Quest Loot runners #6 We found a darker place

Farzad Oldsummer

Dungeon Delver D.D.
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The wind screamed cold, the air felt frosted and the breath turned placid and white. His fingers were numb as fear laced his breath. He had seen the world, will see the world and was yet to see anything that brought more fear and pause on his breath than this. Magic was unnatural but common. This was unnatural and uncommon. Bringing to light the magic compass. It was unfortunate. The thing pointed directly at the branching. "Of.... Oh wonderful..." There was a stammer and pause as he shook the compass. It still pointed directly at it. He narrowed his eyes, took a deep breath and exhaled the vapor as it closed it's distance at it's monotonous pace.

Constant. Monotonous. Pace.
"So. Buddy. Friend." Farzad stated at the thing as it moved closer, he had started to move back, an air quicker than it as he opened the glass cabinet of his lantern, pouring a few more droplets of oil into it as the light flared for a few bustling seconds. "I was going to ask. If you had more." He had answered it himself. They were there in the distance. They were like tiny Pill Bug's, small wrapped and coiled balls far off in the overbearing brustle of leaves and muted colour, only seen due to their unnatural unglow. The way they absorbed light like twisting pitcher shaped unlights growing closer and sucking out the life around them. "But hey presto. You've got just..." His words struck like venom, harsh biting in his words as he overemphasized and drew his words out long and stretched.

"Just got a million friendos."
 

Wallace Grimley

The Walking Bazaar
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NORTH


Now ya see, harpies ain't the prettiest thing to look at, but them feathers catch a fair price and sure enough an even fairer price to certain somebodies who're lookin' for 'em. Wallace couldn't tell ya what happened to his last batch that was supposed to be comin' in to Elbion other than some jackass done mucked it up. So here's the deal: catch wind of this little thing goin' on with that famous ol' wizard Grangomelle, figure some rare loot ought to spice up sales, and oh wouldn't ya know it. Harpies. Up north in this spooky ass forest.

So that was where Wallace would be heading. North. Yeah, sure, that queer wooden box was awful mysterious and might even fetch a nice price to some collector, but that wasn't even the cake anymore--that was the icing. Gettin' them harpy feathers along the way was the real prize. He was poised to make some coin off of this here little venture or his nickname wasn't The Walking Bazaar, heh heh.

* * * * *​

'Course, Wallace goddamn sure as hell didn't listen to that part about the ravine and the climb down. Some other folks already done got down there and from what Wallace could hear, they'd some company from the local harpies and their valuable feathers.

Turned out though that ol' Wallace wasn't alone up here still. He stood on the precipice of the ravine, thinking how much of a sumbitch it was gonna be to climb back up this thing later, when a casual glance around revealed a shadowy figure comin' through the forested mists: Zaid Ardin.

Wallace gave a wave, brought his hands back to hold the lapels of his coat, and said, "Hey there, shtranger." His rural accent was thick and his 's' sounds came out as 'sh' sounds.

"You like coin, frien'? Name'sh Wallish. Wallish Grimley. Lemme tell you shomethin': I'm here to grab me shome feathersh from them mean ol' flappin' nashtiesh down there. Maybe you ain't, maybe you is too. Whatchu shay we watch each other'sh back, eh? Grab shome of them feathersh yershelf and friend I'll show you how to make shome quick coin in Elbion with 'em. Whaddoya shay?"

Zaid Ardin
 

Azulian

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Azulian sighs, “Makes me wish I was actually on the field more... then I’d probably know more other then the stuff from the books.” She whispers to Willis readying a fire spell in her hands.

“If marking their territory’s with bodies is normal then I don’t know what it among monsters.” She tells him then looks at him with curious puppy like look.

“Mind if I come on some more of your field missons?” She asks Willis, “Provided I can and am avaliable.”
 
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Smiling One

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Azulian Willis chuckled. "You do gotta get out more, there's a world that needs to be explored. If you wanted to go with me on missions all you needed to do was ask."

The young man smirked at the red headed Elf. "Just nag a little less when we're out there okay?" he said. "Just a little?"

Azulian was a powerful mage but her spells were geared towards defense rather than attack. If anything, she would rather pull back and give the Monster Hunters support which is welcomed but the only time Azulian got her hands dirty was taking care of injured Monster Hunters. Willis knelt down examining the Dwarven skeletons. "Leshens don't use corpses to mark their territories." he said getting up. "They use live animals usually Ravens and a large stick for them to sit on."
 

Azulian

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Azulian chuckles, “Yeah but someone gotta nag you guys. Gotta let you guys know someone worries for you all in the background, I do kind of view you all as my children in a way.” She tells the human.

The elf looks at the skeletons also and looks at the road ahead of them. “Then these dwarves were probably killed by whatever is peotecting that book I assume.” She mumbles and quickly walks ahead.
 
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Willis rolled his eyes. "Thanks Mom," he snorted as he continued to observe the foggy field. There was something that felt off about this place, the hairs of the young man's hairs on his neck stand up.

"Judging by the looks of these Dwarves, they look like soldiers," Willis said scratching chin and crossing his arms. "Dwarves aren't known to be that in tuned with magic, it looks like a battle has taken place."
 

XoChitl

The Knave
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NORTH - Brock

The multiple screeches as well as the sudden flapping of wings startled the Raev, prompting her to try and tuck herself out of sight. Her large furred ears gave a sensitive twitch. Sure enough, big green guy managed to get himself right into the thick of things. A small sliver of dread and shiver of alarm at how large those flying creatures were made her glad that their focus was on him instead of her.

At least they hadn't spotted me, XoChitl thought to herself with mild relief. Should she feel guilty that her plan basically had someone else sacrifice themselves up? Maybe? Nah. When her kind killed magical creatures as part of a coming of age ceremony to steal their magical abilities for themselves, having someone else die for her gain didn't really prick her conscious. It was just life.

Plus, those three-inch-long, black dipped claws that would rake against the too-small shield the big green guy had were intimidating enough. As the other two harpies' wings spread wide to dive down at Brock, Xo considered what was her best plan of attack. Attack being slipped past the fight. There seemed to only be the makeshift road ahead, and risking going deeper into the forest might either get her lost or be bothered with more harpies.

What if there were more after this? Eyes wide, she considered the possibility of potentially being able to deal with three harpies by herself. It didn't look good.

Ugh.

With a curse under her breath, the Raev realized she was stuck. The big green guy couldn't pass to the nether yet.


With a wave of her wrist, the Raev summoned the energy that manifested itself into three, glowing, magenta feathers.

Time to dance.

With a flick of her wrist, she sent power charged feathers to the closest harpy, intending to strike it in its chest. Its claws had already come reaching down to attempt a strike at Brock's head, those inky black nails as sharp as daggers, the banshee-like screen loud enough to make one's ears ring and shake in horror.
 
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Zaid Ardin

Undying Assassin
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North

Zaid wasn't a man who was squeamish or faint of heart, but something about this mist set him off in all the wrong ways, and when he finally stumbled across someone - even if that someone looked more merchant than mercenary - he was glad. They were a face that wasn't a harpy or anything else... more unnatural.

Nevertheless, his hand wrapped around the hilt of his sword. He knew better than anyone that looks could be deceiving, and this man may well still have more than a few tricks up his sleeve that would rather see Zaid dead.

His eyes narrowed as the man offered him a deal that... didn't have anything to do with the current hunt. He wasn't above trying to double dip in his success and paused a moment.

Feathers, he stated flatly. That seemed easy enough, but he doubted it would be so easy.

I'm still going after that... he started to say, but never got past the start of the sentence when he caught something from the corner of his eye. A wispy figure that looked to be as much mist as humanoid moved through the fog only to vanish a moment later. A wind picked up but rather than the chill of the forest, it felt... hot. Unnatural.

He almost asked if the other man had seen it as well, but didn't. Instead, he moved toward where he had seen the apparition-like creature a moment ago and tried to keep the other man in his gaze as well.

There was nothing. Simply the edge of the ravine, it appeared.

We need to get down there, he said, glancing over at the man to see how he felt about climbing or whether they would have to find another path down.

Wallace Grimley
 

Brock

Half-orc squire
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NORTH

XoChitl

Pain flashed across his shoulder. Claws meant for his throat raked across his skin. Brok saw the flash of light, heard the impact. The harpy fell just beyond his head, thrashing around on the ground.

The second one came for him. Brok didn't know how best to fight them, but he knew he was fighting for his life now. On instinct his snatched its trailing leg as it passed over him.

Brok was lifted to his feet. He planted his boots into the soil. The harpy didn't have the wingspan to lift him from the ground and his grip was like iron.

He swung the harpy downwards towards the ground. There was a crack as its wing snapped. Brok had lost his sword. Instead he lifted his shield and slammed it down, rim first. It struck the harpy across the back of the head. The beast went quite still.

The orc look around. There was still one harpy and someone who had come to his aid. He could not spot either.
 

Azulian

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Azulian chuckles at being called mom, "No nagging, unless you do something completely stupid like jump off a waterfall and end up with a broken leg." She tells Willis, "Healer's word."

The elf smiles some and casts a light spell for Willis and it hung over his head, "Just in case we get separated or something." She continues and then stops and blinks a few times pointing at something far in the distance. Forgetting that Willis might not be able to see that far. The fog obscured it and the sound of branches creaking in the wind startup.

Smiling One
 
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Smiling One

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Willis chuckled at Azulian's response being a Monster Hunter meant taking a lot of risks. There's a reason why it was said that it takes a special kind of madness to be a Monster Hunter. "We'll see about that Azulian," the young man said while ruffling her red hair.

The Elf casted a light around Willis, the same ball of light that she summoned for herself. Azulian explained that it was a failsafe in case they get separated. "Sounds like a plan," Willis said thrumming his fingers around his Cutlass. He still couldn't shake off that feeling that they were being watched. "Let's keep moving and find this damn tome."

Azulian
 

Azulian

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Azulain closes her eyes as Willis rubs her head. It was an odd feeling to say the least. "You know what I mean."

"No, Willis."
She grabs Willis's wrist, "There is something up there. I know you don't see in the dark and all this as well as I can but there is something up there, I don't know what." She says preparing a fireball in her hand as she let go and let them both approach the figure.

The closer they got Azulian readies her arm and the thing does not move towards them but looks back at them.

Crreeeeeeee

The body moves and the terrible sound of creaking come from it and the creature's antlers hung in the air
 
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The young man could see a silhouette lumbering around the fog and in the distance the sounds of crows were heard as Willis saw a flock pass by them above. His heart began to beat a little faster hearing Azulian summon her fireball. "That my dear Azulian," Willis said unsheathing his Cutlass. "Is a Leshon."



The Wood like Monster dispersed the fog descending from the cliff and landed on to the ground Its long wooden talons sinking deep in to the moist field. "Spread out!" Willis sidestepped from the redheaded Elf as a spiky branch sprang up from the field and began to attack them.
 

Azulian

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Azulian jumps out of the way of the attacks made by the Leshon and throws her fireball at it and touches its branches with a flaming hand.

The Leshon lets out an ear-splitting sound of many trees falling and the loud sound of whistling winds but it ducks out of the way of the fireball and Azulian clenches her grip. Quickly putting it out before it catches something else alight.

Smiling One
 
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XoChitl

The Knave
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NORTH - Brock

One Harpy down.

There was a self-satisfied smirk that went dancing across the Raev’s face. Purple tipped claws went curling inwards, summoning the sharp feathers back into her hand, returning the energy she had expended, but a little bit lingered around the woman. Magic couldn’t be contained for long, and at times it would seep outward, wanting to ebb and flow in its natural existence. The cloak she wore made from the magical predatory bird allowed her to regulate her innate magic as well as that of the deceased creature. By all accounts, it’s death meant she could enhance her use of magic.

Afterall, magic has a price.

The loud thump and struggle caught her attention. Big green guy had decided to try and grab one harpy’s leg, only to go plummeting to the ground with it. One shield to the face and a distinctive crack.

Yeouch! XoChitl gave an internal grimace. She could relate to how that might feel. Her bones were hollow, making her light but also easily breakable with hard hits.

Just then, a savage banshee like cry pierced overhead. Great wings would flap, this time moving straight at her.

“Oh bollocks,”. She cursed, vertical eye skits expanding only to try and roll out of the way, her feathered cloak providing the only protection that prevented her back from getting scraped.
 

Smiling One

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The Leshon recoiled in pain retracting one of the spiky branches. Willis managed to deflect a strike from the branch that was in his direction. Flecks of wood landed on his cheek as steel collided against the creature's natural defense. "The Leshon's weakness is fire!" Willis shouted at the red headed Elf. "Keep hitting it!"

He locked eyes with the Leshon who stood up tall towering over the Monster Hunters and it raised it's wooden arms high in the air. Howls were heard around Willis and Azulian as three packs of Wolves emerged from the Fog. "Leshons can summon animals forest" Willis muttered looking at Wolves. "Be careful!"
 

Azulian

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EAST

Azulian watches as the wolves emerge from the forest around them. She looks around them and then uses her two pointer fingers to draw a circle in the air.

After a few quick words in elvish, the area around them and the Leshon caught alight with fire, but it did not spread like a wildfire. It still felt hot from this distance but would not burn her nor Willis, it would burn their enemies, however.

The elf would fire two more fireballs at the Leshon, one hitting it in its chest and the other going after one of the wolves.

Smiling One
 
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The woodland creature stumbled back engulfed by the flames while the Wolves continued to bark and growl at the flames in front of them unable to get past it. Willis rifled through his items taking out an explosive knife and hurled the weapon towards the burning Leshon. "HERE'S A LITTLE GIFT FOR YOU!" Willis shouted as the Knife made its mark on the monster and immediately exploded taking the Leshon with it.

"Did I get it?!" Willis couldn't make out the dust and grime. "That should've killed the damn thing!"

Azulian
 

Azulian

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EAST

Azulian coughs some as the dust drifted around and she waves it away. She looks up and sees that not much remained of the Leshon.

"Seems like you got it." She says as the wolves ran off scared off by the explosion.

"Would've been nice to have a warning at least." The elf chuckles rubbing her ears as she drops the fire surrounding them and heads off again making sure the Leshon was absolutely no more. The fog very quickly took over the area of the explosion again.

"Wanna race?" She asks Willis somewhat jokingly.

Smiling One
 
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Smiling One

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The Wolves dispersed due to the noise caused by the exploding knife but something didn't feel right to Willis. Leshon's were durable monsters, he remembered it took more than one exploding knife to kill a Leshon even if it was doused by fire. "Sorry about that," Willis muttered sheathing his Cutlass and seeing that the fog was still as thick as ever. "Let's stay cautious," he said to the Elf. "Don't want any ambushes sprung."

Azulian
 
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An elf? Trovik rolled his eyes, not one those pompous pricks he thought to himself while he continued to search the fog, not bothering to comment on the human's promise, it wasn't something Trovick to do he was more simple, he would just kill you if the betrayal was serious enough, simply cut them down where they stand rather than the thing the human describe.

The horse had started to produce a noise that grated from its throat, It was no different from the animals his clan kept, the primal quality of it could only mean one thing, fear. it knew what was out there.

Trovik muscles were tense, coiled and ready like a snake ready to strike its prey. he caught movement in corner of his eye, on instinct he spun and cut at the movement. to finding nothing, frustrated snort escaped his nostrils. "show yourself you cowering beasts" he shouted out into the mist.

Nefieslab Zier Xya Zythos
 

Wallace Grimley

The Walking Bazaar
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NORTH


Zaid looked at something. Interrupted what he was going to say and looked at something. Wallace half-turned his head and flicked his eyes in that direction too. Didn't see anything. Well, if there were three things Wallace didn't like, it was fog, forests, and fog in forests. These in addition to all of the other shit Wallace didn't like, 'course, heh heh.

Such as climbing.

We need to get down there.

"I hear ya, I hear ya," Wallace said. "Good to have ya on board, as they shay. Besht get to it then. Shaw a couple of othersh gone up north. I ain't one for hurryin' if ya can't tell, but yer ol' buddy Wallish can hushtle when need be."

He glanced about. Eyes finding the spindly and ancient roots of a tree that grew near the edge of the ravine he'd spotted a bit earlier.

He went over to them. Rubbed his hands together and turned about and prepared to start climbing down. Said to Zaid, "If I ain't hearin' shit, shounds like them othersh already in the thick of it. Free feathersh is free feathersh though, heh heh. And a clear path'll be nice..."

Wallace grunted as he lowered his massive form down over the edge of the ravine, gripping mightily onto the sturdy overgrown roots as if they were thick ropes.

"...after thish climb down. Ah. Sonuvabitch."

Despite his complaining, Wallace descended down the roots arm under arm. Full beads of sweat dotting his forehead once he reached the floor of the ravine's depths.

Zaid Ardin (( Brock XoChitl ))
 

Zier Xya Zythos

Let's Be Honest, My Title Is Dumbass.
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A fucking minotaur? Like a few species he's seen, this is a first. Where do you even find one? Falwood? Alexios might as well have three or four other parters in one with the size this Minotaur occupies. He can't even assume that it'd be impossible for Trovik to do what his partner claims...

"Works for m-" He stopped as the horse became apprehensive. ...They're coming. He repositioned his footing, tightening his grasp on the swords hilt, listening in disquietude. Silhouettes streaked nearby, and he swore he heard whisper. I wish it was the normal vampric strain...

"show yourself you cowering beasts" he shouted out into the mist.
It did show itself, eagar to make Zier it's first victim. He heard it, the distinct whistling noise of a sharp object slicing through the air. The vampire had swung it's claws at him, but the elf dropped to the ground, using his hands to support him as he delivered a leg sweep, but to his dismay, he caught nothing but open fog. "Fucking bastards." He said in vexation as he stood up, taking the same stance as before. This fog is going to be an issue.

Trovik Half-horn Alexios Marxan
 

Farzad Oldsummer

Dungeon Delver D.D.
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South
Time in this damn forest was lost. He became smaller and smaller as the treeline grew encroaching and deeper, the starlight becoming rare graces in the perpetuated darkness. The moonlight nothing more than faint trickles in the intricate web and weave of leaves and branches. The pillbug branchlings as he was calling them were scattering and skittered along the floorline, where Farzad jumped a knocked over tree, they flowed through it. Where Farzad ran through thickets of bush and shrub, they flowed through it. Where Farzad jumped and bounded over a small crack in the earth. They flowed through it. They were unstoppable. And Farzad was growing frustrated.

Why haven't they caught me... It swung in his mind like a metremone, back and forth at ad nauseam. He crossed over a fallen over trunk. They were there. Watching. Waiting. He threw another pint of oil into his lantern. At this rate he didn't even have time to check for any hollowed out stumps. Just trying to keep ahead of the damn things. "Do you seriously! Seriously have nothing better to do!" He had turned a heel to stare the formless creations, his eyes flashed a myriad of colours, ancient edicts scrawled on his body flared with arcane rage and burning sensation. "I have a goddamn mission to achieve and you are making this, a rather tiresome, rather boring and overall a rather tedious job because you lot re-" Blink and you miss it. He felt the darkness crawling at his back. It came again, he lost track of a single one and all he could do was trip and fall. A single misstep, and he was being consumed in the darkness as he watched it. He almost caught a glimpse of it's form. Something came out though. Something to memory. A... A limb... No... A... an actual branch... It was all he could think of in that encroaching darkness, he felt like he fell for an eternity as it mocked him. It's hand outstretched to where he was standing. He noticed. Again, just a hair from missing his head.

Crack...Snap...Creakkk

He felt nothing but pain. And the lights going out. The world...


It grew a shade dark.
 
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Zaid Ardin

Undying Assassin
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Agreed, he said with a nod as Wallace said they should get moving. He was glad to see that he and his partner seemed to be of one mind on how to approach this, and Zaid waited a moment as Wallace began to climb down. He cast his eyes around once more, trying to figure out what he had seen in the mist, but decided that there was either nothing or at least nothing present anymore.

After another moment, he swung his leg over the edge and began his descent down the vines as well. At first, everything seemed fine and their descent - while perhaps not pleasant - wasn't filled with issues.

That was until about the halfway point.

At first, Zaid thought the sounds he was hearing were in his head or a trick of the echoing ravine. It was a rustling sound as if people brushing past one another accompanied by a sound like a sword tapping against stone.

The sounds grew louder the further they descended, until the source of the noise became evident. With a sudden screech, a hand plunged through the layer of vines to Zaid's side. Its fingers were long, slender and looked diseased. Talon-like nails extended out and swiped wildly in an attempt to grab or shove his arm that held him to the wall.

Then another hand and another, attempting to reach or push the pair of climbers free of the wall and send them tumbling to their deaths. Wallace Grimley
 
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