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Forums » Fantasy Roleplay » Chronicles of Obelus: Journey to the North (Full)

In her heart, Elvira had already begun mourning. Over the millenia, thousands, even millions had died upon these shores in the gruesome history of Obelus, and even more so if they had been summoned from elsewhere. Depending upon how powerful of a spell and how long its duration would last, the undead could possibly be an enemy that couldn't be defeated. Her protective contingent had already been small to begin with for this errand of meeting Delilah, much to many of her cohorts' dismay, and with sending four riders off and losing another two to the still-marching horde, the elven numbers including herself were a dismal fourteen. Painfully small compared to Delilah's forces and smaller still than their enemy. The elves had horses, as to their advantage, but still it would not be enough.

Zamora's grin and abject playfulness during Dezus' speech had not gone unnoticed to the Queen, and consequently the dragoness was immediately pegged as yet another enemy. As the contingent wheeled around for another running graze to take another scrape off the undead horde, a couple of the soldiers had bared their swords and spears at Zamora as she approached, before Elvira had waved them down momentarily to allow the request to be spoken.

"Hmph." The quiet, proud acknowledgement transferred her truly strong abhorrence to the idea into a much milder sentiment to be expressed. "I would not spite King Joseph with such an act. He has been kind enough to lend his forces. Even if those efforts are foiled, he has spared resources during this time of war, and at the least that warrants his respect, as well as the Commander's. A trap may be a trap, but honor must be kept. Efforts will be organized by dawn... once we are able to destroy these forces. Powerful as a sorcerer may be, a spell such as this can only last for so long." Regardless, she would keep an eye on Zamora now. If she had been aware of Dezus' treachery beforehand, then what else could she be keeping away from her companions and from everyone else?

It was at this time when Dalitso approached, and her violet eyes seemed to soften. Now here was a man beset with grief, and she could hear the unspoken plea in his voice. And here he was, willing to pledge himself to their cause, at least for the time being. She could only pray that she would not be taking in another traitor like her father had before her. "And I thank you, Dalitso of Zephia. We wood-elves have only had a single main focus in our course of history: to protect our forest, the home to our people. This journey you are willing to take would mean much to me, and I am willing to send our finest with you, offer supplies and other needs to your companions, as well as a place among these glades. I myself cannot leave Ivory, not in such dire circumstances."

At Chi's compliment, Elvira turned to glance at the demon, dipping her chin in reverent greeting and acknowledgement. The remark was a kind gesture, yet at the moment, in the middle of a combat, it hardly seemed appropriate.
Vikne (played by yourfathersuncle)

The risen dead came forth with unending fury. Though they were hardly more than rotting towers of flesh alone, any force with enough men could pose a mighty threat to any band of warriors, regardless of ability.

Upon Dalitso's word, the shaman began to fight without question or reservation. His attention was forced away from the queen and her envoy from that point on, though he did hear that they were to give aid to her from now.

The shaman raised his hands, amassing golden light between them. "Watch yourself Varen, your shadows may be susceptible to dawn magic." Warned Vikne, as he unleashed beams of light into the relentless horde. He continued similarly, and as time went on the keen observer would notice the gold of his light begin to shift into a deep crimson, as if stained by blood.

The undead were a foe that felt no pain, no emotion at all. The only end in sight was desolation of either side. No peaceful resolution was possible, and the energy of the mages would wane far before victory could be ensured. "We must flee soon or face annihilation at the hands of this unyielding foe." Vikne cried out, to any who would listen. He could only last for so long.
Alicia (played by ShayN-03)

Everything around Alicia was painted red. From the ground to the blood that spurted up the sky, to the water below them. She took down as many of the undead as she could but she was only a human. There was only so much she could do given her physical limitations.

"...I have to agree with Vikne, I can't hold them off much longer." It hurt for her to admit it. But if they didn't get out soon they'd be killed.

"I'll follow you all wherever you go."
Zamora (played by Aubrey)

Zamora answers Varen first. How would she set someone on fire? "Rune work," she explains simply, as if it was the most basic solution for the quest. The closer the army of corpses come to them, the more unsettled the dragoness becomes. She glances over her shoulder even as Dalisto speaks and Elvira addresses her. The dragon in elven guise remains quiet, thoughtful, and increasingly creeped out by the reanimated flesh. Why does it have to be something dead?

As she decides upon her answers, Zamora hops off the horse and hands the reins to Dalisto. Vikne's cry echoes in her ears. Though she was generally a self absorbed being, she feels some intrigue towards the spice traders- apparently she was even one of them... and wanted to see where their adventures would take them next. With their luck, maybe she'll even encounter another dragon. "Honor is what gets people killed." She says evenly to Elvira, staring the queen brazenly in the eye.

Vikne more than does his part with his attacks, but they are likely only a dent to such masses of bone, and rot. Still looking the matriarch in the eye, Zamora considers her options for several more moments. "Say please." She says evenly, the command only to Elvira.

With or without the queen asking, the lean figure of her elven guise will begin to crumble. Though long and lean, the creature she becomes does not resemble serpentine Eastern dragons. She is far closer to the dragons of the West, build for both power and speed. First she is no more than the size of a dog, but she grows and grows. Beneath the sun's rays shows a copper tint to her otherwise mercury scales. Those nearby may have to scrabble to escape her swiftly growing figure and avoid being hit by the lash of her whipping tail. It had only been minutes since her resolve that she wouldn't show her true self, yet here she is, her strong figure ready for battle. She strides out from the lip of the forest to find a clear space for her forty foot wingspan to stretch out fully, not yet taking off.
Varen Dominal (played by darkborn202)

Well, things were turning out to be interesting. Lots of undead. The group couldn't hold them off forever... but maybe they didn't need to hold them off... time for a major summoning spell...

"Vikne! Hold them off! And please, don't use light this time- fire, at most, please!" Varen cried out to Vikne.

With that said, he crouched, put a hand on the ground, and concentrated. Around him, symbols began to carve themselves into the ground. The appearance they took on was of a slimy, yet smoky black substance. And this symbol expanded, rapidly. It formed a major circle, about 30 feet in radius, and a couple of smaller circles around any living person in its vicinity, but other than that, it was occupied by symbols.

Elyzia did her job well, keeping the things out of the circle while it was being made. However, Varen needed more time...

He hardly noticed when Zamora turned into a dragon, but in his mind, he couldn't help but feel somewhat relieved. Zamora finally showed us her true self. Plus, she's killing the things... Concentrate, concentrate...
Dalitso (played by Serverus) Topic Starter

The Shadowmancer was incorrect about one thing; questioning the Mad Shaman’s choice of light beams over fire. Where fire would spread and destroy everything even life of the innocent, the light spell was accurately effective, melting the eyes and bodies off all the undead before them. Truthfully, light was the fruition of fire, it was just a purer form of it.

Things had calmed for a bit, until those who had fallen in Delilah’s army began to wake. Even the elves who perished in the earlier attack would rise, familiar faces they once seen laugh at Lance’s jokes now wailed mindlessly, craving the warm blood of the living.

“Will this ever end?" Dalitso said to himself after giving his pledge to Elvira.

Vikne wisely cried out to move back and Alicia agreed; his Sword Sister yielded her blade that was covered in undead scarlet. Vikne’s cry had did two things: it got Zamora’s attention and it notified everyone that this was a fight they probably could not win. Zamora had said some words to try and provoke the Queen and Dalitso placed his hand on Elvira’s leg armor; considering she was still mounted. “Let me speak with her.” He said calmly, taking the reins that Zamora had handed him. He leaped on the black mount to meet the fierce beauty of Elvira’s eyes.

Elvira only had fourteen contingent with her and more undead came from the seas to join the fallen familiars. Dalitso seeing this, prompted everyone in his company with a sincere direction. “Alicia, Zosa, Sanse, Pela, Nahita, protect the Queen. Chi will guard Delilah with the remains of her Jubilee army. Vikne come with me. Varen is doing something and he may need us.”

Meanwhile, Zamora began to crumble. Dalitso watched the transformation entirely, amazed yet inwardly terrified. The little wood elf he knew was only a facade. He noticed something else that comforted his bronze skin—the rays from the sun light that reflected off Zamora’s coppery tinted scales. It was dawn. They had been fighting undead all night. This Demon Caravan could never sleep it seemed. The merfolk encounter had put them in a situation similar.

“Chi is working on a gateway ingress. The portal will take Delilah to a secure place where she won’t infect any of us. When I am finished with Zamora, we will come back to you.” He said to Elvira riding off in the gallop.

Dalitso was a brave fool. And he understood if Vikne refused to ride with him. There were plenty of terrified horses now from the lives of the fallen, so the Shaman had a choice to hop on one and join him in this fools journey or embark on his own path. He prayed for the former; he considered Vikne a friend. He hoped Vikne would look after Varen who placed what looked like symbolic circles all over the beach terrain. Whatever it was The Shadowmancer was doing, Dalitso had confidence in Varen’s ability and could only pray that it channeled in fast; because the dead were coming...

The Sword Singer, rode close to meet the face of the mercury scaled Dragoness. His dreads blew wildly behind his muscular shoulders at every snarl of Zamora’s great breath.

“You have held yourself back all this time and decided not to betray us. For that I am grateful. Now what will you do? There is an army of dead out there and if you do nothing they will destroy us. Zamora...if you hear me. I am your friend. And if you fight for me...I will draw my blade on any who threaten you.” He unsheathed his scimitar to cut the face of a familiar that tried to bite into the Dragoness’ scales. The minion hollered and shrieked from the cut, his remains melting into a sweet aroma of ash and fire

“Well us who you really are.”
Elvira met Zamora's stare with an unwavering spirit, firm in her convictions and decisions even before Dalitso has done his best to calm her. "Loyalty is not honor, nor honor loyalty. It is not one but both which earns respect." However, before more could be said, Zamora began to change. Elvira, along with a few of the other elven guards in her company, had to retreat their mounts several paces to accommodate for the transformation, and she looked up with a muted awe, her violet eyes mixed with a dusky wariness.

"Dza khava'durag," she murmured an oath beneath her breath. This was the unspoken variable that may have accounted for such behaviors. Dragons did inhabit Ivory, upon the farther reaches of the cliffs, and it was rare that they would ever go out of their way for any but their own gain. The dragons that she had encountered tended to be fickle and self-centered, and in seeing that Zamora only revealed herself now under duress, it not only seemed to allay her suspicions, but also shed additional light on the severity of their position. Zamora felt threatened enough to reveal herself, taking action for her own protection if not all of theirs.

Still the dead began to rise from the waters, unending. Elvira nodded at Dalitso's beseeching to be the one to address Zamora, considering that he had probably known the dragon for longer. "...this is no spell..." she murmured, seeing the undead continue relentlessly. "A spell with a focus from the caster should have all but ended by now, and at this must be a ritual, whose apex activation Dezus must have had ready at any moment..."

"If this is to stop, we must find the source of energy continuing this curse."
Vikne (played by yourfathersuncle)

The tide of battle had turned against the noble party, a gathering fighting now in desperation, which served a poor motivator. Morale would be low, and despair reigning freely in the warrior's hearts. Vikne wore a weary countenance, his shoulders stooped. Each spell seemed to be less effective than the last, until one failed entirely. A blast of magic sent the shaman sprawling. He recovered swiftly, unhurt but shaken.

As hope fled, the voice of a comrade brought back his determination. Varen requested a man to watch his back while he prepared a summon. Alicia voiced her own dismay, and Zamora responded in kind. Before the eyes of all, the elven woman grew a great many sizes, revealing her true self. She was a dragon, creatures the shaman's forefathers had fought desperate battles against so many ages ago. Their threat was rarely known this day, though if stories were to be believed her succor would be a great boon to the group.

Dalitso summoned the shaman as well. Bound by honor to respect the wishes of both men, he swiftly made a decision. Both hands rose, his ice again encircled himself. His fabricated wolf returned, though now it was made of a crimson ice and as large as a horse. The forking tendrils that had afflicted him prior as well had returned, their path ending near his mouth.

"Ay, my magic is yours." Replied the shaman as he mounted his wolf. He rode towards Dalitso. "Now is a poor time, but I have a dire matter to address when peace is ensured." With this, he faced the horde. The wolf roared, summoning jagged stones forth from his maw.

The queen had some valuable advice, and Vikne considered his own potential in stopping this ritual. "I can seek out sources of magic, though it requires immense concentration and potentially hours to fully discern each one. If I am undisturbed long enough I may be able to find that source you speak of, though I would be entirely unable to fight or provide any help whatsoever in that time." Said the shaman. "As well, it must be somewhat near to us, too far and I could not strain myself enough."

While he awaited a response, the man turned to continue waging battle against the hordes before them.
Alicia (played by ShayN-03)

Upon seeing Zamora's transformation, Alicia immediately backed away. She had never seen a dragon before and feared Zamora immensely now. The unknown will always frighten her. She was snapped out of her frightened and shocked trance by two things, Zamora's words and the "revival" of their fallen friends.

"Honor is what gets people killed."

Despite their differences, it seems they share a similar opinion. Alicia turned her eyes back to the undead, the faces of those she only met minutes ago distorted and bloody. She hardened her heart, she didn't know those soldiers and she didn't care to know. Or at least that was what she told herself.

At Dalitso's orders, Alicia joined the gypsies in protecting the Queen. At first, she didn't wish to do so for royalty and anyone of nobility always made her wary. She listened to the Queen's words as she slashed the heads of any undead who dared to approach the group.

"Loyalty is not honor, nor honor loyalty. It is not one but both which earns respect."

As much as Alicia wanted to believe those words, loyalty and honor meant nothing in the gladiator pits. And who's the say the outside world isn't the same? She shook her head, brushing those words off. The ex-gladiatrix tried to figure out what the source of magic could be.

"Maybe it's a rune we're looking for?" Alicia asked, not too well educated on stuff like this. Zamora did mention runes earlier, it wouldn't hurt to add her two-cents. She hoped the shaman and Dalitso wouldn't push themselves again.
Zamora (played by Aubrey)

Zamora's lime green gaze looks over the hoards of undead, seeking points where they may be moving faster or where the feel of Dezus' magic might be stronger. If she knows him, he's put his kill switch, the thing to stop the magic, as far back and in the most obscure place that he possibly could. She is busily looking out at the tide of approaching bodies while Varen attacks with shadow and Vikne with light. Dalisto ventures forth on the familiar black horse, looking more like a dark figure chiseled from stone than a human being with his outrageous muscles and various levels of perfection.

She stays low enough to hear the speech that may have touched anyone else's heart. The single undead is allowed to approach. She looks carefully over its figure and tastes the air in an attempt to measure its mana. When Dalisto stabs it, she closes her eyes and sees if the magic is eliminated as well, or if it retreats to infiltrate another source. Is it finite? Cycling? Or something tethered to a single object?

"Interesting." Her voice holds roots of similarities to her elven guise, but her throat made the pitch deeper, more feral, and almost as if it were echoing in her throat. Dragon jaws designed for ripping and blowing. Speech was only an added bonus. Zamora pushes off from the ground. Her strong legs give her just enough altitude for her wings to snap out and catch the air. Slowly but surely, she gains enough altitude to zoom over the fighting men. When she's perhaps three hundred feet from Elvira's gathering and decently sure she won't hit Vikne and Varen, a deep breath is pulled in from her nostrils, then expelled from her maw. There is no stereotypical dragon's fire, but a cone of rust colored gas. All that it touches, friend, foe, leaf, or dog, will slow to half speed.
Lord Ecru (played anonymously)

From above, an unnatural light was seen. An Angelican servant of Ecru hovered before them. There was a great golden glow that was hard to gaze upon—a burn far stronger than the sun itself. Naturally one would look away from such power. Elvira would feel peace in her heart when she looked into the warmth of the morning sky. A gentle voice promised her that her forest would not die. They were aware of her burden and Lord Ecru himself was proud of her. All would feel this peace, even the Dragoness. Indeed the presence before them was the opposite of evil. What came from the sea today was against their will. But they needed this group to be strong and holdfast together, if not for the sake of the journey. The Necromancer’s ritual was a threat to this world. “The only way to stop this is to destroy the Kapellmeister.” The Voice of Host said to all of them. It was a mighty deep voice that carried wind with it. The creature Zamora chose to use a form of matter, which would deter the Walkers movement. The Gods of Obelus were impressed. Thus something else brought them here. The 30 foot radius that Varen created was an attempt to trade his life for theirs. Varen created a portal that would overpower him and knock him unconscious. The Shadowmancer succeeded in pulling the dead in his unholy trap. Slowly they began to suck into the earthen gore. Varen was temporarily sucked in also—until The Host intervened. He protected Varen and sent him into a spiritual demension; where his body was saved from the calamity he brought upon himself.

Meanwhile, the undead in this vicinity would all perish and fall into the dark symbols that burned black portal holes into the soft ground. After moments of wailing and screeching, there was silence. The undead came no more. And there was a moment of peace in everyone’s eyes.

“Wake up, Gregory Holt.” The Host said for only Gregory to hear. With all the undead risen, he gave one the gift to hear. Then the golden glow from the sky was gone and the air was now clear and beautiful. The most important thing now was that the undead were temporarily seized due to the Shadowmancer’s sacrifice.
Gregory Holt (played by KahnMan)

The undead's hunger is insatiable and overbearing - rage on equal measure. What of other emotions? Pity? Joy? Sadness? A necromancer saw to it that those other emotions are stripped from their risen minions, soul forcefully stolen from their afterlife and returned to their rotting husk, without will and without mind - so when an undead horde charges, it was frenzied and without caution. Fear and pain was for the living and they could run right into the end of a sword and spear just to gnaw and hack and their enemies. But this undead was different - it had emotions, it had will, but supressed heavily by the necromancer's unholy magic.

An undead stand upon the beach shores, sea water spewing from gaps of its armor. Its advance is a gait, unlike the horde with him, sallying forth with careless abandon into the dangerous living foes before them - notably the two mages. The others were dangerous too but what is swords and spears against magecraft? This undead fought as if it had a mind and conscious, or mayhaps it was instincts, for it had killed an elven rider's horse with such unexpected swiftness, throwing the rider to the ground for the other rotters to rip and tear.

The onslaught still rages on, that one special undead kept fighting the living along with the others until he fell a man with his warhammer, before he caved in the poor man's skull in, he was crying, pleading for mercy as if it meant anything to the mindless - and it did. The cries triggered something within it, it soon realize its slavery, realize its own mind, and its will, then it questions itself.

What is happening? What am I doing? Where am I?

It steps back, though it had no eyes, no nose, no ears - infact, flesh had sloughed away and blackened making the undead akin to skeletal than man, but its soul could experience the pain within the battlefield; cries, steel to flesh, screeching, the horror - then remembrance; flashes of disturbing, sudden, vivid memories from events when it was alive bore painful semblance to the carnage now. First came rage, not to the living, but to its master, Dezus the Drow Necromancer for delivering it back into this world as a wretched decaying monster. Then misery for the many he slew today, and most of all, the memories; the failure of the past, and dishonor, it was its memories, was it? It doubts, mayhaps it was fabricated, a false delusion, or the genuine truth, but misery is misery even if those were not its, and it would cry, if it could. And thus, the undead turn against its own rotting brethren, its soul have effectively overthrow the necromantic commands.

It does not know who it was, or what it was, but it keep fighting, and fighting even when the dragon had breathe thick gas that slugged everything; swinging ferociously at every undead that came to harm the living until the morn arrive, the dawn bringing warmth to all of Obelus. But the day brought another happening - the light overhead, blinding, but with comforting warmth to the soul. It heeds its words, to destroy the Kapellmeister with agreeable intent, only to fear that it could never see that day, for the Shadowmancer's self-sacrificial magic had already taken into effect.

The divines must have smiled upon the undead, for when all of the dead had returned to the earth, only one stands unscathed. "Wake up, Gregory Holt" said the divine voice. Then the final flash of memory came to the undead, its identity - Gregory Holt, Lord of House Holt.
Dalitso (played by Serverus) Topic Starter

Meanwhile, on the other side of the fray, the gypsies and Alicia managed to defend that circlet as best as they could, along side Elvira's elven guard and the last of Delilah's militia. The undead were being cut down, but did not stop coming. Great warriors arose from the sea with swords and axes. Even dead, they did not lose their instincts, but somehow remembered the glorious ways of their former prowess. A few elves and humans were mercilessly cut down; crimson sprayed Elvira's comely face. The Valkryn was focused on working the ingress to get Delilah away from this. Thus as the dead came in with haste, it angered her and she had no choice now but to break concentration and take down the warriors that cut into the path of the Queen's contingent. Heads and arms flew across the sand; her demon blade fencing those that had true skill.

"We will not relent," Chi said to Elvira, as if Dalisto was speaking through her. A blade nearly subdued the Tigress, and she managed to avoid that fate, catching another walker in his side. "My master seems to adore you."

Then the golden light came...

At one moment, it looked like all was lost. The Queen was surrounded by nearly a hundred minions, all coming in to feast on elf and human blood. Thus Varen had become a hero. His work had successfully been activated. Everything undead was sucked into the ground. The portal took them far away from this plane; including Varen.

"Varen! Noo!" Dalitso cried. He sheathed his scimitar and tried to reach for the Shadowmancer but his material body was taken before his eyes. "Varen...?" His eyes twitched in disbelieve. The voice of the Gods spoke out to everyone. But who or what was the Kapellmeister? This is what came in Dalitso's mind, while he barely held himself together. Vikne had requested to speak with him about important matters and he would not refuse his companion.

"We shall speak on this matter in Elvira's shelter. We must see her home." He said weakly, to the Shaman.

Zamora had turned on him and everyone with her gas, and he did not leave her gaze. An unpredictable creature is what she was, but he connected with her. The Afgarian moved forward like a snail; gently touching the large nostril of the Dragoness. He tried to calm her with his touch, tender fingers; far calloused at the tips. "It is over." He said to her; his large muscles making him finesse as he wrapped his arms around the beast and leaped on her shoulders. "You are safe with me." He whispered over her silver scaled skin; that glowed a hue of copper at certain angles of the sun light.

Chi looked around and found her breath again. She moved toward Elvira, letting her know the sincerity of the situation. "If I take your human Commander, I will no longer be able to stay in this world. I will have to protect her in the demon realm. It is the only way to move her without destroying anyone. I tried to take her there but this power is too great and limits me from being apart from her. What is redroot? I heard that drow mention it, before he vanished away in his cowardice." She purred to Elvira.

Dalitso had noticed something in the distance and touched Zamora’s cheek to bring this to her attention. There was an undead Knight walking on the ocean shore that did not fall into the depths like the unfortunate souls near him.

"You there?" He unsheathed his demon scimitar; an ebony blade that glowed with blue roots in the craft. "If you can hear me...why are you not in the ground like the others?"
"Runes are moderate foci of magic even at best," Elvira replied in the negative to Alicia as she attempted to steer her contingent away from the impending undead. "Even if they last for millenia, the runic arcanism cannot be channeled without a caster. And with Dezus no longer in this place, and the accursed continuing, it rules it out of the question--!"

The sudden rise in the pitch of her otherwise-composed voice was due to the sudden splatter of blood upon her face and the subsequent need to force her horse to rear back, kicking at the undead that had suddenly breached her protective unit and attempted to claw at her. With gritted teeth, the Queen cleaved through the emaciated creature's head, and a surge of that blue flame engulfed the revenant before it crumbled into ash before her, but not before emitting yet another primal screech.

The sudden onslaught had dispersed her formation momentarily, and as several more of the undead attempted to isolate her, Elvira began to murmur in the ancient dialect as she bared her sword.

"Is'thraësk gaãn ôrum'namhan eàsû ynalthìër...

Her blade began to glow a faint silvery sheen before she released a fierce cry, simultaneously slashing into the air aside her. A single shockwave, like that of tainted light, seared through at least four or five of the creatures before it vanished as if it had never been. Elvira attempted to wipe her face with her free hand, a touch of grief lacing those violet hues as she surveyed the unending horde. The motion of her hand left a dark smear upon her face. "This will not end..." she breathed, for but a mere moment in despair.

It was then when Chi's reassurance and proclamation reached her, and outwardly she scoffed lightly, even as the sentiment seemed to warm her heart. Perhaps in this last day, it was comforting to know that even if it was fleeting, there would still be someone to welcome her wholly in the end.

However, the new golden light sought her gaze a moment before the shadowmancer's spell took effect. The undead sunk into the ground as if the earth itself had opened for them to return, the dark portals taking the creatures like the quicksand in the bog marshes, until only one stood to remain, alone amongst the vast stretch of scarred earth. The elf turned her eyes to the bright sky before closing them and letting the light, and its peace, wash over her like a balm. As the assurance touched her soul, moisture beaded at the corners of her closed eyes. She was loved, and the beloved forest would not perish. It was all that she could ever ask for.

She opened her eyes to acknowledge Chi, as the divine light had suddenly gone, leaving the elf almost cold in this world. 'The Kappellmeister'...who or what was this that needed to be destroyed? She could not be certain at the moment, but now her resolve had deepened, digging its heels in, and she was determined to regroup so that measures to be taken to overcome this curse upon the land. Else it be the end of them all.

"Redroot is a plant that by legend, has been believed to have gifted us wood-elves' ancestors with our significant lifespan," Elvira explained, her voice quiet now with not only the peace but with a revered respect. So many had died upon this day...she found herself surveying the field and beginning to count the remaining before she stopped herself, heart already aching. She returned to the subject. "Consumed in anything but its purest natural state, it will kill the being in seven days. It was said that it was destroyed...but it seems there is still some out there." She paused, trying to think of the rest of the legend; to her they had been childhood stories. Who knew that they would come full-circle and be their only hope.

"Etymon root. We must find some; the dwarves are said to have them."

To her remaining soldiers, all exhausted, she offered them a smile as well as an incantation. "Wasius heiigris." There was a green light that spread from her hands that revitalized them, but it seemed to drain her of some color, and she would look weary. "Gather those left, then begin herding all northeast," she managed to them, delivering instruction even as she watched Dalitso and Zamora, as well as the lone figure. "We must find shelter in the cities...Welden'eve is closest..."
Vikne (played by yourfathersuncle)

The risen dead carried on their brutal campaign with no end in sight, the daunting waves refused to relent. The situation was beyond dire, failure meant death, and failure was the only possibility. Strength was waning swiftly.

It appeared Varen had completed his ritual, for the earth beneath the mighty army was split, swallowing Varen and all the undead, save for a lone knight. Golden light shone from above, granting respite to the weary, and saving the shadowmancer from his self-induced fate. A duality was induced upon Vikne, utter peace, and immense agony.

The shaman's wolf vanished as he fell to the ground, grasping his right shoulder and gritting his teeth. The light passed, and Vikne slowly rose to his knees. He was drenched in sweat, his right arm and right half of his face had been entirely burnt, still smoking. "Let us waste no time then, it seems this errand is desperate." The shaman stood, shaking profusely.
Alicia (played by ShayN-03)

Watching Varen get absorbed by the ritual alongside the dead was painful to watch. She pressed her lips into a thin line as her heart sank.

Losing another one of their own, regardless of how little Alicia knew the person, always hurt. But change was always common for her, and she’ll adapt accordingly. Just like she’ll adapt to everything else that’s been thrown at her.

She had some wounds here and there, but thankfully nothing too serious that would require immediate treatment. Vikne on the other hand looked as if he’d crawled through hell and back.

Upon seeing the undead knight as well, Alicia immediately grew tense and ready to back Dalitso up if required. Though, she doubt he’d need her assistance. She’d probably be more of use preparing to travel once again. She walked over to Zamora and requested, “...Can you carry Vikne? He’s not in the best state.”
Zamora (played by Aubrey)

Many things happened at once. While normally she would take the time to appreciate the chaos, peace was forced upon her, which was as pleasant as a bucket of water to a sleeping man. The pillar of light stung her pupils most unpleasantly. Even before she could finish her rust-gas assault, she turns and heads back to the best landing strip -- beside Dalisto once more, who quickly hops on. Any time but now, her mind was a delightfully chaotic web. At the center was her sense of self, with all other thoughts stemming out from there. The god's interference set her at peace. That is the only thing that saved Lord Gregory Holt from battling with a dragon. If not for Ecru's interference, the undead would have been seen as a threat, for Zamora despises corpses.

Dalisto sets his hand upon her nostril and utters words so silly a rumble echoes from her throat. Now that she is back on the ground her silvery scales are pure, uninterrupted mercury - as they'd only showed a copper tint at certain angles. The western dragon's relatively lean and long figure twists to regard the Afrgarian, seemingly untouched by his sentiment or at the fact that Varen is gone. Alicia's request is heard. To answer, she leans down, giving the girl a clear sign to hop on. A few seconds later, with or without Alicia astride, the mercury dragoness pads to where Vikne lay. "Hop on." She runs a lime green eye over him, assessing his damages rather curiously. If he cannot crest the laying dragoness's withers on his own, she turns her head and will gently grip his torso with the front of her teeth, like a mother cat carrying a kitten, turn her head, and set him just before her wings. Should he try to refuse or fight, chances are she may use excess force to get him up.

The god's peace does not last long, especially when the queen mentions dwarfs. Zamora turns to Elvira, a feral smirk on her maw. "Why would anyone ever willingly go to a clan of hairy, greedy, hoarding, half-men with anatomy as impressive as a stump?" While she speaks and shifts about, she keeps her tongue on Gregory, tasting his proximity. As soon as he gets too close, she'll react. For now, he has kept himself at a respectable distance.
Gregory Holt (played by KahnMan)

The horde of undead that once stormed these shores like strong waves beating against the sands was now reduced to a single walking corpse. It looks lonesome and forlorn - a decaying husk of a man. It stands there; unmoving with the occassional head twitch, the two abyssal hollows where its eyes once filled, gazes at the gathering before it. It still holds it's hammer with both hands - even when everyone have theirs sheathed and rested, as if waiting for an opponent to challenge. It ignores the dark-skinned warrior when called out, even when the rasp of blade from scabbard stings the air, even the dragon of many folds larger it shows no regard; both threatening the undead's likelihood to survive his undeath. But when the warrior asked, the undead looks at him and tilts its head - as if curious itself of why.

The satisfaction of freedom is a priviliege it savours; a single solace from such depressing state better than naught. But with this liberated decayed body, came a benefit to even out this damnable curse - its soul can feel others. While senses of sight, hear, smell, taste were all rotted away, its soul can sense truth in another's soul, be it turmoil, curse and falsity; all cannot deceive it for all lay bare in full detail. The party before it, not the terrified men and elves, but the truly special ones: the Aceban assassins and their Demoness, the Elvish Queen, the young Gladratrix, the cursed Shaman, the Dragoness, the Centauride, and the Man-At-Arms - their soul marinated with a small hint of the divines; they held the Gods favour, and their fates assured. Why, even his accursed soul has their blessings.

"I know him" a rough gruff voice abrupts in the cold refreshing sea air for all to hear "My cousin served as his blacksmith, he did. Saw him with that fancy pieces he got on too". It is a soldier from Commander Delilah's band, seated upon a rock, quenching his thirst with a refreshing gulp from his waterskin, water dripping down an aftermath shave of his stubbles. Unlike his compatriots; still recovering from terror and adrenaline, this man-at-arms showed no waver, his ocean blues beheld no weakness; an obvious veteran of prehaps fifty or fourty to his age by the wrinkles and lines of his visage. He passes his waterskin over to his fellows as he stands, picking up his polearm; a weapon pitiful and in need of repair. Upon standing, he is a thin fellow of unimpressive build. His ivory gamberson darkened by dust, then sand, then crimson, his kettle helm dented by their scuffle with the undead.

"Thats Lord Holt - some fancy lord o'er to the east. I know 'cause thats my cousins handiwork right there" the old soldier adds.
"Handsome reward if we bring his corpse o'er to High Falls then!" Exclaims another, younger man-at-arms of same uniform. Instantly regretting it however, for his realization will probably cause for competition.
Dalitso (played by Serverus) Topic Starter

Nothing came from the tongue of the dead, thus the Afgarian was still curious how this lone walker survived the rest. But he could not tarry on it now; he assumed it was nothing more than the Necromancer's trickery to keep them here in his treacherous web of chaos. So he wisely kept his distance, but did not lose the grip of his scimitar. Even though the threat appeared to be contained, yet and still, turmoil withered around them like the stench of death itself. He knew they were losing time and if they stayed here, more of the dead would hear them. Indeed from his previous assessments, the dead seemed to react aggressively to sound.

Shortly after the light had gone, Vikne was on his knees burning. Dalitso felt misery for his comrades inward calamity. Perhaps the merfolk were right to claim the shaman as one mad. The Lord of Light had come upon them and such had tormented his companions existence. Dalitso did not understand Vikne's physical revilement, but he agreed with Alicia that the man was not in a good state. Yet at the mention of Vikne being picked up by the Dragoness, such had encouraged his eyes to find more shock than protest. Truthfully, he did not want that problem now to try and stop Zamora from succeeding. He would not bring conflict over a Dragoness' compassion; in his mind he was winning Zamora over; for the moment anyway; he knew she was as unpredictable as the Aceba Desert. Perhaps he should have left her there, he mused to himself. Albeit the lack of rest made it difficult for him to even speak at this point.

Zamora now had the mad shaman in the grasp of her teeth. Exhausted and tired, he held tightly to the beasts broad shoulders, mounted on her backside and helping Alicia up if she willed. He did not even realize that he was back near the Queen and her circlet.

Ecru hues softened to be near Elvira again. The magic that she wielded was impressive. He had studied her swordsmanship as well, which gave him confidence in her ability. She revitalized everyone around her Contingent, including human and even his beloved Sword Singers who stood and fought bravely by her side. Dalitso thought to himself that his mother was right about the Elven Queen's beauty. Thus seeing Delilah's tragic state and the situation in Elvira's forest, he could not dwell there in momentary sweetness; like a ripe fruit that perished before his eyes, due to the tainted air around them; so did his moment of admiration fall tragically forbidden. She needed him to be her strength now and that is what he would be. Chi continued to channel the ingress passageway. Thus Dalitso even though weak, used his heavy voice to support the will of the Queen.

"Everyone gather near. Elvira kindly offers us a path northeast to find shelter. Move with haste. When this is over, I promise to return here on this very shore and help you properly bury your losses. But the longer we remain here now, the more undead will be forced to return."

Dalitso then looked at Vikne suffering, as the man hung between Zamora's monstrous jaws. From above, still mounted, he swallowed and had no answers. His boyish visage looked down into Elvira's strong eyes for aid. "Can you help him?"

That was when a Man-At-Arms spoke out. The old veteran fought the best in Delilah's number, so Dalitso listened to what he had to say. The fact that he survived earned him respect from the Assassin, to at least hear him out. Lord Holt; he listened, trying to calm the Dragoness from eating the horror where he stood. The beast held Vikne so hopefully this would prolong her from reacting eagerly. Thus when she laid Vikne down before her wings, Dalitos hoped she'd hear them all out before destroying everyone in fear. The younger man decided to speak out, which rallied the other younger soldiers around him, but disgusted Dalitso greatly.

"Your Commander lies on the ground near death and all you can think about is profiting from the dead." He shook his head at them. "Lord Holt, if you can hear me...know that your armor is not for sale today."

Chi finally called forth the ancient ingress. A large portal opened before them; a circular pool of red, aided by the chilling sound of suffering and screams. Two Death Knights exited the portal alongside a legendary Lich from the Dark plane. His Aphotic Staff created a Couloir that gave off rays of dark energy. Delilah was incased in a black shield. She was carefully elevated and brought forth before the Lich. "I will look after your precious mortal. But the Valkryn must remain with us for the duration of her stay...for it is she who forged the ancient Ingress."

"I am aware of that skull face. Hurry along, you boring sack of bones, before I send her in myself." Chi growled.

"As you wish." The Lich whispered, using dark magic from his Aphotic Staff to lift Delilah and carry her into the Blood Portal. The Lich and Death Knights went in after her and Chi turned back to leave her words to the Queen.

"Take care of my master, until I return....or the undead will be a pleasantry compared to the torment I bring upon you."

With that, Chi stepped into the Ingress and the seal closed. Dalitso could not afford to show any emotion. Instead he rallied everyone to move on. They had to get away from here quickly.
"It is not about their appearances. Merely because that said hoard contains something incredibly valuable and needed," Elvira replied dryly to Zamora as she gently tugged upon her mount's reins to guide herself closer to the rest of them, having been somewhat isolated by the undead before they had fallen asunder. As the burnt Vikne was assisted, the Queen watched with much concern. Such wounds would be difficult, and she knew that they would all need their strength for this endeavor.

"Oberon's blessing to you, sorcerer," she thanked Vikne as he found his way up onto Zamora's back, one way or another. Although she could not determine at once what had caused his burns, she felt the need to assist those who had assisted her in battle. "Once we settle at camp, I will have my healers attend to you. To all of you," she added, the last sentiment encompassing everyone else as she turned to acknowledge them. She merely released a breath at Chi's implied threat before the latter vanished. She was not afraid of the demoness. Or perhaps, what would have been more fear was simply another piece of straw on the burden that she carried.

It was at this time when her mind and attentions were arrested once more by the lone corpse of Lord Holt still standing there in the middle of the field, a good distance from the remaining troops. Something in Elvira had scorned the creature, being that it had been one of the many corpses that had likely caused the deaths of so many in their group. However...something about the remnant intrigued her. Somehow, one way or another, it had been spared from the effects of the Shadowmancer's spell. Perhaps with the blessing of that divine force.

That last thought made her pause. Perhaps, then, there was a reason that this Lord Holt was here. Nobody seemed to approach him; even Dalitso and Zamora kept their distance, communicating through calls. If this creature was to stand even after the divines had finished...perhaps that alone was a reason for respect. And respect entailed speaking at a more appropriate distance.

To the chagrin of one of her guards, Elvira rode out alone into the field where the undead once stood and the lone one remained. She kept her falchion in her hand as she took her time, wary of perhaps any undead that would come bursting from the ground it had sunk back into. She also held her weapon loosely in the event that this Lord Holt might attack her and her lone mount. If he did, she would incinerate him without mercy.

Instead of the excessive berth that everyone else afforded him, Elvira rode up to the revenant and paused only when the head of her mount was about six feet away from him, just barely out of the range of arm and sword should he swing at her. "I do not know if you can understand me," she mused quietly. "But so long as you do not bring harm to us, you are welcome to follow."

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