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 A Tale of Iron

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Strider Zero
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PostSubject: A Tale of Iron   May 15th 2014, 2:30 am

Part 1

Prologue


Part 1 Opening Theme:


War is imminent for the continent of Jovah. The past century has not been kind to the land. Constant fighting has taken place between the two kingdoms that reside there. The Iron Kingdom, which prides itself for its skilled fighters and strong weaponry, resides on the West. To the East is the Red Kingdom, which specializes in magic. Every time these two kingdoms meet, there is always great bloodshed. Neither kingdom has been able to completely overpower the other.

This is a basic map of Jovah. Everything in silver is Iron territory. Everything in red is Red territory. Everything in the darker blue is neutral territory. The lighter shade of blue is water.


Our story begins at a city called Drogos during mid-morning. It is a city with simple stone architecture, but is big and full of people. Children can be seen running around and playing with one another. But nearby an ominous shadowy figure lurks. Its target seems not to be the children, as its eyes drift away from the sight of them playing. A rough lowborn male is then seen walking by.

Shadowy figure: (Male voice) Right on time. He always walks this way every day. NowÖ

Someone stops him and starts talking to him. While this is happening, the shadow moves quickly. He ends up on the other side of the street, still concealed by shadow. The man continues walking after a few seconds, but stops. He jumps in pain and notices that he had stepped into a bear trap. He screams out for help and tries to get his foot loose. Meanwhile, from the shadows, we heard a laugh that resembles a gerbil. Suddenly, he moves from his position and quickly makes his way behind the man who was just caught in his trap. This man stands about 5í8 (172.72cm). He is light skinned with a tint of red on his face with dirty blond short hair. He is wearing leather armor. He draws a wakizashi from his hip and quickly slits the manís throat clean. He laughs again.

???: Iím gonna get a pretty penny for this one.

The view zooms out as the crowd has huddled around him in complete shock and awe. This man scratches his head.

???: Well, I guess I shouldnít have killed him out in the open like that. Oh well.

He takes the corpse and casually strolls away while carrying it. While doing that, he accidentally bumps into a light skinned man standing around 6í0 (182.88cm). He has black hair that is very short. He is wearing this armor (Without the helm).

???: †(The new guy talking and sternly) Erosion!
Erosion: What is it, Solomon?
Solomon: You were supposed to take him alive, you dumbass!
Erosion: I was? Whoops.
Solomon: It was your bounty. Even I paid better attention to the details. It said to take him alive. It pays 2,000 silver for it. You have to start paying more attention. Itís not often that you get good bounty like that. And now youíll get only 500 silver. Which is hardly enough to buy food for a few days.

Erosion starts to walk away from Solomon, and he stops talking.

Solomon: Where are you going?
Erosion: Going to give this guy to the warden, of course.
Solomon: Were you listening?
Erosion: You lost me after ďevenĒ. And I wanted to kill him, okay?
Solomon: *Facepalm* WhateverÖ

The scene abruptly switches to inside a building. Inside a medium sized room, there is a man who is sleeping on a bed. From what we can see of him, he is light skinned with black hair that is slicked back. Suddenly, someone knocks on the door. This does not serve to wake up the sleeping person. The person on the other side knocks about three more times before rapidly knocking without stopping.

Male Voice: Warden Vito, Warden Vito I know youíre there!
Vito: (Groggy) WhAaAaAt?!
Male Voice: Vito, Vito I know itís you.
Vito: (Still groggy) No shit itís me! What do you want?!
Male Voice: Two things.

Thereís a long pause. After a while, Vito closes his eyes. Just after thatÖ

Male Voice: Erosion killed the guy you wanted him to take alive. Also, thereís a letter for you. Itís from the royal city.
Vito: (More sternly) All right, well pass the letter under the door, tell Erosion Iíll have his money and then fuck off! Iím trying to sleep here!
Male Voice: Okay.

We hear the footsteps get weaker and weaker, indicating that the man is gone.

Vito: The Royal City of AegisÖI havenít gotten a letter from there in a while. I wonder whatís up.

Vito gets up and grabs the letter from the floor. We can see that he is standing around 5í10 (177.8cm). He is shirtless, but is wearing pants. He opens the letter up.

Vito: Itís from AeronaÖ

We travel back a few hours and go to the city of Aegis. The architecture is much more upscale and more artistically crafted. Standing above all the buildings is the castle of the Iron Kingdom. Inside, there is a large throne room. Sitting on the throne is a young woman who is wearing a gold crown and a purple garb for a queen. She has long flowing black hair. Standing next to the throne is a man standing about 5í10 (177.8cm). He has medium length dark brown hair that is split in the front. He is wearing this armor (no helm). There is a weapon holstered on his back, but we canít see what it is right now. There is a soldier knelt down before the queen. *Music*

Queen: And youíre sure this news is accurate?
Soldier: Your grace, many of our spies died to get this information. If it were false, I do not believeÖ
???: (The man standing next to the queen) Hold your tongue. We understand full well what this means if our spies died for it. I trained many of those men, and I have complete faith in them.
Queen: Well spoken, Ser Aerona.
Aerona: Thank you, your grace.
Queen: This is grave news indeed.
Aerona: A dragon? After all this time? If the Red Kingdom unleashes it, we could be in serious trouble.
Queen: We have to kill it before it crosses the border. The Red Kingdom is surely readying for full-scale war. Their borders have tightened. What do you suggest, Royal Knight?
Aerona: We canít risk starting a war over the prospect of having a dragon unleashed on us. But perhaps with smaller numbers.
Queen: Infiltration it is then. We need to raise a small task force to go in there and kill this dragon.
Aerona: Your grace, let me go.
Queen: I cannot. You are my personal guard.
Aerona: With all due respect, I cannot protect you against dragon fire. But I know people who are all skilled warriors for their trades. Weíve fought together in the past and I know their strength.

Aerona looks away from the queen for the moment and nods over to another knight who is standing in the room. He is about 6í3 (190.5cm) and has long black hair in a neat ponytail. He is wearing this armor (no helm). This man nods back and smirks. The queen sighs and closes her eyes for a few seconds.

Queen: All right. I will allow it.
Aerona: Thank you.
Queen: Iím done for now; everyone can leave.

All the knights do, except Aerona is the last one out. The queen starts walking away, but stops. They are facing both ways. *Music Stop*

Queen: Come back to me alive. I wonít forgive you otherwise.
Aerona: (Lightheartedly) I might have all my hairs singed but Iíll manage somehow.

He leaves the throne room, where the man from before is waiting for him.

Aerona: So, are you up to the task, Ser Mars?
Mars: Of course, just like old times.
Aerona: Yeah. Iím going to write to my cousin and thenÖ

Aerona suddenly trips and falls into a hole in the floor.

Aerona: OuchÖI swear that wasnít here when I came in.
Mars: That luck.
Aerona: This is going to be a long trip if this keeps up.

We are now back to Vito, reading the letter. It reads the following:

Vito, Iím coming to Drogos and Iím bringing Mars. Some serious shit is going down. Get Erosion and Solomon too. Theyíre probably arguing about something at the pub.

~Aerona


Vito: Who the fuck writes like that? I should probably get those twoÖnah.

Vito plops himself right back into bed and goes right back to sleep. After a few hours, someone else knocks on the door. A strange voice is heard from behind the door with some type of foreign accent.

Voice: Waaaaarden, itísa time for your spongea bath.

No response.

Voice: Waaaaaarden, I camea to jerka you offa.

Still no response. This time the voice is recognizable.

Aeronaís Voice: I got coffee.
Vito: *Wakes up abruptly* Coffee?! Hey, wait; was that a joke?

He gets up and opens the door to see Aerona. He is wearing a white knightís robe. And sure enough, he has two cups of coffee in his hand (I donít know if coffee existed back then, but I donít care haha). He hands one to Vito.

Aerona: Been a while, huh?
Vito: Yeah, and thanks for the coffee.
Aerona: Drink up, I have a lot to tell you. Iím guessing you read my letter and fell right back to sleep.
Vito: Ö
Aerona: Donít worry, I have Mars looking for those two.
Vito: One step ahead of me, as always. Fuck you.
Aerona: Ö

Meanwhile, just as suspected, Erosion and Solomon are at a pub, arguing about something. Mars approaches them and sits down next to them.

Mars: Well, if it isnít Erosion ďthe PrecariousĒ and Solomon, ďLord of SpeechcraftĒ.
Erosion: Long time no see, Mars.
Solomon: What brings you to Drogos?
Mars: Business, Iím afraid. Whoís up for a trip to the Red Kingdom?

Mars fills them in.

Erosion: HOLY SHIT!!!!
Mars: I know, sounds like fun right? Getting burnt to a crisp and turned into a rotisserie?
Solomon: That doesnít sound like the dragon would like it. You see, weíd be wearing armor and so if he melts our armor, it will mix with our skin. And I mean, the dragonís gotta be hungry, right? So heís going to eat us anyway. But heíll probably die from consuming all that metal. So then even if we die, weíre heroes.
Mars: Öyeah letís go with that. Are you in?
Solomon: Yeah, what the hell?
Mars: Though, he might not roast Erosion if he sees his red face. He might think he was roasted already.
Erosion: I guess Iím in too.
Mars: Good. I guess weíd better tell Aerona.
Aeronaís Voice: Tell me what?

Aerona is standing behind them all.

Mars: Good timing.
Aerona: I was listening.
Solomon: And you didnít say anything?
Aerona: Öno.
Mars: Where is Vito?
Aerona: I tried telling him, but he went out to get some food halfway through the explanationÖ
Erosion: Sounds just like him.

Vito is at the marketplace. He is wearing this outfit, and his hair is now neatly slicked back (it was a bit messy before). He goes to a shop with donuts (doughnuts if any non-U.S reader is confused by that).

Vito: Sir, Iíll have a powdered donut please.
Worker: Yes, Warden Vito. This is the last one.
Vito: Thanks.
Male Voice: (The one that initially woke up Vito) Hey! I want that powdered donut!!!

Vito turns around to see the man. He is wearing tight leather pants and a white T-shirt. He has brown, messy hair.

Vito: The squireÖ
Squire: Please give me the last powdered donut!!!! PLEASEEEE!
Vito: No, itís mine. I have requested it first. Have you finished fucking off already?
Squire: I want it! That powdered donuuuuut!!!!

Vito ignores him and takes it, giving the worker a few silver coins. He tries to take a bite, but the squire grabs his wrist to stop him.

Squire: Gimme!
Vito: Thatís it! Mickell, you son of a bitch!

Vito signals to a nearby guard, who grabs Mickell by the arm and drags him into an alleyway.

Vito: Now, youíre going to watch me eat this fucking donut.

He does while the guard has a solid grip on Mickell. After he finishes, he pulls out a long katana and points it at Mickell.

Mickell: Please, donít!
Vito: Let him go, guard. Mickell, you better not run, or I will chase you and murder you in the middle of the streets.
Mickell: Okay.

The guard does as instructed. He walks away.

Mickell: Forgive me, Warden!!! I love you!
Vito: Yeah? Well, thanks for not running away.

He shoves the sword through Mickellís stomach.

Vito: You saved me the trouble of killing you in public.
Mickell: MyÖsexyÖVito.

Vito removes his sword. He takes a piece of cloth from Mickellís shirt and cleans the blood off. He then twirls his sword and sheaths it dramatically. Aerona is standing right there next to him when the picture zooms out a little.

Aerona: Was that necessary?
Vito: The fuck?! Why donít you ever say anything when youíre just standing there?
Aerona: *Shrug*
Vito: Where are the others?
Aerona: Theyíre coming. I went ahead so that I could appear out of nowhere for the second time in the past hour. Itís a habit I could get used to.

The other three catch up to them.

Vito: Oh, hey guys. Mars, have you met my squire? His name is MickellÖtrust me I had good reason for killing him.
Mars: Suuuuuuure you did.
Solomon: Weíre getting off track here. You have to listen to the whole story, Vito.
Vito: Fine fine.

They fill him in.

Vito: HOLY SHIT!!!!!!
Erosion: Thatís what I said!
Aerona: So, what do you say? *Music* Another daring adventure for the five of us?
Vito: You bet.
Erosion: Letís do this.
Mars: Letís have some fun.
Solomon: Hell yeah. This will be even more epic than all of the wars weíve had combined. It will be more badass than any knight. Weíll be greater heroes than the founders of the Iron Kingdom. WeÖ

The other four are walking away already, talking amongst themselvesÖ

Solomon: Fuck it. Letís go slay a dragon!

He runs after them to catch up.


Word has reached the Iron Kingdom that the Red Kingdom possesses a dragon, a creature that has not been seen in years! Our heroes are now on a quest to infiltrate the Red Kingdom and destroy the dragon before it can cause a grim fate for the Iron Kingdom. A perilous journey awaits these five warriors, so stay tuned for A Tale of Iron!


Last edited by Strider Zero on February 20th 2016, 6:58 pm; edited 6 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   May 25th 2014, 5:12 pm

Chapter 1


Our heroes are now seen at the pub that they were previously at. They have a large table reserved for them. Theyíre drinking out of large mugs. *Music*

Vito: More ale!
Aerona: We leave tomorrow at first light. Donít overdrink.

Aerona takes a sip from his, but the liquid is darker than the ale that we see in Vitoís.

Vito: And you? You can handle even stronger things?
Aerona: Itís not ale. It is a new drink made with cane sugar. Soda, I believe they call it.
Vito: Can you get drunk off it?
Aerona: No.
Vito: No shit?
Mars: Itís better drink too. It actually doesnít taste like a horse let loose in it.

The servers go to the table with food. Each of them has a big platter of meat. Erosion in particular has a skirt steak.

Erosion: Itís nice toÖmeat you, food.
Solomon: Youíd meat anything with a skirt.
Erosion: IÖdo not deny this.

The two of them start laughing. A couple of women approach the table.

Erosion: How about you, Solomon? Youíre just as needy as me.

Solomon looks at the women and looks back.

Solomon: I also cannot deny this.
Vito: Yeah, just figure out which one of you two will pierce the otherís armor.
Solomon: Not cool.
Aerona: Have fun.

Erosion and Solomon leave after theyíve finished their food. They go with some loosely dressed women. *Music Stop*

Mars: You guys probably know all the girls by now at the brothel.
Vito: Who knows?
Aerona: Doesnít look like much has changed. Only our titles. You were granted the position of warden of the city. Our last line of defense before the royal guards have to step in. And Solomon decided to be knighted and protect this city as well. Only you and Erosion havenít been properly knighted. Erosion became a mercenary while Mars and I have been serving as the Queenís guards.
Vito: Titles donít mean shit.
Aerona: No, I suppose they donít.
Mars: Do you have a vice-warden? Now would be the time to tell him that youíre leaving.
Vito: Yes. I already have a letter sent to him. More ale!
Mars: You sure you can hang?
Vito: Yeah, donít worry aboutÖ

Later that night, Vito is buzzed and Aerona helping to keep him up. They are walking back to his house.

Aerona: You had one too many drinks.
Vito: Shut up. I was a little too happy, is all.
Aerona: Yeah?
Vito: You came back. Itís been almost two years.
Aerona: Itís difficult when youíre the personal guard to the most important person in the Iron Kingdom.
Vito: Yeah.
Aerona: Being back here reminds me of our academy days. All the shit our officers put us through. Hah.
Vito: The five of us almost collapsed under that manís training.
Aerona: To think, I boss that prick around now. I subtly get him back every now and then. All rightÖmaybe itís not so subtle. Mars gets him back even worse than I do.
Vito: Lucky bastard.

The next morning, Mars is seen walking into the brothel. He heads into a room where Solomon is sleeping. Thereís one woman with him.

Mars: All right, itís time to get up.

He looks around the room.

Mars: Huh, they slept in different rooms after all. Vito was wrong.
Solomon: (Groggy) He just likes busting our balls.
Mars: So I noticed. Iím gonna go find Erosion.

He finds Erosion in another room. There are three women there, but Erosion is awake.

Mars: So, Iím guessing you got paid recently.
Erosion: Yyyyep.
Mars: Itís time.

Mars waits outside for them until they come out roughly at the same time.

Mars: You both look like you have a spring in your step this morning.
Solomon: Of course.
Mars: Letís move. Aerona is probably waiting for us.
Aeronaís voice: Well, I was.

Heís standing behind them. They all flinch in surprise except Mars. He is back in his armor. We can see a quiver on his back that is loaded with arrows.

Aerona: Good morning.
Solomon: Do you do that on purpose?
Aerona: Yes. Yes I do. Though itís your faults for not noticing me.
Mars: Is Vito awake?
Aerona: Hahahahaha.
Mars: Didnít think so.
Solomon: Well, we know the magic word to wake him up.
Erosion: Yeah.

The four of them are outside Vitoís door and knock once.

Erosion: We got coffee.
Vito: Coffee?!

He gets up and lets them in. Mars hands him a cup of coffee.

Vito: Thanks. Is it time to go already?
Solomon: Yeah. Time to go eat breakfast, that is.
Vito: Right.

After they eat breakfast, all of them except Vito are standing at a large gate at the edge of the city. Mars now has his weapon and shield on his back. We can see a hilt, but not the rest of it. He has a great shield on his back. Aerona is carrying a medium sized shield. We can also see Solomon carrying a spiked shield.

Solomon: Where the hell is he?! Itís been nearly an hour.
Aerona: Are you still surprised at this?
Erosion: He has a point.

Eventually, he does make it to the gate.

Solomon: Finally!
Vito: Shut up, donít rush me, bitch. I had important things to do.
Aerona: Yeah. Are you sure all your hairs are in place?
Vito: They are, thanks for asking.
Erosion: Can we just get going?
Vito: Yeah. Open the gate!

Soldiers work together to open the gate for them.

Solomon: Our adventure begins here. To defeat the dragon and mess with the Red Kingdomís plans. But of course, weíll have to sail there first. And weíll probably encounter goblins on our way, so weíll have to do that too.

The other four are walking away. Solomon catches up. They keep walking along a grassy field.

Solomon: Speaking of sailingÖwhat is the plan?
Aerona: We will have to sail, yes. We very well canít go across neutral territory in the middle. Weíd be dead in a minute if spotted.
Mars: We were thinking of sailing around the south. We can take shelter briefly at the neutral island to the south. Then we will sail right into their territory by cover of night.
Aerona: Does anyone have any problem with this?

No one speaks against it.

Aerona: Good.
Vito: Who will direct the ship? I doubt anyone will be willing to sail us there.
Mars: Leave that to me. I have a good sense of direction.
Erosion: Sounds like you guys had everything planned out.
Mars: We did have a couple hours to travel to Drogos from Aegis.
Erosion: Good point.

Suddenly, they all stop as they see something heading towards them. A goblin shows up and is walking towards them.

Erosion: Only one? There must be more behind them.
Mars: Iíll get this one.

He takes his great shield out and as the goblin approaches him, he bashes it hard. It falls to the ground and Mars slams the shield down on its neck, severing it from the body.

Mars: Poke.
Aerona: Goblins are only dangerous in numbers. This one must have been a scout.
Solomon: Then, why did it attack?
Aerona: Goblins are stupid.

As they keep traveling, sure enough they see a hoard of goblins heading towards them. They are all wielding knives.

Erosion: Let the fun begin. *Music*

All five of them draw their main weapons. Aerona has a kwando, Solomon has a scimitar and Mars has a great sword.

Aerona: Letís try not to use too much mana yet.
Vito: Does everyone remember our old formation for goblins?

Mars and Aerona stand in front but stand far apart. Solomon stands in between them, but a little bit behind them. Erosion is to the left of Aerona on the end but behind him. Vito stands to the right of Mars on the other end but also behind him. Aerona twirls his halberd high in the air with his right hand (dominant hand). When the goblin hoard gets close enough, he sweeps the halberd horizontally at them, killing many of them in one strike. Mars does something similar with his weapon. As the hoard gets broken up, the back three charge forward. Vito is the first to make it into the battle. He dashes and slices in front of him to kill a few goblins. †Meanwhile, Erosion is taking them out one by one with his wakizashi. Aerona is now hiding behind his shield and thrusting his weapon constantly to keep them at bay. Mars is slashing over and over. The goblins are now falling quickly.

Mars: Everyone step back! Iím going to use it!

Everyone does so. Solomon swipes his hand horizontally to create a gust of wind that creates distance between the goblins and them. Mars then slams his sword into the ground and creates a giant chasm that traps most of them. There are only six left that arenít trapped. Erosion takes out two quickly by slicing them at the back of the neck. Aerona takes out two with one swipe. Vito dashes and cuts the last two. He sheaths the sword just after. *Music Stop*

Aerona: Well, that wasnít too bad.
Mars: They donít call me ďEarthshakerĒ for nothing.
Solomon: What about the trapped ones?
Aerona: I got it.

Aerona puts away his weapon and shield. He walks up to the chasm and claps both of his hands together. We see balls of light fly from his hands and go straight into the chasm that explode on impact with the goblins. They all die.

Solomon: ďDonít use too much manaĒ, huh?
Aerona: Hey, I said, ďLetís tryĒ. It just so happens that my magic is strong against goblins.
Erosion: Yeah, Solomon. He said, ďLetís tryĒ.
Solomon: Shut up, Erosion.
Erosion: How about you shut up?
Aerona: Yeah, letís just move on. Weíre about halfway to the harbor.
Mars: More like 5.7 10ths of the way there.
Aerona: Whatever.

Finally, after all their banter, they continue on in their travels. They reach the harbor not long after. It is a relatively lower class area with notable wear and tear on most buildings.

Erosion: I donít remember it being this run down.
Aerona: I guess weíre too used to the better cities.

They head into the harbor. Some people start to talk amongst themselves at the sight of them.

Male 1: Do you see that? Thatís the Royal Knight. What is he doing here?
Male 2: What are any of them doing here? Thatís Solomon, Lord of Speechcraft with them. Oh, and is that Erosion the Precarious?
Male 3: Also the warden of Drogos. And the Earthshaker as well. What are all these high status people doing here?
Aerona: Fear not. We come here for the good of the Iron Kingdom. Nothing more.
Male 2: Bullshit!
Vito: Hey, fuck you!
Male 3: Theyíve come to exterminate us!
Solomon: That makes no sense. The queen would never hire only five people to kill everyone here in this harbor. And even if we could take you all out, †(with lower volume) which we can, we have no reason to. I mean, you guys are an important part of this kingdom and even if we exterminated you, we would need to hire more sailors and more fishermen. But of course, fishing isnít exactly easy unless you know what youíre doing. And not many people know what theyíre doing. SoÖ
Mars: I think they get the point.
Male 1: I love you, Lord of Speechcraft!
Solomon: I love you too, but not in a homo way.
Vito: Yeah you do.
Solomon: Shut it.
Vito: You wanna fight, right here? I will fuck you up, paragraphs.
Solomon: Yeah? Now look whoís talking homo.
Erosion: Hey, where did Aerona go?

They all stop and look with a blank face.

Mars: He probably left while you guys were arguing.

They keep walking until they reach the edge where the water is. Aerona is waiting for them there.

Vito: Where the fuck did you go?
Aerona: Isnít it obvious by where I am standing?
Vito: Ö
Erosion: Did you get the ship already?
Aerona: I did. The money for it was courtesy of the queen.
Erosion: You must have done something real special to her for that.
Aerona: (lighter tone) Well, I do charge a high rate per night.
Solomon: Youíre kidding.
Aerona: What do you think?
Vito: It was obviously a joke.

Aerona gives an evil smile off and walks away towards a pub.

Vito: Was it? I hate when he does this.
Mars: Ever the enigmatically equivocal one.
Erosion and Vito: What?
Mars: Heís sneaky.

They go into the pub and sit down at a table.

Solomon: This is the last time weíll be in the Iron Kingdom for a while.
Erosion: As long as itís not our last, Iím fine with that.
Aerona: It wonít be. As long as the five of us stick together, we can even take down a dragon.
Solomon: Well, weíve never fought or even seen a dragon so we donít know that.
Vito: How hard can it be? Just shove a sword in his eye and one up his ass.
Mars: Or it will just use your katana as a toothpick and use my great sword as a claw filer.
Erosion: My trip wire can be used as floss then.
Solomon: GuysÖ
Erosion: Sorry, I wanted to continue the trend.

After they eat, they go to a medium sized galley (something about this size that can more than hold five people).

Mars: Not bad.
Aerona: I picked it out myself.
Vito: Yeah, when you fucking left us.
Aerona: Yep.

They get on one by one. Aerona is the last one. He turns around to look at the harbor one more time. But suddenly, the ground below his feet crack and he falls backwards into the water, but not before hitting the back of his head on the ship. They help him out of the water and into the ship.

Aerona: This will be a long trip indeed.


The special task force sent to thwart the Red Kingdomís plans is about to set sail. What will await them on their long journey?


Last edited by Strider Zero on February 15th 2015, 12:28 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   May 30th 2014, 8:40 pm

Chapter 2


The group is now sailing on their ship. Mars is controlling the shipís direction with the wheel. Aerona is on lookout duty at the top of the ship. The other three are on the deck, where they are conversing.

Solomon: We should reach land in a few hours, if I remember correctly.
Erosion: How long has it been since weíve been out of the kingdom? Three years?
Solomon: Not since the last war ended. Do you still have your medals?
Vito: I do.
Erosion: Same.
Solomon: Who would have thought all this would have happened to us so quickly? We get out of the academy and get enlisted in the military, which is sent immediately to war. And it ends up our unit that ends up being at the right place at the right time when the queen gets attacked by Red spies.
Erosion: Of course, we lost everyone in our unit to that attack. Yet we were strong enough to survive and save the queen.
Vito: (jokingly) Good times, right? (More serious) We might act similar, but I think none of us are the same anymore.
Erosion: Right. We all lost someone in that war.

Aerona overhears them talking while he is sitting on the lookout.

Aerona: It is possible that we will meet some of them at the Red Kingdom. Comrades that defected or ended up being spies. And itís possible that Iíll meet HIM again. Iíll have to pay him back for the scar he gave me.

Aerona glances at Vito quickly.

Aerona: It might be difficult for Vito if my fears come true.

He looks up again and sees something flying in the distance. He stands up.

Aerona: Everyone! Thereís something flying towards us.
Mars: Take care of it. Iím putting down the anchor for now.

Aerona draws a black longbow. He grabs an arrow from his quiver and readies it. As the creature flies closer, it is identifiable as a harpy. Some more follow it.

Aerona: Harpies!

He shoots an arrow and it pierces through the lead harpyís wing and sends it into the water. He draws another arrow, but then ducks as a harpy swoops down from behind. *Music*

Solomon: Youíre a sitting duck up there!
Aerona: Yeah!

About 15 harpies circle around the ship, which has now stopped. Mars joins Vito, Solomon and Erosion.

Mars: This doesnít look good.
Erosion: No, not at all. Iím going to slow down as many as I can.
Vito: Iíll speed us up then.

Vito puts his left hand on Solomonís shoulder and his right on Marsí. Some energy emanates from his hands.

Solomon: Much better.
Mars: This works.

One harpy swoops down and readies her talons. Mars takes out his great sword and slashes straight down, which cleaves it in half. All of the sudden, the harpies above start to laugh mockingly. One lands in front of them, with her hair covering her chest. She begins to remove her hair, when she is stabbed from behind. She is thrown aside to see Aerona.

Vito: You couldnít wait a few more seconds?
Aerona: Donít lose focus.

A few more swoop down in unison. Erosion sticks both of his hands out and a small beam of energy comes out and hits two of them. They are now flying much slower. Solomon takes advantage of this by creating a pillar of wind under him to fly up into the air. He cuts both of them down with his scimitar in mid-air. He holds a bit of air under his feet to keep him afloat.

Solomon: One coming your way, Erosion.
Erosion: On it.

One swoops past Erosion, barely missing with her talons. Erosion is able to touch the tip of a talon with one finger before it goes past. As the harpy floats in the air, she starts to writhe around in pain and falls into the water.

Aerona: Looks like your poison is even faster acting than before.

Aerona twirls his halberd and then as one approaches him, a quick flash of light knocks her down on the ship. He quickly follows up by stabbing the harpy through the face. Three harpies use this as a distraction to attack Aerona from behind, but we see Vito dash by and slash through all three of them at once.

Vito: Donít let your guard down.
Aerona: Was that supposed to be payback?

The remaining harpies charge all in unison at Solomon, who releases the wind under his feet to land back on the ship. *Music Stop*

Solomon: Letís finish this in one strike.

The five of them line up side by side and put away their weapons quickly. They all make a different hand position. Vito has this position. Mars this position. Aerona has this one. Erosion has this. Solomon has this hand position. They focus and all of the sudden, white energy begins to encase them and links together.

Erosion: Teh
Mars: Pen
Aerona: Hyak
Vito: Ooh
Solomon: Go
All five: FIRE!

This magic energy that encases them explodes out of them violently in a bright white blast that connects with one of the harpies and then explodes in a very large sphere. After the light subsides, there is nothing left of the remaining harpies that were shot.

Aerona: It worked. Weíre still able to perform the Tepenhyakugo.
Vito: Fucking right!
Solomon: You know what that means, right? It means weíre still in the same power range like we were back in the day.
Mars: Good point.

We briefly travel years into the past. We see the five of them (Much younger looking) lined up with their respective hand positions. They are all wearing iron armor. We can see a regular flow of white magical energy encasing them. Another man wearing full steel armor approaches him.

Man: Good. You are far above the others, it seems.

The view zooms out to see hundreds of teams of five trying the same thing and failing miserably. Theyíre all wearing the same iron armor.

Man: You five show promise. You may get out of this academy swiftly if you keep it up.

Back to the presentÖ

Erosion: Weíre some of the only people in the Iron Kingdom that can use it.

Aerona sits down and sighs.

Aerona: Shit. I used a little too much energy.
Erosion: Your stamina still isnít great, huh?
Aerona: Itís the one thing I canít improve that well.
Mars: Why donít you go rest?
Aerona: I plan to.

He lies back right where he is and passes out. He is sleeping soundly within a few seconds.

Vito: He didnít even wait.
Erosion: Hey, what are we going to do about this?

The picture zooms out to see the dead harpies that were killed on the ship.

Mars: Iím sure some sharks will have a field day with them.
Erosion: But firstÖ

Erosion starts turning the harpies over on their backs if they hadnít already been there.

Erosion: One last look?
Solomon: One last look.

As they finally throw them overboard, Mars starts to whistle a sad tune mockingly that is used in the Iron Kingdom as a funeral ballad.

Mars: All right, can you put the anchor up? We should keep moving.

They sail a little farther and land at a small island. It is the southern neutral island. Aerona is awake by this time. They set foot on the beaches.

Aerona: Donít let your guard down. There could be enemies here.
Erosion: Can we at least get rid of our armor for now? Itís hot as hell.
Mars: Yeah, letís do that.

Mars, Solomon and Aerona are now in different clothes. Theyíre in white knightís robes. Erosion just shed his armor and has a green shirt under it.

Aerona: Much better.
Solomon: Yeah.

All of the sudden, a dog runs out of the forest behind them and barks at them. It is a wolf. *Music*

Aerona: A wolf?
Vito: Nice! I love dogs.

It comes up to them and wags its tail. It licks Aeronaís hand when he sticks it out to the dog. When Erosion comes over to it, the dog starts humping his leg.

Erosion: Every time I wear a green shirtÖ
Mars: I guess you guys know what this means.
Solomon: Yep.
Aerona: Of course. *Music Stop*

Later that night, theyíre sleeping on the beaches. We can see five quilts that they are sleeping in. At the edge of the forest, we see two people crouched down and looking at them.

Man 1: Theyíre sleeping.
Man 2: Good. Our plan was genius.

The dog is next to these two people.

Man 1: Letís kill them quickly and take their possessions.

They walk out onto the beach and start to take slow steps. But all of the sudden, the one on the left gets stabbed through the back from Aeronaís halberd. *Music*

Man 1: HowÖI couldnít even sense you coming.
Aerona: And just what part of your plan was genius?

Before the second person can react, Erosion has already slit his throat with his wakizashi. He does his gerbil laugh just after.

Aerona: Youíre not a Red. At least, not directly.

Solomon, Mars and Vito drop down from trees and join them.

Solomon: No one would use an obvious tactic like that. You send the dog to scout the area. Then you have him find targets and behave in front of them. But thatís the trap. You then wait till dark and then kill them in their sleep. But that wonít fool any trained soldier.

The man is already dead, however.

Solomon: Öshit.

The wolf comes running to attack them.

Erosion: I got it.

The wolf lunges at Erosion, but he dodges and touches his leg. When he lands, he falls over.

Erosion: I weakened him. Heís not in any danger, but heíll need to sleep that fatigue off.
Aerona: Good work.
Solomon: What do we do with him when it wakes up?
Aerona: Well, we canít kill him. We can always retrain him and make him ours.
Vito: I agree with that.
Erosion: Sure.
Mars: I have no problem with this.
Solomon: Then what to name him?
Aerona: We have time to think about that. Letís go see if they have a camp somewhere.

Sure enough, they do on the other side of the island. There are about twenty men.

Mars: Iím guessing the two we killed were on watch tonight.
Vito: Easier for us to kill them now.

They move quickly and then start to slaughter them in their sleep. Some of them get up and ready their weapons. As they continue to cut them downÖ

Erosion: What about Max?
Mars: Too generic.
Solomon: Ramsay?
Aerona: How about Shin?
Vito: Hell no to both.

Soon enough, theyíre all dead without much trouble at all. *Music Stop*

Mars: Look at all this stuff. Weíre in luck.
Vito: How about Gerlo? ÖNah.

Solomon looks at the campfire they have set up.

Solomon: Blaze?
Aeron: Blaze the Royal Wolf. I like the sound of that.
Mars: That sounds cool.
Vito: I like that name.
Erosion: Works for me.
Vito: I really like that name.

They grab the food and supplies that they had stocked up and wrap them in the quilts that they had to sleep in. They walk away after putting out their fire.

Vito: You know, I really fucking like that name.
Aerona: We get it. You like the name.

The next morning, the wolf wakes up and the five of them are sitting around him.

Aerona: Good morning, Blaze.
Vito: Hey, Blaze.

The wolf looks in confusion. Almost like he is thinking, ďWhat the fuck did they just call me?Ē.

Solomon: Youíre one of us now, Blaze.

They start petting him. He now starts to realize that they are his new owners, now that his previous owners are dead.

Aerona: Letís head out.

They get back on the ship. They quickly release the anchor and sail away.

Vito: Aerona.
Aerona: Yes?
Vito: Do you think youíll see Daniel of the Red Sun again?
Aerona: I can feel it. The scar on my back has been acting up.
Vito: I thought you wore it with pride, considering you shielded the queen when you took that hit.
Aerona: Thatís half true. But you know how egotistical I am. I never got a chance to fight back. I know I could have beaten him.
Vito: I hope you get your chance.
Aerona: And what about you? Do you still have any regrets?
Vito: Iíve moved on. But if that happens, I wonít hesitate.
Aerona: Good.
Solomon: If we meet our old comrades who defected, things could get tough.
Mars: Yeah, of course I have someone who hates my very existence that is one of themÖ
Erosion: And chef is one of themÖ
Solomon: Donít remind me. She was a spy for the Red Kingdom all along.
Vito: Speaking of chefÖwhy donít you cook us up something, Solomon?
Solomon: Sure. How Ďbout you bake something, Erosion?
Erosion: Sure thing. Weíll show her that weíve surpassed her.
Solomon: Yeah.

Everyone gets into position. Mars takes control of the wheel again.

Aerona: Looks like we all have motivations and scores to settle in the Red Kingdom.
Vito: Yeah. Letís kick their asses and show them how much weíve grown.

There is silence for a couple seconds.

Vito: Blaze...I really fucking like that name.


With focused spirits, the group heads into the Red Kingdom!


Last edited by Strider Zero on June 12th 2014, 4:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   June 2nd 2014, 8:13 pm

Chapter 3


Our heroes are still sailing to the Red Kingdom. *Music* Aerona and Mars are with Blaze, testing his obedience. Mars is still controlling the wheel, but is splitting his focus.

Aerona: Sit, Blaze.

He does.

Mars: He seems well trained already.
Aerona: Not just that. Heís very smart. He has already adjusted to his new owners. Weíve already classically conditioned him with his name.
Mars: Yes. It was a good decision to take him for us.
Aerona: He will be handy to sniff out potential enemies.
Mars: Did we actually get lucky with Blaze? *Gasp*
Aerona: It couldnít have been my luck, thatís for sure.
Mars: For sure.

They start laughing.

Mars: Hey, arenít you supposed to be on the lookout? *Music stops with this sound effect*
Aerona: Ö

He slowly backs away and then goes back to the lookout quickly. Meanwhile, Erosion and Solomon are in the kitchen. Erosion is in front of a stone oven and Solomon is roasting some pork in a makeshift fireplace.

Solomon: How long on that bread?
Erosion: A couple more minutes.
Solomon: Good.

When both the bread and pork are finished, Erosion cuts the bread into long open rolls. Solomon takes two forks and shreds the pork into what we call pulled pork today. He puts the pulled pork into five long rolls and brings it out on a tray.

Erosion: Food!

They immediately put the anchor down and come running to the kitchen. They begin eating.

Vito: So good.
Aerona: Youíve outdone yourselves with this.

Aerona is already finished.

Vito: Do you even enjoy your food?
Aerona: Yes.
Mars: And my family used to say that I eat fast.
Aerona: Well, back to the lookout for me.

He leaves.

Mars: We will be landing soon. Technically, we are already in Red territory.
Solomon: So itís a good thing he ate fast.
Vito: The dog is hungry too.

They see Blaze standing up on its hind legs, begging for food. They all give off an ďAwwwwĒ. Vito tosses him a chunk of pork and he catches it in his mouth.

Mars: What a ham. Just donít feed him too much or else heíll be a big porker.

The other three look at him with a blank face.

Mars: What? Itís true.
Erosion: I thought it was funny.
Solomon: Then why didnít you laugh?
Erosion: I didnít want to break the trend.

After they release the anchor, they continue on until land is in sight. The area is made up of smooth stones.

Aerona: We canít get too close to that. There is likely a lot of sand that has formed underwater near the rocks.
Mars: Good call.

They drop anchor about 200 feet away from the rocks.

Erosion: Are we ready to go?
Vito: Pork sandwich first?
Aerona: Sure.

They each eat one smaller sandwich before packing up their gear in sacks. They stand at the edge of the ship.

Solomon: I got this.

He encases all of them, including Blaze, in a barrier of air. He levitates them while closing his eyes and brings all of them over to land. As they all touch down on the ground, all of their eyes widen. *Music*

Erosion: Do you guys feel that?
Aerona: This energyÖwhat is this?
Mars: ItísÖdark.
Vito: Itís affecting my body.

They look over at Blaze, who is fine.

Solomon: I think Blaze has been here before, so this does not affect him.
Aerona: Letís just continue on. We canít do anything about this right now. *Music Stop*

They continue on until they reach a rock wall that stretches around the area.

Mars: I see. So this was just weathered terrain. Above must be the main land.
Vito: Shit, do we have to climb that?

They look over to see Solomon slowly rising in altitude, with Blaze next to him.

Vito: Bastard! What about us?
Solomon: I canít waste too much mana, sorry.
Erosion: Damn you and your wind powers!

They scale the rock wall, but with much difficulty, as they all had their armor back on.

Solomon: Letís go.
Vito: Hold the fuck up, bitch! We have to rest.
Aerona: Just for like ten minutes.

They rest for about ten minutes.

Aerona: Alright. Iíve caught my breath. Letís go.
Vito: Donít rush me.
Aerona: If Iím good, then you all should be. I have the worst stamina here.
Erosion: Yes, letís go.

They all stand up and look at the terrain before them. They are looking at high grassy lands and a forest and a town in sight in the distance.

Aerona: I think Iím beginning to understand.
Mars: Beginning to understand what?

He keeps walking, without saying anything. They all catch up and keep walking. All of the sudden, Blaze starts growling.

Mars: What is it, Blaze?

In the horizon, a figure is seen walking towards them.

Erosion: Someoneís coming.

They drop their extra gear and ready their main weapons. As this figure comes into sight, we can see that it is a very tan skin toned male who is wearing a white karate gi. He has short brown hair.

Aerona: Blaze, get back.

He points back, and he does.

Man: I thought I felt someone enter these lands. By your skin tone, I can assume you are Iron spies.

They do not answer him.

Man: I see. I am Seijuro, guardian of this land. Prepare yourselves.

He puts his arms at his sides and focuses. All of the sudden, a dark aura surrounds him.

Aerona: I thought so.

While he is looking at Seijuro, he is suddenly behind Aerona. He is shocked. Seijuro chops with his hand just as Aerona begins to turn around. *Music* He blocks with his arms, but the attack sends him sliding about twenty feet away.

Aerona: Such power! I felt that even through my armor.

Vito is now running at Seijuro and slashes at him. Seijuro easily sidesteps and punches for Vito. But he stops and moves behind Vito when Erosion dashes past to try to touch him with one finger.

Seijuro: So I shouldnít be touched by that one, is that it?

Vito turns around and slashes horizontally, but Seijuro ducks under it. Mars is behind Seijuro now and brings down his great sword. Seijuro backflips high into the air and lands behind Mars, but now Solomon is attacking with his scimitar. Seijuro palm strikes Solomon in the chestplate to send him sliding back a few feet. He then quickly kicks Mars from behind to send him sliding into Vito, who dodges just in time.

Seijuro: Not bad. Huh?!

He dodges to his left to escape Aeronaís halberd stab from behind.

Aerona: He sensed me coming?!

Seijuro chops Aeronaís hand, which makes him drop his weapon. He then knocks him straight to the ground with a punch to the face. He feels something under his feet and then jumps away when a chasm appears where he was standing.

Solomon: How could one opponent be beating some of the greatest fighters in the Iron Kingdom? Is he using the dark energy of this land to increase his power?

Seijuro powers up even more, but Vito quickly charges with even more speed than before. Seijuro narrowly dodges a slice.

Seijuro: Oh?
Vito: Do you think Iíll let you sit and power up even more?

Seijuro punches, but Vito dodges. Vito retaliates with a slash, but Seijuro avoids it. They repeat this process a couple times. Finally, Seijuro focuses all his energy into his hands and catches Vitoís slash. They are struggling against each other.

Seijuro: You got much faster. Did you enhance your speed?

Just then, Erosion attacks with his wakizashi from behind Seijuro. He creates a quick explosion of dark energy that sends both Vito and Erosion to the ground. He then appears behind Solomon and chops him to the back of the neck, which sends him to the ground. He turns around and sends a beam of dark magic at Mars. He blocks with his shield, but gets pushed back. Finally, he is sent to the ground from the pressure. All five are on the ground, surrounding Seijuro.

Seijuro: I didnít want to use too much mana, but you guys are strong for Iron fighters. But you donít stand a chance in these lands.
Aerona: Like hell we donít!

Aerona stands up and launches all of his mana into a beam of light magic with one hand at Seijuro. Seijuro counters with a dark beam of his own. They both struggle against each other, but Seijuroís overcomes Aeronaís quickly and Aerona gets slammed with a beam of dark magic and is left with serious damage to his armor and himself. *Music Stop*

Seijuro: WhatÖwhat just happened?

Erosion has his hand up towards Seijuro.

Seijuro: You mean, your power wasnít just point-blank range?

Vito gets up and charges at him. He is able to dodge a slash, but he is in shock.

Seijuro: Iím slower?!

Vito keeps attacking at him, and Seijuro is finding it harder and harder to dodge. He jumps back, but heads towards Solomon. Solomon throws a strong gust of wind which makes him slide back into Mars, who restrains him from behind. Erosion then is able to touch Seijuroís skin just before he sends both away with a dark explosion wave. In no time at all, Seijuro starts to feel the effects of the poison that was just injected into him.

Seijuro: His speed was enhanced as well?! This poison! Iím in trouble!

Seijuro gets slashed across the chest by Vito, which sends him staggering back towards Mars. Solomon uses more wind to shove him even more towards Mars. Mars shoves his sword through Seijuroís back and then violently pulls it out. Seijuro drops to his knees.

Seijuro: YouíllÖnever make.Ö.it alive here.

He falls on his face and dies. The remaining four drop to their knees and start panting.

Solomon: That was close.
Mars: We were clearly outmatched.
Vito: Erosion, you really saved us there.
Erosion: I wouldnít have been able to hit him without a distraction.
Solomon: If we hadnít worked together, we would all be dead right now.

Aerona sits up, but is barely able to.

Aerona: I understand now why we havenít been able to take out the Red Kingdom and vice versa. This land favors their magical prowess, so we have a disadvantage here.
Solomon: But when they invade us, they donít have that power boost, so theyíre weaker.
Aerona: Exactly. Ugh.

Aerona collapses again.

Aerona: I used up all my mana. I didnít think it would get overpowered so easily.
Vito: Can you stand?
Aerona: Not until Iíve properly rested. I need my injuries to heal as well. When I have replenished, I will heal you all as well.
Vito: Why canít you just heal yourself when you get the mana?
Aerona: My magic doesnít work like that. Due to the nature of my power, it lets me heal faster than normal, but I can heal by injecting my own power into someone else. Since that power already exists in me, it does not work for me.
Vito: Right.
Solomon: We need to all rest, I think. We killed the guardian of the land, so I donít think we will run into any trouble.

They all plop down onto ground wherever they are and go to sleep, including the wolf. After a few hours of rest, Erosion sits up and stretches out. He notices that Aeronaís wounds are a little better. After they all get up, they sit in a circle around Aerona. A big light encompasses them, and their battle damage heals (except his own).

Solomon: Much better.
Vito: How are you feeling, Aerona?
Aerona: I will manage, but I need to repair my armor at that town.
Mars: Leave that to me, I just need the raw materials. I need to repair my shield as well.
Erosion: I can manage that. My leather is not Iron recognizable.
Solomon: But your face. All of our skin tones are lighter than the Red people.
Erosion: Oh right.
Aerona: What about Blaze?
Vito: Heís a big enough wolf to carry it.
Mars: That might be crazy enough to work.
Erosion: And Iíll find a blacksmith area that we can ďborrowĒ.
Aerona: That works. Letís get going then.

They make it to the town, and they hide in the forest. Mars has a list that he wrote with some money attached to Blaze. As he heads into the town, Erosion follows him on the rooftops to give him direction from up there. When he spots a raw materials merchant, he points to him and Blaze goes to him. The merchant takes the list and supplies the materials and takes the money. Blaze leaves town to go back to the others with the materials in a sack.

Aerona: Good boy, Blaze.

Vito gives him a bit of food as a reward and they pet him. Not long after, Erosion returns.

Erosion: Weíre in luck. The blacksmith is at the edge of town where we can sneak in.
Solomon: Nice. Good work.
Erosion: Thank you.
Aerona: If weíre going to survive in the Red Kingdom, we need to learn how to harness this dark magic.
Vito: This, all of a sudden?
Aerona: Iíve been thinking. If just one guardian can bring us to our limits, we really wonít survive in this place. We need to get stronger.
Mars: Dark magic is strictly forbidden in the Iron Kingdom. *Smirk* But weíre not in the Iron Kingdom, are we?
Solomon: *Smirk* No, weíre not. This could be dangerous, but if it will make us stronger, Iím all for it. I donít think we will be able to beat even stronger opponents than Seijuro. And then we might have a chance against the dragon.
Aerona: That was my thought process as well.
Vito: Iím all for it. I always wanted to learn it.
Erosion: Letís do it!


With this new revelation, they now realize the gap between them and the Red Kingdomís top mages. Will they be able to harness this dark magic energy that has plagued them since they arrived?
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   June 26th 2014, 1:30 pm

Chapter 4


Mars and Erosion are now seen inside a blacksmith building. The blacksmith in charge is knocked out and lying on the floor.

Mars: This wonít take long. I just need you to hand me the tools as I ask for them.
Erosion: Got it.

After he repairs the armor, shields and weapons needed, he returns to the forest and they put their armors on.

Aerona: Thanks again, Mars. Iíll buy you a meal when we get back to the Iron Kingdom.
Mars: I always accept payment in food.

They go deeper into the forest.

Solomon: Something is wrong.
Aerona: Yeah, I can feel it too.
Mars: Itís this dense forest. The air is very humid.
Aerona: Iím not sure thatís it.

As they keep walking, Aerona is suddenly stabbed from behind by a sword. He turns around to see nothing behind him. Just then, he opens his eyes and there isnít any sword inside him. Vito has his hand on his shoulder.

Vito: Are you awake?
Aerona: Was thatÖan illusion?
Vito: Look up there.

He looks up and sees some glittery dust falling down.

Aerona: This forest, it must have a spell on it.
Vito: Yeah.
Aerona: How did you know?
Vito: Well, the dust got in my nose and I guess my sneeze broke the illusion.
Aerona: Hahahaha. Well, thanks for that. Letís wake the others up.

They do so.

Mars: It appears as though if you are aware of the dust and keep yourself on guard that it doesnít affect us as much.
Solomon: What did the illusion show you?
Erosion: I got shot by an arrow.
Aerona: I was stabbed by a sword. Did anyone NOT get injured by something?

They all shake their heads ďnoĒ.

Solomon: Interesting. The spell probably was set to show us being killed by some weapons or magic. That could be used to set people into a state of panic and possibly into shock. Armies would find it difficult to invade this territory without knowledge of it.

They hear some rustling in the distance. They immediately hide behind trees.

Vito: Shit.
Mars: Erosion, this is your forte. Call it out for us.
Erosion: Right.

Meanwhile, we see about 12 people walking through the forest. They are all wearing simple mage robes. They hear a rustle as well.

Mage 1: Somethingís here.
Mage 2: (Sarcastically) Yaí think?
Mage 3: Spread out!

They cautiously move forward and spread out a bit. Suddenly, they see Vito quickly run between trees and hide behind one.

Mage: There!

About half of them go after Vito and he starts running away. The six stop and start hopping up and down as they had stepped on caltrops. Mars then steps out from behind a tree and slams his sword on the ground to create a chasm that traps the six of them. The other six have grouped together and are heading a different way. An arrow zips by them and lands on the ground. We see Aerona hiding up atop the trees.

Aerona: Tch! My perception is still being altered by the forest.

They turn around to where the arrow was being shot from when Erosion appears behind them and cuts the one in the back in the neck. Solomon then attacks from the groupís right and uses a large swing arc to compensate for his perception difference. He catches one mage in his swing and kills him. Another one is killed when hit by an arrow through his head. Before another one can cast any sort of magic, Erosion cuts through him. Another catches an arrow to the neck and Solomon cuts down the last one.

Solomon: Letís go check on them.

Meanwhile, Vito and Mars look down at the six trapped down there.

Vito: Crush them, Mars.
Mars: Yeah.

Just then, one of them touches the ground and the ground beneath them rises rapidly to ground level.

Mars: Shit. That didnít go quite as planned.

One of them puts his hands forth and shoots a blast of water. Mars brings up a wall of earth to block it. He then slashes the wall and it breaks up into many spiked projectiles that head to them. The earth mage is able to create a wall big enough to block it, but not before it shatters. Vito quickly dashes through the rubble and slashes through the earth mage. Another mage summons a gust of wind to blow Vito back. He is able to catch his balance by putting both feet against a tree. The water mage then uses the wind to send a spiraling blast of water towards him. He is narrowly able to dodge with the wind still pressing against him, and the tree behind him gets cut in two. The wind mage summons another gust of wind, but Solomon appears in front of Vito and counters with his own. They cancel each other out.

Wind Mage: Oh?

From behind, two mages are taken out. One from Erosion and the other from an arrow from afar from Aerona. The third mage (not the wind or water mage) puts his hand on the ground and an elephant is summoned. It rampages towards Vito and Solomon, who scatter to avoid the charge.

Aerona: Not good. They just attracted a lot of attention with that summon. But maybe this can work to our advantage. We must finish this quickly.

Aerona jumps down from the tree he was on. Meanwhile, Mars is charging up a large amount of energy. The wind mage throws a couple blades of wind flying towards Mars, but Vito counters by slashing at each one and breaking them apart. Solomon then uses this to glide past the wind mage and slice his head off. Mars is done charging now and creates a giant spike that impales the elephant from below. It poofs away instantly. The summoner gets ready to put his hand down on the ground again, when he is grabbed from behind by Aerona and gets his head shoved into a tree. This knocks him out. Vito then blitzes the water mage and cuts through him quickly.

Aerona: Solid work, everyone. Weíre taking this one alive.
Solomon: We canít stay here long. That elephant definitely caught someoneís attention and we wonít be alone soon.
Aerona: I know. But this can work to our advantage. They are bound to find Seijuro eventually, and so they will know that we are here. Thatís why we have this guy.

They go to a different section of the forest that is thicker with bushes. They wait for the summoner to awaken. His hands are bound with his palms pressed against his shoulders, as if he is hugging himself. †He is on his knees and leaning backwards against a tree.

Summoner: So you figured it out.
Solomon: Of course. We were observing you while you summoned. Each time you went to put your palm to the ground. We wonít give you a chance to do that.
Summoner: Not bad.
Mars: We have some questions for you. If you donít answer, you will experience a great deal of pain.
Aerona: If you see someone with our skin tone, what are you to ask them?
Summoner: ÖIdentify.
Aerona: And if itís a spy for the Red Kingdom, what is one supposed to say?
Summoner: They always say that they are spies. Then we ask them to prove it. They are supposed to say, ďHail and long live the Red KingĒ.
Aerona: Perfect.
Mars: Thank you for your cooperation. Youíre free to go.

Mars helps him up and then Erosion slits his throat.

Mars: ÖTo hell!
Vito: So now we can act like spies.
Aerona: Now we use the attention to our advantage.

We see that Erosion is now in one of the mage robes that they had just pillaged from the ones they fought. He had headed back into the city and finds someone in similar robes.

Mage: Identify.
Erosion: I am a spy.
Mage: Prove it.
Erosion: Hail and long live the Red King.
Mage: Alright. You just came from the forest. What happened there?
Erosion: There are intruders. I fear they may be trying to assassinate the king.
Mage: Do you have intel on them?
Erosion: It just so happens that I do. They are famous fighters in the Iron Kingdom. There are three of them. One of them is a female, about your height, red hair and uses a crossbow. Another is a man with brass armor with a battle-axe. And finally, a seven-foot tall man with an eye patch. Doesnít wear any armor but has a big claymore.
Mage: How do you know itís them?
Erosion: We found out who was crossing the border a long time ago, but we thought that Seijuro could handle things by the looks of it.
Mage: Seijuro?! Then he failed?!
Erosion: I can only assume.
Mage: We must immediately go to him to find out. Thank you for the information. I will relay it to my boss and make sure it spreads.
Erosion: Be careful out there. Theyíre strong.
Mage: Will do. You too.

Erosion goes back to the group and they are traveling with their robes over their regular clothing (except Mars and Solomon).

Mars: I guess we donít need to wear the robes. Our armor is a good enough excuse not to wear them, I suppose. Iím sure people here will understand.
Solomon: I think so too.
Vito: Is it me, or are we getting higher?
Aerona: Itís not you. We are going uphill slowly.

They continue going uphill slightly as they move through the forest. The forest begins to change, however. It starts to become more dead with dead trees and lots of thorn everywhere.

Mars: Plant life must have trouble growing here. Iíd say we are precisely a hundred feet above water. Plants should still be able to grow here.
Aerona: They had to grow here at one point. But something must have happened to make it stop.
Mars: It looks like a lot of the ground has been tampered with. I recognize earth manipulation when I see it.

As they get higher and higher, they reach a ravine of sorts where you canít see the bottom of the gap between the land that they are standing on and the land on the other side. There is only a thin bridge that connects the two sides. There is a man standing on the other side. He is wearing a black mage robe without the hood. He has brown hair that is slicked back.

Man: Identify.
Vito: We are spies.
Man: Prove it.
Vito: Hail and long live the Red King.
Man: Intriguing.
Solomon: Can we pass?

This man reacts. Aerona also reacts to this slight movement.

Man: Where are you heading, spies?
Erosion: Weíre a bit lost. Can you help us find the closest village?
Mars: Good thinking. This forest is so confusing. We canít navigate it the same way as Red born people.
Man: Very well. Cross the bridge.
Aerona: (Whispering) Donít. Iíll act as bait to make him draw out his abilities. If heís strong, we can hide among the trees and figure out a way to defeat him. Mars, walk past me.
Mars: (Whispering) Got it.

Mars does so slowly, while walking towards the bridge. From the mageís perspective, as soon as Mars passes by, Aerona has just fired an arrow. He looks surprised, but dodges it. *Music* Everyone but Aerona spreads out and hides behind a tree. He loads another arrow and fires it, but the man dodges again and hops across the bridge. He starts to power up and puts both fists against the ground.

Aerona: No!

Realizing what was going on, he pulls his halberd and lunges for this man. But itís too late; the ground breaks around him and almost instantly spreads all around the group. The earth beneath them collapses entirely and they begin to fall into the ravine. The man levitates a bit of rock beneath him to keep him afloat as he watches them fall into what looks to be an abyss.


To be continuedÖ
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   July 8th 2014, 6:17 pm

Chapter 5


Solomon is seen flying through the area with wind surrounding him. He is looking intently for the others. We can see now that there are thick branches and trees growing sideways that make it almost like a labyrinth below.

Solomon: This wonít be easy finding anyone. Everything happened so fast and I couldnít save any of them.

We switch viewpoints to Aerona, who is crouched down on a branch that he had landed on.

Aerona: Damn it. Itís like a maze down here.

He sees a path of branches that he jumps to, in order to get to the ground. He eventually makes it to ground level but slips on some moss at the last branch and hits the ground hard.

Aerona: Shit.

He stands up and looks around.

Aerona: They move quickly. Iím already surrounded. There must be at least 20 hiding.

He reaches for his halberd but realizes that it had fallen separate from him. He looks around and sees it stuck in a tree nearby. He takes it but stops before pulling it out. He keeps one hand on it while turning to see the man who had sent them down in the first place.

Aerona: You.
Man: So you survived.
Aerona: You knew right away when we didnít answer a second passphrase, right? That we werenít actual spies.
Man: Yes.
Aerona: Erosion was able to get past a guard with just one. That means that whatever rank this guy is and up have a second passphrase that isnít easily obtained. Theyíre good. Whatís your name?
Man: Itís Akari.
Aerona: Akari, huh? What doÖ
Akari: (interrupting) Thatís enough. I wonít entertain any more questions. I wonít give you any information. Donít pull that weapon, or you will have to deal with me. Surrender now.
Aerona: I could try to escape, but that isnít optimal. His earth magic is on an entirely different level from Marsí. Heíll just trap me. Fighting him isnít an option here. If heís on the same level as Seijuro, I canít deal with him alone. Even if he isnít, this one is clearly above average based on what I know already. And Iím surrounded, so even if I win, Iíll use up too much mana and Iíll be killed instantly. No, the best option isÖ

He takes his hand slowly off his halberd and raises his hands.

Akari: Good choice. Take him away.

About eight men come out from behind trees and bind his hands with cuffs. They take his bow and quiver as well as his halberd.

Akari: Get him to the nearest base. We will question this one.
Man: Yes sir.
Akari: Iím going hunting.

The viewpoint changes yet again to Mars. He has formed a soft dirt hand that has caught him and stopped his fall.

Mars: That was close. That could have been a turn for the worse with one misstep. But that guy, his earth magic has mine outclassedÖfor now hehÖhehÖheh. Alright, letís go now.

We now see a split screen of Vito and Erosion. Vito has his katana stuck into a horizontal tree and heís hanging from it. Erosion has trip wire that he is hanging from that is wrapped around a branch. The screen splits again into four to see Mars brushing himself off while standing up and Solomon finally landing on the ground softly. Then, in the middle, we see Aerona in cuffs being transferred.

The group has been separated! What will they do to survive?

Vito unsticks his katana and drops to the next branch.

Vito: Shit, this sucks. !

Vito realizes something all of the sudden.

Vito: Iím being followed already. They move quickly. Come out, you canít fool me.

Out steps a man wearing a black leather suit with a black hood. He has a katana in his hand. He quickly jumps onto the large branch that Vito is standing on.

Vito: Youíre different from those mages. Bring it. *Music*

Vito readies his katana, but as he is about to bring it out, the man attacks with a quick strike. Vito is fast enough to counter. This man sheaths his sword after one strike.

Vito: Iai, huh? So there are people from this place that can use it.

Vito goes on the attack quickly and does something similar and the man counters in a similar fashion. Vito does not sheath his blade, however, and keeps attacking. The man gets pushed back more and more until he is forced to jump to another branch. Vito gives chase, and the man attacks while he is in midair. Vito blocks the slash and remains sturdy on the branch. The man hops back and sheaths his sword. He starts running by hopping across branches. Vito does the same to chase him. After a few hops, the man changes direction and then slashes for Vito while heís in midair again. Vito ducks his head to avoid the slash and then is forced to grab onto the next branch since his momentum got interrupted.

He quickly drops to the next level below where he lands on another branch. The man drops down with him. He rushes for Vito and puts his hand on his sword hilt, ready to draw. But suddenly, Vito blitzes past him and slashes him square in the torso. The man becomes surprised and drops to his knees. *Music Stops*

Vito: Iaido, a technique that relies on quick draws, not allowing your opponent to gain any sort of rhythm. It is a tough technique to counter, because it is difficult to tell exactly when someone will strike. But someone who has mastered Iai can exploit its weakness, which is when the person is about to draw. I purposely kept my speed unknown until the right moment. You put too much faith in your style and not your own skills.

He jumps down to ground level and leaves the man to die. The scene switches to Solomon.

Solomon: I wonder what happened to Blaze? We had him stay back on purpose in case of something like this, but itís possible he got caught up in this. We didnít see the extent of the earthquake he made. Whatís more important right now is finding out if everyone else is alive.
Male Voice: (distant) A loud voice coming from that way!
Solomon: No thanks.

He goes in the opposite direction from where the voice is coming.

Solomon: Iíll hide for now. If that guy comes along, weíll need more than one person to defeat him most likely.

He keeps himself suspended above ground a few inches, as to not make a sound walking. Meanwhile, Erosion is hopping from branch to branch to move quickly through the forest at a high elevation.

Erosion: I have to meet up with the others. Iím sure theyíre okay.

Just then, the tree he stands on gets shaken up and he jumps to the next one. He looks down to see Akari and a rock going straight towards his face. *Music* He ducks under it and then jumps to the next tree.

Akari: And here I find another one of you. But youíre actually alive.
Erosion: WaitÖwhat are you saying?
Akari: *Smirk* Go join him!

Akari raises his hands and five rocks form from the ground and orbit around him. He throws them in different directions and at different speeds. The one coming at Erosion is the fastest. He dodges and jumps to the next branch, but there is a rock heading there as well.

Erosion: Heís timing each rock according to how Iíll dodge!

Erosion immediately begins to run away.

Akari: You canít escape! This is my terrain!

He slams one hand on the ground and a large shockwave rips the earth open very far in front of him and takes out a lot of trees. When Akari looks, he canít see Erosion anymore.

Akari: He couldnít have escaped that quickly. That means heís hiding.

He looks at some of the downed trees.

Akari: There.

He slides his foot forward and creates a wave of the ground, which moves the trees out of the way. Erosion is not present. Akari seems surprised. It is at that moment that he understands what is happening. He looks down to see the cracks from the ground getting larger and then sees Erosion burst from underground. He tries to drive his wakizashi into him, but Akari dodges. Erosion then dashes away before Akari can do anything offensively. He hides behind a tree. *Music Stops*

Akari: Impressive. Using my own power against me. You hid beneath the ground that had been hollowed out. Hmmm?

Akari notices a difference in his body.

Akari: Am IÖslower?
Erosion: Got him.
Akari: I see. The weapon was just a distraction. You thought that far ahead. You are clearly very skilled.
Erosion: Now!

Erosion breaks from his cover and charges at Akari. He slides his foot forward, albeit much slower. He is able to send a wave of ground that blows Erosion back. He then makes a ball of rock that surrounds himself and then goes underground.

Erosion: Shit. He got away.
Akari: Letís see how long this de-buff lasts. Iím willing to wait.
Erosion: No doubt he is stalling for time, knowing that his speed de-buff has to wear off eventually. I anticipated that this would happen. From the start, I never counted on winning this fight.

Erosion immediately turns around and starts running while laughing hysterically.

Akari: What?! That was his aim from the beginning?!

Akari goes to put his hands on the ground below him, but he recoils them to see that he has stabbed his hands with caltrops.

Akari: He set these up in advanced. That means he really did plan to escape from the very beginning. No, rather, this was just a second back up plan. This guyÖ

He emerges from underground and shakes his hands in pain.

Akari: This guy is almost more trouble than heís worth. He put up more of a fight than that silver armor guy. But oneís as dead as the other.

We switch back briefly to Aerona, who is still being escorted. He is currently blindfolded. When we zoom in on the handcuffs, we can see a faint light emitting from the keyhole.

Aerona: Not too much power. Control it. Slowly weaken these handcuffs, and wait for the right momentÖto strike!


With the group separated, they press on, facing many challenges by themselves!


Last edited by Strider Zero on July 20th 2014, 12:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   July 19th 2014, 1:00 pm

Chapter 6


We start off with Marsí point of view. He is walking through the section of the forest that he landed at. There doesnít seem to be any enemies around.

Mars: Iím wondering if any of us have regrouped yet. The way down was like a labyrinth, so itís possible we all landed in different locations.

After he takes a few more steps, he stops.

Mars: How long have you been following me?
Male Voice: So you figured it out.

A man of Red Kingdom birth steps out from behind a tree near Mars. He has a black cloak, similar to Akari. He has light blue, short spiky hair.

Mars: I didnít notice you till you got close enough. Or better yet, until you let yourself be found. Am I right?
Man: You are a smart one. Now, are you a spy?
Mars: Yes. Hail and long live the Red King.
Man: Intriguing.
Mars: Huh? Thatís the same thing the other guy said.
Man: You really donít know. Youíre no spy.
Mars: I see. A second password.
Man: Bingo. So, would you care to tell me what youíre doing here?
Mars: Uh, no?
Man: Too bad. Let me start. Iím Hunter. Your name?
Mars: Venus. HehÖhehÖheh
Hunter: Oh, youíre no fun, Mars.
Mars: What?
Hunter: Well, Iíve confirmed that you wonít be honest with me. I know a lot about the well-known knights over at the Iron Kingdom. If my history serves me right, you should be traveling with Royal Knight Aerona. And if youíre traveling with him, he most likely has his cousin, Vito of the Blade. And thereís a strong possibility that Vito brought the Lord of Speechcraft, Solomon and Erosion the Precarious.
Mars: He knows everything. I canít make any facial expressions that might confirm his suspicions.
Hunter: You hide it well. Youíre not going to confirm or deny what Iíve said. But youíve told me plenty already, since youíre so well trained.
Mars: So what now? I donít sense any killing intent coming from you.
Hunter: You want me to answer questions but you wonít give them yourself? Thatís not how this game works. You first. You dealt with Akari just now, didnít you?
Mars: Akari? Do you mean the earth magic wielder?
Hunter: Iíll take that as a yes. Now, I will answer your question. What now is that we will be exchanging information until it suits me to stop. You should understand what it means by now for me to have the same cloak color as Akari. Fighting me here would be akin to suicide one on one. Now, my turn. Have you come into contact with any of your comrades yet?
Mars: This one will be honest. He knows I wouldnít come to the Red Kingdom by myself. No.
Hunter: Right answer. Akari chases his prey down just after he sends them down here. Which means that right now he is likely busy with one of your friends. And after witnessing his superior earth magic, you wouldnít have separated from your group if you had come into contact.
Mars: My turn. What is your motive for this? Youíre not asking me anything personal. Only general questions.
Hunter: For my amusement. I will allow you another question.
Mars: Have you seen any other Iron born people yet in this forest today?
Hunter: Ooh, good question. No, I havenít, but I did hear some soldiers running after someone. Now, do you think you can defeat a black-cloaked mage like me one on one?
Mars: This doesnít make any sense. Heís not benefitting from these questions. Could he be an Iron spy? If thatís the case, why hasnít he said anything? Could he be under surveillance?
Hunter: Well?
Mars: No, if theyíre all as strong as Akari. You said you heard the soldiers. What direction?

Hunter points in the direction.

Mars: Thanks. May I have one more question?
Hunter: You may.
Mars: Are you an Iron spy?
Hunter: No, I am not.

This answer catches Mars slightly off guard.

Hunter: Does this surprise you?
Mars: Youíre helping me, and yet you say youíre not a spy. Your actions make no sense.
Hunter: Hah.

Hunter starts walking away.

Hunter: Good luck finding your friends.
Mars: What?
Hunter: If I killed you here, Akari would get mad. Heís very territorial, you see. While Iíd enjoy the look on his face, I donít particularly feel like fighting him today. See ya.

As he leaves, Mars starts heading in the direction where Hunter pointed before. Nighttime hits and we switch to Aeronaís point of view. †The soldiers that have him in cuffs have set up a campfire in an open part of the woods.

Soldier 1: Prisoner, you sleep here.
Aerona: Got it.

He lies down on the grass where he was instructed.

Aerona: You know, itís not exactly a great idea to keep me in custody.
Soldier 1: Why is that?
Aerona: My luck can be so bad sometimes that it affects the ones around me. I have my common title, but back at home they have another nickname for me. They call me the Harbinger of Misfortune.
Soldier 1: Cute. But our orders are orders.
Aerona: I understand. Iím just giving you fair warning.
Soldier 2: Here.

The second soldier brings over a little fish for Aerona to eat.

Aerona: Ew, fish.
Soldier 2: Itís either that or some old vegetables.
Aerona: I donít like either.
Soldier 2: You donít get to be picky here, prisoner.
Aerona: I canít help it. My taste buds are horrible. I donít like many foods. Iíll take the fucking fish.

The soldier stuffs it halfway into Aeronaís mouth. He is able to manipulate his joint hands to grab the fish and take it out of his mouth.

Aerona: Is there cheese on this fish? Who the fuck puts CHEESE on fish? Ugh. Itís like you have to order everything without it these days.
Soldier 2: This aintí a restaurant, dumbass.
Aerona: I bet you couldnít make it as a chef.
Soldier 1: Enough! Just eat and then go to sleep.
Aerona: This is an incorrect line of things. Food is supposed to give you energy, so why are you giving this to me now? Yes, Iím hungry, but thatís because you guys fucked up and didnít eat all day.
Soldier 2: This guyÖ
Soldier 1: Iím going to beat the crap out of you!
Soldier 3ís voice: Whatís going on over there?!

Another soldier comes over to see what the ruckus is about. But suddenly, he is attacked from behind. When we see the figure come into the light, it is a wight. It slits this soldiers throat with a rusty falchion.

Soldier 1: Skeleton! *Music*

As the soldiers get up and ready themselves, a mix of goblins and wights come into view, surrounding the campfire.

Soldier 2: Stay close to the camp!

The wight that had killed soldier 3 attacks. Soldier 2 retaliates by spearing it in the neck, which dislodges its head. Aerona sits himself up and then does a backwards roll to try to get up on his feet. He succeeds, but he loses balance immediately and falls on his ass. He notices that he is close to a tree behind him now and does the same thing again. This time, his back ends up against the tree, which gives him the right support to stand himself up. He quickly runs to the campfire. A goblin starts coming at him.

Aerona: Shit.

He notices a spear that the soldier dropped when killed. He manipulates it with his feet and is able to kick it up a few inches and then kicks the handle to send it flying into the goblinís torso. He then looks behind him to see a wight, who slashes at him. He sidesteps and then puts his joint hands on the wightís torso area and lets out a very small burst of light magic. It destroyed the mid-section of the wight and it drops its falchion. Aerona is able to catch it and hold on to it.

Aerona: This is gonna be a bit awkward, but I think I can use this.
Soldier 1: Prisoner! You better not escape! I will hunt you and kill you if you do!
Aerona: Worry about your own life right now.

One of the soldiers, who have a mage robe, uses the campfire to create more fire and then casts a fire spell that burns many goblins down. A few more wights come in and attack. Aerona sidesteps a slash and then does an awkward slash that kills one of them. He then does a 360-degree spin to kill a goblin that was behind him.

Aerona: Almost got them.

Without much more effort, they are able to slay the last of the creatures.

Aerona: Good work, team.
Soldier 2: Who are you calling team?
Aerona: Oh, come on. We worked together, didnít we? That made us a team in that moment.
Soldier 1: Youíre twisted.

Just then, a sound is heard from beyond. Another figure comes into view slowly. We can see that he is very pale and has sharp fangs.

Aerona: A vampire? Not good.

Aerona puts both of his arms to his right and then swings them to his left to release the sword similar to a shuriken. The vampire catches it.

Aerona: I heard that vampires had heightened abilities, but I never encountered a real one before. So the rumors are true.
Soldier 1: You donít have any of those in the Iron Kingdom?
Aerona: Afraid not.

The fire mage interrupts by shooting a large fireball at the vampire. He sidesteps with a small afterimage left behind.

Aerona: Heís fast. This is not good.

The vampire charges quickly at the soldiers and Aerona. He attacks Aerona first with the falchion that he had thrown. Aerona ducks under a horizontal slash and then kicks. The vampire easily dodges it. Just before he attacks again, two soldiers come at him from both sides with spears. Quickly, the vampire drops the falchion and then grabs the shaft of both spears. He forces the spears to impale each other. Another fireball, bigger than the last, travels to both Aerona and the vampire. They both dodge it and manage to dodge the slight explosion that occurs when the fireball lands in the vicinity.

Aerona: Are you trying to get us all killed?! Weíre in a forest!
Fire Mage: Then what do you suggest?!
Aerona: Iíll take care of this. Stay back. I guess I have no choice. I have a vampires weakness after all. I didnít want to have to show my abilities just yet, butÖ

Aerona kicks the falchion that was on the ground towards the vampire. It slides on the ground until the vampire steps on the blade. He uses this as a distraction, however, to rush him and jump kick. The kick lands, but only sends it sliding back an inch or two. He goes for a combined fisted attack, but the vampire grabs his cuffed hands. He opens his mouth and then goes to bite him. Aerona then yells out and brings out enough light magic to encompass both of them. This stops the vampire in his tracks and disintegrates him slowly. *Music Stops* After it is gone, he lets down his magic.

Aerona: See? Harbinger of Misfortune.

He immediately lies down again and falls asleep. The soldiers look at each other in confusion. The next day, we see Vito walking through his section of the forest.

Vito: Itís been almost a day since we got separated. I havenít found anyone yet. Fuck.

After he walks for a few more minutes, he hears footsteps.

Vito: Oh no.

He sees a hoard of soldiers behind him, and they spot him.

Vito: Fuck!

He immediately starts running away. Meanwhile, Solomon is sitting up on a tree branch.

Solomon: I lost them last night for sure. I just hope they didnít find someone else to chase.

Solomon drops down and then begins to travel. He almost immediately notices someone following him.

Solomon: Looks like I didnít shake everyone.

Just then, the ground around Solomon drops down. He flies up out of the hole made and stands on the ground to see Akari in front of him.

Akari: You look lost. How about I fix that?


To be continuedÖ
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   August 4th 2014, 10:46 pm

Chapter 7


Solomon: Shit.
Akari: Youíre the third one.
Solomon: Oh?
Akari: Theyíre both dead. You donít stand a chance if they didnít.
Solomon: Iíll take my chances. Iíll bet youíre lying.
Akari: Just like the other one, I wasnít able to get into his head. They must all be mentally tough. You want to put that to the test?

As soon as Solomon notices movement from Akari, he immediately puts some air beneath his feet and levitates a few inches off the ground.

Solomon: I canít let him control my footing in this fight.
Akari: Resourceful. But Iíll bet that constant levitation will drain your stamina much faster.

Akari slides his foot forward swiftly and a wave of ground is sent right to Solomon. He takes out his scimitar and surrounds it with wind and throws it like a shuriken. It cuts through the ground and heads to Akari. He dodges it, and then notices that Solomon is flying towards him from higher up in the air. Solomon shield bashes with his spiked shield. Akari pulls out a flail and flails at the shield. This changes the trajectory at which Solomon flies and causes him to miss. But Solomon flies past him and grabs his scimitar from the ground.

Akari: Youíre good, knowing that the solid ground would change the trajectory of your scimitar. But youíre not the only one who can do that.

Just then, Akari notices something. He doesnít show any reaction outwardly other than just a quick twitch.

Akari: Weíre being watched by someone. The only question is who? This guy didnít react at all, so I donít think heís noticed. If itís one of them, he definitely isnít aware of it. Iíll act like I donít know just in case.

Akari slams his hands down on the ground and the ground surrounding Solomon rises up rapidly and moves towards him. He is able fly above all of the attacking ground and flies above the trees and levitates there.

Akari: That troublesome magic of hisÖno worries. He wonít be up there for long.

Solomon sends down a few blades of wind, which are easily dodged by Akari.

Solomon: Heís pretty fast to be able to dodge those so easily. Iíve confirmed that now.

The viewpoint switches to Vito, who is still running away.

Vito: These fuckers wonít stop chasing me!!!!
Voice: I hear him! Heís that way!
Vito: Fuck it!

He stops and draws his katana. A few of the soldier have gone ahead of the rest. They rush for Vito. The first one lunges a spear, and Vito sidesteps it. He jabs his sword into the soldierís eye and then swiftly pulls it out while twisting his blade. He turns the second soldier over and shoves his blade up his ass. It comes out in his other side, cutting his manhood off, as well as his life. The last soldier is scared shitless of what fucked up thing Vito is going to do to him. But he cannot escape in time before Vito grabs him.

Soldier: Please give me a second chance!
Vito: Not in a million years.

Vito grabs some dirt and clumps his hand and then forces it into the soldierís mouth. After he gags on it, Vito shoves his sword through the dirt and his mouth effectively. After he dies, he hears more soldiers.

Voice: Over here!
Vito: Enough of these assholes!

Vito resumes running. Meanwhile, Solomon is about to descend from the air.

Solomon: Heís waiting this out. He must be ridiculously experienced in battle.

He flies down quickly towards Akari. He readies his scimitar. Akari sees this and begins to gather some ground from below him. But all of the sudden, he shows a bit of surprise and dodges to his left while a transparent beam misses him.

Akari: Itís him. You revealed yourself!

Akari sends a ripple through the ground to destroy a tree in front of him and Erosion reveals himself by jumping down to the ground. Solomon is behind him now, still flying towards him. Akari lifts his hand up behind him and a pillar of rock quickly comes up and hits Solomon in his stomach. It grounds him.

Erosion: So you knew I was here all along.
Akari: Of course. You hide well, but you canít fool me.

Solomon stands up. Akari is now between the two of them, separated by a good 20 feet each.

Akari: You were able to fool me once, but I now know your style. I wonít fall for the same trick twice.
Solomon: So you were lying then. I knew it.
Akari: I concede that I was trying to mess with your head. Now that I know it wonít work, thereís no point in lying any further.
Erosion: Solomon, did you see anyone else yet?
Solomon: No, you?
Erosion: No.
Solomon: Damn.
Erosion: Letís kill this guy and go look for them. I found out his weakness, itísÖ

Akari doesnít let him finish his sentence because he puts his hand on the pillar he created and destroys it while sending many tiny rocks at both of them at high velocity. Solomon creates a small wind barrier that is able to block them and Erosion dodges out of the way.

Akari: I wonít let you communicate any further.

He runs over to Erosion and attacks with his flail. Erosion dodges his attack and slices with his wakizashi. Akari wraps the chain part of his weapon around the blade after dodging his attack. He pulls Erosion towards himself and makes his left hand encased in rock. Before he can punch Erosion, Solomon attacks with his scimitar. Akari ducks under the horizontal slash and punches Solomon in the chest plate. This shatters the rock fist and doesnít do much damage to Solomon, but makes him slide back just a bit. Erosion takes this opportunity to try to punch him, but Akari forces flail away, also forcing Erosion off balance. He kicks, but Erosion drops his wakizashi and blocks his kick with both arms.

Solomon attacks from behind with a downward slash, but Akari slides both of his feet slightly outwards and pushes both of them away with a ground ripple. Both of them tumble a bit, but regain their footing after a few seconds.

Solomon: Heís not using big magic attacks anymore. Does this mean that heís running out of stamina? That could also be a trap, to lure us into a false sense of security. We have to be careful.
Erosion: This is turning out well, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us to beat him.
Akari: No more messing around.

Dark aura begins to surround Akari as he powers up. This surprises Erosion and Solomon, and they immediately go on the attack to try to prevent him from drawing in too much power. Akari appears behind Solomon and whacks at him with his flail. Luckily, a wind barrier blocks it.

Akari: To counter my speed, he set up a defense ahead of time.

Erosion is next to attack. He slashes with his wakizashi, but Akari knocks his hand away swiftly and attacks. Erosion is able to follow his speed and dodge his attacks. Solomon goes on the attack next with scimitar slashes. Akari dodges these and then jumps back just as Solomon slashes one more time. We see a bit of wind trailing off the edge of his blade.

Solomon: He saw through that trick before it even worked a first timeÖ
Akari: I figured he would try something like that. He revealed enough of his powers that I was able to surmise it as a possibility. As long as I use this dark magic energy, I wonít run out of stamina as quickly and I can outlast them.
Erosion: This is not looking good for us right now. With dark magic, he can beat us soundly. The two of us, at least!

Erosion grins a little, while Akari isnít looking at him. All of the sudden, a wave of rock heads towards Akari, which he easily dispels. When he looks in the direction, he sees Mars.

Akari: A third one?
Mars: Looks like Iím not too late.
Erosion: Youíre just on time.
Solomon: Mars, youíre here. Thank goodness.
Mars: Letís take this son of a bitch down.
Erosion and Solomon: Yeah!

Erosion charges and goes on the attack with his blade. Akari dodges each one easily. Erosion then throws some caltrops around him and then shoots his debuff beam. Akari is forced to jump away. When he does, Mars slams his sword into the ground and a huge chasm appears where Akari is about to land. While he is falling, Solomon flies into the chasm and drives his scimitar straight into Akariís stomach and drives him straight to the ground. He immediately flies out of the hole and the three of them look down at Akari.

Akari: ThisÖwas planned?
Erosion: Indeed. I actually met up with both of these two last night. My plan was to tail Solomon like he didnít know I was there, and have Mars stay far back enough to not be detected.
Mars: When there was enough carnage going on, I knew that it was appropriate for me to enter the battle.
Solomon: We knew your weakness from the very beginning. Mars has the same weakness as you do. You have to be in contact with the ground or anything connected to utilize your magic.
Akari: ImpressiveÖwell done.

With that, his consciousness fades. The three of them leave.

Erosion: Great acting, Solomon.
Solomon: Thanks. That was also a very good plan.
Erosion: I had enough time in our first encounter to really observe his magic. It was only a matter of time before I had a winning strategy.
Mars: Well it worked. We managed to take down another strong individual.

Not long after they leave, we see Hunter in the chasm, checking Akari. He notices that Akariís bleeding was stopped by a rock casting of sorts.

Hunter: Heís still breathing, and his wounds stopped bleeding. But heís not conscious right now. It seems he put everything into that. Heís in a state of comatose right now. He wonít be in action for a long time.

Meanwhile, Aerona is still sleeping. He is on his stomach right now. One of his captors wakes him.

Soldier: Wake up you lazy bastard!
Aerona: (Groggy and muffled) Yeah just a minute.

The soldier, impatient, rolls him over on his back. He is surprised when he looks at Aeronaís face. He has grown a full beard and mustache over night.

Soldier: What the fuck? How does that work?
Aerona: Oh, you must be referring to my facial hair. Weird, I know. Thatís what happens when I donít shave one night.
Soldier: ÖJust get up and letís go.

Aerona gets up and stretches while yawning.

Aerona: Time to go. This charade is just about over.


To be continuedÖ


Last edited by Strider Zero on August 31st 2014, 1:23 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   August 13th 2014, 2:55 pm

Chapter 8


Aerona is being led by the soldiers once again. He keeps himself close to one soldier in particular, who has his Kwando on his back. He glances over at another one who has his bow and arrows. And then another one with his shield.

Aerona: Looks like you used my weapon last night.
Soldier: I tried, but it was difficult to use.
Aerona: Indeed it is. Most people donít know how to use pole weapons properly. But this is my preferred weapon other than a claymore.
Soldier: Yeah, well I like my spear better.
Aerona: Good for you.

As they keep walking, they finally reach an end to the woods. There is a stretch of plains that stretches far. In the far distance, we can see a coliseum.

Aerona: This is the area. Iím not being followed anymore.

When theyíve made it a decent distance away from the forest, Aerona stops.

Soldier: Who told you to stop?
Aerona: Well, itís been fun, but Iím afraid this ends here!

Aerona breaks the cuffs apart, which had been severely weakened by that point. He grabs his Kwando from the soldierís back with one hand and unleashes a small burst of light magic from his other hand. This sends him to the ground. He spins his weapon around.

Aerona: This is more like it.

The soldiers rush at him to attack. Aerona slices one in the gap where the helmet and chest plate donít cover in his neck. He sidesteps a lunge from one of their spears. He dodges three more stabs from three more soldiers and stabs one in the chest through the armor. When he releases it, he takes his shield back from the falling soldier. The other two soldiers attack again, but the shield reflects them. Aerona does a sideswipe to cut both of them at the legs. Aerona then jumps back to avoid a fireball, which sets the soldiers on fire.

Aerona: And now for you.

Another fireball is sent his way, but Aerona dodges to the side and runs at him. This time, the fire mage creates a horizontal slash of fire that goes towards Aerona. He slides under it and then slashes the mageís ankles. This forces the mage on his knees. Aerona gives the mage a hard shield bash to his face to send him to the ground. He takes the mage and holds him up.

Aerona: Now, youíre going to answer some questions of mine.
Mage: What do you want?
Aerona: Tell me where the dragon is.
Mage: I wouldnít know.
Aerona: How about you tell me then what you do know about the dragon?
Mage: No way.
Aerona: Fine.

He takes a dagger from the mageís side pocket and shoves it into his big toe on one foot. The mage yells in pain.

Aerona: We can do this the easy way, or Iíll sit here and torture you.
Mage: (Disgruntled) The rumor has it that itís somewhere deep to the southeast! Only officials know real information!
Aerona: Youíre probably not lying about that. I have one more question, and youíre free to go. How does one harness Dark Magic energy from this land?
Mage: I canítÖyou can kill me, but I wonít talk.
Aerona: I doubt that. You see, as a royal knight, I have done this many times. But I have a special ability that makes this kind of thing a specialty of mine. Observe.

He takes the knife and cuts the gap between two fingers. He does this for all four gaps on one hand. This causes immense pain. Aerona then encases his hand in light and heals him.

Aerona: You wonít die as long as I can heal your wounds. Iím fully aware of what a humanís pain threshold is. What will it be next? Your toenails? Your nose? Or perhaps your dick needs chopped.

The mage starts sweating profusely.

Mage: All right, all right! Iíll tell you. You need to be injected directly by someone else with Dark Magic. It looks like you already have that done.
Aerona: I do? Oh! It was when I fought SeijuroÖ
Mage: You need to feel the energy from the land and do your best to connect to it and draw it out. I canít explain it any better.
Aerona: No, I understand just fine. Thank you. I am a man of my word. You are no longer my captive.

The mage struggles to walk away but does so, trying to run. Aerona tosses the dagger into the air a few times and then throws it at the back of the mageís head, killing him.

Aerona: Of course, I didnít say what I would do afterwards.

He picks up his bow and arrows from one of the dead soldiers.

Aerona: Well, time to find the others.

Just then, we see Vito exit the forest. He stops for a second when he sees Aerona.

Vito: Aerona?
Aerona: Yo.

Vito starts running again towards him.

Aerona: Why are youÖ

Before he finishes his sentence, we see the soldiers that were chasing Vito earlier come out of the forest as well. There are about ten of them.

Aerona: Oh.

Vito makes it to Aerona and they high five. Vito turns around and draws his weapon.

Vito: What? There were only ten? I thought I heard more than that.
Aerona: I blame that weird ass forest.
Vito: Letís kill these assholes!
Aerona: Okay.

Aerona draws his bow and kills one with an arrow. Vito dashes and slashes and kills one. Aerona kills one more with an arrow and then draws his Kwando. Vito kills another with a diagonal slice. They each take out three more, killing all of them.

Aerona: Did you see anyone else?
Vito: No. You?
Aerona: No.
Vito: We have to go look for them.
Aerona: Iím sure theyíll find us eventuallyÖunless they run into Akari.
Vito: Who the fuck is Akari?
Aerona: Oh, that earth guy that separated us in the first place. Hmm, letís go to that coliseum.
Vito: Why?
Aerona: Itíll be fun, thatís why. And I think we can find some info there on the dragon.

Vito looks behind him to see the coliseum in the distance.

Vito: Hey, look. Itís a coliseum.
Aerona: Thatís what I was just telling you.
Vito: Oh, sorry. I wasnít listening.
Aerona: Oh well. Letís go there. We might find information on the dragon there.
Vito: With enough people there, someone has to know something.
Aerona: I found out how to use Dark Magic.
Vito: You did? How do you do it?
Aerona: Well, itís not easy to explain, but I have to learn it before I can help you guys.
Vito: Why canít you ever give us straight answers?
Aerona: *Shrug*
Vito: Dick.

Meanwhile, Erosion, Solomon and Mars are standing on top of some high trees. They also see the coliseum in sight.

Mars: Letís go to the coliseum, guys.
Solomon: It would be better to look for Vito and Aerona.
Mars: Iím sure theyíre fine. Most likely theyíre heading there too.
Erosion: I agree with Mars.
Solomon: Okay. We can also look for information at the coliseum as well. I just hope they got out of the forest okay.
Erosion: We just have to have faith in them.
Mars: (Sarcastically) That and a silver coin will give you one silver.

They get down to the ground level with help from Solomon. Now that they know what direction to head in, they make it out of the forest in almost no time. They see the dead soldiers from the previous battle. The three of them smile, knowing that their buddies are alive.

Mars: I see one of Aeronaís arrows, and I see cut marks from both his and Vitoís weapons. Itís unmistakable.
Erosion: Theyíre okay then.
Solomon: And that also means theyíre heading to the coliseum. They could have gone back into the forest to look for us, but I think we would have run into them. This wasnít done long ago.

They start to travel as well towards there. We switch back over to Vito and Aerona. They are closer to the coliseum, but they have a soldier in front of them.

Soldier: Halt! Identify yourselves.

They look at each other and their accents change.

Vito: Yo, Richie! You see this fuckiní guy?
Aerona: This fuckiní guy think weís enemies, Franky.
Soldier: What theÖ
Vito: Yo, you fuckiní retahd. Weíre spies.
Aerona: Yeah. Hail and long live the fuckiní Red King.
Soldier: Okay, you check out.
Aerona: I tink Iíve seen this guy before. Is that you, Joey?
Vito: Joey?
Aerona: Joey?
Vito: Joey?!
Aerona: Joey?!
Vito: I tought we wacked you off.
Soldier: I donít know who the fuck Joey is. Just move along, you idiots.
Vito: OH!
Aerona: EY!

They take the soldier and take off his helmet. Vito bashes him over the head with it three times, killing him.

Vito: Letís get some fuckiní cannolis, Richie.
Aerona: Yo, Franky, I want some fuckiní pasta.
Vito: You always want fuckiní pasta.
Aerona: Itís that fuckiní semolina.

They start laughing. Their accents go back to normal.

Vito: Itís been a while since we did that routine on anyone.
Aerona: Too long. Speaking of, Iím hungry. I hope they have food there.
Vito: So do I.


With everyone heading to the coliseum, they are bound to reunite there. But what will they find there? Can they really get information? Be sure to catch the next chapter of A Tale of Iron!
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   August 21st 2014, 9:29 pm

Chapter 9


In this chapter, we are going to measure Aeronaís ego level on a scale from 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high) often, as it does fluctuate a lot. It starts at 5, which is neutral.

Aerona and Vito are just outside the coliseum. They are wearing their mage robes. Theyíre able to get past the guards inside. When they walk through the corridor, they are exposed to the inside of the coliseum. There are thousands of people sitting around the arena. In the middle is nothing but sand.

Vito: Looks like we came just in time for a fight.
Aerona: Yeah.

In the sand arena, there are two fighters and one soldier that is standing aside. The first fighter is a man who stands around 6í7 (200.66cm) who is shirtless and bald with black pants and boots. He is wielding a great sword. The second is a young woman who is very short in comparison that has a mage robe on. She has long black hair in a ponytail. She is dual wielding long swords.

Vito: What a mismatch.
Aerona: I wouldnít be so sure.

Ego level: 7

The man swings his sword, to which the woman dodges and quickly rushes the man. She swings her swords at his groin area, but the man surprisingly dodges. He swings his great sword and cuts her very deep across her torso. When she falls down, the soldier lifts his hands.

Soldier: Winner!
Vito: What were you saying now?
Aerona: Fuck.

Ego level: 3

Aerona: Poor girl. I will avenge her.
Vito: Youíre not thinking ofÖ

Aerona goes to a close by bystander and starts talking to him. Ego level: 6

Aerona: Say, what are the rules of the fight?
Man: Are you new here?
Aerona: Yeah.
Man: Well, you canít wear any armor. You also have to use the weapons they provide. Only if you are the reigning champion can you use your own weapon. Also, no magic.
Aerona: Interesting. Thank you.
Vito: Are you really going in there?
Aerona: Hell yeah. Meanwhile, you should make your way to the higher ups to find out information.
Vito: Where the hell do you think they could be?
Aerona: Up there.

He points to a higher point of the coliseum across the way where there seems to be more royally dressed people.

Vito: And why donít you just come with me?
Aerona: Iíll draw the crowd by giving them an interesting fight. Then no one should notice you enter. Unless you want to be the fighter.
Vito: Hell no. I canít use my katana. I guess you are going to fight like you did in the past.
Aerona: Yeah, before I started using armor all the time.

About an hour passes, and Aerona is now in this outfit except his gloves arenít tattered. He is at the bottom floor with some soldiers. Meanwhile, Vito is at the top floor, casually walking around with his mage robe still on. The soldiers lead Aerona out to the arena to meet the champion, the male fighter who won before. *Music*

Man: Ah, you look much stronger than the last one.
Aerona: Well, as a spy for these lands, I do have a reputation to uphold.
Man: If you were trained at the Iron lands, you should prove fun to kill.
Soldier: Choose your weapon, challenger.

The soldier directs Aerona to the wall behind him. There is a battle-axe, two long swords and a spear.

Aerona: These weapons look like shit. Theyíll break in no time. At least the spear looks decent. If I want to end this quickly, Iíll switch to that. But I need to drag things out.

He takes the two swords and dual wields them like the girl prior did. He smirks at the man. Ego level: 7

Meanwhile, Erosion, Solomon and Mars have also made it to the coliseum. When they look out to see who is fighting, Solomon facepalms.

Mars: Looks like heís having fun.
Solomon: Why is he dual wielding long swords?
Erosion: Probably to make things more interesting.
Solomon: If he puts on a good enough show, we could use that as a distraction to get some information.
Mars: Look, over there.

Mars points to the place where Aerona had done so earlier.

Mars: That place looks like a good place to get information.
Erosion: Maybe weíll find Vito too.

In the arena, Aerona starts zoning out a little when he sees the light from the sun reflect off Marsí armor in the coliseum, making it stand out.

Aerona: Good, theyíre here.

He nods to them.

Mars: He noticed us.
Erosion: Good.

*Music Stop* Aerona twirls around the swords a couple times. The man draws his great sword. The soldier puts his hand down and gets out of the way quickly. Meanwhile, Vito is leaning against the wall of where heís at in the coliseum.

Vito: I wonder how the others are doing. We should be looking for them.

Just then, he hears some voices. They are particularly loud.

Vito: Oh, let me guess.

He follows the voices to see Erosion, Solomon and Mars.

Solomon: And Iím telling you that itís spelled with a ďg n aĒ!
Erosion: It is spelled with an ďn e yĒ!
Voice from the crowd: Shut the fuck up!
Vito: Well, look who it is.

They turn to Vito.

Mars: Hey, Vito.
Solomon: Vito, can you tell this idiot that itís spelled with a ďg n aĒ? I know itís called, ďBah-Loh-KneeĒ but that isnít how itís spelled. You know, not every word is spelled phonetically. †
Vito: Donít ask me.
Mars: Iím not a great speller either.
Vito: So you all made it out alive. What happened to you guys?
Mars: Long story. For now, letís go get some information.
Vito: Thatís what I was planning to do.
Erosion: The fight is starting, guys.

Aerona and the champion are still motionless, waiting it out. Aerona suddenly makes the first move and goes on the offensive with his dual swords. *Music*

Aerona: With these worn down weapons, I canít deflect too many swings from his weapon. I have to go on the offensive primarily and dodge his attacks outright.

The man blocks each slash from Aerona and then makes his own horizontal slash. Aerona ducks under it and goes to stab him with his right hand. The champion backs off to dodge it, and Aerona spins to his left and slashes with his left sword. The champion blocks the second attack and shoves him back.

Aerona: Heís trying to keep me out of attack range. He knows what heís doing. But that wonít be enough in itself to beat me.

The man swings his sword a few times while keeping his distance. Aerona dodges each one easily and then charges forward with his last slash, which is an overhead slash that goes towards the ground.

Aerona: Now!

He sidesteps before the sword even reaches him and the momentum of the sword forces him to swing all the way to the ground. Aerona charges in and goes to attack. But since the champion was aware of this strategy, he simply kicks Aerona in the nuts. *Music Temporarily Stop* Ego level: 1

Aerona: (With much pain) Oooh, why would you do that?!

The man swings his sword horizontally and Aerona is forced to block with one of his swords, which gets propelled out of his hand. Aerona is able to move again and jumps back for distance. He doesnít make any motions towards the other sword yet.

Man: Did you really think I hadnít faced that type of strategy before?
Aerona: (In pain) I didnít think you would do that. I wonít let it happen again.

Meanwhile with the others, Vito is laughing his ass off. Mars is also laughing quite hard.

Vito: Oh thatís fucking priceless!
Solomon: At least we know he has them, right?
Erosion: Yeah.

Aerona quickly dashes backwards and picks up the second sword.

Aerona: I think I have a feel for his abilities. I might not even need to use the lance.

*Music Resumes* Ego level: 6. He throws one of his long swords directly at the man. He deflects the blade upwards, and then sees that Aerona is charging at him. He slashes diagonally downwards, to which Aerona dodges down and to the right to duck under the slash. He forces his remaining sword with the momentum of the championís sword to force the man slightly off balance. This breaks that particular long sword. With his free hand, he grabs the second sword out of the air and slashes at his chest. The man is able to move back just enough to avoid a lethal slash, but he receives a clear blood mark diagonally across his torso. Before Aerona is able to attack again, the man goes for another kick to the nuts. This time, however, he predicts this and dodges. As he goes for another slash, the champion counters with one of his own and breaks the other long sword. Aerona jumps back.

Aerona: Scratch that.

The crowd is now very into the match and theyíre focused intently on what is happening.

Mars: Now, itís time to go.

They begin moving. At the same time, the champion is about ready to charge at Aerona, when he throws both sword hilts at him. He deflects both of them with his blade, but Aerona has already taken that opportunity to run to the weapons wall. He makes it there quickly and takes out his spear. The champion stops. *Music Stop*

Man: This is just a desperate attempt now. Your first choice of weapons is broken, so you pick the next best one.
Aerona: Heh. Is that right?

Aerona starts to spin around with the lance, performing tricks with it. The crowd starts cheering. The champion looks shocked. Ego level: 9

Man: You were messing with me then?

Aerona stops his showing off not far from the champion. He readies his spear and points it towards him. The man swings his sword and the lance breaks immediately. The look on Aeronaís face turns from complete confidence to, ďWhat the actual fuck?Ē. Ego level: -1

Aerona: ÖYou donít happen to flay your victims, do you?
Man: Hahahaha. You were so confident earlier. I wonít let you get the other weapon.
Aerona: No choice.

Around this time, the other four have made it to the other side of the coliseum, where the officials are. With the crowd so fixated on the match, they are able to move unnoticed inside this room. Erosion sneaks behind the two officials in neighboring chairs and covers their eyes with his hands. Two guards notice that they are intruding. Mars crushes one of them with his shield and Vito slashes one of them. Solomon uses a gust of wind to contain the sound within the confines of the room. The two officials in there surrender immediately.

Vito: If you call for help, I will kill you. Is that understood?
Official 1: Y-Yes.

Mars checks on the match by looking out the window-like opening in the room.

Mars: Things donít look so good for him.
Vito: Iím sure heís fine.

They get cloth to blindfold the two officials, so that they cannot see what they look like. Erosion has his wakizashi drawn and it is up to one of their necks. Solomon is doing the same thing with his scimitar. Mars speaks solely, so that the numbers are unknown.

Mars: So, all we want from you are answers. Since you donít know what we look like, you donít have to die. Are you willing to speak?
Official 1: Yes.
Official 2: ÖYes.
Mars: Good. Tell us what you know about the dragon and where it may be.
Official 1: We donít know the exact location, but we do know it is near a bunch of caves.
Mars: More specific.
Official 2: In the South East, you will find an entire region with no town establishment. There are many caves and dungeons in that area that are ruled by monsters.
Mars: What kind of monsters?
Official 2: You know, goblins, wights, those kinds of monsters.
Mars: I see. The South East, you say? That at least narrows it down. Next question. Where is the closest place for supplies?
Official 1: Directly east of here. Itís not far.
Mars: Thanks. One last thing. Respond to this statement. Hail and long live the Red King.
Official 1: You canít be spies though.
Mars: HmmÖSo these people donít know about the second phrase. I was hoping weíd catch a break there. Alright, Blade. Take it from here. They already heard him talk, so itís okay.
Vito: Right. You see, I have a specific power. I can poison people, but it comes with a catch. I can rig it. Observe.

Vito signals with his hands to Erosion while he is right in front of the first official. Erosion touches him on the arm and poisons him. Very quickly he feels the effects. After a few seconds of pain, Erosion touches him again and deactivates the poison.

Vito: You see, I can rig my poison so that it goes off with certain key phrases. You donít feel the pain now, but the poison is still inside you. If you tell anyone about us, words including traitor, spy, intruder, iron-born, dragon, etc. You will die. The poison knows if you mention any similar words. I will now apply the same poison to the other.

Erosion does the same to the other official.

Vito: Also, if you mention poison, you will die. If you remove your blindfolds in any less than two minutes from now, you will die. Goodbye.

They leave. Back to the match, the man slashes at Aerona, but he dodges and punches the man in the chest. It doesnít do much to him. Before he can slash again, Aerona grabs his wrist and twists it and karate chops his arm. He drops his sword and Aerona kicks it away.

Aerona: Letís go. Man to man fight.
Man: Fine.

Aerona goes to land a punch and just before he does, he notices that the man starts up a punch of his own. Aerona lands a punch to his chest but he remains strong and punches Aerona in the face, making him stumble back.

Aerona: Heís baiting me into attacking so that he can hit me even harder. A good trade on his part. This one is definitely good.

When the champion gets ready to perform the same strategy, Aerona makes two quick punches to his torso and then dodges out of the way of the counter punch. Aerona goes for a stronger punch and then stops halfway and dodges the manís counter punch. He then counters with a strong uppercut to his torso. He then jumps up and punches him in the face, making him stumble back.

Man: What kind of fighting style is that? Itís fucking retarded!
Aerona: I made it up myself! Ego level: 8

Aerona runs up to attack and takes a punch to the face as a result. He surprisingly stands strong through it and lands a punch of his own. They trade punches a few times when Aerona finally dodges *Music* and punches four times quickly to his chest and then lands a hard kick in the same area. He slides back an inch or two. All of the sudden, the man starts feeling light headed.

Man: Whatís going on?! AH!

He looks at his chest to see that the slash wound inflicted earlier has opened up a lot wider thanks to Aeronaís consistent attacks to that area. He has lost a considerable amount of blood without realizing it. This was due to the fact that his adrenaline was pumping so high that it surpassed his physical pain.

Man: You were going for this from the start?
Aerona: Damn right! I donít pick fights I donít think I can win!

Aerona lands a final uppercut to his jaw, which sends him to the ground hard.

Aerona: You were skilled, but you have nothing on the knights back at Aegis.
Soldier: Winner!

The crowd cheers very loudly. Ego level: 10


To be continuedÖ
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   August 28th 2014, 10:56 pm

Chapter 10

Aerona is walking out of the coliseum where the other four are waiting for him.

Aerona: Hey, guys.
Vito: You look like hell. You have that much trouble?
Aerona: Hey, I was trying to buy time for you, jackass.
Mars: Suuuure.
Aerona: Itís not my fault their weapons had the durability of an apple. Anyway, letís go somewhere far away from this place. We have some things to discuss.
Solomon: Yes, we do.

They sit against the coliseum wall on the other side where there is nowhere to hide.

Aerona: So what did you find out?
Solomon: We found out that the dragon is in the Southeast. Next to a lot of caves and nowhere near any towns or cities. Oh shit! Mars, you forgot to ask about dark magic.
Mars: I doubt those two would know anything.
Vito: Oh, you donít have to worry about that.
Aerona: I found out about that. In order to be able to use it, you have to be directly injected by it. When we fought Seijuro, did any dark magic attack your skin directly?

They all shake their heads ďnoĒ.

Aerona: I thought so. Looks like that will have to fall to me.
Solomon: Wait, that doesnít make sense. I thought it was just like any other element. If dark magic has to be injected, then how did the first person get it? I mean, someone had to get it first, right?
Erosion: Iím guessing there are people who are naturally born with the dark affinity.
Mars: Iím willing to bet that Seijuro was a natural dark user. He didnít show off any other element, but he was so powerful with it.
Erosion: Akari had those powers too, but they took a back seat to his earth magic.
Aerona: Wait, then you fought Akari?
Erosion: We managed to kill him three on one.
Solomon: Since you knew Akariís name, Iím guessing you also encountered him.
Aerona: I did. I didnít fight him because I was surrounded by so many soldiers that I surrendered and waited for the right time to escape.
Vito: So thatís what you were doing with all those soldiers.
Aerona: And get this, I saw and fought a vampire.
Vito: A vampire? Holy shit.
Mars: Are they as strong as the rumors say?
Aerona: Yeah.
Solomon: You need to go into more detail than just ďyeahĒ.
Aerona: Nah.
Mars: By the way, do any of you know the name ďHunterĒ?

No one speaks up.

Vito: Why do you ask?
Mars: Just curious.
Aerona: In any case, I need time to figure out this dark magic. We need to train as well. Time might be of the essence, but this is more important right now. Any disagreements?
Vito: None, we need to get stronger.
Mars: Agreed.
Erosion: Yeah, Iím with you as well.
Solomon: Yes. If we want to defeat really strong mages here, weíll need to become stronger. The fastest way is to learn dark magic, but we will also need to train a little bit as well. I mean, itís not like weíve trained together all at once in years. Usually, itís me, Vito and Erosion. And then Iím sure Aerona and Mars train in Aegis, but I wanted to train with them every now and then. No offense, Vito.
Erosion: Hey, what about me?
Solomon: Yeah, you too.
Vito: Letís find a safe place to train then.
Aerona: All right, letís go.
Vito: Hold the fuck on. I gotta fix my hair. Let me see your armor, Aerona.

He takes out the chestplate from his now oversized bag. Vito looks at it like a mirror and uses it to fix his hair.

Vito: All right, thatís better.
Aerona: Letís go then.
Vito: Hold the fuck on!
The other four: Come on!

They go into a secluded area nearby. They are on dirt ground with a rock wall on one side, and dense forest on the other. Aerona drops a deer off his shoulder next to Solomon and Erosion, who are sitting next to a not yet lit fire woodpile. There are sticks in the ground and a stick across the wood with a pot hanging from it.

Erosion: These bags have really come in handy.
Mars: They say there is magic woven into each thread that was used. We were able to get them relatively cheap because of our mission.
Aerona: We have the queen to thank for that.
Erosion: Iíll start preparing this.

Erosion cuts the deer up and extracts the meat. While that is happening, we can see Aerona and Vito training together with their weapons. We see them clashing them over and over at each other. Vito starts to back away towards the wall.

Vito: Donít fucking corner me!

Aerona shows a face that looks like ďAre you fucking kidding me?Ē. He spins his Kwando and sheaths it.

Aerona: Thatís enough, I suppose. I should work on trying to get this dark magic working.
Vito: You and trying to corner me, man. Every time.

He ignores Vito and sits against the wall. He closes his eyes and begins to concentrate. Vito sits next to him.

Vito: Any good? Aerona? Hey.

Aerona has fallen asleep.

Vito: I guess he used up too much stamina between his fight at the coliseum, hunting and training.
Mars: Oh well. Just let him sleep for now.

Solomon takes the meat and throws it into the pot to make a stew. When itís about cooked, Aerona wakes up from the smell. They sit around the fire and eat with small wooden bowls.

Mars: This is really good.
Vito: We need some bread with this.
Erosion: If only we had an oven around here.

As usual, Aerona finishes first and then goes back to concentrating.

Mars: We got lucky with Akari, you know. Things could have been a lot worse.
Erosion: Yeah. I was able to escape Akari when I fought with him, but it took most of my resourcefulness to do so.
Solomon: If we stick together, we shouldnít have any problem fighting someone of his strength.
Vito: But what if there are five people as strong as him then?
Mars: Theeeeen weíre screwed.
Vito: If we fought them back at home, Iím sure it would be opposite, but weíre fighting with their advantages.
Solomon: We should improve our magic skill.
Mars: We could do that. Solomon, you have the best mastery over your magic of us, and it has helped.
Vito: I think dark magic will do that for us. It powers up magic and makes you stronger. We should focus on what we know aside from that.
Mars: We can also improve based on what we need as a team. Aside from Solomon, Erosion has the most adept magic. But us other three have slightly better combat ability. You two donít need to work so much on your magic.
Solomon: That is a good point. Erosionís poison doesnít need as much training, but I think the debuffing can use some work.
Erosion: I will agree with you for once. Solomon, I think your wind is fine, but you should work on your scimitar handling.
Vito: You both need to work on figuring out who fucks who in the ass.
Solomon: (Annoyed) Really? I mean, really?
Mars: As for me, my control over my earth magic isnít very good, which is why I channel it into my sword. But Iíd say that my armor is by far the best and I can fight well with it and my weapons. So, I can work on my magic, but I donít know how much good itíll do.
Vito: I think Iíll be fine with dark magic.

After a few hours, they approach Aerona to check on his progress.

Aerona: Iíve managed to do this much.

He spreads his hands out a few inches apart and a little bit of dark aura appears between them.

Aerona: Iím getting the hang of it. I noticed something about this particular type of magic.
Vito: Whatís that?
Aerona: It works similarly to my light magic, but it feels different. Almost like cooking two eggs the same way, but one is scrambled and the other was not whisked at all.
Vito: Oh, that makes sense. You know, you always have the best analogies.
Solomon: Iím sure itís different because cooking a scrambled egg is different from a sunny side up. You have to be careful with how you handle the latter, because it could burst open. But with scrambled, it can be handled however you want. And besides, the cook times are different. Iím not sure how that has anything to do with bringing out magic.
Aerona: ÖThatís why I said, ďalmostĒ. Anyway, Iíll be working on this for a while. Donít wait up on me.

He spends just about all night working on it. The next morning, they can see him still concentrating.

Aerona: If it works similar to light, I bet I can trigger a surge in dark magic similar to how I can do it with my light.

As he wanders off in thought, we go back a few years in time. Erosion and Solomon are seen in standard iron armor sets. They both have long swords sheathed at their sides. They are resting at a barracks. A few other people that appear to be of similar age are with them.

Solomon: This is it. Soon we will be escorting the queen back to Aegis. Our most dangerous mission yet.
Erosion: We may not even be attacked. As far as we know, the diversion squad and the central forces have done a great job of driving their main forces out.
Solomon: Youíre right. Weíve defended our kingdom well.

Not but a few seconds later a horn can be heard in the distance. This catches all of them by surprise.

Solomon: Thatís the horn of distress! Are we being ambushed?!
Erosion: Aerona and Vito were on lookout duty! You donít thinkÖ

There is no time for chat, however, as everyone begins to move to the door. The commander of the squad opens the door abruptly and begins yelling.

Commander: AMBUSH! GET YOUR ASSES OUT HERE!

The squad rushes out the door and they all draw their long swords or have their spears ready. They are in the outskirts of Drogos and are in a field of grass. When the view zooms out, we see many barracks behind them that are being attacked by Red soldiers. Their armor is similar but is dyed red.

Commander: Find the queen and protect her!
Squad: YES SIR!

The squad moves in unison to the middle of the barracks area to join the fight. A fireball is immediately sent their way. Solomon and Erosion are able to get out of the way, but a few soldiers get hit and are set on fire. Their (wood) building also gets caught on fire. Some soldiers charge at them, and they charge back. When the two sides collide, many soldiers fall. We see Erosion weaving in and out of sword strikes and cutting them down one by one by slashing at their necks. Solomon is taking a more aggressive approach by overpowering them and stabbing them through their armor. The Iron soldiers clear the Red soldiers by taking out twice as many as they lost. They are faced with a mage with a red cloak. He is about to cast another fireball when we see a quick dash and slash from the side of him. It is shown to be Vito who did this. He is wearing the same armor as everyone else and also has a long sword. His sword is manually bent, however, to try to resemble a katana. The mage dies quickly.

Solomon: What happened out there?!
Vito: We got outnumbered and they ran right through us!
Erosion: Whereís Aerona?!
Vito: Heís fighting! We were the only ones who survived!

A soldier comes up from behind Vito. He turns around and blocks a spear lunge. Then out of nowhere, Mars comes crashing in with an iron great shield and knocks the soldier down. Vito stabs him once heís on the ground. He goes back to back with Vito.

Vito: Nice timing!
Mars: Yeah!

Just then, another Red soldier comes into view coming towards Mars. This one stands a little over 6í0 (182.88cm). He has short black hair with an eye patch. Heís wearing slightly more upscale armor than the rest of the soldiers and carries a claymore. He charges at Mars and slashes. Mars blocks it and shoves him back a few inches.

Mars: Itís you.
Vito: Letís take him together!

The man is about to attack again, but his slash gets block immediately by a spear before it gets any momentum. Aerona has stepped between Mars and the man. Heís smiling at the man.

Aerona: Daniel of the Red Sun, itís an honor to meet you on the battlefield. Iíll be your opponent!


All of the sudden, memories are being triggered of this day. How will this play out for them and what significance does it have to them in the present? Find out next time on A Tale of Iron!
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   August 30th 2014, 3:52 pm

Chapter 11


Daniel and Aerona push off each otherís weapons, creating a small bit of distance. He spins his spear around a few times and then points it at Daniel.

Mars: We have to find the queen!
Aerona: The queen has been located. But if I told you where she is, this guy would go right to her.
Daniel: True, I would.
Aerona: Once I finish this guy off, weíll go there together.

Aerona goes on the attack and lunges. Daniel sidesteps and swings his claymore. Aerona blocks it and then blocks a few more slashes. Aerona then goes on the offensive by rapidly lunging his spear. Daniel dodges each one but blocks the last with a flat edge of his sword. Aerona quickly spins and whacks his claymore to the side and punches him in the face. Daniel stumbles back a bit while Aerona twirls his spear a couple more times.

Daniel: You, I will kill you for that!

Just then, floods of soldiers from both sides pour into the area. Daniel steps back and lets the soldiers go in front of him. Aerona backs up behind Mars while the soldiers from the Iron Kingdom flood the area and clash with the Red soldiers. While the Iron soldiers appear to be killing more, the numbers on the Red side are just too many. The Iron soldiers get overwhelmed and begin to crumble. As the Red soldiers near the end of the wave, they reach all five of the group bunched together ready to attack.

Solomon: Ready to do this?
Vito: Hell yeah.

Mars steps up first to block spear and sword attacks. They all bounce off this great shield. Aerona then stabs one while hiding behind Mars and his shield. The other three quickly crash into the crowd of soldiers, and the five of them begin to crush their forces. Daniel sees this from afar and then moves elsewhere on the battlefield. With some help from a few more soldiers, the group quickly defeats the wave of Red soldiers.

Aerona: Where did he go?!
Mars: There!

Mars points where we see the queen being protected by the commander of the unit. There are soldiers from both sides clashing, and Daniel has just reached the field. He quickly turns the tide with just a few swings, taking out a few soldiers with each swing. With most of the Red soldiers dead and yet all of the Iron soldiers dead, Daniel heads to the commander, who has a battle-axe. They clash their weapons over and over, neither overpowering the other. Meanwhile, back at the group, Aerona takes off by himself and the others follow suit after a few seconds.

At the same time, the commander and Daniel are holding their weapons against each other in a power struggle.

Commander: I will NOT let you have the queen!
Daniel: Itís not your choice, fool!

Daniel is able to force the commanderís weapon out of his hand and then slices him clean in half. The queen lets out a mortified scream. She backs up from Daniel, holding only a short sword for her defense. The few Red soldiers stand in Aeronaís way, but Vito and Erosion dash in front to clear them out. Aerona stabs one of them in his way, but loses grip of his spear in the meantime. Daniel raises his sword and brings it down diagonally, but just as he does so, Aerona grabs the queen from the side and jumps forward. The slash lands on Aeronaís back, cleaving through his armor and leaving a huge slash mark all across his back. He makes sure the queen is standing on his own and then drops to one knee.

Daniel: You again!

Just then, we go back to the present time as Aerona opens his eyes and grits his teeth in anger. †*Music* They all notice this change and stand up immediately. The dark aura begins to slowly surround Aerona as he starts breathing heavier and heavier.

Aerona: (Seemingly angry) Itís working.
Mars: Looks like it.
Aerona: Come here, quick. All of you.

They do so and put out their hands (if they have gauntlets, they are not presently on). Aerona gets up and puts out his hand and releases some of the aura into each of their hands. Each of them feel a slight sting in their hands and they retract them.

Erosion: You did it!
Aerona: YeahÖ

He stumbles back towards the wall and covers his face with one hand. The dark aura becomes more and more present and starts getting thicker around him.

Aerona: Itís coming on itís own! I canít control it!
Mars: We have to do something!

Just as he takes a step forward, Aerona slams his fist into the rock wall, and it surprisingly causes a lot of damage to the area where his fist lands. His fist breaks in a few inches deep.

Aerona: Stay back! All of you!

Aerona takes his other hand off his face and concentrates with all his power. We start to see light aura appear. Eventually, his light magic overpowers his dark aura and it dissipates. Everyone takes a sigh of relief. *Music Stop*

Solomon: I see. You used your light magic to counter the dark magic that was in you.
Mars: In this land, dark magic energy is so abundant that it must literally be attracted to someone who is already using a lot of it.
Aerona: Itís like a faucet. Once I triggered that much energy, it didnít want to stop coming.
Vito: But you looked angry. Did you trigger it with anger?
Aerona: Yes. I thought back to the time when I received this.

He takes off his shirt to show the diagonal scar across his back, reaching closer to his right side.

Solomon: You mean you still havenít gotten that healed? Surely someone in Aegis can do that.
Aerona: True, someone could. But I wonít fix it till that man is dead.

Everyone now remembers back to that time. We resume where we left off.

Daniel: You again!

Daniel notes that he is now faced by Vito, Erosion, Solomon and Mars.

Vito: Donít you even dare go to attack either one of them!

Daniel backs off as another wave of Red soldiers arrive from elsewhere. They stand behind Daniel and he backs off once again.

Daniel: You are the only ones left. Try as you may, but you will lose.

Vito helps Aerona up.

Mars: Youíll want to step back, your grace.
Queen: Yes.

She stays behind the five of them. Aerona is currently standing but is still receiving support from Vito.

Erosion: Letís do it, guys. The Tepenhyakugo.
Solomon: Now that we have no casualties to worry about, yeah.

They do their individual signs. Daniel looks confused, but backs up a few more steps behind the soldiers.

Erosion: Teh
Mars: Pen
Aerona: Hyak
Vito: Ooh
Solomon: Go
All five: FIRE!

They fire the Tepenhyakugo, which is smaller than the one they had done in the present time. It explodes on the group of soldiers and takes them all out. Daniel is shocked by this.

Queen: You five can do that?! Only a handful of people can perform it in the entire kingdom.
Daniel: That was impressive, but your lives will still end here!

More reinforcements show up over the horizon.

Vito: Fucking shit! Canít we ever get a break?!
Mars: This is bad. None of us have the stamina to fire off another one.

Just then, a horn blows.

Solomon: ThatísÖour horn!
Queen: The general is here! Weíre saved!

In the present timeÖ

Mars: We got saved big time by the central forces. Had they not shown up, we would have been dead.
Solomon: We were tricked by Red spies. They gave away the queenís location and they baited out the central army so that they could ambush us with a large part of theirs.
Erosion: If we werenít there, the queen would truly be dead. Our whole unit died, including those who were in the academy with us.
Aerona: Of course, on the bright side, that battle is what ultimately gave us high status titles.
Vito: Back to the subject at hand. So anger triggers dark magic the first time, is that what you are telling us?
Aerona: Thatís just one of the emotional triggers. Itís just like my light magic. I can trigger a larger amount than usual if my emotions are inflated in any particular way.
Mars: I see. Well, weíd better get to work now then.
Solomon: Can you handle breakfast, Aerona?
Aerona: Yeah, no problem.

The rest of them sit against the wall while Aerona cooks breakfast. After they eat, Aerona finally gets some rest. Meanwhile, the others have gone back to work.

Solomon: Can anyone feel it yet?
Vito: Nope.
Erosion: Not yet.
Mars: Negative.
Vito: I say we spend today working on it and then we get moving. Weíll have time on our way to practice.
Erosion: Agreed.
Mars: We have to keep moving.
Solomon: I would like more time to figure this out, but yeah.

They naturally end the conversation shortly after and begin concentrating again. Back in the past, we see the five of them in the throne room of Aegis. They are standing in front of the queen. It is roughly a month after the ambush.

Queen: For now, we have pushed the Red army out of our lands. But it was thanks to you all that I survived. Your commander also fought to protect me and he will be honored along with the rest of the soldiers who died in that ambush. ÖHold.

She looks specifically at Vito, Mars and Aerona.

Queen: You three. You are related to the three legendary knights of the Iron Kingdom. I recognize your faces. (To Aerona and Mars) Your fathers (to Vito) and your brother were the best this kingdom has ever seen. You have brought your families honor of similar caliber for saving my life. And you (to Erosion and Solomon), you two have brought it to yours as well.
Solomon: Thank you, your grace.
Queen: Now, you will all be given weapons and armor of your choosing. Our blacksmiths will make whatever you desire. You will also be put as commanders in times of war. You will have high status and wealth if you so desire it.

They all become very happy at these words. In the present time, they are still working at it.

Solomon: Anything?
Vito: Shut the fuck up!
Solomon: SorryÖ

Many hours have passed and Aerona has woken up. He is back in his armor again and is scaling the rock wall with Marsí shield on his back for some added weight. While that is happening, the other four stand up.

Vito: Letís see who got the farthest.

They spread their hands and concentrate. Some dark aura appears between all of their hands. Theyíre all roughly the same size, except Erosionís is the largest by the smallest of margins.

Vito: What the fuck?
Erosion: Hahahahahaha looks like I win.
Solomon: Itís not over yet. You might be the farthest now, but you might not be the person who can trigger the surge in energy.

Just then a small pebble hits Solomon on the head.

Aeronaís voice: (distant) Sorry!
Vito: Having fun up there?!
Aeronaís voice: (distant) Yeah, man! You should come up here!

When we see it from his point of view, he is close to the top but he slips and starts sliding down the wall. He starts yelling and dark aura encases his right hand. He punches into the wall to create friction and eventually stops.

Aerona: Whew. That was close. And I didnít go thatÖ

His feet touch the ground to his surprise.

Aerona: Öfar. Shit.

He starts going back up. But just as he starts getting up high, some rock comes lose where his right hand grabs and he falls all the way down.

Aerona: My headÖso how did you guys do?
Mars: Weíre making good progress. We were able to do that same thing you did with the small ball of aura.
Erosion: But my balls are the biggest.
Vito: Can you verify that for me, Solomon?
Solomon: Shut up!


They are making good progress, to use Marsí words. Coming out of this ordeal stronger, they will jump back into the chaotic lands of the Red Kingdom!
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   September 14th 2014, 2:36 pm

Chapter 12


It is the next day. Once again, Aerona is the one preparing breakfast as the others are concentrating on their magic training.

Aerona: Hey, guys. This will be ready in more or less five minutes. Letís have a five-way spar.

They open their eyes and stand up. Solomon in particular seems excited.

Solomon: This is the first time weíve had one of these in forever.

Everyone takes off armor if they were wearing it and they face off in a pentagon formation. They have no weapons.

Mars: Letís start.
Vito: Hold up!
Mars: Nope! *Music*

Mars immediately starts going for Vito. Vito starts to avoid punches from him. Meanwhile, Solomon and Erosion both go for Aerona.

Aerona: The fuck?!

Aerona blocks an incoming punch from Erosion and then ducks under one from Solomon. He puts his hand on Solomonís shoulder and flips over him. He spin-kicks once he lands on the ground, but Solomon ducks. Erosion uses his change in height to leap frog over him and punch for Aerona again. Aerona kicks after dodging the punch. Erosion gets out of the way and Solomon gets kicked instead.

Solomon: Erosion, you idiot!
Erosion: Itís not my fault you didnít see it coming!
Solomon: You could have at least blocked!
Aerona: *Shrug*

Solomon and Erosion start fighting each other. Meanwhile, Mars and Vito are exchanging attacks and blocking each otherís. Vito lands two punches and in exchange Mars lands a stronger punch that sends him sliding back towards Aerona.

Aerona: Heheh.
Vito: Donít!

Aerona throws a punch, but he is suddenly interrupted as Solomon backs into him accidentally and knocks him down. Vito regains his footing and turns to Solomon, who had just been knocked back a bit by Erosion. At this point, Aerona stands up and gets out of the way, being out of the spar. Vito punches Solomon, but Solomon takes the impact and grabs his fist. Erosion goes to kick Solomon now, but stops as he sees that Mars was waiting for him to attack. He quickly turns his attention to Mars.

Vito punches Solomon five times and then goes for a high jump kick. Solomon blocks it and then lands a lariat to him when he lands. Vito is about the go down, but stops himself in time. He grabs Solomonís arm with his right and then pulls Solomon in and lands a hard uppercut to his jaw. Solomon retaliates with a hard strike to the stomach. At this time, Mars is blocking a flurry of attacks from Erosion. Finally, he is able to go on the offense and punch. Erosion barely dodges it. He jumps high and kicks Mars on the side of the head, which jumbles him slightly. Erosion goes for one more strike to his head, but Mars catches Erosion mid-air and slams him into the ground, taking him out of the spar.

Mars: Two more to go.

Vito and Solomon are avoiding each otherís attacks around this time. Vito is the first to land a hit again by kicking Solomon in the shin. Solomon retaliates with a punch, to which Vito dodges. Vito goes for another strike, but Mars now joins this fight and attacks Vito. Vito dodges a punch and grabs Marsí arm. But Solomon now kicks Vito in the stomach and Mars elbows him to sends him to the ground.

Vito: Fucking gang bangers.

Solomon and Mars begin to block each otherís punches. Solomon and Mars both land a punch to each otherís faces. Solomon is the one who stumbles more, however, and Mars takes advantage of this by striking him in the chest and then tripping him up, ending the fight. *Music Stop*

Aerona: And we have a winner.
Solomon: Damn it! I was so close too.
Mars: *Pant* Whew.

Mars bows.

Erosion: So what does that make the score? Does anyone remember?
Aerona: Well, this makes Marsí 10th win. Erosion and Solomon, you have 8 wins and Vito has 9. Meanwhile Iíve won, oh 100 times.
Solomon: No, you donít have 100 wins. If memory serves, you have 10 as well.
Aerona: It was a joke. Yeah, I have 10, which is why you two bastards came after me right away, isnít it?
Vito: They ganged up on me too, man.
Solomon: Yeah, but you would gang up on me if we were doing a magic spar.
Mars: A magic spar is quite dangerous.

They all get healed, eat breakfast and then assume their previous positions with their armors on. But after just a few minutes, Aerona stands up, noticing something wrong. He draws his bow and gets an arrow ready.

Aerona: Weíre being watched. They would have felt it too if they werenít concentrating. Is this friendly or otherwise? Where are they watching from?

He tries to decipher where this unknown presence is. It suddenly disappears.

Aerona: Not good. If it were friendly, it would have come out. I donít like this feeling. Guys, we have a problem.

They open their eyes and see that he has his bow drawn.

Solomon: Are we being watched?
Aerona: Definitely. But the presence disappeared.
Vito: What does that mean for us?
Aerona: If I had to guess, Iíd say that they were some sort of spies.

Just then, all five of them feel something at the same time. They look above them to see goblins coming down the cliff.

Mars: More are coming in front of us!
Aerona: Weíre being flushed out!

Some goblins now come out of the woods, towards them. Aerona looses his first arrow into oneís head. He puts it away and takes out his Kwando. They all draw their main weapons, take up their bags, and quickly fasten them to their backs and then charge. They cut through the goblins in the forest and then eventually make it outside into the plains. In front of them are three distinct people with a few stock soldiers behind them. As soon as they see the people, they all look in shock. *Music* The front three all have the same skin tone as the Iron born. The first is a female who looks to be in her mid to late 30s. She wears a white chef coat that trails off like coat tails. She has long crimson red hair.

Solomon and Erosion: ChefÖ

The second person is a man with short ginger hair and heavy silver armor. He has a giant war hammer that he is wielding with two hands. This man looks at Mars and scowls.

Mars: Oh no, not him.
Aerona: I canít believe it. *Looks at Vito* Shit, not now.

The third person is a young woman in her early 20s with an outfit that looks like this. She has shoulder length ginger hair. When Vito sees this woman, his face immediately turns to anger.

Vito: You, why are you here? NagemaÖ
Nagema: Look at you, Vito. Youíve become of high status now, have you?
Aerona: Donít listen to her, Vito!
Silver Armor Man: Mars, youíre the last one I wanted to see.
Mars: You too, Jahten. If only because you hate me so much.
Jahten: I hate your very existence, Mars!
Mars: I never understood whyÖ
Solomon: Itís been a long time, Chef Marlene.
Marlene: Ugh, itís you two perverts.
Erosion: Why did you betray us?
Marlene: Betray? Boy, Iíve been a Red long before I pledged any loyalty to your pitiful Iron Kingdom. *Music Stop*
Erosion: Pitiful?! Youíll pay for that!
Solomon: Damn straight she will!

The latter two conversations quickly turn into fights. Mars and Jahten start to clash their weapons against each other. Solomon and Erosion start to double team Marlene. Meanwhile, Aerona and Vito have remained motionless for now and so has Nagema.

Aerona: How did you find us?
Nagema: We heard that some of you people had come across. We only traced your movements to where you were hiding. We didnít think weíd see you lot here.
Aerona: So it was you three watching us after all. Wait, that meansÖ
Vito: You didnít say hello? You bitch.
Nagema: Oh, come now? Donít you want things to go back to the way they were? Vito, ditch these people and come with me. The Red Kingdom can use your power. We can be together again.

She extends her hand out. Vito starts laughing. Aerona smirks.

Vito: Get real, you dumb bitch. You were the one who walked out on me, and now you want to get back together?
Nagema: I thought you might say that.

Nagemaís eyes start to glow. When her gaze meets Vitoís, his eyes change. He suddenly starts to extend his hands to her slowly, as if he is being moved against his will. Nagema starts to walk towards Vito when Aerona steps between them and swings his Kwando once. She is forced to stay away. He puts his hand on Vitoís shoulder and injects some light magic into him to break the spell. Vito falls on one knee and starts to breath heavy.

Nagema: Youíre next, Aerona!

She does the same to Aerona, but this time, nothing happens. We see slight movement from Aerona, but it is kept under control.

Nagema: What?! Donít you lust for me?!
Aerona: As we thought, your magic is seduction control. You have the power to seduce men and women who lust after other women.
Nagema: ďWeĒ?
Aerona: Thatís right. After you left, the two of us figured out your magic and have already devised a hypothesis. As long as we are aware of your spell being cast, we can resist it as long as we keep our instincts in check. Vito offered to be the bait if we should meet again. Donít think you could control him otherwise.
Nagema: YouÖ!

Aerona draws his bow and points it at her.

Aerona: Game over.
Nagema: Ha! Nice bluff. I know about you too. You donít like killing women.
Aerona: Donít test me.

He hesitates to do so, but looses an arrow. A soldier steps in front of her, however, and takes the arrow instead. Nagema grins and then sends the rest of the soldiers after the two of them. Vito stands up and readies his blade.

Aerona: You good?
Vito: Yeah.

Meanwhile, Solomon and Erosion have Marlene on the defensive. She has two large kitchen knives that she is using as weapons. She is defending from each of their blades.

Marlene: You two have gotten better it seems. Time to kick up the heat!

Suddenly, her knives catch on fire and she twirls them a few times.

Erosion: Thatís right, she has fire magic. That makes my poison ineffective against her. Sheíll burn up any type of poison I can inject. And Solomonís wind is also a bad match up against her fire at our current level.
Solomon: Weíre still not strong enough, Erosion. This isnít good.
Erosion: I know.

Both of them get angry. When we see Mars, he is pushing Jahten back. He is also angry. We get a split screen of the three of them and Vito. *Music*They are all seen concentrating while angry. The screen makes one more panel for Aerona, who looks surprised.

Aerona: Theyíre using the situation to draw it out! Let it out! Your frustration! Let it burn inside and use it to bring out your dark magic!

Simultaneously, they start yelling and a large amount of dark aura surrounds each of them except Mars. Mars instead only has a little bit and it begins to dissipate slowly. He uses this slight burst however to push Jahten away with a great amount of force. Marlene backs up a bit. The soldiers rush for Vito and Aerona, but Vito blitzes past them and cuts through all of them. This shocks Nagema. We see the five of them line up together.

Aerona: Youíve gravely underestimated us! For that, you will be destroyed!
Marlene: Theyíve learned how to use dark magic as well? I donít know that we can take all five of them together.
Nagema: Marlene, Jahten, plan B.
Marlene and Jahten: Yeah! *Music Stop*

Goblins being pouring out of the forest in droves. This surprises the five of them. Aerona quickly releases Vitoís dark magic form before it can overflow. He does the same to the other three and they cluster up.

Erosion: Are we going to work with those three to defeat them?!
Aerona: Nagema is controlling them most likely!
Solomon: There are too many of them! We have to escape!
Vito: Escape formation A then?!
Mars: Can you handle it, Solomon?!
Solomon: Yeah! No problem!
Vito: Letís go then! Aerona, youíre up!

Aerona steps out first and starts building up an enormous amount of mana. The other four close their eyes temporarily. Vito puts his hands on both Aerona and Mars and starts to buff them in some way. He releases a gigantic wave of light that doesnít do any concussive damage, but blinds both the three traitors and the goblins and forces them to stop for a second. While still closing his eyes, Mars then builds up a lot of mana and then creates a gigantic chasm that separates them from everything else. Vito then switches his buff to Solomon as everyone opens their eyes. Solomon surrounds each one of them with a wind barrier and takes them up about twenty feet into the sky and away from the battlefield. Just then, Marlene bursts up in a pillar of fire and starts to chase, but she is hit by a debuff beam from Erosion that makes her slower. Aerona then begins to fire a few arrows at her. With her being slower, she is forced to retreat to avoid being hit by arrows. They successfully get away as they head to a mountain. Solomon lets everyone down just at the foot of the mountain. He starts to breath heavy.

Mars: That was too close. Are you okay, Solomon?
Solomon: Fine. *Pant* I just need to rest.
Aerona: By the looks of it, we all need to. Is anyone hurt?

All but Erosion shakes their heads ďnoĒ. Erosion points to a cut wound he has on his side. Aerona quickly heals it.

Erosion: Thanks.
Aerona: You guys were able to draw out your dark magic. That was awesome.
Mars: I guess they had just the right timing.
Solomon: But Mars, why didnít you use more dark magic?
Mars: Heh, I guess my heartís just not in it.
Vito: Aerona. Hesitating like that in front of Nagema. It wasnít because sheís woman, right?
Aerona: Heh.
Vito: When youíre angry enough, you donít care about gender. And I know youíre still angry with her for what she did to me in the past.
Aerona: You figured it out, huh? Iíll be less obvious next time.
Vito: Thank you. I wonít miss the chance you gave me. The one who ends her life will be me.


Suddenly, the group has come face to face with people they once knew. Those who have betrayed their comrades from the Iron Kingdom have a dark history with our heroes. Once again, they have been forced into hiding. But they canít stop here. Where do they go next? Find out on the next chapter of A Tale of Iron!
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   September 19th 2014, 1:30 pm

Chapter 13


The five of them are currently resting up against the mountain.

Aerona: Unfortunately, we canít stay here long.
Solomon: Right. Theyíll find us if we do.
Erosion: We need to at least catch our breath before moving on. We have a lot of distance to cover.
Vito: So, Mars. What did you mean when you said that your heart isnít in it?
Mars: When I experienced what real dark magic feels like, I instinctively stopped using it. It doesnít feel right to me. It feelsÖevil.
Aerona: I know what you mean. But for me, itís not a matter of choice. If I donít keep getting stronger, my luck will eventually kill me.
Vito: What are you guys talking about? It feels awesome. Did you see how fast I moved with that dark aura?
Aerona: I did. That was impressive. I dare say you moved at a similar speed to Seijuro.
Erosion: I missed it. Solomon and I were too busy fighting chef.
Solomon: She got stronger too. The gap between us was larger back then, yes, but I can just tell.
Erosion: Agreed. And we have to factor in the possibility of her using dark magic too.
Solomon: Thereís also that.
Mars: Yeah, Jahten is still pretty much the same. Iím going to beat him so hard his mother feels it. But his magic worries me.
Aerona: Oh right. Necromancy.
Mars: Last I checked, he sucked at it, but on these lands, that type of magic can be a lot more powerful.
Aerona: I heard stories from the general about how he fought many dead people in the last attack on the Iron Kingdom. Many of them were ours.
Solomon: Itís an incredibly efficient way of fighting.
Mars: Itís also despicable, devoid of any honor.

We go back a few years in time not long after the ambush that they had to go through. The five of them have been reassigned to a different unit. They are currently at a building in Aegis where many family members are visiting the soldiers. Vito is currently talking to Nagema while Aerona is lurking by. He is talking to Mars.

Aerona: Something is amiss here, Mars.
Mars: What do you mean?
Aerona: Someone leaked the queenís location in that last fight. But shouldnít we be investigating that?
Mars: Yes, we should. Where do you start with that though?
Aerona: With everyone close to our former unit, starting with us.
Mars: Thatís a good idea. We should bring that up to the general.

Not long after, Solomon, Erosion and Marlene begin bringing out food along with other servants. There is a particularly good-smelling dish that Marlene sets down herself. It is a large steak prepared for the general.

Mars: Marlene is pretty close to them. We should start with her.
Aerona: Right. You do that; Iíll start with Nagema.

Mars stands up first and starts walking towards the food. Just then, Jahten bumps into him.

Jahten: Watch where youíre going, Mars.
Mars: Me? Youíre the one that ran into me, butt wipe.

At that moment, a glass is tapped on from Marlene. Everyone moves his or her attention there.

Marlene: Thank you. This food is for you, the soldiers. Youíve fought greatly to keep our queen and our country safe.

They clap at these words. Marlene is about to set the steak down next to the general. He is a tall man who looks to be in his early 30s. He is wearing heavy armor and has long brown hair. Just before she sets it down, Erosion accidentally bumps into her. The steak flies into the air, but Erosion grabs the plate and catches the steak in mid-air on the plate. They clap for the good catch, but then Erosion immediately feels something off. A bit of its juices had touched Erosionís skin. He looks at Marlene surprised. Marlene at that point realized that she had been found out.

Erosion: There is poison in this steak. I can recognize it on touch.
General: What?!
Aerona: Shit, I had a bad feeling.
Marlene: I donítÖ
General: Whatís going on, Marlene? You better tell me the truth.

Just then, the soldier behind the general pulls a sword and goes to stab him. The general has disappeared, however, and is already behind the assailant. He quickly slits the manís throat with a combat knife. Solomon and Erosion draw their long swords and attack Marlene. Meanwhile, Vito has also drawn his sword. Nagema puts her hand on Vitoís shoulder. He looks at her and she activates her magic on him.

Vito: What is thisÖIím feelingÖ

She is about to pull a knife when Aerona stops her hand.

Aerona: Donít you dare make another move.

At the same time, Jahten pulls his weapon and attacks Mars. Mars dodges out of the way and then pulls his shield from his back.

Mars: You too, huh?
Jahten: Thatís right, asshole!

Many soldiers draw their weapons and attack other soldiers. Chaos now breaks loose in the room as family members begin getting killed as well as soldiers. One cannot tell who is a traitor and who is not. Marlene now has her knives out, blocking Erosion and Solomonís swords. She activates her fire and blows both of them back, sending them to the floor.

Erosion: Chef, why?

Without any time to answer, her face immediately drops from confident to ďholy fuckĒ. *Music* She senses the general behind her and turns around very quickly. He has a weapon like this drawn.

Marlene: General!
General: You tried to kill me in one of the most dishonorable ways possible. I will show you no mercy.

Marlene immediately unleashes a great amount of fire magic at the general. It completely engulfs him, but not long after he dispels it around him, completely unscathed.

Marlene: How did heÖ

The general then moves so quick that she canít even follow and cuts her across the chest before she even realizes it. He is behind her. Only a second after the slash mark appears does she look down at it.

Marlene: You truly are frightening, General Strago.

She struggles to stand. A couple traitorous soldiers rush for the general. He spikes his magic energy just a little and they are immediately intimidated and back away from him. Marlene cannot stand anymore under the pressure of his intimidation and drops to her knees.

Marlene: Itís not over yet.
Strago: Hmm? *Music Stop*

At the top of this room is a second floor balcony that stretches the entire room. Red soldiers appear at the top with crossbows and begin shooting Iron soldiers down. Aerona notices something. On the backs of the soldiers not being shot are slight etches made into the armor.

Aerona: I see. Thatís how they can tell.

Suddenly, Vito snaps out of it and wonders what is going on.

Vito: What the fuck is going on?!
Aerona: Weíre being attackedÖ.again!
Vito: What is it with whoever we get assigned to getting ambushed?!
Aerona: I dunno man!

Vito notices that Aerona still has his hand on Nagemaís wrist.

Vito: What is this?
Aerona: She tried to kill you.
Nagema: Heís lying, Vito. Heís trying to pit you against me.

Vito points his blade at Nagema.

Nagema: You would believe him over me?
Vito: Of course.
Nagema: Tch! I guess no need for hiding it anymore.
Vito: YouÖyou bitch!

A few crossbow bolts come their way but Vito blocks them with his sword.

Aerona: Good save!
Vito: Right. You go help the general, Iíll take care of things here.
Aerona: Right!

Meanwhile, Jahten and Mars are still clashing. However, Jahten now has two dead Iron soldiers working for him.

Mars: You son of a bitch! You would dare use them for your devices?!
Jahten: The dead are mine to control, and thereís nothing you can do about it!
Mars: Damn you.

With all of the chaos going on, the general walks towards the middle of the room. He starts to spike his magic aura and all of the sudden the room starts to shake. The fighting immediately stops as everyone looks to him.

Strago: I will not let this go on any longer.
Aerona: General! The soldiers with marks on the back of their armor are traitors!
Strago: Yes, I figured out as much. I will end this fight here and now.
Marlene: You canít stop it now.
Strago: What did you say, wench?!
Marlene: Plan C!

At her words, the remaining traitors begin leaving en masse. Two soldiers without marks on their armor attack Vito at that time. Vito dodges both of their sword attacks. Nagema uses this opportunity to escape and the two soldiers are loosed from her spell. Jahten uses the dead soldiers to create an opening to escape as well. Marlene propels herself out of the building with a fire blast sent towards General Strago. Once again, he dispels the magic with ease, but then he senses something. Our five heroes also do so and they look up at the ceiling, which is beginning to crack. Not but a second later and the ceiling collapses, sending all the rubble down on them. Solomon starts off by creating a large wind barrier, holding up much of the rubble. Mars then bashes his shield into some of the rubble and channels earth magic into it, turning it to dust. The general then unleashes a wave of concussive magic, which destroys the rest of it.

Aerona: General, are you okay?
Strago: Yes, soldier.
Aerona: Good.
Strago: You seemed to know some of these traitors. You will tell me everything you know. I canít believe that even Marlene was one of them.
Mars: Sir, we have reason to believe that they are the ones who leaked the queenís location back when our unit was destroyed.
Strago: That does make sense. Come, we must clean up here and we will talk later.

Back in the present time, they are still sitting.

Erosion: Still, it was a treat to watch the general fight.
Solomon: He destroyed chef without any real effort.
Aerona: They say that he could even beat the three legendary knights individually in power.
Vito: I donít know how true that is. Why are they called the best knights then?
Mars: Strago was never knighted. He was instantly promoted to commander straight out of the academy.
Vito: Jeez and I thought WE got a commander position fast.
Aerona: Well, we still havenít quite hit our potential yet I believe. The general believes that we still have much more untapped potential as well.
Mars: Right. I will hit that potential as well, just not with dark magic.
Aerona: Mars, you mean youíre going toÖ

The other three look in confusion.

Mars: When the time comes, yes.
Aerona: I seem to also have run into a problem.
Solomon: Whatís that?
Aerona: Observe.

He puts his two hands out. In one hand, he has light magic energy and the other dark magic energy. When he clasps his hands together, they cancel each other out and dispel.

Aerona: I canít combine my natural affinity with dark magic. But Iím willing to bet you all can.
Solomon: Let me try.

Solomon does the same thing, but with wind in his one hand. When he clasps his hands together, the wind becomes larger and encases both of Solomonís hands, with dark aura swirling around as well.

Solomon: Itís much stronger. It worked.
Vito: HmmÖ

Vito does the same, with his right hand glowing blue. When he claps his hands together, his hands glow at a very dark purple. He buffs himself.

Vito: The effect of my speed buff is definitely stronger as well. I donít even have to test it. Erosion, try to debuff me with dark magic.

Erosion does the same thing as Vito and then shoots a dark wave at Vito.

Vito: Iím back to normal now. Your debuff is stronger too.
Erosion: Cool.
Aerona: I guess weíll have to find a way around this disadvantage.
Mars: Yeah. So, are we ready to go?

They all nod ďyesĒ. They stand up and stretch.

Solomon: Letís go then. We should probably travel around the mountain. I think the next town will be in sight if we go that way. First we go left and then we ring around the mountain till we see the town. Then weíll go in and probably get something to eat. Iím hungry, I dunno about you guys.
Erosion: Yeah, Iím hungry too.
Vito: Same here.
Mars: Yep, hungry.
Aerona: Yeah.
Solomon: All right, then letís go.


We have learned more about the traitors and the days of war within the Iron Kingdom. But itís time to move forward, as they head closer to finding the dragon!


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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   November 27th 2014, 2:51 am

Chapter 14


We see our heroes in a tavern in a nearby town to the mountain. They are seen eating some sort of stew in the corner of the place. It is very lively, so the noise level is high.

Aerona: Jeez, itís loud in here.
Vito: What was that? I canít hear you.
Solomon: What? Can you hear me okay?
Erosion: How about me?
Aerona and Vito: We can hear you just fine.
Mars: You two fit right in here!
Solomon: Well, itís not much louder than where we used to frequent in Drogos.
Aerona: Yeah?! Well, Iím going outside for a bit!
Erosion: Arenít you going to finish yourÖ

As usual, Aerona is finished his food first. He leaves the table and goes outside.

Vito: He still does that?!
Mars: Yep! You know what?! I think I am going to do the same though! It really is too loud in here!
Solomon: All right. Weíll join you when weíre done.

Once Mars finishes, he heads outside and joins Aerona, who is leaned up against the building.

Aerona: I think Iím going to get a headache from that.
Mars: No kidding.
Aerona: Though, this will be one of the last times we will be in a town like this for a long time.
Mars: Yeah. Once we head into the Southeast, it will be all forests, caves and other bullshit places.
Aerona: But first, we need to deal with the traitors. We canít let them live. Thatíll be up to you guys.
Mars: Yes. Iíll settle things with Jahten. If we can pick them off one by one, itíll make things easier.
Aerona: Indeed. That gives me an idea.
Mars: What is it this time?

After a while, Vito, Erosion and Solomon come out of the bar. They notice that Aerona is gone.

Vito: Where the fuck did he go?
Mars: We have a plan. Just go with it.
Solomon: What kind of plan?
Mars: One to get things exactly as we want them. Get ready for a rematch.
Erosion: Hell yeah.
Mars: Follow me.

Some time passes. Just outside the town, we can see Jahten, Nagema and Marlene walking. They are heading to town.

Marlene: They went this way. Iím sure of it. We need to stick together. We can pick them off one by one.

Just then, they see Aerona step out from behind a building. He looks visibly surprised.

Aerona: Oh shit.
Marlene: And now we found our first target. After him!

They start to run after him and he flees. Marlene propels herself with fire towards him and starts to catch up. She has her knives at the ready. Aerona suddenly turns around and blocks them with his halberd. He then actives dark magic around him and then jumps up on top of a building. Marlene gives chases and also makes it on top of the building.

Marlene: Nowhere to run, Aerona. You know you canít win against me.
Aerona: Shit.

Aerona jumps across to another building and then another. She keeps chasing Aerona across the rooftops. Finally, while she is in midair going to the next rooftop, Aerona stops. He smiles at Marlene when all of the sudden she sees Solomon flying directly at her from the side. *Music* She blocks an incoming attack from Solomonís scimitar and gets pushed back a little. She then avoids a beam from Erosion and then lands on a rooftop where Erosion is waiting. Meanwhile, Jahten and Nagema are trying to follow from below the ground. The ground below them ripples greatly and they are launched backwards. Nagema gets separated from Jahten, due to the nature of how the ground was manipulated. Nagema is now in an alleyway with her back to an artificial earth wall. Vito stands in front of her. On the other side of the alley, Mars squares off with Jahten. Back to MarleneÖ

Marlene: We were tricked.
Aerona: Thatís right. Youíre not the only one that knows how to play dirty.
Marlene: Then that was all an act about you being surprised to see us.
Aerona: Of course it was. Now itís time to properly pay you all back for what you did back in the Iron Kingdom. Can you handle this, guys?
Solomon and Erosion: Yeah!
Aerona: Good. Iím gonna go heckle Nagema instead now.

Aerona jumps away on different rooftops.

Marlene: You boys know you canít beat me, even if you have learned dark magic.
Solomon: Things are different now. *Music Stops*

Vito: You canít win against me. You should know this by now.
Nagema: You donít know that.
Vito: Even your sister was stronger than you. Unless that was a lie too.
Nagema: WhatÖhappened to her?
Vito: She was executed for being in league with you.
Nagema: You know she was innocent, right?
Vito: Itís not my problem anymore. I vouched for her, but the higher ups insisted just to be on the safe side.

We see her start to cry.

Vito: Stop. I know those are fake. Thereís nothing you can do to me anymore.

She stops.

Nagema: Wow, you really have changed. Is it thanks to Aerona?
Aerona: You call me?

She flinches in surprise and looks up to see him peering over one of the rooftops.

Aerona: Vitoís change was his own progress. All he needed was someone there to listen to him.
Vito: How is the plan going?
Aerona: Perfect. I hate to tell you this, Nagema, but your traitor friends will be dead soon.
Nagema: Jahten might, but Marlene will survive this. None of you can beat her, and you were foolish enough to not all have gone after her.
Aerona: It might look like that now, but you have no idea how weíve grown in the past couple years.

Mars: Letís settle this, Jahten.
Jahten: I will kill you this time.
Mars: I donít know why you hated me so much, but youíve crossed the line too many times. Iíll cut you down for treason.
Jahten: Just try it!

Both draw their weapons and run towards each other. They clash weapons once and push against one another. Mars shoves Jahten back and then does an overhead slash with both hands. Jahten decides to dodge and then swings his hammer horizontally. Mars ducks under it and lunges his sword. Jahten blocks with his hammer, but the force of the attack forces his arm away from his body. Mars uses this opportunity to turn to the side and put his foot against Jahtenís armor and shove him back to put him off balance. Mars then pokes the ground to create a small rockslide in the ground that trips Jahten backwards to the ground.

Jahten: Shit!

Mars charges and tries another overhead slash to end the fight. He notices something, however, and jumps back. Two spears cross just where Marsí body would have been had he went with the attack and we see that two soldiers are holding them.

Mars: I couldnít feel them coming till the last second. I guess that means theyíre dead.

Jahten stands up quickly and readies himself.

Mars: So you had dead people ready to fight nearby.
Jahten: Yeah. I have at least four in every near area.
Mars: Damn. Then where are the other two?
Jahten: I wonít tell you that.

Switching scenes, Marlene is seen charging at Solomon. Erosion interrupts with a jump kick. Marlene ducks under the attack and gets ready to cut him with one knife. She sees a wind blade headed her way, however, and counters with a slash that leaves a blade of fire. The fire goes through the wind blade and goes towards Solomon. Solomon easily sidesteps and gets ready to attack again. Erosion now goes on the offensive, rapidly slashing with his sword. Marlene easily dodges each slash. She sees Solomon also charging from her peripheral vision. She blocks Erosionís last slash and then kicks at Solomon when he reaches her range. Solomon ducks under it and puts a wind enhancement on his scimitar. Marlene puts fire on one of her knives as they swing weapons at each other. Solomon stops his attack, however, and spins around her and then horizontally slashes. Marlene ducks under it, but then sees Erosion performing a downward slash with his wakizashi.

Marlene: !

She blocks with her other knife. She puts fire on it and pushes against Erosionís weapon. He is forced to jump back so his blade doesnít get caught on fire. Marlene spins while low with both knives on fire. Solomon also has to jump back to avoid the attack.

Marlene: Not bad. You definitely have improved your skills and your dodging ability. Iíd better be cautious. They are both clever. Who knows what they have planned.

Meanwhile, Aerona is looking outside the city from the rooftops.

Aerona: No soldiers coming after us? No goblins? This is way too suspicious, Nagema.
Nagema: We had the same idea as you, it seems.
Aerona: So you figured you wouldnít need the backup if you isolated us and killed us one at a time. Looks like you miscalculated. But that doesnít ease me of being suspicious. We could get overrun again at any moment if she chooses to. Vito needs to end this quickly.
Vito: I still donít trust her, Aerona.
Aerona: Then weíre on the same page.
Nagema: Thatís enough. You will fall before me!

Her eyes glow at Vito. Vitoís movements are similar to how Aerona was when she tried her spell on him.

Vito: No. Iím beyond that now.
Nagema: Damn it. Damn it. DAMN IT!

Two soldiers appear behind Aerona and jump down into the alleyway.

Aerona: Where did they come from? Their movementsÖare they dead? This must be Jahtenís work, but theyíre also under her spell.
Nagema: Just two? Jahten must be in trouble.
Aerona: I knew it.
Vito: I can handle this. Just relax, Aerona.
Aerona: Cool. Iíll just stick to providing commentary.
Vito: Yeah, you do that. Itís time for me to end this.


To be continuedÖ

Dedicated to my dad, who passed away on the ninth.


Last edited by Strider Zero on January 27th 2015, 10:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   December 1st 2014, 11:19 pm

Chapter 15


We switch over to the fight between Mars and Jahten.

Jahten: There is at least one thing I have over you besides numbers, Mars.

He begins to surround himself with dark aura. As a result, some of it gets transferred to the two soldiers he controls. *Music*

Mars: Crap.
Jahten: Show me your dark magic.
Mars: I wonít.
Jahten: Fine. Iíll just kill you with more ease then.
Mars: It wonít be as easy as you think.

The two soldiers attack Mars, who brings out his shield to block. There is not much pressure felt against the shield.

Mars: Theyíre definitely stronger, but itís nothing I canít handle.

Jahten now attacks, which has much better results by making Mars slide back a bit.

Mars: If Iím going to win this fight, I need to use both my sword and shield. It might make each less effective, but I have no choice at this point.

He takes out his great sword again and keeps it in his right hand and his shield in his left. The soldiers attack again and Mars blocks both of them. He then swings his sword at them. The swing is noticeably slower than before, and theyíre able to dodge it. Jahten then comes in and swings his weapon. Mars takes a slight step back and moves his shield back a few inches before the impact. Mars is able to fend off the attack successfully and then swings. Jahten dodges and jumps back.

Jahten: What was that? That attack was less effective?
Mars: If I canít outright dodge him, I can still lessen the impact by screwing with the timing and momentum of his attack.

The soldiers move in once again from both sides of Mars. He steps forward towards Jahten to avoid both strikes. Jahten is now about to strike, when Mars rams his sword into the ground to create a chasm that he falls into.

Mars: He always lets the soldiers attack first and then goes for me himself. Still predictable as always.

He turns around and cuts the soldiers in half. When their top halves hit the ground, they attack by lunging the spears at him. He blocks with his shield and then creates a small pit with his sword that they fall into. Around this time, Jahten has climbed out of the hole and stands up.

Jahten: Damn you, Mars.
Mars: What were you saying about numbers?

Meanwhile, the two soldiers by Nagema charge at Vito. They continuously lunge with their spears while Vito easily dodges each one.

Aerona: They donít seem to have a particular style. If I recall correctly, most of these types of control spells have general commands, like ďkillĒ.
Vito: If thatís true, then Iai will work on them.

He continues dodging each strike as he moves his right hand closer and closer to his sword. Finally, when his hand reaches his sword, he stops dodging and then dashes forward while slashing. He immediately sheaths it as the two soldiers have blood marks across their chest areas. They are un-phased by this, however and turn around to attack Vito again.

Aerona: And it looked so cool too. Too bad.
Vito: Shut up!

Next, he decapitates both, but they still keep attacking.

Vito: Why wonít these fuckers stop attacking?!
Aerona: I guess she has control of literally the whole body.
Vito: Yeah. In that caseÖ

Vito gets frustrated and cuts off the arms and legs of both. Now they are unable to move. Nagema is now directly behind Vito with a dagger and goes to stab him. He does a 180 degree turn and slashes at the dagger to knock it out of her hand. She holds that hand in pain from the transfer of momentum.

Aerona: That seems to be the trick. You can only control one region at a time, right? So if everything is detached, you can only control one of those pieces at a time.
Nagema: Damn it.
Vito: Nailed it. Looks like thatís all you have for tricks.

Back to Jahten, he has his hand held out but seems frustrated.

Jahten: Why wonít they come?! Donít tell me that Nagema screwed up with my zombies.
Mars: Looks like Vito took care of her. Sheís not going to survive that fight.
Jahten: She has no real physical prowess, so she will definitely die. We never counted on her to be of any real help here. All I have to do is hold out here. Once Marlene is finished with those butt buddies, sheíll help out here.
Mars: Do you really think the two of you can beat the five of us?
Jahten: With Marlene on our side, weíre nearly invincible. *Music Stops*

The scene switches to Marlene, Solomon and Erosion.

Marlene: Itís time to stop playing around. So you can keep up with me in a close ranged situation. But that does not mean you can keep up with my magic.
Erosion: Itís time, Solomon. Remember the plan?
Solomon: Yeah, I got it. *Music*

Marlene twirls her fiery knives around a few times and then raises them up into the air. At this time, Solomon unleashes a blast of wind just above Marlene. When a large amount of fire comes out, much of it is redirected upwards and away from Solomon and Erosion. The remaining flames are avoidable for them and they do so.

Marlene: Clever, but that wonít help you at close range.

Marlene propels herself forward with fire, but Solomon lifts himself high into the air with a wind barrier. Marlene gives chase, but notices that Erosion has launched a beam at her. She avoids and then unleashes a giant wave of fire at Solomon. He is able to avoid it barely and then touches back down on a rooftop. As Marlene comes down, Erosion closes in on her and reaches out with his hand. Marlene opts to dodge this and then launches a fireball at Erosion. Erosion lands and then jumps away as the fireball explodes upon contact with the rooftop. Erosionís clothes get slightly caught in the explosion and they get singed a bit.

Erosion: Shit, that was close.

Marlene starts to glow with dark aura, which surprises them. She unleashes a firestorm of purple fire all around her. Solomon tries the same tactic to redirect the fire, but he is only able to redirect just a little bit of it. Both he and Erosion are engulfed in the fire and the smoke begins to rise. Visibility is very limited now because of how much smoke is in the area. We see Aerona and Mars react to that from afar.

Vito: Whatís wrong?
Aerona: A lot of smoke is rising. Marlene means business.
Vito: Do you think theyíre okay?
Aerona: I donít know.
Vito: Letís finish up here then and check on them. *Music Stops*
Aerona: Right.
Nagema: YouÖ
Vito: Itís over.
Nagema: These friends of yours are more important to you than I was?
Vito: You still hold on to the past? You just donít get it. The past is over. My future doesnít have you in it. My future has Aerona, Erosion, Solomon and Mars as friends. These are people who stick by me through good and bad and in turn, I stick with them. You were not one of them, and there is only one thing that awaits you.

Vito slowly walks towards Nagema while drawing his sword. She backs up from him while holding her hand forward. Her eyes are glowing while she is looking terrified.

Nagema: Stop! Fall under my control! I command it! VITO!!

Vito lunges the sword into Nagemaís stomach and then quickly removes it.

Vito: Goodbye.

She falls on her back and looks up. Aerona jumps down and joins Vito.

Nagema: I see. Thatís what I was missing. True friends.

She shuts her eyes and dies there.

Aerona: You did good.
Vito: Thanks. Now, letís go back them up if they need it.
Aerona: Yeah.

Meanwhile, Mars is looking at the smoke.

Jahten: See, what did I tell you?
Mars: Iím not going to worry about them. Once I defeat you, Iíll head over there.
Jahten: If you can. I let my fighting style get sloppy with my zombies, but I wonít make the same mistake again.

He spikes his dark magic aura again and then charges. Mars makes a small chasm in front of him, but Jahten backflips over Mars and then attacks. Mars blocks with his sword, but it gets pushed away. Jahten swings his weapon again and Mars repeats the same strategy with his shield. This time, however, there is more pressure felt against his shield. Mars gets pushed back closer to the hole he just made. Mars throws his great sword, which pushes Jahten back when blocked. Mars charges with his shield and then bashes with it with one hand. Jahten uses both hands to block this shield bash with his weapon. Mars smirks at this and reaches at his side to pull out a short sword with his free hand. This catches Jahten off guard. He just barely moves, but he gets cut at the base of his neck deep. Jahten stumbles back, covering his neck with one hand.

Mars: Almost got him.

He sheaths that sword and picks his great sword back up. He starts building up magic energy.

Jahten: You had another weapon on youÖthatís not like you.
Mars: Iíve been carrying it since after the war. You donít know a damn thing about whatís like me anymore.
Jahten: Shut it! I despise you, Mars! I wonít let you win!

He bursts forth while yelling angrily. His dark aura spikes and channels into his weapon. Mars closes his eyes for a second to concentrate and then slams his sword into the ground. Just before Jahten reaches Mars, a giant rock spike impales his entire torso from the ground. Jahten drops his weapon as the strength starts to leave his body.

Jahten: I guessÖyou win this time. Next time, IíllÖ

He says no more as he also dies.

Mars: That didnít go quite as planned, but I still won. I was hoping to not kill him if I could help it, but he wouldnít back down no matter what. I just know. Iím just glad I didnít have to resort to that yet.

Finally, the smoke has cleared from the battlefield around Marlene. She looks around, but neither of them is anywhere to be seen.

Marlene: They can conceal their presences well, but I know theyíre not dead from that attack. It wasnít strong enough to destroy their bodies, so I know theyíre alive.

After about a minute of waiting, she senses some movement. She looks to her left and down below a building.

Marlene: There.

Just as she thinks that, Erosion is seen behind her with his wakizashi drawn. His leather armor has burned off his torso and he is only left with a green shirt under that has been burned off up till the upper part of the sleeve. Marlene is able to sense it, however, and slashes behind her with one of her knives. It blocks Erosionís attack. Erosion then uses his other hand to launch a beam at her, but she dodges and then engulfs both hands in flame. She is about to ignite Erosion, when she dodges out of the way of a wind blade heading towards her. Erosion also has to dodge this. She kicks Erosion out of mid-air. Just then, Solomon flies straight up with a burst of wind. His armor is off and he has a black shirt on. Marlene unleashes a fire beam at him as he continues flying up. He is able to dodge it and then she unleashes a giant purple fire blast at Solomon. Solomon activates dark magic as well, and surrounds himself with what appears to be purple wind. He is able to descend with it fast enough to avoid the majority of the fire. Some catches his wind and breaks the barrier, making him fall onto one of the rooftops.

Erosion: You alright?
Solomon: Iím fine. But more importantly, I think weíve done it.
Marlene: Did what? Donít tell me you were trying to buy time for the others to back you up? After all that talk?
Solomon: Donít get us wrong; we intend to beat you ourselves. Why donít you just look at the sky? Havenít you noticed a change in something?
Marlene: What?!

She looks up to see that the sky has significantly darkened. *Music*

Marlene: You couldnít have predicted a weather pattern. Then what did youÖah wait! You didnít do anything!
Erosion: Thatís right! YOU did!

It starts to rain.

Marlene: You used my heat to create artificial rain clouds.
Solomon: Now your fire will be less effective! Itís only a matter of time, Chef.
Marlene: This isnít good.

Marlene jumps down and goes to the nearest building she can find.

Marlene: If I canít fight outside as well, then Iíll just wait inside until it stops raining!

She grabs the door, but it is locked. She activates fire on her arm to try to burn the door away, but all of the sudden, there is an explosion that occurs in that vicinity.

When the smoke clears, we see that Solomon and Erosion are behind her. She is now missing the arm that grabbed the door.

Marlene: What did you do to me?!
Solomon: We predicted that you would try and go inside so we rigged that door with a mineral oil that can explode on contact with fire.
Erosion: I prepped it before we left the Iron Kingdom just for you.
Marlene: I see. Then you were prepared to fight in this location too.
Solomon: Of course.
Marlene: I underestimated you boys. You knew all along that you couldnít beat me in a straight fight.
Erosion: Duh.

Solomon and Erosion attack again. She releases a small wave of dark magic at them with her only arm, but they block by encasing themselves in a small layer of dark magic.

Marlene: So thatís how you survived my firestorm.

Marlene notices then that she has been struck by Erosionís debuff beam.
She notices that she has become slower.

Marlene: No!

Erosion and Solomon both charge and stab Marlene in the stomach with their swords and drive her into the building wall. *Music Stops*

Solomon: We will no longer live under your shadow.
Erosion: Thatís right. Together, weíve surpassed you.
Marlene: *Cough* Well done, boys.

She notices that Mars, Vito and Aerona have arrived and stand behind Erosion and Solomon.

Marlene: Itís over then. Weíve lost. Let me give you one piece of information. The dragon, its fire is even more potent than mine. Donít think that you can use the same strategy on it. Thatís why youíre here, right? If you do manage to kill it, be prepared for war.

Marlene lifts her remaining hand and slits her own throat with one of her knives, ending her own life. Solomon and Erosion loose their grip on their weapons and let her fall to the ground.

Aerona: The queen is fully prepared for a war that may follow this. We knew the consequences before deciding this mission.
Mars: So I take it things went well on all sides?
Aerona: It appears that way.
Solomon: Then it seems weíve cleared the last roadblock before we leave civilization.
Aerona: So what was that? Was that a type of oil that explodes from fire?
Erosion: Yeah. We knew she would panic in the rain. She had a fear of rainstorms.
Mars: That makes sense.
Vito: We should get some money for killing traitors.
Erosion: Hell yeah we should.
Mars: Yeah, but for now letís focus on getting out of here.

Some people are peering out from the house that the door exploded from.

Aerona: She was a tax collector. *Thumbs down*
Family: Oohhhh. *Sigh of relief*

They leave the area, and after a little while, the rain stops. We see them standing outside the town, looking at it.

Vito: No towns after this, huh?
Aerona: Nope.
Mars: From here, the journey gets harder.
Erosion: But we can handle it.
Solomon: Letís just hope so.

With that, they turn their backs to the town and walk away.


Their past troubles in the war have been finally resolved. Now it is time to head into the wild, where they will search for the dragon. The hunt is on!
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   December 23rd 2014, 2:28 pm

Chapter 16



The five of them are walking in a high grass area. Itís up to around their knees.

Aerona: I guess they donít bother to maintain this area, since no one lives out here.
Vito: They should cut this shit.
Mars: (half-serious tone) Maybe when we get back, we can do it for them for some extra money.
Aerona: Hey, we killed your dragon, but weíll cut your grass for a discount to make up for it.
Solomon: That wouldnít be a very fair trade.
Erosion: Exactly. Weíd be ripping them off.
Vito: Fuck that, we donít have to pay anything to kill it.
Erosion: Speaking of killing, do you think weíll get a reward for killing traitors?
Aerona: General Strago put out a bounty for each one, so yes. Marlene had the highest of them obviously, so you two will be able to split a good reward.
Mars: We went from high grass to bounties. Think about that for a second.

They all chuckle.

Vito: Thatís how all our conversations go though.
Aerona: True that.

About a minute later, trees begin to come into view.

Solomon: Weíre getting close.

As they get closer, the landscape becomes clearer. In front of them there is nothing but forest. They finally make it to the edge where the grassy terrain ends and the forest terrain begins. Immediately, they all feel something wrong.

Mars: Oh no.
Aerona: I donít believe it.

They all ready their main weapons. Stomping can now be heard as waves of soldiers pour out of the forest and surround the group. *Music*

Vito: They were waiting for us?!

Once everything is said and done, there seem to be around 100 soldiers surrounding them.

Mars: Our odds are not looking good. *Sigh*
Aerona: Mars, are youÖ
Mars: I have no choice. We canít beat this many people.
Aerona: Yeah. Will you be all right?
Mars: Iíve prepared for this moment. I can handle it.
Solomon: What are you guys talking about?
Aerona: Youíll see in a second. We are going to need your wind power to launch the four of us high into the sky. Vito, can you buff him?
Vito: Yeah.
Aerona: Erosion, youíll need to weaken Mars when itís time.
Erosion: What?
Aerona: Just trust me, guys. You donít want to get caught up in this attack.

One soldier finally emerges from the crowd.

Soldier: Weíve been waiting for you. We were told by Ms. Marlene that you would come.
Erosion: Even now she still causes us trouble.
Soldier: We were instructed not to leave any of you alive. Any last words?
Vito: Yeah. Suck my cock!
Soldier: Weíll all take turns doing that once youíre dead. WaitÖthat was wrong.
Solomon: Very wrong. First, if you sucked our dicks when we died, youíd all be doing something illegal. Second, if you all took turns, you might get a disease and spread it. ThirdÖ
Soldier: ENOUGH!

*Music Stops* The soldiers ready their weapons or get ready to shoot out magic.

Aerona: Any second thoughts about this plan?
Mars: No, letís do this.
Aerona: All right. Itís all you. Letís go, Solomon.

With Vitoís hand on Solomonís shoulder, he is able to easily encase the four of them in wind. *Music* He carries them all straight up at a fast pace. At the same time, Mars puts three fingers on his forehead and starts to build up magic in them.

Mars: ÖUnseal.

His forehead glows for a brief second and then the ground around him begins to shake. *Skip to 30 seconds in music* The soldier steps back in surprise.

Soldier: WhatÖwhat is going on?

Meanwhile in the airÖ

Vito: Will you stop being mysterious and just tell us what heís doing?
Aerona: His true power was sealed away by his mother, because he canít control it. Because of that, we canít be anywhere near him when he does this, otherwise weíll be caught up in it.
Vito: Is he really that strong this way?
Aerona: Just watch. His magic is not simply earth. Itís a rare and special kind of earth magic that only occurs in a few. It is calledÖ

The ground keeps shaking and eventually, rocks begin flying upwards. He drops his sword and all of the sudden his aura spikes, becoming fully visible.

Mars: (intense voice) The Wrath of Gaia!
Soldier: Kill him!

Many of the soldiers rush at him, and he puts both hands on the ground. He tenses up his arms and then the ground around him spikes up. Irregular patterns of rock spikes appear and other giant boulders fly everywhere. Soldiers are now scrambling around to avoid all the carnage happening around Mars, but it is in vain. Soldiers are being taken out in droves. After the attack finally subsides, only thirty soldiers are left. The other four land next to Mars. As they do, the high grass that was in the area is now slowly falling to the ground like rain. *Music Stops*

Aerona: Erosion, youíre up.

He debuffs Mars and weakens him. Mars sits down from exhaustion.

Mars: *Pant* IímÖokay.
Vito: That was crazy, Mars.
Solomon: Weíll take it from here.

Vito puts his hands on Erosion and Aerona and buffs them now. He then powers up with dark magic and dark buffs himself.

Vito: Letís go!

Vito dashes out first and slashes through two of them before they can even react. Erosion also blitzes a mage and stabs him in the heart while being surrounded by dark magic. Solomon sends out three dark wind blades that kill each target. Aerona also activates dark magic and twirls his Kwando. He clashes weapons with a soldier and then cleaves his head off and then blitzes a mage and stabs him. The remaining soldier and mages bunch up.

Solomon: Youíre all done for!

Aerona dispels his dark magic and activates a ray of light that blinds the remaining enemies. They then all charge together and start attacking. When the light subsides, the rest of the enemies have fallen. The four of them fist bump each other and then head over to Mars.

Solomon: Great work, Mars. We wouldnít have been able to win this without you.
Mars: *Pant* All in a dayís work.

Aerona starts to heal Mars while the others take a breather.

Aerona: Is it sealed back up properly?
Mars: Yeah.
Aerona: The damage the Wrath of Gaia did to your body wasnít too severe, but if it had continued to let loose any longer, it would have been.
Mars: I know. That was good timing. I was hoping to only have to use this against the dragon.
Aerona: As much as Iíd hate to admit it, weíll need that power again when we fight it. I also have something in mind that Iím working on.
Mars: You do?
Aerona: Yeah.

After the healing is finished, they gather together again.

Solomon: So, are we ready to go into the forest?
Mars: I think we need to camp out here tonight. Who knows what could be in there.
Solomon: Good point. We should recover our strength before going in there.
Aerona: Agreed.
Erosion: So yeah, I guess itís settled.
Vito: Youíre not going to ask me what I want?
Solomon: Majority rules.
Vito: Fuck you guys.
Aerona: All right, have fun in the forest by yourself.
Vito: Not cool, man.

That night, they set up camp where the grass has been cleared.

Aerona: Well, in the end we really did help them cut the grass.
Solomon: But we wonít be paid for it.
Erosion: Technically, Mars helped them cut the grass.
Solomon: Shut up, Erosion.
Vito: I miss Blaze.
Mars: That was random.
Aerona: It couldnít be helped. Itís too dangerous here for him.
Solomon: Iím sure heís okay waiting at the ship for us.

The next morning, they have their things packed and are ready to go into the forest.

Solomon: So, are we ready to go now?
Erosion: I think so.
Vito: Hold up.
Other four: What?
Vito: I gotta fix my hair.
Aerona: Your hair is fine.
Vito: No, itís not.

He looks at Aeronaís armor to see his reflection, but the armor is too dirty this time.

Vito: You should clean your armor, man.
Aerona: Is this really the time?
Vito: You should take care of yourself and your armor. You put on dirty armor? Thatís disgusting.
Aerona: Itís not like itís dirty on the inside.
Solomon: Can we seriously go?

Eventually, they walk into the forest. Aerona suddenly trips and face plants into the ground. Where he fell, there is a giant set of footprints that lead the way they are walking.

Aerona: Thatís not good.
Vito: Donít tell me weíre going to have to fight a troll this soon.
Aerona: Letís just hope itís only one, and not many trolls hiding their numbers.
Mars: They shouldnít be that smart, but we should keep that possibility in mind anyway.

Aerona stands up and brushes himself off a little. They continue walking with some extra caution. The forest gets thicker as they keep going. The light is starting to get scarce.

Erosion: Aerona, can you get us some light?
Aerona: Sure.

He puts up his hand, but nothing happens.

Aerona: What?
Mars: Whatís wrong?
Aerona: I canít use my mana. I can feel it there, but it wonít flow.

The rest of them try to do the same with their element, but nothing happens to them either.

Mars: Is there an anti-magic field out?
Solomon: Itís possible.
Erosion: This isnít good.
Vito: This is bullshit. We just got here and weíre already running into this type of trouble.
Aerona: In any case, weíd better be ready for a fight. Most anti-magic fields donít stretch that far.
Solomon: So in other words, the caster is close.

They each draw their main weapons.

Vito: Erosion, whatís our plan?
Erosion: We should move in pentagon formation. This forest is clearly more dangerous than we thought. Iíll be on point. I have good reaction timing and the best vision in this type of terrain. Aerona and Mars have the best sensing ability, so they will be in the back. Solomon and Vito have the best support abilities, so they will take the sides, where they can easily support either side.
Aerona: Solid.

They go into a pentagon form (here is a pentagon for reference). They are each facing the direction they are in. So, for instance, since Vito is on the right side in the middle row, he is facing outwards to the right and walks sideways. Aerona and Mars are walking backwards. They are all close enough to each other where their shoulders slightly touch.

Erosion: Am I going at a good speed?
Mars: Thatís good. Everyone okay?
Vito: Iím good.
Aerona: Yeah.
Solomon: Fine.
Mars: Wait.
Aerona: Somethingís here.

They stop. From the back, we see a vampire emerge from behind a tree. Aerona tries channeling a bit of light in his fist, but canít.

Aerona: Weíre still in the anti-magic field.
Mars: Is that a vampire?
Aerona: Yeah.

The other three turn to that direction. They ready their weapons and shields (if applicable).

Aerona: Theyíre strong; be careful.

The vampire charges with impressive speed at them. Mars steps up first and blocks with his great shield. The vampireís incoming punch stops in front of the shield, but Mars can feel some pressure.

Mars: Itís like a war hammer is attacking me.

Erosion flips over Mars and slashes with his wakizashi. The vampire dodges backwards in what seems to be a quick after-image. Vito is the next to attack with his katana. The vampire is also able to avoid this narrowly. Just as he dodges, we see Aerona and Solomon on opposite sides of him, attacking with their weapons. Aerona swipes low and Solomon slashes high. The vampires ducks and receives a large cut on his right leg to avoid a blow to the neck.

Aerona: Heís durable.

He then steps on the Kwando and then kicks at Aerona. He blocks with his shield, but gets pushed back to the point of him stumbling. He then goes after Solomon when Vito and Erosion stab him from opposite sides in the torso. They remove their blades in synch and Mars decapitates him with his sword.

Solomon: That was a lot of work for just one vampire.

They all react to something.

Aerona: Donít relax just yet.

As the picture zooms out, we see many more vampires from all directions walking towards them.


A desperate situation has arrived! Can they possibly win this fight without their magic?!
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   January 12th 2015, 5:14 pm

Chapter 17


Our heroes are completely surrounded by vampires from all sides. *Music*

Vito: What the fuck?!
Mars: ThisÖcould be bad.
Solomon: Thereís no way we can win this fight.
Aerona: We have to break through somewhere.
Erosion: I canít see any good openings.
Aerona: We have to make a decision and quick!
Mars: Lets go to the right then!

They all ready their weapons and move together to their right and charge at the small wave of vampires there. Just before they reach them, a vampire comes from behind and grabs Solomon. They all turn around to see what happens when another comes in and starts attacking Mars. He puts up his shield to stop his barrage of swipes. Mars can feel the pressure of each swipe. Aerona quickly attacks that vampire while Vito attacks the one that now has Solomon in a choke hold. He slices the vampireís arm off and Solomon drops to his feet. He takes his scimitar and stabs the vampire in the face.

Solomon: Take that, asshole!

Meanwhile Aerona stabs the other vampire in the side. But just as he does that, another one barrels into him, pushing him back. As he slides back, another vampire grabs Aerona from behind and slams his face through a nearby tree, which destroys a large portion of it. The tree tips over and barely misses everyone. Erosion rushes to help Aerona, but two vampires barricade his way and land a punch each to him. One to his face and one to his stomach. He coughs up blood and gets sent crashing to the ground. At the same time, Vito and Mars are trying to defend against attacks from vampires from all sides. They are unsuccessful, however, and the vampire work together to force Marsí shield into him, making him stumble back. Another one jumps from behind and swipes at the back of his head, which causes a fair amount of blood to spew out. Mars falls to the ground. Vito quickly gets overwhelmed as well and receives multiple punches to the stomach and then gets choke slammed into the ground. Solomon attacks the vampire who did this, but then gets tackled from behind by two more. *Music Stops*

Around this time, Aerona had been unconscious, but wakes up shortly after. He can see multiple vampires getting ready cut him open. One vampire tries to drill into his stomach with his hand, but the armor stops it, though it does hurt Aerona due to the pressure.

Aerona: This is badÖwithout my armor I would have been dead. !

At that moment, he realized something. He had subconsciously been trying to channel his light magic since he realized they were in an anti-magic field. At that moment, he could use it. He yells out and lets out a large wave of light, which destroys around five or six vampires around him. He forces himself up and tries to do more, but canít. We can see that his face is almost completely covered with blood.

Aerona: What was that? Was I out of his range for that instant? In either case, he must be close enough to have seen that bit of light. He immediately moved back into range.

The other four saw the light as well and began to force themselves up as well. They quickly decapitate the vampires that were on Solomon. They regroup themselves as the vampires surround them once again.

Aerona: I got lucky for once. I must have been outside that field for a second.
Erosion: I have a plan.
Vito: You do?
Erosion: Seeing what happened gave me an idea. We need to get into the trees and as high as possible.
Aerona: I see. Good idea.
Vito: Your face, Aerona.
Aerona: Just a scratch. Weíll deal with it later.

They quickly move to a few bunched up trees and begin climbing them as vampires chase them. They start climbing higher and higher when a few of them work together to smash the base of Erosionís tree.

Erosion: Perfect.

He quickly jumps to the next tree as it begins to fall. As he lands on that tree, he has a spasm of pain in his rib cage area.

Erosion: Donít tell me itís broken.

He forces himself to keep climbing up higher, as do the rest of them. They are now reaching the top.

Solomon: Letís cut some of these leaves at the top. Theyíll give us more light!

They use their weapons with one hand to cut some of the leaves and a hoard of vampires smash many of the trees in the vicinity. As they jump to other trees, finally some light shines through to the ground. The vampires slowly disperse and leave the area for fear of being exposed to sunlight. But this would not have normally spooked them if it hadnít been for the short wave of light that was allowed by Aerona being able to cast for that second. That second of luck had saved their lives for now. The five of them are sitting on the treetops, resting. Both Vito and Erosion are holding their rib cage area in extreme pain.

Mars: They didnít have armor on, so they probably got hurt very badly.
Aerona: If I could only use my magic, I could heal you all. Since my magic is inside of me still, my accelerated healing will work. I just have to stop this blood.

They all stop their bleeding and have bandaged themselves up. Aeronaís face is pretty much entirely covered. Being shoved into a tree caused many large splinters to open up many different points of blood flow.

Solomon: Letís just hope you two donít have internal bleeding.
Vito: Yeah.
Erosion: If we had been even a second later, we would have been dead.
Mars: No kidding.

The dialogue quickly turns to whispering.

Aerona: In any case, we need to stay up here for the day and try to keep quiet.
Vito: If the caster of the anti-magic field canít hear or see us, he wonít know where to keep the field.
Aerona: Exactly.
Solomon: Letís hope it works.
Mars: It should work.

Later that night, they all seem a little more relaxed. Visibility is limited, but there is at least a half-moon out, so there is a little bit of illumination on the treetops. They are still whispering.

Aerona: How are your ribs?
Vito: Still hurts like a bitch.
Erosion: Yeah, same.
Aerona: I think my injuries are okay now.

He takes off the bandages and his injuries have relegated to only scratches on his face.

Vito: Should have kept the bandages on. You looked better then.
Mars: Ouch.

Just then, a palm-sized tornado appears in Solomonís hand.

Solomon: My magic is back.

They all check, and their mana has returned.

Aerona: Get close, I donít want to reveal too much light.

They get pretty close and he heals them all in a small barrier of light.

Solomon: Vito, Erosion, does that feel better?
Erosion: Much better.
Vito: Yes, theyíre sore, but not broken anymore.
Solomon: Then we should get moving. We can avoid more things under the cover of night.
Mars: Iím not sure that will help much. If things live in this forest, they must be used to the dark all the time.
Aerona: Still, we canít stay here.
Erosion: We should try to find a cave to lie low for a little while. We can move in pentagonal formation again.

They climb down and then walk in the pentagonal formation again. Aerona is supplying a dim light in order to see where they are walking. The darkness around them otherwise is nearly pitch black.

Vito: Maybe this was a bad idea. We canít see anything down here without light. And that could attract some monsters.
Mars: Well, we have no choice now.

Just then, the light shows some rock.

Erosion: I think weíre in luck. Shine just a little more light this way.

Aerona turns around and does, and Erosion feels around.

Erosion: Just as I thought. Itís a cave.
Mars: Thatís reassuring.

They maneuver their way into the cave and Aerona expands his light a little more intensely. It is a small cave with two goblins inside. They spot the group, but Erosion and Vito are quick to kill them.

Mars: Okay, time to get some sleep. Iíll take first watch.

The rest of them fall asleep quickly. They get about an hour of sleep when Mars wakes them.

Mars: Guys! Wake up!

They wake up.

Mars: We have trouble.
Vito: (groggy) What is it?
Mars: I can hear a lot of footsteps coming our way.
Vito: Shit!

Aerona goes to shine light, but he canít again.

Aerona: Oh noÖ
Solomon: The anti-magic field is back up!

We can now see the situation, even though it is basically pitch black to the group. The five of them are searching for their weapons. Luckily, they are still in their armor if applicable.

Aerona: Solomon, I have your scimitar.
Erosion: This is yours, Vito.
Vito: Hereís the Kwando.
Solomon: Your Wakizashi.
Aerona: Wrong guy. Erosion is to your left.
Vito: Thatís the scimitar! I need my katana, man!

Finally, they are able to get the correct weapons to the correct person. They stand up and stand shoulder to shoulder. Mars also follows suit.

Aerona: How the FUCK did he find us?
Solomon: He must have some kind of tracking ability and it didnít work while we were up in the trees.
Mars: Never mind that now, we have to fight whatever is coming our way.

The creatures enter the cave. They are more goblins. There are around ten of them.

Erosion: Their footsteps are light.
Mars: Probably more goblins. I bet they could smell the dead goblins we killed earlier.
Vito: Itís not like we could have left them alive.
Aerona: It couldnít be helped.
Solomon: Letís just kill these guys and get out of here.

They stop talking and begin listening intently. The footsteps become closer and closer. Once they are right in front, they hear the last footstep and all attack at the same. They lunge their weapons forward and kill a few goblins. The next wave of them runs at the five of them and they rinse and repeat the same strategy until all ten of them are dead.

Vito: Letís get the hell out of here.

They leave the cave and one of them yawns. The others quickly follow.

Erosion: Iím exhausted.
Solomon: We all are.
Aerona: Compared to this, Iíll bet fighting the traitors was a party.
Mars: Yeah. This forest is no joke, and we just got here.

They keep walking in the pentagonal formation until morning hits. The forest visibility is much better than the day before, with their eyes being exposed to virtually nothing all night. They are sitting down right now and their faces are all showing extreme exhaustion.

Vito: How much food do we have left?
Solomon: Enough for the next two days.
Mars: At least we have that going for us for now.
Aerona: Weíve also collected some data on this anti-magic field. Weíve proven that it definitely moves and we can strongly suggest that itís targeting us.
Erosion: He either hides very well, or has some amazing tracking ability and magic range.
Solomon: Taking him out has to be our number one priority right now. The only problem is that weíre screwed right now. We canít split up, because we need to stick together to survive in these conditions. But we also canít stay together without all losing our magic. Iím sure the caster is going to be much more careful now that he let the field slip a few times.
Aerona: If weíre screwed either way, I say we take the risk and split up.
Vito: This is a tough decision.
Erosion: I think I have an idea.


Times are tough for our heroes. After witnessing some of the terrors of this new forest, they have decided that their first priority is to take out the anti-magic caster. But what exactly is Erosionís plan? Find out next time on A Tale of Iron!!
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   January 27th 2015, 1:11 am

Chapter 18


We get a clear shot of the forest, where no life is seen around. Everything is quiet up until we hear the light pitter-patter of animals. When the screen pans over, two wolves are seen. Just then, we hear a very very light footstep and then a man is seen walking up next to these wolves. He is wearing a tattered mage robe, which seems to be very old. He has a very messy medium length brown hair. At his side, he has a sheathed sword of some kind.

Man: (Quietly) Anything?

The wolves motion their heads after sniffing a few times.

Man: They must have stopped again. They should still be within the field.

This man starts to move very carefully forward. Even though there are leaves and twigs on the ground everywhere, the noise his footsteps make is minimal. He gets to a rock and peers over it to see the groupís traveling bags and other items, including Aeronaís armor, piled together on the ground.

Man: What?

When the man turns to his wolves, he notices that they cannot sniff in one particular direction for long.

Man: The scents are dispersing? Did they abandon their equipment to throw off my trail? I must have made it too obvious that I was tracking them. But even still, with the little information they were given, they deduced so much. They clearly have experience.

Just then, an arrow comes down and goes straight for the man. He is able to hear it and dodges out of the way. At that time, Solomon appears from above them and slices downwards with his scimitar. The wolf in the way dodges and Solomon lands on his feet.

Solomon: Looks like I found you.
Man: Who are you?
Solomon: Donít play dumb. All of your moves just now were very deliberate. You were surprised just now when you saw our items. Normally, it wouldnít surprise anyone if someone loses their equipment in a place like this.
Man: Perceptive, arenít you? Attack him. Iíll draw out the other person waiting.
Solomon: Are you sure I wasnít the one with the arrow?

The dogs attack Solomon, but one of them gets shot by an arrow. Solomon easily cuts through the other.

Man: It would have been a waste to put up a front any longer. That was a smart move. But now what? You still canít use your magic.
Solomon: Donít underestimate Iron fighters.
Man: I wonít.

The man draws his sword to show an estoc.

Solomon: Now thatís not a weapon you would normally see out of a Red mage.
Man: Thatís because I am not a normal Red mage.

Solomon quickly goes after him and starts slashing. The man keeps his distance and blocks all the slashes from afar with the tip of his blade. He then quickly lunges at Solomon, which he narrowly dodges.

Solomon: Damn. My reaction timing is slower than normal.

The man starts rapidly thrusting his estoc at Solomonís head. Solomon is having trouble dodging, and eventually blocks with his scimitar. He takes this opportunity to dash in while sliding his blade along the manís and then slashing at him. The man evades with elegant footwork and spins behind Solomon. He strikes again, but Solomon is quick enough to turn around and block the blade. Just then, the man has a moment of extreme surprise and jumps to the side while gasping. He notices that Aerona was behind him ready to impale him from behind. Aerona has his light outfit on and spins his Kwando around.

Aerona: You have some fantastic senses there. For you to dodge both my arrow and my sneak attack, you clearly have some skill in tracking and being tracked.
Man: I was wondering when you would come out.
Aerona: Solomon, let me deal with him. If you were at normal condition, you would be able to take care of him. But heís outranging you with that estoc of his. He has Iron training.
Solomon: Alright. Iíll take your position then. No doubt there will be creatures coming soon from the noise.
Aerona: Yeah.
Man: Youíre not going to double team me? Why?
Aerona: Look; if we really wanted you dead this second, you would be.
Man: Interesting.

Solomon stands from afar, watching and keeping an eye on his surroundings.

Aerona: Mind telling us your name? Your skills are formidable.
Man: My name has long since been lost. Iíve been raised here with the animals.
Aerona: Thatís clearly not true. It matters not then if you wonít be honest with me.
Man: So then, Mr. Honest. Do you want to tell me why you havenít killed me yet?
Aerona: Everything is data. Youíll understand as this fight progresses.

Aerona twirls his weapon a few more times and then performs a large area sweep with it. The man blocks with his weapon, but gets pushed back. He steps forward and lunges with his weapon, but he is not close to making it to Aerona. He retaliates by lunging with his weapon, and the man jumps back.

Aerona: Whatís the matter? Youíre not used to being outranged like this? No, thatís not quite right. Youíre used to spears I bet, but not a weapon this powerful or someone who knows how to use pole weapons correctly.
Solomon: Youíre talking an awful lot.
Aerona: Yeah, this guy has got me worked up. Thanks to this bastard weíve been in a lot of trouble.

Meanwhile, we see Mars, Vito and Erosion walking together with their hands held up to their chests.

Vito: Anything yet?
Mars: Nope.
Erosion: This has gotta work.

The time rewinds just a few minutes ago, just before Solomon attacks. We can see the left equipment and then the camera zooms out to more of an overhead view to see the five of them hiding in the trees. They are spread out in pentagonal form around the equipment, separated by about twenty feet each. After Erosion notices Solomon, he starts moving in the opposite direction. Vito and Mars start following him and they go down to the ground. The time goes back to the present, where finally Erosionís hand starts secreting some poison.

Erosion: My magic is back. Mars, go for it.
Mars: Right.

Mars slams his sword into the ground and makes a dust pillar that shoots straight through the trees. Solomon and Aerona see the pillar.

Aerona: I see. So thatís your fieldís range.
Man: Damn you. So thatís what you meant by data.
Solomon: Donít worry; weíre not quite done with you.
Man: I get it. You donít trust that Iím the only anti-magic field user.
Aerona: Precisely.

The man interrupts the talking to attack again. He gets in close quickly, but Aerona dodges a thrust and makes another sweep. The man dunks under it and then gets in close. He slashes horizontally at Aerona, but Aerona blocks with the hilt with one hand and then punches him in the face with the other. The man stumbles back for a second and then is forced to jump back again when Aerona spins around with his weapon three times.

Aerona: An estoc is a very versatile weapon. Honestly more suited to all-purpose combat than something like a katana or curved blade. But you are not very well versed in very close quarters.
Man: Shit. Huh?
Aerona: Solomon.
Solomon: I know.

Some goblins are headed Solomonís way.

Solomon: Donít worry about them. Iíll deal with them.
Aerona: Good.

They clash weapons and then the man gets close to Aerona and narrowly stabs him. Aerona is able to sidestep in time and back off.

Man: Whatís the matter? Your movements have slowed down already.
Aerona: Yeah. I took off my armor in order to increase my movement speed as well as help throw off the scent of a potential dog. And that saved my life just now. My stamina is not wonderful after everything weíve encountered and my reaction time is severely hampered thanks to exhaustion. But this fight is still mine to win.

Aerona spins his weapon and holds a defensive stance. Meanwhile, the goblins have reached Solomon and we see Solomon cutting through them, though considerably slower than he is used to moving.

Solomon: If I only had a good nightís sleepÖ

One slips by Solomon and heads to the man. He quickly turns and stabs it through with the estoc, only to see Aerona rushing towards him. Aerona thrusts at him, and he narrowly blocks with his estoc and diverts the weapon away from him. We can see shock and distress in his face. Aerona immediately holds up one hand and light appears. He flashes it straight into the manís face, blinding him temporarily. He stumbles back.

Aerona: Just as we thought. Nice one, Solomon. That gave me just the opening I needed. You canít keep up your field if your emotions arenít in check. Just for that instant I was able to use my magic on you. I canít use it now, which means you have some good mental strength there.
Man: Damn you.
Solomon: Finish him off already so we can use our magic again.
Aerona: Alright.

Solomon continues to fend off the goblins. At the same time, there are many creatures surrounding Vito, Erosion and Mars. There are goblins, wights and some vampires.

Erosion: That dust column attracted a lot of attention.
Mars: Yeah, oh well. We had to give them the data.
Vito: Letís kill these bitches and go to sleep!

Vito takes his katana and runs his hand over the swordís flat side. It starts glowing blue.

Mars: Oh? Is that something new?
Vito: Something Iíve been working on for a while. Take this!

Vito slashes horizontally with his sword and the arc that he swings leaves an energy beam slash trail that moves forward, cutting through many creatures. His sword is now back to normal.

Vito: How was that?
Erosion: Nice!

This action angers many of the creatures and they close in on the three of them.

Mars: Stay close.

Mars slams his sword onto the ground to create a chasm in front of him to trap many of them.

Erosion: My turn.

Erosion starts shooting his debuff beams at them at a rapid pace, slowing a hoard of them down within seconds. Vito repeats the same process to cut down these slower creatures.

Vito: There are so many of them!
Mars: Our stamina might not last till this is over.

Meanwhile, the anti-magic field man has regained his eyesight and blocks and incoming downwards chop from the Kwando. Aerona puts pressure on him, and he slides his estoc to the left and gets out of this pushing. Aeronaís halberd sticks into the ground and he seems even more exhausted. The man goes in and does a horizontal slash with his estoc. Aerona abandons his weapon and ducks under the slice. He closes in and uppercuts the man. As he stumbles back, Aerona pulls out an arrow and jams it into the manís neck. He jumps back and pulls his weapon again. He charges and rams the Kwando into the manís torso and lifts him straight up and then slams him into the ground while simultaneously sticking the tip into the ground. Aerona starts breathing heavy.

Man: I have failedÖ

He dies quickly. Aerona takes a few seconds to breath and then pulls out his bow to start taking down goblins alongside Solomon. Together, they quickly clear out the remaining goblins. They both start breathing heavy again.

Solomon: We did it. That was tough.
Aerona: Yeah. That guy took advantage of the fact that we havenít slept in forever and that weíve been fighting constantly.
Solomon: My reaction timing is so much worse right now. I donít think either of us could have won by ourselves. Erosionís plan worked though. Letís go help them out.
Aerona: Right.

Around this time, Mars has made an island type of structure in order to separate them from all the creatures. Theyíre all breathing very heavy, being pretty much out of stamina. We can see that they killed countless of the creatures.

Vito: Where the fuck are they?
Mars: Taking their sweet old time, thatís where.
Erosion: We canít rely on them. We need a plan.

Just as Erosion says that, the three of them are encased in a wind barrier and are lifted from the ground. They are carried away from the battle. At the same time, a giant orb of light is sent flying towards the rest of the creatures. It explodes upon contact with the ground and the area is filled with light. When the light clears, all the remaining creatures have been destroyed. Mars, Erosion and Vito land right next to Aerona and Solomon, who are on their knees right now.

Erosion: See? What did I tell you? I had faith in them the whole time.
Solomon: We both just barely had enough mana to get you guys out of there.
Vito: Is the anti-magic bitch dead?
Aerona: Yeah.
Erosion: And the data?
Solomon: We have everything we need to deal with another one if we have to.
Mars: Good.

They head back to their equipment and all collapse there.


With some solid planning, they were able to get rid of the anti-magic fighter. Finally, our heroes can sleep in peace. But the end of their troubles is not quite in sight, as they have only just begun the trek through this forest.
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   January 27th 2015, 10:20 pm

Chapter 19




Erosion is the first to wake of the five. He wakes up in pitch black, noting that it they have basically slept most of the day. Once again, we can see what is happening even though it is pitch to him. He starts rotating his right arm and then left. He cracks his neck and sits in an upright position.

Erosion: I feel a lot better. We all just really needed a good sleep.

Solomon is the second to wake up, followed by Mars. Aerona is the next. They all wake up within ten to fifteen minutes of each other. They are currently whispering.

Solomon: My mana is fully replenished. How about you guys?
Mars: Yeah.
Erosion: Yep.
Aerona: Affirmative.
Mars: We just fell asleep here without really thinking about it.
Solomon: I think we got rid of all the creatures that were close.
Aerona: And I think the smell of blood masked ours. Itís everywhere.
Erosion: Lucky us.
Mars: *Gasp* We ACTUALLY got lucky?
Aerona: This whole quest has been filled with unfortunate moments with some very fortunate moments in between.
Erosion: True that.
Aerona: Mars, Erosion. Did either of you or Vito get hurt earlier?
Mars: No. We were untouched.
Aerona: Okay.
Solomon: I guess weíd better make some coffee.

Vito wakes up.

Vito: Did someone say coffee?
Solomon: Yes. It will be ready soon. I just need some light.

Aerona produces a small circle of light that encases the five of them. He has his palms held together.

Vito: Ah! My eyes!
Solomon: Just close your eyes then. I need this light to make the coffee.
Vito: For coffee, I can take it.

They are able to set up an apparatus to filter hot water through finely ground coffee beans. Once the fire has been started, Aerona retracts his light. The small fire illuminates enough of the area since there is no other light source around. They take their coffee and start drinking it.

Solomon: So, whatís our plan for today?
Aerona: We have what seems to be a safe zone for now, so we can take it easy for a day if we need to.
Mars: I donít mind resting for a while here. Our mana is back, but weíre probably still not 100% physically.
Vito: Yeah, we need to relax.
Erosion: Iím with them.
Solomon: Okay. Iím with that plan too.

After they finish their coffee and chat for a little while, they stand up in that same illuminated area.

Aerona: So, you finished your new technique?
Vito: Yeah, I used it in battle yesterday. You missed it.
Aerona: I know; Iím bummed about it.
Solomon: Show us now.

Vito does so and slices upwards to cut some of the bush at the top of the forest.

Aerona: Awesome.
Solomon: Thatís very useful in battle for you. Before you were just a close ranged fighter, but now you have a mid-ranged attack.
Vito: This is what I always wanted to do with this magic. Itís a lot harder to do than my usual.
Aerona: Iím also working on something too, but itís with dark magic. Iím gonna go work on it now.

Aerona steps out of the light and sits down, and then we can no longer see him.

Solomon: Erosion, I guess that means we need to work on new things too.
Erosion: Well, I guess we can improve mixing dark with our element.
Solomon: True.
Mars: I think Iíll join you.
Vito: Same.

They do this till dawn hits. After dawn breaks, they stop and sit around the fire.

Vito: I donít know about you, but I can see a lot better in this forest than when we first got here.
Mars: Our eyes have slowly gotten used to constantly being in this amount of light.
Solomon: So, about foodÖ
Aerona: Iíll go see if there is any plant life around that we can eat. My magic is most suited to killing any vampires if they show up.
Solomon: Okay. In the meantime, I will cook some of what we have for breakfast.

Aerona is able to find an assortment of berries, mushrooms and nuts. They use that to eat lunch and then for dinner, Solomon cooks up some salt-preserved venison that had been caught before they had entered forest with the leftover mushrooms. About an hour after dinner, they have all their armor on and have readied themselves for travel.

Mars: Okay, so are we ready to go?
All: Yeah.
Solomon: Then letís get moving.

They start walking.

Mars: Night will hit in roughly three to four hours. Will we keep up the move at night strategy?
Aerona: I would advise against it.
Solomon: So far, weíve had nothing but trouble moving that way.
Vito: Are we close to a lake? Because we smell like an assholeís nutsack.
Erosion: That was random.
Aerona: Speaking of, how are our water levels? Mine is okay for the next few days.

They all check and indicate that they all have just enough for the next few days as well.

Mars: Nothing like a lake was shown on the map.
Vito: Shit.
Solomon: Guys. I think thereís an opening here in the forest.
Aerona: Youíre right. Letís go.

They push through some bushes and into an open area. They are immediately hit by sunlight and they cover their eyes. Finally, as theyíre able to adjust, we see that this area is a large circular shaped open area. There arenít any trees in this circumference. In the middle, there is a small black dungeon surrounded by a moat of water. They are a good 200 meters away from this dungeon. They notice that there is a man standing about halfway between them and the dungeon. He is wearing a black mage robe with the hood on. He turns to the group and starts walking towards them.

Aerona: A black cloak. Thatís not good.
Vito: With the five of us together, we can take him.

Once he reaches speaking distance, we get a good look of his face. He has long black hair that covers one eye. He looks to be in his late 20s.

Mage: So you were able to make it this far after all.
Solomon: How did you know about us?
Mage: I have been all over this land in the last week since I heard that Red soldiers have been getting killed.
Aerona: And you were able to beat us here, while doing so?
Mage: While this place is mostly uncharted territory now, those of us who are my rank or higher know of safe routes through the forest. You see, man built this dungeon years ago. But as the dark force began to grow on this kingdom, more and stronger monsters surfaced. They drove away our people. For years, this part of the kingdom was uninhabited by humans. But as of recent, weíve been able to take back some territory.
Mars: So thatís why the dragon is here in this part of the continent.
Mage: Precisely.
Vito: You seem pretty confident talking to us. If you know about your people being killed, you know that weíve taken out other people of the same rank.
Mage: Of course. That is exactly whyÖI have been all over the kingdom!

He reveals his other eye to show that it is glowing purple. He is encased with dark aura and the ground around him starts to change.

Mars: This isÖ!

A body begins to form from the ground up. When the body has been completed, they look at it in shock. The person summoned by this mage is none other than Seijuro. Seijuroís eyes are blackened, however.

Seijuro: Hamas, did youÖ?
Hamas: Welcome back from the dead, Seijuro.
Seijuro: Thatís right. I was done in byÖah.

He notices the five of them.

Seijuro: We meet again.
Aerona: Of all the people to summon!
Mars: Youíre a necromancer, just like Jahten.
Hamas: You knew Jahten then? I taught him his magic, but he never fully grasped the concept.
Solomon: I swear, if he summons Akari nextÖ

Seijuro immediately starts powering up.

Seijuro: Iím going to attack now, okay?
Hamas: Go ahead.

Seijuro is now behind Aerona. *Music* He chops with his hand, but this time Aerona turns around and grabs his wrist. Seijuro is surprised. We flashback to Seijuro doing the exactly same thing the first time, and Aerona barely blocking and getting pushed away.

Seijuro: What?

Aeronaís hand starts glowing with light and it starts flowing into Seijuro.

Seijuro: Heís flowing his light magic into me to stop me from getting any momentum with my dark magic!
Aerona: Donít think weíre the same as before, Seijuro!

Vito rushes over and decapitates Seijuro. Just after, his head reforms, surprising all of them. Seijuro kicks Aerona away. *Music Stop*

Seijuro: Not bad.
Aerona: When we fought before, we were rusty from only peacetime training. Since then, not only have we regained our skills, but also weíve even improved.
Hamas: Like I said, donít put my casting on the same level as Jahten. There were many levels of necromancy that he could not master.
Vito: So the key is to go after you then.
Erosion: Weíll have to split our strength again into three and two.

Seijuro starts powering up again. Aerona immediately powers up with a short burst of dark magic and attacks with his Kwando. Seijuro sidesteps, unable to keep powering up.

Seijuro: So youíve learned dark magic as well? Impressive.
Aerona: Thereís no time. Iíll take him on. Someone back me up.

Erosion jumps into the fight with Aerona. This leaves Vito, Mars and Solomon to face Hamas. They draw their weapons and immediately charge at him.

Hamas: So be it.

He also begins powering up with dark magic until Vito reaches him. Hamas dodges a diagonal slash. Once Mars and Solomon reach Hamas as well, Hamas releases a dark shockwave that knocks all three back. Hamas is now teeming with dark aura. He has a maniacal smile.

Hamas: Come then! Iíll take you three on!


To be continuedÖ
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   February 13th 2015, 1:47 pm

Chapter 20


Hamas is now teeming with dark aura. *Music* He has a maniacal smile.

Hamas: Come then! Iíll take you three on!

Solomon and Mars are the first to go on the offensive in tandem. Mars swings his sword, which Hamas jumps back to avoid. At the same time, Solomon throws his scimitar like a shuriken to pursue Hamas as he goes backwards from his jump. Hamas blocks the scimitar by shooting a small dark wave from his hand. At that moment, Hamas notices Vito behind him. Vito slashes at his back, which grazes his cloak, but misses him, as he is barely able to avoid any damage. Hamas prepares a large amount of dark energy in his right hand and Vito reacts immediately. Vito starts to slash at him multiple times to prevent him from building up too much dark energy. Hamas dodges each slash, but catches the sword with the energy-filled hand on the last attack. The same second, the ground below both of them is broken up. Both of them stumble back and Hamas lets go of the katana. Solomon is now hovering just slightly above the ground and charges in. He slashes with his scimitar, but Hamas is able to get his footing to sidestep it. A slash mark appears on his face, however, and his hood falls off. Hamas is surprised and then sees that Solomonís range had been extended with wind. Hamas jumps back to gain distance.

Hamas: Damn. That got me. But it looks like you didnít cause as much damage as you intended.
Solomon: Well, you dodged more than I thought you could from that stance.
Hamas: But still, I donít think I will be able to defeat you three alone.
Vito: Too bad for you.

Vito charges in and slashes again. Meanwhile, Aerona and Erosion are taking turns attacking Seijuro once after another with their weapons. Seijuro jumps over a waist-high sweep from the Kwando and then ducks under a high slash from Erosion. Just as he does, he looks at Erosionís free hand and then spins around him and grabs that hand.

Seijuro: I wonít fall for that trick again.

Aerona puts one hand forward to Seijuro and Erosion closes his eyes. A bright flash hits Seijuro in the face and he is temporarily blinded. Erosion takes the opportunity to slash Seijuro in the neck, but the cut is not deep enough to kill him. Since he is not a human body anymore, there is no blood flowing out. Seijuro kicks Erosion away just before he regains his sight back. The second he does, he sees the Kwando a few inches away from his face. He is able to dodge just enough for only the tip of his nose to shave off.

Seijuro: Youíre all about tricks, arenít you?
Aerona: I know you died and all, but I thought of scenarios of how I could beat you. Of course, Iím still not enough to win by myself.
Erosion: Aerona, we have to kill him at least once.
Aerona: Right. If we can do it at least once, we might be able to show Hamasí weakness to the other three.

We switch back to the other fight. All three of them are about to stab Hamas with their weapons from different angles. Hamas summons a wave of dark energy to push them back. *Music Stops Temporarily*

Mars: You canít keep us out with that move forever.
Hamas: True. I already admitted that I would not be able to defeat you three by myself.
Vito: Then what are you going to do?
Hamas: Iím not going to fight by myself.

His other eye glows again and more bodies begin forming from the ground around him. They try to stop it, but the whole area starts becoming a strong dark aura barrier. They smack their weapons against it, but they canít break it. Consequently, they all get blown back. When the barrier subsides, they see six mages.

Mars: His cryptic way of speakingÖreminds me of someone else we know.

The three of them look back at the other fight at the same time and look at Aerona. They look back at Hamas and the six mages.

Mage 1: Whatís going on? And why are we facing these punks again?
Vito: Weíve fought these ones before too?
Solomon: They must be the ones from that forest back when we first entered the Red Kingdom.
Hamas: Yes. Well, not all of them.
Solomon: At least he didnít pick up that anti-magic field user.
Mars: Yes, that would not have been fun.
Hamas: Enough talk. Mages, attack them.
Mage 1: Yes sir.

*Music Resumes* The first to attack is a water mage. He shoots a blast of water at Vito, who dodges to the side. Next is the wind mage. He creates a gust of wind and a fire mage unleashes a large blast of fire, which gets amplified by the wind. Mars creates an earth wall to block it and the three of them hide behind it. All of the sudden, the earth wall breaks and a boulder is sent flying at them. They all dodge to the side; Vito to the left and the other two to the right. Vito then notices that Hamas is behind him and gets a hard punch to the back while Hamas is encased by dark aura. Vito stumbles forward and turns around without too much damage to him.

Hamas: You put up some dark aura at the last second to minimize your damage. Not bad. That could have killed you otherwise.

Just then, Vito senses another blast of water coming his way from behind and dodges out of the way. He stays concentrated on attacking Hamas and slashes at him with his katana. Hamas dodges out of the way, and Vito dodges another water blast. At that point, another mage appears next to him and puts up two fingers. Lightning starts to form in those two fingers and he thrusts them forward. Vito dodges out of the way as a bolt of lightning goes past him. But as Vito dodges, Hamas attacks again and shoots a dark blast of energy at him. He gets pushed back far and the blast explodes, kicking up a lot of dust.

Meanwhile, Solomon and Mars are doing their best to defend against four mages. Solomon throws out a gust of wind to push them back, but the wind mage matches his. The fire mage then takes advantage of this situation and goes to use another blast of fire. Mars slams his sword to the ground to create disruption under the fire mageís feet. He subsides his attack. And then the two of them attack with their weapons. Just then, a green barrier appears over the two mages that Mars and Solomon attack with their weapons. Their weapons bounce off. We can see that it was performed by the fourth mage.

Mars: What a troublesome ability. We must have taken him out before he could use it back then.

At the same time, Seijuro is throwing palm strikes rapidly at both Aerona and Erosion. They are both encased in dark aura and are barely dodging each strike. Finally, Aerona counterattacks by lunging with his weapon. Seijuro concentrates his entire active dark aura into his hands at that moment and catches the blade of the weapon. He squeezes his hands together with the blade in the middle and shatters the blade completely. Aerona becomes angry with this and uses his shattered weapon as a staff to smack Seijuro in the face. This does a little more damage than anticipated, since Seijuro was not blocking with any aura. This knockback allows Erosion to stab Seijuro in the stomach. He keeps the blade in his stomach and then rips upwards to cut his head off, while disabling his body simultaneously.

Aerona: Nice!

Seijuro reforms and they both jump back. Aerona holds his weapon in the middle now and spins it around like a staff.

Aerona: But still, I wonít forgive you for breaking my weapon like that.
Seijuro: Iíll defeat you two quickly now and go join Hamas.

Switching back to Vito, he has gotten up and is injured pretty badly from the explosion. He buffs his sword as another water blast comes his way. He dodges out of the way and then a lightning bolt follows. He has no choice but to block with his katana and gets shocked. Hamas appears in front of him now to attack again. Vito fights through the pain and slashes with his sword. Hamas avoids the blade, but gets caught by the beam trail that follows. He gets pushed back a few feet and a slash mark appears through his cloak and on his chest. Hamas jumps back far and then all the mages retreat and stand in front of him. Vito takes this opportunity to rejoin Mars and Solomon. *Music Stops*

Mars: Nice hit. Now heís fighting defensively.
Vito: Thatís what we want.
Solomon: Definitely. I donít know how much longer we could have kept up an offensive attack from all of them.
Mars: I think I figured out Hamasí weakness. Did he start to slow down at all, Vito?
Vito: A little.
Mars: Good. Letís make sure we kill as many of those mages as many times as we can.
Solomon: I see. That makes sense. We also have to hope that they can kill Seijuro once more.

Back to the other fight, Seijuro powers up instantly and attacks Aerona first. He knocks away the staff and then goes for a punch. Erosion attacks with his wakizashi, but Seijuro backs off and dodges. He then focuses his attention on Erosion and rapidly attacks. Erosion dodges each but is forced to block the last one. He stumbles back, when Seijuro senses Aerona behind him. He takes a short step forward, but is surprised when he is stabbed from behind by a blade. When we get a closer look, Aerona has an estoc in his hand.

Seijuro: You had another weapon this whole time?
Aerona: Heh.

Erosion decapitates Seijuro while he is stunned. Aerona dismembers him again before he reforms again.

Erosion: Where did you get that sword?
Aerona: This was the anti-magic field userís estoc. I hid it behind my shield just in case. Looks like it came in handy after all.

Seijuro reforms and Aerona draws his shield.

Aerona: Itís been a while since Iíve used one of these. This will be fun.

Meanwhile, the other three have finished discussing strategy.

Vito: Has the speed boost worn off for you two?
Mars: Yeah.
Solomon: Yep.
Vito: Okay. Iíll boost you again.

He puts his hands on their shoulders and buffs them. *Music*

Vito: All right. Letís do this!
Solomon and Mars: Yeah!

The three of them rush forward. Vito and Solomon attack with their weapons first and the two mages they try to attack get covered by a barrier. Mars then attacks a third mage and bisects him in one swing.

Solomon: He can only protect two at once! Just like we thought.

The lightning mage shoots a bolt of lightning at Vito, but he anticipates the shot beforehand and avoids it. He attacks, and gets blocked by the barrier. Mars attacks the one with the barrier magic and gets blocked. Solomon attacks the water mage, and gets blocked. Vito then attacks the lightning mage again to slice him. The mages continue to reform as the three of them continue striking down the mages before they can mount any kind of offense. Eventually, Hamas starts to breath heavy.

Mars: Itís time!

Vito jumps back and crouches down into a racing position. He starts to activate dark magic and combines it with his normal buffing magic. Solomon takes the left three mages and blows them aside with a strong gust of wind. Mars takes the right three and causes a ripple in the ground to trip them backwards. With the road clear between Vito and Hamas, Vito dashes as fast as possible.

Hamas: No! I canít dodge in time! I used up too much mana!

Vito makes it to Hamas and stabs him clean through the heart. *Music Stops* Hamas gasps for air and Vito drives him straight into the ground.

Solomon: Your weakness was your stamina. Even though it must have been great to be able to summon all these people, it had to be taxing. Especially since they reform thanks to your mana source.

Hamas dies and the mages crumble away. Meanwhile, Aerona and Erosion are breathing heavy while faced off against Seijuro. His hand starts to crumble away.

Seijuro: So Hamas was defeated then.
Erosion: They did it.
Seijuro: I didnít notice it the first timeÖbut you guys really are special.

Seijuro fades completely and the two of them take a big sigh of relief. They rejoin the other three.

Solomon: Nice work, you two. How many times did you kill Seijuro?
Aerona: Twice.
Mars: Being able to reform Seijuro must have taken an enormous amount of mana.
Erosion: We figured as much. We did our best to take him out as many times as possible to drain Hamasí stamina quickly.
Vito: Aerona, what happened to your Kwando?
Aerona: He broke it in the fight.
Solomon: Are you going to use the estoc for the rest of the quest?
Aerona: Iíd rather not. Swords are not my forte. If there are any spare weapons in the castle, Iíll smith something together.
Solomon: To the castle then.


Hamas has been defeated. Like every major battle so far, it hasnít been easy due to his necromancy and strong dark magic prowess. But the group presses on to slay the dragon.
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   February 15th 2015, 11:00 pm

Chapter 21


Many hours have passed. With Marsí assistance, Aerona is able to craft his new weapon inside the dungeon. This time, he has made a halberd except the side is made from a battle-axe head so it is much wider.

Aerona: Ah, this turned out great. Itís a little heavier than the Kwando, but it should have more power as well.
Mars: Definitely. While weíre here, we may as well do general maintenance on everyoneís equipment.
Aerona: Right.

They do so and then they stand outside the dungeon.

Vito: The new weapon looks great.
Solomon: Yeah.
Aerona: For what we had to work with, it did turn out pretty good.
Erosion: So are we ready to keep moving?

They nod their heads ďyesĒ. They have all been healed since the fight with Hamas and Seijuro. They have also eaten in those hours between.

Solomon: Weíre starting to run out of food. Hopefully we can find some more soon.
Erosion: Itís a shame we didnít find any food in the dungeon. Only weapons.
Mars: We at least got some decent water from that moat.

They head back into the forest, but on the opposite side from where they came. They continue in that direction for nearly ten minutes when they stop.

Vito: Hold on. Do you hear that?
Aerona: Yeah.

They walk slowly in the same direction till they find another opening. They peer through to see a small group of people at a river. This river is about a half-kilometer wide and stretches quite far. The group is perpendicular to the river, meaning that this landmass is directly across from another landmass a half-kilometer away. They are fishing with wooden sticks.

Mars: (Whispering) Well, look at that. More water after all.
Aerona: (Whispering) Wait a minute. Is thatÖ?

One of them stands sideways for a second to speak to one of the others. We recognize him as Daniel of the Red Sun. He is wearing the same type of armor as back in the past.

Aerona: (Whispering intensely) Itís him.
Vito: (Whispering) What are you going to do?
Aerona: Iím going to take him out, of course.
Solomon: Alright. Weíll kill the rest of them.
Erosion: Leave it to us.
Daniel: Whoís there?!

Vito, Mars and Aerona look at Solomon and Erosion.

Erosion: SorryÖ
Solomon: Letís attack then!

The four run out of the forest and start attacking the other people minus Daniel. Without their weapons on hand, they get cut down quickly. Daniel tries to attack Erosion with his claymore, but Aerona comes running out and blocks the attack with his halberd. They struggle against each other when Aerona activates dark magic and pushes him straight back. This makes Daniel falls straight into the river. The others laugh at him as they step back and give the two of them space. Daniel stands up, furious.

Daniel: YOU! I remember you!
Aerona: Good. And of course I remember you. You gave me a scar on my back. Iím going to return the favor tenfold.
Daniel: If it werenít for you, Iíd have killed the queen and become rich beyond comprehension. I will cut you down here!

They point their weapons at each other and Daniel walks back onto dry land. They now stand parallel to the river.

Solomon: Looks like Aerona got his own rival battle on this quest. We all got to have our own with the traitors.
Vito: Though mine wasnít so much of a battleÖ
Daniel: I wonít forgive you for killing my men. Does this mean they got Hamas too?
Aerona: You donít need to. Even if you defeat me, theyíll kill you on the spot.

Aerona twirls his halberd and Daniel slashes twice with his sword and then they both charge at each other. They clash weapons and then struggle against each other again. They slide their weapons off each other and a loud clang is heard. Daniel slashes with the claymore, but Aerona blocks. *Music* Aerona takes a step back and then lunges with the tip of the halberd. Daniel sidesteps and charges in. Aerona keeps his distance, just staying out of the range of the claymore. He continues to lunge at him while staying out of range. Daniel avoids each but then the spear end pierces his armor on the side, cutting his hip a little. Daniel gets flustered and then charges in with all his speed and strength. He slashes downwards at Aerona, but he spins around Daniel and then hacks at the back of Danielís neck. Daniel is able to duck under it, but Aerona follows up by kicking at an arc that kicks the side of his head. Daniel falls over due to the pain but turns it into a side roll to get up on his feet quickly. He haphazardly swings his sword in Aeronaís direction while standing up, but he is not in range.

Vito: Heís controlling fight in the weaponry department.
Mars: Well, we knew this would happen. There arenít many who can beat us in this type of combat.
Daniel: Youíre clearly not just a foot soldier anymore, are you? No, thatís not quite accurate. You five were the only survivors that day. You were never simple soldiers.
Aerona: Thatís right. I am the personal guard to the queen now. That is why I donít allow myself to lose in a battle of weaponry.
Daniel: We didnít think we could beat you at your own game. But we have other methods of beating Iron soldiers.

Daniel activates a large amount of dark magic. *Music Switches*

Solomon: It seems dark magic is a prerequisite to being a top soldier in the Red Kingdom.
Erosion: I guess we fit in then.

Daniel charges with more speed than before. Aerona dodges an incoming slash and then is forced to block the next one. He activates just a small burst of dark magic when he blocks the slash with his halberd.

Daniel: So that power that pushed me back the first time was indeed dark magic.

Aerona blocks a series of attacks from Daniel now. He does the same thing with each block. This is to keep his stability and balance while blocking slashes with an enormous amount of force behind it. He is able to dodge the last slash and then sends a wave of light at Daniel. It disperses his dark aura. Aerona then activates dark magic and attacks with his halberd. Daniel starts getting pushed back until he is able to activate dark magic himself. They keep struggling against each when Aerona deactivates his and steps to the side. Daniel stumbles forward and Aerona hacks at his back. Daniel steps forward to avoid major damage, but receives a cut on the back of his armor and his skin. They face off again.

Aerona: This is tough. It seems he is able to consistently fight with that aura surrounding him. I want to conserve my mana, but if he has massive stamina, Iíd be better off ending things quickly. Letís wait this out just another minute.
Mars: Daniel is now starting to control the fight.
Vito: How so?
Mars: He clearly has a large pool of mana to draw from, so he can use it more liberally. Thatís not good for Aerona.
Vito: I see. That makes sense. But Iím not convinced.
Solomon: Why not?
Vito: Motherfucker, just watch the fight.

Daniel spikes his aura and charges in. Aerona keeps his distance and lunges again, but Daniel easily sidesteps and makes it into close range. Aerona blocks an incoming slash with the same strategy, but gets pushed back much farther. His guard is about to break completely when Daniel slashes again. Aerona yells out and spikes his aura for a second in order to escape the slash. He appears behind Daniel and does a large sweeping slash. Daniel is able to avoid it. *Music Stops*

Daniel: Looks like you can only maintain it for short periods of time. Either that or you have low a low mana pool.
Aerona: I have no problem telling you that itís the latter. You obviously have an enormous amount to pull from.
Daniel: Thatís right. You might be better than me with weapons, but you canít beat me in a battle of magic.
Aerona: Weíll see.
Daniel: Your light magic can only do so much if I spike my aura to counteract it.
Aerona: Light wonít do the trick here, I agree. Thatís why I have something new. *Music*

Aerona sticks his halberd into the ground next to him and puts his fists to his side.

Aerona: I canít mix my dark magic with my light, so Iím at a disadvantage. But I worked out a way to make up for it.

A large amount of dark aura swirls around Aerona. It keeps increasing until it starts to touch Aerona and cloak him in a shroud of darkness. After seconds of this, the darkness disperses and Aeronaís appearance has changed. His armor has transformed (still without the helm). His eyes are now glowing purple.

Daniel: So what, you just changed the way your armor looks with dark magic? How does that help?

Aerona picks up the halberd again and it immediately becomes surrounded in dark aura.

Aerona: Why donít you find out for yourself?
Solomon: Is this what you meant, Vito?
Vito: Werenít you paying attention when he said he was working on something new a while ago?
Solomon: I see. You were looking to see how he was gauging the fight. *Music Stops*

Daniel spikes his aura, but all of the sudden, Aerona is behind him. Daniel becomes shocked at this new speed. He turns around and they clash weapons again. Surprisingly, now Daniel gets pushed back. Aerona takes advantage of this and hacks at Danielís chest plate. He puts a serious cut into the armor and cuts him badly across the stomach.

Daniel: How did you become this much stronger?!
Aerona: The weakness of dark magic is that once you start gathering too much, it comes on its own and is too difficult to control. Therefore, everyone subconsciously limits the amount of dark magic usage after a while of using it.
Erosion: Oh, I get it. He gathered a large, fixed rate of dark energy and then bonded it to his armor so that he wouldnít lose any of it, and he wouldnít need to worry about drawing more at that point.
Aerona: With this armor, it has basically become a part of my body, so it feels like nothing. On top of that, it gives me the offensive power that dark magic normally gives me.
Daniel: I underestimated him. I have to use all my dark magic in one go to overpower this technique.

Daniel spikes his aura to the maximum and concentrates it on the sword. He slashes horizontally and a huge trail of dark magic follows the arc of the slash. It destroys many trees in its path. But Aerona is standing behind him again. Daniel turns around, sweating.

Aerona: That was a bad move. You forgot that I could move much faster than you can slash. And now youíre defenseless.

Aerona hacks one more time and shatters Danielís armor in the front. A large slash mark appears across his chest as he stumbles back. Aerona twirls his halberd and then chops Danielís head off.

Aerona: Granted, I still canít move as fast as Vito at his best, but it was good enough for you.

He puts his arm out to the side and light starts on his hand and then gradually makes its way up his arm, dispelling the dark armor as it passes. Eventually, the armor has completely dispelled and he is back in his original armor. His eyes revert back.

Mars: So thatís what you were working on.
Aerona: Yeah. It took a lot of practice and a lot of experience with dark magic to get it just right. Thatís what Iíve been practicing ever since I learned it.
Solomon: That technique really worked well. Does it have any weaknesses?
Aerona: Besides using a lot of mana, it doesnít enhance my defense much. Itís definitely meant for if I want to end a fight quickly.
Vito: Iím hungry.
Erosion: That was random.
Vito: Yeah, but Iím looking at these fishÖ

We can see that Danielís men caught many fish on the wooden sticks. Theyíre skewered and stuck in the ground.

Vito: Is that salmon? I fucking love salmon.
Aerona: If thatís really salmon, then this must be fresh water.
Solomon: Awesome.

Thanks to the efforts of Danielís comrades, the group eats a plentiful dinner by cooking up the fish right there on the shore. The sun is now setting. Once they have filled up their water supply completely, they take a bath in the river.

Vito: It feels wrong knowing weíre drinking the same water I put my johnson in.
Solomon: Thatís why we got our water BEFORE taking the bath.
Mars: Well, so much for that map.
Solomon: They must not have been able to properly chart this area. Itís full of strong as shit creatures.
Aerona: In any case, we can stay here tonight while we work on a raft to get across.
Erosion: Agreed.

After they have finished bathing, the sunset is now purple and orange. Mars and Solomon are carrying some of the trees that Daniel had slashed over to the campsite.

Vito: Look at that sunset.
Aerona: Yeah.
Solomon: This might be the last one we see. Weíre definitely getting close to the dragon.

The sun sets completely and night falls.

Aerona: This area seems to be secure, so I think we can all sleep tonight.
Mars: Yes, I imagine that Hamas and the rest of them were able to clear the area of any monsters. He did say that they started to reclaim territory.
Vito: Let me see the map real quick.

They lay out the map and Aerona shines light on it.

Mars: Weíre about here from the looks of it.

He points to a place thatís close to the ocean on the south-eastern part of the Red Kingdom.

Mars: I bet this river leads to the ocean if we follow the current.
Aerona: Though thereís not much of one here, which will help us get across.
Mars: We should definitely be very close right now. I doubt the dragon will be at the very edge. It would be too risky if there were an assault from that side.
Solomon: True. That means that we may very well see this dragon tomorrow.
Aerona: Weíd better get as much rest as possible tonight. Because tomorrowÖshit gets serious.


Is the long-awaited battle against the dragon on the horizon?!
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   February 16th 2015, 9:56 pm

Chapter 22


Morning hits and we see the group putting the finishing touches on three rafts. After they finish, they separate to the three rafts. Solomon and Erosion are at the left raft, Mars is at the middle raft and Vito and Aerona are on the right raft.

Solomon: Why do I have to be with this idiot?
Erosion: Yeah. Why do I have to be with him?
Aerona: Because plot.
Solomon: What? That makes no sense.

Aerona ignores him and starts to push his raft closer to the water. They all follow suit and they push it out onto the water. They get on the rafts, and the two double-person rafts are being balanced out with proper positioning between the people, the equipment, etc. They each have one makeshift oar to push their rafts forward. Luckily for them, the current is not strong enough to influence their horizontal direction much. But it is just enough that they are rowing at just a slight angle to offset the change.

Vito: Hang on, did you check to see if the water was too deep to cross on foot?
Aerona: I did. That would have been too easy though. It goes down too far to walk, and we canít just swim with all our equipment.
Vito: It really can never be easy for us.

Meanwhile, they can see that Erosion and Solomon are arguing over something, though they are too far away to hear what about. They make it to about the mid-point of the river when they hear some loud splashing.

Aerona: ÖAnd it starts.
Vito: What starts?
Aerona: Our obligatory trouble for each area.
Vito: Fuck.
Erosion: Solomon, did you see anything?
Solomon: No, but I sure did hear it.
Mars: You guys heard that, right?
Others: Yeah.

All five stand up slowly and gently put down their oars for the moment. They draw their main weapons. About ten intense seconds go by with no sound whatsoever. Finally, something jumps out of the water towards Vito. It is a snake of some sort. Vito reacts and cuts it in half.

Vito: (Accent) Oh! The fuck was that?
Aerona: (Accent) Ey! Nice reaction, there.
Vito: Thank youíse.
Mars: A snake? If the water is too deep to walk across, how did itÖ?
Vito: Look at this. This snake had gills. Was it also a fish?
Aerona: What the fuck?
Mars: Solomon, Erosion. He said it has gills.

Mars understood that he had to be the line of communication between the groups of two on either side of him.

Solomon: Weíre not dealing with ordinary creatures then.

Just then, a giant fish jumps out of the water towards Solomon and Erosion. It is larger than the raft. With no time to think, Solomon blasts them out of the way by moving the water with wind. This saves them from being swallowed hole.

Erosion: Nice save.

The fish goes past where Solomon and Erosion were and the trajectory shows that it will just barely miss Marsí raft. Mars takes this opportunity to land a strike to its head, splitting it open from the head to the upper part of the mouth. By the right raft, two snakes that appear to be slightly less than human width jump up from either side.

Aerona: Duck, Vito!

He does and Aerona performs a spin move with his halberd that cuts both of them.

Aerona: Those snakes were huge.

Just as he says that, a giant snake that is wider than the raft pops its head out. Both of them are shocked at the size of it. It appears to be an anaconda.

Vito: You were saying?!
Aerona: This shit isnít fair!

Meanwhile, Mars is dealing with human-sized piranhas jumping up from all directions. He takes out his shield in order to deal with them all. Mars is slowly turning while he fends them off. On his left, he shield bashes any back into the water. On his right, he slashes constantly to keep cutting them. After about thirty seconds of this, he finally cuts through the last one.

Mars: All of the sudden these giant creatures are attacking. Whatís up with that?

Around this time, mermaids have surrounded Solomon and Erosion. There are four of them, leaning their arms on four sides of the raft.

Solomon: This is bad, Erosion. What do we do?
Erosion: I donít know. We canít kill them.

They all are making innocent looks at Solomon and Erosion.

Both: Theyíre just too cute.

Back by Aerona and Vito, the anaconda gets ready to lunge at them.

Aerona: Ready?
Vito: Yeah, letís do this.

Aerona drops the halberd temporarily and puts both of his hands on his shield. Vito buffs his sword at the same time. The snake opens its mouth wide and starts lunging. Vito slashes vertically to create a vertical beam. It hits the top and bottom of its mouth and it then closes it its mouth on reflex to not allow the beam in its mouth. Vito then switches positions and goes back to back with Aerona in a supporting position. Aerona plants his feet and activates dark aura around his feet and the shield. The anacondaís mouth strikes the shield, but it doesnít move the two of them much. Vitoís support, plus slowing down the snake from the beam made it possible for Aerona to block by concentrating dark magic where necessary.

Vito then springs out of the position with his sword already buffed again. Aerona drops his shield and kicks up his halberd. They jump up onto the snakeís neck and slash down from both sides. With a few slashes each, they are able to sever the neck from the body. When they get back to the raft, they high five.

Mars: Nice.

Eventually, they have made it to the more shallow water on the other side. There are no more monstrous creatures attacking, but the mermaids are still on the left raft. They all move to one side and try to tip the raft over, but Solomon and Erosion grab their things and jump back, off the raft. They land in knee-deep water and run onto the shore as quick as possible.

Erosion: That was close.
Solomon: It sucks that we find ourselves saying that a lot, but yes, it was.

Aerona and Vito are the next to make it to shore. Mars is about to make it to the shore as well, but one more giant fish jumps out from the deep water. Mars calmly bisects the fish with a horizontal slash.

Vito: Dayum!

Mars makes it onto shore and they drop their stuff, laughing it off.

Solomon: I guess thatís why there were so many fish in shallow water. They got pushed aside by all the monsters in the middle.
Mars: Makes sense. By the way, this big fish I just cutÖit looks edible. Wanna eat it?
Vito: Hell yeah weíre gonna eat it!

They cook up the fish and have another big meal. We can now get a good view of the landscape. They are on a beach with no forest in sight. As far as they can see, itís sand followed by what looks to be a mossy type of grass.

Solomon: But still, those mermaids were sexy.
Erosion: Itís a shame we couldnít do anything with them.
Mars: They probably would have eaten your faces before anything.
Aerona: Mermaids are vicious little shits.
Solomon: I know that, but did you see the size of their boobs? They were awesome. I mean, we couldnít really have sex with them, but we could have at least brought one out here to cop a feel. Forget that, we could have copped as many feels as we wanted.
Vito: You and Erosion can cop as many feels from each other as you want.
Solomon: No, we wouldnít want to do that. You and Aerona can do that.
Aerona: Yeah, no.
Mars: Anyway, did anyone get hurt?

No one speaks up.

Mars: Good.
Aerona: The river was like a warning. Anything that is able to cross this is only getting a taste of what is to come.

After they eat, they stand up and continue on. They reach the mossy-like grass.

Vito: This is weird grass.
Solomon: Itís almost like there might have been a forest here.
Aerona: And something destroyed it, right?

As they continue on, the terrain starts to change to more of a rocky terrain. They quickly notice that the level of the terrain seems to be slightly going up. Eventually, there appears to be a giant chasm on either side of them.

Erosion: I canít even see the bottom. Thatís ridiculous.
Mars: I guess this means we have to just keep going straight.

They continue on the path until they come up to a giant cave.

Aerona: Let me go check it out.

He walks just inside the entrance and activates his light magic. Nothing comes out, however. This surprises him.

Aerona: Donít fucking tell me!

He back steps outside an inch outside the cave and his light works. He shuts it off immediately.

Vito: What is it?
Aerona: Anti-magicÖ
Other Four: FUCK!
Vito: Do you suppose we can get over this cave?
Solomon: Itís worth a shot.

Solomon lifts them up to the top with a barrier of wind. When they get to the top, they are all surprised by what they see. There is an innumerable amount of griffins sitting atop the cave. When they spot the five of them, they focus their attention on them.

Aerona: I can feel their bloodlust from here. We canít go this way.

They descend back to the ground.

Solomon: We canít beat that many of those things.
Mars: If Iím not mistaken, those were griffins. We would be torn to shreds.
Aerona: But what are they guarding up there?
Mars: It could be anything they consider a treasure or possession.
Aerona: No choice then.

Aerona activates an enormous amount of light magic and shines it directly into the cave. It dies down quickly.

Aerona: Thatís as best as I can do from here. Do we have any torches?
Erosion: I have something like that. Itís a good thing I prepared for another anti-magic situation.

They light a makeshift torch made from wood and an old cloth. They head into the cave.

Mars: From the initial burst of light, it looked like the cave was really deep. I hope it has another side to it. If not, weíll just create one. Weíll just have to be careful so that the cave doesnít collapse on us.
Vito: With our luck, it wonít need our help to do something like that.

They head deeper into the cave.


To be continuedÖ
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   February 21st 2015, 10:20 pm

Chapter 23


As they go deeper into the cave, Erosion holds the torch. This is because of the five of them, his weapon is the least affected by holding with one hand besides Solomonís scimitar. However, Solomon has his spiked shield at the ready, so both of his hands are occupied. Aerona and Mars also have their shields handy.

Aerona: Try saying something, Solomon and Erosion.

They both say ďSomethingĒ with their usual booming voice, and a very hollow echo is heard.

Mars: Itís a deep cave then.

As they go further, the caveís roof raises a little bit, becoming more of a mine than a small cave. Some noises are heard from afar.

Mars: Obligatory trouble for the area?
Aerona: Obligatory trouble for the area.
Vito: What is it this time?
Mars: Iíd imagine just goblinsÖunlessÖ

They all sense something coming their way. Mars steps out in front and blocks a few arrows with his shield.

Erosion: What was that?
Mars: Arrows. Are there humans in here? Or just intelligent goblins?

They change formation. The three shield users step into the front, crouched down with their shields outward. Erosion and Vito stand behind them, with Erosion doing his best to keep the torch in a place where theyíll be decently illuminated.

Solomon: Letís move up slowly.

They move forward in sync slowly until another arrow comes their way. It bounces off Aeronaís shield and they keep pressing on. All of the sudden, they hear multiple war cries from all around the cave. This screaming is clearly not human, as it pierces their ears from the obscure pitch.

Vito: Shut the fuck up!

Some figures come into the torchlight to reveal goblins with rusty daggers. They attack violently, but Vito stabs one from behind the shield protection. Solomon bashes one with his spiked shield, which impales it at the same time as repelling. Mars and Aerona trap one and slam their shields together to completely crush it. After just a few more kills, the cave becomes silent again.

Aerona: That couldnít have been all of them.

Just as he says that, the floor vibrates. The vibrations then turn to larger rumbles, as if an earthquake was occurring.

Mars: Oh greatÖthey haveÖ

As the figure becomes clearer and clearer, the cause of this rumble is a 15-foot tall cave troll.

Mars: A cave trollÖ
Aerona: Someone knew weíd have to fight a troll, so they set up that anti-magic field.
Vito: Here it comes!

The troll brings its fist down and they jump out of the way. The fist smashes part of the ground. Erosion jumps on its arm and starts running up it, but the troll grabs him with his other hand.

Erosion: Heís fast for his size!

It throws Erosion like a ragdoll to the side. Just before he hits a wall, Vito jumps up and catches him. The torch has fallen on the ground, however.

Erosion: Thanks for the save.
Vito: Sure.

Vito picks up the torch and finds that there is another torch against the wall. He lights that one as well, which increases the light there.

Solomon: Thereís one over here as well!

Vito tosses the torch across the room and Solomon catches it. He lights the one on the other side. The room is now bright enough that everyone can see. The troll is drawn to the light by Solomonís end of the room and punches at him. This punch is faster than the previous one and catches Solomon off guard. He is able to avoid just enough of the fist that the contact does not do much damage to him. Just then, the troll receives an arrow to the neck. The arrow only barely pierces its skin and consequently drops after a second.

Aerona: Thatís one thick hide.

The troll turns its attention to Aerona and claps at him. Aerona jumps up into the air, but his legs get caught in the clap. The damage done is minimal, thanks to the armor. Meanwhile, Mars is behind the troll and stabs its right leg. It howls in pain and kicks him away, forcing the sword out of his hand. Mars hits the wall. He gets up as fast as he can and they all retreat to the lower roof part of the cave. The troll tries to chase, but stops to where he canít fit.

Solomon: We need a plan.
Mars: Do we just speed run this area?
Vito: Then weíd have to fight it on the way back.
Erosion: This will take all of us, but I think I have an idea.
Aerona: We should aim for his neck. If we can sever something vital in that area, we can take it down.
Erosion: Yes. I agree. You and Mars have the strongest weapons, so youíll have to do the brunt of the damage.
Aerona: My halberd will work, but I think if someoneís going to be the bait guy, it should be me.
Erosion: In that caseÖ

After discussing a plan, they get ready to attack. Aerona starts off by firing off arrows at the troll from in the short part of the cave. The troll quickly realizes that it needs to back away and does so. As he does, the five of them go out into the open part of the cave. Aerona keeps firing arrows to draw the troll his way. As this happens, Mars goes to one leg and Solomon and Vito go to the other. They start hacking away at the ankle, which makes it start to stumble. Because of this distraction, Aerona is able to stick an arrow into its left eye.

Erosionís Voice: Perfect!

The troll starts swinging at Aerona, but he dodges each narrowly until he gets slammed by a sideswipe and gets sent into the wall. He hits his head and blacks out temporarily. The troll goes to attack him again, but the slashing team makes enough progress in cutting its legs that it drops to its knees. When that happens, Solomon throws his scimitar over the trollís head. Above the head, by the ceiling, we see Erosion dropping down. He catches the scimitar and then twirls around in the air downwards as he descends. When he reaches the back of the neck of the troll, he slashes hard with the scimitar and his wakizashi at the same time, leaving a large slash mark at its neck. It falls down onto its stomach. Erosion tosses Solomon his scimitar and the four of them give one final slash to the back of the neck, finishing it off.

Erosion: We did it.
Solomon: Because he was blinded in his left eye, he didnít see you climbing a pile of rocks on that side getting ready to leap above his head.
Mars: The plan went smoothly.

Aerona wakes up about a minute later.

Aerona: Did we win?
Vito: Hell yeah we did!
Aerona: Good.

They catch their breath and move on, with three torches now. Not long after, they start to see light at the end. This light illuminates a surprise for them. There are two more cave trolls lying face down, dead.

Mars: There were two more of them?
Solomon: Look at that.

Solomon points to their backs. There is a giant three-pronged claw mark on each, stretching down their entire backs. When they step closer, they notice that their heads have been completely crushed.

Aerona: I donít like this foreshadowing.

They exit the cave and notice that their magic is back.

Solomon: Iím not so sure there was an actual user in there. Maybe it was a spell cast on the cave itself.
Aerona: I think thatís exactly it. The parameters were very exact.

They look in front of them to see some more woods, with a small path straight ahead.

Vito: I guess thatís where we go next.
Aerona: First, let me heal you guys.

He does with some light magic.

Vito: How about you?
Aerona: My head still hurts.
Solomon: We can rest here for a little and have some food. We have a little leftover fish.

Solomon cooks the remaining fish and they are able to eat a little bit each.

Erosion: Vito, you mentioned the trip back not long ago. I think that is something to think about now.
Vito: Thatís true.
Mars: I donít think we can properly plan for a trip back.
Aerona: I agree. There are too many uncertainties right now.
Solomon: Regardless, we can have some contingency plans.
Erosion: Assuming weíre low on mana after the battle, this cave will prove to be a good hiding spot, donít you think?
Aerona: It could. I like the idea of going up against high class mages without magic, but what if they control the cave initially?
Mars: We should hide immediately if we can beat the dragon. We can slowly regain mana while they look for us. That is if we do have people pursuing us.
Vito: Itís guaranteed. We have caused a lot of trouble here. Theyíre sure to be sending some very powerful people our way.

Meanwhile, at the castle where the group fought Hamas, there are people now standing by his corpse. We recognize one of them as Hunter. There are three more black-robed mages with hoods on and then one with a navy blue robe on. He looks to be in his late 20s. He has short, spiky red hair with a small piercing between his lower lip and his chin.

Hunter: They got Hamas too. Damn them. (To the blue robe) Captain Sentus, how do we proceed?
Sentus: Their intentions are clear. We go after them now. They are going to the dragon.

Sentus walks away like he is going to travel.

Hunter: Sir? Did you forget to say your orders out loud again?
Sentus: (Shocked) Seriously?! Again?!
Hunter: *Sigh* Iím guessing weíre going to where the dragon is.
Sentus: Yes. Letís go.

Back at the group, they have finished their snack. They have packed up and then start walking along the path.

Mars: This doesnít seem to be a very long path. I can see an opening not far from here.
Aerona: Do you guys sense that?

They notice something.

Vito: Weíre being watched.
Solomon: It doesnít feel human. But if theyíre creatures, then why havenít they attacked yet? This doesnít make sense.
Aerona: Just be on your guard.

They walk through the path and make it through to the other side of the woods. They get a good look at the landscape, but something is obstructing them from seeing off into the distance. It takes a second to process, but when they all realize what is obstructing them, the emotions become jumbled and dogmatic, ranging from relief to fear. A long thin line of crimson red scales stretch 20 feet going into a much larger mass of scales is in view. And then it turns, showing us the fierce golden jewels of eyes. Its wings spread, reaching nearly 50 feet in width combined. When the eyes meet the eyes of the group, sweat pours down from each of their faces. The air begins to grow heavier by the second, or so it seemed to them. The group experienced a feeling that they had never felt, even in war. True fear. Then it finally set in. They had found their target and their missionís true purpose was right in front of them. The dragon has made it its appearance!


The long-awaited battle is here!
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PostSubject: Re: A Tale of Iron   April 4th 2015, 12:12 am

Chapter 24


*Music* The group cannot utter a word at the moment. All is silent. Even the ďmythicalĒ creature makes no sound. Itís as though time has stopped. Knowing something has to change, Solomon speaks out.

Solomon: It really does exist.

Solomon said what was on everyoneís mind. Though they all prepared for this possibilityÖno. They knew that the dragon existed all along. However, in the recesses of their mind, there was always that lingering doubt. That doubt disappeared as quickly as their words. Despite this, someone willing to speak up allowed more conversation for the time being.

Erosion: WhatÖcan we do against this?

They could not feel the extent of its power; they just understood that it was out of their league. At this moment, Aerona reaches for his weapon. His hand shakes while doing so, but he manages to bring it out front. The rest follow suit.

Mars: Letís do this.

Though these words were commonplace, they triggered something within the five of them. Their trembling has stopped. The look in each of their eyes intensifies. It was the effect similar to that of cornering an animal. Their survival instincts have kicked in. *Music Switches* The dragon turns its body around completely, facing them, as if it can sense their bloodlust. Suddenly, its mouth starts to glow from the inside.

Vito: Fire!

They immediately scatter in all directions. The dragon breathes a massive amount of fire straight ahead. It misses the five of them, but sets a large portion of the woods behind on fire. Vito is the first to attack by slashing at one of its front feet. His katana without any magic simply bounces off. When Solomon and Erosion observe this, they understand that they are in the same boat. Aerona is next and he puts a small portion of dark magic on his halberdís axe head. He hacks as hard as he can at the tail. It does pierce, but does minimal to no damage. The halberd also gets stuck in the tail. It whips around and carries Aerona like a ragdoll, before he lets go of the halberd and is able to somersault from the landing back to his feet.

Aerona: Shit.
Mars: Itís my turn then.

Mars also goes after the tail and slashes with the great sword. The cut is also minimal, but is able to free the halberd. Mars tosses it back to Aerona.

Aerona: Nice save.

The dragon uses its front claw next to swipe at Vito. Vito is barely able to jump out of the way in time. While the dragon performs his attack, Erosion touches the dragon with one hand and injects poison into him. He also uses a slow de-buff beam on it with the other hand. The dragon now attacks with his other claw, and his attack is not much slower. Itís enough that Erosion is able to dodge. Just then, the dragon begins sliding its feet outwards. Understanding what this means, Vito, Solomon and Erosion get out from under him as the dragon tries to crush them under its weight.

Solomon: So it has battle intelligence.

The dragon then sweeps with its tail, which Aerona and Mars are forced to block with their shields. They both get sent flying about ten feet and slide another ten. Vito now appears above the dragonís torso. He lands on its back and starts running towards its head. Before he can get close, the dragon starts charging another fire breath. Vito immediately jumps off.

Vito: I canít even get close.

*Music Stops* The five of them all understood one thing at this time. The time for gauging its power had ended.

Mars: We need to regroup with them.
Aerona: Yeah. I think itís time.

The dragon start charging up another fire blast at Vito, Solomon and Erosion. Mars charges up a lot of mana and then creates a chasm under its hind legs, changing the trajectory of the fire upwards at an angle. It immediately jumps up into the air and starts flying. At this time, Aerona and Mars rejoin the other three.

Mars: Is it time for that yet?
Erosion: Soon. But for now, we need to get serious.

From the air, the dragon charges up another fire blast.

Vito: Solomon, get us out of here!

Solomon lifts them all up into the air when the dragon rains a firestorm downwards to the ground. The fire engulfs the entire battlefield and burns all the grass. Though they can feel the intense heat, the five of them are just out of harms way. After the fire subsides, they land and the dragon flies off just for a second.

Solomon: Itís coming back. Get ready! *Music*

The dragon turns and then flies at impressive speed straight at them. All except Mars activate dark magic at that moment and move out of the way. It is noted that Vito buffed Marsí speed at that moment as well. It then lands abruptly, causing the ground to rumble. The five of them now charge at the dragon. Aerona jumps up high by focusing dark magic in his feet. He then puts out his right hand and flashes light into its eyes. It reflexively closes them with the brightness of the light. At this time, Vito has dark buffed his katana and gives its front left leg a hard slash. It is able to pierce its scales, but does not do much damage. On the other side, Solomon has done the same with his scimitar being surrounded by dark wind. The dragon tail swipes at them precisely. The tail swipe catches Solomon and sends him to the ground, but Vito is able to react in time and jump over it. While Aerona is in the air still, the dragon claws at Aerona. He blocks with his shield, but it breaks completely and Aerona is sent crashing into the ground next to Solomon. Mars helps both up quickly.

Aerona: Itís just like the legends say. Either its sense of hearing, smell or both are very keen.
Erosion: Then itís time to pull that out.

Erosion reaches into his small satchel and brings out what appears to be a tied up bag. He tosses it to Mars, who chucks it straight at the dragonís face. It opens its mouth and shreds it with its giant teeth. But at that moment, it opens its mouth again, seemingly in pain.

Vito: It worked. The stink bomb we made.
Erosion: It wonít work for very long. We have to strike now!
Mars: Then it appears that Iím up.

Mars gets close to the dragon and then unseals himself again.

Mars: Wrath of Gaia!

He slams his sword down and creates a giant chasm all around the dragonís legs. It falls down and lays face down. At this time, the other four activate dark magic and Aerona activates his dark armor. They all charge straight at the neck. Mars is able to seal himself back up and then readies his sword. The five of them all slash in tandem with full power focused on their weapons. The combined slash lands on the dragonís neck, and cuts it about a few inches thick.

Solomon: Not deep enough! Again!

Before they can slash again, the dragon swipes at them with one of its claws. Solomon is able to launch them all away with dark wind at just the right time, but Marsí shield catches the tail end of the claw and gets sent further away. Mars lands near a giant boulder.

Mars: Thereís only one move we havenít tried yet. Wait a second.

Under normal circumstances, one wouldnít notice while fighting something as colossal as a dragon. But Mars noticed another presence nearby. Perhaps his senses had been finely tuned to keep up with the dragon and his fear had subsided enough to calmly assess the situation.

Mars: Show yourself.

He looks on the other side of the boulder to see a man hiding. He has a red royal robe on, has crimson red spiky hair and red eyes.

Mars: What are you doing here?
Man: If I run, that thing will catch me.
Mars: You have some power, donít you? Fight with us.

Meanwhile, the dragon has regained its footing and is no longer affected by the stink bomb or Aeronaís flash of light. It starts charging up more fire and the four use dark magic to dodge it again. At this time, Mars is still looking at the man. Suddenly, something clicked.

Mars: YouÖyou just used some mana, didnít you? But I didnít see anything.
Man: !
Mars: It canít be. Could youÖbe connected to the dragon?!
Man: I donít know what youíre talking about.
Aeronaís Voice: Mars! Whatís going on!
Mars: We just found our way to beat the dragon!
Man: !
Aerona: Guys, thereís someone over there with Mars. Does that mean that this guy is the key to winning?
Erosion: Iíll go back him up.
Vito: Weíll hold this thing off here.

The man stands up, holding a spear. Mars has his weapon at the ready. Erosion quickly joins him.

Erosion: So, if we can kill this guy, do you think the dragon will be weakened or something?
Mars: I donít know, but I know one thing. This guyís mana source is definitely connected with it.
Man: I guess Iíve been found out then.

Erosion makes the first attack with his wakizashi. The man keeps him at bay with his spear and parries the attack. Mars then makes the next attack with a hard strike with his sword. This knocks the spear high in the air. Erosion then charges in and makes another slash. The man is able to barely duck under it and go for a kick. Erosion easily dodges and Mars then creates a chasm, which trips him up. Erosion jumps up and goes to bring his blade straight down on his head.

Just a minute prior, the other three are still squared off against the dragon.

Aerona: Donít let up for a second! Buy as much time as you can!
Vito and Solomon: Yeah!

They charge in quickly under the dragonís legs and start hacking away at them. They donít do much damage and then the dragon does the same strategy where it drops its body to squish them. They are able to get away again and then go for its neck where it had been previously cut. Before they can get close, the dragon swipes again with its claw. They are all able to narrowly dodge it. Just then, the dragonís outline starts to fade. *Music Stops*

Vito: What the hell is going on?!
Solomon: I have no idea.

Back at Mars and Erosion, just before he is able to plunge his blade into the manís head, a surge of magical energy comes from his body and blows Erosion back. It also sends Mars sliding back a little bit. The man stands up and closes his eyes.

Man: Youíve exploited my weakness, but that will no longer be an issue.

Meanwhile, the dragonís figure is fading more and more to reflect red energy of sorts. When it has completely turned to red energy, it starts to flow directly to the man.

Erosion: We canít let him do that!

Erosion and Mars charge in out of desperation, but the intensity from his aura keeps them back. Eventually, another wave of energy sends them both to the ground. When the man has assimilated the entire amount of aura, a flash of light occurs. When it subsides, his appearance has changed. He still has his robe, but he is wearing armor (without the helm). *Music*

Mars: OhÖshit!


To be continuedÖ
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A Tale of Iron
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