Full Version: Monsters and Monstrosities
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IC Date: October 9th, 1476

He had been venturing for some time along the Adas Highway, with nothing but his rented stallion and his own mind to keep him company. It was a travel he had done many times over, familiarizing himself with the road and its possible inhabitants for years. There was always something new that came up, something to keep him on his toes. A reason to be alert. The world had many vile creatures and people on its crust, all vying for different things. Power, money, or even just blood. He had to be alert if he wanted to keep up.

The journey was long and tedious. The stallion neighed, disgruntled and irritated by the journey. But Alex could see the borders of the town just before the horizon. A few more yards and the stallion could have as much rest, food, and water as he wanted. Then Alex could finally get a chance to get off this damn horse. He rubbed at his beard absent-mindedly as he scanned his surroundings. The semiarid desert had few bushes and plantlife, mostly littered with barren trees, rocks, and low undergrowth. It was a forgiving afternoon day, with plenty of calm winds to ward off the heat.

It didn't take long, however, for the stench of dead flesh to be carried over the wind, calling to it any scavengers willing to make the journey. It was a horrible smell, causing Alex to grimace in disgust as he quickly surveyed the area for the source of the rot. When his eyes landed on the giant mass of broken down sinew, bones, and cartilage several yards in front of him, he was at first going to make a circle around it in order to avoid the smell. But upon further looking, he noticed the corpse was...moving. Moving in such a manner that it was undeniable another, smaller scavenger could just be moving. No, it was moving by itself--he wondered for a moment if it was due to someone controlling it, or if the deformed beast was still alive.

All movements afterwards were slow and meticulous. The knife that rested by his hip was unsheathed from its rest, slowing rising as he carefully climbed off his horse. The stallion stood there in silence, ears folded as if he too were wary of the situation. Alex's eyes never moved from the figure as he got closer, inching ever so slowly. The undead monstrosity appeared to be Dire; he had to put it down quick.

Burning sun, blistering rays that sank deep into exposed muscles that should have been covered by her own skin and fur. Even with the fur it would have been relentless, just as it was now bearing down upon a festering corpse. She longed for rest, so many holes dug into the sand and dirt until they spanned to the base of rising craggly rocks. With her own bony paws she'd ripped and torn vigorously until she was nearly out of sight when standing in the center of what looked to be graves. Unfortunately she could not keep them all, they who were stacked haphazardly in a currently baking heap. They who lent her their skin, their essence, to make her whole again. For a time. No, no, it could never last.

Her sides heaved and she hacked and coughed, racked with the desert's violent retribution. The lungs screamed as if they had any true use at all outside of reflexive response, and the grit clung to the insides of her throat. Iesha still found comfort beside one of the partially formed mounds of displaced earth. Her long, boil-covered tongue was strewn across the ground like the entangled intestines of many disemboweled humes and dire she'd collected. If her lidless eyes saw anything at all she didn't show it. "A small rest, yes, just a small one," she wheezed, and as she did so her sides began to deflate. The muscles relaxed, uncoiling their tension and she stilled.

Still, like the corpses.

It was difficult to discern if she was one of them or not. Surely it looked like a scene of carnage and massacre, one befitting of the Wolfer Queen in her dominion. Iesha's eyes became even more dry and glazed, and she was still. So quiet, unlike the buzzing in her mind like so many flies. There were those, too, and shadows that circled in growing numbers. The buzzards were flocking, and if they could they would salivate at the feast before them like starving hounds.

Something was crawling within her. Iesha could feel it squirming between the space of her sinew. It bit and ate at what it could, but it would find nothing but rot and putrid nutrition. Distantly Iesha heard the muffled hiss of sand, the jostling of leather and metal. A beast was growing restless, she could smell its fear. She could taste it with her sand-covered tongue. That is what awoke her, if it could be considered such an act. A rattling breath was taken in, heaving her body in such a way that she shuddered. Someone was approaching, slowly with the crunch of boots. Iesha groaned; it was an eerie and haunting sound.

Then her head lifted, the mockery of a wolf turning it at the expense of her pain and discomfort. Her hunched shoulders and knotted muscles become taut, and a single pink eye rolls dryly to find the human who approaches. There was much to him and nothing at all. Sweat on his brow, a knife in his hand, and a stallion who paced further back along the pathway. "It is…" she began, a hiss of raspy breath, "so hot, boy." The words seemed to drag on, terrible and grating.

Malformed teeth like the jaws of an angler fish clicked and scraped, so many of them jagged and growing in places they shouldn't. Iesha started to roll to the other side to face the man with his dark skin and darker beard. A boy, all the same. Young and tender, trying to be threatening. She did not look concerned. "Digging holes, boy, so much work. So much work." She coughed again with her bemoaning, wet and gurgling, and started to rise to her feet. The shattered bone of her bag leg popped and protested such a movement, causing her to stagger, but she righted herself as if it were no issue at all. Normal, like so many other things. Iesha's head twisted to the side, like a bird observing the wriggling body of a worm. Then the other way, and something fell out of her to hit the sand and skitter away. "Have you some water to spare, eh? For a washed up old hag, ha!"
The grotesque form's acrid stench grew stronger and stronger the closer he got to it, the arid heat exacerbating the smell so much so that he lent an arm to cover his nose. It was an unnerving sight, to see a body so deformed, so broken down and useless; his stallion began to grow nervous, beady eyes taking in the sight of the mass, sensitive nose inhaling the stench. The man gripped his knife tightly, tilting it forward so as to angle it straight for its head. He was only a yard or two away, body arched and hunched closer to the ground, when the raged remains of what appeared to be its chest began to rise. An inhale of breath, as if it were alive. Could necromancy magic do that?

It was a concerning situation, and--yes--another new experience for him. He remained wary nonetheless, trying to gauge what the mysterious, rotten creature would do next. It moaned an eerie noise, like the sound of a dying cat's wail in the distance, before the tangled mess of muscles and decay turned so that what was left of its head faced him. He ceased all movement, brows furrowing more out of confusion than anything else. It did not attack. It did not growl. Instead, it seemed civil enough to talk, rasping out simple words to the man in question.

Yes, I suppose it is. But he made no motion to say that aloud.

He waited, then, to see what it would do next. Should he kill it anyway? It looked to be dying; or, rather, dying all over again. He was befuddled. Perhaps it was better to leave it here. The creature moved, bringing out movement from the man in the form of a slightly higher stance, knife a bit closer to his chest in the beginnings of a defensive posture. He was not yet ready to go away, opting instead to give it a step more space, observing the moving decay as it rose from its pained rest and looked back at him. Something fell from its heap of barely put together body parts, something that skittered away and disappeared in the undergrowth.

It existence must be a joke for someone. The moving decay asked for water, and it is here that the man finally responds with words, "I'm shocked you even need water, what with your...state." His voice was low, tone coated in curiosity, with hints of disgust underneath, "What even are you anymore?"
A wrinkle in the brow, a faltering step, knuckles lightening with how tightly the hume gripped his knife. There was a bend in his wrist, dark eyes peering at her with utter morbid curiosity and confusion. What ever could there be to feel confused about? All living things died. Sometimes they came back.

Flies were buzzing. Their wings hummed in her senses, and she could feel their tickling touch upon all her nerves. Spider's webs, they were, as tiny insectoid legs strummed a tune that went unnoticed. Not this foolish boy, however, who approached the unknown without fear. Or perhaps it lurked down within him where the light could not touch, where the blood ran through his veins and his muscles tensed. Iesha was looking, watching, tasting. As she spoke and she moved, sounding as if she'd inhaled too much smoke for far too long, her tongue dragged across the ground. At times she even stepped on it, not that she seemed to notice. This fleshy thing did not fear her like he should, not like his companion did. Only briefly did she look to the horse, all white-eyed and antsy.

The buzzards descended now, flurries of feathers that had them picking at skinned bodies and overturned organs. Iesha hummed thoughtfully in her chest when the man spoke. Curt, curious, and apprehensive. The wolf stalked closer, all swaying mound of meat and crackling bone. Her gait was off-kilter, crooked limb pulling and scraping lines in the sand in her wake. She clicked her jaws together, bringing her dusty tongue up to drag it over her eyes. It was hardly moisture, but it was enough for now. 'I'm shocked you even need water, what with your...state.'

Iesha tossed her head back as much as hunched shoulders allowed, ignoring the spear of pain between them with the jerky motion. In the midst of it she laughed, guffawed more like, with that perpetual grin somehow widening further than it ever should. "Shocked? Shocked? That, yes, is a poor state to be in," she crooned, "poorer than mine. What could it be, I wonder, that shocks you so? Yes, yes, I am hard at work here just like all the others. I need water like the others. What is so shocking about that, pray tell." Iesha started to round the side of the human, drinking in his sweaty stench and finding herself wondering what his skin would feel like on her body.

The excess would fuse to her, mold to the hag's body as if it belonged there all along. It would melt and grow taut, dark hair fading to white and the dark skin paling. Just like that, cursed Magic would eat its fill. Another soul gone, another to be lost in time and space. Dead, dead, dead. So many before him, so many after him. A face to become hers, to protect her from the heat and the dry air that wrapped around her. 'What even are you anymore?' Iesha snickered. She watched how he clutched his knife like pearls to his chest, matching her circling to keep her in his sights. "Rude, rude boy you are," she hissed, the words nearly cut short with how she hacked. "I am alive, I am dead. I am like you, yes, I am like myself. What are you?" She countered as her prehensile tongue snaked over the desert sands to retract. Audibly her eyes made noise when they rolled to look him over again, down to his boots until her head jerked the other way to observe with her other eye.

"A babe," she laughed, raspy and airy, "oh, that is what you are with how you hold that knife. So delicate, so child-like. Hardly a man, no." As she spoke she was caught in a fit of horrendous laughter, Iesha trembling with it until she collapsed upon the earth like a hyena in a cloud of dust. There she rolled, kicking her legs and writhing. "Who gave you such a thing? Ah, children should not play with sharp things."
When she moved forward, he did not falter. The only movement he made was the slow shift between apprehensive to defensive posture, knife poised and ready for whatever command his hands gave it. His eyes were narrowed once more, focused on her, unwavering despite the buzzards flying above with impatience. Their shrills were met with nothing, for he acknowledged their presence, but made no further note.

The more he stared at her, the more disgusted she became, although now his face showed only caution and intent, brows furrowed and lips curled downwards just a bit, showing his dismay. He remained in the same spot, turning his body with hers as she circled him, and it is here that the man begins to sense a familiar feeling stirring within him. A feeling he was all too acquainted with, that spark of ignition, the pull of muscles, the eagerness to feel adrenaline course through him. He says nothing to her comment, opting for silence as she continued to circle him and insult him with her tone. She was taunting him; he could feel it. A thought that becomes as obvious and bright as the sunlight that bore down on him when she mentions the knife. Compares him to a child. Belittles him. She is nothing but a beast in his mind. A revolting animal not worthy of life, not worthy of death. He feels the anger between to warm up inside him, temperature rising in anticipation. His anger wants to take over, be in the driver's seat, an agreement he made a long time ago with that. It is not voices, no; it is just harmony between emotions.

But he does not let it take control, because he realizes something. The grimace that once adorned his face is now replaced with a smirk, taunting in its own nature. He chuckles lowly, uncaring if she heard--no, wanting her to hear it--and then, he speaks in a tone rich with sneer, "You are hardly anything at all, condemned to walk Gil'ead as nothing more than a bag of bones and muscle barely holding itself together," a buzzard hisses from above, "What value does your comment have to me, knowing I have skin, and you do not," it is more an accusation of fact than a question, but he lets it hang in the air nonetheless.


OOC: Eeee I'm so excite
He tried to keep his composure, the beast in his sights, and the knife close to his chest. Subtly it moved, twisted, with the widening of legs to balance himself. Iesha showed no clear signs of such grace, not that she considered it grace at all what this hume was doing. Pathetic, really. Dainty, dainty, dainty. Even the expression he wore with the sun harsh upon it; wrinkled and disgusted. Iesha was absolutely tickled by the observations of the man in front of her as she circled, looking him up and down like he was so much meat. Not even good meat. She bet there were hardly any callouses to him, all soft edges and pompous posturing. No good, no good. Over and over the words would toss in her head, uttered in almost unintelligible mumbles with the clicking of her teeth. Once she fell upon the dirt and sand, tongue pulling closer after appearing to stretch on. It was difficult to tell just how long it was. Longer than her body, to be sure, and perhaps if she tried she could wrap it around the human several times before she felt its strain.

Snickering, giggling, rasping her laughter the skinless hag wriggled and writhed. In that she coughed and spat, jaws parted and bulbous eyes fixated towards the man who straightened himself out as if realizing something. He was smirking an ugly little smirk that shifted his dark beard, beady eyes cast down to where she stilled to cock her head at an angle to listen. The buzzards they cried, growing impatient when there was no more room to pick at the pile of corpses Iesha had brought here. Perhaps this still living thing would fall over and cease to move, they thought. The flies were becoming more prominent, and the maggots that had found home in portions of her muscle. “You speak as if you know, aha,” she spat back, limbs flopping down to the sand as Iesha corrected herself. Something bigger than a fly started to hover from the dunes, hovering near some of the dry bushes. Then another, and another. Amidst the other noises they were not so loud, but one flew past her head and the hume. Larger than a fly, louder, discolored a honey gold.

Iesha started to rise again, tongue sliding around her eyes to her muzzle until it simply fell limp between her jagged teeth. “I could have a skin, boy,” she rasped, snapping her jaws to see if he flinched, “what do you think I was out here doing? Yes… cleaning house.” From one side to the other her tail swayed, the dire limping forward with a dragging of her lame limb. Her menacing grin somehow brightened with the glint in her pink eyes. “I could take yours, I could take the horse’s, if it’s worth it.” There was a snarl in her tones then, biting and harsh. Then she laughed. More of the insects were collecting into the area slowly but surely. “I could take the flesh from your bones better than any little knife, boy, oh I could so well. I bet you do not even know how to use that,” she chided, goaded, and began to pace again. Quicker this time, not even the broken leg with all of its shard-like pieces seeming to hinder her now. “Your mommy must not have loved you enough to tell you being rude to strangers is…” here she wheezed in a sarcastically pitiful tone, phlegm in her chest that expanded with the twisting of her neck, “dangerous.

Soon enough the insects that flit by started to collect in a darker cloud. One after the other, some rushing in waves, all of them swirling in a frenzy around the dire. Iesha’s tongue lifted, beginning to slowly weave its way like it had a mind of its own. Into the air where the hornets swarmed, Iesha silently laughing as with a thrust of her head and snap of her jaws the horde of them rushed for the human. They were loud, aggressive, twisting together with the Magic that bound them to the hag’s will. It would fill his ears with the buzzing of their wings, and with luck their stingers would bury deep within him past the clothes. Across the face, down his throat, anywhere they could reach. Iesha willed it so, demanded of it, and in doing so showed just how much this human was worth to her as she aimed to sunder his skin.

ATK: Swarm of hornets against Alexander
Server Dice: 11 +2 (+2 ATK from Swarm) = 13
Success > -13 HP from Enemy
Iesha HP: 100/100
He takes in each word she says with the anticipation that an attack would ensue afterwards. His body is poised at the ready, daring her ragged body to get close, blade begging to be used upon her. But she remains in her general circle around him, taunting her with his presence, no other movement made. He wonders, briefly, if she is all bark and no bite--a thought that fuels the smirk upon his face as he glances at the insects that float around her body. She is nothing but flesh and filth to them, a home for their eggs. He was finding his grin to wade, not out of danger or fear, but out of disgust. The stench is exacerbated by the heat, and he begins to think that the merit of taunting this half-dead beast was decreasing in value, far below what little he was willing tolerate of it.

He almost growls himself when she threatens him and the horse. As if he could sense the danger (or perhaps he truly does), the horse's nervous shifting of legs increase in frequency and volume. He scuffs the dirt with his hooves and whinnies skittishly. Alex's focus on the half-dead beast does not wane even then, not noticing the unnatural number of insects flying about until moments later. The moment after he notices is the moment she unleashes the swarm upon him. Instinctively, he narrows his eyes shut and covers the hand not holding the knife. They are vicious, finding the nooks and crannies between his shirt and pants and digging their jagged stingers slipping through flesh. He groans lowly, one arm going to cover as much of his face as he can, but there is too much to cover. The places where stinger meets skin swells and reddens, a terrible itch beginning to form over parts of his body. He grits his teeth tightly, energy beginning to surface on the surface of his entire body, then sparks of electricity aims to make contact with any of the hornets still imbedded and hoping to imbed themselves into him.

The voltage is enough to make a good chunk of them drop dead, their bodies unaccustomed to the wattage. He manages to channel enough energy to form along his free hand and dart itself directly towards the decaying beast. While he aims to kill, the hornets have done enough damage and distraction that the volt is certainly not strong enough to kill her.

Rolled via Discord
Attack: 15+2 (Success). Deflect: 11 (Fail)
-17 To Enemy
Alex HP: 87

Edit: Okay so even though I clicked on Electro on the dropdown menu, it didn't show up. But he's using Electrokinesis o^o
Taste the flesh, rip it, tear it, shred it into ribbons. So many flies and maggots dwelled here now. The buzzards circled further, fighting for space in the skies above to take stock of the carnage below. Iesha and this pathetic little excuse of a man were in the thick of it. Breathing, coughing, here they stood circling one another like the birds in the heavens. Iesha’s eyes rolled and popped this way and that, a beast of death and life yet nothing all the same. Kill it, her mind screams, sunder its flesh until there is nothing left. So little moisture remained in her body as she stalked this newfound prey. The one who had made himself a target, knife out and judgmental eyes cast upon her. She’d seen it all before and would continue to do so, this she knew, but in the heat of the desert when so much work still needed to be done. Ah, she could take a break. She could teach a naïve, foolish human man his place in this world. It humored her to do so, tail swaying as the hornets gathered and she let him think whatever he might have been capable of thinking. Not much, no, no, with how blankly he stared back at her.

Eager to fight, to stab into her, to kick the unknown he saw before him. Her jaws opened, her tongue snapped, and with teeth clicking together the swarm was upon him. Into his clothes they attempted to burrow, all droning wings and aggressive stingers. Iesha laughed again, continuing to do so as she watched in the shadowed cloud the man twist and stomp. It lasted a moment with arms flailing, and Iesha swayed forward like some kind of shambling corpse. Her rot filled the air, as did that of the pile of deceased, and the elation at what was to come shone in her bulging eyes. Perhaps the anticipation made her too eager, though Iesha would never consider it such a mistake. Mistakes were trivial to her at this point. Something for someone else to worry about. She still felt the pain, even as she cackled and muscles seized from the electricity that struck against her. So many exposed nerves were alight, both dull and overly sensitive all at once, and her claws curled against the sand. Wet, heaving groans dragged from her throat even as it choked and her tongue flopped to the ground.

Smoke coiled from her body, but she took a step. Forced it with trembling limbs, forwards and closer, eyes fixated on her prize. It hurt, oh it hurt, but that did not stop her. She’d felt agony far beyond anything this child could ever begin to dream into existence. “Is that all, boy? Come closer,” she hissed, challenging and strained as the Magic started to die. Not quick enough for her impatience, snarl replacing the wheezing as even louder wings clipped together. The electricity had stricken most of the hornets dead, others dying in the crossfire. They were falling like rain now, and the beetles met their demise in the static that leaped from one to the other until that, too, fizzled out. Fail once, fail twice, fail however many times as long as you try, try again.

ATK: Swarm of beetles against Alexander
Server Dice: 2 +2 (+2 ATK from Swarm) = 4
Failure > -0 HP from Enemy
Iesha HP: 83/100