If you can dodge a monster
Provided information from King Gilgamesh of a weird monster roaming the palace land woods near Seeker's Landing. So to finalize his training Setsuna has gathered up a group as crazy as he is to go and help him defeat this monster, while he tanks it by dodging.
For the last month, Setsuna has been going into dangerous situations around the palace land and trying to perfect the ultimate tanking style, dodge tanking. The concept being that if you are to quick to be hit and yet annoying enough to piss off a monster then you are an immortal tank that needs no one else. This is why Setsuna has invited people who have been supporting him out to the palace land, to show off his new tank style.
The monster that is being hunted for the day is one pointed out by King Gilgamesh. Through out the woods there are many examples of monsters being cross of different animals and this monster is no exception, a wolf with 8 legs that it can use it front's paws as hands.
The group has progressed into a dark part of the forest out of seeker's landing, and they are definately on the right path as large amount of webbing is seen through the trees. It is at this point the group hears a howl and the pack of dire spiderwolves begin to descend.
Following along with the group on the march is less interesting, as he contemplates his diagnoses, but the shouting as the spider-wolves arrive jars him from his reverie. "Tai-to-ro! Blow this enemy away! Anthem!" he shouts, and flames erupt among the spider wolves. Not big flames, that might burn the forest down. And he hasn't appraised the forest yet.
"Giant spiders that utilize pack tactics," she muses when the dire wolfspiders emerge and charge towards them, making that name rather literal in this regard. "If they hunt like a pack, they will try to surround us, don't let them get into flanking positions." Then she draws an arrow, pulls it back in her longbow, and tilts back to fire it up into the air?... The reason becoming apparent a moment later as instead of one several arrows come down upon several of the wolfspiders that are close together.
The only acceptable howling is a Shiruba Aroo-ing. Some may imitate, not may replace. Soujiro has a smile on his face as the monsters descend. "So you are saying it will be more challenging if they surround us," is what Souji got out of that. Hard mode?! He waits until the last moment when one of the spiders descends onto him before he draws his katana in a flash. Literal flash. Of lightning. The booming thunder follows with a crispy critter skittering to the ground in pixels. Electricity crackles along the steel of his blade.
Perhaps, however, it would have behooved Setsuna to tell DosBox that he would be fighting monsters that are both spider and wolf, as Dossy would have been able to steele himself rather than cry out in panick and surround himself with a flame wall. To his merit, some of the spiderwolves were throwing themselves at the wall and hurting themselves, so it balances out, somewhat, "Does anyone have a really big shoe to squash them with...?" DosBox asks from within his flaming protection.
It had been quiet, peaceful even, until these things had shown their ugly, way-to-many-eyes-having faces. It was enough to make Syx want to smash them into the ground. Rather than waiting for the giant multi-legged lupines to descend, he jumps, grabbing one of them off of it's web and twisting in midair, getting a pretty good rotation as he slams it down onto the ground.
The wolfspiders charge in and the adventurers jump to action, Schneider manages to catch one that lets out a pained yelp before retreating back. Dosbox manages to use his own flames as a defensive countermeasure causing one of the spider wolves to get a maw full of flames. Shiruba turns one of the wolf spiders into a porcupine before the poor thing is grabbed by Syx and suplexed to the ground. Finally Soujiro draws his sword and brings the thunder which cuts down another of the wolfspiders. Unfortunately there are more of them coming.
Setsuna does not attack as if he killed them he couldn't show off. Instead he just shouts at one of them, "Hey you stupid looking thing come and get me. " Setsuna then throws a rock at one which seems to get it's attention.
The wolfspiders are not backing down it seems, in fact another howl and more seem to drop from the trees. Perhaps this is what happened to the gorilla population that use to be in the area. The wolfspiders begin to spit out webbing which they form into what looks like a rudimentary spear before launching it out at the adventurers hoping to spear their prey.
Not that the raptorial aggression lets up. Sparks crackle and hiss around her as the bird claws with talons and slaps her wings, keeping the creature pinned until Shiruba can fire several electrified arrows into it, pinning it down in a much more literal senses.
As he is entertaining himself with watching Moon Moon's machinations, DosBox takes a few sand bags and throws them at the fire wall in the direction of one of the other wolfspider things. When it connects with the fire, the sand bags each hover in the air for a half second before rocketting at the wolves in typical firebolt fashion, connecting with their furry selves quite spectacularly.
The spear of the wolfspider stabs through Setsuna before the form of Setsuna disappears as Setsuna chuckles from the shadow as he steps out. "Even with all those eyes you couldn't have seen through that. Tsk tsk tsk." Setsuna continues to cast heckle on the creatures as the one he is mocking snarls at him. It's not all he does this time though as he reaches his hand toward the shadow and pulls forth from it a ball of black fire. "Syx1 " Setsuna throws the dark flame at the webs binding Syx, as it goes up in flame, and spreading to hurt a few wolfspiders in the process.
Meanwhile the rest of the party is dealing plenty of damage, as one of the wolfspider falls to the blade of fire that Soujiro unleashes. The one that Dosbox has nicknamed moon moon is brought down by a bolt of lightning , which may or may not have originated from Schneier. Perhaps Dosbox won't notice as he is busy throwing bolts of fire at another. Meanwhile you have Shiruba and her pet bird Windburn keeping any of the wolfspiders from dopping down on top of them, unexpectedly.
The wolfspiders though aren't giving up though as they have taken to no longer choosing to assault from the trees. Instead they are rushing in, coated in dark energy as they try to flank the adventurers with numbers. Teeth and claws everywhere , especially since they have twice as many claws. The worse of it all is that given all the dripping fluids seems to imply their might be some venom mixed into these attacks.
The Samurai continues to deflect and evade attacks into the thick of the oncoming hoarde of spiders. One launches close to his face, close enough for the venom to drip on his armor before being flung upwards for an archer to shoot at. Soon, Soujiro is surrounded, a small pocket of light in a crawling mass of darkness. Yet his blue eyes only show excitement to the confused arachnids. "Lets go," he taunts them. One after the other launches themselves at him, the samurai's keen eyes seeming to know the moves before they happen to move out of the way, evading attack after attack. Those that are watching the party bar see the 'Vengeance' buff on his character and it is racking up stacks /quickly/ with that many enemies. He isnt being reckless. He has a plan.
The onslaught continues until the spiders are fatigued and frustrated with being unable to harm Soujiro. "Thank you for the dance," he says with those serious Souji eyes a he puts his hand atop the holy blade Kogarasumaru, "but you'll have to try harder in the next life!" Don't blink or you'll mis-- waaaagghh.
Bright light fills the center as Souji releases a technique he learned from Vertina, amplified with Sword Saint powers to generate a Nova of Light in front of him that obliterates the spiders in a Point Blank Area of Attack. When the light begins to fade he has both katanas out now. "Don't tell me that was phase two!" he says calmly to the rest of the spiders with an intense aura of a warrior.
He casts, "Zarzardo Zarzardo Bakemono! Rono sook! Burning in the deoths of darkness, fires of hell! Become my sword and strike down my enemy! VENOM!" And a whirlwind forms around one of the monsters that injured him. The whirlwind seems to be corrosive, bleeding off HP as it whirls around the target, which is unable to escape from it. There is a sense of palpable menace from the spell, which surrounds and seems to shred the target, which remains trapped by the tearing winds until it explodes in a burst of gore. If this is Schneider not using fire, maybe fire would be less horrible?
Syx then follows behind it, shifting his weight and focusing all of his power into a kick that obliterates the spider after sending it flying into a tree. Vertina would be proud.
Shiruba narrows her eyes as she considers. When she focuses the creature's faces become highlighted in her mind. It makes sense. Wolves hunt by scent and hearing, spiders don't have highly developed sight beyond motion but the multiple organs give them a wider field of vision.
With that in mind Shiruba lowers her bow, instead grabbing her throwing glaive with her main hand, and throwing it. It would take too long and many shots to shoot out sensory organs with arrow points. So instead she throws the bladed weapon with the same deadly accuracy to gash across a wolfspider's face, destroying several of it's eyes and one of it's ears before boomeranging back to Shiruba. The loss of environmental awareness makes it easy for Windburn to swoop in and tear into the monster with her talons while it's disoriented.
Setsuna watches the wolfspider he pissed off charge toward him as he flips over it and lands with a tuck and roll. Setsuna doesn't stop there as his hand glows with black magic before he dashes towards the wolfspider and swipes at the creature, his hand dipping into the ethereal as he steals the wolfspiders very soul.... or at least steals a portion of it's health.
The glaive of Shiruba tears through the face of a wolfspider before Windburn finishes it off and it falls to the ground before bursting into pixels. The wolfspider that had grappled onto Dosbox is caught up in a whirlwind created by Schneider, as it's life is stripped away, freeing Dosbox from it's grasp. Once free Syx delivers a final quick to it as it is sent flying into a tree and pixelates. At the same time all this is happening Soujiro is surrounded, but none of them can touch him and finally a burst of light radiates from him pixelating the wolfspiders that surrounded him.
The pack of monsters is thinning quickly, as one of the wolfspider lets off a final howl before they begin to run. However as they run, there is a large wolfspider that drops from the trees, it appears the boss has appeared. It stares down the party before it begins to charge each of the adventure striking out at each one in a single path of attack before sliding to a stop and turning around. It definately has chops to be labeled a boss.
But he's not done, as he turns around himself to face the beast, "I got it!" He calls out, before he sprints, leaping up into the air and driving himself down towards the big beast's head with both feet.
A flash of white blankets the field of battle for a moment, more purifying light than fire, although there is an amount of fire in it, it turns out. The Spider-wolf boss is cleansed, technically, of everything including HP. Those pesky HP are a problem, let's take those away. It's a fiery spell, but not quite fire. The trees burned by the spell, in fact, look a bit healthier.
It's charge is faster and farther reaching than the previous enemies, and would of possibly completely walloped her if it wasn't for the efforts of others to limit the damage output briefly.
Shiruba has gotten too pumped up by the experience to let it throw her off for long, though. Then her ears perk and her floof bristles a bit, feeling the charge in the air as someone else is powering up a mighty lightning spell. Moving quickly to capitalize on it she draws the conductive metal arrow from her quiver and nocks it back in her bow, Thundersnow Howl quickly charging it with a large amount of arcane electricity. Which she then fires into the Alpha Dire Wolfspider.
Vermillion Harpoon was built in part from the Lord of Vermillion spell, so hopefully not only will the shot deliver it's own powerful electrical discharge but also help channel the other lightning magic more readily into the monsterous body!
"I have had enough of this!" Syx roars out, as he rushes forward at the beast. It chomps at him as he slides under it, getting below it and grabbing it by one of its' legs.
All of its legs get a surprised look as Syx hauls it through the air, the Salamander fighter bursting into flames under it as he swings it around a few times, before slamming it into the ground with a fiery explosion that rocks the whole area, Syx emerging from the smoke and dust a few moments later, "Holy shit! That was crazy!"
Setsuna avoids the attack from the Wolfgarm by a hairs breath, in fact his hair isn't completely missed, as a few strands are caught by one of it's claws. Setsuna steps back from the fighting for a moment as he draws his knife and uses it to draw pixelated blood. As drops of pixels hit the ground, out of the ground rises a set of living armor before it points it swords at the wolfspider and charges in.
It is thank to Soujiro that that the large woldspider appears to miss its mark and any damage done seems to heal up just as fast as it is dealt. This white light is onlly amplified as Schneiders magic blankets the area and brins it down upon the boss, burning it with light magic as it whimpers and snarls in pain.In it's pained stupor it is struck by Shiruba's special arrow, running volts of current through the poor creatures body, and then gets shoulder checked by Setsuna's living armor. The wolfspider flies into Syx's grasp who manages to get under it and gives it one hell of a hot foot, before slamming it into the ground.
Still it is not backing down as it seems to let out one final howl that radiates dark magic and seems intent on inflicting mental damage upon the group. It seems to not be wwilling to go down without a fight.
Blood starts pouring from Moon Moon's Eyes and nose. He suddenly collapses. His torso starts shaking oddly... and suddenly, a small, three-cheese tall humanoid form covered in blood bursts from Moon Moon's midsection, screaming with rage and defiance against the world.
The biscuit of blood and bone bellows out boistrously. It cries out at the night, nay, at the world, proclaiming his existence to the heavens and earth. His name is Borywick Rockborer. He is reborn.
He sees it. The opening thread!
Soujiro appears on the other side of the alpha with his blades fully extended. The light follows afterwards as if to light-staber motion blur the motion after it had happened.
Oh, the fire happens. Intnense, apocalyptic fire, elemental fire, burning, searing, ten thousand degree fire from the heart of a star, it burns, oh it burns so much. This alpha is getting it all right in the face, too.
Just as readily she draws an arrow back in her longbow. No magic powers, no elemental charges. This is the precision of archery at it's basic, purest form. She pulls back, straining the bow to it's natural limit of tension.
A deep breath. Careful aim.
The arrow zings through the air with such efficient speed that it's almost impossible to follow from the start of it's flight... To the point that it is lanced deep into the boss monster's body, just the fletching still visible from the vital point it's pierced.
Which is why Syx is ignoring the pain as best he can as his flaming fists rain down onto the creature, the cesus-like Buster Gauntlets enhancing his punches, each strike like a small explosion, the punches moving faster than the eye can see, until Syx hauls back with a massive haymaker and the explosion throws him backwards, so he can recover and maybe heal a bit.
"This thing is tougher than I would have thought, but we got this guys!" He calls out to help motivate the rest of the team to strike and finish it.
The alpha of the pack stands and looks at those before him as they appear a bit less startled then planned. Then it feels a piercing pain in it's neck as Shiruba's arrow pierces it, followed by the flaming fists of Syx. The wolfspider is standing though still ready to fight but Soujiro sees his opening and strikes taking the alpha to one knee. Finally Schneider drops his ultimate spell upon the wolfspider causing flames to erupt. All that remains is a scorch mark of where it use to stand. Setsuna looks at the scorch mark and then the rest, "And that is how you dodge tank. See my health hasn't been touched." Of course it appears no one mentioned that Setsuna needed to be protecting the others too.
Shiruba tosses a piece of jerky to Windburn when the falcon perches near her, then takes out a small journal and starts jotting down notes from the fight in it. Prioritizing that over healing or, shockingly to those who know her, finding something to eat. She's.. fixated. Uh oh.
Though at least there's no string conspiracy boards this time.