The Crimson Shadow

A board for users to display their created fiction. Creating a separate topic for comments is suggested.

Moderator: GodzillavsJason

User avatar
Corzak The Mighty
Gotengo Officer
Posts: 1914
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Generic Fantasyland

The Crimson Shadow

Postby Corzak The Mighty » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:46 am

Prologue: The Past is Present

The past… it is a critical part in any person’s life. It shapes us… molds us… defines who we are in our future. Some say that the past is the most integral portion of our lives, and should never be forgotten. Others say that the past is a prison, shackling us to things that cannot be undone, and must be cast aside to move on with our lives. Me? Well, you can say that I am firmly in the former category. Some moments in our past cannot be so easily forgotten. It was so many years ago… the fateful day that would change my life forever. The day my life was irrevocably changed forever.

It was over 15 years ago, when I was still fairly young. Me and my beloved, Moira, alongside my trusted felyne companion Erin, were still fledgling hunters, barely considered able to hold onto our swords. We had been tasked with traveling to the most dreaded of all places, the volcano, in order to prove our skills as a hunter. We were tasked to hunt an Iodrome that had made root in the region and was terrorizing the villages that were close by to the volcano. It was a dreadful quest to be sure; the volcano was a cruel and unforgiving place, where one mishap could spell a hunter’s doom. Despite my precaution, Moira convinced me that doing this hunt would be ultimately great for both of us.

I regret ever going by her word.

The journey to the volcano was not a pleasant one; we should have taken this as an omen of things to come. On the way there, we were ambushed by many beasts, forcing the guild knights who were escorting us to fend them off. We were marred by weather, illness, and even a few deaths along the way. After several days, we eventually reached our destination: the volcano.

The foreboding mountain loomed before us as we delved into the ashen wasteland, blades in hand. We quickly located our quarry, and pursued it deeper into the volcanic wasteland. We battled it fiercely, but the beast was nimble and cowardly. It evaded us many times, and kept fleeing deeper into the volcano. The two of us, in our naiveté, pursued it without a second thought. Eventually, the four of us reached the point of no return: the summit of the great mountain itself.

Fire and brimstone rained down around us, as smoke billowed out from the heart of the volcano in great clouds. We were apprehensive now, for one poor step could lead to us tumbling to our deaths. But that was not our greatest worry… no, not at all. Legends told of a time when dragons of unfathomable power once roamed Minegarde… but many of these great beasts were believed to be deceased, relics from a bygone age when man was stronger. But one such beast remained… at the heart of the mountain.

From within the great pool of lava below us emerged a great red and black shape. The beast unfurled its pinions, sending magma flying in every direction, before it swatted the Iodrome aside like a fly, sending it plummeting into the magma to its death. The foul wyrm then eyed us, blood red eyes filled with hate. Fearful for our lives, the three of us rushed the beast recklessly, weapons in tow. I was the first to fall; the beast struck me down with a blow from its razor-sharp claws, tearing my helmet off my head and shredding the right side of my face, crippling my eye and ear irrevocably. As I lay on the smoldering ground, bleeding and broken, my felyne companion was the next to fall. In an attempt to protect me from harm, he blocked another of the beast’s claw swings, but was crippled by the power of the blow, its razor sharp claws puncturing his hide and organs.

As I struggled to get to my feet, my eyes saw the massive beast lurch towards me, jaws agape and ready to bite me in two, when I saw Moira emerge through the billowing smoke clouds and thrust her blade into its eye. The great red and black dragon roared in pain, a sound so horrible I can’t even describe it, before it tossed her aside and blasted her with its infernal breath, roasting her alive. Engulfed with rage, I rose to my feet and rushed the titan, only to be swatted aside by its tail, causing me to pass out from the pain…

After what seemed like hours, I found myself in a guild cart wagon. I could only assume Moira and Erin were in the cart away from me. I asked one of the knights, who was tending to my mangled face, where Erin was and if he was alright. The knight confirmed to me that he was found and was alive but in critical condition. I then asked if my beloved was found, and if she was okay. To this, the knight could only shake his head solemnly. I understood. My beloved was dead…

Fifteen years ago… fifteen years ago was when I lost my beloved to that monster. I’ve dedicated my whole life to hunting, the art of slaying wild beasts. I have only one wish: to have my revenge. I wish to slay the Crimson Shadow.
MDK wrote:I wish my movies about dinosaurs brought back to life with mosquitos in amber for a theme park were realistic.

Image The Crimson Shadow redux sign-up and discussion thread
Clash of Gods (Shin Gojira vs Legendary Godzilla story, completed)

User avatar
Corzak The Mighty
Gotengo Officer
Posts: 1914
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Generic Fantasyland

Re: The Crimson Shadow

Postby Corzak The Mighty » Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:40 am


When legends are born, myths fade away…

It was a relatively normal morning in the town of Minegarde. A beam of light filtered into the small, humble abode of Jack, an expert hunter of great regard. The beam of light seemed to focus right into Jack’s face, awakening him prematurely from his slumber. Opening one of his chestnut brown eyes, before letting out a sigh, the hunter rolled out of his bed, flinging his sheets off of him as he got to his feet. Jack glanced about his house, seemingly disoriented for a moment, before he simply chuckled. That damn window was going to give him a heart attack one day. Thankfully, today is not that day. Jack ran his hand along his face, feeling the nasty scar that covered half his face, before he stood up and walked over to his storage box and looked into the mirror there.

Some things would never change, it seems. Every day, he wakes up and does the same thing- he gets up, runs his hand along his face, and then looks in the mirror. Jack shakes his head at himself. Yes, Jack, your face is still scarred. I’m surprised it still shocks you at this point, Jack joked to himself. He was a man of decent build and dark skin, with short curly hair. The right side of his face was heavily damaged, with his right eye completely white and fogged over, along with his right ear being missing completely. Despite this, one could see that he had quite a nice face… well, besides the massive scar.

Jack then glanced down at his storage box, and sitting on it was a small glass box with a ring in it. Jack resisted the urge to open the case, instead changing out of his ratty sleeping clothes and quickly producing his armor from within the box. It was a beautiful set of silver rathalos, crafted by a master blacksmith in the he slew it by. The hunter smiled briefly, as if seeing the armor eased his pain, before he quickly put it on, placing each piece onto his body carefully and cautiously so as to avoid damaging it. Closing the box, Jack then looked above his mirror, spotting his massive, trusty great sword mounted there. It was a fine blade, made of pink rathian and azure rathalos pieces, and made by only the highest quality blacksmiths. Jack reached up and grasped his weapon, before slinging it across his back with ease despite its massive size.

Eventually, however, Jack could not resist the temptation to glance down and take hold of the small glass case. The hunter ran his fingers along it, before he slowly opened it and pulled out the ring. The hunter’s eyes slowly became misty as thoughts and feelings rushed back to him from that fateful day…

But his thoughts were interrupted by a voice that said, “Still thinkin’ ‘bout her, nya?”

Jack quickly shut the box and, without turning around, replied, “What’s it to you, Erin? You never liked her anyways.”

From the shadows of the house emerged the hobbling shape of Jack’s felyne companion, Erin. The felyne was of the usual white and brown breed, though was greatly hunched over. The felyne walked around using his old weapon as a walking stick, for he was too crippled to walk around normally as he once had.

“This ain’t ‘bout whether I liked her or not, master,” Erin replied, his wooden staff clacking against the ground as he approached the much larger hunter, “this is ‘bout you. Ya’ve been thinkin’ ‘bout her too much, nya. She’s dead, Jack. Wishin’ that ya could’ve done better ain’t gonna bring her back from th’ dead. ’S only gonna make ya more miserable.”

“I cannot so easily forget about the one I loved,” Jack replied, his voice clearly pained. “She was my world, Erin. She was everything to me. Even now, I can feel her influence on my soul… I still feel lost without her.”

“I’m not sayin’ t’ forget ‘bout her, nya,” Erin retorted, “I’m sayin’ that ya need to let go of yer past mistakes. It’s not yer fault. Things happen out on th’ hunt all th’ time. But ya gonna let th’ past destroy ya if ya don’t move on.”

“And what do you know of loss, Erin?” Jack replied venomously, turning his head so he could glance back towards the felyne. Erin was taken aback, and stepped backwards a couple steps from surprise. “You were trained from birth to be a warrior… you don’t understand the pain of losing someone close. You never knew family, you never felt the repercussions of someone’s death. You’ve never known friendship besides me, nor have you known the loss of a friend!”

Erin paused for a moment, clearly heavy hearted by Jack’s comments. “Th’ day she died, Jack, somethin’ changed ‘bout you. You never were th’ same after that fateful day, nya. Th’ day she died, th’ old you died with her. Ya gotta fix yer problem, Jack. I dunno how yer gonna do it, but ya gotta do somethin’. Yer getting’ sickly… ya barely eat, ya barely sleep, yer not the same man anymore.”

Hanging his head low, Erin shambled towards the kitchen, away from Jack’s room. Before he left, he said, “Breakfast’ll be ready in ‘bout 10 minutes, nya. Be ready by then.” before exiting the room.

Jack clutched the glass box that contained the ring tightly in his hand, as he glanced down towards it, eyes still fairly heavy. Perhaps Erin was right. Perhaps he did need to move on from Moira’s death. But then, he felt a flame enter his heart. No… he could not do that, not yet. Not while the monster still lived. He could not merely accept what had happened… he needed to have justice be dealt. That damned dragon that haunted his nightmares and took away the only thing he loved in life… it would taste the blade of revenge.

Jack closed his eyes, letting a lone tear roll down his cheek, before he set the glass case down on his storage box. Quickly placing his helmet on his head, Jack had a mission. He knew what he must do: he must put his heart at ease. He must slay The Crimson Shadow.
MDK wrote:I wish my movies about dinosaurs brought back to life with mosquitos in amber for a theme park were realistic.

Image The Crimson Shadow redux sign-up and discussion thread
Clash of Gods (Shin Gojira vs Legendary Godzilla story, completed)

User avatar
Corzak The Mighty
Gotengo Officer
Posts: 1914
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Generic Fantasyland

Re: The Crimson Shadow

Postby Corzak The Mighty » Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:47 am


“Ya gotta be jokin’, Jack,” Erin said almost angrily as he stood before his armored up master. “Ya can’t possibly be serious about this.”

“I’m dead serious, Erin,” Jack replied as he began to head out the door of his house. “And nothing you can say will change my mind about it.”

Erin, however, was quick to follow him outside into the town, pushing aside the heavy wooden door and pursuing his master out into the bustling streets of Minegarde town. However, Jack had a much faster walk speed than the poor, crippled Felyne, which forced Erin to pick up the pace as best as he could. The tiny feet and staff of the felyne were moving as fast as physically possible to keep up with the much taller and physically fit hunter, before he spoke once more.

“But ya haven’t been on an adventure like this in years, nya!” Erin shouted, his breaths deep and heaving, as if he had just run a mile. “Ya haven’t even been practicin’ lately! Yer gonna get yerself killed!”

Jack suddenly came to a full stop, right amongst the crush of pedestrians and peddlers that wandered the upper levels the ancient city. Jack smirked as he noted Erin struggling to keep up, so he decided to be nice and met the crippled little fellow catch up a bit. The clearly exhausted felyne, who was huffing and puffing from physical overwork, was allowed to slow to a stop. Erin leaned on his staff, hunching his back over, as he caught a breather. Jack crouched down and looked his comrade sternly in the eyes, as if trying to assert his next statement to him. “Look, I know it seems crazy, but trust me on this, alright? I know what I’m doing. This is what I should have done all those years ago, rather than sat around and let myself get brooding and pathetic.”

“But… b-but ya aren’t ready for somethin’ of this undertakin’ yet, master,” Erin said in a soft, caring manner. “This ain’t what I meant when I said that ya gotta fix yer problem. I meant that ya had to overcome this little problem in ya head, not go out an’ fight that monstrosity!”

To this, Jack turned around and gestured to the mass of people wandering around on the upper story of the city. “Look at all these wondrous and happy faces, Erin,” Jack said, almost aloof to what Erin. The elite hunter glanced about, observing the various individuals who lived in the town, and inhaled a deep breath of air. Erin shot Jack a quizzical look, clearly confused about what Jack was trying to prove to him.

“Ummm… yes, I do, nya,” Erin replied. “But what does this have t’ do with anythin’ we’re talkin’ about?”

Jack soon turned back around and looked Erin back in the eyes. “These people wouldn’t know what to do in the face of danger. They’re oblivious to the dangers of what lurks outside these walls. Without hunters like me and so many others, these poor people would be helpless before the might of a beast like that powerful beast…”

Jack soon got up, and turned to continue on his way.

“I’ll be doing myself, this city, and all of Minegarde a favor by slaying this dragon. Last thing I want is for it to go and destroy someone else’s life, as it had destroyed mine.”

Erin sighed, and quickly continued to follow his master. Jack brought up a good point, and clearly he wasn’t going to listen to anything he was going to say at this point. He was simply just too determined to do what he was going to do. The two continued down the massive, concrete street, paved with stones and gravel from the nearby desert and volcano. Along the sides were multiple stores, each selling variable kinds of merchandise, varying from food and medicines, to clothing and weaponry. They even passed by a blacksmith on the way down. Soon, the two reached what Jack was looking for: the town square. A long flight of stairs descended down towards the heart of the famed city, where the guild hall and the famed combination shop lay. In the middle of the town lay an old, rocky fountain, forged from solid onyx found deep within the belly of the volcano. Jack smiled, as he cracked his fingers and wrists in anticipation. Now, all he had to do was walk down there and speak with those guild ladies in the guild hall, and-


In his haste, Jack failed to notice a large, scaly blue shape approach from his left side. The speed at which he was walking, coupled by the mass of the strange beast, caused Jack stumble backwards and collapse rear-first onto the ground, kicking up a small plume of dust in the process. Jack cursed under his breath, and soon looked up to see what he had so carelessly crashed into. What he saw was a creature he had never seen before. The beast was raptor-like, reminding him a bit of a Velocidrome or a Giadrome, but was much bulkier and far longer. Atop its head sat a forward-facing crest, and its head was broader and heavier, very much unlike the thin, fragile skulls of the dromes that wander the lands of his home. From behind him, Erin rushed up to him and placed his furry hands onto his friend’s shoulder.

“Jack, are y’alright?” Erin said. Before Jack could respond, the large, blue creature snarled, causing Erin to back off in fear, clutching his stick fearfully. Nearby bystanders quickly cleared the area, as the massive raptorian monster bared its fangs and sized up Jack. The mighty warrior quickly hopped onto his feet, and placed one hand on the hilt of his sword. His eyes narrowed, as the dinosaur circled him to the left, its yellow gaze locked firmly onto his shiny silver form. If the beast struck, he would bring his sword down upon its head, and kill it here and now…

But this standoff quickly came to a screeching halt as a loud voice suddenly burst forth from the crowd surrounding the two.

“Sleepy face? SLEEPY FAAAAAACE?!” The voice yelled. The massive blue beast’s head reared up, and its yellow eyes widened in excitement. Its tongue soon poked out from the side of its mouth, as it ran towards the voice in the crowd. Suddenly, the source of the voice made itself known, as a young woman, standing at over 6 feet tall, pushed her way through the crowd. Her outfit was truly baffling; it was some strange, harlequin like garb, dyed a reddish hue and overall quite vibrant and colorful. The raptor creature soon walked up to her, and proceeded to lick the young woman’s face, which spread a grin across her visage.

“Awww, I missed you too Sleepy Face,” The young woman said. “But next time, please stay next to me, alright?”
The beast seemed to obey her words, and soon stood behind her, acting akin to a dog would to its master. This whole display of affection confused both Jack and Erin.

“So, uh… that- that monster is your pet?” Jack inquired, pointing his finger at the blue creature. To this, the young woman chuckled.

“Why, yes, yes he is!” She said in between laughs. “He’s a good little Great Baggi, aren’t you Sleepy Face, aren’t you?”

The Great Baggi that stood behind her panted like a dog as the woman scratched the beast under his chin. Erin soon tossed his two cents into the mix, stepping forward and saying, “He didn’ seem so good when he was sizin’ up my master here, nya!”

The woman sighed and replied, “Yeah, he’s a little wary of new people. But don’t worry; he’ll warm up to you!”

“You know, I don’t believe I’ve caught your name in this whole conundrum,” Jack said. “So, let me ask you formally: what is your name, miss?”

“The name’s Tenebra,” the woman replied, “Ain’t from around here, as you can probably tell.”

“Uuuh huuuh…” Jack said, his eyes drifting down towards the central plaza and the guild hall. “Clearly. I’ve never seen an armor set like that, and I’ve never met a Baggi in person before. But hey, I guess there’s always a first time.”

“Very true, very true,” Tenebra replied. “Say, I don’t think you told me your name either, shiny armor.”

“My name is Jack,” The elite hunter replied, before he turned away and began to march away at a brisk pace, Erin swiftly following.

“Wait!” Tenebra shouted, quickly pursuing the silver armored hunter and his furry comrade. “Where are you going?”

“I’m heading to the Guild Hall,” Jack replied, not bothering to turn around and face the ridiculously dressed woman and her pet. “I’m going to set up a quest on the request board. I got myself a beast I plan to hunt, and a big one at that…”

“Ooooh, a hunt you say?” Tenebra replied, quickly catching up the Jack, Sleepy Face trailing close behind her (much to the dismay of Erin). “Can I join in? I can’t resist the opportunity to have a good old fashioned hunt!”
Jack hastily said, “I don’t think you’re up to snuff to hunt the monster I’ve got my eyes on…”

“Oh, come on!” Tenebra grumbled in a childish manner. “I can handle whatever it is! I’ve hunted myself some nasty beasties! Hell, I captured 3 of the nastiest monsters in the tundra, and I-“

To this, Jack swiftly turned, his voice filled with malice as he viciously growled, “Listen up, you bratty half-brain. You aren’t ready to fight something like this. I can tell from your demeanor- no class, no skill, no sense of self-control. You can barely control that damned lizard you call a ‘pet’- what makes you think you would stand a chance against one of the most feared beasts in Minegarde?”

Jack could see the look of shock and childish distress in the woman’s eyes, and he immediately regretted his statement. Sighing, Jack said in a low voice, “If you’re so interested… feel free to wait around in the guild hall. I’ll be setting up the request board as soon as I enter.”

A smile soon spread across Tenebra’s face, followed by a shout for joy.

“Yay!” The woman yelled as she attempted to hug Jack. “Thank you so much!”

But Jack pushed her away with a quick nudge of the elbow. “You’re welcome. Just… try not to make a fool of yourself, alright? And keep that beast of yours close.”

Tenebra nodded fervently, and soon, the duo and their helpers soon entered the guild hall. The inside was shockingly empty. Only a few of the tables had anyone sitting in it, and most of them were so drunk that they could barely sit up straight. Tenebra walked around the tavern, soaking in every inch of bizarre yet vivid imagery that she could see within the ancient hall. While Tenebra was busy looking about, Jack stepped up the counter, which was made out of old, aging wood, with visible cracks and damage from age. At the counter stood a woman, looking to be about 10 years older than Jack was, but there was no kindness and joy in her eyes when she saw Jack. Jack’s eyes shared the same animosity. The two glared at each other hatefully, before the guild lady broke the silence.

“How can I help you, Jack?” the young woman stated with venom dripping in her voice.

“I need a request to hunt a monster, pronto,” Jack replied in a stern manner.

“What species and what location?” The guild lady said, pulling out a note pad and quill to write it down in.

“You know which one,” Jack stated, his eyes fixating on the woman’s hands.

“Um, no I don’t,” The Guild Lady retorted in a sarcastic manner. She paused, before she continued her previous statement. “I’m not psychic, honey, you’re gonna need to be more specific than that.”

To this, Jack leaned in close, and gestured for her to bring her ear close to his mouth. Rolling her eyes, the guild woman complied.

“What is it, Jack?” The woman said in an annoyed fashion.

“I want to set up a quest for… The Crimson Shadow,” Jack stated.

Shocked at this statement, the guild lady leaned back and whispered, “You can’t be serious, Jack. You expect people to sign up for certain death? You expect people to WILLINGLY hunt the most feared elder dragon this side of The Ancestor itself?”

“Yes, I do,” Jack replied bluntly, dropping off a bag of roughly 50,000 zenny on the counter. “And I want you to tell them to bring supplies for a long journey, as we’ll be on the road for a long while.”

Jack soon turned to exit the guild, gesturing for Tenebra to follow him, leaving the Guild Lady dumbfounded, but nonetheless compliant to his request. As Jack and Tenebra exited the guild, the elite hunter turned to the young woman.

“If you want to go on this quest, go sign up now and return back here in about ten hours’ time,” Jack told her. “Any hunters who will be joining would have signed up by then, and we’ll head out in the morning.”

“Alright,” Tenebra replied. “See you later then!”

Jack simply turned and left, leaving Tenebra on her own. To pass the time, Jack decided to go and speak with an old friend of his…
MDK wrote:I wish my movies about dinosaurs brought back to life with mosquitos in amber for a theme park were realistic.

Image The Crimson Shadow redux sign-up and discussion thread
Clash of Gods (Shin Gojira vs Legendary Godzilla story, completed)

User avatar
Corzak The Mighty
Gotengo Officer
Posts: 1914
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Generic Fantasyland

Re: The Crimson Shadow

Postby Corzak The Mighty » Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:54 am

Hunters For Hire

Jack and Erin soon approached the rickety old shack at the edge of Minegarde Town. The building was run-down, old, and dilapidated- it looked like it had been years, or perhaps even decades, since someone had tried to renovate the building. But that’s how the old man was. He was a recluse, preferring to lurk in the darkness of his sad little hut, shunning the cold world that lay outside his ancient abode’s doors. Both hunter and felyne glanced at one another, somewhat worried at what they would find if they went into the house. Eventually, though, Jack willed up the courage to approach the ancient, rotting door to the cottage, and give it a knock. A moment of silence fell over the two, and no motion could be heard from within. Jack sighed, somewhat disappointed at this. As the two turned to leave, however, the door creaked open, and a grey haired man, clad in simple clothing and baring a long grisly scar across his left eye, appeared. Both Jack and Erin turned, causing a smile to spread across the man’s face before opened the door completely opened.

“Aaaah, I recognize you two anywhere!” The elderly fellow said. “Come in, come in, make yourselves comfortable!”

Both Jack and Erin complied, and soon entered the house, shutting the rickety old door quickly. The inside of the house wasn’t much better than the outside of it was. An old, rotting couch lay in front of them, its cushions ripped open and exposing the feathers that were used to stuff it. An old wooden rocking chair sat across from the couch, both of its arms broken off and its backrest dangerously wobbly. In the center was a large, eroded old wooden table, each of its legs dangerously thin and its edges being visibly worn down. The floor squeaked audibly with each step, and was in terrible shape due to age and lack of care. Soon, Jack plopped himself down on the couch, trying his best to make himself comfortable on the old furniture, as did Erin, who was much less thrilled to be seated on the couch. The old man soon walked over to the rocking chair across the way, and sat himself down slowly, the chair creaking audibly under his weight as he sat himself down.

“So what brings you to my humble abode, jack?” The grizzled old man said in a raspy voice.

“I’m looking for some advice, my old friend…” Jack replied, taking off his silver helm and exposing his face. “I seek the Crimson Shadow, and I wish to know how to kill it.”

The old hunter paused, his face expressing shock at such an idea.

“Yeah, that’s how I was reactin’ when he told me that th’ first time, nya,” Erin stated, before he shot a glance at Jack, as if to tell him that the whole hunt was a bad idea.

“Erin, shut up!” Jack growled to the felyne, before he said to the man, “Do you have any information I can use to help kill it?”

The man grumbled to himself, scratching his bearded chin deep in thought. “It is reckless of you to pursue such a beast, Jack. You know that such a monster is capable of wanton destruction if awoken, and would be near unkillable by a mere man…”

“But it’s just a dragon, right?” Jack said. “I mean, sure, it’s a powerful elder dragon, one of the most powerful out there, but surely it must be killable by conventional means.”

The old man shook his head, and rose to his feet, heading to a nearby bookshelf. As he searched the shelves for something, he resumed speaking. “You underestimate the power of the Ancestor’s chosen ones, Jack. They are beyond us mortal creatures. No beast has been seen to be equal to them in power and age…”

Soon, the ancient warrior pulled out a large volume from a shelf, and tossed it onto the table in front of him, before sitting back down in his rickety old chair. Soon, the man opened the book, dust flying out from the weathered pages, causing Jack and Erin to cough audibly. Soon, the man flipped to a page, showing a menagerie of monsters in the forefront: the metallic dragon, Kushala Daora; the leonine dragons, Teostra and Lunastra; the bizarre lizard-like beast, Chameleos; the massive, bipedal dragon, Lao Shan Lung; the white horse, Kirin; and the giant jellyfish monstrosity, Yama Tsukami.

“Legend states that the Ancestor gave each of these elder dragons an element of life to command: the winds and cold, Daora; the flames, Teostra and his bride Lunastra; the deadliest venoms and miasma, Chameleos; the earth and all its might, Lao Shan; the heaven’s great lightning, Kirin; and the skies, Yama Tsukami. But the Ancestor was not foolish enough to leave these powers unattended, and thus, he created the Overseers…”

The old man turned the page, and suddenly revealed an infernal picture, showing the forms of a black dragon, a red one- one which Jack remembered well-, and a bright white one, all of them wreathed in a hellish glow.

“Legend tells that no mortal weapon can harm them, and no blade can pierce their hide… only a blade that wields the power of the dragon can slay them.”

“But my blade uses the dragon element,” Jack stated, grasping the hilt of his blade. “Is that not enough to kill it?”
The old man once more shook his head. “No- only a blade forged in the blood of such a monster can slay them.”

“An’ where would he find such a weapon, nya?” Erin inquired.

“I do not know for sure,” The man replied, his gaze shifting down towards the form of the white felyne. “All I know is that such weapons exist. There are legends that tell of brave hunters who slew many great beasts, and used weapons of unimaginable power…” The grizzled man soon paused. “I would suggest asking the village chief in Kokoto. He is more familiar with these old stories than I am.”

Jack nodded, and soon rose up from the couch, grabbing his helmet tightly in his hand. Erin soon followed suit, picking up his old wooden cane from the cushion next to him. Jack soon stuck his hand out, to which the older man responded with a handshake. “Thank you for your help, my friend. I’ll make sure to stop at Kokoto village during my trip.”

As the duo turned to leave, the elderly man said, “You’re welcome, Jack. Take care of yourself, and good luck on your adventure.”

Jack smiled, and put his helmet back onto his head, before he exited the building…

Several hours passed, and soon, the sun began to set slowly behind the horizon. It had been a fairly boring day for Jack, what with him basically being left to sit around and twiddle his thumbs until evening fell. Now that it was time, however, he could go down to the Guild Hall and see who had the courage (or arrogance) to sign up for the hunt he had planned. Picking up his blade, Jack soon gestured to Erin, who soon followed. After the diminutive white felyne picked up his staff and and hobbled after Jack, the two pushed out the door, and hurried quickly down to the Guild Hall. They didn’t want to keep the hunters waiting. Already, they could see a small group of people huddled in the central square, clearly being the people Jack was looking for. With haste, the silver-armored hunter soon headed down towards the square, his felyne companion trailing close behind him.

The amount of hunters he saw was once he reached the square was disappointing at best. There were only four in the entirety of the square, all of them grouped together, though not necessarily talking with one another. Was this all that his call had managed to gather? Four people? One of whom he wasn’t even sure was an actual hunter? Though disappointed, Jack marched straight towards the group, undaunted by this miniscule number of hunters. Each hunter was unique in weapons and appearance, as expected. He recognized one of them right off the bat- Tenebra stood amongst the hunters, wearing her strange, vibrant colored outfit with her pet Great Baggi standing right beside her. Another one who stood nearby was a man, clad in purple Gypceros armor, with a medium Bowgun and a Bow strung across his back. A female hunter wearing Rathalos Armor was also visible, with a Lance strung across her back, shield in hand. The last hunter was a unique one, wearing armor he did not recognize, though red in color. He seemed to be wielding a long sword, which was always welcome. Erin glanced at Jack, the felyne’s blue eyes looking firmly at his master, sensing the disappointment the veteran hunter felt. But despite these emotions, Jack nonetheless approached the group, and soon spoke aloud to catch their attention.

“So… this is who has decided to assemble,” Jack stated. Those who were located in the courtyard soon looked straight up towards jack, his silver form reflecting the last of the sun’s rays like a mirror.

“Who are you, may I ask?” The man in the red armor inquired, his face hidden completely behind his helmet.

“Why, that’s Jack!” Tenebra chimed in, quickly running up to Jack’s side. “He’s The Champion of Minegarde!”

“Jack? Hmmmm…. Jack…” The man thought to himself. “Oh, yes! I’ve heard of you. You’re the one who drove away that Akantor a few years back, am I correct?”

“The very same,” Jack replied taking a bow at this statement.

“Well I’ll be damned,” the man replied, approaching the silver armored hunter with long steps. “Never thought I’d be meeting a local legend.” The man stuck out his right hand. “The name’s Jake, by the way. Not to get mixed up with your name, of course.”

“Heh, always nice to meet a fan,” Jack said, and shook Jake’s hand. He then approached the gunner in the Gypceros armor. “I see we have a gunner amongst us. A rare sight amongst hunters these days. Tell me, what is your name?”

The gunner replied, “I’m surprised you haven’t heard of me! The name’s Joan, Joan the wary! One of the best gunners this side of the sea!” Joan stuck his hand forward, to which Jack replied with a handshake. “Pleased to meet you, Jack.”

“And a pleasure to meet you, Joan,” Jack replied with a quick nod. Jack then turned to the last member of this crew, a young woman carrying a lance. He approached her, before he spoke. “Greetings, fellow hunter.”

“Hello,” She replied somewhat bluntly. “I’m assuming you’re gonna ask me my name too, eh?”

“You’re a clever one, aren’t you?” Jack retorted sarcastically. “Yes, please tell me your name.”

“My name is Ralagiri,” The huntress replied, before quickly shifting off the subject. “So I heard we’re hunting a big dragon?”

“Aye, you’d be correct,” Jack replied.

“A big dragon, you say?” Joan asked, his eyes looking intently on the elite hunter. “How big is big? Fortress big, or house big?”

“House sized, my friend,” Jack stated, looking at Joan as he said this. “But this is no normal dragon, I fear. This beast is one of the most ferocious creatures sighted in all of Minegarde.”

“Ferocious, eh?” Jake said. “Eh, can’t be that bad. I’ve fought many beasts in my day, and there aren’t many that give ME the heeby-jeebies.”

“Yeah,” Tenebra added on, “If one of us alone can take on something like a Rathalos or a Barioth, what makes you so afraid of one strong dragon? I’m SURE we can handle it!”

“Ooh, here we go, nya,” Erin grumbled, just as Jack shook his head in disagreement.

“I don’t think you people understand. This isn’t a Rathalos or a Barioth or a Tigrex. It’s not even like the elder dragons, such as the Daora. This is one of the Fatalis Brethren… the one-eyed Fatalis, the Crimson Shadow!”
To this, everyone went silent.

“You can’t be serious,” Jake replied. “You want to hunt THAT thing?”

“Ain’t that the Crimson Fatalis that’s been known to attack small towns and villages?” Joan asked aloud.

“And I thought I was overly ambitious…” Ralagiri said under her breath.

Jack couldn’t believe it. Were these hunters really scared? Did they fear such a hunt, even with the rewards they would receive? Jack was thoroughly disappointed at this display, the hunter narrowing his eyes as he hung his head in disbelief. Perhaps the guild lady was right. Perhaps hunters in general had become soft, with the time of heroes gone forever. He would have to hunt this monster on his own, it seemed. Jack snorted and turned, heading towards an inn across the way. Erin, startled by his sudden speed, hobbled after him.

“Wait, yer jus’ gonna leave right now, nya?!” Erin said, thoroughly shocked.

“If they still want to join on this hunt, they can meet me in the inn,” Jack grumbled, the hunter neglecting to turn around and face the other hunters. Jack soon disappeared into the inn, leaving Erin to turn towards the other hunters. The felyne stared intently at them for a moment, before he hung his head down, and followed him shortly afterwards. The other hunters looked amongst themselves, none of them budging.

“So… what now?” Ralagiri asked, glancing over at the other hunters.

“I… I guess we just go home,” Joan said.

“Nonsense!” Tenebra said, turning towards the other hunters. “We didn’t all come here just to leave and go back home, did we? We didn’t take the effort to come and sign up, only to back down and leave!”

“So you’re gonna go in there, and sign away your life to that monster?” Jake said.

“Well… yeah!” Tenebra replied. “It’s an adventure, guys! How many adventures like this are you ever gonna go on? I dunno about the rest of you, but I’m going!”

Tenebra soon gestured for Sleepy Face to follow, as the two marched towards the inn, disappearing through the doors. The other hunters stared at each other for a few moments in utter silence, before Jake broke off from the group and headed towards the inn.

“So you’re going too, eh?” Ralagiri said. “Even after all Jack said, you’re going to go after that dragon with him?”

“Might as well,” Jake replied. “I don’t have much else better to do. Besides, that weird lady’s got a good point- I’m not going to have an adventure like this ever again!”

With that, Jake soon disappeared into the inn’s doorway, leaving Ralagiri and Joan outside in the darkness outside. The rathalos armor wearing woman shugged, and soon began to depart towards the door as well.

“Well, this was unexpected,” Joan said to himself as Ralagiri entered the inn. “I, Joan the Wary, am too wary to go out for a hunt!” Joan sighed aloud, before he began to walk towards the inn. “What the hell, I might as well go in and see what’ll happen…”

Joan soon entered, only to see the other hunters gathered around a circular table, waiting for him.

“I’m glad you could make it this evening, Joan,” Jack stated. “Please, have a seat.”

Joan soon pulled up a chair, and sat down with the rest of the hunters.

“Alright,” Jack said, leaning back in his chair, “So as you all know by now, we are setting out after the Crimson Shadow, the one-eyed Fatalis that plagues this world. What I plan for us to do is to head first to Kokoto and gather information from the chief there about a special sword. Then, we-“

“Wait wait wait,” Jake said, “You’re telling me that we’re gonna be going on an Easter egg hunt at first?”

“In a sense, yes,” Jack replied. “But apparently, this dragon is very… difficult to kill without this weapon.”

“Alright, alright,” Jake grumbled. “Anyways, continue.”

“Thank you,” Jack replied. “So after we head out and get this weapon, we shall restock at Dondruma town. After that, we’ll head to the Volcano and find where the bastard lives, kill him, and call it day. Any questions?”
The other hunters stayed quiet, allowing Jack to finish.

“So it’s settled then. We’ll begin our journey tomorrow morning.”

With that, the hunters gathered their belongings, and headed to their rooms for the evening.
MDK wrote:I wish my movies about dinosaurs brought back to life with mosquitos in amber for a theme park were realistic.

Image The Crimson Shadow redux sign-up and discussion thread
Clash of Gods (Shin Gojira vs Legendary Godzilla story, completed)

User avatar
Corzak The Mighty
Gotengo Officer
Posts: 1914
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Generic Fantasyland

Re: The Crimson Shadow

Postby Corzak The Mighty » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:30 pm

The Adventure Begins

It was still early in the morning in Minegarde. The Darkness of the night still hung over their heads, bathing them in cool air. It was so early, that the sun itself had not arisen yet. Most were still asleep, catching what slumber they could before they went and enjoyed their day. Even the hunters, whom Jack had gathered the night before to head out for an adventure, slept in and enjoyed their rest. But their peaceful slumber would not last long, for soon the doors to each of the rooms was unceremoniously swung open, followed by the small hobbling form of Erin entering each room, announcing his presence with a shrill, “Time to wake up, hunters! Jack said ya gotta get goin’ as soon as possible!”, before leaving each of the hunters to their own devices. However, all of them complied with the command, and soon gathered their weapons, armor, and supplies, before getting suited up and heading out of their rooms. The hallway soon became bustling with the forms of 4 hunters, all dressed in their armor, though not fully awake yet. Most had their helmets off, due to their exhaustion, Jake being the sole exception. As the quadruplet of hunters soon descended the stairs down to the lower level, only to be greeted by Jack, who sat at the table they were at yesterday, with Erin by his side.

“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,” Jack said. “I’m hopeful that you all had a good night’s sleep?”

With a yawn, Jake inquired, “So, uhh…. What was the reason for getting us up so early?”

Jack chuckled, before he replied, “To get you ready, of course! You didn’t think you were going to sleep in before heading out on a journey, did you? We need to take advantage of as much of the day as we can.”

“Do we at least get some breakfast?” Joan said, scratching his cheek, “I’m starvin’!”

“Breakfast?” Jack said, raising an eyebrow. “Hmmm… yes, breakfast…”

Jack waved the innkeeper over, as the four other sat down at the table with Jack. The owner of the inn, an aged woman, soon approached the group.

“How may I help you all?” The woman said, pulling out a paper pad and a pen.

“I will have some eggs, thank you,” Jack said. “With a bit of ham on the side.”

“I’ll have what he’s having,” Joan chimed in. “Gonna need to have a big breakfast today!”

“I’ll take some Plesioth fillets, if you would,” Tenebra said with a big goofy smile on her face.

A venomous glare locked itself onto Tenebra. “This is an inn, not a restaurant,” The woman replied with an annoyed expression.

“I’m just kidding!” Tenebra said, letting out a silly little laugh and raising her hands up innocently. “I’ll have some hairy tuna.”

The others at the table simply shook their heads or rolled their eyes. Pretending that nothing happened, the innkeeper turned to Jake. “And what will you be having?”

“I’m fine, thank you,” Jake said. “I’ll get something while we’re on the road.”

“Aww, c’mon, you gotta eat something,” Joan said.

“Th’ gunnin’ feller’s right, nya,” Erin chimed in, poking his head out from under the table. “Yer better off eatin’ somethin’ now than waitin’ till later an’ not eatin’ anythin’.”

“Really guys, I’m fine,” Jake said. “I don’t eat much anyways.”

“I’d take their advice,” Ralagiri said. “We’re going to be on the road for a long time. This might be our last meal in civilization for a week or more.”

“I said that I’m fine, alright?” Jake grumbled adamantly. “Geez, get off my back!”

The innkeeper soon sighed and continued on to Ralagiri. “So, what would you like to have?”

“I’ll have a king truffle, thank you,” Ralagiri said.

“Alright. Well, I’ll have all of your food ready in a few moments. Please wait patiently!” With that, the woman soon disappeared into the kitchen behind the nearby counter.

“So, uhh… what was that big fuss all about, Jake?” Jack asked, raising a quizzical eyebrow towards the hunter.

“I just don’t like taking my helmet off,” Jake said bluntly. “Nothing more, nothing less.”

“Well, you’re gonna have to take it off sometime,” Jack replied.

“Besides, how are you gonna eat if you keep your helmet on all the time?” Joan chimed in, putting an arm on the table.

“I’ll manage,” Jake replied. “You guys won’t even notice that I took it off.”

“Awww, what’s the matter?” Tenebra jeered, “Scared of showing us your face?”

“What?! N-no!” Jake replied hastily. “I just feel uncomfortable around other people with my helmet off.”

“You’ll be fine, trust me,” Jack stated. “You should be more worried about whatever you’re going to encounter than being afraid of showing your face to us.”

Jake grumbled angrily and replied, “How about we just wait see what’ll happen alright?”

“Can we please stop talking about his helmet?” Ralagiri said calmly, but firmly. “If he doesn’t want to take it off, so be it. It’s not that big of a deal.”

“Thank you!” Jake said, to which Ralagiri responded with a reassuring nod. After what felt like an eternity of waiting and bickering, the food finally arrived. The heavy plates were soon placed before each of the hunters who ordered their meal, and after many thank yous being said to the innkeeper, the hunters began their meal. Each hunter ate at a different pace, though some were messier than others. While Tenebra was shoveling her food down like a little kid at the dinner table, the others were eating at a fairly reasonable pace, with Ralagiri eating the slowest. As the other hunters ate their breakfast, each clearly enjoying their meal, Jake was left simply staring at them feast. Jake felt his stomach rumble, and his mouth salivated from the smell of the food. With a sigh, Jake soon lifted up a covered arm and shouted to the innkeeper.

“Ummm… excuse me, miss?” Jake said, catching the woman’s attention. “Do you… do you think it would be fine if I had something to eat too?”

After everyone had finished their food and cleaned up their mess, the hunters gathered their things, and left the guild hall. Outside, Sleepy Face was hitched to a post outside, awaiting the return of his master. Tenebra soon untied the massive reptilian creature, and whispered something in its ear, to which is replied with a quick, dog-like barking noise, attracting the attention of everyone in the general area. Jack chose to ignore the eyes looking at his somewhat insane group member, however, and simply continued down towards the gate, Erin at his side and the others trailing behind him. The group looked like a parade marching down the middle of the plaza, heading straight towards the main gate of Minegarde town. Just a little bit more, and their adventure would begi-
Suddenly, Jack heard a laugh off to the side that emerged from amongst the crowd. Jack raised his hand, leading to everyone stopping. That laugh… he knew that he had heard it before. The question was, who did it belong to? From the side, an armored man soon emerged, clad in the hide of a Black Diablos. His face was still fairly young, with a small moustache adorning his upper lip.

“Aaaah, Jack,” The man said, letting out a menacing chuckle, a heavy blade slung across his back. “I’m surprised you’ve decided to show your face after so long. What has it been? A week? A month? A year? For a man who lives only up the hill, you seem to have receded into obscurity…” The man let out a little laugh. “Hell, people see more of your cat than they do of YOU these days!”

“Who in the hell are you?” Jake said, approaching from the side of Jack.

“Me? Oh, well, the answer is quite simple, really,” The man said, a grim smile stretching across his face. “Why don’t YOU tell them, Jack? I’m sure they’re dying to know.”

Jack’s eyes narrowed venomously, as he stared straight at the opposing figure’s face. “This is Kosto. You can say that the two of us have a… shaky past together.”

“Shaky is an understatement,” Kosto replied, the smirk soon being wiped off of his face. “You sold me down the river!”

“I didn’t ‘sell’ you down anything, you liar!” Jack shouted as the two hunters rapidly pushed towards each other, soon staring each other down at very close range. Jake soon got in between the two, as the other hunters stepped forward, grasping their weapons in the event things got violent. The others in the plaza turned their attentions to the events unfolding, as the other hunters pulled Jack back from the potential fight.

“I’d suggest backing off, bub,” Jake said. “There’s five of us and only one of you. There’s no need to provoke violence.”

“I’m not provoking anything, you naïve little twit,” Kosto snarled to the red armored man. “I’d watch yourself if I were you. Someday, you might get yourself hurt.”

“Hey, he told ya t’ back off, nya!” Erin shouted, hobbling over to the two hunters.

“Stay out of this, felyne!” Kosto said, as he pushed Jake back. “This doesn’t concern you.”

“He’s my master’s partner, nya!” Erin shouted in reply. “’Course it’s gonna concern me!”

“Hey, hey, guys,” Joan said, stepping forward from behind Jack, “I think we all just need to chill out a bit. Whatever happened before, let’s ignore it for now an’ get going on our way.”

Kosto grumbled under his breath, and stepped away from Jake and the flustered Jack, all the members of the group glaring at him with either anger, annoyance, or contempt. “Very well then. But don’t expect me to forget what you did, Jack. I’ll be watching you…”

“Whatever you say,” Jack replied sarcastically, before he gestured for the others to follow him. Kosto soon began to turn to leave, putting his heavy helmet back on as he lumbered off. As the group passed, Tenebra felt the need to make a couple of jeering gestures, but Ralagiri grasped her shoulder, before shooting her a glance that suggested against it. Sighing, Tenebra followed with Sleepy Face in-tow behind her. Soon, the group approached the gates, and exited the massive city. But before they left, however, Jack and Erin said their goodbyes to one another.

“I’ll try an’ keep in touch with ya every once in a while,” Erin said to Jack. “Stay safe out there, a’ight?”

“Alright, Erin,” Jack replied, as he crouched down and gave his Felyne comrade a brief hug and a pat on the head. “Make sure to take care of the place, okay? And don’t be falling down all the time, because I won’t be there to help you up.”

“Don’ worry ‘bout me, nya,” Erin chuckled. “I can care fer meself. I’m more worried ‘bout you.”

“Don’t worry, Erin. I’ll be fine.” With that, Jack got up from his crouch, and waved one last time to Erin. “Godspeed.” Erin waved back, a glimmer of tears evident in his bright blue eyes. “Godspeed, nya.”

With that, the crew was off- all ties to civilization were now severed until they reached their next destination. The journey had begun!
MDK wrote:I wish my movies about dinosaurs brought back to life with mosquitos in amber for a theme park were realistic.

Image The Crimson Shadow redux sign-up and discussion thread
Clash of Gods (Shin Gojira vs Legendary Godzilla story, completed)

User avatar
Corzak The Mighty
Gotengo Officer
Posts: 1914
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Generic Fantasyland

Re: The Crimson Shadow

Postby Corzak The Mighty » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:33 pm

Into the Wilderness

The world outside Minegarde town was one full of life and beauty. A majestic flatland awaited them outside, filled with majestic wonders and green as far as the eye could see. The sky was blue as the sun broke the horizon, and the various monsters of the land went about their business, giving the hunters sights to see as they passed on through. Diminutive Kelbi drank from a nearby lake, their deer-like bodies crouching down to enjoy the spring-s water. Aptonoths made displays of size and power, the bulls flaunting their prowess to the significantly smaller sows. The birds sung cheerful melodies as they watched, perched from the branches of trees, as the calm breeze carried their tunes far and wide across the majestic Forest and Hills. Though the breeze was cool, the forest and hills was hot and muggy this day. But the hunting crew had little time to soak in such beauty, or notice the weather. The five man-and-woman band marched across the wilderness, ignoring the myriads of wild beasts that surrounded them. Jack was on a mission, and the others were forced to follow. Tenebra kept a tight leash on Sleepy face, the Great Baggi inciting fear and discomfort into the various beasts of the plains, causing many to back off from the group or leave the area entirely.

“so… how far till we reach the next village?” Jake said, finally breaking the silence that had fallen over the group.

“Well,” Jack replied, “Kokoto village is through the High Desert, and through the ancient Gorge. The journey from here to there is about…. 100 miles, maybe more. It’ll take us a few days’ time to get there, as long as we keep moving.”

“Damn,” Joan panted, carrying his dual ranged weapons on his back, along with his supplies and ammo, “If I had known that we were gonna travel that far, I would’ve packed less stuff!”

“Maybe you should’ve thought of that ahead of time,” Ralagiri flaunted, as all she had to carry was her shield and her lance.

“Hmph… must be nice bein’ a blademaster, and not having to lug around all this stuff,” Joan grumbled to himself.

“And to think, this is only to get some info!” Tenebra said aloud, holding the rope around Sleepy Face’s neck tightly to keep him from pursuing one of the many herbivores in the area. “We still gotta travel farther to get the weapon, AND to slay the dragon!”

“Ancestors be damned if we’re going to do this at any reasonable pace,” Jake said, the warrior taking off his helmet and wiping his brow. “I’m going to need to take a break sometime soon!”

“Oh, quit your whining,” Jack replied, the silver armored warrior carrying his supplies over his shoulder, “If we just keep moving, we’ll reach our destination in a day or two. No need to complain about it. You should probably be more worried about Sleepy Face scaring away all our food for the evening.”

To this, everyone turned and looked intently at Tenebra. “What did I do?” The woman said, taking her hat off and fanning herself with it. “It’s not MY fault that the herbivores are scared of my pet.”

“I’m just joking with you,” Jack said. “But really, keep your pet under control. If it runs off, I’m not going to risk wasting time to go and get it.” Tenebra nodded solemnly, and held the reins of her pet tightly. After that brief outburst of speaking, the party fell silent once more. The group travelled in complete silence for the most part, as Tenebra soaked in the beauty of nature, Jake stumbled along slowly, clearly exhausted, and Jack led the ragtag crew through the forest and hills. Ralagiri and Joan were at the tail-end of the party, the two of them holding up the rear of the group in the event of attack. The group soon entered the forest part of the hills, and thus had to keep a sharper eye in their surroundings in the event of an attack. Things became almost eerily silent amongst the group members, before Tenebra decided to break the monotony with a question.

“So who was that ‘Kosto’ guy we met earlier, Jack?” The woman said, holding Sleepy Face’s reins tight. “You two seemed to have known each other awfully well.”

Jack sighed, before he began his answer to Tenebra’s question. “Yes, we know each other quite well. We used to be partners a while ago, even close friends. He helped me recover from a sad moment in my life, and the two of us became hunting buddies. But things got shaky one day, when we were tasked with protecting a smell desert village from a monster attack…”

“And here comes the exposition,” Jake grumbled to himself, to which he was met with venomous glares from the others.

“About 8 years ago, we were tasked with protecting a village from a Black Diablos that had been spotted in the area. You see, it was springtime, so the female Diablos were in heat, making them turn black. When the females are in heat, they are EXTREMELY dangerous, even more so than they normally are. Knowing this, we both went in armed to the teeth to slay it. But this is where things went wrong. Kosto decided that, in order to slay the beast, we needed to set up a trap for it. So he decided that, if he lured it close to the village, he could trap it more easily and we could finish it off.”

To this, the other hunters seemed shocked. “No… he couldn’t have,” Tenebra said.

“What the hell made him think THAT was a good idea?” Ralagiri said, a surprising amount of hate being audible in her voice. “Dumbass…”

“That’s what I was thinking too,” Jack went on to say. “I warned him about the risks of doing such a thing, but he wouldn’t listen to me. So, after he did it anyway and lured the beast towards the village, we tried to trap it and make the fight end quickly, but we were tricked by it. Rather than coming in charging, the beast dug up from the ground, and destroyed the trap that we had set up. As one could guess, this didn’t go well. 2 villagers were killed, dozens were wounded, and a good portion of the village was torn down before we managed to take it down. Of course, such a foolish move wasn’t going to be ignored by the guild, so as soon as we were called back to our town, we were greeted by the headmasters of the local Guild hall. I told them everything that happened, and they revoked Kosto’s hunting license permanently. We haven’t been on friendly terms since that fateful day…”

“Damn… that’s tragic,” Jake said in a low voice.

“If he hadn’t have done such a stupid and rash move in the first place, he wouldn’t have gotten his hunting license revoked,” Ralagiri hissed angrily.

“So he blames YOU for his own mistake?” Tenebra asked. “That’s pretty childish of him. Don’t YOU think so, Sleepy face?”

“The baggi nodded, seemingly in agreement, to which Jack replied, “Pretty much. He’s never forgiven me for that moment, and he thinks that I ‘sold him down the river’ for telling the Guild that he basically destroyed those people’s homes by going behind my back and luring it to the village…”

“Well, you shouldn’t dwell on it too much,” Joan said, hoisting his weapons up once more. “If he doesn’t like ya, you should probably just try an’ avoid him anyways.”

Jack nodded, but he suddenly stopped dead in his tracks. As he did this, the rest of the group came to a stop as well. The blademaster reached behind his back, and drew his massive pink and blue blade and adopted a fighting stance. The others readied their weapons as well. Jake drew his icy looking blade, as Ralagiri readying her golden lance and its massive shield. Joan drew his bowgun and loaded it with ammo, as Tenebra pulled out her dual short swords, with Sleepy Face on high alert.

“What’s wrong?” Joan said. “What do you sense?”

Jack glanced about, hearing rustling amongst the bushes and a whistling of wind through the trees. The forest was silent, but eerie, as one could easily tell that there was something roaming out there. Soon, the shuffling of footsteps was audible, circling around the group just out of sight. A couple of low growls could be heard from around them, before Joan decided to break the stalemate. The gunner fired two rounds of scattershot into the bushes, tearing apart the plant with ease. A high pitched scream was audible shortly afterwards, followed by the sound of a body hitting the floor. Jack gestured for the hunters to be at ease, before they all went to investigate the source of the noise. As the group walked around the sides of the bush, they soon found the source of the noise: a velociprey. Its body was horrifically mangled and bloodied from the scattershot, but its form and coloration were still very easy to make out. It was fairly small, so one could presume it was a young one. Jack turned to the others, and soon spoke.

“Keep on high alert, comrades. Where there’s one Velociprey, there’s bound to be others.”

The group complied, as they marched deeper into the forest, maintaining a certain level of silence. But they were not alone in the woods. The rustling of more bushes were audible, forcing the hunters to stop once more and adopt a circle formation. The group kept back to back with their weapons out, examining the area thoroughly for any signs of trouble. Joan was in the middle of them, keeping his bowgun at the ready. Suddenly, a high pitched cry pierced the air, and a swarm of blue skinned beasts emerged from the surrounding forest! The raptor-like beasts rushed the group of five, claws outstretched to kill, their beaked mouths clacking together in anticipation of feeding on human flesh. The beasts circled the group, their numbers easily outnumbering them five to one, the creatures looking for a weak spot in their defenses. The group maintained their formation, not moving a muscle, as the blue monsters chortled to each other, scrutinizing them with surprising intensity. Joan was visibly nervous at how things were unfolding, and the others, while not betraying an emotion, couldn’t help but feel a little bit of discomfort at the whole situation.

“On my mark, we’ll break formation and attack,” Jack whispered to the others. “Understood?”

“Yes, sir,” The others whispered back.

“Wait… what?” Joan whispered, before Jack shouted, “NOW!”

Suddenly, the hunters sprang into action, rushing the horde of Velociprey with surprising ferocity. The Velociprey countered with equal ferocity, rushing those that attacked them with reckless abandon, hoping to wound them enough to finish off. Jack raised his massive blade, and quickly struck down a Velociprey that charged him head on, the heavy sword cleaving the hapless raptor clean in two from its sheer weight and power. From the side, another Velociprey lunged, attempting to tackle the unprepared Jack. But a hail of bullets brought the beast down, causing its body to fly to the side, bloodied holes torn into its fragile body. Jack pulled up his sword, and looked back, seeing the barrel of Joan’s bowgun smoking. The swordsman gave Joan a thanking nod, before Joan gave him a quick thumbs up and fired another round at a Velociprey, blowing a hole clean through its torso in the process. Jack soon charged back into the fray, his massive blade striking down another Velociprey with ease…
Elsewhere, Jake and Tenebra managed to get themselves surrounded by a group of about 10 Velociprey, the raptors pinning them up against a nearby tree.

“Think you can handle this many?” Jake said, holding his longsword out in front of him.

“Heh, I’m more worried about you,” Tenebra said.

“Well, let’s find out who’s better then, eh?” Jake replied, before the two lunged out from their position, blades swinging. With one fell slash, Jake cleaved through one raptor and sliced off the head of another, as Tenebra lashed out with whirling blades, slicing straight through another Velociprey’s torso, causing it to fall over, bleeding profusely. Nearby, Sleepy Face slew one Velociprey, biting down onto it neck before shaking its head, snapping the poor creature’s neck, before he flung the raptor into another one of its brethren, causing the creature to get crushed from the weight of its ally. Ralagiri was holding her own fairly well, her massive shield keeping the Velociprey at bay, as she thrust her massive pike out, delivering nasty wounds to anything that dared to get close to her. The group seemed to handling itself fairly well, cutting down the raptors with little trouble, but they seemed to just keep coming! The sheer numbers of them forced the group to fall back to the center, and stave them off there, blades, bullets, and spears slaying more of the beasts.

“Christ, how many of these damned creatures are there?” Joan said, firing off another round into the crowd, this time a pierce shot, killing 2 Velociprey for the price of one.

“Don’t know, don’t care,” Ralagiri replied angrily. “I’m going to kill all of them!”

“Highly unlikely at the rate they’ve been coming,” Jake bluntly stated, his blade hacking clean through the torso of another Velociprey, sending a spray of blood flying through the air.

“Got any fancy plans, Jack?” Tenebra asked as she decapitated one Velociprey, and Sleepy Face body slammed another one.

“We need to find the alpha male,” Jack said, striking a Velociprey with enough force to knock its mangled corpse into another one. “Once we take him down, the pack will descend into anarchy.”

“How the hell are we supposed to do that?” Joan asked, firing another round into the horde of raptors. Just as he said this, however, a large, blue shape could be seen watching from afar, overseeing the attack. Its crest was a bright orange, and it had a single bright orange claw on each hand. It was significantly taller and langer than its fellow Velociprey- easily a good head or two taller than them, and almost double in length- so it was easily spotted. Jack smirked, before he said, “I’ve got just the plan. Joan, take the shot.”

The gunner gave a quick nod, and soon fired at the alpha male. The bullet struck the beast, eliciting a cry of pain from it as blood visibly ran down its wounded thigh, but the Velocidrome was not put down by the single bullet. The Alpha Male let out an ungodly screech into the air, catching the attention of his fellow Velociprey. His underlings, hearing his cry, rushed back to their leader, and the bright blue horde soon retreated back into the forest surrounding them.

“Well, that was random,” Joan grumbled. “Anybody get hurt?”

“We’re all fine over here,” Jake said, before he turned to Tenebra. “How’s your big lug over there doing?”

“Fine, thank ya very much!” Tenebra replied, as she cleaned off the area surrounding Sleepy Face’s mouth, before petting his muzzle.

“I wonder what provoked them into attacking us,” Joan pondered aloud. “I doubt that this is their territory, considering how little this is around here.”

“Whatever the reason, if they come back, they won’t be escaping alive next time,” Ralagiri said as she sheathed her lance.

“Let’s just hope they don’t harass us anymore,” Jack said. “I’d rather not have to waste time staving off another swarm of Velociprey.”

Jack soon kept moving, much to the surprise of the group (and the chagrin of Jake).

“Wait, you mean we’re just gonna keep going like nothing happened?” Jake said. “We just nearly got our asses mauled by a pack of Velociprey!”

“No point in lollygagging,” Jack replied bluntly. “We’ll need to cover as much ground as possible before nightfall. Once the sun sets, there will be worse beasts than Velociprey roaming the woods…”

The others followed Jack’s lead, with Jake letting out an audible sigh as he followed. Tenebra slowed down to stand next to him, before saying, “Don’t worry, it’s only mid-day. We still have a nice long walk ahead of us.”

“Oh, shut up,” Jake grumbled, as the group marched onward through the forest…
MDK wrote:I wish my movies about dinosaurs brought back to life with mosquitos in amber for a theme park were realistic.

Image The Crimson Shadow redux sign-up and discussion thread
Clash of Gods (Shin Gojira vs Legendary Godzilla story, completed)

User avatar
Corzak The Mighty
Gotengo Officer
Posts: 1914
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Generic Fantasyland

Re: The Crimson Shadow

Postby Corzak The Mighty » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:38 pm

Bonding Time

Night soon descended over the forest, the sun setting below the horizon. The sky became a dark blue color, as stars lit up the tranquil heavens. The light of the moon was all the accompanied the group as they prepared to settle down for the night. Most beasts were asleep by now, but the group still needed to keep their eyes sharp, and their wits sharper. Dangerous creatures roamed the wilderness at night, with some more dangerous than others. The group soon began to set up camp inside of a small, warm and isolated cave. No creatures seemed to have made the cave their home, but the hunters kept on high alert in the event one showed its face. After several hours and when one didn’t they began to set up camp. Rugs to sleep on were set up, to protect the hunters from lying on the hard rock floor. Joan got the fire started, while Ralagiri and Jake cooked and prepared the food (barbecued Velociprey meat). Soon, after about an hour of setting everything up, the group settled down for dinner that evening. As the hunters (and their ‘pet’ Sleepy Face) ate, Tenebra noticed the scar that ran along Jack’s face. She had seen it before, but decided not to question it before. But now that they were out of the city, she proposed her inquiry.

“So, Jack,” Tenebra said between mouthfuls of food, spitting out tiny chunks with each word, “where did that scar of yours come from? I don’t think you ever told us earlier.”

The other hunters continued eating their food, but they all shifted their eyes to Jack, who soon let out a soft little laugh.

“So you really want to know, eh?” Jack said, before he set down his food. “You all remember how I said that Kosto helped me feel better from a sad moment in my life?”

“Yeah,” Jake said as he gulped down a bit of Velociprey meat. “What’s that gotta do with anything?”

“This scar…. And that moment… they all tie together, Jake,” Jack replied. “The day I received this scar was the day my beloved was struck down on a hunt. She was taken down by the damned dragon that we seek now.”
To this, everyone seemed shocked.

“That’s… terrible, man,” Tenebra said, hanging her head low.

“But… but how did you even meet the Crimson Shadow?” Jake inquired. “Did he attack you, or did you find him?”

“We were… naïve, to say the least,” Jack replied. “We pursued an Iodrome to the lair of the beast, and in our naivety, attacked it. We immediately regretted it, as in the ensuing battle, we were easily defeated. She died trying to defend me from that horrible monstrosity…”

“So that’s why you pursue him,” Joan said. “The beast took something of yours, and you want to pay the bastard back in full.”

“Aye, you have the right idea, my gunning friend,” Jack replied. “I’ve made it a goal of mine to slay that dragon. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I have suffered.”

Jack paused, glancing amongst his comrades, before he sighed. “But let’s change the subject, shall we? I prefer not to talk about such things.”

“Good idea,” Jake said. “So… what got you all into hunting in the first place?”

Tenebra was the first one to chime in. “Well, I just got into hunting for the sheer sake of the hunt. I always found the beasts of the wild interesting, so one day, I applied to the guild for a license, and I’ve been a hunter even since.”

“And what about you, Joan?” The long sword wielder said, placing his thin blade across his lap. “What got you into hunting?”

“Well, it all started when I was a young lad,” Joan said, scratching his chin. “I was a young lad, living on a farm with my family. One day, while attending to my herd, a great beast descended from the sky, scales ebony as night, eyes grim as the moon, and devoured the poor animals. It probably would have claimed me too if I hadn’t run for my little boy life and hidden from its line of sight. I followed the creature as far as I could, until I saw it disappear into the high mountains far away. From that moment onward, I became curious of the beasts that roamed the world, and I became a hunter.”

“Did you ever tell your family where you disappeared to?” Ralagiri suddenly stated, causing everyone’s eyes to shift to her. She had been so quiet for the past few moments, that her sudden outburst of noise caught them off-guard. “I seems like you let your curiosity get the best of you.”

“No… no I haven’t,” Joan replied, gripping his bowgun tightly in his hands. “I haven’t seen them in years. I wouldn’t be surprised if they thought I was dead by now.”

“Seems a bit… rash, don’t you think?” Jack inquired, leaning forward as he asked his question.

“Maybe,” Joan replied softly. “But it’s too late to fix THAT problem. It’s been years since I’ve been home! My folks probably wouldn’t even recognize me.”

“Probably not,” Tenebra said. “But hey, that’s what happens when you go poof!”

Seeing the distaste towards Tenebra’s comment in Joan’s eyes, Jake decided to shift over to Jack. “So what got YOU into hunting, Jack?”

“Me?” Jack chuckled. “Well, I started hunting when I was very young, maybe 10 years old. My parents were hunters, and when they never returned home, I was adopted by the guild in Minegarde Town. They taught how to hunt, and from there, I became the hunter I am today.”

“Very interesting,” Jake replied. “Very interesting indeed.”

“How about you, Jake?” Jack said. “You’ve yet to tell us your origins either.”

“Oh, yes, how silly of me,” Jake said, as he cleared his throat. “Well, as you can probably guess from my armor, I’m not originally from this side of the sea. I’m from Yukumo village across the sea. I got my start when my village was menaced by a particularly aggressive Zinogre, which I managed to trick into falling off a cliff. From then on, I chose to dedicate my life to hunting the mighty beasts of the wilderness and protecting civilization from their wrath.”

“Very noble of you, I must say,” Jack said.

“Thanks,” Jake said, before he finally turned to Ralagiri. “I haven’t heard much from you this evening, Ralagiri. What got you into hunting?”

The lance wielder glanced about at the other hunters gathered around her, noticing all their eyes on her. She nervously eyed all of them, but simply kept eating, neglecting to answer the question. The others waited patiently for a few moments, but got no response. Joan soon chimed in, and said, “Did ya hear’em, Rala? He wants to know what got you into hunting.”

Ralagiri hastily replied, “I don’t want to talk about it,” before going back to eating her food.

“C’mon, you can trust us,” Joan said.

“Yeah!” Tenebra chimed in. “If we’re gonna work together as a team, we’re gonna need to understand each other reeeeal well!”

“Well….” Ralagiri mumbled, to herself, before sternly saying, “No. I don’t want talk about it.”

“But why not?” Joan asked, leaning towards her. “You can trust us. I mean, we’ve all alre-“

“I said I don’t want to talk about it,” Ralagiri grumbled, cutting Joan off. “Is that not enough for you all? Do you want me to tell you all of my secrets? If I say no, I mean no. Now please, let’s talk about something else.”

“Let’s leave the lady alone, my comrades,” Jack said. “It is not wise to press questions one will not answer. Especially questions as trivial as these.”

“Awww, come on, Jack,” Tenebra said in a childish tone, “where’s the fun in that?”

“It’s not about fun, Tenebra,” Jack replied sternly. “It’s about comfort. If she’s not comfortable talking about it, she doesn’t have to talk about it.”

“Jack’s got a point there,” Jake chimed in. “If Ralagiri doesn’t want to answer the question, fine by me.”

“Thank you,” Ralagiri said softly, as she continued eating. The group fell into silence, as they finished eating their dinner. The chill of the night grew great, and the hour grew very late. Soon, the hunters had finished their meals and they were all very tired.

“Well, I’mma retire for the day,” Jake said with a yawn, as he walked over to his side of the cave. “Good night.”

“I’m tired too,” Tenebra yawned, Sleepy Face already sleeping over by her little resting spot. The dual sword user went over to where Sleepy Face slept, and soon laid down next to him. Ralagiri soon got up from next to the fire without a word, and lay down in another corner of the cave. Soon, it was only Joan and Jack who still remained active.

“Aren’t ya gonna get some sleep, Jack?” Joan said, picking up his gun and dishes, before he headed over to his own little corner to rest.

“Eventually,” Jack replied. “I’ll stay up for a bit to make sure we don’t have any unpleasant visitors in the night.”
Joan nodded, and soon lay down on the ground, before nodding off to sleep. Jack sat by the fireplace they had set up, the silver-armored sentinel keeping a scrutinizing eye on the entrance…

It was still dark out when Joan suddenly sprung awake. The group’s cave was eerily silent, the only sounds being the occasional snores from Jake and Sleepy Face. The campfire was still aglow- presumably still alight for the sake of safety. Joan cursed under his breath and rose up from the cave floor, scratching the back of his head and yawning as he did so. Just his luck, to have a sleepless night in the middle of the wilderness. The gunner soon glanced around, noting the presence of the others. Everyone was in a deep sleep. Even Jack was asleep, lying slumped against a wall, completely and utterly asleep. But Joan suddenly noticed something- Ralagiri was missing from the cave! Getting up onto his feet, Joan soon walked through the cave, passing the bright fire without, before exiting the cave’s “mouth”. But Joan soon realized that his concerns were unnecessary. Outside of the cave, Joan saw Ralagiri, sitting by herself a good 100 paces away from the entrance. She stared off blankly into the forest, not even acknowledging Joan’s presence. The gunner raised an eyebrow, and soon plopped himself down next to her. “Well, you’re up early,” Joan said as he sat down.

“What do you want?” Ralagiri grumbled, scooting away from the gunner.

Joan scooted a bit closer to her and replied, “Well, I had a hard time sleeping, and I noticed that you weren’t in the cave. So I came out and went looking for you.”

“That’s very kind of you,” Ralagiri stated, “but it was unnecessary. I like to have some time to myself.”

“Well, better safe than sorry, eh?” Joan chuckled. “Didn’t want you to get eaten by somethin’, you know?”

“Yeah…” Ralagiri grumbled, before she turned to look at Joan. “So why do you really want to talk to me?”

“Well…” Joan said, before pausing. “I noticed that when those Velociprey attacked, you seemed to be really into it, but normally, you seem very calm and reserved. What was up with that?”

“It’s… I… well…” Ralagiri said, glancing away from Joan towards the ground. “I guess you can say that I dislike wild beasts.”

“Well, that’s fine,” Joan chuckled. “I’m sure everyone kind of dislikes them monsters. They’re dangerous for the most part, after all.”

“No… it’s not just like that,” Ralagiri said. “I genuinely, truly hate them.”

“What do you mean?” Joan inquired, cocking his head to the side.

Ralagiri sighed, and replied, “You know how I said that I didn’t want to talk about why I became a hunter earlier?”

“Yeah,” Joan stated.

“Well… it started when my family was killed by a Rathalos,” Ralagiri said. “The beast murdered them all, and, with what little strength I had at the time, I slew the beast, and used its hide to craft my armor. I promised myself that I’d kill every damned beast in this land to keep anyone else from suffering what happened to me.”

“I’m sorry for your loss, Ralagiri,” Joan said, placing a hand on the lancer’s shoulder. Ralagiri smiled briefly, before looking away from the gunner. “I know it must be hard for you to cope with that. But there’s no reason the kill every monster you meet.”

"Why not?” Ralagiri said flatly. “All they ever do is cause destruction and death wherever they go.”

“That’s not necessarily true,” Joan replied. “While it’s true that many of these beasts are dangerous, think about all that they provide for us. They give us clothes, they give us food, they give us weaponry to stave them off, and they give us armor to protect ourselves with. While the beasts of this land are dangerous, they are creatures of resourcefulness as well.”

“Maybe you’re right,” Ralagiri replied, “but I still hate them all. I just wish things could be better.”

“We all do, Ralagiri,” Joan replied. “But sometimes, we just have to accept we cannot fix things, and must simply observe them and try to protect ourselves.”

Ralagiri nodded briefly, when suddenly, a loud cry pierced the night.

“Did you hear that?” Joan whispered.

“Yes,” Ralagiri replied.

Joan and Ralagiri were instantly on edge, examining the area around them for a potential threat. They saw nothing, but they soon realized that they were not alone. Far off in the distance, the beating of wings could be heard, growing steadily closer with each beat… and the sound was heading straight towards the group’s location.

“poop,” Joan said. “We gotta wake up the others!”

Ralagiri nodded, before the two dropped their conversation and soon rushed into the cave to collect their gear and awaken their allies…
MDK wrote:I wish my movies about dinosaurs brought back to life with mosquitos in amber for a theme park were realistic.

Image The Crimson Shadow redux sign-up and discussion thread
Clash of Gods (Shin Gojira vs Legendary Godzilla story, completed)

User avatar
Corzak The Mighty
Gotengo Officer
Posts: 1914
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Generic Fantasyland

Re: The Crimson Shadow

Postby Corzak The Mighty » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:45 pm

The Lone Wolf

“Wake up! Everyone wake up!”

Joan and Ralagiri soon began to go around, shaking everyone who was asleep and shouting at them to wake up. Tenebra and her pet Sleepy Face were completely disoriented, both attempting to get used to their sudden awakening. Jake was startled and almost punched Joan in the face when he was awoken, but immediately complied. Jack was simply surprised by the sudden outburst of noise and energy, but calmly got up. Everybody soon picked up their weapons, and rose up onto their feet.

“What’s wrong?” Tenebra asked, picking up her swords.

“There was a cry in the night,” Ralagiri said, “piercing as the wail of a banshee, malevolent as a demon of the dark.”

Jack immediately knew what to expect, and nodded. Ralagiri and Joan soon got their own weapons ready, waiting for the beast to arrive. The group waited inside their shelter, anxiously awaiting the beast’s arrival. The flutter of wings was audible outside, circling around their location, but it soon disappeared. Just when the group was about to let out a sigh of relief, a piercing cry broke the silence, as a gust of air put out the fire, leaving the group in the dark. Seeing that their position was worthless without light, the hunters rushed out of the cave and out into the open, the light of the moon being the only thing keeping them company. The woods were silent, the winds howling outside being their only companion.

“Anyone spot it?” Jack whispered, his massive blade at the ready.

“N-no,” Joan replied. Clearly, the situation was making the gunner a bit nervous.

“I can definitely hear it, though,” Ralagiri whispered back.

“Yeah, and whatever it is, it’s freaking Sleepy Face out!” Tenebra said, rubbing the Great Baggi’s muzzle to help calm it down.

They could hear the creature lurking somewhere out of sight, its heavy footfalls and cackling growls reminding them of the evil monster’s presence. A shadowy form could be seen hiding amongst the trees.

“Wait, what’s that over there?” Jake pointed and whispered, when an ominous orange light began to light up the forest in front of them. Suddenly, the peace was shattered, as a massive fireball blasted out from the surrounding forest, swirling towards the group like a meteorite.

“Look out!” Jack shouted, as the group broke formation, the fireball exploded upon impact with the ground. A plume of flame shot up behind all of them, illuminating the battlefield. Suddenly, a massive purple shape could be seen shoving aside foliage, before a humongous bird wyvern burst forth from the surrounding wilderness! The wyvern was one to behold: the monster had scales glossy and purple, with soulless yellow eyes that stared at its foes with cruel intent. Its massive beak clattered audibly, its vicious jaws anticipating the taste of blood. Its dreadful pinions were spread aside, as its massive, venomous tail lashed about behind it, ready to deliver its fatal payload! As the Yian Garuga charged in, its massive beak snapping down at Jack to crush him, the warrior raised his massive blade, intercepting the beast’s bite. The massive creature snarled in anger, its beak clacking multiple times down on the hardened blade, but failing to even scratch it. While Jack held the brute off, it was suddenly peppered with several bullets from Joan.

The beast cackled, and quickly swatted Jack aside, before he charged straight towards Joan, eyes filled with hate. The gunner dived to the side, narrowly avoiding getting trampled beneath its tonnage. The bird-like wyvern rotated its body towards Joan, and stomped towards him, pecking the ground where he was at with each step, attempting to crush him with its massive beak. The Yian Garuga suddenly unleashed a cry of pain, as Ralagiri thrust her lance into the beast’s leg, causing blood to squirt out from the wound. This distracted it long enough for Joan to escape. The two hunters shared a quick glance, before the fiend delivered a vicious headbutt to Ralagiri, forcing the lance wielder to defend herself with her massive shield. Joan fired upon the beast, but this only served to annoy it. Just as the bird wyvern’s maw became aglow with flame, it was suddenly ambushed by Tenebra, who stabbed the beast in its shoulder, while Sleepy Face bit down on the monster’s wings to try and wrestle it to the ground. Tenebra was forced to retreat as the Garuga snapped down with its powerful beak, before the bird wyvern whirled around and headbutted Sleepy Face, forcing the Great Baggi away from it. The baggi circled the Garuga for a few moments, roaring loudly to try and intimidate it, to which the considerably larger beast replied with a deafening cry, causing Sleepy Face to retreat with fear.

Jake soon entered the fray as well, slashing at the beast’s legs as Ralagiri stabbed at the monster from behind her shield. The Garuga snarled, and, with a swat of its tail, sent knocked Ralagiri away, sending her skidding back several feet from the force of the blow. Jack regained the monstrous melee, and struck the beast across the face with his massive blade. The sheer power behind the blow cracked the monster’s beak, blood running down from the wound. The Garuga bellowed angrily and slammed its beak down towards the hunter, forcing Jack to dodge to the side, before the monster snapped its tail towards Jake, forcing the warrior to duck and roll to avoid death by poisonous tail. The longswordsman rolled under the purple beast’s body, and thrust his blade into the Garuga’s belly, causing it to howl in pain.

The dreadful beast soon hopped backwards, a powerful gust of wind generated from its wings pushing the hunters away from it. As the hunters rushed the purple brute, converging towards it with shocking speed, the beast suddenly unleashed a deafening cry, one so powerful that it physically hurt to hear it. The hunters covered their ears, and as soon as they recovered, the purple monster had disappeared from sight. But they knew they weren’t alone; they could hear something lurking amongst the trees, just out of sight.

“Where the hell did it go?!” Jake shouted angrily, his sword covered in the beast’s blood.

“I do not know,” Jack replied, examining their surroundings. This beast was clever, and knew how to utilize its environment… so they’d need to be extremely cautious, or else risk getting ambushed. The great sword wielder turned to Joan, and said, “Joan, think you can light it up a bit?”

“I’ll try my best,” The gunner replied, as he swapped his current bullets for explosive rounds.

“What good will those do?” Ralagiri asked. “Wouldn’t those just agitate it?”

“Precisely the idea,” Jack replied. “We need to scare it out into the open.”

Suddenly, Joan fired an explosive round into one of the nearby trees, causing an enormous explosion of fire and bark. A rain of shrapnel shot out in all directions, though nothing seemed to come from this. Joan continued to fire into the trees, causing explosions to try and thrush out the Garuga.

“Ooooh, fireworks! Yaaay!” Tenebra said, as a scared Sleepy Face slinked up behind his master.

“This isn’t accomplishing anything,” Jake said. “What makes you think that explosions will-“

But just before Jake could finish his statement, the last explosion was greeted with a primordial shriek of fear, as the purple beast was forced out into plain view once more. The hunters immediately raised their weapons and rushed towards the Garuga, eliciting the bird wyvern to counter their attack with a blast of fire. The hunters quickly broke formation, narrowly avoiding being fried by the behemoth, before Jack got in the first blow. With a running leap, the swordsman brought his massive weapon down onto the Garuga’s head, slamming its heavy blade into the beast’s skull. The Garuga howled in pain, and countered with a quick snap of its beak, narrowly missing biting down onto Jack. From the side, Ralagiri charged the beast, stabbing its thigh where she had earlier, causing more blood to squirt out of the wound. The purple behemoth cried out in pain, before it whirled around at high speed, knocking Jack down with its powerful beak, and using the momentum to strike Ralagiri full force. Ralagiri barely had time to raise her shield before the beak struck her, denting her shield upon impact and sending her flying off her feet.

Bullets struck the wyvern in its back, but failed to do anything but attract the Yian Garuga’s attention. But Joan already had the jump on it, for as soon as it reared its head to spit more fire, the gunner had already started moving and firing again. But the massive beast had no time to worry about the annoyance, as Sleepy Face suddenly slammed full force into the Garuga’s side, causing it to lose its balance and nearly topple to the floor. Seizing this opportunity, Tenebra leaps onto the Garuga’s back, and begins to vigorously stab it with her swords. Bird wyvern quickly begins to spazz wildly, bucking and shaking wildly, its deadly tail swinging and massive beak clacking. The sheer wildness of the monster’s bucking made it hard for the other hunters to even get a hit in without risking getting injured, but Jake seized the opportunity and slashed right across the beast’s belly, sending a squirt of blood flying. With a cry of pain, the Garuga suddenly collapsed, throwing Tenebra right off of its back. Its cries of pain soon silenced themselves, and the monstrosity’s eyes soon closed completely. Its body soon went completely limp. The beast was dead.

“Alriiiiiight!” Tenebra said as she got up. “Woohoo! That was awesome!”

“A job well done, I must say,” Ralagiri flatly stated, though she was clearly pleased.

“I’d say that went even better than expected!” Joan said with a smile.

Jake took it to the next level, as he approached the body of the Garuga, and put his foot on its wounded visage like a conqueror.

“I claim this kill for Yukumo village!” Jake said with gusto, as he raised his blade up to thrust into its eye.
But suddenly, Jack noticed something off about the whole situation. Why had the beast simply keeled over so suddenly? But then, he saw something that nobody else bothered noting: the beast was still breathing. And these weren’t weak breaths; no these were clearly living breaths. The Garuga was playing dead!

“Jake, watch out!” Jack shouted, but it was already too late. The beast suddenly roared back to life, and with sudden speed, flipped its body a full 360 degrees upward. The beast’s venomous thagomizer struck poor Jake right in the chest, its vicious spikes piercing the hunter’s Volvidon armor and injecting its deadly payload into the hunter’s system. The longswordsman collapsed to the ground in a fit of pain and shock, his eyes wide with fear as the Yian Garuga reared to life once more like a zombie. The other hunters quickly sprang into action, Ralagiri raising her shield to protect the downed Jake from the monster’s fiery breath as the others closed in the finish off the dangerous monster.

“Joan, get Jake out of the line of fire,” Ralagiri said hastily.

“But… but what about the rest of you?” Joan replied. “Won’t you need backup?”

“We’ll be fine,” Ralagiri stated. “Trust in us.”

Joan nodded, and immediately began to pull the wounded Jake away from the scene of the chaos. The others soon began to absolutely maul the poor Garuga. Jack delivered a crippling blow to the monster’s knee using his massive blade, nearly severing its leg clean off. The hapless bird wyvern fell over with an eldritch cry, its leg failing hold up its weight with a sickening “crack”. The beast was helpless as Ralagiri impaled the beast’s spine, virtually paralyzing it, before Tenebra delivered punishing after punishing blow to its tail, before severing the heavily armored weapon off. Sleepy Face stood on top of its wings, the fragile structures cracking and breaking audibly beneath the Great Baggi’s surprising weight. Finally, Jack struck the beast several times in the neck, the sheer weight of his sword and the power behind each blow soon completely severing the monster’s head.
Though the hunters had finally defeated the beast, there was no cheering, nor happy singing. The group soon gathered around Joan and Jake, the latter’s condition quickly beginning to get worse.

“His skin is beginning to get cold,” Joan said, looking fearfully up at the others. “I don’t know how much longer he’ll last.”

“What can we do?” Tenebra said, the normally cheery girl expressing earnest concern.

Ralagiri knelt down before Jake, and produced a small vial. She looked Joan in the eyes, and said, “I need to you remove his armor.”

“E-excuse me?” Joan said, to which Ralagiri replied, “No time to question, just do it.”

Joan glanced up at Jack, who simply nodded slowly in agreement with the lancer. Joan soon complied, and removed the hunter’s damaged chestplate, revealing a series of nasty wounds. Ralagiri splashed the vial’s contents over the wound, which caused Jake to briefly writhe in pain before calming down.

“That will hold him for now,” Ralagiri said.

“But not for long,” Jack added. “We need to find help, and fast. No time to rest now, let’s move!”

Jake was soon hoisted up onto Sleepy Face’s back to be carried, and group soon continued on its way, leaving the gory remains of the Garuga for nature to take its course on. Even in death, the creature’s dreadful elegy could be heard hanging over the heads of the party, building sorrow in the hunters’ hearts…
MDK wrote:I wish my movies about dinosaurs brought back to life with mosquitos in amber for a theme park were realistic.

Image The Crimson Shadow redux sign-up and discussion thread
Clash of Gods (Shin Gojira vs Legendary Godzilla story, completed)

User avatar
Corzak The Mighty
Gotengo Officer
Posts: 1914
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Generic Fantasyland

Re: The Crimson Shadow

Postby Corzak The Mighty » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:49 pm


It had been several hours since the group’s fateful encounter with the dreadful Garuga. Dawn was beginning to break across the land, bringing much-appreciated light down across the wondrous forest, giving life to the once dreary and empty forest. The beasts of the wilderness began to arise, as the warmth of the rising sun brought energy back into the creature’s souls. But Jack and his crew had no time to enjoy such things as the sun and the beauty of nature. One of their comrades was severely wounded, and they would need to find him help fast. Unfortunately, it was too late for them to simply turn back and return to town; they had journeyed deep into the forest, and were almost to the other side of it by now. As the group hastened, Jack turned to Joan and Ralagiri, who were keeping watch over Jake, who was resting on the back of Sleepy Face.

“How is he doing?” Jack stated calmly, his eyes filled with concern.

“He’s starting to heat up quite a bit,” Ralagiri replied. “His entire body has broken out into a cold sweat.”

“The wound’s condition has gotten quite a bit worse, too,” Joan added on, the gunner placing his hand lightly onto Jake’s chest, causing the wounded hunter to let out a pained moan in response. Ralagiri quickly grabbed the gunner’s wrist, before giving him a quick smack to the shoulder, causing the gunner to grunt from the sudden blow.

“Don’t do that again,” Ralagiri hissed in a shockingly ferocious manner.

“Okay, okay, sorry,” Joan said, immediately taking his hand off of the man’s chest. “I didn’t mean to hurt him; I was just going to check out the wound, that’s all.”

“You don’t just go and place your hands on top of a wounded individual, Joan,” Ralagiri replied. “You’ll make it worse.”

“B-but… he’ll be fine, right? He’ll make to where we’re going?” Tenebra said anxiously, slowing down so she could keep pace alongside her trusted Baggi companion. Ralagiri looked up, and stared the young woman right in the eyes. She could see the anxiety that was within them and the fear of possible loss, as if she couldn’t comprehend the idea of him dying.

“I don’t know, Tenebra,” Ralagiri said in a low tone. “I’m sorry.”

As Tenebra’s head began to hang low to the ground, Jack soon chimed back in, adding, “The best thing we can do is pick up the pace. Slowing down so we can talk amongst ourselves isn’t going to be doing Jake any favors.” Jack soon began to walk faster, soon beginning to zoom ahead of the others. “Let’s move, comrades! The less time we spend out in the wilderness, the better off he’ll be!”

The others nodded, and soon, the group’s pace picked up considerably. It was a rough path for the group, due to the uneven and often hectic terrain that they had to pass through. It did not help that the weather was simply unbearable; the sheer humidity of the mighty forest was oppressive and overwhelming for the hunters. But onward they marched, trudging through twigs and dirt, kicking aside mounds in their way, searching for a place to take their wounded compatriot to have his wounds tended to.

But the sea of green seemed to be never ending, as the trees passed by over and over again in an endless loop. The sun blazed overhead, slicing through the branches of the trees, only serving to make the exhaustion the hunters were suffering even worse. While Jake slept in a pained slumber, the others were slowly succumbing to complete bodily collapse. Ralagiri was slouched over, and had removed her helmet as sweat dripped down from her brow. Joan wasn’t looking much better, as his entire face was drenched in sweat. Tenebra leaned her body against an equally exhausted Sleepy Face, who was simply thumping along at a slow pace at this point. Not even Jack was infallible; his pace had slowed considerably over time, to the point that it was almost a crawl. Finally, Tenebra broke the silence that had fallen over the group.

“Jack,” Tenebra said, her breaths deep and her raspy, “can we PLEASE take a break? Poor Sleepy Face can’t take much more of this. Hell, I can take much more of this!”

“We’ve been on the road all day, with no rest,” Joan added on, his voice sounding equally as exhausted. “We should have a breather, and move on in a little bit.”

“No,” Jack replied, taking in a loud, audible breath, “We cannot afford to stop now. If we rest for too long, Jake might not make it…”

“If we keep going on like this without resting, WE’RE not going to make it,” Ralagiri said in reply, wiping the sweat from her brow. “Do you want to risk that?”

Jack glanced back at Ralagiri, and thought to himself. Perhaps they were right. They hadn’t had any rest since the Garuga attack, and that was before the sun even came up. It was midday now. Sighing, Jack soon looked over his shoulder and said, “Alright. We’ll take a few minutes of our time to rest.”

The group soon slowed to a stop, and set up camp next to the trunk of a fairly massive tree. The group was quick to set themselves up, and make themselves comfortable amongst the twigs and dead leaves that littered the group. The group huddled together in a circle, with the exception of Sleepy Face, who rested his body and head on the ground with Jake still resting on his back. They quickly began to cook what little food they had remaining from the previous day’s velociprey encounter and their remaining rations that they were given upon departing. The exhaustion of their long march had clearly taken its toll on the group; no one spoke for a brief bit, as if they were all trying to catch their breath. Even Tenebra was eerily silent as they recuperated from their long walk.
Finally, Tenebra broke the silence. “So how long until we reach the next village or outpost, Jack?” The dual sword user inquired. “Can’t be too far away… right?”

“Wish I could confirm it,” Jack replied. “Even with the distance we’ve covered already, it’s impossible to tell the exact amount of land we’ve covered. We might be really close to the end; we could still have a few miles of land left to cover.”

“Crap,” Joan grumbled to himself. “I’m hoping we can make it, but with that knowledge…”

“... we may not have enough time to get Jake the help he needs,” Ralagiri said, finishing off Joan’s sentence.

“Aye, therein lies the problem,” Jack stated flatly, soon passing around some of the food they had cooked.

“Well, let’s look on the bright side, guys,” Tenebra said as she received her food, to which Joan asked, “And what would that be?”

“At least we’ve got food!” The girl replied with spunk. The others simply sighed and shook their heads with exhaustion and discontent.

“What? I’m just trying to lighten up the mood, geesh,” Tenebra grumbled to herself.

“This isn’t a time to try and be making jollies,” Jack stated. “This is serious, Tenebra. Jake could die!”

“Do you think I don’t know that?” Tenebra replied with sudden aggression, her eyes locking firmly on Jack. “I’m just as worried about him as you are, Jack.”

“As we all are,” Ralagiri chimed in. “It is simply better to keep a level head in a situation like this, rather than make jokes.”

“Rala’s got a point, Tenebra,” Joan added on. “Better to focus on what’s at hand than-“

“ALRIGHT, I GET IT!” Tenebra yelled in an annoyed fashion, which quickly got everyone to be quiet by the sudden and thundering outburst. Even Sleepy Face raised his head in surprise, the Great Baggi’s gaze examining his master’s expression thoroughly. Tenebra sighed, before she said, “All I wanted was to try and make everyone not as melancholy. Sorry.”

Jack was about to say something, when a sudden, thundering roar shook the forest. The hunters were immediately on edge, and sprang to their feet, getting their weaponry in anticipation for the threat.

“What was that?” Joan said in a surprised and somewhat frightened tone.

“Sounded like a Tigrex,” Jack said, quickly pulling out his massive azure sword.

“This far north?!” Joan shouted, as he drew his gun.

“Not too surprising,” Ralagiri said. “Perhaps we are closer to the gorge than we previously anticipated.”
Soon, there was another roar, rattling the hunters once more.

“There it is again!” Tenebra shouted. “Think we can rough’em up?”

“That one sounded a little different,” Jack stated. “Wait… no… that can’t be.”

“What’s wrong, Jack?” Ralagiri inquired, quickly pulling out her lance and shield.

“It sounds like there’s… two Tigrex,” Jack replied his eyes shifting over to the other hunters.

“Wait wait wait,” Tenebra shouted, “TWO Tigrex? In the middle of a forest? How?!”

“Maybe someone pissed’em off!” Joan replied. “Maybe we should get going. I certainly don’t want to be Tigrex chow!”

Suddenly, amidst the roars of the Tigrex, they could hear someone shouting, as if in distress.

“Sounds like someone needs help,” Jack growled. “Let’s move!”

“Wait, Jack, are you crazy?” Joan said. “We’re down a man, and you’re going to charge into a fight against two Tigrex? You’re going to get us all killed!”

“That man may be our only hope of getting help to Jake,” Jack snarled in reply. “What would you rather do, wander aimlessly, or get help immediately?”

Jack did not wait for a reply; rather, he instantly began sprinting towards the sounds of conflict. Ralagiri and Tenebra followed in his wake, their weapons drawn. Even Sleepy Face sped off towards the fight, despite having a wounded man strapped to his back. Joan sighed, as he began to sprint after them, loading up his medium bowgun as his did so. “Why do I feel like I’m the only sane man in this crew?” Joan asked himself, as he sped after the others to help out the man in trouble…

Soon, the group reached where the sounds had been originating from. It appeared to be a small clearing in the forest, perhaps where herbivores and bird wyverns nested during the breeding season. However, there was no one to be found. It was as if nothing had happened; there was no sign of struggle, no claw marks, no remains, no nothing.

“Well, isn’t this just fine and dandy?” Joan cursed to himself. “We came over here for nothing.”

“But that’s impossible,” Jack said. “I know for a fact that I heard some struggling.”

“And I’m sure we heard the Tigrex, right?” Tenebra asked. “I mean, we can’t’ve ALL imagined that.”

“No…” Ralagiri stated. “There’s something off about all of this. I have a bad feeling about this…”

Suddenly, from within the trees, they saw a large shape move. Immediately, the heroes drew their weapons, put on edge by the sudden movement. But from their other flank, they saw more movement, this time rapidly moving through the underbrush. Before the group could fully shift their attention in either direction, a pair of vicious shapes burst forth from the foliage of the forest, ready to attack. Both were hulking yellow brutes, lined with blue stripes and spiky ridges on both sides of their heads. Their wings had been adapted into a pair of massive forelimbs, with the leathery pinions built into them, like some sort of muscular bat. The hunters soon huddled together around Joan and Sleepy Face, leaving Jack, Ralagiri, and Tenebra on the outside to protect the two within. The two behemoths of muscle approached the group slowly, their massive maws gnashing, as drool spilled forth from them onto the ground.

“Any bright ideas this time, Jack?” Joan said, as the group began to slowly back up into the forest.

“I think now would be a good time to run,” Ralagiri stated, holding her shield out in front of her, with her lance to her side.

But before the group could even get moving, there was a sudden, audible cry from the forest. Both the hunters and the dual Tigrex shifted their attention towards the source of the noise, with the Tigrex in particular taking notice to the noise.

“Ha! Stupid beasts!” The voice said, as suddenly, a man clad in the skins of many creatures appeared, his arms crossed across his barreled chest and his face obscured behind a strange mask. He stood several meters above the group below him, atop a branch in the trees. Both Tigrex immediately let out a deafening roar, forcing Jack and the others to cover their ears from the power of their bellows, but did little to flinch the warrior atop the tree. The two behemoths suddenly rushed towards the warrior’s position, to which the warrior replied to by jumping down from his position and landing on one of the Tigrex’s heads. As the beast violently thrashed about, attempting to shake its assailant off, the man suddenly, put on a pair of gauntlets, which appeared similar to the skulls of wyverns, and slammed them down hard into the base of the beast’s skull. Instantly, the Tigrex’s body slumped over to the ground, limp as a boned fish. As the other Tigrex bellowed and charged him, the warrior hopped off of the corpse of one Tigrex and to the side, forcing the still living Tigrex to change directions and continue pursuing him. The man seemed to hop for no reason a good 20 feet, but it was soon revealed why he had; as the Tigrex passed the spot he jumped over, the beast slipped into a cleverly disguised pitfall trap filled with wooden spikes. The weight of the beast and the deepness of the pit caused the raging titan to crash full-force onto the spikes, impaling itself through the left arm, chest, neck, and right hand, causing it to quickly asphyxiate to death and die without a struggle.

As the warrior turned around, Jack and his crew were simply awe-stricken. This man had not only held his own against two Tigrex, but killed them with no trouble at all! As the man passed by, Joan quickly ran out from behind the group, and approached the large warrior.

“Hey!” Joan said, “That, sir… that was AMAZING!”

“It was nothing,” The warrior replied. “Such beasts child’s play to me.”

“You think two Tigrex are child’s play?” Jack inquired, sheathing his blade.

“Eh… no problem,” The man replied. “Hunt many Tigrex in days.”

“Impressive,” Jack said simply.

“So may we ask who you are?” Ralagiri chimed in, putting her lance and shield onto her back.

The warrior turned to the lancer, and simply replied, “You call me ‘Kynigos’.”

“Kynigos, eh?” Tenebra said. “Interesting name, mister!”

“So what were you even doing, fighting those Tigrex anyways?” Jack asked.

“Part of hunting routine,” Kynigos said. “Kynigos would have ended hunt sooner had town-dwellers not crashed hunt.”

“… sorry about that,” Jack said. Kynigos grumbled, and, just as soon as he appeared, turned to leave.

“Wait!” Jack said, as he quickly sped up behind him. “We need to ask you something.”

“What you need, town-dweller?” Kynigos asked. “Make it quick- Kynigos has much to do and see.”

“We were going to ask you if perhaps you can help us out,” Jack stated. “One of our friends is gravely injured, and is in need of medical aid. Do you think you can guide us to the nearest town?”

Kynigos seemed to pause as if in thought for a moment, before he looked back at Jack. “No.” The warrior soon began to continue on.

“But… but we can take you on our hunt with us!” Jack shouted.

“Yeah! We’re gonna hunt a big, scary dragon!” Tenebra added on.

“We can use the support too!” Joan chimed in.

“Kynigos gets plenty of hunts,” The man said as he continued on. “Kynigos is fine.”

Tenebra quickly caught up with Kynigos, and said, “Please, Kynigos. We need someone to help us find aid for our friend. And trust me- this is no dragon you’ve ever seen before.”

Kynigos looked Tenebra in the eyes, and began to think deeply to himself. “Alright. Kynigos help hunters find aid. Kynigos know of man who can help.”

“Great!” Jack said. “Who is it?”

“Called ‘wandering wizard’. Last seen him near gorge.” Kynigos soon turned, and made a gesture with his hands. “Come. We go to wandering wizard now.”

“Excellent,” Joan said. “We needed to head in that direction anyways.”

“Yay, we’re back on track!” Tenebra shouted.

“BUT- I help on ONE condition, hunters,” Kynigos stated.

“And what would that be?” Jack inquired.

“You let me come on hunt with you,” Kynigos said. “Kynigos fight dragon too!”

“Of course, of course!” Jack said. “Help is always welcome!”

“A brother in arms is most appreciated on a quest like this,” Ralagiri sated with her arms crossed.

“Then we move, NOW!” Kynigos shouted, as he began to sprint, forcing the other hunters (and Sleepy Face with Jake in tow) to follow…
MDK wrote:I wish my movies about dinosaurs brought back to life with mosquitos in amber for a theme park were realistic.

Image The Crimson Shadow redux sign-up and discussion thread
Clash of Gods (Shin Gojira vs Legendary Godzilla story, completed)

User avatar
Corzak The Mighty
Gotengo Officer
Posts: 1914
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Generic Fantasyland

Re: The Crimson Shadow

Postby Corzak The Mighty » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:52 pm

Trouble on the Homefront

It was hard for Erin to believe that it had already been so many days since Jack and his group had left. It had only been… what, two? Three days, at most? And Erin was already feeling the pangs of loneliness. It was the most surreal feeling, being alone after all this time. It had been over a decade since he had been left at home all by himself for so long; he almost couldn’t cope with it. Part of the problem stemmed from that Erin just couldn’t figure out what to do with himself. He was so used to doing work for that big hunk of steel plating that he was almost totally lost without him needing labor to get done. But Erin did decide to do something constructive in the meantime, and actually had planned to do something he hadn’t had the opportunity to do in a long time- visit the Felyne Training Academy.

Yes, this was where Erin’s whole career as a comrade had begun, all those fateful years ago. When he was a young Felyne, he was taken to the academy and placed into a vigorous training course to hone not only his skills with the weapon, but his wit and ability to think on his feet. Pushing open the wooden door the Jack’s house, before quickly pushing it shut, Erin shuffled down the stony streets of Minegarde Town with his tiny staff in tow. It was still dark outside, as it was the early morning. Torches lined the streets, illuminating the quiet city with their warm light and fiery glow. It wasn’t too far to travel down to the academy- it was only in the courtyard, across the ways to the guild.

It was quiet this early in the morning- almost too quiet. It was quite frightening, really. For an area normally so bustling, it was odd to have it be so utterly silent. There were no voices, no birds chirping, not even the sound of the wind. It was completely and utterly silent, and it made Erin extremely uncomfortable, and made Erin think. Why had he been so adamant against Jack departing on a journey? Was he really concerned for Jack’s safety? Or was he afraid to be left alone with no one else to meet with? It bothered Erin to think about it, but he knew what the answer to such a question was. As much as he did not want to accept it, he was afraid to be alone. He feared what could happen without help, especially given his current physical condition- if anything goes wrong, there’s absolutely nothing he would be able to do.

Erin’s train of thought was disrupted, however, when he heard the sounds of scuffle from one of the nearby buildings. His mind told him to ignore it, as it was obviously nothing but trouble, but his curiosity told him otherwise. Erin was torn, but ultimately decided to follow the sounds. His buddies could wait, after all- they pretty much had spent their entire lives at the Felyne Academy teaching other Felynes how to fight. Whatever was going on, however, was clearly not good, as he could hear faint yelling and the sounds of things getting smashed. Shuffling as fast as he could towards the source of the sound, Erin attempted to locate the building where it was originating from. He suddenly located the building- it was the home of Jack’s old friend, the man with the books! Erin was confused and horrified- who would be assaulting him, and why would they be assaulting him? The door was slightly ajar, and the lights were on inside of the building, but Erin dared not go in; he feared what could happen to HIM if he decided to walk into the building. Instead, he grabbed onto the wall of the building, and slowly began to climb up the wall.

The voices soon became clearer, and he could make out the conversation of those inside. Climbing up to a window on top of his house, Erin peeked inside, and was greeted with a horrifying sight. The old man was leaning, crippled, against the table, blood running down his forehead and staining both his hands. Erin could hear his pained breaths- he was clearly wounded, as there was also blood on the floor of his house. Five armored individuals surrounded him, each with their weapons drawn. One was fairly tall, and was wearing Gravios armor and wielded a familiar looking Long Sword. One was very short, and was clad in Khezu armor, along with wielding a sword and shield. The other two were at a middling height, and were clad in Lavasioth and Nargacuga armor. They wielded a Hammer and a Bow, respectively. One of them was recognized by the Felyne comrade- Kosto! What was HE doing here?! Erin had no time to ask such questions, however, as the conversation soon resumed, Kosto’s voice obviously agitated by something.

“I know you’re a friend to that coward, old man. I’ve watched Jack enter your home with that damned crippled cat of his! Now tell me, where has he gone?!”

“I… I don’t know… what you’re talking about…” The man coughed, blood splashing out from his mouth, some of it dribbling down from his mouth. “You’re just… crazy, Kosto! You’re imagining… what you want… to see!”

“He’s lying!” shouted the woman clad in Khezu armor. “I can see it in his weakling eyes!”

“I swear to the Ancestor…. I’m not lying!” The old man said, violently coughing, causing more blood to drip out of his mouth, as he clutched his chest, clearly in physical pain. The woman turned to Kosto and the tall woman by his side, her face twisted with sadistic glee. “Can I cut the truth from him, Kosto? Can I?!”

The tall woman turned to Kosto, a somewhat worried expression on her face, but Kosto ignored it, a grim smile spreading across his lips. “If we cannot knock the truth out of you, perhaps Kristy here can SPILL it out of you!”
The woman in Khezu armor, presumably the one named Kristy, pulled out a large hunting knife, a psychotic smile spread across her face. The old man gasped in horror, and attempted to get up and flee, but was quickly pinned down by the two men clad in Lavasioth and Nargacuga armor. Grabbing one of each of the old man’s arms, they pushed him down onto his knees, completely helpless are the crazed woman approached him. Eyes wide with fear, the man finally broke.

“W-wait!” The bloodied old man shouted with all of his remaining strength. Kristy stopped, holding the knife outwards with a confused expression on her face. The old man hung his head down in shame and weakly said, “He’s heading to Kokoto Village, and is looking for the Eternal Destroyer…”

Kosto chuckled. “Very good. I thank you for your cooperation.”

“Now please… just leave me alone!” The man said, his breaths becoming more pained with each one he makes.

“I don’t recall saying we’d let him go free if he told us, did I?” Kosto inquired, to which the others in the room shook their heads. With a sick smile, Kosto stated, “I’m sorry, grandpa, but I’m afraid Kristy here needs her daily dose of bloodshed.”

What followed was a truly gruesome display, which forced Erin to cover his eyes in sheer terror. The screams of the poor man filled the room below. The hideous sounds of flesh being cut were audible below, before the screaming was swiftly silenced. As Erin opened his eyes, the deed was done. The man’s body lay limp on the floor, his entrails spilled all over the ground, with his head completely removed from his body… only it was nowhere to be found either, leaving Erin to assume that sick female dog took it as some sort of trophy. Erin KNEW he had to get out of here, but he couldn’t bring himself to stop staring at the mangled corpse of the poor man who had been murdered. Finally willing up the strength to tear his eyes away from the ghastly scene, Erin quickly slid down the roof, before he crashed down onto the cold, hard ground with an audible THUD. Despite the pain, Erin ignored it as best he could, and quickly began to hobble down the street with his walking stick in tow. Suddenly, he heard the door creak all the way open, and saw the shadows of the people exiting the building. Erin quickly shuffled to hide around behind a nearby wall, and glanced around to see the group parade out of the building and into the cold morning.

“Look, Tiffany, I have a new trophy!” Kristy said, pulling the head of the old man out of her satchel and shoving it in the face of the woman in the Gravios armor. Obviously disgusted, Tiffany pushed the head down and replied, “Yes, very nice, dearie.” She then turned to Kosto, who seemed satisfied with the whole operation.

“Kosto darling, was that really necessary to do?” Tiffany asked in an uninterested voice. “We might get into… trouble… for such a thing.”

“Tiffany, my love, you know as well as I that some things must be done,” Kosto replied in a surprisingly cheery tone for what had just happened. “After all, we now know what to do.”

“What is the plan of action, commander?” The man in the Lavasioth armor inquired.

“Orcus, we shall head out tonight!” Kosto replied. “No reason to wait, after all; we have all our supplies ready, and we will need all the time we can get to catch up with that clever coward Jack.”

“Then let’s get going!” Tiffany said. “What Kosto says, goes!”
The group soon picked up the pace and quickly hustled towards the main gate of the city. Shocked by his revelation, Erin hobbled out from behind the wall after the five left, and soon moved as fast as his feet could carry him. He needed to warn Jack about this threat!
MDK wrote:I wish my movies about dinosaurs brought back to life with mosquitos in amber for a theme park were realistic.

Image The Crimson Shadow redux sign-up and discussion thread
Clash of Gods (Shin Gojira vs Legendary Godzilla story, completed)

User avatar
Corzak The Mighty
Gotengo Officer
Posts: 1914
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Generic Fantasyland

Re: The Crimson Shadow

Postby Corzak The Mighty » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:57 pm


As the group continued their travel, they had managed to finally leave the Forest and Hills region, and they had finally reached the edges of the seemingly endless sea of green. The heavily forested earth soon gave way to sparse golden grass, with dry, cracked dirt covering the ground. The canopy of the forest and foliage of numerous bushes gave way for intense sun and cracked earth. Jack and the crew had been following Kynigos, trusting the massive warrior’s knowledge in hopes that he could perhaps lead them to this “Wandering Wizard” they sought. The group marched through the savanna-like terrain, small hills lurking at the edges of the massive grassland they had wandered into, the occasional tree standing tall amongst the dry and sparse grass that littered the ground. Small snakes and rodents scurried through the grass with surprising speed, even managing to startle a squeal out of Tenebra. But as many things seemed to go, the overbearing sun was taking its toll on the hunters, slowly wearing them down from its heat. They covered Jake in a blanket to keep him from getting sunburned, and covered the top of Sleepy Face’s head to keep him protected from the sun. Finally, Joan spoke up, unable to bear it anymore.

“Jack, can we rest for a bit?” Joan asked, his voice slightly raspy from thirst. “It’s hot and we haven’t taken a break all day.”

“And I’m thirsty!” Tenebra moaned loudly, wiping her brow of sweat. Sleepy Face chimed in with a tired groan, before panting in a similar manner to that of a dog. Jack turned to face Joan, his face contorted into a peeved expression.

“We can’t afford to stop as much as we have been, Joan,” Jack replied in a somewhat annoyed tone. “Besides, I’m sure we’re getting close to our target, right Kynigos?”

“Kynigos assures you,” Kynigos replied, “we shall arrive before the end of today.”

“See? Nothing to worry about,” Jack said. “We’ll arrive before you know it.”

“I don’t know, Jack,” Ralagiri stated, “we’ve been going for a while. We haven’t eaten nor drank since we departed this morning. Perhaps it would be wise to-“

“NO! I said no, and I MEAN no!” Jack shouted. “We’ll keep going until sunset. You’ll get your rest then.”

“Hey, hey, hey man, no need to get angry,” Joan grumbled. “I just wanted to ask if we could stop.”

“Well, we shall not, so there is your answer,” Jack growled. “Now let’s keep going, hunters! There’s plenty of time in the day ahead of us!”

The group continued marching on, with Kynigos leading the way. As the group marched along, Joan turned to Ralagiri and stated, “Seems like Jack’s got a few screws loose today.”

“It’s probably the heat,” Ralagiri replied. “I’m surprised Tenebra back there hasn’t snapped yet.”

As she said this, both turned to look at Tenebra in the back of the line with Sleepy Face, the girl mumbling to the Great Baggi, “Don’t worry boy, we’ll get to rest soon.” The two glanced at each other for a moment, before turning back fully around.

“Scratch that, I think she’s already there,” Joan chuckled, which managed to elicit snort of enjoyment out of Ralagiri despite its cheesiness.

The day continued to drag on, the sun blaring down upon the group like an oppressive dictator watching over his people. Soon, the sparse grassland devolved into sand, and before they knew it, they had reached the desert. However, their journey was not done yet; in fact, this was only the first step of their seemingly endless journey. They had located the desert, but they now needed to find the Gorge, which was located deep within the heart of the great sandy plains. Each of the hunters had begun to express signs of physical and mental exhaustion. Ralagiri had gone completely silent, and hung her head low. Beads of sweat ran down her face and splashed against her breastplate, forcing the hunter to remove her helmet to avoid excess heat from getting trapped in. Joan didn’t fare any better; in fact, he looked even worse than her. He too had to remove his helmet due to the heat, and his face was a bright red from overheating. His hair was all wet from excess sweat filling his helmet, and his face was drenched in his own sweat as well. Tenebra had actually collapsed from heat exhaustion, forcing Kynigos to carry her over his shoulder. Even Jack was showing signs of physical exhaustion; his brisk pace from earlier in the day was slowed almost to a crawl, and his stance had regressed slowly to that of a hunched over, almost ape-like stance. The sand seemed to feel like it was swallowing up the hunters, as each step seemed to be heavier than the last. From a distance, one could see fins slicing through the sand, waiting for the hunters to collapse from exhaustion- it would make them easy prey for the sharks of the sand. Jack glanced around at his fellow hunters, examining each of them closely. He could already tell that they were all exhausted; he didn’t even need to ask them. Ralagiri shot him a look of annoyance, before Jack finally broke down.

“Alright, alright!” Jack replied. “I was wrong. I’m sorry.” He sighed before saying, “I can see a small cave up ahead. We’ll take a break there for the time being.”

“THANK YOU!” Joan puffed, as he let out a cough of exhaustion. Kynigos glanced back at Joan and grumbled. “Weak little man, nothing like Kynigos.”

“Yeah, well, not everyone’s a big hulking brute like you are, Kynigos,” Joan huffed angrily.

“Do not insult Kynigos simply because you are not Kynigos!” The hulking man snarled in reply.

“Guys, come on,” Ralagiri interrupted, “This really isn’t necessary.”

“Mmmm… poffins…” Ralagiri mumbled in her sleep-like state on Kynigos’ shoulders. This quickly silenced the others, and got them to hurry their pace to the small cave up ahead…

The group soon arrived at the rocky outcrop, and sat themselves down in the shade of the cave. It felt good for them to sit down out of the sun, after marching for so long in it. The group made themselves comfortable within the shade of the cave, before Jack passed around some of the food they had remaining to the group and gave each member (including Sleepy Face) a sip of some water. Tenebra soon returned to a fairly normal state of mind after cooling down outside of the infernally hot sun, as did all the others. The group sat around in silence for a few minutes, simply eating the food they had and taking occasional sips from the small amount of water they had available.

“Thank you for putting your head on straight, Jack,” Joan said. “I thought we were all goners out there!”

“Kynigos is simply taking the shortest path possible,” Kynigos said. “Kynigos assumed hunters wanted a quick path to the Gorge, so Kynigos took the short way.”

“Well, clearly it isn’t working, Kynigos,” Joan stated. “Half of us were dying of heatstroke out there, all because you decided to march us STRAIGHT through the desert!”

“Kynigos was doing what he assumed was best!” Kynigos shouted.

“Well, the best thing to do sure as poop wasn’t a suicide run!” Joan spat in reply, eliciting a bestial growl of anger from Kynigos.

“STOP, BOTH of you!” Jack yelled.” Acting like barbarians isn’t going to solve anything.”

“The more we fight, the less likely it is we’ll act efficiently,” Ralagiri said. “So let’s keep it civil.”

“Forgive Kynigos… he tends to get fiery when agitated,” Kynigos said, somewhat ashamed of his actions.

“Yeah, I’m sorry too,” Joan said. “Didn’t mean any of that, buddy.”

“All is forgiven,” Kynigos replied, as he took a big bite out of his food.

The group fell into silence again, Tenebra scooting up to join the circle of hunters as they cooled down from the oppressive sun’s effects upon their exhausted bodies. Jack turned to Tenebra, looking the female hunter in the face.

“Feeling better?” Jack stated in a calm voice.

“Oh yeah, I feel like a new woman!” Tenebra said with a smile. “I think I just needed a little rest, y’know? And some water. Water always helps too.”

“I think we ALL needed a little rest,” Ralagiri added on, taking a small bite out of the food Jack had given to her. “We probably wouldn’t have made it much farther, even if we kept pushing forwards.”

“On the topic of our journey, when shall we get moving again?” Joan asked, scratching the back of his head, feeling a bit itchy from all the sweat that had accumulated in his helmet and hair.

“Hmmm….” Jack grumbled, placing his hand upon his chin, as if deep in thought. “Well, it certainly would not be wise to continue during the light of the sun, no? So let us wait until sunset, and continue our journey when it is not as overwhelmingly hot. Perhaps we will have better luck then.”

“But then it’d be harder to see where we’re going, no?” Joan said.

“Perhaps,” Jack said. “But we can always use torches, or simply set up camp once it becomes too dark to see properly.”

“So it is settled, then,” Ralagiri stated. “We shall depart when it it nearing sunset.”

“Hey, sounds good to me!” Tenebra shouted. “Poor Sleepy Face doesn’t like the heat very much.”

“Apparently, girl does not either…” Kynigos chuckled to himself.

“Hey! Not funny!” Tenebra replied angrily, which caused everyone else to laugh.

“Well, let’s rest for now, comrades,” Jack stated. “We shall continue in a few hours.”

With that, the hunters made themselves comfortable, and relaxed inside the cave. Most of them actually drifted off to sleep, though Jack stayed awake in order to wake them up when the time came for them to continue on their journey…

A Few Hours Later…

The time soon arrived for the group to depart. The sun’s rays had dimmed slightly, signaling the beginning of the sunset. Jack had stayed partially awake the whole time, while the others got a well-deserved rest. However, the time to rest was over now; the time to continue moving along had begun once more. With a stamp of his foot, Jack shouted, “Alright, ya sleepy heads! Time to get going once again! We’ve got a long ways to go still!”
The hunters quickly got up and assembled their supplies, before turning to Jack.

“Well, what are you waiting for?” Jack said.

“I thought Kynigos was leading the way,” Joan replied in a confused manner.

“Kynigos shall lead us, yes,” Jack stated before turning to the hulking man. “Let’s get going, my friend.”

“Very well, hunter,” Kynigos replied. “We shall continue on path to Gorge.”

Kynigos briskly stepped out of the cave’s opening, and began to march to his left. The other followed in his wake, with Tenebra and Sleepyface (with the silent Jake in tow) lagging in the back of the group. The sand was still warm from the sun beating down on it all day, but the air was significantly cooler than it was earlier. The sun had gone from a bright yellow to a dim orange hew as it slowly disappeared below the horizon. Kynigos marched at a quick pace, forcing the other to move at a similar pace, much to the annoyance of Joan, who was still a bit tired despite the rest they had. The warrior led them into the heart of a large series of rocky outcrops, with grass occasionally being visible sticking out form the ground. The occasional ledge could be seen, along with herds of apceros being visible travelling across the sandy plains, along with the occasional loner wandering alongside them. The Halls of the rocky outcrop twisted and turned wildly, leading them in wild directions and strange paths. Kynigos continued leading them through the labyrinth of rock, but the group seemed to be getting nowhere despite all their travelling. After what felt like an hour of walking around in circles, Jack turned to Kynigos, and spoke to him.

“Kynigos, where are we going?” Jack inquired. “We’ve been in this place for an hour and we’ve gotten nowhere.”

“Worry not,” Kynigos replied. “We will get there soon. I can sense it.”

“You “sensing” it means pretty much nothing, big guy,” Joan chimed in. “Are we getting close or not?”
Kynigos went quiet for a moment, as if he was thinking. “Well?” Joan asked. “Are we?”

“Kynigos is sure,” The warrior huffed angrily in reply. “Trust Kynigos, hunters shall arrive at destination soon enough.”

“Very well,” Jack murmured, before saying, “Then let’s keep moving. We should be getting somewhere soon if it is as close as you say it is.”

But Kynigos was wrong. The group continued travelling the paths of the strange area, but they achieved nothing. Soon, the group circled around over and over again, but achieved nothing. Eventually, Ralagiri noticed that they had passed a similar looking rock at least three times already, and yet had not managed to make any progress on their journey.

“Ummm… Jack?” Ralagiri said. “I think we’re going in circles.”

“I think you’re right, Ralagiri,” Jack replied, as he also noted the reoccurring structures of the rocks. Jack turned to Kynigos, before saying to him, “I thought you knew the way to the Gorge, Kynigos?”

“Kynigos thought he did,” Kynigos grumbled in a confused manner. “But Kynigos has no memory of this area.”

“So we’re lost,” Tenebra grumbled. “Wonderful! Mind if I find us some good rocks to chip into tombstones?”

“Tenebra,” Jack snapped, glaring intently at the female hunter.

“Sorry,” Tenebra squeaked, thrusting her hands up like a thief caught red-handed.

“Oh man… lost?” Joan said in a spooked voice.” But if we’re lost, how are we gonna get food? How are we gonna get water?! Where are we gonna sleep?! WHAT ABOUT OUR-“

Before Joan could finish, Ralagiri gave him a good slap across the face, as if to knock some sense into him.

“Ow! What was that for?!” Joan shouted, rubbing his cheek.

“You were- nevermind,” Ralagiri grumbled.

“Well, anyone have any ideas what to do?” Jack inquired.

“Allow me to try out something…” Tenebra said as she took a deep breath. Sleepy Face, knowing what she was planning to do, tensed up and buried his head into the ground. Opening her mouth, the female hunter unleashed a harrowing cry into the air, one which hung in the canyon for a long period of time and radiated outwards from their location. The other hunters immediately went silent and covered their ears from the noise. Once it stopped, the group all stared at her in a confused manner.

“The blazes was THAT all about?!” Joan shouted.

“What? I was just mimicking a Gendrome,” Tenebra said in a nonchalant manner.

“… Excuse me?” Ralagiri asked in a flat, confused tone.

“Mimicry, guys!” Tenebra replied. “... c’mon, you guys HAVE to have heard of it, right?”

“I have,” Jack said, his face holding a bewildered look, “But I didn’t know a human could do it so well!”

“I’ve had a lot of time to practice, okay?” Tenebra mumbled, as Sleepy Face lumbered up next to her.

“What purpose does mimicry serve, girl?” Kynigos asked. He seemed significantly less affected by the turn of events than the others were.

“Well, I read in a book that Gendrome tend to hang around water…” Tenebra said. “So I assumed that we follow the reply cry of one and we’ll find water!”

“… That’s… that’s actually brilliant, Tenebra,” Jack stammered. Soon after Jack said that, a cry could be heard from not too far away from their location, one which sounded nearly identical to Tenebra’s cry.

“Let’s go, guys!” Tenebra shouted, before she and Sleepy Face sprinted in the direction of the cry. The others glanced amongst each other for a couple moments before they followed, Kynigos being the first to follow her, before Jack, Ralagiri, and finally Joan continued after her. The path Tenebra took was just as windy and serpentine as the path Kynigos had led them on, but this one was different; the group was beginning to smell water as they ran down this pathway! Sure enough, after ten to fifteen minutes of running, the group came across an amazing sight- a watering hole, straight in the middle of the desert! Large palm trees surrounded the massive pool of aqua, and a lone Gendrome could be seen standing on top of a large rock outcropping. A quick warning shot from Joan’s bowgun spooked the Gendrome, which prompted it to leave, giving the group a nice place to finally settle down as the sun finally disappeared below the horizon. Though they were still not quite out of the woods, thanks to Tenebra, they actually managed to find a place to rest for the evening…
MDK wrote:I wish my movies about dinosaurs brought back to life with mosquitos in amber for a theme park were realistic.

Image The Crimson Shadow redux sign-up and discussion thread
Clash of Gods (Shin Gojira vs Legendary Godzilla story, completed)

User avatar
Corzak The Mighty
Gotengo Officer
Posts: 1914
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Generic Fantasyland

Re: The Crimson Shadow

Postby Corzak The Mighty » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:02 pm

A Night Interrupted

By a stroke of luck and a little clever path finding, Jack and his crew of hunters finally managed to find themselves a small place to rest for the night. Darkness had soon completely fallen over the desert, the chirping of crickets being audible by the small body of water. Fireflies flew around the watering hole, as a chilly air blew through the halls of the strangely maze-like valley that it was located in. The group soon began to set up camp, with Joan quickly starting up a small fire using some flame rounds from his bowgun, while Kynigos headed off to catch the crew some food for the evening. In the meantime, the 4 hunters (plus the wounded Jake and Sleepy Face the great baggi) sat around the fire, warming themselves up as the temperature in the desert continued to drop to lower and lower levels.

“What a day, eh?” Joan said aloud for everyone to hear, before letting out a little chuckle. “Not every day you get to be lost in the middle of the desert.”

“It was certainly something, I’ll admit that,” Ralagiri stated, as she put her hands out in front of the fire.

“If it wasn’t for Tenebra back there, we’d probably still be wandering around in a circle,” Jack chuckled, to which Tenebra replied “Awww, it was nothin’ guys! That’s just what I do.”

“Where did you pick up that technique anyways?” Ralagiri asked. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a hunter using vocal mimicry before.”

“Well, I’ve had a lot of practice, as you can probably guess,” Tenebra said. “Y’know, I hunted a lot of Qurupeco. Those silly birds are very skilled at mimicry, so it inspired me to try it myself. I studied the sounds of other creatures, and practiced my technique until I could do it perfectly.”

“Very impressive, I must say,” Jack stated. “If I hadn’t known any better, I would have mistaken your cry for the real thing.”

“Aww, you really mean it?” Tenebra said, an innocent, childish smile spreading on her face.

“Yeah… you almost literally scared the crap out of me with it!” Joan shouted jovially in reply. “I thought we were about to get jumped by a Gendrome!”

“Don’t lie, Joan,” Ralagiri said with a sharp glare, to which Joan replied to with a nervous scratching of the back of his head. “Sorry, sorry. Got a bit carried away there.”

“Aaaanyways, so when are we gonna get goin’ again?” Tenebra inquired, which prompted the others to turn to Jack.

“Hmmm…” Jack pondered, putting his hand to the base of his chin. “Well, we could leave at sunrise, but it will be very hot because of the sun. But at the same time, leaving at night is unwise, as this is when many of the predators start going on the hunt, so I’m not sure.”

“Well, we can always take breaks like we SHOULD have done today,” Ralagiri stated, crossing her arms across her chest.

“That could work, but then our progress would be greatly slowed,” Jack replied. “With Jake’s condition slowly worsening, we cannot afford to stall for very long.”

“This ain’t about Jake’s health, Jack,” Joan said. “This is about OUR health. If we push ourselves too hard, WE ain’t gonna make it to the Gorge to get Jake the help he needs.”

“If we take too long getting there, Joan, our entire purpose of GOING to the Gorge will be pointless!” Jack retorted angrily. “Jake is DYING; this “wandering wizard” is probably Jake’s only hope for recovery. If we aren’t able to get him there before the venom starts taking effect on his organs, there won’t be anything that can be done!”

“I’m going to have to go with Jack on this one, guys,” Tenebra chimed in, which prompted everyone’s heads to turn towards her. “I mean, Jake’s one of our buds. We gotta think about his safety too. We can’t just be thinking about ourselves, we gotta think as a group and about each other.”

Ralagiri paused, before she conceded. “I guess you’re right, Tenebra. But Jack, at least let us have one brief break so we don’t die out there.”

“Alright, alright,” Jack replied. “So it’s settled then. We’ll travel for as long as we physically can before taking a brief break. After that, we’ll continue until we reach the gorge or night falls.”

“Sounds like a reasonable plan to me,” Ralagiri stated, her arms still crossed across her chest.

“Yay, I helped keep the peace!” Tenebra shouted, before thrusting her hands upwards in an overly dramatic fashion. Joan turned to her and whispered, “Just don’t expect any of us to lift you if you start getting tired, okay, pumpkin?” before he chuckled quietly to himself.

“Hey, that’s not funny!” Tenebra whispered back angrily, before Kynigos came around the bend with a young Apceros wrapped around his shoulders. “Found food for us to eat,” the massive warrior said, before he tossed the body of the creature onto the ground, a small cloud of dust rising up from the floor. The others simply stared at him for a few moments, prompting a perplexed expression from him. “Did Kynigos miss something important?” Kynigos stated before he sat down to join them around the fire.

“Oh, nothing much,” Tenebra stated. “Just our plans for tomorrow, that’s all.”

“And us nearly ripping each other’s heads off over the issue,” Joan added on.

“And what are plans?” Kynigos inquired to the others.

“Well,” Jack said, as he pulled out his hunting knife and began to carve away at the young apceros’ body, “we have decided to get moving as soon as we can tomorrow, and to have a single small break to maximize our travel time without compromising our time during the day.”

“Sounds like good plan,” Kynigos replied, as Jack finished cutting open the monster’s belly, and began to cook its meat over the small campfire that the group was gathered around. After a few moments of silence, Jack turned to Kynigos and spoke to him. “So, do you think you can find your way to the gorge from here?”

“Maybe,” Kynigos replied. “Kynigos know landmarks when he sees them. Problem is finding landmarks.”

“Then I guess we’ll just need to keep a sharp eye out for whatever we need to look for,” Jack replied, as he removed the first piece of meat and handed it to Joan.

“And what exactly are we looking for?” Ralagiri asked as Joan stuffed his face with the Apceros meat.

“Direction we come from lead to sharp jagged rock,” Kynigos replied, as Jack removed another piece of Apceros meat from the fire and handed it to Tenebra, who gave half of it to Sleepy Face before happily chowing down on it. “Cannot miss it. See it jut out far before Gorge. Tower over rest of the landscape, after all.”

“Well, I guess we’ll be looking for a giant rock then,” Jack stated. “Shouldn’t be too bad.”

“Well, there ARE a lot of big rocks out here,” Joan said, his mouth stuffed with food, before he swallowed. “Guess it depends on how distinctive this rock in particular is.”

“I’m sure it’ll be easy enough,” Jack mumbled, as he passed around the last pieces of meat to Ralagiri and Kynigos, before finally leaving the last piece to himself. The group ate their meals in silence, the fire’s crackle being the only source of sound, alongside the chirping of crickets and the buzzing of firefly wings. As the group finally finished their meals, the crew set up their sleeping bags and quickly made themselves comfortable for the evening. It had been a long day after all, and they needed their rest for tomorrow. Tenebra was the first to fall asleep, curled up next to the form of Sleepy Face. Jake rested soundly on the large Baggi’s back, despite the severe wound that was slowly taking its toll on him. Joan was the second to fall asleep, his head extremely close to the edge of the water. Kynigos was the next to fall into slumber, the warrior sleeping in a sitting position despite him not leaning on anything. The next one to fall asleep was Ralagiri. The female hunter placed her weapons by her side, before she curled up and fell into a deep slumber, clearly exhausted. Jack fought to stay up, as he did not want to risk an ambush in the night, but even he finally succumbed to exhaustion and fell asleep. The group’s area soon became dead quiet, as the fire slowly began to fizzle away, slowly dying away…

It had been a few hours since the group had fallen asleep. For some reason, Sleepy Face found himself unable to sleep much longer. In the deep hours of the night, the Great Baggi reared his head and audibly yawned. The Baggi glanced around, his vision groggy from the darkness and his exhaustion. Sleepy Face saw a strange shape shuffling in the dark, pulling something with it, before it suddenly froze. Sleepy Face’s vision quickly cleared up, and he too froze up upon seeing what he saw. It was a scorpion-like creature that dwarfed even him with a crystalline stinger! But what was worse, it had Jake’s sleeping bag in its claws! The creature suddenly began to scuttle off faster, before Sleepy Face let out a powerful roar, startling the hunters in the camp awake. The group shot awake, just as the strange creature disappeared around the bend. Tenebra was the first to notice the Baggi’s distress, and spoke to him.

“What’s wrong boy? What did you see?” Tenebra said, before Sleepy face bolted off after the scorpion.

“Sleepy Face, get back here!” Tenebra shouted as she picked up her swords and ran after him.

“What wrong with raptor?” Kynigos asked Jack.

“I don’t know,” Jack replied in a confused manner. “Tenebra’s Baggi must have seen something that startled him.”

“Wait… where’s Jake’s sleeping bag?” Joan asked in a worried voice. Jack paused, as the group quickly shot to their feet. “poop…” Jack muttered to himself, as the group shot off after Sleepy Face and Tenebra, weapons in tow…

“Sleepy Face, wait up!” Tenebra shouted to the Baggi, who continued charging forward at full speed down the pathways. “Where are you going?!”

Suddenly, as Tenebra came closer and closer, she realized what Sleepy Face had been pursuing: she could see a humongous scorpion carrying the sleeping bag of Jake in its massive claws. The scorpion soon found itself cornered at a sheer stone wall, leaving it to face off with Sleepy Face alone. As Tenebra approached the massive arachnid with her pet, the scorpion unleashed a powerful, echoing screech that hung in the air around the canyon, freezing Tenebra and Sleepy Face solid in fear. The other hunters soon caught up with Tenebra and Sleepy Face, weapons at the ready. Jack ran up to Tenebra’s side and asked loudly, “Where’s Jake?!”

“Over there!” Tenebra said, pointing at the humongous scorpion. “It’s got Jake in its claws!”

“Then let’s go get him!” Jack shouted, his massive blade in hand, as the others charged as well, weapons raised to strike the vicious armored behemoth. But as the group drew close, more stingers emerged from beneath the sand all around them, followed by large pincers and carapace-covered bodies. In a matter of seconds, the group went from having the advantage to being completely outnumbered. More than 10 of the deadly carpaceons appeared around the crew of hunters, smaller but no less vicious than the behemoth that had summoned them. Quickly taking the offensive, the group plunged forward, weapons at the ready, rushing into the group of scorpions with weapons raised…

Kynigos and Jack made up the muscle of this attack, charging headlong into the hordes of arthropods with ferocity unmatched. Kynigos struck the beasts with punishing blows, each of his vicious, gauntleted punches delivering crushing blows to the poor beasts, sending limbs and body parts splattering across the ground. Wielding his massive sword with incredible skill, Jack literally cleaved the creatures apart, each powerful blow from his blade tearing the creatures apart. Joan stood in the background, firing his rounds occasionally into the group when he could get the chance. While Ralagiri held them at bay with her shield, poking at them with her lance, leaving gaping wounds in their armor, Joan peppered them from range, hoping to distract them or soften them up.
Unfortunately, more of the arthropods showed up, cutting the group off from one another, leaving Tenebra completely isolated with Sleepy Face. The raptor viciously fought the scorpions, tearing their pincers off and crushing them into his weight in his attempt to reach the massive scorpion that was beginning to tunnel into the wall that he had been trapped against. One of the vicious carpaceons lashed out with a powerful crystalline stinger blow towards Tenebra, which prompted Tenebra to strike the appendage with one of her blades, chipping the crystals with her sword. The arachnid hissed and clacked its pincers, before it lunged forward, aiming to impale Tenebra on its stinger. Acting fast, Tenebra sidestepped the lunge before, with one swift strike with her blades, cleaved the beast’s stinger off. Before the creature could retaliate, Tenebra jumped on top of it and impaled its head with her hunting knife, eliciting a squeal of pain before the creature went limp. Tenebra snorted, and quickly got up, only for another one of the scorpions to lunge at her from behind! However, a bullet whizzed by Tenebra’s arm, and struck the creature in the eye causing it to collapse before contact with her. The smoking barrel of Joan was visible from within the hordes of scorpions, which prompted Tenebra to give him a nod of acknowledgement before finishing off the wounded beast with a stab to the head. Tenebra turned back to Joan and shouted, “You gotta keep that thing from escaping with Jake!”

“I’ll try my best!” Joan replied, as he looked around, trying to find a good place to climb up. Ralagiri glanced up at Joan, and adopted an even tighter stance with her shield, backing up almost completely against Joan to keep the slowly growing horde of scorpions at bay. “I’ll cover you, Joan!” Ralagiri said. “Try and keep that thing distracted so it won’t try to escape!”

Joan nodded, and quickly spotted a nice outcrop the climb up. Grabbing onto a nearby stone, Joan crawled over to the outcrop, and pulled himself up onto it, bowgun in hand. Jack noticed what Joan was doing, and brought his blade down onto one of the dreadful creatures, slicing its body nearly in two, before he shouted, “Kynigos, Ralagiri, rally to me! We’ll hold the line as much as possible! Tenebra, try and get over to that Akura Vashimu over there!”

“The what?!” Tenebra replied as she dueled with one of the monsters. “THE BIG DAMN SCORPION!” Jack shouted as a retort, as he cleaved one of the scorpion’s tail’s off.

“Oh.” Tenebra replied, as she sliced open one of the scorpion’s pincers and cut off the other one…

Meanwhile, Joan took aim at the massive Akura Vashimu’s body, aiming for one of its weak joints. The creature was tearing through that stone wall at a worrying pace, so he needed to take the shot soon. One of the massive carpaceon’s pincers raised just high enough for Joan to see it; this was it! This was his chance to take the shot! And he did. With a sniper’s accuracy and the speed of a master marksman, Joan fired an explosive round right into the mammoth carpaceon’s pincer. An explosion rocked the monster’s claw, shredding it to bits, causing the arachnid to howl in unearthly pain. Turning around, the massive Akura turned around, and relinquished its grip on Jake’s form, dropping the crippled hunter to the ground. The behemoth shuffled alarmingly quickly towards Joan’s roost, who greeted im with another explosive round that blew a chunk out of the monster’s back. The Akura howled in rage and pain as gore and shell splattered across the canyon, before the carpaceon’s crystalline stinger slammed into the outcrop, smashing the platform and sending Joan smashing into the rocks below with an audible CRASH! Tenebra and Sleepy Face quickly attacked the beast’s legs, elicting a croak of anger from the beast, as it quickly whirled around and flung aside several of the smaller carpaceons, causing them to flee in terror from the rampaging titan. Kynigos and Jack quickly converged on the beast, while Ralagiri ran over to Joan and pulled him out from the rubble of his platform.

“Are you alright?” Ralagiri asked, genuinely concerned. Joan chuckled in reply, despite being visibly pained. “Never been better. Got that son of a female dog’s pincer!”

Ralagiri kept a straight face and said, “Good to know. Let’s finish off this bastard then!”

“Got it,” Joan replied, as he saw Jack cleaving one of the massive scorpion’s legs in half, causing it to collapse onto its side. Kynigos let out a vicious roar before he leapt onto the monster’s face, deliver punishing blow after punishing blow to its visage, caving in the mammoth Akura’s face with his thick gauntlets. Tenebra and Sleepy Face went at it at the monster’s underbelly, cleaving and biting away at the creature’s shell with incredible ferocity. Joan soon lifted up his gun one last time, and quickly fired an explosive round at the Vashimu’s stinger, causing it to completely rupture apart from the explosion. Now completely helpless, the hunters simply pummeled the behemoth with all their might until any signs of movement ceased from it. Soon, it was over. The massive monster’s body fell limp, its body completely shredded by the vicious assault wrought upon it. Covered in blood and guts from the horde of carpaceons and the giant one, the heroes soon regrouped, dragging Jake back over to Sleepy Face and tying him to the back of the large raptor. Tenebra turned to Jack, and asked. “Well... what do we do now?”

“We better get moving,” Jack replied. “Who knows what else might be lurking out here in the wilderness.”

The group members sighed, but complied, and continued on their way towards the Gorge. It had been a hectic and disturbed night, one without much sleep or rest. They had a long journey ahead of them, after all…
MDK wrote:I wish my movies about dinosaurs brought back to life with mosquitos in amber for a theme park were realistic.

Image The Crimson Shadow redux sign-up and discussion thread
Clash of Gods (Shin Gojira vs Legendary Godzilla story, completed)

User avatar
Corzak The Mighty
Gotengo Officer
Posts: 1914
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Generic Fantasyland

Re: The Crimson Shadow

Postby Corzak The Mighty » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:06 pm

Fateful Encounter

Day had finally broken across the desert, rays of light slicing through the clouds high in the sky and bathing the sandy landscape with warm sunlight. The light of the day gave the hunters who wandered brief respite, as the darkness of the night had left them with many fears and discomforts. They had gotten little rest, and nary a moment to relax. Jack and Kynigos headed the group, keeping their eyes peeled for the supposed “landmark” that the Wildman had named as the entrance to the Gorge. Perhaps they had already passed it in the night, and did not see it, due to the darkness? The hunters were getting ornery and ill-tempered; it had already been over a day, and still no sign of their target! Joan and Tenebra in particular looked the most annoyed, as they had both expected things to get moving faster than they had. Sleepy Face was clearly exhausted due to having to carry the ailing form of Jake, who had gone eerily silent in the past few hours. Ralagiri stuck close to back of the group, keeping an eye out in the event that they passed their target, but even she, in her patience, was growing wary. Even Jack was getting exhausted of their fruitless wandering. Was this where his quest for revenge would fail? Wandering endlessly in this damned desert? The group was ascending a small hill, forged from sand and rock. Suddenly, Kynigos perked up, and thrust a finger forward.

“There!” Kynigos shouted, catching the attention of everyone. “The Great Gorge lies ahead!”
Everyone quickly scrambled up to where Kynigos was, and from atop the small hill they had been ascending, they could see it; a massive tear in the earth, several miles wide, forged of canyons and thin rocky paths. Trails down into the massive canyon were visible even from this far away, prompting Joan and Tenebra to begin to wildly cheer.

“Finally! We’re making progress! Woohoooo!” Joan shouted at the top of his lungs.

“Gorge monsters, here I come!” Tenebra hollered, to which Sleepy Face added his roar to. The hunters then began to sprint towards the Gorge, only for Jack to grab both of them on the shoulder, causing both to lose their footing and land flat on their rears. Ralagiri chuckled under her breath at this, while Kynigos simply looked down at the whole display in confusion.

“Owwww,” Tenebra said in a childish tone, rubbing her rear as she spoke. “Now my tush hurts!”

“There’s no reason for us to simply bulldoze ahead,” Jack stated. “After all, there are still wild animals to worry about. I’d rather not alert the entire canyon of our presence and risk getting ambushed.”

“Elite hunter has point,” Kynigos stated. “Legends speak of powerful monster… he watch canyon like sentinel, day and night. Looks for intruders as well… and kills.”

“Then we’d best get moving as quickly as possible,” Jack replied. “Do you know a way for us to easily find this ‘wandering wizard’ you speak so highly of?”

Kynigos paused before he spoke. “Think I do. Follow me.”

The savage of a man slid down the hill on his heels, before he looked about to make sure the coast was clear. When he was sure, he glanced back and waved for the others to follow, before he walked towards a thin rocky walkway. Jack nodded and slid down the hill similarly to how Kynigos did, before the others followed suit. The Gorge was eerily silent, with only the sounds of their footsteps and the occasional cry from a hawk being audible. Two large shapes could occasionally be seen circling overhead, leaving massive winged shadows over the canyon before disappearing from sight. Each step was very risky, as the rocky catwalk was extremely thin, barely enough for one of each foot to stand on. Joan nearly slipped about 3 times, and was saved each time by Ralagiri. Even Jack nearly slipped, but caught himself on Kynigos. Sleepy Face, surprisingly, seemed to have the easiest time traversing the walkway, but even he had to be careful. The group kept their eyes peeled for potential threats, but the lack of sleep was beginning to wear on them. Each step felt like lifting a ton, and their eyes were beginning to shut. Clearly, they were not in any condition to be travelling, but they couldn’t afford to waste any more time. They were so close… they’d travelled so far… they NEEDED to get Jake help, or else he would die.

Soon, the group came to a clearing in the Gorge, roughly a kilometer wide, where a large pond and flat ground was located. Quickly, the crew lumbered off of the narrow walkway they had been traversing in favor of more stable ground.

“Finally, more stable ground!” Tenebra said before she collapsed onto her knees and kissed the floor.

“I wouldn’t start cheering yet,” Jack stated. “We still have a long way to go.”

Tenebra audibly sighed. “Why do you always have to kill the mood? Party pooper!”

“Man, I’m tired,” Joan huffed, before he plopped himself down onto the ground, briefly taking his helmet off to let some wind flow between his hair, as he checked his bullets and weapons for if they had gotten damaged. “How much farther you think we got to go, big man?”

“Hard to tell from down here,” Kynigos replied flatly, as Ralagiri stepped up next to Joan, helping back up onto his feet. Kynigos took inhaled deeply through his nose, before he froze. He sniffed a couple more times, clearly having caught the scent of something. Jack noted this, and soon spoke to him.

“What’s wrong, wild man?” Jack inquired, noticing the look of confusion and discomfort on Kynigos’ face. The massive beast of a man turned to Jack, his face very grim.

“Someone nearby,” Kynigos stated. This caused everyone to fall silent. Someone nearby? What does that mean?

“Who’s nearby, Kynigos?” Joan asked as he came closer. “What’s eating at ya?”

“Someone nearby,” was all Kynigos replied between gritted teeth, as he flexed his arms and gripped his gauntlets tightly.

“Calm down, Kynigos,” Jack said, raising his hands in front of him as he slowly approached the wild man. “Just tell us what’s bothering you.”

“Let ME tell you something!” Kynigos lashed out, his face clenched and full of rage. “I smell enemies! They come from nearby!”

“E-enemies?” Tenebra said meekly as Sleepy Face stepped up beside her, nuzzling his head against her. “What kind of enemies?”

“Kynigos does not know!” Kynigos spat in reply. “They nearby!”

Ralagiri had stayed silent throughout this whole event, simply observing the others and their actions. However, while the others were trying to decipher what Kynigos meant, Ralagiri was glancing about, checking to see what the behemoth of a man was talking about. Suddenly, from atop the Gorge, she could make out a vague black shape watching them. She squinted, trying to figure out what it was, when she realized what it was: it was a man! And he was aiming a bow right for Jack!

“Watch out!” Was all Ralagiri said before she shoved Jack out of the way, and pulled out her shield, quickly intercepting the massive arrow that was meant for the elite hunter. Jack barely had enough time to register what happened before another arrow whizzed by his chest, narrowly missing impaling him. The other glanced at the cliff where it came from, as several forms could be seen sliding down the cliff face. Another arrow was fired out, this time managing to find its mark, striking Ralagiri in the shoulder and causing her to collapse in pain.

“Rala!” Joan shouted as she grabbed her, preventing her from falling over and driving the arrow any deeper into her shoulder. The other hunters quickly drew their weapons and ran over to greet their newest opponents, Kynigos readying his gauntlets, Jack drawing his great sword, and Tenebra drawing her dual swords. Their foes outnumbered them; four hunters approached them, one with a hammer, one with a bow, one with a sword and shield, and finally, one with a longsword. The Bow wielding one stayed to the back, before firing another arrow at Jack, who quickly swatted it aside with his massive blade. The two groups soon descended upon each other, and became locked in combat…

“Are you okay?” Joan said to Ralagiri, who had stayed behind.

“I’ll… be fine,” Ralagiri replied, managing to put on a fake smile. “Now… go help… the others!”

Joan smiled back, before setting her down gently on the ground, on the shoulder that wasn’t damaged from the arrow, before he picked up his weapons and charged in to go aid the others …

Blades clashed, sparks flew, and warriors struggled to overcome each other. Tenebra clashed blades with the shield-bearing bandit, the white-armored girl blocking each of her sword swings with surprising impunity, before lashing out with vicious strikes of her own, forcing Tenebra to back off or block them with her own blades. Tenebra tried to best to block her opponent’s vicious barrage of blows, but she was quickly becoming overwhelmed. When her opponent gave her the opportunity, she delivered a vicious kick to her opponent’s chest, causing her to stumble before slashing her across her chestplate with her sword, tearing a large gash in her flimsy armor. Tenebra’s opponent grumbled and held her chest for a moment, before breaking out in laughter.

“Nice try, but you’re gonna have to be better than that to kill me!” she cackled, eyes filled with bloodthirst.

“Who are you, and why are you here?” Tenebra asked sternly, keeping her blades at the ready as her opponent stumbled towards her, giggling manically.

“That’s none of your business, silly!” The girl replied, taking a swipe with her sword, forcing Tenebra to block, before her face was greeted with a slap from her shield, causing Tenebra to nearly fall on her back. Blood ran from Tenebra’s nose now, before her opponent stated, “Aww, what’s the matter? Did my li’l slap hurt you? Well, you’re gonna be hurting a lot more by the time I’M through with you!”

Tenebra’s opponent quickly closed the distance, thrusting her blade towards Tenebra’s chest, which allowed Tenebra to parry the attack before striking with her own blade. However, the white-armored psychopath blocked the blow with her shield, and pushed Tenebra away, causing the two to circle each other, waiting for the other to make a poor move… until Sleepy Face intervened. The raptor delivered a vicious hipcheck to Tenebra’s opponent, flooring her, before spraying her with sleeping toxins, causing her to quickly get incapacitated….

Meanwhile, Kynigos clashed with the man wielding a hammer. Neither opponent risked getting close to one another, as one blow from each other could be fatal. Kynigos used his superior size to his advantage, launching vicious punches towards his smaller opponent, whom nimbly rolled and weaved to the sides, avoiding each of the goliath man’s blows with impunity. He then launched a vicious counter-attack, swinging his enormous hammer with all his immense might. Kynigos was strong too, however, and despite his exhaustion, he managed to block the attack with one of his massive gauntlets before countering with a punch. While Kynigos was strong, the man was nimble and quickly dodged to the side, pulling his hammer with him and causing Kynigos’ attack to miss, leaving him open to a counter. Kynigos’ eyes widened as his foe raised his hammer to deliver a fatal blow… only to be shot by a dart, which caused him to promptly collapse in a heap, asleep. Kynigos was confused by this, and turned to see Joan, his gun barrel smoking. The two nodded to one another before Kynigos rushed to face the archer…
In the meantime, Jack faced off with the last of the raiders, a tall, slender woman wielding a long sword, her face obscured by her helmet. The two did not move, and only faced each other, their blades interlocking as they faced one another.

“Who are you, bandit?” Jack snarled, the hunter gripping his massive blade tightly.

“Well, I COULD tell you that, darling… but where would be the fun?” The woman chuckled, before she suddenly lashed out with her blade, aiming for Jack’s knee. Acting fast, the hunter moved his sword downwards, intercepting the blow, before he swung his blade upwards, pushing his opponent backwards.

“I’m not in the mood for games,” Jack growled. “Who are you?!”

“I’m surprised you don’t recognize me, Jack,” The woman replied with a smirk as she darted in for another slash with her blade, which Jack parried masterfully. Unfortunately, that left him open for his opponent to kick him in the gut, causing him to slump over and nearly collapse to his knees. The woman brought her blade around and thrust it towards Jack’s head, but Jack was fast. He brought his massive blade before him, and caught the sword along the edge of his blade, before he shoved her backwards, causing her to collapse to the ground back-first. Seizing the opportunity, Jack rose to his feet and pinned the girl underneath his foot, as he pointed the tip of his massive sword to her neck.

“How do you know my name?” Jack asked sternly, masking the concern he truly felt. Did he know this woman? Was there something he missed?

“Surely, you remember the daughter of Mayor Kyland?” The woman said as she removed her helmet, a malicious smirk stretched across her face. Jack’s eyes widened, as he backed off.

“… Tiffany?” Jack stammered, utterly shocked. “W-why are you here?”

“Well… you can say that I found myself a man,” Tiffany said venomously as she rose to her feet. She then looked over Jack’s shoulder and smiled. “Looks like he’s already here.”

Jack turned around, and soon saw a familiar man, holding Ralagiri around the neck with his hunting knife to her neck. Tiffany and the archer quickly ran to his side, dragging the forms of their sleeping allies to his side, which woke them up in the process.

“Rala!” Joan shouted, as he attempted to run over to her, only for Tenebra to hold him back, Sleepy Face joining her side as a grimace spread across his face. Kynigos stood tall, his arms flexed as he was ready for attack, while Jack held his blade in front of him, eyes locked with Kosto’s.

“Well, this is certainly an interesting turn of events,” The man chuckled.

“Kosto!” Jack snarled. “What are YOU doing here?”

“Me? What am I doing here?” Kosto replied. “I guess you can say I came here to say hello.”

“You’ve caused enough trouble as it is,” Jack stated flatly. “Tell me your TRUE intentions.”

“Oh, you know fully well what I’m doing here,” Kosto replied, gripping the wounded Ralagiri tighter and pressing his knife closer to her neck. ”I’m here to have my sweet, sweet revenge.”

“Let her go, you bastard!” Joan yelled as he leveled his bowgun at him. “I’ll gun you down, I swear to god!”

“Oh, please. Don’t make me laugh,” Kosto chuckled in reply. “You haven’t the courage. And besides… you’re willing to risk hitting your poor little dame here, do you?” Kosto pressed her closer to him, and put her in front of him like a shield.

“You’re just a big, mean, bully!” Tenebra shouted. “All you do is stamp your feet and make a big show! You’re letting it all get to your head!”

“Oh ho, I didn’t let anything get to my head,” Kosto said with menace in his voice. “But your friend certainly did, Jack.”

“What do you mean…?” Jack asked in a low voice. This prompted Kosto to smile most malevolently. “Allow me to show you. Kristy? Care to do the honors?”

The recently awakened girl in white armor, presumably the one named Kristy, chuckled as she produced a small bag from her satchel. She then tossed the bag over to Jack, allowing it to bounce a few times before it rolled to a stop at Jack’s feet. Confused, the hunter bent down and picked up the bag, before pulling whatever was inside of it out. What he saw shook him to his very core. His eldest friend, the oldest hunter he had known, looked him dead in the face. His severed head forever contorted into a scream of agony, his eyes glassy and blank, and his jaw hung loosely beneath his skull. Jack collapsed to his knees, looking the head in the face, before he broke down into tears, dropping the head in the process.

Kosto and his crew simply laughed. “What a pathetic display, he put on. He begged for his life, crying and screaming for us to spare him...”

“Kynigos has stood around long enough!” the wild man bellowed, as he rushed towards Kosto. But Tiffany had an unpleasant surprise for him. With a quick whistle, the beating of wings became audible, when suddenly, two large orange birds flew from over the ridge, and crashed down in front of the group, causing Kynigos to stumble backwards from the powerful blasts of wind kicked up.

“Face it, you guys are outmatched,” Tiffany said with a grim smile. “You might as well just give up now.”

But the tide was fickle, and could easily be turned by outside sources. A powerful roar shook about the Gorge, as a massive rock was seen flying towards Kosto’s group with surprising accuracy. The twin bird wyverns quickly evaded, and Kosto’s group dispersed quickly, leaving Ralagiri behind, causing her to narrowly avoiding being crushed by the rock. A cloud of dust and sand was kicked up in the impact, prompting Jack and his fellow hunters to begin violently coughing, as a large horned shape was seen leaping overhead, before crashing down in front of them. The cries and screams of one of the bird wyverns was audible, and by the time the dust had settled, Kosto and his group had fled upon one wyvern and left the other for dead.

Before Jack’s group stood a massive, black and gold furred beast, towering at nearly 20 feet tall on all fours. In its grasp was the broken form of the orange bird wyvern, its neck snapped clean in half from the tussle. Twin horns spiraled out from the sides of its head, and its hair stood on end and sparked with electricity.

“The guardian of the valley…” Kynigos said under his breath, as the beast reared up onto its hind legs and roared. Joan broke away from the group, and slowly inched towards the rock, before quickly pulling Ralagiri out from behind it.

“Are you alright?” Joan asked, to which Ralagiri replied with a series of quick nods. However, the beast noted his actions, and looked down upon him before unleashing a powerful roar. The other hunters drew their weapons, prepared to fight, before a voice was heard from behind them.

“Woah, woah, calm down everybody,” The voice said. Everyone turned to see. The massive beast seemed to immediately calm down at his command, and calmly strode towards him, before bowing, allowing the man to pet him.

“And who might you be?” Tenebra asked.

“Me?” The man replied. “Most people call me “The Wandering Wizard”. But you can call me Sal.”
MDK wrote:I wish my movies about dinosaurs brought back to life with mosquitos in amber for a theme park were realistic.

Image The Crimson Shadow redux sign-up and discussion thread
Clash of Gods (Shin Gojira vs Legendary Godzilla story, completed)

User avatar
Corzak The Mighty
Gotengo Officer
Posts: 1914
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Generic Fantasyland

Re: The Crimson Shadow

Postby Corzak The Mighty » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:10 pm

The Wandering Wizard

The group had followed the man to a small remote cave at one edge of the Gorge. The cave was quiet and fairly remote; the interior was cold and damp, but served as excellent shelter from the intense heat outside of the Gorge. The Rajang that had saved them earlier rested at one edge of the cave, sleeping with one eye open. Sal had prepared some food for them, and they were seated around a small fire that the man made. The group ate in relative silence, until Joan spoke.

“So you’re the one they call the wandering wizard,” Joan stated, clearing his mouth of food first. “Yes,” Sal replied as he took a bite out of his food. “And you all are?”

“My name is Jack,” Jack interrupted. “The gunner’s name is Joan. The wounded lancer’s name is Ralagiri. The young girl’s name is Tenebra. The wild man’s name is Kynigos. And our friend on the raptor is named Jake.”

“And the raptor’s name is Sleepy Face!” Tenebra added on before going back to eating.

Sal chuckled, setting his food down briefly. “Well, you all are certainly an interesting group of characters. So what brings you here to the Gorge? This area isn’t the safest for travelers, even a group of your size.”

“We were looking for you, Sal,” Jack stated. “We need your help.”

“Oh? And what do you need help with?” Sal inquired as they soon began to approach a cave in the side of one of the canyon walls.

“Jake over there has been severely wounded in a battle we had not too long ago… poisoned by the Lone Wolf of the forest.” This caused Sal to stop in his tracks, the great beast that stood beside him stopping as well.

“You encountered a Yian Garuga?” Sal asked, shocked. “How did you manage that?”

“We were camping out in the wilderness and it ambushed us in the darkness of the night,” Jack replied. “We were headed towards Kokoto Village, hoping we could find some help there, but Kynigos told us about you, and we thought that perhaps you could be of some help to us.” Kynigos simply gave an affirmative nod, remaining quiet throughout the whole conversation.

“I see… and what about you, cutie?” Sal said to Ralagiri with a wink, which earned him a venomous glance from both her and Joan. “What happened to you?”

“Firstly, don’t call me ‘cutie’, savage,” Ralagiri replied angrily, which took Sal aback. “Secondly… when those raiders attacked us, one of them hit my shoulder with an arrow. I should be fine, though.”

“Hmm… I’ll see what I can do for both of you,” Sal stated. “Your arrow wound should be easy to fix, but Jake’s condition might be far more difficult to deal with.”

“What do you mean?” Tenebra asked in a childish manner.

“Well, you see, the toxins of the Garuga are slow but extremely potent,” Sal said. “The beast uses the scent of its venom to track its dying prey, and if left unchecked, the venom causes internal hemorrhaging and death. How long has it been since the beast poisoned him?”

Jack paused, a look of confusion appearing on his face, before he replied, “One or two days at most.”

“And has anybody touched him since then? His wound, in particular?” Sal inquired.

“Just to… put some medicine in it,” Ralagiri said flatly, shifting her weight off of her wounded shoulder, gritting her teeth in pain as she did so. “We wanted to slow the effects of the venom as much as possible.”

“I see,” Sal stated, his eyes glancing downward, before he looked back up at Ralagiri. “Then I’d best act quickly. While your actions have delayed the effects of the poison, it’s only a matter of time before it gets infected, or worse, the venom begins the hemorrhaging process.” The man’s hands soon begin to glow, which caused everyone’s eyes to widen with amazement. What kind of magic was this? They had never seen a man with such powers before. Sal glanced about the group, before he spoke once more.

“Lay him out on the ground,” Sal stated.

“Why?” Tenebra asked in a childish manner, which earned her a quick elbow to the rib from Jack. The group quickly pulled the wounded form of Jake from the back of Sleepy Face, who scrambled backwards in a confused manner, before they laid him out on his back with his arms at his sides. The bandage on the wound was crispy and old, and needed to be removed in order for Sal’s work to be done. Joan very carefully removed the bandage, eliciting an audible grunt of pain from Jake, exposing the hideous, still-red wound that the vicious bird wyvern had inflicted upon him but a few days prior.

“Step back, everyone,” Sal stated, to which everyone complied. It would be wise to give the man room so he could work properly. Suddenly, the cave was bathed in a warm, whitish-yellow light, illuminating the faces of both hunter and beast alike. Before their very eyes, they saw a miracle happen; the wounds on Jake’s chest were beginning to close! A black, inky substance was being drawn out from the wound, causing Jake to visibly grunt in pain, before it was splattered upon the cave ground next to him. After that, the massive gash ripped into his chest began to sew itself back up. Muscles and meat began to fuse back together, bones readjusting to fit back perfectly into place, as flesh covered the nasty wound once more like a blanket covering a small child. After just a few moments, the wound was entirely gone, and Jake’s squirming stopped. His breathing seemed to calm and become at ease, but he was still visibly in pain. Sal turned to Jack. “He’ll need a day or so of rest still. You may stay until he is fully well.”

All the hunters were simply astounded, but Tenebra was the first to manage to speak. “Th-thank you so much, sir. I was afraid my friend wouldn’t make it…”

“Don’t think anything of it, ummm…” Sal scratched his chin.

“Tenebra,” she replied.

“Right, Tenebra,” Sal stated, before he turned to Ralagiri. “Do you want me to heal your wounds as well?”

“I guess you might as well,” Ralagiri grumbled. “The wound’s on my shoulder. Think you can handle it?”

“Ha, it’s just a flesh wound, really,” Sal replied. “I can fix you up easily.”

Ralagiri sighed, as she removed her gauntlet and rolled up her sleeve, exposing the nasty wound that the arrow had caused. Sal’s hand began to glow again, before he looked Ralagiri straight in the face. “This may sting a bit.”

“Yeah, whatever,” Ralagiri muttered as Sal placed his hand on her wound. The lancer gritted her teeth a bit, but expressed little other emotion. In a few seconds, the wound was entirely gone. It was as if it had never happened; there was barely even a scar left behind for healing! Sal stumbled backwards briefly, and took a deep breath, clearly weakened from the experience. Ralagiri was impressed, but did not betray any of her emotions as she rolled her sleeve down and put her gauntlet back on. Without turning to look at Sal, she said, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Sal replied between deep breaths. “I must rest now. Using my magic so much is taxing to my physical health. As I said to Jack, you are free to make yourselves at home until your friend is fully healed. Any longer and I’m afraid I’ll have to remove you from my home.” With that, Sal went to go sit at the back of the cave with his massive minotaur-beast, as the hunting party was left to its own ends.

“I’m impressed,” Joan said to Ralagiri, while the lancer rubbed where her wound had been but a few moments before, dumbfounded at what had happened. “It’s like that wound never happened!”

“Yeah…” Ralagiri replied flatly. “Can’t say I expected him to heal us so easily.”

“I’m glad Jake’s finally been healed,” Tenebra said with a smile on her face. “He wasn’t looking too good for a while there.”

“Perhaps we could have him join us in our quest?” Joan inquired, turning towards Jack. The grizzled hunter stayed quiet for a few moments, as he placed a gauntleted hand to his chin.

“Perhaps we could. But we don’t know that much about this man outside of his abilities.”

“Isn’t that enough?” Joan asked. “I mean, the man’s a miracle worker. Imagine what we can do with him on our team!”

“Yeah! We wouldn’t even have to worry about boo-boos!” Tenebra chimed in.

“Kynigos not opposed to the idea,” Kynigos replied, crossing his arms across his broad chest. “Need all the help we can get if dragon you spoke of as dangerous as you say.”

“I’ll ask him the question tomorrow in the morning,” Jack stated. “Before we leave, I’ll see how he feels about the issue. If he agrees, all the better. If not, we shall just have to accept it.”

“Sounds good enough to me,” Ralagiri replied. “We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”

The group then fell silent, as the day began to fall into night. The group fell into their sleep, taking their leave after a hectic and chaotic day. Tenebra was the first one to fall asleep, curling up with Sleepy Face into a deep sleep. Ralagiri was the next one to fall asleep, resting her head against the wall. Joan fell asleep next, slumped back first against the wall of Sal’s cave. Kynigos was the last to fall asleep, who fell asleep face-first on the ground and snoring loudly. Jack stayed awake, unable to sleep as his mind raced with the thoughts of the next day. This would probably be his only chance to ever truly take a break until they reached Kokoto. In addition, he was unsure to do about the so-called “Wandering Wizard”. He wanted to recruit him into their group, but at the same time, he was unsure of the man’s intentions; was he truly friendly, or was he simply helping them now for his own reasons? Maybe he was planning to feed them to that damn beast he kept as a pet. Jack shook his head. He might as well go crack the question.

Jack got up from his position against the cave wall before he went to go confront the man who had saved their friend. The massive beast that had protected them from Kosto’s wrath slept near the back of the cave, its snores audible even though its horned head was wrapped up in its massive, tree trunk esque forearms. Jack soon saw the form of Sal, who was resting with his head on the thigh of the massive Rajang. Jack did not want to disturb him, but this was a question that he would not get to ask otherwise. Jack approached the sleeping man but was cut off when the massive beast he slept next two swung an arm outwards, blocking his path, as a low growl escaped from between its lips. Jack raised his hands up and said “sssh”, as if trying to make a peace gesture, before Sal suddenly woke up, placing a single hand onto the beast’s flank. The Rajang calmed immediately and went back to sleep, before Sal got up onto his feet.

“I’m guessing you wish to speak to me about something?” Sal asked.

“Yes,” Jack replied flatly. “I wish to tell you about our true intentions, and why we were heading in this direction.”

“Oh really?” Sal inquired. “So you lied to me initially?”

“”Not entirely,” Jack stated. “We were heading in this direction either way, but Jake was wounded on our path over here. Kynigos told us about you, and we decided to seek you out while we were passing through the Gorge.”

“Very well then,” Sal mumbled before saying, “So what were you REALLY heading through the Gorge for, hunter? Were you seeking to kill my Rajang? Did you wish to reach a nearby village? Or perhaps you are an adventuring crew looking for non-existent treasures?”

“We were indeed hunting for a beast, but it is not the Guardian of the Gorge,” Jack replied. “Have you heard the legends of The Crimson Shadow?”

Sal fell silent for a few moments, as his whole body tensed up from those words. “You crazy son of a female dog. You’re trying to hunt that thing, aren’t you?”

“Yes,” Jack stated. “The beast took someone… very special away from me. I intend to kill it.”

“But how? The thing’s immortal,” Sal replied.

“There is a way to slay the dragon,” Jack stated, “but it won’t be easy.”

“I have battled many beasts in my days, Jack, but never seen a man slay such a creature. No weapon can pierce its hide…”

“It requires a blade forged in the blood of an Elder Dragon,” Jack said. “I’m planning to head to Kokoto village and ask the chief for a way to find this sword.”

Sal sighed, and placed a hand upon his forehead. “Your quest is in vain, Jack.”

“Nonsense,” Jack replied. “It cannot be in vain if we have not tried it yet.”

“But that’s the problem,” Sal spat quickly, as he paced about briefly. Jack seemed puzzled by this. What was the sudden outburst of anger for?

“Is something wrong, Sal?” Jack asked.

“Yes, something is wrong,” Sal growled. “I know your quest is impossible… because I undertook the same quest as you, Jack.”

This caught Jack off-guard. “E-excuse me?”

Sal sighed, before he said, “When I was a young child, I think 9 tears old, my parents were killed by a one-eyed Crimson Fatalis… the only one that had been seen in centuries. I was forced to flee into the woods and grow up on my own. When I came to age and had trained myself to become a hunter, I set off to search for a way to slay the beast. I heard legends of the blade you spoke of… but I never found it. 7 years of searching, and I could not find it. I’ve searched every square inch of Minegarde, Jack; it’s not real. It’s a myth.”

“They said the Overseers were myths as well, yet there have been dozens of raids by them within the last few years. Join us on our quest to Kokoto, Sal. You would be an excellent asset to us, and you can have the revenge that you seek, like I do.”

Sal glanced downwards, as Jack extended out his hand to him. Sal made a strange expression, before he shook Jack’s hand. “I’ll help you out, Jack, if only so I can see the look in that damn dragon’s eyes when we kill it.”

Jack smiled. “Then it is settled. You shall join us in the morning. Be ready to go when the sun has risen.”

Sal nodded, before he went back to lie down and sleep. Jack returned to his group, as he pondered what had happened and what Sal said before he too drifted off into slumber… the first peaceful slumber he had had since they departed…
MDK wrote:I wish my movies about dinosaurs brought back to life with mosquitos in amber for a theme park were realistic.

Image The Crimson Shadow redux sign-up and discussion thread
Clash of Gods (Shin Gojira vs Legendary Godzilla story, completed)

User avatar
Corzak The Mighty
Gotengo Officer
Posts: 1914
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Generic Fantasyland

Re: The Crimson Shadow

Postby Corzak The Mighty » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:45 pm

The Plan

Atop a ridge not too far from where Jack and his team of hunters had entered, a small camp had been set up. 4 hunters sat around a small fire, a large, orange-feathered wyvern resting near the fire as it covered its head with its wing, protecting itself from the oppressive heat of the desert. 3 tents had been set up for the hunters to sleep in. The fire illuminated the visages of Kosto, Kristy, Tiffany, and Orcus.

“Man, that damn Rajang just HAD to interfere in our fun,” Kristy mumbled with a pout as she played around with her food. “All I wanted was a little fun, and I can’t even have THAT!”

“Calm down, Kristy,” Tiffany stated as she sharpened her long sword on a whetstone she had resting on her thigh. “You’ll get to have your fun soon enough. Right, darling?”

“Of course,” Kosto replied with a crude smirk, as he took a bite out of his food. “We didn’t come all this way to come up empty handed, after all.”

“Still mad that the giant pelagus took out one of my Hypnocatrices,” Tiffany sighed. “Those things aren’t cheap, you know! They have to be imported from the Great Forest!”

“The hunters were merely lucky, that is all,” Kosto stated with grim determination. “If there is one thing Jack is, it’s lucky. It takes a special son-of-a-bitch to escape a Crimson Fatalis alive.”

“I wanna gut that skinny lady next time we meet!” Kristy hissed venomously. “She must think she’s sooooo cool with her fancy dual swords! I’ll show HER fancy!”

To add to this outburst, Kristy grabbed one of her eating utensils and used it to rip open one of the fish she was eating, before pulling out its cooked-up heart. Tiffany merely shook her head in disgust at the display, before Orcus turned to face Kosto.

“It’s been a while since Fero has been gone,” Orcus said to his leader. “You think he is okay?”

“Okay? Okay, really?” Kosto replied in an irritated tone. “He’s one of the most skilled trackers this side of the sea, and you’re asking me if he’s okay? If he knows what’s good for him, he’ll come back not only okay, but with the information I seek.”

“What if the Rajang returned? There are many creatures out here in the gorge, sir…” Orcus stated.

“Listen, I am paying both you and him handsomely for this adventure. Did you not sign on willingly for this?” Kosto replied sharply.

“Of course, sir,” Orcus replied, “but there’s no need to get a hot head about this.”

“Orcus is right, Kosto,” Tiffany chimed in as Kosto raised a hand to strike him. “The two have been friends for a long while, after all. It is only natural he is worried for his safety.”

Kosto grumbled as he lowered his hand, before glaring briefly at Orcus and going back to eating. Suddenly, a man, clad in the armor of a Nargacuga and with a bow slung across his back, soon approached the group, flames illuminating his face for the others to see.

“Well?” Kosto said, placing his food down onto the faulds of his black Diablos armor. “What news do you bring to me, Fero?”

“They are heading into the underground caves,” Fero replied as he kneeled before the massive swordsman. “Why they have decided to head that way and where they are heading from there, I do not know. All am I aware of is that they must be taking a shortcut of some kind.”

“I see… then perhaps we should try to discover where this… ‘shortcut’ of theirs leads,” Kosto replied.

“B-but sir, we’ve barely had any rest at all,” Orcus said to his superior. The black-armored hunter turned his gaze to Orcus, eyes narrowed with clear agitation. “Don’t you think we should at least until tomorrow? After all, it’d be easier for us all to see, and we’d all get the opportunity to rest…”

Kosto grumbled under his breath as he eyed Orcus, gritting his teeth. As much as he hated to admit it, the bastard was right. Traversing the gorge in this darkness would only cost them supplies and time. In addition, none of them had slept in the past couple of days (which Kosto could only assume affected their coordination earlier), so perhaps rest would be a wise course of action.

“Very well,” Kosto replied begrudgingly. “We shall camp here for the day and rest up. But we shall get moving by sundown to maximize our time out in the wilderness.”

On that note, the group finished up their meal in relative silence, aside from the squawking of their hypnocatrice mount. After finishing their meal, the group relaxed a bit before the majority of them fell into an uneasy sleep.
Kosto stood guard over the camp, watching as Kristy, Orcus, and Fero rested, keeping their supplies close to them. Beside the campfire, Tiffany sat sharpening her longsword, scraping her whetstone against its single-edged blade. It was a fine blade, made in the traditional samurai fashion; its blade had a purplish hue to it, and its handle was wrapped in purple cloth to ease the gripping. Kosto paced back and forth, clearly uneasy, while Tiffany merely watched him with curious eyes. Finally, Tiffany couldn’t take it much longer and broke the silence.
“What’s bothering you, hon? I haven’t seen you this antsy before,” Tiffany inquired, setting her blade down to the side.

“Nothing in particular,” Kosto replied as he stood still, staring into the fire with his arms crossed behind his back. “It’s just… we are so close, yet so far from my goal… I can almost taste his defeat on my lips…”

“Why don’t we just try to cut off Jack at Kokoto?” Tiffany inquired. “After all, that old fellow said that he was headed in that direction anyways. Perhaps we can find where he is headed next and cut him off from there.”
Kosto’s eyes lit up, as if Tiffany’s statement gave him an idea. “That’s it!”

Kosto turned to face Tiffany, a smile emblazoned across his face. “We shall head to Kokoto village in the break of day. From there, we shall depart, and cut Jack off where he is headed…”
MDK wrote:I wish my movies about dinosaurs brought back to life with mosquitos in amber for a theme park were realistic.

Image The Crimson Shadow redux sign-up and discussion thread
Clash of Gods (Shin Gojira vs Legendary Godzilla story, completed)

Return to “Fan Fiction”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest