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Craigzilla
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Join date : 2009-03-05
Age : 41
Location : San Diego, CA

PostSubject: Hunt the Dead #4   Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:18 pm



Written by Craig DeBoard (with special guest writer for Chapter 1 - Joe Fuentes')
Cover Art by Craig DeBoard





Chapter 1
History of The Pharaoh-Queen Amunet-Amon


No one knows there the darkling queen came from. Some rumored that she ruled the land where Pergren lay before the Council set up there government. The land was riddled with temples and destroyed ruins when the Council came and progress took over the land with buildings and bridges.

The druidic historians, part of the Naturalists' faction, date her age to well over 3000 years old though she looks nothing over 20. The druids of Teseron Isle count her as the most evil creature. Historians tell of a pharaoh and his daughter. His daughter was an ambitious one and was not content with her mastery of the arcane arts. She rallied her acolytes to her side and raised a coup against her father. The uprising was a quick and bloody one. The pharaoh's generals, seduced by his daughter, turned on him and murdered him, each of the four generals taking their turn to stab him so that all may be implemented. The Pharaoh-Queen never dirtied her own hands against her father. Her acolytes performed a secret forbidden ritual that imbued her with powers beyond her arcane powers, making her more powerful and giving her eternal life.

But her reign was short lived. The Pharaohs’ vizier, who secretly remained loyal to his dead liege set the queen up, using the Book of Ebonai turning her into a statue, thus suspending her through time. The vizier had her buried below her temple.

Many years passed and the temple had long since collapsed and had been worn away by the passage of time. Someone, the historians have no record of who, unearthed the queen and freed her from the stone prison. She worked her way across Nerin Toth until she got to Teseron Isle where the druids and rangers fought off Anumet-Amon’s army of ogres and minotaur’s, eventually defeating her army and killing her.

Little did the Naturalists, the druids and rangers, realize that Amunet - Amon can not be killed. Not by conventional purposes at least.





Chapter 2
Coming Back...


Many years later two twins were born. One would be called Mathias. The other...Sabal. both were raised as assassins with Acaetus Nimius, and both would eventually come to work for a man called The Harbinger. But that is a story for later. For now let us look back.

Sabal, during one period of her life away from her sibling, when she was just a young girl, met a boy named Erron. Erron and Sabal were inseparable. However their paths would eventually take very different roads, and the two were eventually separated.

Sabal continued through life, often times using her ability to kill to make money....and often using other means of physicality to earn money as well.

Through it all, Sabal became more and more dangerous in the arcane arts that she practiced when not learning new techniques to kill or seduce someone.

The Pharoah-Queen had been reborn. Amunet-Amon lived once again through Sabal. This was no secret to Sabal. She always knew it, even at a very young age. She retained all of her past memories as the Queen, yet kept her secret safe with only herself. If the rest of the world knew that Amunet-Amon existed again, they would attack her before she would ever have the opportunity to build up her forces.

Perhaps this was why she and her brother were abandoned in the city of Greyshore as children. Perhaps her mother knew all along. That question, Sabal did not know the answer to. Nor did she care what the answer was. She cared of only one thing. Locating Erron for reasons known only to her, and keeping her secret of being The Queen, safe.

"And that students is what we have been able to learn of the woman called Sabal. She is one of the few assassins of this world that we've actually been able to learn information on," the knight said striding though the room of the keep, where several young boys, squires all, sat listening to their teacher, this commander in the armed forces of the Knights of Tomath.

"Now then students please--" the knight stopped speaking. Blood dripped from his mouth. His eyes grew wide.

All of the students in the room stared at their teacher in shock.

The knight fell to the floor dead, a dagger in his back.

No one stood behind him.

"WHAT IS THIS SORCERY?" one of the squires shouted standing up with a look of horror on his face.

"Not sorcery love.....sensuality," a female's voice said.

Sabal tossed back her cloak that had been covering her. It acted as a type of chameleon skin in a sense, allowing her to blend in with her surroundings. Allowing her to stand in plain sight and not be seen.

She stood where the dead knight lay.

All of the squires in the room stood in shock.

"Come boys....let mommy take care of you," Sabal said smiling.
Chapter 3
Next Stop: Peregren

"Look at that one there. See him. OK watch!" Tommy shouted and pulled the lever. The anchor of the Sky Palace fell through the sky as the ship came closer and closer to the city of Peregren, eventually landing on and crushing a zombie far below.

"BWA-HAHAHA! That was great!" Aldion laughed.

"That was icky," Cholley said, grossed out by the squished unded on the ground below, but fascinated with the game the halfling and elf had been playing.

"Do another," Aldion said to Tommy Tallfellow while handing a peanut to Cholley who sat on his shoulder.

"NO! DON'T DO ANOTHER!" Ulak Thundermouth shouted storming forward toward the trio, "YA KEEP THROWIN' THE DAMN SHIP OFF BALANCE YOU DAMN FOOLS! And we're comin' in to Peregren now. So get that anchor hauled back up here and be ready to make port."

Aldion looked at Peregren in the distance. The city was huge. The largest in Nerin Toth. And completely walled off and guarded by the Knights of Tomath. The undead had no chance of getting in. Unfortunately the only way people could in the city (or get out of the city for that matter) was by air-ship. Luckily the Sky Palace was in tip top shape. The city itself was set upon a mountain side with a large deep moat 100 feet below it and with waterfalls pouring out of the city down the cliff-side it sat upon. Spires of giant building reached to the skies, and sky-ships sailed around those spires with ease.

"Is Erron still upset about us changing course?" Aldion asked Ulak, getting ready to pop another peanut into his mouth, but was too late, as Punky, the monkey on the ship who had taken a liking to the elf, stole it.

"Stupid monkey," Aldion grumbled.

"Aye...Erron is pissed.

"How are we going to make port? Last time we were here we were chased out," Cholley said in curious tones.

"Making port isn't hard. The Knights may hate us, but Prime Minister Zoei has a vested interest in this crew.

"Oh?" Aldion said curious.

"Aye," Ulak replied winking.

*****************************************

"I DON'T GIVE A DAMN! WE HAD AN AGREEMENT! YOU WERE TAKING US TOWARD PORT SKELL AND DEAD TOWN!" Erron shouted slamming his fist on the table covered with maps and charts in front of him.

"AYE, AND I TOLD YE' I'D GET YE THERE AS PER OUR AGREEMENT, BUT I HAVE BUSINESS TO TAKE CARE OF FIRST!" Captain Hellcat shouted slamming her fist on the table as well, staring across it at Erron with anger.

"Your friend better watch his tone," Browden, the large human with a huge blood stained battle axe said, leaning against the wall of the small cabin room nonchalantly.

"And yours as well," Turk'en, the lithe darkling with his ice-axe, Frost Cutter, replied, leaning against the wall on the opposite side of the room as Browden.

"Listen we need to get to Dead Town. We don't have time for this non-sense," Erron said growing frustrated with Hellcat.

"Why? Why do ye need to get there oh so badly?" she asked, eying him with scrutiny.

"Why do you insist on not sticking to our agreement?" Erron replied with condescending tones.

Erron and Hellcat stared at each other with spite.

"Erron. Listen we're closer to Peregren anyways. We get their, get some more supplies, then head toward Dead Town. It's not like that place is going any where any time soon." Turk'en offered his friend.

Erron glared at Hellcat. Browden glared at Erron.





Chapter 4
Home Sweet Home


The fire raged and local villagers, knights, and merchants ran about with buckets of water trying to douse the flames.

"What happened here? I want answers!" Sir Kargin el Tomath, General of the Knights of Tomath, yelled at a nearby Knight.

"Sir, we've lost all seventeen squires and Sir Tomas the White. All are dead. It's believed a female darkling was behind the slaughter. Witnesses saw her--"

Kargin turned and stormed off angry.

The General wasn't one for clap-trap, and he suffered details even less. The fact that he had a suspect was good enough for him. Eighteen knights, all dead. No one killed Eighteen knights. Not in Peregren. Not under his watch.

Kargin mounted his horse, Brom, a large white steed, and rode toward the parliament.

***************************************************

Captain Hellcat's ship came to port.

The crew worked diligently to prepare for a week's stay in the city-state of Peregren, while Erron, Turk'en and Aldion left the ship. Turk'en made sure to thank Hellcat. Cholley rode on the shoulder of Aldion and Punky, the monkey follwed the elf.

"Go away! Shoo!" Aldion scolded the monkey.

"I think he likes you," Turk'en said smiling.

"Well I don't like him. He causes trouble," Aldion said in irritated tones.

"I think it's cute," Cholley said helpfully.

Punky hurried toward Aldion's and scrambled up the back of the elf onto his other shoulder.

"Wha--"

The monkey bit down on Aldion's ear, then hopped off and ran away fromt he group losing himself in the bustle of people.

"OW! I'LL KILL YOU MONKEY!" Aldion turned screaming at no one.

The crowd of people looked oddly at Aldion.

Erron rolled his eyes in irritation.

*****************************************************

"Honey I'm home!" Tommy Tallfellow announced walking into the small house tucked between a baker's shop and a shoe shop.

"Daddy!" came the voice.

Tangerine ran forward through house and leaped into her father's arms.

Tangerine was taller than her halfling father, being half elf and all, but that didn't bother Tommy, as he loved his daughter so. Her jet black hair, with rainbow colored highlights, cut short and spiked up, was in stark contrast to Tommy's more traditional brown hair tied back into a pony-tail. She was young, but becoming a beautiful woman, and Tommy was so proud of her.

"Where is you mother?" Tommy asked his daughter.

"Work. Like always."

"No I'm not," said a voice at the door.

Tommy and Tangerine turned and saw her. Prime Minister Zoei Fantasy. Her elven features allowed the woman who had lived well over a century, to look no more than her early twenties. His long blond hair blew slightly in the breeze as she stood in the doorway. Even though it was always night time in Nerin Toth, she seemed to radiate sunlight.

"Love," she said softly.

Tommy ran toward her through their small kitchen hopping gracefully onto the kitchen table meeting her and they locked in embrace.

She was a politician. He was a pirate. She came from a family of wealth and prestige. He came from nothing. They were polar opposites, and couldn't be more perfect for each other. Where she was serious, he was fun. Where she was thoughtful and responsible, he was impulsive and reckless. They were love.

"When did you make port?" she asked smiling at her husband.

"We just got in. Hellcat is doing her best to avoid you," Tommy replied hopping down from the table into a chair.

Tangerine began setting the table putting out their finest plates and silver.

"Hellcat. You realize I'm still not happy with her," Zoei stated slightly annoyed.

"Awww honey, you know she means well," Tommy said smiling.

"She means well enough to go where ever she please and to ignore the rule of law," Zoei said, refusing to give up her feelings of disdain for the pirate captain.

"By the way," Tangerine interjected, "I've decided to go with Daddy when he heads out again."

Zoei and Tommy both stared at tangerine in shock.

"ABSOLUTELY NOT!" Zoei yelled in surprise.

"Why not?!" Tangerine yelled back defensively.

"Do you realize whats out there beyond the city walls?!" Zoei said in anger.

"Mom, look at me. Do I look like I'm going to end up as a politician like you," tangerine yelled pleading her case.

"Sweetie, your mom is right. It's bad out there. There's only a few cities with walls, and the others are so corrupt if you went in one--" Tommy said calmly before his daughter cut him off.

"Of all people, I thought you would understand!" Tangerine yelled at her father.

"HEY! You talk to your father with respect! What he does out there is dangerous! I don't even like it and I try to turn the other way when he does it because I know how illegal it is! The only reason I tolerate it at all is because it puts food on our table!" Zoei scolded her daughter.

Tangerine stood up as well.

"Oh come on! You're the Prime Minister of the largest city on Nerin Toth! We don't have to live in a small shack like this! You choose to!" Tangerine argued back.

"We do it because we aren't any better than the people. I do a job and my job is no more important than the baker next door or one of the guards who keep the undead away at the city gates. Yes, you're right, we choose to live this way because it's the right thing to do. But I refuse to let you go out there and end up dead....or worse, because you have some need for adventure like your father." Zoei said quieting down but getting more angry.

"I hate you," Tangerine said with spite and stormed out of the house.





Chapter 5
Browden's Anger


Erron and Turk'en made it back to the ship with the supplies they needed. Erron didn't like Peregren and hadn't been back to Peregren since he fled it as a small boy with a girl named Sabal, after he was convicted of murdering his step-father. If it weren't for time and age, surely the knights would have noticed him by now.

Aldion and Cholley stayed in Peregren and wouldn't be disembarking with the ship. Aldion volunteered to stay with Cholley while they sought out a wizard to help with the eight inch tall man's plight. While Cholley had no memory of his past life as Leif, he knew being only eight inches tall wasn't normal. And so they opted to stay in Peregren for a short time to see if they couldn't find a solution.

That and helping Cholley made it easier for Aldion to take his mind off the deaths of Hobmocker and Gerrin.

Erron and Turk'en walked onto the deck of the ship, and saw Hellcat standing at the rail eyeing a map.

"Ready to leave?" Turk'en asked the captain as he walked up to her handing her some cornbread he had purchased in the city.

"Definitely. It's bad enough I'm wanted here. Even worse that we haven't left yet," Captain Hellcat replied taking the cornbread from the darkling.

"What's even worse is we have to haul around people who aren't grateful for our hospitality," Browden said walking and standing near Hellcat.

Turk'en finished eating his cornbread.

"I know right! It's amazing how ungrateful you are that I haven't kicked your ass yet," Turk'en said smiling.

"SON OF A BITCH!" the big man yelled grabbing Turk'en around the throat and shoving him backwards.

"Hey! Stop it!" Hellcat yelled grabbing Browden's arm, "he was kidding!"

Browden slowly let go.

"They need to watch their tongues," Browden said glaring at Turk'en.

"Why? Afraid the captain here will like mine better?" Turk'en asked ina cocky manner.

"YOU'RE DEAD!" Browden screamed.

WHAM!

Erron sucker punched Browden in the jaw knocking him to the deck.

"Enough. Neither I, nor I'm sure the capitain, have time for this stupidity. Either help us unload the supplies we picked up or don't. But quit wasting my time with your--"

"GRAHHH!" Browden yelled pushing himself up and charging Erron, slamming into him and causing both of them to go rolling on the deck.

Browden mounted Erron and began raining down punches.

"You son of a bitch!" the big man yelled.

Hellcat went to move forward to pull Browden off of Erron, but Turk'en stopped her.

"Erron can handle himself," Turk'en said.

"GRAHHH! YOU CRAZY SON OF A BITCH! FUCKING SON OF A BITCH! YOU! I'LL KILL YOU! I'LL KILL YOU! I'LL KILL YOU! I'LL KILL YOU! I'll KILL YOU! I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU! YOU CRAZY SON OF A BITCH! I'LL KILL YOU! FUCKING! AHHH! AHHHHHH!!!" Browden screamed falling off of Erron and rolling around on the deck.

Erron stood up and spit out Browden's left pinky finger onto the deck. He then wiped Browden's blood off with his sleeve.

Browden stared at him with hate.

Erron stomped down on Browden's ripped off finger squishing it with his boot.

Blood poured from the missing digit and Browden charged at Erron.

Browden grabbed Erron by the hair and slammed his head into the deck of the ship!

"FUCKING KILL YOU!" He screamed, blood still pouring from where his pinky once was.

The back of Erron's head split and started bleeding.

"KILL YOU!" Browden screamed.

"GRAH!" Erron screamed, reaching up.

"GAHHH!!!!" Browden shouted falling off of Erron holding his face, blood pouring everywhere.

"OK that's enough!" Hellcat screamed running to Browden's side. "Erron ripped out his damn eye!"





Chapter 6
Blissfully Unaware


Zoei walked to the parliment building to attend to the affairs of the state. She had been elected after the zombie plague first occured and had held office since then. Most of the people of Peregren appreciated her leadership. She was fair and just and stern, but at the same time compassionate and understanding.

Peregren itself was a massive city and on the inside looked virtually untouched by the apocalypse, mainly due to the knights guarding the city and not allowing looting and rioting to occur. Given the amount of knights, any undead found in the city once the plague hit, were quickly dealt with.

Zoei spotted Kargin's horse tied to a nearby pole and knew the knight was here to report something. Unsure of what it was she continued her casual stroll.

***********************************************

Tommy left the house. He wasn't sure where Tangerine had run off to, and he knew Zoei's work was never done. He figured while in town he may as well go visit some old friends.

***********************************************

Aldion and Cholley made it to the shop. The Three Eyed Frog was one of the oldest shops in Peregren and had always had one owner. And old woman who went by the name of Grettal. She had crafted, sold, traded, and bought magical items, potions, rings, wands, staves, books and spell components for years. And if anyone knew of how to remove the odd curse from the eight inch man, it would be Grettal.

"Heh....who's there?" the wold woman asked hearing the bell above the door chime as Aldion walked in with Cholley on his shoulder.

"Excuse me ma'am," Cholley began speaking to the woman who looked as ancient as magic itself, "my name is Cholley. I have need of your assistance."

"Nothing's free," she said thumbing through an old magical tome not really reading it but doing a bad job of pretending she was. her long decrepit fingers touched the pages, and each seemed to glow a little when they brushed against the parchment.

The shop was filled with all sorts of oddities, from wands to staves, from rings to books, and a variety of dead animal body parts, powders, and liquids lined the walls in jars.

"Oh no ma'am I don't expect anything for free. I am more than happy to pay. I simply wish to employ your services," Cholley replied.

"And what services would those be?" the old woman asked.

"Well ma'am I've been shrunken. I need to be returned to my original size," Cholley explained.

"You look fine to me. What we're you before? A sixty foot tall elf or something?" she asked.

"Not me ma'am. The man sitting on my shoulder," Aldion corrected her.

The woman squinted hard.

"Oh my you are small. Yes, I do believe I have something that will help. Although there will be.....side effects," Grettal warned.

**************************************************

"What do you mean there's someone from Acaetus Nimius in town???" Tommy said in shock.

He was at his friend Tank's house, a fellow halfling who had once sailed on the Sky Palace but was forced into retirement due to losing a leg in a battle with the undead near Medrath.

"Word is it was a darkling woman and she killed 18 knights already. Why didn't Zoei know?" Tank asked sipping a mug of tea.

"Dang it. She was with me. I hadn't been home in two months and her and I were going to have dinner but an argument with Tangerine happened," Tommy tried to explain, frustrated and worried about his wife's safety.

"You need to let Tangerine be Tangerine, Tommy. Whether you and Zoei allow her to or not, she's going to be a pirate just like you," Tank advised his friend.

"I know....look I have to go. I have to find Zoei."

"Be careful," Tank said to his friend.

"Never," Tommy replied rushing out of the house.

****************************************************

Sabal had helped Erron, as a small boy, escape Peregren. She knew exactly where to go to stay out f the public eye. A few months ago she had a one night love affair with an elf who called himself Aldion the Magnificent. She knew exactly how to convince people to want to keep her happy and for them to stay quiet if they saw her. She was foretold that one day she and a darkling named Turk'en would have a son named Talk'ren. She knew exactly what to do to ensure her future.

And with that, she knew how to accomplish her mission with no interference from the Knights of Tomath.

She saw Zoei walking up the steps. Spying on her from a top a spire on the parliament building. The darkling jumped, and pulled out a dagger in each hand as she soared down toward the unsuspecting Zoei.

Tommy ran as fast as he could. He saw his wife just ahead walking to the building unaware of the danger in the city.

"ZOEI!" he yelled and then saw Sabal soaring toward his wife. The halfling ran as fast as he could.





Chapter 7
Mission Compromised


Tommy fell dead at Zoei's feet, one of sabal's dagger's sticking out of his chest.

"TOMMY!" she screamed in horror seeing her husband fall dead before her.

Kargin ran out of the building and saw Sabal.

"HELP ME! SOMEONE HELP ME" Zoei screamed, tears pouring down her cheeks, as Tommy's blood stained her white dress and pale skin.

Sabal saw the Knight.

"Damn," she whispered. The darkiling woman who was once a Pharoa-Queen knew how to survive. She threw a small capsule toward the ground and a puff of green smoke filled the area.

Sabal was gone.

"Oh no no no no no...Please no," Zoei cried rocking back and forth holding the dead Tommy to her breast.

"Madam Prime Minister, should I--" Kargin started but didn't know what to say.

"Oh no no. Please save him. PLEASE!" she screamed in anger at Kargin.

Kargin looked at Tommy and saw the sadness and despair on Zoei's face.

"Madam Prime Minister....he's gone," He whispered kneeling down next to her.

"NOOOO!!!!" she screamed.

TO BE BE CONTINUED



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