The hobgoblin who was convinced to aid Hien's hunt leads him, and perforce those who were willing to come with him, through the Hedge and toward the Hedge's echo of Lake Brunsett. As the hob described, the beast was last seen in the waters near the 'falls, and, indeed, there are signs of large claws tearing up the bank, and deeper, beneath the water, there are signs of scrapes and damage to the weedy, slimy upthrust bulk of boulders sunk deeply into the silty lakebed.
Hien for his part, was leading the for. The Beast was in his element, and kepts most of his things on land. Despite the danger he's leading them into Hien is unarmed and unarmoed,. At his side is another one of him. The other Hien is just barely visibile in the water, and moves with similar ease beneath the waves. When he finds the signs of the beast he smiles, widely, and starts to look over the damage laid out by the hedge beast.
Despite the fact that they're swimming deep, deep, deep, Zak seems oddly comfortable and much like Hien, he looks like he's in his element in the way that he moves and propels himself through the water. Like he's spent his whole life in it. The fact that there are two of Hien is a little off-putting, but he can't say anything about it - and much like Hien, he's also left most of his belongings behind. Not a good place to bring everything and clothing is likely to get in the way. His head is still on a swivel, turning here and there, trying to see in the low light. You can never be too careful.
So, Tally came along with the group. Why? Curiosity, for the most part, although that doesn't mean he's wholly comfortable with the fact that they are swimming. Adjusting his eyes so that he can see in low light conditions, the young darkling is... A bit careful, and is wearing only a tight, black t-shirt and a pair of low riding, loose fitting jeans. Its... Possibly surprising, the fact that he has a bit more muscle on his build and a much more noticeably masculine build then.
Widget, for her part, came along out of curiosity. She's more than a little scared right now, having never once been in cold, dark, unknown waters. It's why she's chowed on a breathing fruit, donned flippers looted from the public pool, and nicked a wetsuit from the dive shop. Oh, also the speargun. And fire-work flares. And her bangstick.
And might be trying to hold onto one of the swimmier Lost.
While the waters are chilly and increasingly dark, there is still enough light for the group to catch the glint of it on metal. Hien, first, sees what appears to be the hilt of a sword buried in the mucky lakebed, of ancient-seeming design, though the silver of its blade is as bright as pure moonlight in reflection, untarnished. The rest of the group catches the glint, but not its source, not unless they swim closer.
Oh, a glint in the water? The Darkling tries to swim towards it, swimming downward both cautiously... And curiously. His movements slow, sure, but Tally is drawn to the shiny, probably slightly disgusting but tactally fascinating object
Zak pauses as the glint of light catches his eyes. He turns toward the sheen of metal curiously, casting a glance around at his companions. He swims forward a few strokes, considering whether he wants to try and get closer or not. Should he? What if it's a trick? He's not so sure, but... it's tempting. Then Tally goes and Zak decides to follow.
Sword? Sword. It's...just there. Being shiny. Widget sweeps her headlamp about, before darting over to try and get that thing. She's got her weapons in a death grip, but she's not slow either. Race you for it, Tally! Please? It means he'll be closer!
Hien spies the sword, and goes still. The real one does, at least. The watery fellow doesn't, though. The glamorous, faux Beast stays with him, and the Beast frowns. He says something, but it comes out as gargling and bubbles in the water. From the ether he pulls a single-edged blade with one hand, and it seems as if more of him are joining the party in the water.
My, how very shiny that sword is. Shiny and sword-like. Why, it doesn't look disgusting or slimy at all, and doesn't budge when prodded with the gremlin's spearpoint. It doesn't -feel- slimy or disgusting, either, when Widget eventually grabs it.
It is, however, stuck quite fast.
Know what else is fast? The creature whose hide it's stuck in. Between one blink and the next, the beast has half of Widget's body in its maw, sharp fangs piercing through the gremlin's armour at shoulder, chest, and thigh. Blood clouds in the water, and after giving the injured mechanic a shake, the creature opens its jaws to let out a basso roar which vibrates the floor of the lake itself and buzzes through the very bones of those near it.
Its head is as large as a wagon, with a mouth .. well, they've all seen just how large a bite that mouth can take. Its hide is tough and plated in chitinous flesh, its neck is short and squat, and its limbs, what little of them can be seen, seem to be a blend between flipper and claw, all in murky, grimy browns mottled with paler greys.
Hien watched and waited like the rest of them. He saw it coming, but he was just slow enough not to be there on time. He still does make, darting through the water like a blue bolt of lightening until he lays a hand on one of Widget's wrists. Wind pushes out from his right arm, and in a blink he and the Wizened are several meters away from the beast. All the while the watery proxy of Hien rushes forward, and digs its claws into the beast's hide as best it can.
Anddd giant swimming thingie. Thats greattt. Swimming backwards, Tally holds up his hands as he calls forth a couple illusions real quick. In this case, strobe light balls of light that fly towards the things eyes. They feel hot, even if its an illusionary hot, and through the water, one can feel the deep thumping of... Is that skrillex? And, of course, Tally covers himself in a more static illusion of just darkness and shadows. Sure, its obvious that its fake... But its still big enough that someone who can't see through the fake darkness would potentially miss him
The sudden blur of motion and violence and then the blossoming of blood in the water makes Zak heart jump in his chest. There's an instinctive jolt in his brain - fight or flight and in this case it's screaming for flight. There's a bigger predator in the room and he wants out. But he stops himself from fleeing. Instead he darts toward Widget and Hien, trying to find where the blood is coming from. Which is... probably almost everywhere. He takes Widget's other arms and motions at Hien. Let him take her.
The monstrous Hedge beast wriggles and tugs and jerks, freeing itself from the heavy, silty muck it had been hidden beneath. The water around it is clouded, difficult to see through, as the disturbed lake bed swirls in eye-stinging motes of grit and sand.
The copy of the beast attacks again, this time just barely scratching the beast. With one blade in hand Hien brings another into the fray. This one, a sprout sabre much larger than the first. It crackes with energy as lightning bounces around the blade. It lifts it up as best as he, and then brings it down with faster than can be seen until it rebounds off the beast's thick hide with a reverberating wave.
Blue, green, yellow, orange, black, purple, vermont, a suspiciously widget looking color, all these and more do the now afore dubbed Skrillex balls go through, flashing through the colors absolutely /against/ the beat and with nauseating speed. Think if someone used a whole bag of skittles, jelly beans, and sour heads, sucked on them all together in a giant mouth for half an hour, then vomited them. /Thats/ what these look like... And now that they are no longer emanenting heat, it smells like someone lit a cigarette that tasted like a tire fire in a candy factory full of unwashed prostitutes. Meanwhile, Hien? Yea, Hien is glowing. Not a little, but a /lot/. Oh, he can still see through it of course, but the glow is much the same as 'oh, I wonder how long I can stare at the sun' inducing. And Tally, who is making these insane illusions, is... Swimming away.
Zak tightens his grip on Widget's limp form and then turns back the way they came and starts swimming as fast as he can - which is a bit hard because he's dragging someone along, but he's not about to stick around for this. He can't fight this thing and he doesn't /want/ to fight it - so staying here seems like a good way to end up dead.
The enormous beast moans its basso battle cry while using its thick, broad tail and flippers to propel itself toward Hien in a swift rush, charging the watery Changeling with its maw agape, water streaming through its gills to either side. Unfortunately, Hien is too nimble for it, and its attempted bite snaps down on only water.
The fake and the real Hien keep weaving in and around each other. The two go back and forth, and then there's an opening. When the beast goes swimming by so to do the Hiens. The water attacks and pummels the beast, and then Hien brings that blade down agani. He goes for a thrust instead, and brings the blade along the hedge beast's side until he finally finds purchase in that thing's leathery skin.
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming... Tally is channeling his inner Dory, swimming as slightly and slowly as he can possibly manage towards the giant hedgebeastie, swimming for the main, big thing sticking out of it. The big, hard, shiny object of his desires.... The sword sticking out of its back. Yes, what his goal is is to grab the sword as stealthily and quickly as can be
The beast bellows its pain when the sword bites into the softer armour at one of its joints, jerking away from Hien and crashing into one of the rock formations at the side of the watery trod. Its blood is hot and bright, and gleams like golden metal in the murky darkness, painful to touch for long, but not enough so to cause harm. The stones shudder under the impact of its shoulder, shoved aside, and a sharp crack sounds as part of a boulder snaps off to fall toward the lake bed below. One giant eye rolls back to track Tally's stealthy progress, but it flails in place, maw gaping, and struggles to right itself.
Hien, for his part, opens his eyes wide, a rarity from the beast. The crackling of thunder and lightening deafening both he and the deast. Luckily enough for it, the elemental servitor remains fine, and continues hitting the hedge beast. Hien readies another strike, and twists the blade around for another swing on the beast at an angle that does more to put himself in danger than do damage.
Got it! The sword! His protection!... And now Tally is going on a flailing ride. If people could hear what he was saying... It'd probably be "Ahhhhhh!" As the glowing skrillex balls keep pumping out oddly mood fitting music for the fight, and Tally... May now get a limb chopped off by Hien. And the gurgling coming from his vocal cords, which is indecipherable to all but the water around him, states this to the water, "it'll be fun, he said. This'll be epic, he said. Completely safe, he said."
The beast, finally getting itself upright, winces as it uses its left flipper, more shining, golden blood clouding the water as it uses the joint so recently impaled by Hien's sharp blade. It bellows again, vibrating the water a bit louder than before, as deaf old fellows often do, and tries to charge at Hien, tries to snap at him. Alas, its speed carries it past the blue-skinned Beast, and the most it manages is to spin him a bit in the water, displacement and momentum ensuring that it does little else. Tally, on the other hand... He goes for a ride.
Hien moves around, and dips under and around the beast. With Tally going for a ride he moves under it's belly while the other him remains in front. The cloen attacks, and just as quickly Hien brings both blades to bear. First comes ths smaller blade as he barely scrapes it. Then the second comes again, for another booming blow.
"Ahhhh!.... Ahhhh!..... Ahhhh!..." The bubbles flowing from Tally's mouth are both insane in their laughter while he rides his brand new tilt-a-whirl he didn't ask for, and tries to hold on for dear life. Which he does. And then the weakling tries to push into the conviently located gremlin bait that he was obviousllyyyy too smart to fall for, and tries shoving it in... And it won't sink in. Much to his dismay
Awake? Awake. Widget's eyes roll open, the rusty woman taking a second to figure out what's happening. Oh! She's back here! Okay!
And it /really fucking hurts/!
The gremlin vaguely waves the speargun in the direction of the monster and takes a shot. Maybe that'd help. She'd do more but she...she doesn't feel so good.
Roaring its anger in near deafening volume, its movements a bit less coordinated due to the depth of the wounds it has taken, the creature strives mightily to attack Hien, but yet again, its luck is most decidedly NOT with it. It smears him in clinging golden blood, but fails to chomp.
The watery devil keeps atop him, and gives the beast no quarter. His copy stays on its attack, and then it happens again. That big sword of his hits the beast where tits ribs should be. As he does thunder echoes around them again, and lightning surges around the blade.
Okay, he just wants to collect his new found toy, so Tally rams his feet onto its back and starts heaving and pulling with all his might... And then a spear head comes flying past his arm, just barely missing him, and Tally yelps, slipping slightly and unable to actually yank the sword out.
Widget struggles to get her healing fruits, cramming on if them into her mouth as fast as she can. She can feel her jaw clickign when she does. A lot of stuff broke there. But she gets it down, thankful she can eat underwater too. Doesn't stop the pain, but it helps her feel less dead.
The fight hasn't been going on long, but it has been strenuous. He rolls his shoulders, and starts moving around again. The servitor moves again, and slaps at the beat's side some more. It doesn't leave Hien much of an opening, but he takes what he can get. He redoubles his efforts. He drags his blades along that thick hide until his blade finds purchase again, and he starts dragging it through this time he doesn't stop.
When there's little struggle left, and the beast finally stops Hien sighs. Really, he blows out a lot of bubbles. Both of his swords are put away again, and then he brings out a much smaller thing. A belt-knife that's almost tiny compared to the others. He then swism back to the center of the beast, and sticks his arms into one of the holes left. He fiddles around in there, swimming in blood, until the dagger finds its new home in the thing's heart.
So, swimming up too Widget after the epic battle, Tally offers her a deal. Him sacrificing a decent amount of murmerleaf, which probably took about an hour to get, and a weeks worth of safe dreams and a healing sleep in exchange for two favors on a later date, sworn on the Wyrd itself, and immensely foul luck if either failed to uphold their end of the bargain.
Widget agrees, mostly because she's in agony and can't think straight. Will she regret it? Probably. Almost definitely! But at the moment, anything is better than what's happening right now. So a deal is struck, more fruit is eaten.
Without the threat of his live no longer in play and no need for the fruits he instead moves to keep his swimming along with the beast. He directs it by movement until they reach the surface. "Keep going," he commands. He follows it up with, "Stay and guard," when he reaches the surface.
With the beast now felled he waits. At least until the others are able to get out of the water, and it's safe to move again. With what little time they have before they go along he keeps the undead beast following until it collapses, and then he starts taking out a few choice pieces with the rest left for the others or the Hedge to reclaim what was once its own.