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246 Never Fear Part 2

 ***

Ashkar the Ur-Flesh Abomination (the boss formerly known as the Necromancer King)

Level: 520

Base damage: 220,000-250,000

HP: 748,110

DN: 80,000

MA: 100,000

Skills:

[Fleshmancy] (Passive): Mutated Ashkar can summon three (3) consumed ogres every 20 minutes to help him fight.

[Flesh Incarceration]: The necromancer binds a randomly selected enemy in a cage made of flesh. If the target remains imprisoned for more than 30 seconds, they will be [Executed].

[Cursed Flesh] (Passive): When Ashkar loses 50% of his HP, he enters a second phase. Additionally, whenever Ashkar's HP drops below 10% he regenerates 1% of his total HP per second for 30 seconds.

[Flesh Assimilation] Mutated Ashkar periodically attacks a target with the might of his flesh. If the attack hits a player, it will instantly [Execute] them and transform their husk to an aid to the mutated flesh

Lore

In an age long past Ashkar, as a mere mortal, delved into the mysteries of the arcane. Using the knowledge gained from the pain and deaths of countless beings he became a master of the magic of body and soul. So much so that the Arch-Lich Dagla would have hesitated to challenge him. But eventually his studies of the eldritch went awry, resulting in the creation of an abomination that consumed the Necromancer King.

***

The boss had just under 750,000 HP, they would have been able to defeat it eventually if it hadn't mutated. But now, after being transformed into a crawling, slobbering amalgamation of flesh with a new skill set, defeating it would require a whole new strategy.

"His second phase has two execution skills, that's fucked up," Ralph groused.

"I've got a Skill that does more than 80,000 damage," Tess offered.

Mercy eyes flicked across her HUD as she spoke up, "I have a high damage skill too. Our too big hitters combined should be enough to take the boss out. We just have to watch out for those execution skills."

The new-ish boss chose that moment to open its mouth and spit out three bowling-ball sized spheres. The fleshy masses broke and revealed three miniature ogres that grew rapidly until they were twice as tall as the Players.

"I'll tank the ogres," Dave said.

"Okay, I'll off-tank for you. Fortress, use that guardian skill, gimme some extra protection," Ralph said.

Fortress activated [Guard Ally], a glowing blue kite-shield icon appeared over Ralph's head for a second then dissipated.

"Okay, me and Tess will DPS then," Mercy said.

One of the ogres swung his club down, Dave ran at the monster evading the attack and punched with [Rising Dragon], knocking the ogre's jaw in. The fire dragon conjured by the skill seared away the ogre's hair and coiled up all the way to the ceiling, making the flesh that formed the structure squirm and writhe away.

One of the ogres grabbed its own protruding intestines and threw them at Dave. The entrails wrapped around Dave in a gruesome embrace, tightening around him and holding him in place.

***

You have been Rooted by [Grisly Grasp] and have suffered a Poison attack

Your half-undead state grants you immunity to poison. You resist the poison effect of [Grisly Grasp]

***

The other two ogres closed in on Dave, still held in place by the first one's bowels. Dave kicked up into [Rising Strike] overcoming the root effect and dodging away from the ogres attacks.

Dave initiated [Awakened Dragon] he blinked away and appeared in midair to slam a fist into one of the ogre's jaw, flames burst from his gauntlets to envelope its head on impact. He blinked again and appeared in front of another ogre, punching with [Dragon fist]. On the third blink he appeared in front of the final ogre and rocketed a knee into its face, he jumped away and lunged back in, punching the same ogre in the gut and grabbed the loops of intestines, pulling them out. Dave threw the intestines at the other ogres, trapping them. When an ogre tried to attack Dave, it got tangled in the loops of intestines and fell, bringing all three to the ground.

Dave, his combo finished, and opened his mouth to release [Ray of Flames]. The narrow concentrated cone of superheated plasma crisped the ogres' skin.

-25,000

-25,000

-25,000

-5,000

-5,000

-5,000

...

"Whoa dude, that was a wicked Karate Kid-Empire Strikes Back combo," Ralph made a high five gesture at his friend.

Dave grinned, he would never tell them that [Awakened Dragon] combo was AI-guided.

The trapped ogres screamed in pain as the flesh floor turned to magma burning them further. They were trapped in the intestines unable to extract themselves, giving the players precious seconds to deal with the boss without them interfering.

Dave exchanged his gauntlets for the flamberge and tower shield, the gauntlet skills had long cooldown times. Dave reinspected the boss. Ashkar had a base HP of 1,600,000 and they'd gotten him down to 620,330.

"We gotta get him to at least 160,000 HP, then nuke him before he can fully regenerate!" Dave said and ran toward the boss tanking it.

"I need twenty seconds to get my skill ready, cover me!" Tess said.

"Fortress, protect your girl," Dave said.

He activated [Shield Charge] and rammed into Ashkar, stunning the boss for a second. Dave slashed twice, splitting the meat open. A spine shot out from the wound toward Dave. He ducked under the whipping attack and hacked down at the meat again. Ralph swung with [Swordstorm] and his sword blurred, slicing chunks off the boss and spattering blood and viscera everywhere.

Mercy spun her daggers whipping through flesh like cuisinart blades ripping chunks of HP and flesh off.

The boss howled and half of its mutated mass of flesh twisted and reformed into an arm. The huge fist uncoiled at Dave like a sprung trap but curved around him and cannoned into the inattentive Flanker.

A death notification appeared in front of Dave.

***

Your party member (Pussy Flanker) has died!

***

"Shit, that was an execution skill, watch for it next time," Dave warned. Then he heard the sound of bones crunching. Instead of turning to motes of light and disappearing, Flanker's avatar was being consumed by the boss.

A part on the boss's back bloated and transformed into a flesh humanoid that looked like Flanker with a tentacular beard.

Faux-Flanker had a staff of wet bone in one hand and Dave had a very bad feeling when the clone of the pervert priest waved it in a familiar gesture.

+12,000

"The fuck, he's healing the boss!" Fortress said in frustration.

"Oh, of course. Even dead Flanker is still a pain in the ass," Perfect complained about his friend..

"Just keep attacking!" Dave said.

The situation was getting worse by the second. The boss still had a lot of HP left. And now it was adding dead party members as allies. To compound the player's misfortunes, the ogres had broken free and were coming to the boss's aid again.

Dave cursed and retreated away from the boss, "Ralph, switch! Tank the boss."

"Should I help Blaster tank?" Fortress asked.

"No, stay where you are, Ralph still has things under control, I'll tank the ogres," Dave said.

The best weapon to deal with the ogres were the gauntlets, because they had multi-target attacks. But the skills on the fist weapons were on cooldown. So, Dave had to make do with his sword and shield against the ogres.

Another green numerical value appeared over the boss.

+12,000

It was Faux-Flanker healing the boss, he was slowly filling Ashkar's HP back up.

Tess's scepter was glowing a bright baleful red, "It's ready! Go help Blaster honey-bunny, I'll be fine."

"Ashkar is down to 20%," Mercy said.

"Good, everyone get back, FAR away!," Dave said.

They backed across the room until they reached the walls.

Dave waited until the three ogres were following him then ran toward the boss, pulling their aggro.

With the others clear Dave cast [Double Edged], he waited a beat then lit off [Bastion]. The Minghocao appeared from underground, consuming dirt, stone and flesh in a single bite. Dave, along with the boss and the three ogres were swallowed by the Worm King, but unlike them he was safe, protected during the three seconds of immunity conferred on him by [Bastion].

The Minhocao spat them out and dove back underground, leaving a large circular crater in the Flesh floor.

Ashkar was screaming, his HP had gone down another 2%.

Lone shot an [Ice Arrow Barrage], freezing one of Ashkar's legs. Perfect used [Breaking Shot], stopping the boss from slamming a limb onto Ralph. Demeri was plucking furiously on her harp, casting [Charm] on one ogre and inflicting [Fear] on the other two.

The boss's flesh reformed, gathering into a fist in a familiar wind up.

"Watch out! Here it comes again!" Dave shouted.

But instead of grabbing one of the players, the boss slammed the giant fist into the floor, sending the flesh rippling out across the room.

"JUMP!"

Everyone jumped to avoid the wave of flesh, but Perfect, Fortress and Demeri were late. The skill, [Flesh Entombed], snared them in damp sinewy cocoons and timers appeared over their heads, 30 second counting down.

Dave ran toward his trapped friends, Fortress was the closest and he sliced at the mass of flesh that held the tank.

"Get them out!" Dave said to the rest of the group. Mercy and Lone went to help the other two, leaving Ralph to fend off the boss alone.

Tess couldn't move, her big skill was primed. Her big skill had a high cooldown time and she couldn't use any other skills until she used it.

Mercy got Perfect free of the entombing flesh in short order. But Lone's level was too low for the location, her damage numbers just too weak. The timer above Demeri hit 30 seconds. The flesh around her twisted and tightened all of a sudden.

Another death notification appeared in front of the party members.

***

Your party member (Demeri) has died!

***

The boss swung a giant fist at Lone, but Dave was near her, so he used [Block] to nullify the damage.

"Lone, back away," Dave said.

The enormous boss hand wrapped around the remains of Demeri and consumed them. Another lump grew out of the boss like a tumor. Sure enough, a faux-Demeri burst out and began plucking a harp made of bone and sinew.

"Shit, that thing's song got me with a charm spell!" Perfect said. Hs legs were moving on their own, walking him closer to the boss.

Dave raced toward the boss, he had to pull its aggro before it killed another party member.

Another boss-fist flew past Dave's head, a moment later, a notification appeared in front of him.

***

Your party member (Lone Arrow) has died!

***

"FUCK!"