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The Kaiju That Ate Dragon's Gate

 
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Jake
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Location: Red Orc Brewery, a dueling venue, or the taverns of Badside
130,746 Silver Nobles


PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:00 pm    Post subject: The Kaiju That Ate Dragon's Gate Reply with quote

Tara hipchecked the door open, darting in, then turned and shoved the giant clawed foot that was trying to come in after her, back outside. She pointed firmly at the enormous creature outside and frowned. "No! You stay outside while Mommy gets her entertainment fix on. Go find Daddy Jake. He's an orc. You can't miss him."

A monstrous roar erupted from outside, followed by the sounds of two vehicles smashing together, random screaming, dogs barking, and yelling for someone to call an ambulance.

===============================

Fires burned out of control, tearing apart the night. The sounds of sirens racing towards Dragon's Gate were intercut with screams of terror and explosions. Gas lines, severed by collapsing structures or crushed by monstrous claws, caught sparks and ignited into roaring flame. A motorcycle raced down the avenue, a desperate race dodging debris, came to a violent end as an enormous tentacle lashed through the second floor of a brick townhouse, sending a shower of brick and steel down into the street. The motorcycle's rider fell through the air and crumpled into a heap near a burning vehicle, while the motorcycle careened through the front window display of a deli. An explosion ripped outward a moment later, scattering glass, baked goods, and bloodier parcels into the street.

Fire trucks scattered about the district in an effort to bring the chaos under control. An ear-shattering roar split the air, and spotlights surged upward trying to keep the monster in their beams. The creature lashed out angrily, a claw the size of schoolbus crashed down, smashing through the roof of townhouse only yards from the famed Red Dragon Inn. Tentacles forced their way through structures, crushing their way through hallways and down through the streets, ripping apart stone and concrete.

Where the tentacles lashed about, a trail of dark residue, a corrosive mucous-like slime, remained behind. Where it touched, wood disintegrated, stone crumbled, and steel burned.

A jetcraft from the RASG roared by, launching a pair of missiles that struck the monster full-on, but left no mark as they exploded harmlessly against the outer shell of the creature. Angered, the kaiju turned, spitting a spray of acid in the path of the jetcraft. Scored by the spray, the jetcraft's engines failed sending it careening off-course. The pilot fought heroically to steer the out of control craft into the lake rather than into the populated streets filled with panicked citizens. The jetcraft was ripped to pieces as it crashed into surface of the lake. There was no sign the pilot had managed to eject.

Citizens fled into New Haven, into Old Market, or over the bridges towards Old Temple trying to escape the carnage and mayhem.

The monster, standing in the remains of Red Orc Brewery, roared in confusion, rage, and pain. A nightmare monstrosity that defied description. Refugees from its rampage recounted giant claws like those of a lobster or crab, while others related stories about poisonous spines erupting from enormous armored plates that dripped with acid. Eye stalks, dozens of them, with illuminated eyes paralyzed observers until black, mucous coated tentacles siezed them and flung them away. Survivors had flesh burned away and their screams of pain filled the air.

Under the rubble that had once been The Line, a voice wracked with pain cried out for help. A wall crumbled and fell, glass shattered, brick tumbled to the floor and a table collapsed, crushed by the weight of the debris. Guests fled in panic. Jerry, the bartender, shouted "Find Rath! We need his help!"


=======-------

An autographed picture fell from the wall, bounced against the table below, and crashed into a bucket, sending it off the table and tumbling to the floor. Poison dart frogs fled in panic. Jerry, the bartender, shouted, "Find Rath! We need his help!"

-------=======

The half-orc was on his way back towards the brewery when the world started falling apart. Ahead, he could hear the rumbling thunder of a building collapsing. A cloud of dust rose in the sky, followed soon after by the flickering tendrils of fire reaching into the night sky. "Bloody..." The orc started to swear, and then realized the fires were coming from the vicinity of the brewery. Instead of cursing, the orc began running.

Figures running in the opposite direction, coughing from the smoke, passed Jake as he ran for the brewery. The roar of the monster tearing its way out of the roof of his home was visible now. Fire licked upward, illuminating a great beast, huge crab-like claws swung around, slamming into the neraby buildings. An armored head, twisted about, maw open as it screamed with birthing pains. The body was protected by a hard carapace. Tentacles swarmed out from the sides of the shell, slashing through the air and slithering out into the streets tossing vehicles about with careless strength.

Jake drew his sword, entirely by reflex, even as the idiocy of the action occurred to him. He might as well have drawn a spoon. He continued to run towards the brewery, blade in hand. He had to. Everything was there.

The creature was climbing from the ruins of the brewery. A flash of greenery that might have once been PJ's garden fell and then disappeared under a collpse of red brick. Let PJ be out. Let her be visiting her boyfriend. Or Koy. Or Rena. Or anyone. Let her not be there. The orc ran faster.

The side of the brewery crumbled. Barrels of ale, those not already broken or crushed, rolled out into the streets, spilling ale. Beyond, he could see a claw smash against the ferris wheel, a twisting and tearing of metal and it came free of it's mounts, half rolled and half fell, all in slow motion. It collapsed and crumpled as it fell into Munro's Deli.

Jake leaped over the remains of a vehicle torn in twain. He ducked under the swing of a black tentacle the size of a tree trunk. A gaping hole provided entry to the brewery. The wreckage was total. Was that the remains of his office? He clambered over rubble to find what used to be the stairs, find a scant few intact. There looked like the remains of the cottage. The half-orc tore into it, casting boards and stone aside as he searched for bodies. He was oblivious to the monster.

A tentacle swept by. Jake ducked, then dove into another pile of debris.

Screams echoed from the street behind him. It sounded like the monster had crashed its way into The Line. The noise of the destruction was terrible. Only faintly could the screams be heard. "...look out! It's coming this way!"

And then there was pain. The floor crumbled beneath him and the orc fell. Brick and board followed behind, burying him in darkness. There was a rushing noise.

=======-------

Party-goers stumbled out of The Line. There was laughter. A woman, half-drunk, held herself up only by clinging to her date. He, nearly as drunk as she, kept one arm wrapped around her waist, half-carrying her as he stepped into the street. "Look out!" His best friend's hand clasped his shoulder and yanked him backwards, along with the girl.

A bus whipped by, speeding down the road to maintain a tight schedule.

-------=======

[earlier...]

"I bet it's gonna be a turtle!"

"No! It's not! It's going to be a fearsome spawn!"

"With big green flippers and a crazy shell..." The goblin was practically gibbering. He evaded Tara's lashing hand, and continued circling the egg. Planting an ear to the side to listen to the noises within. "Oooh! I bet it's going to wake!"

"Get away you stupid goblin! This is Jake's egg-baby! It's not going to be a turtle! It's going to be a creature of darkness and terrible fury! Something to crush and destroy and maim..." The woman stamped after the goblin trying to chase the goblin away.

"Heehee! You said egg-baby!" Somehow, Tara had no more luck catching the goblin than the orc did. Always he was just out of reach. "Terrible fury??? Turtles aren't terrible! Unless it's a giant snapping turtle!" The goblin bounced and danced, always just a step ahead of Tara's claws. "I played with a snapping turtle once. SNAP! SNAP! It was so bitey and bad-mannered! Is Jake's turtle-baby going to be bitey too?"

"It's NOT going to be a turtle, you maladjusted, brain-fogged, misshapen excuse for a humanoid!"

Magical forces swirled darkly across the surface of the egg. Swirls of black and red fought and collided, and the surface of the egg rippled.

"No? Oh! I know! Crabs have shells too! Maybe it's a giant crab, with grabby claws!" The goblin mimed claws with his hands, snapping them at Tara.

Tara bared her teeth, the light seemed to slide away from her skin, and her eyes flickered red. "No, it's not a crab! My egg-baby will have dark powers, and will rule over mankind, and it will bring destruction and chaos!" She lunged for the goblin. Her fingers raked through stone like butter where the goblin had been but a moment before.

"Oh! Oh! I know! I heard that octopuses...octopi? Octomonsters bring destruction and chaos to sailors on the sea. Is it an Octomonster?" The goblin was atop the egg, tapping it with a tiny fist.

"Damn you, get away from my egg!" Tara shrieked and the full force of her anger lashed out, in a wave, disintegrating the wall behind the egg. It washed over the egg, like electricity, sparking angry red.

And then the egg cracked.
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Jake
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Location: Red Orc Brewery, a dueling venue, or the taverns of Badside
130,746 Silver Nobles


PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

His hand itched. Funny. He did not expect his hand to itch when he was dead.

===============

Jerry grunted and pulled at a wooden beam. His fingers slipped, blood and sweat made his grip unsure. The debris refused to budge. Below he could hear the screams of kitchen staff calling for help. The fallen ceiling was blocking the stairway, and was perilously close to collapsing further down into the kitchen. He coughed, the smoke filled his lungs, but he could not just leave them. He shouted for the ogre, "Rath! I need your help! Please!"

The ogre lumbered and lunged amidst the debris trying to catch his snacks. Frogs darted and jumped seeking refuge from the fire, and perhaps also from the ogre. Rath alternated between stuffing frogs into his pockets and his mouth. Jerry's pleading went unheard.

"Please, Rath! They are stuck down there!"

=====-------

Jerry grunted and pulled at the box. His fingers slipped as sweat and condensation made his grip unsure. The freezer refused to move. Below he could hear the kitchen staff calling out orders. The freezer was blocking the stairway, perilously close slipping back and sliding down into the busy kitchen. He coughed, damn allergies. He shouted for the ogre, "Rath! I need your help! Please!"

The ogre lumbered and lunged amidst the tables trying to catch his snacks. Frogs darted and jumped seeking escape and refuge from the ogre. Rath alternated between stuffing frogs into his pockets and his mouth. Jerry's pleading went unheard.

"Please, Rath! The freezer is stuck!"

-----=======

The elf, Kalamere, stepped through a portal, pushing one of the fry-cooks to safety before disappearing again. How much time was there before the floor collapsed down into the kitchens? He kept moving. His magic jumping him back and forth between the relative safety of the street, where at least nothing was falling, and the half-buried kitchen, hauling his employees out as quickly as he could.

A jump below, blind into space he hoped was still clear. Fires were filling the space with deadly smoke while kitchen staff tossed pots of water in a desperate effort to prevent its spread until their rescue.

"Dammit, I need help!" The elf ported back above, spotted Rath and grabbed him by the arm. Before the ogre could shrug him off, he portaled again, carrying both himself and his easily distracted bouncer back into the kitchen space.

His snacks no longer in view, the disoriented ogre realized its peril. All around him, fires and smoke filled the air. Broken pipes sprayed water in every direction. The screams of the waiters and cooks surrounded him. The ogre, acting on instinct, plowed into the debris, shoving it outward. Forcing a path to safety.

The stairs held. Rath burst through, roaring. Jerry fell back, shielding himself with his arms as wood and stones fell away. The ogre clambered free, tossing aside remnants of the blockage.

Kalamere, near exhausted from the effort of transporting the ogre, felt himself being lifted and pushed forward as the rescued staff helped him escape the deathtrap below.

Jerry, recovered from his surprise, directed the staff out into the street, away from the unsafe building. Rath, once again sighting his beloved snacks, chased through the fires grabbing at them.

Kalamere limped with exhaustion after Jerry. He started to turn, to see the destruction of The Line, when he saw the ruin of the brewery across the street. Smashed cars littered the street like cast off toys. Fires burned against the skyline. Sirens split the air. And...in the distance...a monster crashed its way southward heading towards the Red Dragon Inn.

===============

Dead should not hurt this much.

Jake opened his eyes. And immediately closed them as blood stung his eyes. "Ow, dammit!" He reached up, wiping his eyes clear, and tried opening them again. He blinked. His vision cleared. The scene made no sense. He could see darkness above, and his nose was filled with the acrid smell of burning wood, hops, rye, steel and other things. The half-orc started to move and immediately his vision fuzzed out as pain filled him. Breathe. Just breathe.

He tried again, more slowly. Something pinned him. There was a tearing sensation below his ribs on his right side. The orc bit down, swearing to dark gods and fought the urge to scream. Looking down, a broken pipe stood out from him. He could see where it broke free from his body. Nothing held the pipe in place where he could see, which meant that it was the section behind him, coming out of his back, that anchored him.

This was going to hurt.

A lot.

The orc reached behind him, finding a secure place to plant his hand. The other arm was not responding. He guessed his shoulder was dislocated. He hoped that was all it was. He pushed off against the floor, or wall, or whatever surface was below him that he could not see. The pain was a sudden stab of fire. The orc roared but kept pushing.

The pipe slipped an inch lower. The orc strove again, a steady, stubborn refusal to given in. He pushed himself up, along the pipe, feeling it slide through his guts.

Jake's vision greyed, and he struggled to remain conscious. Blood rushed in his ears. Not yet. Not yet.

Slowly the pipe retreated through him as the orc forced himself upward. Almost at the full extension of his arm, the pipe disappeared from his view, but he could feel that it was still inside him, not yet clear of his body.

Gritting this teeth for a final effort, and wishing he had both hands to use, the orc heaved himself upward. The copper pipe slipped free and the orc gasped. It was more fall than deliberate action. The orc fell to the side, away from the pipe and collapsed in the debris. He could not stop now. There would be bleeding to deal with. Every soldier knows the dangers of gut wounds.

But maybe just a moment of rest. His breaths were labored and ragged. Desperate gulps for air that brought pain. He speculated that there were broken ribs.

Ok, another breath...maybe four...then he would attend his wound. At least it did not hurt so much now. He could rest. And then blackness swallowed him.

===============

All around, people crawled free from collapsed buildings, or hiding places. Some wounded. Some not. Shock was rampant. People stared into the night unable to comprehend.

Kalamere looked to Jerry. "Make sure to get everyone to safety. Help those you can, but no risking yourself. Go north, towards New Haven. Get away from Dragon's Gate."

The elf turned back to the monster, its rampage was nearing the Inn, but for the moment it was wreaking vengeance on a warehouse. "And see if you can find help. Morgan, or Vincent, or someone else with real power." The kaiju smashed a claw downward, shattering wall and street. A spray of water burst into the air. "That thing might come back."

Jerry answered, said something, but the elf didn't hear him.

Kalamere turned, eyeing the brewery, and then portaled.
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Jake
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Location: Red Orc Brewery, a dueling venue, or the taverns of Badside
130,746 Silver Nobles


PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The half-orc opened his eyes. That was usually a good sign.

Kal knelt over him. "Welcome back. Didn't think you were going to make it for a bit there."

"What? Where?" The orc tried to lever himself up. Doing so made him realize that both arms worked. That was a good sign too.

"Easy. You were pretty roughed up."

Maybe that explained the headache.

A short distance away, a woman, no, two women stood. The former was one well familiar to him. The sorceress, Morgan le Fay. She conversed with a smaller woman, wait, no, he recognized that one too. It was Tara. Tara was exclaiming, "Isn't he beautiful?" Her eyes were alight and she gestured frequently off in the direction of a thunderous crashing.

Oh...right...the monster.

"...it was all the goblin's fault..." a fragment of conversation from Tara, but Jake's attention was on the kaiju. So, it was not just a fabrication of a nightmare. There really was a monster storming its way through the streets of Dragon's Gate. Several buildings were demolished, and the monster was stomping around near the Red Dragon, but as yet it remained undamaged.

He looked back. And the brewery really was a pile of rubble.

"We'll need to act quickly."

Another voice. "Perhaps Tara can..."

"No, we need something different for this. We need to undo what's been done." The orc turned his attention back to Morgan. She tapped her jaw with a finger..."I have an idea." She turned to Kalamere, "can you find and bring Napoleon here?"

Kalamere looked surprised at the request, but got to his feet and portaled out.

Vinny cocked his head and looked at her, "what are you thinking?"

Tara was dancing. She radiated glee. "Did you see that? Isn't he cute?"

Morgan took out chalk and began inscribing a circle on the pavement. Quickly the circle was followed by a multi-pointed star, and then arcane symbols. "This will be the center. It will need to be recursive."

Vinny moved closer, observing over her shoulder. "That's going to take a lot of power."

The sorceress continued working. "Yes. I believe we can tap into the Nexus. Its nature..."

"Makes sense. All times...all places..."

"...all realities, yes" Morgan finished for him.

The half-orc had clambered to his feet. He looked himself over. His shoulder moved freely. Fingers sought out his stomach. Blood, still fresh, soaked his shirt, but beneath there was no wound. The orc took a breath. Then a deeper one. No pain. He ran a line upward, feeling his ribs. They seemed intact.

Jake wandered closer to the brewery. Or what was left of it. So many years of labor. So many memories. He grimaced. Something shiny caught his eye. He reached down and picked up a bit or wreckage, puzzling over it for a moment.

=====-------

Jake wandered closer to the brewery, eyeing the building with a satisfied expression. So many years of labor. So many memories. He smiled. Something shiny caught his eye. He reached down and picked up a toy.

Wait. This was not right.

-----=======

The orc shook his head, clearing an errant thought.

"Alright, Napoleon, you know what do, yes?" Jake turned to discover Morgan kneeling before the pirate captain.

The ratty captain held up a paw towards her. "Don't worry! I got this!" Then the bold pirate turned and dashed off, charging down the streets. "ARRRR! You'll be mine, kraken!"

Vinny looked at the sorceress dubiously. "That can't really work. Can it?"

Morgan shot him a look. "Belief is necessary."

The wizard nodded. "I'll take your word for it." He bowed to her and gestured to the circle. More complex now. Runes and sigils scored the ground. Chalk lines intersected and re-crossed in a manner indecipherable to the orc. In places, blood appeared to have been used to emphasize certain pictograms. Vinny looked to Morgan. "Ready to begin?"

The mistress of Avalon nodded, and circled her arms up together in front of her at the same time she drew in a deep breath. As she pushed her hands up and outward, a mist rose about her, spreading quickly outward, covering the ground. Where it touched the diagram, the lines burst into silver fire, so bright that it made the orc wince and bring up a hand.

The mist rolled outward, encompassing everything.

Vinny, standing at the opposite point of the diagram, reached out, a reverse of Morgan's movement. He pulled down the stars. Or so it seemed. Glittering beams of light bent, and arced towards him. His entire body illuminated as he absorbed the energies of the Nexus, focused it with his purpose, and then directed his arms down, pushing that purpose down into the diagram.

The silver fire flickered, turned gold. The mist, a ghostly silver, began shimmering an echo of that gold. Lightning flashed and flickered outward through the mist. The mist caressed and blanketed everything, a curtain that rose up, hiding all from view. It sparkled and glimmered, and flashed.

"What the hell?" The exclamation from Kalamere's bartender, Jerry. Kalamere silenced him with a curt hand gesture.
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Location: Red Orc Brewery, a dueling venue, or the taverns of Badside
130,746 Silver Nobles


PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The monster lurched and stumbled. As it lost its balance, it fell, crushing a row of townhouses. Trails of mist swirled in, circling in and around the creature. The kaiju roared. Windows for blocks shattered. It clambered to its feet. Crab-like, still transforming as it grew. The shell blistered in patches. The blisters bulged and burst outward, into black tendrils and spiky growths. Camouflage? Or some new defense? Inky blackness billowed out of the tendrils and poured down into the gathering mist.

Where the mist and the inky cloud mixed, reality crackled. Stragglers, fleeing the ruin of the townhouses, screamed in agony as they breathed in the acidic cloud. The mist warred with the death that poured outward from kaiju. Where it touched, stone crumbled into dust. The corner of a guildhouse collapsed into rubble without the monster's actual touch.

Shouts of surprise were followed in turn by screams of pain. The mist flowed in after the cloud, obscuring sight and muffling sound.

The kaiju retreated from the mist. Chitinous armored legs carried the creature violently away. It climbed onto the buildings clustered to the west to get away from the mist that swirled through the streets. Rooftops, never intended to support the bulk of the monster collapsed. It roared in frustration and plowed forward, ripping through buildings as it fled.

An elf watched from atop the Dragon's Gate Manor with some alarm. The creature rampaged westward through the district. Eight monstrous legs carried it, lurching, over warehouse and residence in a path that would take it into, or through, the manor. The baron was determined not to let that happen.

Refugees fled through the streets seeking escape from the destruction. The homeless, and newly homeless, abandoned their doorways and alleys. Cast aside their possessions, those not already destroyed, and ran for their lives. The baron cast open the doors of the manor from afar, allowing access to any that could reach them in time.

A scant block away, three more buildings fell into ruin, sinking down into the mists that hunted and pursued the creature.

The elf baron delayed as long as he could, and when he could wait no longer, he incanted a spell. It was no sure thing. The volume he hoped to affect was far beyond anything the spell had been intended for. Still he must try. Arcane words shouted into the night transformed energy into effect. The manor darkened where the elf's spell touched, flowing out quickly to cover its entirety.

Shadow consumed the baronial manor even as the monster broke free of the last buildings nearest to it. Clawed feet stamped downward, sinking into the earth where the manor had been moments before.
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Location: Red Orc Brewery, a dueling venue, or the taverns of Badside
130,746 Silver Nobles


PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The mist boiled out from the silver diagram. The mist deepened, becoming a thick fog as it rolled outward. It poured through the streets of Dragon's Gate. Where it touched silence descended. It climbed over ruined home and storefront. Over crashed vehicles and limp forms. Blanketing everything it touched, hiding it away from sight.

Lightning flickered within the fog. Energies pulled from the Nexus itself charged the mist with incandescence.

========---------

A fire engine pulled up in front of a wailing shopkeeper. She fell to her knees, gesturing upward towards an elderly man, who was trapped trying to escape through a collapsed wall.

"Please, save him...," she begged. "He couldn't get out..."

---------========

A fire engine pulled up in front of a distraught shopkeeper. She gestured at a cat trapped on a branch.

"Please, save him," she pleaded. "I never let him outside, but he got out!"

========---------

A couple, sitting down to dinner, died as a tentacle slashed through their roof, collapsing the ceiling.

---------========

A couple sat down for dinner. The man, a merchant who worked in the Marketplace, paused and looked over the table to his wife of nearly a decade and smiled to her. She looked up from her soup, surprised that he had not yet started. She saw his smile and was warmed by it. A smile touched her lips and she looked away modestly.

=================

All over Dragon's Gate, reality rippled. Events rewrote themselves. Where a bus crashed, instead it slowed to a stop and picked up boarders. Where a cafe collapsed, killing a cluster of late-night poetry aficionadoes, instead a round of applause broke out as the local favorite spun out a tale of romance and humor.

The fog receded. Pulling back from the fringes of Dragon's Gate towards the center. It withdrew, slipping free of pedestrians that shook their heads and continued about their evening. The sounds of merriment resumed at a hole-in-the-wall nightclub. A delivery truck meandered down the street searching out a difficult to find address, hours late on a promised delivery.

=================

Morgan sagged tiredly. Vinny simply vanished.

Kalamere was speaking with his bartender as they walked back into The Line. Some matter of a betting line for a challenge.

Jake cast about. Was it all a dream? He turned, his gaze swept over buildings that a moment ago (an eternity ago?) had been piles of stone, wood, and broken metal. He was surprised then when the brewery was not whole. "What...?"

Wait. It was different. Not the pile of rubble, but instead, a large tent covered one side of the brewery, scaffolding peeked out from an unsecured corner. A pile of discarded brick and stone lay to one side, but a short distance further new materials were neatly arrayed. Construction?

"Remodeling...apparently," Morgan read his thoughts. "Or perhaps a repair after a pipe burst."

The orc turned to her. "What?"

"The spell could not rework all things. Here...at the epicenter...reality was already set."

He had no idea what she was talking about, but she smiled and gestured him to follow. "I could use tea. This will take time to explain." Presuming he would follow, the sorceress of Avalon headed for Munro's Deli, which had recently changed its hours and was now open 24-hours a day to accommodate late night guests.

The orc followed after. He was glad the diner also served Badsider. He had a feeling that he was going to need a lot of it.

=================

Morgan explained the magic. A difficult spell, one that tapped into the nature of the Nexus itself. Used to remodel the events of the past hours. Asserting an alternate sequence of events.

"It didn't happen?"

She frowned. "No...it happened...somewhere...somewhen. Just not here...at this time."

"Then why is the brewery...?" He did not know what to ask.

The sorceress paused. She lifted the cup, an herbal infusion, to her lips and sipped. After a moment, she looked over at him. "Jake, if a tree falls in a forest, and there is no one there to see it happen, does it still make a sound?"

"What? Um...sure. Why wouldn't it?" The orc frowned. "Wouldn't it?"

"Who can say? If it was not witnessed, and I say that it made no sound, can you disprove me?"

"Well, no. I wasn't there."

"Exactly." She sipped again from her brew.

The orc's head was starting to hurt. "I don't get it."

Morgan smiled, even smirked a little. "Think of it this way, Jake. The more who witness an event, the more who can relate the story of what happened." She took up the salt shaker and spilled it out in a line, then drew another line, and another, finally forming a square. "Do you see the circle?"

"What?" He looked up.

The raven-haired sorceress gestured down towards the table. The orc's attention returned there. A perfect circle of salt lay in the center of the table. "No, it was a square. I saw it."

"Was it? And if I say it was a circle always?"

The half-orc just stared. Morgan wiped the salt away.

A waittress moved past, but halted when Morgan took her hand. "Yes? Can I get you anything?" A young girl, probably still in her teens as accounted by humans.

Morgan gestured to the table. "Did you see me spill salt here?"

The waittress smiled hesitantly, she was anxious to deliver a tray of food to a nearby table. "Uh...yes?" She fumbled for the answer she thought would free her. "But it's ok, I can clean it up in just a moment."

The sorceress smiled at her. "Just a moment more, if you would." She did not release the girl's hand. "Did the salt have a pattern?"

A little distressed at the delay, the girl looked over to the table of waiting guests. "No...I dunno? Can I go? I'm sorry. They're waiting." She nodded with her shoulder because her hands were full.

Morgan smiled and let her go. "Thank you. You can go, I am sure the party at the other table would like their food. Please offer them dessert on me."

The girl nodded, smiled awkwardly, and slipped away.

Jake looked at Morgan. She smiled at him. "Do you see? For her, there was salt...but no detail. Had I told her I had spilled mustard," she gestured to a bottle of mustard at the edge of the table, "she would have accepted the reality just as easily, and still promised to clean it up."

It still did not seem to make much sense to the orc.

"Reality...like memory...can be," she paused, seeking the right word, "malleable." She set the mustard bottle in the middle of the table. "The fewer who witness an event, the fewer who will remember it. And thus the fewer for whom the event was real."

She gestured to the waittress. "But an event DID happen. It's just the details that are malleable. I did spill *something* here. It's harder to erase that memory, than to change the memory...the reality...of what spilled."

"So...the brewery is still broken...because it was more witnessed?"

Morgan smiled at him. "Yes. The small events, the peripheral events were easier to assert a different reality over. Kalamere's bartender will still remember sending guests north towards New Haven, but instead of remembering that he sent them out of danger, perhaps he will remember giving them directions to a hotel, or a nightclub."

"The event still happened. The memory is still there. It's just different."

"But what about the monster?" The half-orc lifted his arms, moving them around as if they were claws slashing through the air.

"Oh, the monster still exists. It's real."

The orc paled a little. "Then what...?"

Morgan almost seemed smug for a moment. "That was a fine piece of wisdom if I say so myself."

"What do you mean?" he prompted. He suspected he was going to need more ale.
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Jake
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Joined: 11 Feb 2004
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Location: Red Orc Brewery, a dueling venue, or the taverns of Badside
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The kaiju hesitated in its rampage. Golden eyes swept where Dragon's Gate manor had been. Its path away from the mist was gone. A faint shadow remained, but no substance.

And then a flicker. It was too much. The spell could not hold so much volume away from reality long. Another flicker as the shadowy manor began to reassert itself.

The monster surged forward. Tentacles and claws raked into the street and bulk of the creature heaved up to escape the mystical mist that tugged at its reality.

"Halt! You shall not pass!"

A tiny voice.

Impossibly, a small two-foot-tall rat stood in the path of the creature. A tricorn hat perched on his head, and a shiny cutlass was grasped in his one paw. The other paw was held up as if it alone could ward against the monster. Around the rat swirled a trio of wraiths, his protectors. "You shall go no farther! So say I!"

A tentacle crashed down to destroy the insignificant gnat that dared to stand in its path. The street shattered, scattering brickwork to and fro. The pirate captain bounded up the tentacle, somehow avoiding the blow and now using that selfsame limb as a means to charge the monster's head.

"Take that!" Napoleon poked his cutlass into the monster's nose. "BOOP!"

An angry roar erupted from the monster.

=================================

"Shouldn't we be doing something about the monster? As long as it exists, won't it keep wrecking stuff?"

"We could, but that would feed into the monster's reality." The sorceress paused over her tea. Her gaze fell on the table for a long moment. "Jake, what do you suppose would happen if you tried to fight the monster?"

The half-orc made a sour face. "I'll probably get crushed." His last attempt to confront the creature had gotten him trapped underneath the brewery. He joked, but there was a bitter hint to his words. Humans, elves, wizards, even the occasional troll or ogre were things the orc had faced before. But how do you face monsters and dragons? Especially ones bigger than breweries.

Morgan smiled a little. "Yes...almost certainly."

"You don't have to be so quick to agree." The orc grunted.

"But that's the point, Jake. You believe the creature would destroy you. You believe it's beyond your ability to survive such an encounter." The sorceress of Avalon smiled to take the sting out of her words. "Perhaps that's a good thing, my friend. It's wisdom to know what things are out of your league."

The half-orc was not so easily assuaged. He scowled, "if it were a troll, or even an ogre, I'd know how to kill it." With that he became alarmed. "So, wait. If it could kill me without a second thought, how in the hells is Napoleon going to face it?"

"He doesn't know he can't."

=================================

"Ha HA!" The pirate stabbed the monster in the eye, then scrambled up the creature's head to jump into the slit of its ear. "ARRR! AVAST BEASTIE! I WILL MAKE YOU WALK THE PLANK!" He charged in and poked the creature's ear drum, rupturing the membrane.

The kaiju roared in pain and shook its head violently from side to side, shaking the hapless rat out. Napoleon tumbled through the air and fell towards the rubble below.

His protector wraiths came to the rat's aid, catching him up before he could crash into the earth. Gently they floated him down to a soft landing.

Safe for the moment, the wraiths darted away to resume their attack on the monster. Cold, shadowy claws raked through the armored flesh of the kaiju siphoning away heat and life. Chitin shell was no defense against their ghostly touch. Nor did the black poisonous cloud exuded by the monster have any effect upon them. Still, for all their ability to affect the creature, they were mere pinpricks against the gargantuan beast.

Napoleon scampered up the remains of a wall, and leapt at the monster. A ratty paw grabbed a cluster of tendrils and the fearless rat swung himself upward. This was just like fighting in the Fern! He bounded up along the turtle-like shell, dodging around spiky growths and ink-spewing tendrils. With a slash here and a cut there, the daring pirate captain cut off tendrils as he passed. Trivial damage, but enough to keep the creature's attention.

The monster stamped and flailed, unable to reach the annoyance that was assaulting its back. Nor was it able to affect the wraiths that swarmed over it, slashing out to harass and distract. Its goal of Battlefield Park was forgotten. So too was the Dragon's Gate baronial manor. Around its feet, the Nexus-fueled mists were beginning their work.

Napoleon was swinging from a tendril that hung off the kaiju's jaw when an unlucky tentacle swipe caught him.

The rat flew through the air and crashed into the roof of a nearby townhouse that had thus far escaped destruction. The wraiths swept towards him, but were too slow to prevent the hard landing.

A terrified child, hiding on the roof, screamed as Napoleon landed only yards away...and did not move.
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