Today is of the Cycle Of The Seventh Moon.
Current Season & Month:  , Year: 543 A.R. (ref)

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The Tangled Roads to Ufaeria

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Rigel
(@rigel)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 298
 

OOC: To: Underground approaches to Shaarn


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 862
 

TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline 

╺ ✽ ╸ 

“The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” 

– Audrey Hepburn

Whatever had been moving out there in the darkness passed by and left the pair unmolested, and only after he was certain that whatever it was had moved on did Tom-Cat relax from his defensive stance.  The tension rushed from him like a riptide and he sagged a little, pulling Miiya with him as he leaned back against a smooth section cave wall.  She wasn’t making much sense and once the memories resurfaced, the catling guessed that the stupid dragon’s stupid spores were still affecting her.  Tom-Cat found it strangely hard to care about, but then again, he still felt a bit off.

Wasn’t that just the understatement of the century. 

Kwesh.  He was tired.  He felt at once twitchy yet detached, though what disturbed him the most was the fact that he couldn’t feel  her.  Well, he could  feel her, but barely—like trying to see fine details through semi-opaque glass or smell different aromas with a stuffy nose.   Even though he held her, touched her, at the same time it felt like Miiya was somehow far away; it was as if he could touch her, but not feel her—or at least he could only feel her faintly, like the dim, almost abstract feeling of someone brushing their fingers over gnarled scar tissue. 

Part of him knew and felt that the bond was present, that the bond still remained, but it was only a flicker of how it—of what—it’d been.  Where before he’d felt the flames of an inferno blazing within his apex, he now felt the barest warmth, like the flickering  flame of a single lit match.  It was as if a nerve had been severed and he’d been painfully disconnected from something vital, something necessary, to him.  It left an ache in his chest, different from the hole punched through his heart and lungs that had jagged through him after he’d been ripped away from Miiya by Graekokorheyurgardramyr.  

It hurt.  But it hurt less when he was with her; it hurt less the longer he spent with his bondmate.  It was like her presence slowly began to fill in the hole in his center—just being with her made him feel more like himself.  All he wanted—needed—was to sequester his mate away from everyone else and den up with her, where he could keep her safe and secure.  Where he could keep her away (keep her safe) from any others, especially  those people  who’d left her behind.  Tom-Cat would not—could not–-ever  forgive them for that, and if given half the chance, would will slit all of their throats without a moment’s hesitation.

When Miiya put her head on his shoulder and said, “It’s good to see yew anyway,” Tom-Cat only nodded absently in reply and said, “Yeah.”  

He tipped his head back against the smooth rock wall and stood staring blankly out into the middle distance while Miiya cried quietly into his shoulder.  If Miiya had been able to see his face right then, she would have seen that the catboy wasn’t present at all, the distinctly haunted and faraway expression he wore dulling the usual lambency of his yellow eyes.  They stood like that for a while, until the catling blinked and exhaled a shuddering breath, abruptly seeming to pull himself back from wherever he’d been in the annals of his mind. 

Tom-Cat was tired.  Even though faint, he could sense that Miiya was similarly exhausted and neither of them seemed ready or inclined to go anywhere, anytime soon.  The catboy lowered himself into a sitting position and pulled the Aeros down with him, who let herself be tugged into his lap without any protest.  She sat facing him for a moment, before suddenly lunging forward and wrapping around him like a clingy octopus as she encircled him with arms, wings, and legs.   Tom-Cat leaned in and slid his arms around her, holding her tightly as Miiya settled against him, each driven by the very basic and primal urge to be physically close to their mate.  It was an ancient animal instinct driven by the bond, which sought to heal their almost severed connection in the simplest and more primitive way: through physical contact.

And as Tom-Cat turned his face into Miiya’s neck and smelled her, he felt something purely animal pound through his blood as every instinct within him told him that he needed to connect with her, needed to connect with his mate—needed to restore their bond.  Heat tore through him, making his skin too hot, too tight, and too small as his pulse began to race.  His hindbrain told him that the surest way to solidify their bond was to physically claim her, and when Miiya shifted against him, the catling’s tail twitched as electricity jolted up his spine.  He wanted, needed, had to have her.  He–he was suddenly overwrought, skin hypersensitive and everything felt too keen—the brush of Miiya’s clothing against his bare torso was more aggravating than anything else.  

Too many barriers.  His head was muzzy.  He felt feral, like he was in a rut. 

It was all too much.

Tom-Cat drew in a ragged breath, a low rumble stirring in his chest.  “Teleskela…” he said, almost in warning.   He couldn’t think.  He nuzzled her throat, his breath quickening as scraped his teeth across the sharp line of her jaw, fighting against the urge to bite her, mark her, to stake his claim.  The animal was still so, so close to the surface, and having its bondmate—its mate—so near, was playing havoc with his hindbrain that wanted to own, to possess…that wanted to bite deeply because she was his prey.

No.  Not prey.  Mate.  His.  She was his. 

Mine…” he growled as he breathed in feeling a little punch-drunk; he could still faintly smell himself on her.   Tom-Cat gently stroked a hand over Miiya’s good wing as she leaned into him, and then he kissed her.

It was different.  It wasn’t necessarily aggressive, rather it was possessive.  It was tinged with a sense of desperation, like they were trying to find something missing within the other and were instinctually searching for the connection that had provided a sense of security.  It was (or felt like) less want than need; the need to reconnect, to re-bond, to regain something that had been temporarily lost.  

Tom-Cat wasn’t thinking.  He was saying things as he skimmed a palm up her spine and pressed his fingers through her feathers, muddy thoughts spilling from his lips in random, half-formed words.  Things like, want you”, “need”, “mine”, “yours”, “missed”, “hurts”,  along with half a dozen other things that were gasped out and immediately forgotten.  The closer he was to her, the less hollowed out he felt—and the more present he became.

Which was why the catling, after a couple of tries, managed to pull back from the Aeros.  Because as much as he wanted her in the most primal and instinctual way that his blood was still demanding, he knew—and had started to feel more clearly through the still healing threads of their bond—that Miiya was not in the right state of mind.  So to speak.  And when Tom-Cat finally claimed her, he wanted her to be wholly present; he wanted her to remember.  

Now was not the time.

Tom-Cat did not relinquish his hold on Miiya, only leaned back against the wall as she rested against him.  It took some time for his blood to cool, and even then he had the passing thought to go “self-meditate” around the corner for five or ten minutes, because the animal at his core was raking its claws grumpily down his back.  He pushed out a slow breath and felt Miiya relax into him, her weight and warmth lulling him into something that wasn’t quite sleep, but near to it.  

Let’s just stay herrre forrreverrr, Teleskela,” he muttered, his eyes closing for a moment, though his ears still twitched and swiveled, automatically listening for any aberrations in the soundscape.  “Togetherrr.”  Tom-Cat held Miiya tightly, his voice still a little distant, but absolutely sincere as he said: “I told you that I would always come back to you."  He fell silent for a minute, before murmurring: “I would—will—neverrr willingly abandon you, Teleskela…”  Tom-Cat might have said more, but a small feeling of warmth, like a ray of sunlight that broke through dark storm clouds, pulsed in his chest, and he recognized it as a faint beat of Miiya’s happiness trickling through the threads of the bond.

The catling absently wrapped his tail around the Aeros’ waist and held her close as they both took a short, much needed rest and respite, secure in each other's embrace and the knowledge that though they were alone in the UnderNeath, they were at least together.  

 

Screw everyone else. 

╺ ✽ ╸ 

 

The pair probably could have stayed like that and slept for hours or maybe forever, but Tom-Cat knew they couldn’t linger too long.  After a short rest, he forced both of them up and pushed away his own exhaustion to focus on keeping Miiya safe as he navigated them out of the UnderNeath.  After she’d clambered onto his back for another kittyback ride, Tom-Cat took his time to situate her as comfortably as possible—it was going to be a long trudge, even longer than when he’d carried her through the Ice Caves.

Once he was sure that there was no immediate danger in any of the surrounding tunnels, Tom-Cat set off at a light jog, gradually picking up the pace as he smoothly ran through the Byzantine pathways that made up the Tangled Roads to Ufaeria. 

TOM-CAT: [KIANA BEACH:First Stab - POUNCE (★1/2) - WATCHER BATTLE (3/★4/5/6/★7)] [GOBLIN SLAYING: (1)-(☆1/2)] – [ICE CAVES: CLIFFHANGER (★1/2) - POWDER KEG (★1/2/3) - HYPOTHERMIA (4/5/6) - BONDED (7/8/9/)] [SUNSTEALER:(1/2/3/4)-(1/2)] –Miiya & Cat-Tom [SPARRING: (1/2/★3)] - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - ☆Stolen Kiss Overwhelmed by Intimacy Returning to Her Bath Time Bonding Wings, Tails, & Love Cave Storms Climbing the Walls [1st KISS: Chase-(★2/3/4)] Cat-Tom: Rescue Kitty! Cat-Tom vs. Skaven (Forced) Shift Back 9 Lives A Beast in the Darkness Reuniting w/Teleskela Bored Nihilism Cat vs. Dragon Emotionally Exhausted Bath Catboy, Interrupted All For Her Bellissimo Gato [BATH-HOUSE: Confessions(1/2/3/4)] Catboys Can Purr Bagels, Love Poems & Catnapping Love Poem [FIGHT PIT: CHAMPION SUITE (★1.No, no, no.../2a-2b/3.Prostitution/★4.Tipsu/5/6a-6b/★7a-7b.Holden's/Proposition) - GRAND ARENA (Leona/F#1/★F#4/★Cat-Tom vs.Werewolf: 1/2/3) - LOST (1/★2) - FOUND (3/4a-4b/5/★6.Swansong Kiss) - RESCUE (★1.Teleskela, MF'er/2/3.Reawakened Bond) - ESCAPE (4/5/6/7)]
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Teasing Amarice - [DAYTRIP: LAVISH HAND (1/2/3a-3b/4.Sensing Death] - Kissing Fate(1a-1b) - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Soul Searching - Into the Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Heart of the Maze - Before the Storm - Thunder & Honey - ★Ripped Gowns - ★Sensual Poetry - Warding Sigils - Hedonistic Filth & House-Sized Party Crasher - Confronting Maarazaar(1/2/3) - Ash Bunny Irihi - Cormeum MIA (stolen heart) - A Vow & Shadowy Msg
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[CHATTE]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
[ASMODIEL & GALVINA] ★A Celestial & Demoness Play Cards - Asmodiel Smites a Feeder - An Angel & Aeros Walk Into a Bar... - Undaunted Spirit - Benediction
──────────────────
[☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Irihi
(@irihi)
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Joined: 2 years ago
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Miiya

The Aeros girl patted and fumbled at Tom-Cat’s face and some of the rest of him with loose-jointed fingers. “Mmm… that’s nice, ghost kitty, but ya know…

Yer a ghost. 

So nothing much can happen.

Until I’m a ghost too.

And then she settled into his lap as he seemed to calm down in the darkness. Every part of Miiya felt heavy now, like gravity had suddenly increased, or as if she were endlessly pulling out of a dive.

The Aeros girl wasn’t asleep, but nor was she entirely awake when ghost kitty roused them both. She slumped over him like a sack of potatoes as he moved her into carrying position and they set off. 

For a while being carried, even if it was by a phantasm, gave Miiya a tired sort of glowy feeling, and that lasted for hours. But hours were only a little bit of this giant thermos. It got light enough to see, or they walked somewhere light, or something. But the light just showed more of the same blank walls. 

Miiya didn’t think ghosts got tired, but she gave a little pat, signaling she wanted to get down and walk a bit, anyway. Walking sucked, but at least sucking was something. She had kinda been dissolving into ghost kitty for a while there. Now, she wanted to talk. Her speech wasn’t much more sensical than before, but it was a LOT more… well, something. 

“This sucks.”

“Oh great, another stupid tunnel.”

Miiya should have been excited about being able to differentiate between being in a tunnel and being in a thermos, but NOTHING was exciting.

Nothing was special.

Everything sucked.

This was such a burrrden. 

Nothing really mattered. Except a few things that really didn’t matter very much.

All these thoughts she expressed to ghost kitty, and reveled in his replies that showed utter disdain for anything and everything.

It was a lot of fun if fun were a thing a person could have, 

which it wasn’t.

Eventually, though, Miiya got hardfoot again, and actually felt it this time. She had barely started to limp when ghost kitty was back under her. This time she wrapped her arms around his neck--not too tightly--and couldn’t help a little secret smile. She gave ghost kitty a squeeze with her thighs and laid her head on his shoulder as they traveled on.


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 862
 

TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline 

╺ ✽ ╸ 

“If cats looked like frogs we'd realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style. That's what people remember.”

Terry Pratchett

The trek towards Shaarn was already bound to be long and arduous.  Tom-Cat had expected it.  Even with his Aeros backpack (she practically weighed nothing to him), the catling could deal with the many miles of difficult terrain that lay ahead of them.  For a while—as in several hours—he was able to absent himself a bit and fell into almost a trance-like state as he walked, jogged, and ran through the darkness.  

That only lasted so long, and as the darkness began to recede Tom-Cat ran up against the one thing he couldn’t deal with: mind-numbing boredom. 

Holy kweshthe tangled roads had to be the most uninspired, copy and paste, landscape he’d ever had the misfortune of trekking through.  There was absolutely nothing to look at, little to hear, and one can only see the same pattern of dull, grey, or brown rockface stretched into ad infinitum, before the mind just kind of…snaps.  

Two lovesick teenagers who were tired, traumatized, and lost together in a system of mind-numbingly boring caverns and tunnels, turned out to be a rather fatalistic combination.  Absent any kind of outside stimuli and given enough time for the starkness of their situation to really sink in (and there’s really no way to sugarcoat the fact that one has been abandoned and left to die alone in the dark), a detached and cynical sort of nihilistic mood settled over them.  Whether or not it was true nihilism, black humor, or just good old-fashioned teenage angst, Tom-Cat and Miiya expressed their utter contempt for everything and everyone—except for one another, of course.  Because why not? It's not like there was anything else to do.

Some might consider it an unhelpful and defeatist attitude to adopt, but to that Tom-Cat only had one thing to say: “Jook off and jump into the Abyss.  Stupid kurrrve.

 

 

Everything yfretting sucks.  

 

Everyone  jookan sucks, harrrderrr and longerrr. 

 

Hey look at that rock over there.

 

The one with the stupid marrrk scrrratched into it showing the way? 

 

Yeah.

 

Scrrrew that rrrock—it should do us both a favorrr and go die in the corrrnerrr.  I hope it crrries.

 

I can’t believe that she stole Picnic.  He was my friend first!

 

Maybe Picnic killed them all and we’ll stumble upon theirrr dumb corrrpses.

 

Stupid grounders, they’re all worms.  But not yew—yerr a ghost kitty, not a worm.

 

Okay.  Want me to kill them forrr you? No charrrge. 

 

Naw, don’t dirty up yer knives.

 

Wherrre arrre those, anyway?

 

Cot candy took ‘em.

 

Oh.  Skwich.

 

Yup.

 

 

And so on and so forth.  It was actually pretty cathartic and verbalizing their laments and venting their (righteous) anger and frustrations, helped to make the journey a little more bearable.  After the pair had derided anything and everything that came into sight and into mind, their moods seemed to settle into something that wasn’t as contemptuous.  

Tom-Cat felt his lips quirk, unbidden, when Miiya squeezed his waist with her legs, communicating something that was only between them.  He wrapped his tail around one of her ankles and turned his face towards her when she rested her head on his shoulder.  He adjusted his grip under her legs, sliding his hands back from her knees as he settled her weight higher over his hips.  He squeezed her thighs and hid a small grin at the noise she made in response to the action.

Get some rrrest, Teleskela,” he said quietly.  “I’ve got this.  You’rrre safe with me.

With that the catling resumed their trek, his gait as smooth as the ebb and flow of an ocean tide; the warmth and weight of the precious Aeros cargo against his back helping to keep him moving forward.

 

TOM-CAT: [KIANA BEACH:First Stab - POUNCE (★1/2) - WATCHER BATTLE (3/★4/5/6/★7)] [GOBLIN SLAYING: (1)-(☆1/2)] – [ICE CAVES: CLIFFHANGER (★1/2) - POWDER KEG (★1/2/3) - HYPOTHERMIA (4/5/6) - BONDED (7/8/9/)] [SUNSTEALER:(1/2/3/4)-(1/2)] –Miiya & Cat-Tom [SPARRING: (1/2/★3)] - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - ☆Stolen Kiss Overwhelmed by Intimacy Returning to Her Bath Time Bonding Wings, Tails, & Love Cave Storms Climbing the Walls [1st KISS: Chase-(★2/3/4)] Cat-Tom: Rescue Kitty! Cat-Tom vs. Skaven (Forced) Shift Back 9 Lives A Beast in the Darkness Reuniting w/Teleskela Bored Nihilism Cat vs. Dragon Emotionally Exhausted Bath Catboy, Interrupted All For Her Bellissimo Gato [BATH-HOUSE: Confessions(1/2/3/4)] Catboys Can Purr Bagels, Love Poems & Catnapping Love Poem [FIGHT PIT: CHAMPION SUITE (★1.No, no, no.../2a-2b/3.Prostitution/★4.Tipsu/5/6a-6b/★7a-7b.Holden's/Proposition) - GRAND ARENA (Leona/F#1/★F#4/★Cat-Tom vs.Werewolf: 1/2/3) - LOST (1/★2) - FOUND (3/4a-4b/5/★6.Swansong Kiss) - RESCUE (★1.Teleskela, MF'er/2/3.Reawakened Bond) - ESCAPE (4/5/6/7)]
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Teasing Amarice - [DAYTRIP: LAVISH HAND (1/2/3a-3b/4.Sensing Death] - Kissing Fate(1a-1b) - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Soul Searching - Into the Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Heart of the Maze - Before the Storm - Thunder & Honey - ★Ripped Gowns - ★Sensual Poetry - Warding Sigils - Hedonistic Filth & House-Sized Party Crasher - Confronting Maarazaar(1/2/3) - Ash Bunny Irihi - Cormeum MIA (stolen heart) - A Vow & Shadowy Msg
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[CHATTE]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
[ASMODIEL & GALVINA] ★A Celestial & Demoness Play Cards - Asmodiel Smites a Feeder - An Angel & Aeros Walk Into a Bar... - Undaunted Spirit - Benediction
──────────────────
[☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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NoOne
(@noone)
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Picnic

From: The Underground Approaches to Shaarn

The Golem of Blue Ash thundered down the tunnel at speed, ignoring the crystal chips shedding from its fracturing hooves. Picnic followed a very simple logical loop to stay on-course and move with haste--something the sentient automaton still struggled with. 

Miiya was a friend. She had said she would help Picnic find Irihi. Picnic needed to protect her. 

Protect friend, find Irihi, together.

This was the track upon which the golem was set as it emerged into the plenum chamber where the dragon lay in wait. 

Graekokorheyurgardramyr

Sensing the approach of the golem, the dragon heaved itself from the great chasm where it had lain in hiding ambush. The wyrm looped a coil of its massive armored body in front of Picnic, surrounding the golem with the rest of itself. “Where i s your m i s t r e s s, golem?” The dragon wanted to know. 

Graekokorheyurgardramyr was not all that interested in the drow war machine. The dragon was easily more than a match for the construct of Blue Ash, but it had little to gain from smashing a brainless automaton--as it thought Picinic to be.

Picnic

Move aside, enemy. I must rescue my friend.” Picnic thundered, raising its weapon-wings. There was no way past the enormous bulk of Graekokorheyurgardramyr, now that the dragon had prepared its position. Picnic recognized it could not defeat the dragon by force, but force was the only tool the golem had.

Force and a little bit of insight from its observations of the dragon. “I must rescue Miiya the Aeros and bring her safely to Shaarn.”

Graekokorheyurgardramyr

A hint of surprise clanked across the armored brow above the dragon’s one remaining eye as it turned its head to regard the golem. “O h r e a l l y?” Slowly, the body of the wyrm before Picnic lifted to allow it to pass. “W e l l then, by a l l means.” Bring the winged girl back here with you so that I might devour her. This time Graekokorheyurgardramyr would be ready. This time, there would be no escape. 


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NoOne
(@noone)
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Graekokorheyurgardramyr

After he’d allowed the strange golem to go and fetch the Aeros girl for him on its way, Graekokorheyurgardramyr didn’t feel like heaving his bulk back over the side of the chasm to hide lay in wait for the helpful automaton to return and deliver his feathered snack directly him.  Instead the dragon stretched its bulk across the grotto, effectively creating a living barrier between the tangled roads and the pathways to Shaarn.   

The dragon settled his solid mass just in front of the mouths of two tunnels that sit perpendicular to the main passageway to Shaarn which sat behind him..  Thus settled, Graekokorheyurgardramyr lay his enormous head down and waited, his snout pointed towards the tunnel entrance into which the golem had disappeared.  Only the muted clang of misaligned armored plates shuttering over his one remaining eye, the metallic scraping of reinforced scales shifting idly over the hard-packed ground, and the occasional click-tap-click of sharp claws drumming impatiently against the rock, serving as the only warning for those wending their way through the tangled roads, that Graekokorheyurgardramyr lay in wait.

It’s difficult to tell how much time has passed, but at some point the faint echoes of a sharp “hoofed” gallop began to trickle from the mouth of the tunnel into the quiet grotto.  With a muted clang of armored scales, Graekokorheyurgardramyr opened his good eye and lifted his great head, turning his eye towards the dark mouth of the tunnel as he peered down it.  He listened and after a moment a pleased, only slightly annoyed expression clanked across the dragon’s armored brow.  

It was a b o u t time,” he thought.  The strange automaton had spent so long fetching the Aeros girl for him, that the wyrm had seriously thought that the blue golem had surely fallen into a rift.  He was glad that it hadn’t—it would have been a shame to deny the girl the honor of being eaten by him, after all.

As the golem’s odd clicking hoofbeats drew closer, Graekokorheyurgardramyr heaved himself up onto his stubby legs.  He puffed out his chest and raised his head high into the air, his neck and tail curved majestically as the dragon posed in the grotto and awaited the arrival of his prey.   Despite his armored scales being cracked and out of alignment in many areas, he still cut an imposing figure with his titanic body stretched across the breadth of the grotto, rows of knife-like teeth and razor-sharp, curved talons gleaming in cavern’s phosphorescent light.

Graekokorheyurgardramyr had a speech all planned out that he’d been all set on delivering to the Aeros and a golem when they arrived.  It’d been a pretty good one, too, with lots of emphasis on, ‘h o w it w a s such a  g r e a t  h o n o r  to be d e v o u r e d by him; and, ‘what  d e l i g h t f u l sounds her b o n e s will m a k e as they’re c r u s h e d  b e t w i x t  his j a w s; also, ‘h o w  e a s i l y the  g o l e m  will b r e a k  a p a r t  like a  d i s c a r d e d  t o y  when he  s w e e p s  it  i n t o  the e n d l e s s  d e p t h s  of the c h a s m’; and finally, how  t h i s  c o u l d  have  a l l  been  a v o i d e d  if the  A e r o s  had just  s u b m i t t e d  to being  e a t e n  in the  f i r s t  p l a c e.

And as the golem had burst from the dark tunnel in front of him, the massive dragon had actually launched into the beginning of it.  But no sooner had he boomed, “Ah, s o nice of y o u to rush b a c k so e a g e r l y to me, g i r l, so that y o u may have the h o n o r of being d e v o u r e d by m—” than Graekokorheyurgardramyr’s words died suddenly in his throat, the speech he had planned fleeing him as confusion shocked through him.  

There was a second figure riding atop the golem with the Aeros girl.  

One that the dragon was sure he had killed.

Hadn’t he? 

Despite himself, despite the fact that he towered over them and could snap their body like kindling beneath one clawed foot, Graekokorheyurgardramyr was greatly disturbed to see that cat-eared and tailed figure crouching on the blue automaton with the girl.  The cat-man looked alive…and whole.  

A shudder went through Graekokorheyurgardramyr's massive body, as a small splinter of fear and uncertainty wormed its way under his scales.

H O W?!” he roared, turning his good eye away from the cat-man as the empty orbit of his missing eye suddenly burned with remembered pain.  “I  K I L L E D YOU!


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 1 year ago
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TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline 

╺ ✽ ╸ 

“You feeling lucky, punk?”

 

When Picnic had come galloping out of the darkness towards them, it was with the type of urgency that’s only borne out of anger.  It actually hadn’t taken the construct too long—comparatively—for it to relay the reason that it had returned: Picnic had come to rescue his friend.  After the golem had processed and accepted the idea of Tom-Cat being Not Deadand had returned the catboy to the privileged status of, Second-friend-after-Miiya, Picnic had then informed them (much to the pair’s initial delight) that the rest of the group had been demoted to the status of, Enemy-but-not-to-be-killed-just-hated’.   

That’s when Tom-Cat had noticed that Myrae’s rucksack, Faan’s overnight bag, and all of the loot that had been brought to Shaarn to be fenced, was still strapped to Picnic’s crystalline carapace.  The catling had felt a thrill of pure vindictiveness coil through him—karma is a jookan skwich, ain’t it?  He hadn’t mentioned his discovery to Miiya, deciding to wait until she was more lucid to broach the subject with her.  

For his part, Tom-Cat planned on fencing the loot and doubling his and Miiya’s cut.  Afterwards, the assassin would set up a meeting with Myrae to return her gear and negotiate her share of the profits, because as  pissed as he was, Tom-Cat wasn’t into the business of burning bridges outright, and Myrae is the reason there was any loot to fence in the first place.  He’d give her the courtesy of a face-to-face meeting, though whether it ended with gold in her pockets or a knife between her ribs, would depend on how it went. 

Either way, he’ll cross that bridge when he comes to it.  

Tom-Cat settled back against Picnic’s torso and cast a glance down at Miiya, who is cradled inside the circle of his arms, her head resting against his chest.  She looked drowsy and comfortable—very faintly a sense of safety and warmth, percolated through the threads of the bond. His chest suddenly constricted: he’d almost lost her.   If the catling hadn’t been so dogged in his pursuit of her, she would have been left to wander the dark, labyrinthine tunnels alone.   Abandoned.  In many ways it’d been sheer luck that he’d picked up on her scent while in his shifted form, because prior to that the Cat had been following the nebulous pull of the bond; the pull of the bond had been so distant and oblique that even now he’s unsure if he actually felt it, or if he had just wanted so badly to feel it, that his brain had tricked itself into sensing something that wasn’t there.

Tom-Cat clenched his teeth, just managing to bite back the snarl that angrily crawled up his throat at the unequivocal fact that those jookan bir kurves had left his bondmate to die in the dark of the UnderNeath.  Not for the first time, the desire to cause each of Them such a profound and personal hurt that the wounds pierced clean through countless generations—and would take even more decades to heal—rose within him.

The catling’s tail lashed in agitation—it was probably better to let Miiya decide what to do with Faan’s gear, because he was too tempted to simply liberate her coin and dump the rest of the Elf-skwich’s pack into the nearest rift.  Perhaps he'd save her treasured, ghostly redingote…and then sharpen his claws on it right in front of her.  His lips twisted coldly at the thought.  An ear twitched.  Kwesh, he should’ve put it to her when he had the chance, if only to have some sort of leverage on the Elfmaid.  Keh, he would poison the well of her nauseating—liason? affaire de coeur?dalliance with the tetzozo if he truly gave a damn, but neither of them are important to him enough for him to waste time or effort on.  Sure, he doesn’t get it (at all), but if Faan wanted to commit necrophilia or whatever, that’s her business; who knows, maybe she actually liked the smell of corpses, in which case he thinks she’s in the wrong profession.

 

╺ ✽ ╸ 

 

The trio is met with a familiar, booming voice the minute they enter the enormous, light-filled grotto.  And as Graekokorheyurgardramyr launched into his obnoxious speech, Tom-Cat carefully sat Miiya up and, crouching atop Picnic, turned towards the massive dragon.  The catling felt a jolt of plain, spiteful pleasure rush through him when he noted Graekokorheyurgardramyr's permanently shuttered eye; the wyrm’s armored eyelid was glued shut by the dried blood and viscera from his burst eyeball, which continued to leak a foul menagerie of yellow, brown, pinkish-red, and clear fluids from under the seam of the closed lid.  

Tom-Cat’s fingers twitched in vivid remembrance: the squelchy firmness as he drilled his claws straight through the dragon’s cornea and lens, then a fleshy pop! as the entire eyeball just burst like a water balloon, taking on a mushy texture like rotten fruit mixed with blood and jelly-like vitreous humor.  It was followed by searing pain unlike any other he’d ever felt, torn straight through the center of his being just as he'd sunk the points of his claws deep into the optical nerve—even his agonized scream couldn’t drown out the sickening, pulpy tearing noise as the cord-like nerve had  been brutally ripped from its socket.

The assassin had never popped an eyeball that large—it’d been truly revolting.

Still, as Graekokorheyurgardramyr stared down at him in stunned shock, Tom-Cat could tell that the One-Eyed Wonder was reliving the event from the other side of his claws.  He caught a look of confusion combined with a spike of plain unease flash through the dragon’s one working eye, before Graekokorheyurgardramyr jerked his head—and his remaining eye—away from the catling.

H O W?!” roared Graekokorheyurgardramyr.  “I  K I L L E D YOU!” The surface level anger in the dragon’s voice did little to mask his underlying fear and uncertainty.

And Tom-Cat was just done with this overgrown reptile that had threatened to eat his mate multiple times.  He didn’t have time for Graekokorheyurgardramyr’s song and dance, because he.was.done.

It’s possible that the catling was exhausted to the point of recklessness, or maybe he was just past the point of caring whether he lived or died.  They weren’t getting past this bloated snake without a distraction or a miracle or jookan divine intervention, and he just did not care anymore.  

All Tom-Cat wanted was to reach civilization, find a decent hotel, get a private room, and then fall into bed, curl up with Miiya, and sleep for days.  (Well, at least a solid eight hours.)  Was that so much to jookan ask? 

Apparently it was, because this jookan kar, Graekokorheyurgardramyr, had an inferiority complex and needed to rain their neuroses down upon everyone and everything around them.

Well vith that.

Tom-Cat’s high dudgeon carried him through a swift leap off of Picnic to where he landed before Graekokorheyurgardramyr in a combative, claws-out crouch.  The catling’s kohl-rimmed eyes blazed with yellow-gold fire as he aggressively slammed his claws into the ground in front of him, digging furrows into the earth as his ears went flat and his tail lashed violently from side-to-side.

Shut the hell up, you jookan one-eyed wingless wyrrrm!” Tom-Cat snarled, his fangs sharpening as he bared them at the armored titan before him.  He hissed and spit, fury making him seem wild, untamed, and bigger, somehow.  The catling's muscles coiled as he dug his rear claws into the ground, his dynamic, crouching, and forward-leaning stance more feline—more animal—than Uman.  

At that moment he looked truly feral…and dangerous.

You say you killed me.”  Tom-Cat’s lips drew back from his teeth in a truly disdainful sneer.  “Looks like you did a piss poorrr job of it.”  He grinned meanly at the dragon, flashing fang.  “You failed to kill me, you failed to eat herrr, and,” here the catling paused, his eyes narrowing.  “And you failed to catch the Drrrowess and the otherrrs—morrre’s the pity.”  He marked each of Graekokorheyurgardramyr’s failures by gouging his claws into the ground.  “But you’rrre biggest failurrre?” Tom-Cat barked out a harsh, caustic laugh.  “You’rrre a one-eyed, wingless drrragon,” he growled, the words rumbling deep in his chest.   “Pathetic.

The catling confrontationally stalked forward a few steps like a panther prowling through the underbrush, and Graekokorheyurgardramyr—irrationally—backed up a step.  Tom-Cat drew back his lips in a sort-of grin.  “You should’ve killed me,” he hissed.  “Because you’ve thrrreatened my mate one too many times.”  He snarled.  “And now I’m going to take yourrr otherrr eye,” he promised.

Tom-Cat went utterly, eerily, still—almost unnaturally so.  His lips were drawn back in a frozen, feral snarl, and his lambent yellow-gold eyes were locked with Graekokorheyurgardramyr’s one remaining eye.  His tail stopped moving, held low and poised; every muscle tensed, the points of his claws dug sharply into the ground.

The air seemed to hold its breath in anticipation as neither catling nor dragon moved.

Without warning, Tom-Cat aggressively surged forward, feinting a lunge directly at his massive foe with claws out and a furious, spitting snarl ripped from his throat.

And with a flicker of unadulterated fear flashing through his one good eye and a brief ripple of panic clanking across his armored brow…

…Graekokorheyurgardramyr flinched  and reared back.

TOM-CAT: [KIANA BEACH:First Stab - POUNCE (★1/2) - WATCHER BATTLE (3/★4/5/6/★7)] [GOBLIN SLAYING: (1)-(☆1/2)] – [ICE CAVES: CLIFFHANGER (★1/2) - POWDER KEG (★1/2/3) - HYPOTHERMIA (4/5/6) - BONDED (7/8/9/)] [SUNSTEALER:(1/2/3/4)-(1/2)] –Miiya & Cat-Tom [SPARRING: (1/2/★3)] - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - ☆Stolen Kiss Overwhelmed by Intimacy Returning to Her Bath Time Bonding Wings, Tails, & Love Cave Storms Climbing the Walls [1st KISS: Chase-(★2/3/4)] Cat-Tom: Rescue Kitty! Cat-Tom vs. Skaven (Forced) Shift Back 9 Lives A Beast in the Darkness Reuniting w/Teleskela Bored Nihilism Cat vs. Dragon Emotionally Exhausted Bath Catboy, Interrupted All For Her Bellissimo Gato [BATH-HOUSE: Confessions(1/2/3/4)] Catboys Can Purr Bagels, Love Poems & Catnapping Love Poem [FIGHT PIT: CHAMPION SUITE (★1.No, no, no.../2a-2b/3.Prostitution/★4.Tipsu/5/6a-6b/★7a-7b.Holden's/Proposition) - GRAND ARENA (Leona/F#1/★F#4/★Cat-Tom vs.Werewolf: 1/2/3) - LOST (1/★2) - FOUND (3/4a-4b/5/★6.Swansong Kiss) - RESCUE (★1.Teleskela, MF'er/2/3.Reawakened Bond) - ESCAPE (4/5/6/7)]
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Teasing Amarice - [DAYTRIP: LAVISH HAND (1/2/3a-3b/4.Sensing Death] - Kissing Fate(1a-1b) - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Soul Searching - Into the Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Heart of the Maze - Before the Storm - Thunder & Honey - ★Ripped Gowns - ★Sensual Poetry - Warding Sigils - Hedonistic Filth & House-Sized Party Crasher - Confronting Maarazaar(1/2/3) - Ash Bunny Irihi - Cormeum MIA (stolen heart) - A Vow & Shadowy Msg
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[CHATTE]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
[ASMODIEL & GALVINA] ★A Celestial & Demoness Play Cards - Asmodiel Smites a Feeder - An Angel & Aeros Walk Into a Bar... - Undaunted Spirit - Benediction
──────────────────
[☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Captain Rockjaw

 

Just as the golem of blue ash entered the dragon’s grotto, the ZyrrKrr forward scouts along with Captain Rockjaw also arrived in the tunnel behind Graekokorheyurgardramyr.  The entirety of the wyrm’s focus appeared to be on the golem and its two passengers…  Rockjaw squinted at the figures riding atop the golem, before his eyes widened and he swore lowly under his breath -- it was the Aeros girl that the Drowess had mentioned!  Myrae hadn’t mentioned any other lost companions, but the way the girl had been resting against the cat-eared boy hinted at a deeper level of familiarity than strangers who’d just met. 

 

Frankly, the Dwarven captain was shocked to see the Aeros girl alive and whole, but considering that Graekokorheyurgardramyr’s intention was to eat her, that wouldn’t be the case for too much longer if they didn’t quickly intervene.  Rockjaw frowned deeply to himself -- the rest of his ZyrrKrr company needed about five minutes to get their equipment into position if they were going to have even the slimmest chance of taking down the titanic armored wyrm.  But given Graekokorheyurgardramyr’s words, the Aeros girl -- as well as the golem and her cat-tailed friend -- didn’t have the luxury of waiting for the rest of his contingent to prepare the attack. 

 

Captain Rockjaw held up a staying hand to one of the scouts that had started to move forward when Graekokorheyurgardramyr’s booming speech abruptly ceased, the dragon having become preoccupied with the second passenger crouched atop the golem next to the Aeros girl.  As much as he wanted to save the two kids, there was no way that Rockjaw was prepared to just throw away his warriors' lives in a suicidal bid to distract the dragon long enough to get their equipment set up.  The Dwarven captain signaled to his lieutenant to split the first wave of ZyrrKrr’s between the two tunnels to either side of the one they were in and get the ballistas set up as quickly as possible.   The second wave would remain with him in the main tunnel.

 

It didn’t sit well with Rockjaw to see a child be devoured right in front of him, but they truly only had one chance to take down Graekokorheyurgardramyr and he would not waste it on suicidal sentimental gambits.

 

H O W?!” Graekokorheyurgardramyr suddenly roared.   “I  K I L L E D YOU!”  The dragon’s attention had turned from the Aeros girl to her cat-eared companion.

 

That’s when, against all odds (and some would say good sense), the cat-eared boy leapt off of the golem and confronted Graekokorheyurgardramyr.  

 

Alone.  

 

With nothing but claws, mocking words, and fury.

 

Even Rockjaw had to admire the set of stones on the kid.

 

As the catboy denigrated the titanic armored wyrm with no apparent thought or care for their own safety, shock jolted through the ZyrrKrr company at the kid’s words, because he’d apparently blinded one of the dragon's eyes.  Honestly, none of the ZyrrKrr initially believed it, thinking it was just something the catboy had said to further disparage the massive wyrm.  But then something happened that neither Captain Rockjaw nor the company of elite, battle-hardened Dwarven warriors with him could have ever predicted: Graekokorheyurgardramyr flinched.

 

The gigantic dragon actually flinched

 

Suddenly none of the ZyrrKrr doubted that the kid really had taken out one of Graekokorheyurgardramyr’s eyes.  

 

And the kid’s lunge had not only made the wyrm flinch, but also back up a couple of steps, placing Graekokorheyurgardramyr into range of their equipment.  The ZyrrKrr couldn’t have backed Graekokorheyurgardramyr into a more perfect position even if they’d tried, and Captain Rockjaw knew it.  

 

The signs couldn’t be any clearer to both Rockjaw and the Dwarven ZyrrKrr: The King Under the Mountain had blessed this battle. There would be honor and glory aplenty for those willing to make the necessary sacrifice in order to reach out and take it.

 

Captain Rockjaw gripped the Draegloth’s Claw with a feverish glint in his eyes and seized upon the advantage the catboy’s lunge had given them as he called for his ZyrrKrr to begin the attack.


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Dwarven ZyrrKrr

 

“LOOSE!” Came cry from the rubble of rock piles and stalactites at cave entrances on two sides of the grotto. Almost immediately there was a clanking of machinery and whistling sound as three enormous ballista bolts launched from their hidden positions, streaking toward Graekokorheyurgardramyr. The two bolts from the left side struck dragonscale and bounced off, but the bolt from the right pierced a cracked plate and stuck fast. All the bolts were attached to thick cables and the one which had struck true was quickly winched to tension.

 

“ATTAAACK!!” At the call to advance, some thirty ZyrrKrr--elite dwarven warriors--poured from the rocks and sprinted toward the dragon. The dwarves were heavily armored and armed with dragonslaying equipment; battleaxes and hooked flails for smashing and prying loose dragonscale.  

 

Graekokorheyurgardramyr roared in surprise and pain at the unexpected assault. Instinctively, he tried to back down into a chasm where the small two-legged warriors could not fight effectively, but the ballista bolt and cable had him hooked, preventing a retreat. The dwarves were fast and were upon the dragon in seconds. The wyrm roared and tried to crush them beneath its massive stubby forelegs. Many Zyrrkrr met their end under his crushing claws, but many more gained the dragon, swarming him like maddened fire ants.

 

Graekokorheyurgardramyr was surprised, but he was still an ancient and powerful dragon. Scraping a ZyrrKrr into a bloody streak across his scales, he turned and followed the ballista cable. If he could destroy the launcher he could free himself to fight from a position of advantage. 

 

Meanwhile, the other two launchers had been reloaded, wound, and were launched again at the dragon. Again, one bolt skipped off the dragonscale, but the second buried itself in Graekokorheyurgardramyr’s side. The cable pulled taunt, hauling the wyrm up short just a few yards from the other ballista. Now the monster was caught between the two cables and unable to advance or retreat. 

 

Roaring with pain and rage, Graekokorheyurgardramyr rolled in an attempt to free himself of both the ZyrrKrr ripping at his scales as well as the bolts and cables holding him. One ballista bolt ripped free, taking great chunks of dragonscale and flesh with it. Gouts of blood sprayed across the battlefield and mixed with that leaking from the bodies of crushed Dwarven warriors. 

 

The force of the roll snapped the windlass of the second bolt and the entire assembly was dragged toward the rolling dragon, the cable wrapping around his body as he rolled, and the huge bolt was driven deep into his flesh.

 

...

 

SECOND WAVE; ATTAAACK!!” Seeing the dragon break free of its restraints and kill the balance of the warriors of the first wave, the battalion commander committed his reserves to the assault. 

 

Graekokorheyurgardramyr was limping and partially entangled now, much of his scale armor was ripped away and he was bleeding profusely from dozens of wounds. Still, the thick chest plates over his tremendous heart were cracked but unbroken. He reared back, head lifted high, and blew a great smokescreen between himself and the second wave of ZyrrKrr, dragging back toward the chasm.    

 


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Irihi
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Miiya 

The Aeros girl had occupied herself nomming on GC’s ears while the enormous sunflower had growled something at them about vengeance. Miiya was pretty disappointed by her meal. It had been, like, days since she had eaten, and though he was more solid than ephemeral ectoplasm, Ghost Kitty ears did not taste like marshmallows, as she had hoped. They were just furry, and twitchy.

Sunflower seeds, though… Miiya knew what those tasted like: they tasted good!

Detaching herself from Tom-Cat, Miiya stood watching as a whole bunch of pretty-large mushrooms attacked the enormous sunflower. “Hey! Save some for me!” She said. That was no good; the fungus would spoil the sunflower seeds. She needed to hurry if she was going to get some before they went rotten! “I’ll bring yew back some seeds, Ghost Kitty.” Miiya said, cryptically, before rather-unexpectedly darting into Graekokorheyurgardramyr’s smokescreen.

Miiya was sort of with-it enough to recognize the haze all around her as smoke. Smoke she shouldn’t breath because of… something. So she held her breath as she charged straight at the enraged dragon. 

With a wingbeat-assisted leap, Miiya dodged a clawswipe meant for a group of ZyrrKrr and launched herself straight at Graekokorheyurgardramyr’s chest. That’s where the biggest seeds were. The hoary old dragon’s massive chest plates were riddled with cracks, crevices and footholds. They were also within reach of his stubby forelegs. Even so, Graekokorheyurgardramyr was now in a fight for his life against the ZyrrKrr. He had no attention to spare the crazy Aeros. If he carried the day against the too-small detachment of dwarves, then he would see about eating her. Since she was small and so lightly armed, he paid her no heed, instead using his unencumbered foreleg to smoosh dwarves. 

Miiya knew how to crack sunflower seed shells with her teeth, but she had never seen one this large. Bracing herself on the edge of one giant scale, she hooked her fingers under another and pulled. Crying Girl was really close now, like almost half of her. “Yew want some?” Miiya asked brightly as one of the pretty active mushrooms went flying by. Speaking now to the girl who wasn't there, she asked: “Can yew help me push?” And there was a rush of temporary weakness in her grip as the one inside her doubled over again with thoughts of Ma’s shorn wings, Cahron’s deadly curse, Miiya’s missing limb, and squeezed, squeezed, squeezed. 

Weakness was gone now, because Miiya was dancing. “So that’s how…” She said to the girl who wasn’t really there. “Just gotta squeeze.” Toeing into the most secure footing she could, the Aeros girl squatted and lifted with everything she had. She was small, she was light, but--wedged between secure foot-and-hand-holds she had the strength of an Orcan powerlifter. It was enough to peel away Graekokorheyurgardramyr’s damaged chest plate. 

YUM!” Miiya chirped, and dug in. 

The sunflower tasted weird. It was tough, stringy, and really really bloody. “YUCK!” Dragonsblood dribbling down her chin, Miiya spat out the chunk of Graekokorheyurgardramyr she had pecked off. This sunflower tasted like raw turtle. 

Miiya recognized it from a particularly severe famine during her childhood in Daelows. They hadn’t had food or fuel or anything for a few weeks. Something to do with the war in Terajin. Ma had vanished for two whole days then, and returned with a pair of turtles and some half-dry river reeds. The reeds hadn’t burned long enough to cook the turtle, so then she’d tried to cure thin strips of the meat with sunlight. It had been enough to keep them alive, but had left Miiya with a pretty strong dislike of turtle soup--turtle anything actually--afterward. 

Miiya leapt clear of the shaking and rolling sunflower, that suddenly seemed to notice her, despite all the mushrooms still clambering around on it. 

Graekokorheyurgardramyr regarded Miiya with his one good eye, a rather shocked expression on his enormous face. “Did y o u … bite M E …?!!”

And Crying Girl took charge, as her dancer’s blood cleared the fog in her brain enough for a moment of lucidity. “YER GONNA EAT ME?! I FRETTING ATE YEW, ARFLINE!!” And then she leapt back into the dissipating smoke screen, dodging a massive claw swipe by inches. Miiya kept backpedaling with off-kilter wingbeats until she skidded to a kneeling stop next to Ghost Kitty. “Heya. Sorry, it tastes nasty so I didn’t bring yew any.” She said, grinning through kind of a horror story of bloody teeth, lips, and cheeks. Miiya had caught a whiff of dragonsmoke on her return trip, and her pupils had gone right back to their previous enormous dilation. The overall effect was… disconcerting, to put it nicely. 


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Captain Rockjaw and the ZyrrKrr

They were taking heavy casualties against the powerful dragon; less than a third of his warriors were still in action, all the ballistae were down. But now the Dragon’s heartshield was opened! Somehow that slip of an Aeros girl had pried it off, exposing Graekokorheyurgardramyr’s flesh and his heart beneath. 

Wasting no time, Rockjaw charged back into the fray, throwing aside his favored battleaxe and drawing The Draegoleth’s Claw. This was his final gambit; to take the life of Graekokorheyurgardramyr in exchange for his own--but first he had to reach the dragon’s heart. “FACE ME, WYRM! 

Graekokorheyurgardramyr

The dragon now turned its attention from the Aeros and attacking ZyrrKrr to the wielder of The Dragoleths Claw. Now, with chest plate torn away, the wyrm was at real risk. He was too far from the chasm to run and his smoke had proven mostly ineffective against the dwarves. The dragon’s only hope was to crush Rockjaw before he reached his broken heartshield. 

Graekokorheyurgardramyr roared in response to the ZyrrKrr captain’s battlecry and attacked. The dragon’s forelegs were short, but powerful and quick. The monster fought with four huge claws on each leg, any one of them capable of piercing Dwarven armor and putting an end to Rockjaw. Yet, the power of The Claw stymied him. Each time Graekokorheyurgardramyr struck a deadly blow against the dwarf, Rockjaw countered or parried the attack with The Claw. Great flashes of magickal discharge flared as the legendary weapon drained the life of its wielder in order to stop the dragon’s assault.

Graekokorheyurgardramyr found himself pushed back by the fury of the dwarf’s assault, though his retreat was also tactical; the eventually Rockjaw’s life would be consumed by The Claw, if only he could land enough blows on the dwarf so that the mythic blade would draw out enough of the captain’s life force, deflecting them, to stop his heart.

Seeing a sudden opportunity, Graekokorheyurgardramyr’s head darted forward, and he tried to crush the dwarf between his powerful jaws.

Captain Rockjaw

The ZyrrKrr Captain met Graekokorheyurgardramyr’s tremendous bite with a swing of The Dragoleth’s Claw. The fury and power of his counter caused the dragon to rear back. Rockjaw felt his heart giving out as The Claw sucked away his vitality. Reaching deep within himself, the Dwarven Captain dredged the last of his strength to the surface to propel his compact body forward toward the gap in the Dragon’s chest armor. Screaming his deathsong, the Dwarf lept at the dragon, bringing The Claw down into the gap in the dragonscale heartshield and driving it deep into the monster. 

Rockjaw’s own heart stopped at the same instant as The Claw slew Graekokorheyurgardramyr. The rearing dragon blinked once, the strength going out of his stocky legs even as the light drained from his remaining good eye. He opened his jaws as if to roar, but instead collapsed onto his side, immense body shaking the ground as it fell, lifeless. The remaining scales of the dragon clattered quietly as the huge beast seemed to deflate, a thin streamer of noxious gas rising from its mouth and nostrils. 

At last, the thousand-year life of the subterranean dragon, Graekokorheyurgardramyr, had come to an end.


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Irihi
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Miiya, Ghost Kitty, et. Al

To: Shaarn Anthos, Hotel de Glace


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Myrae

From: The Underground Approaches to Sharnn

Myrae was moving with purposeful speed. She had several reasons to away from Sharnn and Ufaeria in general. She did, however, pause in her rapid march toward Duskhill to admire her former companion’s handiwork as she took in the titanic corpse of Graekokorheyurgardramyr. 

The great dragon’s body was being systematically dismantled by crews of Dwarves. Most of his armored scales were gone as well as a healthy bit of flesh. Dwarves were chipping away at exposed bone and tooth with mining tools. Even in the corpses sorry state, Myrae marked the evidence of the battle that had laid Graekokorheyurgardramyr low. Ragged holes through flesh and bone marked where ballistae had pierced him. Tatters of flesh showed where his chest plate had been ripped violently away--rather than carefully extracted after death. “Huh. Never would have guessed, yew crazy little Shu.” Myrae whispered to herself, shaking her head.

Walking on a bit brought the Dragon’s great head into view, where a mutilated eye socket confirmed the words of the ZyrrKrr--that Tom-Cat had given one of his lives to take the dragon’s eye--and buy them all a chance at survival.

That had been hard on the kid. Myrae knew--she had felt it in the hollow rattle of Tom-Cat’s haunted voice when she’d held him, and then sat with him, in the baths of Sharnn Nalos. 

Myrae’s gaze grew harder. She needed to stop thinking about them. She’d got them--for better or worse--where she said she would. It was not in the bargain to talk them out of throwing their lives away in a mad quest for the elfwitch, and it was certainly not in her contract to spend her own life in such a futile pursuit. 

Still. That big beautiful bastard had almost been worth it--sticking around for the end of the worlde. Goddamn, what they had done on top of the blade that had slain Graekokorheyurgardramyr… That memory still prickled her skin like it had happened moments--and not weeks--ago. 

But there was else which raised the drowess’s gooseflesh--and hackles. Myrae absently rubbed at the ghostly itch of an old scar that went straight through to the bone. A hellspawn had driven a spear into her there, an inch from her heart, and that had been because Irihi was feeling merciful. 

Nope.” The drowess said to herself.

Myrae had murdered her Yochol Sisters, she’d nearly killed herself, to earn that “mercy” from the necromancer. That was before Irihi had become The Atrocity--before she had real reason to hate the worlde and everything that walked or crawled upon it. Myrae had seen what Irihi’s mercy looked like. She had no intention of witnessing her vengeance, no matter how much fun/pain/pleasure the road to that particular hell would be.

 


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