Unexpected Loot: Chapter Eleven

A rag-tag assembly of humans, ferals, elves, one wraith, and a dwarf scale the jagged crags of the Greystone Mountain that towers over the small village of Ciaran. Ahead lies an outcropping that protrudes from the cliff face like a limb, their final destination. Overhead, the darkened sky threatens to open in a downpour amidst the cycle of the most unpleasant weather cycle.

Kaleidoscope lags behind the guild with lower endurance, but masters obstacles with superior agility and dexterity. The elven mage clambers over the boulders and loose shale that skitters down the mountainside.

Guild Chat

[Fangmaster] after we kick this quests ass im gonna head to the mines and slaughter ROUS’s

[TwinDragons] what?

[Fangmaster] rodent of unusual size.

[TheArtfulShadow] inconceivable

[Noodles] are there rocks ahead?

[lotusblossom] if there are, we’ll all be dead

[eatBBQ] no more rhymes now i mean it

[YOUTHFULSPRING] ANYBODY WANT A PEANUT!

[Fate] Nerds. The lot of you.

[YOUTHFULSPRING] FATE! JOIN US IN OUR GLORIOUS GAME!

[TheArtfulShadow] fantasy MMORPG… did you expect anything less?

Members of the guild disappear over the edge of the cliff. Kaleidoscope nears the top as she inches up the stone face. A hand appears in her vision.

Private Chat [Noodles]

[Noodles] need a lift princess?

Crouched atop the cliff, Noodles offers his hand to the struggling elf as the first drops of rain wet the earth.

[Kaleidoscope] Just this once.

Kaleidoscope grips Noodles arm tight, and her petite body is hauled the last few feet until the soles of her leather boots hit the flat surface of the outcrop. The wind whips her cloak and hair about.

Before their scattered grouping stands the gaping maw of the Hydra Caverns. The dim light that barely penetrates the cloud cover glints off the crystallized water that clings to the teeth like stalactites.

TheArtfulShadow stands with Fangmaster at the edge of the cliff overlooking the small village below. Kaleidoscope and Noodles join him.

Guild Chat

[TheArtfulShadow] behold, the pluvial grey.

[Noodles] Huh?

[Kaleidoscope] He means – it’s raining.

[lotusblossom] could just say that instead of being a smarty pants deer boy

[TwinDragons] deer boy?

[eatBBQ] long story

[lotusblossom] his little plushie in pre k. he was so cute back then. wut happened?

[eatBBQ] our families are old friends

[lotusblossom] then shadow went and got himself recruited by some genius skool

[PrettyPinkPegasus] that’s where i met S and shadow 😀

[Kaleidoscope] It was an ordinary prep school.

Close to the opening of the cave, lavenderlady stands with a few members of the scattered Fission Chips Guild. A human warrior clad in mismatched pieces of armour of varying shades of yellow and a pair of bright blue boots with little wings boasts the name YOUTHFULSPRING over his head in blue lettering. He bounces excitedly on the spot. To his left, an elven warrior stands with his arms crossed over his chest. A Light bow strapped to his back, he wears a crisp white tunic and light brown leggings with leather boots. In purple lettering, Fate hangs over his head of long, luscious chocolate brown hair secured in a high ponytail wrapped in a single slim braid.

[TwinDragons] i still cant believe you booted soul

[Fate] This quest will fail miserably. You have been warned.

[TwinDragons] youth didn’t even vote

[TheArtfulShadow] youth’s vote would have in no way impacted the results favourably for soul.

[sai] are we wasting our time attempting this quest?

[Noodles] chill guys i got this

[Fangmaster] yeah we’re gonna kick serius ***

[sai] if you say so dickless

[lotusblossom] lol XD

[Fate] I move for a vote of no confidence in [TheArtfulShadow]’s leadership.

[Fangmaster] shut the **** up ***hole

[lavenderlady] Shadow hasn’t done anything wrong.

[Noodles] yeah, wuts ur beef man

[Kaleidoscope] Am I the only one who noted the heinous Star Wars quote?

[TheArtfulShadow] shall we move forward, or is a vote required?

[Noodles] the prequels aint worth acknowledging

[YOUTHFULSPRING] NO!

[Noodles] **** no man

[Fate] Yes.

[Fangmaster] hell no

[Fangmaster] **** off u twat

[PrettyPinkPegasus] mb?

[eatBBQ] you’re a greaat guild master

[Kaleidoscope] I believe the no’s have it.

[TheArtfulShadow] then let’s move this party forward.

[TheArtfulShadow] has sent you an invitation to join his party.

[Yes] [No]

You have joined the [TheArtfulShadow]s party.

Noodles and TheArtfulShadow take the lead, and the guild enters the network of caves that reach deep into the mountains. The tunnel is pitch black. No welcoming torches line the walls, and gray light from outside barely penetrates the gloom more than a few feet past the entrance.

Kaleidoscope conjures a fireball in the palm of her hand with a snap of her fingers to light the path. YOUTHFULSPRING, lotusblossom, and lavenderlady follow her lead.

Lotusblossom, a human mage, positions herself behind TheArtfulShadow, nearly at the front of the pack, to provide light to the leaders of their parade. She wears a short, black, and frilly peasant dress with hot pink stitching and trim. High-heeled boots hug her long legs, and her blonde hair, short and choppy an asymmetrical bob, stands in stark contrast to her tan complexion that a foundation would attempt to label mocha. A

fringe of her bang hides one half of her face and covers one of her purple eyes.

[Fangmaster] hi ho hi ho its off 2 wrk we go

[YOUTHFULSPRING] THAT’S THE SPIRIT WE SHOULD ALL JOIN FANG IN BOISTEROUS SONG!

[TheArtfulShadow] no “singing”

As the guild trudges through the twisting tunnel, YOUTHFULSPRING bounces like an excited puppy rendering the light his own flame offers useless to anyone that is not him.

The tunnel forks. No direction is supplied or offered.

[Noodles] we go right

[PrettyPinkPegasus] yeah sure. how od u kno that? we’re supposed to blindly follow you? i think not. we should go left.

[TheArtfulShadow] i asked him to scout out the caves yesterday. we go right.

[lotusblossom] hehe. my cat wants to sleep on my keyboard. XD

[lavenderlady] That’s so cute. 🙂

[lotusblossom] im sending a pic

[TheArtfulShadow] let’s keep chat to a minimum during the quest to keep lines clear. if you so desire, *privatechat. guild chat is for quest related chat and emergency until completion of said quest.

As a collective, the guild turns down the right path with Noodles at the lead. Kaleidoscope lingers close to the end of the procession with Fangmaster bringing up the rear behind her.

Private Chat [Noodles]

[Noodles] how was dinner wit ur bro?

[Kaleidoscope ] Fine.

Private Chat [TheArtfulShadow]

[Kaleidoscope] More for curiosity’s sake, how close was the vote?

Private Chat [Noodles]

[Noodles] cool. wut’d u eat?

[Kaleidoscope] He took me for all you can eat BBQ.

[Noodles] score! im so jel

Private Chat [TheArtfulShadow]

[TheArtfulShadow] are you worried?

[Kaleidoscope] No.

Further along, the tunnel narrows forcing the mass of bodies to form a single file line unconducive in the face of attack. Suddenly, the path opens into a cavern with a vaulted ceiling. Faintly luminescent fungi cling to the smooth stone walls of the cavern casting the cave in an eerie glow.

Lotusblossom extinguishes the flame that glows in her the palm of her hand with a casual wave. Kaleidoscope and the other magic wielders follow her example, dousing all light, but the cavern remains suitably lit.

Private Chat [PrettyPinkPegasus]

[PrettyPinkPegasus] hae u studied for ur economic test tomorrow? i had cooper last semester. he’s totally tough.

[PrettyPinkPegasus] he gave me a B!

Private Chat [TheArtfulShadow]

[TheArtfulShadow] 7 for, 3 against, and 3 abstained. they’re a good group.

[Kaleidoscope] Thanks for doing that. I know it weakened our defences.

Private Chat [Noodles]

[Noodles] sai wont stop insulting my di ck

[Noodles] theres nothin wring wit my di ck

[Noodles] its a great di ck

[Kaleidoscope] I’m sure it’s perfectly adequate.

[Noodles] hey! i think

[Kaleidoscope] How were beers with Fang?

[Noodles] oh man! we got so wasted!

[Kaleidoscope] That could have been in no way good. I know from experience.

Dozens of Nix bats swarm and dive from the cavern ceiling. Chaos erupts. Guild members draw their weapons and leap into the fray. Along with lavenderlady, and lotusblossom, Kaleidoscope hangs back.

Razor talons flash in the pale glow of the cave as piercing screeches echo through the cavern. A nasty Nix dives from the ceiling at a lone human archer. Talons rip into the back of the unprepared human and shred the navy blue cloak. The health bar under the name – sai – in red lettering shrinks dangerously into the yellow.

Staff clasped firmly in her hand, Kaleidoscope directs the glow of a golden healing cloud to her injured comrade. Sai’s health climbs and his cloak returns to its original state, but Kaleidoscope is left open to attack.

Guild Chat

[Noodles] kal look out!

A Nix finds Kaleidoscope of interest. Fellow members of the support are busy with their own tasks of healing members of the guild under siege, so she bends backwards, body arching like a bridge. The bat swoops over her, and the hem of her dress ruffles in the artificial breeze from the beating wings. A screech echoes through the cave.

Using the momentum from her dodge, Kaleidoscope flips her body like a back handspring and lands on her feet. Before she raises her staff to attack, an arrow strikes the

attacking bat as it banks left and prepares for another dive. It explodes into twinkling shards.

Further off, sai draws another arrow and turns away.

Guild Chat

[TheArtfulShadow] fate, and youth. defend our healers.

[TheArtfulShadow] sai and mantis, provide cover.

[TheArtfulShadow] fang and bbq, flank the nix so they bottleneck. noodles and i can pick them off.

[TheArtfulShadow] peg and dragon, take any out that get past us.

[Fangmaster] u got it bossman

The guild scrambles into formation. PrettyPinkPegasus and TwinDragons take position behind the front line formed by Noodles, TheArtfulShadow, Fangmaster, and BBQ. Noodles charges to draw their attack. The bats teem and attack.

From a distance, Sai and Mantis pick them off with the use of flashy magic and arrow attacks.

Three Nix bats surround Fangmaster. His health depletes rapidly into the red – the danger zone. From her place at the back of the pack, Kaleidoscope directs a lightning attack that swiftly strikes the swarming bats then quickly follows through with a healing spell to rejuvenate the wounded feral warrior still amidst a battle for his life. The enchantment stones set in her Celestial Spirit Staff of Fire glow brightly, a beacon in the dark.

To Kaleidoscope’s left, lotusblossom casts a healing spell over BBQ. A light pink cloud like flower petals raining down encircles BBQ, the feral cleric dressed in tightly wrapped furs and leathers that form a crude dress and barely cover the

essentials.

[TwinDragons] i need a heal

[Fate] Medic!

Attention split, Kaleidoscope fails to cast a healing spell over the elf defending the support line with throwing knives. The health bar that hangs below the name TwinDragons, emblazoned in purple writing, quickly diminishes and disappears. The elven weaponsmith dressed in forest green legging and a white tunic trimmed with red falls.

[TwinDragons] im out. good luck.

[eatBBQ] help!

[TheArtfulShadow] fang, bbq, fall back

On the frontlines, BBQ is swarmed. Talons rip into a bare shoulder paralyzing its target. Health shrinks rapidly into the red. Lavenderlady casts a spell to bolster the depleted health, but a final attack fells the dwarven warrior. Fangmaster escapes the frontlines and falls back behind the support team. Lavenderlady heals Fangmaster.

Noodles hacks and slashes at the steady stream of enemies while TheArtfulShadow blocks attacks with his Valour shield and counters with perfectly timed slashes.

[Fangmaster] im good to go

Fully healed, Fangmaster charges into battle, but Kaleidoscope is immediately forced to redo her work on the feral warrior when he uses his body to shield PrEyInGmAnTiS from attack. Sai follows through with a poison arrow that strikes true.

[Fate] Victory is at hand.

[sai] but this is only one battle

Five Nix bats remain. Circling her fingers in a full arch, Kaleidoscope slashes down, and a pillar of fire erupts behind

TheArtfulShadow. The Nix explodes into shimmering shards.

[TheArtfulShadow] many thanks, kalei

[Noodles] nice shot babe

[Kaleidoscope] Shut it and finish this.

A Nix appears in a flurry of wings. Razor talons rake across Kaleidoscope’s torso paralyzing her where she stands. Her health slips into the yellow.

Racing across the uneven stony ground, PrettyPinkPegasus takes a flying leap, clobbering the bat with her bare hands. The creature shatters.

[lotusblossom] your manish strength is y u cant get a bf forehead

[PrettyPinkPegasus] shut up pig!

[PrettyPinkPegasus] u okay S?

[Kaleidoscope] I’m currently paralyzed. Take over duty as a healer.

[PrettyPinkPegasus] okay! XD

The battle comes to a close as Noodles cleaves the last bat during its final dive at TheArtfulShadow. His health is barely dented, and TheArtfulShadow’s still shines brightly in the green, only a few notches missing.

[TheArtfulShadow] check-in

[Fate] We lost Dragon and BBQ during the scuffle.

[Fangmaster] i need a tune up

[sai] i require assistance

[PrettyPinkPegasus] if ya need healing, come here

PrEyInGmAnTiS, Fangmaster, sai, Fate, and TheArtfulShadow migrate towards the healers. Kaleidoscope slowly regains movement of her limbs and offers her abilities to TheArtfulShadow after bathing herself in golden light. Swinging her staff, she directs the golden healing cloud to the guild

master, and his health rises. The health bar, refilled, fades.

[TheArtfulShadow] did we lose youth?

[Fate] He just sent me a text saying his internet failed. He apologizes.

[Noodles] balls

The group gathers. Noodles in the lead, they continue their journey through the maze of tunnels.

Kaleidoscope snaps her fingers to summon light once again as the glow of the fungi growing in the cavern disappears and darkness once again surrounds them. The other mages in the group follow her example.

Private Chat [Noodles]

[Noodles] u alwys reminded me of oz

[Kaleidoscope] There’s no place like home?

[Noodles] nah man. from buffy

Private Chat [TheArtfulShadow]

[TheArtfulShadow] has soul tried to contact you?

Private Chat [Noodles]

[Noodles] kickass werewolf whos too cool 4 skool

Private Chat [TheArtfulShadow]

[Kaleidoscope] No. But I blocked him.

Private Chat [Noodles]

[Kaleidoscope] Ah. I always thought Shadow filled the role of slacker genius.

Private Chat [TheArtfulShadow]

[TheArtfulShadow] he threatened your wellbeing. i know you well enough to know that you are worried.

[TheArtfulShadow] my apartment is open to you.

Private Chat [Noodles]

[Noodles] dont sell urself short babe. smart is sexy 😉

Private Chat [Fangmaster]

[Fangmaster] dude u comin to stay wit us?

A short distance down the tunnel, they reach another crossroads. Their choices: north, south, and west.

Guild Chat

[Noodles] we head south

Private Chat [TheArtfulShadow]

[Kaleidoscope] What happened to confidentiality?

[TheArtfulShadow] he’s concerned. you don’t live here anymore, and he still remembers last time

[Kaleidoscope] And yet, Leigha is still here.

[TheArtfulShadow] she’s harmless

[Kaleidoscope] That’s what we thought last time.

Guild Chat

[Noodles] last time there was a battalion of goblins

[PrettyPinkPegasus] if u kno about the goblins, why didnt u warn us about the nix, dumb***

[TheArtfulShadow] noodles wasn’t engaged in the quest. in all likelihood, the enemies will differ.

The guild filters into through the opening in the tunnels to the south. The passage widens, and they march two by two. Kaleidoscope is paired with sai.

[eatBBQ] good luck guys

[Fangmaster] we don’t need luck

[lavenderlady] Do your best, everybody.

The further they descend into the dungeon, the path widens until the walls are four ferals wide. The promised battalion of goblins appears in front of them. They wear cracked, faded, and dented armour. The leader, brandishing a dull double battle axe, charges with the weapon raised.

Noodles meets the charge head-on, and the guild follows. While Noodles draws the attack as the guild’s acting tank, TheArtfulShadow, Fangmaster, and Fate pick the goblins off one by one.

Close to the back of the pack, Kaleidoscope cast a healing mist over Fate as the elven archer takes a blow from a short blade.

In a matter of moments, the horde of goblins is dispatched with far more ease than the Nix bats.

[Fangmaster] heal plz

[TheArtfulShadow] if you are injured, please receive treatment from one of the support mages.

Though the health bar that hangs over Noodles’ head has barely shrunk from the two battles, Kaleidoscope waves her staff. The golden healing cloud casts a warm light over the feral warrior, and his health is replenished.

[Noodles] thx princess

[Kaleidoscope] Shut up.

[Fangmaster] play nice

[TheArtfulShadow] keep the chat clear

[Noodles] sry boss

The guild regroups. Noodles in the lead, they navigate the winding tunnels with the light from small flames carried by Kaleidoscope, lavenderlady, lotusblossom, and PrEyInGmAnTiS.

Private Chat [Noodles]

[Kaleidoscope] Did the resume pan out?

[Noodles] sorta

[Kaleidoscope] Sorta? Meaning?

[Noodles] shadow looked over the contract they offered. bum deal. said not to take it.

[Kaleidoscope] I’d listen to him. The lazy ass knows his

stuff.

[Noodles] tough when im livin off ramen

[Kaleidoscope] Paid to play.

[Noodles] livin the dream

The path ends abruptly at the smooth stone face of a dead end.

Guild Chat

[TheArtfulShadow] light.

[TheArtfulShadow] we need more light.

Kaleidoscope pushes through the crowd, flame held aloft, with Lavenderlady and her own glowing purple flame close behind. The tunnel is blocked by an abnormally smoothed large boulder one feral high. Between the roof of the tunnel and the boulder is a gap wide enough for an elf or small human to slip through.

[TheArtfulShadow] peg, can you bust through?

[PrettyPinkPegasus] I’ll give it a go!

A petite human pushes forward, extinguishing lotusblossom’s fireball in her hurry to stand beside Kaleidoscope. She’s dressed in a leather pleated pink and white mini-skirt and a cherry blossom pink corset armour that perfectly matches her choppy hair pulled back by a ribbon. Her belly is left exposed. The name PrettyPinkPegasus glows overhead in purple letters.

The guild waits for PrettyPinkPegasus as she tugs on white fingerless gloves. Pulling back her fist, a pale blue aura surrounds her hand. She punches the boulder at full power. Nothing happens. Not even a crack in the stone.

[Fangmaster] holy ****

[Fangmaster] ive seen that attack level forests

[PrEyInGmAnTiS] Perhaps over is our only option.

[TheArtfulShadow] so it seems

[TheArtfulShadow] kal, fate, you’re going over.

Kaleidoscope stands before the boulder. Jumping straight up, her fingers fumble to find purchases, and she slides back down to the ground. To her left, Fate struggles to find grip against the smooth stone face.

Noodles crouches down and offers his hands to Kaleidoscope.

[Noodles] need a boost princess?

Kaleidoscope places a foot on Noodles hands, and the feral boosts her high enough to scramble up the boulder and slide down the other side into pitch black. Snapping her fingers, the tunnel is lit by a new fireball in her palm as Fate slides down the boulder at her side.

Etched into the back of the boulder is a target with a small flame design carved into the center.

[Fate] Seems to be a trigger.

[Fate] Everyone better step back. We’re going to have to blast through.

Kaleidoscope barely has time to scrambled backwards when Fate whips out his bow and draws a flaming arrow. The arrow strikes the target dead center.

The tunnel begins to shake. Dust and small stones fall from the ceiling.

[lotusblossom] the tunnel is closing in

[Fangmaster] wtf did u do

[TheArtfulShadow] what happened?

[Fate] Nothing is happening on this end.

[Noodles] well **** is going down here!

[TheArtfulShadow] kal?

Staff tightly gripped in her hand, Kaleidoscope summons magic, drawing energy to her. Fingers pressed to her lips, staff glowing brightly in the dark, an enormous fireball bursts forward. It expands rapidly, filling the width of the cave and engulfing the

exposed face of the boulder.

The shaking ceases. The boulder glows brightly, cracks appear in the surface, and the stone explodes.

Through the dust and debris, Noodles charges forward and stops short of knocking Kaleidoscope off her feet.

[lotusblossom] thank god! i thot we were gonna die!

[PrettyPinkPegasus] u saved us S! i knew u could do it!

[TheArtfulShadow] shall we proceed?

[Fangmaster] u totly saved r bacon bro

[Kaleidoscope] No thanks to Fate.

[Fate] Can it, queer boy.

[TheArtfulShadow] that’s your first warning, Fate.

[sai] long live the great dictator

[lotusblossom] can it ***but t

[Fangmaster] did u not get the memo dude wtf

[TheArtfulShadow] harrasement will not be tolerated

[Fate] I recall being called an ***hole and told to **** off repeatedly.

[Noodles] not the sam dude

[PrEyInGmAnTiS] there’s a difference between the use of derogetory terms and banter

[Fangmaster] yeah that

[TheArtfulShadow] if need be, i’ll write a clear code of conduct for the guild, but i had been labouring under the impression we were adults

[Noodles] u were wrng

[Fangmaster] aww babe u live wit me

[lotusblossom] have you met your bf?

[eatBBQ] ha burn

[Kaleidoscope] Are we quite done? His statement, while ill advised, was in no way incorrect. Let’s move on.

The guild forms their ranks and moves on.

Private Chat [TheArtfulShadow]

[TheArtfulShadow] you’re too nice

[Kaleidoscope] I’ve meant to ask. How old is Noodles?

[TheArtfulShadow] mentally or legally?

[Kaleidoscope] -.-

[TheArtfulShadow] ur no fun. same age as jay. 23ish

Private Chat [Noodles]

[Noodles] so wutcha gonna do today?

[Kaleidoscope] I have an econ test tomorrow, remember? Studying. That’s the plan.

[Noodles] thats borin. u need 2 have sum fun.

[Kaleidoscope] So my brother says. He claims I lack socialization.

[Noodles] dudes rite.

[Noodles] u need 2 get out there.

The winding tunnel slowly begins to widen. A piercing screech echoes through the network of tunnels as they step into a darkened cavern with a vaulted ceiling three trolls high. Their path is blocked by the obstacle of a faintly luminous lake that stretches the entire expanse of the cavern. A light mist that hangs over the water appears to shimmer in the dark.

As soon as the entire guild filters through the doorway into the cavern, a stone door slams shut, trapping them inside.

Guild Chat

[sai] boss level?

[TheArtfulShadow] seems too soon to stumble across the boss.

[Fate] It is heralded as a difficult but short quest.

[PrettyPinkPegasus] i thought noodles mapped it out?

[Noodles] i couldnt get past the boulder

TheArtfulShadow draws his sword and inches closer to the strangely luminescent water. The surface is still. Not even a ripple. Further along, a single dingy large enough to carry a crew of six, no more, no less, rests on the edge of the shore.

Barreling forward, Noodles splashes into the water. His health blinks. A notch disappears, and the bar steadily begins to decrease. Fangmaster hauls the feral warrior out of the water.

[TheArtfulShadow] toxic, as expected.

Kaleidoscope raises her staff and conks Noodles on the head. The health bar that hangs over Noodles head is only points above the yellow zone.

[Noodles] ouch!

[Noodles] would it kill u 2 b nice and just heal me

[lavenderlady] I could heal you, Noodles.

[Kaleidoscope] If you weren’t such a dumb*** and charge right in, I wouldn’t have to.

Twirling her staff above her head, Kaleidoscope casts a healing spell. The golden cloud glows over Noodles’ head, and his health rapidly increases until it blinks and fades.

[TheArtfulShadow] we stack the boat. high attack. something is down there. we wouldn’t be locked in if there wasn’t.

[Fate] I was just thinking the same.

[TheArtfulShadow] fang, noodles, and I will lead the attack.

[PrettyPinkPegasus] i wanna join.

[TheArtfulShadow] your combat is too close. hand to hand. it’s not conducive to this style of battle.

[TheArtfulShadow] sai, fate, mantis, and kal will provide cover from the shore. everyone else is on healing duty. keep us alive.

Private Chat [TheArtfulShadow]

[TheArtfulShadow] step in to heal us when needed, but your long-range attacks are vital to success.

The attacking party climbs into the boat, and Fate and sai push them off from shore. Fangmaster and Noodles paddle towards the center, but they don’t make it. The surface of the lake ripples. The boat is tossed on the waves.

A Lake Hydra uncoils from the depths like a snake. Its colossal head like a sea dragon nearly touches the ceiling, and the water grows dark. The glow of the water is the luminous quality of the blue skin and turquoise frills and tentacles of the beast.  A roar echoes through the cavern.

Guild Chat

[Fangmaster] kinda looks like gyarados

[sai] or a chinese dragon

[Noodles] crossed with tentacruel

A tentacle whips out, and Noodles slashes it. The beast howls, but its health fails to shrink a noticeable amount.

From the shore, Kaleidoscope slashes her fingers through the air. A silvery cloud hangs over the hydra’s head. Rapid lightning strikes. It’s a successful assault. As the beast howls, the health dips. The hydra sends a large wave towards the shore, and the occupants of the boat nearly lose their footing.

[TheArfulShadow] aim for the head!

A flailing tentacle catches lavenderlady while she heals Fangmaster. She’s flung towards the toxic water, but PrEyInGmAnTiS grips her arm and hauls her back onto solid ground. The momentum pulls him forward, and he tumbles into the water.

Health already severely depleted from the toxic splash of the wave, PrEyInGmAnTiS’ health decreases into the red. It flashes like a warning beacon. Before he can clamber out of the water, it disappears.

[PrEyInGmAnTiS] I wish thee luck.

PrEyInGmAnTiS flickers, and shatters into sparkling shards barely visible in the glow of the beast.

[lavenderlady] Thank you, Mantis. I’m so sorry.

[PrEyInGmAnTiS] Think nothing of it, lady.

A tentacle strikes the boat. Fangmaster wobbles on the edge.

[TheArtfulShadow] back to shore. we need to defend our long-range attackers.

Noodles picks up a paddle and begins the tedious journey back to shore on rough waters. A tentacle whips out, aimed for the small watercraft.

On the shore, Kaleidoscope slashes. Lightning strikes the offending tentacle, and the beast’s health falls more drastically than previously.

Private Chat [Noodles]

[Noodles] nice save babe

[Kaleidoscope] Focus ravioli head.

Guild Chat

[Kaleidoscope] Either I’ve powered up, or lightning is the most effective attack.

[TheArtfulShadow] use lightning if you can

[lotusblossom] its like science class!

Ten feral strides from shore, the boat is tossed into the air by a large wave thrown by the hydra after three flaming arrows strike its face. The occupants of the boat disappear below the surface of the water.

[Fangmaster] ****!

[Fangmaster] im out

Noodles and TheArtfulShadow swim to shore. Their stroke short and hurried as their life drains away. It quickly shrinks into the yellow. As they haul themselves onto the shore, health blinking

dangerously low, a tentacle follows through.

Fate fires off another flaming arrow, and Kaleidoscope follows with a secondary lightning snap attack. Healers converge. Lotusblossom and PrettyPinkPegasus cast spells to revive their wounded comrades.

[Fate] Our ranks are dwindling.

[TheArtfulShadow] noodles, defend the healers. i’ll take the long-range attackers.

[Noodles] y cant we switch?

[Fate] Only Kalei would survive in that situation.

[Noodles] shut it ***face

Together with sai and Fate, Kaleidoscope launches a series of attacks. Lightning flashes and the air sizzles. The Lake Hydra’s health diminishes notably, well into the yellow zone. Only half remains.

[Noodles] beta status, here we come!

[Fangmaster] **** ya!

[Noodles] u still here?

[Fangmaster] duh cant get xp if i logout b4 u kick ***

[TwinDragons] we’re all still here… waiting

[TheArtfulShadow] focus!

The air shifts. The surface of the water stirs, slowly winding around the Lake Hydra towering over the dwindling guild on the shore. The current continues to flow; faster and faster. The entire lake becomes a whirlpool.

[Noodles] lucky we aint out there now

The hydra throws back its head with an almighty roar that echoes through the cavern. Stalactites overhead tremble like icicles caught in a breeze. Toxic water shoots from the boss’ mouth, spraying

the shore.

The guild scatters.

[sai] we’ve hit stage 2

[lavenderlady] Let’s do our best everyone.

Caught in the torrent of water that rains down, PrettyPinkPegasus and lotusblossom are swept into the lake. Toxic water eats away at their health. In succession, they deplete. First lotusblossom, then PrettyPinkPegasus struggling to climb ashore.

[lotusblossom] ****

[PrettyPinkPegasus] don’t swear lolo. it’s not ladylike

[lotusblossom] shut it *****

[PrettyPinkPegasus] pig!

[TheArtfulShadow] take it elsewhere ladies.

A second wave follows the first attack. Kaleidoscope scrambles along the shore, ducking and dodging spurts of water. A hand suddenly grabs her by the wrist and drags her behind a large stone boulder.

Wedged between the wall of the cave and the boulder, sai and Kaleidoscope wait for the jets of water to subside.

[sai] saved your girlfriend, dickless

[Kaleidoscope] Quest be damned. You call me that again, and I’ll gut you myself.

Raising her staff, she heals sai’s depleted life with a simple healing spell.

[Noodles] dont ****in touch him

[sai] would you rather he died?

[TheArtfulShadow] lick your wounds later. we’re almost done. here’s the plan.

Private Chat [Noodles]

[Noodles] so i was thinkin

[Kaleidoscope] That’s dangerous

[Noodles] u wound me m’lady

[Kaleidoscope] Nice to know I still have it. Fang said I was losing me edge.

Guild Chat

[TheArtfulShadow] kal, sai, and fate, take forward attack. kal heal where you can.

Private Chat [Noodles]

[Noodles] win or lose we shld meet up for coffee to celebrate.

[Noodles] just us

[Noodles] get you out of your dorm and make big bro happy

Guild Chat

[TheArtfulShadow] lavender, you’re charged with healing support. no attacks. focus on sai and fate.

Private Chat [Noodles]

[Noodles] kal?

[Noodles] sry it was a dumb idea

[Kaleidoscope] Are you asking me out?

[Noodles] its coffee. coffees isnt a date

The guild emerges from their various hiding places. Sai in the lead, Kaleidoscope creeps out into the open. The surface of the water froths and foams like a sea caught in the anger of storm winds as the Hydra twists and coils, alternating above and below the water.

[Kaleidoscope] Sure it’s not.

Guild Chat

[lavenderlady] What about you and Noodles?

Private Chat [Noodles]

[Noodles] it’s not! unless, you know…

Guild Chat

[TheArtfulShadow] noodles and i will defend. don’t heal

us unless absolutely necessary. focus on the attackers.

Kaleidoscope races across the shore, sai at her heels. Fate is already firing arrows while TheArtfulShadow fends off searching

tentacles. Positioned several paces behind Noodles hulking form, Kaleidoscope clutches her staff tightly. The enchantment jewels glow brightly.

Slicing her staff through the air, Kaleidoscope brings her fingers to her lips. A fireball erupts. It races across the stony surface of the shore. Water ripples under the intense heat. Kaleidoscope thrusts the staff forward. Lightning lances across the water.

Both attacks land. Lightning spiders over the scaly skin of the water beast and crackles.

Noodles parries a tentacle, duel blades crossed, and the hydra throws its head back, mouth open.

[TheArtfulShadow] scatter!

The guild takes cover, but Fate reacts too slow. He’s caught in a toxic stream, and his life vanishes far too quickly. Before Kaleidoscope could heal the wounded elf, Fate is swept into the lake.

Private Chat [Noodles]

[Kaleidoscope] I’m not a coffee drinker.

Guild Chat

[Fate] We’re not going to succeed.

Private Chat [Noodles]

[Noodles] oh. nvm

Guild Chat

[TheArtfulShadow] assemble!

[TheArtfulShadow] we’re almost there.

Private Chat [Noodles]

[Kaleidoscope] However, I do enjoy hot chocolate, though admittedly, I’m partial to tea.

[Noodles] **** yeah!

The remaining guild reassembles, and Noodles charges into action, hacking and slashing. Kaleidoscope pirouettes, dodging

tentacles that darts past the forward defence. Sai fire three arrows in rapid succession, while lavenderlady heals TheArtfulShadow’s blinking health, and Kaleidoscope launches her own counter. Lightning brightens the cavern.

The Lake Hydra’s life slips into the red.

2 thoughts on “Unexpected Loot: Chapter Eleven

  1. Pingback: Unexpected Loot: Chapter Ten – Jayden Phoenix

  2. Pingback: Unexpected Loot: Epilogue – Jayden Phoenix

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