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Thread: Fanfic: Maplestory-the Master Of Death

  1. #11
    Complication. Kon's Avatar
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    ... I'm addicted to your story D:

  2. #12
    Slime
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    Default Chapters 11-12

    Okay, a few more chapters are up. I have to take a hiatus for a week though. As the writer's guild is on strike, they've told me unless I want to be fitted with a cement overcoat....no, I'm just kidding....I have a few doctor's appointments coming up and I won't get back to this until next week. (If I don't of course, it might mean the doctor found something...;) )

    Chapter 11

    Kimber

    There was no sound as Kimber left Kerning. The Sunset Sky road was silent of Mushroom monsters, and tree stump monsters. Occasionally, the remains of one or the other littered the road. Clumps of mushroom flesh seemingly chewed and spitted out as well as shattered tree branches with teeth marks on the gnawed branches were the only evidence that any life once existed here. Especially frightening were the remains of adventurers that now littered the abandoned areas. She had not even found one intact body. A skull licked clean, a thigh bone broken open for the marrow, even finger bones that seemed to have been spit out like watermelon seeds littered the streets. No movement remained now though. Now there was only her…and probably whatever did this.

    The Rocky Mountains dominated the landscape of the land west of Perion. The sun had begun to set on this day and Kimber silently looked back at the direction of Kerning City in what she felt might be the last time. She almost didn’t even notice the red snail that crept up behind her, snapping its tiny jaws.

    “Wow!” she exclaimed, not from any sense of danger, but from the fact that the tiny snail was the first living thing she had seen all day. “Where did you come from little guy?” Even as a whisper, her voice echoed throughout the canyon and she gasped as her sixth sense cause every adrenal gland in her to fire.

    Her Dark Sight power came up and she faded into a pale shadow of her former self.

    “Trying to hide? I see you….” The guttural voice came from the canyon walls and Kimber could hear other voices with it. Snarling and hungry sounding voices.

    She decided to make a run for it and broke into a sprint down the road. A quick glance over her should made her stifle a scream as two zombies climbed down from the surrounding cliffs and started running after her.

    The fear gave new strength to her legs and she picked up the pace even as her lungs started burning and her arms felt like lead weights. Still, she could not stop and she willed her protesting body not to stop until it dropped.

    Without warning, Kimber felt her leg stiffen up and she nearly stumbled. She looked down at herself and at the Ice spell that crept up her body. First her legs slowed down as the numbness deadened every sensation she had below her waist. Then it spread further, gradually freezing her motionless. Steelie spikes appeared in her hands, but she couldn’t even move them as the cold traveled up even to the ends of her fingers, deadening the nerves. Panic settled in and she tried to scream even as her still functioning ears picked up a soft rustling noise behind her.

    Oh, no. No! No! No! No!!!!!

    The spell wasn’t terribly strong and so some movement began to return to her extremities within seconds, but it was time enough for a withered hand to grab her face from behind. Kimber looked fearfully at the maggots crawling over the rotting flesh of the arm and her eyes widened into terror as a face, the lower jaw half eaten away, came into her view.

    “FRESH MEAT!” it croaked from a shredded throat. Strips of dried flesh hung from the festering teeth and Kimber gagged from the smell. A shredded remnant of a Blue Chaos robe hung in tatters around the zombie’s shoulders and a brown Jester hat still capped the hideous head. Kimber’s dexterous fingers quickly found her Ilbi stars and she raised them up to try to cut the monstrosity down. An ice-cold grip of iron grabbed her hand so tightly; she dropped the stars onto the canyon floor with a cry of pain.

    “DON’T STRUGGLE! WE’LL MAKE IT QUICK! YOU’LL MAKE IT DELICIOUS…” a zombie in Umber Shouldermail plate held a razor sharp Lion’s Fang sword to her cheek. Kimber closed her eyes and waited for the end. All around her, more and more figures crept out of the shadows. Even if she could break free now, there were just too many of them.

    A soft wisp of wind was the only warning before a figure jumped down from one of the surrounding ledges. Cloaked in a blue Kendo robe and a cone hat fashioned out of bamboo, a blade flashed once, twice, three times…

    The Lion’s Fang blade fell away from Kimber; as did the arm, head, and legs of the zombie that held them. Kimber collapsed in terror. She looked up just in time to see the other zombie roaring with fury only to have glowing claws of magic tear into what was left of the Blue chaos robe it wore. A figure appeared next to Kimber. She was dressed in calaf robes and wielded an Arc staff. Her blond hair was held back with a golden circlet.

    Some of the zombies not quite consumed by the hunger looked warily as they recognized the swordsman, but the majority howled with animalistic glee as they set upon the group. The warrior’s blade never seemed to stop moving. His strikes were fluid and lightning quick and dispatched the creatures one by one. Barely breaking a sweat, the last zombie was beheaded with a final stroke before the weapon was sheathed back into its lacquered scabbard on the warrior’s cloth belt.

    “Sacharissa, are there any more?” the warrior asked. The young cleric looked around at the towering cliffs and noted no movement.

    “I think we’re clear.”

    The warrior finally turned toward Kimber and held his hand out for her even as she eyed him with fear.

    “I know you are scared, but I have no time for that. I am Manji and right now I am the only chance you have.”



    Chapter 12

    Serena

    Serena and the others eyed Grendel with wide eyes as the aged wizard cackled.

    “Uh, you want to run that by us again?” asked Octogarn.

    “I said it was wonderful,” Grendel breathed. “Have you seen these beings? Magnificent! Immortal and yet retaining all the knowledge of their past lives!”

    “You forgot about the part of them eating people,” Serena piped in.

    “Throughout history, there have always been those who must serve and provide for those in power. Is it really so bad that the price this time is a little more substantial?”

    “Well, when you put it that way….yeah, it kind of is pretty bad!” Serena eyes widened at the words of her teacher. Grendel’s flashing blue eyes glared at her, a hint of anger made her step back unconsciously.

    “You ungrateful little…!” Grendel’s voice raised a touch enough for Octogarn to step between him and Serena; a move that made her reach over and shove him out of her way in annoyance. “This is my gift to the world! Immortality! Power and knowledge that cannot die for it is already dead!”

    “Master,” one of the other mages exclaimed. “Are you saying, YOU created these zombies?”

    “Of course I did!”

    There was a long pause as the group of mages faced their teacher.

    “Yeah, that’s what I thought you were saying…” Octogarn said quietly.

    A flash of light flared as a fire arrow streaked toward Grendel. Lightning flashed and poison clouds billowed forth as the other wizards around Serena understood what was happening and joined the fight. Serena, barely over the shock, slowly raised her Thorns staff only to be bowled over by an explosion of incredible power that flattened them all to the ground.

    A scream left her lips as two mages were engulfed in magical fire, their screams wiped clean as they were turned to ash before her eyes. Her Thorns staff summoned lightning that streaked down and cracked a terrific shot that cracked the marble walls of the sanctuary, but left Grendel completely unharmed.

    “FOOLS! You think to change our destiny! I taught you! Your power comes from my own knowledge! You think you can beat me with the very magic I helped master years ago?!” His hat had been incinerated by one of Octogarn’s fire arrows revealing wispy white hair framing a wizened old face with bright blue eyes.

    “Master Grendel!” Octogarn screamed as he held his left arm. Serena gasped. One of Grendel’s spells had neatly sliced off his hand. “Why are you doing this?”

    Grendel smiled softly as he lowered his arms. He walked toward them and the 2 other remaining mages that cowered behind the overturned chairs and tables.

    We aren’t even a threat to him. Serena realized.

    “I was there in the beginning when magic was formed in Victoria. I saw the most beautiful land I had ever seen all ready to be conquered. What a wonderful time it was!” Serena ran toward Octogarn as she ripped out a power elixir from her pack. “But nothing could last forever. Even I had to stop. ME!!” the force of Grendel’s anger boomed throughout the house. “All my knowledge was useless! Everything I was and everything I accomplished was doomed to dust or at best written into a book that would be totally disregarded by future generations! I needed more!” The wizard floated over to an ancient book that lay open behind him. An expression of disappointment graced his old features as he ran his gnarled fingers over the dusty pages. “Here in my spellbook, I wrote every piece of knowledge I could find. Every experiment I ever accomplished, both successes and failures. Not a single one ever achieved my goal of mastering death. At least not until this ancient text was found in the excavation of Masteria.” A black bound scroll appeared from the hidden folds of Grendel’s white robes. “A spell to create objects of power that would enable the wearer to transcend death itself while retaining all knowledge of their past lives! In one single discovery, all my previous knowledge became obsolete!”

    “The zombies…” Serena whispered. Grendel smiled at her.

    “Yes. Beings who are beyond death. Things that are dead cannot die from old age after all can they? Oh, but we already knew about zombies. El Nath and the mountains near Perion still suffer from one of my failed experiments. I managed to create undead, but they were mindless and soulless. I wanted something that could live forever and still retain the intellect and power of its former life.”

    “But they EAT people!” Octogarn snarled.

    “Predator and prey. Nothing wrong with being the predator.”

    “So you did this!” Serena managed to stop the bleeding with the power elixir, but she kept eyeing the stump on Octogarn’s left arm.

    “I merely took advantage of this world’s greed. 4 black bone helms were sent out by me. Two in Victoria, one in Ossyria, and one in Ludibrium. All it took was some fool greedy enough for power to put it on and they would get the power they were looking for as well as spreading their new gift.”

    “We can still stop this before everyone is killed!”

    “There is no stopping it, my dear. In fact, it’s time to end it now!” Grendel grinned insanely as he lifted an onyx black crown of bone from the folds of his robes. “I made this crown once the black bone helms were thoroughly tested. It’s time for my destiny!”

    Serena's scream echoed throughout the house as Grendel placed the cursed crown atop his head and began to change before her eyes
    I don't want to be a god. I just want to bring fire to the people.
    And I want my cut.

  3. #13
    Slime
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    Sword Chapters 13-15

    Chapter 13

    Benjen


    He didn’t say a word as he boarded the airship with his tiny group from Perion. Some wept and others were speechless with fear, but Benjen kept looking grimly at the city below as the defenders at the gates of Ellinia threw back attack after attack. Some of the zombies were former Mages and Dragonknights of incredible power.

    Fortunately, there were enough living ones of equal power that could counter their attacks. It did look as if they would still be able to hold long enough to get every refugee out of Ellinia by airship. The attacks were wearing the line down slowly though. Occasionally, one valiant defender was dragged away by the mob screaming as the horde fed. The line had to withdraw to another ledge up as another Crusader or Hermit got bit and stepped forth to engage the zombies before the hunger over took him. There was even a Crossbowman on an upper ledge with the grim task of ventilating his ex-comrade’s heads with his Iron Arrows if they turn.

    Suddenly, a scream began echoing from the higher branches. Benjen looked quickly at the front lines at the entrances, but they were holding. Which meant the only thing left was…

    “They’re here! They’re here!” a terrified warrior in a blue sergeant breastplate screamed unfortunately attracting the attention of one of the zombie mages…

    The refugee crowd screamed as one in terror as a few zombie mages descended from Grendel’s house above. A few defenders on the forest road to Perion were caught unaware as they were taken from behind. The zombies took one bite and moved on, letting the infectious change settle in to finish the job.

    “Oh crap. We’ve got to get going!” Benjen knew Ellinia’s time was short as multiple figures in platforms above their heads began twitching in convulsions moments before they rose again pale, dead, and hungry. He yelled as the next airship began loading up refugees. The crowd turned mob as panic set in. Another airship nearby began getting mobbed by the crowd as it teetered to one side from the weight. Sparks flew as its port magical lifting stone scrapped the pier. Another moment and an explosion blew out the pier as the ship capsized in flames.

    “We’re not going to make it are we?” a voice shaking with fear said next to Benjen. A young magician next to him stared at the flames as a part of Sixtopia station burned.

    “Time for some really hard choices,” Benjen replied grimly. He looked up at the captain who was already activating the lifting stones to get out. “Try to get as much aboard as you can!” he ordered.

    “No way! We’ll capsize! I’m not dying for this!”

    “Just a few more!” he turned toward a fire mage. “Burn the station building! That’ll keep more from coming in!”

    “I can’t do that! That’ll kill them all!”

    “They’re already dead,” Benjen replied with his lips tight. “We can save the ones already on the dock. If we try to save more, we die too.”

    The firemage gazed at the still burning wreck of the neighboring airship and grimly nodded. Multiple fire arrows burned into the Sixtopia station building enveloping it in flames within seconds. The crowd on the docks turned and gasped as the building behind them burned. Some confused voices sounded from beyond that slowly turned to fear and anger as people on the other side waiting to get in realized what was happening.

    “Everyone! Get on board!” Benjen bellowed. “Hurry! We don’t have much time! We have to leave now!”

    There was a slightly scramble to get on board, but without the outside mob, everyone on the pier managed to get on board. The sides nearly bursting with people, the captain finally activated the lifting stones and the ship slowly rose away from Sixtopia station.

    Screams echoed in the air from those trapped on the other side as they saw the last airship leaving Ellinia with its precious cargo of life even as the doomed people cursed the man who had cut them off from it.

    Chapter 14

    Samuel


    Breathing was getting harder as Samuel ran through the swamp. An occasional glance back told him the zombie crowd was growing by the moment as undead all around caught scent of the hunt for one of the remaining living sources of meat in Victoria.

    “Oh crap! Oh crap! OhCrapOhCrapOhCrap!!!!” Samuel wheezed. He was keeping his distance, but his lungs burned and his legs felt heavier and heavier with each step. His pursuers though were tireless, relentless, and growing hungrier by the moment. There was an occasional Jr.Necki snake that tried to take a nibble on his heel, but he hurried on without even wasting a second killing one. As some of the zombies, paused to stuff the wiggling creature into its mouth, Samuel figured better the snake winding up as dinner than him.

    The sewer pipe into Kerning was quiet as Samuel dove in and scrambled into the city. He turned and gazed into the pipe. The gibbering howls of glee echoed in the pipe as the pursuing zombies approached Kerning. Samuel grimly loaded his crossbow with Iron Arrows and began to devastate the swamp entrance into Kerning. Great holes appeared in the concrete as rubble began to rain down. Some of the screams turned from glee into desperation at the sight of their meal escaping. One zombie managed to enter the pipe just as the whole thing finally collapsed under Samuel’s continuous Iron Arrow hail storm.

    “FOOD!!!!” it croaked as the tons of rubble pinned it to the ground.

    “Eat this!” Samuel said sarcastically, as he exploded the monster’s head with a close double shot.

    Picking some pieces of the zombie’s skull off him, Samuel looked around at the desolation of Kerning City.

    “Crap. Zombies been here too…” he murmured. He sat down on the nearby steps and looked at the recently risen sun. There were no signs of life anywhere. Not even an indication that anyone was even in Kerning. The only sign of anything at all was a small, smoldering pile of ash from the doorway of the fusion bar. Samuel approached the smoking ash cautiously and prodded it with the tip of one of his arrows. Nothing happened as the ash slowly blew away in the invisible wind. Frustrated, Samuel sat down in front of the bar. “Now what am I going to do?”

    A soft, yet familiar rumble in the air got to his ears as he looked up to a familiar sight. The Kerning City taxi still looked intact. A smile broke out on Samuel’s face as he realized what a running engine still meant. He ran to the car and opened the door. The car looked nearly pristine. Whoever had left it on apparently was eaten before they could get away.

    “Oh yes! And Sharah said I’d never catch a break!” he exclaimed. He dropped down and kissed the hood. “Yes! I love you!”

    The engine suddenly sputtered and died.

    Samuel looked at the car incredulously for a couple of long silent seconds before screaming his fury. After a few seconds of yelling oaths that would make even Teo of Lith Harbor blush, Samuel finally sat down next to the now silent taxi cab in frustration.

    Another silent shift in the winds brought a low moan to Samuel’s ears. He raised his crossbow up and gazed off in the distance trying to make out the source of the sound. Too late, he began to realize that yelling at the top of his lungs in a city decimated by man eating zombies was probably not the brightest thing to do as dozens of zombies streamed out of surrounding buildings and began to make their way toward him.

    “Oh, shi……”

    With desperation, Samuel quickly popped the trunk. His eyes met a red tank of spare gasoline that brought another whoop to his voice. There was no time to waste as the zombies caught his scent and started running toward him. Trembling fingers quickly poured the precious liquid into the car’s gas tank. It wasn’t much, but hopefully it was enough to get out of Kerning. Samuel slammed the door just as the zombie horde was upon him. The key turned and the engine rumbled to life even as the whole car shook from the decaying bodies slamming into the sides of the vehicle. The windshield suddenly cracked as two icicle throwing stars sprouted in front of his face. The hood erupted in flames as an arrow bomb exploded in front of him. Some surrounding zombies were also fried in the attack, but their companions paid them no heed as they pressed forward eyeing Samuel hungrily.

    “FOOD! FOOD! NEED TO EAT!!” the chorus of guttural voices was maddening as Samuel gunned the engine and the car leapt forward. Two walking corpses were crunched under the wheels as he sped away. Samuel kept one eye on the rear mirror and one eye on the near-empty gas gauge as he drove down some construction projects. Baleful eyes seemed to watch from the steel girders above and Samuel eyed them apprehensively even as he cleared the Kerning City area.

    “Just enough gas to head for Henesys,” he pondered. There was only one place left to look he realized. His old teacher would possibly still be able to give him advice. “I hope Athena Pierce is still there. She might be the only one left to get me out of this.” He felt a few bumps under the wheel as a couple red snails got in his way, but no zombies otherwise appeared.

    “I wonder if she’s still hot?”

    Chapter 15

    Kimber


    “So what’s your story?” Kimber asked the young Priest.

    “No talking!” Manji retorted gruffly as he stepped up to the next rocky ledge.

    “Not much,” Sacharissa calmly explained ignoring the warrior. “Mr. Congeniality and I managed to get out of Perion before it was overrun by zombies. We used a travel scroll to try to escape to Ellinia, but there were zombies there already. Manji said he knew another way to escape so we went back to Perion.”

    “You talk too much!” hissed Manji.

    “Bite me.”

    Sacharissa kept walking without pause.

    Manji glared at her for a moment longer and kept marching. Kimber quickly quickened her step and caught up to the warrior.

    “Um…” she started and then quickly paused as Manji shot her a nasty look.

    “Just say it!” Sacharissa called out, her voice setting Kimber’s hair on edge as it echoed throughout the canyon. “He hates everyone, so why worry about what he thinks?” Kimber glanced around fearfully and then took a deep breath when no zombies appeared from the surroundings.

    “Um, why are we going back to Kerning? There’s nobody left there. Everyone’s gone.”

    “There is a way to escape,” Manji kept his voice low, but his stern expression seemed resigned at answering her. “A flying machine.”

    “Icarus’s flying machine?” Kimber asked incredulously. Her bright green eyes widened in shock. “I thought he never built it! He just kept asking for feathers and lumber from adventurers, but I never thought he did anything with it.”

    “He had built it. It could glide, but it could not fly without additional power.” Manji paused as the group came across the outskirts of Kerning. “A couple of lifting stones from the Ellinia shipyards was sent over by Chief Stan of Henesys as a favor for his son, Alex. If Icarus managed to mount them to his flying machine, we can escape to Ossyria or Ludibrium.”

    The three walked down the street noting the destruction and ruins. Some residual fires still burned from the steel girders above.

    “Something’s different,” Kimber declared. “There was a taxi car running when I was here just a few hours ago.” Smoking corpses sheared in half and imprinted with black tire tracks lay scattered in the street, some of the limbs still twitched in hideous undeath.

    “The flying machine is overhead. We should climb up.”

    “Someone alive was here!”

    “They’re not here now! So they either successfully escaped or they have been eaten! We worry about ourselves first!”

    “What if there are more zombies?”

    “Then we kill them.”

    “Manji, can I ask you a personal question?”

    Manji grunted. Taking that as an affirmative, Kimber continued.

    “Why are you helping us anyway? I’ve seen you in Perion before when I began as an adventurer and all you ever did was look at the sunset. Everyone says you aren’t ever friendly with anyone!”

    Manji ignored her and climbed up to the ledge where Icarus had spent his days gazing at the sky. A massive tarp covered a structure hidden behind Niora Hospital. A crate lay near it as well, one side splintered open. Manji reached over and the tarp fell away revealing canvas and feather-covered wings with an open ****pit.

    “People,” Sacharissa called out. “Whatever we need to do to get the machine up and running, we better do it soon. I think we got company!”

    “We have a problem then,” Kimber called back. Sacharissa came over with them as they gazed at the empty slots in the wings completely devoid of the lifting stones that powered the airships. “This thing isn’t going to fly.”
    I don't want to be a god. I just want to bring fire to the people.
    And I want my cut.

  4. #14
    Mushmom XxKiraYamatoxX's Avatar
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    Gosh, Slerotin, you really know how to write a good story!
    Monster Hunter Tri Status:
    - Hunter Rank: HR1 (Yay, me noob)
    - Favourite Weapon: Switch Axe
    - Current Most Proficient Weapons: Switch Axe, Hammer
    - Current Armour: Barroth Set + Lagiacrus Set
    - Current Most Hated Monster: Rathalos
    (Stop flying, wings fer' brains!)

  5. #15
    Slime Xorten's Avatar
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    Welcome back Slerotin! =D
    Though in the fourth job advancement in MSEA they describe Athena Pierce as a "he" numerous times.. typo?
    3rd Job is here!

  6. #16
    Phantom Watch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xorten View Post
    Welcome back Slerotin! =D
    Though in the fourth job advancement in MSEA they describe Athena Pierce as a "he" numerous times.. typo?
    GMS used to describe her as a "he" in the first job/second job advancements.

    Anyway, I give you an A+ on this story, but only if you spout more chapters!

  7. #17
    Lucida CountessZero's Avatar
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    There's more coming, cuz my cleric has a cameo role I got to see more of what is to come, hehehe.

    Slerotin, you never cease to amaze. Keep up the good work <3
    This is a signature. Hurrah.

  8. #18
    Drake CelHolyPriest's Avatar
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    I have only managed to read to chapter 9 now, I can assure everyone that I will finish it before the day is out. Cool, nice .... scary. Please post more. Unfortunately i can't write so nicely, I can draw though, hahahaha.


    Quote Originally Posted by CountessZero View Post
    There's more coming, cuz my cleric has a cameo role I got to see more of what is to come, hehehe.

    Slerotin, you never cease to amaze. Keep up the good work <3
    Countess, when your character is turning, hahahaha.


    Memories ...

  9. #19
    Slime
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    Default Chapter 16-20

    Well I wasn't sure about Athena Pierce myself. I'm going by the name and as Athena is the goddess of Wisdom, I thought I'd go with that. (But I understand. Author R.A.Salvatore has a guy character named Artemis-as in goddess of the hunt Artemis-in his books.) Still, she/he/whatever isn't really a big part of the story, so I'm not too worried.
    Anyway, big four chapter update and then holiday season is upon me. Got to do my duties and so updates will be off and on, although I still hope to be regular with them.

    As always, special thanks to the Countess and Andy for special use of their characters.




    Chapter 16

    Serena


    Warm ash fell around her like fresh winter snow. The darkness beckoned her toward sweet unconsciousness as Serena struggled to open her eyes. Every muscle in her body complained as her mind struggled and screamed itself into awareness. It seemed so easy just to stop and rest. Just for a little bit. She could use a nice long nap.

    NO! her mind ordered the rest of her body. Serena's will forced her to open her eyes. Wincing at the stabbing pain as bright light greeted her eyes, she looked around.

    Everything was white smoke.

    Her ears still rang from the force of Grendel’s spell. She vaguely remembered Octogarn throwing fire arrows and summoning poison mist. Grendel merely laughed at him. The other mages through every spell they had. Thunderbolts and Ice spells cracked the very ground of the building. And Grendel merely laughed at them too. Then the mad wizard’s face changed into a horrible rictus smile and he leapt upon the nearest wizard and began to feast on his former student. Even then, he kept laughing. Laughing at them all.
    He only stopped laughing when the building exploded.

    “Serena! Serena!” Octogarn’s voice boomed through the smoke. The smoke was clearing a little, but dust kept billowing from the rubble. Serena coughed and wheezed as she tasted blood on her lips. A ghostly figure dressed in Calas robes appeared through the haze. It looked like one of the other mages with them.

    “Over here!” she croaked as she struggled to her feet.

    The mage paused and quickly hurried over to her.

    “Have you seen Octogarn?” she asked. No answer came as the wizard kept walking deliberately toward her. Serena leaned against her magical Thorns Staff. The wizard didn’t seem injured, but he still hadn’t answered. “You okay?” she asked.

    “NOT EXACTLY,” a guttural voice sounded. The voice was rough and gurgled peculiarly.

    Serena squinted as she finally made out the wizard.
    A wizard with half his throat chewed off.

    “HUNGRY!!! FEED!!!” the thing roared as it lunged toward her.

    Serena raised her hand in anger and bolts of lightning shot into the monster. It twitched uncontrollably for several seconds until she finally released the spell, letting the smoking husk fall to the ground.

    “Serena!” Octogarn finally appeared. His bleeding stump was bound from his torn robes. He had apparently dropped his staff somewhere and what he cradled in his free hand made Serena’s mouth open in shock. “Here take this!” Octogarn gasped as he handed her Grendel’s spellbook.

    “How did you?” she asked as her trembling fingers grabbed the tome. “This is useless anyway. Grendel said it was the black scroll that created these things. Without that, his other spells aren’t going to help.”

    “We have no other choice!” Octogarn was sweating profusely as he sank down next to her. In the distance, they could hear the sounds of battle and screams. “You got to get that book to someone who could use it. El Nath! Alcaster or Robeira! You have to find someone who can beat them!” Serena looked at Octogarn suspiciously.

    “What do you mean, ‘You have to’?”

    Looking a little reluctant, Octogarn pulled at the neck of his robe revealing a black veined bite wound. Serena backed away silently, her eyes brimming with anger.

    “You idiot! How could you let yourself be bitten!”

    “Grendel himself did it,” the wizard replied in a tired voice. He gave a small self-mocking smile. “I guess I should be honored.” Serena knelt next to him and hit him as hard she could.

    “How can you leave me now?!” Serena snapped as she began pouring a Power Elixer potion into the infected wound. She looked up at a growling sound and saw a strange hunger glint in her best friend’s eyes. Without pause she slapped him across his face with such force it snapped his head back.

    “Stay with me! Don’t go zombie on me yet!” She continued to douse his wound with elixir even as she quickly made sure her Thorns Staff was within easy reach. Octogarn’s eyes focused on her more sharply. The hungry look was gone, yet he continued to get worse as his breathing started to wheeze.

    “Thanks…I think.” The black veins continued to crawl across his skin even as the wound festered and rotted.

    “It’s not doing anything!” she cried in frustration.

    “MEAT!”

    Octogarn and Serena looked off to the side. A group of zombies shambled toward them. A Hermit, Ranger, and White Knight brandished powerful weapons even as they licked their exposed teeth, their lips apparently already eaten or rotted away. Serena dropped the useless Power Elixir and picked up her staff.

    “Get out of here!” Octogarn roared. A few fire arrows leapt forth from his staff and dispersed the crowd. They slowed, but kept coming.

    “Not without you!”

    “I’ll hold them off while I’m still myself,” he ordered. “You got to get out of here. I know if anyone can figure this out, it’s you. If anything I wanted was ever important to you, then do this for me. The most important thing to me is that you’re safe.” Serena reluctantly nodded. Satisfied, Octogarn continued. “If you ever see me again, I want your word that you won’t leave me like this.” Serena wanted to argue, but the black veins had already snaked its way up to his eyes and the insatiable hunger had returned to his face.

    “I promise,” she finally said. She started down the pathway toward Sixtopia Station when she suddenly turned to look back at Octogarn. Serena hesitated for a minute. “I love you.”

    Octogarn’s hunger let up for a second as he struggled for words.

    “No you don’t,” his voice was already changing to something guttural and monstrous. Black areas appeared around his eyes as they began sinking into their sockets. His lips drew back exposing his teeth. A ravenous edge to his voice raised goosebumps on Serena’s arm. His voice slowly dropped softly and for one last moment, she could still recognize her best friend. “Not the way I want anyway. I’m dead, not stupid.”

    “Okay. But you’re still my best friend.”

    Octogarn nodded to her one last time as he leapt upon the other zombies, letting the madness overtake his mind. Serena quickly ran toward the burning building of Sixtopia station as the Fire Wizard was buried under the mass of undead teeth and claw.

    “Goodbye,” she whispered with tears stinging her face.





    Chapter 17

    Benjen


    The airship sailed through the air a steady clip as Benjen looked out from the crows nest. In the distance, the smoke from Sixtopia station had already vanished from view, but he kept looking grimly in that direction.

    “You were right. We could never have saved as many people as we did if you didn’t burn down Sixtopia station,” the captain remarked from behind him.

    “Still sucked though.”

    “Would have been worse if the mob managed to destroy this airship too.”

    “Were there any other ships at Sixtopia left?” Benjen asked as he gave the continent of Victoria one final look before he turned away.

    “One was in drydock for repairs, but I don’t know if the creatures would know how to operate…”

    “Trust me, they know. They keep their memories and skills. They know everything that they did before.”

    The captain nodded grimly.

    “There’s something else you should know. We lost contact with the previous airship and Orbis reported they never arrived.”

    “Balrogs?”

    “Maybe.” The captain sounded doubtful. “I’ve never heard of them taking on an airship before though.”

    “We can handle Balrogs.”

    “I’m not sure. We’re loaded up with a lot of new adventurers, but most of the veterans stayed behind. We only got two Crusaders on board including yourself, a Dragonknight, and a Priest that’s so new that his healing spells barely heal a snail bite. No Rangers, Bandits, or Assassins.”

    “Who’s the other Crusader?” Benjen wondered grimly as he surveyed the crowd. The captain was right. There were far more people dressed in Apprentice Robes and Lollicon armor and too few wielding weapons stronger than Fairy Wands and Lion Fang swords.

    “Oh, Andy of Guild Gooch is on starboard poop deck organizing whatever wizards we have. He said even if they can’t hurt it significantly, they could distract it enough for the rest of you.”

    “Hmm…Machiavellian…but technically correct.”

    Benjen sighed as he took a quick look around the horizon looking for any signs of danger. A small speck had appeared and was slowly getting larger. No doubt about it. It was a Crimson Balrog ship. Benjen’s Rising Axe came out of his pack as he made his way to the poop deck.

    “Keep together!” a strong voice called out. “Anyone who’s too stupid to keep their magic guards up and their potions ready had best go down below decks!”

    “Something’s been sighted up ahead and it’s closing on us fast,” reported Benjen. The other Crusader turned toward him. Benjen smirked. His fellow crusader looked serious and professional and fully capable of helping to take down a Crimson Balrog. Benjen continued. “You got them ready to go, I see.”

    “You’re Benjen right?” the crusader asked as he walked up with a grim smile. “I’m Andy. I got our Dragonknight up on the Crows Nest and our priest near the Mizzenmast.” Andy waved up to the warrior stationed above their heads. A Redemption spear waved back at them. “He’s a new Dragonknight, so I don’t want him too much in the thick of things, but he should still be able to help out with his Hyper Body powers,” he explained. “I figure, with the magicians over here, you and I can try to ambush it near the rigging by the forecastle.”

    “I take it you’ve done this before.” Benjen was impressed with the setup.

    “Of course,” Andy bowed with a mock flourish. “All the ladies know I’m really good at two things in life, and taking out big monsters is the other thing!” Benjen had to laugh out loud even with the Balrog ship approaching.

    Silence suddenly washed over the group as the other vessel closed in. Several of the mages suddenly broke and ran toward the cabin door. The rest held their ground, but the aura of fear from them was unmistakable.

    “Okay…my mistake, I actually haven’t done anything like this before,” muttered Andy. Benjen sweaty hands tightened around his Rising Axe so much that we could almost feel his axe’s handle through his Dark Imperial gauntlets. Benjen saw their priest by the Mizzenmast quickly summoning a bless spell and he felt his health strengthen from the Hyperbody powers of their spearman. Benjen couldn’t help but wonder even with the added power if they would be able to do much to the zombie-infected Crimson Balrog sitting in his skull decorated ship and munching away on the Tibia bone of some unfortunate individual.




    Chapter 18

    Samuel


    “Next time, I’m going to make sure I stock up on travel scrolls!” Sam declared as the puttering engine wheezed one final time before cranking to a stop. Sighing with frustration, he grabbed his crossbow from the back seat and got out to get his bearings. Rolling hills and plateaus surrounded him everywhere he laid his eyes. He figured he must be near the three-way road split that branched out from Henesys, Lith Harbor, and Kerning City. With luck and no further encounters, he should be in Henesys within an hour or so.

    “Of course, that’s assuming Henesys is still there,” he muttered grimly.
    Suddenly a large roar echoed from below as the ledge he was on rumbled beneath his feet. Pebbles and other debris vibrated off the stony ground, occasionally popping up into the air as some tremendous force impacted upon them.

    “What the heck?” he wondered just before a massive winged creature flew up in front of him. Samuel flew back in terror as a Crimson Balrog landed before him screaming at the top of its lungs.

    It took Sam a second before he realized that the Balrog wasn’t screaming at him. It was surrounded by 5 Plague zombies swinging weapons that cut into the creature sides and wings. Fire arrows from a skeletal fire mage and arrow bombs from a zombie archer with half a rib cage showing pelted the creature continuously even as zombie warriors struck at it again and again. Occasionally, one would move in closer with its teeth bared, unable to resist the call of their insatiable hunger only to be driven away by the razor sharp claws of the Balrog.

    The ferocity of the battle was such that Sam realized he could quickly sneak off to the side and nobody would be the wiser. As he swung his leg over the ledge, a gnawing doubt crept into his mind at the sight of the Balrog.

    It was its eyes.

    It was fear.

    He had never thought he’d see the day where he saw fear in a Balrog’s eyes, but there it was.

    For a few agonizing seconds, Sam just kept staring at the deadly monster fighting for its survival among even deadlier monsters.

    A dragon roar from a zombie Dragon knight suddenly sent the Balrog reeling and instantly, the other zombies were upon him. Diseased teeth, festering and razor sharp, inched closer to the Crimson Balrog’s flesh.

    A flare of light from Sam’s crossbow was the only warning the zombies got before an Iron Arrow attack streaked into the first zombie, blowing out its midsection. The Mystic bolt traveled into the next zombie next to him, ripping off the sword arm and part of its rib cage before finally ending with its partner just poised over the Balrog and moments before sinking its teeth into the living flesh. The zombie’s head exploded as the Iron arrow finally ended its trip, ripping into the Silver Crusader Helm that once housed the head of a valiant warrior.

    The dragon knight and his remaining zombie companion wheeled around at the new threat, but by doing so, they were left wide open to the Crimson Balrog.
    Massive clawed hands grabbed each side of the Dragon knight. The creature squirmed and thrashed, teeth gnashing in midair trying to find something to feed the ravenous hunger. A Fairfrozen spear clattered onto the rocky floor as the skeletal hands tried to pull the Balrog’s fingers closer to its mouth. Without giving the monster a chance, the Crimson Balrog stretched its arms wide and tore the zombie warrior apart.

    One final blast from Sam’s crossbow and the last zombie toppled over.

    “Guess we showed him, eh?” he chuckled as he stood up.

    The Crimson Balrog’s nose wrinkled as it caught his scent. A low growl rumbled through as it took a step toward Sam.

    “Uh….take it easy now!” Sam voice shook. The Balrog kept walking toward him with fangs barred. Sam considered his crossbow and compared it with the size of the monster before him.

    “Oh crap, I’m so screwed.”





    Chapter 19

    Kimber


    Various creatures roamed the streets below. Kimber watched them as they occasionally peered up toward the roofs of the building, looking for food. There were only a few at first, but then more came forth from the surrounding buildings. Then even more from the city gates. Before she knew it, thousands were milling around the streets of Kerning.

    “Now that’s a lot of zombies,” she whispered.

    “There were a lot of people in Kerning. Plenty of food for them,” Manji grunted. He moved over to the cracked crates next to the incomplete flying machine and moved aside the straw. Magical lifting stones used to power the airships of Ellinia lay in them. “The lifting stones are still their crates. The fool didn’t mount them in the wings.”

    “Well, can we do it?” Kimber asked.

    “We don’t have much of a choice.”

    “You’ll have to hurry,” a voice called out from the darkness. Manji’s sword flashed out of his scabbard with lightning speed and steely spikes appeared in Kimber’s hands. A red-haired figure with a baseball cap moved closer to them.

    “It’s ready to go, you know. Just mount the stones in the wings and take off. I can help you.”

    “Alex?” Kimber asked. She recognized Chief Stan of Henesys’s bratty kid that hung around the rooftops of Kerning. She lowered her spikes as she walked toward him. “You’re still alive?”

    Glowing magical claws suddenly lit up the area, ripping into Alex’s shirt. They tore into his flesh and sent him reeling away from Kimber. The young Assassin had to bite her lip in fright to keep from screaming as another attack of magic claws neatly eviscerated Alex in front of her.

    Saccharissa stepped out of the shadows with her eyes narrowed and her Arc Staff flashing magical energy.

    “W-why?” Kimber stammered. Manji merely grunted in approval and turned again toward the crates.

    “She just saved your life,” he explained.

    Kimber’s eyes glanced quickly at the fallen body of Alex and saw blackened teeth in the moonlight. Strips of human flesh still clung to the bloody fingernails of the creature that was once the son of Chief Stan of Henesys. He was very much a zombie. A shudder ran through her body. Sacharissa prodded the body with her staff, checking for any residual movement.

    “If there’s one here already, we all know it’s just a matter of time,” the cleric said grimly.

    “We’re not done for yet. Zombie or not, he is correct. We can load these lifting stones onto the flying machine! Everyone!” Manji ordered. “Help me with these lifting stones!” Kimber and Sacharrissa cleared the straw out of the crate and began to shove the heavy stone across the floor. The stone rumbled as they pushed it across the floor. They managed to budge it three feet when a few sparks suddenly lit up the room. They stopped in curiosity even as Manji glared at them furiously.

    “Careful, fools! Lifting Stones are full of energy! If we crack them, we risk an explosion! They hold energy enough to carry passengers to Orbis. Can you think of what they would do if someone releases all that energy at once?”

    Kimber grunted with effort as she kept trying to keep the stones balanced. Sacharrissa’s gasps next to her indicated it was not much easier for the cleric. Kimber glanced at Sacharissa, who met her eyes. Sacharissa nodded grimly as the lifting stone continued to drag across the floor. They both knew that the noise of dragging a heavy rock was bound to attract some unwanted visitors.

    “Steady!!! Steady!!! Keep moving!!! Don’t Stop!!!” Manji voice rang out softly but firmly in the darkness. “Almost there!!! Put your backs into it!!!”

    The stone slid another foot.

    “You’re not trying!!! Push harder!!!”

    The stone seemed to shriek louder as it slid another foot closer to the wing mount of Icarus’s flying machine. Another few sparks underneath the rock made them pause as they waited to make sure nothing else happened.

    “We don’t have time!!! Keep pushing!!!”

    “You know, it’s a good thing you’re not an annoying Asian swordsman, otherwise it would be REALLY difficult for me not to kill you,” Sacharissa remarked with sarcasm dripping off her lips.

    Kimber couldn’t help but laugh.
    I don't want to be a god. I just want to bring fire to the people.
    And I want my cut.

  10. #20
    Lucida Authentic's Avatar
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    Slerotin you write awesome fanfics god this story's getting interesting! I can't wait for them to all meet up in Ossyria[hopefully]! Once that chapter comes up it'll be the best fanfic I've ever read.

    Felt sorry for Serena though losing your best friend to the zombies but you've got to kill off some supporting characters. I wonder who's going to get the cut from the main characters.

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