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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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Girthfield glanced as the guardian appeared out of nowhere, having followed them and raising more suspicion by doing so. "Good god, Galy," Girthfield muttered, glancing up. "Go back to the destroyed town wall... if anyone comes, distract them." He gave a nod before turning back to Syra to hear her answer...

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"See, friend?" M'Kama assured Ash, as he led them to the geyser where he had just recently been ejected. "The Guardian here has this covered...now look here. "He pointed to the crackling water bubbling within the geyser. "This water is extremedy hot. My blade protects me just barely from the scorching heat, as much as the curse allows...but you two wouldn't be so lucky. Unless..." M'Kama points to Otis. "You utilize your phoenix magic. Cool the water to grant us safe passage. Entrap is within a bubble of air. Whatever is within your capabilities, son."

"We'll be traveling against the current, but I have an idea for that..." M'Kama continued. "The only other thing qe'll need to worry about is what we'll face once we emerge on the other side..."

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Character Portrait: Syra Onnet
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Syra's eyes widened at Girthfield's request. "You want me, to break into a Sorillian ship that belongs to the Knights of the Matran? You must be mad...I wouldn't know the first thing to do with this ship, you'd be better suited to do it!" She scoffed, looking the ship over. She'd never seen one like it before. It was more advanced than the ones used in the war, but the same basic design seemed to remain. "There's no telling how many other Knights are on board!"

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Ash looked at the geyser pool, eyes wide as he listened to the stranger and Otis speak. "You're both bloody insane." He spoke plainly, staring at the heated water. Ash pointed towards the water as he looked towards the strange, possibly insane man that stood with them. "THAT is more than enough to be worried about facing, old bean. Otis, do you honestly think even Phoenix powers are going to be enough for this?"

After he took a moment to contemplate it, he shook his head wearily. "If we do this, and I end up disfigured from it, I'm going to kill both of you. And as for what's 'on the other side', if it is anything living that isn't a beautiful woman, I'm jamming my gun down it's throat and unloading the whole bloody thing."

He checked the chamber of his revolver quickly, then re-holstered it again when satisfied. "Well, let's get this over with then."

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Horik's eyes widened at the sight before her and she stepped forward, even as a vague feeling crept into her chest. Her mouth opened slightly and she took in the woman, looking her up and down.

"A visitor, yes," Horik answered as she looked around the two of them. No one else in sight to confirm this otherwordly woman. "Have you followed me?"

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"I agree, please explain," Galneryus again suggested, eyes narrowing at his fellow Guardian's clear insanity.

***

"Let me think for a moment," Otis said, eyes turning up towards the blistering sunlight pouring on them, then back down to the water. He chewed on his lip for a moment, then extended a hand upwards.

"This will be a stretch," Otis muttered to himself. "But it should be possible if I..." Taking a deep breath, Otis focused all of his mental effort and pulled. The effect was physically felt by M'Kama and Ash, as if someone had pushed them, and the sand around Otis buckled as a rush of cool air blasted down from the heavens.

"Stand close," Otis grunted, teeth clenched as he held onto the vacuum hole he'd punched through the superheated atmosphere of the Bright. "I won't be able to maintain this for long. And it's going to get hot, real fast, once we get in that water."

M'Kama and Ash nodded, and stepped in closer to Otis. Otis gripped M'Kama's shoulder and Ash did the same as the man drew his sword and the three leaped into the water. Almost immediately, the freezing air began warming, as M'Kama used his sword to dive deeper into the fountain, following the tunnel back to its source.

Otis panted, sweat pouring from his brow as he tried to maintain the pocket of air around them, his eyes blurring as they descended deeper into the tunnels.

"Maybe... like fifteen seconds," Otis grunted, as the scalding temperatures began to seep into the air. "Maybe less, I'm... losing it."

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"The answer is zero," Girthfield replied to Syra to her question of how many more Knights were onboard. "That is a Ulman Corvette... they couldn't fit another man on board if they stuffed him in the floorboards."

Girthfield glanced to Galy. "And the reason its you Syra, and not one of us, my young subordinate, is because they recognize you." Girthfield looked at Syra. "You've been a thrall for so long... and there's a great power in that. You can not be unnoticed. We're the Guardians." Girthfield gave a sorry smile. "Being anonymous... won't work for this crowd. I can give you the key to that ship, but after that... you're the one they won't notice gone, not us."

Girthfield glanced down the village road where a few of soldiers had gone looking for the guardians, wondering why they'd abandoned the burial site. Girthfield pushed Galy forward, urging him to distract them, before turning back to Syra. "You have a great power... use it."

***

"You're not very hard to follow," The woman said to Horik, her face not quite in a smile but not neutral either. "You seem in search... as all here do. What brought you to Cobran?"

Nothing to see here. Move along, 2767641.

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"Ah, you raise a good point, friend," M'Kama nodded to Ash before the trio made their dive. "If we are not to survive this short voyage than we would do well to die with weapons in hand!"

As Otis encased them all in the bubble and began to ascend down into the boiling doeths below, M'Kama git a better view of the fissures and rocky underwater crags that he had zoomed past before. Otis' shield of air wouldn't last long it seemed as the the child began to ask for aid, M'Kama complied, stating, "I'm going to shift around slightly...stay out of the way of my blade."

He pointed his sword behind them as it to like the violent tide, began to boil and heat up, magma beginning to inexplicably drip from metal. Suddenly the group was blasted forward, launched the opposite direction M'Kama had been shot through previously, Otis guiding them. "Perhaps....I should've mentioned....to brace yourselves!" M'Kama noted as the three of them shot through and emerged in cavernous depths.

"Word...to the wise..." M'Kama laughed quietly, seemingly slightly amused by the tumultuous experience. "There is a great beast in these caves...we would do well to avoid getting it's attention...." he whispered, before suddenly remembering to ask, "You two alright, by the way?"

Nothing to see here. Move along, 2767644.

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Otis vomited in response, but gave a thumbs up as he panted, doubled over.

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"Can you walk, Guardian?" M'kama asked. "Or will one of us have to haul you like a fresh caught hill-hopper?"

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"I'll be fine in a moment," Otis said, wondering what a hill-hopper was. "Just need to... catch my breath."

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Ash had stumbled to the wet floor after they had burst through, but was pleased to find the air and water considerably cooler than what they had been subjected to before. He took a deep breath, savoring the moment, but not for too long as the sound and smell of Otis's own response reached him.

Ash quickly stripped off the desert cloak he'd been wearing, folding it up into his rucksack as he pulled his jacket back on. He gave a nod to the strange man's words as he readied his revolver. "Let's not take too many moments. I'm not keen on shooting any kind of beast in this cave." Thinking of that, Ash observed the room around him. It was dim, though not pitch black. Still, it worried him, especially that he couldn't see all that was in here.

"Stranger, do you know where the exit is?"

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"That's fine...but yes, we shouldn't wait too long..." M'Kama noted. "The Serpent-god knows it's domain better than I. Simple bullets would do little to deter it should it decide to strike..." M'Kama knelt down and touched the ground. "I should be able to re-trace my steps from here. Whenever the Guardian is ready, I suggest we move...quickly."

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Syra felt her eyes narrow in response to Girthfield's reasoning. Yet the ship's loading ramp dropped for her and she found herself scurrying aboard anyway. The idea of simply stealing the ship and getting herself off this gods-forsaken ball of dust and death crossed her mind, but she didn't even know where she'd go. Her home was gone, her family dead, and the systems were nothing like they'd been when she was growing up. The weight of this hit her as her fist met with the cold metal of the walls of the ship. "Now what..." she muttered, edging ever closer to the bridge. She had no idea why Girthfield had wanted her to board the ship in the first place. She stared for a moment out the viewport, and endless expanse of desert lay before her, and the firing mechanism for the ships' weapon lay just below a small metal switch. Her finger itched the sudden desire to end it all becoming overwhelming. She felt herself collapse into the pilot's chair and swiveled side to side.

"I could just run away, take this ship and spend my life in the stars. Anything is better than here..." She pulled her knees to her chest, resting her chin on her dry skin. It was odd being in the pilot's seat again. "Screw them all..." She muttered, simply sitting in the pilot's seat, looking out the windshield.

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"Well the people I came with were seeking help," Horik answered as she looked over her own appearance. Plain, loose clothing. More straps than ordinary but nothing that Horik thought was too out of the ordinary. Very much unlike the woman before her. "What exactly about me made me hard to miss, if I may ask? And if I were seeking something personally, something more out of this world, per se, would you be able to help?"

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"Yes, sorry, I'll be fine," Otis said, washing his mouth out and spitting on the fine sand at their feet. "Overexerted myself it seems, but luckily Phoenix recover quickly from such."

Otis looked around at the strange, artificially carved cave, as if something cylindrical had been rolled hundreds of thousands of times against the walls and ceiling.

"Big snake," he muttered, frowning. "What's the plan M'Kama?"

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"It's fairly simple..." M'Kama began, glancing around the corner for any signs of the lurking serpent. "We try exheedingly hard not to die," he explained as he led them through the murky waterways. "Luckily, as spacious as these caverns are, this is far from a maze..." he pointed to his right. "Over there is the exit back into Cobran. Don't cause too much of a scene and you shouldn't have too much trouble blending in. Cobran is made of all sorts after all..."

After a moment of thought, he continued, saying, "If caugjt, simply state that you are both on the run and looking for a place to call home. They should understand that, I think." M'Kama them turned in the opposite direction. "I'll rejoin you shortly. The last time I was in here, I dropped a few things of mine and I'd do well to retrieve them now while I have the chance."

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Syra lay in the pilot's seat. It was strange, self-contained, the air flowing through vents. The outside world was muted in here, the sunlight through the window illuminating the dust on the controls. Beside the pilot's chair was a oaken desk, scrolls, papers, and ledgers hanging loosely inside. The controls for the ship were overwhelming but familiar. Syra could fly off if she wanted. Far away...

***

"What made you stand out? You're still searching... while all here have found what they seek," The woman turned away from Horik and began to walk. "Follow, if you wish... and see if you find what you are looking for." She glanced over her shoulder. "We have."

***

M'kama hurriedly pushed Otis and Ash out of the cave, into the massive cavern that housed the lantern-lit city. The settlement loomed before them, green and blue lanterns illuminating the built upon streets. The path into the city was a small, rocky trek but there didn't seem to be any guards on the short trail. Don't make a scene. Don't be noticed...

"Ash? ASH!" A voice suddenly boomed. Directly beside them, at the entrance of the cave, a guard in leather armour leaned against the wall. Under his helm was black hairs, a thick moustache prickling out from pale skin. "It's me!" He exclaimed, looking down at the Sorillian. "Percy Pantagen!"

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M'Kama ventured into the depths of the cave, knowing he did not travel very far in his first venture into these dark caverns. He tread quietly trying not to cause too much a splash in the water as he walked. He held a pair of cards in front of him, as if they were a guide. Finally he found the trio of cards he'd left behind, lying in the water. He reached down and picked them up, wary of any further retaliation from the serpent that loomed in Cobran's shadowy depths.

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No one was shitting on M'kama's cards. There was no sign of the fantastic beast or anywhere to find it in M'kama's view...

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Relieved at the lack of defecation, M'Kama traveled back the way he came, following Otis and Ash's footsteps back towards Cobran proper.

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Ash was rather displeased at being pushed out of the cave, partly because he was a bit raring for a fight with the giant snake thing, but also because it was bloody rude to simply push someone along like cattle! Before he could voice his displeasure however, he heard his own name shouted, leaving Ash to wonder what he'd done this time. He turned to look next to himself, to where the voice had come from, and looked up and down at the looming figure before he noticed that unmistakable mustache.

"It's me! Percy Pantagen!"

A beaming smile grew on Ash's face. "Percy you old rascal! It's been forever since I last saw you! How are you doing old chum! And what are you doing all the way out here in the wastes?"

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Horik watched as the strange woman began to walk away, her mouth gaping open like a fish out of water. A Horik out of answers. She looked back at the direction she came in before dropping her head back slightly with a look of irritation.

"Hey wait!" she called out, using a bit more effort than she would have had she followed as soon as the woman stepped away. "What were you seeking? How do you know what I seek when I haven't told you? Is murder involved?"