Pain, heavy and dark. His temple swelled and pounded on his brain. He lay on wet ground, drenched and beaten about. Where was he? What was going on? He turned to his right side and reached out to push himself up so he might -
He screamed inside himself. He had fallen back to the ground, not even a foot, but it had felt so far his gut had flipped with vertigo. How had this happened? He regarded his right hand and saw a peculiar and horrifying truth: his right arm was gone at the elbow - a stump.
"What manner of...?"
And then again, a lurch. This one only took place inside his mind, but again his stomach wrenched.
I am Jonas Thrace. Knight. Swordsman. Guardian of my master's house. We would sit and drink and talk, we knights - but. No knight: my master is dead. The boy is dead. I am Jonas Thrace. Wanderer. Sell-swordsman. I hold my sword in my shield arm now, for I am half the man I once was. I am base.
Oh Gods it hurts. Jonas's stomach could take no more. He wretched and heaved, lying on the ground like a babe.
What had happened?
He had been on the Cepolada and..? They had travelled leagues and leagues. But how had he gotten here? Where was here?
A dragon? Sky walkers who called forth water?
Oh it hurt.
Jonas rolled over to his left and dragged himself up. The whole world swirled around his head and he felt again as if he would vomit. A forest. He saw figures now, gathered together.
He reached down into his chest to call forth breath with an effort that felt like a bellow.
"Hello?" he rasped.
Rhee's eyes darted to the forest from where the voice was coming from, it wasn't a voice she could recognize so she looked around for answers. Nexxado look confused...or surprised, she couldn't tell, but his mouth opened and closed twice before making a very short statement.
"That sounds like Jonas..."
"< Great, >" Rhee sighed, "< can't go anywhere without some sort of undead. >" She drew her sword and ran towards the voice as fast as her aching body could take her. She managed to reach Jonas before he managed to even stand, she looked deep into his eyes before sighing again and sheathing her sword.
"You walk? I help you to Nexxado."
It was quite some time before Cecia Kelai, having taken the cowardly yet strangely bright decision of hiding, emerged from underneath a piece of the floorboard that had landed near her when the Cleopolda had been struck, stained with the blood of a sailor unfortunate enough to still have been on the ship. As she moved the wood off of her figure, droplets of red water landed on her already crimson skin, a piece of a torn flesh landing on her boot, which she made no effort to remove.
"Th' feckin', piss shittin', hellish, demonic bull-feck just happened?" The shadow elf exclaimed, making no effort to censor herself as she spoke. "I mean, feck, that thar was impressive, but still, feck! How come I can't be doin' that kinda stuff?"
Cecia took a moment's pause as she looked around, observing the beach around her, battered by still raging waves and adoring the bodies of countless dead across its surface. Her initial thought was one of confusion, followed by fear, then a strange joy once she realized the silver lining of the situation.
"I be guessin' tis finders keepers, right?" The woman said to herself, chuckling. "Well, off t' lootin' th' dead, I suppose..."
"You walk? I help you to Nexxado."
"Thank you kind lady. And who might you...?"
Wait. Rhee. Yes.
"Yes. Thank you Rhee."
Reaching out with his left arm he took Rhee's offer. He felt tired and vulnerable but he took her arm. They began walking.
"What happened Rhee?"
The doctor hesitated at Deslock's weak reply. He began to move away, wavered, and turned back. No one else could hear what he said to the Explorer, but from his posture it appeared to be a lecture. Nexaddo looked for all the world like a professor in his lecture hall, explaining the universe to a particularly dim-witted student. Deslock straightened up, looking offended, and was just starting to reply when Nexaddo turned and walked away.
The Doctor was looking for someone, anyone with magic. All he'd been doing had been confirming deaths. His tools, his hands of science, were mostly useless here. It would take miracles to save the Expedition now, and while others might be willing to wait for the gods to provide the Doctor was not so patient. If there were to be miracles, they would have to make them.
Ah, there was Prithis, looking down at a body on the sand. Nex had thought he'd seen the satyr earlier. Good to know his eyes weren't failing him.
"Prithis!" he said. "You can heal, correct? Come with me to find those who are still alive. If there are any left."
"What happened Rhee?"
"Magic win, Cepolada" lose," she replied grunting under Jonas's weight. It was only a small struggle as Jonas managed to recover his bearing partway back to the fire. She didn't leave his side quite yet, however, as the way he swayed made her nervous. She made a space for him to sit in the makeshift infirmary.
"Nexxado, look please."
Rhee left Jonas moving to the other side of the fire. The sun had finally made it's small crawl over the horizon, it's appearance only made things look more bleak however has the beach was in full view. Rhee spent a few minutes observing the situation and the surroundings, the work quickly added up.
It's going to take at least three days to get everyone off the beach...whatever hit us could come back and kill us in a minute, it's good I can look forward to that.
Her eyes stopped at the statue of flesh that was Deslock.