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Chocolate Destiny ARC 2: A detour to Dorou

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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-08-16, 17:48

"Thank you, your Majesty," Daliu says.

"Please tell me more about these acid spitters. What is their nature? Why are they called your dread kindred?

"When the acid-spitters are repelled, would you be willing to help my reclaim my hometown of Enarou, and obliterate the evil that infests the countryside?"

Daliu takes a deep breath. "And is there any hope that you, the might of God himself, could raise the fallen? My friend, little Timmy, he perished in the ghoul attack, along with the baker's girls, and my parents..." One burning hot tear streaks down Daliu's cheek, and settles on the precipice above his quivering lips. It shimmers in the glow of the Dragon's scales, like a single candle in the darkness. "...they perished in the satanic fire that consumed my home and life. If I had one wish, I would ask for my parents back...."
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-08-19, 22:45

The priest does his best to translate the questions and subsequent answers.

The dragon seems a bit disgruntled at Daliu's first few questions about the acid-spitters.
"Time and other factors limit the telling of this story. This Messenger will provide an abridgement. Before, all of the kindred were together under God. Some turned away from the righteous path, and as punishment God stripped them of His blessing and cast them across the world. Their cursed souls can be told by their...skin, so great their sins. Instead of a warm light to bring comfort, they can only...uh...break down. And break down they do. They convened and planned the attack while the faithful were...dreaming."

"You may rest assured that Saint Anthony has already rallied a force of holy warriors and even now rides against the tide of evil that overran Enarou. If he requires the kindred's aid he need only ask."

What seems like a hint of compassion enters the creature's eyes upon hearing the last request.
"This Messenger apologizes. If the bodies are not intact, then resurrection is beyond even God's power. Fire is the final death. We can only pray for their souls."

"You have time for one more question."
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-08-20, 21:27

Fire is the final death.
Fire is the final death.
Fire is the final death.
Fire is the FINAL DEATH.

Anticipation wells up within Daliu's chest, and brings a sizzling heat to his head. His vision burns black and blue with revelation, as the world is scorched around him.

"I understand, Your Majesty," he speaks. The words buzz on his lips, and he labors for breath. "Then I have only one wish. Give me the gift of fire, my Lord. Let my flesh be the brazier, and my blood become flame. Give my soul this gift, so that I may grant the FINAL DEATH to those lamenting souls, begging for salvation. Let me redeem the sinful, and elevate the fallen righteous."
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-08-20, 21:42

The priest conveys this question fearfully. The dragon flares its nostrils, and remains silent for a minute before snapping an answer.

"You ask much of this Messenger, but such is as expected of a...child. You have not proven your worth to me. Not yet.
But if you look into your soul, you may find you already have much of what you ask for."

"Time's up," Gareth says. "Get some sleep Daliu, there'll be plenty of work tomorrow. I'll get you started on learning the Holy Tongue in the afternoon."
----------------

Daliu indeed works hard the following morning, helping with the construction as well as routing supplies. Break is called for midday meal.
He is approached by Brother Muln, the one who informed him about the visitors yesterday.

"You're quite a big lad, and we need every hand we can get. How about you join us in the afternoon training sessions, learn how to operate the weapons?"
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-08-22, 15:50

"Greetings, Brother Muln. This afternoon I am learning the Holy Tongue from Brother Gareth. If there are any other lads that will miss this afternoon's weapon training, I'd be glad to join them in a make-up session."
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-08-27, 19:15

[Daliu gains a rank in Language(Draconian)]
Daliu knows he cannot learn both in the matter of days, so he commits himself wholly to learning the language of his faith. Brother Gareth and the other knowledgeable priests help him master all the basic syllables, some of which were not meant for human tongues.

[2 days later]

Daliu is awoken in the middle of the night by the peals of church bells. His heart begins to pound. Is this it?
His second story bedroom is awash with long shadows and red patches, overwhelming the pale blue of the moons.
Through the window he sees a great many torches and lanterns coming to life all over the village, accompanied by frantic yelling.

Leaping out of bed, he quickly gets dressed and gathers his belongings. As he dashes down the stairs two at a time, he can almost feel the mortal panic filling the air. The rest of the small house is uninhabited, so he proceeds out the front door.
He rushes outside to see the villagers swarming the streets. Tarpaulins are being pulled off the weapons and men climb aboard to arm them, but several remain unfinished. The order and efficiency the villagers exhibited before seems to have abandoned them in their time of need, and the chaotic chatter reaches Daliu's ears.
"Daddy? What's going on?"
"Jessie? Where are you? Jessie!"
"Pray! Just pray and we shall be saved!"
"Women and children, get to the shelter!"
"PIPE DOWN, WILL YA? IT'LL DRAW THEM RIGHT TO US!!"

The boy is buffeted by fierce winds at every turn, like the might of a storm was upon him, but he looks upward to find the sky free of clouds.

A large white shape suddenly streaks overhead, letting out an unearthly screech. Daliu hears splashing sounds, and sees the rooftop of a house start to dissolve.

The attack has begun.


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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-08-28, 15:01

Rhea give him strength, the moment has come.

As unholy winds blow 'round the hill where Justice takes its stand, the Church bells' clanging grips Daliu's heart.

CLANG, clang clang. CLANG, clang clang.

The ground is swallowed by an ocean of dust.

White shapes fly high above these frightened souls, drowning them in brackish poison. A wretched, draconid screech escapes Daliu's mouth, piercing through this acrid sea. How dare they. How dare they oppose him. He serves God. He serves RIGHTEOUSNESS. He will bring these white monsters down. He will drag them from their lofty thrones, into the dirt, and make them crawl. For if men must wallow in this ocean of dust, then so must these traitors, these blasphemers, these unruly children of God. And there they will be judged; powerless, immobile, while Men's knives pick at them, like maggots on a bound lion, for every sin they have wrought, until they are freed by flame.

For Fire is the Final Death.

Oh, to see the mighty smeared with dirt -- to see the oppressors on their knees. The thought stirs him in places he cannot recognize.

This is what Daliu will do. This is
Justice.

"CALM, MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS. WOMEN AND CHILDREN TO THE SHELTER."

"THE EVIL HAS COME; GOD'S MIGHT SHALL ANSWER," Daliu chants over and over in the holy tongue, while loading his pistol and moving toward the nearest artillery. The meditative chant increases his heartbeat and sharpens his senses, though he can barely hear it over the buffeting winds.

Using all the lung capacity and vocal range he has built up during his study of the Holy Tongue, Daliu roars:

"YOUR MAJESTY, IT IS TIME"

All the while scanning the sky and surroundings for targets. After shooting, Daliu will immediately use his sword, which he keeps ready in his off-hand.


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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-08-28, 16:25

The strange bellowing certainly seems to have hastened activities.
Daliu moves up next to the closest siege engine, an unpainted contraption of whirring gears and winding winches. It appears to be fully manned.
Raising his pistol, he sees two more white shapes fly overhead. Daliu picks one and fires.
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Post by testuser on 2015-08-28, 16:25

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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-08-28, 16:43

The shot doesn't seem to hit anything. Daliu draws his sword, but there are no enemies in reach thus far.
A deafening explosion rocks the area, followed by a chorus of reptilian roars. A raging inferno has erupted in the sky, as brilliant as the brightest firecracker.
In the increased light Daliu can make out the winged shapes more clearly: dragons, with bone white scales and wickedly sharp claws.
God's Messenger has taken flight to meet them.
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-08-31, 16:34

Trace on. Trace on. Trace on. Daliu marvels at the dragons and God's Messenger doing battle.

God's Messenger cannot lose against these monsters, no matter how tough their armor, or how sharp their claws. He will burn them to cinders, for Justice cannot lose, and Fire is the Final Death.

Daliu must do his part: to humble the rest of their enemies.

He searches for something to use as cover, so that he can shield the siege weapon team from incoming acid.


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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-01, 10:35

The aerial battle rages on fiercely, while the ground crew runs into trouble.

"Hurry up with the loading, god damn it!"
"These bolts are barely compatible, I'm doing the best I can!"

Daliu sifts through piles of unused construction material, and finds a large wooden board coated with platinum paint. He sheathes his weapons so he can lift it with both hands. The streets are still filled with panicking villagers. A woman's shrill scream sounds out.

"IT'S COMING RIGHT FOR US!!" a crewman yells. Sure enough Daliu sees a white dragon bearing down on the weapon.
"No more time! Just wind it up!"

The dragon's maw opens, issuing a hollow inhaling rasp. Having seen enough, Daliu leaps in front of the siege weapon to interpose the board.
"AHHHHHHHHH!!!"
SPLASH
Daliu feels a few drops land on him, sizzling away his clothes. The crewmen open their eyes. "We're...we're alive!"
Aside from minor burn injuries, the crew is alive and accounted for. Unfortunately the board was not large enough to shield it entirely, and parts of the weapon have been dissolved as well as a few villagers who were caught in the blast. The dragon veers away to attack another target.
"There goes our shot...literally."
"You- you saved us, boy! But what do we do now?"
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-09-01, 23:51

HOW DARE THEY. HOW DARE THEY BELCH THEIR FILTH.

Who is the hand that moves them, these dread kindred? Who is the hand that moves ALL Evil -- ALL sinister shadows that haunt the hearts of men? That bring restless nights and fearful awakenings? That drive us to greed and spitefulness? That create suffering, by the very flame of Gods grace that was meant for Good?

Lee GRAY. LEE GRAY. That SHADOW, that DEMON. That CACKLING EVIL. IT MUST BE HIM. IT MUST BE HIM WHO DID THIS. IT MUST BE HIM WHO CONTROLS, HIM WHO DRIVES, HIM WHO DESTROYS.

His followers must be crushed and

He must be purged.

But this battle must be won first.

Daliu continues to observe his surroundings, for anything that he can use to influence the aerial battle.

He flashes his Tricorv. "I'm an ordained priest. Hand me a pail of platinum paint, and a bolt. Two of you, come with me and shield us with the board. The rest of you, go find another ballista to man!"


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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-02, 08:09

The crew splits in half. Daliu receives a bolt, and sees what they meant earlier: the shaft is lopsided, part the cylinder improperly sanded.
They take up the board, now frayed at the edges.

"Paint...paint...where's the paint...damn, it's two streets over!"
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-09-02, 14:30

'How can this be?' Daliu thinks, as he looks upon the useless bolt and the frightened crewmen. Does God's aid amount to this? Does Justice permit this ineptitude?

At this critical moment, when these devout followers gather to destroy evil, Daliu needs more on his side.

Daliu rushes with his crew to get the paint. Meanwhile, he examines the bolt to see if he can somehow make it less fucked up.


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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-02, 19:30

With a sharp blade it would take a few minutes of whittling to get the bolt flight worthy.
"LAUNCH!" *chak* *snap*
As they cross the first street, it seems the other crews have finally begun a counterattack.
*chak* *snap*
Ballista bolts and other large projectiles fill the air. An acid-spitter's wings get caught in shiny netting, and it plummets earthward screeching.
Daliu arrives at the supply cache and retrieves a can of paint.
Twisting and turning, the white dragon crashes through a nearby building, sending large splinters and bricks his way.
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Post by testuser on 2015-09-02, 19:30

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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-02, 19:36

A 3 inch length of wood pieces Daliu's right shoulder. A larger splinter protrudes from a crewman's side, as he writhes on the ground.
The dragon lands around 50 feet down the street, where it struggles to its feet.
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-09-02, 20:40

Daliu yowls in pain, but sees his chance.

An acid-spitter, foul enemy of God, has been dragged to the ground.

"Yes. YES. Taste the dirt, like the foul fiend you are," Daliu growls. "I'm coming for you."

He quickly dips the bolt in the platinum and lathers the rest on his face and body. The cold paint mixes with the blood on his wounded shoulder.

He tells the wounded man to take cover, and then advances on the dragon with his shield-bearer, closely observing the acid-spitter and searching for weakpoints. Daliu is ready to burn his muscle fibers to their limit should he need to dodge a blow, or strike one at the acid-spitter.

"ATTACK THE GROUNDED WHITE DRAGON," he yells, encouraging other soldiers to attack the dragon, and other ballistae to aim at the stationary target.


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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-04, 12:41

Daliu's yell would be very encouraging if there were other soldiers, but as they are just villagers with spears and farming implements they approach warily. While he oils himself up, his crewman quickly nails a belt to the board to form a crude strap for easier handling.

Two nearby ballistae start turning to the new target, but the enemy's attention has been drawn as well. An off-white dragon flies over.
SPLASH
One weapon is drenched in caustic fluid. The crew fall out screaming as their bodies are consumed, but the weapon itself remains intact, preserved by its coating.

The grounded dragon is up, filling nearly the entire space between buildings. It stumbles a bit, indicating a possibly leg injury on the left side, and its wings are twisted and torn. It spots Daliu's advance, and opens its jaws.
"Incoming!" the crewman yells. He plants the board on the ground and crouches behind it along with Daliu.
SPLASH
The board shakes from the impact, but with his new body paint the drops that leak over the edge do not even irritate the boy.
Peeking out he sees the dragon advancing on them.
Map:
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-09-05, 12:58

The acid can no longer hurt him. Daliu gives thanks to the most holy of metals. This is the power of Justice.

Daliu bids his shieldbearer to protect the only operating ballista nearby, and to tell the crew to fire at the grounded dragon.

He then charges at the grounded dragon, aiming for its injury on the left side, or any other vulnerable parts (eyes, etc.) if they are available.

Daliu is ready to burn his muscle fibers to their limit should he need to dodge a blow, or strike one at the acid-spitter.

If his ballista bolt should break, Daliu will try to draw his sword if available. If the sword cannot be drawn in time, he will use his unarmed skill to dig into any soft fleshy parts available on the dragon.


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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-06, 16:51

The crewman backs up, but despite his sudden exposure Daliu runs forth. The dragon halts momentarily at the boy's rash action. Daliu closes the distance, and lunges at the acid-spitter's foreleg, bolt tip at the front...
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Post by testuser on 2015-09-06, 16:51

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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-06, 16:54

...but the dragon rears up just in time, its limb rising out of reach, then falling back down to try and crush Daliu.
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-09-06, 22:06

Danger.

Darkness will not yield without a fight. Such arrogance. It cannot withstand Justice, even if Daliu falls...but there is no time for these thoughts.

With the little time he has left, Daliu steadies the bolt against the ground and braces it with his body, aiming to let the Acid Spitter impale itself upon his bolt. He stays as low to the ground as possible and positions himself to absorb a blow from above. He will burn his muscle fibers to the limit to avoid getting his skeletal structure mashed.


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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-06, 23:59

The great mass of the dragon's claw overshadows Daliu's small form, hurrying to get into position. A single second seems to stretch agonizingly long as he watches it descend...
With such a size disparity the blow feels more like a tidal wave, an ocean of scaled flesh pressing down, down down.
Daliu is rendered prone, and it is all he can do to keep the bolt straight as it drives its way into the dragon's palm, which contacts his chest and puts an awful squeeze on his ribcage. An intense aching fills his body as the air is forced out, and his bones suddenly seem as fragile as twigs...

The tremendous force suddenly subsides just as swiftly as it came. Firmly lodged in the claw, the bolt is yanked out of Daliu's grasp as the acid-spitter rears up again, this time howling in pain.

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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-09-07, 00:42

The battlefield returns. It is almost as if Daliu has been saved by the grace of God. But God is absent here. He leaves his soldiers to fight for him. Daliu's own Justice has prevailed.

Light-headed from the near-death experience. Daliu staggers up and draws his sword, examining his surroundings and preparing to react to the dragon's next move.


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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-07, 01:01

Daliu sees the two villagers behind the dragon have halted their advance, attempting to appraise the situation as well.
"He's alive!"
"G-get out of there kid! Are you mad?"

Reared up, the dragon's underbelly is less scaled and thus vulnerable to strikes. There are several indentations though that indicate something used to be there.
It looks straight at Daliu, eyes burning with malice, and opens its mouth. The boy hears an inhaling rasp...
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-09-07, 01:46

The villagers still fear. What can they lose? If they do not perish now, they will perish later, if these monsters are not slain.

What's this?

Hearing the strained winching of the ballista behind him slow, Daliu moves out of the way to give it a clear shot at the Acid Spitter.

"WATCH OUT," Daliu tries to yell. But a gurgle of blood and phlegm emerges instead, as his chest struggles to clear itself.


Last edited by Vroop on 2015-09-12, 16:11; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-07, 14:06

This action proves prudent, as the weapon fires.
*snap* *chak*
A bolt hits the beast square in the chest, and it stumbles backwards.
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-09-12, 16:24

Daliu half laughs, half chokes as his loins tingle with ecstasy. It's as if the bolt had also struck his Justice Gland.

"Crawl! CRAWL, YOU FIEND," he yells out, as he grips his sword with fiery passion.

He charges towards the Acid-spitter, aiming to drive his sword into its underbelly. Justice gleams at the tip of his blade.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-12, 17:12

The acid-spitter kicks out at Daliu to block his sword strike. [dodge, strike]
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Post by testuser on 2015-09-12, 17:12

The member 'Corenat Rovarnus' has done the following action : Dice Roll\'d

#1 'fudge' :
Chocolate Destiny ARC 2: A detour to Dorou - Page 3 Lvkidm6 Chocolate Destiny ARC 2: A detour to Dorou - Page 3 8fmoHpZ Chocolate Destiny ARC 2: A detour to Dorou - Page 3 MMe0ojR Chocolate Destiny ARC 2: A detour to Dorou - Page 3 MMe0ojR

--------------------------------

#2 'fudge' :
Chocolate Destiny ARC 2: A detour to Dorou - Page 3 8fmoHpZ Chocolate Destiny ARC 2: A detour to Dorou - Page 3 8fmoHpZ Chocolate Destiny ARC 2: A detour to Dorou - Page 3 MMe0ojR Chocolate Destiny ARC 2: A detour to Dorou - Page 3 Lvkidm6

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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-12, 17:18

In a delayed reaction finally come to fruition, the cumulative effects of Daliu's exertions begin to catch up with him. Miniature explosions wrack his biceps, his thighs. As the claw approaches the boy tries to evade it but fails. A large black talon clips Daliu in the side, but that does not deter him. His gleaming sword punctures the acid-spitter's abdomen. Daliu's front is spattered by bluish gray fluid from the wound, mixing with the paint. The dragon roars again. His muscles burning up, Daliu lacks the strength to pull out the sword which is yanked out of his agony stricken hands as the beast takes another step back. He hears an inhaling rasp above him and looks up to find serrated jaws descending on him.
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-09-12, 20:25

[Roleplay to come later]

Daliu attempts to dodge.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-13, 14:25

The bite draws near...
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Post by testuser on 2015-09-13, 14:25

The member 'Corenat Rovarnus' has done the following action : Dice Roll\'d

'fudge' :
Chocolate Destiny ARC 2: A detour to Dorou - Page 3 8fmoHpZ Chocolate Destiny ARC 2: A detour to Dorou - Page 3 Lvkidm6 Chocolate Destiny ARC 2: A detour to Dorou - Page 3 Lvkidm6 Chocolate Destiny ARC 2: A detour to Dorou - Page 3 MMe0ojR

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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-13, 14:50

Daliu is forced to burn more of his muscle to escape the jaws of death, which clamp shut right behind him.

"You've done enough, boy! Get clear!" a ballista operator shouts. "You cravens back there, are you going to be outdone by a child! Fight!"
The two villagers on the other side resume their advance.

Seeing the shielded ballista and the footmen, the dragon looks upward and bellows. The sounds it makes are very different from the Rheejan dialect, but with his fledgling knowledge of Draconic Daliu can make out something about "help".
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-09-16, 19:06

"HE'S CALLING FOR HELP" Daliu screams, while trying to make distance between him and the dragon
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-16, 22:16

Halting its dialogue, the dragon turns its attentions back to Daliu. Its mouth is the last thing the boy sees before his vision is overwhelmed by a sickly yellowish green.
"FI-"
SPLASH
A deluge of acid engulfs Daliu, its sheer momentum bodily carrying him away. Tiny pinpricks of agony pop up all over where the paint grows thin, the corrosive fluid biting into him, eating up his skin.
*snap* *chak*
He tumbles, somehow managing to roll upright. Acid drips from his form, a drop of blood mixed in here and there from the wounds on his arm and side. He is burning, on both the inside from consumed muscle and the outside from caustic residue. Bringing a shaking arm to his face, he wipes off enough to open his eyes. The acid-spitter falls to the ground with a massive thud, the end of a ballista bolt protruding from its head. After a few jabs to confirm its demise, the farm tool wielding villagers cheer. "We did it! We did it! Yeah!"
A crewman rightfully objects. "No, you cowards didn't do a thing, it was us-"
"INCOMING!"
All eyes are drawn to the sky. Having heard the last cry of its comrade, another dragon swoops down, its black scales nearly blending with the night. It does not roar. It does not breath acid. It does not go for Daliu or the villagers. It does not pass Go or collect $200.

It flies straight for the ballista.

"Shit! Turn! TURN!"
"Load that next shot NOW!"
"We can't make it, run!" Daliu's crewman picks up the makeshift shield and dashes away. Another one jumps out to follow, but after that it is too late. The black dragon slams into the ballista with outstretched claws, the warping and splintering wood transforming the weapon into a death trap for the unfortunate souls who did not get out in time.
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-09-20, 14:57

[Roleplay to come later]

"WE NEED TO FIND BROTHER GARETH"

Daliu crawls, and motions for the shieldbearer, 2 villagers, and only surviving member of the ballista crew to help carry him, attempting to find Brother Gareth or any familiar faces that he can.

They will take cover in any buildings they can to avoid being blasted by the Black Acid Spitter. Daliu instructs them to split the work: 2 bear the shield, 2 carry Daliu.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-21, 12:21

The black acid spitter continues to stomp on the wreckage, to ensure that it has crashed the ballista with no survivors.
While it is occupied, the four rush over to Daliu's faltering form.
"Damn son, are you alright?"
"Are you blind? Of course he's not!"
"By Quinince, he's still got acid on him. How can we pick him up without losing our hands?"
"Uh, put him on the board?"
"Yeah, sounds good."
Setting the shield on the ground paint side up, the villagers gingerly prod with their tools to roll Daliu on top.
"One, two, three, hup!"
The crewmen lift Daliu up.
"You've done enough, kid. Let's get you to the shelter."
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-09-21, 22:08

With the last of his strength, Daliu turns his head to look at the dead acid spitter, upon which Divine Judgement was wrought, and the living acid spitter which rampaged unhindered.

"We have to get to Brother Gareth," he mutters over and over. The Brother might be able to organize a resistance.

In his heart though, he knows he is in no shape to fight, as he can't even move his legs. His subconscious burns with a desire to rend the acid spitter before him.

Fire is the Final Death.
Fire is the Final Death.

He feels the fire burning within him, and it warms him as he slips into darkness.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-21, 23:53

After an indeterminate period of darkness, Daliu's eyelids are suddenly pierced by a white light. Like fire, he rises to consciousness.
Has he passed on? Will he finally see-
No. As he blinks bleary eyes, the weathered face of Brother Gareth comes into view, his glowing holy symbol held aloft. Daliu tries to speak but coughs instead. He hears indistinct sounds indicating other people nearby.

"Rise, my son. Your time has yet to come. When the villagers told me of your deeds, I almost could not believe it. But you asked for me, so they brought your battered body straight to me. I...I cannot find the words to describe your bravery. I wish I could do more, but I must save my strength for another task."
His symbol fades, and Gareth takes on a more tired appearance, his wrinkles giving him a rocky texture to match the brown cavern wall above. All the immediate pain and burning is gone, and the ache of fatigue has been pushed back, but Daliu still feels extremely weak.
"I have healed you only enough to walk, and carry yourself to safety. Do not squander it."
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-09-24, 13:13

Daliu blinks some more, observing his surroundings.

"Thank...thank you, Brother Gareth. Where am I? How fares the war? Where is God's Messenger?"
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-24, 16:18

The cavern's ceiling is 7 feet high on average, lower in most. The muted sound of an explosion reaches the boy's ears, and the cave seems to rumble, several pebbles and dust running down the crags.
Daliu lies on a pile of several spread out blankets and clothing. Around him are a few other injured patients being tended to by two lay brothers.
The cavern tapers down into a narrow corridor at two ends. Frightened families of villagers are being herded along from one end to the other.
Without pause, Gareth's symbol glows again as he tends to the patient to the right.

"You are in the cave system beneath the hill, brought underground through the shelter's emergency tunnels. Daliu, your courageous acts were a great service to the people of Dorou, but unfortunately the village itself is all but lost. The Acid-Spitters caught us by surprise, and most of our weapons are either unfinished, unmanned, or in ruins. God's Messenger was cornered by a group of heathen mages, and now lies imprisoned within a sorcerous cage. Not even the shelter is safe anymore. Once we have gotten everyone walking who can, I and the other clergy will return to the surface to free the Messenger, who can then divert the Acid-Spitters from the shelter long enough for the rest to escape through these tunnels. It is our last hope for survival."
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-09-24, 19:18

Daliu's eyes widen as much as the bruises on his face allow. He chokes as he gasps for breath. God's Messenger, Rhea's Might, the heart of JUSTICE itself, imprisoned? How could this happen? WHY did this happen? God. God. God, where is He? How...how....

HOW.STRONG.ARE.THESE.MAGES????

Daliu makes to speak, but can only hyperventilate. His recently healed ribs creak with the effort. Something white hot ignites in the back of his mind, as the bottom falls out of his stomach. The situation is more dire than Daliu thought was possible. Can they win? Can Justice prevail? Or is this Justice's real test?

WHAT IS JUSTICE, IF NOT A WAY TO RIGHT WRONGS?

Daliu regains control of himself, and begins to sputter.

"Can our clergymen defeat these mages, Brother Gareth? The heathens have imprisoned the mightiest of us all.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-24, 19:29

"Some of the mages are of the fell kindred themselves, it would be folly to confront them directly. No, our only goal is to dispel the cage, and hopefully ward against further attempts at binding."
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2015-09-28, 11:20

Daliu nods at Brother Gareth's wisdom. The messenger MUST be freed. Justice itself is caged. But Daliu is in no condition to fight. He can only pray.

His stomach growls. Daliu's pain is replaced by hunger. A ravenous hunger. Greater than what he's ever felt in his life. He has only noticed it now that he's awake.

"Brother Gareth, I will help lead the healed to safety. I will pray for you and our brothers. When do we leave? And, is there food? My stomach feels so...empty."
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2015-09-28, 15:27

"You have my thanks, for everything. The evacuation is already under way, but we must go slow, one small group at a time as the tunnels are unhewn and treacherous. As for food I carry nothing but my faith, as I may not return from the surface. But word of your deeds has spread. I am sure every family will have some to spare for the young hero of Dorou."
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