Climb: The Floor 4 Boss
Shortly in the wake of the Third Floor boss, the Scale Emblem Alliance pushes through to the Fourth Floor boss! Their levels are still well ahead of what they need to be for the fourth boss, and they are feeling quite confident thanks to the last battle!
Usual Boss Battle rules! Minor Memories are at risk for people who stay past their HP danger zone.
OOC: If you are at this event, you can not attend Scene 407.
Those who did some research have learned that the beast, known as Wythege the Hippocampus, now swims this very lake. The Landers refuse to get anywhere near this place. Standing at the side of the lake, a large army of Scale Emblem is already positioned. Luckily, Amalthea and her comrades have been helping supply the group with Waterbreathing Potions that should last more than enough time to deal with the monster, while a few supporters manage to get some buffs up...
Right when it almost seems like there's something flowing over the massive lake.
A subtle mist rises... before it suddenly seems to swallow up the entire area, making everything above the river almost impossible to see. The mist getting thicker and thicker. No doubt the signal for the team to get into the water.
Once the plunge has been taken, they'll note that there's plenty of typical gray fish here and there, minding their own business and not caring about the Adventurers. There's enough light thanks to a few of their Supporters casting bright Light spells that illuminate the region from above.
Somewhere, closer to the position 'south' of the temple, they can spot movement. It'll be quite the swim to get over there. Luckily, these Waterbreathing Potions also help make swimming easier.
"Alright ladies and gentlemen, here's what we know." She announces on the march. "The fourth floor boss is located in a place called Stone Valley. Just beyond the valley is a temple wherein a creature named Wythege the Hippocampus resides." She says, drumming her fingers on the pommel of her sword. "However as of recently, a creature going by a similar description to the boss has been seen by the villagers of the fourth floor in the surrounding lake. This is where we'll be making our assault." She says, pulling a bottle from her pouch. It's filled with a cloudy blue substance with a swirling white misty concoction within. "These are Water Breathing potions. I spent a lot of money out of pocket for these so let's try to make them count, going in. Please see me before the fight to recieve a potion, because I have reason to believe this is going to be an underwater battle."
"According to old Greek myths, the Hippocampus is a creature with the upper body of a horse and the lower body of a sea monster that pulled Poseidon's chariot." She explains downing her own potion before beginning to hand the others out... As the mists grow thick.
"... That's our cue. Into the water, everyone." Muttered as the fog grows denser and she makes her way to take the plunge.
Upto about 24 hours ago, Tenix was fired up and ready to go. She had been training, practicing, getting her spellcasting in order. And then a new friend of hers let her know the situation. Boss. Under. Water. Great. Just great. PERFECT.
She's here, regardless, listening to Amalthea give everyone the information on the new boss, clearly a little dejected about the fight location. When she marches up for the water potion, she at least is a little calm. After downing it, having approached the edge of the lake, she can't help but glare. "I want to drop a meteor on you." Yes. The lake.
He grins at Amalthea's run down on the situation, inclining his head in respect before reaching out to accept one of the potions. His nose scrunches, the taste not sitting well on his tongue. "Ugh. Well, let's hope it works better than it tastes." From his expression, it's downright disgusting.
"Once more into the drink, my friends..." And Rylen follows the others into the water, leaving behind his traveling coat and wearing only a sleeveless shirt and a pair of short trousers that cling to his legs.
Ah yes, the Tower Climb. Something that Fuka had mostly avoided at the moment. So, for once, she decides to join in! Partially to size up the 'enemy' in the form of the tower climbers. And they seem to be being lead by... an old woman?
This situation seems rather strange to Fuka, to be honest. "So we might not even be fighting the actual boss, hm?" She muses out loud. Something about water breathing potions, which Fuka... honestly tunes out. Instead of approaching Amalthea, she moves to the edge of the water and begins to mutter a series of summoning spells, bringing up her Monster Pufferfish, Drowned Sailors, and Scythe Eel into the water and ready for combat!
"Don't waste your money on me." Fuka comments towards Amalthea, before climbing up onto the Scythe Eel to ride it underwater. No, she's not offering to let anyone else up on the eel with her. Well. Except to one person. "Rylen, hop on if you'd like~." She says cheerily towards her guildmate.
At least they won't drown. If the potions do their work. Which is always a little worrisome at first, really. You wouldn't want to be breathing water.
But anyway, time to put the cheer on. That's her job. She encourages everyone at best she can "Come on, a little dip never hurt anyone~"
She made sure the straps were extra tight and wouldn't slip while trying to move underwater, then took a potion with a nod from Amalthea. "Appreciate it Chief, this is a potion I can't really make myself since I lack proper elemental properties."
The mists starting to rise and thicken get her tail to twitch with some mix of anticipation and anxiousness, and it soon proves to be the cue to call for the plunge. "Welp, then, bottoms up!" She chugs the potion down, briefly grimacing at the taste as she discards the vial, and then leaps in. Swimming isn't one of her stronger athletic suits, but she'll manage.
Goldenblade is an allright swimmer, and the mail coat works a bit like a weight belt for use with a buoyancy compensator, so she moves along OK.
"But," he says, shaking his head sympathetically, "I think the others might call that cheating."
The good doctor casts a meaningful gaze toward the surface of the lake, then shrugs, "Not that it isn't at least worth a try..."
She'll take the potion and make ready to uise it when she needs ti.
"Oh joy Greek Myth, so long as Zeus isn't involved."
She chugs the potion and then will take a moment as she outfit changes, yes she's now in a swim suit as she dives into the water, wait when did get that?
Mizuki has barely glanced at this floor before. The Alliance is already ready to fight the boss?! Wow... Well, she's not going to stop fighting the bosses now!
Although when she learns it's going to be a water battle, her ears and tail droop. Water levels are bad news! (Unless you're an undine.) And they seem to barely have any intel on this boss... although of course, she's at least geeky enough to already know what a hippocampus is.
To those who want to destroy the lake, "I tried to take a hot bath in the lake around Carmina Gadelica, way back when. We do NOT have enough fire spells. Water is known for its high specific heat, after all. Good try thinking outside the box, though."
And at least her fire magic can keep herself warm in this freaking forty-degree water. Armor might be another problem. If the ninja outfit has too much drag, she may have to equip the battle bikini armor she had to use for a few days after this all started before she could get the next armor set. At least it's... kind of? appropriate, for once. But someone may have to invent proper armored swimsuits in the future.
Actually being underwater and still being able to breathe is a novel experience. It's like a dream. A fish floats past. "Why can't I eat you?!" she laments, knowing it will just shatter into polygons and drop something useless if she tries. She follows the lights of her comrades for now...
Deeper in they go, when suddenly, those pink orbs seem to come to life, at the same time that something rapidly begins to approach them.
It's almost over in a flash. A sudden rush of water blasting out between the formations, catching one of their newer members. The Adventurer can be seen hanging in the massive jaw of the Hippocampus - easily twice the size it used to be - just their head and feet showing at the sides of its maw...
As it bites down, and the Adventurer shatters, leaving a Gravestone to sink into the waters. The thing is indeed an enormous horse at the front, and a finned... almost mermaid like thing at the rear. But it also has these subtle 'wings' along its back that seem to be filled with poisonous barbs, if those rainbow-like colors are any tell. Its mane slowly waving in the water like seaweed - while it stares down the Adventurers. Almost like it were challenging them.
It then lets out a vile SCREEEEEEETCH!
A sonic wave passes through the region, and suddenly people watch their Water Breathing timer start ticking down faster!
Right before those pink blobs begin to detonate all around them - creating violent kinetic shockwaves that are that much more dangerous underwater! Luckily, thanks to Amalthea communicating about their earlier -- talking in the water is okay while a Water Breathing Potion is active -- meaning they do not get the drop on people! But these Marine Spheres are definitely going to be dangerous!
And there it is. Amalthea curses under her breath when the beast slays one of the accompanying party outright in a single bite.
But possibly what's worse is when she winces at the shockwave, noticing her Water Breathing buff beginning to tick down quicker.
"Damn-- there it is! Everyone form up. Watch the adds! And keep an eye on your Water Breathing timers!" She calls out, bubbles forming at the corners of her lips as she grips her sword and bum rushes the Hippocampus, intending to slam into it with her shield at a full tilt collision course.
The Hippocampus appears in suitably dramatic fashion, causing Rylen to have to sweep his arms forward, just barely avoiding being struck by the creature's tail. The radiating waves of sonic energy blast him backwards, nearly sending into the ground. Luckily, the ground and Rylen are old friends. He shifts what would have been hard stone into soft silt, which absorbs most of the damage.
He looks up to see the the water breathing ticking down a bit faster than previously, giving a grunt at that. "It's enough time." It's hard to tell if he's confirming that, or trying to convince himself of it.
"Let's see if we can slow this horse-fish down." Ry motions his hands, the movements slower under water than they would be on land. Rather than the usual vines, these seem to be made of thick, stringy kelp which creates a net, trying to make it more difficult for the boss to swim through it. Entire plants seem to wrap around the tail, weaving together.
Swimming along seems fine enough, really. It's actually rather pleasant. Very nice water and plenty of fish to look at and debate capturing later! Then, those fish turn out to be... pink spheres. And there's warnings about things! More importantly, the incoming boss. Which doesn't waste time attacking the party!
Fuka pats the side of her Scythe Eel, muttering a quick series of phrases under the water which causes them to slide unnaturally through the water to avoid the incoming water jets! ...Weirder than Eels already look at any rate. Hm. Water breathing timers go down faster if you're hit? She wonders if it would GIVE her a water breathing timer in that case.
"Even if you don't have them, if there are any other Undine here, treat it like our Water Breathing timers will go down faster too if we get hit!" She calls out.
Meanwhile, Fukasa seems to be more than happy to focus on the adds, patting the side of her Scythe Eel, which she releases to go do its thing. "Alright, Scythe Eel. Use Whirling Disc!" And the Scythe Eel darts towards the adds, stopping a few meters away from them to whip around and unleash several whirling disks of glowing blue water towards them!
Goldenblade swims in and slashes, striking out with rapid, fierce blows as she performs her attack, striking with powerful attacks, her expression determined.
Suddenly, the fight's on! Some poor player is oneshot by its bite, and before Mizuki can react to THAT, there's a shockwave knocking a big chunk of her HP off and a new debuff that messes with her water breathing before the fight even starts! "Freaking WATER LEVELS!"
She tries to spit fire at the distant boss but just kinds steams up some water in front of her. "Hrrm. If fire won't work, maybe water...? Strike with your chilly sharp blades! Cold Bolt!" The spiky ice crystals appear around Mizuki and zoom off into the distance. But... does magic ice float?
"I ... totally would do that, but, yeah, I don't think a lot of our allies here would appreciate the BURNING RAGE I have for this lake and the boss inside it.." Tenix muses to the doctor before applying a shield to herself and heading in. Much to her shock, the fiery shield holds! Huzzah!
Bringing up the rear of the raid group, the firebird is trying to figure out just how to effectively work underwater when things start going sideways. That... didn't take long! At least her shield is protecting her from ... well... everything. "mmmmph." .oO(I hate this so much..)
So. What's a firebird to do? Well, they use the off-color spell they have that's.. usually a lead up to Much Bigger Things! But, well, she's going to deal with things as best they can. She pushes through the (stupid) water, an arm reaching out in the direction of the waterhorse. .oO(IF you're just underwater, this may help even MORE than usual! HA!) A massive cyan bolt lances out, leaving an icy trail in its wake.
She'll deal with that. Vertina grins as she pulls out a knobby but roughly spherical shape of metal and hide out of her inventory. She lets go of it drifts back a little as it starts to wobble in the water, and spins around to hook it with her foot and slingshot it through the water, trying to punch through some of the explosive sphere-bubbles before they drift towards the people engaging the main boss.
And the thing they're fighting is... Ugly? Extremely ugly. Super ugly. What kind of weird horse-fish monster is this, really? Greek myth isn't exactly his forte, and he's not entirely sure he likes how many potentially poisonous barbs the creature is bristling with. The doctor's expression turns from annoyed to wroth when that one newbie is straight up evaporated by the angry fish monster, but his fury is shared by the rest of the party who quickly begin their offense. Prophylaxis focuses on something else at the moment, then. The creature is eager to charge them if given the opportunity, using its superior aquatic maneuverability to its advantage (indeed, Pro himself only avoided the monster's first assault by use of a well-timed air spell).
So... They need to deal with that.
Quietly and unnoticed by the boss, Prophylaxis makes his way deeper, to the bottom of the lake. He places his hand upon the lakebed and whispers a quick incantation. Suddenly pillars of earth lance up out of the ground, forming an irregular pattern of sturdy stone that the raid can use as cover against the creature's attacks.
She manages to evade the brunt of it at least, and regains enough control to retaliation at those exploding balls... actually wouldn't it be dangerous to attack those? Well they need to be kept away at least!
Taking her short swords out, she rapidly lashes at all of them near her, hopefully pushing them out of range if they decide to explode from the impacts. Lighting fast strikes. Not actual lightning, that'd be silly underwater... right?
Amalthea manages to get to the creature, slamming into its face with her shield, getting its attention. It kind of... looms over her with its massive nightmarish visage. Only for Rylen to join immediately after her - vines rushing over its visage, trying to snag it. The Hippocampus making writhing motions, its membrane-thin like 'wings' cutting the vines where they try to hold it - but Rylen is definitely slowing it down - stopping it from rushing and biting Amalthea's head off like it was planning on doing!
Goldenblade uses this opportunity, managing to get to its legs while it's 'treading' towards her, a kick barely missing her head as she slices along one of its legs and rips a piece of health off of it, before Rylen's vines snap loose! It's about to turn and tail-swipe Goldenblade, but a sudden freezing shard is created right before her, dulling the slam of its hooves as the Hippocampus is left dealing with a momentary slow-down.
Out a bit further away from the Hippocampus, the Whirling Disc of Fukasa Yuri's swings through the region like a saw on a pendulum, followed by multiple detonations ripping through the area - blasting apart away. They don't just disappear when they die. They always explode! But this way, the team can ensure they don't explode when they want to be in that area! Mizuki's attacks rush for another series of Marine Spheres - detonating them, but a few allies were just a bit too close for comfort, causing extra strain on the healers near Mizuki.
Gwen and Reika are working on the Marine Spheres as well, cutting them and using the 'minor delay' between reducing its health to zero, and the actual detonation, to just barely get away - and the backpressure pushing at them speeding them up from Marine Sphere to Marine Sphere! On another flank, Vertina is performing Striker attacks on Marine Spheres at a distance using a projectile of sorts - ripping through. If the light of their support wasn't already enough to illuminate the underwater lake, then she is most certainly ensuring there's plenty more where that came from!
The Aquatic thing Hippocampus suddenly blasts off, freed from its icy and vine prison - while the rest of the tower scaling teams fire on it from a distance, slowly whittling more at its health! The team isn't alone! Suddenly, enormous pillars rocket up, slowing the motions of the Hippocampus as Prophylaxis shows himself a team player, giving people a way to avoid those straight dive attacks! Though who knows how long he can keep that up, as the Marine Spheres are joined...
By Sword Fish! The blue fish rapidly rush through the area, like enormous rapiers, trying to run Adventurers through! Their noses literally look like metalic rapiers, with their maws looking like the 'handles' of those weapons with a finger-guard! They are smaller than the boss, and certainly far more capable of making turns around those Pillars. But at least they're not as nasty to deal with!
Not that the Hippocampus has halted. In fact, it has picked up on what Prophylaxis is doing, and is specifically storming at him by going up one of the pillars, and then coming /straight/ down from his blind spot. It's almost like it knows that most Adventurers don't have a good sense of 3D combat!
A few bubbles escape from his mouth, surprise evident on his elven features. The fish are far quicker in the water than he is. A slash appears across his chest, health dropping by a good chunk as it nearly spears through him. It isn't common for him to curse, but he does let out a sound of pain, showing gritted teeth.
"You are dinner." He aims a finger towards the fish in warning. But for now, he remains on his original target, gray eyes looking back towards the Hippocampus. He touches his fists together, drawing up silt stirred up from the fighting, drawing it together around his fists to form two massive balls of rock and sediment.
Drawing back one arm, then the other, he punches forward, launching the balls of rock towards the neck of the Hippocampus, one slamming into it, followed by the other.
The healers are having trouble keeping up, but at least they keep Mizuki in fighting shape -- for now. She tries to follow what's happening in the battle but through water everything seems so far away. Suddenly there are earth pillars? Who did that? Wait, there's a party member down there... Suddenly there's a whole lot of things coming at her, and Mizuki encloses herself in stone to block the attacks, but that only leaves her MORE disoriented when it wears off. She spots the hippocampus heading downward... she saw a party member down there! Is it about to oneshot someone again?!
Mizuki tries to swim downward, but it doesn't feel fast enough. She tries using fire and air magic to make cavities in the water ahead so she can fall down, finally coming into sight of Prophy and the hippocampus. "PROPHY! LOOK OUT!" Now closer, she flings another 'cold bolt', icicles appearing next to her and then magically flinging themselves at the hippocampus!
As she swims, and finds success in Frost Shock landing on the big waterhorse that everyone is attempting to mermaider, Tenix decides something. She thinks to herself: 'Self? You know what? You can still cast. You can still throw spells under water. Screw this water. Screw that waterhorse, and screw this tower for making a giant POOL that is a LAKE on a floor that isn't the first one. Seriously. WHO MADE THIS PLACE?
The phoenix manages to empower her current shield, protecting herself from Marlins, Swordfish, Narwhals, and other assorted water critters that should be FOOD ON TABLES, not ENEMIES IN A LAKE. ... well maybe only one of those in the list. Whatever.
So. What is an angry firebird under water going to do? SHE'S GOING TO CAST FIREBALL ANYWAY. Know why? VIDEO GAME MECHANICS MAKE NO SENSE. That's why! There was that comic where a guy was on fire, and the mage cast WATER on him, and he took MORE damage, and was wet and on fire AT THE SAME TIME. SO SCREW IT. <<BLAH BLAH BLAH I HATE WATER SO BOIL IT ALL, FIREBALL!>> Hands are thrown, the blazing ball of fire FORMS UNDERWATER and goes SCREAMING toward the Hippocampus in a fury of bubbles, steam and insanity. She may be cackling maniacally because IT ACTUALLY WORKED!
She can muse over how it worked and making it better later. Right now they have a new threat from their aquatic foes, as a swarm of literal sword-fish come lancing through the waters at them. Vertina grunts, and just as one of the sword-fish is bearing down on her snaps her arms up and together!
The sword-nose of the fish is promptly caught between her palms in the classic 'martial artist catching sword' technique! It keeps her from being impaled, though the force of the fish's swimming is still enough to push her backwards through the water.
Until she turns aside and lets go, only to grab it by the tail instead as it tries to keep swimming past. "Oh no, I'm not done with you yet."
... Okay, Tenix just proved that Fire CAN work underwater... but wanting to conserve her chances Vertina instead uses a burst of air to propel herself back into the fight.
While swinging the sword-fish she caught with her advance to try and smack several of the others down before they can regroup and attack again.
Oh look, swordfish! Fukasa honestly needs to capture one of those sometime. She really doesn't have much time to admire her own work from the Marine Spheres exploding as a swordfish comes in towards her. She incants a quick spell, summoning a magical shield in front of her that she uses to deflect the swordfish that come too close to her. She muses a moment, before attempting to grab onto one of the Sword Fish, beginning to whisper several magic words into its ear.
If she's successful, a short wave of magic will arc between that swordfish and a few of its mates, attempting to send them back towards the /other/ swordfish to create a somewhat of a sword duel among swordfish! "Yeah! Go Jerry! Stab Bob! Oi don't you let him treat you like that!" She might look just a bit stupid to be honest at this point.
It's the duty of a front line tank to hold all the aggro and absorb any hits a boss can dish out.
The issue is... This boss can probably swallow Amalthea whole.
Locking her gaze with the great sea monster, she readies for reprisal-- which doesn't come thanks to Rylen entangling it.
"Thank you, good sir Corvus." The old Paladin says, shoving her shield into the gaping maw that bears down on her. Kicking off the beast's face, Amalthea does what she does best.
She spams her taunt skills.
"Keep on me you ugly bastard." She mutters as--
As a fireball slams into the thing.
Slowly, stiffly, Amalthea turns to glance over her shoulder and just kind of balk at Tenix, before she quickly returns her focus to the boss and swipes her sword at the beast.
He's doing his best to fight the adds, however. Even as he gets speared through the back by one of the swordfish, he reaches up to grab the swordfish's spike, and holds onto it, keeping it from moving for a few moments.
He pulls himself off of the fish, turns around, and begins to punch the ever living crap out of it, at least as fast as he can move in the water.
As he soon finds out, though, 'limiting' attack vectors does not mean eliminating them.
A shadow looms mightily across the good doctor. Prophylaxis' eyes widen and he hastily moves to erect a cradle of stone to protecth imself against the attack he knows is coming...
But too late. Even with Mizuki's warning, Prophylaxis' voice goes up in a pained and shocked scream as the monster swims /down/ at him. Its teeth sink into his body at the shoulder and pain shoots through his virtual nerves as the thing takes his arm into its maw, dragging him along as it swims away, but--
"Not... gonna one-shot me--" Prophylaxis grits his teeth and focuses. His hand, trapped within the Hippocampus' maw, begins to burn with an awesome power. Sparks of flame seem to dance in his eyes as he roars defiantly, "--SO EASILY!"
"SHINE LIKE THE SUN IN THESE HADAL DEPTHS!" Prophylaxis yells, conjuring his favorite spell literally in the maw of the beast, "FIREBALL!"
There's a terrible explosion of heat and pressure. Prophylaxis screams as he's sent flying, a stream of bubbles and red damage pixels following after him. He slams into a stone pillar of his own creation and sinks back into it, grasping...
At the empty space where his arm used to be.
Swordfish is a tough fish, and tastes a bit like snot! But Rylen's got that one's number! But right now, he has Prophylaxis to save! Being the first to the scene, he's just in time to see Prophylaxis' arm being bitten off and going flying, before it shatters into light. His stone fist SLAMS into its head, causing it to SLAM to the ground of the lakebed and causes a heavy rush of silt to float up into the waters above - momentarily blinding people of its position...
Before Mizuki comes in at top speed, the air and fire cavities blowing past her and pushing away much of the silt, before a rain of ice shards comes down on its position, piercing holes into the wing-like membrane along its back, ripping its poisoned barbs apart. Goldenblade rushes in alongside that icerain, and a fierce cut manages to rip one of the seawings apart, chopping it off of the Hippocampus and causing it to shatter into bits of light!
It's about to turn and bite at Goldenblade's head when Tenix joins in! An enormous orb of fire coming the Waterhorse's way! The others are forced to quickly swim out of the way of the angry ball joined by all that steam, before it impacts onto the lakebed and DETONATES, blasting everyone away - causing them to tumble around. But at least the Hippocampus took a large chunk of damage!
And it's not done getting a punishment from the team, as Amalthea rushes in and slams her sword down along its head, cutting off one of its ears and creating a mean scar of red all across its face!
Further away from Prophylaxis, the team has to deal with the constant assault of Marine Spheres and Swordfish - with the latter now sword-battling Fukasa Yuri's summon! Clang clang! THRUST! PARRY! RIPOSTE! STAB...
Down goes the swordfish. The enemy one that is.
Another one is about to stab into Fukasa Yuri's chest, right before Vertina gets to the scene and joins Fukasa's Summon, PARRY! Now, it's two Sword Fish against many! With Vertina and Fukasa's Summon going back-to-back for a moment as they thrust and deflect more Sword Fish!
Watching as Syx comes by, speared, and finally pulling that fish off of him - punching it until its HP drops to zero. It's quite the spectacular look - and enough to distract them from... the sudden formation the rest of the Sword Fish take up! Gwen quickly swims by, cutting another Marine Sphere, and dragging Syx out of the way of another attack - being the awesome tank she is.
Multiple of them suddenly using their tails to fling Marine Spheres towards them, while others quickly rush towards them, in the attempt to DETONATE them by means of... well... piercing them!
Then, Prophylaxis and the others are witness to what happened to the rest of Prophylaxis' Fireball, as it opens its maw. It's pressurized it almost like crushing a diamond within a sphere of water. Opening its maw while pointing towards the rest...
And then there's suddenly this thin white like, as a small hole opens at the tip of that white sphere.
Like a laser - it cuts through the area. A few Adventurers have parts removed from their bodies as the high pressure jet of fireball-enabled steam lances through the region and cuts down the Stone Pillars!
Apparently the swordfish weren't thrilled with one of their own being commandeered and turned into a summon, as one nearly spears her, and /another/ starts FLINGING MARINE SPHERES AT THEM! What the heck??? When did swordfish have that AI? Fukasa is dumbfounded by this revelation for just a second too long for her quickly-activated Energy Coat to be used to move her out of harms way and block the explosion, resulting in a partially-boiled fishwoman. If it wasn't underwater, it might smell good. Or fishy. One of the two!
"You know what? No. Let's stop that now." Fukasa shifts her spear, swiping a line along the swordfish that were /throwing Marine Spheres/, and suddenly, several monster pufferfish appear above them! They flip upside down in the water, and immediately unleashe a wave of icy shards down at the swordfish and Marine Spheres!
A moment later, that laser shoots across the arena, giving him only a spare moment to kick his legs and get just beyond the path of it. "Too close for comfort." In the next instant, a shadow hovers above Rylen, the pillar ready to fall into his position.
However, if there is one thing the martial artist is good at, it is dealing with stone. So, he braces his hands, catching the pillar just as it is about to crush him. Rather than tossing it aside, though, the Pooka makes a throwing motion, tossing it towards the Hippocampus.
If nothing else, it is a very large, very heavy projectile being launched at the beast.
The issue comes when that superheated and compressed steam comes lasering at her.
Try though she might to buffet the force of the assault with her shield, her HP starts to drop precipitously, making the old tank grit her teeth.
"--Someone check on Prophylaxis!" She shouts over a shoulder once the ray passes as she chokes the grip on her sword, which begins to glow with a vibrant white light.
"How short sweet life, but do not mourn..." She whispers through gritted teeth, "BURY! Enlightened Strike!" Called out as she hacks away a cross-shaped slash at the great watery horse.
The movement manages to get her out of the sweep of the cutting waterjets, eeeping as she rolls out of the way as much as she can. That seems like a bad thing alright! She swims over to Gwen to regroup, charging up a ball of dark energies and tossing it at a clump of the exploding balls, hopefully making them expldoe away from them "You doing okay?"
Well, it was bound to happen. Tenix tries to avoid being sliced by the laster using flashstep, but she just ends up in the path of the laser a little later on in its path. She spins through the water for a moment, wincing, but manages to right herself. "Hey, I can do lasers too!" she barks before slinging a bolt back toward the hippocampus. Can't this thing just die already?!
Except the steam-laser tears right through them, a bubbly gasp escaping the Salamander as the powerful stream of superheated force catchs across her side, propelling her farther in the opposite direction as red injury marks flash along her left torso and midsection. Her eyes clench shut at the surge of pain.
Then one eye opens and catchs a glimps of movement to the side of her. It's the remains of one of the stone pillars falling through the water. Yes!
Improvising Vertina reachs out to grab the chunk of broken stone, channeling as much ki through her body as she can, and heave herself out of her sinking motion by twisting around with the pillar chunk.
Once she's upright behind it she lets go, clenches her fist to draw more of that ki into it, and punches it with all her focused strength (the knuckleguards help keep her fingers from cracking!)
The combined force of earthly ki energy and spiked guards slamming into the stone SHATTERS it, sending jagged rock shrapnel hurtling through the water and into the school of remaining adds like some kind of stone slinging shotgun blast!
"Been better, but been worse too!" she calls back to Reika's inquiry afterwards, even if it wasn't directed at her specifically.
Not content to just using the uppercut however, he immediately strikes back down with a dropping elbow strike to the nose of the beast.
He drops the elbow again, "I hate this stupid water, fuck! It's slowing everything down!" He growls out, getting pissed off, "Finish that thing off so we can get the hell out of here!"
"What the blue hell was that?!"
She thinks as she will dive in again at the Marine Spheres just trying to put them down as fast as she can.
As if taking his arm wasn't enough, the fish is keen to add insult to injury.
"Damnit," Prophylaxis mutters to himself. They need to deal with the problem he inadvertently caused. Letting the fish-monster carry around a portable deathray in its mouth is just a bad plan. But that weapon was composed of superheated steam... Which means the fish is... also full of superheated steam.
Prophylaxis has an idea.
"Just one shot," he mutters as he aims with his only good arm. The target is easy enough to spot, but hard to keep his eyes on. With a snap of his fingers, a crackling mote of blue-white light arcs through the water, leaving a gelid trail of flash-frozen lakewater in its wake. It races toward that sphere of steam within the Hippocampus' mouth, and should it make contact...
Frost Shock would deploy, flash-freezing all that steam and hopefully causing a massive vapor implosion as it condenses down into a single point...!
Well, Prophy's not dead, but everyone rushing to save him was too late to prevent his arm being bitten off.
It's messed up that Mizuki's seen that so many times it's not really horrifying anymore. He'll get it grown back, after all.
The swordfish and exploding orbs push Mizuki's health into the red. The direct approach... is kind of a mixed bag. She really doesn't know how to fight under water. She's been flinging long-distance magic when much of her thing is close-up combat. But close up under water with THIS thing is bad news bears.
She has to think outside the box.
Well. One thing that works well down here is ice, right? Maybe if she uses it not to ATTACK, but...
Mizuki tries to stay in sight of the thing. "Strike from the ground with glistening blades. Frost Diver!" She casts one of the basic ice spells over and over, hoping that, more than damage, it will stick to the hippocampus and make it harder for it to move -- or maybe, even if she misses, make obstacles, much as Prophy's pillars did!
Goldenblade uses the chaos and the crumbling stone to get between some of the slabs and get in towards it, cutting at it before divine between another set of falling pillar pieces. Then pushing off, coming back. Striking time and time again, getting away before it can counter her!
A sudden cross of light comes down, blasting it back to the ground, and leaving a large white 'scar' of a cross across the silt, melting some of the sand into glass. Right before Tenix adds /more laser/ to the mixture and cuts one of its legs clean off while it's locked against the lakebed!
The fish keeps breathing that beam from that sphere it's deployed within its maw, only to suddenly have the waterbubble be frozen - ripping away its control over the magic! That tip is suddenly flash-frozen! Causing it to... ripple... twitch...
At the periphery of that, the Adds keep coming! Reika and Gwen working hard to keep them at bay - protecting Vertina. A clump of darkness causing a chain reaction amidst the Marine Spheres as Reika fires - followed by Vertina's enormous /shotgun blast/ of rock that careens across the region and rips both Marine Spheres and Sword Fish apart!
Only for Syx to rush out between the remnants that managed to remain alive. A fierce punch literally smashes through one, before an uppercut nails two of them in a way that almost looks like Syx was trying to create Kebab! Gwen rushes in to support Syx at that point, blasting a Marine Sphere that just gets a little too close!
Then suddenly, a far larger detonation, as the Steam Sphere is detonated at the Hippocampus, blasting Prophylaxis, Rylen, Goldenblade, Amalthea, and Tenix back a long ways - right along with a few other Adventurers that were with them! Right into the midst of a prison of Marine Spheres...
Where, just for a moment... they see something. Right beneath them... something pale. Something ABSOLUTELY ENORMOUS. Right where they are, close to the ground. Something moves. An /ENORMOUS/ red eye opens within the lakebed, right beneath them. That red eye moves, and quickly looks towards them...
Before the Lakebed begins to move, and an absolutely enormous maw begins to open. The white skinned whale like monsters shows its red maw, and the red accents on its fins as it suddenly rushes for them, trying to swallow the five of them up! The Marine Spheres detonate uselessly against its enormous body...
A purple circle rises near its blowhole, quickly circling out, spinning, raising its body more quickly towards the team. Biting away and devouring the Sword Fish with ease! A quick INSPECT indicates: WøHI¶E WHØAL×
While the /Rest/ of the team suddenly has to deal with the Hippocampus - its head largely concaved in, its body damaged. Ribs showing, making clear why it had been so big and unusual. What with it still being able to move while its head is literally missing. It's an Undead Hippocampus! And looking at the HP bar, it's on its last legs! A last ditch Frost Driver slamming against its half-dead looking body... encasing it partially in ice and slowing it down.
It's all up to Fukasa Yuri, Reika, Vertina, Syx and Gwen - while the others swim for their lives and try too do enough damage to their enemy to stop that chase! After all, the Undead Hippocampus is now suddenly rushing towards them, a few loose pieces of its body just drifting off of it, as it very simply starts trying to grab someone and bite them. One Adventurer that gets too close gets their leg bit off - which it devours in order to... restore its Health!
Unfortunately, swimming isn't within the skillset of an earth martial artist. He fails his arms ineffectually, being dragged towards the giant whale, only to see one of the newbies that he had been helping to train for this fight swim in, shoving him out of the pull. "No!" Ry calls out, reaching after the young Gnome, but it's too late. They are sucked down and shatter into points of light, leaving a grave stone behind.
"Shit." It's very uncommon for Rylen to swear, but losing one of those he was supposed to protect is enough to draw it out. "You're going to pay for that!" He burbles.
This time, when Rylen draws his hands out, flexing his fingers, it doesn't pull kelp from the sea floor. Instead, it comes up as a strange thin vine which sprouts strangely pointed flours from it. One by one, the vines try to lash around the whale, the spiked flowers growing outward, forming like thick thorns that keep extending, creating a patch of needles, threatening to catch the whale, if such a thing is even possible...
There are suddenly no more adds. This means things are probably fine, right? Yuri is about to celebrate their victory, when there is... suddenly chaos behind her. She pauses, looking around, watching a giant... white whale come after most of the rest of the party. And then... in her distraction...
There is suddenly a giant hippocampus on her. And she goes inside of the Hippocampus. The only thing left outside of the monster is her leg, which the hippocampus is chomping on, until it explodes into red fragments. Is that the end of Fukasa Yuri?
No. No it's not. Her summons are still there, rather than having been de-summoned as they would normally when they get attacked. And the damaged hippocampus is ... likely beginning to puff up in places. Inside of the Hippocampus' guts, Yuri is beginning to use Jet Spray to cut into pieces of the Hippocampus... until she's in its stomach. Which is beginning to puff up... and then ... it bursts! ... Not as disgustingly as it would normally, instead just being red pixels that Fukasa slips out of, rather than, you know. Guts and gore.
One minute Amalthea is laying into the Hippocampus.
The next, that eruption of steam sends her end over end, flying back through the water in a series of uncontrolled somersaults for quite a distance before she can regain her balance and re-orient herself.
"Son of a..." She mutters through clenched teeth, more annoyed than anything.
Until she looks down.
And then she sees that utterly vast eye.
"What..." Whispered as a brief, quailing, horror grips the old Paladin's heart.
And then she sees those vast jaws rise. Coming right for her.
Amalthea begins to swim, pumping her arms and legs as hard as she can. But her armor is heavy, it drags in the water even with the aid of the Breathe Water potion.
Not gonna make it-- a brief whisper of dread hisses in the back of her mind. She can FEEL that great maw rising towards her when--
She's dropkicked out of the way by a fellow adventurer-- a DPS dealer that had been in the back rows-- who gets swallowed whole in her stead.
She watches in horror, crystal blue eyes wide and wild.
'He'll just respawn' her inner voice tries to calm her. But it doesn't.
This was someone who followed her. This was someone that TRUSTED her to lead them to victory. This was someone who should not have died in the -first place-.
Like fuel poured upon embers, a rage explodes within the old Paladin's breast as she flips her sword in her grasp.
"...to the last I grapple with thee;" She whispers, "from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee!" Amalthea roars as she latches onto the whale's side and begins furiously swinging the pommel and hilt of her sword at it, wild and furious.
WHAT THE )_@(*#&$ IS THAT? What is that? WHY IS THAT A THING?! What in the world is wrong with its name! Yeah, Tenix is freaking out a bit, flailing as she swims, trying to escape. In her panic she slings some fire at the massive thing her player can't even try to type.
No time to worry about that, as the Boss is still up and barely kicking, and trying to eat people in order to recover some health. "Oh, that's it!" The Salamander whips her motion against the water to propel herself towards the beast as it chomps on a few Adventurers, then turns its attention to the rest of the party. "Time for you to go down, come Hell and high water!"
Much like the two spellcasters she gives the Water a big EFF-YU and bubbly steam surges around her as she ignites her fists with the pyrokinetics of her fiery spirit. The burst of hot pressure actually helping to launch her at the Hippocampus, and then she cracks back with her arm, bubbles and steam whipping about it from the intense flames surging from her.
There's a MASSIVE eruption of fire, steam and pressure and she smashes her fire-engulfed fist into the Boss's weakened form!
She cuts off as she's about to call his name, he saved her from certain death, that much is clear. But what can she do? She releases her most powerful attack on the giant whale thing that's appeared suddenly, savagely striking with both swords, cutting through the pixels like a madwoman.
Despite the water, despite everything, they're making progress! Although, that attack that the hippocampus just released looked NASTY. Mizuki winces, she hopes they're okay...
There's some kind of white whale glitch monster. Do they need to retreat? But before she can respond to that, the now-exposed-as-undead Hippocampus is charging. Mizuki spams ice magic to slow it down... but it's still coming. She tries to make a side pillar extend from one of the pillars to push her away, but... it's not fast enough. She's in those jaws, being chomped down on to regenerate this damn thing's health. And she can see that her health bar has changed color to indicate all that's left has been lost to damage, and it's just the 'catching up' graphical effect that makes it look like it's dropping, draining away.
This is it? Death comes suddenly... but doesn't it always? At least she'll be back...
"Aww nuts... everyone, try to have some cool last words ready to go so--"
And then she shatters into polygons and another gravestone drops into the depths.
<<It's eating bits of us to restore it's HP BURN IT DOWN GO FULL HAM ON THE DPS DO NOT HOLD BACK!>>
Gwen does the same as she readies her attack and launches herself off the seabed into the attack. <<GALE OF SWORDS!>> She becomes like a blender as she throws herself at the monster attacking it and just not letting up trying to put it on the defence so it can't get anymore heals off her comrades and friend.
Now things are really serious, and he's starting to try to catch the boss off guard.
He finally decides to go for it. The big add isn't coming for him, so he has to strike at the boss.
He pushes forward, kicking his legs as hard as he can to try to force himself hauling back with his right hand and aiming for one of the boss' weakpoints. He's going to drive his fist into the boss, and try to crack it open with one of the most powerful strikes he can manage!
"Oh my heavens," Prophylaxis concludes, dumbstruck, "That is a whale."
It is indeed. The water around him begins to swirl and rush this way and that, turbulence rippling through him and tugging him in a deeply ominous direction. "Fff--" Is he going to be eaten? Is a totally different monster going to devour him, after he's already lost an arm? It's not like he can swim properly as he is now. But-- no. Not after he spent so much just to bring the Hippocampus to its last legs. He's not going to let himself get eaten by a damn whale out of nowhere! "----fffffudge this! Ultracavitation mode...!"
Bubbles suddenly burst into being around him. Prophylaxis suddenly begins racing through the water as if it were simply air. He's turned himself into a supercavitating torpedo, rushing away from the leviathan as quickly as he's able. Rushing... toward Rylen... Who seems to have a similar idea.
As Prophylaxis himself turns once he knows he's running out of juice. His magic switches focus, diverting from defense to offense... Though that's hardly the right word. It's not /offense/ what he's doing, it's survival. Desperately, fervently, trying his best to avoid being devoured like... like that poor soul who just shoved Amalthea out of the way. Death may be temporary here, but...
...Something about the idea of it strikes him as deeply unsettling.
And so he struggles, fighting mightily against the shadow of death. "You're not coming any closer," Prophylaxis snarls, extending his one good arm at the enormous creature. Yet more vines materialize out of the roiling surf-- not seaweed as Rylen had previously manifested, but the writhing tendrils of a brilliant, colorful anenome. Stinging feelers burst into being and go to wrap around the colossal beast, to hold it down and keep it still, to buy even a few... more... moments...
He hopes, dearly, that this creature will go away if they kill the Hippocampus, but...
"We need to go," he says to the others. "Assuming this thing will leave us all alone is a good way to get ourselves killed!"
Amalthea, in all of her rage, swims down to the Whale and starts to cut at it. Her sord digs deep swaths of red. Each hew swung with anger and loss! The blade bites DEEP, ripping into it, until it stabs close to its eye, and gets LODGED there! Creating a nasty lasting scar with the sword point breaking off into the Whale - remaining there, leaving her with the rest of the hilt as the Whale slams its head against her for a moment and pushes her away! Goldenblade takes that moment to cut in as well - ripping across its white thick skin - chunking more into its significant healthbar! But it's not even halfway down the first bar, even with all the extreme damage they are putting in!
Tenix's fire slam against the scar - burning against that very same spot, while more of Rylen's vines dig into it, trying to hold it in place. But its mass is just too enormous. Prophylaxis joins in, trying to solidify Rylen's move. Anemone-like tendrils grabbing it, paralyzing it a bit and holding it still. That purple 'disc' of magic over its head starts to glow brighter, and the thing begins to lift without even moving its tail or fins. Groaning for a bit, letting out an angry whale sound...
Before it seems to decide these targets are not worth it, or that the ones it just devoured are good enough, as it begins to move down towards the ground again, and bury itself back into the silt. A storm of sand coming up as it violently thrashes and returns to its 'home' in the lake.
In the meantime...
Vertina brings more fire to bear! Steam rises around her, making her almost glow and 'fall' within the water as it evaporates around her, creating a small 'shield' around her. It's very slim, but the concavity is there. Using this, she sends those two steam-powered blasts of fire forward, the lensing of light erupting in the midst of the steam-concave blows forward. Like a flaming Mantis Shrimp, she punches into its form, RIPPING its tail off, before the second blow reaches and rips the last leg off of the Hipppocampus!
Gwen dives in, bringing her Gale of Swords to bear after launching from the seabed, cutting at the remainder of its neck and ripping another thick chunk of its HP apart! At the same time, Syx comes from above, slamming into its rear region that is still attached to it, causing it to start spinning - while Fukasa is inside of it, no doubt making her nausious... with Reika ensuring it gets worse, as she slams her attack across its spine, ripping a good chunk out of it!
Then finally... rip... SPLASH! The Hippocampus detonates from within, as Fukasa Yuri 'steals the last hit' by attacking it from within the creature, and its very much non-functioning stomach! The fierce spray having bulged out its body, before piercing through it like a small knife, cutting it open, and causing it to explode!
<< CONGRATULATIONS >>
Appears on their Huds, as something appears in their Inventories.
"Hell yeah! We did it!" He high fives whoever the closest to him, "We did it, awesome!" He then remembers to check his inventory, looking at the new item, "Weird.." Just like the stick last time, he's not sure what he'll do with it. But he's sure at some point it'll be useful.
As soon after does the boss itself from all the blows on it's body... and within it thanks to the Undine making a bloody exit.
Battle finished! Boss defeated! The day is won! ... and damn, there goes the MOST ANNOYING SOUND IN THE WORLD as the Breath timer gets near running out.
She's too far away for the high-five, so just flashes Syx a thumbs up before making a rapid swim for the surface.
It's dead?! IT'S DEAD! YES IT'S DEAD! Tenix -surges- to the surface, heaves a breath (despite the water breathing potion), turns around, and starts throwing rocks and kicking at the water, "SCREW YOU YOU STUPID LAKE. I'M NEVER GOING UNDERWATER EVER AGAIN. FFFFFFFFFFF*splash* YOU!"
Fuka is now floating there, kind of mumbling into her chimlink about being eaten by giant fish. Afterwards, she pauses, and looks around. "...Hey, uh. Has anyone seen uh... th... that guy? What was his name again? Ugh, I don't forget my contacts like this normally..." She muses out loud. "...Hey, so like... where's the nearest respawn church thing? Or can we check on their tombstones? Or something???" Fuka seems... legitimately confused. And maybe even a little concerned. Unlike the drowning people, of course. "Oh, right. Uh..." Fuka snaps her fingers, and her Monster Pufferfish swims towards the main group of people who can't breathe water. It puffs up, and Fuka calls out, "Grab onto a spine, it'll take you to the surface!" over the Chimlink.
"Which guy? It depends on what faction they are with."
SHe will follow Fukasa's advice and will get to the surface.
"Hell of a first test for a combat swimsuit."
Gwen notes. "Damn we lost more people than normal..."
... What was that man's name...?
She continues to strike until she's headbutted away.
"I'm not done with--..." She starts to shout. But then takes a breath.
Calm down, Ames. Her inner voice tells her as she starts backpedalling through the water. Calm down, it's over.
Reluctantly she starts to pull away, as the starts somberly paddling for the surface as soon as she sees the remaining time on her Water Breathing buff.
Slowly trudging out of the water at the lake's edge, dripping as water pours out of her heavy armor; she stands with her shoulders hunched, head hanging, a dark shadow cast over her face as she glances down at her snapped sword.
Sure, they won, and that's great and all.
But at what cost?
"Shit. His name was..." It takes her a good second to pull it from her memory. A second that's too long to be comfortable for the old Paladin as it finally comes back to her. And even worse comes the dawning realization that Mizuki isn't among the number rising back up from the depths. One of her own Odysseia Knights.
"Next time. Next time it will be different."
It is almost a surprise when the Whale seems to give up the chase, satisfied with the few people that it managed to consume. He stares after it, "We need to make sure people know that that thing is down here. We don't want anyone wandering in and ending up killed like..." Like-- what was his name? He was a new player, who had joined with his sister, both playing Gnomes, but the name. The name just won't come to him.
Shaking his head, Rylen swims for the surface dragging himself out of the water. His silver hair clings to his back, clothing plastered against his skin. "I think I might leave the water levels to the Undines, at least for a while." He takes his hair between his hands and wrings out the water.
And now they can rest. Right? They can surface, get themselves dried off, reattach or regrow missing limbs...
Prophylaxis tugs himself out of the water with his one good arm, his other side still sparkling like fireworks on New Years. With a groan he forces himself up and... Stares at Amalthea for a long moment, as if trying to figure out what she's talking about, but then--
"...What is happening to us, Amalthea?" Prophylaxis asks, his voice hollow and exhausted. "We can't have... /both/ forgotten his name, can we? That... guy..." Who /was/ he...?