Horizon Walkers (Game Thread) Dead

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"How well can you guys climb?"

It'd been awhile since Kyras had climbed, and back then it had been rocks and trees. Stonework, he'd find out about in a minute.
He removed the gauntlet from his right hand and placed it into his bag before starting to climb. He'd need to be able to grip. He carefully began scaling the structure, taking time to pick handholds.

He made it to the top at about the same time as the dwarf, but he managed it without grabbing onto the cat.

Elsewhere, at the Broken Bridge
Serragish took longer than the others to climb the tower but a few attempts later she was with the others. By the time she made it up there it was full night time. The sky high above their heads was void no stars or moon.

There were only two sources of light up here, the distant camp with its fire and golden halo which looked miles or so away by now and more closely Serragish herself. Her pale multi-coloured glow spilling out over some of the stone cap of the tower but not all of it, leaving charcoal shadows completely concealing where exactly the edge was. Needless to say there wasn't a railing.

"Don't fall, from this height the sound isn't as soft as it looks and that's if you're lucky about where you fall."
The chalk and bone white platform was large there was room enough for them all to stand in the light though it was a tight fit.

Serragish was kneeling down in the centre of the platform, feeling for something? What was she doing? She's talking under her breath "Wait, where is it? Since when was the writing this faded?" Looking up again and speaking to the party she said "I'm afraid there's a bit of a delay, there's supposed to be something here but it's not where I remember. Don't worry thought not like we're in a hurry."

CAAAWWWW the ear splitting cry came from behind them, a monstrous noise causing the very stone they stood on to tremble. Serragish didn't look away from her work staying focused on the floor. The thundering flap of colossal wings starts to stand out as the ringing in ears fades.

The bird is crow like though was a few distinct differences, unlike the black of crows it's plumage is silver with a similar multi-coloured glow to Serragish.

Six lizard like amber eyes sweep from side to side as it circles the party on the pillar. When it screams again the beak splits into four pieces revealing a mouth lined with needle like teeth and a fleshy tongue.

It's four wings carrying it effortlessly as it closes in, each foot is tipped with talons poised to gut unlucky prey. The final way it differed from a crow was that it was about the size of an elephant.

And then it dives for them talons bared and ready to sweep right through the centre of the platform which suddenly felt a hell of a lot smaller.

Back at the Camp

''Of course we can, were you expecting cooks and messengers as reinforcements?'

"Well the state of the food here I know some people who'd rather a good cook now a days."
This was when the creature leaps at the party. Straight for the second in command. While air born it snarls fangs and tusks both bared. It's almost upon its prey when a cross bow bolt happens upon a very important bit of brain stem and rips said piece out of the other side of its head.

"Good shot, I owe you one." The second in command is quick to congratulate Alex. "Are you ok dear?" The cloaked figure equally quick to check.

"A lot finer than I would be had our friend here missed."

There's a whimper and twitch before the creature stops moving. It was small and slender, wolf like but with modifications, a thick leathery carapace offering protection around the main body and face.

The head had additional eyes, glowing slightly until recently. Looking around reveals that there could be as many as a dozen or so of these beasts in the immediate area but easily more in the distance. The camp was awash with noise, vicious feral grows and screams but it's hard to say either side has an advantage by this point.

A second creature leaps at the party this time aimed at straight at Alex. This one is thrown to the side as something weighty and whip like hits it side on before disappearing again. When it stops the creature is perforated with a few holes each causing crimson fluid gush onto orange sand.

"You aren't half bad yourself dear," The second in command quips.
"Keeping you alive is a full time job, you people are so fragile after all, so might as well support the help." The cloaked figure somehow remaining humorous despite the dire situation, and dire wolves for that matter.

"Speaking of help one of us should go and help the commander, and my vote goes to the one who can teleport."

"I'm not leaving you." Concise and to the point the humour from before gone from her voice. "If you're set on saving the old git then we'll fight to his camp together or not at all."

The wolves' attacks are getting more rapid and rabid their fallen comrades only spurring the beasts on.
The battle is in full swing neither side giving an inch. The Commander's tent is in the open its usual guard detail mixed up in the fighting.

The party have attracted more attention, the pack is not impressed.

Des was feeling down after more than half the group had left. That was because, of the group, every single woman had left, even the one that was a large feline kind of mortal. He had wanted to chat more, and would easily have followed them had he realized before they had wandered off. As a result, he was sorta just resting now, leaning over the table as he breathed calmly, eyes closed. Something sounded like it went wrong, sounds of attackers, probably, but he didn't feel like getting up.

"Can you fight?"

Des sat up, and shook his head. "No, not really." He remembered the arena, having sort of fought there. However, there he had relied on others, and what little fighting he had done had drained vitae. "I'll stay inside, if that's fine with you." No reply, most of the others were busy being fighting. There was a difference here. He wasn't out in the open now, and there was more able fighters there. More sounds of fighting, attackers.

Should I help?

He wondered. But really, what could he do, apart from taking hits? Des kept watching the situation from within the tent, if it got really bad he'd help out, but he really didn't feel like it now.

She watched as the giant bird flew around them, it was certainly an interesting creature, and from the way it was flying and looking at the group, it was clear the bird was going to be an issue. It flying didn't bother her, she could always blast it, but that had a charge time, and a not so subtly tell she was powering up, so she couldn't help be wonder who else was packing some kind of ranged attack to deal with the bird, in any event, she readied her self for attack.

Id was more interested in who exactly the inhuman voice belonged to and what business the cloaked figure had with the second in command rather than the camp's new inhabitants and Alex's (rather true) accusations. But how quaint it was to see that the man had decided the arcane experiment was nothing but a creature of malice.

It knew kindness, altruism and the value of both in the wide world. In fact, it was rather condescending being reduced to nothing but a pawn of greed. Part of Id wanted to teach Alex of its existence, just to shut the ignorant man up. And what a lesson it would be.

It would be so easy just to hop over, cradle the man's mind and shown its true existence. So easy to whisper into his ea, to tell and to how. Id knew the words it would say already.

'Look within me. Am I truly as mindless as you say I am? Have I not treated my hosts well? They welcomed me into their hearts and their minds, human. I feel their every thought, through the streams of the mindscape - a river of experience. Before that, I was but a current in the aether - primordial but without will.

Man bound me into this existence and it saddens me to find yet another bound only by his prejudices. Nay, it is even worse to see that you are possessed by what you perceive to be "justice". Both fanatics and tyrants thrive on exploiting fear. I am not fear, nor greed; I am but an ethereal embrace. Think on that.'

However, 'Tarquin' had to continue to be Tarquin. Indulging the inquisitor would do nothing but increase the number of hostiles and the Id and its host faced. It was ugly fighting in that flesh, with nothing but swings of an... appropriated gladius - being limited to what the actual Tarquin knew about combat. He was afraid and had been from the very start, only Id's whispers had calmed him.

'There is no need to worry, my friend. As I had said before, I take good care of my hosts.' It grinned.

Fear, adrenaline, flight-or-flight response - Id could override that and produce a more effective warrior but it paid to maintain the fašade of humanity; there was sweat on the Leimian's brow and he wore a concerned expression as he stuck at the attackers.

As the massive bird cawed, Kes dropped low and rolled away from where she'd been; hoping to avoid any unseen strike from above. Unfortunately, the nighttime lighting wasn't a great help in spotting their predatory foe. As such, she followed the movements of those who apparently could see and took up a defensive stance. If the creature came near her, she'd pull it from the sky. Until then, she'd wait.

Tower
The bird dived for them, accelerating instantly as it turned on a dime and swoops over the tower. Its wing span easily covers the roof of the roof were stood on and rocking the structure with turbulence. The edges of feathers have a creepy gleam to them looking sharp enough to shear the very air. The talons tensed and contorted narrowly missing the dwarf, his height no doubt helped.

The bird has its back to the group now, having missed on the first pass, but there would no doubt be a second soon.
Serragish stays fixed on her task apparently unfazed by the last attack

"CAWWWW" another ear splitting cry.

Serragish pulls out her machete, sticking in in a grove in the roof. "Someone mind giving me a hand. Well actually a foot, just need you to kick the flat side of this blade towards the centre."

Camp

"No, not really."

"Ok then, what can you do? We still need someone to check on the commander, he's not so mobile so if you could bring him back to us that would help. An escort could work but if you're feeling stealthier you may be able to sneak through the inside of the complex." The second in command kept trying to keep thing together. "As for the rest of us we need to mount a proper counter attack, I say we stick together and go forward, well need someone to lead from the front while I cover them with my bow."

"I can lead" The cloaked figure was first to volunteer.

The second in command don't look happy about it, clearly uncomfortable.

"Wait, give other people a chance to come forward first."

The wolves were getting more aggressive dispersing through the camp and even managing to push back a few troops. It didn't look like they had any tactics in mind just appeared to be attacking anything in range fairly indiscriminately.
The second in command takes another shot or two, it's hard to see the quality of the shots but a few whimpers give a hint to his success.

"Someone mind giving me a hand. Well actually a foot, just need you to kick the flat side of this blade towards the centre." one of the others said; Kes didn't even respond. Having seen the bird as it made its first dive she knew it was a threat. If the woman had a plan, she was happy to support it. Kicking off the ground from her crouched position, she rushed over to their guide. Upon reaching the woman, she planted her heel onto the stone hard, transferring the force from the run into a roundhouse kick into the the flat of the blade.

"Wait, give other people a chance to come forward first."
Dalrel gave a glare at the soldier for a moment as he edged away from the wall and closer the doorway, ''I am fine with whoever goes and fetches the commander,'' He shouted. One of the beasts lunged for him, and after a shunt with his sword and a short spray of fire, it was no longer an issue.

''Just, get him quickly please? We do not need a vote on this right now.''

"Just, get him quickly please? We do not need a vote on this right now."

"My pleasure." The Leimian replied. With a deft throw, he threw the gladius in the direction of the wolves and snuck away, taking the stealthy option out of the two. The man was somewhat grateful, the threat of the wolves torn down any pretence of democracy. No more stupid debates about spirits.

However, there was also the matter of whether Id could be stealthy in the clumsy cage of flesh it was in...

As night fell Kyras eyes began glow lightly, he didn't seemed bothered by it or even seem to notice it. He could hear Serragish looking for something, but his attention was elsewhere. The setting sun, the vast plains of sand, the golden halo over the liemian camp. Then a shriek came.

Kyras watched as the glowing bird flew around in the dark, well it wasn't dark to him just night. He could tell the difference it just didn't matter to him. The bird was kind of beautiful in a way, it had been awhile since he had seen anything like it.

Then the bird swooped at the group and his attention was shunted back onto the reality of the situation. He immediately started drawing in the odd feeling energies of the area while preparing to dive off the platform incase it tried to grab him.

Flames began to envelop Kyras hands as he waited for it to get close.
He unleashed the flames upon the bird as it drew near, willing the fire to envelop it.

Vaerys took cover as the bird swooped down at the group. Not exactly thrilled at the prospect of fighting a flying creature, Vaerys decided to hurl curses at the bird instead. Hopefully it would spur the beast so he could swing his axe at it but given the bird's nature he doubted it.

"Bah! You fat chicken, come down here so I can pluck your wings off!" Vaerys yelled angrily. At this point, Vaerys was angry and oblivious to the plan that the group was coming up with. As the bird swooped above he thumped his chest at the bird. "I've seen sparrows but up more of a fight than you!"

The tower

The bird screamed as the flaming blast hits it in the back, the searing stream as the air itself burned is too powerful to look at directly. The metallic back of the creature was heavily charged, it swung round wildly as one wing took the brunt of the blast. It dipped out of view in the trench. There's a thud such a large creature must have hit the ground hard. But then there's a scraping sound like claws on a chalk board and the sound of too many pickaxes, it's then a claw appeared over the rim of the tower.

And with a horrible wrenching sound the bird was back, two of the wings have claw like hands on them and dig deep into the stone. The other two rear up one still fully formed but the other burnt black in patches revealing a charred skeleton hanging limp as molten metal drips from in.

Six pissed off eyes glared at the party as the head reared back with a razor sharp beak lined with teeth ready to rip to shreds who ever just crippled it. The mouth split open as the tongue shoots out, fleshy red and barbed aimed straight for Serragish.

She reaches for her knife forgetting it wasn't there for a second, narrowly side stepping. There's a brief delay as the tongue snaps back retracting into an open mouth as fast as it shot out.

The kick connected, powerful enough that the machete breaks but not to shift stone, "Damn!" as handle and blade are separated. "Ok now what are we going to use to rip this cap off." She gestures to a raised stone cap like a slightly domed manhole cover, seemingly oblivious to the larger problem.

The camp

A distant call is heard like the cries of a monstrous crow, one of the dire wolves howled, the other's stop in place, ears perking up and turning to all look at the same spot in the distance.

They turn and run, into the distance, all in one direction. "They just stopped." The second in command didn't sound at ease despite the enemy apparently fleeing. Not that they all fled, the party had left quite a few of the creatures unable to flee, some dead but other's still kicking and whimpering.

Id had made it to the Commander's tent during the outside kerfuffle, the room was mostly bare, a slightly nicer bed and chair. There was blood and bits of body but no sign of the beasts. A short figure hobbles out from behind something limping. A single eye sweeps Ids current body

"Sir was it you who saved me? They ran away you know, those that were supposed to defend me fled. I would have been dead without you."

He's badly burnt and scarred all over but these are old wounds long since settled in to become permanent parts of his anatomy "I'm sorry for doubting you." The two were completely alone, no one would know.

Outside the cloaked figure comes back from diving deeply into the battle, however said cloak is now in tatters and splattered with technicolor gore.

She doesn't bother with the pretence tearing it off, what stands there is a surprise humanoid but just barely. A scaly hide in patterns of milk white, amber and inky black. The head lacks a mouth but two large eyes looked forward. Above them two hollow horns protrude to the sides.

Metallic claws tip each four digit hands and a similar material makes up hooves on each legs and a thagomizer that swings ambiently low to the ground on the end of a thick tail.

"Darling your arm." The second in command says in shock. The formally cloaked figure looked down at her right forearm; a deep cut runs through as green fluid seeps out. What looks like a stone ring around her neck glows, there's an odd trumpeting sound from her horns while a voice seemingly coming from the ring speaks. "It's just a flesh wound, give it a few days and I'll heal. Or if you want I could cut it off to stimulate a more rapid regrowth."

"There's no need for that. Long as you'll be ok. Now what's our next move? Is the commander ok, someone please find him? After that we need to tally, find out whose ok and get them treated. Just hope we still have someone alive who knows first aid." The lizard raises her arm before the second in command speaks again. "Medicine that doesn't just rely on regrowing limbs." The hand goes down but then she speaks again.

"They ran towards the tower, I'll bet she found something, for all we know she sent them."

"Now steady on we don't know that."

"She ran off in the desert without good reason and just happens to bail right before the worst attack in ages. That sounds suspicious to me and even someone as na´ve as you can't say she was exactly open. Do you even know her name? I'll bet if we go to the tower now we'll find her doing something, why else would she apparently commit suicide like that?"

When the attack stopped very suddenly, Des looked up. Knowing that the danger and fighting was done, he walked outside, casually, it wasn't his responsibility to defend the mortals, and they had managed fine on their own . Nothing seemed to be amiss, some mortals had been hurt, probably, but he doubted that would have changed if he had done something. Besides, Des was busy looking at that one, odd mortal. A woman, from what he could sense. She was... different, certainly, but he couldn't help but to be captivated by her, the same way he was captivated by most women. He tilted his head, wanting to speak to her, but waiting for the conversation between her and some other mortal to allow for it.

"She ran off in the desert without good reason and just happens to bail right before the worst attack in ages. That sounds suspicious to me and even someone as na´ve as you can't say she was exactly open. Do you even know her name? I'll bet if we go to the tower now we'll find her doing something, why else would she apparently commit suicide like that?"

"Now now," Des said, smiling friendly to the very unique, but still beautiful, woman. "I don't think she'd do that, she was with us before this, and she didn't seem to intend to do something like this back then." He got closer.

"Let's not worry about things like that, okay? We'd be better off relaxing, or even going to see how they're doing, than to assume that. I suppose, however, that is a habit of you mortals. It's a bit troublesome at times, though you certainly make up for it by being interesting."

The women, at least.

"Damn! Ok now what are we going to use to rip this cap off." Serragish said, oblivious to the bird.

Kes herself was rather annoyed by all of it herself. This of course was also the potential solution. While finesse hadn't worked, perhaps brute strength would. Calling upon her inner fury, Kes reached down and grabbed the cover. Then, with all her strength, she pulled up on it; trying to lift at least her end of it high enough off the ground for the others to slip through the gap.

After a quick assess of the situation she decided getting close was probably not a good idea not that it was grounded and pissed, so she waited, and charged up, waiting for a opening to exploit to remove this bird creature from their way. She had to wait a little bit but the opening she wanted presented it self when the bird creature cawwed/roared at them again, in that moment she fired on the bird creature, aiming for the head, and more specifically the opening mouth.

"She ran off in the desert without good reason and just happens to bail right before the worst attack in ages. That sounds suspicious to me and even someone as na´ve as you can't say she was exactly open. Do you even know her name? I'll bet if we go to the tower now we'll find her doing something, why else would she apparently commit suicide like that?"

"Now now," Des said, smiling friendly to the very unique, but still beautiful, woman. "I don't think she'd do that, she was with us before this, and she didn't seem to intend to do something like this back then."

It was at this point Dalrel would have said something else, but facing facts, the one that left is a stranger to him, along with the rest here.
''Are you saying she allied herself with direwolves? I find that hard to believe.''
If these soldiers actually knew about our group's relationship status, it'd probably cause some migraines.

"...I'm sorry for doubting you."

Well, well, nothing like the more cowardly side of humanity to take advantage of, but what was a so-called 'Commander' doing acting like a scared pleb? Regardless, the Leimian's reply was so... Leimian.

"I simply did my duty, sir." Tarquin stated, "Now let's get you to the others."

'No point in taking this one.' Id thought. While there was clearly ample opportunity for the arcane experiment to take over the Commander's body, it would only serve to arouse suspicions.

Instead the noble Leimian carried his superior officer to the others.

Vaerys saw Kes lift up the cover and like a rat, he slipped through to get out of there as fast as he could. He didn't particularly like birds but he liked birds that attacked him from the sky he disliked even more. He stepped through the gap with axe at the ready in case anything else wanted to jump out and attack him. How he ached for an enemy he could actually hit with his axe.

Tower
Serragish had been planning a new way to get the cap off since before her broken blade fell to the ground, it was a great plan, sure to work. "Ok people here's what we do..."

It was then Kes just ripped the cap off Serragish must have under estimated her strength.

"Or we could do that."

The dwarf was quick to get down into the hole, "Wait." Serragish called after him before looking down into the hole. It wasn't particularly deep only a couple feet.

Serragish's glow poured into the hole as she leaned over where the cap had been casting light into a complex cave of metallic gears eerily still and covered in dust. "You're lucky they weren't active," she held out a hand to the dwarf to help him back onto the roof "Getting someone ground up in these would slow us down badly."

The beam from the cat is dead on right in the creature's open mouth, its head reals back, the long loose tongue hangs limp badly burnt. It was no longer retractable that's for sure. The bird closed its mouth as best as it still could but for now it's more focused on dodging then attacking, it pulled away shimming around the rim of the tower.

Camp
Id carried back the commander. He was half formed even before any war, he looked old or at least like he's aged a lot recently. Even when standing he's at most half the height of anyone else there. Burns covered him almost all over, most of his face was ruined.

"Thank you sir." He bowed, not that it made much difference. "Now I understand we were attacked. Targnaggen what happened?"

The second in command spoke "Some sort of wolf like creature, a whole pack of them and coordinated. But we worked together, everyone here was invaluable." Tactfully not mentioning that not everyone took up arms.

"They retreated?" The commander asked.

"Looks that way Commander, towards the broken bridge, we should have time to recuperate now."

"No, if they're running from us then it's the ideal time to strike. We can use this as an advantage." The Commander looked over the party "Before we go we you should find the armory, it doesn't look like you're the best armed and we've got a big fight coming up so you'll need to be able to handle yourself."

The Lizard decided to speak, the ring around her neck glowed again as her horns made a mess of sound. "There's no time to follow on foot. The tower could be hours away with preparation and the wolves know this land, and I'd like to find out what they're doing as soon as possible."

"So what do you propose?" The commander queried.

The Lizard stands and walked towards the Horizon, stone armour covering her body getting brighter as she held out a clawed hand. "You didn't think I was just a fancy doorstop did you?" The Horizon changes, not the usual multi-coloured swirling but clear and through it the tower becomes visible, looking only a hundred or so yards away with something overshadowing it. "Through here quickly."

"Wait, please it could be dangerous." The second in command, Tragnaggen his name was, spoke out. "We've just fought and your arm is only half attached we need some time to rest. Don't even know that them leaving was connected to the attack."

"Someday you'll realize not everyone is as good as good a person as you, but right now love I'm sorry I can't risk her finding something we've overlooked. I'll be back soon." The Lizard responds, the stone collar not adequately portraying her affection.

"You aren't going without me."

"It's dangerous, and you're safer here better we're you can help people."

"And best where I can help you someday you might realize you're not as bad a person as you think."

The two walk through the Horizon back to back his bow drawn and her tail poised to swing.

Tower

No one noticed the first two coming though the localized portal that materialized out of the air a few hundred yards or so away from the tower on the open sand. But then more came through, could be 20 or so of various combatants.

From there the tower was in full view, but so was the dark shape hanging over it. Said dark shape moved, it was a bird and bore down on the troops, the soldiers initial counter attack didn't appear to do much but they stood strong.

Serragish had to admit she was surprised about that turn of events, "We'll that's convenient. They should keep that bird busy for a while, depending on how well they can fight, though if we'd had more time I'd like to find out where that portal came from. Doesn't appear attached to any horizon. Now back to work."

She began investigating the gears again going over to the hole a peering in. This may take a while, she didn't often find gears inside living creatures so her mechanical knowledge was limited.

Bellow the group, on the tower, the flightless bird began picking off soldiers in full view, it's progress was slow so with luck they'd have plenty of time.

As the others all started to climb down into the tower, she stood guard over the entrance. She took a couple pot shots at the bird, nothing at full strength but enough for the bird to get the point it wasn't welcome, though it seemed to get distracted by something else and left, which was fine with her.

She turned and also descended into the entrance to the tower, her back plates still a glow with the charge she was holding for her breath weapon.

Kyras's attention went back and forth from the Bird to the party emerging from the portal. Mild panic erupted in his mind as he saw Liemans again. Then he saw the gears and Serragish investigating them. He took a moment to look at them, but realized he didn't have time to fixate with more important things going on.

He walked over to the hole in the tower, crouched, and looked in on the gears. His knowledge was incredibly limited but gears connected to gears and there was a pattern to find in it.

Dalrel jumped blearily through the Horizon along with the rest of the gaggle, figuring he'd either get lost or eaten if he stayed in the tent. The Horizon transported them to..... a tower. Same planet, same landmass, same physics. ''I thought Horizons were looooooong distance?'' He asked, questioning his own understanding of the portals. If Horizons could be used like this, then why did his homeland bother with ships and carriages?
He pondered for a moment, then remembered he hadn't been there for years, or at least, his body had aged that much.....

After spending a bit too long thinking to himself, he looked around to take in his surroundings. There was a great tower looming above the party, with people definitely standing on top of it. ''Must be the other group,'' he said to himself.

Dalrel saw the tower entrance, with a familiar beast of unforgettable proportions clogging the doorway.
He heard shouts over his shoulder. Liemian troops [which Dalrel made a mental note for: Cannon fodder] where they were struggling to fend off a giant...... bird?

Dalrel was hoping it wouldn't make itself his problem, so he jogged steadily towards the entrance and away from the ensuing lucid nightmare behind him.

Vaerys took the lady's hand as he got up, looking around where they were when he did so. From the glow, he could make out nothing but gears and shadows that jumped as more people went into the tower. He looked around and pondered what could this place be.

"Looks like the innards of some machine..." Vaerys mumbled as he looked around. "Wouldn't want to be caught in it when it goes, I'll tell you that. Thanks lass, and also how do we get out of here? I want to hit that bird with my axe..." A creak of a gear shot through the darkness and Vaerys turned to the sound of the noise but he couldn't make out much. "Although anything would be good at this point."

Once everyone was inside, Kes lifted the cap a bit higher and slipped inside herself; the cap falling behind her. Glancing around at all the mechanical equipment, Kes was thoroughly out of her element. Turning to Vaerys, she said "I don't know; but I'd assume down.", her tone snappish due to the adrenalin and fury.

From there, she sat down to catch her breath and calm her mind. It wouldn't help to be angry at the rest of the walkers... at least for now.

Serragish was more than a little annoyed as people were still trying to enter the tower maybe she didn't make herself clear enough. Opening the hatch had revealed a tight mesh of gears and she'd only just pulled the dwarf out.

"how do we get out of here?"

After an embarrassingly long time Serragish spoke "I think there's a gear missing," clearly not an engineer. "It's not up here with us so I guess it's fallen off, now if we're lucky it's on the nice soft sand and hasn't falling into the gulf."

Pulling her attention away from the hole and moving towards the edge of the roof she surveyed the scene bellow them playing out on the sand. The bird thrashed at the soldiers who were nothing if not persistent. She smiles for a split second, completely separate from the battle bellow and with an objective birds eye view, watching passively as the bird slowly picked off the soldiers attacking it.

The creature was gradually accruing damage showing the ware and tare as it became perforated with spears, looks like they were just about managing.

It was be a terrible time for the dire wolves to show up which was when the dire wolves showed up. The pack came in from the side quickly complicating the situation. The soldiers and wolves were well into the fighting, the soldier were a mix of races, tactics and weapons not as organised as the wolves with their eerie coordination.

Both sides could be considered distracted and in this state easy prey. The bird would be much more of a challenge, even grounded and lacking it's frog like tongue the creature wasn't going down easily. The question of killing it was an if not a how. At least for now it was distracted by soldiers though seemingly ignoring the wolves.

I want to hit that bird with my axe..."

"Honestly I wouldn't bother, if it's a choice between the bird and soldiers then I'd side with the least savage ones. At least the bird has the excuse of being feral. But if you're in the mood for a fight I think we might need to get back down there."

Serragish is by the edge again, her legs hanging over dangeling a few stories above the open sand. She doesn't think for long before throwing herself off the building landing with a padded but worrying click however she appeared to walk away unscathed.

"Ah hello, funny seeing you here."

With those few words she was off again. Her eyes had caught a shining something on the sand, like a disc only with a few more teeth. She ran towards the disk seemingly ignoring the battle going on around her.

Suddenly a Lieman solider jumps her from behind grabbing her and forcing her to the ground. A snarling snap was heard very close to Serragish's head. She left the weight forcing her down slump to the sides.

Serragish stands up again seeing a dire wolf that had found the jugular of the lieman at her back, the creature had saved her intentionally or not. "Good boy." It was then she saw the golden gear just laying there in the orange sand hers for the taking.

"Don't you dare!" Serragish didn't recognise the voice or the body it came from, what looked like a bipedal lizard was standing on the opposite side of the gear as the battle raged behind her, both managing to keep their cool about a few feet away.

Serragish was closer to the gear and would have grabbed it were it not for the skeletal spike pressed to her neck; said spike was on the tip of a snake like tail and applying just enough pressure to make it clear Serragish wasn't going anywhere.

The lallowen spoke again, a blaring sound spilled from the creature's horns but understandable speech came from elsewhere.

"Don't move." It was then a dire wolf pounced at the lallowen only to be impaled by the creature's tail before it even finished the arc.

"I knew I was right about them being on your side." Serragish realised too late that that split second distraction would have been a good time to leave.

But now the lallowen's thagomizer was back to being poised to spray Serragish's blood on the sand far and wide.

Serragish had to ask, though it was tempting fate a bit.

"Why not just kill me now?"

Curiosity trumped survival instinct. The response was short and matter of fact,
"There's more information in an intact brain."

For a while no one spoke before Serragish broke the silence

"You going to ask me then?"

"First who are you?"

"Serragish."

The tail twitched grazing Serragish's throat and causing her to choke and collapse momentarily before regaining composure though she was still speechless on her knees kneeling on the sand for a while.

The lallowen spoke
"I'll ask again and I'll thank you not to piss me off next time. Who are you?"

During this time the others had come through the portal in front of the tower though some could have spent time arming themselves.

Id had picked up the commander again to help him through the portal the midget was now trying to call out order to the solders in his defense the advice was good and had they been heard over the combat cacophony might have saved a few people.

ignore pending nothing

Upon mention of the gear on the ground and Serragish jumping from the tower, Kyras realized what he needed to do. He jumped from the tower and focused as much energy as possible into his legs. As he hit the the ground his legs took the blow violently with a sickening snap. He layed there for a moment trying to block out the pain, barely stopping himself from screaming. He started forcing his legs to fix, bones realigning and mending, flesh and muscle healing. After a moment of the pain he stood and began marching towards the gear and the lizard person. He drew Maiar and pointed it at the lizard who was hurting Serragish.

As he saw it murder the wolf, though he was weakened by fixing his legs he began asking the creatures engaged with the liemans to listen to his will, wanting them to surround the lizard and pounce if it didn't listen to him. He yelled at her "Lower your tail and walk away or die here and now."

After discovering the first path was a cramped dead end, she, like the others crawled out of that hole and back to the roof. Below she could hear the sounds of battle however she expressed no interest in it, though the others seemed to be and a few dropped down. She wondered why they felt the need to get involved.

She stayed atop the tower at first, pondering what could be motivating them to get involved with a fight that wasn't theirs, only climbing down after some lizard creature attacked the human that lead them all out here to begin with, if they fight had been none of their concern, it was now. She approached the lizard creature from behind "Do as the human says creature" her movements and the look in her eyes where those a predator that was ready to attack they're prey, and her words wrapped around a low growl.

While the portal appearing was sudden, Des was more concerned by the fact that he'd been outright ignored. A bit downhearted, he followed the others through the portal. Staying here alone wouldn't do any good, after all. When he realized where they had ended up, at that tower-place where the ladies had gone, he became more optimistic.

I hope they've been well.

Really, he did. While they were currently fighting--- a lot of stuff, it seemed they were doing fine. That was, until the strange -but still lovely- lady went up to Serragish, killed a dire wolf, and then threatened Serragish herself. The others reacted in different ways, all furious, but Des kept his calm, as he walked closer.

"Hey," he said, voice silken smooth. There was no indication of that he would attempt to attack or the likes, only one of friendliness. "Let's all not fight. I'm sure we can figure this out, and I'm sure it's all just a big misunderstanding." He smiled, while he knew how tense a situation it was, it was not reflected on him.

"Wouldn't it be better to work together? Hug, kiss and make up?"

Vaerys followed the little group through the complex maze until the leader of their group was held hostage by a lizard-like creature. Horns spoke out as if it were lips as the lizard creature interrogated their leader. The others didn't respond too kindly and neither did Vaerys. He held his axe at the ready as the others tried to talk down the lizard thing. Vaerys eyed the creature and looked for any possible weak point. He noted the tail and the weapon the creature held in its arms.

"Is it true that a lizard's tail grows back if you cut it off?" Vaerys mocked loudly. "Put the lass down and I won't ask again."

Tragnaggen pulled the arrow back, loosing it elegantly as it soared through the air and through a direwolf's thigh, but for every one that fell, 2 more appeared. As he went to loose another arrow, Tragnaggen was tackled to the ground. Then he heard arrows scattering onto the ground, a howl, a crunch, and then a whimper.

The Commander ripped the knife out of the beast's neck, pushing it off his companion and helping him up.
''We need to move'' he told Tragnaggen, eyeing the silhouette of the tower in the far distance.

Dalrel watched the ongoing spectacle from the relative safety of the tower entrance. He could make out certain faces currently both in front of and above him.
Then he saw two from the camp, the Commander, and a man called Tragn... annon?
Dalrel forgot the name, but he remembers both of them a stone's throw from the tower.
The old man hobbled metres behind Tragnarrock as the latter loosed arrows at direwolves left, right and centre, but was quickly being overwhelmed, as one toppled to the ground, and the other barely keeping pace.

Dalrel instinctively ran to aid them. Not out of a sense of chivalry or emotional connection, but because he didn't want them dead from him being taciturn. Half of his group were either unstable killers or complete strangers to Dalrel. The two Liemians in front at least were sensible human beings, and while he didn't know their names, Dalrel knew he'd rather be helping them than fight the Giant Bird alone, or join others who clearly didn't need his help.
Unsheathing his sword and dashing towards the two men, he sliced through a direwolf, leaving burn marks in the gash caused by his sword.
''Over here!'' he shouted from a nearby ridge, shooting bursts of flame at the monsters and carving a path for the two Liemians.

Tragnaggen fumbled, losing most of his arrows in the process, while he and the Commander barely dodged the wolves and the flames. ''Hey! Targaryen! got anymore arrows?'' the spellsword bellowed, twisting the sword around his waist and hacking off direwolf limbs and snouts.
The two soldiers passed Dalrel at his side, and as he ushered them towards the tower, it seemed the three of them were safe.
''I don't think I formally introduced myself. The name is Dalrel'' he said breathlessly. leaning against the exterior wall.

For a moment there was silence, as all of them caught their breaths........ then they heard the others.

"Do as the human says creature"
''Is it true that a lizard's tail grows back if you cut it off?''

Dalrel glared as The Archer and The Commander moved towards the commotion. Dalrel followed reluctantly, and the three of them witnessed a rather absurd standoff given the other issues.
''Has anyone dealt with THE BIRD?!'' Dalrel shouted in an attempt to break the tension he just intruded on.

In the strange twilight of the set sun and portal quite a scene was laid out.

Serragish was abuzz with plans but sadly it was all for naught when she was still caught between a rock and a pointy place. The Lallowen's resolve remained, though being cold blooded probably helped keeping cool.

"Lower your tail and walk away or die here and now."

The blade gave the lallowen pause as what were probably eyes ran along its shaft. With a prayer she spoke. "Do you even know who you're defending?" A disruption but also valid question. "And you're going to have her lead you down there?" With luck the lallowen could rely on her unfamiliar biology to conceal the stress. Though she couldn't stop her hooves taking a step or so back, the threat was noted.

''Is it true that a lizard's tail grows back if you cut it off?''

"Well whatever they cut of you sure didn't and I've lost count of what number tail this is." The lallowen's response was rude but true as well.

Then came the Growled Words

"Do as the human says creature"

That scare was mighty effective, unfortunately spooking a creature with hooves is risky business. The one legged buck was reactionary, frantic and about as accurate as a sawed off shot gun but just as powerful.

The lallowen was off balance for a while as the tale pulls back. Serragish had been slashed in the swing as the tip of a few tail horns drew across her torso. Serragish tightened now free to clutch at her wounds and doing her best not to double over while still applying pressure to the wounds, they were still covered so the exact severity was unclear.

The Lallowen brought her free hoof down onto the orange sand bringing up a small puff with her stomp her, tail now raised scorpion like. She was no longer as in control but getting close would still be risky.

'I don't think I formally introduced myself. The name is Dalrel''

"I'm Trag not trying to be rube but we both have people who need us so I'm afraid formal introductions will have to wait."

The spellsword, the archer and the little commander had to pass though the battle in full force but made effective work of the dire wolves. Well two did, the commander just sort of followed finding his way in the wake of the other two, I guess none of the wolves recognised him as a threat.

The Lallowen was about to speak when Tragnaggenn showed up panting a little. Trying to keep up with someone who can teleport tends to tire you out a little.

"Wait *pant* *pant*" Trag tried to say.

"Let's all not fight. I'm sure we can figure this out, and I'm sure it's all just a big misunderstanding. "Wouldn't it be better to work together?"

Tragnaggen smiled speaking again "Yeah what the surprisingly sensible man said. Dear I understand if..."

Hug, kiss and make up?"

"Hey! She's my wife. Also she doesn't have a mouth. But I agree about talking."

The Lallowen was quick to object "Dear there's not a clean solution, we're fighting to defend our nation from the monsters in the very trench this so called Serragish, which is a fake name by the way, is planning delve into. Whether or not she knows what's down there there's a reason we put it that far below the surface."

''Has anyone dealt with THE BIRD?!''

There was a collective 'oh yeah' moment where everyone able turned to look slightly into the distance. The bird was still doing its job of thinning out the soldiers. Though the creature was showing wear and tear. It had an eye or two less than when anyone last checked and a spear pierced a key joint causing one of its back legs to fall behind.

Everyone quickly regained their positions not Trag had tried to assume a more central position "Miss can I see your wounds." Trag asked knealing down trying to look Serragish in the eye.

All through the stand off wolves had been pulled away drawn in by the mental call, this would probably make it easier for the soldiers dealing with the bird but also caused a snarling circle to form around the party. Though the Dire Wolves were hesitant to advance much further most everyone there was splattered with remnants of fallen pack members, hard to blame the dogs for being tentative.

The Lallowen spoke again, "Told you she was on their side Trag, now get away from her and come to me."

He didn't respond still trying to help Serragish, the smell of blood didn't bode well for her and it was getting harder to stem the flow.

Serragish glared at Trag but reluctantly let him look at her chest.

"Gods." He exclaims as she moves her arms revealing the wounds temporally losing composure but regaining it with apologies.

Crimson gashes seeping with a mix of orange and red fluid ran thick and deep, she was shaking and doing a bad job concealing it. If she was lucky the shock keeping her from registering pain would last long enough that she'd be spared the suffering.

The lallowen lowered her thagomizer bringing it parallel to the two of them, even now suspicious of Serragish.
"I think you've done enough." Trag didn't look at the Lallowen instead focused on the wound addressing Serragish again. "Stay with me now. You're going to be fine. I can save you"

Serragish slumped forward whispering something in his ear barely audible, she was strangely calm as if she accepted her fate, or maybe blood loss just stopped her seeing though the paper thin fašade of being on top of things Trag projected. "Beg your pardon?" He asked, leaning in closer.

Serragish places an arm on his shoulder trying again to whisper, causing him to get closer one last time.
A lot happened very quickly, Serragish exerted herself groaning with a shove just enough to knock Trag off balance and front first onto the spikes of the lallowen's tail.

A horrible squelching sound followed quickly by sputtered coughing.
"Trag." The Lallowen dropped the gear instantly moving to cradle Trag, shifting him onto her lap. Not noticing when Serragish got to her feet and took the gear from the sand.

She paid no heed to the widow to be, moving back to the tower. It didn't take her long to get back up, the bird distracting any potential attackers, obscured from view for a while as she's atop the tower.

A while later there's a grinding rumble that shakes the sand as the tower begins to sink, soon Serragish is in view again as the roof of the tower is at ground level again but still sinking. "You coming?"

Kyras would have cheered for what had just happened if that hadn't happened so fucking coldly. He used his minor control of the wolves to direct them to attack the bird and then he used the last bit of the control of the energy he could manage right now in an attempt to direct the Dying man's body to heal itself as the realization that maybe they weren't here to kill him came.

He was nearing exhaustion from using his power by this point but seeing Serragish had found the gear and was apparently escaping he sprinted to the platform lowering into the ground, not wanting to be left behind here with Liemans and a grieving lizard creature.

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