The First Blight: Curse of Dumat [RP/Closed]

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Ragnar shrugged, impassive. He pulled his own armor over his head before taking up his sword and a heavy banded wooden shield. He banged the hilt of his weapon into the shield several times, making a terrible crashing sound; the other Alamarri hooted their adulation, meanwhile stepping away to open a clear ring for the combat to take place in.

Stepping forward, Ragnar nodded to Diocles. He seemed intent to let the other man strike first, holding his shield up in a defensive posture.

Alrik stepped next to Ghil. "I know there was no one else... but I am not sure he has much hope," he said quietly in Alamarri.

Ghil shook her head, frowning at Alrik, "They wouldn't let you compete. That shows they're no better than lambs. ...Besides... Diocles is nimble as a stag. You're more like a boulder."

Diocles darted forward like a cobra striking, sending out a quick slice across the man's shield arm to test his reaction time.

It was found wanting. The barbarian was slow, and Diocles was a blur. He darted in beneath the shield with his other blade, scoring a quick but shallow hit before pushing off the man and falling back into his stance.

Ragnar grunted as he was cut, and swung his sword forward in a heavy strike; this came -extremely- close to hitting Diocles, but Ragnar was a hair too slow.

He fell back, shield up again, a more serious look on his face now.

Diocles proved that he was at the very least capable of getting in a strike or two. But it was just the beginning and giant could just be toying with him. A thought that did not sit well in her mind. The odds seemed to weigh in Ragnar's favor. The man was so large and if Ghil was an example of their resilience it would take more than a few cuts to bring him down. She only hoped that Diocles would remain swift and that his skill with his knives closely matched that of his archery.

Sulahn'nehn gasped. That sword nearly struck him.

Diocles shot forward once more, feinting left to make the man overextend his shield, then quickly pulling the knife back to dig in and rend the bastard's side, sneaking in one more quick slash before the human monolith could regain his balance.

Once again Ragnar swung a mighty blow that fell short, though the sound it made whipping through the air next to Diocles' head was quite fearsome.

Ragnar growled, bleeding freely now-- but still very able to fight.

Diocles smirked at his opponent, attempting to make him lose his temper. He brought back his knives in preparation for a twin stab, then unexpectedly shot a leg up, kicking his opponent's shield. With his enemy off-balance again he ran in close, driving his knives home.

Groaning, Ragnar swung again, and missed again. He wiped blood out of his eyes, growling.

Diocles stayed close after ducking under the swing, slashing two long though shallow lines across the man's chest.

"I'll bleed you dry!"

By all accounts, Diocles' first strike seemed sure to hit. Somehow, though, Ragnar brought up his shield at the last moment, deflecting the attack entirely. The other blade still drew blood, but Ragnar took advantage of even this small victory and cleaved his sword deeply into Diocles' shoulder, roaring, some his frustration finally relieved.

"Diocles!", Sulahn'nehn shouted, brow knit. It was a nasty looking cut. He had been doing so well and perhaps it was too much to hope that he would have remained untouched. Now there was a deep gash in his shoulder. She screamed for him not to let up. Her heart seemed to have leaped to her throat.

Knocked back by the force of the blow, Diocles channeled the pain into fury. He rolled with the blow, falling back into a roll before springing forward again. He started left again, then right, and finally struck from the left again, catching the slower warrior off-guard. His second blade came in almost as an after-thought, striking a stinging blow as if to taunt.

Covered in aching wounds now, his face a mask of misery and rage, Ragnar swung his sword with a shriek of anguish. His swings were always powerful, but this one was perhaps more so, because it hewed open Diocles' face.

As the rogue dropped to his knees, Ragnar upended his sword and thrust it down behind the man's clavicle, forcing it into the Tevinter's thoracic cavity to the hilt. He did this so automatically, so quickly, that only after the blade had disappeared did realization hit his face.

He released the sword. The body toppled.

For a moment, there was silence. Then he threw his arms into the air and roared in triumph.

Ghil gave a shout of alarm; what had happened!? Diocles had been nearly impossible to hit, mincing the barbarian to death, and then suddenly there was a corpse on the ground in front of her. Tension twisted her gut in knots as the Ciraine cheered. They needed to retreat immediately. She reached out to grab the screaming Sulahn'nehn and pull her back when a flash of metal caught her eye.

"No! Don't!"

Thaedrin's knife opened the flesh of his forearm and a curtain of blood spilled out in sacrifice, freeing a blast of sorcerous energy that rippled across the ground. Ragnar the Unbreakable gave a sudden howl and clapped his hands down over his head; he tossed, as though trying to buck some beast off of his back. Then his hands lowered and he turned on his allies in a frenzy. The blood mage had the element of surprise on the Ciraine, but the hounds were not fooled and were already charging.

"Get the body, untie the horses!" He was backing away quickly as a dog prepared to lunge for his arm, "Run. RUN!"

Ghil cursed sharply as control of the matter crumbled away from them. She grabbed Sulahn'nehn and threw her bodily over the back of a horse, slicing her broadsword through the tangled reins to free them from the branch that held them. "Get Ulrin and ride!" She herself leapt onto the back of the second and rode hard past Thaedrin, whipping him up over her thighs and away from the dogs that were trying to rip his limbs from his frame. He screamed as the teeth were ripped away, shredding his tissue. She jammed her heels into the horse's flanks and rode northeast as quickly as the poor animal could manage.

Was he dead? Oh, Creators he was dead. How could he not be after a blow like that. She could hear nothing but screams and shouts, some of them her own. And then the earth was moving rapidly. Sulahn'nehn might not have been fully aware she'd been lifted away and thrown onto a horse. Mentally, she was still standing back there seeing the strike that ended the duel. Had it not been for the the horse suddenly taking off, she might have remained that way, grasping onto anything to keep herself atop the racing beast.

She wheeled the mount around and reached down to help Ulrin up, barely slowing down as she did. "Hold tight!", she commanded before putting as much distance between them and the tribesmen.

The moment Thaedrin's knife came out, Alrik lunged towards the corpse; he was already halfway to it when Thaedrin cried out the order.

He gave one of the Mabari a rib-cracking kick in the side to clear it out of the way, hoisting Diocles' body over his shoulders and then sprinting back toward the horses. He wasn't sure what use the corpse was, but he had learned long ago that when Tevinters were around the word "impossible" lost a lot of its weight.

He lept into the saddle. The cadaver tumbled off his shoulders, but he managed to catch it awkwardly before it was trampled by the horse.

Ulrin reached out and took Sulahn'nehn's hand with one of his own and grabbed the side of the saddle with the other. Like her he was confused as to what had just happened. Was not Diocles winning? Were they all not just cheering for him, and then in the blink of an eye he was dead. It did not seem like it was true. If they weren't suddenly running for their lives he would not believe it was true. The rogue pulled himself up over the horse and looked back to ensure there was as much distance as possible between the wild humans and their dogs and the Warden's horses as the female elf pressed on through the darken woods.

Ghil barely noticed that the howls of the hounds and the Ciraine had faded into the distance; inside her, she felt the she would still see them if she turned around, right on their heels. It was Thaedrin, twisting and shouting, that forced her to finally come to a halt.

"Stop! Stop, the longer the body sits, the harder it will be! Let me down--"

She did so, shoving him off and onto the ground. With a shout and a curse, Thaedrin pushed himself up to stand. She remained mounted, however. Gods knew where their enemies were now.

"Your blood magic may have done the ending of us all!"

The Constable grunted, hauling the archer's corpse down from over the pommel of Alrik's saddle. It hit the ground with a wet crunch, but it would not hurt him now. "They killed Komnenos, did you think they would spare the rest of us!? Venhedis, the damage..."

"It was a duel! The combat was to remain in the duel, and the grudge as well. We would have left, gone away for another tribe!"

"Left, and shown our backs for them to bury their axes! A duel... You're the one who chose this, you should have let me put them all in the ground! It's your damned fault he's dead!"

Ghil's gaze went icy.

Thaedrin could only barely wrest the blade back out of Diocles, and nearly vomited at the ruin it left behind. He placed his hands over the cavern of his chest with a string of curses spilling out his lips, shaking his head furiously back and forth. Nothing was happening. The cost of his blood to possess the warrior, and the mauling the dogs had given his arm and legs had left him with almost nothing to offer. The profanity he muttered became something different, strange words beyond any known tongue. They may have sounded familiar, at least, to Sulahn'nehn. It was a similar sort of chant the demon used to put her Master beneath his spell.

Ulrin dismounted the horse he shared with Sulahn'nehn. The sight of Diocles corpse made him sick as well. He could only imagine what horrors the Tevinter was about to perform upon the body. Though the elf half wondered if he was truly capable of bringing him back. He put his palm to his head and shook it turning away. He didn't want to watch. What if it failed? he would not miss the archer, so he thought, but even still what a situation it put them in.

Instead he turned his eyes to the trees around them, with the party stopped their adversaries could catch up at any moment. Someone should watch at least, and then he wouldn't have to watch Bloodmage's work.

She brought herself close enough to see his body and then instantly wished she hadn't looked. Sulahn'nehn's stomach churned and she turned away, hand clamped over her mouth. It was unclear if she choked back tears or something else. It was not easy on the eyes. The elf meant to walk further away, feeling that there was no saving him, but she'd heard something too familiar. Something that did not belong.

Sulahn'nehn turned back to Thaedrin, "How d- What are you doing?" she looked more than concerned. Though she'd spoken with a demon herself, she knew those words were not without risk.

Thaedrin said nothing. His chanting only grew louder and more desperate. Ghil's horse whinnied anxiously and then began to toss, bucking. The woman struggled to keep control of the mount, alarmed.

"What is he doing!?"

There was a great crackling of energy around them, the power of lightning roiling. The sound it made was deafening. The Constable was reaching through the Fade in search of demons, and he risked ripping through the veil altogether.

Locked in his trance and scorched by the raw magic of the Fade, Thaedrin continued the ritual in spite of all of Ghil's screams at him to stop. The ground around him began to burn and melt away, and three rage demons forced their way into the material world, fiery creatures slouched and snarling that charged the four Wardens left standing.

The words had been stripped from her before she could form them. Thaedrin had done something very wrong. The veil had been torn and demons came forth. They were not as the kind one she knew, they were violent and were barreling towards them. Sulahn'nehn began casting a spell to throw back the trespassers, but her magic fizzled. She looked at her hands, startled.

Oh, venhedis.

Ulrin snapped his head around at the sound of the Ghil shouting. He expected to see the barbarian's charging forward, not the strange sight of Theadrin's spell and the world around them becoming a chaotic mess. When the ground melted away he too screamed for him to stop as the demons pulled themselves through into their world. He had not expected this. Who could have expected this.

With the demons rushing toward him he raised his daggers, though found his resolve was not as strong as before. He slashed into the palm of the first one that tried to attack him but missed his second attack. He was still coping with the sight. And here he thought there could be nothing worse than the Darkspawn.

Ghil dismounted, nearly falling off her mount in her haste to reach the battle. She swung her greatsword in a wide arc, slashing through the molten beast. It shrieked, but it did not die. It lunged at her with its clawed hands, and she shouted in pain as the heat turned her chainmail red-hot. Its kin assaulted Ulrin with a blast of flame.

Alrik swung his axe so mightily, it cleaved one of the demons in twain; the stuff bubbled on the ground, then seemed to dissolve back into the earth as though it had never been.

Sulahn'nehn tried clearing her mind. It was no different than a darkspawn attack, just more unexpected.

The elf thrust her hand downward, trying to keep one of the demon's down with her might. "Quickly! While it is down! I cannot hold it!" she strained to keep the creature in place.

The rogue hollered in pain at the demon let loose a blast of flame at him. He moved to the side gasping and disoriented. His chainmail felt as if it was going to burn through into his chest. He turned back to the demon attacking him and lashed out at them with his knives. The first one missed and though he was sure he felt the second one dig into the demon, it seemed as if the creature hadn't felt it at all. He stumbled back still feeling woozy from the heat of the light metal around his body. He could not fight like this.

Between the two barbarians, the last of the lesser rage demons were exterminated.

Their deaths, however, only paved the way for stronger demons to come through. Three more rage demons clawed their way out of the earth, larger and fiercer than their predecessors. Behind them, two greater Shades pulled themselves through the tear in the Fade with ghastly wails. Their magic overwhelmed the group; though one blow went wide of Sulahn'nehn, two hit Alrik full in the chest, one slashed through Ghil's breastplate like it was butter, and the last blasted Ulrin so hard he was knocked back twenty yards.

Sulahn'nehn felt the surge of magic rushing passed her and returned a spell of her own back at the Shades, striking them bodily by an unseen force. She shouted for Ulrin to see if he was still breathing. They could not afford to lose another member.

Ghil impaled her greatsword into one of the Greater Shades, and Alrik removed its head and shoulders. The remaining rage demons' spells failed to hit the nimble elves, but the fire scorched Alrik and knocked Ghil to the ground heavily.

The blow back from the demon caused Ulrin to crumple to his knees. The elven rogue coughed and closed his eyes. The impact caused him to spit up blood and left his senses confused. This had to be it for him. Yet through some cruel twist of fate he was still alive.

The elf forced himself to stand on shaky legs as he gasped for air. Clutching his daggers he started out stumbling forward, but built himself up into a run. He focused on the demon that had struck him with its magic and dashed forward thrusting his weapons into the demon and tearing them out to the sides.

Again, she felt the power of the demons narrowly missing her. The elf took a breath, trying to stay grounded and calm.

Sulahn'nehn darted forward to get a better shot at the Rage demon advancing on Ghil, her spell pushing it backwards. She pleaded with the woman to get up quickly before the demon could recover.

Ghil looked up from the ground just in time to see the demon be tossed back by Sulahn'nehn's spell; with the elf covering her, she was able to scramble back to her feet and resume the assault. Once again, no demon could remain standing when the two barbarians focused their strength. Another one collapsed inwardly and dissolved into the earth.

A demon turned on the elven girl viciously, setting her gear alight with a plume of flame. Another demon fallen to their weapons, the remaining enemies sought to give Ghil and Alrik the same treatment. The demon seared Alrik with another blast of fire, and the Shade slashed wicked talons through Ghil's uniform.

[Double post]

Sulahn'nehn raised her arms, making herself ready to bring down a crushing force on their enemy. A light was flying towards her and she realized what it was too late to move out of the way. The elf shrieked, the intense heat caused her to abruptly end her casting. She panicked, patting out her burning uniform and temporarily forgetting what was before her.

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