Ascension

6.1 A Dead Horse Town

mo' zombies mo' problems

Time runs short.
In an effort to save time for our group I may have lost it all for myself and Finnian.

We had arrived at the nearest town to look for a horse and cart to bring back to expedite our journey and what we found was quite unsettling. Dead corpses of more undead and possibly regular dead were dead in a dead pile of deadness. Nothing seemed to be moving in the whole of the little town.

But we had a task at hand and set about to find something of use to us. A large barn looked to be a promising target, so Finnian and I set about to investigate while URSA scouted quickly around the other side of town.

When we opened the doors to the barn an unearthly stench assaulted our nostrils. The overpowering smell of dead animals and people until now concentrated in one building was so strong I needed to compose myself. Finnian seemed to handle it better and went forward to investigate.
We could see at the back of the barn, past the bodies of humans and horses and livestock, a cart that looked in fine condition. As Finnian passed one of the bodies in the middle of the floor he stabbed at it to make sure it was dead and also not a kind of dead that would attempt to make us as such. It remained motionless in its gruesome silence and Finnian pressed on.

As he moved forward, suddenly the floor underneath him gave way and he disappeared from view. I rushed into the building just as the rancid scent rushed back at me and I lost my composure among other things I had every intention of keeping. I then pressed on to the place Finnian had disappeared at and found a metal door that must have been used to dispose of the refuse that a barn of this sort would generate. I attempted to open it myself and with a shovel nearby but it was stuck and I would need more time to get it open.

Unfortunately this was when my time started to shorten. The other less than dead body on the floor that wasn’t stabbed had risen to come running at me. I barely avoided the first blow and tried to get farther away and fire some arrows into it from my bow. I hit it a few times while trying to get out of range, but soon another rose (or fell rather, from the upper level) to attack me as well. I made my way to the door and left the barn trying to stop or slow the zombies advance with my arrows.
Now outside URSA had arrived to attempt to help, but his lack of combat training and poor luck left him mostly useless. The zombies seemed to hardly notice the mechanized contraption however.
As I tried to keep my distance from the creatures, more seemed to come from everywhere around town, suddenly aware of my presence. To help stay out of reach I ingested one of my concoctions of expedious speed and also one to help heal some of my wounds.
As I circled about out of reach but making zero or less progress in thinning their numbers a voice called out to me and beckoned me into a building attached to the dilapidated stone tower. I thankfully obliged to join another human of sane mind and body in the potential safety of the building.

Inside and door shut, Ashera introduced herself. She was a fine elf woman who looked (and later confirmed) like she had been stuck in this place for a while with meager supplies. She had lost her husband to the undead and was both hoping to find a cure or some way to stop this madness while she remained in the only place she knew. When I told her of the fate of my friend Finnian, her words gave me little comfort for his safety, but also a finality of the fact that there was nothing I could do for him at the time.
I went up to what remained of the tower and scouted around and saw URSA apparently damaged and incapable of righting himself. The undead seemed to still ignore him. I wanted to contact him to tell him where I was and to possibly enable him to procure some sort of help. But as I finally spoke loud enough to get his attention I realized there wasn’t much he could do at the time and I only served to alert the shambling horde of our location more. With the doors as barricaded as they were and the renewed vigor of the horde, it was only a matter of time, short time, until they busted in.
In order to escape we planned to rappel down the side of the tower and escape out of the town. Unfortunately my rope and grappling hook served us little use as we both failed to keep a steady grip on it and both fell most of the way down.
On the bright side, I managed to remain conscious and was able to carry Ashera with her now broken leg with ease with the help of one of my elixers.
We escaped out into the forest and accross the river/stream as night had fallen. I would have liked to go to where Ashera said the place Finnian had fallen into would lead out, but we were too weak and the night too dangerous for us to go all that way around town and hid while I intended to make a splint for her leg.
Before I could however a large undead with a large axe crossed the river and was obviously looking for us. Luckily he didn’t seem to see us and retreated into the river.
Yes into the river. He seemed to almost melt into the water or else enter some stairway under the water and disappear completely in what seemed to be quite shallow water. A most interesting specimen but not one I have time to ponder now.

As we lay here trying to recover our strength and heal our wounds, Ashera asks if I could do anything to calm her nerves and relax her and I think I could use some comforting thoughts as well. She reminds me of my sister Marie, and although I remember her in some way every day, it’s been so long since I had last seen my dear sister that she had become more of an idea or a concept to me and not as the complete person that she was. As I told Ashera a few stories of my sister I thought of them almost as if for the first time. The cheerful memories I had repressed after they became cold reminders of her passing came to mind in almost a new light after so long without pondering them.

I didn’t have or take enough time then and I may be short on time now, but I’ll just have to find a way to make more time for myself and for whatever else I need to do.

Eventually Ashera slept and later I did as well. Hopefully when I awake I will have the time and capabilities to do what I need to do.

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