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  #91  
Old 09-01-2014, 07:44 PM
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The lifeboat didn't have the time it needed to escape. Unbeknownst to the three in it, deep in the gullet of the beast Xyclath had unleashed his fury, blowing holes in the stomach of the creature. Foul smelling fluids and blood gushed forth, quickly rising the level of acid within the stomach and forcing them to climb the listing boat to avoid death. Even so, the increase in fumes were overwhelming - all three of the stomach victims passed out before they could inflict further harm on their devourer. The damage was done, though - Retribution may not survive this either. Where it had been mindfully fleeing, all intelligient thought retreated from the pain, only to be replaced by a purely animal instinct to escape these creatures. Sustenance could be gained elsewhere - they were not worth keeping around.

Retribution surfaced briefly but spied the lifeboat. More of them! More monsters! A thick, strong tentacle wrapped around the lifeboat and lifted it, then swinging in a way the tentacle only could, the lifeboat and it's three occupants were launched as far away as the kraken could throw, towards the land - which was closer now - but more importantly into the sky. The three, forced to the boat by the pure force of the throw blacked out. They awoke over the Expanse, many miles from the ocean so that it appeared as a glimmer on the horizon. They had traveled far and fast, and now found themselves close to each other, still in the boat, in a freefall. As sight of the ocean pulled away the ground grew every closer. Faster and faster. Death could be imminent.

For Retribution, there were still monsters within it, monsters that refused to die. Such pain it had never felt before, and instead of heading for its lair it tore off west along the shallows, not tactically withdrawing but all out sprinting in the water, jetting constantly and fleeing from creatures that it couldn't flee from. It continued on for some time, until it grew weak and close to the shore. Long was it out of sight of the mind-invader, but the monsters it had eaten had mortally wounded it. At last, Retribution pulled itself ashore in a cove, its bulk trapped among jutting rocks, sand caking its injured tentacles. The acid from its stomach was designed to eat away at anything, but now gaping holes had allowed that acid to pour throughout its body. Retribution couldn't survive, couldn't heal such monstrous wounds. In one final involuntary act it hurled its stomach, disgorging hundred of half-devoured bodies, their nutrients mostly taken. With them came a sailing ship, and on that ship the burned bodies of the monsters were. Retribution leaned in to kill its killers - and slumped onto the sand, dead. Tenacles fell among the ruined bodies and smashed ship, as acid bubbled into the sea. None of the "monsters" were awake to witness their victory - they were barely alive after survivign the rigors of the kraken.


OOCWe are drawing to the close of this prequel. I ask only a single post from each of you, and then I'll lock the thread and each of you will get your next thread. For our airborne trio, this is simply leading up to the landing. For the boatbound trio, where do you fly to? Finally, for the eaten trio - you are not dead - put up some last thoughts before slipping into unconsciousness, overwhelmed by the stomach. Also, the three in the stomach get to halve their remaining hp.

Everyone will recieve full XP for slaying the flying kraken. That reads as massive damage in my book, and furthermore no creature that can't regenerate or wouldn't recieve medical attention would pass away from that kind of injury.
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Last edited by Atalla Wanderer; 09-01-2014 at 08:09 PM.
  #92  
Old 09-01-2014, 09:54 PM
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Bakku cursed as he saw what was happening. Too quick for them to react, the kraken launched the lifeboat into the air at such a velocity that he blacked out for a moment. When he awoke, the tengu was pressed against the inside of the vessel as it was making its way down toward the ground at a frightening rate. Bakku was not afraid of falling or flying, but with the boat pressing down on him he was not able to control the fall.

The tengu quickly scrambled out of the boat and let go. Immediately, his fall began to slow so that he was drifting gently down toward the earth. With a quick maneuver, he turned his cloak around so that large black feathers were shown rather than the smaller white ones. Once this happened, the cloak actually turned into feathered wings, allowing Bakku to take control of his descent completely.

Once Bakku had himself under control he thought to see to the others’ peaceful landing. Diving down and grabbing the edge of the lifeboat, Bakku pulled hard and wrenched the boat away from the furry occupants within. He had heard tell that cats always land on their feet, so he decided to focus on the kitusne. Matching his fall with Shiroshi’s, the tengu saw that Shiroshi would be alright on his own.

With that in mind, Bakku spread his resplendent wings out wide and took to the wind. His fall became a powerful spiraling arc as he soared farther and farther out to get a better idea of their surroundings and the area they were going to be landing in. The bird man flew around a mile radius centered on the kitsune and the cat’s projected landing point. With them falling safely now, Bakku was less worried about their landing and more concerned about their new environment.


 
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Last edited by Gath; 09-02-2014 at 03:39 AM.
  #93  
Old 09-01-2014, 11:00 PM
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Niko, the narcoleptic

No sooner had he finished speaking than the water boiled with the fury below and a tentacle grabbed them and swung them about. Claws out gripping the boards and fur standing on end, Niko growled at the shaking but finds himself slammed to the bottom and darkness pressing in yet again.

Blinking at the sun and wind in his face, Niko eased up on all four. What the... Then he felt the stranger pull the boat away and the weightlessness makes sense. Comfortable with heights and free falling Niko flattens himself out, cloak trailing back lightly as he floats on the air currents as his fall slows to a drift and looks to his companions. The birdman (that he has yet to get a name from) seems to be fine.

He glares at the newcomer and puts one hand on his swordMakku. Obviously the stranger was no real threat but Niko maintains his glare for a moment anyways. It's been a rough day and someone deserves the glare. He just happens to be in the way. Now that everyone looks to be okay, Niko turns his gaze on the glaring landscape beneath them to find a place to land and scour the landscape for enemies, shelter and civilization.
 
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  #94  
Old 09-01-2014, 11:54 PM
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Stories tell of the horror that is the fetid breath of the kraken. The mythical creature said to have feasted on a thousand souls, the corpses still rotting in its teeth. A wave of this rotten breath across your nostrils was said to be a fate worse than death.

As Albrecht was lowered toward the beast's maw, he couldn't help but think that the severity of the stench was undersold. A wall of fetid air hit him like a greatclub wielded by the gods, seeming to permeate every fibre of his being and sicken him to his very core. He was glad that he held a bar of soap in his offhand -- though he was paralyzed by the completeness of the stench its very presence helped him feel the slightest bit more sanitary. He tightened his grip on the bar, fearing that without its presence he may simply be consumed by the filth.

The beast's teeth were another matter entirely. They loomed above him with malicious intent, opening wide about the maw that prepared to consume him whole. They were stalagmites of agony and despair, promising only death and a world of bottomless pain.

They drew closer and closer, dripping with ooze and the blood of countless sailors. The strix could do nothing. Even if the tentacle around him lessened its grasp, the sheer magnitude of the beast's frightful presence prevented his muscles from moving even an inch.

And then there was darkness.

He was vaguely aware that the tentacle around his waist was gone. His senses were numb and his mind a blur while his life flashed before his eyes. Every so often he would crash roughly against the beast's innards, but he barely noticed. The strikes barely registered, unable to pierce the veil of hopelessness surrounding him mind.

Surely this was the end. What did any of it matter?

Suddenly, an image of his mother flashed through his mind. He saw her gentle smile; her confident demeanor and subtle grace. His father joined her, his soft features belying the sharp mind and lightning reflexes beneath. He saw Duskwing, his faithful companion, soaring on the breeze high above the land. The sky wove through the bird's feathers with the promise of a gentler world. All throughout, a single word rang through his mind:

Freedom.

No, this is not how it ends.

The world came rushing back into his consciousness. He became keenly aware of the of the deep rumble the creature; of the screams from the few dwarves still unfortunate enough to have their lives; of the rushing of cold air from within the beast; of the pain wracking his body as he flew. Blood dripped down his face, obscuring his vision and stinging his eyes. He assumed most of it was his.

He didn't have long to dwell on that thought before hitting the sloshing mess of fluid within the creature. The sordid mix of acid and bile sought out his wounds with a voracious intensity, stinging his tender flesh. He struggled against the sloshing tide but the turbulence was too much for him. He silently cursed his ability to fly, and all of the time he spent ignoring the need to practice swimming. Eventually in his flailing he collided with something solid, and grabbed hold for dear life. As he was about to pull himself onto whatever he'd latched on to, he was suddenly weightless.

The fluid rose around him. He caught glimpses of bones and bloated corpses rising above the waves. Retribution was going down, and quickly. The contents of its stomach, constrained by simple gravity, could not keep pace. He had but a precious moment, and he used it to beat his wings and position himself above his prize -- a boat, apparently. It was worse for wear, but sufficiently in tact to provide shelter from the beasts innards for a short time.

The kraken hit the ocean with a resounding crash, and the sudden change in speed set its stomach's contents to roiling. The ship rolled on the churning waves but stayed afloat, and Albrecht kept his grip with all of his remaining might. When the liquid calmed, he realized that he was not the only creature on board the vessel. The orc he had spotted earlier lay sprawled opposite him on the deck. He did not appear to be moving, but the ranger spotted signs of shallow breath and let free a small sigh. The intake that followed elicited a sharp cough, sending pain racing through his side. The air was thick here, and it burned his lungs. He suspected that before too long it would suffocate whatever creatures were still capable of drawing breath. For now, though, he was still alive, and that was all that mattered.

It wasn't long before another black hand rose above the acid, grasping desperately for the ship's edge. Xyclath pulled himself over the railing as Albrecht struggled to his knees, coughing dark blood onto the planks before him. He tried to will himself toward his companions, that he may help them, but it was all he could do to move at all. Any attempts to stand were foiled by the weakness in his legs and the occassional torrent of ocean water streaming into their prison as the warden consumed another limp dwarf.

Suddenly there was a crash. His mind didn't have the time to register the sound before several more followed. Explosions rocked the inside of the chamber and flaming chunks of flesh plummeted to the fetid bog below. Xyclath, the first among them to orient himself, has loosed a deadly volley upon their assailant, and the beast roared in both anger and pain. A vortex appeared at one end of the creature's innards, now expelling the contents of its stomach out into the open air.

Albrecht spun helplessly with the current, his grip on the ship long since lost due to his violent acceleration. Darkness crept along the corners of his vision as he became disoriented. The sky, so blue and crisp in the cold air, was the last thing he saw before darkness overcame him.

And through his mind ran a single word which, despite everything, brought a smile to his face.

Freedom.
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  #95  
Old 09-02-2014, 12:24 AM
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Shiroshi
The white furred kitsune sat in the boat with Niko and the tengu. The scene brought to mind a childhood rhyme, The owl and the pussycat went to sea in a beautiful …

Shiroshi’s moment of nostalgia was interrupted by the mass of Retribution breaking the surface of the water a short distance away. The spirit ranger dropped the oar, clutched his bow and found himself staring into one of Retribution’s giant eyes. The dark orb seemed to be filled with hate and malice.

Before the kitsune could act a giant tentacle lashed out and wrapped around the boat and lifted it into the air. Shiroshi prepared himself to be swallowed as the boat rushed towards Retribution. The giant squid had a different idea though and flung the boat skywards. The dinghy soared into the sky and towards the shore of the Expanse. Shiroshi found himself held to the boat by the tremendous force of the movement. He tried desperately to cling to the edges of consciousness, but failed, slipping into blackness.

Shiroshi awoke to find himself still clutching his bow. He was in the boat flying or rather falling above the Expanse. The spirit ranger’s bond to the Kami filled his being with a renewed vitality and he was sure he could survive this.

The tengu appeared near the boat and pulled it out from under Niko and Shiroshi. The kitsune began to plummet towards the surface of the Expanse. From here the raw beauty of the Expanse was breathtaking. He was in awe of the way the sun near the horizon cast an ethereal light that made the snow covered landscape glow in a majestic radiance.

The tengu came diving into his vision. He seemed to be offering aid, Shiroshi gave him a thumbs up and he flew away. Off to one side he was aware of Niko entering into a dive and speeding towards the surface.

Shrioshi, reached out to the Kami and felt their embrace, I am home. Holding his free hand to his heart he called out, Kami, if you give me aid, it is a debt that will be repaid“Kami, se me der axuda, el unha débeda que será reembolsado.” . He could feel a surge of divine power fill his being, he shot out his arms perpendicular to his body and recited, I am true of heart and of word, Let me soar like a bird“Eu son certo de corazón e de palabra, Déixeme voar como un paxaro.” Almost instantly the kitsune’s fall was arrested and he began to glide on the breeze. He spied Niko below him and began to descend towards him in a slow graceful downwards spiral.

I expected to come by boat, but this is not how I pictured it.


 



Last edited by Neqq; 09-03-2014 at 08:54 AM.
  #96  
Old 09-02-2014, 01:34 AM
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The effect of his barrage was instant, and it was devastating. What was at first a shudder quickly became a fit of violent spasms as the creature was overcome with what Xyclath suspected was pain: pain it had never before experienced. Pain it had caused a thousand times over to travelers in these parts. Xyclath grinned. One of those bullets must have hit something vital. In different circumstances he might have regretted ridding the world of such a unique, might creature, but a being that toyed with the lives of others as this one did had no place in the world. He would make sure of that. Still alive, I see, he lowered his musket, letting it cool down for a moment before raising it for another barrage. Let us see if you can handle another.

His attempt at another attack was interrupted as Retribution twisted and launched itself almost directly upward. The sudden movement forced Xyclath to the ground, and he struggled to even get to his knees. No, come on! All was still for a moment, and he dared push himself to his feet, only to be launched sideways with another sudden movement by the kraken. He barely had time to think before a massive wave of stomach acid slammed into him and he was surrounded by more of the vile, deadly fluid. The prideful Strix had never stopped to consider what might happen if he fired into the creature from the inside, and now the realization came too late.

After several agonizing seconds he was able to orient himself and, with the help of his wings, pushed himself up and out of the pool. Though he could barely see, the last of his energy was enough to carry him back to the remnants of the boat. Yet the heavy fumes within the monster's stomach, which only grew heavier, marked his doom. He landed back on the boat and, his energy spent, took a deep breath, only to feel his consciousness slowly slipping away. "No, I will not fall while this monster lives! No, I have so much yet to do. So much..." The last word trailed off as he was overwhelmed by the pain tearing through his skin and the fire in his lungs, sensations that by all accounts should have been his last. In moments, the lights went out.

When Retribution beached itself on the sand, and with its death throes vomited the contents of its stomach out, Xyclath was entirely unaware. The most he felt was a sense of weightlessness and a cool sensation across his back, both of which slowly infiltrated his dreams. "Die, monst..." he mumbled, before turning over and falling entirely into unconsciousness.

 
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Last edited by HereticForLife; 09-02-2014 at 03:29 PM.
  #97  
Old 09-02-2014, 12:23 PM
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Soussouree, deep in his summoning, barely registers what is happening. But when the ship cracks, he focuses his eyes for a moment. Several things stand out in that quick look. First, those that were on top of it seem to have vanished. Second, the beast is plummeting from the sky. Third, it's bulk was landing directly on the front half of the ship, and finally, it's tentacles, notably empty, were snaking around the front half as a giant crack raced across the deck. CRACK With a rending tear the ship is forever changed. That is all that Soussouree has time for before he must return to his chanting. He shifts the call from the plane of elemental air to elemental water instead. Whatever happens we will need all hands for the cleanup and to round up survivors. As his voice rises it begins to bounce among the waves.

The water begins to churn all around where there was once a whole ship and mini vortexes spin and swirl. "Ride the waves and sift the depths, heed the call and lend your aid.波に乗ると深さをふるい、コールに耳を傾けると、あなたの援助を貸す。 The whirlpools merge and resolve into two on either side of the remaining wreckage and two hands reach out of them and plant themselves impossibly on the water. Pushing down a form rises from the water...oddly seeming to be made of water. When it is about halfway out it ceases rising and observes the remains of the ship. From the waist up it is vaguely humanoid, with broad shoulders and thick arms. Below the water, if anyone cares to look, it appears to be some form of aquatic animal. Looking at the form, it almost looks like an amphibious version of a centaur. Two eyes, more suggestions of where eyes would be on most creatures, look down on the ship before looking up to Soussouree.

Soussouree meets the creature's gaze and speaks to it as to a friend, "Please begin assisting the ship to shore. I shall push from the rear shortly.岸に船をアシストを開始してください。私はすぐに後ろから押してはならない。" Soussouree begins to drift down toward the rear of the ship, fully taking in the wreckage and looking for signs of the team. Not a dwarf in sight, and everyone is gone? His eyes roam the leftovers and finally fasten on the three lone people remaining. I need to learn their names, with so few of us left we must stay close and help each other. Taking a deep breath he looks at the diminished team and calls out, "Ahoy! Don't mind my friend. We will tow the remains of the boat" Vaguely, Soussouree remembers that the scared man with the overbearing outsider has some magic and the enormous woman is a proficient caster, so he doubted they needed the ship, but you never give up something that could prove useful if you have a choice. With the immediate threat gone, IT seems prudent to take it along.

After a few moments, Soussouree's form metls away and merges with the water, before becoming a watery version of an enormous anthropomorphic shark. Gripping the rear of the boat with two huge watery arms, Soussouree begins to push forward in concert with the Water Elemental at the front. To the closest Shore!最も近い海岸に! Soussouree shouts as the boat slowly begins to edge forward.

Last edited by Scimmy; 09-02-2014 at 12:24 PM.
  #98  
Old 09-03-2014, 02:04 AM
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He laughed. He could not help it, or even care to stop it, he laughed. Why? At what? The irony, to be truthful enough. The great beast, Retribution as it had been called by the dwarven sailors, had devoured them all in an effort to kill them and only succeeded at the cost of its own last breath of life being coaxed away with the fiery booming of the strix's firearm echoing around the belly of the beast. BOOM. It resounded all around the first time, carving the beginnings of a great hole in the side of the stomach. BOOM. It fired again, a bloody chunk of the stomach wall flew off and into the acidic pool they were surrounded by. BOOM. The hole widened further and blood, massive amounts of blood began to seep into the stomach in which they resided. Muzdul's first laugh sounded, somewhere between the relief that they would not die in vain against this beast and the irony already mentioned. He attempted to have the shadows aid the musketeer, but he never really had the chance. Not that it mattered.

BOOM. The blood began to pour, to rush rather than seep, as another, larger, chunk of flesh was blown clear of the wall. The beginning of the great monster's wails of agony could be heard in deafening volume, as it felt a small portion of the pain it had inflicted upon countless others be returned in kind. BOOM. The hole in the belly of the beast would now have sufficed as its own cavern, and even as the level of blood in the stomach rose, ridding them of much of the air that was already so limited, Muzdul accepted that they would die even as he raised his bone and feather covered staff above his head and shook it as still he laughed. He contemplated adding to the destruction with a spell, but dismissed such a thought. Xyclath had this. He knew it. BOOM. He could feel it. The beast's great death throes were coming, and if the stomach did not kill them first then those would. BOOM. Perhaps if his family were all mercifully dead, and none of them had been taken for slaves, he would see them here soon. Though he had not accomplished that which he had desired the most, his life had not been without merit and the thought of seeing them all again did not seem very bad at all. Though none could see it while they were still conscious because of the mask, it was with a relaxed smile that Muzdul greeted what he thought was death as he passed out.

But he would not die here, not yet.
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  #99  
Old 09-03-2014, 05:48 PM
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Zachariah Scruple flew, with crossed arms and furrowed brow. They're dead, he said to himself. All of them. To have gained new companions, and lost so many of them already? It bodes ill.

He twitched slightly at the sound of distant thunder, before realizing that he was merely hearing the Baron, again. Through their link, the Eidolon had learned a great many languages, and he knew curses in all of them…many of which, inexplicably and blessedly, Zachariah himself didn’t recognize.

The Baron was in a state of high dudgeon indeed, certain that he could have “taken” the kraken himself, had it not been for Zachariah’s cowardice, and bent on convincing the world of this as well.

Perhaps he could have, at that, the summoner mused. The Baron had surprised him more than once, albeit in generally appalling ways. No one could be foolish enough to deny his courage, though. Nor his foolhardiness…. Zachariah had felt a moment of genuine fear when the beast had grabbed the Baron, even knowing that the Eidolon could not really die.

Although the Baron certainly lives, he admitted to himself. Loudly, and emphatically. It was admirable, really, if exhausting to behold. The Baron didn’t so much seize the day as he did leap upon it and begin violently shaking it, demanding the contents of its pockets.

Their link had strengthened further, over the brief course of the battle. Zachariah could feel the Baron’s heartbeat now, thundering in rhythm with his own, and knew that the opposite held true as well. If I’m hurt, he’ll feel it. He’ll suffer in my stead. He shan’t be pleased, when he realizes that.…

“...torn it limb from limb from limb from limb from limb from...how many limbs did it have, again? Bah, it matters not! I would have ripped them all from the slimy beast, and used its body as a privy! And then? Then, I would have gotten nasty, by damn!”

Boldly rushing in where angels fear to tread, Zachariah notes, As always. I wonder if...

He twisted in mid-air, alarmed by the Baron's sudden bellow, and saw the eidolon falling into the sea. A spell rose to his lips before he realized that the Baron, now leaping from wave-tip to wave-tip, was merely playing games again, and that no tentacles had emerged to drag him under.

He sighed. So much courage, so little sense. He'd be doomed, if weren't for me.




Baron Andrealphus Lucien DeMephisophocles III moved in leaps and bounds through the sky, never still and never silent. He was barely aware of his own bluster; boasting came as easily as breathing to him, and required even less thought.

The lad suffers from an excess of caution, he told himself, while continuing to rant aloud. The Baron still felt rather insulted by Zachariah's lack of confidence in him -- he's so looked forward to slaying the beast! -- but he'd largely forgiven the summoner. It was so difficult to hold a grudge against the fellow, with those sad brown eyes of his. Zachariah was an incurable pessimist, ever certain that the sky was about to fall.

And so what if it did? Andrealphus Lucien DeMephisophocles III would simply catch it, and set it back in place!

With a roar of pure exuberance, the Baron allowed himself to fall from the sky, catching himself an instant before his boots touched the water. He began to run through the air, skimming the waves, perversely hoping to catch a glimpse of something tentacled that he might vent his spleen upon. There was brief flare of alarm from Zachariah, and the Baron laughed aloud at the sensation. The bond tying him to the lad had strengthened of late, and it felt as though a weight had lifted from the Baron's broad, yet shapely, shoulders. He could bear the summoner's wounds for him now, and this made it far more likely that Zachariah would live to see another dawn.

Sadly, the Baron shook his head. He's such a fragile fellow. Like a baby bird, or a turtle that's been flipped 'pon its back.... He'd be doomed, if weren't for me
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