With that in mind, Amulak whipped up a Magic Bolt and souped it up with Mana Control before letting the now old standby fly at the monster.

"Making twenty year old reference not clever, Lew! Reference humor not funny!"
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Paralyzed, the centipede woman could do nothing but receive the incoming blows, crossbow bolts punching into her face and a weighted chain bouncing off her carapace as Raime and Ari both attacked. Though she had been brutally injured in a single, offhanded attack, the catgirl’s body was unencumbered by her near-death state, and she kept her distance from the slowly dispersing cloud of poison, striking at the maximum range her weapon afforded her. Raime, however, found that his white herbs offered no relief, and the pain continued to linger, the poison eating away at him more and more. His vision was turning red now, his breathing becoming more ragged. His crossbow’s string dug deep into his raw and bleeding fingers, while the cool taste of the Pearl Clovers only overlapped with the toxic burn, rather than relieve it. Perhaps with a persisting effect, the pain relief that Cacophony Concord normally offered didn’t occur. He lost 21 HP regardless.

Things were getting dangerous for Raime now. If no one got any healing for him soon, then it might not be Ari, but rather Raime who was the one to die first.

Lugh, however, was not concerned with any of that. The Lady of the Alabaster Scales had given him her decree, and even with an unsanctified weapon in his hand, he was deadly. The centipede woman, immobilized still, could only let out a horrid shriek as he unleashed a flurry of sword strokes towards her, slicing flesh and shattering teeth, before hefting his sword skywards and swinging down with the might of a giant, cracking her skull and sending her face into the dirt. The poison that he remained inside hardlyh bothered him; 9 points of damage was nothing. Amulak’s arcane shot found its mark as well, blasting open the crack that Lugh had made and exposing the black nothingness that existed within.

The centipede woman’s twenty meter long body shuddered violently, black fumes pouring out of the many wounds she had sustained. With a response like that, the party must have been close to finishing off the monster, but conversely, that meant that the situation became just that much more desperate for the monster. One leg twitched, regaining functionality, and then the other ninety-nine did as well. With a horrid shriek, she tore her face off the ground and lunged for Lugh, twisting her head sideways as she crunched down upon him. More fumes, scarlet now, spewed from the inside of her mouth as hooked armor tore into her gums, but Lugh was restrained as well, clamped down by a vice-like grip that he couldn’t easily break free of, not when his SP had dropped to such low levels. And the centipede woman capitalized on that. Rising twenty meters up, she slammed Lugh into the ground, flipping from side to side as the warrior was smashed through skeletal trees and into the blasted dirt. The rampage, something that Raime witnessed up close, was of such intensity that even as Raime dodged away from each heaving blow, the shrapnel of cracked teeth and splintered wood still caught him, 12 points of damage taken.

For Amulak and Ari though, the rate at which Lugh was losing HP was more terrifying. Even through massively inflated END and an almost full set of equipment, the warrior suffered 143 damage total from the onslaught, and the centipede women wasn’t slowing down at all. No, she was getting greedier.

One hundred legs coiled in unison and kicked off the ground as she torpedoed herself towards Amulak and Ari, intent on smashing them to pulp with Lugh as her human shield.
@Psyker Landshark@Cu Chulainn@Searat@GreenGoat

The blue oni grunted with approval, and even bared his teeth at Ames’s hesitant response towards eating the offered food. It certainly didn’t taste good by human standards, even if meat sashimis such as horse or beef had become more popular in recent years, but there was a light numbness that came with each bite of the bear meat, and as the two continued to chew at it, the flavors of the meat dissolved into a fizziness upon their tongue. Almost like carbonated meat, in a weird but not too uncomfortable way.

It was when Ames offered his halberd, however, that things changed.

A raising of the eyebrows from the blue oni, a burst of empathetic speech from one of the red onis, then a rapid-fire discussion amongst the three as they passed the weapon around. Finally, they raised their fists, shook it three times, then splayed open those fists into different shapes. The slightly slimmer red oni shouted out, slapping his hand against his chest, and took the halberd; the others rolled their eyes, but seemed to assent to this. Raising up his new weapon, the red oni took a deep breath, twirled it around a couple of times, before, with a mixture of savage strength and surprising skill, butchered the bear’s corpse into five separate pieces, two of the pieces smaller than the others. The trio of oni hefted up the larger pieces on their shoulders and back, before walking off, with the blue oni looking back at Ames and Magpie only to twist his head in the direction they were travelling and say, “Roife.”

What the two Immortals were to do with this situation was unclear still, but they didn’t have long to decide, if, for whatever reason, they wanted to follow. Though the Thunderstruck Grove hadn’t been murderous so far, the fog was still dense, and the oni had already become but mere shadows in the distance.
@Yankee@OwO
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Searat
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Searat The Aqueous Rodent

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HP: 97/300 | MP: 315/315 | SP: 260/330



The pain from the toxic mist didn't fade. At best the pain was just dulled a little bit by the Pearl Clover. At least the pain from the shrapnel was affected. And yet again he was on the brink of death. Which is surprising considering he was supposed to be a backline damager and support.

Regardless, Lugh was in a considerable amount of trouble. Losing just a little over 140 hp in such a small span of time was concerning the man. Even more when it was unlikely for their local tough guy could act while being inside that thing's jaws. If this kept going, even someone as sturdy as Lugh would die rather quickly. He needed to do something that would help free his comrade from the, almost literal, jaws of death.

Pulling back the bloodied bowstring once again and cramming another clover into his mouth, the scout went on the offensive. In a blink of an eye, Raime was running parallel to the lunging form of the centipede woman. Sending seven bolts rapid into the joints of its legs and body. Having [Dive N Strike] at the ready to reduce the likelihood of his demise.









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They liked it!

Ames was close to giggling, watching the onis compete over the weapon she'd handed over. It was good that they were satisfied with it, and hopefully she could get away with not eating a ton of the bear meat now. After a brief message to the rest of the party, Raime advised her not to eat meat raw. It was too late for Mags but whatever. Ames didn't want to get sick in a freaking videogame. Her safety nibbles told her all she needed to know about the meat anyway: it was super fizzy and weird tasting.

Soon after the oni decided on which would take the halberd, they sliced up the meat and departed. Their leader seemed to be indicating for the two humans to follow them. Ames looked over at Magpie.

"We're gonna follow them, right?" she asked, already expecting that Mags would be down down for that. The demons were surprisingly nice, and judging from the wounds on their body - now healed - they were tough too. The screams of other Immortals sometimes echoed in the grove still, and a few of the comments from the rest of their separated party made it seem like the area was beyond dangerous... but that hadn't been her and Mags' experience so far. Sticking with the oni was probably a safe choice, as backward as that seemed.

So Ames picked up one of the hunks of meat, tossing the other to Magpie as she followed along after their much larger companions. There was no way she'd abandon a new, exotic friendship so quickly after all.

"I wonder if there's a language learning shortcut in the game, or you just have to do it the hard way," the warrior mused conversationally.
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Ari Reina Caladis(Theresa)



She was already deep in it now. Her attacks just bounced off the armor, probably due to her low strength and relatively low weight of the iron chains. But there was no time to think, not when that thing far outstrips her in speed. Ari did not retract the chain as it bounced off, instead letting its momentum carry it upwards, wrapping around the branches above her. Following the movement of the chains, she pulled herself upwards as she unfurled its full length, dislodging it from the branches and spinning rapidly as she fell down, smashing the centipede with the combined strengths of her own spinning, gravity and speed.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Psyker Landshark
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Psyker Landshark <<Yo, Buddy. You still alive?>>

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Amulak al Acturus (Stanislaw)
HP:887/900 MP:1046/1150 SP: 130/130





Alright, this was starting to get slightly ridiculous. At the rate they were pouring damage into this monster, it should've been dead by now. That, and the amount of damage Lugh was taking was starting to pile up far too much. Screw it, then. No more half measures. Hopefully, this was on the upper end of what Thunderstruck Grove had to offer, because they were utterly boned if this was average for the zone.

Amulak manuevered himself to have a clear shot of the crack he and Lugh had made in the centipede's armor, already starting to cast. A fully-juiced, Mana Controlled Spell Spear came surging through the air, aiming to pierce straight into the hole in the centipede monster's side.

"You doing very good, Lugh! Just keep getting shit kicked in while we finish monster off!"
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Cu Chulainn
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HP 371/550 SP 35/350 MP 370/370


"Wait, that was a ref-"

Crunch! Lew was suddenly crunched down inside the monster's mouth, slammed around like a basement dweller's meat. This wasn't quite the monster girl experience Lew was looking for... Or at least, not before he was hardened from his experiences in the River. Feeling any sort of pain invigorated Lew's still, numb heart, and this was the most he has felt in ages. It was almost enough for Lew to do something quite drastic, something he would do if his allies weren't in danger. Sadly, Lew has to focus on defending his allies, which means he could not be as inhibited with the artificial pain this game provides nor could he properly admire the inner anatomy of the centipede woman's maw. Instead, he needed to act now, and he wasn't going to allow himself to just be a wailing target for the beast.

Lew considered drawing some of his talismans, his range of movement limited by the beast's jaws crushing down on him. However, such a thing felt wrong in this circumstance. There was something more he could do, something greater... something he could trust his sword in accomplishing.

Instead of equipping his talismans, Lew pulled his arms closer together, allowing bones to break and tendons to tear so he could wield his sword in both hands. He gritted his teeth at this agony, but muscled through nonetheless. To aid in this endeavor, Lew switched his Combat Stance to focus on his inner strength, boosting his STR in place of his DEX. If this would end up causing him to be engulfed by the monster, then so be it. In fact, Lew would propel himself inwards if that was the only path available to him. Whether he was in any position to wield his sword properly or not did not matter. In battle, a swordsman would suffer many wounds, but is still expected to press on despite this. Lew would not count himself as an exception to this, embracing his roots as a Warrior further. While Lew did not wholly believe in this mindset, this was only a video game in the end. A perfect outlet for him to indulge into his fantasies and to become something he wasn't.

And so Lew swung his blade through the monster's mouth in any direction feasible so long as he struck flesh or even teeth. He continued to swing for as much as his body and speed would allow, welcoming the damage that would be inflicted onto his body doing so. A warrior must not give up no matter the circumstances, accepting even death before surrender. All he could do while he ripped himself and this beast to shreds was scream with all his might.
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Shovel A Shovel is typing!

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Klein

HP 350/350 SP 87/300 MP 0/0




With the tree being uprooted, the fight should have been over. And yet, the fact that there is no level up notification suggest otherwise. It took Klein quite a while to realize connect the thing in the tree stump was a human spine. Seems like the man grew in the tree? Creepy. Not the kind that would make Klein forcefully log out, just something that would give him goosebumps at night.

So, with his cleaver raise, the man is back at his work to kill this "haunted" tree. If Klein is correct, he just chopped the other half with his cleaver. This should be no different. Cleave the remaining half out and ... That should be it, right? Like, uprooting the tree stump or just removing the spine from the stump should be enough right. While his mind wandering around to search for clues of how to end this, the cleaver still performs its duty wonderfully. Raise, hack, and pull out. The whooshing sound replacing the Thunderstruck Grove constant scream and murmur of the wind for a short while. The sound of earth moving as the tree roots closing in. How strangely beautiful in its own way.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by ERode
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Raime continued to burn. The poison had not yet faded from his system, but he was no longer hindered by it either. Arrow after arrow flew towards the raging centipede woman, some hitting their mark, others scattering against the dense carapace. Life continued to ebb out of his wounded body, another 17 HP lost as his organs rioted against his continued physical exertion. But he would continue on, bowstring bloodied by his skinless fingers.

Ari continued as well, quick thinking surpassing the quick movements of her overwhelming quarry. Her strength wasn’t enough to send her skywards, possessing only the might of a single adult human, but the lunging head of the centipede provided a stepping stone that the catgirl kicked off of to get her up to the bare canopies of the grove. Her foot ached, that exchange having cost her 4 HP, but Ari still lived, and shrouded as she was in the mist, perhaps she was even hidden from the monster now?

The pertinent thing to do would be to stay where she was, wait until the monster was slain by the others.

Ari was insane though.

Links of chain rattled around her as she plummeted again, centrifugal force building up as the weighted end of her weapon gained more and more speed. Fragile as she was, weak as she was, even slow as she was, the centipede woman’s long torso could only follow in the same direction as her head, and Ari landed a blow with such force that the carapace caved inwards, the weighted end stuck inside the shell. Moments later, she hit the body as well, shoulder striking the writhing mass before Ari bounced off. It wasn’t a killing blow, and it may not have even been a significant one, but she had made her mark on the monster.

That made all the difference for Amulak.

A mage’s movements were insufficient for dodging a monster of this size and speed, especially with no frontliners to stall such a creature, but Ari’s blow had caused a twitch in the centipede woman’s body, a twitch that echoed up all the way into her face. Half her face smashed into Amulak’s body, overgrown teeth scraping against bone plating, and the mage ricocheted off two different trees from the impact, but he had avoided the worst case scenario: joining Lugh inside her mouth. Combined with his armor’s effect, the cloaked mage came away from it with only 72 HP lost, and plenty of time to cast his spell. Once again, his veins filled with an electrical impulse. Once again, the spear drove itself into flesh, cracking into bone. But this time, from scorch mark of the magical spear, a sword sprouted.

Lugh was still alive and kicking.

Teeth continued to grind into his flesh, tearing chunks off as they sheared meat off his bones. Even with reduced pain on, it was agonizing, like having some jackass with long nails continuously scratching at him from every direction. The only benefit of this was that the mouth of the monster was dark; Lugh couldn’t see enough to gross him the hell out, and the adrenaline was kicking in now. He was a warrior, he was a tank, and even the loss of another 88 HP from the centipede woman’s mastication couldn’t stop him! His borrowed kodachi found plenty of targets within, and soon, hot fumes spilled out from the inside of her mouth, joining the dizzying aroma of her saliva. It was a carnal festival of violence and hunger, both beasts seeking to tear the other apart, but a sudden shaft of light lit up the darkness, and Lugh thrust through, piercing flesh and puncturing bone to break out of the centipede woman’s face.

An ear-splitting screech echoed out, and she raised her body twenty meters skywards in fury, intent on burying Lugh head-first into the dirt, the inertia making a mess out of his ability to think.

But outside, Raime, Amulak, and Ari could all see it.

The crackling of electricity, the condensing of dark clouds, the glint of steel that poked out from the monster’s face.

Lightning fell, and the thunder that followed silenced the monster’s death throes as she struck the ground, her carbonized body already reforming into loot. From the vespers of her demise, Lugh stood. Chewed up, but alive, with something new on him.

A bracelet of crystallized lightning, and the thunderhead that followed it.


@Psyker Landshark@Cu Chulainn@Searat@GreenGoat

Catching up with the oni, the two Immortals continued their journey through the Thunderstruck Grove, the relative silence broken by chatter in a foreign language, the screams of players and monsters alike, the echoing thunder, and the occasional snapping of a twig underfoot. It was hard to figure out in what direction the oni were actually heading; many of the turns they took looked pointless or redundant, simply erasing the progress they made before, but the blue oni looked confident in his trail-blazing, and the strange group hadn’t been attacked yet by any others. Was this a safe trail? Or did monsters in the Thunderstruck Grove have an unspoken understanding to not fight against each other? Certainly, Ames and Magpie couldn’t recall before any instances of other monsters in the Pearl Bloom River or Goldspun Fields attacking each other, but then again, maybe they just hadn’t observed monsters in their natural environment for all that long?

After what seemed like an hour, or perhaps just a couple of minutes, they found themselves in front of a large tree, gnarled roots bulging out of the barren earth. The blue oni crouched down, his voice low as he whispered an incantation. Moments later, the roots pushed upwards, raising the tree five meters into the air and unveiling a tunnel that lead into the earth. An otherworldly blue light pulsated at the bottom of the tunnel, and the onis walked in, ducking their heads slightly at the entrance of the subterranean system. Magpie and Ames followed after, and were hit immediately by the strong smell of roasting meats, pungent sweat, aromatic smoke, and bitter alcohol. Behind them, the tree settled down once more, groaning as its roots rearranged itself.

Now, there was no escape.

They continued down the tunnel, feet padding against a moss-woven carpet, until it opened up into a large cavern from which smaller tunnels could be seen. Braziers of blue flame lit up the interior, while countless hides, tanned, cured, then dyed, coated the walls and the ceiling. Dof onis ranging from red to blue to purple were laying about, some attending to tasks, others just content to relax. Three pudgy oni children, their horns still just nubs, wrestled each other in a ring of sand, making dramatic noises that sounded like facsimiles of kappa-speech. An absolute unit of an oni, spherical in shape and girth, singlehandedly managed a wok that looked to be twenty meters in diameter. A thick, bloody soup bubbled merrily, bones occasionally resurfacing as it boiled. Neither Immortal could tell if any of them were human though. Off to one side, a pair of female oni, both purple and pregnant, leaned against one of the alcoves, whispering to each other and shooting glances at the strange intruders. When a toddler oni started waddling in the Immortals’ direction, they pulled him back, ushering the young lad back into the smaller room. Their presence certainly drew attention, and some more negative than others; that scar-faced oni with a broken horn gave them a hell of a stink-eye when they first emerged.

The trio didn’t mind the attention though. They practically hurled the chunks of bear at the chef-oni, the blue leader turning to encourage the Immortals to follow again, this time to the back of the room, where, upon a throne of bones, a sinewy purple oni sat, smoking from an ornate pipe. It was difficult, at a glance to tell the age of the monster, but his hair was jet black, streaked with silver dust and pinned back with various colorful beads, while spiderweb tattoos ordained his body almost completely. The loincloth he wore was a startling white, at odds with the dirt-smeared, soot-covered décor of the rest of the cavern, and he gazed thoughtfully at the two immortals while the blue oni explained in that curious, emphatic speech of their’s.

Finally, the purple oni breathed out, and in a rasping voice, spoke, “So. You dance.”
@Yankee@OwO

Bone shattered with consecutive blows, the brutal cleaver chipping away at the stump that remained. Klein continued his grim, single-minded task, removing more and more of the stump, desecrating more and more of the skeleton within. Surely, it would be over soon? The tree itself had been uprooted, while the stump was being torn to bits.

But it wasn’t over. His SP continued to fall with every exertion of his body, and he continued to pull out chunks of wood. His vision darkened, the density of the woven cage blotting out what sparse light broke out from the all-encompassing mist. In moments, Klein was in total darkness, even the distant sound of thunder now muted within this cage.

And with the cage complete, the roots closed in, dirt shifting as they twisted together, unseen tendrils of wood grappling onto the mountain man’s body. Only a few at first, but growing at a rapid pace as the damp wood slipped around his sweat-slick form.
All the while, his body grew more and more sluggish, the juxtaposition between what he willed and what he did growing greater and greater, his eyes struggling to stay open within the smothering darkness.

Klein was being swallowed whole.

Klein was to be the next man inside this tree.
@Shovel
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Cu Chulainn
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HP 575/575 SP 368/368 MP 410/410


The rush of adrenaline began to fade, the stinging pain on the skin healed away, and all that was left was the crackling of thunder. Lew wasn't sure exactly what happened, himself. While he was wholly confident he would survive the death throes of the beast, Lew wasn't expecting something so explosive. Feeling the surging electricity gather on his left arm, Lew looked down to see his new accessory. It was a bracelet surrounded by a miniature storm, eternally crackling at his wrist. Lew opened up some menus to read up on his loot before gazing at awe at just what he achieved.

"So this is what a Nuclei feels like huh..."

Another change came within Lew, and with it a sense of pride. After reading up on his newly achieved object's abilities, Lew quickly began to experiment. At first, he tossed his borrowed sword straight into his wrist, followed by the flowery shield he never bothered to use. Finally, he retrieved his staff that he had briefly discarded, also placing it into his nuclei. Taking a deep breath, Lew struck a pose as he raised his left arm up into the sky, like some sort of lightning rod, before bellowing out a call to the heavens.

"Thunder: Henshin!"

As he had screamed, the thunderhead flashed with a thunderous applause. Lew lowered his left hand before moving his right towards it, procuring an object from the Nuclei crackling with lightning. It was the kodachi he had been given earlier, now with a silvery sheen, its ito bound in silver, and its same a shade of blue. He raised the kodachi in a high stance before lightning struck it again, the object changing shape into his trusty staff. The silvery rings jingled on their own as bluish lightning crackled around them. Lew planted the staff to the ground, imitating the casting of a grand spell. Once more, lightning struck the staff for a second time as it shifted forms once again, taking the shape of the blooming shield Lew had worn, its petals of alternating silver and blue. Lew spun it in his grasp as he imitated a defensive stance, before finally raising the shield up in the air once more with a third and final crack of thunder, the items returning to the thunderhead.

"Neat. Can't wait to test this out in action." Lew quipped, retrieving his staff back from the thunderhead free of its shocking reskin, and instead replacing it with all of his attack talismans. Lew then turned to the others, scratching his head in thought

"Looks like Ari's safe for now, but we don't know where the others are. We should probably find someplace to regroup, message them our plans on Discord hoping they'll get any notification. Town could be a good idea, at least for the moment. After all..."

With the speed granted to him by his talisman, Lew quickly shifted places right behind Ari, pinching her by one of her cat ears.

"I don't know what kind of Job requires solo killing someone, but you're definitely not fit to do that with your current stats and lack of abilities, Ari, nothing personal. We're grabbing you one of the starter classes, or at least something with easier requirements to meet. Otherwise, we'll all be held back trying to protect you."

With all that said and done, Lew pulled Ari by the ear towards civilization... or at least where he thinks Nyu-Taro's probably directed to. Hopefully they don't get lost.
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