The sun was still young in the sky as one of the tall, gaunt, pale, feral, claw things was eviscerated in half by a spinning bolt of light from Kirja as she finished her 10-second long casting time. Three others fell into ranged fire leaving 14 to attack the 13 strong position whilst the green spitter went and found two new friends to rain acid shots from afar.
It was hard to hold the line when there are only a few dedicated frontliners against double their number of attackers coming from all directions. The kobolds held their line thought, each claw thing that came into range paying from a well-aimed thrust or a quick chop to the neck as they don’t seem to any regards to their own safety attacking regardless of damage or pain.
Some of the ones holding the line got scratched but from the short time of training they received paid off as they are at a major advantage against these things even if they were beaten when it comes to physical abilities making up with actual strategy, skills, abilities and traits that work well with each other. There was also the fact that they have 2 dedicated magic users buffing the front line with whatever spells they have especially Kirja casting a blinding light against the spitters in the back and the group as a whole having decent weaponry and armor.
One of the green spitter things exploded by Verk as he managed to land a well-aimed sling stone at the thing from over a hundred feet away “got one of them spitter things” he said victoriously as he went to get the other one “this is no time for *grunt* games Verk” Kaide said as he runs a claw thing though with his sword after taking a superficial scratch to his arms protected by the bracer and gambeson, he pulled his sword out letting the thing’s body fall onto the ground.
As the others cut down the remaining things, the ones left managed to actually get some attacks in with Parl getting a particularly nasty slash to his chest area though the gambeson managed to stop it. He grunted angrily as he lopped the thing’s head off with his sword. The rest now realized that once dead these things just melt into dust of some kind leaving only their core crystals on the ground meaning that they don’t need to carry their bodies back to base which is a good thing.
Two separate bolts of lightning zooms past the lines and hit the two green spitter things to the South as Taika gave a boisterous fist bump as her spell exploded the last two spitter things. The last of the claw things were taken out by a tail attack from one of the monitors as the others finally breathed a sigh of relief “those things are quite dangerous… the only reason we won was because whilst dangerous they were extremely fragile with no sense of self-preservation” Kaide noted as some of the group sit down.
It might only have been half a minute but from the threat, the adrenaline and all… it made them tired mentally and physically from the fight “we need to leave the village now” Kaide gave a statement “why though mate, I’m pretty sure the village is clear from all the things we just killed” Parl disagreed “I’m with Parl on this one Kaide, there should be none of them weird creepy buggers left on the village proper, thars no way there is more anywhere else, makes no bloody sense at all” Verk also gave his disagreement “Verk here is correct there mate” Parl also added.
“easy there, I’m not saying either of you are wrong at all” Kaide accidentally gave a bit of ground for once which shocked everyone as he never does that at all “but I care way more for the safety of the entirety of the group even if we can all respawn” Kaide composed himself in time explaining his line of thinking as he looks out towards the other areas that may harbor enemies.
“anyways, I actually agree with Kaide here, we should leave before more of those things get attracted as the uneasy feeling hasn’t dissipated yet” Taika suggested as she looked around somewhat frantically “same here as well” Hraeta agreed and Kirja nodded as well as she was getting uneasy in the weird feeling of the village “did all of you turned to cowards or what?” Galdra clearly agrees with Parl on this one.
“look, this conversation is going nowhere, either we go on or we leave and we need to vote now” Kaide quarreled everyone back to focus “those who wish to stay do something” he shouted and got 8 of the group agreeing to stay “well fuck me I guess… we’re staying then since the majority voted and I am not splitting the group in two” Kaide made the decision.
“okay, I am pretty sure this is a mistake here but whatever… hey quick question what does everyone think about… I don’t know… sexualities and stuff” Taika seemed to pull something out of her ass “what?... I don’t think this is the time for talks about sexualities and stuff Taika” Verk responded giving a perfect poker face even though he was panicking internally.
“Taika… this isn’t time for this kind of stuff… why do you ask anyways?” Meena questioned her question before anyone else “oh because someone told me he is a-hmph!” a very red Verk tackled Taika “shut up you overgrown lizard!” he shut Taika up “HEY! Get off me you overgrown Anole!” Taika shouted and with that a fight ensues “Hey cut it out you two! We’re in a hostile area here!” Meena tried to separate them whilst some of the others laughed but Kaide paid no attention focusing on a point to the south.
“heads up, I think more of those things are coming” Kaide announced sternly stopping the fighting almost immediately as the group readies up again, all else forgotten… for a minute straight though nothing appears “looks like a false alarm commander, are those ears of your having a malfunction or wha-” *CRASH* Galdra just had to ask before a crashing sound can be heard as a large big thing burst out from a house
“hey look, a big meaty masculine thingy, that isn’t too b-” Galdra continued not learning his lesson as a second one burst though of another house as half a dozen claw thing comes from the south as the others look at him in anger “Oh come on, sure I jinxed it but at least that is all of them… there couldn’t be any more in the vil-” he tried defended himself before 4 green spitters things show up “I’ll shut my mouth now” Galdra said nervously as the battle begins in earnest.
The big things were very different from the regular claw things, instead of being incredibly gaunt and thin, they were extremely broad and muscular. They were six feet of pure muscle stretching their pale blueish skin to its limits as it’s sunken head fused into their bodies though thankfully due to their weight they were forced on all fours and they do not have claws sporting massive fists instead.
(if it helps you sleep at night imagine a L4D2 Tank but even more disfigured, didn’t skipped leg day and has a more gorilla like body structure)
“Parl, Meena and Hraeta watch our backs, Kirja, Taika and Verk take out the spitters, the rest gang up on those two big things!” Kaide gave out his orders as he went to intercept the first charging muscle thing. Kaide pulled all of the people capable of dealing with large creatures with him as he side-stepped a fist coming to pulverize him onto the dirt ground.
With a quick maneuver, he climbed on top of the first muscle thing and started hacking away at it “I got this one, deal with the other one!” Kaide screamed as he proceeded to continually wail on the thing as it was desperately trying to get him off it. The others including the 2 spear kobolds, monitors and vespers teamed up on the muscle thing aiming more to contain it than actually to kill it waiting for backup.
Of the 4 spitter things, two were already dead thanks to the combined focus fire from the three range specialists and the backline seemed to fair quite well with the three kobolds already downing one of the claw things attacking them. Then the fight turns to the worst as a scream erupted from the backlines as another spitter thing joined the fray from a direction no one was looking at and managed to land the first acid spit from the entire battle into the flank of Meena.
She staggers forward from the sudden hit to her back into the claws of two of the claw things taking out both her left eye and a chunk of her right shoulder causing her to drop her arming sword. Parl was partially stunned by the action as one of the claw things attacking Meena now turned its attention onto him attacking relentlessly forcing him to hide behind his shield being attacked by two of them.
Hraeta also now has to deal with two of them, Meena was of the three of them the best defensive fighter able to take on three off the things with minimal damage but with her now out of the picture Hraeta was now in a world of hurt as her dual dagger style is terrible defensively against more than one opponent.
Meena had to retreat as she suffered three major wounds that put her out of the fight immediately though she drops her shield to instead use javelins but without her dominant hand she was more of a liability than anything else. Verk had to enter melee combat in order to support Hraeta as she was not suited for taking on multiple opponents so he dropped his sling mid swing and went to support with a shortsword.
Things don’t go any better as Taika lost focus on their spells after Meena let out the scream of pain from three separate critical wounds as they turn their eyes away from the two spitter thing they each get a good spit on Taika on her left hand and shoulder which was her dominant one holding her spell focus making any future spell casting from her much more difficult though both paid for their life as Kirja didn’t lose focus.
“fuck!” Taika cried out in pain as she went to pick up her staff with her right hand whilst her left hang limp from the burning acid “those spitter things hurt like hell” she added before focusing on supporting Hraeta with cantrips like Lightning bullet instead of dealing with the other spitter which was now Kirja’s job.
On the front line… it gets worse as the scream cause Barmas to take a glance behind which was a very bad mistake on her part as the big muscle thing took the chance to hit her dead on with a punch despite her attempt to quickly block it breaking her spear in half and sending her careening into Kirja by accident causing her to misfire her spell causing major problems as she accidentally hit Parl in the back with a spell.
Kaide was honestly doing the best continuously hacking on the back of his opponent though one simple mishap sends him to the ground as the giant muscle thing tripped on a rock which threw Kaide off and as the thing falls Kaide spare a quick glance to the rest of the battle field allowing him to dodge a green ball of acid spit coming directly at him from the fourth newest spitter before it took a bolt of light in the face from Kirja who was now very mad at the spitters.
As he dodged the spit, he did not pay enough attention to the big thing as it got up from its prone position much faster than he would’ve thought. As he turned to get back on taking the big thing it sends a strong punch towards him and the force of the blow sends him flying towards a bunch of crates which broke as he landed painfully in a pile of wood.
Before getting hit, Kaide managed to take a slash at the thing causing its right arm which turned out to be its dominant one to go slack as the thing roared in pain. He hit into the pile of crates hard still holding onto the half of his sword with his left hand whilst the rest was still stuck on the right shoulder of the giant muscle thing as Kaide rapidly cycles between consciousness and unconsciousness.
With the giant thing now free, things take a turn for the worse as even though Hraeta and Verk managed to get rid of the two claw things they were fighting… no one remembered Parl who was not a good melee fighter who was also hit in the back by a misscast. He was now laying in a spreading pool of blood with a missing left arm whilst his sword was currently inside of a dead claw thing whilst the other one was in a bloodied mess but still alive.
Verk killed the thing with a quick throw of his knife before going to help Parl up despite Hraeta telling him they need to help the others first. She was forced to solo the muscle thing Kaide was fighting which was easier for her since the thing has a useless arm from all the hacking, slashing and with half of a bronze sword stuck inside of it and she was fast and agile though the wounds slow her down.
Taika and Kirja had to pick up on most of the slack as they have to now both support the crumbling frontline starting after Barmas the more defensive of the two spear wielders got taken out by the muscle thing. After that hit, the others panicked hard and tried to kill it as quickly as possible which only resulted in more problematic losses more than anything.
One of the 2 monitors being very skilled in tail attacks kept slapping it with its modified tail blade to the body from range which was a very successful tactic until it panicked after Barmas received a hit and got its entire tail ripped off of it before taking a straight to the face as it landed on top of Meena who was trying to get Barmas back up downing all of them.
Batra was very much not happy with that and tried to claw the things eyes out throwing caution to the winds which did not work and he ended up taking a dirt nap for his troubles laying in the ground though thankfully for him the blow was more of an afterthought than a serious one. The muscle thing also managed to crush the other monitor causing some bleeding as it simply collapsed to the ground with multiple broken bones.
The other Vesper ran away after all that happened from some instinct to survive and without Tier being there to help… the instinct won over and it fled hard back towards the dungeon. Galdra was now the only one standing in front of the muscle thing, his breathing erratic, his movements stiff as he clenched his spear tighter ready to hold the line till death “fucking coward!” he called out to the Vesper fleeing away before ducking under another straight.
The muscle thing took a lot of damage being bloodied similar to the one Hraeta was now juking. It went up to swat the creature in front of it to a bloody pulp before having its entire left arm ripped off from a very powerful blast of pure light from Kirja channeling a lot of her mana into a literal spinning buzzsaw of light as she empowers the powerful lv.3 light spell she recently learned.
The thing now well beyond bloodied with its blue blood dripping from the wound rages and makes it way towards Kirja with all its might ignoring being severely gored from the sides by both Galdra and Taika to attack the small serpent that dared attack at it.
Kirja was not happy at being grapped and squeezed by the massive arm of the large giant muscle thing though and she repeatedly bit into the arm of the creature multiple times injecting her venom into the blood stream. The venom worked which surprised her since she thought it wouldn’t though that causes the big thing to toss her away instead which resulted in her sailing through the air contemplating her life choices before crashing into the box fragments where Kaide landed into the midst of some small varmilleons looking for an easy meal.
The situation was very bad now, Taika was alone trying to salvage the situation by helping either Galdra or Hraeta hold off their respective thingy which they were both failing spectacularly against, Meena and Barmas lay underneath a tailless monitor all unconscious, Verk picked up Parl and went somewhere, Batra is probably dead, the other monitor is probably dead, Kirja and Kaide were lying in the same place in the fragments of wooden boxes with many scavenging Vermilleon waiting for either to die and the last Vesper ran away ‘This is fine… this is fine… this is.. no… fuck fuck no it is not oh fuck’ Taika thought as she started panicking from the whole situation.
“hey look, I finally figured out how to see through the eyes of m-oh shit! Hang on guys I’ll get some reinforcements!” a sound rang out in the semi-conscious state of Kaide’s mind as he looked into the blurry sky with barely opened eyes ‘so I failed… that’s not that surprising… Tier’s going to replace me now huh’ Kaide thought as he tried to move ‘maybe it’s for the best… I’m terrible at this stuff, I never even wanted to be a commander or whatever in the first place’ his thoughts continue to train as he managed to wiggle his claws a bit.
‘it’s… hard to keep up a mask… hard to be dependable… hard to give orders…… hard to be hard on others’ he managed to clench his right hand holding the lower half of his sword ‘I don’t want any of it, I just wanted to be… a cowardly kobold… like how the rest of the world views us from Aenirus descriptions…’ his breathing started to calm down and the blurriness starts to fade.
‘I just… want to give up… to show my true nature so Tier could… give the spot to someone else…’ he starts to get up scaring the scavengers away from an easy meal ‘why didn’t !?’ he sat up as his self-doubts continue ‘why didn’t I just… ask to give up…’ he stood up quite uneasily as he went to take a step almost falling from it ‘why didn’t I simple… give up…’ he took another step and then another.
‘… I’m so afraid’ the blurriness completely fades ‘I’m always afraid…’ he picks a confused Kirja up over his shoulder ‘… I’m no unbreakable warrior, no great commander, no impeccable hunter…’ he put Kirja down in a safer spot as she went fully unconscious ‘I’m just a… kobold who was born in the right place… at the right time… to the right dungeon… with the right stats and mindset…’ he starts walking again.
‘everyone thinks I’m me… Tier’s first creation and a model to look up too…’ his steps started to wobble again ‘In truth…I’m just a named kobold with average stats… nothing else…’ he stumbles and falls on one knee and pukes out a part of his stomach ‘I put on a mask of a personality… that others want and expect to see…’ he thought as he threw up on the ground ‘why…’ he stands up ‘why do I keep trying…’ he wipes the puke from his mouth as his eyes start to focus again ‘why…’ he found himself asking.
‘maybe… it’s because I do care’ he starts moving quicker again ‘maybe… it’s because this self-doubting really doesn’t matter…’ his grip tightens ‘or perhaps… when one puts on a mask and act a certain way for so long… they started become one with the mask’ he triggered his fleet-footed ability ‘they do say… that you either die as a coward… or live long enough to see yourself be a hero’ his self-doubt disappeared as his run became a leap ‘… not much of a hero but I do know that… that piece of shit in front of me is going to die…’ the lower half of his sword gleams as he plunged an aimed thrust directly onto where the neck should be on the big muscle thing he was fighting.
“Did you forget about me?” his worse barely loud enough for Hraeta to hear as she tenses up “they do say that you should finish what you started” he said sternly as his activated another art he gained Great Cleave and cut the big muscle things head clean off… a creature whose neck has fused to its torso “though… I don’t think you will be able to learn from your mistakes since you’ll just be dust by the end of this fight” his line finished and he stepped forward and stumbled a bit.
“oh… so that’s why Aenirus discouraged art chain… ning……” his voice grew weaker as he collapsed once again from overuse of arts “shit… thanks Kaide” Hraeta thanked him and commented before moving to help Galdra who now sport one limp arm from one of the muscle thing attacks.
“o-okay, this may be salvageable now” Taika said calmly before sending another lightning bullet into the muscle thing ‘fucker, I can’t stronger spells since those require some hand motion and the spell focus which I can’t since my right arm is useless now but cantrips aren’t cutting it either… I could rush in but… now that Hraeta has arrived, we should be goo-’ *boom* her thoughts were cut off as a loud explosion can be heard from where the fight was taking place.
“EAT THAT YA WANKER!!” Verk now re-entered the fight throwing a clay pot which exploded directly onto the face of the muscle thing “holy shit, Verk I thought you deserted or whatever” Galdra commented on in relief “what? No way, also EAT ANOTHER ONE OF MAH FAILED HEALING POTIONS YOU MUSCLEHEADED FREAKSHOW!!!” he screamed as he threw another one of his potions which exploded once more dealing a lot of damage but most importantly staggering the thing heavily.
“AND THIS ONE AS WELL YAH DICKHEAD AND GET STUFFED YAH WANKER SUCKER MOON APE!!!” Verk insulted the thing again and threw another healing potion at the now at the death door giant muscle thing.
Suddenly, many wounds around the thing start to heal over “Strewth, I mean holy shit! My healing potions finally worked… WHAT THE FUCK WHY DID IT WORK NOW YOU GOD FORSAKEN WORLD!!!” Verk cursed his luck as the big thing now fully healed seized the initiative and threw Hraeta at the source of all the damage it was taking and knocked another clay pot with a healing potion mixture inside out of his hand which exploded nect to him.
“curse me freaking luck” Verk commented as the big thing now starts to lumber forward towards where a now unconscious Hraeta lay on top of him, Galdra tries to gore it but… his spear broke at the most unopertuned time “well, shit… a bit of help here?” Verk cried out shyly as the thing continued to lumber slowly at his position whilst Galdra tried to hamstring it with a dagger… only to realize that he forgot his dagger back at the dungeon “well that’s just great ya fuckwit” Verk complained loudly and Galdra shyly ran over to pick up a weapon though he would likely not get there in time.
The thing didn’t exactly reach them… Taika… she blasted the last living enemy she could see with all her power using enough of her reserve mana to let her cast a spell however inefficient it is and enough so that it would not make her fall unconscious “holy shit… I did not know I can do that… I think I just figured out how quickening a spell works” she let out as she uses her remaining hand to hold her head a bit from the migraine from mana usage.
“what? No thank you? I did just save your life there Verk” Taika said teasingly, before they can do anything else, a strong mental signal was pushed into their minds “DON’T WORRY GUYS, I GOT CLOSE AIR SUPPORT IN A COUP-oh… the battle’s over… sorry” Tier quickly apologized before leaving their presence for a bit.
“he does worry a lot” Taika observed “he always does” Verk added “been that way since I was born I guess” Kaide woke up from the mental screaming… actually all of them did, the deserting Vesper even came back… to get a very big stern lecture by the very angry Kaide. Of the 13 members of the expedition… no one died… miraculously… It took a lot of their time just to make sure no one would bleed out or die from anything which turned out to be much harder than most of them thought though they do manage it… barely.
Some like Parl lost something like their arm but those wounds however nasty would quickly heal once the expedition return to the dungeon “looks like all threats are neutralized” Kaide announced “we should check the area just in case” he reminded them “no need boss, I think that’s all of them” Galdra said calmly as he took a sip of water from a waterskin “see, I said it and no more things appear!” he jokingly remarked.
Another big muscle thing burst through from another house followed by two claw thing “GODDAMIT GALDRA, DO I NEED TO SHUT YER FACKIN MOUTH YOU DIPSHIT DICKHEAD!!!” Verk cursed a slew of profanities at the now cowering kobold “don’t, I’ll sew it tight when we get back to the dungeon” Taika calmly said “after I stuff that mouth full of Tutoes” Kaide added calmly as he readies a javelin in his right hand as a melee wapon “alright people, looks like round three is beginning because someone doesn’t know how to shut their mouths” Kaide announced and all prepare their weapons or whatever they can field as the others groaned and moaned at their exhaustion.
As the big thing charges, the two little claw things got impaled from two dark spears coming from the ground and a mass of claws, tooth, scales, wings and tail came crashing down on the giant killing it instantly leaving a crater on the ground as dust was blasted off the ground “that… was… AMAZING! WE should totally do it again” Aeniurs happily exclaimed as she leapt off of Ruma who can only nod vigorously in excitement and joy at killing something above his weight class with a single blow.
The others… simply collapsed in exhaustion at the arrival of two of their allies and with their help, they should be able to clear off a few claw thing stragglers and loot the place of anything not nailed down as they return towards the dungeon… once their other reinforcements arrived… and then most of them fell into unconsciousness for a little bit…