Moonlight Madness
 

Cara Newsman

UP: Great Lakes

    Greetings dear readers, I am Cara Newsman, your combat chronicler here with a ghostly accounting for you. This night I bring you a chilling tale of undead and the valor of the folk from the town of Moonglow. While talking with my fellows at the Moonglow Student Hostel, I heard that some of them would be attending a vigil at the cemetery later in the evening. It seems the cemetery has had unusual amounts of undead activity of late and the town felt they needed to take some action. I finished off my dinner and then grabbed quill and pad and headed south to the cemetery.

When I arrived at the cemetery, there were a goodly number of folk camped around and in the cemetery preparing for their nightlong vigil. Sprigs of nightshade adorned the gravesites and there were areas set out with sustenance for those who were attending. I prowled the area, looking for something news worthy, but it seemed quiet… all too quiet. The recent rains had made the ground something of a molasses morass, so folk were moving slowly through the muck. This did not bode well if trouble sprang from the ground.

As if summoned by my thoughts, the ground split apart and spewed forth wraiths and specters. Those at the vigil were prepared, though. Flashes of silver shined in the moonlight and the spirits of the dead were quickly put to rest. As I wondered if this was the extent of the nights’ danger, a putrid scent came to me on the wind. Zombies were clawing their way out of the ground around the edges of the cemetery!

I looked for a corner to tuck myself into, so as to be out of the way and yet still see most of the cemetery. The people there were chatting rather amiably, although the complaints about the conditions of the ground abounded. Warriors and mages slogged through the mud as skeletons rose up and brandished arms. So far, the undead were not very strong, but that was to change as the vigil wore on.

About halfway through the vigil, as best I could tell by the moon, the cackle of a liche split the air. Everyone seemed to freeze for a moment, and then the defenders of Moonglow gave a howl of their own and lay into the walking dead. More liches sprang from the earth and as they came forth they summoned up help. Bone knights and bone mages crunched their way over the ground, churning up the mud even more. Pockets of fighting began to develop as the undead tried to separate the defenders.

Along the perimeter of the fence, healers stationed themselves with mages nearby to help protect them. The cackles of the undead mingled with the moan of the recently dead as fighters fell to the soulless hoards. It seemed fairly awful, but the worst was yet to come.

The moon was nearing the horizon; night was at its deepest, when inside the crypts un-life burst forth. Mummies trailing rotting scraps of cloth dragged themselves across the yard while liche lords fired off their evil spells. Flaming bodies ran around screaming, others flailed around in the muddy ground and dropped dead to continue twitching as life bled from them. The eerie sound of a nightmare joined the song of the undead. Someone’s pet had turned against its master and was fighting on the side of the liches. Or perhaps it had been turned by some evil spell the liche lords were casting.

The slaughter continued until the moon was no longer in the sky. The ground was slick with mud, blood, bones and bile. A few ravens perched on the crypts as if observing the carnage of the night. The defenders of Moonglow paused as silence fell upon the area. Hands were raised to wipe sweat from brows as eyes were cast around the area to see if friends were still standing or had fallen during the fray.

Another long, stunned moment with no undead sound splitting the night, then a voice gave rise to a cry, “Victory for Moonglow!” Soon all had taken up the cry, voices echoing in the night. “Victory for Moonglow!” The celebratory mood was only slightly dampened as another voice reminded those who were still standing that there were fallen that needed tending.

The wounded were tended to and the vigil drew to a close as the rosy rays of the sun colored the eastern sky. The Moonglow defenders slogged their way back to town, to celebrate or sleep, as each saw fit. Would the undead attacks now cease? Would peace descend for both the living and the dead who resided in Moonglow? Only time will tell. I’m Cara Newsman, until next time, may the