Post by Morec0
(( Gilnean Moon (Part 11)
!” Ivan yelled sword and shield in hand as he led the charge to run down the latest wave of advancing Forsaken soldiers. After days of fighting back wave after wave of the rotting corpses the soldiers of Gilneas were tired, hungry from quickly dwindling supplies, and slowly being pushed back. Their loyalty to their king and homeland drove them on, yes, but it could not give them their strength they lacked.
The Forsaken, on the other hand, were tireless, unrelenting, and just as loyal to their leaders as their living enemies were to theirs. It was only by some miraculous divine intervention that the Gilneans had lasted this long, and that they still had the moral to continue after seeing so many of their brothers and sisters slain by the undead. Ivan personally participating in each and every battle may have helped, despite not being a commanding officer there was something powerfully energizing about having a Gilnean noble fighting alongside you.
The two armies met in a clash of flesh, steel, blood and embalming ichors. The Forsaken could take much more damage than a living human before they were finally felled, but were still just as prone to blows to vital spots of their bodies and were sometimes more frail than their living counterparts. The battle was fierce, neither side willing to give in, even though the Gilneans knew they would eventually have to fall into a retreat.
Ivan fought particularly viciously. These undead thought they could simply come to his homeland, harm his fellow Gilneans, and take what they wanted? He would prove them wrong! He would tear them limb from limb! He would slaughter them all and leave their bones for the crows to peck clean!
He left his sword impaled in the skull of an undead warrior and then firmly grasped the exposed skull of another Forsaken in his hands, pressing against either side with all of his strength. With an animalistic snarl he crushed his opponent’s head, grinning at the sound of cracking and splintering bone and the sight of brain tissue and green ichors stretching between his fingers. It was glorious, glorious
With that thought he snapped back to being himself. He had been here too long yet again; he had spent too much time in this fight. He quickly made his way back to the back lines, pushing through the rows and rows of his fellow Gilnean soldiers as he made his way from the battle. Once free from the chaos he made his way back towards Duskhaven, breathing heavily and placing a hand against his head as he fought back the worst migraine he had ever suffered.
understand what it could be,” Krennan said as he finished up his examination of the eldest Jeret. Just a few paces away Krista stood, having decided to stay with her brother while Blaine went to Duskhaven to assist them however he could in Ivan’s absence. “You’re perfectly healthy, and you have been keeping up with the treatments I presume?”
“Once every week, just as you prescribed,” Ivan said, standing up and pulling his tunic back on over his head. “But every time I go into battle, every time I began another fight against those undead monsters, the migraines and the violent thoughts return. I tried to stay in the fight the first time, but as the seconds ticked by the pain only got worse and worse and spread to the rest of my body.”
“I just don’t understand,” Krennan said, shaking his head as he started to look over his notes again. Maybe he had missed something? Something that would explain what was going on with the eldest Jeret sibling.
“It’s probably nothing,” Krista said, “or some undead trickery. You need to stop putting yourself into those battles anyway, Ivan; they’ll end up getting you killed. The last thing the people of Gilneas need right now is one of the nobility dead.”
“I have a duty to Gilneas, Krista,” Ivan replied as he began to strap on his chain mail armor again. “Should I die in battle, it will be because I gave my life for my country
. And if I was to die, then there would be one less monster
in the world.”
Krista stared at her brother, mouth agape in shock. “What
are you talking
“Here,” Krennan interrupted their conversation as he approached with another syringe of his potion. “The best I can think to do is give you a supplementary dosage. That should clear up the migraines, if they’re indeed related to your condition. If not, then I’ll have to perform some more tests to-.”
The earth shook violently before the Royal Alchemist could finish his sentence, so violently that Krennan, Krista, and Ivan were all knocked to the ground. Vials and beakers filled with bubbling chemicals were knocked to the ground, shattering and spilling their contents all about. Part of the roof even collapses, the wooden planks falling down towards Krista. If not for Ivan’s quick action in grabbing and pulling her out of the way she surely would have been crushed. The quake continued for a good ten minutes, and when it finally stopped it brought about an eerie silence.
in the name of the Light was that
?” Krista exclaimed as she stood to her feet. Neither Ivan nor Krennan had an answer to give, but a Royal Guard that came rushing down the stairs to the basement brought with him even more dire news.
“Milords and lady!” he said his breathing heavy and his face stricken-white with terror. “You... you need to come see this.” Krista and Ivan rushed up the stairs behind the guard, Krennan staying behind to begin cleaning up his laboratory.
The Royal Guard led them out of the Greymane Manor’s front doors to look down the Cliffside towards Duskhaven. “By the Light
,” Ivan breathed as he stared in shock, Krista placed a hand over her mouth as shock overcame her as well.
There was no Duskhaven, not anymore. The very land on which the small city had stood had been swallowed up by the sea, only the very roofs of the structures were visible, and any signs of life from here were nonexistent.
Realization dawned on Ivan. “Blaine
!” he yelled in horror and rushed down the path to grab a horse from the nearby stables.
“Be careful, Ivan!” Krista yelled as her brother jumped onto the back of the horse and rode in bare-back down towards the newly formed coast.
When he reached it he found Blaine pulling himself and Prince Liam out of the water. Already on land were several soldiers, who were clearly too tired from the battle and nearly drowning to offer any assistance. He quickly rushed over to assist both of them. “Milord, are you alright?” Ivan asked. A nod from Liam, who was coughing the water out of his lungs too often to speak, gave the noble the answer. “What happened here?” he then asked Blaine.
“I don’t know,” the youngest Jeret replied, gasping for breath in-between words. “One minute the Forsaken were barreling down on the town, the majority of our forces having had pulled back to town to prepare a last minute defense and evacuation, the next the earth began to shake. It only took a minute for the earth to buckle in on itself from here to the coast, flooding the whole area. I managed to save the prince and there still may be survivors out there, we should-.”
Blaine was interrupted by a scream of pain as he stumbled forwards, a crossbow bolt stuck in his shoulder. Ivan grabbed his brother to help keep him on his feet, and that was when he saw the undead crossbowman fitting another bolt into her weapon. “Get down!” Ivan yelled, pushing himself and Blaine to the ground. Liam jumped down with them and the undead’s projectile missed its target by inches.
“For the Banshee Queen!” another Forsaken yelled as he and a few of his allies crawled their way out of the water and charged the living, sword raised to strike.
!” Liam tossed the eldest Jeret a sword that had been discarded by a soldier during the evacuation. Ivan caught it and brought the weapon up just in time to parry the undead’s attack, he then swiftly decapitated the rotting warrior. The other Gilnean soldiers did their best to fight back, but in their condition they were bound to be overpowered in no time.
One of the Forsaken fighters broke free of the line and attacked Blaine. The Gilnean lord grabbed the daggers on his belt and used them to block the axe the undead warrior brought down towards him. “Blaine!” Ivan tried to break away from the battle but the sheer number of undead gathering around to try and kill him made doing so impossible.
The youngest Jeret pushed the Forsaken back with a kick to chest, doing his best to fight through the pain the arrow to the shoulder caused him. The undead kept us a flurry of attacks, each barely managing to be dodged by the young Jeret and a few making slight cuts in his skin. His heart rate increased as the stalemate battle continued and he continued to back up. Then he was jumped by another Forsaken, who grabbed Blaine to keep him from moving and yelled for his ally to “finish him off”.
As the Forsaken grinned what remained of his rotten face and lifted his axe, Blaine panicked and tried to break free of the undead’s grasp. His heart was pounding and adrenaline kicked in at the last second to give him the strength to throw the second undead over his head, knocking the first one to the ground in the process.
With the added adrenaline boost they may have been possible for any Gilnean soldier, but Blaine was not a soldier, and the undead he had tossed had been wearing full plate armor. Something was terribly, terribly wrong with Ivan’s brother, and as Blaine collapsed to his knees and dropped his daggers due to bizarre muscle spasms, what was wrong began to come to the forefront. The two undead looked on in confusion and even a bit of horror as Blaine’s bones and flesh stretched and morphed into something far different than human. Silver-white fur began to grow all over his body, and his clothing tore as his body grew in size. The transformation was finished in a minute, and the worgen slowly stood back upright, looking down at his hands as if they were not his own.
The battle slowed down to a pause as everyone in attendance saw what had happened. The Forsaken had never seen anything like what they had just witnessed before, and the Gilneans were frozen in horror what Blaine Jeret had become. The pause only lasted a few seconds, and the battle resumed quickly with the deaths of those who had let their guard down too much – two Gilnean soldiers and a single Forsaken soldier, to be exact.
The undead that had tried to kill Blaine again rushed him, seemingly ignoring the fact he had transformed into a terrifying wolf-like creature. The worgen made a move as if it was going to pick up the daggers but instead decided to pounce on the plate-armored Forsaken and crushed its skull with a punch to the face. It then spun around and decapitated the other Forsaken with a slash of its claws.
It took a second to pull the arrow out of it shoulder, snarling in pain as it did, then charged into the fray of the Gilneans versus Forsaken, tearing apart the undead in a matter of minutes. A number of the Gilnean soldiers backed away when they saw this, content to let the two monsters fight it out, but a few, including Ivan, stopped moving altogether and stared in horror.
As the last of the undead fell lifeless to the ground, Ivan and a few other soldiers jumped on the worgen and attempted to restrain it. “Get Krennan! Quickly! And tell him to bring that potion with him!”
“I-Ivan,” the worgen gurgled while being strangled in the human’s attempts to restrain him, “it-it’s alri-ight.”
Ivan and a few others broke away from Blaine’s worgen form in shock upon hearing him speak; others had to be knocked away by the worgen – although they were not harmed by him doing so. “Wh-what did you…? Blaine? What is this?” Ivan stammered, completely at a loss for words.
“I… I don’t know,” Blaine replied after catching his breath. “I… I can control it, the beast. I… I can feel the instincts
, trying to force me to kill
but… but I can control it.” Blaine looked at his brother, smiling as much as he could in his worgen form. “Ivan, do you know what this could mean
for the people of Gilneas that are infected?”
Ivan had an idea as to what it could mean, and he did not like it. For what he saw was very different from what his brother did. Blaine foresaw a Gilnean people that could control this darker side of them, and possibly use it for the great good. But Ivan…
… Ivan saw a Gilneas ruled by beasts