Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Saren, Apr 17, 2015.

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  1. As of late, every day seemed to be the same: no bounties, no creatures, no hunting. That meant a lack of money and a lack of something to occupy her mind. It was how she'd come to think about how the Kalnas Peaks pointed so high in the sky and what lay underneath the mountains. There were rumors of all kinds of creatures, though no one had ever seen them, for the layers of dangerous rock and sharp slopes of the mountains prevented any hunter from traversing the unclaimed land.

    It was what had her on the slow path toward the Kalnas Peaks in the first place. She didn't think she could be the first to claim any Kalnas creature, but what was stopping her from trying?

    Well, the difficult trek through the humid forest surrounding the Peaks was one thing. The second was the threat of other nasty creatures living in the area. Wolkes were abundant in the forest, for they enjoyed the overbearing heat provided by Volkaan Point, a massive and dormant volcano positioned in the heart of the Peaks.

    All in all, it wasn't a good place to be traveling in, but she was going to do it.

    "No stupid, scaly wolf is going to stop me," she muttered, as if she had to prove her own strength to herself. She'd made a living off of hunting for several years now. She had nothing to prove! She was among the best, or so she liked to think. She'd made a habit out of traveling with other hunters to improve her skills, but the group had disbanded a few months ago after a fight over money.

    And so, there she was, one lone, crossbow wielding hunter, trying to make a bigger name for herself.

    Any sane hunter would have called her crazy for trying to hunt any of the Kalnas creatures. Not only was the forest hard to traverse, but with no one ever actually seeing any of the monstrous creatures, it was possible she could come away with absolutely nothing to show for it.

    "Damned forest."

    Kicking a blackened rock, she watched ash puff off and mix with the fallen leaves of the forest. Through all her thoughts about monsters and money, she hadn't paid any attention to where her feet had fallen. The trees had lessened and the ground was going up rather than straight. She had reached the point of no return... almost. If she found a cave leading the mountain, she could find something that could net her a veritable gold mine.

    That is, if anything even existed inside the mountain.
    #1 Saren, Apr 17, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2016
  2. A humanoid figure lumbered through a tunnel, its every step causing the ground to quiver under its feet. It made rarely made a sound as it strode forwards, save for the crumbling of rocks caught beneath it - not that there was anybody else to listen to it. Occasionally, it paused to pick up a tool, be it a pickaxe or a shovel, to take a bite from the metal parts of said tools. And every time he did so, a grunt of displeasure came forth from his mouth, expressing his distaste for such things.

    Its journey did not stop at the end of the tunnel, however. Once it reached the wall of solid rock that even miners had trouble getting through, both of its hands shot forwards, embedding themselves firmly in it. The beast then tore a chunk of the wall out, and ate it without a second thought. The monster was doing what men, pickaxes, and days of work had struggled to achieve as if it were nothing more than him picking fruit form a tree. It was not satisfied, however, no matter how far or deep it travelled.

    Its tongue - something that resembled molten stone more than it did anything else on its body - trailed slowly up the walls, though its owner did not react until a certain spot was found. Tasting strong traces of ore, it began to tear away at the spot on the wall, this time not bothering to consume any of the rubble it created. The beast had tasted iron ore, and it did not want to waste any time in getting to it. Tasteless rocks that hardly affected it could wait until it was no longer in any great hurry.

    Midway through ingesting a vein of iron, it came across a rather peculiar thing - a stone, to be precise. It was quite unlike anything else it had ever seen before, and unlike other minerals and such, the Ferron could actually taste it. Intrigued, to dug around the object, aiming to extract the entire thing in one go, the possibility of a cave-in being of no concern to it at all. The stone was raised to its gaping maw, and placed inside, whereupon it chewed slowly, taking the time to investigate it, and determine whether it liked it or not.
  3. The stone in question was a rather strange one. It was translucent and light purple in color, though it had murky green and blue veins trailing into the broken points. The veins themselves had a soft, but sickly glow about them, as if the stone bore some tragic wound. The jagged ends were sharp and might have drawn blood if the creature was human. One end was smooth and round; it was likely the fragment had broken off of some larger, circular stone.

    These qualities mattered little to the creature, who ingested the stone without a second thought. As the creature's jaws smashed together to break apart the stone, the jagged edges cracked and stabbed inside its mouth. The stone seemed to crumble and disintegrate as it was tested for taste. It had a bitter tang to it, as if whatever was glowing on the inside was now old and breaking. Then the stone's flavor turned sharp and sour as it finally cracked into millions of pieces inside the creature's mouth.

    In that moment, every broken piece glowed bright, even threatening to shine through the creature's body. A painful shock erupted up, forcing the creature's jaw open in a booming shriek. A wave full of energy crashed outward, though the mountain didn't budge. Whatever was inside the stone was being released.

    Outside, the trees bent with the energy, and with it, the bounty hunter was forced back. Unless she had stepped on a magical trap, whatever had just happened wasn't her fault. Straightening up, she looked toward the mountain, but nothing had changed. "What in the world...?"

    The stone was being digested of its own accord, its energy painfully pulsing outward and causing the creature's entire body to glow. The creature's shape warped, curling inside and out, growing and shrinking, twisting into something new. The magic, for that was all it could have been, jerked the creature's shining form forward, into the side of the wall. The rocks couldn't bear the weight of such a hit and fell away with a rumbling crash. The force blew a hole in the side of the mountain, but the creature's glowing transformation was nearing completion. The warm air of the outside rushed into the newly created gap in the mountain, pulling at the warped creature.

    The hunter was aware of something crazy happening inside the mountain and rushed toward the commotion. Given that nothing ever really happened in the Kalnas Peaks, she had no idea what she expected to find. The thought of a never before seen monster was quite the motivating thought, causing her to surge forward with renewed vigor.
  4. There, on the ground, lay a man. He did not appear to be anything special at first glance - certainly, he was incredibly tall and muscular for a human, but that was about the extent of his notable features. He seemed to be unaffected by the explosion, save for some scratches and a bit of dirt on his skin - but even so, he seemed to be curled up in pain, and groaning from it as well. For a while, he wasn't even able to open his eyes, let alone stand up and investigate his surroundings.

    Once he did, the light proved difficult to become accustomed to. Having lived most - if not all - of his life underground, the only light he ever saw was that of the magma that he would occasionally come across. It simply couldn't compare to the sheer brightness of unrelenting natural sunlight. Eventually, after much eye-rubbing and looking around in an obviously confused manner, the man could actually see. Not much, though - only vague shapes and blurred outlines. However, it was enough for him to navigate his way around the clearer parts of the forest, leaving him confident enough to amble back towards the mountains.

    Naturally, he kept colliding with everything from trees to animals that refused to get out of the way. This was a rather disorienting experience for him, given that he was used to being able to plough straight through anything obstructing him with minimal effort. He groaned in frustration, but something was off about it - it was as if he knew how to express himself like a monster, but was limited by his body. Certainly, he seemed to be an odd specimen.
  5. The bounty hunter, knowing too little about the Kalnas Peaks and the surrounding forest, had no idea where she was actually going. The crumbling had to have been rock, unless a very solid tree had fallen nearby, but that seemed impossible.

    Then again, the creatures of the Peak hardly ever showed themselves, so an explosion should have been impossible too.

    She pulled the crossbow from its place on her back, doing her best to prepare herself for whatever lay ahead. For all she knew, it could have been a massive, mountain-dwelling monster with a taste for human flesh. It seemed that even the deepest buried creatures always found a way to harm someone. The thought made her slow her steps, head whipping in each direction to check for an ambush.

    In fact, the wild looks all around was what caused her to collide with a rather soft tree. "Gah!" She stumbled backward, nearly smacking into a tree behind her. She kept a tight grip on the crossbow, and even before she'd fully recovered, the weapon was hauled up to her shoulder, ready to snipe the attacking tree. She shook her silver hair from her eyes and got a clear line of sight on her target, and then she saw it for what it really was.

    Somehow, a completely naked man had ended up in front of her. The closest towns were at least several miles away, so how he had managed to get all the way to the Peaks without being spotted or killed was beyond her. "Uh... You are, um... very, very naked," she finally spit out in the least eloquent of ways. "Are you alright?" The crossbow lowered a few inches, but she could still be ready to strike if need be. She hadn't expected to find another sentient being out here.

    Well, she hadn't expected much of anything, but a tall, muscled man was certainly not something she would have thought to be her first encounter with a living thing.
  6. The creature looked Diana over, assessing whether she was a threat or not. Evidently, she was of little interest to him - as well as anything she had to say. He groaned a little to acknowledge her presence, but other than that, he seemed incredibly disinterested in her.
    Until he noticed the crossbow.
    Though he had not had much contact with humans, enough hunters had come by to leave a bad impression on him. And though even fewer came armed with ranged weapons, those that did carried a crossbow. The bolts didn't hurt, but they were annoying - like a mosquito, sans the deadly illnesses.

    Immediately, his expression hardened, and he began to breath slightly more heavily. Under normal circumstances, this would be the point where parts of his body began to glow like lava, and anyone with any sense would back off before he tore their skulls off of their necks. But these were not normal circumstances. Under the current ones - namely him being a human with no weapons besides his fists, and no armour besides his birthday suit - he actually looked rather silly.
    The man remained rooted to the spot, attempting to stare Diana down and get her to back off. It was safe to say that, tall and muscular as he was, he wasn't quite intimidating enough to scare an arrow away from his body.
  7. The man didn't seem entirely keen on answering her question, given that his only discernible response was a grunt in her general direction. She kept a tight grip on the crossbow, just to be safe. Only crazy people would try to live out near the Peaks, right? Miners had a hard enough time trying to break through the tough rocks of the mountains, and since he was clean (and quite naked), Diana didn't think this man was a miner. Shifting back with one foot, she was prepared to start leaving when the man made a different noise. He looked like he was angrier, even though his expression hadn't changed all that much. He breathed deeper like an anxious animal, waiting to strike. It was similar to the stance any hunted creature might have taken. This man didn't look like a killer creature, but then again, her knowledge of creatures was limited to what she had and hadn't seen. For all she knew, he could have been some kind of shapeshifter or just an insane man making his way out in the mountains.

    "Well, this has been... exciting," she said, voice lacking any actual excitement, "but I should, uh, let you get back to what you were doing." There were just some things she wasn't interested in, and a possibly slow-in-the-head, muscly, and unclothed man was definitely on that list. Lowering the crossbow again, she freed one hand from the grip in almost a surrendering gesture. "I mean, if you're lost, you can come back with me and figure out where you're from." She realized then that he might not know a single word she'd just spoken, and she glanced down with a sigh. "I'm not really sure if you can comprehend any of this, but... I'm gonna go. You're free to do whatever you want. I'm guessing you don't want to be shot at, and I'm not going to. If you get hurt, it's not my fault." With that wonderfully crisp farewell gesture, Diana shouldered the crossbow again and turned on her heel to leave.
  8. The beast could somehow comprehend what she was saying - which he found strange, as he'd never actually used language more complicated than body language on its own. He thought nothing of it, however, and simply grunted dismissively at her when she turned to leave. She was backing away and did not appear to be a threat, despite holding a weapon. Though cautious about it, he turned, and went on his way. The encountered lingered on his mind due to how odd it seemed to him, but he tried not to think about it too much.

    Unlike most beasts, he could recognise his own reflection - whether it was an evolutionary trait or something he'd learnt, he didn't remember. What was important was that he did not see a tall, imposing beast before him - instead, he saw flesh. He saw fur, and he saw colours. Naturally, this caused him great distress, making him cry out. Not like before, however - this was a cry of confusion and torment. He backed up from his reflection as if it were cursed, and looked at his hands, trying to confirm that he had actually changed.

    Much to his dismay, he had.
  9. Diana hadn't made it very far when she heard the noise.

    Her gait had slowed, heels digging deeper into the dirt as her feet ground down, like she was purposefully lagging. It was almost as if she was worried about the strange man, which she shouldn't have been. "He was crazy," she reminded herself out loud. "I don't deal in people, I deal in monsters." The self affirmation was necessary as she trudged on, the crossbow feeling heavier with each step. She could have potentially shot the man, but something had stayed her. Maybe it was because he was a living human being and it was wrong to shoot them? She didn't really know. He could have been a potential threat, posing a danger to her.

    Yet, when the lost and confused cry rang throughout the trees, she stopped. There was a moment of inner turmoil: turn back to find the man and make sure he was okay, or leave him. Somehow, the idea of leaving him on his own felt worse the more she thought about it. She managed to take one step forward before breathing out a loud sigh. "Fine," she said to no one in particular, pivoting on her heel and going back the way she came.

    She found him in a similar state as before, only this time, panic filled the air rather than attempted intimidation. Doing her best to yet again ignore his nakedness, she cleared her throat and spoke up. "You alright, big guy?" she asked, though her voice held just a tinge of concern. He really wasn't her problem, but she'd found him in such an odd state that it was hard to forget. Now that she was closer to him, she found that 'big' was quite the understatement. His tall and muscular form dwarfed her own in every possible way. She didn't think it was possible for a body to climb so high in the sky like a growing tree, but he defied that expectation.
  10. It took the man a few moments to understand that Diana was talking to him. He was too busy panicking over what he was supposed to do - if he could do anything at all. When he finally did notice her, he could do nothing but grunt and cry out in much the same way that a distressed animal would. He wanted to communicate what was wrong, and if Diana understood his species beyond how best to wipe them out, she would likely be able to infer something more specific than "I am in distress."

    In his desperation, the man vocalised an incredibly wide range of sounds. And, completely by accident, he spoke.
    "M-me... Change... Become... THIS!"
    He waved his hands over his entire body, indicating just what he meant. While the specifics were unclear, it was evident that he was rather uncomfortable in his own body - a body that seemed too big to be human. "Please... Help... No understand..."
    It was truly a strange sight. A man that, by all means, looked and sounded to be incredibly tough. And he was begging a stranger for help.
  11. The upset grunts were becoming a regular noise, and she almost found it in her to ignore them. He was clearly frustrated with something, but he lacked the words to tell her. He was behaving much like an animal might, and given her experience with creatures in the past, she found those times were the only reason she knew anything was wrong at all. If she was anyone else, she could have passed it off as a hungry noise. However, there was a precision to his cries that seemed to mean something else, but she couldn't speak grunt.

    All it took was the passing of a few seconds for something else to occur, something that thoroughly shocked her. The man, who had only been able to try and speak, actually used words in a voice that was barely short of booming. If he could generate wind with his voice, his words might have cause a wind storm and blown her off of her feet. However loud he was, it was the words he tried to say that caught her attention. He had changed into a human, something she'd never heard of, possibly because she didn't know what he was before finding himself in this state. It was a 'scratch your head' sort of moment for her.

    He requested help, and Diana wasn't sure she would be able to give him what he wanted - no, needed. If he was confused about his body and whereabouts, he wouldn't last long in the forest. Whatever he'd been, he wasn't now, and she seemed to be the first to witness him in such a state. "I... Well, I'm not...not quite sure how to help," she said, doubt crossing her own voice. "We should get out of here first, I guess. The Wolkes won't be too happy to find another human around here." Really, she should have gotten him some clothes first, but she wasn't in the habit of carrying around clothes sewn for giants. "Do you know the fastest way out of these woods?"
  12. The man shook his head in a manner that quite aptly displayed how panicked he was. Yet again, he had used a facet of human communication he shouldn't have been able to - anyone observant enough would notice this. And yet, even in a state where he shouldn't have been able to think straight, the man had used it while knowing exactly what it would mean in that context. A rather strange occurrence, but given that they were in monster territory and that he was stark naked, it wasn't what needed addressing the most.

    "Me... not know way. Live in there... whole life."
    He gestured towards the mountains, though he wasn't quite sure how to communicate exactly what he'd been doing there in the first place. Nevertheless, his message was clear - he had no idea where he was, what he was, or where he was supposed to be going. At this point, he was relying on Diana to guide him. Him, a person (or monster, depending on how you thought about it) that prided itself on being able to survive alone, was more or less begging what it thought was a weaker being for assistance.
  13. This was by far the strangest... thing Diana had ever spoken to. She'd spoken to idiotic men, dumb-witted girls, cranky elders, and every manner of person, but the man standing in front of her was simply not a man. He was a monster, changed by some unknown force and he needed help. She wasn't well-versed in the ways of giving advice or help, but she had the opportunity to try. With a sigh and a hand through her silver hair, Diana looked up at the towering man.

    "Well, I'll help you get out of here. I guess you'll have to stick with me for a while until we know why you changed." He didn't seem to really understand what she was saying, or so she presumed. He had his own way of talking, and given how slow he spoke, she wasn't sure how well he was comprehending the situation. Outside of complete fear and confusion, of course.

    There wasn't really time to think about how he could understand her, since the sun was beginning to dip under the mountainous horizon. If they stayed out much longer, they risked more creatures coming out and attacking. Given that her new companion (if she could call him that) wasn't well-equipped to handle even talking, she didn't think he was up for fighting off monsters. "We should get moving. We'll find out what did this, and then you can go back to being... whatever you were." She waved her hand for him to follow before moving deeper into the forest. "Do you have a name?"
  14. The man nodded frantically when Diana proposed that he stick with her for the time being. It wasn't as if he had much choice. He was stuck in an alien environment, after all, in a form that he was still trying to comprehend. He was used to the strong, solid nature of stone - to be stuck on dirt and mud was making him incredibly uncomfortable. Not to mention unbalanced. He was doing his best to stay up, and seemed to be doing an admirable job, but nobody would blame Diana if she took a few steps back to avoid becoming a human pancake.

    The man followed after Diana, looking nervously about him with every step. He had a human form, but his instincts were still intact. Every sound - from the cracking of branches underfoot to the hurried flapping of a bird taking off - made him lash his head around in its direction. Diana's question about his name helped to stem this, however.
    "No... No name. Never had."
    He was a monster, after all. He had only learnt the concept of names through the transformation that had suddenly taken place.
  15. Stars above, her new job was getting harder by the minute. Each of her light steps was accompanied by a thump of his large, bare feet. Any attempts at being quiet were completely canceled by the addition of this transformed man. Diana did her best to stifle annoyed sighs, but a few slipped out anyway. She only hoped her new (hopefully temporary) traveling partner wouldn't catch onto her growing irritation.

    By the time they got near the end of the tree line, the sky was growing dark. Dusk had come and gone, and now the sun was barely peeking over the edge of the horizon. She still had to travel a fair distance to even think about looking at civilization, and now her normal walking speed was reduced to half by her new companion. But they couldn't stop moving. The likelihood of being attached by monsters was much higher at night than it was during the day.

    "So... You said you changed. You don't know how? What were you doing when it happened?" Anything she knew about hi, the better.
  16. Fortunately for Diana, the monster-turned-man was far too scared and confused to even think about reading her mannerisms outside of anything in a conversation that was completely obvious. He noticed a few sighs, but was far too busy with trying to console himself to care much about what she was doing if it wasn't a direct instruction. He was an animal, after all. As intelligent as he had become, his instincts still remained.

    Yet again, he found a way to take his mind off of his fear, by way of focussing on answering the question posed to him by Diana. It wasn't like he could provide an scintillating retelling of his escapades before they had crossed paths, but it kept his mind off of things.
    "Me... eating. Tunnel through underground. Eat rocks. Eat ore. Find... glow stone. Eat it as well."
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