Company of the Meatshield

Falcon's Death

“You will avenge our lands, our people, you will avenge us.” Echos overtop an image of green liquid and stone.

Light seeps in through puss-filled eyelids. It’s painful, but finally they flutter open and closed spasmodically. Blinking the man groans involuntarily as his body becomes fully aware of the pain he is in. “Ahhhh… you are awake… that is good.” The voice, like air escaping a crypt.

As his eyes open he sees a tall balding man with wisps of long grey-white hair cascading over his black robes. To your side looms a massive, nightmarish figure, literally a figure that has haunted his dreams… Ungarth Hrungne.

Air escaped the crypt again as the old man asks “Do you know who I am and whom I serve? More importantly… have you seen my wand?”
“Where am I?” Falcon questions wearily. An image of stone once again enters his mind.

“That is not an answer to my question. Ungarth, be so kind as to encourage my guest to be more forth coming.”

The looming Ogre-Mage grins at Kelthas, “I am a little peckish. Perhaps some finger food.”

Now, as Falcon struggles, he realizes he is naked and chained to a wall in a vitruvian pose a couple of feet off the ground. Ungarth takes Falcon’s weak right hand in his massive paw, an odd time to notice this but his fingers are adorned with some uniquely beautiful rings. Without breaking eye contact, Ungrath bites off, chews and swallows your index and middle fingers. Archer, no more.
Falcon holds a scream and spits violently at Ungarth. “Your wand Kelthas? I know where it is”

Kelthas slithers up to the beaten ranger. “Be so kind as to tell me… you see… time is of the essence and though I could rip the details from your little mind, I have already done much today and it is well past time for me to sleep. So be a good Elfling, and tell me where my wand is so I might have my acquaintances run and pick it up for me. – Make me wait until tomorrow and I shall be less… gentle."

Perhaps it is only wishful thinking or desperation, but Falcon tries to communicate with Elder Skyridge as he often did in the High Wood. In what can only be a futile effort Falcon tries to send images of his thoughts: freeing the wand and closing the portal, the poison and near death. He wills his thoughts to his father; images of Kelthas and Ungarth, and his allies. In his mind he screams: “Father. Great evil has awakened in Ilefarn. Find my militiamen. Tell them of my death. They will avenge me and stop this evil.”

Falcon blinks away the poison still affecting his vision and glares at Kelthas. “If it is your doom you seek look for it back at Daggerford. My fellow militiamen will destroy you!” Falcon tries to break the chains and kicks as hard as he can into the air. He demands to fight the Ogre-mage.
Ungarth seems angry that Falcon spit on him, but aside from glower at him and wipe the spit from his face he is unmoved.

Kelthas’ response is quiet as a dusty crypt again, “Hush… don’t cry elfling.” Only then does Falcon realize that tears are pouring out of your eyes and down the tip of your running nose. The pain and the shock begin to overwhelm him.

“I believe you… that my wand is in Daggerford that is. But please, don’t say such things to Ungarth, I trust the two of you will become fast friends tomorrow, for I require more from you in undeath than in life… you see, I’ve been developing a special devotion to honour my dread lord. And you will have the privilege of aiding me. Before I let you rest… what is your name?”

“My name is Falcon.”
“A good name… a strong name but not your real name I am sure… no mind, I think, tomorrow, I shall have to give you a new name.”

“What do you intend to do?” Falcon asks holding to the remnants of courage.
“I intend to be off to my bed, for I must be well rested for tomorrow. And you have a big day ahead of you. Like all well-trained Falcons, a hood should pacify you. Ungarth… the sack.”

Ungarth crams a foul smelling and tasting rag into your mouth and is about to place a rough burlap sack over your head, then pauses, a flicker of recognition on his face. He scowls, throws the sack over your head and the world goes dark as he ties and knots a rope around the sack and your neck. It’s so tight you feel like you could pass out at any moment, and that’s when he starts beating you about the head with his fists.
Falcon once again awakens to a searing, agonizing pain that seems to burn every fibre of his being. It seems to last an eternity and, as the fire abates, he find yourself looking down upon his limp and lifeless body, in his mutilated right hand the vague outline of a great sword, like a blue after-image, dissipates. Though scared and brutalized, it is obviously that Falcon is on the ground. His body lies in a thaumaturgic circle, runes glow around the circle at various points, emitting faint green tendrils of lazy smoke. Before the circle stands Kelthas the Dread, arms up-raised, violently chanting and gesticulating.

Even though he appears to be yelling, Falcon hears nothing. He slowly starts to drift away from Kelthas and even his body. From the periphery, Falcon notices that Ungarth is there as well, carefully pouring blood around the outline of the circle. It’s then that he sees the marks on his own body where his blood was drained and decanted into the jug that Ungarth is now using.

As the circle is completed with your own blood, an inky, blackness of amorphous form shrieks from Falcon’s body and claws at his floating essence. Though no noise escapes Kelthas’ mouth, this screeching, horrible blackness fills Falcon with dread and loathing, and the searing pain returns as it latches on to his essence, dragging him back into the husk that was once Falcon’s body.
*
The pain is gone, replaced by a cold numbness. When Falcon’s eyes open he sees Kelthas before him with a faint green glow surrounding him. Ungarth is grinning maliciously. Kelthas tells Falcon to rise, and though even in this state he wants to resist, the blackness within him forces his body to comply with Kelthas’ command. Falcon feels a strength in his body and sinews that he’s never known… He feels like he has been been carved from the same cold stones from which mausoleum doors are made.

“Ahhh…. that’s better. Much less willful now. I shall call you… Vulture.”

[Falcon is no longer a playable character].

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craigpettie Calidore

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