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Hunter of Dead

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Join date : 2009-03-05
Age : 42
Location : San Diego, CA

Hunt the Dead #8 Empty
PostSubject: Hunt the Dead #8   Hunt the Dead #8 EmptyThu Jul 15, 2010 6:27 pm

Hunt the Dead #8 35804_138329366178022_122530774424548_399946_941704_n

Hunt the Dead #8
Written by Craig DeBoard
Cover Art by Byron Rempel

Chapter 1
"Once Upon A Time..."

...there was an elf who's life hung in the balance.

"PULL ME UP MONKEY!" Aldion screamed at Punky in anger.

The monkey stuck it's tongue out in a defiant manner.


Aldion was furious. Here he was hanging off of a sky ship dock by his scythe blade and a the only person around to save him was a monkey that barked like a dog occasionally. The cliff face the city sat upon was a straight drop with no ledges. Aldion looked down, the cool night air chilling his bald head.

Big mistake.

Aldion wrapped his body around the wooden shaft of the scythe, petrified of heights.

"EEEEP!" he let out a high pitched fear-filled squeal.

The monkey giggled and showed all of it's teeth in a big grin.

"I HATE YOU STUPID MONKEY!" Aldion screamed at Punky hugging the shaft of the weapon tighter.

Punky looked at the scythe curiously.

"Don't." Aldion warned sternly.

The monkey just lightly poked the weapon with his finger.

"Don't you do it!" he growled at the monkey.

The monkey stood up straight and looked at the scythe as if he were contemplating an equation.

"Please don't let a monkey kill me. Please don't let a monkey kill me." Aldion whispered closing his eyes tight in fear.

The monkey kicked the weapon hard and Aldion went into a free-fall down and away from the city high on the cliff.

"STUPID MONKEY!!!" he screamed all the way down.

Chapter 2

Turk'en's eyes slowly fluttered open. Dried blood caked his lips and chin. Trinity lay dead near him, her head pulverized. The dagger still protruded from his chest. His breathing was labored. The cut from Frost-Cutter went deep. The wound was sealed shut due to the magical freezing of the ice-axe, but it still caused Turk'en an immense amount of pain.

He slowly pushed himself up and stumbled to the ice-axe and picked it up. His bare chest had no protection from battle and the darkling knew he needed to find somewhere to hide until things calmed down.

"Don't move SPAMDO!," a harsh voice spoke up, using a racial slur used toward darklings.

Turk'en turned toward the hateful voice.

Thirteen Knights of Tomath stood there armed to the teeth. None looked to happy, and a few even sneered, excited for a fight.

"Seriously...this really isn't a good time for this," Turk'en said softly and hoarsely.

The knights all looked around. The streets were nearly empty now. A few undead wandered around, but most were dealt with on site. Turk'en wondered where all of the zombies had gone. There were thousands. Now there was only one every now and again that a random citizen or knight would bash in the head.

Looking around, the darkling realized the catapults had stopped. There were no Acaetus Nimius in sight. The war it seemed...was over.

"What happened?" Turk'en asked glancing at the dagger in his chest but did nothing more than leave it where it was.

"That doesn't matter. All that matters is that the city-state of Peregren is now under marshal law and under the direct control of the Knights of Tomath. General Kargin el Tomath is missing. Until he returns, Commander Ellington el Tomath, his nephew, is in charge," the fiery red haired knight pronounced in an arrogant manner.

"What about Prime Minister Zoei?" Turk'en asked already knowing the answer.

"Her and her dwarven friend have been...dealt with," the knight replied.

"What do you mean?" Turk'en asked cautiously.

"Enough talking from you SPAMDO! Your kind has never been welcomed here and considering it was your kind that caused this plague...well this is going to be a lot of fun for us," the knight finished and the group walked forward.

The lead knight firmly grasped Turk'en's muscular shoulder. The lithe darkling yanked out the bloody dagger from his chest, swinging it with alarming speed, slicing the knight across the face.

"GAHH!! KILL HIM!" the knight screamed holding his lacerated jaw.

The other 12 knights all rushed forth tackling Turk'en, bringing him down with punches and kicks. The darkling was beaten and abused by Peregren's local authorities.

"Damn it," Erron whispered watching the event unfold from the top of a nearby building.

Sabal and the man in black robes appeared in the forest, sending a local deer prancing away.

The darkling woman looked slightly green.

"I see you're beginning to handle teleportation better," the man in black robes asked, scratching at his black goatee and eying the curves of the darkling woman's hips.

"Just because I didn't vomit this time, doesn't mean I care for your preferred form of travel or for your flirtatious glances you fool," Sabal sneered at Sarsethok.

He ran his hand through his dark, curly, black hair and smiled, "Playing hard to get just makes the conquest all that much more sweeter."

"The only reason I don't kill you is because I need you to teleport me back to Peregren when I'm finished here. So leave me and don't return until you receive my telepathic call," Sabal ordered Sarsethok and walked away from the wizard.

With a flash of blue light, Sarsethok vanished. Sabal began making her way through the Kell Forest at the southern end of Nerin Toth hundreds of miles from Peregren.

The water from the lake shot up like a fountain as he hit it.

Aldion bobbed back up above the rushing water, grasping for breath. The rushing water began to pull him down stream and he swam to the bank before it carried him to far from the cliff face that the city-state of Peregren sat on top of. Crawling through the mud, and the grass, he fell face first, out of breath.

"S-s-st-stupid m-monkey," he muttered, breathing heavily.

Aldion closed his eyes for a moment. And took a deep breath to try to relax himself. The fall had rattled the elf who was deathly afraid of heights. He slowly opened his eyes and glanced around to take in his surroundings. Then he saw it...

"What. The. Hell???" he whispered in astonishment still laying on his stomach with his cheek to the ground.

In the water lay a massive pile of hundreds of bodies unmoving, both undead and uninfected. As he pushed himself up he saw more bodies washed up on the banks of the river. Some were zombies that were now finally dead. Others were uninfected that had perished.

The elf stood there in silence and confusion.

Chapter 3
God Complex

Ellington el Tomath stood in front of the parliament building. Like almost every structure in Peregren, it had been damaged beyond repair. Not all buildings were destroyed. But the vast majority had either been decimated by the catapults firing kegs of gunpowder or were hit so hard they were no longer structurally sound and would topple at a moment's notice.

The knight felt the wind blow his long blond hair back, and enjoyed the breeze. He had accomplished his mission. To protect Peregren at all costs.

As other knights moved to and fro, collecting any items of value they could from the parliament building, Ellington's squire approached. The boy was no older than a dozen summers, but was eager and willing to take orders. Ellington's favorite type of squire.

"Sir, Sergeant at Arms Keyolin and the second gate battalion," the squire introduced the knight.

Keyolin strode forward, a nasty gash on his cheek. Behind him were twelve other knights.

"What the bloody hell happened to you?" Ellington asked eying the gash on Keyolin's face.

"A damned darkling happened to me," Keyonlin replied in angry tones.

"Remember your station," Ellington stated in a smug manner.

"Yes m'lord. Permission to speak sire?" Keyolin asked.

"Be quick about it. Moving my belongings is of the utmost importance right now," Ellington replied while pointing a knight carrying a shield from the building, to a cart filled with other trinkets and items.

"M'lord, we found the darkling in the city near the sky ship docks."

"Kill it," Ellington said not really caring about the situation.

"Sir, while I'd love to follow your orders, Prime Minister Zoei specifically said--"


"Yes m'lord," Keyolin replied nodding, all too enthusiastic about his orders, "take him to the stockades. we will order a public execution for a few hours from now," Keyolion finished ordering the twelve knights holding the darkling.

The knights took Turk'en away.

"M'lord, may I speak with you frankly," Keyolin asked Ellington as the two watched other knights carry out bags of gems from the parliament.

"Of course knight. You were my first squire, and possibly my best. Speak." Ellington replied.

"Sir, you are doing a fabulous job of bringing order back to this city. Your Clean and Sweep plan to deal with the undead was ingenious," Keyolin said sucking up to his commanding officer.

"It was a small sacrifice. Given time, Peregren's population will grow again and with a human back in office, this city will be the epicenter of Nerin Toth in no time," Ellington replied.

"And there is no better human for the job, than you m'lord," Keyolin said.

"You know, I was even considering renaming the city to The Epicenter. I see no reason why it shouldn't be given such a grand title. The rest of this continent is dependent on us as it is," Ellington said and began to walk inside of the parliament.

"Us, m'lord?" Keyolin questioned, not quite understanding what was being said.

"Yes, Keyolin. Us. This kingdom. This for the people non-sense is enough to make one vomit. The people don't know what is best for this city. The people don't know what is best for themselves. They need to be told. Like dogs," Ellington said in matter of fact tones.

"Sir, a kingdom is not a kingdom without a king," Keyolin stated knowingly feeding Ellington's reckless ambition.

Ellington stopped and turned and smiled.

"So....let's give this land a king then," he said.

Keyolin smiled. He then slowly dropped to one knee and bowed his head.

"Yes your majesty," Keyolin replied.

Chapter 4

Sabal entered the tavern. The night air smelled of rain and the establishment was full to the brim with patrons of a variety of races. A dwarven woman manned the bar and the darkling woman took a seat.

"Whatcha want?" the dwarven barkeep asked.

"Water," she replied and glanced around the common room.

The town of Medrath wasn't a large city. It was primarily humans but other races were welcome as well. However this wasn't a peaceful hamlet. It was run by a group called the Black Doves, a thieves guild.

The Black Doves thieves guild was one of the most notorious guilds in all of Nerin Toth. They had no problems going to war against other guilds and had rivalries with several of them, due to territory issues. It was run by Chevre' el Tomath, a relative of Knights of Tomath General, Kargin el Tomath.

Chevre' acted as the Guild Leader, and while the guild had smaller branches all around Nerin Toth, their primary headquarters still remained in Medrath in a former bakery, and the guild controlled the hamlet.

Sabal, sat in the tavern sipping her drink, eying the other patrons, when a tall man with several missing teeth walked up to her.

"Your kind isn't welcome here. I suggest you leave," the man said as two other men, one short and fat with tattoos all over his face, and the other with a peg leg, walked up.

"My...kind?" Sabal asked.

"Acaetus Nimius. Don't play stupid. We've heard of the stories of you, Sabal. We knew you were in this town before you were in this town. And you aren't welcome here. Medrath is our territory and you need to leave and not return," the tall man said while the other two nodded their agreement.

"Acaetus Nimius? I see. Well if you knew I was here before I was, that means you also knew of my brother as well," Sabal said calmly, sipping her drink.

"Brother? What broth--" the tall man said before he was cut off. Blood bubbled and spilled from his mouth.

The darkling appeared from the dark shadows of the room, using his racial ability of Shadowport which allowed him to teleport through the shadows of the world.

The tall man fell to the floor, a dagger in his back.

The two men with the tall man went into action, the fat one turning around running toward Mathias, the one with the peg leg pouncing on Sabal both of them crashing to the floor. Other patrons of the bar scrambled for safety.

The fat man jumped onto a table and dove at Mathias. The darkling spun to the side but the fat man still grabbed him by the shoulder.

Mathias was thrown into the air, but back-flipped through it and landed precariously on a table that wobbled where two human women sat at. The fat man landed and spun releasing two daggers through the air toward Mathias's legs. The darkling stomped down on one of women's hands on the table. She stood up yelling in pain and one of the daggers stuck into her forehead. She fell right back into her chair, dead. The other woman stood in shock staring at her now dead friend and the second dagger sunk into her temple, dropping her dead body back into her own chair.

"Yer good," the mat man said smiling.

"No..." Mathias began leaping off the table and throwing a small metal ball bearing at the fat man. The fat man ducked and the ball flew over where his head had been. He stood back up and the ball bearing bounced off of the wall behind him. The ball bearing shot through the back of the head of the fat man, out the front of his forehead and back toward Mathias. The darkling caught the small steel ball before even landing,"...I'm better," the darkling finished.

He turned and saw people fleeing from the bar.

Sabal was on the bar itself mounted on top of the one legged Black Dove thief, beating him to death in the face with his own peg leg. The rest of the bar patron's ran for their lives out of the bar.

"You really have no morals at all do you?" Mathias asked, cocking an eyebrow.

The one legged man lay dead. Sabal looked at her brother, smiled, leaned down and kissed the dead one legged man softly on the lips. She then looked back at her brother, "no...not really."

Chapter 5
Asternax and Aldion

Aldion stared at the giant pile of corpses in the lake, in shock.

"What the hell happened," he said aloud to no one in particular.

As if almost in answer, one of the bodies nearby, not a part of the huge pile of corpses, coughed.

It was an Equine Aniver. The majority of his body was human, covered in a thin coarse layer of gray hair, with a horse's tail and head. And from the looks of him, he was a Knight of Tomath.

Aldion hurried over to the Knight.

"Stay still. I can try to find help," Aldion said quietly.

"I-I'm fine," the Equine Aniver Knight replied and looked at Aldion, "wha-what happened to your hair and eyebrows?"

Aldion's face grew grim. "It was a stupid monkey," he lied, blaming the monkey which covered his original lie of blaming Leif, which covered the truth that he had caused his own follicle problems.

"I see. Yes, well don't worry, not all of us Aniver are like our Primate Aniver cousins," the Knight replied sitting up slowly. Aldion didn't bother to correct him on the fact that it was just a normal monkey....if normal could even be a word used to describe Punky.

"So what happened here?" Aldion said taking a seat next to the Knight.

"It's called a Clean and Sweep. Sir Ellington el Tomath issued the order. He and his men gathered as many of the townsfolk as possible into one area of the city giving them the false idea that an exodus was occurring. More of his regiment attracted as many undead as possible and led them to the townsfolk. When the townsfolk ran, they were chased to the docks. The undead chased them right off and followed them all the way down to their bloody deaths," the Aniver Knight finished.

"So how did you get here?" Aldion asked confused and began searching the contents of his pack to see if anything was salvageable.

"I was ordered by Ellington to travel down here by the road to make sure there were no undead left standing. There weren't. While searching in the lake for any survivors I stepped on a slick rock and twisted my ankle. Swimming out of a lake with a sprained ankle isn't as easy as it sounds," the knight replied.

"Carrot?" Aldion offered the horse aniver from his pack, while he bit into an apple.

The Equine Aniver Knight of Tomath looked at the bald elf as if insulted.

"Sorry," replied Aldion realizing his mistake, "so how did I not die falling all the way down here?"

"More than likely you missed the pile and hit the water. Most of the towns folk were bunched together when they were chased off of the docks. Those who hit the water first were probably crushed under the weight of the others. Those who landed last didn't have any water to land in. You were very lucky," the Knight replied while taking the carrot and munching on it hungrily.

"How did Ellington get away with killing so many people. Did no one question his crazed order?" Aldion asked taking a juicy bite from his apple.

"The only knight who has ever questioned Ellington is General Kargin el Tomath, his elder. The rest of the Knights believe Ellington is the savior of our order," the knight replied.

"Sounds like a madman to me. No offense," Aldion said.

"None taken. I'm done with the Knighthood. I will always hold true their teachings and principals, but it isn't the same organization it once was. It's corrupt with politics and is run by bigots and a man with a god complex. I have one mission and one mission only now. To find General Kargin and report to him of the massacre his kin ordered," the aniver said.

"I need to find people too. The ship I came in on, the Sky Palace, left the city," Aldion commented.

"I know. Kargin was on that ship under the orders of Prime Minister Zoei. All I know is that they headed south when they left the city," the knight relied.

"Then it would seem we have a common goal," Aldion said while standing and offering a hand to help up the knight, "so what is your name?"

"Sir Asternax of Port Io. I was sent to Peregren to help with the shortage of man power the order had," the Equine Aniver replied.

"Well Asternax....I'm Aldion...and I hate monkeys," Aldion said.

"As do I," Asternax replied, neither of them knowing what the other really meant.

Chapter 6
Needs and Wants

Hellcat stood on the deck of the ship as it sailed through the night sky which softly drizzled a slight mist of rain.

"Bone-Jack is at the helm, Cap'n. Lopex is sleepin' like a wee babe. Had to read the fekkin' eejit a bedtime story about a dragon tha' called a woman Niece. Fekkin mute gets on me nerves," James said walking up and standing next to Hellcat looking out at the star filled sky.

"Do you think Browden and Cholley are all right," she asked softly.

"Aye. Those two're survivors Cap'n," James said pulling out a flask of whiskey and taking a sip and then offering it to Hellcat.

"I know. I'm not upset over leavin' them so much as I'm upset knowin' where I left 'em," she replied while taking a long pull from the flask.

"Cap'n, those people they're with. Erron and Turk'en and that elf Aldion. Those people are fekkin' reliable as hell. There's no way either of our mates will end up in trouble," James said taking the flask back from the captain and placing it in his jacket.

"How far is Port Skell?" Hellcat said turning from the rail of the ship and standing with her back to James.

"Aye, another two days flight most likely Cap'n," James said leaning back against the rail.

"James," Hellcat whispered and turned slowly toward James,"hold me," she said leaning into him, resting her head against his chest.

"Cap'n?" James started.

"Shhh," she whispered and leaned in, their lips softly touching James'.

The two pirates slowly went down to the deck of the ship in a passionate embrace.

Chapter 7
Time To Die

"It is now your time to die darkling. Do you have anything to say in your defense before you are hanged by the neck until dead," The knight proclaimed.

The hundred or so citizens left in the great city of Peregren all stood together at the make shift gallows where Turk'en stood. His face was beaten and swollen. Bloody scars from whip-lashes criss-crossed his back. He had been stripped naked to be humiliated.

He didn't say a word.

"Then by the order decreed by the newly appointed King of The Epicenter, His Majesty Ellington el Tomath, High General of the Knighthood of Tomath, you will now be hanged. May the spirits of the heavens above show you no mercy, for your kind deserves none."

The hangman reached for the lever that would release the trap door under Turk'en's feet. The darkling swallowed hard feeling the noose against his throat.

The blue flash of light died down as quickly as it appeared and the wizard known as Sarsethok re-appeared in the wood-mill. He began walking up the stairs, his black robes brushing each step.

"It's time to die, Sarsethok," the voice said.

The wizard spun and looked down the stairs in the wood-mill at the man.

"Leif?" Sarsethok said in shocked tones.

"Call me Lehti. Leif is dead. I killed him," Leif replied with a crazed look in his eyes.

"I see," Sarsethok said calmly, a spell of defense coming to his mind in case he was attacked, "and what of Cholley?"

"That was a fabrication of your own sick version of punishment. I am Lehti and nothing more. And you're going to burn for what you did to me," Leif whispered slowly walking up the stairs toward Sarsethok.

Leif heard the boot steps but it was too late. The fist punched him in the back of the head hard slamming him face first onto the steps.

Aldion and Asternax walked along the edge of the lake. The trees were a lush green canopy of maples and oaks. The water was calm, and with the full moon out it almost resembled dusk rather than perpetual night.

And then they heard it.

"What is it?" Aldion asked.

The slow sucking nose.

"There," whispered Asternax and pointing.

A zombie waded through the shallow edges of the lake, it's feet sinking into the mud causing the sucking noise. The undead was covered in mud and weeds and even a few flowers. It had noticed the two, but due to the muck it walked through it couldn't pick up much speed.

"Think it was one of the first that hit the water during the Clean and Sweep?" Aldion asked.

"Most likely," Asternax replied drawing his long sword, "but I don't understand something....why is it convulsing and shaking like that?" the aniver finished.

"Oh crap....it's an Exploder," Aldion said.

"Time to die, I guess" Asternax replied.

"Aye," Aldion agreed.

Leif pushed himself up off the stairs and turned.

"Lehti, if that's what you wish to call yourself, it's your time to die. Have fun with our newest member of Acaetus Nimius.

Sarsethok then turned and continued to walk up the stairs. Lehti stared at his opponent in shock. They had traveled together for a long time and had become friends.

"Yes....Sarsethok is right....it's time to die," Browden said drawing his battle axe.

Lehti's hands glowed with flame.

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