520 Putrid Core part two
"Rabi won't do that!" Rabi's dark face paled considerably as he spoke softly between his clenched teeth.
"Rabi?" Sasi arrived at the cave entrance a few moments after her brother. She backed away in panic when hearing the voice that reverberated in her head. "Semmi, Wind! Run away!"
/Alpha: Semmi: Guys? What's wrong? Oh, God...
/Inferno: Wind: We need help! There's something here!
/Inferno: Semmi: No! Don't come here! Avoid this...
/Inferno: Sharl: Sem? What's going on over there?
/Inferno: Jun Li: Ronnie, Bali, and Donri! Report to the Command tent.
/Inferno: Ronnie: On my way.
/Inferno: Donri: Same here. Nix and Pon are listed as uncontactable in Guild Chat. Neither one is answering personal comms.
*Kill him, and you will receive a great boon.*
Unexpectedly, the old mage grinned when he heard the voice in his head. He glanced at the Inferno leader. "How big of a boon are we talking about?"
Nix's emerald aura lit up the cave like a green bonfire. He turned back toward the fire mage when he spoke. "What are you rambling about?"
Pon shrugged slightly. "Voice in my head telling me to kill you."
Nix gave him a deadpan look. "I get those all the time, probably should just ignore it."
Pon nodded in agreement. "It's quite insistent. Even going so far as to offer me a reward."
Nix scanned the dark passage that the trio had entered a few moments before. Although he felt a chill run down his bony spine, there had definitely been no voices. "My voices never offer a reward, just a generic, 'Burn the World' type of thing."
*Kill him, NOW!!*
Pon shook his head and joined his companions. "You hear anything, Morti?"
The Titan cub shook his gigantic head. "Nothing... It smells bad in here."
*Kill Nix! Kill the Titan cub*
Pon slammed the end of his staff on the stone floor. "Right... Are you fucking stupid? Even if I wanted to... How is it possible? I'm a Fire Mage, and both of them are immune to flames."
/Alpha: Nix: Use group chat. What's going on?
/Alpha: Pon: Something's here, there's a voice bouncing around in my head.
/Alpha: Nix: We don't hear anything. Although if it manages to control Morti, we'll have to run for it.
/Alpha: Pon: Must be a control effect? It isn't very strong. The two of you are immune to control effects.
/Alpha: Nix: And your resistance is sky-high. We need to push forward. I'm worried about the ones outside.
The cave meandered back and forth like a drunk snake for a few hundred meters while an unseen pressure continued to mount. Condensation hung heavy in the air, making the dark walls glisten as tiny rivulets of moisture ran down the walls and dripped from the ceiling.
/Alpha: Nix: Crap...
/Alpha: Pon: Hearing the voice now?
/Alpha: Nix: Just the same ones I always hear. Our entrance just shrank.
The cavern that had been four meters across suddenly ended in a solid wall of stone with a small hole barely large enough for one person to crawl through.
"Shit..." Pon watched as Morti approached the opening. The Titan cub dropped down on his tummy and scooted forward until his head pushed in. His progress was stopped abruptly when his muscular shoulders contacted the barrier.
"I can't fit in here." Morti's muffled voice rumbled in the cave, his sharp claws gouging into the rock as he back out of the entrance. "Looks like I'm guarding."
Nix dropped his skelly form; immediately, his nose noticed the difference in scents. Unlike the sour smell of the entrance, a sickeningly sweet odor permeated this end of the cavern. "We'll find whatever is causing this and try to lure it back here."
"Good idea, Nix." Morti flopped down on the cave floor. "If something bad happens, I'm going to bash that entrance apart."
Nix shared a glance with Pon before patting the cub's soft head. "Don't collapse this place on us."
"No promises," Morti huffed.
/Alpha: Pon: Is it okay to leave him here?
/Alpha: Nix: No choice, my ability to unsummon him has been deactivated.
"Be careful, Nix." Morti's rumbling whisper carried down the passageway as the two Fire users crawled in single file.
The narrow path turned sharply before growing noticeably brighter. Nix dropped his aura a few moments later when they exited.
/Alpha: Pon: We're in an instance?
/Alpha: Nix: Have to be, I doubt this place exists in the Bone Fortress.
Before them lay a small valley, filled with vibrant colors from all parts of the spectrum. Oranges, blues, greens, and everything in-between. Nix squinted slightly, the brightness of it stinging his eyes.
/Alpha: Pon: Shit... This looks like my nephew's finger painting.
Nix nodded in agreement. The foliage colors seemed too chaotic to be natural. Most of the tree's resembled mid-sized fruit trees, tall orange grass stood nearly shoulder height.
/Alpha: Pon: Bet it burns.
"Right." An emerald strand of fire burst from Nix's outstretched hand. He swiped it at the grass in front of him, causing it to flash-burst into ashes.
/Alpha: Nix: Woah... Highly volatile.
/Alpha: Pon: Awesome. Fucking hell...
Pon's voice filtered off as his glance fell onto the rocky floor of the valley. The outline of a face frozen in horror could be seen pressing upward. Instantly his staff brightened with flames.
Pon has cast [Metor Shower].
Nix has cast [Fire Storm: Emerald Flame]
The grass surrounding them disappeared as smoke and ash filled the air. The two fire users stared grimly at what they had uncovered.
/Alpha: Pon: This shit here...
/Alpha: Nix: I hear ya.
Dozens of bodies could be seen morphed into the landscape; heads, legs, and arms occasionally pushing outward as a morbid reminder that they'd once been human. Whenever a face was visible, the same abject expression of terror was present.
"Why haven't you killed him yet?" A familiar feminine voice spoke from a cloud of hovering ash, walking slowly toward them until she was in view.
"Fucking hell is this?" Pon dropped his skelly form and started stringing impressively inventive cuss words together.
Nix whistled softly. The short blond hair was now raven-black as were her normally brilliant blue eyes. Besides that, it was obviously Semmi. He stared at her for a long moment, was this a copy? Or was it really her?
/Alpha: Nix: How high is Semmi's will? Could she have been charmed?
/Alpha: Pon: Average in Inferno. She's been actively searching for gear that increases it. Do you think it's her?
The two fire users approached cautiously, neither commenting on the fact that she was completely naked.
/Alpha: Nix: Can you tell?
/Alpha: Pon: Semmi is immune to Ice. Try an Ice attack on her.
/Alpha: Nix: Maybe something harmless, hurting Sem would give me nightmares.
Nix has cast [Sculpture: Black Ice]
A Putrid Avatar has been turned into a Black Ice Sculpture.
Pon breathed a loud sigh of relief. "Taking her form... You just fucked yourself."
Pon has cast [Balefire: Hex]
A column of white flame burned away the top half of the sculpture, immediately afterward the lower half melted into the ground.
A Putrid Avatar has been slain.
Nix frowned at the Fire Mage. "Oi... Now we can't ask her..."
His words filtered off as a second avatar started to form, screams of agony filled the air as dozens of corpses were pulled into one form. Countless eyes blinked at them in horror as the mouths opened wide in terror. Both fire users retreated several steps as the creature slowly took shape.
/Alpha: Nix: Not good.
/Alpha: Pon: Shit! I wish Morti was here...
Nix shuddered slightly at the grotesque view that stood in front of them. It stood on two thick legs at a height of just over five meters. The spears, daggers, and swords from its victims sprouted from clenched fists that were the size of a small pony.
/Alpha: Pon: Now what?
/Alpha: Nix: Diplomacy.
Nix raised both hands, sending a half dozen strands around each of its arms. He pulled backward and dug his heels in. "Light that fucker up..." His words were interrupted when he was yanked effortlessly into the air as the creature tore through the emerald strands.
Pon has cast [Balefire: Hex]
Putrid Core has used the abilities of his victims to resist the element of Fire.
The old mage cursed loudly when the white flame bounced harmlessly off the beast. He dived to one side just as two clenched fists landed where he'd been standing.
/Alpha: Pon: Not good! Need help here!
The creature spun towards the old man and charged again. Pon retreated towards the entrance while throwing up [Flame Shield].
The beast kicked through the burning shield, sending Pon bouncing across the rocky floor.
Pon has been stunned.
Before it could catch up with the old mage, its legs were pierced by the barbs of a dozen emerald strands. Instead of holding onto them, Nix anchored them to the ground and leaped away when the creature turned on him.
Nix has cast [Firestorm][Salamandra][Napalm][Hellfire][Black Ice Armor]
Five spell combination Successful.
Putrid Core has used the abilities of his victims to mitigate incoming fire damage by Ninety percent.
Nix has been encased with Black Ice Armor.
Pon has been encased with Black Ice Armor.
Pon has resisted stun.
Pon shook his head slightly at the beast who stood in the center of the Inferno Nix had created.
/Alpha: Now what? If it stacks the resistances of its victims, then we could be looking at the combined abilities of dozens.
Nix nodded in agreement and summoned a Black Ice shield. He held it easily in one hand and pushed flames into his sword hilt.
/Alpha: Nix: We'll have to chip away at it. I'm going to tank... Since you're a bit on the fragile side.
/Alpha: Pon: I've got an idea. Let me clear out an area and then we'll kite the bastard.
/Alpha: Nix: Fine, I'll try to stall it. Don't be too long.
Kiting refers to attacking a target while constantly retreating. This works best when utilizing some sort of movement ability in conjunction with snare.