NW: Bashing The Undead
New World Alliance have gathered up to head north in the Ninetails Dominion to see about making sure the path up that way is clear and remains clear.
However, this do not go as they have planned...
(( New World Alliance Scene. If you are not NWA, but like to take part, reach out to Giganpor to get his OK. ))
As they head from the open plains and into the forest, the tall trees above giver coverage to the forest floor. The dirt path is a little bumpy, with leaves covering over some parts of it, but still things are going smoothly.
But the deeper the caravan goes in, the a slow fog starts to roll in along the ground. The wildlife grows quieter and soon becomes dead quiet. The group will soon find themselves in a forest of silence. Only the wind rustling the leaves, their foot steps and the wheels of the caravan crunching the leaves below is the only sound of comfort.
Ahead of them, the fog is slowly becoming thicker, casting a darkness in the deeper part of the forest ahead...
Rama, on the other hand, is sitting within one of the carts, snoozing away as a cat is prone to do. As the fog begins to grow thicker, Mikage grabs her knife and cuts the connecting rope, using it to swing down onto the front seat of the wagon. "Fog as far as the eye can see." She reports. "From what I've heard, this may be cover for troop movements for the Undead armies..."
She raps her knuckles on the cart's side, causing Rama to lift his head, stretching out and yawning. "Time to get up, buddy. We may have incoming, soon. Everyone else should be on their guard."
Giganpor, in his armor, had decided to test the speed of his newest 'pet' one might as well call it. He can't call it a summon, after all. The Nightmare underneath him has been his means of getting to the path rather quickly. Even if he'd rather turn around and go back to the forge, this was something that they had to check out. Others were busy defending the villages, but that meant that this was not something that could be allowed. Their being blocked off or having the undead get behind them.
It's for that reason that Giganpor is out there now. The fog, the same as the village they tried to defend, has him on guard. His buckler is attached to his arm with his latest weapon, a massive axe/hammer hybrid on a stick in hand. It's not a finished product by any means, but he is slowly starting to find things that work for him. In this case, the massive axe is probably a little too big.
The Were Fang's eyes are looking carefully. Very, very carefully as he tries to pick out undead. Moving his Nightmare mount up near the head of the caravan, he calls to the one in charge, "Go slow. We may have undead incoming. This fog is usually what they hide in."
As usual for these escort missions she's already perched atop on of the carts in vigilance, even before the environment went eeriely sullen and the fog started to flicker about. Her tail gives an aggitated twitch, already bristling up. "I had hoped they won't reach this far yet, as faint and probably foolish as that was," she mutters as she retrieves an arrow from her quiver and draws it in her bow. Hopefully the higher quality stock of arrows and such she got from Miho pays off....
"If your friend wants to eat them, I won't really complain," she comments as Giganpor moves forward on his dread equine.
The wagon comes a stop when the Lander aboard is told too. He is also quick to take shelter probably within or under his wagon. As the fog continues to roll, it would be soon that the adventurers find themselves in the thick of it.
They can see frost forming on some of the leaves as an unnatural cold starts to settle in. A few flowers wither and decay. There was gentle movement to the left, then to the right. Then sounds of movement in the trees.
Then from the mist came out arrows from all types of directions, all aiming for the adventurers and for the caravan as well.
To Avoid: +roll <evasion/shield>[with card] vs 7
Giganpor, being near the front, decides to give them a bit of a defensive wall on one side as his shield glows. At the same time, his Nightmare rears up and stomps it's hooves as a rocky formation comes up, first as tall as the Nightmare itself then up higher as Giganpor grows one out of that. A second forms on the other side of the wagon he is near as he twists to point his shield that way, giving a clear path for the wagons to head towards.
Then he turns his attention towards where the arrows came from. Ranged is something he usually leaves to his summons, and deciding to call one seems to be the best bet in this case! "Seeds placed, bloom and flow! Come forth, Basalt!" His shield glows a second time before a summoning circle appears. A wolfhound that looks to be made of vines or plants comes out of it. The ears look to be flowers of some sort. The thing gives a shake before it looks around at all the arrows.
Giganpor smiles, "Basalt, give some covering fire. Spore Explosion into the woods. Keep cover behind the rock formation." The plant-dog goes to do just that. Giganpor turns to the wagons and others, "Take cover! Return fire if you can! Don't stray too far from the caravan!"
"Incoming! Landers take cover!" She calls out, the sliced arrow having left a thin line of red on her cheek as she runs her palm along the flat edge of her sword. "I'll see if I can clear some of this fog, at least enough to let us get a view of our enemy..."
The cold is already causing her breath to hang in the air, so Mikage plays into that. The temperature drops another further few degrees as she drops it into freezing temperatures. It's enough to cause the fog in the air to start to freeze into snow and ice, hopefully clearing their vision while also lightly damaging the enemy.
The eerie fog may obscure sight, but it is far less effective at concealing sound. Bows and arrows twanging catch wolven ears and immeadiately Shiruba turns to fire her own prepped arrow. It flies right into the midst of one of the incoming swarms of arrows only to burst and send the projectiles scattering away as the pressure wave knocks them from the air.
In the time it takes that to pass she's already drawn another arrow, which is fired in the direction the arrows came from more directly. This one also bursts with elemental air energy, sending a powerful stream of wind screaming through the fog to hopefully blow down the source of the shots.
The lightning begins to light up the fog while it strikes along up into the undead.
As Giganpor attempts to defend the caravan, his wooden wolfhound summon sends out spores into the fog. A few impacts can be heard as it seems the spores make contact!
The next is Shiruba's own arrows, that also seem to make contact with the enemy inside the fog, along with Merek's own lightning. This added by Miho's own arrow showering across the fog, as more arrows from the Adventuruer's find their marks.
It would not be till Mikage casts her own magic, does the fog seem to clear ever so slight, freezing some of the undead foot soldiers in place, but only to reveal more skeleton warriors with shields and armor coming right for them.
As several hooded figures, with leather armor up in the trees. A few struggling with the arrows they have taken and being covered by others. While the archers take aim once more, a few of the Skeleton warriors move in quickly for sword strikes against their enemies!
Mikage, Shiruba, Miho: +roll <evasion/shield>[with card] vs 7
Merek & Giga: +roll <evasion/shield>[with card] vs 7
Countdown Till ???:|||
The incoming attempted meleers are met with a sudden flaming shield around Giganpor, his plant-hound, and the Nightmare as he brings his buckler up. The large, spiralling shield of flame seeking to scorch his enemies as they try to close in. The Nightmare stops it's hooves as Giganpor shifts to his Were Fang form, a summoning circle going over him before he charges through the flames on the Nightmare itself.
With Basalt already out, Giganpor lets the hound out to play a bit as he calls to the summon, "Basalt, Flower Cut! Follow up!" He himself charges out as the plant-hound follows his lead. Basalt grows out two large, sharp looking thorns on either side as it follows it's master. Let alone the Nightmare charging and now a two pronged earth-empowered cut as Giganpor starts trying to ride through the incoming soldiers, axe head coming around to try and take a few along with him as the mounted Dreadnaught and summon show why he was feared back in Raids.
With masterful skill the man begins to draw a hand along the blade of Shadow Eclipse, flame dancing along the whole of that weapon, "Firebrand!" A volcanic-red begins to appear along the black weapon, before he swings that into the enemies, dancing along. Then he points the weapon forward, "All you wounded, those of you who can, pick yourselves off the ground. Hurry back, tell your leader you'll need more men!"
Hopping down from her place on the wagon, Mikage defends against one of the skeletons by blocking away the strike with her sword. "Let's see if we can't shake up some of these bones..."
Trailing her hand along the flat of the blade again, Mikage channels amber colored earth energy into the weapon, then jabs it down into the earth in front of her. In a cone out from where she stands, the earth begins to tremble, likely sending vibrations up along the skeletal forms. It looks as if she were trying to rattle them apart.
The wolfgirl leaps down from the cart, does a clean roll to take the landing and avoid more incoming fire. Though having a bit of magic aura to help reflect some of the incoming fire doesn't hurt either.
She rolls out of the manuever and slides to a half-crouched stop, bow already up and ready. She takes aim at one of the trees the shooters are perched in. Fires. Mid-air the magic releases and turns the arrow into a narrow but powerful stream of water aimed to knock the attackers out of their advantage point.
As more shots are let loose on the undead they need to take these things down before it's too late. She knows from painful experience how much these things can swarm.
Merek's fiery swing takes down several of the skeleton warriors down to light wisps, but more come rushing for him with their own blades swinging. His warning seems to not come to their ear-holes or they seem to not be concerned by the notion.
Mikage manages to rattle several of the undead apart, but as several go collapsing and turning into wisps of light, through the glowing vale of light flies arrows. Several arrows aimed directly at her from the fast foot work folk up in those trees.
It was clear that whoever those folks were up on the branches, were not skeletons, as they had faces and glowing eyes that would peer out from the hoods at times.
Shiruba's shots do take out a few archers causing them to fall from the tree line and seem to retreat back a bit. Though as she moves, she find herself suddenly needing to dodge an attack from two ghouls that leap out from the fog! Merek may recognize the clothing of one from his recent intel gathering...
Miho does a good job at keeping the undead from getting on her. Moving to evade and taking down several of the undead skeletons trying to close in on her. However, as she fires her own arrows, she too will find more arrows coming her way from the tree tops.
Giganpor, Mikage, Miho: +roll <evasion/shield>[with card] vs 10
Merek, Shiruba: +roll <evasion/shield>[with card] vs 8
Countdown Till ???: ||
There's a shift while he begins to watch and assist the party members, nodding a bit. "Alright, don't let the guard down, there's no telling what they have planned!"
Her grip tightens on the bow, arcs snapping through the air around her with both audible and visible crackler. Which eluminates the fangs showing in her bit of a grin.
"But not as a sorcerer -- HOWLING THUNDER!"
A powerful electrical blast erupts between them to blow Shiruba and the ghoul in opposite directions. While preferably blowing the ghoul up as well.
"On it." Mikage remains in her crouched position, using part of the wagon as cover. It means she still has a good view of those archers, though. Her hand touches the sword, still piercing the ground, channeling magic with a blue aura into it. Ice begins to form at the base of the trees, causing frost to form. It's enough to grasp around ankles, seizing some of the ghouls into place. Then, there is a crackle as electricity is shot along the same path.
The charging Giganpor slows a little as arrows start to rain down on him specifically before he brings his shield up while holding the reigns to his Nightmare. A blue glow surrounds him as an icy layer forms over him, causing the arrows to ping off of him rather mostly harmlessly. Eyeing the trees, Giganpor gives a small grin. "Basalt, keep following."
He holds the reigns of the Nightmare before saying to it, "Shake those trees! Tremble Step!" Meanwhile, Giganpor continues to literally take an axe to to the foes around them. His shield glows as he adds his own power to the Nightmare's, and the slower moving horse's hoof beats begin to become more focused. The beat of each hoof causing the very ground to explode nearly as it focuses on the trees with the archers. Once it's down, it even twists around with Giganpor's swing to kick one with it's back legs in hopes of felling the tree into some others and taking out a few archers with it.
Basalt meanwhile continues it's rushing, dancing death of thorns all over the undead threatening it's master. Giganpor's keeping an eye on the summon, too, ready to switch out if it's HP gets too low.
"Time to end this."
She notches another arrow fires followed by more and she keeps going.
The Howling Thunder from Shiruba causes the ghouls to explode and even catches a few undead skeleton warriors in the barrage of magic. Mikage's own magic catches a few ghouls trying to leap out from the fog. However as the trees begin to freeze, this gives the hooded archers issues, a few having to climb higher, and another falling to the ground with a hard impact.
That archer would also not be the only one to fall, as a few more do as well as they lose footing. Though what few archers /do/ remain in the trees, start to make a run for it!
Giganpor manages to knock a few of the fleeing archers out of the treeline, though a few do manage to get away. Those that are not so lucky find themselves being trampled, cut down, or perhaps even ripped apart by the vine-like wolfhound!
The undead skeletons are also dispatched quickly by Miho and Merek both as their combined sword and arrow movements make fast work. Miho even catches a few stray archers.
One archer remains and they quickly scramble back. As they do, they bump into a bolder on the ground, fumbling their bow. The hood falls off, and its a young girl. Maybe no younger than in her twenties.
By the looks of inspection, she is a monster, and based on her panicked face, those slightly exposed teeth; She is a vampire. She quickly pulls out a knife and points it. Her hands shaking. "S-stay back! I-I'm warning you!"
Shiruba may hear it first. That sound of an arrow whistling in the air. It breaks the fog and everyone might catch a glimpse of it. The arrow sails, but it doesn't aim for any of them. Instead, it hits that girl right between the eyes.
She then vanishes into wisps of light, with that arrow lodged directly into the tree. Before it starts to fade into dark mist.
Countdown to ???: Aborted(?)
GROUP CHOICE: Find where the arrow came from OR Do nothing
The man then would begin to shift his weapon forward, "Do you serve Auther, Hector? Do you serve another Commander?" He clearly doesn't think it's any of the ones named, he doesn't recall them using bows, they need to be with someone's command at least.
And reflexively takes a few more steps back as another arrow whizzes through, pops a vampire archer, and fades after sticking in a tree.
"That wasn't one of mine! Or Miho's!" She's quick to point out.
Merek probably has the right idea, trying to call out to the source and convince them to show themselves. But being a scouting type in nature she does slink warily forward, ready to look for the source, though with her weapon still out and ready.
Giganpor looks a bit startled by the arrow that comes out of no where as he slows down, starting to corner the vampire girl. He wanted information now, but apparently that was to be denied. Turning his Nightmare, the Dreadnaught starts towards where the arrow came from, his horse quickly moving to a gallop as he leans low. Basalt, meanwhile, dismisses himself into a green summoning circle as it doesn't seem to be needed.
He's not about to let it go away, and the arrow's flight path at least gave a definite way to go. Not to mention he's the fastest, so if something's going to be caught... well... having a horse certainly helps in this as he charges forward like the overgrown tank he is!
"Damnit." She mutters, pulling her sword free from the ground as she steps forward towards the others. Merek's demand is only met with a raised eyebrow, the Were Fang crouching as she strokes Rama's fur. "Think you might be able to find where that came from?"
Giganpor already seems to be charging off, and Mikage seems to follow the same idea. She races behind, likely nowhere near as fast as someone who is mounted, but it's better not to let anyone go it alone.
She looks at Merek like he's insane. "..." She clearly intends to operate under What Would Father Anderson /do/. However given Gigan's actions he's not about to ahem countermand a guild officer.
"No it was not..."
She keeps her weapon ready as she has some idea of how this could go.
Giganpor rushes ahead on his mighty steed and while Merek calls out. No answer is given. The fog still clouds the area and the forest remains quiet.
The Landers slowly look out from where they are hiding and one even asks those still around, "Is-- Is it over?"
Mikage is on Giganpor's heels, but her distance can't keep up with the steed. More and more ahead does Giganpor break the distance, till he too is lost in the fog from sight.
As he gallops ahead on his nightmare, he will soon see something charging his way. Sickly green flames charging his direction. Another set of hooves galloping against the soil.
There another rider is charging right for him. There armor dark, leather straps and a half cape that flows off their shoulder. The two are heading right for one another, and as they pass, Giganapor may find fist just inches from his face and those glowing red eyes staring directly into his own from the armored helm.
It was then the armored figure on his own haunted horseback races back into the fog once more. It is about here that Mikage can hear the clop of hooves and soon, she too will see the green flames. The haunted horse will race past, but no attack aimed in her direction, as it leaps up to come to a stop, rearing up with a haunting neighing scream, before those hooves slam back down on its rocky perch.
Those glowing red eyes stare down at her as well, but no further attack is directed. No further attacks come.
The man looks to the woman then to the knight, while he takes a moment to point his weapon forward, "... You, Auther." He would let the two speak though, while he thinks about what to say. At the least, he seems to know the knight's name as well.
Giganpor, dropping to the side to avoid the fist to the face, doesn't even have time to do more than that at first before he rights himself and slows to turn. "What the hell was that?"
Giganpor quickly turns his Nightmare and gives chase. The red eyes weren't pleasant to look at. He heads back the way he came just in case, looking at the ground but keeping an eye on his surroundings as well. He opens the group chimlink on the way, << "Watch out! There's still something out here!" >>
The Leader has to pursue the better good, not their own desires.
"Go, make sure they're okay." She's already backstepping to the caravan. Offers a smile over her shoulder to try and be reassuring. "For the moment, yes. So don't waste it. Get ready to move again while the chance is there."
She draws a trio of arrows in her bow, and stands ready to deal with anything else that might try to interfer.
"Agreed, we have window here we need to use it." She will fall in with the Caravan the moment they get moving.
It's then that the armored knight comes by, looming like a monster in the darkness. "Rama, behind me." The lynx obeys, moving behind her legs as she holds the sword out in a defensive manner. She's seen this one before, and she isn't about to pick a fight with him one on one.
"Giganpor!" She calls out, making sure he can hear her in the mist. When Merek appears out of the fog, she gives him an uncertain look, keeping her defenses aimed towards the armored knight.
"You're smart enough to know when to bide your time." She addresses the knight. "This isn't a good place to fight us, and you know it." The Were Fang seems to believe this, despite the fog working to his advantage.
The undead horse, stomps its hoof against the ground in annoyance, its head bucks a little, but yet the armored creature remains steady, waiting for its master's command.
When Shiruba and Miho explain to the Landers to get ready, they move quickly to do just that. Staring to make sure things are fascinated down and to get back up on the reigns of their caravans. "We... we are ready to go at your word, adventurers. We have faith you will keep us safe!"
Meanwhile back at the knight, he continues to remain quiet. There was a gentle 'hmm' the escapes from him, as he looks off to the distance where the Caravan should be, before back at the group before him.
His voice reverbs in the helm, but he speaks with an eerie calm. "So, you have figured out my name, have you sir Merek?" There was a gentle tilt of his head. "I wonder if it is you the ghouls smelled that day."
Then his eyes go over to Giganpor as he races in to join the group. Silence finds him once more, before he says still calm. "I am Sir Auther Drake, Knight to the Queen and ever faithful servant to the throne. You live this day... However, next time we meet..." His eyes fall on Mikage. "I shall spare no lives."
The man takes a step back to flank Mikage and Giganpor with a nod along to the two.
The only sign of anything is the low growl that rumbles from Rama as he looks out from between her legs, lip curled. The lynx's claws dig into the earth.
The name is one that is familiar to her, at least from what the vampires had mentioned before. Mikage doesn't attempt to question him, only offering a faint motion of her head, "So be it." There is a reason she is a member of the Silver Sword unlike these other two. Her way of handling things involves more weapons and a bit less words.
Giganpor makes his way closer, slowing his own mount to a stop. The Were Fang is still in full battle form, but eyeing Auther now. He idly does an inspection while he has sight of the man, but otherwise remains mostly calm.
A slight look is given towards Merek. "I told you all before, I am no leader. Simply the one in place until someone better is found." He turns to look at Auther. "I am called Giganpor in this world. Your throne, I am told, is long dead yet you seek to serve it even if it means coming back to life."
The lion-like face stays passive mostly, as he seems to consider his next words. "I ask to meet with your leader." Giganpor looks at Merek and Mikage, then back at the caravan before looking at Auther. "While I respect your skill and power from what I just saw, I wish for my words to be heard either by you or them. There is more at stake than simple land these days, and there is more that we need to do than defend innocents from your forces. I seek peace and perhaps we can reach something like it."
"Though is it I you /truly/ desire to question?" His head tilts gently as those clawed, armored hands gently pull on the reigns, keeping the undead horse steady.
His gaze shifts as he can hear the Caravan moving in the forest. His eyes close gently, as if taking a deep inhale of the cold, misty air. Those eyes gently open, his gaze looking up to the sky.
Slowly his gaze falls on the group. "But it seems my prize is on the move, so there will be no questions this day." His makes a soft clicking sound and goes to move the undead horse away from the group.
The Landers are quick to get a move on, it wasn't quick going because of the fog, but it was at least moving! So far, so good!
Just as Auther was getting read to move his mount from the top of the rocky cropping. Giganpor's words give him, pause, he turns the mount ever so slightly to peer directly at the Were Lion. His eyes lock into Giganpor's own.
Once more silence finds the knight, when he speaks, there is-- agitation in his voice. "Long dead you say? And /who/ says it is dead? If it is dead then why does a queen still sit upon it? After all, it is you," He motions to Giganpor. "/Adventurers/ that killed our king.
Auther then motions to Merek, "That one, after all, proudly weilds the sword gifted to the King by her majesty in hopes to save the daughter." His eyes narrow and then glow brightly. "Peace..." He says softly. "There will never be peace. You adventurers brought about this war and it will be your blood that will soil these fields."
The knight lowers his head in a moment of thought, "But I will humor you, sir Giganpor. What say you that if you can defeat me in battle... One on one... I will see if the Queen will speak with you and you alone?"
Yet, she doesn't question the others if this is the choice they wish to make. "Rama. Go find Miho. Protect the Caravan." Like many who choose to fight along side an animal companion, the little beast shares her health bar, but that doesn't mean that Mikage is willing to risk his safety.
Her blue eyes look towards Giganpor, but it is the only part of her that moves. She's looking to see what it is he chooses to do. It isn't her place to advise any of them, so she simply remains on the defensive, waiting to see how this plays out.
Giganpor looks considerate at that one. Then he looks at Merek, "I am going to want the full story on that." He says evenly, then he looks at Auther.
"My people's protection is more important than a fight to me here and now. I doubt you are the only threat to them here in this land. Name some place we can meet later on and I will gladly face you then."
Giganpor may be a leader, but he's not sure what else is out there. Plus, the people are more that he cares about as much as he wants to end this. "I give you my word that I will come alone or only with witnesses if you truly wish to test me then."
"Besides that, I admit to not being at my full strength due to a..." He pauses, looking considerate, "... curse, I guess you would know it as. Something that we are still trying to understand."
The man then takes a look to the knight as well, "The Princess, that's right." Then it looks like he thinks about it all. "Adventures did begin the war, although when I took up the blade, I made a promise. I promised to protect the King's land. I know we were the ones who killed him in the madness that was brought to him, that is why I work to protect these lands. Perhaps we will learn then, eventually..." He does not offer a lot about all of that.
When Merek asks his question, the knight looks to him. "That is a question, I can not answer. Only the queen can." Then with a click of his heels, the undead horses takes back off into the fog.
It was not long after does the fog start to clear and slowly the wildlife starts to make their own natural songs once more.
Shiruba glances over her shoulder for a moment.
"I have a feeling we're going to need all the help we can get yet."
The Knight takes a look to Mikage, nodding in thought, "Back to the caravan and all?" he asks, then he will take time to walk with the two back to that place.
A glance is given to the two, Merek and Giganpor, "I'm not going to question your choice, but try not to die." Is what she says towards the other Were Fang. Then to Merek, she adds, "And you should be careful with that sword. If it /is/ connected to all this, then that means trouble."
That much said, Mikage turns and begins to head back towards the rest of the Caravan.
Giganpor looks thoughtful, then nods. He turns to look at Mikage, "I'll try not to. But if it means I can speak with this Queen, then I have to chance it."
He turns the Nightmare to begin making after the caravan. At the mention of weaknesses, he sighs and looks at Merek, "Do not bother. I will not be using weaknesses, but I was telling the truth... right now we need to escort that caravan and try to complete the swords for Mia. I fear that if I am under this mood, I will be too distracted to give Auther the fight he deserves."
Giganpor moves his axe to his back, looking at the road as he goes. The Were Lion has a lot to do to prepare himself. A lot. And he doesn't look happy about being in a potential fight to the death nearly.