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> Riverhollow Memories, Near Alguz
post Feb 1 2016, 03:32 PM
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The first warning the people of the Barony of Riverhollow got was the screams.

From the shadows leapt ancient undead dressed in crude armour; blurred beings with no faces; demons wrapped in chains and bearing the crest of Kesselharn. They cleaved the unsuspecting peons with blades, crushed them with hammers, wrapped power around their own hands and laughed as they turned upon one another. Within moments, hundreds were lost: and when they fell, their souls were torn away and replaced with undead echoes, who in turn bought their weapons down upon their former fellows.

The town of Riverhollow fared best; there, enough militia were stationed to hold out against the incursion. Soon they were joined by a slender angel with glowing crystalline eyes, a stalwart warrior who rallied the townsfolk to defend their people and played no small part in turning the tide of the battle. On the borders with Keys and Alguz, support soon arrived from other towns and saved many of the outlying villages.

For a few horrible minutes it looked as if the heart of the barony was too far from aid. But soon there were cries of relief - "Mercenaries! There are mercenaries here!"

Through the forces, a small but relentless band cleaved a path of salvation. With glowing blades and well-placed spells they rescued a number of villagers, fighting their way down to the catacombs below one of the outlying villages to thwart whatever had caused this devastating assault. "They weren't even warriors," one of the rescued peons was later heard to say. "Just wizards and priests. They risked their lives for us."

An hour after they disappeared beneath the ground, the undead forces shuddered and paused, and the blurred figures dissolved into wisps of smoke. Across the Barony, the militia and defenders of the people leapt to take advantage of the moment's respite, cutting down the forces with astonishing ease, the creatures not moving so much as to defend themselves. Only the demons remained, snarling with fury.

"This does not free you!" called the largest of them, who stood at the gates of Riverhollow town. "The servant of our fallen master shall claim your souls, and we shall feast upon your Ruin!"

A gargle from the demon's throat heralded the appearance of a blade in his gut, and he fell to reveal the armoured form of the angel who had defended the town. "You shall never take Riverhollow!" he shouted, to the cheers of the militia and the townsfolk who had rallied with spade and pitchfork to stand in its defence.

In the days that followed, Riverhollow mourned their fallen and began to repair the damage that had been caused. Even with their triumph, it still seemed to the people that there was a shadow hanging over them; a shadow that had, perhaps, always been there. It seemed that whatever malevolent force had turned its eyes upon them was not yet done with them. In silent, total unison, the people of Riverhollow began to sleep with blades beside their beds and barriers across their doors.

They had never had something to fight for until now - and yet, somehow, they seemed to know precisely what it was to rise up against the darkness.

Will Power - plot@labyrinthe.co.uk
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