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Teros

RPG Fanatics Guild - Battle of THE RED ONE

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Hello and welcome to the RPG Fanatics. This is a story-based accountability group with some pretty easy guidelines:

 

1) Main story is written in this red and in bold.

2) Your character writes in this blue italic.

3) Regular writing that is not in character (like right now) is in regular old black.

4) Follow the threads of people in this group to offer accountability. Don't know how to follow and check on people?  Easy: http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/50975-how-to-pm-and-follow/

5) Have some damn fun!

 

With that out of the way, the story so far......

---

 

 

Welcome to the World of NerdFitness

NFWorldMap_zpse251a558.jpg

 

Something about the realm felt unsettling, but there was no way to put a clearly tell what was wrong.  Then a raving lunatic named Teros is carted off- he was screaming in the streets about the end times.  Intrigued and willing to give him a chance, a ragtag group naming themselves the RPG Fanatics faced their first foe: Sodamus.

Sodamus_zps7c4bfdf9.png

Along the way, the group rescued others that aided their quest; most notably Sulak; a goat monster that was held captive and specializes in arcane gem crafting.  He created 'gems of portation', which were small illuminated gems that would light up when close to each other. It helped keep the group together in future campaigns.

 

Sodamus' minions were tracked down and his goblin horde was dispatched.  Sodamus was a demon-king responsible for the rise in new peppy 'elixirs'.  Lo and behold, it turns out the demon-king's concoction was made with his own filth extracted from boils on his back and mixed with a blend of dirty water and drugs known as 'sugar' and 'caffeine'. 

 

The RPG Fanatics slayed the beast, only to deal immediately afterwards with three agents of the FrostKing.  His minions froze the town of level 1 rebels as well as causing much destruction and mayhem. There arose in that small area by the level 1s an eternal winter:

acerbus-Copy_zpsdd05d684.jpg

 

Two allies; the blind ravens Huginn and Muninn, explained the situation that has befallen the heroes.  There are major Demon-Kings that have crept up to control the realm, and it was now the RPG Fanatic's quest to end them all. Sodamus was just the beginning- starting a chain reaction. The heroes have the attention of the mysterious Red One, as well as the other Demon-kings.  The ravens spoke to the leader by default: Teros, about a grave omen that will need to be faced when the time comes to finally destroy the Red One.  Knowing what must be done, Teros continues on with the RPG Fanatics; knowing crucial information that will be needed in the final fight.

 

Our heroes trekked through the Scout's Plains up past the Ranger's Fort to the Warrior's Hall.  There, the FrostKing's draugr minions of ice and bone clashed in an epic battle that saved the Warriors from overwhelming odds.

 

FROSTKING-FINAL_zps59e5beaa.png

 

Putting an end to the FrostKing was no easy task; being that he was the manifestation of being frozen in fear and inactivity.  He was beheaded with some creative thinking, and the RPG Fanatics headed back south to help the Level 1 rebel town heal.

 

After helping rebuild the level 1 town, the ravens spoke of another threat looming over the horizon: Distractia.  The group enlisted the aid of others that rallied behind the core group of the RPG Fanatics.  They made their way to Distractia's casino- a place filled with all sorts of addictions and distractions to keep people from realizing their full potential.  Distractia was a different type of foe; enlisting the use of riddles, poison gas, killer mannequins, sorcery in neverending hallways, and his jester-minions. 

 

distractcreepyZONEgame_zps2f2b3177.jpg

 

In the end, Distractia's death came by a dagger to the heart from a quick-acting hero in the group.  Before his abrupt demise, he spoke lovingly of his 'Maru', which according to the picture framed by his piano was some sort of other demon-queen.

 

The RPG Fanatics made their way out of Distractia's Casino and back to civilization to deal with the next threat to the realm: Acerbus.

 

Acerbus' clouds of black shadow started to show their tendrils and the RPG Fanatics knew what they must do. They plowed through the burning sands of the south-west and went to the tomb of Depression Incarnate, The Black Dog, The Misguided Tales of Cerebrus and Anubus: The Demon-King Acerbus.

Cerberus-Copy_zps10b47652.png

 

Although a worthy foe; his light-stealing magics were not enough.  With some crafting thinking and a stroke of luck by the group, he was defeated.  The ravens tell of a disturbing issue: though very few Demon-Kings left, with every demon that is slain, the ones remaining are able to siphon the dead one's essence- thus becoming stronger. Every opponent that the group must face becomes evermore increasing in threat.  Does this mean that this war is eternal, with the essence of evil merely passing from one vessel to another? Or can there be true peace? There was only one way to know for sure: continue the quest.

 

Besides the mysterious and ever-watching RED ONE, the only demons that were left were the succubi-twins: Mal and Maru. They were responsible for other addictive substances like cheese and chocolate. Just like Sodamus' reign was from his 'elixirs', the demon-queen sisters realm was under the guise of a 'healthy sweets' shop/factory.  In that factory was the bizarre Dr. N, who tried to trick the RPG Fanatics with his mind-altering truffles.  Also in that area was were other succubi, who would seduce and siphon life from the weak-minded. Some of the RPG Fanatics came dangerously close to being turned into shriveled husks of humanity by these succubi, but overall the group had triumphed.  Dr N. made his escape in the commotion.

 

MalMaru_zps873fca60.png

The battle with the demon-queens took shape, and one of them was dispatched. The other however, tried to fly away. Sulak's arrow was tethered with a thin rope, which plunged into her wing; shredding it.  In the commotion, Sulak fell out of the factory window and plummeted towards the ground. Sadly, the demoness was wounded but ultimately escaped.  The RPG Fanatics were able to heal Sulak to the best of their abilities; however, his gem of portation was partially shattered into his heart.  If pulled out, he would die, so all of the healing salves and magics needed to work around this difficulty. Healed but permanently fused with his gem, Sulak is able to continue the fight.

 

Now, after 10 grueling months of fighting the forces of evil, it culminates with this.  The group must travel to the blackened island that no one else dare tread to face their task. Will this battle with the Red One be the end? Will there be peace in the realm?  What about the omen that the ravens told of Teros back during the Frost King?  We join these heroes on the next leg of their journey; and with knowing how evil is siphoned- their greatest challenge yet...

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A few moments later of working diligently, the wound stopped bleeding and Sulak wasn't breathing as heavily.  He would make it. A voice from the back (most likely Dark_Raider) asked, "Where do we go from here?"

 

The adrenaline rush from the fight had worn off; the party weary from the brawl they just dealt with.  "First things first. We need to get out of this damn forest." -Teros

 

ChristArtist chimed in, "We need to get out of the Forest of Doubts and Sulak needs rest. We need to get out of here, find an inn or make camp, and recover. We are almost done with this journey....aren't we?"

 

Huginn and Muninn nodded in unison.  "We only have the Red One left.  With this blow being dealt, we must travel far to the Forbidden Crags."

 

It took a long time trying to get out of the forest. It was like a maze. On more than one occasion the same dead husks of people were seen half buried under gnarled roots and leaves. "I guess this makes sense now...why they none of the bodies bled when they were stabbed..." Red1263 trailed off.  Finally, the group decided to mark a tree and then tether a thin rope to it so they could move away from it tangentially.  The group made it out of the forest and right into the heart of the Ranger's Fort.

 

"Ahh...my home." Dark_Raider said.  "I have some influence here. I will see about us getting a place to stay for the next night or two to rest up."  With that, the group found their way to the 'Marrymore Inn'.  When the group had finally gotten some well-earned rest; they were ready to continue on their final leg of their long journey.  At the Ranger's Fort, word of the continuing campaign had spread. Some new faces decided to join the fight. (If you are new to the RPG Fanatics, this is where you can write yourself in!)

 

An ally offered to bring the group to the level 1 rebels and from there, they should be able to get a boat.  A travelling wagon carting supplies brought the group from the Ranger's Fort, south towards the Scout's Plains, then then east to the level 1 rebel's area.  Originally, the level 1 rebel's area was an island, but with the FrostKing's giants, there was a small patch of unnatural eternal winter; making a short ice bridge connecting the island to the coastline.  The party made their way to the level 1's and were able to get a couple of boats.  It was a bright and early morning with slight winds. It looked like the group would be able to get to the Forbidden Crags without much trouble within a couple of hours of sailing.

 

When stepping on the boat, Sulak started to panic.  His usual stuttering and bleating came back in full force, saying  "I hate the w-w-w-at-t-t-er."  Teros noticed something peculiar.  There was a glow under Sulak's armor- on his chest.  Going up to him, Teros pointed and said, "Hey Sulak, how is your heart doing?  What does the gem feel like?" Sulak pulled the cloth away from his chest and the gem was a faint white.  "Hey Sulak...water." -Teros.  "Ow-w-w-w ple-e-e-ease don't talk about it-t-t-t." -Sulak.  Teros saw the white glow fade away and disappear. It was like the gem showed Sulak's emotions and fear shut it gem 'off'.  Teros stroked his chin and thought how interesting that was. He decided to play a game and said,  "Hey Sulak, what do you think of Sodamus?"  Sulak furrowed his brow and his eyes narrowed. "What do you mean, about him?!"

 

Teros saw the gem in his chest go from 'off' while being scared, to turning a crimson red swirling.  Teros nodded in approval and pointed, "Do you not notice this Sulak? Look at your chest. Look at what happens when you're angry."  Sulak looked down and was surprised, which then had the gem turn into a faded purple hue, and then back to a calming faint white.

 

"ALL ABOARD!" the captain screamed.  Sulak's chest gem went dark as he gulped.  Everyone got onto the large boat. Hopefully it would be able to handle a party of such a big size.  The captain, Ben, shouted again, "C'MON! If you really aim on savin' us then get your arses in gear!"  Ben had a loud and boisterous voice, but a very small and childlike frame. It was jarring.

 

On the boat and sailing out, there was a slight drizzle. No real clouds to be seen though.  The air was cool and breeze was light.  Ben put on a music box near the front of the ship. "Let's have some travelin' music, shall we?"

 

 

The closer the ship got to the Forbidden Crags, the darker it became outside. It should have been noon, but it already seemed like the sun was setting. Clouds were merging and becoming bigger and darker.  This didn't look good. Kzacher said to the captain, "Say, wasn't it supposed to be clear skies today?"  The captain was swaying his head side to side to the beat of the music. "Yes, this does seem... disheartening."

 

The waves started getting higher, rocking the boat as the winds became increasingly more harsh.  The Forbidden Crags were easily within sight. Less than a mile away. The way the water was acting though, the group might not get there.  Black clouds swirled above the group and were moving abnormally fast. They seemed to be radiating from the crags.  Sulak was getting jittery and was sitting down, rocking forward and back.  The ravens did not seem phased.  Was this to be expected?  There was a thunderous roar.  Lightning started to pierce the sky. It was pitch black. Those with any sort of fire magic lit torches.  The rain was pouring down and the waves were making the boat dip up and down 10 feet or more, undulating with the wave. The boat was at the mercy of this storm.  With the lights, it was still difficult to see. Torches were getting put out slowly as the rain kept dampening them.  "It looks like we're almost there!" shouted Edigo. The wind was howling now.  Then, a massive crunch was heard. The front of the ship plowed into a black crag along the coast which wasn't seen.  Ben shouted at himself, "OH!  You shouldn't have done that. You've met with a terrible fate!"

 

 

Water flooded the ship as everyone's boots were already soaked.  Thunder and lightning crashed overhead.  "We're going to have to swim!" ItsDaniel screamed.  There was piercing darkness all around.  Sulak looked like he was practically convulsing.  Teros grabbed him by the hand. "We need to do this!  The shore is right up ahead. We won't make it if we stay on here!"  KitBi was trying to use her plant magic to bend the wood from the hole to 'grow' over and patch itself up. It wasn't strong enough.  "This can hold out a little bit longer, but we're going to hit the crags ahead! We need to follow the wall and get to the shoreline!" KitBi yelled over the raging winds.

 

One last attempt at using fire magic, a huge torch was set and the group was met with a wall of black stone. The boat crashed head-first into the side of the crags and everyone was throw out of the boat. It splintered.  KitBi was trying to graft some of the wood together to make small planks to use as flotation.  The last of the fire was put out- the team scrambling and flailing in the massive blackened waves.  No one was able to see- only grasping at the wet wall of rock on their sides and they tried to paddle south to reach the coastline. That was the only place where the rocks were low enough to climb onto and escape the waves.

 

Teros remembered.  "Sulak!  Be brave!"  The goat-man was barely able to hear; his panicking making him short of breath.  Teros yelled at him again.  "Sulak!  YOUR CHEST!  BE BRAVE AND THERE CAN BE LIGHT WITHOUT FIRE MAGIC! THEN WE CAN SEE AND GET OUT OF THIS!"

 

The blackened waves battered the group against the crags again.  "YOU HAVE TO BE BRAVE!"

 

-Mini 1- Brave

 

This week's mini is all about doing something brave. For me, I'm going to the Spartan race, which is terrifying for me. I'm also going to do more socializing in 1 weekend than I would over the course of 3+ years. This is monumentally scary for me. Spartan - physically. NF - Mentally.  But I'm going to be brave and face it.

 

You can face any type of fear, there are no 'requirements' here on what you should face.

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As people were trying to grab hold of the vines in the dark, Teros kept trying to scream over the sound of the thunder and crashing waves.  "BE BRAVE!  BE BRAVE! YOU CAN DO THIS!" he shouted to Sulak.  Mingled together were people shouting 'Marco - Polo' in the blackness.

 

Sulak tried to be calm while the water roiled around and smashed into the rocks.  He had Gabriel's harness in one hand and felt the companion rock into him in the water.  Suddenly, the gem in his chest glowed. Ecstatic, Teros yelled, "You're doing it! You have this! Take that feeling and run with it!" The glow became brighter.

 

ItsDaniel the orc was smacking the rock wall with one arm to keep his bearings, while blinding grabbing to help scoop up others and herd them together.

 

As the light from Sulak started to grow, vines could be seen snaking along the rock wall- acting with a mind of their own. They were reaching out as a way to grab hold. Since the black rock was slippery and smooth from all of the waves washing over them for ages past; there wasn't a way to get a really good grip. The vines that led along in a line were able to support those that were floundering.

 

The group was able to collectively get their sense of direction.

 

ChristArtist grouped with Gabriel and Sulak to pull him towards the front. His light was strong enough now to be a beacon. The others in the water held hands and were brought to the rock wall to grab onto the vines. Using the vines as a grip and guide; they made their way south. The frigid blackness continued to pummel the helpless group.  There were times that Sulak's light would wane for a moment until someone from behind would shout an encouraging thought.  The light would brighten again.

 

Following along the edge, there was finally a break in the rock wall- it was a gray-sanded shoreline.  One by one, the team finally stepped foot onto dry land. 

 

 

ForbiddenCrags_zps27a02356.png

 

Some of the group choked out some water and gasped for air.  Red1263 was choking quite a bit.  ChristArtist ran to Red and put her hand on a shoulder.  Coughing a bit more, Red looked wide-eyed.  "Go...go without me."  ChristArtist leaned down to the floor and sat with Red.  "We don't leave people behind. Come. You can heal up and we can continue."  Red just shook his head slowly.  "I'll...be fine. I just need to stay here for now. Please....destroy the Red One and end this once and for all.  Promise me"  ChristArtist nodded.  Red slumped over and seemed to instantly fall into a deep sleep.

 

Teros was about 30 paces away, staring out into the distance.  It was only then after Red had slumped that people noticed...

 

"Is it...snowing?" asked Lycan Thom.  Kzacher held out a wet gloved hand.  A large flake of gray landed in his palm and dissolved into the dampness of the glove; turning into a black sludge.  Kzacher spoke, "No. This is ash.  What do we do with Red?  He'll get buried in this stuff in due time."

 

Kit piped up, "Well, I can do this..."  She knelt down and took a piece of vine. She cupped it into her nimble hands, exhaled, and then opened them.  The vine had blossomed into a large leaf.  She placed it above Red's head and the leaf grew small pencil-thin vines around Red.  Then, the tendrils of vines spawned leaves that wrapped around. Red soon became surrounded in a pale green cocoon- shielded from the ash.  "Eventually, the ash will rain down and he'll blend in- but he'll be able to breath.  The vines will use his breath and fuel. He'll be safe and camouflaged as a contained unit."  Kit perked up with a smile.

 

There was something disturbing about how Teros seemed almost oblivious to what was going on. Maybe he was tired. Maybe lost in thought?  Ravnos put his hand on Teros' shoulder and leaned close enough to whisper. "Hey...what's going on? Is it because this is the end?"  Teros refused to even turn his head to face Ravnos.  Only seeing some of a side profile under his mattered and soaking wet hair, Teros looked somber. Almost....ready for defeat.  This wasn't like him.

 

Everything about this placed felt eerie. It was too calm. The storm died down within minutes of the group finally reaching the gray shore.  Others began to ring out their clothes of the frigid wetness. All except Teros.  Edigo and Minx saw bits of the boat wash up.  Grabbing the pieces, they were put into a pile and warmed up. The ravens helped snag any smaller splinters of wood and also a chunk of shredded sail made it ashore.  Once dry enough, they were set ablaze and a fire was made to help dry the group.  It was extremely unnerving to see Teros still not move a muscle. A small pyramid of gray ash started to collect on top of his wet hair as he kept staring into the distance. The ash kept gently falling down, not even a slight gust of wind disturbed all of the surrounding gray.

 

At the campfire, the group looked at their map. It wasn't very helpful, but they needed to get their bearings. Where would the Red One be?  Where should they go to? What signs should they look for?  They needed to be smart about this- the final boss would not go without a fight. Also, with the conservation of evil; it would be the strongest foe yet.

 

-Mini- SMART Goals

 

SMART goals are defined as:

 
Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Trackable
 
Are your goals specific enough? Can they be measured or tracked in a helpful way? Are you grading just by pass/fail, or maybe a points system or letter grade per week? Are your goals something that is attainable/realistic?  No one can go from working out twice a week to 5+ times per week; or slash their calories down by 1,000, or try to drop 25 pounds of fat in 6 weeks.  We're trying to build solid life habits; not 'hurry-the-hell-up-and-get-to-a-number-by-any-means-necessary' habits.
 
Planning your strategy for the next 6 weeks, as well as having a sort of guideline/plan for the upcoming season's festivities; will award you with +1 Wisdom.
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Lost in thought, Teros didn't even realize there was a tiny vinelet on one of his horns, or Gabe by his side; shaking flecks of ash of of himself.  Now that he seemed to snap out of whatever was weighing heavy on him, Teros looked around and saw everyone by the campfire; and a leaf cocoon by the far corner slowly being covered in ashes.  Clenching a hand into a fist, a few droplets of water squeezed out of his gloves. Teros realized that he had been soaking wet for minutes? Hours? He wasn't even sure. He was glad that people were concerned but overall gave him some space.

 

He...didn't know how to think about what was going to happen to all of them soon. Happen to him.  Usually everyone was full of pep and vigor; but the ominous atmosphere seemed to be worse than any other.  Despite light creeping through the black clouds, it still felt darker than being in Acerbus' tomb.  Despite being wide open hills of ash and broken trees, it felt more claustrophobic than running through the sewers to get to Sodamus.  Despite there being no snow or ice forming from the puddles of water, it still felt colder than the hike to the FrostKing.  Despite being able to see in front of themselves; it still felt more confusing and jarring than being a pawn with Distractia's games or being in the Forest of Doubts.

 

Why? Why was this somehow worse than any other?  Could this very ground be tainted enough by The Red One?  Could it be that this was the end?

 

Teros looked back to the campsite and the warming fire.  He should enjoy this but he couldn't.  He gave one last gaze out through the eternal ashen fields as the ravens Huginn and Muninn came up besides him. They both perched on Gabe's back.  The ravens, they knew what was troubling Teros- they were the ones that told him long ago what was going to happen.

 

http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/46742-rpg-fanatics-guild-battle-of-the-frostking/?p=977481

 

Teros gave the same defeated look towards the group that he gave during their feast.  He said again, "This...is what I must do?"  Muninn nodded.  "How will I know it is time. How can I tell what to do?" Teros meekly asked.  As always, the ravens were cryptic, "You'll just know."

 

Heading to the fire, Teros finally joined the group, dried off, and warmed up. Sulak sat next to Teros and opened his arcane pack which contained fragments of glass, stone, and vials of powder.  There was a book wrapped up in a tight leather wrap- impervious to water.  There were also the forgotten gems from previous travelers, such as PastorCurtis and Chris-Tien Jinn.  Sulak took the knapsack with all of his gem-crafting materials and said, "M-m-maybe some day, you can learn th-th-these. Very powerful."  A sickly smile crossed Teros' mouth, "I...don't think I'll be able to."  

 

"This place looks like it should be easy to chart, but it's so huge....where do we even start?" RedEagleSpirit said.  Huginn flapped some freshly fallen ash off of his wings and chimed in, "We have to head south. It's absolutely southward that we are going."

 

"How do you know this?  There aren't any markers, and-" Kzacher was cut off by Muninn.

 

"It's time that it's revealed what exactly the Red One is.  Have any of you ever seen this symbol?" Muninn questioned while drawing in the ash with his foot:

 

S_zps59ddcf29.png

 

It seemed about half the group knew about this symbol.  "I used to draw that in grade school." someone said.

 

"Well this is the Red One.  This is Satan Clause."  muttered Muninn.  "Ok, that's cute. Satan Clause sounds like a really stupid na-" Teros was cut off by Muninn. "The power isn't in a name.  This is the worst danger in the realm.  The concept of 'Clause' started off very different from traditional meanings.  The Red One is the personification of a corruption of an entire season.  You see, this time of year used to mean sharing and coming together.  It has been twisted by this vile force to have people feel that gifts equal love. In this time of year alone, people rack up thousands of dollars in debt.  They are pressured by companies to waste on gadgets which makes them more powerful every year.  There have been demon-kings that tap into the mental psyche of humanity: The FrostKing was about being paralyzed with fear. Acerbus was the glooming depression.  Distractia was pouring oneself into trivialities and never facing real issues. Sodamus, along with the succubi twins; were responsible for poisoning the body which would poison the mind into being slaves to corrupted sustenance.  And here, on the final leg of the journey, we have all of those.  The holiday blues. The foods. The stressors. The distractions. The time of year that we're supposed to smile and pretend life is ok- frozen in fear.  All of these previous demon-kings were part of a much greater wholeness on crushing the will. Rather than a joyous season focused on love and brotherhood; we have defiled months that pull us apart.  That is the Red One's power.  All of the holiday's meaning and symbolism is a 'cute-sified' version of the real truth.  A photo-negative of what lay on these crags of ash and darkness- instead of snow and light."

 

It dawned on Teros, "So....we must head south; because the negative that we're told...is North Pole?"  The ravens nodded in unison.  KingLeeroy asked, "What are we facing then?  Snowmen and nutcrackers?"  Huginn responded, "Corruption.  We must rest and then head south."

 

The group tried as best they could to sleep along the fire. Kit had spouted some bigger leaves above people and the fire to deflect some ash while people slept.  Edigo placed a wind incantation on the leaves so there would be a gentle breeze to push ash away from people as well.  Everyone slept as best as they could.

 

Morning came, but it looked to be the same exact brightness as when they went to bed. It felt timeless in this place. Did people sleep for minutes or hours?

 

 

Packing everything up, the group ventured southward according to a small metal filament compass. Considering how out of touch with reality this place seems; it was a blessing that a compass could even work.  Making their way south, the group saw a cluster of blackened and gnarled trees.  Not quite a thick woods; but it seemed to be enough trees to make a getaway troublesome.  The group pressed on.  Crackling could be heard- like that of brittle bark being pulled off a tree.  Ravnos and Dark_Raider decided to keep to the end of the group and watch.  Another twenty minutes or so passed.  More crackling.  Ravnos and Dark_Raider gave each other knowing glances. Nothing was moving at all. So what was that noise?  A branch didn't even seem to break.  More trees and more noises. It sounded closer now.  After walking for close to an hour, the party was almost out of the woods when crackling came only a few feet away.

 

Ravnos saw a branch curl into itself and shot an arrow.  It punctured the tree limb but didn't do anything else. It was like the tree was moving on it's own accord- not something behind it rattling.  The tree branch moved close to the trunk of the tree and it's smaller branches acted like fingers. It grabbed hold of a loose chunk of charred bark and pulled downward. The crackling noise was heard; this must have been what was happening the whole time.  The bark chunk snapped off into one piece and it revealed a face:

 

treez2_zpse9ebed69.png

 

The whole forest behind the group started to make that splintering noise. A tree near Teros revealed itself and lunged.

 

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Zomboid, a newcomer to the group, was scared but excited. She drew a hammer with her plated fighting gloves and yelled, "CRUSH THEM!"

 

 

-Hack N Slash-

 

This week (and next week's) mini is about doing bodyweight exercises to slay the demonic trees.  You can choose whatever bodyweight exercises you want and however many you choose.  After 20 reps of ANYTHING (I'm streamlining this- no points or anything); you can write a story bit for how you killed the charred trees.

 

For me, I feel like I owe 60 burpees because of the obstacles and confusing during my Spartan. So that'll be 3 creative kills for myself.  You can do any version of pushups, pullups, squats, lunges, burpees, ect.  This season is the bulk of laziness each year so I'm not expecting people to kick it into high gear.  Sometimes just surviving is a noble fight.  Do what you can.

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Although in danger yet again, there was less fight in Teros than in previous campaigns.  The group was doing their share and able to take down the walking woods- a perversion of Christmas/Yule trees.  Looking at the faces in the trees, Teros saw that most of them looked familiar. They looked like warped versions of family members. Were these trees representing the inflicted stress from others? 

 

He saw Petefeet punch a charred hole through the trunk.  Zomboid was hacking away at gnarled branches. Kit was using her intriguing plant magics to siphon the corrupted energy and use the plant material to her will.  Boxalot hacked at another tree's trunk while Dark_Raider swooped in for another kill.  Edigo's magics were of a more subtle variety; causing trees to sway and swipe only air as the winds carried them too far in directions so they would miss their mark.  Kzacher shattered a tree's gnarled face into splinters with his hammer.  ChristArtist was hacking away at a falling roots while chanting prayers.  Redeaglespirit was darting and attacking the other trees; stealing attention and striking at opportune moments. Sulak was an expert with his bow by now- plucking shots and blinding trees in mid-lunge with others finished the dirty work.  Chunks of bark lay everywhere, dripping with black ichor.  The dark sap slowly oozed out of the gaping wounds made in the forest of demonic trees.  The forest was quickly turning into heaps of roots and woodchips drenched in the blackest bile from the tree's innards.

 

As the thundering cracking of tree branches and trunks were shattered into splinters, faint bells could be heard in the distance. It wasn't loud enough for the group to hear while in the fray.  Only making a couple of kills, Teros was more entranced by seeing how well everyone else was doing. They fought like a well-oiled machine: new and old mingeling together as a team.  For the first time on this leg of the journey, Teros smiled.  He started to mutter to himself, "They'll be fine. They're going to be just fine without-"

 

*ching-ching-ching-ching-ching-ching*

 

The thought that Teros had was whisked away as he now noticed an odd jingling fast approaching; but could see nothing. The fray of fighting had seemed to kick up all the ash around- making the visibility of more than a few feet incredibly difficult.

 

KingLeeroy was nearest to Teros and heard the jingling as well.  As the last trees were being cleaved into bits, KingLeeroy shouted, "Sleigh bells ring. Are you listening?"  The ash started to settle as everyone had abruptly stopped moving and were collectively trying to hear what KingLeeroy was talking about.

Huginn and Muninn both flapped the ash off their wings and expressed worry. This might have been the first time in their adventures that they showed any real fright.  Muninn tilted his head to the see and tried to see through the swirled ash that was still settling.  Nothing. Just the *ching-ching-ching* of the bells.  Althought not able to see clouds in the sky- simply a thick black fog; there were flashes of lightning and roars of thunder.  Huginn hung his head.  "Dunder and Blixem..."  Teros scoffed. "Dunder and Blixem? That sounds almost like Donner and Blitzen."  The raven practically stared down Teros for that remark.  "Interchangeable.  Dunder and Blixem are the Dutch names. They were later turned into the Germanic names Donner and Blitzen: Thunder and Lightning."

 

Teros had no reason to not trust the speakings from the raven, but it seemed absurd.  "Waaaaait a minute.  Are you telling me that this whole time that two reindeer have been called 'thunder' and 'lightning' and no one even knew that? Is that why there was that huge storm when we got to this island? Was it them?"  Huginn nodded.

 

Puzzled, Teros asked, "Well, what do we do? Are they a perversion of the mythos? Are they actually deer? Are we fighting them now?"  Muninn eyed the sky and spoke, "We are on their time.  If they want to reveal themselves through the thunder, lightning, and ash; they will do so. I can only assume that they have been watching our fight to get their....final assessments on us. We must...watch the skies."

 

-Watch the Skies-

 

This week's mini is about meditation.  This is the time of the season where everything starts to feel hectic and like people can't breathe.  The holidays will be done and over in just a couple short weeks so this is considered crunch time. Last minute gifts are gotten, plans are made, scrapped, and then planned again. There is always more drama going on at this point.  Because of the staggered release of the story; this mini counts for the rest of this week AND all of next week. After that is the final week and mini.  Take a few deep breaths just a couple minutes a day and try to find your center of calmness.

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The group had their fair share of fighting the corrupted woods.  Now, there were only faint bells that rang. It felt like they were always on the peripheral somewhere in the air.  Maybe they were masked?  A slight jingle, turn, nothing. Another bell rings, look up, only more damned ashes falling.

 

It was very apparent that the group was being watched, but this was a waiting game. Maybe the 'thunder' and 'lightning' won't even reveal themselves until the final conflict. There was no way to tell, so the party decided to press on.  Southward they continued to head.  There were no distinguishing markers to try and follow. Although it was a wide open space; the amount of grayness and ash made it feel claustrophobic.  There was no escaping this eternal gray winter. 

 

After traveling for a few miles along the ashen rocks, the group decided to take a few minutes rest.  Rummaging for some last scraps of food, Teros dug around in his knapsack.  In the very bottom, he saw something that he had in his bag since before Sodamus: A fire flower.  It was in his inventory for so long, he forgot about it.  He vaguely remembered trying to use it before; but he didn't have a green thumb. He wasn't particularly skilled at any sort of magic either. "But she is" Teros muttered to himself.  "Hmmm? What did you say, Teros?" ChristArtist asked.  "Oh uh, I was just talking to myself.  I...never really knew what to do with something in my pack here." Teros replied.  He took the glossy red and orange flower out.  It was a dried husk, but he remembered years ago when it used to be vibrant and alive.  Maybe it could be used. Maybe just a momento.  He walked over to KitBi and handed the flower to her.  "Here. I know that you have skill with plantlife. This is a fire flower that I got before this journey even started. Maybe it can be some use for you.  I won't have any use for it."  KitBi took the flower and eyed it curiously.  Playing with the petals a little bit, she looked at it longingly; studying what to do with it.  She looked at Teros quizzically, saying "Won't?  Implying you'll never need it, ever?"  Teros' face looked almost defeated as he shook his head side to side.  Something about how Teros reacted to that did not seem right at all.  This whole time he seemed to be lost in a fog- and not just because of the gray skies and literal dark haze in the atmosphere.

 

Teros was still holding his knapsack open as he handed KitBi the flower.  He smiled faintly and saw a glimmer of light coming from his bag.  Looking inside, he saw his portation gem glowing a rich amber color.  He was confused and a bit worried.  "Why is my gem glowing too?" Teros said to himself.  Looking at KitBi, he said, "Amber?"  Convening with the group, Teros told everyone what just happened.  "My gem started to glow, just like Sulak's has been glowing which was reading his emotions.  Has there ever been a time that any of your gems have glowed before?"  The entire group started thinking. No one ever really checked on their gems this whole time.  Most of them would keep it in their backpacks without ever taking it out.  "I thought that these were for solely helping find each other. I never examined it. I keep mine wrapped up in cloth so I never would have noticed." said Dark_Raider.  Others nodded in agreement. No one ever took inventory of their individual gem during their journey.  "So...have these been like some sort of...emotion indicator this whole time and we've never noticed? Or is this something new?" King Leeroy asked.  Redeaglespirit turned to Sulak, asking, "You made these things. Can you explain?"

 

Sulak was rubbing his hands together a bit nervously.  His eyes were darting around, but by now the entire group had formed a circle around him.  Teros leaned forward, "Sulak, what exactly do these damn things do?"  The faint light went dark on his chest as Sulak started to mutter under his breath. He was feverishly talking to himself.  "I can't. They care. They trust. They'll be m-m-mad. Eh-hh-hh-hh-ummmm"

 

Uncharacteristically of ChristArtist, she came close to Sulak with a mother's tone of voice. The tone that would be given to a child that needed to admit they did something wrong. "Sulak. Tell us."  Sulak started rubbing the back of his neck and looking down. His stuttering came back whenever he was nervous.  "P-p-promi-s-s-e you w-w-w-won't hate me-e-e?"  The party looked at Sulak and then at each other.  Ravnos was sitting and playing with an arrow.  "Out with it, man", he said. 

 

"O-o-o-kay.  Um.  I didn't know if I could trust all of you-u-u when you spared me.  When I made these gems, I was experimenting with compositions that steal energy.  Um. It's... ve-r-r-r-y difficult to explain.  I was making notes in my book about it.  The way the gems detect other gems is because they have slowly been siphoning emotions from all of you.  Whenever you felt an emotional response, the gem would 'take' a little piece."  -Sulak

 

"So, why? I don't get it." said KingLeeroy.  Sulak piped up, "It slowly makes you weaker. It takes that emotional energy. I didn't perfect it.  It has been weakly stealing energy from all of you this entire time. I d-d-d-didn't think it even worked until this one was buried in my chest."

 

Teros' face went stone cold. "Are you telling me that this whole time, we've all collectively been getting a little weaker since back with Sodamus?  Is all this energy stored into the gems?  What was your plan, to kill us all when we spared you?!"  Teros' face was getting more red as he spoke.  A faint red hue was coming out of his open bag by his side.

 

Sulak started to panic. "I-i-i-i d-d-d-d-idn't know you all!  I f-f-f-figured the gems would wear you all o-o-out and then when weaker I could run away. I...I didn't know you would treat me as family and h-h-h-help me."

 

Teros smacked his forehead and let out a huge sigh.  Sulak desperately tried to calm Teros down. The others were getting riled up as well. "It-t-t-t doesn't make you weaker unless someone takes the gem from you. I-i-i-i never took gems!  I never meant to hu-u-u-urt anyone.  You are all just weaker."

 

With a hand covering Teros' mouth, he kept breathing.  He didn't want to be this furious right now. The last thing the group needs is to be at odds with each other.  "Sulak... we are THIS close to finishing our journey." Teros was at a loss for words.  He turned around and faced away from the group, just taking deep breaths.

 

At this point, one of the ravens went over to Sulak's bag and started rummaging around with his beak.  In the bag along with the book and crafting materials were also other gems. Gems from people in the group that had faded away and given their gems back.  Muninn started to talk, "Everyone is still as strong right now because they have their respective gems with them. If the gem is taken away from the person, they become weaker.  This...is an interesting mechanic.  I wonder if-"

 

*ching-ching-ching-ching*

 

Muninn was cut short by the loud ringing of bells.  They were close.  "C'mon, we've had enough rest.  We need to keep moving." said Huginn.  Everyone grabbed their belongings and continued heading south and keeping an eye on the skies.

 

There was a loud rumble through the earth. It felt and sounded like a tremor or small earthquake.  "Stay low to the ground! Brace yourselves!" yelled a raven.  The group stood still, clutching nearby large rocks to be steady.  A large split in the ground erupted, with all the build-up of ash falling into the rift.  Heat emanated from the split.  With the rumbling dying down, there was a thick sloshing sound that could be heard.  Kzacher and ItsDaniel took a few steps towards the break in the earth and saw bright orange lava.  The heat was unbearable, so they backed off.

 

The freshly made lava river was heading south as well. The group decided to follow it.  The group scaled a massive hill and then surveyed the area.  A massive cave with faint light was coming from it. There was no telling how deep it was.

 

*ching-ching-ching-ching*

 

Teros only got a glimpse of one of them, but it swooped by lightning-fast and went straight towards the cave.  "We have to head there!" Teros said with looming dread and excitement.  The group picked up the pace. This may be the place for the final showdown.

 

Getting to the mouth of the large cave, music could be heard.  Now closer, it seemed the cave was at the very edge of the island. Any further south was a cliff leading to dark crashing waves.  The thunder and lightning started again.  The trickle of gray ashes now began to fall like heavy snow.

 

*ching-ching-ching-ching-ching-ching-ching-ching-ching-ching*

 

They finally appeared at the maw of the jagged black cave.  Dunder and Blixem.

 

Dunder_zps2ef198a1.png

 

 

 

 

There was a mighty echoing roar coming from the pits of the cave.  Suddenly, it became wildly bright orange and a wave of unbearable heat radiated out of the cave.  The cavern's outter walls began to crumble in on itself.  Bursting forth was The Red One - finally revealed and realized.  One look at the eyes and everyone knew that is who was using those dolls to watch them. The communication dolls.

 

DungeonBaby5_zps4df805a8.png

 

frosteyes_zps9e0141a6.png

 

JesterDoll2_zpsc8951d9a.png

 

splatdoll_zps0764049b.gif

 

REDONE_zps4eb1c960.png

 

The group steeled themselves. This was the last foe to vanquish.  Teros looked at everyone and spoke.

 

"I have no mighty words to inspire this group.  Actions speak louder than words.  You all know what you are capable of. Onward, to VICTORY!"

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The Red One was bigger than the FrostKing, but the group could not be intimidated.  His reinforcements, Dunder and Blixem swooped in first to confront the party.  A gnarled claw swiped across and laid out one of the newcomers - LazyDragonAR.  A huge gash across his chest, LazyDragon fell to the floor in a crumpled heap.  Dunder reveled in the ease of a fresh kill from the party. LazyDragon's gem fell out of their bag and clanged to the floor. Teros had an idea.  "Let's experiment with this..." he said to himself. Dunder came rushing by to face Teros head-on.  Teros threw the LD's portation gem up in the air and used his sledgehammer handle like a baseball bat.  He knocked the gem forward and it impaled Dunder in the right arm.  It didn't seem to slow the demon at all. As he got closer, Teros whirled around and hit the gem with his sledgehammer. It exploded like a bomb and sent Dunder and Teros flying in opposite directions.  Dunder's arm was blown off- leaving only a bloody stump.  Wild-eyed, Teros wondered if the potency of LD's gem was much more muted since he wasn't with the group long. That would mean not many emotions were siphoned from him. That meant... the veteran's gems should be even more lethal.

 

Teros scrambled to find either of the ravens to tell them what just happened. Dunder was howling in pain, but still embroiled in conflict currently with Geekilee.  Tomas joined the fight against the now one-armed demon with Geekilee.  Teros' eyes darted around, searching for either raven.  KitBi was trying to use her vines to wrap around The Red One's hands to bind him; but a quick breath from The Red One and all of her new foliage was set ablaze with fire breath. She shifted focus on trying to ensnare Blixem; who was soaring through the sky lightning-quick and lashing out at an unsuspecting group members. 

 

Petefeet and Zomboid were using their fists to fight off one of The Red One's hands.  When breathing in to exhale flames, ChristArtist rushed forward and put up a ward to divert the flame and shield the two brawlers.  They decided to start pelting at one of the legs and dodge out of the way as more of a distraction instead of damage-dealers.  Hit and run tactics.

 

ItsDaniel, Dark_Raider, and Kzacher were wailing away on one of The Red One's legs; trying to bring him to his knees.  They kept slashing and stabbing. Blood as bright orange as the lava nearby was pouring out of The Red One's calf and ankle.  The Red One scooped up the trio in its massive hand.  They struggled to stab at his fingers and pry themselves out as The Red One squeezed tighter and tighter.  MissRebecca, Ravnos, and Sulak were all pelting the knuckles with their projectiles; flaying off flecks of hide and almost revealing bone.  Boxalot and Clarys ran up to continue slashing away at The Red One's right ankle which the trio were previously attacking. Finally, the grip was loosened as ItsDaniel, Dark_Raider, and Kzacher all fell to the ground with a heavy thump.  Redeaglespirit and KingLeeroy charged towards The Red One's ankle to help bring the beast down.

 

The ash was blinding as Edigo used her air magic to swirl up a large cluster of ash into a large ball and thrust it at Blixem as it was flying around. This gave KitBi enough of an opportunity to use her vines to ensnare Blixem out of the sky.  The demon came plummeting to the ground, having been blinded by the large pile of ash throw in it's face.

 

The whole group fought with righteous fury and were chipping away at The Red One, but nothing seemed to phase the beast.  Teros finally was able to locate one of the ravens and told them about the gem's explosive power.  Huginn thought for a moment and a lightbulb went off, saying "If we can collect everyone's gems into one place and get it on The Red One, there might be a chain reaction if one gem is shattered. That could be the key to ending it's reign of terror."

 

Teros then looked at the raven and gave a knowing glance while speaking, "This is how it's supposed to end...isn't it?  This is where the sacrifice comes into play.  Back when you told me the end-times prophecy during the feast before the FrostKing you knew this would happen. Find your brother. We need to get closer..."

 

Huginn had a face of deep sorrow, for he knew what must be done as he searched for Muninn on the battlefield.

 

Teros scrambled to find each person. I got the gems from Kzacher, Dark_Raider, RedEagleSpirit, ItsDaniel, Edigo, KingLeeroy, ChristArtist, Missrebecca, KitBo, Kareesh, Tomas, Clarys, Zomboid, Geekilee, PeteFeet, Boxalot, Ravnos...  He just needed to grab the bag that had all the previous traveler's gems. People like PastorCurtis, Chris-Tien Jinn, Mel_Issa, and others.  Teros was looking for Sulak and found him alone- firing off arrows at The Red One's hands; making them look like pincushions.

 

"Sulak, give me the bag.  I need those gems." said Teros.  Sulak hunched over and opened his bag while hiding behind a rock.  "W-w-w-what is the p-p-plan?" Sulak stammered.  Teros gave Sulak a painful glance.  "I've known for a long time how this outcome was supposed to play out. With the conservation of evil, there needs to be an equal good that balances it out. These foes have gotten worse and worse because we've gotten stronger and stronger. We need to restore balance and a sacrifice has to be made. These gems are the key to that. Their imbued power with this group can create enough of an explosion to take out The Red One.  I need to sacrifice myself by getting close enough to The Red One to break one of the gems and set off a chain reaction."

 

Sulak stared wide-eyed. "You? You're the leader her. You can't do that. It should be someone else th-"

 

Teros cut off Sulak.  "No, Sulak. It has to be me. The ravens told me months ago that I would be the sacrifice for this cause- to restore balance and defeat The Red One.  You have played your part, friend. You must give me the bag with the other gems in it. Every gem counts.  See how the gems react when they are closer to each other. they light up like they're supposed to. that means every gem has to be accounted for.  With all of them combined- it will be able to defeat the Red One.  The ravens are going to fly me up above The Red One and I will land on him, crush a gem, and start the reaction. There's nothing else that we can do, Sulak."

 

Sulak buried his face in his hands and clutched his bag. "No. No no no no-no-no-no-NO!" Sulak screamed.  Huginn, Muninn, and Edigo found Sulak and Teros behind the huge rock.  Screams of battle could be heard as the rest of the group fought off The Red One to no avail.  Muninn spoke, "My brother and I are going to lift you up, over The Red One. Edigo's air magic will aid us in flight to bring you as close as possible. Break a gem with your hammer....and this will all end."

 

Sulak started to argue with the ravens. "Why does HE have to go? What makes him the one to be sacrificed!?"  Huginn replied.  It was all written in the stars that he would be the one to end this.  It has been written in the wind that the horned one will be able to collect enough power to stop the ultimate evil."

 

"Horned...one?"  Sulak said, questioningly.  "Yes, Teros' Satyr horns were a dead giveaway that..."  Huginn paused in mid-sentence.  Sulak was looking up at his own horns while touching the gem in his chest.  He meekly said, "It's not him.  It's me."  Wild-eyed, Teros looked on and said "No, this is what's supposed to happen. I'm the one that needs to be the hero and be brave. I've been dreading this ever since the FrostKing but I know now what I need to do. I have accepted it."  Sulak grabbed the gems from Teros and put them in his bag with the other ones.  Sulak took out his crafting materials and put them in Teros' knapsack, along with the crafting book containing Sulak's notes.

 

Sulak grabbed Teros' arms and stared him straight in the eyes. His chest was a bright white light radiating from it - the bag with gems right next to it.  "Teros, your family took me in and showed me that anyone can be brave.  You won't sacrifice yourself. Look at my chest- my gem is buried into my heart. If I give you this gem, I'll die anyway. You just said that every gem counts. Well, look at me.  I was a slave, beaten down and used. You don't get to make the final sacrifice, I do.  Ever since being here, I've grown and become what I should have been all along - a Hero.  And now, I repay that. Thank you, friend."

 

 

The ravens were baffled.  Teros stood there, paralyzed with what was just said.  Sulak now had all of his crafting gear in Teros' bag, and all of the gems in his own bag.  He nodded to the ravens and Edigo, who was just as stunned about the whole situation.  The ravens said in unison, "We fly."

 

Each raven grabbed an arm and started to fly high into the ashen sky.  Edigo used her air magic to create a gust of wind to push Sulak up and propel the ravens, easing their burden.  Teros could only look on.  He was supposed to be in the air right now. He had finally accepted and embraced his death but now...what was he to do?

 

The Red One didn't notice Sulak being taken high in the air. There were too many others to fight.  Both of the demons were dead; beaten into pulp, stuck with arrows and entwined with roots.  Sulak hovered in the air for a moment, looking down at his fate.  A small hammer in one hand, he was ready.  As the ravens were about to drop Sulak from the sky, The Red One noticed them, inhaled, and opened his mouth.

 

"Oh no" the ravens said.

 

Fire came bellowing out of The Red One's mouth as Edigo tried to have a large gust of wind fan the flames away.  Both of the ravens were scorched and plummeted to the ground.  They fell just mere feet away from Teros. He scooped both of them up and put them in his bag.  Sulak's side was singed as he fell closer and closer to The Red One.  He landed right on The Red One's forehead. Clutching the bag with one arm and raising the hammer with the other, Sulak spoke his final words:

 

"For respect, for honor, for friends. For...family."

 

He struck the gem in his chest, breaking it and releasing the energy. It shattered the other gems with a volatile explosion.  The Red One's jaw blew off, sending sinew and flesh everywhere. The demon's chest was ripped apart, revealing ribcage and organs.  Staggering back a half step, The Red One neared the very edge of the island. The lava river that formed during the small earthquake now splintered the ground into thousands of cracks- steam and heat pouring out.  The group turned to run away but it was already too late. The whole edge of the island crumbled and collapsed off the edge and into the water. The Red One and the huge mass of land pounded into the water; creating a tidal wave.  The group were all surfing on chunks of rock that were pieces of the island just seconds ago.  The wave rose well over 50 feet in the air and rippled out south-westward: towards the Adventurer's Town.  Everyone desperately clung to their own piece of debris and could only pray they would make it. The wave slammed into the coastline and traveled more inland.  Teros could only barely look back at the Forbidden Crags as the lava from the river spilled into the ocean and the island started to fragment at the core; sinking.

 

The wave washed up part of the town and threw members of the group on top of buildings as the ocean water fanned out and swamped the entire town.  The party was scattered and no one knew where anyone else was, or if even alive.  The chunk of rock that Teros was on crashed into a nearby inn.  Coughing up water, Teros slowly got to his feet.  He looked out over the horizon. The Forbidden Crags were leveled. They no longer towered in the sky with huge hills; but looked to be barely above sea-level.  A flood of emotions overtook him. This wasn't what was supposed to happen. That was supposed to be his gravesite, out in the water.  Washing up next to Teros was a giant leaf ball. "Red? RED!"  Teros yelled as he ran to the cocoon. He pried it open and Red was half-asleep inside.  "Did...did we do it?" Red1263 asked.  Teros saw the sinking rocks in the distance and flood water subsiding in the middle of town.  "Yeah...we did."  Red smiled and slumped back, "Good..."  Red's bag had a faint glow, which Teros opened and looked at.  Red's gem.  It was with him back when he was cocooned.  Teros wondered what this could mean. Did they have enough collective power without this gem? Without Sulak's gem?  Teros started to worry but he couldn't. He was so very tired.  Grabbing Red's gem, Teros decided to take it and put it in his bag.  When he did, he was startled, Teros remembered: Huginn and Muninn! He opened his pack, put the gem in, and- inside weren't the two black ravens that were badly burned. There was a white one with completely black eyes.  Beyond confused, Teros looked at this new creature. "Huginn.... Muninn...?"  he muttered.

 

The white raven spoke in a raspy voice, "We, are one.  Both of us were on the brink of death. Two being half dead, now, we are whole..." and then collapsed from exhaustion.  Teros could only notice the irony of the situation. Here he was, at the Adventurer's Inn; where it all began.

 

http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/44448-rpg-fanatics-guild-battle-of-demon-king-sodamus/?p=911315

 

Taking Red's gem out of the bag and looking it over, Teros wondered. It was supposed to be all the collected power. Red's wasn't collected but they still defeated the Red One.  "I don't know what this means, but I need some sleep.  I....accepted death. What do I do now?" Teros looked to find the rest of the group. They all needed some well-deserved time off.

 

---

 

Woman's Voice: "Oh god, yes. Do you feel it too?  It's GLORIOUS!

 

Man's Voice: "AHA! Yes, I think I'm feeling something. It was all a waiting game, wasn't it?  Now we have the power."

 

Woman's Voice: "Finally. And they will pay for what they did..."

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Kit scrambled up onto a low rock and started growing vines to root into the craggy wall. Once anchored, she sent the tendrils snaking through the dark water to find her companions. The vines would guide her friends through the dark water or help to pull them to shore. 

 

After growing an enlarged leaf from one of the vines, Kit huddled away from the rain and futilely attempted to wring out her soden tail. 

 

My being brave this week is going to be two social challenges: (i) the Spartan next weekend and (ii) completing my WIS goal for the week. Spartan is meeting a ton of new new people, traveling, swimsuits, and adapting on the fly. Completing my WIS goal means working 48 hours or less this week. I refuse to leave work undone, but I can ask for help. 

We're woefully understaffed, so I don't know if asking for help will reap rewards. Even with this excuse not to ask my coworkers, I'll be brave and openly admit to needing help, should the need arise. 

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