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 Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread] 
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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
(OOC: You forgot a bit of dialog there, Yomu.)

-

It was big. Its body glimmered unnaturally under the fires that now marked the ruins of Fort Frenga and a large section of the village proper. And it was way beyond their capabilities to even match. With this in mind, they focused on helping those retreating from the creature's rampage - avoiding the ire of this multi-legged monstrosity that towered over the village.

As they managed to rendezvous with the remnants of the Cyndar Knights who were now cycling the fight, she began to see a change in the monster's movements. At first so sure and battle-frenzied, now it was being cornered by a large contingent of troops being led by a blond-haired person in a suit of brilliant white. Assault after assault landed on it, with each strike harder than the last - the mechanical nightmare's wear and tear starting to significantly slow it down.

The Knight Commanders' adjutants looked at her party nervously as they approached.

"Who're you?" he asked, exhausted from treating so many wounded over such a short time.

"Magus guild..." she managed to croak. "We were at Cyndar when..."

His eyes grew wide. "Commander Aodhan will want to hear about this. Help yourself to my rations - and do not join the battle."

"Thank you."

Natsuki and her small band of followers sat down at the makeshift campfire, thankful to be surrounded by their own once more.

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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
For all its dire weapons that had once rained down terror upon the people today, it was helpless against the attacker now ripping his way through its innards like a chestburster gone berserk - chewing through tendons, flesh, armor paneling and complex machinery in a frenzied rage. Here and there, plates of armor loosened from its attack broke away from its body in chunks and pieces as it desperately tried to extricate the invader from its body, but to no avail. At last, he reached the heart of the beast - a black orb of evil energy sitting upon a greenish stack of panels with black crystals on them.

Yemhelch ripped into this orb with his weapon, following up with his teeth and nails - and the monster howled in agony as it lost control of several of its appendages, misfiring several of its weapons this way and that as the nerve signals began to crash and jumble under this direct attack to its 'brain'.

"You will not escape me this time, my prey." he smiled grimly as he dug in.

-

The ARK must've suffered some serious damage - that one lucky trebuchet shot had brought it to its 'knee' equivalents and now it thrashed around in a frenzy, howling in pain. Now was her chance! She ran up one of its shattered legs and leaped into the air - broken sword in hand as she dived on the prone figure of the titan that once brought so much death here.

"HHHRRRYYYYAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!" A war-cry escaped her lips as she brought down her sword on the exposed fleshy organ she thought looked like a brain. As if in unison, the monster screamed in pain, all 3 of its remaining legs shooting up into the air as the blade pierced through its brain, cutting off several vital nerves and arteries.

A sudden silence filled the air as the legs suddenly fell slack, crashing into the rubble. As the dust cleared, Ahnbein finally pulled the sword free from the rapidly-melting flesh of her quarry and turned to face the small army gathered here.

"Looks like its game over for that thing, so... I'll just go rest for a while..." the voice in her head mumbled. "That was fun, though. Perhaps we'll talk later?"

She felt her body ease down, the surging power in her muscles slowly fade away as her breathing slowly returned to normal. However, her tongue did not fade away - a gift? She was still unused to speaking, but for now, it would do...

It was Commander Aodhan who broke the silence. "Three cheers for Lady Ahnbein!" he shouted, a gauntleted fist in the air. A ragged cheer went up from the mob in response, the tension and horror of the battle finally lifted from the battle as they all surged around her, back-slaps and handshakes all around.

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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
Thankfully, their emergency first aid had prevented the seer from bleeding out. As the healers attended to her, she sat at the Cyndar Knights camp. The battle had ended at last, and now the titanic monster lay in the what once was the central market of Frenga Farms, its fleshy innards slowly dripping from its massive armor plates. Even now, shot to pieces and some smiths carefully removing the large armor plates, it was a sight to behold. A soft rain had put out the infernos the monster - the 'ARC' as the locals were calling them, had gouted out.

At first, people had recoiled in fear at the rain, fearing 'death and rot from above' - but no, this was pure water softly drizzling down putting out the forest fires and the ravaging inferno the monster had unleashed.

"Perhaps Lumbra has not forsaken us after all..." a healer sighed as she collected water to prepare the healing herbs.

From her vantage point, four magefires had been lit - the drops of water feeding the magicked flames and as night fell, the searing light of the inferno was replaced with a calming, soft reddish-orange glow that bathed the village. It was truly the end of Frenga Farms.

"Shame, huh?" one of the knights who had survived the ordeal at Cyndar Castle stood next to her as they surveyed the wreckage of the former farming village. "But you know what, we're are a tough bunch. We'll have this place up and running in a fortnight."

"Can't be a village anymore, though..." she replied. "We'll need better walls, and bigger ballistas, and perhaps spell towers and warding..."

"Damn right, this place is gonna be the stronghold of those who dare."

She felt better now. The hot meat stew had banished her crippling hunger and the herbal tea prepared by the healers left her sharp and alert.

"I'm going down there, see if I can help."

"Much appreciated, ma 'am." the knight smiled as he tipped his helm. "I'm gonna go do the same."

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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
His body would not move - pushed to beyond the limits of human endurance and now his short, ragged breath echoed in the 'brain cavity' of the monster. How long had he stayed here? Weeks? Minutes? Time seemed to quiver and turn asunder as he stared up at the ceiling - a blackish wall that once had been metal. At the very edges of his hearing, he began to sense the soft rasp of a hacksaw, then the voices of people shouting - plates being carved by steel, banging, crunching sounds...

Suddenly, pale torchlight flooded the chamber as the wall he was staring at was taken apart and several people stared right back. His addled mind couldn't recognize any more faces for a few moments, but then...

"You're a lunatic, mercenary." Commander Aodhan grinned as he held out a gauntleted hand. "But you're the gutsy sort of lunatic a soldier can admire."

Oh right... he had managed to tear his way into the beast that had attacked Frenga Farms... nodding, he grabbed the outstretched hand and they heaved him out of the monster's head, now almost hollow now that the fleshy innards had seeped out...

"We saw everything." he continued as he easily lifted Yemhelch clear off the corpse. "Pretty smart of you to attack the thing from the inside. So, what's your name, soldier?"

Name? Name... his name... what was his name?

A younger man waved at him. "Farmer Yemhelch, now a demonslayer!" he grinned. "You've sure moved on up in the world!"

That was his name. More memories of the battle began to flood back into his head.

"Y-yeah, thanks for the backup, Alvus. I'd be fine ash if it wasn't for you." he replied with a weak smile. "So, thanks."

"Clan Fernvolk always watches out for the people." Alvus replied with a thumbs-up. "Help one another and we all will move forwards, right? That's how we roll!"

"Smart plan to assail the monster from all directions, though." Aodhan continued, the sheer euphoria of winning such a deadly battle putting on a large smile on his normally serious face - as was the case with the others who were now congratulating each other. "Come on! It may not be much, but we've saved the breadbasket of the Mainland today. Tonight, we feast... tomorrow, we build the new world of Fort Frenga!"

His stomach grumbled in response, earning a laugh from the gathered soldiers.

"...That would be great. Thanks, Commander."

As he stepped out of the corpse of the machine-like beast, he saw a girl with soft light blue hair wearing a ruined robe walk down the path from the Cyndar Knights camp to the ruins of Frenga Farms, a satchel of medical supplies in hand.

"Is that..." his eyes narrowed for a moment before recognition hit. "Hey! Natsuki! You're alive too?"

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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
The two had rode through the night through the Siren's Path, already, Samurai were scouting the new roads, redrawing their maps as they did. Eiryk and Karliah had made it through easily thanks to his efforts earlier. Karliah herself weighed heavily on the words passed onto her by the necromancer, now more kin than kind. Jabchiel was right. She could never hope to rejoin the circle, even if she wanted.

Her faith to the Lord, however, remained, even if it was more accepting.

"I wonder..." She began, as they made their way along the ruined roads in the North-West Corisca mainland, "If Lumbra loves all life, why does he shun the sinner to damnation? Is it like the relationship between parent and child? If so, why is the punishment eternal?"

Eiryk shrugged with indifference, "Whatever the case with god, I just want him to leave his hands out of my destiny."

"Don't we all?" She asked with a grin, but her thoughtful gaze returned as she looked to the stars, "I do wonder if God planned this. What purpose does it serve? Is this the end of the world as foretold in the final chapters of the bible?"

"Maybe." Eiryk remarked once more with indifference, "Whatever the case, those guys were pretty curious about my markings."

They eventually reached the farmlands. Many of the fields were scorched, embers here and there, and burnt earth in black lines painted the landscape. Yet the people were busying themselves in the sunlight, using wooden cranes to lift the heavy stones from the new northern quarry into place, building great walls like those in Cyndar.

Eiryk and Karliah dismounted their horse and lead it to the local stables. They met again with Commander Aodhan, directing knights on their patrols and scouting missions. Farmhands worked to till the fields once again, and workers dotted the landscape to show where the inner stones would lay. Aodhan then began to speak to Altans on the status of Selk.

"Commander, we've returned!" Karliah shouted out.

Aodhan smiled, waving her over, "Karliah, good to see you've made it back in one piece! Captain Altans here of the Meridian Army has recently given word that Philena has assumed rulership of Selk, and has sent a few scouts back to the Meridian lands to bring back any other survivors."

Altans did a double nod, "You missed all the action. Two of these... ARKs, as they've been named, they showed up and started blasting the place. However, everyone pitched in their efforts and did them in."

"Truly?" Karliah asked, "We ran into one-"

"Two." Eiryk interjected.

"Right. We ran into two ARKs on the Siren's Path. Seems the Ninja Clans have been listening into what the locals have been calling them."

"Autonomous Relic Keepers... Just what are they after?" Aodhan thought for a moment before shaking his head, "Well, in any case. We've decided to fortify the breadbasket of the Corisca Mainland. It will become a new fortress for the survivors of Cyndar. Fort Frenga!"

"Fort Frenga? Has a nice ring to it..." Eiryk noted.

"Truly." Karliah agreed, "I also checked with the Church of Lumbra, as well as the Circle of Umbraria."

"The Circle?" Aodhan remarked, "How in the world did you-"

"It's a long story. Anyways... Neither of them have any clue as to what happened. The most I have to go on is that Pope Donaris sees it as a divine act."

"I see..." Aodhan rubbed his chin, "Well, good work you two. The only question that remains is, what will you both do now?"

Karliah smiled and answered, "After getting settled in, I would love to help out. I do not seek to place any religious sect here, but what I do hope is that I may assist in fortifying the defenses of this place."

"Splendid! Head on down to the tavern. They've finished setting up there. Get some food and rest, we'll start your work tomorrow." He then turned to the Meridian, "Altans, do you plan on heading back with your troops?"

"I do, commander."

Aodhan nodded in agreement, "Alright. Go then, please assist your people, and tell Queen Philena that we seek an alliance."

"I will see what she says and send a messenger between our cities." Altans nodded before heading to where his troops rested.

"Eiryk... You've had a rude wakeup call, and you're so young to boot. If there's anything we can do, let us know... What do you plan on doing?"

"I want to learn how to survive. That's what matters to me right now." He mentioned, "Also, I want to learn to serve better to our people."

"Hmmm... You've taken up bow training I see..." Aodhan gave his next words some thought then smiled, "I suggest joining Altans. He's heading back to Selk, and if you seek the Assassin's Guild there, surely they can give you some tips. They are in service to the Altena Kingdom, always were, always will be."

"Thank you, I will be on my way then." Eiryk said. He now had a goal in mind. With Excalibur still at his side in silence, perhaps he would find a means of awakening it as a weapon. Until then, he would need to hone his mind and body, and achieve greatness through his own works.

He joined up with Altans, who agreed to have him, and they went on their way.

Karliah, however, gazed at the amulet that was given to her. What were these characters? They were unlike any seen on Jungalore, unlike the ancient texts she had once gazed through, and the pattern was intriguing.

"Isn't a paladin supposed to remain sober?" A female knight asked, sitting next to her. She was taller than Karliah, but not as tall as a titan, and her azure eyes reflected the candle-light of the newly established tavern of Frenga Farms. Her body was lightly built, likely from swinging the claymore around on her back, and a honey-gold braid of hair fell down her left shoulder, clad in steel chainmail and a surcoat.

Karliah smiled with a light chuckle before answering, "Yes. I am not of The Inquisition any longer, however."

"Truly? Don't they execute those who fall out of their ranks?" She continued asking.

"Yes, this is true." Karliah answered calmly taking a drink, "You don't see female knights much."

"We used to be forced into office work." The lady-knight answered, "Men got all the glory, no room for us in the old knightage. It's a good thing a man like Aodhan survived. Without him, most of us girls would still be in the office, without any training, and we would have been wandering the Cyndar Sewers for ages."

"I see, so not exactly an egalitarian position... Much like my own."

"'Tis true." The woman answered, "The name is Ruuta. I've been a knight for only a few months, and you?"

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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
"Check it out." the metalsmith demonstrated the strange properties of the metal as he bent the metal with his hands. "It's like the entire metal is hammered solid like a diamond, yet built into a ringmail pattern that can only be felt by the touch of the fingers. Flexible, yet hard." To drive home his point, he took the sharp end of the ingot and carved a smiling face into his anvil.

"Do you think you can rework it into armor?" Yemhelch asked. "Would it be good?"

"No, it wouldn't be good - it'd be supreme!" the smith replied with a grin as he slapped down the ingot. "And yeah, I can start working on it right now."

"How much do I owe you, then?"

"Eh, naw. Keep your coin." the smith replied with a grin. "Instead, you give me the rest of the metal you carved outta that beast and we'll call it even. Deal?"

"Heh. Art of the deal, huh?" Yemhelch grinned back. Ahnbein nodded as well. "Allright, one plate-mail set for my friend, and a light combat armor set for me. Rest of the metal's yours."

"No prob. Come back this evening and I'll have things ready for you."

Ahnbein and Yemhelch went their separate ways after that, after agreeing to meet back at the field blacksmith's forge at sundown. She was still unused to speaking, it seemed. At least she was slowly getting to it after years without her tongue...

Turning the corner, he walked into the central marketplace - or what was left of it. Smiths were busy using pulleys and rams to slowly take apart the corpse of the beast, but it was slow going, and some workers still shot nervous glances at the black eye that lay half-buried in the dirt even now, a longsword smashed through it. Natsuki was nowhere to be seen - she had waved to them and headed south to help the survivors.

He could go for a drink right now.

-

The tavern was, thankfully spared the carnage of the ARK's rampage aside from a large section of the roof missing, turning it into an outdoor facility. It was here that several adventurers and survivors were gathered, sharing tales of their battle and tactics. Some enterprising soul had even set up a quest board (most asking for surveyors and food gathering). As he entered, a few soldiers raised their ale mugs and gave him a hale cheer. "The insane mercenary! Gutted the beast good he did!". He raised his fist and grinned back at the other adventurers.

At the mention of 'insane mercenary', a woman at the corner of the tavern turned her head to stare.

"Oh, hey Karliah." Yemhelch waved to her as he walked over. "Good to see you're alright. So, what's happening?"

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