• Closed • [Venora] Fluttering of the Swallows

The birth of a new subject.

The seven Duchies of Central Rynmere and their respective baronies, cities, towns, villages, and landmarks each overseen by a Duke of one of the seven noble families and ultimately controlled by the King of Rynmere.
User avatar
Alistair
Approved Character
Posts: 3421
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:12 pm
Race: Human
Profession: Wanderer
Renown: 1000
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Personal Journal
Letters
Point Bank Thread
Wealth Tier: Tier 10

[Venora] Fluttering of the Swallows

Image
3rd of Ashan, Arc 716
My Beloved Grayson,

It has come to my attention that you have found yourself ill. As your dearest friend and compatriot for the success of Rynmere, this news rattles my bones as the wind rattles leaves. I am despondent, lost in my own mind - remembering again the days where we would frolick across the field as children. Things are not as they were in the days of yore, so many lifetimes ago, and yet still my mind wanders to you all the time - always. I look to you when I seek strength, and always do I imagine you wielding that dreadfully cumbersome sword of yours in that gallant plate armor.

You are the only friend I have ever had, Grayson. William. Even as you wandered from your noble house - and from Fort Venora - to engage in the dangers of the world of war, I continued to seek your company, always and certainly in moments of great triumph and great peril. You are - and always have been - an inspiration to me.

And yet that is not entirely what I write to you about, this day. You see, even as the sun sets on your story, there are things between us that have not yet been resolved. Like your betrayal of my secrets - telling your slackjawed sister of my infatuation with the Dark Arts, a catastrophe that was only resolved due to an unfortunate accident in which she fell hard on her skull. An accident that rendered you the heir to the Grayson name, a fortuitous outcome. Surely you forgave the Gods for rendering your sister a stagnant slab of meat, and yet I had never forgiven you. Regardless of your intentions, or the thought that this was just another of our childish squabbles, you unwittingly betrayed me, your greatest friend and ally. That day, you lost an ally, but not a friend.

I think I have found it within my heart to forgive you for your sins of days past. I am willing to look to your future now - the future that lays in your morgue, in the dark halls beneath the mounds of Venora. The future that follows your soul, lost to this world, and unable to find peaceful resolution - a soul that will find a traitor's punishment for it in the afterlife, for damning brotherhood and companionship in constant weak-minded prattling.

There is still a future between us, however, my charming Lord Grayson. It is a future in which I command and you obey, silently, forever seeking penance for your hollow hearted deeds.

- - -
He was buried today. It was to be the beginning of mourning for the charming William Grayson, age twenty-six, first son of Markus Grayson and second child overall. Three years prior, his elder sister had fallen from her horse, her skull bashing against a boulder on the side of the road. The unrest of the horse had never been explained, nor the grief of her father ever lost, and now with the death of their final child this calamity would result in the loss of the main branch of Grayson. Not a great noble family, really - just wards to the Venora, like little secretaries to their wealth. And still, it had been tradition for a long time to maintain friendships between the two families, as it was the allegiance of the vassals and their subjects that gave the Lords their power.

And yet, sadly, the period of partnership between Venora and Grayson had come to an end. A loss of a dear family, closely tied to the House. But Alistair didn't mind. They had about a hundred seventy six more.

On the day of the proceedings, where his mother and father spoke and grieved and the sycophants squabbled over the structures of power, the heir to Venora did not shed a single tear - rather he stared empty into the setting sun as he watched the men carry the coffin into the deep halls. He already began to look around at the infrastructure of the building, looking for an entry and escape route. When all fell asleep, he would remove the cadaver from its resting place and add the man to his ranks. Until then, he would play pleasantries and try to learn the future of the Grayson estate.

". . . you can't be serious, can you?" He overheard. The man turned his head to a small group of individuals, middle aged men and women with a connection to the family.

"Of course I can be," one man said. "The heir to Grayson is gone, the other child a braindead mute. The future of the family is over. They need for a fresh and more fertile line to take their place as the caretakers of the Grayson Breweries." The man spoke confidently, with his wife nodding beside him. The other adults in the situation seemed at a loss of words, though one man with a short temper spoke boldly.

The man was very tall, and spoke with a scarred and marred face. He wore an insignia on his tabard which marked him as a soldier - formerly a high ranking military member in the Duchy's personal retinue. "William's body is not even yet cold and you speak of usurping the holdings of our patron house? Lord Grayson may be without son and his wife without fertility, but there are more out there. Emilia Grayson, married to a fine nobleman in Warrick. Richard Mayburry, whose mother was to be Lady--"

"You seek to give the wealth of our proud house to fucking Warrick, Malcolm? Or to some Mayburry chap who doesn't even show an interest in the Kingdom of Rynmere? They aren't even direct inheritors to the Grayson seed. One of them might even be a bastard if the rumors about his mother are true."

"Mathew, enough. The future of their wealth is to their discretion. I will not --"

The man stormed off. Curious. It seemed the caste of silk-wearing vultures had already begun to scour the fields for the riches of their betters. Alistair could only scoff at their short-sightedness. Lord Grayson was sure to hand his wealth to the Venora family, for it was through their family that their fortunes had risen from the days of old where they ruled only a homestead of paupers and chicken shit.
Image
Last edited by Alistair on Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:00 am, edited 7 times in total. word count: 1072
User avatar
Alistair
Approved Character
Posts: 3421
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:12 pm
Race: Human
Profession: Wanderer
Renown: 1000
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Personal Journal
Letters
Point Bank Thread
Wealth Tier: Tier 10

[Venora] Fluttering of the Swallows

Image
The letter had been transmutated, by the Lich that sought to own him. For later rememberance; a favor for a favor. Although as an unfortunate result most of the contents had grown less than legible, the transmutation process was an intentional failure resulting in the fracturing and off-mutating of the letter's structure. Sealed firmly away and only to be touched by the hands of William Grayson, who lay bedridden in the chambers of his former home, the transmutated object had been given to him as instructed. The source was anonymous, with an undead slave the one to place it in the mail for the family.

The issue was that William Grayson was not guaranteed to die. It was in the air; a fifty-fifty chance, maybe sixty-forty if the Gods had been angered by him. And so the issuance of the letter was more than just a farewell note, it was the final strike to the man's physical wellbeing. The off-transmutation had resulted in a flow of corrosive radiation contacting the dying fellow, a fragility he described as a strange and sudden bout of weakness. The systems that grew to protect him from the illness that contaminated him were overthrown, and death enveloped him shortly after his frail fingers first gripped the note.

He could barely understand any of it. It had been marred by the transfiguration. And yet that was fine as well, for the words were not truly meant for Grayson's eyes, but only to offer Alistair the relief in writing them. The relief in saying a final and wrathful goodbye to a traitor who masqueraded as a companion.

When all had scattered and the night had begun, the Venora Necromancer made his way into the tombs, crouching and wearing light clothes so as to avoid detection if any were still for some reason present. He had not seen any for at least a break or two, but caution was necessary when engaging in fields that others considered to be the machinations of demons. With him was a brutish corpse by the name of Wilkund, a being he left in a cell when he could not maintain control of him, whether by distance or strain. He used this creature to defend him in the night, and also to haul heavy objects - such as bodies - for further experimentation. While there were many corpses to be found in the shadowy cave called Alistair's Lair, few were of such importance as Grayson, a man with great strength and significance to Alistair that was greater than just his physique.

Wilkund followed after his master silently, as the man tweaked the energy of within his nexus to make demands of him. First, he would go to open the door to the inner sanctum, and Alistair would use him as a distraction if there were people within the tomb. There was nothing quite as distracting, after all, as a hulking brute charging at you - wishing to add new contours to your flesh. When Wilkund opened the door and Alistair found that no man alive laid within, he moved forward and compelled the towering beast to open the coffin and remove the body of the future Lord Grayson.

"Good to see you here," he whispered to the cold corpse as his reanimated subject slid out his coffin and lifted the deceased noble from his confinement. "Wilkund, carry him within your black robe. The men of the village won't see you dangling a body around, that way." The corpse nodded - as if he honestly carried situational understanding - and followed the orders as commanded. Alistair pushed the coffin back into place, shut it, and hastily removed himself from the tomb so that no one would have to die today for learning the very unfortunate truth.
Image
Last edited by Alistair on Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:36 pm, edited 4 times in total. word count: 643
User avatar
Alistair
Approved Character
Posts: 3421
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:12 pm
Race: Human
Profession: Wanderer
Renown: 1000
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Personal Journal
Letters
Point Bank Thread
Wealth Tier: Tier 10

[Venora] Fluttering of the Swallows

Image
"You can't write, can you?" He asked the mindless entity. Wilkund. Right, right. He could scarcely remember its name since it couldn't even speak for itself. Hulking brute seemed far more appropriate, as the name was self explanatory. "Hnf, hugh," the beast sounded as Alistair's energy tugged on the well. It could say nothing. He supposed only more masterful Necromancers could even fathom the possibility of generating a false personality. And Liches were the only dead thus far that he'd been able to speak to. The lack of any decent intellect was unfortunate, though, as he would desire an assistance in writing down the process with more fervent detail. Although he was already a skilled Necromancer, he had not recorded his studies in the slightest - he merely relied on the drab writings of halfway lunatics that engaged in this arcane field.

Sadly, Alaric wasn't here either, despite a demand to arrive in the crypt by nightfall. The slave could write to some imaginably legible degree, at least prudently enough for someone of enlightened potential such as Alistair. "Well, I suppose we will have to do, free of the slave and your fat fingered handwriting." He laid the body against a stone surface. Honestly he wasn't quite sure what the flat-spread surface was here for. He could only imagine this used to be an altar of some kind, for some deity or other more secretive form of magic.

Firstly, he recalled, we must connect the body with the well. A bone, in particular. He found himself examining the corpse, pressing his fingertips against the cold skin. He felt his joints - the hardness of his flesh and the placement of his bones, his veins, all. With Alistair's command, Wilkund flipped the body over and the Necromancer's fingertips pressed into the bones of Grayson's neck. A well to control the joints. He placed the source of the reanimation within the confines of this singular bone, as his Conduit attuned to the energy of the well.

The control must be refined, he thought. Mana swelled around the Conduit and tuned itself to the nexus that had fused with the Necromantic subject. He attempted to move the man's fingers. While all were ordered moved, only the pinky moved. The man's concentration had fallen short for a moment, and he attempted to relax the tension in his body as he further tuned the connection to the corpse. He closed his eyes and pictured the energy - recalled the feeling of gaining control over each individual joint. He always remembered the sensation to be akin to things snapping into place, with the pleasing vibrations, sound and all. With his eyes shut still, he once again demanded with his energy that all the man's fingers moved, closing into a fist. The motion was successful, and he grinned slightly in the face of his clear success. It had been too long since he had engaged in Necromancy on a recently deceased human subject. Wilkund was old, and surely doomed to shatter apart with how rigorously Alistair abused him for labor.

Grayson was new. And he wouldn't hold back what was true - that he would feel a sense of pride each time he saw his face, one that spelled his victory in the face of hurtful betrayal.

Now, what remained before Grayson was fully functioning was the corrosion of any flesh that may have rotted, sure to hold him back from properly serving.
Image
Last edited by Alistair on Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:35 pm, edited 4 times in total. word count: 593
User avatar
Alistair
Approved Character
Posts: 3421
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:12 pm
Race: Human
Profession: Wanderer
Renown: 1000
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Personal Journal
Letters
Point Bank Thread
Wealth Tier: Tier 10

[Venora] Fluttering of the Swallows

Image
The man smoothed his skin against the surface of Grayson's flesh. He could feel inflammations across his body - a sign of very minor 'bloating' as some would call the post-mortem condition. The limbs had stiffened, a sign of rigor mortis. There was also an uncomfortable swelling at the base of his chest. These signs were less abrasive than Wilkund's original condition, where the brutish man had been slain in combat and subjected to hours of pain before bleeding out, and then many days laying dead on the field before Alistair and the Lich Damien discovered him laying about on the fields of Warrick.

He could corrode this condition easily, all it required was his touch, his precision and a load of patience. The man smoothed his fingertips across his chest, and found the swelling in the center of his abdomen. He could not properly prescribe the condition or why this swelling was present, and that was fine. Discovering the source was a question for Lord Grayson's physician, while removing hampering rot was the work for a Necromancer. Alistair pressed hard against the flesh and sought to visualize the mass of rot in his head. Using the well that connected him to his subject, he could extend his perception over the man's body, if to a highly limited degree. The man corroded the source of the swelling, leaving a scar upon the entity's chest though any movements that required the participation in his abdomen would find themselves more easily made.

As for the rigor mortis, this condition would be more difficult to battle, as it could have encompassed the entirety of his body. He let his hands contact his own skin, feeling across his arms and seeking to compare the stiffness of each limb from man to man. The condition had only barely developed before Grayson's death, and it would not likely develop much more, though he knew he would have to follow up on his newly created corpse before he could claim absolute success. For now, he sought to remove the rot and abrasions that marred the excellence of his subject, and with a firm press of his palm to the man's bicep, he melted away at his imperfections over time.

After each limb was cleansed of its condition, the man would move the muscles of the undead servant. Grayson opened his eyes upon command, his once hazel eyes staring daftly to the walls of the crypt, now a hazy shade of blue. His legs remained stiff, and so when asked to stand straight he slumped over and fell into Wilkund's arms. He was laid back against the flat surface, with the Necromancer looming over him and staring into his eyes, marks that revealed that the soul had gone.
Image
Last edited by Alistair on Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:34 pm, edited 4 times in total. word count: 475
User avatar
Alaric
Approved Character
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:54 am
Race: Biqaj
Renown: 0
Character Sheet
Wealth Tier: Tier 1

Milestones

Miscellaneous

[Venora] Fluttering of the Swallows

Image
The moment Alaric opened his eyes he knew that he would be late. The sun had long since set and it was too quiet right now. Sitting up the slave reached up and wiped the sleep from his eyes as best he could. Putting one arm on the ground he lifted himself up from his bedroll on the ground. Today he had chosen to sleep outside just beneath a part of the wooden home that jutted outward to act as a ceiling. With haste he moved, bending over to haphazardly roll the straw-stuffed bed into a cylinder. Quick footsteps darted around to the backdoor of the home and with a boom he kicked it open. Normally Alaric would never risk causing such a ruckus in the home, but he knew his master had set out on his mission for the night. With practiced motions he scoured the house for his clothing. Deft motions avoided the sparse furniture as Alaric picked his way through, heading to the last known locations for the coarse attire he had been given. He had not the luxury of wasting any time, so it was as he moved back out the door that Alaric dressed. Fingering the rough-spun shirt in a brief struggle to find which hole his head should go through it took a moment to pull it down. Keeping his strides swift and long the young man slipped one leg in to a pant hole and in his next step repeated the action on the other side. A short hop later and his breaches were in place. It was only when he had one shoe on that he recalled exactly what Master Alistair had said to him earlier in the day. "Bring with you a notebook and something to write with. Be at the crypt by nighftfall." Blue, purple, and grey eyes looked skyward to judge the time as he doubled back and collected the supplies he needed before setting out once again. There was one thing Alaric enjoyed about his position in the world. No matter what he did or where he went little attention was paid to him. Once gazes alit upon his nigh on worthless clothing and dirty complexion they assumed he had been sent on an errand. Nobody tried to get in his way or ask why he was moving with such intensity. Curls of rich brown whipped in the wind as he darted through the unlit streets of Andaris. A faint smile could be seen by anyone he zoomed past, though few souls were lingering in the alleys and walkways at this time of night. He kept his breathing even and paid attention to his footfalls so as to cause no further delay. The city backdrop gave way to headstones and wrought iron fences. Alaric slowed down a bit and steadied himself as a chill crept over his body. Once upon a time things like the undead rising from the earth to wreak havoc upon the living were naught but nightmares that plagued him as a child. No, he knew better now. The dead were play things for his master.

There was no point in praying to any god right now. The one who might have listened was far off in the seas, not here in Andaris. He sucked in the night air and welcomed its bite, for it may very well be his last breath of fresh air for the next few hours. Steeling his nerves he set forth and entered the crypt. This desolate place always felt so wrong to Alaric. It didn't help that Alistair was surely defiling a body and magicking it in to some bastardization of life. His obsession with the dark arts probably spawned from the wickedness within, at least that was what the slave had always chalked it up to. A wicked stench pervaded his noise and he took to breathing through his mouth. In that way he emerged into the room his master was in. Alaric bowed quickly and deeply, keeping his eyes off of the table where Alistair's newest ghoul was laying down. Carefully he chose to stand away from Wilkund. It was so deeply unnerving how one could feel completely at home in the presence of reanimated corpses. This part of his life he probably hated the most. "I apologize for being late, Master Alistair." His voice had a sheepish tone to it and his face showed mild apology. There was no sense in explaining why, the fact that he had made the mistake of losing track of time would be enough for some punishment or another. Eyes now varying shades of yellow looked to the older male, distinctly unwavering in their gaze. Alaric merely did not wish to look upon the hellish creation without absolutely having to. Turning to a nearby tomb Alistair placed the supplies he had been holding to his chest down. Bound paper and leather served as his writing surface, with a fountain pen and inkwell as his tools. Quickly he moved to where he could see both his owner and the journal. Reaching for the utensil he dipped it in to the jet black ink and readied himself to write. Hopefully Alistair's success with the latest servant from the dead would have put him in a good mood.

It kept getting to him, that wretched smell of decay and ruin. It was radiating off of Wilkund like a powerful gale cast by the gods, directed right for Alaric's nostrils. He inhaled in small bursts from his mouth to keep it at bay but his mind was betraying him. He would glance from the side, only moving his eyes to watch the hulking monstrosity stand still. Of course the heir was crafting another minion, this one was practically falling apart. He tore his eyes away and looked down to the parchment, adjusting his grip on the pen and focusing on not looking around. Instead, he let his thoughts drift away from his dreary reality. A new one would be forged, one where he could get away. It always came to him slowly. Once he grasped it though, he would not let go. There! There it was! That welcomed salty smell from the sea washed over him and wiped away the rot. Warmth touched his olive skin as rays from the sun filtered down from beneath trees with leaves so green they seemed unreal. Sand under his feet, hot to the touch but soft and malleable. Cries from the hungry gulls over head as they looked down at the shore, searching for their next meal. In his hands there was not a pen and pad, instead it was a fishing rod. The tensile wood bent lazily with the sea wave's tugs, patiently waiting to strain against the pull of a catch. Here on this beach in his imagination was where Alaric would wait.
Last edited by Alaric on Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:20 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1161
User avatar
Alistair
Approved Character
Posts: 3421
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:12 pm
Race: Human
Profession: Wanderer
Renown: 1000
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Personal Journal
Letters
Point Bank Thread
Wealth Tier: Tier 10

[Venora] Fluttering of the Swallows

Image
Perhaps to the surprise of the slave, the master did not honestly care all that much about his tardiness. While there were many ails that came from serving Alistair, such as the constant presence of decaying corpses, the violent rituals and the methodical treatment towards recently dead friends - there had been benefits too. For one, the man was always too absorbed in his magical studies to keep track of his surroundings. A slave under him had much more autonomy, practically being able to move around freely as long as they returned home at the end of the day. Loyalty was what was truly important, honestly, rather than performance. All that he required was that one did not tell his secret, and that one served him to the best of their ability during trying times. So far, Alaric had pleased, so he did not have to corrode him like the last one. Messy business, always, but certainly if someone saw a former slave of his as an undead minion the connection would be made. They had to disappear, if they were to die.

"No issue, Alaric. Thank you for your apology." While his words could be considered kind, he said them in a monotone voice - he hated pleasantries but attempted to speak like a nobleman all the same. "Record for me, will you?" He looked at him. The subject stood up, as Alistair had just finished removing the rot and rigor mortis in his legs. He was nearly nude, though the man had wrapped a loincloth around his pelvic area for the sake of modesty. His undead servants would not be ashamed at least, and that was a strange obsession he'd come to bear after years of engaging in Necromancy.

"The subject displayed multiple signs of pre-death and post-death decay. Rigor mortis in the limbs, pre-death, which lead to stiffness and inflammations. With corrosion of the stiffness in the flesh, the rigor mortis receded, although post-mortem rot remained in the limbs. As with all issues with a host's mobility, corrosion was the answer. This time, the Necromancer sought to use the well to test the movements of his creation. This, by his intention, led to the discovery of which limbs were mobile and which limbs were constrained by rot or other peculiarities. After successful removal of the oddities in his system, the Necromancer found that the tweaking of the Nexus and even the connection between the well and conduit grew more smooth - movements became more fluid and the subject more lifelike. Compare Subject B to Subject A, and you will find that Subject A seems far more dead, drab and stiff. Subject B on the other hand - his movements mirror a living being. If you will observe,"

He paused his speech for a moment, and the subject lifted his arms up in a flex that would show off the muscles in his forearms and his biceps. Then, the previous subject, Wilkund, did the same. Wilkund was barely able to move his muscles in this fluid way - instead his arms almost looked simply as if they were spread out, straightly, one pointing out from each side.

"The Subject even possesses a smile on his face as he does so, by my tweaking of his muscle movements. I have found it far easier to move these subjects in a way that imitates personhood with my new and improved methods. Issuing commands thus becomes easier, as the subjects have more control over their own body and require less of my personal babysitting in order for them to mimic human movements."

He looked to the new subject, Grayson, and ordered him a task. With the well, he coordinated that he touch his own abdomen with first his pinky, then his middle finger, then pinky again, then thumb. With Wilkund, such specific tasks were often impossible - it was as if their restrained movements muddled the order. However, with Grayson, this task was very easy. With a quick succession, he performed all of the motions necessary.

"I believe I am done for the night. Retiring Wilkund will take place as soon as possible. He stinks too much of rotting corpses, makes too muddly of movements. If I am ever to be found for my Necromancy, it will be due to his inferiority as a subject." He had led this creature around for the longest of any subject. Now, Grayson would become his new bread and butter, followed by a second subject - soon. He assured himself that there would be more than one this time. He had become skilled enough to control at least three, surely, and two with minimal lag in the movements.

The man turned his head to the slave, from view of his two undead creations. "Now - Alaric. This is the primary reason you are here. You will help me deal with Wilkund. I wish to test his proficiency one last time. Did you bring a weapon of sorts? I would like for you and he to duel to see if he is still worthy of my attention."
Image
Last edited by Alistair on Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:34 pm, edited 4 times in total. word count: 856
User avatar
Alaric
Approved Character
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:54 am
Race: Biqaj
Renown: 0
Character Sheet
Wealth Tier: Tier 1

Milestones

Miscellaneous

[Venora] Fluttering of the Swallows

Image
Often times Alaric wondered if the only reason his master chose to keep him around -in the sense of actually living- was because unlike these creations he could think on his own. Even if his position in the world was infinitely lower than that of his social better, Alaric was still capable of utilizing his brain and putting it to use. No matter who Alistair resurrected, be it lowly peasant or talented mage, an advantage would always be had over them. For now Alaric would prove to be more useful than a thrall. Dipping his head in response to having easily gotten off of something that could warrant punishment was the best he could muster. He knew Alistair's apathy firsthand, no point in getting sentimental and showing a high level of gratitude. Best to just do whatever it was that would be asked of him. There were times when his master commanded him in such a way that suggested he had a choice in the matter. Without hesitation Alaric's pen began to flit across the page as quickly and neatly as he could manage. Runes crafting words in common were scrawled down legibly. He was trying very hard to keep his eyes directed downward, as to not misspell a word and to keep himself from staring at 'Subject B'. With the scratch of the pen upon parchment as the only noise other than Alistair's own voice was how the act proceeded. Every so often Alaric would have to pause and dip in to the inkwell again. One hand splayed across the blank section of the book to keep it steady his body showed a pose of concentration. It would not do for him to spill the inkwell, drip any of the liquid and create blots or record so poorly that it could not be read. Alaric could remember a time when he would stumble on the spelling of words like 'corrosion' and 'rigor mortis'. Now, and regrettably, those words were as second nature to him as 'boat' and 'stars'.

It was nearly impossible for him to not soak up a bit of knowledge on the art of Necromancy. He understood the basic concept of it all from listening to the master drone on and on about his experiments. Writing it all down served only to cement the ideas in his brain. Firstly, these minions were only available as options if the soul of whatever initially inhabited it had departed. Alaric was unsure if that implied the existence of ghosts, poltergeists, and spirits. That thought alone sent a shiver down his spine, which in turn caused him to make a letter 'g' look strikingly similar to that of a 'p'. With an empty shell a necromancer could place something called a well. Then they could pump their magic through that and flood that body with it. Then with commands they could control them. Alistair was still learning how to fine tune the motor functions. As powerful as he seemed to Alaric the man had a long way to go before he was considered truly dangerous with this art. Even this small bit of information felt overwhelming. These deeds lay in the realm of things that Alaric never actually wanted to know. He was okay with how little he truly comprehended. Alaric was afraid that if he ever pursued something like this his own soul would dilute until there was nothing truly left of himself, only a power-crazed sociopath similar to Alistair.

The slave couldn't help but observe the difference in motion over Wilkung and Grayson. Even if it was horrifying he had to admit that he was a bit impressed with the progress. Jotting down a description of what he had seen was the last use of the pen Alaric would seemingly get for the night. Alistair's stare made him shift his weight around on his feet. He had such a disturbing aura to him but the younger man could never place just exactly what it was. Maybe the noble did not blink as often as one should, maybe he held the look too long to portray good intent. Whatever it was had always made Alaric's skin crawl. So instead of locking eyes with his master he chose to look at a point between those stern hazel eyes. Immediately a feeling of dismay fell on him. Instinctively he reached for the thin sword that was normally belted to him whenever he left the house with Alistair. Instead of his fingers brushing the hilt that would have been protruding off his hip it was empty air he grasped. For a second he blanched, but then a reassured look slid over his features. What good would it do for him to fight using his normal weaponry against something long since dead? Alaric had been trained with slender blades, relying on his agility and endurance to continuously dance around an opponent and poke them full of holes. Wilkund was already dead. He did not even know if it would bleed should it be physically damaged. "No, I-" Multi-colored eyes darted around the crypt looking for something suitable for the impending duel, any sort of martial weapon. All he found was a rock. Not wanting to have to feel the ghoul's bones cave under his fists Alaric bent down and scooped a sizeable one up, testing the weight in his hand by tossing it up and down. "I can use this. You want me to...destroy him?" He struggled on that for a moment. Alaric was not a violent man. But could one really kill another if it was already dead? It seemed he was about to find out. Rotating his body he turned so that he was standing sideways, legs slightly bent with one arm extended before him and the rock tightly clenched in his other.
Last edited by Alaric on Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:19 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 988
User avatar
Alistair
Approved Character
Posts: 3421
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:12 pm
Race: Human
Profession: Wanderer
Renown: 1000
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Personal Journal
Letters
Point Bank Thread
Wealth Tier: Tier 10

[Venora] Fluttering of the Swallows

Image
(This post might be crap because I accidentally closed the browser and have to rewrite it. It wasn't a crash so no option to restore. Why does this always happen to me? QQ)

The Necromancer merely stared at his slave as he reeled in apprehension. He could tell that Alaric did not quite find too great a satisfaction in the thought of battling with his undead minion - or in observing this entire process altogether. However, his apprehension was born of disgust rather than bitterness - he found Alistair's deeds gross, but he couldn't quite tell if he found them 'evil'. Of course, until that distinguishment could be made, Alistair had no words for the slave but ones necessary for him to fulfill his duties. Quite frankly, the Necromancer had little care for the moral quarrels of his subjects. All he truly cared about was cause and effect.

"Yes, I would like you to destroy him," he said plainly. The man had Wilkund step forward, clenching his fists and bringing them out in front of him. "One word of caution, Alaric. The undead do not suffer from the same ailments that men do. They do not tangibly feel fear. They don't feel pain. They do not falter or lose morale; they are peerless in combat. This is a portion of why I strive for Necromancy. There is no question of loyalty in the undead, nor wavering, nor fear. They are always willing, and that makes them strong." Even if Alaric was more mobile than Wilkund, there was much to fear. He could make a blow at him a thousand times, and as long as he still had muscles and bones left with which to assert power through, he would use them to struggle against Alaric.

"You may not believe it, but this man used to be a musician. Despite the fact that he appears like a hulking brute, he was renowned to many in Northern Venora as a saintly figure in the artistic community. His pitch was powerful and his dedication infinite; he would produce deep melodic tunes like that of an opera. Music was his passion, and strength was a necessity - for when not engaging in his lovely themes, he would be forced to tow the fields like any other man, and under a harsh master who demanded much of his indentured servants. In some ways, you could say that the demanding nature of his master is something he carried from life to undeath. And now that he escapes from his own usefulness, he will find his final rest at the hands of a servant I favor." Alistair looked to Alaric. He hoped he would understand the importance of this task - it was to prove that he was worthwhile as a slave, that he should even bother consulting in humans. If Alaric was to continue to be fed, he would have to walk alongside the undead in his attentiveness. That was simply the truth.

Out of curiosity though, and in case the man died in the struggle, the Necromancer couldn't help but ask. "Who were you before you were in chains? Was there ever a time, or were you born into this?"

Unlike many other nobles, Alistair did not truly believe that the nobility was simply 'superior' to others - he had met many men of lesser birth that outwitted his peers. Alaric was not stupid. In fact, his literacy and skill in combat were things that the master highly valued. He did not seek to establish a relationship of abuser and abused. He would respect the slave for who he was - acknowledge who he was. This was why he called him by his name, rather than by some degrading word like many other masters would - worm, dreg, slave, toy.

A man who would willingly do battle with the undead, for the sake of loyalty to another, was one he could respect - even in his limited capacity to think and feel like a regular human being.
Image
Last edited by Alistair on Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 676
User avatar
Alaric
Approved Character
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:54 am
Race: Biqaj
Renown: 0
Character Sheet
Wealth Tier: Tier 1

Milestones

Miscellaneous

[Venora] Fluttering of the Swallows

Image
Alaric was sizing up his opponent to be, wondering where first he should strike and render useless. This far along his decomposition there were weak spots that he could target. A solid blow had the potential to shatter the target. His eyes now raked over Wilkund with less hesitation than before. Now he was not soaking in an appearance, but spotting intended pummeling destinations. Being a human himself Alaric knew there were a few parts on a body that could cause serious harm without a weapon. The teeth could rend flesh from bone if only the jaw and person behind the muscle had the conviction to bite down hard enough. He could only imagine the state of the ghoul's mouth and knew it would pose a problem. Next were the hands. Nails could be similarly dangerous to him if Alistair truly wished to see which would be the better of the two. He could have his monster gouge Alaric's eyes out or rake his skin. The coolness of the stone in his hand felt comforting to him and it helped him stand his ground when the monster stood up and held his hands in to fists. In Alaric's mind it was not so much that he believed there was a way to come out of this unscathed. It was more a matter of minimizing any harm that would come his way.

The slave was suddenly confused. Again. Why did it matter what Wilkund had been before now? Any legacy that he left behind was eternally tarnished by his current state of existing in some kind of purgatory. Would anyone even recognize his body anymore? On the outside Subject A seemed relatively healthy. If it had not been for the fetid smell that clung to him it would be hard to tell he was actually dead. Except for the eyes. His eyes had lost any sense of sentience and instead displayed a fogged mystery in them. Alaric tried not to look in to them often, and he needn't do it now. Most people, whether they intended to or not, gave away their plans with the looks they gave. But Wilkund was different. There was no cognition in him. His decisions were not his own. The slave's body tensed like a bow being pulled taut as he readied to spring in to action. That momentum was lost inside of him when Alistair asked him who he was. Alaric did a double take, first in surprise and then in incredulity.

Who was he? Alistair did not actually care, so why bother asking? Was it some morbid fascination with history so that one day when Alaric is known as Subject C he can regale his next slave with tales of what once was, but never will be again? "I...I wasn't anybody. I've been a slave since I was a boy. Before that? I can't really remember." It was a pretty big lie. He had most certainly been someone. A son he was to two loving parents. A brother he had been to a sister as free and happy as he was. There had been an infinite amount of potential inside of the little one, but like the flame of a candle no longer needed it had been extinguished. No. Alaric could not think like that. He was still important and there were those that were depending on him to carry on. But Alistair would not know that. Those memories were his treasures, gems so precious that no amount of money could ever buy them out.

Alaric's face hardened as he focused back on to the task at hand. No more words for now. For a moment the hair hung between the four of them and like a firecracker it exploded. A shout of power tore from the slave's lips as he sprang forth, swinging the rock around with all his might. The rock would collide with Wilkund's lower jaw in an attempt to utterly break it, if not in the least unhinge it. His legs were evenly spread to retain a solid base and his other arm was held up and close to his face in a defensive way. At the elbow he tucked it in, keeping it close to his torso. The only parts of his body that would be exposed were the outer layers, forearms and legs mainly. He wanted to knock the ghoul off balance, then he would have the real advantage.
[/align]
word count: 761
User avatar
Alistair
Approved Character
Posts: 3421
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:12 pm
Race: Human
Profession: Wanderer
Renown: 1000
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Personal Journal
Letters
Point Bank Thread
Wealth Tier: Tier 10

[Venora] Fluttering of the Swallows

Image
The man had been a slave since childhood? Unfortunate, but it did explain his loyalty and willingness to obey orders - even if those orders were ones entrenched in despicable behaviors, or guttural conditions. Most slaves couldn't handle the concept of bowing to a Necromancer and serving him as Alaric did. Most slaves found that dishonorable or putrid. They would rather weave baskets or lay quiet beneath their lustful owners. Most slaves were superstitious and believed that serving a man such as Alistair would result in a curse that struck them from the afterlife. However, that was because most slaves did have lives before their shackles, or at least had companionships with others where they would learn of these superstitions, or develop these penchant preferences for who they served and how. If Alaric had been a mobile slave, sent from one master to the next, and isolated generally from people - it would make sense why he was the way he was. Mostly stoic, entirely obedient, very duty oriented. Alistair wasn't really going to theorize much further, though. He could tell that the man had no love for him, and likely did not wish to tell him anything about himself.

It was sad, though. Alistair was the only person Alaric could really talk to, most of the time. Even though he gave his slave a degree of freedom of mobility, he still spent most of his day serving his master. Why the reluctance to speak? Maybe fear. Perhaps previous masters had been easily angered by words. Alistair, on the other hand, had the patience of a stone. He did not grow upset by differences of opinions or disagreements - rather he simply sought to prove himself correct.

"I see," he replied. "That is unfortunate."

That was all he could really see himself saying. As the master, he was the source of the isolation, the sadness, the loss of independence. So how could he really seek to relate to Alaric? There would always be a gap between them due to the opposite extremes they had been seated upon. Still, he had words for the slave that he was sure the man could agree upon.

"If you have been a slave for so long, then you may have been subject to tall tales to weave your loyalty, such as that you were destined to be enslaved and your master destined to own you. That your master is an agent of the Gods; can't bleed, can't die, can't suffer as you do. All of these words. I will not further that illusion; my heart is honest. The master is just a man, Alaric. Remember that well. If the master is cruel to you, it is not the will of the Gods. If the master is kind to you, it is merely who they are as a person. The master can bleed, die, and rot - just like these subjects of mine. As men, we are equal, whether born into chains or gilded thrones. Did you know that Wilkund was a peasant, and that Grayson was to inherit a Lordship? No, certainly not, for at birth and beyond death we are all the same."

The truth he had always found was that there were two origins of loyalty: love, and fear. A loyalty of fear was one that could compel an individual to do anything, to preserve themselves or whatever menial things they obsess over. The issue was that when they were no longer afraid - perhaps because conditions had changed and they no longer had reason to be - this loyalty would shatter, for it was no true loyalty. Most slaves were loyal because of fear of the whip, the block, or the fire. Alistair wasn't cruel or vindictive, so the only loyalty he could weave was one by means of trust. This was difficult to procure with a slave, but he had to try. Everything was on the line. Alaric's state of mind were far more important than the slave might have realized - his master needed him, in order to continue his engagements in the Dark Arts. What Alaric did not know was that Alistair feared one thing more than anything, as a Necromancer - losing control of his creations. While this potential was slim given his careful calculations and his cautious procedures, if he were ever to be turned on, he needed a man such as Alaric to save his life.

But that was enough of that. Wilkund had been attacked. He could not react quickly enough to completely mitigate the blow, but the construct raised his two arms to block anyway - as a result, he set the trajectory of the blow off balance, his arms forcing Alaric's reach to raise and dampening the power. He instead bashed the rock against Wilkund's nose, which actually quite literally broke off, but the stagger was far weaker than otherwise. Wilkund then aggressively attempted to grip the slave's arm which had attacked him, and attempted to apply pressure as much as he possibly could - trying to fracture the bones and render the arm immobile. Even though he was decaying, he possessed a great deal of physical strength, and so if all worked to his favor Alaric would be in dire peril. His movements were slow, but the force was there, and Alaric was vulnerable to counter-attack.
Image
word count: 903
Locked Request an XP Review Claim Wealth Thread

Return to “Duchies”