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Registered: 04-2007
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Two Monsters, Two Pieces


“We’re not prepared for a skirmish like this!” A large man, wearing an oddly fashioned purple coat yelled from the middle of the lines.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re prepared or not, Caboose! You get y’er ass in there and you fight!” The Rear Admiral exclaimed. His fiery red hair and unkempt beard made him easily distinguishable amongst the other sailors and navy men.

“…You were right, Major, we should have brought a contingent of infantry-men,” He spoke with a bit of defeat in his voice.

“Doesn’t matter now. Guess we’re just going to have to fight alongside the sailors.” The old man shoved Cross in the back, pushing him towards the other ship. “Let’s get in there and do our best to get Daeris out. He’s important to the Crusades.”

What was a rickety old ship doing out in the middle of the water? Better yet, what did the Imperial Guard want with it?

Those questions, they didn’t matter right now. All that mattered was getting Daeris off of that boat. He was a Crusader, fighting against darkness, in more ways than one. Cross could feel it. There was more than just Daeris on that boat, just like there was more than just the Navy on this one. He could feel the dark energies emanating from the pieces that Maegamarth needed to return.

“Major, I think… I think Daeris has a statue piece hidden on his boat…” A look of concern befell the Paladin’s face. “That must be what they want.”

“If that’s the case, we need to move quick. Eldy, get this ship into high gear, we need to board, now!”

“Tolz, I’m already on it,” and he was. The navy was scuttling in ways Cross couldn’t even begin to comprehend. Pulling sails, untying knots, retying them. It seemed to be a lot of work, but soon the ship was in place.

Daeris, out of fear, and partial madness, had begun fighting the first of the Imperials who boarded his ship. He was spinning wildly, swinging his blade, maneuvering his shield. It wasn’t until the forces boarding formed a wall that Daeris began to retreat towards the Belegarian ship. Suppression fire from the navy was sent into the shield wall, as impenetrable as it seemed. It had little effect on the Guardsmen, but the volleys bought enough time for the first wave of navy-men to board and bring support to the struggling Crusader.

The battle soon broke out, and blue and white met purple and black. Blood began to spill on the planks of Daeris’ ship. The dead were falling, the armored were drowning, and it wasn’t much unlike the battles Cross fought in the past. Major Toland stood beside the paladin, and together became a point from which other lines could form.

People make the worst sounds when they die. It’s not like cleaving through an undead. It’s brutal. They scream, they panic, they cry. Some accept their fates, some fall so quickly they might not even be aware of it, but one thing is for certain, killing the living was something Cross had little taste for anymore. As Major Toland slung his spear into the appendages of enemies, the young paladin kept arrows and pole-arms from contact with his ally. The training instilled in him during his time with the Guard made these movements feel like second nature. An arrow from the left? Raise the shield three inches. The spear three men down? Drop the shield a foot. A javelin piercing towards the Major? One full arm extension to the right. The blows clanged and thwacked against his shield, and through it all, Cross’s eyes seemed empty and robotic.

“This isn’t a winning battle,” he thought to himself. “We need to find that piece and get out of here.” That was the light talking. Deliberate, harmless, and calm, like a tap on the shoulder to get his attention. It became stronger and stronger the longer he ignored it, though. From a tap to a poke, a poke to a prick, a prick to a jab, until finally, Cross couldn’t handle it anymore.

“Daeris! You have to get that piece and get it on to our boat! We need to get off of this ship, and we need to get out of he---” and that’s when it happened. Two large tentacles began slapping the side of the boat. They grabbed Belegarian and Guardsman alike, tugging them into the sea.

“Is that… it can’t be…the Neniathan?!” Daeris exclaimed.

Both armies paused. The creature began snagging people left and right, and in the chaos, Daeris made a run for it.

“Daeris, wait! You… AGH!” Eldgrim understood the necessity of protecting Daeris. He had a treasure trove of knowledge and training from the Crusades that could rival the tomes of old, tomes that Cross and Toland spent the past year retrieving. What Eldgrim did not know was the importance of Daeris’ jaunt into the perils of his own ship. In due time the two of them disappeared from the action of combat, and the Belegarian Navy was pushed back without Eldgrim’s tacticianing.

“This isn’t good, Major. If they don’t get out of there soon, there won’t be much of a ship left for them to get out of,” Cross was taking note of the sea monster’s tentacles slapping the hull of the ship.

“If there were only some way to stall it…” The Major replied before hurling the end of his spear into an enemy’s leg.

“You’re going to have to find a new shield to hide behind, Tolz. It seems I’m needed elsewhere,” The young paladin chuckled a little, and shook his head in disbelief as he stepped back out of the line. Eyes ablaze as he slung his shield over his back, his hefty two-handed sword, sheathed at his side, was brandished, and Cross began darting across the wooden floors of the ship.

“Wait…Cross! Cross! What are you doing?!” Toland stepped back and watched the kid dart into and out of lines as he made his way to the edge of the ship. “He can’t be… There’s no way… Not even Cross is that----“

And soon the paladin leapt from the side of the ship, sword in both hands, stabbing into the large tentacle. It’s a good thing he went with a stab, too, because otherwise he’d have fallen into the sea below, but some would argue that the ocean was a better fate than playing rodeo with a Neniathan. Cross was flung left and right, but grappled tightly to the monster. There was little he could do otherwise but hold on as the monster seemed to retreat from the ship in pain.


---
Cross the Boss.

President of Eryndor 2009-2011
Former High Guardsman of the Imperial Guard
Ragnarok XXIII King of Mardi Gras
Honorary Mirkwoodian
8/22/2012, 3:32 am Link to this post Send Email to Azora Cross   Send PM to Azora Cross AIM
 
Azora Cross Profile
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Re: Two Monsters, Two Pieces


“…stupid,” The Major finished his sentence as he brandished his orange Mourners shield and began protecting his comrades in arms.

Now that the Neniathan was no longer there to distract the masses of Imperial soldiers, the line began to push the Navy further and further into submission. It was around this time that Daeris emerged from below with Eldgrim. The two stood face to face with Captain Evias. The former Senegal was smirking as he pointed a sword to the two of them. A small brigade of Honored Guardsmen stood with him, and the two were obviously outnumbered.

“I think I’ll be taking that, and your’s too, sailor,” His sword was motioned to the statue piece that Daeris held, then towards Eldgrim. “Two birds with one stone! I might even get paid double for this.”
“I can’t just give this to you, Evias, do you have any idea what will happen if the Imperial Guard gets their hands on these?!” Daeris exclaimed, clutching tight to the dark relic.

A large crashing sound was heard, and through the air the young paladin went flying back behind his lines, slammed most violently against the hard wood planks of the boat. The boards broke beneath him, and in a slight daze, he spoke aloud “Okay... okay… I held it off as long as I could. It’s probably about time we got out of here.” Cross coughed, and looked as if he were about to fall unconscious, before a soft light began shining in his left hand. He pressed it to his own chest and it began to dissipate. A handy trick in a pinch, he then climbed to his feet, and began limping off the ship, using his sword as a walking stick. His back was bloodied and bruised, but seemingly unbroken.

The Belegarian Navy began ushering its crew back onto its boat, slowly, realizing its defeat, but Daeris and Eldgrim were still pinned by enemy soldiers. The Neniathan began its rampage, enraged at the damage dealt to it, and began slapping chunks off the ship into the water. The rattling and quaking of the boat in the water caused many to lose their footing, including Daeris, Evias, Eldgrim, and the small group of Honored Guardsmen. The pieces fell to the planks, and began rolling towards the battle. The men scrambled for them, but only the most dexterous and tricky of the three was able to obtain them. Captain Evias, pushing the other two back, grabbed the pieces and rolled triumphantly behind his Honored Guardsmen, and to his feet.

“Haha! Lady Luck smiles today, that fickle mistress!” He grinned and began his retreat back to the Imperial ship.

“We can’t let him get away! Eldgrim!” Daeris stumbled to his feet and started towards Evias.

“Daeris, stop! You’re going to get yourself killed!” Eldgrim, the clearer minded of the two, grabbed Daeris by the ankle, stopping him from a foolishly heroic death. “Our men are already retreating, there’s no winning this battle! We have to call it and get out of here!” He clamored to his feet, and grappled Daeris into retreating.

As the two of them stumbled towards the Navy ship, retreating with their men, they caught a glimpse of a creature with massive wings gliding towards them.

“What kind of madness is this?! I can’t even believe my own eyes! Two monsters in one day, this must be a nightmare!” Daeris exclaimed, a cold sweat breaking out on his forehead.

“This ain’t a dream, Daeris! That….This is real!” Eldgrim tackled Daeris to the ground as the reptilian creature swooped down from overhead. A quick glance over the shoulder revealed the creature heading towards the Honored Guardsmen. As they froze in fear, a fiery haired Grand Guardsman appeared from the right flank. Shield in hand, and the mark of the Hatebringer painted on his face, the warrior bashed the creature to the side in an attempt to save his own men.

The monster’s path was changed and he skidded passed the men in purple and black. Its new target was now the fleeing Evias. Its talons extended and clasped onto the man’s shoulders, lifting him up off the boat. Curses and yelling were heard as the creature roared and flew off into the distance, carrying with it the former Captain of the Senegal’s Finest. Fire shot from the creature’s mouth as it triumphantly escaped with its prey. It was unlike anything that anyone in the battle had ever seen. Scales of blue, black, and green glistened in the sky, and its wings swung up and down so powerfully that it altered the direction of the sea breeze. It was almost majestic, if only it weren’t so terrifying.

Imperial Guardsmen shuffled to raid what they could from the sinking ship as the navy retreated to their own. Daeris’ ship was lost, all in a matter of about an hour. It all happened so quickly, the defeat so demoralizing. Many men were lost and that left the Belegarian Navy with a feeling of self-blame and disappointment. Morale was low, even for the paladin. When the situation was explained, Cross retreated to his room silently to ponder the ramifications of lost pieces, and to deal with the overwhelmingly strong feeling that things were only going to get harder and more deadly from here.

“How are we ever going to get those pieces back? No, I don’t think we are getting them back…” The paladin pondered, eyes staring up at the ceiling of his room, his sword, dulled and cracked from the fight with the Neniathan, lying on the ground beside him. Bandages wrapped around his chest, he closed his eyes and rested his hand on his forehead. “Well, there isn’t much else to think about then. If Maegamarth is coming, then we’re going to have to prepare.” This last though lingered on in his head as he began to drift to sleep, not from relaxation, but from the kind of exhaustion you feel after surviving something you know you probably shouldn’t have.

---
Cross the Boss.

President of Eryndor 2009-2011
Former High Guardsman of the Imperial Guard
Ragnarok XXIII King of Mardi Gras
Honorary Mirkwoodian
8/22/2012, 3:33 am Link to this post Send Email to Azora Cross   Send PM to Azora Cross AIM
 


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