Horizon Walkers (Game Thread) Dead

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"I don't know ... It seems we've lost our window of opportunity to do something like that. Besides, I don't know if I'd be able to, it's... a bit too costly."

"I feel the same, the beast is to large for me to 'hold down', to try would be of to great a risk to make it worth while to try." She said, adding her thoughts on it "Though I must ask why we not simple stay back and attack it at range." adding that question as many seemed less then eager to attack this larger beast, sure it was large, but they had number on their side now as the vermin where becoming less and less of an issue.

Dalrel followed after the woman with the crossbow, past a few corpses she had made.
''Hold on,'' he called after her, reaching her as the elf began to loose shots.
''My name's Dalrel, yours? Also whats the plan?'' he asked urgently, casting a few fireballs and lobbing them across the arena to make himself useful.

"I don't know ... It seems we've lost our window of opportunity to do something like that. Besides, I don't know if I'd be able to, it's... a bit too costly."

"Though I must ask why we not simple stay back and attack it at range."

Alex nodded "Shame, would have been the fastest way to end this, but yes attacking at range would be the second plan," he said. Though given the beast's appearance I wonder what will actually harm it, its clearly a powerful creature.

He reloaded his crossbow though and prepared to fire on the thing, trying to aim for the eye. He wasn't sure if it would hurt the thing but the eye tended to be a painful spot if nothing else. Shame Des won't try, would have spoken volumes for his trustworthiness. He seems to be quite easily distracted though, something to remember.

''Hold on,''

Orika stopped dead, lowering her crossbow and glared at the figure chasing after her, throwing fireballs as he went.

''My name's Dalrel, yours? Also whats the plan?''

Orika thought about how much information she should give him, taking the moment to survey the battle field. The gladiators she was with were starting to falter, and it occurred to her that her separation from the peculiar demon, the dwarf and the beast had lead to an unfavorable hand. She quickly hatched a plan to rectify that.

"Orika." she said simply, lowering her bow to her side as she turned her whole body to the tall man with a concentrated expression "And I'll need some rope."

"And I'll need some rope."
Dalrel glanced behind him as a battle raged between the now wounded manticore and the Snow Elf. Her silver locks red with blood and her silk dress barely held together by a rope around her waist.
She was tired, and the manticore was somehow avoiding being impaled on the small forest of ice that surrounded her.
''She's got some, would that do?''

She just stood back and watched for now, letting the humans come up with a plan, they confused her, so many odd customs, so for now she kept watch over the fodder as they slowly picked off the remaining vermin, though she was eager to just be done with this waste of time. She looked about the arena, at all the dead, both human and vermin, then to the cheers from the humans gathered to watch, and those in the VIP seats, all laughing and enjoying the sights.

She snorted, then remembered barrier that stopped her attack before. "Think we could break the protection they have from us and the beasts? Wonder how much amusement they'd get from this when it's them in the game" She thought aloud, though not intentionally.

"What's your name?"
"I'm Serragish." Her voice wasn't giving her opinions away her eye narrowed a little. "I might not be seeing totally straight, why you don't look the same way as you're body..." She was missing a word, always the problem with an extra sense language just didn't have the words. "How come you don't look like you should? Never mind, we can deal with it later. Bigger things to think about now." Speaking to fast, like the other half of the conversation was happening internally and the other people around weren't expected to take part.

She fixed her eye on the lion, as best she could at least "Ok that's priority 1 at the moment I think, someone say something about paralysis," she bends down laying out some various equipment "Paralysis I can do, how much cover can you give me? Just not sure how long I'll need but if you can keep me clear for a while I might just be able to do it."

''She's got some, would that do?''

Orika looked at the pale figure for a moment before turning back to Dalrel.

"Lets not piss off the maiden with the power to control ice at her disposal."

She considered her plan for a moment longer and shook her head "No, that won't work. I mean there's not much we can do here aside from fight for our lives and not die." she said with a shurg "There's no cover, no high ground, that Lion will decimate tight groups and the Manticors with gang up on stragglers."

She turned, for a moment, to the VIP stand with a curious expression.

"Mage." she said again, turning to Dalrel "Do you have any idea how magical barriers work. Is there a way we can nullify that one." She asked thoughtfully, doubting he or anyone else would know, doubting even more that even if they did, that knowledge would do them any good, but it would be better than this battle of attrition.

"Mage." she said again, turning to Dalrel "Do you have any idea how magical barriers work. Is there a way we can nullify that one."
''Sorry, no. My magic is based around elements, not illusion or transfiguration.'' Dalrel said, disappointed with himself.
He watched the madness unfold, very few combatants were alone, though that might be due to how many were now dead.

The snow elf dodged a blow from the manticore, ducking underneath it. She flexed one of her hands and an icicle fabricated into her hand. She jabbed it into the manticore's underbelly, as blood and water mixed.

''I can't do that with ice, but I can do it with fire, and if I wanted I could turn water into ice or stea-''
He stopped.
Steam.
''Have any water?'' He asked anxiously. ''I could create a shroud of steam if I had some more'' Dalrel removed the flask near his waist and emptied it on the ground. He closed his eyes and clapped his hands together, as the water instantly bubbled and enveloped the air around him.
''This could be good cover for us, the Manticores will be less likely to attack what they cant see'' he informed her, shrouding the two of them in the mist.
''If I had more water I could create a bigger veil, perhaps even see how far the barrier extends, or if there's anywhere the steam escapes to.''

"I'm Serragish."

Des nodded, it was as strange name, but considering where he was, it wasn't very surprising. "I'll remember that, then," he replied, cheerful as ever.

I might not be seeing totally straight, why you don't look the same way as you're body... How come you don't look like you should? Never mind, we can deal with it later. Bigger things to think about now."

"Hm?" She was saying some strange things, hurrying her words towards the end, as if the words were unimportant, but needed to be said out aloud. Still, he was... what had she said, not looking like his body... what?

Is she seeing something strange with my appearance?

Something like that would be rather unique, at least. She then went on to talk about paralyzing the lion, however, Des just pointed towards it. "People are trying to burn it, though. Would you even manage to get close?" Before he got an answer, he heard the feline lady mutter something behind him.

"Think we could break the protection they have from us and the beasts? Wonder how much amusement they'd get from this when it's them in the game"

"That doesn't sound very nice," Des said, unaware of that she'd just been thinking aloud. "They may act like this, but they're still innocent in this. Mostly, a least." He obviously couldn't tell for sure, but humans acted strange in groups. They were more eager to do things they normally wouldn't do, heck, he already knew that it was easier to talk groups into---- well, sinning.

"We shouldn't make more victims, nothing would be solving with more people dying than necessary." He looked at the dagger he was carrying, as well as the hunting knife. "I suppose I should do something too, would be silly if all you mortals kept doing the work. I can take a hit, after all. I can't do paralyzing, though. I don't think I have enough... energy for that, and trying without enough would cause me to get killed."

He waited for someone to tell him just what to do, Des could easily admit that he wasn't the greatest tactician.

"That doesn't sound very nice," She looked at Des curiously as he started to speak. "They may act like this, but they're still innocent in this. Mostly, a least. We shouldn't make more victims, nothing would be solving with more people dying than necessary." She'd turned to face him as he spoke, for a moment she wondered how he knew what she was thinking, before figuring she must have thought out loud.

"They cheer for and enjoy in the needless deaths of others, treat the scared gift of life like as though it were a toy, something to be played with and cast aside. Which would be fine, where they risking there own lives, but they aren't they think them selves gods and force others to fight and die for amusement, far as I'm concerned, they deserve no such consideration." There was an eerie calm in how she spoke, no anger just a very matter of fact tone "My enemy's, are those who seek to take my life, as well as those who toy with it." she added as she turned back to the fights at hand, before seeing a couple fighters in need of aid and darting off to give them assistance.

Whether by virtue of skill at arms of the gladiators or the satiation of the Manticores appetite's - this also by virtue of the gladiators - the Manticore threat had largely been dealt with. Only a few such creatures remained, making halfhearted attacks on straggling combatants between moves on easier scavenged prey such as the dead and dying bodies of gladiators and Manticore alike.

Of greater concern was the Nemean Lion.

The juggernaut that was the lion charged at the dwarf, his claws as swords and his teeth as daggers. With but a single wave of his paw, he smacked away the thrown axe as though it were but a vexing fly. The axe skid a good twenty paces before coming to a stop in the sand. A moment later, flames burst forth in its face, but to little avail. The flames flicked off the fur of the mighty creature as though it were a creature of stone more than flesh. Still, the flames did momentarily blind the creature, faltering its charge and driving its claws into the ground inches from where its dwarf adversary stood, rather than the dwarf itself.

As to the poisoned tail of the Manticore, it cracked like a whip as Vaerys brought it down upon the Lion but, the moment the poisoned tail hit upon the lion's fur, the poisoned barb shattered as though it were of ice or glass. The bones inside the tail fared little better, snapping as though they'd crashed into a wall of solid diamond.


"My enemy's, are those who seek to take my life, as well as those who toy with it."

"I'd rather not get the crowd throwing things at us," Alex commented, "And bringing down the barrier would do little good for us, the lion is the real threat and it can't fly."

He made note of how the various attacks on the lion failed, as well as how Des objected to setting the few remaining manticores on the people in the stands. Not entirely a point in his favor though, could simply mean he prefers another fate for them. He focused more on the problem of the lion though, the axe and barbs had done nothing to it, and the flames merely distracted it, its hide and exterior seemed to be armored by magic, he didn't want to try and test if the interior was the same.

He turned to Serragish "You said you might be able to paralyze it, how close would you have to get? At this point our only options seem to be to disable it or have someone crawl in its mouth and see if its insides are less protected. Any volunteers for the latter? If nothing else feeding it a treat might make it sleepy," he said cheerily.

That seemed like a good idea... Vaerys thought as the lion stopped mere inches from where he stood. The tail of the manticore only seemed to tickle the fearsome thing. He observed as the barbs of the manticore's tail crashed into the lion's fur and breaking the barbs as if it were made of glass. The dwarf only had moments to think as the distraction provided by a few gladiators some distance away helped Vaerys at least live for a few more seconds. He gave a quick glance at said gladiators as they would be key to killing the lion. Now the only thing that Vaerys needed to do was at least distract the lion long enough.

Vaerys rolled to he beast's side as to draw its attention away from the other gladiators and hopefully offering them a juicy, exposed flank of which they could exploit. Vaerys stood up from his roll, never taking his eyes off the lion as he moved a few paces back. He cracked his makeshift whip a few times to draw the lion's attention. Although if the beast were to look away, he would make a run for his axe but he doubted that lion's instincts would allow him such respite. Now all he had to do was stay alive long enough. The dwarf stood on his toes, ready to leap out of the way if the lion lunged at him once more. This dwarf still had some fight in him and would not go down easy.

"How close would you have to get?"

"Depends how far we can throw this," She was kneeling down now around a mixing flask. Proving the others could keep her out of harm's way. "Burning or paralysis you say, spoilt for choice aren't I?" She inspected her supplies, they were thinner than she remembered them being, damn she could have saw she refilled before leaving the homeland. The more she thought about today the less sense it made which was a problem because she thought a lot more than most people. Still checking supplies.

The calculations weren't that complicated and soon she had something, "It'll burn, bright and hot and fast. My advice, throw it far away and don't look back and run." Either the markers on her equipment were worn or she was seeing worse than she thought but it didn't even slow her, the measurements and proportions were all done by instinct even the minimal spillages were mentally recorded and accounted for. She turned away as a blast of vapour almost caught her right in the air ways before she could force the stopper back in the vial.

"You'll need to be accurate, there's not much liquid so you'll need to give it an alternate fuel source. I recommend fur." She stepped back from her creation, the vial was small, just a test tube really but the liquid inside didn't look friendly. She should probably have mentioned that the glass was still hot but as the burns on her hands were already gone she might not even have noticed.

"They cheer for and enjoy in the needless deaths of others, treat the scared gift of life like as though it were a toy, something to be played with and cast aside. Which would be fine, where they risking there own lives, but they aren't they think them selves gods and force others to fight and die for amusement, far as I'm concerned, they deserve no such consideration. My enemy's, are those who seek to take my life, as well as those who toy with it."

"These people are just watching, though. They are by no means doing anything great, but they are hardly guilty, it wasn't them who forces us to fight, not all of them at least. Besides---" The feline darted off before before he could finish, and he sighed, turning to look as the lion was attacked. He realized now that getting close to it and trying to kill it would be useless for him, all he could do was stab it, and that seemed to do very little.

I suppose I'll wait for someone to come up with a real plan, then.

"You said you might be able to paralyze it, how close would you have to get? At this point our only options seem to be to disable it or have someone crawl in its mouth and see if its insides are less protected. Any volunteers for the latter? If nothing else feeding it a treat might make it sleepy,"

Alex said, cheerfully. Des frowned, while it was probably just a joke, it wasn't very nice to say, asking someone to get eaten was sort of a jerk thing to do. However, the first part of that, the part before he started to tell people to risk their lives, had been addressing Serragish, who answered promptly.

"Depends how far we can throw this.

She then proceeded to mix something in a bottle, until she was done, a small test-tube filled with an odd looking liquid.

"It'll burn, bright and hot and fast. My advice, throw it far away and don't look back and run."

Des looked at the bottle, it was probably not a pleasant thing to even be close to. He wondered how far they really could throw it, until he noticed Alex's crossbow. "It's small, could you fire it with that? Tie it to an arrow or something?" he mused, it wasn't more than a simple question, as he had no idea whether or not that would actually be possible.

Dalrel looked for a reaction from the elf, and recieved little in terms of inspiration.
Shrugging, he lowered his arms and began to swing them around, sucking the steam into a blob of water and cramming it all into a side bottle of his.
In the distance he noticed two fighters bickering, and as he approached he noticed a tall young man speaking.

"It's small, could you fire it with that? Tie it to an arrow or something?"
He approached with a sense of friendliness ''I could help with that. Ice or fire, would either do?''

"It's small, could you fire it with that? Tie it to an arrow or something?"

"That might work, my bolts wouldn't be thrown off too much by the extra weight, and its a big enough target that it wouldn't matter too much," Alex responded, with some dejection at having been ignored by Serragish "Though this won't do more than annoy it likely, paralysis would have been much more useful than something bright."

He took the flask and tied it to a bolt with a bit of string. He aimed carefully at the lion, aiming for the creature's face for maximum effect, and adjusting to the extra weight of it.

Hopefully this will do something, if not then I'll have to improvise. He took a deep breath, exhaled and fired watching the bolt sail towards the beast. He didn't doubt it would find its mark, whether it would have an effect remained to be seen. And if it does blind the beast, well that should make whatever we do next easier. Maybe it'll just go wild and we can avoid it until it tires itself out.

Kyras panicked upon the revelation that it was basically invulnerable to him currently.
He looked around and began pulling more energy into himself incase he needed to blind it again.

He turned his attention to the lion again and yelled at the dwarf.

"Any ideas?"

The crack of the whip, the clang of the axe, the woosh of the fire - those were the sounds Id perceived as it spent its time under the Lion. And now there was another, but different, crack as something broke. The previous happenings didn't seem to have an effect on the Lion, suggesting that the overgrown cat had some resistance to such attacks. Id thought on that for a moment, the gladiators were just there be the killed - useless.

But surely if this whole thing was just for entertainment, there would be a way to kill it; one-sided matches were hardly entertaining in Id's own experience. However, the gladiators seemed to only have access to physical attacks, how could such a beast be slain?

Difficultly, that was the answer.

Regardless, couldn't have the beast rampaging madly in the meantime. Might make things worse, as if being trapped in a deathmatch was a good thing to begin with. Should a construct made for combat even think that?

Regardless, the arcane experiment was curious whether the Lion would show the same resistance to... less orthodox attacks as it did with physical attacks. The robes and other various bits of clothing slumped to the ground as Id latched onto the Lion's soul, its life force, its consciousness. Now Id's true nature had been revealed and could be see if anyone was paying attention to the arcane experiment. Now, with luck, it would get an insight into seeing what being a Nemean Lion was like.

There was a soul-shaking roar, this wouldn't be easy...

Arena:

Vaerys rolled away from the Lion, but it was fast in pursuit. Vaerys had just managed to pick up its axe as the Lion reached him. For a moment, it seemed like there was nothing left to do but risk taking the terrible blow; risking death. Just as the outstretched claw seemed poised to cut the dwarf in two vertically, it stopped; roaring out in protest against some other force.

Below it, the strange robed... thing had touched the creature, containing it with some strange magic. The Lion thrashed around wildly, trying to strike at unseen foes. A moment later, the beast let out a roar of pain. Not from the small magical man's robes, but from a strange arrow crashing into the Lion's face. As soon as it did, in burned as bright as the sun. Kes ran forward into the battle to pull the dwarf to safe distance (toward the Fire-mage) to make sure he was uninjured and, hopefully, find a way to finish the beast.

When finally the light died down, the damage it did could be seen. The arrow itself seemed to have done nothing more than part it's mane, but the burning bottle had done enough. For, when the smoke cleared, the creatures eyes were gone; burned to dust.

All the while, the Lion roared (cracking stone wherever in pointed its mouth) and lashed out with its claws (cutting through all that came in the way of the beast)

The Lion's Mind:

As Id tried to take command of the Lion, he discovered it would be no easy task. Though the beast had no reasoned consciousness, its will for life was stronger than most. Within its mind, the beast lashed out at Id; attacking him with roar after ground shaking roar and claw after razor-sharp claw.

She turned toward the Lion after noticing the bright flash of light, and watched the beast thrash about as smoke cleared, the looked unharmed at first but then noticed its eyes where burnt out, and sighed. One human had grabbed the smaller human and gotten him clear of the beasts claws but blinding it didn't seem the wisest of plans.

Still the beast was to close to the humans she said she'd help, so she decided to fix that and moved toward the Lion as though she where stalking prey, and when the moment was right, grabbed the Lion by the tail, did one full turn, and throw the beast toward an arena wall away from the humans.

'I could help with that. Ice or fire, would either do?''

"Hm? How do you use fire or ice to bind something to an arrow?" Des asked, confused, however, before he got a reply, Alex already got it to work using some thread. "Ah, nevermind, I suppose. What's your name, by the way?" It was a guy, so Des wasn't that interested, but still. Wouldn't hurt to ask, he'd asked Alex before. "If you haven't heard me say it before, I'm Des."

"That might work, my bolts wouldn't be thrown off too much by the extra weight, and its a big enough target that it wouldn't matter too much. Though this won't do more than annoy it likely, paralysis would have been much more useful than something bright."

"Oh. My apologies, I'd help, but as I said, I might die very soon if I do that, if not today, then probably tomorrow," Des said, and smiled sadly. He still didn't like the thought of that very much, the aspect of mortals dying was one thing, but the very idea of his own death struck him as... strange. Unnatural. However, it appeared Alex had been very wrong, as the fire-bottle tied to the arrow took out the eyes of the huge lion, leaving it blind.

"Oh... it's blind now. That should be help a lot, yes? Looks like we don't need to paralyze it either way, that's a relief. Serragish did a wonderful job too, for the fire to leave the ashes as dust." As he spoke, the female feline grabbed the lion by the tail and threw it towards an empty area -empty of mortals and Des, at least- and he cheered up even more, only to have his mood turned by a single thought.

"Wonder what happens after we win..."

Vaerys' raised his axe in a final act of defiance as the beast raised its claw towards him. For a moment, he wanted to thunder through to the after life, and see her once again. He would be happy once more and he would be at peace with her by his side once again. But the moment was as short-lived as he was on the account of a very large human picking him up before the beast could get a swipe at him. Vaerys was at a loss of words as he was whisked away from certain death, uncertain if he should feel grateful or angered. He would have to express both.

"What's the meaning of this?!" Vaerys instinctively yelled despite the human's hold on him. It was a phrase he used often mostly because his knowings of the world around him were a little "limited". Once they were out of harm's way, Vaerys wriggled his way out of the human's grip then glancing at how tall the human was. He wasn't impressed at the height but rather that it was a human that had such a height.

"Ah, thank you kind... er... lass." Vaerys said, squinting his eyes to make sure that the human was a woman. Then a loud roar drew his eyes back to the lion who seemed to lacking eyes of its own. Some time during his rescue, a fire must have hit the creature in its eyes and it lashed about. Then another one of the gladiators ran up and threw the lion away. He gave a hearty laugh at the sight. But even in his laugh, he held his axe close in case any of the remaining manticores were feeling particularly daring.

"Ah, nevermind, I suppose. What's your name, by the way? If you haven't heard me say it before, I'm Des.''
''Dalrel, if its alright'' He had hoped the lion would be sorted out by now, but at least it wasn't his direct concern.

What was however, was the angry snow elf coming his way.
He dodged one ice spike, rolling, dashing out of the way of a carpet of snow. He righted himself, shooting a fireball straight at the witch as she danced around it, streaming icicles and a ruined dress around her.
The two of them glared at each other for a moment, ''Why do you fight alone?'' Dalrel shouted at the elf. It was genuine, why fight alone when so many factions already formed?
''Its last person standing, I intend to be that person'' She shouted back, arms suspending a small hailstorm around her. Dalrel detected the thick accent of an elf from the Northlands, back in his own world.
''You're from Shi'gara, I had hoped to meet another from the homeworld, although under better circumstances.''
''As did I.''She said, smirking, ''Die, Ilyaran''

Dalrel ducked, narrowly avoiding another hail of ice shards, all the while glaring at his new friends for assistance.

That was something, "Oh it was simple really, and just basic chemistry even the far tribes have managed fire." She'd just thrown the lion, and what had happened to the eyes? What Serragish had done even? Best not thought about, but with the defeat of the beast came the truth they'd been ignoring.

Last One Standing!

Didn't get simpler than that, chances are they'd run each other down given the chance, not like it was something they weren't thinking. The first move needed to be made, and she couldn't trust any of them. The blade concealed in her sleeve felt heavier somehow, it was supposed to be for hacking through dense foliage but could it also do people, she didn't want to have to find out.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the, what the hell was it white stuff, cold very cold she tried to back away. It look like not her fight, she'd read about elves which judging by the ears was what the two fighters were. The freezing one appeared to be the aggressor so it was worth a shot siding with the other elf for now.

She pulled out her blade pointing it at the ice mage. The odds of a throw connecting weren't worth consideration so it was more of a threat than anything.

Kyras watched as the lion had its eyes burned out and as it was tossed against the wall by the feline creature.

Taking a second to survey the situation, the manticores were mostly dead, the fighters were grouped up, and an ice thrower was attacking the fire thrower. He automatically decided she was the aggressor as she dealt in the cold of death and he dealt in the fire of life.

He drew Maiar again and approached her, ready to stab and torch and consume unless she stopped.
It was his first fight here but this wasn't the way, if he was going to taste freedom he needed others.
And if there needed to be a last man standing it was going to be him.

"Oh... it's blind now. That should be help a lot, yes? Looks like we don't need to paralyze it either way, that's a relief. Serragish did a wonderful job too, for the fire to leave the ashes as dust."

"Blinding it might just make it angry," Alex commented "We still have to finish it off, though it should make things easier. Good work."

It seemed the Ranglie had been underestimating herself earlier when she said she couldn't wrestle the lion, though of the individuals attacking it his interest was more drawn by the robed figure. It had cast away its apparel, revealing a body of light, a ghostly demon of some sort? Dangerous, weapons may not work against it, and if its possessing the lion as it seems to be... His expression darkened for a moment, possession was not something he had fond memories of to say the least.

Whatever progress they were making against the lion seemed not to have gained the notice of the ice mage who had attacked Dalrel earlier.

"Its last person standing, I intend to be that person"

"You know, my hearing isn't the greatest but as I recall it was us against the beasts not every man to the death," he commented, loud enough to be heard over her assault of ice and hail "If you want to fight among yourselves be my guest, but there is still a large magical lion out there, perhaps a bit miffed at the loss of its eyes."

With that he set off towards the side of the arena Ranglie had thrown the lion towards, reloading his crossbow as he went. Its eyes, or what remained of them, seemed to be a vulnerable spot and if he could sink a shot into them it might kill or injure the beast. He had no desire to let the robed thing do whatever it was doing, possession seemed most likely in his experience though for all he knew it could be tearing the beast apart from the inside, or even nothing at all. While he held no particular emnity for Dalrel he also didn't have any stake in his fight with the ice mage, and held the lion as a more important priority. He drew closer to the beast and stopped, he was in range now and his crossbow was reloaded, getting any closer would be too risky. He took aim and waited for an opening to fire.

Id felt it: the primal will to live.

'Twas a strange thing that was normally buried in the subconscious of the more sentient beings - they were probably more interesting to take hold of, being full of desires and whatnot - but here it was in full force. Id felt it swipe after swipe and roar after roar. Though, the Lion seemed to be clinging into images and the ground within the mindscape shook again, though that happened without another roar. Id couldn't be sure what was going on in the physical realm but it appeared that the rest of the gladiators were now focusing their efforts on slaying the beast - something that irked Id.

This heap of muscle and flesh was its.

Its to control, its to show the arena patrons what they sowed. Even as the Lion resisted, Id endured, reforming after every swipe and every roar; sinking into the deeper sections of the Lion's mind, forming roots, anchors and even sewing mild hints of how siding with the mind-melder was the only key to survival; and, finally, projecting its own will to wind its way around that of the Lion's - in short, a multi-pronged attack. Id had to admit that the beast had quite a bit of mental fortitude along with the obvious formidable physical strength. It was pity, a proud beast starved for days just in order to be goaded into fighting smaller scraps of meat...

Ah, there was another initiative, another carrot to dangle: revenge.

"Dalrel, if its alright''

"Of course," Des replied. "I'll try to remember it. Althoug---" Before he got the chance to finish what he was going to say, a rather hostile woman attacked, using ice as her power. She appeared to believe they were supposed to fight each other, and not the beasts, at least that was what she said.

Poor girl, must be confused.

"You know, my hearing isn't the greatest but as I recall it was us against the beasts not every man to the death. If you want to fight among yourselves be my guest, but there is still a large magical lion out there, perhaps a bit miffed at the loss of its eyes."

"Well, it was rather angry earlier, so it's not like it could get more so," Des remarked, not looking at Alex. After all, the ice-lady was still there. "Besides, it's probably not angry, but scared, lashing out as a means of surviving. Just like all mortals do," he spoke as he got closer to the woman. While he walked out of the way of some of the hailstorm, he didn't avoid everything, though he was left mostly unscathed save a few cuts here and there. What would have caused greater injury to a man simply left a slight mark on him.

"It's not like these beasts wish to be here either, after all. None of us do." Taking the woman by surprise. Not because of his speed, but simply because of how he had walked up to her, confidently and calm, with no trace of hostility. For what it was worth, it had stopped her from trying to run away, though she didn't stop using her powers completely. Des reached out and touched her, her knees growing soft as he closed the distance and grabbed her, lifting her now up carefully and holding her like one should hold a fainted lady, even if she was only paralyzed.

"The difference is that we cannot, sadly, reason with the beasts. As much as I'd like to avoid harming anything, we never really had a choice, it was this or die." He walked back to the group, still carrying the woman, not taking his eyes off her.

"I do hope you'll forgive me for doing this, dear you," he told her, his voice soft as if he was fond of her already. "But I don't want to see you throw away your life because of a hasty misunderstanding. You'll be up and walking in no time, so just rest for now, okay?"

Kes

"Ah, thank you kind... er... lass." the dwarf said. She nodded and began to speak. "You're welcome. Any idea how to fight the lio-" she started to say, before witnessing the lion be tossed. She stood in awe for that was something she'd never seen before in any battle.

These gladiators were very interesting.

Arena

The toss was indeed great for it launched the creature further than even the thrower expected. The lion slammed into the wall at great force. All at once they had their way out. As the lion smashed into the magical wall its claws dug through the magical barrier. When gravity took hold - dragging the lion down toward the ground - it's claws made a mighty rift in the protective seal about the width of a man. For a moment, it seemed like everything was going their way.

The next moment, the wound in the barrier began to bleed deep crimson and the arena shook as though in anger. Wherever the blood landed, the stone seemed to smoke and dissolve. Those people in the stadium unfortunate enough to be sprayed with the magical "blood" met a grizzly fate. The spectators in the stands, seeing both the potential danger of the loose lion and fearing the earthquake the beast had unintentionally caused, began to flee - stampeding through the vomitoriums in the Colosseum walls.

Though the lion was covered in the blood, it seemed unaffected; protected by its strange fur.

The Lion's Mind

Inside the lion's mind, the beast began to calm. While Id's earlier prodings seemed to affect it little - even as the roots drew deeper into its mind - this new note of revenge it understood. It liked revenge and wanted it. At this point, Id had command.

Look at Id, it was doing so much to take hold of a blind old feline. But at least the struggle was over now.

In an instant, all barriers dropped and Id fully embraced the Lion's mind. It felt... heavy. However, Id could feel the power behind the beast's muscles, from the intercostal muscles that made the hulking chest rise and fall to the quadriceps which gave the feline its pounce. This was only exaggerated in the blind darkness; touch, taste, hearing, smell - when one sense fell, the others arose. Cutting through all of that was the bloodlust, the beast had taken Id's idea of revenge and filled its mind with the idea; it was almost like a virus infection. The Id-Lion rose and roared. The arena combatants were irreverent now, both to the Lion's plans and Id's, so the soulbonded gestalt exited the arena. First, it kicked off and turned around then leapt into the rift, making sure it was big enough with a swipe of its own claws. The problem of being blind was a large obstacle, but that could be fixed.

'Eye eye eye eye eye eye eye eye eye eye sight sight sight sight sight sight reform reform reform reform...'

"You're welcome. Any idea how to fight the lio-"

The giant said before there was a loud roar of something tearing. Vaerys turned his head to see the lion claw... something that protected the audience from the show. Now that had been rendered asunder by the lion's claws as a crimson began to bleed from the torn barrier. Vaerys hadn't seen a building bleed before but some lingering part of him it wouldn't be the last strange sight he saw.

"An exit!" Vearys shouted in astonishment. "I may have an opportunity to repay you after all!"

In an instant, Vaerys sped off towards the exit but as he drew closer, he saw the blood sizzle and crackle wherever it dropped making his advance falter into a cautious jog. Then he saw the lion once more, appearing to be unscathed by the blood unlike the spectators in the crowd unlucky enough to be caught in its splash.

"And here I thought I'd seen the last of ya!" Vaerys grunted as he readied his battleaxe. He stopped in his tracks even though the exit was close by. The lion was the only thing standing between him. Why was he hesitating?

Alex's eyes widened briefly as the barrier began to bleed, the lion had turned away from them and torn through it. That cloaked thing must be directing it else it would turn against us, but the barrier poses larger issues. It bled and burned, and the sight and smell of it was all too familiar. Perhaps not the same, but it reminded him of a source, blood and disease and pain desiring more of the same so that it might grow faster. And if it was like a source... it might be influencing or even controlling others, this spectacle, these people watching might only desire it so much because of this thing.

"Dalrel! Burn the edges of the tear, where it bleeds, it might widen the gap or at least make it safe for us to pass through," he commanded, "Everyone else, stay back and don't let the blood touch you, we don't know what it might do."

Or if it might carry some infection, it burns if nothing else. This is a path out, but the lion should be stopped to stop others from dying, and we must put an end to this barrier, maybe this arena itself. It may not be a source itself, but the resemblance... I can't take any chances.

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