War of Dragons: Invading Eas
The Palace Lands moves upon the largely abandoned town of Eas, in order to secure it for its forces, before it intends to move on to the other Fourland Dukedom locations. Intent on rooting out the Adventurers one area at a time. Will the Adventurers allow them to take a foothold here - after the defeat at Mac Anu?
The sun is right overhead, shining through the cloudy weather. It's a comfortable temperature, and there are some rather fierce winds blowing southwards - though it's too far inland for the prickly salty scent of the ocean to reach all the way up here.
Marching up the paved road, built by Goldenblade herself, making the oncoming march that much easier. It's not a force as sizable as the one that assailed Shibuya, no doubt thanks to scouts long since having spotted the quantity of evacuation out of Eas. But a force approaches non-the-less.
They seek to take Castle Eas, and to continue their momentum against the Yamatoans. With the recent fall of Mac Anu, the Palace Landers have seemingly entrenched themselves firmly within Yamato. And with the tale of Mac Anu's fall, and the way it was so 'easily' overtaken, no doubt many eyes are watching to see if the momentum would be halted here, even if but for a moment.
The soldiers march, heavy armor at the front, flanks, and rear. Lighter armored Landers and Adventurers at the center of the formation. They hold no banners, for their presence is enough of a tell. Many of the Landers wear notable clothing, so that they can be more easily be told apart from Yamato fighters -- where-as the Adventurers on the Palace Land side can recognize eachother amongst their Raid interface.
The War of the Dragons continues, as the forces starts to cross the bridge and towards Castle Eas. The march isn't a consistent one, as the Adventurers are irregulars for the most part.
They are about to move into the town, when detonations suddenly erupt. Magic cascades along the edges of the bridge as the main part of the force breaches past, and the front ends up falling apart. Parts of the back quickly scrambling back, turning the bridge into a large chokepoint. Magic barriers are quickly being put up, but the magical 'landmines' hidden in the ground past the bridge are causing a great deal of chaos!
The reports had come as soon as the army set out for war. It's not like the Palace Land armies could move without notice from their new holdings. The defenders are ready, waiting beyond the bridge, with a clear sight to the carnage that has just been unleashed upon the unsuspecting enemy. Yuuki's added fortifications span from wall to wall of the pass, proving no way through save a gate scarcely large enough for a small cart to pass through.
Wake has opted not to make for a melee battle amidst the mines, but to let them do their work and give her people a chance to strike the enemy out the enemy from the walls.
"They have knocked on our door, let's give them a proper greeting," Wake calls out. She has a grim expression and more quietly says. "Remember what we are doing here. Do not lose your heads."
As one of the 'softer' of the Palace Lander adventurers, Shiyang begins the march well back from the front line. She notes the explosions almost absently, not directly affected as cries go up from the more heavily-armed soldiers who take the brunt of the surprise attack. It's not unexpected that there is some kind of reaction like this, and cries of outrage and anger erupt. Shiyang is silent however, and those warriors near her seem to draw strength from the seeming imperturbability of their deadly leader. "Not cowards." she muses, almost softly. "Only fools would fail to prepare against our arrival. Or see such preparations as weakness. We shall see their will to fight when we see what yet remains at the walls ahead."
When the Palace Lander army approaches the actual fortifications some few minutes later, Shiyang waves a tall banner, angling it to the left flank. As the army prepares to engage, the highly visible and recognizable woman leads her own much smaller force off to that side. "Soldiers of stone and flame." she calls out in a booming voice. By no means *all* of them in the army, she nonetheless commands a small, lightly-armored but offensively-powerful assault force. "Let us see if we can draw out any who yet wish to oppose us. For Thor and Harrifenas! STRIKE!" she cries, tilting the banner forward. Flame arrows and enchanted stones let loose, raining a meteoric strike upon the fortification and any defenders atop it, threatening to open a breach well aside from the main assault on the gate.
Shirin is riding forward with his men when the youngest one shouts out, "Today I shall be the one to get Queen's attention. Watch me!" The little cowboy peko rider runs forward when the mines go off. That poor possee member will not be seeing the Queen any time soon.
Shirin himself growls as he watches all the damage those mines have done, "I can't believe they would be such monsters. This is horrible." Once the fighters have regrouped Shirin begins to oush his Peko obviously mad. "Come on out here and fights you cowards! You think you just get to blow us up while you hide!" There is anger in his words.
He lingers only a few moments after the initial strike, knowing full well that his skills are better up close and personal. "I'll go see if I can keep one of their commanders occupied and throw some hurt their way." He cracks his knuckles, standing shirtless like the martial artist he is, before charging into the fray.
It doesn't take long for him to close the gap with a group of enemy forces, ones seemingly commanded by Shirin. "I have no intention of hiding." A voice calls out, even as a giant chunk of rock that looks as if it has had a large chunk of it blasted away comes flying in the direction of Shirin. Rylen, of course, is utilizing his characteristic earth magic, ready to turn the world itself against their enemies.
It doesn't take long to feel her presense there, as the low thrum of music can be heard, steady and imposing as it rises with her arrival amongst the front line with her usual showmanship.
o/~ The secret side of me, I never let you see, I kept it caged 'cause I can't control it
So fall before me, this beat gets dirty, I feel the rage and I just can't hold it o/~
Eyes light up with a haunting glow as she reachs up with a hand and then yanks it in, as if she was grabbing and pulling on something.
o/~ Its crashing like a wave, a midnight tidal rave, in comes a wake and I won't withhold it! o/~
From beneath the bridge they just crossed and nearly exploded on comes a rippling roar in sync with the music as water surges up from it and cascades down at the invaders. Engulfing those that don't get clear of the sudden torrent summoned and threatening to suffocate them into submission, or leave them prone to others to strike upon.
o/~ In darkness be mislead, as I get into your head... when no-body comes to save you, from me, meet your end!
The fear runs deep within, get underneath your skin... I must confess I FEEL LIKE A MONSTER
You hate what I've become, the Nightmare's just begun... I must confess I FEEL LIKE A MONSTER ~
I... I... FEEL LIKE A MONSTER! I... I... FEEL LIKE A MONSTER o/~
The Palace Landers thought they were monsters before? Let them see what happens when one REALLY lets loose!
Yuuki has been preparing for this for a while. She led the quick build of the new fortifications. She organized those Adventurers that she was able to acquire from the other Olympus guilds. She even recalled as many of the Sleeping Knights as she could. The Palace Landers dare assault their home? They're going to pay for that.
As such, Yuuki currently stands atop the fortifications she helped create. Her sword is already drawn, planted tip down into the floor she stands upon. She stares intently out at the approaching Palace Lands force, ominously quiet and still for the usually energetic imp.
Gathered behind Yuuki on the ground just beyond the fortifications are the Sleeping Knights who could make it. Rarely have so many gathered in one spot, the guild being small in number and usually quite distributed across Yamato. But they're a very colourful group of many different types. But they all look comfortable together, waiting intently as the battle begins.
The first attack comes not from Yuuki, who holds her position, but from one of the Sleeping Knights behind her. Leading the mages around her, Siune raises her staff, starting to chant. The others join her, chanting the same words. Above the battlefield, the winds pick up as a vortex forms. It stretches down towards the ground, quickly forming a large tornado which begins to carve through the Palance Lands army, heading straight for Shirin's position.
"I'll ensure that I don't get caught up in something dangerous like... a siege," Wake says lightly. She decides, among the enemies, that she rather likes the way that Shiyang and her soldiers carry themselves. "There is a foe worthy of my attention."
Regardless, that group of soldiers is raining down a nightmare of shot and dart and Wake does her best to evade the attacks while making full use of the parapet. Fortunately, she can answer with attacks of her own, blasting out with bolts of lightning at the enemies.
But it's finally time. The battle for Eas is here. And she's as ready as she can be. Already in her true form, her human guise left behind for the battle, she stands atop the wall, glaring down at the attackers with burning crimson eyes, her massive tetsubo held in one hand and slapping against the palm of the other.
The Oni's burning gaze roams over the army arrayed before the walls, picking out leaders - targets. Once she's picked one out, her smirk widens. She reaches over to a stack of cast-iron spheres - each one the size of a man's head - and plucks one up, tossing it into the air. By the time it comes down she has both hands on the club, taking a baseball stance as she slams the iron ball out towards the Salamander girl in the fancy armor!
"Catch!" she roars, pausing to see the result of her strike.
Kaydon is with the main group of defenders, the gnoll were fang dragging a sharpening stone across his blade a few times as he listens to the explosions in the distance. He does love that sound.
When the Baroness announces how long until their forces will be on them, he rises up from where he was sitting and moves to get into position, pulling out a large kite shield from his inventory, the same one he used during the attack on Mac Anu. He's not the type to try to give a motivational speech. At this point everyone here should know what the Palace Landers are capable of, and what they'll do if they take Eas.
Once the fight begins in earnest, Kaydon brings his sword and shield to the forefront. Careful not to step past where the minefield begins, however, he'll meet the bulk of the attacking Palace Lands forces head on.
Yet it is a slide of his one blue eye as Rylen absconds. "Alright, can't have friendos going out there without backup," he says to Commander Wake before absconding himself with Rylen. Notably the caster is not a front liner, and thus a bit in the back ranks while the challenge is issued back at Shirin. Peace seems far away, he thinks, as his black cat-like monster summon slinks out from the shadows to watch. Not help. Watch. All well as the Enchanter starts a subtle chanting, "Venenum. Somnum. Creatura." as rings of green and brown circle his orb. They snake downwards into the ground. Preparing themselves as vipers to strike should the enemy advance any further.
Ever calm. Calm, that is, save for the sparks that incessantly play over the fingertips of his right hand, tracing out the knuckles, the fine bones of his wrist. Oh look, he's invented a magical fidget spinner.
But even that distraction is put away as the approaching army comes into view. The subsequent explosion draws a wince, but he's not about to forego an opportunity. Though he remains tucked in behind the fortifications, swirls of crimson and black begin to gather in the palm of his hand. The swirls resolve into eerily veined tendrils, which cut into earth before him and burrow their way towards the Palace army.
A series of heavy tanks at the front pop a few of their healing abilities. "Nascent Flash!" One of them calls out. Damned OP tank abilities. Over in another corner, someone has triggered another ability that drops their HP to 1 and keeps them invulnerable for a little while, and before a healer picks on on this fact, Merek pushes the attack. Fire potions raining down on the unfortunate one, and the ticks of fire decimating the thank as their invulnerability window ends!
Music roars out ahead not moments later, as the water surges up and manages to push off some of the flanking folk, while the others try to quickly dispel the torrent of waters as it tries to suffocate others!
"Get your acts together!" One of the leading Palace Landers demands, only for SpritesHero to swirl various arcane vines around him. And as a supporting Fireball drops from the distance, the poor man shatters into light as the Yamato-ans press the attack.
A few Scale Emblem folk who were there at the original Mine Laying move, guiding some of the Yamatoans through the minefield into the Melee as the Palace Landers try to meet force with force!
Various mages start using Area of Effect earth spells, which start tearing apart the mines and causing detonations all around the battlefield, as the two forces meet head-to-head at the center, right in the middle of the minefield, where any misstep can be another shatter of light!
From the center of the formation, healers continue casting, while the back lines move forward and begin to drop heavy Stone drops upon the Yamatoan position! Many of them detonating mines if they are close enough to the edge of the field - such as Kaydon - while another group has formed to create a large dark cloud over the position of SpritesHero, Kauchemar and Merek, bringing down fierce flechettes of ice, tearing down on their position!
The chunk of rocks come flying at Shirin and his Peko and before impact Shirin performs an age old gamer trick, he sacrifices the mount to leap higher into the air and avoid the majority of attack. His Peko however will need medical attention when this is all over.
The vortex of air by the sleep knight mages gives Shirin pause as he falls toward it before he lands on solidified air, but he can't stay in place to long, even solidified air is being sucked in and even the trail of solidified air is pulled in before Shirin gets to his destination as he falls towards the shadows of Haru.
Spinning in the air he avoids the slinks here and there , one or two may get him but the real danger is the swarm.
Forcing himself through the shadows and out of the attack zone, he manages to climb to the top of the building in a way that only adventurers can before launching a ball of light into the air. He follows it up with releasing a single arrow from his crossbow bolt into the ball of light sending three large arrows of light at those who would dare attack him.
The forces led by Shiyang use her speech as the cue to prepare, readying powerful spells to rain down upon walls and defenders both. The fortifications are strong however, and the attacking angle poor beneath those walls. Stones arch up, over, down, striking stone in a staggering assault, yet one that fails to find blood. Shiyang's casters and archers, while many of them prepared attacks, others readied defenses. Lightning rains down upon them, as well as massive balls of cast iron. Earth rises up to shelter the Palace Landers however; the self-proclaimed defenders of Stone sheltered in turn by the element.
Shiyang herself neither attacks nor defends... yet. As the retaliation comes, she turns slightly to one side, never taking her eyes off the wall and the defenders. She hands her banner down to a warrior in heavy plate and carrying a large shield, who seemingly would have no other place in a battle most likely to be fought at range.
That task out of the way, Shiyang inspects those who have come out to answer the threat upon the walls, rather than the one at the breach. No figures she immediately recognizes, which is a bit of a disappointment, but fresh warriors showing their defiance and courage, which is anything but a disappointment.
"Defenders of Stone, prepare. Archers, take down those before us." she calls. A flight of flame arrows now go up, this time targeting defenders directly rather than aimed largely at the wall. "Let us see what surprises these defenders yet have."
One of the arrows comes zooming his way, meaning that Rylen has to do some... interesting array of acrobatics in order to make sure that the explosion of light magic that follows doens't catch him in its wake. Some of it is a bit excessive, though some might be reminded of the duo-performances of he and Uta during their carnival travels. Perhaps the two had come up with this together?
Whatever the case, as he lands from one particular set of flips, he turns his eyes back on Shirin, his white hair billowing in the breeze like one of those martial arts films. "How dare you use your mount as a shield. They deserve better than that." Rather than attacking directly, he instead he touches a hand to the ground, causing a tremmor to rumble up. Wherever it is that Shirin lands, the earth itself would no longer be an ally. Instead, it would crumble beneath his feet, threatening to drop him into a sinkhole if he is not careful.
One of the light arrows launched by Shirin streaks over the defensive wall and down towards the group of mages being led by the Sleeping Knight, Siune. They're still chanting, guiding that tornado around the battlefield. It takes a lot of concentration. They won't be able to hold the spell if they evade, or raise any magic shields. They're defenseless!
Yuuki leaps from her perch, darkness engulfing her blade as she sweeps it out. It slices through the arrow of light, cutting it in half and causing it to explode into light premature of its target.
Yuuki lands again, hitting a rooftop in a roll before bouncing up onto her feet. She stops, staring out across the rooftops at Shirin, before saying, "Not cool, dude. Not cool." She could be referring to the attack against her guildmates. Or the attack against Eas. Either way, Yuuki is not pleased.
Yuuki leans before, before pushing off into a fast run. She leaps from rooftop to rooftop, sword swept out to her side as she closes the distance to Shirin. Moments before reaching him, Yuuki pushes off once more and then darts past Shirin in a flash, her sword sweeping out in a quick cut.
Enchanter life is not Hunter life, so the crafter relies on the purple lens of his monocle to help find out where the tall blonde cowboy went. He finds out in time, albiet barely, as his foot presses to the ground to vault him backwards right as the arrow lands where he once was.
The Tectonic vibrations go through as the Artificer begins drawing them through him in a circuit that overloads his Wave Arte, "Crystallo. Serratus. Lacrima. Assula. Inimicus." The words that circle around his orb practically hum with the indignation of a harmed animal. Monocle locks on. Target acquired. Each word from his Arte breaks off as jagged crystals that launch in the wake of Yuuki's assault, fracturing off into a glass minefield Stealth Rock style to cut and debuff as well as rend asunder during evasive movements.
Wake surveys the situation evenly. Well, the first clash has gone fairly well. Sure, there are some injuries, but the wall is still together, the enemy hasn't done anything horrific like animate the mountain side and turn it into a mega golem... For a moment, the team is holding its own.
Wake leaps down to join her people in the fight. Sure, she doesn't want to lead from the front, but she's curious about learning more about these enemies, and fighting them will do just that.
Wake rushes forward, dodging the enemy's arrow attacks as she closes with Shiyang. "You'll have to forgive me.. for not greeting you formally," she calls out before opening up with two swift punches and what she hopes is a devastating knee strike.
o/~ My secret side I keep, hid under chord and key, I kept it caged 'cause I can't control it
Cause when I give her space, she'll drop the bass, melt your face... when no-body comes to save you, from me, meet your end! o/~
When Kauchemar moves back into view her eyes are already aglow, little arcs crackling from the corners. Her glamrock mane flicks about her head as if caught in some ominous wind, even as she raises one hand over her head, a few sparks crackling from the tips of her fingers as she snaps them.
Lightning splits from the sky... unfortunately lightning tends to be rather erratic, the bolts crashing off in random directions rather than down into the enemy forces as intended. It's a level of chaos that not even the Nightmare can bring under complete control, which is probably why she doesn't use that spell very often.
But it's at least a loud and bright light show to add to the chaotic feel of the battle, even if it somehow manages to not strike anyone of importance.
Nonetheless, there's a bit of both insult and injury as the icicles slash through his defenses, each leaving a scarlet slash. Indeed, at one point Robert even dodges into an icicle. Not his proudest moment. There's a momentary twist of his lips, something that sounds suspiciously like a 'tch'. There's a rapid incantation, followed by a gathering swirl of corrupting arcane darkness that forms over the Palace front line. Who knows, maybe it'll get someone to stumble into any leftover mines.
Eventually explosions stop, and Kaydon launches forward, pushing back against the attackers with his shield, before swinging around with the blade in a wide arc to try to take down as many of the attackers as he can.
He twists the blade in his hand in order to return the swing the other way, again pushing back with the shield with all the force he can manage.
The man sweeps along with his feet and hands becoming flame, then he charges along into the invasion force while he swings to each of them. "You won't gain another foothold!"
Shirin looks at the one talking about his mount, "At the end of the day if I chose to die for my Peko it would have no one to caare for it and may die anyways. If I win today I can heal it. " Leaping from one roof top to the annother in anticipation of whatever attack Rylen is attempting to pull off he is surprised when the earht gives and takes, shifting his landing point as he falls to the ground with a thud.
He lands on a ground with thud and oof as he stands up not sure if the ground is going to move again, only to see Yuuki there before she slashes through him and he looses a good 10 percent of his hp.
He has no intent of sticking aorund as he leaps away and right into the full on crystal shotgun blast of Haru's as he gets hit into a wall, but at least now in the fire and carnage of the battle he shimmers a little, at least till the magic crystals fade.
Standing up a little shakie he tries to get himself back on the offensive as he raises his two crossbows in hand, and charges back up into the roof tops. First he finds the guy who shot him with the crystal and fires a beam of light at him and then sees the champ who he attempts to retaliate with a beam of light as well. Finally the one complaining about the mounts, he looks Rylen dead in the eye and points both crossbows in Rylen's direction and fires.
When Merek calls out to the attackers, Shiyang's eyes light up. A foe she knows indeed! "Should we trade talk of injustices and explanations?" she challenges in return. She sees a Yamatoan woman rushing forward to confront her directly.
The large warrior, wielding both shield and banner, steps up. "No, bannerman." Shiyang insists, pushing past. "Not this time. I will answer this challenge." she insists, causing the man to back down reluctantly. No Palace Lander would be here and refuse to fight an enemy... but at the same time, the role of those such as Shiyang are clear.
"Try to uncrown me then!" she calls out, more to Merek than Wake, anger finally showing through the calm professionalism she's shown so far. "You'll find I need no crown to encourage me to fight!"
Shiyang's anger is cold though, controlled and banked. She engages Wake, dealing out rapid strikes with the blade. Wake's own attack strikes hard, practically folding the Palace Lander in half, her armor insufficient but native toughness allowing her to straighten once again and continue to engage.
Lightning crackles above, but the mages are already hard at work weaving their defensive countermeasures. Kauchemar can see as multiple mages rapidly quaff mana potions, before bringing forth a heavy shield overhead. Some of her bursts of spark tear down into them, but the main brunt of it is being kept at bay. However, this does mean that they are unable to provide aid to the rest of their forces.
Kauchemar keeps the defensive mages busy as Merek comes rushing in, punching into the front ranks and /detonating/ one of the front tanks, melting and punching through their shield, before the rest of the wave of that attack pierces through their chest and ripples out into the area beyond them!
Kaydon steps right past Merek, with that opening created, and CLEAVES with that bldae of his, ripping through a few throats and catching one of them under their shield, divesting it from them, and continueing the momentum of this enormous counter-attack! They try to retaliate, only for SpritesHero's magic to overcome the front lines, causing some of them to trigger some of the mines, causing further detonations!
At this point, parts of the Palace Land forces have gone into a fighting retreat! With more of their elite soldiers moving to the front to put down a firm blockade. Some of the tanks are putting their shields down on the bridge, using the narrowed way as a positive for themselves. Moving out of the range of those mines, and bombarding the Yamatoan forces with Fireballs...
When a group of mages suddenly step up along the edge of the bridge, and point their mage wands at Merek, SpritesHero, Kaydon, and Kauchemar, not moments before a sudden ORB of LIGHTNING comes their way!
It seems like just a regular orb of lightning, right up until it might hit them... at which point the effects might be far more devastating than they have experienced so far from lightning attacks!
As more shots are sent his way, he does little more than shift to the side, moving like quicksilver, seemingly there one moment and gone the next, almost as if he flicker-stepped forward towards Shirin. "There's always excuses for your abuse, isn't there? All the reasons in the world to justify it." He scoffs, each foot stomping on the ground as he moves.
The earth trembles, sending up small rocks that seem to hover around Rylen. It seems as if he were simply buffing his earth magic. But then, he raises an arm up in the air, and draws it forward, pointing towards Shirin. "The Earth takes casts her judgement." Then, out of the sky, rocks begin to fall. As they fall towards the earth, Haru's own magic ignites them and both spells seem to combine into a flurry of fire and stone, tumbling down upon Shirin's location.
And then it's time to launch it out at the enemy again, targeting Shiyang once more - hoping for better aim this time. The ball flies through the air, smashed into impressive speed by her tetsubo, howling as the indentations catch the wind of its passage - straight at the fancily-armored salamander.
A humming series of symphonic notes pluck into existance as Haru draws the crystal togethers in a hex-like shield in front of him. He braces as the crystals connect with silvery lines to each other and form plates of aetheric dampening in colors of red, blue, and yellow. The shot strokes, crashing through the first shield like a bolt through a cathedral's window. The second. The third. Finally the bolt strikes Haru in the chest and leaves a sizable red damage dot.
"What was it your comrade said? Stone and Flame?" Haru asks as he puts a hand to his wound, clutching. Drawing out a fist full of flame that makes his hand look in fire as a plume of a bird is held within it. "Ignis. Pluma. Ambiente. Ardeat. Nos." he yells out, the orb in his other hand glowing as hot as magma until a fire elemental in the form of a firey bird bursts out and upwards above him. It flaps its wings once, causing hot wind to fill the area. Wings draw back. "And the fire cleanses," he says on the wings of Rylen's statement as the arena is awash in dozens of feathers that wash around like a Sakura blossom tree gone rogue, burning as hot as hellfire as they ignite the earthen meteors.
Yuuki watches as the Palace Lander she slashed disappears to the ground between buildings. Well, that's that. Who's next to face her-Wait. He returns! Yuuki watches Shirin jump back onto a rooftop. Not bad, not bad. This might be fun after all.
Yuuki smiles a little bit.
Shirin fires off a beam of light at Yuuki. A soft aura forms around the imp as she darts off, trying to avoid the beam at high speeds. But it's quick, traveling at the speed of light, after all! It manages to strike Yuuki in the side, through her off balance as she launches into her buff-assisted run. She trips off the edge of the roof and goes crashing through a window into a house.
For a moment, nothing.
Yuuki comes bursting out of another window! Planting a foot on the window sill she launches up onto the rooftops again, charging straight for Shiring. Still boosted by her speed buff, she weaves her way through the Haru and Rylen combined attack of flaming stones crashing down on Shirin. As she gets close enough she leaps forward, launching into a quick series of pointed jabs towards Shirin's chest.
Shiyang's no joke to fight with. Wake's really a glass cannon out here. She can't keep it up for long. But surely she deserves some of the woman's attention!
The attack Wake uses starts so innocently, almost like harmless, teasing pawing to feel out Shiyang's defenses, followed abruptly with a massive surge of power and a positive flurry of blows.
"You seem like a decent person," she says in the midst of this. "Please don't waste your life to claim an empty mountain top."
"I'm going to have to step out," he announces to nobody in particular. He does offer a final parting spell towards the enemy mages--a nebulous, swirling cloud of smoke seemingly aimed more at disruption then direct damage. He then slips off towards safety.
Kauchemar has been burning quite a bit of arcane energy herself, and those balls of lightning do not look pleasant as they've got more control that her attempt at Shock and Awe did. She's definitely not standing around to find out just how potent those are, instead bounding back into motion with a ripple of water in her wake. The aquaphilic boost to her already great speed is enough to put her well ahead of those orbs and their electrical force. Finally she skids to a stop, though has to take a moment to consider the situation, and her own energy levels. Decides to pool most of her own remaining mana into another strategy.
The darkness of her shadow distorts as she picks up a bit of her previous song, this time using it more like a chant.
o/~ It's hiding in the dark, its teeth are razor sharp... There's no escaping when it wants your soul, wants your heart! o/~
The shadow stretchs out as eyes glow from the darkness, then seems to take more solid shape as it rises up into a solid form of a Nightmare. The demonic equine barely gives the enemy a chance to realize he's there before opening his maw wide and unleashing a horrific unearthly sound, bathing the enemy lines in terrifying negative energy that pitchs up victims' fearful emotions while screwing with the cooldown times on their abilities.
Perhaps Shiyang is somewhat weak to playful attacks by attractive women. Given Shiyang's past it could be just that which leads the Salamander to lower her guard somewhat. Or perhaps she's just so heavily focused on offense that her defense naturally suffers. Or, in the end, perhaps it's the second massive iron ball launched by the red oni. Shiyang crumples under the attack, giving Wake an opening to launch a series of devastating blows bring a spray of red to the air.
And yet, Shiyang is made of tougher stuff than it seems. Despite the spray of red looking like it would easily kill a lesser being, her health is not yet depleted. Her health bar isn't even red, not yet. Close, but she's still yellow.
"I'm not here to claim an empty mountain." Shiyang speaks roughly, more due to the pain of hits taken than anger. She seems controlled still, casting an eye out to take in the tactical situation. It's not looking good. She can see the lines close to breaking, which would leave her and her forces badly overexposed on the flank. No... an empty mountain is not worth killing and dying for, not at all. She needs to open up some distance, and has a power well suited for that.
"Oh Earth." she chants. "Your defender calls upon you. Take the fire of my soul within you, and trap and consume our enemies!" she concludes, a triumphant surge of mana accompanying the magic. The ground opens up around Wake, and past her, turning to thick and viciously-hot liquid. Not only does it turn that ground into a deadly danger, but it's even a threat to the fortifications themselves, putting Chikako at risk from where she's flinging those monstrous attacks down.
It hurts for sure, but he's still standing after the smoke clears, even if his armor is glowing a bit from the impact, "Cute, but now it's my turn."
Kaydon drops the shield back into his inventory to free up his left hand, and rushes into the thick of the fight. He's heading right for those mages that decided to hit him with lightning. Once he's in the midst of their group, the blade on his gauntlet comes to bear, slashing through flesh and bone, stabbing into targets as he hammers away at them, the other hand with the damascus sword still cutting down anyone that he can get into range of.
Shirin was starting to sweat as more and more of his abilities go on cooldown and yet the adventurers still stand. Seeing the rain of flaming earth Shirin tries to do the most logical approach of avoiding the meteors but his speed is to slow as he is knocked around and eventually is beaten into the earth. The combo move does work rather well it seems. As the man rises to his feet slowly there is of course Yuuki who is there to stab him, not once, not twice but many times. Death by a thousand yuuki cuts it seems.
"So that is how it is going to be huh." Spinning his crossbow in the hand Shirin shoots a bolt at Yuuki, more as a distraction then actual attack before he tries to once again get to the roof tops that have now been smashed all over with earth and fire. The battleground is a mess but with knows what needs to be done as he fires more random shots at his opponents, one here to Rylen as he weaves around this building, another to Haru as he retreats back further. Anyone who was half way decent at tracking could see he was trying to get back to the main force.
Shiyang's attack is one of the most powerful Wake has ever faced. To avoid it would demand more than skill, but incredible degrees of luck, as well. The magma is so hot Wake can feel it on her skin before she sees it coming.
While the Baroness moves swiftly, and at almost the perfect angle, it's not enough. There's a feeling in the moment, a strange pull, and then a thrill runs down Wake's spine as she calls upon a power that makes her better than her very best.
A blurring flick of her fingers traces out the shape of a rune as she speaks:
| | / /
| | / /
| |/ / __
| | / / /
| |/ / /
| | / /
| | / /
| |/ /
| | /
The Baroness throws herself upwards and flips away just as the magma surges to full heat. Landing in a crouch, she seeks out the eyes of her enemy and smiles calmly. She calls out over the battlefield, "You fight well and bravely! I hope we meet again!"
In the same moment, SpiritesHero - enhanced by that healing light - sweeps his smoke clouds over the irregulars of the Palace Lands, blinding them and making them fight blind. This gives Kauchemar even more shadows to play with. The demonic equine's horrifying sound tearing through their ranks and causing even some of the more level-headed of the Palace Landers to suddenly turn and break rank, retreating along that bridge!
They have Kaydon following right after them. Breaking formation to head over the edge of the bridge and slamming right into some of those mages on the edges - bringing that gauntlet to bear and SLAMMING one of them off of the bridge over the edge.
Wilhelm Scream follows.
Before Kaydon proceeds to cut the second, and hammers away at those not retreating fast enough - as the rest of the Palace Land troops rapidly retreat back down that stone laid path.
"Come up here and say that to my face, Scales!" she shouts, hauling herself up to lean against one of the wall's crenelations so she can continue fighting. ... Except... She pauses and looks at Wake. "They're running away. Are they allowed to do that? That's cheating, isn't it?"
The distraction strikes Yuuki in the chest, proving equally effective as an attack. Yuuki grunts as she takes a step back from the impact. She reaches up, tugging at the crossbow bolt lodged in her, small red pixes of light dancing out of the wound. Looking down at the bolt, Yuuki reaches up with her free hand to grab it, "Nice shot." She proceeds to tug the bolt out, "I'm definitely going to have to get you back for-"
Yuuki looks up. Seeing nothing but a Shirin-shapped dotted outline. Looking around, she finally catches sight of him retreating back with the rest of the Palace Lands forces, "H-Hey! Get back here! We're not done yet!" No, Yuuki!
Yuuki is just about to give chase when she realizes that there are people cheering. It takes her a moment to realise what the retreating Palace forces means.
Then it dawns on her, "Oh... OH!" Yuuki grins, turning back to the Yamato Adventurer force and raising two fingers in a V sign, "Victory!"
For her part, Wake is tired. And frankly, confused. She doesn't show it, but she does whisper to herself, "This war.. may not be about what I think it is."
But if not about destroying all adventurers, then what is the point of it, exactly? Why throw less than everything at a major objective. To her, there is only one answer. Eas and the Olympus Headquarters were not a major objective.
This is a mystery Wake doesn't relish in the least. Fortunately, Chikako's call distracts her from her musing.
"No, dear, it's not cheating. Honestly, we just want them to stop attacking our people, not die."
Shiyan's magma trap is a highly reliable effect, not so much deadly as tactical. Which makes Wake's evasion of it more than merely impressive. That she does so with such an eye-catching and unique effect, well, the Salamander is impressed. And more than that, Shiyang understands who she has been facing this day. The ruler of Eas herself. The soft-spoken Adventurer that Palace Lands 'diplomats' spoke of. Not at all what Shiyang had expected.
In her surprise, Shiyang very nearly falls prey to yet another cannon ball from Chikako. At the last moment though she evades, using magic to aid her defensive leap clear of the deadly blow. Her eyes narrow, and she considers berating the Oni for interfering. But no, that's the sort of thing others say. Instead she nods. "Another time perhaps." she agrees neutrally. "You have earned your stand this day. I only hope you don't come to regret wanting to face me again." she states, bringing hands up before her in a brief and martial bow before she resumes withdrawing, falling into line with her bannerman and the other casters and skirmishers of her force as they mak an orderly retreat.
The Artificer only gives as much chase as it takes to get to the bird. "He'll be back," he informs the bird. Haru looks to the retreating figure, "probably." In the meantime he goes through his inventory to look for a Uta-lixir! If there is ever a right time to use it, it is to ail the bird's affliction.
Kaydon however, is not in a mood for taking prisoners. Or for mercy. He hauls off and knocks one of them off the bridge, taking a moment to watch them scream and fall and burst into pixels when they hit the ground, but he's not done. He strikes down several more stragglers, outright executing one of them that had fallen with a blow from the hidden blade.
Shiruba can yell at him about the war crimes thing later if she wants.
With a grimace, Rylen just stares off in the direction of Shirin's retreat before he back-peddles to where the fallen Peko still lies. Yes, in the heat of battle where there are many injuries, helping the fallen mount seems to be more important to him than anything else. He is a Beastmaster, afterall.
He moves over and rests a hand on the peko's neck. He reaches for a strangely flamboyant earring that he's been wearing the whole time, which looks like a peko feather, and lightly holds it in one hand. "Let me give you the strength to stand, my friend."
Closing his eyes, Rylen seems hum to himself, though no words are actually spoken. Instead, the phrase is only spoken in the Beastmaster's mind as he tries to bolster the Peko's natural vitality.
The bird warks, then shakes its head before rising shakily to its feet. "That's it, take it slow. We'll get one of the healers to see to you." He offers with re-assurance. It's enough that the bird can willingly be treated with the elixir that Haru offers, at least.
Good thing Rylen took care of that Peko before it became said snack.
"That is the extent of what I can do for him or her," he turns to Rylen. Earth bros, brah. "Great kicking some booty alongside you and," he turns just in time to see Yuuki making that V sign, "Yuuki." Blink. Or wink. Its one eye, hard to tell. Either way he gives a smile and motions back to the main forces, "Going to see whats what at the main force." Too early to relax, he feels, not without doing stock of the aftermath.
Fortunately the Baroness is not aware of dishonorable carrying-on by anyone. It would certainly lead to no end of frustration. But it is, after all, a confederacy that defends her lands now and it is far from unified on many a matter. Fortunately, when it comes to driving off the enemy, though, there is no debate.
She does her best to tend to the wounded, but Wake's mind is already pondering what must be done next. There must be another attack coming. The landmines won't be a surprise. It occurs to her, however, that there is something very important to be said. And it is her right to say it.
Getting back up on the wall is not as easy or quick as leaping down, but in short order she does so and her voice is raised over the battlefield.
"Warriors of Yamato! Heroes of the Scale Emblem, New World, and Olympus, thank you for your valiant defense of Eas! I am and all my people stand in your debt. What you have done today will be remembered and whatever might come next, we have proven that we can defeat these invaders and that we can protect our homes!"
She pauses, looking out over the battlefield. It is torn up, the road badly damaged by magic and explosions. The defenders are healing. "For now, we will recover. And then we will celebrate!"
It is a surprise victory. Those who brought it about deserve their glory and recognition. Soon the story of it shall spread like wildfire and rekindle hope.