I can't be exactly sure but the shape of the basin and the terrain around the robed figures' feet gives the impression of liquid being brought up from below ground and running downhill to be collected. If they are bringing a liquid up from the Dungeon, what could the liquid be but mana? I mean, I've never seen liquid mana, but unless they are bringing up some sweet natural spring water in order to give the biggest Crocodile in all the worlds a soothing bath, perhaps followed by an exfoliating scale scrub, revealing skins' freshest layer, then what does the Croc need that can be found in the Dungeon?
I know it can be condensed, I have the freakin' skill to do it! Perhaps I've never seen something like this, but that doesn't mean it can't be done!
[They're feeding Garralosh mana! Using some sort of voodoo technique to compress the mana in the Dungeon and letting her absorb it! That's how she's able to hang about on the surface!]
My minds race, connecting the dots now that I have this information.
[This is why she isn't dead!] I exclaim to Morrelia, [she was never starving of mana. Whoever these people are, they've been supporting Garralosh within the Dungeon and keeping her alive, feeding her mana, controlling her.]
Oh snap! If these guys and gals can regulate the flow of mana to Garralosh then she is dependent on them, completely at their mercy. If they decide to turn the tap off then big momma croc has no choice except to fade slowly away as her core bleeds dry.
[This is insane] Morrelia ground out, her eyes burning with rage, [who the hell are they?!]
That is the question of the hour. The two of us remain with our heads poked over the top of the city wall, straining to make out any details.
Just then, something new caught my eye. Movement to one side of the basin as something that had buried itself beneath the dirt rose up, shaking itself free of the loose soil which cascaded from the large creature and onto the ground. What the heck is this now? Another monster?
When the dirt finally fell away what was revealed was not a hideous monster or another deformed Croca Beast variant, but a large lizard that appeared to be draped in what I can only describe as luxurious robes and golden jewellery.
This lizard was large. Although it was dwarfed next to Garralosh it was still a hefty ten metres long from nose to tail, but not nearly as bulky. Something about the creature, perhaps its dull scale colour or wrinkly skin, seemed to speak of incredible age. I got the feeling that this lizard had been around the block a few times.
I could almost feel the weight of its gaze and it stared at me.
Wait a sec.
[Morrelia? Is that giant lizard staring at us?]
[Kaarmodo!] she hissed and jumped from the wall.
What the heck?! We're like eight metres up!
[Hurry up!] she hollered at me across our mental link and I watched stunned as she neatly rolled on landing and began sprinting away from the city.
[I'm not up to speed here? Why are you running?] I asked as I hesitated at the top of the wall.
Then I noticed something. Inside the wall, not only was the lizard looking at me, but Garralosh herself had turned to face me.
And so had every monster inside the walls.
I leaped from the wall, legs flailing in the air as I attempted to flap my way to freedom. Why the hell didn't I give myself wings?! I know I live underground 99% of the time, but still, wings!
I smacked into the ground with a dull thump, the impact sending shockwaves through my carapace. Thankfully my sturdy exoskeleton and its inner plating managed to absorb the force without cracking, since I didn't trust my legs to do the job. Not wanting to break any limbs at this critical juncture, I'd wisely tucked them up so my body would hit the ground first. Repairing a broken leg right now would be a little awkward to say the least.
[RUN!] I shouted at my two pets as they watched from a distance away from the wall, [let's gogogogogogogogoooooo!]
The moment I had my legs under me I was dashing, holding nothing back in my desperation to get away. Morrelia was way ahead of me, not pausing in the slightest when she realised I hadn't moved as quickly as she had. That's cold! Sensible, but cold!
[What the heck is that giant lizard?] I wailed at her.
[It's a Kaarmodo! They are not monsters, they're a sapient surface race, like humans!]
[How in the heck is a giant lizard like a human?]
[Listen] she growled back at me as we sprinted, [they are one of the elder races that existed on Pangera before the Dungeon opened. They are powerful mages and live for a very long time. Those robed figures we saw are it's Setsulah, bonded servants.]
[And why is it helping a giant Crocodile Monster slaughter a heap of humans?]
[I have no idea! Would you please focus on running for your life?!]
The sound of thousands of monsters bellowing in rage at once rattled against my ears and the ground beneath my feet began to rattle like a snare drum. It became apparent why not long after as monsters began to flood out of the gates and over the wall as a tide of death.
[Move those fancy feet, Tiny! Do NOT stop to fight, do NOT turn and do battle. This is NOT the time to fire up! We are a Jamaican Bobsled team, keep cool and run!] I bellowed at my most wilful pet and with me keeping up the flow of constant orders and reprimands, for once, he wasn't able to turn fight against impossible odds as he so wished.
[Where are we running to?] I gasped at Morrelia, the strain of constant dashing already starting to catch up with me. I am taking care of this problem when I evolve next, no doubt about that!
[I don't know] she rasped, the usually unflappable warrior looked a fair bit flapped as she ran, [any bright ideas?]
[I think so! This way!]
As if the demon hordes of hades were on our tail, which they sort of were, we ran with all our strength, feet growing leaden and weighed down the further we got. Across fields, around fences and down roads we ran with the constant rumble of monsters feet shaking the ground behind us. I didn't even want to look behind but my stupid eyes with their near three-sixty degree vision granted me tantalising glimpses of a monster horde greater than any I had ever seen by far. No way I was going to turn and fight this, even ten Gravity Bombs wouldn't be enough to swallow the entire horde, we had to get to safety.
Fortunately, it didn't take too long before it came into sight.
On a hill in the distance I could see a small church building, still standing somehow when so much of the buildings around here had been flattened. The church was a centre point of a modest town that I had visited before, and I happened to know that I path into the Dungeon could be found in that church!
[Let's go to church!] I bellowed at my companions.