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Thread: Deadwing's Dominion of Despair IC--[M] Bluemoon and Holeypaladin

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    Default Deadwing's Dominion of Despair IC--[M] Bluemoon and Holeypaladin




    The rays from the bright morning sun shone through the charred side of the small home Eletha had chosen to sleep in. It had been so long since she had felt a mattress under her thin frame that she did not mind the acrid smell that permeated the interior. Moaning, she pulled the blanket over her head, the outcome a torrent of tossing and turning that ended in defeat, the young woman throwing off her covers and sitting up.

    She was filthy...covered in soot and grime...as was the modest dwelling. Rubbing at her eyes she looked closely at her surroundings. Ash covered every surface and a light wind continued to breathe it into every nook and cranny of her being. It was going to be another long day of scavenging and scrubbing it off now would just be a waste of time. Grumbling, she pulled up her hood and rose, collecting the items she had procured the day before, a small bag of coins the last thing she attached to her belt.

    There was little left of the village she had resided in for a year past. The businesses and homes had been burned to the ground, their stone foundations jutting up from the scorched ground like broken teeth. Livestock--gone--burned beyond recognition. Even the stray dogs and feral cats were dead, their bodies littering the alleyways. The streets were choked with the blood of the residents, their bodies reanimated by some unholy spell that summoned a black mist to engulf the cold flesh. Even the sun had not been able to penetrate the haze, so potent was the magic. There had been no fight...only slaughter...the townsfolk taken by surprise as they fled for their lives from an army led by skeletal figures.

    As the sole survivor, the half-elf was left to fend for herself. Hidden in the shadows, frozen in fear, she had gathered her wits. Panic...shock...even those were not enough deterents to keep her from starting to search and collect the meager bounty that was left behind after the attack. She rifled through the pockets of the few abandoned corpses...those that had not been retrieved for some reason unknown. They were mutilated, dismembered, perhaps too damaged for reanimation, but it was beyond her scope of reasoning. Her desire to think on it was curbed by her revulsion. She wondered if she would miss them...the few she had come to think of with some small fondness. The baker, whose shop she had slept behind, his occasional handout and the awning that kept her from the dampness of storms. Or the old widow who offered her a smile as she passed. Familiar faces...but nothing more...not friends...not family.

    And now, on the day after, she stood inside the small hovel along the outskirts of town, a building that was little more than a hut. The door was behind her, the decimated town in front, framed by an opening that once was a wall. She had a pouch of coins, a few articles of clothing, and some food in her possession. Not much, but more than she had yesterday. She would continue her search, dig though every inch of rubble until there was nothing left of value. She owed it to herself to be thorough...and she had nothing but time. She would clear the watering hole of the recent debris that had been swept into it and when she was done she would bathe in privacy, not having to worry about being observed for the first time in months. She could live here...alone...at least for a time. The smell would dissapate with the rain that autumn was sure to bring. Already the insects and carrion birds were starting the cycle of cleansing. And she could hunt...and grow food...how hard could it be? With the slightest trace of a smile on her face, El stepped out of the house, the ground crunching underneath, pulling her hood tighter around her head and wrapping her arms around her chest. The morning was cool...but soon the sun would warm the air and she would be hard at work, looking for the remaining treasures among the dead.
    Last edited by bluemoon; 09-26-2019 at 04:29 PM.

  2. #2
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    With a heavy blow, the head of the undead minion was smashed and splattered all over. Like the undead that fell before it, the corpse collapsed to the ground, disintegrating into dust under the force of the anti-undead magic imbued into the knight's flail. Unlike the others he had fought recently, however, instead of the cracking sound of shattering bone, this impact carried the slashing, splattering sound of exploding flesh.

    The fact that the zombie was quite clearly freshly killed and re-animated, rather than ancient like the skeletal warriors that accompanied it, indicated that the undead army had been busy lately, killing villagers only to raise them again to join their ranks. "How unfortunate..." the knight remarked to himself. "Another village must have been hit... and nearby, too." After all, the zombie hadn't much time to properly decay before falling victim to the knight.

    "I suppose I should investigate the damage... though the chances of finding anyone still alive are..." he frowned, not particularly wanting to think about it. The undead army was, for the most part, fairly weak on an individual soldier basis. Zombies and skeletons were no match for a trained warrior, even one without the restorative and radiant based magic of a radiant knight... yet they were numerous, knew no fear, and would always fight to the end. It was unlike fighting a living army, which would route once they sustained a significant number of casualties, or other such hits to their morale.

    Taking the reins of the phantasmal steed upon which he rode, he turned his mount in the direction of the village. Though it was a few days away by normal travel steeds, the magical mount moved more swiftly than a normal one, so he expected he would reach the town by evening. As far as what he expected to find... well, it wasn't the first village to have fallen, and until the dracolich met his demise, it likely wouldn't be the last.

    Holey Paladin's armor by Haya

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    The day was long, and Eletha was exhausted by its end, her day's labor hardly worth the gains. She held a mace tightly in her palm, the dirt encrusted weapon the only one she found of any worth. She had also discovered numerous knifes, of the kitchen variety, and several swords...minus their wooden hilts. A few extra coins added weight to her pouch, some herbs, soap, and additional cloth, but hardly enough to make her effort worth the time. She scoffed loudly, kicking at the burnt remains of a book, scaring the last of the vultures away, the ugly birds feasting on the detritus and carrying away strips of meat as their wings beat against the air. Whoosh...the sound was loud...no grace in their motions...and the girl looked up to the sky as they took flight, eyeing the fading light with dismay.

    She made her way through the town, stepping over bodies and debris alike with the skill of one who has moved through such a terrain before. Fires still burned in the haystacks and lumberyard, their light a welcome contrast to the gloom that was settling over the destruction. She turned away from the sweet smell of decay, wondering idly if the fire from an undead dragon would lay a corruption upon the land...and within the bodies of the animals it touched. It was not a risk she was willing to take...and such a waste...so much meat left to rot...or to be eaten by the scavengers.

    Taking a winding path that ended at the creek which ran down from the mountain top...one that widened at the watering hole...its deepest area...she stopped at her final destination for the day. As she had planned, she cleared away the waste and litter that clogged its depths, laying her newly found items to rest against an old oak tree, its outstretched arms seeming to beckon to her. Peaceful. For the first time in days, she took a deep breath, breathing in the scent of nature around her...letting it fill her soul...the song of the mourning doves carrying away the last of the daylight.

    El knelt by the stream, slowly removing her clothing one piece at a time. Each item was wiped down or washed using the soap and rag in her hand. The water was cool...as was the evening air...and she felt the rush of goosebumps along her flesh...laughing lightly as she rubbed her skin. The last of her clothing slipped to the ground as she gingerly stepped into the pool, her arms wrapped around her for warmth. Deeper into the water she went, shivering, but determined, the cold creeping higher until it reached her chest. She dunked herself under, sputtering when she resurfaced, another laugh escaping her lips. This was insane...but necessary...and with quick hands she began to lather up her skin and hair, pausing briefly when she touched the scars along her back...still tender despite the passed time...eventually having washed every inch of herself twice before the grime was removed.

    With a quick glance into the trees...just to be certain she was still alone...El finally made her way out of the water. Her slender figure was outlined by the moon, water dripping from her in steady streams. She reached for the soft cloth she had brought to dry herself, rubbing it through her hair first, then pulling it along her body. She used her fingers to comb out her hair, cursing the elfin ears which protruded from the silken strands. Her eyes shifted to the sky, the bright orb catching her attention for the briefest of moments before she closed them. Deep breath. She was going to be fine. The undead were gone...nothing left here for them to return to...so she was safe....she was alone.

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    It took the better part of the day before the knight reached the mountain village. This was largely due to his desire to be thorough... whenever he met a wandering band of undead, he had an intense desire to reduce them to ash and dust, though this type of thoroughness was difficult, as it took both physical and magical energy to use his Restoration and Evocation circuits on healing and radiant energy attacks.

    He knew the fact that he could only be in one place at a time limited his ability to deal with entire armies of undead, particularly when they were spread out. His talents were best suited for taking out the commanders of the undead army... wights, vampires, and other revenants, mostly, whose foul souls still lingered in their rotting corpses. As it was daylight, however, the revenant leaders were mostly hidden underground, as they were more vulnerable to sunlight than the zombies and skeletons that patrolled the landscape.

    Eventually he approached the slope that led up to the village. As his steed wasn't entirely corporeal, it was much more silent than the typical armored war horses of most knights, which helped somewhat in reducing the amount of attention he attracted while riding. Stopping by a watering hole at the base of the mountain, however, he noticed something... a number of belongings, obviously looted, which indicated a survivor of the attack that had wiped out the village. Whether the survivor had lived long afterwards, however, remained to be seen.

    Glancing up to the sky, he noted the arrival of night, along with enhanced danger and reduced visibility. Dismounting his phantasmal steed, he softly incanting a divination spell. "Ickrak'ey navnik," he whispered softly in the language of dragons, his voice lost in the wind rather than bellowed aloud so as not to attract too much attention. The affect of the spell was to allow him to sense spirits, both living and dead, so that he wouldn't have to rely on his eyes.

    He senses one spirit, the first living one he had sensed in awhile, not far from his current location. Leaning against the oak tree where the looter had stashed her loot, he waited until she got out of the water, taking a bit of time to admire her naked form. Once he had thoroughly burned the image in to his memory, he spoke up.

    "Greetings, naked looter," he said in the direction of the girl. Her pointed ears hinted at an elven heritage, though other aspects of her naked body indicated human, so most likely a half-elf... an unfortunate outcast, in this part of the Empire, as the nearby wood elves loved to have sex with humans, yet hated taking responsibility for the result, while the humans mostly viewed elves as lesser beings and sex toys thanks to this sort of behavior.

    He expected the girl's reaction would be to cover herself, run away, or both, but as he stood next to her loot, it seemed less likely that she would simply abandon it. "Are you a survivor of the attack?" he asked, taking a step in her direction before standing still, blocking the path to her loot but not threatening her in any other way. He didn't carry any visible weapons, though a decorative arming sword sheathed at his side.

    Holey Paladin's armor by Haya

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    El's sense of well being disappeared in an instant, her eyes opening wide at the sound of a man's voice addressing her. Taking in a deep breath and holding it, she stared in his direction. How had she missed him...hadn't she just looked around for just that purpose? Perhaps he was a spirit...part man, part entity...able to shift his form by will. Certainly he wasn't one with the undead...even she could see he was of a living human nature. She froze in that instant, mouth agape as she continued to regard him silently. Her nudity was all but forgotten, the fact that he had called her out as a thief barely registering.

    His next words broke her trance...that and the additional step closer to her. She retreated, just enough to recreate the distance between them, her silence continuing, but her head nodding slightly in answer to his question. Her chest rose and fell heavily as her anxiety increased. This was a knight before her...a man to be reckoned with...someone who could bring her to justice for her wrongs. She had only met one once before and had suffered his punishment. Was this man here for her...or to avenge the town? Her hands went up before her, palms out, and the cloth she had used to dry herself slipped from her fingers, falling softly to the ground with little more than a sigh. Her eyes dropped as she tracked its descent, only then noticing her natural state again, her body covered in light gooseflesh from the chill. It will not do to be seen like this, she thought, any longer than has already transpired.

    When she looked back to him, it was to confirm her fear, and indeed it was true, her spare clothing, stolen only yesterday, was hanging on the branches behind him. He could not have chosen a worse place to ambush her, leaving her at the mercy of this awkward situation. She slowly lowered herself to a crouch, keeping him in her vision as she retrieved her rag, deftly wrapping it around her waist and tying it tightly to her. There was barely enough to cover her, one leg completely exposed, while the other was concealed to mid thigh. It was enough...for now. Her breasts she covered with her arm, knowing the damage was already done, her body already on display for longer than was acceptable.

    What she needed now was to find her voice and conqeuor her fear. Neither an easy task when she was so out of her element. She cleared her throat, only then noticing the man's mount, which seemed more like a painting whose colors had bled in a sudden gust rather than an actual creature of burden. She wet her lips with her tongue, unsure if she would be better served if she ran. What type of man rode such a steed? It seemed less likely that he was human now, and if her life's lessons had taught her nothing else, it was that it was better to flee today, so that you could live tomorrow.

    But there was another saying that stayed her flight. One so simple it bared little notice. Curiousity killed the cat. And Eletha was the feline tonight. Her interest piqued even if her common sense knew better. She wanted to know why this man was here and if their lives would be intertwined in any way...not to mention the matter of the items she had procured. If she fled, she might compromise her claim. And so with these thoughts in mind, she pointed to the oak behind the knight, her pale eyes searching out the items she desired.

    "Could you hand those to me?" she asked in a quiet tone, a slight tremor discernable in her voice. She was not sure how to address him...was it sir...or my lord? So she had used neither, more afraid to make a mistake and anger him with her foolishness. She would tread lightly before showing her true colors, her personality softened by the situation. Currently he did not seem to be threatening her, other than by his presence alone. She could only hope that would continue, the weapon at his hip more than menacing enough even while dormant.

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    The knight held his gaze on the half-elf... perhaps too much, in fact, as it would have been a good time for the undead to attack them. Thankfully, his spirit sense spell had detected her as the only spirit in the area, so unless something suddenly teleported in, they were alone... and teleportation magic would likely draw his attention, anyway.

    Instead, he studied her as she decided what to do. Apparently his words had startled her to the point where she forgot to cover herself up, giving him a bit more time to admire the entirety of her naked body before she finally did so. It was clear that she was deciding whether or not to run away, though once she glanced at his horse, it seemed clear enough that if he wanted to chase her, she wouldn't be able to outrun the steed. The curiosity of her gaze indicated that she wasn't sure as to the exact nature of the horse... only that it was a magical one.

    Eventually, she spoke up, and his first thought was that she was trying to distract him. "It's still wet," he said, recalling the recently washed garments that were hanging not far from him. "You'll catch a cold if you wear wet clothing," he remarked, "And given your current situation... anything that might give away your position, such as a cough or sneeze, can also turn your brains into zombie food."

    Instead, he focused on channeling energy through the same Foundry circuit that he used to summon forth his weapons and armor, producing a light cotton garment in his hand. "Try that on," he said, tossing it in the direction of the half-elf. "It's a bit warmer than it looks. Should last long enough for your clothes to dry, so long as you stay close enough to me."

    The garment itself was a minidress in the fashion worn in the Imperial City... meaning it was quite a bit shorter than anything worn in this part of the Empire. The hem length was short enough that the girls of the Imperial City had developed a sort of art form to avoid accidentally flashing people when walking or sitting... and he hadn't included any undergarments when summoning the dress. This particular garment held a minor enchantment that would provide some protection from the elements... a small courtesy he had extended to the rogue.

    "I'm not here to hurt you... it's the undead that I'm after," he explained. "However, I would like to hear about the attack on the village, as well as what you've seen and how you survived. Are there any other survivors, or are you the only one?"

    Holey Paladin's armor by Haya

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    Eletha glanced briefly at the item of clothing the knight had tossed her way, warily eyeing the man in case he moved in her direction as she reached for it. She held it out before her with one hand...there wasn't much to it, hardly any weight at all, but it was an improvement over her current state of dress. And perhaps his concern over her health if she wore her wet clothes was valid, although she wondered if it was more of a ploy to get her to wear the clothing he had magically conjured. With a scoff, she turned her back to him, thinking a show of modesty was in order despite his having seen her completely nude.

    In one swift movement, the cotton mini was slipped easily over her slender frame, her figure well-defined beneath it and her legs mostly exposed below the hem. She ran her hands over the soft material, marveling at the unfamiliar texture, before turning to face him once again, a slight blush to her cheeks. It's light color, not white, yet lighter than tan, blended with her pale skin, the illusion of nudity still apparant. With a slight nod, she took a step towards him, not wanting to bridge the gap she had maintained, but remembering his words to stay close.

    "Will this do?" she asked softly, still feeling timid under his gaze. "...or do I need to be closer?" The last thing she wanted was for the garment to dissipate, even if it barely covered her, but she also didn't relish the idea of being close enough to feel the heat of his body radiating off him. It was not lost on her that this also could be a way to lure her in, the lascivious nature of men known well enough from her past experiences. But as he had not made any additional move towards her, she allowed her guard to drop a bit, deciding if nothing else, she owed him an answer to his questions.

    Moving into the darker shadows under the branches of the old tree, El peered into the gloom surrounding the forest as she considered her words. The knight had said he was only interested in the undead, and even now they were at risk of attack. She had wrongly assumed she was safe with the town and its inhabitants gone. Not accustomed to fighting, she knew her chances if she had to face them alone. But it was a problem for another day...tonight she was shielded by whatever magic the knight was wielding. Sighing, she glanced at him, her hands flexing in a nervous gesture.

    "I will explain as best as I can..." she started, "...but as I am not a bard..." She paused briefly, shrugging her shoulders in apology. "It was two days ago...and they came at dusk...spread out in a line...skeleton warriors all walking in unison...at least at first. I was close by...but only because I was at the market..." She glanced at him, thinking to explain how she came to have coin honestly, but followed the thought with a shake of her head. "House to house they went, killing anyone inside. Most of us ran, only fighting when there was no other choice....but it was a massacre that seemed to go on forever. We ran along the road...and when we reached the other side of the village it was blocked by another wave of the undead...these ones covered in moldering flesh."

    She shivered slightly, the warmth the dress had provided not stopping the gooseflesh from popping up on her skin as images of the atrocities appeared in her mind's eye. "The smell...by the gods...and everywhere death. I did the only thing I could...I hid. ....and I watched as all the merchants and farmers were slaughtered...then revived a short time later by some magic in a black mist. They got back on their feet...only to follow the road out...and I thought it was done."

    Again the shrug, El hands moving to tug at the hem of the dress as it rose. Distracted, she lost her train of thought, the undead dragon momentarily left out of her tale. Fidgeting with the garment some more, she gave the knight a frustrated look. "I think this is too short. Is this how women dress where you are from?"

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    Continuing to regard the naked looter with his gaze, he watched as she caught the garment and examined it. Though she turned her back to him to put the garment on, it still offered him a good view of her bare rear as she slipped the dress on, though he wondered what she was up to when she began to approach him even closer. Though her blush was adorable, he knew that these thieves tended to be con artists who played with the emotions of the men they targeted.

    "That's close enough..." he remarked, wary that the steps she took to approach him might in fact be an attempt to get closer... in order to stab him in a vulnerable spot, perhaps, using the knife she had stashed with the rest of her stolen belongings... as it was clear she wasn't carrying one at the moment. "Have a seat," he said, nodding in the direction of a fallen log that would make for as good a seat as any as he himself walked over and sat on a rock facing it.

    He listened as she went on to explain the events that had happened in her village, frowning a bit. It was clear the girl had undergone no small amount of trauma... even hardened criminals would have a hard time when confronted by an army of corpses that killed everything they encountered, livestock and wildlife included along with the humans she knew, if not necessarily in a good way.

    "I see..." he remarked, attempting to throw in some empathy as well. "That must have been difficult for you." he chuckled at her mention of the dress, shrugging a bit in response. "It's apparently quite fashionable among young women coming of age in the Imperial City. The weather there is rather hot, so clothing is designed with the intention of staying cool."

    Nodding again for her to go ahead and take a seat on the log, he said, "I do have one more question for you. Did you see anything about who, or what, might be leading this army of corpses?" He frowned somewhat as he noted the darkness steadily creeping up on them. He would need to make camp soon... as traveling at night was dangerous even for him, in this land of the walking dead.

    Holey Paladin's armor by Haya

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    "Not hot here," El mumbled under her breath, continuing to tug at the skirt...but she really was not cold, just inconvenienced by the short hemline. She finally gave up the struggle and gave the knight an irritated glance, directed more at the clothing than him. "...and I am not 'coming of age'. Long past that really." Her comment held a bit of a whine, the halfling tired of being thought of as a growing girl rather than an adult. With a light huff, she turned on her heel away the 'seat' he had indicated for her to sit upon, instead moving towards her belongings resting on the ground behind him. The rock he occupied was actually a better location for her to sit in her opinion, being so close to her possessions, but she kept her opinion to herself, ignoring the look he gave her as she approached. Determined not to remain barefoot or without any protection on her person any longer, she started to reach for her boots on the ground when she felt the chill of the autumn breeze on her backside as the skirt lifted.

    Again the blush, El straightening back up to reconsider her approach. Her face contorted as she chewed on her lip, her teeth leaving a deep impression. Embarrassing...that's what it was. Bending at the knees, she started to lower herself to the ground slowly this time, grunting at the feel of the strain in her thighs. She could just imagine the knight watching her...and laughing inside at her predicament. She truly was at a disadvantage, but her items were in reach now, and she snatched them up quickly, taking them with her to the aforementioned log.

    Once again El was faced with the challenge of not exposing herself as she tried to take her place. She moved behind the log, then reconsidered, stepping to the front then sitting in one fluid motion with her legs firmly held together. Although it had only been a few moments since she had been asked for more information, it seemed like an eternity. She cleared her throat...by the Gods he was making her nervous...then strapped on the belt that held her daggers, moving it about until it felt comfortable. Her boots...those would be more difficult...the very act of lifting her leg too obscene to consider.

    Still barefoot, El looked up at the knight, feeling like she couldn't be more flustered if she was still standing naked before him. She placed her hands firmly on her knees and let out another sigh.


    "Sorry...I...um...I think the skeleton things were in the lead. At least they were the ones out front. But there were also the robed figures that raised the dead...maybe two or three of them...they were chanting...some odd incantation. ...and a dragon...but he came last. Burned everything that remained to the ground...or almost everything...there are a few houses that survived. That's all I can think of..."

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    Shrugging at the words of the half-elf the knight remarked, "It does seem different than what you're used to... but the Foundry circuit I used to fabricate it is designed for summoning weapons and armor only. I was able to trick it into thinking that clothing was armor... though for a rather unconventional battlefield," he said with a chuckle, the battlefield in mind being that of young maidens fighting for the attentions of men they admired. The phrase "love is a battlefield" came to mind, though he didn't say it out loud.

    He eyed her warily as she made her way towards her gear... which offered a nice view of the bare flesh she flashed in her initial attempts to bend over and grab her boots. However, it seemed she quickly realized her mistake, and took great caution in preventing further flashes as she collected a couple of her belongings and made took her seat at the log not far from him.

    Listening as she finally spoke up and mentioned the apparent commanders of the undead army, he gave a frown as the dragon was finally mentioned. "Loex Altiui... Deadwing..." he said the name of the dragon aloud. "A dragon who died thousands of years ago... entombed not far from the army that slew him. Stuperstitious primitives thought the fallen soldiers would protect them from the dead dragon in the afterlife... instead they just gave him a dang army of intact bones to animate once he was brought back as a dracolich." He gave a sigh and shook his head. "This is why we just cremate corpses these days... still dealing with the messes left by ancient tribes."

    Focusing back on the here and now, his gaze settled on the exposed, smooth legs of the half elf as she sad. "So, what will you do now, Naked Looter?" he asked her. "Also, do you have a name, or shall I continue to refer to you as Naked Looter?" As the trees were now growing quite dark, he added, "It won't be long until the dormant corpses rise from their shallow graves. We're probably surrounded by them, at the moment, so I'll likely be camping here as it's too dangerous to travel at night."

    Holey Paladin's armor by Haya

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