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Thread: [Open] Week 165: Ferocitas

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    [Open] Week 165: Ferocitas


    Ferocitas
    Unto the Black Portal, Phase Two - Krevati Evimerias



    A few miles from the shoreline began the assault on Krevati Evimirias. The majority of the Terminus attack force stormed ahead with zeal. They had benefitted from a few days of rest, as was apparent, but nothing could have prepared them for the sight ahead.

    Dead fields lead to ominous ruins beneath the ever-darkening shadow. That was their path. Haunting patterns of stone lined the outermost tier of the ancient city. And that was their destination. First, they had to cross the blackened wasteland before them and survive the horde of abominations that hungered for their slaughter.

    “Together!” one grizzled veteran shouted. Whether he was a mercenary or soldier, criminal or justicar, it mattered not. The force was united in mutual interest. Similar calls erupted throughout the legion and were met with reassuring response.

    Before them, the sea of twisted shapes held no such camaraderie. Each malevolent daemon, regardless of size, strode, slithered or soared towards their prey with selfish bloodlust. Except for one.

    The largest creature across the field was immediately noticeable, even recognisable to some. The dark-scaled draconic beast advanced ponderously, waves of ethereal heat shimmering permanently around its gigantic frame. The ram-like skull stared directly at the attackers that approached in the distance. Its jaws of bone opened and revealed a single large eye, surrounded by blood vessels. It had underestimated the tenacity of mortals once. It would not make the same mistake again.

    Atop the beast sat a figure, cloaked in black robes adorned with a red lining. They seemed unaffected by the heat. In fact, their weapon - a mace with a golden tint - seemed to emanate the same energy that the great dragon did.

    The beast spread its wings, flinging some lesser daemons with the sheer force of the draught. Crushing the landscape underfoot, it began to surge forward.

    [304]

    Note
    This thread is the plot mission for those attempting to breach the city of Krevati Evimirias.

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    Aeria was surrounded by a bristling forest of polearms. She'd joined in with the corps of contigeri who were aboard, feeling that it was the best place to be initially. One halberd was effective, but a whole hedge of them was truly an intimidating sight. It had taken her a while to remember how to function in a unit, rather than as an individual but she was starting to regain the spatial sense it took to operate effectively. As the cry went up, her company joined it in full voice.

    Now there was no more time for thought. As one, the halberds of the company were lowered into their ready positions. The gibbering tide of demons surged forward, commanded by a great demonic being. It was that being that terrified Aeria the most. It radiated an air of such unmitigated evil that fear made her legs turn to water. Gritting her teeth, she forced herself to focus, now it was time to fight their creatures in front of them.

    The group of lancers advanced, implacably marching forward. There was a moment when the demons roiled over them like a black tide, but with a collective roar they were thrown back. Dark blood spattered over Aeria and the two lancers on either side of her as their halberds bit into the flesh of the creatures. The weapons were lowered and again the contigeri surged forward, slamming the next wave of demonic creatures back, holding them impaled for a moment before they were cast aside. As a unit, the warriors began driving a wedge into the swirling morass of demonic bodies.

    [269]

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    Ignis paled at the sight of the dragon. Couldn’t it have just stayed in Infernalis where it belonged? She groaned under her breath, “Not that thing again.” She wondered how they would manage to subdue the beast and the mysterious figure riding it without suffering terrible casualties.

    Dread weighed heavily in the pit of her stomach, making the red feathered woman a bit queasy. Amicus shivered within the cloak she wore. The rallying cries surrounding her did little to ease the feeling the dragon inspired in Ignis.

    “We should really make sure that dragon goes down fast. That’s the same beast I fought during the initial attacks. It nearly killed us all on its own, who knows what it could do with backup. Its eye was a weak point, but we have to take out that cloaked guy. They weren’t there last time, but I know whoever they are, they’re bad news.”

    A few of the men and women around her nodded, faces grim.

    “Then we’ll make sure the beast falls quickly,” a woman with a scar enhancing her severe expression said. The laicar was one of the higher ups among this section of ranged fighters. The details of her rank and the specific name of the group had escaped Ignis’ notice, but the enlil had managed to pay just enough attention to remember the woman’s name.

    “I can get us in the air,” Ignis offered.

    “Good. You’re with us,” the laicar woman, Laurel, responded gruffly.

    Then, the battle began.

    The clang of claws against metal weapon and gunfire engulfed them all. Screeches and battle cries added to the chaos.

    Laurel barked orders above the din, ordering people nearby to gather round.

    Ignis waved a hand and Amicus summoned a shield.

    “I can take two people with me,” the enlil shouted.

    “Dianette! Join us!” Laurel ordered.

    A younger velen woman climbed onto the platform with Ignis and Laurel. Then, they began their perilous ascent, speeding along above the fighting on the ground.

    [332]

    Dys <3

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    Below, the battle continued to rage on. Though aided by ranged support the front lines of the righteous invaders suffered immense pressure from the forces of brimstone and darkness, who's goal was not simply to repel, but bring pain.

    Their intent to deride pleasure from torturing their combatants should have made their movements easier to exploit, but even here on the battlefield the sheer savage cruelty of their attacks shook the warriors.

    At the edge of the hotspots closer to the draconic demon, Aelflead fought admist a tightly bound circle of mercenaries trying to force their way through the walls of Infernalis' aggressors to their obvious commander. Killing the dragon would raise morale they hoped, and drop what looked to be their enemies' largest threat. the idea seemed more than reckless to the group as a whole, but with some deal of frantic shouting and cajoling in between the rip and tear of combat, Aelflead's sharp tongue was enough to push the short fused demvir in leading them wherever she wanted. Albeit grumbling the whole way.


    [176/176]
    Last edited by Pacman100; 06-02-2017 at 03:11 PM.
    Look, the way I see it you can go down the cliff two ways. You can walk down, or I can push you down. Its your choice, I don't care as long as I get paid.
    -Aelflead Kriastes

    Quick! Look over there! I promise it's important!
    ~Gwendolyn Noname

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    The flight of the enlil and her companions didn’t go unnoticed by the misshapen mass of the demonic army. One of the batallion commanders raised a long, gnarled arm and howled out a stream of twisted syllables in command. Out of the seething crowd of horrors, three winged shapes detached themselves and rose to meet Ignis and her passengers.

    The creature in the lead had a head like a nightmare squid, sharp beak clacking in the midst of a halo of slime-drooling tentacles, wings like a film of mucus and a body equipped with four razor tipped double clawed limbs. The two lesser demons were insectile, like some eldritch hybrid of ants and spiders, equipped with filmy wings. Their mandibles dripped with acid, steaming as it fell and struck the demons beneath it.

    The two insect-like demons split to flank Ignis while the massive squid-headed beast flung itself directly at her. Tentacles with their sharp suckers shot out, seeking to enfold Ignis and tear into her flesh, trying to draw her into that deadly beak. The demons that had split dove for her passengers with a high-pitched chittering that bored into their ears.

    [193/462]

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    The drone that had been hovering after Ignis whirred and fired several shots at one of the insectile demons as soon as it was in range. Ignis fired her pistol at the other. In the same breath she ducked the tentacles that had gotten far too close for comfort out of reflex. One of the tentacles managed to slap across her back, eliciting a stinging sensation.

    Ignis grit her teeth and cursed the low quality of her gun.

    Fortunately, Laurel and Dianette were equipped with better weaponry.

    “Don’t stop advancing!” Laurel shouted, thrusting her hands out in front of her. A triangle of metal appeared in front of the older woman’s palms. The soldier struck the back of the portal to send a thin, green bolt of energy at the demon Ignis shot at.

    Amicus peeked out of Ignis cloak and tried to swerve around the demons just after Laurel’s attack fired. The platform yanked back, unbalancing the trio a bit but earning them a bit of space.

    Dianette remained silent, a ponytail of bright pink cartilage swishing against her back as she took aim with her dahilitium rifle. “Patience,” she mumbled to herself just as her mentor had taught her. She lined up the shot with swift efficiency, holding the but of the firearm securely between her cheek and shoulder.

    The light blue velen pulled the trigger, launching a shot at the squid demon’s body with a loud bang!


    A group of four imps made their way through the crowd and gave a high cry as they ran at Aeria and the fighters with her. One imp raised a small battle axe and swung it at the spurii’s knees.

    The other two launched themselves at the soldiers to Aeria’s immediate right and left while the third tried to slip through the crowd and circle the halberd bearing woman to attack from behind.

    [313/645]

    Attack information

    5 tier attack from Cora aimed at one of the insectile demons
    2 tier attack from Ignis aimed at the other insectile demon + 1 tier attack from Laurel
    3 tier attack from Dianette aimed at the squid
    treat the imps as 2 tier attacks each

    Dys <3

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    There was something simultaneously terrfiying and comical about the imp swinging its axe at her knees. Aeria easily leaped over the axe, landing again and swinging her halberd in a vicious arc. The cutting edge of the blade caught the imp and sheared it in half, flinging it away dead. Ichor splattered her and she coughed and gagged at the disgusting smell.

    On either side of her, the other contigeri thrust back into the creatures, impaling one and tearing the other’s arm off. The third one dodged and ducked, moving through the thicket of weapons, trying to get in.

    Aeria kicked it in the face, lashing around to hook it with the halberd, just under the arm. She lifted it and flung it even as the other contigeri struck it with their weapons. Again the ranks closed, the weapons were set and the warriors faced another charge.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Cora’s shots were dodged by one of the two insect-demons, but the second one was struck in the torso and the wing. It made an awful high squeal and began to spiral downwards out of the sky. The second one veered and flew directly at Cora, but Ignis’ pistol shot thumped into it and flung it sideways, tearing chunks out of its chitinous armor. It made a noise, not as horrible as the first, veering away but it was caught by Laurel’s attack and now it screamed, oozing black blood and dropping uncontrollably back into the seething mass below.

    The squid-faced creature was unbalanced by Amicus pulling back, but quickly compensated for the change in movement. However, it was not as able to accomplish the same thing when Dianette fired. The bullet plowed with a gelid squashing noise into the creature’s body. It had clearly wounded it, but it wasn’t fatal. Again it shot out tentacles, aiming right at Ignis’ chest, groping towards Amicus.

    As it did so, the four sharp limbs were also brought to bear. One lashed towards Dianette while the other sought to impale Laurel, aimed right at her throat in a deadly attack.

    [344/806]

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    Cora fired rapidly at the squid as soon as the first insectile demon had gone down.

    Amicus saw those awful tentacles and felt Ignis’ rising panic. He pulled and the plat form jerked backwards and dropped fast, plummeting more harshly than even gravity would have pulled it on its own.

    Ignis cried out as she no longer felt the support of the magical shield beneath her.

    Dianette fired another shot at the demon even as she fell. Unlike Ignis, the velen had been trained for combat and knew how to stay focused.

    The platform shifted and curled into a tight ball around its passengers before the free fall stopped abruptly, slamming everyone against the bark and vines.

    A groan escaped Laurel, whose eyes were squeezed shut.

    “Laurel!” Dianette rushed over to her commander on her hands and knees. She ripped fabric from her pant leg and grabbed the older woman's punctured hand.

    Laurel grunted in pain as her subordinate tightly wrapped the wound. The older woman had been injured before, but the sight of that hole torn in her hand made her feel queesy and light headed. Perhaps that was related to the rapid blood loss she face. Still, it was better than letting her throat be pierced. The laicar only wished she has been faster about casting a spell to repel the demon’s attack.

    The pain started to fade much more quickly than expected.

    Laurel looked over and saw the mons infans sticking out of the pale woman's cloak, one glowing, branchy hand reached toward her. The battle hardened laicar sighed in relief.

    Dianette followed the older woman's gaze when she noticed the flow of blood coating her fingers had stopped. She smiled in relief.

    “You're a life saver…” the younger officer said breathlessly, feeling giddy because of rapidly healing wound.

    “I don't really like seeing people hurt and neither does Amicus… that won't take care of everything I--”

    Dianette waited for the young vigilante to continue, vaguely aware of the sticky blood drying on her hands, which were still clasped around Laurel's injured palm.

    Ignis’ eyes felt dry and the avian realized she hadn't blinked. She felt her eyes flutter rapidly a few times. The engineer lifted her face, anticipating more violence. This was only the beginning.

    The leaves and vines of their cocoon thinned some, creating a few windows for the three women to peer out of.

    Ignis’ glassy eyes, moved back in forth rapidly in search of their foe.

    Dianette reclaimed her rifle.


    Although Aeria and the other members of contigeri made quick work of the three imps, five more showed up to take their places. The small demons attempted to insert themselves between the ranks to cause chaos while a larger threat swooped down from above.

    A leathery winged creature with wrinkly skin and a gnarled face descended. This creature wore leather armor which deflected glancing blows as it deftly swerved around warriors with swords, polearms, and spears. In its clawed hands, the gargoyle gripped a broadsword. It swung the blade, cutting into some unfortunate man’s arm at the shoulder then pulled away to plunge the blade into the abdomen of a fighter next to Aeria.

    Blood spattered the demon’s armor and painted its twisted grin red as it ripped the blade from the soldier and swung again, chuckling loudly.

    Meanwhile, a couple imps rushed Aeria from opposite sides, brandishing long blades.

    [567/1212]
    Dys <3

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    More of Cora’s shots peppered the squid creature, tearing into it. Even as the platform dropped, it hooked tentacles around the guarding leaves and branches. It tried to tear them open as Ignis finished healing Laurel. The grip was weaker than it had been as the bullets that hit it had their effect. Black and blue blood oozed from the pockmarks. A smarter creature might have gone for Cora, but this thing was bloodthirsty and fueled by rage at its attackers. Its focus wouldn’t waver from them until they died.

    It threw itself at the mons infans guarding shield again, hissing, but it wasn’t so easy to penetrate. This would give the fighters an opening if they could exploit it. Even as they did so, a shadowy shape began extracting itself from the throng below. Their respite would be short-lived.



    A swipe from Aeria’s halberd flung the attacking imps aside, but her focus was already on the gargoyle facing the lancers. She shouted at them, taking control. “Back up! Everyone back!”

    The contigeri, responding as they’d been trained, all drew back quickly. They had no time to mourn those who had been killed, there was only enough time to put an end to the attack. The hedge of polearms bristled as they readied for their next attack.

    From that hedge, Aeria drove forward, a scream of defiance howling from her lips. This bastard wasn’t taking her people without a Vis-damned fight!

    Using a skill honed after many hours of hard practice and equally hard fighting, the spurii feinted to the left, misdirecting the creature as it shifted in that direction and then jamming the blade of her halberd into its flank, tearing leathery flesh and making a sound like a butcher’s cleaver as it thunked in. Screaming still, she ripped the blade free and readied for another attack.

    Around her, the thicket of blades surged forward again, a battle chant on the lips of all the warriors.

    [327/1133]

    Combat Note
    Aeria used Feint


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    "Keep walking!" Went the commanding screams of self-appointed and elected leaders on the battlefield. Urging their comrades to carve deeper into Krevati's forces with their will alone while they trudged step after step over the corpses of their friends.

    While mortals fought for the sake of their world and their fallen brothers, their enemies laughed in their faces. Spewing hexes and curses among taunts while their very opposition desecrated the bodies of their victims. Weapons used by this dark army that were lost or thrown away in jest were replaced with the bodies and limbs of those fallen and used as grisly, demoralizing bludgeons against their playthings.

    Headway and progress were being made however, pockets of the beach had been claimed thanks to the combined efforts of the ragtag invading force. Meanwhile, the small group of fighters on their way to the dragon had been caught up to by the main force's cannoneers whose wide shots led them. Aelflead stood bare handed, having lost her massive auritium blade somewhere behind her and neglecting to retrieve it or chance being struck down while she drew the blade on her hip. This was hell, and while the shoulder wound she'd took before was still closed thanks to the healers aboard the ship, others had gathered on her slowly to make up for it. She just hoped the dragon didn't plan on blasting it's own forces into ashes with her and the others.


    [239/415]
    Look, the way I see it you can go down the cliff two ways. You can walk down, or I can push you down. Its your choice, I don't care as long as I get paid.
    -Aelflead Kriastes

    Quick! Look over there! I promise it's important!
    ~Gwendolyn Noname

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