They were told a wreckoning would be coming. That their Bandit King would not stand for these adventurers and this town for making a mockery of them. These lands would fear them, but for these adventurers-- well, they were not going to let that happen.
Though the guards were trying to keep the woman from killing herself and the one who refused to speak up, was on the edge of breaking.
It would be this evening that the horns would be blown and alerts from the local guard could be heard. The bandits were coming and coming in a group on horseback. The adventurers would need to make ready...
Though where was Xander in all this? He voted to stay inside and make sure the bandits didn't get in and somehow free their captives. They were so close after all, they couldn't afford losing these two captives.
So, it is up to the others to handle the defense.
[ Wave 1 Incoming - Enemy HP: 1 - Number To Defeat: 5]
[Party HP Total: 10]
The Bandits might think they have an advantage in planning when to attack when they don't think it will be expected.... But it doesn't quite work that way when one of the members of the defending party is an Oracle with a perchant for gleaming into the future. And Kauchemar has learned it was often more effective to look for the when and where of something than the success or failure.
With all that said it should be no surprise that by the time the alerts are being pronounced the Nightmare Were Fang has already made her way to the edge of the town.
Xander has the right idea to stay behind. Both to guard their captives, and at the hest of her previous vision that the woman would rather kill herself than submit. Which would only enrage her bandit king fiance more. So keep an eye on them, and leave the defense to the rest of them.
"It's almost time..." For reasons none other than her own she taps the butt of her staff against the ground, and nods a bit to her own thoughts. She had something planned, but as usual her intention were illusive, only brought to light if and when the time for them came to pass. Mindgames, you know.
Goldenblade has arrived in time to help the villagers, and it turns out she's known to them, which helps a bit, maybe. Goldenblade has a reputation, among Landers anyhow, as someone of consquence. The badge she wears, issued by Westelande, isn't a mark of authority here, per se, but it's a demonstration of their faith in her. She's completed all the quests to get Exalted reputation.
When the horns blow, she will walk out into the street and draw her blades, a cool look in her eye, for all the world like a sheriff in a western movie standing, waiting for the command to draw. Of course the western imagery was borrowed from the preparation for the iaijutsu duel in older samurai movies. So, what goes around comes around. She nods to Kauchemar about it being almost time. "Let's do this," she replies.
Soujiro Seta has been doing his rounds around the town since the last attack. He gets an idea for the layout and where an attack could come in. The samurai isn't a big battle strategist like Shiroe. His strength comes from being in the present and getting a feel for the tension in the air. That is to say the tension is high. He let people know what is going on if they were in the area and wanted to help out, but it would be what it is when the attack finally was sounded. "Good," the young warrior tells Kau, "the town will be free of the shadow of terror once and for all." He meant what he said about no harm coming to the townsfolk. During his rounds he helped make sure they got into a centrally defendable place. A 'keep' or town hall that could be defended against while the assailants were delt with. As for the prisoners? Zealots. If they showed some degree of a peaceful life instead of one of violencce and preditation there wouuld be room to talk, but they chose this path. Souji will show them to the end of it.
The first group comes, they charge in and people take cover. There are only five of them, but they looked lightly armored; Not a problem for the adventurers. Thanks to Kauchemar's abilities, the adventurers have the ability to strike first, instead of the other way around...
[ Wave 1 Arrived - Enemy HP: 1 - Enemy AC: 7 - Number To Defeat: 5]
[Party HP Total: 10]
With the first group coming in and the battle kicked off, Souji draws out Kogarasumaru, a katana of radiant white light. He holds it with both hands, the light drawing in and finally pulsing out towards the bandits with the pressure of divinity against them. Also a nice way of saying 'They are heeerreee' with extra illumination.
"Right on schedule." A schedule only she saw, but that's not important. Not when she was sure to let everyone else know. She lifts her staff...
"Now we shall leave them with a feeling of intreepidation!" And strikes her staff to the ground, causing it to rumble a bit. There's a trail through the soil not unlike roots pushing through the earth.
Which finally erupts from the ground growing fully formed into trees, thick branches swung abruptly into the path of charging bandits were previously only flat ground and hillsides existed. Getting smacked will certainly hurt, toss people around, and break up their rush so her teammates can deal with them more effectively.
When the first group of enemies charge, Goldenblade assumes a ready stance, blades on guard, her body poised. She looks each enemy in the eye, and as they charge, she remains still up until the last moment. When the bandits cross that last step, preparing to attack, she leaps into action. Her left-hand blade slices out once, twice, three times, each strike drawing blood, or at least costing the enemy HP.
She spins away and strikes with her other blade, once, twice, three times, and the bandits are now questioning their career choices. Alas, a do-over is only possible now if reincarnation is a thing.
The bandits come and are quickly dispatched in numbers by the group. Horses are knocked over to their side, with their riders becoming pixels. It is quick and it is decisive. The two that remain of the five, they try their best to strike at the three adventurer defenders. One with a bow as he fires arrows, the other throwing javelins.
Though it seems their efforts are in vain...
[ Wave 1 - Enemy HP: 1 - Enemy AC: 7 - Number To Defeat: 2]
[ Wave 2 Incoming - Number Of Enemies: 3]
[Party HP Total: 10]
Arrows zing through the air. Javelins are hurtled with intent to skewer. And Kauchemar... seems to disappear in a puff of smoke, leaving a cartoonish Were Fang shaped cloud to take all the abuse in her wake.
It's not true invisibility, just her technique of moving along the outer field of vision to avoid being noticed.
And then she's abruptly RIGHT IN FRONT of one of the remaining assailants, only giving him enough time to briefly scream at the jumpscare before chomping down her snake-like fangs into his neck and shoulder. She may not outright eat people like the feral Nightmares, but she's got one hell of a strong, and venomous, bite.
As the melee group is taken down, Goldenblade finds the party beset by ranged attacks. She's way too fast for these guys, though, zipping away leaving a trail of fiery footsteps as she rushes out, and SLAMS shoulder-first into the remaining attacker, who is doubled over at a convenient height. For decapitation. She looks around for more enemies, moving to regroup with Kauchemar and Soujiro. Not getting split up is important.
Soujiro Seta is still and he is silent. An arrow wizzes right past his face where a more excitable adventurer might have dodged into it. The long katana is held in both hands although his traditional stance is to hold two of them. The wind rustles through the town as a Divine Wind begins to blow, taking with it a scent of cherry blossoms and fresh linen. A hint of vanilla. The divine blade pulses once more and this time it covers the length of the entire town to impart a defensive buff at a massive scale. The katana returns to Souji's dominant hand only, keeping good on his promise that not a single person in this town will be harmed.
Kauchemar bites down at the spooked bandit, as he vanishes into pixels. Goldenblade cuts down the other, and Seta raises a defensive barrier to protect the people just in time as three riders come, finding their blades do no damage to any of the structures.
This means their attention is turned directly toward the ground and each one charges at each person. These guys look tougher and by their inspection, they /are/ higher leveled than the others were.
[ Wave 2 - Enemy HP: 3 - Enemy AC: 9 - Number To Defeat: 3]
[Party HP Total: 10 - Temp: 3 HP]
Soujiro Seta walks at a steady pace towards one bandit, the stride being one of action flicks or horror movies. Determined movements against the wave of enemies. They make a classic mistake, overthinking the situation. The slow movements are judge a bluff, right? The attack will come from his one sword, right? What if I do this or that? It doesn't matter. The outcome was decided before the bandit had a chance to raise his arm to attack the samurai. His other blade is drawn, slicing upwards clean down the middle and walking through the remains as either side of the enemy falls. Critical Hit (very hard).
Goldenblade is just a bit too fast for these enemies, and she avoids their attacks with acrobatic moves, ducking and twisting away from their best moves. She's an adventurer. Goldenblades flash as she stabs at them, her blades' special material debuffing their attacks as she debuffs their HP. Spinning around, she stabs her opponent from a different angle than he was expecting, and he looks up at her with a pained expresion before exploding into pixels.
Kauchemar rubs her mouth on the back of her arm, even though pixelating enemies don't leave any gibs to wipe off. "I do not want to think about how long it's been since that guy has likely had a proper bath," she mutters to herself. To one of the fallens' arriving allies this probably looks like she's distracted, and a perfect oppritunity to charge the Were Fang with a vicious strike in revenge!
But when a Summoner fights, they rarely fight alone.
The only movement Kauchemar makes is her eyes, looking just out of the corner of one in a 'I see you' moment but doesn't otherwise move. Instead a swirl of darkness appears, solidifying into a shield as black as onyx to intercept the man's charging strike in a clattering rebuttle that vibrates the weapon hard enough to do minimal retaliatory damage. A gleam across the gemstone in it's center almost gives the impression of an eye glaring at it's assailant.
"Tch. You can't blindside a master of blindsides." This time Kauchemar does turn, partway, to hold her staff out to her side towards the Bandit. She sees his readout in a higher level, and that's all she needs to know not to hold back. Violent violet flares crackle from the sockets of the skull atop Grindcore Staff, which erupt out into a pulsating beam of negative energy at the man.
The team takes note of the stronger opponents and they act in response to it with devastating force. They take down each of their assaulters with flare and destructive force. Each one going into pixels after death.
They have a momentary breather, but only a moment. They can see someone coming though. Not on horseback, not riding on anything, but an individual coming with a large greatsword in hand and heavily armored.
Just a single bandit that remains. They have a choice-- they can either head to him or wait for him to come to them.
[ Wave 2 - Defeated ]
[ !!WARNING!! - Boss Incoming - !!WARNING!! ]
[Party HP Total: 10 - Temp: 3 HP]
Soujiro Seta opts to meet his opponent head on, the Edo period samurai kimono billowing in the breeze as he continues his walk through the banditry towards big bossman bandit Bill (name probably not Bill). Both katanas are out and towards the side, steely blue eyes on the other swordsman with an intent to take this fight further away from the town.
"And the Big Moment of the Final Act comes."
Kauchemar shifts to fall into an easy stride to meet Soujiro in his approach to meet the final arrival. It's simple, really. The sooner they confront him, the farther from the town he stays. If he does try to rush past them, they have time to send warning to Xander. But it's probably, hopefully easier for them to just keep it from reaching that point. The staff rests against one shoulder. The Binder Shield drifts at her side, clearly not strapped to her arm, but in a similar position as a shield would normally be at rest.
Goldenblade will of course step out and meet the bad guy. She's not one to loaf around all day and wait for bad guys to come to her. She will approach, shoulder to shoulder, very approximately, with Kauchemar and Soujiro.
The group goes out to meet the boss, keeping him away from the town. The boss lowers the great sword and starts to drag it in the sand as he continues to move closer and closer to the group. Then he starts to pick up the pace, then jogs, then full out runs at the ground.
The large bandit lets out a roar, as he then spins himself and goes to slam the blade down at the group, causing an earthshaking explosion!
[ Boss Fight - Enemy HP: 6 - Enemy AC: 14]
[Party HP Total: 10 - Temp: 3 HP]
To say that Soujiro is surprised that a mere bandit holds the power of heroes from the Palace Land is an understatement. It only gets his blood boiling, getting to test his techniques against the angry beefcake. The ground pound is met head on, dashing through and cutting through the explosive debris. It isn't seen how the attack happens, just that the samurai is on the other side of the boss. Now that his Zantetsuken is on cooldown, the fighter adopts a defensive stance and prepares for the prolonged battle.
When the bandit spins around to slam his blade down and cause an earthquake for the party, Goldenblade is simply not there. Not invisibility, that's the stuff of relics, but stealth and misdirection, which are almost as good most of the time. She lurks in the shadows and will try to judge her moment, fading back in at the precide moment that is idea for stabbing the bandit through the heart.
Sadly, the bandit has no heart. That mean jerk. Her special attack spoiled, Goldenblade fights frantically in hopes that we can bring this bandit leader down before damage can be done to the town.
Kauchemar doesn't change her stride even as the large bandit picks up speed to meet them. She walks straight ahead, seemingly unphased. Even as he lunges, spins, and slams his weapon into the ground to shatter it with explosive force that sends a shockwave of fragmented stone flying.
Which the Nightmare just strides through. It's impossible to tell if it's sheer luck, or if she's foreseeing where the chunks will fly. But as she does, her prescence seems to change. The unphased stride, the stern grimace, the sheer intensity of her being there walking like nothing had happened is a fearsome thing to see. The large bandit may not acknowledge it, but it's enough to make that tingle of anxiety tremble up the hairs of ones neck regardless. Make them wonder just what they're getting into...
"Cute." Kauchemar shifts the staff from her shoulder. Holds it up. "My turn." And sweeps the staff down as she releases the elemental spell charged in it. Huge chunks of ice and frozen rock manifest from above, to come crashing down upon the large figure in an unrelenting barrage.
Maybe even more terrifying is that Kauchemar is not being her usual bombastic act. The grim and serious version is much, much more concerning....
The heavy bandit uses his massive blade to block Seta's attack, then spins around and in turn also blocks Goldenblade's as their attacks create sparks that shimmer off from their attacks. Then Kauchemar's attacks happen. The large chunks of ice slamming down on the bandit and then a new piece of info becomes clear; He was weak to magic.
The bandit staggers for a moment, shaking his now aching head, before he swings his blade and starts to spin with it, trying to catch all three in the spinning blade!
[ Boss Fight - Enemy HP: 4 - Enemy AC: 14]
[Party HP Total: 10 - Temp: 3 HP]
Soujiro Seta hunkers down with a physical, defensive stance. It makes it easier for him to parry back the wide attack with both of his blades as he leans away, sparks flying.
Even as her conjured cascade falls Kauchemar is moving again. A swell of water swishes amongst her hooves, to where as she backs away from the swinging blade she looks almost like she's sliding or skating rather than run. The bandit doesn't know how to defend as well against magic, does he now?
She skids to a stop at a relative distance from the reach of the large weapon. Sweeps her staff down low as if to scoop up the water she had been surfing on, spins around, and flings the elemental water off the ground and towards the big bandit. It will make a splash, but might not seem like much.
Until he realizes there's now dozens of tiny but VERY toxic jellyfish squirming into his armor to sting at the sensative flesh beneath.
Remember that previous warning -- A Summoner never fights alone.
Goldenblade's attack blocked, she has to use some advanced tactics to avoid the whirling counterattack, ducking and weaving for all she's worth to avoid taking hits. It's a tactical move, but Goldenblade is clearly practiced in avoiding the rotational attacks. Or maybe she just understands them all too well, as she spins up her own rotating attack, blades flashing a dull gold as they strike the tatget, bleeding off the HP one hit at a time two hits per revolution costing this boss dearly as she literally spins up the damage.
The large bandit spins around and blocks Seta's strike. This however leaves him open for Kauchemar's watery attack, which includes Jellyfish of doom! The Bandit tries to get them off, which allows Goldenblade to come in with their heavy strike.
Once he is able to break free enough to strike back, here he comes. Though it looks like he is now enraged and is putting everything he has behind every single swing toward the group!
[ Boss Fight - Enemy HP: 1 - Enemy AC: 14]
[Party HP Total: 10 - Temp: 3 HP]
Soujiro Seta is not where the bandit thinks he is, it is nothing but a motion blurr. A ghost. He had already moved forward and ahead of the weight of the swing, being on the other side of it and letting that off balance switch his defensive tanking stance into a counterattack right through the center along the same place his flashrend did earlier in the fight.
It must be really frustrating when you can swing with such speed and force.... yet not hit a thing because one of your intended victims seems to just be that little bit out of reach. As Kauchemar seems to almost flicker in and out of existance, like a shadow as the source projecting it moves, to deftly evade the swings. She doesn't strike back though. She just keeps moving. Dodging.
Holding as much of his attention as possible.
So someone else can put this fight to an end.
Goldenblade continues to fight on, her speed and tenacity not flagging against his challenging boss. Avoiding his attacks with her super speed, leaving flames in her wake bigger than last time, she uses the advanced version of that move to avoid his powerful attacks. You've got to be pretty damned fast to catch up with Goldenblade, and he hasn't got it.
She uses her speed to set her up for another counterattack, kiting him around in a circule until he's tired of it, then slamming blows down with both swords, racking up more DPS as she beats him very hard. No fancy moves this time, just a bog standard beatdown.
Kauchemar distracts the large bandit, which works out perfectly for the two. Both Seta and Goldenblade use their speed and skill to slash right through the bandit. It staggers forward. Goes to turn, takes another staggering step, and then its body goes to slide apart before exploding into pixels.
The town is saved once more!
And this time, there are footprints in the sand. They may at last have a trail to the bandit's camp...
Kauchemar simply steps back to a resting pose, folding her arms to rest her staff in the crook of the opposite arm. "And that is curtain, at least for this act." Then her expression lightens from the grim serious, though also goes a little blank other than her eyes glowing. It's likely she's using her Oracle communcation power to let Xander know the raid has been repelled, and to make sure their captives didn't get any clever ideas in the meantime.
Zero townsfolk harmed. Soujiro puts his katanas back in their sayas at the same time. He looks at the footsteps and makes mention, "Everyone is safe. If we want to maintain their safety, we will have to finish what they started." When every last one of them isn't able to terrorize these lands any more.