Duty Session 530: Zombie Jamboree
While those who had controlled the undead hordes of Ninetails are now sealed, at least temporarily, there are still many that roam the lands, creating a menace to the people of the Kingdom. Rylen Corvus of Crescent Moon has worked with the Merchant Blades and the Peko Army to commission a Hunter's Guild quest to help thin some of these numbers.
Rec. Party: 3+
World Rewards: Reduce the number of roving undead in the Ninetails Dominion.
The streets of the ruins seem to be littered with abandoned buildings. It is as if the people who fled from here had little time to gather their items before they were forced to evacuate. Some buildings show significant signs of damage. Some may have tempted fate in their final hours by protecting their homes. Toppled walls and debris is all that is left to show of the futility.
Haru Nox, a commander in the New World Alliance's Silver Sword, is taking stock of the undead situation. If Haru is out, it is not a case of dire importance, as he commands logistics divisions such as coordinating efforts for cityworks or the recently constructed statue. This is a hands-on tour of Yamato and, for him, a chance to break away from the administrative work in Shibuya. He travels light, cloth armor and a small black cat that inspects as 'Eve' and 'Dark Sprite' monster. He notices that his party consists of two Scale, so the adventure as much diplomatic now as it is vacation. No rest for the wicked. Maye burning some zombies will let some steam off.
There is a chill in the air. A paranormal wind blows. The faint impression of being touched brushes against each member of the party. Something is passing through, around. They are not alone. The mystery does not last long as something materializes. A child, ghostly in visage, appears like a lost gust of wind to the toy. It lowers itself down, moving the arm of the doll. A memory of joy as it picks the doll up and holds it close. The memory turns cold as the story had no happy ending.
The ghostly child turns, as if hearing something. Eyes, empty pools of darkess where eyes once were. A skeletal face. And a haunting, powerful wail of distress and distress.
"Tragic," is what Haru has to say about the ghost, the child. Its a stoic observation as Landers, especially the children, of he Land, are the worst kind of victims in the acts of aggression and power. Its not clear /what/ Haru is doing as he extends a hand out to still the air, calm the child down. Which is a tall order for living children, let alone distressed ghost children.
The Adventurers are drawn deeper into the destroyed village by the sound of steady thumping upon the door of one of the nearby buildings. The sound of slamming fists is insistent. It is as if they were trying to break in to get at something. It is at that point that the group might just notice that a flag is waving in the window of one of the upstairs rooms. Someone might still be alive out here, trapped.
The zombies here are all armored. They are likely members of the town guard who were turned by the strange magic that changed so many individuals within the Ninetails region into monsters. Into undead. They seem to be relatively mindless. It makes them easy to target, despite their stocky health. If they can be taken out then the people hiding inside will have a path to escape.
Haru walks towards the home, letting his Wave Arte focus, a series of ioun stones, summon out a variant of the Thorn Bind Hostage spell. They wrap with thick, firey vines, easily attaching to and gripping onto the zombies as they constrict.
As the party moves further into the village, there seem to be more difficult foes waiting for them. They manage to clear through a number of lower level zombies and skeletons along he way. Meaning that they've made significant progress towards clearing the village of undead threats. A grotesque creature awaits them as they turn onto the next streets. It is a hulking creature that looks as if it wwere made of two different ghouls that have been stitched together at odd places. Limbs stick out all over. Heads jut at odd angles. It has ar too many legs to be comfortable.
It moves in a truly uncomfortable way. It makes your skin crawl. The monster stutters in a wet gurgle as it moves towards the party. Luching. Clawing with far too many grasping hands and arms.
Haru laments that such a thing is even happening in Yamato. Yet it is. Best thing one can do here is put it out of its misery. The summoner extends out a hand and summons out his Fire Elemental, a Phoenix with the heat and intensity far greater than any witnessed. One reflective of a person bonded with a Divine Beast of Fire, as a pillar of flame swirls in an inferno around the gaggle of grouped ghouls. Visual reference: https://i.imgur.com/Sc2en01.jpg
Immediately upon seeing the monstrousity before the group Akikoji winced with disgust but his expression quickly turned to one of sadness. "This is horrible..." he felt for those suffering but knew they needed to get rid of it.
He held up his hands and began summoning a fireball to send into the monster but as the creature lunged and clawed at them, his fireball shot into the sky as he had to leap out of the way and avoid being caught in it's clutches. "Damn it!"
As they delve deeper into the village, it becomes clear that there is one cenral building that must have been the home of a noble. It makes for an easy landmark onward. There are strings between the building that once contained festival decorations ahead. Now there are strange wrappings dangling from them instead. These wrapping grow more and more frequent until the party finds the source.
A mummy. There is a mummy standing right there on the high wire balancing on one leg. Acrobatic mummy. It seems to be using the location as a place to scout. Spotting the adventurers it does a backflip and flings itself down from the high wire. Hero landing? Yes, hero landing. The mummy rises from its flashy entrance to show skeletal teeth of the zombie beneath before shambling to attack.
Haru still has his fire summon out, the fire birb. It is enough to burn the dry cloth to a crisp as they travel. He watches the mummy do the act. Uta does it better. Once the landing is stuck he points the Phoenix to unleash a hailstorm of pinion-like-arrows to firestorm down upon the burnable enemy.
In an attempt to keep it away from him and his party members, Akikoji called upon the flames and erected a flame wall directly below the charging enemy. The mummy just managed to make it through, well, almost. Akikoji's flames caught one of the mummy's stray bandages. When his own flames met those of Schneider's, Akikoji cheered as the mummy began to burn to a crisp.
At last, they seem to reach the other end of town. Here, a large building that would likely be considered a 'mansion' by Lander standards, lies in a state of disrepair. there is a significant amount of damage here, just as there was throughout the town.
As the party approaches the building, there is an immediate aggression notification. The party gets that combat light flashing up. a man in heavy armor steps out from behind one of the walls of the ruined building. He is wearing the colors of the town militia. His face is now ghoulish with half rotted features. the monster lacks the jolty or stuttering movements of its lower level brethen. Instead, it draws a sword with the grace of a living swordsman, rushing towards them at uncanny speeds.
Fast undead? Haru prefers the shambler types. They are like old world emails. Plentiful and easy to get rid of. During the last moments of mana with his summon, he levels down a parting barrage of fire before switching over to manual Wave Artes.
"hmm, well, ghouls don't like light so let's give it a try!" waving his ribbons in the air, their silken material began reflecting the light around them. Akikoji attempting to direct the blinding rays of Holy at the ghoul but tripped on a rock in the midst of his dancerly casting.
Falling onto the floor with a thud he tried to shake off the shock and get back up.
Haru takes his share of the loot, swiping the air in front of him to bring up a menu. An invisible set of typing is seen as he jots down a few notes somatically. Another hand swipe and the window closes, keeping those thoughts to himself as he chims the Hunter's Guild to let them know the request is fulfilled. Nothing left but to head back to civilization.
He chuckles to himself as he bends down to pick up his share of the loot.
"Well boys...." he proceeds to brush off his clothes with his kimono sleeves. "This has been fun. Let's do it again some time."
As Haru looks through the loot, Schneider does as well before dropping it into his inventory with a shrug. To Akikoji, he says, "You never know when this stuff will come in useful."