Rhiallis: The Tomb

      Today’s snippet, titled “The Tomb”, is a piece I wrote about my PC in Mark’s new (Good) Pathfinder Campaign.
      Be forewarned, there may be mature themes and naughty language below.
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      Eerie silence so thick as to make her shallow breath echo like thunder filled the chamber.
      They had not expected to find a wall in the middle of the Worldwound and had followed its length to investigate any potential threats – as tasked by the Queen herself all those weeks ago.
      Sadie’s keen eyes and deft fingers had located the secret door, but had failed to find the Sepia Sigil cast upon it. Rhiallis could still see the queer ghostly snake striking her little friend when she closed her eyes.
      Don’t close your eyes, she told herself firmly, scanning the room. The air was dry as a desert and smelt as ancient and dead as a tomb. She wet her lips nervously. Despite all the experiences of the past two years – or perhaps because of them – Rhiallis never ceased to feel anxiety and outright fear when entering the unknown.
      To her right, the chamber ended abruptly thirty or so feet away, a pile of rubble all that remained of the stone wall. There were three suits of armor on display, though one had been half-buried by the mess.
      “That can’t be good,” Sadie muttered.
      Rhiallis agreed. She focused upon them, seeking the presence of evil at that end of the chamber. There was nothing. Of course, not all magic is evil. And if they are animated, the magic to construct them may well have been- Oh, to the Hells with it. I’ll just check it out.
      She stepped closer, cautious.
      A suit of armor, somewhat rusty but otherwise quite fine, began to move. Rhiallis lifted her shield and met its attack with Radiance. No sooner did the second set join in than a high-pitched voice swirl through the chamber.
      It felt like a memory. Her heart seized in her chest. A poignant memory; agony and longing and love and joy and pain – over all the rest, there was pain.
      “What is it?” She managed to ask, swinging the enchanted blade. The articulated armor was a brutal opponent for there were no vital organs to strike, no fleshy bits to aim for. And it sensed her presence without error, pummeling her shield until it felt as it if would break.
      “…she’s beautiful.” Tom Parris’ voice was a whisper. “She’s-”
      “A banshee!” Zeke’s bellow came from behind her and as she whirled, Rhiallis caught sight of the singing woman.
      Not a woman at all, but a whisper of one, she was ethereal and wispy and insubstantial. A ghost, came the thought, then, what is she doing?
      The apparation tilted its head back in an unnatural angle and its mouth opened wider than its mortal jaws would have allowed.
      An unholy shriek erupted from the gaping maw.
      Her ears began to bleed and her stomach twisted in upon itself, roiling so violently she was certain she would vomit all over the pavestone floor.
      Zeke stepped up to the woman, his sword lifted to slam into her. She seemed to stretch and shatter, reassembling herself in an instant; but her claws somehow managed to rend Ezekiel through plate and mail. Blood fountained from his wounds, splattering the wall behind the banshee. Rhiallis knew enough about the limits of the human body to know that a blow like that would have felled a lesser man. Zeke did not even go to one knee from the impact. He brought his blade down, striking her.
      “We gotta get back,” Sadie’s voice came through their minds at once, the message spell still effective. “Let’s regroup outside before this fucking bitch kills us all!”
      The next few seconds were a blur of activity; the four of them backed out the door and rapidly healed each other’s wounds. Yet though the animated armor made no move to follow them, Rhiallis knew the Banshee would not let them leave unscathed.
      “We’re going back in, right?” Tom Paris said. “We must.”
      Sadie nodded grimly. “Can’t leave these things here to attack anyone else.”
      “The evil must be cleansed.” Ezekiel stood tall again, his armor stained with torrents of blood though his wounds had all closed.
      “On your count, Sadie,” Rhiallis said, “I’m ready.”
      They took a deep breath in unison, and pushed back through the hidden door.

– – – – – – – – – – –
Signed, Josie
Note: Image is “King Jagiello Statue Central” by (Mulligand) from SXC.hu; edited by me

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