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Dolor Aeternum

Reviving the Promise [Sky's Great Ravine Airship]

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By the time Rodan heard Lunara calling out to him, the creature that had been accosting his servant, Kaya, was nothing more than a pile of plant matter and dirt. Looking up from there, he saw the vines of another of the earthen beings bearing down on him, or rather, on Lunara who was heading right toward him. It was a good move for the Faerie, as Rodan immediately reached a hand up and caught one of the vines as it tried to snake past him. Being a simple organism, Rodan needed little time to sweep his power through the vine and toward its source.

The matriarch of the earthen beings quickly realized that something was up, and began to suddenly shift her vines toward Rodan. They gripped at his legs and his arms, even his neck, intending to pull the man apart at the seems. Yet this only strengthened Rodan's connection, and the pressure being applied to his own limbs steadily declined, as the vines rapidly lost strength. From the outside, it would look like Rodan was the one in desperate straights, for her stood there, wrapped in vines, unable to move and not bothering to struggle. Yet, it was the earthen creature that found itself defenseless, as Rodan began to mutate it from the inside out. 

<No, how can this be? I cannot be defeated by a mere mortal man! Release... me... AAAAAARRRGGGHHHHH!!!>

The creature let out a shrill cry, as its body disintegrated around it. The vines went limp and fell to the floor as their central hub was reduced to a pile of dirt. Rodan simply shook them off, as he stepped toward the spot where the earthen matriarch had stood, then crouched down over the pile of dirt. Brushing the disconnected earth and soil aside, he fingered a tiny object buried just below the surface: A ring, colored a speckled mix of earthy browns and vine-hue greens. Rodan grinned in satisfaction, as he slid the ring onto his open left middle finger.

"Welcome to the family."

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A sudden stream of lightning would slam into the creatures attempting to assail Cerebi and Agony, frying them, chaining to their cohorts and sizzling at their flesh as well. Anybody following the blast to their origin would see a familiar-looking face, one they might have thought would not have been joining them.

Mori looked exhausted even without having actually fought so far.

Of course she was, she just sprinted/flew/staggered all the way from their ship to catch up with the others. Although she could quite regularly be seen training and keeping up a physical regimen, she was clearly not a frontline combatant like some of her cohorts. Anger drove her the rest of the way, anger at many things; her possessions being destroyed, the shame of not being able to support her acquired "family", and the shame of being useless. She had ran a marathon to get here.

Well, no longer useless. She had already been moving beginning the moment the latest battle had started, a while ago now. This was her solution, to enter the battle in person. Power arced all along her right arm, channeled from an large generator on her back, cleverly insulated and fed along power lines to a focal point constructed on her right hand. The containment field was visibly swirling about there, some kind of magnetic-based device, an inspired advancement from her designs creating lightning turrets to defend Abbadon strongholds. Mori seemed to have accomplished both increasing the range and making it small enough to be transportable by an individual.

"I've been working on this" she snapped madly to noone in particular, and unleashed the containment field in the direction of the giant black-winged monster. She did not really expect to hurt it, but to distract it away from the rest of the Triumvirate near their prize was the intent.

As she targeted the face, the technomancer figured if she could burst an eyeball, that would be good too.

Edited by Fierach

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The last click clicked into place, and the anchor was finally pull up. Any other final stragglers were suddenly turned to ash, or just simply.. Faded away. Cerebri slowly stood, taking in the information. "Illusion, this whole time," he questioned, the clear irritation in his voice breaking through. This whole time, wasted on nothing. He examined himself, and all the cuts and bruises and bits of ichor were no longer there. The shorn back muscle was though, and he sought to remedy that.

 
“We need to leave now!” Cerebri barely heard it as he attempted to examine the amount of damage he caused himself. Swinging his head in the direction the blob seemed to be heading away from, he understood. Running back to the helm of the ship, he saw a control panel, one not far in design to the magitech horses he owned. Allowing muscle memory to take hold, he grabbed on to the two handles that protruded from the top and concentrated. Slowly feeling the magicks well up inside of him, he channeled the well into the two sticks, but the slime from the blob helping him previously made it hard to hold on. Suddenly he saw a flicker from the panel, then a light that held steady. Taking one hand, he hit the largest button on the board.
 
*SPLUTTER, CRANK, SPLUTTER*
 
Life.
 
"We're going," he called to the blob, replacing his hands on the handles, and willing his magicks to move the behemoth of a ship forward. 
Edited by sorainvoked

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When Rodan rummaged through the dirt, Lunara did so as well, in her human form. All the other earthen creatures were either strewn around like broken branches from Xavier unexpectedly barrelling through them, or had already retreated after seeing the fall of their leader. She swept through the dirt, until her hand closed upon a hard, angular object. “Ha! Found it!” She held it up in triumph, a prism-shaped stone tablet that had not been affected by Rodan’s organic transformation ability. 

“Let’s go. I felt something huge over at the other side.” She pointed past the walls, then moved over to the contraption she had seen in the corner. Eagerly, she fit the stone tablet into the triangular space afforded for it, then stepped back. A green glow emitted from within the stone tablet, illuminating runes inscribed on it. Then a section of the wall lit up with the same glow. With a tremor and the groan of ancient rocks moving, it slid open into a pathway beyond.

Lunara looked back at her party, then at the doomed machine on the ground. She pointed at it. “Someone pick that up, or Mori’s gonna yell at us.” With the drone down, its light was also extinguished. Lunara turned back into her faerie form, her softly glowing wings providing dim illumination for the dark tunnel.

A massive, deep throated roar from nearby rocked the caverns, and pieces of rock and sand rained down from the ceiling. Whatever the creature was, they had to run clear before it brought the whole mountain on top of them. “We have to leave, now!” Lunara urged, her assessment mirroring Agony’s.

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Xavier stepped into view with remnants of earth trickling off of his bulk. He had taken some time to collect himself after bouldering through all of that earth from before and giving his companions time to capitalize on it. His head darted around and realized that the fight was now over which proved bittersweet to him as he wanted to be the one to deliver the killing blow to their leader. Noticing the new accessory Rodan had and the remnants of the bodies around him, however, he simply snorted and then started to dust himself off a bit. When Lunara spoke up and suggested they grab the drone that Mori had tuned, Xavier moved swiftly to grab the large device and prop it up on his shoulder with one hand, letting some metallic debri trickle off obliviously as he walks his way toward the large doors Lunara started to open.

Agony

Agony meanwhile, sensed Mori come near, the arc of electricity reaching a portion of Obtenebra but there was no visible lurch or response given. The following action by the technomancer, however, caused Obtenebra to whip violently as it sensed the buildup of potent energy and feared the potential harm it could do. Agony realized who the target was, however, so Obtenebra calmed down as the large stream of energy shot out toward the behemoth in the distance. So much power coming from such a small body forced Agony to respect it as he slid out of the way. That energy collided with the beast just as the airship began to give way and move. The large vessel started to free itself, vines ripping away and rock crumbling from the movement. The blanket of fog ceased to exist now and the large crackling sound that came after Mori’s flaunting of her new toy signaled the revelation that the visions of Teleria were false but the large beast in the distance was not.

Runic chains bound a creature in the distance who was starting to free itself thanks to the movement of the ship. The airship jerked suddenly as some of those chains failed to break loose. The other group that were now in view thanks to Lunara would be able to see the large moss-covered ship slowly starting to come to life and the fact that it was tethered to a large creature itching to be freed from its captivity. They would also suddenly see Agony moving along those chains, Obtenebra expanding into very large scythes and heading straight for the creature.

“Free this vessel…”

The voice was directed at both Mori and Cerebri then, Agony sensing Lunara nearby but not acknowledging them as his focus now brought him toward engaging the creature ahead. Just as he came just a few feet in front of the creature, Agony would leap upward, spinning viciously which forced the scythes to start carving into the metal below him. Though reinforced by whatever runes were left on their hard structure, Obtenebra’s ability to carve into such magical constructs began to chip away at their stability. Soon the chains would break but whether that was the wisest choice in order to attain what they had come here for was still very much in the air.

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Rodan signaled for his Minions to take up position at his side once again, and from there he proceeded to follow Lunara and the others. Since Xavier was quick to respond to Lunara's request and recover the damaged drone, the Mutator made no effort to assist, nor did he order Diego or Kaya to do so. As useful as Mori and her technology was, Rodan still had little love for it, and insisted on treating it much as one might treat Rodan's own organic powers; with wariness and disgust. That said, there could be no doubt that the human woman had quite likely saved them all from a world of hurt by freeing them of the illusion. It was a fine example of how working as team only made Abbadon that much more effective than any one member could be on their own.

As they moved on, they reunited with the Agony and Cerebri, though Mori had surprisingly joined them now. There was also a pending confrontation between them and a large creature that was chained to the airship they had come to recover. Rodan was too far away at this point to offer assistance personally, but that didn't mean he would do nothing.

"Go. Assist them as needed. Take directions from Agony as you would from me," Rodan turned toward Diego, who nodded in acknowledge.

"At once, master."

He sprang from the ground, his powerful wings propelling him forward toward the airship. In little time at all, he came to a halt and landed near the chains that Agony was destroying. The False Angel had a sword of his own, but it was not enchanted in any way, meaning it would likely meet strong resistance from the runic inscriptions. Even so, he would attempt to assist as needed, but first he voiced his acquiescence to the elder Triumvir's will.

"My master has ordered me to aid you. I am at your command," he spoke in a dull, low tone, as though all intensity and emotion was reserved for action and not for speech. 

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Mori almost didn't hear the others. With uncountable volts of electricity pouring through her tesla device, she was performing her best impression of UNLIMITED POWER.

"Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!"

"I always wanted to say that" she thought. Alas there was seldom any opportunity in her day-to-day to quote classical literature. 

Visual cues reached her more easily. A warning light signaled to her that the generator's reserves were running low already, and she acknowledged it with a muttered curse. The device was only able to output this amount of power for twenty seconds before running out, like overclocking a machine for greater performance at the cost of longevity. 

"Free this vessel…” came the instruction. Mori nodded absently. What little juce she could still stand to squeeze out, she directed it at the chains, though a different set then the ones Agony and Diego were working on. It was hard to control the torrent of power, and she did not want to accidently hurt her allies. The only issue now with Mori's aid was that she was slower then the others. Already winded from her mad dash to arrive in time, the generator on her back was a burdensome, heavy thing, and she had to brace herself to fire her lightning cannon. 

Edited by Fierach

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"Free this vessel," came the command from the blob. Cerebri was only too happy to oblige, seeing that they have had their fair share of big mosters in a day. First they had to face off with a cerberus filled with the intent to bite each and every one of their heads off, then he had to face a veritable undead army with only a pile of goo. Arguably, the goo was what kept them alive, but Cerebri was not about to acknowledge that. It was not pride that stopped him from doing so, it was more the shame that he had even fallen for the illusion in the first place. He had thought that he was trained to resist any and all forms of illusion casting, but clearly he was wrong. Cerebri sought to correct that the first chance he got.

Muttering curses under his breath, he poured his magic into the machine, feeding it with his hate and frustration. The handholds responded by glowing white hot, though anyone who would have thought to give it a touch would have realised that it was still very cool. With the blob, the angel and the nutty professor hacking away at the chains, the chains soon gave way, swinging downward and dragging the airship along with its centrifugal force. "URGH, GO UP," he bellowed at the ship.

As if the airship listened. the beak of the ship suddenly pointed upwards and surged. The groaning wood decks sounded like it threatened to break, and the mast bent over like a tiny tree in a hurricane.  However, the ship refused to give, the will of the helmsman seeming to take hold. Bursting out of the cave, sunlight filled the cabin, and all the dread evaporated. They were finally out, and with their prize. Slowing the airship down, Cerebri finally took his hands off the handbars. He felt exhausted; the ship had really taken a lot out of him. "Keep your guard up," he said slurringly, to no one in particular. The prize they had was a big event; he had heard small stories about it, and eventually stories of it being dislodged from its grave would travel through the world. He would not have been surprised if someone had probably warded the cavern in the event the airship was claimed by another, and come swooping in to steal the prize from under their noses. Still, it might take a while for that to happen, and for now, he needed rest.

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“Are you kidding me?” Lunara choked out when she saw the massive black dragon chained to the airship. So, that must be their final hurdle - release the airship and in so doing, release the frenzied creature. The dragon was possibly the largest being Lunara had ever seen, but yet the faerie could sense that it was not at the full height of its power. The runes inscribed on the chain had sealed away its abilities - and it was these same ones that Agony had ordered them to cut away. It was practically a suicide mission in.. but it wouldn’t be their first anyway. They’d already come all this way; securing this ancient airship would be sweet victory. 

Lunara looked around at the others next to her. Getting onto the moving airship would be one problem for those without wings, but she was sure Rodan could think of something. The bigger question was how they could avoid being turned into charred meat once the dragon was freed. And of course the faerie had tricks up her sleeve. The weakness of gigantic creatures was that they tended to disregard small things. And true enough, when the faerie flew up close to the dragon’s eye, he gave her as much attention as he might have given a flea, which was to say, zilch. He was preoccupied with pulling against his chains as the others hacked away at it.

Lunara began circling around the dragon’s head, spreading almost-invisible faerie dust. The airship lurched as Cerebri’s magic coursed through it, ancient engines kicking to life. The faerie muttered under her breath. If only they had more time, she could weave a more convincing illusion, but for now she would have to rely on good timing and causing chaos.

The chains were pulled taut, screeching and groaning against the tension as the airship tried to pull away. With one final slice by Agony’s scythe, one chain snapped, followed closely by a second, then a third. The loose chains rebounded backwards, one end crashing into the hull of the airship, the other end whipped towards the black dragon. He batted the chain away with a scaly wing and roared, pleased with its freedom at long last. This moment of distraction was when Lunara took her chance. While the airship rose upwards towards the east side of the cave, Lunara transposed its image and made it seem to the dragon that it was moving towards the north.

A low rumbling came from within the dragon’s throat, and the air around rose to scalding temperatures. Lunara zipped away just in time before the dragon opened his maw wide and a stream of fire burst from within, blasting towards the supposed airship. The fire was strong enough to melt the rock into lava, and exactly at where Lunara planned - the part of the cave wall where a crack had developed from the uprooting of the airship. There was a split moment of silence, and then everything started crashing down. Boulders the size of Suujali rolled from the ceiling, most of them landing on or around the dragon, threatening to bury it. Fortunately, the airship had already rammed through the interior of the cave, clearing it away from most of the cave-in. Unfortunately, Lunara hadn’t yet made it onto the airship. “Wait for meeeee!” She squealed, knowing that it was impossible to hear her above the chaos.

A mighty roar came from within the cave, the dragon bruised but not defeated. Knowing that he had been tricked, his keen eyes now focused on Lunara. Another stream of fire spewed from his throat, easily incinerating the tiny faerie. However, a second later, another Lunara appeared to the left of the licking flames, then another, and another. Soon, about thirty faeries were assembled, drifting in all different directions. Unbeknownst to the dragon, the true Lunara was hiding among the debris, waiting for the chance to make her break. Tired of this game, the dragon stretched its massive wings, preparing to chase after the escaped airship.

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Agony

The clashing sound of Obtenebra against the sturdy chains that held this large creature was relentless. It did not matter that his actions would mean they would unleash a creature that held enough power to lay waste to the entirety of this island and abroad. On this day it did not matter that they may have invested in the future destruction of others. Such a thing should be expected in their quest for power and he did not have the luxury of being selective now. Each clang of Oathripper against the chains gradually increased in viciousness as the runic bindings struggled admirably to maintain their purpose though it was clear it was a losing battle against one as gluttonous as he.

This hunger blinded him then and chained him to his desire to ensure this trip was not as fruitless as others. Diego was prompty ignored even as he offered his services and even the individual struggles of the rest of the team were but faint whispers to the amorphous triumvir who would unleash calamity if it meant he would never relive the errors of his past. So as the last chain broke after Agony’s persistent assault and practically unleashed a living vessel of calamity upon them, the formless triumvir did not scramble to flee. Instead he stood erect in a way that intended to catch the dragon’s attention, unaware of the fairy’s machinations or the frantic move by the others to free their prize and escape with their lives. He was ready to face this calamity he unleashed on his own if it meant the whole would escape with more power in hand. He trusted he would survive….trusted he would endure…he just had to.

Just as he was ready to feel the full brunt of the dragon’s force, however, Agony would find the dragon turned to fly away from him, eyes aligned with a target that Agony could not see. He was oblivious to Lunara’s crafty plan until he noticed the group of purple fairies scattering along the skies. The diminutive fairy’s efforts were admirable but Agony knew she was not among the thirty fabrications in the sky. As Agony realized the focus of the dragon turned once again to their vessel, Obtenebra began to ripple as it extended itself to create a pair of wings much like those of his angelic companions but much grander in size. Much like he had done during the events at the Anima Imperium, he burst into flight toward the dragon.

As the rumbling of infernal energy built itself within the dragon’s throat and readied its release toward the airship, the airship was in the open sky and teasing success with increased movement. The inhalation of magical energy by the dragon finished, but just as he was about to expel it all upon the majority of the triumvirate a potent force collided with the dragon’s maw. The others would only see a huge mass of black collide with another but it was enough to veer the dragon off course and cause the blast to sear through the air away from their ship. The anger this inspired in the dragon was palpable and enough to channel the aggression completely toward Agony as the dragon whipped around in the air, roared vehemently and then started to fly toward the triumvir and away from the ship.

Agony twirled in the air and started to fly away but it was clear that his proficiency in the air was poor as the dragon had no issue advancing upon the ancient being, nearly clamping him within its maw several times until another blast came and found its mark. Agony and Obtenebra felt the immense heat immediately and the sheer force of the blast shot the triumvir miles into the distance and through some brittle portions of the cavernous dome around the island and out of view. Agony’s fate would be unclear to those who witnessed but the airship now had a chance to leave the area unscathed.

Xavier

Xavier watched this whole thing unfold, holding the bulk of Mori’s drone along his broad shoulder with ease. The orc could understand what was going on but quickly decided he would be of little help. The portion of Obtenebra writhed through him as if urging him into action, but as he saw Blob Boss aiming to free that large dragon and the airship slowly freeing itself, the orc weighed his options and came to his own decision. Someone needed to return to the ship and make sure they did not lose what they already had when they arrived here.

“I am returning to my ship boss! Going to return home.”

The statement alone proved that Xavier believed that the whole event before him would not end badly and in that spirit of confidence the orc would turn and casually retrace the path they took to get here to return to his ship making sure that he did not drop any spare drone parts along the way. He feared Mori’s reprisal far more than a possible death by dragon.

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Diego stood motionless for a moment, awaiting a command from Agony that never came. Finally, what was left of his fragile, sovereign mind finally kicked-in again, and he stepped forward and began hacking away at one of the unattended chains, figuring this was the form of assistance his master had in mind when he ordered him to assist the amorphous one. When the chains finally broke, he stepped back, then watched as Agony spouted wings and flew into the sky, intending to combat the black dragon directly. Again, he wondered if he ought to join act to assist, even without command from his master.

When Agony was suddenly blown away, crashing through the cave wall and out of view, the false angel decided that whatever act he must take, it must be now. Spreading out his wings, he lifted off the deck and began to follow behind the ship, watching over his shoulder as the dragon pursued them. The ship passed out of the cavern and into the dark, foggy night, giving it what ought to be perfect cover to escape. But even so, one last distraction may be necessary to get the dragon off their trail. Hoping that the beast had spotted him making following in the wake of the escaping airship, Diego now split off in the gloom, knowing full-well that it was possible he may not easily find his way back to the airship. He trusted that even if he remained lost here for days, that he would eventually find his way out and be able to navigate back to Weland. 

For now though, he had to complete Agony's mission, and that mission was to draw the creature away from the airship at all costs. To do this, he employed one of the biological tools that his master had imbued him with; his blood. In the darkness, a single, brilliant blue-green light suddenly appeared, as every vein of Diego's body lit-up as though he were a deep-sea angler-fish, creating a brilliant and horrible visage of an illuminated man in the darkness. It was a beacon that would be impossible for any normal-sighted being to miss...

* * *

As for Diego's master, Rodan and Kaya had been moving to reach the airship on foot, but it began to lift off before they could arrive. As Lunara darted off ahead, and with Diego already on-board, the two land-bound individuals were left alone and without an obvious way up. For but a moment, Kaya forgot herself, and threw her hands up in panic.

"Wait! Don't leave without us!" she cried.

A hand suddenly resting on her shoulder caused her to flinch and regret that she ever opened her mouth.

"Oh, you of little faith," Rodan remarked. "Dear girl, time is of the essence, and we cannot expect to burden our compatriots needlessly."

Kaya thought to ask him what he was going to do, but already she was realizing it was going to be something to do with her. Though what had happened earlier was merely an illusion, the experience left her shaken and fearful of what might happen when the real Rodan inevitably decided to make use of her presence. She didn't need to be told that now was that time.

"Wha-what are you going... to..." she finally began to ask weakly, but she didn't finish, as the mutator had already begun to work.

The girl's body went stiff, as Rodan pivoted himself to stand directly in front of her, with his back to her face. He then wrapped her arms in front of them, fusing the hands together in the manner like a harness. He did similarly with her legs, while at the same time, the girl's torso shrank somewhat and sprouted great wings. Her neck grew longer and thinner, while her head shrank considerably, all to allow her a field of view over top of Rodan's head while minimizing weight.

"Would that we had brought some of the matter from the previous chamber, I could have made you into something more flattering, but as I said, we have little time. Therefore, practicality must reign."

The bulk of Kaya's body mass had been converted into her massive wings, built to be powerful enough to both lift her and Rodan's weight from the ground. Her body was now effectively wrapped around Rodan's torso like the harness of a jetpack or parachute, and her head was little more than a single eye on a stalk that extended from the "backpack" trunk that hosted her wings. That lone eye closed a moment in dreary resignation, but Rodan roused her back to attention a second later.

"Now, fly! Fly and make haste!" the mutator urged, almost having to force himself to raise his voice and convey urgency, as was uncharacteristic for him.

Without so much as a sigh, for it was no longer possible, Kaya began reluctantly flapping her wings, eventually lifting the two from the ground and carrying them upward toward the fleeing airship. They arrived just as the ship was exiting the cave, and just after Diego had left the deck to begin the first stage of his diversion plan. After landing safely, Rodan released Kaya's "harness" and allowed the living backpack to slide down onto the deck. He then stepped aside of her and left her there, figuring he needn't lug the hundred or so pounds of mutated Weland girl around with him until needed. Kaya could do nothing but glare with her one eye in protest.

"What's the situation, captain?" Rodan inquired with a slight cough (due to having been flown through the air at high speed without a mask), as he approached the helmsman.

Edited by Tyler

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There was a fair few people not onboard their newly acquired vessel. Some had gone to distract or drive off the dragon. Others were all but impossible to keep track of in the maelstrom of their escape.

For Mori Tsuchiya, there was one more chain, one of her own making, a lifeline that left her dangling a fair two dozen feet below the airship, hanging on for dear life. In the last moments before the walls came down she had managed to fabricate a length of chain on the fly and embed the end of it into an opening on the ship. Her back-mounted device was missing, and a keen eye wiuld be able to find it looking completely smashed, sticking out of some rubble below.

"Can somebody pull me up?!" Mori hollered at the top of her lungs. 

Edited by Fierach

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"The situation!?" he bellowed at Rodan. It was difficult enough already that he had to concentrate on what was ahead of him, now he had to explain what was going on as well? Cerebri knew he was letting anger get the better of him, but this was no time to apologise about it. He, however, did calm down a little. 

"Well, going by things around me, I have barely enough magic to keep this ship up, and the person who hired me just went on a suicide jump to attempt to take down an ancient dragon. While I may say take down, what I really mean is piss off." He needed to think. This was not the first time the Helldriver was caught in a situation where he may have to sacrifice the payer of his services, but the Helldriver would not allow it. HE refused to even allow the idea of him having to leave anyone behind be entertained. 

Surveying the terrain, he noticed a forest ahead, but there were two patches that seemed devoid of trees. That was highly unusual, considering the denseness of the forests surrounding those divots. He saw no smoke too, which led him to one conclusion: Giants.


"You guys might want to hold on to something," he shouted to whoever was in earshot, before diverting the ship toward the divots. Pouring everything he had into the engine, he felt the ship respond in kind; the airship accelerated, bending trees and ruffling leaves in their wake. The noise was what Cerebri was going for, he needed to make as much noise as possible to wake the giants if they were slumbering, and what better way to do so than to make sure that every branch broke where possible, and every old tree tumble to the ground.

A loud groan soon filled the air, and from the tallest tree peeked out a bald head. The puzzled look on its face soon turned to anger as the giant, who was aroused from his slumber by a treefall, started to give chase. The giant stood high above the trees, cutting swathes of them down while running through them. Picking up some trees as though it were mere sticks on the ground, it flung them at the airship, barely missing as each missile whizzed past their bulkhead.

"Oh yes, come on," Cerebri muttered through gritted teeth, as the concentration etched on his face told the story. This was a gamble at best. Dodging each missile took more from Cerebri, and his magic was running dry. "COME ON," he screamed.

A sudden bellow and roar told him that his gamble had paid off. Cerebri chanced a look behind, and saw all he needed. The giant had changed course, heading straight for the dragon. The dragon had also noticed the giant, and probably deemed it more of a threat than the blob was. Seeing the two titans clash was a sight to behold, and fang and claw collided with fist and tree, sending shockwaves out with each blow.

With the titans distracted, Cerebri brought the ship right next to the other airship, set it down and blew its foghorn. "We wait for two minutes, then we are gone." He hoped everyone was within earshot of the foghorn blast, and hoped everyone would turn up. If not, they would have to fend for themselves in that forsaken place.

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