"If you can't beat them, kill them," the ninja humurously said out loud, "...Or was it join them. Oh well, It's going to die one way or the other."
The ninja fully unsheathed his magically glowing katana, and looked over to Karyn, Brea, Chaer, and Sammel.
"Care to join me as I push it into the darkness." the ninja hinted, as he pulled out a shuriken and threw it at the maw on the side of the creature.
The silent plant creature did not flinch at the shuriken attack, instead it launched the offensive, and started to wave its tentacles at the attackers. The attacker's weapon started to sizzled, as the creature's slime slowly began to melt the shuriken.
The ninja then quickly ran up to the creature hacking and blocking most of its tentacles (though there were some close calls). No matter how many tentacles Takayoshi cut off, a new one grew in its place.
"Must hit center blob of creature, but it might melt my sword, " the ninja braintormed, "But those shurikens weren't magical...Must take chance."
The ninja saw the opening he waited for and proceeded to cleave the central blob in two. However, the blade just only grazed the blob of the creature as Tak felt one of its appendages grab him by the waist, and proceeded throw him over the edge. Moreover, Takayoshi felt the jerking motion caused by the creature.
"It's in pain", the ninja yelled to his camrades, "Aim for the center, but be careful its slime is acidic."
While he was dangling in the air, he caught a glimpse of the end of his sword's blade. He saw some of that acidic slime on his blade, but it did nothing to the blade.
"The magic must have protected it from the slime, must cut app...," his thoughts were disturbed as he felt his body slid and roll onto the floor. Then without warning, Takayoshi felt the floor disappear from underneath him.
He almost fell to his doom when he instinctive held onto the edge of the floor, with his free hand. Cautiously, he lifted his other hand and put his katana onto the floor. He then proceeded to climb up from the edge. Now, the creature had enemies on both side of it.
"Maybe magic could hurt it or kill it, as well!!", the ninja called out, "It sure doesn't hurt to try."
"No magic here, but I've got ideas," Chaer said, relieved that Takayoshi was back in the fight. He backed up, keeping his eyes on the creature all the time, and grabbed one of the two remaining torches from its wall sconce. He looked over to Sammel. "You remember?"
"Yes, I do," Sammel replied as he kept his sword dancing in front of a tentacle. "I don't know if it'll work, but it's worth a try." He and Chaer stood side by side for a moment. When they saw an opening, they rushed in closer to the monster. Sammel sliced through a tentacle close to the body, and Chaer immediately applied the flame to the severed stump.
The creature howled in agony and lashed out at the duo, but they'd already jumped back as far as the now-limited space would allow. Panting, they looked at their handiwork. The flame had worked; no new tentacle grew from the stump. Unfortunately, the acid that had oozed from the wound had extinguished the flame--and eaten away most of the torch in the process.
"What now?" asked Sammel.
"Protect me," replied Chaer as he dashed to the edge of the broken floor. Sammel followed, doing his best to keep the tentacles at bay.
Chaer began yanking at the edges of the floorboards. Most of what was left was pretty solid, but he managed to prize up a few pieces. "These will...burn..." he grunted as he yanked up the last accessible piece. "Better if we had oil."
"Sorry, I'm fresh out," Sammel said. "Check on those shelves behind us. Maybe...oof!" Sammel grunted as a tentacle hit him in a sidewise swipe. He rolled with it and bounced back to his feet, always keeping his sword up and at the monster. He danced back toward Chaer, hoping they'd be lucky and find some oil.
Brea finally snapped back to reality as a tentacle smacked against her and knocked her into a bookshelf. She instinctively caught herself with a shaky right hand, blinking at the changes in the room. At the mention of oil and shelves, Brea started looking around and realized she was hanging onto a bookshelf.
She shook her head a little and blinked trying to clear the cobwebs from her mind. Then she started pulling stuff off the shelves looking for some oil, although she wasn't exactly sure why. She simply tossed books and strange trinkets to the side, in her dazed search for oil.
When the wall collapsed, Karyn had been pinned under a beam from the ceiling. She managed to extricate herself just as Chaer and Sammel began scrounging for wood. Realizing she needed to buy her friends some time, she began lobbing bits of fallen masonry at the creature, hoping to distract it.
"Hey! Over here, you big composte heap! Over here!"
The creature moved to face this new attack, advancing on the bardmistress and waving its tentacles meanacingly. Karyn drew her sword and used the flat of the blade to deflect the blows.
"Whatever you guys are going to do....do it quickly!"
The Servant, still hovering in the air above what was left of the room, observed the battle with an anxious expression. There was nothing he could to to assist the rescuers, although his face seemed to betray a change in allegiance. From somewhere below him came the pull of the ring's third summons, and, reluctantly, he vanished into the ruins below.
Melyda finally reached the edge of the debris pile. But once there, she paused and looked back. 'The book,' she thought. 'Should I go back and look for it?' As she hesitated, she saw Kieraan's Aerial Servant descend and disappear into the debris.
'Tanj! He's still alive!' she thought. She whirled around and began limping toward the courtyard. 'I've got to find help for Sammel and the others. And if Kieraan gets free, I don't want to risk becoming his hostage again.'
The Queen, now dressed in shining silver armour, was leading a charge towards the breach made by the fallen walls. The walls had been cleverly made to collapse outwards and into the moat, effectively cutting the distance to the opposite shore by half. The Dwarves quickly advanced and laid down wooden planks to cover the remaining gap, and now they and the elves were advancing into the fort from two directions.
The Queen spotted the battle going on in the ruined tower and directed two of her Rangers to shoot their arrows up at the strange plant creature. In short order four arrows connected, but the creature only howled as its wounds spilled more acid onto the floor. The acid started to eat away at what was left of the room, and the already unstable floor began sloping dangerously downwards.
"OH, @!#$@#! !!!", the ninja cursed out loud, as he started to feel the floor slope downward, and his body slide down it.
"Must hold on, " he frantically thought.
"Vorpal don't fail me now!" he prayed out loud as he jammed the sword into the floor. Its magically properties took effect as the sword's blade sunk into the floor, and left Takayoshi only dangling from the edge.
"Where is Elwynn and that flying carpet when you need them!", he angrily thought out loud.
He looked up to see that the creature was on the edge of the slope, however he was on the edge of the FLOOR.
"Uh, guys, I need some help here," he seriously and sarcastically yelled, "Since it's close to the edge of the slope, how about trying to push it down the slope! I might be able to help pull it off, and please hurry because, this not getting any more level!!!"
Brea was still absentmindedly tossing books and strange trinkets over her shoulder, only vaguely aware of the increasing slope of the floor. Finally her hand fell around a large flask, she was just about to toss it away too, when she realized what she was holding. She blinked at the strange, yellowy liquid and swirled the thick substance around. Then she unstoppered the flask and sniffed.
"Ooof," she sneered, wrinkling her nose at the smell and resealing the flask. Then turning towards Sammel and Chaer, she held up the flask slightly and called out to them, "This might work, though it smells awful."
Chaer took the flask from Brea. "Not enough time for continuing Hercules approach," he said, his face serious for once.
Sammel nodded, looking at his sword, which was pitted with acid burns. "I don't think our weapons would last long enough anyway. Here's my idea. Chaer, you and Brea fan out to either side and distract that thing. I'll rush in and douse it with this stuff, then Karyn and I can take turns rushing it, using the pieces of wood as battering rams. Once it's over the edge, the rest of you can help Takayoshi back up, while I drop the torch down on it. Hopefully, this stuff will keep it on fire long enough to kill it.
"Takayoshi," he called to the dangling ninja. "I think we've got a plan that'll work. Is Melyda still down there, or did she get away?"
"Okay Sammel," Karyn said, "Go ahead and give it a try....hurry! I think the floor is starting to give way!"
"No she's not down there," the ninja replied as he looked down, "Please hurry about this plan! I can't live on the edge for forever!"
"I just hope they know what they're doing, because I am at loss for ideas right now!", the now seriously ninja thought
Chaer dragged the large pieces of wood up near the door, where Sammel and Karyn would have a clear run at the middle of the beast. He handed a bandolier full of knives to Breannyn with a bow, then moved off to the left side, gathering bits of wood and masonry as he went and struggling to keep his balance against the slant of the floor.
Sammel waited until everyone was in position--Chaer and Brea off to either side, Karyn by him--then he used what was left of his sword to break off the neck of the flask and shouted, "Now!"
At that signal, Chaer and Brea threw a few knives at the creature, then began flinging whatever debris they could get their hands on. The beast roared and moved its tentacles threateningly after them, leaving its middle relatively open. Sammel seized that opportunity to dash in and splash the monster with the liquid, hurriedly upending the flask over its head before he ducked down and scrambled back up the inclined floor to where Karyn was waiting.
"Have at 'em," he said to Karyn. "But be careful not too close. The floor's really slanting down there; it'll be hard to get back."
Sammel watched as Karyn charged the monster, knocking it backwards with her piece of wood. He helped her to scramble away, as Chaer and Brea continued peppering it with pieces of wood and stone, and the occaional knife when it seemed to be getting inured to those materials. He picked up a piece of wood and charged, ramming the wood into its midsection. It staggered back some more, and was now perilously close to the edge. Sammel dropped the acid-burned piece of wood, now considerably shorter than it had been, and scrambled back, barely avoiding being snatched by a tentacle.
"One more should do it, Karyn!" he said, excitement, adrenaline, and exhaustion all combining to make his voice loud but quavering. He grabbed the torch and followed closely behind her as she made her run, ready to help her back from the edge. He watched with satifaction as the beast, propelled by Karyn's charge, slipped over the edge with a horrible cry.
He helped Karyn over to Chaer, who was on the side where Takayoshi was clinging to his sword--and his life. "Brea," he called. "Help them get Takayoshi up here. Once he's safe, I'll drop the torch!"
He lay down and carefully slid to the edge, peering over the broken edges of the boards. Kieraan's beast was straight below him, moaning and growling. It was injured, but Sammel couldn't tell how badly, and he didn't want to take any chances. Holding the torch over it, he waited, nerves afire, until the others got Takayoshi up.
As soon as the creature began to topple over the edge of the gaping hole in the floor, Brea dropped the last of the debris she had been using to keep it back. She ran over to where Takayoshi was still clinging to the edge of the floor. "Way ahead of you Sammel," she called back over her shoulder.
She dropped to the floor as she neared the edge and lay down on her stomach so as not to put too much weight in any one spot, then slid herself closer to Takayoshi. Grabbing hold of him by his forearm, she smiled down at him. "You better not be trying to back out on that ale, now."
Sammel watched as Brea pulled Takayoshi up. "Here it goes," he called as he dropped the torch over the side. He crossed his fingers as it landed on the monster.
Unfortunately, not much happened. It was burned a bit, but not nearly as much as he was hoping for. "Tanj!" he said as he crawled back up to the others. "It didn't work!"
"So, I take it that you WILL join me on that ale," the ninja replied as Brea hoisted him up, "But first we have to find Melyda and Kieraan. Then we can drink, that sound good?"
He then glanced back down to the hanging floor.
"I just hope I don't do THAT again to soon," the ninja commented about his ordeal.
Just as the ninja turned around and sheathed his sword, a terrible crash sounded behind him. He carefully looked back and saw that the sloped floor fell down to the ground below. Killing the creature instantly.
"That was a little to close," the ninja sighed in relief to everyone, "and thanks for your help, Brea."
Turning his attention to Brea, "That calls for some ale AND a nice vacation. Care to join me on THAT? First things first," he looked back at the rest of the clan, "Anyone seen Elwynn lately, because I have a couple little things to tell her and that FLYING carpet of hers."
He then looked out of the gaping hole, to look for Elwynn and the Carpet, however he saw something awry.
"Uh, guys I believe that the Servant is gone," the ninja commented as he saw the Aerial's absence from the scene, "I guess Kieraan is using his last sommons on him. I just hope it's not on Melyda, if that is the case then we must hurry."
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