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Not for the first time since she has stepped foot on the caldera of Misral’s volcano, Shirin wonders why she is here, face to face with a supernatural force of fire and ash, screaming violence and rage upon the Uldwar heiress and all that her noble house has built on these lands.

Be still, my child, says the sword in her hand, that elegant thing gleaming sharp in the firelight of Mount Egon, and it is a testament to the growing trust between them that she listens to that calming voice even as her heartbeat rages thunderous in her chest. She feels fear, yes. It does not mean she needs to fall victim to it, not here where her newfound abilities can perhaps make a difference. She is but one of the many who stand as a defense around the volcano’s maw, and though she may not be the most experienced nor the most skilled, her mere presence will stand as evidence enough.

She would have wanted her brother here alongside her, but he accompanies Pluto and the Order of the Orchid down in the forests, helping to keep the fires at bay from destroying the lands even further. Shirin had almost asked him to join her, but they had both known he would only serve to be a distraction. Without magic or the protection of an Oathblade, Iyalon is powerless against a fire elemental.

The fact doesn’t make Shirin want him by her side any less.

“Are you ready?”

She turns her gaze to the man by her side, the armor he bears a stark reference to his noble roots, though she has never made any contact with House Kholin before. The Oathblade in his hand crackles with electricity, power radiating with visible hostility against the elemental; Shirin has learned not to trust strangers, but she recognizes a kinship in this man: they are both Oathsworn.

“I am,” she tells him. It is not quite a lie.

Crowley will be here any minute now, Shirin thinks, drawn to the danger that threatens to lay waste to all on the island. While she awaits his arrival, perhaps she will follow this one in the encroaching battle, and perhaps there will be one, even as the mage near Mia summons coils of lava and lectures them all on how killing is not the solution. Shirin is patient; she will bide her time and see what happens. Himei hums in her ears, and with that, she knows she is prepared for whatever comes her way.

 


 

@King @Wade

 

Edited by vielle

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pluto was casually minding his own business a few moments before the volcano erupted.

Of course, his business comprised of normal daily duties in the day: watering the flowers, watering the plants, watering the garden. He frequented towards gardening now that he's gotten rid of the dust and the insects and the dirt and, well, he's completely rid of everything unclean and unsanitary within the walls of Ravenel for that matter. Or.. er, at least he thinks he did. 

In the garden, he's watering away. But he finds himself in a halt when the large tree above his head starts swaying side to side. 

He assures himself that there's no need to panic. Just a minor earthquake. Just stay still, it'll be fine. 

Stop. Stop for a bit longer. No more temor. Water. . . tremor. Stop again. Hold a pot from falling. No more tremor. Water again. Tremor again. Stop. Wait. No more tremor. Water a—

Before he knew it, he's riding on horseback; gripping on reins and ripping through the wind alongside Iyalon. The Lord Protector and the Golden Crow lead the Order of the Orchid to the forests where the fire has begun eating into the undergrowth; but first and foremost, their eyes are set on Tankred. Pluto's attention is completely fixated on the blinding beacon of red that giddily threatens Misral. He's disturbed, to think that Uldwar could have caused this. 

He rips his eyes away and plants them on Iyalon, mounted on a black stallion whereas he's on a white steed. They're galloping, so Pluto starts shouting.

"I don't know if that's beautiful or disturbing!" 

He's referring to the holy fountain of lava. He waits for a long moment for his friend to respond, but Iyalon doesn't shout a word back. He thinks that they're galloping so fast that the wind could've gotten in his ears. They could be leaving fire in their tracks! Pluto blinked and stared at Iyalon's face, his hilariously stoic face and what great frustration could be seen on it, and, now, he thinks that the galloping may not be the case. Iyalon is silent, clearly distracted (that won't do) and has a lot on his mind. They continue on the plains, surrounded by fields of grass, nearing a bridge where you can spot Torinne a few more miles away. 

"Iyalon, you don't suppose that I would melt, would you?"

At that, Iyalon finally reacts, faintly alarmed. 

"No—but you will tell me the second you feel anything wrong, yes?"

Pluto is satisfied now that he's gotten his attention. "Yes!" 

They cross the bridge, connected over a valley, and where it leads onto a road that ushers into Tankred Homestead. From there, they could pass through the tropical forest and arrive at Torinne's bridge. They're close now, they need a bit more time. A bit more than most, but they're almost there. Their focus is so desperately needed right now to guide their steeds along the road of Tankred, Pluto knows, but he's not the only one distracted right now. 

"She's going to be fine." 

He can't see his face when he says that, since he's not staring at him. 

"I know." Iyalon grumbles. "Of course she will be."

Pluto snaps his head to the angle where Torinne should be, on a cliff, beyond the forest. Where it should be.

"Iyalon!"

His stallion slows to a stop, accompanied with a loud neigh that alerts the knights to halt, too. Pluto pulled on the reins. His white stallion stood on it's hind legs and raised itself in the air, then came back on the ground.

"That's—"

"Oh gods." Iyalon is stricken. "House Tankred."

They watch the castle crumble from a slope that carefully divides the trees so they could see. Billows of dust replace the misty fog that once engulfed Torinne. Would it be naive to think that they've escaped? Maybe. . . yes. Pluto can't rip his eyes away as he watches Tankred fall to pieces, a shock on his porcelain face when he observes the walls fall in on itself, crushing whoever unfortunate enough to not see it coming. Iyalon is different in his reaction. He's completely unreadable. Pluto, without looking away, slowly opens his mouth, though it's not wise to do so at the moment.

". . . Lady Varda." He mutters. "What will—"

"That is not the most important thing here." He looks to the knights with them. "Search the surrounding woods for survivors. If there are none, report back to me." He urges his horse to point back in the direction they had come from. "Come on, Pluto."

Iyalon looks at Pluto from his shoulder, urging for him to follow. The man is reluctant to pry his eyes away from the sight, but he does so anyway. He kicks, and his steed follows after the black stallion. 

He worries about Esme. 

 

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Crowley stole through the dying jungle, wrapped in a darkness so deep it slid off him like paint, smoking insidiously in the wind as he feasted on the light raging all around. Panicked wildlife stampeded past him. Crushed underbrush crinkled beneath his feet. Meteoric fire streaked overhead, the stink of burning noxious in the air. 

He shot past the forest’s edge. Over the hill. Up the mountain. Where the ground turned dark and jagged, where the ashfalls rained thickest. He slipped away from a chunk of falling debris, moving like an inkfiend in a swamp. Calling on Orenmir’s strength to propel him. Faster and then faster.  

A little early for the apocalypse, isn’t it?

Crowley had a clear view of the elemental now. Seeing it up close was an entirely different experience than from afar, and it made him woefully uncomfortable. 

I hope you have a plan,” Orenmir prodded.

“Of course, I have a plan.”

Is that so?”

“Yes. We are going to die.”

Heat slammed into him when he emerged from the caldera’s periphery. The shadows pressed against his skin wavered, rising from a slick chill to an oily warmth. He stood above a handful of scattered figures, Shirin being the first one he recognized. He was surprised to see her. Worried. Even with Himei for protection.   

His gaze fell on the knight next. Then the sword in his hand.

Something inside of Crowley’s chest tightened. 

He’s not the only one,” Orenmir whispered.

Crowley’s eyes flickered towards a girl dressed in light travelling clothes. Her sword was serrated, glistening white. Ravenous.

Made of bone.

What a lovely reunion.”

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PgEKC4W.pngMilorian wiped the blood away from his right eye, a weak attempt to recollect his sight as the fires around him rage on. So far, he has been able to ignore the flames and heat while he digs through the remains of Tankred. He had hoped to arrive in time to get in and then out with his prize, but apparently, the island has no time for him to play dutiful husband. 

'I was late,' he said across the line linking him and Marina.

'Well, I was not,' was her response.

The female elf had made it just in time to see the elemental rage against the small gathering that has come to defeat it. She listened to a woman (@Kalmuli) plead with the fellow heroes, stating that killing the elemental would be the very undoing of the island itself. Not an ideal situation, but if they do nothing, then they have a bigger problem on their hands. Toes curled into the charred ground, heat and hate rushing towards her in unending waves that lick at her billowing hair and wrinkled nose. As a unique creature, the elf can feel the turmoil that tumbles through the elemental. Such a connection makes her shudder, feeling sick and weak. 

Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted Mia (@Infernal). The Uldwar child is not an unknown figure to the Seeker, as she had spent time in the Free Marches with Gerald. Her appearance is unsettling, putting two and two together it would appear that Mia was the cause of this - some way, somehow. It is terrible to think that it is not surprising that it would be an Uldwar to cause such havoc, with them being impetuous and prideful in their ways. 

Milo felt his companion weaken some; he too shared the very same feelings. They are plagued by the connection they have to the land; the elemental is disrupting the elves magic. But neither will be stopped. He catches the minor hint of hooves beating the ground (@SweetCyanide), forcing him to step away from the rubble to take a better look at his surroundings. He wasn't alone; he could assess that by feeling the presence of many others trying to save what they can from the burning hells swathing the island. It comforted him, but also made the knot of worry in his stomach tighten. 

'Marina, I'm cutting our line.'

He did so quickly, not waiting for her to respond. Separating his mind from Marina's gave him a little more willpower.

Freed, the elf went to work. If he is surrounded by others trying to do what they could, he will provide them with as much assistant; he can muster in his current condition. He goes to work creating a control line by cracking the earth with a mighty punch to the ground, and as the crack extended, the elf assisted it with a wave of his broken hand that now ached terribly. This shift in the land helped him clear out an extensive line of brush, creating a barrier of mineral soil that would help contain a small portion of the flames.

While one hand worked the line, the other slowly began to elevate the rubble of Tankred. He wasn't going to leave this place without a memory for his wife to keep of her home, as no matter how terrible her removal from Tankred had been, it is still her home. 


Milo: Tankred remains; created a control line (fire line).
Marina: Mt. Egon.

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SHISHI RAVENBUSH /MADAME LINDA LINDA credit to fgo

Heavy boots thudded on volcanic soil as Shishi made her way up the slope. One heavy step after another, she forced her legs to move, knowing that they would meet death once they reached the top. She was terrified yet resolute. This might be the first time she would go up against such a monster. A battle with her life on the line. The only problem is the giggling woman beside her.

"Sissy, dear, why so tense?" the Madame Linda Linda asked, a bit too coy for comfort. Somehow, her elder sister is still unfazed with the prospect of dying. This is why she should have left this woman back at home. Her older sister could never get a clue.

 "How can you be so calm when facing that?" Shishi answered her sister's question with another question while gesturing to the hulking form of the fire elemental.

Her sister giggled again. "Now, now, little sister. No need to fret. That's just another fire elemental. This is why you should join us in our next raid. You missed the Velhetian desert run."

Sighing, the younger sister brandished her sword.  The older sister, on the other hand, merely crossed her arms, watching. There were no more words passed between them, only the ever-present silence that seemed to suffocate before the battle. 


95hTg87.pngHOLLY SHEATHE

She was furious, frustrated even. After encountering the fire elemental and hearing its words, Holly is more than certain that all of this was the female Uldwar's doing. What is the point of gaining all this power if it will only bring death and destruction to her land and people?

Holly could feel it too, Sunscar's rage at the Uldwars. One of the rare moments she and the oathblade seemed to agree, perhaps the last moment they will ever agree on anything.

The noblewoman stalked towards Mia, her burnt face filled with grim resolution. Her steps led her to the cause of all this pointless loss of human lives. "Mia Uldwar," Holly spoke, "You disappoint me.'

Then came Holly's backhand, a strong slap to Mia's jaws that should send the woman staggering backward and would most likely fall from the force of the blow. Holly looked down on the pathetic figure of Mia, her hand reaching for Sunscar's hilt. "I should execute you for your stupidity but your life isn't enough to pay for the lives lost today."

@Infernal


LUDMILLA SIMONOV

Port Mars

The airship loomed over the chaos in Port Mars. The loss of lives and property was staggering and no one knows how long will it take for the Uldwars to rebuild after this calamity. The twin's presence had done a lot in making order out of this chaos and Ludmilla's team aim to preserve that order. A series of ropes were thrown off the ship's deck, and soon a number of big, burly individuals descended down the airship and lastly followed by Ludmilla.

"Alright, boys!" Ludmilla started, "Sir Lenore did a great job in keeping the evacuation efforts in an orderly manner. Now the rest of you need to make sure that it continues. Next, I'll need two volunteers to go down the docks and check if we have enough boats to accommodate all civilians. Lady Sheathe is kind enough to let Uldwar's people into her airship.try to relieve some pressure off the seacrafts and see how many we can fit into the cargo hold."

Ludmilla paused to look at the receding figure of the flying Sir Lenore. "Lastly, I'll need two volunteers to assist Vinny. Try to pace yourself when flying."With that, Ludmilla's team split to do the tasks assigned to each of them, leaving her all alone on the roof of one of the port's taller buildings.

We can only do this much. I can only hope that the bigshots can subdue whatever monster is causing all of this.

Meanwhile, the slim form of Secretary Vinny can be seen streaking through the air with a pair of big, burly soldiers trailing behind her trying to catch up. After seeing Sir Lenore and where he is headed, Vinny can more or less deduce what the man was planning. Pushing herself a bit further, she got closer and tried to call his attention. "Sir, Lenore! We are farmers under Lady Sheathe. What can we do to assist?" @Csl

Edited by Thotification

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Mia was on the ground, her swords dropped, the anger, dismay and frustration tearing her apart from the inside out. This wasn't supposed to happen this way! It was a sure win for her, it would have done so much for House Uldwar, it could have done so much for everyone in the islands themselves. 

Gritting her teeth, she tried to get up, feeling the small shards of obsidian in the soil cutting into her skin. This was supposed to be her great moment of glory, where she proved herself as one of the greatest Uldwars in history.

"I GROW IMPATIENT AT THIS INCESSANT CHATTER! LEAVE MY MOUNTAIN, OR FACE MY FLAMES!"

The flow of lava began to quicken, the heat growing to baking heights as the Elemental began to turn up the heat on those gathered at the mountain. Roaring with anger, the fiery spirit decided to take the matter into his own hands. Raising one of its massive fists, it was brought down towards Mia, intending to squish her. Had she not risen as quickly as she did, she would have surely did, but as it was, she dove out of the way, missing the fist by only a foot or so. 

Down below, the animals were stampeding, doing their best to make it out of the Burning forest as quickly as they could. Massive bats, boars and other beasts were stomping out in an attempt to escape the heat. Bugbears especially were working to try and extinguish the flames, with many others fleeing the area, clutching those too young, old or sick to move out of the way on their own. 

Grugga himself, chieftain of one of the larger tribes of the goblinoid people, was bursting out of the foliage, holding five bugbear children in his arms as he worked towards finding a safe place. "To me! To me! Get to ocean now!" 

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“Remember, the sound.”

The webs of electricity curling along the length of his blade danced more excitedly, its song that of a thousand chirping birds. The arcs lashed across his hand, his forearm, crawling across his armored figure as irons of either charge passed through him. The triastine plates did well to vent the heat as the energy swelled, pouring out in violent whips of electricity.

Above, the massive clouds crowded the sky. The elemental’s colossal size and unnatural heat, coupled with the volcano’s steady activity, provided all the ingredients for the storm building around them. Lightning flashed, thunder rumbled, all of it drawn and spun by the outpour of energy from the blade in Andross’ hand.

Andross rushed forward in a blur, muscles and thought stimulated by the energy coursing through his veins. Tendrils of electricity unspooled from his body, feeling about the earth beneath him, lashing in the air above. He leaped into the sky, the blinding white chords of energy bringing him to a float, as he gripped the pommel of his sword with both of his armored hands and hefted above his head like a mighty hammer.

His descent was swift, deadly.

With a loud crack, sharper than a rifle’s fire, lightning crashed against the edge of his blade as he brought it down, releasing a crescent of pure electricity from its steel. It blazed an ionized path toward the Elemental, busy trying to crush Mia beneath its molten fist, angled to cleave the creature shoulder to hip.

Andross landed closer to the fiend and the lava pouring from its volcano, tendrils of electricity still coursing about his armor. Rivers of molten rock rushed around him, diverted from him directly by the natural landscape of the volcano, itself.

Now, the thunder.

zhiB2MI.gif

Edited by King

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Ingrid tried to keep people from getting closer, but what she hadn't expected was the attack from above. She heard over the roar of the volcano the crackle of lighting and a little blip of a man making his way down to cleave the elemental's side. The only thing she could do was watch in horror....but her expression moved from the shock of the sight to fury. She had to think of what to do next.

She couldn't sit still and do nothing.

 Kalmuli had always taught her that even if things were at the worst they could be, you had to move onto the next step. Always keep moving. The elemental could possibly be defeated but the construction didn't need to continue. Moving off, she made her way toward the construction. If the tools that were causing the chaos were gone, it would take them a long time to get things back up and running again. Then there were the political connections with it...she would have to either assert herself back at the Uldwar's Keep or leave it. She couldn't serve a family that was willing to kill off creatures like the Elemental for gain...it was cruel.

Mia was cruel. 

The equipment was massive but it wasn't unbreakable. She would shift from using the lava to using the hot earth. Bringing her hand down, her flesh burning against the hot gravel. "Audi me terra, terra flectere ad me!"She recited, spreading her mana outward. The earth would warp, turning from solid to almost quicksand, liquid state. If she was successful, it would cause the equipment to buckle and fall into the volcano itself to be melted. If not, it would be enough to make using it precarious to try to get it working again. 

Ingrid would make Mia's goals hell to complete until the day she left or die trying.

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THE MADAME LINDA LINDA  8swx56lgf6d11.jpg

The white-haired woman lips pursed as her pondered on her rather disconcerting conundrum. It was quite the dilemma she was experiencing as the woman had to pause in between her dainty steps just to waste precious moments in mulling all over it. She was perhaps at a loss. On one point, why must she expend energy on trying to defeat a monster that was way beneath her capabilities and with the help of other beings? She could feel the poor thing clearly outmatched when facing against the plethora of humanoid-faced monstrosities gathered around the caldera. One another point, there is this simple sense of urgency, one that forces anyone sane being to take action upon such a calamity especially when the death toll rises with each passing second.

To assist in felling such a creature would be a waste of her abilities. She should be down the slopes, fighting off the flowing lava and resurrecting the dead people in hopes of mitigating the lives lost within this ordeal. Such a sad fate that she was inadvertently stuck here, facing trivial odds, and ganging up on a poor misunderstood enemy that she had deemed a victim as much as it was a viewed as a transgressor. What can a poor, defenseless woman like her do against such insurmountable odds?

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Spoiler

D5xhhBzUcAAhnnq.jpg 

Then she was on the move, sashaying towards the fire elemental with nary a care to her surroundings. Her heeled shoes clicked with each step, while she raised a pair of delicate arms before her, each hand forming an air pistol with both the index and middle fingers pointing at the elemental. Motes of light briefly gathered at her outstretched fingertips, converging into globes of tiny light, one for each hand.

"Bang. Bang," the white-haired woman giggled and bullets formed from magical light were shot out of her hand. There were twelve bullets shot in succession, six from each finger pistol.

Each bullet traced an arcing trajectory in mid-air while leaving sparkling motes of light on their flight path, each one taking a different direction but still homing in on the fire elemental. Like missiles, the bullets rained on the poor elemental each one exploding like mortar shells within an inch before impact.

After the blast, the elemental would then notice that from the center of each blast, fetters of sparkling light would appear which would attempt to coil themselves around the nearest elemental body part within reach in hopes of restraining the rampaging thing.

For a moment she had envisioned herself dealing with this elemental the same way she had done with that white-haired man named Michael back in Aspyn but then she remembered that her personal style of magic would conflict with the themes of the land. This realization prompted her to observe the others first. There was the lightning man who shot electricity from his blade and another woman who used chants to manipulate the earth around her. With these two examples in mind, the Madame devised her game plan.

I should always respect the themes of the land. As I see it, chanting first then shooting magic out of my hands or from my blade is acceptable.

She drew her blade then, the legendary artifact Baeoi. She searched deep within and tapped into the gentle power at the core of her being, gathering all the energy she needed for this assault.

Emulate.

Releasing her gathered magical energy, she willed it into the sword's blade, wrapping it in a soft, gentle light similar to what the lighting man once used. Then she tapped into Baeoi itself, the artifact's uncanny ability to bless any of her abilities and make it stronger.

Amplify.

With her preparations done, the Madame Linda Linda lifted her blade. The blade seemed to glow and sparkle as it was infused with her light elemental energy. She paused for a second to make a quick chant.

"Let my light shine upon this poor being."

Then she brought the blade down and releasing the pent-up energy within. From the blade's tip came six tiny wisps of light which shot towards the poor elemental. From the corner of her, she could see another person (Shirin) attempting to do the same thing and she was glad she caught onto the setting's persistent theme.

Her eyes followed the speeding wisps of light until they reached the elemental where upon impact, they would explode with a force similar to mortar shells. She knew she had timed the attack right after the lightning hit, as she could sense the other blade person (Shirin) unleash her own attack.

After the lightning came the flash, then there was thunder.

@vielle @King

 

Edited by Thotification

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pallas

Hoofbeats. Familiar voices. Pallas swept his wings forward, breaking his momentum.

Below. A man and a boy on horseback, trailed by a line of knights. His eyes landed on the sigils. Hildebrand. The order of the orchid.

Pallas folded a wing, swooping down. In the distance, the ground shuddered beneath an elf's fist. The prince spared a glance towards Tankred, saw the familiar silhouette of an elf. Milorian Mythal. Digging through the rubble. Another stab of guilt.

He landed in Iyalon's path.

"Lord Protector. Pluto" Pallas was vaguely aware his voice was hoarse. He stole a wisp of wildlight from a nearby tree, took a deep breath, then spoke again. "Shirin's here too, I assume?"

The more oathsworn, the quicker the rock thing goes down.

He looked in the direction of the volcano. Squinted. A blotch of shadow writhed against the blinding gold of the plumes. Oh good. Crowley's here.

He was tired. His thoughts were wandering. Pallas pulled his thoughts together, facing the knights. "Don't waste your time searching for survivors from Tankred. There aren't any life signatures, not in the rubble, at least. I think you'd be more use helping the-" he gestured vaguely, "-ah, bugbears. Keep the fire from spreading."

The sky rumbled. Silver streaked towards gold as a lightning-wreathed figure leaped into the air.

For a moment, hope skipped a beat in their hearts. Teresa?

Pallas curled one hand around his right eye, holding his left hand palm-up, wrists together. With a thought, he twisted light, magnifying the scene in the distance.

Mia Uldwar. One of the Kholins. A girl - Shirin. Crowley. An oathblade in the hands of each.

He let his hands drop. "I think this'll be over soon," Pallas muttered. Four Oathblade wielders! "Let's just get as many as we can to safety."

Tentatively, he reached out towards a burning tree, then clenched his fist. A wave of magic leapt from its branches, melting into the ground, and the tree crumbled into dust.

"That's one way to make a fire line," Pallas sighed. He spread his wings.

"Lead the way, Sir Iyalon. I'll clear a path for your men."

lenore

Four Oathblades?

Lenore landed on the outer wall of Port Mars. He took a moment to survey the scene below him: crowds clogging the street in their rush. Disorganized. Chaotic. The prince took a deep breath, gathering the magic within himself, boosting his strength. When he exhaled, two dozen duplicates of himself flashed into existence.

Lenore sent the illusions down into the stampede. They would do their best to calm the crowd, redirect the mad rush into a more organized evacuation. The illusions began selecting reliable people, forwarding instructions on handling the crowd. Cover your noses. Carry the children. Head towards the harbor. No pushing and shoving.

Suddenly, a flying soldier. House Sheathe. She asked a question. His answer was curt. "Get the people away from the city walls. Get them to the harbor."

Carefully, Lenore adjusted his footing on the wall, righting himself with his wings. He turned to face the volcano, squinting at the slowly-approaching tide of lava.

Well, Pallas, what now?

He considered the nature of the eruption. An ash cloud exploded from the crater, ejecting tons of rock. That had been dealt with. The eruption wasn't natural (You don't say.) The lava was flowing steadily down the slope, yet only over the southern (South-eastern. South-easyt-eastern.) lip of the caldera. Where molten rock brushed against greenery, fires were raging,. Unless stopped, the flow would continue to move downhill, destroying Port Mars and the surrounding seaside towns.

I'm cutting the fire off up North-east, near the Tankred estate. Pallas' voice bled through his head. The other mining towns here are safe.

Lenore summoned Guzon. I'll redirect most of the flow to the oceans.

He took to the air. The clouds were thick with ash that rained down like black snow. Lenore pulled his shirt collar up, narrowing his eyes as he tore through the smoke. A few kilometers north of Port Mars, Lenore folded his wings, diving low. He slammed the Oathblade into the ground.

A massive crack rent the rock. Lenore waited, breathless, as the crevasse widened, rumbling. Slowly, the crack snaked westward into the sea. The ground on the other side of the crack shuddered, then sank downward.

Guzon's voice filtered into his mind. The lava and any following pyroclastic flows will fall along the depression I created. Is this satisfactory, master Lenore?

Lenore coughed out a lungful of ash before answering. "Yes. I think that's enough."

Edited by Csl

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Thurgood, Aveline, Vivian, and Nadia just keep cuttung down trees and digging undergrowth ahead of the fires, when a stampede of bugbears rumbles through. One bigger male asks them : "what ya doun 'ere?"

"Starvin' the fuckin' fire," Thurgood responds, "ain-t gonna keep goin' if it ain't got shit to burn!" With that he makes the back cut on the tree he already notched, and watches it fall away from the fire's direction, then sprints to the next tree and starts notching it, not caring what the bugbear does next: he's got a wildfire to contain.

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36.jpg

 

Do not be afraid, says the gentle voice in her ears, a hint of amusement peeking through the sun-warmed syllables. I am here. You need only hold on to me now, until the time comes when you may wield me without fear.

Shirin’s grasp of the sword hilt tightens, fingers stark pale against the backdrop of charred rock and lava flows. She watches as lightning sparks bright across her companion’s body, a living god on earth as the man moves forward to heave his weapon over his head and hurls an electrified wave that jolts across the expanse, mowing down a path to the elemental. It is her turn now, in this game of chess, and hesitation keeps her frozen where she stands.

I chose you, the Oathblade reminds her: always, always patient even when she does not deserve it. You are worthy.

Mount Egon rumbles loud and furious beneath her feet; the elemental screams for blood and destruction and devastation. In the midst of the cacophony, Shirin realizes: this, here, is where she is strongest. Plenty of fodder for an attack that could shake the foundations of the volcano below.

Pointing Himei in the direction of the elemental looming giant over them, she closes her eyes, attunes to her ears and the capacity to control all that which she hears. A deep humming sound begins to rise above the din of the chaos. Shirin grapples with the sounds around her, forces them to warp into a sharpened, concentrated point at the brink of imminent and violent release.

Come now, my child. Show me what we can do together.

Shirin opens her eyes, and she lets go.

The sonic spear takes flight, piercing through the air at dizzying speed, and strikes the elemental, its tense shape exploding outward, threatening to sweep any unsuspecting bystander off their feet and into the air with great force.

After the lightning comes the thunder, and the world trembles for it.

 


 

@King

 

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Obsidian shattered like brittle glass all around, warped by the atmosphere’s sudden change in pressure, sending micro-tears through the earth that nearly knocked Crowley off his feet. The darkness silently writhed about his body, rooting itself deep into the volcano’s crust. He waited for the worst to pass, anchored but still feeling the shockwave reverberate up to his teeth. 

My turn? 

Orenmir slipped forward, a long shadow made flesh. Even through the ringing in his ears, Crowley heard its voice as clearly as his own thoughts. 

“No, I don’t think so,” he said.

The shadow paused mid-stride. A ripple of annoyance rolled through it, and it cocked a sideways glance in his direction. 

Crowley pointed to the elemental with his chin. The glow of its form was already cooling to a dull grey. Smoke bled from its cracked veins, coalescing with the fresh ozone left over from the lightning strike. 

“It’s already dead,” he predicted, taking a tentative step down the incline. “Or it will be soon enough. Shirin and her new... friend can take care of it.” 

Orenmir watched him move further downslope, a lone figure standing at the top of the hill. Then it was gone, a flicker in the wind, before reappearing at his side like a dark mirror. They marched together towards the lava’s edge, gathering shadows as they went, molding them into perfect copies of themselves until they surrounded the Uldwar girl five to one. 

Crowley eyed her for a heartbeat. Marrow sat on the ground right beside her feet. The Oathblade hadn’t disappeared, like it should have, when it had fallen from her hands. 

She’s not bonded,” one of the shadows remarked.

“Then it doesn’t belong her,” Crowley replied. A black tendril swept the Oathblade from the ground and dropped it in his waiting hand. “Just like Sunscar doesn’t belong to you over there. Hello, little miss.”

He turned his attention to another woman, the one with scars poking out from underneath her clothing, who wielded Sunscar in an ill-fitting hand that seemed too tightly wound around its hilt. 

It’s burning her, Crowley thought, leaving his wraiths behind with a languid step forward. He stopped a few paces away, the expression on his face carefully neutral. 

“Give me the blade,” he said.

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When a pair of black wings landed in Iyalon's path, Pluto nearly fell off his horse.

And when his horse reacted the same way he did (frightened), a sound of concrete grit his hands when he held the reigns. His hand shot straight down to the rapier on his side. Iyalon's horse was also startled. Though he was too, at first, he recovered quickly and regained a complacent demeanor. 

"Lord Protector. Pluto."

Lord Protector briefly nodded. Pluto barely reacted; as he was having a moment of familiarity. He squinted his eyes at the winged.. man. His face scrunched up, caught in deep thought, forgetting that his hand was still resting on the hilt of his blade. 

"Shirin's here too, I assume?"

"You assume correctly, sir." Iyalon turns his gaze to the caldera looming above them. "She went up to help."

Pluto's face lit up. "Oh! Lenore!"

Iyalon looks back and forth between the two, confusion dawning over his features. Shaking his head, he coughs and mumbles, "whichever one you are my Lord—we need to move. Now."

Although Pluto was happy to oblige, something was amiss, specifically in what Iyalon had said. The young man blinked. Looked at the ground with a neutral expression, then looked at Iyalon with a curious albeit surprised demeanor. He leans to him sideways on horseback, balancing himself on the saddle, all the while slowly inching his face closer to Iyalon's. Gently, he whispers: "Lord?" 

Iyalon tilts his head closer, "Royal princes," he whispers back. 

He began to put two and two together. Pluto pouted and squinted his eyes again, quite a habit he's picking up right now, and slowly delves into a deep, contemplative thought. He very slowly pulls himself back onto his saddle, properly seated. 

"Don't waste your time searching for survivors from Tankred. There aren't any life signatures, not in the rubble, at least. I think you'd be more use helping the-" the prince gestures, "-ah, bugbears. Keep the fire from spreading."

Pluto very slowly drops his jaw.

Iyalon's eyebrows furrow; he looks stricken. "Understood," he says after a brief pause. "Pluto and I will help them."

"Oh my gods!" 

Terribly flustered, Pluto places a hand over his mouth, having been inner monologuing for quite some time. 

Iyalon looks over at him questioningly. "You alright?"

Pluto clears his throat, embarrassed. Before he even answers, the sky shatters—the ground trembles. His eyes dart to the caldera in a startled spur. 

Shirin, is the first thing that comes into his mind. 

"I think this'll be over soon," Pallas muttered, "Let's just get as many as we can to safety."

Iyalon takes a brief moment to wiggle his eyebrows at Pluto before he nods in reply to the royal prince.

Pluto grimaces at Iyalon's profound eyebrow wiggle. He'll make sure to catch up on new royal birthings and whatnot. 

At the sound of burning tree crumbling into ash, he looks upon the prince. "That's one way to make a fire line," Pallas sighed. He spread his wings. "Lead the way, Sir Iyalon. I'll clear a path for your men."

Pluto removes his gloves. Golden hands. They shine against the light, his malleable, dangerous hands that bleed golden. 

Iyalon glances at Pluto, though his face returns to its passive stoicness.

"Yes," he says, "let us move with haste."

 

Edited by SweetCyanide
p.s: i wrote this too late in the night so i may update it later in the day <3

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Ingrid rose from her spot at the side of the construction site. She felt more secure that it would be halted and maybe even cease. Regardless of Mia's goals, there was still the issue of what her actions had caused. Looking down the side of the volcano, the forests were burning and the burning had spread to farmland, homes...eventually, it would flow out to the sea, forming new rock.  Ingrid couldn't look back to the elemental. It hurt far too much...It was like watching a relative be executed for a crime of only doing what they were designed to do. 

The fire elemental had been a big influence on why she decided to stay at Port Mars. The strength of such a being combined with an old and ancient reverence to it kept her at peace and she knew her students would benefit from the mana that spread outward from it. Now that it would be gone, it would leave it an empty shell...the island would fail to flourish. The young academy Headmaster would look to the group of Oathsworn, feeling the heat of caldera and the static of the lightning strikes. A prickling tickle at her throat made her cough roughly, looking back. It was getting too dangerous to stay any longer and the sulfuric gas was suffocating. Covering her mouth, she escaped away from it coughing up a storm but getting a message out. "If you value your lungs, get away from the volcano as soon as you can."She said, her eyes watering. "It's turning the air acidic...you'll be spewing blood."

Ingrid would stop to cough again, the smoke and air feeling thicker as the fighting went on.  Soon the elemental would be dead and the true repercussions would take place. Hopefully, a little justice. "There are healers and medicine at the Weaver Academy...It's a large white building with tall towers...Bring your injured there."She said to the closest person before she descended the mountain, stopping when the fires flared up from the burning forest. Bringing her arm away from her face, she brought both of them forward, the ground warping and loosening to billow upward to smother it out to make a path down. 

 

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