2000-01-28: Tarnished Honor

Lake Superior Edition

Tarnished Honor

Author: Criden Published: January 28, 2000

’Twas a foul night when the undead horde descended upon the fair city of Trinsic, the sandstone paving covered with the remains of rotting flesh from the multitude of horrors that crept up in the dark. I was but enjoying myself with a bit of fishing upon the docks when I began to hear the cries of terror from the city main, and see the flickering signs of potent magery reflecting off the city walls.

Climbing the guard tower stairwell into the escarpments, I gathered myself quite an extraordinary view, whilst allowing me to concentrate fully on my targets below – the height makes for an excellent range of shot. From the city walls, I watched as many a valiant warrior fell to the mob, endless swarms of skeletons and zombies moving through the city, lead by the twisted and hunched forms of ancient liches, casting their foul magics at any they could find. And the most chilling sounds rose up through the din, the hollow laughter of a lich lord itself, as it tore through even the stoutest ranks as a fine broadsword through a wheel of cheese.

Untouched by the foul creatures, a single soul walked the streets fearlessly – if you could even call it a soul. Tarnished plate armor of blackened steel coupled mockingly with the rich purple cloak of the Paladins of Trinsic, and a hollow cruel laugh reminiscent of the winds of Glacia itself. He stalked the warriors that his hordes missed, finishing off those that struck his fancy with a sudden strike with his halberd. Where he walked, even the mummies and wraithes gave way, though the liches and their lords looked upon him as but equals.

Clustered about the Keg & Anchor I spied another battalion of the creatures milling outside the gates, lacking the intelligence in their decayed brains to open the latch. Through them the fallen one strode, swinging the door open and launching an attack on the patrons within, who were preparing for the defense even as they came under assault.

And the wine spilling on the floor mixed with the blood of the virtuous, whilst the battle within raged. Formidable knights of bone springing up to aid the dark one, though never gaining much of an upper hand, the walls of the Tavern holding many out as the warriors fought. As the fallen paladin began to falter, he struck down the paladin Calandryll, and then turned to the barkeep Hurrek Varr, a renowned warrior. Spurred on by the falling of the revolutionary hero, with greater force did the defenders strike, finally cornering the Paladin against the burning flames in the fireplace, and finally striking him down where he stood.

I fear for the land at what shall happen next, for in my bones I know this was only a test, and the true battles have yet to come...