[RP Episode] 5 More Minutes


#1

Darkness shrouded the vast catacombs. Not a single ray of sunlight ever made it down here. All that could be heard was the drip drip drip of stalagtites, and the occasional flapping and squeaking of bats. The cave had been this way for a millennium, untouched by men, completely abandoned, until recently.

“Auuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuughhhhhhhhh!” What sounded like a scream at first turned out to be a very long yawn. The sound was followed by the sickening cracking and stretching of bones.

"How long has it been? Gods above, I’m simply not ready to get up just yet…five more minutes.

The voice was followed by a heavy breathing, which transitioned to a snore. The snoring them continued for another five years…

After that time had passed, the being woke up again. With another stretch and a yawn, he rose from his bed. Well it was a coffin, not a bed.


It was still dark, which displeased the being, so he snapped his fingers, “Aether torch ignite!”

A purplish blue light sparked into existence at the command of the being, in the palm of his hand. The eery light revealed the speaker’s pale white skeletal body. “AHHH WTF!” The light sputtered and faded as the being startled himself. The light returned, slowly and faintly, allowing him to examine himself. “Dammit, so the preservation spell was a hoax after all. Damn mage theory… Let’s see about housekeeping.” He waved his hand and all the torches in the large hall sputtered to life. “Great gods what a mess…well.” The hall was indeed a cluttered mess, tables and chairs were overturned and broken, a few decayed bodies were scattered on the floor. “Raise undead!” The being gestured with his hands as he recited the spell. “Slaves! Clean up this mess! I’m going out for a stroll.” The spell-caster rose from his seat and walked through the clutter towards the exit. The bodies that lay on the floor instantly rose and began to straighten up the room. Their master walked out of the room and up a long stone staircase with a faint light glimmering at the end.

As the being walked out into the moonlight, he observed his surroundings. He had emerged in the middle of a ruin, and the air was ashy, hot, and dry. A rough obsidian gravel crunched beneath his feet, and all around him he could hear the quiet bubbling of lava.


#2

He stood there for a moment, deep in thought. “I’m forgetting something, I know it.” In the night light, the being was fully visible. He was a skeleton. The only thing unique about him was his eyes. They were little crimson flames that lay deep in their sockets. “Aha! How embarrassing to be naked out in the open.” He mentally recited a spell, and instantly his bare skeletal frame was covered in a black and purple robe with red and gold trimming.


“That’s more like it!” He swiveled around, with a whirl of his hooded cloak, and examined the ruins surrounding him. This needed fixing, but it would require an instrument that he had kept locked away deep beneath the earth.

“My Lord Giraffalo, it is a great pleasure for me, though unworthy as I am, to see you awake again.” The ageless voice came out of nowhere, which surprised the skeletal being. He was not this easy to sneak up on.

“Giraffalo? What kind of stupid name is that?” He turned around to face a smiling woman, or what looked like one, all dressed in white and gold, and wearing a dress that showed a little more skin than he felt necessary.
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Her complexion was very pale, but her eyes were a reptilian yellow and her long straight hair was jet black. The one thing unusual about her was the pair of feathery black wings protruding from her back.

Her expression changed to one of dismay. “But…my lord. It’s…it’s a beautiful name! Why in your ancient tongue it means ‘full of wisdom’. It is a respectable-”

“Enough! There are things I must know. First of, remind me of your name, servant.”

“Scintilla, my lord!” She dropped to one knee, causing him to uncomfortably avert his gaze away from her torso. But he did remember one thing. She was a Fury, a spirit of vengeance according to historical manuscripts, but a useful servant for him. She continued. “Ever since you created me, I have been your loyal servant, guarding your tomb and slaying all who dare to disturb your rest!”

“Well, Scintilla, ummm. How long have you been waiting? I’ve lost count of the years.”

“Precisely fifteen thousand, four hundred, and seventy five years, my lord.”

“Aha…” Lord Giraffaloo put his bony hand to his jaw, somewhat perplexed by how much he had overslept.

“Does something trouble you, my lord?”

“No no! I mean…yes. Where are the others? If my memory is correct, I created five of you.”

“Of course, my lord. They stand guard on the perimeters of this place. Should I summon them for you?”

Lord Giraffalo waved his hand in dismissal. “That won’t be necessary right now. Thank you, Scintilla.”

She suddenly bowed her head and spoke louder. “I am but a lowly creation of yours my lord and I owe you my very being! Please do not waste your praise on me!”

He raised his non-existent eyebrows in surprise and cringed a little. If all his servants acted like this, something had to be done. This was simply embarrassing.

“Stand up Scintilla, scout the surrounding area. I want a detailed report of how the world has changed.”

"Anything for you, my lord! She laughed coyly, and with a powerful flap of her wings she disappeared into the sky.

“Well, that was…weird.” His eyes trailed after Scintilla as she flew further and further away. “Lord Giraffalo? Did I really call myself that?
She was right about its meaning, but the way it sounds now…ugh. That’ll have to change.”
He shuddered in disgust.

Lord Giraffalo turned back to look at the ruin. “Let’s see, if I came out right here, this should be the main hall. I should have enough mana to reconstruct it at least partially.” He began mumbling a litany of spells, one ancient phrase after the other, and the crumbling ruins began to coalesce into what appeared to be a spacious throne room, although the once white stone was tarnished and blackened with soot, giving the place an overall grey appearance. Giraffalo walked to the front of the room and sat in the throne. By snapping his fingers, fire pits sprang to life all around the perimeter of the throne room. He ran his fingers through the familiar grooves and etchings on the arms of the throne, bringing back old memories of his past life. He sat there for a few hours, thinking about his adventures and feats, sometimes laughing to himself. Then he started to think about the future.

It was time to summon his servants to a meeting. He needed a moment to catch up with the events of the world. “Summoning beacon!” He bellowed and a bolt of lightning struck the floor in front of him and swirled in a pillar of electricity. It rose higher and higher until it scratched the clouds, calling all those in the area to him. After some time had passed, people began to arrive. Scintilla walked in first, bowing low, and walked over to stand at his right side, like a second in command. Many others walked in: orcs, dark elves, wraiths, ghouls, and various un-dead. Not a single human was among them. Three of them stood out in particular. A man with grey hair and short beard walked up and bowed. He wore a suit of black that looked somewhat like a tuxedo.


“My lord Giraffalo, it is good to know that you have not forgotten us. It is an honor to be back in your service, sir.”

The lord recognized him. “Farkas, my faithful servant. How have you been … I mean, what have you accomplished while I was gone?”

“I have traveled the world, my lord. Learning the cultures and customs of its peoples, including their diplomatic relations and how they wage war.”

“Excellent! I would like to hear full report on that later. At ease.”

Farkas bowed, sternly, but gracefully, and stepped to the side of the red carpet that he had walked down and waited.

A small cloud of smoke entered the other end of the hall and slowly materialized into the form of a tall, menacing looking dark elf. He wore a flaming red coat, a red brimmed hat to match, a gold feather from a phoenix stuck in his hat, and a pair of shades. He was Sycophant the Changeling, basically Giraffalo’s secretary of war. With a wide toothy grin, he approached the throne and spoke.
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“My lord, I sensed you when you first began stirring five years ago and in that time I formulated a brilliant plot to enslave the entire feeble human race. Just say the word and we can begin now!”

Ah yes, Syco, always was ambitious. Perhaps overly so.

“Hold it! Sycophant, I’ve only just returned. I’ve not decided what I want to do. Thank you, however, for your quick initiative.”

“Of course, my lord.” Syco bowed. “I sense that you have a brilliant plan laid out already. I cannot wait to carry out your orders!” He dismissed himself and stood next to Farkas.

The next to approach was a figure hooded an masked in black. He had a few pieces of silver armor here and there fastened tightly with leather straps. A silver sword hung at his side, and a black bow on his back. He was Umbrage the Hunter. Giraffalo had created him as a sort of hound dog, a rogue who could kidnap his enemies by night and deliver them to be tortured and questioned.

The lord welcomed him cheerily. He was very proud how he had designed and outfitted Umbrage, but he gave him the fault of having little to no sense of decorum. “How goes the hunt, hound?”

Umbrage spoke, his voice sounding hollow inside his mask. Giraffalo forgot whether he had a physical body or not, as he was covered from head to toe.

“The world is ripe for harvesting, my lord, a great many powers rise in the North and in the South. The ones I’ve hunted recently will greatly interest you.”

“Is that so?”

"Yes! There are many! Let me describe them to you! Flaming beings, giants, dragons … I even captured a vamp- "

“Enough! You can tell me later.”

“But, my lord! This one-”

Scintilla angrily interrupted. "How dare you disobey our lord and maker! That is an offense worthy of DEATH you impudent little- "

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Lord Giraffalo rolled his eyes, “Both of you. SHUT UP!”

Umbrage muttered something about puppies, which got him another livid glare from Scintilla.

The whole room hushed. Lord Giraffalo shook his head. This was the problem with creating sentient beings. It’s true, they did technically owe you everything, but they could get so damn annoying.

He noticed that someone was missing. “Where is Scūtus?”

Scintilla replied. “He insisted on keeping his post, guarding the perimeter.”

Girafallo looked thoughtful. “I see. That is quite admirable.”

Sycophant spoke up,“My lord Giraffalo. Give us a command! Any command! We’ve been left to our own devices for too long! We need a direction to put our talents!”

The lord cringed again. That name was so…bad. “Alright! I have a command for you all.” He stood up. “You are to no longer call me Lord Giraffalo. That is a lowly name, fit only for a human. From now on you will call me Az Zhal-Ghûn. Immortal lich of the East!”

His servants all fell to their knees and bowed their heads. A sparkle of red shone in Az Zhal-Ghûn’s eyes.


#3

After Az Zhal Ghun’s announcement, an awkward pause ensued. Scintilla looked up at her lord and asked, “My Lord Az, if I may call you that, would you like to hear my report on the surrounding lands?”

Az Zhal Ghun nodded.

Scintilla stood up from her bowed position. “There are a few different nations settled around us my Lord, presumably human. To the North there appears to be neighboring peoples.
Their dwellings are humble, but abundant, and their crops and cattle flourish well there. It’s a mountainous region. Beyond that region, I caught a glimpse of a city skyline, it appears to rich and densely populated, but it was far away so I didn’t bother flying that far. I scanned the eastern ocean only to see an island far, far away.
Strange lights shine there, and vessels come in and out by sea and by air. South of us there is a dense jungle biome, what inhabits it is hard to tell as it’s shrouded with trees, but I felt a dark presence similar to yours my Lord. A powerful magic dwells there.”

Az nodded again, obviously pleased with her detailed description. He turned to the elderly Farkas. “Farkas, have you been to these places?”

“Yes, my lord Az.”

“How would these neighboring nations feel about my taking residence here, in the volcanic region?”

Farkas furrowed his brows, putting on a thoughtful expression. “Well, this world is mostly populated by humans as it had been for millennia. I’m sure you’re aware of human’s inhibitions against undead and dark magic, so the northern kingdoms would probably find your awakening rather troubling. There is a northern nation of inhumans who call themselves Keelish. They have no qualms about the use of magic, but from what I remember, dark magic is strictly prohibited.”

Lord Az laughed at the mention of dark magic. “Yes Farkas, I’m quite familiar with people’s dislike for my type. We may have to maintain a certain level of secrecy, so as to not scare off any curious diplomats or adventurers. What of the South and that island? I assume in the 15,000 years I’ve been gone, you must have lived in each country for a lifetime, a human lifetime that is.”

Farkas nodded in confirmation. “Yes, my lord, I consider myself a man of culture. My duty is to observe, and remember. The island is actually more of a recent occurrence. It appears that a vessel of some sort came out of the sky and landed there. I have little info on who it is, but the island expands with every sunrise. The South proved to be a little more of a difficult matter. Only one nation reigns supreme there and it is Ebonsgrasp. From my memory of it, it is a country of lords and slaves. The majority of the population consists of slaves, mostly human, but their leaders…are not so. They possess a dark magic unlike yours. It focuses on blood, sacrifice, mind control, and an uncanny obsession with the color purple. It appears they have a large network of allies all over this world. And to avoid any confusion, my lord, the popular way to refer to the earth these days is ‘Allura’.”

“How intriguing…” Lord Az rested his chin on his clasped hands. “I’d like to know more about these Ebonsgraspians in the future. But that will have to wait.” He raised his hands pointing to the open ceiling. The stars twinkled playfully above. “Right now I must focus on restoring the Tomb of Az Zhal Ghun to it’s former glory. Sycophant, I charge you with rebuilding the walls, use as many of these undead that I’ve summoned as you want. They’re quite disposable. Scintilla, you will take inventory of all potions, valuables, and weapons we have, and prepare living quarters. Umbrage, you will sort through your bestiary, take inventory, and provide me with a flying mount. I plan to travel if needs be. Farkas, I’m not quite sure what I want you to do just yet, but I do want you to be in charge of diplomatic relations. As you appear the most human-like and are skilled in these matters.”

His servants all bowed together. “Thank you Lord Az, it will be done as you asked!”

“No. Thank YOU, my faithful servants. Now be on your way.”

They immediately dispersed, and Lord Az returned to the catacombs to find his staff.


#4

@staff plz close


#5