Paradise Falling | Phase Two

Posted 4 months ago :: Last edited 3 months ago by rhiow

[ Read Part One? ] [ Read Part Two? ] [ Read Part Three? ] [ Read Part Four? ] [ Read Part Five? ]

“NOCK YOUR ARROWS!” shouts the city guard captain. The cry carries down the line, repeated by each segment as bowstrings draw taught. 

“FIRE!”

[ Recommended listening. ]

A swarm of arrows fly from the battlements to the grim scene below. Many miss, sinking shaft deep into the cursed ground. The guards were tired. They’d been taking shifts for days. There were others here, too, townspeople, volunteers, anyone who could hold a bow, a sword, a torch. The shouts of those struggling outside of the walls had become a dull roar, impossible to pick apart from the screams of the creature that battered at the city gate.

Arrows, broken spears, even a sword or two pepper the monster’s back, corruption creeping over them like a thick miasma. The Entity roars, swatting away at a nearby knight before crashing its head into the gate. Wood creaks and splinters. It’s almost through. Oh stars, it’s almost through the gate. How much longer could they hold? How much longer could this last?

Auster shifts uneasily on a hill overlooking the gate, looking tiredly over at Marleau. The older knight was focused on the chaos below them, eyes steely. “Ser Marleau?” the squire asks. “How much longer?”

The knight squints before grinding a hoof into the dirt. “Not much longer, Auster.” Then she tosses her head over her shoulder, projecting her voice to the group of nervous, weary fighters by her side, “Prepare yourselves! We charge on the Knight-Captain’s signal!”

Marleau’s motley crew raise their voices in unison, some cracking from the strain of it all, “YES, SER!”

High above it all, the knight-captain soars, surveying the scene with gritted teeth. Nothing like this had happened in years. Nothing like this since Queen Nouvel took on the heavy burden of the crown and the heavier steps to the throne. Chrysanthos was under siege from an enemy that had no name.

The Entity rears back, taking several slices to the gut as it rams full force into the gate once more. On the other side guards and citizens alike brace against heavy wooden slabs, desperately trying to keep the last bastion of safety aloft. The gate creaks. A crack appears down the middle, corruption seeping through the spaces in between. Static crackles and wheezes from the Entity’s throat as it staggers back and prepares to bash the gate again.

A great flash of light brightens the sky over the city, bursting straight from Perth. The vanguard on the hill stiffens. Marleau bellows, “NOW!

Auster takes a deep breath as Marleau kicks into a full gallop, her magic deftly unclasping a massive polearm from her back. He raises a rallying cry and the rest follow, fumbling for spears, swords, whatever they had left to spare. They rush down the hill, worlds apart from the destruction at the gate. Legs tangle into one, voices joining the croaking fray. The noise was terrible above the city, but now they were in it, oh stars, there was no turning back--

The vanguard crashes into the rest, sweeping through the muck, leaping over fallen soldiers to flank the monstrosity before it could breach the city. With an elegant slash, Marleau hamstrings a leg, earning a scream from the creature. Auster clambers after her, aiming his sword for the thing’s tail.

On the city walls, the captain cries again, “ARROWS! NOCK!”

Everything was so fast, in the middle of it. Everything was so slow. Every second was a microcosm of life and what came after it. You couldn’t focus on it. You didn’t really see it. All that mattered was the threat. All that mattered was that it didn’t get into the city. They had to protect the young, the weak, the old. If Chrysanthos wasn’t safe, where was?

Marleau’s vanguard blows past the Entity. It doubles back. Still, it does not fall. The knight shouts but can’t be heard above the din. Her squire fights with all his might, feeling the corruption creeping up his skin. Hold on a little longer. Please. You have to do this. You have to hold onto yourself just a little longer.

“FIRE!”

Auster fights against the blight racing up his legs but in the next moment he’s gone, turning on a once companion to charge at them instead. Marleau screams for him, but the young knight could no longer hear her.

Arrows thud all around. The Entity staggers back on its hind legs as one strikes its eye, roaring loud enough to stop hearts, just for a moment, before it crashes headfirst into the gate.

The crack widens. The monster falls back, clawing at it’s own face, screaming.

The arcane sizzles in the air, magic flying from all around. In the midst of it a unicorn dives, long tail whipping behind her. With deft, fragile wings, she darts around the creature's claws and rakes her horn across its wounded eye with all the power in her body. The Entity shrieks and stumbles back, crashing into anyone behind it. It’s hind legs crumple.

The beast falls to its chest, slumping into a pool of its own miasma. The corruption shifts around it like oil on water. It breathes heavily, corruption spewing from its punctured eye and seeping down its face. It shudders.

All around it, the heroes of Bellacoste step back as it slowly dawns on them that at long last, the Entity has fallen. It’s down. It’s dying. And not a moment too soon! The unicorn that dealt the final blow lands daintily on the giant’s head. Opal rears on her hind legs and dances, hooves tapping on the skull of the Entity.

It’s fallen. It’s fallen!

On the walls, guards and civilians congratulate one another, exchanging weary shoulder bumps and whispered prayers. Some weep with relief. It’s over. The city’s safe.

On the field, efforts turn towards healing the corrupted and aiding the wounded. Mages on reserve fly over the walls to help. All the while the unicorn dances, her friends gathering to catch their breaths and check each other for injuries. The corruption continues to swarm the fallen titan.

Perth still circles, brows furrowed. Bows have begun to lower. Eyes aren’t on the creature. She watches as corruption sloughs from the Entity’s back, legs, face. It slips under her vision, little patches of something else becoming visible beneath the facade.

A single paw flexes, claws digging into the ground. Fur the color of wheat spears through the muck, trying, grasping, reaching. It rumbles, deep in its chest, and with a start the unicorn leaps off, eyes wide.

Bright white light pulses in the sky again. Perth. Eyes up! Arms up! “ARROWS!” the captain on the walls screams, scrambling back to their post. Confusion then fear ripples through the air as celebration is cut short. Their relief escapes them like water on the sand.

The Entity trembles, corruption wafting off it’s face, revealing a gleaming yellow eye beneath. The pupil contracts, and the tattered beast staggers back to its feet, refusing to die. Stunned, warriors swarm back towards it, weapons in hand. Mages whip up their spells, the air crackling, as the Entity throws the weight of the world into the gate.

The tortured wood groans and buckles.

“FALL BACK!” shouts Perth, so high above it all that there was no hope of them hearing her. A series of lights flicker around her.

“FALL BACK!” repeats the captain on the walls to his shaken comrades. “FALL BACK!”

The monster, beleaguered and wounded, steps over the rubble, shoving its way through the ungiving stone archway. The few still standing on the other side of the shattered gate hold up their weapons but are swatted unceremoniously aside. The Entity roars, squeezing through the streets, tearing shutters off of houses as it clambors up the first guard tower, sliding down onto the roof of a nearby house.

The roof shudders, wood warping beneath the weight of the terrible creature as it roared down on the city.

It’s inside. The Entity’s breached Chrysanthos.

You have reached 300 points of damage.

The fight has now entered Phase Two. The Entity has refused to die, and will continue fighting for the rest of the month. The city of Chrysanthos has been breached, and it’s our job to keep it safe! The Entity, Confronted quest will remain active and ALL Corrupted Coin bonuses will now be doubled.

Congratulations to ellusively for the final blow on The Entity! And a HUGE congratulations to Cas for dealing by FAR the MOST damage!

All items have now been unlocked in the Corrupted Shop.

For each 100 points of additional damage done to The Entity, a BONUS ITEM will unlock in the Corrupted Shop! The first goal is 400 points, at which a free gift to all users will become available. Congratulations, and good luck!

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