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Thread: Hunting Haidians

  1. #11
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    Jake Narmolanya's Avatar

    GP
    7,593
    AP
    8
    Name
    Jacob (Jake) Narmolanya
    Age
    25
    Race
    Elf / Human
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone
    “Tell me more about Joshua Cronen,” Selima insisted as we traversed the bare mountain ridge. “Where did he receive his martial arts training?”

    “Here and there,” I said, treading carefully on the uneven terrain. “Actually, I don’t really know. I mean, he trained in Salvar, in Akashima, Scara Brae, and all over Corone, but he was already one of the best when he started all that. Watching him fight is like watching a shark feed. There’s no hesitation, no second guesses, just perfect destruction. He’s unlike anyone else I’ve ever trained with.”

    “Sounds fun,” she said, moving up beside me. “After we collect this bounty, you should show me a few moves.” She bumped her hip against mine, eyes flickering suggestively.

    “Yeah?” I swallowed and took a deep breath. I’d often been tongue tied around beautiful women when I was younger, but I’d grown out of that. I hoped. “I think I’d enjoy that,” I managed to say lamely.

    “Oh, I’d ensure that you would,” Selima said, adding a quiver to her hips as she walked. “I’m an expert on enjoyment.”

    “Really?” I grinned, warming to the conversation. “You just get more and more interesting. What was it like growing up in Fallien, before… before you were brought to Corone?”

    “Fallien is very different,” the woman said wistfully, her gaze going someplace far away. “Almost every waking moment is about survival. By day, the sun can kill you. By night, the cold can freeze you. There are many predators that roam the endless sands. And yet… the people there are strong, and kind, and they live on despite all these things.”

    “Do you miss it?” I asked. “I love traveling, but I’d get homesick if I didn’t return to Corone, and to Concordia, every so often.”

    “I should like to visit my homeland someday,” Selima nodded, her black braid blowing in the wind, “but it is difficult to find occasion. The journey is long and expensive, and we are a busy group of hunters.”

    “Not if you went with me,” I said with a wink, “anywhere in the world is just a step away, when you travel with Jake Narmolanya.”

    “There is truth in that,” Selima said with a giggle, “and yet, I have been warned about men who refer to themselves in the third person.”

    Before I could inquire about such a warning, Marvin stopped at the head of the group, holding up a fist. We all froze, hands landing on our weapons, eyes scouring the area. A long moment passed as dust whipped between us. Marvin looked at Aeranessa, who nodded.

    “We’re here,” the ginger giant grinned.
    Last edited by Breaker; 12-10-2017 at 05:22 PM.

  2. #12
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    Jake Narmolanya's Avatar

    GP
    7,593
    AP
    8
    Name
    Jacob (Jake) Narmolanya
    Age
    25
    Race
    Elf / Human
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone
    We’d arrived at a sheer cliff face, smooth sun-stained rock that rose vertically for twenty yards or more. We stood on a plateau of sorts in front of the cliff. I looked about, trying to see where exactly “here” was. The area seemed completely unremarkable.

    “Well, I did tell you it was hidden,” Marvin guffawed, noticing my confusion. “Just give it a moment…” he looked about. “Nessa? I think we’re clear. Go ahead and do your thing.”

    The half elf took a deep breath and straightened her spine. She opened her mouth, and out poured the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard.

    It was like no other music I had ever experienced. She barely seemed to sing, it was more like her body vibrated the sound and it echoed out her mouth. She closed her eyes, appearing to settle into a blissful reverie as the song flowed from within her. I could feel the elven song magic touching me, and touching everything around me. Its subtle influence did its work over the course of several minutes, and then a portion of the cliff face shimmered and vanished.

    Where once solid rock had stood, a cavern yawned at the six of us. It tunneled deep into the mountain, the path twisting out of sight. It was lit by strange luminous quartz inset at regular intervals in the walls. There was no smell of dust or decay as I stepped up to the opening. Clearly, Arkboss came here regularly.

    “Careful there,” Marvin advised as I neared the entrance, “there may be traps. Best to let Nessa and Selima go first.”

    “I know a thing or two about demonic lairs,” I retorted, but I stood aside to let the women pass. They moved into the cavern tentatively, running their fingers along the walls and floors as they searched for runes and triggers. The glowing quartz made their shadows split and dance as they progressed deeper into the tunnel.

    “Dirk, Flint, guard the entrance.” Marvin said, drawing his mace. “Jake, you’re with me. We’ll watch the womens’ backs.” As the Salvic brothers took up positions outside, the giant ginger and I progressed slowly into the cavern. It twisted downward like a spiral staircase, and the air grew cooler and dryer with every step.

    “This might be a good time to tell me the plan,” I said in a hushed tone as my boots grated over the rough stone.

    “I suppose you’re right!” Marvin laughed, tossing his mace from hand to hand. He seemed completely unconcerned that the demon might be home. “It’s quite simple really. The best plans are. We’ll invade the innermost sections of his lair, where he’d feel safest, and lay a trap. Hopefully Dirk and Flint will be able to hem him in with their ice magic while you, I, and Selima provide support. That’ll leave Nessa free to shower him with arrows. If he teleports away, we’ll use yours and Nessa’s talents to follow and take him down. What do you think?”

    I thought the plan was about as solid as a ghost, but then again, even the best plans didn’t normally last past the first blow in a fight. In any case, it seemed this group of hunters were more habituated to using extreme force rather than cunning strategy.

    “We found one,” Nessa’s beautiful voice wafted up from below, some ten steps ahead of us. She crouched in front of a large rune inset in the floor. With the rough patterns existing in the natural rock, it would have been easy for one’s eyes to slide right past the symbol. If not for the half elf’s acute perception, the trap might have ensnared us all.
    Last edited by Breaker; 12-10-2017 at 05:26 PM.

  3. #13
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    Jake Narmolanya's Avatar

    GP
    7,593
    AP
    8
    Name
    Jacob (Jake) Narmolanya
    Age
    25
    Race
    Elf / Human
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone
    “Can you tell what it does?” I asked, leaning sideways to peer at the rune.

    “I can sense some residual fire magic here,” Nessa said over her shoulder, “but I don’t know for sure what that means. Sel, will you take a look?”

    The Fallieni woman crouched beside her compatriot, pushing her long braid behind her shoulders.

    “It’s a Haidian sigil of some sort, certainly.” The tanned warrior said. “I recognize elements of it… and you’re right, it definitely has something to do with fire. This marking here means “flame” in ancient demonic.”

    “So it’s a fire trap,” Marvin reasoned. “Can we disable it? If not I say we get Dirk and Flint to cover me in ice, and I’ll walk right into the damn thing.”

    “I wouldn’t recommend that,” Selima said, twisting around and arching an eyebrow. “We must have nearly reached the main lair by now, and this is the only trap we’ve found. If Arkboss uses only one rune-trap to guard his home, you can be certain it’s especially deadly.”

    “I’m not even convinced it is a fire trap,” Nessa added, standing and dusting her palms. “For all we know, triggering it might bring the mountain down around us.”

    “But you said it has something to do with fire, right?” I reasoned. “And this Arkboss is a fire wielding demon…”

    “What are you thinking?” Selima asked, standing up beside the half elf.

    “Something risky,” I said. “Everybody else should go back outside. That way, if this doesn’t work, I’ll be the only one to take an injury.”

    “Jake, are you sure-” Selima started to ask.

    “Sure he’s sure!” Marvin interrupted. “Come on ladies, let’s give our Haidian hunting specialist some space. I could use a breath of fresh air anyways.” They moved back up the tunnel, Selima giving my shoulder a familiar squeeze as she passed.

    “Don’t be a fool,” she instructed me in a near-whisper.

    “Wouldn’t dream of it,” I grinned back.

    I waited until the sounds of their footfalls faded up the tunnel, and then counted out two full minutes. Certain that they would have reached safety, I snapped my fingers and conjured a ball of fire. If Arkboss commanded flames the way they said, what easier way could there be to disable his trap each time he returned? Drawing back my hand, I threw the ball of shimmering heat directly at the rune.

    Realizing I had winced and protected my testicles in anticipation of an explosion, I found myself pleasantly surprised. The rune drank the flame. It was as though I’d thrown a ball of water at a pile of dry sand. As the flames vanished there was a puff of smoke, and a long grinding sound from further down the tunnel.

    My curiosity got the better of me, and I ventured around the final bend. It seemed my idea had worked. I did not spring any traps, and a heavy stone door stood open at the end of the tunnel. A part of me wanted to dart inside, to be the first to discover what treasures lay within. But I knew there might be more traps, or for that matter, a demon lying in wait. So I turned and ran back up the tunnel.

    “Marv!” I called as I circled my way toward the surface. “Selima! I did it!” I stopped shouting as I heard something storming above. The crackle of arcane energies and the shrieks of the freshly wounded. Uttering a curse, I tore my crystal sword from its scabbard and doubled my pace. Arkboss the Hunted had arrived.
    Last edited by Breaker; 12-10-2017 at 05:29 PM.

  4. #14
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    Jake Narmolanya's Avatar

    GP
    7,593
    AP
    8
    Name
    Jacob (Jake) Narmolanya
    Age
    25
    Race
    Elf / Human
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone
    I raced out of the cavern to a scene of carnage and chaos. Aeranessa lay near the mouth of the tunnel, her blonde hair smoldering, her neck badly burned. Dirk, Flint, Selima and Marvin were spread across the plateau, surrounding one of the largest demons I’d ever seen.

    Arkboss stood easily two hands taller than a tall man, and had broad shoulders and thickly muscled limbs. His skin, a mottled green and brown mixture of hide and scales, glowed with a red arcane energy that matched his wide, glaring eyes. His jagged ears quivered as he turned about, watching in every direction at once. His aura pulsated and grew almost overwhelmingly bright.

    “Watch out,” gasped Nessa from where she lay by the cave.

    “Get down!” I shouted, and tackled Marvin, the closest person to me.

    Arkboss’ arms extended and two fiery lances jetted forth. They swept sideways as he turned, one passing overtop of Marv and me and carving a slice out of the stone wall. Selima dodged nimbly under the other, and the Salvic brothers conjured shields of ice on their forearms as it approached them. The shields sizzled and began a slow melt, but protected the compact men, who advanced toward the demon with swords at the ready.

    The fire lance vanished, and Arkboss’ aura shifted from red to black, forming flames of shadow that leaped from his shoulders. I flinched away from the heat as I stood up, as did Marv, covering his ruddy face. Dirk and Flint ducked behind their shields, but those shields melted rapidly in face of the extreme temperatures. The black flame aura forged itself into a greatsword which the demon grasped in both hands and swung.

    Thwish!

    There was a sickening sizzle as Dirk’s head left his body. Flint bellowed and threw himself forward, but the simple steel of his sword glanced off the demon’s scales, and his closeness to that black shimmering aura caused blistering burns to form on his hands and face. Screaming as his flesh boiled, Flint staggered away from the cackling demon.

    Marvin caught the Salvic man before he could stagger blindly off the plateau and pushed him to the ground next to Nessa. From her angle across the mountaintop, Selima let her throwing knives fly. Arkboss’ aura changed again, becoming purple this time, and flaming tentacles knocked the knives out of the air effortlessly. It provided a distraction, though.

    I gripped the crystal sword in both hands and focused as best I could despite the chaos.

    “Long,” I whispered, “join me now. I need you!”

    The spirit of the dragon appeared at my side, a translucent green apparition with wings and horns. Following my will, she floated down between Nessa and Flint, one wing resting on each of them. Their wounds healed slowly as Long’s power flowed into them.

    “I’ve got them,” I hissed at Marv, staring across the plateau, “help Selima!” The Fallieni woman had run out of knives, and faced the tall demon single handed, her spear thrusting at his chest and face repeatedly. Arkboss seemed to be toying with her, using his tentacles of purple fire to parry each attack. The ginger giant let out a roar and raced to her aid. Between them they battled the demon, their feet splashing in the blood that had spilled from Dirk’s corpse.

  5. #15
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    Jake Narmolanya's Avatar

    GP
    7,593
    AP
    8
    Name
    Jacob (Jake) Narmolanya
    Age
    25
    Race
    Elf / Human
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone
    Marv gave a guttural growl with each swing of his mace, but his weapon was battered aside by the demon’s fiery tentacles. Opposite her leader, Selima worked her spear with swift determination, but worry shone in her dark eyes. The air crackled from the strikes of those purple flame whips, and blistering gashes appeared on Marv’s back where blows landed. Selima still proved elusive enough to avoid injury.

    “Fools,” Arkboss laughed, his voice surprisingly smooth, “you thought a mere ambush could best me?”

    I wanted to help them, but I needed to stay with Flint and Nessa until Long finished healing their wounds. The shimmering dragon pulsated and then released a wave of healing energy. I felt my stamina rejuvenated, and knew all of my allies would feel the same effect. Flint lifted his longsword, suddenly able to see, and rushed to rejoin the fight. Nessa was slower to recover; the wound on her neck had been severe.

    A portal opened in the air right next to me, its twin directly behind Arkboss. I hopped through and swung for his neck, a blow which would have cleaved the head from any man’s shoulders.

    The demon was no man. The purple aura seemed to offer it some protection, and its flesh was still as strong as any save that of an ancient dragon. My crystal sword was as sharp as mythril, and yet it only opened a small wound where it should have beheaded the being. I must have opened a vein though, for green blood spurted forth, soaking the front of my sifan jacket. I growled and poured my arcane potential into my sword, making it stronger, as sharp as adamantine. I stabbed for the demon’s core, but one of his purple tentacles parried me with embarrassing ease. Marv, Selima, Flint and I stood in a rough square around Arkboss, fighting for our lives, and we could barely land a blow.

    Suddenly a feathered arrow protruded from Arkboss’ neck. He turned, and the next shaft struck his shoulder, its mythril bodkin head puncturing aura and natural armor. Nessa was on her knees, bow held horizontally, firing as swiftly as she could. I reared back for another try at the demon’s neck, realizing we were about to win.

    Arkboss’ aura changed to green in the blink of an eye. He gave one last laugh and tossed two pulsating emerald fireballs. One arced toward Nessa. The other rose straight above him, but when it fell he was no longer there.

    I realized the bastard had teleported and opened a portal to a mountain ridge some hundred yards away. It appeared as a hole in the air behind Selima. I dove and pushed her through, rolling after her as the portal vanished behind me.

    The green fireballs struck.

  6. #16
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    Jake Narmolanya's Avatar

    GP
    7,593
    AP
    8
    Name
    Jacob (Jake) Narmolanya
    Age
    25
    Race
    Elf / Human
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone
    BOOM!

    The fireballs exploded in rough unison, creating a spray of fragmented stone. I threw myself on top of Selima and shielded my eye against the wave of dust that reached us a moment later. When I brought my hand down, there were only black scorch marks where Marvin and Flint had stood. The mouth of the tunnel had caved in, burying Nessa if the blast had not killed her.

    A long moment passed, in which the explosion echoed along the mountain range.

    “Get off me,” Selima growled, punching me in the ribs as she scrambled to her feet. “I could have helped them…” she trailed of as she saw the wreckage left by the demon’s green fire.

    Arkboss appeared back in the same spot I’d last seen him, looking around at his handiwork with a satisfied smirk. The gash I’d opened on his neck appeared to be healing already, the flow of green blood having already ceased.

    Selima let out a scream, something that might have been Fallieni words, or just a release of energy. She raised her spear and sprinted across the mountaintop toward the demon.

    “No!” I shouted, and opened a hole in the air to catch up to her. “Selima,” I panted as I came up behind her, almost close enough to grab her. “You can’t beat him. Let’s pull back and-”

    Arkboss saw the two of us grouped together and his grin widened. He drew his Alerian six shooters from holsters on his hips and fired a rapid succession of shots in our direction. Some of them went high and wide at such a range. The rest struck Selima in the chest. She was standing right in front of me. I caught her as she fell, lowering her gently to the ground, my sword hanging loose in one hand.

    “Long!” I shouted to the dragon spirit that lived within the crystal blade. “Breathe!”

    The dragon’s shimmering emerald head appeared above mine, and she exhaled a shower of wooden spikes in Arkboss’ direction. The demon holstered his guns and activated his black aura, the extreme temperature burning up the spikes before they could reach him. But at least it bought me a moment.

    “Hold on,” I said, preparing to lift Selima back up, “I’m getting you out of here.”

    “Jake,” she smiled as I lifted her head. “Don’t let the bastard go unpunished.” And then she died in my arms. I released her and stood up in time to see Arkboss draw his guns again and take aim. Adrenaline spiked in my bloodstream, and I screamed the only word I could think of. The word carved into my forearm.

    “Coward!”
    Last edited by Breaker; 12-10-2017 at 07:15 PM.

  7. #17
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    Jake Narmolanya's Avatar

    GP
    7,593
    AP
    8
    Name
    Jacob (Jake) Narmolanya
    Age
    25
    Race
    Elf / Human
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone
    “Fight me like a warrior would, blade to blade.” I cried. Tears stung my eyes for the valiant new friends I’d lost. If only I’d been better, I could have protected them. And now it was left to me to avenge them. As I approached the demon I saw what remained of the fallen hunters. Marvin’s skinning knife, forged of titanium, stood hilt-up embedded in the rock. It still glowed with the heat of the explosion, which had burned up everything else it touched.

    Arkboss’ aura shifted back to black and the fiery greatsword appeared in his hands.

    “If you can stand to approach me, I shall kill you however you like.” The demon spat. It took up a high guard as if expecting to behead me as easily as it had Dirk.

    Getting close to it was like wading into a bonfire. I feared my clothing would erupt, and my lone eye watered with the heat. It bit at my exposed fingers where they wrapped around my sword and threatened to sear my hair. Sweat sprang up from my flesh, all but evaporating beneath the fearsome temperature.

    I knew I had to finish the fight immediately, or else I would lose. I could not stand exposure to his aura for long. I surged forward and sent a salvo of stabs at the demon’s chest. He swept them aside with deft movements of his greatsword. I kept pressing, gritting my teeth against the heat and hacking at his legs and then his head. He deflected each blow, snarling at my speed and the surprising force I could deliver with a sword. He was good - perhaps even a master of the blade - but despite his years of experience, I had more tricks in my cap.

    As Arkboss staggered from the weight of my latest attack, balancing on his back leg, I spun and kicked the inside of his knee. He roared, keeping his balance somehow, but I was not finished. I struck upward, smashing his jaw with the crystal sword’s pommel, and then cleaved down. The final strike would have opened anyone else from throat to crotch. But even my keen blade only produced a small gash in the bastard’s chest. More green blood spewed on my jacket, and before my eyes the cut began to heal. I spun again, aiming another blow at the demon’s neck.

    “Stop.” I heard him speak the word, and heard it inside my mind, and my soul. I froze, despite every ounce of me wanting to hack his head off. “I tire of this,” Arkboss continued, rearing back. “You are a skilled fighter, but your mind is young and weak. You will stand there like a statue while I kill you, the last of this ill-construed hunting party.” He swung for my neck.

    “NO!” Somehow I tore my mind away from his grip, and ducked beneath his swing. Still, I could feel him scrabbling for control of my mind. If only I could kill him-

    His aura shifted again, back to purple, and the agile tentacles leaped forth. It was all I could do to turn them back with my sword, and my willpower was failing against his telepathic onslaught. I could not hope to fight him. Not alone. I knew of only one person who could.

    Fortunately, I thought I knew where to find him. I opened a portal in the air and leaped through, letting it snap shut behind me.

  8. #18
    Thayneslayer

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    Breaker's Avatar

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    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    29
    Race
    Demigod
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    Male
    Location
    Corone
    Alone in my dojo in the mountaintop village of Yutori, Akashima, I meditated. Suddenly a strong energy signature appeared behind me. I felt the crackle of magic as surely as one might feel a familiar handshake. It was a portal created by my friend and former student, Jake Narmolanya. I hadn’t seen him since he’d enlisted my help in hunting down the assassin Lichensith Ulroke, so it eased my mind to know the half elf still lived.

    “Jake,” I called from where I sat cross-legged in the middle of the sprung rywan floor. “What is it this ti-”

    “Josh!” His voice was frantic, flooded with emotion and adrenaline. “I’m being chased by a demon. Get up! I need your help!”

    “Jake,” I said patiently, “you can’t come running to me every time you-” I cut off as another energy signature appeared behind me, this one foreign. A second magic-wielder had teleported into the dojo. I still saw no reason to stand.

    “You fool,” the newcomer spat, his voice smooth but cruel, “did you not think I could follow you? And you fled to this-” he sputtered breathlessly - “wooden toy building? It will burn, with you and your friend there inside of it.” Demonic energy swelled behind me, confirming my suspicion that the newcomer was Haidian. He was drawing power to launch some form of fire-grenade. A green glow crackled in the darkness. The power draw took only a fraction of a second, like a trained boxer preparing to throw a punch. To someone like me, that time was all it ever took.

    As much as I didn’t want to clean up Jake’s mess, if my dojo burned, the village would likely go up with it. I could not allow that.

    I extended my body and stood as swiftly as a viper strikes. The demon saw me turn, and I saw him change his aim. Rather than aiming the crackling green fireball at Jake, he threw it straight at me.

    I spread my hands and stepped forward. The fireball struck my chest and I absorbed its energy like an elephant sucking up a single droplet of dew.

    “What?” The demon roared. “Who are you?” His eyes lit on the Y-shaped scars on my cheeks, and then on my patented black metal boots. ”NO!” He cried, attempting to seize control of my mind. His effort glanced off my defenses like a steel sword striking an adamantine shield. His green aura shifted to purple, and fiery tentacles leaped toward Jake and I.

    I drew on my connection with the ocean goddess Am’aleh, and a controlled wave of water appeared, surrounding the demon and coursing inward. His tendrils sizzled and vanished, the purple aura replaced by a black one that steamed the last of the water. Black scorch marks formed on the floor beneath the demon’s feet. I brought my hands together and sent a bolt of pure energy toward the semi-healed gash in his sternum. It struck with the force of a mythril-headed crossbow bolt, and he collapsed to one knee, his aura changing to red. Two lances of fire jetted toward me, but the demon’s mana was failing. I fizzled the lances with bursts of water and raised a menacing hand.

    “Leave now,” I said, pointing a callused finger between his eyes, “or the next bolt I fire will kill you.”

    The Haidian snarled and considered the firearms on his belt, but his aura dissipated and he teleported away with a snap of magic.
    Last edited by Breaker; 12-05-2017 at 04:05 AM.

  9. #19
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    Jake Narmolanya's Avatar

    GP
    7,593
    AP
    8
    Name
    Jacob (Jake) Narmolanya
    Age
    25
    Race
    Elf / Human
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone
    “Josh,” I exclaimed, “thank you. I’m so sorry about the floor. I’ll have it-”

    “Nevermind the floor, Jake!” Breaker replied, rounding on me angrily. I had never really seen him angry before, and it was pretty scary. His hazel eyes flashed and veins stood out on his forehead like a crown of thorns. “What if I had been teaching a class? You can’t just bring every demon who doesn’t die easy to my doorstep!”

    “I know,” I said, the adrenaline fading, regret rushing in to take its place. “I’m sorry. I swear I wasn’t being careless. I had a whole party with me, and they all-” I choked on the words and turned away to dash a sleeve across my eyes. “They all died. It’s up to me to avenge them.”

    “Look at me, Jake.” His tone was frustratingly patient, and yet had a hard edge to it. I turned and met his gaze. “I am not the instrument of your revenge. It is good to see you, but I wish it could have been under different circumstances…”

    “I thought you’d at least help me,” I interrupted, my cheeks coloring with anger. “Give me a lesson or something. Can’t you teach me to resist his telepathic attacks?”

    “I could,” Cronen frowned, “but it would take time, and I have other students, and other responsibilities to consider. And you left, Jake. You’ll always be a friend, but you’re no longer a pupil.”

    “Couldn’t I study under you on a sort of temporary basis?” I wheedled, but I knew it was no good even before he shook his head. I’d pushed Breaker too hard by showing up with Arkboss in tow. There would inevitably be push back. I mean, they call him Breaker.

    “I have several classes of full time students here. Most of them journeyed from far away to learn from me. I don’t have time to give you private lessons like I used to.”

    “Well then… maybe some advice? Come on Josh, you gave me that much when I wanted to go after Ulroke.” I felt empty on the inside. Devastated by the trauma of loss, and absolutely without direction. I had no idea how to best such a powerful demon.

    “Very well,” Breaker relented. “Tell me about this Haidian.” He sat cross-legged in the middle of the floor, facing away from me.

    “His name is Arkboss the Hunted.” I stepped to the paper-thin wooden wall and saw that Josh’s students had carved their names there with pins. Despite the fine Akashiman scrawl, most of the east wall was already covered. “The team I was with had a bounty for him. We were in the process of setting an ambush when he got the drop on us. We knew about his uses of fire, and the guns, and a few other things… but the telepathy caught me by surprise. I wasn’t strong enough to fight it. I had to run, and this was the only place… I knew I’d be safe. I’m sorry for coming. Maybe I should have just died like a warrior.”

    “It’s done,” Cronen said, almost indifferently. “Just don’t do it again.” He placed his hands on his knees and took a deep breath, straightening his spine. “One of my students who traveled from Radasanth recently mentioned a blood alchemist who has a shop in the city. I’d say you have more than enough of the demon’s ichor on your jacket for a skilled potion-maker to brew a draught that would make you resistant to the demon’s powers… at least temporarily.”

    I turned away from the wall of names. A fire as hot as Arkboss’ black aura burned within me. I had a new direction, a new purpose, a new chance. I drew on the Eternal Tap and prepared to conjure a portal to Radasanth.

    “Thank you, Josh. What’s the name of this shop?”
    Last edited by Breaker; 12-10-2017 at 07:24 PM.

  10. #20
    Senior Member

    EXP: 45,244, Level: 9
    Level completed: 13%, EXP required for next Level: 8,756
    Level completed: 13%,
    EXP required for next Level: 8,756


    Nevin's Avatar

    GP
    1,984
    AP
    3
    Name
    Nevin Aimaparapoiitis
    Location
    Corone
    A Single Drop:

    The sign above the door read "A Single Drop" in an elegant script, with a single green teardrop carved and painted into the wood beside the name. In Radasanth's underground network, this store had become known as a place where one could acquire a selection of poisons and antidotes, and even have custom crafted ones made, with no questions asked and no Guild interference. The proprietor was a redhaired man who seemed to always be working alone here,
    but he was polite to a fault when dealing with people. A few ruffians had tried taking advantage of the store, thinking that a single man couldn't be that intimidating - right until that bloody whip had bled them out, coiling around them and stabbing in with sharp barbs. Then the alchemist had cheerily given them a surface patch up, binding any wounds, and tossed them out onto the street once more.

    The interior of the store neat and orderly, and somewhat dark in the interior. This was due to the fact that the sources of light were small flames that burned in the corners of the room and a desk torch behind the counter - a minimum of light being provided, and a minimum exposed flame to keep any accidents from occurring. There were shelves along each wall, and in the middle of the room two standing shelf units. The two on the walls held a variety of bottles, some glowing on their own and others not, in a variety of colors - but also locked behind a mesh cage, to prevent anyone from just wandering off with one of the bottles. The shelves in the middle of the room held plants and small mineral samples, each labeled neatly with what they were - here, only one shelf was locked, and this one bore the outright poisonous substances, those things that were harmful even if ingested directly. Behind the low wooden counter - which held a ledger and a register - was a door, currently closed, that lead into the back of the store.

    This night had been fairly quiet for Nevin, the owner of the store. There had been a slight ruckus when he unveiled the fact that he could do blood based magical alchemy, drawing a few people, and chasing others away. But he simply treated it as another avenue of his business, and made a trade in providing his skill in drawing out some kind of quality inherent within blood that was brought to him. The concept had seemed a bit strange to people at first - until he sold a potion that captured the inherent ability to 'jump' brewed from several rabbits. The boy had been bounding on rooftops, cheerfully avoiding his parents for nearly an hour before the serum wore off. After that, he had seen an uptick in curious onlookers, those who wondered just what was going on with this strange man with the blood-red hair. A few people had tried calling him out, claiming that he had obviously rigged the potion - until he, fed up with the accusations - which he firmly believed were being generated by agents from the Alchemist's Guild that he was currently clashing with - until he had literally hunted down a deer, and dragged it kicking and screaming back into town. Literally, kicking and screaming, the thing had been terrified, and impaled on his barbed whip, so he couldn't blame it. Still. The rather blatant display afterwards, as he made a healing potion from the life force of the deer quelled any nay-sayers in the crowds. It also dried up the business from families who were looking for things for their kids, but he dealt with that as it came up.


    So now, he was currently rearranging the bottles that were arrayed in one of the cabinets on the side of the store. He had recently sold several potions and had to rebrew more, so he was taking this opportunity to clean up a little and reorganize his wares. Apparently there was a rash of 'Yellow Death' poisonings running around, so Nevin was making sure that the antidotes he sold to counter that particular toxin were closer to the front. He paused when the interior of his shop rang with the ring of the door chime. He honestly hadn't been expecting it at this point, with the night having gone by so peacefully. He quickly shut the shelf and turned towards the person walking into his shop - and his hand flew up, his magic coursing through him and shooting out towards the other man.

    The blood, the green ichor that was raging, furious and loud, along the half-elf's jacket, shot off, and hung in the air for a moment before compacting inwards, becoming a solid green rock that fell towards the ground. Nevin was rubbing the bridge of his nose, and desperately wishing that he wasn't working right this very second so he could pour himself a drink. Whatever the thing was that the blood had come from, it was inordinately powerful, and absolutely enraged. And it was making his head ache, as the chorus of his skin cried out loud, strident wordless songs.

    "I... would thank you kindly, not to dirty the store, sir. If you came in here with that, I presume you want me to do something with it? And what in the name of Crimson did it come from?" Nevin's tone was gentle, rebuking as he pointed with one slender, red-lined finger at the green 'rock' on the ground.
    - "We are born of the blood, made men by the blood, undone by the blood; Fear the old blood."

    Nevin: Formal, thoughtful, nurturing, bearer of tropey tentacles.

    "More threads! More! Threads for the Crimson Thread King!"
    Current threads: I give up on keeping this updates.

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