RP:Fog Forest Funk
Summary: Bradyn has been assigned a task by the Mage's guild and invites Khitti and Brand along for the adventure.
Entrance to Fog Forest
What stands before you is the ancient Fog Forest, a sprawling mass of strangely malformed ancient trees that bend and twist into horrific shapes that seem to a keen observer like the whole forest is in pain. The strangely formed trees are not the only feature of this oppressive place a traveler would have to worry about as the forest does live up to it's name and is brim full of an ever-present thick and unrelenting fog. The fog swirls mysteriously from some location deep within the forest sprawling out in some places like tentacles of a vast supernatural creature, intertwining everything it comes across, tree's, bushes, rocks, hills and now you. The fog seems to draw you inside as if the fog seeks to bring all within this spooky forest will you dare venture within?
You have been tasked by the Mage's Guild to investigate the Fog Forest of Rynvale. It is rumoured that the Fog has adopted a rather unnatural reek to it, which the residents have complained about and sought out our learned advice about. We are sending you out to investigate the stink.
Use what skills you have to repair the situation.
~official Mage's Guild lamen stamped here~
Rynvale again, well not for Bradyn -- this is actually a rare adventure. KhittiBrand though? Rynvale again. Why were they in Rynvale? A letter would come to the Tranquility, for she has explained she often frequents that ship. I wonder why. It would explaining that Bradyn has been accepted into the Mage's Guild and has been given a task that is to take him out to Rynvale. Something about the fog forest, an usual stench, he needs to investigate it, and since it was an assignment from the Mage's Guild it would likely be experience that the both of them could use. An outright request from help? No. It was presented in an optional adventuring experience and if she and company would like to take a trip to Rynvale. There would be the instruction that if this was something of interest to her, they should meet just before the forest thickens and at noon-time with the hope that the high sun will help to pierce through the fog to aid their vision of the forest.
There Bradyn would wait, not really stationary but not impatiently waiting. He would stand in the middle of the path for a time, then shift his position so he was standing near a rock and facing the direction he anticipates Khitti might be arriving. Attention would shift again, Bradyn would turn and stare off into the forest. Was this a mission that Bradyn would have to undertake on his own? The longer the wait, if it is even much of one, the closer to the forest Bradyn would go. The vampire has dressed down, no fancy button up shirt and vest to match -- it's still drab as all hell though, but better suited for adventuring than for a funeral service. Supplies? Bradyn has a backpack, but trying to predict the items he might find useful was certainly a special endeavor.
Supplies? What supplies? Oh. Well. Khitti brought swords. And her bow. And magic. And a super sexy fightin’ mage named Brand. Captain Brand, that is. He’s back-up. She’d warned Brand in advance about how Bradyn is a little… stuffy, I suppose is the nice way of putting it. Meaning, he’s old enough that nothing really seemed to excite him anymore--except for when it comes to hacking people up a la serial killer--so try not to make things too awkward, m’kay? The shipride from Cenril wouldn’t take long and neither would the walk from Rynvale to that insanely foggy forest. Khitti was all decked out in that dragonscale armor of hers and her hood pulled up (she’s kind of a badass, Bradyn, you’ll figure this out soon) and yet, despite the fact that there could be certain doom and gloom lurking in the forest (hey! Being all doom and gloom is her job, damn it!), she was rather excited and therefore in a good mood. There be dragons and ogres and other creepy things in that forest! Oh my.
“Hi,” the redhead said as they reached where Bradyn had decided to wait, the biggest of grins plastered on her face. “Brand. Bradyn. Bradyn. Brand.” Human. Vampire. Bookworm necromancer. Super hot fire guy. Introductions done? Yes, okay. “Zhe mage guild, hm? Spent a lot of time vith some of zhem awhile back. In a dragon’s cave. Ve vere in jars. Fun time.” Not really. It was frakking awful. “So! Vhere are ve going and vhat and or whom am I killing for you?” Time to go go go so she can stab stab stab, Bradyn. You understand. Honestly, she’s just super excited to not be doing something related to that cure for once. Or even talking about the cure. Or acknowledging it. It’s getting stressful, man. Brand knows. Brand knows everything. Bradyn does not, though, so shhhh, Brand.
Brand brings… himself. That’s all he really needs, right? Oh, there are a number of things tucked away in this pocket or that hidden sheath, to be sure, but if he can’t fit it on his person it doesn’t come along. Giant forest tends to mean giant spiders, he’s learned, and so he’s probably best off packing light and relying on magic and agility to get him out of any trouble. Last time he got spider venom in him was -not- a fun trip.
As Khitti makes introductions, Bradyn gets The Dudebro Nod. Because of course he does. “Sup,” is the man’s greeting, generic though it is. Brand is kinda used to being the hired help on missions Khitti is involved in. Hell, it’s how he’s picked up most of his jobs of late, or at least the ones that don’t require an entire ship’s crew. He has one of those, you know. It’s important you know. He’s got a captain’s insignia pinned to his collar and everything, a small diamond-shaped brooch with a winged symbol in its center. It’s very new and very shiny and it’s the one thing Brand has brought along that serves no practical purpose.
Okay, that’s a lie. He brought his flask, too, but it’s hidden away in an inner shirt pocket for now. Nothing’s happened that’s driven him to drink. Yet.
Bradyn Mahara is not old.....! ....in the scheme of all that is vampire. Were he still human he would probably need a cane to shake at people, because he might be more inclined to show some amount of emotion were he old with bad knees, achy joints and arthritis. Might. Khitti basically has it right, stuffy is the kindest way to put it. Introductions ensue and then it happens, the dudebro nod. What is this even? Bradyn actually had considered sticking his hand out, as is customary for these introductions, until this dudebro nod. Now the Maharan male is not entirely sure what to do, so he tries to copy the nod. Except Bradyn is not a dudebro, it's like Khitti said, so this is just a miserable fail. One that he will hopefully never repeat again.
"Hello," Bradyn says in that flat tone, as Brand was warned would be the case. "Well. Those whom I have met amongst this guild certainly are..." Bradyn trails off, thinking better of his commentary because it is not like he could not easily be labeled 'eccentric', and that was again putting it nicely. From out of his backpack (which is not stuffed, thank you) Bradyn produces a map of Rynvale for his own studying purposes as he explains. "We are going further into the forest to investigate a smell. Where it exactly it is coming from? It is hard to say." From the current vantage point, the smell was not overly pungent but as they travel deeper into the forest they will find the scent increases. "My speculation is that the need for swords will be minimal, that what likely happened was some old ogre or dragon found their way into the forest and died. The corpse is rotting away and the wind manages to carry the scent into town, upsetting the citizens."
Was this an accurate speculation? It is impossible to say, but the swords and the magic were still good to have. Rynvale was not without it's wildlife...but Khitti and Brand were familiar with this, no? Bradyn continues to speculate out loud to KhittiBrand as his steps carry him further and further into the forest. "I have learned that the dragons tend to be on the eastern side of the island while the ogres frequent Gamorg, just to the north of here. More than likely it is a dead ogre. What do they do with their dead? Nothing, I am sure."
There noses would lead them further north into the forest, toward the heart of it but they would soon find that the noon-time sun did little for their visibility. It made it hard for the travelers to discern what made the noise in that bush or caused that branch to snap. Uncomfortable. More uncomfortable is the this smell, it is definitely getting stronger.
“Ogres? Ugh.” Khitti followed after Bradyn, side-eyeing Brand along the way with a ‘hm’. Then she looked away. And ‘hm’. Then she looked back at the blonde, this time with a grin. “I used to zhink zhat -you- acted like an ogre.” Khitti batted her eyes cutely at Brand in that ‘you totally love me so you won’t murder my face’ kind of look. Honestly, he could probably say something similar about her too. Don’t worry, Brand. She’s flirting with you. Even if you don’t realize it.
And then, it hit her. The smell, that is, and hopefully not Brand also. There’s a whole slew of Dhavislaavian curses that trails out of her mouth as her hands fly up to her face to cover her nose. “Damn it, Bradyn! You coudl’ve varned me about zhe smell before I left zhe ship! I have breathing masks zhat could’ve helped vith zhis!” Even if, you know, two out of the three adventurers didn’t -need- to breath, it really likely would’ve helped. “Ugh. Zhis is so gross.” Too bad Brand’s air magic wasn’t that great; they could really use a giant fan of sorts right now. Hopefully whatever was causing that smell wasn’t flammable because the vampiress set to lighting a decent-sized ball of shadowflame to help light their way.
Being the lone human has both its perks and its downsides. Perk: Brand’s sense of smell is, even by human standards, somewhat underdeveloped. Khitti finds the smell intolerable long before Brand does, so he’s got a fair amount of time to poke fun at her for it. Downside: He has to breathe. Has to. It’s kind of necessary for him to continue living and all that fun stuff. At some point, the downside overpowers the perk and Brand must resort to pinching his nose closed and mouth-breathing. He’ll make a good ogre impression if the group happens to meet any that are still alive, at least. Khitti even said so.
Didn't Bradyn mention something about a stench in the letter? Maybe he had just thought about writing it and then skipped that detail completely. Oh well. There is a shrug to Khitti for all of her fussing and grumbling because what is done is done. If this was a detail he had forgotten, he will instead fix grey eyes upon Brand and issue a brief, "Sorry." Which he may or may not mean, it is sort of hard to tell with that flat tone of voice of his. This is one of those things that is going to get worse before it gets better.
Following the scent, their trek will shift from a northern direction of travel to a north-eastern one. So far they have no answers in this quest, they just have a horrible smell and the knowledge that whatever is creating this smell is not a flammable one -- though this stank does have that rotting, sulfur quality. The flames that have been conjured up help to combat the fog so that their vision is less obscured and it serves as the catalyst to reveal that they are not alone. It starts with movement in the mists, spirits slipping and sneaking through the shadows from a distance but never daring to venture close to the trio. No harm will come from these particular spirits, not at this point in time, not with without provoking them. Without being provoked, they are noting more than harmless beings that are serving as a distraction from what the real problem is.
That problem finally makes itself known. A noise is heard and surely this group is intelligent enough to determine does not belong to the spirits that tease them. It sounds like...is it a growl? No. It's not a growl, Is it something's stomach rumbling? It is sort of reminiscent of that, yes. The noise is actually....a mighty dragon fart. Of course they would hard pressed to know this fart belonged too from their position. Thank you fog. The foul smell is particularly rank at this point, it smells like that was a juicy one. Ew. How do you like that Brand? Bradyn has no real need to breath, he is okay. Following this fart is a growl, but not that sounds like a warning being issued to them. More a growl of discomfort that belonged to some shadowy mass looming off in the distance.
They may have vaguely found the source but they have not yet been spotted and Bradyn is not inclined to rush in head first. Instead he removes his backpack from his back and dumps out a number of bones just in front of him. "It seems this scent is perhaps not caused by some rotting corpse." Supplies indeed....I mean he can't summon something out of nothing and there are not always dead bodies around to use. "We should not rush in without a vague plan, especially since it is not clear what that is yet.... A test for aggression first? Potential distraction in case we must fight the thing? Thoughts?" He is not speaking very loudly, but even the slightest whisper could pull the attention of a dragon.
If Khitti wasn’t near her second death thanks to the smell, she’d probably make fun of Brand again by blaming the fart on him. Or! Better yet, she could blame it on Bradyn. Maaaaaybe Bradyn was having a little case of intestinal rot. But, no. The insides of Khitti’s nostrils and sinuses are figuratively bleeding. “A plan?! I’m not gonna frakking stand here and vait for a plan. Ve may not actually have to breath, but Brand does and I’d like for him to not die because of something ridiculous like holding his breath.” Yeah. Brand has to die all hot and sweaty in combat, okay, Bradyn? It was decided a long time ago. Khitti’s probably written fanfics of this. Probably with less Brand dying, though. He’s just hot and it leads to sex. Don’t ask me why she needs to write about this stuff when she can pretty much just go steal him away to her bedroom for a hour or so.
Anyway. Moving on.
“Just… let me do zhis.” With a heavy sigh, she withdrew the black ice bow from her back, and an arrow to accompany it. “ Figure out vhat’s making zhe smell. Vhatever it is, it definitely ate -something- bad. Maybe try bone scrying or something? I don’t know. All I frakking know how to do lately is kill zhings. Regardless of vhat you do, if I get eaten by vhatever zhe hell it is, Brand has my permission to set you on fire.” She might be joking. Maybe. Whether or not Brand was going to go with her was up to him. Was she going to do something crazy that might get herself killed? Probably. Khitti drew the hood to her duster up over her head and went into stealth mode, sneaking closer and closer to the smelly beast, the arrow nocked and pointed in the thing’s direction.
If Brand wanted to waste precious breath on speech, he probably would have interjected with something about plans actually being somewhat of a good thing. Though, ideally, they would have been able to hammer out said plan somewhere with fresh air. But Khitti is Khitti, and Khitti would generally rather act on impulse and run into the fray. He’s used to this. It’s already been accounted for in his own mental plan. So Khitti makes her speech, and as she does so Brand removes a cloth from out of his back pocket and ties it around his face. They’ve hit that point now where he can -taste- the foul air, and it doesn’t matter if he mouth-breathes or not. The cloth mask, he hopes, will at least filter out -something- while still allowing him enough air to stay functional. And so it is that when Khitti takes off, Brand follows like a dutiful bodyguard, albeit one that looks more like a bandit in that getup. The cloth is even black with white, ruby-eyed skulls on it and everything. Dozla’s idea of a “gift fit for a pirate king.” Her idea of a joke. Don’t ask.
Yes. Moving on. Bradyn does not want to know about this, Khitti. Ew. Before Bradyn could even propose his plan, Khitti and Brand were ruining off and the vampiric male was looking less than pleased. While Bradyn cannot really fault Brand for running after his crazy woman, he definitely can grumble internally about Khitti just running off. He does not know, he does not understand, he will soon be finding out about #khittibadass.
The sign that Khittibadass hit her mark with that arrow comes with a deafening roar. Not that anyone should be surprised, she is a skilled markswoman and even a novice archer should be able to hit a large shadowy mass in the foggy distance. Following this roar is a torrent of fire, indiscriminately shot in the vaguely general direction of where the dragon believes that the arrow came from in a wide enough spray that it does not really matter if the dragon does not have an exact location. Khitti and, by default of proximity, Brand, definitely have the dragons attention upon them now. Trees are scorched and the area is soon set ablaze in the dragon's question to torch the archer. To make matters worse, the dragon is advancing toward them now, because of course it is. Cute couples make the best meals, don't you know.
It is only Khitti and Brand subject to this fire, at this point in time, for Bradyn has not rushed headfirst into the thick of things like the two of them. Bone scrying was not exactly on the top of Bradyn's to do list, this is not why he brought these items. Instead he uses the bones to summon up a number of undead skeletal minions -- which he was initially intending to use as bait to see if this thing was aggressive or not but...well being shot at usually makes things aggressive, so here we are. It would be nice if Bradyn knew how to manipulate the Black Tides well enough to summon weaponry for his mini-undead horde here, he cannot. Instead he wills them to pick up whatever objects they can find from rocks to sticks, throwing them at the dragon to pull attention -away- from KhittiBrand. It is not going to be hard for the dragon to wipe out these skeletal nuisances but sometimes a moments distraction is all that people need to gain the upper hand.
Bradyn's efforts do not stop here. As Khitti has pointed out, this dragon must have eaten something bad. Reanimating these skeletons has afforded Bradyn the insights that his little minions were not the only dead things in this battle field == there was another corpse waiting for a necromancer to get control of it. It would seem that this particular dragon thought it was a good idea to devour a guard, and his armor was preventing the dragon's stomach acid from being able to break it down and properly digest it which was causing a particularly gross excess of gas. If necromancer's can go to a graveyard and summon the dead from their earthy confines, one can certainly reanimate one armored and armored guard dead in the pits of a dragon's stomach. That is exactly what he does, so that this corpse can work on cutting his way free fro the dragon's belly. If the skeleton minions do not work to get the dragons attention off of Khitti and Brand, being stabbed from the inside probably does....
Khitti couldn’t help but grin at the fact that she managed to hit whatever the hell it was back there. But, that grin was short-lived. First of all, she saw that ridiculous bandana on Brand’s face. What the frak, Brand. We’re going to have to talk about that. Second, though, was that fire. The fire that burns. The fire that burns really really bad--more than usual with undead. Fire. Hot. She somehow manages to scream, turn around, RUN RIGHT DIRECTLY INTO BRAND, grab him and shadowstep them back towards Bradyn. Oh, she’s also still screaming. Sorry about your ears, Brand. It’s unfortunately because there’s fire clinging to her armor--despite the fact that it’s dragonscale, it’s from a blue dragon and really only provides lots of protection against lightning. Oi.
The fire eventually goes out and the dragon storms towards them, taking out ALL of those skeletons along the way. Bradyn, those things are like flimsy chew toys. Y u do dis?! There’s lots of panic because it’s Khitti and SHE’S ALWAYS PANICKING ABOUT SOMETHING. So what does she do?! She builds a gorram ice wall. It’s the biggest freaking ice wall you’ve ever seen! Reaches the tree tops even. She’s going to make the dragon pay for it. The dragon said no, though. With fire. More fire. Khitti actually hides behind Brand. You’re the fire dude. Wield that shite. WIELD THE DRAGONFIRE, BRAND.
But then, suddenly--and it’s really quite gross to watch because it’s sort of like the dragon’s giving birth? But it’s coming out of it’s side. And it’s a skeleton and not a baby--that damned corpse manages to rip its way through the dragon’s abdomen. THE TABLES HAVE TURNED, DRAGON. Khitti’s back to being a badass now because she’s tossing those corrosive balls of shadow at the dragon. It’s still going, you know, and it’s more pissed than it was. You would be too if something just exploded from your chest like you’re in some sort of sci-fi movie.
Khitti, -why- in the gorram hell would you shoot the damn thing?! Brand doesn’t have time to ask this, but it is sure as frak in his thoughts as they run towards -- and then away from -- the great gaseous dragon. And ugh, the smell only gets worse as the thing is torn open from the inside. He’s gonna have to get this handkerchief of Dozla’s enchanted with a nice scent or something, just in case something like this ever happens again. Those are thoughts for later, though. Now, uhh… Now is a good time to start asking Khitti those questions. The best time. Right?
“You realize there was a better way to do this than runnin’ in and shootin’ wildly, right?” Brand shouts this toward the vampiress as he dodges away from one of the dragon’s feet. As if dodging the flames isn’t difficult enough, the thing is also trying to flatten them under its weight or skewer them with great claws. Brand choosing to berate Khitti now is an almost fatal error, as he barely twists away enough to plant his body between two claws. “Just checkin’.”
The dragon lifts its foot again, and -- oh no. The Catalian’s gotten too cocky and lingered just a hair too long. He’s pinched between one claw and the next, carried along for the ride as the dragon’s paw raises into the air. And then, with an upward flick of the dragon’s limb, Brand is airborne. Flying. Falling with style. Whatever. This is what happens when you waste time sassing Khitti in the middle of a fight, Brand. You get catapulted right between the dragon’s teeth like a piece of popcorn. There’s a joke in there about ‘mouthing off’ or something, but Brand doesn’t have time to think about it before he’s molested by the dragon’s tongue, chewed on a couple of times, and then swallowed. At least there’s a convenient avenue of escape in the dragon’s stomach already, assuming Brand survives the crunching and the journey through the creature’s esophagus.
The dragon charges toward Bradyn and his skeletal minions, forcing him to depend vampiric speed to avoid being caught up in the madness of the charge. Too bad he did not think to pass the memo on to Khitti and Brand, as he was not actually anticipating them to come back his direction? See. He was thinking he could use his little minion horde as a distraction, Khitti just happens to be running the wrong way, dammit. This distraction is a total fail. So why did Bradyn think it was a good idea to invite these two along again? First Khitti goes and shoots the beast and now and now Brand between the dragon's jaws. This is great, just great. Bradyn's facade does not register this emotion, none of the anger or frustration are conveyed. Sigh.
If only Bradyn had the time to grumble and grump about how a PLAN might have served them so well. Here they are though.
Things are not all doom and gloom for this adventuring trio. At least one Bradyn's little reanimated minions is serving some sort of function but before he can be fully lost to Bradyn? Well. Bradyn blows him up. Sort of. Remember that lesson on curses, Khitti? Look! Bradyn can do it too! The curse that he made Khitti speak over and over and over again is given a practical application for as soon as the words are appropriately spoken the rotting corpse that has taken to some semblance of mindless life bursts into flames. One might think spontaneous combustion were circumstances more discrete, it is obvious who the culprit is though.
The initial shot from the arrow may have not been enough to damage the dragon, but being cut open from the inside, having a corpse explode while still partially inside of it, and being hit with some of Khitti's corrosive balls of shadows, this beast is going down. It's just going to take a minute for the damage to really take it's toll to take the angry, winged beast down. The fall was inevitable at this point, but Brand probably does not appreciate the wait, does he?
You know, a lot of bad things have happened to Khitti over the years. Her family died. She got stuck with Amarrah. She died. She dated a douchecanoe elder vampire. Lots of bad things. But, right now, all of them really pale in comparison to watching the guy you love get eaten by a dragon, right the frak in front of you. A Motherfrakking dragon. Much like Brand had been when Khitti was nearly eaten by that leviathan, she’s taken to standing still for a bit, trying to process what’s going on.
Brand’s been thrown around like a ragdoll. Bradyn is doing some things with his skeletons. Brand’s been eaten. Bradyn’s exploding corpses. Brand’s been eaten.
Brand’s been eaten.
Brand is inside the stomach of that dragon right now.
Now, this is a dragon, right? It’s big. Hella big. At least bigger than these three tiny humanoids, immortal and not. But, this is also Khitti. Bradyn doesn’t know Khitti very well, but Bradyn’s player does. She got really good at that one curse too, you know. So well, in fact, that she managed to pair it with the Black Tides. Instructing Khitti to recite the same curse over and over again until she’d damn near perfected it. And perhaps, when she was alone, she’d practiced it more. It was certainly something to help in a pinch, at least, because she wasn’t exactly the type to go around cursing people. Turns out that ‘pinch’ was now.
Khitti, it’s a dragon. Your man is in there. Don’t do the thi--she’s doing the thing.
“INCINERATUS” was yelled without hesitation when her brain had rebooted and rage had set in. The target? It’s the dragon, duh. That bitch wasn’t getting away with this; there would be no chance of it living whatsoever. For now. Simultaneously, Khitti’s left hand shot out, doing only the gods know what, but it was clear she was casting -something-. Thankfully, while this was a fire-breathing dragon and they typically are immune to fire themselves, the thermodynamics of shadow-fire did not quite work the same way as regular fire. First it froze, cracking the scales and flesh beneath and then the fire burned. It burned and melded with the flames that came from the corpse Bradyn had set aflame. It lit the trees around them and ate through the fog.
And when the dragon would turn to ash, Brand would be left in its wake. In a giant block of ice--though the ice only lasted long enough to ensure he wasn’t harmed (that’s what Khitti had been casting, you see) by the fire, melting soon after.
Look, Dave the Dragon is having a rough-ass day, okay? First indigestion, now this merry band of interlopers shooting it and tearing it apart and assaulting it with skeletons and setting it on fire and so on and so forth. It’s really quite unfair. Dave just wanted a nap and it was ruined, RUINED, for no good reason.
Dave roars as the flames engulf him, a cry so loud the earth shakes for miles around. This isn’t even supposed to be possible. Dave had lived a life free of fear, confident that he was at the top of the food chain and could not be taken down so easily. Other dragons had taken an entire arc to defeat by some of these very same murderers, after all.
Dave realizes it too late, but he is dying. Everything his mother taught him turned out to be a lie. He cannot be anything he wants to be. He cannot afford a nice little cave on the outskirts of Rynvale, for they are already occupied by the ogres. He is not nearly so good looking as she claims he is. He did not even marry a sweet young girl-dragon from the countryside, because it turns out Dave is gay. And now, the lie to end all lies is revealed to him: he is, in fact, NOT immune to flame.
Dave smashes and thrashes, stops and drops and rolls, but it is to no avail. With his last dying breath, he screams for his mother, lying sack of guano though she may be. And then… Dave is no more a part of this mortal coil.
But his mother still very much is, and boy is she PISSED. It’s maybe a good thing Brand and his chewed-up limbs are still in a magic ice cube, because as Ruth answers her son’s call, crests the blanket of burning trees and sees the vaguely Dave-shaped pile of ash below her, the first thing she does is add more fuel to the fire. Her wings stir up a ferocious wind, toppling several of the most charred trees. Smoke obscures vision, where once there was only rancid fog. Ruth is larger, airborne, and possesses all the wrath one would expect of a recently bereaved mother… and Bradyn and Khitti are sans one member of their murderous trio, at least for now.
Bradyn has no sympathy for Dave. Dave is dead and dead in a way that is not immediately useful to Bradyn. What in the heck can the guy do with a pile of ashes? I mean maybe something given enough time but Sheila is such an angry dragoness right now. Her son is dead and she needs to exact some revenge. Watch out for angry momma bears? This momma dragon is about to put all of the momma bears to shame.
So Brand is an ice cube still, it seems, and there is an angry dragon breathing fire down on them. Angrily. So much fire. From a dragon. A mad dragon. Well they are going to have absolutely no choice but to hold there ground and fight this dragon. She is airborne and running is like...dumb. In order to live to fight this dragon, Bradyn is going to have to do some amount of running. He does it without screaming though, Khitti, please take note. This is a very important lesson. Hopefully Khitti will shadowstep to safety and take her ice-cube with her? Please? Bradyn is actually counting on her doing this, this is sort of why he did not try and help. He felt like he would probably just get more in her way.
"Ice her wings!" He would try and shout to Khitti, if she could even hear him over the pissed off, dragon that was screeching when she was not raining fire down below. Why? So that they became stiff, immobile and thus making it a challenge for her to fly. Even just one wing could drastically throw her off course. The Maharan male was not counting on fire working twice against a dragon, this one was not cut open like Dave -- all meat cooks. Her scales were still so pretty. Ahem. Anyway. Bradyn was hoping that with a plan put into place they might be able to ground her. Would this even be possible with the amount of fire the dragon was breathing down on them? Bradyn was not confident, but Khitti had managed to keep Brand from being burned alive while also turning that dragon into dust. Or maybe Khitti and Brand did not fare so well in the initial assault of the mommy dragon?
The Maharan would be making his own contributions toward making it difficult for the dragon to fly in his own way. How? With another curse! This is not the incineratus curse that both he and Khitti were employing before. What was he saying? It was hard to hear from a distance. Cae? Cocus? Caecus? Did it matter? He was trying to blind the dragon, with the hopes that up and down would become confusing. Maybe she would come crashing to the earth? This curse is not spoken once, but repeated over and over and over again for good measure as the duration that this curse takes hold has many variables, from caster to victim. Blindness could last a few seconds, a few minutes...you get the point. Bradyn is inwardly starting to panic just a little bit about the potential of being eaten by a dragon. Just had to shoot the unknown thing in the fog, didn't you, Khitti? Just. Had. To.
Look, Dave. I’m sorry you’re dead, but Khitti’s in love, okay? See, the dumb vampire had to fall in love with the jerk human. It was inevitable. Fate even. There’s, like, prophecies and stuff about this. But, I can’t tell you that now because you’re dead. You’re like double dead. Is it possible to regenerate someone after they’ve been turned to ash? Something only for the most advanced reanimators, surely. Bradyn and Khitti are not either of those things.
But that didn’t matter now. Because Ruth-Sheila-Mom-Dragon was on her way and she was hella pissed. Brand was definitely unfrozen then and his sexy, but broken body is carried off as Khitti hauled her butt away from where the dragon might maybe possibly connect with the forest floor. “I zhink you’ve been around me too much. Now -you’re- starting to get eaten.” That wasn’t an innuendo this time, Brand. Stop dying, plz. At any rate, she does get around to icing that lizard bitch’s wings (don’t be so impatient, Bradyn, gawd. You think Khitti’s gonna just let her student die? Psht) and Ruth-Sheila eats dirt. A lot of dirt. Because she’s a dragon and has a big mouth. She even ices Ruth-Sheila’s mouth shut too. It probably won’t last long, but Khitti decides to do something stupid again. “Look,” the redhead says as she steps on the dragon’s snout, just enough to say ‘hey, you frakking listen here, dragon-bitch’, “I know zhis looks bad. Ve just killed your friend--maybe even a relative, but see, first he vas stinking up zhe place and zhen he had zhe nerve to eat my boyfriend. I don’t deal vell vith zhat because I happen to vant to keep zhis one around. So, you know, ve can either be best friends or I can kill you too. Even vorse, zhis guy--” Khitti jerked her thumb in Bradyn’s direction, though it was obvious that Bradyn’s blindness curse worked and the dragon couldn’t see a damn thing just yet “--likes to cut up corpses. I mean, really likes it.” Yeah, Brand, sorry. Khitti’s student is probably a serial killer. “I vouldn’t put it past him to vork his magic, so to speak, on someone zhat’s alive too.”
RuthSheila’s unseeing eyes are as fire as her wings are ice. The vampiress stands on her snout and speaks a ridiculous proposal -- of -course- she cannot make nice with the ones who just killed her son. They deserve death, and they shall receive it. The great dragon is grounded, sure, humiliated and blinded by mages with far more power than she’d anticipated… but she will prevail. She will avenge her son. A dragon has no need for sight when she can so clearly smell that undead stench.
First, she pushes herself onto her feet, clearing her mouth of soil and rock and letting loose a roar mightier than the last. Her frozen wings weigh her down, but she can still strike fear into the hearts of her opponents (and perhaps rupture their eardrums, if they are unlucky). A few simple tosses of her head from side to side will surely shake the vampiress clear of her snout. Khitti will go flying -- a death sentence, surely, for a creature without wings. Another breath of fire escapes RuthSheila’s lips, the trajectory crossing where she expects Khitti to be flung and down, down onto the other. The one speaking curses. If that doesn’t burn the undead male into a nice crunchy nugget, she’ll scramble after him, knocking down whatever trees and trampling over whatever obstructions she must to chase her prey.
One thing that Dave clued the group in on, it is that he and his momma are the sort of dragons that do breathe fire. A lot of fire. We have already established that neither vampire is really a fan of fire. It does stand to reason that if Bradyn is able to inflict the dragon with a case of temporary blindness, he may have other curses at his disposal, and yet he would rather risk ruptured eardrums. In order to....?
If the answer to that question was 'help Khitti', eh. Perhaps indirectly, if she even needed it, but he was not the hero sort to be perfectly honest and his decision was spurned out of self preservation. Bradyn is not an elementalist by any means, all four will forever be beyond his means of mastery. Even in this moment, he is not conjuring up his own onslaught of flames to fight fire with fire. That would definitely suck for Khitti, who may (or may not) have ended up airborne between two flames. Bradyn calls upon dark and arcane energies in a bid to influence and steer the flames away from himself and the flying Khitti.
Fully deterring the flames is not something Bradyn is able to do in these endeavor, but he has able to channel enough energy to split the flames down the middle so that he is not burnt to a crisp by these flames. Hopefully Khitti as well? Who knows what that crazy woman is up to, flying through the air last he saw. He can only concentrate on so much at once! While Bradyn able to manipulate the flames enough to split them and cause them to fork around himself and Khitti(?), it's still like being caught in an oven. He can't do anything to influence the temperature. How long does it take to broil a vampire? Two minutes? A minute? Hopefully momma-dragon needs to catch a breath and will break from the downpour of fire soon. A lesson in the black tides might have served Bradyn well in this mission. Oh well, hindsight is twenty-twenty.
No more from Bradyn right now, the guy is not #supernecro and cannot lobby off twenty spells at once. He's doing his thing.
See, the problem with Khitti is that sometimes she can get a little cocky. We’ll blame this on Brand. He’s been a terrible influence. She’s constantly forgetting that she still doesn’t have her shadowice down well enough like she does with the shadowfire. Plus, this is a goddamned dragon. What the hell were you thinking, woman?! Well, Khitti gets flung up into the air like a badminton birdie and were there a camera, she’d be looking at it The Office-style and asking where she went wrong in her life because Team Khitti’s blasting off again (technically again x2 because this has happened before, except out in Rynvale ocean’s and thanks to a giant turtle). Starting to see a pattern here. Maybe she just shouldn’t go to Rynvale anymore. And then there’s fire. And then Khitti’s falling. She’s still trying to figure out what she did to deserve this, but ultimately manages a nice superhero pose (though she’s not without singed hair and skin thanks to that fire that was mostly deterred away from Khitti.)
“Ow.” Yeah, that landing still hurt a bit. “Hey, can’t ve just talk about zhis? I don’t vant to kill you and I didn’t particularly -vant- to kill your friend. Zhe arrow vas an accident. I mean, I vasn’t even zhe one to reanimate zhat corpse in its stomach.” Khitti sighed, taking a few steps forward towards the dragon--okay that’s not at all a good idea, Khitti, you’ve did this already--hands out as if in surrender, “Vhat if ve tried to bring zhem back? It’s highly advanced stuff and it may take us awhile, but if it’ll keep us from getting eaten, I’m villing to try to fix zhings.”
RuthSheila huffs, blowing a cloud of fetid smoke in Khitti’s face. But the pause in her fiery onslaught means she is considering, weighing her options. Vengeance, fire and blood, or mercy and a chance to see her son revived? Ultimately, it is a growing awareness of her wounds that makes her decision for her. To think she might die first without having avenged her son, when there was a chance they could both have lived…
“I accept your surrender,” she thunders, great wings stretching and straining under the ice that still keeps her grounded. It cracks in places, and a sheet of ice splinters come raining down off her from the effort, but it still holds too strongly for her to take wing. Her vision is still clouded and spotty, and so she cranes her neck to view the vampiress close-up and from her better eye. The effect renders her rather like an oversized pet bird. “You will return my son to life, and I will spare yours.”
“Oh, good,” says Brand, poking his head from around one of the few trees left that haven’t been toppled or set aflame. One arm dangles limply from his side, and he has clear gashes from dragon molars in a few places, but he’ll probably make it out okay with some quick work from a healer. “Let’s just keep two people-eatin’ dragons around for the laughs. What’s the worst that could happen?” But, hey, this isn’t his mission, and Rynvale isn’t his town, so he’ll defer to Bradyn.
Uh, excuse you Khitti. He may very well have taken another avenue to this task if someone had not gone and shot that arrow....at a dragon, who in turn was BREATHING FIRE on everyone. Excuse. You. And now she is making promises to a dragon? About how they will bring her dragon son back from the dead? Is if either necromancer could actually raise a dragon from dust? This surely has to be some sort of distraction right? She can't expect them to really do that for the dragon?
Bradyn is going with no, not that he is going to verbalize this to Brand, who probably is earning a heavy growl from one rather emotionally unstable momma dragon. Careful Brand, that surrender might end up being a temporary one and you are stuck up a tree right now. The dragoness does not keep her attention long on Brand for Bradyn is moving to the pile of ash that once was Dave. Poor Dave. It's not a particularly alarming action, it makes sense to RuthSheila, they are apparently supposed to bring Dave back to life, right?
Wrong. Apparently Bradyn thinks this dragon may as well die too. That it is the more realistic and more easily achieved option when compared to the promise of resurrecting a dragon from ashes. Dave's ashes would be a component in his mother's demise, however. A handful of ashes are taken up into Bradyn's hand, letting them fall through his fingers only to drift their way back down to the earth. As the particles slip through his fingers, Bradyn is muttering a string of words beneath at a near silent volume.
It would not take Brand, Khitti, or RuthSheila long to come to the realization that at least one of them (Bradyn) has absolutely no intention of keep good on their promise. RuthSheila would bellow out a roar of annoyance as Bradyn's targeted spell takes hold, the ramifications of this spell being two-fold. First poor RuthSheila is going to be inflicted with a vast amount of pain to further render her useless (hopefully), as clearly grounding her and icing down her wings was not enough. The second effect of this spell is a drain on the dragon's very life energy, which will not be stolen quick enough to render her dead within seconds. This would be painful. Assistance would probably put her out of her misery at a more humane pace and there is no turning back now, now is there? Even if Khitti or Brand stopped Bradyn, RuthSheila is going to be beyond angry....
Poor Dave. Poor RuthSheila. Condolences to any remaining family they might have, this is probably why they see fit to eat those pesky humanoid type anyway. Look at all the trouble caused.
Khitti had succeeded? Sort of? Well, this was new. There was a bit of a pointed stare at Brand because omfg Brand seriously? Shut your goddamned mouth for once and go with what she’s trying to do. Your lack of faith is disturbing. Khitti turned back to the dragoness to try to smooth things out further, to tell her that Brand is an idiot male human that doesn’t know how to speak to their superiors just yet, that she’s attempting to train him. You know, -something- so they--specifically -he-!--doesn’t get chomped on. Again.
But… when she turned back around… Bradyn had made his decision and he had chosen death for the dragon. Khitti could only stare in horror as the much older vampire sought revenge for the fiery end he almost met thanks to RuthSheila. “Bradyn!! Vhat zhe hell are you doing?! I actually frakking -meant- vhat I said!” This was to be the way of things with Bradyn and Khitti apparently, always at odds about something. “If ve could actually bring zhat dragon back to life from ashes, do you know vhat kind of breakthrough zhat vould be for zhe guild?!” Clearly irritated with the male, she growled and stalked away from him and Brand, over towards the dragon. “She didn’t -have- to die. I’d be pretty frakking upset too if someone killed someone I cared about. But zhat is clearly something zhat does not register in zhat head of yours.”
Booted feet come to a halt right next to the dragon’s head, a frown finding Khitti’s lips. A moment’s consideration is given, with a ‘hm’, and then she’s putting her hand on its snout. There’d been that curious spark of purple lightning before, when Bradyn and Khitti were instructed on the art of resurrection and reanimation, and now Khitti was dwelling on it. There was no reanimation needed here, for the dragon was still whole but… it was still a dragon. The elf she’d resurrected was like a mouse compared to a full-sized mother dragon, but the corpse was still fresh enough that she might attempt it.
She paused briefly in her thoughts to peer over her shoulder at Brand, the gears in her head turning clearly before she suddenly decided: to hell with you, Bradyn. The concentration needed for proper resurrection is summoned up, and that strange electric spark made itself known again, stemming from her fingertips and shocking a bit of life--or unlife, rather--into the dragon. Much energy was fueled into the beast, the attempt clearly taking a bit of a toll on redhead. After what seemed like forever, though… the once fire-breathing dragon would open its eyes, the irises glowing that familiar purple hue that came with Khitti’s magic.
All of a sudden, Khitti was the Mother of the Mother of (a) Dragon(s). No free will would be given to it, because sadly that would require soul-binding and Khitti was nowhere near skilled enough for that. For now, it would remain nothing more than a shell of its former self, a weapon, until such time that she could help it further. The ashes of the now-frost wyrm’s child are gathered up in a bit of shadow-ice to deal with later and Khitti’s soon eyeing Brand and pointing at the dragon, “Get on.” As in now. Before she kills Bradyn for being so dumb. There’d be no walking back to the Tranquility for either of them, because she was insanely tired from the fighting AND acquiring a new pet (sort of) and Brand was in no shape to walk either.