Cora and Alma
Perhaps it was Alma’s warning, or his own dawning recognition of the terror striking at the heart of his village, but Peter suddenly takes the initiative. As the three loping necrotics close towards him, the mayor launches an attack from Alma’s side, swinging his ancestral sword like a man felling a tree. The blade bites deep into the newly mortified flesh of old Zeke.
Peter recoils quickly, imposing himself between the dead and his daughter.
Caught off balance by the charge of the three undead, you nevertheless rally and, with a broad arc of your blade, cut deeply into the withered flesh of the small girl. Though the wound would be grievous to a mortal man, the animated corpse manages to press forward, its rotting guts tumbling from the ruin of its torso.
Having closed the short distance to Alma and Peter, the undead now clamour to bludgeon them with their bony hands. Two of the creatures turn on Alma and his bevy of mirrored selves. The dead girl lunges at one of the images, swinging wildly, tripped up by the mass of organs that hang from its stomach, piling around its feet. Its intended attack misses the mark, the illusory Alma easily dancing out of the way.
The second of the undead is not so encumbered. It charges forward, lunging with arms wide towards Alma, slamming into his chest… and then passing straight through him. One of the mirror images winks out as the enraged undead stumbles forward, narrowly keeping its balance. It peers suspiciously at the surrounding duplicates, trying to determine which one is real.
In the meantime, the ruin of old Zeke shrugs off Peter’s blow and lands a heavy hand upon the mayor. The same draining effect draws a scream of agony from the portly man. Peter staggers, barely managing to keep his feet.
From the vantage of the roof top you watch as the undead close with Alma and Peter. Whatever these creatures are, they are powerful.
You turn to scan the village.
The barn is fully engaged. The thatched roof is crackling merrily, sending off waves of heat that you can feel even from this distance. Glowing sparks fill the air, dancing upon the updrafts, and filling the night like fire flies. A few float around you, settling-to your chagrin-upon the dry rushes and reeds of the mayor’s roof and all of those around it.
It will be a miracle, you realize, if the whole damn village doesn’t burn to the ground.
Whatever chaos is taking place in the stone house across the street is still carrying on. Screams of terror are punctuated by banging and crashing noises.
The shutters of a nearby house fly open and a thick-chested man looks agape at the happenings in the street.
What in th’ nine ‘ells is you lot carrying on about? Pete, yer fookin’ barn is a burnin’!
When no one answers, he simply stares stupidly at the chaos, perhaps feeling himself in some bizarre dream.
Near the well, where the corpse of the slain man lays next to the broken, flickering lantern a movement catches your eye. The man twitches, his arm lifting from the ground, his fingers clenching and unclenching as though digging through the air.
When his face lifts from the packed dirt it is covered in blood and his hair stands in a wild wave about his head. The man’s features are shrivelled, as though decomposition had set in already. It is his eyes, however, that reveal that reveal the nature of his un-death. Venemous, fanatical, evil. They hate life and seek only its destruction. The creature moves to stand, adding one more to the growing army that is quickly overrunning this town.
WHAT DO YOU DO?