By the time we arrived to where Serene believed some “magical” flowers would be found, dusk was already upon us. Compared to the rest of the forest, the trees here appeared ancient, and there were quite a few that appeared dead with parasitic moss hanging from every branch. I saw Toinus arch an eyebrow and I almost laughed out loud imagining how embarrassing it would be to die on a quest for flowers. I did not think any bard would be singing of my exploits in any of the bars at Ranzington, the Black Citadel, the Grove, or Divinity Reach, if I was to die this day…specially on a flower quest!
“Be silent elf, I heard something!” said Toinus. I wasn’t sure if he was talking to Serene, who was collecting flowers to make dyes, or to me. Serene was quite skilled at crafting, and these flowers were so rare that she was oblivious of everything else happening around her. She was also used to traveling with the gruff dwarf, while I was not, but I did not get the opportunity to reply because a mysterious green miasma began to seep through the trees right before us. I readied my longbow, Toinus quietly loaded a bolt into his crossbow, and Serene continued humming to herself while collecting her flowers. All I could think about was how Serene had said, “this will be an easy one, we are just going for flowers” earlier this afternoon.
I felt the familiar surge of adrenaline I usually experienced whenever a fight was imminent. The righteous anger that made my senses become so acute whenever my life, or that of my friends, was threatened . Serene stopped humming and immediately readied her bow when she heard Toinus’ crossbow release the first bolt. I was a bit surprised of how rapidly she was ready to fight, but she is a female, I thought, why would that surprise me? grimaced at my terrible sense of humor and began to scan my surroundings for targets.
The first lifeless form that took Toinus’ bolt to the eye socket appeared to have been a human at some point, but it was difficult to say since most of its head was covered by a rusty helm. It was closely followed by what appeared to be the shambling remains of a Charr warrior. I muttered, “Damn your eyes” and shot at the risen Charr. It took three of my arrows for the abomination to stop moving. Toinus made what appeared to be a coughing sound, and I thought he might be choking on the thick miasma that had spread all around the forest ground, but much later I found out, he was actually laughing at the fact that it took me three arrows to fell the undead Charr.
Before the Charr hit the ground more undead corpses than we could count began to pour out of the woods around us. We fought for our lives. Toinus with his crossbow, Serene and I with our bows. When we ran out of projectiles, we fought with blades. Toinus seemed to abandon his sanity as he began to swing his axe, mercilessly downing corpses with every swing, while laughing and cursing whomever was responsible for the attack. Serene was silent but graceful with her blade, dispatching anything that got too close. I was just angry. Angry that I was fighting for my life. Angry that I felt like I was fighting a losing battle, as I saw no end to the hordes of undead coming out of the trees. We were surrounded, and the time to retreat was long gone. I was careless and the price to pay would be my life.
After what seemed like an eternity, Toinus looked as fresh as when the fight started, but Serene and I began to show signs of exhaustion. Every swing of our blades came with a grunt or a curse. It seemed that for every corpse we killed, two more took its place; but then something changed. We heard an evil chant behind a group of the risen, and saw the human Necromancer we believed was responsible for this madness. Toinus gave a war cry that chilled me to the bone, and charged through the throng of bodies heading towards the evil sorcerer. As multiple risen reached to stop him, he effortlessly knocked them aside with his shield, and hacked limbs off that got too close. Serene and I followed as closely as we dared, picking up speed as we performed a deadly dance with our blades. If we killed the Necromancer, all the undead would fall; or so we thought. No time to think about that now, it made sense and without Toinus we were dead.
Without losing momentum, Toinus reached the Necromancer. With a brutal downward swing of his axe broke through the Necromancer’s staff and cleaved his skull in half. I lowered my guard for just a moment gladly thinking the madness had ended, and that is when I felt a sudden burning in my gut. I looked down to see a rusty blade stuck all the way to the hilt in my abdomen, and when I saw the rotting small hand of the risen Asura wielding it, I realized too late that there had to be more than one Necromancer. I decapitated the diminutive corpse before darkness took me…