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Chapter Three Act Six: The Hunt (Part 5 of 5)


Collygon

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Hey guys! Welcome to part 5!

Make sure you have read the previous parts! You can find links to them in the act six index at the bottom of the post.

 

Previously on: The Frost of Ages

Spoiler

(From: Chapter Three Act Six: The Hunt (Part 4 of 5))

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Storn: You're awake. Strangely, I find myself relieved.

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Storn: In an odd twist of fate, it seems you are now our only hope.

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Frea: Our barrier is gone. With it, our only defenses.

Storn: Herma Mora is on his way. He seeks the sacred knowledge of The Skaal and after that our lives.

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Storn: There is one way to banish him from Solstheim, however. Your ritual, The Hunt. A Daedric Prophecy can purge all other daedric presences within it's area of effect. 

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(From: Chapter Three Act Six: The Hunt (Part 4 of 5))

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Taeyva: The hound has arrived. Now the pillar must rise.

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Taeyva: Burn the glass. Before the eye...

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Taeyva: ...only red will pass.

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(From: Chapter Three Act Six: The Hunt (Part 4 of 5))

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Torund: Hrah!

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Finna: Oof!

Nikulas: Gah!

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Oslaf: Hrraaahh!

Baldor: Ahhh!

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Torund: Fine. If that's how it's going to be.

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Torund: I'll kill you all myself!

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(From: Chapter Three Act Six: The Hunt (Part 4 of 5))

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Taeyva: Sorrowful seas, massacre the slow.

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Taeyva: Down the moon their blood will...

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Taeyva: ...flow.

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(From: Chapter Three Act Six: The Hunt (Part 4 of 5))

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Frea: Did she...

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Deor: I think so...

Nikulas: By the All-Maker...

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Oslaf: They're dead.

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Frea: She did it. It's done.

 

Spoiler

A solemn aura settles over the Skaal village. The remaining Skaal are laden by the bloody aftermath of the battle, both physically and mentally. The lurker corpses remain, still warm, melting the snow beneath them as blood dribbles from their open wounds. Thick puddles of blood and water settle in the center like a marsh. They slosh and churn as the few Skaal who are willing to move trudge through it.

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The others plop into it without a care, encumbered by fatigue and heavy hearts.

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Though they all yearn to share their woe, they can't find the words to do so. Because it is already bound between them.

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Together they suffered, they fought, and they triumphed. It is not something that needs to be said.

Storn: That is why I know we will come out of this stronger.

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Storn: I believe this is just the beginning.

Storn sighs slowly. Despite the hope in his words, his voice is despondent, empty.

A tense silence hangs in the air for a brief moment. Taeyva shuffles on her feet, trying to decipher if she should speak up. She returned to the village just a couple of minutes ago. The glee from her success was quickly extinguished as she beheld the carnage. Torund saw her first, standing frozen, her mouth agape, and immediately ushered for Storn and Frea to join him. At first, none of them said a word. They matched one another's uncomfortable stares with an awkward tension. Torund broke that first silence by asking how they plan to rebuild, to which Storn replied with a prolonged, heartfelt monologue.

Now it is her turn to speak up.

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Taeyva: It is, Storn. Solstheim is yours to rebuild. Neither I, nor Hircine, will interfere with you again. You have my word.

Storn focuses on Taeyva's warm, assuring eyes. Though his own are heavy like his heart, the tiniest sliver of a smile plays on his lips.

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Storn: That is a bold promise. Is that something Hircine will pledge as well?

Taeyva smiles.

Taeyva: I'll make sure of it.

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The smile doesn't last long however, soon fading into a forlorn frown.

Taeyva: Again, I am sorry. It never should have happened this way.

Storn turns away.

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Storn: Perhaps not. But should we have stayed hidden, waiting for the barrier to fall, then the outcome would have been much worse...

He trails off, taken by the sight. As it becomes clear that he won't speak up again, Frea takes his place.

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Frea: It would have. It also would have if you did not fight alongside us, Torund. You're a good man. Thank you.

Torund cocks his head, facing Frea he lets out an amused snort.

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Torund: Heh. You don't know me at all.

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Frea smiles with a slow exhale.

Frea: Well, whatever the case, you are a friend of The Skaal.

After a brief pause, Storn pulls away from the village. He keeps his eyes averted for a moment before focusing them on Taeyva.

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Storn: Well, I suppose this is it then.

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Taeyva nods.

Taeyva: Yeah... I guess so.

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Storn: Goodbye, Taeyva.

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Storn: I hope this is the last time our paths cross.

 

Spoiler

Waiting patiently on Solstheim's southern coast, the commandeered Northern Maiden gently rocks against the shore. It's stern sways with the gentle tide, gradually loosening the sand keeping its bow in place. Torund marches over to it in silence, as he has been the entire walk, and tries to speed up the process by pushing against it.

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Taeyva: Will you talk to me now?

Taeyva rubs her arm, her grip tight and painful. Torund has not said a word since they departed the village. He didn't even acknowledge Taeyva's attempts to communicate, never making a sound louder than a breath nor turning his eyes to anything other than the path ahead.

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Taeyva: What is it? What makes you hate me so much now?

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Taeyva: I said I'm sorry. I promised not to do it again. I don't know what else you want.

Taeyva wipes her nose. She stares at Torund, who continues to push against the wooden hull, undeterred, and sighs. With a heavy chest, she trudges by him towards the water.

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Taeyva: I'm new to this. I've always known I am this... prophet...

She pauses before saying the last word. It hangs on her tongue like a foul taste. When it passes her lips, it comes out harsh and quick, as if she were spitting out rotten food.

Taeyva: ...but I've never had to do anything with it until now.

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Taeyva: People expected so much from me. I expected so much from me. I thought this was my chance to prove myself that I could do it but...

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Taeyva: ...I only proved them right.

Taeyva sniffles. She blinks rapidly and shakes her head, trying to fight back the budding tears. Her lower lip quivers and she can feel herself start to shake. It takes all she has to keep herself from collapsing to her knees and sobbing.

Suddenly, Torund speaks up. Taeyva sputters out a shaky gasp as she lifts her head, completely taken off guard.

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Torund: I became a werewolf when I was eighteen.

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Torund: I woke up in my family's barn, surrounded by the carcasses of our livestock.

Taeyva turns to face him. The wetness in her eyes starts to fade, but with every blink she sees through a faint blur.

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Taeyva: Wh-why are you telling me this?

Torund pauses and glances at her sternly. When Taeyva returns a skittish nod, he smiles and continues.

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Torund: I was terrified of harming my family. I ran away from home and wandered Skyrim for years.

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Torund: When I was 30 years old I was living in Falkreath. On just a normal hunt I ran into him.

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Torund: My best friend.

Torund gazes at the sea. The sun makes it's final descent, casting it's sparkling shine on the rippling waves. They lap at the shore, stirring up the sediment with graceful ease, spinning glistening specks of sand in it's grasp as they are washed out to sea. Torund shifts his boots, tossing more sand into the water with a flick of his heel.

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Torund: At first I tried to stay away from him. I mean, he was a troll.

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Torund: But every time I went out to hunt, there he was, helping me when I didn't ask for it.

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Torund: After a week of this, I found myself actually looking forward to seeing him. We were quite the duo.

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Torund: It didn't matter what we went against. We took anything and everything in our path down.

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Torund: I was happy for the first time in years, but I wasn't fully settled.

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Torund: I was still a werewolf. I was so scared that I would turn and kill him. I had no control back then. Three weeks after I met him was the first time I was actually conscious during the turn.

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Torund: I still couldn't control myself, but I could see him in front of me. I thought I'd kill him. Instead...

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Torund: ...he kicked my ass.

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Torund: He kept it up too. Every single time I turned he fought me bloody, but he never killed me.

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Torund: And every time he did, I learned how to control myself better.

Torund shakes his head and smiles.

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Torund: Years later Hircine shows up and tells me that he actually sent him to me. I still remember the words he told me that day. "A gift for your loyalty and favor. I have a task for you, but you don't have to do it alone."

Taeyva: What was the task?

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He doesn't respond immediately. He stares out across the water, pondering in silence. After a few seconds he sighs and speaks bluntly.

Torund: To protect you.

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Taeyva stammers something incoherent, unable to form a response. She doesn't get the chance to as Torund quickly resumes.

Torund: He sent me to rescue you from the Vigilant of Stendarr. You know that.

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Torund: What you don't know, however, is that I still watched over you for five years. I hated that coven you hung out with. They treated you like a slave. But you never saw that because they also worshiped you. That lasted for years. Until the day he arrived.

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Torund: You were disgraced when he challenged you. I know you remember that feeling. And when the coven kicked you out... I was relieved, yet furious. It was my job to protect you, so it was also my job to avenge you. Without thinking, I went after him.

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Torund: It didn't end well.

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Torund: I know I beat him, but I was crushed. He slaughtered my only friend in the world. I swore I'd never help you again.

Torund turns to face her, his voice solemn and apologetic.

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Torund: When I saw you in the marsh, it brought up all that pain, all that anguish and suffering. I was furious that you made me break my promise. But somewhere inside of me I know I didn't come to save you because I had to. I did it because a part of me needed to.

Taeyva sniffles and croaks out feeble, sputtered breaths. She tries to speak but Torund stops her.

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Torund: I also know that you could have saved yourself. You lie about those chains hindering you. Malkor had you trapped. He was ready and willing to kill you. Why didn't you stop him?

Torund stops and stares at her. Taeyva's eyes are squeezed shut and her lips are pressed firmly together. She keeps trying to breath through her nose, failing with a loud sniffle and then taking a quick, gasping one through her mouth. When her shoulders and chest start to tremble and a muffled whimper passes her lips, Torund gets his answer.

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Torund: Oh.

Torund takes a deep breath and clambers back to his feet as Taeyva starts to sob.

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Taeyva: I can't do it myself... I...

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Taeyva: Since I was 10, I was told what I am... What I was created for... And when I lost back then I-I just... just...

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Torund: Hey. You succeeded here. You did it.

Taeyva faces him. A stream of tears cascades down her cheek as she speaks shakily.

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Taeyva: But I couldn't control it. I almost killed them. I could've killed you! How am I supposed to get past this? How am I-

Taeyva cuts off as Torund extends an open palm.

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Torund: By sharing the burden.

Taeyva: Wh-what?

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Taeyva: You don't mean that. I'm a mess. I'm a failure.

Torund smiles warmly.

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Torund: We both are. I think it's time we do something about it, huh? So take my hand.

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Torund: There's an army out there waiting for you. Let's not keep them waiting.

 

To be continued...

 

 

Act Six Index:

 

15 Comments


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Really like the flashback scene and the perspective you told it with the comments from the present, but the images of the past.

Great to have the focus on Torund this time and learn more about him and the scenes/ the troll idea was really creative :).

 

Btw. act six was great! I know that it's impossible for you to so this consistently due to all the work, but the regular updates every week did the story really well. You typically tend to have really long entries so maybe consider splitting them into two entries and post them more regularly. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, bodabira 01 said:

Great chapter!

 

Seems like Torund likes her, doesn't it? :smile:

Thank you! And yeah, Torund is growing more fond of her. I kept hinting at an "annoying" feeling that was bothering him throughout the act. If you didn't notice, that feeling is actually him starting to care for her. I will say this though, just to quell any ideas people might have, Torund and Taeyva are NOT going to have a romantic relationship. I don't care if that is a spoiler, I just don't want anyone getting any ideas. lol

1 hour ago, Alter Native said:

Really like the flashback scene and the perspective you told it with the comments from the present, but the images of the past.

Great to have the focus on Torund this time and learn more about him and the scenes/ the troll idea was really creative :).

 

Btw. act six was great! I know that it's impossible for you to so this consistently due to all the work, but the regular updates every week did the story really well. You typically tend to have really long entries so maybe consider splitting them into two entries and post them more regularly. 

 

 

Thanks! I really enjoyed writing this flashback. I know Torund is disliked by readers, he is supposed to be, but he is still an important character that hasn't gotten the attention he deserves.

 

I'm thrilled you liked act six too! I have LOVED being able to update consistently again. I might split them up more in the future, but ever since I did that views have dropped significantly. I know we talked about this stuff before, and I really want to not be bothered by it, but I can't help it. I think I will instead just treat it like a TV series. A few months of shooting and then updating consistently be it every week or two. This will create a gap between chapters, but it will allow me to create a regular upload schedule. I'm not sure though yet.

 

Anyway, thank you, Alter. Seriously. Your support has been incredible for both my stories and mods. I wouldn't be here without you.

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1 hour ago, KillinCuzICan said:

Very Nice! I do love the growing camaraderie between them, hopefully it lasts!

Thank you so much! They're relationship certainly has had its ups and downs. Their troubles together are far from over, but they are most definitely on a path to last :smile:

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I really liked Torund past part :smiley: and Taeyva got resolved and even her ritual got completed.

 

Look forward what will happen next time :).

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2 hours ago, Resdayn said:

I really liked Torund past part :smiley: and Taeyva got resolved and even her ritual got completed.

 

Look forward what will happen next time :).

Thanks!

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On 12/18/2017 at 10:55 PM, Collygon said:

Thanks! I really enjoyed writing this flashback. I know Torund is disliked by readers, he is supposed to be, but he is still an important character that hasn't gotten the attention he deserves.

 

I'm thrilled you liked act six too! I have LOVED being able to update consistently again. I might split them up more in the future, but ever since I did that views have dropped significantly. I know we talked about this stuff before, and I really want to not be bothered by it, but I can't help it. I think I will instead just treat it like a TV series. A few months of shooting and then updating consistently be it every week or two. This will create a gap between chapters, but it will allow me to create a regular upload schedule. I'm not sure though yet.

 

Anyway, thank you, Alter. Seriously. Your support has been incredible for both my stories and mods. I wouldn't be here without you.

I think there is a sweet spot for updating the blog between every 4-5 days and 4-5 weeks :smile:. I was suggesting to split your 4-5 weeks entries into two 2-3 weeks entries. Besides there is a difference between views and people reading everything until the end ;). When you look at youtube statistics only 40-50 % of all views even finish the video.

Having a certain stockpile of finished episodes certainly helps in maintaining a somewhat consistent content flow and you can are more free to work on what you feel like working on. When you writing from one episode to the other you always have to finish the last one before you can start with the next, even if you prefer working on the next one right now. You have just more freedom in your work flow.

 

Btw. I can't take the last compliment because your blog started before mine ;). But thank you :smile:.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Alter Native said:

I think there is a sweet spot for updating the blog between every 4-5 days and 4-5 weeks :smile:. I was suggesting to split your 4-5 weeks entries into two 2-3 weeks entries. Besides there is a difference between views and people reading everything until the end ;). When you look at youtube statistics only 40-50 % of all views even finish the video.

Having a certain stockpile of finished episodes certainly helps in maintaining a somewhat consistent content flow and you can are more free to work on what you feel like working on. When you writing from one episode to the other you always have to finish the last one before you can start with the next, even if you prefer working on the next one right now. You have just more freedom in your work flow.

 

Btw. I can't take the last compliment because your blog started before mine ;). But thank you :smile:.

 

 

Yeah, those are some good points. 2-3 weeks sounds like a good "sweet spot". I'll try some experiment with a schedule after this chapter. Once it's done I am going to finish my other projects, so it is the perfect time to test some new ideas with either some short stories or The Rise of The Queen while I work on them.

 

You don't have to take it, but I wanted it to be said. :smile:

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I loved that one. People who were almost foes getting together, and creating solid bonds. And you made it look very convincing. Great episode, moved me on the emotional plan.  :classic_smile:

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13 hours ago, Tirloque said:

I loved that one. People who were almost foes getting together, and creating solid bonds. And you made it look very convincing. Great episode, moved me on the emotional plan.  :classic_smile:

Thank you! I'm glad it hit the mark! :smiley:

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8 hours ago, Rattlesnark said:

Hearty congratulations on yet another checkpoint. I'm glad to know there'll be many more yet to come. :smile:

Thank you very much! There certainly will be :smile: Act Seven will be out before you know it!

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Finally read this, great work Colly, loved their backstories, also loved seeing all those Lurkers get killed. Also i don't recall lurkers breathing fire yet i see them with fire in my game and yours. Also that shot of the boat with them by the water and the.....moon? Reflecting off the sea is fucking beautiful.

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On 1/10/2018 at 12:29 AM, ther1pper said:

Finally read this, great work Colly, loved their backstories, also loved seeing all those Lurkers get killed. Also i don't recall lurkers breathing fire yet i see them with fire in my game and yours. Also that shot of the boat with them by the water and the.....moon? Reflecting off the sea is fucking beautiful.

Thank you! I'm so glad you liked it! :smiley: I was also surprised to see them spewing fire, but I just thought "hey, that's pretty cool" and went with it.

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