PM to join A Winter Rescue (Zhol, pm to join)

An unfortunate accident leaves a group of hunters trapped and in need of rescue.

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The westernmost tip of Kalea, Wind Reach is home to an amazing group of people and their giant eagle mounts. [Lore]

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A Winter Rescue (Zhol, pm to join)

Postby Mirage on February 23rd, 2015, 4:09 am

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"Yes... Yes that's right. Such pretty things you will be, so pretty..." A hacking cough filled the small cavernous space as a shadowed figure hunched over in the flickering torch light. It's hands moved over a lump on the ground, cutting in uneven patterns as he began to peal back the newly made flap in his creation, stuffing bits of straw and small rodent bones before closing it back up. In one hand he produced a thin needle white as bone, and the other a spool of thread black as pitch. Threading the needed the creature started to sew up the suture he had just made, chuckling softly to himself as he did.

A soft moan made the thing look up in irritation, "Hush, your use to me is almost at an end now." But when the moan's continued the thing stood with a sigh, ruffling through the folds of his dirty and ragged robes to produce a pouch. Shuffling across the small space he dug in the pouch, pulling out a small pinch of fine powder that settled in the palm of his hand. To the source of the mans he went, raising his palm and bloating the fine dust into the poor souls face, silence falling once more.

Stowing the powder away the creature grabbed the man that hung from shackles from the ceiling by the neck, pulling him closer to growl into his ear and showing teeth that were blacked with rot, "Call to your pet, bring more of them here. I am running out of bodies." He laughed and released the imprisoned Endal, letting him swing back into place before grabbing the sewn up corpse he had been work on, dragging it across the floor and tossing it into a bubbling vat of mud.

Pausing just a tick to watch the corpse of one of the missing Inarta sink below the bubbling nastiness the creature snapped his fingers and a large figure stirred from its corner, "Go, bring them to me. I need more bodies."

*****

The first ten chimes or so went undisturbed, the 5 who had come to save their missing comrades were free to keep digging and moving as many rocks as they could, but it would be apparent that it would take several bells to move the large amount of earth that had cascaded down the mountainside and blocked the entrance. Then it would come, just a faint whiff on the air, the sent of old dirt and sickening decay. Just a note, gone just as fast as it was there as the wind picked up and wiped away the trace of warning there was.

It then came without further warning, a sound like the a dying mule that set the horse to uneasy pacing just before dirt and stone alike went flying from the supposed opening of the cave, and if any happened to be near the rubble at the time they, too, would be throw back by the force of the impact from something on the other side.

The Beast :
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One hand as large as the horse's waist grasped the side of the cave as a creature born from children's nightmares pulled itself out of the rubble and mud, blinking its many eyes in the sunlight and pulling back slightly before its eyes brought those gathered around into focus. That sound again rang out, and the horse of such poor discipline balked and whinnied, eyes rolling in fear as it reared and made to gallop as quick as the winds could carry it from the scene.

Kicking boulders as big as Zhol out of the way the creature stepped fully into the light, and where the sun touched bouts of grey smoke curled upward. It looked as thought parts of its body had been stitched together, the black thread pulling tight as it moved, swinging its tiny head from side to side, as if thinking about who it should take first. Then, its decision was made and it took one larger stone in hand and threw it with enough force to put a crater in the ground where it struck at Azira before turning it's many eyes all on Khara, stalking toward her, oddly fast for its bulky size.
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A Winter Rescue (Zhol, pm to join)

Postby Azira on March 6th, 2015, 4:03 pm

OOCSo sorry for taking so long. I'll be quicker from now on, promise

The clearance was slow going. So much debris had been deposited by the mountainside that Azira had no idea how they could be expected to move it all that day. At the rate they were working, they'd be a long time succeeding in their rescue mission. She hoped that nobody was too badly injured or else necessary medical aid might come too late. What the huntress couldn't understand was why there was such a small party of them. It should have been obvious that a landslide would take a lot of labour to move so why had Sira gathered so few of them? Why weren't there more Endal? Khara and Azira had happened along by chance and it made her wonder what the Kelvic would have done if they hadn't.

It was difficult work, leaving her unpleasantly sticky and her hands smelling of earth. Soil that hadn't seen the surface before must have been churned up, a scent of musty earth and decomposing matter rising as she dug through. Her nose wrinkled against it, a brief thought of whether it had been a dead plant or an animal that had given rise to that stench, and after a few moments it seemed to clear. Must be the breeze swept it away, she thought with relief, glad that it was gone but under no illusions that she'd encounter it as she continued.

A glance was thrown her companions' ways, seeing if they were progressing any better than she was. Her attention snapped to the horse when the death rattle sounded. It had sounded like a horse didn't seem to be making it, although it was agitated, so-

The debris that they'd been labouring to remove exploded, detritus flying backwards and Azira thrown back shrieking with it. Her right hip and elbow struck the ground, head jerked back as a piece of rock glanced off her temple. Shockwaves vibrated through her bones, a trickle of warmth beginning to slide down her face. Fingers were pressed to the stream, coming away wet with blood, which the huntress could only stare at dumbly, the sting in her arm suggesting it had been cut open too. Puzzled eyes travelled to the new hole that had appeared without explanation. Except that her gaze fell on what could be the only cause.

A bulging arm, hardly recognisable for what it was, had extended from the opening, thick fingers grasping at the cave's side before the rest of it emerged. The Avora shrank back in horror from the alien being, unable to process what it was. Eyes, too many eyes, too much muscle, a horrible misshapen form that she couldn't connect with anything close to humanity. The many eyes blinked, the change in lighting seeming to momentarily blind it but Azira was scuttling backwards before it had a chance to truly see them. She didn't know what it was but she had enough her wits about her to know that she didn't want to be near it when it emerged fully. Her limbs felt uncoordinated, clumsy as she tried to beat a hasty retreat. The act of pulling herself backwards a difficult enough task that she wasn't likely to be able to coordinate herself enough to stand and run. The odd sound came again and the horse started to make noises of panic. So it hadn't been the horse, it must have come from whatever that thing was hauling its way out of the dark.

The teen made a strangled noise in her throat as the monstrosity stepped out into the full light, the black stitching crisscrossing its form standing out starkly against its skin. Whatever it was, it wasn't natural and it certainly looked as if it had been put together. The creature wasn't showing any signs of falling apart either. It was the personification of strength, kicking boulders about the place as if they were pebbles. It hefted a large rock, its eyes swivelling to the huntress as it drew its arm back. A screech of fear left her as she got her feet under her, throwing herself sideways and scrabbling onwards from where she landed. The ground vibrated as the missile made impact, a fearful look backwards showing that she had escaped being flattened by mere inches. Her eyes returned to the monster to find its attention had shifted to Khara and it was bearing down upon her with surprising speed.
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A Winter Rescue (Zhol, pm to join)

Postby Zhol on March 6th, 2015, 4:50 pm


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The horse's cries of panic were like a knife to his soul; the pony that was usually so calm and serene so difficult to spook and startle, bolting in abject terror like a frightened bird. Zhol couldn't blame her: parts of him were screaming and shrieking, desperately pleading for him to flee from the beast that could batter it's way through a landslide as if it were kicking aside leaves. Living amongst the Inarta, Zhol had grown accustomed to feeling tall, peering over the heads of everyone he met; but this gargantuan creature made him feel like a tiny, helpless child.

You need to run. You're no match for something like this.

Everything seemed to slow as his heart rate thundered faster; the boulder that it casually tossed at Azira seemed like it was tumbling through water to his eyes; he felt the dull reverberating crack through his boots as it dented the ground. Then it's eyes - gods, all those sickening eyes - turned on Khara, and all of the fear and panic drained from his body into a swirling pit of dread in his gut.

"Hey!"

The ball of flaming res launched from his hand before he even realised what was happening, bursting into a cascade of fire as it splashed against the creature's unmissably large flank. Out of reflex, his hand reached for his waist, fingers closing around the cool metal of his sword hilt. As he drew it free from the scabbard, he was silently glad of his paranoia; his and Khara's run-ins with the blacksmith the season before had left him too wary to venture out into the city or beyond without being properly armed. The stiff and aching joints of his injured arm protested, but whatever his body was pumping through his veins took the edge off, and the steely determination that resolved in his chest took care of the rest.

Zhol's skin prickled as res seeped from his pores again, windmarks trailing their way down his right arm, this time. Anger was responsible for wringing these drops of djed from his soul, and at any other time that would have seemed far too dangerous and unwise; but Zhol knew just how potent his reimancy could be when his emotions got the best of him.

"Leave her the petch alone!" he yelled, as he unleashed the second fireball, launched from his arm like a catapult. His offhand throw was far less accurate than the first had been, but it still managed to strike the creature's flesh, and that was enough; this wasn't about points after all. He did his best to seem as formidable and menacing as he could, ignoring the tug of sapped tiredness that seemed to tug at his soul, ignoring the faint breaths of breeze that sounded almost like whispers prickling at the edges of his consciousness.

"Why don't you pick on someone your own size, you ugly lump of shyke?"

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Postby Khara on March 7th, 2015, 9:02 pm

Khara's entire world seemed to suddenly become a nightmare and for a tick or two she was quite certain she must be dreaming. One moment she had been helping to move rocks, the next she was thrown back from the violent emergence of the creature. Everything after became a hazy reality of fear and sounds that seemed too far away. The Chiet lifted herself from where she had fallen to the ground and slowly got to her feet, oblivious to the ache that would soon be forming from where she had impacted the ground and the small trail of blood that was running down her cheek from where a rock had sliced open her skin. Khara eyes betrayed her as she couldn't seem to pull them away from the monstrosity no matter how much her mind was screaming for it.

Time seemed to move far too slowly and it was only once she numbly watched Azira scramble away from a boulder that was hurled as if it were nothing but a child's toy and the creature turn towards her that everything suddenly came into sharp focus. Run!

It took far too long for her body to attempt to comply with the mental shout and terror further threatened to freeze the girl in place as she watched with widened eyes as the hulking behemoth began to move towards her far faster than should ever have been possible. She thought she heard a shout, familiar in voice as well as her inability to understand exactly what was said and then suddenly fire erupted against the creature's skin. The second shout she knew far better and another blast of flame against the stitched hide made her fully realize what exactly was happening. Zhol. What are you...?

He's protecting you, you idiot! Khara wasn't sure if it was going to work in the long term, but it did seem to distract the creature long enough for the girl to actually gain her senses. The first instinct to flee still there and it finally managed to translate to her legs that tried to put some distance between her and the monster. She couldn't just run away, though. Every nerve in her body was practically begging her to, but after Zhol's brave but dangerous attempt to draw the thing's attention, the sight of Azira in her peripheral vision, and Sira - well, she wasn't certain exactly where Sira was but knew that the Endal was around as well, Khara knew she couldn't just leave them. Never mind the fact that the creature would no doubt be able to catch up to her if it was really determined to; the Chiet simply couldn't fathom leaving the man she loved, the other teen who was the closest thing she had to a friend, and the Endal she respected, to fend for themselves.

There was no shortage of accusations against her sanity going through her head as she struggled to unsling her bow from where it rested against her back. For a half a tick she was almost amused at who she had to thank for her constant carrying of the weapon about; paranoia and constant fear within the warrens of Wind Reach actually paid off for a change. She fumbled with the quiver at her side, quaking fingertips made it difficult to even select one of the arrows within. All the while she hadn't stopped moving, legs pumping hard to keep her running but her direction shifted, not away from the mess but back in an arc towards it, hopefully keeping her just out of reach of the thing if it was still following - her heartbeat thudding in her ears made hearing just about anything else near impossible.

At last an arrow was free, her short bow clutched in her right hand. This is stupid, this is insane - Don't. Don't. Don't! Despite inner argument the arrow found purchase against bow string and Khara forced herself to come to a stop, turned on her heel as her bow was raised and the string was drawn back.

It wasn't hard to find the creature, and sight of it once more threatened to drive all sense of her her head. Khara responded in the only way she knew how to, to stare down the length of the arrow towards the maddening sight, forced herself to let go of the breath she had been holding in burning lungs, and loosed the arrow towards the thing.


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A Winter Rescue (Zhol, pm to join)

Postby Sira on March 7th, 2015, 11:14 pm

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Sira wondered over the size of their group just as everyone else did. Though she had been the one to assemble them, she had done so under the direction of Zika. She had been led to believe that this would be a small matter, certainly not something to be taken lightly, but that the cave in itself would be relatively easy to clear out with only a small number of people. Move a few big rocks and that was it, or so Zika had told her. But this was not the case. Why would the wind eagle lie? Had she not been able to see the landslide clearly?

Sira paused, wiping the sweat from her brow, and looked up at the trees. She could see blue sky above them, peeking between the canopy of leaves and branches. It was possible Zika had been mistaken, but it still didn't add up. Sira knew that if her endal had been in such a situation, no matter how minor, Sira would have sent an army of Inarta to rescue her.

Frowning, she went back to work, still mulling it over. Was Zika trying to hinder their progress? Sira knew that sometimes wind eagles changed their minds about their endal, but when that happened they usually just knocked them from the saddle or killed them some other way, but always quickly. This wouldn't be quick. If they were trapped and hurt, they might die, and perhaps Zika was trying to make it so that she was not to blame, but Sira tossed that thought aside as quickly as it came. Being a wind eagle herself, Sira knew that if she had ever decided to kill Aidara, appalling though the thought might be, no blame would have been cast her way even if she had done it in full view of the Inarta population. Wind eagles were never to blame. No.. the only reason Sira could think that Zika would send such a small party is if her endal told her to. If her endal told her that a small party was all that was needed, and even that would have taken some convincing, considering how worried Zika seemed to be. But why would anyone do that? Why would this endal put himself, and everyone else trapped with him, in such danger?

Sira had no more time to ponder it as the rubble beneath her began to shake, and suddenly she was thrown backward. Somewhat dazed, Sira watched with wide eyes as the monstrosity emerged from the cave. She watched with horror as it hurled the rock at Azira, and would have let out a sigh of relief when she dodged, except that she was gasping in surprise as Zhol threw fire back at it. The magical attack gave Khara just enough time to escape, and Sira lost sight of the girl behind the large monster. All this happened very quickly, and by the time it was over Sira had finally snapped to her senses. Her mind raced, considering the situation. She had her bow, but not her quiver, just the three arrows that were attached to the clasps. Zhol had some sort of magic, and a sword. Khara.. did she have a weapon? Sira couldn't remember, and she wasn't sure about Azira as well. Sira also had her sword, but she dreaded the idea of getting in close enough to use it.

Her bow. That was the best bet. Sira reached for her bow, which was usually slung across her shoulder, when she realized with widened eyes that it was not there. Where is it!? Sira's eyes darted around, spotting the bow near Azira. Must have dropped it when she was thrown back. With a grimace on her face, Sira gripped her sword. No time for the bow, she ripped the magic blade out of it's sheath and held it tightly before her. The thought of running never crossed her mind. She was an endal. It was her job to defend the city from monsters such as this. She might have shouted for the others to run, but she saw how the monster moved. It was quick, and they were too far from any place she could safely shift and fly them out. Right after the second fire ball was thrown, Sira darted forward, getting in as close as she could and slashing for the creature's leg, hoping to hamstring it. At the same time she whispered, or rather silently shouted, a prayer to Priskil, flaring the gnosis mark on her hand to give her, and hopefully her allies, a boost of courage.

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A Winter Rescue (Zhol, pm to join)

Postby Mirage on March 7th, 2015, 11:41 pm

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The creature stomped toward Khara, its strides quick yet there was something oddly clumsy about it's movements. Like it was not quite used to how its body moved. Still as it bore down on Khara it's many eyes were locked, determined upon it's target. So focused was it that when the fire struck its side it threw its arms up, making a sound like a surprised shout that was garbled as it slipped past lips that were sewn and sealed shut. Frantically it began beating at the fire, smothering it before it caught too much and began to spread. Though the damage was not great it did serve its purpose. All of its eyes locked on Zhol, large body swinging around to begin to lumber at him now instead. The arrow fired by Khara even went unnoticed, lodging into it's flesh just beneath one arm pit but the creature did not even acknowledge anything struck its hide.

As it came at Zhol it dug both of its hands into the dirt, fingers carving deep gouges as it slug a mix of mud, dirt and stone in a wide spray at Zhol. It ducked it's shoulder then, using both its hands and its feet to begin a strange four limbed charge that was quickly turned to 3 and a half as Sira's blades struck at it's ham strings, though a thick layer of fat aided to cousin the blow and deflect it just enough that the blow slanted sideways and hit an oddly placed bone towards its knee. Without slowing the creature kicked out with that same foot, striking Sira a glancing blow to the side before it tumbled into a roll heading directly into Zhol's path. Whether Zhol dodged it or not the beast would somehow find its footing again, one leg now bending in a weird direction yet still supporting its weight while it stood straight and beat its chest. It showed no signs of pain, and no blood oozed from the wounds created. Though smoke still swirled from where the fire struck its flesh and where the light even now grazed its back.
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A Winter Rescue (Zhol, pm to join)

Postby Azira on March 10th, 2015, 5:35 pm

The lumbering beast was watched in dumb horror. Now that the immediate danger to herself was gone, the huntress found herself wrapped up in looking at the monstrosity again. She still couldn't quite believe that it could be real, even in spite of the fact that it had attempted to flatten her and its heavy steps could be felt through the ground. It was just some twisted, sickening nightmare, terrifyingly realistic but a figment of her imagination all the same. It had to be.

Except that it clearly wasn't.

The danger was too real, the adrenaline coursing through her a sure sign that this was actually something she was experiencing. It wasn't until fire ripped through the air to smash into the creature's side that Azira managed to come to better grips with the situation. Her companions were in danger, she needed to help and whatever that abomination needed to be stopped at all costs. What could she do though? The thing beat out the flames without seeming to feel any pain. The attack hardly fazed it, the beast charging at Zhol almost as soon as the flames were extinguished. An arrow flew at it, not even managing to grasp the creature's attention. What could she possibly do? Arrows seemed to be useless against it and they were the only thing that the huntress had! She didn't even know where her bow had gone.

A wave of hopelessness swept through her, a feeling that they could not get out of this alive. You might if you left. It's distracted with the others and you might not get another chance, her mind whispered treacherously. She recoiled from the thought, the idea of running to save her own hide an act of cowardice rather than self-preservation in her eyes. Better to die knowing that she'd at least tried rather than regretting her lack of courage forever afterwards. Face set in grim determination, her eyes fixed on the beast's irregular form, searching for some point of weakness at the moment that Sira attacked it with a blade. It staggered, losing some of its momentum as the leg she'd attacked took the effect of the hit. Her hunting knife, she still had that!

Hope returned and courage with it as she moved forward, ready to help the Endal in her onslaught. She arrived in time to have the other woman kicked past her as the beast regained enough coordination for that. Azira dodged out of its path as it charged off again, turning her attention to the fallen woman. If it had gone towards Zhol then he could no doubt hold his own for a few ticks more.

"Sira? Are you all right?" She offered her a hand to help her up, glancing over her shoulder to see where the beast had gone. It wouldn't pay to turn her back on that thing, it could change direction at any tick after all. Hopefully nothing too terrible would happen in the meantime.
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A Winter Rescue (Zhol, pm to join)

Postby Zhol on March 10th, 2015, 10:20 pm


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Zhol barely managed to raise his arm in time to shield his eyes from the hail of debris that the creature hurled in his direction. That didn't stop the force of impact from slamming his knuckles against his temple, the sting as a sharp rock slashed across his forearm, or the blossom of pain as one crashed into his jaw.

Dazed by having struck himself in the face, it was only the urge to recoil that saved him from the creature's charge, as much a stumbling fall as it was a dive out of the way. His knee bore the brunt of the impact, and then his shoulder, the askew contact with the ground rolling him onto his back in the dirt. He blinked against the stunned confusion that flooded his mind, watching the creature tumble past and clamber to it's feet. He could see the leg that Sira had struck at; the precarious angle; the complete lack of blood. What was this strange, patchwork abomination? What were the scars that spread across it's flesh like a web - more bloodless wounds that had been stitched closed? If it could shrug off fire and arrows and swords as if they were nothing, what hope did they have?

What of the others, too? What of those they had come to save? Was this beast responsible for the avalanche that had trapped them? If so, was there any hope that any of them were still alive? If her Endal had died, would the other wind eagle not have known, and warned them? Was that the sort of thing that a wind eagle would know? And where was the wind eagle, anyway? Why was there no flurry of feathers and talons gouging at the eyes of this beast?

Zhol scrambled his way back to his feet, ignoring the aching and stinging of his scuffs and grazes and bruises, weighing the paltry handful of options that they had. Of all that they had inflicted upon the beast, the fire had at least done something to earn the creature's notice; Zhol could still see the wisps of smoke rising from the creature's burned flesh -

He frowned. He could see where his reimancy had landed, but smoke curled from elsewhere as well, unmarred by his magic and by Sira's sword. He watched as dappled sunshine filtered it's way down through the trees, assaulting the creature's flesh. Could it be that this hulking subterranean beast was harmed by something as simple as the sun's gaze?

Only one way to find out, his mind urged, as Zhol carefully slid his sword back into it's scabbard, the familiar weight tugging at his belt. A bitter, coppery taste assaulted the back of his tongue as res began to spiral it's way down both of his arms. "Come on, you ugly son of a Zith," he yelled, a fresh volley of fire unleashed from his fingertips and hurled towards the creature. "Lets see if Syna hates you as much as I think she does."

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A Winter Rescue (Zhol, pm to join)

Postby Khara on March 11th, 2015, 4:44 am

There was horror in watching as her arrow struck true but resulted in nothing. She had expected some sort of reaction; a howl in pain, a groan, a slow in movement in the area, a flinch even - but nothing came. Then Sira entered he fray and all became a chaotic movement of bodies both foreign and known. It was like some intricate dance between the creature and her allies and Khara knew absolutely none of the steps.

The sudden flare of brilliance from the Endal's hand stopped the uncontrolled racing of her heart, though - At least, the uncontrolled feeling of it. The panicked train of thought in her head quieted, but only so that she could let out a slight gasp as Sira was knocked aside and Zhol barely avoided being crushed himself. A quick glance towards the Kelvic showed that Azira was on top of making sure that Sira was okay, which left the Chiet with nothing else to do but ready another arrow as Zhol apparently decided to face the creature - either bravely, foolishly, or a combination of both.

Fire did seem to actually hurt the monstrous abomination, and Khara's couldn't help but find some wonder in how Zhol seemed to call upon it with such little effort. She'd seen him do it before, once even for her own benefit, but the results had left him weakened and injured - what was going to happen now with how much he seemed to be calling upon the magics she couldn't even fathom? There was no time to think of such things though, her - whatever he was - was doing as much as any of them could at that moment and she had a very distinct feeling that none of the four residents of Wind Reach were exactly looking out for themselves at that moment.

What was it that Zhol had said as he had launched his most recent attack from this hands, though? Something about Syna? The Sun. Sunlight! It was true, she noticed, the sunlight was affecting the monster much like the fire was. But what to do about that?

Even as her thoughts had run through her head, her body had instinctively nocked another arrow and she stood ready with it drawn back, her hand to the side of her lips as she stared down the horror once more. Knowing that it was probably for naught, but unwilling to let the shot go wasted, Khara focused her aim on one of the areas that seemed stitched together. The creature reminded her of a some sort of hastily put together doll like the one she had seen a fellow Yasi carry with them when they had first joined the youth caste. She could only hope that the stitched together places would come undone much like those of the doll had when a fight had broke out among the youth and the doll had been torn asunder. Khara doubted her arrow would have the same affect - if she even managed to hit the target - but it was worth a try. Despite the chaos around her she tried her best to focus, to aim right at the seam between arm and body, and released the arrow as controlled as her heightened state and surging adrenaline would allow.

Just as she would at the range Khara let the shot fully leave before quickly lowering her bow and looked upwards. Whether her arrow hit or not would make little difference in the long run, even if it did have any sort of actual effect it was only going to benefit the others. Zhol's observation, though. Maybe she could do something about that! Goddess, please don't let us be wrong about this. The quick prayer was spoken pleadingly in her mind.

Khara's eyes scanned the canopy overhead, looking for where the trees thinned out, trying her best to keep mindful of the battle nearby, but trusting in her companions to warn her if the creature's attention turned back on her. If only they could lead it towards a break in the trees, maybe Syna's light would continue to weaken it. Maybe.

"We should try and get it more into the light; the sunlight burns it!" She shouted, praying once more to Syna that only her friends would pay her outburst any mind.


"Nari" | "Common" | "Pavi"
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A Winter Rescue (Zhol, pm to join)

Postby Sira on March 12th, 2015, 12:44 am

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Sira grunted as she flew backwards, the force of the blow sending her crashing to the ground. She hit the ground hard and let out another grunt, wincing at the pain. A moment later she heard a voice, Azira she realized, asking her if she was alright. Sira flexed, noticing blood on her arms and legs, just scrapes, nothing to worry about. There was a pain in her side, cracked rib, maybe, but Sira found she could still move without too much pain. She was fine, for the moment, and accepted the Avora's hand up.

"Yeah, I'm alright."

Her eyes swept over the scene, noting the arrow in the monster's armpit that seemed to do nothing, the smoke rising off the monster from Zhol's attack, Khara readying another arrow, and Zhol, preparing to face the monster down. She heard Khara's cry about sunlight and noted the smoke rising off the creature's back. She wasn't certain, that could have just been from Zhol's fire, but it was a plan at least. Still, unless Zhol was planning to burn the trees down, Sira didn't know how they were going to expose the creature to enough light. Could he clear the leaves that fast? He needed a distraction.

Sira? What's going on down there, a voice shouted into Sira's mind, Zika's voice, and suddenly Sira knew exactly how to distract the beast. Sira didn't have time to explain to the Wind Eagle what was going on, instead sending her an image of the scene she was looking at, before turning to Azira and shoving her sword into the Avora's hand.

"Take this, it will be better than that dagger."

Sira turned away from Azira and, with a grunt of determination against the pain in her ribs, charged toward the hulking monster. She didn't slow as she neared, instead speeding up. Right before she smacked into the monster Sira leaped, kicking her legs out in front of her and spreading her arms wide then vanished, or at least the tiny useless human version of Sira that would likely have bounced off the creature's leg without even phasing it. In a cloud of glittering smoke she went from human to wind eagle, talons extended in front of her, wings spread wide to stabilize her. Sira thudded against the monster and started raking, letting out a piercing shriek. She beat her wings in what little space she had to try to keep her balance, and sent a mental cry out to Zhol.

"Whatever you've got planned, do it now!"

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