Afflicted dire claw+
Guild Wars 2 Card Game: Heroes of the Mists
2017.03.21 13:16 LukeD1uk Guild Wars 2 Card Game: Heroes of the Mists
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2023.06.09 11:24 Mallachaii Curse Of Strahd Session 0
A few days ago I summoned my players to the table for our first session of Curse of Strahd. The party consists of a Solar elf monk who was once a dragon, now unwillingly reincarnated into the body of an elf. A dark elf druid who seeks to explore the world beyond the confines of the underdark. A human fighter who was raised for combat but was magically controlled into murdering their friends and loved ones and lastly a half elf ranger who was raised by an order of monster hunters but suffers from anxiety and paranoia.
The session starts with the group each individually making their way to Duchess Morwens manor having been summoned. Upon arrival they are given a job to unearth what had been killing local farm animals.
During their investigation they find cattle and poultry torn apart and a well worn trail leading through the woods. The kills seemingly done by large wolves. Following the trail to a tunnel under an old rotting tree, they quickly discovered a den belonging to a pack of dire wolves.
Without much issue the party dispatched the wolves and brought proof to the farmers that the beasts had been taken care of.
During their travels back towards Daggerford, they spotted a caravan camped out near the city walls. A large bonfire set within the ring of carts where a dozen figures could be seen drinking and dancing. The party entered the city and made their way back to Morwen to be paid, but stayed for dinner as guests. Before they could leave the duchess asked of them one more favor. To speak to the people of the caravan and ask them to leave peacefully, as they had begun to harass the locals and guards alike.
The party agreed and went out to speak to the owners of the caravan where they met a man by the name of Stanamir. He told them a story of a great prince who had been hurt in battle and with the aid of his people recovered. He would tell them that this man, their master, was in need of help. His beloved was in danger and had sent the caravan out in search of anyone who would help. The party begrudgingly agreed and in the morning set out with the caravan.
Traveling for a few days the weather grew worse and worse, on the fourth night, the caravan stopped along the side of a muddy road for the evening. Starting fires and beginning to drink and sing the troup began to settle down for the evening....but a scream was heard in the woods and the party was quick to action. Running through the fog filled forest towards the woman's screams, it wasn't long before the body of a woman was found sitting with her back to a tree. Her throat slashed by claws...it was then that the werewolves decended on the party.
( Session ended before combat began. But should the party flee or fight. In the end the mists have surrounded them and should they rest or travel through the woods, they will be in the lands of Barovia by morning )
submitted by Mallachaii
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2023.06.09 05:40 konsyr Grim Dawn Version v126.96.36.199
On the forums. Previous patch.
As the gods have foretold, another patch walks among us.
We hope you enjoy the latest bug fixes and balance changes. Stay tuned for the next one!
- Human enemies can now equip at most one piece of armor or accessory to remove the possibility of overlapping % Resist bonuses that make these monsters difficult to kill
- Fixed an issue where the Forgotten Gods achievements could not be viewed within the Crucible
- Human enemies can now equip at most one piece of armor or accessory to remove the possibility of overlapping % Resist bonuses that make these monsters difficult to kill
- Reduced spawn frequency of Eldritch Armor, Human Ascendant and Korvaak’s Chosen heroes
- Updated boss spawn tables. Some bosses have graduated to higher shards and others have been demoted.
- Essence of the Shattered Realm now also grants a stacking bonus to % Retaliation damage in addition to its bonuses to non-retaliation damage.
- Adjusted positioning of off-hand items on the female PC to better align with the hand
- Fixed an issue where skill modifiers that added % Chance of Projectile Passthrough would add their bonus twice. As this was not a display issue, all affected modifiers have had their values adjusted to compensate.
- Fixed an issue where Upheaval would display its % Weapon damage tooltip incorrectly when used in conjunction with auto-attack replacers. This was a display issue only.
- Fixed an issue with shadows on Low settings.
- Fixed an issue where loot comparisons on the ground could cause a freeze/crash.
- Reduced monster % Fire Resist by 2% on Elite and Ultimate difficulty
- Significantly increased the cooldown on the heal abilities of Eldritch Armor and Human Ascendant heroes to match the cooldown of heal abilities on comparable Support archetypes
- Reduced the % Heal value of Eldritch Armor and Human Ascendant heroes (with the exception of Halganux ~ Supporter) to match values on comparable heroes with baseline heal abilities
- Increased the Health of the Loghorrean boss, along with the damage on some of its abilities. The poor Voice of Ch’thon’s vocal cords have gotten a bit sore over the years and needed a tune up.
- Increased the Health of Korvaak and Theodin Marcell.
- Increased the health, damage and adjusted the skill usage of some older bosses to bring them up to speed of their more modern counterparts. Will let you figure out which ones the hard way!
- Increased base resistances of various pets summoned by items. Some of these pets had fallen behind their mastery counterparts over the years.
- Suffix - Vitality: increased Health
- Rare Prefix - Aetherfire: added 30% Burn Duration
- Rare Prefix - Bloodthirsty: increased % Attack damage Converted to Health to 10% at level 84+
- Rare Prefix - Interrogator: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Rare Prefix - Magi: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Rare Prefix - Resonant: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Rare Prefix - Runecarved: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Rare Prefix - Runecaster: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Rare Prefix - Sandstorm: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Rare Prefix - Tempest: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Rare Prefix - Wraithbound (accessories): increased % All damage for pets
- Rare Suffix - Blight (shields): replaced Poison Retaliation with Acid Retaliation
- Rare Suffix - Conflagration (shields): replaced Burn Retaliation with Fire Retaliation
- Rare Suffix - Insight: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Rare Suffix - Sage: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Rare Suffix - Scorched Ends: replaced Burn Retaliation with Fire Retaliation
- Rare Suffix - Scorched Runes: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Component - Prismatic Diamond: reduced Cooldown on the granted skill to compensate for the fix to its duration
- Fixed an issue where some on % Health triggered skills granted by items would last longer than intended.
- Blazerush: now deals base Fire damage, damage adjusted accordingly. Increased % Attack Speed to 26%. Replaced % Armor with 8% Physical Resist. Added 50% of Lightning dealt as Fire. Replaced % Total Speed modifier for Flame Touched with 8% Offensive Ability, 100% of Lightning dealt as Fire and 50% of Physical dealt as Fire. Added 0.8s Stun modifier for Upheaval.
- Bloodrender: increased bonuses to Reaping Strike and Savagery to +3 and added 45% of Pierce dealt as Vitality. Increased Vitality damage modifiers for Savagery and Whirling Death to 45 and 220, respectively.
- Bloodsurge: added 84% Pierce damage
- Bysmiel Arcane Spaulders: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Bysmiel’s Grasp: increased Cold damage modifiers for Summon Briarthorn and Conjure Primal Spirit to 70 and 90, respectively
- Bysmiel’s Mindweaver: added modifiers for Iskandra’s Elemental Exchange. Increased Burn/Frostburn/Electrocute damage modifiers for Summon Familiar and Summon Hellhound to 75 / 2s.
- Corruptian: stats redesigned to better support its modifiers
- Coven Headcrusher: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Coven Mark of the Arcane: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Coven Spellweaver: added % Elemental Dot dmage and % Elemental Dot duration
- Dreeg’s Arcane Vestments: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Dreeg Venomspine Girdle: replaced Poison Retaliation with Acid Retaliation
- Dreeg Venomspine Waistguard: replaced Poison Retaliation with Acid Retaliation
- Malmouth Arcane Seal: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Mark of the Farseer: added 16 Bleed damage / 3s
- Reaver’s Hunger: added 25% of Elemental dealt as Vitality and increased bonuses to Dread and Sigil of Consumption to +3. Added +3 to Shadow Strike and Nidalla’s Justifiable Ends and added modifiers for Shadow Strike. Increased Vitality damage modifier for Sigil of Consumption to 80. Removed bonus to Bone Harvest.
- Slith Venom: replaced Poison Retaliation with Acid Retaliation
- Solael Vile Girdle: added 12% Bleed Resist
- Solael Vile Waistguard: added 16% Bleed Resist
- Stormbringer of Malmouth: added 20% Stun Resist and 30% Stun Resist for pets
- The Desolator: added 12% Damage Reduction / 6s modifier for Flashbang and increased Radius modifier for Bursting Round to 1.5
- The Overseer: added 70 Defensive Ability
- Venomfire: added +1s Duration modifier for Blackwater Cocktail
- Wendigo Spellweaver Mask: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Word of Solael: increased Vitality Decay damage modifier for Bloody Pox to 200 / 1s
- Wrathguard: increased Pierce damage on the granted skill
- Bysmiel’s Domination: increased Offensive Ability and Defensive Ability to 60
- Corruption: replaced Poison Retaliation with Acid Retaliation
- Citadel: added 5% Physical Resist and 20% Slow Resist. Replaced Internal Trauma Retaliation on the granted skill with Physical Retaliation.
- Doom: replaced % Armor with 4% Physical Resist and increased % Internal Trauma Duration to 50%
- Dreeg’s Affliction: replaced Poison Retaliation with Acid Retaliation
- Iskandra’s Balance: removed erroneous Burn Retaliation
- Malediction: increased Resist Reduction to 18 / 5s
- Necrosis: replaced Offensive Ability Reduction Retaliation with 50% Vitality Decay Duration. Added Offensive Ability Reduction to the granted skill.
- Oblivion: increased % Weapon damage on the granted skill to 125%
- Salvation: added 4% Physical Resist
- Scourge: increased Targets on the granted skill to 5
- Squall: replaced Electrocute Retaliation with 20 Offensive Ability
- Ulzuin’s Pyroclasm: added % Retaliation added to Attack to the skill proc
- Aetherscorched Cleaver: replaced % Aether damage with % Pierce Resist. Added modifiers for Iskandra’s Elemental Exchange.
- Alkamos’ Warsword: increased Cold damage modifier for Vire’s Might to 380
- Ascendant Hood: increased Duration modifier for Devastation to 4s
- Barrog’s Bloody Arm: added 50% Bleed Duration
- Basilisk Fang: increased % Attack damage Converted to Health modifiers for Aegis of Menhir and Dreeg’s Evil Eye to 6% and 8%, respectively
- Barthollem’s Warmaul: increased Target Arc modifier to 120
- Bloodfeast’s Mark: increased Vitality damage modifier for Bloody Pox to 90 and its Bleed damage modifier to 140 / 1s
- Bloodlord’s Blade: replaced % Attack Speed with 5% Cooldown Reduction and added 8% Attack Speed, 40% Fire damage and 40% Chaos damage modifiers for Possession
- Bloodsworn Codex: added % Stun Resist
- Bloodsworn Signet: added % Health
- Boneblade: added 100% of Acid dealt as Vitality and -10% Bleed Resist modifiers for Bloody Pox and increased its Bleed damage modifier to 120 / 1s
- Bound Wraith: added % Offensive Ability
- Chosen Visage: added Defensive Ability
- Fleshwarped Carbine: added 40 Aether damage modifier for Reckless Power
- Fleshwarped Core: updated Fire damage modifier for Callidor’s Tempest to correctly be Aether
- Fleshwarped Tome: increased Aether damage modifier for Sigil of Consumption to 110
- Galeslice’s Mark: increased Pierce damage modifier for Shadow Strike to 120
- Groble Vile Effigy: increased Poison damage modifier for Bloody Pox to 220 / 1s
- Korvaak’s Burning-Blade: added % Cast Speed
- Korvaak’s Storm-Blade: added Health
- Kyzogg’s Skull: added -0.4s Cooldown modifier for Callidor’s Tempest
- Lunal’Valgoth’s Girdle: added % Petrify Resist
- Moltenclaw Slicer: added 50% Burn Duration and reduced % Burn Duration modifier for Canister Bomb to 100%
- Naren Kur’s Blade: increased bonuses to Aspect of the Guardian and Markovian’s Advantage to +3
- Pulsing Shard: increased % Attack damage Converted to Health modifier for Albrecht’s Aether Ray to 8% and increased its % Crit damage modifier to 15%. Added 15% Attack damage Converted to Health modifier for Reap Spirit.
- Pusquill’s Tail: added 50% Poison Duration and increased Poison damage modifier for Belgothian’s Shears to 180 / 5s
- Rutnick’s Blaster: fixed granted skill not scaling with the level of the weapon
- Rylok Crest: added 6% Total Speed modifier for Fighting Spirit
- Rylok Mark: increased Vitality damage modifier for Sigil of Consumption to 120 and increased % Attack damage Converted to Health modifier for Primal Strike to 10%
- Scorpius Pummeler: added % Poison Resist
- Spectral Crown: added % Freeze Resist
- Steward’s Halberd: fixed missing bonus to Tectonic Shift instead of Cadence that was originally intended for v188.8.131.52. Added % Internal Trauma Duration. Increased % Weapon damage modifier for Vire’s Might to 100%.
- Ulraprax’s Sting: added 4% Attack damage Converted to Health modifier for Stun Jacks
- Vilgazor’s Heart: increased bonus to Ring of Steel to +3 and increased Fire damage modifier for Ring of Steel to 400
- Zaria’s Pendant: added Defensive Ability
- Zarthuzellan’s Codex: added -0.8s Cooldown modifier for Blackwater Cocktail
Legendary Non-Set Items
- Baldir’s Plate Set: added 50% of Fire dealt as Physical bonus. Added % Attack damage Converted to Health to the skill proc.
- Baldir’s Regalia Set: added 50% of Fire dealt as Physical bonus. Added % Attack damage Converted to Health to the skill proc and increased its Bleed damage.
- Mythical Baldir’s Armor: added 5% Attack damage Converted to Health
- Mythical Baldir’s Mantle: added 30% Bleed Duration
- Mythical Baldir’s Mask: replaced bonus to Blast Shield with +1 to Demolitionist Skills
- Callidor’s Defense Set: reduced Cooldown on the granted skill and increased its Burn damage
- Callidor’s Regalia Set: reduced Cooldown on the granted skill and increased its Burn damage
- Cauldron of Excitement: added Acid Retaliation and increased Poison Retaliation
- Corruptor of Souls Set: replaced % Offensive Ability and Vitality damage bonuses for pets with 8% Physical Resist for pets. Removed Vitality damage for pets on the skill proc and increased its % Heal.
- Mythical Corruptor’s Mask: replaced Vitality damage for pets with 15% Stun Resist
- Mythical Corruptor’s Robe: replaced bonus to Undead Legion with +2 to Will of the Crypt
- Corruptor of Spirits Set: replaced % Offensive Ability bonus for pets with 5% Physical Resist for pets. Removed Vitality damage for pets on the skill proc.
- Corruptor’s Mask: replaced Vitality damage for pets with 15% Chaos Resist for pets
- Corruptor’s Robe: replaced bonus to Undead Legion with +2 to Will of the Crypt
- Daega’s Oath Set: increased % Acid Retaliation damage on the skill proc
- Daega’s Hood: replaced Poison Retaliation with 320 Acid Retaliation
- Daega’s Mantle: replaced Poison Retaliation with 320 Acid Retaliation
- Daega’s Raiment: replaced Poison Retaliation with 320 Acid Retaliation
- Dreadwalker Set: increased % Health bonus to 15% and reduced Cooldown on the skill proc to 4s
- Edrick’s Backscratcher: replaced Poison Retaliation with Acid Retaliation
- Empowered Plagueblood Carver: replaced Poison Retaliation with Acid Retaliation
- Empowered Storm’s Edge: replaced Electrocute Retaliation with Lightning Retaliation
- Festerblaze Set: increased damage on the skill proc
- Festerblaze Mantle: added 500 Health
- Hysteria: added +2 to Ravenous Earth
- Keeper of the Blaze Set: increased Burn damage bonus to 70 / 3s and increased damage on the granted skill
- Mythical Flame Keeper’s Repeater: increased Burn damage to 55 / 3s and % Burn Duration to 150%
- Mogdrogen’s Peace Set: increased Physical damage and % Health for pets on the granted skill
- Myrmidon Bastion Set: added additional Targets to the granted skill
- Mythical Black Hand of Sanar’Siin: added +2 to Infernal Breath
- Mythical Grim Harvest Boots: added +2 to Squad Tactics
- Mythical Plagueblood Carver: replaced Poison Retaliation with Acid Retaliation
- Mythical Shadowfiend’s Cord: added +2 to Infernal Breath
- Mythical Sigil of the Depraved: added 4% Attack Speed and +2 to Shadow Strike
- Mythical Storm’s Edge: replaced Electrocute Retaliation with Lightning Retaliation
- Mythical Terror of the Grove: added 25% of Lightning dealt as Acid
- Mythical Wyrmclaw: added +2 to Infernal Breath
- Plagueblood Carver: replaced Poison Retaliation with Acid Retaliation
- Soiled Trousers: added Acid Retaliation and increased Poison Retaliation
- Stonefather Set: added 50% Reflect Resist bonus and increased % Physical Resist bonus to 15%. Increased Internal Trauma damage on the skill proc.
- Stonefather Bulwark: added 100% Internal Trauma Duration and increased bonus to Vire’s Might to +4
- Stonefather Helm: added 30% Internal Trauma Duration and replaced bonus to Vire’s Might with +2 to Tectonic Shift
- Stonefather Mark: added 30% Internal Trauma Duration
- Storm’s Edge: replaced Electrocute Retaliation with Lightning Retaliation
- The Arcane Tempest Set: increased % Weapon damage on the granted skill
- The Magelord Set: increased damage on the skill proc and added % Damage Reduction to it
- Magelord Band: added 190 Health
- Magelord Signet: added 190 Health
- The Stormserpent Set: increased Resist Reduction on the skill proc
Legendary Set Items See comment below. [Class & Skills] Devotion
- Arcanum Electrollis: replaced bonus to Maelstrom with +1 to Shaman Skills
- Basilisk Claw: increased bonus to Blood of Dreeg to +3. Redesigned skill proc.
- Bramblevine: replaced Poison Retaliation with Acid Retaliation
- Cindertouch: added 20% Freeze Resist and increased bonus to Callidor’s Tempest to +3
- Conduit of Arcane Whispers: increased Chaos damage modifier for Chaos variant of Callidor’s Tempest to 180 and added 15% Total Damage Modified modifier for it. Increased Acid damage modifier for acid variant of Trozan’s Sky Shard to 280 and its Poison damage modifier to 400 / 5s. Increased Acid damage modifier for acid variant of Devastation to 240. Reduced % Total Damage Modified penalty for chaos variant of Trozan Sky Shard to -35%. Reduced % Total Damage Modified penalty for cold variant of Devastation to -35%.
- Conduit of Destructive Whispers: increased Cold damage modifier for cold variant of Thermite Mine to 220
- Conduit of Divine Whispers: added -0.5s Cooldown modifier for cold variant of Judgment. Increased Aether damage modifier for aether variant of Vire’s Might to 400 and its % Damage Modified modifier to 20%. Increased Lightning damage modifier for lightning variant of Vire’s Might to 300-500.
- Conduit of Eldritch Whispers: added 15% Total Damage Modified modifier for aether variant of Sigil of Consumption
- Conduit of Night Whispers: replaced % Crit damage modifier for lightning variant of Shadow Strike with -0.3s Cooldown Reduction. Increased Lightning damage modifier for lightning variant of Amarasta’s Blade Burst to 200-350. Increased Aether damage modifier for aether variant of Ring of Steel to 400.
- Conduit of Runic Whispers: removed % Total Damage Modified penalty from aether variant of Rune of Hagarrad
- Conduit of Warring Whispers: increased Aether damage modifier for aether variant Cadence to 330 and added 100% of Elemental dealt as Aether modifier for it. Increased Bleed damage modifier for bleed variant of War Cry to 550 / 3s. Increased Lightning damage modifier for lightning variant of Forcewave to 200-450. Increased Frostburn damage modifier for cold variant of Forcewave to 350 / 3s.
- Cord of Deception: replaced % Constitution with 8% Increased Healing
- Crest of Winter Fortitude: increased bonus to Biting Cold to +3
- Decree of Aldritch (mythical): added 80 Aether damage modifier for Devastation
- Fateweaver’s Raiment: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Feralmane Legplates: added % Attack damage Converted to Health to the skill proc
- Gutsmasher: increased % Health to 15%
- Heart of the Mountain: increased Health of the Summoned Pet and added Threat generation to its abilities
- Hellborne: replaced Burn Retaliation with Fire Retaliation
- Hellscourge: added 380 Health. Increased Fire damage modifier for Sigil of Consumption to 120 and added modifiers for Grenado.
- Horns of Korvaak: added % Damage Reduction to the skill proc
- Hyrian’s Bulwark: increased % Elemental Dot damage to 252% and added 100% Elemental Dot Duration. Increased Elemental Dot damage and duration on the granted skill.
- Infernal Brimstone: replaced Burn Retaliation with Fire Retaliation
- Lacerator Girdle: increased % Health to 10%
- Mad Queen’s Claw: added +3 to Cadence and modifiers for it
- Maw of the Damned: replaced % Attack damage Converted to Health with 10% Increased Healing (Forgotten Gods only)
- Morgoneth’s Legplates: increased bonus to Nightfall to +3
- Morgoneth’s Step: added 18% Elemental Resist and increased bonuses to Blitz and Shadow Strike to +3
- Mythical Abyssal Mask: added 18% Elemental Resist and added 100 Bleed damage / 1s modifier for Bloody Pox
- Mythical Arcanor, Blade of the Luminari: added % Elemental Dot damage and 90 Defensive Ability
- Mythical Arcanum Electrollis: replaced bonus to Maelstrom with +1 to Shaman Skills
- Mythical Arcanum Frigus: increased Frostburn damage modifier for Devastation to 240 / 2s and its Cold damage modifier for 120
- Mythical Bane of the Winter King: increased % Health for pets to 30%
- Mythical Basilisk Claw: increased bonus to Blood of Dreeg to +3. Replaced bonus to Aspect of the Guardian with +4 to Blade Barrier. Added proc from the non-mythical version of the item. Replaced Petrify and Poison Retaliation modifiers for Blade Barrier with 1600 Acid Retaliation.
- Mythical Bloodfury Spaulders: added 18% Elemental Resist
- Mythical Bonescavenger’s Deathgrips: increased % Freeze Resist to 25%
- Mythical Boneshatter Treads: added 18% Pierce Resist and +2 to Bloody Pox
- Mythical Boneweave Girdle: increased Health to 560
- Mythical Boots of Primordial Rage: added 18% Bleed Resist
- Mythical Bramblevine: replaced Poison Retaliation with Acid Retaliation. Increased Attack damage Converted to Health modifier for Dreeg’s Evil Eye to 15%.
- Mythical Butcher of Burrwitch: increased damage on the skill proc
- Mythical Chilldread Mantle: increased % Elemental Resist to 36%
- Mythical Chilling Grip of Hagarrad: added 210 Health
- Mythical Circlet of the Great Serpent: added 20% Chaos Resist and increased Offensive Ability to 60 and Defensive Ability to 80
- Mythical Codex of Eternal Storms: added +1 to Shaman Skills and reduced bonus to Raging Tempest to +2. Increased Electrocute damage and reduced Cooldown on the granted skill.
- Mythical Colossal Grasp: reduced % Internal Trauma on the granted passive
- Mythical Cord of Deception: replaced % Constitution with 10% Increased Healing
- Mythical Cortosian Scrolls: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Mythical Crest of Winter Fortitude: increased bonus to Blitz to +4 and bonus to Biting Cold to +3
- Mythical Crimson Spike: added +3 to Ring of Steel
- Mythical Crown of the Winter King: added 18% Aether Resist and 20% Stun Resist. Replaced bonus to Veil of Shadows with +1 to Nightblade Skills.
- Mythical Crystallum: increased Targets modifier for Savagery to +3
- Mythical Death Omen: added 45% of Pierce dealt as Vitality and increased bonus to Execution to +3
- Mythical Death’s Reach: increased % Bleed and % Vitality damage to 396%. Added 180 Bleed damage / 1s modifier for Bloody Pox and increased its Vitality damage modifier to 100. Added 100 Bleed damage / 1s modifier for Devouring Swarm and increased its Vitality damage modifier to 100
- Mythical Dread Knight’s Guard: increased % Elemental Resist to 40%
- Mythical Edge of Death: increased % Attack damage Converted to Health to 12%
- Mythical Essence of the Grim Dawn: added 344 Health. Increased % Attack damage Converted to Health modifiers for Albrecht’s Aether Ray and Flames of Ignaffar to 8% and increased their Chaos damage modifiers to 28 and 65, respectively.
- Mythical Fateweaver’s Leggings: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Mythical Fateweaver’s Mantle: added 18% Pierce Resist and % Elemental Dot damage
- Mythical Fiendmaster Raiment: added 18% Elemental Resist
- Mythical Fiendflesh Greaves: added 18% Chaos Resist and increased % Run Speed to 10%
- Mythical Fiendflesh Mantle: increased Absorb on the skill proc
- Mythical Fiendscale Jacket: added 18% Elemental Resist
- Mythical Gauntlets of Ignaffar: added 66 Defensive Ability
- Mythical Gavel of Ravenous Souls: added +1 to Necromancer Skills and increased Physical damage modifier for Siphon Souls to 124.
- Mythical Gutripper: added 5% Offensive Ability and increased % Attack damage Converted to Health to 12%. Added % Attack damage Converted to Health to the skill proc.
- Mythical Grim Fate: increased Fire damage modifier for Sigil of Consumption to 120
- Mythical Guardian of Death’s Gates: replaced bonus to Field Command with +2 to Soldier Skills and added 10% Total Speed modifier for Field Command
- Mythical Hallanx’s Head: increased Attack damage Converted to Health modifier for Dreeg’s Evil Eye to 15%
- Mythical Heart of the Mountain: increased Health of the Summoned Pet and added Threat generation to its abilities
- Mythical Heart of the Sand King: added 30% Stun Resist and increased % Elemental Resist to 40%. Increased Bleed damage for pets to 22 / 3s.
- Mythical Heart of Yugol: added 18% Chaos Resist and increased % Attack damage Converted to Health on the granted skill
- Mythical Hellborne: increased Fire Retaliation to 2400
- Mythical Herald of Blazing Ends: increased Burn damage modifier for Blackwater Cocktail to 80 / 3s
- Mythical Infernal Brimstone: replaced Burn Retaliation with Fire Retaliation and increased % Health modifier for Vindictive Flame to 15%
- Mythical Leggings of Arcane Currents: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Mythical Mark of Bloody Ends: increased % Poison Resist to 40% and added 6% Total Speed for pets. Increased Bleed damage modifiers for Summon Briarthorn and Summon Blight Fiend to 140 / 3s
- Mythical Mark of Consumption: increased Health to 550 and increased % Attack damage Converted to Health modifiers for Blade Arc and Phantasmal Blades to 8% and 6%, respectively. Added 8% Attack damage Converted to Health modifier for Upheaval.
- Mythical Mark of the Dreadblade: increased Aether damage modifier for Cadence to 200 and added 6% Attack damage Converted to Health modifier for it
- Mythical Mark of the Forbidden: increased Vitlaity damage modifier for Bloody Pox to 120
- Mythical Mark of Unlife: added 20% Petrify resist for pets. Increased % Health Threshold for the granted skill to 40% and increased its % Heal. Added modifiers for Iskandra’s Elemental Exchange.
- Mythical Maw of Despair: increased bonus to Callidor’s Tempest to +3 and increased Aether damage modifier for Field Command to 50
- Mythical Maw of the Damned: increased % Bleed Duration to 100%. Replaced % Attack damage Converted to Health with 20% Increased Healing (Forgotten Gods only). Added -10% Bleed Resist modifier for Bloody Pox and increased Bleed damage modifier for Siphon Souls to 180 / 1s.
- Mythical Nadaan’s Reach: added 50% of Cold dealt as Pierce and 15% Increased Healing
- Mythical Necrolord’s Gaze: added +1 to Soldier Skills and added 25% Stun Resist for pets
- Mythical Necrolord’s Shroud: added 18% Pierce Resist and +3 to Squad Tactics
- Mythical Night’s Embrace: added 25% and 20% Weapon damage modifiers for Shadow Strike and Trozan’s Sky Shard, respectively
- Mythical Oathbearer: added 15% Increased Healing modifier for Aura of Conviction
- Mythical Overlord’s Iron Grip: increased Health to 704
- Mythical Pack of Treacherous Means: moved the % Conversion from the granted skill to the base item, so that ranged weapons are not required for it
- Mythical Panetti’s Replicating Wand: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Mythical Peerless Eye of Beronath: added 80 Defensive Ability and 400 Health
- Mythical Phantom-Thread Girdle: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Mythical Quillthrower of Dreeg: added 660 Health and 50% Pierce dealt as Acid. Increased Defensive Ability to 80 and increased damage on the skill proc.
- Mythical Ravager’s Bite: increased % Attack damage Converted to Health to 12% and added 6% Attack damage Converted to Health modifier for Bone Harvest
- Mythical Reaver’s Claw: increased Pierce damage modifier for Eye of Reckoning to 102
- Mythical Riftwarped Grasp: increased Health to 440
- Mythical Rimeforged Mantle: added 22% Bleed Resist
- Mythical Runebrand Legwraps: increased Health to 740
- Mythical Sandreaver Bracers: added 30% Bleed Duration
- Mythical Scales of Beronath: added % Elemental Dot damage and increased Offensive Ability to 80
- Mythical Scion of Burning Vengeance: replaced Burn Retaliation with Fire Retaliation
- Mythical Scion of Crimson Wakes: added 10% Increased Healing and added % Attack damage Converted to Health to the skill proc
- Mythical Shadowflame Mantle: increased % Chaos Resist to 34%
- Mythical Shroud of Illusion: added % Elemental Dot damage and increased Offensive Ability. Increased Defensive Ability on the granted skill.
- Mythical Spelldrinker: replaced % Aether damage with % Elemental Dot damage. Added 80 Elemental damage modifier for Word of Pain.
- Mythical Spellgaze: added % Elemental Dot damage. Increased bonuses to Blackwater Cocktail and Panetti’s Replicating Missile to +3.
- Mythical Spiritbinder Glyph: added 15% Stun Resist for pets
- Mythical Spiritseeker Cord: added 4% Physical Resist for pets
- Mythical Soulcatcher: increased Defensive Ability to 80 and increased Vitality damage modifier for Sigil of Consumption to 110
- Mythical Soullance: added 100% of Acid dealt as Vitality modifier for Bloody Pox and increased its Vitality damage modifier to 144
- Mythical Sovereign Ruby of Domination: added 20% Freeze Resist and 20% Petrify Resist
- Mythical Stormcage Legguards: replaced Electrocute Retaliation with Lightning Retaliation
- Mythical Stormreaver: increased bonus to Storm Totem to +2 and replaced bonus to Lightning Tether with +2 to Inquisitor Skills
- Mythical Stormseer Sapphire: added +2 to Callidor’s Tempest
- Mythical Stormtitan Treads: increased % Poison Resist to 36%
- Mythical Stormweave Armor: added 18% Pierce Resist
- Mythical String of Maggots: increased Health to 440
- Mythical Temporal Arcblade: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Mythical Temporal Tempest: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Mythical Tinker’s Ingenuity: added 600 Health
- Mythical Touch of the Everliving Grove: added +3 to Squad Tactics
- Mythical Turrion’s Reprisal: reduced % Retaliation added to Attack modifier for Blackwater Cocktail to 13%
- Mythical Ulzuin’s Torment: replaced Burn Retaliation with Fire Retaliation
- Mythical Veilpiercer: added +3 to Infernal Breath
- Mythical Venomancer’s Guile: increased Acid damage modifier for Bloody Pox to 90
- Mythical Venomancer’s Raiment: added 22% Aether Resist
- Mythical Venomspine Greaves: added % Vitality damage and increased bonus to Nidalla’s Justifiable Ends to +3. Replaced Poison Retaliation with Acid Retaliation.
- Mythical Warpfire: increased % Aether damage to match % Fire damage
- Mythical Watcher of Erulan: added Physical damage bonus to the granted skill
- Mythical Whisperer of Secrets: added 6% Attack damage Converted to Health modifier for Ring of Steel
- Mythical Wildshorn Legguards: added 30% Pierce Resist and added 25% Freeze Resist for pets
- Mythical Will of Bysmiel: increased Health to 600 and Defensive Ability to 80
- Mythical Windshear Greaves: added 18% Vitality Resist
- Mythical Witching Hour: increased % Physical Resist to 12% and Offensive Ability to 80
- Mythical Wraithwalkers: added 18% Bleed Resist
- Mythical Wretched Tome of Nar’adin: increased Acid damage modifier for Bloody Pox to 220
- Mythical Wyrmbone Handguards: added 30% Electrocute Duration. Increased Electrocute damage modifier for Blackwater Cocktail to 140 / 3s and increased Lightning damage modifier for Thermite Mine to 90-140.
- Mythical Wyrmbone Mask: added +1 to Soldier Skills and reduced bonus to Forcewave to +2. Added 80 Lightning damage modifier for Forcewave and increased its Electrocute damage modifier to 300 / 3s.
- Nadaan’s Reach: added 50% of Cold dealt as Pierce
- Nightclaw: added % Attack damage Converted to Health to the skill proc
- Okaloth’s Visage (mythical): increased % Retaliation added to Attack modifier for Sigil of Consumption to 22% and its Fire damage modifier to 120 and added -0.6s Cooldown modifier for it
- Outcast’s Secret (mythical): increased Cooldown Reduction modifier for Devastation to -4s
- Pandemic: added 5% Attack damage Converted to Health modifier for Dreeg’s Evil Eye
- Ravager’s Dreadgaze (Minds): replaced % Crit damage with 8% Defensive Ability
- Scion of Arcane Force: added +4 to War Cry. Increased Resist Reduction modifier for Cadence to 38 / 5s and increased Elemental damage modifier for Iskandra’s Elemental Exchange to 80.
- Scion of Burning Vengeance: replaced Burn Retaliation with Fire Retaliation
- Scion of Crimson Wakes: added % Attack damage Converted to Health to the skill proc
- Scion of the Screaming Veil: removed % Weapon damage modifier for Callidor’s Tempest
- Shard of the Eternal Flame: increased Burn damage modifier for Canister Bomb to 150 / 2s
- Spelldrinker: replaced % Aether damage with % Elemental Dot damage
- Stormbearers: added 18% Elemental Resist
- Stormcage Legguards: replaced Electrocute Retaliation with Lightning Retaliation
- Stormreaver: increased bonus to Storm Totem to +2 and replaced bonus to Lightning Tether with +2 to Inquisitor Skills
- The Crimson Claws: added 8% Attack damage Converted to Health
- Ulzuin’s Torment: replaced Burn Retaliation with Fire Retaliation
- Venomskin Legwraps: replaced Poison Retaliation with Acid Retaliation
- Venomspine Greaves: replaced Poison Retaliation with Acid Retaliation
- Venomtongue Mantle: replaced Poison Retaliation with Acid Retaliation
- Warpfire: increased % Aether damage to match % Fire damage
- Akeron’s Scorpion: added 30% Poison Duration
- Alladrah’s Phoenix: added 15% Freeze Resist and 30% Burn Duration
- Amatok the Spirit of Winter: increased Health to 450 and removed % Cold Resist
- Assassin: increased Health to 200
- Attak Seru: increased Health to 600 and % Defensive Ability to 6%
- Azrakaa, the Eternal Sands: increased Health to 650
- Bard’s Harp: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Behemoth: increased % Health to 8% and increased % Health for pets to 12%. Added 4% Physical Resist for pets.
- Berserker: added 15% Increased Healing and increased Health to 300
- Blind Sage: increased % Elemental Dot damage to 250%. Added 4% Physical Resist and reduced Offensive Ability to 115.
- Bysmiel’s Bonds: replaced % Health for pets with 20% Trap Resist and 20% Trap Resist for pets
- Chariot of the Dead: increased % Stun Resist to 20% and Health to 250
- Crab: added % Elemental Dot damage
- Crane: increased % Poison and % Vitality Resists for pets to 20%
- Dire Bear: increased % Health to 6%
- Empty Throne: increased % Freeze and % Stun Resists for player and pets to 25%. Increased % Aether, % Chaos and % Pierce Resists for pets to 15%.
- Hound: added 15% Stun Resist for pets and increased % Health for pets to 20%d
- Huntress: added 8% Increased Healing. Increased Health to 450 and increased % Health for pets to 12%.
- Hyrian, Guardian of the Celestial Gates: increased Health to 600 and Elemental damage to 16. Added % Elemental Dot damage.
- Ishtak: increased % Bleed Resist and % Poison Resist for pets to 30% and % Total Speed for pets to 12%
- Jackal: increased % Health for pets to 8%
- Korvaak, the Eldritch Sun: increased % Health to 8% and Health to 300. Increased % Health for pets to 12% and % All damage for pets to 150%.
- Kraken: increased Health to 500
- Leviathan: increased % Health to 8%
- Light of Empyrion: increased % Health to 16%. Increased % Health for pets to 15% and % Aethe% Chaos/% Vitality Resists for pets to 25%.
- Lion: increased % Run Speed to 6% and increased % Health for pets to 8%
- Magi: added 15% Freeze Resist and 1.5 Energy Regeneration. Removed % Fire Resist.
- Manticore: increased Health to 250 and increased % Health for pets to 12%
- Mogdrogen the Wolf: increased Health to 650 and replaced % Leech with 15% Increased Healing (Forgotten Gods only)
- Nighttalon: increased % Elemental Resist for pets to 15%
- Oleron: increased Health to 650
- Quill: increased Health to 100
- Rattosh, the Veilwarden: increased Health to 350
- Revenant: increased % Health to 5% and Health to 250
- Rhowan’s Crown: increased % Elemental Resist for pets to 18%
- Sailor’s Guide: added 15% Fire Resist and increased % Run Speed to 10%
- Scales of Ulcama: increased % Health to 6%, Health to 250 and % Run Speed to 6%
- Shepherd’s Crook: increased % Health for pets to 20%
- Solael’s Witchfire: increased Defensive Ability to 40
- Solemn Watcher: replaced % Cold Resist with 18% Chaos Resist
- Spear of the Heavens: replaced % Lightning Resist with 15% Energy Regeneration
- Staff of Ratosh: increased % Aether and % Vitality Resists for pets to 20%. Replaced % Crit damage for pets with 6% Total Speed for pets
- Stag: added bonuses for pets
- Targo the Builder: increased % Health to 12%
- Tempest: replaced % Lightning Resist with 10% Slow Resist
- Tree of Life: increased % Health to 24% and increased % Health for pets to 27%
- Ulo: increased % Elemental Resist to 15%, % Poison Resist to 20% and % Chaos Resist to 20% for the player and pets. Added 15% Stun, 15% Freeze and 15% Petrify Resist.
- Ulzaad, Herald of Korvaak: increased Health to 500 and Defensive Ability to 25. Removed % Cold Resist
- Ulzuin’s Torch: added 20% Stun Resist and 6% Health. Removed % Fire Resist.
- Unknown Soldier: increased % Health to 8%
- Vire, the Stone Matron: increased Health to 300
- Wendigo: added 5% Run Speed. Increased % Health to 6% and Health to 250.
- Wolverine: increased % Poison and % Vitality Resists for pets to 15%
- Yugol, the Insatiable Night: added 300 Health and increased % Spirit to 4%
- Black Blood of Yugol: increased Duration to 8s
- Cleansing Waters: reduced Cooldown to 10s
- Hyrian’s Glare: increased % Weapon damage to 85% and added Elemental Dot damage
- Inspiration: increased Offensive and Defensive Ability to 130
- Nature’s Guardians: increased Duration to 8s and increased Physical damage for pets. Added 18 Resist Reduction / 5s for pets.
- Phoenix Fire: replaced Burn Retaliation with Fire Retaliation
- Tsunami (Celestial Proc): increased % Weapon damage to 45%
- Wayward Soul: reduced Cooldown to 8s and Duration to 5s
- Blackwater Cocktail: sped up damage tic rate by ~20%
- Demon Fire: reduced Energy Cost scaling with rank
- Agonizing Flames: reduced Energy Cost scaling with rank
- High Potency: reduced Cooldown to 3.8s
- Quick Jacks: increased Energy Cost Reduction to -30%, no longer scales with rank. % Damage Modified penalty no longer scales with rank and is fixed at -50%. Radius penalty now scales with rank to -1.2 at max rank. It is now possible to achieve the previous results with a single point, and additional points improve the projectile radius.
- Ulzuin’s Chosen: increased % Damage Modified scaling with rank to 18% by rank 10, 30% by max ultimate rank. Increased % Energy Cost Reduction scaling with rank to 35% by rank 10, 45% by max ultimate rank
- Bloody Pox: increased Bleed damage scaling with rank
- Wasting: increased Vitality damage scaling at ultimate ranks. Increased % Bleed damage scaling with rank to 144% by rank 12, 264% by max ultimate rank
- Black Death: increased % Bleed and % Vitality damage scaling with rank to 144% by rank 12, 264% by max ultimate rank
- Fevered Rage: increased % Total Damage modified bonus to 80%
- Sigil of Consumption: increased Vitality Decay damage scaling with rank
- Summon Hellhound: increased base % Freeze Resist to 50% and % Stun Resist is now a flat 50% instead of scaling with rank to 40%
- Ember Claw: increased Threat generation scaling with rank
- Amarasta’s Blade Burst: fixed an issue where this skill could trigger twice when dual wielding ranged weapons
- Amarasta’s Quick Cut: sped up the melee animation hit frames by 25% to match comparable WPS skills. Average DPS of this ability remains unchanged. Fixed an issue where the animation could be interrupted early, resulting in the third hit not registering.
- Belgothian’s Shears: replaced % Pierce damage with Pierce damage
- Ring of Steel: increased % Weapon damage scaling with rank to 260% by rank 16, 320% by max ultimate rank
- Whirling Death: sped up the melee animation hit frame by 10% to match comparable WPS skills. Average DPS of this ability remains unchanged.
- Callidor’s Tempest: increased % Weapon damage scaling with rank to 115% by rank 16, 145% by max ultimate rank
- Inferno: reduced Energy Cost scaling with rank
- Wrath of Agrivix: reduced Cooldown to 3.8s and the % Damage Modified to 140%. Removed % Weapon damage.
- Distortion: increased Aether damage scaling with rank
- Supercharged: increased Electrocute damage scaling with rank. Increased % Crit damage scaling with rank to 40% by rank 12, 60% by max ultimate rank.
- Upheaval: increased Radius to 4.0 and increased % Weapon damage scaling with rank to 125% by rank 10, 175% by max ultimate rank
- Blight Burst: increased Threat generation scaling with rank
- Rotting Fumes: increased Threat generation scaling with rank
- Ill Omen: increased damage scaling with rank
- Necrotic Edge: sped up the melee animation hit frame by 27% to match comparable WPS skills. Average DPS of this ability remains unchanged.
- Avenging Shield: increased % Crit damage scaling with rank to 35% by rank 12, 55% by max ultimate rank
- Reprisal: increased Burn damage scaling with rank
- Smite: sped up the 1h-ed and dual-wield melee animation hit frame by 20% to match comparable WPS skills. Average DPS of this ability remains unchanged.
submitted by konsyr
to Grimdawn [link] [comments]
2023.06.09 04:31 MrJackfruit I've completed my kill list, Primal Malzeno and Hazard is done. Sunbreak is better than Rise but still overall the worst MH of the 5 I've played so far.
Firstly thank you to u/Mirablis11
for getting this DLC, you really didn't need to, I was gonna buy it by like....TU2 or 3 when the game had mostly finished adding in the content they took out for title updates because only a fool would think Gold and Silver are title updates, but thanks.
Next, my kill list is I try to kill every single monster in a single game before losing total interest, solo, no cat, no dog, no follower, because even if I hate something, I am a fucking psychopath for pain apparently.
Now then, onto Rise/Sunbreak itself.
Honestly, Rise/Sunbreak is effectively my.......5th MH game and with the exception of a few things, its mostly consisted of what I don't want MH to become, a crack speed counter fest of AOE that turns the game from Monster Hunter into Monster Fighters.
People bitched about the claw being forced but goddamn that has nothing on wirebugs and the counter spam for some weapons.
Greatsword is just Strongcharge spam and monsters are mostly crack addicts making it difficult to fight them. Frostcraft I thought would properly fix GS but it only made the strong charge spam even stronger.
Their shitty attempts at balancing skills in base were effectively undone by the more broken shit in Sunbreak, with many of the skills they broke being replaced by newer ones easier to slot in, because having 2 skills co-exist by each other without nerfing the old is too fucking difficult. Set bonus change was for the worst because you can stack to to an insane degree allowing for 5-7 allowing for the most broken sets in the series due to how these set bonus's actually work. Hilariously the 2 skills they apparently thought were too strong for Lv4 decos were Critical Boost and Weakness exploit, yeah sure, throw every other powerful skill in but those, nah too strong.
The afflicted fights were bloated HP and the level cap rose so high that I gave up and just started cheating in afflicted parts because I'm not grinding to 300 for a gatcha system and upgrades, that's fucking insane. I will properly farm everything else, but this goddamn Qurio crafting, man people thought the Guiding lands was bad but this has nothing on that.
Spiritbirds.....just trash, nothing redeemable, just a time waster. If on PC, just get a mod for them. Fuck these guys for not giving us the Health boost deco and forcing us to engage his this bullshit.
Armor took 5 updates to be on the level of base Iceborne defense wise(Release-TU2) despite monsters hitting harder than in Iceborne on Release(Iceborne: 880-920 Release, 980-1020 TU3 onwards. Sunbreak: 650-670 on Release, incriminates of 50 per update till TU5, no upgrade for bonus).
Followers were fine, AI is what I'd call too good, best followers in any series honestly, rivaling the 4U cats. Fiorayne having an army of Simps is honestly earned if she's gonna take a fireball to the face for me and heal me constantly.
Astalos, Lucent, Malzeno, Nargacuga(after learning it), Espinas, and Risen Chameleos were cool to fight, actually heavily enjoyed myself during them.
Any original themes, not remixes from other games were actually really solid to listen to and I love relistening to them as I work out or just working.
Actual weapon options were relatively balanced this time around similar to GU actually, like I actually had a proper selection of GS's that didn't come from just a few endgame monsters, was actually nice. Weapon designs being good doesn't need much there.
Risen fights in terms of evolving the monsters is a great idea to give them new moves combos and such, however with the exception of Risen Chameleos, all are fucking cancer due to insane aggression, shitty hitboxes, or just AOE bullshit. Risen Chameleos interestingly solved my issue with base Rise Chameleos of not fighting close enough to his 4th gen counterpart.
Hazard quests are....interesting, some outright suck like the stupid cunt who gave Flaming Espinas an instant charge and some are perfectly fine like Lucent. I don't mind them not having any equipment, they just bonus challenges. Not touching Hazard Amatsu without friends, I'm sick of the fucker thanks to Hazard Primorials damage, he also has 114,000hp, so fuck that shit.
Now onto the man of the hour Primorial Malzeno.....so story wise, fucking awesome, I want to see more of this because Sunbreaks story was really good overall and easily better than Icebornes honestly, the fact we saved it instead of killing it was actually really nice as well, so the offical Primorial is still alive so thats nice, we just get the kill quest as a bonus for a different one.
Fight wise.......jesus fuck this fight was very different from what I thought it was gonna be. I really thought we were just gonna be fighting a Qurioless version of Malzeno when in actuality it was that + Risen form during the last 25% of his HP. He is alright.....at first, the lance, SNS, and dual blade like combos are really cool, has a solid knight motif, but goddamn he combos into combos into combos get annoying pretty quick. Was fighting this guy without a follower, palico and palamute so I had his max aggression. His fucking Risen Form, jesus fuck, FUCK THE GUY WHO DESIGNED THAT, WHO'S THE CUNT WHO SAID WE SHOULD HAVE A MONSTER CHAIN ATTACKS FOR A SOLID 20 SECONDS STRAIGHT, FUCK YOU!!!
Oh and Hazard is just straight up cancer. He killed me multiple times in different attempts in the first minute or 2 he's so fucking aggressive, I thought Shagaru was bad but nope, this fucker is something else. It took a total of 7 attempts, with the 7th I realized I was using too much stamina so I gave myself Marathon runner 2 and Evade Window 2(which actually just buffs you to pre-Rise normal dodge frames), helped a fuck ton and thanks to u/That_SpicyDragon
cheering me on because the guy seemingly has his Hunting horn skills in his voice allowing him to somehow power me up, I was able to beat Hazard.
So yeah.....its done, I'm probably gonna play a bit more with friends before I uninstall and just go back to 3U to finish and GU to do deviants with friends since this game doesn't have much to offer now. Thanks again Mirablis11 for buying the DLC, it had it's moments for sure that I enjoyed it, but overall, wasn't that good.
I'm hoping MH6 follows World more or fuck, even 4U or 3U, because I want the slower combat with cool ecology, none of this "I AM SPEED" counter spam monster fighter shit. I do want followers and Sunbreaks weapon options balance wise to return, solid.
But yeah, if you read all this, thanks for reading, here's hoping for Underwater in 6 because I want the True Lagi back.
submitted by MrJackfruit
to monsterhunterrage [link] [comments]
2023.06.09 03:41 Anmethysr I wanna try to get into competitive pokemon, is my team bad?
2023.06.08 23:02 SnooBeans6305 Is this already well known?
Last night I stumbled on a Grizzly Rage mechanic for Druid that lets me have 10 skills on my skillbar. I’m currently using it on a dire wolf shred build with claw + storm strike + shred + earthen bulwark + blood howl + poisonous vines + hurricane + rabies and it is super fun. I haven’t seen anyone talking about this but I also don’t know how viable it is long term. Anyone have any experience with this?
submitted by SnooBeans6305
to diablo4 [link] [comments]
2023.06.08 22:55 Chardoggy1 Had a friend help me build an OU team centered around shell smash Cloyster. Any advice?
2023.06.08 20:01 NotNiko15 Modern Cosmic Horrors chapter 3
Chapter 3: The Noise In Ether
For this story I had to consult with five Gojids. I didn’t want to be insensitive for what happened on Cradle.
--- Memory Transmission Subject
: Barm, Gojid Survivor Date [Standardized Human Time]
: October 15, 2136
The sight of empty streets and abandoned homes was a horrible reminder of the aftermath that happened merely a month ago. To prevent the invasion of the human homeworld, Earth, they struck us first, targeting only our military facilities and paralyzing our forces. Any civilian casualties were the victims of stampede, humans only killed resisting combatants. When the victory was theirs, unexpectedly Arxur showed up out of nowhere and took advantage of our nonexistent defense. Humans had no chance to resist the grays, but they evacuated as many Gojids as their capacity allowed. They took us into refugee camps on Earth and Venlil Prime for the indefinite period. This is what really happened. Despite being predators, humans did not eat any Gojid and did not collaborate with the Arxur, and they did not put us in cattle farms on Earth, as the rumors implied.
Still, I can’t say I could ever forgive humans for what they did. Our culture has been shattered and our populace was decimated. I have returned only when humans formed a questionable alliance with the Arxur and retrieved control over Cradle. Our towns were completely forsaken. The infrastructure needed full reconstruction. The biggest cities were populated only by a fraction of previous denizens. There were not enough people to keep the civilization functioning like the old times. Many Gojids were working in the primary economic sector, mainly agriculture. The other sectors were maintained less, aside from shopkeeping and maybe medical help. Speaking of that field, there was a high demand for medical service, as previous doctors, nurses and specialists were dead, missing or did not return to Cradle.
My job was to secure the abandoned facilities from further decay. That involves critical branches such as sewage, waterworks and power plants. There were already issues with sewage overflowing in the cities and corroding pipes. When we emerged from the shuttles, we were greeted by a foul fetor coming from the manholes. I was glad when I was chosen to do a power plants inspection instead. Not only because of the filthy environment but because of my pressing desire to remain as far as I can from the populace. The time of invasion and stationing on the homeworld of predators was traumatic enough to afflict some kind of predator disease. In fact, it was probably the most abnormal kind of predator disease known to the Federation. Sometimes I could hear the voices of other Gojids, usually in the presence of radio receivers or any electrical speaker device. The voices were like eavesdropping the arguing bystanders out of context, sometimes they were screaming in fear or talking directly to me, giving me hints and sharing opinions. I could not sleep properly in the presence of my TV. It was acute enough that I could have let myself be screened if only these humans didn’t paralyze our medical care. The concept of being locked in a predator disease facility was unnerving, knowing in what state people leave them, but I suppose I could be a threat to society right now. If I could not get help, I would serve remotely, not endangering the already struggling community. But I couldn’t avoid being escorted by my colleagues to the nuclear plant.
There were two other Gojids with me, a middle-aged Solem and one not much older than me, Nadra. To my dismay, I’ve been given a handheld two-way radio to communicate inside the power plant. As I took it, I braced myself for more hallucination episodes, but it was not something I couldn’t just ignore. What adds up to my horrible situation is that Ki-yu, one of our two moons, is at perigee, and the pulling effect on tides might have an indirect effect on our success as well as the psychological welfare. Adding the possible radiation, I realized I want to get it over with as soon as possible. As I approached the looming silhouette of the nuclear plant, a sense of foreboding gripped me. The once bustling facility now stood in eerie silence, its towering structure’s a haunting reminder of the power it once harnessed. The rust was eating away any metallic surfaces. Even there I could smell the fetor of clogged drainage systems.
My colleagues and I cautiously made our way inside, our flashlights piercing through the thick darkness that enveloped the corridors. The rhythmic hum of machinery that once filled these halls were replaced by an unsettling silence, broken only by the sound of our own footsteps echoing off the walls. We were merely in an entrance hall, studying the layouts and evacuation routes on the closest map before splitting up. Nadra went to locate the emergency power generator in the auxiliary building, Solem went to check the turbine building and I headed toward the generator building. I passed the locker room before I stood in front of big metal doors that could not budge. I saw the keypad scanner on the side. I reached for my transceiver and informed my friends of my defeat, hoping that someone could fetch a crowbar from the tool supply. “I left my keycard in locker fifteen.“
The voice resonated on my radio. It did not belong to any of my colleagues. A sudden realization hit me that it must be a hallucination, my predator disease. My quills bristled from the haunting presence. I waited a moment to calm my nerves. That delusion brought me the idea to scan through the lockers. I started checking from the beginning. The hallucinations are a part of my broken brain, therefore they could not know more than me to be that precise. Most lockers were either empty or closed all the way until locker fifteen. It actually contained a keycard. I thought to myself that I’m turning into my brother, who also had magic luck, until he hadn’t. I hoped he didn’t suffer in his last moments.
“H e ’ s n o t w i t h u s .
” Enraged at my mirage I grabbed my radio and tossed it as hard as I could. The lights flickered suddenly, catching me off guard and only after a while I noticed that the device bounced from the wall without shattering unfortunately. The transceiver responded with a more familiar voice. “The generator is on, but hurry up. It’s almost running on fumes” Nadra must have located the emergency generator, her voice was a blissful reminder of what was real and what wasn’t. Having power means I could unlock the doors and operate the control panels. I made my way inside the reactor building, completely forsaking the cursed communication device. The giant reactor hall was bathed only by flickering emergency lights casting eerie shadows across the hulking machinery. The air hung heavy with a metallic scent, a reminder of the radioactive presence that still lingered within the facility. The buzzing of my dosimeter was unnerving. Having my health in mind, I did not want to linger in this place any longer than necessary. My primary objective was to ensure the safe shutdown of the nuclear reactors. In the absence of regular maintenance, the reactors could pose a significant threat if left unattended. I could see the control room only by the strong yellow lights illuminating through the window, it was the only well-lit room. The control panels were coated in dust, their screens displaying cryptic symbols and error messages. It was evident that the systems had been left to deteriorate without proper care. I started looking for a manual to study each symbol. I had a degree in FTL engines which required extensive training and expertise in the nuclear field as they also operated on nuclear fission, but I would not dare to misinterpret the pictograms in a power plant, especially now when it was left in unrecognizable filth. Power plants were, after all, much more powerful than spacecraft engines.
My dosimeter started turning up, and I could hear a noise coming from a speaker mounted in the corner of a wall. It was used as an intercom. I heard a chatter.
“Sir, there’s a quake a few miles from there. Strong enough to move small buildings.”
“Any structural damage?”
“Negative, but the grid is straining hard.”
“Has the mayor contacted us?”
“She’s not responding, sir.”
“Damn it, I can’t stand that woman. Reduce the output and disconnect the plant.”
I felt numbness taking over my head. The noise of the dosimeter filled my head, I started seeing things. Against my will, I walked to the control panel and pulled my claw towards the controls of multiple generators. I snapped out of the trance hearing an eerie silence in a room. Even my dosimeter stopped buzzing. It took me a while to calm my quills and shiver. I glanced at the controls realizing they were familiar to me. With trepidation, I began the delicate process of shutting down the reactors. I reached and started manipulating the controls of my interest, mainly shutting down individual generators one by one. Each step had to be executed with precision, ensuring that the dubious state reactors would be rendered inert and the potential for catastrophe eliminated. As I manipulated the controls, a sudden surge of power coursed through the room, causing the lights to flicker and the machinery to groan. Fear gripped my heart as I imagined the worst-case scenario unfolding before me. But, with a deep breath and a steadying of my nerves, I continued the process, determined to see it through. When the power output reached an acceptable level I went to the auxiliary building to locate the switchgear room. I passed the lockers and lobby without encountering any of my coworkers. As I reached the switchgear room, I opened the circuit breaker, disconnecting the plant from the grid. I had completed the first step in securing the nuclear plant, but our task was far from over.
When I reached the lobby room I was caught by Solem, a visible frustration painted on his face. “The fuck you’ve been? Why weren’t you responding, and why did you toss your dosimeter?” Taken aback, I reached for my device and realized that I did have that cursed radio with me. I returned to the locker room and found a noisy dosimeter tossed onto the corner. What’s unnerving was that it showed high radiation behind the wall of the reactor building. I realized how my hallucinations had a dangerous impact on my workflow and that I should withdraw. I said that I felt dizzy and I needed a break, before returning to the hovercar.
As I distanced myself I took my time to review what happened inside. My brain must have tricked me to absorb a possibly dangerous dose of radiation. I looked at the towering power plant thinking of the workers that used to provide the energy to most bigger cities in this district. What happened to them during the attack? The horrors of invasion still haunted me and the disturbing hallucinations only served to amplify my unease. The car radio spoke up. This time I could hear panicking crowds, followed by a roar. That sound definitely originated from an Arxur. The next thing I could hear was a low, pitiful sobbing, that slowly, gradually raised in volume. The frequency of these cries were truly bloodcurdling. I felt a sudden flight response, a precognition that I should not be here. I launched towards the entrance and closed the doors before the crescendoing sound reached its breaking point. Once inside the voice abruptly stopped. I left my radio in the car and I only had my dosimeter on me. I tried searching for a living soul to share my worries regarding this place or my mental state. Perhaps Solem could save me from myself. I went to check on the reactor building. I didn’t notice it at first, but the dosimeter was relatively silent inside. It still displayed radiation but at a moderate level, in contrast to the hellish amounts I’ve seen merely five minutes ago. When I found Solem, he was operating a crane and moving the spent fuel rods into a fuel pool. He did not look happy at my sight and descended to scold me. However, I was ready for anything as long as I could get some advice. I told him about the voices that haunt me through the radio and an unknown danger outside the facility. As I was recounting, I felt shame, realizing how ridiculous it sounded. Solem’s body language also displayed signs of awkwardness but he left to check the danger himself. I shouted to make him stop, that it was too dangerous, but he didn’t listen. He slammed the door as he entered the lobby.
I investigated the fuel pool. It was filled with more than a dozen spent or damaged fuel rods. Keeping in mind that there were much more inside the reactor, the pool could not handle that many rods safely. We should return some other time with more support and consider long-term storage. I covered the pool with a heavy plate and left the reactor building. As I was inside the locker room, there was a sudden spike of radiation on my dosimeter, followed by a loud slam of the front doors. Once again a silence filled the room. It took some courage, but I entered the empty lobby. Only my footprints were breaking the silence. My quills were bristling out of my control. I was slowly and silently heading toward the turbine building. If Solem left through the front doors, I could only wonder what happened to him. My only hope is Nadra. I must find her and leave this place immediately.
I opened the heavy doors as silently as possible, moving ever so slightly. But once I entered the turbine room and released the doors, they moved with a shivering scrape and closed with a loud thud. Nothing reacted to the amount of noise. Finally, I forced my quills to ease and began searching for Nadra. Parallelly I investigated one of three turbines, which also fell victim to neglect. The blades were rusted out in a humid environment and filled the room with a musty smell. Humidity also gave the chance for mold to culture. Every tiny gap was accumulating dust. Overall the machine could not be turned on again until it was revived. I found Nadra crawling out of the turbine. She was probably disassembling it for further cleanup. She looked at me with confusion, I didn’t want to repeat my mistake by shoving her away with my delusions. I told her it was not safe there and that we should leave. She paid no attention to the urgency of my words and downplayed me saying I should take a break at the car.
The prospect of returning outside gave me a panic attack. Strong stress reaction pressed on my chest, my ears laid flat on my scalp and my quills bristled. She must have noticed me, but before she could say anything, her two-way radio reactivated, giving away a static noise. We heard as someone banged at the doors, but it came from the radio. We slowly approached the exit doors and the banging continued, louder with each step. Without warning the room filled with a deafening bang accompanied by flickering lights. Nadra flinched and dropped the radio, which stopped working, leaving us again in the noise of my dosimeter. It was the only tool that could warn me of an unknown danger. Whatever it was, it was standing outside. The unspeakable, invisible horror that manifested in airwaves. It took the voice of an Arxur, but it was more terrifying than any greys that invaded this place. Suddenly the intercom started playing and resumed the banging sounds. In an impulse I darted, searching for another exit out of the turbine room. I desperately examined the walls until I found a door, leading to an auxiliary building. The revelation was not good enough. The auxiliary room also led to the lobby and the monstrum that haunted it. Inside there were cooling systems, switchgear, power generator and many other things that I had no time to identify. While Nadra was examining the generator, I stared at the doors leading to the lobby and realized they were made of much more yielding material. The banging also changed the pitch. The previous sounds resembled punching metal doors, and now it was behind these. Suddenly the door cracked open and my head was filled with the deafening noise of my dosimeter. The lights went black and out of instinct I took my dosimeter and slammed it at the wall until it went silent.
The next thing I remembered was Nadra driving our car. The car radio had parts ripped off. I saw that Solem wasn’t with us. We have never seen him again. We drove to a remote cottage in a forest. Every electrical tool was thrown out and smashed just in case. We lived there in radio silence together, in fear, comforting each other. The dread could not leave us alone. We slept poorly, haunted by nightmares. She was seeing the same images at night as me and if we could check, she might have had the same hallucinations. But we could not risk that much. We had a horrible feeling that the nightmare was still lingering somewhere close and would pounce on us the moment we heard the noise. We lived like that for four days, until on day five I woke up in delirium and visibly sick. I was puking and shivering so hard that I couldn’t protest when Nadra took me to a hospital. It must have been radiation sickness. I was rushed to an emergency room where very few doctors were operating on me. Few voices were asking me and Nadra about what happened. None of us could say anything, especially me. They attached me to a neural scanner to analyze my memories and figure out what led to my awful state. When I regained consciousness, I was in a bed isolated from the rest of the room by a translucent plastic veil to keep the outside germs from my nonexistent immune system. The machine was still analyzing my memories. The only thing that kept me company was the music coming from the radio. When I came to my senses I realized the danger of being in the presence of a device. It started humming and I could recognize the voice coming from it. “I m s o r r y
” It belonged to Solem.
[!Error: Memory transcription Subject Disconnected]
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2023.06.08 17:47 ChrisDWrites STARLIGHT (The Z Team Book 2) Chapter 49: Diplomatic Incident
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The Commonwealth diplomatic procession looked wholly out of place seated in the spartan crew compartment of the Fleet dropship. The interior held none of the grace of the cruise liner, nor the subtle warmth of the diplomatic ship. Status lights shone red, the thickly-padded harnesses pressed tight to each body. Empty hard points beckoned to hold equipment or weapons in their grasp. Medkits and backup breathing masks dotted the bulkheads behind the seats. Conduit, bundles of wiring, and junction boxes lay exposed between the struts overhead, evidence of the realities of military procurement: there is no room for luxury.
No, the procession wasn’t dropping into a combat zone, but they were still entering enemy territory.
Four dropships made for the Ascension, replacing the shuttles of the Good Omen with the improved defenses of the military transports. The Fleet was taking no chance after the suicidal freighter incident, adding eight of the carrier’s drones as additional escorts.
The sphere of warships surrounding the diplomatic vessels had spread into a shallow cone, the open end facing the planet. Their sensors and crisscrossing fields of fire would neutralize any threat to the dropships.
Still, everyone in the dropship appeared on edge.
Celescia held tight to the armrests. Yanna and Ruki sat on either side. Directly across from them, the mask-wearing Mystery Man’s blank slate faced in her direction. The sight of the formally-dressed procession crammed into the padded seats would’ve been laughable had the stakes not been so dire.
With each breath, each klick closer to the Ascension, Celescia waited for some malady to afflict her body. Logic told her no harm would come, yet she couldn’t shake her fear that she was beholden to the will of the Provenance and their Project Fidelity.
A hand touched Celescia’s forearm. She peeked around the thick shoulder padding at Ruki. She smiled back, mouth wide beneath the mask obstructing her upper face. Yanna grasped Celescia’s hand on the other side, returning her version of a smile.
Across the way, Dash’s head tilted. “We’ll be by your side the entire time. We’ll keep you safe. I promise,” he said over the troupe’s comm.
“I know,” Celescia answered.
Still, she was afraid.
The dropship docked on the executive level, settling into the berth like a pollinating insect landing on a blooming flower. The airlock opened and a pair of marines in dress uniform departed first. Councilor Traveska went next, other diplomats trailing. Regent Anncellis and the top leadership of Acculturation followed.
Then came the time for Sisters Celescia.
She cleared the hatch and formed a single line with Yanna and Ruki on one side, and the Mystery Man on the other. The airlock was wide, sleek but utilitarian, and most noticeably, pristine. Not a single scuff lined the deck, the integrated lockers, or the thresholds of the hatches.
Three station personnel in sharp dress uniforms greeted the procession as they stepped into the corridor. Their expressions were neutral, even bordering on pleasant, but there was an unmistakable contempt in their eyes.
Celescia recognized the one in the center as the station administrator, a member of a rival house of the Royalty lineage. The appointment had been used to garner favor for the Imperatrix’s agenda, a common tactic of the noble class.
Celescia didn’t necessarily hate the administrator for taking the position but loathed the side he had chosen. She imagined all the Provenance leadership passing through the same corridor, escorted by their staff and servants. The secrets that had been discussed, and schemes concocted to secure their power at the expense of the people. She shuddered at the thought and pressed on despite the repulsion she felt for boarding the station as if her very presence there ran a risk of catching a disease of elitism.
Dash must’ve picked up on her aversion, for he pulled his elbow close to his side, talking her hand with it. “It’s not the place, it’s the people.”
He was right, of course.
Ministry of Security officials lead the procession deeper into the station. She was filled with contempt at the sight of them, her spirit forever burdened with the painful memory of her murdered team.
The corridor connected to a gathering hall. Sculpted glass lighting hung from the ceiling, while wall displays cycled through scenic vids of Preemona. Exhibits ringed the space, holding cages with live creatures, interactive exhibits, and collections of ancient artifacts. A small but enthusiastic flock of reporters waited at the outlet. Security officers and bots formed a line in front of the group, preventing them from approaching the diplomats. That didn’t stop the reporters from lobbing questions at the delegation as they passed, receiving only polite waves or platitudes in response.
Celescia was at first shocked the Provenance let reporters aboard the station. But she reasoned it was a calculated move, the Provenance trying to paint themselves as gracious hosts of the oppressive regime who’d come to assert their dominance.
Halfway across the hall waited their hosts. Ambassador Pertrovich and her staff stood at the forefront. Dressed in elegant gowns and suits and standing with grace, Celescia could sense their dismay in their thin smiles. For cycles, they’d worked on the frontlines to convince the Provenance of the benefit of the charter, and now they had to face their failure in front of the leadership of the Commonwealth.
Behind them stood the Preservationist-aligned members of the Provenance, their attention now focused on the newcomers. Most wore neutral expressions, though a few glared death at the Acculturation party.
Celescia scanned their ranks. She recognized most of them; ministers, regents, business leaders, protopriests, and other members of the noble class. She met some of their stares, registering the disapproval and even outright disgust oozing out of them at the sight of the Mystery Man by her side. She spotted Minister Tryssnym, the longtime power player of the Provenance, holding a peculiar glint in his eyes. He seemed eager to observe an imminent spectacle.
“They don’t look happy to see you,” Dash said.
“Of course not. We called them spineless devotees of a corrupt despot,” Yanna said.
“Yeah, that will do it.”
Celescia stood tall, flooded with a cascade of revolving emotions. Pity at their ignorance, repugnance at their bigotry, anger at their ungratefulness to the Commonwealth and the advantages it gifted her people.
The escorts for the visitors stopped short of the Preservationist coalition. Golden spikes appeared above the heads of the crowd, shifting back and forth. The center of the body parted, revealing the ornate splendor of the Provenance Royal guards. Clad in gold-covered armor, and holding spears of the same, eight of their ilk marched with robotic precision. They stopped, forming two rows. A horned instrument blew a melody of the Royalty lineage.
The guards rotated to face each other and took a measured step back, forming a channel between them.
In it appeared none other than the Imperatrix himself.
The embodiment of regality and beauty, he held himself as if he’d been Imperatrix for millennia. The traditional Imperatrix circlet rested on his head, its ancient jewels twinkling with each minute turn of his head. His expression remained effortlessly dignified as he scanned the opposing delegation with a bemused grin.
Rragustus halted opposite Traveska. The pair faced off, drawing the attention of the entire hall. Neither leader flinched or offset any hint of uncertainty. With natural smoothness, the councilor bowed per the traditional greeting for the Imperatrix.
“Imperatrix Rrghustus, I know you know who I am, but formalities dictate a proper introduction. I am Councilor Traveska, elected leader of the Commonwealth. It is an honor to finally meet you in person. I thank you for receiving our Commonwealth delegation.”
Rrgaghtus returned the greeting and offered a warm smile. “Councilor Traveska, it is I, Imperatrix Rrgaghtus of the Pree Provenance, who am honored to be in your presence. On behalf of the Pree people, we extend our appreciation for your journey to our corner of the galaxy when you have so many other important matters requiring your attention.”
“I assure you, Imperatrix, that the Pree charter summit is of great importance to the Commonwealth,” Traveska replied. It was an understatement that Traveska managed to deliver without any hint of undertone.
The two leaders went on to make other important introductions. None of the other Pree leadership held the same amount of subdued charm that Rrgaghtus had, but there were no outright hostilities exchanged.
With the formal introduction complete, the station admin addressed the crowd. The opening procedures would begin soon. Until then, the delegation was free to view the exhibits in the hall and enjoy any refreshments. He stepped aside and a door along one of the side walls opened. Servant bots and staff exited bearing trays and dispenser carts.
The Councilor and his top delegation members stepped to the far side of the hall with the Imperatrix and his ministers. Celescia caught a fleeting view of Traveska’s face. His hard-set expression revealed the intense discussion that was about to be had.
Spotting the Preservationists descending upon the newcomers, she saw that the rest of the delegation was in for a rough time of their own.
One of the neutral regents made for the troupe. Celescia’s pulsed ticked up a notch. She’d met him many times before she’d joined Yanna and Ruki. He was reasonable from what she remembered. “Regent, it is good to see you again,” she said as he came before her.
He went to speak but confusion masked his face. “We’ve met before?”
Celescia scolded herself for the slip. Of course, the regent wouldn’t remember. “I thought we had, but I might be mistaken.”
“I would remember meeting a traitor like you,” he said, glaring at her with disdain. The open hostility took her aback. She hadn’t expected it from someone like him. “Your talents are undeniable, but you squander your gifts. It’s a shame given your popularity.” He gestured to the Mystery Man but refused to make eye contact. “Your stance on the charter is disappointing, your propaganda disingenuous, but your perverted showcases with this Human are outright disgusting.”
“And you’re a rude narcissist,” Yanna snapped.
“Shut your mouth, lowborn! I’m not done speaking.”
Yanna said nothing else, but Celescia could feel the anger in the tension of her partner’s arm. On the other side of Celescia, Dash shifted closer to her.
The regent wasn’t discouraged. He went on, emboldened by his vicious attack. “There are many who believe that you deserve punishment for speaking so negatively about the nobility. I happen to share their opinion.” He gestured at Celescia with two manicured fingers, stabbing the air with gusto. His head grew uncomfortably close to where she caught the scent of alterants upon his hot breaths. She fought the urge to lean back, to lash out in response, struggled to retain her composure—
A hand went to the regent’s chest, pushing him back. The Mystery Man now bladed himself between Celescia and the regent. He waved a finger at the belligerent bully.
Even if the regent didn’t understand the gesture, his PD would’ve translated it for him. “How dare you touch me, filth!” he said to Dash, finally making eye contact. He shot a fiery gaze at Celescia. “I demand your deviant man to apologize!”
Celescia had enough. “Your behavior is unbecoming of your stature, regent. I will not be spoken to in this manner.”
“I will not be lectured about manners and decorum by some treasonist harlot—”
The slap came out of nowhere. In one instant, the regent spewed his vile insults at her. The next, his head was spun 90 degrees to the side, mouth open, eyes wide in utter shock. The Mystery Man’s white-clad arm hovered in front of his chest, bent at the elbow in preparation for another strike.
The crowd around them took immediate notice, hushed whispers and gasps of disbelief. The regent found himself, focusing a hate-filled glare at the Mystery Man. His flat palm shifted higher as if to dare the regent to fling insults once again.
“Don’t do it,” Celescia said to Dash as security officers slipped through the surrounding crowd, appearing out of thin air. They formed a circle around the troupe, staring at the Mystery Man in bloodlust. One of them held a stunner, pointed down, but deployed and ready to use.
“Why did you strike the regent?” the supervisor demanded.
Celescia said, “The regent was verbally abusing us. The Mystery Man—”
“Quiet. I wasn’t talking to you.” The supervisor glared at the Mystery Man. “Answer my question.”
“That’s no way to talk to a lady,” came a deep voice. Hearty footsteps sounded against the floor as a big marine shouldered through the crowd. Gunnery Sergeant Alvarez approached the troupe only to be cut off by the stunner-wielding Pree.
“This is an internal security matter,” the supervisor said from inside the circle of his subordinates.
“Not when it involves any member of the Commonwealth delegation,” Alvarez replied. The officer blocking him didn’t move. “You’d better put that fucking thing away before I shove it up your ass,” he whispered before peering down at the Pree.
His threat needed no translation. The security officer holstered the stunner. Alvarez stepped around him and stood beside the Mystery Man.
“Everything okay over her, ma’am?” Alvarez asked Celescia.
“Yes. The regent here was being rude, and the Mystery Man corrected him on his behavior.”
Alvarez gave the regent an unimpressed once-over. “Hopefully he’s learned his lesson.”
The regent barred his teeth before slinking away beneath Alvarez’s intense stare. The security officers loitered a moment, then blended back into the crowd.
Alvarez peered around as the onlookers went back to their conversations. He directed the troupe to follow him toward the edge of the hall. When they emerged from the crowd, he leaned in close. “Please refrain from starting a diplomatic incident.”
“We will,” Celescia promised and thanked the man.
“Anytime,” he said. He sized up the Mystery Man and gave an approving nod before he left.
A few in the crowd began to shift toward the troupe, building courage after the incident. Celescia took the reprieve to whisper at Dash. “You must control yourself!”
“What you did was very inappropriate,” Yanna said.
“I am under control. That guy was being an asshole,” he answered.
“We don’t condone what he did,” Ruki said.
“But there are cultural differences you must consider,” Celescia added.
“Listen, I’m not standing here and listening to that vile crap. Especially when it’s directed at a lady.”
Within moments, a trio of regents had mustered the courage to approach. “Remind me to praise you for your chivalry should we get out of this alive,” Celescia said, and resumed her public facade, greeting them and entering an opposed but civilized conversation.
The tension from the confrontation had slipped from her mind when the message came through. She read it again and needed several minutes to excuse the troupe from the conversation.
“What is it?” Ruki asked as they stepped aside, keeping ahead of a trail of admirers.
Celescia breathed deeply, preparing herself. “There’s someone we need to meet with. I need you to come with me right now.”
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2023.06.08 10:09 WaveOfWire One Hell Of A Vacation - Chapter 89
Next Royal Road Patreon u/KieveKRS
providing the Trash certification of quality! (with help from u/coldfireknight
cuz this one needed it.)
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Nalah affixed the massive shield to her back, the rectangular form large enough for her to fit behind while only needing to crouch slightly. It was mostly ironwood, but the sides and front were metal-plated, so it still weighed a considerable amount. Despite that, the thing’s bulk hardly seemed to be noticed by the blonde-furred female, likely due to the constant construction work she involved herself in. It paired oddly with the long pike she insisted on using, but he couldn’t deny that poking at things while hiding behind a mobile wall sounded like a good idea.
Jax was wearing his new armour, the bulky chest-piece a mirror of his blond-furred pack mate’s. Though he forwent the protection a buckler or likewise would offer, he doubled up on gear. Gauntlets, vambraces, pauldrons, and anything else he could wear to compliment the massive axe he had taken a liking to.
Where Nalah was fitted to look like an apocalypse survivor—her protections limited to her torso, forearms, and shield—the black-furred male resembled a giant, if underfunded, paladin. All he needed now was some religious imagery and a penchant for exalting the qualities of their god. Joseph almost nudged the guy to suggest it for kicks.
On second thought, he decided that Jax absolutely did not
need a reason to start yelling about the Human-turned-religious-figure, because there was no way in hell he wouldn’t. There was no telling what he would choose to say, and the Grand Hunter was perfectly happy never knowing.
Having been with the male as long as he had, it would probably involve ‘taming’ females or something else that would leave him groaning for weeks, if not just contemplating another high-dive from the cliff.
Joseph fixed his own equipment, the ‘Wraith armour’ worn over his own thin iron breastplate. He wasn’t thrilled to wear the extra weight, but it beat being mauled by the thing they were heading out to kill. The trips so far had been tolerable, fog and overcast skies keeping the temperature in check, but he didn’t want to go out in this on a hotter day as Summer really kicked back in. He was sweaty enough without baking inside all this crap.
He adjusted the wolf-skull mask, the rest of the hunting party having gotten over the worst of the unease it gave them. Though they’d needed to rotate people out for the sake of fairness, this would be their eighth consecutive scouting. Using the information that Raine and Faye provided, they narrowed down a likely stomping grounds for the creature and were systematically clearing sectors. It might have been discouraging to keep looking after so long, but the occasional marking on trees and the odd moss-wolf corpse tipped them off that they were getting close. There was still another week’s worth of searching left if today wasn’t the day, but somehow he doubted they wouldn’t need that long.
All in all, they numbered six; larger parties were attempted, but their efforts at stealth quickly became pointless between so many trudging through the forest and stopping for breaks. There was a bit of a scare where one of Mi’low’s pack went missing, but the guy had just stopped to relieve himself. Since the discovery was made by someone else knocking him over in the process by mistake, they decided that keeping the number smaller made communication easier. And lowered the amount of grumbling about needing a bath.
Jax, Nalah, two security members, one of the hunters, and him. Sure, grabbing Tel or the Wraiths would have been a bit more useful for cohesion, but they were all busy with things, and he didn’t want to grind everything in the settlement to a halt for nothing if the search turned up empty again. They were more suited to taking out their fellow Lilhun than some monster in the woods, as much as he disliked the thought.
Scarlet was spending a lot of time with Violet and the new Atmo, Faye was spending much of her recovery with the moss-wolves and moss-pup, and Tel was in the process of helping Harrow shore up the few security members that were slated to become snipers. Kaslin was still learning chemistry with Toril, and Raine was helping whoever needed a hand, so that marked off all of his usual accompaniment. He could have taken more of his direct pack, but they all had important things to take care of as well.
Sahari was managing the pack and putting people where people needed to be put, Pan was working with Idee and Heralt to make a line of armour for the whole pack, and Mi’low was...well, Mi’low
. He was pretty sure she was unofficially the master of the hunter’s lodge and spent most of her time keeping track of what came in and out of it, while also making sure that everyone got their fair share. It needed to be done with the settlement growing as much as it had, and it kept Mi’low busy enough to stymie the flow of complaints, so he wasn’t about to complain.
They double checked that they had everything that was needed; food, water, arrows, bolts, and some bags to store anything that the snares had caught on the way back. Four ranged and two melee weapons meant that they would be mostly using Jax and Nalah to soak hits if it came down to it, the others peppering it with projectiles. Given that Harrow was insistent on the bear-thing being resistant to anything they could use at a distance, they also carried spare weapons for the ranged users, just in case. Nodding, Joseph gestured to the group finishing up their preparations for the day’s trip.
“A moment, sir?” Scarlet called to him as she approached the gate, the Wraith flanked by Rose and Cobalt. The two Atmo were decked-out in their own armour, which appeared to be almost entirely metal, save for the palm lining the inside for comfort. Each of their six legs were adorned with broad shields, their bases capped off with a flat storage carriage. They looked like someone had a little too much fun testing how much the insects could effortlessly carry and had ended up with sapient hexapedal tanks.
“Only if you explain why those two would look more at home if they had cannons installed on their backs,” he quipped, an expression somewhere between surprised, amused, and plain dumbfounded plastered on his face. The blackish red-furred female smirked for a split-second before resuming her usual servile presentation.
“The young mistress had extended her request for these two to accompany you.”
Joseph tilted his head incredulously. “Violet told you to send them?”
Scarlet nodded, gesturing to the outfitted Atmo. “They have been under her tutelage for some time now, and wish to be of assistance.”
The Grand Hunter snapped his mouth closed when he was about to ask why
his daughter would teach them anything that might be useful for fighting a deadly beast. Of course she did; It was one of the first things he did for her. It would have been weirder for her not
to pass on what she knew after all the hours she spent either seeing him coach the others, or being coached herself. With the time she had under her belt, she was the local Atmo Close Quarters Combat specialist, and no one else understood how the modified boxing she learned worked with their bodies like she did.
He wore a hesitant expression, shifting his weight to his other leg. “Well, they’ve certainly geared up.”
“It is a product our smith is rather proud of,” the Wraith affirmed confidently.
He exhaled slowly. “Seems a bit much.”
She seemed to be expecting the remark, barely pausing to register what he said before responding. “Your kit wishes you safe, yet understands you would not allow her to accompany you. These two wish to be of assistance.”
To punctuate her point, the two nodded in agreement, walking forward and slinging some of the backpacks onto their carriages. It seemed ‘no’ wasn’t something they were going to accept after Violet had said her piece. He sighed, conceding that they wouldn’t slow the party down with everyone carrying so much weight in equipment, regardless of the bags. They took breaks frequently enough to accommodate the Atmo, so that wouldn’t hinder anything either.
“Fine,” he relented with a wave of his hand. “We’ll take them. Not like they’d hurt anyway. But–” He put a warning into his tone. “–they’re not playing the hero and getting themselves killed. This isn’t going to work if they think any of us dying is still a net positive, got it?”
The two Atmo mimed their understanding, Scarlet replying with a victorious smile. Joseph couldn’t help but bemusedly roll his eyes. The female had taken rather well to baby-sitting, and that seems to have extended to humouring the young Queen’s schemes now. It wasn’t an unwelcome addition to their little sojourn. At least they could haul back any larger game without it tacking hours onto the return trip.
He thanked Scarlet for her trouble before dismissing her, confirming with the group that everything was accounted for, and set off before it grew too late. He wasn’t looking to get caught out in the woods during the night. The Lilhuns might be fine, but he was pretty well blind unless the moon felt generous.
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Jax watched the two Atmo quietly follow on the sides of the group, their heavily armoured forms posing no issues with their naturally soundless movements in the forest. In the den, they would make moderate clacks and clicks as their chitinous legs contacted the ground, but the soft dirt and foliage stifled all but the smallest report of their travel. With Scarlet supervising alongside Violet, he wouldn’t have been surprised to learn that the former Blade had influenced their movement with the goal in mind, though he had never paid much attention to how they walked before to compare.
He had to admit, having them carry the additional equipment was exceedingly useful. He had proposed having the group use the newly acquired platforms on their more arachnid-like abdomen to rest in shifts, but Joseph was quick to insist that the insects were of lesser stamina than even Lilhuns. The phrasing seemed like a comparative insult, but Jax had more than enough experience with the Human to know that he had simply spoken his mind. To him, everyone had sub-par stamina. Training had gone some way to remedy the discrepancy, but the Grand Hunter could still continue for longer than even the most well-conditioned of them.
The black-furred male rolled his shoulders, feeling the heft of his axe shift with the movement. It was an impressive size, the weight well-balanced and its edge sharp. He had once laid it to the ground out of curiosity and confirmed that it was about as tall as Pan from head to haft, though only if she stood to her full height. Regardless of its size, it was still lighter than the armour he chose to don.
Having only really worn leathers or a few sets of ironwood protections, the encumbering prominence of the iron equipment took getting used to. It wasn’t entirely restrictive, but did put a damper on any chances he had of sprinting from danger. That was fine, he supposed, since he was wearing it against a beast he had no experience with. It could very well outrun him regardless, and he would rather have the defences in either case.
Nalah seemed to be doing fine, the large barrier she kept on her back swaying slightly as she walked. She was unhindered by it, her movements barely affected by the bulk, which was reassuring. Joseph, however, seemed to be panting more than usual, the rolling cloud coverage easing as the sun progressively warmed the environment. The fog from earlier meant that it was rather humid, and that seemed to bode no well wishes for the male encased in dark leathers and thick plates. He had even flipped down his hood, the sweat beading on his skin adding a sheen to his visage.
“I liked this better when the sun didn’t exist,” the Human lamented quietly, just loud enough for Jax to hear. The black-furred male chuckled.
“It would be rather dark.”
Joseph glared at him for a moment before rolling his eyes. “I just don’t rank ‘heavily armoured hike through the woods’ high up on my list of things I want to do regularly.”
“I believe that list would be occupied by your mates, no?” he ribbed playfully, a smirk arising when the Grand Hunter shunted his eyes closed in a grimace.
“I hate you.”
“I can see your smile underneath your displeasure, Joseph,” Jax quipped, nudging the male with his elbow, then giving an apologetic smile when his friend almost fell. Joseph sighed, waving Cobalt over and fetching a water-skin from the luggage that the insect was ferrying without breaking stride—though he needed to be careful not to get stepped on.
The Atmo always amused Jax. Be it their passive demeanour hidden by their towering stature, or his interactions with the den-kit, they never failed to be curious people. Having the two that accompanied Volta with them was an unexpected development, but he couldn’t claim to disapprove. If they had been imparted the methods of combat that Violet had cultivated, then there was little worry of them being harmed by naught but perhaps their current target. At least not until there was a better reference of its strength than the single encounter the first-years had so long ago.
At the time, it had smashed pillars and pierced flesh effortlessly, claws proving to be little more than tempting ministrations of tender touch to the thick hide. Jax only had some of the pack’s recount to base the experience off of, but was content to take their word for it. He was, ashamedly, preoccupied taking care of baser needs when the event transpired, so he was woefully unprepared for the eventual encounter. Still, he was afforded the best the settlement had to offer so that he might serve his duty of protecting the Grand Hunter. Harrow would never forgive him if only he returned.
His thoughts were disturbed by Joseph calling for a rest, Jax’s legs thankful for the break from supporting the unusual weight for so long. The Human dispensed rations and water for the pack, the Atmo waiting until everyone else was supplied before accepting their portion. They rested on their base directly, instead of curling their legs beneath them like Jax had become accustomed. Perhaps the armour impeded such, or they wished to remain mobile in the event such was required. Regardless, they blocked what little breeze there was, forcing the Grand Hunter to walk beyond them to enjoy it in the shade. It was short-lived however, as Rose quickly repositioned to stay between the pack and whatever lay beyond their protections.
It was a futile effort, it seemed, because it repeated again twice before Joseph groaned loudly and threw himself atop the carriage to lay back, his legs dangling at the knee. He seemed perfectly content with the unorthodox arrangement, snorting his amusement along with a muttered comment about a ‘taxi.’
The entertaining sight was marred by a distant yelp, snapping the group to attention. Jax and Joseph traded looks, subtle nods and gestures given to move out while remaining quiet. Ignoring his earlier complaints, the Grand Hunter flicked his hood up and donned the mask, drawing his crossbow and readying a bolt. The hunter of the pack mimicked the preparation, the two security members loosely nocking their arrows while Rose, Cobalt, Jax, and Nalah took point.
They proceeded quietly for far longer than the proximity of the noise would have suggested, but marks and gashes upon the trees implied a moving conflict. Thoughts of it being a lost cause quickly became moot as a closer growl and bark shattered the careful silence they had been maintaining.
Motioning for the pack to stop, Joseph waved Jax forward, Nalah approaching the other side. Using the large shield as additional cover, they peered around a particularly thick tree. Locked in combat were two moss-wolves, both attacking a truly massive grey creature.
Twice the Human’s height, half that in width. Four pillars as legs—the muscular trunks sinewy and defined—supported the disturbing hunched figure, the wide base tapering slightly into a thick and extended torso. A singular eye-stalk replaced the head, the ocular organ atop it pitch black and free of any indication of its focus. Four arms with deadly claws parried and sliced the two yellow beasts as they attempted to drive off the predator, a sickeningly large maw gaping to catch any attempts at a lunge. The mouth of the creature almost occupied the entirety of the available surface area upon its front, the jagged bone tools of manduction undulating with the promise of sustenance.
Joseph pulled them back, cursing under his breath as he tried to fight off the tension. From Nalah’s worried expression, it seemed his caution was rather potent, the other members of the group smelling his reaction as well.
“So, what’s the plan, Jax?” the Human whispered, his grip on the crossbow alternating with his fingers stretching across the trigger lest his fidgeting cause a misfire.
“I thought that, with your record, you would wish to tame it for the settlement,” Jax replied while thinking through a plan of action. He was glad that his friend trusted him, but he wished he had known the true scale of the beast prior. Joseph grit his teeth, turning to glance past the tree again with sarcasm pouring out of his response.
“Can’t quite see Winnie-the-woodchipper there playing great with kids.”
“You say that after adopting an Atmo as kit, Grand Hunter,” he returned, nodding to himself when a plan formed. The Human smiled, the banter easing the tension somewhat. “Rose, Cobalt, you two are the most well defended of us. Circle around and drive the beast this way. You should be capable of such without noise, yes?”
The two insects nodded, emptying their luggage behind a tree so as not to lose any of it before disappearing into the trees. The slight glimmer of their iron armour was the only indication of their position through the dense forest. Jax hoped that the beast was not particularly curious about the dimly pulsing glare, nor finished with its current altercation in time to impede the pair.
Satisfied with their progress, he motioned for the two security members to scale a tree and gain a superior vantage point. Their weapons would be able to maintain a more rapid pace of sustained fire at longer ranges. Joseph and the hunter were instructed to hide behind trees nearby, though the Human would need to remain grounded as his lack of claws made scaling the large flora difficult with his equipment.
Finally, Nalah and he positioned themselves much closer, in order to flank the creature as it fled the Atmo and occupy it long enough for the others to bleed it out, if not outright dispose of it.
With the forms of the Atmo peeking through the brush opposite them, Jax raised his axe to signal the start.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Joseph felt the hammering in his chest, his heart preparing him to fight for his life against the walking abomination that easily outclassed the only other predator that he had experience with. Sure, the moss-wolves were easy to take down once you had equipment and a plan, but that thing screamed
He watched Jax and Nalah set up behind thick trees, their goal being for Jax to hopefully disable a leg or two with the war-axe while Nalah occupied it with the shield. As the two strongest members of his little family, he trusted both to do their job.
As a clusterfuck of animal and torture device, he had no faith in the creature playing along.
Swallowing his hesitation, he adjusted his grip on the crossbow again, mentally tallying his shots and cursing himself for not researching explosives. Sure, Toril didn’t want to be involved in that kind of weapon, but at the moment, the tailless white-furred male could suck it up and make one anyway. Joseph would give his left nut to see how quickly the chemist would make weapons of mass destruction just to annihilate whatever that thing called home.
Jax raised his axe, glinting the sunlight of it towards the Atmo. Receiving the start signal, the two clicked and loosed a deafening screech, the Human’s ears ringing even from this distance.
The beast seemed unperturbed by the noise, though the lack of visible ears may have had something to do with the lacklustre effect. Regardless, it did
notice the two armour-clad insects charging at it, and smartly decided to extradite itself from the area. The moss-wolves, however, didn’t quite get the memo, mistaking the advancing assistance as yet another foe to defend themselves from.
He had to say, Violet taught the two well. They flashed their blades out in the same flicker jab that he had shown his daughter, and with an unceremonious squelch, the two bisected canines landed in four pieces, a vibrant green ichor now staining the weapon-like appendages of the Atmo. Undeterred by their first act of violence—as far as he was aware, anyway—they continued herding the beast.
It wasn’t as fast as they might have feared, its quadrupedal gait hindered by its proportions, but it was still quick enough to be damn intimidating. Its arms acted as a counter balance, constantly adjusting this way and that just to keep it stable. That thing was clearly never meant for sprinting, all its mobility being given to the overactive maw that pulsated with the exertion.
He readied his crossbow, the shaking in his hands not ruining his aim against such a large target. He eyeballed the distance between the creature and the ambush point, forcibly moving his finger off the trigger so that he didn’t fire early.
Closer. Come on. Almost.
Jax wound up like a particularly enthusiastic lumberjack, putting his full body into the rotation. The massive axe swung like a horizontal pendulum striking home with all the finality of a clock tolling midnight. It bit into the front leg of the beast, only sinking a few inches before momentum nearly wretched the weapon from the black-furred male. Luckily, the force and timing was enough to trip it, the creature crashing to the forest floor with a deafening roar of pain.
They could hurt it. That made him feel better.
His relief evaporated as the beast swiftly recovered, hauling itself from the ground faster than he thought possible, but his archers took it for an unspoken signal. Arrows and bolts peppered its thick hide, to no effect—it shrugged off the projectiles like they were nothing more than pine needles, none sinking far enough to gain notable purchase.
Jax hefted his axe for another strike, careful not to over-commit this time. Nalah prodded the beast wherever she could with her pike, the melee weapon sliced and skewered just past the surface of the hide, though not enough to do more than marr. It was, however, enough to gain the attention of the target, the creature swinging two of its four arms to rake across the shield that the blond-furred female held. The iron plating across the front let out an unearthly shriek as claws ripped and crumpled the metal. Well, fuck
Nalah was quick to react, treating the shield less as an immovable barrier and more like a slight distance buffer, dodging in and out of range to steal jabs with the polearm. The security members nocked another volley, picking different targets than before. An arrow bounced harmlessly off the black orb of an eye, another finding purchase in what passed for gums in its mouth.
The hint was received; aim for the mouth. Thankfully, that was a large target. Less thankfully, it realized that flashing its teeth was detrimental to its health, slamming the maw closed.
Jax managed another swing, this time into one of the rear legs. It wasn’t as effective as the first strike, but it did warrant a sweeping double back-fist from the creature, scoring Jax’s armour with shallow claw marks as he jumped backwards. Joseph let out a breath as he fired his second shot, only just narrowly missing the sliver of a gap between razor teeth that the enraged attack afforded. It couldn’t keep its mouth shut forever, each frenzied swipe pulling its form enough for glimpses of softer flesh within to appear. The hunter dropped from their tree, darting across to reposition for a wider angle to capitalize on. The creature noticed, lunging forward to eviscerate the easier target.
Joseph blinked as two armoured figures jumped in front of the Lilhun, raising their blades in a tight guard to block the four arms grabbing for a quick meal. The beast recoiled with a thunderous screech, two of its appendages sporting deep gashes that fountained blood, while the others managed to impact above the edged outside of the blades. Rose and Cobalt pressed forward, buying time and space for the hunter to collect themselves and scale up another perch. Taking advantage of its pain, two new arrows ripped through the air, smacking into exposed inner flesh. Two new protrusions joined the first in the mouth, one landing next to the existing projectile, while the other cleared the gateway of serration, driving deeply inside of it.
More flicker jabs and extended straights pushed and cut the beast as it tried to gain distance from the two that wounded it, every retaliatory strike earning it another gash in its grey hide.. Unencumbered by the constant barrage, Nalah thrust into its legs more vigorously, her body leaning into each attack to gain every inch of penetration she could into the muscle and thick hide.
Jax used the chance to score another chopping blow, doubling down on a previous wound to a back leg—striking bone this time, based on the unholy wail the beast uttered. Joseph raised his crossbow to land another shot into its mouth, but the beast flailed wildly to fend off the ambush.
Rose managed to block, Jax lunged backwards, Nalah deflected most of it with what remained of her shield, but Cobalt was caught by a strike, taking the hit to its torso. The Atmo flew backwards, rolling when it landed, the carriage and assorted armoured plates trailing behind it. Rose shifted instantly, covering the direction that their companion had been sent while Jax and Nalah focused on pulling the beast away from the downed combatant.
Joseph’s eyes flicked to the Atmo, waging an internal battle on whether helping the insect would be better or worse for the situation as a whole. He didn’t want to lighten up their assault if it would just mean more injuries, but Cobalt could be in dire need for a patch job. It was hard to tell from where he was.
Cursing, he bolted from his spot, firing off one last round into the gaping maw before clipping the crossbow onto his armour and sliding on his knees in front of Cobalt, healroot hastily retrieved from his pocket.
He paused, sighing in relief when none of the armour bore more than deep gashes, the carapace underneath unblemished by the attack. Cobalt clicked lightly, dazed, but otherwise seeming unhurt. Unlearned in the physiology relevant, he ushered the Atmo to remain out of the fight for fear of concussion or something similar. They could look at the insect back at the base to be sure later.
His head spun around at both Jax and Nalah screaming his name, a massive clawed hand sweeping at him—the monster's approach unnoticed while he focused on Cobalt. Lacking a better option, he lunged forward towards the underside of the beast to dodge the swipe, crashing to his shoulder on the dirt below.
The creature raised a leg above Joseph, pounding the earth scant inches from his head as he rolled sideways. Ignoring the kicked up dirt, he brought his fist to the underside of the beast, flicking the release on his bracer.
Blood spouted from the newly formed wound, the blade breaking at the mechanism as the massive animal lurched in pain, Joseph rolling out of the way of another attempted trampling. He scrambled to his feet, feeling the wind of another strike narrowly missing him.
Yeah, that would probably kill him.
Luckily, the injuries renewed the desire to flee in the monstrosity, the group of attackers proving too dangerous to continue challenging. It stumbled away from them, sparing Cobalt from its panicked trudging. Jax and Nalah started to run towards him, worry evident in their eyes, but he barked for them to finish it, redirecting the two to keep the pressure going. He didn’t want to mention the pain in the arm from where the bracer hitched. It didn’t feel broken, and thus was irrelevant.
Pressure applied, the grey beast picked a random direction free of opponents to escape, ignorant of the waiting security. When it was too close for them to shoot into its mouth at a decent angle, they slung the bows over their shoulders and drew the swords they had been afforded, patiently waiting with the blades turned down.
It passed below them, the two Lilhuns dropping from the branches to put their full weight into the plunging blades. Both landed on the large target, one sword sinking deep into a shoulder, while the other managed to pierce one of its hip joints. The beast spun haphazardly to dislodge the ‘new’ threats, both security members kicking off and finding new trees to set up in.
Whatever damage was actually done, it had lost the use of an arm, and its gait shifted awkwardly as the blade lodged in its hip worked more harm with each shambling step.. Emboldened, Jax picked up the pace, struggling to position himself with the amount of metal he wore. Ducking another swipe of its claws, he saw his chance and swung, pivoting with his axe as a counter weight. For the third time, his axe blade found the wound in its leg, adding a sickening crunch as the bone snapped from the impact.
The creature swung wildly, forced to favour its two remaining good legs, and the only other leg that could still support at least some
of its weight. It was unstable now, the hunched figure swaying while unmoving. Unable to run, it decided to go down with as many of them as it could.
Rose caught up with the attack, drawing attention from the comparatively squishy Nalah as the blond-furred female deflected a wayward swing with her shield. The once iron-plated ironwood now sporting little more than jagged scraps of metal atop its silver wooden structure, a series of deep gouges marring the surface. Two lunging thrusts with the pike bit flesh, drawing new blood from the beast.
Joseph loaded his crossbow, getting off two bolts, but not managing to keep it steady enough to hit anything of use, his arm faltering under the weight of the weapon. Cursing, he decided to flank the beast and try his luck with the other bracer. If nothing else, the force in which the blade deployed was enough to pierce the thick hide, and the others were doing a good job of distracting it.
The red armoured Atmo let loose a series of directed swings, the fifth severing an arm in motion, the flying appendage forcing Nalah to raise her shield to block the unorthodox projectile. The female was sent sprawling from the weight of the impact, but the beast was too busy voicing its agony to take advantage of it. Jax worked another two chops into the broad legs, but neither managed to incapacitate it any more, and the prolonged exertion was slowing his reflexes.
As if cued into his waning energy, the beast flung Jax with another strike, the hunter of the group sinking a bolt deep into the cavernous flesh of its mouth to prevent an attempt at following up.
Joseph roared, desperate to finish it off before the creature could do the same to his downed pack. He sprinted at the monster's back and slid underneath it with as much speed as he could muster. Throwing his fist into the passing undercarriage, he let the deployed blade leave a long gash in its wake.
The grey monster lost its ability to stand, torn tendons, blood loss, and inflicted injuries taking their toll. The Grand Hunter kicked off his knees to fling himself out of the way of the collapsing figure, grimacing as the remaining bracer proved unable to support the abuse he had put it through. He looked back at the beast, the flailing body failing to right itself as teeth did little more than gouge dirt, its back exposed. Rose approached, raising their blades together and plunging it through the body over and over until it stopped moving.
Exhausted, the Atmo dropped where it was, breathing heavily. Joseph’s instinct to yell their victory was delayed as he hurried over to Jax and Nalah to confirm he didn't need to bring back bad news. Nalah seemed fine, if a bit sore from hitting the dirt and rolling, while Jax just asked to lay down when he heard that everything was over. Cobalt came over to the group, the armour that had come off collected atop the carriage it had managed to loosely affix to its base.
It was light, a chuckle originating from the Human as he slumped to the ground against a tree, but soon the entire group was roaring with laughter as victory settled in their minds. The two security members helped the hunter begin disassembling the beast, their contribution to the fight leaving them with more energy than the rest. They hadn’t been slacking off, that much was certain. The number of arrows jammed into the maw of the thing would have guaranteed a few extra seconds of survival and chances to escape if one of them had been forcibly tossed into there, and it had caused enough pause for the rest of them to get in a few hits up close.
Joseph rested across from Jax and Nalah, letting his heart rate slow from the rapid pace it had been pinned to since the start of the conflict. His arm continued its protests, but from the amount of movement he still had, he guessed that he had just strained the elbow. A few days taking it easy should straighten that right up.
Once the active members were about half way through processing the creature for hide and meat, Cobalt approached him, a mimed request for assistance putting their armour back on being redirected to Nalah since he doubted he could lift the damn pieces without hurting himself at the moment. She obliged, getting the blue Atmo back in full attire, though it took a while.
Rose stood first, stopping over to allow the hunter to place collected bits and pieces onto the carriage before securing it with whatever they could make work. A security member gathered the moss-wolf corpses for a similar treatment. Waste not, want not, he supposed.
Rose ended up carrying most of their spoils. When he was about to ask why, he, Jax, and Nalah were dragged to Cobalt and hefted onto the carriage. A series of confused questions revealed that the rest wanted to head back before it started getting dark, and it was pretty obvious who was the most exhausted of them. Lacking the will or energy to argue it, he flopped back on the Atmo as the trees passed them by, Nalah resting her legs across him as her head sat on Jax’s lap. The black-furred male didn’t so much as smirk, so it was clear he had pushed himself too far to quip about the arrangement as he laid down.
“The next time you wish to exhaust me this much, Joseph,” the Head of Security started after a long while of silence, tiredness in his voice, “I would prefer it to involve my mate and a bed.”
The Human snorted, closing his eyes and enjoying the lack of walking as the surprisingly stable Atmo carried the three of them. “Fuck off, Jax.”
“Of course, Grand Hunter.”
Next A/N: Patreon is fixed!... aka new one cuz problems with the last. Check it out to support the story, get AI character art every now and then, or even preview sections of chapters as i write them! (aka, before kieve gets to fix them :D)
submitted by WaveOfWire
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.06.08 09:38 DementedCreus My (22m) GF (22f) has anxiety attacks almost daily and I now feel useless
TL.DR. at the end...
Pretty much what the title says. My gf has had anxiety and depression for years. We met last year through a mutual best friend "K" (21f), between August and September, and we hit it off as friends.
A few weeks later, I told K that I might be developing fellings for this girl but wasn't sure yet and would not try anything before being completely positive about it. She then suggested that I gorget about it for a while, since this girl was not in a very stable position, mentally speaking.
We get to february and I finally managed to get out of my ex's claws (she managed to rope me back in for a few months before I finally broke free). It should be noted that before and after the deal with my ex, I was completely sane and ready for a relationship (at least that's what I was told by my therapist).
Back to february and I told K that I liked this girl and was sure of it, we had become good friends and I was certain I felt that way and that she felt the same. K told me to go for it, so I went. I told my GF I liked her, I had liked her for some time and wanted us to date.
At first she was confused because she had had toxic relationships previously and was surrounded by false rumors (by the way I despise those), thinking nobody would have feelings for her. She told me she needed to talk about it. I agreed and waited patiently for her answer. She came back saying she felt something but wasn't sure what it was, but was willing to find out.
We dated for a month and a half and she managed to confirm that she did feel the same for me as I did for her, so I waited a couple kore days and proposed to her, so it became official.
While we were dating, and after we became an official couple, she'd have these anxiety attacks on our nightly facetime. They'd last a month on every single night, then be good for a week, and then back at it for another month. I tried to help her as best as I could by reassuring her, letting her know I was there and anything to try to calm her down.
Overtime, it became more difficult, she would no longer answer me and would start hitting herself on her thighs, getting bruises high enough her leg so that her skirts (she likes to wear them) would hide the marks. I died inside whenever I heard her doing it (she would turn off her camera but not her microphone).
She then told me she wanted me to listen, but because she did it in order to receive attention (she gets the worst end of the deal when it comes to her family and "friends"( they started the rumors based on a case of sexual harassment she suffered during the pandemic by someone we both know)). She did it so much she started doing it out of pure reflex, but I managed to convince her to stop.
She stopped hitting herself for a while when she found out I used to do it in private whenever I experienced my own anxiety attacks in the past and also when I told her it made me feel desperate and useless since I could do nothing to stop her whilst being over the phone.
This got her worse because she blamed herself for everything (this is important since she does it a lot over pretty much anything), but stopped punching herself. The first month of anxiety passed and we had a rather pepaceful week, then it came again.
We had a fre misunderstandings over silly things and she started doing something I always hated but never had the guts to say it since I fear I'll make it worse: she stated that every bad thing that happened to her was not important because she deserved it.
Now I don't know about you, but I am the kind of person who believes that nobody deserves to have bad things happening to them. May them be as small as scratching your arm against rose thorns or as big as mentally or physically suffering any sort of abuse.
She, however, is way down that hole and doesn't seem to get out, she says she'll do the work, but I just keep seeing her get worse and worse. Her family does the opposite of help (she gets treated like the black sheep even though she's done nothing wrong) and her classmates and project classmates pretty much force her to do all the work.
Between that and her job, she can't get a break from all the emotional trouble and breaks down every single time. I can't even have a normal conversation for more than five mintues because she starts berating herself and hurting herself again. She now digs her nails into her skin and pulls her hair (at least that's all I've been able to see, cause she might still punch herself without me knowing).
I have tried everything but she always goes back to thinking she's a failure despite everything she's accomplished.
She stops breathing, she feels like she's choking, she ends up telling me I deserve better and that it'd be easier if she just died, to which I counter with "and what about me?" Which gives me "you can get someone better than me because I am a waste of resources" and I am so tired and desperate of hearing that.
She knows I tried to end it myself last year by almost jumping of a building and falling on a piked fence. I did not go through with it by some miracle because I decided I was NOT going out that way and that whenever the time came, I would leave on my own terms.
She tried to do the same on a pedestrian bridge that overlooked a busy avenue but said she was to much of a coward to go through with it because she suddenly feared death. I told her at the moment that fearing death was everything but coward, and I stand by it.
I have a great deal of respect to people who did not go through with it and even towards people who, sadly, did. It is not easy to get yourself out of taking that last step or moving the arm or fingers and swallow one last time.
Whenever she has these situations she apologizes, stating she says a lot of things she doesn't mean, but I'm not sure anymore and it makes my heart break.
Last week I could not take it anymore, it was finals week and I had been studying as much as I could. I was also needed at home a lot to take care of repairs and stuff, so I had to cancel a few times we would be seeing each other. She confronted me about it, saying she felt disappointed, alone, worthless and a failure.
Then I snapped.
I snapped in a different manner than what you may think. I apologized, and didn't even explain. I apologized profusely about making her feel like that and that if she didn't want to talk to me anymore and end things, then I would understand completely and would not get angry or mad at all.
To be honest, it is kind of difficult for me to go out, even if it's just with friends. My family's economic situation is not great (my father stole from us before he ran away, died and left us with massive debts to cover, along with school debts) and everytime I want to go out, the first answer is always "we have no money, you will not go out".
After I said what I said while my first mental breakdown in months. She got worse. Open mouth, insert foot.
We talked it out, thought we'd progressed, but she's brought it up again a few times during her anxiety attacks.
This leads us to today.
One of her friends (it was NOT K) had an anxiety attack of her own and we went to help her. Said friend passed out in her arms (nobody saw it coming) and we rushed her to the infirmary. My GF had to go take an exam and I walked her to it. While on the way, she started having one herself, as she thought of herself as the worst friend ever because she had to go to the exam.
I tried comforting her as best as I could, but I had to skeddadle back home on the bus route and was running out of time. She had an anxiety attack about the same thing during the exam, told me about it and I couls only sit in the bus feeling miserable and useless.
I got home, she then got picked up by her parents and got home, we started talking and something insignificant on one of her school chats triggered another anxiety attack and she stopped breathing. This went on for a couple of hours. I'd try to stabilize her and not two minutes after she'd get it again.
She finally mamaged to sleep, but I am in dire need of any kind of help. I feel useless, desperate, ignored, fed up, worthless. I feel like I'm not enough because she told me she felt alone in this world and it just broke my heart. But everytime I tell her that I was sorry she felt that way or anything else to try to comfort her, she replies it's not my fault, that she's the one with the problem and that's it. But she keeps falling into the same things and repeats them over and over again for hours.
I don't know what else to do.
For those who read the entire thing, thank you.
TL.DR.: My GF's anxiety attacks have gotten worse and I feel useless and worthless because of it.
submitted by DementedCreus
to offmychest [link] [comments]
2023.06.08 07:30 _fatherfucker69 Just hit 1500 elo for the first time ever with this team . Thoughts?
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Lando is the lead Chien Pao one shots everything Braciary clears hazards and does massive damage Zamazenta is for physical attackers , I iron defense thrice and one shot everything except gholdengo Sneasler oneshotes everything Volacanion is for water types since they are everywhere submitted by _fatherfucker69 to stunfisk [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 20:42 Choice_Program_2846 Need help with my VGC Regulation D team!
Suicide (Glimmora) (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Toxic Debris
Tera Type: Rock
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Spe
- Stealth Rock
- Mortal Spin
- Earth Power
The Antagonist (Grimmsnarl) @ Light Clay
Tera Type: Dark
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD
- Parting Shot
- Light Screen
- Ice Punch
Slice Me Nice (Ceruledge) (M) @ Expert Belt
Ability: Flash Fire
Tera Type: Fire
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
- Bitter Blade
- Dragon Claw
- Helping Hand
- Shadow Sneak
Discount Houdini (Meowscarada) (F)
Tera Type: Grass
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
- Chilling Water
- Flower Trick
- Knock Off
Gay Style (Ursaluna) (M) @ Choice Scarf
Tera Type: Ground
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
- Headlong Rush
- Fire Punch
- Thunder Punch
OP Claws (Sneasler) (F) @ Razor Claw
Ability: Poison Touch
Tera Type: Fighting
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
- Dire Claw
- Close Combat
- Fake Out
submitted by Choice_Program_2846
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2023.06.07 10:01 _fatherfucker69 Thoughts on my team ?
(Chien-Pao) @ Choice Band Ability: Sword of Ruin Tera Type: Ice EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe Jolly Nature - Ice Shard - Ice Spinner - Crunch - Sacred Sword
Sweeper , ohkos 90% of the meta without setup .
Landorus-Therian @ Rocky Helmet Ability: Intimidate Tera Type: Steel EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe Naive Nature - Stealth Rock - Earthquake - Grass Knot - U-turn
Lead / support . Grass knot is for when I get burned and for great tusk
Ursaluna @ Flame Orb Ability: Guts Tera Type: Normal EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe Adamant Nature - Facade - Earthquake - Trailblaze - Swords Dance
You trailblaze twice against weaker foes and you outspeed anything. Facade ohkos everything, earthquake is for ghost types and fire / steel types .
Sneasler @ Normal Gem Ability: Unburden Tera Type: Fighting EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe Jolly Nature - Fake Out - Dire Claw - Close Combat - Acrobatics
Again , free damage. Ohkos anything, and dire claw is too strong to pass
Zamazenta-Crowned @ Rusted Shield Ability: Dauntless Shield Tera Type: Water EVs: 4 Atk / 252 Def / 252 Spe Impish Nature - Body Press - Behemoth Bash - Iron Defense - wild charge
Iron defense is for boosting defense against physical foes than ohkoing them with body press Benomoth dash for fairy types Wild charge for poison types
Braviary-Hisui (M) @ Life Orb Ability: Tinted Lens Tera Type: Psychic EVs: 8 HP / 252 SpA / 248 Spe Modest Nature - Hurricane - Esper Wing - Defog - U-turn
Support pokemon that does great damage thanks to tinted lens Defog for hazard clearing Esper wing for boosting speed and doing great damage U turn because u turn Hurricane because hurricane is great
I feel like my biggest weakness right now is water types . I am thinking about switching ursaluna with this electrode:
Electrode-Hisui @ Choice Specs Ability: Aftermath Tera Type: Electric EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe Timid Nature IVs: 0 Atk - Volt Switch - Discharge - Chloroblast - Foul Play
submitted by _fatherfucker69
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2023.06.06 18:51 NaecheA Rate my grassy terrain team
2023.06.06 16:18 ARC4N4 Glorious Ruler Guide to Slayer Lane Astrid
I am not a English native speaker so please forgive me for any grammatical errors in this guide, and there might be some difference in Arcana/Equipment/Enchantment name between my server and yours so do keep that in mind. About me:
Greetings everyone, My name is ARC4N4 and I am here to tell you all about my favorite MOBA character of all time, Astrid.I currently has 4953 games with 68.2% win rate (of which 3276 is Astrid with 70.6% win rate) , ranked 10 in battlefield, 37 star Conqueror and usually Glorious Ruler at the end of each season in Thailand server. I hope to share my passion and love about Astrid with you. Pros:
Astrid is what I would describe as a skirmisher fighter and split pusher who is very strong small fight scenario. She also has a very simple and easy to understand kit but also a very high ceiling for mastery. Great engage and gap closer in her second ability. Team fight winning ultimate and overall consistent damage is what makes Astrid a great slayer lane champion. Cons:
Astrid has only one movement ability which she need to attack consistently to lower the cd so she is very weak toward any champion with high mobility and juking potential. She also has no built in lifesteal and only temporary shield so she is weak to champion with true damage. Items:
Gilded Greaves: Your default choice for most scenario, magic resistance and cc resistance is good
Spear of Longinus: Best choice among armor penetration items for Astrid. It provides damage, CD reduction, health, armor penetration, and armor reduction. Everything that Astrid ever wants.
Omni Arms: Quintessential item for any fighter, this will boost your damage quite a bit and your second ability will hurt a lot more with this item.
Fafnir Talon: Since Astrid has no built in lifesteal and likes to hit things fast. This item allows her to fight against tanky support or slayer laner better.
Curse of Death: With the recent nerf to this item, it is no longer an amazing item for fighter but you will still have to build this item if the enemy team has any champion with lifesteal or a way to regain his health
Fenrir’s Tooth: LOTS OF DAMAGE baby
Under most circumstances, the first three items you build will almost always be Gilded Greaves, Spear of Longinus, and Omni Arms. Then depending on whether the enemy composition the order of Fafnir Talon and Curse of Death are interchangeable then finish it off with Fenrir’s Tooth unless the enemy has no champion with lifesteal or health gain then you can change Curse of Death to defensive item of your choice (Either Shield of the lost or Medallion of Troy Enchantment:
Main: Veda (Yellow path)
Axe of Sacrifice: More damage is good
Holy Verdict: More armor penetration is good
Holy Summoner: This in my opinion is the best enchantment for Astrid because she already has great attack speed and can easily procs this enchantment which allows her to trade more favorably against other duelist in the slayer lane and occasionally kill her enemy off screen as well(It happens a lot more than you might think)
Sub: Lokheim (Red path)
Shadow Blade: Her second ability counts as two stack for shadow blade and with how often you can use her second ability this will boost her damage quite a bit
Deadly Claw: More attack is good Arcana:
10x Awake (Attack speed, Crits)
10x Spirit (Attack speed, Movement speed)
10x Dragon Claw (Armor penetration, Damage)
These arcana provide you with everything you need as a Astrid player, attack speed to proc your passive, move speed for chasing down your enemy, and armor penetration to hit your enemy harder Spell:
Execute (true damage to low HP character) or Flicker (small blink to target location)
The choice of spell depends entirely on your playstyle but personally I like execute more because it combo well with her ultimate and allows her to secure kill a lot more consistently. Abilities:
Martial Soul (Passive)
Everytime Astrid use her basic attack, it will reduce CD of first and second abilities by 1 second
This is the main reason why you want to build attack speed on Astrid so you can use her first and second abilities more often
Spin Slash(First Ability)
Astrid her sword around in a small circle dealing physical damage and grating her attack speed and armor penetration for each enemy hit(up to 3 stacks) for 5 second
This is your main ability to boost her combat effectiveness, this ability grant her attack speed which allow her to procs her passive more often which then allow you to use this ability more often.
Fearless Charge (Second Ability)
Astrid charge forward in a targeted direction and for the next 3 second your next attack will be boosted which allow to dash stab the target granting her bonus attack damage and shield and slow the target by 50%
I would argue that this is one of the best gap closer in the game. This is your bread and butter engagement and follow tool with surprisingly high damage throughout the course of the game, good range, and best of all its a point and click ability so you cannot miss (unless the enemy can disjoint your ability of course). However, this is also your only tool of movement so try not to use this ability to clear creeps.
Dire Blow (Ultimate ability)
Astrid charge her blade into a semi circle in targeted location grating her invincibility and immunity to most CC for 1.5 second before striking dealing true damage, stunning for 1 second, and lifestealing for 100% of damage dealt
One of the most polarizing ultimate in the game I would say. This ultimate can single handedly win you the teamfight or do absolutely nothing at all. The worst thing about this ultimate is that it is telegraphed for quite long so you have to position yourself a bit to get the most out of this ability and here’s some tips for this ultimate.
- Your enemy can simply walk toward you to the other side of the semi circle to dodge, so try positioning yourself against a wall so that the enemy cannot walk to the other side of your ultimate.
- The ultimate has a weird bug where there is a tiny time frame(around .25 sec) at the end of the animation before the damage is registered where you can still take damage so you can simply die before getting your health back. So try not to use your ult when your health is way too low.
- Allain, Zata, and D’Arcy ultimate can be completely neutralized with Dire blow so keep your ult up when facing these two (whoever uses ultimate first will lose lol).
- Arum, Aleister, Baldum, and allied Zip are some champions who can stop your ult so do keep that in mind when facing these champions.
Murad (10/10): I would highly suggest you ban Murad if able. He has everything in his arsenal to make your life a living hell. High burst damage and invincibility, disjointed skill, and high mobility. He is simply the perfect counter to Astrid.
Florentino (9/10): Another bad match up, Astrid simply do not have enough damage or sustain to face Florentino comfortably in the early game but you can fight him on equal ground in the late game but reaching that point is going to be rough
Yan (8/10): Due to his slippery gameplay, Astrid will have hard time fighting Yan in early and mid game but will be a surprisingly easy fight in late game
Qi (8/10): Rush Curse of Death when facing Qi and try to fight her in a place where she can ult you to the wall. You can start winning this match up in mid game
Zuka (7/10): Time your ult carefully to dodge Zuka ultimate, the instant Zuka use all of 3 movement skill he will almost always follow up with ult so use that window to counter attack
Ryoma (7/10): Keep your distance, Ryoma has better range than Astrid so go in only if Ryoma has wasted high summersault skill but for the most part it's pretty unlikely for either Ryoma or Astrid to die during laning phase
Veres (6/10): Rush Curse of Death and use your second ability to charge into the safe zone between Veres and Chain and you should be fine
Omen (5/10):Rush Fafnir’s Talon and engage him when his stack is already almost depleted to minimize his damage potential
Bonus Hayate and Lauriel (10/10): If you are starting out and see these two on the enemy team I advise you not to pick Astrid because you will be kitted to death and there is simply nothing you can do about it
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment and I will answer to the best of my abilities.
submitted by ARC4N4
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2023.06.06 05:19 shaqkage Replacement for Magearna on this team? Was lent this team and realized that it's really fun even when not using Mag so yeah.
2023.06.06 00:34 AngryHellhound [F] Part 2 of the Imperial Hellhounds chapter document
Hello everyone. It has been a while since I’ve actually posted here. I return here again to post more of my homebrew chapter’s information. Now I highly suggest reading the first part of my previous post as that is the beginning point. https://www.reddit.com/40kLore/comments/1244clq/f_today_i_present_a_part_of_my_home_brew_chapte?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=ioscss&utm_content=2&utm_term=1
To state a few more things, I would hope if you have any thoughts or advice, share with me. It helps me to better build my story and chapter. Also I have put the [F] tag in here as this chapter does contain pre heresy traitor legionnaires and I know that’s kind of a sort of fan fiction crossing line. At least I think it is. Information may be subject to change as time goes on. Eventually I may release the document as a whole. Anyways I don’t want to ramble on forever. This post is already extremely long so I’ll let you read it. A Chapter Born In Secrecy
Once the information that the three Astartes had learned reached the rest of the legions, a deep depression began to spread. The thought of never seeing their brothers again gravely affected them. This combined with the fact that the Imperium they worked so hard to unite and build had been ruined by their own legions aided in their pain. Another powerful emotion experienced was rage. A Warhound dreadnought became violent when told his legion turned traitor. He was then killed once he tried to attack the marines who brought him the information. In time, librarians within the legions began to work with each other to aid in repairs to the morale lost. Apollo Claus, a Warhound Dreadnought, guided his brothers in finding themselves. Guilliman would also provide tools necessary to repair the damaged and decayed equipment over the past ten thousand years. A mysterious metamorphosis began to take place in the legions. Psykers grew in numbers. Space marines who were on the verge of death found sudden resolve and strength. Armor was modified and black canine fur would commonly be seen attached, despite no known canids existing on the planet. Disturbances within the warp were felt by psykers on nearby worlds. It was as if an odd power was being cycled to one location. This odd occurrence had worried some that a chaos incursion would begin. However the Adeptus Custodes and Sisters of Silence had detected no taint or influence of chaos. It is unknown as to what exactly happened with the two legions. The information on the chapter’s history and identities were kept secret to a select few. The Ultramarines that were on site were informed that these Astartes had gone mad and had claimed to be former Great Crusade legionaries. Mechanicus forces had memories and data purged or taken. The Adeptus Custodes had informed the Inquisition that all space marines would be sent away and purged. Inquisitors who tried to investigate the incidents, like Marian Antonio, disappeared and then returned with signs of memory loss and. Only the highest echelons of the Imperium have direct lines of communication with the Imperial Hellhounds. They seem to answer only to the sons and personal guard of the Emperor. Chapter Ideals and Culture
The Imperial Hellhounds believe that pure ferocity and alignment with threats such as the Tau and Aeldari, will save the Imperium. By destroying the greatest warriors and champions of chaos, it can be broken down, then crippled. However the chapter knows that the threats are not always from outside the Imperium’s walls. Threats from many backgrounds and positions of power lay in high towers on a hundred worlds. Often controlling millions of civilians and leading offenses against the Imperium. Despite this, the chapter will attack these traitors without hesitation. Unless they themselves wish to be destroyed. As the chapter maintains its distance from the greater Imperium, it often finds itself isolated and alone. A tight knitted, yet welcoming culture is often embraced. Duels, contests, the pursuit of art, history and philosophy are encouraged by the chapter to ensure wellbeing. Even with the steps to ensure space marines are well cared for, this does not stop periods of depression and sadness from taking place. When the chapter learned of their legions being killed off or turning traitors, it had left a profound effect on them. The idea of never seeing their brothers again hurt greatly. Even being told that the chapter would have to maintain a level of secrecy, and understanding that their deeds would never be greatly recognized damaged morale. Though despite the troubles and pain faced by the chapter, this would only strengthen their resolve to eliminate the traitor Astartes. After years of spending time observing the modern Imperium and its citizens, the Imperial Hellhounds have grown to show disgust and hatred for the religious elements. The Ecclesiarchy is one of the greatest failures of mankind in the eyes of many within the chapter. Not only does it mock the Imperial truth and Emperor’s goals, but it serves as a slap to the face for the space marines that died in the Great Crusade. The Chapter also shows great disdain for the Black Templars, and any space marine chapter believing that the Emperor is a god. Only in very dire circumstances will the chapter serve with the religious zealots of the Imperium. Combat Doctrine
Imperial Hellhounds hold a more aggressive and offensive doctrine of combat. The chapter emphasizes the need for close quarters combat, believing it to be faster and more effective than from shooting from afar. Chain blades of any type, power weapons, tools, small blades, and even fist are used. Some space marines have been seen with small claws on their finger plating. Long range combat isn’t completely disregarded however. For example, if a fortification is under siege, the Hellhounds will use long range weaponry to attack from afar until they are within suitable parameters for close quarters combat. Librarians will often lead packs of assault space marines into battle to maximize psychic power and strength of the units led. These librarians have also been seen summoning black dogs covered in flames. Tactical squads are utilized in a more aggressive manner than defensive. Tactical squads may often accompany terminators and assault marines to provide additional firing support and flexibility. The one unit that can sometimes be seen leading space marines into battle is the dreadnought. In battle, dreadnoughts can be heard blowing the sounds of horns and roaring through vox speakers. In combat, the Imperial Hellhounds often fight with growls or snarls. Accounts from some Hellhounds say that their weapons speak for them in combat. Acting as a voice or call to battle. Enemies in battle against these marines report hearing screaming and snarling in their heads. This is a commonly utilized tactic that librarians use to scare the enemy into either ending their lives, or giving up. Though the chapter bases their doctrine on aggression, they may perform guard duties on certain death worlds or sectors of space that experience greater risks of chaos corruption or influence.
submitted by AngryHellhound
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2023.06.05 22:43 Frostdraken Aberration -Part 7-
Amid a galaxy of brutal chaos there are stories to be told, tales of valor and justice, of fear and despair. But amid these stories are the guttering flames of adventures untold, the potential for a universe of entertainment and savage joyous fun. The Oblivion Cycle embodies just this kind of crafted chaos, creating the potential for creative exploits and raucous tales. If you are new to the TOC setting feel free to join the community at TheOblivionCycle
to check out some of the background lore or to discuss themes with other readers. I thank you all for your support and continued willingness to read, as always, Please Enjoy!
+ Part 1
+ Next +
_____________________________________ Continued From Part 6
Dr. Abernathy threw up her hands in frustration again as the infuriatingly smug cyborg in front of her gave yet another counter explanation as to his actions.
“I’m just saying, I had the opportunity to test the system, aren't you happy that we found my breaking limit? I mean, what if I need to jump to save myself in the future, now I know how high is too high.” Abel explained, immobile on his charging platform.
Dr. Abernathy shook her large furred head and huffed “No, I am not happy. You destroyed valuable equipment for a stupid reason. And yes I am glad you are okay, but I can’t just slap a new pair of legs on you whenever I feel like it. They need to be precisely calibrated and attuned to your individual nervous system.”
Abel looked a little taken aback “But, that's the point of cybernetics right, that they are replaceable?”
“Replaceable yes, but you are more than simple cybernetics. Your limbs are more like mechanical reproductions of your preexisting limbs. More like mechanical bionics than true cybernetics, truly one of a kind. And so, much more difficult to replace.” She said with a sad headshake.
At the corner of the room another voice interrupted “So, you can fix him though right doctor?”
She turned and saw the slim nerivith man sitting at one of her workstations. It was Abel’s new partner, what was his name? Bittu, she mused idly. He was partially responsible for this disaster. “And you, you should have stopped him from doing something so moronic. Don’t think you are getting out of here without a lecture either.”
Bittu ducked his head and raised a submissive hand before attempting to hide behind her consoles again.
She sighed heavily and turned back to Abel. His legs had been entirely removed and his movements once more inhibited so he wouldn't injure himself further. “I have been doing some testing after this incident with new models. I think I might have found a way to strengthen your leg joints to withstand that kind of pressure.” she held up a hand before he could speak. “Note, I am not authorizing more of your moronic behavior, but I will try to prevent such catastrophic failure of your hardware if such an event were to occur again.”
Abel smiled at her widely. “Why thank you Dr. Abby, I sure do appreciate it.”
She shook her head and looked back at the pink skinned man trying to disappear into the corner of the room. Gesturing towards Officer Xeem she said “You, come over here.”
Bittu stood jerkilly, the pink nerivith’s sinuous tail twitching in consternation. Nevertheless the man did approach and stop a couple meters from where she was working on Abel.
“Yes doctor?” he asked her. His face looked like that of a chastised child in her eyes.
She made a point of saying nothing for another few seconds and smiled inwardly as the man’s long tufted tail betrayed his nerves. Finally she spoke “Abel is a very valuable and expensive asset to this station and indeed this whole city. I want you to assure me you will treat them with the utmost respect.” the man nodded and she added “That also means keeping an eye on him as he is prone to do very illogical things in the name of proving a point.”
Bittu smiled slightly and looked up at her much taller form “Yes ma’am. I have started to notice that.”
Abel spoke up next “Hey, I’m right here next to you guys you know? I can take care of myself.” the cybernetic human said a little petulantly.
She shook her great furred head. “No, you can’t. You have proven that on multiple occasions. That’s the reason we had to stick you with a partner in the first place. If you can't take care of yourself we may have to reassign your partners to someone more suited to keeping you in one piece.” she threatened. Part of her hurt to say such harsh things to the otherwise sweet man, but it needed to be said and she had never been accused of holding back the truth before.
Abel looked a bit taken aback by the comment. “I won't be... But you can’t do that. I have a job to do, I am a part of the system. You can’t just pull me out of it whenever it suits you.”
She stopped him with an upraised hand, her datapad held low to her side as she tried to reassure him “Not me Abel. The ones I work for, you know that I'm just as much a pawn here as you are.” she glanced at the nerivith man still standing a little ways away. “Like we all are.”
Bittu raised a hand and asked “Wait, I’m not a part of this.”
Abel frowned, his head immobile and unable to move. “No, she’s right Bittu. You are a part of this now whether you like it or not. It’s too late, Tegu must have known. Why you Bittu? Why out of everyone in the precinct did you get chosen?” she heard him ask the man.
It was a good point, the two of them seemed to work together well yes, but not enough so to justify special treatment. She found herself staring at Bittu in curiosity.
He looked like he had just been asked what kind of death he would prefer, his face a mix of doubt and confusion. “I.. don’t know? I was a senior officer not on special assignment and in need of a partner.”
Abel said “Well, it doesn't matter. We are partner’s, and I won't abandon my duty Abby.” he said, his casual use of her name sparking a little tingle of delight in her mind. She suppressed it.
Tinkering with the machine she finished up on his repairs and said “Ok, these repairs will hold for general operations, but please, no jumping out of buildings or such nonsense. Once we get my new designs installed you will be better able to fulfill your strange heroic fantasies, but until then take it easy ok Abel?”
Abel smiled at her as she unlocked his body. He stepped down from the recharge station and flexed his legs. He nearly stumbled and she had to catch him to prevent him falling on his face.
“Whoa! These new legs are a little different than the other ones.” He leaned on her lower torso for support and her mind went a little wild with imagined ideas, which she once more quickly suppressed. By the Five what was happening to her. She was acting as if there was any chance of a relationship between them.
Shaking her head slightly to clear it she helped Abel to his feet and used her datapad to check for calibration issues. To her dismay there didn’t seem to be any, she cocked her head and frowned. Her ears twitched as she tried to understand what had caused him to stumble then.
Abel stood and pretended to dust himself off and said ‘Well, uh, I think it's working now. I seem to be doing fine now, must have just been temporary paralysis.”
She frowned again, strange. Bittu piped up “Oh that’s good. We can get back to work now.”
Abel smiled and grabbed his helmet before turning to her and saluting “I thank you again fair lady. I’ll try not to break these ones.”
She found herself smiling, his demeanor always making her feel a little better about the whole situation. At least he didn’t seem to be suffering. She gave him a wave as they exited the door, a little sad that she hadn’t thought of anything witty to say. Nevermind all that, she had a lot of work to get done if she was going to provide the man with improved legs.
Abel was suffering. Internally his mind was shattered by the phantom pain and the lack of true sensation. The terrible effects of the deadly condition known as the hollow trying to break his mind. He looked at the lanky alien walking next to him and latched onto his duty to him. Bittu needed him, he couldn't succumb to the pain when there were people on this world that still needed his help. Help that only he could provide.
Bittu glanced at him and frowned “Hey are you okay Abel? Those new legs of yours sure are neat. I wonder if I could get something similar done.” the man joked.
Abel blurted out “No!” He stopped in his tracks as he uttered the word, Bittu treaded a few more steps before stopping and turning to look at him.
“Hmm? What’s the big deal, I was just messing around Abel. Are you sure you are okay?” the nerivith man said a bit anxiously, his arms raised in a questioning manner.
Abel nodded stiffly and said “I am well enough to get back to work Bittu, I am.” He added as the other man looked ready to disagree.
Bittu shrugged and continued walking, Abel falling in by the smaller man’s side. “Well Mr. Look at me I'm so tough, we are not heading back out on patrol. Now before you ask why, it’s because we have a friend waiting for us in interrogation. Usually I like to get to them quick, hit the iron while it’s hot you know?” The man said rhetorically.
Abel said “But I'm guessing you were waiting for me to get put back together. I apologize again for the inconvenience.” he said a little dejectedly.
Bittu slapped him on the shoulder and then winced as his alloy armour must have hurt the man’s hand. “I, no. It’s perfectly fine buddy. We are just letting the fucker stew a bit, by the time we get there he will be sweating bullets. Nothing good ever comes from a long pre-interrogation wait. It usually means we have a lot of shit on you.”
Abel nodded and said “I guess that makes sense. What do we have on them?”
Bittu dodged a blood splattered Havoc trooper and shook his fist at the power armoured figure who didn’t even seem to notice. “Fuckin prick… Lords I hate those guys. They think they are so superior. Bah, anyways, your question… Right! Well, to be completely honest not very much. We know his name and checked it against his gene profile. His list of known associates is shorter than my love life.” he said with a chuckle.
Abel cocked his head and asked “So, we don't have anything on him but assault and the attempted murder of a police officer?”
Bittu sighed and said “Well, technically we don’t even have that. You knocked him out before he ever fired off a shot, so all we have is a single case of breaking and entering and assault and battery charges. Not enough to burn him, barely even enough to hold him for interrogation.” the man grumbled.
They turned a corner and were suddenly in a different part of the station. The walls were armour plated and lined with heavy metal doors. Cameras were present along every flat stretch of wall and several armed officers patrolled the hall, looking a little bored.
It was one of the interrogation blocks of the Hollow Pass precinct. Abel looked through several of the doors as they passed but saw nothing. The doors were airlocked to minimize chances of prisoner escape and the rooms were adjoining so the prisoners were totally isolated from the outside. That combined with one-way glazmite mirrors and it was futile to try and guess as to their occupants.
Bittu led them past another dozen rooms before stopping at one labeled as interrogation room twenty four, block sixteen. Following the nerivith man inside they entered into a small side chamber that had two doors. One said interrogation and the other was labeled observation.
Bittu motioned for him to take the observation booth and he did so, opening the door and entering the small dark room. Inside were a few chairs and table as well as an entire wall of recording equipment. Abel didn't bother with the equipment, he was as good a recorder as the machines were, maybe better as he could understand inflection and test to see if they were lying via their biometrics.
He sat at one of the folding metal chairs and it creaked ominously. Ignoring the chair’s dire warning he directed his attention to the one way glazmite mirror. Inside a small white room with his hands cuffed to the table was Thaee. The diminutive swanith man looked a little worse for wear. His chin was stained light green with dried blood and his feathers were in need of a preening session, dirty and rumpled as they were.
The man looked up sharply as Bittu walked in, the door closing with a heavy thud behind him. Thaee made a low warbling sound of discomfort as Bittu stood directly across from him. Bittu had been carrying a folder of mostly blank papers that he dropped flat onto the surface of the table with a loud slap causing the shackled avian man to jump.
Bittu then pulled out his chair and sat, taking time to adjust his uniform and hair as if he had all the time in the world. All the while Thaee was getting more and more nervous, his golden eyes flicking to the folder over and over, likely wondering what information it contained.
Now to be fair Bittu had managed to dig up some information on the man while Abel had been getting his repairs done. It wasn't much but if Bittu played the cards right he might just be able to leverage the rest out of the man without him even realizing he was giving them new information.
Bittu sat up straight and then started to stare at the nervous criminal, Thaee getting more and more jittery as the seconds passed by. Finally Bittu reached for the folder and dragged it to him.
Thaee burst out suddenly “I didn’t do anything man, you have no right to hold me here!”
Bittu raised a single eyebrow and said nothing, instead just opening the folder in such a manner that the other man couldn't see its contents. He flipped through a few of the random pages as if he was looking over some complex dossier on the man.
Thaee again said “You have nothing against me, you can’t hold me like this. I want a lawyer.”
Bittu nodded and said “Alright then, we will get you a lawyer. But as you were apprehended at an active crime scene and we have all the evidence we need to put you away it won't do you any good. All it’s going to do is drain your bank account and leave you destitute in prison.” he said with a certain amount of grim confidence.
Thaee looked around and said “Hey, you didn’t read me my rights! What kind of place are you running here?”
Bittu checked his chest and said “Oh shit, what do you know, my bodycam seems to have malfunctioned. And so has our recording equipment? Oh bummer, well, that's just a terrible thing now isn't it… Friend.” the nerivith said menacingly.
The swanith scrunched inwards, trying to make themselves look small and pitiful. It didn't work.
Instead Bittu asked “So, are you listening? Because this is how it is going to be. I tell you a name and you confirm the information I have or it's going to get bad for you. You lie to me and I might have to bring in my associate.” Bittu said, jerking his head towards the two way glazmite Abel was sitting behind.
It was at that exact moment that the chair Abel had chosen decided to give up the ghost and collapsed, dumping him straight on his armoured ass. The thud must have made it into the interrogation room as the swanith man jerked in terror and exclaimed.
“That thing is here? Is it watching?” Thaee tried to pull away but was held fast by their handcuffs.
Bittu frowned slightly but continued on saying “So I will do you this favor. You were read your rights when you were brought into the precinct, I am not required to read them to you again as I was your arresting officer. Between the two of us, I don’t give a fuck about you. I could cut you loose onto the street with a probation if you do the right thing here. And that is to tell me what I want to confirm.” Bittu said, manipulating the man's fears to pry the information they sought out of him.
Thaee nodded and said “But if I talk then I am going to have a target on my back.”
“And what if you were to be thrown in prison with the rumor that you spilled your guts to us huh? How long do you think you would last in that situation? At least I'm giving you even odds of a comfortable existence.” Bittu said with a shrug. “Enough chit-chat. Tell me about Mr. Zaplin. What was the point of the hit?”
Abel had stood and moved closer to the window to get a better view, the remains of his previous seat scattered about behind him.
Thaee paused and then spoke slowly. “I don’t know him. But that wasn't important for the job. I was hired.. to do a job and that's all. We were just supposed to shake the man and get the money. But…” he trailed off.
Bittu picked up, closing the folder and saying “But, he couldn't pay. And so you and the boys roughed him up as a warning. But it looks like your friend Craig was a little too rough. Yeah, I saw the claw marks on the man's face. Pretty brutal by the looks of it.”
The small feathered alien winced, clearly not liking the memory either. “I wasn't responsible for any of that. I was not part of the.. of the roughing.”
Bittu tsked and asked “Do you have any proof of your noninvolvement? He is pressing charges, and they are currently all directed at you. Two counts of first degree assault with a deadly weapon, breaking and entering, a battery charge. Harsh to be sure, a minimum of six years in the vault. An upstanding citizen like yourself, adding the kidnapping and harm to a minor charges on top of that? Oh man, looking more like thirty to life.”
Bittu smiled as the man spouted “It wasn't me though, that was all Craig and Hobbes! They are the sadistic ones that like to hurt people, I’m only there to manage contacts!” the man cried out, his voice filled with terror at the thought of life in maximum security lockup.
Abel smirked, Bittu had the man exactly where he wanted him. He was nearly ready to break.
His partner stood and paced in front of the mirror for a minute before putting his hand to his ear as if he were listening to someone speak. Casting a slight glance at the mirror he said “Well, It looks like you haven't convinced them. You are going to have to be more specific.”
“Specific about what?” The man asked in dread.
Bittu sat back down slowly and opened the dummy folder once again. “Well, to start, why not tell me the whole truth about why you were at the apartment? You were there to rough up Mr. Zaplin sure, but what about his daughter?”
Thaee looked around the room and shook his head “That was entirely Hobbes’ idea, I had nothing to do with that!”
Bittu nodded and said “Yes I know. It was your own opinion that the girl should have been iced. Is that correct?”
The swanith warbled in shock, their beak hanging open and their inner pharyngeal jaws opening and closing soundlessly as they tried to come up with a response. Instead Bittu spoke up, looking at the folder and flipping a few pages before he said “It seems that your exact words were, and I quote. ‘Why did we have to keep this little shit alive again?’ Am I correct in assuming that you meant to cause the infant great bodily harm or even death?”
The prisoner spluttered, the sound strangely muted as their vocal cords struggled with the sound. “I would, never have. No, I wouldn't have done it!” the man cried out. “I was just tired of doing all of his dirty work.”
“Oorin Jr’s dirty work I assume?” Bittu said, causing the small avian man to freeze. “I thought so, that confirms our interior contact’s data.” he lied.
Thaee looked utterly defeated, his head slumped and his expression feathers limp. He grumbled something under his breath that Abel couldn't hear, but Bittu seemed to hear fine as he replied “Yes you likely are. So the way I see it you have only two options. You tell us everything you know and I get you an informant's pardon. Or I dump you in the vault with a target on your back. Which sounds like your best odds? And I warn you, I will not make this offer again.” Bittu leaned back in his chair as he finished talking, his hands folded neatly on the table and the folder closed under them.
Thaee seemed to struggle with immense inner turmoil before he relented. “Alright, I will loose the nids, you gotta protect me though. Oorin is crazy, he has contacts in this department…” Bittu jerked slightly in surprise but the man didn't seem to notice or care as he kept right on talking “..and they feed him a constant stream of alerts. You two weren't supposed to be there, that's the only reason you caught us. The closest officers we knew about wouldn't have made it to the building in time to stop us. Just my dumb luck.” the man chirped in despair.
Bittu cocked his head and said “These police contacts, I assume you have no information on them?”
Thaee sat up straight and said angrily “I said I would tell you everything I knew. I may be a criminal but I'm not a liar.”
Bittu put up his hands apologetically and said “My apologies. I wasn't meaning to impinge your honesty. But I needed to ask. Please continue.”
Thaee’s short white expression feathers fluttered in consternation but he spoke steadily “Well, it started with Oorin contacting Hobbes and asking for us to do some of his dirty work. I wasn't for it, we had always stuck to a few rules before that. No murder, no hurting innocents, but Hobbes wanted more money. And he didn't exactly care how he got it. Craig wasn't for or against it at first, but as the jobs got more violent he started to develop a taste for the violence. That's not what we used to stand for, but who am I to make the decisions. I'm just little Thaee, small and weak, not worthy of giving the great Hobbes advice.” The man spat, fluttering his wings. His graspers were still cuffed and so he sighed.
“But what about Oorin, if we can connect this to him…” Bittu began but Thaee stopped him.
“You know, I have no reason to protect a brutish dancer like you.” The swanith’s casual use of the slur made Bittu bristle slightly, the man's tufted tail lashing in suppressed anger. “But I can tell that you aren’t a dirty cop on Oorin’s payroll. You seem to want to protect people, and I do respect that for what it's worth.” Abel heard the man say quietly.
Abel was tempted to enter the room but he trusted his partner’s judgment. Bittu would call for him if he was needed, as of the moment it seemed that he was doing just fine on his own however.
Thaee added “It has something to do with new shipments of something, that's what I picked up on. But I never figured out what Oorin was so bent on moving.”
Bittu stood and began to pace again, the movement seeming to clear his thoughts. “Why would Oorin go through so much trouble to protect the docks though?” he wondered aloud.
Abel thought about it. Oorin was in charge of transportation, that meant he was likely not the end of the supply chain. He must be moving illegal products and getting it from somewhere else. That was the only thing that made sense to him.
Bittu looked at the man and said “Hold on a minute. I’ll be right back.”
Thaee lifted their shackled wings and said “Where could I possibly go?”
Bittu didn't answer, instead he left the room and after a moment Abel saw him enter into the observation room. Bittu stopped and looked around “Had a disagreement with the furniture huh?”
Abel glanced at the remains of the poor chair he had crushed and answered “Yeah, I should have expected that outcome. I decided that standing isn't so hard with mechanical limbs.”
Bittu walked over to the small plasteel table and leaned on it, his face unreadable. As he opened his mouth to speak Abel’s internal comm’s buzzed and he held up a hand. “Getting a communication.” he frowned as he saw the content of the message. “I’m getting a general warning that Thaee is no longer in our jurisdiction. That can’t be right though.”
Bittu looked around and stood, his hand flying to his sidearm as his stress levels soared. “What! What do you mean?”
Abel frowned again “We have been ordered to cease all interrogations activities and relinquish control of the prisoner to… What the fuck?”
“To who? What are the orders?” Bittu asked seriously.
Abel looked at him and said shakily “We are to hand the prisoner over to Zeirworks security personnel, but, those are the people who made me.” Abel said in distress.
Bittu looked at him with a similar expression of shock. “That’s not good, something is definitely wrong here…” the man said as Abel nodded, looking at their unfortunate prisoner through the one way glazmite mirror. End of Part 7
==End of Transmission==
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2023.06.05 15:53 katarr Played a Test Game of 10th over the weekend
Don't know if there's any interest in this, but I played a test game of 10th over the weekend against a Death Guard player using a bunch of the datasheets we got last week. We just used 9th edition points, so we knew it was likely to be unbalanced, but we just wanted to test drive the rules and get a feel for the new stuff.
- 10x Guardian Defenders w/ Missile Launcher
- 10x Guardian Defenders w/ Starcannon (w/ attached Farseer [we just assumed he could attach to Guardians])
- 10x Dire Avengers w/ Asurman
- War Walker w/ Bright Lance x2
- 5x Rangers
- 5x Striking Scorpions w/ Exarch with Scorpion's Claw
- Warp Spiders w/ Exarch with Double Webspinners and Powerblades
- 10x Plague Marines w/ attached Tallyman and Plague Surgeon
- 5x Deathshroud Terminatos w/ attached Lord of Virulence
- 3x Myphitic Blight-Haulers
- The game felt good. Felt like there will be more play-counterplay, and even though all the rules were "new", most of it was still familiar so it all mostly flowed well.
- Feels like it will play faster than 9th once you've got several games under your belt and don't have to be referencing the datasheets as much. Each unit basically having one "thing" that it does made the mental load smaller.
- The USRs on weapons made announcing what you were doing easy - saying something like "5s to wound, devastating" was quick and understandable.
- I definitely forgot stuff - there's still plenty going on, that's for sure, but it really does seem do live up to the "simplified, not simple" mantra they're been repeating.
- The new universal stratagems are great - Heroic Intervention is going to be a thing.
- We didn't use the army-specific strats, since he didn't have his revealed yet.
- At one point a Guardian squad got charged by the Terminators, and I heroically intervened with Asurman and his Dire Avengers. He then charged with his Blight Haulers, and tank shocked the Dire Avengers. It was awesome.
If anyone has questions about individual units or more specific details, I'm happy to answer them.
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2023.06.05 12:00 WaveOfWire One Hell Of A Vacation - Chapter 88
First Prev Next Royal Road Patreon u/KieveKRS
providing the Trash certification of quality!
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The maw of the moss-wolf chomped down on the treat, its partner patiently waiting its turn, an eye trained on the Human providing the sustenance. Joseph reached into the pouch, counting out what he had left and mentally setting a few aside for the raven-like birds that Scarlet had trained to bother him.
Well, ‘bother’ might be a strong word. They would whistle at him and wait for food. Upon getting their hard sought quarry, they would return to share it with the rest. Surprisingly cooperative, all things considered. Scarlet had apparently been getting them to associate certain short melodies with members of the pack, allowing her to send the avians after whoever she wanted for more snacks.
If they didn’t get any, then they would yell something not dissimilar to a caw until either food was procured, or they grew bored. Given that they had taken to humouring Violet in her attempts to be a mobile perch, that usually took a while.
It drove Nalah nuts, which seemed to be part of the reason the blond-furred female was included in the ritual at all. Harrow was apparently the favourite target of the nuisance when she was outside the base, but he couldn’t say why.
The tell-tale scratching had been somewhat muted since the shift in medium, but Violet’s writing was always something he kept an ear out for, his daughter presenting her tablet excitedly. [It blinked!]
He turned his head to the cow-looking thing, the unwavering stare held until he gave up. “I swear you guys are just messing with me.”
“Or we merely enjoy your suffering,” Sahari suggested with a smirk, the black-furred female standing taller than him for a moment as she stretched her legs out. Settling into a height that was level with him, she attempted to offer the wolves food. Receiving a fearful retreat instead, the black-furred female frowned, the two canines shifting in their enclosure to be closer to Joseph and Violet. “They still seem to distrust any but yourselves.”
He shrugged, taking the scrap from her and giving it to the young Atmo to pass along, her chittering laugh when the wolves accepted the morsel breaking the soft sound of trickling rain outside the barn. “Faye was the one who started this. I guess they treat her like an alpha of sorts, and seeing her bow to the two of us so often told them that she’s lower on the pole. That’s my guess, anyway.”
“That is….rather intelligent of them, if so,” Sahari commented pensively.
The Grand Hunter tipped his head in agreement. If anything, it was an understatement. The six-legged canines were remarkably receptive to taming, though he couldn’t say how much of that was due to Faye taking to his suggestion so seriously. He had only offered it as a passing thought, but she had set to it like their god had mandated it.
He fought back a sigh at the reminder of his placement in the whole thing, his foot kicking the ground to adjust the new sandals he was wearing until Pan finished proper shoes.
One day, he was a divorcee flirting with random women on a cruise ship so that the rejection validated his own self-esteem issues. The next, he was a guy in charge of a settlement nearing one hundred people and had become a manifestation of religion condensed into the form of some random moron.
He snorted at a morbid thought. How would Emma react to his ‘rise to fame?’ His acquisition of more than they had ever thought for themselves back on Earth?
Owning a territory? They could only manage a nice apartment that could fit several times over inside the base. Friends? Hell, he had a group of people who have helped him through some of the worst the planet had to offer. Kids...well, nothing could replace Violet. He doubted Emma would see it the same way, though.
A paw enclosed his shoulder, dragging his mind from more sombre thoughts. It had been quite a while since everything fell through and he had moved on, but it still stung every now and again.
“What ails your mind, Joseph?” Sahari asked with a concerned inflection. He looked over at her, a smile becoming easier after a moment.
“Just wondering how my ex-wife would react to seeing what I’ve turned into. What she’d say to all of this,” he admitted honestly with a wide gesture to everything. She patted his back, a small pride in her gaze.
“You continue to heal, Grand Hunter, but you are still scarred. Your previous mate would curse her decisions were she to see what you have accomplished.”
He snorted, a wide dry grin breaking out. “I’d love to see her face going back with two alien wives and this sweetheart as a daughter,” he teased, giving Violet a thorough rub on the head. She purred, chittering between breaths as she fought off the rough affection playfully while keeping her blades tucked for safety.
The black-furred female tilted her head and shifted her weight to her other foot. “You’ve mentioned that there is a specific procedure for binding the lives of your people, no?”
He blinked, his mind flickering to the two rings he had prepared, yet held some modicum of expectation around before he whipped them out. Not least of all was the foreign sensation of doing it again twice
, nor finding an appropriate time to do it. It was hard to pick a picturesque moment when each day was paperwork, punching people in the face during spars, and orchestrating the well-being of such a large group. Given that the closest thing he could get to a romantic occasion was laying down on the grass while Nalah barked orders at the construction crews in the distance, he didn’t feel like it was ever a good time to ask. It was even harder picturing himself doing it to the two of them, as if it cheapened the gesture in some way.
Then there was the part of himself that feared rejection—as stupid as it sounded. They could deny the alien practice, not share the same sentiment, or any number of disagreements that would render him kneeling like an idiot. As unlikely as it was, it could even be too great a commitment for them, the implication of their entire lives being pledged solely to him being a crushing weight, rather than a promise of mutual loving dedication.
they were speaking as if it was the case, but the circumstances as they were lent themselves to it being a product of necessity. Who was to say that it would remain the same once they got off this rock and—hopefully—in touch with their own people again. Would they still feel the same way with an entire species back on the table as possible romantic partners? Would he still be enough?
“Joseph,” Sahari called out with worry and irritation in equal parts. “You are making me anxious.”
“Hm? Oh, sorry,” he apologized sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck as he was reminded that more than one person could be afflicted by his emotional state. She placed a paw to her hip.
“Are the proceedings really such a means for strife?”
“Ah, no, it’s just…” He averted his eyes, offering Violet a token smile when she seemed to be concerned about him. He inhaled deeply. “It’s just…I have reservations about it.”
She raised a brow. “I need not a bond to know you care for them deeply enough to toss your life to the Void for them.”
His weak smile faltered further. “Well, yeah. They mean everything to me, but I cant help but remember how things went last time, I guess. There’s a million and one ways it could go up in smoke, and I…” He fell quiet for a moment, Violet pressing herself into his side in an attempt to cheer him up. He rested a hand against her back, the texture comforting in a way. “I want it to be an important moment in our lives, rather than some disposable token that they accept without thinking much. It’s not like they’re swimming in potential romantic partners here, so it feels like they’d be agreeing for lack of options.”
She stared at him with a hesitant expression, her cheek pinched between her teeth and eyes narrowed in thought. “Pan would sooner end her own life than be separated from you, and Tel would end any who so much as suggested such,” she stated finally. “To you, the mark upon your flesh is but a sting that fades. To them, it is their declaration that they have found their reason to live. A declaration that is shown to all others of our people the moment they draw near. Though Pan lacks the means to impart her own, she is rather pleased that another is able to in her stead and treats it as her own for all intents.”
She grabbed him roughly by the arm, pulling him into her breast as she stood to her full height, a surprised yelp stifled by soft clothing and fur.
“Unfortunately for you, openly voiced or not, we all feel as such. Though you bear not the mark of everyone in the den, I assure you that to be removed from you would leave us lesser, regardless of bond.”
He shut his mouth at the last addition. There was a weight behind knowing that people were likely to simply give up
on living if you were away for too long. It put the relationship in front of a loaded gun for both parties. They couldn’t afford to break it off from him because existing would become a living hell, and he couldn’t change his mind for any reason because it would be the same as killing them.
What kind of marriage was one built upon such fragile pillars? How could they be happy when every fight was tempered by the threat of the end of everything? What about Sahari? Could she ever pursue her own life with Nalah when she had the bond shackling her to him? How long until that became a stinging poison, rotting away the veins and arteries of her psyche? How long until death became preferable to being around him?
A strong impact to his stomach winded him, though the unnoticed hyperventilating left him little to eject as he fell to his knees. Violet clicked in surprise, the wolves backing away at the unexpected violence.
He coughed, sputtering spittle as he fought the urge to evacuate his breakfast. A pained glance up revealed Sahari still clutching a fist, her expression just as hurt.
“You hear my words and twist them, Joseph,” she chastised softly, crouching to look at him better. “We pledged our lives to you. Not because we had no choice, but because we believed you to be our future. From that moment on, our desire was to remain with you.” Her voice grew weak, almost pleading. She placed her forehead to his, the contact an intimate touch. “Your experiences may suggest our bond a prison, but for us, it is an ambrosia for our soul. It completes us like no equal. Jax and Harrow care for you immensely, Nalah and myself owe you everything that we are, and your mates will fight the Hunt Mother herself if it would mean even one more sun with you.”
He found himself speechless, wading through the emotions behind her words a syllable at a time. The feeling of Violet pressing into his back in an embrace stung as much as soothed, his mind rejecting the idea, yet so desperate to accept it.
“Do not desecrate our affections because you had been scorned by one who did not see within you that which we covet,” she implored sombrely, raw emotion oozing through the confines of speech. “Though you doubt it, none would know how much value you place in the ‘mark’ of your people more than your mates. If merely thinking about the unlikely event that they refuse tortures you so deeply, than the elation they would share with you when they agree would likely see Pan unable to contain herself for many suns after.”
He stayed on his knees, the warmth surrounding him from both sides seeping within and thawing the frozen excuses he held onto to prevent exposing himself to potential rejection. Every step of the way since he had met them, it had made him fearful of losing their company. At first, the thought of being left alone to brave the planet was too much to bear, but he would try. Now? Now he felt like he understood where the minds of those bonded Lilhuns had been. Even considering being away from his new loved ones pulled at a primal part of himself, each tug stronger than the last, each suggestion fanning the flames barricaded behind morals—the depths he would trudge to see it never come to pass.
Sahari nuzzled into his neck for a moment before parting, a somewhat satisfied smile given towards the emotionally fragile Human they had taken to depending on. He returned his own, though it was tinted with a bit of embarrassment.
Violet stepped back to allow him room to stand, the extended joint of her blade asking to be held like he did with her adoptive mother. His expression softening, he did as requested, lightly rubbing the smooth surface with his thumb. It soothed a part of him to be holding his daughter’s ‘hand’ while they watched the wolves slowly approach the front of their enclosure again, now that the momentary intensity had faded.
With a self-deprecating roll of his eyes, he nodded, promising himself to follow through with his small wish the next time the chance revealed itself. It didn’t need to be perfect, but it would be nice if it was at least private. The dull ache in his stomach would be a reminder not to second guess himself anyway.
The wolves yipped, ignoring Sahari as they moved towards the other corner. Joseph glanced at where they were focused, his curious gaze replaced by surprise, then shock.
Raine supported Faye over her shoulder, the deep gold-furred female’s breath short as she rested her weight over her brown-furred counterpart, their black leather coats dripping water onto the floor as it wrapped tightly around them, concealing their armour. A steady trickle of blood flowed from a long gash on Faye’s leg, her free arm clutching across her breast to keep her coat closed.
Without waiting for either to speak, he ran to pick up the Wraith, slinging her across his shoulders and tearing off to the base. He could barely hear Sahari over the rain and his own blood pounding through his ears, his heart hammering in his chest. Though they had established something of a clinic for minor injuries that were sustained constantly, his singular focus was getting Faye into the medbay.
Pack members cleared the way, some jumping to the side as he barrelled through the sparsely populated routes between home and workplace. More than one tripped over themselves in shock, the Human never having a reason to go at a full sprint before. He was slower than a Lilhun like this, but he could make it the full distance before them. He didn’t need to slow down.
Harrow pushed open the doors to the hub, her distant expression as she examined thin ironwood tablets perking, his rapid heavy footfalls telling of his arrival before she had the chance to see him. Her eyes lit up, her brows furrowed, and a hurried pull of the door kept it open for him, all in sequence. He didn’t have the spare breath to explain or thank her.
The orange-furred female bolted across the hub, slamming into the crash-bar installed into the facilities wing entrance to force it open, only barely outpacing the Grand Hunter in his rush. She staggered to her feet behind him, rushing to collect herself and assisting in tearing the pants off of the injured female when Joseph laid her on the bed.
Modesty being the least of his concerns, he braced an arm across her pelvis to stop her hips from bucking as Harrow wiped off any dried blood to see the extent of the damage on her thigh.
He tightened his hold on Faye as his friend tentatively spread the wound to check for debris. “Don’t know. Didn’t ask. Saw her bleeding, rushed her here,” he answered through deep breaths, each strike of his adrenaline-fuelled heart pressing against his lung capacity.
Harrow frowned, grabbing some sterile water to pour over the wound and picking out a stray splinter of wood that looked to be from her missing leg armour. Faye let out a small whine, but didn’t have it in her to talk yet, signs of exhaustion and pain unfocusing her eyes.
The Head of Technology—and current medical expert in the room—pursed her lips against her muzzle. “We need to stitch it. It’s too big for just healroot.”
Joseph nodded, easing his weight off the Wraith and wiping his sweat from his brow. “Pan!”
Noticing the urgency in his voice, he could hear her throw the door to the sewing room wide open and jog to the medbay, her wide eyes steeling as she assessed the situation.
“Idee with you?”
She nodded, ears turned perfectly towards him.
“One of you boil off some palm string, the other sterilize the thinnest quill you can get away stitching a wound closed with. I don’t care who, but we need one of you to close this up.” He glanced at Harrow. “Grab some alcohol. I keep a bit in the closet in my room, next to the old crossbow prototypes. We need to flush this out and kill off anything that might have gotten in.”
The orange-furred female tipped an ear in confusion as Pan took off to do as he asked. “I thought you didn’t have medical-”
“I’ve been around enough workplace injuries, okay? Go
His shout jolted her into action, a few steps required to gain traction as she ran out the door. Applying solid pressure to the wound with one hand, he used the other to lightly tap Faye’s cheek.
“Faye? Faye, you with me?”
Her eyes languidly turned to him, slow blinks and meaningless mouthing ceased, a soft smile forming under her pained expression. “Hello, sir.”
He exhaled a relieved huff. “Welcome home, Faye. What happened?”
She seemed confused by his question, glancing down to her leg after a few seconds. With widened eyes, she struggled to sit up, Joseph forcibly pressing her to the bed.
All resistance disappeared in an instant, her body complying despite the obvious urgency. He hardened his expression.
She breathed deeper a few times before speaking. Each word was hesitant, as if the memory was hazy and diluted, though he couldn’t tell if it was due to blood loss or exhaustion. “A large grey beast…teeth, large mouth...attacked wolves...”
His brow knitted, Faye’s coat moving. A small whine came from her again…no. Not her.
A small yellow canine head freed itself from the confines of black leather, a weak keening produced from a tiny moss-wolf. Faye looked at him guiltily, a pleading look in her eyes given as she composed herself.
“It lost its parents…”
His protest died in his voice, a distant memory of a wolf being torn in two came to mind. The time before they had even moved to the pod, let alone met the Lilhuns, him and Violet checking snares shortly after his ankle had healed. A time so long ago, yet remained with him under the surface.
“You saved this little guy, huh?” he asked gently, wincing in tandem with her own when he leaned heavier on the massive gash in her thigh. She nodded, averting her eyes. “Did you get the ‘beast?’”
Faye shook her head. “Raine lured it away, but it still remains.”
“That’s fine. You’re back, that’s all that matters right now.”
Harrow bumped into the doorway, failing to shed all of her speed as she returned from fetching a smaller container that Joseph kept in case the rest of the pack burned through their stores of alcohol. Her eyes flicked to the wolf pup before disregarding it to hand him the ethanol. He lifted his hand, Harrow pouring some water to wash off the blood. Volta would be busy later, it seemed.
Gesturing for the orange-furred female to hold the leg down, he poured the alcohol into the wound, grimacing at Faye’s pained gasp. They didn’t have anything for her to bite into, but that would be a future consideration.
Pan and Idee entered the medbay, the former moving like a machine with purpose while the visiting seamstress took a moment to size up the situation. The Paw fetched a tray from the shelf, laying out several strings of softened palm and a few thin quills, threading one and passing it to Idee. The light brown-furred female accepted it, Harrow making room as she stood next to Joseph.
Pan handed him a tough leather strip as wide as his palm. Seems like she saw the problem before he did.
“Open up,” he prodded, placing the leather between Faye’s teeth. “This is going to fucking suck. We don’t have anything to numb you, so you need to stay as still as possible, okay? I’ll be here the whole time.”
The Wraith nodded, staring at him for a moment before closing her eyes in acceptance, her grip on the pup firming.
“Want me to take the wolf?”
She lightly shook her head, him exhaling hesitantly in response. Idee readied herself, looking to him for confirmation, Pan holding Faye’s ankle flat to the bed.
“You’re good,” he responded, pressing an arm to Faye’s chest and hips to hold her down.
The deep gold-furred female managed a quiet muffled groan of pain as the quill pierced her flesh.
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He entered the hub, dropping himself on the couch and ignoring the sweat on his brow. He had only just managed to get the blood off of his hands after Idee finished, but it was still staining his clothing. Pan was off to rinse it out of her fur while Faye slept off her exhaustion. As far as they could tell, she had avoided any infection thanks to Raine half-dragging the female back to them as quickly as she did. The wolf pup was staying with her for now, since—even in her sleep—she refused to let it go. The little guy didn’t seem to be complaining, so they just left it where it was comfortable. Ferra would be by later to check it out, apparently, and he didn’t see a reason to complain; she was their animal expert.
Scarlet offered him some tea, the warm liquid whetting his pallet that had since dried. Sahari had checked on them during the process, leaving to keep anyone who had questions in the loop. Given that half the damn pack either saw or heard about the Grand Hunter running like a bat out of hell, pretty much everyone was worried. Either about some urgent threat that might befall them, or about one of the quiet servants they had grown used to seeing around.
Looked like the Wraiths had taken to offering small services and assistance to people who needed it when they didn’t have anything better to do, so the pack was curious about what had happened. It was a small blessing that the usual armour they wore when ‘on duty’ was covered by the cloaks, otherwise he would have more questions coming that he didn’t want answered.
Raine stood a few paces in front of him, her bowed posture holding a hint of fear under his unwavering stare. He waited for whoever else was going to show up for the report, Tel and Pan insisting that they be involved. Harrow followed behind the two entering from the facilities wing, either because she had gotten wrapped up in the whole thing, or because she wanted to be included.
Pan sat to his left, Tel taking a place behind him to remain standing. Harrow surprised him, her recently elusive presence firmly displaced as she dropped onto the couch to his right, her tail curling around his calf—not that she seemed to notice.
Given that both Tel and Pan trapped a limb or two with their tails regularly, he didn’t stop to put thought into it, the encapsulating appendage crossing him as a common occurrence.
“I don’t know how accurate it was, since she’s still pretty out of it, but Faye said one of those grey bear-deathtraps attacked some wolves before she stepped in to save the pup,” he opened, glancing at Scarlet. The almost black red-furred female was maintaining a surprisingly commanding presence, her attention laser-focused on Raine. The brown-furred Wraith kept her gaze fixed to the floor, too ashamed or nervous to move it.
“I apologize for her error in her stead,” she announced, the slightest of grip in her folded paws digging her claws into her skin. “The fault is also mine for not preventing her misstep. I will accept any punishment for our mistake.”
He exhaled heavily. “I’m not mad that you guys had an original thought, Raine. I’m worried about those iron-maiden-looking fucks being around again, and I’m concerned about you getting hurt.”
“Of course, sir. Forgive me for the arrogance of assuming your priorities.”
He pinched the bridge of his nose, Pan squeezing his thigh in support. Tel rested her head on his, the weight somehow comforting despite the grin at his annoyance. “We can talk about not getting yourselves killed later. Are you injured at all?”
Raine’s ear twitched. “No, sir. I am whole.”
“Good,” he sighed, nodding lightly. “That’s good. Faye’s patched up for now, but she’ll be under observation to keep on top of any possible infection. How did the ‘mission’ go?”
The Wraith perked up a bit, the conversation moving away from her perceived failure. She produced a satchel, pulling a rather thick stack of tablets from it and passing them to Scarlet, the latter ferrying them to Harrow. He thought it was an odd choice, but the orange-furred female started giving him an abbreviated translation of the text.
Line after line of transactions. What was offered and received, any debts and who owed them, as well as small notes about what should be brought next time. It was a comprehensive copy of the ledger that the trading caravan kept. His brows raised at the sheer density of information, and for them getting it from something he was only partially sure existed.
“You managed to get this much?” he asked in disbelief. “Jesus. Were you caught?”
Raine shook her head. “If we were to be seen by them, we would be nothing more than a stain against our Blademaster.”
Compliment or boasting, doing this much was damn impressive. Especially with just the two of them.
“Shit. Well, good fucking job, I guess,” he managed, still reeling a bit from the unintended scope of the task. Harrow continued to dig through the report, though stopped voicing it aloud. Joseph turned his attention back to the Wraith. “Anything else of note? Rumours?”
The Wraith grew pensive. “Though we returned partially through their return trip to Grand Hunter Pernel, we did overhear some conversations. There were discussions of other packs simply no longer occupying their settlements.”
He leaned forward in his seat, dislodging Tel as his elbows rested against his knees. “What do you mean?”
“Some of their usual trade locations were purportedly burned down, others merely abandoned. A few were apparently littered with corpses,” she explained more steadily. “From what we could gather, the reason they came to trade with our settlement at all is that the others along the way were in such states. It seems they intended to restock and head back out immediately to accommodate the loss in trading partners.”
He bit his lip as he thought about it, letting himself fall back against the couch.
“What do you guys think of it?” he asked with a glance to his mates. Pan seemed to be mirroring his own apprehension openly, while Tel kept a more serious expression.
“I believe there is something larger happening,” Tel concluded, taking a few seconds before returning to using him as a headrest. Pan nodded her agreement, but didn’t have much to add to it otherwise.
“It would explain how desperate they were for food,” he mused aloud, raising a brow when Harrow shifted to lean against him, one foot placed on the edge of the seat forcing the posture. “Any details of interest, Harrow?”
The orange-furred female jolted, only just stopping from moving her foot back to the floor before committing to using him as a backrest. She turned back-on fully, stretching her legs over the remainder of the seat and placing tablets she had finished with on her lap.
“It didn’t take very long for the methods you sold to propagate,” she responded, holding up a few of the tablets before laying them in their own pile. “Looks like Pernel has been spreading it around by buying some from places that have bows and snares to sell where they don’t.”
“Supply and demand, or arming people with the tools that would help them survive?”
“Hard to trade with the dead,” Harrow commented dryly, starting a new pile. He nodded in exaggerated fashion.
“What about the Atmo?”
She tapped the small stack she just started. “I’m trying to separate these by inventory type. Give me a bit.”
Deciding to trust the woman in charge of managing this kind of thing while she was on the ship, he glanced back to Raine, the female easily mistaken for a statue if not for the subtle sway of her breathing. “The grey-bear-thing. How far away is it?”
“Too close,” she responded firmly. “We did not get a chance to verify their numbers, but there was evidence of at least that singular beast making our territory its hunting ground.”
“Fuck,” he muttered through gritted teeth. “We’re going to need to hunt that thing down.”
Pan looked worried at the prospect, Harrow stiffened in her sorting. The Wraiths were the only ones who seemed completely at ease with the suggestion, Tel not so much as twitching. Harrow laid down the tablets she had yet to categorize, her gaze aimed at her lap.
“Joe, don’t think that taking one out is easy.”
“We have ranged weapons and more than a few people who can use them,” he pointed out with a breath. “Ideally, we go as a larger hunting party and take the damn thing down through sheer volume of fire.”
“Their skin is tough,” Harrow replied with a shake of her head, her ears pivoting back towards him. “I don’t know if our bows could pierce it as easily as we might like.”
He furrowed his brow. “So, what? Let it close in until it eats everything and starves us out? Until it thinks we look tasty?”
“I don’t know. I’m just saying that this won’t be as simple as firing a few arrows and patting ourselves on the back for a job well done.”
Joseph felt the stiffness of his brow start to hurt from how tight they were knitted. A deep breath centred his thoughts. “We’ll arrange an armoured hunting party soon. Better to take it down before it becomes an issue.”
The orange-furred female nodded, quickly leafing through the remaining tablets and only pulling two more out for the pile she indicated earlier.
“Here,” she said, tapping the stack. “These are records for trading Atmo.”
He suppressed the sigh when he genuinely tried to read the mess they called a language. “How many? Who bought them?”
She hesitated, reforming the copy of the ledger—sans the relevant tablets—and placing it on the floor. The remainder in paw, she held them up over her shoulder, Tel accepting it and going over the contents with an interested tilt of her head.
“From what I can see here, Pernel traded two hundred.”
“Two…” he squeaked, his eyes wide. “Two hundred?”
She nodded, pacing around the couch to stop in front of Pan. “It seems others heard of his willingness to barter for them. He accepted quite a few deals before selling them off again.”
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The door to the ship closed with a hiss, Willin shaking his head at Nav’s questioning gaze. “Nothing.”
Tech removed her CARDs, storing them in the weapons locker before shrugging off her AMR to place in its own unit. “Nothing living, anyway.”
“That bad?” Nav asked, deflating after yet another failed attempt to contact a settlement. The dark green-furred male stored his rifle, seating it into its receptacle with a click.
“Tell Comms to add another eighty to the count.”
“Four hundred eighty-two,” the purple-furred female supplied as she walked past Nav to enter the ship proper. Willin followed after, hanging his pistol holster on the side of his chair as he dropped into it.
“Thirty were covered in wounds, twenty or so were executed, twenty-five looked to have died of accumulated trauma, and the rest were found with singular cuts to the throat.”
“Not quite,” Tech remarked, interfacing with the systems. “Only eight of the ‘executed’ seem to have been done up close.”
“Sniper?” Comms asked as he entered the room, nodding his greetings and taking a seat at his station. Nav crossed their arms and leaned against the doorway as Tech Ops ran some numbers on her screen.
“Wounds are consistent with Anti Material Rifles, and debris suggest they took the ‘material’ part into consideration with their shots. There were a few holes in the buildings that didn’t quite get removed by the fires.”
“Covering evidence?” Willin mused aloud, receiving a thoughtful shake of her head.
“No, I don’t think so. My guess is that the buildings were already on fire when they did it, based on the splinters around the exit holes.”
Comms’ eyes widened in surprise. “Shooting through a burning building? That is rather impressive.”
“Blades?” Nav suggested. “Avalon is required to act against those who break the treaty, no?”
“Maybe,” Tech allowed tentatively. “If it was
them, then that would explain the lack of targets.”
Willin scratched at his ear, furrowing his brow as Comms ran another scan for any communications being made. Though a few suns had passed since they had unwittingly agreed to involve themselves in what was likely the first case of war that this planet had ever seen, nothing was being sent anywhere. Regardless, the male kept the scans regular, just in case.
Nav switched the foot they were resting on. “Why not just dispose of everyone breaking the treaty?”
“Maybe they did,” Comms commented, turning back to the conversation as the program ran in the background. “Blades typically function under strict conditions. If they removed anyone who was commanding the hostile action, then they did as required of them. The moment the attack stopped, they completed the terms of the treaty.”
“Or if the Grand Hunter here surrendered and allowed their pack to be subsumed,” Willin proposed, the others glancing at him in curiosity. He waved a paw dismissively. “If everyone in the conflict becomes a single pack, then any fighting from those who still disagree with it is now an internal dispute, thus outside of the purview of the Blades. Check the notes on Grand Hunter Toril and High Hunter Bratik.”
Tech’s eyes unfocused for a moment as she accessed the system. “Avalon is forbidden from interfering with internal politics. Toril was sheltered by Bratik. Since Bratik was from outside of Toril’s pack, it counted as acting against their right to manage their own affairs. Hasen was given a perfect reason to take over, and it forced Grand Hunter Trill to exile the both of them to adhere.” She looked around the room aimlessly as she thought, her eyes snapping to Willin when he spoke.
“And a perfect loop-hole to exploit. Toril loses his supporters, Trill loses a member of his command structure, and Hasen rises in power while leaving Avalon to grit their teeth.” He shook his head, both impressed and disgusted. “Once he attacks another pack, he just forces a vassalage and subsequently executes the new High Hunter for whatever reason he wants. The Blades can’t act on a technicality.”
“So Grand Hunter Pernel….”
Willin nodded at Comms' unfinished question. “In the count.”
“There was a bit of a weird holding area,” Tech added after a moment. “Seemed like somewhere to hold livestock, but even then, it was a bit big. I’m not sure what used to be there, but tracks suggest carts left with whatever it was not long before everything went down, so probably a trade caravan.”
“Well, at least someone made it out,” Nav sighed, pushing off the wall to resume their station. “Where are we going next?”
Willin toyed with the odd silver tablet in his paw, the two unrecognizable scripts curious and alien. “The only pack left before we see what all the fuss is about. Let’s pay a visit to Grand Huntress Sunundra. Hopefully she knows something we don’t.” Next A/N: Been a while since we’ve had a proper A/N, huh. Welp, here’s this one. Patreon is currently set to ‘per post’ because i made the account ages ago. Waiting on support to help me switch it to monthly,(Edit: support suggested i just nuke it and make a new one :/ links are updated.) then I’ll post the Silva render i have. RR is at 30k views and 100 followers. Figured I’d ask how you guys are liking this arc, hows Willin’s team coming across, etc. Final note: I’m thinking about rewriting the first ‘book’ so i can get it edited and published! Problem: i have no fucking clue where to cut book 1, and editors are expensive. Where should book 1 end? All i know is that I’d prob end up adding extra chapters to it, as well as lengthening the OG chaps. RR is a ‘touch-up’, not a final product, so those don’t count!
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2023.06.05 03:16 Overall_Raspberry_19 Is this a good gen 9 OU team?
2023.06.04 23:41 -Stormforge- 2023-05-21. Episode 13 - Bog Krakens
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Books, the wildling fire sorcerer, looks down at the half-eaten body of the Ironborn warrior, a grim expression on his face. He knows that the presence of Ironborn near Moat Cailin is a troubling sign. He gathers the Thulen warriors around him, their faces mirroring concern and determination.
"This Ironborn should not have ventured so close to our lands," Books declares, his voice carrying authority. "His presence raises questions and potential threats. We cannot afford to ignore this."
The Thulen warriors nod in agreement, their eyes filled with a mixture of anger and caution. They understand the implications of Ironborn presence and the potential dangers it poses to their newfound home.
"We will find the Ironborn's friends and confront them," Books declares, his voice resolute. "We cannot allow any threat to our people and our land to go unanswered. Let it be known that the Thulen are not to be trifled with."
The Thulen warriors gather their weapons and gear, preparing for the task at hand. Books leads them as they set out to track down the Ironborn's companions, determined to uncover their intentions and protect Moat Cailin from any further incursions.
As they venture forth into the wilderness, they face the challenges of tracking and confronting the Ironborn. They encounter treacherous terrains, hostile encounters with other wildlings or creatures of the North, and the ever-looming presence of danger. The Thulen must rely on their skills, knowledge, and unity to navigate these trials and bring justice to those who would threaten their newfound home.
Lord Ragor and Books cautiously approach the Ironborn camp, their senses heightened and their weapons at the ready. They move silently through the dense foliage, taking care not to alert anyone to their presence. Lord Ragor, as the leader of the Thulen, steps forward to treat with the Ironborn, hoping to resolve the situation peacefully.
As Lord Ragor nears the camp, a lone Ironborn guard stationed at the perimeter spots him and lets out a warning blast on his horn. The loud sound echoes through the air, breaking the silence of the surroundings. Realizing that his cover is blown, the guard quickly turns and disappears into the woods, racing to alert his companions.
Lord Ragor's face tightens with a mix of frustration and concern. He knows that their chances of a peaceful resolution have dwindled with the alarm sounded. He looks to Books, their eyes briefly meeting, both understanding that they must be prepared for a potential confrontation.
Without wasting any time, Lord Ragor and Books give a signal to the Thulen warriors who have been waiting patiently nearby. The warriors move swiftly and silently, surrounding the Ironborn camp, positioning themselves strategically to cut off any escape routes. But there was just the lone guard, now fleeing through the thickets. Quickly, the Thulen plunder the camp for anything obviously useful and then leave. They still know they need to hunt down the last pack of Swamp Wolves plaguing their new lands.
Brandt pushes through some thickets at the Thulen move west. Two ironborn look at Brandt and the other Thulen heroes. Tension fills the air as they wait for the Ironborn to react. It becomes clear that a confrontation is inevitable, and Lord Ragor braces himself for the forthcoming clash. He knows that the Thulen must stand their ground and protect their land from any further threat. "Why have you come here?" He asks. The iron captain smiles, "To kill bog-devils."
As the Thulen warriors remain on high alert, ready to defend themselves and their lord, they prepare to face the oncoming Ironborn. The clash of iron and the roar of battle are imminent, and the fate of Moat Cailin may hang in the balance.
The clash between the Thulen and the Ironborn is fierce and brutal. Steel meets steel as swords clash, axes cleave through the air, and spells are cast with lethal precision. Druss, fueled by years of battle experience, becomes a whirlwind of steel, striking down his enemies with each swing of his mighty axe. Brandt, in tune with the natural world, summons the animal within to aid their cause, slashing and hindering the Ironborn. Joreeg, with his mastery of shadow magic, casts dark spells that summon shadow monsters and weaken their foes, turning their own shadows against them. And Books, the fire wizard, conjures flames that dance across the battlefield, engulfing Ironborn warriors in searing infernos.
Lord Ragor, leading by example, fights with unwavering resolve. His ranger skills and strategic mind allow him to assess the battlefield quickly, making split-second decisions that turn the tide of the fight in their favor. He rallies his comrades, inspiring them to fight with unmatched determination, their loyalty to their land and their people fueling their every strike.
In the midst of the chaos, the Thulen band holds their ground, their unity and relentless assault pushing back the Ironborn raiders. Slowly but surely, they gain the upper hand, forcing the Ironborn to retreat. The battle ends with the Ironborn fleeing, their raiding party scattered and defeated.
Amidst the aftermath of the battle, the Thulen band stands victorious but weary, their bodies bruised and bloodied, yet their spirits unbroken. They tend to their wounded, their sense of camaraderie and shared purpose stronger than ever. Lord Ragor, a mixture of exhaustion and satisfaction on his face, acknowledges the bravery and resilience of his companions. With their victory over the Ironborn raiders, they have defended their land and sent a clear message that the Thulen will not yield.
As the final remnants of the Ironborn raiders scatter, a sudden disturbance ripples through the surrounding swamp. The ground trembles beneath their feet, and the air becomes heavy with an impending danger. Without warning, a massive creature emerges from the murky waters, its reptilian form striking fear into the hearts of the weary Thulen band.
The lizard-lion, a fearsome and deadly predator known for its immense size and ferocity, lunges at the Thulen party with relentless aggression. Its razor-sharp teeth and powerful claws tear through flesh and armor alike, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. The Thulen, caught off guard by this unexpected assault, fight desperately to defend themselves.
Druss, despite his injuries from the previous battle, springs into action with a fierce determination. He engages the creature head-on, his ax swinging with precision and strength. Lord Ragor, battered and weakened, rallies his remaining strength to strike strategic blows, seeking weak points in the creature's armored scales.
Joreeg and Books, both gravely wounded from the battle with the Ironborn, struggle to regain their footing. Joreeg, though weakened, taps into the dark energies of the shadow realm, weaving protective shadows around himself and his comrades. Books, barely clinging to consciousness, channels his remaining fire magic to create a barrier of flames, attempting to deter the lizard-lion's relentless assault.
The fight is fierce and desperate, the Thulen band pushed to their limits. Their wounds hinder their movements, and each strike feels heavier and more taxing than the last. Yet, driven by their unyielding determination and camaraderie, they continue to fight, refusing to succumb to the beast's onslaught.
After what feels like an eternity of relentless combat, the Thulen band manages to weaken the lizard-lion. Ragor delivers a final, devastating blow, severing one of its vital arteries, causing the creature to stagger and falter. Sensing its vulnerability, the remaining members of the Thulen band unleash a coordinated assault, exploiting the beast's weakened state.
With a final, thunderous roar, the lizard-lion collapses, its life force extinguished. The battlefield falls into an eerie silence as the Thulen band surveys the aftermath of the brutal encounter. Bloodied, bruised, and exhausted, they tend to their wounded companions, their relief mixed with a somber awareness of the fragility of their lives. Joreeg and Books, though barely clinging to life, are pulled from the brink of death by the combined efforts of their companions.
The weary and wounded Thulen band, clutching the spoils of their hard-fought victory, makes their way back to Moat Cailin. They bring with them the captured ironborn warrior, whose fate now hangs in the balance. Lord Ragor, still bearing the scars of battle, leads the group with a determined stride, his mind already contemplating the interrogation that awaits.
Upon their return, the Thulen swiftly secure the captive, binding him tightly and ensuring he poses no immediate threat. Word is sent to Lord Eddard Stark, alerting him to the ironborn raid and the capture of their warrior. The urgent message emphasizes the need for swift action to protect the lands and its people.
Inside the confines of Moat Cailin's walls, a somber atmosphere settles as the Thulen band gathers around the captive, ready to extract information that could prove vital to their defense. Books, still recovering from his injuries, focuses his weary gaze on the ironborn, his fire-tinged eyes flickering with a mix of determination and weariness.
Lord Ragor steps forward, his voice carrying the weight of authority and a steely resolve. He meets the captive's gaze, searching for any signs of weakness or vulnerability. The Thulen ranger begins the interrogation, pressing the captive for details of the ironborn's motives, plans, and any potential allies they might have lurking in the shadows.
The captive, realizing the dire circumstances he finds himself in, begrudgingly offers morsels of information, each word dripping with defiance. Lord Ragor employs a mix of persuasion and intimidation, balancing the need for valuable intelligence with the stark reality that time is of the essence.
The interrogation stretches on, the tension in the room palpable. The Thulen band, well aware of the stakes, remains vigilant, their focus unwavering. They extract every ounce of knowledge they can from the captive, seeking to uncover the ironborn's network and put an end to their raids once and for all.
With each passing moment, the Thulen band gains a clearer picture of the ironborn's nefarious plans, piecing together fragments of information that will aid in their defense. They meticulously prepare their report to Lord Eddard Stark, detailing the ironborn threat and the measures that must be taken to safeguard the lands and its people.
As the Thulen warriors set out once again to the treacherous swamps, their intention to eradicate the lingering threat of the swamp wolves, a sense of anticipation hangs in the air. The memory of their previous encounter with the ferocious creatures lingers, fueling their determination to put an end to the menace once and for all.
However, as they venture deeper into the swamp, the Thulen heroes are met with a surprising sight. The once-dreaded pack of swamp wolves lies decimated, their bodies torn and lifeless. Confusion and concern ripple through the group as they realize that a new threat has taken residence in their hunting grounds.
Their eyes scan the murky waters, seeking answers to the mystery that lies before them. And then, rising from the depths, the massive form of the bog kraken emerges. A creature of unknown origins, with powerful tentacles and a malevolent presence, it becomes clear that the Thulen face a far more formidable foe than they had anticipated.
Battle-hardened and undeterred, the Thulen heroes rally their strength and steel themselves for the impending clash. Axes clash against the kraken's thick hide, while spells of fire rain down upon its writhing tentacles. The battle rages on, the swamp waters churn with fury, and the air crackles with the energy of unleashed magic. The Thulen heroes, drawing upon their training and the sheer force of their will, manage to find weaknesses in the kraken's defenses and strike with calculated precision.
Finally, after a grueling and harrowing struggle, the bog kraken succumbs to the relentless assault of the Thulen heroes. Its monstrous form collapses into the swamp waters, vanquished and lifeless. A collective sigh of relief fills the air as the Thulen stand victorious, their weapons bloodied and bodies weary but their spirits unyielding.
With the threat of the bog kraken eradicated, the Thulen heroes take a moment to tend to their wounds. They gather their spoils, the trophies of their hard-fought victory, and prepare to return to Moat Cailin with news of their triumph. The tale of their encounter with the bog kraken will no doubt echo throughout the lands, cementing their reputation as stalwart defenders.
As they make their way back, the Thulen heroes carry with them a renewed sense of purpose. They know that their actions have once again protected the people and lands they have come to call home. They stand as a testament to the resilience and courage of the Thulen, who face adversity head-on and emerge triumphant.