- Retrospective about the events prior to the Maiden's occurrence. This is a collab between me and @Torack -
Oddur silenty had been full of hope that he could finally give his body some rest from the misery that his approach here had been. It wasn't that he wasn't used to walking alone, in the dark and for long hours straight, but the Purgatory so far had still failed to make him completely deadened to the ubiquitous suffering that was rendered so blatantly visible outside of a neat little house -- or an elaborate, seemingly underground complex like this. However things turned out to be different. No day-long sleep in a nice, comfortable bed. No plethora of different foods he could consume all too greedily. The challenge of staying awake albeit being tired and having to make company with other individuals he had never seen before -- that's what it was.
That number revealed itself to be even a lot greater than he had originally imagined once he stepped into the messhall, his still armored feet emitting very loud thuds as he hauled his girth along. Were those all seekers ? So many different faces... and clearly being a seeker appeared to be a man's job, although Oddur had no illusions that a female wouldn't be able to be a seeker as well. Even though he wouldn't admit it openly the nordic man found himself confused and overwhelmed significantly, not daring to open his mouth at first. Instead he tried to seek shelter on a chair that happened to stand next to the wall, carefully inspecting his busy surroundings with his strikingly red albino eyes.
Hondem sat at the table, still looking at the food that was before him contemplating whether he should remove his helmet or not then took a look around; the maidens were still there, or a few of them at least, who gave him and his companions precarious looks before going about their business. He saw Cristobal stand and without saying a word grabbed the hand of one of the maidens and led her to a nearby room, closing it behind them. Nothing else seemed to happen after that and calm began to settle through all of them as he began to realize they were probably going to be there for a while and that posed something of a problem for him, unless they each got their own rooms, which he hoped they did.
"Herald's breath," Jayden said in shock. "What kind of monstrous man is that?"
Hondem looked at Jayden then followed his gaze to see a tall albino walking into the mess hall, his boots practically thomping on the stone floor beneath. How had he not heard the man approach? He watched him as he looked them over then go over to a chair. Hondem had seen a few albinos in his time, but the man looked ethnically European, which he didn't know could
be albino. At least this one looked like a Seeker, save for the red eyes, but he assumed that was from his albinism.
Seeing nothing better to do, he stood with a grunt and started walked over.
"You're actually going over to him?" Jayden asked in a harsh whisper.
Hondem shrugged. "Might as well get to know the one's who're coming with us,"
he said and turned to make his way to the albino. "Well met, Seeker."
Oddur observed the situation, but didn't focus in on anyone in particular. First there was no point in doing so with what little information he had so far and secondly he honestly tried not to annoy people. After all doing so would only help to attract attention -- something he didn't like to have right now. Still... his neutral facial expression suffered from a subtle glitch once he saw one of the men 'abducting' one of the maidens into a separate room. Probably not
for an in-depth tour and explanation of its interior, was it ? Hopefully everyone around here knew how to behave... being a seeker didn't grant immunity against those follies of a human being that had been around since forever.
The albino tried not to stare at whom was approaching him. More importantly though he tried to prevent his far from optimal mood from escaping, possibly even blowing out right at the innocent individual that just tried to make contact. "Well met, friend."
To call Oddur's voice 'chesty' would have been quite a bit of an understatement, but it was friendly. His ears had been out of range when it had come to the word 'monstrous'. Oddur stretched out his pale hand, heavily calloused not from wielding his sword, but from doing everything else that had been necessary to get here. "You're a seeker as well ? And I suppose you've come here as a group ?"
He had not failed to notice that some of the men appeared to be more closely related to each other than others, but that was only a careful suspicion."I'm the seeker,"
he said as he took the man's hand. "The rest are my followers, companions to aide me in ridding this world of its Purgatory.""So many ?"
Oddur managed to stop himself dead in his tracks before beginning the next sentence. Should he have asked less straightforwarldy ? "Excuse me... I'm just... surprised. You know, I've come here all alone."
A nordic accent was clearly audible in his speech, a remnant from the time before the Purgatory. "I'm Oddur. Would you like to introduce me to your fellowship ?"
Slowly and sluggishly, Othen stood up from the chair and raised himself to his full height. "Of course you don't have to..."
He added, somewhat shily.
Hondem liked to consider himself a tall man but had to step back just to look at this giant of a man as he stood from his chair. More curious was the shyness, something he didn't at all expect. But then again, people were always surprising him and this was no different. At least, this one didn't try to blind him with a flash of light like the other one. "Hondem Raz,"
he said then turned and introduced Oddur to the rest of his companions.
"Well if we ever you two get into a fight I'm putting my money on Oddur," Jayden said with a grin. "Those hands look like they could crush your head like a grape, Hondem."
Festrin walked up to him and bared his teeth at him, staring the man in the eyes. The two were level in height and Festrin moved to the point where their noses were touching, a low growl coming from his throat.
"He likes you," Miranda said with a grin.
Oddur couldn't help but smile a bit upon the notion about his hands. Compliments could be a challenge, especially the very positive ones. He would have answered something if it hadn't been for Festrin. The albino tried to escape the man's nose by shifting his head on his throat as far back as he could, but to no avail. And then the growl... Warriors did that if they wanted to lower their enemies' morale. It could be a very imposing tactic if their numbers were large, but given the friendly situation they were in here this was what he considered to be flat-out silly. For a moment his brain was compiling some kind of response, something referencing to the cat he had once owned and that cats could purr better than the guy in front of him. However Oddur ultimately abandoned the idea again and just raised his hand, put it on Festrin's chest and started pushed back. It didn't look like any momentum was involved, but the man would probably feel what it meant to encounter a wall that was moving."Does he like that as well ?"
he asked back to Miranda, not letting his eyes go from whom was staring at him so vigorously.
Hondem looked at the situation with mild amusement on his face, a small grin on his face. As Miranda was about to respond, Cristobal stepped out of the room, tightening his belt around his pants, a flush look on his face. He looked up and suddenly came to a stop, staring at the albino. Before Hondem could introduce them, another maiden approached them.
"The Vicar requests your presence at the shrine, Seekers," she said.
Hondem nodded and turned to his companions. "I'll enter alone,"
he said to them, "but stay close in case anything happens."
He spared a nod to Oddur. "Would you care to follow along, Oddur?"
With that he followed the maiden down the long hallways and steps until they reached their destination and once there entered into the shrine without his companions, making his way to the broken altar. There were others standing before the Vicar he noticed, one of them being that sly bastard Dobromil, which he stood beside, as if to make a statement.
- The fight -
With reverence, Oddur listened to what the Vicar had to say. A blessing ? Something that would make them stronger than ever before ? If such thing existed, why hadn't the knowledge about it been spread to other places of the world ? Something about it sounded too good to be true and yet horribly foolish, but right now he didn't dare to ask questions.
Nor would there have been the opportunity for those...
Oddur found fresh, warm blood and small bits of other debris clinging to his helmet. The vikings had put the heads of dragons in front of their boats and allegedly horns onto their helmets in order to frighten their enemies. The dragon on his helmet was the combination of both concepts, his wings appearing at least as menancing as a bull's horn. Still -- with fresh human interior on it there was a massive boost to its uncomforting appeal. Good for him that he couldn't see the majority of it due to the narrow slits that let his eyesight pass through. Otherwise he would possibly have felt even more uneasy than he already did with that kind of foe having made a surprise of itself.
The entire company of the proud seeker he had just got to know rushed forward, attacking the enemy. So did another female he didn't even know the name of, putting herself in such great risk that it could very well never come to that point. But she pinned the maiden's left hand down quite efficiently.
And he ? With a mean sounding noise Funark was pulled out of its sheath and pointed straight at the adversary. Oddur had no intentions of throwing himself into the slaughter unfolding at the thing's... feet. Instead the black piece appeared to develop a lust for air, sucking the invisible stuff towards itself angrily only to enrich it with fire. The blast -- not a large one, but still fiery -- hurtled towards the upper body of the likely undead creature. Flames rained down and shot upwards, the stench of burnt hair corrupted the hall, but it quickly became obvious that the ratio between damage dealt and the danger of incinerating the other combatants was unacceptable with this method. Increasing the yield was not an option, he needed something more precise and still horrible.
And for this he needed time. Time and protection since he'd have to make himself pretty defenseless in the process. Hoping that none of his future companions would deem his move to be an act of cowardism, Oddur gave himself a jolt and rushed towards the broken altar. The Vicar's bloody spine was close and smelly, but not part of the plan at all. Oddur scanned the altar, quickly ruling out the most unsuitable of the cracks in it. Into one of the remainders he rammed Funark as far as he could and squatted down, one hand still firmly around the hilt.
To defeat an ugly beast, I first have to defeat entropy.
To defeat entropy, I first have to defeat myself.
Oddur didn't close his eyes, but it was rather obvious that he started focusing on something else than the immediate environment around him. Aside from this he started murmuring, talking with his own weapon.
Bring me pain before the beast does.
Bring me power before I get to feel that of it.
At first it was just a subtle spark hardly worth mentioning, but if anyone would look he or she would see that Oddur's shape started to be distorted from a stream of hot air starting to billow out of the crack.
Steal from myself to steal from the chaos around me.
See the fluid of life spat out in front of me ? Make it boil!
The arm holding Funark started itching, then hurting. One could see its owner struggled to keep it at bay. His lips started twitching as an unnatural cold seemed to spawn around the altar while the small part of it Funark had been rammed into became hotter and hotter. As the Vicar's blood on the ground froze, that on the stone plate sizzled away. Oddur moved as far back as he could without losing contact as the hot spot was forming. A few more, smaller cracks occurred as water and minerals inside the stone were transforming in the heat that made things glow.
Groaning it what seemed to be serious pain for no obvious reason, Oddur got back on his feet. As expected it now was impossible to pull Funark out of the superheated mess he had created again. It had become too hot, too distorted -- good. He had chosen as wisely as he could and the thing broke in the right place as he pushed hard at the hilt. If one couldn't pull one's sword out of the rock again, one could still just get the rock moving along with it. It was a gruesome, scorching payload small enough to be created and to be carried by him, but large enough to -- hopefully -- inflict a huge amout of damage to its consumer.
If it hadn't been for his armor Oddur probably would have burnt his own skin, but with it he could dare to stay close and make a charge at the maiden. He'd just need very brief window of opportunity to deliver."Out of the way!"
he screamed as loud as he could, trying to be heard despite all the clanking and slashing that had filled the immense room. Leaving a trail of sparks behind, Oddur saved his reserves by just dragging the glowing piece of altar behind him at the upper end of Funark until the last moment. Then he pushed it upwards with both hands, made one spin around himself in order to build up momentum and then let go of his weapon. Precision ? Barely enough to make the projectile not hit the other seekers, but given how huge the maiden was it couldn't move that fast, could it ? Still there admittedly was only little control on the point of impact, but hopefully it would be somewhere really useful