Reply | Quote
Escape to Callen
Kali woke to pain and darkness. Her jaunt to her former master’s secret rooms to retrieve things had cost her dearly. She was trapped, and she had no way of getting out. The longer she was awake, the more she realized how precarious her situation was. Her left arm had been smashed by some falling rubble, and she couldn’t move it. The pain was excruciating, to the point where she was convinced that every bone in it was broken.
There was one sliver of light piercing through between a plank of wood and some boulders. She reached for the plank, but it was just inches away from her fingertips, no matter how she reached.
If only I could use my other arm, she thought.
Panic gripped her. She had to get out, if she didn’t she would die. If she could move her arm, she may be able to get out. But there was no way suhe could get out when her hope for escape was the shattered remains of a now useless arm.
A memory flashed by her.
Kneeling over a body and blood pouring out of a wound, Talon guided her. His echoey voice saying “Pool your energy, channel it into this man, there isn’t much time.”
Instinct took over. Her right hand began to work its way down her left, and the chasm seemed to have all the light sucked out of it. That energy which she had only used sparingly so far roared to life. The energy poured into her left arm, and as she watched it changed from bruised, bloody and mangled to pale, sickly and nearly transparent. The pain disappeared as the darkening veins grew easy to see under the flesh.
As suddenly as it began, it all ended. The energy within ceased its action and Kali sat in awe. She was healed? She whooped with excitement as she finally could reach that plank, and with a few strong tugs, finally was able to shift the rocks out of the way.
She pulled herself and her pack into the light, and she threw her hands up laughing, happy to be free of the death trap. When her relief subsided, she dropped to her knees, suddenly weak as the adrenaline left her system. She looked at her hands, as they rested on her legs, and noticed something. Her left arm looked no longer as if it was part of her own body, but something resurrected from the grave. Her stomach turned, her eyes widened and she began to retch.
That one thing she had forbidden herself from ever doing--she had done. She had used necromantic ways to resurrect her arm. She had become that which she hated, and worst of all, it saved her life. Ashamed, she ripped some cloth off and wrapped her arm and hand in it, wishing she could hide it, hide the fact that she had gone too far.
“We’ve got to find her! We need to get back in there and get her out!” Said Adrue, “I don’t care if there IS a dragon out there, she’s the one who helped bring news back!”
“Fine. But how do we even get back in? The closest gates are sealed off by debris.” Reydren replied.
Duke and Burden shared a look, and together said “We know a way.”
“Good. Lets gather some people, and head in in one hour.” Reydren replied.
People began to follow Kali through the destruction like they expected her to have a way out. In reality, she was wandering, hoping to find an easy way to escape the death and destruction. She knew it was only a matter of time before disease started to spread--if it hadn’t already. There was this feeling flowing through the city, that of desperation and anguish. On top of it all, there was this ominous presence in the ruins, powerful and Dark. All this death and destruction. There had to be more here than the growing pack following her.
“Thats three search teams in two days we’ve lost. How many more can we sacrifice to these...demons?” Reydren asked.
“Kali is strong, you know she’s still out there!” Adrue said.
“Fine. But only two more days. We’ve got to get the civilians still alive to Callen. They’ve got to get as far from this beast as possible, especially with those...Undead popping up in the city.”
The grim gathering just nodded, and dispersed to gather their search teams.
Kali’s followers were ever changing in number. Ever since she realized that those who had died were not staying dead, she kept them on the move. The undead were popping up from every corner. Some could fight, but most were worse off than she, and with only one good fighting arm it was not going well. She clenched the blade from the line of paladins in her good hand, and was sorely tempted to tie the other to her now splinted left. Days had passed since she emerged, but all she knew was that time was running out. Every encounter with the undead took more and more, and every death only added to their numbers. Time was running out, and fast.
Late on the second day, Burden, Duke, Ardo and Kakashi were travelling in a small group. They were the last hope to find Kali, the last search party. Frantically they traveled through the rubble, Kakashi smashing any obstacles in their way. They were moving quickly, trying to be silent, lest the growing hordes of undead try and add them to their ranks. Ardo Clambered swiftly up a two story building’s remains to try and get a view, trying to get sight of the area around. He saw something which gave him reason to be concerned, so he quickly rejoined the others and informed them of the situation.
“There’s a large group moving slowly this way. They’re not that far off. Theres at least...fifteen to twenty of them.” He said, concern filling his voice.
“Wonderful,” Burden said, “Do you think we can get away unnoticed?”
“Unlikely. They’re probably just around the bend now. Brace yourselves.” Ardo replied
The group readied their weapons for the onslaught ahead. They had hoped it wouldn’t have to come to this. Re-killing their former neighbors is a distasteful thing to have to do. As the group came around the corner, Ardo, Duke, Burden and Kakashi charged.
“STOP!” Shouted a familiar voice, “DO I LOOK UNDEAD TO YOU?”
The four of them skittered to a stop just in time, before they charged again, surrounding the speaker in a group hug.
“Boss lady, we were afraid you had died!” Kakashi said, tears starting to stream down his orcish face.
Kali cried out, “I’m not dead yet! And let go!”
The four backed off after a moment. As Kakashi pulled away, the cloth covering her left hand and arm was caught, and it slipped away. 5 sets of eyes went to the terrifying new appearance of her arm. Kali began to back away, trying to hide the arm, but they grabbed her, pulling the undead arm into the open.
“What happened?” Duke asked, eyeing the appendage with distrust.
“I was trapped,” She replied quietly, unable to lift her gaze to look at those whose attention she now held, “When a building fell into another one as I was making my way to a safer area. My arm was smashed in the rubble. I---I would have died if I hadn’t done this. Please, let it go...”
Reluctantly, the arm was released and a moment of tense silence echoed in the ruined alley.
Kali broke the silence, still not making eye contact, “Let us get these people to safety. They are in danger here.”
“Follow us,” Burden said, turning to lead the way out.
7/19/2013, 10:52 pm
Link to this post
Send Email to KaliofShadowsEdge
Send PM to KaliofShadowsEdge
Reply | Quote
Re: Escape to Callen
Reydren had just returned from a search party to no avail. He was beginning to wonder if they would ever find Kali. He sat down on a chair and removed his armor and weapons. Just as the last piece was removed, Ardo came through the door.
“Any word?” Reydren asked.
“We found her,” he replied simply.
“Thank God! I was starting to wo--”
“Reydren...there’s something you should know,”
Kali was resting in a cot in a small secluded room after Aurora had tended to her other more insignificant wounds and dehydration. She was beginning to drift to sleep when her door seemed to explode.
“WHAT DID YOU DO?” Reydren bellowed at her as he came up to the left side of her bed.
On pure instinct, Kali jumped out of bed and tried to keep the cot between the two. In the small space, that was not easy to do. It wasn’t quite enough as he grabbed her left wrist and pulled the sleeve back, proving exactly what Ardo had told him. It was as cold as death, and the nearly translucent flesh showed the dark veins pulsing beneath.
“I--I can explain!” She cried out, trying to wrench her arm from his grip to no avail.
“There are no excuses! You used necromancy! On YOURSELF! Kali, you swore you’d never do this!”
“I know, but--”
“No! You’ve betrayed me, betrayed my trust. When the Mourners find--”
“The Mourners? You’d tell them?” Kali’s voice betrayed her fear. She’d already had one run in with several of the Mourners, and it almost ended very badly--for her.
“Tell them? You forget I AM one of them!”
His rage drove him to silence for a moment as he stood there shaking with a death grip on the wrist that would drive a normal person to their knees.
“Give me the Dagger,” the rage hiding behind the calmness his voice.
“What? Why? What are you going to do with it?” She asked him, fearing what he would do with it.
“You don’t deserve it anymore. I gave it to you, to protect you, to guide you and to keep you from falling to the darkness. Its protection won’t do you any good now.”
Kali’s stomach dropped, and in its place, her own wave of anger filled its gap. She reached down to her belt and release the blade Protection and its sheath.
“Fine. You want it? Take it. Why would I want the blade of a man who chases the light so ardently that he turns his back on those who he once cared for,” As she spoke, she raised it up between their faces and let it fall.
Adrue burst through the door, interrupting the argument.
“There’s a force of them, moving towards us! They’ve gotten past the walls!” He shouted, out of breath after sprinting to their location.
The three looked at each other, and Reydren jumped into action.
“Kali, Lead the civilians to Callen. Its their only hope at this point. Adrue, get the fighters to me. Anyone who is willing to wield a weapon to give the citizens more time.”
Adrue walked out the door, but Reydren still had a grip on Kali.
“Wait.” He said bending to pick up the blade, “If this force is undead you will need every bit of help you can to keep from falling farther into darkness. Keep it and hopefully you can prove yourself worthy of the trust I once had in you.”
He extended the blade, which Kali hesitantly took, and returned it to its place on her belt.
“Don’t fall too far into the light, you will start to fear the shadows, as you’ve already started to fear me.”
They dispersed, Reydren, Adrue and other fighters to the front. Kali started yelling for the people to follow her. Severine and Aurora appeared at her side, ready to help guide the Civilians.
“Severine! Aurora! We need to get these people to Callen. Follow the main path. It’ll be out in the open, but the fastest way we can get there. I’ll bring up the rear with the stragglers. You two, take charge of the lead! Whatever happens, Do not let them fail to reach their destination!”
With that, Kali left the two to lead the way. Severine and Aurora ran to head the crowd. Aurora seemed to have this natural inborn ability to keep people from straying off in fear. Severine had a way to keep people moving, despite the destruction that was on their path, nipping at their heels. The two of them worked together beautifully, ushering the many individuals forward.
The back line was not doing nearly so well. Reydren and those who wished to fight for time were being pushed back. Kali was doing all she could to ensure that the slowest were not falling into the fight.
It was, most decidedly, a losing battle--After all, most of them were amateurs, they learned to wield a blade, not in the ranks of some military force, but in the streets.
Severine noticed a single man sprinting towards them, a little over halfway to Callen. He was hooded in a cloak that was streaming out behind him, but still, she could not make out this mysterious man.
“WAIT!” she cried out, “Don’t go that way!”
But the Man paid her no heed. The people seemed to part around him as he ran through them and made his way to the back of the group. When he arrived, his presence was less than appreciated.
“Hey! Head back, or you will die! Idiot! You’re making this job harder for us!” Kali cried out to the man, picking up a child who had fallen behind when she fell. She handed the child off and chased the man, hoping to reach him before he reached the defensive line.
I didn’t sign up to keep suicidal people alive! she thought to herself.
Suddenly, just behind the defending line the man stopped. When he did, the Undead force veered away, as if they were chasing some new target.
Silence fell among the defenders, and Kali was flabbergasted. The man turned and drew down his cloak. He was maybe around 20 or so, but he seemed to have the confidence similar to her’s and Reydren’s.
“What did you do?” She asked him.
“I bought you time. Now, get these people to the city, I’ll explain later!” he replied in an urgent tone, “What are you waiting for, get these people out of here!”
Kali nodded, not wanting to waste any time. She and the defenders made haste as they followed the man in the wake of the vast number of people they were relocating.
The people had found a new refuge within the city of Callen. They huddled in the streets together, and the members of shadows edge gathered.
“How many did we lose?” Severine asked.
“Maybe an eighth,” Kali said, downcast, “The undead...they don’t stop for wounds or anything. It has to be a killing blow. Nothing less will stop them.”
Reydren nodded in agreement, “They are not so easy to fend off as mortals are. If we face them on our own...we will lose.”
Aurora spoke up, “We may lose at that time, but for now, let’s tend to their wounds. I know how to care for them, do we have enough supplies?”
Kali nodded in agreement, "Make an appeal to everyone we brought with us. Ask them to share their goods. We need to band together."
The man was standing off to the side, observing their actions. Kali, noticing him, left the conversation and walked over to him.
"thank you," she said, "we would’ve lost many more if you hadn't shown up."
"No problem. I'm just glad to know that the things my family taught me were able to be of use for so many." He replied.
"Your family? Who are you?" she asked, her curiosity piqued.
"I am Hexalgus Maelfore. My family has taught me how to bring a way of influence to battles--The same which helped them maintain their legacy for over 300 years. A legacy I am hoping to continue here."
"A legacy? Hexalgus Maelfore. I wonder, what is someone such as yourself doing in this city on the rivers?"
“Searching,” He stated simply.
“Searching? For what?” Kali asked. This man was raising more questions than he answered.
In response, Hexalgus pulled from beneath his cloak a book, the most stunning color of jade. The book had an air of mystery, and the years--though they had not been kind--were not entirely cruel to it. The age showed on the pages, their yellow tint clashing slightly with the beautiful, aged hue of the bindings.
“Someone who can help me understand the secrets hidden away in this.”
Kali paused, musing for a moment, “There are places in the world, people in the world who can indeed translate such a task. I, myself, have had a tome locked within an ancient language translated. Come with us, we will help you find these things.”
Hexalgus nodded, and followed Kali back to the group and joined in the conversation on how to care for the refugees here, and closer to Hithdor.
7/19/2013, 10:52 pm
Link to this post
Send Email to KaliofShadowsEdge
Send PM to KaliofShadowsEdge
Add a reply