TEXT   56    6877   38.53 KB

Darkest Anon

By Defiant
Created: 18th December 2020 08:11:21 AM

  1. To Anonymous,
  2.  
  3. I am doubtful that you savvy any knowledge of my existance. Nevertheless, I discovered your name among the dusted ledgers of the manor's age-old library. You and I appear to be bound by blood, a fact that makes you the last remaining heir to our family's legacy.
  4.  
  5. As much I would choose to greet you as a bearer of glad tidings, the condition that I am in is far from comfortable. As I scribble these letters, angry folk is pounding on my door like recthed animals.
  6.  
  7. My fellow kin, I fear I have soiled our familiy name.
  8.  
  9. Living in the luxury of our venerable house, I never felt lacking of pastime. Alas, it was at the time I began to become weary of this abundance that I have discovered a rumor. Abnormal unsettling narratives spoke of the mansion as a gateway to fabulous and unlimited power.
  10.  
  11. I perused through the writings in the library and found inklings which would lead me down the path of desolation and insanity. With the knowledge I gathered, I directed countless excavation to uncover those long buried mysteries, draining the remainder of our family fortune.
  12.  
  13. Ensuing these seemingly endless pursuit, within the deepest caverns under the lowest foundation, we unearthed that damnable portal to antediluvian evil.
  14.  
  15. Ancient earth quaked beneath our feet as we enter a realm of death and madness. In the end, I alone escaped, cackling and wailing through those shadowy tunnels of crude stone. Until the soft embrace of unconsciousness took me.
  16.  
  17. Our venerable house, opulant and imperial, is a festering abomination. I pray thee, claim your birthright, restore our name and deliver their legacy from the hollows of the Darkest Dungeon.
  18.  
  19. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  20.  
  21. >It is a perticularly gloomy and silent night when you get the letter from your supposed relative
  22. >Along with it he sent you the adress of the mansion he spoke of in his ominous epistle and some legal documents that declare you as the owner of the said estate and its surrounding acres, apperantly involving a town called Hamlet
  23. >For the most of your adult life after moving out of your parent's house, you've lived in a rented studio apartment, going to your day job as a cashier at the local market and coming back home to watch anime
  24. >Your unchanging and dull life pushed you into your own dreamscape and so you've imagined many things that will bring the occasional smile to your face
  25. >Glorious adventures in magical realms, secret government missions, someone that loves you unconditionally and endlessly, gassing kikes
  26. >All of them centered around you, of course
  27. >Regardless, these were childish dreams of a man who's living an unfulfilled and insignificant life
  28. >Now holding these letter and documents in your hands, you can't help but think that it might be more than that
  29. >Still you should investigate this before making a rush decision
  30. >This might be a petty prank attempt by some jackass, and who sends letters in this day and age anyway?
  31. >Walking at your computer you write the adress on the letter and search for results
  32.  
  33. ~KNOWN BUSSINESSMAN LYNCHED BY ANGRY MOB~
  34.  
  35. >An unsettling news story appears on screen
  36. >It appears that there really was a Hamlet and some rich guy did get murdered
  37. >You continue your reading
  38. -------
  39. The victim was rumored to be involved in cult rituals, murder and even human experimentation. Officials are refusing to give any further info. We are not able to document anything inside the town or around the mansion as there seems to be a magnetic field that causes all electronics to fail. A press ban was also issued following the gruesome event.
  40. ------
  41.  
  42. >What the hell could've happened that would make the government atremble?
  43. >Your eyes slide back down to the letter once again as you find the passage you were looking for
  44. "We unearthed that damnable portal to antediluvian evil."
  45. >A slight chill runs down your spine as you imagine what he might've meant with this
  46. "...a realm of death and madness..."
  47. >Do you want to take responsibility for fixing these man's mistakes -no, this man's sins- a man you've never even seen in your life?
  48. >What does the legacy and name of a family who has long forgotten about you mean to you?
  49. >What price might it cost to repair the damage he's done and is it worth it?
  50. >These are the thoughts you bear as you lie down in your bed to sleep
  51. >Awareness that this decision is definitely a turning point in your life gives you unpleasent dreams and you wake up unrested
  52. >You are mildly surprised yourself when you decide to pack up and get a bus to this town, Hamlet
  53. >However at the same time it is not that surprising
  54. >Afterall, this might be the adventure that you always dreamed of
  55.  
  56. >The bus drops you off near a dirt road at the beginning of a thick oak grove surrounded by a dismally eerie mist, being unable to go any further as a result of that magnetic field you've read about
  57. >It seems you will be forced to walk through this sinister grove and cold mist for some time if you wish to reach your destination
  58. >However, much to your delight, you hear someone calling to you as you take your first step on to the murky dirt road
  59. >"Oh dear me, could this be you Master Anonymous? I have been waiting for your arrival for some time."
  60. >Turning your head towards the sound you spot a coach, parked on a flat ground just out of the road and into the misty grove
  61. "Uh, yes, that is my name. Who are you?" You ask walking towards the coach
  62. >An old looking man with balding and greasy blonde hair comes into your line of sight
  63. >His unhealty teeth are shown by a blandishingly exalting smile
  64. >"I am merely a humble wagoner Master Anonymous, and I am at your service as I was at your predecessor's. He mentioned me and others of your prospective arrival. "He speaks as he opens the door of the coach. "Please, allow me to take you through the remainder of your path."
  65. >You would like to learn more about these 'others' he was talking of but you figure you will have plenty of opportunities once you arrive at Hamlet and quite frankly, something about this sunless grove feels very amiss
  66. "Thank you." You say as you step into the coach
  67. >"My pleasure Master."
  68. >You hear the man climbing to the front of the wagon and the swinging sound of a whip springs the horses to a trot
  69. >Being in this doddering old wooden coach feels very foreign and folksy at the same time
  70.  
  71. >You imagine this kind of carriage must be what your ancestors that are alien to you have used to traverse around
  72. >Looking out of the window and into the misty grove passing by, you try and place the thing that is bothering you
  73. >It seems so very peaceful and yet you feel yourself tense up at the thought of strolling about
  74. >You listen to the sound of the wheels rolling on the dirt road, occasionally hitting a pebble with a deep metallic tap
  75. >The carriage creaks with occasional bump and sound of horseshoes hitting the ground accompanies this strange symphony, along with a sporadic swing of the wagoner's whip
  76. >Suddenly you come to realize what it is that uneasing you
  77. >No other sound finds their way into your ears
  78. >The grove is completely bereft of a voice of itself
  79. >There is not even a slight breeze, no leaves rustling with wind, no birds chirping
  80. >Nothing
  81. >As you dwell on your troubled thoughts, the coach shake with an abnormal force and with a startled cry you find yourself laying inside the wooden carriage, tilted on its side
  82. >You hear the horses whine and their hoofsteps getting further and further away from you
  83. >Holding your bruised arm, you sit up and look around with bewildered eyes, trying to get a feel for the predicament you are in
  84. >The door that carriage landed on was broken off of its hinges and the windows, along with their frames, were broken, their pieces laying all about
  85. >You quickly check yourself for any cuts that may have inflicted by those sharp fragments, letting out a relaxed sigh when you find none
  86. >A clicking sound steers your eyes upwards and you see the wagoner opening the coach door
  87. >"Master Anonymous! Are you well?" There is a concerned look in the old man's eyes as he looks down into the coach
  88. "Yes, yes I'm alright." You answer with a shaky voice, realizing how fast your heart is beating for the first time
  89. >He reaches down with one hand, which you grab and use to pull yourself out
  90. >His battered apperance and torn clothes catches your attention as he jumps down from the carriage, onto the road
  91. >He must've rolled around in the dirt after the fall for quite a distance
  92. >You also jump down and rise to your feet as you speak
  93. "What about you?" He turns to you with confusion openly readable on his face. "Are you alright, I mean."
  94. >"Ah yes, just a little sore Master, nothing serious fortunately." He says with a calm voice. "I can't however, say the same for our ride. I'm afraid an axle is broken and horses ran away, startled."
  95. >He looks at you with a troubled expression
  96. >"My apologies Master Anonymous, but I fear we must continue the rest of the way on foot."
  97.  
  98. >With hesitant steps, you follow after the old man
  99. >Mist that effected the entrance of this grove seems to have turned into a thick fog here, perhaps because your wobbly journey brought you deeper into the treeline
  100. "Why do you think the axle broke?" You ask the coachman while looking around, trying to catch a glimpse behind the thick, unwavering veil of fog
  101. >"I painfully admit it was my wrongdoing, Master Anonymous." He says with an apologetic intonation. "A large stone on our path eluded from my sight until it was too late to stir the horses. Please, forgive my ineptitude."
  102. >Being adressed with such formality is an alien sensation to you
  103. >You feel that you are expected to behave and speak in a similar manner, which makes your conversations with this man unaesy for you
  104. "You know, you shouldn't call me master and stuff." He looks at you with an inquisitive expression
  105. >"What would you prefer I adressed you as?"
  106. "Just call me Anon, please. I am not used to being this formal." He diverts his gaze upon the road, bothered.
  107. >"Would it be acceptable for you if I were to adress you as Anonymous? You see, Just as you are uncomfortable with my formality, being informal feels troublesome for me."
  108. "Seems like an alright compromise to me." You say with shrug of your shoulders.
  109. >"I am glad we reac-" He suddenly blocks your way with his arm. "Master, it is better we turn back."
  110. >You are about to call him out on saying Master yet again as you see two siluettes closing from ahead
  111. >Considering the startled reaction of your companion, you are inclined to assume that both of you has encountered a dangerous situation
  112. "Let's go." You say as you turn around and start walking back the way you came
  113. >It is only a few steps you took before silence of the grove shatters with thunderous roar of gunpowder
  114. >Sudden pain in your arm tells you that you are hit, but you lack the time to worry
  115. >You and coachman break into a run and you hear someone talk behind you
  116. >"Damn I missed!"
  117.  
  118. >The fog, callous and uncaring of your grave emergency, obscures the path ahead, requiring you to be wary of your steps at a time you cannot afford
  119. >It is hardly surprising when you are tackled by a dismantled wheel of the broken coach and sent tumbling down the path
  120. >The coachman, witnessing your predicament, halts to aid you
  121. >However, as he hunches down, your attackers emerge from the fog, unfazed and ready to claim their reward
  122. >One of the men carries a rifle, while the other unsheathes two daggers upon seeing you
  123. >His lips curl into a wicked smile as he steps closer, the rifleman is already aiming at you and the coachman
  124. >Once again, exploding sound of gunpowder rips through the air, a bullet hitting the ground a few meters behind the blade wielding man
  125. >Rifleman raises his weapon, aiming it behind you before taking a shot
  126. >The other bandit takes a defensive stand, seemingly prepearing for an attack
  127. >As you turn your gaze around to see what is happening an actual knight in metal armor rushes past you and swings the pommel of his sword
  128. >Bandit dodges the attack and performs and upwards slash with one of his daggers, an attack whick the knight block with his sword
  129. >While you are stunned by this sudden display, coachman pulls you on your feet and guides your steps towards the side of the road
  130. >Yet another gunshot is fired as you distance yourselves from the skirmish
  131. >You turn your head as a painful cry reaches your ear, just in time to see the knight's blade slashing the dagger wielding bandit's chest
  132. >The scream however seems to have came from the rifleman as he raises his weapon with a pained expression, his shirt bloodied
  133. >This time you see his target as he misses another shot, a woman armed with a pistol and a knife, supporting a ragged coat and rainbow hair
  134. >Her face is cowered with a red bandanna
  135. >This time she takes a well aimed shot to the rifleman
  136. >His lifeless body meets with the cold earth as chunks of his brain paints the ground behind him
  137. >While your gun-shy gaze is focused on the rifleman's sprawled corpse, other bandit swings his daggers with another attempt to mutilate his opponent
  138. >His blade finds a spot unprotected by the knight's armor and plunges into his side
  139. >The knight however, seemingly unbothered by this injury, yet again swings his sword viciously, cutting along the bandits upper arm, up to his collarbone
  140. >With one last gunshot, rainbow haired woman breaks the final glimmer of life in his eyes, putting an end to the fight
  141.  
  142. >You are too baffled by this sudden violence to respond properly as your two saviors put away their weapons and start moving towards you
  143. >The knight removes his nicked helmet, long blonde hair, released from its confinement, glistening even in this dreary place, allowing you to see that he was in fact a she
  144. >Coachman, seemingly in a better mental condition than you are, steps forward
  145. >"Thank you, lady knight for saving my Master from those raving savages," He turns toward the other woman, "and you of course miss."
  146. >"I am bound by oath and honor to aid the helpless innocent and wreak havoc upon sinful evil."
  147. >"She means you are welcome." Rainbow haired woman pitches in with a raspy voice.
  148. >She turns her gaze to you, an oddly worried expression on her face
  149. >"Is your Master sick or something? He looks like he's about to faint." Her words divert the coachman's attention to you
  150. >"Oh no, Master are you hurt?" When you don't react he grabs your shoulders and shakes you slightly
  151. >You snap out of your awe induced trance and try to recall what was being asked of you
  152. >An action that reminds you of the sharp pain and chilling wetness in your arm
  153. "I think he shot me." You say with a detached voice, pointing to lifeless corpse of the fallen rifleman
  154. >Suddenly everything around you seems hazy, making you think for a second that fog is getting in your eyes
  155. >These irrational thoughts however doesn't last long as you collapse unconcious
  156. >You hear some distant shouting before the silky darkness takes hold
  157. ...
  158. >"Huh, he did faint." The rainbow haired woman comments the obvious
  159. >Anonymous is blissfully asleep as robust knight carries him in her arms, not caring for the wound she recieved from her previous clash
  160. >"So you're saying," rainbow haired woman speaks, "we just saved the owner of this whole land?"
  161. >"Yes, that would be correct, miss." Coachman responds. "Master Anonymous, as far as my knowledge holds, is the last of his line and the final heir to this acres."
  162. >"It is a sign from gods that we walk on righteous path." The knight comments.
  163. >"Stop with the 'miss' old man. Name's Rainbow Dash, or Dash for short." She nudges her head towards the knight. "And this big girl here's Applejack."
  164. >"It is a pleasure to meet and a fine fortune to happen upon you both, Miss Dash, Lady Applejack."
  165. >"Hey! No miss, just Dash." Rainbow Dash objects
  166. >"Yes, of course." Coachman's avoidance does not go unnoticed by the rouge
  167. >"Say it, call me Dash." Her insistence fell on deaf ears however, as coachman diverts his gaze away from the woman and staying silent
  168. >"Leave him be Dash." Applejack intervenes just as the rouge reaches to grab him by the shoulder. "He appears to carry a fixation."
  169. >Rouge opens her mouth in momentary objection before muttering
  170. >"Fine."
  171. >The group hurdle the remainder of their short journey in relative silence, caused partly by the eerie ambiance of the grove and partly by the relatively uncomfortable exchange
  172.  
  173. ~You've answered the letter. Now, like me, you are a part of this place.~
  174. >A deep voice, almost malevolent, rings ominously in your mind, pulling you out of comforting and ignorant darkness of your unconciousness
  175. >Opening your eyes, you find yourself laying on a bed in a place that seems to be a hospital
  176. >The most immediate thought you have is to check on your injured arm to see it wrapped up in bandages, a needle and some string laying on the small table next to you along with some scissors
  177. >"Master, you are awake!" You hear the coachman's voice
  178. >He is sitting on the otherside of the bed
  179. "What happened?" Is your first question upon laying eyes on someone that might explain you the events unfolded
  180. >"You passed out like a wimp that's what happened." A raspy voice from other end of the room catches your attention and you realize that you are not in a private room but rather in an infirmary
  181. >Rainbow haired rouge is sitting in a chair near another bed which is occupied by a well built blonde woman
  182. >Blonde woman is wearing only trousers, her bosom covered with a tight makeshift girdle, consisting of a long piece of cloth wrapped around her body, leaving her defined muscles exposed
  183. >Various marks from hard-fought battles are shown on her otherwise smooth skin
  184. >These, along with the knight's armor laying beside the bed and her, now treated and bandaged, wound gives you a good idea as to who she is
  185. >"Be kind Rainbow, he is not a warrior like you and me." She comments before turning her attention to you. "My name is Applejack, Sir Anonymous and this is my sister in arms, Rainbow Dash. Your henchman took the liberty of informing us about your position as the owner of this estate."
  186. "Yes, uh... That's true, even though I didn't know about any of this until yesterday." You speak sheepishly. "Please call me Anon and thank you for saving my life... our lives."
  187. >Her complexion had turned slightly disapproving before you added those last two words
  188. >"It is my honor and duty to protect the-" Applejack is interrupted by her uncouth companion
  189. >"Yeah, yeah you are welcome." She leans toward you in her chair. "Why did you come here then, if you didn't know anything about this?"
  190. >The knight seems mildly frustrated by rouge's interruption, but she does seem interested in the subject aswell
  191. >This question however, is one that you are not sure you have an answer for
  192. "I just kinda figured it would be better than my previous life." You sigh. "More exciting maybe, you know? I just wanted an adventure I guess."
  193. >Rainbow haired rogue seems a little surprised by your answer
  194. >"Huh, maybe you and I aren't that different afterall rich boy." She clicks her tongue. "You are just a bit more... skittish, is the word I think."
  195. "I'm uh... sorry about passing out." You say sheepishly. "It was my first... gunfight?"
  196. >"Hey, I don't care. Applejack was the one that had to carry you here." Your shocked and emberrased reaction only serves to encourage her. "Oh yeah, you were like her bride!" She breaks into a laugh as you hang your head and awkwardly fidget with discomfort
  197. >A smacking sound is heard which brings your attention back to the two women
  198. >You see that Rainbow is glaring the knight while holding the back of her head
  199. >Applejack seems unaware of this as she asks you another question, clearly in an attempt to change the subject. "You know the previous owner of the estate was involved in horrible actions, right?"
  200. >You nod your head, greatful that you don't have to talk about how she carried you all the way to Hamlet
  201. "I actually came here to try and fix what he's done." You furrow your brows. "Though I don't have the slightest idea as to where I should start."
  202. >"Volunteering to mend the crimes your ancestor had commited, even though you had no part in his actions or knowledge of him..." She smiles. "You are an honorable man, Sir Anonymous."
  203. "Y-you too"
  204. >"May I have a suggestion, Master Anonymous." Coachman pitches in. "My late employer kept meticulous notes of his deeds that could help you form an idea about how to act."
  205. "Oh that's great news." You say. "We should take a look at it, and I think we were agreed on you calling me Anonymous."
  206. >"Yes... Anonymous." He says almost forcefully. "Unfortunately it is left in the library of your castle when we fled the manor." He looks at you with fearful eyes and his hands shake as an eerie grin creeps onto his face. "The undead and madmen roam those ruins now. W-we can't go back there!" He wails with tears in his eyes, almost as if he's begging you
  207. >You are taken aback by his abrupt change in behavior, so is everyone in the room
  208. "Undead?" You ask. "What do you mean undead? What did he do?"
  209. >He shakes in his chair, wrapping his arms around himself, rocking back and forth
  210. >"Terrible things, Master. Exceptional and terrible things."
  211. >You are hesitant to push for further explanation, even though he didn't provide you with much
  212. >He seems at the brink of a mental breakdown and if what he said holds true, you can learn about the evils your ancestor commited from his fastidious writings
  213. >But all this talk about undead puts you in quite a difficult position
  214. >Is it actually possible to raise the dead? If it is, how will you fight them?
  215. "How do I get to the castle library?" You murmur while laying back down
  216. >"Hey rich boy!" You look at Rainbow. "That's why we're here."
  217. "What do you mean?" You ask, confused by her words.
  218. >"Did you heard about S.H.I.E.L.D?" Applejack asks
  219. >You heard about this before
  220. >It is said to be a government agency that investigates unnatural incidents and people
  221. >You nod
  222. >"I was sent by them to investigate... Whatever is going on in this estate." She says.
  223. >"And I came because I heard there would be monsters," Rainbow pitches in, "we can help you with getting that diary and then see what else we can do."
  224. "I don't know," you say. "Are you sure just the two of you will be enough? Not that I doubt your abilities but we have no idea what we are walking into here."
  225. >"Ah, if I could add, Master" Coachman joins the conversation, looking relatively back together. "Your late ancestor was eager to hire mercenaries to remedy the situation. Most have left since his passing but I believe there are two more still staying in the town. Maybe they could be of help. Would you like me to fetch them?"
  226. >"Yeah, that's great, let's go!" Rainbow speaks enthusiastically
  227. "I don't know. Isn't Applejack hurt?" You look at the bandaged knightess. "I think she should rest for a while."
  228. >Applejack doesn't utter a word, however you see an ashamed expression fall on her face
  229. >"Master, one of the mercenaries is a vestal that uses her divinity to heal wounds." Coachman offers. "I believe she would be happy to help us set forth sooner"
  230. >Undead creatures, divine priests... You didn't expect this much vagary when you came here
  231. >All these thing you've heard since you arrived were things you would've thought impossible a couple days ago
  232. >The air of this place however, is one of aberrant nature. So much so that you feel restless even among allies
  233. >This task will be much different than you've though and much harder without doubt
  234. "Very well, then. Find the mercenaries and ask them to come here." You order the coachman. "We'll see how they feel about all this."
  235. >It doesn't take long for coachman to find and bring back the two mentioned mercenaries
  236. >One wares the uncanny, bird-like mask of a plague doctor, complete with a battered robe
  237. >You can see viles of curious liquids and some sacks of unknown content hanging from a belt around her waist along with a small dagger
  238. >The other one, vestal you assume, is wearing some heavy armor on her ceremonial robes
  239. >Her light pink hair is spilling out from the sides of her spacious hood
  240. >She carries in her hand, a book covered with golden glyphs of foreign symbols and a rusty but intimidating spiked mace on her back
  241. >"These ladies are the last remaining mercenaries in town, Master Anonymous." Coachman introduces them with his gravelly voice. "Miss Fluttershy, the vestal I had mentioned and Miss Roseluck. She's an esteemed physician."
  242. >The doctor takes word, removing her eerie mask and her hood
  243. >"I suppose it would be rude to wear this while meeting the new owner of this estate." She starts. "A pleasure. Your servant here was mentioning that you need help retrieving your ancestor's journals."
  244. >Her soft green eyes complement her ruby red hair elegantly, giving insight to her florid name
  245. "Yes, pleasure to meet you aswell." You reply. "We thought it would be a good place to start if I wished to clear his wrongdoings."
  246. >You look towards the injured knightess and her roguish friend
  247. "I though we could use more help in the expedition and was hoping that your friend could help with the lady knight's injuries."
  248. >Vestal turns her head, seems like she didn't notice the brawny blonde woman laying in the hospital bed
  249. >"Oh goodness! Are you alright?" She rushes to Applejack's side
  250. >"Sister, you don't need to exhaust yourself for this little injury." Knightess speaks
  251. >"Not at all, I am here to help those in need and banish evils that roam this land." She responds while opening a page in her book
  252. >You watch as she brings her gloved hand over the bandage
  253. >"Consana vos numen." Her hand glows with a pale, but warm, golden light and you hear a distant bell chime
  254. >A moment later, she slowly removes the bandages and the injury you've witnessed yourself is nowhere to be seen
  255. >Strangely enough, this does not surprise you like it would if you were to bear sight of this before
  256. >"Thank you." Applejack smiles to her healer. "I think I can join the expedition now, Sir Anonymous." She turns to you
  257. >"Do we know where this journal we are searching for is?" Roseluck intervenes
  258. >"Old man said it was in the castle library." Rainbow replies. "Do you have a map or something?"
  259. >"Yes of course, I was intending to give it to you with the supplies when you leave." He looks grim for a moment. "However, it will only show you where to go. There may be collapsed walls or traps in the way. Please, be careful."
  260. >"I expected nothing less!" Rainbow exclaims enthusiastically
  261. >"Give me a moment to don my armor then." Says the knightess. "Then we start purging this land from its abominations."
  262. "Sure, we'll be outside when you are ready." You turn to the coachman. "Come, lady needs her privacy."
  263. >You leave the infirmary with him in tow as Applejack gets up from her bed
  264.  
  265. >After a short while you, along with your ragged team of mercenaries, stand in front of a big, caved in wooden gate
  266. >This is the entrance to the castle, ancient home of your ancestors, now barely more than a tumbled down ruin
  267. >"Master Anonymous, please." Coachman pleads. "You should not go with them. It is too dangerous!"
  268. "I can't just sit in a warm chamber and wait, knowing that I might be sending these people to their death." You protest. "This is my home, my responsibility."
  269. >"But Mast-" Applejack puts a hand on the man's shoulder
  270. >"Don't dissuade the man from his honorable intent." She says before looking at you with an approving expression. "We will make sure he comes back."
  271. >"I don't know." Roseluck speaks. "I wouldn't want my employer to die. Bad for bussiness."
  272. "Well, I guess you'll have to try extra hard." You respond
  273. >Coachman sighs. "Very well, Master Anonymous. Are you sure that you had all the supplies you need then?"
  274. "I think so, but you never know until you need them." He nods with worry clear in his eyes
  275. >"Indeed, Master." He says solemnly before turning to the mercenaries. "Please, do try to bring as many valuables with you as you can. We could use some money if we are to keep fighting."
  276. >"Oh you got it, old man." Rainbow exclaims with her raspy voice. "Plundering is my specialty."
  277. "Let's go then." You say, prompting the group to move
  278. >"Please, do be careful." You hear Coachman's voice
  279. "Will do."
  280. >Once you are inside, you notice how big the castle is for the first time
  281. >The ceiling is so up high, it makes you feel small and fills you with a sense of awe
  282. >What's weird is that there is no light coming from the windows
  283. >The weather was very cloudy and Sun's rays didn't illuminate the Hamlet very much, but the darkness here... It's like actually consuming light
  284. >You lit a torch to get a better look around
  285. >Now you can see things that are close to you better, but outside of the torch's near vicinity got much harder to see
  286. >You'd think that this light is putting you at a disadvantage, but if creatures in here lives in constant darkness, they would be disturbed by the light
  287. >As you continue down the cobblestone path of this ancient ruin, Applejack raises her hand, stopping the group
  288. >"Look," She points to some holes in the ground. "I think this might be one of those traps that servant warned us about."
  289. >Rainbow Dash crouches near the trap and pulls out her dagger
  290. >"Stay back." She says as she slowly slips the dagger's tip between the ground and iron plate that covers the trap's mechanism
  291. >Slowly and carefully, she removes the plating and exposes the inner parts of this malevolent contraption
  292. >You can see numerous rusted spikes, almost half a meter long, ready for launch and to be a deathbringer for the unwary
  293. >Much to your dread, Rainbow reaches down further into the machinery and you stop breathing
  294. *Click*
  295. >As Rainbow moves away from the trap, she holds up a spring for you all to see
  296. >"Got it. It is safe now."
  297. >"Couldn't we just like... move around it?" Roseluck asks. "Why did you make this into such a big deal?"
  298. >"Ah- I uh..." You can't help but snort at Rainbow's speechlessness. "I got excited, okay?! It happens." She says with an embarressed blush
  299. >You think you heard Fluttershy giggle for a second
  300. "I think we shouldn't wait around." You state and you are met with some nods
  301. >"Yeah, we should get going." Applejack says. "Sooner this is done the better."
  302. >At the end of the hallway, you are met with a big wooden door
  303. >As Applejack pushes it open, the door creaks with old age and rust
  304. >Inside there is a stone sarcophagus laying in the middle of the room
  305. >It is covered in spiderwebs and a thick layer of dust
  306. >Rainbow steps up and starts pushing the heavy stone cover
  307. >"What are you doing?" Applejack protests. "Leave the dead alone."
  308. >Rainbow answers as she looks inside the now open sarcophagus. "I'm not touching the dead. I'm just gonna take this gold."
  309. >"They could be ancestors of Sir Anonymous." Applejack insists, forcing you to voice your opinion
  310. "I'm sure my ancestors would like to help us on our mission." You give Rainbow an approving nod
  311. >Applejack doesn't seem very convinced, but doesn't protest further as Rainbow puts some coins in her pockets
  312. >Roseluck slighly ajars the other door and looks for anything dangerous
  313. >"I think we are about to get into our first fight." She warns. "I hear something moving."
  314. >The group silently leaves the room, trying to get the drop on whatever creature is waiting for you
  315. >Unfortunutely, something hits Fluttershy in the shoulder
  316. >A ball of vile liquid splatters on her outfit and she screams in agony
  317. >"Ah! It is seeping through the armor! It burns!" She drops on one knee
  318. >You look up to see a group of giant spiders scattering about, prepearing to attack
  319. >A shiver goes down you spine as they make scratchy noises unlike their smaller cousins
  320. >"Dammit all!" Rainbow fires her pistol
  321. >Unlike what you'd expect, small projectiles are scattered everywhere, hitting multiple targets
  322. >Two of the spiders lose some limbs while another also gets hit in it's abdomen
  323. >This doesn't even slow then down however, as one of them launches it's webbing towards Rainbow
  324. >She quickly gets free from the webbing, but another ball of acid hits her leg, making her grunt in pain
  325. >Last spider spins some more web, aiming for the Knightess, but she seems unfazed as she pulls open a scroll that shines upon the spiders with a brilliant light
  326. >Two heavily wounded spiders crumple and burn to ash, while other two scatters away from the burning light
  327. >Meanwhile Roseluck diluted the acid that has struck to Fluttershy and she raises her mace toward the sky
  328. >"Sacer Fulmen!" A flash of light illuminates the room as the wounded spider is struck by a bolt
  329. >The beast tries to scatter away and hide but another volley of tiny bullets that are fired from Rainbow's gun shreds it apart and almost kills the last spider
  330. >As it is about to attack, Roseluck throws some kind of concoction that prompts the creature to stop, buying enough time for Applejack to slash and kill it with her sword
  331. >Your hastily assembled mercenaries stop to gather themselves as the last of their enemy twitches on the floor
  332. >"Are you alright, Fluttershy?" Roseluck questions her companion with a worried tone in her voice
  333. >"It doesn't burn anymore, but it still hurts a lot." She seems rattled, her armor corroded where she was hit
  334. >"Oh my gosh, look at this!" Rainbow points at her injured leg
  335. >The skin of her leg looks flayed away, leaving her discolored flesh exposed
  336. >"This thing went inside your armor?" She pushes. "We should turn back!"
  337. >Fluttershy hangs her head before looking up with determined eyes. "No. I will continue. This is just the first battle we faced. This is what I've been trained for. If I turn back now, how can I claim to be a bringer of light."
  338. >Applejack smiles. "She speaks true. Steel yourselves my friends. These were just beasts we faced. We will fight much worse."
  339. >Her words seem to find support as the others' expressions change and they all once again start walking
  340. >"I'll keep you alive." Roseluck says with a smirk and Fluttershy smiles in return
  341. >Walking through the gloomy and frowsy hallway, you stop in front of another wooden door
  342. >Pushing the door open, Applejack leads the group into an empty room
  343. >Everyone exhales as they allow their muscles to unwind
  344. >There are two more doors out of the room which leaves your group with a choice
  345. >Roseluck and Rainbow crack open the dors, trying to make them squeak as little as possible
  346. >"There is literally nothing here." Rainbow says. "It's just an empty hallway."
  347. >"I think I see a trap." Roseluck informs. "Maybe Rainbow
  348.  wants to play with it."
  349. >She earns a glare from the highwaywoman
  350. >After some consideration, the group decides to proceed in the direction Roseluck laid out
  351. >Old and rusted trap that Roseluck spotted proofs to be not much of an obstacle as you just walk around it and head for the door ahead
  352. >Carefully walking inside, you are met with a knight standing in the middle of the room
  353. >He makes no moves as your group tenses up, readying for a fight
  354. >A few moments later Applejack motions you to pass the torch and moves closer to the armored figure
  355. >Illuminating fire of the torch reveals an antique knight armor colored brown in some places, a courtesy of passing time and lack of maintanence
  356. >Applejack reaches to wipe some of the dust that covers its shoulder guards
  357. >As she does that it becomes apperant that time treated this insturment of defense even more poorly than it seemed
  358. >You cover your ears as the armor's hold on his sword releases, dropping it on the floor along with its headguard
  359. >Falling metal chimes violently as it bounces on the stone floor, making everyone cringe in discomfort
  360. >When the echoes finally subside, you look toward the knightess and see a pale white light around her
  361. >Light slowly fades away as she turn back to the group. "You were right, Sir Anonymous." She says. "Your ancestors do want to help us. Even beyond the veil of death."
  362. >"What just happened?" Rainbow asks with concern
  363. >"We are protected." Applejack answers. "Even in this darkness, there are spirits that watch over us."
  364. >"I don't believe in such superstition." Roseluck comments. "But it is a comforting thought nonetheless."
  365. >"Sacred Light touches every heart." Fluttershy responds in kind
  366. >"This is all great, but can we find something to kill already?" Rainbow complains as she looks out the exit door. "It's too dark to see anything. We'll go in blind."
  367. >"Still, we will press on." Applejack speaks as she takes the lead once again
  368.  
  369. >Exiting the safety of that empty room, you step into the hallway yet again
  370. >You feel your muscles tense up as you look around, trying to be ready for any foe lurking behind the shadows
  371. >A mechanical click breaks the rythmic knocking of your footsteps
  372. >You see Applejack tumbling down with a painful yelp
  373. >"Applejack!" Rainbow runs to her side and you follow suit with the others
  374. >It's one of those spike traps that you were fortunate enough to spot earlier
  375. >This one however, seems to have achieved its purpose
  376. >A half meter long metal spike is sticking out of Applejack's right foot, its tip colored crimson with her blood
  377. >"It doesn't seem like the damage is too severe." Roseluck says after briefly checking the injury. "Brace yourself." She adds before grabbing the knight's ankle and looking for her go ahead
  378. >Applejack takes a deep breath before giving her a nod
  379. >Roseluck pulls Applejack's foot upwards in one swift motion, freeing it from the spike as Applejack grunts in pain
  380. >She immediately rises to her feet, ignoring her aching injury
  381. >"Let's move." She speaks in a tone that doesn't leave room for arguing
  382. >A little further into the tenebrous passageway, you come upon a bookcase
  383. >It is, like everything else in this abandoned place, covered in thick dust and cobwebs
  384. >"Is this the library we were looking for?" Rainbow inquires
  385. >"If it was, I'd be very disappointed." Roseluck adds. "Considering how huge this place is..."
  386. >"Still, should we maybe check to see if the journal is there?" Fluttershy suggests
  387. >"Couldn't hurt to look, I guess." Rainbow shrugs and reaches for a random book
  388. >Others follow along, picking some books of their own
  389. >Time passes by as they sift through the long forsaken dusty literature and faded illustrations of various things
  390. >"I got something!" Fluttershy exclaims, holding up a tattered piece of paper
  391. >"Doesn't look much like a journal." Roseluck takes off her mask and leans in for a better look at her friend's finding
  392. >"Well, no." Fluttershy replies in turn. "This is a floor plan of sorts."
  393. >"Does it show where the library is?" Rainbow joins
  394. >"Yeah, here." Plague doctor taps on the paper, pointing to a room on the crudely drawn map. "Seems like we took a wrong turn two rooms ago. We could complete this route though, just two rooms left ahead or we could turn back if you want."
  395. >Everyone turns to you for your word as you consider whether what may lay ahead would be worth the risk or if you should go for your objective and be done with this dreary place
Darkest Anon

Heart's Warming Short

by Defiant

Probability Anon

by Defiant

Darkest Anon

by Defiant

Valentine's Day Short

by Defiant

Elemental Anon

by Defiant