The Golden Plague
October 16, 2018 at 12:06 am #31604
Where it had come from- no one could tell him.
The first victims were the mutated humans who would go above the ground to hunt and scavenge for whatever nutrition this vast, radioactive wasteland could spawn – the litmus.
When the regular hunters didn’t return, a recon party was sent to look for it. Anders first knew about it when panic infected the population of the Underdark and the cries of pain and distress brought him running.
What had happened? The few survivors that returned were gibbering wrecks. Mutant humans that were effected by purulent boils that grew, expanded and burst before their eyes, leaking stinking rot and pus from skin that was starting to peel away from muscle. Their minds twisted into psychosis, reacting to images that only they could see. Some had to be restrained as they started to tear into their skin with ragged nails, stripping it and screaming that they had to let the poison out. Those that were so far unaffected described a cloud of what appeared to be a yellow fume, as high as a mountain that stretched across the horizon.
Reports were that even the sickly looking trees that had attempted to regenerate the radioactive land, and hardy by their very nature, withered and died as they came into contact with the cloud.
Anders ordered everyone inside the catacombs until he could send a cadre of vampires to investigate this phenomenon when night spread across the land.
October 19, 2018 at 6:00 pm #31652
The population of Improvidence were in a panic.
Above ground was no longer safe and how would the humans eat without hunting?
The Drow were furious as always and the whole contingent gathered together and while hundreds gathered in the safety of the main cavern to debate, they secreted themselves away as a whole and descended deeper into the dark, to those depths that only they knew about- to sit, to wait it out and to emerge once the crisis was over- or all above them were dead.
They had survived here for thousands of years and no plague was about to wipe them out now.
The humans were terrified and called upon their Ruler to do something! Anything!
They had placed a fearful trust in Anders and now it was time for him to deliver.
October 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm #31653
Anders stood above them all, their voices- fearful and terrified, echoed above the great cavern and reverberated about the space. It appeared that his plans for world domination would have to be placed upon hold. But the Vampyre God had always planned for the long term- There were caves filled with food for the mutants and certainly his vampyre hoard would not go hungry as there were plenty to feed from and all of them drenched with the alluring piquancy of dread, horror and despair.
Anders raises his hand “QUIET!”- his voice rings out and silences all with a command. He looks to his sister, Brigitte- she who had torn the throat from the Mother Of Twine and obtained the Judas Spear from Kida- his most trusted of all his familia and his Sergeant-At-Arms at Improvidence.
“The sun is setting dear Sister”
Although his words seemed to carry a sense of foreboding, prophetic perhaps and not just in reference to that great star about which all of Hellifyno spins.
“Take a unit of Kin and investigate this cloud. Send a few in to find out its capabilities. ” leaning forward to murmur words for her alone. “I would know if this plague affects our kind also. But…” and with this he caresses her cheek with an uncharacteristic tenderness, not seen since the Jaeger pilot.
“Do not place yourself in danger.”
A nod and she is gone, with a half dozen of the most capable Vampyres with her.
“Do not despair friends!” Anders’ voice once more carries across the panicked mob. “There are ways…and there are ways. As the cloud grows closer it is now too late to leave..”
There is uproar at this news. Screams of dismay and unease rise in a choral throng of terror.
“We have protection here my friends. The rock of ages holds us within her womb. It will not get us here.”
His voice is strong and confident but there is an underlying trepidation within the Vampyre Blood God that is not communicated to the others.
“I have sent out a unit to reconnoitre. We shall await word from them meanwhile, take your families to your caves. Remain calm. Support each other and we shall get through this.”
October 19, 2018 at 7:09 pm #31654
Even in the dark, the cloud was clearly seen, obscuring the moon with its height and stretching across the horizon. It glowed golden, the light, pulsating with an evil intent, as Brigitte and the unit of Vampyres arrived to make their observations.
It had leaped closer to the tunnels that fed into the underground system.
“Go tell Anders to block tunnels A, E, I and U. Whatever this thing is, we had best protect ourselves.”
A Vampyre heads back to do that leaving Tunnel O- the main entrance into the caverns.
Brigitte then selects three Vampyres to make a foray into the miasmic cloud of poison, confident that nothing would harm them for what in this world can? They were reluctant, but of course obeyed.
In the hour they were gone she watched as the cloud crept ever closer until….
The first to emerge appeared horribly mishapen and disfigured, a distended silhouette that seemed to bubble and grow as it got closer. Other made to help their Kin but Brigitte prevented them with a curt command and instead watched with all the cool neutrality of a scientist watching a sample die. It bubbled and grew as though the blood that it contained boiled within it’s veins and then- predictably, exploded in a shower of gore and ancient vitae.
The second staggered out of the cloud a few minutes later. It was unrecognisable from the beautiful male that had entered. It walked with the lumbering gait of a zombie and was missing a foot and so limped as the bloody stump supported it’s weight. It’s eyes were staring and unseeing of all about it, caught in a madness that had caused it to tear it’s own arm from its body and was busily feasting upon it at an alarming rate. Once consumed, it then plucked out its own eyes and chewed on them like they were candy before staggering towards a great precipice in the topography and mercifully falling to its death.
It was some time before the third was heard, screaming with agony, gibbering and howling with a crazed insanity that send the others cold and quelling the urge to run for their lives. Finally, it emerged from the cocoon of that poison’s embrace. Their comrade was not the male who had entered. His flesh was suppurating with poison, a golden pus that was leaking from wounds that were open and for some reason- not healing. They watched as flesh fell from bones and one eye burst in its socket to dribble more of the gold fluid down its face. Acid like- all it touches- burn, bubbles, blistered and then too falls away- in blackened faciitis.
It swings it’s head as though sniffing the air and finally detects its familia. In a blur, it is upon them.
“KIll IT!!!” screams Brigitte as it grabs for her and that same poison sizzles great holes in the flesh that it touches. “Kill it!” and the others, reluctant at first to touch this psychotic monster, restrains it to the ground while another grabs at its head, tears of blood coursing down her face as she is forced to deliver the true death to one she has known and loved for centuries.
Hands grips its head as it shrieks and howls, a twist one way then the other and a sickening cracking sound as bone and sinew and flesh are torn apart and the head is wrenched from its body and the creature then lies still.
At that moment, what remains bursts into flames and is quickly consumed to ash which blows away in the wind leaving nothing but an injured Brigitte and the keening of the Kin who has lost a brother.
“Back to the tunnels- NOW!” screams Brigitte. “We cannot survive this thing!” hardly believing her own eyes at what she has observed. It affected all three so very differently. It seemed not to have a logical progression and for the first time in more than a thousand years, the cold, beautiful and wholly arrogant Brigitte felt fear.
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