Tattered Sails Oct 25, 2018 1:35:55 GMT -6
Post by Plot Device on Oct 25, 2018 1:35:55 GMT -6
So far south, only a mere river to the east divided the land from Ostia, to Worde. So far South, that a simple expanse east brought one into the vast stretch of poorly bordered gap between Nabata and Lycia. Where the looming mountains of the north-west cast a shadow and the breaking tides of the ocean south were heard readily. Where grass gave way to stretches of granule sandy beach. From the midriff high verdant hillside that led unto the beach however, Ostia's curse spread.
A mass of shadow. A hillside teeming with corpses, fiends and undead monstrosities of every grotesque aspect shuffled. Rotting husks that held little, if any sentience. A slowly trudging rank and file mass of bodies far larger than any living soul would've ever preferred to encounter, the small horde moved with groaning motions and grating limping poise. Tattered shambling bonewalkers stained with the occasional wight, adorned in armor of mixed quality and most rusted to an orange corrosive stain. Corpses of rotten meat and pulped flesh in cloth and metal garb alike shuffled in place mixed with them. At their head, a far more elaborately dressed figure. Armor of jet-black, deceptively polished plate armor that faintly clinked as pauldrons grated against the breastplate with each decisively taken step. A large blade sheathed at the hip and a kite shield fastened to the opposing arm, no helm to hide the rotting expression of the animated corpse that led its charge.
Formerly known as Erik Tristan, younger brother to the lorded John Tristan. Both nobles enthralled to the Arum spirit of Madness. Where John had been a rotund noble of political intrigue and guile, Erik played the warrior. Both would serve their roles. Both...would serve
Faded eyes drifted in sunken sockets towards the beach. Even now, the orders of his fell mistress echoed within his mind. South. To the sea. Where grass and sand meet. Spread the tide and seize all life.
Where life had been expected however...death met...death.
Thud. Thud. Thud.
At first it was feint. Over the cry of gull and the groans and shuffling of the mass behind it was barely detected. As the undead army approached the sea it became more prominent. Upon cresting the final hill before its descent in a steep slope to the beach, they could hear. Louder. A series of blunted strikes. All, in unison.
Thud. Thud. Thud.
A much smaller group of undead. No more than twenty. Adorned not in armor. Not in the cloths of a recently slain villager. Leather. Coats of leather adorned in straps and buckles. All of them littered around the rotten corpse of a beached ship, or what was left. All of them seemed to be moving aimlessly. Without thought or guidance. Opportune fodder, to be so helpless. So it would have seemed, were it not for the intermittent display of synchronization. When, after a few seconds, each one paused simultaneously and across the entire group a single sound was heard.
Thud. Thud. Thud.
Peeling lips of deadened flesh spread and a strained voice spoke with sharp command. The armored undead commander spoke like one very much alive, as it neared the wooden wreck. The breaking tide rumbled, and the ocean current danced in the blue expanse, but the beach lay very still at his approach. " Thralls. Here my words. Feel my will and know your new lord! For the fell mistress, we shall purge the living! " His will unleashed. A power all more powerful undead could exert, within limit, his own boosted to much greater feats by that of the dark one that he served. He let his mind oppress their own. As he had enslaved the minds of those freshly risen, he would do so now. He spoke his command to them as the oblivious corpses still moved about the ship. "Now, turn and face me. See your lord and know your master!"
What should have been obedience. What should have been compliance, did not come. Instead, a single pain. A...pain?
It rant through the mind with such splitting force it threatened to severe his tether to the lifeless husk. A weight so vast and overwhelming that it forced armored knee's to buckle. Like a pressure or a great force of wind pressing down with such merciless fury that it harbored no second for sanctuary. In those agonizing seconds, he could feel it. A presence. It was almost, like when she gave them command. Yet with malicious frenzied savagery this presence tore through every metal crevice as if searching. Then, a single phrase uttered by a booming voice whose words seemed to echo out from mental confines to the real world.
The blood runs cold..
In unison, the undead clad in leather aboard the ship began to beat their weapons down upon the rotten wood. Guttural voices shouting in tandem.
Thud. Thud. Thud.
The presence that threatened to split his mind continued to ripple outwards. A crashing ocean current breaking upon the beach, scattering any small pockets of sand that attempted to stand vigil. He could feel it. Those enthralled to him. Lost. Stolen. Still that will oppressed itself even as the undead crew began to grow louder. In the distance, the ocean stirred. It was only then that he could see it. Feel it.
Far out into the depths of the ocean a darkness rose. Powers known often to the void. As that water rushed inwards and the currents spiraled and ruptured and frothed angrily however it did not feel akin to that of his dark mistress. It was something...wild. Then the sea ruptured. A colossal plume of salty spray and oceanic wind erupted before powerful winds drove the volatile series of blasting currents further. Until they plumed and a colossal sea hulk erupted from the water. A behemoth of sunken wood, rotted with naval life and rope like lengths of sea-weed clinging to the broken vessel. Tattered black sails bulged as the wild currents caught what fabric was still together. As it leveled out upon breathing the ocean's surface, the undead crew began to chant in unison.
" All hail, the Mighty! He's risin' from the deep!"
Then, the armored undead saw him. Atop a massive figurehead sculpted into the behemoth of a rotting vessel. The clarity at which the distant figure could be seen had never registered. Coupled with its crushing presence as it shackled the horde of undead to its will, such fleeting trivialities like "distance" seemed to fade beneath the circumstances. Adorned in golden hued armor barely stained with rust. A great crimson hat upon his brow and a cloak of thick green sea-weed, the "Mighty" presence stood out most of all. Despite the distance. Despite the splitting struggle to retain his sense of loyalty to the spirit whom had claimed his soul, he saw most of all...the eyes. Burning like rubies ignited within the flames of hell, they shone. Piercing through his vessel and behind. Behind him, his entire command had been robbed. He could feel the last fleeting spirits falter as this presence seized control for itself.
He would not serve.
How long did he struggle? Muted minutes had lapsed yet time's passage had stopped. So it felt. Until a single sound broke that struggle. The moment he detected it, he felt the presence slipping away from his mind.The corpse fell downwards. Hands breaking the fall until rotten visage drifted upwards to the large pair of armored golden sabatons pressed into the sand with steady footing. Sunken hollow eyes met the gaze of that infernal crimson hue, as twin cutlasses pressed to either tip of "Lord" Triston's chin. A fell voice that housed a sinister chuckle washed away any sentiment of escape.
"If Ye won't serve...ye will suffer..."
Darkness encroached upon vision and mind. The last undead vessel that clung to false loyalty in failed rebellion collapsed beneath the weight of the Daugr's presence.
So it was, that the undead Draugr of Luthor Harkon, rose once more. As the Dreadlord's claimed undead shuffled into rising tides and vessels of drowned wood erupted in the wake of his own vessel, it was clear.
The sea's would never be the same again.