Rise of the Thrall Lord
Shadow of the Colossus
- After the climatic battle, Aksel has gained crude control of the Stone Colossus deep beneath the Monolith
- Lloyd, Seth, Alana and Elistra are with Aksel on the top of the Colossus
- Glorlindir and Elvisda are in the stalactite room at the top of the chamber
- Donatello is on the chamber floor after his spectacular leap to help Ruka
- Ruka is also on the floor, in Dragon form and severely injured after her battle with the Giant Viper
In the Shadow of a Colossus, a Dragon Falls
Ruka: “Thanks for the assist.”
She changes back to human form and stumbles towards Donatello
Ruka: “Do me a favor…”
Falls into Donatello and leans on him
Ruka: “…hold me a minute.”
Multiple puncture wounds are apparent on her; most look poisoned.
Ruka: “Cursed snake had enough venom to kill a dragon … literally.”
Closes eyes, falls completely into Donatello’s arms
The sword Inazuma speaks
Inazuma: “Foolish child, you have only sped the poison by taking human form.”
Ruka snuggles closer to Don and whispers quietly to herself
Ruka: “totally worth it…”
She passes out, her breathing ragged and faltering, but somehow a strange smile on her lips
A Knight of the Rose
The gigantic stone hand of The Colossus lowers five of the Companions, Aksel, Lloyd, Seth, Alana and Elistra, to the cavern floor. The small gnome, Aksel grins like a kid at his growing control of the massive monolithic man. The rest caught up in the moment of their victory, also smile. All except Alana.
She strides purposefully across the stone floor, her eyes fixed on the distant figure of Donatello holding Ruka in his arms, an unaccustomed frown upon her brow.
Glorlindir and Elvisda, having carefully flown outside the magic disrupting aura of the Colossus, already stand beside Don and Ruka. Glorlindir has a look of worry on his face and it is currently directed towards Alana’s quick striding approach.
Alana realizes that she has her hand gripped tightly to her sword hilt. Surely it must be because the still twitching corpse of a giant viper lies nearby, not because Donatello clutches ‘that girl’ in his arms.
The short legged gnomes have fallen behind, the other hanging back with them in unaccustomed restraint.
As Alana approaches the fallen girl, she sees an aspect of Ruka she has not seen before…
Alana first met Ruka across the ring of the Ravenford Tourney less than a ten-day span ago. A slim young blonde child wearing only a simple dress and carrying a rather crude bladed bronze short sword with an elaborate hilt grasped loosely in one hand. But the intensity of the child’s gaze, and the tight smile as of some joke restrained gave lie to the casual stance, and Alana prepared herself for a fight, but not prepared enough. The first lightning bolt solidly caught her before the starting flag even hit the floor.
Alana moved in with a feign and waited for any sign of further casting; there was none other than a small frown and a quick change of the girl’s eye color from green to amber. Alana managed to dodge the worst of the second bolt which sprung from the girls sword, but the charge was still numbing. Alana’s training took over, she leaped and struck immediately in two solid blows. She had a brief surge of worry that she may have mortally hurt the young caster in spite of the tourney safeguards, but any worry for others was short lived.
If anything, Ruka seemed invigorated by the damage, replying with a series of skilled strikes almost too fast to follow. In spite of Alana’s heavy armor, one of the strikes landed with more strength than many large men she had fought and an extra charge of electricity to boot. They traded blows, hers landing easily on the unarmored girl, but seeming to affect her little; Ruka’s blows piercing Alana’s heavy plate more often then expected with deft skill and shocking strength.
Alana was careful to watch Ruka’s eyes and turn her enchanted sword to avoid any further lightning strikes, when the girl simply reached out with her other hand. She almost casually touched Alana’s armor, the electric charge caught Alana full on, and her tourney scarf burst into flames signally her loss. As Alana gave her knightly salute due the victorious, a grinning Ruka sincerely thanked her for a good go of it, more like a little girl after an enjoyable game of hearth stones than a bloodied combatant.
Alana joined the Companions and Ruka on the Road from Ravenford; she saw several other sides of the mercurial girl. The shape changer, wild and skittish drawn to people, yet separate, quietly yearning for something unknown, alternated with the arrogant snarky princess quick to point fault and exasperated by the slow pace of those who couldn’t just grow wings and fly.
On the campaign trail, Alana, like all the companions had seen the strange girl at her best and worst, but they had never seen Ruka like this before.
She is vulnerable.
Alana kneels next to Donatello, places her hands gently on the sides of Ruka’s face, and wills the divine power of the Lord of the Winds to restore some of the dragon-child’s health. It isn’t much in the face of such terrible damage, but it is something.
She knows now that the pale thin wisp of a girl hides the form of a fierce dragon. In spite of this, Ruka is a child none the less, direly hurt and far from her home and people. But she is not alone! Not when Alana and the Companions are nearby.
In a time of need, petty jealousy cannot cause more than a flickering shadow across the noble heart of a true Knight of the Rose.
A Fateful Choice
Elistra: “She’s not dead yet…”
Donatello looks up hopefully from the still, pale form of Ruka
Elistra: “If she was, she’d revert to her natural form, and you’d look pretty silly trying to cradle her like that.”
Ignoring Donatello’s frown, Elistra squats down, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder
Elistra: “There may be a way to keep her alive while we come up with a cure for the venom. But it is very dangerous… for you.”
Before Don can answer, she pushes on
Elistra: “I can link your fates… sort of a karmic channel where you can temporarily share life-force, bolstering each other, but also distributing pain and damage. And if she does die while you are linked, she’ll take a big chunk of your life-force with her.”
Alana’s hand falls on Donatello’s other shoulder as she interjects
Alana: “I should do it; I have the fortitude to withstand it.”
Elistra shakes her head slowly
Elistra: “Perhaps, but in order for this to work, I have to overcome Ruka’s will. And the will of a Dragon, even poisoned and dying, is a tremendous thing. I only brought it up because I thought, perhaps, if it was Donatello, she wouldn’t resist…”
You Thinking What I’m Thinking?
Elvisda stands between the Stone Colossus’ legs looking up at its massive proportions.
Alana walks over and says in a friendly tone
Alana: “You thinking what I’m thinking?”
A grin crosses Elvisda’s face, but before he can answer
Alana: “Why build a Stone Colossus in an underground cavern with no colossal exits?”
This, apparently was not what Elvisda was thinking, but Alana pushes on without noticing
Alana: “These people weren’t crazy, there has to be a huge gaping hole we are missing here.”
Elvisda points upward. Alana’s gaze follows
Alana: “Oh… why? … Why make a Stone Colossus anatomically correct under his loin cloth?”
Elvisda’s grin widens
Alana: “Maybe these people were crazy…”