Open Dead Man's Float

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A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

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Dead Man's Float

Postby Evarista on April 15th, 2017, 7:23 pm

Waiting for the prey to take the bait, Evarista remained immobile just below the nearby building. The countless tripwires she had pulled across the alley were all attached to the ends of her legs. The tripwires were so sensitive that even the lightest breeze sent small signals down to her… alright, maybe that was too sensitive and would probably need adjustments in the future. Evarista had no visual on the alley, and didn’t think she needed it. There was nothing her near-sighted eyes could reveal that the tripwires couldn’t, she thought.

The hurried footsteps on the walkways above her showed that the bait was working. Two sets of footsteps, and only one heartbeat. It was them. It couldn’t be anyone else. The prospect of multiple corpses walking the streets was somewhat disgruntling and rather unappetizing, so for her own sake, the huntress chose to assume that the pair of feet, which still intently made its way to the secluded alley, belonged to already familiar personages.

Preparing to attack, the monster morphed its legs, elongating them and the talons at the end. The plan was to achieve a range that would allow her to attack without fully emerging from the water. She couldn’t tell exactly where her guests were, but the sudden tug on several of her tripwires told her that at least one of them must’ve entered the killzone. Using the four shorter legs to steady herself against the submerged part of the wall of a nearby building, Evarista folded her four longer legs like springs, built up some pressure, and swung them upwards in an arc. A sickening whistle pierced the air as four giant talons shot out of the water and sailed through the air, slashing across the walkway in front of the wrapped-up bait like a giant rake before vanishing as fast as they appeared. The boy squealed in shock, although the very fact that he was still conscious was rather impressive.

Excited, Evarista inspected her high-grade hunting spears, only to find… nothing. Either her attack missed the prey, or they’ve tricked her and weren’t even in the alley to begin with. She couldn’t decide which would be more embarrassing, but it made her rather angry either way. The lesson, was learned, though: just the tripwires didn’t provide enough information to work with.

Since she was fully aware that the same trap wouldn’t work twice, she needed to change tactics. Pulling the tripwires back into the water, she cleared the passage to the bait, as if allowing the pair to recover it. The cocoon enclosing the boy, however, was sticky on the outside. Not only was he firmly stuck to the walkway, but anyone who tried to free him would inevitably get stuck as well, at which point pulling the whole company underwater would be an easy matter. The sticky coating was originally just an afterthought, but it provided for a nice plan B.

Mildly impressed by her own ingenuity, the spider continued lurking, considering time to be on her side. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Several additional pairs of feet, clearly clad in heavy boots, were already approaching the alley as well. It seemed that dangling the boy from a roof had attracted more than passing attention from the guards and Ebonstryfe soldiers present at the initial scene.

Seeing as the bait was inseparably glued to the walkway boards, relocating the ambush at this point was no longer possible. Bailing on the setup was starting to look like a valid concern. However, the huntress didn’t want to give up just yet. Someone, at some point, was bound to make a mistake, and one mistake was all she needed.
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Evarista
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Dead Man's Float

Postby Alija on July 5th, 2017, 9:26 pm

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Slowly, the dead man stepped forward, Alija moving behind him carefully, still holding the auras of the trap in her eyes. Everything in her trembled, both for fear for Kial, for herself, even for the man with her. That thing, whatever it was, was waiting for them. And if it was clever enough to make traps like this, and had the ability too, who knew what it could do? Hopefully, not much more, because Alija couldn't deal with any more.

He threw the rope forward. She held her breath, trembling the whole time. Her eyes flickered between the rope and the water, waiting for it to come any moment.

Then it burst, talons ripping through the air, the sickening noise of them flying out and landing against the path. With horror, she watched as they clawed at it, pulling back at the rope, tugging down into the depths. Her mind couldn't stop imagining what would have happened if someone had stepped on that. On how the talons would break them in two before they even had a chance. How they would be forced beneath that darkness, no control over their own body. She stopped before she could picture what would happen next, sharp intake of breath reminding her of the fate that would face Kial if she didn't help him soon. She couldn't spend time thinking - she had to be doing, and something, and quick.

Her eyes focused again - to nothing. The trap was gone, and the path was clear. As much as she wanted to dart forward, sprint to reclaim Kial, she knew that it wasn't a good idea. That monster hadn't given up. She could still feel the touch of its aura, and struggled to shake it off her. Instead, she approached slowly, this time turning her focus to the boy at the end of her path. Despite the shaking in her head, she had to look, had to see...

The aura flickered into sight, Alija feeling through it for any sense about how to get the cocoon off him and free the boy. It was thick, she could sense that from the thickness of the aura, and it was infused with the same distortion that made the monster's aura hard to read. More than that, it clung to her, the aura refusing to let go of her mind, and she could feel it on her, on her skin, not letting go.

Did that stickiness of the aura resemble the stickiness of the web that made the cocoon up? It had to - the woman shuddered, knowing how sticky even tiny spider webs could be. This: if she touched it, she wasn't certain that she'd be able to let go. And risking herself to fail at freeing Kial didn't seem like a good idea, because it meant she wouldn't be there to help him afterwards.

Something smashed against the floor behind her and the woman jumped, before a man dressed in heavy boots and weapons pushed past her. Ebonstryfe soldiers, come to see what the fuss was about. Opening her mouth, it flailed up and down like a fish out of water, unsure what to say. Warnings, explanations, all the information she could gather? But this thing- it was as chaotic as Ravok, so maybe they wouldn't want to bother it. She didn't want to bother it, she didn't want anything to do with any of it.

But she had to do something.

"It's okay Kial," she tried to reassure, "Stay still, relax. If you move too much, the cocoon will only hold only you tighter. We'll get you out of there, I promise."

Then, she turned, facing the Ebonstryfe. "Please," she whispered, feeling her throat seize up, "Help him. Help him!"

She was so helpless. Incredibly helpless. Unless....

Moving forward quickly, she grabbed the cloak the dead man wore and ripped it from him, letting her strength from working in the forge power through any resistance he would make. Then, carefully watching out for traps, moved forward, throwing it against the cocoon. As expected, it stuck hard, like two pieces of metal welded together. But it meant she wasn't caught. And with the cloak as a barrier, she placed her hand against the boy, feeling his movement through all the layers.

Now what? If she had something to cut with, some way to tear him free... "It's okay, Kial," she reassured again, feeling her body shaking as she fought back tears. She was still so helpless.



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Dead Man's Float

Postby Evarista on February 22nd, 2018, 2:30 pm

The distant rumble of feet and the clatter of weapons was enough of a clue, even before the walkway above filled with the weight and noise of rushing soldiers. The initial blunder with the tripwires cost her the opportunity to nab her prey before they got backup, but even with the group of armed enemies on hand, the match wasn't over yet. The woman, who seemed most eager to free the boy, mingled together with the men, suddenly becoming one of the many accessible targets on the walkway. Did the feeling of safety in numbers numb her sense of danger? A curious effect.

Gruff but indecisive voices seeped down from above, accompanied by the scraping of boots and metal against the battered flooring. Hiding quietly under the walkway, Evarista pondered her next move. The soldiers weren't aware of her exact position and method of attack, so she could still get the drop on them. At least, if they knew what they were doing, they wouldn't have bunched up on the walkway like they have. Judging by the angry shoving and cursing, at least one of them was already stupid enough to get his weapon permanently stuck in the cocoon by trying to cut it. They were all quite vulnerable while they figured out what to do with the little guy she gift-wrapped so carefully for them. The bait was still working to full effect.

It was time to strike again. This time she couldn't miss even in her sleep. The narrow walkway was practically bending under the weight of closely packed human flesh. Although, instead of lunging blindly and hoping to nab something, it would probably be wiser to pick a specific target and attack with precision. Identifying one soldier who was standing the closest to the edge of the walkway, she waited for him to turn his back to her location. The stryfers seemed aware that she was hiding underwater, but not exactly where, and seemed to make themselves ready for an attack from any direction. With their attention spread so thin, it wouldn't take long until her chosen darkly armored figure turned at just the right angle.

Trying to stay as still as possible, Evarista focused all of her senses on her designated target, trying to pick up his every vibration. Although she didn't see him due to the walkway being in the way, she could sense very well the sound of his breathing and the pulse of his heartbeat. She slipped that mystical, semi-meditative state before the pounce. Even though she was perfectly calm, a wave of adrenaline surged through her entire body, overfilling her with latent energy, winding her up like a spring before release.

The minute change in his breathing told her that he turned away, presenting his blind spot to her. After that, Evarista's body seemed to move on her own. Everything was a blur, too fast for her mind to register. In a fraction of a moment, two of her legs sprung from the water, bending around the edge of the walkway and cross-locking around his ankle. The next fraction of a moment, his knee was making a satisfying crunch as her mandibles bent it all the way in the wrong direction.

When the initial rush ebbed and returned her senses to her, Evarista realized that she was pulling her prey underwater, but the resistance was suspiciously strong. Was he stuck on something? Did his friends manage to catch his arms before he vanished into the lake?

A crossbow bolt pierced the water much too close for comfort. Right above her, the very surface suddenly began to bend at a strange angle. Magic?

Without analysing the matter further, Evarista obeyed her instincts and bailed as fast as she possibly could, diving under the building and dashing on its underside with all her strength, leaping from building bottom to building bottom in a strange sort of upside-down roof run. It didn't matter in which direction, as long as it was away. Her hand was played out. There was nothing else to do there.

***

Evarista stopped when her stamina was spent, bending her aching legs inwards as she floated idly in some dead-end alley. These were the Docks; a different part of the city. It seemed like she was running forever, but in reality it couldn't have been very long. Judging from that performance back there, she had overestimated her own level of speed and fitness a little. However, the hunt wasn't entirely unsuccessful.

As soon as she stopped, she urgently began sucking on the tasty end of the severed leg to prevent any more delicious blood from seeping out into the water. She hadn't managed to bring the whole fellow, but that only meant she had to savor this part of him all the more. Maybe they'd meet again somewhere, if he survived. She quite liked the cut of his... jib. Or gib. Or whatever exactly this was.

Sucking on her trophy affectionately as if it were an expensive ice cream, Evarista left for her hiding spot to get a well-deserved rest.

Only one nagging thought didn't leave her many-eyed head. She still wanted to meet the real monster.
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