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The Crustacean Menace

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A large crab storms Aegrothond, circa 1695.


Day had dawned bright over the eastern sea, casting dappled patterns across a swelling congregation. Illynora approached on cat silent feet, the butt of her elderwood staff thudding against soft soil, and ran a swift look over those gathered. Too many to count, though all familiar faces… save for two. One was possessed of features eerily similar to those of the male elf she stood beside; Miklaeil, bronze skin made darker from his time in the pleasant island weather. The other was of mali’ame descent, that much was certain, though Illynora had never seen the elfess before.


Talks were pleasant, laughs exchanged, and the day seemed as though it would be once again comfortably mild. Until a violent tremor shook the isle of mists right down to its very foundations.


Some fell to their knees, many cried out-- from above, a helmeted mali’fenn crashed through dense foliage and landed harshly against the earth with a sickening crack. As Feanor and Delmira hurried from their home, Illynora scampered up a rocky incline to stand atop a terracotta tiled roof overlooking the shuddering cove. There was naught to be seen between the roiling whitecaps save for shards of dislodged driftwood. As she was about to climb down to solid ground, another force struck the island and Illynora was sent down onto her knees, hard. Pain exploded through them, light splintering in her vision as she slid down to loamy soil.


“To higher ground! Rally at the hall!” Belestram’s voice was a boom across the eastern arm of the island, all within earshot jumping to do as was bid. The golden haired elf held an arm to the prone mali’fenn, helping him to stand and then further supporting him as they hobbled up towards the great hall.


No sooner had they arrived in the cavernous room, already bustling with elves, did Feanor’s voice ring out. “Giant hermit crab, north bay!”


Sure enough, as mali flocked to the stone balustrades, a large crab could be seen storming the northern side of the isles. Water churned in its wake, turning the sea into a pale froth, but Illynora did not linger to see anything else as she hurried to the injured snow elf’s side. Her healer’s hands made quick work of tending to him, a steady concentration serving to drown out all else.


Some distance away, Belestram drew his runeblade with a metallic rasp. Runic lettering blazed to life, a similar fire shining in his grey eyes as he stared unflinchingly across at the giant crab. “To arms! The crustacean menace has arrived!”


Longbows were snatched up from against stone pillars, spears were leveled, swords bared. All seemed prepared to storm the beach and put an end to the encroaching hermit crab… but another beast performed their task with brutal efficiency. A wyvern, black as death, swept in from the heavens and decapitated the crustacean with one snap of its vicious jaws. It twitched and seized for long moments, while the elves stood with bated breath, before falling lifeless into the ocean.




None moved as the deafening crash of waves reached them, completely transfixed as they watched the wyvern take flight. Some seemed relieved, as though the beast might fly away… but the hunters of their group watched the horizon with a keen eye. The creature circled like a monstrous bird of prey, before alighting on the mast of the Red Dawn and loosing a terrible, piercing scream. Blood dripped from its maw, barely visible against the backdrop of ink-black scales. Cries of “To the shore!” sounded out, and soon enough there were ten elves on the beach, preparing to face off against the serpentine creature. Ten remained above, lining the cliff faces-- bows and spears trained on its heavily scaled back.


As the order to fire burst from Elros’ lips, the wyvern abruptly lashed its whiplike tail to those stood guard on the beach. Spikes rattled and disconnected from its flesh, and were sent spearing towards raised kite shields and masterfully forged plate armour where they were cast harmlessly away. From the walls, and the sandy shore, arrows pelted the ebony beast. One struck it directly through the eye (rousing a victorious cry from its source: Cedlas), while the others skittered harmlessly across its armoured scales and fell into the tumultuous sea. Just as Leyne drew her arm back and launched a spear straight for the wyvern’s other eye, it reared up, and an ear-splitting clap rent the humid air as it launched itself upwards with the speed of a lightning bolt.


Those below were sent stumbling back with the sudden gust of air, and were unable to steady themselves before the creature came barreling down at them like an oversized hawk. Four arrows managed to pierce the flimsy membrane of its wings, three (Nenar, Turge, and Feanor) having come from above, while Elros was the first of those on shore to act. The others were still stumbling to their feet, reaching for fallen weapons, when the beast darted forwards to bite at Cedlas. He dropped his mace in a panic, diving for the safety of the golden sands, and Belestram made his move.


Illynora watched from above, having sent Aesilnoth off with a splinted leg, as Belestram brought Gimil-Zagar down in a singular, sweeping motion. Sand sprayed up beneath his boots as the elf swiveled, as nimble and fluid as a dancer, and brought the runeblade down on the wyvern’s outstretched neck. To no effect, save for a few dislodged scales. Time seemed to slow as the beast turned its attention to her husband, screams of “Belestram!” and “Father!” echoing in her ears.


It lunged, teeth closing down on his right arm, and pulled away in a shower of gore and blood. A keening wail broke out across the bay, but Belestram made no noise at all as he collapsed against the white sand and stained it crimson. Focused entirely on consuming its ill gotten meal, the wyvern did not notice as Nenar took her chance and leaped from a nearby cliff face onto its waiting right wing. Using her daggers as picks, she stabbed them into muscle and dragged her way up its back, but before she could lodge steel deep beneath its armour-like scales… the creature bucked, throwing her halfway across the cove. She was nary more than a flash of red hair as she flew, striking the hull of the Red Dawn and crumpling beneath the waves. Elora dove after her, strong kicks taking her beneath the water, while a fresh volley of arrows rained down on the writhing, furious wyvern. It loosed a roar of defiance as some arrows struck true, and a mace bounced harmlessly from its scaled hide.


While something inside of Illynora howled for her to leap down to the beach and save her husband, her healer’s heart told her to be calm, and prepare the great hall for an influx of injured elves when all was said and done. Belestram would want her to protect the collective over the individual, even if that individual was her lifemate. So, with only a glance over the balcony to see that Exa’vier was staunching Belestram’s stump of an arm and moving him to higher ground, Illynora gathered up the healers and set to work.


For the past month, Nikai’s life had been absorbed by one thing, infinitely more precious than her life or anything else in their imperfect world-- the perfect, cherished Saeros. Her babe did not squall as others did, and was sleeping peacefully as a blood curdling shriek ripped through the otherwise peaceful isle of Aegrothond. It was instinct to leap to her feet and seize a sword, before charging out into the warm morning air. Saltwater sprayed up against cliff edges, roused by the wings of…


“Aspects…” she breathed, as a thrice damned wyvern lashed its spiked tail across a crowd assembled on the beach. Among them: Miklaeil.


Running past arched windows, quick as a stream down a mountainside, Nikai caught flashes of the action occurring below. A flurry of attacks did nothing to the massive beast, and she felt a horrified scream wedge itself in her throat as a blonde haired elf was taken by the torso in its gaping, long-fanged mouth. Blood sprayed, scarlet splattering the sand when its teeth sunk deeper. It was only when Rinae struck the wyvern’s side with a warhammer, dealing a bone shattering blow, did its jaw unlock. The now-dead elf was flung into the sea, showering blood, though Nikai could not make out their identity on account of their mangled features.


Her feet slid across loamy soil and uneven shards of stone, breakneck pace taking her at last to the gates. She had just swung herself through when an unfamiliar mali’fenn was sent smashing against a nearby cliff with the ease of a ragdoll. Kharris and several others were still firing from above, and Nikai didn’t have time to see if the armoured figure was badly injured. Miklaeil was on the other side of the beach, she just had to reach him, make sure that he was safe…


Cedlas, for all his faults, was undeniably a warrior. He charged forwards like a whirlwind in black plate, before bringing his blade down in a graceful arc exactly where his father’s blow had landed earlier. It cleaved through sinew and bone like a knife through butter, leaving the wyvern’s head upon shore like a grotesque trophy. Aegrothond’s cerulean cove was stained crimson, but a collective sigh of relief blew through the ancient trees and settled in Nikai’s heart.


Relief soon turned to dread in her stomach. Mali who had been up in the great hall were now on the beach, Lady Illynora crouched over the pale and bleeding form of her husband. Those elves were unarmoured, much like herself, unable to fend off any attacks… let alone the dozens of three foot long spikes that exploded from the wyvern in its dying moments. Screams split the air, Nikai’s world had gone red… Miklaeil had a spike speared directly through his shoulder while Belestram…


Belestram was dying. His blood ran thick and fast over Illynora’s hands as they fluttered uselessly around the spike lodged in his chest. Behind her, on a spit of red-stained beach, Elora’s thigh had a spike blasted through it. Nenar lay unconscious and unresponsive beside her, both soaking wet and chilled to the bone, but Illynora had not an ounce of concern to spare as Belestram’s breath rattled in his throat. Dangerously shallow.


Tanager’s corpse washed ashore, borne on the waves formed by the wyvern’s death throes. The creature lay still, now, floating in the chum bucket water. Gulls soared overhead, insect-song resumed, and Belestram’s lifeblood continued to seep through Illynora’s desperate fingers.


OOC: A big thank you to @Bluee who ran this event for us! We had lots of fun and the effects are ongoing...

Edited by Toffee

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Miklaeil rubbed at the deep scar that was left by the black spike as he sat in his home. The efforts of his lover and daughter to see him healed were successful, despite his own unwillingness to remain resting in the clinic. The area still ached from time to time, usually when he reached up too high or at an odd angle. But he was alive and able to fight another day- So he was content with that.


With the threat extinguished and his body mostly back to working order, it was time he set his focus back upon one of his saviors. For a Lord needed his Lady, and the Lord Silma had tarried in this long enough, “Mm.. I’ll need to ask Illynora for help with a wedding- Ow! And blissfoil, damn it all..”

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(This was an excellent read, I love it. It was a pleasure to host it for you guys.)

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Fëanor decided his luck was poor. Scales littered the workbench before him, their sizes varying: shimmering teal, miniscule; ink-black, large as a dinner plate. These spoils were the bounty of the serpent-kin which surfaced through his family’s history: the Droquar from Atlas’s early years, the lubba, now wyverns. He was poor in luck but rich in scales, and this made him cross.


These scales were not worth the loss of good Tanager, whose life was snatched away by the jaws of the wyvern. Not worth the loss of his father’s arm. The bounty had been mighty, yet the scales could never outweigh the omen which draped over his shoulders and bore down on his back.


It had been only a month since his mother spoke of mortality: that he would yet outlive her and others. Just less than a month he had spoken of this (in part) to his father, and now his father too had a brush with death. Too many other omen-words drifted into his forethought.


The elf had enough. Serpent-coin, flames, mallet and anvil: all of these would drown the premonitions, these shadows of his mind out. The forge of Aegrothond was hotter for the following week, as the young smith sought perfection by the flames and by his own hands, weaving scale bounties into wondrous armor.


“You are an inheritor of action,” someone had told him, long ago.

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Aesilnoth sat perched above upon a ledge overlooking the island. Overlooking the bay, his thoughts would be filled of his home, friends, and family. Suddenly he felt the island seemingly awaken, as it shook and rumbled. The tremors were strong enough in fact, he was caught off balance and tumbled over the ledge. Down he fell through branches and vines, until there was nothing but the ground and the air beneath them. Crash Aesilnoth hit the ground with a thunderous sound of his steel plate against the earth. With a shake of his head, Aesilnoth would attempt to gather himself and stand to his feet. As weight was added to his leg however, a sharp pain would shoot through his body causing him to fall to the ground once again. 


”Wyrvun’s mercy, what was that?” He would say aloud attempting to stand once more. The same fate would befall him yet again, as he would drop to a sitting position upon the floor. He would hear the talks of the people nearby, until one among them would make a decision. He would hear Belestram yell out ”To higher ground! Rally at the hall!”  An arm of aid would then be outreached to Aesilnoth from the owner of the voice. Aesilnoth would take it knowing there simply were no other options. As he was brought to the hall, Belestram would call out to his beloved. A mali’ame elfess, who would make quick work at tending to his injury. The precision at which she was able to identify and treat his wound was at a speed he had never witnessed. Still, even in dealing with his own injury all he could hear or focus on was the raging battle below. 


The elfess would provide a splint to bind his leg saying to him ”You’ll be unable to run, perhaps you can provide aid with a bow from above.”   Aesilnoth would provide a nod of his head replying “That I can do.” He would withdraw his Fennic longbow from it’s resting place upon his back. Limping, he would rush to the battlements to catch his first glimpse at the struggle below. His vision would be filled with what seemed to be death incarnate. A Wyvern blacker than anything he had ever seen, it’s maw dripping the blood of its prey. Aesilnoth would join three others quickly nocking an arrow and releasing it. His aim for an area behind one of the Wyvern’s ears. To no avail, the arrow would simply bounce off its scales. Having another arrow nocked, he would instead elect to aim for an exposed area along the Wyvern’s neck. Once again, the arrow would fail to meet its mark. Just as soon as he would release his second arrow, he would catch a glimpse to his flank. One of the mali’ame that joined him upon the battlement would take flight. Swooping down upon the Wyvern, as it had the giant crab. He would see the mali’ame make contact with the wing, until the beast flung her from itself. He would only see the body elfess strike the ship that rested upon the harbor, before sinking into the water below.


Aesilnoth, frustrated at his missed shots had finally decided enough was enough. Strapping his Fennic longbow upon his back, he would release his drakesmithed steel blade ‘Dawn’ from its leathery home. The steel itself would glow, as if embers of a fire were trapped within. As the steel blade met the air, chilling vapors would emit from the blade. The steel would be freezing cold to the touch, befitting an elf of the snow. Rushing himself as quickly as his injured leg would allow, he would reach the citizen doors. Aesilnoth would yell out “Someone open these damned doors!”  accompanied by the banging of his golem hand upon them. His demands would remain unmet, as there he stood unable to help in the ongoing struggle. Once again he would cry out “Get these doors open! Quickly!” at last his call was heard. The doors would swing open, his path now unblocked Aesilnoth would rush forward. Planting his feet onto the beach now, it stood before him. A Wyvern in all its devastating glory. Seeing now the magnitude of the Wyvern, Aesilnoth would draw a second steel blade into his offhand. Exploding forward, he would attempt to swing his drakesmithed blade down onto the neck of the Wyvern. His blade would simply deflect off the scales, knocking one or two away leaving a slight exposed area. Suddenly the Wyvern threw itself to the side causing its tail to swipe at the defenders of the beach. Aesilnoth would see this coming, he would drop himself into the sand as the tail strike swooshed over his head with incredible force. As he hit the sand he would notice another mali’fenn, Vyrion had joined in the fray. He watched as his kin would show no fear nor respect for the Wyvern, as he rushed forward with no weapons only to land a punch at the eye of the beast. The Wyvern was no fan of this feat, slamming into the mali’fenn and throwing him against the wall. Aesilnoth then paced himself to the opposite flank of the Wyvern, hoping to seize an opportunity to deal damage. Fortunately for all involved, one defender would swing with mighty force down onto the Wyvern’s neck. This blow would end the battle as fast as it began. The dragon had been beheaded, the battle was victorious. But at what cost? Aesilnoth would ponder to himself. Abruptly large black spikes would explode from the Wyvern carcass, planting many of them into the defenders close by. One such would fly past Aesilnoth’s head and pierce itself into the wall behind him.


Looking around at the damage done by the Wyvern he would notice the mangled and torn figure of Belestram. It was not so long ago that the sight of this would have enjoyment to the Snow elf’s eye. However, on this day it had only brought sorrow. Walking past the scene, his kinsman Vyrion would lay upon the beach in front of him a body. It would be unrecognized to Aesilnoth, the only displeasure he would feel would be at the loss of life. Aesilnoth would kneel down at the body and feel for any sign of a pulse. None would reveal itself. Aesilnoth would turn to the main group and yell out “I believe this one to be deceased.”. Soon a mali’ame would come, bringing along a stretcher to retrieve the body. It seemed his presence at Aegrothond would come to an end for the time being. He would call out to the group for a final time “Give Belestram my regards, if he lives.”. With the aid of Vyrion they would travel back to Talar’ikur to rest their wounds. Aesilnoth would open his waistpack as he returned to his home, producing two large Wyvern scales. What would be done with these however, remained a mystery to him.   

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1 hour ago, EtherealPvP said:

As he hit the sand he would notice another mali’fenn, Vyrion had joined in the fray. He watched as his kin would show no fear nor respect for the Wyvern, as he rushed forward with no weapons only to land a punch at the eye of the beast. The Wyvern was no fan of this feat, slamming into the mali’fenn and throwing him against the wall.

Vyrion cracks his knuckles.

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