423/Battle at Riovanes

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Battle at Riovanes
Date of Scene: 15 August 2014
Location: Ivalice
Synopsis: After weeks of war in the dukedom of Fovoham, with the end result being that the Duke Barrington's forces were forced back into their own capitol, the Archadian army begins to march upon Riovanes itself. A grand, bloody, battle is sure to occur as the Duke's forces give their last in resistance... but will it be enough? <Boss Battle>
Cast of Characters: Tomoe, 129, Faruja, Allyn, Goffard Gaffgarion (Dropped), Riva Banari, 513, Ziggy Grover, Marrik
Tinyplot: Of Stones and Sins

Ultima (129) has posed:
Fovoham, Riovanes - This, the northern most territory of Ivalice, has seen better days. Ceaseless battles waged all across the heavily forested plains of Fovoham these last few fortnights have taken their toll. Many of the dukedom's smaller residential areas are captured, deserted, or in a few cases... razed to the ground. Villages and soldiers have also been taken captive as war prisoners, or outright killed. And thus the black banner bearing the emblem of House Solidor marches on her capitol...

Countless lines of armored feet marching through the forested plains, accompanied by armored Chocobo, and even a singular airship flying overhead. The Archadian army is moving, swiftly, upon the final settlement... home to the Duke Barrington and the said-to-be unassailable castle fortress Riovanes. Lead by the iron-fisted direction of the Order of Judges, they will stop at -nothing- until Riovanes has fallen under Archadian control.

There's just one last obstacle in their path... the quiet village that sleeps at the foot of the hill that Riovanes rests upon. A lamb for the slaughtering of their ambition, to gain foothold here in Ivalice...

...Soon her streets will run red with blood...

Ziggy Grover has posed:
He was not a soldier. He wasn't even -meant- to be a Ranger.

But when Dr. K and Corinth signed up for the Union, they'd made an agreement that whenever possible, the Rangers would be spared for assistance to the Union.

And luckily for him, given that he had the most experience with the Union, if not necessarily -fighting-, Ziggy Grover was 'scouting' things out. With energy cells at a premium, he'd been in his civilian clothes- a leather jacket, a dark green jacket, and black jeans.

That they'd been shown videos of the atrocities done... well, Ziggy might be a bit of a coward, and not at all a fighter, but -something- had to be done. And so, here he was, perched on a rock, watching the marching bands, and frowning. A quick query of the radio, then: "So, like, shouldn't we intercept them -now- before they enter the village? Are we or are we not the good guys here?"

Riva Banari has posed:
Riva's been chasing Beowulf Cadmus here and there after the chaotic end of her attempted interrogation. With the lack of any solid information, Riva decided to catch up with him later and maybe get some actionable intel.

In the meantime, there's always research to do. Riva's been making her way through the land at a sedate pace, trying to experience this strange fantasy land as she heads through Fovoham towards the fortress of Riovanes. She's heard a lot of things about the Duke. Perhaps there she can get more information or perhaps leverage some form of contact to get said information.

But she's not there yet. She stayed the night in a quiet village nearby, planning to look into the fortress during the next day.

And then she hears something. She gets up out of bed, grumbling at how late she slept, and squints out the window shutters.

She then closes them. "Oh hell." She hisses, and rapidly begins grabbing up her clothing and talismans.

In the streets, Riva walks towards the approaching army, her blade and pistols at her side as she reaches the outskirts of the city and begins moving quickly through the woods towards the approaching army. Much like Ziggy is thinking, Riva intends to intercept something squishy before they reach the village itself.

-<RADIO: 2>- Riva Banari says, "We need to disable that airship! If we don't take that out, that fortress is toast, never mind the village!"
-<RADIO: 2>- Allyn says, "Well I don't want to abandon this form, but i can't fly in it either. If I get you up there, can you take it out?"
-<RADIO: 2>- Goffard Gaffgarion says, "Any who possess flight, follow my lead."
-<RADIO: 2>- Faruja says, "Agreed! I shall assist in directing the ground forces. Meanwhile..."
-<RADIO: 2>- Faruja summoning sounds. ROAAAAARRRRR!
-<RADIO: 2>- Tomoe says, "I'm going to try to delay them."
Allyn has posed:
Having spent a lot of time in Ivalice, and having come to think of it as his second home, or maybe even his new home, other than the cave he sleep in, in a valley he found. That being so, he usually tries to keep up what is going on here and of course, who wouldn't want to defend their home when it is in trouble?

The large wolf makes his way towards the town that is under attack, but then stops for a few moments when he sees the number of enemies that are about to assault. Well, no, his current form just isn't going to do. Well, time to let the cat out of the bag so to speak, the wolf shifts his current formt he dire wolf is replaced by something much, much larger, more imposing and perhaps even just a tad bit terrifyng.

Where the dire wolf once stood is now a massive, twenty-something foot long lizard, well, not just any lizard, a komodo dragon to be specific. He flicks his tongue out to get a taste of the air and the scents around, tail lashing back and forth as he does. Yeah, this fits his grumpy mood just fine.

Faruja has posed:
Word has reached Mullonde of the horrors inflicted upon the populace by the roaving Archadians. The Judge Magisters have cut a bloody path through Ivalice, and yet the Crown has done nothing. He's never liked the rumors of the man, but he can respect the Duke for holding on against such a massive force. Faruja Senra has seen a little too much to believe any fortress unassailable.

But it's not Fortresses that concern him at the moment. No, he's come out to this sleepy little village simply to offer prayer and sucor to a town that's right on the front lines. He's amidst an outdoor sermons, flanked by several Templar and Temple Wizards as he preaches to the frightened townspeople, when he hears the news. Archadia marches for the town.

The Inquisitor turns, and points to a brown-robed priest, young and hale looking.

"Father! Ring the Church's bell! Archadia is come!" Then, he addresses the crowd, foregoing any pleasantries.

"Find thine families, and get them within the Church." He motions to one of the Templar, whom quickly goes to organize everything into an orderly fashion. Then, the Inquisitor is trying to get on the local linkshell net to see how aware the defenders are. Inquisition and the Dukedom are in no uncertain terms allied this day.

Goffard Gaffgarion (Dropped) has posed:
Apart from the Elites and whatever force the village might be able to muster, there's another defender. Currently he's mounted on a black chocobo with armored barding. The chocobo shifts nervously, releasing a soft 'wark!' of upset every now and then. Yeah. She's not happy.

Neither is the one mounted on her back. It's a man in bronze or brown plate mail, with a matching shield, carrying a blood red sword. He stands at the edge of the village, watching the approaching force with narrowed eyes.

It is indeed Goffard Gaffgarion, Ivalician sellsword. And he is not happy, from the looks of it. Mainly because he's not had time to completely heal from his encounter with Sumia. He's still got stitches, and it still hurts to breathe too deeply. At least he managed to replace his perforated shield and get his armor repaired...

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe had seen how horrific wart could be second or third hand. He world had had wars that might have mad Ares and Athena weep at the carnage that man had inflicted upon man. It hadn't taken much to get Tomoe to jump into things as she finds the small village that is going to be the empire's likely next target. She's flying high and possibly looking the angel for all the part. She knows how they fight, without honour or humanity and that scares her. This is the sort of thing that terrifies the real person behind the Iron Lily.

She moves on her wings of light, her intent is to intercept the forces before they can reach, she's moving in to face them as she comes in for a landing in their path. She has her sword out and a shield, which shifting letters upon them displaying strange names, it's known as the mourning wall a shield enchanted to display the names of everyone who died in SAO. She does not look happy and she would be somewhat imposing but she's clearly out number she does call out as she looks ready to face the horde down. She can delay them, right? She can do that much.

"Soldiers of the empire, turn back this is your only warning." She digs in making ready to fight, she knows this is stupid oh god does she but it may by the village and those hopefully trying to do something time.

Finna (513) has posed:
    A little bird can handle the trouble of keeping an eye on the dragoness. A bird that isn't the red-tailed hawk that Finna's become, soaring through the sky, and had the opportunity to see what's approaching a seemingly overwhelmed village. Ooooooooooops.

    Well, there is time. She eyes the forest in the distance that the army has been emerging from... and catches a thermal to re-orient her flight, now plunging far, far over the enemy forces. it'll take some time, but she's aiming to land at the forest's farther edge. Because there, she can enact a plan... "Those townsfolk are gonna have to learn on their own.... and this is how they could... but just leaving them to get slaughtered wouldn't win me many friends..." her thoughts flicker over Faruja's way for a moment... how odd for a bird to be muttering to itself in the skies.

    "It's got some risks, but it's the best I can DO in a shot time..."

Marrik has posed:
Marrik was actually curious about the paladin that stopped to listen rather than shoot and burn then never ask. Because of this he had followed der rodent's advice and went traveling. The problem is SUDDENLY ARMY. This left him with a dilemah. Holy warriors would know there was taint around him, but not only were the defenders looking tired and hurt, but the dead recognized he coukd see them, and they weren't above asking him to help.
r Russia taught him to listen to the dead. This wasn't his fight, he was not a fighter, but how coukd he tell those that lingered no? So he was checking his cost and had a staff in hand waiting for someone that had a clue to tell him where to get.

Ultima (129) has posed:
Now that the moving forces have had time to begin emerging from the forestation, it becomes clear just how big of a movement this truly is. Thousands upon thousands of men clad in gleaming black steel are marching toward Riovanes, their faceless helms and generic armor only serving to accentuate how UTTERLY coldly impersonal, and machine-like, Archadia's battle philosophy is. Take it all by force, ... every man is a cog in the machine, ... and all is nothing before the insurmountable will of House Solidor and its Order of Judges. Nothing else holds value to these faceless demons in platemail other than victory, all will be consumed by overwhelming ambition.

Tomoe would soon find, no matter how strong she may be... impeding this will be no simple feat. Soldiers break off to engage her individual, most of them wielding swords and shields themselves, lead by a guard captain with a high powered machine rifle. The Captain is the first to take a shot at her, even as the airship above speeds ahead and begins to drop bombardments from the sky. And no ordinary bombardments, these. Upon striking earth, paved city street, or home... they will crack wide unleashing an explosion of intense magical flame!

The villagers respond well to Faruja's and his men's attempts to corral them, the defenseless ones anyway, and move toward the Church while some of the men of fighting ability have already either armed themselves or gone to do so, and it is in the city streets that they await for their hated enemy.

The soldiers, themselves, have not yet begun to set foot upon the actual city streets but this does not stop archers and gun men from taking potshots at the village and anyone defending it as the front lines advance steadily.

Where to get? Best to stop those armies from marching in, however possible!

Ziggy Grover has posed:
That other Union people were getting in place to attack tells Ziggy exactly what he has to do. Pulling out an energy cell, Ziggy slides it into his rev morpher, brings his arm up, and slides the lever, to activate it.


Whether through sheer luck protecting fools and idiots or not, the resulting energy backlash that accompanies the Ranger's morphing is enough to deflect the arrows coming flying his way.

"Wh--what? Whoa! Whoa, they're firing -arrows-?!"

Slapping his waist to grab the blaster, which becomes a Turbo Axe, Ziggy brings the axe up before him. "They're just -axeing- for it!"

And with a loud hyaaaaaiiii, Ranger Green charges forward into the mass of soldiers. SlashySLASHYSLASH! Any more of that and they'd be proclaiming Ranger Green KING OF SLASH.

... wait a minute... strike that last sentence.

Riva Banari has posed:
A little late, Riva suddenly understands that these guys have some advanced tech.

This is about when the airship shell hits near her, exploding and throwing her crashing through the brush. "AAAAAAGH!" Riva yells, hitting the ground, groaning for a moment. She peels herself up and shakes her head, grimacing. "That's going to be a problem..." She hisses, before she suddenly withdraws, rushing through the wooded area.

An army this large has to have logistics. They need food, water, supplies, replacement equipment.

Most importantly, they might have something she can use creatively. As she moves, she quickly takes pot shots, trying to aim for high-value targets to disable enemy mages, snipers, or officers, but never staying in one place. As soon as she hits, she's running. She needs to get to the logistics train.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe knows she can't delay them all but she's going to be seemingly ready for the fith. She takes the shot at hert the blast is intercepted from her shielf and she says.

"You made your choice."

The impact causes something odd the shield deforms for a moemnt going almost like a wireframe and she moves ot engage the force she's going to focus on disabling her foes fast as possible the addage a dead man will be left behind, but two will take a wounded man to safety. She seems very intend to make it hard for them to pass as more srtiel clip into her doing a good deal od famage and revealing her nature and it's to the point the feedback dappers ar enot doing as much as they should then again she runs with them partially disabled.

Marrik has posed:
Potshots away!

Marrik got warning just as he was finished handing swords out, half tempted to rmind the villagers those were loaners when he heard sparks call out just in time for him to raise his coat up to catch several arrows instead of his head. Good news was it didn't kill him. Bad news is he had blunt thimgs thumpimg against him, which still hurt.

He grumbled sourly and brought his pistol up to return fire, hoping more to make them duck down than to actuakly hit anything.

Allyn has posed:
Allyn seems to sigh a little bit, he wanted to try out this new form, but ah well, maybe he will get a chance to use it later. He shifts again, becoming a large winged serpent and he flies over towards where Riva is and leans down towards her. "Hold on tight, and I'll take you up there." and if she does decide to get on he flies up towards the airship to drop Riva off on it.

Of course, he does hiss in pain once the fire shell explodes around him, his hide scorching a bit. He'll get a chance to attack later he supposes.

Riva Banari has posed:
Riva grabs on to Allyn. "Okay..." She's not sure if this is going to work, but hell, if she can get up there...

Faruja has posed:
With the civilians protected as best as can be, Faruja teleports to the city's walls alongside those already fighting. He finds the nearest commander, patching into their frequency, before assisting in battle strategy. Thus far? Much the same as the Archadians. Potshots, and slow down the damn marching army. They have little to face the Airship as it bombards the city, the rat caught in a falling shell. He's tossed off of the walls, landing in a bale of hay. He /was/ a member of the Assassins, so he's had that much training.

Magicla energies flare, and the giant form of Bahamut appears in the sky above Riovannes. The Holy Esper roars, and contemptuously spits a ball of powerful primal energies at the flying airship as it flaps its way upwards! It physically tries to impose itself before the great Airship, hopefully drawing its fire rather than the city below.

Goffard Gaffgarion (Dropped) has posed:
And so the attack begins. With FIRE! Gaffgarion gasps as the air suddenly becomes too thick to breathe, coughing as he inhales sparks. OW! His chocobo Melody staggers back as well, squawking in pain at the fire. Quickly Gaffgarion puts out a fire in the bird's feathers, and growls. Uh-oh. They hurt his chocobo!

Riva's voice comes over the radio, pointing out the airship. "Any who possess flight, follow my lead," he growls into the radio. That said, he whistles sharply to his chocobo. The bird emits a loud "WARK!" as if of agreement, and takes to the air. He shifts as Melody flies up, shifting to crouch on her back.

And as he gets close enough, jumps off the bird's back and onto the interior deck of the airship. His sword is forward, and he's going to impale somebody if they don't get out of his way. Which is actually what he's trying to do, but...

Finna (513) has posed:
    Finna does indeed have a plan. not running down there herself and beasting out. That would just get her shot, stabbed, surrounded, and ow ow ow no.

    Besides, one Exalt against an ENTIRE army? Well, that might work if she was a Full Moon, but she isn't.

    Luna counts on her to be a litle more resouceful, cunning, and sideways than that, and Finna will not disappoint this day.

    She lands in the far side of the forest, where many creatures avoiding the loud, marching army have gathered... if one can call it 'gathered,' given how spread out such creatures are. But this is a forest. There are bears, wolves, foxes, birds of prey, owls, rodents, all manner of creatures big and small. Likely many other kinds of creatures, such as Chocobos, given that this is Ivalice!

    As Finna lands in a clearing within the forest, she rears her raptor head and... it quickly starts expanding. While the overall bird-like shape of her body doesn't change, feathers are exchanged for scales, wings shrink into tiny little forearms that dangle in midair, and the two taloned legs grow into pillars of muscle and great strength. Her body shoots up in height and girth, growing from weighing a few pounds at most to multiple tons. And the raptor beak is replaced with a great reptilian maw filled with rows of razor sharp teeth, each the size of a man's knife. Last but not least, a long, tapering lizard tail sprouts from her rump, slapping the ground once with a great, loud THUMP, and knocking dust every which way.

    This is the king of the terrible lizards, the ur-predator of the southern forests, an unrivalled apex predator, the Tyrant Lizard.

    Known on earth worlds, perhaps, as the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

    Finna raises the beast's hungry maw and unleashes an unearthly roar packed with Lunar Essence. The sound is deafening to anyone nearby and quite shocking even to the distant army. Something big, something terrible, and something HUNGRY lurks in the forest. Every beast that hears this noise feels the same crushing terror, the same primal impulse. Run, run for your life. Run, run, do not stop, or you will be DEVOURED.

    Terror can motivate like few other things. And, driven by supernaturally induced terror, a horde of creatures now stampedes, slithers, lumbers, and sprints through the woods in great numbers...

    Right for the invading army's flanks. The creatures certainly have no intention of turning back, and now there is something In Their Way.

-<RADIO: 2>- Finna says, "mind the beasts!"
-<RADIO: 2>- Finna repeats, now a litle more cheerfully, "Mind the beasts!"
-<RADIO: 2>- Riva Banari says, "I'm going to try to take control of one of the cannons and turn the weapons on their army."
Ultima (129) has posed:
As it becomes clear that there is -far- more resistance here than planned for, the solid advancing lines of soldiers becomes several. Soldiers begin to break up into formations, lead by guard captains, and advance upon the city. The entire contingent seems keen not to be wholly impeded. The guard captains themselves are easy enough to spot, men wearing massive helms shaped like a demon's visage, they are the only soldiers apparently permitted to possess a 'face'. Each and every one is mounted upon their own Chocobo as well.

Ziggy's charge is met with a wall of shields by the advancing forces he rushes down. Unfortunately for them, though, it is not enough to stop his axe hit from waylaying three of their number! As the men go tumbling down, two more soldiers with swords advance upon him with a combination sword attack!

Riva's smart attempts to target valuable personnel nets her the swift defeat of several lightly armored gunmen and she also succeeds in knocking a Captain from his perch upon a Chocobo. Soon the other soldiers stop advancing and tighten formations around him, effectively throwing the unit into disarray. As Allyn swoops in to whisk her into the sky however... the pair would find themselves fired upon once again by the riflemen!!

Tomoe's diversion tactics indeed succeed at stopping the advance, temporarily of a contingent of men. If only for confusion. When parts of her begin to vanish, as opposed to bleed, in response to damage... the Captain sees fit to devote an entire line's worth of men to attacking her! Sword strikes, arrows, and all.

Marrik's return fire also nets him several dead men for his accuracy, and it is because of this that the Archadian linemen bring their shields to bear while the riflemen once again return fire.

Bahamut does the sort of damage one could only expect an esper to, the gargantuan blasts of raw magical power decimates an entire two lines of men and sends yet another contingent into a panic. But even so, they manage to return fire - this time, literal fire!

Finna's distraction proves to be most devastating of all... however. Hordes of Yellow and Red chocobo stampede from the forest, along with Goblins and Bombs, and if the roar weren't enough to make the advancing forces pay attention... this -is-. An entire two contingents stop advancing completely, turning their shields and weaponry upon the oncoming stampede... as gunners and mages flings spells all the while! The military organization is strong here but it isn't enough to prevent their lines being broken!

Ultima (129) has posed:
Those approaching the airship's deck would doubtlessly hear alarms sound the moment fighters approach the steel hull. Sliding mechanical doors spill open, and outpour more men in armor and... dogs. Imperial Mastiffs, in fact, dogs with jet black and brown coats bred for fighting in war! Gaffgarion's attacks waylay several men, but even stilll those dogs are quick to attack. With all of the efficiency they've been trained for, they go straight for the limbs as well!

It is apparent that the Duke has noticed the aid he has received, for this lot would soon find that his Lordships forces - clad in white cloth and gleaming siver steel - begin to charge down from the fortress in droves and spill into the streets. It won't be long until they've joined the defending forces in the streets either.

Somewhere nearby, atop the bell tower, a figure encased in black armor looks on. A woman with hair of darkest black, eyes red as burning embers, and skin as pale as death itself. Her hair is pulled back into a neat tail, which spills down the back of her plate mail. Draped off her soulders is a cloak, dyed red like blood...

Riva Banari has posed:
Riva takes some bullets as she is flowin into the air. She screams in pain and almost lets go, but she manages to maintain a grip. Allyn drops her off, and she lands, staggering in pain from the wounds. "Ugh. I'm going to definately need a taco after this." She grunts.. And then blinks at the Mastiffs coming in for the kill. "Ohgod! BAD DOGS! BAD! BAD DOGS!" She begins firing rapidly, green-glowing energy bullets rolling out to strike at them as she tries to kite her way into the ship. She runs, deciding against attacking and more working to just simply /run/ towards where she estimates the cannons should be. She fires at whatever looks opportunistic at the time, more than willing to try to force-seal bulkheads behind her to cut off pursuit. She knows she's grossly outnumbered here and has no idea what Gafgarion is going to do.

Ziggy Grover has posed:
That these were -men- that he was using his axe on and not grinders has Ziggy pulling his blows a bit. Reluctant to use full force, Ziggy keeps swinging here and there, until suddenly he finds himself confronted by a wall of shields.

RComing to a stop with a flail of his arms and legs, one can almost -feel- the eyes widen behind Ranger Green's visor as he exclaims, "Uh oh... these guys have more shields up than Doc K around her ice cream."

Distracted as he was by the ones with the shields, Ranger Green's smacked by a double combination sword attack, and he goes flying heads over heels, a shower of sparks accompanying the hits to his chest.

"Ughhh... whoa! These guys are -serious-!" Ranger Green exclaims, using the axe to stagger to his feet, his knees wobbling and swaying.

"I don't have much choice, do I? Okay, it's time to get serious! Ziggy-FU! CHARGE!" Bringing his axe up in front of him, Ziggy charges, twisting and turning, tumbling forward and then going flippity-flop and swinging the axe at the swordsmen! "HIIIIYAAAAAIIIII!" $R

Marrik has posed:
Marrik's coat survived even rifle shot, but as before just because the rounds didn't pierce the enchanted fabric did not mean he got away free from harm. Bruising would happen if he survived if it hadn't started already. Actually he was hurting enough to just not care if his allies shot him later. So after sending Faruja a radio message as warning he summoned his power.

Black threads shot out from his hands seekking any corpse inside the city's walls, friend, enemy, recent or old did not matter. He poured power in as a second spell triggered. Ghosts newly made and long lingering faded into view. They would not be tangible, but for every round fired at them was one less at the living. The dead knew the desperation this place faced so let the necromancer work his will to the amplified sound of a heart-like drum beat that rang out. These ghost marched forward towards the enemy shrieking like banshees out for revenge... which is basivslly what they were. Though insubstantial their rage should provide reaction in the attackers, hopefully causing them to break rank, or at least question what they were shooting at.

This was mere distraction though. The true woeking he was building would take time to bear fruit. All as Marrik stood there laughing. It was terrible and foul, and he felt ALIVE!

Allyn has posed:
Allyn hisses when he gets shot with the gunfire. Well, there goes his wings again right? well at least those flight feathers that had just grown back in. After dropping Riva off, he plummets down towards the ground, at least until he manages to right himself and then manages to kind of glide back down towards the ground. It kind of sucks not having any other special powers and studd sometimes doesn't it?

He manages to glide down beside the T-Rex formed Finna dn hisses at her in greeting and then shifts form once more, returning to the huge komodo dragon form. Well, what could be mroe frightening than two large, predatory lizards? "Tag team 'em?" he asks the taller reptile.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe has lost sigh of man of her allies, she's also falling into take mode at this point. She does not seem keen to kill but she's learned many ways to take someone down otherwise. She moves weaving in times with the strikes keeping up close where she can. Arrows however do strike her, burring themselves in her. There's pain here the amount pain he she tries to push on she can't lock them all down but she can however keep these guys locked up.

"I am Tomoe the Iron Lily I will not fall to the likes of you!"

She parries a good deal of blows and starts to chant, golden runes appear about her and soon as her chanting finishes light rays start to rain down upon the soldiers.

Faruja has posed:
Scales and blood spills from Bahamut as it's fired upon, mage-flame dancing and searing the King of Dragon's scales. The magic of it's physical body shows as said debris simply fades away in sparks of power, Faruja below sweating as he concentrates to maintain the great Esper. It's no small task, and every blow to the creature tasks him mentally. He has a splitting migraine by now, but the grand dragon holds its place. Casting his eyes downwards, it spies the rushing horde, and warriors soon backing them up.

The flanks are taken care of. Swooping down, Bahamut attempts to land amidst the front ranks, physically crushing those beneath him. Then, he'll start swiping with sharp claws, before once more belching atomic flame into the army itself. Even more than death, it seeks to cause chaos and disruption within the mighty war machine of Archadia. /Humiliation/.

Faruja, himself, has managed to stagger out of the hay bale, and spies Marrik. The laughing, the dark magick...he very nearly pukes. Bahamut wavers as he nearly loses hold, but only for a moment.

He knows the laugh, and the look of one succumbing to corruption. He leans down, and picks up the greatest weapon he has.

Actions--> Fundaments --> Throw Stone.

The laughing Marrik will get a nice, hard, almost Toph-like throw of a rock towards the head.

Goffard Gaffgarion (Dropped) has posed:
Gaffgarion manages to NOT plummet to his death for his bold move! Always a plus. And here Gaffgarion is about to launch into a spiel about ending lives rather than sparing them, and suddenly...


The clamping jaws of the dogs hurt, but thankfully his armor protected him from too terribly much damage. Unfortunately freeing himself form their jaws also ties him up for attacking purposes...

However! He's not alone! He gives a sharp whistle, and Melody lands on the deck beside him. She suddenly begins to flap her wings... and then 'coughs' a large projectile at the attacking soldiers thinking to make use of that time her master is freeing himself from dog jaws!

Finna (513) has posed:
    Creatures of all shapse and sizes, huh? Finna wasn't expecting Goblins, Bombs, and Chocobos, but they'll do! Almost a pity that many will die, but that's what necessity means, and she'll stand her right as a Chosen of Luna to call upon nature's resources... even if it's NOT her world.

    Sure, some of them get hit with spells. Bombs might burst, Chocobo will burn and sizle, feathers smoldering, but few things will turn from the creature that now charges along with it all. Right on the tail of the initial stampede... waiting just long enough for the lines to jitter and shudder and formations to lose a little cohesion.

    From out of the treeline comes a great two legged beast with feet the size of a man, a maw large enough to bite a man in half, and a tail that would fell perhaps even an elephant with one well placed strike.

    It comes charging out of the trees, scattering ranches and leaving massive footprints with every echoing step. WHOMPF WHOMPF WHOMPF.

    Its cry is guttural and simultaneously a trumpeting howl that flattens grass and invokes a primal fear in the deepest parts of a man's soul. That urge every creature made of meat feels when it's faced with teeth in the dark. Run, for you are prey.

    There will probably much pants-wetting and worse smells about.

    For added effect, Finna raises up to the creature's full height and unleashes another ROAR for good measure, declaring the WHOLE ARMY to be prey.

    Sure, she might not be able to beat them all, but she doesn't have to be ABLE to do that.

    Only make them THINK she can do that.

Finna (513) has posed:
    The great Tyrant Lizard looks once over at the great Komodo Dragon. It snorts once, in approval.

Ultima (129) has posed:
Riva's attempt to force her way into the interior hull is, expectedly, not without resistance. Soldiers move into her path to bar it, swinging bladed weapons, and dogs charge her with all the haste of a blood-thirsty animal out for a kill. Her shots put down two of the dogs, but a third literally leaps at her head/throat area with an intent to bite. Whether that hits or not, the soldiers barring her path to the interior too will attempt to force her back with a charging shield bash. A stone, shot by Gaffgarion's melody, manages to nail one and knock him down. She may, or may not, get past them... but even if she does she's two spiraling staircases to climb inside the dimly lit interior before she can make it to the gunner platform. The area inside, lit mostly by the dull glow of magitek lights, is hazardous as well... if not for the soldiers and dogs... certainly for the possibility of falling over a rail into those extremely loud engines below!

Men begin to fall in much greater numbers now that Ranger Green has leapt into their formation. The formation itself temporarily falls into disarray, not just for the soldiers thinning out to fight him but also for the fact that the first to be hit was, in fact, a captain! The armored man with demon-shaped helm falls screaming form his Chocobo as his men fall around him as well! Gunners in the back row fire upon Ranger Green, though, as two axe-bearing men charge him to engage him in team combat!

Some of the Soldiers marching into the street stop DEAD in their tracks as Marrik's ghastly ghouls suddenly appear to assail them! Ghosts are not, in themselves, an usual sight in Ivalice... yet even still the screaming banshes provoke eough fear to stop the advancement of an entire two contingents! Only the Captains have enough gall to yell out orders for advancement, but one of them is quickly silenced by an arrow as Duke Barrington's forces arrive proceeded by arrow fire and spells and charge them all down!

Tomoe's magical attack takes out many men, in several rows of at least two advancing parties! As their numbers fall, however, they keep adavancing with extreme prejudice - soldiers shifting places to take up important holes as best as they are able. Yet, she has at least forced one of them to turn their attentions against her... several firing off more rounds in her direction in reply. A small number of friedly forces, clad in white cloth and silver steel rush to defend her from behind though. Or more appropriately, they rush the advancing contingent... throwing steel against steel and serving as a distraction for her as well!

Bahamut's swift descent incites the sort of terror that only an arriving demi-god properly can, causing the rank and file to attempt to scatter about! Unfortuately for the Captain, he along with several of his men are CRUSHED utterly dead beneath Bahamut's heft before he can ever bark out another order. This not only stops this particular grouping of soldiers, but also forces another group to change their course to come and help! The esper itself serve as a pleasant break for the defending soldiers, tireless and technically unkillable as they are. It also allows time for Barrington's archers and mages to take positions on rooftops and fire upon them as a contingent of his own wades in!

The dogs do, eventually, let go at the tail end of Gaffgarion's struggle... at least one of them yelping in surprise as it goes skidding across the steel floor! Two more gunmen emerge from the door across the way though, and erstwhile fire upon the dastardly knight with their mechancal rifles!

Ultima (129) has posed:
Finna's charging roar is finally enough to break even Archadian military cohesion! After all no one in Ivalice has EVER seen anything like IT except for Bahamut. The general consensus with giant lizards is RUN and that is exactly what happens! Soldiers bash into one another in attempt to escape, men scatter, and their captains with them... if only to yell "GET THE HELL BACK HERE <insert Archadian curse word here>!" An entire two contingents fall into disarray, some even hurting themselves considerably and in general making a HUGE MESS of the Archadian advancement (as though it weren't already!)

By now, the entre Archadian effort is pretty much in a state of near complete disarray due to the various forces acting upon it, giving Barrington a clean shot at pushing back or even anniihlating what's left with his own smaller force! But it's not quite over yet...

Like a shot out of the blue, there comes a sudden sound of rushing of water...

...And from out of practically nowhere, a GIGANTIC tidal wave of water spills down a streetway and sweeps many more Archadian soldiers off their feet. It then crashes harmlessly into a vacated house, before seemingly dissipating... leaving may of the enmy units dead or at least disarmed. From the direction of that tidal wave, that shady female figure clad in black armor slowly makes her way into the city...

Ziggy Grover has posed:
That Ranger Green's momentum had carried him into a captain on a chocobo...

"People ride LIVE GIANT YELLOW CHICKENS?! Oh, Ranger Yellow's going to -love- this...!"

... was a bit of a surprise to him. "Oh hey guys, make it easy on me, surrender, okay? We're the good guys here, you're the bad guys, you're not going to win and... WHOOPS!"

Bringing his own axe up to block the axe-wielders, Ranger Green was smacked backward by the force of the blows. At least he wasn't hurt, but the ground was definitely sparking a bit as he flails backward. "Yellow's going to be so pissed if I hit any more yellow chickens. At least she's nowhere near as protective about her zord as Red or Black are about _their_ cars. Talk about overreacting. One scratch, you'd think the world ended... you guys aren't listening, are you? Just..." Swinging the axe wildly, he buries it into a tree. "Crap...!" And then he lifts himself up onto the axe handle and flails out with his feet at the axe-swingers!

Marrik has posed:
Laughter, sick and unhealthy laughter rolled from Marrik as he was tetering on the edge of control. Then SUDDEN ROCK TO THE FACE. combined with most grumpy templar chatter from his earpiece brought him somewhere approxiating sanity. He blinked and looked at what was going on. Ghosts had caused the forward advance to stop combined with giant godzilla lizard horror monsters and other assorted calamities. Power filled him as the drum beat was joined by the distaint mournful peal of church bells. "Rise!" He shoute as the dead heeded his call. No matter their side in the conflict they rose. "Defend this land." He pointed at the invaders. "Drive them back and defend these people." zone off the slain from the attacking army frowned at Marrik, who shrugged helplessly and made a flat handed 'down' motion, causing it and its comrads to return to a state of true death.

The rest joined in the frey, advancing in spite of gunfire or spells, heedless of danger or damage elentlessly on the advancing army, dead eyes looking forward as spell enhanced kimbs punched and kicked and even bit those that dared invade this place.

Allyn has posed:
Allyn hisses and charges forward once Finna agrees with him, he goes after some of the soldiers that are running into each other in a panic, he's not going to bite them, but he does swing around and whacks them with his tail as hard s he can.

Goffard Gaffgarion (Dropped) has posed:
Guns! Gaffgarion's seen those before. They're usually bad news. He angles his shield when he's fired upon, and deflects some of the bullets away. Not all of them though, several do pierce his armor, and he staggers back with a grunt of pain. Fortunately this doesn't seem to be enough to put him down. This proves to be unfortunate for the soldiers.

Is there something here that looks particularly important? Like it might be in charge of the propulsion of the ship? Because, with a clenched fist, Gaffgarion casts Fira at it. Meanwhile Melody charges into the ranks of soldiers, kicking and pecking at the soldiers!

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe is taking more damage or in her mind injuries she notices that there's backup coming she lets out a cry and attemps to keep the enemy upon her over them. She knows as ever she'll always be disposable given her nature and that's fine with her. She moves in tying get theiot attention she will attmeot to bowl into the enemy ranks.

She leaps up into the air now and her wings flare out coming to life, she rises abov ethe enemy and then dives bombs trhm tring to blow them all off hteir feet.

Riva Banari has posed:
Riva screams as the massive mastiff's jaws close around her head. It hurts. A lot. reflexively, Riva pumps bullets into the dog's body, trying to force it to release. As soon as it does, Riva staggers, feeling the hot blood running down her body fro mthe brutal mauling she received. She doesn't even want to look in the mirror right now. The rush of pain and adrenalin pushes her forward. the only thing that she can do is keep moving, throwing herself forward as Gafgarion cleverly opens up a hole. The other man smashes into her, knocking her aside. She pushes back against the wall, kicking back to try to slip past. She can feel herself getting weaker, leaving a trail of red spatters as she runs along, clambering up the stairs to get to the gunnery platform.

And then her eyes widen as she sees the problem.

More dogs. More soldiers. Dangerous footing, and the low chug of deadly engines below.

"Well, there's more than one way to skin a cat." she rasps, and reaches behind herself to pull out of... somewhere... A green plastic-covered block. Upon it is sprayed in white stencil: C4. She jams a small device into the block, pushing it through the wrapping, and hits a button. It chirps as LEDs light up, and she turns and throws it down off the platform towards the noise.

A moment later, a soldier smasher into her, knocking her down. She looks up, red spreading from her wounds as she holds up her hand.

The man doesn't recognize a dead man's switch when he sees one.

And then she lets go.

-<RADIO: 2>- Goffard Gaffgarion says, "'Tis time for the rats to flee this sinking ship."
Finna (513) has posed:

    Or something like that is about what the soldiers are gonna make out, as Finna goes to town alongside a bunch of terrified monsters and beasts, and probably Allyn. She is no real fan of slaughters, hence her effots to cause the army to shit its pants and disperse, so when she does go on the attack, maybe they'll just run. But well, they are unlikely to surrender to a giant animal, so she'll just have to hope they don't push her to start really eating them or something.

    Because unlike a beast, which would probably do that, she instead favors slapping the ground repeatedly near them to knock them off their feet, sweep them away, kick, and headbutt through formations, aiming to shed as little blood as possible. But well, blood is gonna be spilt when you're a massive beast facing squishy humans in armor...

Ultima (129) has posed:
Ziggy's mock Chocobo Kick is an unexpected move, and it sends both axe-wielders flying away to land in a heap on top of one another! It'll be a while before the others following behind can charge him though... he'd best hope he can get that axe free!

Marrik's zombie hordes do a respectable job of scattering Archadian soldiers already stressed from the mounting losses and the pressure the Duke's forces are exerting. What of their number aren't scattered get a very unfortunate invitation to join the umbers of the dead soon after.

Ally's charge is frightening one that, with a T-Rex nearby, serves only to further cause the Archadian ranks to fall into disarray. The massive tail swipe, too, sends large numbers of armored men tumbling to the ground with heavy injuries!

The assault of the Black Chocobo sends soldiers sprawling, some falling over the railing in the ship where they tumble into the engine with a worrisome grinding of gears! The combined pyrotechnical assault of Gaffgarion and Riva causes the engines to be UTTERLY destroyed moments later but now... there's jus ONE problem.... with the utterly massive ship's propulsion systems (and various other systems temmporarily) offline... the ship interior is thrown into darkness momentarily... as the behemoth itself pitches violently and begins to fall toward a nearby forest! The screams of everyone onboard resonate in here enough to induce headache, nevermind the sudden sickness such a lurch might induce...

...Now, finally, the Archadian's have completely lost it. The sight of the cruiser falling overhead, and their quickly dwindling numbers, forces a sudden call for retreat from what's left of the Archadian commanders and immediately they and what is left of their forcees begin to withdraw in droves. The ones not being still beaten, bludgeoned, and battered with arrows and spells anyway...

The female in black armor, laced with glowing wards, and eyes like fire watches silently for a few moments as the Achadians depart in silence. She stands there for several moments before...

...a flash comes from her immediate vicinity and she is gone again...

Allyn has posed:
Allyn would chuckle if he could, but hey that's just something he can't manage to do in an animal shape. He lumbers over towards Finna and nudges her and then gives her a nip. "You need to teach me how to change into one of those." and then ponders for a few moments, "Want to wrestle to see who's stronger in our current forms?" he hisses, sounds kind of like a snicker.

Marrik has posed:
Strange thing is Marrik hasn't been raising the enemy troops as the dead. Still, those that had raised did their job well. As the ghosts flickered back into invisability the undead dragged the true dead outside of the city. If left undesturbed the Undead would then attempt to find their proper graves or, in the case of newly slain, start filling them back in before picking unclaimed spots in the cemeteries to lsy down if they were allowed to perform this task.

Once that was done he slumped in place and hobbled along, having used a greater portion of his mana for that stunt. Time to see if he could keep the living alive by keeping them in their bodies til healers could get there.

Faruja has posed:
Undead, a tidal wave that /isn't/ him, and breaking ranks of Archadians. What a bloody night.

Faruja will deal with Heresy later. For now? He can barely see, caught on the edge of unconsciousness. Bahamut increasingly wavers. The great Esper wobbles, huffing at his summoner's impeding collapse.

With all of the power of a Demigod, the great beast turns to the work that Finna and Marrik have done. With nothing but contempt, it spits the last of its remaining magic into a burst of power that's aimed directly for the middle of the line of Archadian soldiers. The chaos means nothing. Its Summoner, as he collapses unconscious, merely asks for death to these soldiers. With luck, Bahamut delivers before fading into motes of pure magic.

Ziggy Grover has posed:
"Come on, you stupid..." Ranger Green exclaims, as he managed to clear enough room that he can brace his feet against the tree, and pull at the axe. Yankyank--- YOINK!

Falling over and roling about, Ranger Green comes to a stop, facedown against the ground, and then pulls himself up, and waving the axe. "All right, villains! I'm -ready- for you... huh?"

Spinning around, Ranger Green finds himself staring at a Chocobo, visor to beak.

"KWEH?!" "EH?!"

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe has one what she could to stop them and it seems the battle is over at this point it wont' be forever she knows that but they did hold right? She's trying to not think about the fight. She wonders why she's still doing this playing at being the Knight. She thinks everyone else risks themselves she does not. She comes in fort a landing but she looks at what Marrik did and there's no small amount of terror in her mind, she just wants to log out and get away from all this.

Goffard Gaffgarion (Dropped) has posed:
"Blast it!" Gaffgarion growls as the ship goes dark. Now he can't see. A predator's eyes are much better, though, and when Gaffgarion whistles, the chocobo comes barreling back to him. He mounts up on Melody's back and notes, "'Tis time for the rats to flee this sinking ship." Looking to Riva, "If you need a way off of this ship, make haste. I'll not wait."

Whether Riva takes him up on his offer or not, Gaffgarion's jumping ship in the next moment. He's not waiting long enough to crash. He emits a sharp whistle and Melody leaps from the deck the way they came in, fluttering down to the ground again. He pauses, long enough to see the Archadians are fleeing.

Somebody better grab the Fell Knight, he looks like he's about to give chase to the fleeing Archadians. His intent? Yup, chase 'em down and kill 'em. He /does/ have a reputation for brutality and cruelty, it had to come from somewhere. "GET BACK HERE COWARDS, SO THAT I MAY GUT YOU PROPERLY!"

-<RADIO: 2>- Finna says, "Theeeere we go!"
-<RADIO: 2>- Finna says, "hehehe. Never underestimate the forest, you creeps!"
-<RADIO: 2>- Tomoe seems to be breathing somewhat heavily. "...is it over..."
-<RADIO: 2>- Allyn says, "Nope you don't want to do that, never underestimate nature!"
Ultima (129) has posed:
The Archadian army has, finally, for the most part departed... what is left of them are either dead, grievously injured, or presently being taken into custody as prisoners of war by Duke Barrington's soldiers. The ebon armored knights swiftly make for the forest from which they came... with Gaffgarion apparently hot on their heels!

The knights in white cloth, and silver armor, have seen their share of dead and wounded as well... but thanks to the efforts of the gathered heroes - they are minimal. The advancement of Archades never even managed to make it to the Church, where the civilians await notice of war's end, or the castle fortress looming high above either. Truly a humiliating loss for Archades indeed! This will not sit well with House Solidor, but for now... peace in Riovanes is at the very least restored...

The remains of the Archadian cruiser, erstwhile, have crashed into the forest in the distance... smoke rises from its interior hull as it lay nestled in the grove it created by obliterating a large swath of trees. THAT too will have to be dealt with soon...

Riva Banari has posed:
As the cruiser lurches to one side, the engines exploding in a massive fireball, it occurs to Riva that she didn't think this all the way through.

Like how to get /off/ the craft safely. She doesn't know if this thing even HAS lifeboats, let alone where they are or if they're still there. She staggers back to her feet and quickly takes the Chocobo Express with Gaffgarion, flopping off and leaving the Dark Knight to chase down the survivors as he wills.

On the ground, Riva quietly slumps against a tree, breathing heavily. The army has been driven back, against all odds. She really was not expecting any of that to work.