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Dec 01, 2021 12:52 PM
a Cameron is the demon lord
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"I'll keep an eye behind us as we do."

The boulder, sliding along the ground at about an inch per second as it is, has no comment.

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"Keep an eye on it," Ame agrees. "Bys, keep an eye not on it in case it has friends. But it doesn't look like it wants to bother us."

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"There's another one about a hundred yards that way. I think they're scared of us because we outnumber them. But if we went off alone..."

"Why do you think that?" Liz asks.

"...Gut feeling."

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Ame doesn't want to murder random forest critters unprovoked.

On the other hand, "Let's give 'em a chance to prove you right."

Ame swerves to the side, stops, and leans up against a tree, gesturing for the others to keep walking.

"Oh woe is me, I seem to have stubbed my toe, surely I'll be left behind," Ame deadpans.

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".....Uh. Don't like this."

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"I guess we do need to find out..."

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Theo hands one of his spellcubes to Ame. "Shield good for six seconds at a time. The incantation is Spirits, activate-remembered-instructions of this-object-I-am-holding." It's a four-syllable phrase in the magic language. "Costs twice the mana as the long version though."

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Abyssia sighs, before pulling out her lever-action rifle and saying, "C'mon, let's go down there but stay within sight of her."

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...The boulder stops moving away from them. It doesn't move any closer either, so long as Ame is looking at it. But if she looks away- It does seem to be inching forward again.

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Ame shoots a reassuring smile at Bys, then pretends to use her sword as a mirror to check her hair. It is not a very shiny sword, but its plausible. She's definitely not looking at the boulder critter, see? Totally distracted, not paying attention at all, she promises.

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It scuttles towards her on little insect legs! Well, 'little' compared to the size of the whole boulder. There must be at least a dozen legs. The thing is eerily silent as it creeps close and closer to the lone prey. Thirty feet. Twenty feet.

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Ame definitely isn't tracking its progress very carefully or anything. She's just hanging out here, by this tree, totally oblivious. All she'd need is some bubblegum and the image would be complete.

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Closer... Closer...

TIME FOR CRAB-CLAWED TENTACLES to lash out and try to grab her and drag her under the boulder-like shell to a waiting maw!

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You thought it was a soft, squishy, nubile hominid, but it was me! Tree bark!

Ame's sword flashes up, slashing through the extended tentacles as her body spirals through the air, her shield coming around to catch the blood spray as she passes over the monsters back.

Her feet hit the ground and her sword comes around again, stabbing toward center-mass.

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Her sword clangs off the rock armor, and as her party starts springing upslope towards her it rears back revealing an ugly crab-like visage-

-And runs away surprisingly quickly on a dozen scuttling legs!

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Ame heals the damage to her wrist with a passing thought, and decides on a whim that she does not feel like being merciful today. She releases all six of her magic missiles at the monster's back at once, modified incantation snapped out rapid-fire but still feeling unbearably slow.

Then, before the missile barrage has traveled even halfway to the fleeing tentacle crab, she's blurring toward the other tentacle crab, low to the ground, practically flying.

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The magic missile barrage lands with a thunderous wave of noise and pressure that blows chunks of rock and yellow blood and chitin into the air.

Its friend, seeing that it's being attacked, decides to spit acid at the charging Adventurer, as well as lashing out with rocky limbs, keeping its soft and squishy bits as protected as possible.

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The shockwave spanks her in the ass, screwing her balance just enough that her dramatic backlit lunge turns into more of a tripping roll. She drops under the acid, slaps the ground to throw herself up and over the first rocky limb, but the second stops her cold.

Fuck.

Ame bounces off, backflipping away, grunting as a tentacle claw slams into her shield, increasing her air-time at the cost of spraining her arm. She heals, catches a tree-branch, and fetches up against the trunk a dozen feet in the air, her familiar five notes of amber sorcery flowing through her as she readies herself to leap away again.

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Three loud cracks sing out, throwing chips off the head armor. Looks like it just annoyed the thing, though. None manage to actually hit an eye. The cypress tree twitches and shakes - something in a dance of ghyran, probably Liz's work - but she seems to abandon it, instead drawing ulgu out of shadows and pooling it over the crab-thing's head. Nothing visible happens, but with the Grey Wind, it's hopefully confused or disoriented somehow, now. Theo is chanting something in the distance.

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The sightlines of her party members flash through her mind as she drops to the ground.

Ame circles around until she has a good angle, then surges forward, accelerating almost horizontal to the ground, sword and shield held edge-on to reduce wind drag, reaching a full sprint right before slamming shield-first into the upper side of the crab monster's shell, in a vain hope of knocking it over and exposing its underside to the others.

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This thing has mass - a lot of mass, and a low center of gravity. Her impact reverberates and opens a crack right down the bottom side of her hexagonal shield, leaving a heavy divot in its shell and knocking it sideways a good ten feet, but not toppling it, before it angrily lashes out vaguely in her direction.

Abyssia is charging up the slope towards her, significantly slower than Ame herself. The crab lashes out with tentacle-arms again- Aside from its dozen or so legs, it has two tentacle-arms and two rocky arms, plus two long barbed antennae that also whip towards where Ame jumped off to.

-And then a silky colorless ribbon of viric shimmers almost-invisibly through the air from Theo to Abyssia, and she's suddenly fast. She smashes straight through two of the crab monster's legs with her harpoon, then ducks under one of its two rock claws and sticks her harpoon straight in the joint before shoving as hard as she can, boots leaving furrows in the dirt and muscle visibly straining, even as thorny vines surge up from the ground and try to entangle the crab monster. The rocky limb gives way with a sickening crunch and the crab-thing shrieks.

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Ame comes out of her dive to clear her party's lines of attack, wrenches her dislocated shoulder back into place with a flex of her Axiom, allows herself a second to breathe and admire Bys being awesome, and then she takes advantage of the crab monster's distraction to come at the monster from behind and hack off a leg or two and drop its ass into Liz' vines.

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The other rock-claw siezes on Abyssia's torso, catching the edges as she fails to quite dodge entirely, and it clamps down on her own newly-acquired buckler and her arm before yanking and dragging Bys sharply to the side. As Bys fumbles for a revolver in the non-caught hand the vines reach higher and higher, sinking into soft underflesh and twining around limbs, reaching up to its head. A single magic missile zips in from Theo, blasting it in the side and adding yet more to the adding pile of damage. 

The giant stone crab writhes and shrieks some more, shaking Abyssia. It's hurt badly, clearly, bleeding yellow in three places and covered in thorny vines, but it still has Bys in the other heavy claw and starts dragging her towards its toothy maw.

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Oh no you fucking don't you stubborn damn crab.

An energy burning just under Ame's skin finally snaps as she dives at the offending rock-limb, her sword coming down on the joint with her entire body weight plus the speed of her strike plus the explosion of energy from within.

The blade of her sword glows as it strikes the rock-claw with enough force to split a semi-truck down the middle.

And the cheap metal shatters in her hand, but...

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Abyssia kicks away, dodging back. With two limbs destroyed, the rest restricted by painful vines, and in quite a lot of pain, the crab is a sitting duck as Theo finishes incanting another magic missile. It stops moving.

Theo sighs heavily and takes out a soft cloth, and starts cleaning his glasses.

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