So you want to be a zako? (RP, Mentos Edition)

dinomoneyman

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As is becoming a trend, Tyris rambles at Arastine, but this time it's not just worry or drunken stupor. Something snapped after the last battle, something about the utter failure followed by seeing Arastine attempting to ruin Beth's severed arm. Now she's shouting, uncaring about who else hears. "This is bullshit! All this? All this carnage and you're over hear spiting the girl dying on the floor? This team has gone to shit! I don't even know what became of Mireille! The damn elf princess used Minerva as a bat! Oh Minerva, poor Minerva..." she wailed. "She was kind to everyone! Everyone liked her! The camp's resident happy harpy, broken and impaled? How is any of this fair?! It should have been me! I deserve to die! Hell, I want to die! I'm either going down in battle or you'll finding me on a noose any day now. But no. No. I know how I want to go out. And you know what I'm talking about. Oh the next time I hear that god damned voice anyway I'll fly off the handle. I can't take it any more. Something's gotta give." Astrid, knowing fully well what Tyris is talking about, offers to go with her, but Tyris demands Astrid stays put and she goes it alone. "This is my death, and it shouldn't have to be yours," she says, clearer and more well thought out than her initial rantings.

Unless it is intervened by another character, Tyris storms out on a warpath, planning to find Marla wherever she may be and die fighting her. Astrid stands around numb and grimacing, and Beth simply cries on the floor hoping the clerics can save her.
 

Severity

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Hearing Tyris' rant, Eisenhilde stops trying to distract McKayla (to increase the deaths given to Hel) and quietly follows Tyris out of the castle before speaking up.
"Wait! Miss Tyris, there's something I'd like to propose to you!"
Skeptically, Tyris stops walking for a moment and turns her head towards the cultist.
"Miss Tyris, I heard what you said. More importantly, I understand your feelings. I'm not going to try to convert you to Lady Hel's bliss, so don't bother saying anything about that.
What I'm here to ask is this - If you truly wish to die, would you join me? Not like the elf earlier today, but become one with me, body and soul - you would keep your individuality, and I mine, but we'd reside together in my head. You would even be able to control our body at times! It would be a much better use of your life and soul than throwing them away fighting Marla, and we could accumulate others like the elf until we have the power to kill Marla. If you agree, or even would like to learn more, please don't hesitate to ask
"
The thin cultist bows politely, straightens up, and waits for a response.
 

dinomoneyman

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Hearing Tyris' rant, Eisenhilde stops trying to distract McKayla (to increase the deaths given to Hel) and quietly follows Tyris out of the castle before speaking up.
"Wait! Miss Tyris, there's something I'd like to propose to you!"
Skeptically, Tyris stops walking for a moment and turns her head towards the cultist.
"Miss Tyris, I heard what you said. More importantly, I understand your feelings. I'm not going to try to convert you to Lady Hel's bliss, so don't bother saying anything about that.
What I'm here to ask is this - If you truly wish to die, would you join me? Not like the elf earlier today, but become one with me, body and soul - you would keep your individuality, and I mine, but we'd reside together in my head. You would even be able to control our body at times! It would be a much better use of your life and soul than throwing them away fighting Marla, and we could accumulate others like the elf until we have the power to kill Marla. If you agree, or even would like to learn more, please don't hesitate to ask
"
The thin cultist bows politely, straightens up, and waits for a response.
Tyris squints her eyes. "You're the one tryna stop me? Not one of the more... moral of the battalion? That's a surprise. Not a welcome one though. Even if I don't buy it, one of those corny-ass 'stop, you have so much to live for' speeches woulda at least been better parting words than 'merge with me' or whatever drivel you just said to me. You think you understand me? Bollocks. You revel in this rubbish and I don't. Becoming one being? Are you bonkers? First off, I'm not a fan of magical bullshit. Second, what the good would it be to either of us? I'm trapped in your kooky head and you get what? A bit of power? I'm half a mind to bury this mace in your skull, but I'll bite. Convince me. I dare you."
 

Skinny73

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Sometime before the raid on the castle…

In a looted house within Azelea’s wealthiest housing district, several members of Miasma battalion share a meal together. Moira lounges at the head of the table, a wineglass in her hand. On her right sits her redheaded slave Ginny, lashed to the chair by her wrists and ankles, while the ninja sisters sit opposite and chow down on the entire stuffed boar between them. Leaning against the wall of the dining room is Rixa, plate of food in hand and glass on a shelf within arm’s reach. Rixa stands close enough to listen in but far enough away to give off the appearance of solitude, in the hope that no one present would actually make an effort talk to her.

Moira pulls apart a small bundle of grapes and offers one to Ginny. The elf glares at her, but Moira only smiles and pops it into her own mouth, chewing slowly. The slave’s stomach growls and her glare falters; the next time Moira offers a grape, Ginny opens her mouth and allows the dark mage to slip it in.

From across the table, Anko rolls her eyes and tosses a small bone aside. “So, we’re here. What’s the big mystery? Spill the beans already!”

“Patience, dear,” Moira replies as she feeds Ginny a piece of smoked ham. “We’re still one guest short. How are you doing, Rixa? Sure you wouldn’t like to come join us?”

“I’m fine,” Rixa responds curtly. Moira raises an eyebrow at her.

“‘Fine?’ That’s it?” Moira holds Ginny’s neck with one hand and raises a cup of water to her mouth with the other, helping her to take a drink. “You aren’t apprehensive about storming the mighty fortress of Azelea? Horrified by the depravity currently taking place in the city streets? Exhilarated by the prospect of more killing and looting once we’ve taken the castle? Proud of Miasma battalion, who has been given the honor of leading the next charge by Toxin herself?”

Rixa snorts. “I don’t give a shit about the battalion’s ‘honor’ or that crazy witch.”

A trickle dribbles down Ginny’s throat as she gulps the water down. Moira smiles as she sets the cup aside, and then licks the water off the elf’s skin. Ginny shudders. “Mmhmm… and yet you have killed so many in Toxin’s service,” Moira remarks.

“I am required to kill, so I kill,” Rixa growls. “As soon as this campaign is finished, I’m gone.”

“Do you really believe Toxin will just let us go, once the campaign is over?” Moira asks softly. The question seems to freeze the others in place for a moment. Anko finishes chewing her mouthful of food, then swallows and pushes her plate aside. Yoshiko lowers her wineglass without taking a drink and does the same. Before anyone can reply, the silence is broken by Elendra, who rushes through the open doorway. “I apologize for my tardiness,” Elendra pants. “Is this mine?” She takes Anko’s abandoned plate, piles some more meat and a few rolls on top of it, and begins eating without waiting for a response.

“Worry not, Elendra. Your timing was perfect. Now we can begin,” Moira replies. She gives Ginny a warm smile and kisses her forcefully. After they break apart, Moira snaps her fingers. A crackle of energy flows through the room, and Ginny’s eyes cloud over, growing milky-white. The slave visibly panics, breathing heavily as she turns her head from side to side. Her mouth opens and closes, but no sound comes out.

Yoshiko stares at Moira. “Oh, this is nothing,” Moira waves a hand dismissively. “A little trick I put together, with some help from my friend of course.” She nods at Elendra. “Poor Ginny should be blind, deaf, and mute for the duration of our little chat. An unnecessary precaution, perhaps, but one can never be too careful when discussing treason.”

Anko giggles and holds out her hand, palm up. Yoshiko sighes and gives her a gold coin. “I can’t believe you, of all people, joined Astrid’s little plot. I thought you would have better survival skills than that,” Yoshiko grumbles.

Moira blinks at her but recovers quickly. “Well, you clearly know a disturbing amount already, but you seem to be missing a few key details. We have almost half the battalion on our side, per Rixa’s suggestion, and we have the beginnings of an actual plan.”

Elendra’s eating slows down at the mention of treason, but doesn’t stop. She tears into one of her rolls as she listens, wide-eyed, to the others’ conversation.

“Good for you,” Rixa shrugs. “I still don’t see a reason to stick my neck out just to get the princess in charge.”

“Don’t you?” Moira asks. “Perhaps you haven’t heard what happened to poor Feira? I know you remember what Marla convinced Shandris to do. Who do you suppose would have been given the honor of setting off the mana bomb, if Marla didn’t have a willing elf available?” No one answers Moira’s question; they don’t have to. “Make no mistake: no matter how many victories we win for her, we are all just tools to Marla. Tools for her to use to gain power, or to lash out at her rivals. And when Magatha finally decides to take vengeance for that stunt with the poison, it won’t be Marla who suffers for it.”

“Okay, okay, we get it,” Anko interrupts. “Marla’s bad news. What do you want us to do about it?”

“Simple. We kill Marla.” Moira takes a sip of wine and allows her words to sink in for a moment. “And once she’s gone, we raise up one of our own to replace her. Someone who won’t use us as tools or test subjects. A leader who won’t use her troops to pursue petty vendettas against our supposed allies. Someone—”

“Like you?” Yoshiko cuts in. “Somehow I think her royal bratty-ness will take exception to that.”

Moira shrugs. “Well, on paper at least, the plan is to hand control of the battalion over to Astrid once the dust settles. But we all know that Toxin is the one who will have the final say on that matter. And I’m willing to bet that magical prowess matters a lot more to our dear iron-fisted tyrant than aristocratic niceties.” Moira leaves unsaid the other detail that she knows is on everyone’s mind: the fact that who would be left in command also depended greatly on who would survive the confrontation with Marla. “Besides, no matter who Toxin chooses as Marla’s replacement, they’re sure to be better than our current fearless leader, don’t you agree?”

Rixa stalks to the table leans over it. She looks Moira dead in her eyes. “Okay. Suppose we pull this off. Suppose that Toxin rewards you with a promotion, instead of a decapitation.” Anko chuckles. “What guarantees do we have that you’ll treat us any better than Marla? That you’ll help free us once this nightmare is over, instead of screwing us over to win a few brownie points with your new master? You’re not exactly pure as the driven snow yourself, Moira.” Rixa nods at the frightened elven slave tied to her chair next to the dark mage.

Moira smiles sweetly up at Rixa. “No guarantees whatsoever.” The ninja sisters scowl at her, while one of Rixa’s hands curls into a fist. Even Elendra frowns at the dark mage. “But, I can promise you this: I’m a known quantity.” Moira strokes Ginny’s hair as she speaks, slowly calming the redhead down. “I might have my little indulgences, like everyone does—” Rixa snorts derisively. “But! They do not include betraying my comrades, even ones like Astrid, or, gods help me, August. I am loyal to those who are loyal to me. Which is more than anyone can say for Marla. You all remember what happened to Tamara. You know what Marla does with her toys once she has no more use for them.” Moira drains her wineglass, giving her audience some time to mull things over. “So, the choice is yours. You can soldier on in the hope that the murderous, insanity-inducing witch will just set you all free once you’ve won her war for her. Or, you can choose to act, and maybe give the reigns to someone a little more worthy of your loyalty. Who knows? With a little luck, you could end up with a goody-two-shoes as your leader, like Tyris or Arastine.”

Elendra is the first to break the long silence that follows. She finishes off the food on her plate before clearing her throat. “You’ve always been straight with me, Moira,” the cleric says. “I’m with you. I’ll have a talk with Cernya, see if I can convince her as well.” The robed young woman bows and makes her exit.

Yoshiko frowns as she considers Moira’s proposition. Her frown deepens to a scowl after she turns to her sister, who is already giving her puppy-dog eyes. “Oh, fine!” Yoshiko snaps. “We’re in.” Anko fist-pumps the air like an excited teenager. “Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll get to watch Marla vaporize you and the prissy princess both with my own eyes.”

“One can certainly dream,” Moira murmurs as the ninja duo departs, Anko with a plate of leftovers in each hand. The dark mage turned to the last holdout. Rixa stares at her, unblinking, for almost a solid minute. Then the archer gives Moira a curt nod and departs without a word.

“Excellent,” Moira declares. She turns to Ginny and snaps her fingers inches away from her long, pointed ear. The elf doesn’t react; the spell that deafens her has yet to wear off. Moira stands and drags Ginny’s chiar out away from the table. The mage crawls up into Ginny’s lap and takes her face in her hands. Ginny closes her eyes as Moira kisses her jaw. “You know, I still haven’t decided how I’m going to kill you,” she murmurs into Ginny’s ear. Ginny’s breathing grows shaky as Moira wraps both hands around the redhead’s throat and squeezes gently. “Maybe I’ll take a page out of Rixa’s book. Snap your pretty little neck with my bare hands.” Moira chuckles as she makes out with the bound elf. One hand slides down and begins to unbutton Ginny’s shirt…

----------- --------- -------- ------------ ------------- ------------​

Now…

Rixa looks around at the carnage left in the wake of Kia’s escape. Elendra, distraught over the loss of her protégé, is only now moving to help McKayla with Beth’s severed arm. Tyris rants at Astrid and Arastine and all-but declares war on Marla before she storms away. Rixa looks around to see who is moving to stop her, and is alarmed to find only Eisenhilde doing so. Oh, shit. Shit-shittity-shit. Tyris’s friends appear frozen in place, McKayla looks about ready to tear someone’s head off as she desperately tries to reattach Beth’s arm, Amanda is still unconscious, and Hathus is dead. To her great surprise, Rixa finds herself following after the other archer. She and Eisenhilde struggle to catch up to Tyris.

What the hell am I doing? Rixa asks herself. I’m not Tyris’s friend. I can’t recall speaking two words to her before. What am I gonna say? “No, don’t do it, you have so much to live for?” Sounds like corny bullshit, even to me. No, especially to me. Why am I doing this?

Eisenhilde catches up to Tyris first, which suits Rixa just fine. She circles around to put herself between Tyris and the castle exit. Rixa would let Eisenhilde take a stab at calming Tyris down while she tried to come up with something to say. Maybe a miracle would occur, and the Hel fanatic would somehow convince Tyris not to throw her life away, if that was even what the other woman was trying to do. Knowing my luck, Eisenhilde is over there psyching her up, giving her an elf-blood makeover so that at least her god will get something out of this insanity, Rixa thinks sourly.
 
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dinomoneyman

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Since the lack of further elaboration from Eisenhilde, I figure I should add... Whatever Eisenhilde says I'd imagine Tyris isn't convinced and keeps walking.
 

Severity

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I'm waiting for Mentos to decide on some stuff before Eisenhilde says more, since I don't want to force something to happen that Mentos doesn't want.
 

Severity

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OK! Eisenhilde's response is finally here!

Frowning slightly as Tyris calls Lady Hel's blessings 'magical bullshit', and a bit more when she's called a kook, Eisenhilde isn't dissuaded from her self-given task.
"...While I'm not fond of you referring to Lady Hel's gifts like that, I'll be glad to explain to you how the ritual works.
First, I prepare both of us. It's not a particularly complex step, little more than a bit of bloodletting.
Second, I begin and complete the ritual. That's it, that's all that there is.
The result is that your soul and mind are moved from your current body to mine. Your thoughts will be your own, and it will take conscious effort from you to communicate with me, and likewise for me. The particulars of who controls the body when are typically negotiated, but a usual beginning point is that you control the body while I sleep, and I while you sleep.
Aside from the resilience of two minds and the benefits of constant consciousness, we will both retain our own muscle memory, automatic responses, and the like. While the one in control at the time will have their muscle memory take priority over the other, it is a great boon to have the reflexes and training of two, even more so if one is more experienced in battle than the other."


At this, she smiles and extends a hand to Tyris.

"It would be a terrible waste to throw your life away in a fight you know is lost, and with what you've said publicly a death in battle would be the best you could hope for... unless you join me. If you join me... we could reach heights together neither could alone. One such as Marla would be an extraordinary offering for Lady Hel, and if she believes that I killed you, we could get close to her... Learn her weaknesses, become a mundane sight, wait until she lets her guard down, then...
Who knows?"

The cultist's mouth widens, becoming a slightly uncanny smile.
"The strength gained when two become one is unpredictable, but it's a far better use of your life than simply throwing it away."

She keeps her hand held out to Tyris, apparently thinking her argument has convinced Tyris.
 

dinomoneyman

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Tyris sighs. "Well, I guess I've nothing to lose, as long as you ain't bullshitting me and you're not just consuming my soul for yourself or whatever. Like, I basically wanna say no, but I can't find any real good reason not to... Fine. Do whatever it is you're doing." She looks unsure for a moment but then her face shifts to a smirk. She adds on a teasing remark, "But when I'm in that body with ya, we're gonna need to put on a bit of muscle. You're lookin' a bit scrawny to me right now." She chuckles, albeit nervously.
 

Severity

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Smiling giddily, Eisenhilde takes Tyris' hand in her own and holds it tightly.
"Excellent! Wonderful! You won't regret it, I promise!"
Beginning to walk towards a nearby house, Eisenhilde drags Tyris along by the hand. Once they reach the main room of the house, Eisenhilde turns to Tyris and begins to speak again.
"Okay! To begin, I need a clear path from your heart to mine. So, if you could remove that..."
She gestures to Tyris' gray top as she begins to remove her own robes. It seems that they aren't all one piece as she removes the robes from her chest and arms, then blushes slightly when she sees Tyris' gaze.
"Alright. Next, we need to mix our blood to become one being in the eye of Lady Hel. Please hold out your hands and I'll begin."
Before she takes Tyris' hands, she cuts open her own vertically, from the wrist to the tip of her middle finger, with her Blade of Hel. Then, making sure that some of her own blood is on the blade's cutting edge, she does the same to Tyris.
Strangely, it doesn't hurt very much. It's little more than a sting after the first few seconds.
Then, Eisenhilde takes both of Tyris hands in hers and speaks.
"For the next part, we should lie down..."
They do, with Tyris' back on the floor of the Elven house and Eisenhilde on top of her. Eisenhilde takes both of Tyris' hands again, and holds them for several minutes, palm to palm.
Then, the cultist lets go of the former bandit's hands and begins to draw a symbol on Tyris' chest with their now-mixed blood. It's a totem of Hel, but looking closely it's... different from the normal one. Simpler. It's centered on her heart. After she's done, she looks down at Tyris.
Straddling her like this... I wish she could keep her body. It's a very nice body. I wonder if she'll let me touch it after the ritual?
"Alright. Do you want me to guide you, or can you make Lady Hel's symbol on me yourself?"

Once the symbol is drawn (with Eisenhilde guiding Tyris by the wrist if necessary), Eisenhilde leans down until the sigils on the two womens' chests touch, being sure to keep Tyris' hands held to hers. Quietly, her breath warming Tyris' ear slightly, she speaks.
"For the last part, just keep your hand with mine. And, er, p-please kiss me back..."
She moves her lips to Tyris', and they begin to kiss. After a while of this, Eisenhilde begins moving her right hand, and thus Tyris' as well. Their hands reach the Blade of Hel, and the two of them take it in their hands, their fingers interwoven as the tip of the blade nears Tyris' throat.
Without stopping the kissing, Eisenhilde drives the blade into Tyris' neck, severing both carotids. Despite Tyris' shocked gasp, Eisenhilde continues the kiss for the several seconds it takes for Tyris to lose consciousness. After that, she holds the kiss for several more minutes before she draws back and opens her eyes.
As she does, she hears Tyris speak. Not from Tyris' mouth, but from somewhere inside herself. Knowing Tyris can sense it, she smiles.
There we go~ she thinks. You can see yourself from another's eyes... that's a rare privilege! Eisenhilde giggles. She's giddy that the Ritual of Joining has succeeded perfectly. Then, she decides to let Tyris in on a secret or two.
That, er... That was my first 'adult kiss'... w-was it good? And also... can I feel your old body a little? You can feel this one as much as you want when you're in control!
The smaller parts of the active mind's emotion are usually shrouded, but Tyris can easily feel Eisenhilde's blushing as she asks this. It seems the cultist isn't quite as single-mindedly devoted to Hel as she seemed from the outside... Or maybe the fact that a 24-year-old woman is this nervous about sexuality proves she's just as devoted to Hel as she seems?

Either way, Tyris and Eisenhilde have joined. Two souls in one body! Because of Hel's very, very foreign nature, it's incredibly unlikely anyone in Toxin's army has encountered one of her worshipers before, and so she'll just lie if anyone asks what she did to Tyris. Probably something like 'Offered her as a sacrifice to Lady Hel', since they won't know the difference.



Is this how Multiclassing works?
 

dinomoneyman

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Tyris almost regrets the whole thing as the ritual goes through, with the awkward procedures and all, but once inside Eisenhilde's body, is shocked but at the same time it feels somehow right, not nearly as strange as she'd imagined. "Ah, I'm gonna miss that body. Always served me well. But I ain't gonna dignify those last questions you asked there with a response, weirdo. Just make sure to take my mace. We'll be usin' that now," she communicates. She adds, "Might need to let Astrid in on our secret here though. Closest thing left to a friend here now that bridges are probably burned with Arastine, and to say the least she'll be less than happy with you if she thinks you merely killed me on my way out."
 

Skinny73

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Rixa is surprised and relieved to see Tyris take Eisenhilde's hand. Phew. Crisis averted, and I didn't have to do a thing. Now, let's go find a drink and some nachos.

Hard to tell how she will react to the news that Eisenhilde (seemingly) killed Tyris after she saw them walk off together.
 

Severity

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A-alright, Eisenhilde thinks to Tyris. We c-can tell Astrid. Actually, I'll let you do that. You can go up and talk to her. She's still blushing profusely.
As she tells Tyris this, she picks up Tyris' mace and her mace holster. It'll be good to practice rapid switching, so they can use Tyris' expertise in melee combat and Eisenhilde's in ranged combat.
Once they rejoin the group, after Eisenhilde has stop blushing, she gives control to Tyris to let her approach Astrid.
I think it was, uh... just... will yourself forwards, I guess, now that I've gone back. When you're done, will yourself away from the heart and I should be able to control m-our body.
She pauses for a second, then adds something.
Maybe, uh... get her alone to tell her? She seems... loud. Then, hurriedly: Also, I'm sorry for asking those weird questions. It won't happen again, I promise.
 

dinomoneyman

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"H-hey? Is Tyris still out there? Or... or is she still going?" Astrid asked, a bit panicked.
"Yeah, about that... Can you come over 'ere with me a second?" Tyris responded. Eisenhilde's voice came out, but it sounded somewhat distinct in a gruffer and lower manner of speaking. She pulled her over to the outside, but didn't take her near Tyris's discarded body yet. She then grabbed her by the shoulder and said, "Okay, uh... This'll sound strange, but... I'm Tyris."

"W-what? You're not-!"

"SHH! SHH! Not too loud, I can prove it. When we walked back to the group after we got attacked by that beast, you spilled your heart out to me about your friend Nia and how you missed her and told me not to tell anybody about how emotional you got. Only I could know that, right?"

"You- ...but how?"

"I don't really know myself. We did some kind of body melding... Eisenhilde's still in here too, we just kinda... Swap. But my old body's dead. The story is that Eisenhilde just killed me, got it? Heard all my bullshit and just decided to sacrifice me. No one else can know, at least not yet."

"Okay, uh... It's a lot to taken in, but... what now?"

"We're winging it honestly. Planning continues as it did, but if anything changes up in... here. We'll let you in on it first, got it?," She concludes, pointing at her head.

Astrid is pleased that Tyris entrusted her with such secret knowlege. "Okay. I got it. Thank you," she says, abruptly hugging her newly fused friend, who is very surprised but gladly hugs back.

As soon as they rejoin the group, Tyris resumes control back to Eisenhilde, and thinks up some questions, "So, I feel like I should get a bit personal, now that we're... in the same body and all. You don't really want our allies to die, right? I mean you blather about all this Hel stuff, but you've never actively put the rest of us in jeopardy to appease your god, sooooo.... Oh, also you did a similar thing to an elf earlier, right? Is... She in here somewhere too?"
 

Mentos

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Marla walks the ruins of Azelea, flanked by two of her brainwashed Elven Guardsmen. Trailing slightly behind her was August. Marla had pulled the man aside before the Azelea Castle Battle, sparing him from a high likelihood of death at the hands of skilled Elven Princess. August knew better though than to assume this was just the dark mage showing good will.

"I must say, you've impressed me in the time that you've been in this army." Says Marla, without turning around. "I expected nothing from the vermin of Kafra. Some of them have shown promise, such as Amanda, however, most seem to do nothing well but die and complain. At first I thought of you as nothing more than a slaver. A common thug with a penchant for beating helpless women. Vermin. But lately I've begun to notice a certain...potential."

Marla and her entourage arrive at a large building that Toxin's forces have turned into a makeshift prison. Her guards open the door, bowing to their master, and Marla and August go inside. Upon entering the dilapidated building, August sees rows and rows of Elven prisoners, of all sizes and ages. Each of them is bound, and have been subjected to various forms of abuse.

"Did you recognize those two Elven Guards of mine? You should, they're part of the group of Elves I had initially given you when we struck our bargain in the ruins. Toxin and myself have the ability to turn those of a weaker mind to our side. They become loyal, obedient slaves, following our every order to the letter. This process isn't the easiest, and it's taken me quite a bit of experimentation...and test subjects... to master it. It essentially requires us to break down the soul and mind of the victim. Instilling in them a sense of hopelessness and despair. Torture can sometimes be enough, but these Elves can be quite stubborn in their faith, and I admittedly am sorely lacking in patience. In the entire time we've been in this forest, I was only able to "convert" one elf to our cause. The priestess, Shandris. And that was only due to her being driven mad by my murdering of her fellow priestesses. However, then you came along and showcased your certain...talent."

August (and December) try and take the scene in. It suddenly dawns upon the pair what plans Marla has in store for them.

"I despise the faceless and mediocre. Your comrades in this battalion exist for nothing more than to be used up and die for me and my master's goals. However, I do so enjoy rewarding those that have proven their worth. My request is simple. Break these elves in. Shatter their spirits until they're nothing more than a husk fit to be filled by my magics. They are to become a part of MY army. Unflinching, unquestioning of my orders. Loyal to a fault, with not a hint of rebellion in their hearts." Marla seems to emphasize this last part of her speech.

"If you do this for me, I can promise great things for you in the future...including being spared what my master has planned once we reach the inner sanctum of the Elves." While she does not emphasize on this last part, Marla snaps her fingers, and one of her Elven guards walks up to the pair, holding a large ornate chest. When August (and December) open it, they find the chest contains a vast amount of stolen Elven wealth, along with some rare enchanted items.

"We're nearing the endgame. I want those that have proven their worth on my side. Those that have survived this long. Rest assured, if you fail me in this, death will be a preferable alternative to what I have in store for you. I'll render your soul asunder." While December is reasonably sure Marla cannot sense her presence, she feels as though she isn't safe from that threat.

Marla moves to leave with her guards, but stops at the door before saying. "I'll leave you to your work. I'm looking forward to your results~"


----------------------------------

Little bit of exposition and some foreshadowing before Mission 9 since we're approaching the end of the campaign! I want to point out that I planned out 12 chapters initially for this. So for those of you rebels out there, keep in mind where we're at! Impatience might lead to some ImPAINtience.

Also, new update since we're nearing the end of the game. Any Zako created from this point on will start at Level 3. Zakos currently under Level 3 will get a boost.

I've been in and out of town, so I'll be posting Mission 9 very soon!
 
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Severity

Casual Client
Joined
Mar 6, 2016
Well, Eisenhilde thinks to Tyris, there are two main rituals that change both people involved. The first, The Subjugation Ritual, is what I did to the elf. I took her life, and commended her death directly to Lady Hel, and in return Lady Hel gave me her vitality. I should, I think, be able to recover from a normally fatal wound. Possibly. It would expend the elf's vitality to do so, though.
Taking a mental breath, she thinks of the best way to describe the other ritual.
The second ritual, The Ritual of Supplication to (Lady) Hel, is the one we did. It is, in short, asking Lady Hel to bless us. We provide the life of the body, and in exchange she moves the soul to the other participant. This can only be done with the willing consent of both people, since if two combative souls are in the same body one will become dominant, rather than both being equal, like we are. Lady Hel is a goddess of death, not subjugation.
Eisenhilde smiles faintly, hoping her explanation makes sense to Tyris. Then, she moves on to Tyris' other question.
Lady Hel isn't a simple butcher. There are many in the world who seek to evade death, and the deaths of one of them pleases Lady Hel immeasurably. So... No, I don't really want our allies to die. Not more than any other normal people, anyway.

While this is going on, Arastine has been deeply affected by Tyris' words.
She was right. I need to change. If I'm supposed to be the leader of the rebellion, I need to act like it. We need a plan. But with the losses we took against the elf princess, there's no way we can defeat Marla in a straight-up fight. Not a chance. So I need to get creative... And soon, before we're all dead. If we get another mission separate from the other groups, if we can surrender to the first elven soldiers we see, maybe... Or perhaps we should look for anti-magic gear... Or...

December is horrified by what she sees. The slums were bad, back when she was alive, but this... this is an entirely different level of horror.
But... there is always something that can be done. Some act of rebellion, something. And with Marla entrusting August/December with this task... There are many possibilities. The real questions is: which is the best way to fight from the inside?
And December, a veteran of many gang wars, has a very... unique idea.
Returning to the prison with Romillie in tow, her knife nowhere to be seen, August/December show the obviously horrified elf around. If Marla asks, December will say it's far easier to break slaves with an assistant.
They soon leave the prison, Romillie vomiting several times on the way back to Miasma's living quarters. Once there, a traumatized Romillie is given a letter sealed with Marla's insignia, a shortsword, and sent away, nervously walking deeper into the ruined city. She'll sneak away at night.
Heh... Never thought I'd need to read. Or write. Good thing you knew, eh, August?
August responds with wordless anger. He seems to be trying to fail Marla to bring them both down. But it doesn't matter - December, as the dominant soul, is absorbing his knowledge and memories.
Shit, you're whiny. You should thank me, shithead. I'm saving both of our hides.
With luck, the elves will receive the letter Romillie is carrying. With luck, they'll return it with an arrow exactly where she's asked within the letter. With luck, the elves will trust her, and she'll be able to begin communication with them. With luck...
 

dinomoneyman

Club Regular
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
DeviantArt Username
dinomoneyman
Gonna add in two units, most likely my last. :D

Recently one of Toxin's search parties came across a rare lone-wolfgirl keeping residence in the nearby forest. Seizing the opportunity, they captured her for Toxin's own use. She was transferred to Miasma Battalion, but is kept in a somewhat too-small cage when not being sent into action, despite her being mostly quiet and mild-mannered than the savage wolfgirl they imply her to be. She's also rather intelligent and speaks good Engilsh with only a few slips here and there. She's got a lot of spite towards Toxin built up, as Astrid learned in a brief conversation with her. Astrid assured her there are others within the battalion who agree with that notion.
"Come to bring my meal, lapdog of the witch?" she hisses.
"Well... yes." Astrid replied, sliding a slab of rare meat through the bars, "But I'm actually not in favor of the people in command at all. In fact, I was the first to choose to take a stand against them. Can I consider you, on my side there, then?"
The wolfgirl looks at her with shifty eyes a moment, only to realize she's serious. "...Yes," She simply says.
"What's your name?" asked Astrid.
"Kaeda," The wolfgirl says.
"I'm Astrid. Nice to meet you. And... Sorry for your current living conditions."


New unit: Kaeda, Age: ???, Class: Soldier, Weapon: Claws + occasional biting.
Kaeda.png

Another assassin from not-Japan arrives! This is Kimiko, 23 year old seductress, and rogue. Fights with a kunai and a bladed fan. Wears only fishnet clothing, which people find a bit weird, but it's hardly the weirdest thing about her. She revels in death on a sexual level and follows a god of both death and sex named Erotus, a cult that's supposed to award its devout followers by turning them into succibi or incubi after death. Of course Erotus's teachings are in contention with Hel's. Kimiko has been an assassin for Toxin's army for a while, but only recently was sent to Miasma. An actual lapdog to the cause, she's constantly reporting the latest news to further Toxin's conquest.
Kimiko.png
 
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Mentos

Avid Affiliate
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Miasma Battalion
Soldiers: 6x Archers: 2x Rogues: 6x Mages: 4x Clerics: 2x
Mission 9: Retrieve The Mysterious Elven Crown
Difficulty: 3/5

1: Lieutenant Amanda (Soldier, Claymore 24/F): 35/35 HP (Level 5) Items: Black Claymore +3 to ATK, Superior Elven Armor: +2 to DEF
2: Li Ann (Rogue, Kunais 21/F): 15/15 (Level 5) Items: Elven Daggers: +2 to Attack Rolls, Mysterious Elven Bracelet, Ring of Attack, +1 to ATK, Ring of Defense, +1 to DEF, Elven Armor, +1 to Def
3: Arastine (Stalwart Defender, Axe, Gauntlets, Tower Shield 49/F): 40/40 HP (Level 5), Items: Paladin Armor, +5 to Defense Rolls
4: McKayla (Cleric, E. Jewelry 26/F) 13/13HP (Level 5) (Spells: Heal, Shield, Gravity, Dispell) Items: Elven Jewelry, +1 to Healing Spells, Black Bow
5: Moira (Dark Mage, Magic Staff 32/F): 13/13 HP (Level 5) (Spells: Shadow Bolt, Drain Life, Summon Snakes, Cocoon) Items: Elven Bracelet, +3 to Attack Rolls, Spider Shawl (+1 to Def)
6: Astrid (Soldier, Fencing Rapier 20/F): 35/35 HP (Level 6), Items: Elven Armor, +1 to Defense Rolls
7: Oola (Soldier, Barbed Whip 22/F): 20/20 HP (Level 3), Items: Elven Armor +1 to Defense Rolls
8: Rixa (Archer, Longbow 26/F) 16/16 HP (Level 6) Items: Bone Longbow, +4 to Attack Rolls, Doubles as a Melee Weapon
9: Beth (Dark Mage 25/F) 7/7 HP (Level 4) (Spells: Shadow Bolt, Carrion Swarm)
10: Elendra (Cleric, 19/F) 9/9HP (Level 3) (Spells: Heal, Shield) Items: Shriveled Heart of Nergal +1 to DEF
11: Anko (Rogue, Martial Arts 27/F) 14/14 HP (Level 4) Ring of Attack, +1 to ATK, Ring of Defense, +1 to DEF, Elven Armor, +1 to Def
12: Yoshiko (Rogue, Kusarigama 23/F) 14/14 HP (Level 4) Items: Ring of Attack, +1 to ATK, Ring of Defense, +1 to DEF, Elven Armor, +1 to Def
13: Eisenhilde (Reaver, Crossbow/Spear, 25/F) 16/16/ HP (Level 6) Items: Blade of Hel +1 to ATK, Tyris' Mace +2 to ATK
14: Micci (Mage, 19/F) 9/9 HP (Level 3) (Spells: Water, Fireball)
15: Minuette (Soldier, Sword/Shield 19/F) 20/20 HP (Level 3)
16: Avaricia (Mage, 19/F) 9/9 HP (Level 3) (Spells: Fireball, Lightning)
17: Halette (Rogue, Short Sword 17/F) 11/11 HP (Level 3)
18: Kuu'rin (Rogue, Daggers ???/F) (Level 3) (11/11 HP)
19: Kaede (Soldier, Claws/Biting ???/F) 20/20 HP (Level 3)
20: Kimiko (Rogue, Kunai/Bladed Fan 23/F) 11/11 HP (Level 3)

Unavailable: August (Soldier, Mace/Shield 30/M) 30/30 HP (Level 5) Items: Slaver's Beatstick, +3 to ATK, +4 against Elves, Ornate Elven Armor: +3 to DEF, Ring of Attack: +1 to ATK, Ring of Defense: +1 to DEF

The mood in Azelea has strangely been one of merriment. Toxin's forces have completely overrun the town, and those Elves who were unfortunate enough to be left behind have been subject to tortures and injustices of all manners. While nearly all of Toxin's soldiers that had been conscripted from Kafra were forced into this against their will, those that have survived have taken great pleasure in enjoying the spoils of war. They enjoy an opportunity to beat or molest the Elves at every turn, and for once not be on the bottom rung of society's ladder.

Marla is unhappy to learn of Kia's escape, but shrugs it off rather quickly. Kia is the strongest warrior the Elves have, and Marla knows it's only a matter of time until they run into her again. Things will be different then.

Toxin's forces are biding their time and getting ready to march on the Elven Capital City, Oakenshield. Word from scouts sent on ahead say that The Elves are marshaling their forces in Oakenshield under their Queen, Anemone, to push back the invading forces. It seems that there will be one final battle at the Elven Capital before all of this is over. In the mean time though, Marla learns of an ancient elvish artifact hidden in a cavern complex nearby. The cave is said to contain a powerful crown that can give the wearer access to magic normally reserved for the Elves. Marla sends Miasma to retrieve this artifact for her while she remains working in Azelea. She gives a warning to Amanda before her departure though. It is very likely the other battalions under Toxin know about these artifacts, including her hated rival, Magatha. It's imperative that they reach the artifact before the other dark mages can get their hands on it.

Amanda marshals her group and heads out of the city. August will not be accompanying them during this mission as he has been given his own orders to follow.

(August/December has until the next major update to show Marla "results." If they are unable to, bad things will happen to them)

----------------------------------

The trip to the caverns is uneventful. While Miasma's scouts look out for any ambushes, it seems that most of the Elves in the forest have retreated to make a last stand at Oakenshield. The absence of August is hardly mourned, however those that look around might realize just how many comrades they've lost on the way here, and how far they've come. Beth, who usually says something to break the silence during the groups travels is in a sour mood. Her arm was unable to be attached back, and she hasn't forgotten the events that led up to that. Fortunately for her, as a magic caster, she's still able to make the most out of her spells.

Eventually, the group finds the cave that Marla had detailed to them and go inside. The passageway is narrow, and along the winding path the group sees nothing more than rock formations, tattered Elven banners and the occasional skeleton, both Elven and animal. Eventually, they reach the end of the passageway and find themselves in a large room with multiple doors, and an over-facing balcony. Before they can decide which way to go, the doors open and a stream of soldiers come out of the doors to surround Miasma. Six Archers come out of hiding where they were on the balcony and knock their arrows towards the group. All of them are human, and wear the colors of Acid Battalion, numbering twenty in total.

"Well...you finally showed up. Just like Magatha said you would. Running an errand for that whore Marla, are you?" says the lead soldier smugly. She's got short, curly red hair, wearing an armored plate bra that exposes her toned midriff, along with sandals and plate leggings that go up passed her knees, showing off her curvy thights. She's brandishing a wicked looking Zweihander.

"What is the meaning of this?" asks Amanda

"Oh, pardon my manners. My name is Kendra. Lieutenant of Acid Battalion. Me and my girls here were just taking a little breather after a leisurely afternoon of treasure hunting when you cows happened to stumble in. Did you come looking for the crown? I'm afraid you're too late. We sent that off back to Azelea just a few hours ago.

Amanda, not entirely comfortable with the situation, holds her tongue. "Well then...congratulations...I guess we'll be on our wa-"

"Nuh uh! Not so fast!" interrupts Kendra. "You just got here! Don't be in a rush to leave so soon. Besides, me and my girls never got a chance to thank you for all the "help" you gave us back at the river camp." Kendra heaves her sword, and with that, her soldiers each unsheathe their weapons towards Miasma."

"W-what are you doing?! We're all in this together! On the same side" says Amanda

"I don't think so. You whores have caused us enough trouble as it is. Don't worry, we'll report back that the Elves did it. You walked into an ambush and there were no survivors. There we found you, stripped naked of all those magical items of yours, dead in a body pile and left for the rats!"

vs Acid Battalion

Lieutenant Kendra (Zweihander, Level 7) 40/40 HP
Acid Soldiers Level 2 x5 (Swords)
Acid Archers Level 2 x6 (Short Bows)
Acid Rogues Level 2 x4 (Daggers)
Acid Mages Level 2 x2 (Staff)
Acid Clerics Level 2 x2 (Staff)

Miasma huddles together to form a defensive group while Amanda is able to parry a swing from Kendra. The hidden Toxin archers begin firing upon the Miasma back line, and while most of the melee fighters are able to deflect the missiles, Micci finds herself taking an arrow to the left eye. Her hands go up and paw uselessly at the shaft, a disbelieving look on her face, but the arrow has already pierced her brain and killed her (Micci has died)

Moira, absorbing arrows with her Cocoon spell, is able to gather enough concentration to summon snakes upon the six huddled Archers above. Two of the girls begin shrieking and drop their bows upon being bitten and inflicted with the deadly poison. They fall to the floor cradling their bites before they start thrashing and succumb to the deadly poison (2x kills for Moira). Beth, already in a foul mood, follows up with a new spell she learned that summons a swarm of deadly carrion insects at a target. One archer, a toned farm girl with brown hair and pockmarks, finds herself engulfed in the swarm. She also drops her bow and begins screaming as the mosquitoes surround her and suck her blood. In her thrashing, she careens over the edge of the balcony and falls to the floor with a bone-crunching thud. (Kill for Beth)

The Acid Soldiers and Rogues take cheap swings at the huddled group, but with Arastine blocking most blows they find it difficult to break through the defenses. A rogue with brown hair and a pixie cut gets impatient and begins sweeping wildly at Arastine until the Defender slams her plated greave on the girl's sandalled foot, letting loose a sickening crunch. The girl wails in pain before a downward slice from Arastine's axe crunches into her skull and silences her for good. (Kill for Arastine)

Another soldier, this one with a red ponytail and a slightly chubby physique has her arm wrapped up by Oola's whip. The soldier lets out a yelp as Oola yanks her off her feet and pulls her into the Miasma ball of death, where she then is thrust in vital spots multiple times by Kuu'rin's daggers. (Kill for Kuu'rin)

Acid's mages that were standing in the back launch two fireballs at the group of clustered Miasma soldiers that scatter them and break up their formation. As they get ready to launch another spell, one of the mages finds herself clutching an arrow launched into her lung by Rixa. The girl drops to her knees and tries to pull uselessly at the thing. One of the Acid clerics, a bookish girl with blonde hair and spectacles, tries to heal her friend, however the kunoichi sisters land in the Acid backlines. The cleric ceases her spell and clumsily swings her staff at Anko, who grabs her by the arm and twists it behind the hapless cleric's back, breaking it. An acid rogue tries to intervene and thrusts her daggers at Anko, but the skilled ninja thrusts the cleric in the way as a human shield. The rogue, a black haired girl no older than 17 looks on in shock at her stabbed friend, before Yoshiko's weapon splits her open. The mage finally chokes on her blood. (Kill for Anko) (Kill for Yoshiko) (Kill for Rixa)

Two rogues attempt to launch themselves at Miasma's clerics. An ebony girl with a mohawk gets a few dagger thrusts in on McKayla before she finds herself picked up by Kaede. The girl uselessly flails in Kaede's arms before being slammed down at full force onto the rock floor. Stunned, the rogue is unable to defend herself when Kaede mounts her front and bites into her jugular. (Kill for Kaede)

The other rogue, a tall and lithe redhead, tries to stab Avaricia, however she receives a kunai into the leg by Kimiko. The girl finds begins cradling the wound only to find herself kneeling in front of Kimiko, sporting a sadistic smile. Before the girl can plead for mercy, she finds herself split open by Kimiko's bladed fan. (Kill for Kimiko)

Avaricia has finished charging her spell, and launches a lightning arc at Acid's backline. The lightning fries the remaining mage and cleric where they stand, sending the stench of burning flesh rocking through the caverns. (2x Kill for Avaricia)

The three remaining archers on the balcony deal with the remaining snakes and regain their bearings, but too late as Astrid and Eisenhilde are within their midst. One of the archers, a skinny woman with dirty, wiry black hair, clumsily tries to draw a dagger but is ran through by Astrid, who pushes the screaming girl off the balcony. (Kill for Astrid) The other archer has her jaw sent flying by Eisenhilde's mace as she drops like a rock on-top of her deceased comrade who had been bitten by a snake. (Kill for Eisenhilde) The final archer, a curvy blonde girl with curly hair, drops her weapons and falls to her knees, begging for mercy. She chooses the wrong person though, as Eisenhilde brings her mace up high, and slams it down, causing her to be engulfed in a massive red explosion. (Kill for Eisenhilde)

Minuette engages with one soldier, a black-haired woman with an eye patch and nasty scar across her nose. The woman gets a few lucky swings in, but gets a dagger through the back from Halette. As she drops her weapons to clutch at her back, Minuette relieves her of her head. (Kill for Minuette)

Li Ann expertly dodges around two soldiers who appear to be sisters, one with long blonde hair and the other with a shorter bob. The older one thrusts her sword at Li Ann, who dodges the weapon as it sails into the younger girl's chest. As the older blonde looks on horrified, Li Ann kicks her in the back of the knee, and sweeps her dagger across her throat. The younger girl clutches helplessly, at the blade and falls forward. (2x Kill for Li Ann)

Amanda (Backed up with healing from Elendra) and Kendra continue their duel, each not giving any ground. One Acid soldier, a dark-skinned girl with braids, attempts to backstab Amanda, but receives the girl's backswing through her head for the trouble. Amanda doesn't notice until she nearly trips over the girl's corpse. (Kill for Amanda).

As Kendra moves closer to deliver the finishing blow, she finds her sword is disarmed by Oola's whip. It dawns on the Acid Lieutenant just how the tables have turned, and her previous smugness is quickly wiped off her face. She begins to back away.

"P...please....l-look I was just f-f-following orders. M-Magatha told us t-to do this. She wants you all dead! P-please don't kill me!"

Group Decision:

Magatha and Acid Batallion have finally made their move against Marla and Miasma. As Acid's Lieutenant begs for her life, surrounded by the corpses and soon to be corpses that were her comrades, you begin to wonder what your next move should be regarding Kendra:
A) Kill her. The woman tried to have you all murdered after all
B) Spare her life. While you doubt Magatha will let her live, perhaps Marla might have some use for her?
C) Write-in option
 
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dinomoneyman

Club Regular
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
DeviantArt Username
dinomoneyman
Hey, just so everyone knows, after the conclusion of this version of 'So You Wanna Be a Zako" the next one's on me, lol. I already have plans on how my rendition of it will be hosted. :cool::tongue:

"We didn't have to kill her..." Tyris thinks.
"Pardon?" responds Eisenhilde.
"The archer. The one who surrendered..."
"Tyris, they were-"
"No, I know. I get it. I'm just sick of this. Now we've come to Toxin's army killing each other? They were probably all just like us, but we slaughtered them all. I hate all of this. I still wonder if I should have just died when I had the chance."

Kimiko, who was new to Miasma, had actually worked with Acid before and knew Kendra. This didn't mean she was more merciful though. On the contrary, she wants to, "deliver the wench to Marla and make an example of her. I for one would love to give her a long painful death."

Astrid is horrible at keeping secrets, dropping hints here and there, albeit mostly to Arastine, that Eisenhilde "seems a lot different now," and "Might be more of a rebel then before," but at the very least she assures she says these things far from Kimiko.

Kaeda begins sniffing, claiming that she's using her keen scent to make sure there are no other ambushes around.

Beth wants Kendra's arm. Others laugh at this notion, but she's sure that with a well done grafting spell she could replace her arm. "It seems compatible. Different skin tone of course but I couldn't care less about that. I'd just need to use some minor necromancy to repair dead nerve endings and a healer backing me up. Come on, it's worth a shot!"
"What happens if the spell went wrong though?" Astrid asks curiously.
"Uh... I'm sure won't!" Beth says nervously, not actually answering the question. "Come on everyone, consider it?" Beth pleads. Of course, Kendra doesn't seem to like this option much more than Kimiko's.
 

Henchgirl 29

Avid Affiliate
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
DeviantArt Username
silencio-tardis
God, this was so well written I love all the descriptors for the girls in Kendra's squad:

Amanda highly advises that they keep the girl alive, arguing that the best course of action would be to have her as evidence to Marla and the rest of Toxin that Magatha cannot be trusted, besides there are fates worse than death and Kendra seems deserving enough of a little torture and humiliation
 

Skinny73

Vivacious Visitor
Joined
May 15, 2019
Location
United States
Moira, the ninja sisters, and Elendra all agree with Amanda. Hopefully if they bring Kendra alive to Marla, Marla will take her frustration out on her instead of Miasma battalion for failing to bring Marla the crown. Maybe if Marla can leverage Kendra, she can convince Toxin to get rid of Magatha for good.
 
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