November 1, 2008 – 10:40 pm
Written by the lovely Ceil, an excerpt from the (still in progress) Riders writing project of the last night of the Zombiepocalypse – and (I promise) the last zombie stuff you’ll see around here. This was before Aely and Phileas had actually joined with the Riders, but both spent most of the night keeping the Pig and Whistle from being overrun. I’ll try to post a link to the whole thing once everyone finishes adding to it!
Her foot was throbbing, but Aelflaed couldn’t spare a moment to worry over it, the undead were pressing too hard. She’d lost sight of any of the other defenders at the door. From her vantage point at the top of the stairs she could see the tide of the Scourge boiling up the lane, some from the Trade District, others out of Cutthroat Alley. Booming in a steady rhythm was the sound of rifles, echoed by the battle-cries and cursing of many of the Wildfire Riders.
She leaned back against the rough plaster and wood wall, letting the pub help support her body, taking the pressure from her foot. There was a circle of fallen bodies around her, all lying still and most without a single mark, though any one with the sense to know could easily tell they’d been felled by holy magic, strong and pure.
To her left, a zombie came lunging over the small barricade of the dead. Her shield was heavy, but she lifted it anyway, slamming the ghoul back. It stumbled and Aelflaed raised her hammer. Instead of letting it fall, she pointed it at the zombie and a blinding flash of golden light exploded from her palm and raced along the haft, then head, of the weapon. It burst upon the ghoul and set it screaming loud enough to hurt her ears. Without moving, the paladin shook her head and murmured a prayer. The screaming stopped and the ghoul toppled atop the others.
However, in the silence left behind, a new scream erupted, a human scream, from inside the pub. Aelflaed recognized a woman’s voice and without thinking of the pain throbbing through her left foot, she lurched through the doorway, left momentarily open as a surge of the dead had swept the other defenders into the street.
The first thing to greet Aelflaed inside the Pig was another scream and the sight of a skeleton over six feet tall bearing down on Elly Langston while her father and brother rushed from the bar with old swords in their hands. The skeleton gave off a noticeable wave of heat, fierce and bringing with it the scent of burning corpses. When Reese and David Langston got close, they fell back a step in surprise at the heat. Aelflaed reacted far more quickly, half running and half stumbling around the corner and past the railing, shouting the first thing to come to her head.
“Hey! Hey, y’ wanker!” She hollered, throwing a hand towards the skeleton. Her words weren’t nearly as effective as the flash of holy light that hit the skeleton and caused it to turn towards the paladin. The flameshocker’s empty eye sockets stared at the paladin, cinders burning in the depths of it’s skull. Aelflaed gripped her hammer and shield in readiness.
Behind the skeleton, Elly Langston cowered and shuddered against the staircase, her green skirt torn and her face filled with fear. She moaned wordlessly with terror, until a surprisingly gentle hand gripped her arm firmly and pulled her to her feet. Neither Elly, Reese, David nor Aelflaed had seen Phileas enter the room, but there he was, a dagger on each hip and his hood thrown back to offer Elly a smile. The girl was too scared to do anything but rise with him.
“Dinna worry now, lass, I go’ yeh,” he said, stepping between Elly and the flameshocker’s back. His hands went to his daggers and his eyes went to Aelflaed. She was already grinning at him.
That was the last time the Langstons saw any Scourge inside the Pig n’ Whistle.
October 31, 2008 – 1:41 pm
One of the things about being avidly into the character and storyline of my Warcraft characters is that I get rather attached to them. They get fleshed out, and they get descriptions and histories that make them more than just the pixels on the screen (in a way). One of the ways that they become unique is through actual physical descriptions – which has always been something that I and other people that interact with me have had to use our imaginations for (since all of the Warcraft models for Female Human are exactly the same).
That is, until today.
You see… one of my new guild mates happens to also be a fantastic artist. And he’s offered his artistic talents to the guild in the form of black and white character portraits in exchange for in-game gold (something most people would have to pay real life dollars for).
I got to look at some of his earlier work, and was totally blown away – so I sent him my gold and a character description for Aelflaed. What I got back was way beyond anything I could’ve expected, especially for someone that I’ve only just met, and who (to my knowledge) doesn’t read this blog.
I could easily go on and on for paragraphs about how well this captures the character I’ve created, and how her personality shows up in that half-grin and cocked eyebrow, and how she’s pretty like the “girl next door” without being “hawt”… but I think it pretty well speaks for itself.
So thanks Lans (who is really Joe Rinaldi, and to whom I give ALL credit to this picture) – you’ve totally made my week.
October 31, 2008 – 11:17 am
Welcome to the October 31 edition of the Friday Five! Each Friday here at Too Many Annas you’ll find a list of five questions to spark your roleplaying/character creativity. Feel free to answer in the comments, use them as a blog post of your own, or just think about something from your character’s perspective – there aren’t really any rules!
We’ve had some sillier Friday Fives recently, so this week lets be a little more serious – it is, after all, All Hallow’s Eve!
(And yes, I know these are hard, so feel free to skip around or just answer one or two!)
- Did/Does your character have a good relationship with his or her family? (as a whole or individually)
- How does your character relate to his or her guild and friends?
- If your character knew he or she would die tomorrow, how would they spend today?
- Has your character ever lost someone close to them? How did they die? How did that affect your character?
- How do you, as a roleplayer, tackle the question of death in a video game where resurrection spells and spirit healers abound?
Read the rest of this entry »
October 30, 2008 – 11:15 am
This takes place last Friday, during the Riders (and others) full time guard of the Pig and Whistle tavern during the Zombiepocalypse. Be warned – zombie gore!
Aelflaed wasn’t entirely sure who’d come and woken her at 3:45am – her lack of sleep for the last four days had made waking up harder and harder. Pale lamplight bathed the upstairs corner of the Pig and Whistle as she strapped on her armor; at least tonight she’d remembered to sleep with her cloak and gambeson, so they were warm and comforting around the cold steel.
She peered at her left foot as she pulled on a thick pair of wool socks. At some point, she’d lost her little toenail, and the side of her foot was bruised and bloody clear up to her ankle. Wincing, she pulled on a heavy boot, hoping the plates would help protect it until she could get it healed properly.
With a cup of hot coffee and a soft cheese sandwich, she stepped out into the crisp, pre-dawn air, her breath barely catching on the fall chill. This was her favorite of the watches – there was something about the blackness before dawn that was just more pleasant than the blackness after midnight, especially if there were going to be Zombies.
Two street lamps washed the cobbles in front of the Pig with a soft yellow glow, and somewhere a couple of crickets set up a squeaky duet. Leaning against the doorframe, she settled in for a four hour watch.
Nikova Raskol hadn’t really let herself think on this new plague much. Still mourning the loss of her sons and grandson, she stalwartly marched through Old Town with her basket of red rags, ignoring the chaos around her. If they could face death at the hands of other men, then she’d be damned if she couldn’t stand up for herself against a couple of mindless undead.
When the four lisping, shuffling creatures came around the corner at her, though, she was less than sure of herself.
Lost in a scramble of unpleasant thoughts, a skitter of tiny legs across the back of her neck jolted Aelflaed back to reality. She swatted at her hair, knocking loose one of the oddly luminescent cockroaches that had taken root in every inhabitable part of the city. With a shudder and a bright flash of light, she obliterated it, and then spent a few minutes getting the bug guts and glowing taint off of her armor. Scrubbing at her neck didn’t make the crawly feeling go away though.
She heard more than saw the oncoming group of plagued dead, their half rotten feet making a sick, slurping, scraping sound on the rough cobblestones. With a deep breath and a quick prayer, she steadied herself for whatever was going to come around the corner.
The wait wasn’t long.
Two of the creatures wore some kind of patchwork armor – she could only assume they had once been guards. Slamming into one with her shield, she spun around to the left and caught the next in the face with her mace, telling herself that she’d retch later when its head crumpled like an overripe melon and splattered all over the pave stones. A quick shock with holy energy and the other armored zombie fell lifeless.
A flash of divine light and the remaining three of them stood stunned while she quickly stopped the disease as it attempted to crawl up her arm.
Two down, three to go – pull ye’self t’gether, woman.
The next one fell quickly, cleansed of whatever demonic taint had raised it. Not much fight in it, really, though the basket of red rags it carried was unusual.
Quickly dodging the fourth as it ran at her back, she stuck her leg out, tripping it – cursing loudly as the bony shin smashed into the side of her own damaged left foot. Once it hit the ground, she broke its neck with her heel and kicked the now severed head far from its body, ignoring the gush of greenish black blood now pooling on the street as she turned to face the one remaining living dead.
The feel of slimy cold fingers around her throat suggested she’d miscalculated the fight. Hot, fetid breath, ripe with the sickly sweet stench of death brushed past her ear as the creature ground its fingers into her flesh, catching on her hair. Its tongue ran across the back of her neck.
Dinna think, woman, act!
She dropped to the ground, the limp weight of human combined with heavy armor ripping the creatures arm clean out of its socket. Throwing herself to one side, one good push sent the thing sprawling, and a hammer to the back of its head knocked it unconscious, giving her precious seconds to summon the energy to burn it into lifelessness.
The fact that Aelflaed was already sitting on the pavestones probably proved to be in her favor, as she reeled, head spinning with exhaustion and adrenaline.
You canna jus’ sit ‘ere. Ge’ the bodies ou’ o’ the fecking street.
Leaning heavily on her mace, she dragged herself onto her feet, wincing as she tested her left foot.
It’ll hold, an’ yeh can walk. Move, woman, a’fore ye fin’ ye’self more o’ a mess.
Two of the stinking, plagued remains were already burning, so she dragged the other three corpses (and one severed head) over to the pile, setting the lot aflame with another flash of holy energy. Looking up through the rising putrid smoke, she could see dawn’s streaks of orange and crimson flashing across the sky like bright ribbons.
‘S a day o’ death, an’ startin’ early. Red sky a’ mornin’, alway’ a warnin’.
She swallowed hard, took a deep breath, and vomited into the bushes on the side of the road.
Ye’ve gone soft, Aely, an’ ye got another three hours o’ watch, ye great ninny. Bes’ get back t’ the Post.
Bloody ‘ell, an’ I need another sammich.