Attack of the Gargoyles!

Revisiting a place that was once called home, be careful not to bite off more than you can chew.

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Reiko Souma
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:38 pm
Location: Camden, NJ, Terra; visits Rhy'din on vacations

Attack of the Gargoyles!

Post by Reiko Souma » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:54 pm

26 Jan 20xx - Attack of the Gargoyles!

Patrons entering the ever-popular Red Dragon Inn may notice extra sets of locks that have been strategically placed on all of the windows as of today.

During the later half of the morning today, a large group of twenty-eight gargoyles burst open the windows and doors of the Inn for an invasion.

Sitting behind the bar at the time of the invasion was Terran native Reiko Souma, who is known amongst some of the locals for volunteering her time behind the bar at the favoured Red Dragon Inn. She is also known for providing desserts with or without reason. This morning, she had been serving a breakfast buffet to the patrons when the gargoyles made their entrance, helping themselves to the food from the breakfast buffet. After serving them coffee at the rude insistence of one in particular, presumably the "leader," the twenty-eight gargoyles became offended at the thought of having to pay a tab. Although they did settle said tab, they didn't leave so peacefully. They proceeded to throw the dishes and mugs onto the ground, all of which shattered.

Fortunately, none of the patrons reported being injured during this incident.

As for Reiko? She is offering a reward to anybody who is willing to help her take out all twenty-eight of the gargoyles that are responsible for their destructive actions...with a bonus for the one who had been mouthy to her.

When asked for an explanation on the window locks, the following was given by Reiko herself:

"This isn't the first time these gargoyles have invaded a local business, let alone a tavern. It certainly won't be their last, nor has there been reason to believe that other creatures with malintentions won't try to follow suit...this is Rhy'din. Anything that can happen, will happen. We just have to make sure others don't get hurt along the way." A pause. Then, "Not...that we don't have a good Watch force or a good Governor."

Until the gargoyles are taken down, however, there are wanted posters being hung up all over the city. The phone number provided is Reiko's cellphone number, which is always on the woman's person.

Reiko Souma
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:38 pm
Location: Camden, NJ, Terra; visits Rhy'din on vacations

Re: Attack of the Gargoyles!

Post by Reiko Souma » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:55 pm

29 Jan 20xx - Hunting & the Hunted

It had been a wonderful night last night, and not just for Reiko. Being able to get away from everything with Ben and visit Milwaukee for the first time had been needed, for sure. She had gone to watch him fight, cheer him on, and place her bet. Well. The knockout had been in the fourth round...out of ten. Seeing Ben wear the shield she had made for him on his back meant so much to Reiko that she hadn't been able to resist using her phone to take a picture.

As for now...she missed him. She would be lying if she didn't. Reiko didn't want to think about the man actually taking time away for some time and sighed as she washed the dishes in the cabin. Then, finally finished, she walked to the door and slid her boots on. Her coat was next, as was her small purse, and out the door she went for a walk. Where to? She had no idea.

She was venturing into the woods. The woman hasn't had a chance to give her most unpredictable ability a workout in quite some time now, a good several years. There was a part of the woods that was nearest the river, which was where she was going to do her workout. Training, something she felt she needed. Some targets were going to be formed now...or, targets that would be formed out of existing objects. Trees.

Raising her hands to the level of her head, she crossed them in front of her face. Her fingers wrapped around the midsection of her lower arms, and they slowly started to slide down towards her hands and fingers. "Metronome..." the Albino whispered. She was going to activate the ability in both of her arms. A pair of fifteen-inch blades. Perfect.

"GRRRRRAAWWWWR!!!" Okay, that wasn't her stomach growling. The woman had just eaten. Looking up revealled the presence of two gargoyles as they flew down from the sky. Well...shit. As long as she had her Metronome active, she had to use it. Her other abilities couldn't be used in unison with it. "Look who's come to play..." one of the gargoyles said.

The woman was now scowling. Good thing she'd remembered to put her hair up before washing the dishes earlier! "Great. I was looking for a workout," Reiko sneered.

As the woman was prepared to fight off these gargoyles, she heard the voice at a little bit above a whisper. It sounded like it had come from several metres at her six o'clock; however, she couldn't turn around. Doing so would mean losing focus of her target, and that wasn't something she could afford to do right now. It was clear from their version of a greeting just what their intent was, just as it was clear what her intent was by her response. Training? What training, and with what logs for targets?

This, she knew, was going to have an ugly ending. Since she could no longer use her hands to reach into her pocket, and telekinesis was in no way possible either, she had to use her elbow to retrieve her sunglasses from her right pocket. Forget that! It would only reveal a flaw that could be easily exploited and used against her. She instead tossed that idea for now. "All want some blood? Try and get it, you bloody bastards!" With that, the first charge was made.

Ching! There was a sound of metal meeting with steel claws as the swords that Reiko's lower arms and hands had transformed to made contact with the first gargoyle. But, the second one wasn't simply going to stand by and watch as the first took his turn. Coming from behind the woman, gargoyle number two lunged for her back. Its efforts were rewarded with a harsh kick to its gut from Reiko's right boot. It groaned before being sent flying backwards into a tree that was several feet away. The Albino's physical strength really was more than meets the eye.

Now to focus on the one in front of her whilst the other one was stunned. Releasing one sword-for-a-hand from the entanglement of steel in the form of swords and claws, she drove her left sword deep into the gargoyle's gut. Unfortunately, she knew that alone wouldn't take it out, and she took a good hit to the side of her head in response. The blow sent her staggering backwards, causing her to try shaking it off with a shake of her head.

"Oof!" A second hit had quickly followed the first, and Reiko was staggering backwards some more. She managed to bring the stagger to an end by standing her ground, that being in the form of her feet digging into the ground. Good timing, too - the second gargoyle had managed to recover enough to regain his bearings and rise to his feet once more. By that time, Reiko had also recovered and was lunging for the first one again. This time, her swords-for-arms weren't crossed in front of her.

This time, her arms were at her sides. It may seem like a mistake of a strategy on the woman's behalf, but she knew exactly what she was doing. Reiko was utilising a strategy of deception that she'd used multiple times in the past. When the gargoyle attempted to grab her throat, the woman lowered her head down. The top of her head was in full view. Then she drove her head straight into the open hand for a headbutt. At the same time, she drove both of her Metronome-provided swords into her target's gut. And again. And again.

The first gargoyle fell, and Reiko was falling with him. Her fall was deliberate, landing on her knees as they were planted on his legs, and she drove the swords into his chest with the motion of straight punches. There was a cry as the right sword struck his heart; standing fast, the woman was just on time to take a punch to her shoulder from the second gargoyle whilst slashing across his upper chest from her left to her right. A second slash came from her left sword, and she kicked his gut.

Suddenly, a twofold blow was given by both the second gargoyle and Reiko: her right sword-for-an-arm sliced the gargoyle's head off just as her left sword-for-an-arm drove into his gut. The gargoyle himself impaled the right side of Reiko's chest with his claws in a circular manner, the claws driving deep within - but not all the way through her. Both of them fell backwards in opposite directions, Reiko falling back onto the ground between both of the fallen gargoyles. As her eyes shut, her Metronome was deactivated. The last thing the Albino did was send an emergency projection of her location and her surroundings to all who were within her range, which was a kilometre away...

...surely someone was to be within range, someone who could detect her portrayed image and S.O.S?

Lying on her back outside, Reiko was fading out of consciousness. She had started to lose track of how long it had been since she had sent out that S.O.S. message with the portrayed image. As she attempted to send a second image out, one which included her location, it started to rain very lightly. Reiko coughed as she was fighting to stay conscious, at least long enough to get this S.O.S. message out to somebody who would be able to receive it...anybody. Her right hand slowly moved towards her chest, trying to leave some kind of a sign for whoever should find her to see just where she had been injured by the gargoyle. Reiko knew there was no way she could move under her own power, not even with her telekinesis to assist her.

" the river..." were the last words spoken by Reiko through her telepathy. As the rain came down, her eyes were completely shut now, and the last of her consciousness slid away. Her hand didn't move from near the place where she had been impaled the gargoyle's claws.


"Whichever seems called for, you know, I can-" Mist paused, tilting his head as he lifted a hand. Blue energy limned over his fingers, and he raised his hand further. "There. Roni, wandering around moony. Reiko, laying all flat and smashed and...monsters?" he recited, a brow quirking upwards. He glanced to Amaris. "Reiko has monsters..?" He's always the last to know. "We'd best find her, then." A wisp of the blue energy pulled from his hand and trailed through the woods.

By "smashed up," the woman had taken some punches and smacks before the final impaling blow. Reiko had fought, and she had fought *hard* to defeat these creatures. It had been one of her more difficult battles with just her Metronome ability at her disposal. Maybe next time, she should stick to carrying her Katana around on her person...if there was a next time. Wait a...there was going to be a next time as long as twenty-five gargoyles remained. Don't count on an unconscious Albino to say much of anything about that, however, or anything at all. The only hint of her worst injury was where her right hand was.

Amaris tilted her head. "When did you start doing that?" she asked. She did quicken her footsteps following the wisp, though.

"This? It's my locater spell, but the one I use on you gives you golden footprints. Well, this one also will let me know who is nearby. If you like, I will teach it to you, it's not difficult. And it helps to locate souls around you if you're concerned about being jumped," he replied, head tilting.

Amaris followed and called, "Reiko's...hurt!" She looked through the darkness towards where Mist was.

"Is there anything around her?" he asked, hurrying to follow after the girl.

She sniffed. "I just smell Reiko...blood..." Sniff. "Something else...and further away sissy."

"Then there were, or are, monsters." Check out CSI Mist and Amaris. "Be careful. Draw your weapon, or be your weapon."

She reached for her ankle, growling softly as she took out her knife, watchful eyes glancing about. "Can you heal her..?"

"Yes," he replied, calm. He nodded to Amaris, letting her take point and assess the situation.

Amaris carefully picked up a head and brought it over to Mist. "What is it?"

"...I don't know," he responded, his brows knitting. He took the head from Amaris and cast light, illuminating the area brightly. And...he still had no idea what the things were. But maybe they could see Reiko? "You can't hang this on your wall," he added dryly.

"Ewww. It stinks. I don't want to."

"You want to see something cool?" For a moment, his features changed, his eyes brightened, his smile was bright and youthful, he knelt slightly to look into her eyes. Just for that moment, maybe the elf he should have been.

Amaris blinked and brightened. "Cool."

Laughing softly, he took her hand and pulled her a half step back. Then, he lifted both hands, touching one after the other on the mandala glowing at his chest. He pulled out streamers of blue and abruptly set them loose like glowing birds of prey. The energy swooped, looped, and spun over the site, sparkling and shimmering with each turn. The ruins and remains of the gargoyles began to alter under the increasing light, the increasing energy. A pulse began to beat, the light flaring a misty white, dulled to blue and over and over again. The streams of light lifted Reiko from the ground, then rushed through her, brilliant and warm, healing all as they passed by. Everything altered under the press of the energy until finally,...the night returned to normal. No gargoyles, instead, there was a stand of sunflowers. Reiko should be standing within them wearing a lovely sunflowery dress. Possibly feeling as if she had just awoken. And Mist reached over to pick a few sunflowers to give to Amaris. "There. Wasn't that cool?"

So...yes. The valley reverberated briefly with the spin of energy, and then he tilted his head. As he placed a crown of the sunflowers onto Amaris's head, piff, a dress similar to the one Reiko appeared in clad the girl. Her usual clothes just ended up in the hamper. "Tada."

Although she wasn't conscious for the first part of Mist's demonstration, she was starting to come to. The bruises, along with the scrapes and the holes in her chest where she had been impaled by the claws of the gargoyle, were vanishing. The holes were closing up. She felt warmth, and then something else. What that something else was, she would eventually find out upon awakening.

Wait. The woman wasn't lying on her back anymore either. Was the rest of her clean of the dirt and blood on her as well? Again, she was about to find this out at any given moment. Just then, her pink azalean eyes would start sliding open slowly, and she first looked to see both Mist and Amaris standing in front of her...with sunflowers in Mist's hand. Okay, now that was different. She thought she was in the woods by the river! Wait. She was still near the river. Her location hadn't changed so much as the landscape around her had.

Speaking of changes, she felt a little bit of a draft from beneath. What happened to her pants..? Looking down would answer that question, as she was noticing a dark crimson-coloured dress with a sunflower on it...and an animal design. Some kind of alpaca, she thinks it was called? The woman looked up again. "Hey...Mist..? Amaris..? G'mrning..." Right. An awoken Reiko was a zombie Reiko.

Amaris beamed and hugged Mist before yawning and climbing to his shoulder, where she draped and conked out. Everything was clean and transformed. Reiko's old clothing were folded up and seemed clean and new. Mist could sling a spell when he so chose. "Yes. Come along. Amaris wants to get to bed, and I am weary, as well," he responded, gesturing to her.

The woman gave a sleepy nod to what was said. As long as they were outside, the cold air was helping her to wake up faster than usual. She looked around to see nothing but sunflowers where the gargoyles had once been. Welp. She didn't have to worry about wearing her sunglasses now. Whatever Mist had done, had solved that problem. "Hey, Mist..? Thank you," Reiko finally said. She started to walk towards where he held the now-sleeping Amaris. "I was trying to train when I was ambushed...I'm guessing you followed any sound that was made by said gargoyles."

"Hm? It is nothing," he responded, reaching up a hand to tap a the air, and opening a gate. He gestured for her to pass through. Ben's cabin was visible through the opening of bright blue light. "Gargoyles? Is that what attacked you?"

"They are...two of them, and they're not the first or the last of them, either." Reiko gave Mist the cliff notes version of what had transpired at the Inn a few mornings ago, starting with the gargoyles helping themselves to the breakfast buffet line and progressing to demands for coffee, where the dishes had then been destroyed. It had irked the woman considerably. "I have a feeling one was already destroyed...with these two, twenty-five remain. They're out for blood, Mist."

"I...really don't understand why..." he responded slowly, but, as he really didn't know what a gargoyle was in the first place, it scarcely mattered.

Reiko shook her head as they closed in on the cabin. "Neither do I, and I didn't feel like using my head to try finding out why for myself." She pointed to her temple to indicate what she meant. The woman has been working closely with Arla now, Arla insisting on a strict schedule being kept with a certain amount of freedom to be granted as well. "I don't need anything else getting into my head, therapist would shoot me if she was to find out. Anyways, yes, I'm fine now."

She stepped through the gate when it was opened, pausing only to wait for Mist to pass through with Amaris as well before shutting it. "Oh...I'm not sure how much you know...but I did see Ben last night..." Reiko said, "I'm not sure if anyone else saw him before I did, but he seems to be doing all right. I went with him to his fight last night...I made him a wooden shield that resembles one of the clans on his tattoos." And, he had clearly shown that he had loved it, too.

"As long as you are all right now. And I'm glad to hear he's all right." A faint tilt of his head and flicker of smile.

Yeah, me too, was her thought about Ben. She'd truly had a wonderful time in Milwaukee, especially on watching him fight (whilst she wore her sunglasses). Now it "He just needs some time, just like I did...turns out he can't really remember anymore of what had taken place at the bar than she could." It was safe to say that they'd made up for the most part, was the most important part.

"Good," he responded, pushing open the door, "usually, time and communication are the best things for anyone. Everyone. Why don't you go and get some rest. I likely won't see you in the morning, so, have a good day." A flicker of smile and sort of a bobble, carrying the conked-out Amaris. Then he carried her to her room.

The woman gave a nod. "I could have it...the sleep." She stepped in after, removing the sandals that had replaced her boots and leaving them at the door. "I'm not gonna lie, Mist...I really like Ben. A lot, and am willing to wait for him as long as I need to whilst doing my thing and taking care of myself. Being selfish, I believe a certain elf had told me once." She walked to her room. "Goodnight, Mist...and please. Don't tell anyone that I saw Ben, either." Yeah. Reiko was ready to go to sleep now.
Reiko Souma
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:38 pm
Location: Camden, NJ, Terra; visits Rhy'din on vacations

07 Feb 20xx - Gargoyle-Hunting, Part 1

Post by Reiko Souma » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:58 pm

Gargoyle Tally (as of 7 Feb 20xx)
Gargoyles at start: 28
Killed to date: 8
Still at large: 20

There had only been a casual glance and a wave between Reiko and the warlord himself, on occasion anyways. It had to be a first that she was seeing the man a bit more on the conscious side. This thought came largely because she only remembered seeing him what, close to passing out or something like that. It had never been given much thought because, every time, she'd always remind herself to mind her own. The well-being of others weren't to concern her like they had in the past, not without necessity or emergency.

Quiet rumbles coming from the woman's stomach upon the returns of the waves from the gathered group were an affirmation that food was needed. She had to eat. Reiko had worked hard lately, so to reward herself with a meal was only appropriate. Her boots were going to remain on the floor in front of the fireplace, but her namesake heirloom would always remain on her person, as the woman rose to her feet. Now feeling warm enough, her hat and gloves would also be shed, left to join her boots on the floor. Her coat would soon join once unbuttoned, and she would make her way towards the bar.

After exchanging greetings with S'jira, she passed through the break in the bar and looked in the direction of the warlord himself, having picked up on some of what had been said. By "some," that happened to be a word or two here and there. Had she heard something that sounded like the word "gargoyle?" Reiko was now interested as she looked for something to scrounge up, not quite ready to make it obvious that she was now listening to what was being said. Although she couldn't understand most of what was said because of their speaking in their own languages, she could pick up on a word or two here and there. For all the woman knew, they could be talking politics. If she only knew.

What they were actually discussing was far from politics. They did speak of gargoyles, silver and gold, as well as horses and deep dwarven cave tunnels. Fingers poked maps and bits of mangled old common were spoken more openly over time. They were out to discern the lands surrounding the city, and indeed, even the continents at large and where was worth going. Worth pillaging, or even some convoluted means of 'moving' to. That notion lead to minor debate and speak of this temple they sought to erect and if it had the power to move their fort.

Some were more skeptical than others, who seemed to explain, in mixed languages, how they had seen it done before. They were discussing means and consistency of magic between realms, as much as valid prospects for it. One among them spoke even of returning to 'the great Rift of the Gods', but they all agreed first they had to build, and Gavel sought their opinions on just what to build. Drawings were of spires and of other designed temples, more open air and dolems, another almost a citadel. 'I do wonder, if such gargoyles are born or made...I suppose when I cut one in half I will find out. Maybe we could make some, with their bones n' bits?' snickered the beastman, or, whatever he was...and S'jira may reckon the glowing stone fragments on the shield, were of the same substance Gavel had ground into powder to remake his torch-arrow.

Reiko's movements behind the bar were swift, ensuring that the carafe had freshly-brewed coffee within it before securing a mug for herself as well. Filling it with her desired nectar along her unannounced quest for food, it would remain as black as it had been made without any need for dairy or sugar added. Take the first sip...ah. That was what perfection tasted like to a woman who had gargoyles on her mind. Ah, but the coffee would have to be set down for the time being. Dare she venture into the kitchen where the Stew was? Hell yes! The woman had to eat!

She might be regarded as either brave, or crazy, for this. It made no difference to her either way when she knew better than to try irritating the Stew. All she wanted was a hamburger! Pile some bacon on that sucker, too...and some fries. Yeah, that oughta do it. Fries! Or, she could simply give her order to a chef to take care of. Which was exactly what she didn’t.

Upon returning to her coffee, the woman heard the keyword again and perked up. Any trace of friendliness was now gone from her, a state of deadly seriousness taking its place on her all too white face. The mug set down a second time, now Reiko was stepping out from behind the bar to approach the group and their warlord at the tables. "Hey there...I couldn't help overhearing mention of the word 'gargoyle' twice now. You wanna tell me what you know about them?" was her way of greeting the group.

The little cabal of shamanistic barbarian-warriors ceased their chatter as Reiko arrived to ask a question, and made herself more known to them. A few scrutinized her, the wolf-headed one huffing the air with narrowed eyes at her ears. It wasn't entirely off-putting but obviously, some were trying to figure out what she was. Fae, barely beast-kin, but Gavel broke their silence and muttering.

"Ah, you must be Reiko, nyet? She is the one who posted these...posters." He gestured to a couple of the very flyers they had been passing around, doing their best to critique the creatures based on their look. "Nay, we don't know much. Haven't seen their like in other realms before. Makes us wonder if steel will bite their flesh or if it is made of stone, and only the war-hammers and morning stars should be used against them. That and magic-fire." A united round of nodding and agreement went on, drinks to that. "And you?"

But of course, how dare a woman such as she approach a table full of men? Someone such as Reiko who had been born on Terra and raised as if human was all she was, only to eventually find out much later in life that she had an amount of Fae in her DNA as well, it did have the tendency of raising some questions amongst those who weren't particularly fond of that race. That second race took form in her abilities whenever they were used; otherwise, she was about as human as she was. Not including the tiny tip at the top of each ear, that is. How many Fae also happened to be possessive of Albinism?

As she had also found out, not many at all. Never mind that she was human and Fae, though. Reiko had asked a question, and she wanted an answer. Let the others give their stares and their mutters. It wasn't like she wasn't already long used to being on the receiving end of both from her childhood...she was. Yet relief also came to her when the warlord spoke up. Those were her fliers! So...I'm not alone in my quest for those bastards. They're after them as well. Her eyes raised from the fliers to the man speaking. She'd been wise to approach after all.

"'re talking to her. I had those made and hung up around the city myself," came her response. Her attention was entirely on this warlord now. "They're made of stone, for sure...but they wield some kind of metal gird about their loins that almost causes one to question their chosen strategy. Ah, and they're swifter than they appear. I don't recommend having steel of any sort, if you and your lot wish to keep your metals, anyways." Her previously engaging two of the large group of them had taught her that.

The others were more curious than judgmental, after all, they were an occulted people who worshiped magic itself, and viewed mutation as blessings and consorted with beastmen and daemons openly. That Zar wore enough sorcerous trappings, jade idol and octograms, liquid fire and fluids in vials about his cyan armor raiment to make many question just what career paths were followed. "So it is, and I see. Well, they surely have loins to gird then." Liquor chased bits of bacon from his teeth with a clipped sigh. "We have many weapons, most touched by magic. Crystal and golden axes, star-metal blades and Gromril flails. I think some call it mythryl." His hand raised briefly to keep the blonde bearded one from displaying his own proudful ax into the table. "Manners, svard-brodir."

Thinking it over he did recall something, slowly pulling a leaf wrapped bundle of herbs he lit from a candle to puff from before passing it to one of the others. "That seems like a high bounty per head, but that may be why. I do recall my Overlord dispatching one of his crafted gargoyles once, to deliver something...but I know not to confuse his divine creations for what else exists. He is from this place, long ago. Most things with wings are swift.. I've seen manticore, chimera, vily-harpy and furies in my youth in the Wastes. I've ten dozen to my druzhina to battle these creatures with, even if weapons aren't always useful on them, I have a couple of Chaos Spawn that can cause great harm, but magic weapons should suffice." These were not monsters he was lacking confidence against, they'd face sea serpents before...but the likes of a dracolich did chill their steely nerves. "Do you happen to know much of the lands around this city as they are now?"
Reiko Souma
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:38 pm
Location: Camden, NJ, Terra; visits Rhy'din on vacations

Re: Attack of the Gargoyles!

Post by Reiko Souma » Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:06 pm

By now, the woman's coffee was going to stay abandoned to cool. And, she would be all right with that, if she was thinking about it right now. But, she wasn't; in fact, she'd forgotten about the bacon hamburger with fries that she'd placed an order for as well until it was brought out on a plate, delivered to her. "Thank you," was spoken in a polite, but otherwise soft and chirped, manner before the other scurried off again. Reiko took a look around to see if anybody else was eating. Since she wasn't the only one with food before her, she picked up the burger and took a bite. Juicy, and delicious, so full of flavour...well-done, exactly as she wanted it. Yes! This was how a burger was to be made!

A mental inventory was taken of the weapons named. Pluralise those. That was sufficient, which would certainly serve as an advantage for them. That was if they were to cross paths with the creatures that the woman wanted gone so badly...which she did. Keeping that part to herself, she continued to listen. Mithril, yes. She was more than familiar with the material. Why, she had her archery kit in the boot of her car...rune-tipped arrows that were blessed with a certain magic by her priest. That was also something that need not be shared. Best not to show the entire hand at once, and certainly not right away.

Neither would she say anything about the real reason for the bounty being so high per head. At least the gargoyle that this man's overlord had dispatched seemed a harmless delivery type. Reiko could deal with those. If only they knew what went through her mind in place of fear! But, before she could open her mouth to answer...

SMASH! The front door burst open, and a giant...what was that object, crashed through. Wait, that was the swing that had been on the porch! What in Fate's name?! It was followed by a loud growl, which was accompanied by a few more. A scowl immediately took form on her face. "It's them!" Since her Katana wouldn't do, her eyes glowed an intense shade of pink. There were five of them!

There was still some food on their plates and drink in their steins, horns and goblets.. but as the bench-chair smashed through the door they also recognized the sound of the one left outside drawing a sinister blade and growl-shouting back in gutteral savagery. Most of them immediately stood, chairs shoved or knocked back, and made for the door - the beastman having an edge, as hooved feet carried him with a leaping bound, fiendish weapon drawn as shield was taken in hand.

One warrior-champion brandished a green metal morning-star mace, the ring of silver-steel sword in another hand. The other a golden ax and demonic-grinning heater shield, the one on the porch had a larger shield and black blade with a skeleton raised along the blade. Gavkreiz drew his own broadsword and in his left hand, drew something he rarely ever humored using; a Skaven-rigged warplock pistol.

The other marauder beared a silvery ax with an ancient yellowed wooden handle, and his own obsidian sword with golden glyphs down the blade, but they knew to give gang-way to Gavel and the hulking figure who grunted, hefting a large flail over shoulder with one arm. Reiko wasn't ignored, but they were about ready to use the chair back as a poor excuse of a battering ram if they had to, and muscle their way to take the fight to the courtyard!

It'd serve them well, if they could do this, with a handful of other warriors likely ready to descend to trap the offenders in the courtyard, lest they could fight their way back out.. but daemon-forged shieldwall, did offer a solid means of resilience. "Hurray, pobeda!"

How are those two over there able to be in their own world like this? Pfft...lovebirds, came the thought from Reiko when she glanced over at both Tass and S'jira. It was brief, and she was rolling her eyes when the barrier went up before her attention turned back to the action before her. Oh, she was going to take another bite of her burger first. She needed to maintain her physical strength for this! The woman wasn't going to let this opportunity pass her by, either. Reiko wanted in on round two with these idiots! Idiots being the gargoyles, of course...not those who were with the warlord.
Reiko Souma
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:38 pm
Location: Camden, NJ, Terra; visits Rhy'din on vacations

Re: Attack of the Gargoyles!

Post by Reiko Souma » Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:12 pm

Come to think of it, any kind of introductions by name were going to have to wait. The others were already on their feet and heading for the thrown open door. Reiko knew better than to get in the way of a group of determined warriors. Well, at least they didn't break the windows this time... Really, she had to think of that? Come on, now. Even if things got broken, the Inn was self-sustaining and capable of self-repair. She's seen it happen many times in the past.

The gargoyle that had torn the swing from the porch and sent it flying through the front door was swinging at the beastman when he was close enough. Four other gargoyles weren't going to just hang back and wait for the first to finish having its way just to come at those within this formerly-peaceful Inn. Oh no, they were going to get inside regardless. How, one might ask? One of them had taken to punching at the window nearest it, shattering the glass. He had seen Reiko, the one who had insulted their leader, and was determined to get her. That one had no interest in taking any fight to any courtyard.

"I don't think so!" a now-pissed Reiko growled, and she extended her left arm. A translucent forcefield went up in front of the broken window, blocking the gargoyle, at least for now. "If you want a fight, then you and I are gonna take it outside!" But first, she had to get her coat and the rest of her winter gear from in front of the fireplace.

The beastman's effort was to make way, so he sprang to tumble under the swing - or roll with being clobbered and swung his sword for the back of the knee and aimed to take up a flanking space on the porch while raising his shield, to be a little more savvy after a hard knock. Growling bestially, each of them were the types to fight in single combat.. but didn't mind having group effort.

The other, who had been waiting on the porch, did not abide to stand idle after having the chair thrown at him! But he saw a different opportunity, and checking with his towering shield at the wings of the leader, pivoted to strike down at the one punching through the window, with Reiko's mystic shield barricading it further. It may not cut through, but it may well certainly cut, or jar.

The others hefted the swinging chair, and charged to smash and muscle back the larger gargoyle, roaring in their foreign tongue and ferocity. Gavkreiz shouldered the back of it, letting the other four run with the long chair until it had smashed to bits against a hard object of an enemy.. and then, they kept going!

Plated chaos-warrior champion to one side went in to melee swinging the star mace, reserving his sword to parry, or try to chop off a wing.. the marauder champion, on the other hand, swung his flail powerfully, not caring if he broke part of the porch, aiming to crush into stone and lead the fight to let the others join in. Only outnumbered by a pair, they'd flank when able...

Gavel wasn't too concerned about it just yet as he strode in the middle, firing off the modified witch-hunter's flink lock to release a toxic powder cloud of warpstone, intent to lodge a piece of the toxic, mutagenic lead-cased substance into one of the others before he would holster the crude firearm and take his ebon shield in hand. "Vedergallningen! I want their bones crush into debased mortar!" Swords swinging, they treated them like Khornite bronze-scaled foes, trying to strike crushing blows.

How was Reiko supposed to know that these gargoyles were going to invade? She had been too distracted by her wanting to warm up and eat to really let on to it. It wasn't that her telepathy was starting to fail, either. Unfortunately, distractions happened to even the best of psychics as well. The woman had fallen prey to distraction as she slid her feet back into her boots. Her coat was back on and buttoned from bottom to top, and her hat and gloves were back on. She didn't need her full range of leg movement in order to beat up these creatures.

With the shield barricading the window still, the gargoyle that had punched it out was limited. It could only move backwards, which was exactly where it went when struck by the shield of the one who came at it. That angry-faced gargoyle's chest took some cuts as it stumbled backwards. As for the one the beastman had targeted, its face was affixed in a somewhat neutral position - apathetic, if one might - taking to leaping backwards over the railing of the porch. It then made a gesturing motion with its right clawed hand, as if motioning for the beastman to come hither and take the fight down below.

That poor swinging couch didn't stand a chance against the larger gargoyle! It smashed to bits almost immediately, splinters of wood being sent flying all about just as Reiko hurried outside. Her left hand was still in control of the shield that guarded the broken window, but her right hand had now turned upwards to form an energy ball of sorts. It was as neon pink as her glowing eyes, and it was going to to target whichever one was nearest her. That would likely be the one which didn't already seem engaged with the warlord and his champions.

Speaking of, what was that cloud being unleashed? Reiko wondered if she should be concerned about it affecting her in any way and watched as one of the five - that one wore a rather miserable face - was pierced by some of the substance that had appeared from the cloud. As for the remaining gargoyles, Reiko took aim and fired. This was considered point-blank in that she shouldn't be able to miss, especially considering that she had been a sniper with her archery in the service.

As the melee pressed on, the warriors continued to battle, minding the flying orbs of pink-fire they would believe was of their god - since Gavel was known to throw Tzeentch's Pink Fire around at times, and thought nothing of it. It likely burned at stone-flesh, as badly as the sacred wyrdstone left the grim looking one howling in agony as it burn-melted into his chest... but was 'soothed' as that huge flail, crashed into it next, and the marauder was keen to keep bashing with his staff-like flail end! Being kicked in the leg slowed his progress, but these were a merciless sort.

Gavel charged in tandem with the beastman, who thrust his bi-tipped sword straight at the leading gargoyle trying to take chips and cunks out of stone-flesh while Gavkreiz drove his edged, daemonic shield in a simialr manner...the gargoyle may well find his flesh did not hold up so well against the ebon, cursed-obsidian that had a fiendish grinning face staring back at it. The sword rung as it slashed upwards to follow through, the Zar in particular boldly going without helm or worry...his armor may dent and his body bruise, but there were moments of the runic plate shrugging off harm without a scratch.

All of them proved to be formidable like this, Chaos-Dwarf forged daemon-steel and other obscure materials blessed by the Ruinous Power made Imperials quake in their boots often. Hardened steel warhammers could barely dent their Hellish armor, and they fought like possessed heathens.. soon beginning to pair up against the gargoyles, battering them with sword, shield and bludgeon. They would fight on until beaten unconcious or to death themselves, battle-roaring in damned speak or harsh north-man dialects.

From behind came one marauder wielding a hammer nearly the size of his own torso, seemingly made of gold, a chaos warrior with a fiendish war-pick, and a beastman who's ax did break at the shaft on the first attempt to hurt one.. he earned a jaw-loosening elbow for his efforts, but rebuttled with a headbutt, driving metallic ram-horns and a skull thickened by just such habits for a rough life-time. He also had an infernal looking shield that did well when bashing, braying in pain though because the semi-lowly Gor wasn't apt to headbutt dolmens. Men flew backwards when kicked, and charged back in so long as they weren't too busy coughing up blood from broken ribs to press on, and these Champions of Tchar weren't eager to be considered runts among their peers. The one with a silver-thread cape was laughing quite loudly, in fact, when a gargoyle broke a knuckle trying to punch through his unholy armor.. and proceeded to use the war-pick side of his ax to gouge out an eye and kept on swinging!

His laughing ceased when his helmet got knocked clean off his head by a half-blind, wild hammer-fist, but they simply would not stop. The rank and file could have their ranks broken and know terror to flee, but these ones wanted the Eye of their God upon them. It risked their very lives, but what did they care.. their legends were rife with such a Gaze turning the most Chosen into Daemon Princes mid-battle, and that was, indeed, some of their highest ambitions.

But Tzeentch wasn't inclined to do that over some pesky gargoyles, rather it was enjoyable to see his chess pieces doing their deeds. The Knight, no less, striving to vent anger and find purpose in the life he's always known; war and mayhem.
Reiko Souma
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:38 pm
Location: Camden, NJ, Terra; visits Rhy'din on vacations

Re: Attack of the Gargoyles!

Post by Reiko Souma » Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:22 pm

One by one, these gargoyles were starting to come to this realisation that they might have slightly underestimated their primary target. In their eyes, Gavel and his champions were Reiko's backup. None of them had any form of knowledge that the woman had just started to speak with them today, mere minutes before their untimely invasion. They were in no wise psychic, neither did they possess anything special beyond their heightened speed and brute strength. One of them did come with a bit of a surprise in their retaliation:

A bolt of lightning was fired at both the beastman and Gavel when the gargoyle those two were chipping away at pointed up at the sky. Chances of actually connecting one of the two were decent. Actually connecting with both of its current targets were a good deal less than that, no higher than seventeen percent. If that. At this rate, that one was going to be losing its ability to defend itself in the best way possible soon enough. Just look at the chunks of the stone-flesh that had already come from its torso and its arms. Its right arm was the better of the two arms, really.

As for the energy ball that Reiko had fired at the gargoyle nearest her, it had connected with its torso above the covered loin. It burned some, searing some of the stone-flesh. Forming a club with its hands joined together, that gargoyle took aim at the top of Reiko's head before swinging down. Oh no. That was going to be Concussion City if she allowed it to connect! A quick leap backwards led to the clubbed hands coming down on the porch instead. A hole was left where the woman had been standing, but was no longer, having leaped onto the railing behind her. Then there was a second leap off of the railing, taking to moving away from the porch and onto the ground nearby.

Seeing what the woman had done, the pissed-off gargoyle followed suit, but using flight instead. This one snapped its fingers, and a ring of fire surrounded the two of them. Great. Now they weren't going anywhere without flight at all. That also meant Reiko now had to disengage the shield from the broken window. Sorry, occupants. The cold was going to have to be dealt with until the Inn could completely repair itself...and a lot of repairs were going to be needed for this one.

Forget about repairs right now. The gargoyle before the Albino was taking to the air again, but briefly. Launching itself down at the woman, he aimed to scratch at her chest. Unfortunately for this one, she was ready for this. What, these creatures didn't think she'd been practising various duel techniques prior to her retirement? Wrong. She raised her right leg for a kick as the gargoyle closed in. Crack! Clawed band, meet three-inch heel boot with sharp corners. The kick didn't cause any major chipping away at the hand, but three of the five claws were no longer sharp now, and the gargoyle went hurtling backwards.

Reiko was physically stronger than she looked. Given her own agility from her days in the high school track team, she wasted no time in running towards her target. Use its own fire against it was her plan. With both hands, she formed a giant shield that was shaped like a butterfly and started to push.

The gargoyles had indeed, bitten off more than they may be able to chew this day. Just as lucky for them, they didn't catch Gavel with more of his warband at the ready perhaps, or they'd be feeling the pressure of dozens of chaos warriors trying to destroy them in a mob of havoc. Gavkreiz did shove the beastman to the side, lifting his shield up a little higher, so his fist could clench. Tchar/Tzeentch's was just about the only mystic effect he had that didn't require grand gestures or fancy spell components. The Gargoyle leader found his lighting bolt spell being contested and the Kurgan's teeth grit in response. "You Dare to wield magic against Tchar's Chosen?! The Master of Magic himself..."

Of course, there was a decent chance he'd be cursing this out as electricity flooded over his shield and nearly killed the Kurgan cur, but there was just as much chance the spell would be unbound and dispelled, scattering into lesser arcs into the ground, the very Weave or Winds of Magic it (in his terms and Sight) was composed of being torn asunder by primal and innate connection to it. Now with his own realization, good or bad revelation, Gavkreiz wanted his halberd.. and the spell-dueling going on, was alerting his daemon-mount to come a'charging behind the trio who were having both success and suffering in trying to put down the creatures.

One of the lesser ones, was probably quite dead by then, as the combination of a huge maul and a two handed flail was absolutely brutalizing and they looked around the battle to see who needed the help more. Reiko seemed to be holding her own.. and surrounded by fire, so nobody was going there.

The other gargoyles were also being overwhelmed, if not in battle prowess, but in numbers. Even with knocking one back at a time, they had one normal Chaos zealot on their back while two Champions squared off from the front. Flying upwards was a good tactic, sure to be met by flying throwning axes and hammers.
Reiko Souma
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:38 pm
Location: Camden, NJ, Terra; visits Rhy'din on vacations

Re: Attack of the Gargoyles!

Post by Reiko Souma » Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:31 pm

The "support" for Reiko was as much half intentional as circumstance. That bounty on them was so great, the entire micro-army was hell-bent on slaughtering every single one of them! Considering well how each gargoyle was worth, in their eyes, almost ten years of living-wage or could pay off a thousand more such nomadic vikings for a battle march. Or as the case was, intended to erect a grand temple to please their God...and these were the human sacrificing, often loathed sort of maniacs.

As such maniacs, the beastman gestured with his sword before trying to lunge in at the gargoyle again. "Use the sticky sludge! Anyone got grappling hooks at th-!" Battered back, he spat out some fanged teeth and snarled, roared, and yet again focused on trying to lob off a wing with brute force.

At the tactical mention, the one marauder chieftain let his sword down and pulled up a container of tar-sludge he threw, trying to gum up the creature/s so escape would be futile or hindered, and it wouldn't hurt if Reiko ended up catching it on fire either.

As the woman was currently preoccupied with using her butterfly-shaped shield to push at the gargoyle before her, she could hear what was happening around her. One of the gargoyles had tried to use magic on some of them. It had apparently pissed off that one in turn. Wonderful. From the sound of it, the gargoyle that had attempted to use magic was soon going to be done for. Well, they were all going to be done for anyways. There were only four of them left as it was, one of the weaker sort having been bashed to shreds by two of the champions. That number was only going to lessen further as they continued to take these creatures on.

The one who had unleashed the electricity was close to losing its left arm...along with the rest of him. A second bolt of lightning was unleashed from the sky with the point at the sky. It was certainly a sign that the gargoyle was starting to become desperate, knowing that it and his comrades were fighting a losing battle. Just look at the other two of the four that remained. They were scrambling to try lending aid to their other surviving comrades, even though they too were in trouble. Yeah. Best wishes with trying to help comrades when a group of champions and their warlord were making sure they couldn't help themselves.

Even though Reiko was determined to see this through to the end, the woman wasn't going to deny the warlord and his champions a chance at their bounties. The one she was currently dealing with would be included in the cash reward: twenty-five thousand Nobles times five for a total of one hundred twenty-five thousand Nobles. Reiko was quite the fair woman and had no objections to dealing. Sticky sludge and grappling hooks. What? would the sticky sludge take if it was to catch on fire with the gargoyle, thought?

Just a little bit more... Reiko was watching the ground as she pushed. The gargoyle wasn't able to stand a chance against her telekinetic muscle as it was pushed closer to the fire. Any sludge that was thrown, Reiko was fortunate to be spared any contact with. Her shield was large enough to deflect any of the sludge that had come into contact with it before sliding down towards the ground. The rest of that tar-sludge came into contact with the gargoyle's wings and its backside, becoming quite stuck.

That was exactly what the woman had needed to finish pushing. With one mighty shove, the gargoyle fell backwards into the fire. The tar-sludge made any chance of escape impossible, and Reiko leaped backwards again to give some distance between the fire and herself. The shield was also coming down, having served its purpose. With the fire not going anywhere as long as this one remained conscious, Reiko was forced to use her telekinesis in order to fly out.

But, not before she got one last lick in! She wanted information, and she wanted it now. Her eyes shut as she started to focus. "You have what I want, creature of the give it to me." They were quite capable of thought and memory, as she was now beginning to learn. She wanted to know about the leader, and what the leader's objective was. Telepathic jabs were thrown at it, but they were non-lethal, and she was soon departing from its mind with a gasp, having obtained some of the desired information. Shaking her head, she lifted herself from the ground and carried herself outside of the ring of fire.

The sludge, tar, they hoped would ignite, though they had issues in the past with mixing it with flaming oil bombs. Not of real importance, they were just out to cause harm, and mildly unconcerned with burning themselves in the process either. Such sludge bombs did spread a ways but not more than an open section of the court yard, quite the mess was being made all the same.

Slug-fest continuing, his warriors were taking quite the beating, and even Gavel could not counter-spell a second bolt. He tried to return the favor, unleashing twin fiery-yet-not magical missiles of Tzeentch's Flame! Chaos fire burnt with an eldritch force, not like true fire, and did give the chance for regeneration to ferment in a survivor of it's use. He just hoped it didn't allow for much survival, whilst the others didn't have the means for a grappling hook, that sludge did work well enough to gum up attempts at flight and the brutality did not relent. Wounded and soon becoming a bit tired from beating on cement-bodies, Reiko's shouting and methods drew some of their attention.

It seemed she also left that one half-alive? Gavkreiz had gone from melee to spell-battling, not his forte but a good round of experience at it hopefully, though he would find himself thrown into the porch crackling and suffering if the second bolt went off. His steed to arrive like typical cavalry - after the fact, and able to steal the kill. But that's why cavalry should lead a charge. Not like he had that option from inside, anyway.

Leading gargoyle would truly not find that a pleasant experience. Chaos Knights were feared for battle prowess, but statistically speaking, their mounts did more killing and dealt more damage. Hooves, horns, trampling over-run, and also plated in Chaos Mail barding, topped off by the fact they were Nightmare-like steeds, as some came to call, death-unicorns from the bladed horns. His was no different, and kind of a dick with a head tilt as if asking, "still need that?"

Give it a few seconds. That was the impression that she was under with the gargoyle that she had successfully pushed into the fire. Granted doing such had taken several minutes to do because of the difference in size between it and her. After some time, maybe a minute or two, the first of the flames started to catch where the sludge had come into contact with it. There was another one then, followed by a few more. Not long after, the sludge was engulfed in flames, the gargoyle soon to follow. An assumption was made that it wouldn't be long before it would lose consciousness and its ability to maintain the ring of fire.

From the air, the woman was finally able to get a good look at what was going on with the other three. The warlord and his warriors looked like they were starting to get tired. Reiko noticed that one of them was able to use lightning. That wasn't was using its right hand to do that. Yeah, she could help them out some. She certainly wasn't going to stay in the air forever, that's for damn sure. A return to the ground was made, outside of the ring of fire, and she started to stalk her way towards the lightning using creep from behind. Her left hand raised to her face with a finger in front of her lips as a way of telling the others to shush as she closed in. At the same time, her right hand was behind her back and forming a second energy ball.

When she was close enough, she leaped into the air. It wasn't much of a leap, just enough to give her range to fire her energy ball at the right hand of that gargoyle. If she was fortunate enough, then she was about to do some pretty severe damage to this creep. "Think fast..." the Albino muttered.
Reiko Souma
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:38 pm
Location: Camden, NJ, Terra; visits Rhy'din on vacations

Re: Attack of the Gargoyles!

Post by Reiko Souma » Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:43 pm

*Note: Any outcome on Renna's behalf remains unknown due to technical difficulties.

A dark descending. Something wide and something blank. Dark wings of black fell about her in inky tendrils as she smelt battle upon the air and it was not often she took towards the flight of conflict. After all, it was no longer her place, no longer...her...desire?

Or was it? Drool fell from her lips as she sucked in a deep breath, perched upon a nearby building close to the Inn. She could smell Reiko's adrenaline and could smell her sweat and yet someone else..?

What was going on? What was happening? But she could catch something else on the wind. A taint. A change. A devious war that only an infected wound could pull her out. The four pantheons - an undivided desire. And she found herself wondering why she came here. Renna stood up, her black, tattered cloak flowing over a naked frame that was frosted from the locale wind and air.

"... I shouldn't get involved, but?" She looked in a particular direction. "Someone is out of their league..."

Gavkreiz was quite busy, contesting with the surprising strokes of lightning from the gargoyle whom he threw Tzeentch's Fire towards to try to stop it. Seems he couldn't entirely do so, and was cast back into the partially damaged porch causing it more harm along with his own injury. Most of the other Chaos warrior-champions and marauders, were not paying Reiko's tactic any mind to give it away, they were quite busy just fighting.

The beastly one lunged and swiped again, trying to rend the magic wielding gargoyle further, though the encroaching daemon-mount's hoof smacking may do enough for Reiko to get her own revenge with a killing blow! The others continued their flanking, relentless attacking, out to finish their jobs for the bounties and for glory. Maul and flail wielding marauders joining the fray on the survivors should help to further those means, swinging hard and furiously, sludged up making them harder to hit, as much as the warriors themselves would be too.

As fire spread, however, they tried to fall back and let the fire help to end it all, taking pot shots when able, but having enough self-preservation instinct not to get set on fire horribly just to quicken the task at hand. Their weariness was more in the constant exchange, and finding their hide tough as a troll's. Severing limbs helped a great deal, and was such a focus consuming task, they weren't wise to the new, self-speaking figure above in the cold breeze amidst a cloak and strange vacant aura, to those who could use the Witch Sight anyway. Gavel was their leader in that regard, and also busy, pulling his ass out of the broken section of flooring with his chest sizzling, chaos armor red-hot and melting off his cyan paint. "End it you maggots! Do I have to do it myself?" Weakened, he went for one of his blue bronze throwing axes, since tar was ablaze.

Reiko's sneak attack had a greater chance of success, what with everybody clearly too distracted to notice her presence. Good. That was exactly how she wanted it, and it would allow for her to see her plan through. The question was whether her energy ball would do what she intended for it to do. Even at point blank range, anything could happen to affect the accuracy some. Erratic movements leading to a good whack, that was one. All she wanted to do was take care of that magic-wielding hand. It was causing an awful lot of trouble with the lightning that it was spewing.

No more of this! Or, as the two words crossed through her mind, ¡No más! They meant just about the same thing between languages. And, no more it would be indeed as the energy ball connected with the right hand of that troublesome gargoyle. Watch that intense shade of pink start drilling its way into the hand. It wasn't going to fizzle our without doing some damage, and it was moving as if unrestrained. That gargoyle wasn't going to be summoning anymore lightning anytime soon.

Nor was it going to get back up anytime soon. Once the energy ball had drilled through the hand, it had already been falling towards the ground. The last of the contact she made with it was a glance at its chest...if it wasn't already dead, anyways. Well then. She was getting back up and sighing. Ending it would be nice, but she didn't want to steal the fun from these guys.

"Ah... Of course." Renna slipped down the incline of the roof until she hit the gutter, her head tilting as she looked to the RDI and then Reiko's general direction. "Don't trust me, hm?" She mused to herself mostly.

She remembered the woman's words to others. She loved that. Never trust a wild card. But never leave yourself outnumbered.

Crimson eyes, swirling with a magma point of darkened onyx, went wide. Eldritch lightning flowered across her metallic claws as she closed sparking eyes. The energy built up inside of her billowed out claw and it sprayed out in heated plasma bursts across the denizens specifically attacking Reiko, but evading the main target of her concern.

She licked her lips. "I'm hungry..." she whispered, "I smell something tasty." Her grin split wide, revealing a metallic sheen of her teeth. "Time I dine on cooked flesh." With that, Renna moved to the edge of the roof, cackling as loud as she could.
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