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 An old recruit

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Rema Green

Number of posts : 16
Registration date : 2007-01-28

PostSubject: An old recruit   Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:48 am

With bone aching weariness Rema dismounted from the Gryphon in Nethergarde Keep and took a swallow of water from her canteen to cleanse her dust dry throat. Lost in thought she contemplated her lot; that she, a once proud member of the Crimson Eagles, was now reduced to acting as a mere errand boy.

Quartermaster Lungertz was trying to be far too chatty, obviously desperate for news in this desolate and beleaguered spot. He smelt of the animals he kept in the stables behind him. Rema probably smelt worse, it had been days since she’d been able to have some proper rest.

The buzz of the quartermaster’s conversation settled over her and she began to notice the changes in Nethergarde. With her one good eye she could make out a new banner hanging lankly in the still hot air outside the northern keep. The Coat of Arms she didn’t recognize, but there, lying in a corner of the stable, were two of the most graceful riding cats she’d ever seen, wearing the same emblem. For seconds she just stared at one of the cats, something tickling the back of her mind.

“Arin” said Lungertz. “The cat you’re looking at, fine beast, belongs to the leader of the Ravencrest Wardens, Arin”.
A spark flared in Rema’s eye as she said “Where is Arin?”
“Up in the Ravencrest Tower”, replied Lungertz, “but she wont talk to the likes of you.”
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Rema Green

Number of posts : 16
Registration date : 2007-01-28

PostSubject: Nightmare   Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:17 pm

Rema eased the bandages over the wound in her thigh, she’d seen worse and it would heal given time. She leaned back and breathed deeply, the stale sweat feeling cold where it touched her jerkin. If she didn’t move soon, her joints would start seizing up. She lay back and thought about her predicament; out of potions, out of poisons, out of food, out of everything except her own wits, a nicked and battle worn sword and a dagger. Unconsciously she took out her wetstone and began to gently resharpen the blades.

Back in Nethergarde keep a week ago it had all seemed so simple. “You need some battle experience Rema,” Arin had said. “The Argent Dawn need some help in the Plaguelands,” Arin had said. “Go and report to Commander Metz in Light’s Hope Chapel,” Arin had said. What Arin hadn’t said was that Commander Metz and his Argent Dawn cronies were waging a war of extinction on the Scourge. What Arin hadn’t said was that Rema would be sent deep into plague infested territory, where every square inch of ground was tainted, where nothing moved except the walking dead.

It had taken the best part of a day to reach the imaginatively named Terrordale. She had carefully picked her way past the roving patrols, ambushing the occasional stray walking corpse. She’d learnt to avoid disemboweling the zombies and ghouls because the smell of putrid carrion made her retch. At least the skeletons didn’t smell so bad.

Terrordale seemed to resent the suns gaze. It pulled its cloak of shadows around itself like a miser shielding his treasures from prying eyes. As Rema entered the valley she felt a distinct chill, and goosebumps traveled up her arm. She crept towards the first building she could see, an inn by the looks of it. She doubted if she’s get a warm welcome and a tankard of ale here, the windows were all smashed or boarded, the place was a ruin. She could see a few diseased pigs, rotting flesh and bare bones were visible through gaping sores in the pigs’ skin. She wasn’t sure if they were alive or dead. The fact they were rutting through the dead brown weeds meant nothing here. She crept closer; at least the pigs didn’t seem to register her presence, which was a good sign.

Keeping close to the wall of the inn, she crept towards the main street. She froze at a strange sound like hammers punching the hard packed dirt, and getting closer. Closer it came, until around the corner appeared an insectoid creature as tall as a human and as long as a horse. Its fore section reared up like a centaurs, and six sickly grey legs splayed out beneath its ant like body. Two dull bulbous masses were its eyes. Two antennae wavered above its head, questing for Rema’s presence, its mouth parts were continually moving in an undulating fashion. It stopped and seemed to stare at Rema, and waited, and waited. Rema grasped her sword and dagger close, every sense alive to the creature’s slightest movement, aware that all that mattered was her and this abomination, here and now.

The moment passed and the creature, apparently satisfied that there was no alien presence, turned. Rema gently exhaled. A quick glance reassured Rema that there were no other creatures in the vicinity. She’d never have a better chance than this. Rema was scared, she was terrified, but that was another part of her, another part that lent strength and speed and precision to her muscles. It just took one small silent step and her body was flying through the air, her sword connecting smartly where the creature’s spine joined its skull. Damn, it was armoured, but it still seemed to be stunned. In a heartbeat her sword and dagger had punctured its hide in five, no six, places, the wounds appearing before any observer could see the blows, and great puffs of grey dust spurting from the cuts. It turned in slow motion lashing out with a wicked hooked forearm. Rema’s muscles screamed in agony as her back arched to the side and instinctively her dagger thrust forward questing for the gap beneath the armour plated limb. The wicked claw scythed through Rema’s armour and raked across her shoulder muscle. Rema’s dagger just missed the opening but left an ugly gash in the creature’s thick hide. There was no pause for thinking now; this was fighting on a brutal and instinctual level. Parts of Rema’s brain flared, her shoulder was on fire, poisoned, other signals came; a claw had struck a rib, probably cracked. And her blades moved with their own will, her arms and body following the motion, not directing or guiding. One of the creature’s eyes had been smashed and it was already missing two of its limbs. It reared up; thrusting two verminous looking glands on it’s under body forward. Rema twisted, her right arm bringing her sword crashing down. She carried on twisting, following through and pirouetting as the creature sunk to its knees from the force of the sword cut. Three quarters of the way through the turn her left arm lashed out smashing her knife backhand through the armour plated skull deep into the brain cavity. Using her momentum and leverage, she now pulled back on the knife, opening the bony plates covering the creatures neck. With a strength born of frenzy her sword descended into the gap. Twice more her sword descended, the third time her sword whistled through and embedded in the earth. She stood there numbly with the creature’s decapitated head hanging at her side still stuck fast upon her dagger, her lungs drawing in great gasps of air. The creature’s legs scrabbled a few more times and were still, a glutinous sticky mass oozing from the underglands.
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An old recruit
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