The Fall of Legends

by Celandreia on February 1, 2010

in Character Logs and Stories

By: Niran

The neophyte adventurer bravely charges past faded headstones. His long sword is held high and his shield protects him from blows when he strikes down the horde of undead that has risen in this place. He feels accomplished after every zombie falls before him, after the bones of each skeleton clatter to the ground. He is stained with blood and sweat. He doesn’t stop because of his wounds; the pain only encourages him to continue his purge of the threat of the risen dead.

Given a brief reprieve, the adventurer leans heavily against a nearby tombstone. He uncaps his canteen and tastes the sweet, clean water that gushes forth onto his parched tongue. It revitalizes his weary body, and just in time: the bony, rotting hands of the next host of undead claw through the soil. Two of the skeletons are dispatched before they even take their feet. He wields his favored blade with confidence this time, knowing that he is superior to these enemies.

The heartbeat that pounds in his ears drowns out the sound of the preternatural roar that rises from deep within the cemetery’s depths.

A dozen more of his enemies fall before the young man is met with the familiar sight of another adventurer he had often seen in his hometown. There had been a certain power to her, he knew her to be far stronger than himself. There was a break in the onslaught and he raised his blade in friendly greeting. When she rushed past him, he saw her eyes were wide with fear; she didn’t stop to return the hail. It was like she hadn’t even seen him and he takes this to just be a sign of her status far above him.

There was something strange about it, but he couldn’t stop to consider it lest he be struck down. The reason for her frenzied flight did not become apparent until he found himself cast to the earth, tossed to the ground like a ragdoll. He struggles to catch his breath, but a creeping, icy touch in his chest saps his will.

His bane is far older than anything he had slain so far. The monster above him is weathered and ancient and it stands poised with a wicked grin upon its leathery lips. Blood-stained, yellow teeth make the intentions of the lich known to the adventurer and he raises his shield just in time to catch the downswing of the lich lord’s staff. This barrier does nothing to end the weapon’s momentum: wood, steel, and bone bend and splinter alike.

Panic sets in. The adventurer is unable to flee this vicious attack. The ruined arm shouts its protests through his body when he tries to climb to his feet and his alertness begins to fade. He staggers to his feet only to be struck down once more, this time the sickening snap of his spine resonates through his body. The pain is awful.

The adventurer isn’t given another chance to ponder how severe his wounds are. The next strike rips his spirit from his body, the force of the hit enough to cause him pain even in the afterlife. The lich lord doesn’t even stop to consider the fallen young man. The forlorn spirit watches as the monster turns about and returns to its tomb as though nothing had occurred this day. The spirit sees the bodies of his undead foes continue to rise and waits, he knows that one day he will return.

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