The Witch of Voodoo Isle
Posted 10 May 2010 - 12:54 AM
Did I really wander this far out..?
That wasn't real... And it was ME she was talking to. You're fictitious.
"I'm not the fake, I'm merely a part of you... one you like to ignore."
"I'm sorry sir, that's far enough." Synile looked, a Snakehead was addressing him. What was this nonsense he was talking about? Synile attempted to push the man out of the way, but he reaffirmed himself. "Sir, I can't let you in this camp without a guide. General Crimson's orders." Synile glared at the man.
"... I'm a Calatian, and there is a rather sizable hole in my shoulder. Let me through, before something bad happens to you."
"I... well... I think I did see you with the group earlier today... But for everyone's sake I can't let you in. Something is very wrong around here. I'm sure you understand sir, but the safety of one doesn't equal the safety of many. You could be a specter in disguise or something... Besides orders are orders."
Synile was beginning to anger. "If you refuse to move I shall move you." Synile, in one fluid motion, dropped to his knees and unsheathed the katana with his right hand. The Snakehead looked down in shock as his legs below the knees became separated from his body. The man opened his mouth to scream, but before he could Synile spun forward on his feet, and raised the height of the blade. The effect neatly parted the Snakehead's head from his shoulders. Using a cloth, Synile removes the blood from the blade and returns the katana to the scabbard. What little healing his shoulder has managed was all undone by those actions, and now it was bleeding slightly heavier than before. After the encounter, everyone was a short distance away. A cursory glace seemed to reveal that Rhia was missing...
Great... She's good with healing, and she's gone somewhere... Where in the hell did that armor go... Synile, seemed to stumble upon Selena, talking to someone he had never seen before. Selena was playing with an apple... It looked really good right about now. All this bleeding was somewhat dehydrating...
"Knock an arrow," Selena said. She seemed to wanna test the new comer. A possible recruit then...
God damn it. She's gonna ruin that apple... Synile dashes in and, using his right hand, snatches the apple out of the air before any harm befalls it. "That was close. Thanks Lena dearest. I am absolutely famished!" Synile begins to eat the apple, and wanders deeper into the camp. She's probably super pissed off... Hopefully I'll get a stern talking to later. I do love those.
"Finally!" Synile spots Turtlelot. He quickly strolls up towards the... man..? Thing. He strolls up towards the thing. "Excuse me... Turtlelot right? I hate to be a bother... but a really sharp blade seems to have pierced my left shoulder... Could you see what you can do for me?"
Posted 10 May 2010 - 01:42 AM
"Hey mon . . ."
One of the guides, Bob's friend. His body have shrouded in darkness while the other was bathed in blood (most likely his own). This night was getting better and better.
"What the hell happened!?" Jordan shouted, grabbing the man from the ground.
"They . . . came out of nowhere . . ."
"Shut up, don't talk. I think that's bad or something when you are bleeding out."
"Put me down . . . I'm not right, not anymore."
"What do you mean?"
"The others were . . ."
He went limp and fell out of Jordan's hands. Jordan placed his fingers on his neck. Dead as a doornail. This wasn't good, he had to get back now. Things were spiraling out of control. He continued on his way when he heard something from behind. A rustling on the ground, leaves and shrubs being crushed by force. He turned around to see the guide had risen again, leaning back as his head tilted forward. With wide eyes, Jordan saw a man who was clearly dead a moment ago rise again. He did not speak, his eyes were as white as the moon. He slowly took a step forward, relearning how to walk. He moved his arms back and forth. Motor functions began to reacquaint themselves with the risen man. He leaned his back forward, his mouth gaping open as blood poured out from his open wounds.
Jordan readied his spear, this was all too familiar.
The undead would prove to be a terrible problem.
Edited by JRPomazon, 10 May 2010 - 01:59 AM.
Posted 10 May 2010 - 06:23 PM
Posted 10 May 2010 - 08:27 PM
The Snakehead shook his head. “No, sir. I haven't any screams, struggles, or disturbances at all since you sent Frenchie here. Bob and his friends haven’t shown up yet, either.”
“Where is he right now?”
“He’s around 20 metres to my left, sir. You should find him pretty easily, considering the fact he’s pretty tall.” Pausing for a moment, the man gave his superior a thumbs-up. “It’s alright, General; we’ve got this whole place secured. Go back to sleep.”
Nodding in thanks, Leo moved on in the direction indicated, keeping his rifle up and finger on the trigger. He was confident that the Snakehead was telling the truth about nothing dangerous, but he could feel something wrong in the air; the blood musket had shown to that. Guides don’t just disappear into thin air on their own continent while the visitors get fake trials; it just doesn’t work out right. Double checking every bush on his way to the next guard for a brown-skinned body, the dwarf wondered if it was a mistake to bring the Snakeheads along for a journey, or if they were just extra baggage. He was sure that the other Calatians were capable of defending themselves; they also had Jordan to help. Extra people are never a bad thing.
Stumbling over something on the ground, Leo cursed the roots of the forest again until he smelt the familiar scent of blood. Glancing down, his blood turned cold as he recognized the face. “Shit…it’s Frenchie,” he murmured, kneeling down. Well, at least it’s his chest. Looking around, the general could see Frenchie’s detached legs and even his head about a foot apart from each other. A clean kill, probably from a sword or something. If so, why did they leave the body here? That brought an easy conclusion: Frenchie probably came upon something and was killed to keep his mouth shut. Getting to his feet, Leo continued forward, rifle aimed up. Seeing the familiar visage of Jordan in the distance, he walked towards the spearman, getting ready to ask him if he had seen any strangers nearby.
Noticing that Jordan had his spear up, the dwarf turned and followed the line of sight. What the hell happened to that guy? he thought in shock, looking at the guide. The man’s eyes had gone blank and pure white, while huge amounts of blood poured from holes in his body. A zombie? Here?! Without wasting another breath, Leo raised his gun, pressing the trigger. The gunshot echoed throughout the forest, the bullet ripping through the former guide’s torso.
Though it was partially damaged by the shot, the zombie merely let its arm fall off, as it continued to move forward towards the duo. Unfortunately, the loud sound seemed to draw the other ‘guides’; 8 more zombies appeared out of the darkness, their appearances similar to the first. We’re fucking screwed now, thought the dwarf. Tossing the gun to one side, he pulled out his battleaxe, swinging it in a full circle around him.
“Use the collar,” said a voice.
What? Pulling the item out of his pocket, he watched in amazement as it turned into a sword short enough to fit his size. Grinning at the magic, Leo raised both weapons, ready to swing them at the undead zombies.
Posted 10 May 2010 - 09:31 PM
Now that there would be no interruptions, Ikiosho quickly grabbed a few arrows and fired them directly at the apple. Before the apple had even approached peak height, there were three arrows protruding through one spot in the center, and Ikiosho snatched his spear and thrust it directly up.
Before the apple had succumbed to the effects of gravity, it was pierced three times and impaled by Ikiosho's fork-spear.
Posted 10 May 2010 - 09:40 PM
"Fancy toy you have there Leo." Jordan said, keeping his stance.
"Keep your guard up, this isn't over."
An attack from the side, lunging with it's mouth wide open to take a bite out of anything it could get its hands on. Jordan parried with his spear, raising the pole in front of the oncoming zombie. It slammed straight into it, its head knocked back after a rather comical display. He swung his spear back at the former guide and with a great cleave sliced across his chest, the force sending him flying into a tree. Another came from behind, Jordan swiftly sidestepped the lunge and pierced the zombie's exposed back. Retracting his spear from the putrid flesh, the zombies got to their feet.
Using the darkness to hide their movements and then coming from all directions to attack, it was a clever strategy. Too clever for the undead to conceive. The idea that they were being manipulated wasn't far from Jordan's mind but it wasn't certain. These actions were still very animalistic.
Posted 10 May 2010 - 10:47 PM
Turtlelot looked up at the man, it was Synile. Turtlelot didn't know Synile very well, actually he didn't know him at all, he had just seen him around several times.
Turtlelot rose to his feet and hunched over to look down at Synile's shoulder. After examining it for a few moments e looked up at Synile, and spoke "I'm going to need you to take your armor and anything else covering the wound off so I can work with your shoulder. Please take care of that while I go and borrow some supplies from the medic" And with that, Turtlelot walked away from Synile and into the part of the camp with the sleeping soldiers. After a few moments, Turtlelot spotted the medic. He made sure to know which one he was so he could take his supplies if necessary. Turtlelot walked over to him and picked up his pack of medical supplies and walked back to Synile.
Looking back at his now exposed wound, Turtlelot better examined it. He then took some cloth out of the medic's pack and began to wipe away the excess blood. Then he wadded up the cloth and placed it on the front of the wound and grabbed another, longer cloth and wrapped it around his shoulder, and tied the end to keep it attached.
Looking back up at Synile, Turtlelot spoke again "Don't use that arm for anything until it heals. You could risk tearing and completely destroying your shoulder muscle. Other than that, should be fine, just take it easy for awhile." And with that Turtlelot clapped his good shoulder and walked back to see how Ikiosho was doing with Selena.
Selena tossed up the apple and Ikiosho shot it with three arrows and hit it with his spear. Most impressive. Turtlelot thought to himself.
The next thing that was heard was a loud gunshot from the forest. Turtlelot quickly looked over in the direction of the gunshot. Turtlelot headed out in the direction of the gunshot. As he made he way through the jungle a man jumped him and started clawing and gnawing on. "Off of me, you fiend!" Turtlelot yelled at him as he grabbed him with both hand and hurled him at a tree. To Turtlelot's surprise the man roes back up off of the ground and looked at him with his pure white eyes before disappearing into the darkness. The undead? Here? This night keeps getting more and more interesting. Turtlelot looked over to see Jordan and Leo fighting more of the undead. Turtlelot saw the one that attacked him lunge at Jordan from behind. Without hesitating Turtlelot grabbed his tomahawk and hurled it sideways at the zombie. The axe-blade decapitated the zombie then hit the tree behind it. He then unsheathed his saber and joined the pair.
Edited by Sir Turtlelot, 10 May 2010 - 10:48 PM.
Posted 11 May 2010 - 10:41 PM
Tsume has naturally kept his distance from the group, not wanting to intrude and just not knowing what to do with his situation yet, Yet he knew that if trouble arose he would fight with the foreigners.
As he ran towards the metal man he came upon a horrid scene. Three man fighting the undead. He knew they were they undead just from folklore of how they looked and acted, though he has never seen them himself. Standing their dumbfounded, out of the darkness a figure lunged at him trying to bite and tear at him. Tsume, out of instinct reached for his staff, but only found his sword that he has no training with. Ignoring the sword, Tsume simply sidesteps the thing, grabs it by the back of the neck and kicks it in the back. Hearing the spine break, Tsume lugged it at the tree, not sure if it would live or not. Turning back towards the scene of the three man, Tsume runs to help them if they need it.
Posted 12 May 2010 - 12:29 AM
"Ev'ryone! Stawnd Back!"
White flares shot from the darkness of the trees, driving the zombies away. What the white lights did hit caught on fire and burned away. As the undead retreated back, two of them burned away in the purifying light. Out from the darkness came out one of the guides, the one referred to as Bob.
"Come now! Out of da thicket! That won't keep them away for too long!"
"You . . you're not-"
"Naw Mon, I'm still me. They ain't a bawte on me and I wanna keep it dat way. Quickly, back to camp!"
Following Bob, the four warriors rushed from the dark woods back to camp where the area was less covered in vegetation.
Posted 13 May 2010 - 08:33 PM
Hacking down another zombie with his axe and thrusting the collar-sword through its head, Leo knew that the guide was right about the former men. Undead hated fire with a passion, but it was not enough to finish them. Our swords and axes won’t do anything either; this battle just showed us that. Putting away the axe, sheathing the sword grabbing his rifle and forcing his way out of the heavy undergrowth in his path, the dwarf tried to think about what had happened to the other guides, or what kind of creature or disease had gotten them. Maybe those seven guys already had it, and then it passed it to the others a few hours ago, he thought. The strange item the 2 talkative guides had been passing around at the first meeting may have held a zombie-like contagious disease of some sort as well. No wonder Bob told them not to pass it around; maybe they were just having fun with it. Kneeling down to pick up Frenchie’s pike, which he would bury once the journey was over, Leo double checked to make sure none of the zombies were following the Calatians behind. He wondered what kind of disease had overcome the guides and turned them into monsters. Don’t think about that, he told himself. It was probably better to come up with a contingency plan that could prevent the undead from turning the rest of the Verdeniens into mindless things. Glancing at the sword in his belt, the general wondered exactly what it was.
As if in response, a voice spoke in his mind, the same one that had informed him about ‘using the collar’. “What you and your friends just fought, General, were the undead that have haunted Korento for so long. Though those men were once pure, they have been overcome by the infection.”
“What do you mean?” thought Leo in response. Entering the camp, he was surprised to see that the four remaining Snakeheads had arrived as well, seeing as they had heard the screams and commotion nearby.
“After the Cataclysm in Verden, a strange disease passed down from the north. It came in a black pirate ship, which crashed on the western coast of this continent and released the first of these zombies. A few months after, some of our hunters, which included your friend Bob, drove them away. Unfortunately, they have waited in the forest for the past 2 years, bidding their time.”
“How can we stop them? And who are you, anyways? Is this a legit conversation or just a joke?”
Pause. “My name is immaterial, dwarf. If you want to save your friends, and the world, you should probably do as you’re told. Good bye.”
About to respond, Leo suddenly realized his mind felt oddly empty. Hello? Frustrated, he realized that the stranger had left his mind, and was probably watching the group nearby. Why can’t these people just show themselves if they’re going to talk to us anyways? Walking off towards the others, the dwarf decided to talk to Bob and see what he knew about the undead. “Hey, Bob,” he said quietly, tapping the guide on the shoulder.
Turning around, Bob smiled down and shook hands. “Hey, mon. You doin awright?”
“Yeah,” replied Leo. Waiting for a moment, he decided to ask the question. “Look, Bob, I know you’ve fought these things before and kicked their asses into the forests. How did you beat them?”
The guide merely shrugged in response. “I used da light, mon. Den we drove dem into da bushes, an’ den went home.”
After Bob carried on with a few more tips of how to fight the undead, the general nodded in thanks and walked off towards the rest of the group. This stuff should be pretty helpful to us. Approaching the group, Leo leaned in and spoke to them. “I had a conversation with Bob a minute ago, and it turns out he’s already come into contact with them a year or 2 ago. He says that fire is probably the best to combat them. Apparently, they’re also afraid of…alcohol. I don’t suppose anyone brought some?”
Posted 13 May 2010 - 09:19 PM
Good. She could use all the stealthy assassins she could get her hands on. She would look into his background later on, but, as always, things were changing too rapidly for her to do anything that required time or effort. There was a gunshot from the forest, signaling yet another trial or ambush. Selena had gotten so sick of them that she merely threw her hands up in the air to whatever non-crazy gods were listening and sighed in frustration. Now what? Rhiannon still hadn't come back, and that was definitely the sound of Leo's rifle...
...but in a matter of moments, they were all rushing back to camp. Only a few of the guides were there. Everyone looked worse for wear. Hopefully they had done some group trial and that was the end of all the nonsense. Not motivated to get up off her log-seat next to the fire, Selena just looked up at them.
"What'd you all do this time?"
Posted 13 May 2010 - 09:26 PM
"You should have let that thing pierce your heart."
"THEN who would watch the nodachi?"
"Who needs to watch it at all? It's just a burden..."
Synile decided to break out the overly large flask he carried with him. Some liquor should dull the pain. After a few swigs, a gunshot rings out throughout the forest. Synile immediately assumes a battle stance, nodachi in hand. The gun shot sounded like it was definitely from outside of the camp. Being that it was a gun it meant one of three things. The guides were in trouble, Leo was in trouble, or someone else was in this forest. Synile immediately relaxes. Statistically it's a shot from someone I know. People I know should be able to handle themselves. I really shouldn't strain my wound. Synile took a peek around the camp. It seemed Selena, and that... weird... new guy were here. He ruined another apple. Oh... If she had more I suppose I shouldn't have jumped in and grabbed that first one... Aside from those two the camp seemed... empty... The second Synile took note of the disappearances, well... everyone was back.
“I had a conversation with Bob a minute ago, and it turns out he’s already come into contact with them a year or 2 ago. He says that fire is probably the best to combat them. Apparently, they’re also afraid of…alcohol. I don’t suppose anyone brought some?”
... Synile glares at Leo. "... what are you talking about? What's afraid of alcohol?" Synile takes another large swig, immediately fearing for his supply of whiskey.
Posted 14 May 2010 - 01:23 AM
"We need to get out of here, the longer we stay in an area where they can attack from the shadows the worst our chances are for survival."
Edited by JRPomazon, 14 May 2010 - 01:24 AM.
Posted 14 May 2010 - 10:59 PM
"Who are 'they?' The voices in your Curse-rotten head?"
She nodded to Synile as if to emphasis the effects of long-term exposure to Lazu's energies, if that was in fact what had driven Synile so mad. It was hard to tell.
Posted 14 May 2010 - 11:30 PM
"I would get that fancy spear of yours and put it to work Fossil." He said, grabbing his second weapon as the undead came forward.
Posted 15 May 2010 - 12:19 AM
"GOD DAMN! Is this what you guys were talking about? No one said the word zombie to me once..." Two zombies jump down from the trees, and land right next to Synile. He raises the nodachi, and assumes a defensive stance. The undead are seconds away from charging when their line of sight is interrupted by the nodachi. Instead of attacking, they seem to keep their distance. Synile takes a step towards the zombies, and the cursed blade seems to repel the two undead. Can they sense the curse? Synile swings the blade at the two, the zombies attempt to backpedal away from the blade. Their maneuverings, however, aren't quick enough, and both suffer sizable slashes to their chests, with little effect. The two stumble backwards, and flee to the sanctuary of the darkness.
"That was weird... the damn things act like my sword scares them..." Suddenly, Synile's thoughts wander.
"... Where's Rhiannon?" The thought sent chills up Synile's spine.
Posted 15 May 2010 - 12:45 AM
Oh, no. Not stoners. Just zombies.
"Haven't you ever seen the undead before?" Selena asked. She sighed and got off her log. "I resurrected thousands of corpses in Ikana Canyon. They made up half of the military. Hell, Rhiannon is technically a zombie, if a nice looking and coherent one. You haven't seen the cool things I can do with zombies."
She stood her ground between Jordan and the approaching hordes. The tome she had inherited long ago, once having belonged to Veteran, had come in handy for making a quick army at the start of the Ikana years. The spells she had learned from it had the added bonus of coming in handy on the rare occasions when when she faced off against other undead things. She held up her hand and concentrated, forming series of sparks and a rotating field of energy around her hand. The energy then broke into several bolts, striking the individual members of the undead legion of doom.
They came to a halt, limbs and eyelids twitching.
Selena clapped her hands.
"Show us the way to the goddamn witch already."
The zombies turned, faced south, and began to walk, forgetting all about their meals of human flesh.
"You see? I should have just done this to begin with. Zombies mind you a lot better than mysterious living guides, but do the heroes of the new world feel comfortable with me killing people in order to turn them into willing slaves? Oh, no, that's just wrong. We should let the people live because it's the right thing to do and then have them set us up for all these damn trials. Honor before reason!"
Selena kicked a rock on the ground and began to follow the zombie horde.
"To hell with it. Everybody fall in and grab your gear! I'm doing things my way from now on. All this being 'nice' is getting to me. Bunch'a do-gooder heroes with their sunshine peer pressure and honorable deeds. Evil's a hierarchy and there's only one alpha bitch, dammit. Zombies had better pray I'm merciful, and..."
The muttering continued as she got out of earshot.
Posted 15 May 2010 - 01:28 AM
As the others spoke to the rest of the group Turtlelot began to think. He wondered what exactly brought the undead to them, since they don't just happen naturally. Must be sent by the witch. It wasn't long until the undead began to attack the camp. Turtlelot turned back toward the part of the jungle from which they once were, to see a group of them heading towards the group. Turtlelot grabbed his spear a took a defensive stance as the zombies began to close in.
Turtlelot heard Selena speaking in the background, but he couldn't make out what she was saying. Just before the undead had reached Turtlelot, they stopped. He heard Selena start speaking again. He looked back at her to see her holding up a strange object. "Show us the way to the goddamn witch already." The zombies turned, faced south, and began to walk. Interesting Turtlelot thought.
Once Selena had taken control of the undead, Turtlelot took a cloth and cleaned the blood off of his saber and tomahawk and sheathed them once again. He started to walk along with the group.
Then it hit him, Rhia was still missing. If they left camp, there was no way she could find them.
"Selena wait!" He called out from the camp. Turtlelot quickly began to make his way up to Selena. "We can't leave yet, Rhiannon is still missing."
Posted 15 May 2010 - 10:15 PM
Now speaking of excitement, there was plenty going on in this camp. People leaving and entering all the time, especially wounded or frightened when they come back.
But among all of this, zombies. There are zombies here. Ikiosho couldn't stop thinking, "Damn, I thought I had left them when I was banished from my homeland." Ikiosho prepared his weapons, but the others had the zombies at bay and falling back before he could act. Selena spoke to them, and they listened. Her words fell on rotting ears.
"Show us the way to the goddamn witch already."
"Witch? Why would the zombies listen to her anyway? What is going on in this damn place?" But the zombies headed south, and Selena was close behind. It seemed everyone was following the dead, an interesting choice, but Ikiosho had no other.
Posted 16 May 2010 - 09:28 PM
"There's a reliable way of calling her back to the group," Selena said to Turtlelot. She turned her head upward, like a wolf howling at the moon, and in a booming voice yelled, "Rhia, get your ass back here!"
After a few minutes, there was a crackling of branches and twigs, and a small blonde woman emerged from the woods holding an ornately carved dagger. She looked ragged and tired. Her breathing was labored and her eyes were a bit bloodshot. The dagger wasn't hers, so it must have been her memento from a completed trial. Rhiannon didn't look furious, so she must have completed it successfully. Rhiannon wasn't as good at hiding her emotions as Selena was. Had she lost her trial, Rhiannon would have either been spitting venom at all of them or crying her eyes out. Instead, Rhiannon just walked up and joined the group.
"Trial?" Selena asked.
"Yes. Bean, I've decided something."
"What's that, Rhia?"
"You're not allowed to die."
"I don't plan on it."
Rhiannon was silent for a moment, but her eyes soon drifted over to their new 'guides.' "Lena?"
"Are those... zombies?"
Uh oh. Rhia would definitely not approve of Selena taking control of the dead to finish up their quest. Rhiannon had been furious after getting resurrected at Ikana, and her anger had only been quelled by informing her that Khuffie had destroyed her homeland in the years between her death and resurrection (it hadn't helped that Selena was the one to kill her in the first place). Selena took a breath. Well, what was a good excuse at a time like this?
"Now, don't glare at me that like," Selena said. "The others were attacked by zombies and I simply brought them back under my control to nip the problem in the bud before it got too dangerous. They were devouring Snakeheads. Doing this is easier than killing them. They're showing us the way to the witch. Much easier than dealing with the non-slave human guides."
"Lena! You can't use dead people to show you the way to the witch!"
Selena pointed to the zombies. "It's working."
"You should just put them out of their misery and give them the dignity of going to the afterlife," Rhiannon said.
"You're a zombie too! Just one that doesn't rot. Would you have liked it if I never brought you back to life?"
"Well, it wasn't the right thing to do then, either!"
Selena pouted. "But then we never would have become friends."
"Don't be cute with me."
"Can't help it," Selena said.
"Okay, fine, we'll follow the zombies until we find the witch. But that's it!"
Victory. Selena looked back at the rest of the ground and found that they were ill at ease with their new guides. Especially that Bob person, who stood in the very back of their formation and trembled at the mere sight of them. Good grief, had none of them ever been around the undead before? They'd have never made it in the Labyrinth. Or even Ikana, for that matter. At least half of them had fought with undead Ikana warriors before, so what was the problem?
"Guys, they are as tame as kittens now that I'm in control. Don't worry! Best guides ever!"
Posted 17 May 2010 - 12:28 AM
"So, is this how you plan to kill Chikara?" Jordan asked, turning the viking leader.
"A couple reanimated corpses here and there, it's not like their doing anything anyway so why not? I mean, SURE they were people once but why would you care about that?"
Jordan stopped himself there, an argument on morality and decency with Selena would be as productive as two men pushing on the same rock from opposite sides. Strained and sore but when the day is done you haven't gotten yourself far. He placed his spears back, he didn't feel much like sleeping anymore. Vikings may be more fun, but Selena was still Selena it seemed.
"Shall we get moving?" he asked, his voice strained by his suppressed distaste for Selena's choice.
Posted 17 May 2010 - 03:11 PM
Tsume noticed that they had a new companion. He apparently just walked right up and talked to Selena about joining indefinitely with the Calatians. The Calatians had [img]http://forums.legendsalliance.com/public/ALOT.png[/img] of fun with the war and all and Tsume wanted that and maybe a little bit of glory to go along with it.
Tsume approaches the leader and kneels on one knee, "Madame Selena, i have been following your men as it seemed reasonable and honestly exciting. Now that i have come to know some about the cause and of these fine people, i wish to ask for a test or other means of proving myself worthy of standing with men to take down the evil goddess."
Posted 17 May 2010 - 03:50 PM
"Now, don't work yourself into a hissy fit. Of course I won't be using the undead to fight Chikara. She can manipulate them as easily as I can. It'd be a waste of energy. As for the morality of it, if I weren't a heartless bitch then our pretty little Rhiannon wouldn't be here today. And they tried to kill us. Nobody that attempts to eat the flesh from my face gets things made easy for them. They won't manipulate us as human guides would."
They continued walking and made some decent progress before the group earned itself another visitor. Selena looked back. It was Tsume, the man from the beach that had greeted them when first setting foot on Korento. He'd followed them the whole way? Hm! Well, well, he also wanted to join up? It was a banner day for Calatia's recruitment efforts.
"You're as big as a house and I'm sure I saw you pick up an entire tree. I think your abilities speak for themselves. The only thing that needs to be tested is your loyalty. Journey with us and prove that you're willing to put your life on the line to save your new teammates. Do that, and I'll take you back to Calatia with us."
To kill time as they went along through the woods, Selena decided to give her new members an orientation.
"Well, since we have two new people with us, I think it's best I give you some background knowledge about what you've gotten yourselves into. Several of the warriors here were responsible for the death of the tyrant known as Khuffie. We destroyed his Legends Alliance. Of course, as soon as we got rid of one tyrant, another came up in his place. Chikara Nadir now leads the Empire of Koridai and is attempting to control all of Verden. We're out to stop that from happening. It won't be easy. She's got wicked superpowers. Our purpose here is to find a means of harming her. The witch has promised that, but she seems intent on not making it easy. Perhaps easier now that I'm cheating by taking control of the former guides."
"Ya be messin' with unnat'ral forces," Bob said from the back.
"Perfectly natural to me!"
Posted 17 May 2010 - 04:24 PM
Getting ready to follow after, Leo heard both Synile and Turtlelot mention something about Rhiannon. Stopping short, he glanced around and realized the princess had disappeared from the camp. Did she get turned into a zombie too? Then again, Selena had said that she had already been resurrected before; the dwarf doubted it could be done more than once without some kind of mutation. Glancing around, Leo was relieved to see Rhiannon return to the camp; oddly, she looked rather grim and tougher than she had been previously. Did she just have a trial? he wondered. How many do we have left? Watching as she walked up to Selena and had a quick conversation, the dwarf turned to his men. “What?” he asked, noticing that they were looking rather uncomfortable with the situation.
One of the Snakeheads pointed towards the trees. “Zombies scare me,” he said. “I never actually felt comfortable in joining the Canyon.”
Managing not to roll his eyes in frustration, Leo merely clapped the man on the shoulder. “Stick with me and we’ll be fine; Selena knows what she’s doing.” Turning and listening as the Calatian leader gave a description of events to the newcomers, he was surprised to hear Bob speak out against manipulating the zombies. He seems rather paranoid. Falling back as the group moved forward, the general approached the guide. “We’ll be fine,” he whispered. “Selena’s got experience with this sort of stuff.”
“It not dat,” he replied. “Mon, I dun ‘tink da witch is gonna like this much.”
Leo shrugged in response. “Let’s wait until we meet her before we make judgments.” Walking off, he fell in line between the other Calatians, hoping to get the mission over with quickly and return to Snowpeak.
Posted 20 May 2010 - 09:23 PM
As she neared the entrance of the hut, the zombies under Selena's control began to spasm wildly. She took a step back and watched as they crumpled to the ground, finally and totally dead. A shadowy profile of a hunched over figure emerged from within the warm glow of the hut's interior, though Selena could not see the old hag herself. Selena stood her ground, planting her spear firmly into the grass below her feet. This was the damn woman that had taunted her with that biased trial. She wasn't going to take any more bullshit from the witch.
The figure within began to stir.
"You," the witch said in an accusing tone. "How dare you turn the bodies of my guides into mindless slaves? You kept them from the tranquility of the afterlife."
"You can't expect me to behave when I have all sorts of ghouls and beasts attempting to kill my people," Selena said.
"Never kill. Only teach. You woke up in full health after your failed trail," the witch replied.
Selena's left eye twitched. Dammit. Now the truth had been exposed to the entire group. "Not an accurate trial. You were using it to prove a point."
"And you learned nothing from it."
The witch began to emerge from her hut, and Selena was expecting to see the old hag that Leo had mentioned in his report from the east. That was not the person in question. The 'witch' was tall, slim, and no more than thirty years old. Her skin was soft and brown, and her long hair was jet black rather than gray. There was not a single wrinkle on her beautiful face. Her clothes were primitive, but she wore a necklace of solid gold and had her face decorated with makeup that accentuated her features. She held a staff in her hands - not for balance, but for defense.
"Who the hell are you?" Selena asked. "The peppy assistant witch?"
"I am the witch, you fool. I test the morals and hearts of men in the guise of the old hag, as only the genuinely kind will listen to elders and the needy. Your followers are warm hearted and courageous. Even the most tainted souls," she said, looking to Synile, "have slivers of goodness left within them. These are the heroes that will free Verden from darkness." Her face hardened as she looked back toward Selena. "They will save it from the people who want nothing but bloodshed. You are no hero. You will not be the one to liberate the land. You only want chaos, disorder, and violence. There will be no redemption for you, and I will not mourn your passing. You simply lead the heroes for now, and for that reason I must tolerate your existence."
Selena snarled. "You're just jealous that I took control of your zombie-guides."
It looked for a moment as if the witch would take her wooden staff and attempt to strike at Selena with it, but she was able to retain control over emotions - naturally, this meant that Selena responded with a mocking smirk that probably did deserve to be whacked off her face. The witch managed to put a pleasant smile on her face after looking at the others.
"Welcome to my home," the witch said. "I apologize for having to put you through so many trials, but when dealing with something that can render a god helpless, you must be picky about who it can be rewarded to."
Posted 23 May 2010 - 09:56 AM
The lithe, slim figure of witch walked before them, beckoning them into the shadowy recesses of the hovel, apparently made from whatever bark and dead tree limbs the witch and her servants could find. One by one, they stepped inside. The interior was spare, stark, not even a cauldron on the fire. There was a bookshelf in the corner, and a table and two chairs to their left.
"I beg pardon for the state of my home. I must leave it somewhat bare in case a wandering child comes in from the village down the road."
She clapped her hands, twice, and the room around her shifted and turned, warping, changing colors. Even the strongest stomach felt slightly nauseous.
"There. Much better, don't you think?"
They were now in the middle of what seemed more like the Grand Ballroom in Khuffie's palace in Olimandias than the hermitage of a crazy witch. The witch herself seemed to have changed her wardrobe and make up, a slim, robin's egg blue dress clinging to her slender figure, her hair in an elaborate braid.
Bob walked up beside her. Her clothes were not the only thing that had changed. Bob's outfit had improved significantly, the tatters repaired and the leather shiny. But it did not . . . civilize him. On the contrary, something seemed wilder, more animalistic about his face. His filed teeth seemed longer, sharper, more . . . natural. But his voice, and curious Lalvican accent had not changed a whit.
"Yeeeah muh lady?"
"Go and see that the armory is ready. We have only one more thing to make sure of, and it will be time. Please, everyone, you may recall that you each obtained a small . . . token of sorts after your trial. Give those to Bob now."
She stepped in front of Turtlelot and Tsume, hips moving slowly, sensually, covered by only a thin layer of fabric.
"Come with me, please."
She led them down the hall to the left, grand pillars and archways next to glass windows that looked out on a perfectly manicured lawn. The palace, for that was indeed what the building appeared to be, was bustling with activity, men and women of all types and classes working to keep things running smoothly.
"I fear the witch who built this palace was somewhat . . . pretentious. Had I been the one making the design choices I would have gone much smaller, and used magic for many of the tasks you now see performed by the servants. But the twenty-third Witch was ever so fond of bossing people around, and using magic to wash pans and pots just wouldn't have had the same effect."
She glanced behind her and laughed at the confused expressions.
"Yes, yes, I am the twenty-fifth Witch of Voodoo Isle. I suppose I really should change my title to "Witch of Korento" or something of the sort, but the last fifteen witches have been of Voodoo Isle, and stopping now almost seems like a shame. My poor mistress died in the aftermath of the Cataclysm, leaving all of this to me, her loyal apprentice of five years. I wanted to downsize, but the servants begged me not to. It seems they enjoy working in a palace. No matter - We are here now."
She stepped to the side and motioned them into a large room, with a giant red crystal, encased in an iron stand in the center. Her face hardened.
"It is that crystal which determines the trials. I only implement them. But there is one here who has had no trial, yet is destined to. And unless he completes it, I could not give you the object you desire even if I could." Her gaze lit upon Turtlelot.
"You, warrior. Young in spirit but old in years. It was for this purpose your soul was called into our world. For this purpose you reside in that armor. Look, Sir Turtlelot. Look, and know yourself."
Posted 23 May 2010 - 12:31 PM
Rubbing his eyes as they were ushered into a rather large room, the general deduced that he was not dreaming or hallucinating at all. This is real; we’re definitely going to kill Chikara. Looking at the large crystal in the center, he listened to the witch talk about the crystal’s purpose, the trials…and Turtlelot. Wait, so she knows why he came to us? Still rather confused by the turn of events, Leo crossed his arms and leaned against the wall. “Go on, Turtlelot, take a look,” he said in an encouraging tone. “Let’s see where you came from.”