Dawn of Night
About a few days or so back, the bright sun you once knew dissapeared from the sky. Now the lands you roamed are now cloaked in darkness, with only the stars and the now blue glowing moon, to occasionally help you through the pitch black darkness. Not only that, but a strange and devilish force has shown itself. Temples and monuments made of onyx black stone have arisen out of the ground, causing nightmarish creatures to wander out and attack people and unguarded villages.
Almost all small villages and towns have been attacked or destroyed by the creatures and corrupted mages coming out of the monuments, except for the small encampments that still remain. You are part of a caravan of people heading towards Brunswick, a great walled city offering protection for all the travelers that arrive there. Your caravan was heading downwards from the cold north to the southern woodland to get to Brunswick, until the journey took a turn for the worse...
You awaken to the sounds of a crackling fire in a chimney. Once you gain your bearings, you see you are in a small wooden house. The windows are boarded up, and the front door is blocked by rocks and planks. There are two other doors inside the house, one is closed with a bloodstain on the front of it, and the other is slightly ajar. Seemingly dead guards of the caravan you were traveling with are laid against the wall near the front door, with burn and claw marks on their bodies.
In the middle of the room is a large table with lit candles and a crude map on it, as well as chairs stationed around it. Lanterns, torches, jars of jerky, vegetables and fruit lay near the front doorway. While the cupboards in this room look relatively untouched, the shelves are devoid of anything, apart for some leather, ink wells, and parchment.
Multiple people lay around the room. Some of their things scratched and scuffed. Over in the corner sits a strange, Druid-looking man, with seemingly a skull for a head, looking around the room at the people laying inside the house. He mostly joined the caravan due to the creatures running him out of his encampment in the woods back near the village.
Commander, the boy whispered, fingering the deep gash across his neck. It had stopped bleeding a long time ago. You can't sleep yet.
The Hanged Man jerked upright and clutched the leather enarme of his tower shield, which had started to slip from his hand. The boy disappeared as if he was never there. The soldier didn't seem too concerned--Ayma was a common sight, and over the years the boy's whispers had lost their accusatory edge.
The Hanged Man was just outside the room, standing guard next to the door that stood ajar. The previous night was hazy in his mind--night, day, whatever it was. This eternal darkness was wreaking havoc on his sense of time. The attack had come so swiftly that their convoy stood little chance of resistance. His body ached from dragging the bodies of the fallen back to this shack. He was unsure if they would rise. "W-what ho, Joseph?"
He stepped through the doorway, looking around at the travelers, then to the slumped form of the guards. "Joseph ..." He stooped down and gently shook the man's shoulder, but he was certainly dead, having succumbed to his injuries sometime during the night. For a moment, Joseph's face turned into Ayma's, though the other witnesses would see no change. "Rest well in what comes after, lad," the Hanged Man muttered. He had tried to tend to the guard's wounds before, but he was a destroyer, not a healer, and he'd had little luck.
His sunken green eyes lifted to the man in the corner, who seemed to wear a skull mask, though it was awfully tight fitting if that was so. "Everyone else dead?"
Adrianna sits up, shaking her head a bit dazed before blinking to adjust to the light of the fireplace. After a moment she instantly panics and looks around, looking for her staff. When she finds it she grabs it, and let's out a huge sigh of relief. She looks down at the floor, remembering that they had been attacked sometime before she arrived here. Upon remembering this, Adrianna looks around, only to see the guards dead by the doorway. Her eyes widen as she walks over to them, kneeding down and shaking her head.
"You deserved better..."
She mumiles quietly to herself. She then notices the hanged man and a figure with a skull for a head. She instantly goes quiet, tightening her grip on her staff.
The Eldenic Mage shakes his head. "Nah, they're fine. The pink haired one was the last that I helped dragged in. Don't know about the others who were still outside though. There are crows outside... but even they won't dare to speak. Something's got them shaking in their feathers, and it's pretty obvious as to what it was..." He gets up the ground with a faint snarl, sliding his axe out from his belt, he wipes off the blade with his gloved hand. Droplets of purple liquid fall from the blade.
"Those creatures that were out there. They're not like the animals of the woods. They're something... foreign." He walks over to the table and takes a look at the map. He looks over to Adrianna. "Ah, the young one's awake. That's good."
Nalia sits up, as she touch her head trying to remember what happened, as she looks around Nalia notice the Hanged Man and a female with pink hair, Nalia grabs her staff and used it as a support as she stands up, as Nalia stands she notice a figure standing beside the table with a skull for a head, Nalia ignores the others for now and walks toward the Dead guards and people Nalia kneels to the bodies and started Touching the bodies, one by one as she touch each body of the dead Nalia hands glows. As Nalia finish touching the last body she looks at all of the dead.
Ar lasa mala revas.....You are free you can rest easily I hope all of you can find peace in the other side
Nalia looks back at the others.
Does anyone have an idea where we are?
He looks around the room again, after looking at the map for a bit. "That's what i'm trying to find out. I've never been in this part of the country before, so i'm completely lost just as you are. All I can say is that we're directly north of a village, and southward lies Brunswick. Oh, and is anyone hurt? Well... besides... you know, the dead ones..."
The Hanged Man nodded at Yizkavesh's response. That, at least, was good news--it meant their hard work hadn't been for naught. His eyes flicked to the girl, Adrianna, as she stared mistrustfully back. "I w-won't hurt you," he said. The stutter didn't seem to befit his sunken eyes and haggard appearance. He attempted a smile, but it was an ugly attempt, caught on and twisted by the left side of his face.
Then it was Nalia's turn to rise. She ignored him, save a glance, so he gave her the same treatment, until she consulted the map. And even then he preferred to let the masked man--though the swordsman was beginning to doubt that it was a mask at all--answer her instead.
"Brunswick is walled, is it not?" he asked, also fairly unfamiliar with the area. "And nay, nay ... I've a f--a few dings and scrapes, and I am exhausted, but I have weathered worse." He looked towards the window before remembering they were boarded up. "... did you say crows? Is there a white one?" He hadn't seen his pale shadow in months, and though he disliked its raucous company at times, he was finding he was beginning to miss it.
Adrianna watches as another person stands up and ignores the two of them. She just sighs and decides if that's how it's going to be, then she would juset it go for now. After all, there were more important things to be focusing on at the moment. She stands up and walks over to the table, before glancing at the hanged man, keeping a tight grip on her saff the entire time.
"We'll thank you....."
She says as she glances down at the map. She waits for the man with a skull for a head to finish talking before shaking her head.
"I'm fine...a few bruises here and there, but not seriously injured otherwise."
She says before glancing downward and the map. She was unfamiliar with this part of the country, however given her final destination, it could be a blessing in disguise. Its just a matter of was she closer or farther from brunswick than before? Something else caught her attention as well. She stares at his blade for a moment, and the droplets of purple liquid that fell from it and onto the floor. purple blood?? she thinks to herself before walking over to one of the windows and looking outside.
A groan. Another figure stirred -- behind the rest in waking, though given the blood, dried and otherwise, amid his curls, that was somewhat unsurprising. He might well have been taken for dead initially, a somewhat scrawny lad in ragged clothing and a thick blue scarf. Rising to all fours, staring at the ground, head pounding, he put a hand in a fingerless glove to the side of his skull and winced, fingers coming away with blood -- he became conscious of voices. People talking in the same room. Room? He was -- inside -- was that good? It didn't seem good. Something must have gone wrong, or right, or -- both. Both, as it slowly came back to him, though from an outside perspective the lad was just staring emptily at the floor as if he'd been addled.
He looked up slowly as if afraid of what he'd see, and flinched to regard the man whose head seemed to be a skull. Looking round still -- amid the caravan, the boy had appeared a bit -- well, mad, frankly, with the hollow and distant look in his eyes, and strange fidgeting attitudes. He'd fit in well in a way; few had been able to take the continual darkness without mental consequence, nearly all came from destroyed villages.
He fumbled for his bow -- found it beside him, a little scraped, but mostly unharmed. Mostly. He cursed under his breath, the string had been damaged to the point of uselessness, it would surely snap if fired, maybe if drawn. He'd an extra, but he always hated to lose a bowstring. He inquired, dizzy, disoriented -- "How... how've we come here... I don' remember." His voice a little hoarse with an accent which suggested a poor and uncultured upbringing -- he addresed the Hanged Man so as not to address the skulled one! The other two, from what little he was able to see, didn't likely know much more than him. "An'... who's that..." Inclining his head towards the skull-bearing fellow. He swallowed hard, a slightly sick feeling rising in him.
Adrianna spun around as she heard shuffling followed by a voice. She noticed a man who appeared to be on all four with appeared lost look in his eyes. She also couldn't help but notice that he had fidgety mannerisms, indicating a possible nervous disposition? Regardless, she speaks up loud enough so he could hear.
"None of us know....that's what we're all trying to figure out..."
She says before looking out the window once more. After a minute or two she deems pointless as she couldnt see anything, and goes to the fireplace and sits down.
The Hanged Man nodded to the girl as she looked off towards the boarded up windows. He then glanced towards Bialis as the kid began to stir, but his eyes couldn't settle on him for long without feathery dread flickering in his gut. The likeness was nightmarishly similar--even when the swordsman had been carrying the boy back to the shack after the attack, he had avoided looking at him. Yet seeing him now, barely moving for the lump on his head, the Hanged Man could not bear to let him be. You have to protect me, commander. "I know," he said to no one.
The swordsman strode hesitantly over and crouched beside Bialis, leaning on his shield. "We--we dragged you and the others back here," he said, gesturing to the druid with the skull, though didn't attempt to introduce the man. "But where h-here is, I cannot say."
As he spoke, he avoided meeting Bialis' eyes, while attempting to inspect the damage to his head. "I--I think I am going to Brunswick after this."
The map on the table is hardly a map at all. More like something someone made in a hurry, or possibly, in their free time, but were poor at drawing. In the middle of the map is marked the house they are inside, marked with the word "Home" in big writing. Near the south of the map lay a image which looks like a village, directly south from the house.
Near the northeast of the map lies a strange looking image, in the shape of a temple, with the words "STAY AWAY" written on it.
He looks at Bialis as he gets up. "Ah, that's grand. Most of us in here aren't dead." He looked towards the Hanged Man. "I don't know. I can't tell what they look like, I can just hear them from outside. They're still afraid, so they won't talk much."
The boy gritted his teeth. The pain was -- throbbing, and it was hard to separate the feelings from the injury from what he was trying to -- feel, or to figure out if he was feeling. Dread, but it had been ages, it felt, since he'd been without dread. Was it there... maybe, but faint... "Nnngh..." He managed to sit up -- everything seemed to hurt. Generally battered about. Looking up, to find the Hanged Man suddenly right before him, flinching back slightly in surprise.
"Brunswick... well... aren't we all...? Where else is there to go... that... that's where we were going. The, the caravan. Were... were th'rest of you all from it, or...?" He tried to steady his breaths, as the strange man felt at the side of his head. The skull had not been injured -- a slight fracture at the very most, but there might have been a concussion of some degree, and the bleeding was hard to staunch, being a head wound. "I... there's... somethin' out there, I think..." He knew at once how stupid it sounded. Of course there was something out there. There was always something out there.
"I mean... nggh.. ow... which way's what, are... are we headin' out soon..." Clearly dazed.