Exploring the surface of this world where skeletons and zombies ran amuck proved difficult in this heavily misted area. Eyes cast about in various directions, but a couple settled on a tall shadow a short distance away. Owen watched for a second, trying to determine what it might be. Standing just in front of him, Ben seemed to have a good idea of what it could be. "Over there!" he called out, "who goes there!"
The thick mist consumed the vibrations of his speech without reply. Everyone seemed to have refocused their attention to place it on this form. Ben himself moved right up to the low wall, trying to get a better look at the thing. A moment passed breathless, then without warning Ben crawled over the small remainder of the wall, onto the damp, yellow grass. With or without protest, he was followed to this venture more or less closely depending on individual willingness to take this road.
For a minute or more they trudged toward the shape, about twice or even three times the height of a man, without seeming to get much closer. Soon they realized that it was either much further than they had thought, or something was wrong.
"Do not seek to approach the Haunt further." A thin, airy voice hung in the air for a second. It sent a shiver down the spines of the five.
In the next second, its owner rose right out of the ground, the tatters of its ethereal cloak trailing behind it like the tentacles of a jellyfish. The liquid darkness of its body formed into the appearance of a tall cloak, a pair of coal ember eyes peering out from under its hood. They recognised the creature as it appeared before them instantly; a wraith.
"You who do not carry a burden on your spirit, who are not restrained by a cursed existance, this place holds no profit for you. Leave."
(Not exactly the way it happened the first time, but that's because the first time was really messed up and unprepared for- act as you feel fitting)
Galen snorts in disbelief. It made sense, for just because it is a different world, this does not entail that there is greater understanding.
"Let's go." Galen says to the others, turning to leave, with the shivering fear within his heart consumed by a spark of her anger and discontent.
"I know what you are referring to," Galen finds himself speaking, directed towards the wraith, "but you should know there are many types of existences that can be considered by those who have them curses. Just as there are many different burdens that can weigh upon a soul."
Regardless if any of the others move at that point, Galen moves in the way that is most logical to presume: as the wraith appeared with them heading towards the shadow in the mist, that implied that shadow is the 'haunt' the wraith spoke of, and so the direction opposite the shadow is where the exit lies. Considering that it was indeed a temple they came out of, there is also a good chance there is a path leading to or from it, which is what he'll follow.
The wraith's form drew up high above us, a terrifying spirit of darkness. I sucked in my breath, my heart racing under its malicious gaze. I was fully ready to turn back the other way by the time Galen suggested a timely retreat. Just in front of me, I saw Ben's shoulders give a quick shiver. Seeing him do that drew my attention to my own jellied limbs.
"I agree, I don't wanna stick around here either," Ben muttered.
Suddenly the wraith started to move and, like a frightened hare, we froze to watch, except for Galen. The shroud slowly sank toward the ground, beginning to turn on the shoulder of its cloak. Galen leveled a sarcastic and spiteful look at it. "I know what you are referring to," Galen finds himself speaking, directed towards the wraith, "but you should know there are many types of existences that can be considered by those who have them curses. Just as there are many different burdens that can weigh upon a soul."
The wraith paused for a moment, it's flaming eyes flickered once to Galen. Personally, I couldn't think of a worse choice of action than taunting the undead, but to each his own. Apparantly allowing the comment to roll from its shoulders. It seemed more approprate to say he, so he sank in and away, under the earth and dead grass.
Like we orinigally intended, we turned back the other way, finding the original entrance to the ruins. A sign awaited out front, reading:
Do not approach ruins. Those with enervations may pass to free their souls.
Beyond that lay a path into a dead silent, skeletal forest. Without much deliberation, the path was chosen as the best course. We took to it, it's eerie silence forbidding a single word, until we first realized that the trees around us exhibited signs of growth. Seemingly all at once, the grey, dead, and decaying world was left behind, and the twitter of birds and other creatures rose from the forest. In stark contrast to the 'Haunt' behind, the forest seemed to encourage speaking. Frayed nerves were set right and the envellopping fog lifted away. Where the high, blue firmament was visible through the trees, the view was that of a beautiful, sunny day.
Posted on 2008-10-20 at 04:04:36.
Edited on 2008-10-20 at 04:13:53 by Sibelius Eos Owm
With a sigh of relief Ian is the first to braek the silence, "That was too creepy, quiet and depressing for my likings. What do you think it meant by; 'You who do not carry a burden on your spirit,' was it because we arn't dead?"
I certainly hope this is a dream, it's too weird, though it could be fun. I'll see how it goes "So . . . any ideas on where we're going?" Ian asks, "Because I'm getting hungry." He then looks up near the sun, ďOkay, itís probably about 11:00 - 11:30" Ian mutters to himself.
Posted on 2008-10-24 at 03:28:03.
Edited on 2008-10-24 at 03:38:28 by Okron
"You don't know, Ian? Yet you also watch those anime as well, correct?" Galen murmurs aloud, breathing a sigh.
"There are many things that can weigh on a person's soul, regardless if they are dead or alive. In many cases, the burdens merely carry over in undeath, so while their body becomes something intangible, their souls still carry burdens, but it is hardly limited to the realm of death." Galen begins, "One of the most extreme yet simple burdens, of course, is guilt. Especially the guilt of bringing about death, although it is not limited to that. Vengeance can also be another burden. If one chooses to swear vengeance, so that there is no turning back, that very choice could put them on a path that they find they did not want to take, and so they are burdened by their decision."
"It isn't always by one's decision that they become burdened, however." Galen adds bitterly, "I presume the wraith was only talking about the burdens revolving around guilt of one's actions, but there are others, ones that are put on a person just from the circumstances in which they are born. An obvious case of this would be the example of royalty. The child of the monarchs could very well not want the weight of having to carry the burden of a country, or just simply maintaining a capital."
Then there's the example of me. Galen bitterly thinks. When humans are presented with circumstances in which they have no control over, which dominate their very lives to their disliking, resentment is born. Thankfully, here, in a world where magic is real, transition will not be so difficult, will be quicker on the physical level, and, one would hope, permanent.
"Is that sufficient to answer your query?" Galen asks.
"Ok, ok enough talking about this whole burden thing, we have bigger problems to worry about at the moment," Ben interrupts, "we're lost, we're hungry, and worst of all we're confused, lets figure out where we are first, for some reason this doesn't feel like Canada anymore, after that we'll figure out something to eat."
He had a serious, and slightly irritated look on his face. He didn't know what would happen if they were attacked again, so he began to pick up the pace a bit, hoping his friends would too.
Definitely not in Kansas anymore. Not in Canada either, for that matter.
'You who do not carry a burden on your spirit,' was it because we arn't dead?"
"You don't know, Ian? Yet you also watch those anime as well, correct?" Galen murmurs aloud, breathing a sigh.
I myself heaved a deep, quiet sigh, comfortably stretching my diaphram, a bodily function you hear about automatically in band class. Galen was wont to criticize when he was annoyed by something. We suffered the lecture through to the conclusion. I could only wonder how irritated he was, to speak at such length. In my memory, usually he preferred to limit his words.
"Ok, ok enough talking about this whole burden thing, we have bigger problems to worry about at the moment," Ben interrupted, "we're lost, we're hungry, and worst of all we're confused. Let's figure out where we are first, for some reason this doesn't feel like Canada anymore. After that we'll figure out something to eat."
The pangs of hunger once again gnawed their way into my stomach at his words. I ignored them. Ben's tone of voice changed dramatically between when in jest and when serious, I noted again. THe serious voice didn't come up too often, but when it did there were problems. I noticed his step quicken slightly and caught up to him by lengthening my stride. I place my hand on his shoulder, "Bad. Down boy. Look at yourself, you'll kill yourself at that pace. We'll hurry, no doubt, but not quite so fast."
"So . . . any ideas on where we're going?" Ian asks, "Because I'm getting hungry." He then looks up near the sun, ďOkay, itís probably about 11:00 - 11:30" Ian mutters to himself.
"We're all hungry, Ian." What a strange predicament to land in, far from apparant civilization without food or drink. Why are we here, not at home? Or in capable hands of safety? If I remembered anything about things I've read, it was that divine transportation (for I knew not what to call it besides divine) landed you in a safe location, even if you didn't recognise it. I couldn't see anything but trees since leaving the fog, which was an improvement anyway. Ian's last, mumbled words forced me to recycle them through my mind until their meaning became clear with my memory filling in his voice. "I think it's too hot to be eleven." I twisted to look at the sun, beating through the trees behind us. To think, we were having such nice weather back home, with a thunderstorm nearly every week. "It's already getting hot in the day - though Ben will deny that it is anything above 'cool'. If it's twelve-ish, then we must be going north. For now at least."
Not to mention the ache in my belly seemed that more than breakfast had been skipped already. I would survive though, having gone longer without food in sickness and in book-lock.
I started to wonder; would the calendar dates here coincide with when we left? I couldn't remember the actual day, but it was late in June, right between Ian's and my birthdays. At anyrate it was summer, and likely to keep getting hotter until I whined and moaned aloud.
(I just re-organized things a bit, particularly Ian's second speech-shot, to allow a logical flow to the conversation [not that past conversations have always followed logic])
Since people (myself included) are always forgetting how much HP they have: Ben, having taken about twice or even thrice his total in damage, sits at [4/15]Jeremy, revived from the brink of blacking out by Ben's timely potion, [5/9]Ian was fully healed just before he distracted the skeleton from finishing off either the wounded Ben or Jeremy, stands at [11/11]I myself have only dared brave combat once and since then has stayed far away from battle, have been healed to [5/5]
Lastly, Galen is the only one in the campaign who has thus far yet to see his body damaged by the business end of the dangerous implements employed by the dead things. [4/4]
Posted on 2008-10-27 at 23:07:47.
Edited on 2008-10-29 at 03:25:20 by Sibelius Eos Owm
The sunlight burned deep into Jeremy's eyes forcing himself to shield them with his hands. The heat warmed his skin which was numb from the cold dungeon. The sun was a double edged sword, while it managed to stop his shivering he began to feel the pain that was dulled by the numbness. He collapses to his knees wincing at his wounds. The dirt that had collected in his cuts stung almost unbearably. After a few moments he is able to regain his composure and stands again, panting heavily.
The pains of hunger did little to distract him from his injuries. He tried to remember the last thing he ate, but came up with nothing. If only they could find civilization and find out where they are. He then thought, what if there is no civilization? What if they were the only humans in the entire world? He tried to remove these thoughts from his head. He looked towards his friends trying to distract himself with the first thought that came to his head. "What do you think this haunt is? Are we really intending to leave it alone?"
The mystery of "The Haunt" was enough to distract him from his pain and fears. How were the ghost and the skeletons connected? He didn't seem to think the ghost was evil, for it truly was it would have killed them, not warned them. Regardless of whether or not the rest of the group decided to leave it alone, Jeremy got the sneaking suspicion that their path would lead them back to it somehow, it wasn't going to end here.
"I don't care what it is, and I don't care that it exists either." Galen responds curtly, not even bothering to look back as he continues walking forward, "We don't have any business with it that I can think of, and even if we did, I doubt we'd be able to access it at this point in time. With intangible phantoms such as wraiths there, they could just pop up anywhere and make us go away by force if needed. That one was courteous enough to provide us with a warning first. I suggest we heed it, but, of course, you don't have to listen to me. Go back and get yourself killed if you want."
Be he alive or be he dead, I'll force his story to continue this thread.
If the man's expression could have been described as serious before Ray started his story, it had fallen to a hard-set graveness by the time the tale was complete. "You have told me a tale for which you would be considered mad elsewhere, but we too have suffered at the hands of the dead-who-walk. To me you seem to be telling the truth as it lies in your heart. Tell me but another thing and I will ask my Lady if she deems it fit to offer our hospitality; what is your name, stranger?"
Upon receiving the information he requested, he nodded and returned to the carriage. Toward the end of the story, a pleasant looking woman with long golden hair appeared at the door. She was shorter than the blond man but not by much. He bowed his head to her in formality while the two mounted soldiers watched Ray. After a few words were exchanged between them, the woman climbed into the carriage and the man called to the guards. "Barig! Ruiel! You may relax. Raymond, approach." The guards pulled their horses aside to flank the carriage as they once did. In approaching, Ray saw that there was one horse extra baring only a saddle and reigns tied to the carriage's back.
"My Lady Emerita has charitably agreed to allow you to ride with us to Corazon. If I were you, I would thank her most graciously. My name is Aeth Lamalle and you will address the Lady as 'my Lady'." Aeth stepped into the carriage after Lady Emerita, followed by a probably very thankful Ray.
(Shades, this half is for the other team, but you should read as the point is moot not to at this time)
The five made progress through the woods until they came to a larger and seemingly more used road. On a whim of leadership, Ben declared that they would go left, and so they traveled along side the descending sun. By mid afternoon they had been traveling for about three hours and hunger was growing. They were beginning to realize the problem present when the sharp repetition of hooves on packed earth. Galen was the first to clear off the road into the treeline, followed quickly by Ian and Jeremy, and Owen who saw fit to drag Ben off the road after him.
~*~ 4, maybe 5 in the afternoon,
'left road' to Corazon. Seemingly westward.
Aeth had Ray point out the pool he found and had the guards draw their weapons while he refilled the water skins. Whatever the creature was that had attacked Ray earlier had obviously not stuck around. During the course of the ride, Aeth bandaged Ray's wounds to guard against infection. While watching, Ray never could be sure where the path back to the ruins disappeared to. He watched the roadside until he was certain they had passed it.
Beyond simple comments and sparse convesation, the carriage carried on quietly behind the clatter of the wheels and the hooves, which became familiar to the ear and lost notice. A few hours, at best guess, after Ray had joined the entourage another disquiet occured. Sitting backwards in his seat, Ray didn't have the slight vantage of the carriage's front that his hosts had. He did have one major advantage over them, for he immediately recognized the voice that brought the driver to a halt.
"Excuse me, gentlemen!" Ben's voice called out suddenly. Perhaps the guards reacted so negatively because of his sudden appearance out of the forest, or it may have been the torn and bloodied appearance he bore. Maybe even it was the rusted axe he held openly in his hand. They drew their swords and cried, "Back Thief! We've already dealt with your kind."
Before Ben could make a case to defend himself, Aeth appeared, leaning out the carriage door. "Barig! Ruiel! Sheath your weapons! Are your nerves drawn so tight that you cannot recognize a young man when you see one?" He steps down out of the carriage to the dirt path. Raymond, burning with the desire to know, followed him, practically inviting the adventurous Lady to follow. Aeth had approached Ben, standing at the edge of the road with his clothing torn and stained red-brown from blood.
"I apologize to you and your companions," Aeth says with a glance into the forest where the rest were showing up. Raymond recognized Owen and Ian among them, and though he had much longer hair than he used to, Galen. He recalled Jeremy from the time they met, standing back also. "We have recently been beseiged by bandits and our journey has been tiresome," Aeth explained.
(Naturally any minute from now one side or the other is going to cry out in recognition.)
Posted on 2008-11-12 at 02:32:59.
Edited on 2008-11-18 at 19:46:44 by Sibelius Eos Owm
"Ah it is of no worry, your guards are doing an excellent job from what I can tell," Ben replied, "my friends as well as myself are but lost and hungry travelers confused as to where we are, would you be so kind as to let us travel with you to the next city?"
Ben took a look at the man before him, he could feel that this person was quite strong. He then took a look at the others traveling with him and quickly noticed an old friend of his.
"Eh? Ray? What on earth are you doing here?" he asked shocked to see that someone else had fallen into this world with them.
"I cannot believe this!" I cry out as my eyes fall upon my long lost friends. I run forward and embrace them, knowing now that I was not alone in this alien world. I ask how they came to be about in this area, and then remember about my hosts and quickly introduce my newly found friends to my hosts.