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Old March 13, 2011, 09:37 PM   #1
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Country Roads, Take Me Home

1st Cycle of Cryxatum, Spring, Era XVIII PF

The suns still burned a ruddy flare across the sky despite the pelting rains that were threatening to drown the Southlanders and raise the coastline far into many of the province's southern cities. Brightening's last burning embers painted the sky hues of orange and red, the hidden bellies of rain clouds a deep purple in the fading light.

He had long put away the piece of parchment denoting the address but had checked it often enough in the meander to his current position the Medonian was sure without fault this was the location. What this speck of Daltinan property had to do with the secret war of Maeve Succession was as of yet beyond the Enamorian official. But anyone who had spent any amount of time with the human knew he would be damned if he was not to find out the connection and what to do of it.

A fight within Maeve was not exactly bad for the Medonian. It divided the House of Maeve in political maneuverings and that made them weak, and subsequently the Andares weak in his province. It was one more thing on his plate that did not demand immediate attention. Maeve generally was the largest wild card for the Medonian when it came to politics. Rougenoe had enough experience with Kalifreet to keep him on the general up-and-up. Besides, Archduke Kalifreet was not about to rock the boat, he had a good thing going and his association with the Enamorian Consul and Governor Pro-Tempore. The current L'Evienne was too busy dancing to the capital ministers' orchestrations to provide Rougenoe much attention.

The loosening of state reins gave Rougenoe slack to make certain impediments in his province disappear and appear at his whim. Making now a fabulously opportune time to put a few Maeve nobles under his thumb.
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Old March 20, 2011, 04:13 AM   #2
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The road to the property next to the Daltinan Gem Mines was one that rather lacked if Rougenoe was seeking conversation. Not a soul could be seen anywhere along the stretch of open farmland and wilderness once the Consul was a good mile out of Daltina. If there was anyone within the farms that saw him; none dared venture forth for a moment’s conversation. Still, it was a good road. Well worn and yet still ultimately cared for far better than was the norm; even with the roadwork miracle that had scoured the Kingdom but an Era ago. The only oddity was that each and every signpost that should have noted Prince L’Evienne’s status had been broken off with the remnants nowhere to be seen.

The peace and quiet lasted right up until Rougenoe hit the very edge of the Estate, whereby it ended all too abruptly with the caw of crows, the beat of feathers and a few meaty squelches.

Bodies littered the road; easily a good two dozen Humans and all very much dead. Each guardsmen bore the livery of the Duchy of Maeve and for all the good that it had done them, were remarkably well equipped with a mixture of high quality mail amour offset with a close-faced pot helm, a breastplate, greaves, vambraces and a pauldron. A mixture of broken halberds and useless shortswords littered the ground. Each and every wound delivered however had been perfect – not a one of the House Maeve soldiers had any signs of bruising, scrapes or defensive wounds. No sign of any guardsmen having been worn down or killed through the traditional means of beating someone senseless with a dull sword until the internal damage and exhaustion ended the duel.

Every strike fatal either through decapitation or striking under or around the chest plate’s armor and in one case; going directly through the center of the breastplate in a manner that defied the precision of the wounds given the strength required for such a feat.

The kills too were quite recent to the die with the bodies not having been left long enough for rigor to set in yet.

In the distance, atop the hill was a large garrisoned Manor that was built under the guidelines of one who was actually intending on building a castle incrementally. Large stone walls and stone spires loomed over the landscape with a dozen smaller buildings dotted the hill.
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Old March 27, 2011, 07:38 PM   #3
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The solitude was at least enjoyable. Any chance to get away, the occasional reprieve from pulling triple duty at the capital was appreciated. It was only now that the busy official could feel the large knots of government tension melting away. Even better there was no reason to even feel as though he was not paying attention to the provincial affairs. In Rougenoe's mind a struggle for succession in one of Enamoria's, and inded the Kingdom's, most powerful noble families seemed a thing of note.

He had noticed as he walked the address was not a spot in the middle of Daltina's marbled pillars and fountains but very much out of the way. One might then expect a palatial estate, nor would they be surprised by the grounds as they swelled out of the countryside scenery. Despite the manor's remote location the Medonian could not help shake the strange sensation surrounding the area. Only with conscious thought did he deduce the nature of the sensation. Silence; utter quiet, which seemed out of place given the size of the grounds he approached. Thoughts scurried across the synapses of his mind and fired little hairs to stand tall at the back of his neck. The scene felt painted with a thick, versimillitude coating, all appearing normal and right but yet just enough off to make one's perception flex under the strain to find what was out of place.

Of course Rougenoe hardly had to work his mind through a series of calisthenic exercises before the strange quality was made quite apparent. The gates of the grounds stood open, listing lazily on their hinges and beyond the frame laying a not insignificant number of unmoving bodies. It was quiet though the Medonian's hand traveled to the thick leather of his belt and just shy of the blade cinched to his hip. Brown eyes shaded from the suns slowly glided across the scene in front of him, searching a living being in the litter of bodies. When no disturbance was immediately apparent the human moved quietly forward to inspect one of the closes corpses. This one, as the rest, was dressed in the livery of Maeve a personal man-at-arms for the minor noble occupying the domicile. Other than the pool of blood beneath the corpse staining its livery it was neat work, exceptionally neat work. This man a single fine cut across the large blood vein in his neck being Jalat's kiss. Other than the singular injury it did not appear he was scathed. Rougenoe frowned, he would have thought the situation much more agreeable if the guard's head had been caved in as a result of a dozen thunderous bludgeons to the crown. It meant this action had not been an angry raid of similar man-at-arms but a professional massacre. Who were neat killers; assassins came to mind. But given the score of bodies scoured over the front drive and lawn that would have to be an assassin ludicrously bad at his stealthy vocation. Unless... it was a bored assassin, but even then an assassin with a dagger or two would have some trouble with armed guards en masse. As he looked over the wounds his initial fear regarding the manner of the guards' dispatchment was all but confirmed, most telling was the one wound driven through the center of a man's breastplate and deep into his chest. The hole in the breastplate was small, too small for a spear or a standard dagger blade even. But the Medonian was acutely familiar with the type of weapon that could be wielded to such devastatingly effective ends in a skilled hand.

The rapier, bane of the armored knight behind the arrow. A blade thin and light, flexible with a speed far beyond the cleaving and bashing war tools of the heavily armored. Like a sinister viper it weaved a spellbinding path around its armored foe and struck at the crippling weaknesses, armor joints, exposed flesh and in such cases right through a man's supposed protection. An impressive feat by any standard but not unfathomable. Anyone with a basic understanding of how a nail is hammered in wood could extract the concept. The amazing force of a full body lunge forced to a surface area no larger than Rougenoe's thumb made it capable of passing through a plane of strong material such as a hammered, steel breastplate. Pinpoint precision was necessary for the coup de grace and Rougenoe understood the culprit behind these murders was a very dangerous practitioner of El Viatre and a particularly bloodthirsty one. It was a combination the Medonian did not at all favor should the murderer still be about the estate.
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Old April 2, 2011, 08:40 PM   #4
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Silence was broken as finally something beyond the occasional sound of the wind changing direction and sending blades of grass and weeds to twist in another direction, creating a soft susurrus. Towards the miniature castle there was the sounds of dozens of longbows being released in a single flurry followed by a shimmer in the sky where the light briefly caught various arrowheads before continuing their downwards trajectory.
After a good fifteen or twenty seconds, a second volley was released… and again. Whatever the guards manning the Estate were aiming at didn’t appear to be being even remotely slowed down.

At the corner of Rougenoe’s eye, there was a twitch of movement from one of the corpses. A hand shifted ever so slightly as he released its dying grip on the unsullied sword. Soon, there was a leg moving here, a head tilting to the side listlessly. Each Man-At-Arms of House Maeve was indeed very much dead; and each corpse was slowly resuming animation. Lazily rising as they shuffled back to their feet before spinning around and without paying any heed towards Rougenoe, simply began to stroll back up towards the Manor.

A few of the recently Undead however were forced to crawl; dragging themselves forward with their hands as some of the damage received during their initial deaths had done some damage towards the hamstrings and knees that while leaving no sign of swordsmanship; had still done some severe damage to their bodies. None offered any threat towards Rougenoe just yet as whatever their initial directive was, it had yet to even be aware of the Consul’s presence upon the Estate.

In the distance, a solitary figure continued moving towards the castle. Humanoid and swathed in grey, there was a flicker of light reflecting against metal once more as the individual swung just as another hail of arrows rained down upon its general vicinity. Movement stopped in the grey figure, only for it to resume once the last of the arrows stopped; advancing only in-between the volleys’.
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Old April 18, 2011, 06:18 PM   #5
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The pastoral scene of battle gone was broken by the rhythmic twang of corded bowstrings loosing their load into the sky. The clear sky twinkled slightly as the sunlight dappled across the heads of the arrow swarm. They worked in continuous motion now. Beyond the grand manor a drab swath of cloth danced. In a staunch march the figure stepped closer to the estate proper between the volleys of arrows that fell about it.

The Medonian found himself easily entranced with the drowsy weather and melodic fury of attempting to mow down a lone figure with a squad of bowmen. So taken with the scene he was quite surprised in a half hop backwards as the already pronounced dead corpse at his feet began to move. With a shudder and the wooden motions of some thing tooling about in a new vessel as it learned the calibrations the southern necromancer immediately realized a reanimated corpse. To make problems worse it appeared all the actors in the little mock battle around him decided they needed to stretch their legs and take a water break. Leathered fingers quickly grasping at the familiar steel at his hip Rougenoe drew a hand and a half of blade before staying the motion. The corpses did not seem intent on his delicious brains or even appeared to register his very presence in their plot of death.

For a moment he simply stood still and watched the half-broken house guard lift itself from the turf and appeared to be ambling their way towards the estate's cluster of buildings. Rougenoe furrowed his brow, personal experience had taught him the slim robe swords of El Viatre were not entirely useful against the undead. Whomever raised the bodies was either overly clever or stupendously lucky in their corp of House Guard round two. Letting the sword slide back home in its scabbard Rougenoe rubbed at his chin as he mulled an idea.

If one desired entrance to a place typically denied one of the surest ways to accomplish the means was by appearing that one belonged. The Medonian highly doubted the manor's master knew his House Guard intimately by name and face. He found the corpse who had suffered his end by puncture through his breastplate. Whether by dismissal of the spirit now controlling the body or by a few swift traumatic head blows from the back of the Medonian's handaxe he sought to find himself some more appropriate attire for the Maeve estate. Rub a little dirt on one's face, the fresh dead looked rather life-like anyhow and Rougenoe felt he could stumble a bit and stare absently ahead enough to show himself off a bona fide undead man-at-arms.
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Old May 1, 2011, 04:10 AM   #6
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Obtaining the livery of House Maeve was a small matter of work as he was forced to use both a combination of Necromancy and a few well-timed swings of his axe to get the uniform off the corpse. Mostly because while the newly risen Zombie didn’t make a single move to assault Rougenoe or defend itself, neither would the corpse actively stop attempting to move forwards on towards the fortified estate. Attempts to purge the Zombie of it’s false livelihood were only effective in the short term and periodically Rougenoe was forced to decide whether he wanted some of the uniform’s slightly damaged, or with part of the corpse still inside it.

Ahead, the one-man assault upon the Maeve owned residence continued unabated as volleys of arrows continued to rain down upon the field. And as the zombies marched forward in their sedate shuffle towards the fortified manor, Rougenoe was able to pick a pattern in their flight – namely that there was a thin but very obvious line where not a single arrow fell. And always to the left there was a handful of broken arrows or those that had been batted aside rather than allowed to continue their downward trajectory.

The closer Rougenoe and his clique of fallen Maeve guardsmen, the more the Consul of Enamoria was able to piece a few details here and there that the solitary figure assaulting the manor wasn’t having it all his own way. The grey garment that the humanoid had been wearing was discarded just outside the outer buildings just near a chicken coup that had long since been abandoned; the gate swaying gently on the wind. The cloak was good goat’s wool and riddled with holes and cuts to the point where even a beggar would have taken his or her time in deciding whether or not the material was remotely salvageable.

Beyond the sounds of disrepair; the squeak of rusty hinges or that of a pump oozing water slowly out into the middle of the courtyard.

As soon as the collection of undead had made their way in the slow and steady shuffle towards the Manor, the sound of fighting however was much louder. The ring of steel continued with little pause; and where the sounds of metal clashing failed it was only to be replaced by that of bones breaking or cloth being torn. Hundreds of corpses were all piled up in the inner courtyard, each and every one twitching slightly in a writhing ball of death, struggling against one another to reach the figure in the middle. Dozens more remained intact and like the zombies that surrounded Rougenoe were all moving to make their way towards the combatant.

The figure assaulting the keep was a Nimalni Elf garbed in a battered grey livery of the Imperial Guard of Aelyria Prime; but where the rank insignia should have been was instead the heraldry of the former Duchy of Tindomerel in Prime Province. Moving, dance-like through the mass of undead. Sweeping an Elven Longsword in perfect flowing motions. Every single strike and cut was without equal, no movement was wasted… and even then, the Nimalni was finally slowing down. No longer able to move forwards as he pirouetted and danced over the still moving corpses so much as he was barely holding his ground now. If that… the grey uniform bore quite a few tears where the zombies had finally managed to touch the Elf.
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Old May 4, 2011, 09:39 PM   #7
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Falling in line with the undead retinue it was deliciously easy to enter the manor proper without so much resistance as the fumbling shuffles of his comrades in arms. Just outside the abode he noticed the torn and bloodied bit of wool he could only assume was the attacker's raiment or what was left of it. Rougenoe was not afforded a good inspection before it was trampled underfoot by the score of undead lackeys before him.

Within the more private gate surrounding the manor he was afforded a sight of the single living combatant. A dreary sight, Nimalni elf in the grey attire of an old legionnaire but the crest replaced with the even more antiquated heraldry of Tindomerel. He quickly remembered something from the list of names and locations Rougenoe had scrounged from the riverboat in Lauryl. Tindomerel had been among the names on the list of what the Medonian had assumed was a laundry list of execution victims. Could he now be bearing witness to one seeking to strike against those who would have him dead or perhaps it was mere retribution, a loyal subject come to exact vengeance for an already murdered noble.

Rougenoe was unsure what to do regarding the warring elf. He appeared to be flagging, an inevitability given the odds he faced. If the legionnaire died he would never know what was going on about the estate. But allowing the central focus to fall on the elf would provide the human access to skulk about the manor as he pleased without the prying unfocused eyes of undead on his every move. Potentially there was someone nearby controlling the legion of undead guards. He contemplated the decision a bit before conversing with Alice and deciding to give the Nimalni a boost from her healing thaumaturgy to keep him going. Positioning himself within the likened mass of undead he called out to the elf from his hiding place.

"What business do you have here?"
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Old May 21, 2011, 11:32 PM   #8
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Oblivious as he was to Rougenoe’s presence and even the effects of Alice’s healing, the Elf fought on without pause – the assistance garnered bringing little appreciation from the Elf nor able to turn the side against his opponents. Instead the Elf was barely able to hold his own as the number of re-animated House Maeve soldiers continued their assault. While managing to score numerous blows upon his opponents that should have been fatal strikes, but for the drawback of their being already being corpses. Each and every assault that the Elf launched was perfect – against a living foe, always striking towards an arterial point.

Each strike, so very very pointless as lifeless hands gripped a hold of the Elf’s right ankle, pinning him in place long enough for Rougenoe’s call to prove that most unwelcome distraction. Glancing towards Rougenoe’s direction, the Elf’s guard lowered an inch. Puzzlement touching the plain stone grey features of the Nimalni before horror enveloped the man’s countenance.

Slowly and surely, the Elf simply toppled forwards onto his knees. Standing behind where the Nimalni had been was a Maeve Guardsman, all too dead with it’s head caved in completely on the right hand side. Of the Elf, the hilt and first inch of a stiletto blade poked through between a series of grey Prime Guardsman uniform and a series of bright silver ringlets of Ardentium armor just below the man’s shoulder blade. Movement continued from the Elf; alive but gravely injured… slowly being buried by the mass of hands and teeth from the swarm of undead.

Of the undead nearest Rougenoe, there was hesitation. No longer moving towards the Nimalni, but searching for the source of the sound with dead eyes. Unable to see or discern their environment beyond what their Master directed them towards. Each turning from right to left, randomly raising a limb all in perfect unison as the unseen Necromancer sought to visually eliminate the living from the dead…
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Old May 31, 2011, 07:48 PM   #9
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The former legionnaire was beyond him, beyond even the rustic scene surrounding the fight. The elf was lost deep in the dance of blood, a waltz of whirling blades punctuated with the staccato report of blade rending flesh and muscle. But so deep was the dance, the rhythmic musings of battle burned into the elf's mind that even the nature of his opponents had faded. They were no longer falled guards but shades, nothing more than abstract representations of humanoid form in concert with the dance.

Should the opponents of the legionnaire have been human his actions would have been divine; masterful strokes sought the sensitive flesh of weakened positions on the human body. Unfortunately the undead had little care for pain and supernatural resilience to continue the fight long since a living opponent would be holding his ruined appendage. When the undead were concerned only liberal use of force in the most masochistic way could undo them by mundane means. The legionnaire's strokes should have been hewing pieces of the corpses from the whole, whittling the humanoid form to an unusable nub.

An unfortunate circumstance, a voice calling out from the throng of corpses, was the slight distraction necessary for a sharpened blade to find its way past the elf's armor and into his back. With mental gasp of realization breaking the rhythm of the event it was quickly over as a number of undead servitors fell upon the wounded legionnaire. Before the veteran's visage was swallowed by pretty liveried corpses Rougenoe could but just see the wound. A thin blace just below the shoulder. By itself the wound should not prove fatal he thought. However, it was now a grievous injury to one who was using a sword as much to kill as to preserve his own life at this point.

Not all the corpses immediately began to pile upon the injured warrior. A number of the specimens closer to Rougenoe held back. Unfocused eyes began to scan the immediate area for the offending voice. The human prepared himself, fingers tightening on the haft of his weapon beneath Maeve-emblazoned tabard. They began moving in unison, following the same scripted actions to punctuate who among the dead ranks was an intruder. Clever, whomever controlled the battalion of guards was no novice at the use of undead thralls.

One of the guards made a sharp jerk as he teetered off balance. The motion was accompanied by a heavy thump and the sick trumpeting of bone splintering. The flesh of the dead face stretched as it was subducted in the line between temple and mouth. The head was now bizarrely obscure, shifted and broken by the blade sinked into the skull as residual liquid and brain matter began to ooze from the wound. With a shearing pull the axe blade came free and whirled about in an arc like a playful child before crashing into the undead's neck. The blow snapped vertebrae, snipped sinew like bundles of taut string and left what little was still attached as a thin bridge holding the broken crown from dropping to the floor. The near decapitation enough to send the already wobbly guard tumbling woodenly to the ground as a child's little leaden soldier. Before the guard's controller could fully muster his fold Alice untapped a prepared bit of thaumaturgy, commanding the undead to turn from their master's intent.

As for the Medonian, he needed to close the distance between him and the legionnaire before the elf was beyond helping and put his actions to that end.
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Old June 13, 2011, 05:35 AM   #10
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Moving under the will of a singular mind, the masses of reanimated flesh continued to move in accordance to a set pattern as the Necromancer sought to eliminate the living from the dead. Never quite managing to go so far as to re-enact the hokey pokey, but enough to ensure that there was sufficiently random sequences thrown in that would have been discernable from a distance. Sweeping movements of limbs were the primary means of action instigated rather than any complicated motor functions.

There was no retaliation from the zombies, no grandiose spells directed towards neither Rougenoe nor anything that could bring about bodily harm unto the Consul as he made his presence known in a far more direct manner. As bone splintered and blood flew, the zombies continued their rhythmless dance for a few seconds longer before Alice’ assistance caused the zombies nearest Rougenoe to stumble aside – shuffling away and clearing the immediate area around him.

At least where able, a few twitching remnants of still animated flesh proved unable to retreat as severed appendages – mostly fingers, couldn’t quite wriggle or crawl away.

The low moaning continued all the same, carrying on the wind and mingling with the every-brightening sounds as doors creaked and floorboards groaned within the courtyard of the fortified Manor. “You don’t… won’t… I will…” came a low voice, male and weak from beneath the pile of twitching flesh where the Nimalni had been lost from view once dragged under the weight of the zombies. Each word laced with defiance even as he struggled against the bodies; pummelled continually by random kicks and arm sweeps from the animated corpses continuing their little dance.

Of the fortress, it remained perfectly silent of any humanoid voice. Behind the stone and wood merlons, a dozen guards watched silently – their status as living or dead unknown for now. And behind them, a solitary figure moved along the rampant; clad from head to toe in full plate armour constructed from burnished bronze and offset with crimson livery and enamel patterning in a thus-far indiscernible pattern.
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Old June 27, 2011, 07:39 PM   #11
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He pushed forth, through the gap of corpses and those bits still mobile enough to fumble or roll away from the center of the thaumaturge's spell. Rougenoe pressed to the dog pile of corpses awkwardly writhing over their fallen victim. Tool in hand he fell upon the outer ring, his blows intermittently switched between blade and heavy strikes of the boarding ax's reverse side. The human grabbed at corpses with his free hand, grunting in the macabre farce of bucking undead hay and tossing them off the pile as he sought the bottom.

As Rougenoe worked a wan yellow glow began to stain through the mass of writhing limbs and gore. Focusing on the elf in the center of the pile Alice sought to abate his suffering with a small cast of Battle Armor until the Medonian could find enough of the former legionnaire to pull him free.
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Old July 9, 2011, 02:21 AM   #12
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As one, the group of Undead rasped a “There.” That while individually whispered, collectively was a booming acknowledgement of Rougenoe’s presence having finally been confirmed by the Zombie’s Master. And yet, the animated corpses no longer moved as one, each defaulting instead towards their individual base behavior rather than actively defending themselves or striving to bring down Rougenoe or the Nimalni Elf.

Ruffling towards Rougenoe, the Zombies’ sole strategy fell under the category of ‘Suffocation’ as rather than moving with any real speed or strength, the group worked to surround and then pile on top of the Consul. With the exact same methodology as the Nimalni had been subjected to, Rougenoe as he broke through flesh and bone respectively soon found himself working up a sweat as keeping a clear area around himself of Zombies proved a difficulty.

Anytime Rougenoe so much as went to shift one of the various bodies that lay atop the wounded Nimalni, another Zombie got that much closer to him. One gripping his shoulder harshly with it’s fingernails burying into Rougenoe’s flesh as it brought it’s mouth down to bite him upon the neck…

Up above, the guards continued to watch. Thus far abstaining from firing down into the sea of flesh that had once been Maeve Household guards. The solitary figure however in the plate armor was nowhere to be seen once Rougenoe managed to pull off the first of the corpses and reveal the Nimalni’s hand – surrounded by Thaumaturgic Essence revealed as a lingering physical aura of golden light as Alice’ spell manifested. The soldier was still gripping his sword as he too struggled to free himself from the bodies.
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Old July 31, 2011, 08:37 PM   #13
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Location: Sovereignty of Enamoria & Others
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Rougenoe found himself exercising his muscles well and they began to warm with the task of falling his axe upon the already dead members of the guard and pulling them from the elf situated at the base of the pile. He was more treading status quo rather than effectively unearthing the elf as the human worked to keep the remainder of the undead from swarming over him. He needed to find an opportunity to break the free and actually make some progress to freeing the elf. With a flick of his eyes about the chamber he noticed the elevated audience now was missing the mastermind. If the person in plate was truly the necromancer controlling the undead it appeared he had left them void of active control.

Perhaps this was the opening the Medonian needed. He continued to use his weapon to hold back the circling undead as he pulled together the means to cast a spell. Once prepared Rougenoe cast Command Undead and began to actively take over the pile of corpses atop the elf warrior. The necromancer attempted to move them from their station on the elf and reorient them to rending their former guard compatriots attempting to assault Rougenoe.

With the plan set in motion the Medonian sought the elf's gloved hand sticking from the pile and grabbed at it. With a pull he tried to free the legionnaire. He was rewarded by a sharp pain and the smell of gore at his shoulder as one of the former guards bit him. With a cry he shook his body and attempted to lodge his spike of his elbow pad in the thing's face and thrust it off.
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Old August 12, 2011, 11:45 PM   #14
Maddyn
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Battling away with no sign of respite in the immediate future, even attaining a state of Clara proved difficult for Rougenoe as he hacked and slashed at the zombies. Blood, oozing and thick as it had already clotted within the decomposing Humans and Elves, spilled forth on the ground and mingled with a sea of internal organs that made keeping one’s footing difficult. And as a gush of rotting intestines spilled around Rougenoe’s feet, soon even staying upright was as important as ensuring that his axe-work was apt against the zombie horde.

After a few initial struggles with the Command Undead spell unraveling, the weave itself never quite decayed enough that Rougenoe couldn’t repair it in timely fashion before the inevitable miscast as his concentration wavered periodically. What Rougenoe found was that wherever the Zombie’s Master was, control was a fickle thing: blocking the Zombie’s Master was a simple enough affair as the spell raising the Maeve soldiers seemed barely at a fledgling Journeyman’s strength in spite of the sheer number of animated bodies. Wresting control completely? Quite another matter entirely.

As hands tore at Rougenoe, scratching and grabbing him whenever the Zombies managed to break through his guard, the battle on the mental front left stars dancing before the Necromancer’s vision. For every Zombie that Rougenoe managed to wrest control of, the amount of Vis required to perform such a task escalated exponentially. Wresting control of the entire army, while – apparently – within Rougenoe’s reach, would simultaneously have leave the Consul as a mindless wreck no better than the undead creatures he fought.

“Maj take you…” came a grumble from beneath the corpses as finally the blood-covered Nimalni’s head and shoulders breached the zombie’s pile-on. Struggling to free himself further as a good dozen of the zombies within the pile suddenly shifted to Rougenoe’s command in the tug-of-war conducted upon the Command Undead.

Soon, the blademaster, battered and bruised in spite of Alice’ healing was up and fighting alongside Rougenoe – his footing perfect on the ocean of animated flesh that, whether spilled or still contained within a Humanoid form – was wriggling and shifting. “Nightingale. Thank you.” Came the curt greeting as the Nimani’s brown eyes caught Rougenoe’s with a welcome acknowledgement that whomever Rougenoe was – at least he was alive and a target against the Undead too.
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Old August 16, 2011, 08:18 PM   #15
Rougenoe
Mythic
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Posts: 3,297
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It would be difficult, he knew that. He would have much preferred to make his move earlier but the elf's livelihood has taken paramount priority over simply dealing with the undead. That delay was the difference of casting a spell in relative freedom with little distraction to attempting the Herald's crossword while suspended by one's toes and being beaten by stick-wielding neighborhood children for the chance one might rupture and drop sweets upon the ground. Another enemy too would be easier to deal with as most enemies had a certain level of safety and self-preservation they liked to sustain. Simply putting them to guard or rebuffing their probing advances required much less attention and of course a much lower level of mental and physical stress. Undead had no thoughts, much less ones of self-preservation or caution. That singular quality made them a very sharp double-edged sword as opponents.

And he was tiring. Attrition would not be a friend to the living in this situation. They would die here, he would die here as he was doing exactly what one should not do in combat was fight in the opposition's favored battle plan. Eventually he was able to complete the spell but it had taken a significantly more expensive toll on him than doing it smartly might. He felt sluggish of mind and almost as sluggish of body. That motley assortment of undead he was able to wrest control over he rushed in towards the two living combatants and attempted to push themselves a hole, a small breathing space on one side of the encircling mass. In retrospect, given the threadbare level of the original summon, he should have simply cut the other necromancer's ties and left the corpses to wander about idly. Still how such a neophyte mage was capable of summoning such a mass intrigued Rougenoe. The first thought that came to mind was the necromancer had simply activated a premade enchantment by a more masterful mage. And now he had probably fled before his weakness was made too apparent.

In a small relief the elf appeared at his elbow. The two shared a grim acknowledgement of each others resolve. It was a bit too soon to thank the human just yet, there was still very much a problem groaning and clawing at the end of their very noses.
"We're goin' to make a hole and run for it," the Medonian grunted between swings. "If we stay here we'll die for certain." Rougenoe rifled through the small pouches of his person and retrieved a small clay vial. Ripping the cork stopper free with his teeth the human downed the strength potion. That was the plan, cut a hole, slim and quick through the ranks; run and find some place to hide. It was time to play against the zombies, mindless creatures were exceptionally bad at hide and go seek, especially when their master was not present to give them helpful hints or coordinated commands.
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