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Fantasy Hunter’s Inn || The Ruins of Bal’dak

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Pokeking

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Xenophon yios Calix​

Location: Wild Lands
Interactions: Hatkins ( Genii Genii )
Reactions: Calixto ( Fenrir the Wolf God Fenrir the Wolf God )

Xenophon, not for the first time, thanked his ancestors that he was a minotaur. If he was a person with fair skin, anyone would see that he was blushing with embarrassment. He's right of course. I am considered attractive. In another time, in another place, and if he was human, he'd be considered boy band attractive. That plus his musculature crafted by the Calix bloodline and frequent usage made him very desirable to females. Many of their hearts were broken once they discovered that their beauty held no sway over him. His older brother Altair, given the same scenario, would be called ruggedly handsome. He and the Lady Carmina were childhood sweethearts and he tried to court her for many years. Although he was shrewd and respected, splendid qualities befitting a suitor, her advisors were reluctant to endorse such a union because he was not of noble birth. They prescribed a longer courtship period than custom dictated. He rose to the challenge and he met their approvals including his own father's. They had been wedded for 18 months and they had been expecting their first child when he left home. Surely, the child would have been born by now.

Xenophon was still puzzled why the third bandit was picking flowers. A fighter on the battlefield was easily understandable but a man picking flowers on that same battlefield unsettled him. Unsettling like being called Lixy. How many of us does he have nicknames cooked up for?

Xenophon cleared his throat and was again thankful. This time, thankful for Hatkins' intercession. He walked alongside the professor with the man on his right side.
 

Oli Beju

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Colby Plains Hillside

~
F!@#$%g sporran." Griggs muttered aloud, finagling with the perpetrator of his incessant pablum. The pouch’s latch had snapped during his earlier theatrics, and the irony would’ve been made so all the more had even half its contents survived the fall that the man’s earlier philippics had caused.

Are you quite finished back there?” Hyra spoke aloud, still peering though her brass monocular scoping glass. Occasionally, she’d twirl it about while shortening and extending the apparatus, only to peer through it again into the distant forest, occasionally adjusting the sharpness as though clearer vision would liven the nonentities before her. The group had been there for what seemed like ever, their targets having vanished into a thicket of woods after a commotion, which tersely subsided. Someone had clearly been beleaguered in the scuffle, but until a contender emerged, they wouldn’t know whom… “Honestly, the only thing worse than losing our target has been suffering your quiet vituperations all day…” She looked over to Martie, who was once again seated, this time cross legged on a rock, only this time, he was watching his puppets totter about, as though they’d come alive before him.


Aye, had you had bothered to mention I needn’t carry him half the way here, I wouldn’t have cause for whinging, would I, now?” Griggs continued, finally snapping the latch back together… “There we are… good as new.” … only for it to snap once more, the man barely catching the bag before its remaining contents fell to the dirt. “BLASTED—“

Hyra rolled her eyes and looked through the glass again. “Well look at that. They appear to be on the move again. How I do wonder what was the cause of such a holdup…” She waited briefly, as by now, surely, Griggs would’ve broken the silence with yet another complaint. Instead, she noticed that the area around her had become darker, via overcast; the cast of a familiar shadow enveloped them in a sort of reverse aperture.

Oh bloody f!@#$%^ wonderful… that creepy bugger again…” Griggs moaned, looking up from his fatigues. The shadow grew smaller and smaller, until its caster was revealed: "Honmel..."


1663990190899.png

Not even a week in and he sends his floating curd monster after us with another quest!” Griggs turned to the floating beast, at least the size of a carriage, not including its appendages. Translucent in the light, but clear enough to still be disturbing. The beast floated about until eventually its tendrils hovered just above the ground. Small utterances could be heard coming from its mouth, like a large beast beneath water. Martie’s puppets stopped moving and the child turned and looked at the beast inquisitively, though Hyra resolved to pretend that the noises, much less the beast altogether wasn’t even there, still peering through her spy glass forward. “Griggs, deal with him, would you?"

Yeah, yeah, I’ll deal with’em alright…” The man muttered. He turned to Honmel. “Alright, tons’o’fun, we’re a little occupied here so make it quick!” The outright ghastly creature slowly meandered its tendrils about, as though to cup themselves beneath its floating frame. Seeming to inhale and then exhale, the beast excreted something from below itself and into its appendages: a sort of bottled note. “So the lazy b@$#@^d couldn’t be bothered to just send a messenger dove, huh?

Griggs tentatively held out his hand as one of the tendrils, wrapped around the note (covered in a clear liquid mucous), dropped the note into Grigg’s hand. He grimaced and quickly popped off the cork. Flinging off some of the liquid, he then dropped the note into his unoccupied hand and rolled it open, skimming it... “Looks like we’ve got our work cut out for us, Hyra.

Hyra turned from her spying. “Hm? How so?”

The Hunters apparently are in deeper arrears than we thought, seeing as they’ve got beasts coming out the wazoo to do their dirty work for them. Beasts hunting other beasts. Huh… go figure.

Surely he can’t mean for us to capture them all.”

Aye, but he wants us to keep an eye on a couple of’em until further notice.”

So… he sent us a letter… telling us to do exactly what we’ve been doing... but for longer?"

"Now who's complaining?"

"Not I. You're the one touching beast snot for information we already have. Surely he has plans to take out a few before they can become a problem. If they start killing off monsters before we can—“

It’s not a long letter, Hyra.” He rolled up the note and placed it back in the bottle, holding it up for Honmel to take and… “store” once again. “And with any luck, we may not have to capture’em du jour. We’ll know more when we get back.” He assured.

Hyra sighed and continued looking through the spyglass as Honmel, uttering one final sound, floated away. Curiously, Martie seemed to be listening more to the creature’s noises than to the bickering the entire time…
 
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Genii

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As before, the Professor led the group of hunters to the arch-shaped hole in Baylin’s Wall. It was tall and wide enough for all of them to pass through quite easily… and from looking at some of the footprints in the mud, it appeared that monsters had been using this route too.

“It is only a few miles from here.” Hawkins mentioned to Xenophon. It was just three miles in fact, but the forest was so overgrown it would take them over an hour to reach the ruins.

There were strange plants amongst the more familiar trees and ferns here. Brightly coloured fruits and barb covered vines, fungi that would puff out noxious clouds if they knocked them, and large exotic blooms that showed some sentient behaviours.

There were chirrups, roars, shrieks and howls from all directions, but nothing sounded too close… for the moment at least.

Their tiring trek would take them North West, into some swampy terrain where the tangled trees blocked out most of the daylight.
 

Maxxob

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Adolphus
Interactions: Calixto Fenrir the Wolf God Fenrir the Wolf God / Professor Hatkins Genii Genii

“I thought I was seeing things for a moment when your arm was cleaved off… glad it is back into good shape” - Adolphus told the man who had been the target of the assailant. The zealot followed the professor pretty closely, walking right behind him. He would rather to be ready, if other assailants or whatever beings tried to attack them, to get the learned man out of harm’s way. While he walked, the steel greaves sank in the mud, leaving even bigger footprints behind.

While walking through the forest, the armored titan took special care to not touch any of the strange vegetation, staying, in particular, away from whatever bright-colored plants and fruits. He was not a stranger to fighting in woody areas, but that was a whole new experience to him.

When the sounds of what appeared to be creatures reached his ears, he drew his mace from his belt by instinct. It looked like things were, actually, pretty dangerous past the wall. Far more than the crusader would have imagined. When the group reached the swamp, he was glad the bartender had conferred to him the special drink. His vision appeared to be unaltered by the lack of light, and he could see things with ease - “Professor, maybe it is better I take point” - he increased his walking speed, past the quest giver, being the first one to step onto the mushy terrain.
 

soulofeden

Untangling yarn somewhere
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the chameleon












As they stepped past the Wall, Fain felt a strange, almost filmy substance surround her skin when she stepped over the threshold of the stone arch. The hairs on her arms and the back of her neck stood on end, and she knew that it had to be mysterious magical properties -- or perhaps the lack thereof? -- that were making her body react in such a way. She understood then why it couldn't be just anyone that crossed the boundary of Baylin's Wall. Serious danger seemed to lurk everywhere in the forest, and because Fain was so inexperienced with the bizarre flora around them and unfamiliar with the general geographical area, she couldn't help but feel a sense of imposter syndrome drip down her back like sweat.

Upon hearing the various shrieks and cries of undoubtedly deadly beasts from a distance, Fain cautiously held her bow in her left hand and locked an arrow into place, letting it hang somewhat casually between the grip of her index and middle finger.
"Professor Hatkins,"
she began, keeping her voice lower than usual,
"Could you please describe the ruins again -- just so we know exactly what to prepare for? It may be useful to have an image of the perimeter so that we can expect where the weak points might be."












































♡coded by uxie♡
 

Genii

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Unlike Adolphus, Stan stroked, prodded and picked at various flowers and shrubbery as they delved deeper into the Wild Lands. He tucked a bright red bloom behind one of his ears, simply because it matched his shirt.

“Of course my dear.” Hatkins said as Fain asked him to describe the ruins. “Not much remains of the structure above ground… only a few pillars and blocks of stone have survived the ravages of time… but during my previous expedition, my assistants and I discovered the entrance to a crypt of some kind.”

“The trip had to be cut short due to… unforeseen circumstances, but this time I am confident that we can finally crack the vault open and unearth the ruin’s secrets.”

Stan was busy in the background, trying to whack away a persistent mosquito (that was as big as the man’s face).

The swampy pools were very deep in some places and the murky waters rippled and bubbled occasionally.
 

Pokeking

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Xenophon yios Calix​

Location: Among the trees and vines
Reactions: Hatkins ( Genii Genii ), Adolphus ( Maxxob Maxxob ), Fain ( soulofeden soulofeden )

Xenophon's ears zeroed in on what Hatkins had to say to him and Fain. He stored the reflections away in his memory so that he could set them to parchment when the time came. He didn't know how much the professor cherished details or record keeping. He only had his training, helping out in his household, and experience working as a magistrate's clerk to guide him. I haven't shown him my skill as a scribe. He has only seen the warrior.

The thick foliage frustrated him. I wish I had a machete with me to clear this obstruction. Xenophon's movement was careful. He didn't want to make unnecessary noises. He also didn't want to stop and pick berries or fungi for foodstuffs. He did not trust the look of them. He sat in the same lessons as the cadets, a perk granted to the son of the Captain of the Guard. One critical lesson was to determine what was safe to eat in the wilderness. Ovid stood by the side with plenty of antidote as the young men and women tested their knowledge by consuming a variety of fruits and mushrooms. When it came his time, he chose correctly. Those who did not had gurgling stomachs and ran to the latrines with haste or were rolling on the ground gripping their sides until the antidote was administered. They were then carted off to the barracks to recover.

Xenophon did have a slight concern with Adolphus and he being in the front with the professor and now in the front. He didn't want anything or anyone to sneak up from behind. His hand tightened around the staff. Just in time because he came under assault.

A nearly four foot long dragonfly of red body and green head blindsided him. Used to people with flatter faces, it bumped into Xenophon's snout. It was as if the insect was curious as to what this being was. The minotaur's nostrils flared and he made a noise which sounded similar to an annoyed bull. Before the interloper could get away, Xenophon's hand swatted at it. The force of the swat was so resolute, the dragonfly careened into a nearby tree. It fell to the weedy floor, moved feebly, and then never again. A cloven foot clad in sandal nudged it. Satisfied with the insect's demise, "Squish." And good riddance.
 

soulofeden

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the chameleon












Fain felt herself warm to the scholar at his generous response to her inquiry. For a brief moment, her imagination flashed with the image of herself sitting in one of his classes at the university, etching notes on parchment to keep up with all of the Professor's comments and anecdotes on the lesson for the day. Perhaps in a another life, she would have been satisfied as a scholar or a scribe rather than a permanent adventurer.

However, the 'unforeseen circumstances' didn't sound very good to her -- what could have possibly been so threatening that it caused a herd of academics to leave their newfound discovery after just having made it? It certainly couldn't have been something as trifling as bad weather. No -- his comment inferred that there were going to be some potentially monstrous challenges that awaited them in this crypt. Nevertheless, she responded,
"Thank you, Professor."
Something else prickled at the back of her mind, and she nonchalantly added,
"In your professional opinion, what could be hidden in a vault such as the one we will open in the Ruins? Surely most of whatever belongings await us will have disintegrated or been devastated by mold by now due to the climate of the area?"
As if on cue, a murky bubble of mud burst next to her as she stepped over a fallen tree branch and splattered on her boots. She frowned and shook the majority of the muck off.

As she did so, the red blossom in Stan's hair caught her eye, and she grinned at him and said,
"Careful you don't develop a rash, Sir Bard. Aren't brightly colored things known to often be poisonous?"
On another quest, she would have suggested that he and Xenophon play a song for them while they traveled -- but it didn't seem to be such a good idea at the moment. Who knows what kind of beasties in here are lured by sound.











































♡coded by uxie♡
 

Maxxob

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Adolphus
Mentions: Fain soulofeden soulofeden

The armored man wasn’t too pleased with the location they were at that right moment. He had never before been in combat in swamps of any kind. As thus, he had no idea about the dangers of the area. Tension was overflowing his body with each step onto the wet terrain. His attention was picked by a sound of a ‘pop’ nearby. Looking at the murky waters, of what once was a lake, he saw bubbles, raising to the surface before bursting. Fighting humanoids was one thing, but fighting beasts were something Adolphus had little experience in. Still, in his head, the old saying was true and tested: “as long as it bleeds, it can be killed”.

The zealot’s concentration was split between the path he was traversing and the explanations which were given by the professor. Something felt pretty off in his explanation: ‘the previous expedition was cut short’. What the man really wanted to know was: what killed them? That was the only thing that made any sliver of sense in Adolphus’ mind. Furthermore, if that was the case, how did Hatkins survive? Was he the only survivor? He would love to know the answers to those questions. However, Fain was already doing such an amazing job at uncovering extra information from the man, and he would rather not interfere, lest his possible brashness make the learned man become tight-lipped.

“He Is HiDiNg InFoRmAtIoN” - a terrible voice, that one couldn’t identify as worldly, whispered those words into the armored man’s ears. Shaking his head from side to side, he pushed the idea away for the moment, being ready for battle with each muddy step.
 

Genii

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“They are?” Stan flicked the bloom away just to be on the safe side. He didn’t want to suddenly break out in spots or anything. “It’s always the pretty ones.”

“From the information garnered on the previous expedition, we discovered that the ruins were built in honour of Bal’dak - a death deity worshiped by the ancients here, long, long ago.” The Professor explained. He seemed happy to discuss such things, excited even.

“It is said that Bal’dak blessed his worshipers with eternal life, by means of an enchanted chalice.” He continued. “The chalice was mentioned many times at the excavation site - chiselled and carved into what remains of the walls. If the catacombs below the temple haven’t been raided by thieves, then I do believe there is a possibility that Bal’dak’s chalice could be down there.”

“Nice one!” Stan praised as he saw Xenophon get rid of the large dragonfly in one hit.

“Ok, watch this.” The Bard decided to do the same with his own insect pest, only when he whacked the big bug aside (with his lute) it smacked against the back of Adolphus’ helmet with a resounding ‘PING!’

The noise echoed throughout the swamp and received a shrill sounding scream back in response.
 
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soulofeden

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the chameleon












The revelation of what may lie in the catacombs of the Ruins of Bal'dak nearly made Fain stop walking entirely to stare at Professor Hatkins.
"An enchanted chalice that offers eternal life?"
she echoed.
"Certainly such a thing could not exist? Immortality is determined by species and birth, is it not? It is my understanding that it is not something that can simply be bottled and given to others unless it is a direct gift from the gods themselves. Even the great arcanes are unable to magick their way into the everlasting."
The concept was so bewildering that she even looked around at the various faces in her Hunting party to determine their reactions to the news. We're chasing nothing more than a ghost.

Although she was almost entirely unbelieving that they would find such a chalice in the Ruins -- It's going to be nothing more than some carpenter's cup, she thought -- the prospect still made excitement trace through her veins. Imagine the possibilities! What riches could be gathered in a thousand years of perfecting my craft?

She stopped speculating then and scolded herself. You said you wouldn't go back to that urchin lifestyle of thievery. You have much more sophisticated abilities now, and people will still pay handsomely for information on their enemies. It was no longer a matter of gathering riches to last ten lifetimes -- she would only have to outlive those in the Thieves' Guild that would recognize her. Eventually, I could go back to the life I was comfortable with.

A loud, harsh 'PING!' broke her train of thought, and she whipped her head around to glare at Stan, the culprit of the sound.











































♡coded by uxie♡
 

Pokeking

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Xenophon yios Calix​

Location: Among the trees and vines
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Xenophon's ears drooped. A chalice that offers eternal life? Not for me. Just another cheat. False life. Besides, it could be cursed. Even if it grants eternal life, there could be drawbacks. One could still age. fatal injuries that aren't fatal. He imagined a headless body just shambling about for all time. His people did not believe in a hell as many cultures did, however the image seemed haunted him as easily has the though of hell held for others. Begging for a death that would never be. The thought combined with the putrid smells of his surroundings that had already assaulted his nose made for a dangerous combination. His face contorted as he made weird gurgling noises and his cheeks bulged. An acidic feeling was bubbling up. Think happy thoughts. Think happy thoughts. Telemachus yios Euyin, a black furred male of his own kind, entered his mind. Keen eyes, pleasant smile, cheerful disposition. The queasiness quieted until it went away. That was close. Thank you Tel.

Xenophon only nodded to acknowledge Stan's compliment because he had just prevented himself from puking and wanted to ward off a relapse. He heard an unexpected metallic PING. His muscles tensed up and his eyes darted around. There as only one cause. Stan? He rolled his eyes and he breathed a sigh of relief. A shrilly scream then sliced the air. He put up his guard again trying to find where the scream was coming from. Damn this foliage. Where's it coming from? He scoots closer to Hatkins to be a barrier between the professor and what might be out there.
 
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Maxxob

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Adolphus
Mentions: Stan Genii Genii / Hatkins Genii Genii / Fain soulofeden soulofeden / Xenophon Pokeking Pokeking

While still taking the lead of the group, the zealot paid attention to the professor’s explanation about what the ruins might have in store for the group. A chalice, of eternal life - “The fools… dragging themselves through the disgusting waste on a vain attempt of getting themselves close to godhood… through a false messiah” - if his face could be seen, it would've shown nothing short of raw, pure disgust. To think that undeserving peons would have received such a boom was ridiculous in the man’s mind. He had seen, with his very eyes, that if there was a path to anything closer to godhood, it could only be by of his own creed, which devoted worship to the only divine - “HeReTicS… hEaThEnS… tHaT iS wHy My NaMe MuSt Be KnOwN, tHrEaD cArEfUlLy…” - the voice began thunderous, ravaging, ending in a whisper. A grave chuckle, in low tone, escaped through the man’s helmet.

Not a moment too late, Adolphus felt something hit the back of his helmet. The sound it made reverberated in the ambience was ten-fold worse inside his armor. Turning himself around immediately, the religious’ militant swung his arm, in which his shield was attached to. The flying pest was caught, while still falling, in his metallic gauntlet. The being trashed, yearning for freedom, although it was stunned from its direct hit against the helmet. Looking at his companions, he saw that both the minotaur and the white-haired woman looked towards the bard. There was a moment of tension between the two, with the crusader’s helmet locked directly into Stan’s direction. Nothing left his lips, his ears still ringing from the direct hit. Thoughts, better not described due to clear guild’s rules violations, went through the armored titan's mind. And then, disgusting crunching sounds as his gauntlet began to close. When he was done, his armor was soiled with liquids from the giant mosquito, its lifeless carcass falling on the ground.

His attention snapped, with the shrill that came from some unknown location getting his full attention. He had no idea where it came from, but he moved his shield in front of him. The grip on the fanged mace strengthened. Adolphus assumed a lower stance, his left leg slightly in front of his right one. His eyes scanned the swamp, from left to right, expecting something to jump at the group at any moment.
 

Genii

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Stan held his hand and lute up in a surrender gesture. He’d been showing off and hadn’t meant any harm. “Aheh… sorry about that Big Guy.” He apologised before cheekily adding, “-although you have to admit… it had a nice ring to it… G sharp I think-“

The bard’s ramblings were (thankfully) cut short by the sound of the shriek. One might have assumed it belonged to a poor old woman screaming in distress, but as more joined the chorus and the surrounding reeds and grasses began to shake, it was soon made apparent that was certainly not the case.

“… oh b*gger.” Stan managed before six bloodthirsty Water Hags leapt out to join the group in the swampy clearing.

Hunchbacked with protruding spines, long tangled black hair and empty white eyes, these grey skinned swamp bints were no defenceless old women.

Their loosely hinged jaws were much larger than a humans, hanging low to expose several offensively sharp teeth and blue writhing tongues.

The ends of their lengthy black fingertips were more akin to claws, and their large feet made running across the marshy ground an absolute doddle.

Hatkins practically yelped at the sight of the creatures and stuck close to his Minotaur protector.

The hags continued to shriek as they got in closer to attack.


((Callan’s favourite. 😂 The water hags can probably defeated in just a few hits, but have some fun. I’d say they’ll attack one Hunter each and I’ve added a spare hag just incase Calixo returns. ))
 

Maxxob

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Adolphus

It didn’t take long for the creatures to reveal themselves: water hags. The armored titan measure them up, having to bear their incessant screams. They were a disgusting sight and, if the man’s face could be seen, that would be exactly what others would see in his face: revulsion. Getting ready to met with the enemies, Adolphus braced himself and started to move, slowly, towards their encounter. From the six foes, two of them were closer to the man, and he intended to crush them with impunity.

With a rage-filled battle-cry, he charged towards of the monstrosities, shield first, colliding square with it. And, in sequence, a hidden blow. From the side of his steel shield, the mace came crashing, towards the torso of his enemy. The man put as much strength as he could behind his blow. There were no needs for his prayers against such foe.
 

Pokeking

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Xenophon yios Calix​

Location: Hag habitat
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(ooc: Survey says "I fight myself")

What are these abominations? A switch flipped inside his head. There was relaxed and guarded, among other settings. Definitely guarded since he had never encountered such beings. His nostrils flared once more and uttered a few choice swears in Cretan, specifically an older version of his language. He readies his staff and places his body between the professor and these things. Then still in his own language, <Are these drowned damned souls or natural creatures that mock humanity?> Regardless, he recognized that they were devoid of sentience. I can slay them without compunction and revel in it.

One of the hags crept towards Xenophon and Hatkins. Perhaps it perceived Hatkins as the weakest link since he clearly sought the minotaur's protection. In the game of predator and prey, the weakest were desired. However, it was just as likely that Xenophon was the intended target. Take down one of the brawniest opponents and the hags' chances of dispatching the others would improve.

His minotaur eyes snapped and locked onto the creature. As the hag stalked, Xenophon's body never lost its position. His body moved along with the hag's to perpetuate himself the professor's shield. He studied its movements and then the being's eyes met his. It ran at them which caused him to bellow a battle cry as he charged the monstrosity. Like swearing, battle cries were all of what remained of Old Cretan which is what his people spoke a thousand years ago. While their language had evolved, certain utterances remained in the past. Loosely translated, "Be gored by my horns". In using the old words, there was a deep spiritual connection between himself and his forebearers.

The hag swiped at Xenophon and the minotaur swung at the arm with the staff with such might that it made a gurgling noise. A whimper of pain? Yes, let's go with that. Another swing, this time to it's spiny back. It seemed to want to continue to threaten him and the Guild's client. He slammed the baxtrix on the thing's head. An distinct crack and a mushy sound was heard. He withdrew it and returned to a defensive position. Yeck, It's all over my staff. He shook it and most of the evidence of his victory plopped on the ground. He sneered at the unmoving form, <Hideous thing.>
 

Oli Beju

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The perfidious water hags had made their appearance rather arrantly, screeching and writhing about without even a shred of sense. And yet, even amongst the fighting, there were always to be casualties, particularly those that stood aback, awaiting only to provide succor to their allies should they fall. For one such of the six hags, the opportunity would never come, for as soon as their adversaries sprang into action, a tendril of swamp water was curling its way around its lower half, and then the torso of the beast, like a serpent befriending its prey. The impervious beast was, before long, wrapped about in the seemingly sentient water tendrils, which quickly froze completely solid and, appearing to have a will of their own, forcefully yanked backward and down into the vicissitudes of the swamp's murky, watery depths, out of sight, snatching the unsuspecting water hag along with them. One of the hunters had become the hunted…†

I use the term hunters in that last sentence to refer to the hunting hags hunting the Hunter's Guild hunters... you know what I mean. A HAG JUST GOT SNIZATCHED.
 
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Genii

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The shrieking hag rushing at Adolphus was Immediately silenced as the man’s shield clattered against it. It mindlessly slashed at the armoured man with its long black claws.

As the mace struck its middle the hag fell back into mud. Despite the shattering blow, the grotesque creature dragged itself back towards Adolphus - teeth loudly snapping for his ankles.

Professor Hatkins flinched and grimaced as Xenophon cracked open the skull of one of their tormentors. The hag’s black blood oozed out and mixed into the foul waters of the swamp. Still, more ear-splitting screeching as the second water hag launched at the Minotaur from his left side.

Stan added his own screams into the chaos as he attempted to flee from his own haggard opponent. The bard gave a high-pitched yelp before falling flat on his face in the dirt. The water hag pursuing him had whipped out its long blue tongue and lassoed the man’s leg, which it began to reel back in.
 

Pokeking

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Xenophon yios Calix​

Location: Hag habitat
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The minotaur is a sentient being. This is a fact event though some conveniently forget this. They think that just because it looks like a beast, it rationalizes as a beast. Yet, it is also a fact, that there are certain times under certain circumstances that instinct can drive them. This was a fact mare even more glaring among the children of Calix and its vassal clans. Xenophon was not the only being who was driven by a certain spark. He saw the hag run at him and he knew what to do. In the time that this other hag rushed the minotaur, he had unlocked the baxtrix and sheathed the two halves in their holsters. The hag seemed to be bolstered by his seemingly pacifistic action and ran at him quicker. <Helpless never!> The hag was moving so quick, it appeared unable to stop itself in time. The minotaur lowered his head and upper torso and the creature impaled itself upon Xenophon's horns.

Xenophon shook his head to cause more damage to the hag. He lifted his head and shook it some more, the hag flailing about like a fish caught on a pike. The minotaur then sung his head and there was a splash. A gurgle and then nothing. Black blood trickled down his horns. Some droplets fell on the ground, others flowed down his light brown hide. I am going to need a good warm bath after this. New clothes too probably by the time all this is over.

(ooc: "You've mastered a dead tongue! But can you handle a live one?")

Xenophon stampeded at the hag which had its devilishly long tongue wrapped around Stan's leg. His beefy arms wrapped themselves around the creature and squeezed tightly befitting his kind. "Drop him. Drop him". Despite the struggle taking place in a brackish forest, his tone was suggestive of admonishing a dog. He found the hag to be slippery which made grappling difficult. "Some help would be welcomed here. This thing is uncooperatively alive." Then to the hag although his pleading would fall on uncomprehending ears, "Will you die already nuisance?"
 

Genii

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The Professor hesitated for a moment as he watched Xenophon attempting to restrain the hag. Eventually he built up the courage to rush forward and viciously stomped on the foul creature’s tongue until it released the Bard.

“Yeah, get it! Get it!” Stan encouraged, backing away on his elbows and backside in the swampy grass.

The hag shrieked and writhed, trying to bite into Xenophon’s muscular arms with its razor sharp teeth.
 

Pokeking

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Xenophon yios Calix​

Location: Hag habitat
Reactions: Hatkins, Stan ( Genii Genii ), Water Hags

Xenophon's face grimaced in effort as he fought to hold onto the hag. It wasn't a matter of strength because his people were known for their brawn. Probably another reason why the humans and the minotaurs of Dreema didn't have much interaction between each other. Unless the human was muscular, serious injury to the human was always a risk. This was one of the reasons why many criminals were subdued in the magistrate's court and wisely chose to not resist. The foolish accused were left with broken bones and an apology. With the hag, it was the slimy skin that was causing him problems.

The minotaur's visage was frozen in terror so strong that he almost left go of the hag so he could defend the professor. He was then proud that Hatkins launched an attack against their opponent. Although minor, he was greatly appreciative. However, there was a drawback. As the bard backed off, The hag attacked the one who was closest which was Xenophon himself. The awful teeth pierced his hide which cause him to bellow. With his free hand, he punched the creature in the face. It worked because the hag stumbled backwards. He angrily reached for the hag's head and bashed it against his knee, "I. Am. Not. On. The. Menu. Wrong. Bovine." The creature stumbled and with a splash, landed in a meager pool of water.

Xenophon brandished the two halves of the baxtrix and banged them against each other. If any hags were left standing, they would see a fearsome foe. He was deadly serious. To one who might be familiar with Asterion minotaurs, those who had succumbed to their savagery, they would see no difference in his eyes. The remaining hags seemed to understand that it was useless to continue the struggle and they retreated as best as they could.

The minotaur holstered his baton's. and he breathed a guarded sigh of relief. The battle might have been brief but it seemed longer. He was concerned about their continued course of action, "Maestro, I will go on with you. Oath or no oath. Injury or no injury. That being said, I advise that we find a place to camp and reassess. At the very least, we can attend to our injuries. He glanced at his arm and the blood trickling from the puncture holes.
 

Genii

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“They’re leaving.” Stan panted, as he watched any remaining water hags turn-tail and scamper back to the darkening forest. “Hah! They’re leaving!” He elatedly repeated, then yelled, “-and don’t come back!”

“Xenophon, you handsome horny hero, I could kiss you!” The pond weed covered bard enthusiastically praised.

The professor seemed more concerned about the Minotaur’s injury. “Yes, we should stop and see to your arm.” He agreed, looking a bit pale.

Stan grimaced in sympathy and guilt as he got closer and spotted the bleeding holes on Xenophon’s arm. “It bit you? Aw sh*t, I’m sorry Xen.”

“Let me help.” The bard untucked his fancy shirt and tore off a wide strip from the bottom before heading over to help Xenophon. If the Minotaur allowed him to help, he’d be in safe hands, as Stan had picked up a thing or two from Hannah the healer back at the guild.
 

Pokeking

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Xenophon yios Calix​

Location: Hag habitat
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Xenophon fought well. Just as well as to not react to Stan's jubilation. He kept his ears open for sign of change of heart from the hags. His chest heaved. He had never exerted himself like this under this set of circumstances. He pressed his index and middle fingers the the middle of his forehead in prayer. Blessed be the name of my forefather Calix who guided my hand and kept watch over me as I slayed my foes. He left his reflection at that. This is reality. I am not in stage and this is not one of our morality plays in which we extol our virtues like determination and honor.

He turned to Stan and was stunned, "Kiss me? Sorry, but this is not the time or place. I would rather have help in attending to this wound. I could do a field dressing on myself, but it would appreciated if I have an extra set of hands." The puncture woods stung badly, "Just like I got stung by many huge bees. How I loath bees. I know they have their role in life. Without them, we would have no Aldebaran mead or honey cakes. I could use a big piece of honey cake." He spotted a fallen log and sat on it. "I will take being bandaged, but keep mindful of time. We soon need to find shelter. We are losing the sun, seems so quick."
 

Genii

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“There’s a cake shop back in Colby. I should take you there sometime.” Stan chatted as he got to work wrapping up Xenophon’s wound. It would need looking at properly, and he wasn’t entirely sure if water bags were venomous or not, but he did the best he could.

The Professor had his back to the pair as he weighed up their options. They could continue on or turn back, but either way they’d eventually loose the light and need to rest.

“The ruins aren’t far, but as you are injured, perhaps it would be best to return home… or at least get back on the right side of the wall.”

As if on cue the roar of some great beast could be heard off in the distance somewhere.
 

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