Location: Dernhal Square.
THE place looked deserted. The smell of death permeated the air all around, skulls littered the ground, the streets broken, and the houses overgrown with weeds.
"Perhaps Dordrot was right... This place is cursed." said Trevelayn.
A ranger picked up a skull and looked at it fearfully. Suddenly the ground shook. Bleached-white skeletal arms poked out of the ground, grabbing for the surface and pulling armored bodies out of the earth. The rangers unsheathed their swords and gathered in a circular formation. A skeleton tugged on the end of Dordrot's green cloak and with a hard blow he knocked it out. With that, the skeletons charged the group. The rangers crashed into the skeleton force and killed them all. Soon the battle was over, only a handful of Rangers dead.
"Sir, there is a Wolfpack army blocking the pass to Siastrahkan. We have not enough men to head through there."
"Alright. I have an idea," pondered Fraun. "The crypt!"
He pointed to a large stone mausoleum to the northwest.
"There should be a tunnel that lead out the other side in that crypt. We'll go in there."
"Alrighty then? What are we waitin' for?" yelled Trev.
DARK clouds gathered as Dordrot and Fraun pushed away the runic door to the crypt and peered inside. Almost right in time a crack of thunder rumbled on the horizon and rain began to pour down on the rangers. Hodge looked up warily.
"I guess we're leavin' just in time mates."
Fraun lit a torch, and the group of twentysomething headed inside. Some of the walls were carved with Mephistaran designs, others held long-dead skeletons mouldering in tiny catacombs. Cobwebs hung around the long corridor and the farther they went the colder it became, the more potent the stench. Fianlly the hallway ended at a cold metal wall covered in dust and cobwebs. Trevelayn blew the mess away to reveal a brass symbol, a sinister-looking silver skull with one eye peering from it. Almost immediately some of the group shot back with fear, but Trevelayn only looked at them bitterly.
"What er ye afraid of, ye cowerds?" he complained.
Fraun stepped forward to anylize the runes on the macabre emblem.
"Hmmm. Looks like ancient Nehimar. Probably a gravesite for a band of Necromancers who got stranded up here."
The rangers looked about the tomb.
"We Forestmen are superstitous," noted Hodge. "Don't mind 'em."
Fraun read the inscriptions more intimately.
"Whomsoever disturbs the dead... The Dead will disturb you. So unless you wish an untimely doom... Turn back." he grimly added. Fraun and Trevelayn looked at eachother eagerly and both threw open the vault. Immediately the torch flickered out in the cold, oxygen depleted air. Fraun scrambled in the darkness to light it again. When he did, he immediately wished he hadn't.
"Fraun... I think we know what happened to the villagers..."
Two red-eyed vampires stood grinning evilly, their razor-sharp fangs glowing ivory in the evil crypt.
"Chodan help us..." pleaded Trevelayn as he rammed his saber into the black heart of one vile creature, and out he other end. Black blood, like bile, issued forth from the night-creeper, and the next leaped onto a ranger, biting into his neck. The elite screamed as the Vampire gorged itself on human blood. The men scrambled about, yelling and shouting, stabbing at it with their blades. Hodge tossed his cleaver, and the Vampire fell over, wounded but hardly dead, with the instrument sticking form its back. The ranger fell over as well, pale and stiff, his neck scarred. He was dead.
"Megabloksit, Fraun, we should have never come here!" cursed Trevelayn.
"You were the one so eager to go," shot back Dordrot.
"Well, we could've at least have died honorably fighting the Wolfpack!" yelled Trev, "Now we get to rot and moulder in some, God-forsaken tomb, surrounded by bloody vampires and mutilaed corpses!"
The room was domed, and a statue of some evil four-armed god stood triumphant over the next doorway, brandishing a war axe in one hand and holding the severed heads of Chodan, Heliopa, and Ichtyess in it's three others.
"Mephistar... God of Death and Evil. Let's keep on. We don't want to waste time."
"Alright Kif, let's show these freaks what a bloated, runaway military budget can do"