Javan's Spacial Trial

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Javan's Spacial Trial

Post by Essoje on Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:55 pm

The battle is still waging. It's been going on for a full 4 hours, and you are well fatigued at this point. Your armor is chuffed and scarred with magic and metal both, some bits peeled open from cuts and glancing blows, your spear thankfully functional despite the haft being snapped in two. The invading Gotrok have pushed you and your fellows' defensive line back a full hundred yards, but you've still managed to hold together against the assault and keep this area safe.

The gate to Qal looms behind you, sealed shut should you and your platoon fail. By consequence, it also means you are trapped out here, a rather literal ok'tar o'gar... Victory or Death. Most of the people you'd come to know in the last few weeks of the war were dead, smeared across the dry, arid landscape, with only about 12 of you left from the original platoon of 32. The Gotrok had been silent for some time now, and as adrenaline slowly seeped out of your system you started to feel just how tired you really were. Lots of running, lots of jumping, lots of fighting. Become a Dragoon? Fight the good fight? They never mentioned this part, that you were aware. The only relief you gain is on the occasional Jump into an enemy's gullet, the wind whipping past your allowing a brief, seconds-long respite of air and peace before you come slamming down, literally and metaphorically, back into the horror.

A loud, booming trumpet is sounded, and you recognize it as a Gotrok war horn. Another wave is coming. Your gauntlets grip your broken spear, trying to shake revere and fatigue from your system, but to your surprise it is not another squad, nor beast-masters with Mattekars, nor riders... it is a single Lugian.

He is massive, even for his species; almost 18 feet tall. He is clad head to toe in jet-black armor with silver highlights, shimmering oddly in the setting sun. He walks, unhurried, with deliberate purpose towards your group, a massive, hooked-edged mace in his two hands, easily larger than you are, blue energies swirling out of perpetually. Your element-sight shows you that what you are looking at is a Fel Knight, powerfully of the Dark Affinity, but whatever his weapon is, it lacks any elemental energy at all.

Without warning two of the scouts loose arrows upon him, but they both bounce off his armor with ease. He shifts slightly; still walking forward, straight towards the gates of Qal, swings his massive mace at the air to his side. The scout in that direction, to your horror, gives out a terrible, gurgling scream that terminates in a wet crunch, as he is smashed to death by the blow, his corpse sent flying through the air. The other scout hesitates, and looks to you for guidance, but the Fel Knight Lugian marches on, inexorably, straight towards you, and the gate you guard.

The fairy didn't even have the time or strength to blame anyone for what was happening in front of him, and in fact, had already done that a couple hours ago. Javan had already accepted the simple truth that he allowed himself to be in this place and position when he stopped thinking and blindly followed his so-called 'dream' an hour ago. Another one of his allies went down in an instant, and there was nothing he could have done other than stopped them all from entering into the battlefield hours ago. Well, that was too late now and most of them are dead now. Damnit.

After making brief eye contact with the remaining scout, Javan swung his left arm outwards and back, a repositioning signal. Hopefully, the scout would understand his intention, because the fairy's voice would have certainly failed him at that moment: All that would have came out was a strange scream.

A split-second later, he decided against jumping. His white scarf, the young dragoon found out soon after his first successful jump, could "tell" him when and how to jump in order to obtain the most out of it by it's movements in relation to the wind. But the scarf was very quiet at that moment, so Javan started to look for a weak point in the lugian's armor, anything that could be used to slow him. The moment the giant swung that mace, the fairy would try his best to dodge out of harm's way.

The young dragoon convinced himself that the wind could blow in his favor if he allowed himself to survive until the very moment he was allowed to fly, and acted in accord to that conviction. Javan fixed his fighting stance, and took a deep breath, fighting his body's reflex to cough it out for whatever reason. It was time to see if his instincts were right or not.

The helmet the Lugian is wearing completely covers his head and face, so you aren't even positive he sees you, or cares, but he continues his inexorable march forward.  To your right, two of the soldiers move forward to engage, but another swing at the air and one of them is dead in pulp on the ground before he even gets in range.  Three of the mages have also moved out of cover and begin hurtling spells at him which, thankfully, do seem to be landing but not doing as much good as one would hope.  Your unit never had much magical support.

For the first time the Lugian pauses in his stride, just for a second, and you see the featureless helmet turn to the right, in the direction of the Mages.  It becomes clear he's utterly unconcerned about the fighters, but might go kill them first if not otherwise engaged.

Cursing under his dragon-shaped helm, the fairy decided in the heat of the moment to go against his instincts and jump into the armored nightmare that was the Fel Knight in front of him. His white scarf started to moving erratically, as if chastising the dragoon for his choice, but Javan was already in the air, aiming somewhere between the neck and the right shoulder of the Lugian.

The ascension of that particular jump felt horrible, maybe the worst of all his jumps to date. But right now, all the fairy could care was to not lose any more of his comrades. Some of these people have families to return to, and if somehow he returned alive, how would he be able to face them and tell them that their husbands, sons, their cousins or friends died, but he lived.

Nevermind, focus! The descent has already started! The jump should land. Please let it land in target. Please let it stop the Fel Knight! It must. This is why you trained, right? So work, damnit!

The Fel Knight's helmet looks up slightly and in the precision of the moment a thought occurs to you; someone this skilled might know how Dragoons work, and their semi mystical powers.

Sure enough, the Lugian makes absolutely no effort to move but rather holds out one of his long arms, just outside of where your landing trajectory will leave you; virtually guaranteeing you will land true and strike him, but leaving you within his grasp.  There's no time to adjust as you land, his armor pierced for the first time as it smashes all the way through the shoulder and exits the other side, but the Lugian gives no sign of pain and instead, as predicted, grabs you with his massive hand and smashes you into the ground, leaving you momentarily stunned.  Your spear is left sticking through him as he reaches over to grab the mace with his good hand, no doubt intending to bring it swinging down upon you.

The moment the dragoon's body could answer to his will to stand, Javan started to move towards the Lugian as fast as he could in that circumstance, aiming for the perhaps futile action of breaking his balance by throwing himself at the Fel Knight's leg, all that while shouting at the top of his lungs, "What are you waiting for?! Fling everything you have at him, mages! Just... frelling do it!"

The Mages oblige and begin loosing the best spells they have on him, fire and lightning arcing through the air, while the surviving soldier has been joined by two others. The soldiers make a charge but the Lugian, who has sidestepped your charge at his leg, turns towards them and bellows something in a language you do not understand, and gives a mighty swing of his mace.  All three soldiers suddenly gasp in sharp pain, and fall to the ground, though no wounds cover them.  At the same time as you watch, the spear is abruptly shoved back out of his shoulder, seemingly of its own accord, and the violet blood stops leaking over his armor.  He grabs the spear and tosses it at you wordlessly, still ignoring the Mages.

"What in the elements...!", the fairy blurted as he was trying to understand what was going inside the Fel Knight's head. Deciding he could not in fact understand his actions at all, Javan took his broken spear and immediately assumed a semblance of a fighting stance. If that was the a duel request, fine, so be it!

But his body was already starting to fail him: his left should was dislocated when he was thrown into the ground, he started to taste blood in his mouth, and his legs lacked the strength to do little more than support his weight. Feeling pain all over his body, Javan was ready to gamble everything into disabling the Lugian in a counter, closing the gap between them with what was left of his strength and using the giant's own downwards force in order to screw his left arm. Should this work or not, his death would most likely be inevitable, as the land-bound dragoon would receive the sheer weight of the giant mace head on.

But it would allow his allies a chance to turn things around. Repeating in his head this was worth it, the fairy looked directly to Fel Knight, his face betraying how weak and in pain Javan really was. "When you are ready, knight!"

The Lugian bears down on you planning to land one final blow. The blow that would be the end of you. But in a moment of insanity or brilliance you launch yourself toward him, barely avoiding the blow. With spontaneous instinct you lunge forward, spear outstretched, ready for the kill.

The younger soldiers stare up at you with bright eyes, eager for your next words.  They are new recruits to the Dancing Scarves, an odd name but one that always appealed to you.  In recent years your company has become one of the most famous and well respected mercenary units in the National Republic.  "What happened next, Javan?" one of the Fairies asks.

Before you can answer you hear a call.  "Major?  We're ready to begin the next push."

You grin as you push yourself up on your still-broken spear, a momento you never got rid of... though of course, the blade had been enchanted a few times over since then.  One more push into the northern Dires.  The Scarves were getting lucky this week, no Grievver sightings yet.

"Alright, we'll be leaving soon then. Just... do a final final check, we don't want to get ourselves in trouble.", said the dragoon, adjusting his white scarf, that now has old purplish blood stains at the tips. Then, he looks back at the recruits that were preparing to leave, and decided to finish the tale, or at least say what he meant with it, "But yes, what happened next... I tripped, my scarf got in my face, and somehow the spear landed where it was needed the most. There's more to the story, but in the end, we all got saved by strokes of luck one after the other, plain and simple. But that happened because we were alive in order to do so. You rely on your partner, on your family, on your comrades. Try to remember that when we are out there. None of you are alone, after all. Now come on, get yourselves ready."

Making the final adjustments to the leather straps keeping his armor in place, he takes his backpack and starts walking, "Let's hope luck will stay at our side."

The scouting expedition goes well and without much incident at first.  Part of you is exuberant, but most of you is just insanely nervous.  You have a full squad with you, all some of your best people, but this is still the Dires, and the total lack of anything was beginning to get to you.  To travel for miles and find neither beast nor bird nor even insect was simply... unnerving, and the near total silence save your own people's footsteps and the clank of armor was frankly disturbing.

As you're traveling one of the newer recruits, a tall Lugian, sidles up to you and asks in a whisper, eyes never leaving the horizon as he continues to scan for threats.  "So sir, I have to ask, why did you put yourself in a situation like that?  You didn't owe the Osteth anything, you were just a freelance adventurer back then.  Why risk so much of yourself?"

Javan started to whisper back, "Ah, yes, the famous question. See, the reason why I became a freelancer adventure in the first place was because I wanted to become a dragoon, and to become a dragoon, you need some combat experience first. That's what I thought at least. After adventuring, meeting new people, new places... I got a lot of experience besides combat. And then, when I finally became a dragoon, it finally clicked to me: what I really wanted was to be useful, to help people, and as a dragoon, it gave me the power to do so when everything else would fail. Not much later, while visiting Qual, I heard about the Gotrok and their plans for the city and volunteered to help keep the city safe..."

After taking a moment to pause, gather his ideas and scan his surroundings once more, the dragoon continued, "So in the end, my goal was not to help Osteth, the nation. It was to help the civilians of Qual, that were at risk of losing their lives just because they happened to live where they did. It was to bring back most of the soldiers defending that gate back alive. I'd like to think that I did well that day, considering the circumstances... Anyways, that should answer your question."

"I see," the Lugian stroked his chin vaguely.  "I could see that, but--" he is cut off from further comment as he freezes abruptly.  You recognize the sign of him having spotted something and similarly spot and immediately scan the horizon, and see... you're not sure what.  It looks vaguely humanoid, and after a moment of examination if you were to put a label on it, it looks like a bronze statue with some type of covered helmet, glimmering oddly by itself in the massive, barren Dires, utterly alone and completely out of place.  It is, obviously, not moving.

Javan signs for everyone to stop. He then signaled for the scouts to check the surroundings and the target. In the Direlands, you never know when something else might engage because you were not looking.

There is a very long, tense wait.  No one says anything but everyone has the same general thought; when you encounter something unknown it's generally bad.  Something unknown in the Dires?  That could be worse than fatal.

The scouts come back after a full half-hour of arduous silence and tension, reporting they can't see anything else across the perfectly flat terrain for miles in all directions.  Just a bronze statue standing there like nothing's business.  They do report it's a bit larger then they thought, probably about 15' tall, and it has some adornments on it, but they couldn't identify them and dared not get closer.

From the little the scouts told him, Javan decided to label the statue as an ancient feral golem, which made it dangerous with the amount of recruits under him.

The dragoon tried to find or remember a reason to not simply ignore the statue for now and come back prepared, with specific weapons for dealing with this kind of threat.

Javan's contract with the Republic stated scouting and information primarily; His group was chosen for their excellent record. So engaging was at his discretion.

The dragoon rounds up the squad and talks to them, just loud enough for all to hear, "Note the position of this 'statue' in the map. Mark it as possible ancient feral metal golem. We are going to continue our push, and go around it. Now let's go."

You make your way further around the outskirts of the completely flat, barren terrain you take notice for the twentieth time today the near total silence of the Dires.  No wind, no insects, no beasts, no nothing.   For such a foreboding and terrifying land, it sure seemed... still.

It is not until a few minutes later, as you pause the group to scope the area and look around that you realize your group is down three people.

Javan's brain froze for a split second before he started to spit out commands, although taking care to not shout them out, "... We have three missing! All of you, defensive formation! Concentrate now, scan the horizon, the ground, the air, pay attention to it all! Scouts, check the ground for vibrations! Everyone, be prepared to react to anything and everything at a moment's notice! Also, only attack when ordered!"

Once done doing the bare minimum as a commander, Javan started to scan everything his eyes could see using his element-sight, all that while readying his broken spear. The dragoon was fighting his own body's urge to just run from the unknown into a random direction, mentally cursing the primal tendencies of his air affinity getting in the way of getting things done when he truly needs them.

Nothing seems amiss to troop nor you until you use your element-sight and spot one of your troops who is... flickering.  It's just barely there, in fact if you weren't as experienced as you were in its usage you probably wouldn't have seen it at all.  As you concentrate on him, an Orc who's name you can't quite remember right now, you see it flicker once more.

The dragoon turned himself to the Orc, "Alright, stay still. I hope it's just my nerves, but I need to be sure. I need a Scan on him, stat!"

The Orc holds up his hands.  "Woah there, what do you think you're doing?"

But before more can be said one of your more senior Druids casts Scan 10 on him, and frowns.  "Something's wrong sir, the Scan's being blocked!"

"Hold on just a second!" the Orc bellows, starting to sound angry.  "I've been with this company for 3 months and this is how you're treating me, here of all places?"

The dragoon said in a calm but firm voice, hoping that it'll work on his favor, "Hold your temper, my element-sigh caught something that's making you flicker, and unless you have anything that can block a scan by a senior druid, I'm pretty sure this is a bad sign, whatever it is. That said, I'm not going to give up on you if I can avoid it. Give me a second to come up with something."

"We are missing 3 others, one of us flickering, which means... something like...", Javan's words trailed as he tried to put this situation in some kind of category, but being unable to due to too many unknowns, throws it in the 'epidemic' category just for safety, and tried to move faster than the fear of the unknown could start any arguments in the squad. "Mark the map, a circle of 1 mile radius from this point as a 'danger zone', and the rest of the group will stay away of us two, at least 35 feet. Are we clear? We are leaving this danger zone ASAP and going to a place were we can take a look at whatever this is! Now, start running, scouts first! We are going around the zone, and don't stop until we are out of it!", the fairy quickly pointed to his left, perpendicular from the way they came from.

It felt it was the best that could be done given the circunstances, save for leaving the orc to his fate in the Direlands, which was out of question. Javan wouldn't want that kind of fate for anyone but the most horrendous monsters in the world.

The group rushes off, as per your orders, and after a great deal of running and some mild panic, you end up outside what you termed the danger area.  The group stabilizes a bit and you nod, and realize that the Orc from earlier was completely gone.  A quick glance with your sharp eyes confirmed something else; 4 more people were missing now too.

Javan caught himself clenching his jaw and fists hard in order to keep the rest of his body from shaking visibly to the remaining squad. The feelings of distress, powerlessness and dread started to creep closer and closer to the fairy, his efforts to hold these feeling at bay starting to failing. If anything, they were amplified by the fact he was the one in charge and failing at keeping his comrades alive.

The dragoon finally decided to stop using his element-sight in fear of finding out who would disappear next, if that's what it was showing him, and continued to walk in complete silence while they made their way back. Javan could be a great warrior, and would willing go down fighting for others, but this whole situation was something he wasn't prepared for, ever.

As you head back you check periodically behind you.  A few minutes pass and, with mounting frustration, you realize you are down one more person.  You also realize, after a second, that the path you're taking back should be taking you back by the odd statue, but it is no where to be seen even in the perfectly-flat terrain.

Javan takes a deep breath and then signals for the group to approach, and then explains to them his new findings and new course of action, although his voice was mostly devoid of emotion now due to his mental exhaustion, "We are missing a 15 feet tall statue that should be around here. Considering our current situation started after we found that statue, there's a good chance we can stop this if we can find it. Tracking, scanning, element-sight, anything else you guys can use to find that thing. Now let's start."

The dragoon took another deep breath and started to nonchalantly scan everything with his element-sight. Deep down, he felt glad the statue was missing, as this actually gave him something to lay blame on and focus other than his disappearing comrades.

As you are scanning around you hear a strangled grhtk right beside you, very short and brief; in fact if you weren't listening for it you wouldn't have even heard it.  You whirl and spot the Lugian who questioned you earlier, though his expression has changed and he is looking down at you with contempt and arrogance to such a degree you have never seen before.  "Tire of eating your young." he mutters in a voice you've never heard before, like metal scraping against stone.  "Greater fare in you."

"Eati--!", Javan voice's fails as his instincts to jump back and ready his spear were faster, just in time for hearing the last bit of speech from the Lugian, or whatever it was. His eyes went wide, and he tried to understand the situation, and then shouted a retreat order, and repeated it two more times. If the rest were not 'eaten' already, they'd comply and he would hear hurried footsteps, or so he wished it would go. The fairy himself did not try to run, at least physically, as he felt had to take care of this situation.

"Good.  Far tastier," the horrible voice comes, but several of your troops form ranks on either sides of you despite your orders.

"We're with you sir, don't worry!"
"We'll best this monster!"

The dragoon smiled for a brief moment, but then started to shout, "Frell, I love you guys too, but think for a second about what's happening! Why would it show itself now of all times, not to mention that smug face? That's simple! It knows it can't be defeated, even with all of us here! That's why... I need you all to survive this, to tell others what happened here today. Just freaking go, run damnit!"

He did not know how exactly that thing was eating his companions, or how it planned to eat him, but Javan could not allow it to eat his comrades. The tip of his broken spear started to move in the direction of the lugian's leg, as the fairy was looking for a way to slow the thing down, rather than kill the lugian and risk it to transfer itself to Javan, or worse yet, one of the others.

After some hesitation, your troops finally turn and flee, pausing occasionally to look back.

The 'Lugian', whatever it is, looks at you impassively.  "Why allow the flock to flee?  To what purpose?"

The dragoon looks back at the thing and answers the question posed to him, his face showing that he was half-expecting his attack to be ineffective in some way, "One, because I don't want my comrades to become food while unable to even fight back. Not my style. Two, because I'm convinced that simply stabbing whatever you are with my spear will not stop you. Based on your behavior, having more spears or magic won't help things either. Still too many unknowns tho. Finally..."

As Javan takes a deep breath from his fast talk, he starts to lower his stance, and a considerable amount of air element starts to concentrate in his body, specially in his legs. The fairy was preparing a jump, although at a much slower pace than normal, and then finishes his sentence before suddenly gaining altitude, "... finally, because I felt that was the right thing to do."

While approaching the apex of his jump, the dragoon quickly produces an steel dagger from his belt and then places it at the back of his broken spear with his left hand. Only then Javan himself understood what he was doing: His aim was both at the lugian's neck, which from this angle should make a mess of his internal organs, and his own heart, that would be perforated by the dagger at the moment of impact.

Javan was more afraid of what he felt would be his soul being eaten and his body used like the lugian to hunt his friends than from a simple death, and as the descent started, he understood that as well.

The spear slams into the Lugian full force, pushing all the way down through and out his lower back, the dagger hitting your own heart, piercing with the full force of the Jump through armor and skin.  The pain is shocking and acute, but the Lugian's expression hasn't changed as he looks at you.  From the wound a faint, white powder that sparkles in the light like glass or diamonds trickles out, and the Lugian reaches up to grip your neck and yanks you even further down, the spear going further through it until your face is directly in front of its.  The air you'd gathered for your Jump vanishes completely, leaving nothing at all; no wind, no breeze, and no sound.  Pitiless, black eyes stare into yours, so horrifying that you feel your soul start to shudder within you, but then it speaks in a different voice then before, like thunder on the plains.  "Beware the Dires," it whispers, shaking you down to your core.  "Here... there be monsters."

As the pain grows you take a step out of the Violet Star and blink, surprised and shocked at the abrupt change in sensations.  It is sufficiently potent to send you to your knees, gasping for breath, as all your true memories come flooding back; you are a young Fairy, wish to be a Dragoon someday, and undertook the Spacial Trial which, apparently, just ended.  But despite the overwhelming sensations both emotional and physical, you feel a faint tone in the very back of your mind that tells you that you succeeded at your Trial.
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Essoje

Posts : 1136
Join date : 2013-02-11
Age : 34

Character sheet
Elemental Affinity: Air
Class: Fighter 6/ Dragoon 1/ Green Aberrant 1
Race: Fairy(?)

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