The city of Midum was burning at an impressive rate as we approached. As we drew closer the sound of combat began to ring in the distance, roaring monsters, shouting people and the clash of steel on claw. In a lucky break, the gates of the city were already demolished, overwhelmed by whatever creatures had arrived before us. The wooden gates made a sorry sight as we rushed through them, smashed timbers hanging on hinges pinned into the stone walls.
The walls were much less impressive close up, nothing at all like those of Liria. A mere four metres tall and two metres think, they were hardly the kind of fortification that would keep out a monster horde, but then again, they weren't intended to be. The only things they'd expected to have to deal with in this part of Liria was low level surface monsters and bandits, at the very worst an attack from a neighbouring country. Something like a Dungeon monster invasion was never on the cards for these people, right up until happened.
We surged into the city, the rubble of buildings strewn about our feet. The signs of battle were everywhere, smashed buildings, doors ripped off their hinges, burned out roofs. The only thing missing was the remains of the combatants who had fallen. Because there wouldn't be any, naturally. Human or monster, the fallen are Biomass, ripe for the taking.
It makes for an eerie scene. Just like what I'd witnessed at the farm house except magnified in scale a thousand times. It's almost like running through an old ruin rather than a place with humans still fighting in it, there is just no sign of anything organic. What were once inns, filled with people, laughter and merriment are now shattered, their signs ripped down, walls knocked in and furniture destroyed. As we race passed one I can see the tables upturned, chairs scattered around the room and even the bar itself carved right down the middle, yet not a single sign of any living thing inside.
I get the feeling that whatever has happened here, didn't happen quickly. There are signs of barricades on the streets, of houses torn down to create makeshift walls and open up space for archers. Spent arrows abound in the areas we pass through, scattered across stone or lodged into wood. It seems that once the walls were lost the people here engaged in a brutal fight, street by street, in order to try and survive.
I skittered over rocks and debris as the once cobbled roads of Midum were now cracked and strewn with the remains of the homes of its citizens. The deeper into the city we get, the louder the sounds of combat become. I looked at Morrelia as we dashed with all our might and the signs of her emotional state were clear to see if I was careful. Clenched teeth, fierce glare, muscles knotting, all signs of her barely repressed rage. If I was to hazard a guess I would say she was balancing herself on the very edge of her class feature activating, aiming to berserk the second she caught sight of the foe.
It didn't take much longer to find them. Rounding a corner we find ourselves approaching the waterline, the wide spread of the… lake? Ocean? Laid out before me. Here too is the source of the fire. Large warehouses are burning, sending soot and smoke billowing into the sky. It seems the people here are making one last stand. Several warehouses, those made of the most stone, have been boarded and walled in with whatever the people had to hand. Archers dot the roofs, firing into the hungering mass of creatures below. Men and women with spears defend the edges of the building, stabbing and pushing with desperate fervour to prevent the monsters from finding purchase on the roof. Centipedes, spiders and others climb straight up the walls, jaws clattering as they strive to sate their hunger.
Around the base of the buildings the doors are barred but more powerful beasts, like Crocas, hounds and bears are attempting to batter them whilst fending of constant thrusts from spear wielders inside the building. It can't last. The sheer mass of the monsters pressed forward, unable to be denied access to the building itself which they tear into with fang and claw. The stone scrapes and shatters beneath the blows and the tough wood of the warehouse door is already splintering.
The Croca beasts, stupid fire breathers that they are, bellowed jets of flame as they sought to ignite anything they could. Smoke could be seen rising already, something, somewhere inside had already caught alight.
The moment the creatures came into sight Morrelia was off. Bellowing like a raging hell beast she Dashed with all her might, her entire body seemed to flicker out of existence before she appeared halfway to the enemy with both her swords drawn.
[Better get in there Tiny, or there won't be anything left for you by the looks of things!] I shouted at the big ape.
The words had barely reached his half eaten peanut sized mind before he rumbled forward, knuckles pounding into the road so hard he shattered the stones as he hurled himself forward, lightening crackling around his upper body.
[There's a lot of monsters here Crinis, going to have to put you to work I'm afraid] I informed by sightless companion as I strove to keep pace with Tiny.
[Not to worry Master], she assured me, [for having placed themselves in your way I will allow these filth to taste true despair!]
I'll bet she will.
Although I don't spy anything too powerful in the mix, there are still a heap of monsters here. Easily over a thousand. I'll need to deploy Crinis' tentacles of mass dismemberment in order to chew through these kinds of numbers, although I do have a few spells that should prove handy.
As we close in the backs of the unsuspecting monsters, Morrelia is already there. Her face frozen in a rictus grin of pure hate, her blades flash faster than the eye can see, sending waves of pure swordlight into the pressed ranks of the enemy.
Even in her berserk state, she isn't so foolish as to dive directly into the middle of the horde, instead she dances around the edge and her twin weapons never cease their brutal motion. As the monsters begin to fall dead and dying by the dozen, they turned and tackle this new threat, claws grasping for a chance to rend flesh.
Then Tiny arrived.
With an impact like thunder, Tiny descended on the monsters like a collapsing mountain. He leaped high into the air, gather all of his strength before he delivered a titanic blow to an evolved dragon wolf hound. The beast was smashed directly in half by the twin fists of Tiny, who didn't pause to admire his handiwork but instead lashed out with his meaty hands, pulped enemies left behind every time he struck.
[Let's do it Crinis! Try not to kill any humans!]
Crinis didn't respond with words but actions instead. She reached out with two tentacles to grasp my antennae before pulling them back towards herself. Crinis slingshot has be loaded!
It's shameful to say but I can't throw her that far with my antennae alone, they aren't built for that kind of lifting, but I manage to launch her far enough she landed within range of the nearest monsters. No sooner does she touch the ground than tentacles explode out from her body to wrap around the unsuspecting creatures nearby.
Poor things, I almost pity them.