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Private (18+) Hands of the Sorrowful Knight (Redux)

Discussion in 'Skyrim Roleplaying' started by CapObvious, Nov 24, 2016.

  1. EpicVakarian

    EpicVakarian Calibration-Master General

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    They didn't have to wait long until the guard captain arrived to introduce no less than four new arrivals. A Legate, her siblings, and a Companion. Ella wasn't really paying attention, but subconsciously she heard the captain introduce the Legate as Alice Psyrakon.

    Ella and Alice had been good friends at the College of Winterhold. Not exactly best friends, but they got on well and would help each other with their studies. Cilla, the sister, was quite a different beast; much more fiery and energetic, the exact opposite of Ella. Despite this, they had gotten on okay. They didn't seem to have noticed Ella, so she kept quiet for now.

    And then, another old College... acquaintance. Cosset. Ella didn't really remember Cosset getting along with anyone; she mostly kept to herself, and almost rejected any attempts at friendship. She was cold, calm, and Ella didn't think she'd ever seen her smile.
    Regular class reunion.

    "Please, everyone get where you can see," Dolmas called out, "I want you all to make sure you understand what we're dealing with here." When everyone had crowded around the map of the city, he began.
    "Alright. So, I'm sure you've heard from the guards the fate of the city. We'll be dealing with undead..." And at that point, Ella's mind stopped following. She suddenly felt her heart speeding up, beating so fast she could feel it in her ribs. The screams of the long-dead echoed through her mind. Her eyes remained wide, but she tried her best to pay attention to what Dolmas was saying. "Daxos, show them how we're playing this."

    Daxos proceeded to outline their plan. Titus, Rohael, Brynn and Cilla would join Daxos, taking the center path on ground level. Bryce and Cosset would join Dolmas on the rooftops on one side of the street, while she and Elizabeth were to join Alice on the other rooftops. Ella didn't claim to be a tactician, but as far as she could tell, it was a solid plan, and kept the mages away from most of the up-close danger.

    There was a slight pause, and then Alice spoke up.

    "Daxos, Dolmas, thank you for organizing this meeting. You both have a good plan and you have my full support in executing it. I want you both to know that you're a beacon of hope to these guardsmen and the townsfolk outside that they're protecting. You've kept their hope alive and now we can help restore it. I would like to let you know however that the mage Cosset, the girl in the blue hood and robes and my sister Cilla have had a less than amicable history."
    Nor does anyone else with Cosset, really.
    "It shouldn't be a problem as they're in separate groups but you need to be aware of that. Also, I know it's a lot to ask but do you mind if we rest for a few hours before we move. We rode hard and fast to get to you all through this ghastly weather and I for one am soaked, freezing and exhausted. You've already held out for a week and now we're here to help secure the area. I recommend we hold until dawn, when the dead are at their weakest, then move in. It'll be dark soon and fighting at night in the freezing rain is dangerous for any army. Especially against the undead. In the meantime I don't suppose one of these tents has a fire and a place for me to change?"

    In the meantime, Ella wandered over to where Alice was talking to the two other leaders. When she was finished talking to them, Ella tapped her on the shoulder.
    "Hey, Alice. Been a while." Ella gave a faint smile. Alice was still tiny, still much older than she looked, still the most surprising authority figure Ella had ever seen. Ella was small herself, but still taller than Alice; yet Alice's personality made her seem much larger than life. Ella admired her for that.
     
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  2. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    Daxos and Dolmas looked like they were thinking over Alice's suggestions so she waited patiently for them to respond. As she was waiting she felt someone tap her on the shoulder. Titus always tapped her on the head because he was a tall child and Cilla was having an awkward conversation with Cosset so Alice was curious who it was. When she turned around her expression turned to delight. It was Ella Fisher, one of Alice's classmates from the College who was a bit older than Cilla and one of the sweetest girls she'd met there. Ella was a long time student like Cosset when Alice and Cilla arrived but while Cosset was withdrawn and hard to get to know Ella was full of life and had an intense, quiet passion that Alice greatly admired and even tried to emulate. When Alice arrived at the College she she did so with significant mental suffering. The Stormcloak Rebellion, the death of her mother and brother and the hell the Thalmor had put her family through had all caught up with her and she needed time and help to get her mind right. Mirabelle and Tolfdir had taken full responsibility for her and took care of her like a mother and grandfather as well as being her teachers but initially she had no peers. She felt sad and lonely and didn't really connect with anyone. Ella was one of the first people Alice was able to really connect with and the girls became fast friends. When Cilla arrived some time later things got much better for both of them. Ella and Cilla complimented each other perfectly, Ella improving Cilla's patience and grades and Cilla giving Ella more confidence in herself. The three were like sisters and having them all back together would make this miserable job much less painful.

    "Ella!" Alice said with joy and surprise. She pulled the slightly taller girl into a big hug and held her. "Oh sweetheart, it's so good to see you again." She let go to give the girl some space. "I'm so sorry I missed you. I didn't know you were even here. How have you been? Are you still doing well at the college? I was thinking about taking some leave and coming to see you guys but I haven't had the time. Looks like you found me." Alice giggled at the last part and folded her hands, forgetting that her cloak hadn't completely protected her from the rain and she was still damp. Then she realized that Ella was already here when Cosset arrived which means she came alone. Ella had the bad habit of just getting up and leaving the College to go somewhere and Alice did not like that. It was dangerous to travel Skyrim alone and kind of strange to just do it on a whim.

    "Sweetheart, did you wander off from the College again? Mirabelle told you not to do that. It's dangerous to wander Skyrim by yourself." Alice folded her arms in almost motherly disapproval but her face showed nothing but concern for her friend's safety. Ella had always been a slight and slightly frail girl and Alice worried about her when she did something like this. Alice also completely missed the fact that she herself was also slightly frail and even smaller than Ella and she herself had gone on her own crazy adventures more than once. In no small part due to her visions.
     
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  3. Hlíf 'Ulfr

    Hlíf 'Ulfr Princess Pants

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    "Ah. That explains it. We were indeed waiting for a few from the college. No doubt they explained what you would be helping with, so you know we're needing all we can get. Glad to see that courier managed to make his destination at least. Though I had hoped for...more of you." Curiosity lived in her eyes then, the way he examined her reminded herself of the way she had looked upon the others and though it would not impact what she thought of herself she was interested in his deductive skills. "No matter. I'm sure they've sent their best and brightest. You've got that look about you."

    This pleased her, though she was not one to be susceptible to flattery, enough to elicit a half grin. It was devilish and brief but hinted at a bewitching smile.

    "Well yes, you'll have to forgive them. Some are far more comfortable in the safety of their chairs and have no interest in anything that would cause them to rise to the occasion, or endanger themselves." Her statement was so honest and casual that was all too regular when dealing with Cosset, but not often with others. "Or perhaps they were otherwise engaged. Never the less, I was chosen and shall do my best to make up for the numbers with quality."

    With that she let her voice fade and returned to background, where she would settle for some time. It was critical to gain as much information as possible for both research and survival purposes. This meant both hearing and understanding each word along with each movement that each individual in the group made. She gave all her attention to it with ease as the focus flitted from the Dunmer to the golden haired man.

    The Breton listened critically to the words that the imperial laid upon them that gathered under the banner of what the Dunmer had named their plan. She had a vehement way of listening but that did not negate the intuition stalking every word, sitting just below the surface of her consciousness.She had sensed some weakness in him and had a near predatory reaction to it internally, and beyond that she was intrigued though perhaps not for the right reasons. It was like blood in the water, she was forced to question what he might draw into predate upon them all.

    "While you Will go with Dolmas." The Imperial dictated, revealing to her with whom she would be paired and to them, she shifted her attentions.

    The man who had entered last with his female companion was quickly analyzed, by the way, he moved and by the very knowledge that he was willingly entering into this she devised that he could handle himself well. It only served to help that he had a companion, a mage. This told her he most likely acted to draw attention and take on the bulk of the attack and defense. She would not rely on him to guard her, of course, but she suspected he would not hinder them. Perhaps she was wrong to assume, but perhaps not. Satisfied she moved on, cataloging her other observations.

    The Dunmer was an interesting case. He was amicable enough and seemed to take control, if not only to balance out his counterpart. She could not tell with her first quick glance what it was that he did, this was something fresh and it intrigued her. His armor spoke of the involvement of agile movements and some level of stealth, but this could be any number of things. She refused to pigeonhole him with what she felt was inadequate information.

    Dolmas would be the one she approached first she determined shortly after these thoughts left her head. It was not yet to be however as one of the women detached herself from her own cohort and began making her way towards Cosset. This quickly demanded all of her considerable attention, and so her intentions would be put aside.

    Cossets eyes slid across the face of the girl with no clear emotion forming in them in her usual manner with an intense sparkle of intelligence, intensity, and a mysterious boldness. She was not one to forget a face, nor a name or really information and so she easily recognized the girl, just as she had when she had come upon the group. Memories from the college flitted over the face she looked upon, which built the girl in her eyes.

    She could tell she was never quite comfortable around her, but this was something she had only grown more and more accustomed to over the years. She was the type who wanted to be liked by all or at least this was how she presented herself. It was something that cosset could not identify with and separated the two beyond her normal isolation, that frustration that the girl seemed to feel. It would take an impressive individual with similarities, gumption, and a willingness to live with danger to even begin to achieve what cosset was expected to give and could not hope to relinquish. To create a break in the paranoia would be necessary without any knowledge of its existence, and to take advantage of the woman's chance to breathe free of it.

    She had remembered another aspect of the character, though none would be labeled as bad or good but rather as simple and impartial facts, that she could better relate to. It was the child's ability with magic, and how she so blatantly flaunted the fact that she thought it superior, which nearly made her chuckle if nothing else. The girl was an open book when it came to her abilities, understandably so as she was too naive to find any reason to stray from this, once more cosset was another story. She doubted that anyone at the college knew the extent of her abilities and she made effort to not give this secret up. This had followed her through her life, as a child, even so, more than now. She had grown up with magic in her palms but there were certain this she did not want anyone at the school of magic to know about her origins and thus far she had weaved an intricate enough web to conceal all she wanted.

    All these thoughts occurred and passed during the final moments of the girl's approach. It became apparent that she had to decide now who she wanted to be within the group, or more accurately how she wanted to play this. It was difficult, she would remain herself of course but the effort could be made or left to the side.

    "Hi, Cosset."The girlish voice betrayed some uncertainty "It's...good to see you again. How have you been?"

    "Francilla." She replied in a cool, though not distinctly unfriendly way "It has been some time but as always I have been kept occupied with my research. I don't mean to be rude but I must go to converse with those I have been assigned with, however, I wish you luck in doing the same.If I'm not mistaken you are familiar with most of the members already. "

    This was all she could muster as far as surface level conversation went. Had she been asked her thoughts on the man's plan, the living dead, or even her group she could have supplied much more by ways of conversation. She had been by no means rude but had more important things to attend to, the girl would either understand or not. In either case wouldn't be anything she wasted time pondering.

    She slithered through the group, her every step placed perfectly, even her pace allowing her to arrive at precisely the right moment. Having just been left by Alice Cosset took the opportunity to speak directly with the man though not before quickly gleaning more information as she moved forward from a closer vantage point. Standing in front of him there was a marked difference in height as was the case with many women in the tent however cosset stood with enough confidence that she seemed to make herself taller in this way. The icy eyes found a new face, focusing in once more.

    "You spoke well to them," She began as he caught his attentions "Though you left many questions untouched. I was hoping now would be a good time to ask a meager few of these questions and to hopefully get some answers. Though I won't ask you anything you can't be expected to know of course."

    She gave him time to respond, a gap in which she took to internally remind herself to abstain from any form of trust. His position made her leery, the fact that only he and his friend escaped also raised some bells. Should they simply be drawing in more powerful bodies to slay and possess she could only hope that their power combined could avoid this, and if not that she would be cunning enough to survive. The latter was the most favorable, the others could not be trusted either and she hated to rely on any of them.

    "You've gone against these wretches, I know not how you defend yourself nor what kind of path you follow but I will acknowledge that you must have the skill to survive what you briefly described. I should hope your skills of observation are equally as heightened. Did you notice any particular aversions or weaknesses that the creatures possessed? Do they move with any apparent awareness of tactics or do they lack this intelligence? What is their nature?" There was a marked scholarly way she went about speaking, her most pleasing voice and speech pattern odd for someone who seemed to be so forthright. "This may not be so important to the other but I would appreciate any information."
     
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    #23 Hlíf 'Ulfr, Dec 4, 2016
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  4. EpicVakarian

    EpicVakarian Calibration-Master General

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    Alice's face brightened as she turned to face Ella.

    "Ella!" Alice pulled her into a tight hug, which Ella found strangely reassuring. "Oh sweetheart, it's so good to see you again. I'm so sorry I missed you. I didn't know you were even here. How have you been? Are you still doing well at the College? I was thinking about taking some leave and coming to see you guys but I haven't had the time. Looks like you found me," she giggled. Glancing between Ella and Cosset, seemingly putting two and two together.

    "Sweetheart, did you wander off from the College again? Mirabelle told you not to do that. It's dangerous to wander Skyrim by yourself." She crossed her arms, looking concerned. It occurred to Ella that Alice hadn't heard about her... incident.

    "No, I... I'm taking a break from the College." Her eyes pointed downward, and she shuffled her feet, trying not to remember their screams. "Something happened, and I just took some time out to... I don't know, I just can't be there for a while." She glanced around the tent, eyeing all the unfamiliar faces.
    "I'll... tell you later." She gave an honest smile back to Alice. "And... it's really good to see you again." One embrace later, they separated, and Ella went off to a corner of the tent to await her specific orders.
     
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  5. CapObvious

    CapObvious Gramos Goat-Shaker

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    The two men waited as the group began to intermingle, both of them giving each other meaningful look. The group had seemed at least at ease with the plan, and had not immediately raised protests against it. However, they waited around, just in case anyone had a question or something of note.

    Almost like self-fulfilling prophecy, the Legate strode to them, hand outstretched for them to shake, which they took politely. She gave them a look of contentment as she spoke.

    "Daxos, Dolmas, thank you for organizing this meeting. You both have a good plan and you have my full support in executing it. I want you both to know that you're a beacon of hope to these guardsmen and the townsfolk outside that they're protecting. You've kept their hope alive and now we can help restore it." The words felt genuine, which brought about appreciative smiles from them both. "Thank you. We're ready to end this hell for everyone. They've seen more than enough." Daxos replied, earning a nod of approval from Dolmas. However, they felt there was something more she had to say.

    "I would like to let you know however that the mage Cosset, the girl in the blue hood and robes and my sister Cilla have had a less than amicable history. It shouldn't be a problem as they're in separate groups but you need to be aware of that." Daxos nodded, looking to the two women, who actually seemed to be speaking. He was a tad bit confused by this, but took note of it for later. "Do not worry. I'm sure I'll be able to keep them apart, if need be. That said, whatever qualms they have will need to be put aside for this. I will not have them jeopardize the lives of the guard or citizens over some petty squabbles." Dolmas looked to Cosset, who seemed to be heading toward them, odds are having questions of her own. Dolmas asked to pass between Alice and Daxos politely, before squeezing between them to meet her, confident that Daxos could handle Alice's questions on his own.

    Daxos took the chance to continue allaying the Legates concerns and taking her advice, while Dolmas saw to whatever the mage had needed. Unabated by Dolmas' exit, the woman continued.

    Also, I know it's a lot to ask but do you mind if we rest for a few hours before we move. We rode hard and fast to get to you all through this ghastly weather and I for one am soaked, freezing and exhausted. You've already held out for a week and now we're here to help secure the area. I recommend we wait until the rain stops. It's affecting everyone's morale and it's so cold it's mixed with ice. That kind of weather seriously hampers an army's awareness of the area and will make those rooftops dangerous to scale. Plus it actually strengthens the dead and we do not want to give them that advantage. If we must move now however my companions and I are ready but as an experienced soldier I do not recommend it. In the meantime I don't suppose one of these tents has a fire and a place for me to change?"

    Daxos responded, looking out toward the sky. "Yes, the rain shouldn't be much longer anyway. It looks as if it will pass shortly. As for the wet rooftops, Dolmas actually has a plan for them, that should see to any issues of you all not getting across them safely. He'll go into detail more when we get going. As for taking some time for rest, I will not begrudge you the time to get dried up and in better spirits. We'll need you all at your best, after all. There is a guest tent we have made especially for you lot with a rather large brazier in the middle, and a few other necessary commodities. I'm sure with a little ingenuity you could work it into doing whatever it is you will need to do before we move." He said with a disarming smile.


    As Daxos finished his conversation with the legate, Dolmas saw to whatever this Cosset was needing.

    "You spoke well to them," She started, with Dolmas listening closely. "Though you left many questions untouched. I was hoping now would be a good time to ask a meager few of these questions and to hopefully get some answers. Though I won't ask you anything you can't be expected to know of course."

    "Of course. Ask whatever you need, and I'll do my best to answer."

    The woman looked to him for a moment before speaking, her eyes latching onto him almost as if she were testing him. The look was a very familiar one; a lack of trust. Something he had dealt with on many occasions throughout his life, and was quite accustomed to. He would wait until she asked her piece, however, as it would likely confirm or deny his suspicions.

    "You've gone against these wretches, I know not how you defend yourself nor what kind of path you follow but I will acknowledge that you must have the skill to survive what you briefly described. I should hope your skills of observation are equally as heightened. Did you notice any particular aversions or weaknesses that the creatures possessed? Do they move with any apparent awareness of tactics or do they lack this intelligence? What is their nature?" She paused for a moment, her eyes likely studying his reactions as she questioned him. "This may not be so important to the others but I would appreciate any information."

    Dolmas spoke immediately, answering all of her questions the best he could. He leaned against the table, crossing his arms as he spoke. "I can tell you what I've noticed, we only spent so much time in the walls, but I have deduced quite a bit from that time, enough to give you a better idea of what we will be facing, at least." His eyes seemed to gloss over again, as he spoke fluidly, any and all recollection of what they were like spewing forth from him. "Quick and reckless, the creatures seem to have given into their baser instincts. They hunger for the flesh of any living thing, animal or humanoid, that enter the walls. They have some sort of pack mentality, and use their numbers to overwhelm, with deadly efficiency. They often leap upon the target rapidly, bringing them to the ground and rending the flesh from their bones, by whatever means necessary. Teeth, their bare hands, what have you. Other than that mentality, they have no signs of cognitive tactical prowess. They have been reduced to rotting savages now, with only the desire to feed. Nothing more." He paused as he bit his lip, recalling any weaknesses or aversions he recalled from his encounter. "That said, they are quite fearful of bright lights, loud noises, and fire. They panic when lit aflame, losing all function of their need to feed to flail about in pain before they fall to their death. Their eyes and ears seem very sensitive, as I had used a concoction that explodes upon great impact, sending the ones who were not killed by the force to flee in horror, their hands clutching their eyes and ears desperately as they ran." With that, his focus seemed to return, looking to Cosset, whose eyes remained on him, no doubt still studying his every move. He stood up straight, adjusting his clothes as he spoke again. "Their nature is pure savagery, and they will no doubt hit us with everything they have if they get the chance. Which is why it will be paramount that we support the ground team when we move in. They will rush them and overwhelm them if given the oppertunity, which is why we won't give it to them." He looked into her eyes again, studying the untrusting orbs that dug into him, and spoke again. "Was there anything else you needed to know?"
     
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    #25 CapObvious, Dec 4, 2016
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  6. Viarco Strong-Head

    Viarco Strong-Head By Azura, By Azura, By AzuUURUURAUURAARA

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    Rohael thought it best to keep his mouth shut for at least a little while, as this was unfolding to be quite the dire ordeal to him; one that, he reluctantly admitted, likely couldn't solve on his own. He remained keeping to himself, making mental notes of the people that had arrived in the tent with him. The Dunmer fellow, while possessing a very brutish exterior what with the copious amount of scars, had an intriguing likability to the Redguard upon first encounter. Two others had entered just after he did; a man who looked not too far from Rohael's age who introduced himself as Bryce, who seemed rather "business-first" given the way he'd introduced himself, and a girl whom Bryce introduced as Elizabeth, both seeming like interesting-enough folk.

    He also took note of how the Nord seemed to reel back upon his, Bryce and Elizabeth's arrival, and her reserved demeanor intrigued the Redguard. Haven't seen many Nords that don't like boasting about their "heroic deeds" for 90% of their conversations; a refreshing change, I'll admit. Maybe that's bias from all the ones I've seen at bars, though. He'd be sure to speak to the woman whenever he found a good time to do so.

    Upon the Dunmer's recommendation that they rest for the night, Rohael was more than happy to do so; he hadn't been able to sleep for a couple days, barring the situation with the angry blade-wielding Nord and his lover earlier that day, so he would've been able to sleep soundly if he was hanging off the precipice of the Red Mountain.

    Rohael awoke to meet quite the interesting cast of characters, one of them being a Breton mage that explained she had hailed from the College. There was a tinge in her voice that put Rohael off a bit, though; he didn't want to call it malice, necessarily, but he'd certainly heard it before, and he hadn't heard it in good situations.
    Don't jump to conclusions, idiot, he chastised himself for such apprehensiveness. That's what you did with that merchant Hilja and you about got your privates slashed off. While he certainly was not anticipating ending up in a similar situation with anyone currently present, let alone this mage, Rohael told himself to keep an open mind and make a decent first impression on those who seemed to be his future partners in fighting this..."outbreak".

    Four more had also joined prior to the mage as well, and he'd overheard Dolmas address one of them as an official Imperial legate; a certainly significant addition to their makeshift little "posse". Before he could hear any more about them, though Dolmas, and the Imperial fellow he was working with;
    Daxius? No, DaxOS; called them all over to debrief.

    They walked through their plan, and Rohael was selected with three whose names he believed were Brynn, Titus and Francilla to "stick to the ground" with Daxos. Under normal circumstances, the Redguard would have been excited at the notion of some good, old-fashioned mace-swinging, which he assumed there would be an abundance of for him regardless on this job, but the uneasy feeling hadn't left his stomach; nevertheless, though, he nodded in understanding of the plan with an affirmative
    "Sounds good to me."

    A lot of those joining Rohael in the tent seemed to be rather familiar with each other, seeing that Francilla seemed to have recognized the Breton mage; "Cosset", he believed. Still not entirely sure of the mage's prerogative, however, Rohael decided not to interject in their conversation with an introduction, and wondered if this would be opportune for going through on the mental note he'd made earlier in speaking to that Nord mage, whose name he'd learned was Ella.

    He looked over to see that she was speaking with the Legate, as they had seemed to recognize each other as well; he'd heard stories here and there during his brief stint working for the Empire about Legate Psyrakon, and it partially quelled Rohael's unease to know they'd have such a decorated warrior with them. Running outside briefly to make sure his horse was still alright, and being reassured by guards that he had been stabled nearby, Rohael entered back into the tent, and tried to seem as conversational as he could as he approached the Nord mage, in the hopes he'd be able to start getting to know some of the people tackling this mission with him.

    "Have you got as bad of a feeling about this as I do? Part of me's thinking this may be the second Oblivion Crisis," Rohael said to Ella with a conversational-yet-nervous "half-laugh", curious to hear how she felt about this quarantine fiasco.






     
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    #26 Viarco Strong-Head, Dec 4, 2016
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  7. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    Alice knew something was wrong just from the way Ella was standing but she understood her reluctance to talk about it here. This was a crowded room with lots of people and it was obviously something unpleasant or embarrassing. She knew Ella well enough to know she would talk about it in her own time. It would eat at her and she'd have to, just like Alice would. She gave the girl a sympathetic look and then pulled her into another hug. "It's good to see you too sweetheart. I'll be here when you're ready to talk."

    She left and headed over to the Redguard who's name Alice thought was Rohael so Alice finished up her conversation with Daxos. He explained that he'd try to keep Cilla and Cosset apart and that there was a guest tent they could rest in.

    "Thank you for accommodating me Daxos. I promise you I'll be worth the treatment. I'm going to change and get into my sleeping bag for awhile. With the way this rain's pouring I'll probably end up taking a nap too. Send someone when it's time."

    She curtsied for him, crossing her legs and bending them a bit as she did so, then grabbed her slightly-drier cloak and headed for the flap. Titus caught her before she left.

    "Off to get in your bed?" He asked, his usual stupid grin on his face.

    "Yeah. For a while. Maybe do some reading." Alice said with a neutral expression. "It's too cold and too wet not to."

    "Fair enough I guess. Just remember you can't save the city in your jammies."

    "Ha ha." Alice said, rolling her eyes. "I'm so glad I have you here to state the obvious. What are you guys gonna do?"

    "I'll hang around here probably, get to know my team. I think Cilla and Cosset are done being awkward as she's gone over to see Daxos. I guess they'll both talk to their teams. When do you want me to get you?"

    "Three hours. Or whenever we're ready to muster. Whichever comes first."

    "Can do. See ya." He said, leaving the flap and heading over to Brynn to see what was going on with her. She hadn't said much and they'd be working together so they might as well get to it. Cilla wasn't quite sure what to do and still as mystified by Cosset as ever so she sat down in a chair, leaning against its back and watching Cosset and Dolmas talk. She wasn't going to bother to help with planning because her role was always the same: Burn everything that moves and sort it out later.

    It was a short walk to the guest tent but Alice wrapped up inside her cloak anyway. The rain was as hard as ever and it was getting colder. She saw a small iron tube in the peak of the round tent and noticed it was curved so as to let smoke out without letting water or snow in. Clever design. She headed inside, found the brazier was already stocked with coal and used a burst of flames to get it going. Within moment it roared to life and she had a nice warm fire to curl up by. This camp must have been a permanent fixture outside town for a tent like this, especially since this one had hardwood floors like the command tent and several large cots, big enough for a man and his bedroll. Some were larger than others and some were wide enough for two people. Alice guessed these were for either large races like orcs, unlucky soldiers who were bunked together or couples that wanted a little discreet romance. All of them were plenty big for Alice but she chose one of the larger ones to accommodate her sleeping bag. She dragged the cot over to the fire, set her bag up with its head pointing away from the exit and began to change. She laid out her clothes on another cot by the fire to let them dry and then got into her footy pajamas. Light blue with dark blue raindrops today, just like the weather but much warmer. She got into her new bed and zipped herself up, now dressed in warm fleece and cocooned in a bag of fur and leather with a large fur pillow to rest her head. She laid her head down to see how everything felt and found she was very comfortable. She had plenty of room inside the bag and on the cot and she could move her legs around all she wanted and they'd never stick out because the bag was zipped shut at the end. And even if it wasn't, her pj's covered her feet and had a tough rubber sole at the bottom so she could walk. Alice found that she was so comfortable that she didn't want to move now that she was curled up, her head on the pillow and her eyes gazing into the fire and listening to the soft pitter-pattering rain outside. She was warm, comfortable and relaxed and conditions for a nap could hardly be more idea. She was fast asleep within minutes.
     
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  8. CapObvious

    CapObvious Gramos Goat-Shaker

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    The rain had stopped. The sun had begun to set. It was now or never.

    Dolmas made his rounds about the camp, his hand clutching the scabbard on his hip as he walked. The guards and citizens watched him closely as he marched by, knowing from the look on his face that the time had come. This group that had formed merely hours ago was now to go against the horrors that had ripped their home out from beneath them over a week ago. Whether the people believed in this ragtag group of adventurers or not...

    They were their last hope.

    He stopped at the guest tent, where everyone had taken residence to wait out the rain, and popped his head in again. "It's time, friends. Let's get this show on the road." With that, he moved away from the tent, and began the trek to the city gates.

    When he arrived, he saw Daxos and the Captain both before him, conversing with each other the final details of the countermeasure, should the group fail. "...I'm afraid we won't have much of a choice, Captain. If we don't make it out of there, you won't have time to wait for the next band of sellswords. You'll need to order your men to torch the city. Burn it to the ground, and everything inside with it. Anything that manages to survive that, you put to the sword." The Captain shook his head, looking away from the Imperial as he took a few steps in the opposite direction. "Well, then it better not come to that." He looked back to the man, moving forward while pointing a finger toward him. "You get in there and take those bastards out. Get these people back to their homes again, and end this nightmare. Right here. Right now."

    Daxos sighed, knowing that saying anything else would lead to more arguing. He nodded, crossing his arms. "We'll do everything in our power to make it so." Satisfied, the Captain stood aside, Dolmas moving to stand next to Daxos, before speaking up. "They're on their way. You ready for this?" Daxos nodded without looking to the elf. "This is the readiest I've ever been." Dolmas looked to the group who was now forming before them, most if not all ready to face the horrors that lied just a few feet away behind the oaken doors. Dolmas exhaled once, before called out amongst them. As he did, the guards moved to the gates, readying themselves to remove the one board that kept the two worlds from colliding.

    "My friends. You know the plan. You know our foe. You know what must be done." The guards unlatched the bars as Dolmas pointed to them, still facing the group. "These men and women, and all of the ones in that camp, are depending on you to win back their homes. Their livelihoods. To bring Rorikstead back from the jaws of Oblivion, and back into the hands of the people who built it." He began to pace before them, the fire in his crimson eyes building as he spoke. "We were promised that his era was the end to the darkness and death we had faced in the one before it, and I'll be damned to the Isles before I let that promise be broken while I draw breath."

    He stopped back between the Imperial and the Captain, as the guards looked to them for the signal. Dolmas nodded, then looked back to the group. "Together, we will hold back the forces of the dead and give these people something to smile about, for the first time in too long." He looked back to the gates, and watched as the guards brought them open, slowly but surely as the corners drug through the mud that had piled beneath them. The stench of rot and death hit them as the doors opened wider and wider, carried on a bitterly cold wind that seemed to usher forth from the town itself, as if it were giving a final warning to those who were preparing to enter. As if the gritty, grisly visage that lied inside it weren't a warning enough. The sight of innards, broken bodies, and bones stripped clean accompanied the atrocious smell, strewn about the ground at the base where the doors had previously stood. Dried blood and body tissue now covered the walls of the buildings toward the entrance, thanks to the pair's earlier bout with the creatures. The sight and smell were grossly overwhelming, causing Dolmas to thank the stars that he had been cured of his lycanthropy. He couldn't imagine how powerful the stench would have been to the nose of someone who had been truly dependent on it's use.

    The team was motionless, everyone waiting for the pair to make the first move. Daxos spit to the ground beside him, taking his sword from his waist and holding it firmly. He spoke out softly, unsure if there were any dead lurking about the corners. "Everyone, get into your positions. I'll take point. Titus and Brynn, take each side, while Rohael and Cilla watch our backs." He stepped across the threshold of the city, another cold breeze hitting him square in the face. He cursed under his breath before continuing on, hearing the foot falls of his companions behind him. The rooftop teams made their ways to their respective sides, but not before Dolmas met up with Alice.

    He pulled out a few bottles from his belt, holding them out for Alice to take. "The rooftops will no doubt still be wet and hard to traverse after the storm. Take these vials, and on each rooftop you cross on to, pour this onto it before the others join you." She looked a tad bit confused, but he offered no further explanation, instead moving to his team's side. He strolled up to the side of the building, rubbing his hands together before he jumped up, clutching the side of the building and carefully and deftly climbing his way up. As he planted his feet firmly on the top, he knelt down, uncorking a bottle similar to the ones he handed the Legate. With a small exhalation, he poured it's contents onto the slick rooftop. This would have to be explanation enough.

    The effects were almost immediate, the liquid that lied within seemed to spread out amongst the water, moving about it as if it were devouring it. Any and all traces of the rain water were then expelled into a fine mist that rose into the air above him. He looked up with a small, satisfied smile, before he knelt down, reaching his hand down to Cosset and Bryce, who were both watching him intently. "Roof should be good for now. Come on up." Dolmas waited for the pair to make it up to join him, and the other team to get into position, before they were to proceed any further.
     
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  9. EpicVakarian

    EpicVakarian Calibration-Master General

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    "Have you got as bad a feeling about this as I do?"

    Ella looked up to see the toothy Redguard warrior smiling at her.

    "Part of me's thinking this may be the Second Oblivion Crisis," he said, chuckling confidently, yet Ella could sense the nerves there.

    "There's definitely something not right here," she said quietly, barely opening her mouth. "I guess we'll have to find out when we get in there. If it is undead like they're saying, I'm just glad I'm away on the rooftops." She gave a quiet, nervous laugh.

    "It was Rohael, right?"
    Ella smiled faintly and held out her hand. "Ella. Good to meet you." She glanced around to see people heading off to the tents, to wait out the rain. "We'd best get some rest. Good luck in there, if I don't see you before we head in."

    It was a few hours before the rain ceased, and almost immediately Dolmas appeared, summoning everybody to the gates.

    One motivational speech later, the guards opened the gate. Ella naturally gravitated toward Alice, her team leader and friend. She could feel her heartbeat already.

    Gods, what am I doing here? I don't have the nerve for this.

    While Daxos sorted his own team's formation, Dolmas handed a handful of vials to Alice.
    "The rooftops will no doubt still be wet and hard to traverse after the storm. Take these vials, and on each rooftop you cross on to, pour this onto it before the others join you."
    Alice looked confused, but Dolmas simply returned to his own team. Ella gave Alice a light touch on the elbow, and tried to push what passed for a reassuring smile past her nerves. What actually came through was a grimace, but Ella felt she'd gotten her point across.

    "We can do this," she murmured to Alice, and herself.
     
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  10. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    Alice put her hands on Ella's shoulders and smiled at her. "That's right. We can do this. Stay behind me, keep your eyes open and focus your fire. We'll get through this." Alice had been able to get up from her nap surprisingly quickly and by the time they had entered the city she was fully ready for battle. She wasn't sure exactly what was in those vials Dolmas gave her and she was skeptical of the origins of such a potion but she couldn't argue with the results. She climbed up the roof, using every nook and cranny to her advantage, and waited for Elizabeth and Ella. Cosset and Dolmas were making their way up to the opposite side of the street and the rest were moving up the middle. Cilla was bringing up the rearguard, her hair and fists igniting with their characteristic orange glow, and looked almost eager to meet these undead. Titus and Brynn were bringing up the front and they were tense. The entire city smelled like death and for them it must have been overpowering. Alice would have to watch them closely. They both had good self-control but if they shifted things would get much worse. She had seen Titus completely lose himself while shifted, completely give over to bloodlust, and it was one of the most terrifying things she'd ever seen. She'd never seen Brynn shift but it likely had similar results.

    But she couldn't think on that now. It hadn't happened yet and she had ways to calm Titus down, even if they were risky. For now she had to stay focused. She looked down to Ella and Elizabeth to make sure she was all right.

    "Roof's stable. Come on up." She said, speaking up over the cold wind that had suddenly kicked up.
     
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    #30 Simus, Dec 17, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2016
  11. Hlíf 'Ulfr

    Hlíf 'Ulfr Princess Pants

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    Something built up in her chest as the men spoke and they readied themselves. It was an apprehension, but not to run but rather to see what they were facing. Words were one thing but to see it for herself, it would become real then. She hid it well enough, though, her face showed a woman politely listening and of course, she was. There was just more of her behind those gates than she would have liked to admit. As they swung open, however...

    She did everything in her power to suppress the snarling visage that threatened to break through replaced by a tight-lipped, intent expression. The smell would not overcome her, but by the gods, her nose could not help but crinkle and her eyes could not help but travel to Titus. His blood was similar to hers, his nose the most sensitive to her own delicate senses. It overpowered her disgust for the carnage, though not quite her sickness of heart for those whose homes had been tainted by it.

    She would have cast her head to the sky and sent off a plea to some divine if she had been anywhere else, but it seemed wrong here. There was no doubt within her that many prayers, pleas more earnest and far more important, desperate even than her own had been cast to the wind here and been lost or simply unanswered. It was not her place to wish for petty things, this was not a place ruled by some benevolent overseer, it was a nightmare and her desires meant nothing. Nature would give her respite within time, sensory adaptation was her friend but she doubted that evolution would be so kind as to answer the prayers of the others.

    Though the ground beneath her feet was slick and churned that of a farmers field before planting she managed to prowl seamlessly and prowling it was. Like a beast who knew she was being hunted but met danger with defiance, with a challenge. She was cautious but not afraid, the situation simply was. There was no running from it, only the drive to survive within the turmoil. Unlike some of the others, she was unfamiliar with mass war, with things such as this but this meant little to her. Her character was strong, and though the very winds, cold and crisp, biting spoke of the foreboding nature of this scene she held her chin high and her stance proud.

    "Everyone, get into your positions." The man spoke with authority whether he intended this or not, though he was not harsh "I'll take point. Titus and Brynn, take each side, while Rohael and Cilla watch our backs."

    She nodded, rolling her shoulders. She felt more comfortable in her custom armor, safe and dangerous. Her blood began to rush, her body feeling those familiar tremors as she pulled her short swords from their sheaths. The subtle noise they made was addictive and beautiful. She figured it would be enough of a response and settled into the motions of the hunt moving in the directions he had indicated to her after a brief devious smile directed to Titus.
     
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  12. Hlíf 'Ulfr

    Hlíf 'Ulfr Princess Pants

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    Most cities lived in a way that only those who took pause and felt the pulse of the world around them could understand. Each footfall, each person was the lifeblood by which the whole beast survived, by which is was built, by which it would be haunted in ages to come. Their movements causing ripples that would survive throughout time, that she could feel it even in those cities long faded into obscurity. This place was different. It was like a bloated corpse, rotting in the heat and humidity of the summer months. It went beyond the stench of death. It was beyond the wood that cracked, the pieces of roofs that hung from the stone-like flesh hardly clinging to the white bone. There was something lurking here, but it was not the living nor the resident echoes. Rather it seemed that a parasite had taken hold, leaving nothing but a husk, sucking its host dry.

    It was a quick observation and something that she simply knew rather than realized, she could feel its truth running through her veins. It did not detract from the sights that assaulted her from every side however as she strode through the mud, her hips gently swaying causing the bottles in her pouch to clink together quietly. She had seen many atrocities, studied them even with a fervent dedication but this proved to be one of the more impactful sites. Oddly It only cemented her dedication to remaining rather than swaying her or causing her to feel unsure. It was that feeling that overwhelmed her, that with every step she was getting closer to the middle of something big, of a new discovery that imprinted on to her that this is exactly where she was meant to be.

    Forced to turn away from the walls and their trappings and once more evaluate the situation. The shaken man, the one whose mind quaked with the fermented upsets of his past had begun to speak. He had gained some composure at least but she could hardly shake that predatory feeling as if she was some pack animal who wanted to weed out the weak. It unsettled her for a moment until he broke away and his quite speech ended. She thought once more on the intentions of the two men and though they appeared genuine in their sentiments she had been taught long ago to be distrusting.

    The first, Daxos seemed at least slightly unstable emotionally, which she doubted would make a good villain in such a situation. The other, whom she followed behind, on the other hand, would fit the bill. He seemed to have control over his representation of himself to the group, yet something that crawled under her skin told her that there was something in him humming just below the surface. He had a handsome face as well and she couldn't seem to decide whether she disliked him more for that reason or if it had no effect at all. Though she doubted he was responsible, she would keep watch just as she would do for the rest of those within the gathering.

    As with everything else she dedicated full attention to the actions taking place before her, his interactions. They did well in raising her brow within the first few moments as he handed a bottle over to Alice, receiving a mystified look in return. She was no less impressed at his accent to the rooftops and his strange behavior to follow. It grabbed at her in a way she didn’t enjoy but was natural, it was simply curiosity but even that could be dangerous. She could ask questions later, now was the time for action.

    Having confidence that there was enough distance from herself and any nearby source of unexpected attacks the Breton advanced and followed suit with the Dunmer. She did not climb the obstacle with the natural seamlessness that the Dunmer had displayed, however in no way did she lack in finesse. Upon reaching the once slick surface of the roof she stood tall, overlooking the city. The cold wind tore at her locks and pressed the fabrics to her frame and she cared very little, what lay before her eyes was far more important than the temperamental fit that the weather had cast their way.

    "You have my thanks." Her smooth voice broke the silence, though just barely as she continued to scan the horizon.

    She was skeptical of what he had poured over the water, with the possibility of it having other such properties but she could not deny its usefulness and by association his own. Her eyes flitted in his direction once more, briefly observing him though it did not last. She could see the others moving into their places, scaling the buildings as the two waited for their third member to join. Her fingers slipped absent-mindedly to the level surface of the bottles she had managed to procure and fill with oil, cold to the touch but full of incredible potential for heat. In this way, they mirrored the situation before her, an oddly satisfying thought.
     
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  13. Viarco Strong-Head

    Viarco Strong-Head By Azura, By Azura, By AzuUURUURAUURAARA

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    "We'd best get some rest. Good luck in there, if I don't see you before we head in."

    Rohael shook Ella's outstretched hand, and nodded with a brief "Same to you," and what he'd hoped was a warm smile; while he could tell she was carrying a fair bit of nerves herself, she seemed to be rather distant at the present moment, which somewhat put Rohael off.

    Since when did you get so unsure about people? What's next, you're gonna suspect the Legate of being a necromancer?,
    the Redguard mentally chastised himself. Then again...that's probably just the kind of person behind this. The question is, could we stop them? He decided to take heed to Ella's advice, and sat against the tent wall to doze off for at least a little while.

    He awoke to Dolmas' voice as the Dunmer popped his head into the tent, letting them know that the time had come. Ever so slightly, Rohael was hoping that he'd have awoken in the abode of another ravishing merchant, but luck was not on his side in this matter; reluctantly, the Redguard gripped his mace and walked to join the others at the gates.

    As uneasy as he felt about the situation, Rohael had to give it to Dolmas; he sure knew how to give a speech. While he spoke, the Redguard examined the many faces around him, of his partners and guardsmen alike. His gaze halted on one man, clad in a somewhat-tattered, worn Rorikstead guard uniform and a war axe sheathed at his side. Even with the fellow having his helmet on, Rohael could tell he was young;
    by Kynareth, can't be more than 20 and he's seeing Oblivion manifest in his own blasted village.

    Rohael didn't want to think of whether or not the young guardsman had family on the other side of the gate, but it was hard not to when he examined all the other guardsmen's faces and saw their similar expressions. Fear was ubiquitous among them; they stood with their weapons at the ready, waiting for Dolmas' signal, but the look in their eyes was of an almost childlike apprehension. They had no idea what it would take to beat the demons that remained in their city, but they knew they had to; they just were afraid of what may happen if they couldn't. And from where he stood, the pungent stench of death from within the city walls already pummeling his sense of smell, Rohael couldn't deny that he was feeling the same.

    Dolmas nodded at one of the guardsmen, and the gate was opened. Rohael fell in with Daxos and the rest of his team, helping bring up the rear as instructed while rationing his breath to make sure he didn't intake too much of the revolting aroma that seemed to flow around the scene before them; he figured it was likely just the smell of the bodies strewn about every which way, but he didn't want to take any risks he didn't explicitly have to, even down to any potential poison in the very air they were breathing as they entered the city.

    Scanning around the town to make sure no pairs of undead eyes were fixed on them just yet, Rohael's gaze met Cilla's. He'd never spoken to her prior to their entry into the city, only seen her, but from the way her hands were already emanating the telltale orange glow of a Destruction mage, the Redguard could assume that she was certainly capable. Rohael gave her a respectful nod, as this was far from the time for introductions consisting of anything more, and upon making sure the rest of his team were readying themselves as well, resumed scanning. The feeling he seemed to share with the guardsmen hadn't left; and judging from the steely resolve he saw in his companions, he hoped it wasn't a harbinger of what was to come for him.


     
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  14. CapObvious

    CapObvious Gramos Goat-Shaker

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    Everyone was gathering in their respective positions; five on the ground, six on the roofs. Everything was as they had planned it, not even a hair out of line. Daxos hoped desperately that this would be enough. The imperial turned to face the guards, waving his hand before returning his gaze to the front, exhaling, pushing every pained and dreadful thought out with his burdened breath. The gates could be heard slamming shut behind them, and shortly after, the sound of two hard locks. There was no turning back now. Daxos looked to Dolmas, who responded with a solemn nod, then to Alice. After a moment, his hands gripping his sword tighter, he growled out his next order. "Move out."

    Daxos scanned the immediate area as they moved, darting to each corner as they pressed onward, leaving no doorframe, window, or alleyway unchecked. The town had grown eerily silent now, no doubt a byproduct of the beam of light and ground shaking command that had come after. Daxos refused to take this at face value, not willing to entertain the thought that this was already over before it had begun.

    No, there was something here. He could feel it. He could smell it. The Imperial's nostrils flooded with the stench of death and blood, and he felt his lungs expand instinctively, drawing the scent deep within in his chest. His eyes drew closed as he walked, the transformation from the troubled commander to the fierce warrior finally displaying on his grim visage as his eyelids fluttered open.He was back in the fray, the light in his eyes growing darker as a result.


    Back on the field,in the middle of all the broken bones and shattered hopes of years prior, He was back home. He and his team marched onward, the Dunmer leading his own charges on the rooftops above. He glided over them with the grace of a trained dancer, winding and weaving over every crevice before reaching the end of the line.

    With a seemingly casual leap he crossed over onto the next roof, reaching again for a vial. This pattern continued time and again; Cross, jump, pour, advance. Clockwork. Each well timed movement not allowing for any deviation. The city may have been quiet, but there was no need to make any mistakes that could change that.

    They made their way down the corpse littered path for a time with no signs of life within the walls. No shouts, screams, no creaking bones or rushing feet. It truly felt as though they were alone in this shadow of a city. But surely none of them believed it. Dolmas and Daxos both looked over the wreckage, neither of them prepared for the atrocities that were laid out bare before them despite being there less than a week ago. Neither of them were any sort of strangers to death, but this was far worst than anything Dolmas had seen in a long time, and for Daxos, worse than anything he had ever dreamed.


    The bodies lined the streets almost as if they were barriers,fallen awkwardly but still far enough apart that a path between them was unmistakable. The thought that someone had come in and straightened up the dead crossed Dolmas’ mind for a moment, before he dashed it away, sure that the thought was crazier than even he deemed himself capable. Dolmas crept along the rooftops while watching the scene below grow worse as they went further in, and muttered to himself. “Who could possibly gain from all of this death?”

    After some time however, something seemed to respond to Daxos’ earlier disbelief. Almost literally. A whisper rose from the deafening silence, carrying a message in hushed tones. This soft voice brought a sense of unease to both the men who led, but other than the obvious displacement of said voice, they could not be certain why. The words that rode on the wind were too softly spoken, unintelligible. Each word passed by without understanding, neither of them able to attach any meaning to the chilling words.The voice brought an initial shock and cessation of progress soon after, the group turning to each other as the pair of them halted their forward motion. The group looked amongst those they trudged through hell with, likely hoping for any sign of the source.

    Though as each of them gleaned only confusion from the faces of their newfound allies, they could easily tell that whatever was rising above the creaking ruins and crackling flames was a mystery to all of them. Daxos looked around once more before he shook his head, spitting on the ground from frustration over the trouble the force behind this was causing them. No doubt something was attempting to play a trick on them, expecting them to run with tails between their legs at the first sign of strange activity.Their progress could not be impeded, not by a simple voice.

    No. Not today.

    Daxos made a soft click with his tongue, signaling the group to move while Dolmas waved a hand for Cosset and Bryce to follow. They did so despite this unsettling feeling, but their movement was stilted. The group was wary, and their strides shortened as a result. Still they strode, the sight of the town square building their resolve again as it came into view. There it was, where the heavens touched the earth, and somehow brought the raging city to a stand still. There were more bodies strewn about here than the path that laid behind them, wrapped around the circular plaza that lay battered before them. They littered the ground in a near perfect circle toward the center of the square, leaving a near perfect distance to what rested in the middle on each and every side.

    There, outlined perfectly by the charred ground where the beam had landed, sat the body of what seemed to be a warrior, clad in steel ornamented armor, one hand still barely clutching the battle axe he had no doubt carried into battle against these monstrosities. This was not the most interesting feature of this man, who dead with his arms and legs outstretched and flat on his back. No, it was what had no doubt transpired after the his last stand came to an end. The man's chest was split open, his rib-cage and heart exposed to the world. The rib-cage looked broken in some places and cracked in others, while his innards were strewn about him in a gruesome fashion, the once necessary organs lying beside him half devoured. Could this have been the champion the voice had beckoned? Was even he so quick to fall to these walking disasters?

    Daxos grimaced and looked away, disgusted at the sight before him. He glanced to the others, Dolmas' and Alice's teams remained on their final respective rooftops before the square began, while his group stood about him before the carnage. He spoke softly as they gathered closer. "Spread out and see if you can find anything of note. Dolmas, Alice, keep your team's eyes open, but stay out of reach." He ordered, beginning to step over the corpses as he went toward the center. "We step on somethings toes and it won't end well." He moved about the square like the cadavers were bear traps, each step careful and calculated as he made his way toward the broken hero. When he finally managed to progress through the scattered carcasses he cautiously toed his way to the man, kneeling down to get a closer look as he reached his side. The others of the ground team spread out to look among the other dead, while the ones above watched solemnly, waiting for any sign of coming trouble.

    Dolmas peered over the ground team, his hand clutching at his satchel carefully as he watched them spread out amongst the sea of corpses. He was not nearly as put off as some of the others at the sight of the carnage surrounding them. He had been all across Tamriel, and had seen things just as outlandish as the scene before him. Still, the god awful smell was not something he could ever get used to.

    As Dolmas lamented over the burning of his nostrils, any remains of silence or inactivity were swiftly broken. Out of Dolmas' peripherals a puff of white smoke flashed, causing the mer to shift suddenly only to find nothing next to him where the white plume had once occupied. Dolmas looked to Cosset and Bryce, his questioning gaze showing his curiosity. Surely they weren't pulling some sort of prank. Not at a time like this.

    The smoke then returned, this time on the rooftop Alice and her team occupied, before once more disappearing on the wind. Her group looked about, bewilderment staining their expressions as they turned to the elf, as if he somehow knew what they did not. He shook his head in response to their wordless inquiry, his attention then darting toward the center where Daxos was kneeling, investigating the fallen hero. As he did, he spotted the smoke again, this time appearing right above Daxos, who was too caught up in his investigation to notice. Dolmas stepped forward and called out, coming close to the roof’s edge with his warning. "Daxos, look out!"

    Daxos looked up as Dolmas' warning came quickly leaping away before the smoke crashed down around the could-be champion's body. The smoke then began to billow outward, wafting over the body of the warrior, along with every corpse in the square. The smoke rose just high enough to eclipse the sight of each and every body, leaving even those above the ground unable to see what exactly was happening below. But this confusion would not last much longer. As the smoke continued to weave over the ground grunting and groaning began to emanate from beneath the haze. Shortly after, the smoke began to shift and break in spots, the corpses that lay beneath it now rising above to greet the new arrivals.They shambled up to their feet, their aching bodies retching and reeling as they arose.

    However, they did not acknowledge the existence of the group right away, despite the sounds of brandishing steel and the preparing of magic that surely met their rotting ears. The bodies remained motionless, all looking out in different directions, not uttering a sound. What were they waiting for?

    As Dolmas surveyed the happenings on the ground, his eyes caught onto one detail that Daxos couldn’t see as the imperial slowly circled his way around back to where the rest of his team stood. The smoke wafted about the warrior in the town’s center, refusing to touch him for even a moment. Dolmas eyes squinted, his interest piqued as to what that could mean.However, his curiosity did not lay unanswered for long. In a moment, the swirling fog began funneling into the warrior’s exposed chest, filling the man’s body with whatever dark magics this smoke was capable of. The reaction was not immediate, but once it began it wasn’t going to stop.

    The body began to convulse, shaking and rocking violently as the dead man let out a roar of pain and rage, his body shifting and morphing. The bones of his rib-cage began to jut outward in an awkward fashion, until they resembled a row of elongated tusks, closing ever so slightly around the gaping hole that lied at his center. Flesh began to rip and tear, his muscle tissue and bones exposed as they too began to shift and change, contorting the frame and build of the man as he rose to his feet, his hands clutching his changing form in pure agony. The man began prying at his armor, tossing it away as his bloodied fingers finally dug into its crevices, exposing more and more of his grotesque form. As more of the man’s decaying anatomy came into focus, the more disgusting the view seemed to become, every inch of his body festering right before their eyes.

    After another moment of this horrific display, the town fell silent again, the former warrior started to straighten up, firmly grasping its worn armament that had previously sat forgotten at it's feet. The sinewy figure looked out to face Daxos with rotting eyes, his head snapping furiously to the side as he looked upon the shocked imperial. With a low growl, a word slipped out from between the “lips” of the creature.

    Loran…

    The Imperial stood in stunned silence, baffled as to how the creature obtained the knowledge of his family name. The man who the creature came from looked like no one he had ever seen or spoken to before, yet it knew who he was. What in the hells was happening here?

    But soon, the creature’s eyes met Dolmas, who stood tall on the perch of the roof. The figure froze, his head snapping violently to the opposite side as the yellow orbs glanced over the elf. The figure’s following response to Dolmas, however, was far less pleasant. It hobbled forward on still weakened legs, letting out a harsh growl as it’s next word left its broken mouth.

    HLERAYN!

    After the sound of Dolmas’ surname pierced the heavens, the creature crouched low, letting out an ear piercing screech that seemed to jar awake the other reanimated corpses that stood among him, all of them now looking to the group on the ground with a look of savage hunger. Each of them let out their own shriek, they all immediately rushed the group on the ground, ready to bring them down without any hesitation. Daxos called out for the others as the monsters rushed their position. “Stand in formation, don’t let them overwhelm you! Give them everything you’ve got!” With this, his sword fell into one hand as the other began emit a crimson glow, a familiar flicker of magic dancing over his fingertips as he looked to the monstrosities that were closing in. He growled low, his hand bashing into his chest. The spell began to take effect, Daxos’ eyes darkening and face contorting beyond recognition into the epitome of rage. He took his sword in both hands and let out an inhuman roar, rushing out to meet these creatures head on, hopefully with his team in tow.

    Dolmas called over the commotion to his team, and heard Alice do the same for hers. His eyes glanced over Cosset and Bryce. “Strike down on them now! Don’t let the others get overrun!” He looked to the creature toward the back of the group of horrors, who returned his gaze with another hate-filled screech. “I’ll try to keep that thing busy while you do.” With that he slid off the roof, one blade drawn with the other reaching into his satchel. The creature looked on to the elf as he circled around it, sidestepping, his hand reaching into the satchel for a different kind of concoction. One with a little more oomph.

    YOU WILL NOT INTERFERE WITH OUR MASTER’S PLAN! YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS HERE, HLERAYN.

    The creature called out to the advancing Dunmer, his jagged yellowed teeth bared for the Elf to see. Dolmas did not falter in this however, instead returning the look with a smirk. “Funny. I was about to say the same to you.” As he grabbed the bottle and looked upon it, he smirked, before taking the vial and smashing its contents over his chest. As he did so, his body slowly began to make a change of it’s own. Slowly he began to spark and crackle, the contents dripping over him and allowing this spark to spread. As the lightning enveloped his form, his motions and fidgets began to increase in speed, almost as if time had begun to speed up, but only for himself. He used this newfound quickening as he cocked his head to the side in a mocking fashion back to the creature, who snarled at the gesture. Dolmas took a moment to further distract the creature, making sure that the thing only had eyes for him. “When we get through with you, your master will be next. You both will pay for what you’ve done.” Then, after another step, his head cocked again, his eyes flashing as if a change had taken place in him, his lips curling into a darker grin. If someone had looked to Dolmas now, they wouldn’t be able to compare him to the man they had met in that tent just a short while ago. No. This was something different. Something far, far worse. The elf then spoke again, the horrifying grin not leaving his face.

    “Don’t you fret for a second, my friend. I’ll be sure to thank your wonderful master for letting me gut you allll over again.” With a loud cackle, he leaped for the creature, the weight of both blades coming down in a hard stroke.

    With that, the group's first test had begun.
     
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  15. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    Alice was horrified at what she was seeing. She had seen a lot of terrible things in her life, including necromancy and wholesale slaughter but this was something she never could have expected. The people of Rorikstead had become an army of undead soldiers for this fallen hero, this poor man who must have given every bit of his strength and his lifeblood to stop this madness. And now he was its harbinger. For several seconds she hesitated, watching the great black carpet of rotten flesh and broken bones shamble around, as if in constant pain and waiting for release from whatever evil magic had denied them rest. For a few moments Alice was overcome with pity for these poor souls. She wasn't even sure if they had noticed them.

    But then the fallen hero actually SPOKE Dolmas' name and issued him a challenge. The horde seemed to straighten up immediately and then they let out a shrill, ear-splitting warcry and it became horrifyingly clear that Alice's earlier assumption was wrong.

    The horde charged the ground team's position, covering the generous space between them at a terrifying speed. What was even more terrifying was what the group's leaders did. Daxos produced a red glow about him and drew his sword. The glow intensified and he gripped his sword in both hands. He let out a yell of pure rage and charged the undead mob, heedless, even eager for the danger that just moments ago had caused him to go white with fear. Dolmas poured something on his body and he changed as well. His body bucked and jerked in ways not unlike a seizure patient and sparks danced all around his body, covering him in lightning field not unlike a flame cloak. Then he actually began to taunt the fallen hero, making jibes and sarcastic promises to his master. If Alice didn't know better she would have said Dolmas had gone insane but that was impossible. What magic or potion could suddenly and completely drive a calm and intelligent mer to madness?

    Alice decided it didn't matter. Those two would be torn apart by these monsters if they didn't help. And monsters was exactly the right word for them. These people died long ago and nothing could bring them back. All that was left of them were rotten husks and if they could speak they would beg her to kill them. She would not deny them the peace of death.

    "Ella, Elizabeth, we have to provide fire support for the ground team! Use your strongest magic to thin the horde! Fire an opening volley with me to halt their advance, then switch to rotating fire to keep the pressure constant! Casting order! Me, Ella, Elizabeth! Focus on the back ranks!"

    Alice knocked a steel arrow with red fletching: A flameburst arrow designed to amplify her bow's fire enchantment to produce a devastating and spectacular explosion that would send fire, metal shards and wood splinters in a ten meter radius. She was aiming right for the center of the horde's advance.

    "READY? FIRE!"

    The spells and arrow hit home, smashing into the center of the undead advance and both their flanks. Five corpses were blow apart by Alice's arrow and six more were hit by shrapnel and burning giblets. The creatures howled in pain and slowed to a shuffle as they were set on fire and started to fall apart. One of them had its left arm completely severed and had its left ribs blown completely open. Another's legs collapsed from underneath it as it began to drag itself by its arms to the group of living. All of them were quickly trampled by their own comrades, who seemed heedless of both the horrifying death of their vanguard and their burning bodies. Clearly these creatures' desire to feed was so strong it overrode all other concerns. Or perhaps they feared their unseen master more than the fire. Alice could only speculate as she readied another shot and watched for their leader.

    Meanwhile, on the ground, Titus and Cilla had contemplated the situation far less than their sister. As a werewolf, Titus had an instinctive hatred for all things undead. They were wholly unnatural, a sick perversion of the cycle of life and death that everything in nature goes through and they had to be torn to ribbons. They were also a huge army of dangerous creatures that would never stop fighting until they were dead and never run away. The perfect fight for a warrior. Titus roared a battle cry that would make even the staunchest of men hesitate and charged the horde at full speed, his beast blood and warrior spirit united in the call of battle. He hit the horde mere heartbeats after Alice's arrow struck and made his first kill. He used his momentum and massive strength to drive his battleaxe into a zombie's skull in an overhead swing, cleaving right through the creature's body and splitting it in half at the groin. Black blood spattered Titus' face, chest and torso but all this did was embolden him. He laughed at the creatures as they tried to attack him, their weapons and limbs being severed by Titus' long horizontal swings. A semicircle of blood and bodies appeared in front of him and he wanted to make more.

    "KEEP IT COMING YOU ROTTING HUSKS! I'VE GOT ENOUGH FOR THE WHOLE LOT OF YOU!"

    Cilla's anger literally exploded when the battle was joined. She didn't care about why the smoke had risen that corpse in the center of the town square or why a thousands of corpses were assaulting them and certainly not why any of this was happening. None of it mattered. She would find whoever did this and leave nothing but a pile of ash but first she would carve a path through these creatures and kill every last one of them in a raging inferno. She would turn them to cinders even if she had to burn the entire city to the ground.

    Her hair and hands had already been wreathed in a gentle yellow flame but now her eyes were consumed by it and it was a brilliant bright orange. The air was simmering around her, hot enough to singe the nostrils and burn away the smell of death. She stayed like this for several moments, her aura of flame getting hotter and hotter until the heat cracked the cobblestones under her boots. Then, the fireballs in her hands exploded.

    With a cry of both rage and euphoria Cilla launched herself in the air on two pillars of flame, blinding anyone behind her and sending out a huge ripple of heat. She streaked through the sky on a beautiful and terrifying orange arch and crashed into the ranks of the horde like an avenging angel from aetherius itself. A dozen zombies were crushed in the explosion of her landing, their bodies engulfed in fire and torn apart by a shockwave that Alice could feel four rooftops behind. Cilla couldn't tell if the creature were stunned or amazed by her landing but she had their attention. All of the heat and fire was suddenly sucked from the new pothole she had just created and her fist glowed white hot. She screamed at the nearest zombie as she raised her fist and struck the creature's chest, covering the creature in flame and completely incinerating it, leaving nothing but a pile of ash and cinders.

    "I'LL SCOUR YOU ALL FROM THIS WORLD MONSTERS!" Cilla screamed as she readied for her final attack. Her flame cloak exploded around her, adding to and reigniting her circle of broken bodies. That distraction was enough to let her summon a cone of flame and blast a way clear for herself, clearing a path to her brother. Cilla joined him back to back and the two warrior carved out a circle of fire and steel. With any luck, it would give the others time to join them before they were overwhelmed. They'd certainly made it clear where they were.
     
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  16. Hlíf 'Ulfr

    Hlíf 'Ulfr Princess Pants

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    *

    She could see it in their faces and took it into her lungs as they expanded with the influx of cold air, laden in the tediousness of fear. As waves, traveling by the whims of the tide lapping against an anchored vessel it had brushed against her endlessly as they claimed another moment, then yet another in the broken city. Natheless it did not overtake her nor find root within her mind, her protections were much too strong, her desire to learn worn as armor over her slinking frame. It shone brilliantly against the gloom in a most unsettling way, the absence of compassion to claim her visage, the true and adamant intrigue that replaced it. She was an enigma, if not even more behind the walls than outside.

    Greedily her eyes claimed all that they could, carving out information, observations where others saw only emptiness. The shroud has already claimed many of them, trepidation blinding the mind and binding it to the wills of the body. True scholarly observation removed the emotions of the observer, making the warriors as opposed to the polymath unsuited for the task, though each played their role. So as haze began to materialize she looked not to the others for her own reactions nor affirmation. She turned to her senses as her heartbeat began to quicken and the drama began to set itself in motion.

    It was the creaking, snapping, groaning of the subjects that first caused a violent shiver to crawl slowly up her spine. Her brows lifted in tangent with the corpses that seemed to have no part in their own awakening. As though the fog had beckoned them, teased them, seduced them unwillingly into animation they lingered listlessly, balancing the line of awareness and vacancy. Beyond the question of their occupation the remains were in varying states of decay, the bog like environment that was the gutters not aiding in their presentation nor in the observation of their flesh and similarities. Never the less, she acknowledged mentally that less favorable conditions had been presented to her in the past.

    Lifting a steady hand she absently adjusted the stray curl which glistened in its displacement, blocking for no more than a moment her defiant eyes. As they refocused once more her operations were underway. The corpses as a general rule seemed out of place when considering the timeline provided. There was an advanced state of decay that could not be accounted for by time nor effects of weather and general climate, another detail to add to her mental collection of notes. Beyond this though, she had an agenda, and while they remained in their trance-like state she scanned the convocation with the intent to find a face that may still have retained some features.

    "Loran…" the voice echoed, though she chose to mull over her furthered suspicions of the two at a later time it thought it certainly did not escape her. "HLERAYN!"

    It was as though the faces had hidden themselves from her, until the exact moment preceding the scream. Without losing awareness of her environment her eyes locked on to the pair who oddly enough inhabited a similar space and in that moment the city was assaulted, erupting in a gloriously chilling scream. In that way they were given to her, locked in her mind to become a part of her for every time she would recall that scream their images would appear. It as perfect, her body shook slightly with excitement.

    To label what followed as pure and utter bedlam would have been cheating the moment, for it was far more than this. The creatures, for they could no longer be called men, began to rush forward in a fashion that could mean nothing short of looming destruction. The knowledge she had managed to glean prior to their entrance was being confirmed at a rapid rate and in that moment she had no stronger desire than to capture one of these soldiers, though she knew this would take much more planning. Instead of acting on impulse she breathed deeply, her chest rising and her stance morphing as she mapped out the grounds in her head.

    Despite or perhaps because of the way in which most of those around her would focus on dealing direct damage her focus would be crowd management. None of those on the ground would survive if they were overwhelmed, and they would certainly be less than helpful dead, though it did serve to spark the questions that would surround the transformation of a fresh body. Acting quickly she began to set to life walls of fire in tangent with the odd rune trap, placed as a failsafe. This would give her time to reflect on the others, modify and continue on which she set promptly to doing.

    She would wish soon after to have been distracted, to be swept away in the fury that consumed and burned away the logic of the warrior turned by the natural drug that seared his veins and forced him to act upon this nature, but this was not her way. In the same way, she would harbor a deep-seated regret before her chest would rise and fall another turn that the enemy had not pushed harder against her defenses, that she was not nearly overcome. Either happening could be swept aside like autumn leaves from her path, deprived of all nourishment, fallen and dry to salvage the host for the long winter months to follow. This new sensation could not be so easily shed as it mounted, riding atop the waves of exhilaration already provided by the terror before her. It was the spark, the core warming, mind stimulating sensation of new.

    The sensation came on quickly, a mixture of hot rage and desperate intrigue as the liquid began to change, reflective strings of light jumping about like wildfire. As its effects became clear the woman clenched her jaw and turned away, cursing colourfully under her breath. The unique application of alchemy was foreign to her, something she had yet to encounter and as with all things unique and fresh she could not help her curiosity. It was a desire to learn, however, it meant that she wanted something from another being therein lied the problem. She dreaded it wholeheartedly, avoiding it at all costs but here it was with its teeth sunk deeply into her flesh.There was no going back.

    In an attempt to dispel any useless residual emotions and thoughts she looked to the other character that occupied the roof, though she was met with very little relief. A contemptuous look crossed the elegant visage as she observed the out of place actions of the man. While the others seemed to be able to work effectively from their locations his damage output was clearly lacking. He was not an archer by trade, his slow draw time coupled with the lack of speed with which he let loose his arrows made this more than clear. Beyond that, she could see his weapon of choice displayed on his person, even his stance suggesting his close combat abilities. Glancing over the side of the roof Cosset noted the general lack of obstacles one might hit if they were to tumble. With that, the decision was made.

    From her careful placement on the roof, Cosset was able to quickly, and in a surprisingly dignified manner rush the man. She was quite familiar with the methods needed to get the most out of her weight as well as how to destabilize an opponent and she put all such knowledge into play. Meeting him with a powerful kick she grunted slightly and called to him a warning as it hit home, stabilizing herself with ease and finishing the whole combination off by throwing up another firewall to give the spurned man a chance to recover before they were on him. If he was no dunce he would surely survive with minimal injury, then at least he would be of some use to the party.

    With her attention freed she proceeded to examine the others, placing barriers and causing some disarray as she went. Within a mere few seconds, however, one particular individual set about potentially blinding those around her, causing yet another exasperated wave to crash over her. Extra effort was added to control the movements of those enemies in the area, something she did most gracefully and with impressive skill. Although some may not have been accustomed to fighting in groups Cosset had been foolish enough to assume that anyone with sense would avoid blinding their teammates, especially in a situation such as this. She tightened her jaw once more, as a myriad of rather condescending thoughts attempted to spill from her tongue. As the yells of the others rang out she pushed them away, focusing on the task at hand.

    *
     
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  17. Daryl Dixon

    Daryl Dixon Well-Known Member

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    Bryce winced at the thought of him and Elizabeth being split apart in this dangerous city. He could not watch over her now. But he had to trust her, so he said nothing and watched as they went their separate ways. Now he could truly focus on himself.

    He watched with concern as the potions contents were poured onto the roof. "Roof should be good for now. Come on up." Dolmas said, extending a hand. Bryce took it and upon being pulled up onto the roof noticed it was completely dry. "You've got to tell me how you made that." He said, looking around the barren rooftop.

    There were bodies littered everywhere in the streets. The stench was bad from the roof, it had to be tenfold down there. But then the unthinkable happened. As the ground team reached what seemed to be source, where the light had struck, the dead hero rose. Then the town then rose. What had to be hundreds of bodies all stood up. An ear piercing warcry invaded Bryce' head and stayed long after it had stopped.

    He reached for the bow he grabbed in town, hand brushing past his katana, and raised it. He felt fuzzy like his hands were clay. After several moments passed, he could compose himself. He began firing onto the horde that had began to attack. His shots were slow, well placed, but he was barely doing a dent. He felt useless. They just kept coming.

    He looked to Elizabeth, who was using spells to issue coordinated attacks at Alice's command. This was too much. He had to jump down. Before he had the chance, Cosset pushed him and he plunged to the ground. He landed head first and broke his neck. The creatures rushed his body and began to devour him.

    Elizabeth screamed. "She just killed Bryce!" She jumped down and tried to run her way to his body, to save him, but the horde claimed her as well. She screamed in agony as she was torn apart and the flesh ripped from her bones.
     
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  18. EpicVakarian

    EpicVakarian Calibration-Master General

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    The sight of the body in the center of the sickening circle made Ella gag and turn away. She'd never seen anything so gruesome in her life. She instead focused on the back of Alice's head, trying to focus and not lose her nerve.

    "Spread out and see if you can find anything of note," Daxos called out to the ground team. "Dolmas, Alice, keep your teams' eyes open, but stay out of reach. We step on something's toes, and it won't end well."

    He and his team moved forward gingerly, making very long, careful steps, making sure not to step on the corpses littering the street. Ella glanced over at Dolmas' team, to see Dolmas himself looking around as if he'd seen something.

    And all of a sudden, there was a quick puff of smoke, right next to them on the rooftop. Ella nearly jumped out of her skin, and as quick as it had appeared, it was gone again, only to appear right above Daxos, who was kneeling at the eviscerated body. She heard Dolmas call out a warning, but too late.

    The smoke dropped heavily, spreading out across the whole square. Ella could barely see the ground through the mist.

    Yet this only lasted for a moment. The smoke quickly began to give way to figures, rising from the ground. The corpses, slowly but surely creaking to their feet, making the most hideous noises.

    Ella's heart rate must have tripled, and her breath became ragged and shallow. She couldn't remember being this terrified since... since......

    She watched the bodies, paralyzed with fear. Yet, even as they rose all around the ground team, and even as every single member of their party readied themselves for a fight, the bodies stood perfectly still, looking in no particular direction. As though they were just waiting; though what they were waiting for was anybody's guess.

    As it turned out, it was answered almost immediately. The remaining smoke pulled back to the ruined corpse in the center of the square, and poured itself into the open chest cavity. And just like that, what had been a man roared back to life, screaming with agony as his body seemed to decay before their eyes.

    And once it was over, the thing straightened, gripping its weaponry and staring down at Daxos.

    "Loran..." it growled, making Ella quiver in fear and shock. Then it turned its head viciously toward Dolmas on the opposite roof.

    "HLERAYN!"

    The thing screamed out, an ear-piercing, gut-punching shriek that seemed to awaken the various corpses around the ground team. Silence fell for but a moment, and then the corpses each let out their own scream as they attacked.

    In her absolute paralysis, Ella just about managed to make out Alice's voice barking out orders to her and the other young girl on the roof with them.

    "Ella, Elizabeth, we have to provide fire support for the ground team! Use your strongest magic to thin the horde! Fire an opening volley with me to halt their advance, then switch to rotating fire to keep the pressure constant! Casting order! Me, Ella, Elizabeth! Focus on the back ranks!"

    In what was already one of the worst experiences of Ella's life, Alice's strength was diffusing through to Ella herself. She gathered herself enough to conjure up an explosive ball of fire between her hands, and waited.

    "READY? FIRE!"

    Ella let her fireball loose, and watched with horrifying wonder as it detonated amongst a horde of undead, scattering body parts everywhere and leaving a fine red mist to settle over that part of the square. She felt a little better, and conjured up another fireball, aiming toward a group that were getting particularly close to the ground team.

    But the split second before she sent it at its target, one of the undead pulled itself far enough up the roof to grab hold of her ankle.

    Screaming harshly, absolutely lost in her terror, she lost all concentration and sent her fireball at the one that had grabbed her.

    She didn't hear it detonate; she just heard the noises of the battle stop abruptly, and felt the roof collapse beneath her. She, Alice and Elizabeth were all thrown from the roof, into the fray below, and in the short time Ella was in the air, she managed to give off one more scream before she slammed into the ground, landing square on her back. Her vision started to fade, but her hearing began to return, a slight ringing sounding over the loud shrieking of the corpses. And, just as she found herself ready to pull herself up, a piece of stone collided with her head, knocking her to the ground again as she drifted into unconsciousness.
     
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  19. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    Alice had lost herself in her killing task. One by one she shot her arrows, striking down the zombies in cold fury. Both of her flameburst arrows were used up and she was down to steel ones but each shot was a prayer for the dead of this city and it contained their collective vengeance against the vile magic that dragged them from their graves in this mad chorus of bodies, ichor and rotten flesh. Alice had far more enemies that arrows so her targets had to be chosen very carefully. Only those that were in a prime position to wound or kill one of the ground team were deserving of one of her shooting stars from heaven. A halbardier that was about to take an overhead swing at Titus. A swordsman that was slowing down Dolmas. A blacksmith with one arm and a shovel who was about to give Rohail's head a rude awakening. Alice was lost in her task and she failed to notice what was happening at her flanks until it was too late.

    By the time she'd heard Ella's scream the fireball had already hit the roof. Ella and Elizabeth screamed in terror as the roof collapsed under them in a rain of flames and splinters. Alice couldn't help but scream herself. This was a terrifying situation and it felt good to let it out for a moment. As she fell she hit her head on the back of a chair. Her vision became blurred and spotty as she stared at the open sky. She felt a huge pain in the back of her head and slowly reached back to check herself. The pain immediately made her grit her teeth and her hand came back bloody. This was not good, she needed help, but she had no idea who was around to help and this house they were in was on fire. She needed to get up. It sent her head spinning but she was able to pull herself to her feet. Her legs were shaking but she was stable enough. She soon found Ella: the poor girl had been knocked unconscious and needed to be dragged out of here. Grunting and biting down on her lip, Alice tucked her hands under Ella's armpits and started dragged her by her butt and legs. Every step made Alice's head a gong being banged on by mad giants but she had to get outside. Ella's life depended on it.

    After a painstaking minute they were out the door and into the street. The others had formed a crude defense line for them so they were safe for the moment. Alice cradled Ella's face in her hands, trying to examine her and wake her up.

    "Ella...Ella..." Alice half-yelled, half-slurred. "Ella. You've got to get up. You....you can't die right now! You...!" Her vision fogged over and her head felt like it was going to split open. Alice couldn't stand any longer and fell to the ground beside Ella. She tried to stay awake, she HAD to stay awake, but the street was so soft and she was so tired...
     
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  20. CapObvious

    CapObvious Gramos Goat-Shaker

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    As the others fought valiantly against the onslaught the undead had brought upon them, Dolmas remained at the throat of the revolting remains of the warrior who led them. He stood defiant as he crossed blades with the former hero, determined to give the others the chance they needed to cleanse the town of its filth and devastation before turning their sights on the one who no doubt had some hand in it. But to say that Dolmas was the one fighting would be dishonest. Yes, it was his body dashing about so elegantly in this deadly dance, standing bravely against the tide of battle, but the force behind it was not the mer who the others had seen entering the fray. There was someone else in his head now, and one could see this by how he carried himself in battle. This was no longer Dolmas, the sensible, amicable, stalwart elf who they all gave their lives to. This side was unreasonable, maniacal, defiant. This side was named Valen. The voice of un-reason, of dishonesty, and violent antics. Just as opposite as one could become, while still being as much of a part of Dolmas as the skin on his bones. The madman was in charge now, and he made his presence known as he struck down upon the monster, letting loose cackles and cries that would no doubt draw more attention than his host preferred.


    The madman who now held control shrieked with delight as he swung the blades again, this time with them being blocked with the hilt of the hero’s axe. “HA! It’s SO good to be back!” He cried, not perturbed by the failing of his stroke, knowing that it was meaningless. He would get this thing down on it’s knees, make it beg for mercy as he tore him apart. This thing had no idea what Valen was capable of, whether he knew the elf’s name or not. No one was ever truly prepared for the fresh hell Valen was capable of unleashing, and that’s what pleased him so. Unpredictability was the best offense. His body still flickering from the effects of his elixir, he swung his blades downward upon the creature again, doing his damnedest to keep the beast’s wandering eyes on him and him alone. There was no telling what this creature was capable of, and he could not afford to find out. None of them could.


    Valen’s excitement of being released was short lived, however, as the crazed elf began to feel bored of playing the whipping boy while the others got to have all of the fun. His distaste of Dolmas’ decision was soon voiced, his grumblings breaking the effect of the resonating of battle cries and flinging fire. “So. You finally let me loose, and of course, it’s fighting another disgusting creature. How droll. Why can I not for once kill something with a working brain?” He paused, feeling a wicked grin stretch across his features as he ducked low, dodging the swing of the bastard’s axe. His focus then swapped to his host, this time ready to bring on the mocking at Dolmas’ expense. “Then again, he is a lot prettier than you. If I had to choose between the two of you, I’d be taking this nightmare to dinner. He may have quite the personality after all...unlike someone I know.” Dolmas cleared his throat as the lunatic continued to rave, speaking back to him with an internal grunt, and without his body taking any action. He had relinquished control to provide himself the chance to scan his surroundings, keeping a watchful eye on each and every one of his charges as they dealt with their own struggles mere feet away. He and Valen would not be attempting to kill this creature alone, they just needed a distraction. There was a chance that he could bring the corpses they fell back up from beneath them again, and they needed to be sure that couldn’t happen. Valen leaped back from a swing of the axe, his feet pushing dust up from ground behind him as he slid backward, before brandishing his blades and going back into the fray. Despite this, ever the multitasker, his voice perked up as Dolmas’ vision traced over each of his companions.


    “How typical. This warrior fights too simply. This is no fun. WHY are we not killing those lovely people you brought along with you, Dolmy? They look like they’d put up so much more of a fight then this disaster. At least their screams would be more satisfying...” Dolmas scoffed, his focus unwavering. These lovely people are going to make sure we have the chance to walk out of this alive, you snake. They are off limits, you won’t be touching them. Valen grimaced, not liking the tone Dolmas had grown to using. He remembered the days when Dolmas was a mere pushover, when he could flaunt and taunt and strike fear into the young elf’s heart with even the slightest hint of a violent outburst. Those days were long gone...and Valen HATED it.


    Valen spit on the ground and swung again, dancing about the creature to where the two of them could keep an eye on everyone who had fought behind him. “You’ve kept me leashed for too long. I WILL find a way to break from this, and when I do…” Dolmas tuned out the train of thought, his eyes jumping to his brother in arms as he and his team fought. Daxos thrashed about as the creatures rushed his position, demanding the attentions of the horde as they attempted to break down the strength of their line with the sheer number of corpses tossing themselves into it. Valen’s focus shifted to Daxos as well, and he rolled his eyes, kicking the creature away from him to afford himself a moment to speak.


    “Don’t even get me started on that one. You shouldn’t have brought him along. One Loran was bad enough, and even you didn’t like him. Now you’re throwing us in yet another stupid war with this one? Bah. I grow tired of you continuing to make the same mistakes.” Dolmas spoke up again, his annoyance growing as the madman spoke. Do not speak of these people. They are our only chance. We have to stand together if this is going to stop. He stated forcefully, not allowing any sense of weakness escape him as he made his demand. Valen ignored him, beginning to rant about the people Dolmas had brought along. He had had enough of Dolmas’ cocky attitude, and he was going to get out what he wanted to say while Dolmas had no chance to stop him. “No. These people couldn’t fight their way out of a wet sack. This city will swallow each of them whole, and once again, you will be left with the blame. And I’ll have to hear you mope and whine about it. Over and over and over.” He replied, his voice growing more and more dim as he continued. He pointed out Daxos, and the raving began while his battle with the monster continued.

    “I mean seriously. Haven’t we dealt with enough crying? I had enough of yours when you were a snivelling sap fest, now I have to deal with Captain MoodandBrood. Oh WOE IS ME. I hate living in this dreadful existence so I thrust myself into danger to end my suffering. I haven’t felt a woman’s touch since the midwife slapped my rear, so I make pouty faces when they pass and hope they swoon. Or maybe,it’s be cause all the women do swoon when I walk past, but that burly man at the inn wouldn’t buy me a drink when I said I’d give him the tip. BLAH BLAH BLAH, GAG ME WITH A SPOON. I’d just as soon cut our own head from our shoulders just so I could avoid living THAT plops again.”

    Dolmas’ vision left Daxos as his sight travelled upward to the rooftop that lie above he and his team, and after seeing the face of one of them, Valen began again. “And DON’T even get me started on that flighty little thing on that rooftop. She looks like she’s about to snap. In more ways than one. She’s just so tiny. So fragile. I bet if I pinched her she’d fold like laundry. In fact. I may try that. Remind me when we’re done, please?” Dolmas called out his displeasure at the thought, but it was too late, Valen was on a roll, and he wasn’t about to stop now. His focus turned to the woman who accompanied Ella, as well as her brother and sister who were still fighting on the ground.

    “OH, and the siblings. Let’s enjoy them separately shall we? We have the bar wench playing soldier, the typical hair-brained brute playing himself and the walking fireball who wants to invite us all for a ROAST. WHERE TO START?” He paused, waiting for Dolmas to reply. But of course, he grew impatient quickly. “EASY. THE WENCH. I MEAN REALLY? Who wears a dress into battle? WHO? Does she want to curtsy the dead back to sleep? AND THE FIREBALL. Who the hell does she think she is? All this flair and fireworks like she’s putting on a light show. Do the dead look impressed? And then of course, we have the typical warrior, swinging his giant axe around like he’s got something to prove. Seems little more than a simpleton to me. Not worth the time to mock.”

    His eyes turned to the companion who accompanied them, and his mind stopped cold. He couldn’t think of what to say about her, despite the sweeping run he had done prior. That annoyed him more than anything. Dolmas called him out on it, chuckling at Valen’s expense. What, afraid to say anything about her? Does she strike that much fear into your heart? Finally Valen admits he’s craven. Valen called out almost immediately, sputtering with indignation as he floundered about looking for something to say about her. “No. She just doesn’t strike my fancy. She likely is just as unworthy of my thoughts as her friend there. Typical nord warrior with a chip on her shoulder. NEXT!”

    Before Dolmas could call out Valen on his failed attempt, something took place that brought the both of them to a standstill. On the other rooftop, the mage he had led when they entered rushed for the edge of the building, planting her foot into the back of the archer who had stood with her and sending him plummeting to the ground. Dolmas cursed under his breath, watching as the woman just continued to fight as if she hadn’t just committed the act. Valen looked up on this too, and immediately took advantage on the pause it brought upon Dolmas.

    “OOH, look out little Dolmy. I think we have a traitor in our midst. And for once, it isn’t me.” Dolmas watched dumbfounded as Valin continued to fight, unsure of what to make of it all. Valen continued berating him, not wasting the chance to make Dolmas look like the clown he was. “Looks like your amazing ensemble of heroes is already falling apart. It almost seems familiar, doesn’t it? Another group put under your command which you failed.” Dolmas snarled, but Valen interrupted him, speaking his mind. “But don’t fret little elf. I’m not sure I like it either.” This thought jarred him a bit as well, but knew that something more was coming shortly after. To Dolmas’ lack of shock, Valen continued. “I’m not sure if she’s saved me the time of going up there to finish them both, or if she’s trying to STEAL MY THUNDER. How ANNOYING. I do like her style though... Might kill her last for that.”

    Dolmas cursed again, this time in relief, soon seeing the man rise up unharmed, but still rather indignant about what the mage had done to him. With an exhale he focused back on the fight at hand, but not before noting he would be having a talk with her later, if they made it out of this alive. What she had done could not go unchallenged. Soon, both sides of the madman returned their combined focus back on the task at hand, hoping that the others would soon be prepared to end this once and for all.
     
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    #40 CapObvious, Jan 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017

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