Duty Session 479: Spooky Scary Skeletons
During the Shadow Festival, the number of dark element monsters and undead seems to increase across the lands of Yamato. In the desert landscape of the Holy Empire Westelande, this is a particular problem, as the harsh desert seems to yield even more of these monsters. The Hunter's Guild has reached out to Adventurers, hoping to quell the numbers of undead before they become a threat to Breg Epona.
OOC: This quest is only available during the Shadow Festival. This quest is largely 'Combat'-concept based.
Rec. Party: 3+
World Rewards: None
Soujiro is wearing a little less than normal for the trek out into the sandlands. His samurai cloth are of a softer fabric that let him breathe. The red armor itself is coated in fire resistance oils to reduce the impending heat. He takes a drink from his prepared canteen of wonderful green tea. Ahh. Refreshing. "Great. We know where they are, now its just a matter of removing the threat," he says with a voice that is equal parts friendly as it is encouraging. It befits his kind eyes and warm smile even in the arid landscape.
The warm desert sand crunches between the toes of Rizadoman as he appraoches the guide known as Carl. Compared to most names it was a rather unique name as he looks about the endless desert. "It's been a while since I've been to the desert." The giant lizard takes a deep breath enjoying the warmth for another moment before he grips his shield. This is infact all he seems to have on him. In fact the entire walk here there would have been whispers and comments about a giant lizardman going around in nothing but a loin cloth. These rumors seem to be describing Rizadoman as he currently stands here, wearing just the loin cloth and shield. "Ready to go."
Soujiro the Samurai is thinking option: Cut them in half. As he approaches he notices how poor of a fight that would truly be. He keeps his katanas sheathed in their sayas as he presents sound gamer logic of what their agro radius is and begins to navigate around them. The covert part should at least be a challenge.
Rizadoman looks at the group of undead and wrinkles his face at the smell, "Undead in the desert is the worse smell." Taking a step forward he begins to move towards the undead doing his best to dance around them. That is to say he simply keeps walking through the crowd of undead , only putting the effort to avoid any vital or critical hits. Either the large lizardman isn't built for evasion and sneaking or he isn't really trying, probably a bit of both.
The trek towards the oasis has the trio climbing over a large dune. The sands shift with the wind and with that howling air comes a different sound. It is a deep thrum to a metranome. Drum beats in the desert? At the top of the dune they all see them: skeletons. The group of rattling skeletons march together in time. The steady footfalls of their bone feet against the sand find a rhythmic melody that is pleasing to the ears albiet creepy. Spooksy. They are likely using this sound to keep in time with the march. It appears that these skeletons were once a military regiment in life. They wear the tattered remains of Westelande colors in places.
The moment the party gets into range of the skeletons, they clank into action. The back linges begin grabbing pieces of bone from their bodies and hurling them as makeshift projectiles. They didn't really /need/ those rib bones, anyway. The bones make a strange woop woop woop sounds as they sail through the air. The front line of the skeletal fighters rush towards the advantures through the hot sand. They lack weaponry and lash out with hand and heel once within reach.
For those musically inclined there appears to be a pattern to their attacks. Disrupting it would have a devastating effect on skeletan coordination.
Soujiro does not have a musical inclination. He enjoys music, yes. It is a beautiful thing to his ears. Performing it? No. Music besides, he aches for a good battle as he walks towards the approaching skeletons. The ground itself lends to him, causing a wave of sand and force to rip towards the skeletons in a swift iai strike from a freshly drawn katana. After the sand ripples forward he draws the second and is primed for some (un)Mortal Kombat.
Rizadoman steps up and protects his head with his shield as the bones clank against it before the lizardman lets out an echoing roar. Stabbing both his hands into the ground he pulls up a large chunk of earth and throws it as hard as he can at a few of the skeletons. "From the earth you came and from the earth you shall return." Rizadoman continues to hurl his improvised earth like projectiles at the best of his ability as they continue to progress.
It isn't long after the encounter with the skeletons that the group spots the first hints of structures within the desert. Ancient stone boundings seem to have been buried here. They have been etched way by wind and sand, eroded by time. Any identifying marks of what these buildings once were have been claimed by the desert. All they serve now are waypoint markers that guide travelers like the trio towards the oasis.
The forgotten locale is not without its own guardians. Skeletals hands push up from the sand and drag mummified bodies out of their slumber. Besides the linen wraps, they all wear noticible bettle scarabs around their neck. They are faster than their ghoulish brethren and make quick movements towards the Adventurers. Dry, dirty hands grasp out with sharp fingernails hoping to find exposed flesh they can rake into. Dark, gaping teeth open wide to take a bite, just for taste, as the dark magic lingers behind their eyes for their hungering.
The samurai in red armor waits for the mummies to get close. Soujiro's blade glints with a white light that follows the arc of his blade in a clean counter-offensive swipe. It drives his motion forward, coming in a series of light-saber like slashing that always sends him forward, towards his foe, and through them.
Rizadoman is attracted to the ancient structure and begins to look at the words and markings, "Hmm it appears that it is talking about an ancient creature, a warning if you will. Know This: This Creature Is The Bringer Of Death. He Will Never Eat, He Will Never Sleep, And He Will Never Stop. Death is only the beginning." Whatever goes on behind him he continues to read, "Oh looks like there is a spell to dismiss the creature but I can't make out this last symbol, looks like a bird."
The party continues into the lush oasis landscape by leaving behind the ruins at its edge. The water here allows for growth that is otherwise absent in the desert. Leafy plants sway in the hot, desert air, but something is amiss. There is no evidence of animals here. Given the greenery and water, there should be some around. It is an ideal watering hole. The monsters are the likely reason for this scarcity as a prime candidate makes itself known: A Reaper.
A faintly glowing undead monster floats in patrol around the edge of the oasis waters. The monster lacks legs. It is a being that flies as a floating ribcage with arm and head attached above it. It makes an eerie sound as it moves as if there are faint screams of the damned in its wake. It wears a tattered hood to hide the face made of bone beneath. Red energy radiates where eyes should be. It stops during its patrol, looking for new souls to harvest. It finds them. A bony hand reaches out to summon the reaper's token scythe. The large obsidian weapon flies through the air with remarkable speed, seeking to cut the Adveturers down to size!
Soujiro can hear those voices from the Reaper. None were spared. Men, women, and children. To a reaper its as natural as harvesting wheat. The blue eyes of the samurai darken in vengeance. Both blades come up as it is his turn for the Scythe, sparks flying as he bats it off its trajectory. He advances while deflecting, not waiting for the return of the Scythe as he rushes to the front of the battle with both swords out. A foot plants as he launches upwards, a double slash through the creature that has him vaulting in a backwards arc, landing against a springy palm tree to vault for more mayhem.
Rizadoman looks at the Reaper for a moment before he steps in and his scales take on a blood red coloring. " I will take the hits you two do the damage. " Once the comment is made the lizardman does his best to make it a reality. Every hit, every attack, Rizadoman tries to make sure he is there. Almost like a living shield, he isn't about to let the reaper do any more damage to those around.
There is a brief respite over the crystal clear oasis. Not even wind disturbs the surface giving it a glass-like texture. Suddenly there is something different in the reflection. A pulse of green light is seen deep in the reflection that ripples to the top of the surface of the water. As if pulled from the underworld, a new enemy appears with an even larger health bar. It has billowing robes and magic crackling at its feet. It inspects as a Lich.
The Lich raises one hand and sends out another green light pulse across the landscape. It seems to resurrect many of the same undead that the party had /just/ defeated. All that work, undone, with the sand rising them back up to engage with the party once more.
The dancing skeletons approach in lock-step with the shambling ghouls that rise from the water. The question can now be answered what ghoul smells worse: wet or dry. The Reaper's skeletal bones begin to reconstruct along with a new fancy bone scythe to use against the party. The mummies rise once more, launching their bandages at the players, trying to crowd-control them down for the others to injure. Not only is this an undead threat, it is a coordinated one. This is certain to be a hard fought battle as the combined undead wade upon the group. The Lich follows up its own necromantic abilities by raising a green gemmed staff. Green light begins to draw from all living things nearby. That means you three. As it sucks away the life, the Lich restores its own in a lifesteal
Soujiro isn't worried about the return of the horde. It makes the human grin. This is exactly the kind of fight he was hoping for out here. Waves upon waves of enemies, varied ones, with an ever present pressure of his life ticking down from a menacing caster-type. He fights through the adds first, drawing a samurai's challenge to pull groups of them away in a rhythm so the group as a whole can cycle through clearing adds and focusing on the main big boss. He gets his own turn on the Lich too, which he engages in with sharp jubilation.
Rizadoman stands at the site the reaper fell and pops a health potion to recover the damage he took , his wounds diappearing in red pixels. It is only then does he notice the green light along the water. "This isn't over." The lich appears and Rizadoman glares at it. "So this thing rises agsain, well then..." With a challenging roar Rizadoman's shield breaks into a pair of twin blades and he points one at the Lich in declaration of combat. Charging forward he slashes once, then twice and then bringing both down for a vertical slash as hard as he can , causing fire to erupt at the end of the slash. "Burn in hell you accursed thing."
She leaps into battle... Sleeping Kinghts, the have this urge to fight bosses but more so to be the BEST and she is the best scribe in the world and the punches she throws show it, the scripture covering her fists flare with white light and the words leap forth in arcs ofholy power. Battering and blinding those foes that they slam into, again and again she throws barrages of these long range punches, almost like she's shadow boxing only the blows land in lines of holy burning scripture.
Finally the pattern diverges. The next rotation against the boss has the Lich's gemmed staff shattered under the assault. The remaining undead in the area fall to the ground as if their strings had been cut. This gives the Adventurers the chance they need for an all out attack. Their strikes land true upon the Lich's robed body as its health quickly plummets. Soon afterwards it cries out, shuddering for a moment before bursting into points of light for a boss-level destruction. As the body shatters, dark clouds that had once gathered overhead are cleared. The region is saved from this dangerous foe. The gem that was once encrusted upon the necromantic staff lands before the Adventurers and shatters into equal pieces for them.
"Now that was a good fight against a bad foe," Soujiro says with a satisfied look on his face as if he could do that again. And again. And... he probably shouldn't but would do it one more time just to push the limits. A hand wipes the sweat and dirt from his brow as he heads over and claims the treasure of the hard won loot.
Rizadoman looks over the remains of the lich for a moment before retrieving from his inventory a potion and tossing it to the samurai. "Top up your health. It would suck to get caught by palace landers on the way back. No need to spend a night in the church." He then retrieves a couple of more one for June and another for himself before looking out into the harsh desert. "Well I shall be preceding on into the endless desert for a bit. I appreviate allowing me to join in the hunt of the undead." With that said the lizardman travels towards the setting sun deeper into the desert, where he goes off to now who is to say.