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Fantasy Cursed Island

Sub Genres
Adventure, Magical, Mystery, Supernatural

Deadwood Deer

Eight Thousand Club
Lyak peered over the edge, Shuffle wasn't the only one in this trio with an affinity for shiny things, "It's pretty..."

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Veo held up four fingers, "Four. The difference is two, so," she looked towards the second tunnel from the left, "That one."

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"That is one way to use a corpse, yes," Nalla nodded, "I was primarily referring to butchering the corpse for meat to feed the tribe, or using it for fertilizer to grow the crops that feed the tribe."

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"We do not," Adran shrugged, "Jerry's got the flask, like always."

Beri shook himself once he was freed from his centipede prison, splattering more bug guts around. "Fia did say that phoenixes were immune to corruption, I doubt it is as dire a problem for me anymore."

---------
"Turac it is," Jerry smiled and booped Turac's nose, "Well, Turac, think you can do the breath attack again?" She pointed at the cracking ice wall. The turtle cocked its head and opened its mouth to do it again, but only a little puff of chill came out. "Right, baby," Jerry sighed, then whistled for her sprites to get into position again.

--------
Electricity and occasional bolts of fire, Raine did need to stop and reload between shots, eventually started to clear out some of the numbers of centipedes, enough that the bugs started to flee, anyway.
 

Fangs9090

Total Video Game Nerd
Fia looked at them both. “Let’s at least see if we can find a way down by walking. Only two of us can fly back up after all.”

—————

“Ah.” Emil looked at the path she pointed to. “Alright then.” He walked over to the path, pausing to let Veo mark it, before heading on.

—————

“Figured as much. Still, I thought a druid would be more opposed to the use of dark magic.”

—————

Erina nodded. “I know. I was thinking more the possibility of using this to feed Leonora, but I don’t want to feed her too much corruption.”

—————

“Well, it gave a brief reprieve, at least.” Asta took his position and got ready to keep fighting.

—————

Raine watched as the remaining bugs fled out of sight before letting out a sigh. She waited, just in case they came back, before hoping down to retrieve her bolts. Her landing was clumsy with her wounded foot, and she was limping now as well.

Corona glanced back at her before keeping watch while she waited for her to finish.
 

Deadwood Deer

Eight Thousand Club
Lyak looked up at the phoenix and then down at the pile of shiny, "Okay..." She picked up her paint and brush, "Do we turn ba- Bugs!", She pointed where some centipedes were coming out of the walls behind them.

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

Further down the chosen tunnel, they came to a small chamber, where there was what looked like a workshop built inside. "That's... What is this?", Veo looked down at the map to look at which of the bulbs in areas that might look like that. If they could figure that out, she'd at least know which one was them.

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"I oppose only the defiling of nature," Nalla shrugged, "Let the spirits rest, but I do not see a difference between using necromancy to make continued use of a body and cutting that body up to make effigies and totems."

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

Eleonora looked up at the mention of food. "She was born in corruption," Adran shrugged, "But when we find Jerry we can give her a bath."

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

Jerry raised her sword as the bugs broke through. The ones that were frozen shattered when they hit the ground, frozen so thoroughly that they were dead and couldn't thaw out and regenerate.

The number of bugs was almost halved when the bugs began their onslaught again.

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

The bugs didn't return, but the clicking remained audible, just barely within the range of audibility. When Raine hit the ground, the footprints from her bleeding foot weren't red like her blood was supposed to be, it was purple.
 

Fangs9090

Total Video Game Nerd
Fia and Shuffle looked back before Shuffle jumped in front of the other, all too willing to give the bugs another taste of her acid breath.

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Emil tilted his head. "A...workshop of some kind? Does someone live here?"

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"Hm... Most people argue that dark magic in itself is a defilement of nature. After all, I lost my connection to nature magic when I started using it."

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"Mm... Just a little bit then." Erina picked up a couple bug pieces before offering them to Eleonora.

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Asta charged as the bugs broke through, sticking with his tactic of thoroughly destroying any bugs he managed to hit.

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Corona kept watch as Raine collected her bolts. Once she had them all, she put them away and turned back, noticing her foot prints and looking down at her foot. "That's not good..."

Corona glanced back. "Hm?"

"My blood doesn't look like that. I need to get this checked soon."

Corona paused before a moment before she sighed. "Alright... Hop on then. We can move faster that way."

Raine looked at her before nodding and hobbling over. Once she'd climbed back on, they continued further.
 

Deadwood Deer

Eight Thousand Club
The bugs rushed in force, using numbers to push the three down the hole into the chamber below, and then merging back into the stone to block the path back.

-----------

Veo made her way to one of the tables, picking up a vial, "Whoever it is, they do some alchemy, at least."

-----------

"There is no light and dark with magic," Nala shook her head, "There is only magic, and its users." Considering no one else seemed to have this view, it wasn't a common one.

-----------

The snake considered the bug pieces before turning its nose up at them, sensing something wrong with ingesting those things.

"I guess she doesn't want to eat that," Adran shook his head, "Let's move on before more of those show up."

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

Turac tried his breath weapon again, but he didn't accomplish much besides coat Jerry's horns in frost. Jerry, to her part, turned the rings to make the sword thicker, so it was more of a club than a slashing weapon, and that was more effective than just her rapier.

Asta was definitely the group's largest source of destruction, he was easily able to deal with the larger part of the swarm.

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

Before long, Corona and Raine came to find a crossroads. There were three paths they could take, all making an even four-way path. The path they came from and the one directly ahead ran perpendicular to two others.

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

Joanne and Emfa were still being overwhelmed by the sickletail worms.
 

Fangs9090

Total Video Game Nerd
The rush caught them by surprise. Shuffle and Fia spread their wings to stabilize as they fell, Fia reaching out her talons to try and catch Lyak.

----------

Emil followed along next to her. "Any ideas what they were trying to make?"

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"Mm... Let's just find our way out of here for now."

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Erina nodded as she dropped the bug pieces and headed on. "I'm glad she's at least a little picky."

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Asta did his best to shrug off the hits he took. Focusing on thorough destruction meant he couldn't easily keep the rest back. He'd have to rely on Jerry for that.

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Corona sighed. "You have a preference? Right, left, or straight?"

Raine turned and leaned over to look. "Um.... Left?"

Corona nodded and they headed down the left path, leaving a mark on the wall.
 

Deadwood Deer

Eight Thousand Club
Lyak was easy to catch, and being smaller than Fia's child form she was light, too, so Fia didn't have much problem catching Fia. Down below the pile of shinies in the chamber turned out to be deceptive in its appearance. Shuffle's feet only sank an inch down before hitting stone. There was a lot here, but it wasn't nearly as much as it looked.

"I don't like this anymore," Lyak complained. "You take my sprites, you kill raka, his tarrasques, and now centipedes." She shuddered and then sat down on a small hill of gold, determined not to move until help arrived.

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

"I don't know," Veo uncorked the vial and wafted the scent to her nose. She frowned, "Lilla?" She put the vial down, "This one's poison."

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

Nalla nodded in agreement, gesturing further down the tunnel. "I believe there is a U-turn further that way."

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

Adran shrugged, picky eaters were hard to feed. "As long as she eats." He worked a spell to summon some meat for the hydra as they moved, "Try that." Up ahead, they came to a fork, one path continuing straight on, and one going down a level.

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

It definitely was not a fight Jerry and Asta would come out of without some scratches, at least. As durable as they were with the armor enchantment, even the strongest armor could only take so much before being overwhelmed. And the bugs had force of numbers.

When finally the bugs fled, being overwhelmed, both fighters were exhausted, scattered corpses around them. "I think," Jerry seemed a little unsteady on her feet, having to use her sword as a cane to stay upright, but that could have been exhaustion. Both Jerry and Asta were covered in pieces of bug, bleeding in some places but seemingly not severely. "That's the last of them."

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

Continuing along their trek, Raine's foot worsened rapidly. It swoll up before long, and it was hard to tell if it was tingling and cramping because of cut off circulation or if something worse was going on.
 

Fangs9090

Total Video Game Nerd
Fia looked at Lyak. “We can’t just sit here, it’s not safe.”

Shuffle looked at the gold before getting to dig through it, wanting to see what was underneath that made it look like so much.

—————

Emil glanced around. “That’s not promising... We should stay on guard.”

—————

Niudisa looked down the tunnel. “What makes you say that?”

—————

Erina dipped her head as she took the meat before offering it to Eleonora.

—————

Asta panted as he looked around before nodding. “I think so... As much as I want to rest, it might be better to move before they come back.”

—————

Raine frowned as she looked at her foot. “Splitting up was a bad idea. We can’t get back to our medic...”
 

Deadwood Deer

Eight Thousand Club
Lyak frowned and turned her back, "Nothing's been safe since you people showed up!"

Down a few inches of treasure, Shuffle found flat stone. Whatever was making this happen, this was done carefully and intentionally. By the size of the chamber, this hoard definitely put Urodor's to shame, but it wasn't nearly as impressive as it looked.

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

"Yeah," Veo looked around, "What do your ears say?" The room was cluttered, and all the tunnels leading out of it, except the one they came through, seemed littered with traps. Off in the distance of some of them, they could hear the sounds of fighting. One tunnel had just gone quiet, and in another something was approaching.

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

Nalla pulled back her sleeve to reveal tattoos all over her forearm, and pointed to a section, "Air," another, "Fire," another, "Earth," and finally, "Water." She pulled her sleeve back down, "My teacher gives these tattoos to each of her apprentices, to help facilitate their connection to the spirits and nature until they could do it on their own." She nodded towards where she felt the U-Turn, "The way the air flows from that direction tells me it turned directly around."

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Eleonora took the meat much more eagerly than the bugs, her heads ripping it apart and gulping down the pieces.

"Which way do you think we should go?", Adran asked, looking at the paths. Beri sniffed at the two and his ears flicked.

"There is fighting going down this tunnel," he pointed with his paw at the one going straight ahead.

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"Yeah..." Jerry nodded, "We should get going before..." Jerry's right leg wasn't cooperating. She looked down to see the severed jaws of one of the centipedes clamped securely around her mid-thigh. "Shit." Her right leg gave out and she fell to the ground against the side of the turnnel.

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The centaur and kobold's tunnel seemed to just keep going, sloping up and down before levelling out and coming into some kind of workshop, where Emil and Veo were looking around.
 

Fangs9090

Total Video Game Nerd
"We didn't change anything, you just hadn't gone far from home."

Shuffle looked over. "That doesn't matter right now. What matters is why this treasure hoard is so disappointing." Just when she'd thought she'd finally found something good, too.

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Emil did his whistle trick and stopped to listen. "Hm...traps ahead, possibly poisoned. And...fighting? Could be others from our group." He paused before readying his violin. "And something's coming."

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"Mm. So, I guess going that way would be a waste of time, huh? If it's just gonna bring us back."

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Erina smiled at Eleonora before looking ahead. "Hm... That could be our friends, or it could be twice as much trouble for us."

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Asta looked over before rushing to her side. "Jerry! Ah, that's not good... Can you climb onto my back?"

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Corona stopped as she came to the workshop, pausing for a moment before glancing back at Raine. "Alright, now complain about the right path not being obvious."

Raine looked at her. "What?" She leaned over to look past the centaur. "Ah, Veo!"

Emil had already relaxed once he'd recognized the sound of Corona's hooves and armor.
 

Deadwood Deer

Eight Thousand Club
Lyak grumbled but kept her back turned. Nothing seemed to be happening nearby, and no ways out were visible.

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

"Raine?", Veo raised an eyebrow as the centaur and kobold appeared, "I thought you took- what happened to your foot?!"

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"You are not familiar with navigation terminology, are you?"

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Beri frowned, "I do not know the nature of the combatants."

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Jerry didn't respond, she was pretty out of it. The centipede venom seemed to be faster acting than the tarrasques. In his holster, Turac was wiggling to try and get free.
 

Fangs9090

Total Video Game Nerd
Fia looked at Shuffle. “It could be a trap. Most people couldn’t just fly out of here.”

—————

Raine glanced at her foot. “We got attacked by some freaky bug things. I used the badge and tried to stomp on one, but it didn’t work too well...”

Emil spoke up. “We encountered those as well, I think.”

—————

Niudisa shook her head. “No. Nothing I didn’t just make up for my personal use. I’m usually a loner.”

—————

“Then we’ll have to take a chance. If that’s our friends, they may need our help.”

—————

Poli tried to keep ahold of Turac before just letting him go near the ground. “Bah. Asta, keep an eye on your son. I’ll try to get Jerry on your back.”

Asta looked over at the two of them.
 

Deadwood Deer

Eight Thousand Club
Most people definitely could not fly out of here, but the trap was well engineered. All this treasure had to come from somewhere, though. "Well someone did this," Lyak grumbled.

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

Veo rushed over to take a look at Raine's foot, wincing at the swelling, come here," she picked the kobold up off of the centaur's back and carried her over to one of the less cluttered worktables, "Don't tough anything," she warned before kneeling down to get a better look at the foot.

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

Nalla sighed, "A U-turn means that your path around an object resembles the letter 'U' in Common." She looked down the path, "In a maze, that object is a wall. We do not yet know what is beyond it."

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

Beri nodded and led the way to the source of the noise, where they found Joanne and Emfa still fighting the bugs. Lacking bludgeoning weapons, the two didn't have the ability to actually put down the bugs, so they were just being swarmed over and over. At least having heavy armor on meant that the bugs couldn't cut them up when their ring enchantments failed.

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

Getting Jerry up onto Asta was tough, dead weight was harder to move. Turac, once freed, waddled away to pursue something shiny he saw before stopping halfway and retching, a purple liquid coming out.
 

Fangs9090

Total Video Game Nerd
Fia nodded. "I don't think it was those bugs, though they're definitely part of it. But if they want us in here, we probably don't want to stay."

Shuffle nodded as she pocketed a few handfuls of treasure. May as well take what she could get. "Then let's leave. We can fly after all."

----------

Raine nodded and sat still.

Corona looked around at the other paths. "So, it looks like this maze goes in circles."

Emil nodded. "We definitely took separate paths, yet we both ended up here."

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"Mm. So it's not just turning back the way we came, but a sharp turn that we can't see past."

----------

Erina paused at the sight of Joanne and Emfa before looking at Adran. We was the one with magic, after all.

----------

Poli did what they could, making slow but steady progress. It was more difficult when Asta jumped forward to check on his son. "Turac!"

Poli managed to keep ahold of both Jerry and Asta, only lossing a little progress. "Aw, geez... Alright, hold still so I can get Jerry onto you, then I'll find where she has the healing water."
 

Deadwood Deer

Eight Thousand Club
"You two can fly," Lyak grumbled, then muttered to herself, "Why didn't I go with Erina?" When Shuffle started pocketing coins, they almost seemed to melt in her hands, and then re-solidify once they hit the hoard.

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

As Veo started work on trying to reduce the swelling in Raine's food so she could tell what was going on, pain started shooting up the kobold's leg, along with the feeling of something crawling around in the meat of her leg.

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

"Yes," Nalla nodded and started walking towards said u-turn. Coming around the turn, they could see a gentle descent, and down below could see the shine of an enormous treasure hoard.

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

Adran frowned and readied a fireball, "Get ready to run," he warned before throwing it into the center of the mess. Bugs exploded in fire and ash, but all they really did was get their attention off of Joanne and Emfa.

-------------
The liquid Turac was regurgitating matched color with the pus oozing around the centipede jaws on Jerry's leg. Whatever these bugs were, it was bad news to have any contact with them, it seemed. The little turtle gave a tired warble once it had emptied its stomachs of the bugs and their mess, but wasn't looking any better for it. Jerry's flask was located on her belt, right next to the, now emptied, waterskin of Shuffle's venom.
 

Fangs9090

Total Video Game Nerd
Shuffle blinked as the coins evaded her before clenching her hands. Fia saw her frustration and quickly grabbed Lyak, flying up with her as Shuffle slammed her hands down and started breathing fire on the fake treasure. “STUPID! Stupid useless fake stupid treasure!” Shuffle kept shouting and throwing a tantrum for a few moments before just laying down to cry.

—————

Raine screamed at the pain, doubling over before laying back against the table, regardless of whatever she might knock over. “Th-there’s...something in there!” She gripped her upper leg as she tended up from the pain.

—————

Niudisa raised an eyebrow at the sight of distant treasure. “Please don’t be another moody dragon...”

—————

Erina nodded and stepped back. Of the lot of them, she was the most ill-equipped.

—————

With a good bit of work, Poli got Jerry situated before grabbing the flask of healing water. They splashed a bit on Jerry’s leg before going to try and get Turac to drink.
 

Deadwood Deer

Eight Thousand Club
When Shuffle began breathing fire on the treasure, the hoard began to move, coiling into a large sphere with a mouth in the center. It turned out there was a considerable amount of actual gold, but there was a thin layer on top that was part of some manner of mimic. The mouth opened, and a tongue shot out to grab Shuffle.

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

Veo grit her teeth and tried to hold Raine down, "I know, I know, hold- oh my gods!" Writhing against the skin was some kind of worm, working its way up to Raine's core. It got up to where she was clamping her thigh. Upon finding that barrier, the worm coiled up and started gnawing its way to the surface. A smaller version of the centipedes that attacked them, covered in Raine's discolored blood and screeching.

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"I do not believe that is a dragon," Nalla noted as they could see the hoard moving when Shuffle angered it, along with the sound of Shuffle's tantrum reaching them.

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Beri lit his flames and charged to meet the hoard while Adran prepared another spell, an eldritch blast rocketing through one centipede's segments and blowing the whole thing to pieces. But there were a lot of bugs and disposing of them took a while.

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The deceased centipede jaws on Jerry's thigh squealed and then let go, falling to the floor and shriveling up. Little Turac took convincing to get him to open his beak and receive the water, but once he learned what it was, the little turtle greedily began drinking as much water as he could fit in his first stomach.

"Burns," Jerry murmured on Asta's back, partially flinching occasionally in response to an unseen prodder.
 

Fangs9090

Total Video Game Nerd
Shuffle had turned away in her tantrum, but Fia saw the thing forming up. "Shuffle!"

Shuffle glanced over just in time to jump out of the way of the tongue attack. She landed on all fours, facing this new enemy with a grin. She needed something to kill. Her salamander marks turned green and she let out a roar as she activated her acid cloak.

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Raine continued screaming in pain. Corona looked over. "I'd advise against touching that directly, but we should get it off of her somehow."

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Niudisa shrugged. "She's part dragon, but definitely moody. Come on, let's see what's up." She fluttered on ahead.

----------

There wasn't much Erina could do besides have her whip ready to keep the bugs from getting too close.

----------

Asta looked back at Jerry. "Where does it burn?"
 

Deadwood Deer

Eight Thousand Club
Its tongue attack missing, the monster reformed itself into a heavily armored humanoid with a sword, ready to defend its treasure. As Niudisa and Nalla arrived on the scene, the humanoid charged Shuffle with sword ready to run the golem through.

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

"No shit!", Veo barked, reaching for her tweezers to grab the thing. It brushed against her hand on Raine's leg and sliced it open. Veo hissed, but the attack lept her parasite into action, vines shooting out of her hand to rip the bug out. It broke into its segments as it was ripped out, scattering on the ground and running. But the bug was out of Raine, that didn't help she was still bleeding purple, and Veo's blood was starting to turn that color too.

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

Eventually the bugs fled, these new arrivals were more able to combat them. "Thank you," Joanne panted, leaning on the wall to catch her breath. "We were starting to be overwhelmed."

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

"...poison..." Jerry was gripping the saddle horn hard enough that her knuckles were turning whiter than lack of sun already had. "...healer..."
 

Fangs9090

Total Video Game Nerd
Shuffle at least had the sense to try and avoid the sword as she charged, going around before slashing at the legs.

Niudisa stopped to take in the scene. “Well, that’s a thing.”

—————

Corona went to stomp out as many of the little bugs as she could since her hooves didn’t bleed. Emil tried to get some of the stragglers with quick notes to fire some electric shots after them.

Raine was panting, but had relaxed a tiny bit since the thing was out of her.

—————

Erina nodded. “They tend to do that. How are you two holding up?”

—————

“That’s not good...”

Poli wrapped around Turac and carried him up onto Asta’s back. “We should move fast and try to find the others.”

Asta nodded and got moving.
 

Deadwood Deer

Eight Thousand Club
Slashing at the legs didn't get the intended result. Shuffle's hand passed through as easily as slashing at water, until her hand was in the middle of the leg, at which point it went from slashing at water to suddently having her fist being stuck in a perfect mould of itself that was tightening, as the blade came up, and then was driven down at the middle of Shuffle's back.

"I do not believe this is idea," Nalla noted, planting her staff in the ground and wildshaping into a massive grizzly to help Shuffle in the fight.

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

The bugs were hard to get, they were fast. it was impossible to get them all, and they were gone as quickly as they appeared. Veo winced as she uncorked one of her bottomless bottles of healing potion and took a sip to deal with her hand, and then passed the bottle to Raine, "Drink that."

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

When they were moving again, Asta quickly came to a three-way split in the path. Two went straight down, one continued straight onward. They could hear activity down each of the two that went straight down.
 

Fangs9090

Total Video Game Nerd
Shuffle looked as he hand was caught, still pulling as she relied on his acid cloak to eat through whatever this was and get her free. The blade at her back pushed her to the ground, but the combination of her enchantment, plus her armor, plus her own durability kept her from being impaled, at least. It did still hurt.

Niudisa got her magic ready and flew up above the fight.

—————

Raine grabbed the bottle and took a gulp from it.

Corona shook her head. “What even are these things...?”

—————

Asta stopped to consider the paths. He was looking for their healer, so activity could be what he wanted. It could also be a fight, which was the opposite of what he wanted. Feeling pressed for time, he picked the right-most downward path and pushed on.
 

Deadwood Deer

Eight Thousand Club
The armored mimic sneered down at Shuffle as her acid cloak slowly worked at its mass. This one turned out to be much more resistant to corrosion than Poli had, which in a way made sense considering what it was imitating so perfectly before.

It was blindsided when a gigantic bear body-slammed it from the side, the force ripping Shuffle's hand out of its trap.

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

"We don't know," Veo shook her head as she started wrapping injuries with bandages, "But they're dangerous."

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

The rightmost downward path descended further into the maze, where it opened into a large chamber filled with the materials of a workshop, with some of the party scattered about trying to recover from their own encounters with the bugs. By now Jerry was completely unconscious, only held on the saddle by Poli. And little Turac was wheezing and groaning in his holster.
 

Fangs9090

Total Video Game Nerd
Shuffle got back up as Nalla knocked the mimic off of her before taking a moment to regenerate and heal. She dismissed her acid cloak, her salamander marks changing to light blue as she went for the ice cloak instead, covering herself in frozen spikes before she charged again.

—————

Emil nodded. “I hope the others are managing to handle them.” He looked over as he heard someone approaching.

Asta paused briefly as he entered the room. “Veo!” He hurried over to her.
 

Deadwood Deer

Eight Thousand Club
The mimic's armor managed to resist Nalla's jaws, and the mimic itself resist Shuffle's ice. This one was much hardier than Poli had been. Getting attacked by two, however, made the thing melt again and hide amongst the hoard.

----------

"Hopefully- Asta?", Veo turned around at Asta's call and rushing over, knocking over the furniture, "Careful, we don't know what any of this. what happened to you guys?" Asta was pretty banged up, but unlike everyone else that had been sliced up by the centipedes, Asta wasn't bleeding purple. Probably because Asta was naturally resistant to anything trying to mess with his anatomy, being a chimera.
 

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