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Born of Steel (Vicky)

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When the Cataclysm first erupted, A Ley Line thread, one of thousands that crossed the planet, and channeled its Mana, had bled. A short eruption, a Volcano that was dormant from the dawn of time, had opened its fiery core and screamed its rage to the heavens abs earth. The Erupt was pure magic and Mana, burning and changing everything in its path as. Its smoke no better. Either killing whoever breathed it, or mutating them...the true victims however, were the people of Hipose, humans, elves, Dwarves and halflings that had grouped together in a city state of trade, and wonders. The Ashes from the Erupt had sweet through the nearby city in all of one day, heat and smoke was enough to wipe its inhabitants from this world. Or so one would have believed. The city fell to ruins, burned and choked by the deathly disaster, all that remained of the people were its metal statues, twisted into horrified and scared figures. Until one day, I'm the coming chaos, the statues would move, and the people of Hipose, were not truly as dead as the world believed. They become metal men, and women, inside and out. What was once living flesh became mechanical, but still remembered what it was to life, the breathe, to eat and drink.


The nearby kingdoms began to issue aid, a rebuilding effort, far from the Cursed Volcano now know as the Forge Eye, as it's fires and rage kept itself wide open. Brigades, thieves, and raiders took up in the horrible ruins if Hipose, turning it into a thieves bastion, and headquarters, and harvesting the remains if the society it rested upon like vultures.
 
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One of these aids was name Snare, a retired ex-soldier offering to work for free. She has spent a few days traveling to Hipose, beating off bandits along the way. After long she arrived at the city gates of Hipose, what was left of them at least, and began wondering the town for somewhere to stay and hopefully get some nicer equipment, all Snare has on her is a: chipped dagger, torn leather armor, a rusty longsword and an empty crossbow with no bolts.
 
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As she approached the gates, Snare felt an air of malice about her as she gazed up to it. Criminals of all shapes had started taking up in this city, but the kingdom of Solace had dispatched some Kings Gaurd, Elite soldiers to hold them back and establish order. Things had gotten rough, rumor had it a encampment had been made for the native population of Hipose, and the rebuilding efforts were stalling from the struggle inside the city walls. Venturing closer, the gaurd post was emptied, and silent, the gates were twisted and broken , barely held up by the supporting hinges.

The ground was gray and sandy, the ashes still clinging to it and rippling lightly with every step. "Step back!" She heard from beyond the gate. "In the name of King Solmon! " a gruff voice snapped as a few men came out, in plate armor and wrapped in the banners of Solace. Kings Gaurd, no doubts about it.
 
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Snare immediatley takes a few step backs and holds her hands up. "It's alright!, I'm one of the aids, the name is Snare" she looks to the guards with as much of an understanding expression her scalie features let her. "Is the bandit problem really that bad? Can't trust the next friendly face?" she say's jokingly, trying to lighten the heavy atmosphere.
 
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The knights held up crossbows at her at she spoke, two holding her at their sights. "Its definitely not pretty here Snare. Aid work is accepted from the refugee camp, and your...armorments, won't do you good here. Rip." The captain said, one of the knights straightening up as his name was said. "Yes Captain?" A younger voice rung up.

The captain gestured to Snare. "Take her to the refugee camp, keep a close eye so she doesn't get swept by anything out there." He issued. Rip, saluted his captain and turned to walk over towards Snare. "Hello Ms.Snare. I'm Jay Ripley. Eh...my unit calls me Rip." He said, under his helm.she could guess he had a nervous smile on his face as he held out a gauntleted hand.
 
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Snare took his hand with a strong grip and shook “ so you know know where we’re headed? Lead the way”. She lets go of his and gestures to the terrain behind her “I’m no Wayfinder, but I’m guessing it’s that way” quickly turning back to Rip she introduces herself “they call me Snare, o’l nickname”.
 
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"I'll handle it!" Rip said with a nod and pounding his chest with a fist. He started to lead Snare away from the gates as the kings guard pulled back into the city.

Rip reached under his cloak, pulling his crossbow up and prepping the bolt. They were on track towards a wooden trail it seemed, weaving into the woods. The trees were dusted and twisted , warped into hideous mangled shapes. "You must be brave to come this far to the Cataclysm without any help." Rip said as he looked around
 
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“When you’ve been doing things as long as I have.. you don’t really get too scared anymore” Snare said looking at the ground for a moment, but not long after her head shot back up “ did you hear something?” Snare shoots a glance to her surroundings, prepared if need be.
 
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“It sounds like a beastie” Snare crouches down and pulls out a small knife “has the recent ‘event’ changed any of the creatures round here?” She, knife at the ready, pulls the bush away from the noise.
 
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"You have no idea. That little knife might not be what you want" Rip said as the Bush was shifted. Whatever was there, Snare couldn't see yet, pushing the brush around, a dead bush's branches snapping gently against her fingers. Rip hunkered by a tree as the grinding steps went quiet suddenly.
 
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“I’m sure I’ll manage” as Snare pats away the brush, a small whistle went flying by both Snare and Rip’s ear! Snare turns quickly to spot what seems to be some kind of hawk, except… with metal talons and a canine jaw and a body the size of a small kid. Snare grabs her knife and throws it towards the creature, missing and sticking in a nearby tree.
 
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"I warned you!" Rip said as he took aim and started to fire off his cross bow, the bolt piercing the hawks side. Whatever magic that had mutated it into its new hideous form seemed to only make the monstrosity all the heartier. The bolt peirced its side and made it pitch in the air briefly, but it only beat its wings to correct itself abd screeched it's rage. Rip dove to the side as it came swooping at him, it's talons slashing the air with its razor like claws.
 
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“You warned me a dagger wouldn’t be enough! Not a damn half harpy!” Snare lunges towards the monster and starts trying to cough something up. “Ah come on, you can still do it” the scales around her neck begin to convulse and glow a faint blue hue. Suddenly, a burst of white lighting erupts from her maw and strikes the creature in its chest.
 
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"Sounds like someone didn't pack for the long term!" Rip said as started to aim again, but as he was about to fire, Snare lightning bolt made the creature convulsed and twitch in the air, electricity holding it up briefly before it began to fall back to the ground in a smoking heap.
 
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“Are you alright?”she says looking over to the young soldier “that one caught me off guard” Snare stands back up and brushes off her knees, glancing back at the creature “we should probably go before more of these guys show up” Snare gestures for RIP to lead the way.
 
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“That’s good” Snare nods affirmatively “of course I can handle myself!” She boasts “ you don’t see as many battles as I have if you can’t” she catches up to rip and matches his pace “so… why’d you become a soldier? Not exactly the easiest job” she turns her head to him while walking.
 
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"Kings Gaurd isn't just soldiers, it's the Hands of the King himself, we are his direct line to the people and Warders for those that need it. " He said shaking his helmeted head. "I'm here to fight this bandit and monster threat off. Even if it's one fight to a thousand!" As he spoke his chest puffed out, his hands on his hip . "To protect the people ofcthis country is why I'm here"
 
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“You’re so noble” Snare clasped her hands together with a tad bit of genuine praise “it’s always nice to see some real spirit here and there, it’s very refreshing” she chuckled a bit before getting serious, “ do me a favor, don’t get yourself killed” wiping the sweat from her forehead she says “ how long till we’re there anyways. We’ve been walking for a bit aye?”
 
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(XD Snare: Aw you have a noble heart...try not to get murdered for it )

"It's gonna be an hour on the foot paths...you do know what happened to the people right?" Rip said as he hunkered a bit, examining the trail , kicking over a few small stones and picked up a round one, about the size of a apple. He rolls it around in his hands examining it closely
 
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“Of course I do, it’s awful what happened to these people” she looks to the ground with an air of sympathy about her. “Even more so, it’s disappointing how many men and women see this as an opportunity…” her voice barely different from a growl “these scumbags thinking they can just take anything they want?! I’m doing this for free because the only payment I need is taking the life from their eyes!” She scowl softens as she lowers her voice . “ sorry kid, you probably don’t want to hear that. Good on you for being a standup guy” she flashes a toothy grin
 
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"Way I see it, those that are searching for riches or treasures, or to hide away from their crimes will be laid before a Judge or laid before the Grave King," Rip said shrugging. "We all have our reasons, justice may be mine, but Wrath I'm sure is just useful here." The knight said with a nod to her grin, though she could hear a bit of a smile in his voice. Rip tucked the stone under his arm as they walked. The path got more and more clear, and the ashened woods began to grow green and lively again. Snare even could begin to hear animals, seemingly normal and healthy.
 
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