A/N: I feel really guilty for not publishing anything for some time. And I know that I am supposed to be working on my Halo fic, and hopefully one of these days editing and completing my Blues Brothers one, but I have been suffering from a severe writer's block. Now that I am in college, working and volunteering I don't have the time that I used to- that and my COMP teacher and I are agreeing to disagree on how papers should be written.
Anyway, here is a small offering.
About the story: Some friends and I play DnD and every once in a while some pretty crazy things happen and I get asked to write them down. This is one of those times. I play the Half-Elf Ranger named Nort who is a mix of Rinzler (hence his name), Altair, and Ezio, and so this is written from his point of view. I actually wrote this some time ago and had posted it on DA, but I thought some of you guys out there would appreciate it, and it would let you know that I am not dead.
Disclaimer: I do not own DnD, however Nort does belong to me (I got his name from another author, when I remember who you are I will credit you), Jinx belongs to my sister, Averitain to my best friend, and all other characters to various friends who would appreciate if you not steal their characters. :)
Long note is long and I will now leave you to the story.
The view from the swamp was not rewarding. Any who dared the dangerous path to the abandoned manor would not find treasure or honor. It was said that the entire family who lived there had been eliminated by a magic user who commanded an army of the undead. Well, that was what the adventuring crew was here to find out.
Nort, a former capital guardsman, stared anxiously up at the tall dark and very foreboding doors. He was accompanied by an elvin wizard who he was rather fond of, a reckless dwarf who he was sure would turn out to be a hindrance, a human warrior, a young and thieving elf, and most importantly his favorite travel companion and close friend, the dragonborn Averitain. It was strange traveling with so large of a group after nearly a year of it being just him and Averitain after their previous adventuring party had split up.
The young thief moved boldly up to the doors and began to examine them, taking special precautions in checking the locking mechanisms. "I'm not spotting any traps." She paused. "Yeah no reason why we can't just walk right in."
"I got this!" a voice was demanding from the back of the group. Everybody turned to see the dwarf. He was rapidly backing away from the group, then lowered his head and rounded his shoulders. Nort's eyes widened and his sound -a constant purring from a curse that left him with an inability to form words- quickened in alarm. Averitain and the others took several steps back to make room. Nort took one step forward and prepared to open the door and allow the over enthusiastic party member to charge harmlessly through.
The second that he touched the door handle though; a tremor rose up from the ground and shook through the whole party. Instantly the mute ranger took his hand off the door handle and turned to face the others in an attempt to convey that he had done nothing. Nobody was looking at him. Their focus was across the lawn and out into the swamp. There, a small but formidable looking host of the undead had arisen from the depths and were moving steadily in their direction.
Immediately, the ranger and former guard readied his crossbow. He didn't trust his skills enough to try utilizing the more powerful longbow, but he had no notion to get anywhere near the animated dead. The other members of the party, other than his fair elven wizard, had no such qualms. Averitain and the energetic thief leapt into the fray to tag team one of the skeletons while the foolish dwarf charged full across the battle field.
With a mighty roar, the warrior charged across the battle field. He flew across the swamp until the deep bog drug at his boots. At that point he took a great leap with the intention of tackling the zombie to the ground to sweep at it with his heavy battle axe. Unfortunately, he had misjudged the distance and fell in a graceless heap at the corpse's feet. Not to be discouraged though, the dwarf lifted his axe in a defiant salute while mumbling into the mud "Victory at sea!"
Unamused, the zombie readied its' own weapon to strike at the prone form. Before it could however, Nort stepped back into the doorway for cover then readied and fired his own weapon with a poisoned dart. It flew straight and true to pierce the zombie where its' beating heart would normally have lain. The monster was shoved back by the force of the blow where it evaporated into sludge. The dwarf raised his head with a muddy grin.
The walking bones were not so easy to dispatch. They had been knocked back by the attacks from the other party members, but would not remain so. No sooner had they fallen apart then the bones would rattle together to take shape and resume their attack. After her third attack, Shabori the wizard crushed the skull of her advisory. Like the zombie, the skeleton was no longer able to hold its' form. It rattled apart and remained thus.
Across the battle field, Averitain and the energetic thief, Jinx saw what had happened. Averitain roared and used his lightening breath power to knock the bones back before shouting to Jinx, "Separate the head! It can't fight without a head!"
The small thief grinned and laughed. She maneuvered as if she were going to stomp upon the accursed thing, but instead swept in and lifted the head away with a delighted laugh "His named is Jack!" she shouted, and giggled as the other adventurers cleaned up the rest of the walking dead with laughable ease.
Once he was no longer in danger of losing a limb, the dwarven warrior leapt to his feet as best he could with the sludge and made his way back over to the group who had once again gathered in front of the great wood doors. Seeing him coming, the other members of the party stepped to the side in case he again decided to bowl through the doors. The ranger, having decided that there was no longer a danger of beasties attacking, opened it to prevent a loud crash that would alert any inhabitants of the mansion-friendly or otherwise.
The party trouped inside the huge mansion and spread out. Some parted members searched for clues to aid in their quest, the rest searching for anything small enough to be carried, and valuable enough to be worth it. There was nothing. Warily, they searched the floors, walls and ceiling for traps. Again nothing.
With a final resigned shrug, Nort went to Averitain and signed to him that it was probably safe to proceed. The silver dragonborn relayed to the others that there were no traps. He then asked for a vote of whether to go up the central staircase in the foyer, or the back stairs that the party guessed lead to a cellar or dungeon.
The general consensus was to go down.
Now the adventurers gathered behind their leader and made their way to the top of the stairs. The second that the first of them set a single foot on the stairs they heard a shuffling at the bottom. Immediately the offender scrambled back from the edge and looked to the others.
"Rats?" The human warrior questioned.
The dwarf next to him shrugged. It could be, but the possibility was also there that it was more of the undead.
Rather than risking death simply to look at the bottom of the stairs, the questing party took off their rucksacks and backpacks to search through them for a light of sorts. Eventually a sunrod was located. Once snapped and shaken it was tossed to the bottom of the stairs. It clattered and rolled to a stop next to what appeared to be a rotting foot. By the light of glowing sun rod it was seen that there was in actuality several zombies. They shuffled away from the light and then turned their own dead eyes on the group at the top.
With leering grins upon their faces, two of the rotting dead drew their weapons and began making their slow way up the stairs.
As the more military inclined of her companions readied their weapons, Shabori drew on her magic. She gathered it up and sent a scorching burst of the power down into the basement. It flared where it hit at the bottom and three of the zombies were fried where they stood. Small piles of smoking ashes were the only testimony to their previous existence.
The dwarven warrior was more forward in his approach. He readied himself with a running start, and then with a leap he fell upon the foremost zombie coming up the stairs. The two of them fell in a tangle of limbs, sliding and bumping down the stairs. They knocked into the second zombie and came to a stop at the bottom of the stairs in a tangle of limbs.
Nort looked at Averitain. His companion was unslinging his heavy buckler from across his shoulders. The ranger's eyes lit up at the plan forming in his mind. He knew that he could probably leap down the stairs, but he didn't want to take the chance of joining the growing pile at the bottom. He signed to Averitain, asking if perhaps he could hitch a ride on the shield. After a second of considering, the large dragonborn agreed, Nort would certainly be a help in balancing the make-shift sled.
Averitain set the shield down on the floor at the edge of the stair case and climbed aboard, the ranger nimbly hopping onto his shoulders and holding on to grooves in the massive dragonborne's armor. Together they leaned forward, sending the buckler careening down the staircase while they rode it like a snowboard. The round and raised edges of the shield kept it from coming to a jarring halt at the pile of zombie and dwarf at the bottom of the stairs, instead it glided over them and came to a stop afterward.
As soon as he felt the shield beginning to slow down, Nort took a flying leap off to the right. He hit a grated wall, immediately pushing off again to the left. This time he landed on two zombies, slicing into them with his throwing disks, killing them instantly.
Averitain's approach, while far less flashy, was no less lethal. When the shield came to a sliding stop he stepped off of and, taking a deep breath, roasted a handful of zombies with his lightening breath. They were just as dead as if sliced into with disks, leaving only one zombie-not alive- but animated.
The elven thief, Jinx, chaffed at having been left out. She backed away from the top of the staircase until she felt her back against the door they had entered from. Then she charged forward and leapt from the top step hoping to bypass all of them. She too, ended up at the bottom of the stairs having landed on top of the dwarf. Feeling slightly vain, the thief immediately picked herself up off of the pile and, dusting her tunic off drew her dagger as she marched straight up to the last of the walking dead, and punched it.
The animated corpse collapsed into a pile off goo.