Thrall of Duty

We're too nerdy to play Call of Duty: Zombies, so we write it instead.

Known colloquially as the "Realm of Dreams", Emea is a mysterious place accessed primarily beyond the realm of consciousness as the mortal body sleeps in Idalos. The mind travels far at night and Emea's not without its unique risks and dangers, though Jesine's vigilance keeps mortals mostly safe.

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Thrall of Duty

Postby Kovic » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:54 pm


Blighttown lived to his reputation. The buildings laid slouched and compressed, pressed against one another that roads resembled back alleys of any other, normal city. Loft atop a dramatic cliff by a conveniently furious sea, Blighttown constantly suffered under dry, stormy nights. What had once been a reputable and fabled kingdom had, long ago, degraded into one giant slum. With the arrival of more and more citizens, the few rich had been caught and murdered, and their palaces robbed whole, not even the foundations left. Atop them, more shacks were built, be it with metallic sheets, wood, or straight up mud. Soon enough, the whole region was nothing but a gigantic shanty town.

There was a sort of unspoken rule in Blighttown; everything belonged to everyone. Privacy and private property had no meaning here; your conversations, the smell of your armpits, the smell of your rock stew, it all belonged to everyone. You went to sleep one day, and, in the morning, you’d a family of thieves has build their home on your roof. You went for a walk one afternoon, and you’d not recognize the ever-changing streets. Someone coughs one day, and the next week the whole city coughed with them. Often, when public unrest rose, and those viciously violent riots erupted, blood flowed through the streets, and the casualties were always above a million. The bodies were, most often, tossed down into the ocean, or devoured by the rising population of rats.

Thunder and lightning barked and split the dark clouds of the night. Despite the ocean that laid near, Blighttown was hot and dry. Breeze did not exist, especially down at ground level; as such, the fumes of death and urine rose from the spoiled soil below the boots of the special agents.
“It’s clear,” Maws announced, after peeking from the corner. Like a cat, he’d slip out, hugging the wall as he advanced through the maze of poorly built shacks.

Donning a full suit of arid camouflage, only the black boots and the black leather vest broke the monotony of their attire. At every crossroad or corner, Maws would draw his slingshot, prepared to launch the bullet were he to detect danger. This danger was easily detected in the day, but now that a moonless midnight swallowed the city, shadows swallowed everything.
“I can’t see anything,” he complained. With a match, he’d light his helmet’s tactical light - a candle attached to the top of his sallet. As the flickering flame gained strength, the night lost all his secrets. Technology as advanced as this tactical light could cause a lot of damage if it fell into the wrong hands. “Move up.”

They turned to the left, Maws’ slingshot at the ready, arming forth, checking his corners with obvious tactical prowess, and then aiming up at the shanty skyscrapers that swayed with breezes the trio could only long for. Danger could come from any direction. Fifty paces forth, they finally found the door, and it was then when they heard it. A terrible cry, a collection of moaning groans, each different, that joined together into a hallowed chorus of death and agony. Even the strongest of men could tremble at such cursed melody. They were coming. They had found them.
“We’re running out of time!” Maws no longer whispered. Instead, the loosened his slingshot, without firing, and kicked the door open. “Get in! The first wave is coming!”

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Thrall of Duty

Postby Noth » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:53 pm

The Avriel hefted the weapon in his hands, looking down towards it once more, feeling its’ comforting grip as he continued onwards, refusing to acknowledge the dreariness of his surroundings if he could help it. Blighttown was an absolute pigsty and a mess in every sense of the word. The buildings were meshed together so tightly that a person could smell their neighbors after a couple of trials without bathing, and the alleyways were cramped and far too claustrophobic for any semblance of effective combat to occur within them. Noth sighted a nearby puddle, and carefully stepped over it, refusing to dip his more elegant talons into the caustic mess that had been left by a nearby broken rain-catcher which now poured nigh constantly into the small pool of bubbling water.

He paused suddenly, listening to the sounds around him, ensuring that he could not hear the oncoming approach of any of those monstrous and abominable ‘things’ that had been following them ever since they’d first arrived here. There, off in the distance, he could hear the faintest grumble of noise, the occasional battering of a wooden windowsill as they attempted to force themselves into any of the homes of Blighttown from whence they scented fresher meat than their own contemptible flesh.

There was a flash of sudden blinding light that made him shudder from its intensity, and he cast his crimson eyes upward into the air, peering beyond the series of wooden and metallic beams and structures that had overtaken what had once been a clear sky, concealing it almost entirely from sight to the beings who now resided entirely in the depths of Blighttown. There was a sudden noise ahead of him, and he immediately focused on it before recognizing the voice of Maws complaining about the lack of light. He spoke of his inability to see, and Noth nodded silently, running his hand over-top his helmet; he must have lost his armet, because this one clearly protected little of his face, and slid down the pair of goggles. The goggles had been comprised of a strange and ornate gem that allowed him to see in the dark, acting as a sort of makeshift device allowing him vision of the night, perhaps one of the most helpful constructs he’d found whilst in Blighttown, and one that had saved him countless times.

They continued onward, until finally the door was in sight, and that was when the dreadful noise reached their ears, the shrieking apparitions raising their voices and appeasing whatever dark entity they served with their raucous and throaty murmurs. The rattles of death and destruction seemed even to shake the very foundation of the buildings around them, though, Noth recognized quickly that it was actually he who was shaking. How terrible the creatures must be if they were capable of eliciting such a response out of he, a master in the arts of intimidation and terror.

Without a second thought, he proceeded to sprint towards the door, hefting the strange crossbow he held over his shoulder as he ran. Where a normal crossbow would consist solely of a single bolt launching mechanism, this one possessed four, each placed perpendicular to one another upon the four corners of the central beam. It made it incredibly slow to reload, but when fired, the bolts struck like an angered mule, and he had very nearly thrown a being through a wall with the weapon.

They’d need force like that if they were going to survive what came next…

Credit to Pegasus

As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

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Thrall of Duty

Postby Neronin » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:01 pm

He was cold, so he did a series of quick squats. The room was ugly, so he faced the wall while he did them. Neronin wasn’t a very active guy, but this was easy in this dream state, almost like tapping a button...Then, when suitably warmed up, he made fore the door to the dingy room in a series of leaping bounds. He was clumsy though, and seemed to bounce off the doorway. He tried again. Success.

Blighttown made Neronin smile inwardly. It was just like the neighborhoods he used to grow up in. Dirty, foul, and somehow inviting for his kind of people. Neronin walked on through the muck, vaguely following the odd forms of Mongrel and Maws, acutely aware of a dreadful sense of danger in his bones. But then again, all his dreams ended in dread and doom. The necromancer slunk through the streets with the swagger of a street rat grown to manhood. He had been raised in this type of depressing environment, and thrived there.

As Neronin approached the main thoroughfare through the small town which seemed to emanate a deadly aura. Neronin turned here and glanced around for any sign of others. He did not see another living soul, or dead one for that matter. What he did see was a long chest giving off a subtle glow. The wood was pale and the thing seemed to beckon to him. Neronin walked forward with a newfound purpose. Only good things could come from this chest. The mage lifted the lid open without hesitation and watched in fascination as a clearly magical object began to rise of its own accord from within the chest. As it rose to eye level, the object shifted in shape and coloration, each form as foreign to him as the last. Finally, it stopped shifting as a grotesque cow’s head, the horn of which was tied to a rope, which was then tied to a shaft like a handle. The whole thing resembled some sick mockery of a flail. Neronin sighed and gripped the shaft.

In that instant, he heard a heart shattering scream and knew this dream was about to take a turn for the worst. He quickly looked around, and at the end of the street he saw them! A small group of undead lurching towards him in odd grey uniforms he had never seen before. Neronin ran, he could take a hint. Neronin yelled out every curse he knew as he blew down the street, cow’s head banging against him wildly.

The mage turned the corner at the end of the street and ran up the hill he found there. There was a large, dark house that somehow he knew was his destination. The others seemed much more competent, Mongrel with his crossbow and even Maws and his slingshot seemed effective. Neronin swung the oddly shaped weapon he had been granted by the chest at the nearest uniformed undead and the cow’s head ricocheted off the dead body and slammed back into Neronin’s face. He was knocked over, but it wasn’t his first time taking a hit. He rolled onto the muddy ground and away from the undead before struggling to his feet again and following Maws and Mongrel up the hill.

On one level it was probably good he was in the rear, since he bore the only melee weapon. On another level, he was carrying a head tied to a stick. Neronin turned to cover the retreat up the hill and swung the cows head in a low arc, hitting the nearest zombie in the crotch.

“MooooooOOOoooooo!” Screamed the dead cow’s head. The zombie flew into the air as though propelled from a catapult! Neronin saw the corpse’s body rip apart as it flew. He did not fall back down from the dark sky. Neronin swore again, with no idea why this had happened. He followed the other two through a the door to a building he hardly registered and slammed the door shut. Through the windows the three tragic heroes could see a swarm of the undead making their way towards them.
“That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.” - Lovecraft
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