The Tower of Druaga (Game Thread)

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Prail didn't really understand any of what Aleister had said.
She looked at Amanda her eyes trying to ask if she had any idea what Aleister was on about.
Prail looked back to the picture.
She may or may not have got the meaning but since Lallowens practiced communal parenting she didn't realise the significance.
She tried to draw a diagram to show the Lallow version.
It showed a lallow with eggs in place of their tail pods. Then a pile of eggs and then a crowd of Lallowens.
Then she asked a question.
Why I Female?

Cecilia ignored Aleister's speech and filed it away under things to be mulled over something hot. It took many people to make the world and an embodiment of death, one way or another, was nothing new compared to the tower she had lived and learned in.

It wasn't that she wasn't interested, the entire order and book keeping sounded overall like complete mockery to somethings about others.

Looking back at Prail, and her questioning look, she just shrugged unsure how to explain That to her about him.

Seeing the next drawing Cecilia was enjoying herself like notes in school. In her case when you passed notes, it was to be done unseen, and if you got caught, it was worse then reading it aloud.
It was punishment for not being sly enough, or even not designing a proper paper glider to soar to someone. Skills of all kind weren't discouraged, many were encouraged and reinforced to create a more Balanced Ideal.

Her mind wandered to how fish reproduced and quickly wiped that from her mind, followed by simple community parenting.

She drew a circle as she read Prail's question around her picture and linked it to herself, crossing out an image of eggs she quickly copied.

"It's because..." She motioned one hand to her figure, and Prail's, while they were worlds apart common traits were easy to identify and associate with a gender. A brief flustered look passed her face, as she watched from one eye on everyone else, one hand drawing, and her own two motioning.

Atticus had blinked at Aleister's explanation, finally addressing what he'd decided to ignore. Aleister streamlined it, simply getting to the point of what this "reaper form" was and how it worked...or at least what he knew. By the sound of things, Aleister didn't really understand this whole reaper thing. He'd simply been given the basic run down on his abilities and purpose, they offered Aleister something he wanted so he could reach his goal, and it appeared that Aleister was simply acting on orders. Something about that bothered Atticus, something just didn't seem right.

Atticus looked around the room and out into the street, where Damien and Caedis were. Most of the group was either confused or simply preoccupied. They didn't seem too interested in Aleister's explanation and if they were, they were trying to hide it. Perhaps they were just too busy, perhaps they didn't want to offend them, or maybe they'd simply heard or seen stranger things in the tower. But something about Aleister's explanation seemed off...

"Hey, Aleister. Does this whole reaper thing discriminate? Will you ever have to
"reap" one of our souls?" Atticus fumbled for a bit in his head, not really sure how to state the question.

"I mean, if you were told, sensed, or however your abilities work, that you had to pretty much kill one of us, would you? I may be asking this the wrong way, but it's still something you might want to think about." Atticus simply walked away, letting Aleister mull over his words.

Atticus walked outside, watching Damien help a few people in any way he could. Atticus admired this and was about to chip in when he noticed something. The people Damien helped and the people around him, still seemed kind of afraid of him. Atticus didn't question this at first, simply thinking Damien's armor made him look intimidating, but as Atticus passed by a few people silently recoiled from him. The streets around them were slowly coming back to life, but just as the sound would pick up, a few out of place whispers would pass by Atticus and the streets would get quiet and empty again. Atticus thought back to Faunra's statement about the townsfolk rioting against them. Atticus shook his head.

"It's nothing Atticus, just Faunra being a paranoid fairy...that's all..." Atticus looked away and walked back into the cellar.

Caedis caught the tail-end of Aleister's speech as she was helped in by Damien. She appreciated his help but also became wary of it. He didn't seem like the cutthroat type but guessed that he wouldn't hesitate to crush ones neck if need be. Caedis sat herself back down on the bench she was placed in. She saw Atticus and Damien helping the villagers above. She thought about helping out but with her condition, she would only do more harm than good.

"Atticus, when are we leaving? I have a bad feeling about stretching our stay here."

"Atticus, when are we leaving? I have a bad feeling about stretching our stay here." Caedis said, as if reading Atticus's mind.

"Well if I had any real say in it we'd be gone by yesterday, but we don't exactly know where to go. Or at least, I don't. I should probably ask Zavier if he found something at the library, a book or map giving us any idea of where the portal might be. In retrospect, I really should brush up on my cartography..."

Amanda's head popped out from the cellar, being drawn away from her awkward conversation with Prail, the word "cartography" getting her attention.

Meanwhile, spiky haired watched the townsfolk plan and spoke to the armored man. A number of other pointed eared fellows stood with them, simply watching the conversation.

"Sir, you see what these townsfolk are doing, right? We can't just let them attack these climbers! I've already got a team ready to swoop in and wipe their-"

"Not our problem. We're done with this town. Defending it has proven to be a pointless hassle and honestly, I believe it's time we let the townsfolk have a victory. Perhaps letting the townsfolk deal with the climbers will...improve their morale, day, whatever helps you sleep at night. If the climbers fight back...big whoop, they hurt a few people and the rest of the town will just surrender, simply letting these guys walk out of town." The armored man said dully.

Spiky haired frowned a bit. He didn't like just abandoning the town and moving on. It made the group look like failure's, especially after the dragon incident. For the first time in a long time, he was begging to question his commander's actions.

"For the sake of the Fristic Empire, please tell me we're making the right choice..."

Her companion was acting oddly, Prail had learnt to tell the sexes apart for mammals, to be honest she was doing it mostly by scent but she wasn't completely blind to the psychical differences. She pointed to suck features in her companion, not realising the potential social problems.

It was then Amanda was drawn away Prail followed her gaze and went to investigate finding Caedis Prail offered her attention ready to act again, the thoughts of physics that had occupied her recently back inside her head for now.

"Someone say cartography?" Cecilia said as she rose from the ground, brushing herself off absentmindedly, she brought out a rolled up map with a ghosted limb from her satchel.

Quickly unrolling it, she displayed it somewhat proudly, "I think his will fit our needs?"

Aleister sat back like Damien suggested, taking it easy after his Reaper transformation, still feeling a little burned out by the usage of power. He could feel the cold coming it, so using a little fire magic, managed to back the place both warmer, but brighter. The children seeing the fire, ran straight towards it, not bothering to thank him. It was then that Atticus spoke up.

"I mean, if you were told, sensed, or however your abilities work, that you had to pretty much kill one of us, would you? I may be asking this the wrong way, but it's still something you might want to think about." Atticus asked, still concerned by the overall nature of the Reaper powers; which was understandable. Aleister began to think about it. Although he had a response planned, he chose instead to ponder it some more.

Then came the topic of leaving the town. Caedis fired the first question.

"Atticus, when are we leaving? I have a bad feeling about stretching our stay here." Atticus soon responded.

"Well if I had any real say in it we'd be gone by yesterday, but we don't exactly know where to go." Aleister decided to interject.

"Whatever the case maybe, I feel that we should depart sooner rather than later. I feel another storm is rising. However, this is not one of ice and snow; but instead of people." He remarked as he lead back, trying to get some sleep. It was soon that Faunra interrupted the conversation, and started talking in her sleep.

"But I don't wanna go Ali, I wanna to stay all snuggled up next to you." Faunra then moved closer, resting her head on Aleister's shoulder, before going back to sleep once more.

"The feeling is... mutual Faunra. Perhaps some other time." Aleister then somewhat fell asleep as well, wrapping an arm around Faunra in the process.

"Whatever the case maybe, I feel that we should depart sooner rather than later. I feel another storm is rising. However, this is not one of ice and snow; but instead of people." Aleister said nodding off.

Atticus looked around, where were most of the people? He assumed that some of them could be trapped under rubble, but even then...nah, it was nothing. What would the townsfolk have against the group? And even if they did have a problem with the group, what could they do about it?

"Someone say cartography?" Amanda said, using one of her ghost limbs to grab a rolled up map from her satchel. "I think his will fit our needs?" She said proudly, displaying a map she'd found at the library just before the ice storm.

"Handy indeed." Atticus muttered, grinning a bit. He quickly looked over the map. There were a few towns scattered on it, each thousands of miles apart. Atticus found the town they were in, Eisengrad, and started moving from there. He found the frozen sea Zersa, with a detailed sketch of what looked like a Ractor. Then he made his way into the mountains, and out into a frozen expanse of nothingness. He then noted a few forest and then something strange. There was a big red splotch. Just that. A red splotch. Nothing detailed, no sketch, nothing. Just a red splotch. The map detailed other places, and even with Atticus's lack of knowledge in Cartography he could tell that the map was extremely useful.

"Wow Amanda, great find! Though, there's one minor issue, this doesn't tell us exactly where the portal off the level is or even where to start moving." Atticus said, scratching his head.

"We head East." Damien said quickly, lifting some rubble.

"Okay, that answers one question. Still the issue of the portal."

"I think I can help." Zavier said, holding the book he'd found in the library. It was titled Empirus Fristic and looked pretty old. He flipped through it, a lot of landmarks matching up with those on the maps. "It mentions something known as the Cathedral of the Fates and some sort of gate, I believe. Closest thing to a portal location, in my opinion." He said, re-reading parts of the book.

"Alright, you two work on that. " Atticus said walking back into the cellar.

Shame they had to get moving, rare you found such an agreeable climate.
Prail started to check over the maps. To be honest she didn't know much at all about cartography she was curious about the cathedral thing though.
She looked towards the others, wishing there was more for her to do to help. She decided to write down an offer if she couldn't do anything herself her flyers should make good scouts.
She also just asked if anyone had anything else for her to do. As long as she couldn't be helpful right.

Cecilia brought her map over and began to review and swap notes with Zavier quickly plotting a course and easily drawing a path, though the journey itself was bound to be annoying, she was still elated to be moving from this frigid world.

With a spare pair of hands she shuffled the contents of her pack and other things among person, making sure it was all stored carefully. Then quickly draped her traveling cloak about her, "Anything else we'd care to go over?" she asked in general.

"Anything else we'd care to go over?" Atticus heard Amanda ask. Atticus looked around quickly. Most of the people were handling things themselves and Damien was mostly around for moving debris at that point. Nathan was appeared to be examining his sword, slicing the air a bit. The rest of the group was either in the cellar, their wounds healing up nicely. Caedis was back on her feet again and Etrius looked relatively unscathed, though he appeared to be sweating.

Hmm, looks like he might have a fever. Atticus thought, turning to Faunra and Aleister who appeared to be sleeping in each others arms. Atticus mentally gagged a bit, but had to admit it was kinda sweet. He looked over to Zavier, still reading the book he'd gotten at the library. Veritas sat next to Stonefuse, Veritas manipulating the water that was coming off Stonefuse's ice form.

"No, I think we're good. Though we might want to pick up some food for the trip." Atticus pondered as Conrad stood up.

"We have plenty of food down here, take as much as you need." The old man said hastily, something still on his mind. Conney simply grumbled a bit, before walking out of the cellar and towards and Wooly.

"Um, thanks. Well, now that that's taken care of I think we should just finish and get moving." Atticus said quickly. He decided he might as well do a check on some of his materials, it had been awhile since he'd last done so. Atticus first reached into his pellet bag and felt something he hadn't felt in awhile. The bottom.

"Well crap."

Meanwhile the mob stood ready, finalizing a few plans. They were mostly pretty sure they could over power the climbers, but there was still a sense of nervousness among the group.

"Are you guys sure we can actually go through with this? I mean, these guys have climbed all the way up the tower. I'm sure they've seen worse than a few guys with shovels, axes, swords, and-"

"Don't get soft on us now!" One man said, a roar of agreement rising from the crowd. "We almost made it through the night, without anything bad happening to out town. For the last few years, things had been peaceful and that day had slowly began to become another day but now...our families and friends lie skewed through the streets! And by the Fates, I know these climbers are the cause. They have to be! I saw them near the castle, I saw the strange object in the air! I know it, I know! And I also know that these men shall not leave our town alive!" Another roar of agreement rose.

"But what do we plan to do about some of the stronger ones?" Another man asked. "The man in the armor and the giant ice man are both obviously extremely strong, and the armored man looks equipped to deal with combat. I bet most of are. Plus, there's that strange lizard being with the spiked tail, and then there's the guy with the magic-" The man stopped as an hand was laid on his shoulder.

"Leave the 'guy with the magic' and the horned lizard to me." A healthy looking doctor said, tapping a syringe. "I'll come in from his blind spot and give him one of these. He should be out pretty quickly. As for the lizard, I have something that should take care of her as well." He said, looking over towards a few other men holding red sticks with fuses at the ends of them.

"I think they can handle the bigger gentlemen. Oh, and I'd suggest putting knives on the ends of those. Might help." The doctor said putting on his trench coat and walking ahead of the mob. As he walked off, a few other men shook their heads and quickly ran down the street. The doctor ignored them. If the fates were truly on the towns side today, they would defeat the climbers. If they weren't, then it would simply be another loss for the town.

"Well, what are you waiting for? We've got some climbers to deal with!" The rest of the mob let out a cheer and began charge down the street, letting out a battle cry of sorts.

As Atticus checked his belt, finding that he only had 3 tornado traps left, Faunra's eyes snapped open and she jumped away from the sleep Aleister to instinctively grab her supplies. Atticus saw this and instantly recognized the motion, it being similar to something she'd done when the mob back in Tornia had come to run them out of town.

"Do I even have to ask?" Atticus said grumpily.

"We should probably get moving." Faunra said to the group.

Prail heard something coming, sounded numerous and not in the least friendly.
She was starting to get pretty disturbed, the sound continued to build, but she wasn't going to be the only one. She let out a roar of her own; the blast from her horns sure was impressive. With any luck they'd be encouraged to run.
Now to investigate. Prail sent out a few flyers to try scouting them out.

Faunra heard a combination of noises from the edge of her hearing - the sound of hurried boot steps, of metal scraping on metal, and angry voices. Each on its own was meaningless, but together triggered a long engrained reflex - to run. It was the unmistakable sound of a mob, and it was not something she ever wanted to experience... again.

"We should probably get moving." she said as she shot up from her slumbering state, he possessions already in her hands. It came out as more an order then a suggestion, which was intended. Already she was thinking over the layout of the part of the town she knew, looking with her mind for the best, stealthiest way out. With any luck, they didn't know where they were. As if to mock her good sense, Prail let loose a blast from her horns, deafening at the best of times, but ear drum shattering in the cold, cramped, acoustically challenged cellar - at least to an elf. A pair of flyers soon followed to investigate, undeterred by the sound as they were.

Acting more on instinct then anything, she turned to Conney and Conrad and asked them a question. "Do you know any ways out of town - preferably away from the town square?" The next thing she knew, she saw their mouths begin to move, but could not hear any of the words, save a muffled mumbling sound. Faunra reached up and held her ears, checking if they were bleeding. They were, and her ears were sore to the touch. After a quick inspection, ignoring the pain of the action, she determined her ears were merely shocked, and would heal - assuming they survived the encounter with the mob.

"Know the way to enter, just as well to exit." -Bermin Yerl*

Cecilia only had to blink after realizing what was happening and winced as the noise was released.
"Prail, thanks for giving our location!" Letting out a quick sigh of disappointment, she remembered a map of the town and a basic teaching at the Guild.

"Do you know any ways out of town - preferably away from the town square?" -Faunra

Rolling her eyes, "I'm a walking Atlas, just follow me!" Her tone was of of exasperation and confidence, or of headstrong foolishness. Ghosting limbs and feeling like her head was in a vice, she wasn't feeling at all very nice.

Prail's roar shook the town as she dispersed a few flyers. Atticus covered his ears for a second before and then checked his supplies once again. He was pretty much out of black, lethal pellets and was running extremely low on tornado traps. He still had plenty of blue and red capsules as well as his non-lethal pellets. Atticus quickly went through his belt, seeing what else he'd picked up that might come in handy.

"I'm a walking Atlas, just follow me!" Atticus heard Amanda yell with a hint of confidence. He began to follow her, but turned back to see Conrad and Conney arguing about something.

"I say let them go, they look like they can handle themselves!" Conney said defiantly.

"Listen to me. You and I both know that they wouldn't be able to survive long exposure to those temperatures and that they'll need a constant heat source to stay alive. The only thing capable of creating that kind of heat is Wooly. And since I know you'd never allow them to simply take Wooly, you'll have to go with them." Conrad said silently.

"But I can't just leave the town, I can't just leave you here-"

"The town will be fine, hurt, but fine. We always bounce back, we'll bounce back from this. And as for me, well I probably won't be fine. Not for awhile. I'm not sure how the town will handle knowing that we helped the people they currently want dead, even with our connection to your mother and the mines. And then you won't be here, and I'll be alone...but I'll bounce back. I always bounce back." Conrad said grimly, adjusting his glasses, standing up and walking outside.

"But dad-"

"Oh, stop pretending. I know you want to go on some big adventure. I saw the way you were looking over at them while they reviewed that map and plotted a course. You're tired of sitting back, watching this town go through the motions day in and day out. And even though they're travelers, I can tell a part of you wants to help them reach their destination as well. That's fine with me." Conrad stood there, looking at his daughter, ignoring the rising battle cry of the mob. "I'll try to slow them down."

Conney simply looked at her father, not exactly sure what to say. Her father was right, he was always right. There wasn't much else for her to say, in all honesty. She simply hugged Conrad, holding him there for a few seconds before running up to Wooly, who was trotting around confused by Prail's roar and the rising battle cry. She finally noticed Atticus watching her.

"What are you looking at?" She asked with hint of alarm in her voice.

"Nothing." Atticus replied before taking off with the rest of the group.

The mob ignored Prail's roar and kept running, weapons drawn and out for blood. A few of the townsfolk in the mob weren't too sure on whether or not they should attack the climbers and actually began to back out slowly. Others were blood thirsty, furious for reasons they really couldn't comprehend, fueled by the paranoia of others.

They'd heard about the supposed fairy lady who was with them and then there was the idea that the climbers had started the storm, mainly the man in the overalls. They heard about an old woman who died right after speaking with the big fella in the armor and about the strange winged man who didn't wear a shirt. After awhile a flurry of rumors passed through the mob, but regardless of whether they were true or not, for the first time in a long time they could actually do something. Something they believed might rectify the atrocities committed. They were mad at everything and nothing.

But one man simply walked down a few backstreets, calmly humming to himself. He checked a few syringes and went over in his head what he remembered about pressure points. He wasn't too sure about what he'd exactly do, but he figured it wouldn't be too hard. The Doctor tried to remember their body types, trying to think of anything he could use to his advantage. As he did this, one of Prail's flyers got curious and flew down to the figure in the trench coat. A few more of the Prail's flyers intercepted the mob, who wildly swung at the strange birds. But the doctor continued walking, as if ignoring the flyer. It circled around him and got a bit closer, but in an instant was plucked out of the air and held up to the doctors face.

"Hmm, interesting. A symbiotic relation with the lizard perhaps?" The doctor asked himself as he drew a syringe with a red, clear liquid inside. He inserted it into the flyer. He then released the flyer, and watched as it spasmed in the air, the red liquid filling it. The flyer got hotter and hotter before it eventually fell to ground, shriveled up. "Just as I thought." He said, continuing his brisk walk.

Aleister quickly rose from his slumber, noticing that the group was getting ready to leave, before the horde came for them. He quickly checked all his equipment and weaponry, before approaching Atticus, who seemed to be running low on pellets and traps.

"Atticus, is there anything I can do to aid in our escape?" He asked, showing willingness to assist.

Caedis held her ear after Prail's loud roar. Luckily, she felt no liquid running down and it was just a ringing sensation that stayed. She was surprised to see Etrius still up despite his wounds and gave him a pat on the shoulder. The sounds of an angry crowd grew louder every second and it wouldn't be long before they encountered the town's angry citizens. A flurry of emotions were flaring with Caedis catching the tail end of Conney's goodbye to her father. She just sighed and moved up the stairs where Damien and a few others were watching the streets. Caeids looked to the group members who the thought of escape was prevalent in their worried looks or expressions. Finally Caedis spoke up.

"Atticus, is there anything I can do to aid in our escape?"

"Aleister, see if you can cast any wind traps if you're feeling it. Nothing too lethal, though. I'd prefer we don't kill any innocent villagers today." Caedis began to break into a jog as she tired to get as far away from the angry crowd while waiting a bit for her fellow climbers.

They weren't returning, worrying. Prail watched as the others made plans.
Something must have happened to her flyers without them returning her mind felt a bit clouded. Luckily she had her instincts to help. She felt the need to go hunting.
Leaving by a back entrance not thinking to help the others she emerged onto a back street. It was dark but her eyes were more than capable of glowing with enough light to hold out the darkness. She could smell meat on the air and just wanted to take her mind of the trouble.
Oh look here comes pray.

Conrad turned away from the climbers and his daughter who were running off and towards the mob running down the street. He cleared his throat a bit and thought about what he was gonna say. Plenty of people in town knew him and a had plenty of respect for the old man, so maybe he could talk them out of this nonsense. They were simply angry and confused, nothing Conrad couldn't handle. The old man shook whatever hints of nervousness he had out of him. The mob was upon him, wielding swords, pitchforks, torches, shovels, pick axes and anything else they could get their hands on. Conrad took in a breath. Here goes:

"Morning fellas." Conrad said raising his voice. "Listen, I know you guys are angry but you can't just hurt random-"Conrad was shoved around as the mob passed around him, seemingly ignoring the man standing in the middle of the street. "I don't know what you think you're doing, but it won't change the fact that-" Conrad felt another couple of hard pushes as felt something sharp poke him in the side. The old man adjusted his glasses. He was getting frustrated. "Listen, my daughter is in that group so you boys better not-" He felt a few more hits as they ran past, yelling, and something hard hit Conrad in the head. He'd had enough.

"Alright, screw all of you!" Conrad yelled, tripping a man, grabbing his sword, and pointing it to his neck."Alright, you're all going to listen to me right now!" The mob stopped, staring at him.

"Now, don't do anything stupid Mr.Pick." A random guy said.

"Don't do anything stupid? You're the ones attempting to kill a group of perfectly innocent strangers!" Conrad growled.

"Innocent? No, not even close. We've had it with sitting back and letting things just happen! Today we're gonna do something about it! Kill that guy, we don't care! We have other things to deal with." They all turned away and continued running after the climbers, like nothing had happened, leaving Conrad standing there hold a sword to another man's neck

"Hey, we're not done here! You don't even know why you're after those climbers do you, or at least don't have anything concrete! You're all being paranoid!" They all ran past him, ignoring the old man. "I'll kill this guy! I will!" Conrad's voice was desperate, he knew they were good people. "Don't you care if this guy dies?" Conrad dropped the sword defeated, and watched as the man he'd held hostage picked it up and joined the mob again. The very people who were leaving him for dead. Conrad sat down in the snow for moment, unable to believe it.

"They just...and..." Conrad shook his head, holding it down and noticed something in the snow. It was a red stick of something with a fuse sticking out of it. His eyes widened in horror. "Those idiots wouldn't dare-" He jumped to his feet, trying to run after the mob.

The doctor eyed the running climbers from a few backstreets. He ran quickly ahead of them, even ducking through what was left of houses. He noted each ones appearances and possible weaknesses, specifically focusing on Aleister and Prail. He then noticed a flummuth, Wooly walking alongside them and a 20-something woman moving alongside it. "Conney? Hmm, interesting."

Atticus was going through belt and bags, doing mental checklists, when he found two peculiar looking arrows. One had a red stripe while the other had black stripes running down it. "Wait, these are Faunra's arrows I modified after finishing Damien's heater. I completely forgot about them!" Atticus thought to himself.

"Hey Faunra, I-" As Atticus looked over at Faunra, he noticed the red liquid coming from her ears. Meanwhile, the doctor eyed Aleister who was near Faunra. He prepped the needle and jumped through a window and threw it at Aleister before he even noticed that the man was there. As the needle flew through the air, Atticus ran up to Aleister. "Hey Aleister, something's wrong with Faunra's ears-ow!" Atticus felt the syringe hit his neck and quickly removed it.

"What the fwwwuuuuuuuuaaaaaawwwwwwk!" Atticus's speech became slurred as the world faded in and out, his motor control fleeting along with part of his face going numb. The climbers stopped, eyeing the doctor.

"Well...hello." Prail had noticed the doctor coming and somehow recognized that he was the one who'd killed her flyer. She ran up and swung her tail at him, but he jabbed a thick needle through her scales piercing her skin, parts of them becoming red. She stood there, partially paralyzed clawing at the air. "It's an agent used against frost bite. However, it's advised to be only used in extreme cases of frost bite due to the extreme rise it causes in blood temperature. It'll wear off in a few minutes and your blood will return to normal temperature...if you're still alive by then. I figured a creature like you would't fancy the heat."

The doctor stood his ground, he just needed to hold the climbers there for a few minutes. The others would hopefully be able to deal with them.

Damien saw the fall of Atticus and Prail from the man. Before the engineer completed his fall to the ground, he had been picked up and thrown over his shoulder. It was obvious that they weren't going to be allowed to leave without a fight. He didn't wish to hurt the man, but he had made it clear that he wished to hurt them. After quickly throwing Atticus over the side of Wooly and telling anyone else to pick up Prail, he towered over the small man and whispered a single whispered word,"JOOS".

Syringes in his coat almost immediately withered and soaked his clothes with their contents. His clothes became frayed and threadbare, and even the gold ring he wore on a finger tightened from the word of power. Any weapons he had on him would most assuredly break the moment they pierced the skin, or they may have already become nothing but rust.

"Step out of the way, and let us pass, we're leaving, one way or another."

It burnt, it burnt so bad. Prail could barely think, fucking agony, and ow. She felt the arm he'd stabbed, must have used a special needle to get past the scales.

The burning stopped her thinking straight, engineer Prail wasn't getting out of this, but the lizard brain and the lizard heart still stood, they knew what to do. Millions of years of being top predators had honed them into survival machines.

Biological self-awareness fired into action, Prail was conscious of every individual cell, the epicentre located halfway up one of her arms, just by the joint.

She's little power to stop her body doing what nature had trained it for, the free arm raised its clawd which glistened slightly, she was about to hurt even worse, but like hell was she letting herself die.

Her claws tore at the scales and then the muscle and then the bone just like they were built to do, the sliver-ish purple spilled forth but her body didn't let her pass out. The arm had to go if she wanted to stay alive.

A final desperate slash and the fore arm falls to the floor, thank Serragish her blood flow wasn't as fast as it was for mammals.

Prail wasn't going to be awake much longer, the threat stopped for now and the blood already coagulating she started to slip out of consciousness.

Just barely awake, she returned the doctor's favour and gave the best hoof kick to the legs she was able to in her current state, wouldn't kill him unfortunately, but the satisfying shattering sound helped take the edge off Prail pain.

The best part, his wasn't growing back ever.

Still it could take Prail months to get a newly grown limb up to standard, retraining her left hand after the incident with the ban saw had been hard enough but....

The doctor watched as all his syringes withered away and began soaking him. The doctor shook his head. "Step out of the way, and let us pass, we're leaving, one way or another." He heard the large suit of armor say. The doctor felt most of his will to fight fading, but quickly grabbed onto them again."Well, have to admit it was a good try...I gotta hold them here." The doctor looked around and eyed Conney next to Wooly.

"Ah, Miss Pick, how are you doing today?" He said, with a kind smile.

"Uh, fine. Dr.Dorian, what do you think you're doing." Conney asked slowly, no emotion in her voice. The doctor was sweating a bit but then point behind the group.

"Waiting for the Calvary" The mob was coming up quick on the group and Damien felt a large brick slam into the back of his armor. "Well, I think they can handle things. For now, I think I'll make my exit and return when I'm re-arm-." He felt a sharp pain in his legs as Prail kicked him. He swallowed his pain and dragged himself away, into the on coming mob.

In Atticus's daze, the mob swam and morphed into a number of strange shapes and colors. He stumbled around and felt someone poke him in the back with a pitch fork.

"Wehh, isnit thisss greart..." Atticus said, trying to collect his thoughts. "Listant, weh don't wants tuh huurt anyyybodyyy." Atticus wasn't sure what he saying or who was even saying it to.

Aleister watched as the group were quickly surrounded by the angry mob of townspeople, all the while, Atticus was trying to speak, despite the predicament he was in.

"Listant, weh don't wants tuh huurt anyyybodyyy." Atticus spoke, his words in a rather garbled, and unintelligible mess. All Aleister could do, was give a disapproving sigh, and some somewhat harsh words.

"Atticus, until you can talk in a coherent manner, I advised you to shut up." Aleister remarked, as he began to think of a way for the group to escape. Suddenly he remembered the last time he was caught in a mob situation, in fact, it was rather recent. He then began asking questions to Faunra, knowing that she would remember what was to come. Aleister then began conjuring several spheres of wind energy, but this time, something was different; they had a swirling black cloud in them.

"Faunra, do you remember what the weather conditions were back at the medical center? Wouldn't you agree, that it was rather... windy there? I thought, what worked last time, should just be as effective here. Although, due to the larger numbers, I shall have to give them a little added kick." He could already feel her arms around his waist, her knowing what was to come. Several of the townspeople recognised those orbs from before, and slowly began to back away, before turning heel, and running for their lives. He then decided to address the crowd.

"Now then, obviously some of you remember what happened the last time, you abandoned realism, for blind conviction. A majority of you have got it into your heads, that this group was the cause of this ice shard storm. Not to be a party pooper, but I'm afraid your information was, incorrect. It has come to my attention, that a large group of miners, around five or six years ago, were affected by something underneath the castle ruins. They had changed into something, different. Their leader, was prattling on about something called 'Crackling Day', which by my understanding, was that storm. You see, we were trying to help save this town, and its people." As he spoke, a few townspeople, had downed their weapons, and walked away, fearing they had made another mistake.

"Over in the graveyard, those same miners, attacked us, for preventing their little event. Also, did you not think, that this may have happened, regardless if anyone new had entered? But here we are again, you people blindly charging into things, without the full information. It seems as though, I have to teach you the same lesson again. Fair enough." Aleister remarked without a care, as he chucked the wind orbs into the crowd, and with a snap of his fingers, they detonated, sending a smoky field in front of the townspeople, and blowing some of them out of the way, creating a path for the group.

"Come on you lot, we have to go. This smoke field won't hold forever, someone grab a hold of Prail, and we'll leg it."

"Come on you lot, we have to go. This smoke field won't hold forever, someone grab a hold of Prail, and we'll leg it."

The smoke engulfed the the mob, pushing them back in a burst of air. Many of the men were fleeing in fear, others cursed under their breath. For many of these men, it was the most humiliating moment of their natural lives. But what had he been rambling on about? About the miners they'd lost a few years beck changing into something else? Casuing the storm? One man in particular didn't try to figure out what Aleister was saying and had simply had enough of his crap.

"Everyone move to a safe perimeter, four bushels are hot!" The man yelled. He was one of the lead miners in town. Those who were miners recognized the command, absolutely shocked and horrified, but the civilians were a bit lost. What was that supposed to mean? Retreat? The miners quickly grabbed whoever didn't understand the warning. They all scrambled to get as far away from the area as possible.

Conney looked around for the lead miner as he heard his voice. She recognized the command and couldn't believe what he was about to do. Wooly was still freaking out from the smoke, stomping around. She tried to control him while warning the rest of the group.

"We have to take cover!" She yelled to Aleister. Atticus was still trying to gaining control of himself again, but things still didn't look right. As his senses returned, he heard a family noise. The sound of flint scratching against something and then lighting something else. It was followed by a slow fizzle which he tracked. He stared into the clearing smoke and noticed a man running through it. The man was holding something in both hands. They were bundles of dynamite, two in both his hands. Each bundle had six sticks in each. In total, the man was running at them with 12 sticks of dynamite. It took Atticus a few seconds to register was he was seeing. His eyes widened in horror.

"That guy has lost it!" Atticus yelled stumbling past Damien. Damien wasn't exactly sure what he was looking at, but then he noticed the fuses. In his mind he remembered some of Atticus's pellets fizzling like that...before taking out an entire platoon of lallowens. Damien realized the danger, grabbing Atticus, Prail, and drawing his shield. Aleister tried to conjure a spell to put the fuses out but from what was left of the smoke spell, out came a syringe. He felt his hands go numb. The doctor glared at the Aleister. "I told you I'd be back." He said coldly, as Faunra threw a knife at him and Nathan quickly slashed him down. Aleister nearly fell, but felt Faunra grab him. Though her hearing was still slightly damaged, she wasn't a moron. Veritas did his best to form a wall a snow with the few seconds they had. Etrius instinctively took to the air while the others stood behind Damien and Stonefuse.

The lead miner was pretty much right in front of them and threw the bundles at the climbers, cursing himself quickly and muttering his final words. "By Fates grace, I end here."

Conrad ran through the town, out of breath watching what was once a mob fleeing from where the climbers were. He grabbed someone and held the dynamite to his face. Conrad was furious "Fucking explosives?! Have you all lost your damn minds?! Did you think any of this through at all?!" The man he was holding simply stared back at Conrad, but then his lip began to quiver and tears streamed down his face.

"I didn't even want to go, I don't even remember why we wanted to! It's almost as if-"

Suddenly there was a flash of light and an initial shockwave before a decimating boom demolished nearly everything in it's path.

As they made their escape, Faunra could still barely hear. Only loud shouts seemed to pierce the fog of her impairment. she could only count her blessings that she could hear at all - it meant her ears were still functional, just blocked by the stream of blood. Of course, Faunra didn't think of any of these things herself, she was still too afraid - her hemophobia wracking away at her mind. Though she was unaware of it, it was that very fear that was keeping her going, the adrenaline pouring into her veins making the effects of the strain on her muscles non-existent - for the moment at least.

It was through the haze of fear she saw the movement. Aleister was trying to say something; something important by the looks of it. It wasn't until she saw the signs of a spell, the same she had witnessed in the medical center, that she understood what he was trying to say - get to safe ground and fast. With little time to react, she jumped to him and held on for dear life. for the most part, she had escaped the blast of wind and smoke, but at the last moment, a backlash had lifter her and pulled her away from the center, sending her crashing to the ground. It hadn't been very harmful, only scraping her arms ever so slightly, but between the sudden dizzy sensation, the smoke clouding her vision, and her lack of good audio perception, she was utterly bewildered.

A few moments later, the spell had settled and she regained her orientation. For a moment, things looked to be going well; the mob was scattering, they were relatively unharmed - save Prail and Atticus who were not terribly off, and dare she say it, she had been caught by a mob and lived (an event she believed impossible) Then she saw the worst combination of problems she could have imagined - the doctor from before, striking out at Aleister with a syringe and an insane man with a block of explosives. reacting more on instinct then anything conscious, she bolted for the incapacitated Aleister.As she ran, she threw one of her new knives at the doctor, causing him to pull back in pain, rather then hunker down for the blast.

Faunra grabbed Aleister before he hit the ground, and pivoted such that her back was to the suicidal miner. The pivot was poorly timed, and left her vulnerable, but in the state she could at least protect Aleister so at least something good would come of it she hoped. Then, with a barely audible boom to the deafened elf, she knew pain like none she had ever felt. She could feel the fiery ball of energy smash into her back, burning through every protection she might have had. She felt her age old cowl vaporize in the blast - it would be missed, along with all her loose supplies and clothing, leaving her in burning leather. She felt the golden amulet, the tie to her past she wore about her neck, begin to melt, adding a whole new scare to her already impressive collection. She felt as the air in her lungs heated, burning her insides in a way that was unimaginable and the shrapnel made of sad and dirt and salt strike her in the back, slicing through her armor like it didn't exist. All she knew was pain, and so her body surrendered itself into unconsciousness; broken, beaten and bleeding.

The mob dispersed much easier than Damien had thought, much to his delight, but it was short-lived as a man came running down the street, explosives strapped to himself. As the fuses burned down to their payload, he positioned himself beside Stonefuse, who had stared blankly at the mob before turning round to the man. He was giving his life for a stupid ideal, but as much as he wanted to save him, there was nothing he could do in the limited time they had beyond what he had already done.

He stomped his feet through the snow and ice covering the dirt underneath, further cementing his position before the incumbent blast he knew was coming. Not much time left, he threw on his helmet, knowing that it didn't give the best protection, but it did give him some.

The resulting blast was tremendous, more akin to an old weapon his people had abandoned eons ago than anything they used with regularity anymore. Compared to the strong,but localized blasts, this was a whole new monster, the heat was great, but he withstood it, even as he felt his armor heat, the satchel he carried burst into flame, along with the clothing inside, the explosion, however, was not something even the great and mighty golem could withstand as they were both thrown back with such force and into buildings on the sides of the street. He awoke in a burning and collapsing building, blistered inside his armor, but his shield barely showing anything resembling heat. He tore off the helmet, as it was a strong yellow and was burning his skin.

He stumbled out as it began it's final breath, pushing the heat, air, and soot out of it's inside, like a wounded beast. He was pushed out into the street by the sudden air pressure and into the snow, most of his companions were laid out in the road, and a small figure lat burning still. As he approached, he took note of the pointed ears, the almost indistinguishable features, and sighed as the realization that it was Faunra hit him. Though his ears still rang, he grabbed what was left of his satchel at his waist and dumped the contents out into the snow. Finding all that he had left of the gel he'd taken with him from his level of the tower, he set it down beside her body and began tearing off the burning clothes and armor. Next was to lay her down a few feet away, on the cold ice. She didn't have alot of time if he was right and tore free his broken dagger from it's ruined sheath and began slicing away at the blackened skin. Once he had cut it away from the fatal areas, he opened the tube and applied the gel inside to the red tissue beneath.

Within a few minutes, fresh skin had appeared on her, though he hadn't noticed the molten gold in his haste to apply the gel and it fused with her new skin, creating the rough shape of the amulet from before into her chest with a part of the gold. The rest created small golden veins throughout her body, making her literally shine in the sunlight. He had healed her, but the gel was expended and could no longer be used, unless someone could scrape the inside of it and all that was left would maybe heal a small cut.

Finally was to cover her again, he used what he could, a pair of pants from his satchel that had escaped some of the blast, a few holes burned in them, her shirt from before, and a jacket that had been thrown out of a collapsed house. There was little he could do beyond that. They still needed to get moving. He gathered up the amulets of the Grand Masters and hung them from his belt, the leather thongs they'd been on had burned, but they still had their magnetic fields.

He picked up her unconscious form and began walking, picking up the others as he passed,"We need to get moving, there's nothing more we can do here." All the time, his mind kept flashing back to Clarissa, melting and screaming all the while and there was nothing he could do to save her.

Explosions hurt, simple as that. Cecilia was too far away to help Prail and the rest with the doctor, and had just gotten back after Aleister's rather long winded explanation.
Fleeing behind the rest of the heavy handed members of the group, she added her own ghosted limbs, legs and all to brace for the explosion or cushion anyone who fell.
One explosion later...

Edit:Never mind...

Getting up covered with small scratches and part of her ear torn, she quickly lent a hand getting everyone up, and preparing to help carry anyone else who was immobile or otherwise. Damien had already cared for the fallen Faunra, the injuries making her grimace.

Croaking out, "We should hurry, in case they come back to check if we survived." Her sense of direction wasn't blown away, nor was the map in her head, the one in her hand on the other hand was gone.

We need to get moving, there's nothing more we can do here."

"We should hurry, in case they come back to check if we survived." Atticus heard Amanda and Damien say. He felt himself being picked up but quickly released himself. Even after the explosion, Atticus was begging to regain some of his senses and control over his body. He quickly looked around, examining the destruction and shaking his head. He felt mostly in tact but noticed the burn marks along his overalls and the cloak he'd gotten from Conrad the day before. Atticus eyed the bloody pulp of whoever had been running at them.

"Uh Amanda, I don't think we'll have to worry about them checking to see if we're alive. I don't even really think they agreed on whatever just happened. Fucking crazy guy..." Atticus muttered bitterly to himself. Atticus couldn't believe he was alive. He partially remembered being behind Damien and then a boom. He eyed Prail, whose once red flaming scales were turning back to their usual glossy white. Atticus did a quick head count of those Damien was picking up. Nathan, Caedis, and Zavier looked mostly in tact, drifting between consciousness. Etrius dove to the ground, checking on the group, and simply looking at the destroyed town. Aleister was shakily getting to his feet, trying to get the feeling back in his hands. Atticus walked around, looking for two missing members.

"Veritas? Stonefuse?" Atticus said as he stepped in an out of place puddle of water. "Oh there you are...hopefully." He scooped up Veritas with his canteen. Now where was Stonefuse? Suddenly there was a loud thud as parts of the golem landed. Atticus stared in partial horror at the chunks until a thick arm started crawling towards him, dragging a leg and Stonefuse's head. The golem began to repair himself.

"Whooo, that was a close one. Good, everyone's somehow sa-" Atticus cut himself off as he heard someones moan of pain. He looked around and saw the behemoth Wooly, hunkered down and holding his grown, as if bracing for another explosion. The giant mammal looked alright, as if the explosion hadn't happened at all. However, Conney had a large chunk of wood sticking out of her arm. Atticus ran over to help but she pulled it out, cursing under her breath and slapped some snow onto it. She got to her feet and inspected the scene around her, wide eyed.

"Di-did that really just happen?" She asked, a blank look on her face. Atticus wasn't sure how to answer. She didn't seem shocked as much as...broken? That's the only word he could use to describe the expression on her face. There was a bit of worry and confusion, but she mostly looked a bit broken. All he could say was, "yes."

"Well..." She swallowed heavily. "We better get moving. C'mon Wooly." The creature whined a bit, but then started following her. She dragged her sniper rifle across the ground, her other hand in her pocket gripping a photo of her mother.

Atticus took a breath and started walking, rubbing his head a bit.

Aleister slowly clambered to his feet, trying to regain the feeling in his hands after the doctor's syringe.

" *grunt* I am going to get the bugger the next time I see him. What was that crazy bastard with the dynamite thinking? Oh god, what happened to Faunra?" He thought to himself, changing from anger, to complete and utter worry, as he rushed over to Faunra, who lay unconscious in Damien's arms, her veins giving off a faint golden glow. Aleister then turned to Damien, and spoke quietly to him.

"Thank you, I don't know what I would of done, if she had perished in the blast." He remarked, a sorrow filled tear coming out of his eye, which he quickly wiped away. Aleister then gently held one of Faunra's limp, and somewhat lifeless arms, and began speaking to her.

"Faunra, I know you can't hear me, but please try to listen. Know that I am here and by your side. You are safe now, for the moment. Any indication that you can hear this, and that your alive, would bring joy to my heart." He said with a great deal of worry and hope in his voice.

"By the heavens..." Caedis said, recovering from the blast. Luckily she had been more further up than the rest of the group when the explosion went off but the feeling was still the same. The blast had knocked Caedis off her feet and deafened her for a few moments. She leaned over a piece of rubble, a feeling of nausea rushing from her stomach. Then she vomited what was in her stomach from earlier because of the blast. It wasn't much and she quickly rose still slightly nauseous but they had to keep moving. She wiped her lips and began to run again, pointing in the direction out of the town.

"Come on, we have to keep moving." She noticed Faunra in Damien's arms with Aleister in tow. It hadn't occurred to her that they might be romantically involved and with Aleister shedding a tear like that, confirmed it. Caedis didn't have time to comment on the matter as getting out of town was more important but she surely made a note of it.

Prail came to, the pain was still there but it had dulled. Took her a while to remember she'd just ripped off half her own arm off.
She didn't want to remember what exactly had made her do it, best not to relieve it. Losing limbs was never easy even when they did grow back, being human must be awful they never even get the second chance.
She got up and started walking just following the others wanting to be free of this place that was all she need really.
She looked towards anyone she could just wanting to know what happened.

Letting out a sigh long drawn out, she felt a bit woozy from her overall head to her toes. Brushing away blackened areas and noting that her armor needed repairs in softer burnt sections.
Looking towards Prail and noting her missing arm, she patted her shoulder.

"Sorry for your loss, but glad you survived the explosion as well." Pantomiming with her ghosted limbs as she spoke, her explosion display with fingers and hands was impressive two fold.

Announcing in general quickly to everyone around her...

"The map is kinda gone guys, but I can lead us there still." Shaking her head to clear her mind, she began to walk slowly trying to stay close, but still in front.

Faunra's return to consciousness had been slow and painful. It had started when Damien had placed the gel on her and her wounds hard started to knit. The sensation of the gel was impossible to describe. Not because it was too bizarre or for a lack of words, but because, with the death of her skin, she had lost all feeling across her body. She did however take note of the smell - a sort of citrus scent, except a bit off. As the gel did it's work, repairing the skin and the nerves within, she felt the pain again and fell back into unconsciousness while it did its work.

The next time she awoke, it was to a strange (and this time pleasant) burning sensation. opening her eyes, she found her skin repaired, but glowing with a strange golden light. She had just enough time to question what the source was but not answer the question.

Finally, she awoke once more to a sound, comforting, and strangely familiar. "Faunra... hear me... to listen... I am here... by your side... safe can hear this... that your heart." she could hear. The message was impossible for her to make out, her mind still shrouded in residual pain, but it sounded nice. Wanting it to continue, to provide something to focus on in place of the fire in her nerves, she listened to it for as long as it continued. When it stopped, she tried to speak, only to feel the burning in her lungs was still mending, and the motion hurt too much to continue. Instead she tried to move - her fingers, then her arm - though she was unaware of whether the attempt was successful.

Aleister continued moving along with the rest of the group, keeping close watch over Faunra, who still lay motionless. He kept thinking about her, when he could feel a faint movement from her arm. His eyes welled up a little, but a tear did not form. Suffice to say, he was overcome with joy and happiness.

"Faunra, thank the stars that your alive. Its me, Aleister. I'm standing right beside you, as you lay in sleep. I was overcome with worry, thinking you may have passed on, but it is great to see that there is still some life left within you." He said, feeling greatly relieved that she was alive.

"Apart of me knew you would pull through, your a strong woman, and your... well, you know the rest." He remarked, subtlety hinting towards their romantic friendship, but not openly saying it, feeling as though that Faunra would figure out what he would say next, she was smart like that.

"All I can say is, thank you. Everything is going to be alright, we should be out of here soon. For now, sleep, and perchance to dream, of a brighter future." Aleister said with a rather relaxed, yet joyful tone.

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