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Fire Emblem: Curse of the Goddess [IC/PG-16/Not Accepting]

Cohost: Lord CowCow Fire Emblem Adventure Fantasy

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The Hunter and Hunted

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Shiro sat by the entrance, watching the horizon as Gunther and Alois patrolled the area. He was determined to stay awake, to keep watch, like a responsible frog... but the stress of the past few days and the lack of sleep he got last night made him lose the battle to stay awake. Try as he might, his eyes closed, and he soon fell asleep. 



"hey everybody, time to wake up!" Shiro jolted awake, the first feeling filling him was shame. He fell asleep on the job... "Get your weapons ready because.." pausing for a moment he said, "well I think it's better you see it in person!" Shiro was unsure of the panic of his human companion's voice, but looking into the distance, he soon understood why. 

"By the gods...," He muttered. "What the hell is going on?"


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Ciela was surprisingly silent when she watched over Edrick's rites, and even when dinner time came, she was more busy with her own world. It was the first time she felt that she had the time to tend to the ancient book again, and so she excused herself and became busy with her continued effort to translate the old book into the common language. She hoped that Edrick's rites might've given context to some of its parts, but well, so far she seemed to still be stuck. Disappointing, but not the end of the world. Cat and Edrick was talking at length about Inera in the meantime. It seemed to be an interesting discussion, but at the same time Ciela felt that she could barely concentrate at what they were saying at this point.

She ultimately was the one to go to sleep first.



"hey everybody, time to wake up! Get your weapons ready because.."




Adel woke up from her nap as Alois came and warned them, followed by Link's passionate attempt to make sure everyone did wake up. Not surprising, but they seemed to be under attack now. Adel was not on her armor at this time, which made her sigh as she grabbed her lance and said a quick thank you to both Alois and Link. Just one day, and she felt like she was getting too sloppy. Was she just lulled with how casual this group felt...no, that made no sense. The Patrol was even more casual.


But well, an ambush really was not a bad thing. Adel mounted Tyltalis with a grin on her face. As long as the deaths were not on her side, an ambush really was a good thing.





The clanging pans made for a rough awakening for Ciela. Hearing the words "We're under attack!", she jolted out from her sleep, and groggily reached out for her staff before she crawled towards Remy amidst the chaos. It might take her a while to do so. An ambush really was a crappy thing to happen at this point in time.


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The reactions to his telling of the tale were...mixed, but seemingly receptive for the time being. Once it had ended he noticed a...curious look on their Black Protean's face. He had heard her "secondborn theory" when she stated it before he had spoke, but the way she was looking, seemingly at him, had his interest piqued.
"Isn't that odd? That there would be multiple versions of the same story? How can someone be so certain of a religion that doesn't even know how it started for sure?" Penelope of course had the academic response. Not that there was anything surprising about that. Well, as she asked he had an answer.
"The important pieces are all the same." He said, looking directly at the younger princess. "The way my dad explained it was that there are lots of smaller orders that all hold to slight variations on the faith, most of them older than Pontus itself. The differences in what they say and believe are just the result of how long ago the beginning was. The literal start of this world. It's only natural that some things would be remembered differently by some people, but we all agree on the really important things." At least that was how he thought about it. Truth be told, Penelope had the easiest question to answer.

"But Hati and Beir weren't children of the Pontic goddess, they were children of...some other creators, and they were like the first of us...." Tsegtseg went and reminded them all that she was from Locris, and truth be told he was not sure how to answer her. The stories he had heard in his short time with the Locrisian Tribesmen did not seem to align with Pontic doctrine. There was sure to be a way to resolve that, some truth to be found in their ways. But that was not the hardest question to answer.

"So you believe that it is right? Inera's Way? To turn back death itself? And the Great Dragon...cooperating with Inera in Creation?" At first he was ecstatic that Catriona had said as such. That she understood what he was trying to say, and he was about to excitedly respond to her when she had more to say. "While I cannot believe this myself, I guess that from this you can hope for...Reconciliation?" That just about dashed his hopes in the moment, but her question still required an answer. With the wind well and truly taken out of his sails, all that he really felt the inclination to do was to nod. Yes. Reconciliation. A mending of the relationship between those who had been wronged by each other.
Some hours later, when they were preparing for bed, Edrick's mood was somewhat improved by Catriona's telling him that he would be on watch for the Dawn shift. At the very least she trusted him still, and so he drifted off to a rest that was not as peaceful as he had hoped the rite performed would grant him...
“Boots on the ground. We’re under attack! Link's shouting roused him from his sleep, and had him stumbling to stand upright out from under his blanket. In a start, he didn't so much as think to find his boots or, indeed, much of anything else aside from his spear. Dazed from his interrupted rest and the sudden rush of adrenaline, he ran barefoot and bare-chested to the entrance of the shrine with the newest of his spears in hand.

"Wazzat?" He slurred, looking this way and that at the others. "Whasgoingon?"



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"Tie her up nice and tight," the man in front whispered. "We don't want her squirming during the ceremony, or he would have words to say."


The man beside him shuddered. "Goddess, no. I don't want him nowhere near me. You saw what he did to the last bloke that displeased him."


"Aye," the other nodded. "I did indeed. Nothing left but bones, and e'en that was eaten up. His magic's always hungry, it is."


"Yes, it is," a new voice right beside her spoke, hoarse and raspy. "And if you don't hurry up, you'll see exactly how hungry." 


"Sir!" the two quickly turned around and fell to one knee, heads bowed.


"Get up! Didn't I just say to hurry?"


Catriona craned her neck, curious to see just who was talking, but she could make out nothing of his features save for his robes--oh. No. That, and his eyes, which glowed an acid green in the dark. She froze, unable to think of anything in that moment. It was as if she had locked gazes with a viper.


"Like what you see?" he chuckled. "Enjoy it while it lasts. Not too long now and your eyes will be closed...forever." He swept past, and the moment was broken, the woman taking in deep gulps of air, only then realizing that she had been holding her breath.


"Goddess, I almost shit my pants there," one of the men muttered as soon as he had left.


"Look, even the princess is scared stiff. Don't blame you," the other turned to address her, shaking his head. "You're in for a world of pain soon."


"Don't go feeling sorry for her. She's from that country, ya know."


"I know. We'd best get on with it."


Catriona woke up with a gasp, heart pounding wildly. She lay there, stiff and unmoving, until her heart finally settled down. Sighing, the woman turned over, hoping to get some sleep that wouldn't be plagued by nightmares. Though that was less a nightmare, and more a...memory. Of a living nightmare.


It felt as if she had blinked before she sat upright, sleep disturbed yet again, this time by her own party members. It didn't take long for the lord to gather her equipment and join the others at the northern edge of the shrine. "By the dragon," she whispered, seeing just what had prompted the early awakening.


By now, the enemy had come close enough that the lord could make out exactly what it looked like. Or rather, "they." For it was a horde of what could only be called monsters. At first glance they looked like normal human beings in armor, though they walked stiffly, as if unused to it. But their skin ranged from pale as chalk to a dark bruise-colored purple, and their eyes glowed blood red.


"The Awakened. I did not think I would see them in my lifetime," Licorice spoke from beside her. The Protean had woken up as well in the chaos.


"Awakened?" The word sounded...familiar, though Catriona wasn't sure where she had heard it.


"Yes. In the past, it is what the people of Mysia called those that the goddess revived to carry out Her will, as she has "woken" them from the eternal slumber of death. The revival is usually temporary, and for good reason, for they are stronger in undeath than they were in life. It is said that blows that would kill a man grown will only stymie an Awakened, but give it enough force and they'll die again, same as any man."


The princess nodded seriously. "Many thanks for your advice. If ever there was a time and place for such knowledge, it would be here and now."


"You're welcome," Licorice smiled thinly, before stepping back and transforming into her bestial form. "Though I have more to offer than knowledge alone. Their blades may be sharp, but my claws and teeth are sharper yet."


"Of course." Catriona resumed her watch northward, one hand resting over the handle of her sword. The horde approached, and it was unlikely they would survive this unscathed, if they survived at all. There were far too many enemies, too many to count. But their party had the high ground and the desperation of the living on their side. But...what about the other side? Did the dead even feel pain? She didn't have the leisure to dwell on that, for in the next second, she heard the clanking of weapons and armor...from the south side.


Whipping around, the lord cried out, "Behind us!" But it was too late. While they had been distracted at the north end, more foes had taken the opportunity to come in from the south. Charging forward, she whipped out her blade, ready to attack the mounted lance-wielder in front. However, before she could do so, the enemy stepped forward and...held its hands out?


The woman came to a halt, staring at the monster before her in puzzlement. It was then that she noticed that, rather than blood-red, its eyes were white, shining like stars. "You mean no harm?" she asked.


The man nodded, and gestured toward Edrick before speaking in a raspy, halting voice, as if it were unused to using its vocal chords. "Believer...brought rest...will help...return the others to sleep." The ones behind him nodded.


"So you were the spirits appeased in the ceremony..." Catriona realized, sheathing her sword. It was odd, but she knew immediately that they were telling the truth. They gave off the same feeling the shrine did--sadness, but also peace. Their bodies did not release the stench of rot, but the sweet scent of flowers, the same kind she had smelled earlier after the ceremony. "Thank you for your aid. We shall have need of it within the hour." She glanced at her sister. "Our tactician is over there. She will give you direction."


The group nodded, and approached Penelope. The lord followed, still not quite sure what to make of these strange happenings, but ready to act if necessary. As she walked, she observed the group. There were five overall--the lance cavalier in front, a barbarian, an archer, a knife thief, and a priest. The cavalier's horse looked just like a normal horse, save for its dark purple-colored coat and white eyes like its owner. An interesting group, and not those who would usually band together. There was a story here, but there was no time to ask. 


"These...people...are allies," it was a difficult concept for the lord to grasp, but she could not afford to be picky. "They are here to fight against the..." what was that word that Licorice had used? "The Awakened." The white-haired woman lingered nearby, unsure if she wanted to leave these strange men alone with her sister. Though it appeared as if the archer and thief were female, regardless, she didn't quite trust them around Penelope.


Meanwhile, the horde drew ever closer. By now, those in front would be able to identify their class and pick up on their odor--that of dirt and decay.



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Who in the world was banging pots together? Was that...Link's voice? Why would Link be hitting together pots. Was he hungry?


These were the first thoughts of the young Tactician as she groggily woke from her slumber and looked around. Everyone was moving about, getting ready for...what?


...Ah, that was unfortunate.


The realization they were under attack motivated Penelope to get to her feet and grab up her sword. The last remnants of tiredness faded as she heard Licorice say the name of their attackers.

A combination of fascination and dread hit her as she recalled the fiends from legend. This would be the hardest battle yet. Not only for their numbers but their strength and endurance. And yet...that they walked the land was something incredible on its own.


She feared that not all of them would make it through this alive. It was a terrible feeling. The more she thought about it the more she realized that, especially with such limited means to heal, they were at a major disadvantage with their current numbers.


And then her sister brought her reinforcements of the most unusual kind.


Penelope thought she'd be startled but she found she was instead...relieved. Penelope gave Catriona a nod. "Understood. They should help quite a lot, actually."


She turned to the soldiers. A rather...unusual lot, for sure. Before she began her strategy, though, there was one thing she had to know. "Are you able to...die? I do not want to send anyone to their demise even if you are not one of us."


The Cavalier, apparently the leader of the group, gave a response to the effect that they were already dead and dying would be like going back to sleep.


Armed with this knowledge Penelope grew more confident. She pointed at them in turn, the cavalier, the priest, the barbarian, the archer, and the thief. "Unil, Dua, Trim, Quatro, Penvo." She wasn't sure where the names came from but they felt...right.


She then called out to the group. "It seems this is the Goddess's response to our presence. Pretty rude welcome if you ask me. It will be tough but we can outlast them. It's time to show the Goddess we aren't so easily deterred! Everyone take a look to me, these five are our allies. I know it's hard to believe but both I and Catriona trust them. We need to prepare and fast so I ask that you work together."


She once more scanned the field that she could see. There were many foes but they were mostly gathered in the front. They may not even know of the side entrances so for now...the focus had to be there.


The Girl With the Tactical Mind


The tower would seem like a good place to hold up at first but, from her exploration of it, she knew it would be a tight fit for them all. And that it wasn't strong enough to hold everyone, lest of all the mounts, so it would only be used to protect the critically wounded.


However she had noticed arrow slits in the walls of the tower, so she turned to their ally Archer. "Quatro, I need you in the tower, keep close to the openings and fire on any foe who comes within reach. If you can, sound off if they start to swarm the area."


"Dua, Trim, I want you with Edrick protecting one of the openings." She indicated the Pontic, though she felt they may already know, given that it was likely he who brought them here somehow. "He's tough but he'll need to be kept healed. Dua, take a torch with you. Trim, if Edrick is overwhelmed take his place."


"Penvo, go with Shiro, the Frog Protean there, and cover him from another of the openings."


She looked then to the Cavalier. "Unil and I shall go to the opening on the side and prepare to provide backup wherever needed."


The Tactician then told her plans, and the names she had given their new allies, to the rest of her group, including giving tasks for each of them. She knew that in the heat of the moment they may choose a different option but she knew that she only would have these scant moments to give some advice.

"Adel, you are at a disadvantage in these quarters due to your mount. Take another torch and provide assistance where needed, I ask you stay near me if possible."

"Sienna, Alois, provide Gunther and Link backup. Tsetseg, I want you with Shiro and Penvo. But be prepared to join Quatro in the tower if they begin to swarm that side."

"Licorice, keep your eye on their movement, and go where you feel is in most danger. Be prepared to be the first to fall back to cover the unguarded entrances."

As she passed Ciela she made sure to keep her voice low. "Link is skilled but I don't think he can take too many blows. Keep an eye on everyone but try and focus on him if possible."


She knew there were far too many gaps in the strategy. She felt perhaps she shouldn't send Quatro to the tower until later. Or send Tsetseg instead. Did they have enough torches? And there were many openings in their defense...but she wasn't sure what else she could do. The number of troops they had only barely made her comfortable with the defenses they had set up.


She turned to Catriona. "Try and stay back a bit. Look for any weakness in the defenses and go to them."


Penelope took a deep breath then smiled. "We're not losing anyone tonight. Not even you five." She looked towards Unil before gesturing to him to follow her to the entrance on her left. "Try not to sleep too early, I'd very much like to learn more about you." Their very existence threw some rather unusual questions her way. Questions, she hated to admit, the books she had read didn't have the answer to.


She pulled Katarina from her sheath. These fiends...were not people. She should feel no qualms about cutting them down.



Gunther was doing his best not to shake. There were so many of them. The only thing that kept him from leaving his position, shamed as he was to think it, was the knowledge that there was nowhere he could go they couldn't follow. He could only trust that the others, that Penelope, would lead them out of this.


So he gripped his lance tighter as he heard the others prepare. When Penelope told him of their new allies, and the role they'd fill, he stared at her in disbelief. But something about her expression, the absolute confidence, relaxed the Knight.


"Sure, undead buddies, why not." He muttered with a dry laugh. "Perhaps next we'll be allied with an angel who will smite down these...things." He shook his head, referencing an old tale that Penelope had once told him of beings of good that came to warriors in their time of need. It was a ridiculous story but as a young man it had given him a sense of wonder.


He really wished he could have that feeling back about now.




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Link was shaken by the sight of the monsters in a way that he hadn’t been since he was a boy. His dinner sloshed painfully in his stomach when the smell hit his nose, and a chill that had nothing to do with his cold ran down his spine. Was this the power of Inera? The Mistress of Undeath, they called her, and Link could think of nothing that more aptly described the creatures in front of him. Undead. The way they all hobbled forward in their antiquated armors, some still wrapped in the tattered shrouds they had been laid to rest in—it was unnatural and unholy.


He felt like he was staring down the boogeymen his grandpa had sworn would come get him if he acted up as a boy. Something terrible had disturbed the dead, and they weren’t happy about it.


Licorice’s explanation only confirmed his suspicions. They were most definitely unholy.


“Edrick,” Link said, managing to push through the overwhelming feeling of dread. “Go get your armor. And put a damn shirt on!” His voice was no longer the whisper everyone had become accustomed to. It was full of steel and fire, and had shifted in pitch from a faint tenor to a solid baritone that smacked of rural Galtea.


He was terrified, but Gunther and Edrick needed someone to reassure them, and he was the most senior of their little frontline squad.


Penelope’s voice rang out from behind them. "It seems this is the Goddess's response to our presence. Pretty rude welcome if you ask me. It will be tough but we can outlast them. It's time to show the Goddess we aren't so easily deterred!” Link moved to stand beside Gunther. With his lean form and the Knight’s huge bulk, it was enough to cover the largest entrance to the shrine. The young princess carried on. “Everyone take a look to me, these five are our allies. I know it's hard to believe but both I and Catriona trust them. We need to prepare and fast so I ask that you work together."


Link spared a look behind him. The aforementioned allies were… more undead. Had they taken leave of their senses? No, they surely had a good reason. He took a deep breath and steeled his nerves. When he had first joined the Galtean military, he had never thought he would end up fighting with and against the same beasts the Legendary Crusaders had faced centuries before him.


"Sure, undead buddies, why not." Gunther muttered with a dry laugh. "Perhaps next we'll be allied with an angel who will smite down these...things."


Link brushed his shoulder against the knight’s. “Stick close to me. I don’t have your armor, so I’ll be counting on you to keep them back.” He raised his sword as the horde drew closer. “Get ready.”

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