5016/FATE: A Hells-Damned Arms Race

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FATE: A Hells-Damned Arms Race
Date of Scene: 14 January 2017
Location: The Deserts of Thanalan
Synopsis: The Warrior of Light and the Watch are ambushed by the Amal'ja, which is rather bad luck for the Beastmen, actually.
Cast of Characters: N'raha Tia, 481, Athela Valemore, Inga, 750, 774, 1081

N'raha Tia has posed:
    An Echo Of What Has Been

    A group of merchants, hauling a full carriage of supplies, lie broken and bleeding in the desert, far from help, far from Little Ala Mhigo, far from the Flames or the Blades or anything. A group of Amalj'aa, however, have not killed them. No. Not only is the cargo they carry valuable, so are they, personally. More bodies.

    One of the dark skinned lizard men stomps over towards a pair of spearcarriers, and barks an order. Another one nods and points into the cart, where under a large tarp lies a full load of fire crystals. There's nodding from the officer, who waves an arm, and then the cargo and the prisoners are carted off into a box canyon, to what ends unknown, but guessable.

    The Here And Now

    N'raha waves off the vision and scowls a bit, as he rides shotgun on a very similar cart, a very similar route, but with a very different cadre. Out of the entire group of this... ambush? Sting? Whatever the Flames wanted to call it, he was the one that likely felt most at home. Even if he had turned into a Pirate Catte, his home was still the desert sands, and the Miqo'te revelled in the warmth and heat. A glance behind him at the people 'guarding' the caravan, and the 'cargo'. "You folks alright back there?" It was a very warm day in Thanalan, and there was no telling if the Amalj'aa would even take the bait again.

Kirika (481) has posed:
    Kirika's glamor has been working to disguise her as an Au Ra, her foxy features replaced by a tail, horn, scales, and other bits that would make her a dead ringer for Yari Takane. The disguised kitsune is currently posing as a bodyguard, a conical straw hat hiding her face as she sits on the cart. A spear is in her hands, and she's looking appropriately stoic. "I am managing." She says simply.

Athela Valemore has posed:
For Athela 'desert' was an entirely new experience. They had nothing similar to this environment in Bayern. The crags around the mountain foothills were dry but rocky, not this arid heat that resulted in little natural moisture. It was a mildly uncomfortable experience she would endure though, as she had already set her mind to assisting the Cattain in his world's endeavours and this was not going to be something to sway her away from that.

It did however limit her options in what pokemon to bring. Goomy was right out, the heat and lack of humidity would dry the little slug-dragon right out, especially if it had to expend moisture in attacks. Samurott she could summon from his pokegem in an emergency to fight, but him travelling alongside her was out of the question, even if how badly his appearance would stand out wasn't already denying that course of action. Which really only left Vaporeon and Timburr as options, when the time came.

"My only regret," she murmurs from alongside the cart in response to the catman's question, "is that there be little time to marvel at this new land more closely." She had opted to accompany the cart since she is pretty much human and wouldn't visually stand out, compared to some of the others present. Her cloak was wrapped around her body though, both to cover her armor and give the appearance that she was protecting herself from the hot wind and sands, with the hood pulled up over her head and a bit past her brow to shield her face from the harsh sunlight. "Perhaps on the return trip," she adds, an effort to make it sound like she is merely a traveller from one of Eroza's other regions.

Inga has posed:
Inga had apparently missed the part of the missive about this taking place in the desert, and originally arrived in full winter gear from the currently frigid Dun Realtai. She has since stashed away her cloak, hat, gloves and overdress, swapping out for wearing only her underdress with a thin tunic she'd bought at the market over it, belted at the waist to make an appropriate dress for the weather. She's tied a handkerchief around her hair to protect it from the sun. Even so, the desert is not a place she finds particularly comfortable. It is, in fact, the first time she's spent any time in one.

It's hot. It's dry. There's not a lot of trees. She can't imagine why anyone would want to live here.

"Ja..are we nearly there?" Inga inquires from the shade of the cart, peeking her head out to look around. She doesn't look terribly out of place, if perhaps a bit disheveled.

Rebound (750) has posed:
Please like Rebound would bother to disguise herself. The kangaroo mutant is thankfully sort of like, from an environment similar to this. At least her mutated species is, but she's originally from Vegas so it counts too.

"You guys have magical everything but haven't invented AC yet?" She asks the catman up front, "C'mon man, just throw some ice magic in a box or something."

Dorian Pavus (774) has posed:
    Amongst this group of 'locals' is what looks to be nothing more than an old man. He's covered with a dusty gray robe that has a hood on it, and leans heavily on a gnarled, mostly straight tree branch with a deeply-bent back. With the hood pulled up and his head down, nothing but his hands are visible. Just an old man here, nothing to see.

    N'raha's question of his wellness gets a reedy-sounding response from the old man. "Well enough," he assures the Miquo'te in that whispery voice like dry leaves in a breeze. But as he speaks, he tilts his head up, juuuust enoguh that N'raha can see his face. The face there is unmistakably Dorian's; that moustache couldn't be anyone else's. Dorian offers a conspiratorial wink.

N'raha Tia has posed:
    N'raha at least has an answer to that one from Rebound. "Oh, I'll get you out to see Little Ala Mhigo some time. It's in a cave cooled by natural spring waterfalls. Very fancy, practically improbable. I suspect Thaumaturges."
    Speaking of Thaumaturges, there's a Lalafell in the group as well, a young fellow carrying a Potato Sized Longstaff. "Mr. N'raha, I'll have you know that not EVERYTHING out of place was done by magic, and you know it." The young Cocoboha huff puffs a bit, and fiddles with his Guard's uniform, looking slightly uncomfortable. "Also you can thank Miss Minfilia for my presense. The Thaumaturge's Guild certainly doesn't want to see any primals in our backyard either."

    The going is slow at least, the Flames working to make sure that the caravan is seen from a long ways away. All the better to be spotted and stalked, after all. It's just as the group is heading towards a natural arched bridge path over a canyon that something seems very amiss. Someone has dragged boulders across the path at the other side of the bridge. A likely start to a fight, perhaps, but N'raha isn't going to say that out loud, now is he? "Bother! Who put these here?" He calls out instead, and hauls on the reins of the Chocobos leading the cart, trying to get them to wheel around. "Now we're going to have to head back! Who would have done such a thing?"

Kirika (481) has posed:
    Kirika just sighs. The desert just reminds her of the stores she heard about the Eastern Regions of Kasun, where the Easterling hordes rule with savagery. To say this isn't much different from the usual account of 'I tried to go on a trade route and we got hit by bandits' she heard about the East is putting it lightly. The kitsune just holds onto her spear, her crimson eyes peering out from bellow her hat as she remains alert.

    It's just a matter of time before N'Raha's taunt gets the bandits to come out the woodwork.

Inga has posed:
Inga peeks out of the cart toward Kirika, raising a brow at her disguise. Interesting Yari impersonation. Was she doing that on purpose?

To Dorian, Inga gives a look whenever she can catch his eye. This look says 'seriously dude?' more or less.


She has also had the sense not to coo ver Cocoboha, even though he is tiny and adorable. Because he is a mage, and just because one happens to be short and adorable does not mean one is not deserving of proper respect!


When the cart comes to a stop, Inga disembarks to have a look at what is going on. Ah, boulders blocking the bridge. She glances to N'raha. Will the bait be taken? Inga leans on her staff, raising one hand to shield her eyes from the sun as she scans the area.

Rebound (750) has posed:
Not wanting togive away her presence, Rebound stays inside of the cart. After all, a tech gauntlet clad kangaroo monster would probably give away that this is a trap, and she doesn't want to do that until it's too late for the attackers.

She clenches her hands, and tenses her legs, "C'mon you big lizardy bastards. Show yourselves already."

Athela Valemore has posed:
Athela Valemore plays along with the ploy, letting out a long disenchanted sigh and shaking her hooded head. "All this way for nothing? Boss won't like it if we come back without payment for these goods y'know."

A small yip, barely audible, comes from within the cart and the covering shifts just enough for a pair of eyes to peer out. "No, not yet." Athela scolds in a whisper. "Get back in the box." There's another almost mutter like yip in response, and the covering drops back down again.

Dorian Pavus (774) has posed:
    The 'old man's' reedy-sounding response to N'raha's (very likely) rhetorical question comes soon after. "Ah, someone playin' a prank is all," he adds loudly. Whispery and lacking his normal accent, he's doing a reasonable impression of the accent one would hear in Ferelden. It seems pretty ubiquitous through most of the worlds he's been in. But, clearly, he's also playing along. He shakes a fist in the boulders' direction. "Don't these hoodlums understand this is a dangerous place to play such a prank?!"

    Not to worry, Inga. Dorian can see your disapproval. However, the look he gives her in return is a confused 'what did I do?' sort of look. Sadly, he's not familiar enough with ancient Norse mythology to realize he's quite literally copying the mortal form of Odin. He'll ask her about it later though... he can't really afford to break the illusion just yet. And there's likely to be a battle here soon, so that's not the right time to ask.

Celes Chere (1081) has posed:
    Celes has been along all this time and you can't prove otherwise. The Rune Knight is riding along the cart on a bland yellow Chocobo of her own, her cape and attire no doubt giving her the look of a random adventurer hired to escort the cart. She certainly wouldn't stand out amidst a crowd of gladiators or paladins, that's for sure. She's not very chatty, though. She seems to be listening to every explanation and definition given, but isn't interjecting or making herself a bother.

    She'd meant to ask what a Primal is, but an occasion hasn't come up yet.

N'raha Tia has posed:
    N'raha... smiles faintly at Dorian, and not just because he's heard something. Actually pretty much everyone will be able to hear something. It's the faint twang of bowstring. Followed up by a volley of arrows, aimed not for the cart and the people around it, but the Chocobos pulling the cart. There's a squawk and a wark as one is clipped in the side and crumpled, legs kicking in terror. The cart wobbles to the side, but that's all the 'warning' that the Amalj'aa give as a full squad of them crest the hill, a group of spearlizards backed up by archers and what appears to be a spellcaster of some sort. A full sortie.

    The Spearlizards charge forward, and move to put the followers at javelin-point, while a fancier looking Amalj'aa storms forward and clips N'raha in the face with the haft of his spear, knocking him to the ground and barking at him in broken Common. "You belong to us! This cart belongs to us! This is the will of Mighty Ifrit!"
    N'raha... falls. He's at least a decent actor about it even, covering his head and trying to hide under the cart as best he can. "Just... just take the cart! Take me! Let the rest go!"

    ...Is he giving them a chance? The world may never know, as another moves to pull Celes off her mount, aiming to ground the woman into the reach of the infantry.

Rebound (750) has posed:
Without warning, the front of the cart bursts open, freeing the chocobo who were attached to it. Rebound wouldn't want to hurt them, they're adorable. Hopefully someone can patch up the one that got hit.

A moment later, Rebound emerges from the back of the cart, "You assholes want the cart, huh?!?" She calls out, as she slips around behind it, setting up by dropping back onto her tail, and then hauling both of her feet off of the ground.

She hauls back, and then kicks out with both feet, slamming them into the cart, sending it spiraling through the air towards the pack of Amalja, "Take it then!"

Kirika (481) has posed:


    Kirika will /not/ have animal abuse, not even by such cruel thugs as this lot of banditry around these parts. She looks to Inga for a moment, wondering if she disapproves of the disguise, before she tightens her grip on the spear she's borrowing.

    She'll slip out the back of the cart when the bandits demand everyone leave it and surrender.

    She will take this opportunity to rebuke such demands, and respond by throwing her spear like it's an olympic javelin at the chest of one of the dudes.

    "COME AND GET US!" She roars.

Dorian Pavus (774) has posed:
    Dorian's hearing is probably not as good as N'raha's, if for no other reason, simply due to where they're located. However, when the bird goes down, that's pretty clear a clue. Dorian actually cares enough to send a worried look to the bird. He can't help it right now, but if it survives, he may be able to help it later. Still, 'put the followers at spear-point' likely means that, in short order, there's going to be a lizardbutt with a spear pointed at him.

    This will have to be rectified.

    When the hiding allies start busting out of the cart, Dorian uses the distraction to stand straighter, and then swat the spear pointed at him away, then makes to try and slam the butt end of the staff into the lizardy spear-carrier's stomach. Hit or miss, he's getting out of immediate range.

    It's then that he reaches up and grabs the gray robe and pulls it away. And underneath -- yup, it's the well-dressed Tevinter mage, wearing his leather armor and white cloak, in all his mustachioed glory. He sends a smirk at the lizardmen, and the branchy end of the staff he carries alights in flames, as if the gnarled branches are containing it within them.

Athela Valemore has posed:
Athela Valemore backpedals as the whizz of arrows goes through the air, instinctively putting her back towards the rest of the group so she can't be jumped from behind easily. But otherwise, playing the part of being startled, hunkering down a bit as if trying to huddle away from the approaching lizardmen under her cloak. At least until they get close and one levels his spear at her as another makes their demand. "... I think not."

The change of demeanor is the only warning they'll get that something is up. Already gripping her weapon beneath the cloak Athela draws it in one fluid motion, catching the spear aimed at her with Resolute Blade's weapon snaring barbs and yanking it aside. "Your empty threats hold no claim here." Then brings the sword on the backswing across the Amalj'aa's face.

Rebound kicks the cart into the air, which is taken advantage of as Athela's Vaporeon leaps out from under the tarps before it crashes into anything. The extra lift from the cart toss gives her an angle to "Vaporeooooooon!" and expel a powerful stream of water at the archers in the distance.

Celes Chere (1081) has posed:
    'The will of Ifrit'?

tCeles is confused, but she doesn't have time to act on it. That lizardman is being very violent in her direction. The chocobo's too. She frowns, immediatly unsheathing Save the Queen in a clean motion, used also to knock the Amalj'aa's hands away from her. She feels conflicted. It's obviously she needs to defend herself, but are these people followers of the Espers?

    ... more importantly, this world has Espers?
    It does have Chocobo...

    "Raha, why are they shouting about Ifrit?"

    Oh, right, the Amalj'aa. Knocking it away certainly wasn't going to discourage it. Still on her Chocobo, Celes' blade suddenly flashes a stony grey and brown, as she slashes, the cut's range extending with magic just far enough to catch the lizardman.

    It's Break Strike. It inflicts Petrify. Or tries to, at least.

Inga has posed:
Inga gives Dorian a 'you know what you did' look. The similarities to Odin are there, but that's not what she's giving him the stink eye about. She's just giving him a hard time mostly for the fun of it, anyway. She throws him a wink when the Amal'jaa show up and start getting rough. Time to do what they do best--stay out of melee and blows things up or throw wards or healing from afar!

The chocobo is the first to take damage, poor thing. Inga will see to it once they've dealt with the aggressors.

"Yours? Tch. You're lucky I don't take slaves anymore," she grumbles, pulling her knife from her belt as one of the lizardmen rushes toward her with a spear. Knife in one hand, staff in the other, she gestures with her staff and shouts something in old Norse. A wave of force bursts from her, slamming into the lizardman to send him flying backward.


Next, come wards. Inga starts with herself, because it is a good idea to keep the healer alive. The knife is brought to her opposite arm, drawing enough blood to bring a shimmering gold an crimson ward to life around her.

N'raha Tia has posed:

    There's a bark of... well, first, laughter from the Amalj'aa at the first of the people piling out of the cart. One in the back chortles. "HAH! It was a false ploy!" Which is followed up by... many more of the Amalj'aa piling over the ridge. SOMEONE sold them out. Oh dear.

    What isn't followed by laughter is the sudden sight of Rebound. And then Kirika. Definately not from Around These Parts. Off-worlders! There's a squawk as several of the spearmen are taken down by attacks, one poor sod crumbling to the ground stiff as a board. The Fancy Amalj'aa staggers back and moves into the cover of several of his soldiers. "TO ARMS! CUT THEM ALL DOWN."

    Well now the fight is truely in proper disorder, as infantry storm down at the Watch, spearlizards and punchlizards moving in to attempt and pummel these offworlders into submission.

    There's a lion's roar though, from under the cart, as N'raha and Cocoboha come charging out. Presumably the roar's from N'raha as his dirty red armor shimmers with discharging Aether, because Cocoboha is matching the other spell casters with a roar of flames from the tip of his staff!

Dorian Pavus (774) has posed:

    Dorian was all smiles and 'ha HA!' over there, and then suddenly... well, a modern earth reference might be to say that KUNG POW levels of enemies crest the ridge. The Altus's feelings on this are expressed in a single, very appropriate word.


    He sighs. "Well... in for a pinch, in for a pound," he mutters under his breath. Slightly altered phrase there, Thedas doesn't have 'pennies'. Close enough though.

    However, much like Inga, Dorian's first order of business is to start protecting people. Excuse him a moment, he's going to be tossing Barriers at people for a few moments yet.

Celes Chere (1081) has posed:
    More and more of them. No answer from Raha, either. Celes tugs on her Chocobo, commanding the beast with some manner of experience. She's no expert rider, but she seems to know her way around mounted combat. Dorian shields them all, which is good. Inga shields herself even further, which makes it SLIGHTLY less of a priority to cover her. But still one.

    The Rune Knight darts through the lizardmen, the Chocobo zigzagging through the swords and spears until Celes is behind them; a sharp turn later, and her sword is pointed at the soldiers, the air around it chilling.


    Cue giant icicles forming overhead and slamming down to crush as many of the soldiers as possible, without risking to hit any ally. She might not look like a Thaumaturge or Black Mage but she has the punch of one.

Kirika (481) has posed:
    Kirika may have foolishly discarded her spear when she did, but she's not unarmed, not by a long shot. Her sword leaves the sheath, and the blade Kinugiri sings as Kirika dispels her glamor. The au ra becomes a fox, and Kirika grasps her sword in both hands.

    She charges at the infantrymen, her blade aloft as she meets them directly. She slashes at one of the spearmen, intending to slice his weapon in two before another cut finishes him off.

    It's odd. Kirika doesn't usually fight to kill, yet in the rush of combat...she doesn't care, for once.

Athela Valemore has posed:
... So it was a trap for their trap of the trap. That definately seems to be a thing that is happening right now. "Thought that was too easy," Athela murmurs mostly to herself as her pokemon returns to her side as more and more of the lizardmen pour over the ridges to replace the first wave they dispatched.

But it is enough of a moment between rushes for her to plant her armored heels in the sand and grab the cloak to whip it off completely. Don't need that getting in her way, fighting in midst of the desert in leather and chainmail is probably going to become uncomfortable enough. All the same she stands tall and defiant of the attack as a knight should, ancient weapon hold before her. "The midsts of the desert shall not save thee from Justice's unrelenting tide! Your so-called god shall claim nothing this day!"

Dorian is here, which usually means defenses. So they can focus on the offense to turn back the charge. "Sprite, give me thy strength." The Vaporeon nods, yerfing something in response as she prances around the young woman's feet, her eyes glowing like tiny pools of water. Her elemental presense, and a attack boosting Helping Hand, give Athela more than enough to work with. Swirls of water are already spiraling around Resolute Blade, and when Athela slashes the weapon through the air the charge is released, the elemental energy streaming off of it taking the form not unlike that of a 'whipsword' save made of pressurized water, that whips in a shearing arc towards the attackers. Slice down as many of them as she can, until she's forced to back off from the attack so she can use her sword (and Dorian's barrier) to defend herself from those that make it through the assault.

Rebound (750) has posed:
"Oh you fools." Rebound slams her fists together, the technological terrors known as the Impact Drivers hissing to life and glowing green with the plasma energy that courses through them.

She plants her feet and leaps, flying upwards into the air, and heading for the biggest collection of them that she can spot. She lands hard inside of the group, and then slams the Impact Driver into the closest one's sternum. It'll probably not kill him outright, but she doubts he'll be getting back up from it either, "C'mon, get me you bastards!"

She wheel's around with a heel kick towards the next closest one, keeping an eye out for spears and swords and anything like that she'll need to deflect with the drivers, because she's not exactly built to take hits.

N'raha Tia has posed:
    Ice and sword cut down several of the infantry, as Celes and Kirika find their marks, the Blizzard actually feeling right at home in the place. In fact, probably more so as the spellcaster on the ridge howls something in his native tongue, and shards of ice and biting, cutting wind start to rain down on the entire area of the cart, trying to force people out of cover.
    The wards from Inga and Dorian start to come into play as well, as the magical blood and arcane barriers start to turn away spears and fists, stopping harsh blows against N'raha and Athela and Rebound, as the front line fighters start to wade into the infantry. That's double for the PokeKnight as her waterblade lashes out, dropping two more of the massive Beastmen. And more so as the kangaroo-girl crushes another.

    The Fanciest Amalj'aa howls in rage, and points at the spell casters barking orders, and sending more of their infantry in for the Squishies. There's also a ripple of heat energy from the entire group of lizardmen, as an Enfire from their boss coats all of their attacks with blistering heat.

    Still they come. The fancy man looks anxious, though, somehow.

Inga has posed:
They're presence has not gone unnoticed it seems. Indeed, it looks as though they are about to become targets of special interest. Inga trusts that the others will cover them, but be ready to protect herself if need be. She has many tricks up her sleeve.

The enemy mages draw Inga's attention. As no one appears to be hurt as of yet, Inga can perhaps do a little damage.

Raising her staff, she begins to chant, the runes carved along the wood glowing white-hot with channeled anima. Lightning cracks, zipping toward one of the beastman spellcasters, smashing into him with great force, charging the air and filling the area with the stench of ozone.

Kirika (481) has posed:
    Kirika's sword slashes deep as she and Celes engage the enemy directly. Her sword begins to burn with holy flame as she attempts another slash. The fox grows chilly for a moment, as ice shards fly her way. One of them finds its mark, and she takes an icicle to the shoulder. "Hgh!" Grunting, she begins to burn with flame to melt the ice rather than attempt to rip it free, and she heats up to counteract the frozen winds.

    Suddenly her hand begins to project a gout of flame, like a short-range flame-thrower of some sort.

Athela Valemore has posed:
Athela Valemore has thanked Dorian's being present many times before, and this is likely to be another. The Barrier may run down quickly under repeated assault, but every blow it weakness is a blessing in itself. It is wearing quickly though, and Athela takes advantage of the last precious few seconds it gives to parry a few spear thrusts to only grazing her armor and backing off a bit. There is still a lot of enemies upon them.

A few stab at her companion, but their spears pass right through her as Sprite uses Vaporeon's trademark ability to shift into a more waterlike form and mitigate the damage done. Only to start to shimmer a moment after as Aqua Ring absorbs that energy back in and refills a small but important portion of her health. Vaporeons are known for being the tankiest of the original eeveelutions for good reason.

"We need better odds of our own..." Athela asides her sword for a moment, instead retrieving an aquamarine gem from her pouch. "Lancer, come forth!" It surges with energy, and shoots off into the air briefly? Which results in a defiant roar as the Samurott is summoned into physical being and CRASHES into the midst of the horde from above, crushing several lizardmen beneath it's bulk of mass and knightly armor.

Celes Chere (1081) has posed:
    What an odd sensation. Magic here feels different. Is it because it's abundant? Maybe there's something else nearby. She wishes she could pay attention to the feeling more, but finds herself having very little time to. Swords and spears are still aplenty, and she doesn't want to let her steed die. Save the Queen sings through the air, expertly, crashing into melee weapons, focusing on those trying to skewer her Chocobo. This means she can't cover her own flanks as well, and ends up with a fair few cuts of her own. Her cape even loses a piece. That's no good.

    Then something catches her eye. The biggest of the Amalj'aa casts a spell, trying to empower his army. Celes does what Celes was raised to do.


    Her sword rises into the air, and flashes a momentary gold. It's... trying to eat the Enfire spell? All of it. Celes is absorbing as much of the spell as she can. Those Amalj'aa won't get flaming weapons if she can help it. Neither will she, but she'll get MP back from it, so it's fine.

Dorian Pavus (774) has posed:
    It's a valid tactic -- 'kill the healer'. Or 'kill the mages'. Most of the people in Ferelden would probably agree with that last one anyway! He's more worried about casting those Barriers around his allies, so he's going to end up with the charging soldiers a little closer to him than is possible for him to retaliate against with magic...

    But see, Dorian may be kind of breaking the rules for magic in Hydaelyn. The staff he's carrying is on fire, as if it were a Black Mage's fire-elemental staff. But he just casted Barriers, which is more or less a short-term Protect spell, which is (presumably) a White Magic spell. And now he's about to break those rules again.

    Because when the soldiers get close... the fiery end of that staff is going to get swung with force at the head of the first one that gets in range. The fire may or may not hurt these things, but getting blatted in the face with a solid piece of wood is still unpleasant. Particularly when there's significant force behind it!

    For himself, Dorian may not have superhuman strength, but he definitely knows how to fight with a staff. He can use the weapon's longer reach to parry spears, get inside an infantryman's guard, and apply enough force to a swing to be pretty damned painful. A Black Mage's weapon, a White Mage's spells, and now competence with physical attacks? SO NOT FAIR!

    And of course, because Dorian is an ass, can't resist making an incredibly inappropriate joke between swings at Amalj'aa who get too close. "You know, I usually require a drink before I allow anyone to impale me. With this attitude, you lot aren't convincing me to make exceptions for you," he half-growls.

N'raha Tia has posed:
    WELL NOW. Let's start off with that Runic? Shall we? Celes' magical Om Nom... well, to say it rattles the Captain is putting it lightly. There's a shudder in the ranks, even, as the expected invigorating envelopment of Ifrit's warmth is suddenly sucked away from all present. There's squawks of disbelief and angst, and a bellowing roar of anger from the Captain. "They bear the touch of the Crystal! Suffer none to live!" Ooof. Someone's testy about that.
    (Also for the record, Celes, that magic is... distasteful. Unsettling. There's something corrupted about these creature's source of power.
    N'raha's head snaps up, as well, as the 'suffer none' is called out. Also the Crystal part. Oh right. They really hate the Chosen in these parts. The Catman drags his axe out of an Amalj'aa and charges into another crowd of lizardfolk...

    Who were attempting to get to Dorian and Inga and Cocoboha! He shoulder tackles right into them, in fact, axe swinging to knock them all over as the diminutive Lalafell clambers up on the overturned cart to point his staff and launch a blistering, massive wave of flames into a crowd.

    Then hell is breaking loose. A massive Pokemon is Summoned, smashing into the backline and sending archers sprawling. That's backed up by Inga's lightning, which smacks into the far caster, sending him sprawling as well. This is going from bad to worse for all involved... who are Amalj'aa. The Captain howls, and spits blood from his mouth, calling for... "WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?" His beastmen are hesitating though, seeing so many of their number already fallen and pooling their essence back to the lifestream and the aether.

N'raha Tia has posed:
    HOLY is also a pretty good choice here, as well as MORE FIRE. Fire is very popular, as Kirika's attacks slice through more of the foes in front of her. The hesistating Amalj'aa are.. well. They were expecting the Immortal Flames, honestly, not a bunch of Offworld Adventurers.

Inga has posed:
Inga's eyes are drawn toward N'raha suddenly, an eyebrow rising slightly as she senses something eminating from his person. She smiles briefly, then turns back to the fight to catch Dorian's quip, to which she laughs out loud. Oh Dorian. That's some fancy staff-work--Inga is not so much capable of that, but has other defensive mechanisms.

Bloody ones.

N'raha intervenes on her behalf, keeping her from being swarmed by lizardmen that want her blood. One slips through however, and if he wants he blood, well, he's going to get it.

She turns to try to avoid being speared, but the blade still grazes her. Blood gushes from the wound and Inga turns, whispers, and flings it at him.

It's acid. Horrible, burning acid.

She then hits him with her stick, just for good measure, before looking around to see if anyone needs her healing services while her blood is still flowing. Hopefully, lizardman is freaked out enough by being sprayed by acid blood and having his flesh melted to want to bother her anymore.

Celes Chere (1081) has posed:
    That magic tasted like purple. Yuck. It's not a familiar feeling, either. Celes' world doesn't really have 'bad magic' like this. Magic is magic. You can drain an Esper or turn it into a crystal, but either way using its magic won't have any weird... weight to it. This is different. Worrying. She'll abstain from eating any more for now. She'll ask Raha about it after.

    Seeing the soldiers backing away, their lines broken, Celes guns for the captain. The Chocobo accelerates, and makes a leap, over the few remaining swords and spears of the captain's forward guard. She's coming down hard, slashing her blade. Save the Queen glows black and red, an intense pressure that burns and blasts, but it isn't fire. It's Black Magic, pure, destructive. Flare Strike.

    "That's quite enough! Admit you've lost and surrender, further bloodshed is pointless! For both sides!"

Athela Valemore has posed:
Unfortunately for the lizardmen, hesitation can be a lethal mistake on the battlefield.

Or in the least, it can be capitalized on. "Sweep them up, Lancer!" Athela calls to her armored monster, to finish off those attackers before they can get reorganized. The Samurott lunges forth at the command, aiming to impale the nearest lizardman on the lance-like blade protruding from his helmet. Then twists around, both to through him off, and in the same motion swing his broad tail in a sweeping arc to bowl over anything else that gets in his way, sending attackers scattering in various directions.

He has that matter well in hand, so Athela turns and strikes the spearbearers trying to harass her other pokemon, giving the Vaporeon a chance to recover farther as she slices and kicks them away. "Begone from these sands, before your blood stands them farther in the futility of your so-called god!"

Rebound (750) has posed:
Rebound has been doing her best to work her way through the front line of lizard men. She's got blood on her. Some of it is her's, most of it isn't. She seems to be enjoying herself though.

The kangaroo hauls one of the big lizard men up over her head, "HEY!" She yells out, trying to get the attention of any of the Amalja around her, "Does this belong to you?!" She hurls the lizard towards his buddies, and then dives after him, flying in with a Macho Man-esque elbow drop.

Dorian Pavus (774) has posed:
    Dorian had been distracted with his current quarry, and so he hadn't seen the approaching mass of Amalj'aa. Not, that is, until N'raha barrels into them like a Reaver on a blood-frenzy! That gets his attention, and the turns just enough to see what's going on. "Much appreciated!" Dorian calls to N'raha.

    But he doesn't leave the words of the Captain un-responded to either. and he responds in typical smartass fashion. "No Crystal's 'touched' me," Dorian clarifies loudly. A smirk, and then in a false pitying tone, he asks, "Should I bring you a doll and have you show me on the doll where the bad Crystal touched you?"

    Yes. Yes Dorian is indeed a smartass.

    But he's not going to leave his barbs purely verbal. He first looks at Inga, attention drawn to her by her laughter, and fofers a playful wink. Then he aims his gaze at the line of lizardmen that are hesitating, being careful to aim away from any allies also heading in that direction. He thrusts his hands out in front of him, then sweeps them outwards, to his sides. The sand under the line of Amalj'aa may start to heat up. And then he turns his hands palm up, then raises them quickly into the air.

    As if cued by his hands upward sweep, fire springs to life from that place where the sand is starting to heat up in a wall. Just one thing. Dorian's fire magic has a nasty habit of continuing to burn after it hits an enemy. So there might be a few flaming lizardmen here. Which just might cause some to start running around. And they might catch others on fire. Daisy chain of setting lizard-things on fire, maybe?

Kirika (481) has posed:
    Kirika rips out the remainder of the icicle in her arm, taking a chunk with it. Grumbling, she tucks her wounded arm under her kimono as she keeps her sword close in hand. The flames are certainly a nasty surprise, especially coming from a kitsune from off-world. Foxfire is potent, even if Kirika's not exactly good at throwing it at long range.

    The kitsune continues to fight, to her credit, her sword slashing and stabbing with careful movements. With only one good arm she can't exactly use her best moves, but she can still hold her own as she dishes out kicks and the odd tail-strike, a hook kick from her sandaled foot and a wide arcing slash giving her some breathing room amid the horde. "Raaaagh! This is your last chance, leave or die now!" She roars, even as she sustains the odd cut and gash in the fighting.

N'raha Tia has posed:
    That hesitation has cost these creatures, these beastmen, the battle here. Most of them, it's now cost their lives, as the off worlders move in on them all.
    The PokeKnights' summons have that situation well in hand, as the big SAMURAI OTTER lays into the last of the melee protecting the archers, sending the bow-lizards running out of the combat area. Dorian's flames light several more on fire, and that acid blood from Inga and the Cannonball special from Rebound clear the path for Kirika and Ceres and N'raha to close the distance through the rest of the mess to the fuming mad Captain.

    Despite all the other shit that's just happened in front of him, the beastman is clearly... not about to surrender. There's a depserate anger in his eyes, born of fanaticism, and probably being Tempered by Ifrit. The dark skinned Amalj'aa hisses through clenched teeth, and gets up into the face of the shorter foes...
    Before N'raha plants a boot in the creature's chest, and kicks him bodily into a nearby boulder. There's a crunching of rock and flesh, and the catman's axe lifts up. He's bleeding in multiple places, cut and bashed and pierced through his armor, but he still stands, as is the way of the Warrior. "Sit down... and stay down... I am Raha of the Aldgoat, Blessed of Hydaelyn, and you WILL SUBMIT." The words ring out, clear as a bell along with both Kirika and Celes' calls for surrender... and despite the position he's in, the Captain snarls out. "This blood will be avenged, you insolent trash. Mighty Ifrit is coming, and there is nothing you filth can do to stop it. The Mighty One comes to claim all of this world in flames and wrath, and not even those TAINTED by the Crystal can stop us."

    Oh ho.

Inga has posed:
Inga, now that she is no longer being attacked, can turn her attention back to healing. And at least a couple of their party needs it.

Blood still flows from her wound, but she's not worried. It is already beginning to heal. With the blood she has, she uses her magic to empower it, flinging the healing spell toward N'raha and then Kirika. That should get the healing started.

Inga limps toward N'raha and the defeated lizardman. She folds her hands on top of her staff as he considers the creature, frowning thoughtfully. "We could sacrifice him to Hydaelyn," she offers. "Strengthen her against this...Ifrit." Because that's how Inga thinks it works.

Athela Valemore has posed:
Most of the enemy is either dead or fleeing. Except for their leader, who is clearly too stubbornly devoted to his dillusions to do so. This... actually gets a slight sigh out of Athela. This is something she has seen many times before with Team Golem. Obsessed to the point that they totally disregard their own life in the name of the 'god' they serve. To the point that they would sacrifice their body and soul in destruction (bastards somehow teach themselves SELF-DESTRUCT) than submit.

It was not unlike the 'Tempering' these Primals apparently do.

Athela shakes her head a little. "He is a zealot, sir," she remarks to the axe-cat. "He will not relent or give remorse. There.. is only one course to end this threat."

It is not one she herself likes, but having dealt with zealots and cults as much as she has, Athela knows it is the only option.

Kirika (481) has posed:
    Kirika glances to Inga immediately, feeling her arm fixing from the Wisewoman's spell, nodding to her. She actually considers Inga's options as she sheathes her sword, and approaches the last remaining cultist.

    "So be it." She says at last, before she untucks her arm and grips her sword. Narrowing her eyes, she rests Kinugiri's blade over the bandit's neck, and raises the sword up high. Taking a breath, she brings the blade down.

Celes Chere (1081) has posed:
    "No," Celes says, glancing towards Inga at her suggestion. "Enough people have died. He might be a zealous monster, but killing him won't change anything. It won't bring back the people he might have killed and undo our injuries. Violence breeds violence, and they'll seek revenge. We should turn him in to the people he inconvenienced and let their justice handle i--"

    Oh, Kirika is acting.

    Celes' blade flashes. She Hastes herself and brings the weapon to halt Kirika's, evidently unhappy. Save the Queen can handle blows, anyway.

Dorian Pavus (774) has posed:
    Dorian just outright has no patience for religious zealots. This becomes clear when he sneers harshly at the Captain's words. "You sound like the Venatori," he says in disgust. Then nonchalantly, "Blah, blah, blah, 'my god's better than yours', 'my god will bring righteous justice down on you'." He waves a dismissive hand. "I've heard it all before." That's not to say he's discounting the threat that this 'Ifrit' poses. He knows that it's obviously something powerful, or it wouldn't have this many people (if indeed the Amalj'aa can be considered 'people') following it so blindly. But he's not going to give this one the satisfaction of knowing he IS afraid.

    Athela's words get a nod. "I'm inclined to agree. I've dealt with his like. I doubt he'll tell us anything. Nothing for it but to put him out of ALL our misery." He's frowning darkly as he says this, and doesn't seem to be nearly as hesitant to take the 'final' solution as Athela. But that doesn't mean he's not making his own plans.

    Of course, Zealot McCultyface over there isn't part of them. And as Kirika makes to put the foul creature out of its misery -- and out of the misery of all -- he makes no move at all to save the Captain or to stop Kirika. Or, to note, to look away. He merely huffs, "Good riddance."

    And then Celes is intercepting! Dorian backs away from the clashing blades. But he does note, "To send him back to his people with the knowledge that he failed..." A nasty little smile spreads across his face. "That's even crueler than killing him. I like how you think, good lady." He's probably got all the wrong idea about it, though...

    Once all this is dealt with, in whatever way it will be dealt with, Dorian is going to make sure to confer with Raha about this 'Ifrit' situation. He may not be a Chosen of the Crystal, but he's a mage of no small power. Surely once he analyzes the basic patterns of the magic, he'll be able to figure out something. Besides, he's strong with the fire element, and they wouldn't be stealing fire crystals for this Ifrit if it were not also a fire beast of some kind, right? Perhaps he'll be able to sense something when the move is made?

N'raha Tia has posed:
    N'raha... hears the commotion, and steps out of the way to dodge the FoxRonin's swipe, only to have that blade be stopped by Miss Celes.
    The Captain's eyes flick between the women, and he tries to make a break for it... But there's N'raha's boot again, this time lifting up to pin him by his throat and shoulder. The healing from Inga is making that easier, actually.

    The Amalj'aa sneers up at the Miqo'te, and clicks his teeth triumphantly. "See, not even your own allies can make a choi-"

    The boot shifts and cuts off the Captain's air. N'raha's words now. "Celes is right. This one belongs to the Flames. A little odd how many of you showed up-" And then he says something in Miqo'te that is probably a slur, and won't be translated. Not a happy cat. Said unhappy cat looks over to Inga and the rest, and murmurs. "Are the chocobos stable, Inga?" She is the only healer here, after all.
    From out of the cart, though, flopples over Cocoboha, the Lalafell already moving to dust himself off and smudge dirt over his wounds. All the better to stop the bleeding, until he can be taken care of. "Remind me next time... to hire another conjuror! This business is not what I signed up for!"

Athela Valemore has posed:
"His sort will not change... but it is just to allow those wronged by his actions to decide how he will pay for those transgressions." Athela sheaths her weapon. This choice is acceptable enough, this world is not hers to decide. "But it may be wise to have greater watch over these routes. Even with him in custody, it will likely not slow down his ilk for long. Another will rise to fill the hole left by his absense soon enough."

Inga has posed:
It doesn't really matter to her. He's been dealt with in one way or another. Kirika moves to do the dead, but Celes stops her. "It matters not to me," she offers with a shrug.

She'd rather he die, but that's not her choice. She figures he will get himself killed anyway, may as well do something useful with him like sacrifice him to another god likely to oppose his. That's how it would be done in her culture anyway.

Another healing spell is cast on those who need it, before Inga nods to N'raha. "I'll see to the chocobos. I'll have to remove an arrow or two, so I could use a bit of muscle if anyone wouldn't mind," she says, then turns and heads to the birds to see them patched up and ready to go.

Kirika (481) has posed:
    KIrika is about to finish off the Amalj'aa, before Celes stops her mid-swipe. She looks to the general not with anger but confusion, a brow arching as their swords grind. (Shut up.)

    "We bring him with us and they will no doubt kill him anyway." She points out calmly. If he does escape, it's not like he has an organization anymore. Without any real ill will toward Celes, the kitsune sheaths her sword, and bows her head. "I apologize for acting without consultation, my lady. Regardless, whether he lives or dies is little issue."

Rebound (750) has posed:
"Tsk." Rebound watches the posturing by the defeated captain, and the mixed attempts at killing and saving him from the others in the group, "Hey Raha." She says, as she motions to the captain, "He can go to jail with a couple of broken arms, right?" She asks, smirking a little bit

She doubts she's actually going to be allowed to break both of his arms, but oh she would rather enjoy doing it if the permission is given to her, "Otherwise lets just knock his ass out and haul him back."

N'raha Tia has posed:
    ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, the Fancy Amalj'aa is stuffed in the back of the cart, with two good chocobos pulling it again. Even if he does wake up, there's not much fight in him, now that he's in 'smug zealot' mode. The Flames don't really care HOW he makes it back, but that he does is a welcome surprise... and a few more bounty gil in the pockets of those involved.
    Also for the taking are minor QUEST REWARDS. Hooray!