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A Tale of Drowned Men (Kailani)

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on November 9th, 2018, 10:05 pm

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The dock where countless unfortunates had flung themselves to their deaths was falling to pieces in the onslaught of the phantom's rage. Crunches of wood torn from their foundation echoed amidst the panicked shrieks of warning that the ever loyal Maisa screamed any time the threat of danger drew too close to the Drykas and Sverfra. The roars of rage from the rampaging ghost mingled with the everpresent dirge, swirling into a war song. The air around them shivered with cold, and Anja gritted his teeth against the sting.

Kailani's cries, however earnest, fell on deaf ears. The Ghost's frothing rage was a thing of hatred and anguish that transcended words. This ghost had been here for some time. Rather than acknowledge his problems and move towards a solution that could ease his grief and regrets, he had wandered and forgot. And now that he had remembered, the terror of the Ghost's power was fully realized. Anja could not fight a ghost of this strength. Even if he had the skill, defeating this phantom would only bring its hatred back to bear once it had rematerialized. Right now Anja had one thought on his mind: survive. The ghost could not keep up these antics forever. Even the most powerful of spirits would reach their limit eventually. They just had to wait him out.

Kailani, bless her kind, foolhardy soul, was nearly brained by a board as her hands spread outwards in a gesture of peace. “He can't hear us!” Anja called out to her. “He's stuck in the rage of his memories! We need to give him time to burn out!” Even in this moment of very real danger, even as Anja's body stung with the cold and frost clung to his eyelashes, the Eiyon's thoughts lingered on how to save this poor, wretched soul.

The dock trembled with a creak of warning, and Anja sidestepped a board nearly yanked from beneath his feet. Anja's eyes fell to the wooden floor at their feet and he let in a sharp breath as he recognized the ghost's design. “Quick!” Anja said, grasping Kailani by the wrist. “He's trying to split us off from the land! We need to get off the dock!” The dock groaned in agreement and shuddered. The boards that had been torn away were all between them and the land, and the few steps of evasion the pair had taken was driving them further down the dock and away from the safety of the shore. Anja stared at the holes between them and the land, but there was no real choice. The Eiyon did not fancy chances of combat in a murky bay full of corpses. With Kailani in tow, Anja raced towards the shore as the ground beneath them began to give way.
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Anja Nightwatcher
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A Tale of Drowned Men (Kailani)

Postby Kailani on November 10th, 2018, 2:33 am

“How much time is that going to take?!” Kailani shouted as boards started flying left and right, heart beating a frantic tattoo in her chest. Who would have known the dead to be capable of such rage? It would seem Anja had not spoken lightly when he had warned her of the dangers of staying. She was starting to regret that decision.

When Anja grabbed her wrist, she made to follow, running down the pier as fast as her legs would carry her. A board collapsed underneath her feet, the Svefra crying out as her ankle was snagged. She recovered quickly, managing to regain her balance, free her leg, and continue on. By then, her adrenaline was running high, blood pumping through her veins in rhythm to her hurried footfalls against the planks. Almost there, almost there…

Mere steps away from their destination, her luck ran out, an entire section of the pier giving way and collapsing beneath her with an echoing crack. “No!” she screamed, bright blue eyes wide in alarm as she grasped futilely for Anja’s fingers. She maintained her grip for a moment only before dropping into the bay below with a resounding splash.

Kailani wasn’t sure how far down she plunged, arms and legs kicking frantically against the current as she fought to keep her composure. Her senses opened as soon as she hit the water, desperately feeling around to regain her bearings. There was very little life present around the aptly-named Dead Man’s Swagger, and the one life form she could feel nearby was heading in her direction. Fast.

Before she could turn to react to the oncoming creature, the Svefra felt a massive force slam into her ribs, breath leaving her in a whoosh of bubbles as she was knocked violently to the side. Stunned and paralyzed with agony, Kailani had no time to react before whatever it was slammed into her again and pushed her further beneath the water.

The murky depths made it difficult to see, the dazed Svefra aimlessly treading water and attempting to ignore the searing pain in her side while she fought to make sense of her surroundings. Her foot brushed against something hard, and Kailani looked down to see what she had knocked into. Upon closer inspection, she launched herself backward in horror as her heel glanced off the bloated and desiccated face of a weeks old corpse. Her back collided with yet another solid shape, nausea rising in her throat as she discovered another body well into decay. Everywhere she looked were bodies in various states of decomposition, a grisly and macabre graveyard of skeletal smiles and distended flesh. While examining the body with Anja on the pier earlier had not particularly bothered her, falling into a watery pit of cadavers was a different matter entirely.

She could feel panic rising in her chest, writhing and turning beneath the water as she sought her adversary amongst the sea of corpses. You can’t get hysterical now, Kailani firmly reprimanded herself, forcing down the surge of terror that threatened to overtake her senses. Panic, and you’re dead. We’re not dying today. With a massive force of will, she managed to bring herself back under control. Oceanus mark glowing, she reached out again, grasping for the being that sought to attack her.

There it was, to her right! Kailani turned sharply to face the oncoming threat, a juvenile tiger shark only inches smaller than she was. The irony of such an animal was not lost on her. Her pod’s Pardisa was trying to kill her. If she could have found it within her to laugh at that moment, she would have. The gods had a strange sense of humor.

The Svefra could feel the animal building up for another assault, heart racing as she reached out to put a stop to it. Luckily, the shark was still small enough that she could probably control it. If not, she had to be prepared to swim…and fast.

Closing her eyes and muttering a prayer, Kailani sought the creature’s mind, Laviku’s gift flowing through her. As soon as she made contact, reaching to assert her will, she felt cold, frozen like her entire body was encased in ice. Her lips turned blue, her heart starting to slow while her brow furrowed in confusion. Was that…?

Kailani physically reeled back as she was forced from the shark’s mind, eyes flying open. Oh, no. It didn’t take her long to figure out what had just happened. Their ghostly friend was inside the shark.

Time to rethink this approach, she decided, rapidly propelling herself toward the surface. Her lungs were burning, desperate for air, and she had little choice now but to try and outswim the possessed shark. Just as the rippling waves of the surface water came into view, she felt a tug at her pants, pain ripping through her again as sharp teeth grazed the back of her ankle. No! Her other foot kicked toward the animal’s face, heel smashing repeatedly into its nose before she finally forced it to let go.

She took advantage of the brief reprieve and clawed wildly for the surface. At last, she managed to break above water, spewing water before drawing in a ragged breath. “Anja!” she cried breathlessly. “The ghost is possessing the shark!” No more than that could she explain before she was dragged back under.

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