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Fantasy FLESHSCAPE - THE BONE

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Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Destructus Kloud

I ship SquidxTrump
The Cardinal Rekindled
(Unknown Cave - Flamekin Tribe)

The crowd stirred with discontent and fear, cries of dissent and panic echoing through the low light. Ifrit could feel that something was amiss as the deep voice boomed past them. That was no normal fleshwalker's tone, that was an incantation of inhuman inflection, a deafening reverb of alien origins. The cardinal could not guess as to what the origin of this mysterious voice was, but he did know what he had to do. The fear was taking root in his people, and as one of their leaders it was up to him to avert their terror. Raising his right hand upwards, open palm facing the ceiling, a bright glare shone onto the tribe as a whole. A flare of fire emanated from Ifrit's hand, washing the entire nearby vicinity in a warm glow as waves of calming heat washed upon the fearful faces of his Flamekin. The flare would distract them of their worries and remind them of their true faith.

"Fear not... Kindled. The Fiery One... protects all... if you carry... his token."

With his stoic words of wisdom ringing pure in the ears of his brethren, Ifrit solidified his statement by offering them a solution to protecting themselves through god's willing. He took an unlit torch from a nearby tribesman and lit it from his palm. Brandishing the lit torch as a symbol, it was clear that the cardinal meant for everyone to light their own torches by means of creating protective talismans from danger. In the name of their faith, the tribe would find solace in this simple act. By wielding the power of their god, one was impervious to the enemy. Ifrit only hoped that no true danger would chance upon their group in its precariously fragile state.

|Spent 2 Guts [4/6] to calm the tribe|

The Taskmaster
(Unknown Cave - Flamekin Tribe)

Khaoul tried not to move too suddenly upon coming face to giant-face with the being in the wall. It was something entirely beyond his comprehension, and thus his composure could no longer hold steady. Khaoul did have enough guts to trust when he could out-think a situation. But when his intellect could not explain the problem, Khaoul found his mind racing for solutions to a problem he did not understand. His heartbeat increased noticeably and he was sure that this Fleshscape creature could sense his fear. While his usual cool demeanor began to slowly crumble, Khaoul did the only thing he knew how to.

He relied on what little logical sense remained in this scenario.

He could only guess as to what this thing was. A god of the Fleshscape? A beckoning wall-trap that lured travellers to their deaths. The main advantage for predators in the Fleshscape was their uncanny ability to mask their hunting methods and strike when one was least aware of the danger. Khaoul had no pretenses of lowering his guard, yet he was smart enough to realise when acting rashly against this creature would sum up his demise. It wasn't a gut feeling; it was a deduction.

Carefully placing his Deep Piercer onto the fleshy ground, noticing that the cavern surfaces around the face were very much healthy and unleeched, Khaoul took a few tentative steps towards the kneeling scout. He had to see the damage before he tried to reason with whatever this being was. If what he saw defied reason, Khaoul wasn't sure he could handle what came next. But what he saw was disturbing, yes, but not entirely unexplainable. He placed a hand on the man's shoulder and pulled back to get a look at his face. The scout's eyes seemed unfocused, his expression blank. As if the man almost wasn't entirely there. Khaoul had seen this look before. One of the hunters had come back one night many moons ago with the same symptoms, a husk of what he had been previously. Examination had revealed a parasite in his back, which had connected to the spine and sent tendrils to the brain, effectively mind controlling the hunter. Khaoul could not seen any obvious entry wounds, and deduced that this mysterious face had somehow influenced the man's think-flesh. A psychic. Khaoul had heard stories, but this was all too fantastical for someone as logical as he.

Attempting to muster all the confidence he could, Khaoul took a step back from the scout and gazed back at the face with attempted cool. The other leaders had arrived behind him, but there was no time to confer the best course of action with them. This required immediate attention. A few gears turned in his head until Khaoul reached the question of reason he needed answered. He glanced back down the way they had came, recalling the desperate corpses they had seen along the way.

"Did you offer them salvation..."

He turned back to the face in the wall, a steely expression donning his features.

"... or demand sacrifice?"

@ThaDruid
 
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ThaDruid

Bacchus
The tribe had their reigns pulled in once more by Ifrit's rapid intervention. Their souls were placated, with everyone protected by light and warmth. The Cardinal Rekindled was their rock. It came at a cost, however, as the leeches asleep on the cavern's roof now began stirring, awakened by sudden changes in temperature, movement and smoke. This forced everyone to fall back a few steps, yet the men of the tribe were confident in their ability to mount a defense against the creatures. The slithering slugs could be crushed by hammers and set aflame with torches. Ifrit only needed to give the word...

Deeper within, the clumped-up group of scouts disbanded as half of them went after Urgesh, reckless enough to follow him into the pits of hell. The other half kept their wits and nerve, staying behind to protect Gogmagug. They looked expectantly to the Firekeeper, awaiting orders. They were safe with him, and he was safe with them.

Surrounded by darkness. Faced with a being the likes of which they have never seen before. Khaoul and Urgesh chose words to slaughter, for now.

In some strange way, the face in the wall seemed able of talking with multiple voices at the same time. Its mouth moved again, and it spoke with both interlopers at once.

"Quiet, mortal. And bow before me." Was its answer to Urgesh, brows lightly contracted in a frown.

The Taskmaster's question was rewarded with more attention. "Insolence. They were snuffed out before they could reach me. But not you. The mind of your companion has been forfeit, but he has brought you to me."

As if to punctuate those words, the kneeling scout now fell to the ground, clutching at his temples.

The hunter whom Urgesh had sent after Khaoul in the first place finally made his presence known, hidden in the shadows. An arrow flew by, and stuck itself into the sinewy frame around the azure face. The being's features soured. A silent thud as the hunter fell to the ground unconscious. The bow clattered by his feet.

@Destructus Kloud @Rictus @Unbreakable Patches
 
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Unbreakable Patches

Connoisseur of Donuts
Urgesh was reaching the upper limits of his patience. He normally would have kept his calm in a situation such as this, but the more the cave threw at him the more his willpower was being tested. Slowly, however, the flame in his chest began searing at him to take action. Primal urges and unadulterated rage called to him from beyond his sinking island of mental fortitude, begging him to give in and smash the unholy wall asunder. While this internal battle raged on, Urgesh's twitching face simply stared a hole through the alien being.

Just before he snapped, and his mental self sunk into the deep well of anger, Gog spoke. Instantly, Urgesh was reminded of how tricky the creatures of the deep could be, and his mind escaped the heavy-handed clutches of his rage. For now. He turned to the fire keeper, a combination of frustration and resolve splayed across his features. He was clearly losing ground, and it wouldn't be long before he lost it entirely.
"Gog, Urgesh want smash talking wall bad." He replied, as much a precaution as a warning. "Don't care if get eaten or mind tricked. Urgesh smash him good."
Patiently, he slapped the striking face of his club against his opposite hand, less for intimidation and more to give him something else to focus on.​
 

Rictus

New Member
Gogmagug took a small moment to compose himself as the other group looked to him for his guidance. So, Gogmagug had to stand tall. With tired shoulders suddenly arching back and his head held high. Gog began to measured his breaths more avidly, so as not to appear as frail as he felt in that moment before the tribe. After that small moment, Gig turned to the scouting party and held out his sceptre, pointing deeper into the cave. "We go into the dark, but we fear it not." The firekeeper took a step forward, taking the lead as he made a show of fearlessly walking into the dark. "Those who are afraid, go back. There is no shame in this... But those who still have heart to fight with me, come."

It would not be long before Gog came upon Urgesh and the rest though, and what he saw sickened him with fear and worry. A massive blue face sticking from a wall of flesh. But not even this sight was enough that Gog couldn't immediately see Urgesh struggling with some vast inner conflict. This worried him even more than the Blue-face. After all, if it were to kill them... Then it could wait until after Gog had done what his conscience demanded of him. "I know, Urgesh... I know. You are of strong body. A mighty warrior, truly. But Urgesh also leader. So Urgesh must let go of anger. Urgesh use these." Gogmagug put a hand on Urgesh's chest, over where his heart would be. Then he raised his same hand and pointed two fingers where Urgesh's spiritual 'third eye' would be. "You are strong, Urgesh. But with these... Urgesh can be strongest of all." Gog lowered his hand, clasping it over Urgesh's shoulder before giving it a light squeeze. The frail little man then turned from his large and intimidating friend. Looking to Khaoul and the injured tribesmen before him. None could see his worried frown, nor understand the gut-wrenching fear that coursed through his sickly body... But Gogmagug approached the big blue face silently, his sceptre lowered and with no sign of aggression until he was but a scant five or so feet away. There, Gogmagug sat down cross-legged before the being; He sat and merely opened his arms in a welcoming and friendly gesture. Much like je had greeted his friends earlier. Gog's sceptre and only means of protection was cradled in his lap, and out of his hands. Though it continued to spread a sweet smelling and soothing smoke around the area. Then Gogmagug surprisingly introduced himself.

(I'd like to spend a guts point to not have Gogmagug piss himself while attempting this.)

"I am the firekeeper Gogmagug, Blue Face. What is Blue Face name?"
 
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Destructus Kloud

I ship SquidxTrump
The Taskmaster
(Unknown Cave - Flamekin Tribe)

It was a tough situation. Khaoul still had no idea what he was even talking to, but the thing carried itself like some sort of God like he's originally theorised it would. The only question now was if it was belligerant or tryannical. If the former, they could get away relatively unscathed, looked down upon as fleshworms beneath it's metaphorical feet. If it desired to destroy them, Khaoul only hoped that Urgesh had enough strength in him to challenge whatever mystical power this creature of the land held. The arrow their scout had fired told Khaoul enough. Unless there was some kind of weak point he could target with his reknown accuracy of the spear, his weapon would not prove effective against the sheer mass that literally faced them.

|Question 1: Does the face have any exposed weak points, such as an artery or nerve cluster that can be damaged?|


It was then that a frightening thought occurred to the Taskmaster. This creature possessed psychic abilities. Was it possible it could also read their minds and memories? Khaoul had heard stories of memnophages from other tribes and creatures that could track your tribespeople without prior knowledge of their location after eating your kin. If such things were possible, then it may too prove so for a creature that had no nee to feast upon their flesh. Judging from the way the enthralled scouts dropped to the floor unnaturally, the face was likely already eating their minds in such a manner. So it was hostile? It had stated that the scout's mind was forfeit. Was there more to this than there seemed?

Khaoul decided to step aside as Gogmagug took up conversation with the giant face. He always handled the negotiations with other tribes and traders. Khaoul was not a particularly gutsy individual and was actually quite cautious in his life - which certainly helped keep him and others alive. But while he still clung to whaever semblence of confidence he had, he decided he'd try something while Gog tried diplomacy. He decided to think at the psychic face.

'You have not answered the question. What are your intentions?'
 

ThaDruid

Bacchus
Urgesh's presence did not seem to faze the face much, if at all. It seemed to hold itself much too highly to even consider the dim warrior a menace. Perhaps, in time, this will prove to be its downfall...

It regarded Gogmagug with some sort of amused curiosity. Partly at the man's friendly gestures and indrocution, but also at his apparent lack of fear and wariness. Slightly pursing its lips, the creature answered with prideful but measured words. "I am ABZU, Vein of ages past, mortal. And I am a God." At the uttering of the word 'God', someting within the face's sinewy frame shifted, letting the bone arrow previously embedded in it fall soundlessly.

The self-proclaimed deity did not seem to be able of percieving Khaoul's thoughts, at least not without focusing its attention upon him. And surely that was the best, for now. Meanwhile, in his observation, the taskmaster saw something quite peculiar. The face lacked any apparent weak spots. It had no eyes to stab into, and seemed to be perfectly fused with the surrounding wall. Yet the flesh it was composed of... The blue matter looked spongy and frail, nothing like the hardflesh composing the cave. A weakness ready to be exploited.

The hunters still held their bows up, strings taut and arrows nocked. There was tension in the air, but they knew to await an order to fire. Perhaps there was still the possibility for parley, with this strange creature.

@Destructus Kloud @Rictus @Unbreakable Patches
 
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Unbreakable Patches

Connoisseur of Donuts
Urgesh was fuming, but thanks to some choice words and their fearless leader stepping in to intervene, he managed to keep himself from driving the club through the god thing's rocky exterior. Taking a long, deep breath, Urgesh glared at the thing while letting his inner flame burn out. It took a while, but in between the calming breathing and Gogmagug's inspiring words, he managed to lull himself into stoic silence. However, now that he had somewhat calmed himself, he noticed more and more about the face. For something as all powerful as a god, it seemed quite helpless now that he had given it a proper once-over.

The bone club was no longer being menacingly slapped into his hand, rather it was set against the ground as Urgesh leaned on it. Now and then, he would bring it up marginally only to bring it down on the softening floor, creating a dull smacking sound. It seemed to keep his mind busy, at least when combined with looking the god-thing over. Though his hatred for the thing only grew with it's ego. How could something so useless and prideful consider itself a god?

For the first time since they had entered the cave, Urgesh managed to chuckle. It had gone mad, there was no doubt. This thing was raving due to it's pitiful existence, reaching for impossible conclusions to satisfy it's infinite boredom. He found that he truly pitied the thing, and his choice to smash it to rubble was reinforced tenfold. However, he certainly couldn't attack the thing head on.

Then what to do?

Gog seemed to be trying to talk to it... talk to it?! Had he gone mad as well? Was that the truth to this gods-forsaken cave, that any creature who enters shall be turned to madness and succumb to their own egotistical desires!?

Urgesh closed his eyes. He was sick of looking, even thinking about the cursed thing, and resorted to letting Gog sort it out. After all,
"Tribe smart; leave think to tribe."
he whispered serenely, dropping the head of his club against the floor once more.
 

Rictus

New Member
"Well met ABZU, Vein of ages past. Never before has Gogmagug met a God in the flesh... is this ABZU's home? Gogmagug's God lives beyond the everlasting sky, does ABZU live here below the endless flesh?" Gogmagug queried to the giant face in the wall. Looking into ABZU's giant eyes as the frail little firekeeper listened intently and respectfully; As he would have done with any member of the tribe. For despite his fears, Gogmagug was interested in what ABZU had to say. Though unsure of ABZU's claim to divinity, Gogmagug did not discount or disbelieve that the being held power. But it wasn't fear of that power that drove Gogmagug to continue the conversation. It was compassion and surprisingly... Pity.

The Firekeeper could only wonder at how long ABZU had been here. Forever perhaps? Gogmagug didn't know. But to be a God in such a lonely place or even just a lowly man, was an unbearable thought. Or perhaps that was just Gogmagug's mortal brain humanizing something he did not fully comprehend. But it was something that Gogmagug felt the need to rectify. "Tell this one, ABZU. Tell of yourself so one may sit and listen for a while."
 

Destructus Kloud

I ship SquidxTrump
The Taskmaster
(Unknown Cave - Flamekin Tribe)

Khaoul's curiosity had been sated. He received no psychic response, not even a shift of attention his direction. This thing could not read their minds in the traditional sense, although it did beg the question as to how it had incapacitated their scouts. A frown shifted into a neutral raising of the eyebrows as a potential solution came into his mind. In any situation of uncertainy amongst the Fleshscape, one must always plan some insurance against your survival. A method or item that protected yourself from the many harms that could befall you. Khaoul had spent years hypothesizing scenarios and finding solutions to problems that didn't exist yet. He'd need it to survive, and keep the tribe alive as well. He needed that solution now, in case this 'god' decided their minds were to be forfeit too. He picked up his spear and gestured it at one of the scouts behind him.

"Bring us Ifrit."
@ThaDruid
 

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