Open Chronicles Big Trouble in Little Portshaw

RustySpork

Unliving Terror of the Seas
Member
23
Character Biography
Bio
The first to notice the Dread Captain's coming were the dead - their eternal rest disturbed, a greater calling beckoned them to serve a much stronger will, the will of Captain Méchanteau! They rose from their graves and ancestral burial places accompanied by all manner of vermin, they too deceased, they too taking part in this unholy corruption of the natural cycle of life and death. But the Captain could care less about worms and mayflies, Little Portshaw was ripe with bodies, humans mostly, but also some somewhat fresh carcasses of ogres that had met their demise in the scythes and shovels of desperate farmers and fishwives, their bodies cast and forgotten and sent rolling down the mounds that encircled the seaside village. And so the dead, cooped up in the crags and shipwrecks that littered the shore, awaited for their master to come.

They didn't have to wait for too long, Méchanteau's showboat slammed itself against the village's port just two nights later, and with it a thick, perverse fog cast itself over the village. A number of the living, the warm-blooded, were searching for the bodies of their relatives at the time... And they found them! Or rather, they found them. Veiled by the chilling fog, skeletal fingers and flesh cold to the touch gripped and tore at the throats and bodies of these gods-fearing peasants, who, having finally breathed their last, were part of the Captain's crew and all the more willing to bring more to the lich's employ.

Armed resistance was dealt with as swiftly as it was put together and absorbed into the Captain's crew about as fast, seagulls pecked at the scalps of the walking dead and some were turned in turn. While Méchanteau was never fond of these flying pests they worked well with his crows and falcons, all patrolling the skies and hunting down the carrier pigeons that carried the last survivors' hopes. In truth the Sea Lich had reaped enough from Portshaw to man his new ship twice over, but as was often the case with him... he wanted more. And in his hubris he let a message reach the neighboring village, Big Portshaw, its messenger's safety ensured by a great flock of mangy crows. The legible, less bloodstained part of the scroll read like this:

"The dead overwhelm us. For the love of all that is holy, help us!"
No promise of reward, no real assessment of the threat, only one thing about the whole ordeal was known to the few that cared in outside world... The dead had risen in Portshaw, and taken it by storm. Pleased by his flock's services, Méchanteau let them feast on the messenger bird and called them back immediately. He wanted to raze Portshaw to the ground... perhaps even turn it into a base of operations? It would all depend on the 'heroes' he knew were bound to come and dispute his claim over some speck off the map... Annoying pests, all of them, too nosey to earn Méchanteau's respect - who in turn had no nose.

Maho Sparhawk
Am'Thet
Wakasugi Touma
 
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Maho Sparhawk

The Fire Mage of Belgrath
Member
194
Character Biography
Bio
"Dark things Brew, Maho Sparhawk of Cerak At'Thul. If you go, I cannot help you as i have. Know, if your body burns, it shall be mine forevermore."
That was the last thing said to Sparhawk before he marched to the small shipping village that sat on the outskirts of Elbion. Years ago, when he had still roamed with Gerra and his Orc army, they talked of the Eternum; a great army of undead, that one day hoped to march, and rob Arethil of it's freedom. The undead were something that didn't sit well in Sparhawk's stomach. He had seen so many dead in recent months, bodies that piled high, armour of fallen soldiers clinking and tapping their way down hill-sides, the only history that remains of a forgotten soldier. But, he hoped, that he was making Peace with what had happened at Belgrath.

But... the bodies coming back to life, fighting once more in the cause of a master- it made Sparhawk wretch. Such twisting of the human form, of the human soul, was a shadowed thought indeed.

It was not in his nature to contact the Fire-Lord Imamu on such small matters, but he knew that if he were to complete their deal, more death would follow. He, however, refused to kill anymore innocent. No longer would he sacrifice the lives of hundreds to fuel his desire to power. If he was to sacrifice life, he'd rather have it be that of something that has no soul; no anchor to Arethil, nothing that makes them tangible to the countless men and women that peacefully inhabited the land. The fire-ling Imamu had granted him allowed for communication with him. Although he had granted Sparhawk mastery of all Fire Magic, he had no grasp on technicalities or danger. A god's wisdom is, as it seems, a necessity in times of such desperate need.

He had made his preparations; his robe was the same as ever, but enchanted to withstand intense heat, helping him from being stripped naked of his clothes whilst fighting. He also had a leather under-garment made, to help him if he were struck by any weaponry, as he couldn't risk being cut by some poisoned or dark blade, that risked his life, or perhaps the corruption of it.

His horse, Nemesis, rode with him. Not wanting to make a scene, they rode simply, with no need for his wings, Sparhawk's Large, Oaken-Staff striking the ground with the weighted-burden of a Wizard as they rode.

He had made his way to a small village, maybe 3 miles from the fishing village. Before he fought, he needed to see if anyone else would aid him in this effort against such insurmountable hatred. He noticed, as he walked towards the small village, that everyone was holed up in their homes, people begging in the streets, small camps being made for wounded. What stood out the most however, were the mourned; shrouded in white cloth, their bodies lining the west-facing side of the town. Christ.

Into the Pub he made his way, equally as quiet and ominous as the village had become. Only a few sat, each with their own depressed and sad demeanour. They seemed stripped of life, drowning their sorrows in deep cups, their minds laden with the deaths of their family members.

He sat down, Nemesis waiting outside, hitched to a nearby post. His staff rested beside him, his hood off of his head, revealing his face.

Now, i wait.
________________________

RustySpork
Am'Thet
Wakasugi Touma
 

Huang Tien

黄天
Member
45
Character Biography
Bio
"If we don't know life, how can we know death?"
-Confucius
Not all compatriots at the inn that day were local. One may be forgiven to have glossed over this...individual, as the melcholy tone had caused everyone to blend in with the background. However, it didn't take long for one who was observing the scene to realize that someone was...out of place...a stranger, you could say.

Had anyone asked, the innkeeper would have gladly told them what he knew about this...stranger.

It was in the early morning when some of the locals had reported to the innkeeper that some stranger clad in yellow had been seen wandering the surroundings of Big Portshaw. The same stranger was said to have wandered neared the roads leading to the now accursed neighboring village, but by noon he had entered the town and headed stright to the inn. It was here the stranger had paid the innkeeper a few coins to merely boil water that was already contained in his own teapot, and promptly left. Those who came in immediately after the stranger left told the innkeeper that he had been seen wandering the village proper. Some passerby had noticed that he was...glowing? They couldn't really see what was going on, as at the time the stranger had been bent over one of the more seriously injured. When the stranger had returned, the hot water was waiting for him, as the stranger set himself at a nearby table. The innkeeper had wondered about the fellow's purpose here, as while the innkeeper did have a guess, it was a wonder why the stranger hadn't set off.

So there he stayed, idling about for a good while.

A quick glance at the stranger now would reveal that he had out some sort of parchment paper out over the table. In one of his hands. there appeared to be a brush of sorts being occupied with said hand. It would appear to many that the man was...painting, with blank ink, a rows of pictures all across the parchment. Occasionally, this stranger would reach over the table and gently grab a handleless cup, bringing it up and savoring the beverage. Next to the cup was the aforementioned teapot, which would make a fellow conclude that this stranger had been drinking tea. The stranger himself appeared very foreign, if his straw hat didn't give it away, his clothing did. Although curiously enough, his eyes had been covered by said straw hat. Just behind him appeared to be a metal staff, resting idly against the window seal.

When the mage entered the inn, this stranger didn't even spare a glance. Perhaps he was too focus in his alleged paintings to bother, or maybe he just didn't care for this new face. But it was a wonder to some in the inn weather the paths of these two would cross...as out of everyone in the inn, it was perhaps these two that stood out the most...​
 

Eryn Pere

Barmaid
Member
87
Character Biography
Bio
To Eryn, her happy little home in Little Portshaw became a land of darkness and death over night. Like always she was working at the Flying Ship Inn of Little Portshaw. Serving food and drinks to the customers and greeting the regulars while welcoming the newcomers.


To those who knew her she always smiled and was pleasant and a joy to be with, making the air light and relaxed around her and putting everyone at ease who entered the Flying Ship. She truly loved her job and she loved her customers who usually tipped very well.

It was getting dark out and the evening crowd was coming in. The fishermen were regulars and were just coming in from a very long day of brining in the daily catch that was the life blood of Little Portshaw. Eryn got their orders or brought them their usual and of course couldn't help but ask if anything adventurous happened while they were out. Besides mention of a large elvish looking ship off on the horizon the fishermen had little to share.
It was a sunny and calm day before now and so the water was glassy and still which usually didn't bode well for fishermen who relied on the wind and current to guide the fish into their waters and to their nets. But it wasn't a bad catch she was told.

The evening progressed as normal, people drank and ate and she took turns with her manager cooking and serving them. But suddenly three men burst into the Inn shouting and looking terrified, one of them bleeding from an arm wound, "Lock the doors! board up the windows! We're under attack!"

What followed them into the Inn right behind them was a moaning abomination. Eryn's eyes widened and she screamed before dropping a platter of food. A walking corpse slammed the door open and shambled toward them men only to be quickly stopped by a fisherman who wasn't too stunned in the moment to grab his fishing hook and stab the creature through the brain.
The monster fell and didn't move.

After that was like a blur to Eryn. She stood frozen with fear while the men in the tavern began organizing. They threw out the body and began boarding up the windows and fortifying the Inn. It was her manager that snapped her out of her stupor. Other people from the village were fleeing to the Inn and some needed help badly. She needed to pull herself together.

Eryn slapped her cheeks and tried to clear her head. She had to forget about the dead for now. Families were pouring in and she needed to give them room and bring out the supplies. She brought bandages and medicine to those who needed it and did her best to help tend to the wounded. She tried to focus on her work but her thoughts always wandered back. This was so fast, so sudden. It should be impossible. The dead walking? she would have laughed if she didn't see the body of the previous town elder slam through the front door of the Flying Ship Inn.
Her thoughts were interrupted when the dead started banging on the door and windows. The loud noise startled her and she screamed on instinct along with many of the other women. She was quickly instructed to go bring food to the families and people in the guest rooms and to make sure they were alright. She gladly did so.


The windows and doors seemed to be holding up just fine and they left after a while. Everyone was shook up from the experience though and some slept while others kept watch through the cracks in the windows. Eryn couldn't sleep, so she worked instead, "This can't be happening..."
 

RustySpork

Unliving Terror of the Seas
Member
23
Character Biography
Bio
Méchanteau sighed, rolling the eyes he didn’t have at the stalwart defenders of the inn. Didn’t they know that they were well in range of a fiery cannonade? Still, there were so many souls inside to be devoured, so many bodies to be put to use… Thirty, perhaps even more? Well, it was enough for the good captain to decided to leave matters to his 'own' hands, after all there were some oddly-costumed figures in Big Portshaw... which could only mean there were heroes inbound! But… how did the lich know this? Well, one of the ‘patrons’ in Big Portshaw’s inn was about as dead as she looked, being a starved black cat and all. She rested by the fireplace and barely touched the scraps given to her, common sickly feline behavior that the lich puppeteered convincingly enough. There were other supposedly alive animals all over Big Portshaw and neighboring villages, it was partly why the local fauna had a dreary look about it, and why there was a sudden ungodly amount of it.

From his perch on the half-crumbled church tower Méchanteau could see the rest of the little village and command his ‘troops’ like chess pieces, but now that the game neared its end he decided to wait no longer and finally have some fun. Thousands of spiders came crawling to his feet, and under the Captain's instructions they wove a thick silk rope from rooftop to rooftop that the he either balanced or danced on as the wind and rain allowed. This was a game to him, to fall would cause his hundred something bones to split and shatter, to step on the rope’s end would mean he’d be reaching the inn in roughly as much time as it would take him on foot - but just to be on the safe side he ordered two ghoul-trolls to follow him afoot with a mattress in each hand and make sure to hamper his fall should he… well, fall.

But the ghoul-trolls were not needed and Méchanteau reached his destination, the thatch roof of the quizzically named Flying Ship. He unsheathed his khopesh, hacked a hole big enough for his small frame to slither through, and gave the sign his horde awaited… “THE DEAD! THEY SPEAK!” and speak they did! Laments, cries, prayers, pleads for them to be allowed in, to embrace and kiss their beloved! Poppycock, of course, but a good distraction that afforded Méchanteau the time to, from within, clear the inn of any resistance. Fortunately, he was not alone. “Go, my sweets.” and from the nooks and crannies of Méchanteau’s skeleton and clothes came a myriad of skittering undead little pests detested by the living… Frankly speaking, he couldn't quite grasp other people’s fear of lice, but then again, he had no scalp to speak of. Hidden in the pantry, he waited for his first victim to arrive, through the cracks of the door he could see her... some common tavern wench? He had expected everyone here to be part of some mercenary band or other, damn it all!
 

TheScarletDastard

Looking for magic
Member
14
Character Biography
Bio
Was it truly so much to ask that one night of entertaining tavern-goers not be interrupted by bounty hunters, or royal guards, or a legion of necrotic horror straight out of the Pit itself?

If Dez's experience was anything to go by, then yes, it most certainly was too much to ask for. Fiddling with the neck of his lute nervously, the young man watched as another frightened family was quickly hustled into the tavern hall. He swallowed in the stifling air; even with patrons bedding up in the Inn's rooms, the building was nearing capacity.

The staff were doing a remarkable job fortifying the building against the horde and holding everyone's spirits together, and there were a few seasoned soldiers here, but not everyone was handling the bleak atmosphere so well. Children were crying, grown men restless with weapons in hand, a few women in fits of hysterics.... actually, that was pretty normal for most taverns. Just with less overall horror and stench of death.

Desmonthenes had only meant to be in Little Portshaw for a fortnight or so. He'd rented out a little attic room in the Flying Ship, sang and played in the evenings for tips, and on the off nights that he brought in more customers, the tavern's owner didn't charge for rent or dinner. It had been a charming little arrangement.... before it became a nightmare.

Lacing and unlacing his fingers, he wondered if there was anything he could do to help. One of the waitresses was comforting crying children and bringing around food.... what was her name? Aerin? Aaron? A few burly patrons were fortifying the main door as best they could, and Dez wondered if he'd need his longsword, up in the attic. He'd resolved to rise and fetch it when a voice slithered through the back of his mind before scraping along his spine.

The Dead.... They Speak....

At once, all around them, behind the doors and boarded windows, a horrible choir began. The tension in the room grew to a fever pitch as wailing moans and insane laughs were joined by warm and inviting voices, assuring that everything would be alright, if those inside would just open the door....

Dez fell to his knees and cried out, he was so dizzy, this wasn't happening, the noise, the noise, it was all too loud....

Amidst the horrible scene, the boy looked up from the floor to see a child who couldn't have seen more than seven winters. His face was stained with tears, his little hands wrapped around his knees as he shivered on the floor.

Desmonthenes stood, retrieving his lute, which had fallen. The pain was gone, his head clear. He dragged his chair from the corner of the room to the center of the tumult. He understood; there was something he could do to help. This enemy could be fought with more than just a sword or bow.

Leaping atop his makeshift stage, the chair creaking slightly under him, Dez strummed a mournful chord, barely loud enough to be heard over the din. His fingers picked deftly through the pattern; something hopeful, for these poor people; but soulful, mournful, for the tortured puppets outside. They all needed peace now. Dez could give it to them.

A deep breath. And he began to sing.

"Words we had said, grew in my head.
Colored, I thought; send me to bed.
Lost memories, grew into trees,
Cover the doors. Swallow the cure.

Winters have come and gone, you know.
Winters have come and gone, you know....
But I'll miss you, young and free,
For a dance 'round the memory tree...."
 
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Maho Sparhawk

The Fire Mage of Belgrath
Member
194
Character Biography
Bio
Sitting in the Tavern, Sparhawk noticed the man sitting at the bar. He stood out like a sore thumb amongst everyone else, even more than Sparhawk did. Maho may have been wearing an odd cloak, wielding his Staff and carrying around that weight only a Wizard carries, but this man was different; he wore strange clothes, not too familiar to Sparhawk. A great Staff was fastened to his back, of very intricate and fortified design, looking as if it could do a lot of damage wielded by the right person.

Not only this, but he was also drinking tea, and... painting? Sparhawk couldn't tell, he had a brush in one hand, lathered in ink, which he brought to a piece of parchment that rested there, making long, careful strokes with his hand. A Battle-Staff Wielding, tea-drinking, paint-making Warrior, sitting at a tavern bench, in a village that may soon be turned to ash, and made barren by the oncoming wave of Undead that were soon to ravish these lands, if not stopped.

He looked as if he was the sort of man Sparhawk was looking for. Magic was all well and good, but over his time travelling Arethil, Sparhawk quickly learned that - sometimes - one's finesse and skill with a weapon can overcome any Wizardry one could throw at them.

Best i ask now rather than later...

Sparhawk stood up, and made his way to a stool next to the strange man, his staff resting beside him. He pulled a bottle out of his bag, filled with water, and drank deeply from it - thirsty from his long journey. Once he'd had his fill, he brought the bottle down from his face, resting it on the table. He turned to face the man, deep in concentration and serenity.

"Seems Odd finding a Stranger to these lands sitting in it's Tavern. I assume you haven't come here for it's... prosperous territory."
 

Huang Tien

黄天
Member
45
Character Biography
Bio
"Odd indeed..." The stranger nodded quietly, as he continued to paint. It would appear that the stranger was finishing a series of pictures in a column. There must of been at least five or six columns at this point on the parchment, covering just over half of the page.

"...My intentions?...It may not be as vigilante as you may think...as I must confess...my initial reasoning for journeying to these parts was simply to seek out some of the local variants of tea...or whatever herbal refreshments they drink around these parts..." The stranger would finish the column, gently put down his brush, before picking up the tea cup on the side.The stranger attention had momentarily seemed to be on his tea cup, though his eyes were covered by his straw hat. Bringing the cup to his face, the stranger took a quiet sip, before he continuing. "...but it would appear that my path has been blocked by some...unbalancing, presence...how unfortunate..."

The man took another sip from his handleless tea cup, lowering it afterwards before tilted his hat, revealing his eyes.

"What about you? Honorable one...what brings you to these lands at such...troubling time."
 
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Eryn Pere

Barmaid
Member
87
Character Biography
Bio
The musicEryn was able to find some calming place in her work. She still couldn't come to terms with what was going on, but she reasoned that was normal. Still, they needed every person who was able and could keep a cool head so she did her best to be brave. She comforted those who needed it and was successfully able to pretend to be her normal jovial self.

After seeing to the people in the rooms she returned to the common area where mostly men remained to guard the entrances to the Flying Ship Tavern. Armed with clubs made from chairs and fishing hooks and spears along with other tools brought from their homes or work. The tables had been turned over and used to block the front and back doors into the tavern. And the solid boards over the windows were able to keep out the undead pretty well even after all the glass was broken out of them.

She took a few deep breaths... Everything was fine... Everyone was safe... But she was startled when she heard an unholy voice shout "The Dead.... They Speak...." Soon followed by a whole cacophony of the undead crying out... But they used real voices, the voices they had in life... people that some of them actually knew begging them to open the doors and let them in... Everyone was shook by this, and some of the men who recognized the voices had tears in their eyes as they covered their ears.

Through all of this, the bard that had arrived a couple of days ago hoping for work... Actually worked up the nerve to strum his lute and sing a song. The music seemed to calm everyone down... Especially Eryn. She took a deep breath and let her mind focus on that tune played by the bard. She needed to bring more water for those tending the wounded and thankfully they had barrels of fresh water in the pantry so no one had to dare to go outside to draw more from the well in the courtyard.

Calmed by the music she walked to the pantry and opened the door... The last thing she expected to see was waiting for her... The bleached white grin of a skeleton dressed as a captain... She was stunned to silence, her eyes widened and her mouth hung open. She was too scared to move. Her hand still rested on the door but she didn't have the strength to move it... All she could see was death incarnate staring back at her with dead... empty sockets...
 

RustySpork

Unliving Terror of the Seas
Member
23
Character Biography
Bio
Mercenaries they were most definitely not - but to give credit where its due the Dread Captain admitted to himself that the bard downstairs had a charming wit about him. After all, singing in the face of death to drown out its moaning and rally the spirits of the living was an adorable little effort... that he could not let bear fruit. Without even voicing his command the lich's insects seeped through the floorboards' cracks, flying and crawling and clicking as a great black mass of chitin and lymph right upon the bard's head at once! They bit and pinched at his flesh, face, and even instrument, a black cloud of buzzing frenzied madness. But not to fear, the undead would carry his song as an haunting chorus that for instruments needed only the walls and windows and doors of the tavern that they pummeled with louder and louder fistfuls of unliving rage.

"The Dread Captain has come for us
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The Dread Captain has come for you
Hurrah! Hurrah!

There's naught to fear, naught to frown.
For you and me and all in town,
There'll be no grave, pit, burial mound,
Ain't the Captain swell all'round!


Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah-ha-ha-HAHAHA!"

"One hundreds hurrah for the great Méchanteau!" cried a body lost in the mob with otherworldly enthusiasm, "Hurrah!" those nearest to the tavern slammed their fists and heads, rocking the building's wooden foundation "Hurrah!" they came crashing again, harder, wood and skulls splintered alike, those fallen were quickly replaced "Hurrah!" here and there limbs and heads sprouted through the walls and glass, some were cut and crushed but not all by maces and swords "Hurrah!" more came through, a child screamed as it was yanked by its heel through a hole too small to be dragged away cleanly "Hurrah!" the undead were coming, silent now, unwieldy in their charge as their tore greater and greater holes to allow for more of their ilk to come rather than tear their prey right away. The hurrahs kept coming, and so did the undead.

All in all, Méchanteau was a happy skeleton.

How could he not? He was in the presence of a beautiful little maiden that he held tightly as the madness downstairs unfolded. He let her bask in the green flames of his eyes, seized by fear as she was he took hold of her arms and began swaying left and right gently, a slow graceful dance made a thousand times more macabre by the ongoing massacre "Terrible weather we're having, aye love? 'Tis too foggy to see the stars, too foggy to see fire from afar, you could very well die here and never be thought of again..." he would have smiled if he could "Kiss me. Kiss me and, perhaps, I'll let you escape. After all, it is good courtesy to leave one survivor to spread the legend, no? I find my reputation woefully forgotten in these backwater mudlands... No offence, of course." a blade interposed the lich and his unwilling companion, it was monster's khopesh, its blade ready to slice Eryn's throat. "You have, say... five, no, three hurrahs to decide. Either way, I'll have my kiss."
 

Maho Sparhawk

The Fire Mage of Belgrath
Member
194
Character Biography
Bio
The man spoke in a strange, foreign accent. As Sparhawk studied more of this strange man, he deduced that he couldn't have been from any part of Arethil that Sparhawk had visited. He'd seen the far-lands of the East, the blistering-winds of the North, and the scorching heat of the West, but never had he seen a man carry himself as this one did. Strange, but curious.

Honourable one... never been called 'honourable' before.

"My name is Maho Sparhawk. I was asked here by an old friend- a Sorcerer at the Great College of Elbion. I've come to see the..." He looked around himself, making sure no one was too close. Nevertheless, he edged closer to the strange man, lowering his voice. "The Undead. Overrunning parts of Elbion; it's-it's... Unheard of." He spoke, a hint of fear in his voice. He knew the damage the Undead could do to a town in such a small space of time. It put him at great unease.

"You sensed an Unbalance, correct? I mean- you can help me, uh..." He paused, realising he didn't know the strange man's name.

"I apologise, i introduced myself, but i didn't care to ask yours. You are?"
 

Huang Tien

黄天
Member
45
Character Biography
Bio
The man's response earned a small chuckle from the yellow stranger, which seemed like an odd thing to do considering the circumstances.

"Sense indeed!...If using one's sight, smell, and sound is considered to be "sensing", then I suppose you're right..." The man's chuckle began to die down, as he raised the cup again and took another sip. "...mmm, I could understand the bleakness of mundanity, but this...this is certainly not that..."

The stranger's expression turned rather neutral, if not grim, as he glanced out of the window. "One look outside is all that is needed in order to tell you that there is somthing that has unfounded this place...the winds our foul, carrying with it the smell of dead, rotting flesh...The noise of the birds are silent...only vultures are left hanging over this town...ready to pick off what is left...when this town is inevitably rolled over...I've only seen such bleakness in only one certain instance..."

The man's voice faded away, as his eyes had fallen onto the parchment on the table. It wasn't clear what the stranger was thinking, but you could see it in his eyes...painful memories...

"I do beg your pardon when I say this, honorable one, but I find it quite astonishing that the undead rising out of the ground is an unheard of matter...least, to a place where the sole purpose, as it seems to me, is to practice the arts of the arcane." The man said, as his focus shifted from the parchment to the window. "I'm no medical practitioner...but I have seen enough dead corpses to understand that they do not simply just rise up of the ground on their own...not without some other external factor in play."

The stranger would abruptly pause in his commentary as he continued to look outside. If you'd follow his line of sight, you'd no doubt notice he was looking at a certain individual, slupped lifelessly against the opposite building.

"But...I suppose such observations are obvious to the likes of you...Indeed...I doubt you sought me out to make these simple observation...no... the task up ahead would require one with a much more martial skill set..." It was then the stranger turned his attention back to the wizard, an eyebrow raised, a small grin had formed on his face as he nodded. "...I go by --...but many of these lands have told me it is hard to pronounce, so call just me Tien."

The stranger would thus place his tea back onto the table, adjusting his posture to where his hands were on his knees, before his full attention was turned onto wizard.

"So tell me, honorable one, do you have a plan?...My instinct tells me...the danger comes from the coast...as I believe the locals have mentioned...that there is another village located not far from this one by the coastline."
 
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TheScarletDastard

Looking for magic
Member
14
Character Biography
Bio
Screaming, Dez fell to the floor as the army of undead insects swarmed him, the minstrel gripping his precious instrument as if it could save him. His mind was broken, his thoughts a confused and horrified mess. 'Get them off, please, make it stop, it has to stop, it burns, no please, they're everywhere, they're.... they're gnawing at MY LUTE.'

Images flashed through the young man's head, disconnected and vague: the rain barrel on the back wall, full of water. The casks of rum lined up behind the bar. The fireplace burning in the corner. His sword, under the straw mattress in his little attic room.

It had to work. He had to do it, now, or die in this instant, and he wanted it, he wanted in that moment to die.

But he wanted to live so much more.

Like a man possessed, Dez lurched to his feet, running, now diving over the bar, still clutching his lute. Prying the top off a cask, he plunged the beloved 5-string inside. Now a second cask, open to pour all over himself, soaking his clothes, his body, and they were writhing, angry, biting him with more ferocity, constantly. Well, if they hated the rum....

They really weren't going to like this.

His hands swatting at his clothing, his face and hair, Desmonthenes ran to the blazing hearth and kicked a flaming log onto the stones. Thrusting a rum soaked sleeve onto the flame, he waited. His whole body shook with terror as he felt the pests crawl under his tunic, up his neck, he tried to bat them away from his face....

The boy's sleeve caught.

It was a terrible scene. The walls of the building were giving way to the legion of death outside, the awful chorus of the horde nearly drowning out the desperate cries of the innocent, a few burly patrons and soldier-types desperately trying to shore up the wave of horror crashing down upon the last bastion of hope that the town had. And in the midst of it all, his tunic, shoulders, face, head, hair on fire, screaming in pain and anger and determination, Dez ran across the length of the tavern hall like an apparition. When he thought he'd fall down and die, he managed to half-dive, half-collapse into the massive rain barrel against the far wall.

Ironically, it was there in case of fire.

Every step was pain as he marched up the stairs of the little inn, dripping and extinguished, angrily grabbing and crushing the handful of undead pests that hadn't been disintegrated. His clothing and hair were blackened, charred, and in places atomized. The skin of his neck, shoulders, much of his chest and back, was red and flared with agony at the slightest movement. Adrenaline alone should have barely made it possible for the young man to stand, let alone burst through the door of his little attic room.

But magefire burned much hotter, hurt much more. Dez knew from experience. This was nothing in comparison. And he was angry.

Steel hissing from leather, he let his longsword's scabbard fall to the floor, ash drifting off of him as he strode from the room. Sometimes a song wasn't going to do the job.
 
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Eryn Pere

Barmaid
Member
87
Character Biography
Bio
Eryn was paralyzed. She couldn't move, she couldn't think, all she could do was whatever he wanted her to do. She swayed with him, her eyes wide with terror as his boney hands held her and moved her in the macabre waltz. The music was replaced by screams, the sounds of wood splintering as the dead made their way through. Men either screamed in pain or gave their battle cry as the dead advanced on them, shouting their unearthly "hurrahs".

The undead captain… captain Mechanteau, spoke to her in his chilling voice. He asked her for a kiss in exchange for her life. In her terror she couldn't respond, but once she felt a naked blade against her throat it was like reality just popped into place. He just promised her he would spare her life if she only gave him a kiss.

She nodded shakily and moved closer, "If... If you swear that you will spare my life... I... I will kiss you..."
 

Smiling One

Well-Known Member
Member
254
Character Biography
Bio
It's been a week since he left but Willis had finally returned to Little Portshaw. He liked the small village for its location near the sea and the inhabitant's love for fishing. However, the main reason Willis returned to the village was to meet his flame: Eryn Pere. The waitress who worked at the only tavern in the Little Portshaw, her wanderlust combined with her love for the sea drew Willis to Eryn to the point where even when they slept together, Willis stayed a for a fortnight. Way longer than he planned on.

Willis grew fond of Eyrn to the point where he made it a point to return to give the waitress a present: Books regarding the mysteries and legends of the sea. He got it from the village library and figured that Eryn would love the stories presented. Willis smirked thinking about it they had some lost time to make up with Eryn and Wills had some stories to tell her and of course, have a fling at the end. As soon as he reached the entrance, Willis' smirk faded, an ominous ship was ported next to the dock and there seemed to be commotion at the tavern.

The young man's heart dropped: Pirates it had to be when Willis was a Pirate he remembered raiding defenseless villages that were located near the seashore. This screamed the same tactic being pulled "shit!" Willis drew his Cutlass and sprinted towards the Tavern. He wondered who the Pirate Captain was. The glow and the ominous feel was familiar to him but he couldn't think of the name.
 
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RustySpork

Unliving Terror of the Seas
Member
23
Character Biography
Bio
The black cat licked its paws, scratched its ear, and strode closer to the easterner and the pyromagus, purring all the way as it rubbed itself against Sparkhawk's boots, dug its little claws on his mantle, then carried on its way to lay under the light of the fireplace, closer to the newly acquainted warriors than what it had been before. Cats were fickle strange creatures, he thought, having planted small mites on Maho's clothing through feline displays of passing affection. But he puppeteered the corpse further. It would stretch and yawn, nestle upon its fluffy tail and then 'doze off' in low purs and faint squirms, listening closely to the plan about to be proposed... Its dear master wanted to laugh, after all! Méchanteau had planned his attack for nearly a week, how could these two simpletons even hope to take this victory from him?

Because this was victory! The Dread Captain could feel in his arcane bones, in his very soul, his power growing from the chaos sown downstairs! Mighty, rugged warriors would fall before a dozen or so peasants armed with sickles and a disregard for past acquaintances, the new and strong bodies were worth the loss of those that were reaped by sickness and famine and cold and now reaped again by fire and steel and their Master's hunger. But there were men, brave and desperate men, good men all, that still fought the undying horde. The bard with his longsword, marked by fire and bug bites, some other warriors of caliber, and... Willis? What in blazes was he doing here? The lich sent a bloated ogre barreling against that annoying troublemaker, while the bard would have to cut through progressively unnerving thralls. Soon enough mostly children stood in his way, shrieking - some content, some less so - and pouncing at him with knives and nails and other sharp objects. The Dread Captain certainly spared no efforts.

When Eryn agreed to his proposition the Captain released a low chuckle. "My, aren't you adorable?" he said as he caressed her cheek with the back of his hand. Then, he seized it, pierced it until her blood dripped down his fingers. Escape was impossible, ghastly eldritch and corrupting green mist seeped into Eryn, through her mouth, her nose, her ears, the gash the skeleton carved down her sternum, the wound of her cheek. This was a Kiss of Undeath, a shard of Méchanteau's fragmented soul was now within her, to grow and corrupt her with time or until he came to claim it back again. This was done for the sole purpose of safekeeping his immortality, of course, he had no interest in the charms of the girl. Without bidding even an adieu he opened a window and defenestrated her into the ragged mob outside. She was caught by a dozen hands, stood on her own two feet, and then ignored by the flesh puppets.
 

Maho Sparhawk

The Fire Mage of Belgrath
Member
194
Character Biography
Bio
The strange man spoke with a grace that must've been able to test even the most trained of royalty in their curtesy. But as the man spoke, Sparhawk's worry grew greater. He knew that for every word they spoke, they lost precious minutes, minutes that could potentially be used to save whoever may be in the village down shore.

"I do beg your pardon when I say this, honorable one, but I find it quite astonishing that the undead rising out of the ground is an unheard of matter...least, to a place where the sole purpose, as it seems to me, is to practice the arts of the arcane."
"The issue here my friend, is this isn't some small skermish. This seems to be the work of a great Necromancer. I had come across a few in the Blightlands. Terrible things. But so close to Elbion... it is unheard of. There have been strong bans against the broad use of Necromancy for a century. Of this scale... it shouldn't be possible-" A fear filled his voice as he spoke. The terrors he had witnessed when he fought the Necromancer in Belgrath; the way the bodies of the Dwarves twisted and crunched unnaturally. Their weak and lifeless bodies, strung about as servants, suffering after death. It would Sparhawk him until he died.

So tell me, honorable one, do you have a plan?...My instinct tells me...the danger comes from the coast...as I believe the locals have mentioned...that there is another village located not far from this one by the coastline."

"I think that your instincts serve you well, Honourable one. I think it best we make haste. Now." He stood up, a determined expression struck across his face.

"My horse is outside. With Nemesis, we should be able to make it to the town in no longer than ten minutes." He looked at the Warrior, earnest eyes met with Sparhawk's terrorised expression. He kept talking as he made his way to the Tavern door.

"I have no plan, but when we make it to the village, it'd be best we think of one- after we've assessed the situation." He buckled his staff onto his back, and made his way to the outside of the Tavern.

This was going to be a long night.
 

Huang Tien

黄天
Member
45
Character Biography
Bio
"I see..." The stranger nodded...suddenly chuckling a little, before raising his tea up to his mouth, emptying the cup in one effort, before lowering it back down. "...so we are to improvise this dance of death?...Very well..."

Within the next few moments, the stranger began to gather his belongings; he would take the teacup in one hand and place it into the knapsack on his chest, before reaching for the parchment and rolling it up, inserting that too into his knapsack...producing a sort of cloth from his makeshift...belt? The stranger began wiping the wet brush off...that, and the ink palette he had been using ago...placing both of his belongings with the others...before folding the cleaning cloth...and it disappeared back onto his belt somewhere. It was then the stranger would stand, using one hand to grab the teapot, the other, the staff behind him. As he whirled around to face the wizard again, the tea pot was now attached to his side...the staff was now his hand...it was in his upright state, could one notice a cloth around the other end of the staff...rather curious.

"I can only hope we can keep up with the rhythm of our opposition...the two, or potentially more, of us...as things seem...our opponent may hold dominance of the stage...but for how long...I wonder..." The stranger seemed to have muttered the last part more to himself then to the wizard, as his eyes were once again covered by his straw hat. "...lead the way...honorable one...I've on loan a mount from this village...least for the time...so I'll keep pace behind you..."
 

Eryn Pere

Barmaid
Member
87
Character Biography
Bio
He caressed her cheek with those horrible skeletal hands. It made her shiver and wish for the touch of another... Willis Reede. But it also gave her some hope that she may survive this. She was about to lean in when that hand suddenly grabbed her by the face, the horrid claws cutting into her soft flesh. She screamed as pain shot through her face and she grabbed at the captains coat in an attempt to get him to release her, but his undead strength was overpowering and she could only whimper in his grip.

Then everything was green and blinding, pain became her world as she felt the blade make a cut down her sternum. Something invaded her body, like a gas or disease, or a spirit of some kind that radiated a horrible aura of undeath. And it was inside of her... He was inside of her...
Then he threw her out the window and she felt herself falling for what seemed like an eternity, only to be caught by the claws of the undead and set down on her feet. But once she was released and the green light had faded she collapsed to the ground, totally overwhelmed by fear and pain. She completely expected to bleed out in that alley with the Inn on one side and the view of the nighttime ocean on the other. Though it seemed only the barest amount of blood stained her now cut open blouse.

As she laid there staring at the sea she cried, at least tears streamed down her face. She didn't whimper or sob... Just stared into the distance.
Willis once asked her to leave with him... Why didn't she do it? Why couldn't she leave this village behind and travel the world with him? She could only lay there, staring and waiting for death to come.
 

Smiling One

Well-Known Member
Member
254
Character Biography
Bio
Willis continued to run towards the tavern. However he skid to a halt when he saw many Undead starting to pour from the The Flying Ship the familiar sound of music playing in the distance. Willis had heard that song before. Who was the one who played it? It didn’t matter because Willis saw a woman being dragged out from the Tavern. His eyes rose up in shock seeing the woman lay on the ground sobbing.

“Eryn!”

Some of the undead turned their heads at Willis but he didn’t care. Raising his cutlass, Willis slashed and hacked his way through the skeleton zombies their bones landing on the ground while he reached Eryn and knelt down.

“Eryn!” Willis said his voice on the verge of cracking tears threatened to come out from his eyes but he held them back . Eryn was in bad shape, her dress was torn and there was some blood on her. Willis held her in his arms and locked eyes with the waitress. “I’m here! Are you okay?”
 

Lochmoth Visigoth

The Bereaved Marquise
Member
9
Character Biography
Bio
Forever fashionably late, cursed eternally to arriving in dampening style... Woe is the faux Queen, commander of the chancery of vagrants.

As the storm of undead raged on the coastline, terrorizing the hoard of the living -- the putrescent, malevolent breed of human stampeding across the salt and sand -- the would-be assailant of their plight looked perplexed as she approached the insignificant but nonetheless delectable town of Portshaw. The rogue pirate assumed, undoubtedly and most unfortunately wrongfully, that the peaceful village in the making would have been soundly asleep so as to easily fall into her webbed grasp, easily strangulated so as to ease the difficulty that is conquest. Woe is she! As her mighty ship approaches the pathetic settlement, she discards the safety of planks and iron, sacrilege to her legacy of invasion and flank as she alone wanders down the boardwalk, met with stragglers of the living and the tasteless rising dead.

The effervescent heat radiating from the roaring fires sparsely illuminating the debauchery of the mist engulfing the atmosphere tore a sneer across her scaled face, irritation clawing through her visage as she was met with the shrieks and tears of victims and the expired alike. The stench of rot and waste permeated her aura, an almost liquid poison to suffocate her as she stalked through the shadows, however unsuccessfully, being as bulky of a brute as she was, not failing to mention the massive spear stapled to her webbed fists. Her flesh constricted around her very frame, the simple exertion of sprawling across land betraying her decision to embark alone.

She was foolish at times, perhaps, particularly now, but not to be mistaken for a fool. Endellion recognized the warship stationed at the dock, an unsavory pit in her intestines thrashing as she veered towards the remnants of the pub. Forced to collide with the decomposing remnants of the skeleton captain's army, hacking and tearing whatever charged her direction, the oceanic monster howled out to the oppressor, the waves of lividity offending her tone to one of anguish.


"For all the years our paths have crossed, this is how you repay me? Fiendish, even for you!"
 
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RustySpork

Unliving Terror of the Seas
Member
23
Character Biography
Bio
Méchanteau felt a bit woozy, his undead fought and moved with less spirit and energy, much like him. The skeleton nearly stumbled, finding support on a wooden beam. When leaned against it at a certain angle he had a good view of the girl, she lay catatonic to the chaos surrounding her, the chaos she had been spared for. The Captain was merciful, was he not? A quaint, drab life, now given purpose! This tavern wench would come to appreciate the gifts of being a lich's phylactery, but for now she would have to make do with that Willis fellow… Bah! More jealous than he would care to admit, Méchanteau disappeared from sight, awaiting for the challengers to come as he sewed the marks of Eryn’s struggle away from his lapel. A moment of relative peace, then broken by a very distinct scent of… fish?

Not that Méchanteau could smell, he had no nose! Instead, a fellow wayward soul lost in a hostile world - woe is them! - had come and her reek was felt by those meat puppets who still had, indeed, noses to smell with. Méchanteau kicked away his wooden stool and stored the line and needle under his tricorn, he was careful not to send not a single body even close to the abyssal behemoth, but despite his coordination she still crushed and pulpified a respectable number of shamblers… She was cute like that, the crestfallen queen. The Dread Captain ran down the stairs with clear excitement, making way through the horde to welcome his disgruntled guest with open arms.

“Fiendish, fiendish, what a fiend I am! Truly, could I have chosen a worse place to muster my ilk? Had I know that these lands were hunting grounds of yours I would have come with slaves and a bouquet - but this one must wonder, which of the two would you eat first? Bahaha! I jest, I jest, your radiant presence here rattles my bones with equally radiant joy, why I would kiss you if I had the lips and reach, and that is no jest!” he paused, not to take a breather, but to let his cursed warriors continue their hellish antics “Would you be so kind as to honor me with a night of your time? Not to sire pretty little halflings, of course, but to battle a measly quite capable pair of ne'er-do-wells? Not that I fear them, I merely wish to spend time with my long-time friend! How have you been, dearest? Is that a new wrinkle? Do not be shy, bring your armies, they can still feast on a village nearby, a bit far from the coast but I have some undead there already! Animals, mostly, and a couple of slumberers, wrapped in linen as if that is going to do any good again the Dread Captain himself!”
 

Maho Sparhawk

The Fire Mage of Belgrath
Member
194
Character Biography
Bio
You are willed here, Maho Sparhawk of Cerak At'thul. If you fail me now as you have in Belgrath; more than your arm shall be sacrificed.

Do not fail me.

Even after all this time, Sparhawk had not gotten used to Imamu whispering in his mind. He would've said he'd regretted the deal he had made with him, but if it weren't for the knowledge and power it granted him, he would've joined the land of the dead long ago. He knew that if he didn't deliver souls to him, his life would be forfeit, and he would forever be a slave to the Gods, forced to roam the world, lifeless.

Not today.

As Sparhawk and Tien road towards the Village, they could both see the fire and smoke that rose from the village, another few minutes ride away. The horde was already visible. It filled Sparhawk with an indescribable terror. It reminded him of rumours he'd heard in the Reach: of a group called the Eternum, the largest Army of Undead Arethil had ever seen, that threatened to destroy the realm of Men, Elves and the races of the world. He knew this wasn't them, but the size of it was still... haunting. He stopped his horse a small distance from the village, and turned to Tien.

"This is... I don't..." Flashbacks of Belgrath shot through his mind. Hoards of undead, biting and clawing at the Orcs, screams filled the tunnel; lit with the red of their blood.

"My horse- Nemesis - can take me up into the air. I'll see if i can scout what's happening. Honourable One, since i have no skills in weaponry, I hope that Staff serves you well." His face was grim, knowing both their lives were in grave danger.

"Gods be with you Friend."
With that, he patted Nemesis' neck, the great glowing sigil that rested itself upon her body began to grow a great Purple. With a sudden, jolting movement, two fantastic wings sprung from her sides, beautifully feathered.

"Hya!" And with those words, Nemesis beat her wings down to the ground with such force and ferocity, that they were sent twenty feat forwards, soaring into the air. Sparhawk hadn't flown on Nemesis for many months, since breeds of her kind were isolated to Alliria, and he didn't want her stolen. But the feeling of the wind through his hair, his hood flying off his head, almost made the fear that grew in his heart subside. Quickly, his was far above the village, and he realised that the situation was far worse than it seemed.

The majority of the buildings were being overrun, a group of them particularly focused on the village Tavern. As towns people ran, they were devoured by the hoard, making more slaves for their vile take-over of this peaceful fishing village.

"Plan... think of a plan..."
 

Huang Tien

黄天
Member
45
Character Biography
Bio
Tien watched as his companion took off, chuckling inwards at the thought of his..."staff"...but despite that, his expression was rather grim. So the army of the undead...this shall be testing battle then...for him and them...Regardless, the foreigner dismounted from his steed on-loan...before coming to the fore, smoothing over the horse's skin in reassurance...before with one hand, shooing the beast away, watching as it galloped back the way it came, no doubt flying back to it's master.

The next leg of his journey he'd make on foot.

Still, there was sometime...probably was best to warm up a bit, it would be rather inconvenient to cramp up in battle. Thus the man in yellow would suddenly grip tightly onto his "staff" and plant it into the ground, taking a step back to begins stretching out his calves....his arms...cracking his neck...and began to just generally be rather bouncy on his feet. As he shifted his weight side to side, a rhythm began to develop, a fast beating rhythm that seemed to move with his feet. After a bit, the stranger would grip onto his staff and twirling it about, the shaft moving in a blur...and when he had planted the pole into the ground, it had turned into a weapon; as the cloth from one end of the pole fell away, revealing a blade at the end.

Spreading his legs apart, Tien stood to attention, as he observe the town below...occasionally glancing up to his flying companion...waiting and watching for the opportune time...time to bring the entire thing crashing down from up top...​
 

Eryn Pere

Barmaid
Member
87
Character Biography
Bio
Eryn waited... She waited for everything to go dark and for her soul to pass on... Her eyes glued to the sea as her last sight... But it didn't happen. She didn't fade even though felt as if she were dying.

She heard her name being called out and someone was moving her, turning her head away from the sea to look up. Her breath caught at the familiar eyes of Willis Reede. He held her in his arms cradling her head against himself. He called out her name, asking if she was alright.

She opened her mouth but no sound came out. But all the same she smiled and her eyes filled with fresh tears as she reached up to touch his face, caressing his cheek to make sure he was real. She sobbed which made her wince as the cut on her chest flared with each breath she took. She gripped his arms and held him tightly, not wanting to let him go and not looking away from him for a single second.