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post #41 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-03-12, 10:05 AM
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Alexander continued to follow the monk through the tunnels, each wall was non-descript and did not make easy to mentally map the passages, but Alexander was used to spending time underground and had developed a keen sense of direction in dark places. He was sure that if left alone he could find his way out and back here again. He was about to speak, his frustration at this long voyage finally reaching a point where he felt the need to demand an answer from the mysterious monk, but before he could voice his concern he found himself in a church altar room.

Or it looked like one. The floors were marble, depictions of Christ in what the scholars believed to be his life were displayed in frescos on the ceiling, and many other doors led to different sections of the complex. The fact that it was in a vast cavern only drove home how strange the scene was. Alexander followed the monk, who remained silent, through the northern door and into an amphithetre carved into the bedrock, overlooking a stage made from the same stone. Alexander took a seat in the back of the room in a corner, staying out of the sight of others who were already present and continued to file into the room. They were a motley group, no two looked alike, each one was armed in some fashion or another, either physically or magically. Alexander recognized Paladins, some other mages that served the Council directly, and common street hunters that possessed only their hard-earned knowledge and what little weapons they could scrounge together, he had always identified more with them but never enough to work with others of his own will.

Alexander kept a close eye on the stage and did not miss the first appearance of him. Alexander was certain of it even without seeing his face, this was Vladamir Prokofski. When he unveiled his face, revealing strong unbent shoulders, a shock of white hair and eyes that were anything but old, Alexander was impressed by his fortitude. Hunting was not kind to those who undertook it and most died young, that he had not was a testament to his skill and the fact that by Mage standards he was barely past youth at 125 years of age. As the hunter began to speak Alexander leaned forward slightly to better catch his words and to get a sense of the man's aura, while being careful not to take his face from the shadows. Prokofski was genuinely happy to see so many and his aura reflected it, the strength there was evident and Alexander was satisfied that this man was definitely someone worth following and respecting.

Or at least he was until Prokofski said the word demon. Alexander nearly got up out of his seat and walked away at that, only the fact that it was Vladamir Prokofski that said it stayed his hand. Demons were a laughable concept and any hunter worth his salt knew they were fake, made up by the Church to scare people into worshipping Christ out of fear that if they did not they would go to hell. Other hunters showed their discontent, and Alexander could not resist joining in,

"I expected more from the great Vladamir Prokofski than churchly mutterings and superstition."

Prokofski shook off the criticisms, placating the audience by trying to convince them of his sincerity. Alexander was still unconvinced, if demons existed somebody would have seen one by now, and yet he had never heard a single tale of demons or anything that could be identified as demons. Childish superstition made rampant by foolish priests. Alexander once again considered leaving but before he could a hunter with a strong scotch accent called out Prokofski as a fool. Alexander chuckled inwardly and nearly voiced his support of the hunter's insult, but Prokofski shot the scotchman down before he could. Prokofski continued to try and convince the audience but Alexander could see that many did not believe him, some appeared to but they were all pawns of the church. Paladins and priests that had no business bringing religion to the hunt, Alexander had nothing but contempt for them. He decided to leave, the old man's religious mutterings were unwelcome and he concluded he had mis-judged Prokofski, the hard life of hunting must have finally shattered his sanity.

As Alexander rose a hideous shriek resounded through the cavern which was immediately followed by the crackle of his tulwar being drawn from it's sheath, the sound of lightning echoed through the cavern. Prokofski called out for the hunters to defend themselves, which Alexander agreed vehemently with. Before Alexander could voice a demand of Prokofski to reveal what the enemy were, and that no mention of demons be made, he saw the enemy for the first time. It was shorter than he was, by at least two feet, and at a first glance appeared humanoid. Their fingers were as long as spider legs and were tipped with vicious claws that shone against the blue lighting his blade exuded. Their faces were child-like and would be considered eerily beautiful by any other than Alexander who only saw the face of a monster with a maw of teeth like needles and skin that was blue-grey. Smoke shrouded their bodies and lended them an ethereal look. The Alchemist realised something as he scanned them, he had never seen such creatures before or heard of anything that resembled them. Before he could take that line of thought further four of them converged on him, their maws howling an ear-splitting shriek that did nothing but annoy Alexander.

Swinging his tulwar defensively he parried the first three attackers, sending them to the sides with flat blows to their heads, and struck at the fourth. His blade crackled with lightning that discharged, blasting the creature in the chest. It appeared to hurt the creature but not mortally, the smoking wound giving off a dark black smoke that contrasted with the light grey that surrounded the creature. Not allowing it to gain the upper hand he lashed out with a series of short slashes that managed to inflict several bleeding wounds on it. His blade shone with an inner light as it cut, and the black blood that stuck to his blade evaporated instantly as the lightning danced over it. Ducking an overhead slash Alexander spun on his heel and delivered a powerful two-handed cut, slicing the creature from shoulder to groin, it fell with a tortured wail and bled both midnight-coloured blood and smoke.

Turning to face the other three and disregarding the dead foe Alexander noticed they were sticking together, having recovered from their dazed state they observed him hungrily. Neither of the three was prepared to make the first move which bought him a few moments, quickly he reached to his belt and removed a small vial of crimson red liquid that seemed to exude heat. Removing the stopper with his teeth he downed the potion, and dropped the vial. The change came instantly, his tattoos began to glow bright red and his eyes changed from their mis-matched blue and green into pure red lined with orange and flecked with yellow at their edges. He raised his left hand at the left-most creature, the wave of heat that spewed from his palm engulfed the creature and turned it into a smouldering corpse that bled only black smoke. The other two took the chance and leapt at him, blocking one blow and dodging another Alexander released a flurry of stabs at both, attempting to break their defense and strike at the neck. One brought down it's hand in an overarching swipe, Alexander reacted quickly and grabbed the creature's wrist. His hand burned like a forging tool and the creature's hand was severed, before it could so much as scream Alexander grabbed it's throat and squeezed. His red-hot appendage burned through the creature's neck and decapitated it cleanly, leaving a smoking stump of a neck behind as the creature collapsed.

Hurling the head at the last remaining attacker Alexander charged forward, his blade practically covered in lightning and smoke from the evaporating blood. The creature sliced the head in half but in doing so left itself open to the tulwar that punched through it's neck and was ripped free, black blood spurting from the wound as the body twitched before falling with a thud. Alexander exhaled the breath he had been holding and readied himself as more enemies began to present themselves, all of them casting what appeared to be wary glances at his blade and eyes. The ghost of a smile passed across his mouth. They were smart enough to fear him at least.


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post #42 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-03-12, 07:31 PM
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"I have arrived." ~Excerpt from Personal Journal of Robin Blake, April 11th, 1578.

Tailing the Monk and the woman from a safe distance, Robin eventually arrived at the forbidden atmosphere presented by the looming, ancient tunnels that composed of a catacomb, somewhere in the heart of one of the greatest cities of the current age - Rome. After weeks of searching for Profoski, Robin Blake was here. But he was still skeptical, and he didn't want to immediately enter after the Monk and the woman in case it was trap, he staked out at one of the entrances and waited. But as more and more people begun to arrive, fitting the definition for hunters, he decided that this must be the place and the Hunters seemed to be getting called en masse.

Nobody would attack them here, the young man thought, so raising his hood to cover his face, he entered the catacombs, fully armed with bow and arrow. Just in case. Broadsword attached as well as an array of daggers, the blonde-haired teenager followed the Hunters into the catacombs, making sure that he was not detected. He noticed that each hunter either came in groups or was alone, and were lead by some sort of guide. After a while of following men and women through the catacombs, Robin came across a large, vast and open cavern, which awed the nineteen year old as he entered it.

Doing his best to mask his emotions, he couldn't help think that a church would fit perfectly into this Cavern, resting above his head. The floors here were all inlaid marble, the ceiling decorated with extravagant motifs depicting the early life of Christ as believed by Scholars. As he looked around the cavern, Robin took in the fact that there were several carved archways that lead into other hallways and rooms beyond what must have been the central chamber.

It wasn't until that he entered the chamber properly that he was finally able to take it in in its entirety, as the far north end of the room was something that at one time did clearly serve as a place of worship, but was now a small amphitheatre carved into the bedrock. It was towards the end of the room, the ninteen year old Hunter noticed, and that was seemingly where all the guides were leading his fellow Hunters. As he had lost track of the woman and the guide long ago, he took a different path, choosing his own seat in the amhitheatre.

Others were gathered there as well, and Robin couldn't help but get the feeling that despite the variety of ages and features, he was clearly one of the youngest people in the room and the older Hunters all seemed to be giving him a disapproving eye, as he clearly didn't have the experience that they did, therefore he clearly wasn't as good as them. Well, Robin thought. 'That's bollocks. Age Doesn't always equal experience and they should know that.'

He ended up finding the empty seat next to him filled by a man who seemed fairly well built, but not overly muscular. He didn't take in the features of the man long as it did not concern him what his fellow Hunters looked like, and he resembled some sort of Alchemist, mainly due to the fact that what clear arms he could see were covered in a tattooed Alchemy script with golden writing font. His attention wavered when Profoski started speaking, and began to wonder if it was worth travelling all the way to Rome to listen to one person speak. 'Ah well, can't turn back now', he thought, and then caught the word Demon being uttered by the orator, which earned a few laughs from around the room.

Rather than join in, Robin was smart enough to realise that the Man wouldn't have called all the Hunters from all across Europe to gather in the very city that belonged to the Pope, whose religion actively persecuted some members of his Order, and decided to continue to listen to Profoski until they were rudely interrupted. "We Are Discovered!" Profoski bellowed, shortly after an uneathly shriek echoed throughout the cavern, freezing the blood in the teenager's veins. Instantly alert and up on his feet, bow and arrow drawn, Robin wasn't even paying attention to Profoski anymore when he gave the order to Defend themselves.

They were Hunters. This was an attack, and they weren't going to sit there and do absolutely nothing. As the four-foot tall shadowed shapes appeared in the room from the entrance points and every other conceivable opening, Robin observed their inhuman appearance briefly for unleashing an arrow from his quiver, letting it fly towards its target with accuracy brought from years of practicing the tool. It struck true, hitting the head of one of the humanoid figures with a direct headshot. It dropped like a rock, but it was when that his second shot was diverted further off target, missing the head to harm what resembled to be a stomach, he realised that judging by the fact that the second target was still hurtling towards him, these things were tougher than normal.

'So headshots only. Simple,' Robin thought, and began a backward pedal away from the creature as it headed towards him. Once he was a safe distance away, he aimed his bow, and delivered another accurate headshot which brought the creature down. But then, he found himself hurled back across the seats as another one thrashed into him, and he managed to bring up his broadsword just in time to cover the fact that he had dropped his bow in the fall, managed to bring it with all his strength into the creature's left side.

It wasn't a clean kill, but the harder he pushed the sword, the further it dug into the creature. It was split in two, and Robin's third kill of the day was achieved.
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post #43 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-06-12, 03:27 AM
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Johan emerged into an underground amphitheatre, centuries old by the looks of it. A secret amphitheatre from the beginnings of Christianity for the largest meeting of hunters in living memory? Johan nearly laughed at the melodrama of it all. These moments seemed to come frequently to his profession. Smiling to himself, Johan was directed to seat by Naomi.

A sea of hunters surrounded him, more than he had ever seen in one place. He had thought a few dozen at most, not the scores present. Some he recognised, by face or reputation and a few he knew by name, those who had contributed to his great treatise on monsters. He called out greetings in a multitude of languages as he found his seat, catching sight of acquaintances from across the continent.

Finding an empty seat between a burly Hungarian and ascetic Englishman, who at his presence grunted intelligibly and sniffed in pious martyrdom respectively, Johan carefully wiped the dust and dirt off the stone before sitting. Tucking his lace kerchief into a pocket the German alchemist settled down, awaiting the instigator of this historic conclave.

He did not have to wait long. A rhythmic thumping echoed from one of the radial tunnels, heralding Prokofski’s arrival. Johan felt somehow cheated. The legendary hunter himself was nought but an old man, weathered by too many years of staring into the abyss. He was in fact depressingly normal looking, if more scarred than the average man had any right to be.

Prokofski’s words did little to improve Johan’s opinion. Daemons, really. The man was actually trying to tell mages of all people that daemons existed. No matter that centuries of sorcerous endeavour had never discovered the merest hint of daemonic denizens. The old man continued however, ignoring the crowd. The man’s sincerity was disturbing thought Johan. He was either playing the most elaborate practical joke in history or had gone off the deep end entirely. Judging by the murmuring coming from the stands Johan was far from alone in that thought.

Johan granted however that the concept was disturbing. The implications of daemonic entities that were actively trying to enter this world and tear the veils between realties were monstrous. Monsters that preyed upon man from the shadows were one thing, but organised, intelligent hell-spawn was another.

As if to underscore Prokofski’s ominous words, wailing shrieks suddenly echoed around the cavern. “Defend Yourselve’s” cried Prkofski as a horde of strange creatures appeared. The room erupted in chaos as hunters drew their weapons and engaged the strange new foe. Men and women tripped over each other in the tight confines of the amphitheatre’s seatings and fought amongst one another to be free. Screams accompanied by jets of blood showed where hunter’s were overwhelmed.

Two of the creatures came at Johan, their small forms scrabbling over the stone seating. The alchemist drew his pistols, lips curled in revulsion. Aiming quickly he fired the wheel-lock pistol in his left hand, a puff of acrid smoke appearing. The lead ball caught one of the creatures in the pelvis, sending it sprawling to the floor in a screech of rage and pain.

His other gun was loaded with silver shot, which proved more effective. The small lump of precious metal taking the monster in the chest. The creature was flipped head over heels by the force of blow, its torso erupting in blue fire. Silver is their weakness thought Johan.

Holstering his pistols Johan drew his poignard, vaulting over a row of seats to close with the one he had wounded. The alchemist desired a better look at this new foe. The creature’s legs useless he found it crawling towards him, malice etched into its disturbingly childlike face. Small with lithe limbs tipped with talons and seemingly emitting shadowy vapours it was like some twisted sprite or goblin. Having seen enough Johan embedded his knife in the creature skull, the monster’s brain boiling as it came into contact with the silver etched blade.

Johan was suddenly knocked to the ground as an unexpected weight hit him from behind. The manic hissing in his ear and scrabbling of claws told Johan it was one of the shadow goblins. Writhing madly Johan rolled rapidly seeking to crush the horrid thing beneath his weight or dislodge it. Pushing his weight against a stone block he wedged it between his body and the stone. He raised his right arm, desperately warding the monster’s talons and snapping mouth. With his left he fumbled for a pistol. Shaking fingers found purchase on the handgun’s stock as he grasped it tight, bringing it behind his head. Feeling the steel press against flesh he pulled the trigger. At such close range the monster was near decapitated, he felt its body fall limp as the back of his head was showered in blood. Deafened by the pistols discharge and his eyes stung by smoke Johan groggily got to his feet, making for the wall of the cavern where he could not be caught from behind. These things would not catch Johan Wetter off guard again.


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post #44 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-08-12, 03:21 PM
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The catacombs were dark, the sort of dark which seems to squeeze away the light. The busy city of Rome was long gone now, just these ancient, musty catacombs now. As Freja moved with the monk and the Englishman more and more groups of hunters began to join them, all going the same way. Hunters have never liked to be in groups, perhaps they can cope with an apprentice or some followers but never with another hunter, putting so many in place was unthinkable.

The group moved into a small amphitheater, everyone found a seat, Freja was careful to stay away from the more zealous Christians. But, she was here for a reason, she was here to see Prokofski and perhaps she may get a chance to talk to him.

When everyone was settled the Legendary Hunter, Vladimir Prokofski finally entered: Nobody had seen this man in over 10 years, so it was shock for everyone when he entered: he was old, his hair white like parchment, his skin aged and losing colour and his right leg was gone, replaced by a wooden stump.

"Welcome comrades. I am so pleased that you could come," Vladimir begins, his words bearing a thick Russian accent, but his deep rumbling voice captivating your attention. "I am sure that you all are wondering why it is I have called this unprecedented assembly and I promise that I will tell you. However, I must ask that you first indulge me in a short history lesson and I must ask that you keep an open mind to what I am about to say..."

~~~~~~
"...I assure you my comrades, that this is real, the endtimes may be upon us, and if we don't act I fear that those Demons that we don't believe exist may once more walk among us."

Just then, as shriek echoed out from the dimly lit room, every hunter readied their weapons and Freja gripped her staff.

"We are discovered!"

Suddenly the room came alive and from ever entrance or exit came a beast of horrific proportions. They stood like humans but that where the similarities ended. They had long arms, the fingers were not fingers but crooked talons and there mouth was lined with hundreds of fangs.

One came right at Freja, it screamed like a demon from the darkest part of Hel, it's claws came down upon her, etching for Norse blood.

Freja raised her staff just in time to block the beast's attack, it clung onto the wood and reared it's ugly head closer, the hot breath falling against here face. She could have sworn it was laughing.

"Ved magt af guderne, du vil brśnde!"

She took one hand off the staff and pressed it against the creature's body, a bright light erupted from her palm, the beast fell back, the skin burnt and the screams echoed around the hall.

Freja placed her hand back on her staff, the incantation appeared to have killed the beast, she had never seen that work so well before.

Now that her assailant was dead she could move on, she needed to make sure that Prokofski was fine, without him this would have all been a waste of time.

Freja steeled herself and dived into the melee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klomster View Post
Ok, doing good gentlemen.
(Except Karak, you are not really a gentleman, but more brutal.... a brutalman )
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post #45 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-08-12, 04:40 PM
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Livoc followed Noemi through the dark corridors, shivering. Johan smiled and turned at his phrase.

ďAh but Scarramuccii, the bowels of the earth are the perfect place for a mysterious meeting with a man returned from the deadĒ.

Livoc allowed himself a smile. What the older man said was true, everyone knew that Vladamir Profoski had disappeared years ago. Many had assumed him dead. Yet here they were, the little merry band of an Illusionist, an Ectromancer, an Alchemist and a Elementalist. Livoc wandered if there would be other mages flocking to Profoskiís call.

But soon enough the small group emerged into a breathtaking chamber. The floors were inlaid marble, the ceiling painted with motifs depicting the early life of Christ as estimated by scholar's, and carved archways that led into other hallways and rooms beyond the central chamber. As he entered the chamber properly, finally able to take it in in its entirety, he saw that at the far north end, was what at one time served as a place of worship, a small amphitheatre carved into the bedrock.

Noemi led the group down to this amphitheatre and into a ring of chairs. Livoc saw monks leading other groups in and the chairs were slowly filling. Livoc moved to a empty chair that stood beside a young, blonde man who could be no older than 20 years. But judging by the bow slung across his back he had some skill and seeing as he was here then he must be a hunter.

Livoc was about to engage in conversation when a steady hollow thumping noise coming from one of the side passages that lead to the stage of the amphitheatre silenced him and the tongues of all present. Livoc waited with baited breath to have the questionin his mind answered. Is this man truly the great Vladamir Prokofski? and if it is, what would prompt him to summon so many to him?

The thumping noise drew closer and Livoc finally get a glimpse of a shadowed form, emerging from the gloom of the passage. As the man finally walked out of the shadows, there was a collective gasp from many of the assembled and Livoc heard several of the older attendants dispersed through the crowd gasp and utter that the man was Prokofski. Livoc had never laid eyes upon the legendary hunter and so could not know if this man was who he claimed to be, and it was almost hard for him to believe that this aged many is the same legendary Hunter Livoc heard about. He right leg was missing, the sturdy oaken crutch that supported his weight accounting for the thumping as he approached, his skin was leathery and worn, weathered to the point that it looked as though it would crack like aged parchment. The unruly shock of white hair that stood up from his head, the spots of age, told the tale of a life long lived. However, despite his obvious great age, he stood with back straight, shoulders and head held high, and the sparkle of vitality and intelligence still shone from startling blue eyes that flitted over the assembled crowd, a genuine smile creased his wizened face as he took in the numbers before him.

Livoc almost laughed as the man began to speak in a strong Russian accent. Livoc loved Russian accents.

"Welcome comrades. I am so pleased that you could come, I am sure that you all are wondering why it is I have called this unprecedented assembly and I promise that I will tell you. However, I must ask that you first indulge me in a short history lesson and I must ask that you keep an open mind to what I am about to say."

He cleared his throat and took a large pull from a glass of water provided to him by one of the monks. He smacked his lips in exaggerated fashion, before continuing.

"For many years I have been captivated by a story I heard in passing from a travelling hunter. A tale of beasts so powerful that they spawned a race of monsters from their own flesh. Some have heard their names mentioned in legend, The originators, the Alphas, a race of pre-diluvian beings that have lived on since the beginning of creation. I have chosen to call them the Lelani, the first evils, the son's and daughters of the Demoness Lilith."

Livoc was captivated but a round of chuckles burst out. Livoc knew that demons didnít exist, tales from the Bible, but some of the older hunter laughed aloud. The old man rose his hands and laughed before continuing, his voice silencing the crowd again.

"I know my friends, I know. The demons do not exist, we know this, none of us have ever met one, none of us have ever tangled with a being from beyond the realm of this reality. I know this, you know this.... But what if we were wrong?" The question, its sincerity striking the smiles from laughing faces. "We believed these legends just stories that explained the rise of the monsters of this world. Allegories to explain the wickedness that runs rampant across the earth. I stand before you, to tell you that these Lelani are no myth. They are real, they do exist, and that they are awakening."

Stunned silence filled the room until it was broken by an older man, a heavy broadsword strapped to his back, a small crossbow hanging from his belt,.

"Rubbish.... You are addled Vladamir, stories told to frighten barrins, and women. You speak of demons and the fathers of monsters, you have lost your mind rotting in these catacombs."

Others spoke up, denying what the old man said.

The old man sighed, it was obvious from the way that he set his shoulders, that he was prepared for this confrontation. His glare took in the hunter before him, speaking again, his voice sharp.

"Elgain McGregor, you wouldn't be convinced unless one of them bit you in the ass and sent you home to your mother. Fortunately for you, I have saved you the trouble, one has jumped up and ravaged me instead. Tell me Elgain, what would you say if a vampire refused to die, even with a silver stake in its heart and its head lying feet from its body? Hmm? You would piss yourself and crawl to the safety of holy ground just like I did."

McGregor's eyes narrowed, his supporters backing away from him definitely caught his attention as the old man continued,

"Why would I lie old friend. Just because we don't want to believe it, does not make it less true. Things that have not walked the world for millennia now do so, called from their eternal slumber by someone or something that seeks to gain great power. The Gatekeeper of the mages brings me troubling news, some one has tried to reach Beyond the Outer Gates. Some one is trying to bind one of the old ones to them. Someone is trying to control Lilith, to bring her into this world with the assistance of her children. I assure you my comrades, that this is real, the end times may be upon us, and if we don't act I fear that those Demons that we don't believe exist may once more walk among us."

The old man opened his mouth to continue but a unearthly shriek reverberated around the cavern chilling the blood in Livocís veins. The ringing of steel filled the air as the gathered hunters drew their weapons. Livoc rose to his feet but his blades stayed in their sheaves

"We are discovered!,"

The old man roared, a short sword appearing in his hand, his presence giving off a strange feeling.

"Defend yourselves!"

From every conceivable opening into the room poured shadowed shapes, about 4 feet tall. They appeared to be humanoid, but their fingers were longer than the should be and were tipped with vicious looking claws. Their childlike faces were split by vicious maws of needle like teeth, and from the creases of their bluish grey skin, smoke rose to hang like a shroud around their bodies. Livoc spluttered.

ďWhat the hell are those thingsĒ

Seconds later one of the figures barrelled into Livoc and sent him crashing to the floor, all the breath driven from him. Gasping for air Livocís hand plunged into his pockets and he withdrew a handful of ground crystal. Scattering it on the ground and covering his eyes he roared the word.

ďPluviaĒ

Blinding light flashed across the room and Livoc rose before the crystal had burned out. Pulling his twin blades from their sheaves he sliced at the creature at his feet. Blue fire erupted from the wound as the silver blade dug deep into the monstrosities back.

Spinning Livoc saw another creature covering its eyes. Moving quickly he drove his other knife into the things throat and held as the black blood spilled out onto his hand.

Pulling the weapon free of the sticky blood Livoc turned to see another creature bounding towards him.

The creature roared and with a powerful swipe drove its claws up, where it dug deep into Livocís jugular. But in an instant the illusion was gone. Livoc stepped out of the shadows and with two swiped knocked the things head from itís shoulders. Turning in time to see another creature charging towards a pale woman firing off arrows at the creatures.

In an instant the pebble was in Livocís hand and he threw it across the room. In a hearbeat he was in the path of the charging creature. Driving his silver knife through the things chest he stopped it in itís tracks. Using the silver blade to behead it he paused to pick up his pebble and slip it into his pocket before turning back to the fighting.



The Silent Lions Chapter

Winter Falls

Darkness

Give a man a match and he will be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.
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post #46 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-09-12, 12:31 AM
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They entered the cavern like bewildered babes, blinking in the dazzling light of such a profound discovery, the sheer weight of the relic they had prostrated themselves before mere minutes ago still staggering their minds.

The home of his blade, the home of the Knights of the Cross, before his eyes, something so profound it had never entered his wildest fantasies, yet now he had glimpsed its calming depths it lingered in the deepest depths of his eyes.

The cavern so at odds with the dark twisting tunnels they had passed through paused many a mind yet it barely halted the beaming friar as he turned his delighted gaze upon Pieter as he stared upon the mass before them, only to find the knights face robbed of its previous fervour replaced with thoughtful trepidation.

70 perhaps 80... their numbers swelling all the time as yet more monks seemed to spring from concealed alcoves and passages within the walls, taking their place upon benches and mismatched chairs, even those already seated seeming to bristle like wolves, hackles raised, hands surreptitiously drifting above blades and bows and Pieter placed a hand on the friars arm as he made to lead him to chair close to the front.

"No kind brother... you have given me more this day then I could have imagined... yet I ask you one final courtesy... allow me to stand and observe in seclusion rather than sit amidst lions with their claws unsheathed"

The friar, gave a smile clasping his arm in turn before moving away leaving Pieter alone at the back, eyes narrowing in the monks departure. That the Lord felt Pieter was needed.... even amongst this... a necessity despite the forces gathered against whatever darkness mustered.

No doubt, he had been called, to bolster such tremendous forces... could it truly be... could Lili.... no it must be folly yet as their numbers continued to swell he could not help but wonder.

The change came, the bustling noise suddenly silenced by a crack of solid oak upon stone, a shadow moving within a passage way, a hushed murmur bubbling up paused by a sudden interjection from one of the elder hunters, his words confirming what Pieter suspected as the wisened figure emerged into the light

"my god it is him."

Their was an air of familiarity, something in the contours of his face, though ravage by age and wound from fang and claw, that stirred something he could not place in his memory, yet it was the likeness to his art that affirmed his beliefs, the grizzled warrior before him a perfect likeness of the person he had instilled upon canvas. This was no fake, Vladamir Profolski had indeed summoned a hunt...


"Welcome commrades. I am so pleased that you could come,"

The accent was thick and difficult to comprehend, his neck craning as he struggled to comprehend

"I am sure that you all are wondering why it is I have called this unprecedented assembly and I promise that I will tell you. However, I must ask that you first indulge me in a short history lesson and I must ask that you keep an open mind to what I am about to say."

The trepidation was building, the word of the monk echoing in his mind Lilith... Lilith.... mother of all evil...


"For many years I have been captivated by a story I heard in passing from a travelling hunter. A tale of beasts so powerful that they spawned a race of monsters from their own flesh. Some have heard their names mentioned in legend, The originators, the Alphas, a race of pre-diluvian beings that have lived on since the beginning of creation. I have chosen to call them the Lelani, the first evils, the son's and daughters of the Demoness Lilith."

Laughter rang out, guffaws and chuckles at a man addled yet the words he spoke, the tone... merged with the words of the monk and the creeping dread in his own stomach... the rising anxiety that choked the breath in his lungs even as profolski met the chuckles with his own

"I know my friends, I know. The demons do not exist, we know this, none of us have ever met one, none of us have ever tangled with a being from beyond the realm of this reality. I know this, you know this.... But what if we were wrong?"

Faces dropped and Profolski followed up with a savage thrust designed to keep minds on their toes and Pieter felt his eyes rise to the heavens... searching for a sign a feeling that he should run the imposter down... yet the words kept coming and he believed them... believed that a such a great undertaking had dragged Ammorochius here... the strong blade... the broadsword unbroken come hell or high water.

"We believed these legends just stories that explained the rise of the monsters of this world. Allegories to explain the wickedness that runs rampant across the earth. I stand before you, to tell you that these Lelani are no myth. They are real, they do exist, and that they are awakening."

Silence was broken by a thick accent as an wizened hunter rose up to reposte

"Rubbish.... You are addled Vladamir," his scathing voice heightened by his scottish accent, thick and nasal. "Stories, stories told to frighten barrins, and women. You speak of demons and the fathers of monsters, you have lost your mind rotting in these catacombs."

It was the elders that stood with him, those that bore the years not only in their stooping shoulders but in their eyes... years of hunting without a whiff of the supernatural... of daemonic spirits

" You have no proof ."

Profolski seemed resigned yet dissapointed to the confrontation

"Elgain McGregor, you wouldn't be convinced unless one of them bit you in the ass and sent you home to your mother. Fortunately for you, I have saved you the trouble, one has jumped up and ravaged me instead. Tell me Elgain, what would you say if a vampire refused to die, even with a silver stake in its heart and its head lying feet from its body? Hmm? You would piss yourself and crawl to the safety of holy ground just like I did."

Fear crept into many a gaze and Pieter felt his hand run over Ammorochius's broad blade... no such thing had happened when the blade of the cross took a head from its shoulders.... may it never happen.

Had that happened to Morgan.... Morgan would never have retreated... he would have burned the body, stuck it with his blade until the vampire fell or felled him... no me must not think of such things

"Why would I lie old friend. Just because we don't want to believe it, does not make it less true. Things that have not walked the world for milennia now do so, called from their eternal slumber by someone or something that seeks to gain great power. The Gatekeeper of the mages brings me troubling news, some one has tried to reach Beyong the Outer Gates. Some one is trying to bind one of the old ones to them. Someone is trying to control Lilith, to bring her into this world with the assistance of her children. I assure you my commrades, that this is real, the endtimes may be upon us, and if we don't act I fear that those Demons that we don't believe exist may once more walk among us."

Prokofski's mouth opened wide only to be split by an unholy shriek, higher and more evil than a banshees death rattle and Pieter felt his hands begin to draw his blade, half convinced the unholy demon within the wizened form had finally revealed itself.

"We are discovered!," Prokofski roared and the hope vanished as he strong voice boomed over the shriek "Defend yourselves!"

He was turning, blade clasped in one hand even as a mass of daemonic haemonculi poured through the entrances, the mass of hunters swelling from the seats blades in hand, halting, feet setting as they took in the tide.

Small beings with clawed fingers, features that bore the innocence of a child twisted by satanic forces, their tiny mouth vicious maws infested by sharp blackened teeth.. horrors... his mind struggled for a name, a species... something to identify them... a way to end their suffering... horrors was all that he could think of even as the onrushing tide broke upon the mass of steel and silver.

He stepped forward even as a hunter appeared upon his left and upon his right, the step denying him time to plan but widening his swing twisting his back to swing wildly, the force of his stroke enough to rend a mans head from his shoulders, the blade scything through the air to touch the skin of the fiend before him, the slightest resistance on its tought blue skin before its body melted away into blue mist and he steadied his stance, blade held out before him like a spear as he stepped forward to meet an onrushing beast, the blade pierced its breast, evaporating with a squeal as its skin melted upon his blade, form undone by the merest touch.

Be it enchantment or metal he did not know, yet he did not question as he waded into the melee, pushing forward another wild swing catching two in its arc, a fierce prod turning another beast to midst even as he checked his progress, swaying away from a wild slash of claw, to cut deep into the creatures leg, rejoining the line even as the creature melted away before his eyes.

To his right an old timer hacked and slashed with desperate fervour, his strokes sluggish, both shorts blades slick with deep black ooze even as he struggled to rend the screaming beasts head from its shoulders.

The beast collapsed, the man's wild white hair on end his eyes wide and his chest heaving as he turned to Pieter with weary resolution, eyes moving swiftly from his own blood sodden blade to the shining steel in Pieter's left hand.

Deep blue eyes stretched wide, long thin scar across his lip stretching as he spoke in a low guttaral voice filled with awe

"Voi Luoja!" he took a step back shaking his head, eyes blinking as he switched languages

"Ammorochius... the blade that has not been broken..." to Pieter's left a tall debonair hunter in a impeccable dublet paused, his own long thin rapier of pure silver hovering brandished like a foil before him. His eyes raked along the blade with lazy interest his words seeming to ooze lazily off his well bred tongue.

"Bloody hell... a day of legends indeed"

The white haired mans tongue overrode him, a endless babble of words switching between his native scandanavian tongue and flawless english in his excitement and even amidst the slaughter Pieter felt laughter swell in his throat even as the well dressed man let out a polite chortle behind his hand. Together they laughed, the white haired man pausing with a toothless smile to let out his own throaty guffaw, weatherbeaten skin wrinkling in unconstrained mirth.

Beaming Pieter spoke

"Come humored hunters... take my flanks, what avoids Ammorochius turn back or send it to whatever hell it sprung from."

He turned to face the onrushing mash even as the pair stepped tight to him, a small triangle, Ammorochius its point.

"Let us pierce the heart of this darkness"



"

kudos to lillian thorne for the awesome sig
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post #47 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-16-12, 06:59 PM
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Demons? The children of Lilith?

The Lelani?

I was thoughtful. Was Prokofski insane, or were we in greater danger than we had ever known. Only time would tell.

Then, as an echoing shriek rang through the chamber, I thought ruefully that she must have got tired of waiting to tell us and decided to give the whole tale a jumpstart. Dragon Fang was in my hand before I even realised it. I was up and moving as quickly as some of the more experienced hunters, maybe even faster. I turned to see the creatures pouring into the room, seemingly formed of pure shadow.

I was running, moving fast with blade in hand but even so I had time to think about how I had never seen, never even heard of these creatures before. But all thought vanished as I reached the foe. These things happen so fast that afterwards, trying to remember the passages of a fight the mind cannot pin down every move and counter stroke. But I remember ducking beneath the swipe of shadowy claws. I remember Dragon Fang cutting through a body of shadow and shearing it in half at what I presume was the waist.

Blue fire erupted from the cut and the dark figure fell.

I remember spinning, moving away as it was falling. I remember the lunge coming for me and Dragon Fang intercepting it before it reached my heart. I remember the hand flying away, blue fire burning from its stump. I remember nothing of the creature’s death, only moving away to kill another. That one almost killed me.

It swept as I came for it and I couldn’t move fast enough. The claw cut a smoking gauge into my left hand, the only thing that had stopped it from plunging into my brain. But the thing recovered admirably fast and attacked again, driving me back on to the defensive. Every swipe it attempted made me increasingly angry until its claw scythed in past my sword hand

I couldn’t see as its claw swept past my face, missing by less than a centimetre. I instinctively hit the deck and it save my life.

I remember watching as the second claw swept over my head and rolling on my shoulder.

I remember coming up to one knee and lunging, driving Dragon Fang clean through the shadow’s body. As I ripped it free, the blade seeming to be wreathed in blue flame as I swept it wide, spraying drops of sticky black blood.

I examined myself in the moment of peace. It seemed I had been hurt after all, several bad cuts on my back proved it. I was angry at myself for having not worn my full armour, thinking I’d just be gone for ten minutes to get a glass of wine. But my sword was even more worrying. As the blood of the creatures dried it made the blade heavier and more awkward to wield and more awkward meant harder.

This was not turning out to be a good day...

We stand upon the precipice of change. The world fears the inevitable plummet into the abyss. Watch for that moment - and when it comes, do not hesitate to leap. It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly.
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The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.
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post #48 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-17-12, 07:05 AM
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"For many years I have been captivated by a story I heard in passing from a traveling hunter. A tale of beasts so powerful that they spawned a race of monsters from their own flesh. Some have heard their names mentioned in legend, The originators, the Alphas, a race of pre-diluvian beings that have lived on since the beginning of creation. I have chosen to call them the Lelani, the first evils, the son's and daughters of the Demoness Lilith."

When Prokofski mentioned the Lelani, Henry immediately tried to remember everything he had learned from his father, uncle and the ancient tomes in his old home library. He knew little, the matter had not appeared in his studies often. The name Lilith enters into many ancient mythologies, which had been a part of Henry's education before and after his induction into the hunters. References and derivatives of the name Lilith such as Layil in Hebrew, layl in Arabic, meaning "night". Talmudic and Yiddish use Lilith in their mythologies also. In Akkadian the terms lili and līlītu mean spirits. The name arrived in a dozen other faiths and societies, Henry had occasionally wondered how such a name could exist in so many places and it remain mere coincidence.

So, when many of the assembled hunters mocked Prokofski's words, Henry sat quietly, waiting for the others to fall silent. As they did, Prokosfski continued to talk for a short time before a scream pierces the quiet cave. Hunters immediately began drawing their weapons. Henry released his knives and they slid down his sleeves into his hands. His seat was at the edge of the crowd so he prepared to throw them. THen he realised that they were far to close and spun the blades into a new position. In his left hand, he held one in reverse, his arm bent in a defensive position, guarding him against blows with the knife pointed towards his foes, in his right hand, the knife was poised for use. As the creatures struck the group of hunters, Henry jabbed with the knife in his left hand, connecting with the creature's face and tearing through it. The blade in his right lashed out and slit the next beast's throat. A third fell upon him and crushed him beneath it's surprising weight. It's claw like fingers scrabbled at his face and he twisted the arms, turning the blades away from him and head butting the thing's face. It recoiled enough for Henry to roll to the side and scramble to his feet. The dimwitted creature slowly began to rise and Henry drew his sword, puncturing the creature's back and impaling it to the floor. He looked around to see the other Hunters fighting off the rest of the beasts and stooped to gather his knives...

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post #49 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-17-12, 01:53 PM
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The vast cavern was magnificient, inlaid marble, painted motifs of christ early life on the ceilings and walls. A amphitheatre at one end, making it possible to address the entire cavern, without even the need to shout. It was incredible and ostentatious. But it was also Rome and Anders couldn't feel that surprised that there would be a hidden secrets in its depths. But what did surprise him was the amount of hunters. Close to a hundred from all over europe, Anders could hear on the myriad languages spoken. And it seemed even some from beyond Europes borders had come too. Young and old but all seemed capable in there own way, and all armed. There were mages, archers, paladins, priests, shamans, Anders could not help himself staring just observing. Following his guide he was seated roughly in the middle of the room.

Not long after came a rythmic thumping sound, which heralded Prokofski's arrival and the room grew quiet in anticipation, and as Prokofski showed himself, the anticipation was released in a gasp of wonder and awe. Anders could hear several old hunters recognising him right away, which was good enough for him. What was following made Anders completely forget where he was, stories of ancient evils, the manifestation of demons. Were they here, was this collection of hunters the ones that stood against the darkness, that the bible and many other religious text was warning about. Bishop Anders Sunesen couldn't believe what Prokofski said, but he knew he had to support Prokofski, help him overcome whatever evil he had clearly met. Even if it showed that it was all true. Anders was allready beginning to planning what he needed to prepare, what herbs he needed to buy, preparing holy water and blessing his weapons anew.

But his thoughts was interupted by a chilling scream of many throats. Prokofski roared his warning, and every hunter jumped to the defense of themselves and others. Anders could not quite see what was attacking, as he was in the middle of the room, but what ever it was it was clearly more than they had bargained for. They had stormed into a room of a 100 hunters all armed, experienced and perpetually ready for anything. Thou they were not soldiers trained in fighting together, Anders could see the ranks was closing, hunters covering each other, and giving each other the space needed depending on how they were armed and fighting style. As Anders got closer to the fight, his mace at the ready, he could hear the yelling of warnings, the advice to use silver. The syllables of mages casting there spells, he even thought he heard a female voice call out for the powers of the gods to burn the creatures in danish.

The first good look of the creatures Anders got, was when a german looking hunter couldn't block the swipe of one of the demons claws, making deep gashes in the mans belly. But Anders did not have time to contemplate there short statured appearance of claws and childlike face with a horrific fang filled mouth. He simply swung his mace at the creature, before it could follow up on its attack on the german hunter. Its head carving in, screaming as thick black blood clinged to his mace. Anders almost cursing, reprimanding himself for not come better prepared. He could easily have had the heavy padding on, he used under his heavy armour, and he could have brought all his warheads for his mace, not just the one attached of steel. But who would have guessed that a large gathering of hunters in the middle of Rome would be attacked by unknown monsters.

But before Anders could get back into the fight, other hunters had closed the gap of the fallen german hunter, so Anders went over to the man, with the help of a female mage, dragged him a few metres away from the fight. Bishop Anders placed his hand over the mans bleeding stomach, starting to pray.

"Merciful god, use me as a instrument to your divine will. Show your mercy and benevolence towards this soldier against darkness, that have been wounded in the fight against this unknown evil we are facing."

Anders hand started to feel warm to the touch, as the wounded hunter stopped bleeding. Anders knew the man would survive, if the claws of the creatures wasn't filled with some exotic poison.

A shouted warning from the female mage, Anders spotted one of the creatures that had slipped past the fight, and was charging straight at him and the still uncouncious german man. Anders simply counter charged, swinging his mace in a wild swing, that still connected the creature was throw back a few metres. But before it could rise, the female mage threw some vial that made the creature dissolve. Nodding a thanks at the girl, Anders started to take control over his little corner of the battle.

"Form a line, don't let the creatures throu."

Anders shouted in english and french, as he pushed some young french dressed warrior into a gap, between some burly east european woodsman, and what could only be a african tribal warrior.

"Silver weapons to the fore, mages provide ranged support. Keep a line, protect the wounded."

Shouting encouragement and orders all the while Anders pushed or pulled hunters into a rough fighting line, just hoping they would follow his directions, and that a little bit of fighting discipline would spread around the vast cavern, which was all he could hope for in a large group of men used to doing everything there way.

"Monks take care of the wounded, don't cover behind those chairs."


Anders yelled at a couple of bewildered monks, of those that he had seen guide several of groups into the cavern, all the while he popped a dislocated shoulder in place, on the shield arm of a hunter who had been smart enough to come with his full complement of arms and armour. So he could rejoin the fight, all the while he had taken over Anders shouting about keeping the line.
Bishop Anders couldn't help smile, as he moved on yelling orders at his fellow hunters, the vast cavern being big enough for a true defensive action, if the fight would spread into all the tunnels and hallways, Anders truly feared for the wellbeing of them all.

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post #50 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-19-12, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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"Things stir in the dark. Beasts of old take sides. Light against darkness, creation against destruction. Where will humanity be when the things beyond our comprehension wage war on one another?"

Exerpt from the personal journal of Vladamir Prokofski
June 15th, 1575



Alexander (Lord of the Night), Edward (Santaire), Livoc (Romero's Own), Bishop Anders (Anilar), Robin (Bane_of_Kings), & Sebastian (Tyranno the Destroyer): All of hear and see a plainly mantled warrior, wielding a heavy mace, pulling hunters both young and old into a semblance of a defensive line. He seems to have combat experience, and migrating in his direction you join the group that once more engages a fresh wave of the beasts that suddenly assailed the meeting. Whether working in concert with others in the group (you can work something out via PM if you choose) or simply keeping the line at your back as you work individual, taking some comfort in the fact that your back is protected by others, is up to you but you are each able to kill three more of the beasts. During this fight Alexander you take a vicious gash to your upper thigh, the offending creature taking opportunity of an open flank to rake its claws across your leg, however for its trouble it found itself without a head (this will be a fourth kill for you). Robin, you are knocked from your feet as one of the creatures bowls into your knees from the side, there is a sharp pain in your knee but you don't think it is broken. You find yourself on your back, hand around the creatures throat as you try to keep its raking talons from your face (this will be after your three kills).

Those of you able start to hear a gutteral voice, a chant coming from one fo the hallways beyond, and from behind a wave of the imp-like creatures steps a massive Ogre, each of you recognizing the Unseelie fae immediately. However, unlike the normal specimens this one carries a large staff topped with a human skull and is draped with the skins and pelts of many different animals. Small bones are woven into its matted hair and beard, and he rattles as he slowly steps forward, his chant mixing with the rattle of bones in a most ominous fashion. A blast of fire, conjured by a mage to his left engulfs the massive beast, but as the flames clear you find the Ogre untouched.

Robin, you feel as though the creature is about to overpower you, its position giving it additional leverage and its strength more formidable than its small frame suggests. However, before the creature can succeed in gouging out your eyes you feel a blast of heat, accompanied by a swell of fresh air, a breeze that carries the hint of flowering plants and summer afternoons, and the creature above you is blasted from ontop of you by a lance of pure fire. You quickly roll to your feet, taking in the man that just saved your life.

All of you are momentarily distracted by the blast of heat from the flames conjured by the young man that now strides into your midst. His hair is blonde, eyes green as new spring grass, adorned in fine clothes of green and brown, the tips of his ears ever so slightly pointed. He weilds a longsword that shines like the noonday sun and the beasts that were just attacking you shrink back from the nimbus of light that now encompasses the defensive line.

In a sing song voice he calls out to the Ogre, whose chant momentarily stalls in the wake of this man's appearance, "Bellog, retreat now and I will spare you. We do not mettle in affairs such as this."

A sickly smile crosses the Ogre's face as he suddenly begins his chant a new and flings his arm out in the direction of the Hunters arrayed in front of him. A sickly green-blue light surrounds the forms of several hunters, Alexander and Edward included. You hear the young man shout out something in a language you do not comprehend and a pale yellow light, like the rays of the dawning sun hits the two closest hunters to him affected by the spell, again Alexander and Edward, leaving you standing agape as those two men disappear in a clap of thunder.

Alexander (Lord of the Night) & Edward (Santaire): You stiffen, unable to move as the Ogre's spell envelopes you and pain like thousands of ice crystals forming in your viens rack your bodies. You hear but cannot see the new arrival shout a counterspell in a strange language before the feeling of cold lessens, but the light blinds you. You feel blackness taking your mind and weightlessness, the last thing you hear before you pass out is a peal of thunder.

Johan (Rems), Henry (HOGGLORD), Freja (Karak the Unfaithful), Pieter (deathbringer), Eira (Lord Ramo), & Dragomir (yoyoyo12365): Ammorochious, one of the Swords, shines brightly enough in the gloom that you immediately recognize it. Regardless of your stance on the Christian church, everyone of you have heard ot the Knights of the Cross and the blades that they wields. The man wielding it, an older man, hair flecked with grey, has begun to have otehr hunters moving to his side working in concert with several other hunters to try and turn back the tide of beasts that still rushes forth out of the main tunnel into the cavern. Seeing his intent you move to help him. Soon the fighting here is furious as more and more Hunters move to help. Each of you may kill 4 small beasts as you watch Elementalists from the Mage's Council cut huge swathes through the ocean of small bodies with blasts of flame and lightning. Henry, you are taken unawares by one of the smaller beasts as you turned to help an older hunter fend off a trio of creatures, as it jumps on your back, sharp teeth biting down on your shoulder easily piercing your leather armor. You are almost knocked over as an arrow rips the specimen from you, its temple pierced by the shot. You don't seem to be loosing too much blood, but the wound is painful and makes swinging your weapon cumbersome.

As you fight you begin to feel that the amount of beasts has lessened until you hear heavy foot falls coming down the hallway behind the small imp-like creatures. With bellows of rage a score of stone trolls, Unseelie fae that you recognize immediately come barreling out of the tunnel, pushing the smaller creatures aside and crushing them underfoot. Caught by surprise the Hunters lose several of their number to the heavy claws of beasts. Engage one of the trolls as best you can, but you will not kill it this update. Make the battle almost evenly matched, both you and the troll trading a series of minor wounds.

[Lord Ramo, Tyranno, and yoyoyo- you three still need to post for the last update. If I do not see a post for this update I will be moving your characters to an NPC status.]

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Last edited by Midge913; 11-19-12 at 05:59 PM.
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