Horizon Walkers (Game Thread) Dead

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World 1: The Liemian Empire

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Darkness and silence gave way to blinding light and the echoing roar of a crowd as the stone slab before you rose, freeing your movement. Behind you were only metal bars covered in mystical runes - your cage and home for the last few days. Beyond the bars to your left and right were hundreds more cages, wrapping around and out of sight. The final side consisted of a long hallway which circled the structure as far as your eyes could see. The hallway was currently filled with guards; spears at the ready to force any uncooperative prisoners out through the doorway and into the stadium beyond.

Filling the seats of the stadium were men, women, and children - most dressed in robes ranging from simple, dirty, and unadorned to gold threaded and purple dyed with countless pieces of jewelry hanging from the wearers. The more wealthy seemed to be clustered around larger boxes from which to enjoy the show, while less wealthy were packed tightly into every square inch of the mighty Colosseum. All however shared a single common trait; they were loudly screaming out for the show to begin.

Not more than half an hour ago ago, you were returned your missing equipment along with a large breakfast heavy in wheat, water, fruits, and meat. The reason was obvious enough; the audience demanded a good show and you needed to be at your best. Whether by volition or force, you were eventually pushed into the open stadium and the stone slabs fell back to the ground; blocking your escape.

Around you there were others in a similar condition; dressed for battle and blinded by the sun they'd not seen in days. With each step, the crowd seemed to grow louder and more excited; the tension was palpable. From one of the noble boxes, a man dressed in purple and gold robes with a golden crown which resembled feathers and carrying a golden staff topped with a golden bird-of-prey.

"Welcome!" he called out, his vice ringing through the massive Colosseum, signalling an eery silence to fall over everything. The silent stares were oppressive. "On this day, for your entertainment, we bring you a battle of savage versus monstrous!" he yelled, drawing screams of approval from the crowd. Gesturing to the group, he began to introduce the combatants.

"From the savage lands of conquest, she's vanquished every enemy we've thrown against her! But, how long will her luck hold! You know her; it's the wild Kes!" he screamed, drawing cheers and boos from the crowd. The announcer however moved on to the next combatant without a pause.

"But Kes isn't the only barbarian upon the field of battle today. From our glorious neighbors of the Gouged Grounds-" he said, his tone suggesting anything but glorious and drawing boos from the crowd, "-we have a barbarian priest of Champions of the Tempest-" he continued, the boos growing louder. "-the savage Serragish." Some cheers erupted here; honor was always given to those who were to die.

"But, dear audience, these are not the only warriors seeking glory today. I introduce to you Alexander Ginshell of Ormid for the first - and most likely last - time." he said, though the crowd had little reaction. "He tells us he's a great hunter of monsters for his pagan god; we look forward to seeing how well your god protects you." he concluded with a cruel laugh, drawing a similar response from the crowd.

"Let us not dwell-" he moved on quickly, "-on such unknown warriors. Particularly when we're graced with the presence of a favorite among the slave fighters. He's fought long and hard for this debut in our glorious Colosseum; the pagan of flames Kyras Red-Raven!" the announcer said, to the crowd's great delight.

"But, he's not the only fire wizard on the field of glory today. Let us welcome Dalrel Alress to his death. May he serve us well." he said, drawing cruel applause from those in the stands.

"And perhaps the lowest of the savage beasts in this pit-" the announcer continued, "-given by Consul Tullia himself for the punishment of death. Look forward to a blood bath!" he yelled, drawing screams of joy from much of the crowd. It was always good to know which savages were all but assured to die screaming early in the match.

But for every sacrificial lamb sent to the slaughter, there was a warrior. "But fear not Loyal people of Liem; for we have a proper Warrior in the pits as well; savage though he may be. A Dwarf from lands far from here; a brutal soldier from where civilization is but a whispered word. I present to you Vaerys Rhenor!" Once more, the crowd erupted in applause.

"However, we have another illustrious warrior here among our combatants. We have a mighty swordsman from a barbarian kingdom today. One of noble birth who shall fight for the greatest honor such a barbarian noble can hope for - to please the great gods of Liem!" he yelled, feeding the people of arena what they wanted to hear. "Glory to "Comte" Romaine Roux III!" he continued, condescending as always.

"And speaking of the barbarian kingdoms worlds away, let us welcome in the truest Liemian way another savage combatant from far away - Orika No Viela!" he yelled, drawing more applause. "Let us see what these primitive elves can do! How they can please us!" he finished, drawing cruel laughter from the crowd.

One by one, he introduced two dozen or so more gladiators before he was finished with those introductions. The crowd grew out of control as the introductions finished; soon the blood would flow freely. All at once, many of the gladiators turned to the announcer, crossed their weapons before their chests and yelled out "We who are about to die salute you!", drawing more applause from the crowd - it was important in such a match to play to the audience; you never knew when they might save your life.

"Ah, but let us not forget!" speaker said, silencing the crowd once more. "The savages are known; but.. the MONSTERS yet wait!" he said, and the crowd exploded once more. "Today we bring you creatures from dark worlds far from these! From a world beyond the Horizon game, these beasts were captured. It took dozens of our legionaries to subdue even one of these creatures. Their claws are as scythes, their teeth daggers, and their tails are poisoned flails! These lions of the sky thurst for the blood and flesh of mortals! MANTICORES!" He screamed, spit flying from his mouth as though salivating for the blood feast about to be unleashed.

Yet, even as he spoke, the crowd fell silent. For as the word left his mouth, a greater sound screamed forth beyond the stone slabs across the stadium from the group of warriors. The roar was blood chilling, more monstrous and fearsome than any description. The speaker however took it in stride. "But these are the least of our barbarian's worries. HE-" he yelled, pointing toward the source of the roar, "-is a beast like no other! A monster of mythic proportions. He looks like little more than a lion, but he's far more deadly than that! For he's no ORDINARY lion; he's a NEMEAN LION!!"

As if to accentuate the point, the monster roared once more; the stadium shaking under the wrath of the beast. Many of the gladiators paled; one threw up. All at once, money began changing hands in the stadium above; for no mortal could stand against such a beast.

The Announcer had one more piece of information to say. "Before you make your bets however, allow me to introduce out final elements; those beings that walk the line between savage man and monster; those who must choose with whom to fight!" he called out, silencing the crowd.

"First, I introduce you to a mystical being; a monster born of arcane experiments. A creation who makes play at being human. I give you, Id!" he yelled, drawing whispers from the crowd more than applause. It was hard to tell what a monster would do.

"But that marvel of magic is no where near as monstrous as our other gladiator. You've heard of her exploits; the ferocious monster who hunted so many of us yet now serves as sport for our great legionnaires! She who lacks a name yet speaks. I give you, by title, The Beast of the Western Forest!" Once more, silence reigned over the stadium - broken only by the roar of the Nemean Lion's roars - until the money began changing hands once more.

After several minutes of this, the speaker - still standing - spoke up one last time. "Now, let us see who is strongest!" and the stone slabs were hoisted up. A half dozen man sized flying cats poured out first, eager to fill their bellies. Behind them, more waited in the wings. Three gladiators fell in a instant under their assault, their screams echoing through the stands before the roar of the crowd hid the death throes of the gladiators.

In the back however, the greater threat lumbered out. As large as an elephant, the beast walked forward slowly; as if gauging its enemies to see which was the best choice. A moment later, it charged at a gladiator, roaring as it went. The gladiator lifted his shield and spear to protect himself, but the beast would have none of it. The spear shattered on its fur and its claws rent the shield in pieces. Blood went everywhere.

And the crowd screamed on.

After being forced out into the arena, she, naturally took to trying to rip the muzzle off her head, and thus ignored the human announcing the fighters. Her efforts where for naught, as the more stone gates opened and the flying vermin came out, or least that's how she viewed them, and watched with disinterested as they descended and slaughter the first few combatants, while she decided to stay close to one of the walls for the time being, deciding the muzzle on her head was more important then pleasing these sick creatures blood lust.

As she worked to remove the muzzle she kept an eye on not just the vermin and that much larger beast that seemed to be amusing it self with the fodder, but a small group of combatants as well, they seemed different from the usual ilk, and thus needed to be watched in case they moved against her.

Des was looking around the arena. It was almost nice seeing some sun and people after having been inside in a dark and lonely cage. However, something made him think this might not be an improvement. Perhaps it was the cheering crowds, or the weapons, or even the fact that someone had just said they would be fighting monstrosities. Most likely, it was all three. He himself hadn't been given much, he could easily be described as under-equipped compared to most of the others, only a basic armor and a sharp dagger. His own clothes was gone, probably because of the fact that he hadn't been wearing them when he had been taken in.

"And perhaps the lowest of the savage beasts in this pit,
given by Consul Tullia himself for the punishment of death. Look forward to a blood bath!"

"That's uncalled for,"

Des muttered under his breath. It wasn't be the first time Des had been in trouble because of someone's husband out to get him either. However, away from his own world, and in the middle of a large stadium about to fight for his not-so-mortal life, Des found himself wondering how he deserved this. So, he had seduced and tempted a man's wife. He hadn't harmed her at all, rather the other way around, and he hadn't fooled or tricked her. She had wanted him, she felt lonely and unloved. So Des had gone ahead, made her feel better than her husband ever could have. Didn't her husband love her enough to feel like her pleasure was a good thing?

I certainly don't deserve to die for it at least.

Of course, Des wasn't the only one who they were trying to kill, there was a rather large amount of others along-side him in the coliseum. Most were human, mortals, sent there by other mortals. They would die easier than him, wouldn't they? There even were women among these people, and that made him frown. How cruel this whole thing was. After the people who would fight had been introduced, they continued with the monsters. While many of the mortals appeared to grow paler upon hearing the names of the beasts, and seeing them, Des just frowned more. This really wasn't a good situation, he wasn't scared, but he was aware of the possible danger. Des couldn't help but wonder what he had gotten himself into.

"Before you make your bets however, allow me to introduce out final elements; those beings that walk the line between savage man and monster; those who must choose with whom to fight!"

Choose?

He examined the ones who had gotten out, especially the strange feline-like creature. Had they said it... no, she? could speak? Des couldn't do much fighting as he had little experience, but he realized she was attempting to take off what was covering her mouth. If she really could speak, shouldn't he help her?

Perhaps I can make her help us.

Des wasn't exactly a monster hunter kind of demon though, and there were certainly a lot of monsters. As one of the manticores got a little too close, he narrowly dodged it, trying to slit its wing but failing to do so completely. Still, he did manage to kill it, finally, but it was clear that he were making mistakes easy to avoid.

Yeah, I can't do anything about that.

It became rather obvious rather quickly that others were more skilled than him, and he called out. "Excuse me, fellow fighters!" he called, speaking in a tone that was both friendly and easy to trust. After all, why would he lie? His rather strong presence made it easier to spot him, while his voice was clear and easily understood. "We'll help the beings whom are to decide, right?! One of them has been muzzled, I'm sure she'll help us if we help her remove the muzzle, but I'm regrettably not strong enough to get over there by myself!"

Kyras looked at the other gladiators and then at the beasts.
This wasn't going to end well, one man already down by the lion.
Then there was the dozen or so manticores, and the two other creatures.
He knew how to deal with the manticores and there were more of them than the others.
He'd fight them first.

Maiar in hand, he waited for a moment when a manticore was diving at him, and swung into it.
The sword sliced into it and it slammed into the ground violently, crimson streaks spraying from its wound.

Kyras walked over to it and finished it off with a thrust into its spine as it attempted to scramble away.
The thought briefly occurred to him that he should rip the tail from it for later, but he was still in combat.
Another thought occurred that he could just burn them all to ash, but he'd need his energies to fight off the rest of the creatures.

He thought he heard one of the other gladiators yell for assistance, but he didn't quite hear what with as the sound of the manticore he was in the process of knocking out of the sky and hacking apart was screaming over the mans voice.

So it had been captured, imprisoned, stripped and now it had been thrown into the arena with the luxury of choice of target. How condescending. Then again, the announcer was condescension itself, feeding the audience with empty, hollow words. Their desire was painfully simple: kill. Kill and entertain, kill and entertain. Such an easy, easy thing to do; Id had spent most of its life taking those of others, indulging the so-called civilized humans would not be a problem. But who to choose? Really there was no choice. The beasts would attack all, those with minds may differ. Id thought it had a mind but there was something in the back of it, calling for blood. Those silly beings of flesh and blood... They couldn't leap as Id did as it brought a manticore down to the ground. It was about to give a killing blow to the monster but one of the savages called out and made Id pause.

"... help... beings whom... to decide."

Well, that was a development, though the words were muffled by the clamor of combat. But how much would the addition of two add to that team? A claw to the shoulder reminded Id that was indeed killing time, not thinking time, and so the creature broke the winged cat's neck. It looked around and saw the giant lion and pondered if some puppetry would be a good idea. Another swipe from a manticore later and Id came to the conclusion that the arena was far too crowded for such an action. How boring. Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill - that all it was going to be... The prospect of just letting its instincts handle the situation grew more and more tempting. Thought was for mystic types, though Id had been described as a 'mystical being', it was anything but. A hissing sound escaped its lips as it finally gave into its instincts and darted around the area.

Killing time, indeed.

These were not proud times for the former Comte. Captured, kept silent for days, forced out of his cell and practically had a breakfast forced down his throat, and now waiting with a bunch of savage gladiators to start killing... gods know what. He listened to some of the announced ones, trying to see if he could find a name like his. Of course, none. Though, his own introduction annoyed him more than anything else.

"However, we have another illustrious warrior here among our combatants. We have a mighty swordsman from a barbarian kingdom today. One of noble birth who shall fight for the greatest honor such a barbarian noble can hope for - to please the great gods of Liem! Glory to "Comte" Romaine Roux III!"

"Fuck you all, too." The noble brushed some of the hair off his eyes, drawing his sword. Up next came the introduction of the monsters, the first true trial of his... Walking? Was that the term for it? Whatever it was, these presented an obstacle in that he had no idea how to kill them. Many Manticore's flying about, he'd heard legends. They were dangerous, but had a physiology close enough to lions, just with wings, though further study would be appreciated before he truly began.

Romaine allowed one to get close to him, vicious but curious. Romaine allowed it to circle him a bit, keeping his sword brandished between them. Letting the beast get slowly closer... It quickly lunged out, using wings for leverage, Romaine ducking fast under it, jabbing his blade into it's chest. It let out a pained howl, landing on his back, taking the blade with him. Romaines turn, he dashed over, taking the blade out. Quick re-aim. Thrust it slightly farther to the right, center and slightly lower. The Manticore slackened, blood flowing when the sword left. Simple stuff, though he could likely aim for the eye as well... Practice was what he'd get here, at least.

"We'll help the beings whom are to decide, right?! One of them has been muzzled, I'm sure she'll help us if we help her remove the muzzle, but I'm regrettably not strong enough to get over there by myself!"

'Then die on a claw.' Romaine turned, between him and the yelling man were a few distracted Manticores. Between him and the Neutral beings, plenty more. They'd need to get taken care of, just in case they got it into their heads they liked the beasties more. The Golem was more content in darting about and slaying the flying buggers. Useful. A manticore descended on Romaine again, quickly finding Cyrille in his eye. Quick exit, the beast dead before it hit the ground. He swung the blade, letting some of the blood fly off it.

The Muzzled One would be his target, then. At least it gave him a goal, rather than watching the inept fighters getting overwhelmed. Romaine practically strolled over, quickly dicing any Manticore that got close to him, one such tried to swing his tail at him. The Noble ducked, the tail smacking an unfortunate who fought a bit too close to him. He'd keep a note of their poison, cutting it's neck open and severing it's spine. Messy, annoying. He kept on, there were a lot of monsters considering how difficult they were to catch... He sensed they were either a tad full of shit or there was a sale on these things.

She had to stop working on the muzzle, as a couple 'vermin and gotten it into they're heads 'not fighting = easy target'. The First one tried diving on her, but she just leaned into the dive and let the dumb beast kill it self in her back plates before she disinterestedly pried the corpse off her and tossed it a side like trash. The second, also tried diving on her, but this one she side stepped, letting it pass by before and more importantly, putting it between her at the wall. She waited only a only a short time before she slammed her tail into the Vermin's shoulder, sending it into the wall with the full of her strength. The Vermin's body fell to the arena floor, broken bones sticking from its flesh, as it died from injury and blood loss.

This did not have the effect she wanted, instead of it being a deterrent for the other Vermin, more came after her. She growled a curse 'My choice seems to have been made for me'

"He tells us he's a great hunter of monsters for his pagan god; we look forward to seeing how well your god protects you."

Alexander grinned broadly and gave an exaggerated wave to the crowd "Oh I'm sure my gods have better things to do," he replied loudly, undeterred by the jeering laughter. He scanned the crowd, then the occupants of the arena, sizing each up and making note of the names of the other combatants.

"We who are about to die salute you!"

"And thanks for the food!" he called out, then muttered conspiratorially to one of the other gladiators "better to die on a full stomach eh?"

The announcer began to introduce the monsters next, manticores and a nemean lion were their names, fearsome looking creatures but solid of form. The manticores had barbed tails, poisonous from what the announcer said, and while their tattered wings looked good for little the title of 'lions of the sky' told that they were more functional than they appeared, it also meant the arena had some sort of hidden barrier to keep them from assaulting the crowd, though the fact the combatants were allowed ranged weapons already hinted at that. The Nemean lion on the other hand visibly burned with power, have to keep an eye on that one. And my stay had been going so well.

Other beasts were introduced next, said to be somewhere between thinking creatures and mindless animals, a giant muzzled cat-man thing and a masked figure in robes. Id, the one in robes, if the announcer is honest then it is likely the most dangerous thing here. The monsters that feign humanity are the most deadly of all. Minutes passed before the announcer spoke one last time, and the battle was joined.

"Excuse me, fellow fighters! We'll help the beings whom are to decide, right?! One of them has been muzzled, I'm sure she'll help us if we help her remove the muzzle, but I'm regrettably not strong enough to get over there by myself!"

"Muzzled? Well that's hardly fair, lets help the poor creature out!" Alex replied, pretending to have not noticed the muzzle before. In truth he doubted they could trust the cat-beast but it already seemed to be tearing at manticores rather than their own ranks so there seemed little to lose from making the thing more dangerous. I'll come to regret this no doubt, but ah well I've always been good with animals.

He gave a deliberately clumsy twirl of his short sword and motioned for Des to follow him before moving into the fray, keeping low and circling around the outside to avoid most of the manticores. A pair of the beasts broke towards him though, he ducked under one slashing off its flailing barbed tails and then striking into its back leg, crippling the beast in one efficient stroke. As the first limped around to face him the second pounced, Alex sidestepped the charge and rammed his blade deep into the things chest, carried on its own momentum, before kicking it off the blade and turning to execute the crippled beast before continuing towards the cat.

At first, it seemed no one heard him. If they had, they had chosen to ignore him, at least. Then, a somewhat short man acknowledged him speaking, and answered.

"Muzzled? Well that's hardly fair, lets help the poor creature out!"

"Yeah!" Des replied, and made his way over when the mortal motioned towards him. At least he had one person to help now, and, from the distance, he could see that both the creatures seemed to have chosen to fight at their side.

"That's a relief," Des said, and reached out to touch a manticore slightly, paralyzing it and then quickly cutting its throat, feeling a bit bad about killing that and the one before that, but knowing that he had to. He then reached the man who had decided to help him and smiled brightly. "Hi," he said as they cleverly avoided several of the manticores. His tone was naturally friendly and charming, easily causing most people to lower their guard a little. "I'm Des, what's your name? I'm happy you'll help me get to the two others, hopefully they'll be friendly too." There was no need to let the mortal know that he was a demon, though, they always made a fuss out of nothing. Making sure there was no monsters around that could take him out when he turned his back, he looked at the other combatants for a slight moment again.

"Anyone else want to help out?!"

Perhaps they could do this, without dying. Des certainly hoped so, he didn't want to die in some death-match, never to touch a woman again, feel her warm Vitae flow through his body.

We should be able to do this.

Kes listened patiently to the announcer. It wasn't like any of this was new, but she'd learned not to upset those in charge; it only resulted in more difficulties. When the announcer had finished his part, Kes chanted with many of the other gladiators - "We who are about to die salute you." It was a lie of course; no one saluted their slave masters willingly, but playing to their desires.

From there, he continued to play to the crowd. Just as she needed to play to him, he needed to play to the arena. Kes supposed that was the point. As far as she was concerned, he could keep speaking. The longer he spoke, the longer they had to adjust their eyes to the bright light while the monsters they fought had no such edge.

She glanced around at her fellow combatants. Many looked at least moderately skilled though most seemed to have little in the way of battle prowess. Then, some of those were likely magic users which made their exact strength hard to determine. Still none of that had anything to do with her; none were like her.

All at once, the announcer was done and the monsters were free. Kes stood there, ready to take any enemies down who dared approach her. However, one of the other combatants seemed to have made something of a plan. "Excuse me, fellow fighters! We'll help the beings whom are to decide, right?! One of them has been muzzled, I'm sure she'll help us if we help her remove the muzzle, but I'm regrettably not strong enough to get over there by myself!" the pretty-boy said.

She didn't honestly care much, but his point was a good one. More people with good teamwork was often the deciding factor in these battles. Without time to plan, it was best to just go with the first plan or take your chances on your own. She opted for the former, following he and another fighter into the fray.

As she ran, she kept her anger in check; it would be more useful later when the battle was nearing its finish or when a proper need arose. Instead, as manticore came down upon her, she used there own strength against them - rolling out of their flight paths and following it up with rib shattering blows to their sides.

The light shone down on Dalrel as he revealed his face to the crowd, lowering his hood.
The announcer made some noises about him being a fire mage, which filled Dalrel with regret. ''I shouldn't have lashed at them. Surprise was my ally. Going in as a simple swordsman may have drawn less attention to me'' he thought.
As the crowd roared, Dalrel waved and smiled at them, his cloak billowing lightly behind him.

As the stone slabs shut behind him, Dalrel took a stance towards the nearest wall. ''These combatants had better kill the manticores and not me.'' he mumbled quietly, as 3 of the beasts tore a fellow prisoner apart.
It was at that moment he realised he should draw his sword.

Fumbling at the sheath, Dalrel drew his sword in his right hand, preparing to cast a flame in his left.

Several moments past, and there was an odd moment of clarity between the death screams of combatants, the jeers and clapping of the audience, and the roaring of the Nemean Lion. He identified friend from foe at that point, and almost admired the beasts, if not for their hellish purpose.
One of the manticores spotted him, and charged past other fighters straight for him.
It lunged, Dalrel ducked, rolling to the side and slashing at the beast.

The beast screamed, as the steel cut through the manticore's arm, and as Dalrel pulled out the blade, the beast was limping.
Now it was the beast that had its back to the wall, and Dalrel was clearly exposed. The monster leaned against the wall on its wounded side, scratching in Dalrel's general direction. He sighed, dropping his sword.

A snap of his fingers caused two bright red flames to appear, he drew breath, and threw his arms out at the beast, as the fire sprayed the manticore, its heat could be felt off his clothes, and behind the charred flesh the rocky perimeter grew black.
Picking up his steel sword, Dalrel moves several metres along the wall, making himself comfortable in a less exposed space. ''I won't die here'' he assured himself.

How did she get here? Her vision was different but she couldn't place how, sort of blurred she could focus.

Unfortunately right now there were more pressing issues, she was playing back the words of the announcer in her head, trying to get an idea of who else was here.

As of yet she wasn't attracting much attention, a gore soaked robe made good camouflage and her appearance wasn't as distinctive as the others so she has a little breathing space. She couldn't just rush in her moves would need to be considered; unfortunately breathing space was cut short. A Manticore got uncomfortably close and looked hungry. She managed to keep out of its way but lost ground to do so and she didn't like backing into an unknown situation.
She wracked her brains for what she Manticore,

Male Manticores can mate up to 50 times a day

Really, must be boring animals if that's all she'd heard wait

The natural predator of Manticore is the Gigabear

Great, a beast that existed on exactly one known world and hadn't been seen in centuries, where was she supposed to find one of those. Titanic cosmic horrors generally don't work as concealed weapons. She remembered seeing a dead one once, but that was back home and the stuffed body barely fit in one of the great halls.

So all she has to do was resurrect a long dead monster that happened to be in an entirely different floor and convince it to only kill the manticores in the arena.

Shame it was a surprisingly vivid memory funny what comes to you when being attacked.
Wait again, she could use that, holding the thought in her head she touches one of the creatures just dodging retaliation. She had the advantage of having done psychic transfer before, not everyone had that luxury. The manticore for example just had quite the shock as well as a rush of primal fear.
It scattered understandably so considering the image that was now in its head.

There were a lot of bits of pieces of body piling up at a rate even she'd call excessive. The announcer mentioned these creatures were poisonous or venomous, same difference. Even if it wasn't useful right away she picked up a stinger, you never know when toxins will come in handy.

She'd thought back over her own introduction, an opponent who knew more about her than she knew about them was the worst kind. The attempts to provoke her by insulting the homeland didn't go unnoticed. How did they know this?

Vaerys didn't know how he had gotten there but all he knew now was that he needed to fight out of there. Whoever brought him and this assortment of "gladiators" must have not been the smartest one or perhaps there were even more beasts to test them in the future but still, Vaerys needed to get out one way or the other.

First, he looked to the beasts that began to crowd the Colosseum floor. The first ones he saw seemed relatively minor compared to the Nemean lion. Sure they could, fly and their tails were poisonous but he faced much worse during the opening hours of fighting Orcs. At least orcs didn't smell as bad as the Manticores, Vaerys thought.

Then, he looked to his fellow fighters. He heard their names as from the announcers but names only really stuck to Vaerys if he knew what were behind them or rather they had earned them. That was the way he was taught and old habits die hard. One of them began forming a plan which was to remove the muzzle of one of the other gladiators. If that one had a muzzle then there was a good reason for it.

But as he thought, he spotted a Manticore dart towards him. It used it wings to carry it forward at a great speed, hoping to surprise the dwarf but the dwarf was hardly surprised. Vaerys brought his axe to bear and at the right moment, he swung it at a great force. The manticore's charge was stopped in its tracks as Vaery's axe was dug deep into it mouth, severing its spine. The creature went limp as Vaerys pried his axe free to swing it at another manticore charging from his side. This time, he swung the flat side of the axe and the hit stunned the creature. Then in a quick motion, Vaerys brought the pointed tip forwards into the beast's eye and into its brain.

"What lowly creatures!" Vaerys thought allowed, his voice booming even with the crowd's cheers. He knew his allies would be going after the creature's muzzle but he noted if more of them gathered there then the lion would have a nice target to pounce on. Vaerys would have nothing of that. Another manticore jumped him, mid-thought but all the creature was rewarded with was an Axe to the head. Then, he cut off its tail and made sure he gripped it in the non-poisonous part. He withdrew his axe once more but this time he faced the lion and looked for its eyes. He wanted to look that thing in eye. Vaerys wanted to see the beast for what it is and maybe just give his fellow gladiators a chance. That fur looked impenetrable in Vaerys' eyes but not every part of it was covered in it. Vaerys noted its exposed eyes, nose and mouth. It would be a hard shot to take but it was still a shot.

"Lion! Face a true warrior!" Vaerys yelled out. "Face me you sloven, overgrown cat!" Vaerys swung his axe at the rocky ground around him, sparking it with his swipe.

Once Orika heard someone say something along the lines of fear accompanies the threat of death, calm accompanies the certainty of death. With a full stomach and her weapons, standing tall in front of the crowd of onlookers in her comfortable martial red martial robes, Orika was calm. She looked out of the corners of her eyes at her fellow combatants, some of them certainly telling themselves that they weren't about to die, psyching themselves up for the fight to come.

Really she wasn't sure. These men could continuously send beasts at them until they fell from exhaustion, but Orika's calm didn't come from any notion that she was going to die, simply that there was little to do about it. She was used to feeling helpless, used to keeping quite and dealing with situations she was forced into. What happens, happens.

The word "primitive" cause her to smile through her otherwise stoic demeanor. Her people were, for the most part a bunch of backwards xenophobes, had a slave trade, but they never forced them to fight to the death for their own amusement. Civilized must be a subjective term.

As the announcer continued she listened to his grandiose descriptions of the beasts that they were to face, and then the final players, the ones who have to choose between man and monster, whatever that meant. Then they were turned lose on the combatants.

Orika took her crossbow and calmly brought it up to her face. She reached back and grabbed a bolt, and used a loading mechanism to pull back the immense tension of the string. This was how she was taught, loading before combat could lead to unwanted discharges and bolts trough feet.

She was about to start when the creature to her left opened his mouth.

"Excuse me, fellow fighters! We'll help the beings whom are to decide, right?! One of them has been muzzled, I'm sure she'll help us if we help her remove the muzzle, but I'm regrettably not strong enough to get over there by myself!"

If this was another situation Orika would have nothing to do with the muzzled creature. Something about it didn't sit right, and more, she didn't know these people. This wasn't the time to be picky with your allies, sure, but the thought that before this day was ended that these "savages" turned comrades might become her enemies crossed her mind.

What Happens, Happens

With that she fired a bolt into the encroaching horde of Manticores. It sailed into the head of one of the pack leaders who collapsed into a slump, tripping up a few directly behind him into a small pileup. As they righted themselves to take another charge she turned to the creature.

"Anyone else want to help out?!"

"If it has a choice it should have the chance to make it." Orika said in agreement "Just be careful; something about it doesn't sit right with me."

"I'm Des, what's your name? I'm happy you'll help me get to the two others, hopefully they'll be friendly too."

"Call me Alex," he replied, continuing to push towards the cat and the robed figure, others seemed to have joined the effort as well, Kes and Orika if he remembered their names right. Others simply attacked the manticores head on, one armored figure even issuing a challenge to the lion.

The manticores had torn into many combatants already, but others stood strong, a good distraction if there ever was one. He made note of the others combat styles when he caught glimpses of them, but his focus remained on the cat-man ahead of them. Another manticore charged him from above and almost without looking he evaded, diving to the side of its paws and slashing into its wing sending it crashing to the ground before Kes.

"Just be careful; something about it doesn't sit right with me."

Orika spoke a warning about the cat even as she joined the push, and Alex had to agree with her. The beast was certainly dangerous, but if it could be sent against the monsters they were faced with and away from them then making it more dangerous could prove worthwhile.

"Oh I'm sure it'll go terribly," he replied cheerfully to Des and Orika both, his grin unfaltering.

They neared the cat and he shouted ahead to the beast, lets see if it can think then. "Creature, hold still and we will aid you," he said, holding his empty hand out cautiously as he slowed his approach. Can't very well undo the muzzle if it keeps shaking around after anyways.

"Call me Alex,"

The man said, and Des nodded. "Yeah, I'll call you that." This was the guy who had been introduced as Alexander... something, right? He hadn't really paid attention to the men earlier, although he did recognize the girl who then followed them. She seemed more at home, almost, Kes, he thought it was. He had remembered that because it was similar to his name. Des turned to her for a short moment and smiled, warmly and affectionately. Then, another woman spoke, warning them.

"Just be careful; something about it doesn't sit right with me."

"Oh I'm sure it'll go terribly,"

Des felt a little less calm when he heard that, did they really both expect the two non-humans to act against them? They had no reason to do so, the mortals and him could be trusted. So Des figured, at least. While he didn't fight as much as the others, he still took the chance to stab a manticore lying on the ground, having a hard time moving. At least it wasn't suffering anymore when it was dead, although the amount of killing around Des made him feel less about it by now. Everyone was just trying to survive, after all. As they got closer, Alex shouted to the surprisingly large -he had expected her to be a little smaller- feline, although Des frowned when he heard what the mortal shouted.

"Creature, hold still and we will aid you,"

"She's hardly just some creature," Des argued, not sounding less friendly. When they were close enough to be heard without having to yell, but not close enough for the large cat-like being to reach out and attack them, he went a little closer, putting away his dagger as he did.

"As Alex said, we'll help you if you let us help you." He showed her that he had nothing in his hands, counting on the others to have his back if something should happen. "I'm unarmed, I would never harm you." He spoke truthfully, there wasn't an ounce of deceit in his being at the moment. Well, apart from the magic altering his appearance ever so slightly, but that would only aid in being trusted. Des walked a little closer.

"You understand me, right? Just let me take of your muzzle, and we'll take care of these monsters together. You've got nothing to lose," he smiled, trusting that she wouldn't harm him.

She had just finish slaying another of the vermin when some of the human fodder approached her.

"Creature, hold still and we will aid you," one male, said, earning a disapproving growl for the comment.

"She's hardly just some creature," another male said, this one wreaking of many females, he spoke as he put his weapon away. "As Alex said, we'll help you if you let us help you." now showing her his hands empty hands, she though this odd "I'm unarmed, I would never harm you." he continued, and the gesture clicked, he was trying to appear less threatening.

Still didn't explain why they though she need help, "You understand me, right? Just let me take of your muzzle, and we'll take care of these monsters together. You've got nothing to lose," Explains that. Before she could answer she spotted two Vermin diving in from behind the group. Took her less the a second to make her choice.

She lunged forward, and over the trio, grabbing the pair by the skulls, and shoving them both hard into the ground, stunning them just long enough for her to put her hind legs on the hips of the Vermin and took a firm hold of their neck then, in a move that probably didn't do much for the heart rates of the trio, stood up, ripping the heads off though hardly in a clean manner "Do not drop your guard while the Vermin are about" She said flatly though slightly muffled by the muzzle as she tossed the severed heads a side. "Remove this vile thing from me, and I will aid you in this meaningless battle" lower back to all fours so they could remove the muzzle,

"Do not drop your guard while the Vermin are about"
"Remove this vile thing from me, and I will aid you in this meaningless battle"

As soon as the beast finished speaking Orika lifted her weapon with one hand while standing in a relaxed pose and fired it past her head, striking a manticore in the wing.

"I suppose if you consider your life and freedom meaningless." The Elf said, almost inaudibly as she dropped the crossbow on the dusty floor.

"Hurry up and help her out." Orika said as she looked forward at 4 encroaching chimeras. She reached into her obi and pulled out a small hunting knife which she held up in front of Des, offering the handle while she pinched the blade within her fingers. "Take this, it might help with the muzzle." she said, looking at the demon out of the corner of her eye.

She then crossed her arms over and grabbed each of her axes, spinning them around in her hands as she walked towards the small pack, past the sentient monster.

The first one lunged at her, opening it's maw. Orika waited for the last moment before moving out of it's way, using the momentum of moving as a counter weight for her fist, which accelerated one of the axes straight into the things neck. As it was falling to a heap on the floor it's weight and velocity pulled her backwards. Like the water in a clam stream her body bent with it's weight as she traveled down with it, sending her feet in the air.

She timed it perfectly to meet the second one, which swooped down from above. her wooden sandals caught it right in the wing joint and it tumbled down to the floor; bruised but not beaten, while the third bounded in from the side and caught her free axe in the ribs. She let that one go, letting the wounded creature carry off her weapon while the last one in the wave came at her.

It took a considerable amount of effort to pull the axe from the already dead manticore's neck, and to the untrained eye it would look like she stumbled as it came free and lost it. A few laughs came from the crowd as her axe trailed off and she landed on her backside with a thud and a puff of the arena's dust. But then the pike on the end made a loud audible crack as it pierced through the monster's skull, The moving carcass came to a stop at her feet, as though offering her weapon back to her. The sight of her pulling her axe from its head hushed the spectators and she took another look at her surroundings.

The two left, circled her carefully snarling and growling, one of them limped from the mortal wound she had inflicted. She kept still in a readied posture as her eyes and ears tracked the salivating monsters, waiting for them to make a move.

Dalrel surveyed his the battlefield to see what was happening. There appeared to be small groups forming up of fighters to combat the beasts, so he made it his mission to reach the other side of the colosseum and join them, strength in numbers after all.
This was interrupted of course when an ice spike landed inches from his head. He ducked as a pale skinned woman with long flowing silver hair lunged at him again, this time pulling more water out of her flask to freeze and hurl at him.
Dalrel pulled out his sword and sliced at her in a single fluid motion, the Snow Elf jumped back, her lilac dress rippling around her.
Another spike came his way as she drew a dagger, and Dalrel brought up a wall of flames in front of him, melting the spikes.
He ran along the wall, jumping over the black charred manticore carcass as ice and water and daggers hailed past him.

It was only when she started to chase after him did Dalrel shoot fireballs back, one clipped her long flowing dress and quickly licked up her thigh, if not for a puddle near the snow elf, Dalrel would have been free.
He was sprinting, scattering fire behind him in a bid to get closer to the makeshift alliance nearby. A manticore spotted him and pounced for him.
Dalrel stopped and brought up his shield again, the beast saw the flames and decided he wasn't worth the effort, instead turning his gaze on the pursuing Snow Elf.
It pounced at her and Dalrel kept running, daring not to glance back.

It was only when he got towards the nearest fighter did Dalrel realise what he was in for:
Another Elf, this time with a crossbow, had a small unit of the monsters pitted against her, one was lying dead, the other wounded, and the third hungry.
''Don't shoot!'' he shouted at the girl, moving towards one of the manticores, sword in one hand and fireball in the other.

''Don't shoot!' She heard a man yell

Orika had no intention of going for her bow, any change in stance would cause the beasts to come at her, and she didn't have enough time to reload. She simply continued to spin the axe in her hand as she stared one of them down.

Suddenly they started for her, coming from both sides. Quickly she decided on the wounded one, kicking up a considerable amount of sand as she launched herself at the beast. As it leapt up with a beat of it's powerful wings she dropped to her knees and slid under it, grabbing her other axe and pulling it out. She heard a loud yelp as her face was splatted with small droplets of manticore blood and its poisonous tail whipped around in front of her. She swung her body around to the side and slammed both of her axes into one of the creatures legs, avoiding the dangerous appendages as they flailed about. Blood from the wounds slowly poured out as it collapsed. Orika put her foot at the base of it's tail to subdue the rest of it as it continued whimpering.

In the seconds it had taken for the maneuver to take place the second, healthy manticore was still bearing down oh her. She readied her self again to use it's own momentum against it. She hoped the call not too shoot was because she was about to get aid, not because the man calling out had a thing for manticores.

Before the large feline replied, she jumped over Des' head and onto two manticores who had approached them from behind the group. Grabbing them, she quickly took care of them by ripping their heads off. Des supposed, had he been a human, that her standing up and being about twice his height, as well as ripping off heads just like that, he'd be scared. However, he wasn't as fragile as a mortal. Not to mention, he trusted her.

"Do not drop your guard while the Vermin are about. Remove this vile thing from me, and I will aid you in this meaningless battle"

Des smiled even more, now that she had said that she'd help them herself. "Thanks, but I'm not as fragile as the mortals," he replied, attempting to assure her that it'd be fine. "I'll help you out now."

"Hurry up and help her out." The other woman, a rather beautiful one, offered him a hunting knife. "Take this, it might help with the muzzle."

He didn't think he would need it, having a dagger and all, but Des took it, thankful, making note of her Vitae as he did. "Thank you," he replied, and his eyes lingered on her body, then her face for a short moment. "I'll take care of it." He then went over to the feline creature whom had not yet offered a name. Upon examining the muzzle, he found that it would probably be too tough to cut, and started working on the lock itself. It was doable, it didn't involve any need for a key or anything, it would just take a short while.

"It's a bit difficult," Des said as he kept working on it. He had put the hunting knife together with his dagger, and was carefully working on unhooking the muzzle. "But I'm managing it, what's your name? I'm Des." He noticed that the feline creature had some sort of female Vitae. Curious. "Also, if you don't mind, what kind of being are you? I've seen some different ones, but you don't seem like a demon to me." Des was happy to chat as he unhooked it and removed the muzzle, it passed the time and it was certainly more cheerful and encouraging than having to fight.

However, the fighting soon returned, as a manticore came a little too close, its tail attempting to sting him, he grabbed the tail and paralyzed it again.

That's twice. It doesn't take that much Vitae, but I should be vary of the amount sinking too low.

He had been locked up for a while, after all.

The manticore dropped down completely still, and he used the hunting knife to stab its heart -or close to it- and killing it swiftly. There was no real remorse in his actions, not beyond what he had already felt and thought. "A little close, don't you think?" he then smiled, and glanced back at the feline. "I'm glad we managed to get the muzzle off, though, it looked thoroughly unpleasant." He glanced around for the other non-human, trying to see if it needed any help. From what he could see, it was simply fighting, killing what it could kill.

It wasn't restrained or anything when they let it in, was it? It might not need our help then.

Kyras looked around the Colosseum as the manticores stopped swarming him for a moment.
There was a group forming around the muzzled creature. The scent of burning flesh was coming from nearby, a charred manticore against a blackened wall, there was a mage amongst them. A dwarf was challenging the lion. The other creature was still killing manticores.

Kyras knocked another manticore from the air with his blade as it swooped at him, let it slam into the ground, and finished it off.
A plan began to form in his head, he'd let the dwarf distract the lion, and he'd burn it to death as its back was turned. He thought that ff fire didn't kill it, it should atleast weaken the behemoth's hide.

Kyras slashed into another manticore coming at him, he left it to bleed and started moving towards a position he felt would be close enough to the lion and the dwarf to burn the lion, but far enough from them to avoid the lion taking notice of him over the dwarf.

"She's hardly just some creature,"

The cat didn't seem to like the term either, giving an angry growl as he said it, well this is sure to be trouble might have to be sure we can trust it. He heard the flapping of manticore wings and glanced at some shadows breaking free of the other monsters, heading to attack their makeshift alliance from behind, perfect.

"As soon as she's given me a name I'd be happy to call her by that," he replied to Des "the announcers were sadly unhelpful in that regard."

The flapping of the wings drew closer, and his grip tightened on his sword arm as he prepared to spin around and fight, but the cat did as he'd hoped it might and pounced over them striking the beasts down.

"Do not drop your guard while the Vermin are about. Remove this vile thing from me, and I will aid you in this meaningless battle"

Still not the most likable creature, but it at least sees reason to defend us for now. Des moved to take off the muzzle, and Alex spun to fend off any manticores that might try to disrupt the process. He glimpsed another fight, Dalrel, being attacked by another gladiator as he made his way to join their group. Someone's popular, wonder what he did to get someone to stupidly attack him instead of the viscous beasties all about.

"Thanks, but I'm not as fragile as the mortals. Also, if you don't mind, what kind of being are you? I've seen some different ones, but you don't seem like a demon to me."

Speculation on that front was cut short by the comments he heard from Des, not mortal eh? What then, he knows of demons at least, though from what I've seen the ones of my world are not the same as those of other worlds, he's likely more dangerous than he seems. Wears his human guise more closely than the masked one as well, not a good sign.

This was not the time to act on such information though, it was too limited, besides Alex thought as he finished off another monster there's still these things to deal with.

"What's your name? I'm Des."

"As soon as she's given me a name I'd be happy to call her by that, the announcers were sadly unhelpful in that regard."

Well this was problematic "From what I under stand of your, language is it? It does not have the sounds necessary to say it." She said as the muzzle came off, she sat back on hind legs and on on her front legs and rubbed her jaw a little "Much better."

"Also, if you don't mind, what kind of being are you? I've seen some different ones, but you don't seem like a demon to me."

She tilted her head a little "What are these 'demons' of which you speak?" standing up again "Now, that name I can give you, we call our selves 'Ranglie'" She said turning her back to the duo, looking around a bit "The large one should be the focus, not these flying Vermin" She said as the plates on her back and horns on her head began to glow, faintly at first then brighter, her gaze on the Manticor gate "Though it seems the Vermin we have left are all there are. Good."

The plates on her back hit a consistent glow, she took one last look at the Vermin open to her, and fired a rough, almost flame like beam of energy into the cluster of flying Vermin, killing several, and wounding several more, the beam only coming to a stop against the shield, directly in front of the announcer, and where she assumed the other 'VIPs'. To further drive home this a planned 'attack' she stood up again and mimicked a 'come on then' gesture she'd seen some of the others use, openly challenging the vermin in the stands who think the own her to come after her.

The muzzle was off, and far as she was concerned, the vermin in the stands would pay for their insult to her.

One by one, the Manticore dropped to the ground, their blood pooling around their dying forms. For a time, their numbers seemed endless for, with every death, another seemed to crawl its way into the arena. Yet, after the first pride had made its attack, the remainder of their number seemed smaller and more cautious - clearly not the pride of the pride. Finally, after more than half the gladiators had dropped, the stream of flying monsters ran dry. Many of the remaining gladiators took a moment to shout in joy - the end was in sight.

For most of these gladiators, it was a safe choice. Unfortunately for one however, his shout distracted him from the greater threat; that of the Nemean Lion. In his haste, he turned from the lion; allowing the mighty beast to make a single pounce and tear the gladiator to viscera. This blood of the fallen mixed with that of the fallen Manticore and his fellow gladiators, draining into the sand of the arena floor.

That was when Vaerys arrived. "Lion! Face a true warrior!" Vaerys yelled out. "Face me you sloven, overgrown cat!" Kyras took position not far from Vaerys. The Lion turned slowly to face the dwarf, more interested in its recently acquired meal than. Still, the creature was smart enough to know not to ignore an enemy. It lifted its head from the meal of gore long enough to roar at Vaerys.

The roar was loud beyond reason, carrying sand from the ground into the air and cracking the stone beneath under its force. But, as quickly as the roar had come, it ended. In its wake, the Lion charged forward at the dwarf, intent on getting a second meal.

Meanwhile, across the field of battle, the combatants who'd gathered to remove the muzzle found the few remaining gladiators gathering around them to put up a defense and generally happy they had. The Manticore seemed wary to make aggressive actions against the small band of warriors and had shifted to making hit-and-run tactics from the sky against the group; picking off those who wandered too far from the group and using distance as their defense.

Those few who hadn't met up with the group found no such defense, quickly being set upon by Manticore by the dozen.

Evidently the Manticores didn't care that Serragish was trying to stay out of this fight. She couldn't keep just avoiding them, however she noticed that people began clumping together, though people was a bit too precise of a term.
She reached for her belt, without needing to take her eye of the battle field she found what she needed. A small round bottom flask, bout the size of a cricket ball, it was heavy densely packed with a colourless opaque something.

She could feel the heat caused by immense internal pressure, the glass sure was strong. But even that strength was finite the slightest knock could release the pressure and with it a torrent of smoke.

Perfect cover.

She breathed in took a moment to internalise the root and make a few calculations regarding the velocity of the various combatants. She decided not to try and run through the lion so her choice of group was made for her. Right towards some of the stranger beasts, she'd not have chosen to de-muzzle the cat like creature at least not so readily.
No more putting it off, she slams the glass flask into the ground, the billowing black bulging smoke enveloped her and people in a large area, and she was able to ignore the odd glass shard that found its way into her leg.

When darkness descended on her she gave in and closed her good eye. It was dark but she barely even noticed. In pitch black the world lit up, she could feel life around her, each other life was a combination of sensations.

The Manticores were a short of dull background tone, the sour harmonic glow they had about them contrasted a cooler golden scent which she made towards. She was able to dodge the advances of Manticores that had been blinded. Their stumbles were entirely predictable.

She tripped a little, knocked back by the brightness that met her when she was out of the gas cloud. She was better at holding her breath than most but still coughed a little on arrival. She was closer to the group at least.
"Hello" *pant* *pant* It was quite the sprint.

Orika had found her way to the center of the ring of gladiators and was taking pot shots with her cross bow.

Bolt in. Pull the leaver. Make sure the string catches the latch. Press stock into shoulder. Aim. The bolt moves at 50 meters per second. Lead and correct accordingly. Finger on the trigger. Exhale. Pull.

The rehearsed motions circled in her mind as she did her best to stave off the waves of beasts. She missed a few and got a couple in the head, but the majority of them just took one in the wing and fell out of the sky, and they were falling, slowly.

Most of them weren't dead once they were grounded however, and this proved to be a fatal misunderstanding for several of the warriors, who were impaled by the thrashing poisonous barbs on their tails. They learned quickly however, making sure to jab them once more to make sure they were dead.

The lion charged at Vaerys at a great speed just as he anticipated.

"Come at me, kitty cat!" Vaerys taunted. He dropped the poisonous coil next to him, noting where the non-poisonous part of the tail was. With both hands, he gripped his battle axe so its large blade was placed between the lion's eyes. The lion sped at him at blinding speed but the best part was that the lion came right at him. It didn't deviate or try to trick him for this lion was a natural warrior but only one would come out on top today. For a few brief moments, Vaerys and the lion exchanged eye contact. He peered into the beast's eyes, challenging it but also showing his respect for it. Never would Vaerys share eye contact with an enemy he didn't respect.

But the moment was short lived as Vaerys raised his axe over his head and brought it back so the shaft of it was temporarily perpendicular to the ground. When the beast was close he let the axe loose. With one clean motion, he brought it forward and towards the charging lion. He let go of the axe and let it sail towards the lion's head, hopefully to at least allow him time. Then he grabbed the Manticore tail by its non poisonous section and swung the it like a whip towards the lion.

"From what I under stand of your, language is it? It does not have the sounds necessary to say it."

"Ah, that's a shame. Do you have anything you'd prefer me to call you by?" Des asked, and examined her again. She did look similar to a feline, but not just a feline. Something more, slightly human, slightly... something.

"What are these 'demons' of which you speak? Now, that name I can give you, we call our selves 'Ranglie'"

Before he got time to answer, she continued with saying that they should focus on the bigger one. The Ranglie opened her mouth and fired burning light from her mouth. Des watched as she did, waiting for her to finish so that he could talk to her some more, it appeared less manticores were around the group now. He spoke when he had the chance.

"Hm... what is a demon indeed," he replied to her question before, as he thought of a good answer. He supposed there was no reason to hide it now, these humans were different, they were used to beasts he had never ever seen before. "Beings such as me, I'd say, but also different. I'm much fonder of humans," he smiled. "Well, humans and Ranglie, from the looks of it."

He noticed a woman a distance from them, wanting to help her, but becoming surprised as she was surrounded by black smoke. She then ran towards the group, and stopped when she was there, out of breath.

"Hello"

"Hi!" he said, and walked up to her. This one was human, as well as taller than him, but still beautiful -all women were, some more than others, but that didn't make any of them less precious- and he smiled warmly. Her Vitae was more similar to the kind he was used to, though not entirely, these mortals weren't exactly like the ones he knew.

I wonder what the different kinds of Vitae would taste like.

Des thought for a slight moment, before he noticed her leg. "Are you okay?" he asked her. "Did you hurt your leg?"

After her initial blast she backed toward the group once more, and waited for the vermin's next move.

"Hm... what is a demon indeed" The 'demon' began "Beings such as me, I'd say, but also different. I'm much fonder of humans, Well, humans and Ranglie, from the looks of it." he said with have she'd heard called a 'smile', she knew it to be a generally positive gesture, but it just looked funny to her. She could help but feel he didn't really answer her question though, not that it really mattered at the moment, though she did remember that he'd as asked her if she had another name, again this struck her as odd, and her expression reflected this added confusion. "Why would I have another name?"

She stay close to the group that removed her muzzle, letting the thin human with the pointy ears shoot then vermin down before jumping on them and finishing it them off and generally running interference when she could, making note of the other too humans to join them, while keeping an eye on what the larger beast was doing, though it seemed more interested in a small human, though she wasn't sure if this little human was brave or stupid for challenging it alone.

She also took note of another human wearing something she'd heard called 'armor' who seemed to be trying to take on a bunch at once. For a few moments she gave thought to just letting the vermin rip him a apart for his foolishness, but since he was still alive that he could probably still be useful, and began to charged a blast to reduce his load a bit. Like last time, her horns and plates slowly began to glow as she picked off the vermin, as well as helped another human who came out of some strange cloud get to the group safely, before wheeling around and firing into the group of vermin circling the lone armored human, and again remaining close to the group, a little winded after the second shot, and growled a curse at how out of shape she'd gotten due to that restraint she'd have forced on her.

Alexander stood back and watched, the manticores were thinning out now so he hardly needed to act, but the lion remained. The armored dwarf was already challenging it, but it looked to him like the lion might just crush him in his armor, no a plan of some sort was needed. Besides this was a good opportunity to observe the others, make mental notes on how they fought and acted. The pointy eared woman with a crossbow moved with the practiced style of a soldier, though most of the others lacked the same discipline.

"Beings such as me, I'd say, but also different. I'm much fonder of humans,"

He turned, surprised by the remark. Admitting to being a demon? Either the word means something else on his world or he's exceptionally foolish. Alex knew he would have to keep an eye on him, taking action now would be foolish especially with the others trusting Des so easily so far. The fact that he claimed to be fond of humans meant nothing though, many demons that could speak would claim so, though each had their own reasons. The Tall man had even once said that he admired man's drive, his will to survive.

He shook his head and focused, putting together a plan. His smile never fading he turned to the 'Ranglie' and Des, yelling to get their attention.

"Ranglie, hold down the lion if you can, Des try to paralyze it like you did those manticores," he said, he had noticed how the beasts had stiffened at the demons touch before but he wasn't sure if it would work on something so much larger. The next words were spoken more quietly, he didn't want the howling crowd to notice them "We don't need to kill it, just make it look like its dead."

"My leg, oh yeah." She looked down at the trickles of blood peppering her. Each marked by a spring of barely visible shard. It was a simple enough job to remove them which she did without any problems by hand she didn't flinch as the wounds worsened slightly. Once the wounds were comparatively cleared there was a slight glow and the wounds healed almost instantly and good as new. Lucky that would was self-inflicted. She still had some energy from the smoke cloud but it was small enough to manage for now. Plus she'd need to consider what exactly the energy was going to do.
"Lucky me, looks like I'll be fine for now."

The manticores began swarming Kyras as he readied himself to take on the lion. He swore he saw an energy blast take out a few nearby as he fought back against them. He had enough of this, he was about to live up to the name the announcer gave. He saw the lion charge and the dwarf attack.

In a quick and smooth motion he sheathed his sword, and drew in as much energy from the area as he could.

For a brief second it would appear that he was wreathed in flames, a bubble formed around him briefly before exploding out through the manticores, frying several of them, leaving burned corpses and several burning alive, scrambling away from him.

He began to laugh bordering on the maniacal as he made a cone of fire appear from his hands, aiming at the lion, making the flames envelope the beast.

The focus had shifted from the manticore to the lion; however, the manticores' focus hadn't shifted one bit. Diving and roaring, they swarmed about Id. The rest were happy to take pot shots at the bands of gladiators, happy to swoop into a sea of swords. Id wondered about the audience felt about the fight, was it an epic struggle between man, manticore and Nemean lion or just cowards banding together just to live for a few minutes more? Or even, what about its own little performance? It must've seemed somewhat comedic with the arcane experiment being hounded by a bunch of flying vermin, desperately trying to shake them off. It was true that Id couldn't deal with such numbers, that was not its purpose, however that was only what was happening on the surface...

The puppet contorted and twisted into impossible positions - an arm bent backwards, its back coiled up and so on - as it left faint footprints in the sand. Already it had let the manticores' claws rake its clothing, revealing what or what wasn't inside. Just material things they may be, but forming another body would be an arduous task in itself - not to mention that of its favorite scarves now had a huge rip in it. In short, the situation was less than optional and that needed to be amended. The manticores' reckless behaviour along with the loose organisation and strategy of the savages gave the Archinet an idea: a strategy of its own. It had been stated that it was on the side of whose who must chose, in return for that designation, it would present the manticores with a choice.

In fact, as a result of its plan, there would be a lot of choices to make. It could be said that the plan was more of a little experiment than an actual plan. Simply, it felt right to Id and so Id initiated it and continued its evasion of claws, teeth and poison stings. Though now it ran towards the Nemean lion. A lone combatant like Id was practically a meal on a platter to the manticores, now to see how far they would go for one... On the other hand, a lot of other combatants had chosen to go for the lion - there was a possibility of complication. But no matter, there weren't any other steps to the plan. Well, except one. As the arcane experiment got closer and closer to the lion, it got ready. Then it hit the ground and slid under the lion's belly, contorting as was needed.

"Why would I have another name?"

"Hm?" Des replied, turning back to the feline. "I just wanted to know if you had something you'd prefer to be called, a nickname or something." Perhaps he should just call her Ranglie for now, but that felt arrogant and rude, like addressing a human by "human". However, before he could reach a conclusion, Alex spoke, doing what he was wondering if he should do.

"Ranglie, hold down the lion if you can, Des try to paralyze it like you did those manticores,"

"I don't know..." Des said. "It seems we've lost our window of opportunity to do something like that." He motioned towards the lion, several mortals -as well as the other being that had to choose- were attempting to take it down. "Besides, I don't know if I'd be able to, it's... a bit too costly." How much would he use if he tried to paralyze that lion? It was one thing to use it to protect himself, and on smaller creatures, but the lion was larger, much larger.

And Des wasn't currently in danger. As much as he wanted to help others, he also really didn't want to die.

It looks like it'll be fine, though. There's not much I could do either way.

He turned instead to the woman who had just arrived, she healed herself, and spoke.

"Lucky me, looks like I'll be fine for now."

"Yeah, that's great! What an amazing ability," he said, looking into the eye not covered by an eye-patch. It was a beautiful color, different from what he usually saw. A lot was different here, but at least the women were beautiful. "I'm Des," he said. "What's your name?"

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