The storm subsided by the time the last risen was cut down by Lubu. George Unty smiled when he discovered that everyone was looking for the worse after the battle, but remained standing. “Well fought…everyone!”, he said proudly between hungry gasps for air. “Let us burn…these corpses…” While Athena walked around using magic to burn the rain soaked bodies, Peyton walked over to where I was standing next to my hound and asked, “Ure, are you alright?” I briefly looked at her and nodded. Then with a bloody smirk I said, “I am starting to question my decision making process. Remind me again why I agreed to accompany your father.” She replied with a grin, “You are just starting to question your decision making process? I have been questioning it for years!” We both laughed out loud and began to help the others with cleaning up.
After the bodies of the undead were burnt, and wounds were bandaged, we continued our journey to Mount Maelstrom. I was sore from the fighting but was determined to not let it show in front of George Unty , who would have a too much of good time judging my abilities as a ranger. It was midday when we finally caught sight of a nearby fortification in Sparkfly Fen and decided to make a stop for some bartering. We had claimed some salvageable weapons, as well as some pieces of armor during our earlier fight and this was a good place to sell whatever we had no use for. My pack would be a few pounds lighter, but a few coins heavier for the remainder of our travels. I released my hound to go hunt for food before entering the settlement for some well-deserved rest.
I produced my map as I walked to a nearby Asura that was wearing the armor of the Vigil and asked, “Excuse me soldier, where can I find a…” Before I could finish my sentence, the Asura interrupted me by saying, “I’ve plotted the rising rate of undead activity in this area and I don’t mind admitting that it unnerves me. I’ve diagrammed our response options, but none seem immediately feasible. I never thought I’d reach my wit’s end.” My blank stare must have been all the goading the Asura needed to continue. “My name is Jezza and you are in Fort Cadence, but you might just be the variable that tips this situation into the black. If you could clean up the Orrian corruption, we might have a chance!” I raised one arm to stop Jezza from his babbling and asked, “Did you just say undead activity in this area?” He nodded excitedly and started rambling once again, “Mysterious Orrian artifacts have been washing ashore! They’re corrupting the local fauna and attracting undead. lt is a miserable situation. You should destroy the artifacts! We certainly don’t want to collect them or we’ll have undead flocking to our storage areas and that would be disastrous! If you want, I can give you an elemental conflagrator-I mean Vigil flamethrower-and you could burn….” I walked away before he could finish his sentence, looking for Peyton and the others.
“Risen!” I muttered and raised my fist to the sky. “ Everywhere I go the risen follows. Will I ever rid myself of this curse? Damn their eyes!”, I said aloud. I heard an all familiar laugh and turned to face the approaching Peyton. “Did you hear that?!?” I asked, and she calmly replied with a shrug. “Ure…the only thing I saw was you acting like a crazy person waving your fists and stomping around aimlessly.” I pointed at Jezza and all I could say was “Undead! That Asura over there claims that there is undead activity in the area!” Peyton smiled and said, “You should be used to it by now.” She knew me well enough to tell when I was in a foul mood and would speak to me calmly in order to avoid me taking out my frustrations on her. It was not by any means that she was afraid of me. On the contrary, it was for my own wellbeing. Before I could reply she added, “Do not worry, this fort looks like a very good defensible position.” I sighed in frustration that she, of all people, missed what I was trying to say. There was nothing else to do except to prepare for another encounter with the walking-dead. Peyton left to warn her father and the others as I quietly began preparing my poisoned arrows. I recalled my Sylvari hound and waited for George Unty’s orders to face my dreaded enemies once again.