Hunters of Terra Dolor (Role Playing Section)

Meeting the Metals pt. 4

“Then will you come have a cup of tea?”

“Fine…” Titania relented as she grabbed the handlebars for his wheelchair walking him back as a hand wrapped around Faith’s mouth and held her back.

“Don’t scream, I just wanna talk without my older brother and sister hearing us.” A mouse thrope said quickly before removing his hand. “Sorry, my name’s Cooper. I figured my Brother and Sister are gonna have a fight and I think you don’t wanna get involved… at least I hope you don’t.”

A shortsword placed itself firmly into his neck, a familiar crest in view. “You will let me leave or I swear to the Goddess of Rage that you will not have a head or a brother. I am the one thing that can keep Titania from killing him. So, do you want to try again?” She pushed the sword a little deeper into his skin, but not enough to pierce it.

He frowned but raised his hands in a non-threatening manner. “Hey. As much as they hate each other, they wouldn’t kill each other. Injure, yes, but never kill. Now, I can guess… but you guys talk so loudly I heard everything. So you’re Titania’s daughter? How’d you meet?”

“Is that entirely important? Why am I the one getting asked questions when you’re the one who should be answering some?” The sword removed itself from his skin to place itself underneath his chin. “Also, I don’t exactly appreciate the fact that you decided to cover my mouth the way you did. Have you ever thought about, I don’t know, not being creepy?”

“Sorry, force of habit. Cecilia says that leaves evidence behind for people to figure out but… I keep forgetting and that’s why.” He said softly, tilting his head as the blade bit into him, a bit of blood dribbling down. “And you’re like me: Curious about others and about what those who’ve passed have left behind, right?”

“In a more psychological sense, I suppose,” Faith answered dryly.

“Well, I was going to talk to you and if we got to be friends, lend you a rare book I have...but it seems you want to stab me. Which I’d prefer not to happen. Corpses tend not to be the best conversationalists after all.” He replied, his hand reaching behind him.

“As the one who captured the spy, don’t I get to choose what happens from this point forth?” Faith removed the blade from his chin, swinging it once with help from her magic to remove the blood before sheathing it.

“You do. So what happens now? Are we going to keep talking or are you going to hurt me…?” Cooper asked, his thumb lighting on fire as he slowly raised the flame to seal the wound shut.

Faith quickly slapped Cooper across the face, the impact infused with magic.

“Is that what you want? For me to bleed out? Okay. Give me a deeper cut then, although Titania probably won’t be happy with you.”

“One, THAT was for keeping me from getting some tea, which I was looking forward to. Two, a cut that deep wouldn’t make you bleed out, nor would one even slightly deeper do so.” Faith paused for a moment, waiting for the magic to start healing his wound shut. “And three, I healed it, so stop crying. I can use Light magic, you know. I’m not an incapable child, believe it or not.”

“I know. I can read magical auras, you know. I appreciate you not turning me into a puddle. That would’ve been far too messy and being swimmed in would be horrible.” He deadpanned, trying to figure out if the bird enjoyed dark jokes.

Faith raised an eyebrow at the comment, but said nothing more. “I can’t imagine the only thing you want from me is to be on good terms and to just avoid your siblings for the time being. Is there some sort of hidden plot you have cooking in that rodent brain of yours?”

“Yes. I plan to tie you up and feed you to carnivorous parrots. I am an evil mastermind who shall do exactly that.” He said in a monotone voice, his eyebrow raising.

“I assure you, the carnivorous parrots would get you first before they’d ever get me,” Faith responded with a voice just as monotone.

“Are you sure? They seem to like me… never even taken a bite out of me…” He continued, a small smirk popping out.

“Hard to call you an evil mastermind when you don’t even know that parrots are nibblers, not biters. Not to mention, they have no capability to bite in the first place. What kind of evil mastermind ARE you?” Faith crossed her arms as she slowly hovered upwards, to the point where she was glaring down at him inquisitively.

“One that needs to ketchup with the rest of the evil masterminds… I don’t relish this, but I must ask you for help… which must-be-hard for you. Can you help me become better?” He joked this time smiling, as he began floating too.

“I can’t call you a weiner for that much of a stretch. You should probably just float on by if you plan on making a career out of this. There’s no way I can help chew.”

He giggled, as he bowed to her. “I admit my defeat, your puns are too punny even for a simple man like me…”

She gave him a curtsy, though she descended a lot quicker than she intended once she noticed her panties could’ve been visible. She stumbled backwards as her heels clicked on the ground with an unsturdy feel.

Strong hands steadied her as Cooper did his best to look away, his face a bit red from what he’d seen. “A-a-are you okay?”

Faith exhaled a sigh of relief, though her expression immediately turned dark with intrigue. “Oh? Did my panties make you hard? We’re related, you know. That’s…” She leaned closer to Cooper’s ear to moan. “Immoral~.”

He immediately floated away, his face even brighter as his wind took his place at helping her. “N-no! I just… t-t-technically you’re not r-r-”

“‘We’re technically not related’, right? I am still your niece, Uncle. Don’t tell me! You plan to do,” Faith faked a surprised gasp,” pervy things to me?” She took a few steps back, feigning fear while her eyes stated otherwise.

“S-s-stop teasing me. It’s u-u-unfair that you g-got my stutter to c-come back.” He pouted, turning away from the duck.

“Well, it’s not fair that you took me from behind, Uncle… I wasn’t prepared for your meat to touch my lips like that… And then you told me not to scream… That was scary…”

“Oh my Gods. W-why…? I can’t t-tell if you’re t-trying to seduce me or i-if you’re just… a degenerate.” He stuck out his tongue at her, still pouting.

The duck floated up to him, giving him a hug around his waist and leaving her hands dangerously close to his genitals. “You know, I used to have a stutter too… Mr. Awkward Boner.”

“And s-so you tease m-me? S-seems highly unfair…” He pouted, before he tried to squirm out of her grip.

With his struggling, her small hands ended up gripping his meat in the hidden alcove. Anyone who happened upon the scene that was unfolding would likely be very concerned.

“L-l-l-let go!” He whisper yelled, trying to squirm out of her new grip.

Faith let go, pouting and floating close enough to allow him to have enough space but not so far that she couldn’t talk to him and grab onto him. “I just wanted to make you happy, Uncle…”

“You just-t rubb-bed me! N-n-not okay!” Cooper continued, his face a bright red and his expression a mixture of horrified, intrigued, and sheer embarrassment.

“But Uncle… you moved my hand there…”

“I did not! You grabbed it!”
 
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Meeting the Metals pt. 5


“While I was hugging you, you moved and my hands were on your… ummm…” Faith paused for a long time, pretending to prefer not to state what she was touching.

“Just- UGH.” A wall of rock sprung up between them, as did one of fire and lightning on either side of him.

As soon as relief washed over him, he felt two small arms wrapping around him. Where there was once a wall, there was now a pile of rubble covered in fire and lightning. “I know you have some personal problems to sort through, Uncle, but--”

Soft lips planted themselves on hers as he turned around, seemingly testing her own theory. His hands wrapped around to pull her closer, but held a gentleness to them that revealed he didn’t want to hurt her.

“W-was that… an adult kiss, Uncle?” Soft, adorable and innocent eyes peered up at him as her tongue licked her own lips sexually, juxtaposing what she was intending to convey.

His voice held a more confident tone to it. “No. I’m not going to be a toy for you to use. You want to…” His stutter returned unceremoniously, “ f-fuck me, d-d-d-d-d-date me f-first.”

Strong arms moved to his shoulders to pin him to the ground with certainty. Faith’s eyebrow raised in question. “Who said I wanted to fuck you?” she asked, her voice returning to her normal one. “And how did you come to that conclusion, mister?” She dragged a finger across his chest, slowly but confidently as she laid upon him.

He remained silent, but held an unreadable look. “Then w-why a-are you holding me d-down?”

“Because you put the thought in my mind as well as your own. Not to mention, you were the one who looked at my panties.” She paused, her expression becoming more devious. “Just be happy I was wearing some today. I usually don’t.”

His face flamed with embarrassment, as he struggled to get away. “Just… I'm s-sorry. Okay?”

“I’m assuming you’re wearing underwear, right? It’s only fair that I see yours after you’ve seen mine, right?”

He struggled even harder, trying to get away from her. “N-n-n-no!”

“What? Is it covered in hearts or something?” Faith tried undoing his pants while keeping him pinned, which was a lot harder than she thought. “Why are you so insistent that I--”

Instead of finding underwear, she found the meat stick she referenced, as it practically bursted from his pants, surprisingly girthy for such a small man. The mouse stopped moving, too embarrassed or humiliated to continue.

“Oh,” was Faith’s response.

The mouse tried to speak but only squeaks came out, too embarrassed to talk to the woman on top of him.

“And why, by chance, are you wearing no underwear?” She poked the meat stick. “Did you see me and you just HAD to put on whatever you could find?”

“I didn't have practice… n-no practice, no fancy clothes… a-and since my underwear is fancy…” he started before trying to swat her hand away, as it was near his sensitive member.

Swatting her hand made her finger caress over the tip with her soft fingers. “So, I was technically right.” She pulled his pants back up and put them back together before laying on top of him, listening to his rapid heartbeat. “I’m sorry…” she whispered, loud enough for him to hear.

“Why?” The question escaped his lips, his tone one of hurt. “Why this?”

“Are you okay? Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?” She tried to spread her warmth to him through her light magic.

He stopped stuttering but his upset look persisted. “Why did you do it? Why did you keep going when I told you to stop?”

“Heat of the moment… the irony of that…” Faith buried her face in Cooper’s shirt.

“How… do we go about this, then?” He asked, wondering why she was trying to hide in his shirt.

“About what?” she murmured into his shirt.

“Dealing with what just happened.”

“Either we act upon it or we don’t act upon it. That’s really it.” Faith looked up at Cooper, searching for a reaction.

“As in…?” His face hid his emotions but there was a hint of naivete that went with his words.

“Well, as you’ve previously stated, we are not actually related. If you want to do it, this is your choice to make. I will not make any decision here and I will allow you to choose what happens from here on.” Faith’s voice started becoming hoarse, so she cleared her throat. Her cheeks held a slight tinge of blush. “I’ll be happy with whatever choice you make. My fate is in your hands. Not to mention, you’d be doing it with a Goddess, so...”

“But you're not a Goddess.” Cooper replied, tilting his head to the side. “And I already told you that I'm not looking for sex. Call me a bit old fashioned, but isn't this sudden choice of yours to have sex a bit random? You held a sword to my throat literally not a few minutes ago…”

“Meh. I change tunes as the winds change direction. And, pointing out that I’m not a Goddess is rather rude, you know. I am known as the Goddess of Knowledge and Conviction, Faith Regallis.” Faith looked as if she’d received an extreme confidence boost until it all crashed down to where it used to be not moments before. “And, honestly, if you agree to my proposition, I can’t say I’d be able to handle the weapon you yourself would wield against me anyway, so to speak. It was rather impressive, if you don’t mind me saying so.”

He stared up at the girl on top of him. “Look. I'm not going around screwing just anyone, and while being held down isn't exactly how I expected this to go, you shouldn't be doing it regardless. There's a line you shouldn't cross with strangers, Faith, but from what I've seen so far, you seem to struggle to see it.” He frowned, his look disapproving but not entirely unfriendly. “So stop with the sexual comments and let me up.”

Faith closed her eyes and slowly stood up as she got off of him. As he followed suit, he was thrust into and pinned to the nearby wall, the source obvious as Faith held out a hand in his direction. “I know you’re trying to ‘help’ me and you’re treating me like a child who needs advice with her social skills. For the record, I wouldn’t have made so many sexual jokes if they weren’t hanging right in front of my face.” Faith started pacing back and forth, switching hands as she turned. “The thing that intrigues me most is that you believe that I do this kind of thing to just anyone. And yes, while we’re technically strangers, we’re also technically family, opening another rather large jar of worms for me to access for joking purposes. Now… I’m not disappointed in your answer. I’m disappointed in your ending line. I understand that even I go a little too far, but I would’ve preferred a nicer, let alone more gentlemanly, answer to my question. Now, I will let you go, but I am not entirely pleased with how this has gone, so don’t expect Little Miss Nice Faith.” As she finished, she let her hand down, signifying that she wasn’t pushing upon him anymore.

“To be fair, I didn't hurt you, and I did apologize. You stuck a sword to my throat, sexually assaulted me, and then offered me sex after I said no multiple times. Truth be told, I have reason to be rude, and while I did scold you like a child, your actions were childish in nature, not like a seventeen year-old should act.” Cooper started, his own breeze brushing through his hair. “This was too far, drastically so. What gives you the right to try to scold me when you're in the wrong? When…” He suddenly stopped, his face paleing a little as he looked past Faith.

The literal raging winds that were picking up around the Faith immediately faltered and a blush rose to her cheeks as she noticed who it was. As quickly as she could, she dashed past the individual, hoping she wouldn’t get caught.

A hand caught her nearly throwing her back. “Cooper… Faith…” Titania started, her voice full of icy rage. “Explain. Now.”

“My fault-” Cooper started, trying to take the blame.
 
Meeting the Metals pt. 6


“It’s my fault!” Faith yelled over him, diverting Titania’s full attention. After she did so, a hand went to her forehead, signifying the physical pain this situation brought her. “Everything that happened here is my fault… I don’t want to get into specifics, but--”

The wind around her mouth silenced her as Cooper continued. “I grabbed her from behind and tried to talk to her, but… I kinda caused us both to fall and we ended up in a rather compromising position. As you can guess-”

A loud explosion quickly shot Cooper into the wall, Faith untying the strands of wind preventing her from talking as she did so. She cleared her throat, an eyebrow twitching in irritation. “You’re making it seem much worse than it was. He just surprised me, is all… And then I started being really rude to him for no reason… And that was pretty much it… I was just being a brat…”

Titania grabbed Faith’s ear, her grip not too gentle as she dragged Faith along to do the exact same thing to Cooper, completely silent as she did so.

Barely visible next to the mouse was a message simply being ‘I'm sorry’. As he got up, he made eye contact with Faith, his head nodding subtly at her, promptly before Titania grabbed his much larger ear.

She dragged them both inside the manor, straight to the library. She let go of their sore ears, her voice still cold. “Stay here and don't get into more trouble.” The unspoken punishment of what she might do if they didn't listen hung in the air like a shroud over them. The wolf soon left, leaving the two to wait.

“I-I know… I’m a terrible person… I’ll see if I can get you out of this…” Faith piped up as soon as Titania was out of range.

“My fault… I shouldn't have snuck up on you. I'll try to make her less mad. Hopefully Dad can calm her down.” Cooper said softly, rubbing his fairly large ear.

“I will not let you incur the wrath of Titania and I swear it upon my tiny little heart that’s coated in blackness and death and-- you get the point.”

“Still doesn't mean I won't try to take the heat off you… nobody deserves Titania's rage. Best let her hate me like the rest of my brothers, as this'll probably be the last time we see each other. “ He handed her an old tome, still dusty despite its obvious use. “It's magic and history. Got some nice spells… wow, we're kinda screwed, aren't we?”

“Do we run?” Faith asked, tilting her head up at the taller man.

“Nope. Probably would make it worse.”

“Not if your Dad had anything to do with it!” Graeme proudly proclaimed as he entered the library, promptly before smacking them both with a book. “And you're both stupid for having a fight or trying to lewd one another; whatever it was I don't care. Just… don't do it again… or keep it in private.”

“I feel like an alcove is pretty damn private…” Faith mumbled to herself.

“Oh ho? Well, no, it's outside, so try a room with a lock. You'll do better.” Graeme said softly, before wacking Faith again. “And don't talk back. Grandpa just saved both your asses, so no disrespect, young lady.”

“Dad, that's just how she talks.” Cooper tried to say before another book wack came.

“You're already in trouble for sneaking off… are you trying to get in more trouble? “

“No…”

“Good. Now, Faith. I'm Graeme, but you can call me Grandpa.” The lion said softly, reaching a meaty hand out that dwarfed Faith's. “It's a pleasure to finally meet you.”

The size of two fingers was the same size as Faith’s entire hand as she extended it. “Graemepa fits just as well, in my opinion.” She made extra emphasis on the Graeme portion.

He chuckled, a twinkle in his eye. “I see you like puns… I see why you and Cooper got a bit more acquainted.”

“Dad, no!”

“Dad, yes. I can say what I want… I'm older than either of you by several decades. Anyways,” He looked at Faith, his face becoming serious. “If you're going to date Cooper or do anything indecent, you'll have to abandon the official connection you have with Titania. Only in title, mind you, as I'm fairly certain that Titania couldn't see you any other way.”

“I figured that was an option, if that’s what Cooper wanted.” Faith nudged the man himself slightly in a friendly nature.

However the mouse seemed to be hiding his head in his hands. “You're both terrible…” He groaned, his face bright red where he couldn't hide it. “We've literally only met!”

“And?”

“It's immoral!”

Graemepa looked at Faith. “Mind giving him a chance?”

“I'm still bloody here!”

“I figured it was obvious I was giving him plenty. Must I be more… forward… with it?” Faith stepped closer to Cooper to where she was uncomfortably close to him.

“He's shy and hasn't had a relationship.. You might need to blatantly say it.” Graeme replied, grinning at his son's misfortune.

“Uh-uhm… Cooper… I…” Faith was permanently dragging it on as long as she could to induce the most amount of suffering upon him, bringing back some of her old habits like twiddling her fingers. “I, um… Oh, do I need to spell it out for you?... It’s just… Umm…”

“S-stop! Why a-are you teasing me?!” He floated up to a bookshelf, cramming himself into a pocket of it.

“Maybe I should introduce you to everyone else. That way, Cooper won't hide.” Graeme suggested.

“Maybe, with some added competition, he will be a little more forward…” Faith added.

“Well, come along then, Faith. I'll give you the grand tour.” He got up, but as he did so, a familiar kind of limp revealed itself. Graeme held the door open for Faith, gesturing for her to go through.

She gave Cooper a wink before going through the door, her tiny steps barely able to be heard.

Once she went through, Graeme let out a laugh. “Yup, you're definitely Titana's daughter. Just as sassy, but just as shy.” Graeme noted.

“Titania? Shy? You know something I don’t.”

“She was very unsure of herself and had few friends than most growing up. She was usually by herself and tried to keep it that way. I admit, I probably didn't help with my overbearing parenting.”

“Gotcha. Well, with that wording, I’ll just believe you cared about her extensively.” Faith walked with her hands behind her back, taking one step at a time and multiple when she needed to to keep up.

“I did and still do, but like any parent that messes up, I can tell that she doesn't much care for me. I… understand why, but I hope you and I can at least be friends. After all, Graemepa has a nice ring to it…”

“I agree, though I suppose friends will be the goal for now and family later on. Unless, maybe it’s possible to become family before becoming friends…”

“You seem like a good kid, and Titania must love you a lot if she decided to bring you here. That's good enough for me to consider you family.” Graeme shrugged, offering his hand for the tiny Thrope as they walked around a corner.
 
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Meeting the Metals pt. 7


Graeme’s entire hand wrapped around Faith’s fist, making her feel a little weird, but over time, it seemed more natural than any alternative.

“Soooo… I can tell you're the learning sort, so what would you like to know? It can be for anything you want.” It seemed Graeme wasn't the best conversationalist.

“I suppose you would have a better collection than most, wouldn’t you?” Faith tried her best to compromise.

“Compared to commoners, yeah… other nobles, not so much. We're not the richest by any means, so we focus more on the combat aspect of our house. However, Cooper has been rectifying that, seeing as he owns much of the library, buying whatever he could with his own money.”

“Well… For someone like me, that is INCREDIBLY attractive.” Faith glanced over her shoulder in the direction of the library.

“Well… you want to know a secret about him?” Graeme whispered conspiratorially, looking backwards as if Cooper might suddenly appear out of nowhere.

“Whatever he doesn’t know won’t hurt him…” Faith whispered back, a twinkle in her eye at the mention of a secret.

“Well, as you might guess, he likes collecting very old books. What you don't know is he hides some poetry and romance books under his bed. A couple of the poetry books are written by him. That's if you want to make him blush more… but you didn't hear it from me though.” Graeme whispered, a jovial grin on his face.

“Very well.” Faith plainly responded, her head full of ideas.

They entered an armory where a Rhino Thrope took a stock of the weapons and how maintained they were. She was a few inches shorter than Graeme, which was fairly impressive. Noticing the two, she turned, clanking a little as she was in armor. “Heyo Dad. What brings you here with a kid?” She grinned before shaking her head. “Just kidding. Faith, I already talked with Titania. How're you? Good I hope?”

The note of her being a kid irked her, but Faith merely narrowed her eyes for a moment in warning before giving her a shrug.

“Eh? Want a dagger? We got a couple… hundred, here.” Phoebe asked.

“I have a few…” Faith proceeded to relinquish her arsenal from its restraints, letting out a little over a dozen throwing knives, her trickblade, and her underused wind dagger to float around her.

“Whoa… nice! Bet you don’t have a dagger from our house though!” Phoebe countered, before tossing the one at her hip into the air.

Faith fired her sword out of its sheath like a gun at the airborne dagger, causing the smaller weapon to land between two of her fingers before her sword slowly floated back to her hand, the blade pointed at the rhino’s neck. She paused for a moment before flipping the sword around, hilt-first. “I mean, that’s what this one is for.”

The Rhino looked at it, noting that it was chipped in some places. She grabbed it. “It’s a little damaged, would you like me to fix it up?”

“There’s a blacksmith who works at my Hunter Guild who’d normally do it, but I suppose he’ll have to accept me taking up your offer.”

“Great! So, give me a couple hours and I'll have it ready. First hour’s so I can finish up here.” The Rhino explained, as she set the used weapon on the top of a shelf. She paused, looking at her father. “Milord?”

“Noooo…” Graeme groaned irritatedly. “We're family, so no honorifics.”

“Yes, Milord.” His daughter said with a smile.

“I can give you more duties, like the latrine in the training area.” Graeme threatened.

“Okay, Milord Father.”

“Latrine duty, your next shift after the sword.” Graeme commanded sternly.

“Worth it.” The woman whispered to Faith with a giggle.

Graeme groaned again before leading Faith away. He showed her the kitchen, the lounge, his study, and a myriad of places before arriving at the training ground. “This is, as you can guess, our training ground. We sent a lot of our soldiers to help Wilhelmina Havenbrook, so we are technically vulnerable.” Graeme explained with a quiet voice. “I heard you went through Hell with a battle for the world. I'm… sorry you had to go through that.”

“Lots of blood, death, and equally disastrous things. Overall, we took the win and that’s what matters. We just need to regain our invaluable losses somehow. I doubt it will happen, but we might come to a satisfactory conclusion someday.” Faith’s tone bordered on cheery and nonchalant with an undertone of mental scarring.

Graeme paused, before kneeling down to hug Faith. “I’m sorry. If I had been allowed to fight, I would’ve ensured you wouldn’t have had to see so many perish. But,” Grame pulled back to look in her eyes, “should you ever need to talk or a safe place to be alone, just ask and I’ll make it happen. Okay?”

“I appreciate it...” Faith responded, her tone monotone and insincere as she wrapped her small arms around him.

He sighed and lifted her up easily with one arm. “That bad, huh?” He said with a sigh.

Faith gave her own sigh, though her eyebrow twitched with a different emotion than the one Graeme was expressing. “I’m not a child, Graeme-pa. If you want to talk at eye-level, I can help you with that. This is highly unnecessary.”

“True… but I feel guilty. You should let an old man get rid of his guilt towards his granddaughter by letting him hold her.” He murmured softly.

“I’m nothing if not good at making people feel more guilty,” Faith commented, her voice softening.

“Then you won't mind obliging me, then?” Graeme raised an eyebrow at the duck.

“Titania always called me a good cuddler. Well, not outright, but she’s constantly trying to cuddle me, so I must be doing something right.”

“You probably are. She absolutely adores you, despite you two not being blood relatives. If I had to guess-” Graeme started.

A heavily armored man walked out, his spear at the ready. “I demand a challenge for the head of the household, Father.” The two words were soaking in disdain.

“Why?”

“You gave the household to her? To the second youngest?! The one who left the House? Clearly, your mental capacity is at risk.”

“Steeven, there is a reason-”

“Trial by combat. You and me. That's the only way you can convince me… or are you a coward, way past your prime and more of a has-been leader?”

Faith could see a vein appear on Graeme's head as he struggled to remain calm. “I-”

A faint light spread from Graeme’s heart, calming his nerves. A powerful yet soft voice spoke to him. “Remain calm. This is not a fight you need to accept. He is baiting you into this. If he can’t listen to reason, then he shouldn’t be leading the household. At least, that’s my take on it.” Only at the end of what the voice was saying was it obvious that Faith was speaking those words.

Graeme sighed, and looked at a man he had raised but did not have his blood. “No. You may insult my honor, but I have already proven myself at Helvan. My choice is final.” Graeme turned around and began walking away only for a spear to dart a foot towards him, stopped by a blade.
 
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Meeting the Metals pt. 8


“I wouldn't do that if I were you.” Hardened eyes, murderous eyes stared into Steeven’s as Dante held him back. “It will be the last thing you do. Cecilia? Would you kindly tell him why that is?”

Ice knives surrounded Steeven in every perceivable direction. “You’ve violated many rules with that one throw. In all honesty, I should have you killed where you stand. Of course, because of Milord Graeme’s generosity, he would’ve asked that I don’t do it at all or I give you a merciful death without pain. That last one isn’t true, but I wish it was.” A feminine voice as sharp and cold as the knives surrounding Steeven penetrated the air from somewhere unrecognizable.

“As such matters are, I have jurisdiction to judge a suitable punishment for you, including death. But like Cecilia said, Graeme will let you off lightly. As such, the most I can do is confine you to your room with armed guards ready to attack you should you try to escape.” Dante approached at a fast speed, his fire melting the closest daggers around Steeven before a punch dropped the unruly noble to his knees.

He pulled him close, a fiery aura around him that spared Steeven from burning but made Dante look even more intimidating. “I don't fucking care what you do away from here as long as it's discrete, but the moment you come here, you're in my fucking house. You abide Graeme's rules and if you don't, I will personally enjoy beating the shit out of you until you do. Got it?”

Steeven nodded his head frantically before Dante threw him back. “Cecilia. Have two of your maids take him to the cells you have under the mansion for now. My men will set up his room for an extended stay.” Dante said coldly, his eyes showing a hint of cruelty in them.

“One moment.” A stern voice called out, its source a small duck Thrope. She walked up to Steeven, somehow having disappeared from Graeme’s clutches before stopping in front of the rulebreaker. “The whole time I’ve been here, I’ve received friendly greeting after friendly greeting. Except one. But he was eventually friendly too… So that doesn’t count. ANYWAY. You should be ashamed to call yourself a Regallis. Titania is a better leader than you’ll EVER be. And I would know, as I’m her daughter.” She started floating, rising higher than the kneeling excuse of a man. “Don’t piss off Titania’s child, or it will be worse than the rage only she can bring.”

“Enough.” Dante raised a hand, his eyes still cold and unwavering. “He is restrained and he will be dealt with accordingly. Threats against him are not needed. Cecilia, if you could kindly summon your maids…” Graeme sighed at this, rubbing his temples as if to ward away the situation.

No response came to the request, but two Regallis maids walked up to the group. As they approached, Faith was spinning her finger around Steeven’s head, his hair waving back and forth with her movements. As one moved to talk, Faith placed a shiny green object in her hand. “You place this on his cell, he can’t escape. If you don’t do that, it will be treason. Understand?” Faith’s voice held a stern tone.

“Y-yes. Milady…” the maid responded as she closed her hand around the object, a little shier than a maid is likely intended to be.

“Jenna, come on…” the other maid, monotone, demanded, already restraining one of Steeven’s arms.

“O-of course!” Jenna gave Faith a bow of thanks before moving to restrain Steeven’s other arm, the contorting of his face likely meaning that her grip on him was stronger than the other maid’s.

As the two walked away with the rulebreaker, Faith let out a sigh of relief. “I normally don’t do that kind of thing. I apologize for acting so high and mighty like that…”

“It was a stressful time, Faith. It's fine.” Graeme said reassuringly.

“No. No it was not. The only people who can charge others with treason is me, Cecilia, and Graeme. By threatening that, you have overstepped your bounds and undermined Cecilia. Please don't do it again.” Dante said intensely, staring into Faith's eyes.

Faith groaned before throwing a necklace in Graeme’s direction. “I was only joking. I needed her to put that magic item on the cell so that this necklace actually does its job. I threatened treason because if she messed up, it’s likely he could break out and harm Graeme. I wasn’t outright charging her with treason.”

“With Cecilia's maids and my warriors, the actual chance of escape is minimal, even without your trinket. And,” He said quietly, his gaze flicking to Graeme, “you undermined Cecilia in front of her people, which can cause problems in the future. Again, don't do that in the future. “

“Dante. I need you to go back to being relaxed.” Graeme asked quietly, putting a hand on Faith's head.

“Are you sure? We don't know if he was being coerced or-”

“Relaxed.”

“As you wish.” The dangerous air about him faded as he walked over to the door. “Cecilia, can you come here for a second?”

“No. Fuck you.”

“Please?”

“Your complaining made me think about becoming an alcoholic.”

“Pretty please?”

“I’m sure a fire boy like yourself has to have some sort of alcohol stash around here somewhere…”

“Only a couple bottles and they are in enchanted pouches you can't open or cut. Come here and I'll get them for you.” He bargained, looking somewhat dejected.

Murmurs a few halls down could be heard, a conversation between a few ladies. After a few moments, a much louder voice came from that direction. “You were saying?” The voice trailed off as it got further away.

“You now owe me tonight!” Dante called, grumbling as he jogged inside, leaving Faith and Graeme alone once more. A distant and faint, “Pervert.” could be heard, signifying the leave of both Cecelia and Dante.

“That… was exciting in a rather horrible way…” Graeme murmured aloud, rubbing his head. “Erm, uh, what is this necklace you've given me, Faith?”

“When I said that the device for his cell would make it impossible for him to escape, that was only half-right. That device is a Magic Deactivator. He can’t use magic within the cell, but at the same time, my magic works just fine and is permanently imbued into his hair at the current moment. If he leaves the cell, however, the magic in his hair will deactivate, which will also deactivate some of the magic contained in this necklace. The necklace also can block two fatal shots aimed at you, so it’s somewhat multi-functional.” A spark was noticeable in Faith’s eyes as she spoke of her devices.

“What… why give me a priceless artifact? Wouldn't this be better suited for you to keep?”

“Well, the Magic Deactivator isn’t too terribly hard to make. I just have to implant it with anti-me magic. As for the necklace, I tried imbuing one with the ability to block three fatal shots, but it kept exploding, so… That’s why I gave that one to you. The setup for the link wasn’t too hard to make, though. And, if you’re worried about me,” Faith outstretched her arms and a visible bubble of wind appeared around her, “I have the ability naturally. So it’s not particularly useful for me to wear.”

Graeme looked confused, but nodded gratefully. “Thank you, Faith.” He said softly, his eyes warm. He reached for her hand inside the wind bubble.

His hand reached through without harming him, though a raised eyebrow was aimed in his direction. “Do you always put your hands into dangerous objects?”

“No, but I knew you wouldn't let it hurt me. Thus why I put my hand through.” Graeme replied, grabbing her hand as he led her to the doors. “I think you'll fit right in, Faith.” He offered her a gentle smile as they walked, a good memory of a day they both would remember.
 
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Dahlexpert

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The fallowing is done by ZombieSpliter53&DhalExpert

Raiders preparing to kill a god

Serasam Norscan castle

It's been three weeks since Norsca has come back home to where they were made, Crixus took another one of Veronica advice and had some of his soldiers take the some of the money and pay for their food and water. Crixus even got a few ships as well, the camp was booming with life kids playing animals being skinned meat being carved and cloths being made. Also while the former slaves were training some of the leaders took this time to relax, Wulfric and Maralith turned the pool into a bath for Maralith. Lorica started to fall for the leader of the thunder clan, Crixus on the other hand stayed in one of his rooms were Veronica was by his side." You know, i'm still surprised that what you offered still worked."

Veronica looked over to him and smiled. "And why is that? I have the occasional good idea too, you know. I'm just surprised you took my advice."

Veronica herself looked different, her braided and tied into a ponytail but Lorica.” Don’t be like I said you were stand alongside me that meant you were one of my men of course I will listen to you. You also gotten stronger of these last few weeks, barely recognized you from that princess that was traded to us.”
Veronica shrugged.

"It's survival of the fittest here. At least no one else has tried to mess with me since I castrated those two guys a couple weeks ago. I think I've learned a lot. I just hope I can use it one day and returned to pay my father back for abandoning me and letting my mother die like that. Bastard has a lot to answer for."
Cruxus couldn’t help but smile at Veronica, about a month ago she felt sick at the sight of blood. Now she can kill/maime with no hesitation. Crixus came behind her and hugged her back.” I knew bringing you with us was a great idea, Look so fierce now.”
Veronica chuckled. "It's the nature of survival."

There was a commotion outside, some of the men yelling and cheering. Sounded like a fight had broken out.
“Ugh and here I was about to Sadducee you, gods damn it come let’s go see what’s going on or make a few wagers ether one works.”

Veronica stood up. "Who do you think it is? I thought everyone was getting along pretty well."

“That’s What makes me nervous, True we may have some hiccups here and ther but everyone gets along nicely. Hopefully it’s just guys fighting in the arena and nothing more.” Crixus said grabbing his ax and duel pistols.

Veronica followed him out. They weren't in the arena, but rather in the middle of a gathering area. To their surprise, it was a large bruiser name Cliff facing off against the much, much smaller Rebecca, swords drawn and intent to kill in the cat woman's eyes.

“What is going on here, why is the kitty fighting Cliff?” Crixus asked one of the on lookers.
"Oy, boss. Rumor 'as it little kitty bin 'horing herself out to e'vry who asks 'er ta open 'her legs. Cliff got mad that she done gove 'im the cold shoulder, an' 'ere we are."

"I not good enough for you?!" Cliff yelled, swinging his large axe.

"I told you, those are just nasty rumors!" Rebecca stumbled back. "L-leave me alone!"

Veronica looked like she was gonna step in, but she was stopped by Crixus.” Now hold on Veronica you said kitty here was feeling a certain way towards me right. Well then let’s how strong her resolve is, and no I won’t let them kill each other.”
Veronica sighed, and looked at the large man's axe. "I have a feeling that one wrong move, and you won't have much of a say in it..."

Rebecca danced around the attacks, able to easily dodge but unable to get an attack in. "Stop it! I haven't slept with anyone here!"

"Yeah, right!" Cliff laughed. "We've all heard about you. You'd sell your body for a copper to satisfy those urges. A kitty in heat is all you are. So let me scratch that itch for you!"

"N-no... I'm not like that..." Rebecca looked away and caught sight of Crixus, her face turning red and her eyes watering.
“Hay come on kitty fight the damn man, you want to prove him wrong about you then fight gods damn and prove him wrong!” Crixus shouted trying to motivate Rebeca.
She smiled excitedly, her eyes lighting up. She quickly ran forward, jumping over an axe swing and repeatedly kicking the man in the face. "I... am... not... a... whore!"

The man was pummeled, but he still managed to drop his axe and grab one of her legs. He lifted her upside down and looked at her, his eyes bruised and nose bleeding. "You're going to pay for that with your body. You're mine n-" She jabbed him in the mouth, breaking a tooth. "You bitch!" He slammed her into the ground, knocking the wind out of her.

Suddenly a gunshot could be heard and everyone turned to Crixus." Alright enough! That's enough from the both of you have you forgotten were supposed to fight an old god!? we need unity not spreading rumors about one of us, so who is the poor fool that came up with this?"
Cliff rubbed his sore face, sitting down. "Gee boss, I don't know. It is just something that has been spreading around. Though... I heard that little snake girl telling people it."

"Little snake." Crixus started to rub his face. "I have been a bad father figure or at least a not really good friend to a young snake girl. Where is angelica by the way?"

"She's down by the pond," one of the other men said while Veronica helped Rebecca up.

"Good to know, Veronica heal her up I need to go have a talk with Angelica." Crixus made his way down the pond and saw the girl and saw her soaking her feet.

“Angelica what are you doing?"
Angelika splashed her feet a bit, turning to give him a big smile. "Hello, Mr. Crixus! I'm just relaxing. Do you want to sit with me?"
 

Dahlexpert

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Part 2

Crixus sighed and sat next to the child. "It’s been a while since I've been back here, you know that this was where we were made. This is where Norsca named, are you enjoying the place?"

"Mhmm. It is a bit colder then up north, but it is nice. And everyone else seems so happy to be here. Think we can stay forever?"

"No no we can't child were wanted, and we have a lot of people that want us dead. But there is a land far west from here were Lorica is from, according to her it's a lush land filled with plains and open fields."

"That sounds great too! As long as it is nice and warm." She gave him a big smile. "You're the best, Mr. Crixus. That's why I want to always be by your side."

"Hum I know kid, but to the reason why i'm here. Angelica did you happen to start a rumor involving a certain cat Thrope and please don't lie to me."
The girl flinched, and stared down at the water. "N... no. I didn't start any rumors. They... they're all true."

"Really because I just got done breaking up a fight with said cat Thrope from Cliff, because he thought he was a baud. So Angelica i ask again did you start this rumor and if so then why did you do it?"

"It's true!" She suddenly shouted. "It's true, it's true! She is nothing but a harlot! She is no good for you! Can't you see?" She looked up at him, tears in her eyes.

"Only I'm good enough to marry you!"
Crixus rubbed his face not knowing what to say to this." Ok Angelica let me point some things out to you, how old do you think I am? I want you to tell me my age and how old you are alright.”

"You... you're in your twenties... maybe thirties." Angelika's eyes turned down to the ground. "And I'm... thirteen now..."

"Yes i'm twenty nine years old, your thirteen. Angelica when I was that age I was pillaging raping and killing people for the hell of it, because the gangs I was with were monsters. The point is your very young and a talented kid you deserve more than making up rumors about people trying to ruin them for me who didn't know that Rebecca cared for me until Veronica told me. The point is kid your better than this I know you are so you need to analogize to her." Crixus said hugging the child. "Ou Angelica I tell you what if I somehow live through this and have my family, can you be the big sister to them?"

"But..." Angelika sniffed. "Is there nonway... we can ever be together?"

"Angelica you’re a child i'm twenty nine by the time your eighteen i'll be in my mid thirty's, you will more then likely get over me when you get older. But if you get older and you somehow feel the same and we make it to this new land, well see what happens. But you need to enjoy your life and focus on others and try dating other men besides me, do you understand?"
Angelika reluctantly nodded, wiping her eyes. "I... I'm sorry for all the bad things I said about Rebecca. I didn't mean for her to get hurt."

“I understand but you need to apologize to her, luckily she’s being heals at the castle so come on let’s get you over there.”
Angelika nodded nervously, taking his hand and walking towards the castle with him.
As they made there way to the castle they saw Veronica healing Rebecca.” Well it’s nice to see your healing nicely, I found someone that wants to tell you something Rebecca.”
Angelika bowed her head. "I... I-I am... sorry. I... I was the one who started those nasty rumors. I'm so sorry."

Rebecca blinked in surprise. "Y-you did? But... but why?"

"Because... I overhead what you were saying about... Mr. Crixus..."

“Yeah I was told that you liked me, Now is that true?”

Rebecca turned beet red. "I... I-I... I..." She closed her eyes and lowered her head. "Yes, sir! I'm sorry sir! I... I know it is inappropriate."
Crixus looked I phased by this.” Angelika leave the adults to their business.” Crixus escorted Angelika out the room and grabbed a chair.” Right Ok then tell me why do you like me?”
Rebecca covered her face. "I... I-I don't know. Because you're strong... and brave... and a great leader, and... h... h-handsome..."

"Humm tell me something do you know what being with me means? It means you stand by my side leading with me, are you aware of that. But I might as well ask this question since Veronica is here." Crixus looked at Veronica.

“Veronica why do you love Korra?"
Veronica folded her legs. "Because of her couragous heart. Because whenever I see her my heart flutters. Because she is the most beautiful person I know. And because I simply do. Sometimes, when you love someone, there is a special something you can't explain."

"Humm I wouldn't know the feeling after all, I've been on the run my hole life never had time for love. Honestly I was hoping you would love me Veronica, but you care for Korra so much that isn't happening."
Veronica shrugged. "Maybe not, but you have Rebecca here. She has been with you for a while. She is an up and coming bandit, just like me. And she does seem to care for you."

Rebecca shook her head. "I know... it isn't possible. I can't compete with a princess. I was nothing but a train conductor before coming here."
Crixus tapped his fingers, and Veronica recognized the look on Crixus face.

" Veronica do you mind if you left me and the kitty alone for a while."
She nodded, rubbing Rebecca's shoulder before leaving the two alone. The cat thrope couldn't look more embarrassed.
Crixus walked to the Thrope and looked her up and down." So you like me huh, tell me what do you expect from me. I told you what I expect from you so what do you want from me?"

"I... I don't know..." Rebecca looked up with a red face. "To love me back. To be there for me when I'm sad and... and hold me when I'm lonely." She scoffed and looked away. "I must sound so stupid to you..."

"Yes you do, now then tell me do wish to have my baby's do you think you have what it takes to lead my legacy through out how many centuries you would be alive. Because I have been watching you, I've seen you train and I think you have a lot of room to grow."

"I know I do." She gave him a determined look. "But I am willing to learn all I can. I will be a great leader, and..." Her faced turned red again. "A-and bare you m-many children."

Crixus then kissed the woman, as he released her he looked into her eyes." That's good to know because I have my own itches that needs to be scratched, I will be happy if you could scratch it."

She looked at him in awe. "I... I would be happy to. Please... let me make you happy."
Crixus kissed the cat Thrope again and started to undress the woman and lead her to his bed.

In the middle of the day Lorica came back to camp and saw Veronica. "Yo Veronica, have you seen Crixus? I haven't seen him since this morning."

"Oh, yeah. He's probably at the castle. Um... he's been..." Veronica blushed. "...busy..."

"I think that's the first time I've seen you blush princess, now what could he be so busy with that he's been in the castle half the day?"
Veronica scratched her chin. "Well, um... that cat woman, Rebecca, kinda poured her heart out to him, and they haven't left the castle since, so I can only assume..."
Lorica eyes widen." Ou well um i'm gonna go and check on him." Lorica went into the castle and knocked on the door. Um Crixus you alright in there?"

The door open and Crixus stood at the door wearing only pants." Yes Lorica can I help you with something?"

"Crixus is um the cat Thrope still alive?"

"Define alive, and mental state."

Lorica took a quick peek inside and saw Rebecca for a quick second, she then looked back at Crixus." Crixus there are crimes that we have done but did you have to do THAT to her?"

"Ou i'm not done with her yet, were taking a break."

Lorica turned to Veronica." Talk to him, i'm gonna not be here for a few minutes and wash out my eyes."
Veronica peeked inside to see the young woman curled up, her body quivering and her tongue hanging out. "You, uh... had some fun, huh?"

"Ou I feel so much better now, and we had plenty of fun. You know part of me really wish that was you, I bet I could have made you forget all about Korra."
Veronica chuckled. "Grass is always greener on the other side, huh? You should be happy with Rebecca. She, uh, looks happy with you... I think..."

"Ou she's fine she's just out of it at the moment, i'm letting her rest for a few hours then going to go back at it again. I have years of pent up frustrations, but regardless I've been thinking. if were gonna fight an old god and free another one, we might want the two gods talk to one another."

"Why's that?" Veronica folded her arms. "Think the one on our side will soften Yig up with fancy words?"
 
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Dahlexpert

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Part 3

“No see once we beat Yig, we are gonna release his former wife who used to be the goddess of that land. I think she would probably be cranky if the god of nature wants to change the land, so we get those two to talk so we don’t accidentally start another god war.

"Ah. That's a good idea, actually." Veronica frowned. "But... what happens if Yig's wife turns out to be as bad as Yig? Or worse? Are you sure we can trust her?"

“We’ve talked to through Marilith necklaces, and she’s the one that told us how to cure Marilith of her sickness. So I think she’s fine, but if she’s not then we may have a problem. Because Marilith and the people she brought fallow this goddess, so if she is bad we may lose a good chunk of our forces.”

"Oh, I didn't even think of that. I guess it is a gamble then, huh?" Veronica smiled again. "But what is life without a few risks, right?"

“Hum that is true I like to think we are living proof of that, but speaking of risk. Are you sure you don’t wanna come in here for like an hour and take a risk with me, after all shouldn’t love be tested?”
Veronica laughed, and patted him on the shoulder before walking away. "Have fun with kitty. Don't break her now."

"Hay hold on a minute." Crixus went back to the room and handed a paper to Veronica. "Take this to thatch, the last time we fought Yig he made his followers into hulking monsters. This paper will tell him to infuse all the leaders weapons with magic. This also tells him to increase our bale fire ammo and and other types of magic basses alertly ammo."

She nodded. "You got it. He made a mistake letting you get away. This time, we'll be ready for him."

"That's the plan now if you excuse me I have a little kitty to get back to." Crixus went back into the room and looked at the cat Thrope and tapped her head." Hay you still alive, or did I literally fucked your brain out?"
Rebecca slowly opened her eyes and smiled up at him. "H-hey... Crixus. That was... so wonderful." She pawed at his leg, giving him a wanting look.

"Ou was it that's good to know, because I’m not done with you yet . So tell me are you still wanting more from me, because I’m confident that you’re pregnant so tell me do you wanna go another round?"

Rebecca nodded, both anxious for more and nervous at the same time. She was tired, but her body craved more.

That’s good to see that you want more, but if you want something so badly let’s see you take it.” Crixus walked to the other side of the room and sat in a chair.” If wanna continue this come and take your prize.”

The cat thrope nodded, and slipped off the bed. Butt in the air, she crawled towards him like a loyal pet. It even sounded like she was purring softly when she reached him. "May I?" she asked, taking hold of the top of his pants.

“Aw Look at you so eager to please, however I want you to enjoy today. Because I want you to promise me something tomorrow, you will train. You will train until it feels like limbs will fall off you will fight until you can’t but find the will to continue. Do I make myself clear?”
Rebecca sat back and gave him a determined look. "I swear I will. I will train and fight and become a warrior you can be proud of."

"That's good but, a person’s words and their actions are completely different. But that's for tomorrow today, but today I still have years of pent up frustrations. So if you think you can continue our section, I do hope you can stay conscious this time."

Rebecca giggled and nodded. "I will try my best. Please... use me to get all that sexual frustration out."
Crixus unzipped his pants and lifted Rebecca.” That’s a good girl, soon you’ll be a great worrier and mother to our children.”
Rebecca nodded. "I love you, Crixus. And soon, you'll love me too."

"My love doesn't come easily, but at least I have you to keep me company." Crixus shoved his manhood inside Rebecca as he started to kiss her.
 
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ZombieSplitter53

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End of an Era


The sun was at high noon over the Kemarian desert, and the small temple of Yig was guarded by double the men from before. Over one of the sand dunes, out of sight of the many Ophidian cultists, Norsca was setting up for their offense, prepared to take the Old Snake god down this time. They waited in the heat for Ranseca to deliver the message to a certain goddess, one they knew had a vested interest in the future of this country.

Looking out over the wasteland they suddenly saw… trees and grass sprouting up in an oasis that hadn't been there mere moments before, a clear beacon to anyone that would see it. Stepping out from the splash of desert life into the got sand was the figure of a nude woman walking towards them.

“I think the heat is finally getting to me, i’m not the only one seeing a naked woman here right?” Lorica asked the group.

“No Lorica your not alone in seeing this, state who you are, and can we find her some damned cloths.” Crixus asked.

“You should know.” She continued. “You called me here.”

“Are you the forest goddess we have heard about?” Veronica asked, fascinated by her beauty.

“I am. The rest of your friends know me well. I was there at the Battle after all.” The Woman continued closer.

“We remember you, and i’m curious as to why a goddess who fought us is now currently wanting our help. Excuse me if i’m a little suspicious.” Crixus asked.

“Something tells me it isn’t us she is interested in,” Marilith stated, lightly touching the large jewel resting on her chest.

“Clever Girl.” She smiled at the Ophidian Woman. “Yes. I did fight you and Grimora but as of now we're working together. Our interests currently align.”

“And you expect me to think your fine with all the raiding we’ve done, I mean the other gods like us for the destruction we cause so let me guess why do you want our help in this dessert. I was told but why are you so interested in a desert?”

“Well. It wasn't always a desert and with Yig gone it could be something more again.” The Goddess stated.

“Ugh huh, let me tell you why were here. See yes we're here to kill Yig but I gave my word to Maralith here to free her goddess that is currently imprisoned in this dessert, so tell me does your little plan involve another old one?” Crixus asked out of curiosity.

“Does your Marileth here even know what she has? Why do you want to let her out exactly?”

“She is our true leader,” Marilith stated. “The one who is right to rule the Ophidians. To bring us together as one race. One whole. As far as where she is…” She touched the jewel again. “She claims to be right here. That Yig’s defeat is the only way to break the seal that binds her.” A small smile. “Think about it. You could have an Old One who actually owes you a favor.”

“Interesting. Does that mean you speak to her? Do you believe she'll Grant you her blessing?” Ahusirra asked curiously.

“We have talked to her many times, now I don’t know if she’s giving us blessings or not but she has informed us on a lot of information that only we know. So I have a question for you are you gonna be alright with an old one taking control of this desert, or would you rather talk to her yourself?” Crixus asked.

“Well. My price is this. For my help in fighting Yig and destroying his evil, you will give the amulet to me.” She looked at Marileth, but more specifically at the jewel around her neck.

The snake woman frowned. “What… are you going to do with it?”

“The same thing you're going to do with it. The only difference is she will be in my protection.” Scathatch told her simply.

Marilith sighed. She had the jewel, and the goddess for so long, to give it up was almost unthinkable. However, the important thing right now was loyalty to her friends and, even more important, killing Yig. She cautiously nodded. “Alright. Agreed.”

“You sure about this love, I mean you were willing to skin most people alive if they even look at that jewel. And now your gonna give it up?” Wulfric asked.

The Ophidian nodded. “Yig has terrorized this land for far too long. We need to take him out once and for all. And… something tells me we can trust this Goddess. She is willing to help. That is more then others would do.”

“Well. You seem like you have a fine head on your shoulders.” Ahusirra smiled. “Your people have been struggling in this wasteland for a century. Returning this land to its former glory will also mean your people won't have to fight over the last remaining scraps of resources. The Ophidian people will be more unified than ever before.”

Marilith smiled at that, and bowed her head respectfully. “Thank you.”

Veronica sighed in relief. “Well… all that is left now is to beat the incredibly strong Old One, huh?”

“That it is, but before we get to him we need to check a few things. Wulfric go check on Thatch make sure he has all the ammo we need for artillery. Lorica Maralith go check on your people we’ve been in this desert for a few days now see if anyone is tired.” Crixus looked at Veronica. “Now then what do I have you do Miss Veronica, what do you think needs to be looked over?”

Veronica rolled her neck. “I’ll scout the enemy. Get a look at what we’ll be facing initially.”

Crixus rubbed her head. “Be Careful I don’t want the one that i’ve been personally training and who has a father to kill, getting herself killed in the process. Just stay on your toes alright Veronica.”

“My own army will be aiding yours in the fighting. I know you picked them up as slaves only a month or so ago and aren't exactly fighters, they'll be slaughtered without assistance.” The Goddess interrupted, looking at Veronica. “I doubt you'd want to see them butchered.”

“No I wouldn't so I thank you for lending my people your aid.” Crixuse nodding his head to the goddess.” Veronica get going and be careful, for god's sake.”

She nodded, and headed up the sand dune. She got low and crawled the last couple of feet. Peaking over the ridge, she slowly, carefully, examined everything she could. “Hmm,” she said softly, seeing something curious.

By the time she returned, the group was almost ready to go. “Two dozen on the outside,” she reported. “And something weird going on at the shrine. Like… a vortex of power. I’m not sure what’s up with that.”

“Humm that can’t be good, get the catapults and the ballistas ready. Send the archers to the west and javalines to the east. Lorica get ready for your beast and your clans to come from the south, Wulfric Marilith Veronica Rebecca come with me were going up front and kicking the door down.”

They all nodded, ready, willing, and able to fight and prepared to show Yig what they were made of.

A Dark Skinned woman in a beautiful dress flew down next to Ahusirra, large white wings adorning her back. “Mother. The Troops are ready.”

Looking out over the other forces was an impressive sight, beasts made of wood, Worg like animals, bears, a few massive living trees. However the bulk of her force were Spiders, massive and carriage sized in some cases, many of the spiders were armored and those that were not were sparking with magical energy. Some of the arachnids seemed like they were made of magic, Fire, Water, Earth, Wind, etc. It was quite the sight.

Crixus looked at the army the goddess summoned and looked shocked, Crixus raised his ax and yelled “Waaaaaaaaaaaa!” And lead the charge into the the cult compound.

The guards seemed surprised at first, but they weren’t caught off guard. They charged forth with mighty screams, ready for battle. Suddenly, from the portal, as if to say that this battle was expected, dozens of the larger enchanted Ophidians charged forward themselves. Veronica took on one of the smaller, normal Ophidian cultist, not confident enough to take on a large one, and sword danced with him for a while.

The Spiders and beasts Ahusirra had deployed slammed into the enemy forces fearlessly, if spiders knew what fear was. They almost seemed to push the Thrope army behind them, defending them as best they could, forcing many from the Norcan army to switch to safer ranged combat as they held the front lines.

Crixus swung his axe and a gust of wind came out slicing through a group of the cult, Crixus stood next to Rebecca keeping her a safe as he could and when Veronica got surrounded her used his magic enchanted Ax to kill them, Crixus his what looked to be a yellow flair into the sky. From the south Lorica came riding on her direwolf with her tribes men and beast. Lorica jumped off her Dire wolf and plunged a spear into the back of the hulking Ophian bringing him down to a knees and used her Dule axes to slice it’s head off.

The battle was going quickly but violently. Crixus’ forces were suffering loses, but not nearly as much as they would had it not been for Ahusirra’s help. The portal suddenly flared up, and the Old One himself finally stepped out. “What is going on?! Why is it taking so long to kill them?!” With him came a dozen more cultist, and Yig himself hefted up an axe, walking towards the nearest spider and slicing off half its legs in one swipe.
 
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A massive explosion rocked the back of the Norcan formation, fire billowing up as the massive flaming, wooden form of Ahusirra's beast form looking over the battle and instantly locking onto Yig. The Wolf grit get claws into the ground and charged through the battle towards him, burning the sun with every intention to rip out his throat.

Yig caught it by its massive muzzle, showing massive strength yet struggling. “You… I know you. “Why are you doing this? Why help them?”

“I'm not helping them. I'm killing you.” She growled out, flames licking up her jaw as she breathed a torrent of fire out at him.

He snarled angrily. He wasn’t nearly as strong as any of the other Old Ones, and it showed here. “Stop! Get… g-get her!” He screamed, and half a dozen of the Cultist jumped on Ahusirra, tackling her to the ground. Yig grabbed his axe, prepared to strike her head off.

Suddenly he felt a dozen ballistas shots hitting him, as well as balefire hitting his side.” Fire! At him don’t let him kill the goddess, Tachanka was ordering archers help the main group by filling them with arrows. The Ballistas reloaded and fired more giant metal arrows at the old one rocking him back, the bale fire was also starting to get to him.

He doubled back, hissing and snarling angrily. He doubled back, making a run for his portal. “Damn you! Damn you all!”

“We can’t let him escape!” Veronica ran for him. “If he gets through that portal, we might miss our chance.”

She rushed in front of him, holding up her sword. The Old one let out a growling laugh. “And what are you going to do, little girl?”

“I’ll show you!” She rushed him, dodging an axe swing and stabbing her sword into his side.

It would have been a fatal blow against a mortal. But to the Old One, it was only painful. His tail suddenly flew forward, wrapping around her neck and lifting her into the air. “You can come with me. I’ll need a snack.” As he started to squeeze, he added, “Not that I need you alive, of course.”

Suddenly, a shockwave cracked the air, Skye coming down from on high like a missle, so fast you could barely even see her and slamming her feet into Yig's skull. “I'm not letting you get away with that!”

Veronica went flying to the side, coughing heavily as she tried to recover. She glanced up at Skye. “The shrine. Maybe… if we… destroy…”

“I can have some fun with that.” Wulfric Slammed his battle ax into the ground and and rock spikes came out of the ground and the spikes into many of the hulking beast, He cun and slashed his ax into many of the hulkin beast as he slowly made his way to the shrine. “Heh i’m gonna enjoy this way more then I should.” Wulfric slammed his ax into the ground and spikes came out of the ground and started to topple the shrine.

“No!” Yig snarled in fury as the portal spark, zapped, and finally closed, cutting off his retreat. With a cry of fury, he charged Wulfric like an animal, on all fours, slamming him head first and sending him flying. “I’ll kill you all. You have no hope against me!”

Ahusirra quickly moved to intercept but felt a large hand on her shoulder, throwing her backwards. Standing there was a massive twenty foot tall Illithid, his flesh blood red, his skin straining against his bulging muscles and in the center of his abdomen, a massive mouth full of razor sharp teeth. He chuckled lowly, grabbing one of the Thrope soldiers and casually tossing him into his stomach maw. All it took was a few sickening crunches and he was gone. “It's been so long since I've gotten out and killed again.”

“Kill them!” Yig ordered. “Kill them all! Don’t let a single one of them go. Show them all what happens to those who mess with Yig, King of the Serpents!”

“No!” Veronica yelled. “Don’t do this,” she pleaded with the giant being. “He has nothing on you. Help us finally be without him!”

Ahusirra growled. “I'm giving your people a new life. Bringing them back to the world.”

“My People? That is my stupid Sister's dream! My weak, pathetic runt of a sister. My 'people’ mean nothing to me.” He looked down at Veronica. “The only thing I care about is power! Power and… Food…”

Rebecca started firing arrows at him, trying to distract him. “You’re not eating anyone else. He is just another monster! He can die with Yig!”

The arrows sunk into his flesh, but seemed to have little effect as they were simply pushed out of his body, the puncture wounds healing over a second later. Ahusirra wasted no time attacking him from behind, but he quickly threw the Goddess over him using her own weight sending the wolf careening into the ground. “You call yourself a Goddess!? Pathetic whelp!”

While those two fought and the Ophidian’s fought the Norscans, Yig squared off against Crixus. “You again. How does it feel to know that all of your men will be food for my Illithid?”

“I don’t know because that’s not gonna happen, but why don’t you tell me how it will feel to be an old god dying to a human?” Crixus said smiling smugly at him.

Yig grunted and hefted his axe up, bringing it down heavily. “Die bastard!”

Crixus smiled and used his shield to block the attack.” You know if you couldn't tell I’ve gotten some improvements my ax is enchanted with wind magic, my shield on the other hand takes all the damage it takes and allows me to give it back for example.” Crixus headbutted the old god and hit him with his shield and the god was knocked backed to the ground away from Crixus.

“Damn… enchantments…” Yig spat out a mouth full of blood and charged forward again. He was as stubborn as a cornered animal, and even with the magical enhancements, it was the fight of Crixus’ life.

While the fight was the hardest of the raiders life, he was giving the old god a run for his money. Crixus being the superior fighter compared to the old god. Crixus used his shield to block the attack of the old god as best as he could and any opening he used his ax to slice parts of the old god and kicked him away from him, once away from him he used his magic ax to hit the old one with a gust of wind cutting the old one.

Rebecca and Veronica fought back to back. “You’re not half bad for a Princess,” Becky said.

“And you’re pretty good for a train conductor.” Veronica laughed, and the two fought together, almost enjoying themselves as they used teamwork to take on bigger targets.

Crixus and Yig continued there fight Crixus started to get tired.” Man your annoying, why don’t you just stay dead?”

“I could say the same about you!” Yig snarled as he grabbed Crixus by the arm.

Crixus head butted the old god and hit him with his shield the shield knocking the old god back making him bleed for the nose. Crixus charged the old god and started to swing his ax.

Yig blocked the blows, trying his best to block. “You… can’t… beat… me!” He swept Crixus’ feet with his tail.

Crixus fell to the ground and blocked the old gods trying to slam his tail into him, but the tail slam did leave its mark buzzing Crixus forearm.” I’m… gonna… beat… you… and give my people a home!” Crixus charged the old god but switched up his tactic and threw his shield at the old god that was easily avoided, but Crixus used that distraction to slice the tail off the old god.

Meanwhile Ahusirra and Skye were fighting the massive Illithid, but every fiery slash of the claws or powerful diving strike from Skye was just immediately healed. Despite being two Goddess’ he was beginning to wear them down from pure attrition.

The Wolf Ahusirra slammed into the chest of the monster, flipping him up and into the air as Skye delivered a barrage of lightning fast strikes and slashes with a longsword. Such a barrage would've eviscerated anyone else but he was fully recovered as soon as he hit the ground. He reached up, grabbing Ahusirra's head as he tried to pull her into his large maw.

The Goddess struggled, just matching his strength, she was getting tired. Thankfully the air one Skye swooped in again to knock his massive arm away. He growled, cracking his neck. “Come on! You can't hurt me! You can't kill me! Just. Shut. Up. And. Be. Food!”

A blast of dark energy flew into his maw, exploding on the inside. Grown to his size, the Goddess of Darkness stepped forward, cracking her knuckles. “I think you have had enough of my friends to eat for one day. You’re looking a bit chubby.”

“Oh ho ho. Now we're really having fun!” He barreled towards the Goddess of Darkness for a shoulder charge.

Grimora caught the Illithid, sliding back several yards before stopping. She grunted and looked down at Ahusirra and Skye. “Try and… recover quickly. I’m a little… out of fighting practice…” She punched her opponent in the face, and charged another ball of darkness.

He barely reacted to the punch, grabbed her arm and pressing his foot again her chest, trying to take the entire arm off. She screamed in pain, feeling her muscles and tendons tearing. She was just barely able to knock off the tentacled being and fell back, holding her dislocated arm in pain. “Son of a bitch, that hurts!” She used her good arm to fire off a series of dark shots.
 
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He took the blasts straight to the chest, falling backwards into Ahusirra who breathed a torrent of fire at him, searing his skin. He pushed the Wolf off of him, looking down at the dark, crackling spots on his body that weren't healing as fast. “Magic…”

“Not a fan, huh?” Grimora held her hand over her head, a massive ball of pure magic forming in it. “Then I’ll blast you until I am dry!” she tossed it, and immediately started to throw another, pain on her face from using so much magic so fast.

He reached back, grabbing a large Boulder out of the sand and hurling at the magic attack, the rock took the brunt of it, but the explosion send everyone reeling. The Illithid roared, slamming his fist into the sand as magic burns covered her his body. “You're death… Will be slow… degrading… and painful for that…”

He picked up one of the catapult launchers, snapping it off and holding the wooden beam like a club as he made his way toward Grimora. “I'll eat your arms first… Then your legs… I want you to watch me rape you before I tear that meat sack of a face off!”

Grimora backed up, stumbling back. She landed on her injured arm and let out a scream of pain. “Stop!” She fired off another panicked flurry of magic.

He let out a pained scream, but still charged through, his massive hand grabbing her face. All it would've taken was a single squeeze, but she witness the hand being yanked back by thick roots from hardy desert plants. They snapped around his body, dragging him backwards, he began to snap them off, but more only took their place as the Humanoid Form of Ahusirra stood behind him. “I guess brute Force isn't always the right way to fight…”

His stomach mouth began to snap wildly, “Get off me! You weak little girl!”

Grimora chuckled, slowly standing up. “She doesn’t… look so weak to me right now.” She glanced at Ahusirra and sighed. “Thanks. I owe you.”

“Yeah…” Ahusirra walked up, pressing her hand against his back. “You're a wild animal. But you're far too cruel.”

He let out a terrible cry, his muscles beginning to deteriorate as he tried to fight back against the roots. “No! No!”

Eventually, enough power was drained to cause him to simply drop, knocked out into the sand, the Goddess pulling her hand away. “He might have use later.”

Grimora nodded, preferring to kill him but arguing.

By now, most of the cultist were dead, the Norscans picking off the rest. Marilith, Veronica, and Rebecca assisted in that duty while Lorica, Wulfric, and Crixus faced Yig. The stump of what was left of his tail oozed blood, and he was covered in scars and gashes, the wounds from the magical weapons not healing well. “I can… make you… powerful,” he said, smiling tiredly. “Join me. You would make wonderful generals.”

Crixus started to breath heavily blood coming out of his many wounds Crixus looked like he could barely stand up from the extreme lose of blood and his vision was blurry. “ Join you, is that a joke? I rule and army of slaves tribes men and raiders that all believe in me, it would be a spit in the face of my friends and my men if their leader after all this fighting took an offer of a near dying god who got his ass kicked by a simple man.” Crixus said using his ax as leverage.

Yig laughed. “This was your last chance. You can barely stand. Fine… then die!” He opened his mouth to breath fire on them.

Lorica divided forward and grabbed Crixus shield and used it to block the fire breath. While that was happening Wulfric slammed his battle ax into the ground and spiked rocks came out of the ground and hitting the old god.

The Old one took a spike in the gut, grunting as some blood oozed out. He cracked his neck back and forth, and rushed the three, spinning in a whirlwind with his axe out, intent on taking them all out in one blow. Marilith suddenly slithered forward, her tail long enough to sweep his feet and cause him to go crashing into the ground.

Ahusirra walked towards him as roots suddenly impaled his body at multiple points, twisting back around to wrap and crush him slowly.

Yig struggled, but the more he did, the tighter it got. He glared as Crixus and his crew walked forward, Yig’s strength failed him, and all he could do is watch them. “You… can’t do this. Without me… this country will destroy itself. You are dooming the Ophidians.”

Crixus slowly walked to the old god and looked at his. “And that’s where you're wrong, see that… Annoying wife you called her… Were gonna… let her out… Then things… will be… right.” Crixus lifted his ax and with both his hands gripping the handle he slammed his ax down into the head of Yig the wind magic doing the rest of cutting through his body. Crixus also fell to the ground no longer being able to stand.

Veronica and Rebecca ran over, the latter dropping to his side. “W-we did it! You did it! Are… are you okay?”

Crixus didn't respond but flipped himself over to his back, so he could breath easily.” No i’m pretty beat up, that what now. We conquered cities,towns,nations became pirates freed slaves and captured a princess. I think we could add killing an old one to that longs list.”

Marilith chuckled, rolling her sore arms and moving over to Ahusirra. “Well… a deal is a deal,” she said sadly, pulling the necklace off her neck and handing it over. “Thank you. If it wasn’t for you, we’d probably all be in that tentacled freak’s belly.”

The Forest Goddess took the amulet in her hand, holding it out in front of her. “Thank you. But your long fight isn't over yet. You've made a lot of enemies and they are circling around you. But… You've achieved something monumental today. Be proud of that.”

“And we will forever remember this battle.” Lorica said. “This is quite the accomplishment for all of us, but we know the enemies we’ve made. We know of all the enemies that circles us that’s why we're leaving to conquer a new land, my home has plenty of tribes that we could fight and unite. But that’s for another day, for now where could we find this bastards wife tomb?”

“You won't have to worry about that.” Scathatch scanned all of them. “I don't know if that home you want you will ever have. Not just because of your actions, but because your enemies are already upon you.”

“What the hell are you on about, what do you mean our enemies are already upon us?” Wulfric asked.

“The Kingdoms have made their move. They knew your plan to attack Yig and exactly where your base would be.” Scathatch told them all. “The fate of Norsca is up in the air now. And fate will determine how your story finally ends.”

Lorica eyes started to twitch and her eyes became that of a beast. Lorica screamed at the top of her lungs and started to run in the direction of their home. After a minuted Lorica changed into a tiger and ran faster to her home.

“She’s consumed by her anger.” Crixus weakly stood up to his knees. “Grimora do you think you could send us back home including Lorica?”

She nodded, opening up the portals. She smiled at Ahusirra and offered her hand. “Good to work with you.”

“You too. I'm looking forward to a lucrative partnership.” The Nature Goddess nodded, opening her own portal.

-----

After being teleported back to there home, they looked around to see that there camp was not yet being attacked. Wulfric and Lorica carried Crixus to his room.” Shamans, hay we need help!” Lorica shouted after turning back into her Thrope form.

The shamans came quickly to Crixus room. “Gods the amount of blood, everyone give us some room. We need to treat this man quickly he’s already at the cusp of deaths door, everyone leave the room!” The shamans escorted everyone out and started to treat Crixus.

It was obvious even from inside the camp who had arrived, the flags of Draculesti flew once more, however they weren't using catapults or fire to clear the camp. The inside was danger free, they were just surrounded.

A loud sound of wood splintering filled the air, a familiar voice calling out, the voice of the Vampire Queen. “I know you are in there. Surrender now and put down your weapons. You're surrounded.”

Veronica looked around her. “Shit… where did they come from? How did they even know where we are?”

“Some of the band of Seven have been here,” one of the older raiders said, nervously gripping his spear.

“What do we do?” Rebecca asked. “We are in no shape to fight against an army of vampires!”

“I… don’t know.” Veronica looked and Wulfric and Lorica. “Maybe… we should go talk to them.”

Lorica and wulfric took a breath. “Honey I need you to look after your daughter and our people for now, can’t risk you getting hurt or losing a blood vessel.” Wulfric said.
 
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“I’ll get my people up front, and see what the hell were dealing with.” Lorica went to her tribes leaders, while Wulfric hugged Angelica and kissed Marilith cheek.” Rebeca stay by you mate side, Veronica keep the kids and the non combatants calm alright.” Lorica asked.

“I should go with you,” Veronica insisted. “I have experience dealing with royalty. Are you sure you don’t want to include me?”

“Veronica you forget they think your our prisoner, and that we raped you thoroughly and probably have you brainwashed.” Wlfric said

“Although how great would it be to this old bitter bitch to see we’ve done nothing to her, except make her a proper fighter.” Lorica smiled at the idea. “ Look for now I need to get my people, Wulfric why don’t you and Veronica give them that good warrior charm.” Lorica said leaving the room and going to gather her tribe leaders.

Wulfric and Veronica opened the gate and walked out to see the seven with one person they didn't recognized, and the vampire queen.” Is there a reason why you at our home, you damn vampire.” Wulfric asked.

“You have to be an idiot to not know why I'm here.” Lana'thel shook her head. “Although you Raiders weren't quite there in the intelligence department.”

She glared at Wulfric. “I'm here because I have unfinished business.”

“Unfinished business, last time I checked we have no problem with you. We haven’t attacked your lands attacked your one city and burned it to the ground, and the last time I checked our battle ended when you killed our leader. We have no business.”

Her eye twitched, “I'm here because you killed my fucking daughter… My closest friends… One of my Seven… That's my fucking business here.”

She took a step forward. “But not just that. Because you kept ruining lives and making widows and orphans everywhere you went. There is a trail of blood and Ash hundreds of miles long behind you. This. Ends. Now.”

Wulfric laughed. “I know you're old and your memory is not what it used to be but let me remind you of a few things. All those things you mentioned on the first part, that was Alice doing and the last time I checked Alice is in the ground. And second Who the fuck made you the person to take on the world's problems that didn't involved the vampires you old wench!”

The Seven fidgeted where they stood, Richard shaking his head. Veronica leaned close to Wulfric and whispered, “Can you… tone down the insults? It isn’t really helping our case.”

“Ironically. That person was Alice herself. She made the world hate us. Turned back hundreds of years of work. And every village the Norscan Raiders took only made the retribution for us greater, a reminder than we can't fix our own problems, a reminder of the Vampire that started it all.” Lana'thel told them. “But more than that. I'm here because you never could stop killing, and burning, and pillaging. I'm here because I don't want the world my daughter died for to have a shit stain group of Raiders doing whatever they want on it.”

“What if we could stop!” Veronica insisted. “Please, we… we’re done. You don’t know what we have done. We just killed Yig, Old God of the Serpents. We freed the Duchy of Kumar from his tyranny. And now… we plan to retire. To stop the killing, and the burning and pillaging. We’re done, I swear. Just… give us a chance…”

The Vampire's face fell, a look of sadness and regret coming over her. “Then… I'm too late… How many of those Slaves you 'freed’ were butchered in that fight? Hmm? Do you even know the number? You send them in against an Old One. They were nothing but cannon fodder to you.”

“We…” Veronica closed her eyes. “Yes. Some of the men and women that fought with us were freed slaves. But we purposely left out anyone that was inexperienced, including most of the new recruits. Tell her, Wulfric. You need to convince her that you’re not without heart.”

“Lady yes some of the freed slaves died, but it was there choice to join us, others that didn't want to fight stayed in this very castle living a simple life way better than the life they were living previously.” Wulfric then pointed to Veronica. “Hell look at Veronica she’s currently here defending us even though before she was traded to us she despised us.”

“Veronica? The Princess of Themosa. We came her in part to save you.” The Blood Mage shook her head sadly. “You know… I know a lot of people just like you who despised them before they took them in… What did they tell you? How they're fighting the good fight? That they're misunderstood? It sounds almost convincing when you look away from the piles of innocent bodies and the Slaves they force to kill. Slaves that don't have anywhere else to go.”

Veronica lowered her head. “I… I know that they have done wrong. I know they are killers and degenerates and many would see them beyond help. But I have done all I can to change them. And now, it seems to have worked. They want to stop. They want to take what they have and stop killing. To live off the land and make a name for themselves as honest people. Please… you… you do not have to give them a chance. But I implore you to.”

“They just want a home, is that it?” She took another step. “But why do they deserve one? Why do they get to have a home after destroying the homes of so many other people who 'just wanted peace’!? Why do they deserve a home after using people, and robbing? When this camp is build off the backs of tens of thousands of destroyed lives? Lives like mine. Lives like those at Helvan, or Themosa, or even the Slaves that fight for them? They have a home somewhere too. Mothers who love them. Sisters who miss them. They stole that too.”

“What… what are you going to do? Many of these people are former slaves. They have families too. There are children her-”

Lana quickly cut her off. “I'm here to free them. And you. I won't let those children be raised into killers. That's what he's doing with them right? You have to kill to survive. I'm sure he's mentioned that to you. If the Leaders of Norsca come forward and surrender, the Thropes will be spared, the Children will be returned home, to a real home, with real people that love them.”

Clapping could be heard for behind Wulfric and Veronica, and it was Lorica with her seven tribe leaders.” Wow that’s some glorious hypocrisy, I mean that’s just perfect you are a great hypocrite, you old lady.” Lorica said smiling at the leader of the vampire. Next to Lorica was a lion and polar bear Thorpe a light and dark Elf, two humans and a Ophidan.

“I mean you talk about all the wrong we did, lady you might wanna take a look in the damn mirror. No matter what we did, It will never hold a candle to what your entire race did three hundred years ago. We took some countries, your race took damn near everything. And you talk about the slaves we freed, i’m sure during that war you captured people and made them your personal blood bag. So before you talk about us look at why everyone hates you and a few countries hate us.” Lorica said smiling smugly at the vampire queen.

“Yes. I fought in that war.” Lana'thel admitted. “But I fought for my Home. And I fought for the people I love. I fought because I thought we would be wiped out if I didn't. And we lost. And we payed for it. But the difference between you and me, is that I killed for a reason, I didn't kill for money, or power, I didn't kidnap children and people to use to fight my battles. And I believed we could all have a home. Without violence.”

“Really that’s funny, tell me you all the bad we've done we’ve done good. Halven perfect example beat that country down so much that the Light Elf who were once slaves and now free to do whatever they want, you remember that don’t you Elf boy?” Lorica said to Erego

She looked over. “Yes Ergo. Tell them. Were your people Free, and Happy? Could they leave whenever they wanted?”

Ergo folded his arms. “If I recall, I was humiliated, murdered, and resurrected as a madman’s slave when I tried to take them away.”

“That was under Alice!” Veronica insisted.

“That’s right, Look Alice we love her but we could admit she wasn't perfect. But Alice did free your kind she admitted she was wrong for what she did to you, but your not answering the question is your people free now. And if so who was the one that gave them their first taste of freedom us or your government?”

Ergo was silent for a few moments before softly saying, “Y… yes. They are currently free. The laws were forced to change.”

“And what about the Child Soldiers? The Girl who came to Havenbrook because her husband was murdered.” Lana'thel looked to the Thropes. “It's all just happening again. You're no different from Alice. Those Elves were freed because the combined forces of everyone who saw your crimes came to free them from you. And once again, I still don't see any difference from what's happening now. Bevland and Helvan's armies are marching here as we speak. This is your chance to prove me wrong.”

Veronica sighed. “If… if they surrender to you… what are you going to do to them?”

“That’s a very good question, because well in prison.” Lorica commented.

“They'll be put on trail. Not only by me, but by all the nations you affected.” Her gaze darkened. “Although I'm sure you all already know what that verdict will be.”

“H-how do we know you won’t just kill them the moment all three of them are together,” Veronica asked.

“I should. But as you can see, I'm restraining myself.” Lana shook her head. “You know they don't care about you, right? They're just manipulating you like they've done plenty of times before. Think back on how you felt when they first brought you here.”
 
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Veronica lowered her head. She turned to Lorica and Wulfric. “I… I think… you should turn yourself in…”

“Really you think we should turn ourselves in, after all the training I’ve put you through.” Behind the group was Crixus there leader, his entire torso bandaged up and one of his arms in a sling. “Now then what in the hell are you all doing here?”

Veronica sighed. “You don’t have a choice. This army will tear us to shreds if you don’t. We are in no condition to fight a full scale battle. You… you need to turn yourselves in and hope they show mercy on you for what you have done to help Terra.”

“Do I now, Tell me Veronica which armies did this old bat say was coming after us? In the meantime Wulfric Lorica go calm down everyone and prepare for the ships, were leaving.”

“Besides the large one here now? Bevland and Helvan's.” Veronica shook her head. “Look, I don’t like it anymore then you do, but they won’t let us leave here alive. Please. I… don’t want to see you killed needlessly.”

“If you think we're going to let you leave. You have another thing coming. Please, give me an excuse to butcher the lot of you.” She looked around at her halted army. “This is a courtesy you don't deserve.”

Crixus taped on a small black bag that was on his waist, and looked at the vampire queen.” You know I would be intimidated, if there was an ounce of truth in what you were saying. But the truth is the is no army coming after us, Bevland and Helvan can’t afford to come here. Want to know how I know you're lying?”

“Please… Since you're so confident in yourself…” She crossed her arms.

“Well I don’t care how many months has passed since then, both Halven and Bevland got beaten down so badly that it will take them years to rebuild the numbers they used to had, not to mention the money and food need to travel thousands of miles for vengeance and that being it. Number two were in Serasam, two countries coming to another for what looks like no reason, they can’t afford to go to war with Serasam. And third your here.”

“Enough of this,” Richard nudged his head forward.

In a flash, Rumi was in front of Crixus, a dagger to his throat. “I’m sorry, Crixus,” she said. “But in your condition, we seven could take you three out. Hell, with the power she has now, our queen could take you alone. Don’t… don’t make me kill you.”

Crixus looked unphased by Rumi.”See that the funny thing isn't it? Why is the queen of the vampires here instead of sending just the seven to kill us huh?”

“Because if you did fight. And you did pose a threat. Then I am the ace in the hole.”

“Ou realy you have such little faith in your strongest, huh Rumi here just said we be easy pickings.” Crixus looked at the blood queen. “Your not here for back up, your here to make sure they do there job, right.”

“Shut up!” Rumi blurted out. “I am tired of your arrogance. I am tired of you blind confidence. Say you’ll surrender right now or I will bleed you dry! I… I betrayed my queen’s trust once. I will not do it again.”

“See Veronica? She was exactly like you are now. They controlled her. They used her. They raped her. And they'll do the same to you.” Lana'thel unsheathed her Rapier. “If you don't believe me. Ask her.”

Veronica looked at Rumi, and the former servant of Alice nodded. “Make… your… choice,” Rumi said through grit teeth.

“She doesn't have to.” Crixus looked at Veronica.” Were not your concern besides, you have a dad to go and kill after all and Korra. Go i’ll be fine.” Crixus said smiling at Veronica.

“The rest of your people will get to go free. But if you fight… I'll kill anyone who raises up a sword. That's the deal.” She explained again. “If you are too selfish to sacrifice yourself for the lives of your people. Please let me know.”

“I tell you what, you think i’m holding my people prisoner? Why don’t you go and talk to them and see what you get.” Crixus looked at Rumi.” Do you mind moving you knife it’s very uncomfortable.

Rumi stepped back, but kept her knife raised. Veronica sighed, and said, “She isn’t… going to care what they say.” Sadly, she walked over to the Band of Seven. “I’m sorry… but you’re right. I need to take care of my father and Korra…”

“I can help you save your Friend. I know where she is.” The Vampire said. “I need your voice to convince the Thropes in the camp to stand down. They'll listen to you.”

She nodded. “I’m sorry, Crixus. I really am.”

“There’s no reason to be, like I said I was gonna let you go anyway. And don’t us her to try and convince my people, what’s the matter afraid they'll not listen to you?” Crixus said with a grin across his face.

“I don't know the extent of which you've brainwashed them. Like you did to her. And Rumi. And Lilith before that. She killed her own friends because of Alice.” Lana'thel looked over to Marlee. “Do you have anything to tell them?”

Marlee sighed. “Please… I know this is hard. I don’t want to see you die… but I won’t betray my queen either.”

The Norscan people just looked at Marlee, and they looked un phased by them. Several minutes of each of the seven trying to convince the Thrope to leave with them none went with them. This made Crixus smile. “You see this they won’t join you or go with you because they believe in me, they are my family and we all take care of each other It doesn't matter what you think of us. We stand together, and I promised to give them a home.” Crixus then walked in front of the group.” That’s why Lorica Wulfric and Maralith will take them and leave.”

“You're not leaving with them. I'm not going to let you turn those children into killers.” She eyed Veronica. “They'll listen to you. We can give them homes outside of Themosa. They'll never have a peaceful life with Raiders who only know how to kill and pillage.”

“Please…” Veronica wiped her eyes. “Listen to the queen. She can give them the peace you wanted for them. I know you have no reason to trust her, but please end this before it is too late.”

The Thrope looked at Veronica and none decided to go with her, even though she’s was there princess. “ Like I said we are united and we are one big tribal family, now like I said Lorica Wulfric and Maralith will take these people and leave.”

“Crixus why are you so instant on having us leave?” Lorica said

“Because to insure we live, and to make sure this bitch doesn't follow us to are new home when all the countries we attacked come after us. I’m gonna stay here and kill her.” Crixus said

“Then that's that. I guess I always knew you wouldn't see reason.” She looked at her men. “Try to spare as many of the Thropes as you can. You're first priority is to get the Children our and safe.”

“Ou I don’t think you understand what i’m saying, i’m challenging you to fight me by yourself. You and me one on one, if I win my people get yo leave. If I die then they will not have me and will more than likely surrender.

“You look like you're barely standing.” However, Lana showed no cowardice, cracking her neck. “But I've been waiting for this for a long time.”

“To bad your gonna have to keep waiting, because I don’t think you ever thought what would happen if I kill you. What will happen to your race if you die here.” Just then Rebecca was pulling Crixus arm.

“Don’t don’t do this,” she whispered. “Sh-she’ll kill you. Please… i-if they take you, w-we could break you out. Don’t fight her.”

Crixus wrapped his good arm around her.” Don’t worry love i’ll be fine, but you must live and take care of our child you understand?”

Rebecca nodded sadly and stepped back, unable to watch.

Crixus looked at the vampire queen, but told Rebecca that he did love her.” Alrigh come on, you old hag!”

“I'll have you know you're far, far out matched…” Spikes of blood ran off her fingers. “I'm not going to go easy on you. You know that right?”

“I expect nothing less, I just feel sorry for your race. There about to lose there queen in the worst way to die possible.

Lana'thel cracked her neck and raised up her hand. “Ready?”

Crixus crabbid his shield.” Ou i’m ready, I just wish your daughter and Alice could see you about to die.”

“Alice is closer than you think.” Her entire body pulsed with a massive amount of power. It was something almost familiar to Crixis.
 
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Crixus eyes twitched. “You absorbed Alice blood!” Crixus yelled angrily.”Ou i’m gonna enjoy seeing you die.” Crixus charged Lana with his shield in hand

He instantly felt the blood in his veins begin to move of its own accord, shooting up out of his arms into spikes that stuck out of him like a porcupine.

Crixus screamed in pain falling to the ground, Crixus slowly got back to his feet. “Is that it, huh relying on blood magic. No wonder Alice left her race behind your a bunch of cowards.”

“I told you. I won't go easy. Not after you brought your Goddess in to save you last time.” She pulled out her blade. “And I want them to see just what happens when you fight me.”

When she tried to smash her sword into Crixus he used his shield to block the attack, and weakly stood back up and headed butted her chin and use his shield to drive her back with the force of her own strength.

She held her Jaw, nodding slowly as she formed a number of razor sharp blood swords out of her veins and send them flying towards him.

Crixus tried his best to block the attack but some hit his legs and shoulder, bringing him to the ground. He then looked at his people as they tried to cheer him on. The seven on the other hand just stood and watched, all but Rumi and Veronica who had a hard time watching.

The blades then turned into Spears, pointing at him. “You know… I lied when I said I wouldn't go easy on you… but if I just popped your heart it wouldn't be as… Cathartic…”

“No shit your lying you worthless bitch.” Crixus used his shield to break off the spears in his legs and fired his pistol at the vampire queen

She didn't move, simply turning to smoke when they were about to hit her. “Those men I captured from Helvan? I executed them, one a day, every day. They killed so many good people.”

Lorica looked like she wanted to charge at the vampire queen, but Wulfric held her down. “You fuckign cunt, ! I’ll kill you and your whole damn race I’ll kill you!”

“Calm down Lorica.” Crixus said trying to stand but failing to do so.” Don’t worry she won’t last much longer I go her on the rops, victory is in our grasp. And soon we will go to our new home and live in peace.”

“You really are deluded. Aren't you?” He felt his blood start boiling, searing pain running through him as she walked closer. “This is the consequences of your actions. This is all of your sins coming back to you.

Crixus felt a strong pain going through his body, but he grabbed Lana by her leg and slowly brought himself up using her as a crutch.” And this is your punishment for what you did to Alice.” Crixus reached into the bag that was on his waist and slapped the vampire queen across her face with a cactus.This made the seven look in confusion.

She reached up and held her face in surprise, “What was…”

The skin on her face began to crack and turn to stone, the Vampire gripping the side of her head as she turned into a cloud of mist. Reforming a second later, but the poison was still spreading. As it began to swallow her mouth she gritted her teeth and began to pull the poison out of her veins along with most of her blood. The thick liquid fell out onto the cold ground, turning into a fine sand as the Queen caught her breath reaching up to confirm that the spreading had stopped.

“Mandragora… You little piece of shit…” She got up, half her face still a mask of stone. “This is my fault for not killing you instantly.”

Crixus couldn't help but laugh, still holding the catus. “I told you, i’m gonna kill you. And this little catus is gonna be the thing to do it.” Crixus went to his Ax and grabbed it. “All I had to do was stall and wait got my ass kicked for it, but I still got half of you and made you waist so much of your own blood. Now you're probably just as weak I am.”

“Come on Crixus, get up don’t surrender stand up boss.” The entire camp cheered on for Crixus hope started to come to them, while the seven started to look worried. Here was there queen stronger than any vampire alive, being taken back by a normal man.

“You're a pathetic coward. Just like the rest of your people.” She let out a primal scream, the blood he had spilled on the ground tearing into him from all sides, almost shredding his legs.

“What type of bull shit is this, this garbage you cheating bitch. Wulfric said

Crixus layed on the ground, and pulled out a potion and poured it onto his legs as he screamed in pain reliving everything that has happened to his leg. Crixus then started to stand up. It’s fine guys I got this i’m gonna win and get to safety.”

“I think I'll turn you into a statue as repayment. I'll put you in my garden so I can look at you every time I go for a walk.”

He watched as the blood that attacked him began to form up into almost a Pillar, a pillar that took the shape of the familiar leader of Norsca, Alice Valentine. “She should be the one to kill you. I can think of nothing more poetic.”

“Stop this!” Veronica pleaded. “Crixus, lay down your axe!”

“Alice was my daughter! She was a soft little girl with bright eyes and a precious smile! That's the memory of who I'm fighting for. Before she became bitter and twisted and couldn't tell right from wrong.” Tears ran out of Lana's only working eye. “I failed her. But I won't fail those kids in there. Those Thropes. Never. Again.”

“So that’s what this is all about, well I hate to break it to you. The Alice your fighting for died when you sent her to that prison.”

“I didn't send her anywhere!” She interrupted. “I fought tooth and nail for years to help her! I always tried to see the good in her! Kva gave her so many chances! And now she's dead too! The Council is Dead and Lilith killed them! She was turned into a monster and she began making monsters wherever she went! Infecting people with her hate until that was all they knew!”

“We are not influenced by hate, Alice fought for her kind and gave them the freedom she deserved.” Lorica shouted

“She freed so many slaves in Halven changing the country all together.” Wulfric added

“The point is Alice was our leader, she gave us purpose and new meaning. And you dare spit on that memory. You how have nothing but an empty title, you should be leading your people into a new generation but instead you're looking for some redemption that will never come. You could kill me but it won't bring back Alice your daughter your friends anyone else you lose, all your doing is dooming your race even further. Have you even thought about what would happen to your race if you die today?!”

“I would hand the throne to Rumi.” Lana'thel told her. “But this isn't about me, or my Redemption, or Revenge. This is about showing the world that the Vampires will fight for their safety, safety you put in jeopardy every day before and after that battle. If you had just laid low after Helvan. I wouldn't be here. But you couldn't. Why should I believe you'll suddenly stop now?”

“Because we're done, there is no money all the money we raided all that blood we spilled went into buying food and clean water for our people. We also bought ships so we could leave, and before the battle with the old one we got rid of all the raiders that was in our group. All the people here are the slaves that we freed and the children that we brought with us, all I want is to give them a proper home away from here. So turn around and go back to your people.”

“They'll never be free. Not with you. Let them go. This isn't freedom. You sent them to fight against an Old One. That's the reason you 'helped’ them.” She returned. “I've been watching you. Rumi told me where you were. What you've been doing. How many of their Fathers do you think you killed raiding their homes? How much damage did you do to the Thrope Rebellion by turning these people into killers? Exactly what the Humans think they are. You're proving them right. Just like Alice proved the world right about Vampires and even the Light Elves.”

Crixus laughed like he heard a bad joke. “Ou I am a monster, i’ve been a monster since I was ten years old. I left my parents to their fate when I was ten to raiders harassing my old farm, i’ve killed so many people over the past nineteen years i’ve been a raider. But now Yea I killed alt of the people with me families their fathers there mothers brothers and sisters grand parents, i’ve killed entire legacys. And I would do it all over again, and again because I was always meant to die hell I should have been dead with my parents and brother. But i’m not, I have wronged these people. But I have given them something different, i’ve made them hunters fighters gave them a bigger family then they had before. Some are farmers again weapon makers. I’m a monster and I may never change that, but I gave them a chose a long time ago to leave.” Crixus pointed to Veronica.” She told me to give my people a choice and I did they could have left me but they diden’t.” Crixus turned to his leader and his people. “ So again I ask how many of you wish to leave, I wouldn't blame you for leaving if you want a better life than this then leave with them.”

There were a large number of supporters still, but many of the Thropes and Light Elves started to whisper. It seemed some wanted to trust him, but others wanted to go with the vampires.

“If i’m allowing Veronica to leave my side, with no fight or effort you will not be harmed. So ask stop thinking of yourselves and think of your kids, what life you want for them. I won’t be angry if you wish to leave.” Crixus said while dropping his ax to the ground.” You are my family and will understand if you want to leave me.”

Dozens of Elves and Thropes walked over to the band of seven. Much to Marilith’s surprise, she even lost several Ophidians.
 
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While each person past Crixus they all patted his shoulder thanking him for helping them. Crixus grabbed his ax. “Were done here you have the people that wanted to leave, don’t follow us. Or I will kill you.”

“No. We're not. Those kids can't make a choice. They don't understand what they're choosing.” He felt something hitch in one of his veins, like one of the pathways to his heart was cut off. A sharp pain shot through his arm and up to his chest, it was a heart attack. The Queen stood there, arm outstretched, shaking her head. “You said it yourself. You are a Monster. And you'll never change. This is Justice… For all the life you've taken…”

Crixus could feel his chest go into a sharp pain Crixus fell to the ground and put his hand on his chest.” Crixus grabbed his ax and Slashed the air a burst of wind magic to the queen surprise there was wind magic coming at the queen of vampires.

She blocked it with a shield of blood from her veins, she could've pulled it from the men next to her, but chose to hurt herself instead. “I'm sorry. But your life doesn't excuse your actions. And your murders. And we agreed that one of us would have to die in this fight.”

“WAAAAAAA!” spikes of ice started to hit the barrier, when the queen turned around she saw Lorica. “Your damn bitch.” I’ll kill you!”

“Lorica, enough.” Crixus said weakly. “Her time will come because her successor is already born,. And that person is already stronger than her, funny the person that will be the daughter of one of your so called kids.” Crixus said as his eyes started to go white.

Lorica smiled at that.” Ou that right, I forgot about the munchinken. Your end will come, and I can only hope that i’m there to see it happen.” Lorica and Wulfric went to Crixus body and lifted him up as Rebecca was weeping at the lose of the man she loved.

The Soldiers began to make their way into the Norscan camp, keeping close eye on the raiders as they went to find the children. “Don't let her daughter become a killer too. Don't let this cycle of revenge go on forever. This is a new chance, a new start, because if you kill me, who will come after her next?”

“Noone, The daughter of Alice will come for you. And when she does I only hope she will be a better queen then you ever would be.Take the damn kids then, if you follow us and come to our new home. The numbers we have now fill be nothing but a foot note to what we will have, leave us alone or face the future wraith of us.” Wulfric told the vampire leader.

“I will not follow you. This is your last chance to lay low and live this normal life you want. That's for more than I came here expecting.” The War Horn of the Bevland Army was her far away behind the Vampires lines. “Go. Learn from this this time.”

“Move out, were going to our new home to regroup and finally have our peace.” Wulfric Lorica and Marilith went to there ships and set sail to the west going to there new home.

Veronica watched them go sadly. “Why? It… didn’t have to end like this… why couldn’t he just… not fight?”

Lana'thel watched them, standing next to her. “Can't you see? It did. They would accept no other way. Crixus admitted that.”

“Maybe…” She looked up at the Blood Queen. “Why… did you let the rest of them go? You’re not afraid they’ll come back?”

“Oh. When they do. I'll be ready. We'll all be ready. I'll keep an eye on them in the meantime.” The Vampire looked back at her soldiers, they were handing out things like food, water, and blankets to the children, but even comforts like wooden toys, something the children probably hadn't had in a long time. “Do I look like the Villianess they described Ms. Veronica?”

Veronica sighed. “No… of course not.” She looked around. “So what happens to me now? Am I to stand trial?”

“Neither you or those Thropes that chose to leave will stand trial. You and they were hostages forced to fight for them. That's how it always starts, the conditioning, the desensitization to murder and rape, the separation of someone away from anyone who thinks otherwise.” She shook her head. “They're a cult, really… And emotional manipulation is their forte…”

Veronica stared forward sadly. What if the queen was wrong? What if the kind of person they had turned Veronica into was what she was? She silently prayed it wasn’t true. “I… I-I need to head to Themosa. I have unfinished business there. You should probably find a cure for your petrification.”

She reached up and touched her stoney mask of a face. “I should've known he would try something so cowardly… So much for Honor or whatever they preach…”

“We'll get you home safe.” A Long Haired man with a white masked face stepped up to her.

“Thank you.” Veronica smiled at the Queen. “Thank you… and good luck.” She turned to leave, but suddenly looked back. “May I… speak frankly?”

“Of course.” The Queen nodded.”But don’t you want an escort home?”

“I do, but…” Veronica cleared her throat. “The papers claim the resistance in Themosa is dead, along with its leader, ut I think that is just a cover. She was taken captive by a man named Grey and I am sure her would rather keep her alive for torture. Before I think of returning to the palace, I need to save Korra Devolina, and… I could use some help.”

Lana seemed conflicted. “That sounds like a noble cause but we can't simply March our Army into Themosa. We are already on thin ice as it is. We'd need proof he was doing something that affected our people.”

Veronica’s eyes shifted around. “Well… you could send in a small team to help. We wouldn’t need… oh! Um… slaves! I heard a rumor with the resistance that some of the nobles in Themosa were capturing vampires as exotic slaves. I am sure Grey has some!”

Abathur grew extremely quiet, Lana speaking up. “Well… I had a hunch that was happening for some time… With the disappearances lately… Unfortunately without solid evidence the other nations would turn against us. It could doom our people.”

“Um… wait. When I was taken by the Raiders, they broke into my room and stole a bunch of my stuff…” She backed away. “Let me go check. I’ll be right back.” She ran off towards the castle.

Marlee stepped next to her Queen. “Do you think it’s true?”

“I've had a hunch. Vampires have been disappearing ever since Draculesti was put on watch and with the world's current opinion of us, well… It's a strong possibility…” Lana'thel looked over at the newest member of the Seven who was squeezing his fist tightly in silent rage.

“Found it!” Veronica came running back with a box. She set it on the ground and started rummaging through it. “I was afraid if my father found it, he’d destroy it if he was in on it. So I insisted it be one of the things they took, else I would have fought… here!”

She stood up and handed the picture she had gotten from Peacock to Lana. “We were supposed to raid Grey’s manor after the mission where he captured Korra. See, um… s-see the mouth of this woman? Those look like vampire fangs, don’t they?”
 
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Abathur caught a glimpse of it, almost snatching it out of her hands to get a closer look. His fingers shook, slowly reaching up to take off his mask and reveal a black goatee that was spiked slightly at the bottom.

“Abathur? What's wrong?” The Queen asked.

“That’s… These are my daughters… I… I can't believe…” He looked up at Veronica. “Where were these taken!?”

“At Grey’s manor, I believe,” the princess answered. “Like I said, we were supposed to raid it. One of the guys from the Underground Railroad showed us this for extra motivation. I… had know idea they were your daughters.”

“Well. I guess that's the proof we need. These two are Draculesti Nobles and those pictures prove he has them. I doubt any country could deny our right to reclaim them now.” The Vampire Queen's face turned grim. “We should still keep it to a tight knit party. Abathur, Rumi, Marlee, they're my best infiltrators.”

Rumi and Marlee nodded, the former placing a hand on Abathur’s shoulder. “Sorry, but at least we know where they are now. We’ll get them out, and make this Grey person pay for taking them.”

“You know more about this person than we do Veronica. You can help with planning this rescue with your Railroad.” Lana looked the young Human woman in the eyes. “And thank you for trusting us. It's refreshing.”

Veronica nodded. “You got a bad rep. As someone who has been fighting to free the Thropes for a while now, I know not to trust everything I hear.” She looked over in the direction of Themosa. “Hang on, Korra. We’re coming to save you. Just hold out a little longer.”

------------------------------

The Nature Goddess looked over the departing Norscan ships, standing at the edge of a massive cliff edge looking over the ocean. Ahusirra looked down at the Amulet in her hands, turning around and lifting the necklace up by it's chain.

With a glow of green power through her hands, the Jewel inside it shone brightly and glistened with an almost mosaic like property as cracks began to run down the gem from the top. After two or three large crack the entire object exploded in a prismatic shower of green light a dust that temporarily obscured what had happened, the Goddess simply standing expectantly.

From the dust, a demonic being snaked her way forth. She had black, grey, and orange scales, and a long tail that split into two. Four arms came from her shoulders, each hand having deadly looking claws. Below her waist, where her knees would be, were arm-like appendages with leathery wings and spikes. Horns sat atop her head. Her face and chest were the only parts of her that looked human, her large breasts covered only by the long, black hair coming from her head. “Hmm… it feels so nice to be able to move again,” she said in a sultry voice.

“I would imagine so. You've been inside of there for a very long time.” Ahusirra spoke, looking the woman up and down.

The Old One did the same to her. “So… what would you say if I decided to spread pain and misery to this pathetic planet now that I am free?”

“I would offer you a deal that I think would benefit us both. A Partnership.” The Goddess spoke. “After all, Pain and Misery are required for a balance to be kept, and with Yig dead, there is a quite large vacuum.”

“Indeed.” The Old One placed a hand on her chest. “I am Yzievelieyth. And who might you be. It has been so long, and I do not recognize you.”

“I am Scathatch. Goddess of Flora and Fauna. I have kept my existence a secret for a long time, but have recently joined the larger pantheon.” She gave a slight bow.

Surprisingly, the Old One bowed back. “This partnership idea intrigues me. What does it involve?”

“As you could likely feel in there, and likely feel now, Nature is dying, the balance is shifting against us. I am aware you also draw your power from nature as I do, which means that we are both at a fraction of our true strength.” Ahusirra explained. “I am weakened to the point that I can no longer successfully protect my interests effectively from opposing parties. And you would likely have trouble making a foothold in our 'modern’ world now as well.”

Yzievelieyth rubbed her chin. “Yes. As much as I hate to admit it, you are true. So… you propose we combine our efforts so that we might restore nature to its former glory and strengthen ourselves?”

“Indeed. And now that your Brother is dead, the desert that was once his domain is now open to us to reforest, once we spread life through that desolate and unnatural wasteland that technology created, we can begin to correct this Imbalance and return the world to the state it should be.” The Goddess smiled.

The Old One smiled back. “I like this. A chance to revitalize the home of many of my Ophidian children, and give them somewhere to live where they do not constantly have to fight each other for resources, all while building my strength.” She nodded. “You had this well planned. I can appreciate that.” She extended an arm. “You have yourself a deal.”

“I've been planning for centuries darling…” Scathatch reached out and took her clawed hand in her own. “And now it is time for fate to align in our favor…”

Yzievelieyth nodded. “Just… don’t try and stab me in the back like Yig did. I’ll be ready for that.”

“I'd say the same to you. But I believe you are a better sort than that. Most of the Gods would not admit it, but your kind hold an important place in the world, and that many of them are less trustworthy than even Yig.” The Green Skinned woman assured.

Yzievelieyth grinned. “I like you. I think I am going to enjoy this partnership.”

“I also particularly like you. You're very reasonable and if I might say, quite beautiful.” The Goddess added in.

“And you’re not bad yourself, hon.” The Old One winked. “Come… let us talk more over a bite to eat. I haven’t had anything in too long.”

“Of course. Lead the way.”