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Author Topic: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle  (Read 11562 times)

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Offline Scrasamax

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Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« on: December 27, 2011, 09:55:37 AM »
The air was crisp and cold, the clouds were the color of iron and had the disposition of an old wolf with a sour tooth. The wolves of the mountain were restless, something was coming.

The packs assembled at the Weeping Rocks Caern, each could see the space in the mountain where water trickled from the stone. The stone itself had long since eroded into the face of a sleeping wolf. The leader of Weeping Rocks sat on her scarred haunches and looked at the others, she could smell the anxiety, the bristling anger in the air.

"The spirit world seethes," she spoke, "we have all bloodied our claws in the flesh of the banelings and the scrags that swarm like cockroaches from the dark places," she paused. There were enough lupus among the caern that there was an unheard but assumed that humans would have been just as suitable an example of a swarming unwanted creature.

"We have not the strength to face this threat head on, alone," she said, her voice deathly grim. "It already the season of the falling leaves, and there has not come to us a single werewolf cub. Not a single one has lifted a new voice to Gaia. Our sisters the Black Furies have been equally silent, we have not been blessed with any proud male pups from their caerns. It is a a hungry year."

"How many have we lost this year? How many warriors, how many tricksters and teachers have given the final gift?" the Lorekeeper asked. The sept remembered, the packs that had been mauled in the fighting, the wolves who had been killed by claws and gaping jaws. They howled.

*****

The airport in Van Buren City was a massive sprawling monster, terminals and causeways built atop each other. A wretched hive of humanity and engineering, and all of it reeked of technology, and the hidden venom of the wyrm pulsing through each monitor, for sale in every shop, and once he was outside of the airport itself, on every corner. This was not the America he expected, it was crude, smashed together without a care, and then it was plastered with for sale signs. Belgorov watched the scenery roll by, after an hour of sitting in traffic, looking at concrete and steel, buildings dating back a century or more sandwiched between gleaming steel and glass monsters, all brightly lit.

But then the scenery changed abruptly from city to wooded rolling mountains, and scattered small farms and ranches. The line between the city and the country was very severe. There were small cities and towns, barely noticeable from the main road, the driver stopped in one of the smaller 'cities' barely worthy of such a name. The car was refueled and he had the opportunity to peruse a convenience store hot food counter. It seemed that his choices were either covered with a vinegar pepper sauce, or deep fried in an oil that seemed to permeate every square inch of the store.

He could all but taste the Wyrm. It wasn't a fallen place, and the fat woman behind the counter was no formori. This land, the very soil itself had once belonged to the Wyrm. He knew of the Uktena werewolves, how they centuries ago defeated the wyrm spirits and buried them in earth, binding them to the bottoms of lakes and in deep seemingly bottomless pits. How many miners had burrowed into some sleeping horror? And the American penchant for monster movies, slasher movies,how many could be traced to the horrors bound and sunk in the cold deep lakes?

Ahead it was the city of Vixenburg, Fox mountain, and the nearby Lake Croatan.

And there were plenty of wolves in those hills.

*****

The camera panned across the inlet of Lake Croatan, the mount dutifully scanning the water at the rate of one pass every two minutes. The combination battery and solar panel kept the camera running for almost the entire summer, but now that it was getting later into the year it was time to go collect the assembly. There had been no lake monster sightings on his camera this year, there were at least 3 sightings and encounters around the lake. The Lake Croatan monster... Still, the real monster ended up being hikers and mountain bikers, one had a habit of breaking or stealing gear, and the other just typically ran over it, ate an energy bar, and pedaled off.

The drive from East Carolina University, home of the Fighting Ironclads, to the lake was tedious and long. 5 hours, typically, sometimes longer depending on the traffic heading out of Van Buren City. A pretty weekend was sure to see the roads clogged with caravans and campers, RVs and fishing boats, and all the other roadway nightmares caused by too many people deciding to all go to the same place at the same time. At least it wasn't a long weekend. Those brought out of state visitors to hit the mountain paths and fishing and hunting and all of that nonsense. And with all of those people, all of those cameras and camcorders, and cell phone cameras, no one ever saw anything then.

There was a sign by the road as he drove up: Beware of Wolves, Beware of Bears


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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2012, 12:24:02 AM »
Highway 28 was an old road, one that predated the national interstate system. Instead of six gleaming lanes of high speed traffic if was a four lane road, winding through valleys and across rivers and low points in the ridges. It was a quaint road, the sort that showed up in the travel magazines and road brochures that showed happy families fishing, and camping, and enjoying some costumed local tourist trap stuff. The majority of traffic heading west from Basin City and Van Buren City piled into great iron logjams on the I-28 or on the I-50. On those long weekends and summer holidays the drive to Vixenburg could double, with the extra time spent sitting at a standstill when some tourist decided to kiss one of the K-rails, or someone with an oversized RV overheated, or shredded a tire. In the winter it was the same, but instead dashing for the camps and marinas scattered around Lake Croatan, they made the drive up to Ober Vixenburg, a ski chalet nestled in the top of Fox Mountain itself. There were five and eight story hotels clustered around minimalls and more pancake and flapjack houses than a family could visit in two weeks of vacationing. Signs were blazoned across the front of every other shop, 'Homemade Fudge'  and 'Roasted Nuts Here' as well as plenty of Ye Olde Ober Vixenburg kitsche. But if the Van Buren City Ironsides made into into the BCs standings, then everything was draped with UEC navy blue and silver. Likewise if the East Carolina State was doing well. Finally, despite the lawsuits from DC Comics and Bacardi, the bat logo of the East Carolina Vampires professional Football team invariably can be found. Despite being a terrible team, little better than the Oakland Raiders, the Vampire's fans are a fanatical bunch, never afraid to show their team spirit.

Locals know to avoid most of these places, unless they are hard up for work. Instead of following the wide, stalled interstates, its quicker to travel the back highways.

Sitting at the junction of Co Rd 690 and Hwy 28 was a motley collection of buildings that masqueraded as the unincorporated township of Wynonna, East Carolina. There was a Super Dollar Store, with a cracked but still gaily yellow sign proudly proclaiming NOTHING OVER A DOLLAR!!!.  Sitting next to it was a small shack that passed for a restaurant, the sort that was serviced by a barbeque pit mounted on a trailer and some third hand patio and lawn furniture for seating. Across the intersect saw the Mount Zion Baptist Church of Wynonna and the focal point of the 'town', a convenience store. While the church looked less than a few years old, the Ready'Roll looked like it had been erected when Henry Ford was still in diapers. But it was about the last place on 28 for a traveler to empty his bladder and fill his car and cooler before getting into Hancock County and it's tourist tax rates and dry county status.

A trio of travelers, each in their own vehicles, and stopping for their own reasons found themselves pulling into just another crappy roadside gas n go.

(What are you driving, why have you pulled into this convenience station, and prepare for a brief round of IC introductions)


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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2012, 01:10:41 PM »
Unused to the local food, Aleksandr had hunted several times - he still wondered why anyone would need to drown his dishes in salt, sugar and artificial flavor.
At least no one objected to camping, with a hearty fire and roast; with his flanel shirt and sturdy jacket, he even passed for a woodsman.

The convenience store promised coffee, spirits and diesel - exactly what he and the Skoda Yeti needed. He had picked it up in Van Buren City, second hand - good gas mileage, reliable and with a 4-wheel drive, but with its four yards length, a little too small to be considered by your typical SUV owner.

Quaint was the appropriate word to describe the shop - alas, it smelled clean, and for a man used to provisional settlements, that was enough.
While shopping, he was lost in thought - recalling what he knew about the fiend that was to rise, and wondering why specifically he was sent half around the world. His spirit guide seemed far calmer - this was her time, the first chills. He could observe the people drawing together, subconsciously seeking company to weather the storm to come.
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Offline valadaar

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2012, 09:12:27 PM »
Terance pulled up to the store with his grand caravan, it's dark blue color made ambiguous by the dust of the road, and with uncool storage compartments on top.  A long trip and too much bad coffee made the stop critical.  As he got out he reflexively checked his iPhone, quickly scanning his new messages.  Nothing critical - his freinds knew he was entering a bad coverage area.

Terance was tall, but too skiny.  His hair was short, blonde and unkept, and his eyes were hidden by oversize black sunglasses.  Jeans, white tee-shirt.  Nike sneakers, several years out of style. 

He entered the store quickly, scanning for junk food.
   
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2012, 10:51:59 AM »
The man stood, staring into one of the hot food counters. His hands were filthy and his clothes were too. No one working paid him much mind, perhaps derelicts and burn outs were common in these parts. The convenience store went on about its usual hum. The two clerks were talking softly to each other, a pair of late teen-early twenty somethings. She was pretty in that plain small town way, with a bit too much make up and a build that said second string cheerleader. He was skinny, the unpopular looking sort of boy with a rough complexion and dark hair. Their body language was obvious, he wanted her, but a long time ago she had friend-zoned him. A few other patrons puttered about in the sit down area, nursing cups of coffee and mumbling about how so and so was doing in the hospital, and how construction was going out on this such and such road.

The man continued to stare, but his gaze seemed somehow hollow.


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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2012, 12:59:38 PM »
Briefly, Aleksandr considered buying a grilled chicken from the hot food counter - yet the stench there repelled him. Was something wrong with the meat, or was the grease recycled over and over, burned into a carcinogenic sludge?

Nope - it came from the drifter, and the stench was beyond dirty - it was unclean.

How come no Garou caught a whiff of this one? The Wyrm reeked from the derelict in thick, almost visible black strands.

Hells. He could use a little workout before taking on a dragon.

"You look hungry, friend" he approached. "Care to share? I feel like using their 'three chickens for the price of two' special, but cannot possibly eat them all."
While the girl clerk may have been intimidated by his bulk, black mane and beard, scars, Russian accent - anything, in fact - he gave her his most charming smile: "Girl, I would purchase some of your delicious poultry."

"Lure him out, the woods are close - the frost is close - he shan't be missed" Snegurochka whispered in his mind, and Aleksandr could only agree.
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Offline Dossta

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2012, 07:27:55 PM »
Ian pulled his old Nighthawk into the Ready’Roll, his stomach snarling almost as loudly as the exhaust of his old bike.  Training with StalksPeace had, as always, left him with at least a dozen bruises and gnawing hunger.  He hoped that the 3 for 2 chicken special was still available.

He relished the thought of the long ride back to Van Buren City.  Biking all the way out here for training was one of the few opportunities he’d gotten recently to just let his mind go.  Classes and training, his mentor’s increasingly odd behavior -- allowing himself to worry about it all while on the road would be sheer stupidity.  He was solidly built and could heal pretty d**n fast, but he would NOT like to explain to the insurance company how he had walked away from the twisted remains of his motorcycle without a scratch.  Again.  Twice already was enough; given his luck, they’d start investigating him for insurance fraud . . .

Parking his bike in the shade, Ian lashed his helmet to the seat and headed into the store, swinging his arms around to stretch out his camped muscles.  A shade over six feet tall, his athletic frame was somewhat obscured by the faded letterman jacket he wore.  A stained (but clean) commemorative shirt from a track meet several years back, natty blue jeans, and a pair of running shoes that had seen a lot of use completed the look.  Just another college jock.  Nothing to see here.

Only the slight bulge of his concealed glock said otherwise.

Whistling tunelessly, Ian headed into the store.

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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2012, 09:56:46 AM »
The girl behind the counter, rather than being intimidated by Alex's foreignness and build, seemed attracted by them. When he started talked, her weedy paramour was instantly forgotten, "Oh yeah, we still got the threefertwo chicken deal mister, where are you from man?"

The drifter didn't speak, but his eyes sparkled with malevolence and emptiness. A thin black gruel began to drip from the corner of his mouth and he started making a weird keening sound.

"Oh Jesus man," the weedy kid said, backing away from the drifter and into a rack of lotto tickets


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Offline valadaar

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2012, 10:50:53 AM »
At about that moment Terence felt his phone vibrate in his pocket and quickly brought it out to check who called.

Seeing what caused the call, he quickly muted the phone and watched the readout go by.  Not the time or place for speech recognition.

He moved closer the to window, for better reception for his call.
"Jim? .... Yep.... Some Quicky mart or the like...   Not too bad, though.....   Idiot drivers - out of staters I think..' Terence rambled on while invoking app after app on his phone. 

No doubt about it - there was trouble here, and it looked like he would need a lot of help here.  He needed a plan.

One of the various clicks triggered the phone's camera, centred on the Drifter. A robotic witness was added to the unfolding events.


   
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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2012, 06:42:27 PM »
The Fomor was slipping - whatever rotten thing was left of its brain would soon snap entirely, drowned in rage.

"If you can't mind your manners, out into the frost with you!"
Without further ado, Aleksandr grabbed the keening thing, and half pushed, half threw it out of the store... ringing the doorbell as they passed.

They traded a few punches - he needed to rile it up, mad enough to follow - then bounded for  the woods, the frothing bum in pursuit.
"You won't get any chicken, but what about a piece of a tiger?"
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2012, 12:14:37 AM »
The bum rolled across the pavement a few times, ichor splattered on the pavement. He pushed himself up, the change starting to slide through his body. The skin started sloughing off of his face, his jaws growing larger and flopping about like a great horrendous lamprey. His eyes were turning milky and all white as the wyrm spirit inside gave up the charade of pretending to be human. It looked towards where Alex was moving and then back towards the Ready'Roll. It chose the softer, easier prey inside and left the tiger to his own devices.

The man, now seemingly composed more of slime dripping black rubber than flesh, slammed into the glass door. The glass spiderwebbed, and the thing began to howl, a bitter hateful sound.

The Beast was coming to eat the souls of the poor bastards inside.

(PM me your actions)


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Offline Dossta

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2012, 11:59:37 PM »
Ian had never seen true wyrmspawn before, but that hardly mattered now.  His body was already in motion, muscles tensing for the fight.  It was the smell of the thing -- a putrid mix of rotting flesh and chemical stench, burning into his nose -- that drove him nearly mad with pain and Rage.

As if from a great distance, he could almost hear StalksPeace chanting the familiar words of the Litany: Combat the Wyrm Wherever It Dwells and Whenever It Breeds

The glass of the storefront window shattered as he drove his body through it.  One heartbeat and he was through, sliding across a window-side booth table and into the aisle.  He took little notice of the startled curses from the diners as their meal was flung through the air, eggs spilling into their laps and coffee splashing across their faces.  Instead he flung a hand out to catch himself against a rack of monster-cookies and used it to propel himself sideways.  In two more heartbeats his sneakers felt the floor and he was sprinting towards the front of the store.

Hot hatred for this thing pulsed through Ian’s veins.  He itched to rip into it; he could feel his neck prickling with the need to transform.  Only the horrified screaming from the front of the store kept Ian’s Rage in check.

Protect them!

Careening down the aisle with almost reckless abandon, Ian pulled his Glock free.  Before ten heartbeats had passed, Ian had reached the other side of the doorway, interposing himself between the defenseless patrons and the monstrosity before him.  As he opened fire at point blank range into the mass of the creature’s body, a tiny, detached part of Ian’s mind hoped that the thing was allergic to lead.  If not, that bear of a man who had run off into the woods had better be coming back.

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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2012, 09:44:21 AM »
Hot lead punched into rubbery flesh, flesh that was still thickening and blackening. The fomor bled black onto the floor, but the wounds didnt seem to bother it. The monster staggered forward and fell into all fours. Its arms thickened, and crude teeth started sprouting from the loose black jaws. The cheerleader behind the register gave up fighting with the latch to get out of the booth and fainted, knocking her head against a badly out of date Joe Camel cigarette display. Weedy Boy was already at the back door, having vaulted over the counter like an olympic athlete. In the dining area, a few of the old boys were just staring at the thing in front of them. a few others were either moving towards the back exit between the restrooms, or were edging towards the window exit just manufactured by the man with the glock.

(new round of actions)


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Offline valadaar

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2012, 12:11:10 PM »
"Run!" shouted Terence. 

Not waiting for the others to snap out of it, Terence repeated Weedy Boy's performance, half stepping, half jumping over the counter to get to the cheerleader.

As he landed, his eyes cast about for something _useful_ against the Wrym.  He didn't have a good weapon with him - his Tazer might buy him a second or too, but was no match for that thing. His leatherman, tricked out or no, would be no better.  He could deny the Wyrm the cheerleader's soul if it came to that, but little more. 

Terence cursed - he had been caught flat footed here, and only the other two strangers gave him hope he'd see tomorrow.



   
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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2012, 07:38:47 AM »
Sparing a quick glance over his shoulder, Ian noted with some surprise the presence of a tall blonde man behind the counter.  He seemed to be the only one in the store keeping his cool.  Ian could use that.

Pulling out his hunting knife, Ian tossed the man his glock.  It had a few bullets left in it, at least, but it wasn't doing much against the thing.

"Get everyone out of here!  We need to trap this thing in the store!"

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2012, 08:00:07 AM »
The fomor seemed to be about done shifting into it's wyrmish form, it gave a roar and then a vile horking sound like a sick smoker about to spit out something lumpy and yellow.

(projectile attack at end of turn)


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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2012, 08:03:02 AM »
The thing did not follow - was its ferocity tempered by fear, hence a vestige of sanity?
Aleksandr doubted it.
Most likely, the store simply held more food.

Not hesitating, the shifter uttered a prayer to the old Emperors of China, to lend him the resilience of Jade. His ancestors had been their advisers, and the spirits still owed the debts.

Then, he let the taiga in.
The Wyld flooded him, feral energy of untamed wilderness, and he felt the bones bend, muscles shift and fangs and fur sprout.
Striped was his hide, ocher and coal black, the belly white, the shape of a cross between a tiger and a smilodon.

The ten-inch fangs would take care of the Wyrm - the Delirium of the mortals' memories.
Through the blasted window he leaped, and pounced upon the mutant in a frenzy of claws and fangs.
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Offline valadaar

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2012, 10:39:46 AM »
Ye Gods, thought Terence as he snagged the pistol out of the air.  He stuffed it into his waistline as he reached down to fireman carry the cheerleader.  He would not waste a second that the new 'thing' had bought.  He had no time even to figure out what the newcomer was - only he needed to leave - now.

Terence flipped the latch to open the booth and did his best to avoid the warring creatures with the girl draped over his shoulders.
   
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Offline Dossta

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2012, 09:53:46 AM »
The rational part of Ian's mind told him that he should concentrate on evacuating the building, perhaps push some stands over to trap the thing in place while the humans fled.

The rational part lost.

Whatever the newcomer was, it had come between Ian and his prey, and that was more than the wolf in him could stand.  Ian let the Wyld loose, letting the heat of it shiver down his back to transform him.  Two heartbeats later a nine foot tall monster stood in a pile of shredded clothing, and it was pissed.

With a snarl, the werewolf joined the fray.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 09:55:26 AM by Dossta »

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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2012, 02:46:34 AM »
The fast food joint reeked of Wyrm, fear and old oil.
Thrashing, the weretiger and the plague-beast fought, throwing over aisles, rolling over the counter, in a flurry of claws and teeth.

There - Aleksandr spied an opening, and pushed his vile opponent towards towards the sizzling oil where the dubious treats were prepared, pushing its head inside the fryer with his bulk.

An All-American dinner if there ever was one!
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2012, 02:13:07 PM »
The beast crashed  through the hot food counter, sending foil wrapped burgers and chimichangas across the store. The last of the few patrons were out of the building. The building shook with the fury of the fight inside. Outside of the gas station, several people had stopped running and were instead sitting, holding the knees to their chests,rocking back and forth. Others drove away in their cars, spewing gravel from the back tires as they fled. A small number sat numbly, their minds unable to deal with the horror inside. The delirium left them in a haze, they could not fit the werewolf into their world views. They could not comprehend the appearance of the massive weretiger, and nothing could prepare them for the horror of a greater fomori. The cheerleader was starting to sob incoherently.

Inside the two warriors of Gaia fought with the beast. It crashed into the oil fryers, splattering all of the warriors with hot oil. More oil splattered on the hot grill and burst into flames. Ian felt the blast of heat that turned most of his back pelt into carbonized ash. The fomori shuddered, the inside of it's maw was blistered and bloody. The beast clawed at the tiger on it's back.

(fomori misses a grab attack against Aleks, it is now also injured. Ian's injuries are cosmetic)


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Offline Dossta

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2012, 07:15:39 PM »
With a yelp born of pain and surprise, Ian breaks off his attack momentarily to snap at everything in his immediate vicinity, both friend and foe.  It's the smell, ironically, that keeps him from losing it.  Though the weretiger doesn't smell like family or packmate, he still smells enough like Gaia to keep Ian from turning on him. 

The rubber beast, however, STINKS.

Allowing the stench to guide him, Ian shakes his head and continues the attack, ripping at the creature's unprotected back while its ttention is on the weretiger.

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Offline valadaar

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2012, 09:33:42 PM »
The girl was safe, for now, so long as the werebeasts within lived.  Terence went back to the window and watched the melee, and held up his phone to 'record'. 

It was, in fact recording, though this was secondary.  In addition it was focusing Terence's Art.  One of Time's great allies in the weathering of the world is the flow of water.  And as an agent of Entrophy, Terance attempted to latch onto the flow of the Thing's blood - to draw it out at arterial volumes through the rents made by the were-beasts. 

<ooc - adjustment being made to entrophy - shifting to 3 at expense of Time...>


<edit: Fixing ipad-related typos...>
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 09:22:03 AM by valadaar »
   
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Renaissance of Darkness: Vixenburg Chronicle
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2012, 08:33:24 AM »
The Fomori bellowed and once again tried to shake the tiger off of it's back. Aleks is able to hang on, though Ian has a bit a trouble keeping his feet with the torrents of blood that start gushing from the rents in the beast's hide. Even the blisters and wounds in it's mouth were running with blood. Aleks could feel the strength of the beast starting to fail.


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