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Other OPEN [M] Dusklands [IC]

Started by PastelPhoenix July 29th, 2017 3:44 PM
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PastelPhoenix

A Princely Birb

Age 24
Male
Seen January 9th, 2019
Posted July 30th, 2018
387 posts
3.2 Years

Dusklands





The Caravan's first stop is the small town of Kalisz. Once a growing farming community, the Fall has Kalisz and many other towns dry. The population has severely decreased. be it from people leaving or death

Located in the south of Druica, bordering the forest making up the Stygyr Wilds, this border town was once blessed with the abundance of the nature. Now the woods that once invoked wonder and serenity impose fear, a looming giant playing host to various lycan packs and blightspawn..

Whether you're just now joining the caravan, or have been following them for some time, this is going to be your first stop in Druica. Time to make an impression.




Moon Phase:










Kalisz


The town of has been hit especially hard in recent years. Despite this, most are just trying to continue on, forgetting their situation in their work. Most of the townsfolk are farmers, with a town smith, innkeeper of the Blackstone Inn, and a few stores for necessity. The local lord has been missing since the fall, along with the protection his soldiers provided, and no one has taken his place. The town has a small militia to protect themselves, but untrained peasants aren't a match against the supernatural.

The people are especially happy to see a caravan coming through. It has been quite some time since the last one, and necessary supplies are running thin. The farms have also had some issues with production, and there are worries that the next harvest won't last them through the season.

Most of the people here are spiritual in some capacity, even if it isn't for traditional religion. Each landmark has a story here, and recently none of the omens have been good. They fear the Stygyr Wilds, for a very good reason. Even the townsfolk aren't sure what all in them, and many have been injured trying to hunt.


Sub Areas:

Kalisz Proper: The town itself is a loose collection of buildings, many some distance away due to the layouts of the farms. There is only one proper road in and out of the town, and the blacksmith, stores, and inn all flank this roadway. Most days the town is sleepy, people are at work on the farms or manning their businesses. Things kick up at night when the workers come to Blackstone for a drink, or on festival nights.

The Fields: Wheat and other hardy vegetables are grown in this town, being resilient to the low levels of Blight in the soil. Some farms have been abandoned and overgrown, patches of extremely high grass it is easy to get lost in. A few farmers have livestock that they keep close to the farms, and occasionally some of these animals end up dead.

The Baron's Manor: Located closer to the Stygyr Wilds, this dilapidated house is where the local lord once lived. Significantly larger than any other building in town, and largely reclaimed by nature. The house is next to a pond, stagnant water once beautiful and blue covered by a murky sheen. The Lord seemed to be paranoid, as many villagers have been hurt by old traps within the house and the surrounding areas.

The Stygyr Wilds: Darkness falls fast in the woods, and you'd need a strong sense of direction to avoid getting lost in the twisted trees. Claw scarred trees can be found wherever you look, marking territory of the competing lycan packs. The woods form the southern border of Druica, but trying to leave the country through here is most assuredly suicide.

The Local Countryside: Rolling plains and hills can be found to the north, along with small patches of woods. These hills and woods provide a good place for monsters to hide, out of sight from the town. One has to watch their back being out here alone, as the Blightspawn have started maintaining a larger presence here.








Local Problems

Lovell: The Road Ahead

"Bad news, right now we're stuck. The Blightspawn have several camps along the road, and they seem to be erecting some kind of barricade."

Local Blightspawn groups are preventing the caravan's passage. There exist several camps, each with varying force composition. While they pose a threat, they don't seem to terribly organized. Taking out a one camp shouldn't alert the others immediately. With a little work, all the camps can be cleared out, at least temporarily. Lovell is organizing a group to work their way through them, but any help is appreciated.


Katyr: The Thing Stalking the Fields

"
One of the villagers had a great little story. Apparently one of the abandoned fields has something living in it, and it's been killing livestock. Wait, that's not a nice story is it. Anyways, they think it's a demon, but doesn't sound like a demon I've very heard of."

A being has been picking off the local livestock in the middle of the night, leaving behind bloody remains and scorch marks. Few people have even seen it, but locals believe it some kind of demon. From the reports it doesn't sound like a demon, but more like a young Forest Drake.

Forest Drakes: These dragonlings are apex predators in their environment. Thankfully, their young is only about the size of a lioness. Thankfully. Drakes have a tough hide and spiked tail, as well as the ability to spit clouds of burning acid. Their wings are vestigial, used for gliding between trees as opposed to actual flying, but can still create a strong gust of wind.

Salis: Local History Lesson
"Houses like this were often turned into Blood Courts. The good news for this place is that the lord didn't turn to vampirism like so many others had. The bad news is because he was already neck deep in necromancy. He probably left behind some kind of journal, which is why the dead seem drawn to this place."

There have been several bands of the undead coming from nearby towns to the local manor. There hasn't been too many issues with them, as they tend to leave the town alone, but the fact they keep disappearing is worrying. Salis thinks the previous lord left several journals of his experiments hidden in the house, and publicly removing them should stop other up-and-coming necromancers from sending their goons to die in the traps.



Mydi: An Ounce of Prevention
"I don't think I've been this tired in a long time. So many of the townsfolk are injured from the werewolves, and many have come down with Moon Fever. These wolves have to be cleared out before they infect everyone in town, or worse, start turning people."

Infected lycan wounds are spreading Moon Fever, a minor form of curable lycantropy that causes severe pains, twitches, and fever under the moonlight. The woods have been a breeding ground for the curse for too long. Thinning their number a little should make them think twice about attacking villagers for a time.

As Always, these are not binding missions. Feel free to do whatever you want in town. These are just suggestions that I can come up with.








Players

Groc as Biff
Sephear as Buck Haversdale
Strange as Frey Bourges / Aurelia
Songbird as... Songbird
Murkmire as Morfan Cainsen
Me as Serafin Dzeidzic










Songbird

Is Unicorn a good girl?

Female
Seen 5 Hours Ago
Posted July 18th, 2018
513 posts
5.9 Years
Relaxing in Kalisz's Blackstone Inn, a young werewolf-turned-vampire was enjoying a cup of tea that her sister prepared, while the latter was speaking with the innkeeper regarding the Silver Hearth. Until she came back, Devon thought to keep up in her reading with a book that she'd gotten hold of. Maybe keep her mind off of blood. Couldn't be too difficult. Although when Connor returned, it wasn't with good news.

Devon set her tea back on the table and asked, “Didn't we kill plenty of those things last week in the woods outside of town?”

“These must be from another encampment,” Connor replied, “or maybe we just didn't kill enough. Nonetheless, there's so many that they're stopping the next caravan from leaving the area. Might have something to do with it.” The blightspawn were proving persistent pests; the sisters could have dealt with them much more easily if not for lesser lycans in the area getting too rowdy for their own good, with the Blightspawn cleared from the Wilds. No need to get lumped in with the flea-bitten trash, and certainly no need to risk meeting them.

Devon sighed in disappointment, nudging brown locks of hair back behind her ear. This wouldn't have been anything resembling a problem if they were a little closer to home. “I guess it's not like we can't still take care of them.” Neither of them really relied on their ability to transform; it was just faster, so all this was was a bigger waste of time. Connor was a skilled swordswoman thanks to the trainers at the manor, and Devon's interest in magic brought her to being the best mage in the family.

“Let's do what we can, at least. We need to leave town, too, and the sooner we get somewhere a little less conspicuous the better.” Devon poured Connor some of the tea that was still left in the kettle, heating it back up with her magic, the duo quietly listened to the hustle and bustle of the inn's first floor and the tavern adjacent. Hunters, warriors and mages were gathering from the area to combat the dual threats to Kalisz, and the staff were doing their damn near best to keep up with the food and drink. Finishing quickly, Devon and Connor agreed to leave before it was too crowded.

They stopped by the town's blacksmith on the way out, so Connor could pick up her sword—a two-handed longsword with a straight blade. Passing through Kalisz was mostly silent otherwise, the occasional band of heroes leaving to deal with the lycans in the forest to the south. The residents could have just been hiding, or maybe down with Moon Fever due to the rabid wolves. The miscellaneous market stalls were deserted, homes were closed up tight, and the active farms were barely attended, as though some kind of showdown was about to take place between an outlaw and justiciar. But it meant the dirt road out of town was clear.

Reaching the end of Kalisz, the living speed bumps were a little too easy to spot. They could get an idea of the number from over a mile out (answer: a lot), and their forces were coming out of the woodwork slowly but surely. “They're too organized,” Connor mentioned, taking a whiff of the air. “Even for gnolls. And they're nowhere close to the wolves' territory. We should find whatever's directing them.”

Getting a little closer, a few of the Blightspawn spotted the sisters, and started taunting them. Goblins. Diminutive little pissants, small enough to be confused with a human child... if that child had hilariously lanky arms, stubby legs, fuzzy cheeks and mohawks, and maybe somewhere between “throw-up green” and “excrement brown” skin. They weren't very amusing past the first few seconds of them wiggling their bums and lighting their farts on fire, but the two held off from engaging. Instead a sizable goblin group on the northern fringes of the roadblock was called away to the countryside, giving them something to work with.

“Leave no trace.” Devon's voice carried an ethereal undertone, and a fey glimmer shrouded their bodies and steps. It was how she focused, put a little extra oomph into her spells—not that she still needed it, but old habits die hard. And by the time those cocky spawn tried to investigate, they were already gone, following the squad's trail to one of their encampments.

On arrival, Kalisz no longer in sight, they witnessed not a chain of command in that crudely-structured camp, but a civil dispute with a beast more stubborn than a mule and far less capable of coherent thought. A creature raging on through cheap militarized tents and barracks, swinging its arms into the poorly placed logs that made up the camp's fences, and reaching for the hyena-like gnoll archers that were perched on flimsy towers and suspended platforms in its escape to the front “gate”. On the receiving end of its temper tantrum were the Blightspawn fighting back to suppress it. Not enough to fill out the entire camp by far, but they guessed somewhere around a hundred goblins, and plenty of gnolls to command them.

An absurdly large monster with a strongman's wet dream in muscle, leathery skin you could use to make the best satchels on the planet, spikes of varying sizes on its arms, back and legs, and a face almost as punchable as Ajit Pai's, the ogre was a truly deplorable creature that even the other Blightspawn avoided if they weren't stupid enough to capture them. But it was loose, shattered chains dangling from its limbs, fighting in the dead center of camp, and its “prison” in the back was completely destroyed.

Devon and Connor broke from their stealth, its maintenance unnecessary when all possible opposition was fighting another, and they were unlikely to care until the ogre was dead. Better that it die before it slaughtered everything and escaped. There weren't any trolls in the camp, though; they must have been located elsewhere. They came up with a hasty plan, then Connor moved in, brandishing her blade from her back. The gnoll archers in charge weren't as dumb as the rest—the enemy of my enemy is my friend—so they kept the troops on target.

The younger was happy about that; no wasted energy on messing with their heads. “Shackles of the earth, drag them down,” she commanded. Devon raised her palm to the ogre, her arm cloaked by a circling green glow as chain links formed between her fingers. She clenched her hand into a fist, and the chains extended into the dirt below, sneaking through the ground until they surrounded the ogre's location. When Devon felt them close in, she pulled upward on the links in her hand, six massive chains breaking the ground and erupting from beneath its feet, wrapping around its arms, legs and chest. It didn't do exactly as desired—couldn't bring it down in full—but the chains held taut around its entire body were enough to immobilize it.

To be honest, they'd never seen an ogre in person, only in books, so Connor was following the archers' aim at the back of the knees. As soon as Devon managed to lock up the ogre's flailing arms Connor maneuvered through a mass of wild bodies to land a clear hit. The goblins in the camp were hardly any more help than fodder, jumping at its upper body and throwing their primitive magic every which way. One special idiot latched onto its shoulders and cackled trying to ride it, getting blown away by a stray fireball. Connor got in behind the beast and shoved her sword through its skin. A kick of its leg threw her further into the camp, the resulting impact demolishing a hacked-together commander's shack, accompanied by a helping of its muddy brown blood. It didn't even flinch.

Devon let her shackles crumble immediately, using her heightened senses to heal Connor's ribs without missing a beat, then went back to slowing down the monster when she was back on her feet. To increase her own strength a little more, Connor channelled her wolf's power into her arms and legs, joining the fight again as the ogre finally bent down in pain from continued arrow piercings in its knees.

The goblin mages proved useful by then, weakening its hide with the endless barrage of fire across its body. Connor leapt over its head, taking her sword through its brow and along its ugly mug in one smooth motion, yet even missing half of its non-existent brain wasn't enough to kill the damn thing. They counted themselves more than lucky that the Blightspawn had been the only subjects of its ire thus far, hoping to be able to kill it before they were the only two left.

The fight continued with Connor and even the archers using the ever-suicidal goblin troops as unwitting meat shields for the ogre's ridiculously short attention span. As the numbers dwindled Devon felt it more and more difficult to stay on her feet, using her magic to keep rejuvenating those who were left, even the Blightspawn, not sure if she was actually helping them. She was more drained than usual, but as long as Connor could still have the stamina to fight. She could keep going, power through the fatigue. Bleed the monster, until there wasn't a drop left in its body.

For two hours the ogre smashed whatever structures were standing, bashed in skulls—generally just stomped and hit the ground in anger when it couldn't reach something smashable—but had no time to apply for a comfy guard position in a walled city. The camp was positively razed; it wouldn't have even been recognizable if it didn't already look as bad before the ogre broke loose. There was blood everywhere, thankfully very little of it Connor's, and Devon had managed to spend the majority of the fight on the outskirts, though she looked even more ragged.

Having expended the last of their energy, the goblin mages had little left to offer beyond a lit fart, but they did an incredible amount of damage for missing over half the shots they took, so they were commanded to retreat—to where, nobody knew when there was nothing to retreat to. There were no tough spots left on the ogre's charred skin, its head wound seared shut. The archers made it exceedingly difficult to keep stomping about, and the sisters had cut one of its arms clean off, but it still didn't die. One by one, step by step, the walking wall made its way toward the archers at the edge of camp, the furry bowmen injured themselves from stepping over so much snapped wood. Devon used her chains again to trip the beast, the ogre falling forward into a busted tent. Connor rushed at it from behind, jumping and driving her sword once more into its body, directly into its spine and where she hoped its heart was.

Dying with an unceremonious groan, as exhausted by the fight as the rest, the most powerful species of Blightspawn was slain by a pair of werewolves working with gnolls and goblins. Out of the entire encampment, only a few very fortunate were alive. They didn't, weren't going to attack the women who just saved their asses, they couldn't have been that dumb unless they wanted so desperately to die. The archers dropped their bows, and went to salvage the tools of their fallen brethren while Connor pulled her sword from the ogre, regrouping with her sister past the border of the devastation. Devon cleaned Connor of the dirt and ogre blood so neither felt like vomiting, though some of her smaller injuries remained. Nothing her natural healing couldn't fix.

“Come on.” Connor knelt down next to Devon to carry her on her back. “We need to see if the caravan's made it to town and pack up. Someone else can deal with the leftovers if they want.”

Devon used the strength she had left in her legs to climb on. That smell, so close. Too close. She couldn't get it out of her nose, her head. Her head was pounding, like her brain was in a vise. She was too tired, she could barely move. I can't bite her, not now. She opened her mouth to yawn, nearly bit her own lip. I can't. It has to wait. Rest. She's warm. I need to rest. Ignore the smell, ignore the wound. Devon let herself slip slowly from her consciousness, wrapped her arms more closely over Connor's shoulders, and closed her eyes to dreams and memories.

Spoiler:
Gnolls, goblins and trolls, oh my! Beasts ahead and more behind, and there were likely to be many more hiding in the trees that dotted the Stygyr Wilds. Had he truly felt the land so stagnant that he was putting his life at risk to keep things interesting?

Yes. Yes he did, and yes he was. He'd been alive for centuries now, and nothing's changed. He'd long since left his castle and his counts, he's seen all that Druica had to offer since the Fall, and nothing new was coming along, so having some semblance of adrenaline was the only thing really keeping him going. Well, that and blood. Lots of blood. Probably the only thing to assuage his tedium at this point would be the Crawling Chaos propositioning him. He also could have been going crazy, but he wasn't about to indulge that train of thought.

Blasting and dodging his way through numbers of suicidal blightspawn for the sake of fun, the vampire discovered that he wasn't the only one killing that night. Looking to the sound of a bloodcurdling (not his blood, of course) howl, there were two wolves, large and bipedal, the fur on their forelegs matted with blood. He watched them for a short time, letting his magic hide him from the blight so he could. They had a very conscious presence between them; capable of adapting and thinking in advance; proper communication. The only thing beastial about them was when they struck. The fur-covered hide of a troll was little challenge for the coordination they had, and it couldn't recover from its heart being torn from its chest. The wolves were family, judging by the odd eyes they shared—the right blue, the left gold, glowing vibrant in the moonlit night where little could be so clearly seen—and seemed to feel quite at home running through a thick wood such as this. But they weren't locals; no hesitation intruding on the territory of multiple lycan packs.

When was the last time he saw a lycanthrope, much less two, that had some semblance of sapient foresight and teamwork? Many years, to be sure, and for good reason. They were fearsome, brutal creatures constantly at risk of losing their sanity to the primal urges of the wolf lurking inside their hearts, and the few sane ones were impossible to find among society if they weren't caught mid-transformation. That he was blessed to find even one, a plan cropped up in the back of his mind. A spark to ignite the fire in his belly anew.

Hopefully his plan included living to see the result, as well.

“A dash of ice, cold and glittering to catch the eyes, should do the trick.” The wolves split, taking separate targets as the magic gathered in his hand. A mild pelting of hailstones were fired from his hand, threading a needle through the trees, striking the closer of the two clean in the shoulder. A goblin betwixt its claws, it threw the little pest aside, and came rushing for him on all four legs. “That's it, just like that. I'm just another target.”

A hardening spell to reduce the damage, but he ultimately stood there and took the lycan on face to face. He didn't fight back, only raising his arm to hold back its claws and teeth. “You're quite vicious, aren't you? That's good. My blood is boiling, I love it!” he taunted, soon getting shoved to the ground, his magic armor broken through. Skin tore, and blood spurt beside screams of a masochistic pain. It got on his already-bloodied blond hair, some of it in his eyes, on his clothes, but most got in the wolf's mouth. It released his arm in no time, clearly finding his blood not to its taste, and though it hacked and shook, it met his eyes with its own in fury, briefly turned from their mismatched blue and gold to a singular shining scarlet.

Its front leg pressed against his ribs, his test subject hesitant to tear him apart with its teeth again; but he was smiling, his plan a success. With the unexpected aid of the blightspawn remaining in the area, they pulled the wolf's aggression to themselves once more, and he was released from what would have certainly been a most gruesome end.

He laid still, using his magic to hide himself from the battle's still-living participants, and upon the wolves' departure, the man sighed and commented, “I'll admit, I didn't expect it to take. I'll have to keep an eye out for them in the future.... Ahh, if I can find something to eat first.” He rolled his head to one side, the bodies of blightspawn littering the ground, seconds later sitting back up and finishing his monologue, “No talking to the dead this time. I've got places to be.”




“Just bite down already!”

“Eagh!” Dammit, she broke free. “No!”

“Stop acting like a child! You can barely stand!”

“It's not that bad! I'm fine, see!” Devon moved across the room, demonstrating a handstand near the window. While she managed to pull it off without hassle, she struggled to regain her footing when she finished, and used the bedside nightstand to balance herself.

It had been nearly a week since the pair had first gotten caught up in a deranged vampire lord's shenanigans during a hunt, evidently driven mad by an immortal's boredom. Connor left unscathed, but her sister was given a troublesome hunger that she refused as of yet to sate. Unfortunately, much like the bloody fate they were born with, a newly-acquired taste for blood was not to be so easily purged. More than that, they weren't about to find a suitable donor, and Devon was too soft-hearted to want to victimize someone—according to books in the manor back home, most vampires fed quite savagely on the unwilling, bad enough that they already needed self-control on par with a saint to not be guilty of a massacre.

So, having no intention of letting her sister starve herself to death (or go wild trying), Connor decided to take Devon's health into her own hands. Or veins, as it were. Devon was expectedly uncooperative, but far weaker than she should have been; and for the last fifteen minutes the elder of the two had pulled off most of her nightgown trying to get Devon to bite into her arm or neck, to no avail.

“I can go at least a couple more days, really!”

“I'm not letting you wait any longer!” A little spring in her step took Connor clear over the bed. Devon moved go around, but Connor snagged her shoulder and threw her onto the sheets, a startling thud rumbling through the inn. “You won't find anyone else, so I'm going to make you take mine whether you like it or not.”

Connor pinned her at the arms and legs to ensure there was no way to throw her off or slip away, wincing as she pierced her own tongue with her teeth to draw the necessary blood, and forced Devon to drink.

MurkMire

Toxic Terror

Age 27
Male
Somewhere dark, cold, and quiet.
Seen 4 Weeks Ago
Posted April 10th, 2019
863 posts
7.7 Years



Morfran quietly walked down the streets of Kalisz, reading a map of the local area. His sights were immediately set on the abandonded manor. It is rumored that a necrotic power lies there, the reason why countless undead visit this manor. However, with such a number of undead turning up, so too that many disappear. Any rumors on necrotic magic, or eldritch knowledge, is just enough reason for Morfran to take interest.

"If I'm to expand my power, I need to investigate the manor. But, I must gather more information," Morfran thought this to himself, as he tucked away the map into his robe. His emerald eyes flicked back and forth, observing the people of Kalisz. That was until he eyed the Blackstone Inn, a humble inn. Such places are always owned by someone who knows the town very well.

He walked in, and avoided eye contact with the two sisters who rushed by him. Morfran wasn't feeling very sociable, and wanted to make this visit quick. Who knows who else could be targeting the manor. And even worse, someone of holy descent might intend to destroy whatever was inside the manor.

He walked up to the counter, and asked cooly, "Excuse me. What can you tell me about the abandoned manor, now crawling with undead?" The owner, old and terribly busy, looked around. He gave Morfran a nod, and said, "So, you must be with the caravan, eh? Whatever it'll take to get rid of the mess in and NEAR this place, I'll tell ya. The place was owned by the Baron, the one who used to run things 'round 'ere. He was a very paranoid fella. Anyone that came up unnannounced... well, they died. Countless traps inside the place... I'd be extra careful, Elf. That's all I got for ya."

The innkeeper turned and left to help the staff. Just as he did, Morfran followed suit, and left the inn. Morfran looked over at the empty roads, and began to follow the path that led to the manor.

He noticed that all the stalls, all the other buildings that once had frequent visitors, now only a Blight invasion away from becoming a ghost town. But for Morfran, he could make his own supplies. He would refuse to eat, anyway. At least until it was vitally necessary.

Some Blightspawn, however, noticed the lone elf walking towards the manor. They decided to follow, and get the jump on him.

After several minutes of walking, Morfran could hear echoed steps in the dirt behind him, a group of small feet. He stopped, and immediately turned to see a group of mere goblins, all with daggers unsheathed. Obviously, they were with the Blightspawn encampment, but felt like trying to kill the lone elf for fun. Morfran glared at the gang of Goblins, and decided to be generous with them, calling out to them with, "If you intend to slay me, you're in my way. I'm giving you the option to turn back, or I will attack, and mercilessly kill you."

The goblins only could laugh uncontrollably, mocking the elf. Shortly after... one goblin jumped towards Morfran.

Extending a hand, Morfran called out, "Acid splash." A large, putrid green bubble had formed in front of him. The goblin halted his attack, but Morfran released the bubble. "Die, wretched spawn." The bubble popped upon contact with the large nosed Goblin, covering him in searing acid. "AAGGGHHH!!!" It yelped out in pain, rolling in the dirt as the acid ate away at his flesh. "Raaahh! We'll skin you alive, pretty boy! Get him!" Two other Goblins tried to rush him, but Morfran raised both arms, and called out, "Poe Reprise." Two violet flames flicked to life, and flew at the assailants. They, too, screamed in pain. The flames did not disperse as they rolled across the dirt, no matter how desperately they rolled.

The last Goblin growled, and yelled out, "Ohh, a magic caster! I killed plenty of your kind, what's another little worm?" He quickly dashed, and cut through Morfran's side, causing blood to flow out of him. Morfran stumbled, and fell on one knee. The Goblin remaining stood up, and walked around the wounded elf, laughing at him, taunting him. He stopped in front of him, and took the edge of his dagger to Morfran's neck.

Whispering into his ear, the Goblin threatened, "Hehehe... I'm gonna kill ya slowly, ya damned el-" Before the Goblin could finish his sentence, Morfran forcefully grabbed the Goblin's face, and called out with "Soul Drain." The Goblin shook and writhed in place, his very being was dying. His life energy was seeping into Morfran's body, the blood began to flow less and less, the wound beginning to heal on it's own. The Goblin falling apart, until Morfran began to stand over the Blightspawn, turning him into a wrinkled, green husk.

The other Goblins fell silent, dead in the dirt. The Poe flames quietly flickered away, leaving only two piles of ashes. And the acid began to dissipate, leaving the first Goblin into a melted mess of decayed flesh, meat and bone. Morfran sneered, and said, "Anyone who dares get in my way will face a horrible death... just as you have." He looked down at the last Goblin, as it gasped for air one last time, before dying with his comrades.

Morfran then walked past the corpses, continuing his way to the manor. He looked down to see a scar, well healed from the Soul Drain he had cast on the Goblin. He scoffed, and put the thought of the blightspawn behind him. He would be after the other Blightspawn after he completed his primary task. Still, he did not slow, nor stop. Time was of the essence.

The manor had come into sight, standing tall, and decrepit. And just as the rumors said, countless numbers of the undead just seemed to pile at the door, blocking the way. Morfran sighed, and thought about his next action. His poison spells could cut down a number of the undead, but he was still at a disadvantage. The undead even seemed to surrouned the estate, presenting a seemingly impossible way inside alone. Or at the very least, a diversion.

Godzil

Dapper bowler hat

Age 28
Male
Arizona, USA
Seen 47 Minutes Ago
Posted 14 Hours Ago
Upon arriving at Kalisz, everyone in the caravan had gone to do their own thing. Some went looking for jobs, some went to go get supplies, and some just wanted a reprieve from the monotony. For Biff, all three could be found at the tavern, so that's where he went. Seeing the wretched condition of the town was a bit of a downer, and the frightened stares he received from the townsfolk were disheartening, but not unfamiliar. He perked up a little at the sight of the tavern, checking his pockets for coins. He had a few left, and decided to make the best of them.

Just remember, those coins are all we have left. Coach's voice whispered in his head. "Don't worry, I won't spend it all. Just wanna have a little fun while I'm here." Coach just sighed, while a man on the street looked at Biff in confusion.

Biff pushed through the door, ducking slightly to avoid hitting his head as he entered. The tavern went quiet for a moment (not that it was very loud to begin with), but Biff ignored the looks he got with practiced indifference. He slapped one massive hand on the counter, leaving behind two slightly tarnished coins. "I want the strongest thing and the warmest thing those can afford!" He said with a grin. The bartender looked him over, a sly grin creeping onto his face. "Very well, sir. Coming right up." He somehow managed to make it sound insulting, but Biff didn't catch on to that.

The other patrons muttered amongst themselves, but Biff wasn't listening to them. Half the time, it wasn't about him, and half the time it was about him, it wasn't anything good. Besides, if anyone said anything interesting, Coach would pick up on it. Biff gingerly sat down in a chair, which groaned under his weight, but held. The bartender soon came back with two mugs, which he wordlessly left at Biff's table. Biff sniffed at them in confusion. Ah, yes, Coach snarked, warm beer and vinegar. Truly, money well spent.

Not one to waste food, Biff gulped down the beer first. It wasn't great, but he'd had worse. The vinegar wasn't bad either. It had a bit of burn to it, and Biff pretended he was drinking fine wine, like some kind of nobleman. Don't look now, but I think one of our travel companions just came in. Biff tried very hard not to look, but he was really curious. "Which one is it?" He whispered, staring at the wall. "Is it one that doesn't like me?"

Again, Coach sighed. None of them like you. You can look, you buffoon. "But you said-" I know what I said, it was a figure of speech! Biff stared at the wall some more, with no idea what that meant. He saw the shadows in the room get darker, felt a chill in his chest, and could hear Coach growl in frustration. Then Coach sighed in resignation, and the darkness and chill faded. Nevermind. It was the Elf in the dark robes. He's gone now. Biff perked up at that. "Oh! That's Morf! He don't eat much, what was he doin' here?" I didn't hear. Do you want to follow him? Coach sounded weary already, and Biff actually gave it a thought.

"I don't know, he's probably busy... but he never has time to hang out with us on the caravan, so this might be our only chance to do somethin' together! Let's go!" Biff pushed himself from the chair, which cracked under the pressure. All eyes were on him, but he was already out the door before anyone could say anything. He looked around when he got outside, but didn't see any trace of Morfran. This way... Coach gently tugged, making Biff's arm move slightly in the direction of the old manor. The movement made Biff shudder, and he swatted at his arm as if to drive away flies, but he followed Coach's lead.

After several minutes of walking, Biff stumbled upon the grisly aftermath of the Goblin ambush. Ash piles, a husk, and a puddle of goo were all that remained. The work of our "friend", no doubt. At least we're on the right path. "Yeah. Let's hurry before he has all the fun without us!" Biff took off running, getting excited at the prospect of fighting Blightspawn. So when the manor came into view, surrounded by zombies and skeletons, he was initially disappointed, but consoled himself by looking at the sheer number of things he could re-dead.

Without slowing, he charged right at the manor door, plowing through a group of skeletons and scattering their bones. He grabbed a zombie by the face as he ran, dragging it along before smashing its head against the manor wall. "Sorry about that! Just getting rid of some dead weight!" The undead payed no attention to his pun, but Biff had their attention nonetheless. He grinned, delivering a vicious backhand to a zombie that staggered forward, knocking it to the ground. It got back up as several others stumbled toward Biff.

Don't bother trying to punch out a corpse. Shadows swirled around Biff's hands, forming blackish-purple claws on his fingers. I recommend dissection! The smaller the pieces, the better! Biff slashed at a zombie as it lunged for him, slicing off its arm. The severed limb twitched as it hit the ground, then lay still. With another swipe, he removed the zombie's head, kicking away the lifeless body. He grabbed two skeletons, smashing them together and sending bones flying. A zombie grabbed him from behind, chomping down on his forearm. Another zombie stumbled forward, biting his other hand.

Biff laughed as he raised his arms, lifting the zombies off the ground. "Is that all you got?!" He held his arms out and spun in a circle, using the dangling zombies as flails to clear a space around himself. He raised his hand to his face, biting the attached zombie's neck and ripping out its throat, causing it to release him as it died. He threw himself back toward the manor, throwing out his arm and crushing the other attached zombie's head against the wall. The horde started closing in again, the faster skeletons raking Biff's flesh with their bony fingers, but falling to pieces under his mighty fists. The zombies were slower, but tougher, requiring him to slice them apart with his shadow claws.

Biff saw an opening, with only a zombie and a skeleton blocking his way back to the road. The shadows on his hands swirled and moved, forming a floating fist by his head. He charged forward, the shadow fist punching the skeleton and reducing its skull to dust before fading away. At the same time, he dove onto the zombie, knocking it to the ground with a spear tackle. He rolled as he hit the ground, throwing the zombie and breaking its spine on a hunk of wall. He was already up and running, stopping only to crush its head under his boot. The horde was scattered, but he had managed to take out about a third of them with his little skirmish. With some distance between them, the undead seemed more interested in the manor than Biff.

Biff took a moment to catch his breath, taking stock of his injuries. They were numerous, but minor. Now might be a good time for you to get angry. Coach whispered, but Biff just grinned, spitting out blood. "Naw... this is just getting fun! Round Two, baby!"

Strange

Age 19
Male
Everywhere at the same time
Seen September 27th, 2017
Posted September 9th, 2017


Aurelia



[progress-red=15]Blood Level[/progress-red]
[progress=40]Mana[/progress]

The vampire stared unblinking at the beast in front of her, fangs bared as she feared for her life. Suddenly, the werewolf grinned a sharp toothy smile, and began to shrink back into his human form. The woman now stared at a beautiful and strong man who stood tall in front of her, seemingly unfazed by his lack of clot-

“What’cha readin’ dolly?” a raspy voice spoke, interrupting Aurelia’s book.

“N-nothing!” she stuttered, slamming it shut and quickly fumbling it back into her bag.

“O-hoho” the man grinned as she went red. He leaned on the table in front of her and gave her a smile, showing his crooked yellow teeth. “If you’d like, I coul’ show you a thang or two, insteah of jus’ reading ‘bout it in dat dere book.” he winked at her, closing a bloodshot eye. She recoiled at the smell of alcohol on his breath and the odor of his body being so close. He, however, didn’t notice her subtle hint that she wasn’t interested and continued to press closer.

“Wha’s a pretty thin’ like you doin’ all lone ere?” he questioned, pressing his face inches from her face. She had gone as far back as her chair had allowed without falling over, but the man was blissfully unaware of her rejection of his advances. She began to shake slightly in fear. “You seem deh be shakin’ dere girlie. You need eh stron’ man to warm yer up, I reckon.” he grabbed her waist with his grubby hands, and Aurelia looked around for help, seeing that the rest of the tavern was so rowdy nobody had noticed her predicament.

Just as the man pressed close enough to be considered indecent even for married men to do to their wives in public, Aurelia set her hand onto the man’s cheek in a romantic sort of way. “I ‘new you’d come ‘round.” he whispered.

“No.” she said sternly, suddenly enveloping his face with flame. He screamed, finally attracting the attention of the rest of the tavern, clawing at his face as his flesh began to scorch and melt. A few men began to cheer, and soon the entire tavern was in an uproar, eager to see what would become of the fight. When the flames ceased burning off the man’s facial hair he contorted his face in a sneer and threw a punch at Aurelia.

“YOU WITCH!” he bellowed, as she ducked the punch and let loose another flaming bolt to his side. The tavern erupted into a cheer as the bolt collided with its target, causing the man to howl in pain and pat his side until the flames extinguished. He lunged at Aurelia, and just managed to grasp her, wrapping his sweaty arms around her shoulders. She smiled, and his face filled with confusion for a second as the crowd began to laugh. Then, a warmth began to grow in his lower regions, and he realized that he left her hands hovering near a sensitive spot.

He screeched loudly as he slapped himself between the legs, grabbing at people’s tables as they pulled their drinks out of his reach. “HELP ME!” he gasped between screams, reduced to a crawl as the flames licked at his pants. Aurelia gathered her belongings slowly and then began to walk towards the exit, stopping only briefly to kick the man in the gut before walking out the door.

It took a little searching but she eventually found a nice shady spot to sit and read that was out of the way enough that people didn’t pay her any attention while walking down the road. She picked off back where she left off, pressing her nose into the book as she scanned the pages.

[i] The man’s auburn hair ran down the length of his body and Celestiana stared in awe of the handsome werewolf before her. He swept her off her feet, holding her close as he carried her away into the forest. She stared up into his blue eyes as they-[/s]

“And I SWEAR I saw it Fred! It was tearing into one of my cows before it scampered back into the woods!” a man animatedly waved his hands as he mimicked a beast tearing into a cow.

“Sounds like one ‘o dem wolfies to me. Furry good-fer-nohtin flea-bags!” the second man grumbled.

“Yeah! Man are they terrifying. Teeth as big as knives! And I was THIS FAR away!” the other man held out his arms a few feet apart.

Werewolves? Aurelia was suddenly interested. She closed her book carefully and followed these men, listening from a distance as not to let them know they were being followed.

“Yeh yeh yeh, you said that last time and it just turned out to be a normal wolf. Poor thing was torn apart before the mob let the priest identify it.”

“Well how was I supposed to know?”

Aurelia sighed. Looks like her search for a man like the one in her books was going to take a while. She decided to go back to her spot and start reading again. At least she could still lose herself in her book.

When she turned around to head back she slammed into someone and landed spread-eagle on the ground. She groaned and looked up to find the man from earlier grinning at her, a scary hunger in his eyes. “So, yer like werewolves huh? Well, hows about I take yeh to my brothers and we can have some fun?” he grinned his yellow toothy smile, his newly scorched face contorting in a terrifying way. “We’re wolves yeh see? Feral as teh come.”

He grabbed onto her arm and hauled her back up onto her feet, and then dragged her forward with him. “Stop it!” she squeaked, squirming against his grip. “STOP!” He ignored her and kept pulling on her wrist.

She thought about hitting him with another fireball, but then realized she was extremely weak from a lack of blood. The fire sputtered slightly but failed to blaze to life. She cringed, then threw her free hand at the man’s head, balled into a tight fist. The man wasn’t expecting her to fight back physically, and let go of her arm in surprise.

She flung herself at him, reverting slightly to her vampiric form, growing more leathery skin and clawed fingers, as she shoved him down into an alleyway where nobody would see. She hit the man in the head again, this time knocking him out. Blood ran from his nose and his face was slightly pale as he lay there, still.

Aurelia began to cry. She hadn’t meant for it to escalate like this, but the man had caught her on a bad day. She hadn’t had blood in nearly a month, and it was beginning to cause her to grow more aggressive with hunger. She bent over the man and plugged her nose, puncturing his neck with her fangs and drawing his warm blood into her system. She recoiled slightly. His blood tasted as foul as he smelled.

After sucking down enough that she was ready to vomit from the taste, she pressed her finger onto his forehead. Her finger glowed with an unnatural light, the man’s brain glowing through his skull, and his memories of the last few hours were locked away out of his perception. When he wakes up he won’t have any clue how he got into the alley. Although he’ll more than likely attribute it to a hangover. He was pretty drunk, or appeared so to Aurelia.

She shook with fear as she peeked out of the alleyway. Nobody was around. She snuck out into the street quickly and began to walk ‘casually’ away from the site of her assault, hunger sated with the blood of a particularly foul werewolf.

[progress-red=35]Blood Level[/progress-red]
[progress=20]Mana[/progress]

Age 99
Non-binary
Seen October 29th, 2018
Posted October 29th, 2018
240 posts
3.1 Years
CARDIAM
Shirley, you jest.

The unkempt turfs nettled Shirley's movement and vision. The scent of seared sods that he saw acres away lingered and notably obscured the spoors of other beings, and this made traversing the fields an even more troublesome task; what was meant to be a trivial expedition was elongated into an unnecessary ordeal. And the tireless swashbuckler saw the village's lack of resolution against tribulation followed by their eagerness to forfeit the majority of their own plantations as an abhorrent display of cowardice.

Shirley's motivation to aid the settlement did not derive from selfless courage, but rather his was driven by curiosity and a compulsion to conquer the unknown. He overlooked the more prevalent threat of the Blightspawn—as such a humdrum task felt it befitted commoners—in favor of heeding to this particular rumor of a demon that preyed upon the village's livestock and branded the turfs with its hellish fire. The depictions of the predator were predictably vague, with only a few speculating it to be of draconic nature.

Shirley ventured the opposite direction of the village's militia. He roamed through thickets of unattended grass instead of sensibly walking around as he thought it could save time. He soon realized his poor judgment after having the stench of loam lingering around him for too long. After spending a considerable amount of time aimlessly wandering, he eventually made his way to one of the abandoned establishments scattered across the paddocks around Kalisz. The area was dim so Shirley drew out his orb to illuminate some of the gloom that seemed to be creeping from farther down south.

Before entering the cabin he discovered, Shirley exposed his nose to the elements and dedicated a moment to trace any whiffs that could help pinpoint the town's mischief maker; he wasn't familiar with the musk produced by a draconic beast, so anything foreign that stood out among the earthly smell surrounding the wanderer would have sufficed. Instead, he picked on something he did not anticipate to find out here in the open; the blood of living meat. Lured by the scent, the lycan stumbled into the wooden hut.

Inside, Shirley met with furnishings in discordant arrangements typically belonging to homes. Though the sight was mundane, the ubiquitous silence and stillness felt too deliberate, and thus it drew his suspicions on edge. The orb in Shirley's grasp which failed to effectively lit the interior signified that there was nothing unholy lurking inside—though he was aware this did not immediately ruled out the potential threat. Still, the wayfarer refused to allow himself to feel uneasy, as he just couldn't justify a proper excuse to tread this situation too warily.

He crudely explored every inch within the establishment, feverishly fixating on that metallic fragrance. The blood was smeared against numerous objects and dripped across the floor, but after expending an adequate amount of effort, Shirley discovered a doe-eyed tot who was covered in lacerations and was curled up behind an empty bookshelf.

At first, Shirley stood as silent and still as the girl. This child displayed a countenance of exhaustion and her rags were bloodied, presumably her own. Those wounds made it seemed as though this girl had recently escaped from predators, particularly with large claws given the marks. Her eyes were widened from fear and desperation, and it was evident she had not a lot of time to rest. The most notable feature she exhibited was a green ribbon wrapped around her left wrist.

At first, the child didn't present any significance to Shirley. It was likely this was just some vagrant who was attacked by bandits or a ghoulish Blightspawn, and there was no real incentive to involve himself with her own affairs. But something about that helpless expression irked Shirley, and the exaggeration prompted him to intervene so the girl would cease. He drew closer and knelt before this youth, in his own clumsy attempt to assure the ankle-biter of his presence.

"What is a child doing here?" Shirley posed intently to break silence, "This is far out from the village. Are you from Kalisz?"

Before Shirley could receive a formal response, he noticed an object in the girl's tightened grips. Most of its features were obscured in the dark, but the edges were sharp and the child was careful enough to rest the flat surface close to her chest. Upon realizing the distance between the two of them, Shirley realized he was well within the critical range of the girl's poorly concealed weapon.

"Let's not be hasty here, little one," Shirley callously demanded for the girl to regain her composure. Though the weapon itself was alarming, Shirley refused to anticipate any actual threat from this mere tot—he seldom respected adult humans in actual battle—and reached out for the girl to disarm him. Surely this girl wasn't inane enough to tussle with someone much bigger than her, especially in such a flimsy state. But just as his hand was only a finger away from the girl's arms, the stripling pounced and aimed for Shirley's chest with her weapon.

The shrouded lycan lost balance from the impact, and he tumbled backwards. He witnessed the girl galloping past him like some hysterical creature, before exiting through the door and vanishing to the outside. He grimaced at his new wound and grasped the discolored knife stuck in his left shoulder—the blow was uncomfortably too close to his beating heart. He felt both abashed and livid that he nearly met his fate under the hands of something so pathetically delicate, and she was injured no less!

"Stupid, wretched urchin...!" he cursed the girl under his breath, among producing other profanities. After removing the knife,—accidentally ripping a bit of his own cloak—the lycan stood up and quickly stormed out of the cabin, vengefully pursuing the girl who had the gall to attack him. He tried to sniff for the scent of her seeping blood, but the outside was saturated in that loamy smell. She couldn't have gone far, Shirley thought to himself as he ventured back onto the vast fields for his search.

Contingent
Shirley

Whereabouts
Kalisz, southern fields

Equipment
Shirley
Spoiler:
~ Carrying a strange orb that continuously emanates a dim light in his possession. Its radiance grows brighter in the presence of the undead.

~ Armed with a simple short sword and a bronze buckler; both are concealed neatly beneath a dark shroud which currently obscures his face.

~Shirley found one rusty knife.


Synopsis
Spoiler:
~Shirley got lost while trying to find the baby Forest Drake.

~Shirley entered an abandoned cabin.

~Shirley encountered an injured girl.

~Mistaking Shirley as a monster, the girl attacked Shirley with a rusty knife before fleeing.

~Shirley is most likely inflicted with tetanus.

~A lot of progress was made.

---

Sephear

Believe in the you that believes in cheese

Age 25
Male
Nevada...ugh
Seen 3 Weeks Ago
Posted 3 Weeks Ago
1,284 posts
8.2 Years


Buck Haversdale & Serafin Dzeidzic: A Two-Way Hunt pt. I



The sight outside the medical station was a strange one for the people of Kalisz. Most people in the small town had only ever seen one Tiefling, and not for long. Most who ventured to Druica did so from other, more northern regions. Now, however, there were two. These two were also arguing, shattering some of the more outlandish claims that all Tieflings were part of a grand conspiracy popular among the young folk.

"Come on woman," Serafin said, holding his tail. "I just need a small bandage!"

"This is the third time in a many days." The doctor, Mydi, didn't even look up from her work with another patient, mixing all kinds of herbs together in a large bowl. "What happened this time, really?"

"I told you, I was stocking. Some villager came in with a box, thought I was a demon, and dropped it. The box contained glass, and that glass cut into my tail. I'm bleeding if you haven't noticed!"

Before the argument could progress any further both tieflings heard a unique, but already familiar pattern of metallic clunking. Buck Haversdale - the caravan's resident paladin strode slowly over to the medical station and plunked on the ground right next to it. The stoic warrior made surprisingly little noise when he moved about despite wearing full plate, making it clear to someone of Serafin's experience that he'd spent years getting used to moving around in such attire. Today that very armor was covered in small dents and scratches thanks to Buck volunteering to be the caravan's rear guard when it made its way to Kalisz earlier.

"You're already banged up too?" Mydi questioned the paladin, who took a few seconds to breathe before answering.

"I'm always gettin' banged up on this journey." Buck answered, not bothering with the pretense of the 'proper speech' someone would expect a warrior of his homeland to adopt. "At least you don't have to waste any of your supplies here."

"What would really be a big help is if you stayed around to help treat the wounded so I could worry more about the sick." She jabbed.

There was a moment of silence before Buck, seeming to have recovered his energy, stood up. "I gladly will when things calm down, but my duty is first to protect people from becoming wounded in the first place before I treat them." Seemingly having nothing further to say, Buck took a step closer to the other Tiefling and addressed him instead. "What's the matter with you? Tail? Anything else?"

"I mean, not really," Serafin said in response, giving a quick look over of the Paladin. "I mean, I'm a Tiefling, but can't really change that, can I?"

He felt under-dressed and under-prepared in Buck's company. The simple leather and chain he possessed was nothing compared to the protectiveness of Buck's full suit. At least his sword was up to par with Buck, being the only thing in his possession that outshone the paladin's gear.

The pained groans of the townsman lying on the cot reminded him of just where he was. As it stood, two fully armored men in the middle of a medical ward was probably complicating things for Mydi. Every now and then she sneaked a glare at Serafin, both for bleeding on her floor and taking up her space.

"Look, you and I both have better things to do Mydi." If pleading wouldn't work, he would bargain with her. "Just a little bandage, and then I'll get out of your head, and then be on my merry way. Hells, I'll even try to clear out some of those mutts for you."

"I can take care of that for you." Buck answered in Mydi's stead. "But we really should get out of the lady's way, why don't you and I make a bit of space?" Without waiting for an answer Buck began to walk towards the wall of a nearby building, waving over his shoulder for Serafin to follow.

Serafin decided there was nothing to lose by following him. The man didn't seem like he was carrying any medical supplies, but he got this far without being obviously corrupted, so he had to have some kind of spare supplies.

Once they were safely out of sight of villagers, Buck began to reach for Serafin's tail, fingertips beginning to glow. At the last second, however, he pulled his hand back, just barely grazing the tiefling's flesh. "Oh that's right, your folks don't get along so well with Radiant magic, do they?" He corrected himself at the slight spark his hand had made. "Sorry about that, I do have some bandages of my own, though." Buck dipped a hand into one of the pouches at his waist and pulled out a roll of bandages, offering them to Serafin. "Here, I don't have much need for them most of the time, even moreso than most paladins, keep whatever's left for the next time you get a bad scratch."

The little bit of contact with the radiant magic was enough to send a bit of overwhelming heat through his body. He felt like he was standing uncomfortably close to a bonfire just from the graze. Gritting his teeth, he smiled and accepted the bandages. "Thanks, I was afraid I was going to bleed dry."

Doing a quick patch job of his tail, Serafin gave a few test movements to check the range of painless motions he could do. Satisfied with the job, he pocketed the remainders and made sure his sword was firmly attached. "Now, I got some fleabags to get rid of. Unless you want a piece of the action here too?"

"Werewolves, eh?" Buck responded. "Sounds like my cup of tea. The Lady would want that I purify the area of their vile taint and all that. I wouldn't mind tagging along, if you don't mind. All the folks joinin' in to push through those blightspawn will need some time to prepare and the more we do now, the more help they'll be able to spare us I reckon."

"Now we're talkin'. Finally get to see you put that fancy armor to use." Smiling and waving Buck forward, he set off in the general area of the woods. Truth be told, he didn't know exactly where they were moving inside the woods, but from the sound of it he could just wander around for a bit and stumble across a few. Plus, they'd most likely find him with their enhanced scents and all that. "So... What's it like in Halcyon? Never been much of anywhere."

Buck sniffed the air a few times as they walked; a certain sense for cursed creatures was beaten into him during his training and was enhanced by the blessing and strangely enough it felt more like a smell than anything in his mind. It was no good, the entire forest smelled of rot and mange-ridden beasts at this point. "Halcyon? I suppose a lot of it's not that different from a lot of other human countries, aside from how plentiful the land is. Lots of fields - mostly barley and wheat - plains scattered about as well as forests...I suppose the key difference would be how sparse proper society is. Despite how old Halcyon is and how prosperous it was for so long, it has no large cities aside from its capital, Empyria. The rest is all just villages and singular homesteads." It was the first time since he set out that anyone had asked about his home, it felt good to speak of and a bit of pride tinged his voice. "What about your place, Pavarket, was it? I've learned a lot about most of the civilizations on Altea but there's precious little information of that place to be found in books far as I can tell. I've heard you lot are secretive about your home, but anything you can tell me'd be nice to learn."

"It's rocky. Hearing all about all that land makes me somewhat jealous. You've probably seen it's a small country, and a lot of that land is awful for farming. The capital is okay, lot of furnaces and shops around." Serafin started recollecting his home. A little pang of guilt about leaving it all behind stabbed at him, but his work was too precious. "Secret is, a lot of us just flat out don't trust anyone anymore. We've been kicked around countries a lot; some our fault but a lot theirs. My father only got in due to money and us being Pavar originally. If we were just some random Druicans we would have never made it across the border. But what can you say, it's ours and no one can take it away now."

The forest around him was a depressing sight. Even in the middle of the day, very little light was reaching the forest floor. A few creatures skittered from the two, being too small for the werewolves to considered a proper meal. The twisted branches above were starting to turn black from Blight and occasionally a small amount of bark or a few leaves would fall. Hearing a small snapping sound, Serafin put up his hand to halt his companion, moving slowly towards a tree for cover. There was something big enough to break sticks out there, and he wanted to see it before it saw him.

Both warriors quickly found hiding spots and spied the clearing before them. Sure enough, some bushes across the clearing were rustling. Seconds later a deer emerged from the thicket and immediately stepped into a bear trap neither of the men watching had noticed yet. The poor creature screeched out in pain and tugged it's trapped leg, but Buck and Serafin had pity very far from their minds at that exact moment. "Won't be long now..." Buck muttered just loud enough for his partner to hear. "Screech like that, the scent of blood..."

It wasn't more than thirty seconds later that the pair heard more rustling, and a howl. Heavy breathing announced the arrival of the visceral party's new guest as a large, ragged furry shape burst out from the trees and practically flew through the air to pounce down upon the deer. The sounds of agonized screams from the beast's prey lasted only a short stint, leaving the tearing of flesh to accompany the loud, slobbering breath of the first feral werewolf to meet Serafin and Buck's sight.

"Got you now!" Serafin burst out of hiding with his family's sword drawn. " Ei Pavarciin veihr dzats!"

Quickly clearing the space between him and the foe, he swung the massive sword in an overhead swing towards the lycan's skull. Alerted by the war shout, the werewolf was ready to move before the swing was in place. Leaping away from the deer's fresh corpse, it avoided the blow with time to spare. With a resounding thud and an unfortunate spray, Serafin's sword cleaved a large gash in the deer.

Blood spattered the short, sickly grass of the clearing, the werewolf's nostrils flaring at the smell even as it glared at Serafin, eyes full of wild, unfettered bloodlust and hackles raised. The Tiefling couldn't help but notice Buck was still conspicuously absent. He briefly wondered if the tales of Halcyon's fearless hunters of evil were only that when yet more cracks were heard and a tangle of writhing flesh, fur and metal crashed into the clearing a mere few feet away from him.

Buck was on his back, his massive shield barely holding back a second werewolf as it tore at the tool, extending its neck past the top of the shield to snap inches away from his head. "Am I really so appetizing you'd come after me before prey that's practically gift-wrapped?!" The paladin grunted, reaching for his sword only to find it had landed just out of his reach. With a frustrated grumble, Buck gave up on his sword, whipped a large dagger from a sheathe just above his right hip and stabbed it right into his enemy's neck. The werewolf howled in pain and leapt away from Buck knife and all, leaving him to grab his sword and scramble to stand behind Serafin, sword and board both at the ready once more.

"I know being a monster magnet should be a dream come true for a dedicated monster killer, but I'm afraid the irony is lost on me alongside my peace of mind when beasties like that come flying out of the woods at me."

"I would say something about cats and dragging stuff in, but that doesn't seem appropriate here. Plus I've never actually owned one either. C'mon, it's time to show me what that shield and magic can do."

"Ever looking forward, ever thinking back. Everywhere you've been, everyone you've met was another step on your path, shaping your future even as they become part of your past. One must never discount the pieces that have made up your journey until now but to lose yourself in them would be equally great folly, instead let them hoist you up, carry you on until you find the strength to walk for yourself. So it is that I continue towards that endless horizon. Ever thinking back, ever marching forward, inexorable as the history that brought me down this road. This Lonesome Road."

MurkMire

Toxic Terror

Age 27
Male
Somewhere dark, cold, and quiet.
Seen 4 Weeks Ago
Posted April 10th, 2019
863 posts
7.7 Years



Inside the Manor




Special Appearances of:
Groc, as Biff
Birb, as... Birb

As if on cue, Morfran could hear a familiar sound rampaging towards the horde of undead. Biff rushed past Morfran, and began to clear the way, tearing into any undead that tried to attack. Eventually, he crashed his way inside. Morfran saw this moment, and quietly ran inside, not only to avoid any zombies or other visitors of the mansion, but to avoid Biff altogether.

Examining the interior, it was definitely large, but finding a way to the cellar shouldn't be a problem. Especially so with the brute swinging his way and drawing attention to himself. Morfran looked around, still cautious of anything still lurking inside. He looked upon four doors in the foyer, two on each side of the room. In the center was a grand staircase, with two others that extended to two different wings.

I suppose I'll take the far left first. I have no leads, and no knowledge of this structure, so anywhere is a good start.

Morfran slipped into the hallway in silence, batting away a cobweb hanging from the ceiling behind the door frame. Four more rooms, two on either side, and the gloomy walls accented by dilapidated art pieces and chipped wall paint. He conceded to checking them one by one for at least a clue before he found the cellar, yet upon poking his head into the nearest, something made a sound that wasn't bones snapping or Biff shouting.

“Hey, hey!”

What was that?!

He reeled his head back into the hall with the rest of his body, looking to the end opposite his entry. Morfran vaguely spotted a girl occupying the manor, a child. She could have hardly been called undead—far too brightly-colored for that, and jollier than most of the Silver Hearth's caravaneers. In fact, it was like she was glowing, her skinny arm leaving a fading trail of light behind as she waved for him.

Some sort of monster? he asked himself. Not that he needed an answer. Be it living corpse or hostile spectre, one by itself was certainly not a problem. Morfran traced a sigil in the air, hiding his casting hand in the room beside him, preparing his Blade Ward for a possible bludgeoning. He made his approach slow and cautious, the child appearing to urge him closer. A ball of acid formed in his palm, but before he could throw it, the girl abruptly stopped as if she knew what he was doing. Fortunately for him, she didn't, yet she'd caught the attention of a pair of zombies. She called for Morfran once more, then ran off down the hallway she was in, the two undead following.

He couldn't help but wonder what this strange exchange was about. A little girl had no place in a home of the dead, and she didn't seem to have any attachment to the Void. She was either blissfully ignorant or a ghost, but why would a ghost have run from zombies, let alone be chased by them? For that matter, how did she make it so far in without harm or notice? The questions just kept piling up, but Morfran decided against letting it lie. She could have had answers.

The lich ran to the back, hand on the wall as he turned the corner, and at first glance there were only the two zombies scrambling and clawing at the walls. On a beam high above was the little girl, sticking her tongue out and pulling one of her eyelids down to taunt them.

“Ignorant it is,” he groaned. In the end, he still chose to help, grateful that he didn't prepare his magic for nothing, and threw his Acid Splash ball into the hungry maws of the connoisseurs of flesh. “Melt away.”

With gurgling screams the zombies collapsed and dissolved, rotting carcasses turned to piles of ooze. It seemed the manor was further damaged than expected, as they spread the acid into the wall and floor around them. The beam on which the girl stood cracked from the lack of structural support beneath it; she hopped off with an innocent cheer, making herself a graceful landing immediately behind Morfran while the beam crashed through the floor with all the poise of a drunken ogre.

“That was fun, uncle!” she told him. “Your magic's really neat!”

Morfran turned to face her, meeting her happy go lucky attitude with confusion. He squinted his eyes, but of course, knew nothing about this ignorant girl. "I have no relation to you, child. Do you know anything about this manor?"

He felt foolish for asking her, but still, if she actually believed Morfran to be her uncle, she may have been willing to help him. He felt even more foolish when she avoided his question entirely, practically skipping by him and observing the mild carnage he had just caused. A large gap formed from one end of the floor to the next, his acid gone after eating through a good chunk of the boards.

Morfran tried to get her attention again as the little girl leaned over the edge, a pondering “hm” punctuating her curiosity, and concluded by taking Morfran's wrist into both hands and trying to pull him toward it. “Come on! Before they find us!”

“Before who finds us?”

“The zombies! They're playing, too! They're not very good at seeking, but you made a lot of noise, so I have to find another hiding spot.”

So she wasn't a ghost. But she was testing his patience, ignoring what he wanted to know, wasting his time, and the grin on her face made him think this was all just some kind of twisted game to her. Even so, she hit the proverbial nail on the head about the rest. Between his recent display and that hulking buffoon in the foyer, he'd undoubtedly become a choice cut of at least a few of those corpses' next meal.

Reluctantly he answered, “Fine, child. Let's see where this leads.” He slid his hand free of the girl's grasp, and jumped in the gaping hole to the next floor.

With a solid thump, Morfran landed on the hard, cold floor, avoiding his wreckage on the way down. It was dark... too dark. He held out his hand, and casted a single Poe Reprise, as a means to light the room. Scattered objects, broken bookshelves, and corpses laid about this room. But, there was no laboratory. Nothing of any value could be seen. But at the back of the room, Morfran could see a staircase that led further down.

Morfran then noticed the young girl. He didn't see or hear her jump in, but at least she was standing next to him.

He shook it off, realizing he could finally get a good look at her with the room illuminated properly. A little blonde elven girl wearing only a light blue dress that matched her left eye, the right obscured by tight bandaging, and the smile on her face uncaring of their predicament.

“Hey, uncle!” she started. “You're a good seeker, right? A lot better than the zombies. I'll go hide, okay? Close your eyes and count to ten, then come find me!”

The girl didn't give him the option to decline, but in his mind he was planning to fool her into going ahead of him in the first place. Morfran submitted, covering his eyes with one hand and beginning his count.

“One,” he began, her footsteps pacing slowly away from him.

“Two. Three. Four.” Faster now, descending the steps by the sound of it.

“Five. Six. Seven.” He couldn't hear her anymore.

“Eight. Nine. Ten.”

He opens his eyes, and of course, finds no trace of the girl. He held the violet flame in his outstretched arm, checking for any traps on the floor. But, he didn't see any pressure plates, no trip wires, nor anything else.

It would appear this floor is void of any traps... but I'm sure the next floo—

SLAM

The door had suddenly shut in front of him. He jumped back, and threw the flame at the door. It lit the area aflame, but it seemed the door didn't give way. He looked around, and noticed the walls began to slide forward. Curses... how did she not trip the trap? Well... time to melt my way to the next floor.

The corpses then rose, and slowly dragged themselves towards the lich. They groaned, and screamed with each slid across the floor, everytime the walls screeched across parts of the floor. Fine, then you will go along with the flooring.

Once again, Morfran casted Acid Splash, and fired it at the floor. The aftermath of the acid splashed onto the zombies, and they screamed even harder, causing Morfran to cover his ears. The corpses blocked the floor from melting completely, clinging to nearby surfaces.

"Die, you filth." Morfran casted another Acid Splash, making the corpses and floor melt away. Quickly, he jumped through the floor, landing on melting corpses that fell from the above floor. This had sprung a trap in the middle of the floor, right where he landed. A white mist was seeping out from the cracks in the stone floor. Morfran quickly looked around, trying to find the next exit. It was in a far corner. This time, the room had sealed coffins along the walls. As the mist rose, the coffins began to rumble and shake violently. One by one, the coffin doors burst open, some of them flying off their hinges towards the lich.

The Blade Ward didn't activate, as it wasn't an actual weapon, so he was pelted by a few doors before he saw what was inside. Makeshift soldiers, zombies wearing fine armor and wielding swords, maces, and axes. Again, Morfran traced another sigil to cast Blade Ward, before a zombie came behind him and slammed a mace into his back. The pain was minimal, but it still aggravated the lich.

"Death Bolt!" A black sphere fired from Morfran's palm, aimed at the attacker. It sent him flying, right into another zombie. However, there was a total of fourteen zombies. The door was sealed by necrotic magic, sealed by the remaining life force of the zombie soldiers.

"Poe Reprise." Two violet flames flicked to life in the palms of Morfran's hands, and he threw them at two of the soldiers, setting them on fire. "Poe Reprise, once more." Again, two violet flames, but this time he hurled them at the same soldiers, causing the mixing flames to explode. The explosion caused the remaining zombies to fly across the room, Morfran not being an exception.

Morfran staggered, but pulled himself up, and casted Acid Splash, one for the opposite corner of the room. The other for the other half of the zombie soldiers, only half melting, thanks to the armor.

Two zombies charged forward, and stabbed Morfran in the chest, but the Blade Ward lessened the pain. Still, Morfran placed both hands on the faces of the undead, and casted Soul Drain, sapping what little energy they had.

Morfran held on for dear life, and pushed them back when they began to shake, their bodies turning to pure ash. The remaining zombies either melted, or burned to ashes.

He could feel the necrotic power dissipating... and the door slowly creaked open.

Staggering inside, he found the true lab of the baron. His desk was littered with papers, beakers and test tubes, magic circles drawn here and there; shelves along the walls with books and journals were surprisingly neatly organized, open cupboards and closets held various ingredients, and the room as a whole was quite spacious. Morfran slowly walked over to the chair, and sat, rifling through his alchemy bag for medicines he had prepared just in case.

Carefully, he wrapped a large bandage around his torso, where the two slashes from before still seeped with blood. To accelerate the healing process, he took a green vial of a special mixture, only one of which he had. He didn't have a choice, as fighting his way out was more than likely. It tasted absolutely vile, but the horribly bitter aftertaste was nothing compared to the pain relief.

Next on his priorities, was the girl. He could have spent the caravan's entire visit here browsing the mess of journals and research notes, but she was the only one with a clue. Morfran ducked his head to check underneath the desk. No dice. Figured it wouldn't be so easy. On the upside, there weren't many places left to hide down here, so he stood back up against the aching in his chest and started looking.

Nothing here... not here... ah.

The fourth time was the charm, the girl meeting him with a giggle from the inside of a closet, seemingly unaware of the bloodied cloth he wore.

“There you are,” he hissed.

“See, you are a good seeker,” she congratulated. Extending her hand with a small key in her grasp, she continued, “Here. I picked it up in here while I was hiding. You can have it.”

Morfran cautiously accepted the key as the girl thanked him for having fun with her, looking it over with care. It must have been to something in the room. When he turned his eyes back to the closet's interior, the girl was gone, nowhere to be seen in the room. Perhaps she was a spectre after all. Morfran blinked, but still, not there.

He returned to his bag, now seeing a strongbox sitting up against the wall on the desk. Was that there before?

He wasn't feeling very hasty. After all, why would she practically give him these tools? Were there more traps yet laid in this place, or had Morfran truly passed all her trials? Either way, Morfran placed a hand on the strongbox. He could feel nothing inside that would spring to life and attack. No trick, no spell... nothing. Just a plain, locked strongbox.

He inserted the key, twisted the lock... and opened it. Inside were neatly stacked, binded and perfectly preserved journals. The Baron's findings on Necrotic magic... so, these journals obviously have some sort of magic binded to them. This must be the object of which I seek....

He didn't have time to read them now, so he tucked them into his bag with his other tomes.

He exited the room, and found the manor to be still. Quiet. No sounds of the shambling undead in the basements, no smashing walls in the above floor... silent as the grave.

Morfran ascended the staircase, past the piles of ashes and melted flesh. In the floor above, the walls that once tried to crush Morfran were back to their original positions. The room was still a mess, but the corpses laid still. It would seem that the journals not only held the Baron's important findings, but were the source of magic that made the traps functional, no matter how much time had passed. Swiftly, Morfran walked out of the final cellar, to the hall where he first met the spectre.

No sign of her was there, either. He finally shook his mind of the girl, and began his departure. That was... until he ran into Biff. The door to the manor had been smashed in, and the giant man was looking around the foyer. Behind him lay the wreckage of the undead horde, leaving the way out clear.

"I see you've been having your fill of fighting, presumably?" Morfran asked as he noticed said wreckage behind Biff. He figured Biff would be a voluntary bodyguard, so he tried his best to be generous and interact with him.

"Hey, Morf!" Biff waved happily. "There were a lot of dead guys out there, and they wouldn't let me in, so I had to smash 'em. How'd you get in here?" He was about to clap Morfran on the shoulder, but stopped just short, looking around the room again. "Yeah, I mean, I guess it's not important. What brings you here? You wanted to fight some dead guys too?"

“I merely came for some light reading. The previous owner left a respectable library, so I retrieved a few of his things.” The ache in his chest made itself apparent to Morfran again, though the wound had near fully healed. “I must admit I got more than I bargained for. I think I've had enough of the dead for the day.”

Morfran figured that Biff came to follow him, but decided against telling him of the true object of his search.

"Oh." Biff seemed disappointed. "Yeah, books. They're alright, I suppose." He swatted at his ear for some reason before continuing. "Well, I'm glad you got what you wanted here. I think I'll poke around a bit, see what I can find..." His arm twitched, which made him scowl, but he turned that way. "This way seems good." He went down the hallway, away from the hole Morfran had climbed out of.

He stopped for a moment, turning back with a hopeful smile. "You can come with if you'd like. I'd keep the dead guys off you." Saying the last bit in a slightly sing-song tone, as if inticing a child.

“No, I'm much too tired to keep going. I'll be returning to the caravan shortly." Morfran wasn't sure what possessed him to ask, but he did anyway. "But, before I go, did you happen to see a young girl running around?”

Biff thought it over, rubbing his chin in thought. "Nope, I haven't. Why? Did you lose one? D'you want me to keep an eye out for her while I'm here?"

"No need," he assured, turning to leave. "I suppose I'll see you back on the caravan. Enjoy your search." Morfran walked off, paying no other mind to the half-troll. He hoped he could get to reading the journals as soon as possible, with no interruptions.

"Okay!" Biff waved, more confused by the conversation than anything else, but still coming away with the impression he'd been useful, somehow. "I'll see you at the caravan when we're done here!" He headed down the hallway, starting his own "investigation" into the manor.

Sephear

Believe in the you that believes in cheese

Age 25
Male
Nevada...ugh
Seen 3 Weeks Ago
Posted 3 Weeks Ago
1,284 posts
8.2 Years


Buck Haversdale & Serafin Dzeidzic: A Two-Way Hunt pt. II


"Shield's just a shield, mate. But I can do a thing or two." Buck charged straight at the the werewolf that still had his knife stuck in its neck, the fingers of his left hand stretching out to tap against the back of his shield, a white glow spreading from their tips to the front of it. He knew better than to think the beast would wait for him to attack first, and already had the shield poised in front of him when his opponent failed to disappoint. The monster jumped at the Paladin with its full weight and strength behind it, ready to bowl the shield aside and make sure it ripped his throat open this time but upon contact with the shield a burst of light issued forth from the tool and repelled the beast in addition to making its skin burn unbearably.

With a bit of proper fear seared into the werewolf, Buck was able to go on the offensive. However, speed was the biggest advantage his quarry had over him and the first swing of his sword met with tree bark, not matted fur and cursed flesh. Buck whipped around, tearing his blade free from the tree with practiced ease and swinging it nearly a full 360 degrees around, narrowly missing the creature as it landed behind him. No sooner did the werewolf's feet touch the ground a 'safe' distance away from its opponent than did a glowing knife soar through the air to sink into one of its legs, piercing its hide and filling a large portion of its body with a pyre of holy fire - or at least the feeling of one - forcing a howl of anguish from its diseased maw.

"See, that's the kind of fighting I wanted to see out of you paladins!" Serafin turned his attention back to his own Lycan, now closing the distance at an alarming pace. Lifting up his sword, he blocked the beast's impact with the flat of he blade, keeping the snapping jaws mere inches away. With spittle hitting his face and claws tearing at his upper arms, he decided to go on the offensive once again. Suddenly lunging his head forward, he bashed his horns against the creature's snout and sensitive nose. The mangy monster stumbled back, but the lack of a horn ridge like so many other Tieflings left his forehead cut from the werewolf's teeth. A kick to the Solar Plexus knocked the wolf to the ground.

Following up on his advantage, Serafin hefted his sword towards the knocked down foe. The werewolf attempted to twist away once again, a little too slowly this time. The Greatsword left a deep slash across the back of the lycan. Stumbling onto it's feet, the beast struggled to use its superior mobility in the face of its pain. Making one last suicidal rush, it lunged towards the Tiefling with both claws, digging deep gashes into his arm. Dragging his own claws across the mutt's face, Serafin shoved the creature to the ground and thrust his sword after it.

As the Dzeidzic family blade sank into the grotesque creature's chest, it's fellow seemed to have resolved it's conundrum of fight-or-flight and had chosen flight. Buck's werewolf whimpered like a whipped hound at the sight of its packmate's death and dashed off into the woods, baying fearfully. "There's no way we could catch it," Buck explained, keeping his weapons at the ready. Howling sounded off in the distance and Buck held his sword out in front of him, muttering a prayer under his breath, the blade took on a soft white glow. "Arms at the ready, lad." The paladin said to the man behind him. Buck sniffed the air and tensed all his muscles moments before both warriors heard padding footsteps rapidly pattering towards them.

Buck took a position between Serafin and the sound of snarling and poised himself to spring. "My guard will be broken quickly, wait till the instant that happens, then step in." After that he stood stock still, staring into the trees until suddenly a mangy feral werewolf shot out of the thicket, only to practically spear itself on Buck's sword, the recently enchanted blade covering the creature in white flames. However, without a moment to think yet more beasts sprinted into the clearing, one slamming into Buck's shield before he could get the first off of his blade, and then yet another joining its brother and bowling the paladin over.

"No free meals today," Serafin shouted while swinging his sword at the location his battle partner just was. The powerful swing managed to catch the first wolf under the arm, dragging it along and slamming it into the second lycan. The force of the hit caused both beasts to go sailing away from Buck and into a nearby tree. A gruesome gash into the side of the first wolf proved fatal by the time it hit the tree. The second was more fortunate, only having a few minor scratches from his buddy's flailing. He was stuck under the corpse of his ally for the moment, however.

Giving a helping hand to Buck, he pulled the Paladin to his feet. "Grab your sword, he's about to get up." Just as the werewolf managed to push the mange infested body of his friend off, Serafin had a plan to deal with it. "Okay, follow my lead now. He can't dodge both of us. Go right and high. I'm low and left." Charging forward, Serafin shifted his grip to the left and took another massive swing at the creature's legs.

Buck was right behind the tiefling, shield held out of the way and sword held level with his right shoulder, pointed straight at the werewolf's heart. As soon as Serafin's grasp on his own sword changed Buck pivoted to the right and changed the angle of his attack, the final werewolf's supernatural agility made jumping over Serafin's strike mere child's play. The flea-bitten monster's body, however fast or powerful it may be, offered it no way of controlling it's momentum mid-air and moments after it avoided the Dzeidzic sword, Buck's ran it straight through. The thrust pinned the werewolf to a tree but missed its heart. It was far from dead and began to thrash about from its position against the tree, raking its claws across Buck's arms, again and again, denting his gauntlets and once or twice even managing to slice between the plates on his arm and through tender flesh.

Rivulets of scarlet fell to the floor but Buck didn't budge, he stood fast, muttering incomprehensible words underneath his breath. The werewolf made one final pass at tearing the paladin's arm off then froze, its eyes widened and its entire body burst into white flames, the light of its eyes fading before it even had a chance to screech in pain. The flames that covered the beast's body left all else mercifully untouched, but that didn't stop it from spreading to the corpses of the other ferals when Buck tossed it into the pile. As soon as the werewolf landed amongst its dead fellows and started the impromptu pyre Buck's right arm hung limply at his side and dropped his sword unceremoniously to the ground. "Damn pain in the ass monsters fighting through what's sure to kill them soon anyways with all that adrenaline." Though the paladin grumbled, it still seemed an underwhelming response to losing the use of one's arm.

The Shield of the Divine Lady was set down to lean against Buck's left leg while his left arm stretched over to his other side and placed its hand against his deadened arm. His fingertips glowed and he let out a grunt of discomfort but soon the drip of blood from his arm ceased. "Druica is no longer any place for men, what a mess."

"You're telling me. My family once called this place home, even over Pavarket." Leaning his sword against a tree, Serafin undid some of the latches keeping his armor on. Peeling it away from his soaked sleeve, he let the leather arm-guard fall to the ground. The wound on his upper arm looked bad. Adrenaline kept him from feeling the effects of it for some time, but the cut was deep and swinging around such a large sword only caused it to cut deeper. He tenderly prodded at the wound to check how numb he was, recoiling as the slightest touch as his heartbeat slowed and the fog in his brain dissipated. This was bad.

Dabbing his finger in the wound, he started drawing a small symbol on the closest tree with his blood. A few strokes and reapplication of his makeshift paint later he had the Spiked Chalice, the Symbol of Morzhan. Blood begets wine begets blood. "To a speedy recovery, Ahmedzan".

"With that out of the way," he said turning back to Buck, "I have an odd request for you." Picking up a decently strong stick, he twirled it around before holding it at his side. "I can't fight with this wound, and just letting it heal would take too long. I need you to heal my arm here. It'd probably hurt Mydi too much, so you seem like the best option. Assuming you still have some leftover magic of course."

Despite all they had just been through, Buck showed very little sign of fatigue aside from slightly heavier breathing than normal. "Don't worry about me." He assured Serafin as he approached to take a look at the tiefling's arm. "To be honest I've got almost no aptitude for magic at all in the conventional sense, but the blessing has granted me enough stamina that I could run and fight for an entire day before I start really feeling tired, as well as a...unique brand of spell." One hand held Serafin's arm up for inspection, the other hovered above it, fingertips glowing with a soothing golden light. "Judging by our first encounter earlier, I don't expect this'll feel too great, but I don't expect it'll be as bad as you'd figure either. This Laying on of Hands is unique to those with the blessing of Halcyon within their blood, it's not conventional Radiant magic, but a gift directly from the Being of Light and demon blood or no, I really don't think the Divine Lady has much against tieflings. At least not the decent ones, like you. Anyway, I'll be fine, it's not the strongest magic, but the spells born from my blessing only draw from my body's normal stamina, and they use very little compared to even most basic spells."

Without wasting any more of their time or Serafin's patience on explanation Buck laid his glowing hand overtop Serafin's arm. There was pain but more like an irritable itching than the 'holy burn' Serafin expected and the effects were not instant, but neither did they drag on overlong. He could feel his body stitching itself back together as he saw the wounds close without leaving so much as a scar. "There you go, shouldn't have any reason to trouble Mydi now, just don't tell her it works that well. Before I know it she'll be trying to make me her apprentice and keep me at the caravan all the damn time." Buck allowed himself a small if grizzly chuckle then picked the Shield of the Lady back up and put one arm through each of its straps, wearing it like a backpack. "Good thing we ran into each other, my experience with werewolves was a bit too limited before today for this to have been a wise move on my own. With that many of their packmates dead, the rest should think twice about bothering Kalisz and all the more once we clear out those blightspawn and the mongrels don't have the advantage of townsfolk being distracted from both sides."

"Gah, don't remind me of the Blightspawn. Bad enough that I have to deal with the stink from them as well." Wiping off the blood on his face, he picked up his sword once more and settled it on his back. "Now, let's get the hell out of here before others stumble across us."

"By all means, I need Khouvic to pound out these dents and buff these scratches before I head out again."

"Ever looking forward, ever thinking back. Everywhere you've been, everyone you've met was another step on your path, shaping your future even as they become part of your past. One must never discount the pieces that have made up your journey until now but to lose yourself in them would be equally great folly, instead let them hoist you up, carry you on until you find the strength to walk for yourself. So it is that I continue towards that endless horizon. Ever thinking back, ever marching forward, inexorable as the history that brought me down this road. This Lonesome Road."

PastelPhoenix

A Princely Birb

Age 24
Male
Seen January 9th, 2019
Posted July 30th, 2018
387 posts
3.2 Years

Dusklands





The Battle of Kalisz




Moon Phase:









Pushing Back

It’s time for the caravan to clear the way, the Blightspawn have barricaded the road for too long, and now they need to be cleared out for good. Scouts have been probing at the makeshift wall to test the strength and reaction of the Blightspawn manning it, and have compiled a report.

1) The Barricade itself is nothing to scoff at. They’ve had plenty of time to fortify themselves in, and the makeshift fort will take some force to bring it down.

2) The Blightspawn are expecting something to happen, and seem confident in the safety of their fort. They don’t seem to be on high alert, but they aren’t taking any risks either. They’ll likely remain fighting until the fort is destroyed or their leadership is routed.

3) They seem undermanned. The destruction of the larger outpost camp has done a number on their fighting force. Most of the Goblins appear to be without the support of their mages, and an entire archer company is missing. Not to mention the dead Ogre, one of only 2 they had.

4)Finally, some unknown monster has been spotted chained in the center of the fort. The creature’s form seems to be constantly shifting, a mass of quivering flesh and tendrils forever twisting in on itself. The creature also seems to be somehow hollow inside, and sucks nearby flame and magic inside itself. They’ve deemed this monster an Aberration, and have stressed the danger apparent with this creature.

The townsfolk are as ready as they’ll ever be, and will be supporting the Caravan Guards and yourself. We can expect them to pull their own weight with the weaker Blightspawn, but we can’t expect miracles out of them. Good luck, and Divines Bless.

The battlefield consists primarily of the Blightspawn fort and nearby woods.Most of the focus of both sides is going to be on the main road, and the woods will provide cover for skirmishers. A special group has been designated for handling the large threats, namely the ogre and Aberrant. There is also a small backline force to prevent sneaker Blightspawn from surrounding the caravan.







Force Composition


Charger: These are going to be the front line fighters, drawing the majority of the blightspawn’s attention onto them.The goal of this group is the either secure or destroy the Blightspawn’s wall. You’ll have most of the farmers and guards in this squad, and you’ll mostly be fighting Goblins along with the occasional Troll commander and Gnoll spearman.

Caravaneers participating: Khouvic and Lovell


Skirmisher: This group is dedicated to making the most of the woods, Avoiding the majority of the fighting in favor for ambushes on weakened Blightspawn, taking out Blightspawn commanders, and taking out enemy ambushers. You’ll be backed up by the village’s hunters and you’ll primarily face Gnoll ambushers, archers, and their goblin lackeys, as well as the enemy command when the timing is right.

Caravaneers: Karnyl


Giant Slayers: The last combat group is to deal with the threat the remaining Ogre and the Aberrant pose. The group is relatively small, consisting of seasoned guards and the local mage. Killing the creatures is secondary, just keeping them occupied and away from the main battle is the goal. Any parts that can be sheared from the Aberrant are a plus.

Caravaneer: Salis


Support: This group is merely the backline of the group. They’ll focus on keeping people in the fight with healing as well as finishing any ambushers the skirmishers miss. (This role doesn’t need to be filled by a player, however the option is there)

Caravaneers: Romre, Mydi, Katyr







Other

Spoiler:

I am not requiring the roles to JP, just don’t complete an objective if you are solo posting. Make sure everyone get a shot.

Cause some chaos. This is a battle after all.

I have no set time frame. I’ll play it by ear, but I am aiming at ending this in maybe two weeks. If there’s enough posts and everyone has participated, I’ll go ahead and end it early.












Godzil

Dapper bowler hat

Age 28
Male
Arizona, USA
Seen 47 Minutes Ago
Posted 14 Hours Ago
After bidding farewell to Morf, Biff made his way down one of the corridors, on the lookout for more dead guys. The horde outside made him think the house would be crawling with them, but so far he'd only seen the ones he'd brought in with him. Did you consider that the reason there were so many congregating outside might be because they couldn't find a way in? Coach asked. "Oh, yeah, I guess that makes sense."

As he walked down the hall, Biff kept close to the right hand wall, idly touching every torch sconce, painting, or suit of armor he passed. He noticed the hallway get more bare as he walked, as there wasn't as many decorations to touch. "So where do you think this leads, Coach?" If I had to guess, probably the servants' quarters or the kitchen. I see no reason to display art for the help. "Ooh, I hope it's the kitchen. I haven't eaten all day!"

Unfortunately for him, the hallway did in fact lead to the servants' quarters. Biff seemed disappointed, but decided to look around anyway. "You know, if we want to find those notes, we should check the study, or an office or something. You know, one of those fancy places folks go to write things." And where do you think we'd find such a room? "Uh... the second floor! Down here's just for partyin' and stuff. I bet the baron had all his personal private rooms higher up, so he could look down on people and stuff."

It was a lord, but there is a semblance of logic to what you say. Although personally, I would keep my most secret projects in an underground lair. But I guess I'm old fashioned that way. "Yeah," Biff chuckled as he looked for some stairs. "You are pretty old."



"I'm startin' to think this was all a waste of time!" Biff complained as he climbed the stairs. "We went through this whole house, and haven't seen a single thing worth comin' in here for!"

Yes, yes, just keep going... Coach sounded distracted, his voice a distant whisper in Biff's mind. "Uh, Coach? You okay, buddy?" Biff stopped at the top of the stairs, concerned for his dark passenger. I... I'm fine. Just keep looking. There's something here, I can feel it. It calls to me... Biff looked down at his amulet skeptically, but he kept walking. "If you say so. I was thinkin' Morf might've already taken whatever we were supposed to find, but if you gotta feeling-"

There was a sharp click as Biff stepped on a loose tile, cutting him off as a panel on the wall slid open. A battering ram, topped with a silver-plated fist, extended from the wall and slammed into Biff's ribs. The impact made him stumble, letting out a pained grunt as the air was knocked from his lungs. The impact seemed to jolt Coach out of his funk, as Biff felt cold emanate from the amulet as shadows danced around him like black flames. Watch where you're walking, you hippopotamic landmass! Undoubtedly the lord of this manor placed traps to defend his private area, so don't just go blundering about!

Biff laughed as he held his side, the pain already fading. "I didn't think you cared, Coach. Worried about my safety?" Coach scoffed. Of course not. I just don't want to be stuck around your neck for however long it takes for someone to find your oversized corpse. More to the point, if there are defenses, there must be something worth defending.

"Whatever you say, buddy." Biff grinned. Despite his harsh tone and immediate denial, Biff knew Coach cared about him. Sensing these thoughts, Coach sighed in resignation, turning his attention back to the pulling sensation in his mind. Turn right at the end of the hall. We'll find something there. Biff did as instructed, careful not to step on any more loose tiles. At the end of the hall, the corridor split off in two directions. Both hallways ended in a door, but Coach urged Biff to move toward the door on the right.

Biff noticed a stone bust on a table, feeling like it was looking at him. He slowed as he approached it, earning an aggravated growl from Coach. Why are you dawdling? Our goal lies straight ahead! Biff tapped on the bust, but nothing happened. Slightly disappointed, he walked past it, glancing back after a few steps. The head had turned to watch him.

"Whoa!" Biff ran back to the table, but the bust remained still. "This thing is cool! Hey, little stone head! I'm over here now!" It didn't reply, but when Biff blinked it was suddenly looking at him again, the stern expression replaced by a slight smile. "Whoa..." Biff moved to the side of the table, forcing himself to keep his eyes open. "Hey Coach, can we keep this?" A stone statue that only moves when you're not looking? Sounds positively dreadful. Let's go to the study. Now.

"Sure. Let's do all the things you wanna do." Biff grumbled, leaving the bust behind. He didn't notice, but the statue's expression darkened to an angry frown as he walked away.

Biff tried to open the door, but it was locked. He turned the handle as hard as he could, accidentally breaking it off. A needle ejected from the remains of the lock, but it merely bounced off Biff's abs before clattering to the ground. "Huh. You were right about the traps." Coach didn't respond, which made Biff nervous. He kicked the door open, breaking the door frame as he did, ready for anything. What he found was an ordinary office. There was a bookshelf, a fireplace, a window with a view of the garden, and a desk made of mahogany.

On the desk was a stack of notes, yellowed with age, with an old lantern beside it. It looked to be made of bone and emerald-tinted glass. A faint light burned inside the lantern, filling the office with dim, sickly green light. Biff felt vaguely uncomfortable as the light touched him, his skin growing cold and clammy. Coach hissed out a thought, his voice sounding strained. Put the light out... It burns! It calls to me, and it burns!

Biff walked over to the desk, not sure what to do. The light was uncomfortable, yeah, but it didn't hurt. He didn't understand the lantern, and he didn't like that. He lifted the glass, revealing the light source to be a small, steady flame that put off no heat. Biff tried to snuff it out, but the flame continued to burn, no matter what he tried. "It won't go out! What do I do, Coach?" Think of something, you blundering oaf! The fire isn't real, it's just a light! It's magic!

Falling back on his usual solution, Biff slammed his gauntleted fist on top of the lantern, shattering the glass and smashing the bone to powder. The flame continued to burn on the wick, but without the emerald glass, it no longer had a discomforting effect on Biff. Thank you. Coach sounded relieved. I could sense that lantern from the moment we stepped foot in this house. It became stronger the closer I got, until the light touched my phylactery, and then... Coach shuddered.

"What was it like?" Biff prodded. "'Cuz it touched me and i felt all cold and sweaty, like that time I got a fever when I was a kid." Well It didn't feel like a fever. Coach sighed, remembering his host's intelligence. Or lack thereof. Have You ever stared into the sun? The heat, the blindness, the lingering effects? Imagine feeling that on your very soul, while the sun compelled you to come closer, to bask in its deadly glow until you burned to a crisp. "That... doesn't sound fun."

Indeed. Coach deadpanned. Regardless, I don't feel its pull anymore, so I doubt any more undead will come to this manor without provocation. Let's see what we can find, then get out. Biff swiped the pile of notes off the desk, looking for anything underneath them.

Finding nothing, he pulled the drawers out of the desk, tossing anything he wasn't interested in. In one drawer he found quills, parchment, vials of ink and a bag of fine sand. The quills and parchment went to the floor, but he put the sand and an ink vial in his satchel. In another drawer, he found a sealed envelope. Coach formed a small blade of shadow on Biff's finger, letting him slice open the envelope with ease. Inside was a ring, made of black metal and cool to the touch. As Biff held it, the ring swelled and expanded until it was large enough to fit his fingers.

"Coach, I think this ring just chose me. It wants me to wear it." Biff looked at the ring, fascinated, to which Coach just sighed. Don't be a fool. It's a magic ring. Most magic rings can alter their size to a certain degree. But by all means, put it on. I'm detecting a strong aura, but it's not Necromancy. It seems to be... Illusion? Hmmm, shadow magic, specifically. How fortuitous! Shadow magic is my forte.

Biff put the ring on, not understanding Coach's shop talk. "Wait, I thought the baron was supposed to be a necrodancer or something. What's this shadow magic do?" Putting it simply, whatever the user wants it to. Shadow magic is limited only by your imagination and your willpower. And, of course, how much magic you can draw from the Shadow Realm. It will take some time to attune myself to this ring, but I believe this may be exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for...

"Cool." Biff looked through the other drawers, but nothing else caught his interest. "Let's head back to the caravan. I'm starving." He left the study, walked past the stone bust (the face changing to a fierce snarl behind Biff's back), back down the stairs, and out of the manor.

PastelPhoenix

A Princely Birb

Age 24
Male
Seen January 9th, 2019
Posted July 30th, 2018
387 posts
3.2 Years
Serafin





Deep in the Woods






The various townsfolk gathered in the square, brandishing whatever weapons they could find. Some had managed to find old swords locked away in some closet, while others made do with hunting spears and even the odd pitchfork or two. Most dressed in what little armor they could find, thick coats and leather gloves and boots, though a few dated pieces of armor could be spotted among the herd.

In the center of the crowd, atop a small collection of boxes, stood Commander Lovell, giving one of his many long winded speeches to the untrained masses. This time it might have been actually warranted, seeing how many of the “troops” seemed clueless of what actually the plan was.

“... and remember that your best friend out there is your own weapon. Trust your allies to have your back, but no not attempt to fight without even a knife in your hands. Even the small ones have claws that will cause more damage to you than you can in a wrestling match. If you are injured…”

“You with me Horny?” A voice next to Serafin asked. Turning, he saw that Karnyl had managed to sneak up on him while he was listening to the crowd. She had sought to forgo a helmet for this battle apparently, and just kept a bandana wrapped around her forehead.

“Appears that way.” He returned his gaze to the square as the elf stepped up to his side. “Fancy a run in the woods, eh?”

“Haha, elf jokes.” She rolled her eyes after seeing his muk eating grin. “Never gets old. I’m a little surprised you’re away from the main action, from my experience most of you “guests” prefer going after the biggest thing or leading the charge yourself.”

“Ain’t got a lick of magic protecting me from those giants, so I’ll save the suicidal heroism for another day. Plus I’m not the type for leading people. They tend to get turned off by the tail. Not to mention I’ve never served in an army or anything; no need to start now.”

“... they can bleed and thus you can kill them, quite easily I may add. Just know what you’re doing. No fancy maneuvers, you aren’t showing off for anyone. Fastest way to kill a blight spawn is to stab them in the psyducking heart. Yes, they do have one. Remember that the gods are on our side and…”

“Some ‘army’ we have,” Karnyl said, vaguely motioning to a large patch of nervous looking farmers, “they looks they’re about to muk themselves from the speech alone.”

“Relax captain commando, don’t gotta prove yourself as a super badass to me.”

She smiled and punched him in the shoulder at the jab. “Like I’m the one trying to be badass. Is that sword overcompensation for something, mister broody?”
“I can guarantee you that everything is up to snuff in relation with the sword, but then again my word probably isn’t enough for that, is it?”

Karnyl opened her mouth to say something before a loud horn blew in the distance.

“Psyduck.” She grabbed her axe and turned towards the woods as the crowd began to move towards the road. “You wanna tag team this?”

“Thorn ears stick together I suppose.”

The both of them hurried towards a secluded position in the woods, getting a brisk acknowledgement by the small gathering of hunters. Making sure there weren’t any last minute stragglers, the group began to slowly move forward, taking advantage of the tree cover while keeping an eye on the advancing villagers.

“Wanna bet who kills more?” Karnyl asked, taking cover next to Serafin.

“I’m not in the business of making bets on fighting.” Peering over towards his fellow Skirmisher he received the all clear signal and passed it down the line. “I will kick your ass in Ishian Three Card or Black King when we’re all finished here though.”

“Sounds like rattata talk, but I’ll take you on. Look out, Gnolls, behind the tree.”

Halting the advance, she motioned towards one of the archers to take the shot. With baited breath, Serafin watched the archer line up the shot and release the arrow. A second later there was a soft thump as a gnoll body hit the ground, and then all hell broke loose.

Howls filled the woods as each Gnoll alerted the other, and soon a return volley smacked against the trees.

“Look alive, I’m charging in.”






[/cd]








MurkMire

Toxic Terror

Age 27
Male
Somewhere dark, cold, and quiet.
Seen 4 Weeks Ago
Posted April 10th, 2019
863 posts
7.7 Years



Stalking New Specimens



Deep in the forests that surrounded the ongoing battle, countless Blightspawn were hiding in the shadows of the treeline and bushes, prepping their own assault.

But, deeper still, Morfran was preparing his own strike. He shifted, and held his hand forward. He could see three of the green vermin.

"Poison Spray." A vile, green, acid cloud fumed out of Morfran's palm. It caught the attention of the three, but was caught in mid-screech by the noxious cloud. One of them fired off an arrow above their location.

Morfran, seeing their attempt to signal their fellow troops, casted Prestidigitation, whiffing out the flame on the arrow.

He skulked slowly, unsure of what else was nearby. The flesh of the Blightspawn melted, leaving decayed muscle, skin, and just a couple of bones intact. Morfran carefully swiped them, and tucked them into a spare bag.

He swiftly slithered between the treeline, he was two blightspawn readying crossbows. With two outstretched palms, Morfran viciously grabbed them both by the back of their head, and drained them of their very lives.

"Heh... heheh."

Morfran had noticed that a smile had crept across his face as he watched the two vermin wither and die, falling gently to the earth before their corpses started to dissipate. He composed himself, and gathered some of their ashes, pouring them into a small gourd. He continued whittling their forces from the inside of the forest.

Poison Sprays, Life Drain, he mercilessly slaughtered Blightspawn that he came across.

Bones, ashes and even the rare organs he managed to save, all taken into his bag of remains.

Morfran looked beyond, out to the battlefield where his fellow caravan was fighting. He only looked to make sure his method of transportation was in no real danger.



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