Within the ceremonial chamber of the funereal temple, the sounds of the Walker in Darkness's army can be faintly heard -- a cry goes up, and ten thousand feet can be heard clattering towards the door. Uncertain of the meaning of Cerin's statement, the other ambassadors seem confused and uncertain -- the true nature of the current events still shielded from them. The Mask holds out both hands and cracks his knuckles with a horrifying rattling sound.
Though none from within the building can see, the monstrous tentacles of the Magma Kraken burst from the cursed earth of the Underworld and begin to flail madly at the warriors of the dead, batting and smashing them without the slightest effort. The Walker's army is vast, however, and other warriors stream past the tentacles as their comrades are brutally crushed and ignited. The front lines charge ahead rapidly, nearly reaching the front door of the temple. The mortal ambassadors at the meeting begin to shout and move around, certain that something horrible is happening but with no idea what.
The first wave of undead soldiers pour in through the cloud of dust.
Chunks of the ceiling fly outwards and crash down upon the hordes of warriors, crushing them utterly The frontmost zombies are close enough to be seen clearly now; each moves with a speed and grace normally unknown to the undead, and bears a wicked glint where its eyes once were. To a man, they wear unusual flared uniforms and fight with thin, curved short blades; Zahara alone might recognize them as the elite infantry of the southwestern Tojava people, now dead nigh upon 700 years.
<Zahara> "Beware.. these are no ordinary undead!" she warns. "Don't take them for granted."
As Markuran destroys the front of the building, Cerin begins to fire at the unrushing horde, pulling motes of sunlight from the glows of the anima in the room as he stretches them out across the sunlight bow, releasing them straight and true, the arrows leaving dust and robes where zombies once were...
The revenants so struck are annihilated, each instantly turned to fine dust by the passage of Cerin's glowing bolt. The warriors who have entered the remnants of the temple grant Markuran a wide berth, attempting to move beyond his range on each side and reach the altar room behind him.
Laid out before her is an army greater than she could have imagined -- hundreds of thousands of zombies, ghosts, and other creatures stand amassed on the plain. In their back ranks, other, larger, more ominous shapes are partially visible through the haze which hangs about the plain.
<Zahara> "Mask, Who are these people?!" Zahara demands, as she lifts an iron bell from her belt. "And why are they attacking us? Was this some trick of yours?"
The bolts strike amongst the outlaid army, each consuming utterly an undead soldier.
One Dragon-Blooded guard opens his eyes at the sound of a loud "CRASH!" Betraying his direct orders, the soldier flings open the door to the temple and runs inside, finding the ceiling collapsed into the foyer. He looks around for a moment, then stares in the open door to the meeting hall -- only then realizing that the entire building is empty. This, he thinks, is not what was supposed to happen.
The Mask looks up at Zahara. "The gentleman leading the army which is currently attacking us is... one might say a 'colleague' of mine. As for what reason he might have to attack us, I cannot say. Certainly this is no trickery of mine, however; I am as surprised as you are." He grins helpfully.
<Zahara> "If you bear malice for me in your heart, this bell will not sound kind to your ears." she grins back, fiercely, and taps the bell once. A clear peal rings, a tiny sound which expands like a wave of sonic power, striking all in its path, including those who were trying to sneak around Mark to the altar in back.
The sound of the bell rings deep and true throughout the temple. As one, twenty-three zombies explode, fragments of skin and bone shoooting vilely through the air as the very forces which hold them together are severed by the power of the Warbell.
Outside, the flaming Kraken tentacles whomp back and forth, crushing and setting afire the corpses of zombies.
More and more zombies fall before the combined wrath of the Solar circle, crushed, impaled, and incinerated.
<Zahara> "Mask, do you plan to fight your own battle, or is that why you need allies? Show us your vaunted power."
The Mask arises from his seat, waving his cloak with an elaborate flourish. He begins to move his thin, white fingers in an intricate, elaborate pattern. Just at the edge of hearing, he begins to whispers words in the tongue of the Old Realm in a deep, gutteral voice. The army outside begins to move somewhat differently. Those with sharp eyes can see some of the vague, large shapes in the distance begin to move forward, as the ranks of Tojava infantry move aside to grant them passage. The large zombie struck by Markuran crashes into an oncoming rush of zombie warriors, crushing them utterly.
Trails of choking dust are all that remain where Cerin's arrows cut through the hordes of undead. As the huge masses moving through the army's ranks grow closer, their features grow more distinct, and their nature can be gleaned. There are three of them, each standing over one hundred feet tall. Each has the vague shape of a man, though they vary greatly from that base. The monstrous abominations each have six arms, and a single monstrous head with a maw the size of a small building. Each is covered with bone-white, vicious looking spines, and bears weapons of ivory in their hands -- one great mauls, another vicious serrated gloves, the third a greatsword
As they grow yet closer, it can be seen that each is composed of the still-living yet horribly mutilated bodies of tormented victims. Each ivory spine is made of the exposed bones of living limbs, filed to vicious sharpness. The blood of those who compose them pours freely down their massive, hulking forms and flows in great rivers from their feet; the bodies within moan and cry out with each step.
<Zahara> "That.. is disgusting." Zahara comments.
The Mask of Winters continues his chanting and gesticulating, apparently unconcerned with the new developments.
<Markuran> ::The sound that follows his attack is so loud that for a moment, it seems silence reigns. Then the slaughter-birthed monster falls backwards to the ground, a twisted mess of destroyed char, burned to ash and bone by Mark's holy fury.
The beast plunges its great ivory sword in front of Markuran, deflecting his first three blows, though the Solar slips beside it to deliver the remaining two.
The force of Markuran's blows tears the leg of the horrific beast free entirely. Hundreds of wretched souls scream as each of Mark's blows tears their bodies asunder. The beast's wretched bulk drops to the ground, its side exploding in a vicious flood of blood that soaks Markuran and all others nearby. However, though rendered immobile, it remains animate.
<Zahara> Ice and Fire dive down to strike at one of the still-standing abominations. Then, Chain and Staff whip around behind it while it's distracted by the first strikes, entangling its..leg things.
The beast brings up its massive club, attempting to shield its body from the bell's ring -- but it does not quite succeed. Though it manages to harry the fire and ice blades from striking it, the beast does not seem to notice the remaining two weapons sneaking up behind it -- where they strike ably at it. Zahara's weapons strike at the beast, rending its amalgamated flesh. Blood begins to spurt wildly from the many wounds opened up by the bell's ringing, and the strikes of the chain and staff. The ringing of the bell echoes, striking the other monstrosities as well. The one felled by Markuran bleeds anew, coating nearby zombies in a literal wave of blood.
The beast holds up its vicious ivory gloves in an attempt to deflect Cerin's blazing bolts of sunlight, and ably deflects two -- a slight miscalculation on its part, however, causes the third bolt to utterly sever its hand, letting the remaining two strike home. They rip through the beast's chest, causing a grotesque explosion of charred flesh and bone out from its back, slowly raining down upon the assembled army.
<Zahara> ::The Kraken's 10 tentacles rip through the zombies in their way, lashing at the largest targets - the abominations. fwooosh::
<The Storyteller?> Three tentacles grab hold of the beast Markuran drove to the ground moments earlier, and tug in different directions -- it flies to pieces, a thousand piteous human voices screaming and wailing in utter pain as its form is shredded to pieces.
Under the vicious attacks of the frenzied manticore, the final beast collapses in a stenchful heap of rotting, bleeding meat.
Slash! Whomp! Rattle! Whack!
As the beasts collapse, within the building Mask of Winters finishes his incantation. A stunning wave of jet black energy spreads over the field, and the forces animating the numerous zombies shatter, scattering vicious shards of necromantic energy in every direction. The Mask strides out of the temple and onto the now-barren field, and the Walker in Darkness, from a great distance away, begins to walk to meet him.....
Tags: (:tags Mask of Winters, Underworld, Walker in Darkness:)