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Ataraxy

Mr Stark I don't feel so good [Relic Quest]

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On the other side of the bridge and black lined warrior beckoned Mercury forward. Having been commanded to scout ahead of the party, Venus had turned back a handful of minutes earlier to warn the Cult members about the nullification of abilities. 

As an enhanced soldier herself Venus wasn't particularly effected by the Soul Stone's trial, minus the lowered damage she could inflict from any one attack. But watching the others heading toward the bridge she couldn't help the down turn of her lips. 

This wasn't the plan. The Commander had told Venus she would wait. Why had the-

And then she saw the Nightmares. The giant, black, nearly immaterial monsters harkening at their doors, growling for their lives. That with their general reduction of power wasn't ideal. 

She raced back to the forest while Mercury rushed Cerin along the bridge and grabbed a handful of dry sticks. She'd wait for the last of them to cross and then drop the bridge when the Nightmares would try to cross.

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Having cut his way through the enemies, Shane followed the young vampire and the blind girl to the bridge, noting that they seemed a little more defenseless than the rest of the crew. Though he reached the bridge after them, he figured if he kept close enough he'd be able to protect them in case something interfered while crossing, or once they reached the far side. Sheathing Hedgetrimmer, Shane now pulled his plasma rifle back off his shoulder, planning to provide ranged support from the far side of the bridge if everything was secure over there.

"I knew technology would come in handy this trip." he told himself, feeling rather proud of his preparedness.

About half-way across, he slowed down and looked over his shoulder, pondering firing a couple shots at the hostiles to try and slow them down, but the bridge was so rickety and unstable that he dared not risk firing a shot. He'd have to get to the far side first. By the time he looked back, Mercury and Cerin already had a bit of lead on him. He almost tried to call to them to slow down, but then he saw one of the Commander's other agents on the far side, and realized it must be safe over there. With this in mind, he held his tongue, and focused on just getting across so he could provide fire support to the rest of the group.

 

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Since the day he was born, the Aura of Death had dwelt within Ankou, so to be without it felt as though he had lost a limb. Throughout his life, that aura had been his most potent weapon, one that he had worked long and hard to control. It was the entire reason that he had become a necromancer to begin with; as the ability had allowed him to raise companions who could not be taken from him if his gift ran wild. Nevertheless, he had lived for over a thousand years, and this was not the first time that he had found himself with his abilities sealed. Over the centuries he had learned more about combat than most would learn in a lifetime, and he used it now.

The Nightmares dogged the group relentlessly, and he did his part to protect himself and the others from them. When they would dart a tentacle in, he would slash at them with his scythe, driving them back with shrieks of either pain of irritation. The magical properties of the scythe seemed to slow the beasts down for a time, but they would eventually recover, and come back at him with renewed vigor. Still, his own stamina was just as bottomless, and he kept at it as the group approached the bridge.

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THE PRETTY PARAGON 2017-05-22-905626.jpeg


As the last vestiges of her magical energy began to dwindle, the Pretty paragon found it prudent to make use of whatever is left to convert all her magical talents into pure physical prowess. It was a simple skill but it showed drastic results.

Anyone who can see this little girl smashing one tentacle after another with a single swing of her sword would be disturbed. She may look like a little girl now but the Khakina everyone knew was long gone replaced by this amalgamation of monsters hiding underneath the visage of a young, sweet and innocent female human spawn.

The other paragons rallied under her, those that were under the Pretty Paragon's group. As everyone ran for the bridge, they stayed behind, covering the rear. She was there at the front, taking the full force of the tentacles, the full onslaught of the Nightmares.

Undaunted. Unfazed. Unwavering. The Pretty Paragon will never succumb to such simple and weak opponents. She will emerge out of this debacle, alive and well. Bloody and beaten but alive.


 

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The planks of the bridge creaked and swayed forebodingly underfoot as Cerin and Mercury raced over the rickety structure. Fighting. Gunshots. The bridge buckled under the weight of another body but held. A previously unseen woman awaited on the far side, but she seemed to be no threat. The biggest danger was still pursuing them. As soon as her feet would hit the dirt of solid ground, Cerin would sprint in the direction of the soul stone, ignoring everything in her haste.

The two were amongst the first to flee the encounter and therefor ahead in the dash to the cornerstone. With most of her combat ability dependent on magic, there was little else Cerin could do. If she had her power she would have torn the nightmares to pieces. As it was, she was getting real tired of being dragged around. 

Edited by AngryCacti

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The Vanguard have successfully opened the way between the murky depths of the swamp and the bridge, and so Samael is at the forefront of the group, racing across the wooden planks dangling precariously in the air as the wind shivers through the piano-key steps. Looking behind him, three others had found their foothold onto the bridge, and based on the dangerous jittering that occurs after, he concludes the wooden structure cannot hold too much weight before breaking apart.

His primary goal is to get across the bridge to allow others safe passage and to not get swept off his feet should the planks splinter apart. Samael sheathes Heartbane and begins to run faster, aiming to get to Mercury on the other end of the ravine.

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Image result for ancient creature fantasyIt wasn't long after Cerin and Mercury passed the bridge's halfway mark when something unexpected happened. Not just unexpected, but extraordinarily unfortunate for the running cult members. Venus hadn't even finished collecting the fires to set the bridge on fire after all the Paragons had crossed when the bridge burst into flames without warning. And then it started to break apart and collapse. 

No, wait. 

Venus dropped the sticks, her mouth following as the super soldier froze in abject fright. Despite having spent her entire life fighting and killing, her after life at the behest of the infamous Lilith Reiter; to the chagrin of her Commander, Venus would have to admit she'd never experienced the same amount of fright. 

The bridge flexed, throwing Shane, Mercury and Cerin toward Venus while Samael was knocked back toward the other Paragons who had yet to cross the bridge. Then it unfurled itself- untwisted itself. It hadn't even just been the bridge, even the walls of the cliffs the "bridge" had connected started to move. In a matter of moments Venus' entire body trembled at the site. The bridge had been nothing more than group of tentacles disguised, she could only assume to trap prey), of an enormous creature. Once it showed itself, the beast loomed over the bridge by almost twenty feet. Enormous wings tucked against its back to avoid hitting the split ground on either side. Large bright blue eyes, or at least Venus suspected they were eyes, gazed at them. 

Reminds me of when I'm hungry, Venus thought despite being scared shit-less. 

A second past and her body stilled, jaw set as the super warrior drew both her daggers. She had no idea what she could do against the Cthulhu creature, but Gaia damn her if she let her Commander die without a fight! She was no whimpering girl. 

From across the cliffs, Venus could see Lilith running toward Samael with an expression she didn't recognize. Concern? Fear? No, it couldn't be fear. Or, perhaps it was courage? But no, that would mean she's fearful of the beast...


*Giant ass monster, still no powers. Try to stay alive. Next GM post will have a way to restore powers. Cthulhu or Nightmare should attack you in some way, we all take a moderate amount of damage. I rolled for NDS and got a 3, so damage is 3/10. Give your character more if you want lol

Edited by Ataraxy

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"AH!"

Shane was hurled over Venus's head by the suddenly uncooperative bridge, hitting a tree beyond her, then landing to the ground in a heap. At the very least, he'd bruised a few rips with that impact, but in all likelihood, he'd broken at least one. Though he was wincing as he rose to his feet, the pain was quickly forgotten when he saw the thing that emerged from the cliffs.

"Ohhhhh... sunnova..."

He began backing away, not sure what on earth could be done against something so big. This was a job for orbital strikes or oversized tanks, not a bunch of power-stripped cultists. Even so, he had to do something, but he wasn't quite sure what. The creature had to have a weakness of some sort, right?

Its eyes.

"Get back you two! Go!" he urged Mercury and Cerin away from the creature, while taking aim at its relatively tiny, but well-marked eyes.

If there was a downside to having glowy eyes, it was the fact that one could find them very easily! Taking aim, he began firing measured blasts upward at the Old One's face. Unfortunately, the recoil, though slighter than a traditional firearm would have been, still aggravated his injury with each jolt. This, in turn, made his eyes water, and made it more difficult to maintain accurate aim. Hopefully at least one of the shots struck, enough at least partially blind the beast and give them an opening to flee.

Edited by Tyler

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The abandon with which Sephys tore apart his foes became less and less reckless, less and less abandony. Soon the pace with which he plucked vine beasts' appendages away fell more into the neat and lingering and not the reckless and abandony realms of his consideration. After a while, the large warlord found he could no longer rip entire bundles of tendrils away; and a moment later he couldn't rip any away at all. Now, as the cult headed for the bridge some ways ahead, Sephys fell under the impression that this group— that she-bitch— had brought him to a place meant to be their ultimate doom.

With long strides as he questioned how much of his strength had ever been his own, Isigdril caught up with the Cultists' Vanguard. He stepped on creatures who were dying and dead, hiding and attempting to be seen. The smallest of these Sephys simply used as launchpads for his giant boot; the larger he veered around in wide arcs; until Isigdril found himself standing before the bridge onto which his unexpected comrades had wandered.

"Who in the Kasyrgian Kitchen are you people?? I don't remember consent—" That was when the big ol' nessy unraveled from the promontory before him. "No, I definitely did NOT consent to joining this suicide mission!"

Sephys went to step back off the bridge, but a violent flicking forward motion of the walkway launched him ever closer to the tendrilled terror that was the Nightmare. The one-ton man repositioned his legs so he would land on his feet when he finally finished his swoop over Venus's head, but when he landed the crunch of metal signified the destruction of his right boot and much of the armor covering Sephys' leg. Lacerations and a possible break roiled beneath the twisted metal as Sephys hobbled for the same tree Shane had run into. Placing his back against the trunk, looking at the chthulhu choochoo from around it, Isigdril noted that his was a much wider shape than the tree. Now he was, as him and his old war court used to say, "in the shit." Were these to be his comrades? Was this to be his new battlefield? Well then, he must ascertain mission objective.

Sephys removed a significant branch from the tree, stepping out as the Nightmare gleamed beadily down on them. Sephys swung the stick from chthulhu to Vanguard and back. Rage echoed through the open jaws of the metallic olympian.

"What in Elsa's frozen fark is happening? Why am I holding a shit covered stick and not my Archibald!?"

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One moment, he is on the bridge nearing Venus with every step; the next, he is tossed aside, air swept out of his lungs with sudden force as the fragile surface underneath his feet lurches upward  and then outward. He gets flung across the expanse, back in the direction of the cliffs on the side of the swamp he had just taken his leave from.

Samael hits the ground hard, his body tumbling over the rocks like a ragdoll cut from its strings, and in his depowered state, there is not much he can do to lessen the impact.

From where he lies sprawled on the ground, he can taste blood in his mouth, but this, this is more important: the Commander is rushing over towards him, face twisted in some tense, contorting expression. Samael tries his best to rise to his feet and just barely manages, his limbs shaking ever-so-minutely.

Weakness is not allowed.

“What now, Commander?” He asks her, standing strong, his hand wrapped around the hilt of Heartbane, waiting for new orders to this new dilemma before them. There are very little things he can do in this weakened state, his Shatter still beyond him and reducing him to naught but a little child, but he will lend all his strength at Lilith’s behest, should she need him.

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Cerin hit the ground at an awkward angle, tumbling forward in an uncontrolled roll. Without thinking, she flung her arms out to catch herself and felt her shoulder pop before her head slammed into the ground. There was a sharp pain in the back of her skull when the necromancer tumbled to a stop. She laid still. The ringing in her ears eventually subsided and she could hear some gigantic thing moving nearby. Cerin imagined that was what knocked them from the bridge. There seemed to be no end to their troubles. Was this a mission or a death trap? 

She cursed and pulled herself up, attempting to balance while the ground swayed under her, and brushed off any aid if Mercury attempted to give it. She could feel a steady trickle of blood running from a gash on the back of her head. The mobility was gone from her left shoulder and it hurt to move her arm. Cerin prodded the joint with a wince. Definitely dislocated. There was no time to fix it, though. One of the cultists was yelling for them to go and the sounds of battle were alarmingly close.

There was a whistle in the air. Cerin ducked. One of the Cuthulu tentacles whipped down and slammed into the dirt, too close for comfort. As it pulled back, sweeping across the ground, it crashed into the necromancer, knocking her feet out from her her. The fall sent a shock through her shoulder and she had to bite the inside of her cheek while struggling up and away from the tentacle not to cry out. She grabbed on to Mercury’s arm. “We need to go,” she urged the vampire. “Now!”

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As Shane urged Cerin and Mercury to back off while shooting at the enormous creatures, Venus went to work hacking at any limbs or vines which made their way toward the four of them. 

On the other side of the depthless pit, Lilith helped Samael climb back to his feet with a rough tug of his collar. 

“What now, Commander?” he asked her, looking up with those helplessly dead eyes she'd beaten into him. A part of her cringed at them, though those feelings were squashed so quickly that it was as if they'd never existed in the first place.

Damn good question. What can we even...

Her red eyes jumped around the scene with an incredible pace, absorbing details and connecting dots as fast as was possible for someone of her skills. But even digging deep into the past of her many previous lives, not a single one brought even a modicum of respite. None had a clue what the fucking beast was. 

Not encourage. 

Truthfully Lilith had no idea what to do. Without her powers she could hold her own against maybe one or two of the Nightmares, perhaps even kill them after a fight spanning hours. But the Cthulhu creatures had a height of nearly 400 meters and that was just what was visible above the crevice between the cliff edges. It was impossible to tell how large it actually was in that darkness. If she had her powers she could've fought it. Probably even killed it. But mortal abilities only let one do mortal things. 

That was when a Nightmare roared and barreled right toward her. Lilith shoved Samael out of the way, whether because she was worried for him or he was in her way not even she really knew, but the Nightmare bared its teeth and leaped. Deathbringer was at a her side, but too heavy for her to bring it up in time. Instead she raised her hand that wore Zengi's gauntlet and punched it at the creature. The Nightmare's powerful jaws clamped down on the gauntlet, surprise filling its eyes at few of its teeth chipped on the material. 

"Suprise, dumbass," Lilith cursed, swinging out with her other hand to club it on the side of its face and knock it off the cliff. 

Where it disappeared.

Not drop or vanish into the depth. But just boom. Gone. 

As if there was a portal.

Like a whip her arm shot out and grasped Samael's collar. "Shout or throw something up if you live." With a heave she chucked him into the darkness. 

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THE PRETTY PARAGON dXKDZHV.png


This is quite the predicament. She was humming under her breath as she watched the disaster unfold before her very eyes. They were the last ones to reach the bridge and were the first ones to see the poor bridge broke into a million pieces. Then the monster came.

The Pretty Paragon's eyes grew wide as the questionable creature's bulk filled her view. That thing was huge, way larger than she had expected at least. Its body was disturbing, the creature has dozens of extra appendages that the sight of it makes the Pretty Paragon shiver in disgust.

"That is one kinky monster," she mumbled then.

Was there another way around? Probably not. Right now she and her paragon team are stuck, Nightmare and creepy vines behind them while the enormous B-rate hentai nightmare blocks the path before them. Can this situation get even worse?

And yet she gritted her teeth and kept fighting, struggling against her fate. She was the Pretty Paragon and not even death can stop her.


 

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The more he fired, the more Shane was convinced that nothing they had at their disposal was going to kill the titanic monster. His plasma bolts caused small scorch marks on the creature's skin, but these seemed to be nothing more than superficial cosmetic damage. If he had his fire, he figured it probably wouldn't be that much more effective, which meant that his only use was in distracting or slowing the eldritch abomination. The best option was to get all the ladies on this side of the chasm to safety, then regroup with the rest of the cult somewhere else, if there was someone else to be.

Jumping over and ducking under the various tentacles attempting to grab him, he retreated after Mercury and Cerin, though he noted that Venus was trying to attack the thing directly. 

"We need to get away, we can regroup with the rest of them else... where...?"

He trailed off as Lilith shoved the boy, Samael, into the chasm. The kid promptly vanished from sight, leaving one to wonder if he was dead or gone now, More importantly, it left Shane to wonder if it had really been such a good idea to sign on with a woman who threw away the lives of her minions. How long before she killed him too just to clear the way for herself?

"Note to self, don't be the closest one to her when around hazards." he muttered, before getting his mind back on track and turning toward Venus, "Hey! Our weapons are useless against this thing! We need to get away from it so we can regroup with the others elsewhere!"

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Ankou was only feet away from the bridge when the ground in front of him erupted upward, and he was thrown off his feet in the sudden explosion of movement. When he looked up, he saw that the bridge, and a large portion of the land around it had actually been the body of a giant creature that had chosen now to reveal itself. For just a moment, the lich felt a sensation in the pit of his stomach that reminded him of being a scared child over a thousand years ago. But that feeling passed like a summer storm, and he was once again thinking about the situation at hand. The creature was huge, and the damage being done to it by his comrades wasn't enough. Looking at his scythe, and then to the jade band on his arm, he decided that he would try something, even if it was reckless. 

With a thought, he opened a portal that would put him on the creatures head, and moved through it. As soon as he landed, he swung his scythe down into the monster's skull, the blades piercing, though not very deep. But the damage was done, and the wound began to bleed profusely, far more than its small size should have warranted. Soon blood was running down its enormous face, but it didn't seem terribly bothered by it.

There was a flash of movement from behind him, and suddenly there was an intense burst of pain in his chest. When he looked down, he saw that he had been run through on one of the creatures many tentacles. But its attack wasn't over, and it lifted him into the air before slamming him down into the ground on its right side.

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