Xerephon felt himself choking as he woke up battered and bruised on the cold beach. His chest suddenly clenched painfully as seawater was forced up out of his lungs and onto the sand via his mouth.
He would find himself in a small cove that was somewhat protected from the wind and surf. Large rocks and driftwood scraps littered the beach around him. The only way out was a break in the cliffs to the northeast or the rough water he had nearly drowned in.
Xerephon dragged himself out of the surf and onto the beach proper. While he could remember having been trained as a guard, that knowledge had been taken from him and so he cursed with frustration at his lack of skill. He was naked except for a loincloth and had no weapons. He started to look around him, trying to find a decent piece of wood he could use as a club. He also picked up some stones that he could use. But really he needed proper weapons.
Clearly none of them lying around though. Once he'd picked up some makeshift weapons, he headed off towards the NE
After a few minutes of looking you found a decent chunk of wood that wasn't completely rotted and a few rocks that you could carry in your other hand.
Heading out of the cove the beach stretched out ahead of you to the Northeast, pinned in by the surf and more tall cliffs on the far said of the beach. You could see multiple piles of refuge sitting on the beach, some even taller then you. Most striking though was people shuffling around the sands, their heads down as they slowly moved or just stood where they were.
In the distance you thought you could spot a bit of smoke amid the clouds and mist. A cold wind whipped at your exposed skin as you stood there.
Xerephon was concerned by the people who were shuffling around - especially as they seemed to be in the direction he had to travel. He decided to find a vantage point where he could observe them and see what exactly they were doing. Ideally, he wanted to be able to get to a position where only one could see him. As he moves up he's also looking to see if the flotsam and jetsam includes any strips of cloth
It was easy enough to find a spot that blocked the line of sight to all but one of the people. As Xerephon peered at the nearest person though a hole in the lumber he could see that it wasn't a person at all. Not any more at least.
The creature was heavily bloated with seawater and his belly had been ripped open for his guts to hang out. This must have been what the reports he had read meant when it said the dead walk in Wraeclast. With the deadman not seeming to have seen him yet, Xerephon was about to turn to look for some cloth when something stabbed up uncomfortably into his foot. Looking down he would see a red gem wrapped in gold ribbing. He had seen these before in the higher ranks. This was a virtue gem, you were suppose to insert it into a weapon or armor if he remembered correctly.
Xerephon picked up the gem - handy if he had a weapon or armour, but for now he tied off a corner of his loincloth and stored it there.
Looking at the parody of humanity in front of him, Xerephon wondered if it would be possible to outrun it. He then looked at the others and considered that he could then end up trapped between them - so it would be better to deal with this before moving on.
Xerephon waited for the creature to have its' back to him, then ran towards it as quietly as he could intending to his it around the head with his driftwood club
As you touch the gem images flow into your mind of a featureless person leaping and slamming their weapon down on the ground. Where they hit froze the ground around them into a brief icy sheet.
The undead turned towards you as you sprinted at him. He swung his arms like two clubs at you, but it's bloated body was too slow and you seen had him unmoving on the ground in front of you. Bits of brain and skin now decorated your makeshift club.
A few dozen feet away two more dead turned towards you and started slowly shuffling though the sand at you.
Xerephon hefted his weapon, ready to take on the other two. At least they moved relatively slowly, so as long as he could keep his own speed up, he wasn't too worried by them.
He tried to move so that only one of them could attack him at a time and then waited for them to approach him. But he didn't want to get trapped in a corner so once they were 10-15ft away, he charged the nearest one, trying to dispatch it as he had the first one he met
Kicking out, he smashed his free foot into her head, knocking her loose just long enough to crush her head like he had done the others.
No other moving dead seemed to have noticed the man yet, but he could see some floating out in the surf raising and falling with the waves.
Further north the water encroached nearly to the cliffside, but luckily there was still some beach to move though. When he neared this part of the beach Xerephon would notice a large, intact trunk partly buried in the sand and covered with several strings of seaweed.
Ripping off the seaweed, he pushed open the trunk with a creek. Luckily there weren't any undead around to hear it over the crashing of the waves. Most of the items in the chest were useless since the trunk had not stayed watertight, but a quick rummage around earned Xerephon another red gem, this one with gold piping crisscrossing the surface in a circular pattern. As well as a rusty, scarred metal vest.
Xerephon grabbed the gem and the metal vest. While the armour might slow him down a bit, he wanted the extra protection so he struggled into it. He then headed off up the beach towards the gap in the cliffs.
The armor was soggy, sandy, and a bit tight on his muscular upper body, but it was still better then nothing.
Moving further up the beach, the smoke he had thought he saw before affirmed itself as a crude fence of spiked logs rose from the sands and reached from cliff to seacliff. However standing between Xerephon and the settlement was a giant of a man.
Nearly eight feet tall, he was covered in scars, gaping wounds, and weapons still lodged in his flesh. He also seemed much more alert then the other undead Xerephon had met with so far. Patrolling the area around the bottom of the path leading up to the gate in the wall with heavy, quick steps.
Xerephon immediately realised that this creature would need to be dealt with in a very different way. It’s sheer size made it dangerous. The fact that weapons were stuck in it meant that it was going to be tough and its’ speed was going to make it difficult to get past. There seemed to Ben no other way around and having seen the moving dead behind him, Xerephon knew that at some point he would be trapped between them.
Xerephon moved back down the beach a short way. He needed some way to distract the creature, or some way to slow it down. He started searching back for areas on the beach of soft sand or mud. He was also wondering how the creature would react to the other dead, so was keeping an eye out for more of them.
There was the wet sand of course, and the rest of the beach had only slightly damp sand mixed in with larger rocks, bone, and scraps of garbage.
As Xerephon was looking around, one of the walking dead shuffled into the giant's area. With a guttural roar, the giant tore though the sand towards the undead and wrapped it's hands around it's neck. Squeezing until the neck snapped and hung to the side, The giant ripped one of the dead's arms off and began tearing strips of flesh from it's bone as he returned to his patrol.
In his loincloth Xerephon felt the gems stab into his leg. Perhaps there was a way to jam them into his makeshift weapon...
Xereph9n examined the gems and tried to see if he could jam them into the driftwood club. If not he would lash them to the hilt with a strip of cloth from his loincloth.
The giants reaction to the moving dead gave him another idea. He headed back toward the main group to see if he could encourage them to chase him. What he wanted was to get 4 or 5 of them that he could encourage to follow him up the beach
Finding a large crack from the last undead he smashed, Xerephon was able to pry the wood apart enough that he could drop the gems into a tight hole. As soon as he did so he could feel that the club, as crude as it was, would suffice for the ice strikes.
Finding and pulling a group of the undead was easy enough, a few rocks to get there attention and keeping his distance allowed Xerephon to lead them where he wanted to with little risk as long as he was careful not to corner himself.