Bromern Sal A Shadow RDI Staff Karma: 145/11 4055 Posts
Bleeding from a split lip and bruised jaw where a zombie's balled fist managed to be right in his face as he turned from another attack, Gib swiftly assessed their situation. He had grossly miscalculated how close those zombies had been and regrets not having the wherewithal to of suggested a fast retreat with Kith in hand when they had the chance.
"The tactical retreat isn't working," he calls to his friends as he maneuvers another heavy undead attack to his shield resulting in a dull thunk with the faintest sounds of a splatter. "There are too many!" Even after pointing out the obvious, his mind is working towards an alternative solution while he does his best to take in what he can see within Cedric's light of their surroundings. Looking for any place that will put their backs to a solid barrier and keep the shambling corpses from further flanking them. Cursing, the priest of the Battle Lord receives another blow against his shield. We must break free and put distance between us. That's the only way to survive.
"Aranwen!" he spits out bloodily. "Call a full retreat. We cannot withstand this onslaught further."
Backing up in the darkness, almost surrounded by undead, Aranwen loses her footing on the uneven forest floor. The ground seems to rise up out of the darkness, hurtling quickly towards an impending doom. The Bladesinger, knowing that lying prostrate on the ground now would surely result in her death, quickly reacts. Letting her instincts take over, the agile Sylvari rolls with her fall, letting her momentum put some distance between her and the monstrosities coming at her, all the while being sure to keep her trusted blade from touching the ground. For to do so would mean the desecration of her sword, and she would have to abandon it on the battlefield and search for another. Now would not be a good time for that!
Coming up from his improvised roll, Aranwen surveys the situation before her. It is grim to bear. The party is nearly surrounded by undead. Everyone has taken injury at some point. The fight is not going our way! We sorely need Ch'dau to reinforce us! Aranwen notices Gib analyzing the situation as well. The battle priest calls out "The tactical retreat isn't working, there are too many! Aranwen, call a full retreat. We cannot withstand this onslaught further."
It seems she has arrived at a different conclusion. The Bladesinger shakes her head. "We will not survive a retreat" she replies to Gib. Raising her voice to be heard clearly above the din of battle, Aranwen calls out "Ch'dau to the front! Midge and Cedric, drop back when he arrives! Gib and I will cover you."
(OOC: Aranwen will stop the tactical retreat, fighting defensively, putting the +2 bonus from Bladesinger class into AC.)
Posted on 2019-07-26 at 09:39:54.
Edited on 2019-09-27 at 07:41:36 by Eol Fefalas
Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 456/28 8103 Posts
This is no way for a warrior to die, the Kazari raged to himself even as he scooped Kithran from the forest floor, hefted her unnaturally still form over a shoulder, and made for the camp, Fleeing from the enemy rather than facing it with all the wrath of Rrowl!!! Still, the thought of leaving Kith to lay defenseless, subjected to the whims of the ghouls should he fall, enraged him just as much; thus, a snarling Ch’dau had done as he was asked and stomped through the trees with the sounds of battle at his back. His ears flattened and his tail lashed out his irritation as he moved, trying not to outpace his companions, and each clash of steel and flash of fire from behind evoked a snarl or chuff of anger and anxiousness…
“The Hunt calls, Little Kitten,” the Silver Cat growled following an impatient glance over his shoulder that revealed the rotting shamblers beginning to overrun his brave companions, “but the answer is... This… This is wrong!”
As if by some way of reply, Kith twitches on his shoulder and groans into the fur of his back.
“Yes, little one,” he growl/purred, “Fight! Find your feet!”
“The tactical retreat isn’t working! There are too many,” Gib’s shout raised the fur along Ch’dau’s back and coaxed something more than a growl from behind the kazari’s barred teeth. “Aranwen! Call a full retreat. We cannot withstand this onslaught further!”
No! Too few of you will…
“We will not survive a retreat,” he heard the Bladesinger call back as if the Syl shared his thoughts.
…At this, the kazari ceased his progress through the terror-filled wood and eased the slowly reviving Kith from his shoulder. He propped the woman against the trunk of a nearby tree, hoping that it would at least keep her from the sight of the zombies for enough time that she would be able to recover and flee on her own…
“Ch’dau, to the front!”
…A savage grin spread across the cat-man’s face even as he pressed his forehead to Kith’s. “You wake, Kithran, and you run! You have been a true and honored friend. Keziri keep you…”
“Midge and Cedric, drop back when he arrives,” Khan Aranwen’s orders continued as Ch’dau rose to his full height, pulling falcata and dagger and turned for the fray, “Gib and I will cover you!”
… “To the Hunt,” the Silver Cat roared, “and blood for Rrowl!!!” The roar still echoed amongst the trees as the Kazari stormed for the front. More roars followed as, in passing Cedric and Midge, he urged the two back to where Kith waited. The last roar drowned out the echoes of the others as, when he reached the tumult of the battle, he launched himself in full fury into the thick of the horde.
((OOC: Maximum effort! Maximum carnage! Ol’ Fuzz-face is going to the Hunt in style… No thoughts of defense here – for himself, at least – his plan is to simply take as many of these monstrosities with him when he goes.))
Posted on 2019-07-26 at 11:15:39.
Edited on 2019-07-26 at 11:35:18 by Eol Fefalas
Bromern Sal A Shadow RDI Staff Karma: 145/11 4055 Posts
“We will not survive a retreat! Ch’dau, to the front!”
Aranwen's orders seep in through the din of battle and the sickening groans of the undead. So be it, Moreno sets his resolve, his willingness to die in the service of his god.
“Midge and Cedric, drop back when he arrives,” Aranwen continues calling out, “Gib and I will cover you!”
Glancing towards the companions who have been ordered back, the warrior-priest maneuvers to a position where he can cover the holes they left, following the orders of his leader.
“To the Hunt and blood for Rrowl!!!” The roar echoes amongst the trees as the Kazari storms the front. More roars follow as, in passing Cedric and Midge, he urges the two back to where Kith waits. The last roar drowns out the echoes of the others as, when he reaches the tumult of the battle, he launches himself in full fury into the thick of the horde.
"Give me strength and skill, Battle Father!" Gib steps up his offensive game. Determined to dispatch as many of the foul abominations as he can before he falls, the priest settles into the flow of battle. A retreat is off the table and the only option left to them is to make their mark. Mentally reciting Therassor's Warrior Prayer, Moreno uses the tempo of the scripture to drive his attack.
Posted on 2019-07-26 at 16:49:54.
Raven Resident Finn RDI Staff Karma: 71/3 1084 Posts
Zombies… So many zombies. Radiant Father save us… Was all Cedric could think of while getting up from the forest floor after Ch’dau had so very quickly and yet so very gently picked up the still body of Kith from beside him. The terrible, malformed faces of the raised corpses glared at the young priest and his companions hungrily from the darkness. The light of his staff made those dead eyes flicker with undead unholiness in a way that made Cedric shiver inside. Even though his faith in Solanis was strong and he did not fear death the way he knew some of his villagers did, the thought of being eaten by these shambling monsters really put the cleric’s sanity to the test.
Raising the holy symbol of his Lord, Cedric suddenly felt stronger as if the power of the Sun itself had coursed through his veins and he cried: “Flee before the POWER of the BLAZING STAR unholy beings of death! Return to the graves you have crawled from!” Such was the strength of his faith and the miracle of the Lord, that the priest was not surprised in the least to see a number of the zombies wince as if in pain before turning around to “run” away. His joy was short-lived though as for every walking dead gone, another appeared. There were just too many.
Retreating really felt like a smart option, although deep in his heart Cedric wanted to stand and fight until each and every one of the monsters was dead… again. So when their wise sylvari leader ruled over Gib’s plea of running away, the simple village boy grinned. It was not out of joy and certainly not schadenfreude over Gib’s suggestion being turned down, quite on the contrary. Despite of his own initial thoughts, Cedric really did consider retreat the better option… or at least would have if all of them had been able to run. But the combination of poor eye-sight in the dark, difficult terrain and the ghoul-induced paralysis really made escaping quickly quite difficult. No. The grin was a side-effect of his resolution. Cedric would take down as many undead as he could and Radiant Father willing he and his friends would live to see another day. If not, then not. He just had to make sure not to fall too soon. It just wouldn’t be fair.
The grin was wiped away by another hit by another decayed zombie fist. These ones were far slower than the gigglers. So slow in fact, that it should’ve been easy to avoid their strikes. But the sheer number of the monstrosities made dodging quite impossible. At this pace, Cedric the light-bearer wouldn’t make his God proud. He needed to think of something and fast. Blocking another swing with the quarterstaff, the began to pray once again…
“Ch’dau, to the front!”
Aranwen’s order came out very military-like in Cedric’s mind. Yes, they had indeed chosen the right person to lead their little party. There was no hesitation in the voice, not even though the bladesinger surely knew she was sending the Kazari to his death; to his path on the Eternal Hunt. The next command was to the cleric himself and Midge as well. Still chanting, Cedric nodded to the sylvari and blocked another attack waiting…
… for the roar he had learned to expect in dire straits.
“To the Hunt!”
There it was. Not waiting for Ch’dau to appear, Cedric took a few steps back and called out loud his prayer to Solanis:
“Of Father of Light and Day!
Show us your power again,
give me a kindle of your flame, a kiss of the Sun.
Let the blaze of your star burn away the evil and turn these unholy monsters to ash!”
Once again the priest felt the blessing of the Radiant Father run through his body like a wave of heat and he opened his extended left fist to allow the God’s power to turn into a bright torch-like flame on his palm. The fire was as hot as it looked, but didn’t harm the priest in any way - another miracle of the God of Light. Cedric quickly picked out a dense group of zombies and cast the ball of flame in their midst. Chanting on, another flame began to form on his open palm.
Posted on 2019-07-28 at 09:25:23.
Edited on 2019-09-27 at 07:43:53 by Eol Fefalas
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 361/54 6782 Posts
"Aranwen!" the priest of Therassor spat out bloodily. "Call a full retreat. We cannot withstand this onslaught further."
Realizing the truth of his words, the companions turned and fled from the zombie horde. Even as he turned, Moreno felt a blow rain down upon his back, staggering him in the process. He was lucky.
Midge on the other hand, was struck hard enough to lift him from his feet, where lay lay crumpled on the ground. He tried to rise, saw his companions fade away into the wood, raised a hand towards them... and then, the crush of zombies was upon him. Striking, pulling, tearing. The cidal felt excruciating agony as his left arm was ripped from its socket, before he mercifully felt nothing else.
Cedric was bruised, battered, slipped down into the mud. The young man tried to regain his feet, but felt the crushing weight of the dead and their cold hands bearing him down into the mud, into his own grave. The pain, the terror, the sheer alone as not only his friends, but even his god seemed to abandon him in his time of need were the last things Cedric ever thought.
Soon, the survivors made their way back to the camp. Kith thankfully regained the ability to move, but even as Ch'dau sat her down beside the stream, the hateful giggling of a ghoul could be heard from across it. Would it be wise to cross the stream and risk encountering it with the wounds that the companions suffered from? Should they make a stand here, at least hoping that the stream would slow the ghoul down? The horde of zombies pressed ever closer, uncaring of pain or suffering or grief...
"Mel! Are you reading the gol parallum again?" a voice sternly intoned - clearly already knowing the answer.
The young girl snapped the cover shut and hung her head, answering sheepishly. "Yes, mistress."
Valdaria shook her head and pursed her lips. "You know that the knowledge of parallel outcomes is forbidden to acolytes! It is intricate, confusing study limited only to masters. Come back in a decade or two if you wish to pursue it further, but if I catch you with these volumes again before you earn your next ring, you'll be on privvy duty for the next three months! Is that clear?"
The Magister's priestess shook her head and carefully replaced the volume as her acolyte slunk away, dejected.
Posted on 2019-07-29 at 12:59:47.
Edited on 2019-07-29 at 13:01:54 by t_catt11
Jumping a little at the roared command, Midge rushed forward to assist Cedric with the group of undead he was currently engaging. The smell of burning, rotten flesh fills his nose as the flames from Cedric’s attack catch upon the bodies of their attackers.
There’s too many! To retreat, or keep fighting? Retreat or fight? The thoughts swirled nauseatingly through his head as he tensed and made a decision.
Swallowing back bile, the diminutive mage starts muttering an incantation rapidly under his breath, reaching in his component pouch and pulling out a small swatch of red cloth.
From seemingly out of the shadows, a large swarm of dark brown bats came screeching towards the group of undead. From the corner of his eye he could see Cedric reading another burst of fire. A look back sees Kith still unconscious behind them, but they stood between her and the undead.
Gritting his teeth, Midge quickly forced his focus back onto maintaining the spell.
Posted on 2019-07-30 at 18:07:55.
Edited on 2019-08-04 at 20:06:46 by KDXArt
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 361/54 6782 Posts
The battle priest called out, "The tactical retreat isn't working, there are too many! Aranwen, call a full retreat. We cannot withstand this onslaught further." However, Aranwen had other thoughts.
The Bladesinger shook her head. "We will not survive a retreat" she replied to Gib. Raising her voice to be heard clearly above the din of battle, Aranwen called out "Ch'dau to the front! Midge and Cedric, drop back when he arrives! Gib and I will cover you."
A brief glimpse was shared among the party members as the unspoken understanding was shared that this would be their stand. They would fight here, and they would prevail - or they would die. The mindless, unfeeling enemy would give no quarter... nor would they accept or even recognize it.
Ch'dau carefully placed the still motionless form of Kithran on the ground, leaning her against a tree. Then with a fierce prayer and an even more fierce roar, the Kazari lept into the fray.
The huge body bowled into zombies, helping to clear a path for Midge to withdraw. Ch'dau snarled and layed about with his blades, opening great wounds on two zombies.
Meanwhile, the diminutive spellcaster took his opening as an opportunity to cast. The incantation was familiar - it was, after all, his best offensive spell - but this time, the swam of stinging insects would be positioned to only harass the enemy, and not impact his allies. Within moments, three zombies began to have flesh devoured by the crawling doom thus summoned.
Gib sidestapped, slashed, dropped a zombie to the ground. Cedric called out to Solanis for aid, then tossed his ball of flame directly into the chest of a zombie, which then caught fire - though it pressed forward, heedless of its own burning flesh. A second blob of flame missed its target, but still managed to set another undead on fire.
Aranwen whirled with deadly efficiency, leaving two more of the undead on the ground.
For a moment, hope swelled. Surely, no matter the numbers, the companions were more than a match to the likes of these slow, shuffling abominations?
And then, then undead crashed anew into the companions. Aranwen received a particularly telling blow, staggering her. The Bladesinger kept her feet, though largely due to force of will and training alone. Ch'dau felt a solid impact of his own, as did Gib.
Slumped agianst the tree, Kithran saw the pair approach. Slowly, yes... but relentlessly. Their unseeing eyes somehow taking her in, the rogue felt icy terror grip her heart as she realized that her companions, locked in mortal combat, would not see in time to save her life.
And then, her left hand twitched. Then the right. And in a moment, the paralysis was gone, giving the little rogue a chance to leap to her own aid. A blow caught the side of her head, causing her ear to ring, but in a mimicry of Ch'dau, she snarled and drove her blades into a zombie, slumping it into the mud.
Posted on 2019-08-01 at 16:28:06.
Edited on 2019-09-27 at 07:46:11 by Eol Fefalas
Bromern Sal A Shadow RDI Staff Karma: 145/11 4055 Posts
Refraining from wincing as he's forced to twist away from another potential blow to the same side he'd just received one on, Gib brings his shield in front of him again and adjusts his position for better footing. All about him the hissing and growling of their foes fills the sickly night adding to the franticness of the fight. He's through with his Warrior's Prayer, his energy being spent wholly on the battle now, and he knows instinctively that the party is in a very grim position.
Aranwen had almost been knocked to the ground, Ch'dau was suffering as well, and despite having heard Kithran return to the fight, the warrior-priest feels that the press of decaying bodies is still too much for them to withstand. Keep fighting, Moreno commands himself. For the glory of Therassor and the lives of my friends, I shall keep fighting!
He can almost see the Grand Halls of the Battle Lord. They await...
Posted on 2019-08-01 at 18:30:46.
Raven Resident Finn RDI Staff Karma: 71/3 1084 Posts
Healing in the name of Love!
The balls of flame had far less effect on the undead than what Cedric had hoped for. Yes, one or two did actually catch fire and would hopefully eventually burn to the ground, but the priest had no wish or time to observe what happened to the walking corpses. Concentrating on the spell and willing the next flame to appear on his palm, he noticed Aranwen taking a heavy blow. The sylvari was still on her feet, but another hit might be the end of her. Losing one of their number now would doubtlessly spell the end of them of them all.
Cursing under his breath, Cedric closed his burning hand quickly to extinquish the flames. Dodging an attack by one of the zombies, the farm-boy rushed to the Bladesinger's side. He knew it wasn't exactly the smartest thing to do, so he did his best to stay behind the warriors trying to avoid being hit.
His companions hadn't known him for very long, but being brave in the face of a danger and especially in such dire straits had not always come naturally to Cedric. A couple of years or even less ago, the young man would simply have run had he been attacked by such monstrous enemies. But now, during the travels he'd shared with these fine people, the cleric had found his calling in destroying the evil abominations of the Devourer and protecting the innocent even when his own life was at stake. This realization or epiphany allowed Cedric to be calm when in all reason he should have been freaking out. As he prayed, his voice was even and controlled, but the words came out fast, very fast.
"Oh all-mighty Radiant Father, hear your child in this hour of great need. Shine your love for all the living through your faithful servant and heal the wounds of this warrior of light! Help us banish these beings of evil from this world!"
Posted on 2019-08-06 at 04:36:03.
Edited on 2019-09-27 at 07:47:21 by Eol Fefalas
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 361/54 6782 Posts
Life is not fair. Neither is death.
In a fair world, a just world, bards would sing songs of moments such as this. Of moments when hope was lost, when the unfeeling, unblinking hate of true, unfettered evil would grind inexorably on... only to be opposed by those of true belief, those bound in honor and friendship and courage - no matter the odds or the price.
But instead, this true and faithful few stood alone in the oppressive darkness, surrounded by the crush of the restless dead... and who bore witness? Did even the eyes of the gods themselves see their struggle? If despair clenched at their hearts, who could blame them?
Ch'dau lashed out, nearly splitting a zombie in half... but did it matter? Even as he swung mightily, another drove into his flank, cracking a mighty rib or two from the force.
Gib lashed out wildly, the strength to even hold his shield aloft nearly gone. As his blade glanced ineffectually off of a zombie's forearm, the priest could see the Grand Halls beyond. It was nearly time.
Kithran sidestepped, lashed out, then was driven to the ground as the walking corpse she fought tackled her. Pinned beneath its rotting weight, she struggled, shouted, wriggled, though her strength, too, faded rapidly...
Two of the burning zombies fell to the ground... but were replaced by others.
Aranwen slashed, nearly removed a zombie's leg. Sidestepped another, ripsosted beatifully, laid its flank open... then was struck from the side. Staggered, fell to a knee as the darkness of night was replaced by pinpicks of light, then gray, then darkness...
Gib cried out, bashed with his shield, moved towards his falling comrade... then he, too, was struck a telling blow. The last thing Moreno was aware of was the ringing in his ears...
Cedric called to his god for aid, moved to his comrades' sides, knowing that whatever aid he could administer would not be enough...
Ch'dau roared in pain and frustration and anger and fury. He dimly recognized that his dagger was gone, but continued to lay about with falcatta and claws and fangs, trying the impossible of protecting his fallen comrades.
Midge was forced to drop his concentration on the swam and drive a zombie back with his staff, though the cidal had no illusions of winning the fight...
Kithran struggled, feeling the life go out of her body, refusing to let it slip away, stabbing, stabbing the weight above...
As he fought wearily, Ch'dau became aware of an odd chanting sound, one unfamiliar to him. Struggling as he was to stay alive, the Kazari was unable to pay much attention to the fact that his fur was standing on end... at least, not until the thunderclap sounded, throwing him to the ground.
As he scrambled to his feet, Ch'dau blinked several times, trying to find his bearings, trying to eliminate the green ball in front of his retinas that had been caused by the lightning bolt striking the ground mere feet away. A woman shouted, and a half dozen of the zombies that had not been utterly destroyed by the lightning were simply... changed... to mere ash before his eyes. Another shout, this from a man, and a large form was crashing into the rear of the drastically reduced undead.
As the green faded away, Ch'dau realized the man seemed familiar.
Garn! From the Inn!
A crystal voice rang out. "Destroy them all!" The woman... Davena!
With the reinforcements, the tide turned dramatically. Through the blessings of Solanis, Cedric was able to keep Aranwen and Gib alive. Kithran stuggled from beneath the corpse of the zombie she had slain. Ch'dau, Garn, and Davena dispatched the few remaining undead.
Some how, some way... the comanions had survived.
Posted on 2019-08-09 at 17:13:29.
Edited on 2019-08-09 at 17:19:09 by t_catt11
Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 456/28 8103 Posts
The enemy’s numbers seemed endless; a perpetual wave of snarling, groaning undead that crashed upon the crumbling shore formed by Ch’dau and his companions much like the breakers between the Titan’s Walk collided, unrelenting, with Capasha’s northern coast. It was a glorious battle even if it did appear to be a losing one and, surely, if the ancestors were watching, the Silver Cat of Coria and his friends were assured their places in the Eternal Hunt…
It won’t be long, now, the thought passed fleetingly as a blow from one of the rotters cracked his ribs and dislodged the dagger from his hand. Staggered, he grunted, extended the claws of his now empty paw, and roared, refusing to submit to defeat even as it drew nearer with every pained breath.
…All around him, the shouts and cries of his compatriots had begun to swell to a level that drowned out the chorus of rasping moans issuing from the undead throng. Though the sounds of his dying friends pained him, Ch’dau couldn’t help but smile that savage smile of his knowing that, soon enough, they would reunite under the shelter of Rrowl’s ramada where they would hunt and feast together until the end of time.
Beyond the din of combat, the cries of his companions, and the chittering of the dead, though, the Kazari warrior became vaguely aware of an odd chanting… The sound of the Ancestors welcoming them to the Hunt, perhaps?... No… It was not the voice of any cat-folk he recognized… But, with death drawing near, Ch’dau could not focus on the sound or even the fact that his blood and gore spattered fur had begun to stand on end; not while there were still more enemies for him to take with him to…
Accompanying the sound, there was a blinding flash, the sharp smell of ozone, and an incredible wave of pressure as if the very ground upon which he stood had exploded beneath him. There was a ringing in his ears and ethereal green spots swimming in his vision but, while he couldn’t fathom exactly what had just happened, the great cat realized that he had been thrown to the ground and that the battle was not yet finished... I’ll not die on my back like some mewling cub, he snarled inwardly as he scrambled to his feet… He shook his shaggy head, trying to dismiss the humming in his ears, and blinked in an attempt to clear the spots dancing before his eyes; it was then, as he sought out the next enemy, that Ch’dau discovered the zombies numbers had been greatly diminished. He chuffed in confusion at this but, still, found a target and, as he started set upon it, heard a woman shout indistinctly. Suddenly, his chosen opponent and several more of the rotters flanking simply evaporated into ash…
What in the name of all Kalani’s Clan??? Another shake of his head dissipated the impediments to his senses but did little to alleviate his bewilderment.
…Another shout, then, this time from a male voice, and a large form crashed through the rear of the drastically reduced undead.
Another blink and Ch’dau registered that shape as familiar; Garn! From the Inn!
Even as that recognition dawned curiously on him a silvered voice, also not completely unfamiliar, rang out; “Destroy them all!”
The woman… Davena!
Despite his bewilderment at the pair’s sudden appearance and the fact that she was not his khatun, Ch’dau didn’t hesitate to follow the woman’s command; the Kazari, along side these two humans he had met only briefly days ago, dispatched the remaining shamblers with ease. Only when that work was done did the Silver Cat allow himself to succumb to his wounds and weariness. Breathing heavily and clutching at his ribs, the Capashan cat-man sank to the ground, a low purr of satisfaction reverberating in his chest as his heavy lidded gaze sought out his companions, first, then turned to regard the blonde woman and her swarthy sidekick. “You have kept me from the Hunt,” he rumbled, slowly blinking up at Davena, “but I thank you for your aid…and for the lives of my friends.”
((OOC: Anything and/or nothing from either Davena or Garn, here.))
Surveying the carnage surrounding him and wincing as he sucked in a few more rasping breaths, Ch’dau languished on his haunches for a moment longer and, then, painfully aware of his own weight, hauled himself back to his feet. “Where have you come from, rrow’ka’a,” he wearily asked of the two even as he trudged toward where his own companions were gathered, “and how did you find us?”
((OOC: Again, anything from either of them, here&hellip)
He nodded vaguely in response to the given reply but said nothing in return, just yet, as he had reached his friends and was, proudly and woefully, all at once, assessing their conditions. He pulled Kithran to him in an awkward, one-armed embrace and nuzzled her face. “You were supposed to run, my brave Little Kitten,” he murmured softly before releasing her and sitting at her side. Heaving a weary sigh, Ch’dau eyed the brutalized forms of Gib and Aranwen for a moment, then, his ears flicking in the Kazari approximation of a human smile, turned his appreciative gaze to Cedric and offered a nod of thanks. He reached out a heavy arm, then, rested a paw on Midge’s head and, purring weakly, tousled the little mage’s hair. A finer group of warriors I could never find, he thought, before turning his attentions back to their rescuers, not even on Capasha. K’hra and Keziri bless them all…
((OOC: Aaaaand I’ll stop there. I’m sure Ch’dau is exhausted and in pain from the fight but he’s still curious/suspicious – even if he is grateful – at the timely intervention of Davena and Garn, so, injuries and weariness aside, he’s very interested in what they might have to say.))
Posted on 2019-08-11 at 12:18:17.
Edited on 2019-09-27 at 07:50:56 by Eol Fefalas
Raven Resident Finn RDI Staff Karma: 71/3 1084 Posts
It was useless. They were all going to die and they knew it. But at least they would die fighting… fighting for a better world, for a world with less evil in it. Each walking dead they managed to cut down was an accomplishment it itself. Each zombie destroyed was one threat less for all of the innocent people across the land. So Cedric allowed a smile on his face as he cried out to the Radiant Father and the God responded with another wave of his immeasurable power. He would be walking the Morning Halls soon with pride in the direction he had chosen for his life some time ago.
As the healing power of Solanis flowed into the furred body of Ch’day, Cedric turned his gaze at the rest of his companions. Kith had already fallen down under a zombie corpse, Gib took another blow to the side, Midge was futilely trying to stave off three of the shambles and… Before he had time to check out the rest, a decaying hand with rotten nails struck the priest hard in the back. Falling to his knees, he blindly swung behind him with his oaken staff. The desperate attack gave the cleric enough time to push himself to his feet before the next strike threw Cedric’s trustworthy weapon off his hand.
Despite of his resolution to do his Lord’s bidding and die destroying the monsters, a feeling of panic had began to take hold of the former farm boy’s soul. Death itself did not scare him, but the thought of being eaten alive by these abominations really shook him to the core. Calling out to the Radiant Father, Cedric felt the warmth of the connection right away. The panic subsided even if only for a few heartbeats as he took a few steps back and prepared another healing spell. Before the zombie managed to reach him and send him on his way to the Blazing Star, he heard a familiar roar, though noticeably weaker now, as Ch’day powerful clawed hands ripped the thing’s head off. No time to thank his saviour, Cedric reached out to heal the fallen Bladesinger. But it was not to happen. Two of the shamblers standing over Gib’s immobile form turned to Cedric instead and immediately he knew this was it. His time had come. With no weapon to drive off their attacks and too weak to summon more of Solanis’ miraculous power, the priest fell on his knees and raised his eyes to the black sky.
His feeling of pride was gone, replaced by another of inadequacy. The Radiant Father had never lost his faith on Cedric. The almighty God had stood beside him all the way, trusting his faithful servant to do his part. Even when all was lost, Cedric could still feel the power of Solanis inside him urging him to turn the magical force into spells of healing. But the young man couldn’t find any strength inside him anymore. He was too weak; spent. He had failed the Radiant Father. The Omnipotent Lord should not have wasted his attention and energy to one as worthless as Cedric who had foolishly considered himself strong enough to stop the waves of undead with the borrowed power.
As Cedric closed his eyes and waited for the final blow to come, he began to hear chanting. In his weakened condition, the cleric first thought the chanter was himself. He thought he had still somehow found the strength inside of him to pray for another spell. But as he forced his heavy eyelids open again, Cedric realised the sound came from somewhere else. And that was when the lightning struck down from the heavens!
Blinking… rubbing his eyes… trying to shake off the ringing in his ears… Cedric’s breathing was nearly as fast as the beating of his heart. Blinded by the flash, he couldn’t see what was going around him. Is this what it’s like? Is this what the entrance to the Morning Hall looks like? Then his hearing started to return gradually even if his eyesight did not. There was some shouting, some moaning and groaning going on around him.
“Destroy them all!”
A female voice… Cedric blinked again and gave his eyes another rub. He wasn’t dead! Maybe his companions were still alive too. On all fours Cedric made his way to where he remembered seeing Gib fall. Little by little the blind spot in his eyes got smaller and smaller and in the light of his fallen staff he could see his fellow priest’s unconscious face half a feet away. He could not hear any shambling of feet or see any flailing arms aimed at his head, but Cedric didn’t dare to risk a look around right now. He took a couple of deep breaths and concentrated on pouring out the healing power from his last prayer still locked inside his body into Gibs still form.
“You have kept me from the hunt”, Ch’dau’s familiar voice said to someone and continued: “But I thank you for your aid… and the lives of my friends.” The Kazari was talking almost casually instead of roaring his challenges to the zombies… When Gib began to stir, Cedric let out a sigh of relief. Squeezing the warrior-priest’s shoulder softly, he allowed himself to take a careful, but wondering look around…
“The zombies are gone.”, the young man stated to mostly himself as if saying it out aloud would make the scene more real and prevent the illusion from fading away and the horde of undead returning. “They’re really gone.” It wasn’t completely true of course as there were still a great number of the twice-killed corpses spread around the forest floor in varying conditions. Some had lost limbs, others had gaping holes where their hearts should’ve been. One or two were even missing their heads. A great number of the zombies had apparently been turned in to ash by some powerful magic. In all its grisliness the sight of destroyed undead monsters and the forms of terribly wounded heroes in the magical light was strangely beautiful in Cedric’s eyes. And especially beautiful was the figure of a woman they had briefly met at the inn a little while ago. “Davina…”
Putting two and two together, the young cleric’s mind managed figure out what the blinding flash had been: A bolt of lighting! He had read of such spells during his studies. Stories spoke of magicians so powerful that they could draw lightning down to help them in battle from the skies and of magical wands that could throw similar bolts across battlefields killing scores of enemies at once. Was Davina one of those legendary sorcerers?
And there was Gam too!
But Cedric didn’t have time to thank the cavalry just yet. Aranwen still needed his help. Pushing himself, the priest felt terribly weak. He knew he had lost some blood himself even if his wounds weren’t quite as bad as those of his friends. Yet every step hurt hist back like hell and there was throbbing headache making its way deep into his brain. Cedric forced his mind to concentrate on the Bladesinger. He staggered to the sylvari’s side and repeated the prayer to Solanis he had said so many times already during the night. The priest’s relief was immense as the Radiant Father responded one last time.
Having done all he could, Cedric fell on the forest floor drained. He didn’t smell the ozone or the burned, rotten flesh. He only stared at the dark sky and smiled.
Posted on 2019-08-12 at 06:55:07.
Edited on 2019-08-12 at 06:56:27 by Raven
As the onslaught pushed in on them, Ch’dau’s pace ceased and he eased her stiffly from his shoulder, propping her against a tree. Kithran tried once more to force some inch of herself to move, screaming inside her head to get up, but the paralysis was still wearing off and she was still useless.
A new order escaped from the Bladesinger, "Ch'dau to the front!" and Kith could see the Kazari’s eyes light up as a grin spread across his face and he pressed his forehead to hers, “You wake, Kithran, and you run!”
Yeah f***ing right.
“You have been a true and honored friend. Keziri keep you.”
“Midge and Cedric, drop back when he arrives! Gib and I will cover you.” Aranwen continued, and with that Ch’dau rose to his full height and roared, “To the Hunt, and blood for Rrowl!!!” then disappeared with the rest of their companions into the suffocating mist.
For a time, every sound was torture. The grunts and shouts of her comrades as they fought tirelessly and endlessly against the ever-pressing horde without her. A roar interrupted by another unseen monster. All the while the agency over her body only slowly coming back to her: a finger twitch, a shoulder pulling away from the tree and falling back, her head following her eyes as they strain to scan the battlefield.
It was then that she spotted them. Two of them. Slowly shambling her way, their mindless march excruciating in the knowledge of what they would be capable of doing to her. What they and their giggling cohorts had already done to her. She glanced beyond them, at what she could see of her companions locked in a battle for their own lives, and knew that like so many instances in her life, her survival would depend on her alone. Not that that was worth much at the moment, with her body betraying every instinct she had labored to sharpen.
She screamed inside her head, urging her body to move with every once of willpower she had. They were nearly upon her now and she could not think of a much more worthless way to die than in complete helplessness.
And then, her left hand twitched.
Then the right.
And like being splashed awake by a vat of ice cold water, the paralysis was gone and she leapt to her feet, an angry grin forming on her lips as the shamblers approached her. She lurched toward them, a growl caught in her throat and the realization that the paralyzation had masked her body’s actual limitations due to the injuries she had incurred before. She let her anger compensate for her weariness as she lashed out at the beasts, but was unable to dodge a blow to the side of her head. Her ears rang, and the anger at these creatures and her own inadequacy fueled her rage. She snarled back at the one who had landed its punch and drove both blades up into its slawed jaw, ripping one dagger out and piercing it again through the side of its head. Her elation as it slumped to the ground was short-lived as she quickly sidestepped the other and again lashed out.
She tried to take this one out quickly, like the other, but her injuries were becoming overwhelming. She fought no less ferociously, but was slower in her dodges and strikes, weaker when she landed a hit, and with one great shove the thing took her to the ground once more.
She raged, pinned beneath the rotting corpse, trying to land a solid strike and keep it from tearing her up into even more shreds. Beyond, the smell of burning flesh and singed hair filled the air as fire-lit bodies fell to the ground. She took another deep hit to her side and heard Gib cry out against the swarm overtaking him. Her arms didn’t want to move but still she struck out against the monster as roars of pain rang out in the fight against the horde.
A flash suddenly burst all around her and the air filled with a crash. She felt a shockwave hit and heard bodies being thrown to the ground because of it. Kith took her moment and stabbed up at the rotted body, catching it off-guard and finally finding purchase in its mottled skin.
“Destroy them all!” a woman’s voice demanded, and Kithran obliged, spilling the guts of the creature above her. And as it reared back from the pain, her dagger found its throat and she split it down the middle to what was left of its clavicle, blood and ichor raining down onto her face and chest. The body fell limp atop her and with what remained of her strength she rolled it away from her and tried to find her feet.
Daggers in hand, Kithran stumbled forward. The pale mist seemed to be raining black ash now, and multitudes had joined their ranks. It was over before she even made it to their line, which was well enough. Even standing took a great amount of effort at the moment, and though she held her side from the immense pain radiating off of it, she wasn’t sure whose blood and chunks of flesh she held there.
She was ready to collapse by the time Ch’dau appeared by her side and pulled her into an awkward, one-armed embrace, nuzzling her face, and her too exhausted to shove him away, “You were supposed to run, my brave Little Kitten,” he said before sitting them both against a tree.
A glance around the battlefield and all of the newcomers revealed that somehow, someway, every single one of their party survived, and with that knowledge a great weariness swept over her like she had never felt before. She tilted her head back against the tree, hardly able to keep her eyes open, “Me? Run? Yeah f***ing right.” She rolled her head so that she could look up at him with as little effort as possible, “I was the distraction, Big Kitten. You lot were supposed to run. Saving this gods-forsaken world is supposed to be more important than this gorgeous, thieving ass.” She grinned, weakly gesturing to the gore covering her from head to toe.
((OOC: any response))
Gazing over the conversations around her, and happy for the healing and looks of relief in her own compatriots, her eyes widen as they find Davena and Garn, “Those two, they’re the ones who came to our aid?” The hairs on the back of her neck rose, remembering the circumstances in which they had fled Crandel, "That is very interesting. I suppose I should be grateful, and yet . . . " Gratitude sometimes left one blinded.
((OOC: Any response))
“Do you think Aranwen will remember to give her smallclothes back?” she grinned despite her weariness and suspicion, and leaned her head back against the tree for just a moment before they had to make their way back to the rest of the group.
Posted on 2019-08-15 at 18:24:11.
Edited on 2019-08-16 at 01:46:24 by breebles
Bromern Sal A Shadow RDI Staff Karma: 145/11 4055 Posts
Twisting so that another of the evil creatures' attacks falls against his shield with a metallic thud, Gib's rhythm is broken as Aranwen stumbles from a strike and falls to the ground.
"Aranwen!" Moreno calls, his voice harsh and filled with a cocktail of concern and grief. Angrily smashing one of the walking corpses aside with his shield, the warrior-priest springs towards his fallen friend just as his world is shattered into tiny spots of light accompanied by a heavy ringing in his ears. I am floating... he muses disconnectedly as the ground sweeps up towards him but his body felt unreasonably light. There are no visions of the Warrior's Halls, there is only a deeper darkness than he's ever experienced and the retreat of his consciousness.
My beard is wet. Opening his eyes, Gib realizes that the world is on its side. Strange. Earthen odors are caught in his nostrils.
“The zombies are gone. They’re really gone.”
I know that voice... I— Realization floods his mind. Painfully righting himself, he looks up at the form of the young priest of Solanis on all fours, beginning to move away.
“Davina…” Cedric's wonderment is evident in his soft voice, giving cause for the older warrior-priest to fervently assess their situation while wearily struggling to his feet.
Davina and her man are there, near Ch'dau, and the ground is strewn with the remains of the undead. Not as many as I would have thought, Gib grimly muses, his hardened gaze falling on Aranwen's form just a small distance from Cedric's ponderous crawling person. The others... Midge, Kith... they've survived!? Gratefully dropping a nod to the two who had obviously contributed to their survival, Moreno makes his way to Cedric's side and helps him to his feet and together, takes them to Aranwen's body.
"Please, Lord Therassor," Moreno intones as he sets his shield and sword to the side and kneels next to his friend's head. "Please let her live."
Quickly checking for a heartbeat, breath, or any indication that the Sylvari still lives Gib is relieved and thankful to find that she does. Pulling his gloves from his hands, he places both over the chest of the fallen Bladesinger and chants the Healing Prayer.
"Battle Father, Lord of the Fight, A warrior has fallen in Your Might. Bless this valiant heart with life. By Your Powers make him right."
Reveling in the miracle of Therassor's healing, Gib closes his eyes and allows himself this moment to bask in his god's glory. When the power has passed, the remnant warmth lingering in his chest, Moreno addresses the needs of his fellow companions, each in turn as he considers their wounds from the most in need to the least, calling upon Therassor's miraculous healings until he can no longer make the requests.
With Aranwen returning to the land of the living, Moreno approaches Kith where she and Ch'dau sit. Looking her over from a position a few feet in front of the little thief, he presses his lips together and offers a small shake of his helmeted head. "What was about to be done to you... I am sorry for my part in your falling prey to those ghouls. I believe now that the dangers in these woods require a different approach than simple military strategy and will not be suggesting any further scouting missions."
From there, he tends to wounds and injuries as best he can from the supplies and medicine he knows. He listens to the talk and keeps an eye on the woods while he works, and when all of the work to stabilize his friends, the warrior-priest drops to his knees within their midst and takes his sword by the hilt in two hands, blade held towards the heavens and invites his companions to join him in prayer.
"Therassor, my god, my general," Moreno stares hard and fast at the holy symbol embedded and engraved in the crossbar of his weapon, his voice as level as he can keep it, neither loud and boisterous nor meek and quiet. "I kneel and pay homage to thee for guiding these two here where they brought us victory. Glory, and honor be thine. We live to serve thee further and for this we are grateful."
Remaining in poised prayer for a few moments longer, he finally, with ceremonial precision, draws his blade through his cloak so to clean the gore from the metal without cutting the cloth and sharply sheathes it. Rising from his knees, Gib retrieves his shield and returns to the happenings within the rest of the party.
"Your arrival is certainly appreciated," he acknowledges to the two, Devina and Garn. "We had feared the worst when we discovered your absence in Crandel. We did our best to confirm that you were safe and alive. It would seem that our concern was hasty."
(OOC: Whatever comments and conversation happens...)
Stepping up to Aranwen, Gib offers a suggestion in a low tone, not quite conspiratorial, "We should return to the site of Kith's ambush as soon as we are able. There was one who was a victim to the horde before Kith even arrived and we've left some valuable weapons there that I would like to retrieve. Perhaps searching the remains of the undead will also reveal some further insight into this horrific puzzle as well.
I'm spent, as I am sure Cedric and Midge are as well, so if we could manage a period of sustainable rest, that too would be appreciated."
Posted on 2019-08-16 at 15:06:33.
Edited on 2019-09-27 at 07:55:06 by Eol Fefalas