Fallen Feathers IC

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Peregrine, Oct 14, 2014.

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  1. [​IMG]

    Oak HavenWhen the letter from Dragon’s Gate arrived, sealed with the personal crest of King Sternfire, the Mayor of Oak haven had sealed herself away in her office, ordering that she should not be disturbed. Half an hour later, the door had still not opened.

    The letter that had been carefully unrolled with such hope half an hour ago was now nothing more than a crumpled mess, wadded up and tossed onto a corner of the Mayor’s desk. She sat, her brows contorted with rage, but deep sadness marring the corners of her eyes and mouth. That letter had just damned her people.

    The Mayor's mournful contemplations were suddenly interrupted by a rapid knocking at her office door. Before she had a chance to order whoever was disturbing her to go away the door burst open, and the giant form of the captain of the guard spilled through the frame, followed by the more reserved and stooped form of the Great Mage.

    The Mayor straightened promptly, erasing any traces of her burden from her face with a politician’s mask. “What is the meaning of this?”

    “Maam,” the Captain of the Guard said, slapping a gauntleted fist to his cuirass. He bowed briefly, before straightening. It was clear, from his face and posture, that the Mayor was not the only one carrying a monumental burden. “The next wave is coming.”

    “Then, by the name of the Hawk, what are you doing in here?”

    “We have nothing left with which to fight. The trebuche broke several days ago. Our smiths have run out of materials to make more bolts for the ballista. Our walls are severely damaged. They won’t hold off another attack.”

    “And the mages?”

    “Exhausted,” replied the Great Mage, his voice hoarse. “They need at least twenty four hours of rest, or else they will kill themselves.”

    The mayor took a shuddering breath, rising from her seat to approach the window. It was impossible to see the walls from her office, but her eyes seemed to stare straight through the trees that filled the village to the wall and beyond, past the clearing that kept the forest from encroaching on their walls and blocking their site, to the line of the trees. It didn’t take her much to imagine the sight that confronted the soldiers on the wall. She herself had been out there several times over the past weeks, trying to rally the falling morale of her troops.

    When the undead had first wandered into the clearing, the guard hadn’t even bothered to report it. The Forest of Oak had always been home to the strange and unusual, it was one of the few places in the Kingdom of Sarok that was not firmly under the control of the King and his Guard. The forest was one of the few places that necromancers could practice their craft without disturbance, and the Mayor and her people had learned to work around it. At times the necromancers had even pledged to support the village, hunting down a rogue beast that was attacking travelers. As long as their thralls did not go out of control and start killing people, the necromancers were left be, even if most of the merchants refused to trade with them.

    The guard had incapacitated the wandering undead, as was the standard policy, and burnt their corpses. The ashes had been scattered with all due respect, and a couple of the Mages had sent a message into the forest, reminding the necromancers that the undead would not be tolerated near Oak Haven. Usually that was the end of it.

    Not this time. The next day double the number had found their way to the city gates. The day after that, double the number again. It was only then that the guard realized that something was horribly, horribly wrong. The day after that, the siege had begun. The city was only barely holding out, and the lifeblood of the city, the trade between the merchants of Sarok and Elinshire that passed through their walls every day, had been completely cut off by the undead threat.

    The Mayor had sent a platoon of guards into the forest, desperate for them to find the council of Necromancers that would be needed to raise and control such a massive army, and come back with a report on their numbers, but none of them had ever returned. After that, anyone who vanished beyond the tree line outside the clearing was never heard from again.

    Desperate for aid, the Mayor had sent a letter by a carrier hawk to the King, begging for aid in defending her city from the undead. Nearly a week later, the letter had finally come back, and it now lay crumpled on her desk, its words of denial hidden but not forgotten. She didn’t know why the King would reject her request. Perhaps he simply wanted to punish the village that had always been somewhat beyond his control, perhaps there truly was some pressing need for the troops elsewhere, but what she knew for sure was that not even a single platoon of soldiers would be coming to relieve them.

    “Mayor?” the Captain asked, interrupting her thoughts. “What do you want us to do?”

    She took a deep breath, before facing the Captain, her expression fierce. “Send out the soldiers. We are going to have to fight back man to man.”

    The Captain’s eyes closed, but he nodded. He knew this moment had been coming, but a single tear still rolled down his cheek to vanish into his black beard. So far they had managed to keep the deaths to a minimum by only directly confronting the undead when there was no other alternative. Now the dead would begin to pile, and the families would not even get a chance to hold a proper funeral for the fallen, out of fear that the necromancers would awaken the bodies of their loved ones and turn them against the city.

    He straightened, bowing again, and turned to go. But before he fully left, he turned back to the Mayor, and offered her a smile. “Our guards are fierce,” he told her, a touch of pride glowing in his eyes. “They will hold out until the reinforcements from the capital get here.”

    A spasm crossed the Mayor’s face, and the guard paused. “Ephenia,” for the first time he broke protocol, and called the Mayor by her given name. “What is wrong.”

    For a moment the Mayor hesitated, before she spoke. “There are no reinforcements coming. We will have to do our own fighting.”

    These words seemed to do more to crumple the Captain of the Guard than anything had in the past weeks. “What are we going to do?” he asked desperately.

    “What we’ve always done,” the mayor replied, seating herself at her desk and lifting a quill. “Survive, by any means necessary.”


    The last of the nine messenger hawks present in Oak Haven was released carefully by its handler. The dwarf watched them go with a worried look in his eyes. The nine hawks would scatter all across the continent, carrying the Mayor's message through Sarok, Elinshire, and Iron Rock. It would be distributed through massive cities and small villages alike, and people would read the message.

    They would come, too. No mercenary would be able to resist the temptation presented by that letter. He could only pray that the people would reach the city in time to save its inhabitants.

    Quietly he unfurled one of the messages that had fallen into the mud and been rudely shoved into his pocket. He wiped away the stain of dirt, before sighing and reading the message once more.

    10,000 gold in exchange for all of their lives.

    Find the source of the undead plaguing Oak Haven, put a stop to it, and 10,000 gold shall be yours.

    ~Lady Ephenia Cordell
    Mayor of Oak Haven

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  2. It was an ordinary day.

    The weather, that is, not the company Tandara kept or for that matter the path she took or the battle the changeling was fighting.

    She had left the city with fanfare and laurels, Tandara didn't wave back to the people that lined the street exiting the city, not many had. Her reason for not doing so was simple, this wasn't her home. Tandi had come into the place with a caravan of goods as one of its guard/hunters, this was strictly business to her. Tandara was going along with some mercenaries to Oak Haven to help defend it. Her skill with the bow, throwing knives and sword were next to legendary, or would be if she bothered to brag, she wasn't much for that sort of thing. No, she just hoped they had some good stout ale there along with the 10k she was going to earn.

    They had traveled several days with out much trouble and the changeling had done some hunting for the crew and they were all about to settle down to a good meal of deer and some roots and greens when the first undead had been spotted. That was the begining, they had spent the night fighting for there very lives and now there were only a few left of the original twenty five that had started out. The mercenaries had bolted for the city and had run their horses to ground to get there. Obviously it was worse that expected or Tandara would have come more prepared, she cursed under her breath.
    Dodge and dash, Tandi had given up on fighting them if she didn't have to. It was every man (or woman) for themselves in the mad dash of the last few yards to the gate. To hell with the gate! It was swarmed by undead, she began climbing the wall with all speed just barely making it high enough in time to keep from being grabbed. As she reached the top of the wall men reached down to give her help over and Tandi lay gasping for breath as they patted her back in amazement at her climbing skills and cheering her for making it alive. It was all a blur in her mind as she struggled to catch her breath.
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  3. Corban
    Corban had been wandering the roads for nearly two months with very little in the way of work. His purse was empty as was his stomach. He hadn’t slept well the night before; dreams of walking skeletons and horrid abominations prevented him from settling in to any kind of comfort. Bleary eyed and a bit ill, he rose to his feet and gathered his few belongings to make ready for another day of walking; no, trudging. It was lost on him for several minutes that a group was moving down the road towards his position. Such is the way of a fatigued mind.

    When he finally saw the caravan, Corban became very tense. The group seemed to be well-armed and well-stocked but there wasn’t a friendly face in the bunch. Odd as it may seem, someone bearing a family crest on his shield was not often well received. Corban slung his shield over his left shoulder and very casually allowed his right hand to rest on the hilt of his family blade. He was almost shaking from the burden of trying to remain still when the first of the group broke off and jogged his horse over to where the dishonored knight was standing.

    “Ho, there. Clear the road.” The rider called in a very professional and stern tone. He was a handsome young man who looked like he’d seen a few battles but lacked any real scars and his armor was far too clean.

    Corban bowed his head in greeting and then lifted his gaze back to the one who had addressed him. “May I inquire about your company, good sir?” Corban’s tone was a bit scratchy and quite droll due to his lack of energy. “Have you need of another sword?” Corban’s gear was a bit mismatched, sure, but for the most part he would appear well-armed and certainly well-built.

    The rider turned his horse and sidestepped the mare closer to the traveler. His bright eyes searched Corban with great scrutiny and after a few moments of silence he turned his mare another ninety degrees. “That is not for me to decide. Wait here.” With that being said, the rider was gone. It was nearly an hour before a second rider came back with the first. The two men ran a gauntlet of questions past Corban and ultimately decided he would be an asset on their journey.


    A few good days of rest and hot meals perked Corban right up. In exchange, he tended the animals, care for and cleaned up after them. Finally having a purpose, though menial, Corban was definitely feeling better. This did not last as is the rule about good things. The reward of ten thousand gold pieces seemed paltry compared to the cost of so many lives.

    Undead sprang upon the caravan of mercenaries from seemingly nowhere and the river of these warriors appeared to have no end. At first, the battle was organized with the mercenary commander giving orders and making adjustments to maintain efficiency and effectiveness. As the day dragged on, more and more of the hired swords fell to the endless waves of forsaken souls. Two dozen dwindled down to a handful and it was then the chaos ensued.

    Having resigned himself to not lose his ground, Corban found himself in a real mess. It’s really difficult to hold a line by yourself. As the others took off running for the city walls, Corban watched as the largest mass of undead followed them. He and two others looked like they might get a nice break after they dispatched the dozen or so fighting corpses that remained.

    Corban was always watching for opportunities to use his knowledge of military strategy and finally one had presented itself. Sickening as it may have been, a good percentage of the undead were feasting upon the fallen closer to the trees while the other group, nearly half were chasing his companions or attacking the gate. There was a clear path between the groups and the clearing floor was covered in a very dense layer of leaves. Corban had seen several barrels of lantern oil on the wagon and he always carried his TinderSpark. The two could be combined to create a wall of fire trapping some of the undead for an easier fray and isolating the city gates for a while.

    Corban turned to the ones still with him and began barking orders. He tossed the TinderSpark to one and grabbed the sleeve of the other. “Come with me!” He ran to the wagon and grabbed a keg of oil and handed to his partner. He then grabbed the other for himself. He turned his attention to the one with one of his prized possessions. “Stay close! Once we have made the line, you have to light it, understand?” With that he took off running as fast as his legs could carry him. He pried the cork loose once he got close to the city wall and then ran away from it following the vacancy between the two groups of damned soldiers. The oil poured out and began to soak into the leaves beneath. The other barrel-holder’s eyes lit up once he figured out what was going on and followed suit very well. As soon as Corban’s keg was empty, he dropped it and drew his sword and shield. He prepared himself to defend the others so that they may complete their task. If they were successful, this plan may have bought them some time to regroup and get inside the city.
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  4. There were many ways one could spend ten thousand gold, and exterminating a few dwarves was just one of them. It was a powerful thing, money. Iuitl found it funny in a way, how the gold used to save one village would be used to destroy another. Of course, that was if everything went according to her plan, which currently was not playing out the way she'd wanted. Sure, destroying the undead was part of her job but she hadn't expected them to attack so soon. And so ferociously. Iuitl scrambled away from the undead hacking away at her companions and dove into a relatively unscathed caravan to recover her thoughts.

    She remembered how it'd all started. A messenger hawk bearing a letter from Oak Haven, seeking help from any available. Iuitl hadn't thought much of the situation then. The letter's elegant and focused handwriting had helped mask the reality of the town's situation. She doubted that many of those who had come seeking the gold would have come if the letter had been any more clearer. Iuitl sighed and took a peek out the caravan. Her comrades were doing a decent job at holding the undead back, though a few corpses already littered the scene. Corpses whose dreams and wishes she'd heard a few days ago when they'd first heard of the ten thousand gold reward.

    Iuitl hadn't come along with them at first. Their unified group had once been little individual ones but they'd merged once the fact that they all were heading to Oak Haven came out. She was still careful not to draw too much attention to herself and now it seemed that she'd have to. It was a tough call between helping the injured and hiding and in the end, Iuitl opted for a compromise. She'd conceal her magic for now, and only use her various natural healing equipment.

    Iuitl poked her head out from the caravan again, waiting for the undead to be distracted before jumping out. Just when she thought the undead would surround the caravan, it came in the form of two men dumping oil in the leaves. It drew away several members of the undead, enough for Iuitl to sneak out of the caravan and begin her work. Iuitl silently thanked them and began checking the fallen for injuries she could wrap up, put ointment on, to do anything but use her magic. However, she did a less than stellar inspection as Iuitl had to constantly check her surroundings for any incoming enemies. She hoped it wouldn't look too absurd for a child to be among the group of mercenaries - she hadn't yet thought up of a solid story to tell.
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  5. Music filled the world. Gently melodies were formed, augmented by the shouts of people and the harsh clang of steel. The world seemed blurry, unfocused and unpleasant. Why though? Why was the world unpleasant? Carlin couldn’t remember clearly. He lay there, blood trickling gently but steadily from his head, filling his left eye with blood and hazing his world in red. Suddenly he was ripped from his reverie by vicious shaking. A man shouted at him, but Carlin only saw a mouth moving in the frame of dirty, matted hair and pale skin. He was hoisted up and dragged limply away from his resting place. Feebly the youth struggled, a flash of annoyance crossing his mind along with the desire to stay there, laying in that soft patch of grass, watching the world blur by.

    Sound came back so suddenly it hurt. The slow motion movements sped up as Carlin started moving his feet on his own and his head cleared a little. “…and get him to the wall! We’ve no use for him here!” Fragmented words. Carlin barely registered them, focusing instead on the things he could see, hear and smell.

    The field in front of him was strewn with corpses, fresh and old. Green grass was matted with red blood and the air smelled of metal and death. The youth knew what he was seeing but couldn’t quite place the scene. Suddenly the words around him forced their way into his skull. “We’re at war, lads. Remember this for the fact it is and act accordingly.”

    War! That’s what was happening. A war for survival, and he, Carlin, was right in the middle of it all. He felt himself gently carried into the town and saw the gates, standing strong. Then, darkness folded itself around his sight and he knew no more.

    “Sir, requesting permission to rejoin the ranks,” said a crisp voice to the back of the turned chair.

    “Denied, guardsman. This is my final word on the matter, accept it or face my… annoyance,” came a blunt reply.

    “Sir, with all due respect…”

    “Damn respect, guardsman!” barked the chair. It swiveled, revealing the Captain of the Guard. “You have no idea, do you? We cannot last forever, and I would not see my men throw away their lives lightly. You have been injured and the healers say you have 24 hours to regain all facilities to proper level. I would see 24 hours pass before sending you to the front in perfect fighting condition. As you are, a child could best you and you would prove nothing but a liability to your fellow guardsmen. Would you willingly see them come to harm for your own pride and arrogance?”

    The words, which had started in a harsh tone, grew softer and more gentle as they continued. To Carlin, his Captain seemed almost sad. His hair, a mirror of his own in its raven darkness, was kempt perfectly and his gray eyes seemed nothing short of flint in hardness and color. Despite this, Carlin could see beyond the façade into the eyes of a man he had seen as a father for most of his life. Captain of the Guard Sarlis Taruin, one of the strongest men in Carlin’s life, was saddened to see his men, his brothers, perish. In a flash, Carlin remembered seeing Tristan, a friend and comrade in arms, lying dead upon the grass, lifeless eyes staring blankly up at the sky as the dusk of the dead stole their brightness. He hung his head.

    “Sir, I will wait to rejoin,” said Carlin in a resigned tone. It was clear that arguing would prove about as useful as banging his head against a wall anyway.

    “You will indeed, guardsman. Take a stroll, clear your mind and prepare yourself. Get lots of sleep and stay away from drunken stupidity! I expect you here at first light, crisp and ready, no excuses.”

    Sarlis stood up and walked over to Carlin who stood a little straighter as he felt a heavy hand come to rest on his shoulder. He almost felt his knees buckle under the weight and his pale blue eyes betrayed shock at how weak he felt. Or was it something other than physical weakness? He started breathing a little harder until his Captain started speaking to him. “I realize this is difficult. But then, this is war, Carlin. We are skilled and strong. We will be fine.”

    Carlin nodded silently, brought his fist to his chest with difficulty, an action mirrored by his Captain who then returned to his seat. Carlin turned and walked out of the office, closing the door behind him with a sharp click. He released a breath he hadn’t noticed he was holding in softly, feeling the friction as it passed between his teeth. He had heard his Captain at angry times, happy times and had often verbally sparred with the man, pointed jests subtly jabbing the boundaries of respect and ordnance in favor of pleasure and laughter. Yet, this was the first time he had heard, throughout the sadness, a note of defeat and resignation.

    His shoulders sagging just a little, Carlin walked out of the guardhouse. His eyes locked on the direction of the battle he had fought scant hours earlier and his eyebrows arched down angrily. His hand made a fist and he shook a little. Then, silently, he stalked off to his personal place of retreat; The Oak Barrel.

    For a moment, the black-haired youth stood still in front of the solid wooden door. He looked up at the familiar sign of the barrel with its brass tap, sparkling proudly in the setting sun’s light. Even through the door, he could feel the gentle hubbub of the people sitting there. Drink was, thankfully, still well stocked but that would only last a while. Sooner or later, it would either be rationed or it would be done altogether. With a sigh he pushed open the door and put on his friendliest smile.

    He was surprised by the lack of life in the tavern. That is to say, there were lots of people, but most of them looked as lifeless as the corpses he had fought not long ago. A few eyed him in such a manner that his smile faltered just a little. Old Oak, the barman, waved him over. Oak, as he was lovingly called, was a ham-fisted man. He must have been incredibly strong and muscular in his younger years but, in his old age, he had grown fatter. Even so, all who knew him also knew not to make a fuss with this man, as he was more than capable of besting younger, more skilled men with sheer tenacity. A fact proven only a week ago, though the man in question had crossed the invisible and, to Carlin’s mind, somewhat cliché line of having a go at Oak’s daughter. He could still walk though, and last Carlin had heard, the healers had fixed him up quite well. Recognizable in any case.

    “What’s going on, Oak?” asked Carlin tentatively as he took a chair at the bar. “I’ve never seen people look this dejected, despite circumstances to aid. What makes this time so different?”

    Oak leaned on the bar and beckoned for Carlin to lean in closer. The youth did so and Oak began whispering. “There is a man, Carlin, who’s going around telling people that we somehow have all this trouble because of our mayor.”

    Carlin’s eyes went wide for a moment, then narrowed angrily. He turned his back to Oak and looked around the room, taking in the general feel of the customers quickly. Most of the men and women there he knew, and most of those he even knew by name. There were, however, a few more here and there ready for a fight. They looked vicious, and to Carlin, almost evil. He was about to turn his back when one of the men caught his eye. Cold, black eyes, like beetles, stared at him from the distance. He stared right back, locking his eyes with the man’s own. The man was slight of build, but he had a keen sharpness about him that unnerved Carlin tremendously. The man reminded the young guard of a viper, poised to strike. As the man started smiling, Carlin turned back towards Oak.

    “Oak, you know better than to let silly gossip get the better of your clientele, right? Tell you what, let me fix this,” Carlin said in a happy tone. He turned to the assembled customers with a smile on his face and bright voice, belying the brittleness he felt inside. “Next round is on me! Songs are up for the evening! How about I head us into the ‘Oak’s Roar’?!’

    A few heads poked up, a few smiles flashed across otherwise somber faces but Carlin could tell more was needed. The youth wished he had Tristan with him but, sadly, he had already wished the corpse farewell and he would not see his friend again. He knew he could go and find Twig, Oak’s daughter, but who knew where that little rascal was. Even Oak rarely knew where his little girl ran off to most of the time.

    As the customers walked up to the bar to collect their drinks, a few nodded to Carlin, but most of them ignored him pointedly. Still, Carlin noted, they accepted the drinks readily enough. Had he been alone, he would have spat on them. Their blatant disrespect for the deaths of guards who willingly gave their lives for those of their townsfolk was disconcerting to say the least, and served as fuel for anger to the young guard.

    Last of all, the black-eyed man walked past Carlin and stopped for a moment. He then held out his hand and waited. Carlin, eyeing the hand, knew it was considered uncouth to ignore a hand thrust in companionship and gripped the man’s arm at the wrist. He felt himself drawn towards the man. “My name is Malik, guardsman. I am here to help,” he whispered.

    “Who do you intend to help, exactly, Malik,” answered Carlin in a deadpan whisper.

    Malik withdrew and stared at Carlin with his dark eyes for a moment before breaking into a broad smile. His laugh sounded like a bark as he threw his head back and he walked past Carlin, collecting his drink at the bar with a nod of thanks. He was still chuckling while he walked back to his table.

    As the evening progressed, people steadily got a bit more talkative. Malik, Carlin noticed, had retreated to a corner where he was busily talking with several unpleasant looking individuals. Carlin tried to pick out particular characteristics but he could not make them out. He smirked into his mug as he looked down at the golden liquid inside. Dark corners indeed.

    The evening had gotten into a decent roll in terms of song and music. Many of the popular Oak Haven songs had already passed, including the timeless classics ‘I’ll Have What He’s Having’ and ‘I Gots Me Some Chops To Sell’. Both of the songs had brought smiles to the crowd since both songs speak highly of Oak Haven populace and lifestyle. Carlin had laughed and shouted and clapped and stamped his feet happily.

    Then Aria had taken to the small stage. She was a small, fragile thing and a common sight in the Oak Barrel. She often sang there, collecting coin and lifting troubled minds with her silvery tones. She was usually called ‘the girl who gets idiots to be silent’, so pleasing was her voice. Even the men in the corner, Carlin noted, had stopped talking to listen to Aria sing.

    Her voice, already gentle and serene, seemed to whisper through the crowd, almost tangible in nature. If her song had any colors they would have been silver and white, for she sang of the winter and her frosty touch. She sang of the death winter brought and the lack of bird’s song. Suddenly her voice became richer, louder and a with her delicate fingers she strummed an ancient lute, leading in a melody that was soon picked up by all present. Feet were gently stamped in perfect unison, rhythmic and magical as the group found their way through the richness of her new song. Renewal, growth, nature’s infinite cycle and sunlight became the verse of her new melody.

    Hope, seemed to be her message.

    All Carlin could do was smile at the song and struggle to contain the tears he wished to let fall for his fallen comrades; his brothers.
    Carlin himself sang a song that evening. He sang of Oak’s Roar, a tradition he had started one evening when Oak himself had gotten fiercely angry with him and had shouted incoherently. Carlin had put the roar into a rousing song which had become a tavern favorite. It was aptly named ‘Oak’s Roar’, and any customer frequenting the tavern knew of the song, the words, as well as its story.
    Finally, Carlin decided to lay himself to his bed and, perhaps a little unsteadily, he wandered to his room.
    From his office, Sarlis Taruin saw Carlin wander into the guardhouse and he smiled gently. Of course the boy had, had too much to drink. But the Captain of the Guard knew that he lad would be there in the morning, prepared for the treacherousness of the day and the song of steel in his heart and upon his lips.
    #5 Felicantus, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2014
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  6. collab with @Zeraj and @Freedom

    Into the Oak ForestConnas, Ayiem, Cirdan, and Abel left the performing caravan at the edge of the Oak Forest, as they were turning away to head into Elinshire. The small group of friends had found the performers down in the southern plains of Sarok, and had been welcomed along for as long as the two parties were heading in the same direction. But now that the bells of the various wagons were starting to retreat into the distance, three sets of eyes turned their attention to Connas.

    The young man seemed to miss the attention that was being paid to him, until Cirdan cleared his throat impatiently. Connas turned, a look of surprise on his face, before smiling sheepishly at his companions.

    "Sorry," he quickly apologized, "Lost in thought." Idly he scratched at the metal fragments that were imbedded into the back of each wrist.

    "Are you still sure you want to do this?" Cirdan asked. Although his cloudy eyes did not move the focus of his attention changed to Ayiem and Abel, a brief expression of concern flitting over his face. The three of them had left the gathering of the Road with Connas only about a week ago, when a letter offering a great reward for clearing out the undead had made its way into their encampment. None of the three had really been expecting to answer the request from the letter, but somehow they had found themselves drawn north by the excitement of Connas. If he lost interest now, they would all just turn around and head back.

    But Connas quickly nodded after Cirdan's question. "I'm sure. There's something here. I can feel it." Once more his eyes turned back to the forest. "You guys ready?"

    Ayiem looked away from the forest. He paused before answering as if quickly deciding some inner turmoil. A smile suddenly brightens from his face, "Of course I am!" he plucks a few high notes for emphasis, "I'll be called Ayiem, Slayer of the Dead when this is through."

    The words rang hollowly within his chest. Such optimistic ideas escaped his mouth readily, but in his heart he knew the truth. Ayiem had long ago threw away all threads of that former self. Now he just had to play, to wander, and to serve the Family. Such reasons compelled him to aid Connas. Perhaps he will finally meet his end and this journey may finally end. The thought was chilling yet somewhat enticing. A sadder smile shown through, but he quickly swept it with a cheerful tune from his lute. The colorful hues danced around him. With a sharp end to his song, he clapped his hand onto Abel's back, "What do you say my brother, care to slay some dead?"

    Abel couldn't help but let out a little laugh at Ayiem. His optimism never failed to bring a smile upon his face. "Of course I am! Just make sure we have a torch, fire works best on these things anyway."

    Stretching and popping some of the bones in his back and neck, Abel let out a sigh and said, "We will be in a forest... so I'll try to be careful... you all know how i get when I use fire... my performer side comes out and some things just get burned."

    Abel was really only trying to lighten the mood. He could extinguish his fire as easily as he could conjure it, and while a few trees might get lightly crisped, it would do far more to damage the undead than the forest.

    Connas watched the exchange between his friends with a smile on his face. Their willingness to follow him on this mad adventure meant more than he was willing to admit, and he could feel excitement burning within him.

    "Let's go, then"

    The four companions set off into the forest, with Cirdan at the front of the procession, Connas at the back, and Ayiem and Abel in the middle. They would make Oak Haven well before nightfall, but the silence of the forest set the whole group on edge. It was as though the place already belonged to the dead, and the living were but temporary intruders to the catacombs.

    Once they got a little ways into the forest Abel paused to light a torch, in case they were caught by surprise by some of the undead, but other than that the group proceeded onwards in silence. However, when they were getting close to their destination, Cirdan brought the party to a halt with an upraised fist. One of his long ears quivered slightly. The rest of the party strained their ears, but could not hear what had brought the blind monk to a halt.

    "Cirdan?" Connas asked quietly, only to be hushed with a waving motion.

    Finally Cirdan spoke. "There's fighting going on up ahead. Oak Haven is already under assault."
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  7. Healing without the aid of magic was proving to be a futile task. Her bandages were running out and the ones she'd used already were already soaked to the brim. Her ointments did nothing to stitch up punctures, her potions did even less. At this point, Iuitl knew that if she didn't start using her magic soon, many of her companions would die. And yet she hesitated.

    "You... water..."

    The dying man's raspy voice drew her attention to him. A quick scan told Iuitl that there was nothing she could do but listen to his last request. Listen, but not obey. He was dying, water would not help but to ease his passing and with the undead milling about Iuitl felt no strong desire to search for water.

    "You are dying."

    It was a weighty statement for how simple it was to say. She'd seen this man before and although she could not even remember his name, it was an unnatural feeling to watch him slowly slip away. Iuitl could not grieve a moment later, even if she wanted to (which she didn't) - the undead that had been distracted by the two men dumping oil were dispersing already. They hadn't set it on fire and Iuitl couldn't see them anymore through the destruction. As she began to scramble away, a clammy hand shot out and clutched on tightly to her ankle.

    "Eden... What are you?"

    "Let go of me!"

    She hadn't perfected the physical part of her illusion spell yet. What if this man were to live? As small as the chance was, she wasn't ready to be revealed. Or kill a man who'd done her no wrong, for that matter. The sudden touch had surprised her too, being something all too familiar for her. At the sharp outburst, she noticed two undead begin to make their way towards her. Though they were far, they were gaining ground quickly. She tugged hard but the man's desperate strength was too much for her. His eyes seemed frantic - something halfway between a loving stare and a fearful one.

    "Let. Go. Of. Me!"

    "What is?"

    He rubbed his hands over her leg, making her shiver. His eyes turned to confusion before he finally let go. The sudden blood rushing back to her limb gave a prickling, rushing sensation.

    "Feathers? You aren't Eden. You aren't."

    He'd gone completely mad. Understandable, considering he'd gone from carousing about the fortune he was about to make to bleeding like a stuck pig in one day. Still, Iuitl was less than happy about the fact that he'd mistaken her for someone else. Perhaps her disguise blended in more effectively than she'd thought. A sudden gurgling noise interrupted her dazed state as she was splattered with blood and met with the foul last wheeze from the man. The undead had finally reached her.

    In a flash, Iuitl jumped up and stumbled frantically away from her newest enemies. They did not speak, or shout, or even whisper but all the same Iuitl could hear their intent as clear as day. The whoosh of wind as they swung their swords at her back, the cracking of their bones, the occasional solid thump as they trampled over the dead in their way - they meant to kill her.

    Everywhere she ran, there was only carnage in her path. The mercenaries she'd been travelling proved less than stellar, judging from the bodies strewn about. The iron scent of death wafted through her nostrils, making her grimace and the noise made her want to tear her own ears off. It was something that she was sure she'd never forget - the cries of dying men. Soon, she was sprinting into the forest, this way and that way in an attempt to lose her undead pursuers.

    Iuitl realized she was destined to lose. Their longer legs meant for every stride they took, she needed to take three. She was mortal and able to tire out. They were fueled with necromatic magic, able to chase her down to one end of the forest to the other. The only chance she had was to delay their progress by sneaking into bushes and other small places difficult for them to traverse.

    A shooting pain erupted in her left shoulder and she found herself eating dirt. A warm liquid was trickling down her arm and her head felt too numb to think. Iuitl thought she could spy a little flame dancing in the distance. She didn't know if it was help or her mind giving her one last comfort but it did give her the hope to push forwards. She shot into the bushes, heedless of the scratches she was receiving whilst calling for help.

    The branches slowed down the undeads' pursuit, enough for Iuitl to stay a little ahead of their swords. The light came closer and closer and closer, until Iuitl burst triumphantly out in front of an elf, a bard wielding a torch and a elaborately dressed human. Out of words to say, she simply pointed and gasped at the two undead crashing through the brush. They would be on the group in mere seconds and she hoped that they would be able to hold them.
  8. The Gates of Oak HavenThe guards on the wall were quick to forget their excitement as they turned once more to watch the tides of undead approaching their city. Already everyone in the caravan that was supposed to be a part of their slvation was dead, except for the woman on the walls with them, and a small group of men, surrounded on all sides by the undead. One of them grabbed a small, square item, and flicked it open. A small bright flame appeared in the center of the small dwarven box. However, one of the undead that had managed to get past his two compatriots clattered up to him. Before he was able to bend down and light the oil trail that might have saved him and his friends the box was thrown out of his hands, landing harmlessly in a patch of dirt and going out. He drew a bright sword and shield, and the three backed together, desperately trying to fend off the undead.

    “It is time.” The voice belonged to an older man, battle scarred and intense. The soldiers on the wall swallowed, but nodded, quietly picking up swords, spears, and axes. As they moved Tandi slipped away from them, trying to move off the wall and deeper into the city. However, just as she got close to the stairs leading down, a hand closed over her arm.

    “You too, lady.”

    “What?” Tandi asked, outraged. “I just got away from the fight. I’m not going out there!”

    “You are.” The guard asserted firmly. “You aren’t a part of this village, and we are already doing all we can to survive without picking up stragglers. Your job, and the only way to get your reward, is out there, not in here. Now get back out there of your own will, or I’ll toss you off the wall and leave the undead to finish you off!”

    The gates were opened slightly, the undead that tried to push their way through the small gap fended off by sword and torch, and when the group of soldiers began to make their way out into the clearing, fighting the undead every step of the way, Tandi was among their number. However, unlike them, she did not have heavy armor and a thick sword meant for cleaving through bone. Her only hope was to get as far away from the fighting as quickly as possible. She pulled two knives out from her waist, cast a spiteful glare back at the closing gates, and crouched down low.

    The undead began to fall back under the coordinated attack of the soldiers, and they moved forward steadily, hacking the creatures apart, where they writhed helplessly for a moment before the magic holding them together failed. The moment they stopped moving, a mage would step forward, bouncing fire from one downed corpse to the next until nothing remained of the undead but ash.

    Tandi waited for her chance to run.


    The Field of Undead
    Corban was the first to notice as the gates swung open. He hesitated briefly, and the swing of his sword deflected harmlessly off the zombie, which continued try and grab him and tear him apart. He beat back the creature, only to hear a scream from behind him. The man from the caravan, the last one living out in the field, had been swarmed by four undead and fallen to the ground. They ripped him apart with the same banality with which they moved, oblivious to his screams.

    Corban didn’t have time to care. The undead were drawing closer to him as well, and there was no way the city guard was going to make it to him in time to save him from his fate.

    It was then that he heard another scream, this one high and feminine. He whirled around, unable to ignore the noise, only to see Tandara. She had apparently darted through a gap in the undead, only to be clubbed in the back of the head by the weapon of an orc draugr. She rolled over, trying to fend off the beast with two knives, but the short, sharp blades did not even register to the mighty beast.

    Every thought left Corban’s mind. He flung himself at the monster, driving his sword right through its side. The monster turned away from Tandi, glowering at Corban with empty eye sockets. Corban tugged at his sword, only to find it trapped in the zombie’s spine. Corban released his sword, diving away as the beast lashed out at him, only to right himself and find that the undead he had been fighting before had caught back up.

    “Shit.” He glanced back at Tandi, who was struggling her way back to her feet. There was no way both of them were getting out of this alive. In that moment, Corban made his decision.

    “Run!” he screamed at her, as his world went first red, and then black.

    The Oaken Forest
    ”We have to go help them!” Abel was moving a split second later, before Cirdan’s hand flitted out and closed around his shoulder, bringing the young performer to a halt.

    “Wait,” the blind monk said, voice soft. “Even if we aid them in this fight, it will only be followed by another wave. The only way we can truly help them is by finding whatever is causing this, and stopping it.”

    “Cirdan’s right, Abel” Connas began. “We have to...” The hushed conversation was suddenly interrupted by the sound of something crashing through the undergrowth towards them. Connas tensed, only to come face to face with a young girl. She panted at them, before pointing behind her not a split second too late. Two of the undead monsters pushed through after her.

    Abel was the first to move. The torch in his hand sparked, and a burst of flame surrounded the two undead. They writhed in the magic fire, still trying to follow after Iuitl, but a blow from Cirdan was enough to bring them to a halt until the fire was finally able to burn through their bones, and bring the magic to an end.

    Connas bent down, reaching out to the girl. “Are you alright?”

    “Don’t touch me!” She screamed, backing away. Abel turned to look at her, and his eyes went wide. He bit his lip quietly.

    “It’s okay. It’s okay now.” Connas repeated quietly. “What happened? What are you doing out here?”

    “I was with a caravan,” Iuitl whispered. “They’re all dead.”

    “What were they thinking, bringing a child into this?” Ayiem whispered, moving towards Iuitl as well. She shrank back again.

    “Come on,” Cirdan said. “We can’t stay here, and we can’t go to the village. All we can do is keep moving.”

    “What about her?” Connas asked quietly, standing up and moving over towards the monk.

    Cirdan’s vacant eyes turned towards her. “We have to bring her along.”

    “I’ll take care of her,” Abel volunteered unexpectedly, holding out a hand for the girl. She looked at him, seeming to study him critically, before she moved forward and lightly took his hand. “Let’s go.”

    -Tandi was running as fast as she could, desperate to get away from the condemned walls of Oak Haven, as air heaved through her lungs. She darted through the trees, her eyes peeled for even a hint of the undead.

    When the figure appeared in front of her, it seemed as though it just rose from the ground. Tandi’s eyes went wide as she recognized the hulking shoulders of an orc. How had the draugr managed to get in front of her? But there was no time for wondering. If she couldn’t avoid the monster, she would have to fight it. She crouched down, drawing her bow and nocking an arrow. It was only in that moment that she realized that the skin was clinging tightly to this orc’s flesh, unlike the monster from before, where it had hung in loose, baggy folds. Whoever was in front of her, he was still undoubtedly alive.

    The Drow The mercenaries found the drow in the middle of the day, when the sun was at its highest and he had sheltered down underneath the shade of a massive oak tree to protect himself from the blinding rays.

    Amal tensed as soon as he heard the booted feet approaching, but he held himself perfectly still, hoping that the men would overlook his dark form hiding in the shadows. Such was not to be his luck.

    “Hey, look at that!” The feet came to a halt. “It’s a fucking raven skin!” Amal’s eyes narrowed into slits.

    “What are you doing above ground, raven skin?” the oblivious man continued. “In case you haven’t heard, we don’t tolerate you baby eaters here.”

    “Go back underground!”

    “Come on, boys. Let’s teach this drow a lesson about why their kind shouldn’t come where they aren’t wanted.”
  9. The doors opened and Carlin felt his stomach convulse. He gritted his teeth, firmly grasped his sword and strode forward, eyeing those around him in the few seconds before the onslaught would resume. He looked at their faces, their eyes and the pale but determined visage they created. He saw their armor, chipped and battered over the days but gleaming in the stray rays of sunlight. He had overseen the caring of the gear personally the previous evening, assuming a role of leadership he normally eschewed but this time embraced. They had sat and wordlessly worked through their routine: fixing, adjusting, polishing, tapping, sharpening and mending anything they needed, taking hours to do what they normally accomplished in minutes. There was a feeling of pride and relief, all the same. After the twisted horrors of the field and all the death that came relentlessly with it, the normality and tediousness of simply preparing your gear was more than welcome.

    He was dragged from his daydream harshly when he heard the first shout. Shocked, he noticed he was locked in combat with the undead already and his swords had been weaving patterns for some time. He grunted and kicked the creature in front of him in the belly before hewing it in a long overhead swing. The edge of his blade bit deep, splattering gray gore on him before he withdrew the blade from the sagging corpse. He felt itchy, uncomfortable and unpleasant; the world was already swimming. How long had he been fighting? He checked himself quickly and, finding nothing beyond minor scratches which, he assumed, were literally scratches, he waded back into the onslaught. He found a small pocket of guards and joined them, all of them turning their backs inwards and gripping their weapons firmly.

    With lethal skill swords found their way beyond the gripping hands of the undead, carving dead flesh into submission while others swung maces and hammers, crushing the bones of the walkers. They seemed invincible and their shouts of war rallied their spirits as they continued to fight with a desperation born of hatred. The circle of men, however, was not infallible. As if guided by some dark will, the monsters started swarming one part of the circle, coming in pairs, crawling, walking and lurching towards them, grasping at legs and arms. The first scream pealed Carlin away from his thoughts of victory. The man next to him turned to see what had happened and in that moment where focus was lost in favor of panic, he was grabbed by the neck and pulled from the circle. Before he could draw breath to scream, his neck was broken with an audible crack, even over the clamor of steel. Carlin took a step back, horrified as he saw the fellow guardsman fall the earth, bone jutting out of his neck, his blood splattering the undead around him.

    The shouting continued, but the circle grew smaller with each swing. Guardsmen were dropping around him and Carlin once more took charge, barking orders to his superiors, demanding order and discipline from them as they drew together. Ranks were once more formed, shoulders touched, reassuring comrades of the strength around them, tired arms hefted weapons that felt too heavy to swing and gripped them hard.

    “If you can grip your weapon, then damn well swing it, guardsmen!” shouted Carlin to his fellow guards. Leading by example, he pivoted on his feet and beheaded one of the walkers, lopping its head off in a strike of fury. A roar sounded from a little ways off, and the sounds following gave Carlin and his men hope again. They recognized their Captain and rallied towards him, fighting their way through groping hands and gaping maws of grey animated flesh.

    They met, face to face on the battlefield and panic dissolved as the wave was defeated and the ruined remnants and corpses were burned to a cinder, while the names of the fallen were called out and lamented. Then, the guardsmen left to rest while they could.


    They day had been long and a battle was hard won while the promise of more combat burned deeply in the minds of those assembled in the barracks’ common room. There was some minor mumbling, tired as the men were, they could only relax their sore bodies as best they could. The Captain walked in and, with speed and efficiency drilled into their very bones, the men stood to attention with commendable alacrity. The Captain, meanwhile, waited solemnly and continued standing in silence for a while before speaking.

    “Men, we have lost brothers today. Remember that it must not be in vain. When the next wave comes, we will fight for their memory and the continued future of our town.”

    “Aye, sir,” chanted the group in unison.

    “Carlin, step forward.”

    Awkwardly, Carlin stepped forward and stood in front of the massive figure of the Captain. He eyed the floor, feeling tiny in comparison.

    “I hear you took command on the field today, guardsman. I hear you stripped men beyond your rank of privilege and rallied them behind you,” said the Captain in a firm voice. “This is not the way, Carlin. Despite your best intentions, you should stay behind your commanding officer of that moment. Respect earned is respect given with us and you would do well to remember that fact.”

    “Aye, sir,” said Carlin locking eyes with his Captain.

    “That being said, you are hereby promoted to Sergeant in the field for as long as this conflict continues. Don’t die out there, Carlin,” he said with a look of pride in his eyes.

    Before Carlin could respond an arm was roughly put over his shoulder and he was dragged into a friendly embrace by his fellows. He was slapped on his shoulders and smiled at, encouraged and approved by the older officers who knew the boy had shown more backbone on the field than they and were happy for that fact. The small group of soldiers, of guardsmen who had fought back to back with each other, protecting each other, walked forward to personally thank and congratulate the youth.

    Overwhelmed, Carlin took a few steps back and thanked the Captain who nodded and turned about, walking away and leaving the festivities to commence.

    Carlin followed soon enough, leaving the crowd of laughing men behind him.

    The Captain saw a shade walk away from the barracks, recognizing Carlin as he sneaked off. He eyed the retreating figure of the boy with cold eyes. “You’ll do fine, boy,” he whispered to the night sky.

    Carlin made his way to the corner of the inn where he was stopped by not one, but three people. “What do you want, guardsman,” spat one of them an inch from his face.

    Carlin did not waste time. His knee came up, finding the man’s groin at satisfying speed. As the man went down with a sharp cry of agony, Carlin punched the second man across the jaw and simply shouldered his way past the final, somewhat scared commoner. Malik was seated at his usual table, looking at Carlin with a pleased smile across his face.

    “I knew you would come, guardsman. You had the look in your eye,” he said matter-of-factly.

    “My name is Carlin, Malik. Remember my name well,” answered Carlin while taking a seat opposite the man. “I did not come for pleasantries. You mentioned help the last time we spoke. How can you help to stop this death from continuing? You help me, Malik, and I will make it worth your while.”

    “Carlin, Carlin,” said Malik, rolling the name over his tongue as if tasting it. He stuck out his hand and cupped Carlin’s face, locking eyes with the youth. “I can help, and will help, with or without you. The question is, can you help me?”
  10. “Come on, boys. Let’s teach this drow a lesson about why their kind shouldn’t come where they aren’t wanted.”

    “Er, excuse me good sir. I do believe I’m a bit lost. Nixy, here, believes we’re nowhere near Oak Haven. Mayhaps you could guide me to its gates?”

    With a grin more commonly seen on the boy who gets caught with his trousers at his ankles in a barn, Felix walked towards the group of men. They turned as one, the leather of their gloves creaking as they made fists in reaction to his sudden appearance.

    Felix was still comfortably walking towards them with a truly tiny cat perched in perfect balance on his shoulder. His arms were swinging freely and long strides brought him closer quickly. His eyes, however, were resting on the drow silently fuming behind the men. He nodded a greeting to him, receiving none in return.

    “Get on with you, tramp. We’ve business to attend,” said one of the men, apparently the elected leader of the day. The other men murmured their agreement, collectively relaxing a little upon seeing it was just a single man, not even an undead at that.

    “Hardly a tramp, my good man! Just a fellow out to seek fortune, fame a fanny though never necessarily in that order if you catch my drift,” replied Felix with a wink and a roguish smile. “As I said, good sirs, I am lost. I require a tad of assistance.”

    The men, who had probably never been called good sirs in their lives, began looking over the newcomer. His hair was black and long, braided and clasped with a brass ring. His face was long and gaunt, an aquiline nose sticking out pointedly and white teeth showing from behind a thick beard, clipped neatly and obviously oiled to a gleam. His clothing was impeccable, almost amazingly so for one who had seemingly travelled on foot. He wore a simple blue shirt with short black waistcoat over it and a light sash around his waist. His trousers, a dark grey or faded black of color, were tucked into a pair of tall black boots, the only items on his body with any dirt on them. Then they noticed his blade, his gloved hand hovering over the gleaming steel and oiled leather of the grip.

    “Oh don’t bother, my good friends,” he said with wave of his free hand, “I’m far too dab a hand at the arts of combat to be wary of a silly little skirmish in the woods. I’m also considering simply allowing you to fall from sight, seeing as you angered someone a tad stronger than you could ever hope to be.”

    “If you think you can take on all of us, you’ve got it backwards, fancy man. There’s four of us, what can you do all on your lonesome? Reckon you can take on all of us with that girly sword of yours?”

    The dynamic foursome guffawed happily at this, that is to say, until they noticed a fifth voice joining loudly in the merriment. Felix was laughing loudly with them, eyes closed and an arm tucked over his gut. He smacked his hand on his thigh as the men grew silent once more, annoyance evident on their faces.

    “You’ve got it quite wrong, my good man!” Felix said pleasantly, “I don’t plan on fighting you all by myself! I’m not the one who’s stronger than you might hope to become, though I dare say you’ll never reach my level of spirited good looks. I mean the gentleman behind you.”

    Again the group turned, now finding the drow eyeing them menacingly. He was not, however, alone anymore. From the shadows, silhouettes were visible and soon after, drow could be distinguished as they rustled their way through the bushes.

    The men drew their weapons and looked at each other for a moment. The drow locked eyes with them and whispered sweetly, “Flee, pests.”
    #10 Felicantus, Jan 30, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2015
  11. Ruthgar stood amid the walking corpses; bulky, brawny form flexing. Sharp teeth, flabby lips smirking. With arms as big as logs, and hands that held two of the dead at a time in each--he forcefully slammed their heads together. Their rotted corpses were easy enough to break for him. Though, truth be told--any bone was easy enough for the monstrously overgrown Orc to break. Rather it had rotted and decayed for a time, or if it was something alive and well--before he got his hands on it.

    With the shattering of bones reminiscent of wood splintering in spectacular fashion, spraying a mist of bone powder and fragmentation. The bodies dropped in a heap upon the ground. The barrel-chest behemoth snarled like a mad dog, his cheeks reverberating the noise before his lungs drew in a massive quantity of air--expelling it in a powerful war cry. causing veins in his arms to bulge with the intensity of the scream. He lunged forwards, trampling the 'lighter' kinds of undead, whilst his huge arm extended, hand grabbing the haft of an imposing axe that had been lobbed and embedded into one of the more hefty creatures.

    As his hand tore free the weapon, it rent the still moving desiccated corpse of an ogre. The jagged ax edge, ripping down the bones and the heavy wooden door it clung to. Bones were of no consequence, it sheared straight through them like scissors and paper as it was made to do. He didn't even stop to see if the thing had stopped moving, just ran through groups of rattling corpses like a medieval bulldozer. One undead tried wrapping a chain around his free arm to stall him. Yet, however, the orc simply wound the chain further around his arm, gaining leverage, and yanked the heavy chain and the dead responsible. It flung the creature into the air and it met with crushing blow as it ran into a large tree.

    Switching tactics, he tied the chain to his ax that was as big as any halberd and then--slung it in far reaching 'swoops'. It cleared entire swathes from the horde as he had turned the ordinarily two-handed weapon, into something akin to a chain scythe. With his outright brute strength and the blade's uncannily sharp edge--it made for a deadly combination. So it was, he was making dead things even deader.
    #11 Mangekyō, Jan 31, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  12. Rikhen walked down the road with the letter in his hands, 'Find the source of the undead'. He'd never had the pleasure of killing the undead before, he supposed it wouldnt be too difficult. Simply cut them down, doubtful they knew how to use weaponry. The 10,000 gold was merely a bonus. He was happy enough with fighting for a good cause. He heard a horses hoof beats and looked up from the note. He saw a rider on horseback rushing quickly down the road. Rikhen stood in the riders path until the man slowed down.

    "Am I on the correct road to Oak Haven?" Rikhen asked the man while holding the horse steady in front of him, the man looked down with a look of utter terror, "The city plagued by the living dead I mean."

    "Aye you're on the right path, now let me go I wish to flee before the dead finish that cursed city and move outwards to conquer the rest of us." The man said jerking his horses reigns aside so that the beast trotted away from Rikhen before picking up pace.

    "Ah good I'm not lost then," Rikhen said stuffing the note into the top of his armor, he walked down the road and heard the sounds of a fight. Lots of groaning and swords cutting flesh. He heard some moaning from behind him as well, not as loud as what was ahead of him but certainly noticeable. He drew his arming sword and looked around, he saw a stumbling corpse approaching him with purpose in its steps. Rikhen readied his sword and swung when the corpse got in range, he cut its head in half and watched it fall in front of him.

    "So the dead are rising in OakHaven, should make for an interesting ballad." Rikhen said with his sword out cutting down any of the undead he saw between him and OakHaven. Eventually he made it far enough in that he could see the walls off the city, encircled by the dead. He cut down dead things left and right, one managed to grab his armor and he retracted his head as it chomped at him. He drew his dagger and stabbed the creature in the eye. He continued making his way toward the city gates which from what he saw had been opened.
  13. Safety. The group of mercenaries had taken down the two undead in mere seconds, so quickly that her pulse hadn't had enough time to slow down yet. Now that the immediate danger was over, Iuitl quickly became aware of the slash she'd received on her left shoulder. Contrary to the amount of blood that had been spilled however, it was relatively shallow. It was enough to catch the attention of her new companions however and this combined with their already present concern about getting her to safety wasn't helping matters.

    "No. No! I'm fine!" Iuitl scrambled for her pack, taking out salves and bandages at random. There was no way she was about to let anyone touch her wound, not with her level of magic at least. With clumsy fingers, Iuitl slapped on a cocktail of salves before tightly wrapping up her shoulder again and again and again and again - "Hey. Everything's going to alright, okay? We'll get you out of here." Abel placed a hesitant hand on her shoulder, putting on a reassuring smile and a knowing look. Iuitl flinched before seeing who it was, though she stopped binding her wound. "No! I'm fine, really! We have to go back to Oak Haven. We have to!" She struggled to get to her feet before attempting to drag Abel back towards the village.

    He didn't budge and instead looked towards Cirdan and Connas, face somber for once. Iuitl stopped in her tracks, opting to use another method. Truth be told, she had no real interest in the lives of the caravanners. All she knew was that the town of Oak had offered a large sum for the eradication of the undead and the town of Oak was the best place to start her quest. "Look, I have friends there okay? They taught me how to heal! I can't leave them behind! You're strong, I know you are! We can do it, we can go to Oak. I grew up on the caravans, the next town's too far away! We have to go to Oak. Are you just going to let them all die?!" Deep inside Iuitl knew her panicked rant wasn't helping her case but she couldn't keep quiet. For all she knew the group were planning to hide away in the depths of the Elinshire. The blind monk's face looked as impassive as ever and while Connas looked sympathetic she remained silent.
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