Roleplay Forums > Canelux > Kingdom of Adeluna > Ancense Ruins > A Night of Horrors [P|R]
ardenator2000

Character Info
Name: Count Simon de Montefort
Age: 34
Alignment: LG
Race: Human
Gender: Male
Class: White Knight
Silver: 181


Simon rode at the head of the column, basking in what remained of the day's light. They had set underground at first light, and it had been a long day in those tunnels. The day prior the caravan had come upon a village of Adelunan settlers in the foothills of the Ancense mountains. The settlers had been welcoming enough, though he could tell that they were distressed. It turned out that goblins had raided the village the night previous, making off with a number of livestock and girls. The villagers had offered up what little riches they had for Steelshanks and his guardsmen to help, and so at dawn he set Olvar and Ojuk to tracking them down.

The trail had led their war party to a large cave in a nearby cliff. Raphael's companion Anguy had felled the sleepy scouts, and they made their way in slowly. Morning was like late evening for a goblin, and thus the perfect time to strike. Even so, the expedition was slow going, and the clearing of the tunnels difficult. Many novice adventurers had underestimated goblins, and paid the price for it. Not so for Simon, a veteran of the Goblin Wars back in the world of Dae Luin. The creatures were bestial, but possessed a base cunning. There were many diversions and traps in the tunnels leading to their lairs, and hidden side passages from which they would spring unseen to attack with poisoned blade and arrow. There were a number of hobgoblins amongst their number, and even a tamed cave troll. They were led by a shaman, whom Simon dispatched himself after absorbing a spell with his Sunburst Shield and turning it back on the goblin caster as a flash of blinding light. 

They lost a few good men in the passageways, but in the end, they prevailed. Steelshanks, Lord Rykker, and Olvar acquitted themselves especially well. So too did Anguy, Raphael's archer companion. Raphael had trouble at first, possessing his mother's discomfit with dark, enclosed spaces, though once the combat began he soon remembered himself. When the nest was slain and the kidnapped women found, however… Raph hadn't taken that well. The women had been tortured and violated. Goblinkind was even worse with captured women than the bandits Raphael had once served, and mistreated women were a soft spot for his son. The boy had been quiet since then, riding behind Simon and doing his best not to look back at the liberated captives following behind them. 

Simon's thoughts began to wander as they meandered back in the fading light. When the caravan had first passed this way nearly a year ago on the way to Sularia, he had been a mere sellsword hired fresh into the group. He had been on foot, in mismatched mail and a dirty cloak. Now he went at Steelshank's right hand, astride a gleaming white unicorn with a mane of ivory. He was clad head-to-toe in white enameled steel over painted white chain and pale boiled leather, a bleached white cloak brooched in ivory over his shoulders. His white enameled Sunburst Shield was shined to a mirror polish, and had an almost impossible gleam in this low light. An ivory-handled morningstar was slung on his back, and in his right hand he held a great white lance swirled in blue. 

Village after village, battle after battle, Simon had worked his way up through the ranks of the caravan guard and had earned more and more silver. He had saved every groat, until by chance he came upon a hermit smith in the highlands. The Tiefling Laskus had unparalled skill at his spring-fed forge, and had fashioned Simon's new equipment exactly to his specifications. He had picked it up on the return trip from Sularia, and had worn it proudly ever since. He was a Knight again. A long, hard journey, but we have overcome. Now we are nearly back to Adeluna, and I will be ready to compete in the Queen's tourney.

Simon was startled from his musings by a warning from Olvar. Apparently he and his warg smelled smoke. The White Knight had come to trust the lad's nose, and so sent Raphael up into the sky to take a closer look. 

BadMoonRising

Character Info
Name: Olvar Tyresus
Age: 24
Alignment: CN
Race: Lupundra
Gender: Male
Class: Wandering Shifter
Silver: 877
Travel with the caravan was becoming more interesting with every passing day. First the bandit camp, where Simon had finally found his lost son, Raphael–a reunion that Olvar observed with no small amount of envy hidden behind a stony facade. The reason for his jealousy was one he scarcely acknowledged, even when it reared its head so unexpectedly. He held his tongue, as was proper for a squire, but that didn’t mean he had to like the naive child that now trailed long with them, nor did it mean that he couldn’t protest Simon’s sudden shift in focus with more subtlety.

The young winged man was interesting to watch at least. He reacted oddly to many of the natural happenings of the journey; the tunnels for instance. Rather than stand tall as he walked, the boy fidgeted the entire way, annoying Ojuk more than enough times to earn a low growl in warning. Olvar had patted the warg’s shoulder in silent agreement. He was decent in combat though, for being as scrawny as he was. Very clearly trained by his father. The lycan made sure to surpass his kill count.

After the battle, Raphael went quiet again, this time more somber than fearful. Travel became quiet and smooth. Ojuk relaxed, even going so far as to yawn on the way back to the village. Olvar sat astride his mount with squared shoulders and his head held high. With improved armor now–scavenged from fallen enemies–he looked much more the part of a proper squire, and the combination of steel and hardened leather pieces allowed for excellent movement with an improved personal defense. His eyes wandered down to Raphael; a couple of decent pieces, but nowhere near a full set. He briefly considered giving the lad his old leathers, but that would require liking him.

Ojuk’s ears swiveled forward, catching the shifter’s eye. He gazed ahead, but it was not a sight that could his attention. Rather, it was a smell, adrift in the dry air. “Sir,” he called to Simon, speaking as curtly as he had since the raid. “Smoke on the wind. Wood fire.” He took another whiff, his warg growling quietly. Much to his dismay, the knight sent his son to the skies to scout ahead. Something flipped in his mind. He watched Raphael for a stretched moment, before giving Ojuk a sharp tap on his side. The warg snapped his jaws once in surprise, then took off out of the column. The shifter rode with the efficiency of a seasoned racer, and with twice the confidence, despite going over his knight’s head.

Onward toward the smoke he loped, cresting the ridge and pulling to a halt. Olvar’s eyes widened as he took in the scene, smoke burning at his face as it plumed upward. “What the hell happened here?” he wondered aloud.

"What a monstrous sight he makes, mocking man's best friend."

ardenator3000

Character Info
Name: Raphael de Montefort
Age: 16
Alignment: TG
Race: Atavian
Gender: Male
Class: Winged Knight
Silver: 22
The young winged man rode behind his father at the head of the column returning from the goblin raid. Head inclined forward, he stared silently at the rump of his father's unicorn as he mulled over the day's events. He felt shame for his demeanor in the goblin tunnels. From his time squiring for the Archon among his people, he knew that Atavians were naturally averse to dark, cramped underground spaces. Even so, Raphael never imagined he would be so affected as they plunged underground. As the rock closed in around them, barely lit by the light of dim torches, Raphael had begun to feel his throat tighten - as if there was not enough air down in that enclosed space. With no sky above him the Atavian had felt so restricted. All he wanted to do at that moment was to spread his wings and fly, so much so that they twitched and shifted on his back. Men had noticed, including Olvar, his father's beast of a squire. The man's annoyed glance still burned in his memory. Each step had been harder than the last, as if weights had been tied to his ankles. Combat had come as a welcome relief. While others were alarmed at the sudden onrush of goblins from ahead and out of hidden side passages, Raphael had felt a wash of relief. Focusing on the technical aspects of combat and the thrill of battle cleansed his mind from the fear of the tight tunnel. A goblin had jumped out of a side tunnel, his poison blade slipping off Raphael's leather pauldron. As he turned in surprise to face the creature, Anguy felled him with a single arrow, likely saving Raphael's life. He was glad that his father hadn't been nearby to notice, nor the wolfman he called a squire. Afterward he had interposed himself in the side tunnel, kite shield up and spear held firm. He played the proper spearman then, blocking off the passage with his shield. The ensuing pattern of block, bash, and stab had been almost meditative to him, and the sound Anguy's arrows made as they flew over his shoulder reminded him of the wind. At that moment he was elated. This was what he was made for, what he had spent his whole life training for. Smiting those vile creatures made him feel whole for the first time since coming to these shores.

The moment was disappointingly short, however. Soon the goblin attack floundered, and the rest of the day was spent going about the grim work of marching up and down the various passages, trapping and killing the surviving goblins within. The claustrophobic feeling had soon returned, and stayed with Raphael throughout that time. At one point they found a nursery, full of goblin babes and toddlers. Steelshanks ordered the men to put them down, but Raphael had protested that they were but children. His father had given him a sad look, explaining that goblins quickly grew and multiplied, and that if they didn't completely clear the nest the village would be preyed upon again come next year. It was vile work, but it needed doing. Even so, he noticed that his father did not join Steelshanks and his men in the culling of the babes. Neither did Raphael. Olvar did, however, little to his surprise. 

At last they found the cavern where the women and other spoils from the village were being kept. The state of them horrified Raphael, bringing back memories of MacLeary and the little girl. He had thought none could be so cruel as those highland bandits. He had been wrong. Visibly shaken, he had excused himself from that cavern and the work that remained, ostensibly to prepare their horses. As they exited the caves Raphael reveled in the sweetness of the open air and the warmth of the sun upon his brow, as wonderful as a maiden's kiss. He decided then that he hated caves, and that he hated goblins most of all. Once the others had returned he fell in behind his father and did his best not to look at the poor women the goblins had defiled. Every time he did his chagrin rose. He had helped kill the goblins, brought justice to them for their crimes, but he could not undo the damage they had done. He knew there was nothing more he could have done, yet his heart felt that he hadn't done enough. Raphael wondered if his father felt this way, when all he could do was give justice in place of righting wrongs.

For now, Raphael tried to push away his misgivings with thoughts of what lay ahead. The village would be ecstatic at their triumphant return. They would no doubt throw a feast to celebrate. There would be food, drink, music, and dancing. Raphael loved to dance. The thought brought a smile to his face. And after that, they would get back to their routine on the road. 

It was a routine he had come to enjoy, in the months since they had departed the highlands. In the early mornings before camp broke Simon and Rhygar would drill Raphael and Olvar in the arts of Knighthood: the lance and shield, sword, morningstar, and dagger. Sometimes they would work on the unarmed arts: pugilism and wrestling. Other days they would work on riding, for a Knight was nothing without his mount. Other days were conditioning days: they would swim, run, or climb, or work on calisthenics while the sweat dripped from their pores. Once a week they would spar. On those days Steelshanks and some of his men would often join them. Raphael was the least of them, for now, but he was quickly learning to use his wings to make up the skill gap. He could flap and flutter about to come at his opponents from awkward angles, or to quickly dart in and out of reach. He could use them to buffet his opponents with air to throw them off balance, or even to push and grapple. Of late he had been working on using his wingtips to sweep at his opponent's lead ankle. He had sent Anguy down once with a startled yell, and had quickly followed up on the poor lad, forcing him to yield. The memory made Raphael proud. 

In the evenings after camp was made Steelshanks would drill his men: going over formations, marching, large group and small unit tactics. His father had their group join in on most days, for a Knight also had to be a battlefield commander and to do so he had to be well versed in battlefield formations and tactics. On some nights, though, he would pull Raphael aside and teach him the ancient Paladin arts of their House. Raphael particularly enjoyed those nights, getting to be one-on-one with his father without the constant aggravating presence of Olvar, always trying to one-up him. Less enjoyable were the nights of the new moon, where Simon and Olvar would strike out on their own to train with Olvar's lupine form. Raphael did his best to hide his jealousy. His father had sent him away to one place or another for most of his life, hardly spending any time with him at all. That commoner, on the other hand, had been his father's companion for years. Olvar had received all of Simon's attention, guidance, and trust, and Raphael envied him for it. 

Raphael was startled out of his reverie by a brusque command from his father. "By your command, Ser," Raphael acknowledged, then spread his wings and took to flight. As he gained elevation he noticed Olvar racing ahead below. The young nobleman rolled his eyes. Always the one-upper. If the Gods were good, his lord father would give the peasant a thorough verbal thrashing for his presumptiveness. 

As he gained the air his sharp Atavian eyes sighted the column of smoke on the horizon. Wings beating, he flew yet higher and toward the source of it. He soon sighted it, to his horror. 

He dove back toward the column, the wind screaming past his ears as he hastily descended. Just before the ground he spread his wings wide, the air absorbing his momentum. His legs swung forward and Raphael hit the ground at a run. "The village!" he screamed as he rushed back to his mount and hopped atop it. "The village is under attack!"

ardenator2000

Character Info
Name: Count Simon de Montefort
Age: 34
Alignment: LG
Race: Human
Gender: Male
Class: White Knight
Silver: 181
As Raphael took to the air, Olvar suddenly gave his warg a kick and shot off into the distance. Simon's eyes narrowed disapprovingly as he watched the boy go. It would be unseemly to call after the squire in front of the column, so he kept silent as Olvar disappeared off ahead. The column continued at their present pace, but the atmosphere had become hushed. Everyone awaited the news that the scouts would bring. The minutes seem to stretch on into eternity, until at last he spotted Raphael coming out of the sky ahead. The lad was coming in fast, too fast, diving toward them with his wings flush against his back. Simon's eyes widened in concern. Reckless, he's going to get himself killed. Just as he was about to call out, his boy suddenly spread his wings, slowing just enough to land in a headlong dash toward them. The boy sounded the alarm as he vaulted back onto his horse, and Simon turned to meet Steelshank's eye. 

"The wagons, they're back there. Everything we have." The White Knight nodded. The caravan had started in Adeluna, tracking across the entire continent all the way up to Sularia and back. They were so close to the Kingdom now, and had gained great wealth in the endeavor. If they lost the caravan now, they lost it all. There were those poor villagers to think of, as well. They had had enough trouble with a mere goblin raid, If highlanders had come down out of the Ancense mountains… "There's no time to lose," Simon declared, lifting his warhorn to his lips, "I'll sound the charge." He gave it a great blast, and put his spurs into his unicorn's flanks. the noble beast shot off at the gallop, the rest of the column hurrying along behind.

Soon they caught up to their outriders, and after that to Olvar. The lad was atop his warg, staring from the ridgeline down at the burning village below. "Olvar, fall in!" Simon shouted as they thundered down the hill. "You fool!" he admonished as his squire fell in beside him. "What if there was a large force here? What if they had outriders, and caught you? What if the villagers had told them of us, and had laid a trap on the road? Never race off by yourself, and never disobey my orders. I was under the impression that you were beginning to grasp battle tactics. If you disregard the team, and focus on winning glory, you'll succeed in getting yourself and your team killed. Remember that, the next time you get a notion to try to impress me."

As they thundered into the village the scene was utter chaos. Buildings burned, villagers ran this way and that, and smoke obscured their vision. "I don't understand," Lord Rhygar complained, "I see no attackers. They must have moved on. Why are the villagers still in such disarray?"

As he finished that sentence they rounded a corner and found a group of villagers tearing a screaming man apart. "That's why," Simon stated grimly. "Zombies." The shout of zombies went up and down the line, warning the men of what they faced. For his part Simon dropped his visor, lowered his lance, and charged. "MONTEFORT!!!" He screamed, the shout sounding metallic through the grating of his helm. The zombies looked up, staring hungrily at the man and steed hurtling toward them. Some began to stand, but he was already on them. 

BadMoonRising

Character Info
Name: Olvar Tyresus
Age: 24
Alignment: CN
Race: Lupundra
Gender: Male
Class: Wandering Shifter
Silver: 877
Olvar stared down at the village, trying to find any sign of enemy forces below, but the smoke screened off patches of his vision and clogged his nose to anything else. He leaned forward, wanting to move ahead, but he knew better. He had already risked himself going this far alone, and expected a reaming from Simon for it, but he didn’t care about the scoldings. All over again he had to prove himself, and he intended to do just that.

As the others came thundering over the hill, his knight calling him back, Olvar gave Ojuk a kick to join them. The warg bounded gracefully down the slopes, falling into place beside the noble’s unicorn. Sure enough, the verbal beating began. Any attempt by the shifter to get a word in was shut down with another harsh rebuke, and he quickly stopped trying. No word was given reply, resentful nor apologetic.

Upon breaking the borders of the village, the riders were greeted with only madness before them. Screams and burning fires filled the smoky skies, villagers ran every which way, or stumbled about in confusion. “Have they all gone mad?” Olvar wondered aloud after Rhygar’s obvious statement regarding the lack of attackers. The squire kept pace with Simon as they moved further into the disarray, a man at one point colliding headlong with Ojuk’s shoulder. The warg turned his massive head with a growl, and the villager screamed something incomprehensible before running off where they’d come from. It set the shifter on edge. The man hadn’t been afraid of his mount; he was more intent on fleeing something else.

“Simon…” As they rounded the next corner, the men received their answer. Following his mentor’s lead, Olvar slid down the visor of his barbuta, effectively protecting his face as he raced forward on Ojuk. Hooking his left hand securely under the edge of the saddle, he drew his sword with his right to slash down at the undead monsters. He cut down a handful of them with little difficult, but half of them only stood up again to resume attacking. The squire moved easily out of their range, turning Ojuk around to slash at them once again. “They won’t die,” he growled to himself. One well placed swing took one of the monster’s heads clean off, and the body dropped instantly to the ground, unmoving. He blinked in surprise, then looked to those he had felled before; all slashes across the back of the neck.

It all rushed back to him. Simon was a paladin, skilled at combating the unholy beasts of this world. Zombies could be killed by a number of things, including holy water and light. Neither of those were things he had access to, but the third option was going for the head. Cutting it off or blunt force trauma were both effective, and both things he could most certainly do.

Olvar gave his warg a kick, lunging back into the battle with new vigor now that he knew just how to attack the creatures they faced.

"What a monstrous sight he makes, mocking man's best friend."

ardenator3000

Character Info
Name: Raphael de Montefort
Age: 16
Alignment: TG
Race: Atavian
Gender: Male
Class: Winged Knight
Silver: 22
Raphael put his spurs to his steed as his father sounded the charge, taking off after him at a brisk gallop. The column made good pace - soon reaching the crest overlooking the beleaguered town. They found Olvar where he had last sighted him, watching the village from the top of the crest. His father called him back to the column, and as he rejoined the unit Simon immediately launched into a harsh admonishment of his impudent action. Raphael fought the urge to smile. It brought him no small amount of pleasure to see the haughty peasant put back in his place.   

Unfortunately, Raphael did not get the chance to revel in Olvar's embarrassment for long. They entered the town to find chaos all about them. Halflings rushed to and fro, fleeing or trying to put out fires. Some rushing in and out of burning homes to retrieve people and possessions. Screams and shouts came from further in the town, and that is precisely where his father led them. Further in the chaos became more pronounced. His father hauled up short of a group of villagers. Raphael's eyes widened in astonishment. "They're tearing one another apart!" His father charged into the melee, Lord Rhygar and Olvar on either side of him. 

Raphael made to follow him, but a yelp from Anguy turned his attention to the side. A villager had rushed out of an alley and was pulling him from his horse. "Unhand him!" the lad shouted, riding around Anguy's horse to face the halfing. The villager was hissing and groaning, pulling Anguy down and moving toward him with mouth open wide as if to bite. Raphael shouted another warning, hesitating to act against the small halfing. At the last second, he thrust forward with his spear, catching the villager in the side and pinning her to the ground beside his companion. Anguy scrambled away from her - reaching up to his saddle to haul himself to his feet. "What the hell is wrong with her?" he asked loudly as he regained his saddle. 

The Atavian looked down at the woman. She hardly seemed to react to the stabbing at all. Instead, she was focused on him with hungry eyes, groping the air with her hands and straining to rise against the spear pinning her down. The thrust to her belly seemed to have no effect on her. The sight astonished him until realization suddenly dawned. To test his hypothesis he pulled the spear back out of her and thrust again - this time at her eye. The halfing went down once more, only this time she didn't move. Just as I thought. "Zombies!" he shouted, "they're zombies!" he looked at Anguy sharply. "Were you bitten? Scratched at all?"

The ranger looked himself over, then gave a shake of his freckled head. Raphael sighed in relief. "To me!" he called to the nearby caravan guards. Once half a dozen or so were circled up he began to speak. "Zombies have overrun this village. They look like the halflings who once lived here, but they are already dead. They are but reanimated corpses, with an insatiable hunger for human flesh." Raphael hadn't faced one before, but he remembered his father's lessons well. "Show them no mercy, despite their pitiful look, for they shall show none to you. They may be slow and lack grace, but they have impossible strength, and could easily tear you apart. A single scratch or bite is all it takes to become infected with their disease - and soon after you will turn into one yourself. Fire dismays them, as does holy light and holy water. Blunt force trauma to the head will kill them, as will cutting off the head or piercing the skull. Attacking the body will do little more than slow them down." Anguy and the guards nodded, listening intently even as men fought for their lives not far off.

Looking back down the alley, he sighted the courtyard in which the wagons had been left. They were a long way off, but with his sharp preybird eyes he could see that they were circled up - their merchants fighting desperately to defend them from a horde of zombies. Even as he watched, a man was being dragged off his wagon to be torn apart. Soon they would be overrun. He was but a squire, but someone had to act. "On me men!" he shouted, "wedge formation, on me! The caravan is that way, and they are sorely beset. Get to the courtyard, and kill every zombie you find!" 

The men hastily formed up on him: two behind, three behind them (with Anguy in the center), and four behind them. Once they were ready, Raphael put his spurs to his steed and led the charge. "MONTEFORT!!!" he screamed over the hoofbeats as they thundered down the cobblestone alley. The sound attracted zombies, who shambled into the alley from homes and side paths. One fell, a feathered shaft sprouting from its skull, then another. Well shot, Anguy, he thought. He placed his spearpoint into the face of another as he charged by, and was pleased by his accuracy. The rest were trampled over by their roughshod mounts. 

"Stay tight!" he yelled as they burst from the alley, figuring that's what his father would have ordered. The tighter they stayed the more likely they were to pierce through to the caravan, and the less likely they were to be separated and torn apart. A ragged cheer arose from the hard-beset caravan as the guardsmen burst into the square and drove into the mob of zombies from behind. Raphael's spear burst through one head, then another. Zombies fell ahead from Anguy's arrows, and from all sides from the sweeping scimitars of the guardsmen, which were especially suited to hacking the heads from the shoulders of these unarmoured foes. A guardsman threw a bottle of distilled grain alcohol into the crowd, and after they heard it shatter another tossed a torch - setting half a dozen of the foul creatures aflame. 

The merchants cheered again, this time it sounded louder. They were close now. Raphael brought another one down, and ahead of him there was nothing but the wagons. A few men pulled the front of a wagon in just enough to let him through. As he rode into the circle he pulled around and counted as his men rushed through. All but two had made it. Not bad for a small wedge charging into a large crowd, but Raphael felt a twinge of guilt at having lost them all the same. "Onto the wagons!" he shouted, "Protect the caravan!" Pulling his feet from the stirrups, he spread his wings and fluttered over to the top of the nearest wagon. Grasping onto his spear with both hands, he began picking nearby heads out of the crowd of zombies and stabbing down hard. As he went about the grisly work he realized that even with his meager reinforcements the courtyard was sorely beset by zombies on all sides. He could only hope that they would hold out until his father and the others arrived. 

ardenator2000

Character Info
Name: Count Simon de Montefort
Age: 34
Alignment: LG
Race: Human
Gender: Male
Class: White Knight
Silver: 181
Simon's lance pierced clean through the skull of the first blighted halfing, and passed right through into a second. He thrust it into the ground - pinning the struggling zombie on bottom as he drew forth his morningstar and whispered a quick blessing upon it. The weapon seemed limned in pale light as he swung it this way and that, braining whichever zombie shambled too close. Rhygar was doing the same - his lance abandoned now as he swung down at them with his broadsword. When he glanced to the right he saw Olvar swinging down wildly with his longsword, cutting many of the creatures but felling few. He was just about to shout at his squire when the lad suddenly lopped off a head with a smooth swing of his sword. Olvar seemed to remember his lessons after that - aiming for the head with each thrust and slice. Simon nodded in approval. 

Within a moment the full force of the column was upon the zombies, and this group was soon annihilated. Putting away his morningstar, he rode over and wrenched his lance from clay and flesh. The second zombie rose, but Rhygar soon sent its head falling to the ground. Simon looked about, making sure everyone was present. Rhygar, Olvar and Steelshanks were here and hale, but Raphael and Anguy were nowhere to be found. After asking around it seemed that no one knew where they had gone off to. Simon cursed under his breath. The boy had made off on his own, or worse - had been separated and kept from rejoining the column. "We have to find them," he announced. "Lord Rhygar, Olvar, on me." Steelshanks granted him a dozen men for the search, before moving on to lead the column in search of the caravan. 

Simon formed them into a wedge, with him at the front and Rhygar and Olvar directly behind and to either side. Then would come lines of three, four and five caravan guards. Those stuck in the middle were ordered to switch to their bows. Ordering them to stay close, Simon oriented the group down a side street and took off at a gallop. 

Another throng of zombies appeared before them. "Sunburst!" Simon screamed, and a ball of light shot from the tip of his lance toward the head of the group. Once it did it exploded in a brilliant flash that made even made him blink despite the distance. When the brightness faded away the nearest zombies were downed, and the rest reeling with pain and momentary blindness. They took advantage of that moment and rode them down to a man. Afterward, zombies would shamble into their path in ones and twos and threes, but rarely in greater numbers. These they easily dispatched, as Simon turned them this way and that, griding out the town in his search for his son. He had the caravan guards shout his name, in case he was holed up in one of the nearby buildings. 

They never heard a shout back, however, and as time went on the pit deepened inside his stomach. Worry creased his face underneath his helm. "Where is my son?" he muttered under his breath in a concerned tone.

Eventually they heard a ruckus off in the distance. Hopeful, Simon pointed his formation that way. As they rode down the street he saw ahead that it opened into a broad courtyard. There a great mob of zombies surrounded a group of large wagons circled up and roped together. "The caravan!" As he neared, he could pick out figures between and atop the wagons, desperately trying to keep the zombies at bay. One such had white wings spread wide - balancing him as he leaned forward and thrust down with a spear. "Raphael!" Simon exclaimed. The boy had split off with some guards it seemed, and found the caravan before any of them. It was a foolish act, but brave, and perhaps the only reason why the merchants were still standing. Simon beamed with pride, but knew he'd have to give the boy a lecture about recklessness later. That seemed to be a common theme amongst his squires of late. 

"On me men! Disperse the mob, protect the caravan! Charge!" Spurring his mythical steed to a gallop, Simon leaned forward in the saddle and brought his lance point to bear. He heard his men yell, saw spearpoints level all around him. Arrows were already flying into the mass of zombie halfings ahead of him. Hoofs pounded on the cobblestones like thunder, as they rushed toward the crowd at breakneck speed. The zombies came to fill the slit of his visor, becoming his entire world. "MONTEFORT!!!" The scream tore from his lips unbeckoned: the ancient battle cry of his House.

And then they crashed together.

BadMoonRising

Character Info
Name: Olvar Tyresus
Age: 24
Alignment: CN
Race: Lupundra
Gender: Male
Class: Wandering Shifter
Silver: 877
It took little time for the men to clear through the group of undead, working as a unit to keep tabs on each other and avoid any potential bites. Armor was a good safety net, but it was best not to give the monsters a chance to test it. As the last body fell, Olvar shifted Ojuk back toward his knight, eyes scanning the fallen. He watched Rhygar dispatch one that still clung to animation, his expression that of stern resolve as the zombie slumped to the ground once again.

The shifter turned to Simon for their next plan of action, but upon finding the brave knight with a nervous air about him, he frowned, sitting up a little straighter in the saddle. His gaze found no remaining undead, nor any other immediate threat. In fact it wasn’t until Simon’s question floated through the group that he even realized there was a problem. If one could call it that. “He went off by himself?” he asked, feigning astonishment. “How could he do such a thing in circumstances such as these?”

With a roll of his eyes, Olvar fell into place behind his knight, Rhygar at his left. The two exchanged a glance. Not fast friends, but with Simon’s endorsement, the lycan knew the lord would at least watch his flank, regardless of personal opinion. It made the man tolerable at least.

In mere moments, the formation was ready. They took off without a word, following their commander onward into whatever horrors awaited them. The first was another mass of undead, this one smaller, and slower once Simon’s magic took their sight. Had Olvar not heard and recognized the cry in time to turn his head, he may have been blinded as well. Poor Ojuk had no such warning, but with his master atop his back, the warg charged forward with the utmost confidence, trusting his rider not to guide him into ruin.

They cut easily through the undead, bursting off of the side street and back into the open. Olvar scanned quickly around for any zombies in the immediate area. The only two that were present fell to the stones under the blades of the scouts positioned over them. Hearing the distant ruckus, the lycan stared in that direction, but couldn’t make out distinct shapes from so far. He was quick to give Ojuk’s sides a tap as Simon pulled off in that direction, no doubt hoping for his son.

As they neared, shapes became clearer, and Olvar spotted the pigeon atop a caravan wagon, stabbing down at the clawing mass of undead beneath. He had split off. Damn fool. He’s sure to get an earful later, Olvar thought to himself, with no small amount of satisfaction at the thought. But now was the time for action, not petty qualms.

On Simon’s command, the formation charged forward. Olvar leaned down in his saddle, lowering his center of gravity enough to sheath his blade in favor of his new weapon: an elegant polearm with a hooked blade of glass. It was of incredible make, heated and cooled perfectly to make the crystal rival steel in durability, and as sharp as any metallic edge. He sat steady atop his lupine mount as Ojuk dashed along, each matching the other perfectly as they careened headlong into battle. The zombies on the edge turned at the sound of Simon’s warcry, staring dumbly, or taking a few teetering steps forward. They were the first to be mowed down when the lines crashed together.

Olvar was made keenly aware of the benefits his new equipment brought when infected blood was thrown into his face during the first contact. He closed his mouth tightly to keep the fluid out, but need not do so. His helm blocked it completely, saving him from any questionable effects. Knowing he was safe from such things, he was able to focus on combat. He had been practicing endlessly with his new polearm whenever he had the chance, growing accustomed to the weight of the blade, the movement of the shaft. It was certainly an elegant weapon, and he was becoming more and more fond of it with every graceful maneuver.

Perhaps his enjoyment of the battle was what made it end so quickly. A horde like the one they faced he had expected more from, but the undead were far from what he would call organized. They fell like leaves in an autumn gale, dropping to the street below to gather flies. When all was said and done, he gazed around once more in search of any stragglers. Once confident the caravan was no longer under attack, he turned to seek out Simon in the quieting chaos.

Approaching the knight, Ojuk gave a brief snort at the unicorn, but gave no indication of aggression. Olvar had told him early on that the equine was not for eating, despite the intentions of his own beastly form upon first meeting the creature. “A small handful of casualties, sir, but no major losses.” He lifted the visor of his helm. “Their service will be remembered.” Though sincere in his words, Olvar was hardly upset by the men’s deaths. It was nothing personal. He just hadn’t grow terribly attached to any of them, and for good reason. It was unwise to form a bond with a hound that may end up mauled by a bear.

His eyes flicked briefly to Raph, eager to hear the boy scolded by his father for acting an imbecile. Even if he wasn’t immediately present, he hoped at least he would be close enough that his lupine senses could pick up the conversation. “Shall we look for survivors, sir?”

"What a monstrous sight he makes, mocking man's best friend."


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