Solo In the Dead of Night (Part II)

When the ghosts and monsters come out to play...

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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In the Dead of Night (Part II)

Postby Asterope on November 5th, 2019, 4:02 pm

6th of autumn, 519 AV

(Continued from In the Dead of Night Part I*)

Aster let the ghost guide her; her spirit companion was silent for the most part, aside from the occasional 'right' or 'left' that sounded in her head. Sometimes, if Aster nearly missed a turn, the ghost would impatiently snatch control for a moment, jerking her body roughly in the right direction.

It was an eerie feeling, to have someone grab control of her body so quickly and precisely, as if she was a puppet with strings for anyone to grab. But the ghost hadn't shown any aggression so far, and she'd been so pleading...besides, Aster was curious. So she continued following the paths weaving among the graves.

Here. Slow down, the ghost finally said, after what seemed like an eternity. The initial adrenaline rush of darting off away from Jebediah had worn off, and Aster was beginning to feel the cold and exhaustion creep in. It was late, the moon high in the sky, and her bare arms prickled with goosebumps from the chilly night air. Not to mention her bare feet were freezing and sore from the stone and dirt paths she'd been walking along. It wouldn't surprise her if she had a few cuts along the soles of her feet.

Regardless, Aster did as asked, and slowed her pace. This part of the graveyard didn't seem any different from the rest; it was perhaps a little bit more barren, being towards the edge of the graveyard, filled mostly with headstones and a single crypt maybe two dozen feet away.

The crypt, the ghost said in her mind. But be careful. Do not be seen. Aster frowned, slowing to a halt and lingering on the path, dread and trepidation beginning to creep back in, an icy shiver running down her spine that had nothing to do with the cold air. She'd been so caught up in her curiosity and excitement, she'd nearly forgotten the terror that started the night, and now she had to wonder just what she was really getting herself into.

"Don't be seen by who?" She asked, her voice a whisper; she knew she didn't have to speak out loud, but it provided some measure of comfort.

Not who, came the response. What.

Asterope's frown deepened, and she swallowed uncomfortably at the thought. She didn't like to consider herself a coward, but standing alone in a graveyard in the middle of a cold and mildly foggy night, her only company a ghost inside her body, who was warning her of not someone but something inside of a crypt that the ghost wanted her to approach...

She was very tempted to turn around and simply hightail it out of the graveyard. If she apologized to Jebediah, perhaps he'd let her at least stay the remainder of the night with him? Before she could move, however, Aster felt the muscles in her legs lock up. As if feeling her hesitance and knowing her sudden change of mind, the ghost had snatched control again and firmly planted Aster's feet, stopping her from turning and fleeing.

"Stop it," Aster hissed, for the first time butting heads with the ghost, locating the presence in her mind and slamming into it. But the ghost was like steel, cold and unyielding as Aster battered against it, struggling to regain control.

Keep it up and I'll just take you there myself, the ghost snapped after a few moments of internal wrestling between them. Aster gave one last mental push, and then with an audible sigh relented. The ghost was certainly stronger than the last one she had met; if she really tried, she could probably wrestle control back, but for how long? And then to have the ghost take over again, and to assume full control of her body? Asterope shuddered, folding her arms across her chest.

She suddenly felt very petulant about the whole thing, fear aside. She had been helping because she wanted to, because she was curious; now she was scared, and she wanted out, but she was being forced to continue and it wasn't fair. Aster scowled at the ground, scuffing her bare feet and rocking back and forth on her heels.

Tonight, if you please, came the ghost's voice, annoyance clear in the echoing tone. With a mumble under her breath, Aster slowly started to creep along the path towards the crypt; each step that brought her closer brought a fresh wave of uncertainty and fear as she approached, not knowing what she might find.

Word Count: 746
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In the Dead of Night (Part II)

Postby Asterope on November 6th, 2019, 12:01 am

As Aster approached, she noticed with an unsettling lurch in her stomach that the stone door to the crypt was hanging ajar, and dim light spilled from inside of it. Careful, the ghost reminded her, and Aster nodded without a word. The urge to turn and run was still strong, but her calf muscles twinged involuntarily at the memory of locking up so tightly and suddenly.

Aster crouched low to the ground as she approached the crypt, pressing up against the cold stone wall and slowly inching towards the door that was hanging open. She stopped a mere foot from it, and stayed as still as she could, holding her breath, listening and waiting...waiting and listening. She stood crouched there for what felt like an eternity, not daring to breathe, eyes focused on the patch of dim light landing on the ground for any change, ears straining for any sound.

There was nothing. Mustering all the bravery that she could, Aster shuffled forward and peeked around the corner. The crypt was empty; well, empty of any living occupants. The large stone room had a few torches lit, casting dim light within the room. The left and right walls held alcoves which housed stone coffins, while a much larger coffin sat at the back wall, flanked by a door on either side.

One of the far doors was also open; most startlingly, it seemed like the coffin at the back had been smashed open. Still not daring to speak, Aster inched forward, mindful of her steps; she was now thankful for her bare feet, as her movement was much quieter. Grave robbers? She asked the ghost, bewildered, not daring to speak out loud.

Of a sort, was the reply, which really wasn't helpful at all. Aster approached the smashed open sarcophagus and peered inside. Bones lay inside, scattered around; undoubtedly they had once been in the shape of a person, but whoever had broken open the coffin had thrown them around carelessly in their search for...what, valuables? But that didn't seem right. Aster could see the dull gleam of ancient jewelry resting among the bones, buried with whoever inhabited this crypt.

The tattered remains of clothes, despite being scraps, spoke of finery as well; nothing extreme, but the material looked like silk. Just as she was about to straighten up and step away, something caught her eye; a glint of silver. In the hasty and unceremonious search of the coffin, whoever had been looking through the bones had flung something to the back of the coffin. Peering closer, Aster made out the unmistakable edge of a dagger.

Take it, came the voice. Aster blinked owlishly.

W-what? I can't take it, it's theirs. That would make me a grave robber! The ghost actually laughed at that, the sound quiet and low.

They're dead, what do they care? If they've already moved on they it's not as if they'll come back to haunt you.

Aster frowned. What if they haven't moved on? she protested; more ghosts was the last thing she needed, especially one that was irate with her for stealing their belongings from their grave.

Trust me, you'll need it. You have nothing on you, how do you expect to defend yourself if things go south?

Well. That was a fair point. The words, however, were not comforting; they just served as a reminder that Aster had no idea what she was getting herself into, but whatever it was, she was in way over her head.

Word Count: 584
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In the Dead of Night (Part II)

Postby Asterope on November 6th, 2019, 12:05 am

"Sorry," Aster whispered, her voice barely audible even to herself. "I need to borrow this. I'll bring it back."

The ghost said nothing, but she could sense the spirit's amusement and...something else? Aster pressed more closely, curious. Melancholy? Was that it? She didn't have time to examine it more closely; the ghost felt her prying and immediately shoved her away, shuttering herself off from Aster.

With a sigh, Aster grimaced, bracing herself as she leaned over the crypt, reaching into it; she had to stretch up onto her toes to reach towards the back, trying to hold her breath to avoid breathing in corpse dust. The skull of the corpse had been rolled onto its side, and the empty eye sockets seemed to stare at her.

Aster stretched her fingers out, fingertips catching the tip of the blade and cautiously pulling it towards her, getting a better grip on the pommel to heft it out of the coffin. The weapon was simple, if of a type she had never seen before; it was a dagger, perhaps slightly longer than what she was used to, and the blade was wavy, curving back and forth until the tip. The pommel was made of a metal that had long since gone dull and accented with what seemed to be bone; the blade itself seemed to have been engraved with something once, long ago...perhaps words? But time had faded the inscription to be unreadable.

A flametongue dagger, the voice supplied helpfully, and Aster nodded. She'd never seen a dagger like this before, but then again, she wasn't exactly a weapons expert.

Holding the dagger properly in her hand and getting to take a good look at it, Aster suddenly felt a brief glow of warmth in her palm where the pommel sat, her skin tingling before the feeling abruptly vanished. She blinked, staring down at the weapon; it sat innocuously in her grip, unchanged. What had just happened? Perhaps she'd just imagined it...but the weapon suddenly felt as if it fit her grip perfectly. Her thoughts were interrupted suddenly by the voice in her mind.

Can you use a weapon? The ghost's voice returned as Aster carefully wiped the blade on the hem of her nightgown, cleaning residual dust and grime off of it, giving the pommel a quick wipe down as well.

I've used a dagger before, she said, which wasn't a lie. Of course, it wasn't the whole truth, either; she'd held a dagger maybe three times in her life, and actually used one, what...once? It hadn't been a good experience. But she had known for some time now that she needed to learn how to fight, and it would be embarrassing to admit just how useless she was.

The ghost snorted, and Aster cringed; clearly, her lie had been seen through. Keep a tight hold on it, try not to cut yourself, and stick the sharp end in anything that tries to come at you, the ghost said, with a sigh. Aster frowned. Even she knew that, but she bit her tongue, and turned to face the open door at the back of the crypt.

Gripping the flametongue dagger tightly in her hand, Aster gulped; she could already feel her palms becoming clammy from nervousness, which wasn't exactly good considering she needed to keep a decent hold on her new weapon. Closing her eyes, she flexed her fingers and inhaled deeply, the musty scent and stale air of the crypt filling her lungs and making her wrinkle her nose. After a long moment, she exhaled again, opening her eyes.

With her mouth pressed into a thin line and her jaw set, Aster crept forward, slipping through the open door and following the set of stairs that lay beyond downwards.

Word Count: 628
Total: 1,958
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In the Dead of Night (Part II)

Postby Asterope on November 6th, 2019, 1:26 am

The stairway was lit as well, though not very well; the flickering torches were spaced far apart, making Aster's cautious descent even slower. It couldn't have been that long, but the stairs felt like they stretched on forever. As Aster approached the bottom, she suddenly froze in place, as she heard sound coming from the bottom of the staircase.

There were footsteps and what sounded like rustling...someone rummaging around, and a low, muttered voice as they talked to themselves. Well, perhaps not someone, but something. Careful, now, came the hushed voice in her mind, and she nodded. She didn't need to be told twice.

Aster slipped down the last few steps, holding her breath as she peeked around the corner. A hooded figure stood in the dimly lit room; similar to upstairs, there were alcoves with coffins, but unlike upstairs there were a handful at the back of the room. The first two had already had their lids opened, and Aster could see that there were bones strewn about on the floor. The hooded figure was currently hunched over the third open coffin, muttering to themselves as they tore through the contents, tossing bones carelessly as they searched.

"Has to be...here...somewhere," the figure hissed, a lisp evident in their voice. Apparently not finding what they were looking for, they snarled in annoyance and angrily kicked one of the haphazardously tossed bones that lay at their feet, sending it skittering across the room. Aster reeled back, pressing herself flat against the stairway wall as the bone skittered over stone and clinked to a halt against the bottom stair, just below the one she stood on, free hand clapped over her mouth.

She waited a few ticks before peering back out carefully. The figure had removed its hood, and was now scribbling something furiously in a notebook it held. From the distance she was at, the figure appeared human, but something seemed...off. Their skin was deathly pale, and they looked sunken and dry, almost as if they were in the process of becoming a skeleton themselves.

And their mouth...something was wrong with their mouth. It was eerie and uncanny, there was nothing that Aster could pinpoint, but the more she stared at it, the wronger it seemed, and it made her stomach churn. The person opened their mouth then, as if to speak out loud to themselves once again, and Aster couldn't muffle the shocked and horrified gasp that tore out of her.

As they opened their mouth, it split open up all along their cheeks, wider than any human mouth, gaping open as their chin extended halfway down their neck, a long tongue lolling out. Immediately, they snapped the notebook shut, head whipping around towards where Aster hid in the staircase.

Now you've done it, hissed the ghost in her mind, as Aster made eye contact with the...thing.

"And what...do we have...here," the creature lisped in a low rasp, moving forward with surprising and frightening speed. The pauses in their speech and their slurred words made sense now, at least.

"Stay back," Aster shrieked, raising the dagger towards the creature. It paused for the briefest of moments, staring at the trembling dagger, following the line of the weapon up to the shaking, tiny redhead who held it, bare foot and in nothing but a nightgown.

The creature threw back its head and laughed, mouth splitting even wider; if she wasn't terrified out of her mind, Aster would have puked at the gaping red maw, wet and fleshy, the tongue lolling out unnaturally long.

Now! The ghost screamed in her mind, and it was only half Aster who lunged forward down the last step and plunged the dagger forward. The thing was too busy howling with laughter, the unearthly cackle echoing off the walls of the crypt, bouncing in Aster's ears, deafening...but it had made the mistake of underestimating her. If it weren't for the ghost giving her the command and half driving her forward, perhaps things would have turned out differently.

As it was, Aster lunged forward, and while she stumbled slightly, she did not trip, and the dagger sunk sickeningly into the creature's chest with a dry crunch. It stopped laughing, turning its gaze on her, its dark eyes gleaming red in the dim torchlight. Aster whimpered, her fingers only holding onto the handle of the dagger courtesy of the ghost snatching control of her trembling body, just barely managing to wrench the weapon back as she stumbled back a step. The wound gaped open, a dark abyss, devoid of any sort of expected bodily fluids.

"Not...a bad...try," the words gurgled out of the gaping maw, even more distorted than before. Aster screamed when the creature suddenly lunged at her, grabbing her by the throat and slamming her into the wall, her head smacking the stone as bony fingers tightened around her throat.

"But...you...missed." The dagger clattered to the ground as Aster released it, metal clanging on stone as her hands flew up to scratch at the creature's wrist, Asterope letting out breathless sobs as the grip tightened slowly and painfully, painstakingly slow in cutting off her air. The gaping maw in front of her was repulsive, wet and pulsating and contorting as the slits along the creature's face lifted, the deformed mouth widening. It took Aster a moment, but it hit her even amidst her sheer terror that the creature was smiling. It was enjoying this.

Word Count: 910
Total: 2,868
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In the Dead of Night (Part II)

Postby Asterope on November 6th, 2019, 1:34 am

Aster kicked uselessly, and could only watch as the creature bent down to pick up the dagger she had dropped, its other hand still keeping her pinned to the wall by her throat. It hissed when its fingers touched the hilt, jerking back as if burned, and glared down at the weapon. A second try yielded the same result, something Aster noted absently, and the creature spat; spittle sprayed everywhere, coating Aster, as it kicked away the dagger.

"Help, please," Aster whimpered, as the creature straightened up again to look her in the eyes once more. No response came, and Aster realized that even the ghost had abandoned her. Bitterness filled her, and tears dripped steadily down her face as she wondered if she would truly die there. All she could do was squeeze her eyes shut as the creature brought its face close to hers, gagging at the putrid smell of its breath...

A bang from upstairs startled them both. The creature hissed, jerking away from Aster as her eyes flew open. Heavy footfalls sounded above them, coming down the stairs towards them. The creature snarled, releasing Aster, and she fell to the floor with a thud, wheezing as she desperately sucked in proper breaths, coughing weakly.

"I thought I smelled a disgusting, undead rat," came the deep growl of Jebediah's voice. If she wasn't already crying, Aster would have sobbed in relief. The hulking figure of the graveyard keeper appeared in the entrance to the stairway, and Aster could see that he was wielding a large sword.

The creature had turned to face him, and sneered. "Took...you long...enough...old man..." it taunted. Aster could only sit, dazed, and watched in wide-eyed terror. Suddenly, a blast of cold rushed past her.

"Here," came a disembodied voice, and Aster blinked as the dagger was slid across the floor from where the creature had tossed it, skittering to a halt by her foot.

"You were still here?" She asked, in disbelief, picking up the dagger with a shaking hand. She realized that her thighs felt wet, and realized with a rush of shame and embarrassment that her bladder must have released from her sheer terror. It was probably the least dignifying thing that had ever happened to her, and even with the creature still looming only a few feet away, it made her want to crawl into a hole and hide.

Aster felt the wave of cold when the ghost possessed her again, settling back comfortably. No time for that, she said, when she felt Aster's shame. You're still alive, aren't you? Come on, we can still help.

She was right, of course. Wincing as she swallowed, Aster wiped her face roughly with her free hand as she clutched the dagger again. The creature was too occupied with Jebediah to notice her, the two squaring off. Jebediah grunted as he swung the massive sword, but the creature ducked beneath the blade.

Taking the chance as she saw it, Aster lunged forward on her knees, slashing the blade at the creature's calves. Despite not having experience and how shaken up she was, it was an easy shot; she was only a few feet away, at knee-level, and the creature was occupied, facing away from her.

The flametongue ripped into dry flesh, cutting the cloth of the thing's pants and tearing open its flesh; while the wounds didn't bleed, the creature let out a howl of pain, or perhaps anger, and stumbled forward.

Jebediah stepped aside, letting it stumble, and threw an elbow to the back of its head to send it to the floor. With a grunt, he hefted the huge sword above his head as the creature hit the ground and rolled onto its back, throwing its arms up with a screech.

"May Dira guide whatever soul you have left as the cycle continues," Aster barely heard the muttered words from Jebediah before the blade came down, clanging as it cleaved through flesh and bone and hit stone. Aster watched as the creature's head rolled, its neck severed, and came to a stop, now cloudy red eyes staring at her blankly. Its mouth, long and deformed as it was, had been severed as well, and half of its tongue flopped loosely onto the ground beside its body.

Aster gagged, turning away as she retched onto the floor. Jebediah watched silently as she puked again, coughing, wincing as the acid from her stomach ravaged her already tender throat. Shuddering, she waited a moment to ensure she was well and truly done before she scooted away from the mess, coughing weakly. Wiping her mouth, she turned to look at the graveyard keeper. He stared down at her, beyond unimpressed as he sheathed his sword.

"What the petch did you think you were doing, girl?" He finally growled, holding a hand out after a long moment. Tentatively, Aster took it, and squeaked as she was hauled to her feet roughly.

"I'm sorry, I didn't...I didn't know it was anything like this. And she wanted my help, and she wouldn't let me go," Aster babbled on for a moment until Jebediah wearily raised a hand, rubbing his face with the other.

"Look, let's get you out of here, alright? I have a gods damn petching mess to clean up and I don't need you getting even more in the way." Aster nodded silently. Jebediah sighed heavily, grumbling and mumbling under his breath. He eyed Aster critically before scanning the room, leaning down to the body and unfastening the cloak from around its shoulders, kicking it off and pulling the fabric free.

"Here. So you don't freeze to death any more than you have." Aster hesitated, eyeing the cloak warily; it was clean, given that the creature hadn't bled, but...Jebediah growled impatiently and gave it a few vigorous shakes before thrusting it towards her again.

"Just give it a petching good wash later. Or don't take it, I don't care." After a long moment Aster reached out tentatively, taking the black cloak. It didn't look particularly large or heavy, but the material was surprisingly thick and soft; it seemed to be made of wool, but of a very fine type. Up close, Aster could see it was embroidered, though black wasn't really her preferred colour...she thanked Jebediah quietly, then nearly dropped the cloak when she looked down at it again.

She must be going crazy, surely. The encounter with that thing had knocked some of her already precariously balanced marbles loose, and she was imagining things. The cloak had been black before, she knew that, she had seen it several times and had just thought about how she wasn't fond of the colour...now it was a warm shade of brown, comforting.

Jebediah snapped his fingers in front of her face impatiently. Shaking her head, Aster cast one more confused and critical gaze over the now brown cloak and swung it around her shoulders. It settled over her frame comfortably, warming her almost instantly, and she clutched it closed, feeling herself relax slightly.

Silent, she followed Jebediah back up the stairs, though she couldn't resist the urge to cast one more glance over her shoulder back at the beheaded corpse. She shuddered, and hunched her shoulders up around her ears, hurrying up the rest of the stairs.

Word Count: 1,221
Total: 4,089
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In the Dead of Night (Part II)

Postby Asterope on November 6th, 2019, 2:20 am

The beginning of the walk back was silent, but the more Aster walked, the calmer she became; stretching her legs and breathing in fresh, crisp night air, putting distance between herself and that thing, and wrapped in a warm cloak...she could feel the terror beginning to abate. The solid presence of Jebediah a few steps ahead of her helped as well, as intimidating as he was.

Belatedly, Aster realized she was still clutching the dagger as well, and adjusted her grip on it to something more loose and comfortable. She'd give it to Jebediah to return to the coffin before she left.

Feeling steady enough to find her words, Aster finally spoke up, breaking the silence. "Jebediah?" She asked, hesitantly, wincing as her voice rasped out of her throat. He grunted in response, but she took it as permission to continue.

"What...what was that thing?" Jebediah was silent for a long moment, and Aster was convinced he wouldn't answer when he finally spoke up again.

"An undead. A Chained One, specifically. Marked by Uldr, the God of Undead, and here to do his bidding." Jebediah snorted and spat, showing exactly how he felt about that. "They're not usually quite so...monstrous, and thankfully if you know what you're doing, they're easy to kill."

There was a pause as Aster blinked, her mind reeling as she took in the information. "In fact," Jebediah startled her as he continued to speak, "You damn near took care of it yourself."

Aster could have laughed at that, it was so absurd. In fact, she was too exhausted to care; she did let out a sharp, dry laugh, though she winced after as the sound pierced her throat. "What do you mean? I've barely ever touched a weapon before."

Jebediah shrugged without turning around. "Consider it a lucky shot then. Getting the heart or the head will kill 'em. If you'd been a little more to the left, you would have nailed that thing and sent it back where it belongs."

Aster opened her mouth, stunned, then shut it again with a click. Did you know that? She asked the ghost, who while quiet, was still present. The ghost didn't respond. Aster narrowed her eyes, but didn't press the matter. She was too tired, and she had other questions for Jebediah.

"What you said before you killed it. It sounded like a prayer," Aster said, after a moment.

Another grunt. "Dira is the Goddess of death. Those things are unnatural when it comes to keeping the order of life and death."

The God of Undead, the Goddess of Death...Aster's mind was swimming, trying to process everything. "How did you know where to find me?"

Jebediah finally shot her a look, his face thunderous with his annoyance. "Do you always ask so many petching questions? I just knew, alright? I was out on the ridge to begin with because I knew something was up, it wasn't hard to find you. Now shut up, will you?"

Aster flinched slightly, and nodded mutely, trying not to take it too personally; she had just caused quite a lot of trouble, and besides, based off what she remembered from their first brief meeting, he was always this grumpy anyway.

The walk down the sloping paths seemed infinitely longer than the walk up had been. Aster was tired, and her throat hurt, and her feet hurt, and her head was throbbing...she wasn't cold anymore, at least.

By the time they made it down off the ridge and back into the actual Dust Bed, Aster could see the faintest hint of grey light in the distance, signalling that dawn was coming.

Word Count: 609
Total: 4,698
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In the Dead of Night (Part II)

Postby Asterope on November 6th, 2019, 2:23 am

"I really am sorry for causing so much trouble," Aster spoke, finally. "Thank you for saving me. If you hadn't shown up when you did..." she trailed off, and as she'd been expecting, Jebediah answered with another grunt.

"Oh, before I forget. Here." Aster slipped her arm out of the cloak, offering the dagger to Jebediah. His face darkened.

"You took something from the crypt?" He demanded, looming over her. Aster stammered, trying to form an explanation, when she suddenly felt the cold presence leave her and materialize beside her.

The ghost was barely there, a flickering female silhouette with long hair, too transparent to make out any details. "I told her to take it, and actually, I want her to keep it. It was mine, after all."

Aster stared, blinking. "Yours? You mean..."

"That was my coffin and my remains, yes." Aster could have sworn the ghost was smiling, even though she couldn't make out her facial features. "I am aware I have put you through a lot tonight, Asterope. It was difficult, but all things considered, you held up well. Consider it my thanks."

Aster could only nod, dumbfounded, pulling the dagger back under her cloak. She was going to have explaining to do to Alard, she realized. Maybe if she was lucky, she would make it back before he did...considering she had no idea where he had gone in the first place. She could probably figure out a place to hide the cloak and dagger.

"What was that thing doing there?" Jebediah asked the ghost, scowling at her. The ghost raised her barely visible shoulders in a shrug.

"Looking for something. What, I cannot say. My crypt was not the first one disturbed, though. There will be many unsettled ghosts for the next little while. Many of them went into the city itself to wreak havoc."

So then those strange noises in the barracks had been ghosts after all. Jebediah looked upset at the news, a mixture of irritation, anger, and perhaps something similar to fear crossing his face. It was difficult to say.

"I'll deal with them if they don't quiet down real soon. Same goes for you," he growled at the ghost, reaching into his pocket and flashing what looked like a beaded bracelet of sorts.

Aster furrowed her brow, confused, but the ghost seemed to understand. "I won't be causing any trouble," she laughed. "In fact, I think it might be time for me to go, after all this excitement. Very soon, I think I will." The words were said meaningfully. Did she mean go as in...move on to wherever souls were supposed to go? Aster blinked at her; she had no idea how long the ghost had been around. Why leave now?

Jebediah looked equally perplexed, though he relaxed some. "Well then. If that's that. You," he looked at Aster, "Best be getting on your way."

"I have one more question," Aster asked, turning to look at the ghost again, but she was already gone. She blinked, mouth open, looking into the open air.

"She's gone," Jebediah affirmed with a grunt. "Not gone gone, not yet. But she left. Strange one," he muttered.

"But why me?" Aster frowned. "I don't understand. She could have grabbed anyone in the city to come help."

Jebediah raised an eyebrow at her and shrugged. "Fickle and strange creatures. I'm sure she had her reasoning. Or petch it, maybe she didn't. They can also be petching nuts. Don't matter anymore though, do it?"

Aster frowned, looking down at the dagger she held, the hilt seeming to fit her palm perfectly. "Maybe not," she murmured, but it did. She would come back again, some day, perhaps soon; maybe before the ghost, whose name she never even learned, left for good. Either way, she would return and try to find out why, because otherwise the question would bother her forever.

"Thank you again, Jebediah," Aster said, tiredly. He grunted and turned, lumbering away through the graves. Stifling a yawn, Aster turned to begin the trek back into the city; she would need to stop somewhere briefly to clean up a little bit, and hopefully make it back before Alard did. If she was lucky, the ghosts would still be causing mayhem around the barracks and he would still be occupied, and she could sneak back in unnoticed and squirrel her new belongings away somewhere.

"What a night," Aster sighed, rubbing her free hand over her face, as slowly the watery grey light of dawn began to creep up over the horizon, not enough to yet change her form, but enough to comfort her on the walk back.

Word Count: 777
Total: 5,475
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The sun will rise, and we will try again
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Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
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Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
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