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  1. The next floor of the dungeon brought little changes to the group. Thicker fog but a similar style of room and further skeletons to contend with. Estelle took note of the increase in their organizational skills with some concern but the group soon voiced a desire to be organized in their approach to this as well. The mage quickly agreed with the ideas presented to stay together and not fight through every undead that they saw. More could raise at any moment and even the destroyed might return without a means of dispelling the source of their animation. "Yes of course. This should help you sever their spines and move on." Estelle spoke as she began weaving magic over Lana and Chris' weapons. The enchantment was simple enough to increase the sharpness of the edges of the weapons. Once seeing her work was satisfactory for the duration of the floor she turned to Robin as the spell shifted, this time to reinforce the enchantment on the gun she had hastily thrown together on the previous floor. With any luck it would last a few more shots before threatening to explode. "I trust you recall this one" Estellise teased gently in place of repeating her warning. That left herself and Ziun, neither of whom had taken to using a physical weapon thus far and thus she ceased channeling her enchantment magic. "This wall to our left is closer" She spoke in favor of Lana's idea. So long as the group moved fast enough they could dispatch only a few assailants and be done with it. For now she readied an offensive spell and trained her aim on the approaching skeleton. She didn't immediately fire for fear of causing the rest to start collapsing on them early.
  2. Madelyn's protest at the idea aside, Reinaan took to getting ready to eat some of their kill. For now he put the shard of the sword away in one of his bags on Kloqah's back to let the others investigate later. Madelyn was demanding to heal the injured but Reinaan as ever would want to be near last in line for any special ministrations. Especially considering the beating Ryia had taken that seeemed a lot more immediately important. So the hunter's focus was on how to get the crab cooked. Firewood was easy, and he had fire covered. Hacking one of the large claws they had severed from the crab was a bit more exertion he could have done without. But eventually he had plenty of meat to roast. Now he just needed a way to start a fire without burning the place down. But then he had been born with claws hadn't he? It was a simple enough matter to dig out a shallow but wide enough sized pit to house the fire he needed. Before long he had dozens of crab skewers roasting over a flame started by his own breath. Once it looked and smelled done enough Reinaan shouted for the group to gather for the meal and offered slabs of cooked crab to all who were hungry and able. Madelyn of course declined but that only seemed like her loss. That turned the draken's attention to Keres who had been told specifically to not help prepare the food. She must have been a lot more worn out from that last magical attack than she looked. And no wonder given the damage it had done to the thing. Keres when offered accepted the meal right away. Reinaan sat near her with a skewer of his own thinking of how to say what he wanted to say between bites. Before too long though he spoke. "You okay after all that? Know magic's been weird here, but you'd know more exactly how than me." He asked the mage unsure how the lake had been affecting her. Maybe it had been stealing all of their magic but hardly knowing any he just hadn't felt it much. "I...am probably more healthy than the rest of you." she said without looking his way. Reinaan laughed though softly to not scare her as he was aware he wasn't quite on the buddy buddy level with her that he was with Lindow. "Yeah well, glad it wasn't you getting mowed over. The rest of us are a bit better built for taking those kinds of hits. Though Ryia might have overdone it." He responded. Keres nodded. "Yes, that seems to be true..." She began to focus more on the food. It turned out it was difficult to keep a conversation rolling when the other side had no immediate questions or things to bring up. So Reinaan let her continue eating as that was what she seemed intent on doing. The boy for his part wolfed down a rather large piece of crab meat in record time before thinking of the metal piece from the crab. Keres would know something about it. If it was magical anyway. But between Keres, Madelyn, Lindow and Damien someone was going to know something about this weird sword piece. So he went and retreived it. "Hey so no problem if you're too tired to look at it right now but I found this weird thing off the crab. Something feels off about it but no idea what. Figured you might have a better idea before I go give the sword boys a shot at it." Reinaan said while extending the piece of metal toward Keres for her to inspect. She stared at it for a while, not seeming to really be doing much of anything. "It...was broken by magic." she said. Reinaan was shocked not only at her choice of words but how she had figured anything out about it. "Woah really! How can you tell?" He asked, clearly looking for some magical secret he could employ in the future himself. Keres looked up at Reinaan for a moment, then back at the shard. "I can feel it. The lingering curse that broke this sword." she said like that wasn't one of the coolest things ever. Reinaan was getting more excited the more she said about it. "A curse? Can you tell what kind? And what was it doing in the crab?" the draken's questions piled up. Keres seemed uncomfortable the more excited Reinaan got. She slowly shifted farther away. "I'm not sure...Something strong, if I can still feel it." She glanced down at the crab meat and shrugged. Rather than ask a hundred more questions about curses Reinaan took note of the girl's obvious distress and realized he hadn't yet overcome what it was that made her feel like this around him. He took a step back himself to give her the space she was looking for and looked downcast for a moment. "Sorry this is all just new ground to me. Must seem silly getting worked up over it with all the stuff you know. But I knew asking you was a good idea Keres." he said a smile now on his face. Keres only looked over for a moment before busying herself with the almost finished food. Picking at it slowly. "It's, erm, fine." she said but Reinaan knew it probably wasnt. Rather than trouble her further he went back to tending the fire as it cooked endlessly more crab meat. But he continually held, examine and reexamined the piece of metal, wondering what sort of curse had broken the sword and how it had ended up in a crab. Startling him, Ziiyol appeared at Reinaan's side, delighted with the large cooking fire after a battle pretty low on overall burning and scorching. The two soon took to bickering as was their norm.
  3. With things winding down over the breakfast table Aduain had to be sure he'd taken in all of the information correctly. Fen was in charge, and that seemed alright. Fen was cool, literally and figuratively. She'd probably make good calls for things and even if she didn't the lot of them couldn't be expected to do much more than their best. As long as everyone survived while protecting Prana it seemed alright to the fish. The team name remained undecided. Everyone had their own ideas but hadn't sided in with any other suggestion. Again not a big deal. He knew who was on his team and they all knew so that seemed fine too. Melissa was most attached to the little fuzzball that had appeared in their apartment and having taken it to her own room it seemed her chosen name of Bartleby would be final. The name itself made Aduain giggle when he thought about it. It sounded fancy and to give it to the slakoth was enough to make him like the little guy a lot more than he had. Helping Melissa take care of it going forward probably wouldn't be too bad if he got to come up with all sorts of silly ways to say Bartleby. If he remembered anyway. Now the group had decided to do an activity together as had been pointed out they didn't actually know each other all that well yet. As the others Aduain had left to get ready for the day. Though upon entering his room and looking himself over he wondered what all he really had to do to get ready. He'd already gone swimming to fetch the fish so he was basically clean. He could wear the hat Mauvache had gifted him maybe but he'd have to find it first. Not that there was a lot in his room to be hiding it. All things considered he was ready to go the moment he entered his room so there wasn't much of anything to do in it. With the others he soon found himself at a grocery store. That wouldn't have been too strange a sight for him but the crowd that had gathered outside of it was something else entirely. Something about spending money in the store gave you a chance to watch plants wear pants. As one largely foreign to pants the idea seemed silly enough to be worth at least investigating. But before they could experience any of that in the store a group of strangers approached though several in the group seemed to recognize them. After averting the crisis that was the large dog tackling Fen, Melissa seemed to recognize the one riding it and Fen introduced the man who had screamed to the heavens as a friend of hers from her world named Percival. As ever Aduain picked the most exciting thing about the situation to latch onto. "Woaaaaah you were friends with pirates Fen?" He asked, zeroing in on the eyepatch Percival wore. Nearly bouncing as he approached the man he couldn't help but ask him at least a few more questions. "I didn't really get what you were yelling about but it sounded funny. Was that pirate code? Did Mauvache let you bring your ship here?"
  4. Having charged ahead of the group of Exalted and right into the burly arms of one of the hyena-men, Jocelyn found herself quickly having to scrap with it. That was fine, that was in the intention. In fact it seemed easier than ever as she ignored what martial arts training she had and leaned in more on her usual street fighting. The monster had no intention to dodge her attacks but it didn't take very many hits to realize why. As Jocelyn's fists made contact with the hide of the thing she could feel how dense the muscle mass was. Her punches weren't actually doing anything to the monster and it reacted in kind. That being that it didn't react and after a few limp noodles to the chest it felt like retaliating. The thing swung its claw at Jocelyn and it was all the woman could to do to brace herself to prevent the claws digging deep into her guts. For her troubles she got some nice gashes on her arm and some sure bruising to follow and she was knocked back a foot or two. "Still got blood in the afterlife huh..." Jocelyn observed of her condition. There was a nagging feeling in her mind as she thought about how to actually hurt the thing in front of her. Her eyes were drawn to her hands. Normal enough given the way she liked to fight but also a bit unwise given the giant murderous ball of fur still interested in killing her. She'd felt faster and stronger than normal in her first exchange with the hyena even if just a little. There was something going on here. What she couldn't be bothered to figure out. Jocelyn just knew she wanted to kick the ass of the monster in front of her and go enjoy her second death somewhere quiet. The thought of fighting seemed to ignite something in her even as the others around her began to make similar realizations. A sword and a scythe to start. A glow surrounded both of her hands as the something she was feeling began to take shape. "Sure what the hell. But don't you dare give me something stupid!" She shouted to the invisible force. With it the idea of her weapon crystallized and adorning both hands were now a hefty set of gauntlets armored primarly on the back of the hand and knuckles. The leather bits were black but the metal was primarily pink except for the prominent rainbows sprawled across each. Jocelyn examined each hand from several angles and began flexing her fingers to ensure she still had a good range of movement. Everything felt... "Perfect... fuck" Jocelyn spoke, upset that she couldn't help but appreciate some aspect of the insanity that was this second life. But love the gauntlets she did. So much so she did no further inspections of herself or attempt to read any of the markings put upon her to set her apart as an Exalted. There was no room for magic here, Jocelyn just wanted to kick ass. She dove in and it was a repeat of her fist exchange with the hyena. Like before it made little effort to actually dodge her. But this time it paid for not taking her seriously. The body of the thing was as tough as ever, but with her newly armored fists Jocelyn could feel her fists actually sinking in some. Each blow elicited a grunt from the beast and clearly bothered it as it disengaged from the immediate brawl to use the length of its arm to swipe at her again with its claws. But like how she had felt the gauntlets pull, something else seemed to know what to do. She jumped just barely over the swipe and her right leg began raising up higher and higher until it was straight up parallel to the rest of her body. "Wait shit shit shit I don't bend that far!" Jocelyn yelled futilely but felt no immediate pain as her leg took its position. The Axe Kick came down decisively onto the top of the beast's head with way more force than the woman should have reasonably been able to deliver. The beast was in obvious pain and staggered at the attack even as Jocelyn backed up to get her bearings. Her leg wasn't broken, her muscles didn't feel torn. But she did feel more tired than expected. Nothing seemed right about what had happened but if she could really beat this thing to a pulp with just her hands and feet, that much she could live with for the moment.
  5. With some sense of resolve to look out for Cross, Noibat was ready to blaze a trail on the second floor for everyone. Except that as she looked around, just as with the previous set of stairs, she was surrounded by all the other Pokemon who had gone up the stairs after her as if they'd all arrived at the same time. This time it was even more confusing for being in the front of the pack. To alleviate the mental disorientation setting in, her ears fired off a ping to get a feel for the new room. And knowing it was more of the same was sort of relieving. She knew exactly where she sat in the room and that was about the most sure she could be of anything today. Further grounding her was knowing exactly where everyone else was. All fourteen of them exactly where they should be. "Fourteen? How many Falinks are there again?" Noibat thought as she turned around to see she was practically surrounded by three more Cleffa, with several Staryu and a Minior. That explained the count. Others in the group around her sprung into action engaging in fights with the aggressing Pokemon in the room. "Thanks for the wall....s" Noibat said to the six-fold friend that had immediately taken to the frontlines. "Hate when games pull this crap, ambushing you out of nowhere." She grumbled to no one in particular, not even herself given she couldn't remember the actual gameplay of the games that came to mind, before finally getting airborne to take stock of the battle. Hector was exchanging blows with all of the Cleffa until the Clobbopus threw one away and into the water. Z. was busy with one and Es had been trying to attack the now thrown and defeated Cleffa. With one Cleffa out already Noibat's confidence was soaring to unearned highs given her uncertainty if she could even reproduce another Gust let alone figure out what other moves she had. But for now she took to getting away from the fairies that she was sure would have mugged her had not the others moved so quickly and moved to intercept the only currently open path to Cross who was staying in a corner of the room. "I'm a bat now what do bats do" Noibat asked herself as her attempts at mustering another Gust only proved to destabilize her flight. Then it clicked. "Right I probably know Bite!" She declared with a smugness that did not fit the obviousness of the statement. As it happened Noibat did not know Bite so she simply latched her mouth onto one of the Staryu's pointy ends and attempted to dig into its hard shell of a body to no effect. Come to think of it this was the worst target to try this on in the room except perhaps the sentient rock. There were nice soft Cleffa in the room her teeth probably could have pierced Bite or no. Her confidence dashed, she almost panicked before remembering vampire bats were a thing so maybe she could suck it's blood out. Kind of gruesome for a kid's game but this was life or death. While completely ignorant of her status as a fruit bat, the idea was not without its merits as Noibat began to feel a strange sensation. Not blood but energy seeping out of the Staryu and into herself. Except it abruptly stopped just as soon as it started. Trying to capture the feeling again while continuing to cling to the target the flow of energy started once more this time really getting going. Rather than think herself some kind of actual vampire, Noibat knew enough about Pokemon games to call this for what it was. "Gigadrain? Am I part plant?" A confused Noibat asked incorrectly naming her Absorb through a mouthful of starfish. She'd have to try photosynthesizing if they ever got out of the endless caves. She'd get a leg up on the plant theory soon as the Staryu readied and fired a Water Gun at her. She'd definitely never felt water move like that with how it nearly knocked the wind out of her. It wasn't the worst thing she'd ever felt but that wasn't appreciated. It was enough she'd let go of the thing with her mouth and climbed back a bit higher into the air.
  6. Maintaining a constant fiery anger was difficult and Jocelyn knew this well. That didn't make it less frustrating that she was already losing some of the venom she'd come out swinging with upon waking up in the church. She wanted to stay angry at this situation and everyone in it. At least in the case of her fellow heroes it seemed her initial outburst had kept them all at arm's length. The locals were then so caught up in serving as tour guides they wouldn't want to address her directly. So that left the young woman to slowly drift in the back of the group, not speaking or being spoken to. All she could do in this situation was simmer in her own thoughts which were proving circular and almost as annoying as dealing with all of her fellow chosen heroes. On about the tenth round of wondering why the god of a bunch of real furries wouldn't protect her while she was at a furcon Jocelyn could feel some of the more agitated anger reigniting this time aimed squarely at herself. As much as she didn't want to be here it was rude to not have listened any better to Luca who was earnestly excited for the whole procedure. But sincerity on her part didn't change how much Jocelyn hated everything that was happening. The more that was said and happened the more she really just wanted to punch something. And as it happened she was going to soon be presented with an opportunity. The group had been hearing what some thought was thunder for a while now but as the sound continued approaching Luca and Rumian seemed to realize what was actually going on. Luca took off in a sprint and the group was quick to follow at Rumian's request. Jocelyn lingered a moment longer considering how much she actually cared about anything happening. But the sight of the villagers fleeing away from what the others were running toward soon prompted her legs to get moving on their own. Jocelyn brought up the rear of the group to see what they were dealing with. A pack of hyenas with a lion leader, all with various weapons. And standing against them, a group of seven unarmed humans. "Well shit, I get the burn-to-death-get-mauled-by-a-pack-of-wild-animals two for one special today." Jocelyn spoke, breaking her simmering silence and train of thought. Everyone was hesitating, some making heroic declarations, others trying to strategize or assess what was happening. At least everyone seemed cognizant of how little they actually had to work with so it was understandable why they might not rush headlong into certain second death. But as Jocelyn saw it there was literally nothing here for her to lose. "Well I'd say it's been nice knowing everyone but I don't wanna lie. See everyone in whatever other hell we get sent to next." She declared before charging in.
  7. Lindow's ready agreement had Reinaan's confidence they were about to drop this crab. And while they were, the Draken couldn't have anticipated exactly how it would play out. Maybe he could have if he had a better understanding of electricity. But as it happened Lindow's magic was particularly volatile and the crab and both Chosen were feeling it. It was a strange feeling having the lightning flow into his arms from his halberd. Reinaan was fortunate in that he wasn't getting the worst of it, that honor belonged to the crab. But it was still enough to impair his movements and the crab was falling down to the ground directly above him. Finally finding some half decent footing with the thing no longer pulling him forward, the boy pulled his weapon free of the beast's underside and managed to dive out from under it before it fully collapsed. From his position and shocked state he couldn't entirely process the exact nature of Keres' attack, but that didn't stop him from looking back at her for a moment clearly impressed. "You still alive after that one?" He teased Lindow while getting back to his feet. Trying to shake off the thunder magic the boy renewed his grip on his weapon and began scaling up the back of the crab to get up and on top of it. The crab seemed to be stirring from Lindow's attack which left Reinaan little time to enjoy the view or laugh at the absurdity of the situation. He quickly reversed his grip on his halberd and raised it overhead before slamming it down decisively into the crack on the top of the shell. The weapon pierced through and then some such that even the top of the axe blade was piercing into the crab's flesh below. The hunter pushed it down as hard as he could, even tried twisting it to ensure a kill. His efforts were rewarded as the crab which had barely begun to stand again fell back down to the ground, life quickly fading. Reinaan watched his mark until he was sure it wouldn't get back up and after taking a minute to catch his breath, pulled the weapon free as roughly as he could for extra security. The crab was dead. Reinaan let out a victorious snarl only a lizard-person could make before dismounting his kill. "What the-" Reinaan started as he looked to the fresh corpse. He wasn't entirely sure where from but a pile of trinkets had appeared as if the crab had been holding onto them. There was nothing special to speak of but it was a curious sight. What did catch the boy's eye was a piece of metal that looked to have been lodged in the thing falling to the ground. Upon retrieving it the hunter recognized it as a broken off shard of the blade of a sword. His eyes lingered on it longer than such a piece of metal deserved. There was no glow or inscription to engage him thus yet he couldn't help but feel something was special about it. At worst it took up a tiny bit of bag space until he decided it wasn't special after all or he stopped caring. Maybe the others would have additional insight. But first there was something else on his mind as he eyed the giant crab. "Anyone hungry?" he shouted both as an inquiry and a clear statement he intended to eat part of this thing for all the work they'd had to do to kill it.
  8. With the visible skeletons dispatched, Estelle was relieved for any break in the fighting to take stock of injuries. Ziun had seemed to be in a tight spot but at this point everyone was not being attacked and not themselves a skeleton. Wins all around. So long as everyone was still keeping all their blood in anyway. The mage ignored her own injuries and began inspecting the others, uncertain of how the various scraps with all of the skeletons had gone. As it happened she wouldn't have long to take stock of the situation as Robin pointed their attention upward. Above them was swirling the strange smoke that had escaped from the skeletons as they were defeated. With no bones attempting to kill her Estelle was able to inspect it better and soon realized it as the source of magic animating the enemies they had been fighting. There was no immediate direction to its movements, it was just gradually spreading out and back down. "We should hurry to the exit. Assuming the Dungeon itself is the source of this spell it could indefinitely reanimate our foes. Not that I know if it can reconstruct them." Estelle stated the summary of her understanding of the necromancy at play. The idea of the skeletons coming back in pieces was perhaps as amusing as it was terrifying but regardless it was not something the Fereis wished to witness. After taking a brief moment to simply close the various cuts the skeleton had given her and any other open wounds on the others the mage ushered the group onward, her eyes dashing from side to side for any other late coming skeletons. Little happened until the group arrived about three fourths of the way to the exit. Ahead of them closer to the door and towards the northern corners of the chamber each rose up a new set of skeletons. The three of them each wielded spears this time or at least that's what Estelle thought they were. Upon closer inspect they looked almost like large fangs. In any case the reach of these weapons presented an issue that needed addressing. "Lana, Chris, if you could each engage the ones on the sides! I'll enchant your gear for easier movement. The rest of us can bombard the center." The mage spoke quickly strategizing what made sense to her. She focused her magic into each hand to multitask the enchantment. Chris and Lana's clothing and armor would softly glow for a moment before the effect took hold. When Estelle said easier movement what she meant was a general speed enhancement. But her friends were capable fighters surely they could adapt. For her part Estelle needed to shift to casting offensive magic to go with her plan but whatever moves the others made would happen first.
  9. With everyone taking it upon themselves to leave before the threats in the room were resolved, Noibat could only groan and get ready to play clean up. If someone had to do it she would. Aside from blowing a Staryu off of Hector she hadn't had to contribute much anyway so perhaps it was just fair. But before the bat could move any Cross had pushed past her and stopped the remaining Cleffa from attacking Hector. Like the Staryu before it the Cleffa disappeared after being knocked out meaning the room was clear now. But despite his achievement Cross soon took to the floor and began crying which immediately put Noibat out of her element. Still she had to try something. She may have just been planning how best to knock out an infant Pokemon but letting this former human kid just sit there and cry didn't seem right. Something else to unpack when they weren't in danger maybe. "Uh.. hey it's okay. You did really good!" Noibat tried to sound positive while approaching the crying Cubone. She tried reaching what passed for hands at the top of wings towards the child then hesitated and retracted unsure how to approach this. After some more awkward fidgeting she did lay a hand on Cross' shoulder. "Look there's enough of us here you don't have to try and keep fighting if it scares you. But you really did do a good job. That Cleffa had no idea what hit it. So let's keep moving and I'll keep a look out for you okay?" She offered before looking around the room some more to be absolutely sure things were safe before going on. She took her wing off the Cubone before turning toward where the others had went. For however unsure she'd been of her attempts Cross had seemed to manage to stifle his tears some, at least enough to better listen to her. "I'll go make sure the path ahead's clear. Look after him will ya Hector?" Noibat asked of the Falinks as she began flapping her wings to get off down the path. If Cross ended up needing carrying to the exit the six-in-one-package seemed best suited to the task. This time she was sure to ping the path ahead of her with her ears which gave her a better time maneuvering in the air as she knew what was coming ahead of her. This rhythm she quickly found did make it difficult to stop. So passing overhead of Marv and later Chester and the Clobbopus, while uneventful, was difficult to stop and chat any without running into a wall. With a fork presented and Z. coming back towards it Noibat had to assume the direction they had went had proved as unhelpful as the locked room on the first floor. So she instead turned right and entered a mostly empty room except for the stairs and Es. She moved toward the center of the room moving slightly faster than Es' relaxed push to the stairs. "Huh, more stairs..." Noibat started generally before addressing Es specifically. "Know you left before me but didn't think I was that much slower a flyer. We'll have to swap tips when we get out of this place" the bat tried to joke as she flapped a bit harder and took to going up the stairs herself. She was eager to make sure the first room of the new floor was safe for everyone. She'd basically promised Cross after all.
  10. With the skeleton grabbing her face defeated Estelle was quick to observe two more of the boney menaces heading straight for her. At least this time she had a bit more room to prepare and would not be as taken in by any other uninvited guests rising up from the floor. Furthermore she had Lana's assistance as her friend's timely arrival took one of the skeletons off of her hand. That left for the mage a skeleton wielding a sword directly approaching her. The sphere of light she had been firing small projectiles from was still in her hand and seeing the smaller attacks lessened effect she thought to end the fight with the monster swiftly. The sphere's shape lost clarity as it began to surround the mage's hand again rather than float above it. With only a touch of focus it was reshaped into a large blast which Estelle soon fired at the armed skeleton's head. The magic shattered most of the skull almost immediately but the mage was bit more than mildly concerned that it hadn't stopped moving in her direction despite this fact. "Surely you cannot need anothe-" Estelle started in disbelief as the sword was swung at her. It seemed to have only a general idea of where she was, perhaps shooting the head had helped her somewhat after all. But this particular skeleton was more skilled with the weapon it had been holding than the other armed skeletons in the room and shy of the grungy weapon it held being somehow magical, Estelle's mantle wasn't going to provide much protection from it. A mage almost never wanted to be in close quarters and Estelle found herself awkwardly dancing out of the way of the partially blind sword swings. She had little finesse for this sort of activity and several swings landed small nicks and gashes onto her arms and legs, each eliciting a wince. The mage had used up her immediately channeled attack to destroy the head and found herself needing space so she took to a quick enchantment. The magic increased the weight of the sword the skeleton held until the thing's hand snapped off its arm under the weight. Estelle could only blink at the sight. "A more pronounced effect than imagined, but a welcome one." She concluded as she channeled more magic and promptly blasted the spine of the monster several times. Eventually this skeleton like the others crumbled away but unlike the other times there were not immediately more upon her person. At last she could share her findings with the others. "Be on your guard everyone! There may be more lying on the floor, at least one had joined the battle already. Let us finish these then move swiftly through the room or we may be overwhelmed."
  11. The others moved into action with Reinaan trying to clear a path for the boy. The draken for his part was trying to track the underside of the crab. But getting under it let alone staying under it was proving difficult while it was free to move. Damien was free at least but understandably not immediately in the fray. There was only so much Keres and Madelyn could offer with the lake disrupting their magic. Keres was able to draw its attention and Madelyn able to set up a wall for Ryia a bit further from the lake's edge. The draken was baffled to see the approach Ryia had taken to keep it in place but he couldn't complain about the results. He managed to get in under the crab right as Lindow began assaulting one of its remaining legs. The beast was shifting focus to its Thunder Chosen hitch hiker meaning Reinaan didn't have long to capitalize on Ryia's maneuver. "Please hit something important." Reinaan grunted as he found roughly the center of the beast's underside. With what force he could muster the boy thrusted the spear tip of his halberd upward in and through the thinner shell and into the crab's flesh. The effect was noticeable but clearly not enough to down it. The crab's legs began moving almost immediately to try and scurry away. It struggled to move at first with Reinaan keeping his halberd planted but ultimately it began inching forward, dragging the draken's feet over the dirt even as he tried to dig in further and drive the weapon further in. The effort was failing but he was at least keeping it from immediately retreating into the lake. There was room to argue that without both of its main pincers, simply letting it go might have been for the better. But at this point Lindow was still atop its leg and Reinaan really didn't want to lose the kill on something this big after the work they'd put in. Still he wasn't able to stop the beast alone as his still sliding feet clearly showed him. "Know magic's not working right but can you try giving it a shock?!" The boy shouted up to Lindow looking for anything to halt the crab's advance. In a bit of frustration over his inability to stop it the boy breathed a stream of fire onto the underside of the crab. Some of the wound from the spear tip was seared from it but mostly the shell simply distributed the heat evenly and made the move ineffective. "If this thing gets into the water it could just try taking stabs at us whenever" He called more generally this time inviting the others to provide whatever support they could to the effort of stopping the crab from taking a swim. If the others all wanted to let it go and move on he might oblige but until they were satisfied with their investigation of the area Reinaan didn't want to worry about low blows from a vengeful crab.
  12. While hardly an expert due to his upbringing, Aduain seemed to have more experience with the various kitchen appliances than Fen did. He could only laugh as he excitedly offered what guidance he'd been given some couple years ago at this point. Somehow breakfast came out largely unscathed despite the hunter's less than technical instructions. Despite her unfamiliarity with the tech Fen's natural instincs and talent with cooking did most of the heavy lifting. It was all Aduain could to keep himself from salivating all over the luscious mountain of rice prepared before they were turned into riceballs around the fish pieces. He did his part of the lifting to bring the prepared meal to the table and Fen explained the dish while the others took their seats and began eating. For his part the fish boy was practically standing in his seat with anticipation of seeing everyone's reactions to the various flavors they'd get. Melissa seemed like she was suppressing a more pronounced reaction and settled for thanking the two chefs. Trevor made next to no comment on the food which left Aduain with little left to hope for with present company. More than a bit disappointed the boy slouched back into actually sitting and took some food for himself. His piece of fish must have had orange scales because he was getting a distinctly citrus flavor in his mouth. Tangerine or tangelo he couldn't really tell for sure. Another fun flavor at least. With some more food in his stomach it was finally time to process the business at hand. Apparently they were already known by the people of Prana as they were far from the first group of otherworldly protectors Mauvache had summoned. There were many teams, each with their own team name and leader. And they did still have the fuzzy friend that had appeared to deal with. "I'd go for Team Shark normally, not that I end up on a lot of teams." Aduain began speaking between mouthfuls of food. "But given our first fight that might be a bit too on the nose. I'll pass on being leader too unless no one else wants the job. The Hunter life's pretty much what you make of so dunno that I'd give good orders or anything." concluded as he was still actively thinking. "As for that thing..." Aduain trailed off as he looked at the Slakoth also seated at the table at Melissa's side. The same feeling of uneasiness from when he'd first seen it set in again and always seemed to when he looked at it. "Fuzzball or something but I'm not all that invested in it. Can't shake the feeling it's gonna get crazy big one day. Which I guess could be a fun fight if it waited long enough. Kinda over giant hairy things for a minute." The hunter concluded while clearly running through scenarios in his mind of the idea of fighting a much larger version of the cute little thing sitting in their midst.
  13. The approach of spraying weaker attacks at the oncoming skeletons had seemed to prove somewhat effective. Each attack that landed slowed down the attackers for a moment which had kept several of the things from rushing Estelle at once. However the skeletons seemed irritated with the suppressing fire and soon one each were breaking away from the pack to get to the mage and the bard. While the Fereis had been slowly stepping back to provide the cover fire, this approach prompted a jump backwards to keep from being grabbed by the face as the monster seemed intent on doing. "What is-" Estelle started as a sound interrupted her immediately counterattacking her assailant. To her left another skeleton had emerged, seemingly from the ground, and was soon to be joining the fight. Thoughts raced for a moment, how many more would join the battle before it was over? Was there even a limit? This could go on indefinitely meaning running through the room needed to be their next focus. She could have gone on spinning ideas until the touch of boney appendages to her face elicited a shrill shriek on her part. Turning to face her assailant Estellise panicked and fired a barrage of blasts from the sphere in her hand, all concentrated in the skeleton's chest cavity due to the proximity.
  14. At Ryia's call Reinaan found himself getting up much faster than his body wanted to. Still, he managed to shake off whatever lightheaded feeling getting run over had left him with. Ryia had opened the joint of the last big claw hand and if they could get that off there would be a lot less danger to trying to kill this thing. There was of course also the issue of Damien being caught in the claw after severing the first limb that Reinaan had injured. The shell was cracked now thanks to the Earth Chosen's efforts giving the boy an easy enough time chopping into the actual flesh of the limb closer to its base just as before. "This one's mine for sure" Reinaan grunted as he tried to drive his weapon deeper and sever the limb. But the crab for its part was intent on not losing another limb and began swinging the large claw at the hunter's position. Ryia's call alerted the boy to the danger and it was clear there was time to finish severing the limb or avoid getting hit by it but even if the former were successful also doing the latter seemed unlikely. The draken began scrambling up and over the limb to the other side and was only given enough time to do so from Lindow's attempt at an intervention on the claw. Falling to the ground Reinaan looked up to see the claw strike the earth where he'd just been standing. Lindow was fast to follow and sever the limb to the boy's frustration that he hadn't been able to lop either off despite starting both efforts. Still, the beast would find itself incredibly less able to hurt them now with its six pointy legs. Reinaan soon found himself needing to back up as the crab was becoming frantic from the loss of both of its pincers. It had no where to run and no ready means of attack and so it had little else to do but move its mass about to avoid being attacked again. The hunter was taking his time examining the creature trying to think how best to kill it in this state. Shellfish were far from a specialty of his but the more he took in the shape of the creature the more it seemed that the shell on its underside had to be thinner, or at least closer to important organs, than the shell covering its back. The main issue was getting under the thing safely and then not getting crushed if the first stab of the spear end of his halberd didn't down the thing. "I really don't wanna have to do all that six more times." the draken started in reference to the remaining limbs. "I'm gonna try and get under it! Would appreciate some kind of distraction" Reinaan finished explaining his strategy but rather than wait for any confirmation one would be provided he charged back at the crab.
  15. Something about the genuine sincerity Luca asked the group about their being legendary heroes made it harder for Jocelyn to get as outright angry with her new furry acquaintances as she had her fellow dead humans. But that hadn't done much to halt the grip of exasperation that had a strangle hold on her heart. It'd be one thing for the weeb to suggest it, another for a servant of a supposed goddess to say it, she might even put up with these two saying it, but if everywhere she went she was going to be called some kind of chosen one, hero or anything else of the like her first mission might be to find a nice tall cliff to jump off. Through a groan and a sigh she spoke after Drake and Abby had introduced themselves. "Fine, just call me JJ. Not a hero, neither are these two or anyone else on their way out. We're just a bunch of unlucky losers so don't get your hopes up too much. For your own good. Wouldn't want you to feel too let down when we don't manage anything crazy." Jocelyn said, trying to not lash out at these two strangers she assumed weren't caught up in her being here. But then she wondered, did they worship this god that supposedly called them here? Was this an answer to their prayers? Rumian made it sound like Luca often looked out for an arrival similar to theirs. Just the thought that these animal people, however cute looking, had gotten her into this mess was reigniting the anger she'd been experiencing. There were a million other people better suited to whatever nonsense was supposed to be happening here. Jocelyn clenched her fists and mustered all the self-control she could manage to stop from screaming before. "I don't suppose" she started, clearly irritated in her tone. "Either of you could show us around, give an idea of where there even is to go where and all that?"
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