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 Post subject: [STORY] Archaeology - Teutonian Saints
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 12:22 pm
Posts: 1283
Real Name: Paul
Lightning crashed across the sky; viciously illuminating the crypt through an iron barred window. Shadows shifted abruptly in the harsh light before returning to dance at the edge of the torchlight.
The brief illumination made the tall figure flinch as stone gargoyles jumped out of the formless dark, faces contorted in perpetual snarls. Gingerly he waved the torch in an infinity loop at arm’s length in front of him, to see if the creatures had advanced in the darkness.
"Ooh‚ pretty patterns!" remarked his smaller colleague walking past him, seemingly oblivious to the inclement lighting.
"Well with our track record you never know!" replied the Librarian, as he turned to follow his companion.
Dr Robert Wilkins was a tall and willowy gentleman. He wore thin wire frame spectacles and well worn but expensive travelling clothes. His black wavy hair seemed so unruly it defied not only brushing but gravity too. He gave the perfect first impression of a well-manicured nutty professor in the making, second and third impressions rarely changed the view for most.
He watched the torch in front of him bob increasing downwards three times and he called out.
"Are you okay?"
"Steps, Robert" His partner replied as a flash of illumination proved him right. "Why so jumpy?”
"Nothing" Robert responded opening his arms wide to either side.
"There is something bugging you!" insisted the archaeologist.
"No Kendrick old chap." Sighed the librarian "There's been nothing, no traps, no guardians."
"This is a crypt, Robert, people are supposed to come here to get in touch with their ancestors. Killing them would kinda achieve the objective a little too well don't you think?" The Kender replied as he walked over to a sarcophagus that stood alone in the centre of the room. "Here we are."
Dr Kendrick Hobb was the exact opposite of his colleague, a broad kender whose skin was lightly tanned in the manner of an outdoorsman. His own clothing while as well tailored, and in the same dusty brown leather, yet seemed much more well-used and built to withstand more. The halfling's long blonde hair was tied up in a topknot with a piece of brown leather thonging. The crystal blue eyes flashed with mischief over a devious intellect. A well crafted‚ double-shot crossbow was slung across his back, with the words 'Kender Defender MKI' inscribed upon the stock.
"Lady Esmeralda Blackthorne" Robert read the name.
"Charmed I'm sure!" greeted Kendrick producing his tools. "I still can't see why we were hired, something is wrong with that I agree."
"The documentation was all legal, this is the Count's property and so is the family heirloom buried with his great, great aunt. He hired us to retrieve it because we are respectable and he can trust us to be discreet with his great, great aunt's remains." Robert reminded him.
"Then why didn't he just come here and get it himself?" Kendrick asked.
"Oh well" replied Robert expansively "He is a noble isn't he?"
"Like you were" reminded Kendrick.
"He's probably a very busy man, lots of different duties taking his time." Robert said defensively.
"Like you were, all day spent in libraries reading books no one cared about. Tremendously busy, Robert."
"That" Robert exclaimed. "Was a cleverly disguised dig at your old friend!"
"Nope that was a poorly disguised dig and proud of it!" said Kendrick smiling fondly.
"Hmm the sarcophagus isn't sealed, how odd. And then there is the way the locals reacted to us when they found out what we were here to do. No matter what we ordered in that inn, it was drenched in that spicy herb stuff. My breath is going to reek for weeks."
"It was some kind of onion by the looks of it, possibly related to horseradish." Robert commented.
"Well anyway it stinks." Complained the Halfling "Let's get this over with!"
The Kender slid the lid off to crash against the floor.
Robert cringed at the sound, then continued to examine the crypt suspiciously as Kendrick went up onto the tips of his toes to look into the sarcophagus.
"Oh well that is odd! The coffin has got handles on it."
"That's not unusual at all, dear boy."
"Handle to grip yes!" said the Halfling turning to glare at the Librarian. "But not door handles!"
Kendrick turned back to the coffin to find the lid had swung upon its’ hinges. Inside the richly dressed lady in her mid-twenties winked at him. Her black hair fell in ringlets around the pale, white skin of her face; her eyes were dark pools of blue and her lips were rosy and full. Her too sharp white teeth glistened against the red of her lips.
"Oh bugger!" Kendrick said with feeling, as the pallid hand shot up and grabbed him by the throat. Slowly the vampire lifted him up off the floor. He spluttered something as the Lady Esmeralda sat upright and glared at him.
"Vat did you say?" she demanded, loosening her iron grip to briefly allow him breathe.
"I said, I wish the undead would stop doing that or at least do it to him!" Kendrick repeated, waving at Robert. As he spoke the noxious stench of his garlic breath wafted into the lady's face, the skin hissed and burned where breath came into contact with it. The lady screamed and flung the offending Kender away against the crypt wall. He grunted as his body hit the wall and dropped to the floor. "They can ... cut that out ... an' all!" he choked clambering to his feet as Robert grabbed at him.
The pair ran to the door as behind them Esmeralda screamed in rage and pain.

The doors to the Blackthorne family crypt burst open as the lightning split the sky, and a pair of figures sprinted out into the thunderstorm. The smaller one ran back and slammed the doors shut, jamming a spade through the door handles.
Then the pair resumed their flight into the windswept stormy night.
"What do you know about vampires Robert?" yelled the shorter one vaulting over a tombstone in mid sentence.
"They don't like garlic..." Came the response as the taller figure slipped and slid around the corner of another crypt.
"That I'd gathered!" Retorted the Kender coming around the corner behind him.
"...Sunlight will kill them..." screamed Robert over the roll of thunder.
"Well that's a big help!" replied Kendrick as the Halfling was buffeted about by the nighttime gale.
"... Oh and they can be held at bay by items of religious significance!"
"Head for shrine." yelled Kendrick, pointing through the driving rain to the squat two storey structure as the sound of breaking stone some distance behind them signalled Esmeralda's escape from the tomb.

The pair slammed the thick oak doors to the shrine behind them and dropped the heavy wooden bar into place. Almost immediately the door shook with the mighty pounding of fists.
"That is not going to hold her till dawn, old boy" Robert said watching the door shake with each blow.
"I know, wait here" Kendrick said dashing up the stairs.

Upstairs in the shrine the lightning flickered crazily through the blood red stained glass, highlighting the silver statue of St Augustus, patron saint of last minute desperate measures. Kendrick slipped past the statue and peered down at the vampire smashing her delicate fists against the door. Stepping back he stared long and hard at the earnest face of St Augustus. He took a further four steps back and then ran forwards, shoulder barging the statue through the window.
Nearly over balancing, he grabbed at the stone window edge to avoid pitching out into the night after the statue as he heard a brief shriek cut off by the sound of a large quantity of solid silver impacting into the ground.
Peering out of the shattered window he looked down on the statue as it laid on its' back in the mud, a broken hand stuck out limply from underneath it. It twitched once and was still.
“And that came to mind how?” asked Robert peering past the halfling as the rain whipped through the broken window.
"You said vampires could be held at bay by items of religious significance!" explained Kendrick still looking down on the statue. “And it looks like you were right!”
"Kendrick, when it comes to you I despair, I really do." sighed the Librarian shaking his head.
"Ah‚ yes, despair all you want but you do survive." The Kender reminded him. Patting him on the shoulder as he moved past him back into the shrine.


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