Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: nightmares brought to life...
The situation is dire, there are no two ways about it. Kithran is alone in the dark woods, with a likely pack of shamblers in front of her, a giggler between her and the party. Experience has been a stern teacher; none among the group save Aranwen have been able to resist the paralysis that these abominations inflict with their wounds. The little rogue knows full well that any lone individual would be taunting the Devourer in this situation.
Still, Kith did not reach where she is today by meekness, by giving up at the first sign of adversity. The rogue fires an arrow at the monstrosity, screaming a challenge, a warning as she does. The arrow does not fly particularly close - darkness and mist are not the best allies of ranged fighting - but it does seem to give the creature a moment's pause, giving the young woman an opportunity to rush at it.
At full sprint, she reaches out with a blade, opens up a gash along the creature's flank as she rushes past. The plan was to inflict damage, to knock the monster off balance, then to turn and fight from a position of balance, of readiness.
War, as they say, is a beautiful thing; plans and schemes are grand and wonderful... right until they meet the enemy.
Fast though she may be, the creature is prepared, and is deftly quick, himself. Heedless of the wound it received, the giggling monster rakes his filthy claws across the rogue's arm as she passes. Even as she pivots, turns to face her foe, Kithran can feel the icy clutch of the grave squeezing her heart, can feel her limbs begin to grow heavy.
Somehow, some way, the rogue finds a strength within that she did not know she possessed. Screaming in challenge, she readies herself, feels the suffocating grip on her heart begin to slowly release. A grin of fierce joy spreads across the rogue's face...
The impact from behind is an utter shock. The pain from the second monster's fithy claws being driven into her back is real. The despair as the ice returns in much stronger intensity is undeniable. As Kithran's body betrays her, her limbs refusing too respond, the little rogue feels anger at the unfairness of it all.
The ground rises rapidly up to meet her as Kithran falls, hard, face first onto the forest floor. With her head turned to the side, the scent of mud and decaying leaves in her nostrils, the giggling of the two monsters is maddening, inescapable. All of her efforts are for naught, for her body is no longer her own; not even a finger will twitch, try as she might to move it.
All sensation is fully intact; Kith can hear the giggling, can see the creatures and the forest floor, can feel the pain of her wounds and the racing of her heart, the drawing of her breath. She can feel her impending doom through the weight of the creature upon her back.
And then,the horror truly sets in as she feels the cold tongue slither across the back of her neck, feels her trousers being yanked down, hears the giggles change in pitch, in meaning. Suddenly, an honorable death in battle is hardly the worst fate she could have met. The abject terror she feels from the press of the cold flesh is indescribable, threatens to drive her sanity away.
A roar interrupts the giggles and the weight is suddenly gone from her back.
At Aranwen's query, Cedric nods and stammers. "Ye... yes, of course!" The young man prays earnestly, and light springs forth from the priest's staff.
The party moves quickly, in concert, towards the sound of their companion's scream. The wood is dark, treacherous, but the need is great. Another feminine scream follows, but is cut off in mid utterance.
"We are close!" Midge hisses in a stage whisper.
The party makes their way into a small opening, walks into the scene of a nightmare.
Kithran lies face down in the dirt with one of the gigglers squirming upon her back, and another standing over the two of them in a leering posture.
Ch'dau roars in hate brough to life, grabs the creature off of the rogue, launches himself forward. The monstrosity never fully understands what has happened, as it is driven into a tree trunk with a wet thump, then pinned in place by one of the Kazari's blades driven through its body and deep into the wood. The scene morphs into a fountain of blood, ichor, and rotted flesh as the beserked warrior rends with claw and tooth until the undead thing hangs in motionless tatters.
The second creature thinks to retreat, but Gib's bolt passes neatly through it's back and out of its chest. The momentum spins the monster around, where it is able to bear witness to Aranwen's blade whipping up and through its body, fountaining black blood as it slumps motionless to the ground.
Cedric ignores any threats, rushes to the side of the prone rogue. "She lives!" he exclaims, "she has the grip of the grave upon her, but she will recover when that loosens."
Any elation that may have been felt from that is quickly tempered by the fact that the the fight has not been quiet, and has attracted the attention of the zombies milling near the body that Kith had discovered. It would appear that the party may have found the horde reponsible for all of the footprints.... or rather, that the horde has found them, as numberous undead shuffle through the treeline, haded directly for the companions in a groaning wave.
Posted on 2019-07-17 at 13:22:44.
Edited on 2019-09-27 at 07:31:45 by Eol Fefalas