wearemercs · a day ago
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by Stepan Alekseev
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luvzuno · 2 days ago
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oldschoolfrp · a day ago
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Two Undead Enter Battle -- presumably the 3rd undead is hanging back commanding its minions  (Sandy Collora, Blademaster Sourcebook, Iron Crown Enterprises, 1990)
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plush-with-love · 2 days ago
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Source ~ Squishable
Undead Steed
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robotics5 · a day ago
fucked up idea: a type of undead that's just the nervous system
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tvshowfeels · 2 days ago
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“Corpses buried in mud that’s black, from death, I command you, to come back!” -Marceline, Adventure Time S1E22
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ensemblesongs · a day ago
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aestheticpatronum · a day ago
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Necromancer Hufflepuff
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reyswag · a day ago
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Luca Kaneshiro, one of the main attractions of LUXIEM....
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filibusterfrog · a year ago
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core classes as undead :)
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swampgallows · 12 months ago
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fella are you gonna teach me leatherworking or not
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iingezo · a month ago
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Casimir for @pissyeti !
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crepuscularpete · 2 months ago
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dycefic · 6 months ago
The Late Traveller
I should have known, of course.
A little old hotel in the middle of nowhere, with a creaking wooden sign instead of neon? Red flag.
A hollow-eyed, weary-looking young woman at the desk who seemed hesitant to let me get a room? Red flag.
A picturesquely old-fashioned room with a patchwork quilt on the bed that smells a little too musty? HUGE red flag.
Only they’re actually not. Not the first two, anyway. I travel a lot. There are a lot more seems-haunted old-house-turned-traveller’s-rest places than most people think, and in my experience most night auditors are hollow-eyed, faintly eldritch, and disinclined to let someone check in just before dawn.
Of course, the patchwork quilt should have been a dead giveaway. Tired 80s decor and a chenille bedspread? Entirely normal. Patchwork quilt and nineteenth century charm for less than $100 a night? Sus. Very sus. Should have warned me then and there.
In my defense, I was really tired. I’d been driving for two nights and a day, I was exhausted, all my car snacks were gone, and I just wanted to close my eyes and get horizontal. I handed over some cash, stumbled upstairs, made sure the blinds were down, and passed out.
I didn’t wake up until late afternoon, and I felt like shit on a shingle when I did. It took me a couple of attempts to put on my pants and stumble out of the room to look for some sustenance. My expectations weren’t high, but most places at least have coffee-making facilities, and in a pinch a cup of coffee and chugging all the available milk will keep me going for a while. There might even be some of those little packages of cookies, which usually give me an upset stomach but are better than nothing.
There wasn’t a coffee station. What there was was a vending machine with a buzzing, flickering light inside it that made the dusty snacks look even less appealing than they already did.
I was debating whether to risk a can of soda of unknown brand and vintage - sugar and caffeine don’t readily go bad, and I was starving - when I heard a little cough behind me. “Are you a guest, dear?” the old woman said when I turned around to blink at her. She was thin and tottering, faded-looking, and while there weren’t actually cobwebs on her, she looked as if there should be.
“Yes. Is there a kitchen or something where I can get some food from this century?”
Her eyes flicked away. “There’s a diner,” she told me. “Not far down the road. You should try there. I’m afraid the facilities here aren’t what they once were.” She sighed deeply.
Belatedly, my sense for the uncanny started to tingle. “So I should check out and keep moving, huh?”
“Yes, dear. If you can,” she added, and she glanced over her shoulder. “Before sunset.”
I could have been more tactful with the old dear, I suppose, but I didn’t have it in me just then. “Lady,” I said, folding my arms and glaring at her, “I am very tired, and very hungry, and being tired and hungry makes me very cranky, so I’d really appreciate it if you could get to the fucking point. You’re a ghost. This is one of those haunted hotels that lure in travellers to sacrifice them to demons or beg them to break curses or whatever. Fine. That’s on me. Shouldn’t have been suckered in. But enough with the veiled warnings. Just tell me what you want.”
The old woman hissed softly, like a startled cat, but she didn’t vanish on me. That was good. The really timid spirits did, and it was annoying as shit. Then she shook herself and cocked her head. “I see,” she said, her voice stronger but less human-sounding. Ghost voices don’t have the body of a human voice, unless they really work at it. “You’re not… ordinary.”
“That’s an understatement.” I pinched the bridge of my nose. “Okay. You’re here. You’re trying to warn people off, so you’re not a willing participant in whatever’s going on here. I don’t mind releasing you, because I personally find the binding of unconsenting spirits to be a disgusting abomination, but if you don’t get to the point I’m going to get even testier than I am now.”
“We’re bound here.” The night-auditor was in the doorway, three or four shadowy figures behind her. I heard a faint murmur that suggested there were more further back where I couldn't see. “He traps us, and kills us, and then we’re still trapped.”
“Okay, there’s a he. Necromancer?”
“Not exactly,” the old woman said grimly. “It’s the fear that sustains him, the fear and the suffering. Do you know how long it takes someone to starve to death?”
“About a month, usually.”
“He can usually drag it out to at least two, by allowing a little food now and then. An illusion of hope.” The old woman looked bitter. “I was the first. This was my house. He came, one night, and I opened my door to a lost traveller. I’ve had many long years to regret that.”
I allowed myself a small growl. That wasn’t just evil, it was rude. “Well, he made a mistake this time, just like you did.” I paused. “He’s not a demon or something is he? Because that takes special equipment, and I’m not sure I have enough wormwood in the car.”
“No, he’s no demon. Only a mortal magician who draws power from the suffering of others.” This was a spirit who hadn’t spoken before, a man with the pouchy, drooping look of a stout man who’d lost a lot of weight before he died. He looked shrewd, though, and the look he gave me was assessing. “He’s living.”
“Oh, good. In that case, lead me to him.” I felt in my pockets for the charm I’d picked up six small towns ago. I tend to tap out protective charms fairly quickly, but this one still had some life in it. She’d been a gifted witch, that one… and a good kisser, too. I’d try to stop by there again soon.
They led me down to the cellar, and showed me the hidden door. In theory, the door couldn’t be opened from the outside. In practice, most doors open once you put your fist through them and then rip them right off their hinges. That sounds impressive, but behind the disguising layer of dried clay it was one of those flimsy modern doors that’s basically made of laminated paper and plywood a toddler could break through.
I went through the door fast, not wanting to give him time to get a spell ready if he didn’t already have one going. He hadn’t been expecting me to come through the door - I got a look into his scrying mirror over his shoulder, and he was watching my car. Probably getting ready to pixie-lead me back to the hotel when I tried to leave, the normal next step in this game.
I’d taken him completely by surprise. He managed one hex-bolt, which I shrugged off, and then I had hold of him. Like most of the spider-types, who let their webs do their hunting for them, he wasn’t physically strong or fast. I am.
Much more so than any human.
It felt fitting, that a man who starved and tormented his prey should find that he’d caught a bigger predator than he was. I didn’t drop the body until I’d drained it of every accessible drop of blood. We don’t usually do that, despite the stories. We’re still equipped with all the usual human organs, and a human stomach is not designed to hold five liters of fluid in a hurry. Ours do get a bit bigger, over time, taking up some of the space in the abdomen that the atrophied bowel doesn’t need any more, but I still felt as bloated as a tick when I finally dropped him.
“I needed that,” I admitted, licking a trace of blood off my lips and tucking the feeding fangs away behind my teeth. “Thank you.”
The ghosts might have feared a vampire in life, but they all looked delighted now. They clearly appreciated the poetry of the man who had starved them being devoured before their eyes. “At least he left someone with a full belly,” the girl who’d posed as a night auditor said with satisfaction. They were already looking less… real, and less human. Without magical anchoring, ghosts who have been dead for a while can’t usually pass for living any more. There were at least thirty of them, all up. He'd been here for a long time.
“His spells still bind us here,” the formerly-stout man said, tugging on something I couldn’t see with spectral hands. “Can you undo them?”
“Technically, no. Most vampires aren’t magicians.” I grinned at him. “But here’s an interesting fact. Phosphorus fires burn magic. That’s why so many vampire and magician strongholds are burned down.”
He grinned back, a deaths-head grin that would have frightened someone mortal. “And you have phosphorus?”
“Got some in the car. I’ll go get it as soon as the sun goes down and set this place alight.”
We had a nice chat until sundown. The old lady showed me around, and I filled a few boxes with antiques and other valuables or items of sentimental value that she didn’t want torched. I put all the identifiable stuff the wizard had taken from his victims - IDs, rings, engraved watches, that sort of thing - in a separate box, and buried it with enough juice from the corpse that any dog, sniffer trained or otherwise, would go straight to it. The ghosts’ bodies were all buried under the floor of the cellar, they said, so once the fire was out and the investigation started, they’d be found.
Of course not all vampires are alike. We’re as different as any humans are from each other. But most of us feel a certain kinship with our fellow dead, especially the ones who didn’t go by choice. I volunteered to be turned, but I know plenty who didn’t, and I don’t care for that any more than I do for binding spirits. It was a pleasure to be able to help them out, and make sure their families found out what happened to them.
It doesn’t take much phosphorus to set a fire. When I drove away, the house was already ablaze, and the ghosts had vanished.
Or so I thought. Three miles down the road, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a familiar face. “Haunting the photographs, huh?”
The old lady shrugged. “I can if I want to.”
“I’m not judging. Anywhere you want me to take them?”
She beamed. “Somewhere interesting. A museum or something, where there are a lot of people and interesting things to see.”
So yeah, I’m basically the reason there’s a haunted 200-year-old patchwork quilt hanging in the Texas Quilt Museum. I donated it, along with the picture of my old lady’s grandmother (who made the quilt) and the old lady (who I credited with the donation). Nobody seems to have noticed yet, except a local witch who’s started hanging out there to get knitting advice from the old lady.
You know, vampires get a bad rap, but we really do a lot of good for the community… in our own way.
Note: To my knowledge, there isn’t a haunted quilt in the Texas Quilt Museum. But the museum itself exists, which is very neat, and it looks well worth the visit even without a ghost.
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beebeedibapbeediboop · 2 months ago
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DND commission for a very nice commissioner
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richie-dagger-official · a year ago
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A shot from The Sorrows of Satan (1926). This shot would go on to be the cover of Bauhaus’s “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.”
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paranaptime · 7 months ago
Bro, I know your coffin is cramped and all but like... can I join you? I won't take up your side I swear, unless you wanna cuddle, haha, just kidding.... unless..
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