521 Putrid Core conclusion

    Nix raised his shield in time to block the balled-up fist; however, the impact sent him crashing through the long grass before his progress was stopped abruptly by slamming into a tree.

    /Alpha: Pon: Almost done, making a small circle for kiting.  What is that spell you're using?

    /Alpha: Nix: A variant of my flame strands.  I anchor them to the ground instead of trying to hold them.

    Nix dusted himself off just as the creature broke free of the bindings.  The Putrid beast was missing a barely discernable amount of health.

    [Your legs have been damaged and will suffer a twenty percent movement penalty].

    /Alpha: Nix: Wonderful...

    /Alpha: Pon: Problem?

    /Alpha: Nix: Yep.  My movements are slowed by twenty percent.

    /Alpha: Pon: That's going to make kiting problematic.

    /Alpha: Nix: Thanks, genius. You may have to finish this bitch off without me.

    /Alpha: Pon: Don't roll over and die on me.

    /Alpha: Nix: Worst-case scenario, I die and visit Hyai for a few days while waiting for a rez.

    /Alpha: Pon: Two minutes, and we're golden.

    The creature stopped for a moment; it's body slowly starting to shift.  The general humanoid form grew more distinct as a face with mouth and features appeared on its gruesome visage.  The screaming faces of its victims were still visible in several places.

    "You will both die here."  The voice was easier to understand; it was cold as winter and instantly made the two men uneasy.

    /Alpha: Nix: It may be right... If something happens to me, you might want to think about retreating.

    /Alpha: Pon: I was going to tell you the same thing.


    The cave bear sat on its enormous haunches, staring at the small entrance.  There was a fight going on less than a hundred meters from where he sat, yet he could do nothing.

    "That entrance is very small, too small for you."  A small creature pranced down through the darkness, its black fur making him difficult to see.

    "Eron?  What are you doing here?"  Morti favored the spirit creature with a glance before turning his eyes back to the entrance.  "Fajii sent you?"

    Eron nodded.  "Nix is worthy...  Even he needs help sometimes."

    Morti huffed loudly, a sound that echoed off the rock walls of the narrow passage.  "Summons doesn't work in here, so I'm stuck."

    "Are you?" Eron turned up his black nose and walked by the cub without slowing down.  "You are worthy... Don't make me take that rating back."

    The cub flopped down on the floor of the passage with a loud sigh.  "I don't even know what that means."

    Eron paused for a moment, his dark eyes glittering. "Remember our first meeting?  Your spirit was broken, and your fur was gone.  You had nothing, not a single friend.  Haven't you turned into one of Inferno's strongest Heroes?"

    Morti nodded slightly, watching as Eron pranced toward the fight.  "I'm very heroic... Everyone says so."


    Nix moved behind the stand of trees, limping to keep distance between himself and the Putrid beast that pursued him.  It had decided to completely ignore Pon, no matter how much damage the Fire Mage called down upon him. It single-mindedly chased the Inferno leader, who was doing everything he could to maintain distance.

    /Alpha: Pon: The ** did you do to aggro this thing?

    Nix's Emerald aura caused the surrounding vegetation to wither and burn; as the seconds passed, it grew brighter and hotter.  The flickering green flame seemed to solidify for a moment before exploding outward into a series of rings that hovered around him.

    [You have learned Insurrection: Salamandric Djinn]

    Nix's body disappeared as the rings closed around him; an instant later, that disappeared, leaving an emerald figure hovering over the ground.  "Playtime is over, Asshat."

    The Djinn's body blurred as it flashed toward the beast, without pausing. It slammed into the creature, knocking it back several steps while causing both of its arms to burst into flames.

    /Alpha: Pon: You walloped him, but look at your health, it's nearly gone.

    The Djinn nodded.  "We have to find a way to finish this..."  His words filtered off as several spells landed on him at once.

    Eron has cast [Spritual Cleansing][Flowing Spirit][Vigil's Armor]

    Triple combination successful.

    Your spirit has been cleansed of all contaminants.

    Your injured limbs have been healed.

    Your Djinn form has rejected Vigil's Armor.

    The diminutive fox pranced out of the dark entrance, its intelligent eyes taking in everything at once.  "Your health isn't recovering, Nix.  That form is rejecting a full heal."

    The Djinn shrugged slightly; ever since the Dread Beast's appearance during the Krelandur, he felt like he was in a constant state of flux.  "Going to blame the dragons; they must have done something."

    Eron nodded.  "Sounds about right.

    Eron has cast [Spirit Shackle].

    The Putrid Beast has been temporarily restained.

    Nix stared as the creature's body was suddenly wrapped in spirit shackles.  It didn't seem to be in distress, actually just the opposite.  "It's being healed, Eron."

    The black fox nodded.  "It's the side effect of using this restraint on him.  Even though you've managed to injure it, this is a battle we can't win without help."  Eron moved beneath the spot where Nix was hovering.  "Can you drop that form?"

    Nix shook his head.  "Nope, already tried.  It's on a timer."

    Pon took a long drink from his flask before putting more distance between himself and the Core beast.  "A timer?  How much is left?"

    Nix shrugged nonchalantly.  "It's counting down by threes, kinda slow actually, so there's no telling."

    Eron fixed him with a dark-eyed stare.  "By threes?"

    Nix nodded.  "Yes...  How much help do we need?  Is Inferno coming?

    The small fox lifted his nose into the air.  "Morti should be enough; his ability to hold threat will enable the two of you to burn it down."

    Pon laughed miserably.  "Did you see the entrance?  He can't even get his head through."

    Eron swished his tail at the Fire Mage.  "Can't he?"

    As if on demand, running steps could be heard echoing in the passageway.  A moment later, a slightly pudgy, brown-haired boy stepped out.

    /Alpha: Pon: The hell is this?

    "Sorry, I'm late."  The high-pitched voice had a slight lisp as he pushed back the over-sized helm that covered his head like a five-gallon bucket, the leather chin strap dragged on the floor, and he favored the group with a gap-toothed smile.

    Pon glanced at Nix for some sort of reaction, but the Inferno Leader only stared.  The boy looked to be six or seven years old; light brown hair hung into his eyes, capping off a round face that was covered in freckles.  The old man could sense the threat radiating off the child; he felt a similar thing the first time he met Deidra.  "Who are you?"

    "Well done, Mortimer.  Coming through for us, as always."  The Djinn moved closer to the young boy.

    Mortimer has joined Inferno.

    Mortimer has joined Alpha.

    /Alpha: Mortimer: HEY!  What's this?  Some sort of secret chat?

    /Alpha: Nix: Yep.  Can you change back?

    /Alpha: Mortimer: Of course.

    The brown-haired boy slipped the helmet off his head and sat it carefully on the ground before stepping away.

    Mortimer has activated his Titan bloodline  [Titan: Emperor].

    An instant later, an enormous black Cave Bear appeared where the boy had been standing.  It stood on its hind legs as a deafening roar shook the area.  "Time to Swat!"

    /Alpha: Nix: Yep.  Get him, Morti.

    Rock and soil flew into the air as the razor-sharp claws of the Titan cub dug into the ground, it rammed the shackled beast, causing the restraints to shatter as the beast was knocked backward.

    Morti has activated [Swat][Bone Focus][Shatter].

    Triple Combination Successful.

    A Putrid Core beast has been stunned.

    All enemies must attack Mortimer.

    A Putrid Core beast's armor has been reduced by ten percent.

    Nix has cast [Insurrection: Balefire][Insurrection Napalm]

    Combination Successful.

    Nix has landed a critical strike on the Putrid Core beast.  The Insurrection ability has caused a portion of the damage to be reflected back towards him.

    Nix has landed a critical strike on the Putrid Core beast.  The Insurrection ability has caused a portion of the damage to be reflected back towards him.

    /Alpha: Pon: Woah... Your health is dropping again.

    Nix cursed and pushed emerald flames into his sword hilt while circling around the Putrid Core.

    /Alpha: Nix: I won't use them then.

    Pon has cast [Balefire: Hex].

    A column of white flames burned through one of the Putrid Beast's outstretched arms causing it to shriek with the voice of a dozen terrified victims.

    /Alpha: Pon: The hell is this?

    /Alpha: Nix: Kill it first, then we'll decide.

    Morti reared up on his back legs just as the creature regained its balance, without pausing he slammed both paws into its chest knocking it to the ground.  Two long strides followed as the Titan Cub came down with its full weight on the beast's chest.  A sickening crunch echoed in their ears as the screams of victims reached a deafening crescendo.

    /Alpha: Nix: Back away, Morti!

    /Alpha: Morti: Okay.

    Eron has cast Spirit Shield on Alpha.

    A moment later, the creature exploded outward, causing both men to be caught up in the maelstrom.  Eron avoided the sudden gale by tucking in behind Morti who hadn't budged.  A few seconds later, in the aftermath, dozens of bodies littered the area, some of them started to sit up, their eye's showing confusion.

    The old man spit grass out of his mouth and climbed to his feet just in time to see an emerald flash of light.

    Nix has died.

    Communication with the Inferno Guild has been reestablished.

    Pon scowled at the message.  "How'd that happen?"

    Eron's dark eyes stared at the spot where Nix had disappeared a few moments earlier.  "I'm curious about that also."

    /Inferno: Semmi: You guys okay?

    /Inferno: Pon: Need some troops for round-up.  Got some prisoners here.

    /Inferno: Jun Li: Where's Nix?

    /Inferno: Pon: Good question.  Officer meeting, right after we wrap this up.
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