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Lords of Rock

The Rockaverse

a part of Lords of Rock, by Nulix.

The Land of Plenty

Nulix holds sovereignty over The Rockaverse, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
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The Rockaverse is a part of Lords of Rock.

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A Rock Hard Land for Rock Hard Men.

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"Stand back!" Grizzle screamed, he and the other refugees hiding behind a dune, the fire still burning behind them. "We got seven guns and we ain't afraid to use em'!'

There was a pause. "What food you got, marauder?"

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M'Kama chuckled. "Marauders? We're just travelers, like I said," M'Kama stated, as he stepped off the ant. "One of us is dying so we don't intend to stay long. He pulled the carcass of the dead giant mussels that he killed that had been strung along the ants back. "And this is the meal we've been too busy to cook. But we're almost at our destination and you're here with a fire and perhaps a bit of water to share?"

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There was a moment of silence before suddenly an elderly man rose from behind the dune, a long legionnaires rifle plucked into the ground like a walking stick. He had tanned skin and a wrinkled, curly beard. "Travellin' where?" Grizzle asked...

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M'Kama contemplated for a moment before shrugging, figuring there'd be no harm in revealing that they were headed to, "Cobran. ...If you must know."

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There was a moment of silence between the two parties, the desert winds and the burning fire all that could be heard. "Well shit, son," Grizzle coughed, walking forward on his rifle. "We're on our way to Cobran ourselves. Thrall!"

From the side of the dune a boy in his late teens ran out, bowing at Grizzle. His face was beaten and disfigured. "Cook it up, boy."

The thrall nodded and took the mussel from M'kama before scurrying toward the fire. "Where ya'll comin' from? We're on our way from Termite," The man explained. "Name's Grizzle."

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"Termite? That's the town with the big lumbermill, right? Name's M'Kama," the fortune teller answered back. "My companions, Seru, Horik, Tackel, and Palaven, who is dying," he continued to explain. "We are in a hurry, as I said before. IF you don't mind, we're in a bit of a hurry and I'm certain I can cook faster than your thrall."

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"On the river... frontlines when we used to fight them Sudeans," The man coughed as the group walked toward the campfire. "Let me see your dying. We have a doctor, Norak." The man indicated. "While the sack a' shit scrubs up your grub maybe he can fix er' up."

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M'Kama stared down the man for a second and sighed. "Fair enough," he sighed, taking a seat by the campfire. "Where'd you get the gun?" he asked.

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"Lots' a places," The man replied. The thrall began to cook up the food in the fire while a tall man began to bumble his way toward the ant and Palavan's corpse atop it. There were many characters around the fire, most silent and onguard, untrusting of the newcomers. "Where are you guys coming in from?" A voice finally spoke up. A man sitting by the fire, his face disguised by a white hat...

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"We were scouting, saw the drama up at Schittle and thought we'd check it out," Seru muttered, her hand resting on her pistol, "We're soldiers from Cobran. What business have you down our way?"

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"Shitle?" Kleon the Bigamist murmured, glancing up from his rum. "That sounds like a made-up place."

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"Do you really believe that?" Otis asked, looking at Girthfield as he slowly stood, his bonds coming loose. "Or are you just saying it to make me feel better?"

***

"You are the one they're looking for, Syra," Galneryus said, nodding slowly. "The gun... it is a big cannon? I know nothing of this. But I did hear the deaths of the residents of Schittle, as if a hundred voices suddenly cried out in terror and then were silenced. A tragedy... such a tragedy. But perhaps not so undeserved, hmm?"

Galneryus turned to Captain Ash. "Captain Ash. Yes, pleased. Now, as I understand it... Syra, you were a thrall under Theory, correct? Recently escaped, no wish to return to his... 'embrace?'" Galneryus smiled, a sad smile that made his face kinder in a strange way. "I, too, wish you freedom. But know this, little one: Fear is not freedom, and you will not find peace until you are free. Both of fear, and of Theory."

Galneryus turned back to Schittle. "On that note, I will prove something to you. You say music cannot rid the world of filth." Galneryus' eyes narrowed as his smile tightened. "Watch and learn."

Galneryus raised the violin to his chin, and a single strum thrummed out, followed by a melody that sang itself into reality. A battle cry. An arrow stretching across a distant sky, streaking across the sand without hesitation or mercy.

And the music bit deep.

***

Otis felt the music more than heard it as Galneryus began his serenade. Like bolts of lightning, the music reached out, singing to Theory's men with a promise of pain. The men guarding the tent Otis and Girthfield were in gasped as all of the muscles in their body suddenly flexed, like volts of electricity seizing them up.

Otis swallowed as he watched the men writhe on the ground. These men were bad people, surely. They had done terrible things. But as Otis watched them in pain, he could only feel pity.

"Let's go, sir," Otis said, clearing his throat as he turned back to his superior. "Forget the weapon for now. I'm asking you, let's just escape and be done with it."

***

"Watch your rum-filled mouth," Tackel snapped at Kleon, cracking his knuckles angrily. "Schittle's a better home than your piss-soaked blanket, that's for sure."

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Galneryus' conducted his electric magic into the guards, them withering in pain at the shock. The two guardians broke through their bonds. Girthfield moved to the injured men before looking up at Otis. "Do you know how I defeated Barbarite Thorn, Otis?" Girthfield asked, looting the withered corpses. "I defeated her because I had lost the self-preservation instinct to run." Girthfield's hands slid into their pockets, pulling out keys and poorly minted brass coins with an engraving of Theory's face on it. "I had lost the instinct to survive..." Girthfield moved over to the beaten Hedon Bad, grabbing the man and raising him up in a hold. "And I had replaced with the need to protect."

Girthfield turned to Otis. "We are defeating Crown Prince Theory and retaking Schittle, and then we will hold it securely until the Empire arrives to clean up it's mess. The consequences of us fleeing or failing are warfare this planet has not yet seen. I am highly doubtful it can handle such butchery. The eradication of thousands." Girthfield glared at Otis, standing across from him in the small tent. "Do you understand me? We do this or we die trying."

***

"And who might you be... partner?" The man in the white hat asked Tackle with a sip of his rum...

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"I'm the LAW," Tackel responded proudly, as if that explained everything.

***

Otis realized he had a decision to make - one he was a trifle upset at. Girthfield seemed strangely driven, blindly resilient to the odds stacked against them. Otis knew exactly what he was capable of. Defeating Theory's army wasn't one of them, and he knew Girthfield was ill-equipped for it as well. This was a fool's errand, and just saying they had to do something didn't make it any more feasible.

On one hand, running away seemed cowardly and against the ideals Otis held most dear. On the other, it also seemed the smarter option, giving them more time to concoct a viable strategy rather than blindly flailing about.

Otis closed his eyes. What would Tera Roth do?

Otis sadly realized he already knew the answer.

"I'm sorry, Girthfield," Otis said. "You're on your own this time." Otis turned and sprinted away, trying to ignore the stab of guilt as he made for the city walls.

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Syra was taken back by the Guardian knowing her name as if she was somehow famous. He wasn't wrong though, being afraid wasn't free. Before she could reply, the man used his violin to summon his Phoenix magic, all at once a lightning bolt seemed to fly towards the encampment of Theory's men.